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marketing makeover

BUZZ premiers on Alabama Public Television 900 502 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ premiers on Alabama Public Television

“You mean my Dad won’t be here on my marry day?”

These were 4-year-old Caroline Bennett’s first words when she learned her father, a Birmingham Police officer, had been shot and killed.

Though Robert Bennett died in 2004, his legacy lives on thanks to the nonprofit we’re featuring in our first “BUZZ in Birmingham” episode that aired December 15, 2023, on Alabama Public Television (and simultaneously on our YouTube channel).

Children of Slain Police Officers, aka COSPO, provides college scholarships to children whose parents were killed in the line of duty while serving in the Birmingham Police Department. In 2023, COSPO funded $100,000 in college expenses for students whose fathers died.

New to BUZZ is marketing pro Swell Fundraising, which helps COSPO reimagine its name and brand to better serve officers’ families for years to come.

Coming up on BUZZ on Alabama Public Television:

Dec. 22 at 8:00 pm
Studio by the Tracks

At this nonprofit in Irondale, the autistic meets the artistic. This studio and gallery provides a social network and career path that enriches the lives of artists who have autism and betters the community. Swell Fundraising donates its time and talent to help Studio by the Tracks achieve more … buzz.

Dec. 29, 7:30 pm & Dec. 31, 1:00 pm
Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
America was founded on hope and opportunity. And for folks from Hispanic countries, that dream is as alive today as ever. But navigating a foreign land and language is hard and not for the faint of heart. Thankfully the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, or ¡HICA! is full of heart. A community development and advocacy organization, HICA champions economic equality, civic engagement, and social justice for Latino families.

Jan 5 at 8:30 pm 
Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank

Food, shelter … diapers? Too many low-income mom and grandmothers in Alabama have to make the hard choice between diapers and utilities, clothing, even medicine. Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank each month distributes more than 150,000 free diapers and other essential products to 3,300 low-income families in Central Alabama. Martin Advertising / Martin Retail Group steps up to provide Bundles with a lot of marketing help — and hope.

Many thanks to the Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation for helping underwrite our production.

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BUZZ kicks off Season 4 featuring The Hokie Way 749 299 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ kicks off Season 4 featuring The Hokie Way

News Release

September 25, 2023 (Roanoke, Va.) – Virginia Tech star basketball players Elizabeth Kitley and Sean Pedulla – along with Hokies football coach Brent Pry and women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks – are featured in the Season 4 premier of BUZZ on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. on Blue Ridge PBS.

Airing every Wednesday, BUZZ features the great work of nonprofit organizations in Southwest Virginia, and the marketing professionals affiliated with the American Advertising Federation of Roanoke who donate their time and talent helping charities attract more people to their cause.

The Season 4 premier – the 36th episode of BUZZ – stars The Hokie Way, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for Virginia Tech student-athletes to leverage their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) in support of other charitable causes, such as Feeding Southwest Virginia, LifeRing Foundation, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia. 

“Since launching in 2020, we’ve been fortunate to feature nearly 50 organizations that represent the breadth and depth of charitable work in our communities: arts and culture, homelessness, literacy, outdoors recreation, suicide prevention, intellectual disabilities, and now college athletics,” said Michael Hemphill, BUZZ creator and host. “Our communities are strong because of nonprofits. We’re honored to share their missions on public television throughout Virginia and provide them with valuable marketing resources to help them create more buzz.” 

Other Season 4 BUZZ episodes in development are Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary in Floyd County; RAMP (Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program); and Arts Connect Neighbors in Roanoke.

All BUZZ episodes are available on demand at Hemphill also hosts the weekly radio show Buzz4Good! – interviewing nonprofit leaders throughout Southwest Virginia – on Saturdays at 4 p.m. on WFIR. Previous episodes are available on

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Michael Hemphill | Creator of Buzz4Good | | 540.556.2879
@buzz4good on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn

New BUZZ stars — and helps rebrand — Literacy Volunteers 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

New BUZZ stars — and helps rebrand — Literacy Volunteers

Watch our 31st episode of BUZZ featuring Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley that originally aired May 3, 2023, on Blue Ridge PBS …

For most people, the ability to read and write comes so naturally that we forget they are skills we had to learn as a child. But for immigrants who don’t know English, and native-born individuals who perhaps struggled in school, those letters on a page are literally a foreign language. From navigating our healthcare system and the DMV to simply wanting to read to a grandchild, a lack of literacy can be crippling.

Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley provides tutoring and classes to teach adults how to read, write, do basic math, and use computers — which in turn provides people the power to lift themselves out of poverty, lower health care costs, find and keep sustainable employment, and ultimately change lives.

But the nonprofit’s brand is clunky — LVNRV — and suggests it serves volunteers rather than people who need help reading. Coming to the rescue once again on BUZZ are our rebranding magicians from Wordsprint.

We thank 100+ Women Who Care NRV for sponsoring the production of our episode!

Coming up on BUZZ: May-August 2023 schedule 900 675 Michael Hemphill

Coming up on BUZZ: May-August 2023 schedule

Tune in to Blue Ridge PBS on Wednesday 7:00 p.m. to watch BUZZ! New episodes air each month! Here’s the schedule of upcoming shows now through August.

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NEWS RELEASE – Watch Party on March 29 celebrates 30th Episode of BUZZ 749 299 Michael Hemphill

NEWS RELEASE – Watch Party on March 29 celebrates 30th Episode of BUZZ


Watch Party on March 29 celebrates 30th Episode of BUZZ

March 15, 2023 (Roanoke, Va.) – The Southwest Virginia-based television show BUZZ, featuring nonprofits receiving pro bono marketing resources, will premier its 30th episode on March 29 on Blue Ridge PBS.

A free community Watch Party will be held at the Grandin Theatre for the episode, which stars the Roanoke homeless ministry, The Least of These. Wheeler Digital is donating the marketing “buzz” in the show. Funding for this episode is provided by the Louise R. Lester Foundation.

“We remain honored that so many incredible marketing agencies throughout Virginia have been willing to give their time and talent to help our nonprofit community,” said Michael Hemphill, creator and host of BUZZ. “In turn, these life-giving organizations are able to attract more donors and volunteers to their cause so they can better fulfill their missions.”

BUZZ is produced in partnership with the American Advertising Federation of Roanoke.

Launched in 2020 during the pandemic, BUZZ has featured dozens of nonprofits across the Commonwealth on its 30 episodes, spanning a range of causes from Arts & Culture (Southwest Virginia Ballet, Roanoke Arts Pop); Social Services (R.A.M. House, Feeding Southwest Virginia); Healthcare (Children’s Assistive Technology Service, Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia); Environment (FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge); and Children and Families (West End Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia).

Episodes currently under development include Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley; YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge; Art & Economic Development in Roanoke, Va.; The Hokie Way; and Community Foundation of the New River Valley.

Virginia is home to hundreds of nonprofits – from homeless shelters and food banks to children’s choirs and art museums. As skilled as these organizations are in fulfilling their missions, they often lack the time, expertise, personnel or bandwidth to properly promote themselves. This lack of good marketing – this shortage of buzz, if you will – limits their ability to further their cause.

All episodes of BUZZ are available on demand at In fall 2021, Hemphill added a weekly radio show, Buzz4Good, airing Saturdays 4 p.m. on WFIR (also available on that interviews nonprofit leaders throughout Southwest Virginia. 


Michael Hemphill, Creator of BUZZ
540.556.2879 |