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Wichita Business Journal; Wichita businesses find giving back can be the best gift for their clients

December 21, 2012

Wichita Business Journal
Daniel McCoy

Wichita businesses find giving back can be the best gift for their clients

It’s that time of year when offices throughout Wichita are filled with holiday greeting cards and gifts big and small from customers and vendors.

But some Wichita businesses have seized the opportunity to support a good cause, have a little fun or both.

For nearly two decades, Greteman Group has rolled out a campaign around Christmas in which it donates money on behalf of its clients to a charitable cause.

This year’s campaign, the “Gift of Lift,” supports the Aviation Green Alliance program of the Lindbergh Foundation, which focuses on eco-friendly innovation in the aerospace industry.

But Greteman, which makes its money being creative, also took the opportunity to get the creative juices of its clients flowing.

Along with a card announcing the donation made on their behalf, clients get a kit of pre-cut cardboard parts that allows recipients to make their own flying machines.

They can then upload photos of their creations to a special website, and there anyone can vote on their favorites.

Don’t expect the creative types at Greteman to go down without a fight. Around the agency’s Wichita office are all sorts of creations made from the kits, including a few Star Wars-inspired craft and a replica of the Mars rover that employees Landon Barton and Seth Duncan built using two kits — plus the box one of them came in.

“We’re super-nerds,” Barton says.

Sonia Greteman, president and creative director at Greteman Group, says the campaign has been well received and fits with the agency’s efforts to win work with the aviation industry.

“It’s so much fun. Our clients have really gotten into it,” Greteman says. “But it also helps the community. They really like seeing a charity being supported. It’s got legs beyond just being fun.”

Inspired to give back

The law firm Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock and Kennedy, Chartered, is in its second year of offering a charitable donation on behalf of clients.

Last year’s donations were given to the Kansas Food Bank.

This year, inspired by some employees’ battles with breast cancer, the money is going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, says attorney and marketing director Cameron Michaud.

“It’s been really well received,” Michaud says. “Clients write us back to say thanks. We just wanted to do something to give back. People seem to have really appreciated that.”

Holiday Greetings That Stand Out

In December, our center-of-the-U.S.-based agency bustles like the North Pole. Designers and writers wrapping up last-minute ecards. Production staff overseeing 3-D mailers coming off the press. Account executives making lists and checking them twice.

You, no doubt, have already begun receiving holiday wishes in every conceivable form. As they cross your desk – or computer – or smartphone, think about those that cause you to pause. That warrant a bit more of your attention. What makes you choose those you display, forward to others, share on Facebook, slip into your briefcase to take home – or toss into the trash?

Forbes Insights reports that when advertising manages to capture our attention, 67% of the time, humor is the spark. Good design follows close behind at 50%. Being thought provoking grabs 33%. If it strikes an emotional cord, that gets another 19%. All these prompts have something in common; they engage us. By making us laugh, think, feel.

In our two+ decades of holiday giving and getting, we’ve always viewed this season as about people not presents. Our tradition is to make a substantive donation on clients’ behalf and then send a gift that serves as a symbol of the contribution. Through the years, that’s led to everything from foot-long sparklers (that clients said they lit on New Year’s Eve 1999) to an interactive website where clients tapped into free wellness resources. Campaigns seek to inspire people to Light the Night, Feed the Need, Mold a Mind, Spark a Star, Build a Bird, and more. Contributions have assisted the arts and animals, the homeless and hungry, kids and seniors.

Gift of Lift

This year’s recipient of Greteman Group’s giving: Aviation Green, a Lindbergh Foundation initiative. By raising awareness of earth-friendly technological advances, we hope to inspire even more. Our holiday wish for all – a vibrant, vital earth in balance. A world where expanded thinking shrinks challenges. Where the best and brightest elevate us all. Rising up with new ideas. Seeking and seeing possibilities that draw us ever forward.

Mailboxes around the world have been receiving enticing three-dimensional mailers that contain everything needed to create a flying machine – wings, stabilizers, fuselages, propellers, engines. Recipients can create a modest bird or something magical. Aviation inspires the graphical elements – flight charts, runway directional signage, even 1960s-era Pucci-designed stewardess uniforms. While only clients and friends of the agency receive the mailer, anyone can view and rank the creations on our online gallery.

Messages That Move You

Signature Flight Support’s playful, jingly animated holiday greetings will have you dancing as you watch. Simple, stylized graphics in Signature’s newly expanded color palette can be seen out an aircraft passenger window, creating a sense of movement and global range as you watch iconic airports pass by. They represent the five continents with Signature locations. And places you really, really want to be. Pack your sleigh and head out. The world’s calling and Signature’s your perfect portal.

Shake It Up

Bombardier Business Aircraft goes classic with a snow-globe, trifold card. The three-dimensional mailer opens to reveal Bombardier’s joy-inspiring family of aircraft. Each section holds a suspended aircraft representing the Global, Challenger and Learjet brands. Its freestanding nature invites you to display the greeting prominently. We’re betting recipients do. Wouldn’t you?

Peace and Joy

Take a moment to assess the season’s greetings you receive. To consider which ecards you share with friends. Which mailers you tuck away to read again. Memorable holiday greetings incorporate a bit of ourselves, serving as windows into who we are. Illustrating what propels us. And spurs us to seize the gifts of the day.

*This article originally appeared in the December 20 issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.

Greteman Group Holiday Gift Takes Flight

Clients and friends of Greteman Group may not be getting much work done today. Chances are they’re playing instead.

Holiday mailers from the Wichita-based marketing communications agency ought to be hitting about now. Mailboxes will sport an enticing three-dimensional mailer that contains everything needed to create a flying machine – wings, stabilizers, fuselages, propellers, engines. Recipients can create a modest bird or something magical. Aviation inspires the graphical elements – flight charts, runway directional signage, even 1960s-era Pucci-designed stewardess uniforms.

While only clients and friends of the agency receive the mailer, anyone can view and rank the creations. The agency’s encouraging people to post their inventions on a dedicated webpage:

The 23-year-old agency gave big-ticket gifts to its clients the first years it was in business. It didn’t take long for Sonia Greteman, agency president and creative director, to decide there was a better way.

“This will be our 20th year of sending out creative well wishes backed by charitable giving,” says Greteman. “Clients love both the symbolic gift and the one we make to a deserving nonprofit. Our team has great fun with this every year. We can’t wait to see all the fantastical birds and flying machines people come up with – and who gets the most votes.”

This year’s Gift of Lift campaign benefits the Lindbergh Foundation’s Aviation Green initiative. By raising awareness of past earth-friendly technological advances, the agency hopes to inspire even more. Lindbergh Foundation Chairman John Petersen says, “Greteman Group’s generous support advances our efforts tremendously. Everyone wins – most of all, our planet.”

About Aviation Green Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh devoted their lives to promoting a healthy balance between technology and the environment. Today, the Lindbergh Foundation and its Aviation Green alliance advance innovations that ease aviation’s environmental footprint. A growing number of leading individuals, companies and organizations are working together for the future of aviation – and our world.

Bombardier Leverages Social Media for Safety

What started 16 years ago as an internal training session has morphed into a business and commercial aviation industry must-attend event, the Bombardier Safety Standdown. More than 500 professionals come together for dedicated knowledge-based training. Bombardier’s global focus has expanded the event beyond the States to Latin America, Europe and Asia. Social media has proven to be a key driver and means to keep connected throughout the year – and the world. The stated goals: “Learn. Apply. Share.” The Standdown’s blog lets attendees share how they’ve implemented new safety training. An attendee survey led to the use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to expand interactions with both past and prospective Standdowners. A plus for safety. And Bombardier’s industry leadership.


A Legend Among Pilots, A Giant Among Marketers

Just days before NBAA, the business aviation community lost 95-year-old legend Al Ueltschi. Sonia’s tribute ran in Blue Sky Business Aviation News. You can also read it here. The entire industry mourned the passing of legendary FlightSafety founder A.L. Ueltschi. A commemorative book gave guests to the FlightSafety NBAA booth a way to leave a handwritten note to the family of A.L. Ueltschi, while an email address allows anyone to share their thoughts.

NBAA: Where Business Aviation Does Business

The Orange County Convention Center once again became the epicenter of business aviation when it hosted the 65th annual NBAA. We give the show a big GG thumbs up – reconnecting with friends in the industry, finding rays of optimism in JetNet iQ’s analysis, participating in two press conferences, watching Mary Matalin and James Carville banter, meeting members of the Tuskegee Airmen, securing new business, seeing new aircraft up close at the static, well, the list’s endless. Check out our images and insights on Facebook.