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Morning Ag Clips: Free To Bee Campaign Launches

WICHITA, Kan. — Appreciating nature is more than idle buzz at Greteman Group. The Wichita-based marketing agency recently launched Free to Bee, an interactive microsite designed to both entertain and educate visitors. Visitors plant virtual gardens to help bees thrive. They scroll over objects and fun facts pop up. (I mean, did you know that honey bees never sleep and their wings stroke 11,400 times a minute?)

“We think visitors will be charmed by the site and have lots of fun with it,” says Sonia Greteman, agency president and creative director. “We also hope they leave encouraged to do their part by creating bee-friendly habitats in their yards and communities. The actions are simple, but the effects profound.”

The site communicates bees’ vital role in pollinating flowers, fruit trees and crops. (Bees play a part in almost every bite of food we eat.) Whimsical graphics and playful animation serve to make the time on site fly and learning fun.

Getting up close and personal with bees does more than encourage a deeper understanding of their place in nature. A flight with the winged wonders also reinforces Greteman Group’s market niche – aviation marketing. The agency sent a Free to Bee branded email to clients as part of its annual holiday tradition.

“We abandoned traditional gift giving more than 20 years ago,” says Greteman. “Clients watch their mailboxes and inboxes each year, never knowing what we’ll develop. We mix it up, cycling between digital and 3-D print. Whatever comes, they know it symbolizes a gift on their behalf to a worthy nonprofit.”

This year’s charitable donation goes to Botanica, the Wichita Gardens. Its 18 acres of wildflower meadows, canopied woodlands, formal gardens and water features offer sanctuary for pollinators and humans alike.

“We appreciate the innovative way to get the word out about Botanica and spread to new audiences,” says Marty Miller, Botanica executive director. “The Free To Bee campaign highlights a benefit of the gardens that isn’t always communicated. We also appreciate people keeping Botanica in mind for their charitable giving during the holiday season.”

Kate Sheppard, Botanica education program manager/Downing Children’s Garden, notes additional habitat has been added.

“Botanica has deepened its commitment to pollinators this past year by installing hives, which produce raw honey from all the flowers our guests enjoy,” says Sheppard.

Just another reason to appreciate the winged wonders.

“Nature’s beauty wouldn’t be possible without bees,” says Greteman. “A lot rides on those tiny wings.”

You can share the site and spark up conversation on your social channels by including #FreeToBee.

Published in the December 6th, 2016 edition of Morning Ag Clips

The Art of Giving

Wichita-based marketing agency Greteman Group has a well-established reputation for supporting the community. But it achieved a first this year, donating more than $100,000 in-kind creative services to a variety of life-enriching groups and initiatives.

“It wasn’t a strategic decision to increase our giving this year, but happened organically as we worked with clients and organizations on projects that needed extra support to achieve the desired outcomes,” says Sonia Greteman, agency president and creative director. “I’m proud of the results and our role in them.”

The agency’s 2016 giving includes added support for the following:

“Working together, digging a bit deeper; good things happen,” says Greteman. “You have to make money to stay in business, but you must give back to feel fulfilled and part of something larger than yourself.”

An agency team survey from this spring ranked community service, involvement and giving in Greteman Group’s Top 10 workplace benefits.


The Hutchinson News: Cheerleader tackles life changes after leukemia diagnosis

It was Tuesday and Hutchinson High had a home game that night, but cheerleader Kiley Flanagan wasn’t there.

Instead she was wrapped in a fleece giraffe-print blanket, curled on her side in a hospital bed as chemo-drugs slowly dripped into a catheter in her chest. A nurse was preparing to transfer her to Wesley Medical Center’s pediatric intensive care unit where she would remain for several days.

In Kiley’s fight against acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the medical staff first inject her with a high dose of methotrexate, which remains in her system for 24 hours. However, because it’s dangerous to her organs, they spend 48 hours flushing it out of her system, explained Kiley’s mother Tamera Simpson, Arlington.

“It’s a whole new world,”  said Simpson, a single-parent, as she remained close to her daughter’s bedside helping her to get comfortable.

Nearby was a three-inch thick binder filled with every lab number, medication, and hospital visit Kiley has experienced since July 29 when she was diagnosed with the disease.

Holding up the hefty tome Simpson said, “This notebook has become our life.”

Major changes

Kiley, 15, is a relatively new face at Hutchinson High School, transferring from Fairfield High last spring semester during her freshman year. She ran track and made Hutch High’s cheer squad.

Being a cheerleader is something Kiley loves. She was on the squad at Fairfield and has participated competitively in the past.

She attended cheer camp during the summer, however things changed drastically for Kiley on July 29 when she was diagnosed with acute leukemia. The discovery began after she went to the emergency room for a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop until it was cauterized several hours later. Then it happened again less than 24 hours later, and she headed back to the ER.

“They did some lab work and said they couldn’t handle it and sent her to Wesley in an ambulance,” Simpson said. Quickly it was determined she had leukemia and treatment began immediately.

There have been many setbacks over the past months, including a stress fracture above her knee because her bones have weakened.

“She use to be so active,” Simpson said. “It brings her down to be so weak.”

Following chemo in September she was flown to Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital with a form of pancreatitis that left 25 percent of the tissue dead. It’s one of the downsides of the chemo medication.

Kiley was in the hospital in Kansas City for three and a half weeks, which put chemotherapy on hold, while they waited for her pancreas to heal.

Because she couldn’t keep any foods down, a feeding tube was surgically inserted into her stomach. Kiley says it looks like a flower. But it is uncomfortable. However, now she can get heavy duty nutrition around the clock her mother said, and she seems to be regaining some strength.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Kiley’s nurse, Terri Griffin, bantered with her as she assembled the IV drugs.

“I’m her favorite,” Griffin said with a smile. Kiley rolled her eyes in disagreement.

“She’s spunky,” Griffin said smiling at the red-headed teenager.

Going through such an ordeal would be tough for an adult, Simpson said, “but for a kid it’s pretty intense.”

On this day while her friends were attending class, cheer practice, and a basketball game Kiley was trying to get through the treatment that makes her nauseous, weak and miserable.

It drags her down, but Simpson says she’ll come back up for a week and a half, before she has to start over again with treatments.

Visits from two older sisters — Keegan Dougherty and Kiara Flanagan — who bring along her 20-month-old niece Audrey Dougherty bring a smile to her face.

She also had a surprise visit from several cheerleaders and chatted with friends this past week.

“Kiley absolutely is still a part of our team and in our thoughts daily,” said Ashleigh Vieyra, coach of the HHS cheerleaders. After she was diagnosed in July she did continue to practice and participate with squad as she could.

“Going through her treatments has been hard for her to continue actively participating, but as she is able to she attends any events that she can physically attend.

“She is a very kind, hardworking girl and we are pulling for her,” Vieyra said.

On Tuesday she was beginning the second treatment for the third phase of a four-phase regimen that her doctors hope will move her into remission so that she can have a bone marrow transplant in early 2017. The transplant offers a better chance the leukemia won’t return.

Holding on

For now they hope to be home for Christmas. But they can’t plan that far ahead.

“Nobody understands the extent of all the treatment until they are in the situation,” Simpson said.

So it’s the simple things that others do for Kiley that mean so much to her and her mother. She was feeling groggy as the chemotherapy was beginning its slow drip.

“Mrs. Rice came to see me,” Kiley said, perking up and smiling, remembering how the Iron Riderz came to visit when she was in the hospital the previous Sunday. They brought gifts, and Paula Rice, assistant principal at HHS, was with this group.

“It worked out well that I was able to coordinate with Tamera to give her a heads up that we were in that group. It was great to see Kiley,” Rice said.

Rice tries to help students who cannot attend school for various reasons stay as connected as possible.

“They need to know that they are not alone and that HHS is with them in their fight. When we cannot personally visit, we find a way.”

For example this week a parent volunteered to drive two of the senior cheerleaders down with a few surprises for Kiley.

“The rest of us called her via FaceTime. It was great for them to see and talk with her, and I know that she enjoyed it also.”

Rice said, “ Our Communities in Schools program, under the guidance of Nikkee Byard, does an Angel Tree gifting program every year for HHS students who may be in need of a little extra. Thanks to Nikkee and some amazing volunteers and great donors, Kiley received the first of two rounds of Christmas presents from the Angel Tree. I have another very large bag of gifts for her that I hope to take to Wichita on Saturday.”

“Unfortunately,” Rice said, “ HHS has several students who struggle on a daily basis with chronic illness.

“Right now, our focus is on allowing her to heal. We will be so thankful when she is able to return.”

Healing Waters

This is the fourth year that Healing Waters Wichita offered to pamper selected parents of children in the pediatric unit at Wesley Medical Center during December.

Nurses at Wesley chose Kiley Flanagan’s family to be the first to experience the “Holiday Healing” relaxation and restorative spa services.

When Kiley’s mother, Tamera Simpson, heard the news that they had been selected she almost started to cry, said Carol Farrow, a spokesperson for Healing Waters.

“It was great and much needed,” said Tamera Simpson, who is a rural Reno County volunteer firefighter.

Those who want to keep up with Kiley or show support can find updates  at KileysFight They can also help through a GoFundMe page at

Reported by Kathy Hanks in the December 19th issue of The Hutchinson News.

Wichita Eagle: Have You Heard?

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-8-54-03-am Have You Heard – 12.8.16  

How Does Your Website Score?

As you wade through all that obligatory end-of-year budgeting, no doubt you’re giving extra thought to your website and its increasingly vital role. Help’s arrived. Our agency’s created a free online tool that lets you score your site on five key areas: search-engine optimization (SEO), analytics, content, functionality and digital marketing. You can access it here.

Jargon No, Commonsense Yes

We understand that you’re busy. So we’ve kept this very high level. We haven’t tried to bamboozle you with tech talk. We’ve narrowed down our questions and simplified them to serve as a helpful guide. You ought to be able to zip through the scorecard in 10 to 15 minutes.

Each of the five areas has you answer five questions, then scores you on that area. It could be an interesting exercise to do with your team, too, prompting discussions that could lead to valuable insights.

Two-thirds of B2B marketers planned to invest in a responsive website design in 2016. Were you one of them? If you haven’t taken that step yet, then you really need to build that into your critical actions for 2017. You simply must ensure that your site functions optimally on all devices (smartphones, tablets, desktops) plus major browsers and operating systems.

But how your site works on multiple platforms is only a sliver of what you need it to do. It must attract leads. Deliver information fast. Showcase your competitive advantages. Sell your wares. All while building your brand and creating a positive experience that encourages people to stick around, share findings and engage.

Digital Moves at Mach 1 Speed

If 2016 flew by without significant digital examination, then make 2017 your year to prioritize and execute. You can’t afford to miss out on customers who are doing their research online. (And who isn’t?)

Investigate your status on search results. Deploy content-driven marketing strategies. Create unique landing pages for your print and digital advertising efforts, delivering a better experience to visitors and better metrics to you. Yes, it gets tricky, but getting it right reaps rewards.

Measure What Matters

So go ahead. Put your website to the test. The only caveat: to get an honest score, answer honestly. Hope you feel our checklist’s line of questioning leads you someplace good.

Common sense website performance

Digital moves at Mach 1 Speed

Measure what matters

This column ran in the December 8th issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.

Free to Bee

You know us creative types.

We find inspiration all around. Nature stimulates us. The budding sunburst of spring’s first daffodil. The glorious blooms of a June rose. The autumn blaze of sunset Rudbeckia.

These things just don’t happen. It takes a helping hand – or wings. (And you know how an aviation marketing firm feels about wings). From the flowers that paint our world to plants that yield our food, pollinating bees make it all possible.

This holiday season, we’re hoping to generate a bit of buzz about these winged wonders. Share some fun facts and hope others will do the same. The goal: to take simple steps that help bees thrive. Our writers, designers and programmers set to work creating an interactive site where in the midst of all the holiday bustle, you could just bee.

We launched the Free to Bee microsite in early December and invite you to wing your way over. To click, connect, explore and play. Plant a virtual garden for bees. Scroll over objects and little-known facts pop up. (I mean, are you aware that honeybees never sleep and their faster-than-the-eye wings stroke 11,400 times a minute?)

The site communicates bees’ vital role in pollinating flowers, fruit trees and crops. (Bees play a part in almost every bite of food we eat.) Whimsical graphics and playful animation serve to make the time on site fly and learning fun.

We issued a Free to Bee email to clients to let them know that in keeping with our annual holiday tradition, we’d made a donation on their behalf. This year Botanica, the Wichita Gardens was the recipient.  Its 18 acres of wildflower meadows, canopied woodlands, formal gardens and water features offer sanctuary for pollinators and humans alike. Botanica recently added hives, which produce raw honey from all the flowers guests enjoy.

But our site’s not just for clients. It’s for you, too. If you haven’t yet experienced the wonders that happen in and outside the hive, make your way on over. Celebrate our pollinating friends. Then share the site. Spark up conversation on your social channels by including #FreeToBee. And just bee.