Shawn Badgley

Shawn Badgley is a Managing Editor at BuzzFarmers. His experience in digital publishing and communications proves crucial in his successful collaborations with BuzzFarmers clients. He has written about culture – business, technology, media, health, sports, arts, and entertainment – for outlets including The Austin Chronicle, where he was senior editor. He also served as Interactive Content Manager at South by Southwest, and has worked with dozens of campaigns on messaging, media relations, and outreach efforts.

Posts by shawn


Marketing Genius: Tools for Peace and Marketing to Young People

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

One of the most disturbing moments (of many) in the recently released Fed Up – a scathing documentary about the role of sugar in the rise of obesity in the United States – shows an exec from McDonald’s testifying before Congress.

When asked about the company’s advertising practices in marketing to young people, the exec doesn’t blink an eye.

“We don’t market to children,” she tells the committee in an unnerving monotone, as if brainwashed. “Ronald McDonald informs and inspires by magic and fun.”

Scary stuff. Hey, some mega-chains decide to do the right thing, and some don’t. Sometimes, it takes a nonprofit to teach them a little corporate responsibility – or at least set a good example for others.

Yes, McDonald’s makes trillions marketing to young people. Tools for Peace just makes the world a better place marketing to young people.

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Marketing Genius: Marriott Joins Publishing Brands With Multiplatform Content

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

Is Marriott the first company to pivot into content marketing and publishing? No way. Are they the first hotel chain to do so? Not necessarily, depending on your definition. But they’re definitely unique in the energy and resources (which, of course, as a corporate property, they have more of than most) that they’re investing in a push billed as an industry breakthrough.

After partnering with the likes of Fast Company, Mashable, and Wired on their “Travel Brilliantly” campaign earlier this year to pair sponsored content with prestige editorial, Marriott now counts itself among businesses transforming into publishing brands. As it turns out, they were just dipping their toe before diving in.

Their September 29 announcement of a new “global studio” says that it will include “content development, production and distribution teams – dedicated to publishing, distributing, and sharing digital and filmed content across film, television, online, digital, and print distribution platforms.”

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Connecting With Customers Starts With Targeting Your Audience

“If you want to make an audience laugh, you dress a man up like an old lady and push her down the stairs. If you want to make comedy writers laugh, you push an actual old lady down the stairs.” – Tina Fey

From the moment we can string sentences together, we learn to keep in mind the people who will read them. Do you remember when your sixth-grade science teacher would tell you to write your paper on kingdoms, phyla, and classes for “someone who has never heard of the subject,” or when you lined up the thesis, body, and conclusion of your college essays with the precision of a watchmaker for that shadowy admissions panel who could set the course of your entire adult life?

The same, of course, goes for your blog today – except that targeting your audience is even more important. But breathe easy: As a business leader, you actually have a leg up on your younger self. After all, you can cut through all of the noise and get straight to the heart of communication by keeping in mind the following:

You know what you need to do every single time, with every single piece of content.

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Marketing Genius: Exo’s Cricket Flour Power

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

A few months back, we all arrived early at the BuzzFarmers office – a cosmic occurrence in and of itself – to find a mysterious package sitting at our door.

We wondered what it was, of course, but we also wondered where it was from and who had sent it. Usually, we have the privilege of exchanging pleasantries with the UPS and FedEx folks bearing new books from industry iconoclasts, an exotic floral bouquet from yet another thrilled client, and paper bags of cash providing some cushion for a previously scheduled deposit of gold bullion, but this delivery was different.

For starters, it seemed to be humming. And not like your typical miniaturized-barbershop-quartet-singing-telegram-in-a-box type of humming, either. 

Each of us looked up and down the hallway. Each of us offered up a theory. Each of us was afraid to touch it. Each of us realized that we couldn’t enter our workplace without doing so.

So, Amanda, being our leader and the adventurous soul that she is, directed Napa the Dog to flip the parcel over onto its side, which he did without hesitation. The humming swelled, becoming an incessant chirp.

Everyone’s gasps of terror soon turned to shrieks of delight, as we saw the great mark of Quarterly. It could mean only one thing: Our Tim Ferriss Quarterly box had arrived, right on schedule. Napa demurely stepped back as the rest of us ripped into it with Bacchanalian zeal.

We lifted our heads, holding bars between our teeth.

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Why Finding Credible Sources for Your Blog Content Is Well Worth the Effort

When someone shares a big, out-of-nowhere story with you – say, one with surprising data or some counterintuitive trivia – what’s your first response, usually? Mine takes one of the following forms.

“Where did you see that?!” or “Where did you hear that?!” or “Who told you that?!”

Do any of those questions sound familiar? Most human beings are equipped with critical thinking skills and healthy skepticism to make it through most days, and the phenomenon of reading and hearing interesting or unknown things is no exception. As the messenger, if you you’re not finding credible sources – whether in casual conversation or while writing for publication – you might as well not even bother.

When I was working in politics, one of the more popular – and cynical – sayings that would float around campaign offices was this bit of W.C. Fields advice: “When you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull****.”

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10 Interior Design Blog Ideas to Impress Your Visitors and Improve Your Business

During home improvement projects in today’s world, when visits to websites far outpace visits to the hardware store, homeowners and renters are looking for inspiration and guidance online – while also keeping an eye out for products that can make their lives less complicated and their spaces more stylish and functional.

If you’re an interior design firm or a retailer, you have to get your own house in order before helping customers tackle their plans.

Just as we scramble to ready our guest room for that visit from the in-laws, you want to to make sure everything’s in place when weekend warriors storm your site with traffic generated from search queries about window treatments and area rugs, let alone when architects, contractors, property managers, business execs, and the super-rich staging their mansions in preparation to list them on the market come looking for partners.

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Story Angles: Finding the Most Effective Entry Points for Blog Posts

Aren’t you tired of bosses, teachers, writers, coaches, and self-help types breaking out the “house” metaphor to get a point across about some project or lesson, telling us all about the “tools,” the “bones,” the “building,” the “planks,” the “levels,” the “rooms”?

You’d think these so-called thought leaders and expert communicators could come up with something new after all of this time. But once more couldn’t hurt too much, right?

So, I want you to imagine the post you’re working on … as a house.

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Marketing Genius: The CVS Rebranding Strategy

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

It’s not often that we shout out major corporate chains, but sometimes we gotta give credit where credit’s due. And since this company is our neighbor and a crucial driver of the economy here in Rhode Island, we feel like it’s especially justified.

CVS has had a busy and interesting 2014 so far. If you’re on their Christmas card list, brace for an epic family update. 

First, in February, they decided that all tobacco sales would cease in their stores by Oct. 1. This alone would have been a big enough shakeup to sustain, but earlier this summer, CVS also announced that the opiate-overdose deterrent Narcan would be available without a prescription.

Oh, right, and they changed the name of their business.

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Are Bloggers Journalists? They Are Now!

Until recently, “newspaper reporter” was ranked as the worst career path you could possibly choose. This year, it’s just the second-worst.

Rankings like these are based on survey data that include salary, stress, office atmosphere, industry growth, physical requirements, and more. This year, reporter actually moved up one spot to edge out “lumberjack,” but has otherwise plummeted during the past decade.

What else can you expect when your industry has a website devoted to it that includes the phrase “death watch”?

Still, the skills it takes to be a good reporter will always be valuable, regardless of public perception. Intellectual curiosity, street smarts, social graces, accountability, thoroughness, and clarity – to name just a few – transcend bylines and the “state of journalism as we know it”: They prove crucial across the communications spectrum.

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Getting to Know Our Senior Managing Editor: Chris Sturk!

I’ve never told anyone this, but one time I saw Chris Sturk walk through a wall.

Oh, sure, I’d watched full-grown sunflowers – after Chris stood up and walked away – sprout in a patch of grass that he’d been squatting in just minutes before, and I’ll never forget when he opened his mouth to start a presentation during an editorial meeting with an important client, and a tiny hologram of Ornette Coleman crawled out, looking around warily yet still improvising the saxophone parts for both volumes of At the “Golden Circle” Stockholm with his customary deftness.

Chris just smiled and looked right through the soul of each person at the conference table, one by one. We were all … changed that day.

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