About Joe Miller

Joe delivers copy, generates concepts and helps determine strategy. He’s been doing it since 1991 when he started working with a small downtown Cleveland marketing firm. Joe joined the designRoom team as a freelance writer in 1993. He has an annoying knack for finding the core of a problem and the heart of a solution. He also makes the best coffee in the office. In early 2008 he joined the Marketing & Communications team at the Ohio Lottery. While there, Joe led the team that developed and implemented the Lottery’s first-ever social media initiative and crafted the Ohio Policy and Procedures and Terms of Use that guided all the Lottery’s social media involvement. In addition, he created a Winners are Everywhere campaign and managed the creative agency responsible for its implementation. Joe is also a professional musician and educator and occasional composer. He’s the Jazz Trumpet faculty and Jazz Combo conductor at Cleveland State University and has performed all over the world.

Message in a Needle

A message in a needle. It's not quite the kind of messaging I'm used to. Normally I'm cobbling together the right words for a client, to capture the essence of a brand, a promise, a benefit, a selling proposition. Or writing a clumsy, but heartfelt, blog. This is different. It's not a bottle floating in [...]

By | February 20th, 2017|Mental Health & Addiction|

Top Twelve Holiday Songs

Here are my top twelve holiday songs. (It would have been thirteen with the Mr. Grinch song.) They're good, they're bad. They're mine. And all of them mean something to me. If you like, share some of yours! I'll start slow and cool: 1. Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt Ya'll don't know nothing bout this... a sable [...]

By | December 15th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Simple Ways to Fall

I know a lot of simple ways to fall. Here's a selection of my current favorites. I didn't include the song I wrote, titled appropriately enough, A Simple Way to Fall. Perhaps I will in a future blog. Feel free to share your own simple ways. Fall Classic Indians and Cubs in the World Series. An [...]

By | October 31st, 2016|Behavioral Health, Inspiration|

Summer Fun, Until You Get Burned

Summer fun? What's so fun about summer? If you've been burned like I have, you might want to apply a thick coat of all purpose SPF summer screen. Burning Being fair-skinned almost to the point of opacity, the sun turns me red in no time. I need to turn that red into a tan. It's [...]

By | July 12th, 2016|Content, Uncategorized|

If you were a color…

If you were a color, what would your name be? No, this isn't that game in which you combine the names of your first pet and the street you grew up on to make your porn name. This is real world color naming. And there are literally tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of silly, cool, bizarre, [...]

By | June 28th, 2016|Branding|

UP JUMPED SPRING! MOTIVATION

My motivation is being hit with a case of Up Jumped Spring, one of my favorite seasonal jazz tunes, and one of Freddie Hubbard's best. It's a tune that feels like what happens when spring jumps up (thankfully a bit early this year). It delightfully messes with my motivation and direction. Different music. Different clothes. Windows open. Furniture [...]

By | March 18th, 2016|Behavioral Health, Inspiration|

SEO is About Audience

Before anything else, SEO is about audience. Courtesy of Rodney Dawson Principal/Project Coordinator, Great Lakes Tech Solutions, LLC You want the people you're marketing to to be able to find you, right? You want the almighty Google Search to list you at at or near the top of a search result, right? So before starting any other SEO [...]

By | January 25th, 2016|Guest Blog, Web Design|

Ending Leads to Beginning

All through Charlie Parker's bebop tune, Anthropology, practically every ending leads to beginning. It's a trait peculiar to bebop, and a lot of jazz music in general. The syncopated phrases seem to end, only to push you forward to the next phrase. Every harmonic cadence (an ending of sorts) pushes forward to another key, a chord, [...]

By | January 11th, 2016|Inspiration|

Semicolon

I like to use a semicolon. A semicolon can serve a good purpose in a sentence and a story, as a substantive pause; a signal to breathe that doesn’t impede forward progress. For me and many others, it's also an icon. A message. And a movement -- the Semicolon Project. I wear a semicolon on my [...]

By | November 19th, 2015|Behavioral Health, Mental Health & Addiction|

Preparing for Change

A guest blog contributed by Gary Humble of Pinnacle Partners. You have heard it said before -- “Change is coming.” The truth is, change is always happening around us, whether we acknowledge it or not, especially in the behavioral health industry. From technology to mergers and acquisitions to new therapeutic interventions, change is constantly upon [...]

By | November 10th, 2015|Behavioral Health, Guest Blog|

A Healthy Brand Story

We love clients like Jeanne Coughlin. We love all of our clients, of course, but we have a rather long history with Jeanne, having helped develop her brand, the Coughlin Group, through the years. Her brand has grown and evolved, as all brands must. So last year, we partnered with her again to make her [...]

By | October 29th, 2015|Branding, Design, Logos, Positioning|

Let’s Face Heroin Addiction

We shared this heroin addiction campaign blog a year ago. It is reposted because the situation is not getting better. (Blog amended and edited on September 29, 2016.) After hearing and reading comments from good, smart people saying how pissed they are at the cost of an Epipen versus an overdosing addict's access to Narcan and that we [...]

By | September 18th, 2015|Advertising, Cleveland, Design, Guest Blog, Mental Health & Addiction|

Messaging and Music

It is well researched and well documented that a simple tune can amplify any message. So unless you're a Keats, a Shakespeare, or a Maya Angelou, you should probably set your messages to music if you want them to be remembered. We see messaging and music done well in a lot of marketing and advertising. We [...]

By | June 11th, 2015|Inspiration|

Trade Show Good, Bad, and Ugly

We have witnessed trade show good, bad and ugly. For as many businesses that we see do great shows, there are always a bunch of bad and ugly ones. Why is that? I guess that's why we're writing about it. Plus, we are attending a few trade shows this spring and summer. So is it a [...]

By | March 10th, 2015|Marketing|

Images Versus Words

In the battle of words versus images, who wins? Here's my recurring scenario: Images are everything. Nobody reads anymore. Media is all about the image. That's what I'm told, even by clients (though they very much care about the copy I write for them). Being the contrarian that I am, I know beyond doubt that [...]

By | February 12th, 2015|Branding, Content|

My White Christmas

I've had my white Christmas, and it was enlightening. Among other things, the holidays for me mean once-a-year kind of projects, both here at dRC and in my music career. The holiday card-making I'll leave for Chad to write about. I'm going to share my holiday music work. Last year through the holidays I played [...]

By | December 17th, 2014|Inspiration|

I Learn Everything on the Internetz, and Cat Videos.

Everything I know today that's worth anything I learned on the internetz. I Googled heroin addiction today. Not because I'm an addict or trying to become one or need to treat one. But I have a meeting with actual addiction experts about a prospective gig and I want to become an expert. Really fast. A [...]

By | November 18th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Typography: Floundering in a Sea of Design

I have a great fondness for typography, especially type layout. Since I can't sketch or draw or design, in the office I'm a text-generating island floundering in a sea of designers. And I swallow a lot of water fighting to stay afloat. The last time we wrote about typography I wrote of my love for Arial, the [...]

By | August 12th, 2014|Typography|

Tag Lines: How to Make a Good One

"Experience the Difference." "Tomorrow’s Solutions, Today." "The Strength to Be There." "Excellence Through Total Quality." "We Make It Better." "Ask Why." These are actual tag lines. Not much about these lines is appealing to an actual person. They could be connected to medical equipment or banks or lawn mowers. Not one illuminates a unique market [...]

By | July 31st, 2014|Branding, Content, Positioning|