Holiday Card 2014   Georgia Department of Economic Development

Interactive Holiday Cards

Coming up with a new holiday card each year can be a challenge. But it is a challenge I enjoy.

When you are spending good money on design and development you need to balance the return on investment with cultural sensitivities around the holidays. In other words, do not sacrifice your brand integrity by disrespecting what the holidays are really about.

It was a lot of work, but this year I collected holiday-centric statistics from well-known brands throughout Georgia and put a logistics spin on it.

2014 –

This year my goal was to make a holiday card that could extend beyond our Department, and be usable and distributable by other state entities and citizens of Georgia.

Looking for other interactive holiday card ideas? Here’s a look back at the past two years of holiday cards I’ve worked on.



As you can see, HTML, Video and even old Flash have all played a role. Now responsive design and HTML5 is a significant consideration, so that individuals can view it on any type of device whether mobile, tablet or desktop.

It will be interesting to see what manifests next holiday season.


IEDC Digital Marketing Webinar

Join me for an upcoming webinar on digital marketing for economic development for the International Economic Development Council.

Find out more about why The Future of Economic Development is Online at

Oct. 27th: What You Need to Know about Digital Lead Generation | 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET

How do you turn a visit to your website into an investment? First impressions matter. Digital lead generation is all about capitalizing on prospects: first by wowing them, and then by connecting with them. Discover the seven strategies to supercharge your organization’s digital lead generation efforts. This webinar teaches participants how to create a customer-focused website, as well as how to both promote it and make use of tools that will maintain a dynamic online conversation about your community.


payneGold Award for New Media: Robert Payne, Director of Account Management, Georgia Department of Economic Development Robert Payne has more than 15 years of digital marketing, technology and economic development experience.He currently serves as director of global account management for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. He and his team help the state of Georgia compete in global commerce, innovation, international trade and tourism across a variety of industry sectors including aerospace, information technology, advanced manufacturing, logistics and destination travel.

mazierGuillermo Mazier, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Atlas Advertising | Denver, Colorado
Guillermo Mazier is Vice President of Strategic Accounts for Atlas Advertising. Atlas helps economic developers effectively reach site selection and prospect audiences through branding, digital marketing, and GIS enabled websites. Founded in 2001, Atlas has worked with more communities than any other marketing firm in the past 10 years including 165+ economic development clients in 46 states and six countries.

wakefieldJennifer Wakefield, APR, Vice President, Marketing and Communications | Orlando Economic Development Commission
As Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Jennifer manages the strategic marketing and communications efforts of the organization, including providing counsel to the organization’s executives and board officers. She also is managing the new regional business branding initiative. Jennifer has fifteen years of experience in marketing and communications and holds her accreditation of public relations (APR), which signifies a high level of professional experience, competence and ethical standards.


Real Success

Real Success is my latest web development project, and it represents a culmination of more than 3 years of producing videos for the state of Georgia.

Using html 5 and YouTube’s api, this video hub has unique features that deliver a visually stunning experience with a focus on lead generation. I’ve always been a proponent of “real marketing” which to me means delivering your message through the voices of your customers. In other words, don’t listen to me, listen to them.

If the user pauses the video they are presented with the option to learn more information or view another video that is tagged to the same industry. Alternatively, they can close the video player and explore other industries. Other features include a share feature for social and email and a scrubbing tool, timecode and volume control.

Of course I think it’s cool, but check it out for yourself – Real Success.


Manufacturing Video

This manufacturing video is my latest creation. It is hard to believe that I started on the script in March, but it required a lot of moving parts to make it what it is. One thing is for sure, it took me to some pretty amazing places.

Hope you enjoy!

photo by Robert Payne

Automotive Economic Development Video

This is my latest video project, which took me to West Point, Georgia to detail the entire process of producing a Kia vehicle. The biggest aspect of the story is the customized workforce training that has been put in place to prepare Georgians for future job opportunities. In addition, it helps Kia to stay competitive and efficient.

I also had the chance to meet and interview the mayor of West Point. Kia’s presence has truly transformed his community in many positive ways. Historically, the town had fed its economy with the textile industry, but it had slowly deteriorated to the point of becoming obsolete.

When Kia expressed interest in their location, the mayor’s father went door to door to convince 20+ different property owners to come together to provide one contiguous mega site that would accommodate Kia’s plans. Now that’s small town tea on the porch collaboration.

Thanks to Dave Bolton and Billy Earle at Quick Start for supplying the b-roll of the manufacturing facility. Saved us a lot of time and money.

Light of the Lowcountry

The Light of the Lowcountry

I captured the above image in the direct sun of the afternoon by raising the f-stop up along with the shutter speed to cut the glare and sharpen the contrast. It reminds me of my youth when I would spend countless hours in the water idly passing the dog days of summer by with nary a care in the world. My how things change!

Click here to see the full image.


Center for Birds of Prey

If you have ever traveled between Charleston, South Carolina and Pawley’s Island then you know there are many historic and beautiful places to visit. One more recent addition is the Center for Birds of Prey. More than a zoo, the Center provides educational opportunities through interactive presentations and informative conversations with professional biologists and ornithologists. It is best to time your visit during one of the presentations at the outdoor amphitheater. There you will see owls, kites, hawks and falcons demonstrating their innate capabilities, and sometimes even flying directly over your head.


Video Marketing

One of the aspects of my job that I enjoy the most is seeing what makes companies tick. Getting behind the scenes and meeting the entrepreneurs that drive the Georgia economy. The vast array of industry sectors provide so many different strategies and business processes, and telling a part of their story via video is always an interesting experience.

A few tips when planning for a video shoot:

  • If you can, scout before you bring a video crew along. A host of surprises can jump up unexpectedly, and you want to be prepared with a back up plan. It will also give you ideas, shot angles, interviewees, and potential props to make it even better. For example, I’ve used lift cranes, fork lifts, bicycles, planes, conveyor belts and a host of other items to get a shot.
  • Really investigate the DNA of the brand you are featuring. The more you can carry that spirit forward the better.
  • Set up two different camera angles to make the interviews more interesting and flexible when it comes to post edit time.
  • Too much background noise is distracting, but just enough makes for a more interesting video as it allows the viewer to feel the scene.
  • Avoid amping up the music too much. One should hardly notice it unless it increases at moments to convey something important or create energy – but use sparingly. Certainly avoid free stock music at all costs.
  • Interview questions can often end up very generic, and that won’t help you get the interesting talking points you need. Mix it up and throw in some questions that are personal. Relax your subject and don’t be afraid to have them repeat their point several times to get it right. They will appreciate it later. Certainly have them repeat the last part of your question before they go into the answer.
  • Keep it short. Like under 3:00 minutes.
  • If you plan on buying media to promote your video then think about and budget accordingly for both a 30 second spot and a longer version.
  • Transcribe the video. If you don’t like the way the script is shaping up then you can always go back to find the right talking points you want.
  • Consider animation and careful use of text and infographics to bolster a particular point.

Here are some recent videos I have produced:

King’s Hawaiian (3:00)

Mercedes (00:30)

Small Business (2:46)

Film Industry (4:55)

If you would like to see more videos from me visit

Small Business Video Awards

Small Business Animation Video from Robert Payne on Vimeo.

My approach to videos has generally been – don’t listen to us, listen to them. And I still believe in that strategy. There is much power in hearing (and seeing) a credible and experienced individual explain how they were positively impacted by a solution of some kind. This type of visual storytelling can of course be supported by animation and infographics if needed.

However, in the case of this small business video I felt that a different approach was needed. Why? Because there are more than 700,000 incorporated businesses in Georgia and 99% of those are considered to be “small businesses.” It could be an aerospace company that makes drones for NASA or a microbrewery. The sheer breadth of industry sectors is staggering.

A pure animation approach with a narrator works in this case because it allows the viewer to get drawn in by the story and whimsy while still conveying some very specific information. What types of businesses they actually run becomes less important.

Others must agree because it recently received a few accolades.

  • 2014 MarCom Awards: Gold Award in the Government Subcategory of Film & Video
  • 2015 AVA Awards – Video for the Web/Government (Gold)
  • 2014 Summit Emerging Media Awards: Leader Award (Bronze)

Robert Payne

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