Company Relies on Creativity to Build Team Skills

With clients ranging from Roadway Express and American Greetings to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and National Inventors Hall of Fame, one business takes strategic marketing to a new level.

Every September, WhiteSpace Creative, based in Akron, OH, hosts an annual CreateAThon(TM) event that generates creative thinking and builds team skills – all by giving back to its community. Through a national event called CreateAThon, WhiteSpace develops pro-bono marketing and communications to select Akron/Canton non-profits during a 24-hour marathon. All staff members work around the clock to create projects ranging from marketing and concept development to copywriting and design of print and interactive media.

Non-profits participating in CreateAThon benefit in a variety of ways. It gives the groups the opportunity to work with communication professionals, stretch their marketing budgets and receive a high-quality, creative end product. While CreateAThon’s focus is to benefit deserving non-profits, the event also rewards the WhiteSpace staff.

“In addition to making a worthwhile social contribution, CreateAThon gives us an annual opportunity to have free creative license in developing materials that significantly impact our community,” explains Keeven White, WhiteSpace president and creative director.

The National CreateAThon was founded in 1998 by the South Carolina-based agency RIGGS and now consists of a growing partner network of ad agencies across the country. WhiteSpace is the exclusive CreateAThon agency for the Akron/Canton area.

Two years ago, the event produced pro-bono marketing and communications services with a total market value of approximately $45,000. Previous participants include: Akron Urban League, Akron Public Schools, American Red Cross, Artists of Rubber City, The Arc, Battered Women’s Shelter, Business Leadership Association, Child Guidance Centers, Community Support Services, Coming Together Akron, Girl Scouts of the Western Reserve, Goodwill Industries, Family Services, Jewish Family Services, Junior Achievement, Keep Akron Beautiful, Medina’s Project: LEARN, The Salvation Army, and WAPS.

In addition to hosting CreateAThon, WhiteSpace has transformed dreadfully dull, time-consuming office meetings, according to a recent article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. White uses unconventional methods to keep employees interested in meetings like squirt guns and piles of cash to get things done. When WhiteSpace reached a milestone in July 2005 he carried 5,000 $1 bills into the meeting to signify a fraction of the achievement.

The company, established in 1994 by Keeven White, is a marketing resource firm staffed by a team of 15 award-winning professionals. Averaging a 20 percent growth over the past six years WhiteSpace has gained the experience and expertise to offer a wide range of innovative capabilities. It serves a variety of local, regional, and national business-to-consumer and business-to-business accounts such as American Greetings, Roadway Express, Tremco, Safety 1st, Cosco, National Investors Hall of Fame, Kichler Lighting, FirstMerit Bank, ACRT, and ASB Industries among others.

WhiteSpace reps say they are involved with organizations committed to keeping creative talent in Northeast OH and recently relocated to the renovated Dickson Transfer Company Building within the downtown historic district.

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