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It’s time once again for another round of FGIA Marketing Recommends, in which the three team members of the FGIA Marketing Department serve as your personal guides through what we are getting a lot out of in the world of social media, design and other marketing needs. The three of us have curated several tools and resources from which we’ve gained insight – plus some fun stuff, too. Take a look at our recommendations for this summer and see what you can bring back to your own team.

Angela Dickson, Marketing and Communications Director

To Carousel or Not to Carousel?

Lori and I recently attended a webinar about web strategies, and someone asked about the use of carousels for their home page. The speaker pointed us to a microsite aptly named The creator notes that visitors will not engage with the carousel and cites several sources to back this up. In a humorous way, the microsite provides data using the exact tool it opposes, a carousel. It’s really clever. Our team won’t forget this impactful little site during future FGIA website redesigns.

Ghostly Gem

My family just subscribed to Paramount Plus, and I’ve discovered an unexpected gem - “Ghosts.” This quirky sitcom follows a couple who moves into an old home the wife inherited only to find that it’s haunted. The ghosts all died on the property and include a tough talking Viking, a 1920s jazz singer and a pant-less stockbroker, just to name a few. The pop culture references to each ghost’s era are hilarious, and the 22-minute episodes are a nice break during lunch, though I may have binge watched almost the entire first season in a weekend.

Lori Benshoof, Web and Online Technology Specialist

Easy Photo Editing

I recently subscribed to a YouTube channel called Photoshop Training Channel. I am excited to have this resource with so many tips, tricks and shortcuts for photo editing. Along with the webinar-style videos available, I like that they also include quick tutorials since time can be limited.

An Untapped Source of Royalty Free Images

One of my favorite sites to grab royalty free images for use on our website and in promotional pieces is Pixabay. I have found the quality and quantity of images on this site are better than many of the other royalty free image websites out there. Another plus, an account is not required to download the available images.

Meryl Williams Clark, Senior Communications Coordinator

Creating Social Media Images in Canva Pro

Our department long considered a Canva Pro membership, and we recently took the plunge. Angela has experience using Canva thanks to her local PTA, and I’d used it to promote local events in my community. That said, Canva Pro is next level: Angela was able to create the promotional image below with their simple “remove background” tool. It was way easier than the old school Photoshop method of meticulously tracing around a person to cut out the background of someone’s head shot! You also get a lot more customization options with the Pro version.

Peak Summer TV

Summer, once considered a dead zone for new TV content, is currently experiencing a renaissance on streaming platforms. Just a handful of shows I’ve been excited about in recent weeks are new seasons of “Hacks” (a comedy on HBO), “Girls 5 Eva” (a comedy on Peacock), “Better Call Saul” (airing weekly on AMC), “Barry” (a dark comedy on HBO) and “Stranger Things” (Netflix). Check out these during your summer break and then hit me up in the comments with your thoughts.