Musings and news-ings

Seth Wilson

Posted by on Monday, September 12, 2016

Online Marketing

Is Your Business a Good Fit for Yext?


Yext can be a handy, timesaving local search engine optimization (SEO) tool for marketers. However, like any tool, a lot has to do with selecting the right one for the situation. Sometimes you need a tack hammer, and others a pneumatic jackhammer. Sometimes either will do, but when it comes to how your business is listed online, you are going to want to pick the right tool for the job.

For those of you unfamiliar with what Yext is, it’s a service that helps businesses update dozens of online local directories from one place. Being accurately represented in local directories is a serious consideration when it comes to local SEO. They have agreements with most any local directory that matters, as well as many that don’t (looking at you, This allows you to enter your businesses information into just one form on, and have the information duplicated across many directories. You can claim all of these directory listings yourself, but it can be tedious and time consuming to do so.

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Seth Wilson

Posted by on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Culture & Community

The Business Observer’s Observations About Our Business

The CNP crew steering the ship

The Florida Business Observer published an article about our recent strides in business improvement. The past year has been an incredibly productive journey for CNP, and we’ve learned a lot about how to service our clients better and keep everyone on this boat of ours rowing in the same direction. From the article:

“We realized we were at a point that we needed to have more structure and discipline,” says Nikdel. “There wasn’t clarity on who is accountable for what.”

Now Winter Haven-based Clark/Nikdel/Powell has regular leadership team meetings, 10-year goals are mapped out in detail and each employee clearly knows the firm’s priorities. “We are evolving with the times,” he says.

The company’s core values have evolved, too, and now include: a sense of ownership; demand more from themselves; humble competence; continuous improvement; and a balance of work and life.

In addition to solidifying accountability and our core values we’ve also been working on making CNP the best place to work in our area:

The values are a core reason why word has spread that Clark/Nikdel/Powell is one of the best places to work in Winter Haven. One piece of evidence comes in the 24-employee firm’s low turnover rate. Perks those employees receive are Silicon Valley-esque and include a flexible schedule, open vacation policy, bonus plans and 100 percent paid health care coverage. And on any given sunny afternoon you’ll most likely find some employees at the park across the street, taking a break and playing Frisbee.

Having a hip working environment helps retain employees, too. Last year the company expanded its office and renovated an empty space next door in a 1920s-era building. The revamped office has brick walls and original wood flooring, as well as an open plan workspace and loads of natural light.

Check out the whole article here.

Seth Wilson

Posted by on Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Culture & Community, Online Marketing

What Good Marketing and the Mojito Have in Common

Classic Florida Mojito

It’s not hard to like a well-made mojito. It’s refreshing, sweet but not too sweet. It’s the absolute best cocktail for the often hot Florida and Caribbean, but it’s by no means the easiest cocktail to make well. It takes time and patience, and no two will ever be quite the same. When I make them for CNP happy hours, I’m always struck by how similar it is to our approach to marketing.

The name “mojito,” comes from the African word “mojo,” which is an item used to cast a little spell. Good marketing is also like a spell. It can make people show up somewhere in droves, it can practically subvert free will, and it can make you feel like you’re having fun, excited about stuff you’d otherwise ignore. Mojitos do a good job at all of this, too.

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Jarrett Smith

Posted by on Monday, August 22, 2016

Online Marketing

Leveraging User Surveys to Improve Your Website


User surveys are a simple, cost effective way to gather valuable feedback directly from your website’s visitors, and over the past couple of years, we’ve started integrating them into many of our website design and development projects.

In this post, I’ll explain how to set up a simple user survey and mine the results for helpful insights that you can use to improve your website. Continue Reading…

Alex Nikdel

Posted by on Thursday, August 4, 2016

Culture & Community

CNP Makes Florida Trend’s Best Companies List – Again

cnp employees working in open office space

How do I say this without bragging? CNP has been named one of the Best Companies to Work For in Florida for the second year in a row! OK, that’s definitely bragging, but we’re still very proud to make the list. Over the past year or so, we’ve been working hard to refine our vision and internal processes in an effort to ensure CNP is a place that delivers GREAT work to our clients, but also is a place where our employees love to work. With 100 companies on the list, we moved up to No. 10 from the 27th spot last year in the Small Biz category (Cue applause).

Companies that participate in the annual Best Companies list undergo an evaluation of their workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics, and they’re featured in the August issue of Florida Trend magazine. From our open vacation policy to paying 100 percent of health care premiums, we want CNP to be among the best employers out there. We think this achievement, which was an all-out team effort, deserves some recognition – and maybe a little bit of bragging.

So, what have we been up to?

Best Companies to Work for in FloridaWell, we always advise our clients to push the envelope and look for new and innovative ways to reinvent themselves. The client, this time, was us.  We knew we had a collective of great people with even greater intentions, but we had never done the work to properly clarify WHO we are, WHY we do what we do and WHERE we are going in the future.

The first step was to refocus our long-term vision and define who we always will be, regardless of the type of work we are doing. This took the form of our five core values:

  1. A sense of ownership – In client and agency challenges and opportunities. In our work, attitude, relationships, decisions, mistakes and collective financial success. An overflowing trash can? Even that.
  2. Demand more from ourselves than our clients do – With the ultimate goal of taking them to a place they never would’ve gotten to on their own. We are proud to be self-motivated, impact-minded advocates for our clients’ success. We are not proud to be order takers.
  3. Humble competence – We speak confidently from our passion and the mastery of our craft. And yet we recognize our own limitations and respect other opinions. Ideas and recommendations are communicated with thoughtful candor and never thoughtless arrogance.
  4. Continuous improvement – Lifelong learners. Making it better – then making it even better. Being open to what’s possible, rather than what’s not possible. In the quality of our work and daily habits. In our professional and personal potential.
  5. One life to live – We understand that the see-saw of work/life balance can tip one way or another (sometimes at a moment’s notice). The CNPOV is: Work hard when necessary, check out when necessary and keep things in perspective.

We also took an honest look at our internal processes and found quite a few ways to tune up the engine. It might seem counterintuitive for a firm with a bunch of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants creatives, but one of the keys to our recent success involves more structure and discipline. Two nasty words that, when implemented, paid off for everyone. I always tell the team that I want them to be creative with the actual work, not the process by which the work is executed. Our staff is more motivated, and we’ve reaching new clients, particularly in higher education and the tech industry.

You’ll see more roll out in the next several months – new brand identity, new website, new systems, client-friendly work processes and, ultimately, GREATER work.


Joe Cruz

Posted by on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Software Development, Web Development

Leveraging the WordPress REST API


The WordPress REST API Plugin is a simple-to-use plugin that allows you to access your WordPress posts, pages and other data via a JSON-based REST API. REST APIs have grown in popularity in recent years because they are fast, platform-independent and easy to integrate.

WordPress is a powerful CMS with a ton of extensible features, so why use the WordPress REST API? I’ll let the authors of the plugin explain:

“WordPress is moving toward becoming a fully-fledged application framework, and we need new APIs. This project was born to create an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand and well-tested framework for creating these APIs, plus creating APIs for core … WP API exposes a simple yet easy interface to WP Query, the posts API, post meta API, users API, revisions API and many more. Chances are, if you can do it with WordPress, WP API will let you do it.”
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Glenn Welser

Posted by on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Web Development

Debugging WordPress on VVV with PhpStorm

So you’re using Varying Vagrant Vagrants and PhpStorm for local WordPress development. Maybe you’ve heard or read what a great boon PhpStorm is for debugging but you haven’t made it all the way through configuring the project. Maybe you haven’t had time to read the tutorials or you set up a new dev environment seldom enough the steps just aren’t sticking in your long-term memory. If you’re still using var_dump to track down issues, never fear. Let this brief, handy walkthrough guide you to debugging bliss.

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Jarrett Smith

Posted by on Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Online Marketing

Hey Marketers! Get Ready for the Physical Web


See how emerging Physical Web technology works and explore some of its potential uses for fun and profit.

Imagine waiting for a bus and instantly pulling up the route, schedule and arrival time for the next bus, right on your phone. Or, how about finding a lost pup and accessing an interactive dog collar with the owner’s contact information. That’s the promise of Google’s open source Physical Web project, and if it takes off, it could transform millions of everyday items like bus stops and dog collars into “smart” objects full of information and interactions.

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Alex Nikdel

Posted by on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Advertising & Creative

CNP Catches a String of Wins at the 2016 ADDYs


Mardi Gras frivolity was in the air at the 2016 ADDY Awards, hosted by the Polk County chapter of the American Advertising Federation. An annual gathering to honor excellence in the art of advertising, the ADDYs offer local industry pros an occasion to cut loose and applaud outstanding creative work.

Photo 2016-02-26 11_23

In keeping with this year’s “Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler” theme, the Lakeland Center venue was transformed into a colorful French Quarter fantasyland. Authentic Cajun cuisine, a live brass band (and yes, even a giant snapping turtle), helped create a festive “on-the-bayou” atmosphere that put everyone in the mood to celebrate.

And celebrate we did! At the end of the evening, CNP took home an impressive number of wins — six Gold ADDYs, eight Silver ADDYs, two “Best in Category” awards and two out of three Judge’s Choice awards.

It’s always a privilege to be recognized for delivering great work, and we are so thankful for the clients who give us the opportunity to do just that. With the excitement of a big win under our belt, our entire team is fully energized and looking forward to creating lots more amazing work in the year to come.

Check out the highlights of our ADDYs haul below —

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Josh Nederveld

Posted by on Monday, August 24, 2015

Web Development

Introducing the WordPress Admin Command Palette Plugin


When you're using the Admin Command Palette, it'll feel like you're navigating the WordPress admin at warp speed.

What it is

It’s a live search modal window in the WordPress admin! Using it to search admin content will return results for WordPress Admin Menu items, as well as links to the Edit Screen for user-generated content. We also included some keyboard shortcuts to make WordPress Admin Actions faster.

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