By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

This week, we all decided to walk two miles down to the parade to cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs. We wore our Hawaiian Bros/Chief’s shirts and braved the cold for a fun day.

Everyone knows that I’m not a big football fan, but my employees are superfans. I love to participate in events like this because it is important to them. Fun at work is a key element of employee happiness.

Kansas City Chief's Parade Have Fun at Work!

A sense of fun helps people to have a more positive mind-set, enjoy higher levels of wellbeing and better mental health.

Organizations with higher levels of employee wellbeing report lower levels of absenteeism, presenteeism, and work-related errors. It’s why we all have lunch together every Friday, with the rule that we can’t discuss work. It’s how we all get to know each other outside of our work life.

Some companies think fun at work is a distraction, but research suggest that it has a positive impact on engagement, creativity and purpose, which increases employee retention and reduces turnover.

When you think about it, we spend 75% of our day with co-workers and no one wants to work at a place that’s no fun!

By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

Kathryn McDanielI have been thinking about the following question after my friend, Jaime Simpson, asked me to be on her podcast Winners Win.

Is there a characteristic or value you hold personally that helps you succeed or be a “right fit” for your role?

I can’t believe that it has been 31 years since I bought a little printing company because the owner was going to prison for counterfeiting – and moved to KC not knowing a single person with an 11-month-old baby!

I’ve always had what people call grit.

Everyone told me that there were already too many printers in KC when I first started making sales calls. But you can face adversity more confidentially when you are determined to make it through, giving you the drive that you need to come out on the other side. I had the unflinching belief that the company was going to be successful, and I told them so.

I am also the type of person that gets up every morning in a good mood. It’s important to feel that everything is going to be okay, no matter what. After surviving cancer – what’s the worst that can happen? A kind, cheerful persona is also helpful to keep your clients and employees calm when situations arrive.

Putting in the work.

Grit is related to a mindset in that if one believes that failures are due to their fixed traits, there is no reason to try again. Conversely, individuals with growth mindsets are more likely to be resilient and have more confidence to plan and prepare to overcome adversity. I love this Bear Bryant quote…

“It’s not the will to win that matters; everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
– Bear Bryant

When the Going Gets Tough.

GritThere have been times in my life that I truly believed there was no way out. The collapse of my ex-husband’s business, which caused terrible financial blowback on my company, the death of my beloved, my cancer and lastly, the pandemic – who would have predicted that! There is an old saying “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I truly believe that we need to keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, even when things get tough.

I have been blessed to have had people in my life that were resilient and demonstrated extraordinary grit and mental toughness throughout my journey. I have always been impressed by the people who displayed certain characteristics that allowed them to push through adversity and even excel while doing so. All of these traits have played a huge role in my success and the way I approach everyday life.

What traits have played a role in your success? I hope this resonated with you!

Frankie's First ChristmasBy Frankie Bean, Mascot and Instagram Model at MEDiAHEAD

December is a big month for me! My first Christmas with my mom and dad and my very 1st Birthday! Bark-hoooo!

My dad, Bill Mitchell, also has his birthday on December 24th. (What a rip-off because he only gets one present.)

It’s been a wonderful year getting to know everyone in the office.

Most of the time, I walk around with my long leash on, so that people can step on it if I try to go crazy and run away. I haven’t learned how to jump on Kat’s desk, like Izzy did, so I’m not getting any extra food.

FrankieI’m looking forward to the holidays, my parents always drop lots of food while they’re cooking, and I get lots of pats from all the relatives.

I also hope this year I have helped my mom and dad and everyone at the office feel okay after Izzy passed – we sure do miss her.

Love to all,


By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

Toxic CustomersI have had several clients over the years that I fired because they were rude to my employees. Toxic clients don’t just cost you money – they can also drive off your best talent. If you don’t stand up and support your employees, how can you expect them to have your back?

Toxic Client Traits

The top traits of a toxic client are being hard to please, unreasonable, dramatic and impolite. They can decrease morale, company engagement and employee motivation. And employees put the blame on their employers, with 60% saying it was their company’s fault for keeping a problematic client.

Considering the current labor market, it’s a good to deal with a toxic client immediately.

I can remember a night that I had to jump out of bed because a client was screaming at the pressman during a press… Okay – she didn’t quite understand that mixing red and blue would result in purple. I told her we would finish the job because we are professionals, BUT I also told her I never wanted to see her in my pressroom ever again!

Setting reasonable boundaries in the beginning can help.

Toxic clients often add new items to existing projects or ask for irrelevant things to be added beyond the scope of a project. You must be clear that these changes or additions will result in additional charges and possibly impact the due date.

Stand your ground when a toxic client attempts to dominate the situation. It’s also important to keep a copy of your communications to back up your version of events. Clients like these rarely pay you on time and often refuse to follow their contracts.

Over the last 30 years in business, I’ve learned that it’s always better to sever ties with toxic clients. It’s not worth you or your employee’s sanity. Fortunately, after being in business for so long, we only work with clients we love!

Miss Frankie BeanBy Miss Frankie Bean, MEDiAHEAD Mascot and Instagram Model

Hello friends! Would you believe this is my very first blog post for MEDiAHEAD? I’ve been the mascot here for a few months now… but out of respect for Izzy, I wanted to put some time in before I tried to fill her author paws in our blogging efforts. (And we all still miss having Izzy around, although I don’t miss her jumping up on my desk and eating all my food or drinking my coffee.)

The time has come for me to start adding my stories to the mix. So here we gooooo!

First of all, as a younger mascot, I’m a bit more up to speed on popular social media sites. I’m well on my way to becoming Instagram Famous and you can follow me on Instagram right here! Okay, 88 followers might not be a lot, but we all have to start somewhere, right?

Miss Frankie BeanAs you can tell in some of the pictures, I am a bit more fabulous than Izzy was… I’m all girl. I have an amazing runway walk, even though I’m a bit of a chunky monkey.

And yes, I love to do The Zoomies in our back yard as well. Maybe the doggielympics are in my future?

Anyway, I will continue to bring stories from the perspective of our shop floor in the coming months. I’m so glad to be on the team here at MEDiAHEAD!

Sniffs and Slobbers,


February was a tough month for myself and my employees. Not only did we have to deal with the death of Tom, my father, but we also lost our beloved Izzy – who most of you have been following in our office and blog for years.

As much as you prepare for this moment, the experience left us reeling with the seven stages of grief: shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, upward turn, reconstruction and acceptance. And grief does not follow a straight line – it bounces between all the stages.

Strategies for coping with grief are varied – my sisters and I dealt with his death with wine, cheese, chips and togetherness. Bill and Dory cuddled Izzy for weeks to let her know how much she was loved.

Bill and Dory’s Izzy

Izzy Izzy

It helps to know that you won’t feel like this forever. Take care of yourself and allow it to go.

You can handle this, even when you feel like you can’t. Don’t try to stifle or avoid your feelings, make space to experience painful emotions and ask for help if you need it. You’re not alone.

Be gentle with yourself. I found grief to be exhausting so I carved out time for lots of rest. Your feelings are normal – the process makes it more difficult if other people around you tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Allow yourself to feel whatever the heck you want, that’s your normal.

Grief comes in cycles, not a straight line. You reach a point where you feel good, only to feel bad again. Grief has been described as a series of loops.

Bill told me this week that he still thinks about Izzy every day, even though they have a new addition to the family (more to come on that later). Ride the wave.

Kat’s Father Tom

Kat with Dad and Fam Kat's Notes from Dad Kat's Notes from Dad

I will miss my father, but I also celebrate his fascinating 93 years of life. He had four daughters who adored him, three wives that he outlasted, was a world traveler and visionary. He delighted in regaling family and friends with his many stories and THAT we will miss most of all.

Izzy Barking at Mo

Hi guys. It’s Izzy. And this month I have some sad news to share.

My friend Monkey (we called her Mo) passed away a few weeks ago. She was the best cat friend a dog could ask for. I terrorized her daily, but I loved her so much. I still run around the house searching for her every day.

The last few days, Monkey couldn’t walk, so I stayed on the couch and cuddled with her all day and night till she passed.

My parents got some advice on how to deal with my grief.

  1. They talk to me in a calm and upbeat voice, even though it’s hard for them to cope with their own loss.
  2. We’re engaging in new activities. This helps me focus on something new and distract me from the loss of Mo and the uncertainty surrounding it.
  3. We’ve been doing some fun and enjoyable things, like going to the park. It helps me emotionally and makes my parents feel better too.
  4. The vet told them if I show signs of separation anxiety or depression that they should bring me in for a checkup (I HATE going to the vet).
  5. And the best thing of all – I get to go to the office to see my friends every day!!

Izzy and Mo - Best Friends Izzy and Mo - Best Friends Izzy and Mo - Best Friends

One thing that hasn’t changed is my appetite.

Izzy Eats Too Much PizzaI still scour the office every day for any unsupervised snacks. I think I’m getting a little extra because they know I’m sad. I even got some pizza last Friday!

Monkey lived for 20 years, which is a long time for my best friend.

I will miss her so much!


izzy paw

Izzy head shotI’m so glad it’s warming up, aren’t you? I’m just going to throw this out there that some dogs love warm weather, and some dogs love cold weather.

Me? I’m a warm weather dog for sure. Just look at me! I’m small, have very thin hair, and I’m super vulnerable to hypothermia. I absolutely have to wear a jacket and booties when I go out in the snow.

Do I like the booties, absolutely not! My humans captured it all in a video. I look ridiculous.

I prefer Spring and Fall to be completely honest.

The temps during these seasons make me feel happiest.

Some dogs adapt really well to the cold, like the ones with all the fur. I heard that during the cold spell, they actually go outside and just lay in the snow. What? Not me. I’m in and out, quicker than you can say, “Izzy”.

It’s always good to monitor your loving pets when they’re out in the elements. Especially as summer is coming up and it get really hot. I know I get hot in the summer. Did you know a dog’s temperature should never be over 104 degrees?

Did you know that temperature plays a part in our moods?

Izzy's Friend

When the weather gets hot, certain breeds are less heat tolerant than others and bronchial issues can become more pronounced (I had to have help with some of those words…) Some dogs might get a bit snappish in very hot weather and may need more space and less interaction.

I know a dog that freaks out during storms. He pants, shakes and goes in circles. He knows the storm is coming way before it arrives. His humans give him a treat with a calming agent in it and he seems to do much better.

So a word of advice from a dog’s point of view… If your super cool pet gets grumpy in the heat, don’t worry.

Here are some things you can do to make them feel better.

  • Don’t let your human take you for walks during the hottest part of the day
  • Make sure you have plenty of fresh water and shade at all times
  • Get a cooling mat – or kiddie pool to swim in
  • Lay yourself in front of a fan or the ac vent
  • Never have your owner leave you in an enclosed vehicle
  • Watch your paws on the sidewalks, street, sand or hot surfaces

Happy Spring and Summer you guys! Stay safe and cool!

Love, Iz
izzy paw

Happy Holidays from IzzyHi friends! It’s Izzy again with a Happy Holidays message for you.

I sure hope you have a virtual holiday party to go to. I found the perfect ensemble and I’m so ready for mine. What do you think? Is it too much? I’m lovin the pearls… not sure about the fur?

Virtual parties anyone?

This holiday season is surely different from the rest, but we can totally make the best of it don’t you think? I think it would be wonderful if we all get all gussied up and invited each other to virtual parties.

We can have toilet water, then some greenies, eat some fruitable skinny minis, or drink from the kitty bowl. Then to top it off, we can have a few freeze-dried raw chicken hearts.  Sounds so delish! I need to make sure I don’t overdo it.

Happy Holidays from IzzyI just love the holiday season and snoopin around all the packages.

Sometimes, I untie the bows and drag them around the house. Then the cat chases the ribbon, and knocks things down, and then she gets in trouble. HA HA!

Barking of presents, I sure hope I get a baby brother or sister pup to play with this year. Do you think I will??? Oh boy!!!

Let’s not forget about the shelters!

I would like to take a minute to put in a big growl out to all the Shelters in Kansas City. They need all the support we can give them this time of year! Some that take in animals include KC Pet Project, Unleased Rescue and Great Plains SPCA. And there are plenty that help humans as well, like City Union Mission, Restart and Sheffield Place.

This time of year is tough on us all, even tougher due to the pandemic. So please think about all the shelters. If you can go adopt a pet, or give to one of these great organizations, it really makes a difference during the holidays.

Here’s to you this holiday season!  Wishing you and yours all the best! I will drool on you in 2021.

Love, Iz

izzy paw

MEDiAHEAD - Happy Halloween!

Hi everybody. It’s Izzy!

IzzyBOOOOO!!! And Happy Halloween!

Did you know the custom of trick-or-treating on Halloween comes from the belief that supernatural beings, or dead pups roamed the earth at this time, and they wanted treats? YIKES that scares me. But the good thing is we give them treats… that way they’re happy (and then I think they go away.)

I love treats, don’t you?

I wanted to check in to see how everyone was doing and see how creative you’re going to get this year when it’s time to hand out treats. I sure hope you’re handing out treats!

Anyway, I’m super excited and have lots of treat delivery system ideas I thought I would share with you. These might be safe alternatives for you to be able to hand out treats.

Here are some initial plans I drew up for you!

MEDiAHEAD Treat Delivery Systems: Pulley MEDiAHEAD Treat Delivery Systems: Candy Sticks

MEDiAHEAD Treat Delivery Systems: Tube Slide

MEDiAHEAD - Happy Halloween - IzzyI love Halloween, I love seeing all the costumes and I particularly love the treats. I usually grab a treat to give out, and then grab one for myself. Repeat. Do you do this?

So, I know you can’t wait to see my outfit… I took a pic just for you, this is what I am going as this year. What are you going to be?

I love it… what do you think?

Happy Haunting!

izzy paw
– Iz