March 29, 2010
by Kerry Martin
More and more, I find examples of when static text printed on a simple piece of paper just isn’t cutting it anymore.
Take for example the proposals from local governments and cities vying to get a piece of the action in Google’s free offer of Google Fiber for Communities. Because the global technology powerhouse known for its creativity and innovation is the decision-maker, most of these applicants are trying in unique ways to get an edge over the competition.
On top of creating Web sites and Facebook pages, towns like Duluth, MN, and Palo Alto, CA, have attempted attention-getting stunts to show their dedication (if you could call it that) to winning Google Fiber. You can read about the mayor jumping into icy Lake Superior and the dance party by Palo Alto city employees in The New York Times.
In competitions like these, it seems like it’s no longer good enough to have a stack of letters from partners and stakeholders declaring their support for the project. I can’t count how many times I’ve drafted a letter that starts “on behalf of …., I pledge my support for…” Do those just get overlooked when another town’s leader says the same thing…but on video right before jumping out of a plane?
Ultimately, in this case, Google’s product manager reported that the fiber contest applications will be evaluated by merit—even though they’re “excited about the grass-roots enthusiasm.”
With all things being equal, I’m in favor of the pen-to-paper method over the 35-degree-plunge to show my support.
March 26, 2010
by Roger Pynn
When all you want to do is take a bath, getting a bath tub delivered ought to be pretty easy … but on the fourth try we were thinking that may not be the case. Then Laura Scott of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery reminded me that accepting total responsibility and being accountable for everything you do – the fifth step in our firm’s Five Steps to Professional Success – works in any business.
What appeared to be a tiny “dimple” on a Kohler tub my wife had ordered had resulted in three being sent back and when the fourth arrived Laura, exasperated but totally committed to satisfying us, drew a line in the sand and said “we’re not going to let you be dissatisfied. We’ll do whatever it takes and you shouldn’t have to worry that that little dimple could one day turn into a problem.”
Two hours later our Ferguson detective had solved the mystery … one that Kohler will hopefully learn from, as well. Those tiny but visible marks on the walls of the tub are actually not a blemish, but are there to indicate where – if a customer wants to turn the tub into a whirlpool bath – to put the jets.
Note to Kohler … put a note on the crate or a sticker on the tub … it would save restocking and additional delivery charges.
Note to Ferguson … be proud of Laura Scott.
March 25, 2010
by Roger Pynn
The debate about “ghost bloggers” rages on and I find it truly humorous. I wonder if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad writes his own speeches.
March 24, 2010
by Kim Taylor
I recently had the pleasure of attending Inc. magazine’s GrowCo conference. One of the biggest takeaways for me was during Jason Fried’s session “How and Why to Grow Slowly.” The takeaway wasn’t necessarily about growth … or maybe it was.
You see, Jason and his business partner at 37Signals recently released a book, “Rework,” and much of his session focused on the book’s content: re-thinking the way you work and helping you find an easier way to succeed in business.
Jason talked about what they do at 37Signals to minimize interruptions and distractions, thereby increasing productivity. And although seemingly counterintuitive, these really resonate.
Think about the amount of work you get done when you can close your door or pop in your headphones and get “in the zone” … no distractions, no taps on the shoulders, no pop-ins from co-workers, no meetings. The book even suggests “going all the way with it” and giving up the communication (gasp!) addiction.
I don’t think they’re suggesting solitary confinement or eliminating the socialization so important in the workplace, but they are suggesting that these types of distractions along with unnecessary meetings where everyone on staff is forced to participate even if their part only lasts 10 minutes are just giant time sucks.
What sort of changes can you make to your work environment to increase productivity? Can you schedule time daily just to be “in the zone” or maybe those distractions just make it easier for you to stay “busy.”
March 19, 2010
by Roger Pynn
Now here’s a guy who needs help:
I’d like to know if Curley & Pynn Public Relations And Marketing Communications can use some help with cold calling prospects and setting appointments for your salespeople. We perform such services and apart from helping boost your local business, we can even expand your reach by looking for potential international customers.
If you’d like to learn more about our Lead generation and Appointment setting program, email me or give me a call.
Maybe I’ll introduce him to the sales executive I met last week who told me his most successful cold calling tool is e-mail. When Schmid Construction’s Wayne King told me that, I almost fell out of my chair … until he said “But I’m creative. I’m sure to send them something no one else does and it is all in how you say it.”
Now there’s a gem. Unique works no matter how it arrives. Unfortunately, Alex’s e-mail not only failed to get past my spam filter … the title of his e-mail was “Appointment Setting Campaign,” a surefire way to get my attention.
March 15, 2010
by Dionne Aiken
A logo is a brand.
False. What comes to mind when you think of Michael Jackson? Way more than just a name and a face I’ll bet. The white glove, the moon walk … there is much more than the name and face that contributes to how we perceive Michael Jackson in our minds. If we think about branding in this way, we see that a brand is a perception formed in our minds about a person, service or business entity. The logo then is what provides a point of entry and a means of visual recognition. It’s how we relate to and identify a brand.
A designer can create a brand.
False. A designer can create a logo, a corporate identity system, and a host of other visual communications tools, but they cannot create a brand. The brand is something that is created in the minds of consumers, built over time. A designer can form the foundation for a brand but cannot create one.
A logo and a brand can change over time.
True. Logos should be designed with longevity in mind but in an ever evolving marketing environment things, as well as consumers change. To remain relevant and at the same time unique and fresh, logos as well as brands can change over time. There are some examples in this post that touches on redesigns and branding.
Most recently, the Skittles logo underwent a redesign which brought new life to the “Taste the Rainbow” concept.
Another example is the NBC logo which over the years has also undergone transformation. In a discussion with one of our clients, Chris Exum with Exum Energy Inc., Chris stated, “I’ve been alive for the final four logos … and only remember the current logo.”
March 5, 2010
by Kim Taylor
Working in public relations – especially in an agency environment where juggling multiple clients is the norm – we’ve learned first-hand that no matter the length you go to plan a release, an event, a meeting … you name it … things rarely go off without a hitch.
That’s why with little more than six weeks’ notice, the notion of planning a move into a new office space was nothing short of daunting. Contractors, electricians, movers, IT and telephony staff had to be hired; the space had to be planned, our office needed to be packed—how could we do this without upsetting the apple cart? Could we pull this off and still service clients?
Having experienced this in 2005 during a move in which a contractor error left us without a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) on the very day we’d been planning to settle in to our new office, I knew there would be glitches.
So you’ve made it this far, surely you’re wondering what the outcome of this move was. Strangely, everything went as planned. Everything. Our contractor pulled off a small miracle in one short week, cablers showed up day after day to make sure every ‘i’ was dotted and ‘t’ was crossed, our IT team did multiple site audits and coordinated the technology transfer, movers showed up early (!), staff put in extra hours and in the end, we were open for business Monday morning and it looks as if we’ve been here for years.
So, if you’re looking for a reliable vendor, give me a shout … I know a few.