April 2, 2013
by Kim Taylor
When I was younger, “Where’s Waldo?” was hugely popular. I was probably a smidge older than the typical demographic, but I had every book and would spend hours thumbing through the pages looking for the red-and-white-striped character.
Save for the red and white, I felt an instant feeling of nostalgia when I opened OrlandoSentinel.com today.
I get it; ads pay the bills, but where’s the news?
October 2, 2012
by Roger Pynn
This great blog post by Ken Mueller at Inkling Media struck a chord with me and I hope it does with you. (Thanks to the always great Gini Dietrich – whose blog I love – for sharing this on Twitter.)
Nearly 30 years ago my founding business partner and I created a document we hoped would become the foundation for the culture of our little enterprise. We called them Curley & Pynn’s Four Steps to Professional Success. In fact, it worked quite well and over time our steps became a badge of honor … a brand statement, if you will, to tell clients what they could expect from C&P.
Some years later I added a fifth step … Accept total responsibility and be accountable for everything you do.
Our commitment to these five steps is so deep it is even printed on the back of all business cards.
When was the last time you said “I’m wrong” or confessed before your peers “I really screwed up”? Eating crow or, perhaps even worse, burned oatmeal is really unpleasant. The best way I know to avoid the aftertaste of a mistake is to avoid them. Making a commitment like our fifth step is a step in the right direction.
July 11, 2012
by Kim Taylor
Maybe the fireworks will have to wait until our fifth anniversary, but today marks our fourth year blogging at Taking Aim.
When we began this journey four years ago, we hoped to enable our team as thought leaders—to give them a voice in the industry they’ve chosen for their careers. Sometimes we get off topic, but we find our way back to issues of targeted communication, social media, things that inspire us creatively, and topics vital to the success of public relations.
We’ve even been awarded by our peers with a Grand Image Award, Image Award and Judge’s Award.
And, although I’m most proud of the content our team has contributed, I’m pretty tickled by the stats, as well:
We’ve written 564 Posts and received 545 Comments. More than 41,350 eyeballs have read the pages of Taking Aim, but this was the most-read post of all time (congrats, Heather!). Most of you find our blog through Twitter and Facebook, and Taking Aim is still the No. 1 driver of traffic to our website.
Thanks to you, Mr. and Mrs. 41,350. I hope you continue to read (and comment) for years to come.
November 29, 2011
by Kim Taylor
With each new encounter, I’m certain the phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” extends far beyond the polish on your shoes or the crease in your pants. When meeting someone for that all-important first time knowing a handshake is in the cards, how much thought do you put into the strength and confidence of that seemingly unimportant gesture?”
I’ve personally met dozens of people who – at first glance – were ready to knock me off my feet with their poise, intelligence and confidence only to be disappointed by the equivalent of a dead fish handshake. Perhaps I’m alone in this, but it’s just one of those things that stick with me far beyond the first interaction.
Be advised, though, stronger is not always better. This old article from CNN offers 10 Nightmarish Handshakes to Avoid, and gives a few more tips on executing an effective handshake.
So, next time you extend your hand for a shake, won’t you consider turning your wimpy grip into a firm, but not bone-crushing squeeze?
September 21, 2010
by Dionne Aiken
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a Guerrilla Marketing workshop at Full Sail University by Mario Saccamango and Wagner of Beloved Experiential.
An old Chinese proverb best sums up their discussion on experiential design:
“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.”
Unlike traditional marketing which persuades people with ration and facts, experiential marketing takes this a step further and modifies consumer behavior through visual, emotional, mental and physical appeal. The key is to engage them on all these levels to establish relationships and convert consumers to be brand ambassadors. Mario and Wagner further illustrated this phenomenon with a pyramid diagram that showed the growth as each brand ambassador converted and created their own sub-groups of brand ambassadors creating a domino effect. They also show a series of examples.
A powerful example given during their lecture was the Sony VAIO marketing campaign. Sony VAIO wanted to take their stylish laptop to another level beyond just a piece of technology. So they hired models wearing the latest high fashion designer clothing, sporting the trendy Sony laptops and released them on the streets of Manhattan, and in Grand Central Station to pose as live mannequins. This attracted a lot of publicity to the point that Fashion Week eventually picked this up as an installation.
Another example a little closer to home is Beloved’s experiential marketing campaign for Barnie’s Coffee and Tea Company called “Favor Flavor.” This five-phase guerrilla marketing campaign consisting of brand ambassadors donning mobile media units, a street tagging session and more is currently underway http://www.facebook.com/belovedexperiential#!/event.php?eid=146346258729172. It will be interesting to see such a non-traditional marketing campaign hit the streets of Orlando.
Experiential marketing is all about connecting with your consumers by engagement that go above and beyond expectations providing intangible, memorable and most importantly personal experiences and interaction.
August 9, 2010
by Connie Gonzalez
We named our blog “Taking Aim” after careful discussion of what we do. There’s little question in our industry that targeted communication is the best communication.
So why is that solicitors think we will buy whatever they are selling when they come knocking at our door? Recently a group of solicitors showed up selling spa services and asked “so what kind of law firm is this?” What little chance they had at pedaling their products was lost when I answered, “We’re a public relations firm.”
As the gatekeeper in this office, solicitors constantly suggest that I ask around to see if anyone in the office would be interested in their product or service. I politely say no and send them on their merry way.
So whether you’re pushing spa deals or public relations, it’s up to you to know your audience.
August 5, 2010
by Ashley Pinder
It may be more than 90 degrees outside, but we OrlandoANs are cool.
Every local news outlet is proudly sharing that Orlando was ranked as No. 6 among “America’s Coolest Cities” on Forbes.com, and as a member of a company headquartered in Greater Orlando I’d like to explain some of the reasons why I think Orlando is cool.
Yes, there is plenty to do here, cited in the study, which measured number of restaurants, bars, clubs and concert venues. But what really sets us apart is that we’re in a state of growth and we’re doing it in a collaborative way. We have a brand new state-of-the-art events center opening in the fall, blueprints for a world-class performing arts campus and a plan for a Creative Village all in the heart of the city – and all spawned from groups coming together and putting in years of collective hard work.
These new projects provide the opportunity for new jobs, a breeding ground for innovative ideas and an emerging neighborhood downtown that promotes conversation.
While Curley & Pynn represents clients in many cities and regions, the fact that we call an emerging and cool city like Orlando home, means we’re at the forefront of new ideas and are backed with an arsenal of collaborative minds in our community. Oftentimes when we conduct research to launch a new initiative, create a messaging platform or provide strategic communications consulting for a client, we reach out to partners such as those at the local economic development organization, convention & visitors bureau or government agency for their insight.
The ranking by Forbes may be based off of the inordinate number of entertaining dinner theatres situated in our city, but I’d like to think the collaborative environment and teamwork is what keeps us “cool” AND proud.
June 10, 2010
by Kim Taylor
What if every solution you brought to your clients was the best one?
What if that solution came first, instead of angst, confusion and disappointment?
What if your actions were more about actions and less about reactions?
I’m not often in a client role, but walking in their shoes this week with a vendor reminded me of the value of one of our 5 Steps to Professional Success:
“Bring the client solutions, not problems.”
Smart clients know the difference. So why not give them your best. First.
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.
February 3, 2010
by Roger Pynn
I’d never thought about it before, but watching a professional management coach friend of mine in action the other day made an important impression: very successful executives can benefit from advice from the sidelines … just like a base runner waiting at third for a chance to steal home.
I learned a long time ago that successful consulting involves helping a client find the right solution, rather than telling them what will work. I rarely know enough going in to be able to hand a client the answer. We have to work together, explore alternatives and select the best option based on careful analysis.
I work in an area where seeking outside help is common … and I love the successes we have. There’s no question that being asked into an organization is flattering … and the rewards go way beyond financial. Seeing results that make clients smile is a unique paycheck.
When an executive is humble enough to seek a coach to help them improve their overall performance, they’ve said “I don’t know it all, I’m not perfect just because I’m the boss and I’m going to get someone that can help me be even better.”
A management coach who tries to tell their client what to do is doomed to failure … just like a college football coach who belittles a young player trying to learn the game. One who reminds and prods with subtle hints and leading questions is sure to produce hall of fame players.
Business may not be a game but both sports and business require strategy … and a good coach helping you keep an eye on your plan can be a real game changer.