Monday, August 25, 2008
There is a lot of behind the scenes work taking place on a new project set to launch on Monday September 12th 2008, which will include a new Blog...
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
How about a suggestion? Check out this website. Bugmenot allows you to share user names and passwords letting you bypass giving up your info. They have great sites sch as youtube, NYT, NYP, IMDB and more. There are a bunch of other great resources available on bugmenot.com.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
From a PR standpoint it was also a huge success. We had a camera crew from WSPA come out to cover the kick-off event on Thursday evening to run in the 10pm and 11pm news. We had Chad Bowen chatting live from the Liquid highway room with News Anchor Amy Wood LIVE while she was on the air. We had WYFF show up with the live truck for an interview with Chad Bowen LIVE from the roof of Liquid Highway for the 11pm news as a "top story". We had a billboard donated by Fairway Outdoor that drove several hundred pounds of food to the event as well as a ton of cooperation from TK and Monnie fromthe Magic 98.9 morning show, including a live appearence from Monnie on Friday Morning. The Greenville news came out to cover the event for the closing ceremony last night and posted over 60 pictures on ther website.
Never ever underestimate the power of PR, period.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
A few thoughts I am pondering right now...
I'm getting more and more intrigues with this new social media thing. For example, today I recieved a Twitter from Amy Wood from WSPA and CW News at 10. I tuned in to the CW News at 10 and found out about a chat program in which Amy is chatting in the news room while at the news desk doing the news. So in the course of the day, I was exposed to Twitter, Blogging and the chat room which resulted in me tuning into the CW Newscast for the first time.
Stick with me here... are you grasping this? The world is changing. Quickly. I'll post more complete thoughts on this tomorrow, I just had to share this overhwhelming feeling of CHANGE!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
A quick note for my clients: Our new intern starts this morning! Katue McCuen, a 2008 graduate of Wade Hampton HS and incoming USC Freshman starts today at 9! Why are interns great, especially in a marketing firm? They are unjaded. Their young unknowing skulls full of mush are oh so full of ideas and optimism. I'll be putting her on a few projects over the next few weeks, and if you have any creative ideas you want to execute or events coming up that you need assistance in planning that would be right up her alley! She's been working already on the Hunger Hurts Greenville promotion, and has done a great job so far!
No matter how great (or how not great) an intern is, I have always learned alot, and in many cases probably learned more from them than they have learned from me.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
- Monday was craziness! There are so many projects going on, juggling vendors and quotes, proofs and estimates. One by one everything is getting done! In a clients mind (and many times in mine) it should be a 5 minute process of getting a quote. We work with creative vendors who are constantly seeking ne and better ways of doing things and sometimes take a day or two to get an estimate done to find the best and most cost effective way to complete a project. And even then I sometimes send it back to the drawing board to find a way to do it even better and sometimes even cheaper!
- Tuesday... I'd prefer to forget. I apparently picked up a 24 hour bug from somwhere. Not pleasent. I missed all of the action on one of my most favorite days of the year... ELECTION DAY! I was able to make it out of the house long enough to vote. And congrats to Greenville City Councilwoman Chandra Dillard on her win! She'll be heading to the State House in Columbia to give much needed FRESH representation to those of us in District 23. Congrats also to Greenville Mayor Pro-Tem Lillian Brock Flemming. She'll be in the runoff with Ralh Anderson in a few weeks.
- Today... Wednesday. Long drive down to Columbia to deliver some direct mail pieces for a client. A brief meeting with the Relish half of Mustard N Relish and here I am, back in G Vegas. Maybe we'll get some rain? I ran into plenty on the way up 26 and 385 from Columbia, but my yard didn't get that lucky. Any contributions to my monthly water bill would be greatly appreciated.
Coming soon... a big announcement. Exciting, very exciting!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Who is this strange man? His name is "Big Wally". He was one of my mentors and program directors at WYOS when I was working there in NY. The picture on the right shows BIG Wally at 322 pounds. The picture on the left shows NOT so big Wally after one year of working his butt off (literally). I share these with you because it proves that anything can be done with some hard work. I always refer back to my elementary school art teacher Anne Griner and a poster she had above her desk...
"CAN'T NEVER DID A THING".
As I continue on my weight loss journey, I find that to be true. I've tried before and failed miserably because I was trying too hard. To date, since I started four weeks ago I am now down a total of 12 pounds. My 12 pounds pales in comparison to Not so Big Wally's feat over shedding over 150 pounds in a year. Every is asking "how are you doing it" and "what diet are you on"?!? I'm not on any diet, it's a lifestyle change. I've cut out soda and junk food. No more popcorn laying in bed at 10pm watching britcoms, no more McDonald's on the way home at 10pm, no more soda for breakfast lunch dinner and snacks in between. I'll admit, I've had a few chicken wings, a burger here and there and popped a soda top or two.
Do me a favour and take a few moments to look at the pictures above. Bookmark this page and this post and whenever you're facing a challenge you think can't be overcome... remember Not So Big Wally. Winning is never easy, but oh how much character you can build on the journey!
Remember tomorrow - Friday - will be our Question of the Week. Please make sure to get your submissions in before 7pm today! I'll be pulling out some more prizes from the Prize Hoopty for the owner of the letter that I choose!
Monday, May 19, 2008
A quick note for those who don't have a blog yet... I'm looking for some guest bloggers to submit stuff every once in awhile. While I'm sure reading about my parked rear on a couch for a few hours may be a great start to your day, there are many interesting folks who read this and have some neat stuff to say. Email me if you're interested in taking over every one in awhile! email@example.com
Friday, May 16, 2008
This weeks question comes from ANONYMOUS. Actually, I know who it is, they just asked to not have their name or company name used.
Q: How long should you run the same ad for?
A: I wish there was a magic answer, a firm figure to apply to this question. One thing that I always tell my clients is that by the time that they are sick of hearing it, the public is just starting to get your information digested. Think of it this way, before the ad actually airs you've heard it a few times already. Once when your agency or media rep has presented it to you. Then when you get a copy on CD, DVD or via email you play it a few times to pick it apart, you'll play it for your employees and family. Let's face it, before it even gets on the air you're sick of it! How long you run it depends on how much media you are buying. The magic number in media is THREE. Your prospect needs to hear your messages three times before they are either going to act on it or disregard it. When making your media buy your media rep or agency contact should share with you the "frequency" in the schedule. If it's not a three, don't waste your money!
Hopefully that helps a little bit! Remember if I choose your QOTW you'll get showered with fun prizes from the PRIZE HOOPTY! You can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
MYRTLE BEACH CVB story:
I've been working on a few guerilla marketing project for clients, and I must say it's very fun. And better yet for my clients, it's a lot less expensive than traditional media. I read with glee (by the way, I haven't used the word glee in quite sometime... jest if you must) this success story about the Myrtle Beach CVB guerilla marketing campaign. The whole idea of the guerilla marketing campaign is to promote and sell your product or service in an innovate way, and it usually gets under your competitions skin.
The MB CVB has purchased internet ads pointing web traffic to websites touting Myrtle Beach as the best vacation destitination. The ads appear when folsk search for Virginia vacation info. "In my mind, it's unprofessional," said Jim Ricketts, Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau director. "Whether it's unethical or not is certainly open to interpretation." I would bet a better portion of my next paycheck that the only reason that Mr. Ricketts drawers are in a wad is because he didn't think of this first.
"Frankly, my top priorities right now are filling hotel rooms," said Brad Dean, president and CEO of the chamber. "It's pure guerrilla marketing, and some take issue with that. ... Highlighting a few of the many reasons why the Myrtle Beach area is a better vacation than my competition isn't dirty, it's my job." I could not have said that any better myself!
Mr. Rickkets was quoted as saying that Myrtle Beach must be "desperate" for business, but I think the numbers speak for themself: Around 2.75 million tourists a year stay overnight in Virginia Beach. Almost 14 million tourists come to Myrtle Beach each year. Now do you see why I love guerilla marketing? Check out the full story here.
GOODBYE GOOD FRIEND
Anyone who has spent anytime in Columbia SC knows the name Jerry Fowler. A top notch realtor, a great radio personality, a community leader... and a good friend. Jerry and I may not have always agreed on certain issues, but you could always count on Jerry to be there for you, no matter what for. Jerry passed away Thursday after a long battle with cancer. He is a true inspiration in so many ways. You will be missed.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Friday night Liquid Highway had the first of many upcoming Wii tournaments, and I think it went pretty well! Decent turnout and no major glitches. 100% of the proceeds from the entry fees went to Tory at Off the Coast Ministries. Each event will benefit a different non-profit organization.
Saturday morning was a time to catch up on some paperwork and cleanup the office a bit, which if you have dropped by within the last week was much needed. Saturday night... FUN FUN FUN! Some of you may know that my brother-in-law and I run Palmetto Party Pro, a mobile DJ business. We were invited to DJ a graduation party in Clemson and it was by far one of the best events we have done. I think it's safe to say that it's a real party if the police show up because of noice complaints. Of course, someone warned me that the police were on their way in so I was sure to cue up "Bad Boys" to play as their welcome / arrival song. They took it well and were apologetic about having to crash the party.
Sunday... finally a day to sleep in a little bit with Mothers Day brunch at the Commerce Club. The food as always was excellent, service left a little be desired. There was a bunch of confusion with tables and reservations, and the service once we got our table wasn't great. Everyone is entitled t mistakes, and it's not a normal occurance. And now, to wrap up the day, here I sit in the B 93.7 studio playing all the hits until 10pm.
Here's to another great week!
Friday, May 9, 2008
How do I convince people to spend a little more money for our services with the guarantee
the job is done right versus them choosing another company that has cheaper rates but
You'll never convince everyone to spend more. There are just some people who want the lowest price, no matter what the outcome is. It's also a matter of sales skill. Are you asking the right questions? "How many rooms do you need cleaned" versus probing a little deeper before you get to the usual sales questions, for example... asking about specific problem areas, specific stains they are concerned about and offering the solutions your team can provide. Example "Ohhh little Muffy had an accident? We've gotten that out plenty of times with _____" no problem at all Mr / Mrs....
The other key to cutting down on price shopping is GET OUT OF THE YELLOW PAGES! How much are you spending per month on the YP? Many of the calls you get form there have called your competitors and will call more looking for the lowest price. If you were to take the amount you spend per month in the YP and direct that towards branding you would see a world of difference. A few years ago we worked with a client that was in your same industry. We took their YP budget and executed a 12 month radio campaign with a consistant branding messages. The number of sales stayed about even, maybe with a small drop but their profit went up. They were getting better qualified leads and better jobs and contracts.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Flight delayed due to aircraft trouble... somewhat acceptable. Flight delayed 10 minutes for additional pilot rest. Again, did I hear that correctly? On my flight from Binghamton NY this morning I hear this over the PA system. Luckily again it was not my flight, but bless those poor people who had to get on that plane! My interpretation was "flight delayed so we can brew our hungover party pilot a little cup of strong black joe to take the edge off". Ten minutes of rest probably not going to help a whole lot if he's just plain tired. Ten minutes to pop an advil and grab some coffee, a little more believeable.
Maybe someone from Delta will stumble upon this blog and provide some input, or better yet a translation of what exactly was happening, because I cannot believe for a minute that you lost a crewmember above your aircraft or that the pilot requested 10 minutes of rest before his first flight of the morning.
Now, as a business person... imagine using a line like that on your customers... and have your business survive long enough to tell about it. I must note however that the customer service experience has not been all that bad aside from those two items noted above. I did have one stewardess who popped one too many happy pills on the way from Cincinatti to Detroit. She insisted on adding some humour (ladies and gentleman whose flight ends in Detroit we have a single and eligible pilot looking for a date tonight... any takers?) and then announcing that after take-off she would be hosting a kereoke contest and doing the Macarena. I'm just glad that I didn't see her on my 6am flight this morning, that's a little much when I could use another 10 minutes of rest!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Remember the Question of the Week is back again on Friday. I've got some great questions in already, make sure yours is in the stack!
Monday, May 5, 2008
*** If you can correctly guess where my luggage will end up you'll get a $10 gift card to Liquid Highway. If I get more than one correct answer, I'll use a very methodical scientific way to award this gift card. Guesses must be in by 9am Tuesday morning. Remember, I'm flying into Binghamton NY so that is an option, but I'm not holding my breath. Good luck on your guesses!
I've got some cool new tech stuff I was reading about on the plane, I'll be sure to try out some of these new applications and provide some input... one being Wasabe.
So what did the weekend have in store for me? Not too much, some much needed R&R. With two layovers between now and my last flight at 10pm I'm sure I'll be posting some additional blog thoughts today, or you can keep up with me via twitter.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Is it the recessions fault? Or is it lack of marketing? As I've said before, plenty of people can run their business blindfolded, but without the proper marketing - it will fail. There's not much that I can do to help the Fosters since they've already shut their doors. You can bet however, that I'll be contacting the McCauley's this morning and offering FREE help to keep their business alive.
If they accept my offer of assistance, I'll be sure to keep you posted on their success here on this blog, and I'll use their story to prove that 1. you can market your business without spending big bucks and 2. you can point the finger at anything you want to (including the recession) but lack of awareness for your business is the deciding factor.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Q: How much or how little personality should I put into my marketing copy? I want to "spruce" my stuff up, but I'm afraid it will turn away people that don't appreciate the style or flare that I give it. But if I stay "plain," I'm afraid it will be boring. Where do I draw the line?
A: What is your goal? What is your business? Let's say that you are the South Carolina Heart Center. Your demographic is a bit older and your business is pretty serious. You wouldn't want a clown working on your ticker, you would be looking for a doctor who knows his stuff and can prove it. Now, on the flip side... If you are Liquid Highway attracting a wide range of demographics but in a pretty "fun" business you can be a little more liberal with the copy. Some tongue and cheek humour, some creative writing thrown in will really make your brand stand out. In short - who are you talking to and what is the subject. Each case of writing copy is unique and be prepared to put your personality aside for the good of your brand. The heart doctor who is a bit goofy shouldn't let his copy reflect his personality.
Great question, and keep submitting. If you sent an email this past week I'll keep it on hand for a few weeks and try to go back and answer them. Remember, if I choose your question you get some pretty neat swag from the "MNR Prize Hoopty"! The answers are free and you get what you pay for!
Everyone enjoy the weekend, and remember to tune in tomorrow 10a -2p on b 93.7 where the grumpy adman plays all the hits!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
It's amazing how much I have lost by just cutting out sodas and fried stuff... 8 pounds in 2 weeks. My drawers are getting loose, my wedding ring is falling off my finger and I feel good. I've been walking in the evening when time allows (and a little running throwin in just to confuse my muscles, they're not fond of the whole running thing yet).
Many of you I'll see tonight at the GMagazine Launch party at High Cotton, everyone else - be sure to check in tomorrow morning for the Question of the Week... I'll select that and answer it tonight for your reading pleasure tomorrow morning.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I am thankful for my many clients who come to the market with a great idea and take that bold step to make something of it. So many ad agencies are stuck in the muck and mire of working with twenty auto dealers, all who spend huge sums of money - but really don't have anything to say. A screaming guy with a questionable deal...
To all of my clients, I hope that I say this enough - but you are the reason that I walk into my office every morning and light up my leg lamp. The hours are long, the pay isn't great - but I couldn't image doing anything else.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
So far, three emails this week. Don't worry, if I don't choose yours I'll keep it on hand for a few weeks. You can email your questions to email@example.com
By the way, don't you have something going on tomorrow night, around 6pm? That's right! Happy Hour and networking at Azia! Larry's at the bar with great drinks, and maybe Tiger... I mean Patrick will give some free golf lessons.
Monday, April 28, 2008
One thing I've noticed is that small business owners are hungry for information. They've been steering the ship alone for so long without any GPS system, and heck, without any sundial to point them in the right direction. Those tools were always just out of reach... a little too expensive.
Each Friday I'll compile a list of questions that you email me through the week and answer one of them. If you've had a question about PR, marketing or advertising and didn't know where to go to get the answer, email me. I'm sure that each question that comes in, there is another handful of people out there wondering the same thing. Start emailing, and I'll post the first Q&A this Friday morning.
- If anyone ever offers you a free piano on the condition that you come pick it up, double think whether you really need or want a piano. Just a piece of friendly advice, just ask my brother-in-law who did all of the work.
- To convertible owners, always put your top up if you're going to be away from the car for more than 5 minutes... no matter how sunny it is. You could end up with a very soggy and humid interior. I'm just sayin.
- Metamorphasis Church has it happenin. Another great service on Sunday, a real reality check on life. www.metachurch.cc
- I finally got to my first Greenville Drive game. What a great stadium! I would make some reference to the playing skill of some of the players, but I'm quite confident that I could barely toss the ball 5 feet (and that's with throwing underhand like a girl). Great game though! Greenville really should make an effort to realize what a great stadium we have and the economic impact that the team has on the community.
I'm still on the lookout for an all-in-one laser machine (desktop). If you have one just sitting around and want to make some money on it, let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, April 25, 2008
I would like to thank Scott Hepburn from the PR Store for chiming in with a few comments and defending his company, and doing it in a very professional way. Scott, I love the concept of the PR Store. So many small businesses NEED the assistance of a marketing and PR professional, but only a small percentage can afford their services. I believe my firm is very similar to the PR Store in providing a much needed service to small businesses on an affordable level, while providing a customer service experience unlike none other in the agency business. I consider my clients as a friend, not just a client.
Scott - if you come back and read this I would love to meet up for lunch since you're only a short drive away in Charlotte.
And by the way... IT'S FRIDAY! Not that it means much to many of us since most people who read this blog are workaholics like myself.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Second of all... did you know that Greenville is one of the most creative places in America? I can't really find any research to back me up, actually I didn't even really try. I came to that conclusion yesterday at lunch when I was meeting a few friends and we were brainstorming some ideas for upcoming projects. If any of those ideas had been brought up in any other city we probably would have been arrested for not adhering to "the way we've always done it."
So, your chore today is to find me my all-in-one office machine for cheap. I'll even reward you with a Liquid Highway gift card!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
And if you want to see how great his work is, drop by Azia tonight and you can see my car shine (shameless plug for networking night? sure, but what the heck!)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
A few random notes for today:
1. If you're in the downtown area tomorrow be sure to drop by the Michelin store on Main St between 10am and 12Noon for coffee compliments of Liquid Highway.
2. Does anybody use Twitter? If you have to ask what it is I would assume you don't. A few friends have spoken of it and I browsed the site last night but I'm not sure if it's worth using. Shoot me a quick email if you have any experience with it.
3. Networking Night! Make plans for tomorrow night - no excuses. I'll be at Azia around 5:30, and I hope you'll join me.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Here are some tricks that I’ve tried:
Breakfast: Eat like a king
Lunch: Eat like a prince
Dinner: Eat like a pauper
Boozing is where the hidden sugars are. Try mixing with Dt. Tonic or soda….bubbles trick you. Then just a splash of cranberry. Squeeze fresh fruit in. (Orange and Lime for me). That way you stay away from the juices with hidden sugar. (most places use bag in a box…the worst!) If you are like me and tend to go to your favorite places…..stash some fruit with the bartender…they will appreciate the extra tip for using higher quality products!) Also, get with them and come up with a “Skinny Bitch” drink menu…..they will think that is cool. Maybe you and I should do this….. The darker the booze the higher the sugar!
Also, remember to eat! It is better to eat 6 small meals that just 1 large one per day. It will help you burn throughout the day.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
"And while it's the first PRstore in Oregon, it might not be the last. The company plans to have 350 stores in operation in the next five years. There were 13 PRstore franchises nationwide in 2006, up from six in 2005, according to Entrepreneur.com."Of course, much of this is a misguided (and misleading) misnomer since most of the merchandise appears to fall in the realm of off-the-shelf sales and marketing collateral (with a press release and press conference thrown in for good measure).
"Prices range from rock bottom to mid-level. A company logo can cost as little as $600, a screaming deal compared with the near-five-figures top designers charge. Similarly, entrepreneurs can score a basic four-page Web site for $950. All orders can be expedited, adding to the convenience factor." No wonder. A visit to the company's website reveals that its founder never actually worked in our profession.
"Daniel S. Fragen has...managed branch and regional sales and operations teams, and a national distribution division...Other positions include a variety of sales and sales management roles and most recently as Sr. Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Elcotel Telecommunications, Inc."I guess it was inevitable that someone would try to capitalize on the PR industry's rising cache among the marketing cognoscenti.
"'It's an idea whose time has come,' says Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries marketing strategists in Atlanta. 'A lot of small businesses can't go to the big guys because their accounts just aren't large enough, but there's no doubt that small businesses, in order to grow and become big businesses, need PR," she says. "It's like H&R Block with taxes. Most people don't need a big firm or a fancy accountant -- just a little bit of help.'"Huh? Why not just choose a smaller, specialized agency or consultant? Hey, there's even a Scottish PR firm called The PR Store.Oh well. I guess I had hoped that PR's mass merchandising emergence would have followed in the mode of a McKinsey and Bain versus a Wal-Mart and Dunkin Donuts. How does one package intellectual capital for the masses, anyway?
Monday, April 14, 2008
Now the ultimate gig for a PR guru is to get their client booked on Oprah. That is actually one item on my "bucket list" to accomplish. And now, the secrets out on how to make sure you have the edge on getting on the "O Show". Check out this link form the Marketing Sherpa and get a few good tips for yourself. Or, you can just call me and I'll walk you through it!
Friday, April 11, 2008
Another quick hint on networking in Greenville: join the Commerce Club and the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce.
For Commerce Club info email Meredith Cardell at: email@example.com
For Chamber membership email Sarah Gardner at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, April 10, 2008
You now can have your own personal assistant working remotely for you... from India. There is a laundry list of tasks you can delegate to your personal assistant to get done overnight while you're sleeping, to be delivered to your inbox and ready for you when you get to the office in the AM.
I had to research a little more and see who was using this service. I came across one post of a fellow who had just wrapped an argument with his wife. On his way to work he phoned his P.A. in India who wrote an apology letter and sent flowers back to his wife. Amazing. Truly amazing. She never knew the difference.
Watch out, the next time you ring my office you may be dealing with someone in India taking a message for me.
Monday, April 7, 2008
The best by far... Larkin's on the River. I'm not quite sure how they prepared it, but the beef and chicken kabobs were by far the best I have ever tasted. Their booth was also the most creative.
Runner up for best food was Addy's Dutch Cafe & Restaurant.
Not only can you choose from over 130 different channels, but if you're a business owner you can sign up for their customized service. For example, let's say you own a chain of convenience stores... you can choose the "Adult Hits" channel which plays soft rock AND you can insert your own commercials, messages, promos etc. It's not one of the services that stops the music mid-song and plays your promo, this is like having your very own radio station.
Pretty neat. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Dwain & Keeli Waller, Liquid Highway
Jason Price, Holiday Inn Express - Woodruff Rd
Jay Handler, Cox Radio JAMZ & Hot 98.1
Sarah Gardner, Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce
Meredith Cardell, The Commerce Club
(not pictured) Adrienne Edwards, Access Realty
(not pictured) Patrick Van Every, Azia (Thanks to Patrick for providing the Sushio platter!)
Store to eliminate use of plastic bags this month.
TreesGreenville is pleased to announce that Whole Foods Market® has pledged to stop using plastic bags by Earth Day, April 22, 2008. The store currently offers a refund of 10 cents for each reuseable bag that a customer uses on a shopping trip.
In addition, for the month of April, Whole Foods Market will ask customers if they'd like to donate those bag refunds to TreesGreenville.
Whole Foods Market® is very supportive of the mission of TreesGreenville. Earlier this year, Whole Foods donated $2500.00 to purchase one-thousand trees. More than fifty volunteers planted those trees on January 13. The effort, at the intersection of Highway 123 and White Horse Road, completes the second Gateway Planting.
TreesGreenville is a non-profit community group founded to preserve and improve the quality of life in Greenville County by planting, promoting and protecting trees.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
A quick note from Jay Handler from Cox Radio: GMAIL…the Google Email Client…has created a SWEET feature that allows you to send emails with whatever timestamp you want. This way, if you “forgot” to send an email out yesterday, you can simply send it today with yesterday’s timestamp and it will appear as if it was delivered right on time!
Check out the link here: http://mail.google.com/mail/help/customtime/index.html
Friday, March 21, 2008
The new tagline was developed in meeting with car dealers who don't give a crap about how Cannes-worthy an ad is as long as it gets people into the dealership and cars off the lot. Who knew a great tagline could come from a room of slick-haired used car salesmen.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally put Group VP of Marketing Jim Farley, recently "stolen" from Toyota, on the job last fall and my guess is the first stipulation he added to his employment contract was the ability to dump the "Bold Moves" tagline. How unlike management to have to put their name on a new pet project.
Of course, time will tell whether or not what appears to be a good tagline actually becomes one. If not, they could always take it one step further and institute "Ford. Buy One... Now" (Insert picture of dealer holding a gun to the customers head).
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
(Greenville SC) Liquid Highway, which has brought quality coffee drinks to Greenville for the last eight years, is proud to announce the addition of two managers. They join the team as Liquid Highway gears up to open two new stores in the next two months.
April Brooks, currently a manager at Waffle House, brings years of experience in management, and customer service. She's a restaurant professional looking to work for a company that's not a 24-hour operation.
Jamesia Smith, most recently with Moe's Southwest Grill, brings skills in marketing, sales and customer service. She's looking forward to the business challenges offered as a Liquid Highway manager.
The primary focus of Liquid Highway is to bring the top roasters in the country into the Greenville marketplace. Our customers drive miles out of their way to experience a quality cup of coffee and the best customer service around.
While Liquid Highway has an intense passion for handcrafted and micro roasted premiere coffee, the greater mission of our Touch the Ground Foundation is Saving Lives One Cup at a Time. The Foundation supports medical clinics, missionaries, schools, orphanages and feeds starving families in 27 countries around the world. Every cent of profit after taxes is dedicated to reaching out even further and deeper, into all cultures, to help humanity live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
How many of the awards that an ad agency has won, has been for an ad or campaign that really delievered results? Sure, they look good and sound good and are pretty darn creative. On the flipside, your client hires you and pays you good money to create and execute campaigns that will make them money. Most of the pieces that win awards (again, not a blanket statement, there are exceptions to this) could not possibly deliver results for the client.
My agency has never submitted a piece for an ADDY, and we never will. I have always said that the day that my agency wins an award is the day that we will shut our doors because we have lost focus on our real goal. Instead of awards, I prefer to get rewards. Rewarding feedback from my clients that call with an excited piece of news... "we beat our goal for this month", "we just had our best quarter ever", "i can't believe how busy we are!" Our ads walk the fine line of being creative and accomploshing the goals of our clients.
A happy long-term client that grows because of our work is worth more than all of the ADDY's in the world to me.
Friday, March 14, 2008
I would like to set a time once a week that we can all gather and help each other with some brainstorming for our clients. Whether it's as simple as a new radio/tv script or as big as coming up with an entirely new campaign, let's help each other. Some of my best ideas have come from group brainstorming sessions, marrying together a hybrid of different ideas.
Maybe once a week for lunch? Maybe a Thursday evening at 6 for cocktails (a vodka and tonic proves to be the basis of many great ideas!) Even just two or three people can make this work. Are you up for a party? I offer up my office and complimentary eats and liquid idea enhancement. EMail me your time preference: email@example.com
Now, I'm taking my first real vacation since 2006... My first time heading to Asheville. Any restaurant recommendations?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The new campaign features two television spots, plus a print ad with actress Sarah Chalke (of Scrubs fame) and directed by Scrubs co-star Zach Braff.
Spot one shows Chalke trying to rid herself of the wedgie while two fans look on. Perfect timing! Chalke notices a display featuring the new Hanes product that promises "no more wedgies!"
The second spot shows Chalke, now sporting her new wedgie-free drawers, watching other women trying to find creative ways to rid themselves of their wedge problems without drawing too much attention.
Kudos to Hanes on pulling this campaign off. While it could have quickly turned into potty humour, Chalke was the perfect person to pull off the goofy antics in a very innocent way. The ad also addresses the problem without subjecting us to any close-up shots of the rear. Visit the hanes "wedgie free" campaign site for the creative:
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Now, think about this. The employee of my client who just got married two years ago and is about to welcome their first child into the world. How does that affect me, the agency owner. He's not my employee. But, he is my clients employee. My job as an agency is to produce results for my client, to make them filthy rich and pass that wealth onto their employees in the form of a paycheck, health insurance, bonuses etc. If I fail in my job to produce results, my client suffers and the chain of impact runs down to his employees, their families etc.
That's not a light load to carry on a daily basis. My I encourage my fellow business owners to reflect on their decisions. Think about how it affects you, your family... your employees and their families, your clients and their families, your clients employees and their familes. One bad decisions can have an impact on many people you may not think about, and a good decision can be very rewarding.
So why the incoherent ramblings above? As I was meeting with a client yesterday he was sharing with me some good news. In the past year, he has gone from about 80 clients and two employees to over 600 clients and almost 10 employees. Granted, I can't and won't take credit for all of the hard work that my client has put into growing his business... but to know that I played a small role in something so significant that has impacted so many others in a good way, is a bit overwhelming.
This post may be a bit serious so tomorrow I promise some light hearted humour!
Monday, March 10, 2008
Many thanks to Jackson-Dawson Marketing in Greenville, they are hosting a luncheon next week for the PRSA of Upstate SC, with a very interesting topic. Discussion will be on new media such as web, blogs, and what you saw above, social media. One of my co-workers at Entercom of Greenville, Bob McLain PM Drive talk host of Newsradio 1330 and 950 WORD is part of the 4 person panel. I love listening to Bob, but he strikes me as not being up to date on the discussion topics. Of course, I can't claim a doctorate in the topic either.
Here is the registration info... RSVP by noon March 17, 2008. For online registration, visit our website at www.scprsa.org. If not registering online, contact Melea Mauldin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One new television spot to watch out for is for the Tide Stain Pen (not sure of the official name of the product). It almost seems like a 30 second John Cleese produced vignet. Of course, it's so creative that I have a hard time remembering the product. I'll see if I can find a link on YouTube and post it on here this afternoon. In the meantime, be looking for it. I won't give away the details but you'll know it when you see it!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Say what you will about our often backwards political system, or our somewhat unhealthy lust for pork smothered in your choice of a zillion different sauces... but you should be proud. Not only should you be proud, but you should be a part of it. Good things are happening and even better things are coming!
When you have a moment, make a leisurely click to www.sclaunch.org. You can see just the tip of the iceberg! (Or for those of you from SC, the tip of the nose on the smoked pig).
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
1. Your Story: If you don't come out of the box and clearly define your story, you leave the door wide open for someone else to do the job for you, and you don't have control over that. You should clearly and concisely define who you are and what you do, and most importantly what is your message. A great example of this is my church, Seacoast Church. At every service and at every event we are reminded that our main goal is to Love God and Love People. Simple... but very powerful. Now the great thing about defining your message and telling your story is you don't need to have the marketing budget of McDonald's or Toyota. So now that you have your story, what do you do with it?
2. KISS: Keep it simple stupid! Lay out your story in plain english. A fancy marketing message will certainly impress the stuffed shirts in your boardroom, but on the street to your customers and to the media it's the spin cycle, and will get no traction. Leave the spin cycle to your washing machine and tell your story in good, clear plain english without the fancy industry lingo.
3. KISS 2: Keep it short, stupid! Face it, it's year 2008 and we are what we eat... we are all fast cheap and easy. Your marketing message should be the same. Shakepseare wrote that "brevity is the soul of wit", and nothing is more true than when it comes to PR. Most news releases are sent via email, and if you can't capture the attention of the news desk editor in 5 words or less in the subject line you're doomed from the beginning.
To practice what we rpeach, here's a summary of PR. Before setting sail on the PR ship, define your story, who you are. Once you've established your story, learn how to communicate it in a very simple, quick and straightforward way. No amount of creativity can make up for a lack of clarity (unless of course you are runnig for president!)
If you're still baffled, take the advice of 70's singer Billy Swan, let me know... I can help. email@example.com
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and amount other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words, redistribution of wealth.
She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chats with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more governmental programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.
He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken a back, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her with no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.
Her father listened then asked, "How is your friend Audrey doing?"
She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over.
Her father asked her, "Why don't you got to the Deans' office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend Audrey, who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be fair and equal distribution of GPA."
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That's a crazy idea. How would that be fair? I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work. Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!"
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Welcome to the Republican Party."
How does this apply to you, and why is it so important? Because it's CHEAP, and PRICELESS exposure for your business. Sure you can buy a 30 second spot during the evening newscast, but you can't purchase a story. To actually have the news anchor talk favorably about your business is one of the most powerful means of getting your message out. To have a news editor do a write up on your start-up business, your new employee that you hired, the new truck that your company purchased, the medical fair that is being held in your parking lot, and yes... a news editor actually picked up one of our clients press releases heralding the new carpet that was installed in their hallway (that one suprised me too!)
So how do you go about getting this elusive PR thing done? A shameless plug for Mustard N Relish, you can call us and we'll do the research, the writing, the distribution and follow up. But you wonder, how do you tie everything together in a nice neat little package that looks attractive to the media? Tomorrow, you'll learn the three principles of Public Relations.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Now, what are your thoughts?
What mediums are included in your marketing plan? Radio, television, outdoor, direct mail... maybe even (EGADS!) newspaper? Maybe you've dabbled in internet marketing? What about text messaging? At this time last year I would have poo poo'ed a text message campaign as hokey and pretty radical. Not today. And yes, it's probably outside your comfort zone and you're correct, it's not the way you've always done it.
In January we executed a trial text messaging campaign for a client. I was skeptical. We spent $500 to use the 5 digit text code of a radio station and they included a set of 15 second commercials to promote the campaign. Here's how it worked. The 15 second spot encouraged listeners to text a keyword (for example, FOOD) to the 5 digit text number, 24261. As soon as the listener hit SEND, a text message arrived back in their text message inbox with the clients message and call to action. For as small of a campaign as we did, I would have been pretty happy with about 50 responses. At weeks end we had over 150 responses! That's 150 people who had a text message with a tangible message that they could save and act upon, and some even forwarded to their friends! We also had captured their phone number for future text campaigns (since they opted in to the program by texting... and should the decide they no longer want to recieve messages, they can send the word STOP back to the same number and ithout hassle be deleted from the campaign.) I'm hooked. This is pretty strong stuff.
If you need to reach customers under the age of 35, this is your medium. And in addition to the traditional marketing opportunites that Mustard N Relish can help you with, we have a 5 digit text code at our disposal for your campaign. This is a quick medium to utilize... within 5 minutes or less your text campaign is set up and ready for use.
Friday, February 29, 2008
That seems to have changed, at least for now. I must give two thumbs up for the Mega Millions campaign. The creative may not be 100% there yet, but the campaign is cohesvie and coherent with each spot (radio and tv) backing the other up.
I can actually recite off the top of my that it is the Mega Millions game that they want me to play, where as before as soon as the spot was done - I was left scratching my head wondering, what was that?!?!?!? What did they just say?!?!?
Now that I've made my nice comment for the week, enjoy the weekend.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I have been fortunate to partner with Jim Sheets and his company, Printmasters in Greenville SC to make our printing projects better for the enviroment. When we use Printmasters for your print project, your pieces will be printed on recycled paper! Printmasters is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified and implements a rigorous chain of custody paper practices that meets the demanding, audited, best practices standards of the most credible, internationally recognized paper certifying body in the printing industry. Printmasters is also certified by FSC, SFI and PEFC.
To personally show my support for socially responsible practices, I have joined Trees Greenville to buy and plant new trees in the Greenville area. If you're interested in learning more about the organization visit www.treesgreenville.com
Other steps we're taking at the Greenville office to be more socially responsible is using florescent lighting technology as well as implementing a strict recycling program with frequent trips to the Greenville County Recycling Center to make sure that the recycleables are properly discarded.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Now, what happened last night really was a true story of customer service! Scratch that... GREAT customer service! A late meeting here at the office resulted in having dinner out last night. After ordering at Outback (in Easley) our dinner arrives. My prime rib has a little more fat on it than usual, but you expect some fat on prime rib. Before I could even dig into it the manager was at the table with the news that another prime rib was ready for me in addition to the one that I already had. WOW! I hadn't said a word! That, is great customer service.
Now, when you're dealing with your clients - always make sure that a second hunk of prime rib is ready to be served, without being asked.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Be patient, you'll have the goods tomorrow. Not from me, but from someone in the marketing industry that we all know and love.
Monday, February 18, 2008
What are we advising our clients who have traditionally spent a portion of their ad budget in print? NEW media. WHO? New media... internet, texting viral etc. It's not for everyone, but it is pretty neat stuff. Let's take a client for example who wants to reach a 32 year old professional (male or female). How many 32 year olds have time to flip open their newspaper every morning and leisurely sip a piping hot cup of coffee? Not many. Studies show that the 32 year old professional we're talking about is logging online at work to read the headlines. Now here comes the "cool" part.
To reach this 32 year old professional we would purchase an ad on the website of the local media (maybe a tv station?) We can purcahse the ad for $X AMOUNT per thousand clicks. At the end of each week we can report back to our client exactly how many times their ad was viewed, and exactly how many people were interested enough to click on it and visit their website. Now there is something we could never offer our clients. Measureable results of how effective their message is!
Has this left you confused, with many questions about this could work for you? Maybe you're intrigued and want to find out a little more. Call me. Just like the government, we're here to help. Visit our website www.mustardnrelish.com
864-230-1923 or 803-465-1637
Tomorrow, I'll give you another exciting media strategy we've scueesfully implemented for our clients!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
When you outsource marketing to an agency, you expect them to handle most of the work. But that doesn’t let you off the hook in your marketing, far from it.You remain a key partner with the agency, which means you have to be a great communicator … and that takes effort. See what the head of one marketing agency says they need from their clients to work effectively. Plus, tips on how to help your marketing by helping your agency.
Communication between your company and your marketing agency is critical. You need to tell them what’s working, what’s not and how your customers react so they can create the best possible marketing plan for you. And you need to heed your agency’s counsel.You might say: “Why wouldn’t I listen to my agency’s advice? After all, I hired them.” You would think that’s always the case, but ego and stubbornness often interfere. Rich Carr, Founder and CEO, Carr Knowledge, for instance, has had clients refuse his advice on many occasions. “You know, it’s almost as obvious as you know you have to drive on the right-hand side of the road and when the lights are red you need to stop. They were saying, ‘Well, you don’t necessarily have to drive on the right, and we don’t see lights.’ And it’s like, do you want to be in the car with them? Well, hell no. Go crash.” To avoid accidents, Carr has 10 strategies and suggestions on how clients can communicate better with their agencies:Give Your Agency Lots of InformationWhen you first hire a marketing agency, you must provide a great deal information. The more you provide, the more the agency can help you:->Tip #1. Have a goalThe first question Carr asks every new client is: “What are we celebrating this time next year?” This goal serves as the focal point around which an agency builds a marketing effort. It could be anything, including:o Increase sales o Boost market shareo Sell a certain producto Sell through a certain channelo OtherIf your goal is one of the above, make sure it’s tied to an exact percentage. Without that benchmark, your goal will be too vague to be targeted and met. “If you have no idea of where you’re going, you’re not going to get there. And if all the people that work for you don’t know what that goal is, then they’re just showing up at work and waiting until 5 o’clock to go home. Everybody has to be working for this goal,” Carr says.-> Tip #2. Hand over all your sales and marketing informationBefore you meet with the agency, have enough information to answer any questions they might have; it needs it to give you a thorough investigation. “To use an analogy, it’s as if you’re a high school athlete and I’m going to give you a physical,” Carr says. “I mean I’m going to know everything about your business.”This includes:o Prior marketing efforts, including duration, cost and ROIo Sales information broken down by source, location and itemo Know what types of marketing work for you and what don’t“Most businesses have their P&L [profit and loss statement], they live by their P&L,” Carr says. “And we can go through that and ask questions like, ‘What happened when you did this?’ ‘What are your best sales months?’ ‘What do you do during those months?’ ‘What do you say you’re doing during those months?’ I mean literally dissect everything that works.”When asking these questions, Carr and his clients often stumble into things that work better.->Tip #3. Leave your ego at homeBy hiring an agency, you’ve admitted that your marketing needs help. Keep your ego out of the relationship. Don’t withhold information that makes your earlier marketing look better or stronger. Provide accurate information and numbers. The more honest information you can provide, the more the agency can help.Offer FeedbackAfter your marketing plan is up and running, continue to provide feedback. This will help the agency discover new tactics and learn which campaigns are working and which aren’t.“Generally, they’re just discussions. Think of your doctor. You go in there, ‘How are you feeling.’ ‘Well, everything’s great, except when I do this, it hurts.’ It’s the same thing with marketing. We talk a lot, just like, ‘How are things going? How are you feeling about stuff? How’s this location?’ ” says Carr.Types of information an agency wants includes:- SalesYour sales figures are usually the first numbers most agencies want after your new marketing campaigns begin, Carr says. “We want to see what happens right away with the till, because, again, what we’re here to do is sell more stuff.”Keep track of your change in sales. Whether the change is positive, negative or flat, provide the information so the agency can adjust your marketing plan accordingly.- Company and customer buzzMany agencies involve every type of employee in a marketing campaign. For example, some of Carr’s restaurant clients have their wait staff collecting email addresses from customers. That’s a change in the customers’ and the employees’ experience, and it will cause a reaction.Whatever the reactions, pass them along to the agency. The information will help it implement future campaigns.- IdeasTypically, an agency is not in your office or in your stores, so it’s not in your environment. You have to be the eyes and ears for the agency. If there’s an event in your area that could be incorporated into marketing, for instance, pass the idea along. Is your competition doing something that you’re interested in? Send a quick email. Tell the agency about any ideas you have.“For example, Seattle is putting in this new street car, it’s like a trolley. It’s a big deal for Seattle, it’s nice. It ends up, one of our [restaurant] clients happens to be right toward the end of the line of the proposed street car route. He originally pinged us saying, ‘Hey, did you know they’re putting in a street car, and, you know, we should find out some information about it,’ because he’s in touch with that … [Now,] when the street car makes its first run here next week, it does not only end up right in front of his particular business, but he’s advertising in the street car, he’s on the street car maps, which are all over Seattle, and there’s an offer that once they get off the street car and come and eat at his place … they get a free appetizer. It’s little, but it just started with a ‘Hey, did you know.’ ”Send Ideas & ConcernsTo get into quick contact with your agency, the best way is to send an email.“I would say email is probably our primary communication tool. Clients say ‘Hey, I was thinking about this. … Take a look at this. … I think we should do this.’ ” Get some interchanges going back and forth. Schedule a conference call. If the conference call goes well, schedule a meeting. If the meeting goes well, implement the strategy and make it happen.“If you’re driving home and you’re stuck in rush-hour traffic, you look at a billboard for root beer -- and all of a sudden you’re thinking of a great way to sell. The greatest thing you can do with that little flash is call or email me what just happened and say, ‘You know, is there anything we can do with that?’ ”Listen to Your AgencyAgencies are hired usually because they know more about marketing than their clients – so, listen to your agency’s advice. Many marketers ignore common sense; they have a hard time letting go of favorite tactics.With one client, “it was one element of their email marketing campaign, where they wanted emails to go out [in a certain way]. Well, we know how to get an email delivered to an inbox. There are certain things you have to do. There are best practices. … [They started] getting bad flags from IPs because they’re sending out these giant images and PDFs … and their opt-out rates would increase every time an email went out. Eventually, we just said we’re done,” says Carr.“We found it much easier to, rather than fight with a client like that ... just get rid of them and spend that time and resource on somebody who does want to improve.”
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Please make sure to post comments, add information, ask questions or just say hi. Again, welcome to the blog of Bo McDonald, the "grumpy ad man" from Mustard N Relish.