Monday, August 25, 2008


Blogs are important. I preach that everyday to my clients. Engage your clients, talk with them - not at them. So where has Grumpy been?

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

Banks Irk Me

I thought this was a thing of years past - but apparently not. Free Gifts.

1. If it's a gift, it should be free - yes?

2. When choosing a bank, my first thought is not "whoa - a freakin toaster! i'm in!" If you're offering a new car, we'll talk. I jabbed a bank on this blog a few weeks ago for free gifts and I took notice now of Community South banks offering "free gifts" for new accounts. A car wash kit. An umbrella.

Banking is a serious industry. I am trusting you with my money and my personal information, you shouyld be a tad professional. It's not to say that you can't be a little different or have a little fun... but don't sell your product like a flea market. To First Citizens and Bank Greenville, thank you for the great service you have consistantly showed... to Community South - keep your toasters.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Before reading... please register so that I can SPAM you

I hate having to give up my email address to get information. Many websites require you to register before being able to access the ino that you need, for example - the NY Times. Sure it's free... kind of - but how much time do you spend srting through various clumps of email... you're not sure how they got your address but somehow they now want you to buy their stock tips, little blue pills and apply for mortgages.

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


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Have you ever woken up more tired than when you went to bed, simply because you had multiple weird dreams? I don't recall all of them, except about the mean bird.

I was sitting at a table at an indoor pool, there were trees - but a cardinal kept trying to attack me. It would hover over me and try to peck at my head. Staying covered with a blanket, it didn't bother me. This went on for quite some time... strange.

Anyone else ever have a really strange dream that was nonsense?

Monday, July 7, 2008

10-4... what's the frequency?

As often as possible, I like to take real life experiences in my life that deal with advertising. So, here's one now:

Over the weekend I saw an infomercial for a new product that would groom dogs nails without clipping and without hurting them. Knowing that my deal pitbull Jake Knots McDonald is not a huge fan of getting his nails clipped I thought this would be a neat thing to get and try. Of course I was too lazy to get up out of bed to write down the info. Now, here it is Monday and I can't remember the name of it, the website... That's bad. I really want to spend my $29.99 on their product, but I can't.

So how much did they spend on that one ad? A good bit is my guess, and I'm sure they got some calls from it. But guarenteed if I were to see that ad one more time they would get a call from me... and I'm sure many other people in my shoes who want to give them osme money.

"I just want to run my ad once and see what happens" says my client. "Save your money until you can run a CAMPAIGN with FREQUENCY" says the grumpy one. Surely, after a poor response from that one ad, said client is soured on advertising and throws their hands up "Advertising doesn't work!"

Maybe you need a marketing firm? A marketing firm that will work with you, no matter how big or small your budget is... or how big or small your project is. A marketing firm whose first question out of the gate is NOT "how big is your budget" but something more along the lines of "where does it hurt". Email me,, and just like the government - we're here to help.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street - March 4th 1960

It's surely one of my guilty pleasures. I'm not a sci-fi fan, at all. But I love the Twilight Zone series by Rod Serling. The story lines are a little weird, and some waaayyyy out in left field, but look past that. Each and every episode that Serling wrote was more than imagination and science fiction. The social message in each episode, the story line that teaches very basic morals of society are incredible.

Each July 4th and New Year the sci-fi network puts on a Twilight Zone Marathon, and I try to watch each and every episode, many of them for the twentieth time, but it's amazing no matter how many times I watch them the more I pull from the story line.

It may also help that Rod Serling and I share a birthplace. Rod Serling attended my highschool (of course, many years before I), but the community is very proud of Serling and his accomplishments, and if you think about the era that these episodes ran for the first time - he was way ahead of this time. One word to describe the work of Serling... INCREDIBLE.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A PR Extravaganza

Two months of planning. The hard work of several individuals. Many hours of planning and sweat equity. The result? We raised 3,036 pounds of food! We pulled off Hunger Hurts Greenville with more success than we imagined. We set a goal two months ago of raising 2,000 pounds of food for several organizations in Greenville, and we blew that goal away last night!

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


The blog has been a little silent lately eh? It's in the works to move the blog to a new location, with a fun new look and more interactive features. Also, stand by for a big announcement next week!

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

In the words of Buffett... Come Monday.

Here it is, byt the time you're reading this it's Monday morning! The beginning of a new week and many new things here at the office. Planning continues on the "plan". Curious yet? Stay tuned, I'll be letting the cat out of the bag soon.

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


I've been asked several times for an update on my weight loss progress, so if you really care - here you go! As of this morning I've lost a total of 14 pounds, with only 12 pounds to go to reach my goal of 180 by September 1st. If I can keep up this kind of progress I should be able to make it! Thanks to everyone for the tips and encouragement!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A quick recap...

It's getting to be a regular habit of making excuses for the lack of blogposts. The past week has been BUSY!
- 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

James Ray trip

It's no "secret" that I took a road trip with some friends yesterday to see James Ray in Charlotte. "What did you think?" That was the first question I was asked when we got back in the car for the trip back to Greenville.
It was inspiring. He's a great speaker, he knows how to motivate, but I wasn't inspired to write him a check for 2k. Rather than being philisophical and writing a 3 page review I'll give you my short version.
Go see James Ray. Leave your credit cards and checks at home. Go and hear what he has to say. Take it with a grain of salt. Digest everything and make it your own based on your beliefs and value system. And then take what you learned agt the free event, write a check for 2k ands invest in your business or yourself. Spend 2k on marketing your business, spend 2k and pay off your car... invest in yourself, not in James Ray.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Or so the media would have you believe. I've been out meeting with clients all day today, and they seem to tell a different story than what the media portrays. "Sure business is down a little, but it's nothing that will put us under." Forgo the purchase of the new Mercedes, stash a little extra green away for the rainy day and you'll weather the storm.
I have one client who is opening two new locations in the next 90 days with more to come, and another client opening 3 new hotels within the next year along with some new restaurants. They see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not the train coming at them. Keep talking Brian Williams, but the folks in Greenville SC aren't listening. The one sided local stories on WYFF can keep airing, but Greenville isn't buying it. If you're ever starting to buy the schlock that the media is feeding us take a stroll down Main St in Greenville... I'll even give you the numbers for my clients and let them give you a pep talk!

Never look back...

The first lesson that a business owner must learn is to make a decision and NEVER LOOK BACK! I work with so many first time business owners who are in the infancy stages of their business, much of their time is spent second guessing small insignificant decisions they must make. "Should the logo be red or blue?" They first choose red, and then iut's back and forth for a significant amount of time... time that could have been spent on profitable projects or pressing forward with other decisions. The best advice that I can give a new business owner is to spend some time on the question at hand, but once the decision is made, don't look back. You'll lose your place in the race and get behind... losing time that can never be recovered.
I found myself in that same situation last week. I had an opportunity of a lifetime to work for a great group of radio stations in the Cayman Islands... but I'm still here. After almost a week of back and forth... should I go, should I stay... I decided that Greenville is where I should be. A few times I've thought.... what if. I need to take my own advice and realize that I spent a lot of time on this decision and looking back will only waste precious time right now that I can be spending on the projects at hand today.
A major factor of my decision is my wonderful clients and friends that I have made during my short time here in Greenville. Friendships are one thing that cannot be replaced. Will I ever regret my decision? Only if I look back.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The forgotten blog...

The abandoned blog... grumpadman... alive? YES! It's been a busy few weeks around the office. You would think that the holidays would have given me some extra time to catch up, but of course not!
I've been doing some soul searching the past few weeks. What is Mustard N Relish? What do our clients need us to be? How can we better serve you? How do you want your agency relationship to be structured?
That's a whole lot of thinking! Many questions, with hopefully many answers to come. I've spent way too many hours on google looking up other agencies across the US and back in the UK where many "virtual agencies" seem to be popping up, and giving the big boys a run for their money! One really unique agency that stuck out in my head was Big Al's Creative Emporium. I'm loving that site and the concept!
I plan on being back on here on a regular basis and providing some great new content and research... and stand by. Hurrican Season is here and I feel something big brewing. No details right now... as there aren't many to provide. But buckle up and get ready for the ride over the next few months!

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...


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

Rest... kind of

For a few hours yesterday I actually got to REST! I layed on the couch with the fan on and some Jimmy Buffett. I must admit, I did have the laptop and I was doing some work... but it was kind of relaxing! Kudos to Chad at Metamorphasis Church for an awesome message yesterday. I'm a history nut and the lesson on other religions relating to Christianity was pretty interesting!

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!

Friday, May 16, 2008

QOTW Third Edition, plus a mixed bag Friday

A few different topics to cover this morning including KUDOS to the Myrtle Beach CVB and remembering a great man who is no longer with us. First, the QOTE:

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

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.

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

Weekend Roundup

I thought weekends were for rest?!?

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

Question of the Week - 2

Better late than never! Since it's Friday, we'll do another Question of the Week! This week's question comes from Casey Putnam from Serv-Pro:

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
poorer service?

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

Oh the places you'll go and excuses you'll hear!

Flight delayed due to weather... acceptable. Flight delayed due to losing a crew member in the aircraft... huh? On my way to NY on Monday that is exactly what I heard on the PA system. Luckily it was not my flight, but I did have to go to the counter and make sure that I heard correctly. Did you mean to say flight delayed due to a crew member within the airport? Nope. A crew member was unaccounted for on the aircraft. We're not talking about a 757, it's a small Canadair Regional Jet. Did you look under the seats? Maybe someone had a bad muffin this morning and they're still in the restroom? Important note to Delta management... next time please lie to me. If your crew member cannot find their way around a tiny little aircraft, I really have no business being on that flight.

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


Well, it's just me. This is going to be one long day, but very well worth it. I start with breakfast at 9am with my copywriter Tom Picciano at the Broadway Diner, run a few errands and then my big meeting at 1pm.

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

More great airport food

Gotta love it. Overpriced, greasy... and just stale enough to make you want something better. Last leg of the journey to NY is underway as I'm on my second layover, this one at the Detroit airport. Just a quick travel tip, if you can avoid this airport for future travels, I would recommend it. My flight has switched gates three times now, and I've only been here an hour. I'm thinking that I should do a quick game for some cool things in the Grumpy Ad Man Prize Hoopty.

*** 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.

The Queen City

Here I sit waiting for my flight at the Charlotte airport, after a nice greasy meal of overpriced stale airport food. It seems as though everyone is flying this week. An old friend from Binghamton NY is on his way back from the West Coast, Big Jon is flying up to DC (in fact his twitter sayd that he just landed) and Scott from PR Store is in the air too.

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

Reaching a new consumer

I've been preaching text message marketing to many of my clients, and I thought for those of you who aren't to familair with the concept might enjoy this story. It has some great facts and figures regarding the popularity of this media!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Thanks Canvas One!

Thanks to Betsy at Canvas One for throwing in some extra swag to the winner of the Question of the Week. Each week in addition to the other goodies, you'll get some cool stuff from Canvas One.

I'm miffed

Before coming to the studio for my show this morning I was watching WYFF morning news, and it really chapped my hide. They aired an unusually long story about "Recession on the Upstate". High gas prices, high food prices... and two interviews with local business owners. Here's a link to the story that ran last night:

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

Question of the Week: Edition 1

HAPPY FRIDAY! I recieved a great response to the question of the week with over 15 emails this week. This week's question comes from Chris Rackley:

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

Note to Readers:

I figured out how to let you comment without having to register and/or log in. Feel free to jump in the discussions!

Diet Update

As I sit here eating a late lunch from Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, I'm reflecting on the past two weeks of the diet. I now hesitate to even call it a diet. I was talking with my hair guru Mary Alice at Wilsons on Washington earlier this week and she enlightened me to the fact that I'm not on a diet, I'm making a lifestyle change. I'm not doing South Beach, not doing Atkins... I've just kicked sodas and fried foods to the curb. So, she hit the nail on the head about not being on a diet.

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

Exciting Clients

I have long been down on my hometown of Binghamton NY. Everytime I go back to visit it looks like it has aged 20 years... dark and dreary... the energy and creativity has long been sucked out of the whole area. So, much to my surprise to find two guys who joined together to open a new business. Not just a new business, but using brand new technology, and in major need of some marketing and PR. I'll be on a plane Monday morning on my way up to meet with these guys and get their marketing and PR in shape. It's not a huge client, but like many of my other clients it's fun to start with them from the ground floor and watch them pour their heart and soul into their baby and make something of it.

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

Free Lunch?

So I mentioned something about a free lunch yesterday. I didn't really mean a free lunch, but what the heck. In addition to the free marketing/PR advice on Friday mornings, if I choose your email to respond to I'll give you some goodies. I'll stock up on some gift cards for Liquid Highway, Azia and Chandi's along with some other swag and reward one person each week not only with some free advice (remember, you get what you pay for) but some freebies too.

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

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

The New GSA Business Covergirl

Congrats to Keeli and the Liquid Highway gang on a great write-up in GSA Business this week. It's a great story, be sure to check it out here:

Free Lunch

Over the past few weeks I've been invited to speak to a few groups about marketing, and the response has been wonderful! I won't give away too many details of the topics covered, I'd hate to ruin the surprise for you!

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.

Just Another Manic Monday

This morning, a few random notes from the weekend:

- 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.
- 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.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Twitter Me!

No, twittering is nothing obscene. I finally dived in and joined Twitter. Log on and search grumpyadman and you can add me. If you haven't signed up yet, you should. I just told everyone I was having Mexican for dinner. Don't you really want to know things like that about me?

Kudos and Corrections

A few days ago I had posted some thoughts on a national franchise that is opening up all across the country. It's called "The PR Store." The concept is very interesting and I believe needed on some levels.

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

How much are you paying for gas?

Found an interesting story on msnbc about gas prices. Are we paying for more, and getting less?

Do y'all take requests... one of the TOP FIVE most annoying things I hear Saturdays when I'm on the air. So now I'm asking you, DO YOU TAKE REQUESTS? I need a printer/scanner/copier for the office... color laser preferably. Does anyone happen to have one they are no longer using you'd like to sell or know of one fairly inexpensive that can be had?

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

Car Wash

No, not the great song from the 70's... but I want to recommend a great place to get your car detailed. I don't make many recommendations, but I have to in this one occaision. There is a place off Anderson Rd just outside of the West End, Bennie's Auto Detailing. Derrick owns the place, and my car has never looked so good. I've been going there a few months now and I'm never dissapointed. It's all hand washed and he really takes his time and does a great job. You may want to call him first and make sure you can swing by, Derrick's number is 864.907.9994. It's not a very fancy place, but he's a good guy and does great work. He only charges $15 (I usually give him $30... it's worth even more!)

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

The Lime Diet

So despite a swift glass of vodka and tonic with half a lime AND an obscene helping of key lime pie last night I still managed to reach baby step one of my diet - this morning for the first time in over 3 years I weighed in at under 200 pounds. The scale said 199 even. As soon as the 199 flashed up on the scale I heard HONKY CAT and LEVON playing in the background! (For those of you who don't know, - I have a friendly wager in this weight loss competition... my win means a trip to Vegas to see Sir Elton at the Red Piano).

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

Getting by with a little help from my friends

So I've been wondering why I get a huge number of people viewing the blog, but not many people leaving comments and it was brought to my attention that you have to join to leave a comment. Hopefully, this will be fixed. I'm meeting with BIG JON this afternoon to see about moving this blog to another server... stay tuned. Meanwhile - Lizzard emailed me these helpful hints on the diet issue... anyone else have suggestions?

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.

Misc ramblings...

A few random thoughts:

1. Here is my new "publicity" photo. Earlier last week GSA Business called to interview me on some thoughts about the Greenville area and they needed a headshot. Big thanks to Oliver Yu for making sure my three rolls of fat around my neck didn't show up. It takes a real professional to make that happen! Look for me in the May 12th edition of GSA Business.

2. My new diet is going well. One week down and I'm down about 5 pounds. All i've done is cut out soda and started eating better. My goal is to drop 20 pounds by September 1st... so far so good! Any ideas and input that have worked for you, I'm all ears! A few long walks over the past few days haven't been bad for me either! Friday night we walked from the new house down to Artisphere and Saturday night a did a little running through the neighborhood.

3. We visited a new church on Sunday. I had met the pastor last week at Liquid Highway and he was telling me about it, so I had to check it out. He was rattling off a few statistics about "church stuff" which I found very interesting. Twenty percent of the people who don't go to church are actually Christians... they just never found a place to get connected or are sick and tired big church politics. If you're looking for a church home and want something different, check it out sometime. You can get a feel for the church and it's "identity" at Maybe we'll see you around some Sunday... did I mention they have Liquid Highway coffee every Sunday?

4. Last but not least - I have some of the best clients. I'll touch more on that later... have a great Monday!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

PR - the walmart way

I wasn't sure if I was reading this story correctly. A Charlotte, NC company called PRS Franchise Systems LLC has opened 13 PR retail stores and has plans for many more.
"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"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

Wanna get on Oprah?

I'm constantly preaching PR PR and more PR to my clients. It's a great big fat hairy deal for one of my clients to get covered on the local television news, a nice write up in the newspaper etc.

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


I can't think of a better way to grow your business in Greenville besides networking. Patrick Van Every of Azia hosts a happy hour every Wednesday at the restaurant from 4:30 - whenever... If you show up and don't meet anyone you have no one to blame but yourself! The food is great and the company is even better.

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:
For Chamber membership email Sarah Gardner at:
Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Just when I thought outsourcing to India was at it's worst (or best?), I get slapped in the face with this website...

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

Taste of the Nation... my winner

So we visited the Taste of the Nation event last night at the Carolina First Center (big thanks by the way to Bill Parker and Kim Kelly for the VIP tickets!) The atmosphere was great, the hospitality was top notch and the food was pretty good too!

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.

Listen while you work...

Thanks to Betsy Tetsch from for this tip. If you're looking for something different to listen to while you work, check out this cool new website:

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

The Group!

Thanks to everyone who came out last Thursday for the photo shoot at the hotel. Should you ever need a photographer for any reason, make sure you call Oliver Yu. Thanks to the following for coming out and being a part:
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!)

Go Green!

TreesGreenville joins again with Whole Foods Market® on Earth-friendly project.
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

I'm Back!

I've been a little preoccupied the last two weeks, between working with a handful of brand new clients and closing on a new home and getting moved in, it's been busy aorund here! Count on daily updates...

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:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ford: The Lost Cause

If there was ever a tagline shift from somewhat "OK" to the blunt, "buy our crap now," it would be this new tagline from Ford, "Ford. Drive One." Is it possible a marketer has finally realized the purpose of advertising is to get people to buy stuff? Sadly, no.

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

Easter plans?

If you live in Greenville and are looking for some good grub on Easter, be sure to check out Azia. Patrick and his team are doing Sunday Brunch in a BIG way for Easter Sunday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I love seeing our clients grow!

Two New Managers to Join Liquid highway Team

(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

An Award, how nice

Awards can be great. It boosts your confidence, gives you some bragging rights, and reinforces the fact that you truly are the best. But what about when your award comes at the cost of others. By cost, I mean real money, thousands of dollars. Please note that the statements I will make in this post are not blanket statements, but a general observation.

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

Gonna have a party!

That title makes me start singing the old polka tune "Polka Party" by Jimmy Sturr. I'm having a party, every week. It's a marketing party. It's not AMWAY, it's not what you ladies would refer to as a "toy part", it's not even a kegger. One of the things that I miss about spending more time in the Columbia office is the brainstorming sessions. Many of my media reps and friends who read this blog could benefit from a marketing party too.

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:

Now, I'm taking my first real vacation since 2006... My first time heading to Asheville. Any restaurant recommendations?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Under Where?

It's the question on everyone's mind. How do you rid yourself of that annoying wedgie without anyone noticing? Not to worry! Hane's has the answer to not only that, but the age old question of how do you advertise underwear, without crossing "the line".

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

An overwhelming responsibility.

Owning an ad agency is an incredible responsibility. Everyday, many small business owners look to us for results. Off the cuff, it may seem like a small job. Write an ad, produce it, place it. Write a news release, distribute it, follow up. Not to mention the research that goes into the clients target audience, the market research, the media research, the brainstorming, the big idea... you get the picture. A lot of behind the scenes stuff to make everything come together as it should.

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

Thanks Laura!

Many thanks to WIS tv web guru Laura Otero in Columbia for this link. Yet another great spot, this one viral in nature.

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 If not registering online, contact Melea Mauldin at


Here is the link to the Tide Stain Pen... if you watched the Super Bowl, you know which commercial it is!

You Have Got to See This!

I'm a fan of British Comedies (Last of the Summers Wine, Are You Being Served, Keeping up Appearences, and of course As Time Goes By). So you know that I like hokey corney humour.

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

You should be...

If you live in the great state of South Carolina you should be thankful. If you own a business in the great state of South Carolina, you should be doubly as thankful. I just returned from a Venture Capital forum hosted by the Greater Greenvile Chamber of Commerce and... WOW. There are so many great things hapenning (many of them under the radar) to encourage new businesses to blossom, and encourge those thriving businesses that South Carolina is the place to be.

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 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

More on Public Relations

Continued from yesterday's discussion on PR, here are the three main principles of PR that are widely accepted, and why they are important to you.

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.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A politial statement...

I never planned on getting politcal on this blog, but what the heck. I had to share this email my wife (the liberal) forwarded me:

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."

What is PR?

Public Relations sounds more like what Exxon must do when there is an oil spill, or the necessary evil of corporations to "spin" their story. I prefer to call those examples the "spin cycle". Public Relations is defined on wikipedia as the management of internal and external communication of an organization to create and maintain a positive image. Public relations involves popularizing successes, downplaying failures, announcing changes, and many other activities.

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

Auto Advertising... why we don't work with many car dealers

First, read this story from the Spartanburg Hearld Journal here:

Now, what are your thoughts?

Putting My Neck Out...

Sometimes you just gotta take chances. After all, being in business for yourself is a risk. Risk doesn't stop at turning on your open sign, you must take them everyday when you're running a business. So here is my risk... a challenge to you. I want you to write down on a piece of paper this phrase: "But... This is the way I've always done it!" Sound familiar?

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

Lottery - finally gets it!

All politcial views aside, the marketing campaigns for the lottery have been awful. The past few years there has been no clear "campaign" or identity to their message. It was kind of like throwing spaghetti at the wall and looking back to see what was sticking.

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

Relish is Green...

Relish is green, an obvious statement. Mustard N Relish is going green... now that's news! The MNR team designs prints, and when necessary mails many projects for clients. How many trees does each one of those projects usually use? I hate to even do the research and come up with a number.

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

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

Exceed my expectations!

I'm a customer service nut. It's sad that sometimes when I make a purchase and I get exactly what I was promised I get excited. If I order a cheeseburger with no pickles, and they actually don't put any pickles on it I get excited. I really shouldn't... after all, if I'm paying someone for a product or service, shouldn't I get it as expected?

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

Vulgar Commercials... my thoughts

By vulgar, I don't mean obscene. I mean a commercial that almost makes me sick to my stomach. There are more flashing lights than a disco and the music (loud obnoxious version of Hailt to the Chief) sounds like a Marilyn Manson concert. That's what I bring back from the GM Presidents Day televison spots. They run the same creative for Pontiac Buick and GMC, and for some reason the spots don't sit well with me. It's very harsh on my ears and the colors and flashing lights make me feel like I'm watching the Blair Witch Project. Apparently I'm not the only one, here are several links to message boards I've found with people who have no connection to the ad world that get the same feeling:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Something new...

I compare many business owners to a baby sitting in a dirty diaper. Babys don't necessarily mind sitting in a soiled nappy. It's comfortable to them, it's what they know. Business owners many times are very happy sitting in a soiled nappy because, after all - it's familair... and the answer to every question that challenges the status quo is "THATS THE WAY WE'VE ALWAYS DONE IT". I was excited about having a post up here tonight that would rival yestedays little ditty about changing up your marketing campaign with internet advertising.

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

Something Exciting!

Since Q4 of last year, I have been searching for new avenues to replace my clients dollars that have traditionally gone to print. Many of the monthly and trade pubs continue to bring great results for our client because of their targeted distribution. Newspapers however are becoming incresingly useless. It is my understanding that many of the larger news corporations are laying off local employees in favour of outsourcing jobs to India. So now, that news report you read, compiled by a person in India. That ad that you see that was designed by the newspaper, that might have been designed in India too. Who'da thunk it?!? My newspaper reps continue to come to me, not on a yearly basis but on a quarterly basis with rate increases. Yet the studies show that newspaper readership is down. Pay more for an ad that less people are going to see? So now, I digress. You'll find an entire post about my dislike of newspapers in a few days.

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
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

Working With Your Agency 101

So you've never worked with an ad agency? Or maybe you have and your experience was less than desireable. This is an awesome article I read a few months back and shared with our clients. I'd love to hear your feedback or additional suggestions on how you get the most from your agency!

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

Advertising, Marketing, Food & Music

Over the past two years Mustard N Relish has published a monthly newsletter, The Mustard N Relish "Catch-Up" sent out to our clients, vendors and friends. There is always something exciting happening with our team and with our clients and we love sharing that. However, the MNR team has been taking a strong look at being a better steward of our enviroment. Rather than printing and mailing over 200 newsletters every month, welcome to my blog. We're saving a few trees and saving a couple bucks on postage too! Be sure to check in at least once a day for a post, sometimes more than once if we deem something too exciting to wait! Our daily posts will include thoughts on local and national ad campaigns, important marketing and public relations news you can use as well as personal thoughts and reviews on restaurants, music and businesses.

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.