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: