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.