Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Wedding Pictures in Las Vegas

Click on the picture above for our Wedding Album
and Happy New Year to one and all!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Heartwarming Holidays in the Military

12/19/2008 - U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Heath Bahyi observes boxed cargo being air-dropped from a C-130 Hercules aircraft over the island of Yap Dec. 19, 2008, during Operation Christmas Drop. The drop, which is the Air Force’s longest-running humanitarian mission, is part of a tradition to deliver supplies to the remote islands Yap, Palau, Chuuk, Pohnpei and the Northern Marianas Islands. More than 180 boxes were built for the humanitarian mission, making 2008 one of the largest drops in the operation’s 57-year history. Bahyi is a loadmaster from the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan. (DoD photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald, U.S. Air Force/Released) VIRIN: 081219-F-6911G-353

12/20/2008 - U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jonathan O. Gackle, the commanding officer of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, holds a child from the Ninoshimakaku orphanage during Santa’s visit to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Dec. 20, 2008. Children from the orphanage go to the base every year to participate in different activities to celebrate the holiday season. (DoD photo by Sgt. Ricardo A. Gomez, U.S. Marine Corps/Released) VIRIN: 081220-M-9609G-028

12/21/2008 - U.S. Army Spc. David Cartwright, assigned to 1st Platoon, 230th Military Police Company, 793rd Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, feeds puppies at the Iraqi Police District Headquarters in Mahawil, Iraq, Dec. 21, 2008. (DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Wendy Wyman, U.S. Navy/Released) VIRIN: 081221-N-4245W-075

Friday, December 12, 2008

GM in bankruptcy?

Guess that's what's next since the feds aren't planning to help save the last manufacturing industry in America. Too many lawyers and financial types in Congress? Wall Street gets help, but not manufacturing. We can't all work in the service industry, can we? And, isn't it a national security threat when you have to rely on foreign countries for major manufactured goods? Not to mention the millions, yes, millions, of Americans this will affect as the ripples turn into a tsunami.

My Dad (a Chevrolet dealer from 1958 until he died in 1991; now my brother runs the dealership) must be turning over in his grave. I plan to sign up for Chinese lessons tomorrow.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I said "YES"! Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Bert Schmidt

November 28, 2008

Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.

Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two bodies,
But there is one life before you.

Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

~ Apache Wedding Prayer Blessing

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My friend Patrick's Book Party

Join friends of Patrick Evans-Hylton at a book signing party for his newly released cookbook: Popcorn! Patrick’s book is being so well received, it is being featured (not just on the bookshelf) in the Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Target and the usual booksellers/online stores nationwide. It’s such a hit that Martha Stewart will be interviewing Patrick on her Sirius radio show in December!

But the ONLY place to get your personally signed version of Popcorn and tastes of some of the incredible popcorn recipes is at our by-reservation-only party on December 14th from 2:30 to 5:00 at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro. Get all of the details about Patrick and the book signing party in the fine print below.

To reserve your place please email this special reservations link, decidedly.yes@cox.net, with the names of the guests and the number of books you desire. If you have any questions, call 589-9446. Space is limited so please RSVP ASAP! Reservations must be made by midnight on December 3, 2008.

Fine Print:

* Valet parking will be available (fee) at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro and there is plenty of free parking nearby. A cash bar will be available at the event and friends of Patrick will provide a sampling of recipes from his new cookbook for you to taste.

* If you know Patrick than you know he has more “jobs” than anyone in Hampton Roads (columnist, author, blogger, TV personality, photographer, historian, publisher, executive editor, senior editor, instructor, food critic, chef and foodie-around-town)! Here’s his official biography:

Patrick Evans-Hylton is a Johnson & Wales trained chef and the region's leading food writer. His work appears as senior editor in Hampton Roads Magazine and as executive editor of Virginia Wine Lover magazine; he is frequently heard on “Food Fridays” with Cathy Lewis on Hampton Roads public radio. For more than two years, Evans-Hylton was the host of "Everyday Gourmet" which aired on WVEC TV-13 in Hampton Roads and at select ABC stations nationwide.

Much of Evans-Hylton's writings concern local and national food trends as well as food history. This includes essays, in addition to restaurant reviews, personality profiles and the development of recipes with Chef Patrick's unique signature touch. Chef Patrick is the leader of Slow Food Hampton Roads, a committee member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and instructor at Culinary Institute of Virginia. In 2007, he won the best feature writer of the year from the Virginia Press Association.

* This is a one-time book-signing opportunity. So, if you or (your surrogates) don’t pick up your signed book at this event, it will not be mailed, dropped off or otherwise made available to you. We’re so sorry, but there’s just no way to handle individual disbursement before or after the event.

* The books will be $15 each, a portion of which will be donated to the Culinary Institute of Virginia and C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program). Read good, eat good, feel good!

* We’ll have your book/s ready to be signed; you’ll have the cash, check or credit card and a whole lot of fun!

* Please feel free to include your friends in the invitation. Just be sure that you/they reserve a place and their books at the decidedly.yes@cox.net email address because if you’re not on the list you won’t be getting into the party (just like Hollywood)!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Increase Stakeholder Communication in a Downturn

I've been giving this a lot of thought since (1) taking my new job at the Hampton Roads Partnership and (2) since the economy is tanking. Read on...

Our stakeholders want to know we care. In a recession, stakeholders NEED to know we care. That means that now more than ever we need to reach out to our stakeholders often, to ask how they are doing and what we can do better to meet their wants and needs.

In a paper by Andrew Razeghi, Kellogg School of Management, he offers tips on how we can increase stakeholder experiences during economic downturns.

One of the tips is important to heed: Rather than reduce price (investment, sponsorships, member fees, etc.), offer more value to stakeholders.

Recessions aren't a time to cut our prices but instead to offer greater, more tangible value for the same price and a better guarantee. We should increase communications with:

  1. our current stakeholders
  2. stakeholders who have gone missing and
  3. potential stakeholders.
The rule of thumb is that if we don't communicate with those three groups, and at least quarterly, they will fade away and eventually drop their loyalty to us.

Case in point: in a study of 600 business-to-business companies, "McGraw-Hill Research found that businesses that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession, averaged higher sales growth during the recession and in the three years following."

Today, although I certainly don't prescribe to advertising as the best way to communicate with our stakeholders, the study still holds true --26 years later. Use the following tools to listen and to talk with stakeholder communities:
  • Monthly Newsletters or white papers that help stakeholders stay informed, achieve efficiencies and cost-savings, etc. while fulfilling our mission.
  • Blog posts in which the objectives are the same as the newsletters and white papers. These should be created three to four times a week.
  • “Thank you” notes sent once or twice a year to current and former stakeholders, showing how much you appreciate (in the case of “former”: appreciated) their participation.
  • Birthday, anniversary, holiday, congratulatory cards and letters.
These are just some of the ways we can stay in touch with our communities. Of course, we should also be talking either via face-to-face, email or on the phone with our stakeholders at least monthly, if not more often.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So what does it all mean?

I'm feeling overwhelmed with information, for one. Shift Happens 3.0 (*~*)

Here is my 2007 post of Shift Happens, the original, and Shift Happens 2.0: CLICK

Monday, November 10, 2008

ROME wasn't built in a day, Return on Marketing Effectiveness (ROME), that is

In the process of strategic planning? Be sure to include Return on Marketing Effectiveness (ROME). As we drill down in focus to goals, objectives and appropriate measures, you'll need help from all departments.

I've seen some great 1-page, at-a-glance dashboards for tracking MARKETING OBJECTIVES, especially those objectives with specific goals which are part of an organization's STRATEGIC PLAN. I'd like to find a template to use, i.e. I'm looking for FORMATS to represent the results of GOALS & OBJECTIVES already established.

Anyone have Sample Dashboards - as related to Marketing Effectiveness - they'd be willing to share? Thanks.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

More on Bloggers' Block, 10 Ways To Create Content For Your Weblog

From Sheila Ann Manuel Coggins, http://weblogs.about.com/mbiopage.htm

Top Ten Tips On Beating Bloggers' Block

You know that feeling... the awful sensation that you just can't possibly blog about anything. Nothing inspires you enough. Everything seems too mundane. And, the more you think about blogging, the less you are inclined to blog. Indeed, if writers can get writers' block, then bloggers can get bloggers' block.

What do you do in moments like these?

Here are some ideas on how you can create weblog content during 'dry times' when you feel as though anything under the sun isn't worth blogging about.

1) Check your Inbox. It's a great place to find fodder for blogging. Answer an email or two in your blog. React to a piece that you read from an email newsletter. Review a link or product that was recommended to you.

2) Start Blog Hopping. We all do it on a regular basis - reading blogs from our blogroll. However, this time, read your favorite blogs with the purpose of finding ideas to write about. Also, try to follow links to weblogs you don't usually visit. Start asking questions like: "What are my fellow bloggers interested in at the moment?" or "What is the most popular topic that people blog about? Do I want to write about it too? Or perhaps, I can blog about something that is not too popular." Doing these things may spark something in your 'blocked' blogging brain.

3) Comment in Your Own Blog. Yes, this idea is related to item #2. When you visit other weblogs, use your own blog when commenting on another blogger's entry that catches your attention. Or, if you post a short comment on someone else's blog, think of ways on how you can expand the idea. Oh, and don't forget to use trackback, if your blogging system allows you to do so. (Although many blog software and/or hosts do not automatically support trackbacks, HaloScan.com offers a free tool.)

4) Read, Listen To, or Watch the News. Even if your weblog is not about news, politics or current events, you will still benefit from finding out what's going on in the world. To give you a refreshed view, why not check out news sources that you don't usually refer to? For example, if you're a CNN person, check out BBC this time around. You might even want to try watching news in a foreign language. www.bbc.co.ukwww.cnn.com

5) Give Memes or Collaborations a Go. Even if you're not too crazy about memes or collabs, you might still consider trying it out. Give it a different spin if you like. Say, instead of creating "100 Things About Me" - you can write "100 Things About My Neighbor's Cat."

6) Create Lists. This is an endless source of blogging ideas. Some possibilities: "Top 10" lists, "Favorites" lists, "Worst of the Bunch" lists, "Things To Do" lists, "Wish" lists, etc. These lists may be on any given topic such as movies, books, music, people, paintings, food, sports, and activities, among many other things. Ten Top 10s Creating lists is one good way to come up with blog entries, especially when you're feeling stuck. So, here are ten ideas that you can use for your Top 10 lists.

  1. Top 10 Favorites. You know this kind of list. Your favorite lists can be just about anything - books, movies, videos, music, actors/actresses, artists, writers, hobbies... You get the picture.

  2. Top 10 Dislikes / Peeves. Same thing as the 'favorites' list. Only on the nastier side.

  3. Top 10 Destinations. Or Top 10 Places To Avoid. These destinations/places can be anywhere in the world - even in your own neighborhood. Even if you're not writing a travel blog, these lists are always interesting reads.

  4. Top 10 Things About.... You, your pet, your crush, your interests... Whatever the topic, you can write Top 10 facts that you may wish to share with your readers.

  5. Top 10 Tips. Whether you're an 'expert' on knitting, surfing, or chess, you're bound to have some words of wisdom to share with your readers about your field/s of expertise/interest.

  6. Top 10 Ideas. This is another catch-all Top 10 idea with a twist. You can list anything here, but they should be categorized as "ideas." For example, you want to give ideas on how people can combat global warming. So, you can come up with Top 10 Ideas on How To Fix The Problem with Global Warming. Or, something to that effect anyway.

  7. Top 10 Things That Excite / Sadden / Delight... You. Change the feelings, if you must. Other ideas that you may consider are: things that freighten you, things that anger you, things that make you fall in love, etc.

  8. Top 10 Things To Do. Or even Top 10 Things That You're Avoiding to Do.

  9. Top 10 Memories. Whether you're writing about the top 10 memories you have of your wedding day or that job interview you just had, listing things that you remember will help you preserve these moments.

  10. Top 10 Random Things. So, you're not in to organizing ideas and themes in a neat little package? Why not list random things that you just happen to think about? Just go for it!

7) Play Games, Answer Surveys, or Take Quizzes. If you're not the sort of person who likes posting quiz or survey results as weblog entries, remember that you're not limited to the "usual route" of blog quiz-taking (i.e., find a quiz, respond to questions, and post the results as a blog entry). For example, if you take the quiz: What's Your Blogging Personality?, you can write about particular items asked in the quiz. Or, you can write about other ideas you may have for a game, survey, or quiz for bloggers.http://weblogs.about.com/od/surveyspollsandquizzes/

8) Blog at Random. There are different ways you can blog at random. One way to do this is to pick up a dictionary or encyclopedia, open to a random page, and then write about a word, phrase or sentence that you find on that particular page. Another way is to flip through one of your photo albums (or boxes, if they're not in albums yet), and pick a random photo to write about - be it a memory, a fictional idea, or a non-fiction piece. You can also turn on the TV or the radio, then write about the first thing you watch or hear about. Another thing you might like to try is to find a journal writing software and/or book with creative writing prompts and pick a topic at random to write about.

9) Be a Sleuth! Are there things that you've always wondered about but never found the opportunity to get the facts? You might have asked yourself one or more of the following questions at one time or another: "How do you build an igloo?" "What are the different species of spiders?" or "Who is the richest woman in the world?" Well, now might be a good time to get your detective or research skills in to action. Check search engines, almanacs, and other sources of information. Then, start blogging your findings!

10) Do Something New. If not something new, any activity other than blogging or computer-related stuff will do. Sometimes, all you need is a little break. Go to the mall, watch a movie, go for a walk, visit the beach, or call a friend. Just get out there and live your life.

There are other ways to come up with blogging content other than the ones mentioned here. Go ahead and experiment! Just remember that living a full life is a surefire way to kick bloggers' block out of the picture.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Writing the Perfect Press Release

Had a friend send me this article:

"The fact that you’ve just started a new business is probably desperately interesting to you. If you’re like most new business owners, you’ll be thinking about your business 24/7..."

For the rest of the story, click HERE.

Has some great advice and even better points to follow.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Well, does this make you feel a little better?

Heard of the economic woes in Zimbabwe from BBC Radio: 80% unemployment rate and an inflation in the millions.

Not having enough digits in the National Debt Clock doesn't sound so bad, does it?

I don't know about you, but I'm still sick over this.

Read more from Scott Reynolds Nelson, professor of history at the College of William and Mary, on the our current economic crisis in relationship to the economic history of the nation.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Environmental Policy and the Next President

Attended BPF held at Nauticus in downtown Norfolk on the evening of Tuesday, October 7th. Panelists were Ann Swanson of Chesapeake Bay Commission, Donald Luzzatto of The Virginian-Pilot, and Dr. Timmons Roberts of the College of William and Mary. My favorite Public Broadcasting Host, Cathy Lewis, of Hear Say with Cathy Lewis and What Matters on WHRO Channel 15 acted as moderator.

Learn more about the Blue Planet Forum, presented by Nauticus, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and NOAA, by calling the Chesapeake Bay Foundation at 757-622-1964 or via email at blueplanet@cbf.org.

What does Hampton Roads look like in 100 years at the current (and documented) rate of global climate change (resulting in sea level rise)? What does that mean to you and me? To our Food supply? Our water supply? Our children?

Here is an interesting video simulation I found in relationship to this.

Chesapeake Bay pollution and climate change are inextricably linked, especially since many of the same causes prevail in both. For instance, suburban sprawl development requiring more roads and more cars on those roads is a factor in the Bay's health.

Delegate John Cosgrove was in attendance. He sits on the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Keyword Density Analyzer

A very cool web tool:

See for yourself:

Here's one I did for my company's website: www.HRP.org

If you find other widgets, let me know. I'd love to add a tag "cloud" to my sidebar.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Missy Joins Hampton Roads Partnership (HRP)

Missy joined the Partnership in September 2008 as Communication Manager. HRP is a public-private organization convening regional leaders from government, business and education, facilitating regional collaboration and action, pursuing global economic competitiveness as a region, benefiting all citizens of Hampton Roads.

Her primary responsibility is to devise and implement a comprehensive communication strategy and outreach plan to extend the impact HRP’s efforts and programs including the America’s First Region regional citizenship and branding campaign. She’s a marketer, writer, editor and designer responsible for HRP outbound communication, promotional materials, website, newsletters and more.

Prior to the Partnership, Missy operated her own marketing consulting business. Prior to moving to Hampton Roads, Missy was director of sales and marketing for Friendship Industries. While at Friendship, Missy expanded business into federal government contracting. Missy's work earned the 2007 NISH National Community Outreach Award for creative use of print materials, PR and other forms of communications to inform the community about providing employment for people with disabilities.

Missy's career has included work as sales manager and operations manager for a multi-million dollar B&I Food Service Operation, sales and marketing manager for the family Chevrolet dealership, corporate sales agent for a DC-based telecommunications company, and various management/buyer positions for Woodworth & Lothrop Stores in Washington DC and Leggett Stores (now Belk).

Missy is a 1981 cum laude graduate of James Madison University.

Current affiliations include the Hampton Roads Chapters of the American Advertising Federation, Public Relations Society of America and the American Marketing Association, the Hampton Roads Technology Council, and the Hampton Roads Defense & Homeland Security Consortium also known as “Pentagon South.”

Missy’s career has included speaking engagements, at Special Operations Forces in Fort Bragg NC, the Pentagon, Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs, VA Fund Raising Institute, American Society of Association Executives, industry-related business and technology expos and the Direct Marketing Association of Washington.

Missy resides in Norfolk, Virginia with her partner, Bert Schmidt, CEO of WHRO, Public TV & Radio for Hampton Roads.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My High School's 30th Class Reunion

Recently attended my high school class reunion. Central High School, that is. Home of the "Fighting Falcons," although I was never sure what we were fighting about.

30 years. wow! Attendance was fairly poor. My guess is that with everyone's busy lives, taking a weekend in the fall to re-visit people you may not have seen (nor really care to see) in 5, 10, 15, even 30 years is not a high priority. My family still lives in town, so I had a dual purpose from my trip.

As you can tell from my hometown's webpage banner, Shenandoah County is fairly rural. I was born and raised in the county seat, Woodstock. Attended K-12 there, although Kindergarten at that time was called "Head Start" and not everyone was able to go.

I was so busy talking that I forgot to take pictures. Luckily, Bert accompanied me (poor guy) and took a few group shots. After a bunch of them, no one was looking in the same direction at the same time nor with their eyes open. So photography was not a strong point of the reunion. I'm hoping someone else took some decent pics.

Here's a close-up from one of the group shots. That's me and Jeff; he's making me laugh as usual. Jeff is my friend who lived in Japan for many years. I visited him, and his now wife Hee, in Japan right before he moved back to the States.

Good times. But, as the saying goes: you can't go home again. I like where we are now:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My favorite Meme...what's yours?

From Wikipedia:

A meme (ryhmes with "Tim") is a popular term for a learned thought, feeling, or behavior, including ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods. Memes propagate themselves and can move through popular culture in a manner similar to a virus. Examples are tunes, catch-phrases, beliefs, clothing-fashions. Meme-theorists contend that memes evolve by natural selection (think Darwin).

From the Urban Dictionary

1 : an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media)

2 : a pervasive thought or thought pattern that replicates itself via cultural means; a parasitic code, a virus of the mind especially contagious to children and the impressionable

3 : the fundamental unit of information, analogous to the gene in emerging evolutionary theory of culture

4 : in blogspeak, an idea that is spread from blog to blog

5 : an internet information generator, especially of random or contentless information

(Etymology : meme : derived from the Greek mimëma, 'something imitated', by Richard Dawkins in 1976)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Transforming Managers into Better Communicators, Even Leaders

As PR/Marketing people, we all have circumstances where someone depends on us to help them handle managerial, yet emotional, situations:

  • Provide advice on the spot
  • Tell them something they don’t already know
  • Give them what step(s) to take next
What is the predominant management problem today? Managers tend to over-analyze, i.e. run the business “by the numbers”, which signifies to staff that they don’t matter.

  • Managers=focus on today, “in the box” thinking, work the plan for operational results
  • Leaders=focus on tomorrow, “out of the box” strategic thinking, future-seeker looking over the horizon for new problems to solve
Ethical misconduct is on the rise. Sarbanes Oxley covers public companies now but will likely soon apply to all business including nonprofits. Studies show that significant numbers of workers experience bullying in the workplace by co-workers.

Employee surveys across the board tell us that the most important things are:
  1. acknowledgment (do you know I’m here?)
  2. recognition (does what I do matter?)
  3. support (can someone help me?) and
  4. comfort (can I be fulfilled?)
Managers need help to avoid the appearance of cold arrogance or pretense and to use true empathy by doing (and saying) things that matter. Trust-building is the ultimate goal, to increase the managers’ relationships with others. Trust is built through good and expeditious communications.

Trust=lack of fear. And, what causes fear? No advance warning, no information or communication, no justice, no compassion and too MUCH public relations. If you stop communicating (i.e. keep something hidden) to “keep people from talking”, staff will talk even more. What is meant by “too MUCH public relations” Say less, act more. Actions speak louder with words.

Rule for dealing with emotional situations: Deal with the emotion first! Examples: “Let’s talk through it, you start. Pick the 2 things that are bothering you the most and let’s start there.” Using small numbers breaks the situation down to a manageable size.

Ingredients of Leadership: Be Positive, eliminate the use of negative language which is basically non-communication. And, negative language is usually not true. For example: “I don’t know.” Why not use this instead?: “My knowledge on that subject is limited. Here’s what I do know. What else would you need to know?” Be Constructive, eliminate criticism PR/Marketing-what a great job! We get to make up most of what we say and get paid for doing it!

From James E. Lukaszewski (loo ka SHEV skee) www.e911.com, an expert in crisis communication and management techniques.

Photo credit jekemp

Keep juggling 'cuz multi-channel marketing is the way to go

Multi-channel marketing is not only next "generation", it meets, no exceeds all the criteria required of marketing today:
  • Reduced costs (outbound marketing is expensive with low response rates)
  • ROI (estimates range from 10 to 40 times more profitable than outbound marketing)
  • Increased revenues
  • Great customer experiences (touch points know what customers want and need in real time and can meet or exceed those wants and needs)
  • Improved brand image

Source: Bizsolutionsplus

Photo Credit: Mance

Fast Facts About Norfolk Virginia

Norfolk is one of the top 10 markets for business relocation and expansion, according to Expansion Management Magazine. USA Today called Norfolk one of the Top 10 booming downtowns, recognizing a decades-long housing, retail and financial boom in Norfolk.

Norfolk Virginia is a city of some 238,832 residents and encompasses 66 square miles. It has seven miles of Chesapeake Bay beachfront and a total of 144 miles of shoreline along our lakes, rivers and the Bay. Much of this land is located in residential neighborhoods.

Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval base and the North American Headquarters for NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

By 2010, Norfolk International Terminal will complete a 300-acre expansion, making it the largest inter-model center in the U.S.

Norfolk is home of the USS Wisconsin battleship and a booming cruise port. Ocean-going cruise vessels of up to 3,000 passengers regularly stop at the pier downtown.

Norfolk is home to the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Stage Company, the Virginia Symphony. Chrysler Hall, Chrysler Museum of Art, the Douglas MacArthur Memorial, and Nauticus, the National Maritime Center.

Norfolk has been recognized as a Tree City and its neighborhoods have extensive trees and flowers. It is home to the Norfolk Botanical Garden.

Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and a new downtown campus of Tidewater Community College are located in Norfolk and Wesleyan College is located on the border between Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Eastern Virginia Medical School and its four internationally recognized research institutes are located in Norfolk, as is Sentara Health System, DePaul Medical Center-Bon Secours and Virginia’s only free-standing, full-service pediatric hospital, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dealing with Life?

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good, if you die in the middle of it.

* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply be kind to others.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

* You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

* We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.


Friday, October 17, 2008

100 Blog/Podcast Topics I Hope You write

List from Scott, that guy with the name tag (click image above for his very cool website):

1 How I Use Facebook
2 Ways I Embrace My Audience
3 Should My Town Use Social Media?
4 A Community I Love
5 Technology That Empowers Me
6 How Flickr Did it Right
7 How Best to Comment on a Corporate Blog
8 Ways to Save a Bad Time at a Conference
9 How I Find Blogging Ideas
10 Somebody Has to Say It
11 My Children Will Do it Differently
12 How Schools Could Use Social Media
13 The Best Parts of Marketing
14 Presentation Skills for a New Conversation
15 How I Find Time to Make Media
16 Empower Your Best Customers
17 After the Event- Carrying the Conversation Forward
18 Just Jump Into Podcasting- Heres How
19 My Community and How You Can Engage It
20 Twitter Jaiku Pownce Facebook- And Then What
21 Making a Miniseries
22 If I Were an Advertiser Today
23 My Mother is On Facebook
24 Does a Big Brand Need You
25 Books I Want to Write
26 Serving the Deep Niches- How I Do It
27 How Women Use Social Media
28 A Hard Look at My Media Habits
29 If I Were a Television Producer
30 Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
31 Elements of a Marketing Campaign
32 Social Media Campaigns are NOT Traditional Campaigns
33 Idea Making and How I Make Something
34 What I Spend Money On
35 Do Rock Stars Need Social Media Strategies
36 How I Use My Website
37 Book Shopping- Buy These Books
38 MTV Changed the World in the 80s- Here is What Comes Next
39 How I Process Blogs and What I Do With All That Info
40 Ten Guilty Pleasures
41 The Internet Application I Havent Seen
42 If I Worked for a Venture Capital Firm
43 My Day Job Versus My Passion
44 The Difference Between Fark and Truemors
45 Fixing Conferences
46 Making Marketplaces for Media Makers
47 When I Feel Frustrated
48 Branding Strategies I Use
49 Your Ideas And My Ideas- How We Play Together
50 Friends I Cant Wait to Meet
51 The Art of Chaos
52 Telling My Boss About Social Media
53 Could I Quit My Day Job
54 When to Cut Back on Web Habits
55 Breaking Down My Favorite Blog
56 Explaining Social Media to Your Chamber of Commerce
57 Non-Internet Equivalents to Internet Tools I Use
58 Considering Media for the Rest of the Globe
59 Twitter is Too Simple- Twitter is Just Right
60 The Future of Podcasting
61 Video Made Simple
62 Facebook Applications I Love
63 You Are Here
64 Blogging Tactics- How to Keep it Fresh
65 I Want to Brag A Minute
66 Who Says What About Your Brand
67 Tools for Blogging
68 Wordpress Plugins I Use And Why
69 Media Topics That Need More Coverage
70 Comments versus Blog Posts
71 How I Drive Traffic to My Site
72 News- Is it Useful and How I Might Fix It
73 Which TV Network Gets Videoblogging and PodCasting
74 Franchising My Media
75 Handling Critics
76 My Audio Tricks
77 Ning Sites I Like and Why
78 Controlling My Brand
79 Sharing and Contributing
80 How Twitter Improved My Blog
81 Email After Twitter
82 Facebook Video Improved My Social Network
83 Letting Go
84 Downtime- What I Do Offline to Recharge
85 How I Went From Very Shy to Less Shy
86 The RIGHT Number to Track for Podcasting
87 PodCamp Has to Change
88 Shaking Things Up
89 Joining A Network- Things to Consider
90 Newspapers and How I Would Change Them
91 Interview With a Veteran
92 The Countries of My Social Media World
93 Giving it Away
94 Consulting Strategies for Social Media Experts
95 Turning Media into a Business Card
96 Podcasting on a Budget
97 For Every Excuse a New Strategy
98 Just When I Think I Am Done
99 Buying Gear- My Shopping Tips for Podcasters
100 When is Free Better- When Not

WOW! No one should run out of topics with a list like this!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Boomer Project

I highly recommend the Boomer Project as the pre-eminent resource for everything you could want to or need to know about the Baby Boomer generation.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Baby Boomers, Born to be Wild

Cute cartoon video of baby boomers singing a very twisted version of Steppenwolf's " Born To Be Wild"...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The paradox of time and history, today

Something to ponder...

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much , and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.

We've done larger things, but not better things.We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Anonymous (I wish I'd written it!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

What does it all mean?

Life is change, as is marketing. While job searching, I stumbled upon some compelling, and worrisome, market research* proving we live in exponential times:

  • So, you’re “one in a million”? There are 1,300 people just like you in China; 1,100 in India.
  • China and India have more honors kids than we have kids. 25% of the Chinese population with the highest IQ’s is greater than the total population of North America. In India, it’s the top 28%.
  • China will soon become the largest English-speaking country in the world.
  • If you took every single job in the U.S. today and shipped it to China, China would still have a labor surplus.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38. 1 out of 4 workers today has been employed by the same company for less than one year; more than 1 out of 2 for less than five years.
  • The top 10 jobs forecasted for 2010 didn’t exist in 2004. We’re preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist using technologies that haven’t been invented to solve problems we don’t know we have.
  • The U.S. is 20th in the world in broadband Internet penetration. (Luxembourg just passed us.) The 100 million video streams watched DAILY on YouTube.com consume as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000!
  • There are 2.7+ billion searches on Google each month. Who did we ask B.G. (Before Google)?
  • More than 3,000 new books are published, DAILY.
  • The amount of new technical information doubles every 2 years and will
    double every 72 hours by 2010.
  • Predictions further out than 15 years are difficult. But, by 2049 a $1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the human race.

What does it all mean . . . to marketers?

24/7, we’re emailing, texting, IMing, blogging, forum- and wiki-posting, multi-tasking, outsourcing, ignoring print for online news, reading e-magazines, becoming virtual employees and virtual people (Second Life). Our kids are virtual junkies (Webkinz, Club Penguin with 7 times the traffic of Second Life), shopping online, conducting e-commerce via our mobile devices.
We’re guerilla reporters and videographers. Our social networking is getting niche-ier.

Our work is moving into non-ad activities such as promotions and public relations with the intent to deliver more targeted audiences. Search engine algorithms have changed, including image and video. We’re ALL about “buzz”, viral, WOM marketing.

What does it all mean?

Employee surveys (and social networks) corroborate our basic human needs to: define and redefine ourselves; be recognized for our achievements; seek and provide help to others; find and connect with others "just like me"; validate what we say and do matters.

Marketing, and life, is gridlock, noise, chaos today. So much content (relevant or not), and so little time. I have “socialnetworkitis” (who needs that many MySpace friends, anyway?).

Engagement is key. The more technologically-advanced and fast-paced we become, the more the human race craves the “human touch”, virtually or actually. Marketers beware!

* "Shift Happens", by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod, http://mgblankenship.blogspot.com/2007/12/shift-happens-did-you-know.html

Thursday, October 09, 2008

the new world of working with millenials (aka Gen Y)

the new world of work


Millenial Generation

Why does Generation Y love luxury brands

Recently answered this HARO inquiry by a student for an article on "Irrational Spending in Generation Y" for her NYU Journalism Class:

"My article is about how Generation Y spends money with false rationales. What are the psychological and sociological reasons for spending on luxury goods when there are loans to pay? What influence do advertising and pop culture play in the demand for luxury goods?"

Ah, Generation Y, lovingly referred to in marketing circles as “Generation Why” or “Generation Why Not”.

Why does Generation Y spend money with false rationale? Why they’re not “false rationale” at all! The U.S. today is full of example after example of bail-outs. Gen Y has been raised with “helicopter” parents who protect from every harm and admonish nay-sayers that their child is NOT at fault for anything they do, federal bail-outs including those on the scale of Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae, the mortgage industry (I could go on ad infinitum and ad nauseum) where managers walk away with their heads held high and millions in their pockets, bankruptcy protection rates soaring again. You get the point.

So, if a Gen Y’er can’t lose, why not spend like there’s no tomorrow. In their frame of reference, there IS only today. Modern culture for young Gen Y’ers has also included U.S. participation in war after war and terrorism-you-can-touch brought to American soil. So, there may not be a “tomorrow”, either. A very different "feel" from the Cold War of the baby boomer's generation.

What part does advertising and pop culture play in the demand for luxury goods? Manufacturers and retailers are in business to make a profit. Period. And, advertising’s goal is to encourage more sales to make those businesses more profit by playing to the attributes of the target market. And, play to them, they do. Gen Y’ers are really being “played”. Advertisers are pushing ever more expensive must-have items. Imaginative brain-teasing toys and games, or even create-your-own fun games, have been replaced with follow-the-leader computer games and virtual worlds.

Pop culture is fraught with celebra-mania. Gen Y’ers see how easy – and “fulfilling” – it is to be a celebrity. Celebs represent the “good life”, lots of stuff and doing nothing more than smiling at a camera to get it.

Gen Y was raised amidst the explosion of instant communication and, thus, instant gratification. Just look at the anecdotal evidence, such as the explosive rise of social media and alternative newspapers where articles are reduced to no more than sound bites themselves and we communicate in 3 minute or less video vignettes.

A better question may be: what would Gen Y do without electricity?

Good source: the folks at Iconoculture.com.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

So What Can a Nonprofit Do With Social Networking?

Social networking is one of the most popular ways constituents connect and meet people.

Nonprofits can parlay social networking into fundraising and awareness campaigns.

Ways nonprofits can use social networking and fulfill their missions.

1. Set up group pages and individual profile (more is better; be everywhere): develop a presence on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Link them to each other and link back to the nonprofit's website.

2. Use gadgets: such as a fundraising thermometer or the honor roll tracking tool, to create a visual representation of how well the organization is meeting its goal(s). Solicit supporters to post your gadgets themselves that create viral momentum.

3. Post bulletins: announce new tools available for use on personal webpages, such as promotional banners and news clippings. Againg, be sure reciprocal links are in place.

4. Recruit volunteers: to be social networking "ambassadors" so they can act as an additional hand reaching out to more people and enabling those people to reach out to even more potential supporters.

5. Promote: use social networking pages as another medium to communicate and promote the organization, events, campaigns, etc. and add ways that constituents can promote on their individual pages.

Consistency is key here. Share the same "face"(images, messages, etc.) in all online interactions.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ten Top Ten Lists for Blog Content

Here are the Ten Top 10 lists.

#1) Top 10 Favorites.
You know this kind of list. Your favorite lists can be just about anything - books, movies, videos, music, actors/actresses, artists, writers, hobbies... You get the picture.

#2) Top 10 Dislikes / Peeves.
Same thing as the 'favorites' list. Only on the nastier side.

#3) Top 10 Destinations.
Or Top 10 Places To Avoid. These destinations/places can be anywhere in the world - even in your own neighborhood. Even if you're not writing a travel blog, these lists are always interesting reads.

#4) Top 10 Things About.... You, your pet, your crush, your interests...
Whatever the topic, you can write Top 10 facts that you may wish to share with your readers.

#5) Top 10 Tips.
Whether you're an 'expert' on knitting, surfing, or chess, you're bound to have some words of wisdom to share with your readers about your field/s of expertise/interest.

#6) Top 10 Ideas.
This is another catch-all Top 10 idea with a twist. You can list anything here, but they should be categorized as "ideas." For example, you want to give ideas on how people can combat global warming. So, you can come up with "Top 10 Ideas on How To Fix The Problem with Global Warming". Or, something to that effect anyway.

#7) Top 10 Things That Excite / Sadden / Delight... You.
Change the feelings, if you must. Other ideas that you may consider are: things that freighten you, things that anger you, things that make you fall in love, etc.

#8) Top 10 Things To Do. Or even Top 10 Things That You're Avoiding to Do.

#9) Top 10 Memories.
Whether you're writing about the top 10 memories you have of your wedding day or that job interview you just had, listing things that you remember will help you preserve these moments.

#10) Top 10 Random Things.
So, you're not in to organizing ideas and themes in a neat little package? Why not list random things that you just happen to think about? Just go for it!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sales/Solicitation Food for Thought!

Today is 20% of your sales/solicitation week.

Two sales/solicitation days are 10% of your month.

To have only two "slow days" each month is equivalent to having more than one full month of "slow days" each year.

Sales point: Every moment of every sales/solicitation day matters. These are your "money hours.”**

Hesitation for a "better sales day" of the week or a time when you’re feeling more "up to the task" will have a long-term effect on your and your team's ultimate sales results (and discipline).

It's this serious. Every sales/solicitation day is a sales day regardless of circumstances. Once gone, it's gone forever.

Over the next few weeks, begin your quest for complete sales/solicitation time discipline regardless of environment... regardless of circumstances. Put the "Do Not Disturb" button on your money hours and on your solicitation/sales discipline.

Time management is simple. Do what it is you know must be done.

**money hours: the hours in a sales day where one can talk with prospects and/ or customers… the most valuable hours of the day

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Twitter, Ultimate Time-Waster or Great Tool?

Check out this Twitter presentation from http://twitter.com/chriswinfield of 10e20, an Internet marketing and web development company based in New York & Florida.

Please note: I have NO affiliation with 10e20 other than as a fellow marketer and inhabitant of planet Earth.

Here are my not-in-any-particular-order Top Ten fave responses (ok, really 11, but couldn't leave Pamela Anderson out!)

  1. I agree with the sentiment of using it for something other than the day-to-day routine, but having some personal touch to Twitter isn't a bad thing until it overshadows the content. One thing I do dislike, and I will specifically use Dan's example, is a Twitter that is simply a Twitterfeed. Let's face it, I can get that same information in my RSS reader should I so choose. Sure, there's a new audience, but what do you give them to make them communicate. Twitter's about communication, not a broadcast. The reason I haven't started a general account for my station is because I don't want it to be just a feed, but the main people that would work on the account are nightsiders, which would leave my morning and midday tweets bare. Companies should use it to communicate with its customers (Zappos, JetBlue, etc.). News sites should use it to solicit story ideas, provide info the follower couldn't normally get AND serve as a way to feed information (Austin American-Statesman is my favorite). One of my best friends is a reporter at the AAS and I told her I was surprised that the paper's Web site linked to her Twitter from her work blog. She said it was because the paper WANTED the personal level with their reporters and readers. Granted, she doesn't post the entirely too-personal tweets she did before, but she still has some personal mixed-in, and she said it's helped her rapport with her readers when they suggest something or simply communicate with her. During Hurricane Ike, my station used Twitter to broadcast information as we received it (which got it out before I could attack the pile of mounting information) and used it to show pictures from the field. I set up a Twitpic feed to our Twitter and gave the e-mail address to our reporters and photogs out and about. It was very successful and ended up driving more traffic to my site in what turned out to be a great week for our analytics. If you think it's just about what coffee or sandwich you had, you're following the wrong Twitterers.
    Joe Ruiz

  2. I have said it is a viable tool. Many large corporations have figured out how to use it and smaller ones too. I have seen recruiters use it, the key is they re-tweet the same message. I know people have increased traffic to their websites too. Here is a link for a story Business Week did on companies who use Twitter. This was posted by someone in my network and it is one of the tools of the future. I would guess from their results in customer service and building relationships--it is not a time waster. http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/09/0908_microblog/index.htm?technology%20slideshows
    Tracy Crossley
  3. You're always as good as the people you surround yourself with, Twitter is no exception. Don't follow those you notice tweet more garbage than fact. I think Twitter is a great tool to keep up on breaking news/tools/sites or blast announcements about your business. It's also helpful in the research department. I've thrown questions to the masses and gotten terrific answers and sources in return. There are several ways to set up alerts to filter through the mundane and keep you from having to listen to everything coming through. Use their search feature to mine for keywords and people relevant to your interests.
    Debra Mastaler

  4. I find twitter very useful. By selectively following others, I get info regarding my interests, my career (marketing) and have even found a few people that make me laugh at least once a day. How can you beat that? Sure, you'll get some mundane details in the mix but wouldn't you get that if you were networking at an industry event or lunch? In some ways, it gives you a level of detail about the person you are networking with that you wouldn't get from 'in person' networking. I also use it to share articles and blog posts related to those I am connected with via twitter. http://twitter.com/5691gerg
    Check the NY Times Magazine Clive Thomson Sept 5 article via link below....
    Greg Padley

  5. Like so many communication tools and social media technologies today, the fundamental question isn't whether the medium is a great tool or waste of time, but whether the participant has set the right objectives. Without set objectives, Twitter is likely to be a waste of time. With set objectives, it's effectiveness in meeting those objectives will determine whether or not it is a great tool or waste of time.
    Richard Becker
  6. I share the sentiments with those that find it useful (as with any of the social networking and microblogging sites). It's all about quality not quantity. You don't have to follow every person that follows you just like you don't have to accept every friend request via SN Sites. Don't sign up for social networking sites unless you have a purpose: i.e. be more personable with your clients (improve value add); create a network if you are a solopreneur or micro business looking to share resources, challenges, ideas and solutions; drive traffic to a blog, website, event or product release, otherwise you won't 'get it'. I use a few of the applications like tweetlater so that it autoposts my blog posts as i make them as well as tweetburner so I can track metrics of people who click my links and know what kind of stuff my target audience is most interested in and then post more things in that genre. I also like the functionality of tweetlater where you can create posts and schedule them for later which is great for reminders or if you have an event that requires registration and you have to send out something multiple times to insure it gets noticed. And if you haven't already guessed, I am sometimes a long winded person ;-) so it helps me to think of the bottom line and get to my point quickly. http://teenentrepreneurblog.com/
    Shonika Proctor
  7. I would say that Twitter can be either a good marketing tool or a time-waster. It really depends on who is using it and how they are using it. For instance, I don't really need to know when people are getting up to go to the bathroom. On the other side, it can deliver information about current events faster than any news agency can. For instance, I wrote this article on my blog at http://www.spinfield.com/2008/05/13/twitter-up-to-the-second-news-as-it-happens-really/
    To summarize, it tells about how an individual was browsing around Twitter one evening when he started seeing all these Tweets from people in China about being in the middle of an earthquake. He was able to decipher information from them and break the story hours before CNN. Now that's powerful, and I bet CNN is now monitoring Twitter.
    Stephen Lamb
  8. Twitter is a great tool. It gives companies the opportunity to see what their clients or users are saying about them. It also allows them to see what the latest trends are at the moment or what people are really no interested in. It can become a time waster if not used in the correct manner but if there is a strategy behind it a company can find it extremely useful especially for events.
    Alexis Karlin Web Producer at Forrester Research
  9. Twitter is only as good as the information you put in, and the folks you follow (and follow you). For instance, I only follow users that I know personally (local), or are part of the industry in which I work (media/newspapers). This allows me to filter the noise to tweets that provide context for my life and interests. For the record, I've used Twitter to fill job openings at Scripps, get freelance projects and find industry contacts for future opportunities and networking. I've also used Twitter as a means of boasting page views and SEO for entries published on my personal Web site/blog. I've found Twitter to be VERY effective in driving direct traffic to links posted in tweets (again, because of the targeted audience).
    Patrick Beeson

  10. I'd echo Patrick's comment: "Twitter is only as good as the information you put in..." I've seen Twitter used in utterly meaningless and time wasting manners, under the guise of a community information tool. Nobody cares what kind of mocachino you had with lunch or how awesome you are at Rockband, they are just waiting for that once-in-a-blue-moon occasion when you actually post something about your product. Then there are the companies that actually use it well, and in those instances I think it can be a very useful tool. It serves as a clear and concise was way to condense a lot of news articles (possibly fed from a variety of websites) into one page. For those people who just can't get enough information about your product it is a great way to track what's going on. I'm not at all opposed to the personal touch when it comes to relating news on a community level, but when it becomes more about you than it does about your product it really is a waste of time. Example of a well utilized Twitter page below: http://twitter.com/cohnews
    In regards to Joe's comment on my example: I agree that adding a personal touch does make it a more rewarding experience to read. The example I gave was just to illustrate a content/product centered Twitter page, as opposed to the mundane spew that fills many. Thanks for the comment!
    Dan Gray

  11. Pamela Anderson suggests this expert on this topic: Mark Mayhew of TwitterTutor.com, https://twitter.com/MarkMayhew
    Pamela Anderson
For all of the answers to this query, visit LinkedIn.

Understand History or doomed to repeat it?

The Hampton Roads Ad Club recently invited Jason Chambers to speak to our group in Norfolk.

Jason teaches advertising at U. of Illinois. He shared info from his book, Madison Avenue and the Color Line, specifically about black women in advertising through the years.

More importantly, he alerted us to the fact that despite Hampton Roads being the 43rd largest TV market (or 42nd, depending upon which report you read, we represent the 14th largest African-American market.

Marketers take note!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Online Newsroom from the Journalist's perspective

To have a successful online newsroom (which furthers your Communication Goals), it IS all about what the Journalist wants. Above is a graphic depicting who is using Online Newsrooms now (2008 survey by TEKgroup International). Here are the Top Ten survey results from the more than 400 journalists queried:

  1. Search-able Archives (number one asset in the last two surveys)
  2. PR contacts
  3. Press Releases
  4. Background Info (company history, timeline, name changes, etc.)
  5. Photographs
  6. Press Kit (big increase in use of audio and video files)
  7. Crisis Communication (have a "hidden" page ready to "publish" when a crisis arises)
  8. Executive Bios (effective use of audio and video to capture tone as well as text)
  9. Events (video is very important with events; journalists can "cover" events they can't physically attend)
  10. Financial Info (as long as its understandable!)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ding, dong, SEO is Dead!

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is DEAD or, at least, as a stand-alone strategy!

Now we use SEM (Search Engine Marketing) which includes the following action-oriented tactics:

  • Build links
  • Add backlinks
  • Write articles and distribute
  • Write press releases and distribute
  • Advertise using Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Employ social networking
  • Blog and comment
  • Be fresh and dynamic, updating frequently
  • Create interactive tools and widgets
  • Own your own unique keyword
  • Add meta tags to your webpages
  • Learn cutting (and bleeding) edge techniques as new ones arrive on the scene every day
Gone are the early days of the web where a static brochure-like website will work for your brand. "If you build it, they will come" is not a viable strategy for the web today.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

National Arts and Humanities Month

October is National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM), our opportunity to recognize and celebrate the positive impact the arts bring to our schools and communities.

National Arts and Humanities Month

Undecided Voter? (second request)

If you're undecided in this year's Presidential campaign, then "What Matters", the local public affairs TV show on WHRO-PBS and hosted by Cathy Lewis, wants you for a special election coverage show in October.

Contact Barbara Hamm Lee, WHRO Chief Community Affairs Officer and Producer of "What Matters", to be part of WHRO's Friday night public affairs line-up. Call Barbara at (757) 889-9437 and leave a message now, if interested.

Word of Mouth Marketing, whatssup?

FYI- generally accepted forms of word of mouth marketing:

Buzz Marketing: use high-profile celebs, entertainment or news to get people to talk about your brand.

Viral Marketing: create entertaining or informative messages designed to be passed along in an exponential fashion via social media or email.

Community Marketing: form or support niche communities with shared interests (such as user groups, fan clubs, message boards and discussion forums); provide tools, content, and information to support the "community".

Grassroots Marketing: organize and motivate volunteers to engage in outreach on a personal level.

Evangelist Marketing: cultivate evangelists, advocates, ambassadors or volunteers and encourage them to take the lead in actively spreading the word or your brand.am

Product Seeding or Seed Marketing: place the right product in the right hands at the right time, providing information or samples to influential individuals; with the right guidance, see "Evangelist Marketing" above.

Influential Marketing: identify key communities and opinion leaders who are likely to talk about products and have the ability to influence the opinions of others.

Cause Marketing: support social causes to earn respect and support from people who feel strongly about the cause which is usually akin or adjacent to your own brand.

Conversation Marketing: spread interesting or fun advertising, emails, catch phrases, entertainment, or promotions to start word of mouth activity.

Online Brand Marketing: create a blog(s) and participate with other bloggers, in the spirit of open, transparent communications to share information of value that the blog community may talk about.

Referral Marketing: create tools that enable others to refer their friends.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cool Social Marketing and Media Web Tools

I e-met Cha Cha via Twitter and she has a social media blog. Click on the link above for her ever-updating list of cool tools for social networking sites.
Tell her I sent you!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Capitol Steps or Halliburton Steps

The Capitol Steps, who started out as a group of Senate staffers, appeared at Virginia Beach's Sandler Center on Sunday, September 28th. They satirize the crazy business of U.S. politics. And, they're equal opportunity artists of the political lampoon, i.e. they're "bi-partisan butchers"! And hilarious! My face hurt from laughing so much.

We met a few of the Steps prior to the show and laughed as they told us that they just couldn't make this stuff up. What goes on in politics today provides SO much material that they just can't use it all, and they could change their schitck daily!

Some of the best skits dealt with Bushisms, Spoonerisms and the naming opportunities of major corporations, hence the lampoon of their own name into "Halliburton Steps".

See some of their hilarity for yourself on their YouTube Channel HERE.

Round and round we go... where we end up, do you know?

An article in TIME magazine (15 Sep 08) claims that just ten roundabouts in Virginia save 200,000 gallons of gas a year due to no more idling.

Roundabouts calm traffic. Traffic engineers' main reason for using highway roundabouts is more safety at lower cost, compared to traffic light-controlled intersections, overpasses with on- and exit-ramps, and two or four way stop signs. But, gas saving (and cost saving) is a darn good by-product!

Traffic lights waste more fuel and cause more fumes to be produced compared to roundabouts. Insurance studies show that drivers run stop signs and stop lights, and when they do stop, they sometimes obliviously pull out into oncoming traffic. This results in catastrophic collisions.

More interesting reading on the subject:

Billions of gallons of gas (i.e. dollars) could be saved by "Smart Intersections"

Timing Traffic Lights Would Save Billions in Fuel, Emissions and Wasted Time

Sunday, September 28, 2008

LMAO at Last Comic Standing on Tour

Enjoyed Last Comic Standing (LCS) at Christopher Newport University’s Ferguson Center for the Arts on September 26th.

Louis Ramey, 5th runner up on the 6th season of LCS, served as MC. His jokes, rapport with the crowd and overall professionalism leads me to believe that America may have gotten this season’s winner wrong. Iliza Shlesinger as the season winner became not only the first woman but the youngest to carry the title. Her appearance last night was disappointing, to say the least.

Multi-tattooed Marcus, who came in 2nd during the season, and Jeff Dye, the non-swearing-yet-still-twistedly-profane young comedian, both intimated it aptly during their sets. They’d already lost the LCS title, they’re on a nationwide touring gig and are being paid nonetheless, so it didn’t matter if they were funny or not. Yet, they both came through like champs, and I laughed ‘til I cried.

However, Iliza has the same philosophy, I fear, and although she came away the winner, the pressure is on her to continue to hone her craft and be sharper than ever. She allowed what was a great stage show at the Ferguson to end on a very low note.

Best thing about the evening IMHO? Marcus’ impressions of Christopher Walken as the newly-elected-write-in U.S. President.

Blogging Projects

Ever run out of things to say (i.e. write about)?

Not me! And, now I've found some great lists of cool topics for even more blog-fodder. Here's my short list, and, of course, I'll always blog about Hampton Roads.

1. Photo Tour, take pics of off-the-beaten-path things to see in each of the 17 cities, towns and counties of Hampton Roads.

2. Video "How-To", gotta think on this one, but not sure what I do that would be video-interesting, hmmm. Suggestions?

3. Share Friends, share some friends’ blogs or websites and comment on them.

4. Tools I Use, share some of my favorite web tools.

5. Interviews, talk to anyone, family, friends, coworkers, and ask them the same questions to compare their perspectives.

6. Questions, pose interesting, creative questions on various social sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook and then add to blog with best responses.

7. My Media, show podcasting or video creation in action.

8. I have a Cause, share my favorite social cause with background, challenges, ways to connect and join the cause.

9. Something Silly, share my "guilty pleasures", such as LOLcats or fashion faux pas or funny videos.

10. Business, the list is limitless here of all things to do with my business, including trade and professional membership organizations.

11. Photo Blog, post stories told in pictures or video or perhaps just sounds.

12. History Tour, discover and share photos of historical persons or historical places, perhaps even contrasting current photos of geographical changes.

13. Talk with Journalist(s), "interview" a radio, TV or newspaper personality, especially with regard to social media.

14. Tomorrow’s Classroom, make suggestions on improving education in America today, such as using social media tools, video-immersion, etc.

15. Next Big Thing, make predictions, make suggestions for improvement for an existing brand.

16. I've got a Secret, share tips on something at which I'm an "expert", such as engaging in social networking or sales.

17. Fan-ship, show appreciation and passion for what makes me a fan, be it golf or sci fi, or Hampton Roads; use social media to change opinions and make others a fan, too.

18. Oops, share stories of mistakes and mis-steps, such as fumbles in social networking, and share the experience with others as a teaching tool.

19. Share Media, show mainstream media new ways to connect and be relevant.

20. Reviews, share thoughts by reporting on speeches, concerts and other events.

ok, I could go on, but you get the idea!

Photo Credit, MrLomo

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Social media in moderation

Posted this Q&A on with some interesting variety of responses to follow:

How do you impress upon those in social media that moderation is key; if you're profile is on the web, everyone can see it??? Just realized my nephew (20 yo) looks like an idiot online!

A follow-up from my first post:

From Blake Imeson
"When it comes time for him to get a job and he starts to get Googled then he will realize you have to be careful about what goes online. I am around his age and I think most people are conscious of the danger to your reputation the internet can be. There are still people that are oblivious to the image they give online. Consolation is that most profiles are fairly private (Facebook for instance) and most can be set to decent standards of privacy, people just don't bother."

From Kathy (Ford) Broniecki
"As a potential employer, I purposely avoid facebook and myspace accounts of prospects. Especially those under 25 that haven't figured out that potential employers could be looking at every drunken escapade. I view this much like I view the multiple tatoos and piercings - somewhat of a right of passage. Some measure of leveling humiliation generally precedes maturity. However, I'm in the advertising industry and someone in a more conservative industry may see things differently."

From David Bird
"My final year students are similar. On a session I do on privacy, we have a good look at their googled photos. Then we have a long talk about all the privacy options available on the social networks. The other conversation we have is: would you want to work for someone who would actively exclude you from a job interview because you had a good and wild time as a student?"

From Bridget Waldron
"I would let him know that his online image is a part of his personal brand and he should be more careful of how he presents himself in person and online. In the age of You Tube, blogging, facebook etc., being overexposed has its drawbacks and more companies are paying close attention to these sites as they screen potential employees."

From Kimmo Linkama (a viewpoint from outside U.S.)
"Then again, it is really sad if you have to start seriously watching every word you say when you're hardly 20. I think this corporate interest about the quality of employees is bordering on paranoia -- and when you finally get a job, you're subjected to "voluntary" drug tests and what have you. The same paranoid watching over you all the way... There are clear cultural differences, though. My impression is that Europeans allow more foolishness than Americans. Another interesting point is that when young people start to realize they have to be on their best behavior on the internet, how many of them will knowingly create a false profile? I'm sure this is already happening. Employers should not pay a lot of attention to the more personal or intimate social media as an information source."