Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Two things everyone needs

1) A best friend. I just had a long e-mail conversation that followed a long phone conversation, with my best friend. And I got to thinking how lucky I am to have this guy in my life.

This is my go-to guy. This is the guy who drops everything when I need something. He's the kind of guy who will listen at all hours of the day and night or come by for a beer just because he hears my tone of voice. He simultaneously takes my side and dares me to think differently.

Selfless. Appreciative. Knowing. Everyone needs a best friend and far too few have someone to sit in the trench with. I'm thankful.

2) Sanctuary. I have many "sanctuaries." Everywhere from my church to the Colorado Rockies. Today I spent my lunch hour at my church to partake in its Wednesday prayer hour. It was a wonderful time for me to reflect.

Best friend. Sanctuary. These things make life better.

And an update...the new gig is going great. I have a door, and I'm slowly connecting the cables to the tools that allow me to interact with the world. In the meantime, I'm filing, arranging desk accessories and working on some exciting stuff./

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Where we've been

I'm a firm believer in the equal importance of where we've been and where we're going. Nothing prepares us for the future like the past and when that crossroad is reached and a new path is embarked on, there's nothing better to carry on to the next adventure than good memories and relationships. I reached that crossroad recently and next week I'll embark on a new career path.

I accepted a job at a small advertising agency in Kansas City. I have an opportunity to grow the shop's public relations capability and wear a few different hats. I'll be involved in integrated marketing efforts and be able to do some copywriting, which is how I started my career. I'll be on the ground floor of exciting growth and able to touch various branding initiatives. I can't wait.

More later as the transition continues. For now, I have some boxes to fill and beers to drink.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Yo' momma makes better spots

Maybe we now can stop talking about the life after the 30 second spot. Enter Spotrunner.

You are a business owner. You want a TV spot.
Spotrunner helps you - online - craft your message, create your spot, purchase your media plan, then launch your campaign.

File that under one more reason advertising needs to diversify and be relevant.

I'm not totally sold that TV ads are going down the crapper, but I am in the camp that believes traditional advertising needs to take a long hard look at how effective it is and how it can extend its capabilities to create more relevant conversations with consumers. Spotrunner further underscores the need for ad agencies to be one step ahead of the game.

As we wrastle with user-generated content and increased consumer control over marketing and news channels, it's time to realize creatives aren't quite as comfortable in their modern-deco towers...the day's fast approaching when yo' momma can make better ads. Watch your back.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What's 20 percent worth to you?

Maybe an employee? Just learned about Google's 20 percent rule: employees can spend 20% of their time working on personal interest/projects. How cool is that?

It's more than cool. It's brilliant. Why? Three reasons:
1) They are going to do it anyway. No one truly does everything they dream of doing in their "real job" - which is expected. So how about allowing them to recharge their batteries by dialing into their passions, while at work?
2) Allowing people to pursue their interests only makes them smarter, thus more valuable employees and in turn, more important additions to the company.
3) All employees' eyes/heads wander. Why not capture their daydreams and provide the resources to make those dreams reality? Who knows, that 20 percent of time devoted to dreaming up the next software program or innovative service could be a company's next goldmine. And when the opportunity arises to launch the next big product, that employee surely will pay credit to the company that provided the resources and support.

Here's a video - very cool - of Google's lifestyle. Sure it's on the far end of the spectrum of what most companies can provide their employees, but when people are your biggest investment/asset, why not splurge. From the simplest things - one hour a day to dream big without someone looking over your shoulder/organic lunches/on-site daycare/beer!, whatever your budget allows. The gesture of support reaps boundless benefits. Providing above-and-beyond opportunity for employees creates loyalty, good health (physical and mental) and an arena for dreams and ideas to flourish.

It's an investment in your people, with a return for your company.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Good advice

Seth Godin posted some good life advice not from the Dalai Lama. I'm fine with this chain e-mail not being penned by His Holiness, though he's the cited author, as it's good food for thought. Anyway, words to live by - surely the Dalai Lama would agree with some of the directives.

Monday, May 15, 2006

You give PR a bad name...bad name....

Yeah, I wrote this headline to the tune of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name." It's been that kind of day.

Via Vy Blog, Robert Scoble has some good thoughts on bad PR....

I do a lot of media relations and am constantly aware that my voice on the end of journalists' lines is not anticipated. I'm only helpful when I'm providing help. New info. A contact. An idea or compelling argument. Not when I'm simply, as Scoble says, a "smile-and-dial" robot following up on a mass-distributed press release. Maybe a little Bon Jovi at the start of the call would hook 'em?

And in case you're already singing along:

An angel’s smile is what you sell
You promise me heaven, then put me through hell
Chains of love got a hold on me
When passion’s a prison, you can’t break free

You’re a loaded gun
There’s nowhere to run
No one can save me
The damage is done

Shot through the heart
And you’re to blame
You give love a bad name
I play my part and you play your game
You give love a bad name
You give love a bad name

Paint your smile on your lips
Blood red nails on your fingertips
A school boy’s dream, you act so shy
Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye

You’re a loaded gun
There’s nowhere to run
No one can save me
The damage is done


Friday, May 12, 2006

Do your core consumers want to slug you?

I bet they might....

Food for thought from Hugh Macleod:

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Insert $30K, press A-4, wait for car

I'm a Volkswagen enthusiast. Love my Jetta. I was impressed (but not shocked) when I read the Cool Hunter blog to find the new way VW is storing - and retrieving! - new cars in its famous Wolfsburg, Germany storage facility. Concept coming soon to car dealerships near you?

My Jetta:

My next Jetta?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cater to your audience

Allow me to brag. The Baker Orange, which I edited many years back, has impressed me again. This time my interest was peaked not by one of the many awards this university paper reaps, but by The Orange's understanding of its audience and response to its readers through a redesigned Web site and use of emerging technology tools.

Stories now include buttons to blog the story, file to digg, newsvine or and subscribe to the paper's RSS feed. Brilliant!

Two thoughts:
1) The Orange understands its readers deal with new communication tools daily and provided the resources to meet (exceed, for now) expectations.
2) This isn't a major university paper. It's a small, private college weekly paper that hits the streets of a sleepy little rural city. Further proof that this new world of media is not to come, but here. The window for companies, the media and individuals to join the conversation is shrinking.

Kudos, "Oranjournalists" for keeping a great newspaper relevant in a time of sweeping changes in news delivery.

You all make me proud.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Loyalty and the end of a busy week

Nice reminder from Spike Jones on the topic of loyalty. Brand, consumer, employee, significant's either a two-way street or a dead end.

Happy Friday, everyone. It's been a heck of a week. I'm working from home this morning, which I love to do. I get tons done, refocus my mind, scratch off lines on the to-do list. I make my own coffee. And it's good.

I blast Morning Edition without worrying about my office neighbors. I get to type away while the yellow pony happily wags his tail beside me. I get to make media calls and toast at the same time. Brilliant!