Category Archives: Uncategorized

Steve Jobs, A Life and Legacy to Celebrate

Here’s to the crazy ones. Stay hungry, stay foolish. Thanks Steve.

From @smedio – “3 Apples changed the World. 1st one seduced Eve, 2nd fell on Newton and 3rd was offered to the World half bitten by #SteveJobs. R.I.P.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose.” – Steve Jobs

Great Marketing Ideas Can Come From Anywhere.

I learned the interesting story of the creation of Disney’s Fast Pass while speaking with a customer service rep. for AT&T, of all things. He was an intern at Disney at the time. An engaging fellow, he proceeded to tell me that the Fast Pass came about because of a fire code.

The Indiana Jones ride in CA had a queue about a mile long. One day there was a fire drill and it took about 25 minutes to get the people out. That was not acceptable and the firefighters told Disney that they needed to shorten response times. When they asked “how?” a firefighter said “how about tickets that save people’s place in line?” And the rest is history.

Disney thought about monetizing Fast Pass but later decided the system was acceptable the way it was. A firefighter. An AT&T customer service rep. Creativity can be anywhere!

By the way, Disney gave credit to the firefighter. And the rep? He wrote the Backlot Tour script and is still credited on the script. That is the sign of a great company that recognizes creativity.

There’s Something Happening Here.

Something big is happening. In marketing, business and our culture. We are witnessing a time where technology is growing exponentially right before our eyes.

The internet has become our culture’s favorite hobby, surpassing television. Mobile devices and smartphones are giving consumers instant access to their friends, family, colleagues and even brands.

Checking in on social networks and location-based marketing services are becoming the norm. Updating statuses and sharing knowledge through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn has made the world a smaller place, connecting like-minded folks that may have only had a chance meeting in our previous world at a trade show or association meeting.

It is an exhilarating and anxious time to be a marketer. Buyers have changed the playing field and are now in control, finding the products and services that they want and need online at their fingertips through recommendations, ratings and search. Companies are scrambling to adapt to customer demand. If you aren’t paying attention to what is going on, your business is in danger of not being around to see what happens next.

This fundamental shift in communication is well-represented in this slideshare presentation from Hubspot. There is a transformation going on. Pay attention, take notes, talk to your customers, don’t be afraid to try new things and enjoy the ride!

Highlights from “Big Publicity Ideas for Small Business” Webinar featuring Peter Shankman.

PRWeb’s “Big Publicity Ideas for Small Business” webinar featuring Peter Shankman was a fast paced, entertaining ride that packed more punch than Kool-Aid Man himself.

Some takeaways from the webinar include:

  • Unless PR (or marketing, advertising, etc.) is generating revenue, it’s not worth it.
  • Don’t let budget constraints keep you from a great idea.
  • If a funeral home can actively use social media and make it relevant, you have no excuse.
  • SEO is not utilized by small businesses and it should be. People are searching – you should be there.
  • You need to talk TO the audience, not AT them. This is true in social media as well as in marketing and PR. I would also say talk WITH them.
  • Treat customers well and they will tell the world how great you are. Make them feel they cut the line and have special access.
  • Ask your audience how they want to receive information and then do that.
  • When pitching media, do not say in the email subject line “Quick question for you.” There are no quick questions and they are busy.
  • Know your audience, keep the pitch short, use trends.
  • Journalists are busy. Give them helpful information and make their job easier. Offer your network as sources.
  • Ask “what’s in it for me?” from your audience and the media’s perspective. Provide value and you will build loyalty. Loyalty brings revenue.
  • When MTV was a music channel, the average attention span in the 80s was three minutes. Now it is 2.7 seconds!
  • Learn to write. Good writing is brevity. Bad writing has the potential to destroy your business. Social media requires that you write better.

I searched for other summaries of the webinar and only found one. Amy has good points about the webinar and wrote about it in her post “The Peter Shankman School for Kids Who Can’t Write Good.

One other great site for getting publicity is Peter’s Help A Reporter Out. Sign up – it’s free – and journalists send their queries for upcoming stories. Remember the advice here if you send a pitch! Enjoy and good luck small businesses everywhere!

How to Add Social Networking Buttons to Your Outlook Email Signature

I was researching for my client how to add social networking buttons to Outlook email and found this easy step-by-step guide in Slideshare. It is very helpful, especially for executives with little time.

For those with Gmail and other web hosted email, check out Wisestamp. WiseStamp enables you to create effective and customized email signatures on any webmail service (Gmail, Yahoo!, Aol mail, Hotmail). You can also add neat apps like a link to your most recent blog post. WiseStamp is currently available for you to use on Firefox , RockMelt or Google Chrome browsers as well as in Thunderbird 3 email client. They are working on IE, Safari and other browsers, email client support.

Project Assurance and All Things Enterprise 2.0

I find it interesting that when it comes to projects, the reason that many fail is because of people, not the tools or the process.

Rob Prinzo, an ERP software implementation expert, has a new white paper out and talks about achieving technology project management success through project assurance and collaborative intervention.

Here is also an interesting video that I found from Howard Sewell for enterprise IT marketers.  Geoffrey Moore on Enterprise 2.0 (must see video for all those marketing to enterprise IT)

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Food Allergies in Atlanta? You Are No Longer Alone!

My 3 yr old daughter has an egg and peanut allergy. It has been an educational and tough experience in dealing with my daughter’s allergies, keeping her safe, and working with her caretakers and friends and family to make sure she is protected.

I have found some hardships in sharing how to protect her from her allergies with our close friends and family. Most of the time they think I am overreacting or being too paranoid about checking the food to keep her safe.

But they don’t realize the extraneous dangers. They don’t live our days. Birthday parties, Christmas stockings, Easter egg hunts, Halloween parties are all just events that they attend without a thought of danger for their kids. I see danger in every class party, in every holiday event, in every bite of food. Which is why we need to respect every bite.

They don’t see my daughter’s sad face when she is left out of a “food art” project at school or when she can’t eat a birthday cupcake in her class from another student. They don’t see their child’s pain from being left out or perceived as different due to her food allergy.

They don’t panic when traveling and planning meals. They don’t have to locate the hospitals before going places. They don’t overhear their daughter about baking peanut free cookies so they are safe for her and her stuffed animal to eat. And her asking at every meal “does this have nuts or eggs in it?” which is a wise question for someone so young.

There is so much education that we have to share and give to our community. It’s so more than just “not giving our child a peanut butter sandwich” and that is why I am so glad that Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta is here.

If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with a food allergy, you are not alone.

Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta was created to support families who manage food allergies, educate those who care for our children, and create a safer environment in the local area for food allergic individuals.

We are parents of food allergic children and advocates in our community, raising awareness on the importance of food allergy prevention and the seriousness in food allergy reactions.

Food Allergy is an immune system response. It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. Food allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the “invading” food.

Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person and can even be triggered by just a trace amount of an allergy-causing food. Symptoms of a food allergy may include:

Rash or hives
Nausea
Stomach pain
Diarrhea
Itchy skin
Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Swelling of the airways to the lungs
Anaphylaxis (a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction)

There is no cure for food allergies.”

Food allergies are increasing.

“To successfully manage a food allergy, ones diet and lifestyle must change.”

About 12 million (1 in 25) Americans have a food allergy…children are the largest group affected.”

Peanut allergy in children doubled in a 5-year period from 1997-2002″

Teens account for almost half of food allergy fatalities.  Ages 10 thru 29 account for three quarters.”

Impact is broad:  family, friends, classmates, etc..”

Fear and anxiety are common among parents of children with food allergies. Parents live each day knowing that just one bite of the wrong food could cause a potentially fatal reaction

Together we can…….

Educate, Advocate, and Support

The above information was gathered from the following resources:
http://www.webmd.com/allergies/foods-allergy-intolerance
http://www.foodallergy.org/files/welcomingguests_2010.pdf
http://www.todayinot.com/ce/OT04/CoursePage/

Also, join us for the Food Allergy Walk in Atlanta on October 2. Money raised will help research food allergies and anaphylaxis of which there is currently no cure. There is also a blog about the walk. There will be lots of fun festivities after the walk in Dunwoody, GA as well.

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Double Negative.

I am always perplexed when I see a double negative in print. I am so anal about it that I took a picture of this Sara Lee truck on the highway yesterday. I was not driving, however, so no lives were in danger by my need to capture this editorial emergency! 

End of First Grade Reflection

Today was my daughter’s end of year celebration. They put on a show with poetry recitations, silly songs and puns. It was so sweet and the kids worked so hard and it showed. They were presented with their end of year first grade certificate and made writing books that is a priceless collection of her writing from the start of the year to the finish.

My daughter has grown so much this year. I can’t believe she turns 7 in July and will be going into 2nd grade. I am so proud of her and am amazed at how much she has grown this year.

Her teacher put a letter in the end of the book and it made me cry. It is a wonderful poem and I wanted to share. I am very glad she will have the same teacher next year at Chattahoochee Elementary! Mrs. Mitchell is a wonderful teacher and we look forward to another fun year. I was searching online for the poem and found a touching blog post that eloquently captures my feelings as a parent watching my child grow up.

Dear Parents,

I give you back your child, the same child you confidently entrusted to my care last fall. I give her back heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature than she was then.

Although she would have attained her growth in spite of me, it has been my pleasure and privilege to watch her personality unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development.

I give her back reluctantly, for having spent nine months together in the narrow confines of a crowded classroom, we have grown close, have become a part of each other, and we shall always retain a little of each other.

Ten years from now if we meet on the street, your child and I, a light will shine to our eyes, a smile to our lips, and we shall feel the bond of understanding once more, this bond we feel today.

We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned, and enriched our lives together this year. I wish it could go on indefinitely, but give her back I must. Take care of her, for she is precious.

Remember that I shall always be interested in your child and her destiny, wherever she goes, whatever she does, whoever she becomes. Her joys and sorrows I’ll be happy to share.

I shall always be her friend.

–Author Unknown

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Job Search Tips in a Down Economy

It is a tough market out there. How will you stand out from the high numbers of job applicants? Find a way – differentiate. Here is what one smart fellow did to get attention.

Here are some job search and resume writing tips and statistics from the GADOL:

How people are finding their jobs:

Internet search – 3% jobs found here
Company web sites – 8% (and rising)
Newspapers – 5%
Staffing agencies, recruiters, libraries, churches, etc. – 15%
GDOL – 1%
Networking – 80% of jobs filled are NEVER advertised. (Wow.)

So where should you spend most of your time on a job search?

Resume Writing

Write for the HR Manager
– 9 out of 10 resumes don’t pass the first screener
– Put specific job at the top of the resume – customize each one
– Include keywords (industry, skills, qualifications, attitude)

Recommended books:

  1. 101 Best Resumes to Sell Yourself
  2. 2500 Keywords to Get you Hired
  3. e-Resumes – The Best Way to Work the Internet

Survey – HR Managers look for

  • Job skills – 15%
  • Teamwork – 20%
  • Attitude – 65%

Resume Tips

  • Don’t use improper email address for contact information (hotmama at hotmail.com)
  • Bold number and email address
  • Customize title of resume to job you are applying for at top center of page just under contact information
  • Just list jobs in the last 10-15 years unless it’s relevant to the job you apply for
  • Don’t put your year of graduation

Job search and other tips:

Indeed.com – aggregate job search engine (use different keywords for job titles)
11 Alive job search
Order 250 free business cards from VistaPrint and just pay shipping.
Network with everyone you are in contact with.
Write thank you cards – get a pack at the Dollar Store.
Get a memory stick and keep resume and work samples on it.

Other sites I have found while searching:

Jobfox.com – list resume free, show full profile, get text messages when company looks at your listing
Visualcv.com – list resume and portfolio, share through social media
Linkedin – online resume and networking site
Twitter search – search for jobs using keywords like “sales manager” on Twitter
Social mention – social media search engine – search sites for jobs and set up alerts

See my original job search post here – Laid off? Job looking shaky? Now what do you do? 5 Tips to Build Your Network Right Now.

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