Archive for September, 2012

Are You Prepared to Become Obsolete?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

While watching the local news my husband made a comment about the weatherman: “You know – who really needs him anymore? You can just look at the radar yourself any time you want to online.”

True. You can. Wonder if people going to school to be “weather people” have thought about that. Wonder if the schools that teach them have thought about that. And, most pertinent for this blog, wonder if all of us have given (more…)

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Take the Time to Plan!

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll reveal a personal “pet peeve” right up front. I have a strong negative reaction any time I’m approached by someone – colleague, client, prospective client, etc. – who says: “Let’s do…” without having taken the time to develop a plan (even a very quick and abbreviated plan) to help them determine whether the thing they wish to do makes sense within some larger context.

Here’s a 10-step process to developing communication/marketing plans that will provide you with the direction you need.

(more…)

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Are You Losing Online Sales Because of a Clumsy Ordering Process?

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Sometimes I think the most simple thing that we can do as businesspeople and marketers is to “put ourselves in the shoes” – literally – of our prospects and customers. Are we making it easy to buy? Or are we setting up unintentional barriers, however “slight,” that may interfere with – or obliterate – the purchasing process?

In retail settings this might mean products organized in ways that make it difficult for consumers to find what they’re looking for. It may mean limited – or non-existent – parking. It may mean long lines at the check-out counter or disinterested (even grumpy) service staff.

Online it may mean much of the same – the ability to quickly find what we’re looking for is important. Parking isn’t an issue, but the check-out process certainly is.

Have you taken a critical look at (more…)

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Copywriting Tips Anyone Can Use

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Whether you’re writing copy for a brochure, a newspaper ad, a radio announcement or a blog for your web site–or even a resume–there are some tried and true techniques that can help you make sure that your copy gets the results you’re looking for.

Think about writing copy as making a sales pitch to some target audience. Your goal is to persuade that person to do something – most likely to purchase your product or service. Here’s how: (more…)

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Clever Name Conveys Message Without Violating Trademark

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Speaking of names…sometimes I’m struck by what appear to be brilliant solutions to vexing problems and I came across such an example recently when I heard of a company called ‘Preneur.

What struck me is that I recall, not long ago, a big brouhaha over the magazine Entrepreneur and its successful fight to protect its name through trademark even though most of us would agree that the word “entrepreneur” (more…)

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Is It Time to Change Your Name?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Sales are stagnant. New customers are few and far between. Competitors are nipping at your heel. What to do? Must be time to change your name, right? Not so fast.

I’ve worked with numerous companies on name changes or the consideration of a name change for their entire organization or various products and services both as an internal director of corporate communications for an energy utility and healthcare organization and, now, as an independent consultant. There have been some surprisingly contentious discussions and (more…)

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Don’t Keep Your Strategic Plan a Secret!

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Having been involved in corporate communications and public relations for a number of years I’m well aware of the concerns that organizations often have about too much information being shared with too many audiences. Transparency, I believe, is under-rated! While there are obviously “trade secrets” or “inside insights” that organizations wisely protect, too often information that does not really present any real risk is kept close hindering the ability of the organization to actually achieve its goals.

One big example of this is (more…)

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Top Tips for Strategic Planning

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
I recently had a business colleague ask me for some advice as she embarks on a major strategic planning effort for her organization. That’s a big question, but I gave it some thought and considered some of the “big rocks” that I’ve come across both in my own strategic planning efforts and in the research I’ve done on strategic planning. And, while this really represents just the “tip of the iceberg,” there are some foundational issues that can lead to the success, or lack thereof, of strategic planning efforts. (more…)
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