Friday, December 25, 2009

What's in it for me?

Did my Christmas food and gift shopping at Walmart.  I know my enviro-friends will read that statement and gasp.  "No!  That corporation is evil!  They sell mass-produced goods at cheap prices, which takes up space at landfills.  Boo Walmart!"

I could have shopped at a less controversial competitor.  The pricing is about the same.  But it's convenient at Walmart.  They have food, and it's pretty good.  For gifts, the selection was large and the pricing competitive.  The biggest plus of all: there were lots of cashiers.  The other store, you're lucky if half the cash registers are open, meaning long lineups every time I shop there.

The moral is: if you want people to follow your philosophy, make it convenient for them.  Make the experience and outcome a pleasant one, and the customers will come.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Third Party

One of the hardest things an organization has to do is reach an audience that is resistant to your message.  Although this may turn out to be a lucrative market, how do you get them to listen in the first place?  Utilize the power of a third party that they trust.

Figure out who the key players are, and if you think they will resist your message, try creating a relationship with their allies first.  Then the people you're really trying to target can receive a soft introduction to your organization, via a trusted ally.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gift of Time

The media is reporting that a lot of consumers are cutting back on spending this Christmas.  Personally speaking, I think it's great!  I think it's about time we focus less on material giving, and more on what really matters:  family, friends, and neighbours.

We need to revive an almost-expired tradition: the business lunch.  Why not take a favorite client out for lunch, instead of talking only via phone, as a holiday gift?  They would probably appreciate the casualness of a daytime meeting, as most people's evenings are full of Christmas events.

P.S. If anyone wants to take me out, I love lunchtime meetings!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

HST to B.C.

This week, Canada's Federal government will vote on legislation that would allow B.C. to go ahead with the HST.  We can expect sites like Twitter and Facebook to heat up with debate on this. 

Now is a great time to write about and comment on how the HST would affect your business.  You might even try sending an email to your local media containing your thoughts on this new tax.  Who knows, a producer or reporter may come across your commentary and want to interview you!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Listen to Yourself

An "audio tic" is like a 'facial' one: you say things, unbeknownst to you, when you are trying to figure out what to say next.  You also don't realize you have it until you listen to a recording of yourself on-air.

I learned the term when I hosted a radio show years ago.  Another host, waiting for his turn in the booth, said, "You know you have an audio tic, right?  You like to use the words 'right' and 'okay' when pausing."

I listened to my 'cast, and he was right.  It was embarassing, because I sounded like an amateur.  Since then, I improved my read to the point that the audio tics were rare.

Do your audience a favor and listen to yourself!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

The local mountain is opening very early this year, and many city dwellers anticipate a cold, crazy winter based on last year's outcome.  Now's the time for your business to jump on people's hopes and fears.  Are you celebrating an anticipated heavy fall of snow?  Or are you in a business to help out those that hate the white stuff?

Framing your business in a way that is highlighted by the current "hot topic of the day" can make your press release stand out amongst the hundreds the media are inundated with.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


As Remembrance Day nears, poppies are popping up everywhere on-screen.  Even Prince Charles and Camilla are going all-out, sporting TWO red blooms on their jackets.

Which leads to a brainstorm of opportunity: why not wear your company logo year-round?  It can be a large button on your collar, or a shirt with a symbol of your company or passion.  Don't wear a hat, however.  It's a distracting prop.

Even if it consists solely of lettering on the back of a top, don't miss an opportunity to wear it.  News camerapeople frequently take behind-the-back shots of interviewees, while a reporter looks at the subject, silently nodding (it's for b-roll for editing later in the edit suite).