Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Half As Lazy Hare

A friend of mine recently pointed out that in the race between the hare and the tortoise, the hare lost because he was too lazy and would have won easily if he had only been half as lazy in the first place. So, in his opinion, slow and steady wins the race only when fast and dynamic underestimates the task and time remaining. And I agree.

In setting up a media strategy, people often wait until the last possible moment to choose the method that best suits their needs. And in so doing, often choose what is "good enough" for the moment instead of what could be outstanding for the event. Others begin well in advance, but find themselves stymied by all the alternatives available and the details of each one. They quite often plod slowly along without really ever deciding what they want to do until they are forced to choose a "good enough" option.

So here's a piece of advice ... whether you're planning a promotion, a marketing strategy, or an awards banquet, put your trust in a media strategist. Particularly one who brings you a few ideas that are well thought out, instead of dozens of catalogs with hundreds of details for you to worry about. A good media strategist will ensure all the details are addressed when you choose the overall strategy from the ideas he or she prepares for you. And as long as you're only half as lazy as you might otherwise be in making this choice, your promotions will be fast and dynamic.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Disingenuous Gaffe

As a Media Strategist, I am sometimes astonished at how many people will buy into a lie because they simply want to believe. Especially one where the video clearly contradicts the lie. In the video, John Kerry transitions from a barb at President Bush to the subject of education and then clearly says,

If you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.

Then this morning on the Imus show, Kerry was disingenuous when he claimed it was a botched joke,

I left out one word. I left out the word “us.” “They got us stuck.” Instead of that, I said, “They got stuck,” and they’re taking advantage of it.

Even an eight year old in third grade can tell you the sentence does not fit in the context of the previous sentence (not to mention the change is four words, not just one.) Thus, Kerry's effort to explain his meaning is a BOLD FACE LIE.

Kerry was not talking about the President's failures, he was clearly showing contempt for the men and women who proudly serve our nation and the fact he's back-tracking now and people like Imus are buying into his cover up is shameful. Worse, it shows tremendous ignorance of today's military, their educational level, and the economic background they come from in the Democratic party.

From a media strategy viewpoint, John Kerry should have apologized in a straightforward manner instead of attacking the President and Republicans as twisting his words. They do not have to twist anything--they simply have to quote him. And as if his original comments were not already painfully clear, Kerry's attempt to fix them in the past several hours has substantiated their contemptuous meaning all the more.

In fact, Kerry's public claim his comments were a misfired joke might have worked except for the explanation he offered stands in such stark contrast to what he actually said in context. The Democratic party is not very forgiving of defeated candidates for President anyway, but this incident will very likely be the final straw that ensures Kerry never runs again for anything more than Senator from Massachusetts.

Imus is correct in one regard--Kerry needs to shut up and become invisible until after the election. Otherwise, Democratic candidates around the country are going to find themselves in the same tar pit.

Lee Reedy
Media Strategist

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Media Strategies in Telecommuting

A friend of mine called from California to discuss his upcoming retirement from the military. He is looking to relocate back to the Colorado Springs area and was looking for any insight that I might have in how to set up his transition strategies. In other words, he was seeking my help in setting up a media strategy for marketing himself to the private sector.

I retired from the US Air Force a little more than a year ago and I recalled how many different options I had to review in what seemed like a very short period. Among the myriad of decisions were medical, dental, life insurance, survivor benefits, and a host of others too numerous to mention. One of the key decisions was what I was going to do with my life after the conclusion of a very successful career in the military. Of course, there are traditional companies to work for and I did choose to go that route for a time. But I also wanted to explore working from home. Frankly, I wanted work where I could log in from anywhere in the world to complete it and not be tied to a physical office.

I guess lots of people want to telecommute to work--to be able to set (within reason) their own hours and not have to worry about traffic, make-up, or any number of other nuisances that come with working at a traditional job. But the fact is, there are thousands of scam artists out there and the Internet seems to be their playground. Some studies have shown that when it comes to work from home scams, they out-number the real ones by 30 to 1. Certainly not good odds where I come from and probably not in your area either.

Thank goodness I found couple who specialize in reviewing, screening, and delivering real work from home jobs. It's made the searching, and the decision-making, much easier for me. When I see a job I'm interested in, I can check it out and apply directly to the company if I want. But more importantly, I rarely have to read a bunch of garbage spewed by a scam artist on a web site. And that means I can spend more time pursuing my other interests--such as developing my own Internet based businesses and my Media Strategies blog.

Make no mistake--these are real jobs with real deadlines, pay, and in many cases benefits. Some require special skills, languages, or high-speed Internet access. Nevertheless, I liked the product so much, that I became a marketing consultant for the company so I would be authorized to refer people to them (they're rather picky about who they deal with as you can well understand since they're in the business of spotting scams and filtering them out of their product.)

Anyhow, you can check out how to find real jobs on the Internet at

Lee Reedy
Media Strategist

Sunday, October 08, 2006

What Meme's, Logos, and Catch Phrases Have in Common

What do meme's, logos, and catch phrases have in common?

Stated simply, they're memorable. Or at least they should be. Fact is, as we're picking out our slogan or catch phrase, we too often focus on too many things. When designing our logo, we too often try for something cool and hip, rather than communicating something important about the company. Some of the best logos are abstract creations, but then it takes millions of dollars in advertising to get them recognizable, much less memorable. And everyone knows what a meme is, right?

A meme is defined as a “An element of a culture that may be considered to be passed on by non-genetic means, esp. imitation” So anything that is catchy, that takes on a life of its own, and becomes part of the pop culture is a meme. Urban legends, famous chain letters, and catch phrases like "I'll be back" (from the movie, Terminator with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the lead character,) become so ingrained in the culture that it's hard to find someone who doesn't directly know the reference, or has not at least heard someone use it in their best impression of Arnold's performance.

"Viral Marketing" is the most recent of concepts using meme's as a kind of carrier, vis-a-vis the outrageously funny picture that everyone is compelled to share with their friends also including a small, unobtrusive advertisement for the originator's web site and featuring their logo as well.

And catch phrases seem to be on everyone's mind lately. I say this because I run another website called that is chock full of sayings, quotes, and catch phrases. And yet, people searching for catch phrases often take just one look and pass it by. Perhaps because they're looking for just that one single phrase that will function as a meme for their company, so they don't need a one year subscription to it.

Anyway, I ran across the following article by Nola Cooper on the proper design of your logo and how to use a catch phrase or slogan in connection with it. I think it's spot on and Nola was kind enough to allow me to reprint it here in its entirety.

Lee Reedy
Media Strategist


The Memorability of your Logo

© 2005 Nola Cooper, Classic Creations Design

You’ve chosen a name for your business… have the perfect product….you are ready to introduce it all to the world, and you’ve hired a graphic designer to design your logo….

How can you be sure your logo design will be memorable?

Start with simplicity. Many people think they need to get very detailed in their logo design; however it’s important to remember the short attention span of the typical client. You don’t want your customers to have to spend more than a few seconds “thinking” about your logo. You want quick recognition of purpose, and then you want them to move on to read more about your business with a sense of comprehension. Believe it or not, that can be achieved with a clean and classic design.

Using geometric shapes in your logo can be one of the easiest ways to start. Often starting with a simple shape, and “warping” it to be more abstract, can give you the notable design you’re looking for. By adding just one other color to that abstract, your result is a clean image that doesn’t require close study.

The more detail and color you have present, the more consideration it requires to decipher. Your goal in having a logo is to begin to "brand" your company. Branding is done through providing an image that is as easily recognizable as a name. A simple logo inspires a feeling of understanding and trust. Complex and overly colorful logos can inadvertently confuse your customers before they even get started. Confusion does not encourage confidence. While it may seem that having an elaborate hand drawn illustration better suits your business image, it is much more difficult to brand your products with such an illustration as your logo. An illustration works much better on a sales page or brochure that discusses a specific product or service you provide.

Color - Experts say that the best logos contain no more than 4 colors, and let’s face it…when you’re ready to visit the print shop for business cards, brochures, and color sales sheets, you’ll be very happy that you stuck to that rule. Printers charge you for each color they print (even different shades of a color are considered different colors). They will also charge you when colors “touch”. The fewer colors you have in your design, the more money you’ll have in your budget for nicer paper and raised ink! Unless you’re absolutely set in your color choices, it always helps to know how colors affect emotions.

Using a color scheme that appeals to your target market, will increase the effectiveness of your logo.

Make sure that your logo is resizable! Business cards and product labels don’t present you with a very large amount of real estate, when it comes to your logo. The last thing you’ll want is for the person, looking at your business and your products, to squint and wonder what all that “stuff” is in your logo!

Slogans and Catch-Phrases - What if you have a detailed message to imply? The answer – save the details for your marketing and advertising materials. Imagine your business 5 years from now. Will your message still be the same? What about your slogan, or catch phrase? Chances are you’ll change these things as the market changes. The way you present your product and company is dependent upon the current fads and fashions of the marketplace. You should never limit yourself by including a slogan or catch-phrase in your logo design. The only words you should ever include are the words in the title of your business. Slogans can be changed easily in the text of your marketing materials. Including a slogan in your logo could cause you to have to redraw it often!

Your logo should also be unique, most importantly to avoid any trademark or copyright infringements, but also to help in the process of branding your company. The easier to recognize your logo, the easier to remember what it stands for (symbolism). Eventually, upon success, the symbolism matters less than the recognition. For example: McDonald's "golden arches" began as a symbol of the arch shaped sides of the restaurants. Today, many of the restaurants no longer have the arch shapes…..and yet everyone recognizes what company those golden arches symbolize.

Always remember that the purpose of your logo is to visually communicate with potential clients, before they read any messages, see any products, or meet any people. It’s the old adage of the “first impression” being the most important. When your logo design is simple, yet powerful – you’ve got a memorable base to work from!


About the Author: Nola Cooper is the owner of Classic Creations, a graphic design business she started in 1995. She has written and published many articles about running a business, and family life and is editor of her own online magazine-The Classic Life.

You can read more about Nola and find out about her businesses at


Monday, October 02, 2006

Creating a "competition-free zone" for your business

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As Carl W. Buechner put it: “People are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them. They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

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Monday, July 31, 2006

How to Set Up a Blog the Media Will Love

Here's an article that I thought most appropriate to setting up and maintaining a blog. If your situation is like mine, I find it hard to keep up.


How to Set Up a Blog the Media Will Love
by: Suzanne Falter-Barns

Not long ago I attended a call with some of the top journalists working today. And I learned that not only do 79% of these editors find their sources and their story ideas from blogs -- a healthy number start their day by reading their favorites. An editor from Wired said he actually spends TWO HOURS PER DAY reading blogs.


So that means, platform builders, we need blogs that are media savvy. Here's my Top Ten list of Things the Media Savvy Blog Must Have. (Remember, our job is to make the media's job ridiculously simple!)

1. Use keyword-rich headers and descriptions, And make sure you make those same keywords your categories. This is why I'm always harping on how important it is for folks to spend time building their keyword list -- and researching it on sites like Overture and

2. Feedblitz. Gotta have that little subscribe box in your upper right hand corner. Then Feedblitz sends the subscriber an email with an excerpt every time you post. Available at

3. Sitemeter. The preferred counter among those who know because it spits the only number that matters, Unique Visitors, your way once per week by email. How convenient!

4. Link to your Media Page. A simple typelist link in the margin will do it -- there's a great example at Andy Wibbel's blog/site at I love how Andy is a master of simplicity. Link this to your media room on your regular site. (What's a media room? Where the media find you, of course!)

5. Set up a sign up form that downloads a digital freebie. Find a system that supports it -- my favorite is, which collects the data and then delivers an autoresponder with download links in it. This is a great list building tool.

6. Use pictures. I think they make the blog seem more readable, and appealing to the visual types. I get good from Google (just click the Images link after you do a search.) Also there are some great cheap shots to be head from which are only one dollar apiece.

7. Lots of links in posts. It's not only blog etiquette, it's a way to attract SE spiders and bots to your blog posts. They love content rich blogs with lots of outgoing links.

8. Write with brevity. I'm working in this. Make shorter, more frequent posts to drive SE traffic. And keep your blog as casual and 'free wheeling' as it's meant to be.

9. Typelists -- copy in the margins -- that have visuals and important short captions drive traffic to site. I get a great sales conversion rate from my blog because people like my product shots in the margin. Small, snappy covers will do with a bit of short descriptive copy.

10. Audio clips. In this, the age of podcasting, it can't hurt! You can create audio links through sites like

Copyright 2006 Suzanne Falter-Barns

About The Author

Suzanne Falter-Barns

Download Suzanne's free list of 50 Top Publishing & Media contacts at Drop by her blog at http://www.painlessselfpromotion for almost daily tips on how to get known now … the easy way!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Understanding Marketing: 5 Common Misconceptions

by: Otilia Otlacan

Everybody seems to know Marketing. The world is full of Marketing gurus. We all talk about with a remarkable ease and confidence, though most of the times we are not Marketing professionals and not even close. What are the most frequent mistakes in understanding Marketing practices and theories?

1. Defining Marketing

There is clearly a general tendency in employing the notion of Marketing within a confusing mix of Public Relations, Advertising, or Media Planning. Regardless of the degree in evolution and growing of Marketing, many of us still cannot understand what Marketing really is and only see the its extreme manifestations. Many believe Marketing is a useless, fancy field, eating up budgets and giving little in return. Others see Marketing as an artistic field, where all you need is creativity to develop a memorable ad.

2. Marketing is still confused with Communication

This common mistake is, again, the result of sufficient understanding of Marketing. Marketing professionals are often thought to be responsible for creating advertisements, logos, slogans. What people usually see is the mere top of the iceberg, forgetting that there is a product, a price and a distribution strategy to be developed before even thinking of advertising.

3. Under- or overestimating the role of the marketer

On one hand, the marketer is often seen as a must-have within a company, but (s)he has an indefinite role and ends up doing a little of everything (Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, Customer Care, Account Management etc.) On the other hand we might be faced with the other extreme, where the marketer is an omniscient, all-powerful creature eclipsing everyone else.

4. Segmentation

In spite of the abundance in resources and consulting services aimed at researching the consumers base, segmentation is still done intuitively at least at small-business level. Large companies might have whole departments assigned to work on segmentation research and strategy, and still not be fully failure-proof.

5. Marketing for the sake of it

This is an attitude I have met in too many occasions not to mention it. People (and again, small-business owners are the usual culprits) do marketing because everyone else does it, because they heard they should do it, because it is a fashionable thing to do.

Surely, the list above is not exhaustive, and it only points at several attitudes leading nowhere on the Marketing battlefield.

Marketing is surely not an art, thought it does employ a certain flaire and creativity. Marketing is not a science either, but it operates with precise instruments. Marketing is not for everyone and not to be performed regardless of the conjuncture around the business.

We should keep in mind that Marketing operations have a clear objective: increasing the profitability of a business. To bring money, to be more clear. Marketing is therefore just as important as everything else in the company: if a product has functional faults we would blame the production department, but when a product does not sell for reasons beyond production it is usually the Marketing department to take the blame.

About The Author

Otilia Otlacan is a certified professional with expertise in e-Marketing, currently working as independent consultant and publisher. She publishes (Marketing portal), has recently launched, a professional Marketing Directory, and can be contacted at, her personal web site.