LISTEN TO CHANEL: Coco got so many things right. The biggest piece of advice: before you leave your house, remove one thing. Less is more was key in her world and it’s key in business as well. For some reason, most people forget this when doing Power Points and presentations. Here’s a great article about how to simplify, and get MORE notice for your work and ideas. http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/11767.aspx
GOLF!: A girl’s gotta do, what a girl’s gotta do — and according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s golf. I’ve been living the “Nine Rules a Woman Must Follow to Get Ahead” for a number of years now. I smell a big payoff!
5.22.12: The day has finally arrived! My last PTA event of the school year. The end of the year picnic and Clara Barton playground dedication. Someone please stop me before I volunteer again.
5.15.12: I have the benefit of working with a variety of clients in my little, independent world. I’m hired to make their lives easier, their businesses stronger, and their goals, well, reached. There are times though, when they forget why I am there to begin with. When I am I seen as an expense, not an asset. When they simply see dollar signs, not value. This just happened over the past few days. The client was only seeing how much it was going to cost to do what I was proposing, not that the ideas were to truly, and positively impact their business. What did I do? I removed myself from the equation. What I recommended they do was indeed what they NEEDED to do in this phase of their company’s life cycle. They listened and now they are acting, without me. But it’s the right decision for their business. Sometimes you have to step aside for the bigger picture and what’s best for the client. I know it means I’m not getting that line of work, but I also know I did right by my client. It’s not about me.
5.14.12: I find the political season fascinating, It’s the ultimate PR petri dish.
5.9.12: Is there a gap in posting? Hells yeah. I’m rethinking how I use this site and it’s going to be great. And for the past three months, I’ve been busy working on some awesome stuff for Gearbox Express (wind energy) and Leeco Steel (it is what it is). Check out the work under their posts. This area will be personal reflections on the industries I represent, PR itself and overall business.
2.6.12: Team focus on the month - The Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. New campaign. New Site. New ways to look at Fargo Moorhead.
1.26.12: Opening day of the National Sales Meeting. Denton, CEO of Leeco Steel, was the opener with his bad-ass Prezi. It was damn amazing The rest of the day went like clock-work topped off with a great dinner and evening out. The NSM provided valuable information and cemented the team even further.
1.25.12: We were over the moon to see Leeco Steel’s new corporate headquarters in Lisle. Hands down the coolest space we’ve seen. The creative elements we were able to incorporate: brand messaging and feeling provided the finishing touches to a fantastic space. Cheers to all for a job well done.
1.24.12: Landed in Chicago and immediately headed North to Mukwonago to visit our friends at Gearbox Express. It was our first encounter with the new facility. It’s impressive and will be even more so when finished! That 3.1MW test stand will be a game changer. Looking forward to the Grand Opening Launch!
1.17.12 Up to our elbows in preparing for Leeco Steel’s National Sales Meeting. Prezi for the CEO, video clips for VPs and more. When your goal is to reach $400 million in sales, you take the NSM very seriously.
1.12.12 5p: ND Tourism and its agency on a media tour with their dukes up in a defensive stance. After all that, the best they can come up with is “People on the internet are mean.”
1.12.12 2p SO— ND Tourism has thousands of people in an open dialogue about its messaging and advertising. Granted, it’s not a positive dialogue about your work, but you have marketing professionals across the country engaged and you can reach them directly and professionally and with impact. What do they decide to do, delete the original ad that everyone shared and thus, deleting the entire string of comments. Opportunity totally wasted.
1.12.12NOON Insider news from the offices of the ad agency that created the stink bomb of an ad: pandemonium. Legendary.
1.12.12 9:50am The power of social media has never been more evident than today. The North Dakota Department of Tourism launched its new ad campaign and one was down right bad. I posted it on my personal FB page and got up to get a cup of coffee. When I returned, the ad’s preposterousness had ignited and spread like wild fire — the comments came fast, furious and sometimes without much kindness (well, it was bad!). Doug Spong of Carmichael Lynch, my former boss, gave the first comment and thus reached the global ad world. My entire office watched in wide-eyed aplomb as the worst nightmare for an ad agency unfolded before our eyes.
1.1.12: I’m declaring it so right here, right now. 2012 is going to be amazing.
12.31.11: The entire break, I was planning to attack the stack of trade/industry pubs that have been sorely neglected. Instead, I watched Elf 27 times. Words of Buddy the Elf wisdom: smiling, smiling is my favorite.
12.24.11: Merry Christmas. Cheers to happy and healthy holiday season!
12.22.11: Off for a few days off and then back into a fresh new year. 2012 doesn’t mean the world’s going to end. It will be a year of change. Some people run from change, others run towards it and give it a big ol’ bear hug. Guess which one SPR does?
12.22.11: Presented final site map to client. They totally get it and gave us the green light to run like our hair was on fire. When your present good stuff, good stuff happens. Nicely done SPR team.
12.21.11: The shortest day of the year was surprisingly long.
12.16.11: Why are Fridays that are supposed to be calm, suddenly a week crammed into a day? The Holiday break must be coming.
12.13.11: Gathering of my braintrust to knock out the plan for a totally new, complete 180 degree from the average site for a client.
12.9.11: Highlight of the day was the call from Mark, CFO of Leeco Steel raving about the branding wall we designed for their new offices in Lisle, IL.
12.7.11: The Arts Partnership hosted its annual Holiday gathering and we launched their new logo to raucous applause. Yeah Jim! Yeah us!
11.29.11: Excellent text from JP of Leeco Steel at EWEA saying the printed piece is well received at the Offshore Expo. Nice!
11.23.11: Off for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Cheers everyone.
11.22.11: Wrapped up the last minute GFMEDC project — The Black Friday Career Fair. Creative looks great. Media coverage has generated some substantial buzz. I’m thinking area engineers are going to show up in droves.
11.21.11: Why is everyone’s deadline today?
11. 17.11: It’s hard to explain why we enjoy working on the Neuropsychiatric Institute’s Annual Report every year. I think it’s because they are our neighbors and that they are doing globally recognized work in the research of eating and weight disorders. Who says science isn’t fun?
11.15.11: Leeco Steel heading to EWEA’s Offshore Expo in Amsterdam — armed with a pretty bad-ass printed piece.
11.9.11: Working with the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Association is the perfect gig. We are getting paid to market our amazing area which in turn, makes our life here better. Fargo. The greatest city in the world.
11.4.11 noon: 24-hours late, I’m back in Fargo. Mechanical difficulties and then a red-eye out of LAX seated between two of the biggest men I have ever seen (and I’m 6ft tall) got me home in time to take the afternoon off to prep for ten, 10-year old boys at my house for a birthday party. The glow from a great event didn’t last long .…
11.2.11 7:30p: Denise Bode, head of AWEA, just confirmed why Leeco Steel has made a commitment to getting involved with the industry it serves. She thanked JP for not only hosting the reception of OEMs/O&Ms and Manufacturers to engage in an active discussion on how to work together to ensure Wind Energy’s future, but for his continued commitment to serving the industry and inciting change. Goals reached.
11.2.11 5p: All dressed up and ready to go.
11.2.11 Noon: Unexpected and delish food: check. Fantastic Californian wine: check. Simple and elegant decor: check.
11.2.11 8am: I am in the Deepak Chopra building of the La Costa Resort. Not only does it smell amazing, it’s very zen and filled with serene people wearing interesting “hats” on their way to meditate or whatever. Too bad I’m full-on Type A today prepping for the event or I could learn something.
11.1.1 (that’s fun to type): After years of traveling for work relatively problem free — I had issues today. I got to SoCal eight hours late but with enough time to meet the Leeco Steel boys for a fantastic dinner. The ocean view would have been better with some sunlight, but even in the darkness of night and ocean view rocks.
10.18.11: Getting final details together for the Leeco Steel reception at the AWEA Fall Symposium. Event marketing must support your overall marketing goals. If it doesn’t, don’t waste time or money. JP at Leeco Steel had a personal goal to become a thought leader and every day he’s making it happen.
10.15.11: If anyone in the United States doesn’t know that North Dakota is hiring, then they are living under a rock.
10.6.11: I liked Seth Godin’s post today: Fledgling sushi chefs spend months (sometimes years) doing nothing but making the rice for the head chef.
If the rice isn’t right, it really doesn’t matter what else you do, you’re not going to be able to serve great sushi.
Most of the blogging and writing that goes on about marketing assumes that you already know how to make the rice. It assumes you understand copywriting and graphic design, that you’ve got experience in measuring direct response rates, that you’ve made hundreds of sales calls, have an innate empathy for what your customers want and think and that you know how to make a compelling case for what you believe.
Too often, we quickly jump ahead to the new thing, failing to get good enough at the important thing.
9.26.11: Having a dynamic discussion with a client about their logo redesign. We’re doing our best to ensure it’s not logo by committee, which kills the process. The one question we ask that covers it all: why should your audience care about you? Answer that and all things fall into place.
9.19.11: The lack of posts are due to being up to our elbows in 2012 planning for clients. Careful and critical thought is necessary and direct feedback is integral to ensure we are meeting the goals. Rather arduous, yes. A cool trip, definitely.
9.7.11 1p: I had my first visit to the Microsoft campus in Fargo. Impressive facilities with great energy. Had a lunch meeting with some sharp people to share some ideas that will help spotlight Fargo in a few unexpected ways. I hope they move forward! And I hope I get to go back for that wild mushroom soup … . thanks Microsoft!
9.7.11 10a: An excellent start to this Wednesday. Jim and I on a conference call with Leeco Steel discussing the branding elements for their new office space in Lisle, Illinois. It’s going to be super cool. Thanks to Wight and Company, an environmental firm out of Chicago, and to Leeco for the productive call. Together, we’re going to create great things!
9.2.11: What’s going on for the Labor Day holiday? Labor. There’s work to do, man!
8.29.11: The only thing guaranteed in life is change, and that’s happening now at SPR. This week we say goodbye to a great client, Danotek Motion Technologies in Canton, Michigan. Who knew permanent magnet generators could be so dang interesting? They have hired an impressive VP of Marketing and Marketing Manager who are taking the helm into the brave world of the wind industry. Thanks for the opportunity to work together Danotek, and all the best. We look forward to hearing and seeing great things.
8.24.11: Coming back to the real world, post vacation, is just fine when you have some great work to do. Team meeting with the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation regarding its strategic direction was exciting and fun. Smart Move people. Smart Move.
8.21.11: If we could pick up the Vail Farmer’s Market and place it in downtown Fargo every Sunday, my life would be complete.
8.19.11: I have decided the ONLY way to hang out in Beaver Creek is to do so with your very own hostess. Thank you Tricia Swenson, Kindred High grad cum Vail TV8 Morning Show anchor, for volunteering to keep us company and act as tour guide. Not only is she uber cool, she freakin knows EVERYONE in town. Celebrities get all the perks and I am all too happy to be a part of her entourage for a few days.
8.17.11: By the way of Horatio Alger, I am heading West to Beaver Creek, Colorado. BTW, that hamlet has the best city tag-line ever: Not Exactly Roughing It. Sounds like my kind of place.
8.10.11 night: The Leeco Steel vendor event on a rooftop across from Wrigley Field was pretty damn cool.
8.10.11 day: Checked out Leeco Steel’s new space in Lisle and it’s going to be fantastic. Next, we met with Wight, the team responsible for turning that raw space into something jaw-dropping — and now we’re even more excited about the move.
8.9.11 evening: Any of you Chicagoans that have not experienced Publican for amazing eats and Aviary for after-dinner cocktails (a word that doesn’t do them justice), you’re being a fool. Go. Now.
8.9.11 early afternoon: In Chicago meeting with the brains behind Gearbox Express of Milwaukee, a new wind-industry client for SPR. We are inspired by their focus and drive. I smell some great work about to happen.
7.28.11: The team presented the strategic plan to the board of directors of The Arts Partnership today. The board is comprised of some heavy hitters in the arts, education and business world of Fargo Moorhead and The Arts Partnership is the area’s great connector to all things related to arts and culture. The plan was solid and exciting and the board reacted as such. We’re looking forward to getting to work!
7.11.11: Big day. GFMEDC meetings and presentations and then off to Chicago and Milwaukee for client meetings.
7.1.11: Office closed for the long holiday weekend. Happy and safe Independence Day fun to all.
6.28.11: Leeco Steel is in the SPR house!
6.24.11: Fargo has seen its share of water the past three springs, but nothing like Minot, ND, is facing. It’s hard to watch Mother Nature kick our fellow North Dakotans in the teeth.
6.16.11: The Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation is taking an active position in its efforts to recruit Bio/Pharma companies. Smart Move Fargo Moorhead is going to be a fun project for the entire team.
6.10.11: North Dakota featured in the New York Times today. We’re the economic winner for 2010. Business, and life, is good here.
6.2.11: Beat our deadline for the launch of DataScore.org for the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, a world-leader in the study and treatment of eating and weight disorders. It looks great and we’re looking forward to seeing the results.
6.1.11: Getting up early on gorgeous Fargo morning. Lush green branches strewn all over the neighborhood. The Memorial Day wind storm clean up continues. At least we’ll have enough fire-pit wood for the summer.
5.26.11: Show is wrapped up and crowned a success.
5.24.11: Leeco Steel is also on the show floor — not exhibiting but supporting their earned reputation as the hardest working men in the steel business. The in-room deliveries were well received by clients and now, deals are sealed.
5.24.11: Today’s highlight: visits by and with some top-tier people interested in Danotek. VC Kingpin Pierre Lamond, board member (and all around awesome guy) Patrick Pohlen, and current and potential clients. That’s what it’s all about!
5.22.11: The American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER EXPO officially starts today and there is way too much scrambling at the booths next to us. Come prepared and get your booth work done early so you can walk in with swagger.
5.21.11: We just finished with the last touches of making the Danotek booth look perfect. Investing this much for a trade show demands perfection. Any event participation must be on brand and on message. We have accomplished this today.
5.19.11: Arrived in Anaheim with the Jubae team (the official lead for the Danotek client). The show floor is just getting into full swing. Noisy, congested and exciting.
5.15.11: The American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2011 conference starts for us on Thursday. Danotek Motion Technologies is making its official debut. You grows up and you grows up and you get your own booth at the big show. Check out DMT at #3801 and see how its permanent magnet generators will change renewable energy and in turn, the world. Drawn to smarter solutions baby!
5.14.11: Whirlwind trip to Chicago to visit with the Leeco Steel team. We’re looking forward to kicking the plan up a notch to further educate people as to why they’re the strongest name in steel. And it’s not because they are over-the-top arm wrestlers. Although, that’s not a bad idea.
5.10.11: Smashburger Ribbon Cutting today. Any event with a giant scissors is okay in my book.
4.21.11: Scouting trip a success. Saw some amazing and some joints that passed their prime a L-O-N-G time ago. The right location is integral for any event. It’s got to be on brand so when you’re guests walk in, it immediately connects them to who you are as a company. There is no sense in hosting an event unless it reinforces your message, your image and also your people. We found the right OC venue for Leeco Steel. Goodbye SoCal, hello FarGo.
4.19.11: In the OC with Leeco Steel on a recon trip for American Wind Energy Association’s WINPOWER EXPO 2011. Prepping for a big event.
3.30.11: Danotek Motion Technologies makes these amazing electro-magnetic machines, most commonly used in both the wind and auto industries, and we’re refining their brand to better reach their stakeholders. Good stuff.
3.23.11: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Leeco Steel’s VIP Event at the ultra swank SKYLOFTS at the MGM Grand was a huge success. It was a party no guest will forget. Or they might, depending on how they roll.
3.21.11: SPR team arrived in Vegas for CONEXPO-CON/AGG. We are here to support Leeco Steel and, let’s be honest, to play Keno.
3.2.11: Working with Leeco Steel out of Darien, Illinois makes me realize why we got into the business to begin with. A client that clears the path for great work allows great work to happen.
2.28.11: Excellent visit with Danotek Motion Technologies. The collective smarts in that one building is like Chernobyl brain bomb detonated.