Friday, December 12, 2008

Dizzy Blonde: A Whole New Meaning

This is just a cute little personal tale about the beginning of my week... so after fighting off a cold the previous week, I finally succumbed to it Sunday.  I was down for the count on Monday.  By Tuesday I was sure I would feel better. 

Well...not exactly.  I jumped out of bed Tuesday morning, anxious to get back to work and tackle the increasing pile of things that was surely growing in my absence.  Then I fell over.  Yes, that's right.  I fell over, righted myself and then had to grab on to the bed to steady myself.  Dear Lord!  What did I drink last night?  And, why am I STILL drunk?  Oh.  Wait.  I'm not.  I didn't drink.  In fact, I haven't imbibed at all since last Thursday at KPT.  UH-OH!  This can mean only one thing!  INNER EAR INFECTION!

And, the reality (read: panic) set in - as I bounced from hallway wall to wall making my way clumsily to the bathroom - that I had VERTIGO.  It's a complete loss of balance - your equilibrium is totally off, rendering you completely helpless.  Without boring you with the rest of the details about my day's stay in the pseudo-ER and my visit iwth the wackiest (read: quackiest) doctor in the DC metro, I will summarize by saying I was given a diagnosis of Meniere's Disease.  It sounds a whole lot worse than it is.  (I promise, Mom!) So, I now have defined dizzy blonde in yet another way!  :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

75 Years and Counting!

Today is the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition - aka the 21st Amendment. How glorious. Why? Because as a capitalist, I believe in less government and free will. I choose to drink, I do so willingly and responsibly - I don't need some nutso, rightwing, AFA-loving extremist in DC telling me whether it's right or wrong. I will make that choice on my own thank you. And, thank you to the Congress of 1933 who had the good sense to repeal this crazy Amendment.

So, now go out and celebrate!! The Washingtonian has a great list of places in the District who are marking this momentous occasion with happy hour specials. Just be sure to remember that drinking is a privilege and treat it accordingly - do it in moderation and with good sense. And, call a sober friend for a ride if you've had a few.

Also note of interest: the 21st Amendment allowed US citizens to imbibe again and our national drinking age is 21...coincidence? I think not....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blondes I-View on BrightKit: The Shiniest Twitter Scheduler and Tracker Yet

BrightKit: The Shiniest Twitter Scheduler and Tracker Yet

Well Mashable has done it again and introduce me to yet another new site that I feel compelled to join. While I love my Twitter account, its a bit disorganized and trying to keep up with it can be challenging for someone as ADD as I am. In comes BrightKit, which allows you to organize and manage your Tweets from all of your Twitter accounts (yes, some of us have more than one, especially those of us who manage our own and some for clients, etc.

I'm planning to test it out over the next few days and will let you know how it works. If you are currently using it, please leave feedback - would love to hear from some early adopters of their experiences with BrightKit.

Good Grades Do Pay!

For years, we've known that good grades and a high GPA will pay off in the end by contributing to landing a good job with a great salary.  But, that's all well and good if you can afford college in the first place.  But now there is an answer!  As reported on Mashable, a new company called GradeFund helps students find "sponsors" willing to pay them for good grades.  Payment can go directly to the student or to the school.  Can you see in a few years from now - signing bonuses (like at law-firms) can be paid in advance to help support the enormous cost of the education??  Interesting concept!!  Let me know if you are taking part/want to take part in this!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Consumer Reports: Please do some research on marketing in the 21st century!

Dear Consumer Reports,
I received your marketing mailer today soliciting me to subscribe to your magazine.  A couple of things I wanted to point out to you that might help you increase your subscription rates.

  1. A four page marketing letter with "typewriter" font and important headlines underlined... Marketing letters of this sort were perhaps effective in the early 1990's, but c'mon that was a looooong time ago.  Attention spans have vastly diminished since then; adjust accordingly.
  2. The post script note - another outdated direct mail marketing technique.  If I haven't read your four pages, I clearly won't see the P.S.  And, with the TWO paragraphs you put in the P.S., you've definitely lost my attention!
  3. All the extra glossy inserts - waste of money.  It cheapens your product because it makes me think of those Val-Pak coupon mailers .
  4. The four page glossy picture insert that visually says all the same things that your letter (that I didn't really read) does - again TOO MUCH INFO.
  5. The little note card that you have inserted from the VP (Jerry Steinbrink ) that says open this if you aren't going to subscribe - what's the point?  Its a waste of paper.  You haven't offered me anything new or compelling that might make me want to change my mind.  And, you've succeeded in making Jamie Darnow, the Director of Publishing, look like an idiot and that you knew he wasn't going to be able to close the deal.  Not too mention that you ASSUME that I am not going to buy a subscription...way to be positive.
  6. The glossy return card - why use all the paper?  You show me the math of my savings - but its all bunk b/c you are giving me 3 free presents anyway, so I don't need to calculate their "value"- I'm not paying for them even if I subscribe and I can't buy them solo, so they really don't have a dollar value that I would be "saving." Then, why are you telling for the FIFTH time what the free gifts are?  I already know, assuming I've taken the time to read your overabundance of repetitive information.  I like the tear off card, but why include the envelope with no postage necessary - why not just print the indicia right on the return card?  

So, in conclusion, here is what I have learned from this exercise:

  • Consumer Reports kills trees.
  • Consumer Reports needs to overhaul their marketing department.
  • Why would I bother to subscribe to the magazine when I already get their RSS feeds for free?
  • Consumer Reports really doesn't do target marketing.  If they did they would know that I have a subscription to ShopSmart - one of their other pubs - on my Christmas list!!!
Oh and by the way, in doing research for this post, you have a misspelling on your staff page - you've spelled Jerry's last name wrong.  Good job.

Thanks Consumer Reports.  Better luck next time.

Blondes I-View on: Top Facebook Marketing Hacks

Top 12 Facebook Marketing Hacks

A great article by Nick O'Neill on his allfacebook blog (the unofficial Facebook blog). I especially like it because it summarizes the most popular ways in which marketers can overuse outreach tactics and annoy consumers on Facebook. Some of these 'hacks' include:
  • Switch Your Relationship Status Regularly
  • Wish Everybody a Happy Birthday!
  • Engage in Many Poke Wars
  • Post Comments on Fast Growing Groups
  • Sync Your Twitter With Facebook
I support his theory of "everything in moderation." There is nothing wrong with marketers (I am one) reaching out to you and me (the consumers) on Facebook (where we live) as long as they do so in a respectful manner - don't inundate me with stuff I don't want; give me good content and let me get to it easily. If you hit me too much, I'm just going to unfriend and block you and then hate on your brand. That's why marketers new to the realm of social media often do more harm then good. Those of us who have been in the field for five years or so understand the golden rule - do unto others as you would want done to you...translated: don't spam unless you want to be spammed... and who wants to be spammed?

Thats your social media marketing lesson for the day.

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US in Recession for a Year!

Filed Under: Um, no shit.  Seriously, these people at the National Bureau of Economic Research get paid to tell us this?  Not only has the American public been acutely aware of this, even the media has been making money selling headlines on this news for months now.  Why is this suddenly breaking news?  These idiots are probably making fat money telling us stuff we already know.  Unbelievable.