The Art and Power of Sending a “Thank You” Note

thankfulGratitude is the theme for the month of November as we gear up to celebrate Thanksgiving. Yet thanking people should not be set aside for a season or holiday. It should be part of our nature – something that we think about as we live, share, connect and make impressions on the world around us.

I recently was on the hunt to hire an intern for our firm. We conducted dozens of interviews. We met some really bright, motivated and eager college students. Yet it was quite a surprise that after dozens of interviews we only received one thank-you note. I ask the question: “Why?” Continue reading

Why is Snickers America’s favorite candy?

snickers 1

If you’ve ever given out Halloween candy, you know that children express very specific preferences for their favorite brands – your Smarties probably won’t disappear as fast as the chocolate bars. This year, the honor of being America’s favorite candy goes to Snickers.

Previously, M&Ms was first with Trident close behind, but Snickers has beat out both this year, taking the top spot. How exactly did Snickers get there?

With new advertisements featuring celebrities, as well as various public relations campaigns, Snickers was able to grab the attention of candy lovers across the country. While Snickers’ advertisements were funny and engaging, paired with a few clever public relations campaigns, the brand revealed itself as both amusing and philanthropic. Continue reading

Welcome to Wikipedia: Effectively Navigating an Online Community for Your Brand

When moving to a new town, it’s considered in poor taste to immediately begin dictating the way people there should live.

It’s the same for brands using Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is one of the most-used websites on the web, and yet there are few things brands can do to control it.

The online encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone with access to the site, while a valuable resource for gaining more insight into a particular topic, is not the friendliest of sites for public relations professionals. Because of its popularity and widespread use—there are currently more than four million articles on the site—Wikipedia entries receive top listings in SEO searches. As a result, Continue reading

10 Words That You’ve Probably Been Misusing

Blog post written by Tyler Vendetti of HelloGiggles.

There are so many words in the English language that it’s not surprising that the definitions for some of them have gotten mixed up over the years. It’s possible that you’ve gone your entire life without realizing your mistakes. I’m sure people have noticed. One day, you were probably walking down the street, casually chatting with an old friend, and one of these words slipped out of your mouth. Before you can move on to your story about how Mufasa would actually make a very attractive human, your friend stops to correct your error, and suddenly, your whole life starts to feel like one giant lie. How long have you been using that word incorrectly, you wonder? How many angry Facebook rants have you ruined with your improper grammar? While I can’t give you an answer to those questions, I can at least provide you with a list of other tricky words so that you may never have to suffer from this embarrassment ever again:

1) Travesty

What you may think it means: a tragedy, an unfortunate event

What it actually means: a mockery; a parody

This one, I’ll admit, is my own personal error. For the longest time, I equated travesty with tragedy, mostly because in passing, they sound like the same word. It’s stupid, I know, but if you knew how many times I confused fetal position with beetle position, you wouldn’t be laughing. It’s a serious problem. Continue reading

Getting Ready for the Holiday

Blog post written by Shad Meshad, Founder of the National Veteran’s Foundation.

memorial day

When you think of it, “holiday” isn’t exactly the right phrase for what began as a day of remembrance, a day to honor those who gave their all for this country.  What began as a solemn occasion has somehow morphed into something very different.

Memorial Day seems to mark the beginning of summer. It used to be the day (at least on the East Coast) when white shoes made their first appearance, to be worn no later than Labor Day. Kids in school became more and more restless as the days warmed into June and the long summer days beckoned. Then of course there’s the legendary Indy 500, the lead-up to it, the race itself, the BBQ’s and get-togethers afterward.  That’s a national milestone of sorts.  But even the Indy 500 takes a back seat to the flood of retail messages we get at this time of year.  Last year a major network carried a news story on finding the best deals during the Memorial Day sales.

Really? Wait. What happened to the remembrance part? Continue reading

Synergy – Bringing Positive Change to Your Organization

Synergy is the energy exchanged between people, most often to bring about a positive change. Winning sports teams have synergy; each player’s individual energy sparks their teammates to do better.

synergyComedians get funnier when the audience is engaged and spends the show laughing. Singers’ voices elevate with a standing ovation. Yet, synergy can also work in the other direction. If someone is vengeful, they usually initiate a string of revenge that builds into a lot of negative energy. It goes back to the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Those two “wrongs” just make more wrongs… and result in more negative energy.

Continue reading

Do You Really Need It?

Years ago, I purchased a couple of really cool antiques from an estate sale. I was a single professional living in a thriving beach community. Did I really need an antique dining room table with six chairs and a highboy dresser? No. But they seemed to be one-of-a-kind and I perceived that I was getting a screaming deal.

As I got married and moved cross country, these two antiques followed me from home to home. During one move, both pieces were damaged. Continue reading

The Season of Giving and Good Will

I love the holiday season. I always remember it being such a time of anticipation and joy as the holiday neared. As a professional, the holidays could get to be a stressful time of coordinating lots of “to-dos,” running from one event to the next and trying to stay focused on the true meaning of the season.

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Well, the 2012 holiday season is upon us now and we are getting inundated each day with winter specials, seasonal promotions and amped up advertising. While writing this post, I received 11 unsolicited emails and a handful of unsolicited calls on my cell phone alone. Cutting through the clutter and keeping a simple focus on giving is becoming more and more of a challenge. In the business sphere, there are plenty of things you can do to be in the spirit of giving this holiday. Continue reading

Fall Back, Spring Forward

lamplightAre you ready for Daylight Savings time to end this weekend on Sunday, November 4? Does the idea of more darkness and less light excite you or depress you? We can embrace each time and season if we develop a plan and carry it through.

If you are like me, more light means more opportunity to “do.” How do we sustain our productivity when there is less daylight? Continue reading