Archive for January, 2011

Great advice, beautifully presented from a local, blogging star.

4 ways to stand out from the crowd in your marketing job search When stacked against tens or even hundreds of candidates for desirable positions, candidates need to find creative ways to stand out from the crowd.  How you present yourself makes a big difference in how memorable you are and the likelihood that well-connected people will hire you or recommend you for positions. From networking to interviews, here are four ways all professionals – young and experienced – can stand out from the crowd: 1. Business … Read More

via Marketing Insights and Inspirations

The business card design I use comes from Seth Godin — my contact information and passions on one side and a cool Godin quote on the reverse. You can purchase them here from Moo.com, a funky UK print shop with a U.S. affiliate. The cards are a great tool, especially when your first and last names are super common, like mine!

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And he’s local!

Jim Walsh who’s been writing about local music, since, well I’ve been reading about it, is reading some of his favorites Friday night in Excelsior at the 318 Music Cafe:

Jim Walsh: Songs and Stories

I’ve always wanted to do this. I’ll read some of my fave columns and essays from over the years along with new material (all from a forthcoming collection), and play songs from my first two Mad Ripple CDS, “Sink and/or Swim” and “Her Tattoos Could Sail Ships,” and several new tunes. Really looking forward to it. Come baptize yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka if you can…

If I weren’t teaching, I’d be there. So, since I can’t go, I’m going to play one of my favorites, right now — Hüsker Dü’s Warehouse Songs and Stories on my record player.

Check out his writing at his City Pages blog archive or an excerpt from his book The Replacements:  All Over but the Shouting.

Hüsker Dü Warehouse Songs and Stories studio album

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How App-Like Design Can Turn Your Site Visitors Into Customers.

Great article from Mashable.com.

All I read about is social media. It’s important to see someone discussing the importance of web design in making a sale.

Another site that I love is from Mashable reporter, Jolie O’Dell:  http://jolieodell.com/

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Why should my local deli Tweet? or my bike shop? or any business?

Why follow @Sara_G_N_Kerr?

How relevant is it that Tuesday I ate Cassoulet for lunch while sitting on a radiator because it was so cold here? Granted, I usually have more important things to say. But then again, how do I know my readers didn’t run down to the Meritage or Vincent and order a bowl? Days before I’d just read how Cassoulet is perfect for Minnesota winters and over the course of 3 days, baked up a pot of it.

Why use any social media for that matter?

Social Media makes the purchase relationship better, tighter, more creative, and ultimately satisfying.

See In Defense of Social Media by B.L Ochman for her full post or read her blog:  WhatsUpNextBlog. Here is an excerpt from that post:

What it takes to create evangelists and sales with social media:

  1. A great product or service: because if your product sucks (a problem many observers seem to think Burger King has) nothing else matters.
  2. Close integration of digital, social, mobile with offline: advertising, events, PR, direct marketing, sales promotion — Best Buy is a champion in this area.
  3. Entertaining content is a good place to start: ask Blendtec. But that alone is not enough. Not to sound like a broken record: but integration with social media, digital, offline and sales promotion are key.
  4. Including social media in product development: Doing that saves costs in research and testing, and increases brand loyalty — ask Dell.
  5. Selling what people want, using social media, without a heavy-handed pitch: Dell claims that their Twitter presence led to $3 million in sales plus lots of earned media. They don’t hit people over the head with a sales message in Twitter. Their website, online and offline advertising, direct mail and word of mouth convey the brand’s features.
  6. Using social media for customer/tech support: Twitter has led to huge savings in tech support for companies ranging from Best Buy to Verizon to Comcast.

The biggest mistake I see with my clients?

It’s the total lack of integration between real world marketing and and what organizations do interactively.

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Here’s the first of eight questions to ask, an excerpt from keys if you will to blogging success from Lori Randall and The Social Media Examiner

#1: Are You Passionate?

In The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott urges would-be bloggers to “be passionate about and want the world to know about” their subject. If you need copy written for a corporate blog and you don’t have a fire in your belly for the subject matter, delegate to or hire someone who does.

Even if your business is extremely traditional, readers expect some degree of humanity. They want to know that these posts aren’t generated by a soulless office drone trapped in a cubicle who also writes for 12 other blogs, and gets confused.

Click here to read the full article.

I use this book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR, as a textbook to teach integrated marketing communications. I’ve found nothing better to teach  expert social media users (my students) how create successful plans.

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) — The number 13 is often said to be bad luck. But not for a group of interns chosen by Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, which announced today it will hire its group of summer 2011 interns based on an application consisting of 13 tweets sent between Feb. 13 and Feb. 25.

I love that Cambell Mithun will choose their Minneapolis summer interns based on a series of 13 Tweets. How better for students to not only show what they know, but to do it in the process of getting a job.

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The Marketing of the Minivan

They are everywhere.

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Since most people I know don’t read the newspaper, how would anyone know they should adopt a fire hydrant? The Strib featured the deadly problem of snow-buried fire hydrants in mid December — an article I missed until my husband mentioned that he’d seen it. Local real estate agent Teresa Boardman blogged about what great pets they are in an effort to get people to dig them out. And the St. Paul Fire Department has a great video on YouTube:

So all I ask is for you to share this story and then go dig out your neighborhood hydrant.

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Attention new bloggers, here is a super tip on effectively blogging by Amy Porterfield of the Social Media Examiner

#3: Reframe How You Look at Business Blogging

“I often hear people complain that they don’t have time to write on their business blog or they don’t know what to write about,” says Denise Wakeman, founder of The Blog Squad. “Yet a blog is one of the best tools you can use to distribute your message across the web.”

One way to move away from this mode of thinking is to reframe how you look at blogging. It’s not about writing on a blog; it’s about taking advantage of a powerful marketing tool that works for you 24/7/365. Then, schedule writing time so it doesn’t slip through the cracks in the course of a busy day or week.

Here’s a 4-step process to get you started:

  1. Block out your writing time on a calendar.
  2. Plan your content in advance. Create an editorial calendar and plug in your topics 1 to 3 months in advance.
  3. For each of your blog categories, list a minimum of 5 topics you can cover related to your company, products and the solutions you provide.
  4. Pop them into your editorial calendar as prompts so you’re never at a loss for ideas when it’s time to create content.

Great advice.

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People Just Need a Reason to Go Out, to Buy, to Visit, to Shop:  That’s my theory of local retail and dining.

Here’s where it’s worked for me (and Minneapolis/St. Paul businesses) in 2010.

Groveland Tap’s “Save the Nook Saturday” - Backstory:  the venerable Nook burger shop on Hamline  Avenue was gutted by fire on December 14th, closing the restaurant for the next few months. Commiserating with the quickly-out-of-work Nook staff, Groveland Tap hosted a fundraiser on Saturday, December 18th. For every pint of Summit beer purchased, the ‘Tap donated $1.50 to a Nook Employee fund. Why it worked? I waited 45 minutes with my husband and 2 kids for a table in mid afternoon. One of the servers told me it was busier than their Fish Fridays during Lent, St. Patrick’s Day, or  their Facebook Voting Day Special. Twenty kegs of Summit later, they raised $6,700. We had no plans to go out for dinner that night, but let’s just say we did our best to help the Nook employees.

The Grand Avenue Business Association (GABA) shopping spree along Grand Avenue in St. Paul:  The Grand Meander. Did we need to make glittery popsicle stars at Creative Kidstuff? No, but it sure helped me spy on what my kids wanted from Santa.

Shopping parties with Chocolate at Elinor Artful Adornments in St. Paul. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, what business doesn’t have longer hours? Exactly, so how do you get people to come to your place? Make it a party! Make it fun! Bring a friend and save some money! That made Elinor stand out this holiday season.


First Avenue’s Benefit for Brad Kern in October. I had no clue who Brad Kern was, I was just excited to see Semisonic–a band I once flew to Amsterdam just to see–live again. People attend benefits or buy at silent auctions to help the stated cause, but also because they receive something valuable in return. Imagine my surprise in hearing Toolmaster of Brainerd while reading First Ave’s Twitter feed. So what did I receive? A rare chance to hear a mostly reunited Trip Shakespeare and discover a new fave:  Jeremy Messersmith.

The Current’s top 89 of 2010, which is why I’m writing this blog on New Year’s Day listening to the rebroadcast at www.thecurrent.org, marking songs, and bands that I liked, but whose names I never caught over the year.

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