I know I said this blog is an archive, but this post doesn't fit on ConverStations.
First, what was Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger thinking, riding a motorcycle without a helmet? I'm glad his injury isn't life-threatening. I hope for a quick and healthy recovery - football or no football.
Second, is this the best story to advertise a motorcycle on? Maybe motorcycle gear (like helmets!), but a motorcycle?
Tip of the helmet to Ballbug
If you have a need for some great copywriters - I can point you to a few folks that are super wordsmiths. As for Copywriting Solutions? The closing tagline might be this:
Want a Copywriting Solution? Talk with Your Customer Yourself - by Blogging!
Some of my favorite posts here:
- Brochures: Handed Out or Thrown Out?
- What's Plan C?
- Are You Really a Leader?
- The RBI of a Great Resume!
- Are You Covering Up Your Bald Spot?
- Waiting for the Perfect (Blank)
- Why Blogs are Like WD-40
Thanks for reading Copywriting Watch. Hope to see you round the blogosphere (or at ConverStations!)
It's been quite a year. A year ago tomorrow, my mother-in-law passed (in peace and with a smile). On April 16th last year, I dove into free-agency as a freelance copywriter.
The last half of the previous decade, I helped build and organize online communities for a few Internet start-ups, several big-league sports teams and a little company in Virginia, now officially known as AOL. But with the dotcom bust, I quietly made my exit.
The next three years were devoted to different ministries and then moving around the country to assist Cindy's mom.
My first handful of clients each asked about search results and how to improve their standings. With research, I found blogging to be a great tool for businesses to engage with their customers AND to improve search results.
I find many similarities between blogging/Web 2.0 and what happened in the late 90s. By late summer of 2005, I realized that my experiences in building community, Internet conversations and connecting people all pointed to business blogs.
These days, my copywriting gigs are fewer by choice. Business blogging is keeping me plenty (crazy?) busy and its fun seeing business leaders get excited about the conversations and the tools. I like to have fun in my work and watch others do the same.
I've had the opportunity to help journalists, business coaches, advisors, distributorships, marketers, authors, salespeople and a few associations start blogging.
So what does next year hold in store? My gut is that a team of free-agents are about to come together with blogging a key ingredient. Maybe its a company, but I think free-agents stay hungry - and I'm hoping for a collaboration instead of corporation.
There's a good chance that the next post or so here will announce that this site will exist as an archive of my first year. Most of my attention is on the Converstations site. Before I do make the move, I have some redesign issues ahead. If you're not yet subscribed to it, here's the feed for Converstations.
Thanks for a wonderful first year.
I've been suggesting to business leaders in Iowa that one way to keep young talent close to home is to start blogging - externally, internally or both.
Don't just listen to me. Here are three other voices:
These young people are not only your future workforce - they are your future customer base.
So what's an Iowa company to do? Follow Jeffrey's advice. Ponder Jeremiah's wisdom. Envision what Robert discusses. Be creative in implementation of your blogging policies and practices and attract the talent you've spent years cultivating.
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Last week, I twice shared multiple emails with two different customers on when we could meet...you know the drill...lots of back-n-forth.
This weekend, I implemented Planzo's calendar and it's making things simple - and fast. Three times today it's come in handy for clients. Here's what I love about it:
It's a virtual admin assistant. If you're using Planzo, let me know of features I've missed. Not using Planzo? What calendar tool are you using?
Neil Shearing's report, "Copywriting Lion: Discover How to Write Sales Copy That Roars" is available FREE for download (pdf) or web viewing pleasure.
Whether you're writing your own copy or hiring a copywriter, this report has several pages that are important to the success of your project. Here are a few of them:
Read this FREE report and you'll have a better grasp at how to write copy that roars, saving you time, money and angst on your next sales piece.
Interesting referral to this blog from a Google search for Gitomer Red Bits, where Copywriting Watch is listed at # 2 and # 3, right behind a .pdf file from Jeffrey Gitomer's site. I recently posted about Mr. Gitomer's Amazon Blog.
I wondered what a search would bring up for "gitomer blog" - here's what I found:
Okay, Gitomer's Amazon blog (which hasn't been updated since January 31st and doesn't offer a feed) shows up at the top...but look at all the blogs below. And I don't think I should be that high on this search. Blogging improves your find-ability.
So here's 2.5 reasons that Gitomer should blog:
1.0 If your audience is searching for you, will they find you?
2.0 Remember Principle #4: It's all about value, It's all about relationships, it's not all about price.
2.5 Two good sales blogs you'll want to read and subscribe to are Landing the Deal and Top Lead Generators, both by Dan Tudor.
Earlier this month, John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing shared a few of his favorite sales blogs.
When I first heard the term "Pinko Marketing," I paused...and kept moving on. This morning, with a helpful reminder from Robert Scoble's post, I read backwards and forwards the mission of Pinko Marketing: Commons Based UnMarketing. Tara Hunt (aka Miss Rogue) is waving the right kind of flag - and it's a warning signal.
To my marketing and PR friends and copywriting colleagues, fellow business communicators and wanna-be salespeople: If you plan on being in business the rest of this decade: Read the ongoing draft of the Pinko Marketing Manifesto before you write your next word or launch your next product.
Content may be King, but Community (or the commons) is the kingdom it serves. (Design is Queen)
One more thought: Before we start a lynch mob on the name of this project, let's work together to change it - if that's what is necessary. It's a community project, after all.
Working from a home office, I often say that I have four satellite offices in the Des Moines area, with a fifith one opening soon at Jordan Creek - each branded Panera.
You can read about how the love affair started last year. Their actions made me a loyal enthusiast and a customer evangelist. I'm not alone. There are a community of Panera fans in this area - and we've become friends.
Tonight, after a long day in which I'd only been in
once twice- both times with to-go orders - they showed how much they cared. They gave me a coffee cake - on the house. Not a slice. A whole cake.
"Treating a great customer like royalty," they said. WOW! They missed me.
I watched the IABC/Iowa calendar for a few months before joining last fall. I didn't want to get into a networking group - they're a dime-a-dozen and often worth as much.
I wanted to become involved with a group of people whose knowledge and practice would help make me a better business person. That's what kind of people I've found at IABC. Additionally, the IABC site and new IABC Commons blogs are great resources.
What intrigued me most about this group is their Professional Development luncheons (peek at past events). Great content, great leadership, great presentations.
This month's event is no exception, as Todd McDonald of ATW Training & Consulting is presenting a full day of business lessons.
My friend Mike Wagner has tagged me for the Four Things (I thought that was over) and his invite was so gracious, I humbly accept.
Four jobs I’ve had:
1. General Manager of a Class A baseball team (Salinas Spurs)
2. Assistant Pastor of a Baptist Church (Bel Air, Md)
3. Community Program Manager at AOL (several channels)
4. Taxi Driver - Owner/Operator (several locations)
1. It's a Wonderful Life
2. The Magnificent Seven
3. The Mask of Zorro
4. Singin' in the Rain
Four places (of a dozen) I have lived:
1. Des Moines, IA
2. Evanston, IL
3. Sterling, VA
4. Harrisburg, PA
California is conspicuously absent, even though I spent over 30 years there.
1. Andy Griffith
2. The Odd Couple
3. The Dick Van Dyke Show
4. Baseball Tonight
Four places I have been on holiday:
1. Orlando, FL
2. El Paso, TX
3. Las Vegas, NV
4. New York, NY
Four websites I visit daily:
Everything happens in my feed readers. I don't even go to The Weather Channel since they put up feeds. But they (content as king) still serve me (community as kingdom) the goods.
Four of my favorite foods:
1. Coffee (legumes - coffee is a bean)
2. Bread of many Panera kinds.
3. Ice Cream
Four places I would rather be right now:
And four bloggers I am tagging:
Brett Rogers of Beat Canvas if he'll accept, because his brain and heart are both of the outstanding variety.
Chuck Tanowitz of Media Metamorphis, if he'll accept, because I've had the privilege of meeting him and so should you.
Dan Pacheco of Dan's Diner, if he’ll accept, because he's always had a knack for building community.
Zane Safrit of CCUCEO, if he'll accept, because I like the way he thinks and I'm interested to see who he tags.
There are about eight people I want to tag, but they haven't begun blogging yet.
While AdJab may think Hershey doesn't understand "buzz marketing" these days, the company was one of the leaders of word-of-mouth advertising. According to Milton Hershey, "Give them quality and that’s the best kind of advertising in the world."
According to ChipTin.com, although Hershey had forms of advertising and marketing, such as the Tin Can campaign, they didn't start purchasing ads nationally until 1970s. The relied on word-of-mouth.
What's your favorite Hershey candy? For me? I'm glad that guy got peanut butter in his chocolate.
In a nutshell, Sprint offered Allan an opportunity to take part in their Ambassador program. Problems with this include that Sprint doesn't offer coverage in Allan's neighborhood (Denmark) and they broke a few laws in their manner of contact. When Allan tried to open a dialogue, Sprint shut it down.
Finally, Sprint extended an apology. Allan says that's good enough. To Sprint's credit, the letter came from a person rather than a "team." But they still fell short...and wasted their money.
Last fall, if you were to pick up any business magazine, you'd have run across the Sprint ad campaign "Reinventing the Yes-man." Granted, they were talking about the customer, not the company. But the message puts across that Sprint/Nextel was about the word YES.
They missed out on a tremendous amount of good will by not following my suggestion to give three Ambassador trials to people Allan chose stateside. Think how that would have played out. Sprint - Reinventing the Yes-man! Makes up for mistake threefold.
A bad precedent that other bloggers would emulate? Not really. Sprint made the first move (mistake) in their contact. It's not like Allan threw a bone to pick out of the blue (wow,-back-to-back cliche use).
The concern here is whether companies are using/manipulating the blogosphere as simply a marketing tool? If so, "reaching out" to bloggers is nothing new or brilliant. Just a different tool.
The question in the board room should not be, "How can we tap into this blogging thing to make money?"
The question must be, "How can we engage in the conversation with bloggers to develop meaningful, long-lasting relationships?"
So yes, reach out. But have a complete plan. If things go bad in this new form of marketing, use new forms of resolution too. The message Sprint deliveres in this circmstance is inconsistent with the message they delivered in their advertising.