Archive for November, 2009

CB006061Expressing gratitude isn’t just something to do around Thanksgiving. In fact being gracious and saying thanks should be part of  how you communicate with your current customers. I’m sorry to break it to you, but your Mom was right “please” and “thank you” are important and apply to your business as much as they apply to your personal life.

Find at least two times during the year where you clearly communicate your gratefulness to your customers or stakeholders. Sometimes I send Thanksgiving cards to clients or acknowledge special anniversaries or birthdays. Other meaningful things you can do to demonstrate that your customers and stakeholders aren’t just numbers (or dollars) are:

Add a note of thanks to routine business paperwork like proposals, invoices or even your fax cover sheets. Try something like this: “Thank you for your business. We look forward to serving you again.”

Send a handwritten note. We get so many form letters and pre-fab mail these days, sending an actual handwritten note makes an impression.

Send a newspaper or magazine article with a note. Sometimes you run across a topic when reading the newspaper that reminds you about a client. Maybe it’s something you were recently talking about. Why not cut it out and send it to her or him?

Call them just to say hello. If your client is extremely busy, be respectful of his or her time and make it very brief or send an email instead.

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope you enjoyed the paddleball you received from Purple Cat at the annual conference of the Maryland Association of Nonprofits. Did it conjure up memories of fun and relaxation? Sure it gets frustrating at times, but boy is it fun! And as the saying goes “it is a gift that keeps on giving.” Thirty-five MANO attendees will be the first folks to take advantage of The Cat’s Meow, a special FREE promotion exclusively available through Purple Cat. Click here to sign up. MANO PROMO

7 November


Welcome to my blog! I look forward to engaging you in a lively dialogue on various public relations, marketing and communications topics.

The recession has certainly made all of our jobs more interesting and challenging. But in all honesty I firmly believe that the economy has presented endless opportunity to gain more of our target market.  Remarkably the key to doing well during a recession is the thing that we all should always do anyway – communicate clearly, consistently and concisely. Just cut the clutter and tell your audience what you do best or what I like to call the why should I care factor.”

Unless you are having a media friendly holiday event or program your window of opportunity for non-holiday news is about to slam shut. My general rule of thumb is you have up until the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving to distribute your news and still have a chance to have it published. After that think January. Speaking of January keep in mind that editors are “story hungry” the first week of the new year. Many people have taken off for the holidays and content is in demand. Can you spin a New Year’s Resolution story? “Resolve to volunteer in 2010” or “10 tips to get healthy in 2010.” Whether you are a business or non-profit organization you have expertise in your area. Think about whether there is a new year’s angle to your story and you can start the new year with gaining visibility.

I know many businesses and organizations are running scared right now, leading some of them to severely reduce or eliminate their marketing efforts. Shutting down communication with your target market is a slippery slope and often makes your customers turn to your competitors who are still talking to them. This isn’t just theory there is a precedent and facts to support it.

According to a McGraw-Hill Research study conducted during the 1980s recession, “Business-to-business firms that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth, both during the recession and for the following three years, than those that eliminated or decreased advertising. By 1985, sales of companies that were aggressive recession advertisers had risen 256 percent over those that didn’t keep up their advertising.
Check out this link for research data:  Recession Data

How many times have we told someone else to “carefully check over your work?” I can remember my sister handing me a dictionary (remember those? I still have the one my sister gave me!) and saying “if you don’t know how to spell it look it up!” Sometimes I just hate it when family members are so right! Now nearly three decades into my profession and I can tell you that when I see an error I do judge the organization or business. Yes, we all make mistakes, but every piece of marketing collateral we create reflects on our brand and our sense of professionalism. If you know you are not detailed enough to proofread well give it to that persnickety person in the office who is always ready to point out other people’s mistakes. We all have good proofreaders in our mist. And if you are a one person shop you can develop the skills needed. It is well worth the time and effort. For more detailed “how tos” on proofreading check out my proofreading tip sheet.