Archive for September, 2010



Is IT Killing Your Organization?

There I sat hearing the same lame excuses I’ve heard for the past 12 months from the staff of a very large not for profit: “we can’t do it because IT told us it would take 5 years before we can have online registration and payments.”  Are you kidding me!? It’s been over 8 hours since our meeting and I’m still outraged at the ridiculous notion that a multi-million dollar organization cannot, let me rephrase, will not figure out how to make something as common as an online sign up forms work system wide. Sadly, in this case,  IT is killing the organization. I sound like a broken record on this issue, but marketing should drive your web strategy and not IT. Really.  Your online presence lives or dies on the end-user experience. If people can find what they’re looking for, if they can intuitive navigate the site and complete…

Read More

You Will Regret It If You Don’t Engage: A Social Media Foundation

My friend didn’t know why his social media strategy was not as successful as that of one of his peers who, in his words, “is just killing it!” I didn’t have to think at all to answer that question. The answer was simple and obvious: it’s because he’s engaged and you’re not. If you have a public presence online whether you are an author, speaker, actor, politician, reporter, pastor, CEO or housewife, I’m convinced that’s virtually impossible to have an impact-full social media presence if you delegate your message solely to an assistant or to a marketing company. In full disclosure, my company, The A Group, often designs, implements and manages social media campaigns, but we’re very careful not to do what only our clients can do: be themselves. And when they abdicate that privilege, results are never what they could be. If all your posts are about your product,…

Read More

Vanity Sizing and the Need for Truth

Truth is not always pleasant, fun or convenient, but it’s always necessary in life. Without the truth of a working compass, we would be desperately lost. Without the truth of a mirror, we wouldn’t know we have spinach stuck between our teeth or an embarrassing case of bed hair. And yet, our culture continues to find ways to make us feel better about ourselves even at the cost of the truth. Last week I learned about “vanity sizing.” It’s been a known practice in women’s fashion, but it’s now part of men’s as well. In order to make consumers feel better about themselves, and potentially buy more merchandise, designers are selling items that are purposely mislabeled to seem smaller than they actually are. And I’m not just talking about half or a size difference. Old Navy, for example sells pants labeled 36 inch waist that are actually 41 inches. Marketers…

Read More

Renewing Creativity

Regardless what we do for a living, creativity is part of our lives on a daily basis. From problem solving, to bringing a vision to reality, to navigating through a busy street, we use creativity to make our existence  fresh everyday. Last night I watched the Addams Family musical on Broadway. It was a fun and extremely well produced show, but beyond the entertainment value, these types of events renew my creative reservoir. They allow me to see something beautiful that lived in the minds of people before it became something I was able to experience. I’m thankful to be able to able to visit museums, shows and experience art in order to keep my creative juices flowing. How do you refill your creative reservoir?

Read More

I Knew a Lot More About Life When I Graduated From College Than I Do Today

I’m sure I was smarter back at my college graduation days. Certainty was not a problem and I was prepared to take on the world. So I thought. But time has a way of teaching you lessons no one else can. So I’m a bit older and perhaps somewhat wiser, I hope. Here’s some of my certainties at age 22: Life is black or white. You’re either on the side of truth or not.  At 22 I saw a world with very few shades of gray. It was either right or wrong and ambiguity was the playground of the weak. God was precise and predicable. Somehow the God of my early twenties was more like a German engineer than an artist. He was like a machine with a defined pathway to action and subsequent reactions rather than a mysterious and yet gracious being who eludes being imprisoned by human intellect.…

Read More

The Pastor Said What? Pulpit Blunders

Public speaking is a difficult skill. You have to engage an audience that’s easily bored. Pastors have some of the most difficult jobs for any communicators out there. They have to produce fresh and relevant content every week, sometimes two or three times a week and present to critics, uh, members who expect their pastor to be on par with world-class communicators. While most every week my pastor friends do an amazing job, they’re also human. Here’s a list of things I wish I had never heard a Pastor say. No names here, you know who you are: Let’s bring the whole tithe in the whorehouse of the Lord, uh, storehouse that is. Lot pinched his tits. No, he pitched his tent. Did I just say that? I’ve upped my pledge to the building campaign, now up yours. I get paid to be good. You’re good for nothing. Let everything…

Read More

What Not to Wear at the Gym

For the Fashion Friday edition of my blog, I’m hitting the gym hard. Whether you work out at a private club, the Y, or a community center, your gym is a place where health, fitness and personal well being should rule the day. But it also can be a scary place where the lack of a published dress code can blur the line between appropriate sport’s attire and inappropriate and often objectionable wear.  Since we communicate a lot non-verbally with our appearance, I’m compelled to help a growing number of people who need a gym fashion intervention. The rules are always changing along with the times, but today, here’s my list of what not to wear at the gym: No shades in the gym. Even if you had eye surgery, stay home until you can walk around without looking like a goober. Wear white shorts only if—nah, just don’t do…

Read More

You’re Stuck. Now What?

There’s nothing worst than being stuck. That’s a place where you’ve tried everything you know, every trick in the book and nothing has worked. And now you find yourself not able to move forward, upward, sideways or even backwards. The odds are you’re stuck right now trying to figure out what to do next. Some part, or facet of your life is paralyzed, literally stuck. You can’t make a move because, from where you are, there are no moves to make. And now what? Maybe it’s your career. After all the years of school, work or both, you should be further ahead, but you’re not. You’re stuck. Maybe you’re caught in a relational nightmare. You’re tried everything you know to move out of this bad place but nothing has worked. What once promised so much happiness is now a source of pain and regret. You’re stuck. Finances are always getting…

Read More