Never forget to add the attachment to your Outlook Email again

Ever forgotten to attach a promised document to your email?How many times have you sent an email promising an attachment, and hit send, without actually attaching the document? I’m guilty of this more often than not…

From my friend Chad, via his Facebook feed, I came across this link, which provides step-by-step instructions to add code to your Outlook that prompts you for the attachment:

“Did You Forget Something? Or, How to Get Outlook To Remind You to Insert a Forgotten Attachment” by David Horowitz – http://bit.ly/aCF2nR

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A Font of Information

sample font stylesYour font can say a lot about your firm. Script fonts remind me of weddings, and I always think of wedding or party planners when I see them (or something feminine). Sans serif fonts tend to represent more modern or high-tech industries, while serif fonts usually convey respectability and stability.

However, because web browsers all have different ways of reading your website’s code, web designers must use care when choosing fonts for your website. This limits your font choices to universal fonts only, which is a missed opportunity for your website to stand out from the pack.

This may be changing due to CSS3, a new way of coding your website to allow for more font flexibility on your website. You may want to ask your webmaster or graphic designer about this option, so you can begin to integrate your overall branding strategy for your print materials with your web presence.

ht/ Field Notes: http://blog.capstrat.com/articles/you-cant-use-that-font-its-not-web-safe/

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Ghost writers for your social media content?

Different marketers will give you different advice as to whether or not the head of a company should be the voice of the company on a blog, twitter, or other social media. One school of thought states that if the owner/CEO has the time to tweet, s/he isn’t working hard enough at the helm. Others say that if you’re truly a thought leader, you should be the voice of the company.

I personally believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to social media. Integrated marketing communication strategies advocates a total approach to marketing – first decide what your company culture will be, then develop your marketing (including social media) strategies around that idea. If your company’s culture advocates transparency, someone else writing your company blog (even as a ghost writer) is a betrayal of that transparency.

Social Media Today recently ran an article discussing a gentleman who hired an outside company to “ghost tweet” for him while he was away at a conference (http://bit.ly/cMfHlI). A central question of the article, besides the ethics of the idea, was whether or not you need to tweet at all at times?

I again think the answer lies in your overall company strategy. Sometimes the CEO should blog. Sometimes the strategy is one of listening. Sometimes (especially in a creatively focused company) there should be many voices.

I believe in authenticity. Integrated marketing communication strategies are about developing a central message around your product or service, and using business and marketing strategies to reinforce that message.

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Kindness as a business strategy?

Epic Win Dry Cleaner

Hat tip to Epic Win FTW – Proof there is still at least one nice person left on the planet:

The sign says, “If you are unemployed and need an outfit cleaned for an interview, we will clean it for free.”

What a simple way to win new customers! People needing the service may reward the cleaner with future business. People who are touched by the service may renew their loyalty to this company. I know that if I lived in Portland, I would consider going out of my way to use this dry cleaner because of this.

Will someone take advantage of this? Possibly. But the good-will engendered, the potential new customers, the renewed loyalty of existing clients, and just the idea of helping others who need a hand in a trying economy probably offset the risks. I’m not familiar with dry cleaning, but I’d imagine that one or two additional suits in the mix will not increase the cost to the cleaner.

Even though it’s tough out there, opportunities to grow your business exist at little or no cost to a company, other than perhaps changing your short-term strategy from how you can profit to how you can help.

Has your business changed its strategy because of the economy? Have you considered giving away your product or service for those in need (eg: resume reviews, assistance with personal brand-building on sites like Linked-In, etc.) in the short-term? If you’ve considered it but decided not to, why?

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From Elektrik Ink: Integrate Social Media and Traditional Marketng

ElektrikInk Blog imageIntegrated marketing strategies include multiple platforms with a coordinated message. There’s a lot of discussion about social media with respect to marketing – how much time to spend, what social media platforms, and whether social media should replace traditional media.

I share the opinion that social media should integrate into your overall marketing strategy and business plan, and should not stand apart from or replace traditional marketing tactics. Rena Bernstein of ElektrikInk wrote a blog post recently about integrating your social media tactics with more traditional marketing methods. Her four points are:

  • You can’t control social media
  • Traditional marketing clarifies Social Media
  • Social media amplifies traditional marketing
  • Testimonials: the mother load of social media

In particular, in the “social media amplifies traditional marketing” section, I liked the example Rena shares about Estée Lauder cosmetics:

Estée used social media and online PR to offer free makeovers and free professional headshots. After each makeover, women would have a glamour photo taken of them (including of course an Estée Lauder logo in the background) and upload the image as their social profile photo before ever leaving the counter.

Have you heard of similar creative cross-media techniques? I’d love to hear ones that moved you…

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From FattLipp: "Holiday Card as Brand Burnisher"

I recently came across, through a LinkedIn discussion, a marketing blog for John Fatteross Communications, LLC called FattLipp. A December blog post discussed the company’s holiday card campaign.

Watching the three Flash animation cards, I immediately engaged with the campaign. Watching the videos back to back, I immediately recognized common elements, and in the 2009 card was even looking for the snowman (it appears in the reflection of the ornament after the ornament rolls toward camera).  The blog post goes into detail regarding the strategy behind the card:

“Within each execution, a winter-related icon with a round shape — e.g. ornament, wreath, skating pond — would morph into the client’s logo (also round). To further a campaign feel, Fatt Lipp proposed to use the same placid music bed in each execution.”

Considering all of the thought that was put into the overall theme of the cards, and how excited I was about finding some of the common elements across years, my only critique was that the e-cards didn’t appear to link back to the company’s website (although they may have linked to the site during the campaign) and it didn’t appear that there was the ability to watch the previous years’ cards.

Integrated marketing communication strategies encompass all marketing opportunities, including holiday cards. I know that, in January, it’s too late to think about last year’s holiday card. But now is an excellent time to think about this year, and begin strategizing on how you can integrate a bit of your company into your holiday card.

I’m usually not a fan of e-cards as opposed to print cards, but if the e-card is engaging, people will read it. Even better – if you use flash animation and provide a little movie, people will watch it. Even better is taking the holiday card to the next level, and providing a multi-level campaign across time to actively engage your audience.

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Funny Friday – Market Yourself First

Before you can market anything, you need to be able to market yourself. There are thousands of websites that can give you interview preparation tips – there just is no excuse for you to not expect some fairly typical interview questions, like your biggest accomplishments or any questions about your professional experience.

Interview Tips | How To Nail An Interview (20 Tips)

The premise: wanting to understand why some people get a job after an interview and others don’t, Steinar Skipsness rented an office and then set up hidden cameras to videotape candidates during their interviews. He then put a job posting on Craigslist and scheduled interviews with candidates, asking them fairly typical interview questions. The results are hilarious, and I strongly recommend visiting http://www.howtonailaninterview.com/ for some tips on what NOT to do when selling yourself!

My personal favorite is the woman who flirts with the interviewer…

Which one made you laugh the most? Are you guilty of any of these mistakes?

Posted using ShareThis

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Time and Money

time versus moneyTime and money are two things that we always want more of, and feel we never have enough of.

When you’re developing your marketing plan (or planning an event, or really doing anything), the more you have of one, the less you really need of the other.

If you have money to invest in your marketing strategies, you can pay staff, consultants or marketing firms to develop advertising, public relations, and new media strategies and to implement them either with you or for you. You can buy advertising space in print media, you can buy keywords or click through ads, you can attend networking events and join professional associations.

When you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your marketing strategies, you should still take the time to develop your marketing plan. That plan should include low cost and free marketing platforms.

Read on to discover some small-budget and no-budget marketing ideas:

Read the rest of this entry »

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What's Your Style?

The clothes we wear communicate something about us. Whether we dress conservatively, stylishly, or avant-garde, we tell the world a little bit about who we are with our style.

Various types of business attireLook at the image to the left and then imagine a career for each person based on their clothes.

Your firm’s correspondence also tells a story about your firm, and if you haven’t thought about your company’s style, you’re missing the opportunity to tell the world a little bit about yourself without saying a word.

A style guide is the clothes your company wears. It defines the fonts, colors, logo formats, and other design elements that define your company. Using the same design elements across all of your communications reinforces your company’s image. Your style guide provides clear design direction for all of your marketing materials, advertising, online presence, and even your business letters and emails. Your style guide doesn’t need to be fancy, but you do need one.

Read more about developing your style guide:

Read the rest of this entry »

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What are Integrated Marketing Communications Strategies?

Integrated /ˈɪntɪˌgreɪtɪd/ [in-ti-grey-tid](from dictionary.com) –adjective
combining or coordinating separate elements so as to provide a harmonious, interrelated whole

Everything you say, do, write, or think about your company has the potential to promote your company. Every piece of mail, every email, every letter you send can reinforce your brand, your message, and your product or service. Don’t think about each marketing strategy, each email, each advertisement as one unique opportunity – think about these things as pieces in a puzzle that add up to a total picture. When you think about the whole picture, the opportunity exists for each piece of your strategic puzzle to support the other pieces, allowing you to get the most leverage out of your investments.

I can help you develop your Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy – asking you questions that get you thinking about each aspect of your business, how it currently supports your business plan, and how we can work together to refine and enhance your existing strategies.

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