It’s all in the meaning

I once read, “Writing not only illuminates the reader, it illuminates the author.”

The choice of words certainly illuminates the author. Today I heard a commentator on the radio say, “The NFL players should use their privilege to …”

Hold on! First, that word not only has a defined meaning – if you look it up it’s described as:
a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

And the synonyms are even more illuminating:
advantage, entitlement, right, benefit

But it currently has probably more power than it should – being used as a slur, a derogatory term, or an insult. “White Privilege.”

I was stopped in my tracks when the commentator used that term. So offputting that I did not listen to the next three or four sentences. And, I was happy to ignore this person’s “upspeak” and “vocal fry” to try and stay focused to hear what was being said about the “#takeaknee issue. But could not.

A word misused like this can derail a sentence, a message and possibly even a speech someone is giving. Words are that important!

When you are writing for the spoken word it is very different than writing for the written word. Another issue is if you are “winging it” as in not “on script” the misuse of words can be fatal.

I bet the right word, in this case, was something like – celebrity, or prominence, or being in the public eye? Maybe it was meant as a slur?

No athlete I know of was granted the right to play their chosen sport – especially at professional levels. They all worked extremely hard and long to get to these elevated ranks.

Unlike the Washington commentator who yet again proves we are dead in the middle of the Era of the Amateur.

Online Ads

There are reports that online ads are doomed. I doubt that for some reason, call it scepticism on my part. However, I do question the following …

In the last day or so I was reading reports on the Las Vegas shooting. Hard not to! But what did bother me was that as I was reading the news reports – on several different news sites and blogs – banners ads and tower ads popped up. Having been in, and owned magazines, we always were cognizant of what ads went opposite what articles – consumer are trade mags both.

So I am reading the dire news and up pops all manner of ads.

What does that do to the brand of the advertiser?

OMG 59 people dead … Oh, a trip? Oh, a car? Oh my God no!

Advertising is not something done by the faint of heart. It requires resources (People and money) and professionals to steward the process from creation to placement.

As a fan of behavioral targeting which is a technique used by advertisers and publishers to utilize a web user’s previous web browsing behavior to customize the types of ads they receive, is it not possible to match – or in the case of horrible news forgo showing me a “Whoop-de-do something or other” as I am reading horrible news?

I just checked and yep, there are ads on an obituary page. Weight loss. And insurance. We are doomed.

(Well, I did put down the muffin I was eating!)

Metaphors, or fives? (The CIBC Ads)

The CIBC’s recently expanded Private Wealth Management campaign is pretty damn good! Saw the ads and loved it.

It proves the right clients get the right ads – or, at least, ads they deserve.

We did a similar “metaphor-type” campaign for a software company in the insurance business. It did NOT go well. Wish we had these folks as clients!

This is an excerpt from a book I have almost finished. I have my first book on Amazon and it will be released next month. It’s called “You suck at presentations!: Learn how to present like the Pros!” a topic near and dear to my heart.

The next book is a collection of Biz-Related Stuff called, “My Biz Book,” which will be available for purchase soon …

From “My Biz Book.”

While on a piece of business, yours truly, the ever-daunting Creative Director and “Suit in Creative-Sheep’s” clothing, was pitching some new ideas that – in my humble opinion – were simply brilliant. A problem we had with this client was that they had no USP (You know Rosser Reeves …et al) and in order to relieve them of some budget, we decided to press on in our inimitable fashion and do what a colleague of mine would call “Conditional Positioning”

Sidebar: God how I love that phrase. It means when you don’t have a strategy, no value prop and nary a USP on the horizon … you do some creative and wait till they figure it out. At least it won’t screw em up by doing something strategic.

By the way for all you closet etymologists out there, does “Strategic” come from the Latin words “Stray” and “Ejit.” (That is really funny if you say it out loud in an Irish accent.

Anyway, je digress…

We did up a series of wonderful ads using major iconic, historical figures to represent the timelessness, and structure of their software. Architectural references as a metaphor, in fact. Man, were we smart!

We had  Buckminster Fuller, Frank Lloyd Wright and da Vinci. While I was presenting to the VP  of Marketing and going along nicely performing my “Husky & Appaloosa” routine happily unveiling the boards in a similar fashion to when Michelangelo showed the Sistine Chapel to the Medici when I came to the ad using da Vinci’s famous Venetian portico. The VP sat, stared and like the moose in the fog lamps and said…”Who’s da Vinci?”

Inside I was having a great roar  of laughter and was about to enjoy the moment of humour with him out loud by extolling a “Good one, Bubba!” When it dawned on me… “He wasn’t kidding. He was deadly serious!” This moron did NOT know who da Vinci was?

We had that lovely, awkward moment – akin to the seemingly endless pregnant silence on the front porch at the end of a first date wondering who puts out first – when the silence was broken by said marketing genius who told me point blank – “You know, you have to stop giving us all this crazy, wild stuff … we just want shots of handshakes and globes.

Ok, listen … Skippy, maybe read a book? Or, if all you know about the world and culture and art came from Bugs Bunny cartoons find some re-runs. They mentioned da Vinci in episode 43 with Marvin the Martian.

I happily resigned the account.

Two Headed Calf and The Bearded Woman (Part Two)

Here is a good -enough paper on advertising’s State of the Nation(ish). You see all media was created with one purpose – to sell ads. That is how they pay the salaries and overheads to a large degree. Now before you start frothing, yes there are exceptions PBS and The Economist and National Geographic, I did not put CBC in here because they sell ads online – which is a totally different argument.
 
Media, and NOT Social Media because there is no such thing! Media is distributed and can be audited. It is called The Web. And The Social Web. The Social Web because you now create the content which fills in the spaces between the ads. And the data you serve up (Your privacy is no longer) is the product. Now back to media … it needs your attention for ads to work and to get it at one time they relied on their “Brand;”
 
“I only read The Telegram!”
 
Or “Scoops;”
 
“Read it here first!”
 
Then “Tabloid Journalism;”
 
Exclusive pictures of “Diana’s Death Car!”
 
Well, that all stopped working in print and in broadcast. The Net came along in the 50s and was used primarily government scientists and universities up til the late 70s early 80s. Bulletin Board Systems became popular in the late 80s and then the World Wide Web happened and it all went to hell in a handcart!
 
I was on Facebook today for a moment managing company pages (I do not go on there anymore for social stuff.)  and right at the top of my feed was a post about a woman arrested in the States in a women’s restroom because someone complained she was a transgendered person. And the (LITERALLY) hundreds of comments were so embarrassing – I read about 20 and wanted to puke.
 
You see if you believe this crap and you then go off on a tangent you are a moron. One click on Google and it was well-documented this was a story originating from satire site and the picture used was from an arrest 5 or so years ago of two women protesting that people of the same sex couldn’t get married.
 
My conclusions:
 
1 – People cannot or will not read. Buy a book. Without pictures!
 
2 – People are closed minded – Trump is evil. Blacks are evil. Whites are evil. Dems are evil! GOP are evil! Cops are evil. Men are evil. Women are evil. And on and on and so on and so forth. In any instance any one of these corollaries can be true – but NEVER in every instance!
 
3 – We as a society (Especially the States!) is screwed. Or at least till these moron’s kids grow up and realize what troglodytes their parents are – and in this case, their Mothers are – cause it was mostly women with the asinine comments – and hopefully when these kids start thinking for themselves, put these imbeciles in homes and maybe they can create a better world? Women TURN OFF The View!
 
4 FaceBook – like AOL in the early 90s (And thank God that was short lived) is now replacing TV as the open sewer in your living rooms. Turn this crap off. Read a book, talk to your kids, go outside – based on the comments on that post, you might learn something from your kids – because it is obvious your 9 years in school did bugger all. You can name every one of the Kardashians, but not your State capital.
 
5 – If anything is too good to be true, sensational, weird or fanciful I will bet dollars to doughnuts it is a fake. And it is fake to get you to look at it. Your eyeballs are where the money is. Or, even worse some amateur journalist trying to get attention. ME ME ME ME ME ME!!!!! 
 
Anyway, end of my rant.
 
 
PS: You are falling for it. Don’t.
 
PPS: Stop worrying about GMOs and Climate a/ because you haven’t a clue what either are and b/ you can’t do anything about them – this you can and should do something!.
 
And … sorry … I urge you – when you see a stupid story on Facebook block the poster. God help you if they are your friend. But if they continue to be your friend … well, that says a lot about you,. no?
 
 

Man-speak

This is weird. I am watching the golf coverage of the Canadian Open and I have realized that several guys I know talk like sports announcers. All the time.

They speak in 2,3 or 4 sentence words. As if doing TV colour commentary.

Look at that!
Or what!
That’s outa here!
That’s a good break.
Needs something good to happen fast!
Can’t believe what’s happening!
Got some work to do.
Didn’t hit it!

Etc etc

Not having TV for decades, I never picked this up until now. All I knew, was that trying to engage these guys, was difficult. I see why now.

I am sad at this – we guys/men have enough to get through (Men are not doing that well, in case you haven’t noticed!) without this type of affliction. I guess we can add this to vocal fry and up-speak.

Taught public speaking and presentation skills for decades. Boy would this be a great challenge to take.

My new mission! Stop all the youngsters from sounding like Jim Nantz!

Worse than SPAM; Maybe Worse than Porn

Having been on Social Media since day one … in fact, before SM, and as a Cluetrain Cultist it behoves me to point this out.

FB and other similar social sites have turned into nothing more than grocery checkout tabloid mags. Just saying that phrase makes me cringe.

I saw this today – it was emblematic of the crap you see at every turn.

Sites like The Little Things are basically preying on vulnerable people. The folks that need this type of tabloid BS should probably seek professional help, no? My question is … if you are a fully-functioning adult, why would you read this?

On FB they have over 10 million followers. You can see why someone like Trump got elected. In a perfect world, people would be smarter, more evolved and would see that this shit really is nothing more than porn for the emotionally needy!

Anyway, one of their alleged writers a Barbara Diamond – possibly not a real person – has these titles to her credit. She must be proud.

  • Family Moves Into Dream Home, Only To Make A Horrifying Discovery Behind The Nursery Walls
  • Wife Says Gender Reveal Is The Surprise, Then Dad Rips Off Pink Shirt To Reveal Note Underneath
  • Audience Member Steals Merch On Hidden Camera, But Ellen Waits Til Show To Teach Her A Lesson
  • Mom Discovers She’s Pregnant With 5 Babies, Then Husband Leans Over Her As Nurses Pull Them Out
  • Mom’s Been Hiding A Secret, Then Removes Dentures To Reveal She Still Has All Her Baby Teeth
  • Teen Is Too Upset Over Sick Dad To Sing, But Then Looks Over And Sees Him, And Instantly Changes
  • Childhood Bully Asks Her To Dinner, Then She Secretly Has Waiter Slip Him A Note For Revenge
  • Dad Thinks Son Will Help His Case, But When He Starts Talking To Judge, It Hilariously Backfires
  • Teen Is Stunned When Mall Kicks Her Out Over Outfit, Then She Posts A Photo On Faceboo
  • Dad Dies Suddenly. 2 Weeks Later, A Stranger Knocks On Her Door And Says ‘That’s My Girl’

Just wrong.

Now, I have no issue with folks trying anything to make money as long as it is legal. This is legal, of course – but I think it should be exposed for what it is. It certainly is NOT making the world a better place, nor the folks reading this crap, better people.

Wake up sheeple.

Coaching

Why you need a coach …

know how knowledge or education concept with green button on computer keyboardThe world’s best leaders were simultaneously exceptionally talented, skilled, determined, and aware that they could be better. And they understood the value of a great coach to help them improve themselves. Great CEOs like Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, and Bill Gates all sought out great coaches to help them up their game.

A great coach provides three key roles in developing highly successful executives.

1. Great coaches see things you can’t see

Coaches have a different perspective.

Coaches also have a different emotional perspective. They are less likely to be attached to a particular approach or behaviour and are willing to question more boldly the assumptions and ways of doing things that you take for granted.

2. Great coaches say things you can’t say

Sometimes poor performance of a team is a result of complex interpersonal issues and relationships. A coach is the best person to find these out and can solve issues in a tactful and objective way.

3. Great coaches know things you don’t know

Coaches have seen numerous situations and industries and know what typically works and what usually doesn’t and can help make sure you’re not making the same mistakes other people have already experienced.

In my many years of helping companies, my greatest pleasure was to coach executives and watch them succeed.

I have always believed, “Success is measured by the opportunities you afford others.

YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT JUSTIN TRUDEAU JUST DID!!!

6a00e54f9c23f2883301bb098a418b970d-320wiHe didn’t do anything – just another “selfie!”

What can we do about Fake News and all the twisted and false stories we see online – mostly on Facebook, but the stories posted there start somewhere else, and continue to somewhere else, and so on and so forth.

I have a solution. First, have a peek at The Cluetrain it is an amazing start to try and understand what YOU are supposed to be doing online. You can read it free online, or buy the book. You can’t control what other people do, you can only control what you do. Plus The Cluetrain was the basis for the social web.

The recommendations; here are as follows:

  1. Post nothing, absolutely NOTHING, that you have not created yourself. That is pictures you took, articles you wrote. Full stop. If it’s not original don’t post it.
    If you saw an article, share and comment on it and make sure you give the writer full credit
  2. Don’t post any of those “heartfelt” pictures (Unicorns, kittens and mountainscapes!) with some pithy sayings. This is probably clickbait, not worth your time nor anyone else’s and certainly will not bring joy happiness nor peace in the world.
    If folks in your circles or friends or followers insist on doing the above – unfollow them. They will still be on your friend’s list, but you really don’t need that crap in your life. You really don’t. Yes, they mean well, but so did Nixon.
  3. If you read something and you don’t immediately believe it check it out. I am NOT suggesting dropping everything you do and embark on a massive research project … go to Snopes (www.snopes.com) and give it a quick search – in fact, Google it and see what comes up. If it is true there will be stories online about it – if it is false there will be none or a Snopes article.
  4. Stop downloading free crap. Pay for images, pay for music and pay for software. Who knows? You may want someone someday to pay you what you are worth and if you are a thief, well what exactly are you worth?
    Don’t spread malicious false gossip and don’t fall prey to believing outrageous tales because – “If it’s too good/weird to be true. it most certainly is!” This goes for politics, religion and most of all celebrities.I believe if you try this for a few weeks you will not only feel better you will set a great example for all your friends and maybe we can all stop the fake news pandemic together!

Effective Communications

A person asked me what a Communication Strategist did?

i specialize in effective communications. Communications that work and are based on results. You must start with a detailed strategy and understanding of your audience. By so doing, you will be able to deliver the right message to the right audience.

It doesn’t matter what delivery channel, online, ads, direct response, presentations or brand elements, every message must be synchronized and integrated.

We work together to fashion words and pictures that support your brand and deliver relevant communications that deliver results.

Download Creative Portfolio

The Net

I do love this – talk about electronic buggy whips. And morons.

I get an email from http://issuu.com/

Now, first of all it is probably from Google and I ask – so this is what they want all my data for? Come on. You got the tools, the data – do something with it!!!!

but,  je digress …

Now I peruse the site.

I can actually now get Syracuse Woman Magazine to my Android device!

Yoiks!

  1. I do not own an Android device. If you had asked I would have told you what I own and how I use it.
  2. I would happily tell you what interests I have …  if you had asked.
  3. I did not see a damn mag I have even heard of? Where is HBR or Golf Digest? They may be there but simply putting a zillion pictures – OH HANG ON I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A SITE – WHERE YOU UMMM STICK, ERRRRRRM PUSH ERRRRRRM PIN YEAH PIN PICTURES
  4. AND FINALLY, Please do not SPAM me. I am happy to put my hand up to be served – IF YOU HAD ASKED!!! THIS IS NOT 1997!!!

These are some of the simple Direct Marketing rules to follow. And sadly, most, if not all the boneheads in the “digital realm” have neither heard of, learned, nor bothered to look up how to direct market to someone!

Talk about just plain stupid!

Further to: I continued to poke around notwithstanding “How the hell did my PPT from SlideShare get on here?” I saw a mag  called Urban Cycling   Here is what it said in the “info

“Urban Cycling is a book dedicated to addressing the problems of biking in urban areas by suggesting alternatives and solutions to problems. Urban Cycling is a final student project for a graduate level graphic design program. Photography and copy have been cited.”

It is NOT a magazine – it is pretty. Wooot! But it is NOT a magazine. And, sorry if I am about to read a magazine online I expect it to have some sort of I-DUNNO interactivity? Any interactivity would be nice! Boy this is so 1995. Pretty. sure, absolutely, But 1995. It’s called Shovelware. Where you shovel all your shit online.

So maybe this HUGE DDoS attack the other day was a good thing?