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Accentuate the positive, but own up to the negative

Long before Norman Vincent Peale penned the book that uncovered the power of positive thinking, advocates of similar philosophies promoted positive attitudes and messages as a critical component of success. As the Second World War drew to a close, Johnny Mercer’s “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” dominated the airwaves and jukeboxes. Even today, you’ll hear people urge […]

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Survey says: now I hate your company

I admire companies that make the extra effort to survey customers of their products and services. That is, except when their approach to surveying makes me never want to do business with them again. Taking the time to follow up with the people who buy your products or use your services, gauge their satisfaction, and […]

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COWERING CAN COST YOU BUSINESS

Sometimes, businesses have to deliver bad news to customers. That’s a fact of life, but it’s rarely easy to do. In most cases, the best way to do it is just that — do it, get it done, and move on. If the business relationship is solid, it will withstand one instance of bad news. […]

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PUBLICATION SECRET: PLANT SOME EVERGREENS

In a recent entry, I mentioned the value of a good swipe file for newsletter development. Another very handy tool is what are known as “evergreen” articles.   What’s an evergreen article? It’s simply a story that provides general information, will always be appropriate for the audience, and isn’t time-sensitive.   For a financial institution, evergreen […]

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INSIDERS DON’T ALWAYS HAVE THE INFORMATION

There are many reasons that companies will try to handle their marketing communications needs in-house. Sometimes, budget is the primary driver, but more often, there’s a belief that nobody in the outside world could ever understand the company as well as its employees.   That’s probably true, and it’s exactly why an outsider offers you […]

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WHY DO QUESTIONS WORK SO WELL?

If your goal is to involve your readers in what you’re writing (or selling), ask them a question or three. While some poorly informed marketers steer away from using questions out of fear that the wrong answers will crop up, the reality is that questions are a time-proven way to engage readers.   The key […]

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A TIME FOR THANKS

Another New Year is upon us, and with it comes that annual gaze forward and glance back. I’m an optimist, so I see good things ahead. And even though 2009 will be recorded as a lousy year by most people, I’d rather focus on things that made it a good year. (more…)

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