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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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

MAKE THE FIRST TIME MEMORABLE

Even if your job makes you say something 150 times a day, never lose sight of the fact that it may be the first time your audience is hearing it.

I think about that every time I’m shopping in a store and the cashier or an employee on the PA mumbles “thank you for shopping with us.” They don’t mean it. They don’t even try to pretend that they mean it. It’s something they’ve been told to say, so they say it with no enthusiasm.

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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.

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