Thursday, December 23, 2010

I think it is time for a time out

I am a big fan of time outs ... especially when certain little ones are acting up. (That, and the threat that Santa Claus is watching tends to work as well). I truly believe that everyone needs a mental break and I am putting myself on time out until after the New Year. Just thought I would share.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Top 10 of 2010

Every year I get to write my favorite M-Dash of the year - the top 10 marketing disasters of 2010. Below are two of my favorite from 2010:

Watch the wine consumption. Now, at a recent networking event we watched a gal literally open every bottle of wine and proceed to drink almost all of them before the event even started. No, she was not the host. A drink or two is OK, but definitely not a case of vino. To make things even worse, after the wine consumption this gal had the audacity to tell one of our lovely colleagues that if she wore boob shirts she would get more business. Highly inappropriate and do you think they will ever do business together? Doubtful.

Your Book Sucks. I had someone recently schedule a conference call with me under the guise of a publishing prospect to tell me how much our book Vanity Circus sucked. She also proceeded to tell me that our sales process needed to be refined and that she didn’t know if she could work with us. I was absolutely dumbfounded someone would waste someone’s time like that. Really. Do you think we will ever work with this special person? No freaking way. Bye-bye crazy.

For more funnies of 2010, sign up for the M-Dash by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Non-Favorite Holiday Things

There is always something each year that gives me a good eye roll and here are my top non-favorite things about the holidays.

1. Snack time at Costco/Sams. Yes, the sample people are out at my favorite mass quantity store locations and all have have to say is ... Valium anyone? Yes, the senior citizens are out in the masses and leaving their carts in mid-aisle while they graze on free snacks. I like to be in and out of stores. Please add the holiday samples plus the holiday traffic at stores to equal one big cup of Valium soup.

2. See's Candy. OK. I have a love hate relationship with this stuff. I love See's Candy, but I eat it. I am personally mad at everyone at my holiday party that decided to not eat it. Shame on all of you.

3. Stupid Holiday Party Alert. Now, the numero uno annoying thing about the holidays are the business owners that throw "holiday parties" that are really events to sell their product. Save it for the new year people and can I say ... tacky?

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 20, 2010

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

1. Get an ‘accountability buddy’. This can be a coach, friend or co-worker. This should be someone who is willing and able to not let you slide by making stories and excuses and will check in with you. This person will also be available to listen and brainstorm with you when you are struggling. Make a regular scheduled time to check-in with your “coach” at least once a week.

2. Make agreements with yourself that you are willing and able to keep. If you hate going to the gym, don’t make your solution to losing weight going to the gym three times a week. Instead, find alternative ways to get in shape. Hire a personal trainer that comes to your home or you get a walking buddy to walk with you at lunch. If you make it more enjoyable you are much more likely to do it.

3. Make it realistic. Don’t set yourself up to fail, but don’t limit your potential either. It’s a fine balancing act, so be willing to make adjustments and renegotiate your agreements as needed.

4. Create personal practices that will help keep you on track and in alignment with your solutions. An example of a personal practice is: If you are usually late for meetings, you put the time for the meeting in your planner as a half an hour earlier than the actual time. If the meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. you write that it’s scheduled for 9:00 a.m.

5. Eat that elephant one bite at a time. Take the bigger goal and chunk it down into goals you can meet within a month (WAM - Within A Month). Then chunk it down even further into goals that you can achieve within one week (WOW - Within One Week). This helps keeps the “overwhelm” to a minimum so you don’t choke on your elephant! As you achieve each weekly goal, you will be moving closer to your monthly goal. As you achieve each monthly goal, you are moving closer to your bigger goal.

6. Ask for help! Like it or not we are a tribal animal. If you were to interview the most successful people they would tell you that one of their secrets is they didn’t do it alone! People like to help so let them and return the favor.

7. Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments! This is an area that a lot of people skip and when it’s skipped it contributes greatly to getting discouraged and giving up. Research shows that encouragement and positive reinforcement goes much further than focusing on the negative.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa's Favorite Foods

Well, this is not marketing, but I thought this was great information to share. Did you know that the average person gains 7 – 10lbs. between November 1st and January 1st? This is attributed to extra calories from holiday gatherings and being dissuaded from outdoor exercise due to cold winter weather … basically, people are eating more and burning less. According to fitness expert Monique Hollowell, CEO of Lafemme Mobile Gym there are easy tips you can follow to enjoy the holiday festivities without gaining the “holiday 10”.

1. Eggnog. This great tasting drink is one of our favorites, but packs many calories … approximately 257 cal for 3/4 cup! Still enjoy yourself and lighten it up with a low calorie and less fattening eggnog. For example: use low fat milk vs. whole milk or cream, use more egg whites and fewer egg yolks!

2. Your Merry Cocktails. Let's keep it light this season by choosing our 'better bad choices' of spirits. Try to skip the margaritas and many other mixed drinks that pack the calories. Chose a champagne, wine spritzer, red wine or sparkly mixers like gin and tonic!

3. Move more not less. It’s that cold time of the year when we want to hibernate and move less … but not this season! Park further away when you go shopping, take the stairs and not the elevator, take an extra walk/bike ride in the brisk winter air, take your clothes off the treadmill and walk for 30 minutes while watching your favorite holiday show!

4. Candy Canes. Yum, yum, and refreshing ... but a medium size packs about 14g of sugar! During this season, do not eat the full candy cane at once … share with a friend or consume over a few days.

5. 10 minute Winter Workout. Commit to at least 10 minutes a day to burn off those extra holiday calories. Run in place for 2 minutes, Jumping Jacks for 2 minutes, Body weight Squats for 2 minutes, Push-ups for 1 minute, Hallway walking lunges for 1 minute, Seated tricep dips for 1 minute and do a Core plank for 1 minute.

6. Healthy Winter Stews. Get in your lean meats and fresh veggies with a great pot of heart healthy stew. They are warm, satisfying, less expensive and are great way to satisfy your winter cravings a healthy way!

7. Try Squash variety. Winter squash is a great choice this season. It is packed with Vitamin A and folate! Utilize the variation of squash for a fantastic winter dish, you can grill them, bake them, or eat them raw!

8. Something is better than nothing. Who cares if you cannot get your full 1 hour gym workout in over the Holiday… just increase your intensity and lessen your time. During this season an 'all out' 20 minute workout can be better than a long 1 hour work out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top Signs Your Dog Needs Therapy

1. Follows you around and just sits and stares. All day.

2. Talks to herself. Not Kidding here. I have a disgruntled dog on my hands.

3. Sleeps on my bed. Whenever I leave the house she feels entitled to sleep on my comforter ... and throw up on it.

4. Barks at everything and everyone.

OK. Maybe this is just a sign when your dog turns 8, but jeez.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What Makes a Perfect Italian Dish

Hello fellow blog followers. I throw a Holiday Party every year and have to share a trade secret of an Italian cook who gets the same question asked time and time again. What makes a perfect Italian dish? The answer is simple. Fresh spices and use them always. I not only make homemade raviolis but the perfect cioppino to the point I never order them in restaurants. If you can, buy fresh all of the time and there are certain ones like parsley you can freeze and use all of the time. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear Vocus ...

Dear Vocus ...

I love you. You are the best media database in the world. I love the fact I can pull contact information for any reporter at any media outlet at any time. Every television show, news station, radio and print. And, we are so happy we do not have to buy our media lists every 6 months from that crazy person back East anymore. Well, maybe he wasn't crazy, but let's just say when someone does not deliver on what was purchased and says ... "this is not a priority project right now", they get a zero in customer service points. Vocus ... I love you!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Party or Bad Sales Pitch?

I think it is completely ridiculous when people invite you to a "party" which turns out to be a big old sales pitch for their business; and they use the term "Holiday Party" as a disguise. Seriously, not the best way to gain new business or new friends. Whatever you decide to throw or not throw this year, make sure you are clear on what the event is ... although it is the season to be merry, you will watch your friends and potential clients merrily waltz out the door if you pull this stunt.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tips for Avoiding the 3500 Calorie Thanksgiving Day Meal

I have been doing personal training with Monique Hollowell, CEO of Lafemme Mobile Gym and I recently learned that the average Thanksgiving Day meal comes in at 3500 calories and you have to do 7 -9 workouts to burn that off. Yuck. I am honestly not going to be following the tips below and will probably opt-in for the workouts, but I want to share the information she passed on to me. According to fitness expert Monique Hollowell, there are seven easy tips you can follow to cut down on the calorie mass and still enjoy your holiday meal without tearing your hair out over what your scale is telling you the next morning.

1. Turkey Stuffing = Calorie No-No. Stuff the turkey with a great mix of quinoa and vegetables vs. dressing.

2. Natural = Naturally better for you. Enjoy the sweet potatoes natural flavor w/o the butter and brown sugar, add a fresh squeeze of orange or tangerine for extra flavor.

3. Lighten up your holiday beverages. Drink your holiday mochas w/o the whip cream, this will save you 80 kcals.

4. Cut down on the crust. Make a fantastic fresh fruit pie with top crust only. Leave out the bottom crust for less calories or vice versa.

5. Leave the fruit cakes and pecan pies alone! Choose a fantastic piece of pumpkin or sweet potato pie instead... its 250kcal less.

6. Kick the ice cream to the curb. Use a great holiday frozen yogurt or sorbet instead or have the fresh fruit and skip altogether.

7. Creamy = High Calorie … vegetables not exempt. Creaming your vegetables (i.e. creamed spinach) can end up contributing to 75% of your saturated fat for the day. Use low fat milk or cream cheese options as a substitute.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stupid Behavior Resulting in Newsletter Material

If you have subscribed to the M-Dash at M Communications or First Word at 3L Publishing you understand that we provide marketing and writing tips & tricks in a very humorous way. And, if you do not like sarcasm - you probably should not subscribe either. Here are some sure fire behaviors that will make you the star of a future issue.

1. Obnoxiously pushing health products.If you are walking around slapping skin care cream on fellow colleagues faces or forcing them to drink diet drinks without their permission you are being obnoxious and therefore are fair game for newsletter material.

2.Inappropriate Dancing.Now, if you are at a networking function and are freaking people on the dance floor or doing any other inappropriate dance moves not only will you end up in the newsletter you may also end up on You Tube. Go get your groove on elsewhere.

3. Giving your unsolicited and rude advice.We have been to more networking functions where people have offered up their opinion and have been more than flat out rude. Seriously - get an edit button. If you are rude you are not only going to end up in the newsletter, you are also NOT going to get new business from potential clients you have insulted.

Consider yourselves warned!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Keep Your Entitlement in Check

People are constantly cracking us up or at least causing eyeball aerobics (a.k.a., eye-rolling) more often than not at M Communications and 3L Publishing. We really do not understand why people decide they are entitled for whatever reason and act on it. The following situations and people receive the “keep your entitlement in check award” for the week.

You need to do pro bono PR for XYZ company because you did PR for me. Really? We really do not need to do anything we do not want to do first of all. Second, did you really just dictate who I should be doing pro bono PR for and third, do you even know that I maybe have all of my donation time allocated through September of this year. Really? It is even more amusing when this is sent via email verses a phone conversation. Here is a bit of advice … if you are feeling stupid while typing something or if your gut is saying maybe this email is a bad idea, it probably is - don’t hit the send button or recall.

You need to continue doing work for me even though I am well aware my project is eating up free hours I have not paid for every month. Um, No. Please see first example … we cannot work for free all of the time. Also, when you completely acknowledge you are receiving free work due to no fault of ours, you should really not expect that this behavior is O.K. and will continue. A contract specifically outlines what we are spending our time on and hour allotment. P.S., when you argue with us when we fire you, you look kind of silly too.

Watch out of the entitlement freaks … they are everywhere.