Thursday, May 26, 2011

Confessions from a Hot Sauce Addict

I have a confession to make ... I am addicted to hot sauce. Each time I travel, I not only bring home hot sauce for myself, but as souvenirs for others (whether or not they even like hot sauce). Over the years, my favorites have included a habanero 3 pack from Playa Del Karmen and the Red Rectum hot sauce (mainly for the funny bottle) from New Orleans. My favorite hot sauce to date (and I am really wondering what this is doing to my stomach), happens to be the Baron hot sauce from the West Indies (see photo). I left this hot sauce on my counter for a month (as a reminder I was out) debating about ordering more, but I really couldn't stomach ordering a hot sauce from St. Lucia when shipping costs about the same as the bottle. Guess what? I caved. Not only did I order this particular sauce, I happened accidentally-on-purpose order the 28 oz. bottle. My thoughts? Yummy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just Because it Looks Pretty ...

At M Communications we are constantly noticing the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to marketing. And, one thing I have noticed is that just because a marketing piece looks pretty it doesn't mean it is functional. It's kind of like those really cool nail files that are pretty to look at, but the don't really file your nails. Below is an a example of recent "No-No's":

Wonderful websites gone wrong. There are sites out there that are wonderfully designed and very esthetically pleasing. It is obvious that someone was smart enough to hire a professional graphic designer. The big oops here is that when it came to the navigation and someone decided to create a labyrinth. You have seconds to grab a visitor's attention when they stumble on their website and the more they have to click, the more likely they are going to go "bye-bye." Also, don't get me started on slow loading websites, even if the flash presentation is pretty cool. In both cases, you lose customers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Two Best Referrals Ever

At M Communications, we do a lot of public relations work ... a lot. I am talking about everything from authors to fitness professionals to musicians, etc. And, we only take on the fun clients and I will get to that in a later blog. The two best referrals we have ever received were from a news station and the other from another publicist. Both are a compliment. Typically, the media does not like publicists and they get bombarded by some pretty lame press releases. As for referrals from other publicists ... awesome. Another good reason to partner up with people in the same industry - you may promote books and they promote health. Why should you not have a strategic partner?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Setting the Bar a Little Bit High

Hello M Com Blog followers - I will get back to business tomorrow, but had to share. First fish: 1 1/2 pounds, 17 inches ... and this is when no one else was catching fish. My thoughts? I think that is setting the bar a little bit high for a first fish.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Time Out

Hello M Com Blog followers -

We are giving ourselves a timeout until 5/32/11 and will chat with you then. In the meantime, sign up for the M-Dash by clicking here for extra funnies.


The M Communications Team

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dear Karma Police

Dear Karma Police,

I adore you. I know you do not always show up when needed, but when you do it is in a VERY big way. I also know that taking the high road is not always easy, but completely worth it in the end. Thank you Karma Police. I plan on sending you a very nice Christmas present this year.


A really huge fan of the Karma Police

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fake Camping

There are many signs you are a fake camping. Since I grew up with this type of camping, I took it for granted that was how everyone camped ... until I was thrown in a tent. Here are a couple of signs:

1. You are not staying a tent, but in a RV which has an ice maker, washer & dryer and stand alone shower.

2. Champagne is a staple during lunch.

3. Theme nights come with required theme attire and themed appetizers. A pig is buried in the ground during Hawaiian night (just kidding, but pineapples are cored out for the Mai Tais).

4. Televisions are present inside and outside the RV.

What can I say? I like fake camping.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Perception is Everything

Perception always fascinates me. Last night I asked a friend to bring me a stack of business cards. She brought two. Maybe she forgot I asked for a stack, but two is not a stack. (From a marketing standpoint, the cards looked great so I will not be shredding her marketing material this morning.)The same situation normally occurs when I go through a Taco Bell drive thru and ask for extra hot sauce. The Taco Bell employee will give me three, so I have one and a half for each soft taco. To me, three does not mean extra - more like 6 - 8 so I can add to my stash at home. What can I say, I have a thing for hot sauce. My real point? When you figure out what your clients and potential clients perceive you will be able to put together great proposals and deliver great service. For example, some clients who are not so tech savvy think a blog is a website, confuse media relations with written releases and so on. I recommend always over explaining and always asking the "right" questions so both parties have the same expectations.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Down With Minivan Drivers

I can't stand minivan drivers and think they are more pretentious than drivers with luxury cars. Below a couple of reasons why.

1. Minivan drivers feel the need to take over the whole road. I am not sure why this is, but I am pretty sure you should share the road and not drive down the middle. Oh, and they do not care if they are inconveniencing you and having you stop dead in their tracks with their bad driving behavior.

2. Minivan drivers brag non stop. Everyone that I know who owns a minivan brags nonstop on how it is the safest, best vehicle on the planet. Attention all minivan drivers: stop bragging, there are other cars out there with televisions for the little kiddos to watch.

3. Minivan drivers drive too slow. Now, I am all for driving the speed limit (kind of), but I firmly believe these drivers are driving 10 mph under the speed limit because they are too busy playing with all of the buttons in their vehicle. In general, I think they should all get tickets for driving too slow. Or, maybe just for owning a minivan in general.

I will never drive a minivan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Think Big With Your PR Campaign

Most of the time at M Communications we are educating our clients on what public relations is and what it does. And, most of the time clients get fixated on the small picture, not the big picture. For example, one client recently was obsessed with a certain local radio station because it was in her backyard. What do you think will get your product more exposure, local radio or national radio?? The obvious answer here people is national. My advice for this morning? Think Big with your PR campaign and think national. You will thank us for it later.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Putrid PR Campaigns

Putrid PR campaigns stink. You may have hired the wrong publicist if you witness the following:

1. Your press release is not "newsworthy". If you are bored reading your own release, that is a really bad sign. Your release should have a hook and should be "new" information. Media typically does not want to report on "old" news.

2. You publicist has disappeared. This is also very bad. You need to have some form of contact weekly and know exactly what publications (or genre) are being contacted. Oh, and coverage is great too - be sure to put this on your website. Also, if something is not working ... you should be contacted immediately.

3. The media outlets being contacted have nothing to do with your product. If you have a make up product and you are being cc'd on emails to Sports Illustrated editors that's a big red flag.

Stay away from putrid PR campaigns.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

You Know When You Are A Mom When ...

Hello M Com Blog followers - this one is in honor of Mother's Day. Here are a couple funnies for all of the moms out there. You know you are a mom when ...

1. You are on Facebook at 5 a.m.You know you are a mom when you post a message on Facebook that you are awake and drinking coffee. Or ... why, why, why, is he not sleeping. Yes, you are a mom.

2. You are playing "Words with Friends" on your iPhone at 6 a.m. Yes, you have a baby and you are up.

3. Throw up is no longer a problem. Your child eats a bunch of gummy worms and gets sick. Your first thought is that you are not upset with cleaning up the vomit, because it smells like gummy products.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tillamook Cheese "The World's Best Cheddar"

We specialize in marketing at M Communications as a result our marketing eyes and ears are always open. Recently, I watched a commercial for Tillamook Cheese and the tagline was "The World's Best Cheddar". Now, Tillamook is a good every day cheese, but the world's best? I think not. Especially if you have had smoked cheddar in the deli section - mmmmm. My point? Chances are if you have to announce you are the "World's Best" ... you are not.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Love Neurotic

People are interesting, and at M Communications we only take on the interesting and different. Why? These people, products and ideas are totally marketable. It is really a publicists dream. For example, I think most people should start eating ice cream with a fork. Why? It was recently pointed out to me if you eat ice cream with a fork the ice cream melts less than with a spoon. How marketable is that concept? My point? In the end with the neurotic you have a fun client and a fun product to promote.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why state the obvious?

I love it when people tell you something so darn obvious that you want to roll your eyes and give them a profound response such as "Really?". Chances are that if it is that obvious and you are speaking with someone who is clueless, they probably already have a pretty good idea and know. My favorites are:

1. You look tired. This is usually told to someone who has been up with a family member overnight in the hospital for two days. I am sure they did not notice the dark bags under their eyes when they got up in the morning.

2. I think you gained some weight. The person you just told this too probably steps on the scale every morning and also knows. P.S. Don't tell people this. I personally have a relative who is obsessed with weight gain and weight loss. She will tell you who has gained weight and who has lost weight. I keep telling her that it is not very nice, but she is elderly and I am thinking when you get to a certain age you can say what you think at all times. Oh, but I do that now.

My point? Don't state the super obvious.