Enjoying What You Do, marketing consultant, online advertising, Passion, social media, Uncategorized

A Year In The Making

It’s so hard to believe that Results Communications and Research is about to celebrate its one-year anniversary. One of my favorite and common responses to challenges has always been “onwards and upwards.” And upwards it truly has been the past year, and for that, I’m both extremely grateful and thrilled. As I look back at all the posts I’ve drafted and published during Results Communications and Research’s first year of business — we’ll have officially been in business a full year around mid-April — I realize that I’ve followed a lot of the marketing and outreach advice I’ve shared in past blog posts, particularly the ones below. They’ve proven to be quite effective!

  1. https://allintheresults.com/2015/01/05/and-they-told-two-friends-and-so-on-and-so-on/
  2. https://allintheresults.com/2014/11/19/oh-yes-im-the-great-connector/
  3. https://allintheresults.com/2014/10/15/while-you-wait-educate/https://allintheresults.com/2014/09/24/the-perks-of-networking/
  4. https://allintheresults.com/2014/06/23/attitude-truly-is-everything/
  5. https://allintheresults.com/2014/05/30/why-it-literally-pays-to-be-different/
  6. https://allintheresults.com/2014/05/13/my-hands-on-refresher-course/
  7. https://allintheresults.com/2014/05/07/keeping-up-the-fight/
  8. https://allintheresults.com/2014/04/23/why-i-love-the-marketing-term-shoe-leather/
  9. https://allintheresults.com/2014/04/16/why-goodwill-is-well-good/
  10. https://allintheresults.com/2014/04/12/the-power-of-passion/

I want to thank the many friends, acquaintances, prospective clients, and clients who provided an opportunity for a great marketing strategy discussion and/or the chance to submit a proposal for ongoing or project work, or who engaged me and my firm to oversee and execute ongoing or project marketing or research work. I’ve truly enjoyed our conversations regarding marketing challenges and opportunities, as well as primary and secondary research, and the actual work I’ve done for some of you in these areas.

I also feel so fortunate and honored to have been able to work with such a diverse group of clients on such diverse work. To-date, Results has been engaged by two large non-profit organizations for both marketing and development work. We’ve also worked with many service-industry organizations, including ones in financial services and insurance/benefits, private investigation, and commercial real estate, as well as consumer goods and entertainment industry clients. In addition, we’ve served as a sub-contractor to a fellow marketing agency on public health marketing and communications work. And, I feel blessed to have had the privilege of holding discussions with prospective clients with a variety of organizational missions.

We’ve enjoyed serving as outsourced marketing department or outsourced marketing professional for a couple of terrific organizations — helping with both traditional and online marketing needs, including web site, online advertising, and social media oversight. We’ve also appreciated overseeing important project work for clients including competitor/marketplace research and analysis, online advertising (Google AdWords Display and Search/Pay-per-click), web site development and launch, and creation of strategic marketing and media plans that included traditional media such as broadcast (T.V. and radio), transit, and print advertising, as well as digital media.

I can’t close this post without thanking my wonderful husband and friends who let me brainstorm with them on a variety of topics, and without thanking sub-contractors who have helped me with a variety of work — particularly research-related — when my plate was very full. You know who you are, I couldn’t have done it without you, and I look forward to continuing to work with you as we begin our second year. You are a critical part of the Results team.

We can’t wait to see what this next year holds for us, but we have a feeling with all the interesting opportunities and challenges that the world of marketing holds for organizations of all sizes, industries, and profit status, it’s going to be another exciting year for Results.

Enjoying What You Do, keeping a balance, marketing consultant, Passion, Uncategorized

Gifts and Gratitude – Part I

As you might expect from any blogger, I feel compelled to share some thoughts from the heart and soul during this holiday season.  From my title, you’ll see it’s important to me to share my thoughts about both gifts and gratitude.  In fact, after another year of both great blessings on various fronts and more health trials and tribulations, there’s so much I’ve learned and want to share, this is going to be a two-parter.

Let’s start with gifts.  And, I’m not talking about the tangible ones you give friends and family, like baseball cards, the new Taylor Swift CD, or Godiva chocolates.  I’m talking about the two gifts that I think are the greatest gifts of all — love and good health.  I thought about it a bit, and while I think good health is one of the most important gifts that is both bestowed upon us — and that we can cause in ourselves and others through the right actions — I believe the most important gift is love.

You can live many years, even a lifetime, with certain types of poor health. It may not be easy, but it’s doable depending on the health challenge, but I don’t think any living creature can survive without love. I’ve always loved this line from “Nature Boy”, “the greatest gift you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return“.  Not just during the holiday season, but all year long, I hope you’ll remember, as I try my hardest to do, to share a smile and reach out to those who are most in need of it. It only takes a second of your time to speak to a stranger who appears down-on-their-luck or to reach out to a close or distant acquaintance who you know may be lonely and/or hurting in some way.

Now, on to good health.  Some of us, like me, were fortunate to be born with good health.  When I see children struggling with any kind of mental or physical health challenge, it breaks my heart that they have to be so courageous and fight so much at an early age. Also like me, some of us have known major health issues in adulthood, such as cancer, MS, diabetes, COPD, and heart disease.  While in certain cases, we can’t prevent the arrival of our illness, there are certain steps we can take to manage or minimize our symptoms or disease progression.  In addition, we can give the gift of good health to others by making sure we aren’t encouraging unhealthy behaviors through our actions.

I’ve shared information with family and friends about this great book I bought at the beginning of 2014.  Reading it was a wonderful way to start the year committed to taking actions that support good health. This book, http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Move-Sleep-Choices-Changes/dp/1939714001, by Tom Rath, was a good reminder that in addition to guarding your own health, you can help others guard theirs.  By taking the lead by ordering first at a restaurant and making healthy selections, or by refusing to bring unhealthy food into the office or to get-togethers with family and friends, you can be a help instead of a hindrance to supporting good health in your family and friends.

I hope during this holiday season you will be both the giver and recipient of both love and behaviors that encourage good health.

 

Enjoying What You Do, internships and volunteering, keeping up with trends, marketing consultant, Passion, staying current

A Missed Opportunity: Internships for the More Seasoned

It’s been a few weeks since I last blogged, but when you are a fairly new one-and-one-half woman company and have the opportunity to do new client work or meet with new clients, that has to be your number one priority.  Regardless of how busy “Results Communications and Research” gets in coming months, I hope to always find some time each month to post something new here.  I find both work and personal life provide new lessons every day if you just keep your mind open to what is being revealed to you.  There’s always some new insight I want to share with colleagues, clients, friends, and family. A couple of weeks ago, I promised a reader who commented about the great education and training that volunteering can offer someone who is looking to grow their skill set and/or make a career transition, that she would like my next post. I had already planned at some point to provide support and make a plea for internships for more seasoned, senior (both age and experience) workers, and her comment just prompted me to make my case regarding this topic sooner rather than later.

While some of the antics and activities that go on in the 2013 movie “The Internship” are a bit outlandish and unrealistic, I actually found it both very funny and truly inspirational.  For those who don’t know the storyline, two salesmen, very seasoned in developing and maintaining client relationships, who also have the ability to think outside the box because of the broad spectrum of work situations they’ve dealt with in their careers, obtain mid-career internships at Google.  The salesmen, played by Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, demonstrate to their colleagues who are less-seasoned and who have significantly fewer workforce/workplace battle wounds, that while they aren’t up-to-speed on the latest and greatest technology, they’ve learned a lot throughout their long and diverse careers that can be applied very effectively to workplace challenges and opportunities.

Most online or print notices announcing paid or non-paid internships seek college or graduate school students, or recent college or graduate school grads, and without a doubt, there are benefits to hiring less-seasoned individuals. But, the purpose of this post is not to provide negative or positive reinforcement of the aforementioned practice, but rather ask that, in addition to internships for less-seasoned individuals, employers consider implementing some “seasoned internships”. To me, “seasoned internships” are a no-brainer and create a win-win situation.  Not only will an employer benefit from having a seasoned employee who is likely to bring, at a very minimum, the ability to form and lead teams as well as just participate as a strong team player related to any team project or event, the seasoned intern — so thrilled to have a rare internship opportunity in a desired field made available to him/her —  will probably absorb more helpful information, have a bigger impact, and participate more fully than any employer would have ever anticipated.

So, if you are ever in a position of posting an internship or even a volunteer opportunity, give some extra thought to who you’ll make eligible for and who you really want to assume the position.  Today’s “seasoned” workers are likely to want and need to work for many more years.  Why not give both them and your organization the opportunity to benefit from an internship or volunteer position?

I’ll close with the fact that while “Results” is still in its infancy, I regularly mentor and share information about marketing and communications with those who are looking to grow in that area. While it may be some months before I can offer a “paid” internship, I’d be more than glad to consider in the immediate future non-paid intern candidates future with all levels of experience to grow along with me and “Results”.

P.S.  Please continue to share your insights with me as well.  I love hearing and learning from them!

Enjoying What You Do, keeping a balance, making time for things you value, marketing consultant, Passion

Carpe Dieming

I’m not yet ready to break out all my fall sweaters on this Friday before the long weekend — one that signals that summer will soon be on its way and we’ll need to dress for crisper, cooler air.  In keeping with my post headline and being a New Englander, I plan to savor the warm days and nights of summer and all the season brings for as long as I can.

However, this post and the motto that I live by warranted my modeling a favorite sweater of mine.  Thank you Banana Republic!

IMG_2193

I’m such a big fan of both the phrase (and the color orange :)) that I eagerly scoffed up sweaters for me and my twin, Audrey, with this phrase, and wore it to work on some casual Fridays to inspire my former marcom team.

Audrey and I love to say that we are “carpe dieming” and regularly encourage friends and family to do so. Being two of six siblings who have known our share of health-related hardship — three of us have battled cancer and now deal with the long lasting impact of treatment, and two live with the day-to-day challenges of multiple sclerosis (MS). Through all the great energy they bring to both their personal and work lives, I witness all the time the great awareness the Snow family siblings have of the importance of seizing every day and living each day to its fullest. And, I see this sentiment repeated over and over in a sarcoma discussion group that I participate in — whether it be voiced by current cancer patients, cancer survivors, or their caregivers and loved ones.

Given the fact that Americans, and perhaps, individuals throughout a lot of the world, think of September as a time of new beginnings and opportunities, I thought this was the perfect time to update and publish this post that I had drafted, but then put aside, several weeks ago.

To me, carpe dieming means:

1) Not putting off until tomorrow, what you can, should, or want to do today — whether it’s fun- or work-related.

2) Taking action towards your goals TODAY — whether they be to eat right, exercise, have more fun, visit more with friends or relatives, start your own business, or launch a new project.

3) Finding good in, appreciating, and enjoying every day.

4) Participating in life’s simple pleasures and acknowledging that the best things in life are, indeed, free.

5) Not over-focusing on “saving for a rainy day” to the detriment of doing enjoyable things today.

I’d love to hear what Carpe Dieming means to you.  Regardless, I hope you’ll seize this long weekend and make it the best ever, and if you haven’t seen it, check out this tribute to Robin Williams related to the important message he shared with his students in “Dead Poets Society”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acceptance of Circumstances, Enjoying What You Do, keeping a balance, making time for things you value, marketing consultant, Passion

Attitude Truly Is Everything

While you’ve all heard my blog post heading said and written numerous times in numerous ways, I think it’s a message that bears regular repeating. It’s a timeless message relevant to everyone in every situation and in every century — your attitude can and will make or break you.

I was reminded of this late last week when a friend told me that as part of consideration for a newly created position — one that would initially require a lot of mundane, repetitive work, but that was expected to grow to a much more diverse, and challenging one — she had to submit her favorite quote. She submitted the following: “You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind” – Author Unknown. A perfect quote for my “Keep Up the Fight” page.

I do believe if you go into any situation — whether it be business-, social-, family-, or health-related focusing on the good — and if the good is not easily identifiable, hunting for it, you are more likely to be both successful and happy. I speak from experience as someone who has dealt with serious illness that if you look and give thanks for whatever silver lining you can related to the situation, such as the ability to help others dealing with the same illness, a greater appreciation of the simple things in life, the forcing of one to have more life balance, etc., you will fare better mentally and physically.

tango_face_glasses

The same holds true for any business situation. Thirty years of work experience has taught me that a positive attitude is infectious. If you are proposing or beginning a project with a strong belief that it will have positive outcomes, others will believe and approach the project with the same belief. This is one of the many things I love about being a consultant (and a leader, in general), and where I think consultants, regardless of their field of expertise, can really help. We aren’t battle-weary from internal and external politics and other challenges impacting a particular department or organization.

Consultants are like fresh troops who come into a situation with brand new ideas and eyes that bring renewed enthusiasm and energy to a situation because we believe that we can be effective and help lead individuals and teams of individuals to the best possible outcomes. If we didn’t believe that we wouldn’t do what we do for a living.

Belief that great results can be achieved and no challenge is insurmountable is a powerful thing. I’d love to hear how you’ve seen it work in your lives.

brand promise, competitive advantage, differentiation, Enjoying What You Do, good will creation, making time for things you value, marketing consultant, Passion

The Power of Passion

My Dad was a man of great passion. He gave his utmost attention and energies to whatever or whomever he loved.

While my wonderful father passed away in 2012, just after his 85th birthday, as I undertake leading and operating my own business, I know it is his success and love of entrepreneurship that has inspired me to do so. My dad, O.V., never ran from a challenge. In fact, he embraced them.  For most of his career,  he was employed in businesses of his own creation.  Using a small inheritance from an aunt, he started an office equipment business at 1019 Farmington Avenue in Bristol, Connecticut.  While its origins were those of a church, 1019 served for years, and continues to serve, as the home for my Dad’s ventures, including the real estate firm my father ran most of his life, his beloved O.V. Resources.

While my dad originally was involved in both residential and commercial real estate, owning and selling commercial properties was his true love — behind my mother, of course.  Because of his passion for this business, my dad grew his firm to be one of the most successful and most well-known commercial real estate firms in Connecticut.  Due to his kind and friendly nature, my dad acquired what my brother calls a circle of “followers”.  They still stop by to visit with one of  my brothers who assumed responsibility for leading O.V. Resources in 2012.

In keeping with having been in the navy and a lover of sailing his whole life, my Dad successfully navigated the choppy seas of tough economic times during his forty-plus years in business.  He valued his ability to operate his own business and serve other local businesses, and he somehow always found a way to keep the business afloat.  In fact, his innovation and never-give-up attitude caused the business to have, overall, a very successful history.

Like my dad, my two older brothers have brought great commitment to O.V. Resources.

 

Image

My Dad brought great passion to other interests beyond his family, his business and sailing and boating.  He loved  cars, and just being out in the fresh air doing yard work — hence, the photo above.

Because of my love of research and analytic work, executing communications and marketing plans based on findings, and my Dad’s never-give-up attitude and creativity, I plan to bring great passion, commitment, and empathy to all the clients I serve.  And, like O.V., I hope I will soon develop my own circle of followers who will come to me for advice, compassion, and camaraderie.

Thanks, Dad, and to my brothers for your inspiration!  I look forward to following in your footsteps.

 

 

Acceptance of Circumstances, Enjoying What You Do, marketing consultant, Understanding Your Environment

Dance to What Is

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-amazing-dance-red-flag-beach-female-dancer-image31641336

“Dance to what is” is an expression I apply to and share with individuals in all aspects of my life — family, friends, and co-workers.  A co-worker from my days as a marketeer at the former Bay State Federal Bank, a community bank acquired by a larger bank in 2004, shared this with me.  The expression wasn’t his invention, but he told me the story of how a friend of his found himself on a business trip in a less-than-glamorous location.  While the friend would have rather been in NYC or some place more exciting, he decided to make the best of being in a rural town by fully engaging in the activities going on at the local bar.

I loved this story and expression so much, I started sharing it with co-workers in situations where I felt we needed to “dance to what is”.  For example, as many of us have learned throughout our careers, senior management at an organization have the final say on various matters.  We may not always agree with their decisions or pronouncements, but we have to execute them.  “Dancing to what is” means not spending a lot of time trying to change things we can’t change, i.e., accepting things and moving forward vs. spending time crying over what employees may consider “wasted” work or time.  But most importantly, “dancing to what is” means “making the most of whatever situation you find yourself in”.  You wish you were in Paris, but find yourself in a much more modest location.  Make new friends, visit the local ketchup museum, and learn what makes that area special.  There is fun and learning to be had in almost all situations if you are open to them.

As I look to establish my own marketing, communications, and research firm after 30 years employed in the financial, healthcare, market research, and higher education industries, and to launch successful marketing and communications activities for clients, the foundation to my approach will be recommending strategies and tactics that “dance to what is”.  I believe any strategy and tactics selected should be founded on research, i.e.,  on an understanding of what is really going on;  in other words founded on “what is”.  For example, are sales off because of pricing, quality, poor service, or undesirable product or program features?  Are the wrong prospective customers being targeted?  Are the wrong media being used to reach those target audiences?

Saying “it is what is” has an air of resignation to it, but “dancing to what is” means enjoying and celebrating as you really pay attention to the music that is being played.