Student Blogs: A Sign of What’s to Come

Advertising, Blogging, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing
Last Friday, I was invited by my friend, Leslie Dangel, to deliver a guest lecture to a class of marketing students she teaches at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. She’s asked me on a number of occasions in the past, and I always enjoy the experience. This time around was no different. I first spoke about running the Boston Marathon for charity and the five different fundraising campaigns I’ve conducted – on behalf of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (’96), The Home for Little Wanderers (‘02 and ’03) and Children’s Hospital Boston (’05 and ’06) – as part of the Boston Athletic Association’s Charity Program. I then showed the class a wall calendar we used as a self-promotional, lead-generation piece when I worked as a creative director at Boston’s Yellowfin Direct…
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Why Johnny Can’t Brand: “Action is Branding”

Advertising, Branding, Client Service, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing
“Too many folks think “branding” is what airlines do when they repaint the planes every few years, or what banks do when they refresh all the signage in their lobbies and reengineer their logos,” write Bill Schley and Carl Nichols, Jr. (partners at david, inc., an international brand consulting firm), in Chapter Two of “Why Johnny Can’t Brand: Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea.” “In the airlines’ case, they spend millions to update the image on the tails of their airplanes," add Schley and Nichols. "Then they arrive late, stick you in a cramped seat with your knees bumping the food tray, charge you $1,000 more than the guy sitting next to you because you committed the crime of not including a Saturday night stay, and lose your…
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A Memorable Boston Marathon Experience for More Reasons Than One

Advertising, Boston Marathon, Branding, Cause-Related Marketing, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing
Thank you once again to those of you who sponsored my participation in the Boston Marathon this year. You helped me raise a personal record total of $3,550 – and counting – for Children’s Hospital Boston. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your support. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this fundraising campaign in the near future, but while the marathon memories are still fresh in my mind, I thought I would at least give you the latest tally now and also let you know how I did as a runner. Not only did I exceed my previous fundraising high this time around, but I also had a very good day on the course. My finishing time was 3:52:49, my best time in a marathon since…
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Boston Sunday Globe: “Blogs ‘Essential’ to a Good Career

Going a long way towards validating all the time more and more ambitious professionals are spending in the blogosphere, the most recent edition of the Boston Sunday Globe lists eight reasons blogging helps your career. “Blogging is good for your career. A well-executed blog sets you apart as an expert in your field,” writes Penelope Trunk in a front page, above-the-fold article in the BostonWorks section of the newspaper. According to Trunk, one of the reasons blogging helps your career is that it “creates a network...” A blogger puts himself out in the world as someone who is interesting and engaging – just the type of person everyone wants to meet. To read this article (Blogs ‘Essential’ to a Good Career” by Penelope Trunk in the April 16 edition of…
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It’s Easy to Fall Silent Amidst the New Din of Agency Blogs

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations
So many advertising, marketing and public relations agencies are dipping their collective toes in the blogosphere lately that unless it’s the likes of Hill Holliday or Edelman we’re talking about, it’s not really big news anymore when any single one of them takes the plunge. That was certainly not the case as recently as just a few months ago, but blogging has finally eclipsed the tipping point and suddenly everyone and his or her brother wants to get in on the action. Understandably so. Given the paradigm shift toward transparency and immediacy that’s now underway in corporate communications, the benefits of business blogging – as long as you do it right – far outweigh the costs. As I wrote here in this space back in December of 2004, “a blog…
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A New Marketing Commentator Wins NEDMA Gold

Blogging, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing
I’ve been blogging for more than two years now, and I can’t say there haven’t been days when I’ve wondered if all the time and energy I put into A New Marketing Commentator is worth it. But last Thursday wasn’t one of them. That was when the 25th Annual New England Direct Marketing Association’s Awards for Creative Excellence were handed out, and this blog was honored with gold. Yes, this labor of love of mine was the first blog ever to win a NEDMA award, and that award just happened to be first place in one of the Interactive categories (Other Interactive, B-to-B: CD-ROMs, Videos, Interactive Kiosks, Blogs). How cool is that? Not to toot my own horn, but I was also fortunate to receive three awards for the direct…
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Please Sponsor Bob’s Boston Marathon Run for Children’s Hospital Boston

Boston Marathon, Cause-Related Marketing, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations
Less than two weeks from now (April 17), I’ll be running yet another Boston Marathon (it’ll be the eighth time I’ve made the same journey, the fifth time for charity), and I can’t tell you how much I'm looking forward to this very special day. I’ve enjoyed running since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, so for me, no matter how many times I’ve gone the distance, running Boston is still the thrill of a lifetime, a childhood dream come remarkably true. I’m lucky, though. Some children’s dreams are mercilessly dashed due to dread, debilitating diseases and disorders that you and I can’t even begin to imagine. Their challenge isn’t a marathon – it’s life itself, one difficult day at a time, courageously contending with poor health, waiting for a…
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Lose the Vowels, Gain a Following

Advertising, Branding, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Marketing
I suppose I could change my name to BB CRGL. And as for my blog, that could be reinvented as NW MKTNG CMNTTR, or some other such cryptic arrangement of letters, sans vowels. That, at least according to an article I read in the March 19 edition of the Boston Sunday Globe (“Merchants X out A, E, I, O, and U” by Jenn Abelson), would make me hip to what the author characterizes as “a phenomenon that stems from the growing acceptance of shorthand in text-messaging, communication that encourages users to get as much said in as little time and space possible.” The article begins with the following… Vwls R so ystrdy. From Motorola’s SLVR phone to Levi’s DLX jeans, merchants are unveiling new products with compact names that feature…
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