Category Archives: Professionalism

Processing the EXPO

The PPAI EXPO has come and gone. It is a hectic week, filled with plenty of new information to process. It always takes me about 2 months to fully grasp what I have see and learned during the week. However, here are two quick observations I want to share with you.

1) The environmental “green” movement is alive and well, but losing its momentum. This particular aspect, the “friend of the environment” aspect of marketing a business will continue to be important and should be considered in any PR campaign. However, due to the lack of coherent standards in the marketplace and the growing skepticism of the public towards “green” claims, I believe that the period of explosive growth in the “eco-friendly” campaigns is over for the forseeable future. Besides, it is expensive to be “green”.

2) Integrating Web 2.0 ( “social media”) into marketing for small business via tangible promotional advertising continues its steady growth. Many of the “new” ideas are simply reworking tried & true promotions from the past and adapting them to find ways to encourage consumers to interact with a company’s persona on the web. Moving forward, I believe this aspect of promotional marketing will provide small businesses an opportunity to develop and grow in their on-line presence, which is where the future of marketing is, right now.

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Filed under Professionalism, Promo Ideas, Social media, Trends

Becoming Better

What are you doing today to become better tomorrow? Input Your Brain

Last evening, I had the opportunity to speak to the Brainerd Chapter of the IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) about networking. The presentation is called “Work the Pond” and is based upon the book of the same title by Darcy Rezac. It is a great resource for anyone wanting to update or improve their networking efforts.

These individual members of IAAP came together as a small group with the purpose of learning something new. Today, they know more about how to network (and improve their businesses and personal lives) than they did yesterday. How many will use this new knowledge and put it into practice? Hopefully all of them, but even if they never use the knowledge gained, they are better for having heard it.

The neat thing about this group is that they have meetings every month at which they have an education program. That shows a true commitment to improving themselves and their profession through exposing themselves to new ideas and information on a regular basis. How many of us are guaranteed to learn something new on a regular basis?

I respect and appreciate other professionals who are willing to sacrifice their time (after regular work hours) to gather together to improve themselves, learn something new and become more valuable to their organizations.

My hats off to you IAAP and thanks for the opportunity to share.

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Filed under Goals, Professionalism

Sharpening the Axe

axeAbraham Lincoln once said: “Give me 6 hours to cut down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe.” He knew that proper preparation improved performance.

Education and preparation are the keys to performance today. If one wants to perform one’s duties better, faster, smarter, one has to learn from the best in their profession.

Last week, I attended a workshop given by Cliff Quicksell, a man recognized as one of the most creative and effective people in my industry. Cliff has received more awards for creativity than anyone else in the industry and he has a long track record of building successful promotional campaigns for his clients.

I spent a day with Cliff, learning about his successful approach, his attitudes towards serving his clients and sharing marketing ideas with him.  The day was a great experience and I came away with new ideas and attitudes about  how to better serve my clients. I was sharpening my axe.

The surprising and disappointing aspect of the day was how few of my colleagues in my industry attended. There were only 25 people in attendance and only 15 of those attendees are actively involved in the business as promotional consultants (sales). My professional organization UMAPP, has a membership of about 1000 individual members, which represents about 25% of the total companies involved promotional products. It is estimated that there are over 1000 people in Minnesota selling promotional products.

My questions (and concerns) are these: why were there only 15 of us trying to sharpen the axe? Why are only 1.5% of the people in my profession out in the field calling on customers interested in finding new, better ways to serve their customers?  Those are questions for them to answer.

Here are couple question for you to answer. Is the person you work with for promotional products one of the 1.5%?  How would you know?

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Filed under Professionalism, Promo Ideas, Responsibility