Proof, Please.

Do you know how when your walking down the streat and its really raining hard and a man is just standing there, stationery, and your not sure what to do and then mighty voice carreys over the air and shouts "I don't know when your going to make up you're mind but when its the truth and it's voice rings true then you know what to do."


Yes, there's something wrong with the paragraph above, other than its being a little nonsensical. A lot of things. And yet these kinds of mistakes happen every day -- in books, in newspaper articles, on news channel lower-third titles. Missing words, misspellings, incorrect punctuation and possessives.

For those who notice and those who care (e.g., good, loyal, discerning customers), there's nothing that torpedoes a company's or organization's reputation faster than a lack of attention to detail.

The words that represent you, represent you.

Take a moment to proof your web pages, business collateral, blog posts -- everything. Have someone -- it doesn't matter who -- look at what's been written before it's made public. Every writer, copy editor and proofreader will tell you that no matter how many eyes have seen a piece, errors are often found.

And here's the way our introductory stream-of-thought paragraph should have read. If anyone finds anything wrong with this, let us know!

Do you know how, when you're walking down the streat and it's really raining hard and a man is just standing there, stationary, and you're not sure what to do, and then a mighty voice carries over the air and shouts, "I don't know when you're going to make up your mind, but when it's the truth and its voice rings true, then you know what to do."








Content (Original) Is King (Again)

And who says? Google.

If your Web site contains reconstituted content from other web pages, or even lots of links to content at other pages, your ranking in the Google search algorithm has now slipped quite a bit lower.

According to news reports, Google wants to goose the value of the Web by kicking back search results that are of more value to the customer. (See The Washington Post)

Web sites set up over the past few years that reconstituted existing content just as a way to build more pages to improve search engine ratings won't be able to pull that stunt again.

If you want your Web site to do well in the ratings, hire a good writer to create original, helpful, inspiring, engaging and *valuable* content for your customers.

They'll thank you for it and Google will reward you.



Connect with Force

One of the most popular commercials during the Super Bowl (and actually before it) was the Volkswagen "The Force" ad, where a tiny tike in full Vader regalia grows increasingly frustrated with his inability to levitate household items and family members, until he meets up with the 2012 Volkswagen Passatt.

In 61 seconds we see the incredible power of linking your product (or service) to a cultural icon -- the cultural force of "Star Wars."

But in this case, the commercial worked because it *wasn't* another piece set in the Mos Eisley Cantina or the deserts of Tatooine or the corridors of the Death Star.

It worked because it was entirely down to Earth.

We could relate to everything in it -- the costume, the music, the dog, the weary mom, the peanut butter sandwich, and particularly the kid's desire to have a special power.

Don't be afraid to dream about linking your vision to a powerful icon you're passionate about. Have fun. Play around a little. Dig out those boxes of comic books or pick a favorite graphic novel.

Then you can bring it down to Earth. Link your heroic problem-solving energy to everyday subjects or concerns or problems.

Or, better yet, ask us to do it for you.


Maximize What You Already Have

While a local electrician/remodeler was installing new heaters in our office just before Christmas, he pondered aloud, "I see trucks for other electrical companies in this neighborhood all the time. How do people hear about them? I want them to come to me first."

He lives in this neighborhood, so that's a reasonable request.

He just upgraded to a brand-new van -- that tall European kind with the funky shape that attracts attention. And it's white instead of the blend-in brown of his previous, run-of-the-mill van.

This van is his creative concept. If used consistently and maximized to the nth degree, it can be the one element at the center of his publicity efforts.

I suggested he not park the van at home at the end of every day, but instead at different locations around the neighborhood and then walk home. Not a big deal.  And that he look into sponsorship of events in the neighborhood where his van can be visible. His greatest promotion is that van, even more than social media.

What asset do you have that you're not maximizing??