Saturday, August 27, 2005

Word of Mouth Marketing That's No Accident

The Library Marketing - Thinking Outside the Book blog points to an interesting article on called How to Create the Accidental Evangelist by Sean D'Souza. I agree that little things done at just the right time can make a big difference.

It's the really simple, yet genuine, things that make a difference to me. The generic birthday card from a company you barely do business with feels pointless and fake. I just got some more of them last week and I thought, what a waste of a stamp!

Today, decent service can sometimes seem remarkable because it's so rare. I don't understand people who can't at least reign in their grumpiness on the job. I mean, sure, everyone has bad days at work. But even when I'm having a bad day, I try not to take it out on the people I work with, or for (i.e. customers). But I don't get that in return often when I'm the customer. I'm usually happy if a salesperson, waiter, etc. is friendly. Not overly gushy, just naturally friendly. It's something that's so simple, but it also makes such a big difference.

Understanding Your Users' Mindset

LISNews recently pointed to Beliot College's Mindset list for the Class of 2009, whose members were born in 1987. I find these lists intriguing. I'm not sure how accurate and helpful they are, but they sure are fun to read. I doubt anyone from the Class of 2009 reads this blog to let me know how true the list is, but if I'm wrong, let me know!

The closest one to when I graduated college is 2002, which is still three years after I graduated. (there goes the mystique about my age). Can people who are just three years longer than me really be so different?

Here's how I differ:
#8 - I vividly remember being in school and watching the Challenger blow up. Very sad.
#10 - Knew what polio is because my best friend's grandpa had it.
#12-#14 - Had records and a record player, maybe that's why I understand the lingo in #13?
#15 - Pac Man - yes, Pong - no.
#21-#25 - Apparently my family is old-school because we had a black and white TV when I was little, no cable, no answering machine, my grandma had a beta, and I WAS the remote.
#32 - I saw Jaws while on vacation in Florida. Not a great idea, mom.
#36 - I remember watching Mork and Mindy.
#41 - So not true.
#42 - No again.

Usability 101

Market research and usability go hand-in-hand, don't you think? I can't remember where I saw this link, but the University of Minnesota Duluth's IT Department created this interesting list of usability resources.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Know What Your Reporter Wants

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Jim Ritter recently discussed what he wants from PR people with Joe King in a PR Newswire article. Even if you're not a full-time PR person, it's worth remembering Ritter's tips. You've probably heard them before, but another reminder never hurts.

Ritter's key points:
  • Know what beat(s) your reporter covers.
  • Know how the reporter prefers to receive information.
  • When e-mailing reporters, use a short and sweet subject line.
  • Never, ever e-mail an unsolicited attachment. (This rule isn't just for reporters, think twice before e-mailing a big attachment to anyone. And remember that files size is relative to the speed of the recipient's Internet access).
  • As Joan Stewart suggests, find out the best time to call each reporter and the worst time.
  • If you put your news releases on the Web, make sure contact information is accurate and easy to find.
[Thanks to Joan Stewart's "The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week" free ezine for the link. Subscribe at]

New Month, New Marketing Treasures

The August issue of Chris Olsen's Marketing Treasures e-newsletter is online now.