Best Billboards

Here are two of the best Pittsburgh billboards I’ve seen lately. One’s silly and one’s clever.

This billboard for Fodi Jewelers cracks me up every time I drive by it.  It’s not the use of the word ‘chicks’ that got me, it’s the fact that they put baby chicks on the billboard.

Too many puns!

Yes, we get the pun that studs is either diamond studs or studly men. And both of those meanings of the word “stud” make sense in this context. I’m just glad they didn’t put some pieces of lumber on the billboard, too. I have to say the image of the baby chickens is just silly and makes me laugh every day.

 

Awesome play on words

This billboard created by Marcus Thomas for just the Pittsburgh market makes perfect wordplay sense. It’s the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception and Pittsburghers will totally get this reference. Makes me wanna buy some chips right now!

Zagat Rates Pittsburgh Food?

Zagat will be rating Pittsburgh restaurants in 2013. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, “Currently, the only reviews for the Pittsburgh-area on Zagat.com are for chain restaurants that were taken from their recent National Chain Restaurant Survey.”

Why is Zagat so popular? I think it’s because people like to hear what others think is good, go try it themselves, and get in a big huff when they don’t agree.

People have a lot of opinions. And people have a lot of opinions about food.

A close friend of mine recently shared how he was having lunch at a popular new spot and the chef asked his group how they enjoyed a new menu item. Even though these people had no experience owning or running a restaurant, everyone felt they were qualified to give an opinion.

Restaurants are businesses that serve people and thrive on loyal customers. Want to build a loyal customer base that loves your services? Listen to the opinions of your customers, your audience. Show them you respect their input. You don’t have to promise to deliver everything they ask you for, but you have to at least give some time to listen.

That’s why I created My Food Notebook for my most important “business” – my family. I don’t run a restaurant, I’m not even that great in the kitchen, but I know how to build strong relationships! My Food Notebook lets my kids to give feedback on the food we prepare and serve. It helps me learn what they like so I can offer a variety of foods that are similar to their favorites. They get the comfort of familiarity and I help them learn how to tackle new things in life.

I’m launching My Food Notebook at Marty’s Market on December 8, 2012 at 12 Noon. All are welcome! We’ll be encouraging kids and adults to try some new foods and give their opinions. We’ll have some prizes, too!

Try it in your own life. No one like to have their opinions ignored. What might be easier in your life if you simply gave people a chance to express themselves?

 

Gilda’s Club Name Change?

How do you feel about the imminent change starting in the Madison Gilda’s Club organization to the Cancer Support Community? To me, it feels a little like someone not interested in explaining their brand and instead choosing a name that is more SEO-friendly. But I could be wrong.

Language and word choice is very important to the folks at Gilda’s. I worked with them for many wonderful years when I was a full-time non-profit professional and remember when they shared with me the document that explained the very specific terminology they used in all Gilda’s Clubs programs. One big difference from my employer’s terminology was that folks at Gilda’s Club staff and volunteers avoided the phrase “battling cancer.” They didn’t like that phrase because a battle implied that someone might lose.

The official explanation is that young people don’t know who Gilda Radner was and they want as many people with cancer to find them and utilize their support services.

Here’s a comment from Lannia Stenz, Executive Director:

Like many of you, I have been a fan of Gilda and SNL throughout my life. However, Gilda’s Club Madison is part of a larger organization, the Cancer Support Community. After a great deal of discussion and deliberation our local board of directors chose to make the change for a number of key reasons:

1. In 2013 we are beginning the outreach process to offer education and support programs to outlying areas. Our service area is a 14-county region in SW Wisconsin. Our new name incorporates the entire region.
2. Our parent organization, Cancer Support Community is now the parent agency of all Gilda’s Clubs and Wellness Communities. As of this year, all of the Wellness Communities have changed their name to Cancer Support Community. Gilda’s Clubs across the county are beginning to follow their example.
3. There will be no new Gilda’s Clubs created in coming years because Gilda’s Club Worldwide is now Cancer Support Community.
4. By incorporating what we do into our name we are eliminating confusion and will be able to more effectively raise awareness about our programs.

Finally, although the name is changing, our mission remains the same. The spirit of Gilda’s Club will stay alive in the clubhouse. We have one goal: to ensure that all people affected by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.

It is my sincere hope that our community will continue to support our work through this challenging change and cheer on our efforts to provide emotional support, cancer education and hope to men, women and children who are impacted by cancer. As an organization we have a great deal to celebrate and we hope you will join us as we move forward.

Regards,
Lannia Stenz
Executive Director

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/health_med_fit/gilda-s-club-changing-name-as-fewer-know-namesake/article_0893171c-53c8-50bd-900f-6381aee41f71.html#ixzz2DZKDZ7Ii

 

 

Recipe for Success: Perfect Job

What simple steps can help you succeed in securing the perfect job?

Don’t wait – dive in!

Earlier this summer, Shannon Metzler, a mom of two school age children, knew she was ready to get back in the workforce. Her goal was to become a swim instructor. Over the course of a few months, she effectively networked and identified local opportunities and not only secured a position, but actually secured 2 positions and even had to turn down a third offer! She also provides private swim instruction. 
Did you set a time limit for achieving your goals?

I did not set a time limit. I have been thinking about swim coaching for a number of years. But there was a bit of a time constraint in that there was a position available and I needed to get my resume in to the hiring company before the job went to someone else.

Did you ask for help to achieve your goals?
YES!!  I doubted my ability to be an effective coach. I sought help and found someone who rallied for me. This friend was Incredibly supportive and optimistic about what I could do.
What was the most important action you took?
Updating my résumé. The positions are out there, and I generally interview well if I can get in the door.

Can You State Your Business Goals?

Start today. Thanks to Runkeeper.com for helping me track my progress towards my running goals!

Early in conversations with potential clients, I ask them to state their goals for me. If they can’t state a measurable goal, I encourage them to work it out and then come back and continue the conversation with me.

It’s not that I don’t want the business. I just don’t want a dissatisfied customer. And if my customer can’t state their goals – in an objective way so it’s obvious whether we’ve reached them or not – how can they ever be satisfied?

You’ve probably heard of “SMART” goals before. If not, here’s a little tutorial from Stanford University:

A SMART goal is:

Specific (and strategic):  Linked to position summary, departmental goals/mission, and/or overall School of Medicine goals and strategic plans.  Answers the question—Who? and What?

Measurable:  The success toward meeting the goal can be measured.  Answers the question—How?

Attainable:  Goals are realistic and can be achieved in a specific amount of time and are reasonable.

Relevant (results oriented):  The goals are aligned with current tasks and projects and focus in one defined area; include the expected result.

Time framed:  Goals have a clearly defined time-frame including a target or deadline date.

This is the perfect time of year to take a good chunk of time – not a fleeting moment – and state your business goals. And if you need a writer or social media coach to help achieve some of these goals, just ask!

Would Your Remove Skills from Your LinkedIn Profile?

Keep it current!

Sure you would – and should – if they don’t describe the kind of work you are doing and want to do. LinkedIn can be a fantastic resource for connecting with potential clients, resources and partners. A good review of your social media profiles is essential when you’re hoping to make the right kinds of connections and do your best by your customers.

Take a look at your own LinkedIn profile and make sure the skills you’re listing are exactly the ones you want to promote.

Even if you’re not seeking employment, LinkedIn can be a fabulous way to stay on top of industry trends, changes in corporate leadership, raging debates on current affairs and – my personal favorite – an excellent source of solutions for problems your business faces day to day. I use LinkedIn Answers at least twice a month to solve or problem or find a new way to complete an old task.

Another great resource available on LinkedIn is SlideShare that allows users to showcase their best presentations and attract the right kind of audience. My most recent upload has received 80 views in 4 weeks. It really showcases my perspective and brand. What presentation would convey your essential messages?

If LinkedIn isn’t one of your favorite social media sites, maybe it should be! Connect with me and grow your skill set!

 

 

A Little Magic Helps Picky Eaters

 

Do you adore grocery shopping and cooking?  Who doesn’t love making your way down the same old aisles of thestore, grabbing the few standard ingredients needed to tackle the next chore of cooking and then suffering the whines of our kids as they complain and push their plates away?

Re-discover the magic of choosing and preparing food.

Cooking is like magic – you transform separate ingredients into a complete meal. And we learned that we could transform our picky eaters into willing taste-tests by including them in the grocery shopping and cooking. While it seems like a chore to most adults, to kids it’s brand-new and gives them a chance to experience aspects of food that adults take for granted.

Many times, picky eaters are simply scared of the unknown. We have found that when our kids can choose which bunch of broccoli looks “most delicious” at the store or which “new flavor of cheese” they want to try, they are less intimidated.

It was the Irish Soda bread that opened our eyes. Would our pickiest eater ever touch this? No way – there were 


raisins in the bread! But thanks to his cooking class at our Kindercare, he participated from start to finish and loved the bread so much he had trouble sharing it. He knew what was in it and I believe he felt more comfortable trying it!

At home now, we try to include our kids in as much grocery shopping and cooking as possible. Dylan is now quite skilled at making scrambled eggs from start to finish. It’s one of his favorite foods and I love that he understands how much work goes into preparing food.

We try new recipes together, like the very simple process of making homemade tortillas or family favorites like pizza bagels. Starting with something simple and offering options like pesto or black olives is a great way to encourage tasting new foods, too.

Inspired by this discovery, My Food Notebook has a Notes section that allows kids to record what they would like to buy at the grocery store and paste or write their favorite recipes. My older son likes to use the Notes section to invent menus for different restaurants he would like to open. I’m not sure about some of his ideas, but I promised him I’d at least give his recipes a try!

Get Your Social Media Team into Shape

You have to use the right tools for your goals

You have to use the right tools for your goals

PRDaily recently ran my blog “6 Reasons Why An Athlete Should Run Your Social Media.” It should be obvious by now that I firmly believe running inspires me personally and professionally. But I’m not the only one. Here’s what folks on Twitter have been saying:

Those are just a few of the replies. I used Storify to collect many more responses to this post and can help you learn how to use Storify to capture responses to your campaigns, too!

Recipe for Success: Simple Social Media Growth

 

Social media isn’t rocket science!

Debi Gilboa, MD, of AskDoctorG, is a rising name and national parenting expert and author of “Teach Resilience:Raising Kids Who Can Launch.” Over the past year, her social media engagement has increased significantly and she’s more than doubled her weekly newsletter following. She didn’t hire a massive marketing agency, she found the recipe for success herself.

What were 3 things you did that increased your followers?

  • I followed folks that were on the lists that other people put me on. Convoluted I know, but go to your own profile page, click lists, then switch to member of (from subscribed). This will show all the places you’ve been listed. I switch to “people” from “tweets” and follow other like-minded folks.
  • I follow a little indiscriminately but then use twit cleaner to clean up my follows about once a month – stop following those without good content or real interaction.
  • I never RT or tweet out anything I don’t actually read and agree with.

How much time did you invest?

I invest on average 30 minutes a day to social media, sometimes lots more but often a fair amount less. And I take one day completely off a week.

What’s your favorite channel?

Favorite is Twitter, but Facebook is close behind and learning to love Pinterest!