Monday, November 30, 2009

You Da Maven

I've had some HARO-wing moments in recent days. And the person responsible is Don Rosenberg.

(Okay, enough with the feeble attempt at melodramatic humor...)

What I'm talking about is a unique PR program that anybody can use and anybody can benefit from.

Welcome to the Winter Solstice edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Don, of Instant Organic Garden fame -- -- clued me in on something he's been using himself to help promote his business.

HARO stands for "Help A Reporter Out" --

Having been a Journalism major, that name, and its purpose, resonates with me as I harken back to my campus newspaper writer/editor days. I also think it's just cool sounding.

It's a two-platformed program that bridges the distance between source and resource. On one side, reporters/writers/authors/bloggers/TV/radio (terrestrial and Internet) folk sign on to send out mass queries to online subscribers to help gather information for their respective articles, projects, media shows, et al.

On the other side, one can sign up and receive all these queries...and then determine if there's any fit for themself as the source for the query.

For example, if I sign on as someone writing a monthly newsletter -- ahem, such as I do -- and am looking for information on the role of caricature art in marketing as my next subject, I'll send out my query to that effect, in broadcast fashion, with a description of my subject and return contact info on myself.

If on the other hand, I sign up to be on the receiving side and I see this query, I may answer it in the hopes that the writer will want to quote me or whatever on my capabilities and thoughts as a caricature artist.

In Don's case, he's been sending out queries to gather information for a book he's writing. Acknowledgment to and identification of his selected sources will surely find their way into the pages of his tome.

Frankly, the way I've been using HARO is as a PR "tool" to let clients and colleagues know of possible opportunities for them to be interviewed through media outlets they might not have had access to otherwise.

If their response is accepted, that's good PR for them...good value-added from me.

I recommend signing up with HARO. It's free and it's kind of fun to see all of the intriguing subjects being covered out there in both the atmo- and blogospheres. Maybe you'll get to appear on the Tyra Banks show (one of the actual media outlets listed).

In the meantime, look for this cyber vehicle the first Tuesday of the New Year with a new "broadcast" of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

And Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Joel Kweskin

Monday, November 2, 2009

Radio Free Charlotte

Don Crosby wants to introduce you to yourself.

And then appear on his radio show to talk about it.

He'll even grant you time to promote your business.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me and for anyone looking to tout their business.

Welcome to the turkey month edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Don, through the auspices of Global Behavior -- -- a licensing, consulting and training company, offers unique behavioral assessment tools which help businesses improve morale, identify accurate motivators, improve communications and save large amounts of loss profits by providing an accurate understanding of their people. His clients say it's right on the money.

"I apply this assessment tool," Don says, "which introduces people I've never met to themselves and to their families and our radio community. It's interesting, thought provoking talk radio. Perfect for anyone and everyone… business people or singles, couples, and families and simply for anyone who is interested in having a deeper understanding of themselves. It's safe and enjoyable."

What I like about Don's deal, frankly, is the gracious and generous opportunity he provides to not only have a little fun exploring our inner selves -- and let's face it, the better we understand ourselves, the better we can relate to others...including clients, colleagues and even family and friends -- but to also grab the mike and do a little self promoting.

Don's show is broadcast on Charlotte radio station WAVO, 1150 AM, Saturdays 12 noon to 1:00 PM. Go to and click on “Sign Up For the Show.” Based on a first come, first serve basis, potential guests will be emailed a "ProScan" behavioral survey that takes just a few minutes to complete. Once approved upon review, a date and time will be scheduled for an appearance on the show.

Hey, part of the marketing "mix" we promote to advance one's often does one get the chance to state our case on radio? Check it out.

And, BTW -- in the texting parlance of my kids -- if you know of any corporate interest in Don's show, he tells me advertising sponsors are more than welcome.

In the meantime, look for us the first Tuesday of next month, when Not Your Usual Marketing Tips will once again be on the air. Or at least on your computer screen...

Unabashed Plugs Dept.: Through the publicity efforts of JDK Marketing Communications Management, a couple of my clients made "the big time" recently.

Angie Lucas got some buzz for her new online "make your own" cupcakes business, on WBTV:

And from The Business Journal a couple of weeks back -- Savannah Shaw, Etiquette and Protocol Consultant, was featured on their Entrepreneurs page.

Joel Kweskin

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Meet Up and Speak!

I gave a talk earlier today.

It was presented to the Charlotte Entrepreneurs Organization, one of a multitude of MeetUp groups across the area. Search results - MeetUp, if you're not already familiar with the concept, brings "affinity" or like-minded folks together in groups of mutual interest.

Welcome to the crisp, Fall-is-already-in-the-air edition of Not Your Usual Marketing tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

For example, the group I spoke to today comprises, as the name would imply, individuals in business for themselves seeking networking, educational and fraternal opportunities among primarily the self-employed.

This edition of NYUMT bridges two "disciplines" I wanted to address:

1. The merits of joining organizations to further your networking opportunities (especially those that cater to your own personal or professional interests). For instance, I belong to two MeetUp groups in addition to the Charlotte Entrepreneurs Organization -- the Jewish Community Business Circle of Charlotte, ostensibly for my marketing business; and the Charlotte Wedding and Event Planners Group, primarily for my caricature business. Click here: Caricatures By Joel

2. The merits of speaking before these, or any groups. Look, let's face it, the advent of first the Internet and now social networking has given us all a certain "entitlement" (in the good sense) that encourages self expression without the automatically perceived need to locate an "expert" outside the ranks. And/or one that necessitates paying a fee for that expertise.

Each one of us has something of value to share with others. My buddy and colleague Ira Bass, of IB Media -- Click here: Media planning and buying -- currently gives a terrific talk to various groups on LinkedIn. He's not hired by LinkedIn, nor is he some techno-geek. He does it of his own volition. He simply knows his stuff on the subject and relates better to his audience because he's just another "schlub" (I use the Yiddish term affectionately) like you or me. But in getting out there "on the stump," people get to know Ira for his "real" work...

While public speaking has been famously listed right up there with death as among the most feared of human experiences (my own list would include being forced to watch more than 30 seconds of "The View"), nevertheless the opportunity to speak should be embraced as another critical component of one's marketing mix.

My talk earlier today went well. (Thanks for asking...) I actually lifted a couple of previous NYUMT's; a legitimate way to "recycle" and refresh your marketing message is to take from one of your previous writings, newsletters, blogs, etc.

In the meantime, look for us the first Tuesday of next month for another soapbox-standing verbal oration from Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Please Release Me

In addition to writing brochures, ads, website content, video and broadcast scripts, we also write press releases. But often, it’s like pulling teeth to get the client to consider what topics are worthy of a release.

Welcome to the back-from-vacation edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

“What’s so exciting about what I do?” they’ll protest. To which I say, you’re either too modest or you’re too close to the situation. The old “can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees” syndrome.

Well, if you’re too close to your business that you can’t see what might be of interest to your customers and prospects alike, you can be forgiven. If it’s because you’re too modest, well…sorry, you can’t be forgiven.

You’re in business…to do business…and make business. Part of the equation therein is to make sure that you dispense with self-consciousness and learn to toot your own horn. (I’m talking to you, Young Lady…)

Joan Stewart is a nationally known maven on writing press releases -- -- so along with some of her thoughts on the subject, I’ve added my own here to help push you out onto the publicity stage.

Here are 15 topics to help give you the impetus to consider that all-important part of your marketing mix. These 15 are by no means all the subjects available to you…but they’ll do as starters.

Have a press release written when:

· You’ve formed an alliance with another company or individual
· You or your business celebrates an anniversary
· You’re appearing at an event as a speaker, host, panelist, etc.
· You’re appointed to a Board or Committee of significance
· You or your business has received an award
· You’ve authored and published a printed or online e-book
· You’ve decided to begin a blog or e-zine
· You’ve offered a class or seminar, online or offline
· You’ve done charitable work, such as with Habitat for Humanity or the Humane Society
· You’re sponsoring a contest
· You‘ve been awarded a contract by a major or industry-significant new (or existing) client
· You’re having an Open House
· You have completed academic certification in your profession
· You offer a cogent opinion on a hot topic of the day, preferably germane to your industry
· You’re offering special discounts…or value-added features to your product/service

Press releases are relatively inexpensive (all you generally pay for is the professional writing of the piece…along with, perhaps, the time to research media destinations and send it out to them along with online press release portals). Unlike a paid-for advertisement, once a release is picked up and its information runs on the printed and online page, it lends further “legitimacy” and “newsworthy-ness” to the business.

Make sure to include them on your own website as well.

(And, of course, if you’d like to consider going ahead and producing a press release…we’re “write” here for you.)

See you the first Tuesday of next month for another not-publicity-shy version of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Joel Kweskin
Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Little Summer Reading

I’m reading a little book, aptly titled “The Power of Small.”(2009, Broadway Books, New York) It’s co-written by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, who preside over one of the nation’s leading ad agencies, the Kaplan Thaler Group. Among their accounts is Aflac. And among their signature creations is the Aflac duck.

Welcome to the mid-summer, smaller than usual Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Parenthetically, Kaplan Thaler is one of the most recognized representatives of the ad industry. She is frequently on TV news and talk shows, opining on industry trends and events.

But although the book has been penned by a couple of real sharp marketing minds, the subject is really pretty universal and, as such, can be filtered through the lens of whatever profession you’re in.

Interestingly, as Thaler and Koval point out, their mantra is – unlike Richard Carlson’s “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” – hey, the small stuff does matter.

“Taking the time to give a compliment or being attuned to a colleague or customer’s subtle body cues are not inconsequential actions,” they posit. “They tell a story. They are the details that make or break a relationship, or crack the case…”

They then go on to illustrate through a series of anecdotes and stories (mostly true; they interviewed all kinds of folks, from building custodians to TV stars) how small acts of kindness, compassion or simple interest in another’s story or plight have led to significant advancements in one’s personal as well as business life.

“Did you double-check that presentation one last time, or hold the elevator for a stranger?” they ask. Disparate stuff, but it all flows together in almost cosmic fashion.

As for my own little story:

As a college sophomore, I attended a public dance at one of the local New York City universities. At one point, I noticed two girls standing side by side. I asked one of them to dance. We dated…for years. And then we got married. Wendy and that girlfriend of hers are still the oldest and best of friends.

Linda Kaplan Thaler.

Tune in again the first Tuesday of next month for another O. Henry ending to Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Joel Kweskin
Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cleaning Up The Mess

Every so often, we turn over this column to words of wisdom from friends, colleagues and clients as they additionally reveal a compelling back story on their own life.

Welcome to the July edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Before gaining fame as The DreamSpeaker,™ (“Helping you and your organization increase productivity, efficiency or profits 25% by pursuing that one thing which you can do better than anyone else…your unique purpose, your passion, your dream!”), Joe Murtagh sold insurance, and retirement and estate planning exclusively for business owners and, all the while, wanted to know what made them successful.

"No one in my family had ever been in business, so I started reading two best-selling business books each month,” Joe recounts.

"Soon I found myself assisting clients with their business planning issues as well as their insurance and financial services concerns. Shortly after, I started writing a bi-weekly column for the local Business Journal and before long found I had become a ‘consultant.’

“The Business Journal columns proved to be a great marketing tool and, over time, led to the creation of seven different training programs. Eventually, I was asked to do an International Keynote address that has led to a full-time career as a speaker, facilitator and trainer.

“For me, effective marketing starts with the ability to understand the ‘job’ that my client is trying to get done.

“What are the problems your customers are trying to solve or what are they doing now that could be done faster, easier, more conveniently or with less expense? Answer these questions for your customers and prospects and they will beat a path to your door.

“In ‘Reinventing Your Business Model,’ in the December 2008 Harvard Business Review, the authors reveal what companies must do to capture game-changing marketing opportunities. A couple that comes to mind with my family:

“P&G with its Swiffer mops addressed a customer need in a dramatically better way. No more buckets, hot water, heavy mops and harsh cleaners. Now one simple lightweight disposable applicator on the end of a broom handle does the trick. ‘My hands are so soft these days and I owe it all to Swiffer.’

“Your customer wants to know that someone is thinking... and thinking about them. The best of marketing starts out by thinking about opportunities to satisfy real customers who need a job done.

“My wife used to joke about spending $15.95 in order to purchase a CD to get the one song she wanted. She would drive to the store, sort through the racks, find the artist she wanted, make sure her one song was part of the CD, pay at the check out and listen to it on her way home.

“Apple blew up that business model with its iPod and iTunes music store. Now for the same $15.95, my wife can get 16 songs from 16 different artists and play them instantly as she downloads them to her hand held device and inserts her ear buds anywhere she is…at home or in her car.

“Although we don’t live in India, auto manufacturer Tata Motors is serving a new customer base with its Nano, the $2,500 car aimed at Indian families who can't afford any other type of car. Luxury? No, but a huge step up from motor scooters that were the only other affordable option before the Nano.

“All sustainably successful marketing comes from finding a way to create value for customers by helping them clean up the mess that they currently are dealing with in order to get a job done. Any job a customer is doing creates a marketing opportunity for a better solution.”


Joe Murtagh’s mantra is: Develop unstoppable power by connecting with your unique purpose and achieve it through a can-do attitude, empowered by acquiring the competencies necessary to succeed and implementing them through interdependent teams of like-minded people.

You can reach Joe at , log on at or call him at 1-800-239-0058.

And you can reach yours truly at the info noted below. In the meantime, join us again the first Tuesday of next month for another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Joel Kweskin
Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ol' Reliable

I’m in the middle of preparing a brochure for a client for what seems like about the 400th time. Not for the same client. But in my decades – yes, I now count my career in decades – of producing marketing materials, I’ve easily worked on hundreds of brochures. Let’s face it, aside from one’s website, the venerable, good-old-fashioned brochure still does yeoman duty representing the “face” of a company.

Welcome to another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

The role of the brochure has changed with the advent of the website. Prior to that shape-shifting, electric and electronic vehicle, brochures were the be-all and end-all, with most of what one wanted to describe about one’s company packed into its narrow (generally) tri-folded panels.

Now brochures of all sizes are generally seen as the “sizzle” (some brief, broad, brush strokes on a business) to the “steak”(the website which, given its virtually unlimited size, can pack within it all of a company’s nuts and bolts).

Still, there are some key elements to be considered in the making of a successful brochure. offers this Checklist of materials that they suggest should go into “building” a brochure. And I concur. These points may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many of them are neglected (you included?):

  • Name of Location, Business or Organization

  • Address

  • Phone Number

  • Fax Number

  • Email Address

  • Web Page Address

  • Headline that creates curiosity, states a major benefit, or otherwise entices the reader to open and read your brochure

  • Headline that states the name of the Product, Project, or Described Process
  • Subheads

  • Short, easy to read blocks of text

  • Lists, charts

  • Key Benefits (2-3)

  • Features

  • Instructions, steps, parts (for a procedure, to assemble a product, etc.)

  • Biography (of business owner, key members of organization, officers, etc.)

  • Mission Statement

  • History

  • Logo

  • Graphic Image(s) (including purely decorative elements)

  • Photographs of product, place, people

  • Diagram, flow chart

  • Map

  • Call to Action (What you want the reader to do: call, visit, fill out a form, etc.)

And now that you know what to put into your new, or even revamped, brochure, you also know whom to call to help you put it all together… ;)

Look for another, more-than-just-a-tri-fold, Not Your Usual Marketing Tips the first Tuesday of next month.

Joel Kweskin

LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Low Tech, Value Added

My wife and I recently spent a couple of delightful days on St. Simons Island, off the Georgia coast (near Brunswick).

Parenthetically, this is one terrific place to “chill.” It’s like a mini Hilton Head – beach, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, history, even a small cineplex – yet without the commercial crassness and overbuilt infrastructure.

What I remember, additionally, is what one independent real estate agent did to help promote her business.

Welcome to the May edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Strolling down the small, main drag in the “downtown” section of the village, we noticed a woman working at her desk, door fully open to let in the sea breezes to her tiny realty office. And to let folks see how “accessible” she was for any inquiries – marketing points right off the bat.

She took the initiative to let us know about property she had, although we assured her we weren’t in the market. Nevertheless, she engaged us quite naturally in conversation and implied it was still a bullish market in St. Simons. Where we learned, by the way, that John Kennedy, Jr. was married on the “QT” and one of my idols – the famed caricaturist from Mad Magazine, Jack Davis – still resides.,jack.htm

She gave us materials, of course, but she also gave us a small, vertical-shaped card with her name and contact info. On the card was a concise listing of restaurants in the immediate area.

Because, after all, while you’re visiting and considering living here, you gotta eat, right?

That’s it -- a simple card with some simple…yet appreciated…information. Because it was timely and informative for us, and still relevant to what she does for a living.

Is that something a business coach, for instance, might hand out? In that case, though, perhaps listing resources like SCORE, the Business Journal, a recommended accountant or tax planner, marketing assistance, or the like? Perhaps a pet sitting company could list a preferred veterinary clinic, local dog parks, a “MeetUp” pet group, hotel chains that accept pets, etc.

It could be in the form of a postcard. It could be a bookmark. It could be on the back of a business card.

You get the idea. And who knows, your prospect/clients just might get the idea themselves that you’re a pretty thoughtful person – who sees a broader-minded picture in the nurturing of a relationship with that prospect.

An old-fashioned approach, perhaps. Born in the laid-back surroundings of a place where the pace may be a little slower. And the wheels of commerce may grind more than they whir. But the results can be just as satisfying as any prototypical high-tech grabbing at one’s senses.

Come back again the first Tuesday of next month for some more sand-in-your-shoes ideas from Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Joel Kweskin
And from the "What-Page-Of-Dr.-Spock's-Book-Is-This-From" Department: Commercials for absorbent towels or cleaning solutions where some brat graffitis up the living room wall, or revels in splashing himself with spilled milk or juice...and good ol' Mom smiles bemusedly at her cute little tyke as she prepares to gleefully clean the mess. Is it me, or do both characters deserve to be whacked upside the head..?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Getting Through This Mess...While Spending Less, Part 2

With the economy doing its best to discourage efforts to promote and market ourselves, there are still ways to make your presence known...without necessarily having to spend on big ticket media such as TV, radio, and traditional print advertising.

Welcome to another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management, your Official Marketing E-zine of the Recession of 2009.

Last month we began by looking at "10 Ways to Market Yourself Without Using Ads, TV, Radio...or Even Brochures." In no particular order, we touched on the first five. Here’s the remaining handful. These are suggestions, ideas, approaches that everyone -- from accountants to wedding planners -- can use to their advantage. And break through to your markets…without breaking the bank along the way.


* “The most successful people write personal notes regularly” -- Tom Peters

* Send out Holiday Cards…other than at Christmas.

* Always send a follow-up note after a meeting.

*Acknowledge a client/prospect with a note re. their having appeared or been quoted in the paper or magazine.

* Add a message to your mailed invoices or estimates, offering other services


* Create a niche for yourself – be the “one and only” professional serving a particular industry or local group.

* Play up an ability in a memorable way: “I’ll get back to you within 65 minutes.”

* Change your phone message to incorporate a marketing or service message of some sort.

* Offer additional services (through the silent…or public… partnership of networking colleagues).

* Be memorable: be the only one who always brings Krispy Kremes to clients.


* Recognize a client or referral group colleague who’s given you the most referrals, with a “certificate” or through publicity.

* Take at least one client out for coffee or lunch per month (and for special occasions, take them out to dinner!).

* Serve on a civic committee or board.

* Focus on better service to fewer clients; build stronger relationships toward more sustained revenue.

* Visit your clients at their office more often.

Guerrilla Strategies

* Send an inexpensive throwaway camera to a valued client or high-chance prospect with the message “Picture us together…”

* Put a compelling flyer in the newspaper boxes of an exclusive neighborhood (trite, but can be effective).

* Arrange to have your business card sitting on the retail counter of an affinity-based business, i.e. website developer at Mail Boxes, etc.

* Send something gimmicky to a prospect, i.e. a plastic foot prop wearing a shoe (“Now that I’ve got my foot in the door…”).

* Barter…which can lead to added client base. (More on that in another issue..)


* Join your clients’ groups/associations.

* Send newspaper clippings of news relevant to clients’ businesses.

* Host an event or office party; create the “reason” for it – i.e. St. Bart’s Independence Day; National Office Cubicle Day.

* Volunteer for a favorite cause or charity.

* Create your own networking group specific to your industry; share prospecting based on mutual…or individual…strengths.

We certainly haven’t covered the waterfront. But if these ideas have at least inspired you to get out on the dock and try casting a net or two out there, we’ve done our public service for the month.

Until the first Tuesday of next month when we come roaring out of the gate – NCAA Champs UNC Tar Heels-style – with another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips, have a blessed Easter or Passover.

And regardless of which holiday you celebrate, enjoy The Ten Commandments for the nine zillionth time.

Joel Kweskin

Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting Through This Mess...While Spending Less

Back in January, I opened the new year’s volume of NYUMT by offering “resolutions” to market and promote yourself, one resolution per month, each one a different way to make an impact with your customers.

Now that economic conditions are that much more critical, the need to market is no less critical. But there are ways to manage the process, without breaking your own bank.

Welcome to the March edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

I recently gave a talk to a combined audience of the two leading event planners associations in town -- the International Special Events Society (ISES) and the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) Now, while my association with these associations is linked to my capabilities as a professional caricaturist ( ), I was given appreciable opportunity to share with them my views as “the marketing guy.”

And, after all, just about all companies can benefit from a good pep talk on marketing. (With the apparent exceptions being the Exxons and Halliburtons of the world…).

The title of the talk was “10 Ways to Market Yourself Without Using Ads, TV, Radio, Billboards or even Brochures”

Let’s go over the first 5, not necessarily in chronology of importance…


· What’s new with your company? New product/service? – send an article out to the press.

· What’s new with you? If giving a talk or staging an event, send out an article.

· With permission, write about a client; use it as case study about your business.

· Send out a compelling photo with caption…from unusual vacation or interesting business trip, etc.

· Create an awards program for a worthy cause dear to you.


· Practice speaking by joining Toastmasters or other business/fraternal organizations.

· Invite clients and prospects to a talk or dialogue at local subdivision clubhouse.

· Join a local Chamber – even surrounding suburbs – and get on the speakers list.

· Ask to speak at your next industry association convention (state or national).

· Co-sponsor (and split the costs of) a seminar with a related industry colleague…i.e. insurance agent with financial planner; printer with website pro.

Trade Shows/Special Events

· Exhibit at a local trade show; share a booth with a colleague to control costs.

· Don’t exhibit at a local trade show; instead, walk the aisles and network freely among visitors and other exhibitors.

· Submit an article to appear in the trade show literature.

· Create a themed event at a local restaurant, inviting a specific prospect clientele.

· Co-sponsor a charitable event (golf outing, art exhibit, silent auction, etc.).


· E-mail a trivia-type question to clients/prospects; the first to answer correctly gets a free gift.

· Is there a movie presently playing that somehow touches on your profession? Tie in free tickets to clients. (“Slumdog Millionaire” for, ahem, bankers and financial consultants..?)

· Coffee mugs, water bottles and pens are cliché; use an item actually relevant to your business.

· Add a coupon for your services to a Welcome Wagon program.

· Promote your business through Val-Pak or Money Mailer coupon/flyers.


· Newsletters can be any size; send out a postcard with news, tips, maxims, etc.

· Newsletters can be e-mailed (“e-zines” such as this one) with all the info, including graphics…

· Co-op with another business that, for instance, could pay for printing through their advertising in it.

· Add an ongoing “newsletter” segment to your website that stays timely.

· Blog. Or vlog (the video version...).

Next month, we’ll go over the remaining five ways to market yourself without spending through customarily big ticket vehicles.

In the meantime, try to keep smiling. People want to do business with those who remain positive.

And I will positively plan on being here again the first Tuesday of next month with another macroeconomic view from “Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.”

Joel Kweskin
And from the "What-Alternate-Universe-Bizarro-World-Are-They-In?" Dept.: TV commercials that show cars speeding along on a highway, on a country road, on a city street. The operative word being "speeding." Like, really speeding...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"This Frenchman walks into a bar..."

Every now and then, I like to turn over this space to the musings and pontifications of friends, colleagues and clients on the art, the science…the alchemy…of marketing. From their personal perspectives.

Welcome to the post-Super Bowl, pre-Spring Training edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Philippe Le Baron is the founder and president of LB4G Consulting, Inc., dedicated to sales productivity through realizing the potential of sales managers and their teams.

Philippe has over 20 years experience in consulting, sales, sales management and sales productivity management on behalf of American corporate business throughout Europe.

During this time, the French businessman has designed his own programs and workshops,addressing business cultures as diverse as the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel, Russia, Switzerland, and Austria.

To adapt his consultative approach to everyone, Philippe developed a global-ready methodology that he has brought to America.

So what approach is Philippe taking these days to help get the message out on his business?

How about…Stand-Up Comedy!

“When I arrived in Charlotte from France about two years ago my sales productivity services were as new to the area as my accent was.

“As I built my American operations locally, I went to market with networking, surface mailing, email marketing, web presence, brochures, flyers, cold calling, you name it. Since my business is very much based on an ‘education’ sale, as opposed to a pure ‘pain’ sale, I quickly realized that earning significant mind share was not easily achieved unless I could quickly talk to a lot of people at the same time to maximize ‘education’ effectiveness.

“Workshops, seminars, talks became my main route to market, and I got my first referrals from these interactions. It also helped me position my services faster to an audience I had not anticipated – the small business owners market.

“Last summer I pushed the exercise to its limits. Willing to develop myself further, and in the search for the best "Toastmaster"-type training I could find, I was attracted by a workshop run by the International House in Charlotte, titled 8 Weeks to Become a Stand-Up Comedian. My initial sense was ‘Let's try this – if I can do it, I can give any public speech anywhere.’

“This took me a little further past my comfort zone than I had anticipated, but I have now performed six times at such Charlotte area venues as International House, Matthews Comedy Zone, Alive in NODA. It also has opened new horizons for my business. Not that I intend to make a living from this (even though I did earn a few bucks from my last performance), but I get called on now for corporate presentations and kickoffs, where the experience as a stand up is actually a plus to my ‘serious business’ pitch. After all, sales people and sales managers can always use a little humor to help them look at themselves, and embrace change faster.

“Last but not least, I found that there were similarities between stand-up and sales management: there is an art piece to it, and there is a science piece to it. And there is actually a process to making people laugh (as one who was schooled as an engineer, I love processes).

“There is a setup: a topic, an attitude and a premise that will, when worded right, lead to a joke that should get laughs...if you are funny (that's the art piece). The same way great sales managers blend their art of managing sales people with the science of sales force productivity.

“I now use both skills and content to resonate with my target audience. It does get my name out there too. It stretches one to new levels. And if by standing in front of an audience you are not otherwise scared s*#%-less – pardon my French – it can be fun too...”

Join us again the first Tuesday of next month for more shtick from Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Joel Kweskin

Monday, January 5, 2009


For the last several years, I’ve opened the January edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management with proposed Resolutions for the New Year. (And here we are -- Volume 7, Number1 -- Wow!)

Since resolutions, like advertising itself, tend to make an impact only when repeated…and repeated…and repeated…I figured I’d once again give a nod to this time-honored tradition.

In no particular order, then, here are 12 Resolutions, one for each month, for you to consider effecting in 2009:

Guerilla Marketing: Think outside the box for ways to promote yourself. There are rules. And then sometimes you know what they say about rules...

Networking: Do more, by joining more…networks that is (associations, fraternal organizations, fellow hobbyists, etc.). Marketing yourself continues to be a numbers game…

Publicity: Toot your own horn – no one else knows your “key” as well as you do…

Web site: If it’s been a while since you’ve “Spring-cleaned” your site – updating and streamlining – maybe now’s the time to have at it. And not wait, by the way, until Spring…

Seminars: Think you know it all?? Heck, maybe you do! – at least as far as certain audiences to whom you would speak are concerned, and the new market opportunities they might present to you…

Newsletters: Share your ideas, broaden your constituency – send out industry-relevant information either as hard copy…or electronically (such as what you’re presently reading)…

Trade Shows: Go to them, be in them, mingle within them, write a program article for them…

Event Marketing: Promote a cause, sponsor a charity, have an Open House – it’s good P.R. by “humanizing” your business…

The Newspaper: Remember that old-fashioned thing, for which the death knell has been sounding for years? For ideas, for client contact opportunities, for business references…don’t rely on the 11:00 PM News. Read the newspaper…

Greeting Cards: It doesn’t have to be Christmas to send them. Get your name out year-round, with Valentine’s Day, July 4th, Arbor Day – whatever! – as an excuse to stay top of mind with clients and colleagues….

Postcards: Along with greeting cards, postcards are a fast, convenient, economical way to let people know about your business (think realtors, financial planners, etc.)…

JDK Marketing Communications Management: Yeah, I know, I “cheated” on this last one. But how else are you going to be able to effectively take care of the previous 11 resolutions, without first resolving to contact yours truly…?

Have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009. And we’ll see you again the first Tuesday of next month with another Auld Lang Syne rendition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Joel Kweskin

…And from the “Just Wondering” Dept.: This past holiday season, as usual, the radio airwaves were filled with Christmas standards sung by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Andy Williams, Ella Fitzgerald, et al. Since it was primarily the rock and country stations that played them, I was Just Wondering…if these timeless, iconic artists are good enough to play at Christmas time, why aren’t they good enough to be played on these same stations throughout the year?

(Yeah, right.)