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AMP Agency wins 2011 Interactive Marketing Award for Nasoya "Wrappy Hour" Campaign

(via Promo Magazine) Vita-Soy USA needed to increase awareness of its Nasoya line of organic, healthy products ' especially its new wraps, which consumers were struggling to learn how to use. Primarily known in the tofu category, Nasoya was finding that its brand awareness among general consumers was weak, and that those who had tried the wraps were writing in asking for recipe ideas. In response, AMP created 'Wrappy Hour,'? an in-home party concept using the web as a hub for the trial recruitment campaign. Because of its social networking capabilities, the web would stretch a tight budget of less than $100,000. 'We realized that to kick this product up a level, consumers really needed to try it,'? says Sonny Kim, senior vice president, digital media, for AMP Agency. To find women with strong social networks to host the parties, AMP rented 10,000 email addresses of women ages 21 to 64 in 28 states. The correspondence included a qualifying survey that asked questions such as, How often do you entertain? Do you like to cook?, and Do you experiment with food? Individuals were also asked if they had heard of the brand (to mine a good mix of those who had and those who had not). AMP qualified 100 addresses from the women who replied. 'We were very impressed with the response rate,'? Kim says. 'It was better than anticipated.'? Once accepted, each hostess was required to sign a legal document agreeing to host a party of at least six people (resulting in a total of 600 or more party-goers), to share information about the party and products across their own and Nasoya's social networks, and to conduct themselves appropriately online. Hostesses were supplied with a Nasoya-branded party kit that included the wraps, aprons, plates, sauces, a list of fun things to do with a tofu press, coupons, cocktail recipes and a $25 gift card for purchasing additional items they would need to make their appetizers. The microsite at nasoyawrappyhour.com was available to the hostesses as a place to blog, share recipes, show pictures and talk about their experiences. In total, the site received more than 2,000 visitors and 10,000 page views. Visits demonstrated high levels of engagement, with users spending 4:15 minutes on the site and viewing five or more pages per visit. Almost all the hostesses used Twitter and Facebook to chat about their Wrappy Hour parties and experiences, while the word Nasoya was searched for more than 1,000 times during the campaign period. The recruitment began in September 2010 and the parties ended just before Christ mas. Overall, Nasoya reported an incremental lift during the campaign period. 'We got great brand awareness from the 10,000 initially emailed, as well as the 600 influencers,'? Kim says. The hosts and their guests mentioned Nasoya products and their parties and recipes in more than 415,000 social impressions, including seven blogs with ongoing conversations. To measure the full effectiveness of the promotion, AMP developed a customized data analysis and campaign optimization program that allowed Vita-Soy to better understand the type of content that resonates with its consumers.

  • 3 min read
  • January 6, 2012

Forget Google, Bing & Yahoo - It's Hammertime!

In a move as confusing as his 1994 foray into gangsta' rap, Hammer (formerly MC Hammer) is launching his own search engine called WireDoo. After all, nothing is more 'gangsta'? than droppin' fresh new algorithms across the current search engine landscape. All weirdness aside, Hammer claims that WireDoo will spotlight 'deep search,'? and topics closely related to search queries. For instance, if somebody searches for 'Hammer's mansion,'? they might also get results for debt consolidation and insanity medication. When Hammer spoke at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, he helped explain relationship inspired search by comparing it to gathering home buying information. If someone were to search for 'homes in Cambridge, MA,'? they might also receive information regarding area schools, neighborhoods, and other city related information. Whether WireDoo is successful or not, Hammer has successfully come up with an idea that is unique to its competitors. If the celebrity of Hammer is enough to get people using WireDoo, the premise is interesting enough that in a best case scenario, WireDoo could end up merging with an established engine. Granted, it will be important to actually wait until the engine is launched, but the fact that it will enter the market with a lot of hype could give it a fighting chance initially. Think about it, for as important as search is in our daily lives, it has had little celebrity influence'?¦.until now. *Disclaimer- The rest of this article contains no truth whatsoever: One odd thing I noticed about WireDoo was that every #1 ranking featured anchor text stating the words 'U Can't Touch This.'? The anchor text linked to the song on iTunes. I soon became concerned that Hammer might only have his own interests in levitra online sales mind with his new business endeavor. For instance, when somebody searches for 'Reebok Pumps,'? the 1st search result is a link to his song 'Pumps and a Bump'? on iTunes. I became even more suspicious when I did a search for 'kidnapping,'? and all that came up was a link to buy his song 'Have You Seen Her?'? Come on Hammer'?¦that's just inappropriate! When I typed in 'financial disaster,'? it was evident that one of his developers played a joke on him, because all that came up was the following image: Hammer will also be launching his own analytics platform to coincide with the launch of WireDoo. WireDoo's analytics platform differs from the likes of Google and Bing in the way that it provides an easy to understand grading system that lets webmasters see exactly how their site is performing. Hammer's grading system is as follows: 2 Legit 2 Quit = Outstanding It's All Good = Good Work This = Needs Improvement Pray = This Site Sucks You guessed it - each grade (song title) contains a link to buy the song on iTunes. In conclusion, if your search and analytics results have been void of all things Hammer, 'Here Comes the Hammer'? to the rescue.

  • 3 min read
  • October 25, 2011

AMP Named One Event Industry's Top 100 Agencies

AMP Named One Event Industry's Top 100 Agencies Event Marketer Magazine, which serves the information needs of brand-side event marketers and agency executives across the spectrum of face-to-face media, named AMP Agency to their 2011 Class of Awesome, the Top 100 Event Agencies'?¦ the 2011 "It List". Here's what Event Marketer said about AMP: We don't know if it's the free pizza that keeps employees churning out great work, but we like what we see. Our fave? The Maybelline New York Color Studio that transformed a Walgreens into a fashion week experience. (Have you ever been to a New York Walgreens? That ain't easy, people.) The 45 percent boost in sales didn't hurt either. Also worth a mention: AMP recently acquired agency assets from former parent Alloy Media + Marketing. See the full listing here

Snack Factory Selects AMP Agency to Launch "Bold & Spicy" Line of Pretzel Crisps

September 19, 2011 In Bold New Partnership, Snack Factory Selects AMP Agency to Launch "Bold & Spicy" Line of Pretzel Crisps AMP Agency will provide creative and media services in support of Pretzel Crisps® new Bold & Spicy category of flavors (Boston, MA) - September 19, 2011 - Spicing up their marketing approach, Snack Factory, makers of the worlds first spreadable pretzel cracker, Pretzel Crisps®, has announced the hiring of AMP Agency, a Boston-based integrated communications company. AMP will be responsible for creative and media duties aimed to drive mass awareness around the launch of the new Bold & Spicy Pretzel Crisps® category, which includes the wildly popular Buffalo Wing and the new Jalapeño Jack and Chipotle Cheddar flavors. "The new Bold and Spicy category is more than just a line extension," said Perry Abbenante, Vice President of Marketing for Pretzel Crisps®. "By expanding the Pretzel Crisps® portfolio to include the Jalapeño Jack and Chipotle Cheddar flavors, we hope to reach a new group of consumers. The AMP partnership enables us to introduce these new offerings in a creative and exciting way, while helping to build increased interest among current users." "We are thrilled to be working with Pretzel Crisps®, a brand that has boldly redefined the snacking category," said Gary Colen, CEO of AMP Agency. "We are excited to spice up the web with a flavorful creative campaign that will drive awareness of the new Bold & Spicy flavors and encourage consumers to visit the deli section of their local supermarket." AMP Agency currently provides creative and media services for a number of Fortune 500 clients. With its "Insights-Inspired, Results-Driven" approach, AMP leverages key information to create compelling brand communications and experiences across a broad number of communication channels including social media, public relations, events, digital media and mobile. About Snack Factory Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Snack Factory was founded in 2004 by snack food pioneers Sara and Warren Wilson. From their humble start selling funnel cakes at county fairs, the couple went on to create New York Style Bagel Chips and Pita Chips (sold to RJR Nabisco in 1992). Today, Snack Factory is reinventing the pretzel category with the worlds first spreadable pretzel cracker, Pretzel Crisps®. For more information, please visitwww.pretzelcrisps.com or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pretzelcrisps. Pretzel Crisps®. Rethink your pretzel! MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Harris, jharris@pretzelcrisps.com Director, Public Relations 609.613.0715 Snack Factory http://pretzelcrisps.com/ Facebook: Facebook.com/PretzelCrisps Twitter: @ PretzelCrisps About AMP Agency AMP Agency is an integrated communications agency that specializes in developing innovative marketing solutions drawn from its history of "Insights-Inspired, Results-Driven" success across a full suite of marketing channels. For more information about AMP, visitampagency.com. MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Jacobs, mjacobs@ampagency.com Director, Strategic Marketing 617.837.8169 AMP Agency ampagency.com Twitter: @AMP_Agency Facebook: Facebook.com/BrandAMPlification

  • 3 min read
  • October 14, 2011

The Psychology of Social - AMP Agency's FutureM Event - Sept 14th at 8:30am

Join AMP Agency for a look into the evolution of social media ' where it is today, emerging technologies and channels, and what's to come in the years of innovation ahead. The event will combine an exclusive first-look at findings from AMP's latest research study, the 'Psychology of Social'?, and an in-depth panel discussion with leading social experts discussing the various triggers that lead to successful consumer adoption of new social channels and their vision for the evolution of social media. Our event will be held as a part of MITX's FutureM, a community-driven, multi-format event experience throughout Greater Boston occurring the week of September 12 ' 16, 2011 that will explore "what's new and what's next in marketing". Register for FutureM and the Psychology of Social at bit.ly/futurempass with the 20% off discount code 'AMP Agency'?. When: Wednesday, September 14, 8:30am - 10:30am Where: Cambridge Innovation Center - 1 Broadway, Cambridge, MA. The Havana Room. Meet our panelists! Laura Fitton Once upon a time dubbed a "Queen" of Twitter, Twitter's own mom-at-home to tech CEO Cinderella Story Laura '@Pistachio'? Fitton is CEO/Founder of www.oneforty.com (recently acquired by HubSpot) and co-author of Twitter for Dummies. Laura founded oneforty.com (@oneforty) -- creators of SocialBase and the web's most extensive directory of social media tools -- in 2009 when she recognized that software built on Twitter's API was going to change the world. Now a thriving B2B Social Business community and SAAS management platform, oneforty eliminates the chaos and uncertainty around doing social business right. Laura is credited with convincing Guy Kawasaki and thousands of tech execs that Twitter would have real business value. She founded the first Twitter for Business consultancy, Pistachio Consulting, in 2008 and has been speaking professionally about the business use of Twitter since 2007. She is a warm and engaging keynoter, has lectured at HBS and MIT-Sloan, and has been quoted in dozens of national publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal. She also raised $25,000 for Charity: Water in December 2008 in the first ever "donate by tweeting" charity campaign, @Wellwishes. Laura lives in the Boston area with her two daughters and two dogs. Laura believes that everyone can benefit - dramatically - from realtime technologies like Twitter because of their power to overcome isolation. "The people you meet on Twitter remove the obstacles that hold us back in our everyday lives." Todd Van Hoosear Todd Van Hoosear is a professional communicator and technologist with close to 20 years of experience in marketing and technology. He's led regional, national and global public relations teams in the telecommunications, CAD/CAM, networking and Web spaces with great results. Along the way, his technology background ensured that he was an early social media and Web 2.0 adopter -- launching his first blog in 2004. Todd has worked with clients ranging from the United States Marine Corps, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, SickKids, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, MapQuest and leaders in mobile, networking, engineering and manufacturing technology. Todd serves as Vice President of Social Media for the New England Publicity Club, a Fellow with the Society for New Communications Research, a founding member of the Social Media Club's board of directors and a member of the IABC's Social Media Release Working Group. He holds an M.A. in communications from Michigan State University. You can find him on Twitter at @vanhoosear. PJ Guinan Dr. PJ Guinan is an associate professor in the Information Technology Management Division and teaches in the Management Division. She teaches multi-disciplinary courses in information technology, cross-functional teamwork, organization design, organization change, and management strategy. She is the faculty chair for the open enrollment program "Social Media Management: Strategies and Practices for the New Social World" and the "IT Leader Development Consortium." She is the author of an international award-winning book entitled Patterns of Excellence for IS Professionals: An Analysis of Communication Behavior. Dr. Guinan received two awards for teaching excellence from Boston University, where she taught prior to joining Babson's faculty. Her executive education program teaching includes custom programs for IBM, USAA, Ernst and Young, Lucent Technologies, the Boeing Corporation, EMC, Met Life, Houghton Mifflin State Street Bank, and Petroleos de Venezuela.   Jamie Pappas Jamie is Vice President of Social Media and Integrated Public Relations at AMP Agency where she leads the development and execution of strategic solutions for clients across a range of digital and social channels. Jamie is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Community BackChannel, a community for and by community professionals. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Social Media Club, Boston Chapter and the Enterprise 2.0 Conference. You can connect with her online at her blog, Social Media Musings, or via Twitter @JamiePappas.   Additional Details on FutureM MITX's FutureM is an intellectual marketing mash-up. FutureM brings the community together to contemplate and celebrate the future of marketing, and Massachusetts' role in helping to realize it. Community enabled, multi-format and multi-location, it has become the national showcase for the leading marketing thinkers and doers. From the Opening Night Kick-Off on September 12th to the closing parties at the end of the week, marketing and technology practitioners will come together to discover what's new and debate what's next in marketing. Explore other FutureM events at http://futurem.org/.

  • 6 min read
  • August 21, 2011

Guest Teen Blogger: Brianna - "A Shopper from Good Ole Lancaster County"

Our most recent guest blogger is Brianna, a 16 year old from Lititz, PA. We asked Brianna a few questions about her shopping habits and brand preferences, and what she believes the future has in store. Here are her answers to our questions: 1. What kind of shopper do you consider yourself to be? I consider myself to be an impatient and picky shopper. I am not afraid to say that I do not like something. If I am at the mall, I grow impatient sometimes. Shopping with my three sisters can make me impatient. It can be crazy and I hate when they find an item and I find nothing. I have to be in the mood to shop. When I do get a new item I get really excited to try out the product or wear the product. 2. What do you look for in the brands you use? What I look for in brands is the usability of the item. I do not want to buy something that I will never use again. For clothes, I tend to not buy an item that is dry-clean only. I try to steer clear of it to save money. I also look for something with good quality without a huge price. I also want the clothes to fit and for it to be fashionable. I expect a lot from the brands I choose. 3. What types of things do you spend most of your money on? I tend to spend most of my money on food. If I am hanging out with my friends, sometimes we get lunch at a restaurant or get ice cream. I also spend a lot of my money to go to the movies (and extra money for popcorn!). I also buy a new outfit sometimes so I also spend my money on that too. I am a dancer so I love getting new dance activewear and shoes. I also love going to the theater to see shows, so money is also spent on tickets. 4. What item that you have purchased best represents your personality? An item that represents my personality is my tap shoes. I love tap dancing. The sounds you make can be hard and soft. If I get cranky or mad sometimes, they are the "hard" sounds. I am a bubbly, happy person, which would be the "soft" sounds. A tap routine would be the highs and lows of my life since a routine has a beginning, middle and end. The actual look of a tap shoe does not describe me, but the use of it does. 5. If you had to save $2,000 on your own, what would you do with it once it was saved up? If I saved up $2,000, I would definitely want to keep some in the bank. I am not one to splurge and spend uselessly. I would probably buy a new outfit complete with shoes and accessories. I love getting new dance shorts and tops so I would invest in them. I could put some of that money towards my dance tuition as well. 6. What do you want to be when you 'grow up?'? When I grow up I would love to be an elementary school teacher. I really enjoy working with kids. Two of my sisters in my family also want to be teachers as well. Seeing them learning about teaching inspired me to go towards that career path. I cannot picture myself doing anything else when I am grown up. 7. How do you think the brands and products you buy will change when you get older (say, like 30 years old)? I feel that brands and products will become more innovative. Technology is spreading fast and I feel in the future it will be everywhere. In the fashion world I feel new designers and designs will turn up. There will be new trends and old trends coming around again. Maybe new inventions to improve daily life will be created. I am excited for what the future holds for products. 8. What is the most important thing you've ever done in your life? I feel like I have not hit the most important moment in my life. I feel like I have more of my life to live. I do have fun moments such as participating in dance competitions/ conventions, doing shows, or even hanging with friends. I am only 16 years old; I am learning how to drive which means I am becoming more independent. I am growing up, and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me!

  • 4 min read
  • July 15, 2011

Guest Daddy Blogger, Mike: "Papa Needs a New Pair of Pre-Ripped Jeans (against his better judgment)"

With Father's Day around the corner, this month we've reached out a few dads to share their insights and perspectives. We spoke with Mike, a 34 year old first-time father living in Brooklyn, NY. Mike blogs about fatherhood at www.dadandburied.com. Here are his responses to a few questions about his shopping habits, brand alliances and his recent foray into fatherhood. What kind of shopper do you consider yourself to be? First and foremost, I'm a shopper of convenience. I don't like shopping and I don't like planning and HATE planning my shopping. So I usually wing it. orlistat or alli Once I find a brand/product I like, I stick with it, until my wife tells me what I should be buying instead, and then I buy that. I have no pride when it comes to being a shopper; tell me what to get and I'll get it, so long as I'm done with the whole experience yesterday. What do you look for in the brands you use? Value and reliability. I also like those jeans that already have rips in them, because I'm in my mid 30s and I no longer do things that cause my jeans to rip, but I like to convince people that I still do those kinds of things. Sadly, though, despite the fact that I buy those jeans for that reason, I remain starkly aware of the fact that everyone, including myself, knows that anyone who buys pre-ripped jeans is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the kind of person who does things that cause their jeans to rip. And yet I continue to buy them. It's a circle of denial and aspiration that I can't escape. I also like Apple products. What item that you have purchased best represents your personality? I can't say ripped jeans here, both because I've already said it and also because if I revisit the paradox of what buying ripped jeans means about me, I'll start crying again. So instead I'll say it's the cans of Sixpoint Brewing's Bengali Tiger that just landed in my fridge. Because I like beer, and even though it's only a four-pack, and an expensive one, I am loyal to the Sixpoint brand and when I'm loyal to a brand, and that brand delivers, price is not an issue. What makes you a good dad? My total lack of shame. I entered into fatherhood with the same mixture of fear, anxiety and insecurity as everyone else. I also wanted to be sure I was a 'cool'? dad, and not just in an 'I wear ripped jeans that may or may not be pre-ripped'? way, but in a 'being a dad is not going to change me'? kind of way. I quickly realized that being a dad was absolutely going to change me, in fact it already had, because suddenly I didn't care about that anymore. These days, when it comes to my kid, I have absolutely no qualms about being an idiot in public. I have no issues changing diapers, no worries about wiping slimy food or snot or drool off his filthy face, and I have absolutely no inhibitions when it comes trying to make my son laugh. I will do anything to make that happen, mostly because when he's laughing, he's not crying. Please, God, stop crying. What advice would you give to a new dad or a soon-to-be new dad? Relax. Before you have a kid, the prospect of being responsible for a child is terrifying. Once you actually have the kid, it very quickly becomes your life, and you just simply have to live it, one day at a time. The most pleasant surprise for me has been that even the stuff I expected to suck ' even the stuff I KNEW definitely would suck ' isn't so bad after all. Not compared to the good stuff, which is pretty great. If you had a million dollars, what would you buy?! A house. And an iPad. I can't believe I don't have an iPad yet. Not having a house I can believe; not having an iPad makes me a little nauseous. But Father's Day is coming up... What is the most important thing you've ever done in your life? Had a kid. Sad but true. It's all downhill from here. Even if I have another kid, it will take years before I know which one will be more 'important'? in the grand scheme of things. At least right now there's no competition; the one kid I have is the most important one. I haven't done much else that stands up against him. I mean, I was also on the local news once, but no one watched. So I'll stick with the kid thing.

  • 4 min read
  • June 15, 2011

Future of the Web, Humanity, & Advertising

I recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Qi Lu, President of Microsoft's Online Services Division and got to hear his views on what the future holds for the web and search. The presentation was really interesting and actually put me in awe of how much possibility there is. Here are some of the innovations that the web has had and will see in the future: Keywords ' search engines primarily ran on these in the beginning to gather search results Geo-targeting ' implemented to help the user find more location relevant search results Apps ' helped bring the web's information to user's on-the-go Social ' developed to connect you with your friends. Implementing this into search engines is the next step for Microsoft and by teaming up with Facebook, this gives them a huge advantage Task Completion ' another soon to be new frontier in the world of search engines. For example, right now searching 'dinner for two, movie after'? will not generate relevant results for what you want. But in a smarter web with task completion, you will yield results for restaurants and movies nearby, both with reviews or ratings from people you know, location information, as well as maybe an ad for cabs to take you from the restaurant to the movies, all in one search With all of these innovations, one person mentioned the printing press and how the invention of it indirectly cheap cialis sparked the Enlightenment. So with a smarter web that is even more accessible to everyone, what does this mean for humanity? Lu's take on it is that an increased interconnectivity of the world is going to bring people much closer together and that the idea of community will be radically transformed, as well as what constitutes a civil behavior. Also with a more streamlined and smarter web, one wonders how advertising will change and if it will even still be relevant to us anymore. Lu believes advertising is here to stay and with good reason. If there was no advertising then there would be no information to search for. Advertising is what informs us of new information regarding certain products or services that we would otherwise not know about. However, the portal in which that information is delivered is and will constantly change. This is why startups like Groupon have reached an unprecedented amount of success in today's market. Now more than ever, Lu believes startups have a huge opportunity to help shape the web's future. Web innovation is all about making the most out of everything the web has to offer. Streamlining it into your day-to-day life is what successful innovation is made of. Innovators eventually want to reach a point where the web can read your mind and your intent so well that it will be able to generate relevant results, as well as ads. It seems that a psychic internet may be a long way away but only because there is still much left to be discovered.

  • 2 min read
  • May 19, 2011

Guest Mommy Blogger: Nicole - "Striving for Oxygen"

We're introducing some new members to the AMP Agency team: Frequency Guest Bloggers. Each month we'll reach out to two consumer demographics or mindsets. This month we reached out to Nicole, who is 36, a mom of three beautiful children and lives in Plainville, Massachusetts. Here are her responses to some of our questions. What kind of shopper am I? In three words, creative, frugal and selfless (to a fault). Ok, that's more than three. I tend to forget or forgo my wants and head straight to the children's section of any store I am in. I can talk myself out of a purchase for me, but into a purchase for any of my three children. However, when I do indulge for myself, I still try to be frugal. As for the creative part, I love to peruse designer ads for home or fashion, see the insane couture sticker price and create a similar design for a fraction. It's a rush and a notch in my proverbial thrifty belt. I look for eye catching, pretty items for me and my daughters. Not necessarily trendy, just enough to stop me in my tracks-online or in person. For my husband and son, I look for designer labels on sale or even cosigned. As for home décor, I seek beautiful indulgence - think Dom Perignon on a Bud Light budget. And for staples and groceries, coupons and online deals all the way. The item that I own that most defines me would have to be my wedding dress. It is the most classic, tailored, beautiful and timeless piece of my history and I treasure it. It could have been worn 60 years ago and could be worn again by my daughters (Fingers crossed). The most defining part about it, however, is it cost $600. An amazing, quality, designer gown for well under $1,000. That, I am proud of, and I love it to this day. The qualities that make me a good (dare I say great) mom'?¦are. Oh, man, I got stuck. Isn't that awful? The very thing that I have given most of my time to and sacrificed so much for and when I attempt to choose one quality, I go blank. Ok, here it is. I strive. I strive to achieve balance. Balancing a teenage son, a preschool daughter and a 17 month old baby girl. I strive for balance with discipline and fun, balance with housework, cooking and play dates. Making sure to leave time for my husband and oh, yes, myself. Striving to create beautiful memories for my family, instill morals, keep the fridge close to full and maybe squeeze in a movie night with friends or a yoga class. I may fail, but I surely strive. The advice I would give to a new mom, or soon to be'?¦write the great moments down. It passes so darn fast and if you don't keep a journal of the super cute or quirky moments, you'll forget. Write it on a napkin if you have to and put it in the junk drawer, as long as you record it somewhere. Also, make time for you ' you may have been told after boarding a plane that in the unlikely case of emergency, you should put the oxygen mask on first; that way you are better equipped to care for your kiddos if you do'?¦ well same goes while on the ground, moms. You have to don that oxygen mask so you can breathe deeper and not run on empty. Be it in the form of a small xenical order online retail indulgence, a spa trip, a five minute meditation, or a salted margarita with your 'besties', take that break and you'll be a better mom. Oh, and there's no guilt in bottle feeding! If I had a million dollars what would I buy? The boring portion of my response? Three $100,000 college educations, and a $500,000 4 bedroom home. Then for joy, I'd buy a well in Africa, a convertible for my mom and a boat for my dad. I'd pay our church bills for a year and then the right hand mother's ring I've been dreaming of, a killer swing set and one of those robot vacuums for my endlessly messy floors! Um, do I have enough left for a trip to Italy? The most important thing I have ever done in my life would be to take a chance on my husband. Without him, I would not have these three miraculous children. Because of him, I also have the ability to raise them from home and work per diem as a teacher, actress and writer.  My children don't define me, but they enhance my life so ridiculously much every day. They challenge me, teach me and make me laugh at least hourly. I would say two close seconds, are writing my first children's book and maintaining faith in God through various life challenges.

  • 4 min read
  • May 2, 2011

Three Lessons From McDonald's: #Winner in the Face of Adversity

When McDonald's is faced with adversity, it fights back. Hard. Take a glimpse at its history and you'll find key learnings that we can apply to our clients and brands. McDonald's struggles date back to the 1970s when it began to endure criticism for its environmental policies. Seeing the need to keep a favorable public opinion, the golden-arched giant began to implement packaging reduction efforts. Today, it uses 25 grams of packaging for a Big Mac, fries and drink; in the 1970s, it was 46 grams. Do the math and that's a 46 percent reduction. Lesson #1: Listen To and Evolve with Customers ' Over the years, McDonald's has listened and adapted to its customers' demands. We need to do the same on behalf of our clients and brands. With social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, it's easier than ever to listen and engage our customers. By closely monitoring customer, industry and environmental trends, we'll stay ahead of the curve and enable ourselves to become early adapters. When movies Super Size Me (2004) and Fast Food Nation (2006) slammed McDonald's ' and fast-food restaurants across the nation faced mounting pressure from the FDA to clean up their menus ' McDonald's revitalized its menu. It faded out Super Sized french fries and soft drinks, and began to offer healthier food options. McDonald's then embarked on a full-scale advertising campaign to tout its healthier menu ' reaching mainstream consumers via TV and billboards. In 2010, McDonald's launched an extensive Global Best of Green marketing campaign to emphasize its green-friendly procedures, creating a website and consumer and media-facing full report about its efforts ' which includes an Energy All-Stars program that rewards McDonald's managers in US locations for finding ways to conserve energy, to its implementation of new recycling methods for cooking oil, among other tactics. Lesson #2: Don't Be Afraid To Publicize Good Work ' Clearly, McDonald's is not afraid to show off its corporate responsibility (CR) initiatives throughout the years ' whether through reports, media outreach or full-scale advertising campaigns. If your client or brand is undertaking CR initiatives or supporting a special cause, make sure you tell it to the world through effective communications. Otherwise, no one will know. Today, McDonald's is continuing to battle issues, such as public disdain for its direct advertising to children via Happy Meal toys and its reincarnation of Ronald the clown. Luckily for McDonald's, it has a blog entitled 'Values in Practice'? that features information about its corporate responsibility initiatives, including its Global Marketing Guidelines for communicating responsibly to children. Lesson #3: Tell Your Story or Someone Else Will ' When facing communications crises you have two choices: 1) you can ignore the conversations and hope they go away or 2) you can tell your side of the story. McDonald's chose the latter through its blog. After all, if it doesn't tell its story, someone else will. Blogs are a useful tool for your client or brand to speak to the world with a megaphone and provide real-time responses to criticism, as well as promote corporate responsibility initiatives. Why not take advantage of such a great tool? As you can see from this brief glimpse into McDonald's history, ongoing attacks have plagued the fast-food giant, but so have smart communications and business decisions. We can learn from McDonald's and take these lessons back Pharmacy cialis to our everyday work with our clients and brands. #Win Check out our public relations service for more info.

  • 3 min read
  • April 26, 2011

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