A topic that forever shook up and changed the lives of our participants…

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~ Michelle


Today I had the opportunity to do mock interviews at our high school to help young students better prepare to enter the work force. I have been doing this for several years and it always amazes me to find out what career ideas and interests a 15-16 year old may have. First off I want to say thank you to the teachers who put in their time to help mold young minds and prepare them for the future. I was delighted to see the maturity the students expressed when confronting a possible job opportunity (mock or not). Most of the students were prepared with a cover letter, resume and application and many have no work experience yet. The high school does require volunteer assignments and it was evident that that experience was helpful in their communication skills.

I felt it was great when I asked them questions and they were very prepared and looked me in the eyes with conviction. I did ask if they had any questions to see how curious they were about what I do and my company. This is a good skill as in today’s world the interview process is two way. As I have stated in the past you need to give back to your community to build for the future. Who knows what circles even young adults run in and who might be your future client or employee.

Tips (for parents & teachers to pass on to the students) based on observations today:

1. Do not chew gum during the interview
2. Do not fidget around in your chair
3. Please dress for the interview
4. Have your paperwork neat and ready to present
5. Always thank the person in the interview
6. Be open and let the interviewer know as much as possible about you
7. Be interested in the whole process

I would highly recommend getting involved in career day or mock interview sessions for the students, for the community and yourself.

The future is in good hands if we give of our experience and advice and let the next generation lead the way.


>Blogging caution

> Intrigued by a conversation with a friend of mine in a graduate program at a local university this evening got me thinking about blogging. During her summer classes, students are paired off each week with a different partner – this week she was paired up with a very unique woman who has a thing or two to learn about blogging and privacy.

This blogger lives in a neighboring community and teaches at a local university. If you Google her name you will find her blog, which is dedicated to a VERY controversial group where she is a very prominent leader. Looking at this situation from the outside, if any of her students (or the university) found out this information she would almost immediately be asked to leave.

I caution everyone to please exercise extreme measures in not only blogging, but Internet usage as well. At the very least, avoid using your entire name or specific geographic location. If you are exercising your right to fair speech, but are in a position where your outside hobbies or interests could jeopardize your position, please take advantage of the privacy options available.


>Then and now

In 1979, Intellivision was introduced to the United States. This was a relatively simple system to use and offered a variety of games of basic use. Nowadays, game systems have real-life graphics and internet multi-user capabilities. What a dramatic change from years ago.

Sparked from my first experience with the Nintendo Wii this weekend, I began to think about what is next for the gamers and technology advancements. A new fitness program for the Wii, The Wii Fit, has been introduced as well, giving users even more interaction with the game. This mat will allow for such exercise programs like aerobics or even as intricate as yoga.

I find it especially interesting that while Nintendo is concentrating on user physical interaction, other systems are simply satisfied with only the hand component.

What is best for our market right now – full interaction or a simple role-playing game?


>Go, go, all-in-one gadget


With the launch of Samsung’s new Instict phone next month, Apple’s iPhone should be looking over it’s shoulder. This new all-in-one gadget bares a resemblance to the iPhone, but has a few new tricks as well. The differences that hold my interest are the keyboard size with larger buttons (but still touch screen) and GPS. Speculation has surrounded this release saying Apple is waiting until Spring releases this phone to come out with “iPhone v2” which also has GPS and modified options to solidify it as the all-in-one-multi-media king.

This presents the question, is all-in-one better than having all individual products? And, just who is buying these all inclusive products?

Dema, a long-time friend of mine, stood in line the morning the iPhone was released. Why? “Because I love having the newest gadget,” he says, grinning. He loves the ease and fun aspect of it, even when text messaging someone else. “You can see the entire conversation, rather than just the message sent to you. Makes it easy to text multiple people and never lose track of the conversation.”

Rob Felber agrees. “It’s a way to stay on top of technology,” he says. “Too many ‘toys’ are out there right now – why buy all of them individually when you can just buy one?”

Personally, I have a Samsung Blackjack II. It has GPS, email, Internet, music download ability… I don’t use it for any of these things. My GPS is in the back seat of my car and my iPod is in my room at home. I have had not so good of luck with phones in the past, and I am very hesitant to put so much faith in one piece of technology. It is my opinion people become too reliant on this new technology – and if you have this all-in-one gadget and something happens, you are left without any of your “toys,” as Rob calls them.

Which is better? Only the time on your new all-in-one phone will tell. (Bad joke, but I had to!)

>Lessons in SEO

>Joe Pulizzi, founder of Junta42, an online resource for marketers and publishers looking to grow their business through the use of expert content, is our first guest blogger in Adventures in Marketing. Please enjoy his lessons and guidance as he details his experience in SEO optimization.

One of the hardest lessons to learn in business is when to listen to yourself and when to not. For me, this lesson really hits home. When I first started my company, Junta42, I created a name so unique I thought optimizing SEO would be a walk in the park, I was wrong.

Honestly, there are so many areas to think of when creating a positive search engine presence, we overlooked the most obvious one…that users wouldn’t necessarily put together the fact that there was no space in our brand name. Since that time, we have also been looking at other misspellings such as junta24 (24 instead of 42). A number of reporters actually sent me a few emails transposing the 4 and 2.

Looking back, I think the biggest issue was that we didn’t put ourselves into our customers shoes and realize that search engine users don’t put in the words or phrases that “you” think they should. When people search for terms, they have their own vocabulary and view your company and your brand in a particular way. Understanding that a user looking for “Junta42” would put in a space between the Junta and the 42 seems pretty simple now, but we had a bit of tunnel vision.

During initial research, we surveyed approximately 50 publishers (60%) and marketers (40%), through online surveys and phone calls, to determine our core keyword areas. We are still working to refine these. We have also used services such as
wordtracker.com and websitegrader.com to continually help us in choosing the right key words.

Currently, we are in the process of tracking between 75 and 100 different search phrases, and will continue to grow that list as we launch our initial content vendor matching product, Junta42 Match (
www.junta42.com/match). We also continue to get excellent knowledge about search engine habits by analyzing our Google Analytics information.

To gain further ground we have began advertising through our key partnerships at the Custom Publishing Council, American Business Media and BtoB magazine. We will also step up our pay-per-click advertising once

Junta42 Match officially launches to marketers on June 24, 2008.

Overall, I guess the key points are to put yourself in your customers shoes, never take anything for granted, and that SEO and SEM are ongoing processes. SEO is something that needs to be continually monitored to achieve the best results. Along with your own site development, leveraging social media outlets such as Digg and SmallBusinessBrief.com are key, as well as guest blogging opportunities and commenting on other key blogs.

* * *

Joe Pulizzi is founder of Junta42, an online resource for marketers and publishers looking to grow their business through the use of expert content. Junta42 Match is the industry’s only buyer/seller marketplace for custom content solutions. Find more of Joe at his blog (http://blog.junta42.com/)

>Slogans lost in translation

For those of us who are confused when traveling to another country… try advertising in them! I have been collecting these “lost in translation” advertising slogans for sometime and thought I would share them with our readers. These beg the question, Are you saying what you want to say?

WARNING: some of these are a bit racy.

• Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea.”

• The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Kekoukela,” meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax,” depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “kokou kole,” translating into “happiness in the mouth.”

• In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into “Schweppes Toilet Water.”

• American manufacturers of Pet condensed milk introduced their product into French markets without realizing that “pet” in French means “to break wind.”

• An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I saw the Pope” (el Papa), the shirts read “I saw the potato” (la papa).

• Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick,” a curling iron, into German only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had a use for the “manure stick.”

• The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, “Salem-Feeling Free,” was translated into the Japanese market as “When smoking Salem, you will feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty”.

• Bacardi concocted a fruity drink with the name “Pavian” to suggest French chic…but “pavian” means “baboon” in German.

• When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what’s inside, since most people can’t read.

• Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.

• Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “it takes a strong man to make a tender chicken” was translated into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”

• Jolly Green Giant translated into Arabic means “Intimidating Green Ogre.”

• In Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan “finger-lickin’ good” came out as “eat your fingers off.”

• Japan’s second-largest tourist agency was mystified when it entered English-speaking markets and began receiving requests for unusual sex tours. Upon finding out why, the owners of Kinki Nippon Tourist Company changed its name.

• Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave,” in Chinese.

• The American Dairy Association was so successful with its “Got Milk?” campaign, that it was decided to extend the ads to Mexico. Unfortunately, the Spanish translation was “Are you lactating?”

• When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, “it won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you”. Instead, the company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

What’s the marketing lesson in all of this? If you are going to advertise overseas or in places that are multi-cultural PLEASE do research on the language… and most importantly, make sure you are saying what you WANT to say.


>Why should you give back to the younger generation?

>Last night I had the honor and privilege to present a college scholarship to a deserving high school senior from the Streetsboro City Schools. As president of the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce I presented a $1200.00 college scholarship to William Germani who was selected through an application process that included scholastic, community service and commitment to business.

To my delight and surprise William will be majoring in Marketing, something obviously close to my heart, and has a desire to change the world. He will be attending the University of Akron, so another Zip is born. He demonstrates the future with his desire, talents and maturity.

So again I ask, “Why should you give back?” To be part of this 3 hour annual awards dinner and witness the accomplishments of these young adults is thrilling and also comforting. I know our schools and our society will survive as long as we have the commitment to never say no. Surely these seniors got a lot out of it, as did parents and teachers. Still the question remains, “Why should I give back?” Well the answer should be simple by now. You help provide for the future and you can share your experiences and talents with the next generation. As any teacher knows, when you are teaching you are also learning.

My advice is to get involved with your schools, community, chamber, or other groups and organizations. As Teddy Roosevelt stated, “Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.”


>Restaurants and the "R" word

>It isn’t a secret people are watching what they are spending. According to a Canton Repository article released this morning, servers are starting to feel the pinch of a slower economy.

Like many college students, I was a server at Outback Steakhouse for the greater portion of my college career. It was steady, fast money – perfect for a college student. Because of the menu selection on Outback, I waited on all walks of life and received just as many variations in tips. This article seems to reflect how almost all restaurants and seeing a slowdown in larger tips. In my opinion, the Repository’s article completely missed the point on WHY certain restaurants are feeling the decrease and others aren’t.

The people who are starting to tip less in restaurants are going to be middle class consumers and lower. They are the ones feeling the pinch in the economy, not the upper class.

The Canton Repository did a great job in interviewing servers from a variety of restaurants – Friday’s, Damon’s, Peter Shears, Bender’s and Esber’s. It was no surprise all restaurants except for one reported a recognition in decreased tips, all restaurants but Peter Shears – Canton’s only 5 star restaurant.

I’ve had the honor of eating at this restaurant and from those experiences, I assure you this is not a restaurant aimed at the middle class. Their outstanding menu and phenomenal wine selection is targeting the upper class. These people have more than enough money to not flinch when filling up their cars at $3.99 or even consider ordering a cheaper bottle of wine to save a few dollars. Therefore, yes, there are some servers receiving lower tips because of the economy. But some servers, like Carrie Berger of Peter Shears, won’t notice a decrease because of the restaurant’s clientele.

As a witness of the restaurant slowdown after the 9/11 attacks I am telling you from experience. I am sure there are upper class citizens out there feeling the crunch as we all are, I am merely saying this is hurting the middle class and below much more.


>David v.s David

>This year, American Idol’s success was shaky but nevertheless, Idol did it again. People voting for either David Archuleta or David Cook broke the record or in Seacrest’s terms, “smashed it by 23 million.”

The finale was filled with many celebrities such as Seal, Donna Summer, George Michael, Bryan Adams and Graham Nash. A few strange people appeared: Jimmy Kimmel, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black. Of course your former Idol’s appeared – Jordin Sparks and Carrie Underwood. I believe this is the most star-studded finale ever.

What a way to promote Mike Meyers’ latest move, “
The Love Guru.” Check it out. Not only did the two Davids love the movie but got a chance to meet him in person. Thankfully, the promo was over but then Mike Meyers appeared on stage for a shameless plug. You know what they say about marketing a bad product/movie… kill this movie fast so we can all forget about it.

ABC can’t even stop the Idol madness. So they are embracing the phenomenon – an Idol attraction at Disney World!

David Cook (one of the finalists) shows up in his first commercial for Guitar Hero. Oh wait, they filmed one with David Archuleta too! Very politically correct. Archuleta may have kicked butt last night but Cook definitely won Guitar Hero’s rendition of Tom Cruise’s living room scene in Risky Business.

So who won?
David Cook is your NEW American Idol. I would have been happy with either. Cook would have been more marketable than Archuleta anyway. But the marketers didn’t choose Cook, 12 million people chose him over Archuleta. David Cook is having the time of his life singing the new Idol song, “Time of My Life” by Regie Hamm (winner in the second American Idol Songwriting contest).

Idol is over but before Seacrest signed off for the night, he reminded us that it starts all over again in January…