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    Despite its popularity, social media can still be intimidating and confusing, especially for small businesses. The most common reasons my clients aren't doing social media are lack of time and resources or lack of understanding. Even marketing-savvy clients sometimes struggle with where to begin. Here are some key insights I regularly share with them: Do it right, or don't do it at all If you're not ready to commit to the best practices of social media engagement as part of a marketing strategy, consider skipping it completely. This just means starting small and doing a couple things really well rather than trying to do too much or not do a good job at anything. If you go too broad, lack valuable content or don't maintain the channels, this will reflect poorly on the brand an[...]

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    Get Your Wheels On: Your 2015 Plan To Stay On Track As most of you know, New Year's resolutions dissipate about 30-45 days into the year. As such, I decided to take a different approach to my “resolutions” in an effort to make them less intimidating and more productive. As I began creating a list of goals for both my personal life and my business, I actually found the process to be refreshing and inspiring, so I thought I would share with other readers. Here's how I prepared them: Start With The Name Mine are called “goals” this year – not “resolutions.” It's a simple but significant detail. Goals are something we deal with in business all the time – something we strive for, something that makes us better, and something to accomplish. Not all goals are accomplished, but we can us[...]

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      Most of you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “Well, this ought to be interesting...” That’s exactly what I want you to think — because it proves my point that pageants and ambassador programs get a bad rap. I use the term loosely because some “pageants” deserve every ounce of criticism they receive — we have to look no further than some reality TV shows. That being said, I’m here to challenge your thinking on the quality and characteristics of young women who participate in such programs — on a local, regional or national level. In addition to these experiences providing lessons about the importance of community service, how to balance a busy schedule, being a positive role model, and the finer points of etiquette, I assert that there are valuable life lessons and [...]

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    Greek life at most college campuses conjures up images of all-night parties and rowdy fraternity guys. But there’s a side of fraternity and sorority life that most people don’t see unless they’ve been part of it. At its core, Greek life — specifically being in a leadership role in the chapter — is hands-on training for many essential life and business skills. Most fraternities and sororities have an executive council of leadership (“Exec”) that runs the chapter, spearheading things like budgets, rushing new members, and philanthropic activities. Each member of Exec is responsible for his or her elected office plus the house as a whole. As an active Exec member— and eventual president of my chapter at the University of Minnesota — here are some of the incredible lessons I learned that st[...]

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    The Paradox of Leading a Social Business, recently published in the MIT Sloan Management Review, struck me as a great article on the evolution of social media and integration into marketing efforts.  It reminds us that social media continues to change and many successful plans begin – as they should – as grassroots efforts.  The key is to regularly use the various platforms so you can engage and interpret how your users would like to have the conversation with you – then you adapt to their feedback. "The result of this approach to social business leadership yields a recursive feedback loop. Leaders set a vision for social business in their organization; employees execute that vision, with results that may differ somewhat from expectations. Grass-roots champions then provide feedback to le[...]

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    Last week I came across this article on LinkedIn, and the title grabbed my attention: "Do What You Love" Is Horrible Advice.  I've always been interested in the concept of passion as it contributes to business success, so I was intrigued by the concepts the author puts forth - even though I don't agree with all of his ideas. I've pulled out some quotes from the article below and added some notes based on my experience building a marketing agency. You can read the article in it's entirety here: "Do What You Love" Is Horrible Advice by Jeff Hade. I'd love if you'd share your thoughts as well. "Don't focus on the value your work offers you...Instead focus on the value you produce through your work: how your actions are important, how you're good at what you do, and how you're connected t[...]

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    When’s the last time you had really good service? An odd question you might think, but surprisingly most people are surprised by good service.  When did this cultural shift in expectations happen? I was thinking about this recently as I experienced three rather awful customer service engagements. I am certainly not the only person who has felt this, and I am certainly not the only person who has written about this. But something has to change, and if I can create some sort of dialogue around this, then my words aren’t for naught.   I’m passionate about this topic because I work in the service industry, and SERVICE is one of my agency tenets. Service, by definition, is a provision or amenity provided to the public. But I also submit that Service is a physical act or tangible demonstration[...]

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    Harvey Mackay is a undoubtedly a master story teller - especially to illustrate business concepts. Here is a fable that we found entertaining, relevant, and so very true! Lesson: A sales rep, an assistant and their manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish.” “Me first!” says the assistant. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.” Poof!  She’s gone. “Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of piña coladas and the love of my life.” Poof! He’s gone. “OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lun[...]

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    It’s impossible to miss Procter & Gamble’s presence at the Winter Games. What began in 2012 as a long-term relationship with the Olympics has been expertly executed as a fully integrated worldwide marketing campaign as the “Proud Sponsor Of Moms.” The global campaign brings together 34 brands under the P&G umbrella, and will feature sponsorship of 150 athletes. How did they pull this off? The outstanding execution of P&G’s marketing campaign is built on these key pillars: 1. Expanded Sponsorship 2. Tailored Messaging 3. Staying True To Their Brand 4. Bringing Content Marketing To Sports Marketing.

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    Welcome Aboard the Station K & Company Blog and to our new website!! At some point in our lives, we all realize we have to take a bit of our own medicine. After counseling many clients and partners on the importance of keeping your website updated, your materials fresh, and your content relevant, I only had to look in the mirror to see that I, um, needed a little makeover. I’m thrilled to announce the launch of our new website that boldly showcases who we are as an agency, what we stand for, and the work we’ve been privileged to do for our clients. I’m even more excited about having my little corner of the world to blog about ideas, observations, and my otherwise two cents worth on a variety of topics. My very own Carrie Bradshaw moment when I get back to the roots of some[...]

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