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apple computerOpinions of the value of advertising are probably as varied as the types of ads we encounter daily.  A recent trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, found me in front of the former location of the Advertising Museum. Statements displayed on the windows, like this one, “Without advertising, apple is just another fruit”, offered some intriguing validation.

I’ll be honest, it made me feel proud of what we do for a living. So, here’s a shout-out to all the creatives out there who make advertising meaningful and worthwhile!

clydesdales capitalone absolut

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I receive daily insight from Josh Hinds and had to share his message from yesterday! It’s good stuff!

Enjoy!

Perhaps an encouraging word means so much because we’re
surrounded by so much of the opposite. Sadly, negativity
runs amok. We hear it in the news, in the conversations we
overhear, and unfortunately, all too often, in the ones we
are participating in. That being the case it only makes
sense that when we get a glimpse of the opposite — a bit of
positivity — we naturally want more of it.

We want to experience more of the positive things in life.
It is only natural, and the cool thing about it is it tends
to expand in our personal world as we give it away to
others.

Encouragement is unique in that it has far reaching benefits
on both the beneficiary and its giver. I have seen
strategically applied encouragement turn people who were
riddled with self esteem issues, and self doubt transformed,
over time into incredibly competent leaders, and achievers
on par excellence.

People are attracted to those who pass along genuine
encouragement to others. These folks are appreciated and
valued to the point that people want to seek out and
surround themselves with them. It can pay off greatly if you
can become the type of person who is known for encouraging
those around you.

Three steps for powerfully encouraging people …

1. Be intentional in giving encouragement. Being intentional
simply means, to do a thing on purpose, that is to plan it,
rather than allowing it to unfold randomly. It’s that
simple. The difference in how great you’ll feel when you’ve
planned some opportunities to give positive encouragement
can’t be fully explained. Take my word for it, it is just so
much more impactful than just hoping such opportunities
appear by chance.

Notice that I’m not saying the former is ineffective. I’m
just saying that you will feel a greater sense of
fulfillment, and reduce the chances that you’ll
inadvertently neglect the opportunity to share the
encouragement you might otherwise had you simply planned it
out ahead of time.

While I am fully confident the idea above will make a
difference don’t simply take my word for it. Try planning
the day ahead, strategically deciding where you’ll impart
your words of encouragement, and see what a difference it
will have on you, and those who benefit from the empowering
words you will be sewing.

2. Write it down, don’t rely on memory alone. In keeping
with the ideas above, you want to write down the outcome you
hope for. It may not guarantee you the end result you want,
but it will always get you closer to it than if you chose to
slip and slide through your day without one. That being the
case, the little bit of extra time planning takes is more
than worth the effort. Plus, reducing your “plan” to a
checklist makes it as easy as simply following the next
steps.

3. Specific things you can do to encourage and show
appreciation in a BIG way. There are an infinite number of
things I could include here. Instead I will share a few
especially impactful things that you can do on an ongoing
basis. If you will make them a regular practice you will be
astounded by the difference it makes not only in the lives
of others, but your own.

Encouragement Strategies:

A. Send thank you cards and notes of appreciation. Digital
is great, but there’s just something about receiving a note,
written in a person’s handwriting. I’ve got letters and
cards saved that I received years ago. Just recently I ran
across a saved note written on a piece of scratch paper –
the kind hotels give you to take notes on. Written on it was
just one word, “Love.” There’s something incredibly powerful
about receiving written words. And their unique ability to
cause the wonderful memories associated with the person who
wrote them to come flowing back to mind. Written words can
last as long as the ink on the paper they are written.

B. Digital isn’t all bad. While I stressed the long lasting
impact a note or card can have, don’t assume I’m discounting
sending emails, or a well timed Facebook message. Often, the
message is far more important than the particular medium.
The main thing is that you’re coming from a genuine place
with the words you impart on others.

In keeping with the theme of intentionality, make a point to
regularly look through your contact list (I.e. email address
book) and choose people who you’ll drop a quick note to.
Just let them know you were thinking about them and wanted
to reach out and say hi. Pick something kind to share with
them. You don’t have to over do it. Just be genuine. Ask
them what they’re working towards at the moment, and when
they tell you, wish them the best. Wish them well in their
efforts. Be a source of encouragement. It’s as simple as
you’re willing to let it be. Give it a try, and notice how
others are affected in a positive way as a result.

C. Plan in advance. Take about 10 minutes each night, before
heading to bed, while you’re planning the next days actions
to identify a few people in your life who are working
through challenges. Maybe extreme challenges for some, and
for others more mundane, but challenges in their mind just
the same. Write down their name, along with the specific
thing you’ll do to encourage them. When you act on what
you’ve written down you won’t believe how empowered you
feel. It truly is an instance where you get to share in the
gift you’re giving that person.

Use the ideas above and make them a regular part of your
routine. Friend, you can’t imagine how much doing so can
shape your world in a truly positive way. The world is in
need of those who commit to encouraging others to be the
best they can be. Become that person and you will be well on
your way to unlocking your BIG life, and all that goes along
with being an encourager of others.

It’s your life, LIVE BIG,
Josh Hinds

PS. Introducing my ‘Why Perfect Timing is a Myth’ audio
program. It’s designed to take you from “need to do” to “got
it done!” — you’ll find it to be great “motivational fuel”
to keep you on track as you pursue your success journey! Get
your copy of Why Perfect Timing is a Myth here <==

It's Your Life, Live BIG by Josh Hinds

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Laura's Bra

"My Girls" by Laura Nestler

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we’re proud to boast that our very own BFF, Laura Nestler, has a creative and custom designed bra on display at the BJ Grand Salon & Spa 5th Annual Beautiful Bras fundraiser.

The annual event was developed to increase breast cancer awareness while all proceeds benefit “Look Good Feel Better,” a non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment.

The reality is, “IT” [Breast Cancer] can happen to anyone at any time. It is imperative to take the steps required to understand, detect, prevent and/or treat the disease – NOW! There’s no time like the present!

Many or most people are aware of the ‘existence’ of breast cancer; however, sadly, the ‘reality’ of it’s wrath may only hit when the disease impacts you personally. And in many cases, by that time, it’s already too late.

When our “boss” was diagnosed in 2012, the reality was super real and it was a life changer. We’re all thankful that Jill ‘lives by the rules’ and attends her annual mammogram appointments. Therefore, the cancer was found “early” however it was aggressive and it had to come out immediately.

Today, almost a year since her last treatment, Jill is cancer free and doing quite well. (Not to mention she has a snazzy new do). For those of us with the pleasure of knowing Jill, we are thankful she went to that appointment and we are so grateful to have her in our lives! So today we want others to realize breast cancer can happen to you, too, so protect yourself!

Laura participated in the event and dedicated her design titled “My Girls” to Jill. Laura and Omni want to encourage men and women to protect their health and to help spread the word about the importance of early detection, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer and to help find a cure!

Several area residents and businesses participated in the Bj Grand Salon event, and we encourage you to participate by voting for your favorite design today!

View and vote for your favorite entries online NOW, or stop into any of the participating BJ Grand Salon & Spa locations.

Hint, Hint...Laura’s bra #179 is located at the West Springfield location at 3300 Robbins Road.

Make a difference!

Each vote is $5.

Or, make a BIG difference with lots of votes and spread the word!!

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As I have been helping my soon-to-be college freshman explore the incredible breadth of college majors focusing on marketing and public relations available to her, I have seen firsthand how diversified this industry is in the digital age we now operate in. Just 10 years ago, Public Relations was more of an add-on to the main strategy but now has top billing in any solid tactical plan with the inclusion of all forms of social media and search engine opportunities.

Managing communications between a business and its audience is the traditional definition of Public Relations. And that perfectly describes how social media and SEO function in this brave new world of marketing.

The  drawback however, is content-overload; sometimes companies are more focused on having constant ‘marketing touches’ to their audience and they ignore whether that message is relevant.  And that is where the ‘old school’ teaching of Public Relations comes back into play – evaluate the message, rank its relevance to the audience, decide which media channel is appropriate, and examine if it even has any positive impact on the organization’s marketing presence.

Content is king” has always been and will continue to be true, but managing all that content in a memorable, actionable and meaningful way is an art form in itself, and puts Public Relations smack in the driver’s seat.

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David Ogilvy In His Day

David Ogilvy was known for saying he was not a good copywriter. But he clearly understood the elements of how to communicate and get results. He promoted the concept of writing naturally, not using pretentious words, or relying on clever cliches to make the easy sell to clients. His idea #4 is about “Big Ideas”, not small ones. Read on:

“#4. Big Ideas: Unless our advertising is built on a BIG IDEA it will pass like a ship in the night. It takes  a BIG IDEA to jolt the consumer out of his indifference – to make him notice your advertising, remember it and take action. Big ideas are usually simple ideas… BIG SIMPLE IDEAS are not easy to come by.”

The Takeaway: Nothing could be clearer than Ogilvy’s own words, but if you have found these few tidbits we have shared have piqued your interest in learning more, you can read the full article of all 38 “tips” from David Ogilvy at: http://smartonlinesuccess.com/david-ogilvy-advertising-tips/

For more good reading, I recommend the following books by David Ogilvy: Ogilvy on advertising and Confessions of an Advertising  Man.

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As a follow up to last week’s post about David Ogilvy’s “How to create advertising that sells,” I wanted to share another gem from the long list of 38 tips.

“#3. Brand Image: Every advertisement should contribute to the complex symbol which is the brand image. 95% of all advertising is created ad hoc. Most products lack any consistent image from one year to another. The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand gets the largest share of the market.”

The Takeaway: Regardless what kind of business you are in, you have a brand image. Even if you don’t really promote it. Your brand is how the world around you defines you. That is why it so critical to be a good steward of your brand, and protect the message you want to send.

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Enjoyed a wonderful evening of music and entertainment at the Sangamon Auditorium this past Friday, when Omni sponsored the Erin Bode group Erin Bode Group, an eclectic, jazzy acoustic ensemble that was equal parts inspiring and fun! Kudos to the team at Sangamon Auditorium for bringing such great acts to our town. Looking forward to the rest of the season! Check Erin Bode out on YouTube and enjoy.

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For most of recent memory, panic about advertisers leaving the stalwart network and cable advertising in droves to move their budgets into social media have been the ad industry’s words of warning.  However, a recent article in the New York Times tells a different story of how traditional media can successfully partner with, rather than compete with, social media.

Which is how it should be, right?

Marketers ‘get’ that one tool does not make a marketing strategy, but rather, works with all the tools to get the most bang for the client’s buck. It’s good to see that even on the mega-million ad budget front, everyone is learning to play nice together!

Check out the article “TV Networks Expect A Jump In Spending On Commercials“.

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These were the wise words from a respected boss years ago. He was speaking to the issue of improving sales, but as Omni advises clients on marketing integration WITHIN the workplace as well as outside of it, we find this maxim to hold true as a leadership goal. When leaders can keep ‘their face in the place’ and engage their team, it can reap big rewards.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review supports this, and explains that it is not just about in-person, all-staff meetings, but reaching out in a variety of ways to help keep the connection between leadership and staff strong. Some ideas include regular emails to staff from senior team members,  a leader’s blog or tweets, and just being present in the place and acknowledging the team. Maximize those marketing moments, and remember, those moments can be small but mighty!

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After 19 years in the marketing business, we like to think we are a pretty progressive marketing firm that has kept up with the industry and trends.  However, we try to be pretty selective about what trend we fall in line with: we aren’t rabid Justin Beiber fans, (sorry!) we have so far avoided being lured into watching Jersey Shore marathons, and have just said ‘no’ to Lady Gaga-inspired footwear.

However, the universal business trend of ‘remote offic-ing’ is one we decided to try out for ourselves. If it’s effective for mega-companies like Microsoft and Apple, we decided it would be good for us as well.

Technology has allowed our creative resources to expand geographic boundaries along with the marketing industry in general, so allowing our team members to work remotely is just the next step in providing more flexibility and more creative freedom. One day that actually might be one of us working from the beach!

Our address is changing, but that’s really about it. Our services are the same, and so is our capacity to provide effective marketing solutions you need to promote and grow your organization. You can still reach us at the same phone, email, website, Face Book … you get the idea. We look forward to working on more great marketing ideas for great companies!

So, be sure to update your contact list with our new mailing address. Of course, if anyone forgets and stops by the old downtown office, make the trip worthwhile. There are a dozen great spots downtown to shop, grab some great food or cup of coffee!

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