Archive for April, 2007

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…Keep Momentum Rolling…Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…Downtown

Sorry about the “Rawhide” headline, but I have seen the “Blues Brothers” a few hundred too many times in my short life and any time I hear a phrase phrase with “rolling” in it my mind conjures up images of Jake and Elwood’s Country and Western rendition of the tune. But I digress.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Town Hall Meeting at Sinclair today put on by WDTN, Sinclair, and the Dayton Business Journal. The event featured various stakeholders from the area and revolved around a discussion of downtown Dayton. I was happy to be a part of the event. It was great to see the panel, representing so many different interests, cohesively supporting the growth and development of downtown. I firmly believe that while our city faces an abundance of challenges, there is a talented, passionate group of elected and appointed officials at the helm- all of whom are working to make our city and the surrounding region a better place to work and live.

I took the opportunity to share my delight, and that of my fellow employees here at Hafenbrack, about our move to downtown with the panel. It has truly energized our organization. As part of the 14% of jobs created by new businesses in downtown, I say thanks to all who have welcomed us. We are happy to be downtown, and look forward to continuing to add to the growth of the city both directly and indirectly.

While the meeting focused on downtown, there was attention paid to the region as well. I strongly believe that we need to be attentive to the needs of downtown Dayton, but in the broader context of the surrounding communities. Dayton has unique amenities to offer that other communities do not. Arts, entertainment, history, diversity, location, etc… Conversely, each community in the Miami Valley has its own flavor and serves to add to the overall attractiveness of the region. It is not a zero sum game – or at least it does not have to be. By creating a wonderful downtown, surrounded by unique and wonderful communities, we can bring in jobs and people from outside the area – sparking real growth. In doing so, we all benefit. I feel good about the fact that there appears to be a great deal of effort going into improving our city, our county, and our region. I am a stakeholder in all of the above. I hear so much negative about the area, that it is nice to hear more about the positive. There is an abundance of it.

I would like to extend my thanks to all of the panelists who gave of themselves to talk about the future of our community. The panel was composed of the following members (taken from the DBJ)

Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin; J.P. Nauseef, president and chief executive officer of the Dayton Development Coalition; Debbie Lieberman, president of the Montgomery County Commission; Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership; Rashad Young, Dayton city manager; Phil Parker, president and chief executive officer of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce; and Richard Stock, director of the University of Dayton’s Business Research Group.

Below is an article from the Dayton Business Journal about the event. It does the event more justice than I can, and contains the “rolling” quote that inspired the headline. Give it a look.

Area leaders gather for town hall forum on downtown Dayton – Dayton Business Journal:

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Keep Your Lawn Green and Your Mower Clean

Spring has finally sprung here in Ohio which means that it is time to mow the lawn. Recently, I busted out my new push mower, strapped on the ipod, and went to work. It was nice to be able to walk around and listen to some tunes in the fresh spring air. There is nothing like the smell of fresh cut grass – although it makes my nose run for the rest of the day. Anyway following mowing the lawn, I typically put the grass covered mower in the garage, get out the blower, and clean up all of the grass clippings from the driveway, walk, and messy and it is just more work than I want to do after mowing. Finally, I had a great idea – use the blower to clean the mower. Now this is so basic that I have to imagine a lot of you reading this are already smart enough to use this shortcut. Still, the fact that I have never seen anyone do it tells me that I might be sharing something of value. It is just this easy. Finish mowing. Blow off the mower. Lift up the back of the mower. Blow off the underneath of the mower. Blow the grass and debris into the yard. Done. Your mower will be clean, you lawn green, and you won’t have those annoying clumps of grass all about your garage. I hope this tip is useful. Happy mowing.

Tell me something good

Check out this new option for the Google toolbar that will suggest sites you might like based on other searches and sites you visit.  Very nice.

Official Google Blog: Searching without a query

Leave Them Wanting Moore

What a day I had last Wednesday. Not only did I get to meet one of my favorite authors, bloggers, and marketing thought leaders, I got to listen to him deliver 2 great speeches and co-present with him. John Moore was kind enough to come to Dayton last week, and I can not tell you how fantastic he was – but of course I’ll give it a shot.

The day began on a cold, rainy sidewalk outside of the Kuhn’s Building at 6:30, where John and I met up to prepare for the PRSA Masters Series meeting. In spite of the time difference between Dayton and his home town of Austin, TX, and the ridiculously miserable weather, he was bright eyed and full of energy. We headed into the Kuhn’s Building and up to Hafenbrack. Once inside, I asked John to autograph my copy of Tribal Knowledge, which he gladly did for me. (I know, I am a dork. I keep telling you that.) I gave him the 50 cent tour of the place, and then we went downstairs to the meeting room to get set up. The PRSA meeting got underway at just before 8:00 – following the resolution of some technical difficulties. David Knopf from OneSource was kind enough to provide us with fresh brewed coffee by the cup courtesy of his Flavia machine, (See picture) which perked everyone up for John’s discussion on Starbuck’s Tribal Knowledge. On an aside, this thing was a huge hit. It makes a variety of specialty coffees, teas, and wellness drinks by the cup. Very cool and very tasty. Thanks David. Anyway, John delivered a great presentation to the group, discussing his views on the success of Starbucks. His presentation lasted for just over an hour, and he then hung around and answered a slew of questions from the group. Everyone who attended was delighted. Not to mention all of the Hafenbrack employees were jazzed about getting drinks from the coffee machine for the next 3 hours. A very productive, caffeine fueled afternoon followed at Hafenbrack.

Following the PRSA meeting, John and I made the rainy trek uptown to the Schuster Center for the AMA luncheon. People came from all across the Miami Valley to hear John speak, and yet again he delivered. There were roughly 40 people in attendance for the luncheon, and John dazzled all with another heaping helping of Tribal Knowledge. In addition to the amazing antidotes and stories from his experience at Starbucks that he discussed, John also outlined 9 key takeaways:

  1. Building the Business Creates the Brand
  2. Make the Common, Uncommon
  3. Products Fulfill Needs, Experiences Fulfill Desires
  4. There’s a High Price to Low Prices
  5. “Just Say Yes” and “Be Clean, Be Nice”
  6. Tell the Story. Don’t Make Up the Story
  7. Marketing Has Two Audiences
  8. Make the Company Something to Believe In
  9. Be Mission Driven to Change the World

Of course he expanded on all of these points, but if you really want to learn more about his take on Marketing, buy the book Tribal Knowledge. It is a great read and loaded with nuggets of wisdom. OR, look up John at BrandAutopsy.com and invite him to speak in your town.

As if that was not enough, I was then given the privilege to share the stage with John at the University of Dayton, where we spoke to a group of professionals and graduating seniors about social media, blogging, and leveraging the web to make connections and further your career. We began by introducing each other – stating that while we have “known” each other for years, today was the first time we had actually met. That is illustrative of the connective power of the web. It was great fun sharing the stage with John, who is a passionate guy and a great presenter. I was truly honored. I believe that the audience enjoyed it – I know I did. Thanks to all who attended.

In sum, it was a highlight reel type of day. A day that never would have happened if I had not decided to use my voice and write a blog. Thanks again John. I feel confident that I speak for everyone here in Dayton who heard you speak in saying you are a a brilliant marketer, an amazing speaker, and above all else a tremendous person.

Here are some pictures from the day.

John Moore Dayton Ohio

Parking Lot Etiquette…Cross the damn street already!

Seemingly every time I drive through a parking lot now, I am subjected to people who refuse to get out of the way of traffic. Actually, I think they are oblivious to it. You know who I’m talking about, right? These people amble about, not even noticing the 50 cars waiting for them to get out of the road. Rather than walking directly across the lanes of traffic, these idiots insist on taking a long, meandering, diagonal path that leads to the front door of the chosen retail establishment. While it is true that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line, that straight line you are aimlessly trudging is making for the longest wait for the rest of the world. Screw Geometry and get out of the Way…please. I try to be a courteous driver, and I am always respectful of pedestrians. They always have the right of way, but get a move on. Pedestrians: Please be courteous and instead of taking your long diagonal trek, take the shortest route to get across traffic. While this may cost you an extra 50 steps- which most of us could use anyway, it will save the world a lot of frustration. Thanks. Attached is an illustration to clarify the concept.

WRONG WAY

 

Right 1

 

 

 

Please get across the road.

Note to Self…

“Note to self…tell the people you know about Jott.com
Occasionally even my feeble mind comes up with an idea that is worth capturing. More often than not, this occurs as I am behind the wheel of my car, with no pen, no computer, and no ability to do anything but repeat the idea to myself over and over again in hopes of burning it into my mind long enough to get somewhere and write it down. I have tried the old tactic of leaving myself a voice mail message to capture the idea, but the problem is then the idea sits fallow until I get back to check the voice mail. Typically by the time I get to it, the moment has passed and the once brilliant idea is stale. Sound familiar? Well, thanks to a tip from Seth Godin, I recently discovered a new service that may remedy this problem. The site is Jott.com. What they offer is the ability to call in a message and have it transcribed and sent back to you in the form of an email reminder. You can even send email to other people by entering them into your contacts on Jott. I am sticking with reminding my self for the time being. Having these messages sent into email means that not only will the idea be captured, but that I will also get a searchable, portable, sharable, and editable filing cabinet for ideas. I just added Jott to the speed dial today too, right next to Google 411. Did I mention, both are FREE!

Jott.com – Mobile Note Taking and Hands-Free Messaging

What’s the 411? Call Google and Find Out

I just tried Google Voice Local Search for the first time, and it is amazing.  It is basically 411 for free using Google to search for you.  You simply call 1-800-GOOG-411, follow the prompts for location and business name, and then it gives you information and will connect you to the number for FREE.  Even better, if you don’t know the name of a business, but just the category, it will provide you with multiple results to choose from, just like a local search in Google.  I tested it by saying “Dayton, Ohio” and then “Hafenbrack Marketing.”  Two seconds later, it was giving me our address and asking if I would like to be connected to the office.  This one is a must to add to your speed dial.

Google Voice Local Search