Another Success Story

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The total is in. The Inaugural Drive Out ALS Charity Golf Tournament raised a total of $6,140 – all going to the East TN chapter of the ALS Association. This exceeded our first-year goal. The combination of hard work, partnerships, strategy, creativity and determination contributed to the success. Thank you, team!

We’re already planning next year’s event on behalf of Drive Out ALS. If you’re interested in participating in next year’s tournament or sponsorship opportunities, mark your calendar for May 10, 2014. Check for updates.

Collide PR Drive Out ALS Charity Golf Tournament Chattanooga TN


I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

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Vizzini: He didn’t fall??? INCONCEIVABLE!

Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

If you’ve seen the movie The Princess Bride you know that every other word out of Vizzini’s mouth is “inconceivable.” He uses the word out of context, and his love affair with “inconceivable” just isn’t working for him. Inigo “…you killed my father, prepare to die” Montoya points this out. In essence, he’s telling Vizzini he uses the word so much that it’s lost its meaning – its impact. “Inconceivable” has become generic.

There’s a very popular buzzword I hear quite often that reminds me of this movie scene; that word is “innovation.” Everything is “innovative” – and I mean everything. But really, it isn’t. It has been so overused that it falls into the categories of how everyone is SO excited and everything is SO awesome. 

(Please refer to Everyone’s Excited and Everything is Awesome).

Innovation is real and many things such as challenging, inspiring, imaginative, smart and essential. Companies work tirelessly to be innovative and the overusing of the word takes away from those that really are.

In 2005 I was in the market for a new car. I found one with potential and took it for a test-drive. The salesperson was with me and the 10-15 minute drive was just distracting. All the salesperson would say was, “This car has innovation.” “They put so much innovation in this car.” “When designing this car, it was made for people your age with all this innovation.” All I wanted to do was stop the car, look at her and – you guessed it! – say, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

Here’s the thing. Words are powerful. “Facts tell, but stories sell.” There are thousands and thousands and thousands of words in the dictionary. In fact, we can count a single word more than once, like “dog,” (1-an animal, 2-the phrase dog-tired), and we have even more options.

I know we’re all guilty of rushing to meet a deadline, suffering from writer’s block, and frankly, feeling too pooped from a long day to even think. However, I challenge all of us to not rest on what’s comfortable, but to push ourselves to make our communication mean something and make an impact.


  • Don’t be a Vizzini and stop overusing “innovative.”
  • Bookmark
  • I’m going to go ahead and claim Everything is Innovative on Tumblr.

A Lesson on Client Relationships from Andy Bernard

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Clients expect attention, value and results – and you deliver. However, as we all know, there are times when CrankyPants Client refuses to be happy no matter what. And while there are many good books, blogs and webinars on how to navigate this situation, I have one more tactic to throw into the ring of solutions. Take a lesson from Andy Bernard of “The Office.” While often missing the mark, he really has the best of intentions, especially in the “Double Date” episode.

As explained by PopWatch – Dwight and Andy “helped” each other and did “favors” for one another: Dwight brought breakfast, so Andy bought everyone a taco lunch. (Bagels and tacos in one day? Best day ever!) Dwight cleaned the office freezer, so Andy shined Dwight’s briefcase. They tidied each other up, offered each other comical advice, and so on. These two are so obsessed with protocol that they can’t resist the siren song of etiquette. “Do not test my politeness,” Andy reminded us. Oh, we won’t.

Although this is about politeness, here is how I recommend using this attitude in regards to client relationships.

You give me a gift BAM! … Thank you note.. 

You invite me somewhere POW! …  RSVP

You do me a favor WAM! …Favor returned.

Do not test my politeness.

<And now for the client relationship translation>

You need a media recap? … THAT’S RIGHT! … Already in your inbox.

You wanted fresh ideas for next year’s planning? … BOOM! … We’re ready to present!

Want to see two design concepts?  … KA-POW! …Here’s three!

Do not doubt my commitment.

Marketing to Boomers

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Experts Rate the Campaigns

Consumers over age 50 have 2.5 times the discretionary spending power of the coveted 18-to-34 age group. Yet ads aimed at boomers still seem to miss the mark. BusinessWeek asked industry veterans Brent Bouchez, David Page, and Nancy McNally—who recently formed the Five0 agency to help companies reach the 50+ audience—to give their views of some recent campaigns.

Here’s what they had to say.

photo from

Magazine Ads Contribute to Web Traffic

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I found this out first-hand while working with a client from 2006 – 2008. We had specific landing pages for specific ads throughout the campaign. This helped us track which print ads converted best, but as a result, we also saw our most common search terms – more valuable than we realized in the beginning.

One simple way for the Online Marketing-challenged to gage response from print ad to Web is to embed analytics into these Web pages and throughout the Web site. Google Analytics (GA) is the most popular and is free, however, you will usually need to hire someone to code your site unless you know basic programming.

If tracking leads and making strategic recommendations also comes with the gig, then I highly recommend supplementing GA with a paid-for analytics service. GA has a few nuances that if you have a back-up, won’t really matter. Crazy Egg is one of my favorites.

URLs Boost Magazine Ad Response

(Full article at

Advertisers seek to drive consumers to their websites as the Internet becomes a more important element in their marketing plans. As a result, web traffic and search results are increasingly regarded as measures of marketing success.

New research from Affinity confirms that magazine ads with URLs are more likely to drive readers to advertiser websites overall, as well as across a range of genres. Even if “drive to web” is not the goal of the advertising campaign, including a URL to boost web visits is a benefit most advertisers will appreciate, says the report.

The VISTA research is based on an analysis of 833 ads in seven different magazines representing six distinct magazine genres:

Magazine Ads Driving Readers To Websites (Index)

Ads Without Web Address (Index 100)

Ads With Web Address Included (Index)
















Source: Vista/MPA, July 2009

The research from VISTA reinforces earlier work. Marketing Evolution aggregated nine studies that had quantifiable data on web visits to examine how magazine ads contributed to building web traffic. Findings showed that when the URL was included in the magazine advertising creative the percentage change in website visits tripled (from two to six points):

Percent Visiting Brand Website



Point Difference

No URL included




URL included




Source: MarketingEvolution/MPA, July 2009

Both pieces of research underscore the importance of accountability for magazine advertising creative. A number of initiatives have shown that creative quality is the most important factor in affecting advertising results, although media engagement also plays a role.

Overall conclusions of other compiled data:

  • Offline media perform well in driving web traffic and search, often better than online media, even when URL addresses are missing or not prominently displayed in offline ads
  • Media synergy is important, though each medium influences online behavior differently and plays a distinctive role
  • Looking at qualified search, those consumers ready to make a purchase, paints a different picture of media usage than total search, which is most often the focus of advertisers
  • When looking at the role individual media play in driving web results, magazines most consistently drive web traffic and search

In addition, conclusions from quantitative analysis:

  • Magazine ads had a major impact on building web traffic
  • Magazine ads generated web traffic at each stage of the purchase funnel, especially purchase intent
  • Including a URL in magazine ads significantly increased web visits /accountability

And, from an earlier study from the AAF:

Effectiveness of Media at Driving Consumers to the Web





Broadcast TV


Cable TV






Out of Home




Source: ICOM, American Advertising Federation (AAF) 2006, July 2009

To read more about
magazine accountability, please visit here. For a compilation of relevant studies by MPA, please visit this site for a PDF file. And the Forrester report may be found here.