Friday, May 28, 2010

Advertising Benefits From Timely Tie-Ins

Timeliness isn't only for stories--it's a key element in advertising, too.

With that in mind, I have been inserting information about upcoming events in print advertising for a client, McAdam Landscaping.

In the pages of Wednesday Journal, Inc. and Pioneer Press publications, early this month it was a Mother's Day special, last week it was a musical performance held at its Nursery & Garden Center and this week it's an incentive to become a Facebook Fan of the Forest Park firm (how's that for some ambitious alliteration).

Want to win a $25 gift certificate from the Nursery & Garden Center? You have until June 1st to get onto Facebook and then type "McAdam Landscaping" into the search box and become a fan.

Or you can simply go directly to the McAdam Landscaping page here.

More importantly, if you advertise in any forum, capitalize on every opportunity to make the content relevant and timely. It's a great way to engage your audience and move them to action, rather than to settle for making a simple one-way statement that is more prone to go absolutely nowhere.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Real Estate Investment Acquisitions: The Written Summary for Urban Land Institute

In the wake of a gridlocked transaction market these last couple of years, “thawing out” only begins to describe what’s most recently been happening in the real estate investment acquisition market.

That's the start of my summary of the April 29, 2010, meeting of the Urban Land Institute's Chicago District Council, whose members gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago.

To check out the rest of the write-up, click here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

N.Y. Times Gears Up to Monetize News Content

A little over a year ago, I shared some insights from former USA Today editor Ken Paulson about the future of journalism.

His remarks came at a New York Press Association conference where I was training reporters and editors.

Currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Paulson emphasized that the sky was not falling on newspapers.

Perhaps not, but clouds are continually hovering. One key ingredient in the industry's future financial viability: finding a way to monetize news content on the Internet.

With that in mind, circle January 2011 on your calendar. That is when the New York Times will shift to an online-payment structure for visitors to their site, as Fast Company recently reported.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Highly Recommended: Joe Takash on June 10th

How do you turn a $25 investment into untold thousands of dollars of ongoing business?

You'll have a chance to do that on Thursday, June 10, by taking in what Joe Takash has to share on behalf of the LaGrange Business Association. (Click on the image to the left)

My declaration isn't theory, but is based on my own experience with Joe since first meeting him in 2001.

An author, speaker and business coach, Joe's wise counsel has helped me earn many thousands of dollars more in speaking, training and business-consulting fees than I would otherwise have received.

A few cases in point:

One time in 2002, as Joe was sitting across from me and guiding me on the art of negotiation, I received a phone call from a press association director. It was such ridiculously perfect timing....thanks to Joe, gesturing firmly across the desk from me, I stood my ground on a fee quote that I otherwise would have budged on. It meant an additional $500.

There have also been times when he's saved me from getting into bad business deals. In 2003, Joe was instrumental in helping me avoid a major headache, and drain on my time and resources. I had established a retainer fee with a company that wanted me to devote scores of hours on developing a curriculum that I would have shared with communications professionals all across the country.

After agreeing to the upfront payment, the firm hemmed, hawed and, ultimately, balked at paying the retainer. Joe let me know this was a red flag.

I confidently walked away from what was quickly proving to be a bad business relationship--though I wouldn't have known to do so without Joe's having been there, done that, and been willing to steer me clear of such dysfunction.

And of course there's no way I can measure his impact in so many "little" ways that have added up to a much stronger positioniong for me and Inside Edge PR in the marketplace.

This is particularly relevant to share now because Joe is making a rare public presentation on Thursday, June 10, at Via Bella, 5412 S. LaGrange Road in Countryside.

Usually, companies and organizations get Joe onto a planes and bring him in from faraway spots to get practical, bottom-line insights and high-energy, memorable inspiration.

So for those in the Chicago area, June 10th represents a prime opportunity in your backyard to learn from this remarkable speaker and business mind.

Blending what he has observed as smart behaviors that build business opportunities with the values that resonate with us personally, Joe's topic is "The Values that Drive Opportunity."

"My guarantee is that you will laugh, with me or at me," says Joe. "But there will be great energy, great people and a fun professional and social gathering."

Tickets are $25 apiece, or $20 if you bring a friend or buy a table of eight. That covers appetizers with networking from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Joe's presentation is from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. All proceeds benefit the YMCA Special Olympics program of the Greater LaGrange YMCA.

To purchase tickets, contact Zach Silver at or 708-724-4253.

And if you can't make it on June 10th, do the next best thing and get your hands on a copy of Joe's book, Results Through Relationships.

For more about Joe, see some prior Inside Edge PR blog posts right here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

`Tasty Dog Challenge' Gains Notice, Momentum

Four years ago, when I was doing community relations work for Boston Market's upscale (and short-lived) prototype attempt in River Forest, I helped organize a few fundraiser nights for area organizations, such as the Oak Park and River Forest High School Booster Club and the West Suburban Mothers of Multiples.

The events, in which a portion of the purchases were earmarked to each group, had some success.

I have a strong feeling, though, that those results will be a small fraction of the financial impact that goes toward the District 97 elementary school Parent Teacher Organizations (eight in all) that are taking part in the Tasty Dog Challenge.

An Inside Edge PR client, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gloor Realty, has poured in $300 to help up the ante for the fundraising nights.

The story has attracted strong interest at Check it out, if you'd like.

Even more importantly, strongly consider aligning your dining schedule so that it coincides with one of the PTO nights over the next three weeks.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A `Biggest Loser,' Five Seasons & HealthyWage

A "Biggest Loser" is heading to the Chicago area on Tuesday--it's Pete Thomas, who shed 185 pounds in 2005 on the popular NBC show, "The Biggest Loser." Ever since, Thomas has served as an inspiration to others seeking life transformation.

I am helping spread the word of Thomas' visit to Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Northbrook, an Inside Edge PR client, as part of "The Matchup," a national weight-loss competition that's the brainchild of

You can read about the initiative here at Triblocal.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Colleges' Spiraling Costs Are Out of Line

Mark my words: colleges are the next hallowed institution to get smacked off their undeservedly and ridiculously high pedestal.

Don't get me wrong--I think some aspects of college are absolutely fantastic: I learned much at my alma mater, Northwestern University. I really appreciate, and seek to support at every turn, my alumni network. I met my wife on a co-ed touch football field there.

But in this respect, colleges are simply bogus: their spiraling costs are out of whack with the rest of society, and have the feel of "status bumps"--jacking up the cost to simply look more valuable and prestigious without commensurate upticks in return on investment.

That's why I give a huge thumbs-up to Seth Godin's recent rant.