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Glad You’re Here. Now Come On Over…

September 26, 2009 Leave a comment

There’s new stuff (and a lot of it) on the new site. Please come join me there… 🙂 The blog is way more active on the new site, and some great people regularly join the conversation. The new site is live at mandyvavrinak.com. The new blog entries are also there. Please come check it out… !

Also on the new site is more information about me and my professional services.

If you need:

> Marketing Strategy

> Writing, Editing or Design work

> Advertising or Media Planning, Production or Buying

> Social Media Consulting

> Branding

> Economic Development Marketing or Retail Recruitment

I’m your girl. Well… me and a team of talented folks… Give me a shout and let me know how I can help you 🙂

5 Basic Communication Rules

August 25, 2009 3 comments

I dropped my oldest child, now a freshman, off at school to attend his first high school dance tonight. I’d already cautioned him about appropriate behaviour, being where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there, etc., etc., when I realized I was delivering the same admonitions my own parents slung at me before my first “real” dance way back when. I took a deep breath, looked him squarely in the eyes, and told him I knew that he knew what I expected from him, and I knew he’d come through. And to have a good time.

Now, I’m not a new-age parent, or parent-as-friend practitioner, either. We walk on the stricter side of life when it comes to expectations and consequences. I know that my son understands what my expectations are because I’ve clearly communicated them to him over the course of many, many interactions. I also know he understands the consequences if he violates my trust in him because he’s experienced those many times as well.

Clear communication is the foundation for successful interactions, be they in business, among friends and co-workers, or between parents and children. Do you…

  1. Clearly communicate what you want to have happen in a given situation? Be home by 9:30. Call us to set up a free appointment to evaluate your current materials. Order online.
  2. Clearly explain any options or choices? Think of menus in restaurants, options on cars, travel packages… so many things could be improved through clear communication of any choices the buyer may have. My kid can either have me drop him off and pick him up, or one of the parents I know and trust among a select group of his friends. Those are the options.
  3. Set expectations for timeframes and urgency? If the deal expires at MIDNIGHT, let me know! If your grass seed only performs optimally when planted in March, tell me. If coming home 2 minutes past 9:30 is still considered late, better let the kid know.
  4. Revisit the important points as needed? Did your kids eat their vegetables after only telling them to do so one time? Mine didn’t either. Sometimes you need to repeat yourself in your copy, in your verbal presentation or in your parenting.
  5. Deliver the promised results? If he’s late, he’s grounded. When we say it will ship today, it will ship today. It really is a free, no strings attached evaluation of your current marketing material.

If you clearly set expectations with your customers (or your kids), including noting the choices or options available, sharing any relevant urgency, reminding them of the important parts and delivering what you promised, your interactions will be much more fruitful.

Have any additional basic communication rules? Please share them in the comments.

Some Days Are Better

Some days are better than others. It’s true for me, true for you and true for your customers. Some days really, really make you wish you’d stayed in bed. I had one of those yesterday. Won’t share all the details, but it culminated in a whole meatloaf I accidentally threw away (don’t ask) and an appointment at the Genius bar in the Apple store…. Except my appointment was made for the Woodland store (in Grand Rapids, MI) not the Woodland Hills store here in Tulsa, OK.
Nothing that happened qualified as a disaster or life-altering tragedy… Been through those and I *do* understand the difference.
What do you do on those days? When nothing is really wrong, but nothing is right, either? I think those days are the true test of our resolve to go forward, to be nice, to choose good. Even the selfish can respond unselfishly to a tragedy, but how we respond to the minor annoyances, set backs and irritations on a daily basis is indicitive of our true character. And, fundamental to the character of our business.
Would you want your clients to watch you deal with rude people in line at the movies? Or with the drycleaner counter staff who mixed up your clothes? Guess what… Potential ones ARE watching. Act accordingly.

Let Reality Infect Your Worldview

August 5, 2009 1 comment
Lots of Grads Look for Lots of Jobs

via adobemac on flikr.com. Used under CreativeCommons 2.0 license

I’d be ashamed of myself the only way I could explain no job were to sue the college I willingly gave years of my life and thousands of my dollars to because they somehow failed me. Really? I mean…. really!!??

Grad Sues College for $70,000 Because She Cant Find a Job – Local News | News Articles | National News | US News – FOXNews.com.

Even if the education was substandard, she wasn’t required to CONTINUE to give them her money and stay there to not learn. There is so much wrong with this entire picture that I’m nearly speechless… which is a rarity for me.

True, it’s a rough environment out there for job seekers, but the majority of folks out there are, in fact, still employed. Thank goodness. And I’m guessing there are jobs out there, even for her, just not the job she really wants. How many of you got your first job out of college and it was perfect? You walked in, sat down at your new (new to you, anyway) desk and said to yourself, “Yeah, man… all those dollars and time… definitely worth it for THIS job!”

I bet the internal conversation went more like, “OK… so the office smells, the chair’s hydraulics don’t work, this computer is a relic, and I have to make the coffee and deliver it to everyone else… but it’s in my field and it’s a start.” Why do people expect things to just come easily? Most worthwhile events and occasions have a serious effort quotient attached. I wish this girl the best… and perhaps the best thing that could happen would be for some serious reality to infect her world view. What do you think?