Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Question That EVERY Parent of a College-Age Student Should Ask

I am just back from a college tour of Lafayette College in Easton, PA with my 17-year-old son. Lafayette is a GREAT school, and my wife, my son and I were all very impressed. It is certainly high up on his list.

As we toured the campus we were taken to lots of different locations -- the library, a dining hall, classrooms, lecture halls and recreational facilities. One of our stops was in one of the residence halls. As we looked around at the "accommodations," I asked my tour guide a question that I strongly believe every parent of prospective college-age students should ask:

"Are ALL of the dorms equipped with automatic fire sprinkler systems?"

All of the other parents on the tour said, "Good question," perhaps with a vague memory of the 2000 Seton Hall University dorm fire that killed three students and seriously injured many more -- some permanently.

The fire started as a prank by two students. It quickly spread, releasing blinding, acrid smoke, and toxic fumes.

Had automatic fire sprinklers been installed, officials believe the fire would have been quickly contained, with minimal injuries (if any) and no loss of life.

Don't send your son or daughter off to college in a dorm that doesn't offer this simple, but essential life safety protection.

But don't just take my word for it. For more information, go to The Center for Campus Fire Safety website. The information you learn could save your child's life.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are Trade Shows Dying?

A friend of mine who runs one of the top tech PR firms in the UK asked me today if I thought that trade shows were dying.

A good (and complicated) question.

If you are asking if the "salad days" of sky's-the-limit, over the top trade show blow-out la-la-paloozas are over, then I think the answer is unmistakably yes. I was at CES again this year (about my 15th in a row -- I've kind of lost track), and attendance and extravagance were both greatly diminished.

But this is probably a good thing. It allows us to focus on what we are all there for in the first place: to promote our business (in our case, our clients' business) to those who are most likely to be our customers. To quote the Wikipedia entry:

A trade fair (trade show or expo) is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent trends and opportunities. Some trade fairs are open to the public, while others can only be attended by company representatives (members of the trade) and members of the press.

It's time to re-think the trade show.

Getting more from your trade show requires a strategic approach that will attract prospects and generate interest in your company and your products.

Drop me a line if you want to know how we are successfully doing this for clients in a broad spectrum of industries.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Nobody Goes There Anymore, It's Too Crowded

I love "Yogi-isms." And the one that I've swiped to title this post is typical of the appeal of Yogi Berra's unique brand of scratch-your-head honesty -- how could a place be crowded if nobody goes there?

Try this one: Newspapers are dying because nobody reads them anymore.

Conventional wisdom (and circulation figures) seem to back that up. So how come the New York Times saw OVER 40 million unique visitors to its website in December, 2008? Just who are these 40 million-plus people, if not readers of the New York Times?

There is no question that the newspaper business will have to change its business model to survive in the rapidly-changing world of media delivery. But these figures -- and the fact that the New York Times is among the most quoted news source on the Web today -- belie the demise of it, or many other "newspapers of record" around the country.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Riddle Me This.....

If newspapers are "dead," why is it that more people read a newspaper the day AFTER the Super Bowl, than actually WATCHED the Super Bowl game itself?

This great ad was placed by The Newspaper Project:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Amazing Game!

If you watched the Super Bowl (who doesn't?), you were treated to one of the best post-season games EVER. This game had everything -- including a touchdown that was OVERTURNED because of the watchful eye of an ultra-high-speed digital camera, that just happens to be manufactured by Vision Research of Wayne, New Jersey. (Disclosure: Vision Research is a client of my firm.)

NBC utilized three of Vision Research's ultra high speed Phantom digital cameras to capture the game -- and to provide definitive footage for several reviewable calls throughout the night.

I love this kind of technology, and I love being involved with brands that truly stand out and set the pace in their respective fields.

Congratulations to the Steelers AND to Vision Research!