OnStar: Shame on you

Posted on September 22, 2011. Filed under: Business, Customer Service, Good Business, Life | Tags: , , , , , |

For the record I do not own a GM car, but have thought the introduction of OnStar emergency services was a wonderful idea.  And when I saw that you could now purchase OnStar at BestBuy for installation on any car, well I was elated.  Was even considering buying one for my wife’s car.

Now however, my high regard for OnStar has come crashing to the ground … perhaps even below ground.

In the article below it is revealed that OnStar now continuously monitors your vehicle and sells that information to insurance companies, law enforcement, and anyone else who might be interested. 

To put it another way:  Customers purchase the OnStar service and pay a monthly fee so that OnStar can profit even more by selling detailed customer information. 

 That’s just too much of an invasion of privacy for me.

Article:

GM’s OnStar now spying on your car for profit even after you unsubscribe? [UPDATE]

OnStar
 

By Zach Bowman RSS feed

Posted Sep 21st 2011 4:28Pm

 
If you’re the owner of a fairly new General Motors product, you may want to take a close look at the most recent OnStar terms and conditions. As it turns out, the company has altered the parameters under which it can legally collect GPSdata on your vehicle.Originally, the terms and conditions stated that OnStar could only collect information on your vehicle’s location during a theft recovery or in the midst of sending emergency services your way. That has apparently changed. Now, OnStar says that it has the right to collect and sell personal, yet supposedly anonymous information on your vehicle, including speed, location, seat belt usage and other information.

Who would be interested in that data, you ask? Law enforcement agencies, for starters, as well as insurance companies. Perhaps the most startling news to come out of the latest OnStar terms and conditions is the fact that the company can continue to collect the information even after you disconnect the service. If you want the info to be cut off all together, you’ll have to specifically shut down the vehicle’s data connection. If that sounds scary, you should check out a full breakdown of the new policies here.

*UPDATE: OnStar has released a statement in response to the dust up over its newest set of terms and conditions:

 
New Terms & ConditionsThe following statement can be attributed to Joanne Finnorn, Vice President, Subscriber Services

“OnStar has and always will give our customers the choice in how we use their data. We’ve also been very open with our customers about changes in services and privacy terms.

“Under our new Terms and Conditions, when a customer cancels service, we have informed customers that OnStar will maintain a two-way connection to their vehicle unless they ask us not to do so. In the future, this connection may provide us with the capability to alert vehicle occupants about severe weather conditions such as tornado warnings or mandatory evacuations. Another benefit for keeping this connection “open” could be to provide vehicle owners with any updated warranty data or recall issues.

“Of course, if the customer requests us to turn off the two-way connection, we will do as we have always done, and that is honor customers’ requests.

“Our guiding practices regarding sharing our subscribers’ personal information have not changed. We are always very specific about with whom we share customers’ personal information, and how they will use it. We have never sold any personally identifiable information to any third party.

“Keeping the two-way connection open will also allow OnStar to capture general vehicle information that could be used in future product development.

“We apologize for creating any confusion about our Terms and Conditions. We want to make sure we are as clear with our customers as possible, but it’s apparent that we have failed to do this. As always, we are listening to our subscribers’ feedback and we will continue to be open to their suggestions and concerns.”

 
Sorry OnStar, I’m not buying it . . . or your product. 
 
That’s my 2 cents
 
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Happy May Day

Posted on May 1, 2011. Filed under: Brock Henderson, Holidays, Life | Tags: , , , |

May 1st is May Day . . . or at least it was.

When I was a child the 1st of May was celebrated.  Not like Christmas or Easter, but a welcoming of spring.  There was often a May Day parade, and I can remember my Mother taking me to a few homes of elderly people, where we would leave a basket at their door with some sort of home-made treat like cookies.

At kindergarten we would hang streamers to a large pole in the ground, each child having the end of one streamer, and we would walk around the pole until it was completely wrapped.  It was the May Pole.

I have no idea what the significance of the May Pole was, but certainly taking a basket of goodies to friends and those less fortunate was a nice gesture.

The country doesn’t seem to celebrate May Day any more.  No parade, no May Pole, no May Day gift baskets. 

Sad.  It was a great tradition. 

Guess we got too busy . . . or perhaps too lazy . . . or maybe people don’t give a (bleep) any more.  I don’t know; but it was a nice tradition that has unfortunately faded away into distant memories.

So may I suggest you take a couple of minutes to sit down and call someone you haven’t spoken to in some time.  Don’t send an e-mail,or a text, or a tweet, but  reach out as one human to another and actually talk to them.  Let them know you are thinking of them and that they are special.  After all we all need to feel special.

Happy May Day

That’s my 2 cents.

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There Are No Obama Birth Records In Hawaii

Posted on January 26, 2011. Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , , , |

OMG   Here is a radio clip (on You Tube) where the reporter tells the host that Governor Abercrombie told the reporter that he could not find any record of Obama’s birth in Hawaii.

So the man who wanted to put the issue of President Obama’s birth to rest has done the exact opposite.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvrb7YqdvxE

But wait … there’s more.  Now the reporter, (Mike Evans), says he is remorseful  “that he appeared to have given the impression that he had discussed the search for Obama’s birth certificate with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.”

No sir, it was not an accidental impression, you said it loud and clear.  Below is what he is saying now.

Celebrity Journalist: I Never Spoke to Hawaii Gov About Obama Birth Certificate

By Jana Winter

Published January 26, 2011

| FoxNews.com

A celebrity journalist now claims he misspoke when he said last week that Hawaii’s governor told him he was unable to find President Barack Obama’s original birth certificate after a search of state and hospital archives.

Mike Evans told FoxNews.com on Wednesday he was remorseful and embarrassed that he appeared to have given the impression that he had discussed the search for Obama’s birth certificate with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Evans, who says he has been a close friend of Abercrombie since the 1980s, appeared on Minnesota’s KQRS radio last week and said he’d been told by the governor himself that Obama’s birth certificate was nowhere to be found. Evans told KQRS on Jan. 20:

“Yesterday, talking to Neil’s office, Neil says that he searched everywhere using his powers as governor ….. there is no Barack Obama birth certificate in Hawaii.  Absolutely no proof at all that he was born in Hawaii.”

But that’s no longer Evans’ story.

“Only this I can you tell you is 100 percent fact: that Neil never told me there was no birth certificate,” Evans told Fox News. “I never talked to him.”

Last week’s radio interview was part of Evans’ syndicated five-minute feature, “On the Road with Mike Evans,” which is broadcast on 34 stations across the country each morning.

On the morning of Jan. 20, Evans says he accidentally told one of those radio stations — KQRS — that he’d spoken directly with Gov. Abercrombie about the Obama birth certificate.

“I was on 34 radio stations that morning. That was the only station where I said, instead of saying ‘the hospital said there’s no birth certificate’ I misspoke and said Neil said that,” Evans said. “I misspoke and I apologize for that. I apologize to Neil.”

Abercrombie’s spokeswoman did not respond to Fox News e-mail and phone requests for comment.

Evans says he first noticed the story on Jan. 18, when he was reading an online article with the headline, “Hawaii governor can’t find Obama birth certificate.” The article cites an interview with a former Honolulu elections clerk who says records of Obama’s birth could not be found at either Honolulu hospital.

“Halfway down the story it said the long form certificate was not on file at the two hospitals,” Evans said. “It says the hospitals say there’s no birth certificate and says Neil says he couldn’t find it.”

Evans said he continued reading other reports online, including one that quotes a former Honolulu election official as saying no hospital has been able to find Obama’s original long form birth certificate.

Evans says he then placed a call to Abercrombie’s office in Hawaii to follow up on the reports.

“I called Neil, but Neil never called me back,” Evans told Fox News. “I haven’t talked to Neil since he’s been governor.”

In 2008, the Obama campaign provided a certification of live birth — a shorter form document that bears the same legal weight as the more detailed original certificate of live birth — to prove his eligibility to be president. That has not quelled calls by those who have asked for the president’s original, longer form birth certificate, which they maintain would more clearly prove his status as a natural-born American citizen.

The U.S. Constitution stipulates that only “a natural-born citizen,” or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of the President.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/26/celebrity-journalist-says-he-never-talked-hawaii-governor-obama-birth/

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Update #2: Hawaii Governor on Obama’s Birth Certificate

Posted on January 22, 2011. Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , , , , |

And now the Attorney General for Hawaii has told the Governor that it is against the law in Hawaii to release an individuals birth certificate without the consent of the individual. 

Here’s the entire article:

By MARK NIESSE, Associated Press Mark Niesse, Associated Press Sat Jan 22, 4:56 am ET

HONOLULU – A privacy law that shields birth certificates has prompted Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie to abandon efforts to dispel claims that President Barack Obama was born outside Hawaii, his office says.

State Attorney General David Louie told the governor that privacy laws bar him from disclosing an individual’s birth documentation without the person’s consent, Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said Friday.

“There is nothing more that Gov. Abercrombie can do within the law to produce a document,” said Dela Cruz. “Unfortunately, there are conspirators who will continue to question the citizenship of our president.”

Abercrombie, who was a friend of Obama’s parents and knew him as a child, launched an investigation last month into whether he can release more information about the president’s Aug. 4, 1961 birth. The governor said at the time he was bothered by people who questioned Obama’s birthplace for political reasons.

But Abercrombie’s attempt reached a dead end when Louie told him the law restricted his options.

Hawaii’s privacy laws have long barred the release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who doesn’t have a tangible interest.

So-called “birthers” claim Obama is ineligible to be president because they say there’s no proof he was born in the United States, with many of the skeptics questioning whether he was actually born in Kenya, his father’s home country.

Hawaii’s health director said in 2008 and 2009 that she had seen and verified Obama’s original vital records, and birth notices in two Honolulu newspapers were published within days of Obama’s birth at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo again confirmed Friday that Obama’s name is found in its alphabetical list of names of people born in Hawaii, maintained in bound copies available for public view.

That information, called index data, shows a listing for “Obama II, Barack Hussein, Male,” according to the department’s website.

“The index is just to say who has their records within the department. That’s an indication,” Okubo said. “I can’t talk about anyone’s records.”

The Obama campaign issued a certificate of live birth in 2008, an official document from the state showing the president’s birth date, city and name, along with his parents’ names and races.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110122/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_birth_certificate

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Update: Hawaii Governor on Obama’s Birth Certificate

Posted on January 21, 2011. Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

In a nutshell, the Governor says the birth certificate exists but he can’t prove it.  Huh? 

In this article he states that he knew Obama’s parents and was here when he was born, and “Anybody who wants to ask a question honestly could have had their answer already.”  Well, people are asking but would like a little more than assurances from a friend of the family.  A tangable document would go a long way for a lot of people.  (Granted, at this point there would probably be many who would doubt the validity of any document you might produce.)

The article is posted in its entirety below:

Hawaii governor claims record of Obama’s birth ‘exists in archives’ but can’t produce the vital document

By Daily Mail Reporter

Pressure was mounting on Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie today amid increasing confusion over whether President Obama was born there.

Abercrombie said on Tuesday that an investigation had unearthed papers proving Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

He told Honolulu’s Star-Advertiser: ‘It actually exists in the archives, written down,’ he said.

But it became apparent that what had been discovered was an unspecified listing or notation of Obama’s birth that someone had made in the state archives and not a birth certificate.

And in the same interview Abercrombie suggested that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.

He said efforts were still being made to track down definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii.

Abercrombie was asked: ‘You stirred up quite a controversy with your comments regarding birthers and your plan to release more information regarding President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. How is that coming?’

He acknowledged the birth certificate issue would  have ‘political implications’ for the next presidential election ‘that we simply cannot have’.

‘It’s a matter of principle with me,’ the 72-year-old said. ‘I knew his mum and dad. I was here when he was born. Anybody who wants to ask a question honestly could have had their answer already.’

Birthers insist Obama, born in 1961, is not eligible to be commander in chief. The reasons often vary, and have changed and expanded in the two years since the Internet rumour began.

Some believe his Certification of Live Birth is fake and he was really born in Kenya. Others argue that Obama is a citizen of the United Kingdom or Indonesia. Most theories have been dismissed by many in public office and the media, and have been found to be misleading or generally untrue.

However, the conspiracy theories still thrive, and according to Abercrombie, are likely to continue despite whatever evidence that shows him to be a proper U.S. citizen.

‘You’re not going to convince those people because they have a political agenda, or they have minds that go in that kind of direction,’ he told CNN. ‘Conspiratorial theorists are never going to be satisfied. This has gone into another area of political attack.’

And he again promised he would do ‘what I can do’ to publicly verify that records show Obama was born in Hawaii and is a citizen of the United States, making him eligible to be President.

 The Governor vowed when he took office in December that he would do his best to end the debate over Obama’s birth, which began in 2008 during the presidential campaign.

‘We’ll do what we can as quickly as we can to make it inevitable that only those who wish the President ill, only the ones with a political agenda, will be the ones doing this kind of thing,’ he said at the time. ‘The President is entitled to the respect of his office and he’s entitled to have his mother and father respected.’

During that interview, Abercrombie said his goal to combat birthers was a personal one.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1348916/Hawaii-governor-says-Obamas-birth-record-exists-produce-it.html#ixzz1BgnPbTmU

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Hawaii governor can’t find Obama birth certificate

Posted on January 18, 2011. Filed under: Life, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , |

How sad that someone in a position of authority, (the Governor of Hawaii), who is attempting to put the question of Obama’s birth to rest is only stirring up more controversy and questions.  He can’t find it.

The article is from wnd.com and is posted in its entirety below.

Posted: January 18, 2011
8:05 pm Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2011 WorldNetDaily


Neil Abercrombie

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie suggested in an interview published today that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.

Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star Advertiser he was searching within the Hawaii Department of Health to find definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii, because the continuing eligibility controversy could hurt the president’s chances of re-election in 2012.

Donalyn Dela Cruz, Abercrombie’s spokeswoman in Honolulu, ignored again yesterday another in a series of repeated requests made by WND for an interview with the governor.

Toward the end of the interview, the newspaper asked Abercrombie: “You stirred up quite a controversy with your comments regarding birthers and your plan to release more information regarding President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. How is that coming?”

In his response, Abercrombie acknowledged the birth certificate issue will have “political implications” for the next presidential election “that we simply cannot have.”

Get the free, in-depth special report on eligibility that could bring an end to Obama’s presidency

Suggesting he was still intent on producing more birth records on Obama from the Hawaii Department of Health vital records vault, Abercrombie told the newspaper there was a recording of the Obama birth in the state archives that he wants to make public.

Abercrombie did not report to the newspaper that he or the Hawaii Department of Health had found Obama’s long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate. The governor only suggested his investigations to date had identified an unspecified listing or notation of Obama’s birth that someone had made in the state archives.

“It was actually written, I am told, this is what our investigation is showing, it actually exists in the archives, written down,” Abercrombie said.

For seemingly the first time, Abercrombie frankly acknowledge that presidential politics motivated his search for Obama birth records, implying that failure to resolve the questions that remain unanswered about the president’s birth and early life may damage his chance for re-election.

“If there is a political agenda (regarding Obama’s birth certificate), then there is nothing I can do about that, nor can the president,” he said.

So far, the only birth document available on Obama is a Hawaii Certification of Live Birth that first appeared on the Internet during the 2008 presidential campaign. It was posted by two purportedly independent websites that have displayed a strong partisan bias for Obama – Snopes.com released the COLB in June 2008, and FactCheck.org published photographs of the document in August 2008.

WND previously reported the Hawaii Department of Health has refused to authenticate the COLB posted on the Internet by Snopes.com and FactCheck.org.

WND has reported that in 1961, Obama’s grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham, could have made an in-person report of a Hawaii birth even if the infant Barack Obama Jr. had been foreign-born.

Similarly, the newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth do not prove he was born in Hawaii, since they could have been triggered by the grandparents registering the birth as Hawaiian, even if the baby was born elsewhere.

Moreover, WND has documented that the address reported in the newspaper birth announcements was the home of the grandparents.

WND also has reported that Barack Obama Sr. maintained his own separate apartment in Honolulu, even after he was supposedly married to Ann Dunham, Barack Obama’s mother, and that Dunham left Hawaii within three weeks of the baby’s birth to attend the University of Washington in Seattle.

Dunham did not return to Hawaii until after Barack Obama Sr. left Hawaii in June 1962 to attend graduate school at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Conceivably, the yet undisclosed birth record in the state archives that Abercrombie has discovered may have come from the grandparents registering Obama’s birth, an event that would have triggered both the newspaper birth announcements and availability of a Certification of Live Birth, even if no long-form birth certificate existed.

WND has also reported that Tim Adams, a former senior elections clerk for the city and county of Honolulu in 2008, has maintained that there is no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate on file with the Hawaii Department of Health and that neither Honolulu hospital – Queens Medical Center or Kapiolani Medical Center – has any record that Obama was born there.

Read more: Hawaii governor can’t find Obama birth certificate http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=252833#ixzz1BS2oEYfr

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50 Billion in New Taxes Headed Our Way

Posted on September 6, 2010. Filed under: Business, Government, Legislation, Life, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

A Fox News article  gives us the depressing news that the President is out to weigh us down with a new 50 Billion dollar “stimulus” plan that will be paid for by an increase in taxes on oil and gas companies, who will naturally pass those taxes on to us.  (Note, I do not fault the oil and gas companies for passing along this tax burden, it is common business practice to increase your prices when your expenses go up.)

But with gas near $3.00 per gallon, can the typical individual afford even higher gasoline prices?

And with most states drowning in red ink will they really take this stimulus money to build the roads and rail roads it is intended to build, or will they use it to pay existing debt and keep existing workers and projects going?

I’ve reprinted the entire FoxNews article below.

(http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/06/obama-campaigns-democrats-new-infrastructure-investment-plan/)

(begin article)

In a speech that was part Democratic campaign push, part policy prescription, President Obama on Monday proposed a $50 billion investment in long-term infrastructure projects that he claimed will stimulate the flailing economy, create jobs and refill the exhausted federal highway trust fund.

Speaking to a crowd of union employees at Laborfest in Milwaukee, the president offered a six-year, front-loaded plan to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads, lay 4,000 miles of railways and restore 150 miles of airport runways.

The proposal also calls for a strategy to build a national high-speed rail network and create an “infrastructure bank” that uses competitive measures to determine which projects receive funding rather than earmarks and grants.

The president said the project will be paid for — assuming congressional support — with tax hikes on oil and gas companies and will cut waste and bureaucracy by consolidating more than 100 duplicative programs. 

“This will not only create jobs immediately, it’s also going to make our economy hum in the long-run,” the president said. “It’s a plan that history tells us can and should attract bipartisan support. It’s a plan that says even in the still-smoldering aftermath of the worst recession in our lifetimes, America can act to shape our own destiny, to move this country forward, to leave our children something better — something that lasts.”

But based on the rest of the president’s speech — and congressional Republicans’ early reactions — it is likely to be a tough sell.

“Americans are rightly skeptical about Washington Democrats asking for more of their money — and their patience,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “After all, they’re still looking for the ‘shovel-ready’ jobs they were promised more than a year ago. A last-minute, cobbled-together stimulus bill with more than $50 billion in new tax hikes will not reverse the complete lack of confidence Americans have in Washington Democrats’ ability to help this economy.”

A senior official acknowledged before the president’s speech that the administration can’t estimate how many jobs might be created. 

“It would obviously (be) a substantial number of jobs. But just as important is that this would be a sustained program with increased investment over six years so it would be a sustained increase in jobs as well as America’s productivity,” the official said.

The GOP response shouldn’t surprise Obama, who used much of his speech to accuse Republicans of rejecting plans to strengthen the middle class and rebuild the economy.

“Even on things we usually agree, they say no,” Obama said of the GOP. “They just think it’s better to score political points before an election than to solve problems.”

In a combative tone, the president pointed specifically to House Minority Leader John Boehner as he laid into Republicans for objecting to a package last month that sent $26 billion to the states to keep teachers on the payroll and pay for police officers by sending additional Medicaid money so states could redirect that cash for salaries. The bill was paid for with cuts to expanded food stamp payments and higher taxes on multinational corporations.

“You know how we paid for it? By closing one of these ridiculous tax loophole that actually rewarded corporations for shipping jobs and profits overseas,” Obama said. “Even a lot of America’s biggest corporations agreed that this loophole didn’t make sense, agreed that it should be closed, that agreed that it wasn’t fair — but the man who thinks he’s gonna be speaker, he wants to re-open this loophole.”

Obama said he doesn’t want to re-live the past when Republicans led Congress, arguing that not only does the GOP not have new ideas, but the party wants to return to past policies that put the country on a downward spiral. 

“These are the folks whose policies helped devastate our middle class. They drove our economy into a ditch. … And then they’ve got the nerve to ask for the keys back,” Obama said. 

But Republicans offered a few reminders for voters as well. Boehner issued a statement recalling that the Obama administration said if the $814 billion stimulus bill passed, unemployment would not rise above 8 percent. It now stands at 9.6 percent, its 19th consecutive month above 8 percent and 16th consecutive month above 9 percent.

“If we’ve learned anything from the past 18 months, it’s that we can’t spend our way to prosperity,” Boehner said in a statement. “We don’t need more government ‘stimulus’ spending — we need to end Washington Democrats’ out-of-control spending spree, stop their tax hikes and create jobs by eliminating the job-killing uncertainty that is hampering our small businesses.”

(end article)

And he is doing this new tax initiative as something for Democrats to run on this November.  “Vote for me, I want to increase your taxes by 50 Billion dollars” … I think he is losing touch with reality.

That’s my 2 cents.

 

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Creating a Print Ad

Posted on July 11, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Business, Good Business, Marketing | Tags: , , , , |

I have spoken in other articles that your headline is of primary importance. 

While you should pay careful attention to every word in your ad, you have got to get the headline right.  If the headline doesn’t grab their attention then they aren’t going to read your ad, no matter how wonderful the copy is.

Size Matters

A large ad has a much better chance of being seen and read over a small ad.

The smallest print ad in a newspaper or magazine I would recommend is 1/4 page.  (Yellow page advertising is an entirely different subject.)

Those small business card size ads simply do no pull customers.  They do tend to create a number of salespeople calling you, trying to sell you something.  Not what you want an ad to do.

Graphics Can Help

An appropriate graphic can help draw a prospect into your ad.  However, sometimes a graphic can distract so much from your message that it actually hurts the effectiveness of the ad.

If the image provides information or helps to illustrate your message, that’s fine; but don’t put in a graphic just because it is “cute” or “funny”, those are the wrong reasons to have a graphic.

You wouldn’t put in words that diminish your message, so don’t utilize a graphic that diminishes your message.

Reverse Type

Some people in the ad business think reverse type is a real attention grabber.  It isn’t.

Reverse type is when you have a dark background with light-colored letters.  Most frequently a black background with white letters.  Generally, it is much more difficult to read reverse type than normal type, such as the words in this article.

Reading reverse type takes longer and requires more effort from the brain simply because you mind is not accustomed to reading reverse type.

There are times when reverse type can be useful in getting a prospects attention, such as:

The words are large and easy to see; there are just two words; and the red helps to attract our attention.  Using reverse to draw attention to a specific element is fine, but don’t make the entire ad in reverse

 

Color Can Help

Color can highlight important information, draw the readers eye to certain areas, and in general make the ad more visually appealing.

But sometimes less is better.  Just because you have the option of color doesn’t mean you need to utilize it.  I have seen some very powerful and effective ads that were simple black & white.

Not all colors work well together.  People can not focus on the colors red and blue at the same time.

While it may appear that you are seeing them at the same time, it is an illusion.  In reality, your mind is switching from red to blue and back again so quickly that it appears “normal” to you.

A final word about color. 

Red denotes action, use it to grab a readers attention, (Act Fast), or have your call to action in red, such as Call Now.

Blue elicits trust, so key words and phrases such as Trust Brock, or a headline in blue, (Brock Increases Your Sales), would give the reader an unconscious favorable impression.

Serif or San-Serif?

Some type fonts are simply easier to read.  Most, (but not all), books, newspapers, and magazines are printed with a serif font.

The font in this article has “feet”; while some fonts such as Aerial do not.  That’s the difference.

Generally, it is easier to read a serif font than it is to read a san-serif.  Why? Books have forever been printed in a serif font, and like black on white printing, it is what our minds are accustomed to.

By now you have no doubt noticed that I use a san-serif font.  To me it gives a cleaner appearance in electronic communications, and that’s why I use it.

Your Ad Copy

This is where you present the (hopefully) compelling information that will get consumers to pick up the phone and call, or rush to your business with wads of cash in their hands.

Make your points clear, concise, succinct, and simple.

I urge that not because the reader is mentally challenged, just the opposite. 

People don’t read what doesn’t interest them; so you need to get your points across as quickly and clearly as possible.

Make important points in large bold print, and then provide additional information and details in smaller “normal” size print.

You do not need to tell the prospect everything in one ad.  The purpose is to get their attention, “wet thei appetite”, and hopefully seek you out for complete information.

The Most Important Word

This one word in all of marketing  is the most important:  YOU

All of your material should focus on the customer and personalize it as much as possible.

It’s not “We help customers increase sales”, it’s “We help you increase sales”, or “What would increased sales mean to you?”, or “What would increased sales mean to your company?”

Personalize all of your marketing, not just the print ads, but radio, television, and especially when doing a face-to-face sales presentation. 

Make it personal and make it count.

 And that’s my 2 cents.

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Thoughts on Networking

Posted on June 29, 2010. Filed under: Brock Henderson, Business, Good Business, Guerilla Marketing, Marketing, Networking, Sales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I attended a networking event today that overall was quite enjoyable.  We met at a local Italian restaurant, had a bit of open networking then sat down to eat. 

After eating came a period networking that was “speed dating” style.  Half of us remained seated and the other half rotated from person/position to person/position every five minutes.  Got to meet a great many very nice individuals.  Some were competitors, but they were still nice people.

But I was struck by the number of individuals, (about four), that would hand me a business card with scratched out information and corrected information hand written on the card.

For one individual it was, in my mind anyway, excusable — she had only recently started with the company and they hadn’t gotten her business cards yet.

One individual had so much hand written on the card, and so much scratched out that it almost looked like he had simply picked up someone’s business card and scribbled his info on it.

Is that the kind of image you want to give as a business professional?  Computer generated business cards, while not top-of-the-line in image, would have been better than a card all scribbled on.

That business card is how people will remember you, and this gentleman will certainly be remembered . . . but not in a good way.  Oh, his profession?  Marketing Consultant.  What kind of marketing message does a scribbled business card send? 

To add to the image problem he wore jeans, while the rest of us were in business attire; and his body language screamed “I don’t care”.

It’s not unusual to form strategic alliances with competitors on occasion, but I saw no reason to want to form any alliance with this gentleman.  He certainly seemed like a nice individual, but his attitude, attire, and business card all said “unprofessional”.

In marketing you should be presenting a unified image.  All your marketing materials, letter head, staff, and everything else needs to be sending the same message about you and your company.  When they don’t match it sends an unconsious signal to your prospect that something isn’t right; and they become reluctant to do business with you.

Make sure you are sending the right message every time you step out the door.

That’s my 2 cents.

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Speak Up

Posted on May 17, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Business, Good Business, Life, Marketing, Public Relations, Sales, Self Promotion | Tags: , , , , |

I was talking to a friend of mine that owns a lawn service and the conversation came around to public speaking. 

He indicated that they were thinking about going to local groups and talking about lawn care and he asked if I thought that would be a good idea.

Yes!

However, I cautioned him not to make it a ten minute commercial about his business, but to make it an educational talk.

Give them insight as to when is the best time to prune trees or shrubs.

How often to sharpen your lawn mower blades, and how to do it.

When’s the best time to seed your lawn, or fertilize, or spray week killer.

Present yourself as the expert in your field … because you are!

Then when they need your services your name will be the first to come to mind as the person to call.

Make your presentation interesting and informative, but never about you.

Groups are always looking for guest speakers, just start asking around.  There are garden clubs, church groups, Optimist clubs, Rotary clubs, networking groups, and a host of various civic groups that you can approach.

Make it clear that you aren’t giving a sales presentation, but are talking about your industry in general. 

It’s informational, nothing else.

Different groups will have different time constraints, but expect to be given five to ten minutes for your presentation, with a couple of minutes for questions afterward.

 That’s my 2 cents.

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