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why i remember September 11, 2001 …

I experienced that fateful day on a very personal and professional level. On September 11, 2001, I was an employee of Van Kampen Funds/Morgan Stanley.  After seeing the horrific events around the country unfold live on my computer in our Oak Brook office, it was my job as the designated floor warden to conduct a safety sweep of our floor to ensure that all employees had safely left for home.  A mandatory building evacuation had been issued from our home office in New York immediately after the World Trade Center attacks fearing the possibility of further retribution on related financial, military and government buildings.

As I opened each office door, my mind recycled and replayed the images I had just seen on my computer screen.  As I checked under each desk of every office and cubicle on my floor, I prayed for the safety of all those impacted in New York, Washington DC and Shanksville, PA.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, I was struck by the amazing resilience of the American people, first responders and the business community at-large.  The overwhelming outpouring of fellowship and ‘community’ exhibited by all was nothing short of remarkable. I carried that newfound sense of fellowship, community, and perseverance into the next few years at Morgan Stanley and subsequently, into the next chapter of my life and the opening of my own business.

Each year, I endeavor to remember September.  I sincerely hope that each and every one of you find the strength and courage to do the same not only on the anniversary of 9/11, but the remaining 364-days of each and every year that follows.

God bless you and your family.

Kevin Reszel
Chief iDEA Officer + Founder
RESZEL iNDUSTRIES iDEAVERTISING

http://reszel.com/reszel-blog/2013/september/i-remember-september-.aspx

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A Sign of the Times OR a TAXing Dilema?

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Now that the county property taxes second installment due date has come and gone … let’s review the use of outdoor advertising/signage as a property tax collection reminder.

I own a small business and collecting fees for my services goes with the territory.  Like many small business owners and entrepreneurs in the services industry:

> We advertise (or iDEAVERTISE) our services to prospects.

> We sell and hopefully win new business.

> We provide remarkable services for a fair fee.

And.

> We collect said fees upon completion of our work.

For me, sending an invoice via email and snail mail is the iDEAl method of notifying my clients when attempting to collect fees for services rendered.  For others, snail mail, financial software or even web-based financial programs that automatically issue invoices ‘fills the bill’ from an accounts payables/billables standpoint.

Since starting my business some 9-years ago and having worked in the advertising, marketing and communications space for going on 30-years, I can safely say that I have never once entertained the iDEA of using outdoor signage as a method of alerting/reminding clients of pending invoices and/or their financial obligation to pay for services rendered.  😉  Why?  Because in my mind, placing a large banner in a high visibility public place simply to remind individuals of a bill due date is insulting let alone A BAD iDEA AND BUSINESS PRACTICE!  Really?  Our county believes taxpayers NEED a property tax payment reminder in the form of a large banner installed at a well-traveled in-town intersection?  It’s not like they didn’t send their fair-share of snail mail communications well in advance of the actual property tax bill due date, right?  The cost to produce and send those snail mail communications wasn’t enough?  I guess I’ve answered my own question since earlier this week I found myself staring at what is by most standards, a very large outdoor banner reminding taxpayers of their financial obligation to pay for county services rendered!

Not sure about other taxpayers, but the very sight of a banner like this begs a question or two … or thirteen.  Questions like:

Q.  How much time was spent on the iDEA to post these banners?

Q.  How much did the banners cost?

Q.  At the time of banner purchase, did the county pay sales tax? 😉

Q.  Who pays to have the banners printed?

Q.  Who pays for the labor to put the banners up?

Q.  Who pays for the labor to take the banners down?

Q.  Are these banners a good use of taxpayer dollars?

Q.  Why a red, white and blue banner color palette?  Subliminal or intentional patriotism?

Q.  Why the need for another promotional vehicle to further the current snail direct mail campaign which already includes ‘our bill’ and due dates?  Is the current snail direct mail campaign not producing the Return On Investment (ROI) the county had hoped for?

Q.  In 2014, will we begin receiving reminders via Facebook and Twitter?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of strategic and tactical social media communications.  I’m just not sure how many of us will be able to summon the strength to ‘LIKE’ or ‘FOLLOW’ a tax-oriented Facebook or Twitter page.

Q.  Is the county entertaining the iDEA of promoting Foursquare check-ins for those taxpayers making their tax payments onsite?  I can see it now … “Hey fellow taxpayers!  At the assessor’s office paying my property taxes ;-)!!  Tip for those coming down, FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE prior to stepping through the door.”  

Q.  Are we going to begin seeing a flood of Instagram pics and Twitter Vine videos from the county, showing us how to write our property tax check, place in an envelope, apply a stamp and place the envelope in a town mail box?

Q.  Is this new out-of-the-box reminder signage a trend?  Hope not!  I really don’t want to begin seeing banners in town reminding me:

> My Kids School Registration Fees Are Due.

> My annual Park District Health Club Membership Fee Is Due.

> My Traffic Court Date Regarding a Parking Ticket Is Next Month.

> I Have Two Books Overdue at The Library.

> My Annual Prostate Exam Results And Bill Are Now Ready For Review and Payment.

If this is a trend or ‘SIGN OF THE TIMES’, let me know where I can SIGN UP to OPT OUT.

We Live In An Age of Immediate ‘Didyouseethat’ification.

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We live in an age of Immediate Gratification.  Strike that.  We live in an age of Immediate ‘Didyouseethat’ification. As most brands know all too well, the advent of social media has elevated the art of PR crisis management to dizzying heights!  Today, news travels at the speed of not just sound, but ‘surrounded sound’. The definition of surrounded sound in today’s marketplace means; something bad happens and citizen reporters armed with camera-enabled smartphones have you SURROUNDED, ready to SOUND off.

Maybe in the case of this most recent FedEx package pitching performance, PR crisis management traveled at the speed of GROUND surrounded sound … FedEx GROUND that is! Forget here we go again, more LIKE here WE THROW AGAIN.  The combined social and mainstream media universes (or is it universi) are all a flutter about the most recent FedEx package pitching performance.  If you haven’t seen it, check out the video here.  I’m struggling as to how FedEx didn’t learn their lesson after the 2011 ‘Cranky Customer Computer Monitor Gate’ incident. For those of you that don’t remember, a FedEx driver at that time was seen pitching a particular package packed with a computer monitor over a gate.  I’m no transportation/shipping/logistics wizard but I’m thinking it’s probably not a good iDEA to throw anything over a gate, starting with an extremely delicate piece of equipment LIKE a computer monitor.  How ironic that the FedEx driver pitching said computer monitor over said gate was in fact, the person being ‘monitored’.

Wouldn’t you think that FedEx would have slightly altered the content of their driver training course after the 2011 incident? Example; cover topics addressing difficult delivery situations AND the explosive use of handheld camera technology firmly in the hands of a huge segment of the population. I’m just saying, feels LIKE a no-brainer right?  Here’s an iDEA, add a new chapter to the training manual called; DON’T THROW ANYTHING, EVER, ESPECIALLY OVER A GATE! Or, THE EYES OF TEXAS, FedEx AND THE WORLD … ARE UPON YOU! While this latest media gaffe is unfortunate, FedEx did do a good job of DELIVERING a SPEEDY response (sorry for the logistics pun) in an attempt to combat this most recent situation.

Mini Blog: Reenacting Out?

I would imagine Jamestown Settlement staff charged with reenacting life in the 1600’s may be firing up their resumes after reading the NBC News story “CSI Jamestown: Anthropologists lay out evidence of colonial cannibalism.”

Think about the possibilities.  One day you’re making brooms in a quaint village from the 17th century and the next minute, you’re quite possibly making brooms in a quaint village from the 17th century AND reenacting … colonial cannibalism.

Downside(s):

  • The potential new job description tweak might be a bit above the pay-grade for some of the ‘less seasoned’ reenactors (sorry for the pun, couldn’t help myself).
  • Cancellation of the ‘all you can eat’ lunch buffet in the employee cafe.
  • General buzz kill in and around ye old water cooler.

Upside(s):

  • Possible raise due to the increased workload!
  • Addition of new culinary skill set on resume and Linkedin profile.
  • Longer meal breaks due to reduced crowds at your particular exhibit during the lunch and dinner hours.

While downside(s) vs. upside(s) appear to be a wash, it’s clear that with this kind of news, some colonial reenactors could find themselves ‘reenacting out’.

Source:  NBC News

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