Move over, Pittsburgh
Evidently, Indiana County isn't about to sit back and wait for any of Pittsburgh's upcoming "regional" marketing efforts to send new businesses its way. So its leaders have unveiled their own marketing theme.
Officials there recently introduced "Indiana County: Growing Right Here," a campaign that includes advertising, stationery and a variety of other promotional materials. The goal: to promote the county as a good place for businesses-existing and potential new ones-to grow and expand.
"We're really saying that businesses not only grow here, but we're working together to help businesses grow the right way, right here," says Bernie Smith, Indiana County commissioner and chairman of the county's Center for Economic Operations.
Adds Tom Bayuzik, executive director of the Indiana County CEO: "When we look around and see this new energy, focused as never before on building new and existing businesses in our county, it just feels right-just like our new theme."
Does your elephant wear a pink tutu?
Well, it should, according to local marketing communications consultant and author Mary Maloney Cronin.
She's talking, of course, about companies and the way they should be promoting their efforts to customers and the public, and it's the subject of a new book she co-authored with local consultant and author Suzanne Caplan. Called "Everyone Remembers the Ele-phant in the Pink Tutu-How to Promote and Publicize Your Business with Impact and Style" (Career Press, $15.99), the new book asks business owners to address problems such as the color of their tutus (how they should make their companies sound unique, whether the bearded lady is their friend (how to approach the media), and what to do when they tear their tutus (how to handle crises).
"Even if your primary business is one that seems very ordinary or is in a field crowded with competitors, there is one (or perhaps a few) unique hook that you can build a PR campaign around. You just have to find them," according to the book, available in most local bookstores.
The book also provides templates for press releases and press kits, as well as guidelines for photo releases and a list of other related books worth reading, among other references.
And in its chapter entitled "Advice from the ringmaster," Cronin addresses a long list of frequently asked questions about PR, with answers from a number of local media sources-including the editor of Small Business News. So it's a must-read, indeed.
Why you shouldn't dodge your own greatness
Patricia DiVecchio, founder and president of Pittsburgh-based Life-Work International, would be the first to tell you that your work and life don't have to co-exist apart from one another, leaving you unhappy and unfulfilled. In fact, she has made this message her mission as she helps entrepreneurs find their own niches in life.
"We're very habitual creatures, and we get comfortable real fast," she said in a recent workshop on finding your life's work. She was explaining why many people continue to trudge along unhappy in what they're doing but unwilling to change.
"Is work about conflict, about stress?" she asked. "Work can be hard and a struggle, but work can also be exhilarating. Work can be a mission. Work can be a passion."
DiVecchio said entrepreneurs simply need to take steps to develop and act on their own "vision of choice," which often is held back by what she describes as a fear of our own greatness, a fear of the "responsibility of being great," and a fear of our humanness (our feelings and emotions).
"Your responsibility is to you-only you can shift your thinking," she added. "You need to not talk yourself out of your own greatness."
For more information about Life-Work International and its workshops, call (412) 488-9890.
How to effectively lose business to your competitor
Yearick-Millea Inc. employee Helen Ciaramitaro says she was more than a little surprised when UPS called her about a package of film she had just shipped to a publication in England-especially since she had sent the package via a competing shipping company the day before.
It seems the competing company, which Ciaramitaro has declined to disclose, accidentally dropped the package on the street-right in front of the UPS terminal on Beaver Street in the North Side. The mistake obviously didn't bode well for the competing company, but then UPS isn't one to pass up such a lucky opportunity either. The UPS employee who found the package called the competing carrier and gave the package back to it. The competitor then finally sent the package securely on its way.
And what did UPS get out of its act of selfless service? As Ciaramitaro puts it, a new and loyal customer.
"I think they went over and above the call of duty," Ciaramitaro says of UPS. "They were excellent."
As for the competitor, the hard lesson no doubt was not lost, at least on the driver.
Do you hear what we're saying?
Should it come as any surprise that improving office productivity could easily start with better communication with your staff?
That's the finding of OfficeTeam, an administrative staffing service, in a recent nationwide survey of "150 big-company executives. According to the survey, executives believe that 14 percent of every 40-hour work week is wasted due to poor communication between staff and managers. That's seven weeks a year lost.
Says Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam: "Unclear communication not only results in errors and missed deadlines, but also lies at the root of many other serious workplace issues, such as low employee morale and poor job performance."
Here's one Pittsburgh marketing strategy that might even work
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver John Acunto has his own ideas for creating a slick campaign for marketing his hometown Pittsburgh to the rest of the world, and it doesn't involve millions of dollars of government or foundation funding.
He plans to use his truck.
Acunto, who drives Chevrolet Truck No. 13 for the RMJ Race Team, so far reportedly has secured a sponsorship commitment from Pittsburgh Brewing Co., and he says he hopes to secure other Pittsburgh-based companies in an effort to promote the region's work ethic, values and culture.
Perhaps he should try the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.