Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category


I’m not normally too thrilled with the concept of New Year’s Resolutions or giving up something for Lent or other lists tied to a holiday but I liked this post by Megan Baylerian and I’m simply sharing it here with a quick comment: The 4th resolution is one that I’ve already been working on and that’s “Be more present” or as I like to think of it, “whatever you’re doing, give it everything you’ve got” and don’t worry about anything else in the moment.

So, I challenge each of you to help create a better you … and don’t wait for the holiday to do.

Now, here’s her actual blog:


Forget your standard New Year’s resolutions this year. Here are 17 uncommon but useful New Year’s Resolutions to set you up for success in 2017.


    • Change negativity to positivity
    • The world needs more positivity anyways, right? Try this: instead of apologizing for being late to a meeting, thank the group for being so patient as they waited for you.

      • Learn a new language
      • Just because you’re not in school anymore doesn’t mean you can’t take on learning a new language. Choose something common or less-known—

Rosetta Stone

       is packed with over 25 different languages to choose from.
      • Learn a new skill
      • Be a DIY master this year. Pinterest is full of fun (and easy) projects to try in a variety of fields, from woodworking to sewing. If you need help getting started, check out this

DIY table

       we’re in love with, found on Pinterest.

Be more present

          Enjoy the moments that you’re in. Put your phone away when people are talking, make more eye contact and spark up more conversations.



      • Drink more water
      • Water does more than wash down the food that you’re eating—it flushes out toxins, helps aid in digestion, improves mood and more. The most commonly recommended intake of water is eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. Having trouble downing that much liquid? Try adding a slice of lemon or fresh fruit, giving your water a splash of flavor.

      • Stop texting while driving
      • Put the phone away. We promise that text, tweet, snap and post can wait. Pro tip: Put your phone in the backseat in an unreachable area, eliminating the possibility of texting while driving altogether.

        • Stop hitting snooze on your alarm
        • Wouldn’t it be great to actually get up when your alarm goes off instead of hitting snooze 3+ times and rushing to get out the door in time? The free

    sleep cycle app

         can help with this, detecting when you’re in light sleep, making it easier to get up and out of bed.
      • Learn self-defense
      • Knowing how to protect yourself is always a good idea. Hit up the local martial arts classes in your area. If you’re pressed for time, some communities offer a one-day class to help you learn the basics.

      • Grow your own fruit, veggies and herbs
      • Growing your own produce and herbs doesn’t mean you need to commit to a garden. Take a few pots and plant your favorite fruits and veggies in the spring, summer and fall. In the winter, herbs keep well indoors—just remember to water them!

        • Stretch more
        • An increase in flexibility helps decrease the risk of injury and increases blood flow to your muscles. Basically, stretching is the unsung hero in a lot of people’s lives. Take 5 minutes a day to stretch your muscles out and your body will thank you.

      Meal prep on Sundays

            Prepping your meals ahead of time frees up your weeknights to do more of the things that you enjoy. Cook up a few pounds of chicken, your favorite veggies and a healthy grain. Package each meal up in a separate containers and they’re all set to grab in the morning on your way out the door.


            • Reconnect with old friends
            • Haven’t seen your high school or college friends in a long time? They probably miss you as much as you miss them. Schedule a coffee date or a weekend getaway somewhere and reconnect with some old friends.

            • Be more adventurous
            • You don’t need to hike the Pacific Northwest to be adventurous. Make a bucket list of local spots and events and explore your city. Wintertime is great for ice skating, visiting a museum in the area or staying a weekend in a wilderness lodge. You never know what you’ll end up really enjoying!

            • Spend less time on social media
            • If you haven’t taken a “social media” hiatus, now may be the time. For one week (or longer!) delete your social media apps and notifications to prevent you from looking at them. The time away from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be extremely refreshing and rejuvenating.

              • Volunteer more
              • Non-profits ALWAYS need more volunteers. Take a peek at some of the

        non-profits in your area

               and see what kind of help they may need. Think: homeless shelters, humane societies and food banks.
            • Call mom & dad more
            • Give the two people that raised you a bit more time on the phone this year. Try calling mom & dad at least once a week and watch how it brightens their mood and lifts their spirits.

            • Adopt a pet
            • Adopt, don’t shop! There are so many furry friends out there who need some love. Stop by your local animal shelter and check out the pets they have for adoption. Not ready for that kind of long-term commitment? Try fostering a pet, giving them a home and some much-needed love while they are looking for adoption.

        Categories: Holidays, Social Media Tags:

        Highlight of D.C. was in a classroom

        I’ve been attending the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) mediaXchange this week in Washington, D.C.

        It’s been a great conference and I always enjoy seeing colleagues from throughout the industry.   I’ve been fortunate to hear lots of great speakers including Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron (whom many will now associate with the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight“) as well as several interesting companies such as Blendle, American Press Institute, Stringr, and this little startup named Google that you might have heard about.

        However, the highlight of the week was not actually at the conference but instead it was in a classroom a few blocks away.  On Monday evening, I met my friend & McClatchy co-worker Julie Moos for dinner.  Julie and I met in early 2015 when we were being trained by the Stanford on Design Thinking.

        After dinner, I joined Julie as she taught her graduate class at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.  Once there, I got to share some about the sessions at NAA mediaXchange, hear from the students about their background and interests, and be interviewed by Julie about my career. Then, after Julie gave them a refresher on Design Thinking, it was time for them to enter the Testing Phase and I got to provide them with feedback.

        It was nice to see these student journalists at work and to hopefully help guide them to continue to seek feedback, fail fast and come up with the next big thing. For an early look at what they’ve been up to, please visit their projects:

        Thanks and enjoy Washington D.C. through the work of these journalists!

        All about M.A.R.K. (reflections from Labor Day)

        Over Labor Day weekend, I thought about where I’ve been and where I’m going.  It’s almost time for the annual review which means I’ll continue my practice of updating my resume when I do my self-appraisal.  However, before I get to that, I’ve been reflecting about how my focus/emphasis at work has changed through the years.  I realized that it fits neatly into four categories that, by coincidence, spell out my name:

        M stands for Marketing.  When you are involved in Marketing, you are the voice of the customer as well as being the voice to the customer.  I’m amazed by how many people think they can do marketing yet don’t understand what it really means.  Advertising, Communications, Community Relations, Promotions, Public Relations, Research, Sales, … so many terms but really all of these are elements of Marketing.  Of course, you don’t have to control it all and try to juggle it all on your own.  I’m amazed by the power of letting great people do what they do best.  Each week, my company’s Marketing Department meets with our Creative Services Manager and let him know what we’re trying to accomplish and we end up haivng much greater success when we give him a general idea than when we are too specific.  By not limiting him, we get much better results than what we would’ve come up with on our own.  We’ve also already seen success with talking to our new Social Media Coordinator.  By just letting her know what we’re trying to accomplish, she comes up with creative ways to help us meet our goals.  The same goes for working with an online programmer.  If instead of saying what I need for him to do, I say what I’m trying to accomplish, he can come up with a better method of achieving it.  

        Ultimately, we need to do what is best for our customers, both internal and external.  Quite frankly, I don’t care whose idea was used or who gets credit; if the customer is happy, we all win.

        A stands for Analytics.  With the growth of the Internet, Marketing people have a whole new area to explore.  We can track how many people clicked on a link.  We can make comparisons between how many people scanned a QR code or clicked a link on a Facebook page or in an email or on a webpage.  Each of these reaches a different audience and knowing the effectiveness of each helps us to better understand how to use them to get our message to the right marketplace. 

        Earlier this year, I completed a Web Analytics course as well as a Social Media class (both of those were available through the Johnson County Community College but I’m sure others are available elsewhere) and it helped me better understand how it all fits together.

        R stands for Research.  While most people stumble into the world of Marketing Research, I actually chose it as a Senior in High School.  I had taken some aptitude tests and didn’t think Actuary or Engineer sounded right for me but the idea of Market Research was worth exploring.   I enjoy both Quantitative (surveys) and Qualitative (Discussion groups) plus I’ve used a variety of methodologies such as mail, telephone, and more recently internet research.  Plus, I’ve even done good old-fashioned in-person intercept interviews.   A lot of research is actually analysis of what the numbers mean (however, I’ve already used “A”) and sometimes you have to find “the story” in a sea of numbers (like something from “The Matrix”) because ultimately research isn’t relevant (another “R” word) unless it helps people to make decisions.

        My first job in research was a summer in Georgia as a Survey Editor for the USDA Forestry Services.  I also spent time at Worlds of Fun as their Survey Team Leader.  Plus, I served as the research guy in the Strategic Planning Department at The Ohio State University Medical Center.   All of that helped prepare me for the research I did when I returned to Kansas City which brings us to …

        K stands for Kansas City.  Except for the first 4 years of my life (which were spent in St. Louis) and the time spent in school (4 years in Springfield at what’s now known as Missouri State and a summer @ the University of Georgia plus 2 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio) I’ve lived in Kansas City for my entire life.   I didn’t expect that to happen. 

        After graduating from college, I discovered that the major companies in Kansas City (Hallmark, Sprint and American Century) all had a hiring freeze for marketing research positions so I decided to pursue an MBA.  I looked at a variety of programs including the University of Texas.  I loved the school and the city of Austin but on my campus visit immediately knew it wasn’t the place for me.  I’d applied to Duke and Virginia as well but when I visited Ohio State, I fell in love with the school, the town, and most important the MBA program.  My undergraduate advisor had told me that Ohio State was a strong school and that there were lots of companies headquartered in Ohio which would give me exposure to a variety of business models.  He was right; I had a class taught by a VP @ Borden; we had opportunities to hear first hand about Wendy’s and White Castle as well as The Limited and consulting companies like Anderson Consulting or Ernst & Young; now, those names might be more associated with Accounting but they each hired quite a few MBA’s.  Of course, the king of Consumer Packaged Goods is P&G and they’re in Cincinatti, Ohio.   When you’re powerful enough to create an entire TV genre (the soap opera) just to sell your products to housewives, you must be an influential company.

        Enough of the tangent about why I went to Ohio State (go Bucks!) … when I left KC, I didn’t expect to return but 2 years later, I ended up getting hired by Elrick & Lavidge to join their brand new Kansas City office.  And who did I end up working with in their new office?  Well, my main clients were Hallmark, Sprint and American Century (plus a few others) before moving onto Intertec Publishing, The Kansas City Star, Decision Insight and back to The Kansas City Star. 

        With most of my life in Kansas City and a large portion of my career (over 10 years) at The Kansas City Star, this city has really become a part of me.  Not only do I love it for its BBQ, Jazz, Fountains, Steaks, and sports (I was 2 months old when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl but I keep hoping for a repeat) but there are some great people here (including my family) plus it’s fun to look into all of the statistics about this town.  Depending on your perspective, Kansas City has 33 counties (DMA or Designated Market Area which is the TV market) or 15 counties (CBSA or Core Based Statistical Area which is a government defiintion) or 10 counties (Arbitron / radio) or even 5 counties (Circulation NDM or Newspaper Designated Market where the majority of the newspaper’s copies are sold which is Johnson and Wyandotte on the Kansas side of the state line and Jackson, Clay and Platte in Missouri) so if there’s some information you would like to know about Kansas City (or elsewhere in the Midwest) just let me know.

        So, that’s a quick overview of who I am and what I do. 

        • Marketing
        • Analytics
        • Research
        • Kansas City

        I’ve also benefitted greatly from speaking with some great minds outside of my company.  I try to seek out people that can help me learn more about Marketing, Analytics, Research and even Kansas City.  My interaction with them hopefully helps them as much (or more) as they have helped me.   And those interactions take place in a variety of setttings. 

        Some of the greatest people I know are those that I’ve met through involvement with charitable organizations although that’s not why I’m involved with those groups.  I love getting involved in the community and helping people.  In fact, an earlier draft of this blog was going to be about the MARCH through your career and look at Charities and Helping others; however MARCH didn’t sound as clever to me as MARK and besides I end up using my marketing skills in those organizations so it all works out anyway.

        How has your career changed through the years?  Post a comment (either here at Word Press or through Social Media on my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages) and let me know how your path has evolved or if you strongly agree or disagree with anything I’ve said today.


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        Categories: Social Media