Olympic Memories

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio began with the flame being lit by Brazilian runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima who, in 2004, was leading the men’s marathon when he was attacked.  He managed to still finish and win the Bronze but was also awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for good sportsmanship (the award was named after founder of the modern Olympics and is also known as the International Fair Play Committee Award) and it ended with Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino receiving the same honor.

This isn’t a case where everyone gets a participation medal; in fact, this honor has only happened 17 times in Olympic history.   This is a reminder of true sportsmanship.

Whom should my grandkids be inspired by?   I was impressed by the athletic accomplishments of Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles and Usain Bolt.  However, I was even more impressed by those that remembered the importance of being a decent human being.

I also enjoyed the stories of those that made a comeback from setbacks in previous Olympics or that were inspired by others.  This time around, some participated without a nation but instead competed under the Olympic flag.

Categories: Sports 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 d.school 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!

I love that AUMC has a Community Garden; read all about it in this post, “This Week in Avondale”

Spring isn’t here, officially, but per the weather, we need to start thinking about growing things. Friday the Avondale Community Garden got its beds tilled in anticipation of planting to sta…

Source: This Week in Avondale

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This is a blog by someone at my church where he reviews what our Senior Pastor said about Lent.  I meant to share it at the time but neglected to do so.  Better late than never as there’s still several weeks left during Lent.

Source: Lent

Categories: Church Tags: ,

Super Bowl of Media

One time per year, we choose to watch commercials and that’s during the Super Bowl.  Otherwise, we make a point to avoid them.  In Kansas City, about 1/2 of the adults have a DVR and among older affluent Kansas Citians (adults 50+ with a HHI of $100K+) it jumps to 3/4, based on data from Scarborough Research 2015, Release 2.   Also, various research studies through the years have indicated that one of the main reasons people get a newspaper is for ads.  So, while we avoid ads on TV, we look for them in print.  Newspapers also tend to show up as the most trusted source of information.

All of this is a rather long lead-in to a blog that was originally published by the Newspaper Association of America on Feb. 9, 2016.



The Super Bowl is truly an American cultural phenomenon.111.9 million people watched the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers to take home the crown on Sunday, making it the third highest-rated television event in U.S. history. Aside from the pure astronomical numbers, viewers also vary demographically – in 2015, nearly 40 percent of affluent Americans and 35 million females tuned. And perhaps most importantly, 20 percent of the highly coveted millennial audience watched football’s biggest night.

Outside of the touchdowns and the interceptions, the halftime show and the endless snacks, why do millions of people watch the Super Bowl each year? One word: Ads.

When Super Bowl I aired in 1967, it cost $37,500 to run a 30-second commercial during game time. As televisions became staples in the homes of Americans and viewership of the big game increased each year, football gained national popularity. The cost of a spot was $1.9 million by the year 2000, and today, Super Bowl advertising is reserved for brands who can afford to pay $4.5 million for a half-a-minute ad.

The numbers alone can cause advertisers to have a field day. But what else makes them cough up millions for a simple TV commercial? Engagement.

Although many may think otherwise, the Super Bowl is actually the exception – not the norm – when it comes to television ad viewing and engagement. The biggest football game of the year is one of the only remaining times that people actually seek out the ads. In fact, in many cases, they look forward to them.

Famous Super Bowl commercials like the Budweiser lost puppy ad,Volkswagen’s “the force” commercial or Cheerios’ “Gracie” spot are remembered by viewers years after airing. Outside of well-known brands, companies like Avocados From Mexico splurged for an ad during the game and have since seen increased brand awareness and sales. Clearly, Super Bowl advertising works. It works because the ads are believable, they are well-done and the audiences are engaged with the content.

Some may find it hard to believe that there are other times – and other mediums – in which audiences are highly engaged with ads. Look no further than your daily newspaper.

According to a Nielsen study, newspaper media – in print and online – scored the highest out of all media (including television, radio and social media) when it came to overall consumer engagement. Specifically, newspaper media is also the most trusted source for advertising, and delivered a 12 percent larger advertising-engaged audience than the overall average for all other media.

On a typical day, most people would immediately change the channel when their favorite program ended and the commercials started rolling. For television, it takes one really special event to make Americans pay attention to ads. When you look at newspaper media, we have engaged audiences daily – without all of the fanfare. We don’t need it. Our readers are more engaged with our content and our ads than they are with any other type of media. Think of the opportunity this creates. We just have to be able to tap into it and provide them with the information and the advertisements they seek.

This could be our Super Bowl moment.

First Published: February 09, 2016

To be happy … stop networking

This blog “Networking Reboot” from Coffee Lunch Coffee references an article “Happy Trails” that said one of the tips to a happier life is to “stop networking” … wait, what?   It goes on to say “Instead, build actual relationships” … OK, now that makes sense.

Are you networking or are you building relationships?

Categories: Marketing Tags:

In Praise of the Weatherman

I have to agree with Jonathan that the meteorologist is one of the most-criticized positions yet we return to the predictions. Plus, in Kansas City, if you don’t like the weather … look out the other window because it might be different.

Be Swift, Be Precise

What one job is most disparaged for its accuracy? The meteorologist. But I’m going to go against that.

Day after day we complain about the accuracy of the forecast. Rain or not.

Yet we check the forecasts each day, and prepare based on it.

People in the past would look up to the skies and know what was coming — a few hours in advance, maybe.

We can know what’s coming, in general terms, sometimes days in advance.

When we complain, we expect some sort of scientific accuracy in predicting something on a chaotic system with variables beyond any scientific means of measurement.

We expect an accuracy we  wouldn’t expect of anyone else in a similar circumstance.

Yet, we also depend on the forecasts. I can go to the web and get hourly predictions of the temperature. I use them to gauge what to wear at both the beginning and…

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