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Tips for Smart Tweeters

August 16, 2010

There’s no doubting the popularity of Twitter (care to guess who the Top 5 people are, ranked by the highest number of Followers? We’ll reveal that list at the end of the article, but number 5 is Barack Obama with 4,949,403 (as of the writing of this article)). But not everyone gets the need to use Twitter as part of your overall marketing strategy. After all, isn’t mainly for people to tell others what they had for breakfast (link: Top 10 Twitter Mythconceptions)?

No. It’s not.

In fact, there are some clever companies and organizations right now doing things with this form of communication that are downright brilliant:

Wait times at border crossings. Who doesn’t get frustrated waiting in line while trying to cross the U.S.-Canada border? The Canada Border Services Agency publishes — every minute — expected wait time for both commercial carriers and travelers. Now, if they could somehow tell us which line at Customs is faster!

Read more…


What’s in a name?

June 2, 2010

Twenty years ago, would any of us have ever guessed that the name, Google, would be so commonplace that it actually would become a verb? And who would have guessed that Amazon would come to mean anything else than a river, South American region or towering women of fearsome fighting prowess?

Certainly, most of today’s companies and organizations have straightforward if not intuitive names. After all, YMCA or United Way or Northern Illinois University exactly describe the purpose of these organizations. But imagine if you were starting a new venture that had a world a competition and needed a name that was recognizable as well as memorable?

And because having an online presence is pretty much a standard business practice these days, it can be very difficult to find an available domain name, especially one that is a single word. Consider these statistics:

  • In 1995, about 100,ooo web site domain names were registered. 15 years later, the number is a staggering 30 million.
  • 97% of the words in Webster’s English dictionary have been registered as domain names.
  • Of the 50,000+ possible domain names that contain one to three letters or numeric characters, ALL have been purchased, even those that don’t make any apparent sense (e.g.
  • All common English names have been registered.

So how does one go about determining a business name? Well, if it’s something specific, like “Bob’s Bingo Parlor” (which is available!), you’re in luck — not only is it memorable it also exactly describes what your business is. But some new organizations and businesses may find that their name is already taken — especially when it comes to the Internet as a web site domain name.

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Co-working: Power in numbers

May 13, 2010

Not familiar with co-working, one of the newest small biz crazes? At its basic level, co-working brings together various types of businesses — often smaller ones — into one shared work environment. In addition to sharing costs of rent, utilities and other overhead, co-working allows companies to draw on the expertise of their partners to leverage their capabilities and potential.

For instance, a co-working environment might contain a marketing company to promote the different businesses, a design firm and web host to create and maintain the company’s web sites, a lawyer to handle legal work and an accounting firm to keep the books straight, taxes filed and monitor other financial concerns.

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Marketing to youth: roadblocks and opportunities

May 11, 2010

Certainly the 2010 census will reveal many shifts and trends in demographics in America and DeKalb County especially. With a population approaching 100,000, smart marketers are advised to be ready to adjust their marketing strategies to not only appeal to increased Latino populations, the resurgence of multi-generational households but an increasing youth population that has untold purchasing power.

According to a recent Newsweek article, between 2010 and 2050, the U.S. population aged 15 to 64 — considered the school-age and working demographic — will increase 42%, while decreasing during the same period in almost every other major developed nation. And while our global competitors will be faced with providing for the aging, U.S. businesses will enjoy the increased buying power of a more youthful consumer.

So, what can businesses, retailers and organizations expect when marketing to an increasingly younger customer?  Here are some do’s and don’ts:

Mobile messaging is a must. The average age that young Americans are getting phones is decreasing monthly and mobile phones are seen an important step to their independence. More youth prefer texting over e-mail, telephone conversations and actual face-to-face.

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DCSMPR featured in local newspaper write-up

May 11, 2010

Many thanks to the DeKalb Daily Chronicle today as they featured the DeKalb County Society for Marketing & Public Relations in their Marketplace section of today’s newspaper. Interest in the Society is expected to increase due to this exposure and also the Board members efforts to active reach out to marketing and public relations professionals of local businesses, organizations and non-profits.

The DCSMPR is a non-profit organization designed to provide education on marketing, promotions and public relations topics to local business professionals including marketing directors, professionals within marketing and PR departments as well as for small business owners experiencing challenges in marketing and promoting their businesses.

Board members chosen, bylaws being written, lunch meetings planned.

May 10, 2010

That’s right, marketing and public relations professionals and small business owners in DeKalb County, the DeKalb County Society for Marketing & Public Relations — or DCSMPR — is rapidly coming into reality and you have the chance to become a part of our area’s newest and most dynamic professional organization.

We’re rapidly at work, getting the organization up and running and here are just a few highlights to expect in the coming weeks:

  • Our new web site,, will be launched by the end of this week with helpful marketing and PR articles, information on how to join the Society, member benefits and a closer glimpse at future programs and offerings.
  • We’re rapidly planning our first Lunch & Learn which will take place at a local restaurant in DeKalb or Sycamore. Attendance is open to all marketing and PR professionals — you do not need to be a member to attend our initial Lunch & Learns — and our first event is scheduled for June. Watch for more details.
  • For those of you are social networkers — and, really, that should be all of you, we have a Facebook Group and Twitter account set up, with frequent posts of marketing tips and advice, links to helpful articles, commentary on marketing & PR news and other interesting facts, figures and features.
  • We’re looking for your input for an educational conference we’re planning for later in the year. Soon, you’ll be able to give us your opinions and guidance via a new online survey.
  • We’re reaching out to the marketing students and faculty at Northern Illinois University, hoping to gain students and staff as members and help them to work with local businesses on case studies as well as interns for the coming year.

It’s an exciting time for the DCSMPR. Why not become a part of DeKalb County’s newest professional organization, designed specifically for marketing and public relations professionals — and business owners in need of marketing assistance, education and guidance.