Harnessing the Power of Reviewing

Recently, I traveled to the lovely state of Vermont with a friend to experience horseback riding in the mountains and meadows of the greenest state I’ve ever seen. What fun, and what a great experience.  But that’s not the point of this blog. Rather, what also stood out was how attentive several businesses were when I decided to use social media to test if businesses were responding or not, to their customers and to online reviews.

FGC’s Summer Sizzle

Ah summer – a time to relax, restore, recharge…ramp up? This time of year, everything slows down in the desert, although not as much as it used to. Stores switch over to their summer hours, many businesses take off a few days a week, and there’s a tangible laidback energy in the air for the permanent residents and business people.

And just like that, I have new friends in Australia, Norway, Sweden, Spain and the UK.

Or, “How Social Media Is More Interesting Than I Thought.”

I innocently joined a hobby group on Facebook called “As Seen Through Horses’ Ears,” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASTHE/) because a fellow riding buddy kept sharing these amazing photos of trail riding around the world.  Through horses ears.  What’s not compelling about that??? So I clicked, asked to join, and posted my own “as seen through” photo, from a trail ride here in Palm Springs with the dogs on a gorgeous spring day.

Blogging About Blogging

elleWriting a blog post about blogging – is that too meta? FG Creative creates blogs and writes posts for many of our clients, and sometimes we even find time to update our own blog! A little less than a year ago, we started a campaign for one of our longest-standing clients, El Paseo. It centers around a character, El Paseo Elle, and her adventures and finds in Palm Desert’s favorite place to shop. You can read her musings here.

It’s more than just a sandwich…

By:  Judi Salkin, PR Manager

For heaven’s sake – listen!

I’m sitting here thinking about lunch and hoping that today’s midday meal will be a whole lot better than one I had recently.

It all happened at a sandwich shop that specializes in 6-inchers (you know the place).  It was nothing to write home about, but when I get it my way, it’s fairly satisfying.

Gratitude Challenge… Thanks, Facebook!

There’s always some “sharing” and “tagging” topic running around social media.  From Ice Bucket challenges, to quizzes and book lists, you can learn a lot about your online friends by interacting and participating.  I, for one, enjoy some of these random asks, and have come to understand my connections on a deeper level and appreciate them all the more.  These participating posts are not for everyone, but they are intriguing to many, and have made the platforms that much more interesting.

A Newfound Fascination for Twitter…

Yep, it’s true.  Over the last few months, I’ve found a new passion for integrating Twitter into my social media life.  Initially, Facebook satisfied all of my desires to chat with my selected universe, share photos, connect with past school chums, and meet new people with like-minded hobbies and beliefs.

What Did We Do Before the Internet?

Just like my desk!  A Computer and Typewriter.

Just like my desk! A Computer and Typewriter.

It Wasn’t That Long Ago…

A Shout Out to the Media & Agencies in the Coachella Valley…

FOR THEIR GENEROUS SUPPORT, AGAIN, OF THE ADFED OF THE DESERT ADVERTISING AUCTION.

ADfedpaddles

You throw like a girl… but that’s a good thing, right?

When I was 14, I remember being at the El Toro Air Show with my Dad.  He had a love of all things military, especially the aircraft.  We went every year, mostly as a family, but this particular  year, it was just me and my buddy… my Dad.  We toured all the booths, ooh’d and aah’d over the SR71, the Tomcats, the F-18s, the good ol’ Warthog and all the rest.  By each plane, there stood, proudly, members of the military to interact and chat with visitors about all the cool toys.   I so clearly remember looking for the female fighter pilots; I wanted to ask them how I could become one!  But I looked in vain.  There were lots of friendly pilots… all guys.  Pretty cute too, but no women.  Finally, I found 2 gals by the T-38 Trainer so I ran up and eagerly started asking my questions.  They listened, smiled and nicely said, there are no female fighter pilots.  WHAT, I said?  Why ever not?  My Dad says women can do anything they want… so what is happening here?  After a long discussion, they explained that the training was too vigorous for women’s physiology, but each year more tried.  Hmmmm, I thought.  I was going to be the first.  Well, life got in the way of that early dream, but I remember learning from it and vowing to not be beaten by the old adage that boys were better at anything that I wanted to excel in.  Remember, even then, there were female fighter pilots in the Isreali Army, and by the mid 80s, there were American females fighter pilots too.

Fashion Week El Paseo is here already?

Where does the time go??  It seems like we just finished up the last runway show a few months ago at the 8th Annual Fashion Week yet here we are, choosing our outfits and making plans for the 9th Annual Fashion Week El Paseo.  What WILL we wear, since there are over 15 events??IMG_2179

Engage and Connect with Social Media… Don’t Stalk.

While checking my LinkedIn account today, I noticed the tab that claimed that “9 people viewed my profile,” so I clicked on it, like I do each week.  I thought, who is checking me out and who can I connect with?  Of the 9 people, 4 were LinkedIn members who chose to remain anonymous, 2 showed names with no photos, 2 showed location and industry but no name, and 1 had a photo with a name.  Wow… that’s a high percentage of people who don’t want to be known or seen… ON SOCIAL MEDIA. (Heavy sigh).

Where Have All the (Business) Manners Gone?

As an homage to Pete Seeger, who passed away only a few weeks ago, I have to paraphrase from his haunting folksong and ask… Where HAVE all the manners gone?

Ok, you feel it too, unless you’re that person who doesn’t return business phone calls or emails or texts.  When did it become OK to ignore social conventions and niceties that helped business along, established relationships and in the end, produced revenues for all?

Caught in the Retargeting Net… and loving it!

Country Outfitters gets my attention.

Country Outfitters gets my attention.

Publicity vs Advertising; Is There a Difference?

Time and time again, we meet with our clients to review a Public Relations Strategy, and they are disappointed or questioning the steps because they want to control the media message beyond what is actually doable!  The point of good PR is to work with the media and present the idea in a way that is newsworthy or of interest to that particular on-air person, news director or the mission of the media outlet.

What I’ve Learned From Clients…

Or, Why I Love My Job So Much.

Over my 30-year career, I am pleased to admit, out loud, that I’ve learned quite a bit from my clients.  Not necessarily just the normal stuff about their business or about doing business (that goes without saying!), but personal stuff that has surely enriched my life.  I learned about sports I’d never heard of, places I’d never been to, and pastimes that became something I embraced.

Loving the Philanthropic Aspect of the Coachella Valley

One aspect of having a marketing firm in the Greater Palm Springs area, or the Coachella Valley, is helping out the various charitable non-profit organizations.  And there are MANY!  All are active, engaged and seem to fill the niches that serve a surprising number of needs.  From the large, national groups like the United Way, American Heart Association and others, to the truly local ones such as Women Leaders Forum, Christopher’s Clubhouse and Loving All Animals, these groups truly dedicate an amazing amount of energy and resources to those in need.

The Snakes are Out, the Snowbirds are Flying Away… but there are still 500,000 Residents Here!

Honestly, you would think that it was time to pack a bag and leave the Coachella Valley just because it’s getting a little toasty outside.  Many businesses are starting their hibernation dance… canceling media, changing business hours, and acting like there is NO business to be found for four, long, months.

Public Relations is NEVER dull…

… Or Static!
Just when we think that our jobs can be the same old thing, a client calls and asks for assistance in promoting something.  Last week was no exception, well, except the “thing” we are promoting is an an outrageous 42-foot sculptural project by California artist Steve Maloney,  impossible to miss – at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2014. A human lady-pilot named “Shivers” will perform live during opening night reception.
One of our longest-standing clients, Heather James Fine Art (www.heatherjames.com) has the fun job of premiering this piece on the opening night of the Palm Springs Art Fair 2014, set for this Thursday, Feb 13, at 6 pm.
So we get to help build the buzz and hopefully find a forever home for this frankly amazing sculpture.  The sculpture draws on Maloney’s fascinations with the Wild West, Pop Art and 21st-century luxury as well as his passion for creating art from found and repurposed objects. The artist detailed the bones of a decommissioned Bell Jet Ranger Helicopter with vinyl cowhide wrap, gold-painted accented skids and rotor blade, hand-painted front fender Indian motorcycle lights, thousands of colored acrylic gemstones, an authentic steer skull and horns, and a vintage western leather saddle previously ridden by his father. The interior is similarly lush, with a custom fabricated polished aluminum bar inspired by a vintage airstream trailer, Swarovski crystal chandelier, antique cowhide seats, yards of L.E.D. lighting, fringed cowhide instrument panel, custom cargo compartment, iPad loaded with Flight Simulator and “Shivers” iTunes playlist, cow “MOO” horn, burgundy crocodile-pattern mohair door panels, gold lizard skin upholstery, white silk fringe headliner, and ever-so-shag green carpet.
 
“SHIVERS,” a human lady-pilot: The icing on Ride-em-Copter is “Shivers,” a well-endowed lady-pilot whose persona “bounded” out of Maloney’s imagination. For the art fair preview on February 13 from 7:00-9:00PM, Steve Maloney has hired an actor to bring Shivers to life. The human Shivers will be dressed in an Escada pink leather jacket and a Hi Tek Alexander knit hat. Look for her Agent Provocateur lingerie and stockings hung out to dry on a clothesline in the baggage compartment. Imagine her landing on the open range to make a wardrobe change at sunset, shaking a Pisco Sour without spilling a drop, and waiting for her Cowboy du jour. Fly-em…Stride-em…Ride-em-Copter. Ya-hooo!
We cannot wait to see this up close… and then I guess it’s on to the next project.  Will it be bigger than a bread box, or a Bell Ranger helicopter?

Palm Springs Art Fair

WRide ‘Em Copter Premieres at Palm Springs Art Fair Thursday, Feb 13

Happy to have all the Coachella Fest visitors here…

But I will be relaxing and riding my horses all weekend!  Although with all the snake sightings I may be restricted to short rides… bummer.  But I digress.

The Marketing of the Winter Olympics Seems Different…

I, like many others, tuned into Thursday night’s Sochi Olympic show on TV.  I don’t know about you, but I fully expected it to be the Opening Ceremonies, since all the lead up teasers sort of indicated this.  Instead, we saw a bespectacled Bob Costas (sadly almost side-lined by an eye inflammation), who introduced us to the Olympics with a political rant about all the drama surrounding the Games this year… security threats, Russia’s stance on homosexuals, and the killing of stray dogs.  Hmmmmm.

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