Saturday, October 26, 2013

Marketing Roundtable - 90 minutes

The St. Charles Convention Center is the site of an annual small business expo that brings friends of Small Business Monthly Newspaper out mid-week to consider ways to enhance their businesses. The event took place on Wednesday October 23, 2013. Among the mini-seminars and trade show atmosphere, EG Radio Marketing produced a radio show featuring six local marketing experts. Jeff Arthur, founder of the Excalibur Coaching Institute was the host and moderator. Some highlights:

Matt Ziemianski, Director of OT/IS at Insight Karpel reinforced the message that mobile marketing is coming. Matt earned a BS in computer science from Rockhurst University and holds certification with Cisco, ShoreTel and Microsoft. His firm was also a sponsor of the marketing roundtable program.   

Tom Ruwitch, founder of MarketVolt, an internet marketing expert with a particular expertise in email marketing, web site development and online surveys was on hand to encourage businesses to consider the impact of inbound marketing. “If you are delivering content, you are delivering value,” he offers. Tom used as an example a fly-fishing site. Tom says “Branding activity is certainly key, but engaging customers is a powerful thing.”

Rebecca Ritz, the owner of Bauerhaus Design has experience creating brands, large and small. Her firm focuses on building brands for wineries and helping small businesses translate their dream brand online. She sees Tom’s point but stresses that attention to brand identity is essential.

Carolyn Jackson, Director of Marketing and Rider Services for Gateway HarleyDavidson (dealership). She admits that she benefits from a well managed brand. “I don’t have to focus on building a brand as much as leveraging it at retail. Partnerships have been one way we’ve leveraged that brand equity,” says Carolyn.

Kristy Meyer whose career journey includes job titles from Customer Service, Sales, Database marketer, Marketing Researcher and eStrategist has proven an ideal mix as she serves as marketing consultancy. She helps them translate their marketing plans and goals into active online communities that engage and support their brands.

Wes Morgan Principal of Morgan Studio/East continues to encourage businesses to consider an approach to their business efforts that includes marketing that is planned with an eye toward measuring success. “Even small business owners can benefit from harnessing the passion they have for their businesses to stay relevant and capitalize on market opportunities.”

It was clear 90 minutes could only scratch the surface of the marketing areas represented by this panel but my hat is off to Jeff Arthur as he extracted plenty for the Small Business and radio audiences to think about as they manage their respective enterprises.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

For the Kids

The daily acts of heroics inside the special school district system (SSD) cannot be fully credited because they encompass a range of activities from the sublime to the ridiculous. I’m a substitute teacher and a para-professional in ABA (Applied Behavior Analytics). Mostly, I’m there to help in any way I can. This is my first year. I am not trained as an educator. My business and art sensibilities skew my perceptions, probably. Yet, I can’t help thinking that my experiences this year have validated my view that how we treat the challenges within our educational systems is a true reflection of our success as a society as a whole.

Without giving too many details (and changing names to protect identities), the following vignettes are unique, routine, exceptional and mundane all at the same time. This composite picture is a tapestry of who we are. I will not offer diagnostics or clinical assessments. Just a few snapshots that might give you a picture.  
 
Students all have IEPs (Independent Educational Programs) designed to approach each student with a customized set of goals and measurable assessments along the way.

Alton is obsessed with the moving particles of paper and dust on the floor toward the crack beneath the classroom door and the hallway. This is a behavior the school hopes to change.

CBI trips (Community Based Initiatives) trips take kids (properly supervised of course) to field trips. It might be a Walmart or a Target. It might be the Zoo or an amusement or just a trip to a local park.

Van has issues with incontinence and his adult diapers may or may not be fully reliable on a CBI trip.

Current events are part of the curriculum and create opportunities for class participation. News 2 You worksheets and learning materials accommodate learning styles for non-verbal students. Visual choices help the teachers engage students.

Inspired by animation production workshops for children an art instructor encourages kids to create figures, creatures and themes in clay for animated stories.

Anthony is rocking back and forth much of the day. In moments of stress he will bite into his shirt until the frequency of this biting damages the cloth.

PBS programming, Sesame Street, School House Rock and a short list of educational videos are good filler but rarely hold student attention spans equally for more than 10 minute intervals.  

Jim is an eloper, which means his requests to make a trip to the water fountain could lead to his escaping the classroom (and maybe even the school grounds). This is counter- productive behavior but dealing with it daily means vigilant supervision and patience.

Breakfast and Lunch routines are different for every kid. Some can manage the cafeteria transactions on their own, others need help/need an escort, others need feeders to assist in consumption of simple meals. Of course, food allergies and obsessive compulsive disorders add additional dimensions.

The “boot camp” programs for physical exercise activities allow kids to assume leadership roles and maybe develop social skills.

Occupational Therapy, Jobs skills, Language, Audiology, Music Therapy and more may be a part of a student IEP.

The school rules are simple but reinforced frequently. Be Kind. Be Cooperative. Be peaceful. (All while sitting in your seat, keeping your hands to yourself and listening to the teacher.)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Winning like Broadway Joe




It has been said that “It ain’t braggin’ if you do it.” Joe Namath was known for boldly guaranteeing a Jets’ Victory over Don’ Shula’s Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969. He led the Jets to a 16-7 win. The prediction and the win made him a celebrity, a sports icon and eventually landed him in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1985.    

I was a teenager when I read the book I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow ... 'Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day by Joe Willie Namath and collaborator Dick Schaap. Namath’s career statistics are not exceptional (career passing percentage 50.1, 50 more interceptions than touchdowns etc. etc. etc) yet he was the game's first true media superstar. When that book was published, Namath was at the height of his popularity and fame. In essence, he was a brand with undeniable attributes. Namath was a non-conformist who donned white shoes, grew shaggy hair and smiled behind a Fu Manchu mustache. He wore mink coats and arrived with a babe on each arm while prowling the New York City night life, showing a side of pro athletes the public had seldom seen. The man who would soon be known as Broadway Joe became an anti-hero to the establishment and the savior of the rebellious American Football League.

Broadway Joe Namath played for the University of Alabama under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and assistant Howard Schnellenberger from 1962-1964. He was well prepared for a professional football career in the 1960s and 1970s. He retired from professional football after playing in 143 career games (68 wins, 71 losses and 4 ties). He threw 173 touchdowns, 220 interceptions, and completed 1,886 passes for 27,663 yards. His career spanned thirteen years in the AFL and NFL.

I was able to purchase a gently used copy of the Namath/Schaap book from Amazon.com recently. As I re-read the book all these years later, I cannot help considering the nature of celebrity, the context of brand building and the pure circumstances of leadership. Your unique brand includes the projection of confidence backed by preparation. You may not be in a position to guarantee victory every time but if can display faith in your strategy and your team, you might just achieve the improbable. It really helps if you believe you can win.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Poems


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.
Bang!
By Wes Morgan

Game Over. Or so it seems.

Tommy Murphy is outraged;

“It isn’t fair” he screams.

Once again the result is staged,

Yet we execute each play:

Run, cut, fake and catch the Pass.

Another Cereal Bowl in the books on a fine Autumn day

With time left over to go to 5 o’clock Mass.


In the cold grey dawn,

The rules are never disputed.

Like Kennedys on the lawn;

Roses are red, Weeds are rooted,

In the end it doesn’t matter if you win.

All the world is a stage;

The play is the thing;.

The best of times at such an age.

It’s how you play the game you see;

No effort goes unrewarded, stay on the field.

What happens under the Buckeye tree,

You think isn’t fair but in time it may be revealed;

In Shoreway seminars to and from Edgewater Drive,

Or in Reading the newspaper before you arrive,

Or between those hours - Nine until Five.


Type, Keyline, Flap and Tissue,

Caxton Building loading dock

Delivered right, that’s the issue.

East Side, West Side all around the clock

Attention to production and design,

Annual Reports arrived last night.

Photography and Illustration with a fine line

Because of Jim, the job is done right (and on time).

We are the dreamers of dreams 

And we cherish each moment as it goes by.

Life is too short but the legacy lives in the gleams

Of Sons and Daughters who wonder why

The great man passes.  

Murph was right: It isn’t fair.

The great man passes.

Bang! All of us were there.

The Show Will Go On
By Wes Morgan

Race to the moon, civil rights, protests in the news.

A New year’s noise on copper-bottom pot and pans. 

Sloppy Joes served as chairs rattle loose screws.

The times they are a changing. We’re making plans.

Black & White programming of political views

Swimming lessons, coloring books and Koolaid stands.


Church keys opening Shasta flavored pops.

Little theaters and museums of the arts.

Stainless steel counters with built-in stovetops. 

School clothes filling up shopping carts.

Historic sites, parades and hometown teams.

After school the Stooges, cartoons on television starts.

Barnaby, Captain Penny, Jingle-ling, Holiday themes.


A Baby Grand piano, trumpet, banjo, drums and guitar.

Sterling Silver, Bunnykins, Royal Daulton Figurines,

Screwdrivers. Cigarettes. Makeup. Jelly Jars.

Time, Newsweek, Life and Look Magazines.

Board games. Sparkling wine. Martinis. Chanel Number 5

Steak and SauSea Shrimp at dinner in the pantry nook.

The remarkable and mystical Edgewater Drive.

Do your homework. Kitchen is closed. You know I hate to cook.

Backyard sunning for a Coppertone tan.

Extensions a plenty, never far from a phone.

Reading a book and drinking Coke from a can. 

In the Wonderful World of Ohio you’re never alone.

Cedar Point, Sandusky, a Summer cottage rental.

The Football Hall of Fame, Mystery Hill and Firestone;

Buckle up and away we go in the Lincoln Continental.

But first, “No ice cream in the car. Finish your cone.”

Ordinary things, of which we become sentimental.

“I’ll do anything for you kids - as long as you remember.”

Silver goblets, meat loaf, tuna casserole, chicken soup,

Hough Bakery cakes from Spring until September.

On a continuous loop.

The birthdays, they come and they go.

We remember the routine and the ordinary.

How did she know?

A life lived and a life extraordinary.


Read, Enunciate, project, pronounce

Improvise the method. The talent is a fact.

Study, debate, articulate and announce.

You must believe, if you think you can act.

There are no small roles. You’ll stand out among the rest

Listen to the words and listen well,

“Oh honey, you always know what’s best.”

When to pause, when to gesture, you can always tell.

To Dream the Impossible Dream.

Everything is rehearsed: scene by scene.

Coffee cup and saucer: Black. No sugar. No cream.

The play is a hit, but what does it mean?

Acting, directing and winning your heart.

The final curtain. Bravo! The audience is for you,

“Always do your best. Understand. Play the part.”

Carry on and excel in everything you do.


Thunderous enthusiastic applause.

As cheer and joy arise.

The audience approves without pause.

Good to know, but not a surprise .

Prepare and be ready for your cue 

Face each day. The show must go on.

You know exactly what to do.

House lights go up and suddenly you are gone. 

We are an ensemble cast.

We knew that one day,

The performance would be your last.  

You were great Mom; it was your way.

On to the future, with regard for the past.

The show will go on.

Thanks Mom.

We will go on.

Waiting in Line to See Caroline
By Wes Morgan


The last shall be first, just as I thought.

Friends with reservations;

“Will she autograph the book I bought?”

The rumbling of conversations,

From cars filling the library parking lot.

A cool day on its way to a twilight night

Of poetry and remembering Camelot.

A crowding at the entrance, out of sight.


Catch a glimpse or a glance,

Of words, wisdom and legacy,

Tickets are not sold in advance,

For a smile or a memory.

Can you recall, at all by chance,

The time when you were not afraid to dance?

When it all started, a time of romance?  


A young man juggling knives,

Earns a giggle, now and again.

Caroline demonstrates the arc of our lives,

Of so many children, women and men.

Tragedy or comedy, poetry marks time,

With overdue books and folks on the mend.

Now it seems like nothing, waiting in line,

Remembering profiles in courage, and those we defend.


Parents are beaming as high schoolers,

Young champions, unafraid, proud.

This generation will actually fool us,

As they dramatically, expertly recite poetry out loud.

We share the hopes and dreams we taught.

Oh my goodness, this is not just for naught;

The future, our future, not at all just for naught.

The last shall be first, just as I thought.


May 9, 2013

Hi Wes,

I've been meaning to write to you to thank you PERSONALLY for submitting to the writing contest.  It was fun standing in line with you at the SLCL, and  I really enjoyed your poem--WAITING IN LINE TO SEE CAROLINE! Could definitely relate! I'm sure you'll continue writing--and maybe you'll submit again next year.  We'll have a new prompt--who knows how it will inspire you!

Amy Gage, Coordinator, Jade G. Bute Writing Contest
Chesterfield Arts is located at 444 Chesterfield Center, Chesterfield, MO 6301

Poet, Write or Wrong
By Wes Morgan

A consequence of an encounter in line.

A twist of fate, just as I thought.

All the bravado prior to penning is all just fine.

But alas, I fell short of the prize I sought.

It was not to be mine.

The rules and a prompt,

Made it a fun to pursue.

A little romp, a little pomp,

In the contest for you.

Right, wrong, stamp, stomp.


A report due tomorrow at three.

Not going to happen on time.

You won’t be getting it from me.

Not free and I cannot pay the fine,

The subscription or the fee.

I can however craft a few words,

Form another premise worth consideration.

Business for the birds,

A new configuration,

A reason to go backwards.


It’s about time.

And time will tell.

It’s all mine.

And I’m doing so well.

Spend, invest now and align.


Maybe it’s a gamble,

A roll of the dice.

A detour, a ramble,

Smell the roses, add some spice

Why not leave a little something nice? 

Stop, Drop and Roll
By Wes Morgan

Why the poetry? Why write?

Who really cares? Day or Night?

An idea, a thought, a turn of a phrase,

To express a feeling, you say.


Top – down, focus groups, crowd-sourcing,

Your opinion matters, certainly worth voicing.

Yet it takes winning the hearts and the minds,

Of innovators, adaptors, a share of mankind. 


A composition, a prayer, a Van Gogh chair.

Interpret and comment - isn’t that fair?

Color and beauty, cut and paste.

In the eye of the beholder - no time to waste.

With zeros and ones, knowledge transfers,
Managers always looking for answers.

The books don’t lie but maybe big data does

Good news, bad news, it’s not like it was.

Instead of the composite drawn from inference and transactions,

Of mindless musings and an aggregate of thoughtless actions.

Try to forget while crying online. Think of the sales.

Projections. BOOM. A bomb explodes, the terror prevails.

Posers, composers, foreclosures, look before you leap.

We learn we’ve miles to go before we sleep.

FDR said nothing to fear but fear

Tomorrow, a week, a month or a year

How long for soft science or hard facts

To break down, analyze, interpret, allow us to relax.

…Again, again it all begins.

For a period of time, at least, nobody wins.  


It must add up, point by point…maybe more than a year.

The meaning is abstract, fuzzy and yet, really so clear

You will never return to that time when everything was new.

Justice for all and equity for even a few.

Anecdote of the Jar
By Wallace Stevens

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.
 

Andre
By Gwendolyn Brooks

I had a dream last night, I dreamed

I had to pick a Mother out.

I had to choose a Father too.

At first I wondered what to do,

There were so many there is seemed,

Short and tall and thin and stout.

But just before I sprang awake,

I knew what parents I had to take.

And this surprised me and made me glad:

They were the ones I always had!


Adam’s Curse
By William Butler YeatsAdam’s Curse

We sat together at one summer's end,

That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,

And you and I, and talked of poetry.

I said, 'A line will take us hours maybe;

Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought,

Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.

Better go down upon your marrow-bones

And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones

Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;

For to articulate sweet sounds together

Is to work harder than all these, and yet

Be thought an idler by the noisy set

Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen

The martyrs call the world.

. . . . . . . . . And thereupon

That beautiful mild woman for whose sake

There's many a one shall find out all heartache

On finding that her voice is sweet and low

Replied, 'To be born woman is to know-

Although they do not talk of it at school-

That we must labour to be beautiful.'

I said, 'It's certain there is no fine thing

Since Adam's fall but needs much labouring.

There have been lovers who thought love should be

So much compounded of high courtesy

That they would sigh and quote with learned looks

Precedents out of beautiful old books;

Yet now it seems an idle trade enough.


We sat grown quiet at the name of love;

We saw the last embers of daylight die,

And in the trembling blue-green of the sky

A moon, worn as if it had been a shell

Washed by time's waters as they rose and fell

About the stars and broke in days and years.

I had a thought for no one's but your ears:

That you were beautiful, and that I strove

To love you in the old high way of love;

That it had all seemed happy, and yet we'd grown

As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.


The Truly Great
By Stephen Spender

I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul's history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.

What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are fĂȘted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts the fire's centre.
Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.



Perry to Marry
By Wes Morgan

We saw Perry at his right-of-passage on the bema one day.

He was tall, straight and the apple of his father’s eye

“My, he is handsome,” I heard someone say.

His mother was full of joy and about to cry, 


Grandma showed no sign of emotion;

She is thinking through her stoic preparations.

Remembering how they laughed by the ocean.

The future looks bright, but not without trepidations.


We live, dream and time does pass.

Big leaguers enter an all-star break.

The world changes. We hardly notice, just how fast

Something is brewing.  Plan, mill, mash, make.


Hopes and dreams are difficult to reach.

But with Autumn comes a breath of fresh air,

Together join forces, we beseech;  

Be an unbeatable team with a championship flair.


Winners always have a better chance.

But seasons they come and they go.

Wishes and prayers for your lovely romance;

Prepare to win, blossom and grow. 

Another milestone is a certainty.

Each goal achieved is unique;

Another step on your journey.

Study, learn, coach and teach.

Your faces in the crowd, with each season, each Fall

Anyone can see how precious, how free.

Play hard, smile, prevail for us all.

One union for the ages - you deserve and can be. 


This New Jersey day in June,

Tears, cheers, emotions will vary.

May the light shine on you for many a moon,

Oh dearest Autumn and Perry.

Perry and Autumn – Sorry I could not be with you on your wedding day, June 28, 2013. I trust Lynn, Lindsey/Chris, Ben/Allison will represent me fairly. Sending regrets and nothing but best wishes. Life is a journey. Be grateful for every precious moment. Face the world together and you will win in the grand scheme of things. We are all so very happy for you. - Wes Morgan (Uncle Eyeball).    


There was an Old Man from Nantucket

There was an Old Man of Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket.
His daughter, called Nan,
Ran away with a man,
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.
Ode
By
Arthur O'Shaughnessy

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,    
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.


With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,    
And out of a fabulous story


We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure  
Can trample a kingdom down.


We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself in our mirth;    
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.



Willie
By Anonymous
Little Willie with a thirst for gore,
Nailed his sister to the door
His mother said with humor quaint
Willie, dear, don't scratch the paint.


Of Mere Being
By Wallace Stevens

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor.
A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.
You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.


The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.