Friday, December 19, 2014

New Year's Learning Resolutions

There's something refreshing about an incoming year.  Leaving the old, the sad, the tired, behind and moving on to new adventures, exploration and learning!

I came across this book the other day, and am putting it on my reading list for 2015. I've been a fan of Richard Florida since I was fortunate to see him speak in Washington DC quite a few years ago. I've followed his work, and his critics, because I am keenly interested in making our communities, regardless of their size, more welcoming, sustainable, inspiring, and creative.

Florida's latest book, "Atlas of Cities" looks like it has something for everyone!  It is full of infographics, analysis, photos, maps, charts etc.  A dream read for planners, economic developers, communicators, municipal leaders, and consultants.  And if that doesn't excite your holiday reading, it could also be considered to double as a travel book or at the very least, coffee table book!

I am looking forward to the upcoming quiet snowy days and learning something new over the holidays! If you've already got a copy, please share a comment below, or if you have identified other books for your 2015 list, please share those too!

Best wishes to you all for a Happy 2015! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

This just in: My Invitation to the Pencil on Linked In

I must admit, it's a bit intimidating this new thing on Linked in.  Out of the blue, I was invited to be a Publisher on Linked in.

Intimidating because it has the potential to reach 300 million people which comes with an expectation to write something informative and interesting to that broad group of executives, entrepreneurs, and everybody who is ever your potential client.  

So I'm busy thinking of a topic and hoping that they don't revoke my access before I can come up with something.  I'm excited to get started, but need some topics ideas.  Anyone? Leave me a suggestion below, and when it's done, I'll post the link.

Creating a long, blog-like post, works like this:  

From the home button, your status form is at the top. If you have a Pencil in the top right, click it to open the drafting panel for your post.  

Write and design your post and be sure to include a photo and some engaging copy.  Once published, your posts become part of your main personal profile screen, and may also be featured on the LinkedIn Pulse stream for the topic area.  You may also get followers of your Pulse stream, just like all those famous subject matter experts you are probably already following yourself.  

Impressive. Daunting. and just bit intimidating. 

Soon more people will be able to become publishers and have their own Pulse stream of stories, increasing their exposure to millions of people.

Status updates remain unchanged.  So if you don't click the pencil to initiate a blog post, your status update will be visible only to your Linked in network of connections. 

Tell me are you a publisher? Have you made your first post(s)? Have you noticed increased traffic to your personal profile page? Do you have any followers? 
Don't be shy! I want to follow you on Linked in!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to Prepare for Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation

If you're a business or organization using e-mail, text messaging or social networks to promote products and services Canada's new anti-spam law probably applies to you. Once it is in force, (July 1, 2014) compliance with the law will be mandatory, and following the new rules will help businesses and organizations build and maintain the trust of clients and customers.

So how do you get ready?  Here's a few things you can do:   

  1. Determine if your electronic messages are commercial in nature. The law applies to Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs) only. A CEM is defined as encouraging participation in a business transaction or activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit
  2. For all electronic messages you have determined to be commercial:
  • Get the consent of your recipients, and keep records. The legislation requires obtaining "express" or "implied" consent. Express consent means that a person has clearly agreed to receive a CEM before it is sent - you cannot request consent in a CEM. Consent may also be implied in certain situations, for instance if there is an existing business or non-business relationship. In all cases, keep detailed records in case you are ever asked to prove that consent has been received.
  • Identify yourself and anyone you represent in the message. Provide contact information including your business name, postal address and either a telephone number or e-mail address. This information must be accurate and valid for a minimum of 60 days after the message has been sent.
  • Include a working mechanism that allows the recipient to unsubscribe from receiving additional messages. This must be at no cost to the recipient.
  • Ensure that no part of the CEM is false or misleading, including the sender's identity, subject line, any Web links, or any other material part of the message's text or data.

Here's an infographic summarizing the above four points.  Print it and Post it.   :)

This law applies to new contacts immediately (you need their consent and each CEM must include your information and an unsubscribe mechanism) and within 3 years for those you already have a business relationship with (during the transition you have implied consent to continue sending CEMs to existing contacts, with unsubscribe options), so depending on the list you have built over the years, it may not be necessary to send out one of those "please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us" emails. 

It definitely is a good idea to use an email management system to keep track of consent, ask for double-opt in, and allow for automatic unsubscribes.

You can learn more about the law at  Every business owner, manager and employee is encouraged to examine the legislation to see how it will affect their marketing campaigns.

Pinnacle Communications & Media Inc has helped dozens of clients with their email marketing from set up to list management, and producing the marketing messages and more.  If you'd like our help, contact us today and get ready for the new legislation. PS. You can even sign up to receive our eNewsletter! or start your own email system here free.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How Too Many Marketing Ideas can be Bad for Small Business

When it comes to marketing, ideas are a dime a dozen.  

It is easy to come up with ideas. There are so many options.  Often the result is too many ideas. 

marketing ideas graphicToo many ideas to sort out how they all fit together and to know which ones to do.
For small businesses and organizations doing their own marketing, it often becomes too time consuming or overwhelming as there are too many ideas, too many platforms, and too many other things requiring the business owner's attention.  And usually too many ideas to implement with existing and fixed fiscal and human resources.  

When businesses are busy with their day-to-day activities, marketing becomes less important. This is how too many marketing ideas can lead to no marketing. Busy companies tend to stop promotion and advertising. However the marketplace is ever-changing and marketing needs to be considered in both slow and busy times.