Really Bad Hair, Tips, News and Amazing Graze

Friends and colleagues,

We’re all having Rip (or Rita) Van Winkle moments.  It’s not easy, for example, to remember what day of the week it is or why we’re wearing the same Def Leppard t-shirt for two to six days in a row.  And let’s be honest; our grooming has taken a hit.  I am starting to look like Keith Partridge minus the boyish good looks and bell-bottomed jeans. But I do know this:  I’ve had some wonderfully long, soulful, sometimes sad and weird Zoom-enabled discussions with quite a few of you.  I know many of my friends, colleagues and yes, our own archers, better now and I am grateful for that.

Ok, on to some sanitized tips from our harried, humbled, HAZMAT’d archers.

Tips (and Topics)

  1. Do. Not. Go. Dark.   Many of us want to crawl under a rock right now.  But in this environment, failing to consistently communicate publicly may lead your stakeholders (i.e., employees, investors, customers and prospects) to draw the wrong conclusions.  Or worse, it may lead them to connect with your competitors.  It may seem like a better decision to keep a low profile and focus on thanking frontline workers and first responders.  But the truth is that during a crisis your stakeholders want and need your particular expertise and point of view as much or more than ever.  And they are listening to and watching carefully those firms and leaders who are responding proactively, contributing enthusiastically and engaging frequently.  The data backs me up here, good people.

  2. So you want to shoot yourself…  For those shelter-at-home Scorcese’s out there, here are some quick tips for recording work-related videos while you’re hiding from your family:  1) Be sure to record in full HD (1920 x 1080p).  2) If you’re using a phone, make sure it’s flipped to landscape mode, not portrait, unless you’re filming exclusively for Instagram or Snapchat.  3)  Minimize background noise and, if possible, purchase a shotgun mic for the iPhone, or a wireless lavalier. 4) Avoid having windows and light directly behind you.  5) If shooting in landscape frame, capture the image from waist/mid-chest to above your head and keep yourself in the center of the frame. 6) Record three seconds before and three seconds after you are finished.  Lastly, when you win awards for your performance, please give a teary-eyed shout-out to your production designers in the aptly named Nutmeg state.

  3. In support of negativity.  Ok, people, now that I’ve drawn you in with a maddening non sequitur, let me explain.  Our geeky friends from Mountain View, the Googlers (yes, this is what they call themselves), have been documenting rather drastic shifts in search behavior over the last couple months.  In response to this surging trend in new searches, they have released the Google Trends Coronavirus Hub to help track these emerging searches, as well as other breakout searches that users are taking as they respond to developing news in the world.  If you use paid search in your marketing mix, I’d strongly recommend you review these search trends regularly and be prepared to add new negative keywords (a specific word or phrase that helps to prevent your ad from being displayed to customers who are unlikely to click your ad) to your campaigns to prevent wasting your search budgets.  You’re welcome.

  4. Build your playbook.  I played football – poorly – for over 10 years.  Before each game my coaching staffs developed new offensive plays and defensive schemes that addressed our opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and mapped out responses to specific situations and scenarios.  Well friends and, yes, you too colleagues, time to put on your awkward-fitting coach shorts, get a whistle, get your team together, ply them with warm Gatorade and begin developing plays and schemes to address your relentless opponent, #19, and the games that come after COVID is retired.  And yes, this involves X’s and O’s, mapping out the roles and responsibilities of team members in each play and determining what “down and distance” will lead you to call specific plays.  It does not mean you need to fill your mouth with sunflower seeds and spit when you talk like my freshman football coach.

  5. Beware Nostradumba_s…  Everyone’s an expert right now.  We know more about epidemiology, tigers and Chris Cuomo’s basement than we ever wanted to.  Fauci is about to become a verb.  But truth be told there is one thing we know for sure:  We don’t know how, no one does, how the rest of 2020 will play out.  So steer clear of prognosticators – marketers and otherwise – who claim to know the future. And yes, I know I’ve made another deposit in the Bank of the Frighteningly Obvious, but my folks and I have recently seen some updated strategic plans based in one case on obscenely pessimistic forecasts and in the other on impossibly naïve optimism. Simmer down, good people.

  6. Caption that video!  There’s a lot of earnest, amateur, at-home video being produced by companies now and that’s OK.  The folks in front of and behind the PC and iPhone cameras are not pros and production values are not being judged harshly – for now… What’s not OK is failing to provide a transcription and/or on-screen captioning of the videos.  Why?  1) Not all your viewers will turn on the sound while waiting in a socially distanced line at the supermarket and 2) Search engines can’t easily recognize and index your video without accompanying text and tagging.

  7. A narrative is imperative. Now more than ever, you and your organization need a narrative, defined as a spoken or written account of connected events; a story. It’s a clear, written statement of what your organization does, why it matters, and for whom, and it is de rigeur as they say on the mean streets of Paris, Texas.  It is not a tagline, or a list of bullets or a mission statement.  It is crystal clear prose that compellingly and concisely articulates your brand’s story and value, putting your stakeholders on that same page in a memorable way.  Why is this important now?  Because in a world turned upside down, our need for stories we understand and relate to multiplies.  So write your story and tell it well.  Like a boss.


We have always offered integrated marketing services on an agency, outsourced or supplemental basis, but as of February we also offer bridge/temporary staffing and training, as well as full-time placement services.  So, no matter the nature of your marketing needs we are here to support you, allowing you to use one resource to meet your needs.  Want to learn more?  Contact me or our archers.

Amazing graze

My top three:

1) Pesto pasta

2) California veggie burger, crafted by my daughter

3) Paleo pancakes (made of stuff I probably shouldn’t mention here)

Yours, por favor?


As always, if I can do anything for you – make a connection, share some experience, DJ for your next Zoom cocktail party – please let me know.

Thanks again for your patient indulgence.   Be well and stay healthy!



P.S.:  If, for whatever reason, you’d rather not receive these occasional notes, please let me know.

P.S. #2:  Want to know why I don’t mass customize these notes through an email service provider like Constant Contact, MailChimp, Responsys or a CRM system?  Ask me.

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