“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

22 12 2009

Today’s culture is immersed in social media. Chances are, you’ve probably already heard a commercial today saying “follow us on Twitter” or “become a fan on Facebook.” More and more businesses and organizations are logging on, sharing information, building their brand and developing relationships with their audiences.

But how do you gauge social media spending in terms of your overall marketing budget? We believe in balance. Are you balanced in your marketing outreach? Are you spending too much time and money on social media? Not enough? How about PR, advertising and online publicity? Contact us. We can help you determine the right amount your company should spend on the different areas of marketing and public relations.

We truly believe a successful marketing campaign for 2010 should incorporate elements of traditional marketing and public relations methods as well as non-traditional. When it comes to social media, we also believe in being prudent about time and budget. Social media is still very new, so don’t put all of your resources into one place. Or as mom says, “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

22 12 2009

It’s that time of year again.

As the temperature is plummeting and the snow is beginning to fall, there really should only be one thing on your mind.  Don’t stick your warm tongue to cold pole.  It will stick.

According to a Dec. 8 Associated Press report, a 10-year-old boy from Boise, Idaho, in true “A Christmas Story” fashion, got his tongue stuck to a fence post on the way to school.  Luckily, a woman driving past the scene of the “stick” was kind enough to call 911.

With the help of Boise firefighters and some warm water, the boy was freed with a bruised ego and a hurting tongue, but no real injuries.  The young boy continued on to school that day – no doubt determined to make up for the time he lost while being stuck.

His story has a happy ending and surprisingly, a moral.

We can all relate to that boy.  During the latter part of 2008 and for most of 2009, the world has been that boy from Boise.  During this last year and half, we’ve all been stuck. 

Stuck with a fledgling economy. 
Stuck with reduced budgets and reduced manpower. 
Stuck with a guy down the hall whose lunch always smells.

But the firefighters are on their way.  2010 promises to be a year filled with renewed hope and a business landscape that looks encouraging.  2010 is the start of a new decade.  It brings with it the opportunity for growth and success.

What is the moral of the story of the boy in Boise?  He kept going.  He left his position on the fence post and continued the walk to school.  He may have walked through cold temperatures and snow, but he kept going.

We at The Impact Group wish you the warmest of Holiday wishes.  Our hope for you is that like the boy, you keep going into 2010.  But your situation is better than his.  You don’t have to walk alone.  You can walk with us.

We hope you do.

Happy Holidays.

Marketing Must Haves for 2010

22 12 2009

Dear Santa,

It will be 2010 before we know, and we will be able to put 2009 behind us. It’s been a tough year, and I haven’t been able to get the things I know I need in order to grow my business. So, Santa, this is what I want for Christmas:

  • My sales staff equipped with modern materials and presentations that will impress potential customers. It is no longer acceptable to have an old brochure and stale PowerPoint presentation.
  • A Web site that’s exciting, always up-to-date, and clearly articulates the company we want to be in 2010, not who we were in 2009. The site needs to incorporate video, social media and other interactive elements.
  • The last two years have caused a lot of uncertainty for many companies. I believe 2010 is going to be a much better year. My company needs to be in the news, telling the story of how it survived and even thrived. I also want people to know everything new that my company has to offer.
  • Balanced outreach is the key to success in 2010. I need help determining how much I should spend in all areas of marketing (public relations, advertising, social media, etc.) in order to effectively reach my audience. I need an expert to help me do that.

It’s a short list, but it’s really what I need to expand my business and help ensure success in 2010.

Thanks for listening.

Yours Truly,
Small- to medium-sized business owner

10 Years after Y2K Is A Good Time to Start Using Video

9 12 2009

-Martin Moleski

The end of one year and start of another always gives us time to simultaneously reflect and look forward. I’ve always found it to be a good time. Did I accomplish what I wanted in 2009? How can I be more successful in 2010? Wow…I’m coming up on my 10-year high school reunion (don’t despise me because I’m still under 30). The year 2000 was supposed to usher in flying cars, new technologies and almost limitless possibilities from the Internet.  And in just 10 short years so much has happened that it’s easy for even a young guy like me to get behind the curve every once in awhile. Before 2000, we never used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, iTunes or this little search engine program called Google. Think about that. No Google before 2000. How was I even able to find information for my high school research papers?

And as these technologies grew so did our reliance on online video.  That’s right, I said “reliance” because these days the news is becoming more and more about what we can see and hear and less about what an anonymous source said. Don’t believe me. Try to think of the White House crashers story without the accompanying video of Mr. and Mrs. Salahi walking around the White House posing for pictures with the president and vice-president. Or maybe how protesters in Iran can only show what is happening to them by posting cell phone videos on their Twitter accounts. Still not convinced, I have two words for you: Balloon Boy.

Today’s technology is forcing you and your company into a video-centered world…whether you like it or not. If you still don’t have video on your Web site, you’re competition probably does. If you’re still going to sales call with a PowerPoint presentation, your audience has probably seen it before. As you start to both reflect and look forward, ask yourself, “How did I stand out in 2009?” More importantly, “How can video help me stand out in 2010?” If you can’t answer either question, now might be a good time for you to call The Impact Group.

Can You do This?

8 09 2009


Can’t say I agree with him politically, but this is pretty neat.

The Power of Video

4 08 2009

Martin Moleski

Federal spending is always interesting…but sometimes hard to understand (what comes after trillion??). I think this video makes things a little clearer.

The Other – and often not talked about – Side of the AIG Bonus Outrage

26 03 2009


The following op-ed gives one a good look into the dysfunctional company known as AIG. It’s been blasted in the news so much recently that the New York headquarters removed the logo from the outside of their own building.

The “populist rage”is everywhere these days, but Mr. DeSantis’ letter provides an unheard perspective from the financial products division of AIG and from someone who is being punished despite a signed contract.

Clearly, the argument against AIG bonuses is rather simple. No person(s) should receive million dollar bonuses while the company is receiving billions in government (mine, yours and our grandchildren) dollars. But the other side of the story is 1) We are a nation of laws and contracts were signed. 2) The treasury secretary, president, members of Congress and the AIG CEO knew these bonuses had to be legally paid out, but then seemed shocked and angered when the details of the bonuses started appearing on the nightly news.

What concerns me most is not that the bonuses are being paid out. Who are we to fight over few hundred million dollars when our government, which essentially owns AIG now,  is already irresponsibly spending (former and current administrations included)? What bothers me is nobody, NOBODY, really took the time to understand the whole story before grabbing their lanterns and pitchforks.

Click here to read the op-ed.

It’s a Start

3 02 2009

Martin Moleski

Warning! Really long post…begins now.

Today, Republican leaders called out specific earmarks they want removed from President Obama’s $900 billion stimulus plan. This list is incredible on so many levels. I’ve put my first reaction to each item in parentheses.

  • $2 billion earmarkto re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient. (What state is our president from?)
  • A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film. (Who still uses film? Isn’t everything HD?)
  • $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program. (Biggest waste of money….ever)
  • $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (I thought global warming was taking care of this?)
  •  $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters. (I was always told  Democrats didn’t care about Homeland Security)
  • $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees. (So with the mpg savings, they’ll just drive to more “blue-ribbon committee meetings. No deal.)
  •  $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters. (My home furnishings don’t equal half the purchase price of my home.)
  • $400 millionfor the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD’s (Government trying to be parents for everyone.)
  •  $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs. (Literally throwing money away.)
  • $125 million for the Washington sewer system. (Literally flushing money down the toilet.)
  • $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities. (Just a simple “No” from me.)
  • $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion. (With all the illegal immigrants in our country, why even do a Census?)
  •  $75 million for “smoking cessation activities.” (I disagree with this one. The long-term health care savings would more than make up for it.)
  •  $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges. (I didn’t receive a free computer when I went to college.) 
  •  $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI. (I’ll give them this one.)
  •  $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction. (Sadly, this is probably not even enough. If it’s not sustainable, it has to go.)
  • $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River. (Don’t live in a bowl, and you’ll be fine.)
  • $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas. (And then what?)
  • $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings. (No, only because I don’t like the guy from the Re-Power America commercials.)
  •  $500 million for state and local fire stations. (If a community won’t pass a fire levy, then they don’t deserve fire protection.)
  •  $650 millionfor wildland fire management on forest service lands. (Is that how much they are paying Smokey the Bear?)
  • $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs. (Wow, what happened to capitalism?)
  •  $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service. (Didn’t we learn anything from the former Merrill-Lynch CEO?)
  • $412 million for CDC buildings and property. (To do what with, exactly?)
  • $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland. (Give this money to Walter Reed…now!)
  •  $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service. (Isn’t paid volunteer an oxymoron?)
  • $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration. (The “green” movement sure has some good lobbyists.)
  •  $850 million for Amtrak. (Is this to pay for inevitable derailment lawsuits?)
  • $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint. (Don’t lick the walls and you’ll be fine.)
  •  $75 million to construct a “security training” facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies. (It doesn’t say this is a “green” building so why even attempt to build it?)
  •  $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems. (What? Isn’t that like paying the Amish to update their web site?)
  • $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations. (Shouldn’t they be marching in formation, instead?)

You have to wonder, after reading this extensive list, what else could be left?? Well, add up the numbers above and it only comes to $19.0905 billion. Hmm.. that leaves $880.9095 billion of our money. I hope this puts things into perspective.

On a personal note, I actually don’t mind investing in “green” technology as I think it could become our next industrial revolution. But from looking at the list above, I think they are missing the mark. Let me explain. Green technology is great, except nobody ever talks about the behavioral changes that go along with it. The way I see it – and research will show in a few years – people who drive hybrids or own green homes are more likely to use more gas or electricity than if they weren’t living a green lifestyle. Why? Because the feeling of getting more for your money leads to greater consumption. It’s like going to the mall and spending $500 because you saved $50 by opening a credit card. It’s the mentality of “The more I spend, the more I save.” With green technology, it leads to a “Because I’m saving, I can use more” mentality. What we should be investing in is wind and other renewable energy sources that can lead to sustainable manufacturing and service jobs. Trust me, the research isn’t out yet because green technology hasn’t been around long enough.

Wow, I just got a great idea. Let’s use some “stimulus” money to pay me to do the research on green technology. My fee is a competitive $150,000. After looking at the numbers above, it sure seems reasonable, doesn’t it?

The Media Starts to Pay Attention

23 01 2009

-Martin Moleski

I had originally planned to use this post  to outline my ideas to rebrandstructure the Republican Party, but it will have to wait at least a week. Perhaps I’ll wait until a new party chairman has been decided, but I’ve been collecting my thoughts on how the Republicans can come back stronger than ever, so prepare for a lengthy post next time.

Shocking news out of the MSM (mainstream media) today as President Obama is not playing nice with the media and “frustrations” are starting to grow.

Better late than never, I guess.

What seems to be the problem? It mostly has to deal with the fact – yes, fact – that the MSM gave Obama a free ride all the way to Election Day. Now, as Obama closes out his first week as president, the media is starting to dig a little bit and the new president, plus his administration, aren’t really interested in discussing specifics.

This outright defiance by the Obama administration should surely stop Chris Matthews’ “thrill up his leg.”  Right?

Embassy Suites – Impressed

23 01 2009

I’m staying at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque, NM, and wanted to share an impressive letter to their guests that I found on the desk…

To Our Guests

In ancient times there was a prayer for

“The Stranger within our Gates”

Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this room and hotel be your “second” home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.

May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers. From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.

…Impressive! I now have a preferred hotel choice for whenever I travel!