Trends 1

Easy-Breezy Way to Know What is Trending RIGHT THIS MINUTE

Our job as marketers is to be in the know – all the time on all subjects.

If only there was an easy way to do that!  ah-ha – now there is:

trends 3Trends can be measured by decades, years, months, even a flavor of the week. Now with Google Trends you can identify google trends logowhat people are interested in as that very something is searched for using Google’s browser.

Right now you have the ability to see what’s trending right now.

What does this mean for your PR and marketing communications?  A lot!

Google Trends can now be used to tailor information in a way that matches the interests of your news consuming audience. With Google Trends you can now find out what topics are hot in relation to your industry and integrate those issues in your next news release or blog post. Striking the iron while it’s hot will increase visibility and raise brand awareness of your content. The update to the trends tool just ushered in an age of foresight that will help bridge communications supply and news consumer demand.trends 4

And this tool is available to everyone, for free! According to Nieman Lab, journalists and other media professionals can comb through Google Trends to “gauge where readers are headed.” Just like today’s communicators, reporters can use the trends tool to identify what content would be of interest to the news consuming public and write articles that are in demand. Competition for readers is at an all-time high, so access to this kind of tool gives news makers a much-needed edge.

How does this new feature aid modern communicators? By having access to top current searched words and phrases, PR pros can craft messaging to line up with what people are currently interested in. It’s the equivalent of baiting a hook with exactly what fish are craving. Your announcement falls right into what’s trending and amplifies your message. Increased visibility and an engaged audience are cornerstones of maximizing the ROI of a news release.

What are some examples of topics you will find – so go see what’s trending on Google right now!  You will find news angles and data to make your communications mainstream, right now!

  • Sports
  • People
  • Business news
  • Election 2016
  • Tech
  • Music
  • many many more categories

What’s trending on Google as you’re reading this post? Why not check and see?  You can access Google Trends here.

Sincere thanks to BusinessWire for this informative piece, I highly recommend BusinessWire for your news dissemination.  Laura

billboard ad

Are Your Signs Impacting Sales?

Not long ago while driving down a tourist corridor I saw a large building with a sign that just said “Sports” and I wondered why would you have such a beautiful building with so little explanation of what it was?  Turns out it was an independent sports retailer but his signage had lost me in translation.

Recent studies show that replacing any static sign with a digital replacement can be a major traffic generator.

Been to Times Square lately?  Even schools, churches and car dealers have learned that dynamic digital signs help communications and sales.  1_times_square_night_2013

According to industry experts – even the word ‘sign’ is outdated, the new phrase is “urban experiential displays”. 

No longer are you relegated to a limited amount of space to send your sales message.  Imagine the “Sports” facility promoting they had a sale on canoes, were offering boating lessons, had brand new golf equipment or whatever was going on inside their facility I just might have entered their parking lot!

Some retailers are running into city zoning ordinances about signage sizes, colors and even the speed of the digital messages.  If your area has those issues, approach your governing body now because every day you don’t maximize your signage, you are losing dollars.

Digital signs allow the following:

  • One day and flash sale messages
  • Build awareness of your website, Twitter or other social media accounts
  • Hold contests
  • Seasonal and holiday messages
  • Promote hours of operation
  • Community support messages
  • Public service or promotions for nonprofit groups
  • Messages in multiple languages
  • Messages for different customer segments, kids, families etc.

exterior signs 2

When a retailer’s sales go up it elevates the success of the employees, adjacent businesses and the municipality too – take a new look at your signage and see how you can improve sales by just one upgrade.

Many systems can be tied to your social media so one message meets multiple communication platforms

NEOCON 2016 blog July 19 2016

Staying current just might mean it’s time to redesign your space too

NEOCON 2016 blog July 19 2016
I am a big fan of NEOCON, and share here with you some of their ideas on what is trending… love that hot pink chair!  p.s. take a special read of the very last line of this blog …

NEOCON 2016: Interior Design Trends

June 23rd, 2016 / Technology & Industry /

Many of the top residential trends seen at this year’s High Point Market are crossing over into the commercial interior world. It’s no secret that employees are spending more and more time in the office, so employers are working to blur those lines between work and home. Workspaces are becoming more inviting places to be as they gain a welcoming and more residential touch. Here are the top trends we saw this year at NEOCON 2016.

Neutral Colors: Black & White

Black and white have been trending in recent years but instead of white dominated environments with black details as we’ve seen in previous years were beginning to see black dominated environments with white details. This spin is adding interest and drama to interior spaces. As well as black and white, pastels are all the rage as can be seen with the colors of the year. Bringing softness that is comforting and calming.

Rose Quartz & Serenity – 2016 Color of the Year

Pantone’s Color of the year for 2016 has been spotted up all over NEOCON 2016. What makes this trend notable is that this traditionally associated feminine color is making a strong appearance in office furniture manufacturer material lineups. From lighting at Humanscale, to workspace stations in Herman Miller, rose quartz is making a strong appearance in office furniture design. This speaks to the changing influence of women in the workplace and their say in workspace outfitting.

Steelcase Showroom at Neocon 2016


Organic Materials

Natural textures from organic materials like fur, wood grains, stone, metal are growing in popularity. Also woven textiles and animal hides are appearing everywhere in decor and accents. Many manufacturers have begun incorporating these natural texture veneer into their office furniture material lineup.

Nature Themes

One of the more notable trends seen in 2016 is the emphasis on plants in our living and working environments. From Herman Miller to Vitra one couldn’t miss the literally hundreds of plants that filled showrooms and even the Merchandise Mart atrium and open spaces. These is also extending into space accents like prints and artwork and decor.


The use of metallics in a variety of finishes has been growing in popularity. With Brass, silver, rose gold, copper, and gold being used in everything from finishes to lighting and accessories.

Illustration Art

Manufacturers like Momentum Textiles, Keilhauer, and Herman Miller have been partnering with artists to bring their illustrative lifestyle aesthetic to their textile patterns and marketing materials.

NEOCON 2016: Interior Design Trends


ruby red heels

Clicking Heels Not Required – Are you thinking from all sides?

Sometimes it’s the small things that make a big difference.  In this case – a few ideas for using the ceiling and floor to promote your brand.ruby red heels

This week I saw an eye-catching printed floor mat that told me how to get where I was going, and then later in the same mall in California, saw another printed floor mat that encouraged me to head to the food court – advice I happily took.  Talk about bringing traffic!

Custom floor signageToday came an email from a vendor selling these custom printed mats and I thought WOW – I should share this.  According to the Post Up website they come in small, medium and large sizes and their turnaround is 48 hours for beautiful four color mats.

My hairdresser also has signage in under-utilized places, in this case on the ceiling above the shampoo areas.  Why not?  My dentist has a mobile over his chair with information from a vendor.

Are you thinking from all sides?

Maybe add your Twitter handle and web address to the design?  Great for selfies!

Consider the floors and ceiling and unusual places – might be innovative and impact business on the spot.  Clicking heels not required!

Surprising Words That Trip the E-mail Spam Alarm – Don’t Get Caught in the Trap

trap goes with spam trap blog 2015

Did you know the words “invoice”, “quote” or “urgent” can put you in spam traps?  

Since we know how hard it is to get out of these traps, here is a list of words and phrases to know now and avoid traps later.

Most words and phrases that get the spam alarm bells ringing are obvious: income, urgent, Viagra; as well as congratulations, discount, make money. Those are among the many in categories such as retail, personal, and pharmaceutical that legitimate marketers should avoid, according to research by MailJet.Trap chart of spam words June 2015

And some spam-tripping words and phrases may be surprising. For example, FedEx, Paypal, and Visa/Mastercard—certainly to the chagrin of those companies—can trip the spam alarm. Potentially challenging for universities that have gone beyond the traditional classroom is “online degree” as a phrase that may lead an email to be trapped as spam.

For those companies that sell to marketers, there are obvious losers, such as “email harvest” and “increase sales.” But, interestingly, there are also unlikely spam-alarm trippers, including “direct mail,” “lead generation,” and “search engine optimization.” Even “Internet marketing” and “marketing solutions” can sound the spam alarm.

“In sending over 12 billion emails…we’ve seen good senders land in the spam folder when accidentally using words heavily used by spammers,” says Anthony Marnell, Mailjet’s VP, North America. “We compiled a sample of words from these findings to help senders improve deliverability when crafting email copy.”

So, before you tell prospective customers that they can “sign up free today” for a “month trial offer” to test a “marketing solution” that will “increase traffic” or “increase sales,” or offer “congratulations” or a “discount” to customers, be sure to consider the likelihood that spam bells may ring.

This article, image and chart comes with thanks, from Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief Direct Marketing News. is a great resource for marketers and I highly recommend you take a look at what they offer.

Thank you Ginger for bringing us this cautionary warning!


Marketing Rethink March 2014

90 Seconds Is All Consumers Give You – Make Them Remember Your Colors

You get just 90 seconds to make an impression – a statistic we all know.

But were you aware that of that 90 seconds more than 62 seconds of that revolves around what colors you use?

Wow!  Holy marketing!  If ever there was one sentence to justify why a marketing expert should be involved from logo, to website, packaging and everything in between that visually represents a company – this is it.  It all boils down to seconds.logo color 2015 ALL COLORS

Over the last year I have written blogs that demonstrated what each color represents in the psychology of color and how other corporations are utilizing each color.  If you missed them just look back at earlier blogs about purple, red, green, yellow, blue and orange too.

What color is the logo of the organization you represent?  Do you share qualities with other brands of the same color?

According to Fast Company. “The implications of color’s effect on people’s emotions are far reaching, and understanding your customers’ connections to certain colors could increase the effectiveness of your company’s branding methods.

Research complied by web design and marketing company WebPageFX, people make a subconscious judgment about a product in less than 90 seconds of viewing, and a majority of these people base that assessment on color alone. In fact, almost 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% of people believe color increases brand recognition.”

What can be learned here?  I’d love to hear what you think!

With thanks to Fast Company for this great article –infographic from WebPageFX, written by Rachel Gillett.

airline blog 3

Have you heard the one about the publicist and the airline pilot?


Years ago I heard a great line… “What is the difference between an airline pilot and a publicist?”  Answer:  Pilots experience long periods of calm and short periods of panic.  Life for a publicist is the reverse.   So true!  Today I found this great article by Kim Green in Fast Company that takes this analogy to a much more helpful place … 3 lessons from a pilot about crisis management.Airline pilot



The day I passed the flight test and earned my private pilot’s license more than 20 years ago, I was a safe and competent aviator, but not yet a good one. That would come a few years later, after I became a flight instructor and logged a few thousand hours teaching rookie flyers how to land in stiff crosswinds, navigate by instruments in dismal weather, and prepare for in-flight emergencies.

Watching my students struggle and learn, I came to appreciate how much talent and hard work matter. But when it’s just you and your craft at 5,000 feet, what matters most is experience, especially when the weather turns inclement or the engine goes quiet. You can be a whiz at aerodynamics and know your equipment like an engineer, but it’s how you react when everything goes wrong that shows what kind of pilot you really are.

Business leaders face down everything from PR headaches to financial crises, and sometimes even threats to health and human life within their organizations. You can bring your A game to the boardroom and know your industry inside and out, but if you’ve never handled a major emergency, it’s hard to know how well you’ll fare when your first one hits.

That’s why pilots are trained in crisis management. We’re taught to think through a range of potential mishaps, memorize checklists, and plot courses of action in advance. Executives can do the same. You can never foresee every crisis, but if you plan for the worst, you’ll be ready for action—and you won’t be stuck winging it.


As I descended toward the runway in my instructor Volker’s twin Apache one night, I noticed something troubling: The green nose-wheel light wasn’t illuminating.

Seated beside me, Volker didn’t panic. For the next hour, he calmly proceeded with the flight lesson. We reviewed gear-failure procedures and tried to force the nose wheel to lock down. When that failed, we turned toward Nashville’s international airport and declared an emergency.

The final moments of that flight were strangely lovely—the flash of fire truck lights, sparks shooting by as we touched down and the nose cone ground a line down the runway centerline.

My instructor had performed a masterful emergency landing. We slid down the wing, not even a scratch. I was in awe of him. Throughout the “lesson,” I’d followed his lead. He appeared confident and unruffled, so I concluded that this situation called for deliberate action, not for fear. And because we had practiced the procedures for a gear failure emergency so many times, we knew just what to do when it actually happened.

Most organizations don’t like to dwell on negative eventualities. But imagine the alternative: Your VP’s thoughtless tweet goes viral; there’s a hostile takeover on the horizon; or far worse, the firm’s container ship sinks—and you have no idea what to do next.

As a company leader, people look to you in a crisis. It’s your responsibility to keep calm and lead, but that’s never entirely a matter of gut instinct. It takes rational forethought. Think through possible emergency situations and make a checklist for the first few steps you’d take. Those first steps can quiet your mind enough to get it busy solving the problem. If you have a plan, you’ll know what to do. And knowing what to do keeps fear and paralysis at bay.


Several years later, I had my turn at the helm during an emergency. As my student flew us back to our home airport one afternoon, my Cessna 172’s engine went down about 12 miles out. We’d thrown a valve and were running on partial power. My heart rate accelerated to match the irregular churn of the wounded engine, but my mind stayed quiet. “I’ve got the plane,” I told my student. We declared an emergency and turned toward the nearest airport.

The engine carried us there, unhurt and—at least in my student’s case—unruffled. He told me later he hadn’t felt afraid. “You had control of the situation,” he said.

He’d been watching me for cues. Because I didn’t seem frightened, he’d felt safe. Of course I was on edge, and for good reason. But I had a checklist to turn to and two people’s safety to look out for. There was no time for panic.

To most people, “fake it till you make it” means feigning competence until you’ve actually gained it. But overconfidence is almost never useful, especially in an emergency. Instead, confidence should equal ability. Pretending to know what you’re doing to fool your colleagues and employees into thinking you’ve got it under control won’t help you manage the problem. But if you do know what you’re doing, pretending you aren’t afraid can help see you it through with a steady hand.


I once took a two-day spin-training course with a well-known aerobatics instructor. The first time we stalled and spun his little Cessna 152, my stomach lurched. As the sky disappeared and farm fields rotated in the windshield, my brain went into chaos mode. But by the end of the course, I could calmly count the number of turns as we spun, and I’d even started to enjoy the ride.

I’m neither an especially calm person nor a thrill-seeker. But what helped me keep my cool as the altimeter spiraled down was the knowledge of what was coming. The instructor had prepared me for how we would enter the spin, what the instruments would read while we spun, and how we’d recover. After a few practice runs, I actually felt more curious than queasy.

It’s not that pilots are born preternaturally calm in the face of danger; it’s that we review emergency procedures so many times that they come to seem almost routine. Pilots don’t like surprises, but we learn to be ready for them.

Most of the time, flying isn’t nearly as exciting as people think. That’s why, during the routine, blue-sky moments when the engine thrums with health, a good pilot is busy planning what might happen within the next hundred miles or before reaching the destination—and imagining what she’d do, just in case something goes wrong.

Fade to calm ….