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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A mailing is only as good as your list

When did you last update your organization’s e-mail and direct mail lists?

If it was more than a year ago, expect the lists to be as much as 20% inaccurate. Why would there have been so many changes? According to the United States Postal Service:
• 19.3% of all businesses move each year
• 13.7% of Americans move each year
• 1.8 million new mailing addresses are added annually

With ongoing maintenance, your lists will stay in such good shape that you can be ready for a mailing at a moment’s notice. Accuracy will also save on mailing costs, reduce waste, and greatly boost your mailing’s chance of effectiveness.

While e-mail blasts avoid the expenses of mailing, an updated e-mail list is critical to your effectiveness. As you meet people and collect business cards, make sure they don’t only occupy a growing pile on your desk. These cards are a critical way to keep your organization’s lists up to date.

So, while list updates may not be your favorite task, they are critical for making sure your mailings and e-mail blasts accomplish your intended goals.

Statistics source: United States Postal Service, April 2008 Mail Systems Management Association IMB Forum.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The hottest new profession?

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday on the growing trend of professional blogging – citing that there are now more paid bloggers than there are firefighters or computer programmers in America.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Social media viruses – and how to fight them

The Internet has made it possible for anyone to share thoughts, ideas and opinions with the entire world. But with this freedom to share information comes the potential for these thoughts and ideas to significantly damage individuals’ and companies’ reputations.

Case in point: Two employees from an individually owned Domino’s store shot and shared a video online that showed them tampering with customers’ food (to put it mildly). The video was supposedly a prank, but instead it created a social media frenzy.

Domino’s corporate headquarters immediately sprang into action, working to remove the video wherever possible and respond to the situation – including answering inquiries from bloggers and traditional media and reassuring its customers that its food is safe. Domino’s reaction was strategic and fast, and may have minimized the damage from the viral video.

To learn more about how Domino's responded to this crisis - click here.

To learn more about what happened to the people who created the video and the company's response - click here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Do you get Internesia?

In keeping up with the latest style guide additions for The Gregg Reference Manual – Goff & Howard’s main go-to for style questions – we came across a glossary of computer terms.

Among the 25 pages of terms were entries like blog (technically called Web log), multimedia, browser, and spam that most computer users are familiar with. Then there were the occasional few that enlightened us:

Dead-tree edition. The paper version of a publication available online.
Dot-bomb. A dot-com that fails to stay in business is referred to as a dot-bomb. Internet surfers who spend a lot of time in the .com domain are sometimes referred to as dot communists.
Internesia. Forgetting where one obtained a piece of information on the Internet.
Kluge (pronounced klooj). An expedient (but often inelegant) way to solve a problem when time is of the essence.
Mouse elbow. A repetitive strain injury (similar to tennis elbow) that is caused by repeatedly using a mouse.
Mouse potato. A person who sits glued to a computer screen.
Netiquette. A set of guidelines for formatting and composing e-mail messages.
Netizen. A “citizen” of the Net; an active participant in the Internet community.
Shouting. The use of all caps in e-mail. This practice is considered a violation of netiquette and is actively discouraged.
Word of mouse. Gossip spread by e-mail.

All definitions courtesy of William A. Sabin, The Gregg Reference Manual, “Glossary of Computer Terms,” 10th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2008, http://www.mhhe.com/business/buscom/gregg/glossary.htm.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Got stuff? Give stuff.

Here’s a picture of the latest Goff & Howard “stuff” going to good use. Just like at home, sometimes we start to collect things we don’t need – like extra office furniture and books – and our employees sometimes have work-related clothing that they’d like to go to someone who needs it.

We have been fortunate to have a relationship with Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Anoka and Rasmey County. As Goff & Howard’s Patty Dunn, who is also a founding member of CAP’s new community advisory board, puts it – we like how they, “match up needs with haves.”