I’ve had the pleasure of working with the iconic women’s fashion retailer The Limited this year. The Limited has posted some impressive gains in market share recently under the vibrant, progressive leadership of CEO Linda Heasley. However, I think what impresses me most is the company’s investment in the communities their stores call home.
For example, here in Kansas City The Limited gave fashion makeovers to clients of the Women’s Employment Network and donated a share of opening weekend proceeds to this vital non-profit organization dedicated to helping women help themselves.
In Dallas the Dress For Success store received a makeover from the pros of The Limited:
That kind of commitment to being invested in a community speaks volumes about the heart and soul of a company. We’re all taught in Sunday school or its equivalent to give of ourselves, and in a cynical age it’s refreshing to work with a company that takes that lesson to heart and lives it.
Check out this interview I did with the Kansas City NBC affiliate about the road I took to independently publishing my novel, Pilate’s Cross. The reporter had read an earlier blog post about my decision and thought it would make a nice story. I think he did a great job and thought you might enjoy watching it–whether you’re into marketing, writing, ebooks, mystery thrillers or just PR guys with very small offices.
I’ve enjoyed writing and marketing my book. Several book clubs have read it and it has received generally favorable reviews. As I work on the sequel and other writing projects (when work and life allows) it’s really gratifying. Sales have been okay (I had a book signing in Omaha–what a blast!), and though I may not be getting rich I’m having a great time.
So to all you “Someday I’d like to write a book” folks out there…there’s never been a better time to do it and actually have a shot at getting your work in the hands of potential fans. Go for it.
Excerpted below is a great article from Ragan Communications about PR measurement. Check this out then click on the link at the end of the excerpt for more.
Being a measurement evangelist feels like really hard work sometimes. On the one hand, I haven’t been at it long enough to complain [...] But aren’t there situations where measurement is unnecessary?
Take Walmart, for example. Its stock is suffering, there are employee lawsuits, and one of its stores has been destroyed by a tornado. How much measurement does it need to know media coverage is, well, tortuous? It’s likely that no amount of proactive management is going to turn the story around, at least not meaningfully.
I’ll give you three reasons why you should not measure—and three reasons why you should.
Forget measurement when:
1. You cannot make a difference. Sometimes business will hand you a dirt sandwich, and you have no choice but to eat it. There’s no need to weigh the sandwich, examine the types of dirt, evaluate the sandwich-maker, etc. Just eat it and move on.
2. You’re unwilling to do what it takes to make things better. Often, the worst media situations are when you’re making tough choices: layoffs, facility closures, relocations, or hiring more executives. The path to turning the story around leads through the organization revisiting its management decisions—deciding not to outsource, keeping the plant open and operating, renovating existing headquarters rather than pitting your incumbent city against somewhere else. See #1, above.
3. It’s more expensive to measure than the program your measuring. Advanced statistics are miraculous. We absolutely can measure the specific impact of public relations/communication activity on the bottom line. We just need a lot of data to isolate our impact from everything else that influences the bottom line. That costs money not as much as you might think, but still, so let’s spend wisely.
Click the link below to see when to do measurement: