Words from the Wise

The integration of content and marketing

Author: Maggie Wise (page 1 of 2)

Don Schultz—an Interview

Recently listened to a good interview with the “Father of IMC” (or is it the “Godfather”?).

Don Schultz gives a good background on the origins and current reinvention of integrated marketing communication, or IMC.

20 quick time savers

I recently viewed a video of David Pogue at the TED Talks running down 10 time saving tips from the tech world. Most I knew; some were new to me. So I gleaned the best from his talk and interspersed a few of my own.

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Government Purchase Cards—Avoiding the headache

It is possible to avoid the solicitation process altogether. Government offices have access to purchase cards (government credit cards) for “micro-purchases,” or purchases of supplies and services that do not exceed $3,500 in total. These purchases, which include travel and fuel, are not scrutinized to the same degree as most other acquisitions, but they are still administered by a strict set of rules. For more information on government purchase cards see https://smartpay.gsa.gov/)

The Uses and Usefulness of a PDF

The PDF has become ubiquitous these days, hasn’t it? We PDF draft and final reports, proposals, and even presentations. We receive a lot of PDFs, as well.

With all this PDF’ing going on, I thought I’d better weigh in on some of the basics to give you a better sense of when it is best to PDF and how to maximize the usefulness of a PDF. But let me start off with a caution.

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Editor’s marks—STET

Many of you have seen me write “stet” on your reports, briefings, articles, etc. in connection with an edit or a proofing change. And most of you have asked what to do with the correction. The answer is, ignore the change.

Stet (sometimes in all caps) is not an abbreviation; it is Latin. It is the third person singular present subjunctive of stare, to stand. In short it is an instruction to leave the original as is, or “let it stand.”

Dissecting a Government RFP

Are you new to the world of government contracting? Did someone just drop a 200 page RFP (request for proposal) on your desk?

RFPs can be daunting. But fear not! I have a quick guide to help you jump in without drowning in FAR clauses, bureaucratic babble, and acronyms. Continue reading

From Rockets and Spaceships to Toilets and Toilet Paper: The lucrative government marketplace (part 1)

Government agencies buy everything from rockets and spaceships to toilets and toilet paper. They also contract for nearly every imaginable service. Just 4 years ago, the federal government awarded nearly $445 billion in contracts. Even at the state and local level, government contracting means big money—especially for a small business.

But the government’s acquisition process—even the motivations behind an acquisition—differs from that of the commercial world. To the uninformed, competition for lucrative government contracts can seem overly difficult and costly.

Government agencies and offices are not trying to make it impossible to do business; regulations and process just make it seem that way. Once you know the rules, getting a contract with a government agency, office, or department is not so different from the commercial side. Following a slightly modified integrated marketing communication (IMC) model can help.

Elements of Success

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Literal, Figurative, Virtual, and Actual Follicular Flambé

How often have you heard a phrase like, “I was so busy, my hair was literally on fire.” The speaker wasn’t trying to fool you into believing his hair was on fire, he was just trying to make a point. If he had stopped at “I was soooo busy,” you would have felt compelled to ask “How busy were you?” and wait for the punch line. Continue reading

Blogging A B C

People start blogging for any number or reasons. Maybe they want to express their thoughts and be creative, or maybe they need to promote their business. Maybe you have been tasked by your boss to write a blog about your area of expertise. Whatever the reason it is always best to take some time and do it right.

So where do you start? What do you need to know? How do you get people to read your blog?

These are all good questions. Before you get overwhelmed and stymied by writer’s block, let’s start with the basics. The A*B*Cs if you will. Continue reading

Assure, Ensure, Insure

A while back, I received an email that promised to “clarify” the appropriate use of assure, ensure, and insure. It offered more confusion than clarification. So I would like to offer you my own explication:

Assure takes a personal direct object; so you assure a person of something, making him or her confident of its certainty. THAT is it! You never assure that… The personal object may be implied, as in “rest assured,” but it is always there.

The difference between ensure and insure gets a little more fuzzy. Older usage and spellings of these two words were not clearly distinguished, and some still use them interchangeably. But LMI style is based on Chicago style, so we use ensure as the general term meaning to make sure that something will (or won’t) happen, insure is reserved for underwriting financial risk.

To recap: We assure someone, we ensure events, and we insure things.

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