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Fresh Thinking

All posts by Counterintuity

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“Tweeting” Is Not For the Birds

By | News | No Comments

Is your business using Twitter?

It’s officially Spring, and “tweeting” is not just for the birds. “Tweets” are 140-word statements, or “micro-blogs,” that are disseminated to a list of “followers,” or people that subscribe to your updates.

Whether you tweet about company news events or your own take on industry happenings; showcase your success or welcome a new client; announce a sale or offer quick solutions to prospects– you must be sure you are seen and heard again and again. In 2009, businesses and key executives must use Twitter along with other social marketing tools to achieve optimal visibility.

Go to http://twitter.com and click the “Get Started – Join!” button.

Next time, we’ll chat about growing your Twitter following. Until then, follow Counterintuity at http://twitter.com/Counterintuity.

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Phelps is no dope

By | News | No Comments

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps made a big mistake, having been caught on camera smoking marijuana at a college party.  The nice part is, he admits it. 

Illegal, immoral, illicit–whatever your feeling on drug use, the irony is that in world where finger-pointing and denial are commonplace, Phelps actually owned up to being a bonehead.  “If you do make bad judgment, make sure you’re responsible. That’s how you’re going to change and learn,” Phelps said on the Today show last week.  And that’s exactly how other celebs, executives with their hands in the cookie jar and companies in crisis should react.

Bernie Madoff or Rod Blagojevich could learn a lesson from this 23-year old boy wonder.  Can you imagine  one of them saying, as Phelps did, that “It’s a stupid mistake. You know, bad judgment. And it’s something that, you know, I have to, and I want to teach other people not to make that mistake.”

Kelloggs and Subway dropped Phelps after the scandal broke, which, as family brands, is understandable.  However, they could be missing the point.  Phelp’s admission shows not only a maturity beyind his years, but a refreshing and ever more uncommon message: MEA CULPA.

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Lessons Learned From a Layoff

By | Business Etiquette, Economy | No Comments

Dear Boss,

I can’t express the depths of my gratitude for laying my husband off.  Really.  I know, you’re thinking this letter must be laced with Anthrax.  Relax.  I’d like to buy you a beer.

Because we were forced by you to cut back and pinch pennies, we have learned what’s really important.  Gone are the movie channels and the bottled water.  We bid adieu to the housekeeper, the dry-cleaner who delivers and hot lunches at school.  And surprisingly, we don’t miss them a bit.

Christmas was quaint, but the kids said they didn’t notice.  The oldest boy used his winnings from a $1 Superbowl bet to buy his own shoes.  Middle guy cooked dinner when I was too busy at my new job. Even the baby offered up her Valentine’s cash from grandma for the family ante.

You may feel guilty about the layoff, but we are grateful.  Eating hamburger for six months has helped us to savor the occasional filet.  The house is a mess, but it’s a happy home.  Our marriage is stronger than ever, because teamwork and support are no longer optional.  Our often over-indulged brood has learned how the other half lives, and they’ve discovered it’s not half bad.

Boss, thanks for nothing.  We used to believe that anything was better than nothing.  Now we know it also works the other way around.

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A Message Watered Down

By | News, Public Relations | No Comments

Timing is everything.  Especially when it comes to public relations.  Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa chose today–when we’ve had almost 2 inches of rain in the past week, with more to come this weekend–to announce “severe water-use restrictions” in the Metropolitan Water District.  The Mayor urged residents to take shorter showers and reduce lawn watering to avert a severe water crisis.

Not that his news isn’t dire. Reservoir levels in the area are at their lowest levels since the 1976-79 drought.  Residents face rationing and shortages like no other time in history. But Mayor Villaraigosa chose to deliver this message on one of the rainiest days of the year.  From inside City Hall.

One of the first concepts I learned in Journalism 350 is that “Perception is reality.”  It’s wet in Los Angeles today.  Very wet.  Our lawns and streets are flooded, and the snow level is so low you can see it cap the foothills from downtown high-rises.  Making an announcement about a drought on a rainy day from inside a city building makes about as much sense as former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain talking about budget cuts while redecorating his office .

The vote on Villaraigosa’s water rationing plan is weeks off. Could his “people” not have rescheduled his announcement to a hot, dry day at, say, the Southwest Museum Cactus Garden?  If drought is imminent, there ought to be a warm day soon enough.  Is anyone going to believe him–or better yet–turn off the water while brushing their teeth tonight–in the midst of “StormWatch 09!!!!!!!!!”?

Because you can never fully control a public message, you should always command the environment in which you are making a statement.  Villaraigosa’s press people blew this one.  Never, ever let the situation control you, which they did.

And never talk about droughts on a rainy day.

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By | Email Marketing, Fun, News | No Comments

Counterintuity LLC, a fresh-thinking, leading edge local marketing firm, announced today that they will be giving away an all-expenses paid trip to Burbank at the Valley Business Expo on Thursday, February 5, 2009.

“Anybody can enter a contest to win a trip to Paris or London or Lower Belarus,” said Lee Wochner, Counterintuity’s CEO. “But why go through the hassle of airport security checks and lost luggage and trying to snag tickets to the local tractor pull when beautiful downtown Burbank is right at our fingertips?”

The lucky winner and a guest will receive an impressive package, including a day of private hob-nobbing with some of the Media City’s finest.

Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski will treat two guests to lunch, followed by a happy-hour toast to Burbank with Chamber CEO Gary Olson and staff. The Chamber will of course provide the wine plus an elegant 5-piece wine box courtesy of the Chamber.

But wait, there’s more! You and a guest will enjoy an overnight stay at Burbank’s boutique luxury Hotel Amarano; dinner at Picanha Restaurant; two tickets to see “Candida” at the Colony Theatre; a whopping $20 cash spending money, and reimbursed gas mileage. To top it all, off, your trip will be chronicled with a beautiful commemorative photo of the occasion from Photography as An Art.

Visitors to the Counterinuity booth will automatically be entered to win. In addition, the Counterintuity “Prize Patrol” will be roaming the conference floor.

Counterintuity, a full-service marketing, strategy, public relations and web design firm based in Burbank, is known for its “uncommon sense.” Says Wochner, “We leave the ho hum to others.”