Reset Your Vertical Clearance

As we re-set and recalibrate, watch your vertical clearance. I’m all for a full plate—literally and metaphorically. The problem for many of us is that once the plate is full, we start loading it up vertically. As it gets taller and taller, it is harder to manage, like a tower of ice cream scoops on a cone, and as filling and rich as a tall stack of pancakes. Trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 gave us a forced intermission in our lives. Even if your job continued as you worked at home, and even if you were painfully reminded why you never wanted to home-school, your social calendar was lighter. For some of us, this has been a complete timeout. Business stopped. Volunteer engagements halted. Social activity banished to virtual sessions. People post regularly on social media their wishes for a re-set on 2020. As much as there has been disappointment in my household—one child home from her semester abroad in Grenoble, France, one child’s senior year obliterated—I think THIS is the re-set. This is what a re-set looks like.   We are forced to look at things differently. We are faced with deciding what matters most. As my 88-year-old mother shared, “Six feet apart is better than six feet under.” Grim but true. We’ve slowed down. We’ve re-evaluated. That’s a good thing. I would hope that all of us consider making changes as the world opens up again. For those of us in cities experiencing social unrest, newness will rise up like a phoenix and it could be painful. It’s a different place and our perspective has been altered radically and unexpectedly.   Mind your vertical clearance Above all, don’t go back to an irrationally stacked plate. Don’t return to dizzying multi-tasking that seemed normal. I say this to myself as much as I say this to anyone. I once blew a contact off my finger with my blow-dryer because I was unconsciously multi-tasking on overdrive. There was no rational thinking in that moment, no presence of mind. Wow! I was desperately over-scheduled.   The remedy is a calendar diet Instill some portion control strategies so you don’t consume too much of what you don’t need like gorging on empty calories. Say no to things you really don’t want to commit to doing. Damn ‘duty’ and ‘shoulds’! Get on the phone or a video-chat instead of traveling so...
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Terms of Service: Reach

  The term REACH refers to the number of people who possibly saw your story, placed ad, or social media post. There’s a bit of extrapolation here to come up with the number and it is based on potential so the number can seem quite large.   An ad in a publication’s reach is based on the circulation number. That can include subscribers as well as all copies that are sold in retail outlets. Reach can be larger than the circulation considering people share magazines and other periodicals. Outdoor advertising is based on the traffic that drives by that particular billboard and for broadcast advertising it is obviously based on viewership.   When it comes to social media, the reach can be enormous. For instance, your first circle of available viewers are your likes and followers. For every share, you add the likes and followers of those people. There could be multiple layers of sharing until it seems everyone is familiar with the story. At that point we say it is VIRAL.   As you calculate the reach of your website … … you want to examine the number of visitors. In the early days of the Internet people went by “hits.” This was misleading because clicking on photos registered as hits and photos did not all have the same number of hits.   Back in the 80s when I was in college we learned the concept of reach communicated as “AVAILS,” meaning the number of people available to see it. In terms of advertising like a commercial, you want the viewer to see it more than once to make a lasting impression. Not surprisingly, this is called IMPRESSIONS. I learned the magic number of impressions is between five and nine times. In an advertising media plan, you gauge your ad purchases by the number of people seeing the ad or watching shows that meet your demographic profile. Primetime shows having the highest viewership have the most expensive ads. With the current wide variety of viewing options an advertiser has myriad ways of reaching its intended audience. Keep in mind, you need to reach your target market or the numbers won’t matter. Consider that almost everyone in the United States watches the Super Bowl and you can easily understand how that saturation drives up the price of the advertising. Its reach is, well, super! Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in...
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Once Every Pandemic – Reviewing Your Editorial Calendar

If you’re like me, when COVID-19 first hit pandemic proportions and we were instructed to stay home and stay away, I started receiving emails from businesses whose cookies I had removed from my computer last century. Some of whom I had the vaguest memory of ordering a gift or some essential replacement part for a gizmo that has since made its way to the aisles of Goodwill. Who are these companies? Like ghosts of Christmas gift purchases past here they are telling me how much I mean to them and pledging their dedication to me to keep me safe during this time. Where have you been? If your editorial calendar indicates sending out a mass email only when pandemics hit, then fire your digital marketing officer, and your PR director too. What have they been doing all this time? Yeah, yeah, the corporate letter is important at these times, I know, but not to people with whom you have basically kicked to the curb. To you companies I patronized once in my life, you’ve essentially broken up with me by letting our relationship wither and die after just one date. You haven’t called, you never write, and now you want me to know how much you’ve been thinking about me? Ha! Call me Gloria Gaynor when I say, “I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key, if I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me.” (Yes, I did need to sing that aloud to get the words right.)   Take heed of these simple tips to avoid so much social distancing in your editorial calendar: Remove people from your list who aren’t clicking or opening your emails. This is a simple fix. They just aren’t that into you. They found you once and know how to find you again if they ever need you. If you are interested in taking the relationship to the next level, then do it right. Create a drip campaign that gives them value-added information, it doesn’t just sell, sell, sell. A monthly email might be all you need and use it to focus on your customers and their experiences. If they opt out, let them and don’t be a stalker about getting them back. If you want to subtly keep in touch with them, then occasionally drop them a line with a holiday...
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Good-ish things in 2016

This past week I have seen numerous posts and articles about how bad 2016 was. I agree that it would have been nice if the most controversial debate was whether females could be Ghostbusters, but 2016 just wasn’t that kind of year. Sure, the loss of so many very talented people was heart-wrenching and shocking. And the election season (all year) was tumultuous, but there were some good things, weren’t there? Good-like? Good-ish? For example, we had the Olympics in Brazil and we dodged the worldwide outbreak of the Zica virus that we feared. There also weren’t horrible cases of dysentery, or worse, from those participating in the beach water sports that weren’t quite meeting the standards of clean water. There was an incident involving American swimmers and a gas station, and stories that wavered between vandals and heroes, but it seems like that ended up okay. Let us not forget about the launch of Pokemon Go! It was a good thing … wasn’t it? Beyond causing people to walk off cliffs, interrupting funerals, and luring peeps into dangerous situations, it provided hours of enjoyment and encouraged kids to go outside and exercise. Yes, we will cling to those benefits. Yay 2016! We learned so much about our American history this year—at least about the forming of the treasury department. That’s thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda, of course, and a little musical (originally a mix-tape) he wrote called “Hamilton,” which won 2016’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and multiple other awards. Maybe he can write another called “The Electoral College” since a large part of our voting population seemed to be absent when this was explained in their civics classes. Apparently, too many missed this title from the Schoolhouse Rock repertoire. Harry Potter came back in the form of a play, published as a book, called Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Playwrights: J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany). I personally loved it! The play itself was performed on the stage in London with rave reviews. J.K. Rowling’s magical world was also expanded on the screen in 2016 with the screening of the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is still on my list to see. The year ended with the popularity of a high-touch-tech toy called Hatchimals. Cute little creatures that hatch from an egg after being played with and then continue to need the tender loving care...
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Flag Collection & Retirement Friday, July 1

Sponsored by my favorite loan officer, Dennis C. Smith, who happens to be my husband, this Friday marks the sixth time he is coordinating a flag collection and formal flag retirement ceremony as party of Long Beach Bixby Knolls’s First Friday festivities. Remember, you aren’t supposed to just toss out an old or tattered flag into the trash. You might have learned that long ago in social studies (or if you’re more mature “civics class”). You are supposed to dispose of Old Glory properly which is by flame for a cloth flag, or by burial for a synthetic flag. So if you are a conscientious patriot who always waves a flag in front of your house and doesn’t just discard of them carelessly, then donate your old American flag(s) at the flag collection area in the parking lot at Georgie’s Place restaurant on Atlantic Ave. at Roosevelt (3850 Atlantic Ave.) between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. (While you are there, pop-in to Georgie’s for some amazing chili cheese fries or my favorite, their Greek Chicken salad–it’s so American!) At 7:30, Boy Scout Troop 29 will demonstrate the proper disposal of a natural fiber flag in flame. It’s a ceremony you won’t want to miss! The young men explain what they are doing and why and honor the flag by speaking of its meaning. Other flags collected that night will be donated to the Boy Scouts to use in similar ceremonies. Nylon or other synthetic flags are buried and not burned due to the noxious fumes that synthetic fibers emit. All those who stop by can enter a free drawing hosted by Smith for two flags—one for an adult, and one for a child. The drawing will be held immediately following the flag retirement ceremony. You can bring your old flag starting at 6:30 p.m. As I mentioned, husband Dennis is a mortgage broker with Stratis Financial Corporation. For more information visit http://www.DennisCSmith.com or https://www.facebook.com/LBflagcollectionretirement...
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