Winter Weather Damage

St. Louis, MO (February 23, 2018) – Snow and ice can inconvenience people whether it be hazardous road conditions or causing damage to your home. Winter weather is beautiful but has the ability to be destructive as well. Rely Roofing wants to warn its customers of the harms winter weather can cause to your roof. Large amounts of snowfall or ice can be an issue if the roof is sagging or the beams are creaking. Making sure that your roof is safe this time of year is crucial and Rely Roofing is there to help you through this process.

The team at Rely Roofing strives by having exceptional customer service, keeping people coming back time after time. They try to do whatever possible to repair your roof instead of having to replace the entire thing, which will save you plenty of money. This company in the St. Louis area provides flat roof installation and repairs to residential and commercial buildings. They also do restorations, which can extend the life of your roof up to 10 years. Rely Roofing has been providing exceptional service since 1976 and continues to change to meet the needs of their customers. One way they have done this was by implementing a 24-hour Emergency Repair Service, with prompt callback times to ensure you won’t be left waiting. This service may be necessary during the winter season because you never know what mother nature has in store. Rely Roofing is the company to go to if your flat roof is in need of repairs, restoration, or if you are looking for a new installation.


Rely Roofing, LLC

3748 McKelvey Rd.

St. Louis, Missouri


Benefits of an Online Quiz

Erlanger, KY (February 21, 2018)- Online quizzes are often taken for pure entertainment purposes, not as a learning process. Everyone wants to see which character from the TV show or movie they relate to the most, but there are no actual benefits of taking these quizzes. Adams, Nash, Haskell & Sheridan have a vulnerability quiz located on their website that is educational and helpful. ANHS is a team of union avoidance consultants that has been in business for nearly 30 years. Their vulnerability quiz is designed to assist companies in seeing how susceptible they are to union organization. This quiz will generate a score, as well as provide a written assessment to further explain what the score means. If union organizing is something you may be concerned about, taking this vulnerability quiz is for you, especially since you only need to provide a name and email address to get all of these results. The quiz assesses your company in six different target areas to see if any are weaker than the rest. If your results say that you are susceptible to union organizing, getting some union avoidance training may be helpful.


Union avoidance training is just one of the many services that ANHS offers. They provide urgent services, as well as strategic services depending on the immediate situation a company may be in. They have a 95% success rate in over 1,400 union organizing campaigns, which makes it hard to argue their services. ANHS would love to offer their help, so start by taking their vulnerability quiz found on their website.


Adams Nash Haskell & Sheridan

3861 Olympic Blvd,

Erlanger, KY 41018

Tips to Travel Effectively

Chicago, IL (February 19, 2018)- Traveling can be one of the most stressful, but also rewarding things to do. There are many aspects of traveling that nobody looks forward to. These inconveniences can deter people from visiting their dream destinations or events. There are many tips to keep in mind when traveling to help make your experience enjoyable and carefree.



Things may go wrong, but don’t let it bother you. Your flight may get delayed due to weather, or you may forget your favorite top, but don’t let those inconveniences ruin your trip. You wouldn’t want to fly in dangerous conditions and nobody can change mother nature, so there is no reason to let that be an issue for you. There are usually plenty of stores around to purchase a new top, and who knows, you may find a new favorite. Being flexible and relaxed will help to keep you stress-free while on vacation.



Planning ahead is key to have a smooth trip. Making a list of the places you would like to visit can help to optimize your time while there. Make sure to book your hotel in advance in order to avoid last-minute fees. Some cheap hotels near Chicago offer discounts and free parking if booked ahead from their website. Making reservations will ensure you get into all of the high-quality restaurants you want without having to waste your entire day waiting for a table.



Don’t let the stress of work or to do lists keep you from having fun. Even if you are visiting for a work trip, make time to do something for yourself. Don’t miss out on experiencing the city because you were worried about time. Even if it something as simple as trying a new place for lunch, make sure to pencil in time for yourself to have fun while traveling.


Ohio House Motel

600 North Lasalle Street

Chicago, IL 60654

Why You Need to Optimize

Why You Need to Optimize

Today’s marketplace is almost entirely driven by the internet. Most businesses have a website, conduct official communication via email, or engage in online advertising. This means that customers are online too, and one of the best ways to reach them is through a search engine.

Unfortunately, the attention span of your average online shopper is quite short, so being seen is difficult. Potential customers will use a search engine but will only peruse the top few results, so there is a constant race to be near the top. Many companies turn to search engine optimization, or SEO, to help them become more visible online.

One St Louis SEO agency, Insite Advice, employs a variety of different strategies including social media links, press releases, and email newsletters to boost results and rankings. This combination of tactics, along with a variety of other secret strategies, enables companies to be found more often and make more money.

The process involved is intense- Google has systems and algorithms in place to keep their search results populated with the most relevant results. This means that a restaurant can’t buy their way into the top spot of a search looking for a grocery store. With enough time and effort, however, a restaurant can climb to the top spot based on highly searched keywords and an optimized website.

Stand Out While Fitting In.

Youth today want to differentiate themselves from each other more than ever before.  They use instagram to share unique photos and snapchat to prove they did fun things.  The desire to share expresses individuality.  However, being accepted as part of a group has always been a relationship goal.  Popularity has been a sought-after status since communities first started to give it value.  Young adults want to fit in, but not so much that they disappear.  Understanding how these two desires can both be achieved is complicated.  But the answer can be found at universities.

An example of how this translates to current culture is the customization of college clothing.  Joining a fraternity or sorority is a popular college option, and showing off acceptance by the group can be done by displaying Greek letters on hats, shirts, and pants.  What is most interesting is that once a student acquires the particular letters of their Greek system, they want the logo to be unique.  This demand is so high, in fact, that a custom T-shirt company in Columbia, MO has been in business for 25 years simply to personalize clothing items and cater to students.  Each fraternity or sorority has it’s own letters for identification, but most brothers or sisters wear shirts with completely individual designs.  This is the best way to demonstrate fitting in without disappearing.

How to Sell in the Digital Age.

Develop a web presence.  It’s important to have a website and include enough information about your company so consumers can make an informed decision.  The next generation relies almost entirely on information obtained online, so it’s best to provide that where it is wanted most.

Solicit and publish reviews.  Having customers talk about your business is a great way to build trust.  Advertising can be manipulated but real people talking about what really happened at a business carries the most weight when someone is researching what to buy or who to buy it from.

Have quality photos. Everyone has a camera on their phone but product photography still exists because you need a professional who makes your items look great.  People online will judge based on the first impression and if what you sell does not look great, it might not sell at all.  The images of your product can easily be compared to every other image on the internet, so trust a professional who knows lighting, aperture, depth of field, and angles.  What you sell will be compared side by side with your competition.

Sell good things.  Whether product or service, the same rules apply to the digital age as the days of trading.  Make something great so people will come back.

There’s an Extinguisher for that

Many people think that when a small emergency fire breaks out, you can point any random fire extinguisher at it and solve the problem.  But different types of materials burn in different ways and therefore might need a special type of extinguisher.  Luckily, fire extinguisher suppliers like Gateway Fire Supplies provide information on the five different types of fires.

The first type of fire burns materials such as wood and paper.  These are called class A fires.  Most burning trash is also included in this category, as well as most plastics and rubber.

The second type of fire is class B, and it includes liquids.  Class B liquids that can catch fire are oils, tars, petroleum grease, solvents, and some paints.

Class C fires involve electricity.  If a power cable overheats or an appliance short circuits, you have a class C fire and need to make sure your extinguisher covers this type of problem.

Most A, B, and C class fires can be put out with the same type of extinguisher.  You will see find the extinguisher is labeled by class, such as a 5lb ABC fire extinguisher.

Class D fires deal with metals.  You would think all metals are fire-proof but magnesium, sodium, and potassium are flammable.  Naturally, these types of fires are most likely to be found in an industrial setting.

Similar to class B fires, cooking liquids that catch fire are class K fires.  Vegetable oils, animal oils, and fats comprise class K fires.

Instagram is a Coffee Shops Best Friend

Instagram is a Coffee Shops Best Friend

Coffee Shops Must Embrace Social Media to Flourish

According to Pew Research, in 2016, 86% of adults aged 18 to 29 used at least one social media site.  That same report found that 80% of 30 to 49-year-olds used at least one social media site.  Like it or not, social media is here to stay.  Millenials love to share their thoughts, feelings, and activities whether or not people want to hear it.  Though millennials love sharing, the next generation, those who are now ages 13 to 17 love to share even more that past generations.  Fueled by the growth of Snapchat, new features on Instagram, and the growing popularity of Twitter, social media continues to have a large presence and impact in and on our daily lives.  Sure, a lot of negativity stems from social media, however, there are a lot of ways in which social platforms can play a positive role.  Social media can even act as the perfect free marketing tool.  That said, here’s why it’s essential that places like coffee shops and restaurants embrace social media.

Things are changing.  Millenials have, for the most past, graduated college and are finally earning a significant disposable income.  Whether or not older generations want to accept it or not, businesses need to cater to the generation who will determine the trends for the next couple decades.  The generation determining what businesses and trends will survive are like minded and have just a few simple demands.  Young people want to be able to visit trendy, unique, and innovative restaurants and coffee shops that give the feeling of personalized service.  One way in which restaurants and coffee shops can cater to younger generations is by creating a brand that people want to share.

There’s a Reason People Don’t Post About Visits to McDonald’s

When the majority of people visit a fast food or traditional chain restaurant, they don’t post about their visit.  Why?  Fast food and places like Applebee’s or Chili’s are generic and boring.  They don’t do a great job catering to young people and there’s no reason millennials or young people would want to talk about their visit to these restaurants.  Though a coffee shop or local eatery might be trendy now, that might not always be the case.  However, if cafes and bistros want to remain on the map, it’s important to embrace social media.  Here’s how.

Coffee shops and cafes are in a prime position to create a personalized experience for the social sharers.  Younger generations are opinionated about where they go to get coffee and are loyal to certain establishments.  Places with a unique and trendy vibe already have an advantage.  However, there are a few other steps that coffee shops could take to win over young people.  Using the embrace social media model, one very simple addition to a coffee shop is adding something like custom coffee sleeves and custom coasters.  Why?  Funny or innovative custom coffee sleeves will trigger someone to share a picture of their beverage on social media.  Using custom printed coffee sleeves with trendy branding, that picture on social media will attract dozens of new customers.  Other musts that will create a stir on social media is adopting the latest coffee beverages including nitro-brewed coffee and fair trade organic roasts.  Creating a line of to-go cold beverages in customized cans or cups can also help a coffee shop attract new customers.

Social Media Release Criticism: Nine Points to Consider

Social Media Release Criticism: Nine Points to Consider

The recent release of the Social Media Groups Digital Snippets social media release (SMR) template caused a wave of excitement and criticism, both on and off line. Just to recap some of the posts:

Shannon Whitley: “There seem to be more entries in the world of SMNR creation tools, which is great news because we can all benefit from this creativity. However, Id like to throw out a challenge to folks like Edelman, WebITPR, Social Media Group, et. al. Ive been working on hRelease for several months now. Its supposed to be a community effort that will help move the SMNR distribution process forward.”

Jason Falls: “The template basically says you can share information about this product or company (Digital Snippits was developed in Social Media Groups work with Ford Motor Company) but we dont really want to make it easy for you to see an independent third partys review of it. in my opinion, it isnt a step forward in the evolution of the social media release.”

Chris Heuer does a nice video recap on the history of SMRs and their purpose.

Off-line criticism that Ive been privy to:

  • Digital snippets is really just PR Newswires MultiVu socialized
  • Lack of comments on Digital Snippet SMRs
  • Ive also received a couple of remarks from folks who seem miffed that newbies and sophomores with at most two or three years of social media experience are disturbing the process. That not enough research has been done.

Thoughts Moving Forward

Before moving forward, I advocate for SMRs. They’re in Now Is Gone and one of the most successful posts on this blog was an SMR case study.

Press releases are not exciting documents, often loaded with spin and jargon. While still a tool in the communications professionals arsenal, they do not comprise strategy, nor should they be relied upon as ground-breaking news mechanisms. Social media environments require a different way of disseminating news so that content creators, individual stakeholders reading social media, and possibly journalist can get this information. Enter the SMR.

But to date the SMR has not been widely adopted (though picking up momentum), and there is increasingly greater separation on SMR thought and purpose. The following candid points seek to address some of the criticism to date, and perhaps help SMR developers create widespread adoption:

  1. SMRs and press releases are tools, not strategies. If you dont have a great story to tell, they wont work. Many folks have said this, and this fact should always frame SMR discussion.
  2. We are inside the bubble, and much of the discussion to date revolves around technical merits (comments, MultiVu, YouTube or not) and means nothing to the average PR practitioner.
  3. The average PR practitioner wants a tool that serves a function: Communication with social media communities. Adoption of SMRs relies on intelligent discourse about what social media stakeholders want and need, not what we the PR 2.0 community thinks. Maggie Fox and SMG have done some research to this end, and it shows in her template. Thats why it is a step forward. Sharing this research would be helpful.
  4. Discourse needs to revolve around actual experiences on what has worked and what has not. Again, inside the bubble chatter means little, what does mean something is results. Enough SMRs have been published that we should be able to discern what works. That means people need to share their results.
  5. The ideal result from an SMR should be to engage social media communities, in turn causing community members to create their own discussions. Kami Huyse and I call this storyboarding.
  6. Whats becoming very apparent in my experience and from seeing other SMRs is they are not ideal vehicles for hosting conversation. The fundamentalist view that comments must be part of an SMR seems ridiculous to me. A nice value-added feature, but here are eight ways to have a better conversation: 1) Post SMR in blog and ask for comments, 2) better yet, write a post thats more conversation in tone 3) Use Facebook Ask Qs on the SMRs topic 4) YouTube/Seesmic 5) Utterz 6) Solicit feed back from bloggers before releasing 7) Twitter it with Qs. 8) Get a guest spot on an established BlogTalkRadio show. Etc., etc.
  7. Old-timers in the social media space need to remember theres a great influx of new readers and minds. They would be better served embracing these people, and making their past content easily available than kvetching about how no one researches.
  8. Old-timers in social media need to realize that innovation and adoption will occur with or without them. History means nothing when people with two years, two months or two days of social media experience are trying to create a solution that will work for their companies and paying clients.
  9. A reality check is in order, too. Dismissing people for lack of social media experience when theyve embraced it 1) pushes them away; 2) reduces the amount of valid real world marketing experience in the process. My blog is two years old. Yet one of my first article assignments professionally in 1994 was on this crazy technology called Mosaic. 15 years of technology PR and marketing experience later, I find this elitist point-of-view to be invalid and insecure.

Collectively we can do more than individually. Collaboration works better than ivory tower development.

My one major concern is that technical form must serve functional need. Great technical toys without purpose dont help us. Web 2.0 has been great, but we need to keep our eye on the prize, which is business function. The SMR has great potential for communications professionals, but its the entire online communications industrys responsibility to participate and help make something that will work.

To continue the discussion, Shannon Whitley has agreed to a Buzz Bin interview. In addition, after SHIFT releases its next version of the SMR template, there will be a roundtable on SMRs hosted on Now Is Gone. Todd Defren, Jason Falls, Maggie Fox, B.L. Ochman and Brian Solis have agreed to participate.

Women Snubbed in Top Ten Speakers List, Industry in General

Women Snubbed in Top Ten Speakers List, Industry in General

In a blog post listing the top ten social media speakers, The Speakers Group (TSG) listed voices for your consideration. Not one of the speakers was a woman, highlighting a much larger social media services industry problem where women are often overlooked for top speaking gigs, and don’t rank as well as men.

Ironically, this topic first came to mind last week when Allyson Kapin a.k.a. @womenwhotech led a spirited DC Media Makers session (pictured below) on the same topic. So when I saw the TSG post, I felt compelled to write. I come to this discussion as someone who organizes BlogPotomac, a successful, regional social media conference that intentionally highlights female speakers; as a blogger who has discussed the social media and PR industrys glass ceiling both in the office and in the blogosphere; and, yes, as a man who speaks frequently on social media.

There are three problems in the TSG post: 1) A lack of transparency and professional responsibility in the blog post itself; 2) the complete snubbing of women in a highly questionable top ten list, and 3) the larger industry issue that conference organizers apparently want male speakers more than women. For those of you who are used to short posts, I apologize in advance. I am going to handle each of these three issues independently.

Goodness Gracious, Great Blogs of Fire

Goodness Gracious, Great Blogs of Fire

Stephanie Massler examines how brand enthusiasm impacts media buying on Doe Anderson. Stephanie provides two thoughtful examples and offers five guidelines for an advanced media purchasing framework. These include focusing not on how many people you reach, but in how you are able to connect with your audience. She also suggests focusing on your cost per engagement. Visit Stephanie’s post for her full details and share your thoughts.

Is “trading off people’s feelings for page views and Twitter followers” worth it? Jason Calacanis’ email – posted on Calacanis.com – is a power reminder of the importance of remaining human online. Jason shares his firsthand account of Josh Harris’ story, and he pulls from his own experiences to make a statement that there needs to be more online empathy. Read Jason’s powerful email and remember his words as you contribute online.

Are you looking for additional opinion on the brand winners and losers from the Super Bowl? Rohit Bhargava’s says, “Some of the best campaigns of the Super Bowl season were efforts launched online or that had a significant online component, but the fact remains that many Super Bowl ads simply didnt work this year.” Rohit offers valuable lessons for why the losers failed, and substantiates on why others were successful. Read Rohit’s analysis, and share your own thoughts on Influential Marketing Blog.

“Pop quiz: What was the brand or branded product most often mentioned in social media at the end of last year?” asks Abbey Klaassen of AdAge.com. Abbey shares with her readers those brands which led the internet with the most social media mentions. Abbey’s data was provided by Virtue, and it examined approximately 2,000 brands. It is no surprise that the iPhone topped the list, but see what other brands rounded out the top 50.

(Disclosure: Network Solutions is a client of Livingston Communications) On KDPaine’s PR Measurement Blog, Katie looks at how social media, especially Twitter, can be used quickly to take advantage of a marketing opportunity. Katie offers four lessons from Network Solutions Twitter coupon campaign, which ran in response to GoDaddy’s Super Bowl advertisements. Katie says, “Social media offers an incredible opportunity to organizations that listen carefully and can move quickly in response to a Twitstorm.”

On PR Squared Todd Defren asks buyers of PR services to take a different approach when they are not satisfied with their current results. Todd suggests, “If your problems are related to the performance/creativity of your team but not to the agency’s training and capabilities, consider asking for a brand new team, instead of firing your agency outright.” Todd’s point is that part of a successful working relationship is developing chemistry, and a different team within a larger agency may be able to offer a better chemistry.

One Dimensional Social Media Sucks

One Dimensional Social Media Sucks

Ever since Forrester put out its report stating that consumers don’t trust 86 percent of corporate blogs, there have been a plethora of blog check up, and reasons why posts. Here are some of my favorites:

  • A blog should feel like a gift (Kami Huyse)
  • Health Check: How trusted is your blog (Jeremiah Owyang)
  • No News Here (Debbie Weil)
  • On the Other Hand, Maybe Your Company Shouldn’t Blog (Mitch Joel)

In the end, consumers don’t trust corporate blogs because they are one dimensional pieces of propaganda, and no one want to read corporate drivel (see Blog Council post on topic). It sucks!

Really, it’s that simple.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone: Social Media

One dimensional social media is about me, my personal brand (good Conversation Agent discussion here), my company, our products, buy, buy! Note the absence of real world matters, meaningful dialogues about better products or fixing broken ones, discussion of marketplace problems, meaningful macro trends, cross-links, comments or community issues. There is no substance in your average corporate blog, Twitter microblog ,influencer relations effort or Facebook engagement. Heck, for most corporate communicators engaging on that level is like visiting the Twilight Zone.

This is something that gets to the very heart of social media. People are not an audience, they are a community that wants to be engaged, not messaged at! Want to be safe? Publish a newsletter. Want to build relationships and have meaningful dialogue, then stop publishing content and participate!

Participation is marketing, not tossing a bunch of chic advertising agency designed contests at the blogosphere. Creating meaningful calls to actions that people care about, that’s social media engagement. Create environments for people to engage and get out of their way! Help others achieve their needs and wants. Resolve their problems! That’s what companies should do (case studies here and here).

It’s common sense, but it’s not safe. Because it involves risk, it involves putting the company out there, and taking feedback. It means talking about things other than you or your organizational endeavors. It even means being wrong sometimes.

86 percent stinks. I don’t anticipate that changing too much more towards the positive. Why? Because PR, marketing and corporate communications are incapable of performing on the front line. No matter how much smack they talk.