Archive for February, 2012

Has Your Business Had A Checkup Lately?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by innovativemediapr

Just over a month ago I donated blood at the Central Jersey Blood Center offices in Shrewsbury. It’s something I do every three months or so as soon as I’m eligible because my O- blood type makes me a universal donor.  Little did I know that my donation would lead me to discover a potential serious health problem.  When they took my blood pressure, it came back very high 163/93. When I left the office I checked the tear-off sheets from my past donations showing my pressure, pulse and hemoglobin results. Sure enough, each one going back to last March showed pressure amounts in excess of 140/90.

After a scolding from my wife to get a physical and check it out, I did. My doctor confirmed that I had developed high blood pressure. She immediately wrote me a prescription for high blood pressure medicine. She also discovered during the examination that I had developed a heart murmur.  These were new developments since my last physical in October 2010.  I quickly made an appointment to see a cardiologist. He ordered a stress test and an echocardiogram.

Needless to say I was in for a shock when, after walking for about five minutes on the treadmill and feeling fine, the cardiologist kept asking me if I was tired. It seems the lower chamber of my heart was giving off palpitations that were raising an alarm. He quickly ended the test and ordered me to go through a cardiac catherization a few days later.  Last Monday, I had the catherization performed on me and they found that one artery had a 47% blockage. Since it was under 50% they did not need to perform an angioplasty. I went home that day and yesterday afternoon was told by my cardiologist that I was okay. I only needed to stay on my blood pressure medication, take a baby aspirin, get moderate exercise and follow a low fat diet.  He wants to see me in six months.

It appears that by giving blood, I discovered a health problem early and can now be cognizant of changing my lifestyle and following a health regimen that will keep me free from developing further heart disease.

Having my physical taken and going through the various health exams gave me pause to not only think about what truly is important in life, but also to reflect a bit on how this health issue could be integrated into business.

One of the first questions I’ve been asked by those I’ve discussed this with is “When did you have a physical last?” That gave me pause to think about my own company and our client relationships.  When was the last time we closely examined how we are servicing our clients?

Business is a lot like health.  Just when it appears like everything is going smoothly a hidden threat to the process may develop, and most often, it’s by surprise, just like a heart murmur or clogged artery.

If we can identify potential problems early by closely examining our work and listening closely to our clients and/or employees, we too may be able to diagnose a potential problem before it musters into a situation where you can lose the client business.

So just like you would schedule an annual physical exam, schedule routine checkups for your business. You never know what kind of diagnosis you may find.

Tom Cosentino

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Have Your Facts Straight

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 3, 2012 by innovativemediapr

I had my Publicity Methods class at Rider University develop a fact sheet this week for the fictional cartoon prop company ACME corporation, featured prominently in the Warner Brothers cartoon classic, Road Runner and Wile E Coyote cartoons.

The only working knowledge was the fact the company, based on the cartoon, serviced props like anvils, cannons, giant blocks of lead, etc. all designed to clobber Road Runner.  Chief spokesman of course was Wilie E. Coyote.

In having the class undertake this exercise my method was to show them how at a moment’s notice, they in the future may need to develop a fact sheet about the company they work for. In that case, would they know enough about their company to put such a document together?

Fact sheets are used every day by companies to direct information about their company, products and services to their customers and to the media.  A fact sheet should incorporate all there is to know about a company such as locale, satellite- offices, distribution centers, key executives, products, history and contact information, among others.  Fact sheets can be creative and feature illustrations, graphs and other artwork. Most importantly, they should give the person walking away with a copy, a full handle on what your company is all about.

Next week, I will have my class develop a fact sheet for an existing client of iMedia Public Relations. They will have access to the client website and will be able to assemble pertinent data needed to come up with a complete document.  The twist will be to see how they punch it up a bit with creative thought and insight.

Every organization should set in place a process so that all employees have an understanding of what the facts are about their company.  Would you want your employees saying the wrong thing about your brand or company?  Does everyone in your company understand what you do?  While a worker in a distribution or call center or an office staffer may never talk to a reporter, they still deal with their own sphere of influencers and represent you to them. If they are communicating the wrong information, that will reflect badly on your company and products.

Make sure everyone has the facts. Think of it as the old elevator pitch. Can everyone you employee describe what your company does in a three-minute elevator ride?  It’s the same process. How you communicate the facts will translate into how they deliver your message.

Tom Cosentino