By Rex Hammock

This issue marks the fifth anniversary of the day we sent the first Idea Email. Here are some of the major themes distilled from our 125 biweekly missives.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

I’ve spent almost 30 years helping marketers use media and content to build long-term relationships with their customers or members. Over the course of three decades, I’ve learned that what marketers do in the final 60 days of the year can often determine their success for the following year. 

As part of our countdown to year-end projects, we thought we’d share a few of the ways we have been able to speed up our processes in ways that can help our clients meet their important goals and deadlines.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

Glancing around our offices today, I see people working on projects ranging from the development of a historical documentary about a national association to a monthly customized print newsletter for a network of 60+ wellness programs. Others are working on an Ebook series supported by a social media strategy, while yet another is working on the popular website we created and maintain, SmallBusiness.com. And still others are putting the finishing touches on the next issue of an award-winning national magazine we’ve published for a client for the past 15 years.

 

Helping our clients finish year-end content and media projects reminded me of some of my favorite last-minute sports finishes. Of course there are many incredible moments, but these are five of my favorites—including one I witnessed in person.

But here’s a cautionary note: Don’t wait until the last minute to start your year-end projects. It’s amazing what collaborative teamwork can accomplish, but the process works best with a cushion of a couple of months. Or, as we’re saying this year, it’s amazing how many types of content projects you can accomplish by January 1 if you begin on November 1.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

Here are two quick stories about learning to play a musical instrument that illustrate the difference between marketing content used to close a transaction—and the kind used to create a lifelong relationship.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

In the days after Hurricane Katrina, I was contacted by a friend in the magazine publishing field who was reaching out on behalf of a small publisher in New Orleans.

For the first time, the company’s five-person editorial and sales team was unable to gather at one location to work. Their office was under 5 feet of water, and employees had been forced to evacuate to other locations, some of which were hundreds of miles away.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

“Content marketing” has become associated with everything from search engine optimization to lead generation. But sometimes its most powerful role is overlooked—content is often what separates a leading product from its competitors. In this role, content isn’t just a way to market a product, but part of the product itself.

By Rex Hammock

Many years ago, I was hired to create a public relations department within an advertising agency. It soon became apparent to me that PR and advertising often have little to do with each other. The two can look alike if a client’s goals are about launching a product or developing and supporting a brand. But the skills, responsibilities and business models of advertising and PR can be fundamentally different and, quite often, at odds with one another.

By Rex Hammock

I’m described by some as an early-adopter geek. I guess having @R as my Twitter username helps perpetuate that perception. But the focus of my interest is not on the “early” part of that description. My obsession with “the new” is as much about avoiding it as it is about adopting it.