My old friend and mentor Herb played football back when they wore leather helmets. He had a very simple way of keeping us focused on what was important. He coached fundamentals. He would say “blocking and tackling” over and over and over again. He had professionally made signs installed in the break room and the meeting room. He had stickers on the window of every office. It was on the home screen when we logged in on the computer. The message was simple and it worked. He would smile broadly when clients asked him, “What does that mean?”
Signage is like the “blocking and tackling” of marketing. Think about it. It’s usually the first impression you make on a prospective customer. When a new customer comes to your store or office, what do the signs say?
Some signs that made me cringe recently:
- “Closed Sundays” (On Richmond store in big red letters over small type hours for when they’re open)
- “Do not flush anything other than toilet paper!!!!” (Handwritten in Innsbrook office restroom)
- “If you parked on street, you will be towed. WE WILL NOT PAY YOUR TICKET OR TOW!!” (This is the way a downtown restaurant welcomes diners)
- “Closed at Midnight to 12:15 EVERY NIGHT, so we can count the money.” (Handwritten on convenience store in Wakefield that probably gets robbed a lot)
What do the signs say at your organization?
Monday, February 20 – President’s Day
If we worked, am I allowed to say it was not my President’s Day?
Between tasks and meetings Monday, I was able to reconnect with an old friend Kevin Beasley, an agent with New York Life, who works with lawyers and other owners of professional service firms. It was really good to see Kevin again, and reminisce about his son Jack and my son Jack.
Speaking of signs, have you noticed the new look of the Weekly Report? And the all-new MadisonMain.com soft launches today. Please take a look and give me your unvarnished feedback.
Tuesday, February 21 – Drugs
After 13 consecutive days of feeling cruddy, I checked in to American Family Care in Midlothian, and they gave me some good drugs. The diagnosis? I’m going to live. Thanks to the fine folks at AFC for fixing me up. They, and their owner Scott Gunn, are great new additions to RVA.
There’s only one thing that makes me feel better when I sick…..REAL Mexican food. So I stopped by the only authentic Mexican restaurant in RVA — La Milpa — and got three tacos on the way home from the doc. Feeling better because of the codeine cough syrup or the carne asada. Either way, I’m happy to give credit where it is due.
Wednesday, February 22 – Mixing it up
We brought back the Madison+Main Media Mixer with a vengeance Wednesday night, with a standing-room-only crowd at the Tobacco Company Restaurant. Lots of networking, coconut shrimp, and Peter Larsen…what else could you ask for?
Technically, I didn’t work Wednesday, but there was one meeting I couldn’t miss. Sophie, Matt, and I dropped by to see Janet Brooking and Kristin Smolenski at DRIVE SMART Virginia. We just received word that we won the Who’s Your Driver? account and we jumped into action immediately, since their first race is coming up in a few weeks at Martinsville. DRIVE SMART Virginia is a Chesterfield-based non-profit dedicated to educating drivers and raising traffic safety awareness in order to save lives and reduce injuries on the roadways of Virginia. Stay tuned for more news on this super-cool client next week.
Thursday, February 23 – JA Makes Big News
Our friends at Junior Achievement of Central Virginia made big news yesterday, with their construction kickoff at Henrico County’s Libbie Mill Library. A big crowd was on hand to see what the new JA Finance Park will look like in a few short months. Save the date: The ribbon-cutting/grand opening is set for September 27. Check out the great event coverage by Richmond Times-Dispatch and Henrico Citizen.
Friday, February 24 – Never too busy to help
We’re busy this week because our super star Sr. Account Manager Kaitlin Riddle is in Tahiti or Fiji or some tropical paradise, taking a delayed honeymoon with husband Travis. They took a few minutes out of their exotic travels to let me know about a friend, Ben, who was diagnosed with end stage renal failure a year and a half ago. I’m never too busy to help a friend, hope you will take a moment to help too. Check out Ben’s GoFundMe page.
“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” – Five Man Electrical Band, 1971