Working It!

One of our preferred methods of communicating with businesses is on Twitter. The reason is simple; if the company is social media savvy the response time on Twitter is much faster and more direct than an email or phone call. Why? Because of transparency. When a company says they are "customer focused" yet ignore consumers the promise is empty.  In other words their action, or often inaction, speaks volumes. However on Social Media, and in this case Mid American Energy CONVO USE August 2016Twitter, everybody has a peek at what is really going on.

Sometimes things happen that allow the cream to rise to the top (if you've never milked a cow you might have to go look that up). Sometimes big and small companies outperform and here are two examples.

Last week there was a power outage in much of Iowa due to storms. Here in the Des Moines Metro thousands were without power. MidAmerican Energy is the local provider and I've learned, over the years, to turn to Twitter for help and input. I mentioned we were without electricity in our part of the Metro and within moments help and advice came back from @Mid_AmEnergyCo. So I checked their Twitter Stream and found their social media team was responding with not only advice but empathy. Actual REAL PEOPLE were responding and showing concern.

You can read the conversation above and to the right. If you click on the image it will enlarge...start at the bottom.

DART Convo August 2016Then, later in the week, I rode a Des Moines Area Rapid Transit bus to the Iowa State Fair. The bus lacked air conditioning and folks were opening up windows on the ride from the Capitol to the fairgrounds. I sent a Tweet chiding @RideDart and within two minutes they responded and were on it...notice the second screen shot.

Bottom Line

It does not matter if you are a small business or a large corporation you need to know and understand that in the world today there are many ways to communicate and be transparent. Those companies who "get it" and respond with feeling, empathy and honesty will always rise to the top and I, as a business person, am proud to call them out and share with you why I support them.  It takes work and dedication from the part of the company but it is so rewarding for those of us who count on you for service...well done! 


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Iowa Broadcast News Association and Thank You

Many of you know that Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is the "Fuel that IOB_RGBPowers" Insight on Business the News Hour. Three years ago we hoped the broadcast would become a daily creditable source of business news.  The program is pretty straight forward: Each day we cover the business news headlines of the nation, region and the Greater Des Moines Metro. We offer up a Wall Street Report and go behind the numbers and share why the markets did what they did. And, we present long-form business interviews with established business leaders to startups.  Each weekday starting at 5:05PM on AM-940, FM-104.5 and in HD at 103.3 HD2 all housed at The Des Moines Radio Group.

Last week the Business News Hour was honored with three awards from the Iowa Broadcast News Association in the large market category:

  • Second Place for Best Feature - "Puppy Mills in Iowa"
  • Honorable Mention - Public Affairs - "Housing/Transportation in Des Moines"
  • Second Place for Best Large Market Newscast in Iowa

It's one thing to be recognized by friends, family and the general public and we are grateful.
When our broadcast news peers also take note and then offer their congratulations...well, that's really special and all of us who take on this effort are grateful.  Here are the people that help make the Business News Hour happen each afternoon:

  • Producers - Tyler Hackenmiller - Dustin Halderson - Jerry Lee
  • Voice Work - Jimmy Olson
  • Program Director - Mark McDowell
  • Des Moines Radio Group - Jeff Delvoux - Mary Sayre
  • Laura Kinnard - Our Social Media/Networking Contributor
  • Sheryl Tessier - Our "Friday Fun" Contributor - Hey, it's Friday
  • Original Music - James Goodlett - Jam Good Productions

A special thank you to the regular sponsors of the Business News Hour that make all of this possible. They believed, early, there was a place for non-toxic talk radio in the Midwest. We are grateful for their vision.

Thank you all!

The Business News Hour - The Friday Wrap

We are the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour. It's the only daily, hour-long IOB_podcastv2 TuneInbusiness news broadcast in the Midwest. (No, really...we checked.) It airs Monday - Friday starting at 5:05PM on AM-940, FM-104.5 and (if you are really cool) in HD at 103.3 HD2. While we don't record and save the news and markets (that could get old....) we do save the long-form business interviews. 

So, in case you missed's who we talked to this past week. If you would like to hear the interview click on the highlighted name or the media player.  Thanks for listening!

Just saying you want to start a business isn't enough.  Today we learn the Who, What and When of a business startup through the help of Thomas Kutz and Sam Kreamer of the Kreamer Law Firm. Lots of great information here that you need to know before you startup that startup. 

There is a program designed to assist children in the nation and here in Central Iowa. It's called Court Appointed Special Advocate or CASA of Iowa and here to explain what it is and how you might help is Jean M. Baker an author and advocate for children. Learn

Our guests are from Iowa Works of Central Iowa, Edgar Ortiz and Vonni Stewart are in to share with us what Iowa Works does for businesses and for individuals seeking employment or employment skills. We also talk about the event coming up on the 13th in conjunction with the Iowa Wild. Listen in...

It's coming to the Des Moines Metro on April 22 & 23 and to learn more about the Young Entrepreneur Convention we make welcome founder Brandon Adams. What to expect and the "young" does not have an age attached to it...Listen up...Brandon is "stoked".

Just over a year ago Michelle Hanson joined the ReMax Real Estate Concepts Team and said it was the best decision she's made in a very long time. We talk about selling real estate, the drive and ambition it takes to be successful and working alongside her Father-In-Law Lance Hanson. We also squeeze in some conversation about the current housing market in Des Moines. 

In addition to our special guests each Monday we feature our Networking/Social Media Contributor Laura Kinnard with networking picks and social media tips for business and each Friday we end with our Friday Fun Contributor Sheryl Tessier from Eat, Play, Love Des Moines and her top picks of "Stuff to DO in the Metro".

Thanks for reading and catch you tonight at 5:05 for the Business News Hour...

The New RAGBRAI Logo

When we first saw the 2015 RAGBRAI Logo we LOVED it! And, because Soviet Ag Poster (some of us are old enough to recognize some historical things) it looked faintly like a Soviet Agricultural Poster from the Stalin Era. See...

That made it all the better...great lines and the "red star" made it even more attractive. (Commies....)

Then our friends from the "cycling community" started to voice concerns, "It looks like the tractor is running over a bicycle!" was the most 
RAGBRAI Logo 2015common.  And, indeed, if you look at the logo with that does.

"News Flash!" (Yep, the words of the RAGBRAI Director...) Clearly the Des Moines Register graphic design folks must have read the piece written by our friend Kyle Munson just days before the logo reveal (maybe not) which centered on the killing of a cyclist in Calhoun County early this year.  The judge set down the maximum penalty under Iowa Law, $1,500.  If you didn't read that you can listen in to a segment of the Business News Hour where it was discussed. 

Did we happen to mention that Iowa has fallen in the rankings of "bicycle friendly states" from 6th most friendly to...25th?

But, this isn't about the pitiful way in which Iowa treats its cyclists.  Or how many folks in Rural Iowa think bicycles have no place on the roads of our state.  Nope, it's about the logo...which, by the way, we still like.

Now, if only, we could get more folks in Iowa to love cycling for more than the dollars it brings some of our hamlets, THAT would be super!




Spending Some Tech Time with Marco

One of the things we love to do is bring in other media types to the News Hour and have a Marco Santana 10 April 2014 discussion on their speciality. Here is Marco Santana from the Des Moines Register talking up technology in Iowa...and the economic impact it brings the state.  

We continue our "All Tech Thursday" discussion with Marco Santana. We visit about the "Tri-Techta" that went on this week from the Technology Association of Iowa: The Prometheus Awards, Pitch & Grow and I2Iowa and more.  And, yes, we did lots and lots of "name dropping"!  Here is that conversation:

Insight on Business the News Hour with Michael Libbie is heard Monday - Friday from 5PM to 6PM on 1350-KRNT, Des Moines.  Connect with us on Twitter @IoB_NewsHour and, for more fun, here is our Facebook Page.

Business Development - Betting on Rural Iowa

Betting on the future of Rural Iowa Calcium Products, Inc. has purchased a vacant  1960’s school building located in tiny Gilmore City (pop. 504) DSC_1840 web and is in the process of transforming it into their corporate offices. “We’ve needed more space for a very long time”, says Craig Dick, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the firm which manufacturers north America’s most effective soil amendments. “The offices we co-located at one of our manufacturing plants.  You cannot imagine how dusty our old offices were. This arrangement will allow us to keep a presence in Gilmore City and give a boost to the local economy.”

Craig Dick said Calcium Products is seeking to add a number of people to their growing support team including customer service representatives, DSC_1842 webaccounting and administrative roles, and employees for other various positions. “We’ve been asked if we thought being in such a rural area would hinder our hiring. While it can be a bit more difficult to find people, when you do find someone in a rural area, their quality as an employee is unrivaled. When people are offered a good job with a very stable company and can stay in the community or return to the community they grew up in, it’s a winning combination for everyone." (Image: Accountant Susan Flurer standing in the gym area which will be transformed into offices.)

The employees of Calcium Products, Inc. aren’t the only people excited about this move.  Dick “Putter” Jergens is the mayor of Gilmore City and was helpful in securing the abandoned building. “I’d say it was sitting empty for at least fifteen years”, said Jergens.  “The local Catholic Church once had used it for their school and social functions.  But, as time went on and the congregation aged the building was used less and less.”  When asked about the cities relationship with Calcium Products, Inc. Jergens was quick to respond, “We are so proud of Calcium Products and their founder Larry Moore.  He and his family have done so much for Gilmore City and this is just another example.  This is good for Gilmore City because it’s a major boost.  Heck, if they add five new jobs that’s one-percent of our population and that’s a good thing.”




If you wish to comment here, feel free or connect with us on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV or our agency Facebook Page which is right here.

The Friday Wrap - July 6, 2012

Each Friday we offer up some advertising, marketing stories you might Friday have seen...or may have missed.  Each is laced with our comment.  We call it The Friday Wrap and give you some things to think about over the weekend.  To see these stories just click here on The Friday Wrap.  This week:

  • HyVee - They Are Smiling...Again;
  • Customer Retention - We like this idea...a bunch;
  • Andy Griffith - A vintage Post Toasties ad from the 1960's;
  • Mike Rowe - The Perfect Spokesperson;
  • Rural Hip-Hop? - Kansas farm boys do it;
  • Video on the Cheap - Not all video has to be expensive to be effective.

Thanks for coming by and have a wonderful weekend.  Wasn't it weird having a "Mini-Monday" in the middle of the week?  Here, once again, is the link to The Friday Wrap.


Sunday Morning Coffee - January 8, 2012

We'll get back to business tomorrow.  Today you've got the chance toCoffee Cu ps drink up some Sunday Morning Coffee; our look at sex, politics, gossip, opinion.  The stuff you crave.  Don't just sit there, you know you want some!

This week:

  • Chris Hagenow - Week 47
  • Iowa Caucus - It's not just the GOP
  • CNN - We talk Social Media and...The Weather
  • President Obama - Grows some...
  • The Holocaust - A weight loss answer from Dubai?
  • Rick & Newt & Mitt - Huh?
  • Penguins - Happy Feet meets Raiders of the Lost Ark

Don't just sit there grab some Sunday Morning Coffee right here



You are welcome...Michael

What Makes It "Click"?

I know dozens, if not hundreds, of people who look for that "magic bullet" that willMPL Twelve Thirty allow their product/service or campaign to click in the minds and wallets of consumers.  I want to share the secret(s).  It's timing.

Here is a great example:  Over the past eight months the State of Iowa has been the political and media focal point.  For months we've had to endure listening, reading and watching folks opine about our state.  Often missing the mark...completely.  Mix that fact with creative folks (tip #2) like Scott Siepker and Paul Benedict who have been (tip #3) paying attention and you get...this: (NSFW Edition...sorry it works better.)


535,000 views...and counting.  Oh, there is one other thing that needs to happen to make something "click" in the hearts and minds of the consumer you need to (tip #4) take action.  Just having the timing, being creative and paying attention won't get the job done.  You need to mix those with actually doing something and chances'll click.




If you would like to connect you can leave a comment here, or on Twitter it's @MichaelLibbie (personal) or @InsightADV (business or our advertising agency Facebook Page is  Thanks for reading! - Michael

Got A Business Idea?

I'm working on a story line with a CNN producer who lives in New York.Iowa Sign  During yesterday's conversation I had the opportunity to answer some questions she had about Iowa.  We talked about the business climate here, the opportunity that exists and how Iowa has been spared much of the recent recession...pain.  While there are still many folks seeking work some have turned their time and attention to building their own startup.

And now there is

Proof that there are creative people seeking a way to promote ideas and small business is this piece from CBS News regarding StartupIowa.  My friend Christian Renaud is a tireless worker who promotes loads of solid ideas.  That's the stuff that comes out of our "fly-over state".  Exciting...No?

If you wish to leave a comment here...that's great.  Or we can connect on Twitter @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page is Thanks for reading!