Don't Be Scared

We just started the fourth year of Insight on Business the News Hour. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept it is the only IOB_RGB web 1daily (M-F), hour long business news broadcast in the Midwest. OK, WBBM in Chicago has a business broadcast but nobody else that we could find. We're on AM-940, FM-104.5 and in HD at 103.3 HD2 out of the Des Moines Radio Group.

The format pf the broadcast is pretty simple we offer up the daily business news from the nation, region and the Greater Des Moines Metro. We do the markets and then two long-form business interviews with established businesses to startups. Each interview segment runs 12 -15 minutes.

And, nope, we don't charge these businesses to come in and tell their story. Otherwise it wouldn't be...news.

The biggest obstacle we have is not finding sponsors. It's not writing and delivering the news. The biggest obstacle is getting guests to come on the broadcast to tell their story. No kidding. We give these businesses $1,000 worth of on-air broadcast time, social media boosts and give them the photos we take in studio along with the mp3 so they can use it in their marketing effort time. You would think that business people would grab the opportunity to share their story but, sadly it's like pulling teeth.

Man Stressed
I moan about this from time to time and this week a client of our advertising agency said, "Michael, the reason they don't want to go on the air is because they are scared."

He's right. I get it that more people fear public speaking than death but really? We're offering an opportunity and so few take it.

I'm not complaining but I am hoping some of you will read this and consider that our goal is not to make you uncomfortable but to boost your brand and build awareness of what you do. It's called positive press.

So, when we call and leave a message...call us back? We would, honestly, love to help you tell your story.

 


It's Here and We Warned You

The First Quarter is here. For many businesses it's a sobering reality for others it is full of First Quarteropportunity. Those businesses who remain aggressive in their marketing efforts will continue to build on past success. They know now is not to disappear from the consumer radar. So, how about some tips on how to better stay "top of mind" and turn the First Quarter positive:

Stay in the Game - I was visiting with a radio media professional last week who told me advertisers are starting to understand that taking the First Quarter "off" is a self fulfilling prophecy of doom. "I think the recession taught advertisers a lesson", he said. "Those advertisers who stayed in the game and continued to market their goods and services picked up market share from their competition. It used to be that, in our business, I could take a couple of weeks off in January. Today I'm at the office scheduling advertising and filling our radio inventory for January and February. These advertisers have learned that it's now a 12 month season."

Use Video - We are strong believers in video, always have been. Consumers eat it up like crazy and today there are dozens of ways to create and use video content. Studies have shown that consumers who view video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non viewers. And, because of social media your video can be viewed and shared across a wide range of channels. If you are doing email marketing you should also be aware of the fact that when the word "video" is posted in the subject line there is a massive increase in the open rate.

Visual Content Wins - We've said it for years, "Less is More" when it comes to marketing. Consumers don't have the time (or interest) in reading long pages of copy in your print ads, on your website, in your newsletter. Use images as often as possible to drive home the point of your message. And, if you can, use organic visuals rather than stock photos. It shows you have taken the time to tell your story rather than "buying" it.

Stay Connected - You already have a firm client/customer base. Stay connected to them through your blog, newsletter and an occasional hand written note of appreciation. Staying "top of mind" means that you need to stay connected to your best customers.

Start Your Referral Marketing Campaign - I recently wrote about how to get started in referral marketing. Once again, you already have "brand warriors" out there. Now is the time to weaponize them and allow them to help influence consumers who may not know how your product/service can benefit them.

While it may be the first month of the New Year it does not mean you are too late to capture more market share in the First Quarter but...you better get started.

Thanks for reading and for more on business check out our long-form business interviews from Insight on Business the News Hour our Monday - Friday 5:00 PM broadcast.

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Tips on Scoring Earned Media

It is called “earned media” when you get publicity through promotional efforts. You know, the Earned Media Boy reporter shows up at your business and does a great job in sharing your message/brand/effort.  It happens every day right?

It does but the promotional effort has to be something amazing.

While you think your promotion is really cool and fun and interesting you need to understand media outlets get pitched all the time and they only have so much inventory.  And, remember, media outlets survive on “paid media” or advertising.

Some Tips on Scoring Earned Media

  • Think and Plan – Sure, sometimes a promotional event goes viral on its own but to get to that point there must be some serious planning. You must take into consideration not just “the event” but how it will play with the public. Will they get it and will it make for a good “news bite”?
  • Wacky Works – Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014? It was wacky, different and fun. The ALS Association scored international media attention and even offered up Ice Bucket Challenge 2.0 in 2015;
  • Celebs – Hooking your promotional event around “a name” is always a great way to induce the media to your cause. Some celebrities will pony up their time because they have a relationship to the cause or event but you need to know not just ask;
  • Broad Appeal – Even though your promotion is meant to drive your brand the event needs to be broad enough to garner wide appeal. Otherwise media outlets will ignore you;
  • Social Media – If you fail to get social with your promotion hoping the media will carry the ball for you…forget it. At the same time if you are not NOW working social media for your business but ramp it up for one event…ain’t gonna work. You must be in the space before, during and after;
  • Keep Pitching - Once and done is not a good media plan;
  • Be Timely - If you can tie your event to something that is already hot or something that is starting to bubble up, so much the better; 
  • It’s Not Free – Getting earned media is not free. It takes time, talent, planning, execution and a relationship with the media. All of those factors cost money…
  • The Relationship – I can’t stress this enough…if you and your business has created a media relationship either through paid advertising or personal it is golden. Likewise if you and your business is already seen as a leader in your vertical so much the better.

The bottom line is that earned media doesn’t “just happen”

Now, go think and plan!

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The Friday Wrap - Insight on Business the News Hour

Each Friday we offer up the Friday Wrap a review of our long-form broadcast interviews just in IOB_podcastv2 case you missed one.  The Business News Hour, a product of Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications, is the only hour-long, M-F business news broadcast in the Midwest.  If you want to listen in, live, you can catch the broadcast at 5:05PM on AM-940, FM-104.5 or in HD at FM 103.3 HD2.

Here is a review of our guests this past week. You can click on the player or on the highlighted name of our guest to listen.

Over the past several months two local shopping malls, Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines and Valley West Mall in West Des Moines have requested that bus service be removed from their property. Here from DART is Amanda Wanke. We asked about that and more.

She joins us each Monday with her list of top networking events in the Des Moines Metro and Laura Kinnard has a bunch to share...

A month ago the INS Family of companies launched their new name and brand Aureon. At the time we talked about it with Ron Keller the President/CEO of Aureon. We caught up with Ned Flynn to check on the progress.

Our Small Business Spotlight shines on Jen Childress is the founder of JenSpiration a health and fitness studio and she makes house calls.

Our guest is one of the Tero International trainers, Trish Baumhover. She shares some thoughts about how sales people can really connect with customers and close a sale that makes both the buyer and seller pleased with the transaction. And, the best news this is all trainable.

Well over 400 people were in Des Moines for the Third Annual Global Insurance Symposium. To talk about the impact of insurance on Central Iowa we have Jay Byers of the Greater Des Moines Partnership break it down for us...

With us is international designer Annie Sloan who is the head-liner for the 6th Annual Spring Junk Jubilee. She is spending several days at the Iowa State Fair Grounds teaching and sharing chalk paint secrets.

We visit with Joy and Kevin Peterson from Peterson Holistic Services that celebrated their open house at their Windsor Heights location.  Holistic services are becoming more mainstream. We ask about that and more.

Our guest is Mike Fellers a friend of the Broadcast who counts on public transportation to get from one place to another. However the recent decision by Valley West Mall has put Mike and others who may be disabled in a bind. It's always somebody else...until it's somebody you know.

Thanks for reading and listening!  Catch the broadcast Weekdays at 5:05PM


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 - Friday Wrap

Our ad agency is the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour. It's the only IOB_podcastv2 TuneIndaily, hour-long business 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.

Also, we've been informed by the Iowa Broadcast News Association that the Business News Hour is now the Award Winning Business News Hour. We'll be picking up that honor this weekend in Waterloo at their Annual Convention. Thank you all..

Our long-form business interviews from this past week are below. You can click on the name of our guest or on the player to catch the interview.

He is the master of events. Meet our friend Beau Fodor who has, for years, put his special touch on event after event. From small gatherings to Iowa's Gay Wedding Planner to the man behind the Bollywood Ball. His company, Panache Points continues to adapt and grow.

 She's back...and each Monday Laura Kinnard joins us to share her top networking opportunities that are available here in the Des Moines Metro and we end up with a quick Social Media Tip...for business. This time we talk about content...what to share.

It's an interesting family business that's been around for generations. Mike Wells joins us to talk about the beginnings of Wells Blue Bunny, where the name came from and what's this re-branding they've been involved with? We also talk about the Iowa Business Council and what that means for Iowa and Iowa businesses.

Last month Thomas Kutz an attorney with the Kreamer Law Firm of West Des Moines attended South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. We were interested in why he attended, what his impression of the event was and what people there thought about Iowa. We talk music, business and impressions.

For over 70 years Woodard Hearing has been assisting people correct their hearing loss. Sure the technology has changed but, according to owner Diana Kautzky, the careful care of their patients has not. Our Small Business Spotlight shines on Woodard Hearing and their special event coming up soon. 

We love startups and today we learn about Servons from co-founder Steve Schott. Servons helps non-profits not only track volunteer hours but also serves as a way to reward and keep volunteers engaged. How does it all work?

The program is called Embrace Aging and it is a series of educational conversations on healthy aging in Iowa. The upcoming session is called Managing Chronic Diseases. The event is scheduled for 26 April at Drake University, Olmsted Center. With us is Dr. Yogesh Shah a geriatric specialist from Des Moines University and Kent Zimmerman from the Calvin Community of Des Moines. A deep conversation about health issues and outcomes.

Over the past several months two local shopping malls, Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines and Valley West Mall in West Des Moines have requested that bus service be removed from their property. Is it safety, congestion or something else that is driving these decisions?  In a written response from Kris Walter of the Merle Hay Mall we are told it was because Des Moines Area Regional Transit (DART) was misusing the drop-off area and causing congestion. We asked DART about that and more. With us is Amanda Wanke the Communications Officer for DART.

Thanks for reading & listening! Catch you tonight at 5:05 for the Business News Hour!

 


The Business News Hour - Friday Wrap

Our ad agency is the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour. It's the only daily, IOB_podcastv2hour-long business 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. 

ICYMI here's our guests and what we covered this week. You can click on the name or on the player to listen to the podcast. Easy....no?

No matter if it's a house you own or d duplex you know the headaches of being a landlord. Enter Renters Warehouse of Des Moines. We chat with owner, Brad Neal about what services his company offers, what they do before, during and after the renter is part of your world. An interesting opportunity for many of you who own but hate to manage.

There is no lack of opportunity in Iowa and the association that has been on the front lines for business opportunity here is the Iowa Association of Business and Industry. Here to talk about that and the upcoming conference, "Taking Care of Business" and the Leadership Institute are Emily Schettler and Jessie Stewart.  Listen in! 

Here is a fascinating conversation about our global economy and how, if you have not mastered intercultural skills, you may be falling short. Joining us from Tero International is our friend Deborah Rinner. Join us as we talk about common errors and how you, and your business, can better learn how to become a multi-cultural expert...for business and your personal life. 

Always seeking opportunity Peter Sherinian is in our Small Business Spotlight. A manager for Hensely's Big & Tall Outfitters Peter also has his hand in the Quill Pen and Nib in Valley Junction. Learn more about both of these unique retail outlets in the Des Moines Metro.

When Kristen Hall from KH Mediation joined us several weeks ago she touched on collaborative divorce a way to tamp down the frustration and anger while going through the process. Perhaps this is something you need to hear or pass on to people you know.  Have a listen! 

He's spent nearly three decades in the hospitality industry and currently serves as the Director of Sales at the Holiday Inn and Suites based on Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines. We talk with Troy Thompson about the changes in the industry, what he does to help meeting planners and more. Listen in: 

His passion is movies and when he's not working he's going to movies and then writing reviews on McMovie Review a blog about his thoughts on movies and entertainment. We talk with Eric McComb about movie trends and more: 

Our guest is Chris Verlengia from Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield the backbone of The Grand Blue Mile that comes back on 26 April. We talk about the Wellmark brand, the reason they sponsor the event and how the company gives back to the community. 

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 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 it...here'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 more...now.

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 Business News Hour - The Friday Wrap

Each weekday starting at 5:05PM Insight on Business the News Hour brings you the IOB_RGBbusiness news headlines of the nation, region and the Greater Des Moines Metro. It's the only daily, hour-long business broadcast in the Midwest and can be heard on AM-940, FM-104.5 and if you've got HD you can find us at 103.3 HD2.

Along with the news and the Market Report we conduct long-form business interviews with a wide range of guests and those we also podcast. The interviews are available on our Podcast Page and on iTunes for download.  Here's the Friday Wrap on our conversations you can listen by clicking the player or the name of each guest. 

Our friend Cynde Cronin from Merit Resources (Now Aureon) talks about the special relationship the company has with non-profits. How, often, non-profit companies struggle with balance between mission, board, fund-raising and the area of benefits administration.

This week the big announcement, that had been in the works for years, took place as the INS Family of Companies formally changed their name to Aureon. Why? Why would a company spend the time and money on such a big undertaking?  We asked Ron Keller the CEO of Aureon and he answered. 

One of the very best new restaurants in the Des Moines Metro, that's what we think anyway, is Prime Land & Sea on 8th Street in West Des Moines. We asked co-owner Sara Hill to come in and share a bit about what makes the restaurant so special and a favorite to so many. Listen in as Prime Land & Sea are in our Small Business Spotlight. 

We're joined by the founder and president of Tero International, Ro Crosbie a business training company helping businesses large and small create a more involved workforce. We talk about soft skills. What are they? What's the best way to learn them? How can the best be used? Oh, and what about sales training...how has that changed?  We asked and Ro answered.

Honored that our friend and Polk County Supervisor, Tom Hockensmith made some time to visit with us about transportation issues, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, hockey and the Polk County Courthouse Project. Lot's of areas to cover...listen in!

We welcome back our friend Jeff Garrison who represents ImageTek a company that has been around for a very long time and has been successful in creating more time for business. How? Listen in:

Our Small Business Spotlight shines on John Bartlett and his retail business I Work and Play. It's an interesting story on American Made Products and he also operates a union shop and he says that is part of his passion. Here is his story:  

Our guest is Sock Spearman a native of Singapore who now works as a realtor with Re/Max Real Estate Concepts. We talk a bit about the wonders of Singapore and then launch into a conversation about her home purchase guarantee an exclusive way in which sellers can get an immediate purchase of their home. Have a listen...

And, our regular contributors are Laura Kinnard with Networking and Social Media for Business and Sheryl Tessier from Eat, Play, Love Des Moines and "Stuff to DO in the Metro".

Thanks for reading and listening!

 


Why Don't They Call?

Two weeks ago I attended a BNI meeting in Urbandale. They tell me it's the largest Business Telephone DustyNetwork International group in the Des Moines Metro. The breakfast meeting was well attended and I knew a great many of the thirty plus people there...I've been around awhile.

When it came my turn to address the group I offered them each a gift. I gave each person the business card for Insight on Business the News Hour and said, "I do the only daily, hour-long business broadcast in the Midwest and I would love for you to call me and let's get you on the air to chat a bit about your business. There is no charge."  

But, I knew they wouldn't call. I've been doing this business broadcast for years. I knew.

Perhaps having the 11,500+ people who listen to the three stations isn't impressive. Perhaps having us hand each guest their own copy of the recorded broadcast, in podcast form, along with the studio photos so they can share their story beyond the broadcast isn't impressive. Perhaps they figure it's "too good to be true" and it's my way of squeezing out a client relationship. Perhaps they just want to do business with each other.

Or they miss the value or they think we to "toxic talk radio" with "gotcha" questions.

I dunno.  Maybe you do.  Maybe you can help me understand why the phone sits there and collects...dust.  I'm really interested. 

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