Sunday Morning Coffee - October 11

Sunday Morning, a great time to grab a cup of coffee and visit.  Not alot of advertising and marketing advice just a brief look at the past week and the items coming up.  So, grab a cup of "Joe" and spend some time over "Sunday Morning Coffee".Coffee Cu ps

Move over New York and Hollywood...the World Food Prize event comes to Des Moines this Wednesday.  A decade ago about 150 people attended.  This year there will be 800 folks from all over the plant in Iowa to discuss ending hunger and award people like Gebisa Ejata from Purdue and recognize folks like Bill Gates for he and Melinda's gifts of $1.4 billion to the cause.  Here is the article from the Des Moines Register.  It's big stuff.Return of the News Stand

Speaking of the Des Moines Register, I caught this scene last week on the way to the radio station for our business show, Insight on Business.  Just 100 yards down the Skywalk was this booth with a couple of cheery Register staffers giving out papers and hawking subscriptions.  In a way it was like the return of the old news stand...we'll that's a stretch...but they were where the people gather.  It's said that some 16,000 people a day walk these halls.  Another reason we located Des Moines Local...LIVE (our radio station) in this area.

This past week President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize and that has had my Snow Oct 10 conservative friends in a froth.  In talking about it yesterday, I'm of the opinion it has more to do with "hope" than anything else.  It also puts a ton of pressure on.  We'll see...   Oh, it also snowed here this past week!  SNOW in Des Moines before the middle of October!  One wag suggested that both of these events are somehow connected to....the end of the world.

The federal trial of Shalom Rubashkin is set to begin this week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Rabbi Rubashkin, until a federal raid, managed Agriprocessors of Postville, Iowa the nation's largest kosher meat facility.  Over the past year I've visited with Shalom many, many times...he often is in Des Moines and when here attends services at Beth El Jacob.  Is he guilty of what the feds say he done to rack up 1,950 years in prison?  I don't know...but the way he has been tried in the media would make you think he is some sort of a monster.   He's not...  He is a very devoutly religious person who is both kind and smart.  At least that's the view from here.  We'll see.  The trial is scheduled to last four to six weeks.  Here is the latest article from the Des Moines Register and writer Grant Schulte. Iowa State Savings Bank

On Monday I get to be in Creston, Iowa doing a seminar on social media for Iowa State Savings Bank.  We were contacted by Karla Hynes to come and spend the Columbus Day morning teaching groups of employees about the impact social media has had, and will have, on business.   I love teaching and as you know we were early adopters of social media at a time when many ad agencies thought Technorati Tag was something Japanese kids did on the playground.   This will be fun...and I'm looking forward to the adventure.  (And it means that I'll not be hosting the radio show on Monday...still working on a guest host.)

Speaking of Creston, my friend Angela Maiers has been teaching teachers there for several weeks.  She is amazing...and if you are school board or school administrator and want to put some extra zing into teaching...make contact with her.  She gets it.  The lifelong learning thing you know...Van meter schools dsm register

Speaking about schools...did you hear about the Van Meter School District and the jump they are giving their students when it comes to technology.  Rather than putting money in bricks and morter they are spending $600,000 on technology.  The school of the future?  Here is the story.

Hey, it's nearly 7 gotta get this out.  Thanks for reading and responding.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising,  Marketing & Communications where you can keep up with us on Twitter - @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV.  Facebook? is the personal page and the FAN PAGE for Insight.  Let's connect.






Sunday Morning Coffee - September 13, 2009

Grab a cup of "joe" and let's visit for a bit.  You won't find much today about advertisingCoffee Cu ps and marketing.  We take Sunday Morning for what it is...a lazy day to reflect on what has gone on and a look forward to what we hope is a wonderful week.  So, in quick sips... it's Sunday Morning Coffee.

Much has been said over the past few days about the incident in Washington.  You know the one...where Congressman Wilson shouted out at President Obama, "You lie!"  I'm not going to add to the comments other than to suggest it might be fun to subject our elected leaders to the type of shouting matches they have in Great Britain.  You can catch that sort of style on the BBC from time to time.  For a couple of interesting comments about the issue, check this story by Eugene Robinson.  Pay attention to the "race" comment.

Staying on politics for a moment.  Today is the 32nd Annual Tom Harkin Steak Fry in Joe Biden Harkin EventIndianola, Iowa.  Thirty-Two years....  Should be an interesting time with Sen. Al Franken headlining the event. (This is Vice President Joe Biden from two years ago...when it was also a warm day.)  And....Sen. Harkin has just accepted the chair of the Senate Health Committee.  That puts Iowa back in the spotlight on yet another national issue...the health care debate.  Meanwhile, an Atlantic, Iowa business man, John Tyler, took out a full page ad in the Des Moines Registertoday saying Harkin is, "...out of touch."  I read the paper early today...darned if I saw it.  Maybe it was too early?

BIG NEWS from our radio station group:  Des Moines Local...LIVE!  This past Tuesday we switched platforms from (free) UStream to (paid) LiveStream and what a difference.  The archives are quickly available and our listenership/viewers have shot up to an astounding average of 12,000 people a day.  Not making this up and you can check for yourself.  Our show, Insight on Businessis heard Monday - Friday starting at 12:30PM Central. Come on by?

Cars_and_stuff_103 web Today our congregation is putting on a "first".  Klassic Kars & Kosher Food is going on in the parking lot of Beth El Jacob from noon until 4PM. It's a first attempt so we're not sure how it will go...(Hey, you have to start someplace!) but looks like we'll have some great weather.  Speaking of far September is warmer than August...huh?

Now that I am in the center of Downtown Des Moines every day for the radio show I've noticed the large amount of open office and retail space in the City Center.  That is is stark contrast to several years ago before the focus on development of The East Village and West Des Moines...problems looming?  Here is a great article by  reporter David Elbert from the Des Moines Register about the issue.

18_weeks_2_days_(8) Our grand-daughter, Taylor, slipped into her Hawkeye Gear for the University of Iowa win over in-state rival, Iowa State.  She has yet to master "Touchdown!" like her daddy did...but had plenty of opportunity as Iowa stuffed State 35 - 3. 

Coffee Break is over...thanks for coming by.  We'll get into advertising and marketing issues again on the meantime you can keep in touch with us on Twitter - @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV.  Have a great rest of the weekend...and stay safe!









Sunday Morning Coffee - August 30, 2009

Grab a cup and let's visit about several things that have happened...and what we'reCoffee Cu ps looking forward to.  You're not going to find much in the way of advertising and marketing here today.  We'll pick that up tomorrow.  Sunday morning is a great time for friends to get together.  Thanks for coming by.

The traffic you can get with a good headline.  Last week I wrote about the Iowa State Fair, Edward Lewis, his love for Iowa and his mission to stamp out "the N-Word".   Loads of people came by for a read just to see what the heck was up.  It wasn't what many suspected.  Here is the story, again.

You would think that a guy that does a daily 90-minute radio talk show about business would listen radio.  I don't...or try not to  It only confirms how incredibly dumb some people can be.  This week I listened to Bradshaw on 98.3 WOW-FM as he tried for fifteen minutes, unsuccessfully, to get a listener to understand the "Fairness Doctrine", the FCC and how local radio stations have become anything but "local".  The guy was convinced there is a "Left Wing Conspiracy" in forcing radio stations to cover LOCAL events and share LOCAL information rather than have syndicated hosts broadcasting from NY or LA or FL.  He never did get it.  Proof my friends....

Tuesday of this week I'll be absent from the 12:30PM Central radio show.  I'll be giving business leaders a taste of howand why they should use social media in their marketing plan.  Entry level stuff about blogging, Facebook, Twitter and more for business applications.  Look forward to the opportunity.  Thanks Urbandale Chamber!

Speaking of Urbandale, Mayor Bob Andeweg celebrated his birthday this past Wednesday.  I got to meet his parents who live in Pella.  And, like most parents they know how to share a secret or two.  We're not telling but we had a nice visit while we watched the Urbandale baseball team play New York in the Little League World Series.  Where?  The Urban Grill..of course.Eating aug 12

Kizzy update:  Many of you remember when Kunta our African Gray parrot flew out of our home and hearts on April 26th.  We searched for weeks, walking driving contacting hundreds of people.  Nothing.  Three weeks ago we welcomed Kizzy into our home.  She is 17 weeks old and eats like a horse.  The photo is Miss Kizzy in her favorite position...eating.  What a joy it is to have the house a mess again.  In addition, she's a real "lover" wanting to be held and cuddled for hours at a time. 

Speaking of eating....We've just put the cap on "Restaurant Week" here in Des Moines.  42 independent restaurants joined together to promote "eating out".  Special prices ($25 for dinner or lunch for two) and menus for lunch and dinner got people out to try some interesting local cuisine.  Late word from those who took part it was a success.  We're still wondering if there was enough marketing of the event.  Seems the majority of marketing settled on the Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Iowa Democrats seem to be licking their chops and looking for a strong candidate to take on Sen. Charles Grassley.   The elections, usually a lock for the Republican, may not be as his continued "foot in mouth" banter appear to make him vulnerable for the first time since taking the senate seat in the 1980 elections.   Heading the "potential list" two Iowa women:  Roxanne Conlin and Christy Vilsack....hmmmmm.  Here is the latest article from Cityview.

An Iowa family whose son killed himself playing Russian Roulette and described what he was doing on Twitter is now worried that others may copy his act.  Some suggest the social media site is responsible for bringing out the "dark side" of people.  Here is the full story from the Quad City Times.  We don't believe it for a minute...but we guess in times like this somebody has to take the blame....or so it seems.

Nuf?  OK.  Have a great Sunday and let's work on only doing great things come Monday morning.  Thanks for reading!  Michael Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where you can follow us on Twitter, @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV






Sunday Morning Coffee

"Sunday Morning Coffee" is that time to, briefly, reflect on several issues from the past week and give you our thoughts...not a lot of advertising and marketing here.  We'll rampCoffee Cu ps that up again on Monday...  But, for now, grab a cup and let's go.

Seems that some folks don't know when to grow up...or shut up.  In The Des Moines Sunday Register today there's a story about yet another Iowan getting fired because he took a "Seinfield" joke a little to far.  The message here kids, it's a TV show that was about nothing.  Don't bet your career on it and worse yet, when a woman says, "no"... pay attention.

Muir Boots The numbers at the Iowa State Fair are way down this year.  Some are suggesting the economy while others have managed to, on the Internet and local radio, make some really poor comments about Iowa's biggest attraction.  We first made our venture to the fair Saturday night for a few hours.  Long enough to say "howdy" to several friends and buy a pair of $5 barn boots at Muir Embroidery and Sports ShopTodd Muir and his father have expanded their "Fair Store" in the Cattle Building to over half the foyer.  But what?  NO website????  However, five-dollar boots?  Very cool.

In case you missed it, we told a brief story about one of our clients, Country Vet Pet Food and the "baseball player" somebody at their facility saw in a dog food bag we created for hunters and sporting dog trainers.  We didn't see it...but hey, baseball is a sport too.

Meanwhile, the pubic will soon meet "Trio" from NatraTurf.  It's the eighth product we've helped develop for our client over the past 14 months.  What does it do?  It makes beautiful lawns and gardens....with no fertilizer.  We'll tell you more soon.

Still no word from the Iowa GOP or the Iowa Democrats about moving the 2010 Iowa Caucus off a Saturday afternoon.  The parties agreed to this boneheaded move on July 28th.  We sort of figured somebody might call and say, "tough" but nothing?  Odd or is it?  If they move forward with their plans, we predict their numbers will be even least we hope so.

Eating aug 12 Kizzy, our African Gray Parrot, is settling in around the place.  Many of you might remember that Kunta flew out of our home and our hearts on April 26th.  After months of looking we caved and brought Miss Kizzy home.  Later today it's off to the "Caged Bird Society" show to look for toys.  I'm telling you this is worse than having kids again.  And, almost as expensive.

Speaking of kids...two more of our grandchildren were in town Saturday.  Miss Sailor and Mr. Jake came up with Mom...from St. Joe.  It was a great day...and I think Sailor is maybe...just maybe thinking her Zaydee is a pretty neat guy.  We'll see.  We looking forward to their daddy coming home from Afghanistan in a few weeks.  He's a pilot who flies C-130's and everybody misses him.

For those of you who follow our writting you might remember our friend in Illinois, Leah Guffey Banister who lives in a very rural area near Springfield.    We had mentioned her in a publication about social media.  Last week her home was damaged by a tornado that ripped through town.  We heard about it on Twitter where she is known as @FarmerSpice.  Nobody hurt but loads of damage.  Meanwhile her husband is still serving in Iraq.  We wish you all well.MPL Janet

That's it!  Told you very little in the way of business...we'll save that for later in the week.  A reminder that our radio show, Insight on Business is heard Monday - Friday starting at 12:30 Central.  We hope you'll come by for a listen on advertising and marketing tips and stories. is the address.  Hey, speaking of Insight on Business, it was a real joy to re-connect with my old ranch rodeo buddy, Janet Tingwald this past week on the air.  We talked about her business and getting employees motivated and leaders to lead.  Good stuff.

If you want to keep up with us you can follow us on Twitter, @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV and @RuralLifeRadio.  Thanks for, get out to the fair today and boost those numbers.  It's 1/2 price you know!

Michael Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications you can learn more at have a great Sunday!







Out Of The Pain...A Positive Message

This is not about business, or advertising or marketing.  It's personal.  And, as I write this I know I am going to cry.  Yes.  I do that...and if you admit do to.  Call that "truth in advertising"?  So, if you came by today for our business insight.  It's going to have to wait for a bit.

A brief background:

Kunta is an African Gray Parrot.  One of the brightest of the species.   The experts Kunta Cropsay they have the intellect of a five year old and the emotions of a three year old. No wonder we bonded.  They are excellent talkers and Kunta has quite a vocabulary.  They also live forty to fifty years.  Kunta is three.

On Sunday the 26th of April a door was opened and Kunta flew out of the also open garage.  He was gone in seconds.  We've not yet found him.  We search every day and in many, many ways.  Before I go on...I need to let you know this is a critter.  Not a person.  Yes he is and was a loved member of our family.  And we know the deep hurt and emotional pain.  But...we can not imagine how people cope when losing a child.  So, I don't want to build this...over that.  Please understand.  But the amazing.

Kunta Beak Brushing 2And so it goes.  Posters, e-mail, Twitter, BLOGS, newspapers, television and radio stations....and so many people are helping.   This coming Friday I'm going to tell this story on Mac's World Live a local Internet radio show.  So, if you may hear this twice.  Kindness is the message of this post.

Within hours of posting the news on Twitter, Craigs List and on our Blog dozens of people joined in promoting the news.  The Des Moines Register picked up the story, called and wanted a brief interview.  Here is that story.  WHO-TV-13 picked it up and ran with it.  My friend Bradshaw from 98.3 WOW-FM told his listeners. And people responded.  Friends like Robin Pruisner, Tiffany Menke, Sharon Steckman and so many more...I've never met.

Oh...there is goodness in the world.  Sometimes it is hidden by the conflicts in Michael Spring 2 Statehouses and Chambers or in politics and name calling.  But there is goodness.

When Dave Corbett saw, from a Twitter post, where we were going to search...near I 80/35 north of Des Moines.  He came and walked the woods.  "Hey, it was close and I felt so bad for you."  I had never met Dave before Monday.  He just came.

And Nancy Schram who has been in daily contact after she saw the sign at a local McDonalds window.  She has been passing out fliers and information.  I've never met her.  She just came and helped.

And Wilma Johnson who wrote a lovely note and remembered her own Gray and then sent us further ideas of where and how to look for Kunta.  I've never met Wilma...she just offered her help.

And Bob Santi, a Twitter friend, who took the flyer and wrote to everybody on his e-mail list and passed on the word.  I've never met Bob in person....we know each other from the Twitter Community.

And, the Twitter Community.  Dozens and dozens of people have "re-tweeted" our messages and poster.  And those messages have been passed out far and wide.  I have met maybe one or two of these people...but they helped and we're grateful.

And we've heard from hundreds of people we know...and those we've never met.  They have all offered support and hope.

On Tuesday afternoon I stood in Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey's office with his Deputy Secretary Karry Claghorn and told this story about the kindness of people and wept.  Secretary Northey said, "In a way it doesn't surprise me we're all seeking a meaningful connection and a way to help."

There I stood in the shadow of the Capital where, on more than one occasion this year, there have been deep and divisive arguments.  It was like living in a different zone...but it's not.  There is still kindness...

Kunta_Kage_web I just wanted you to know that.  For some reason, I thought it important...

The "Kunta Kage" is still empty.  We put it outside.  Somebody said "maybe he'll see it and return".  Maybe.  And we're still looking...every day and now expanded the search to 50 miles around Des Moines....maybe further.  We've written every Vet in the area, contacted the pet stores, Animal Rescue League...we're trying.  Partly because we need to...and partly because so many of you give us hope.

Thanks...thank you so much.  We'll keep you in the loop.

Michael & Georgie Libbie

Follow me on Twitter @MichaelLibbie


Twitter - Why Business Should Pay Attention

I've written about it before.  How, when in a business discussion,  the "Twitter Man blindfold sissors Experience" comes up the person I'm talking with rolls their eyes and says, "What a waste of time.  Nobody cares what I had for breakfast!"  That's not quite true...

This is an example of people, who don't understand Web 2.0, attempting to define it in their terms. 

Look, I'll grant you there are a bunch of folks with 50 Twitter Followers that share stuff like they would share things in a newsgroup or on a 1950's Party Line.  "Headed off to the gym.  Lifting or running?"  Maybe their 50 followers care...  But, if you don't "follow" the person who is using Twitter to mumble about their life you'll never be dragged into the "conversation".  And, if the "conversation" you are following gets too banal you have the opportunity to cease following "Mr./Ms./Mrs./Miss (trying to be PC about this...) Gotta-Tell-You-Everything-About-My-Life" with a simple "click".  

It's that easy.

However, if you use Twitter to connect, to learn, to share and to find out what folks are saying about you, your product, your service...then, what seemed silly, suddenly makes sense. 

We use Twitter all the time to keep track of bits of information we might not find anywhere else.  People talk about things we're interested in (advertising, marketing, new ideas, new products and trends).  We often pick up a new idea for a client or are able to alert our folks about an opportunity long, long before it hits "mainstream".  It takes practice and, to be honest we'll sometimes engage in silliness: Kids Sale

Most recent was this Tweet from our office:  "What?  We're now selling children in Iowa!?!??"   That sentence ran next to this photo:

Funny?  Maybe.  But it was also a photo essay into being careful what you write vs. what you mean.

Know what I mean Vern?

Twitter is a tool.  And, if you care about what folks are saying about your product or service it might be something you'll use.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we view Twitter as another communication too.  You can follow us @MichaelLibbie and our site:


Happy Birthday Phyllis Cox - NTPDA Executive

Years ago I headed to the National Tractor Parts Dealers Association (NTPDA) meeting in New Orleans.  It was my first adventure with this group.  I knew NOBODY butPhyllis and grandchild quickly fell in with guys like Jeff Griggs and women like Phyllis Cox.  (That's Phyllis...not Jeff!)  Phyllis happened to be the Executive Director of the organization made up of tractor parts folks.

The relationships made there and in the years that followed continue to this day.  And, for the past four years NTPDA has been a client of our advertising agency.

You see, people still buy from people.

And, one of my favorite people, Phyllis,  is having a birthday today.  And, no...I ain't telling how old.  You wouldn't believe it anyway!  We've been to lots of places together, sat in more than one Board Meeting, shared business and personal thoughts and dreams. 

She's a pal and a good person.

Oh, did I mention creative?   Long ago she talked to me about building a business using more of her creative talents.  And, she's done it.  The House of FiFi DuBois is an Fifi Dubois eclectic shop located in San Angelo, TX.  Go ahead, take a's a hoot!  The story of how it got the name and the stuff that went on getting it off the ground is great.  It's a true lesson in advertising and marketing.  But, that's not the reason for this post.

The reason I'm writing about Phyllis Cox is because she's my friend and I think so much of her.  So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHYLLIS!!  You Rock!

Thanks for allowing a trip down the lane...

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Where we actually like our clients..and they become friends. or follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie

What To Do...

It's nearly 11:30 on Wednesday night and I'm still at it.  That's kind of late for a guy known to be in the rack by 9:00PM.  But, It's been one of those frustrating days.

Now, before you get out the violin and start up with a "cry me a river" tune.  It's notMan frustration anything you can's about me.  Well, me and what we see but sometimes our clients and perspective clients...don't.  Here is an example and a lesson:

Today we presented a client with a bill for work we've done on their non-profit website.  It included a total re-design, blog, original photography, writing, new logo and lots and lots of changes.  Lots.  "Can you change the word safe to the word safely..?"  You get the idea.  And, we were at this project for nearly four months.  Because it was a non-profit we charged only for the designer and none of my time.  None.

The bill came to $2,123.46.

They were, "shocked".  "If I had any idea this would have come to over $2,000 we never would have done it."

But here's the deal.  They knew.  We're very careful in discussing our rates.  We make it a point to cover what the client wants and what they do not want.  We give examples of what $600 buys, what $6,000 buys and what $60,000 buys.  We have them look at various sites and tell us what they like and what they don't.  We log every "charge" and every "no-charge".  There is a narrative along with each days work and who did what...even if we don't charge for whatever is being done, it gets logged.

Where did we fail?  That has bothered me since this morning.  What did we do wrong?  How could we have prevented this?  And, I think I have the answer:

Perceived Value vs. Real Value 

You see, we failed in determining their perceived value of the Internet.  That's what came out during the conversation today and that is what really stings.  We had the initial meeting, we discussed design, we talked about rates, we spent hours in creative, we walked them through the reasons to blog... but we failed to see their actual distrust and low perceived value of the Internet.

They don't get it...and we missed it.  And, we learned something today.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where it's not been a total loss...we learned something.



Meeting The Future...

Note:  I don't usually offer up personal reflections on family stuff but this was "too cool". So if you came by looking for advertising and marketing stuff...check back tomorrow?

This past Thursday I met the future.  Taylor AnnMarie Libbie was born at 1:55 in theZaydee Taylor afternoon here in Des Moines.  Our son, Aaron, could not be more happy and our daughter-in-law Mandi was happy...and very tired.  (Nice job!)

While this is our fourth grand-child it was the first time I had been "on-site".  Our girls (Holly and Hunter) live out of state and while we were there shortly after the births...this was the first time "at the scene".  So to speak. 

Aaron and Mandi recently back to Iowa from San Antonio.  She is a teacher and he opened up a new business, Aquafuzion of Iowa.  And, so there we were waiting and hoping.  The new parents opted NOT to know the sex of their new family member and that was great.  It added to the excitement. 

So, forgive the personal stuff for today. We'll be back with more business related items but this was too fun. And so, welcome little girl...Sailor, Jake and Jovie are anxious to get to know you.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Where we take time out for important stuff like this, back to business.

You Get What You Pay For?

Not long ago I helped a couple of business people set up their blogs.  One I did for freeMan WHAT and the other we charged our rate because we also did the website and wanted them to link.  Clearly, it wasn't a large expense for either client.  And, at the time, I was willing to do whatever it took to get them on the right track and help them get noticed.  We explained, very carefully, how this form of marketing provides a conversation tool that can be amazingly powerful.

In each case I gave them the Michael Libbie Three Rules for Successful Blogging:

  • Keep your posts short and to the point.
  • Have "something to say" that informs and causes action.
  • Blog at least three times a week, every week.

Looks like I have failed.

In each case they have quit...all in less than three months.  Which brings to mind the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but can't make 'em drink."

Maybe I should have doubled my rate?  Maybe I should have explained better?  Maybe I should have left them a copy of my Power Point about "Getting Noticed"?  Maybe I should just charge them, big time, and write the things myself?

If you've got the guts to get into the game...stay there and work hard.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications