Why We Don’t Plagiarize

Vice President Joe Biden takes the oath of off...

Joe Biden, plagiarist, swearing to uphold the law. Photo credit Wikipedia.

Is plagiarism suddenly all the rage?

Articles about it popping are up everywhere. My new pal Tim Bonner posted about it, as did Content Marketing World speaker Rachel Foster. Craig Silverman writes about it at Poynter.org.  Then I read a post from a marketing student at the University of South Florida, Murewa Olubela.

Murewa focuses on the kind of trouble students can get into for plagiarism. Because she’s a student, and president of her PR club, I can see where she’s coming from.

But I wanted to offer another point of view.

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5 For The Weekend, Vol. 6

The All-Inbound Blog "5 For The Weekend" is late this week. Sorry.

My Rolex-Submariner took a licking, then stopped ticking

Sorry to be so late.

Here’s your weekend, almost half over, and I’m just getting around to posting this week’s 5.

I come with lame excuses. First, my knock-off Rolex stopped. Then the nice folks at Arment-Dietrich’s Spin Sucks blog kept me tied up much of Friday. Thanks again to them, and their whole blog community.

Back to the matter at hand: This is unofficially Lady’s Weekend. Our first two links celebrate women pioneers in advertising. Not because they’re women, but because of what they accomplished.

And now, without further ado, the envelope please: Continue reading

5 For The (Long) Weekend, Vol. 5

Five Great Marketing Links For The (Long) Weekend

No turkeys in this week’s “5”

Here in beautiful Spokane, our two-month summer unofficially ends with the approach of Labor Day. I saw a guy this morning in line for a cheese and sausage biscuit dressed in full ski regalia. The good times never last, do they?

(To you Virginians and North Carolinians: You’re jealous of our 75° days and 42° nights now… but you won’t be by October, believe me.)

With no further ado, here are five great marketing links for your long weekend reading pleasure.

So: Summer interns, for the last time, the envelope, please:  Continue reading

My Horrible Print Ad, circa 1984

Ad for North Carolina Economic Development

It’s an ad about education. Please, oh please, no typoes!

I just wanted to follow up my previous post about blogging – and how it’s not the end of the world if you occasionally make mistakes. Try to avoid them, of course. But don’t let the fear of mistakes keep you from posting content that’s vital to your strategy.  Most online mistakes are fixable. 

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My Horrible Blog Post

Blogging can feel like walking a tightropeMy stats page notified me last month that someone had visited one of my old posts from April 2011.

I always liked that particular post. I wondered why it had never generated much traffic or any comments. There was no love for it at all. And it was about a circus. What’s not to love?

Let me count the ways.

First, I hadn’t read the post since I had originally hit the “publish” button. Had I taken a few moments to double-check it, I would have seen that I’d totally botched a nice little story.

The phrasing that was supposed to be ever-so-clever sounded phony. Entire sentences, and paragraphs, made no sense.  Continue reading

5 For The Weekend, Vol. 4

Bill Dorman compares blogs to restaurants

Great record from 1967, not a restaurant or a blog

Combing the blogosphere, the Twitterverse and places that can’t be mentioned in polite company, our staff has uncovered five blog posts that make a fine weekend marketing read. 

Soon you’ll be asking yourself, “What kind of restaurant is this blog?” And wondering if you would bring a respectable date here.

You’ll have to read on to get the reference. 

Without further ado, or explanation, the winners are (the envelope, please): 

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How To Avoid The “Solutions That Matter” Trap

Strategic marketing messages aren't complicated

It’s message development, not rocket science.

For this post on strategic marketing messages, I was trying to invent a vague and completely meaningless example. The result: “Solutions That Matter.” 

Then I Googled it, just for fun. I invite you to do the same. 

I’m not sure how “Solutions That Matter” could add value to any brand, in any situation. Is it supposed to contrast with “Solutions That Don’t Matter”? 

Major brands can spend millions developing strategic messages to use throughout their marketing.  And still they get it wrong. Your business can do better, even if you’re bootstrapping it.

So with no further ado…

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5 For The Week, Vol. 3

Five Links For Your Weekend Marketing Pleasure


Comedian Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s summer comedy tour continues all month

For most people, the big excitement on the Internet this week included Britney Spears’ love tweets to the Mars Rover, and boffo press reviews of the Joe Biden summer comedy tour. But you and I have something special. We get to look over the best marketing links of the week, as calculated by nine ArmentDietrich analytics interns and stored in a #2 mayonnaise jar on Funk &Wagnalls porch. (For a complete list of contest rules, please tweet me at @barrettrossie.)

See why I leave the comedy to Bill Dorman?

At any rate, here are some things I ran across this week that seemed useful or interesting, and contributed to the “lifetime learning” component of my personal plan. Continue reading

Rethink B2B Marketing

Rethnk B2B marketing

We’ve all been there.

 What if your B2B sales and marketing team consisted of high-level executives from your customer companies?

What if they were as committed to your company’s success as you are?

What if they had ample opportunities to directly influence high-level decision makers at companies that aren’t currently buying from you? 

According to a thought-provoking book, all this can happen, but not by accident.

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Two Grocery Stores, Two Lessons

Yesterday, I went to Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe's is doing something rightUnfamiliar with it? It has small tropical-themed stores, good to high-quality products, unusual brands and lots of neat imported “foodie” products (hence the “Trader”). There are free samples and friendly, knowledgable people. A lot of products have natural or organic ingredients. And nothing is sale-priced, ever. It’s all priced fairly to begin with.

It does have a limited selection. It’s not one-stop shopping like Target or Walmart. But I actually have fun shopping at TJ’s.

Then, on to Safeway

Most Safeway stores are big and beautiful. Their people are nice. They carry fine products, with many choices. What’s not to like? Continue reading