Tag Archives: social media trends

Die Young, As Late As Possible

December 2018 Thoughts that Count: 

“I once heard it said of man that the idea is to die young, as late as possible.” — {Former President George W. Bush in the eulogy for his father, President George H. W. Bush}

Former President George W. Bush delivered an emotional eulogy about his father, former president George H.W. Bush, during his funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington on December 5th.

The following is a transcript of his remarks, as distributed by George W. Bush’s office and lightly edited by The New York Times.

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Distinguished guests, including our presidents and first ladies, government officials, foreign dignitaries, and friends: Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I, and our families, thank you all for being here.

I once heard it said of man that “the idea is to die young as late as possible.”

At age 85, a favorite pastime of George H.W. Bush was firing up his boat, the Fidelity, and opening up the three-300 horsepower engines to fly — joyfully fly — across the Atlantic, with Secret Service boats straining to keep up.

At 90, George H.W. Bush parachuted out of an aircraft and landed on the grounds of St. Ann’s by the Sea in Kennebunkport, Maine — the church where his mom was married and where he’d worshiped often. Mother liked to say he chose the location just in case the chute didn’t open.

In his 90’s, he took great delight when his closest pal, James A. Baker, smuggled a bottle of Grey Goose vodka into his hospital room. Apparently, it paired well with the steak Baker had delivered from Morton’s.

To his very last days, Dad’s life was instructive. As he aged, he taught us how to grow old with dignity, humor, and kindness — and, when the good Lord finally called, how to meet him with courage and with joy in the promise of what lies ahead.

One reason Dad knew how to die young is that he almost did it — twice. When he was a teenager, a staph infection nearly took his life. A few years later he was alone in the Pacific on a life raft, praying that his rescuers would find him before the enemy did.

God answered those prayers. It turned out he had other plans for George H.W. Bush. For Dad’s part, I think those brushes with death made him cherish the gift of life. And he vowed to live every day to the fullest.

Dad was always busy — a man in constant motion — but never too busy to share his love of life with those around him. He taught us to love the outdoors. He loved watching dogs flush a covey. He loved landing the elusive striper. And once confined to a wheelchair, he seemed happiest sitting in his favorite perch on the back porch at Walker’s Point contemplating the majesty of the Atlantic. The horizons he saw were bright and hopeful. He was a genuinely optimistic man. And that optimism guided his children and made each of us believe that anything was possible.

He continually broadened his horizons with daring decisions. He was a patriot. After high school, he put college on hold and became a Navy fighter pilot as World War II broke out. Like many of his generation, he never talked about his service until his time as a public figure forced his hand. We learned of the attack on Chichi Jima, the mission completed, the shoot-down. We learned of the death of his crewmates, whom he thought about throughout his entire life. And we learned of his rescue.

And then, another audacious decision; he moved his young family from the comforts of the East Coast to Odessa, Texas. He and Mom adjusted to their arid surroundings quickly. He was a tolerant man. After all, he was kind and neighborly to the women with whom he, Mom and I shared a bathroom in our small duplex — even after he learned their profession — ladies of the night.

Dad could relate to people from all walks of life. He was an empathetic man. He valued character over pedigree. And he was no cynic. He looked for the good in each person — and usually found it.

Dad taught us that public service is noble and necessary; that one can serve with integrity and hold true to the important values, like faith and family. He strongly believed that it was important to give back to the community and country in which one lived. He recognized that serving others enriched the giver’s soul. To us, his was the brightest of a thousand points of light.

In victory, he shared credit. When he lost, he shouldered the blame. He accepted that failure is part of living a full life, but taught us never to be defined by failure. He showed us how setbacks can strengthen.

None of his disappointments could compare with one of life’s greatest tragedies, the loss of a young child. Jeb and I were too young to remember the pain and agony he and Mom felt when our 3-year-old sister died. We only learned later that Dad, a man of quiet faith, prayed for her daily. He was sustained by the love of the almighty and the real and enduring love of our mom. Dad always believed that one day he would hug his precious Robin again.

He loved to laugh, especially at himself. He could tease and needle, but never out of malice. He placed great value on a good joke. That’s why he chose Simpson to speak. On email, he had a circle of friends with whom he shared or received the latest jokes. His grading system for the quality of the joke was classic George Bush. The rare 7s and 8s were considered huge winners — most of them off-color.

George Bush knew how to be a true and loyal friend. He honored and nurtured his many friendships with his generous and giving soul. There exist thousands of handwritten notes encouraging, or sympathizing, or thanking his friends and acquaintances.

He had an enormous capacity to give of himself. Many a person would tell you that Dad became a mentor and a father figure in their life. He listened and he consoled. He was their friend. I think of Don Rhodes, Taylor Blanton, Jim Nantz, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and perhaps the unlikeliest of all, the man who defeated him, Bill Clinton. My siblings and I refer to the guys in this group as “brothers from other mothers.”

He taught us that a day was not meant to be wasted. He played golf at a legendary pace. I always wondered why he insisted on speed golf. He was a good golfer.

Well, here’s my conclusion: He played fast so that he could move on to the next event, to enjoy the rest of the day, to expend his enormous energy, to live it all. He was born with just two settings: full throttle, then sleep.

He taught us what it means to be a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was firm in his principles and supportive as we began to seek our own ways. He encouraged and comforted, but never steered. We tested his patience — I know I did — but he always responded with the great gift of unconditional love.

Last Friday, when I was told he had minutes to live, I called him. The guy who answered the phone said, “I think he can hear you, but hasn’t said anything most of the day. I said, “Dad, I love you, and you’ve been a wonderful father.” And the last words he would ever say on earth were, “I love you, too.”

(December 5, 2018, The New York Times)

How to Use Hashtags to Grow Your Business

Last year, Forbes  published a great article that details “How to Use Hashtags to Effectively Grow Your Business.” The article provides general rules of hashtags as well as specific suggestions for each social media platform.

Here are author Annemaria Duran’s rules to follow:
hashtags for business

General Rules To Follow

When using hashtags, there are several rules to keep in mind:

1. In most cases, using many hashtags decreases interactions. Pinterest and Instagram are the exceptions to this rule.

2. Use local hashtags to build community awareness.

3. Use specific product or brand hashtags to create conversation.

4. Use search tools to see related hashtags and their popularity. Hashtagify.me is a free tool that can be used to view related hashtags.

5. Before you use new hashtags, make sure that you understand the existing meanings and uses of them to avoid offensive, controversial or demeaning ones.

This article is worth reading!  She goes on to detail hashtag usage across the different social media platforms, but LinkedIn is likely the most helpful section for our readers:


LinkedIn hashtags on mobile rolled out in the fall of 2016, but full desktop usage wasn’t available until the fall of 2017. LinkedIn content shows up in Google searches so using hashtags can put your posts in front of a larger audience. Another way to leverage hashtags on LinkedIn is to post them in comments on other posts or add them to your company page.”

Sources: Forbes

Hashtag Challenge: Use a Hashtag on LinkedIn

The NLT Team is issuing a hashtag challenge this month, because last month’s articles on hashtags garnered quite a few clicks.  If you missed them, here they are again:

How to Effectively Use Hashtags on LinkedIn

And the following how to video by Jade Pluck:


In response to last month’s interest in hashtags, the NLT Team would like to challenge you to use a hashtag on LinkedIn.  Not sure which hashtag to use?  Take a look at the list put together by Ghost Blog Writers for suggestions to get started:

  1. #business
  2. #work
  3. #office
  4. #success
  5. #quotes
  6. #inspiration
  7. #entrepreneur
  8. #life
  9. #love
  10. #happy
  11. #HR
  12. #jobs
  13. #marketing
  14. #sales
  15. #leadership
  16. #tips
  17. #influencer
  18. #successful
  19. #worklife
  20. #officelife

Source: Ghost Writers Blog

These Social Media Trends Are On The Rise In 2018

Let’s talk social media trends.  There’s no doubt social media will remain center-stage in our lives this year, but what type of content will make you shine this coming year?

Unsurprisingly, video will remain the preferred vehicle for information. By 2020, around 80 percent of global internet traffic will be attributed to video, so it’s smart to get in right away!

Choosing video makes sense when we look at the stats: almost 95 percent of video messages are retained by viewers, compared to only 10 percent of text content. Who wouldn’t want a piece of those social media trends?

Source: Filmora
When talking about social media trends, it is important to describe social media as explained Wikipedia style.  Users typically access social media services via web-based technologies on desktop, computers, and laptops, or download services that offer social media functionality to their mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablet computers). When engaging with these services, users can create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities, and organizations can share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content or pre-made content posted online. They “introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities, and individuals.”  Social media changes the way individuals and large organizations communicate. These changes are the focus of the emerging fields of technoself studies. Social media differ from paper-based media (e.g., magazines and newspapers) or traditional electronic media such as TV broadcasting in many ways, including quality, reach, frequency, interactivity, usability, immediacy, and permanence. Social media outlets operate in a dialogic transmission system (many sources to many receivers). This is in contrast to traditional media which operates under a monologic transmission model (one source to many receivers), such as a paper newspaper which is delivered to many subscribers, or a radio station which broadcasts the same programs to an entire city. Some of the most popular social media websites are Baidu Tieba, Facebook (and its associated Facebook Messenger), Google+, Myspace, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Viber, VK, WeChat, Weibo, WhatsApp, and Wikia. These social media websites have more than 100,000,000 registered users.

In America, a 2015 survey reported that 71 percent of teenagers have a Facebook account. Over 60% of 13 to 17-year-olds have at least one profile on social media, with many spending more than two hours a day on social networking sites. According to Nielsen, Internet users continue to spend more time on social media sites than on any other type of site. At the same time, the total time spent on social media sites in the U.S. across PCs as well as on mobile devices increased by 99 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012 compared to 66 billion minutes in July 2011. For content contributors, the benefits of participating in social media have gone beyond simply social sharing to building a reputation and bringing in career opportunities and monetary income.

Observers have noted a range of positive and negative impacts of social media use. Social media can help to improve individuals’ sense of connectedness with real or online communities, and social media can be an effective communication (or marketing) tool for corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, including advocacy groups and political parties and governments. At the same time, concerns have been raised about possible links between heavy social media use and depression, and even the issues of cyberbullying, online harassment and “trolling“. Currently, about half of young adults have been cyberbullied and of those, 20 percent said that they have been cyberbullied regularly.  Another survey was carried out among 7th grade students in America, which is known as the Precaution Process Adoption Model. According to this study, 69 percent of 7th grade students claim to have experienced cyberbullying and they also said that it is worse than face to face bullying. However both the bully and the victim are negatively affected, the intensity, duration, and frequency are the three aspects that increase the negative effects on both of them.

Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet 2017

Social media platforms are forever changing the image sizes and formats, so to keep you all updated Jamie Spencer created the social media image sizes cheat sheet and updates it each year.  Do yourself a favor and bookmark the info-graphic he created. Continue reading Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet 2017

For 2014…Be at Peace!!!

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – {Robin Roberts, Good Morning America}

Supporting Your Local Community is Good Marketing!!!

My daughter is a member of her high school dance team, the award winning Langham Creek Bailadoras (www.bailadoras.com
). Last week for the second straight year, I participated in something called Donation Quest. My job was to chaperone and drive five girls to various local businesses. The girls asked these businesses for donations to be used at their annual Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction.

As I drove from business to business, I started to think about how important it is for these local businesses to participate in the various fundraising activities that inevitably present themselves each year. After all, the communities where these businesses reside support them with their wallet and are an important source of sales../p>

We visited restaurants, watch shops, electronics stores, custom frame shops, beauty parlors, yogurt shops and car garages just to name a few. Most were locally owned with a few national chains sprinkled in the mix.

The responses to the girl’s requests were varied. There were a few “We were wondering when we were going to see you this year, let’s see what we can do for you” or “We really like participating in these local events, here is a gift certificate for you to use”. Our team always felt positive about our interaction with those businesses. You got the feeling that they conduct business like this every day.

Some of the local businesses and all of the national chains said they needed to talk to their home office. How weak is that…it’s just an easy way for them to not participate? Only a few businesses actually said no!

So, if you are a local business supported by your local community, my advice is to put community participation into your yearly marketing plan. It doesn’t have to be expensive and you can be creative in your ideas. Working with your local community brings a wide range of benefits that really have to do with creating good will for your company.

So, the next time a group of girls from the high school dance team comes into your place of business with an opportunity for you to highlight what you do, be prepared to help them out!

How San Diego Blood Bank Made a Difference in Life

As the Marketing Manager for the San Diego Blood Bank I struggled with many of the same challenges that marketing professionals around the world grapple with – how do you create a compelling enough message to motivate the public to do something that could be out of their comfort zone. In this case, we weren’t asking people to purchase a product or service; we needed them to donate blood. Unlike Apple’s iPod or Sony’s PlayStation, there would be no fancy gadget to provide hours of entertainment – only the knowledge that a blood donor’s efforts may have saved someone’s life. On top of that, marketing to people in Southern California proved to have its unique challenges because there are so many options distracting the consumer. Donating blood was taking a backseat to surfing, sailing and shopping!

Before our journey began with NextLevel Thinking, the San Diego Blood Bank was constantly struggling to maintain an adequate blood supply for the hospitals it serves in and around San Diego County. Supplies dropped so low in the summer and around the holidays that the organization often resorted to issuing emergency pleas for blood through the media. These appeals caused momentary spikes in collections but never produced the sustained donating trends that we desperately needed to establish.

Organizationally, we determined that something had to change in order for the San Diego Blood Bank to be able to fulfill its mission in the community. The previous strategies hadn’t delivered the results we were looking for – to collect and maintain a consistent supply of blood for area hospitals. To do this, we needed to recruit new blood donors and increase the number of donations our existing donors were giving each year.

The decision to bring NextLevel Thinking in to help us craft a new strategy came from seeing the impressive results the firm produced at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. During my initial conversation with Eric Poerschke, NextLevel’s managing partner, he asked me if the San Diego Blood Bank was ready to do what was necessary to change the culture at our organization and ultimately pave the uphill road to success. He cautioned me that it wouldn’t work unless we were completely committed to executing every aspect of the program that we would design together. Our CEO was convinced that we needed to make a change, so we took the plunge.

When NextLevel came on board we began an investigation and analysis exercise to help us review our existing marketing and PR practices. We discovered many interesting things about our organization during that process that would begin to shape the restructuring of our strategy. I believe the most dramatic realization was that we weren’t cultivating a relationship with our donors, mainly because we were missing opportunities to communicate with them. Through more analysis (yes, it often felt like group therapy) we realized that we hadn’t been confident enough about ourselves, and our cause, to create that meaningful relationship with our donors. We also found that our organization wasn’t visible enough in the community and that the public didn’t realize the importance of donating blood and the impact it could have on someone’s life.

NextLevel helped us realize that our organization had something special to offer; something many other non-profits lacked. We could provide people the chance to make a difference in someone’s life by donating blood. From that discovery, the Difference in Life program was born.

In order to achieve our goal of recruiting new blood donors and increasing the number of donations by our existing donors, we created a multi-platform recruitment and retention strategy incorporating email, mail, telemarketing, website development, radio/television advertising and internal customer service outreach. Every communication touch point was integrated with each other so the messages were all consistent. By utilizing these various communication mediums we found that we were able to start “connecting” with our donors using one or more of the methods that were most convenient to them. We were sensitive to the fact that we needed to cultivate a respectful relationship with our constituents so we decided to limit our contacts on a monthly basis.

We used email, mail, telemarketing and customer service outreach to communicate with existing donors and made a significant investment in radio/television advertising to appeal to new donors. We created a simple story and some easy steps that would explain how people could “make a difference in life.” All we asked is that they donate “one more time each year.” For new donors, that meant one donation. For an existing donor, it was one additional visit. To put a face to our cause, we began sharing the stories of real blood recipients and blood donors in San Diego whose lives had been impacted by the act of donating blood.

It was also important that the program offer opportunities for everyone to make a difference in life – so we created programs for individual blood donors, for businesses/organizations who host blood drives, for those who choose to volunteer their time and those who opt to make a financial contribution. Like our touch point communications, each of these sub-programs were integrated with one another to maximize the effectiveness of the overall program goal.

In order for this program to be successful, it had to become a part of the culture at the San Diego Blood Bank – an organization that opened in 1950. Change didn’t come quickly for many of the employees who’d spent their careers building the framework of the previous strategy. But, with the support of our CEO and other directors, the employees began to believe in the Difference in Life program. We instituted a customer service training program for the nursing staff to get them excited about the many new benefits they would be offering donors. In addition, we hosted new commercial viewing parties for the employees and offered updates about the program in every employee newsletter. We invited staff members to participate in various Difference in Life teams so they could offer input and help craft the strategy. Every department was given the opportunity to contribute.

Within one year of launching the Difference in Life program, the San Diego Blood Bank increased collections by 10%. In addition, donor satisfaction surveys improved dramatically and our number of first time donors increased. We stopped issuing emergency pleas for donors and began maintaining a consistent supply of blood.

Within three years, we’d increased collections by 26% and began tackling other challenges like managing an ever-growing inventory of blood products. During those three years, we experimented with many different tactics for improving our results but we never deviated from the core strategy. Although the program is far more complex than when it started, it still relies on the integrity of the multi-platform messaging that was created at its inception.

In conclusion, if I could advise other marketing professionals who would like to see these kinds of results, I would encourage them to jump in with both feet and truly commit to executing the strategy you develop. Don’t cut corners or try to save a few pennies in the short-term. Your long-term results will pay dividends. I can say with complete certainty that we would not have experienced the success we quickly realized if we would have sacrificed one component of the program. Although the multi-platform communication model can be cumbersome to manage, it is the most effective way to ensure your message is received. And, ultimately, that’s what makes a difference.

About the Author

Mary Walter-Brown was the marketing manager for the San Diego Blood Bank and is now the owner of Brown Ideas, a strategic marketing firm located in San Diego, California specializing in multi-media marketing solutions. Mary has a diverse background with more than 17 years of experience in television news, corporate video production, public relations and marketing.

Local Strategic Marketing Firm Netting Big Results

HOUSTON, TX (March 10, 2005) – NextLevel Thinking, a Houston based strategic marketing firm, is executing a fast break that is garnering national attention.

Interest in the company’s services is high in part because of their phenomenal results with The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. The Blood Center has seen a spike in donations in the year and a half since NextLevel Thinking developed and rolled out the Commit for Life program.

First, NextLevel Thinking cofounders Eric Poerschke and Kirk Loudon addressed the initial problem, why aren’t more people donating blood? Research showed that people feared the needles used to draw blood. They then concentrated on the Blood Center’s marketing materials and moved from a blood business focus to a life business focus showing those patients that are positively impacted by blood donations.

“It was easy to see where we needed to make some changes immediately,” says Loudon. “We knew we needed to move away from the needle image and attract potential donor’s attention on all the positives of giving blood.”

The Commit for Life Program was born and blood donations have been increasing ever since.

With their slam dunk for The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, NextLevel Thinking has been approached by other blood banks and blood centers about upping their donations.

“We’re very strategic about the way we approach our client’s business,” says Poerschke.

Poerschke, a former Arkansas Razorback basketball player, always knew that he would run his own business. For a while though, he wasn’t sure what that business would be. He studied finance in college, worked in that industry for a while, then decided that was just not his passion. He went to graduate school at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston and tried to figure out how he could merge his interests in psychology with his business strategy background. Marketing relies on and plays off psychology and he found his niche.

“I started looking at the consulting field and it all came together for me,” says Poerschke. He joined Anderson Consulting and got into the strategic side of their business. He then joined Loudon at Brand Imagination, an advertising firm. There the concept for NextLevel Thinking was born. They figured that combining both their skills sets would prove to be a successful move. And it has been.

Poerschke, the namesake of the E.J. Poerschke Mr. Razorback award, is pleased with the success of NextLevel Thinking and has great visions for the future. The Poerschke award was created by former head coach Nolan Richardson in recognition of athletic and academic excellence in the true spirit of the Razorback tradition.

“We feel like our combination of strategic and creative excellence is just the right blend to help those organizations that really want to separate themselves from their competition,” says Poerschke.

To learn more about NextLevel Thinking, go to their website at www.yournextlevel.cc.