There inevitably comes a time in every client interaction in which we recommend that they create a fact sheet, also known as an information paper or white paper. The fact sheet is one of the most simple, effective pieces of corporate communication. Why? Here are five good reasons.
(1) Fact sheets are short. The rule of thumb is to keep a fact sheet to one page. One page is all you need to communicate the key messages about your company or one of your company’s products, services or issues. One page is also all that people will read. No one has the time or wants to read long content. If your fact sheet is bleeding over to two pages, revise it and revise it again until it’s one page. Take out all unnecessary points and words. If you’re finding it impossible to get your fact sheet to one page, chances are good that you need another fact sheet to tackle a portion of the information. Whatever you do, don’t make the font miniscule to pare down the text.
Recently we provided an exclusive auto insurance deal for all FMPR friends and their employees in Hawai`i. With this deal, they could get special rates, exceptional coverage and unique policy enhancements. And, anyone who acted on the offer and received an estimate by specified date (June 30) would be entered to win a free, brand new 4th generation 32 GB iPod Touch sponsored by FMPR.
Recently the Philadelphia Orchestra, an institution in the City of Brotherly Love, announced that it was declaring bankruptcy.
According to Newsworks.com, orchestra president Allison Vulgamore said, “We actually have not marketed our concerts very well, and not spent sufficient funds on marketing.” The article continued to say that “Insufficient marketing is one of many elements causing the orchestra to come up short” and that “…organizations such as the orchestra tend to focus their marketing dollars on subscription sales because it's more efficient, but they will have to change with consumer patterns.”
There’s a trend these days in corporate charitable giving, and it’s being led by the biggest of the big guys. Take Pepsi, Starbucks and Disney.
Pepsi’s Refresh Project is a social media/philanthropy hybrid that funds important initiatives from improving schools to building parks and playgrounds, and supporting new business ideas. In fact, in 2010, Pepsi gave up its Super Bowl ad and allowed small budding companies to advertise in its place. Pepsi defines the Refresh Project as “The New Pepsi Challenge.” In the process of helping causes through millions of dollars of donations, they attract millions of fans to their social media sites to vote on which projects get funded. Everyone wins.
We are religious readers of Springwise, which defines itself as “one of the world’s leading sources of new business ideas.” Every week, they automatically send us blurbs about new business trends that have been identified by over 8,000 “spotters” worldwide. Recently, Springwise summed up its “Top 20 business ideas and opportunities for 2011.” There were some interesting findings.
The term "mass customization" was coined in 1987 in Stanley M. Davis' book "Future Perfect." Fifteen years later, “Metropolis” magazine called mass customization the number one design idea for the 21st century.
Today, there are numerous examples of mass customization, that is, offering customized products to the masses, but the concept has gone way beyond LL Bean’s monogramming. A good example is Levi Strauss. The company’s new $20 million Original Levi’s Store in San Francisco is part theater, part art gallery, part museum, part cinema, and part rave. With 70,000 watts of digital audio, a biometrics recognition system, a 3D body scanner, and a ton of video screens, shoppers are in for an interactive, memorable experience and unequalled opportunities to take those old 501s to a new level.
A while ago, we traveled to Oahu with a friend and client who is also a local college culinary arts professor. We were eating at a restaurant and as soon as the waitress approached, our client looked at the waitress' name tag and addressed her by name. After Kara took our order, our client explained, “You know, I always put this question on my students’ test: what’s the name of the janitor who cleans here?” He said that students in the service industry need to understand that everyone in a restaurant is important, from the dishwasher to the chef, and should be recognized for making the business work.