August 28, 2012

Work Life Balance

Here's what I know. I used to have it. And now I don't. Any ideas on how to get it back when you've been catapaulted into sheer madness at break-neck speeds?

2009 in Exeter - The last place I found balance....

August 19, 2012

Simple Ideas and the Unexpected Create Magic

I'm a big fan of the KISS principle. In general, simple ideas when executed well can have big impact and often have the bonus of not being a logistical nightmare to pull off. If you can add in a little element of surprise or a dash of unique, you've got a winning recipe.

Flesherton is a small town near to where I grew up. The town has one traffic light and a handful of stores, not least of which is the Leslieville Cheese Shop (yes, of Toronto), Munshaw's Bistro (try the mustard chicken), and an art gallery. If you drive through, you might not think much of it, but Flesherton is also the home of Opera in the Barn. And yes, it is literally that. An opera played on a big screen in a barn.

It's based on a simple idea that you often see in rom-coms. Show an opera on a big movie screen for local people to enjoy. Serve them great food and wine and what's not to love? But, do it in a barn? Well, now you're talking. This little extra je ne sais quoi was surprisingly the best part of the evening. The barn is not an event space. It's on a farm complete with animals and the ... let's call them "earthy" smells you might expect. But it was precisely this juxtaposition between farm and culture that made the evening so extraordinary.

We were treated to Pavarotti in 1976 in La Boheme at the MET. Over a six course meal. And a little kitten that crawled up my father's leg so that it too could join us in the magical evening. It was a simple concept. A film, a dinner...but the barn. It went from simple to sublime and I can't wait to do it again.

Keep your events and campaigns simple.  Find the dash of creative and unique. And your programs are sure to be a hit!

August 2, 2012

My Klout has Taken a Beating

Are you paying attention to your Klout score? I used to when I used CoTweet as a free tool. Since that time, I've kind of forgotten about it other than getting the odd notification if a friend gave me a +K in a particular subject (incidentally I'm a bigger influencer in the subject of the Huffington Post and eBooks than I am in PR...not sure what that says about me).

My current score is 43. And it's taken a nose dive recently - mostly because I haven't been engaging much lately. So, what the heck does all this mean, you ask? It means a couple of things:
  • I'm "effectively using social media to influence my network across a variety of topics" - makes sense as I don't tend to post about one particular subject and am lucky enough to work in PR resulting in an organic network of cool people that I like to share with. I've recently added to the mix, so maybe that'll give me a boost.
  • My true reach is 233 people. Given I have 308 followers on Twitter, 389 friends on Fbook, and maybe....a handful of people reading this blog ,that's not the best percentage. On the flipside, 233 people in a network that actually pays attention to you is pretty awesome. Silver lining on that one! 
  • Amplification and influence however clearly need some work. A chart that looks like this just ain't pretty!

Conclusion... it's time to go to work people!