Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Clogs

The final M*A*S*H* drew a record 106 million viewers, but when it comes to an annual event to reach a large number of people, the Super Bowl reigns supreme. Last year’s game between the Giants and Patriots was viewed by 97.5 million people.

The American Institute of Food Distribution states that Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest day of food consumption behind only Thanksgiving. The number one choice for snacking? Chicken wings. About one billion wings will be eaten.

The beverage of choice is beer. The Super Bowl is the 8th-largest beer-selling event each year.

With that much gluttony going on, something has to give. Well, it doesn’t have to be your plumbing.

Pipes clog because of a gradual buildup of grease, hair, soap or food particles. All it takes is one major overload, like a house full of guests, to exasperate the situation and create a clogged drain.

Paul Abrams, public relations manager for Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service, offers these helpful hints tips to avoid a plumbing disaster.

Avoid pouring fats or cooking oils down the drain because liquid fats solidify in the pipes and create clogs. Wipe congealed grease from pots.

Never put hard-to-grind, stringy, fibrous waste into the garbage disposer (poultry skins, chicken bones, celery, pumpkin pulp or banana peels). The disposer can't sufficiently grind these items and they will clog your sink drain.

Run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposer to flush waste down the main line.

Turn on the disposer before adding food debris.

Run the dishwasher and washing machine at night or at off times to conserve water temperature and pressure for your guests.

If you find yourself with a plumbing problem on Sunday, it is probably best to call in the professionals. Roto-Rooter has 24 hours a day / 7 days a week service, even during the Super Bowl. Read more!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

International Builders Show

To make news, you have to understand the news and not just from one source, but many.

It's increasingly difficult to find any good news when it comes to the residential building market but, at the International Builders Show, we were pleasantly surprised by the optimism being shared by builders and manufacturers who earn their living in this arena.

While the number of exhibitors and attendees was down sharply from previous years, those who attended seemed to be weathering the storm and in some cases, succeeding in spite of the economy.

In the coming weeks, we'll be posting video interviews from IBS that Under Construction staff conducted with companies who have a great story to tell. Read more!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not Prepared

Apparently, Mickey Rourke wasn't prepared and didn't do his homework on what is acceptable for broadcast television

Read more!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Media Interviews

The following video is a result of Strata-G's work at IBS 2008 in coordinating and preparing our client, Vermont American, for an interview with DIY Network's hot new show, "Cool Tools."

One thing the recent presidential campaign season clearly demonstrated was that some individuals were much better on camera than others. This was simply a function of being better prepared.

Those who succeeded knew what the media wanted and were able to articulate what, exactly, made them successful, what they’ve done that’s different and what the real impact of their ideas or proposals would be on the community.

Not only that, they were prepared. They reviewed and carefully prepared their key messages, anticipated questions reporters would ask and crafted answers that enforced their key messages and most importantly, they rehearsed.

During the interview, they were expressive; their high energy negated draining qualities of video. They listened to questions and took their time before answering and they looked directly into the camera by using the interviewer as their anchor.

Whether you’re a politician or a company spokesperson, by using some of these simple, but important techniques, you will be better prepared to interact with the media.

Read more!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Who Are We and Why Are We Here?

Let’s start by answering the “why” question. The building products industry, for better or for worse, tends to stick with what has worked in the past. And why not? When times were good, the industry could make a lot of hay just by churning out interesting products and by letting the sales and channel teams drive the bus. Marketing was perceived something of a necessary evil, little more than gobbling up impressions just to keep the competition from getting them.

But what happens when the economy takes a nosedive so steep and so fast that the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling? What happens when budgets begin drying up? What happens when all of your competitors go into survival mode and blackout their marketing programs? If you’re smart, that’s when you get creative and ratchet up the volume on your own marketing program. Because, it’s not all about who will survive right now; it’s really about who will be left standing in a year or two when the economy starts to rebound. Who will be positioned for success when Americans begin building houses, offices, malls and factories again?

No doubt, times are as tough as they’ve ever been. With alarming frequency now, I’m receiving calls and e-mails from friends involved in all facets of the building products industry. We’re talking about experienced marketing and sales professionals, talented product managers, respected trade media editors and others, all good people who have fallen victim to the dreaded budget cut. The first call or e-mail usually rings with the expected sense of helplessness and disappointment. But, subsequent conversations – and this is really interesting – often include talk of new ways of doing things, creative solutions, innovation. People are taking a new look at how things are done. Old dogs are learning new tricks. And it’s exciting to see!

That’s why we’re here. The future of the building products business is under construction. In my opinion, the foundation of this particular project is going to be built on the ingenuity, experience and perspiration of creative people willing to at least consider a new paradigm. So let’s see if we can capture a few of those new ideas here. Let’s hear from the manufacturers, the marketing pros, the retailers, the industry watchers. Let’s share a few good thoughts and ideas with each other. If we’re lucky, maybe this little experiment in the blogosphere will bear some interesting fruit.

Who are we? Well, the names on this blog are those of Managing Editor Rob Foster and myself. Between us, we have nearly 40 years of marketing, public relations and strategic planning experience, almost two decades of history working in the building products industry and a few dozen banged up knuckles from trying out the products we spend our days talking about. For the past few years, we’ve had the privilege of working for one of the leading marketing and communications firms serving the nation’s building products industry. But this project is bigger than the two of us and the talented and experienced people we work with.

In the coming months, Rob and I will be inviting new perspectives from industry thought leaders. We’ll be visiting industry events on a hunt for interesting ideas. And we’ll be scouring the Internet and the media for helpful insights. Along the way, we’ll also invite you the reader to chime in and broaden the conversation. Got an idea? See something cool online? Share it. We all have an opportunity to learn here and become part of building something we can all be proud of.

Bryan E. Wright

Executive Editor

Read more!