Nothing But Blue Skies Ahead — A Seasonal Update

Posted on April 28, 2015. Filed under: Public Relations | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Much has happened since we last met, was it in January (that “month of empty pockets,” as Colette calls it).

Last week saw the last snowflakes of the season, so I ordain. (Not that the weather gods pay much heed to me. But still, it’s time for winter to take a breather.)

Revved Up About Transmissions

Although, speaking of winter, I did write up a white paper contrasting the mechanical and operating characteristics of the two main types of transmissions for snow blowers – the continuously variable transmission (CVT) and the friction-disk transmission.

CVTs emerged as the up-and-coming winner, but not just because my client produces them. They are a superior technology, as the white paper illustrated – and as proclaimed by one of the foremost industry bloggers, James Sikkema. (If you do anything in the outdoor power equipment space, you need to know Sikkema, a Wisconsin blogger whose influence rivals that of Consumer Reports.)

To get the white paper into the hands of consumers, I used a national newspaper syndication service as a primary media relations tool. The syndicated release generated a blizzard of placements in newspaper-related outlets across the country, even penetrating sun-drenched states like Texas and Florida. Good leisure-time reading for the snow birds down there!

Educating The Educators

I’ve also been busy on the education beat, producing and distributing a series of email marketing newsletters for educators in various states. Did you know there are 3.5 million teachers in the United States? My client hasn’t worked up the budget as yet to reach all of them via email, but it’s a goal. Working on this account has opened my eyes to the tremendous market that is education today, especially in edutech – an area of great activity in Minnesota.

I’ve rambled on about a few things I’ve been working on of late. The point I hope to make is that I’m still out here, available for project work and/or something more substantial should the need arise.

As always, I am here to serve. Contact me anytime at Doug Hovelson. Comments welcome too!

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Number One (But No Bullets! We’re Talking Airports.)

Posted on March 22, 2010. Filed under: Public Relations, Public Relations Commentary | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

"Official Photograph" of Hubert H.

Image via Wikipedia

Orly or DeGaulle?

JFK or LaGuardia?

Berlin-Schonefeld or Berlin-Tegel? (Not Tempelhof any longer, tragically.)

One or Two?

Since it seems that we’re in an air travel mode here, you may be thinking that the last coupling – the numerical one – refers to the question that flight attendants ask you when you request cream with your in-flight coffee. True, it is a common question but for our purposes, I’m referring to the new names for the two main airport terminals in the Twin Cities. (And yes, it’s not quite apples and apples here – the aforementioned airports are just that, airports, while we’re talking about the two main terminals at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. But still, these two terminals had their own distinctive identities, complete with non-generic names, prior to this recent reversion to the numerical mean. So let’s call them apples and grapples.)

Beancounter’s Bonnie Delight.

Number One, of course, is the main terminal, formerly billed as the Lindbergh Terminal.

Number Two is the secondary terminal, previously seen on TV and elsewhere as the Hubert H. Humphrey Terminal.

Maybe it was a tough call for the airport terminal namers. Two is greater than one, except when referring to the Top Dog, who is always Numero Uno.

Maybe I’d better strike that Numero Uno. Too darn much international flair to it. OK. It’s Number One, pure and simple. Better yet: 1.

No confusion there. 1 is the indispensable number, there would be no 2 without a prior 1, just as there could be no byte without the bit.

Minimalissimo!

Is it a case of minimalism run amok at the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) in Minnesota?

No, the MAC never said it was trying to make a fashion statement with its new terminal nomenclature. It’s a matter of common sense, says the MAC. Too many people were confused by the previous system. A problem no doubt, if you show up at the Humphrey Terminal only to find that your flight departs from the terminal down the street.)

One way to keep them straight, even if you didn’t know your Lindbergh from your Humphrey, you could always think Conservative vs. Liberal – Lindbergh being the conservative (maybe a slightly sinister cast to that conservatism according to some, e.g. Phillip Roth, The Plot Against America), while the Humphrey would enjoy the unabashedly liberal mental association.

The 1-2 Punch, Or Bland Is Better

It’s just that simple. People can always distinguish between 1 and 2. It’s drilled into us from our salad days of potty training on. One is not 2, 2 is not one. One is first, two is second. One is better unless you’re trying to get to home plate. Two is twice one, but only half as good unless you’re talking a 2-for-1 special or about the amount of money you have left in your wallet after purchasing a latte at the leeward Starbucks.

Now if this trend catches on, maybe New York City will be renamed Number One City and Chicago and Los Angeles can fight it out for the Number Two slot in the pantheon of American cities, with an asterisk to the loser. President Obama could be Citizen One and Vice President Biden Citizen Two.  The mighty Mississippi could be renamed River Number One with the Missouri assuming the mantle of River Number Two.

Last Call For Professional Namers.

What a blow to the naming industry. No more half million dollar contracts to come up with fancy names for new products and companies. Just rank them in order of numerical priority and go to it with your advertising, marketing and brand building campaigns. Prove to the world that even the most generic of names need not be commoditized in the marketplace!

Maybe Lindbergh and Humphrey don’t have the same je ne sais quoi of a Bogart and Bacall, Ruth and Gehrig or even a Starsky and Hutch. There might be a better way to pay homage to the two local heroes than by naming the state’s two foremost air terminals after them. (The cup of local patriotic pride runneth over for the late Happy Warrior, since the Metrodome Stadium — street name: The Hump — is also named after him. (Although The Hump now is officially Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, or some such thing.)

Mall of America. Wouldn’t that be American Shopping Mall Number One in our new non-confusing system?

Better By Any Other Names?

Better names for the MSP terminals? How about Franken and Davis (ha ha that would light some talk show fires in the Twin Cities). Killebrew and Carew, in honor of the diamond kings. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis, homage to a pair of 20th century literary heavyweights from the Land of 10,000 Generic Lakes. Speaking of lakes, how about Walleye and Muskie, two of the most coveted finny catches from state waters. Or, I dunno, Day and Night? Gaga and Gorgonzola?

One and Two it is then. Not Pepper and Salt. Not Scotch and Soda. Not Bemidji and Brainerd, or Ojibwe and Dakota. And let the healthy competition begin: will Terminal Number Two be content to play second-fiddle, or will it connive to become Number One in the hearts, if not the minds, of Minnesotans and air travelers everywhere?

[Editor’s Note: as the writer well knows, most airport terminals are given prosaic names like A, B, C, or even 1, 2, so it’s obvious he’s just having a little fun at the expense of the Metropolitan Airports Commission here. But he raises an interesting point. Would Lady Gaga ever consider going after naming rights to an airport terminal?]

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