Running Free

“I’m running free yeah, I’m running free”Iron Maiden

A few weeks ago I ran my first 5k. For those of you that know me you are probably asking why I haven’t run one sooner. The answer? I don’t know. Lame answer, huh?

Back in my early life I pushed 200 pounds. It wasn’t until I had a heart scare that I decided to eat right and exercise. I started by going to the gym and doing what looked right. However, it wasn’t until I was introduced to P90x that I started to see real results. This isn’t a commercial for P90x, I’m just stating facts about my personal work-outs. Anyway, once I started P90x I started to pick up running again. I started off with 1 mile and eventually worked my way up to 7 miles. When I would tell people I would run 7 miles they asked me if I was doing so for a marathon. My answer was always no, I wanted to run 7 miles for myself plus I was giving Bella and Riley some good exercise along the way. Most of the time I would have Bella lagging behind killing my time. Oh, Bella is my 3-year-old Black Lab and Riley is my 2-year-old mutt.


I entered into the Highland Creek 5k and trained for 3 weeks, running practice 5k’s with Bella and Riley through the neighborhood. On the day of the event I was a little nervous. I showed up to the Highland Creek Elementary School and there were a ton of people there. I saw people running in the parking lot getting ready which I thought was absurd, why would you waste your energy before the race? But as I found out they had TONS of energy left.

I stopped by the sign in tent and picked up my ankle chip. The ankle chip records your time. I tied the chip around my ankle but I did so to tight and it bugged the hell out of my so I had to loosen it. I walked over to the starting area and it was a mass of humanity so I went to the back of the pack. My iPod was fully charged and ready to go. My 5k playlist consisted of Pantera, Judas Priest, Testament and Avenged SevenFold. When the horn sounded it was like watching ketchup go though a bottle. I sat back and watched as the hard-core runners squeezed by each other to get position in the 5k. I finally started to run and I quickly gained ground on the pack and eventually got up to around the top 3rd of the runners. The course was hilly and I hate running hills so I sprinted up all the hills and coasted when the terrain evened out.

As I neared the end of the race there was one last hill, or so I thought. I started to sprint up the hill only to see that it went on around a corner and got steeper, I pushed on and passed several people. Not wanting to look like a wuss I kept on running even thought I was spent. As I neared the finish line I made one last push. I finished with a clock time of 27 minutes and 22 seconds and a chip time of 26 minutes and 22 second.

After I  finished I got some tasty orange slices and water and went home because I had to go and coach softball for my little girls team.

I will say there is excitement in running events like this but for now I am going to stick with running the mutts around the neighborhood.

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The Laid Off Chronicles — Chronicles End

This is not going to be a surprise for some,  but here it  goes: I am employed again!!

Who says you can’t go home again? I have gone back to where I enjoyed my greatest success- TracyLocke. I will be working with an independent Pepsi Bottler that is the largest in the U.S. From now on, my house will be fully stocked with Pepsi products: Shameless plug alert!

For example:

 

 

 

 

 

Since being laid off in November, I’ve had to adapt to a difficult way of life. Not only was my family’s well-being on my mind ,but I also struggled with my self-confidence. With that said, I want to thank all my family and friends for their support during my time being unemployed. I know it was only a short time, but your support got me through this difficult time. I made the realization that a positive outlook was the only way to get through this trying time. Yes ,I had my down days, but I never let that become my mind frame. I had too much at stake to let self-doubt consume me.

I would also like to share with everyone, the  keys to my finding a job so fast. For starters, I revamped my entire resume. I looked at my resume compared to other professionals in my field and noticed that my resume was an eyesore. In the end, I developed a “grown up” version of my resume that I believe got the attention of employers. I also credit my personal network, job boards, and social media for opening up doors that 10 years ago there wouldn’t be any.

Here are some of my top sites that helped me in my job search:

  • LinkedIn – This is where I would us my personal network to find job opportunities
  • Indeed.com – I used Indeed.com at least twice a day to help pull job listing from Charlotte and other cities.
  • TalentZoo – This site is great for people in marketing and advertising.
  • Monster and CareerBuilder –  Both sites are useful in searching for jobs. Just make sure you keep your resume fresh. Change it every 30 days to keep it current.
  • Elance.com – Elance is not a job board but an online freelance job site. Through Elance you can set yourself up as a freelancer and build a portfolio by contracting for jobs.

Social media also helped in my job searching. Sites like Twitter and Facebook helped me find opportunities through my personal network.

So it is with a heavy heart that I retire this segment of my blog……..

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The Norwegian Epic Review

There is something to be said on having your feet in the sand and a drink in your hand. I spent most of last week with a drink in hand and a couple of days with my feet in the sand. Where did I go? I spent 7 days aboard the Norwegian Epic.

For those of you that don’t know what the Epic is here are some highlights of the ship. The Epic is Norwegians new “freestyle” cruise ship what boasts a ton of entertainment for the family. At 1080 ft the Epic indeed lives up to its name. The ship is huge to say the least. There are 19 deck levels that consists of numerous activities. There are 20+ dining areas on the ship along with a rock and repelling wall, water slides, pool area, sport area, outdoor adult pool and dance area, casino and numerous theme bars and theaters.

The Norwegian Epic

Now that I have the specs out-of-the-way I can give you an actual account of the ship.

Let me preface this by telling you that this was my 7th cruise in all. I have cruised on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney but this was my first time on a Norwegian Ship. I was very excited to try a new line do all the cool things you could do on the ship. However my excitement was tempered knowing that some of the amenities on the ship were incremental (more on that later).

My family booked a 7 day Easter Caribbean cruise that left out of Miami, FL. Our cruise itinerary was as follows:

  • Saturday/Sunday/Monday – Sea Days
  • Tuesday – St. Maarten
  • Wednesday – St. Thomas
  • Thursday – Sea Day
  • Friday – Nassau, Bahamas
  • Saturday – Miami

The family arrived in Miami last Saturday and we spent the morning waiting our turn to board the Epic. One really cool thing I was able to do to pass the time was interact with a local Miami Twitter group that was touring the Epic that day. See some of the tweets below:

 

When boarding the Epic you walk straight into the casino area. I think they do this on purpose so that the “players” can get a lay of the land before gambling starts. Our girls were hungry so we took them up to the buffet on deck 15. The buffet was bigger than anything that I have seen on a cruise ship prior to this one. There were so many choices that my girls didn’t know what to pick. The buffet was a regular stop for the family during the 7 days. Each day the kitchen had a different entrees to go along with the regular buffet food like hamburger, hot dogs and pizza. A neat thing Norwegian does is to have different dishes from other countries on the buffet to help cater to that many nationalities on board the ship. After lunch we took the kids to the water slides where they played the rest of the afternoon and I indulged in some beverages.🙂

Sunday and Monday were spent at sea as we traveled toward St. Maarten. Norwegian knows how to entertain you when you are not in a port of call. Both days were jammed full of events that you can do individually or with the family. One day we hit the rock and repelling walls, the next we are hitting the sports deck. One really cool thing we were able to do was be apart of the Nickelodeon Slime Time Game Show. The Slime Time Game show was held only once on this cruise and our family was one of two selected to play on stage in front of a full Epic theater. Needless to say our family won the game show but our prize was not money, a t-shirt or even a little plastic ship. No, we were slimed! Here are the pics to prove it.

Slime Time Live

Getting slimed!

Other entertainment on the ship included the Blue Man Group, Howl at the Moon, a Jazz Bar, the Legends Concert series and a host of other entertainment options.

The Blue Man Group was extremely entertaining. We sat in the second row and tried to get paint on us but the only thing we got was marshmallows thrown at us🙂. If you like impersonations then the Legends Concert series is the place for you. This cruise we say a Rod Stewart, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson impersonator. The Rod Stewart guy nailed it. Looked just like him. The events were all spaced out so that if you missed them one day you were able to see a show the next.

In a previous section I talked about the buffet that Epic puts on. The buffet is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Norwegian providing food for the ship. There are over 20 dining facilities on board. I did not go to all of them but the ones I did hit I will highlight below, I have also linked them to the Epic website so you can directly view the restaurants yourself:

  • Taste (Main dining area. Food was average)
  • Moderno$$ (Brazilian style restaurant. Make sure you are hunger because the food is awesome and there is plenty of it.)
  • O’Sheehan’s (Irish themed bar. Food was ok.)
  • The Manhattan Room (Menu is identical to Taste but there is music and dancing)
  • Wasabi (Sushi bar. Make sure you try the Godzilla roll!)
  • Spiegel Tent$$ (This is where you will dine while watching Cirque Dreams®)

$$ Indicated that this was an incremental charge roughly $20 per person

Ah yes, the incremental charge. Now I knew about this before hitting the Epic but let me say, I was not prepared for the “nickel and dime” treatment that I felt was way over-board (pardon the pun). Most of my post so far has been pretty positive regarding the Epic but this incremental charge business allows me to make a perfect segue into the not so great things about the Epic.

So while there is a ton of great stuff to do with the kids it’s a blessing since the cabins are like little prison cells. I had a family balcony cabin that “slept” 4 people. Once the bunk beds come down that’s it for walking out to the balcony or trying to open your closet to get close out. I felt as though I was shimming across a narrow ledge to get across to the other side.

Now let’s say you’ve had a hard  night of “partying” and you want to relax and watch TV in your cabin. Well you better hope you haven’t seen SpongeBob vs. The Big One or SpongeBob goes to Atlantis because you will see these episodes numerous times during your stay since they are on a loop. There are no free movie channels like there are on other cruise lines. Instead you have on-demand and yes there is an incremental charge for viewing a movie.

One complaint that I don’t have with the cabin is the bathroom. I didn’t find it as off-putting as some people has suggested. They are a little unconventional but all in all I thought they were just fine. The room staff made sure that we had extra towels for just in case moments.

The kind of service we had from the cabin staff was fantastic but that can’t be said for the service the rest of the wait staff had during the cruise. I have two for instances…..

The first is our first night at the Taste Restaurant. We went there with some friend and we were a party of 12. We had 7 kids and 5 adults. The waitress came over and greeted us and took our drink orders. Then she turned around and went to a beverage station area just a few feet away from us where she stated to another waiter. “Great, I got the kids table tonight”. With that we should have know what to expect because the service the rest of the night was horrible. We tried to make sure our table was not the “kids table” but no matter what we did she was not going to give us great service as we have come to expect it on other cruise lines. On two occasions we even got an eye roll for asking for more chocolate milk.

From there the tone was set for rotten service (minus the cabin staff) the entire trip. The best for instance came just before the Legends Concert. I asked a waiter to stop by and he said, “Hurry up, I don’t have time for this”. Basically he was miffed that I was asking for a soda and not an alcoholic beverage for my kid. Some :15 minutes later he returned with the Pepsi in hand. If there is one thing that a cruise crew can do to ruin a trip then poor service has to be #1.

Even though there were some negative experiences on the Epic the family as a whole had a good time. Just being able to spend time with my wife and two daughters was more than enough to make up for the poor service and “nickel and dime” amenities.

Overall, the ship was a little disappointing. The service really put a damper on the ships experience. I was expecting something grand but instead was left feeling uninspired by the ship. Don’t get me wrong the ship was nice but I was expecting more.

Next up for the family will either be the Royal Caribbean Oasis or Disney Dream. But that is a year away.

Happy cruising….

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M.I.A.

I have been M.I.A for the last couple of weeks. There have been new developments on the job front. I have also been out of the country for the last 10 days so I extend my apologies for anyone missing out on my rants.

I promise to have an Epic blog post later this week. I will also have a long overdue Laid Off Chronicles post next week. There has been a ton of job related things going on that I just can’t post yet.

Until then I leave you with this…..

What is put on a table, cut but never eaten. Chew on that for a while:)

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The Laid Off Chronicles — The Interview

Week 5:

I’ve been on the job hunt over the last several weeks. I have had a couple of bites from employers in the Carolinas as well as outside the state, but nothing to report yet. However, I have been on numerous interviews both by phone and face to face. Which brings me to this weeks topic, “the interview”:

The interview process can be nerve-racking to say the least. Interviewing is like dating,  you get a few minutes to make an impression before opinions start to form about you. The way I have approached the interview process is to practice interviewing. It has been years since I’ve gone through this process and I needed to have someone help me practice. I received help from a couple of different people, my wife, father-in-law and my friend Matt Hames. Matt gave me what I consider the most important advice so far, “don’t be afraid to say a promotion or social media campaign wasn’t successful. Then follow-up and explain why the campaign wasn’t successful and what you would do differently.” This is good advice on being accountable. My wife and father-in-law gave me advice on what interviewers are looking for in terms of body language, appearance and tone of voice. They also said know the company before you interview with them. My wife has had several people interview with her company that had no idea what her company was all about. It made her feel like they didn’t even care about the position they were interviewing for.

Since I have received help with interviewing, I’d thought I would share some of the tactics I use before, during, and after the interview. These tactics work for me and hopefully if you are reading this, they can help you as well.

Interview Techniques:

Research the prospective company

Nothing will turn off an interviewer more than you not knowing about their company. Try to find out as much information as possible on the company you are speaking with.  Google them to see if there are any news articles about the company. Also, go to their website and see what they do and what their mission statement is. Another tactic to use is using social media to see what people are saying about the company.

Research: (if you can) the person interviewing you

LinkedIn is a great tool for this.

This may sound a little creepy but people put their profile on LinkedIn for a reason. If you know the person you will be speaking with, look them up on LinkedIn. This will give you an idea of their background and also let you know if you have anything in common with them. If you have  something in common with the interviewer, it  can help break the ice.

Confidence:

Phone interviews:
Be confident when you answer the phone. Make sure you are clear and up beat. This sets the stage for a more personable exchange.

Face to Face:
The first impression is key. Be confident and lead with a firm hand shake. Make sure you are energetic  and have a positive tone when greeting the interviewer.

Q&A:

During this part of the interview, try to go over your  history in a positive manner. Nothing bores an interviewer more than a monotone account of your past work life. When the interviewer asks questions regarding your work experience, try to interject examples of your own work experiences. Showing how you are able to work speaks volumes to the interviewer. This can lead to great follow-up questions from both sides.

A critical part of the interview is to be honest when answering questions. If you don’t know the answer it is better to own up to it then to make something up. The interviewer will probably see through this and ask a follow-up question to catch you. At this point the interview is over and you can kiss the position good-bye.

Wrapping Up:

During the last part of your interview try to leave on a positive note. Ask questions about the company and the position. This shows you are interested and wanting to know more about the company. If you feel the interview is going well ask about next steps. This will give you an opening to follow-up with the interviewer later that day.

Thank You:

After the interview is over wait a couple of hours before sending a thank you email to the interviewer. Let them know that you appreciate the opportunity to talk with them and let them know if they have any questions to contact you. Also, let them know you are looking forward to the next phase of the interview process.

Hopefully these  tips will help you out. If you have any suggestions about interviewing, please leave a comment. I am open to any ideas or suggestions. I have also included a link for DOs and DON’Ts at interviews.

If you want an example of DONTs during an interview check this video out:

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The Laid Off Chronicles – Marketing Evolution

Week 4:

As I was pursuing the online blogs last week, I came across an article on TalentZooMarketing’s Future and What It Means For Advertising by Mike Ogden. Mike’s article talks about how advertising/marketing professionals are needing to adapt with the times or get left out in the cold. What is it that advertising/marketing professionals need to change? They need to integrate themselves using traditional media (tv, radio and print) and mix in digital. Marketing campaigns need to take on a life outside of traditional media now more than ever. Advertising/marketing professionals that can intelligently plan a media strategy that uses TV, radio, social media, smart phones and other digital elements will provide a service that will be invaluable to an agency.

Some agencies may have advertising  professionals still trying to play catch up and learn the digital side of the business. I feel fortunate that I was able to get ahead of the crowd and  was able to immerse myself in social media and SEO a couple of years ago.  In my opinion, the most succesful advertising professionals will be the ones that have knowledge of how to integrate traditional and new media together.

Out in the job market, I am seeing job posting that look for advertising professionals that have both traditional and new media qualities. If you are in the advertising/marketing field and need to make a job change, make sure you understand digital advertising/marketing. In order to keep up with the marketing evolution, expertise in  digital marketing will enable you to be a become a needed asset to any organization  instead of being as extinct as the dinosaur.

In order to get well versed in digital media, my suggestion is to get hands on experience using it. My first suggestion, is to start using social media -create your own Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels. You should start using smartphone apps like FourSquare and TriOut to learn about GEO targeting apps. With all of the various social media channels out there you will need to learn how they can all connect with each other to help build a strong social media presence. Make sure you also learn how to monitor your social media channels. More and more clients are looking for people who have a grasp on social media analytics. My next suggestion is to learn SEO. You can learn SEO on your own by taking a course in SEO or if your agency employs a SEO professional go and learn from them. My last suggestion is to learn how to incorporate new media into marketing campaigns. Social media should be used to complement the overall campaign. All points of the marketing strategy should be woven together to create a campaign that reaches your target audience.

Lastly, continue to evolve. Read industry publications and blogs, try out different types of social media channels and  see what works for you and what doesn’t. The more you know, the more you can stay relevant.

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The Laid Off Chronicles – SEO

Week 3:

Last week was a slow week job hunting wise. With the Thanksgiving break, I assume everyone was busy trying to make those last-minute plans to travel and see family. They were also possibly busy wrapping up work, so that they could take an extended weekend. How do I know this? I know this because I was that person not so long ago.

There were a couple of good job posts last week. I also had some great conversations with possible employers. I spent a lot of time reading up on SEO or search engine optimization. Why am I reading up on SEO? One thing I am noticing in my job hunt is that employers are looking for people with, not only social media experience, but also SEO experience. I have experience with SEO, but I would not consider myself “the SEO expert” yet.

First for those out there that may not know what SEO is, let’s start by sharing a little knowledge: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Put simply, when someone is searching for you, will they find you?  That means understanding what they are searching for, and why.

I started looking at my own blog and other social media channels that I have worked on in the past. What I have found out is ,that I have been engaging in SEO all along, albeit from a simplistic view.  Take my username NCMayhem for example, if you google NCMayhem, you will see that I show up on the first page of a google search. Impressed? Well, the kicker is that there are not a ton of NCMayhem’s out there.

NCMayhem Google Search

 

When I google Brian Perry the first thing that comes up is a Brian Perry that is a singer.  Brian Perry, the bassist for Prong ,shows up on the search as well.  I have put in a lot of time getting traction with NCMayhem and I now need to get traction for my own name.

I conferred with some friends of mine and they have challenged me to “own my name” on google. They also stated that in order to be found in SEO, I need to be associated with specific keywords. For example, Charlotte Social Media Manager/expert/explorer would be keywords that could be used to search rbrianperry.com. My first step in this process, is to secure a domain name. Since brianperry.com is already taken, I have chosen to go with rbrianperry.com.  I have chosen to own rbrianperry.com in lieu of contining to use the name “NC Mayehm”. My next step is to work on keywords to be associated with it to help promote my SEO visibility with rbrianperry.com.  If you click on this domain, it will direct you to my blog’s home page.  One problem I am running into, is that I have used the username NCMayhem for so long that it shows up on numberous social media sites, not rbrianperry. I now have to figure out how to “own” rbrianperry.com the same way I have owned NCMayhem.  I now have to research, plan, and work on “owning” my name to show case that I indeed know how to use SEO. In the coming days/weeks, I will be working on SEO for my own personal brand. I will update everyone on my progress.

Before I sign off, I had an idea over the long weekend. I am thinking of getting a sponsor or sponsors for this blog. If you are interested in sponsoring this blog please feel free to contact me personally.

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The McRib!

Mmmmm McRib

 

Every so often I allow myself the indulgence of eating the McRib from McDonalds.

I’ve been eating McRibs since I was a kid. I always look forward to when they come back on the menu.

McDonalds does a great job in marketing the McRib. They take a niche product and reintroduce it every so often to create new news advertising for the brand. This creates incremental sales for the chain during key periods of time. This also sets customers into a frenzy for the McRib. People write songs and post blogs like this all the time talking about the McRib.

When I see the commercial on TV telling me that the McRib is back I make it my personal goal to have one before it leaves again. Sure, I have no idea what kind meat is in the McRib. And yes, I know there is 10,000 calories in each one. Given all that nothing can compare to the saucy goodness of BBQ smothered pressed meat.

Until next time McRib. I say next time since it will take me at least a year to recover from the one I just ate.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Pass the cranberry sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends.

This is a time of year to reflect and be grateful for family and friends. It’s a time of year to give thanks for all the good things in your life.

Let’s first say a little prayer before getting to what I am thankful for.

What I am thankful for…..

My wife (I wouldn’t be who I am today without her support)
My two wonderful children
My parents
My brother and sister
My friends
Cranberry Sauce
My PS3
Stuffing
P90x
Any type of pie
24hr of The Christmas Story
My two annoying dogs
Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks🙂
My sports teams (Capitals and Redskins)

This is just a small list of things that I am thankful for. What are you thankful for? Feel free to leave comments.

I’ll leave you with this song.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Laid Off Chronicles – The Job Search

Week 2:
Looking for a new job is like staring at the open ocean. It’s vast and filled
with a ton of great possibilities. Ok, maybe that’s not the best analogy but it works for me.
 
It has been a while since my last real job search and I have been amazed at all
the online job searching sites on the web. You have to remember I was apart of
this new fangled website called Monster.com when I worked with TMP Worldwide (aka Stackig Advertising). At the time Monster was new and exciting. There had never been a site like Monster. Fast forward to 2010.

Now there is CareerBuilder, Indeed, TheLadders, TalentZoo, HotJobs, SimplyHired, LinkedIn, Hound and it goes on and on. This endless list of job sites was  intimidating to look through. I asked myself, what is the right job board?” It’s not like Google can just tell me, so I had to go and track them all down.  The answer lies in researching the sites first. I needed to make sure the sites delivered what I was looking for. It is a personal preference on the sites I use. Obviously, I use Monster since I have been using them from the beginning.

Looking for overall jobs at places like Monster or CareerBuilder can be broad at times. I’m a marketer, so I needed to drill down deeper into my field. So instead of having to look at multiple sites all the time, I use Indeed to pull jobs from job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder. Indeed is a good site to use but I also use niche sites like Talent Zoo and Mashable for marketing and social media job postings. One of the coolest sites I’ve found is Elance.com. Elance.com is a  website designed to partner freelancers with employers seeking help. There are listings for admin, finance, account service, creative copywriting and social media freelance work that are posted frequently. If you need a freelance gig this is the site to be apart of.

During my researching of job sites I ran across some helpful guides to reference.  I found two posts in particular:

The Top 20 Job Sites posted on pcmag.com.  This article give highlights from the top 20 job searching sites on the web.

The Top 100 Niche Job Sites posted on Internet Inc.com.  In 2009 Internet Inc.com posted a blog listing the top 100 niche job search websites of 2009. This blog helped me in finding those sites that I may have missed. I highly suggest you check it out.

As you can see searching for a job can be a daunting task. My piece of advise to someone looking for a new job. Start by putting together a plan of what job sites work best for your search. Make sure you have posted your resume to those sites and set up email alerts. I set aside time every morning to look through the job listing. I then revisit these sites throughout the day to see if there are new posting coming in. Putting this time to do research first will enable you to hit the ground running when looking for that perfect job.

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The Laid Off Chronicles.

Week 1:

It was a Monday morning just like any other Monday morning. I got up at 7. Walked the dogs, got the kids ready for school and got myself ready for work.

It was a balmy morning. I had condensation on my car windows. I backed out of the driveway without being able to see almost hitting the mailbox. That should have been a sign that the day was not going to go well.

Before I went to work I needed to stop by a clients shop to pick up a camera we were going to use for a shoot. I picked it up and went on my way to work. While driving to work I felt a bump on my lip. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the beginnings of a cold sore. That was sign number two that I should just turn around and go home.

I arrived at work and started my daily routine of checking email and some online sites for news and content. I received a call from my boss asking me to come by and chat. It did not go well…..

Laid Off!!

D’OH!

I left my boss’s office thinking about what a great opportunity this was going to be. You must be thinking that I am crazy but I really felt good about the lay off. Yes, money is going to be an issue but I now have freedom. Being laid off forces me to branch out of my comfort zone and look for opportunities around the country (just don’t tell my wife). I immediately started to network. I first posted my situation on Facebook and the outpouring of good thoughts and people wanting to help was phenomenal. I then went on to LinkedIn and made sure all my setting were up to date. I contacted old collegues and asked for recommendations. One thing to note: You should ask for recommendations way before something like this happens. Also, keep your resume fresh. It helps when you have to post it on a job board quickly.

So with that I am starting a series of blog posts dealing with my being laid off. I might even add some video content as well. I am a little camera shy though…..

Oh, and if you are reading this and need a communications professional send me a message. Click Communications Professional to view my resume.🙂

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Pilots say the darndest things.

Usually I reserve my blog for personal rants but today I am giving a shout out for something I think is very cool.

A good friend of mines wife just wrote an article for Readers Digest. The title is called, ” 50 Secrets your Pilot won’t tell You“.

The article was also picked up by CNN.com.
Congrats Michelle!

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Thank You From the Past

I was sitting back the other day drinking a cold Newcastle Brown Ale (one of the best beers ever!) watching my girls play outside. I thought to myself that it was just yesterday I was bringing them both home from the hospital. I also reflected on the hard time my wife and I had adjusting to twins. We would not have been able to get through the first couple of months without a huge support system of family and friends.

This story recounts a group of people that rose above and beyond to help my family out when times were tough.

The twins were just about a month old and we were moving from our Townhome in Centreville, VA to Fredericksburg, VA. I had a couple days left of leave from my job and both Brig and I were freaking out how were were going to move, unpack and get settled all within a couple of days before I had to go back to work. During this time I was working with Zimmerman and Partners on the Nissan Mid-Atlantic account.

Know matter what people say, having a child let alone two at the same time wreaks havoc on your ability to manage day to day tasks. Add in the fact that Brig and I slept only a couple of hours a night and you had two frazzled parents. Minor decisions became increasingly hard to make given our lack of sleep.

We moved down to our new house and looked at all the boxes piled up in every room. It was a daunting task in front of us. Trying to unpack and manage two one month old twin girls while trying to unpack a house is extremely stressful. I remember the day before I was suppose to go back to work I called my boss John Boyle to ask if I could get a couple of extra days to unpack. John was very understanding and said sure.

Here comes the amazing part. The next morning I received a call from John asking for directions to my new house. He told me that he and several of my co-workers were coming down to help me unpack and get settled in my new house. Needless to say I was extremely touched that these people would take the time out of a work day to come and help me in my time of need.

When they arrived the crew helped unpack every box. John and my friend Tom helped paint my girls bedroom and help organize their room as well. Stephanie, Andrea and Cathie helped with all the boxes in the kitchen and living room. What would have taken me days took only a couple of hours to unpack. I will never forget their random act of kindness and I can only hope that I can pay it forward to others in need.

I know its been 8 years but I’d again like to again thank my friends for helping my new family that day.

Special thanks to:

John Boyle, Cathie Bryan, Tom Whitsed, Stephanie Newman and Andrea Tilley.

The Perry Twins Thank You as well.

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Social Media Case Study for QdobaNC

Yes, I am back! It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a blog post. Yes I have been busy but I also have been a little lazy.🙂

So what have I been up too? We’ll I have a new client and they have let me and my agency start to handle their social media outreach. I even get to play director and videographer, more on that later.

The client is Qdoba of the North Carolinas. They have a modest number of restaurants in Charlotte, Raleigh and Triad . Qdoba of NC or QdobaNC wanted to establish social media channels to engage with their existing customers. We have started Facebook pages for all three NC cities so that we can talk directly to that customer base. Along with the Facebook pages we have a central Twitter feed called @QdobaNC. This feed is geared to engage all the Qdoba fans in the North Carolina area. Along the way we have found a number of Qdoba Brand Evangelists. Click on the hyperlink to see one said fan.

One of the things I am really excited about is the QdobaNC YouTube Channel. This is the first time I have shot video content for a clients channel. QdobaNC has a weekly Tailgating Tips episode that talks about well….tailgating. So far we have 4 shows up on the YouTube Channel with more slated through the tailgating season. The Tailgating shows have talked about how to grill and marinate chicken to how to make pico de gallo.

In upcoming episodes we will be taking the QdobaNC Tailgating Tips show on the road. One destination is Raleigh where we will have a fan co-host an episode with us. Speaking of co-hosts we had a fan send us her own tailgating tips and we have asked her to help co-host an episode as well.

To date the QdobaNC YouTube Channel continues to grow at a moderate pace. One thing that we have seen is that QdobaNC is starting to get referrals off of YouTube searches. With YouTube being the second most used search engine the QdobaNC Channel should see more growth over the next several months.

Modest QdobaNC YouTube Stats

QdobaNC has great content coming this fall. From more Tailgating Tips episodes to Twitter parties (Qweetups). I will keep this blog updated with new Q news as I get it.

Enjoy!!

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FireFold

I’d like to welcome my blogs first sponsor, FireFold.

FireFold is one of the online e-commerce divisions of Grouse Industries,

FireFold

 Inc. Their company offers thousands of networking, audio/video, and communication products in stock at the lowest prices. Their products are ready to ship same day for orders placed before 5:00pm EST. FireFold provides Home Theatre installation services and IT Solutions for homes and businesses in and around the Concord, NC region. Whether you are setting up a multi-million dollar home theater or simply trying to get your dvd player to work properly, their online store has everything you need to get the job done, and from the comfort of your own home.

You can follow FireFold at:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FireFold
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FireFold

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Filed under FireFold, Marketing Madness, The Laid Off Chronicles