The 10th Anniversary of my 1st Father’s Day by Michael Camden

July 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Bits and Tips 

Every June, we celebrate Father’s day. It is an opportunity to honor our dads.  Some people may call it a Hallmark holiday that has evolved into an attempt to cash in on our love and devotion of our fathers. Maybe it is, but I’m a lucky dad, so bring on the celebration.

According to Wikipedia, Father’s Day was not created by Hallmark. Instead, it was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there.  After hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them.  Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father’s_Day)

This June is the 10th anniversary of my first father’s day; the first one playing the role of father rather than son. Thanks to my very first father’s day gift 10 years ago, my daughter honors me 365 days a year. That gift was something we have since come to call “Daddy Tree”.  In fact, every one like it is now called a daddy tree. These trees have not always been indigenous to the Hampton Roads region. Thankfully someone realized there was a market for them this far north.

I will never forget my first Father’s day. Ten years ago, I returned home from a trip on Father’s day for a photo opportunity with my little girl in front of our daddy tree, a 2 foot tall palm tree in our front yard by the mailbox. It was so cool! Ironically, I had just returned from sunny Florida, where no one would think twice about daddy trees. A few years later, on our first family trip to Disney, I’ll never forget her reaction to the trees in Orlando. Daddy trees were everywhere and my daughter was in heaven. We had not even seen the Magic Kingdom yet.  But not in our yard, there is only the one. Today, it towers over our driveway and stretches to the power lines.  It has grown taller from year to year, just as my little buddy has matured and blossomed.

The tree has served as a symbol of our family’s love and of our recognition of father’s day. It is a lasting and living memory reminding me, daily, of the joy and blessings of fatherhood.  Every year, we return to the foot of the daddy tree for another photo op; my daughter and the tree – each taller, and me – another year older with a little less hair.

I would not have anything to celebrate or to write about if it were not for my father (and mother), my loving wife, and of course my little girl. Thank you, sweet Caroline, for 10 awesome years. Happy father’s day dad and to every dad out there. Go spend some time making lasting memories with your kids. Perhaps you can plant your own daddy tree.

Michael Camden, MBA (father, husband, and son) is the Enrollment Coordinator for the Hampton Roads site of Troy University. He may be reached at 757-451-8203 or michael.camden@troy.edu.

Why Wait Until April for National Volunteer Month by Michael Camden

July 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Community Relations 

Every April, organizations and institutions around the country promote opportunities for all ages to volunteer in  support of events, campaigns, and activities for non-profits, churches, government, and academic institutions.  But why wait until April? And what happens after April? It would seem apparent that volunteers are needed year round.

Volunteering can be fun, motivational, and rewarding. Of course it can also be time consuming. There are many diverse ways for us to put our valuable time to work for others. Donate blood to the Red Cross. Organize a clean the neighborhood day. Join your civic league. Run or bike for a charity like the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  Take care of animals at the local shelter. It is a drop in the bucket to join organizations that do great works all around our region. Once you join, then step up and take on a leadership role on boards and committees. You will feel doubly worked and doubly fulfilled.

There are so many ways to put your talents to work for the good of everyone. You say you have no talent. What if you lack a certain talent that you would like to gain? Volunteer so that you can learn a new skill, while building your resume at the same time.

There are many great reasons to volunteer. Help others and feel great about yourself. Teach others and develop leadership and team building skills. Benefit from professional and social networking. Support the community. Experience the pure enjoyment and satisfaction!

Find your passion and get involved today. Most of us would agree that we are passionate about our children and their education. What better place to volunteer than through the Parent Teacher Association at your local school. The $5 membership fee helps fund programs throughout the school year. Equally important is your time: volunteering to sell refreshments on movie night, chaperoning your child’s class on a field trip, reading to an enthusiastic audience, landscaping the school grounds, or sponsoring a fundraising event. The list is endless. You and all of the children benefit from volunteerism in our local schools.

According to the March 2014 edition of The Voice (the Virginia Beach Council of Civic Organization’s newsletter), the city of Virginia Beach acknowledges over 20,000 volunteers with a monetary value of $20,661,040.

As we close out the month of April and National Volunteer Month, please share your time and talent feely.  Still I hope to see you out there doing your part 12 months a year! In fact, a great opportunity occurs on May 17 with Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup. Events are being planned locally, regionally, across the commonwealth and the nation. Together, we all can make a difference.

An avid volunteer, Michael Camden is the Enrollment Coordinator for the Hampton Roads site of Troy University. He may be reached at michael.camden@troy.edu.

Seeking Marketing/Communications Interns in Southside Hampton Roads

June 2, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Marketing Communications 

This is an exciting opportunity to work with a team of interns, build your resume, and develop skills! Managing Communications Consulting is looking for three or four interns on the Southside as Interns beginning immediately. This is a non-paid position with some expenses paid, however there is potential for excellent commission based responsibilities based on interest and business development aptitude. Flexible and part-time hours. Ideal for college credit programs.

Job Summary:

Under general supervision and according to the established policies and procedures, the Marketing/Communications Intern is responsible for assisting with a variety of marketing communications and PR strategies to support clients and the firm’s marketing.

Experience and Interest in the following functions:

· Assisting with social media.

· Creating event and product excitement through daily promotions, marketing, pr and sales strategies.

· Assisting with planning special events.

· Developing and implementing marketing launches, campaigns and other strategies.

Especially looking for each intern to have one or two of the following competencies and experience:

· Video and editing

· Research and social media deployment

· Writing (non-fiction, press releases, interviewing)

· Graphic design

· E-mail campaign development and distribution

Education:

· Recent graduate from college in Communications, Graphic Design, Marketing, Public Relations, Journalism.

· Candidate working toward a degree in journalism, marketing, public relations, graphic design, organizational communications, English or advertising.

Additional Requirements:

  • Must have reliable transportation to travel on Southside Hampton Roads.
  • Skills/experience in all Microsoft programs and preferably Publisher or desktop publishing
  • Demonstrate a commitment to service, organization values and professionalism through appropriate conduct and demeanor at all times
  • Access to laptop or PC preferred (85% of time will work from your home)
  • Excellent customer service skills

E-mail resume and cover letter to Susan Long-Molnar, President, Managing Communications Consulting, at susan@managingcommunications.com

Making Sales and Other Messages with Impact!

April 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Marketing Communications 

April’s Communicate BIZ Roundtable is going to explore how to create powerful sales or other messages which will influence people.   You will learn our Key Message Model to more effectively plan and deliver your messages. You will also find this group a powerful networking group. This topic is ideal for business owners, sales executives, non-profit execs, and from an internal communications standpoint, HR professionals and recruiters.

When: Wednesday, April 23, 8:15 to 9:30 a.m.

Location:  360 IT Partners new facility,5269 Cleveland, Street, Suite 201, Virginia Beach, VA

Presenter: Susan Long-Molnar, President of Managing Communications Consulting, a marketing and PR professional, with 29 years experience in this market. Susan assists clients to manage marketing and communications. She is a national and regional presenter on a wide-range of communications topics and trains both commercial and government clients as a SWAM certified professional.
Fee:  $15 includes continental breakfast. You may pay by check or credit card.

Pre-registration Required: Call Susan Long-Molnar, 757-513-8633

8:15-8:40-Networking and Introductions
8:40-9:15-Presentation and interactive key message modeling practice
9:15-9:30-Q/A and wrap up

And you will receive…

Handouts of actionable tips for leaving a positive, memorable impression

Key message model to use for communicating with your new relationships

List of attendees and contact information for future relationship building

15 minute complimentary phone meeting to analyze your key message model.

Communicate BIZ  Roundtable is a seminar series for small business owners and professionals responsible for marketing, PR, sales and internal communications within their companies. We want you in the room if you are responsible for increasing revenue and/or engaging others to bring success to your organization in 2014! Sessions will be facilitated by Susan Long-Molnar, President of Managing Communications Consulting , who will often partnering with another expert on the topic.

Virginia Communities: Meet the Virginia Advisory Council on Military Education by Michael Camden, MBA

June 14, 2013 by · Comments Off on Virginia Communities: Meet the Virginia Advisory Council on Military Education by Michael Camden, MBA
Filed under: Bits and Tips, Marketing Communications 

Although the Virginia Advisory Council on Military Education (VAACME) is not new, it has become a viable force within the military voluntary education community. “We’re not splitting atoms,” says Michael Midura, President of VAACME, “But we are being recognized as an organization that cares about the education, training, and professional development of our military.” VAACME is a non-profit 501c3 charitable organization, whose mission is to understand the educational services provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Veteran’s Services; to become aware of the educational support required by transitioning service members and their families; to provide feedback to the Commonwealth of Virginia, of the service- specific educational support and services required by the military members and their families; to understand the educational and employment services provided by the Department of Veterans Affair Veteran’s Education and Training Service; and to share best-practices and lessons learned between education counselors and education providers. In short, VAACME serves, supports, and educates military personnel and their families throughout the Commonwealth. One example of that support can be witnessed by the $70,000 in scholarships granted over the past 7 years.

Founded in 2007, under the guidance and encouragement of Dr. Carol Berry, former Southeast Regional Director of Navy College and current Director of Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education (DANTES), VAACME prepared for the 7th Annual Training Symposium: Renewing, Reeducating, Reinventing and Beyond! The event was held March 26-28 at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel, was a training opportunity on military related educational initiatives and programs, as well as updates on education policies from the Department of Defense (DoD). Tuition Assistance (TA) programs for active duty and Post 9-11 GI Bill processes are regular topics each year. Due to sequestration and recent announcements of discontinued funding of Marine and Army TA programs, this was a hot topic at the symposium. In an ever changing economy and tumultuous job market, the choice of this year’s key note speaker, Mr. Ismael Ortiz, former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Veteran’s Employment and Training Service, Department of Labor, recognized the need for greater support and understanding of a transitioning military to civilian work force.  Also, on the agenda, was the Honorable Terrie L. Suit, Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as Elizabeth Creamer, Director of Education and Workforce Development, Virginia Secretary of Education Office. The complete agenda and more information about the organization may be found at www.vaacme.org.

Fast becoming a signature event of the annual symposium was the 3rd annual Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP) charity golf tournament on Tuesday, March 26 at 8am. Wounded Warriors were invited to golf for free as guests at the event. For the first time, there was a $10k hole-in-one contest courtesy of First Command Financial, a golf pro from National University’s Golf Academy out of California, and PGA Golfer, author, and First Colonial graduate Carl Paulson. In addition, the tournament welcomed Mrs. Virginia International, Amber Wandtke, who is active duty Navy, and officials from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services in Richmond and locally from the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program’s 5th District in Norfolk. Immediately following the tournament at Aeropines Golf Club at NAS Oceana, there was a symbolic check presentation to these officials. In the past two years, VAACME has raised approximately $9,000 for the VWWP.

Another first this year is the Military Transition Job Fair and Education Expo, which was hosted in partnership with the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, held on Tuesday, March 26, also was at the Hilton, from 5pm to 9pm. The event was dedicated to provide opportunities for companies to target their recruitment efforts towards enthusiastic candidates with experience and strong work ethics, who now or in the future will be exiting the Armed Forces.  All armed forces personnel, DoD civilians, retirees, and their families were welcomed at no cost to attend. With a long list of companies who participated, there was much buzz surrounding the services provided by Hero 2 Hired (H2H) and DMV to go. The Transition Fair further illustrates VAACME’s and the Chamber’s commitment to the educational and career support of our military women and men.

The largest in the country, VAACME is recognized as the benchmark for other ACMEs. Last October, First Lady Maureen McDonnell presented VAACME with the First Lady’s Seal of Approval for their outstanding accomplishments in providing educational opportunities to the Commonwealth’s service members and their families. Supporting organizations such as the Freedom Support Center at Fort Monroe and the First Lady’s Serving our Service Member Families network and the Governor’s Virginia Values Veterans (V3) initiative and Virginia Military Advisory Committee, VAACME is comprised of Educators, counselors, education officers, and military personnel, both active and retired, from Virginia and beyond. Safeguarding the best interests of the academic goals and career growth of our military community, who protect our freedoms, is what they do. They are passionate educators with a strong desire to give back to those who make significant sacrifices for the citizens of Virginia and the United States.

Michael Camden, Enrollment Coordinator for Troy University’s Hampton Roads Site, may be reached at 757-451-8203 or michael.camden@troy.edu. In addition to his service on the VAACME Symposium Planning Committee and as the VWWP Golf Tournament Director, Michael is a member of the Virginia Beach division board of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.

Business Etiquette for Today’s Technology and Networking

March 8, 2013 by · Comments Off on Business Etiquette for Today’s Technology and Networking
Filed under: Marketing Communications 

Why is business etiquette so important for our times? Hasn’t rudeness become acceptable in our pop, high-tech society? Can’t we just get on with business and get over the niceties? Not really. More than ever in today’s economy and our struggle to be the fittest, we have to pay attention to what we do to support our  credibility, values, and what we say is our company mission. This month’s Communicate BIZ Roundtable in Hampton Roads on Weednesday, March 27, 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. at Stellar One,4505 Columbus St., Suite 100, Virginia Beach’s Town Center

We will take a look at:

  • Business Courtesy the KISS way
  • Internal and External Meeting Etiquette
  • Generational Differences in Regard to Etiquette
  • Etiquette for networking, connecting, and customer/employee  relations online and face-to-face
  • And even some basics…like how to make introductions and how to handle embarrassing moments.

Presenter: Susan Long-Molnar, President of Managing Communications Consulting, a marketing and PR professional with 27 years experience in this  market.

Fee: $15 includes Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, donuts and bagels. ($10 for Hampton Roads Chamber of  Commerce members) Reservations required and pre-payment by check or credit card. No shows will be billed if they do not cancel in advance.

Pre-registration Required: Call Susan Long-Molnar, 757-513-8633

8:30-9:00 Networking and Introductions

9:00-9:30 Presentation and interactive role plays

9:30-9:45 Group Discussion

And you will receive…

?   Opportunities to network for beginning new relationships on the right foot

?   Drawing for Business Etiquette book

?   List of attendees and contact information for future relationship building

Communicate BIZ Roundtable is a monthly seminar series for small business owners and professionals   responsible for marketing, PR, sales and internal communications within their companies. We want you in the room if you are responsible for increasing revenue and/or engaging others to bring success to your organization in 2012! Monthly sessions are facilitated by Susan Long-Molnar, President of Managing         Communications Consulting, who will often partner with another expert on the topic.

Is Your Marketing Strategic Plan for 2013 Truly Strategic?

January 12, 2013 by · Comments Off on Is Your Marketing Strategic Plan for 2013 Truly Strategic?
Filed under: Marketing Communications 

So you have a strategic marketing plan for yourself or for the business? Is it actionable right now? It should be looking very different than last year. Why? Most people have either gained more intellectual knowledge about their customers and realize they have not done enough to market to certain targets or market segments or they were behind last year in implementing the new media strategies such as social media and have figured out they better get start getting it right. What is your “must do” and how have you come to that understanding? If you are in Hampton Roads, we have an event coming up which may be the best use of your time this month!

Communicate BIZ Roundtable

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2013  8:15-9:45

Location: Towne Bank, 1312 Greenbrier Parkway, Chesapeake

(Please park next door in the shopping center parking lot , but not close up to Best Buy entrance and not in the Towne Bank lot.)

Presenter: Susan Long-Molnar, President of Managing Communications Consulting, has over 27 years experience in marketing strategic planning for small and large businesses and organizations, product and service launches, and non-profit organizations.

Who Should Attend? Marketing Directors, Managers, Coordinators; Business owners; Business Consultants; Human Resource Managers & Specialists involved in Employee Communications; CPAs and other advisors for how companies should spend their marketing dollars.

Fee: $15 includes Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, donuts and muffins. (Hampton Roads Chamber Members-$10)

Pre-registration Required: Call Susan Long-Molnar, 757-513-8633

8:30=8:45 Networking and Introductions

8:45-9:20 Presentation and Interactive training

9:20-9:30 Topic Discussion

9:30-9:45 Networking

And you will receive…

Samples of strategic marketing plan formats and articles to take for your reference

Tips for how to engage EVERYONE  in the success of the strategic plan

List of attendees and contact information for future  relationship building

Chance to win a two-hour complimentary consult and marketing plan review

Communicate BIZ  Roundtable is a monthly seminar series for small business owners and professionals  responsible for marketing, PR, sales and internal communications within their companies. We want you in the room if you are responsible for increasing revenue and/or engaging others to bring success to your organization in 2013! Monthly sessions will be facilitated by Susan Long-Molnar, President of Managing  Communications Consulting , who will often be partnering with another expert on the topic.

What will you be doing over the holidays for your employees or like in my case, contractors?

November 30, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Employee Communications 

What will you be doing over the holidays for your employees or like in my case, contractors? Remember to be flexible on other people’s ideas for decorations around the office. If it doesn’t impact budget or make some horrible impression of the company, keep a positive perspective or you may disengage employees. If you want to make changes in the way to you celebrate the season at work, get employee input. Try not to make too many changes at once. For example, don’t decide to switch from a bonus check to a turkey, do away with the White Elephant gifts, and change a traditional venue all in one year! Lastly, be sure to communicate effectively in advance. What’s in advance? During the season, people are already stressed so try to plan communications to begin at least two weeks out. Follow up frequently and give employees room to accept the changes.

What else should you do?

Avoid the negative talk about the economy. Try stressing experiences verses money. What could you do as a team that would be so much fun nobody will even notice that it didn’t cost as much as last year.

Sincere compliments go a long way. What can you say now that you have not said enough throughout the year? Everyone on the team has contributed in some way, whether they led the way or influenced others. Oh, and most people like recognition in front of their peers and management.

Surprise! On a slow day, unless you are in retail, how hard would it be to surprise everyone with an extra couple of hours to leave the office early? Another idea is to have a Festive Siesta! Tell everyone that from 11-2 for one day they can’t do anything but eat and rest. Encourage then to share how the rest of their day was–New Ideas? More productive?

None of this takes a lot of work or planning. And one of my favorites? Find a non-profit to help with and engage the whole team!

I would love for you to share appropriate office activities in regard to the holidays! Please visit our Facebook company page (Managing Communications Consulting) and like us? Send us a post, and we will share your company’s celebration of the holidays.

Marketing with Company LinkedIn and Facebook Pages!

November 29, 2012 by · Comments Off on Marketing with Company LinkedIn and Facebook Pages!
Filed under: Marketing Communications 

We can never learn enough about LinkedIn and Facebook company pages so please join us for a look at how to get more out of yours! We are talking about building reputation, identifying ways to promote your products and services, and staying relevant for all those potential clients and referral sources. Most of you have a profile and maybe a business page, but are they designed effectively and what are you doing with all those connections you have made? We will also check on results from October attendees to share your progress and answer more questions. Join us for this action packed morning! Handouts will help those who are still   setting up their pages, and you will get a better view of how to …

Expand your company pages with valuable content

Use LI Answers to establish your credibility and make new connections

Promote your pages by cross marketing

Identify ways for you to contribute to your clients and other company pages

And…Integrate LinkedIn into your overall marketing plan

When: Tuesday, December 4th, 8:30 to 9:45 a.m.

Location:

Stellar One,4505 Columbus St., Suite 100, Virginia Beach’s Town Center

Presenter: Susan Long-Molnar, President of Managing Communications Consulting, a marketing and PR professional with 27 years experience in this  market.

Fee: $15 includes Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, donuts and bagels. ($10 for Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce members) Reservations required and pre-payment by check or credit card.

Pre-registration Required: Call Susan Long-Molnar, 757-513-8633

8:30-9:00 Networking and Introductions

9:00-9:30 Overview of LinkedIn fast pace marketing techniques

9:30-9:45 Sharing additional LinkedIn best practices

And you will receive…

?   Opportunities to network for beginning new relationships on the right foot

?   Drawing for gift cards/certificates to help with holiday shopping!

?   List of attendees and contact information for future relationship building

Communicate BIZ Roundtable is a monthly seminar series for small business owners and professionals   responsible for marketing, PR, sales and internal communications within their companies. We want you in the room if you are responsible for increasing revenue and/or engaging others to bring success to your organization in 2012! Monthly sessions are facilitated by Susan Long-Molnar, President of Managing         Communications Consulting, who will often partner with another expert on the topic.

“I’m Good.”

September 24, 2012 by · Comments Off on “I’m Good.”
Filed under: Bits and Tips 

It must be just too much effort to respond to an offer for assistance or even to graciously reject a piece of cake at events these days with any comment other than “I’m good”.  How often do you hear a coworker say “no, thank you” with “I’m good”.  I thought good meant better than ok and a whole lot better than bad. In this context, good means I am fine without whatever it is someone is offering.

Today’s use of bland words such as “good” has branded a new attitude about how we feel. Such bland language makes it difficult to figure out what our customers or potential customers really think about our products and services. No wonder. We have done very little in marketing communications to inspire how a product or service might feel, taste, or make our lives better.

Years ago in one of those communications classes I learned how important it is to be positive in all language, from avoiding the double negative to avoiding anything negative at all in communications. In this case, “I’m good” meets the mark by meaning I am good without whatever it is you want of me. Some might say it is even polite.

So let’s test it. Wouldn’t you like to win the lottery today? “I’m good.”  ” Would you to play golf Thursday? ‘I’m good.”

What we have said in our response is basically lame.

Bland and lame. Where do we go from here? If we are good, why not be incredible or instead of being on top of our game, being on top of the puffiest silver-lined cloud or the highest cupola in the palace? Yes, I am exaggerating, but the point is that in an effort to be smart phone texting concise, we often provide useless, vague copy.

The worst part of “I’m good” is that it doesn’t exactly build relationships. Next time a client asks me if I would like coffee, I think I will respond with “No thank you, I don’t need to be any more alert for our meeting than I am” or “we might create a campaign that sells more product than you can produce” or “No thanks, I forgot to bring my good luck cup when I tell you my idea.”

Do you have one of those phrases which drives you crazy? Please share!

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I love what I do. As a professional communicator for over 25 years and a student of the discipline since I was in high school, I have found the way that we communicate business is a lifelong study. I am the President of Managing Communications Consulting. After communications positions in management for Sentara Health System, Cox Communications, and USAA, my entrepreneurial spirit got the best of me. Why the name when our disciplines revolve around marketing, Public Relations, and internal communications?  Whether the message relates to marketing communications, building a brand or reputation, or redesigning a web site, it is all based on assisting management to strategize and implement effective communications. We welcome you to get to know us better. Please add to the discussions, sharing your own experiences.

Posting Schedule

CommunicateBiz posts every other Wednesdays from its author, other MCC professionals and/or guests.. We take the weeks in between off to rejuvenate and reflect on talk that walks and walking the talk.