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Recession Receding?
Virtual Networking
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September 2009
ADM logoEnd of the Third Quarter--Already? 
We're back from Lake Tahoe--just--and had a wonderful time. I'd regale you with another story about the infamous American Airlines customer [no] service, but you probably have an even more egregious one. Nuff said.
We're looking forward to a new "season" of professional group events, holidays, and such. I am privileged to serve on the program committees of several groups (I'm a glutton for punishment), so I can tell you, for sure, that there are some great programs coming up in the NY area, and elsewhere as well. Please see below for details.
Things are picking up here, at ADM Marketing, and I hope they are with you as well. Over the next few months I hope to share some new methodologies, new experiences, and case studies.
Hope you had a lovely summer!
Recession Receding?
Lessons From The Past 
1975. 1987. 1991. 2001. 2009. These are just a few of the recessions I can recall, though I know there were plenty of others. In fact, in the 19th century they called these periods of economic slow-down "panics" because the markets panicked, bankers panicked, and so did everyone else.

Luckily, we now have regulatory bodies like the SEC, and insurance like FDIC to prevent another "Great Depression." It's funny how people like the government when they, personally, receive a benefit to prevent a slow-down from becoming a panic but they don't like it when someone else does (but enough about politics!). There are other reasons not to panic, even if you are tempted.

Here are a few things I have learned through my own experience. Perhaps you have had similar experiences.
  • Businesses should take a page out of the Book of Exodus; namely, the story of Joseph and his dreams. If you recall, he dreamed of seven fat cows and seven lean cows and interpreted them to mean that Egypt would have seven good harvests and seven poor harvests. So he recommended to Pharoah that they store food from the good years so they would have it in the lean years. Likewise, businesses should spend carefully when revenues are flooding in because you can bet that at some point, that stream will slow to a trickle. Prudence during the fat years will yield the cash to survive the lean years.  
  • Some businesses cut back on marketing when times get tough. While this is understandable from a budgetary/cash flow point of view, the problem is that when people/companies start buying again, they will have forgotten you if you have withdrawn from communicating with them.
  • Network, network, network. Use social media and other communications to keep yourself on the radar scopes of your target audiences.  This can be done very affordably and can be quite productive, especially if competitors have stopped reaching out to their targets.
  • Finally, it's important to have faith (patience?) that at some point, businesses and consumers will need to resume purchasing. That's why they call it a "business cycle."

While it is true that what goes up must come down (how come the real estate geniuses didn't know that?), the converse is true, as well. I call it "The Big Bounce Theory."  I hope you are bouncing back (or bouncing higher), as I am. Here's to a strong recovery for everyone!

Virtual Networking

It's Free and Easy, But Be CarefulWoman laptop and flowers 
Last month I wrote about networking meetings--breakfasts, lunches, happy hour. We've all been there and done that, and should still be doing it. Virtual networking has been around for a few years, but seems to have really taken off in the past year or so. That may have something to do with the economy, or it may be a natural evolution of a method of connecting that works. With more and more people deciding to "go it alone," opening consultancies and home offices, the impetus to reach out to colleagues, former co-workers and clients, and old school buddies has become irresistable.
We all know about LinkedIn (I've been a member for at least 4 years, and am approaching 300 connections--not a stunning number, but considerable), Facebook (I'm on it, but I don't think it's decided whether it's for consumers or businesses), and Twitter (not there yet). But there's more. I've recently joined a business development virtual network, Adrian's Network (, where participants give extended "elevator speeches" on periodic conference calls. These "meetings" are often followed up by personal meetings, phone conversations, and (YES!) actual leads. Members are invariably generous with their referrals and introductions, and I believe I have made some new friends and colleagues--as well as getting good leads--in just about a month. In fact, Laney Liner, of Poetic Petals, posted my networking piece from last month on her blog ( ). Talk about viral marketing (ACHOO)! The only caveat is the usual: if you are giving out contact information to people you don't know, make sure your contacts will welcome the introductions. If you aren't sure, take the information for the person being referred and offer that to your contact.
Another outlet that has been productive for many is Peter Shankman's HARO (Help A Reporter Out). Several journalists and writers want real-world stories about what people are doing when they lose executive or well-paying jobs. Some of these writers have found my story or my contributions interesting enough to post on their blogs:
Having said all of this, it is important to be careful about what you put out for public consumption. Don't use names (companies or other people) unless you have permission, or unless it's something very good (and even then...). Most writers will ask you if you want attribution or links to your web site or blog--but not all. So if you are tempted to respond with something that could be construed negatively, wait a moment before you hit "Send." 

Working as a solo consultant, it is difficult competing with large firms that advertise all over the industry directories and have actual salespeople. Getting out my name, and the name of my company, and links to my web site, through other people's blogs and web sites at no cost is (ironically) priceless. As the old cereal commercial said: "Try it, you'll like it!"

Upcoming Events
There's a lot going on this month on Long Island and elsewhere.
September 22, 6:00pm-8:00pm
The New York Chapter of the American Marketing Association is presenting "From Corporate to Consultant,"  a panel discussion featuring Ilise Benun (Marketing Mentor), Mike Milis (MX2 Design Force), and Eileen Sutton (Sutton Creative). It will be held at the AMA offices, 116 E. 27th St., 6th Floor. Find out more about it at: .
September 23, 8:00am-10:00am   
Society of Marketing Professional Services-Long Island is premiering its 2009-2010 program season with John Mamus, CEO of Mamus Communications speaking about "Branding Your Firm: Crucial For Success, Now and Always." Mr. Mamus is a branding expert who has worked with some of the most famous global brands in the world. The program is being held at The Milleridge Inn, Broadway and Jericho Turnpike, Jericho, NY.  
For more information, and to register, go to .
September 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm   
International Association of Business Communicators-Long Island Chapter
is planning an exciting new season of excellent programs in new, hip, innovative spaces. First up is Dr. Dan Schaefer, CEO of Peak Performance Strategies LLP, who will give us "Street Smart Strategies for A Competitive Edge," something from which everyone can benefit, whether you have your own business or not. This is an evening meeting, being held at "300 Long Island," 895 Walt Whitman Rd, Melville (right off Route 110, "Downtown Long Island"). In addition to the program, registration covers a fine buffet dinner and free bowling afterwards, if you like! You can get more information at, or go directly to .
October 18-20
IABC Heritage Region's 4th Annual Conference will be held in Cleveland, Ohio. Join your peers in Cleveland, network like crazy, and hear some of the communication industry's most influential and well-respected speakers. For more info, go to
October 29, 6:00pm-10:00pm
SMPS-LI presents the 3rd Annual Canstruction Gala. This incredible event unveils the artistic renderings of engineering and architectural firms, school groups, and others--made entirely of canned food!  These sculptures are built by teams from each firm or group (supervised by an architect or engineer if not a professional group) and displayed at Rexcorp Center in Uniondale. Afterwards, the canned goods are donated to the Harry Chapin Food Bank. For information about forming a team, contact Ellen Talley, President of SMPS-LI at  To be a sponsor, contact Jane Gertler, chair of Canstruction, at .
This practice is dedicated to helping companies become knowledge-driven, rather than assumption driven about strategic and tactical decisions concerning lines of business, branding, communications, and various marketing activities. For more information about how we do this, case studies, frequently asked questions about marketing research, and testimonials, please visit our web site:

Ann Middleman