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 Beyond the Fold
   News from Eiler Communications
April 2010
Newsletter Contents

CoolHeadS Provides Fun Platform to Help EMU Students' Quest to Learn Business by Building One

Social Media: Blurring the lines between professional and personal personas

Tech Tuesdays

Pondering Electricity for New Electric Cars

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About Eiler

Eiler Communications is a public relations and marketing communications firm in Ann Arbor, MI.  We specialize in new and traditional media marketing, serving established and emerging companies in the communications
technology, financial services, biotechnology and healthcare industries.

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CoolHeadsProvidesFunPlatformCoolHeadS Provides Fun Platform To Help EMU Students' Quest To Learn Business By Building One

CooLHeadS is a groovy new business that I have happily mentored since some Eastern Michigan students asked me last Fall.

It's designing, making and merchandising a "cool" piece of headwear that is designed to protect its users from the miserably hot days of Spring, Summer and early Fall.  The sun protection provided by CooLHeadS products is perfect for working in the yard, golfing, playing tennis, attending outdoor sporting events and a passel of other situations where the sun might burn your head, neck and shoulders.

Developed by four EMU about-to-graduate seniors and one junior, CooLHeadS is set to launch May 1 when its web site, www.getcoolheads.com, is unveiled.  The inaugural public showing of their "cool" product line will be April 16 at the annual EMU Apparel Textiles and Merchandising 2010 Exposure Fashion Show, a program of the University's College of Technology (6:30 p.m. Quirk Theater on the EMU Campus).

"We'll sell online and at big events in Southeast Michigan through the Spring, Summer and Fall," says Tommy Green, founder and president of the novel all-student business that also includes teenagers from the popular B Side of Youth program led by Jack Bidlack, a successful retail entrepreneur who wanted to lead young people with a bent for entrepreneurial adventures.

July 4 parades, the Ann Arbor Art Fairs in July, EMU and Michigan football games in the fall are also targets for introducing the novel headwear concept.

Others on the CoolHeadS development team are:
Tommy Green: President and CEO                
Crystal Young: Operations Manager             
Leon Young: Design Engineer                    
Vicki Men: Production Manager                
Britney Lankford: Product Development Engineer

I have found the young guys to be genuine, very fun-loving and most of all, realistic and open in their approach to building this business.  One of Tommy's goals is to get the business up and running without spending much investment.  He has achieved that so far with use of various organizations and individuals to help in areas of law, product development, manufacturing, marketing, retail, finance and sales.

Their goals, expressed by the indefatigable Tommy, include have fun, spend no money or as little as possible, meet regularly, ask others for help, appreciate and say thanks to all who get engaged and, mainly, a sense of let's do it right and have fun along the way.

All of our work is fun.  We spend 1.5 - 2 hours every Saturday morning since late last Fall when Tommy first felt the urge to give entrepreneurship a shot.  Student team members spend many hours during each week in product development, handling new questions and issues and figuring out "if we have something real to build buzz and get people engaged in our 'cool' project," says Green.

I got a real surprise when first involved - Tommy sent me my own Cool HeadS business cards and a long-sleeved shirt with the logo and company info emblazoned on the front and back.  Our golden retriever Murphy, sits contentedly at meetings, getting his share of pats and occasional dog biscuits.

Tommy will talk about CooLHeadS April 27 on the Tech Tuesday segment of Business Insider with Lucy Ann Lance, WLBY am 1290, and on my four-year-old "Michigan Business Buzz" podcast.

Ah the wisdom of youth.  "No" does not exist for these guys.

- Larry Eiler




SocialMedia:BlurringtheLinesSocial Media: Blurring the lines between professional and personal personas

Social media has become one the biggest buzz words in recent years with individuals and businesses alike. For many, social media outlets, such as Facebook and MySpace, have created a way for people to connect with each other from down the hall or across the globe. This can be especially convenient for long distance relationships between family and friends.
 
For the past several years, however, companies have also joined the social media bandwagon and have found several uses, which include screening potential employees. This could be seen by many people as a violation of privacy and poses a very interesting question: Where exactly does the line exist between your professional and private life in the world of social media?
 
Countless warnings have been given, particularly to students, that potential employers can and will check your social media pages or blogs, but just because they can doesn't necessarily mean they should. Before the Internet, potential employers had to go on their perceptions of an individual's image during the interviewing process. Now, in many cases, companies can decipher an image and form conclusions about the character of a candidate before they even walk through the door.
 
It is because of these potentially unjustifiable judgments on one's character that has stoked the fire of many heated debates. Many feel that this is a breach of personal privacy, even though the information is readily available on the Internet. Can it be possible to keep your private life private and just let loose on a social networking site? The answer is yes, but it could be at a price. Social media sites have now made it possible for people to choose who sees their personal information and photos through new privacy tools that have been developed to help stem this problem. Utilizing these tools, however, could make a company suspicious or wary that you're trying to hide something.
 
The dilemma of how companies use personal information about employees or potential employees through social media sites will undoubtedly continue to be a subject of strong debate. Perhaps someday people will successfully distinguish that line between their personal and professional lives, but unfortunately, until a more definitive answer presents itself, the best advice is to remain mindful on the content you post on the Web.
 
- Kelly Shreves



TechTuesdaysTech Tuesday/ "Michigan Business Buzz" Podcast

Hear Larry's Tech Tuesday interview on the Lucy Ann Lance Business Insider, WLBY 1290 am and his "Michigan Business Buzz" podcast.  Go to the home page of www.eilerpr.com.

Recent interviews include

Chuck Newman, CEO and founder of Recellular and a serial entrepreneur and inventor. Recellular is the world's leading electronics sustainability firm. It collects and recycles used mobile phones to generate financial returns and quality products.

Paul Schutt, CEO and founder of Issue Media Group, a Detroit based media company that has created online magazines such as Model D and metromode in Detroit, PopCity in Pittsburgh, Rapid Growth in Grand Rapids, Capital Gains in Lansing, Concentrate in Ann Arbor, Soapbox in Cincinnati, and Bmore in Baltimore. Issue Media Group publications focus on growth, investment and remarkable people leading communities into the new economy.

Richard King, regional director of the Michigan Small Business Technology Development Center and the Eastern Michigan College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship.

Howdy Holmes, CEO of the renowned 93-year-old Jiffy Mix brand moving to new marketing channels and expanding its product line.

Megan Torrance of Torrance Learning, an e-learning design and development firm.

Gary Pilibosian, automotive supplier CEO and entrepreneur, on "Pillie," new infrastructure that allows anyone to taker a photo and annotate it with voice -- and send directly.

Daryl Weinert, director of the University of Michigan Business Development Center on its work with businesses around the region and state

Case Ernsting of Internet 2.0 and J. P. Nawroski, a founder of Meta Spring, the search engine optimization and web development firm.

Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Futures on the emerging "New Michigan".

Terry Cross, longtime leading Midwest and West Coast investor who often leads technology businesses to funding as an accomplished technology business executive.



PonderingElectricityforNewElectricCarsPondering Electricity for New Electric Cars

Ever thought about recharging the passel of new electric cars that are coming available, like the Chevvy Volt and Nissan Leaf?  Some 12 new electric-car models are due to American showrooms this year, said The Economist.

Few homes are wired for the power drain that will be caused by recharging.  Power grids could be drained by the demand for large amounts of cheap electricity when cars are connected.

What will happen to electricity rates?  How will utilities handle the mass of electricity demand?

-Larry Eiler
Eiler Communications 900 Victors Way, Suite 180 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108 Map
Phone: 734-761-3399 Fax: 734-761-3724