Posted by & in category Social Media.

When I first saw this story on Inside Edition, my first thought was “this is ridiculous”. I even commented to my husband that had this board not had a white background it would probably have gone unnoticed. And now, a copywriter who publishes the VerdantMug Tumblr noticed that within the billboard’s copy, Hitler’s name — in order — is spelled out. I’m positive that Michael Graves had no intention of ever designing a kettle that looked like Hitler, but thanks to social media, his cool creation is now off the shelves at JCPenney. Like they needed any more bad publicity as well!

Had this appeared in Grand Rapids, Michigan versus Culver City, California, would it have caused such a ruckus? Whether or not a disgruntled creative director/art director intentionally created the board, we’ll never know. The most telling outcome of this graphic fiasco is the power of social media.


Posted by & in category Social Media.

The 2013 seasons opens to ‘in with the old and in with the new’ as Grand Rapids now boasts two outstanding farm markets. The Fulton Street Farmers Market, established in 1922, is the oldest, and the new Downtown Market, currently in its first phase, is slated to include an indoor food emporium, a sit-down restaurant, a brew-pub, demonstration and educational kitchens, a banquet facility.

If you’re a Grand Rapids foodie curious to find out what each market has to offer, you no longer have to wait for market days to show up. All you have to do now is go online.

When a new vendor recently came aboard, the Downtown Market announced their addition with a fun announcement video on their Facebook page. Mimi Fritz, Executive Director of the Downtown Market, states, “We see social media as part of our community building process. Social media platforms allow us to engage directly with the people who will be our patrons and create long-term relationships with them.” With the Downtown Market being new to Grand Rapids, Fritz sees the need to create as many ‘ambassadors’ and local enthusiasts as possible. States Fritz, “Posting images, news items and updates brings people along in the development, makes them stakeholders and allows them to take ownership of this addition to the community.”

Melissa Harrington, Market Manager for the Fulton Street Farmers Market says that their Facebook presence is invaluable. “As a non-profit, we don’t really have the funds for traditional advertising and we have to be very frugal. Facebook is a great cost-effective vehicle that helps us keep things up in real time and receive instant feedback,” states Harrington. After a recent cold snap, one fan posted there wasn’t any asparagus that particular day. Harrington made sure the post didn’t go unheeded and responded within minutes, “We anticipated more vegetables today. Asparagus took a bit of a hit with the freeze we had the other night, but vendors have assured me they will have it back at the market as soon as they can.” She hasn’t seen a lot of action on Twitter, primarily due to the imposed tweet limitation. “It’s hard to get a recipe in under 140 characters,” says Harrington.

Another major advantage in utilizing Facebook is the online presence it provides for the farmers and seasonal vendors. Harrington says most of their farmers don’t have time to dedicate to social media and some do not even have websites, so Facebook allows them to showcase their products and farm photos and they can communicate weekly offerings to fans. The Fulton Street Farmers Market also uses a community-driven website,, to publish a list of goods to its followers each Tuesday.

As the farm-to-table movement continues to surge, social media will make the farm-to-tablet trend beneficial for farmers, vendors and consumers. For more tasty tweets, follow the markets at @dtmarketgr and @fultonstmarket .

Posted by & in category Media.

From Marketing Charts – while a recent survey found a majority believing that in 5 years, Americans will primarily listen to streaming radio versus traditional AM/FM radio, another study, this time from Clear Channel Media and Entertainment (CCM+E), begs to differ. According to the “State of Listening in America” study, 69% of respondents agree that “streaming services do not replace radio.” Other results from the survey suggest that radio is alive and well: 92% of respondents said they listen to radio at least once a week, while 71% say it’s part of their daily routine.

A recent report demonstrated that radio benefits from its ability to trigger emotional connections from listeners, and the latest study from CCM+E supports that finding. Specifically, 72% of respondents believe that radio feels more “human” than the internet, and 65% feel it is more “personal” than TV. Not only that, but two-thirds agree that their favorite station reflects who they are as a person. Those personal connections mean that 78% agree that radio can make a difference in the community and 72% feel that radio is more community-oriented than TV.

Other Findings:

• 8 in 10 respondents say radio is helpful in discovering new artists or songs, a finding that aligns with research from both Nielsen and Jacobs Media.

• Radio listeners prefer on-air ads that are creative and humorous and leverage on-air talent. (No big surprise here.)

• Respondents view radio ads more positively than ads on TV, the internet and mobile applications.

• 8 in 10 say the first thing they do when they get into their car is turn on the radio. (Is this before or after they turn the ignition key?)

• 78% say they can access radio anywhere, and 85% agree that radio has become more accessible.

Key findings for west Michigan advertisers to consider: Two-thirds of those surveyed agree that their favorite station reflects who they are as a person and in a brand loyal market it’s crucial to survey your customers to find out what they are listening to. Also, respondents have a more positive connection with radio messaging than TV or the internet, so develop strategic creative and potentially tie in station talent endorsements to maximize your budget.

About the Data: The data is based on a survey of more than 1,000 respondents, conducted by Latitude Research and OpenMind.