Posts filed under ‘marketing’

A labor of love – Web redesign

At Northwest Missouri State University, a group of us have been working hard for several months to redesign our Web site. It’s been a true labor of love to bring our site back into modern times.

Check it out at www.nwmissouri.edu.

For more Web design inspiration, check out the following sites:

http://screenfluent.com/

http://welovewp.com/

http://www.edustyle.net/

http://www.webcreme.com/

http://www.thebestdesigns.com/

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April 7, 2010 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

Breaking ground, clearing the weeds, refreshing and recharging

The weather finally warmed up here in Northern Missouri, and I’m proud to report my daffodils are in bloom!

Although later than I was hoping for, the weather was finally dry enough to begin work on the garden. And oh, there is so much work to do. Clearing out dead branches and dead plants from the previous year (left through winter to provide cover for bugs, bees, spiders …), pruning, weeding, watering, planting, mulching, moving, dividing ….

Oh. My. At some point in life, I need to live somewhere that has a climate conducive to gardening year round. There is nothing, nothing more stress reducing than getting your hands dirty, getting a great workout and standing back to admire the fruits of your labor. One blog I was reading recently referred to always finding a plant growing from seed to be a little miracle, and I agree. The thrill of running to the garden every day to see what new miracles have transpired is absolutely priceless.

At work, we are going through a reorganization of sorts. Leadership has changed, and we are evolving and redefining our mission, purpose and job descriptions. It’s been a time of uncertainty, growth and opportunity. And not unlike the first few days in the garden in the spring. As we clear old branches and spent flowers that no longer support the main plant or future growth, so we must continue to do in organizations. As we experiment with new gardening tips and plant species, so we experiment with new things in the work place, encouraging those with promising results to thrive and ridding ourselves of ones who just don’t fit in the garden. Eliminating old growth to encourage new. Clearing out the clutter to see the original plant – the greater picture.

It’s been refreshing, intimidating and challenging (in good and bad ways) to go through these changes at work, dredging up the same feelings I have at the beginning of each spring. I stand back, look at my garden, and think, oh there is so much to do. So much to clear. So many things to sort out. What was I thinking taking on this big of a project? Where do I start?

But then, you do. You take a step forward. You carefully prune away a branch you know won’t be missed. You rid yourselves of the obvious weeds. You monitor and nurture new growth. Before you know it, you’re hooked. Things start making sense. Plants are thriving, healthy, working together to create a beautiful landscape.

OK, so this is hokey and a bit cliched. But, you get my point. I’ve been overwhelmed and invigorated by life’s tasks recently, from the office to the garden. Little by little, though, it’s starting to make sense. I’m starting to see the flowers through the weeds.

Welcome, spring.

April 3, 2010 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

Why the VW ad is so effective

Every year, I say I’m going to watch the Super Bowl and pay attention all the way through. Apparently, I forget my ADD media consumption every year. So, as usual, I’ve spent most of the Super Bowl so far on Twitter, on http://www.brandbowl2010.com, reading Tag Surfer on WordPress and checking weather updates for tomorrow. Oh, and kind of watching the game.

Most of the ads so far this year have been lackluster at best. The Doritos ad elicited a slight chuckle, but the CGI was so ridiculous that it made the ad feel cheap. There were too many pantsless men for my taste (and unattractive pantsless men at that). Boost Mobile’s ad looked like it was shot on an iPhone with 5 minutes of planning – all in all, a pretty pathetic showing. Notable exceptions: Coca Cola. This might be because they’re basically advertising to me – I love the Simpsons and am dying to go on a Safari. ETrade – the talking babies are always great. And best of all (at least, as of 7:45) – the VW ad.

Why was the VW ad the perfect Super Bowl ad? For one, it was funny, and it got your attention. But most importantly, it drew upon an experience that everyone has had with the brand – who hasn’t played slug bug? By drawing on your memories of this game, it not only brings a nostalgic feeling, but it also highlights that the bug is not their only notable product offering. Way to go, VW. Hope other companies begin to show the same advertising adeptness.

Speaking of advertising adeptness – let’s talk a brief moment about Mullen.com. This company could not have generated more buzz for themselves during the Super Bowl if they had bought out every commercial spot tonight. By making the brilliant Brand Bowl Web site they are showing their amazing Web creation skills, they are emphasizing that they have a finger on the pulse of what social media users are saying, and they are generating more conversations than both football teams combined. It’s been fascinating to watch the overwhelming stream of reaction to the ads and to be an observer of instant focus groups. Making following this uncountable data that much easier has been Mullen’s remarkable achievement. Bravo.

February 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

The perfect gift, the perfect chicken and the perfect fit

Tonight I was cutting out fabric to make a sweet gift for a coworker’s coming baby, half-watching Man v. Food with my husband on the Travel Channel. It switched to a commercial, and we were not paying much attention when all of a sudden, we saw a quick peak of a long recognized Pittsburg hot spot – Chicken Mary’s.

We both stopped midsentence and stared. Surely, Pittsburg, Kan. was not just on national TV. And then we saw it – a woman wearing a Chicken Annie’s tshirt that looked exactly like the one hanging in my closet. NO. WAY.

The new Food Wars show on the Travel Channel, which begins airing in March, is claiming to finally put an end to the chicken wars in Pittsburg and declare a chicken champion. How amazing is that?

And, what brilliant marketing is this? At our house, we are huge lovers of anything they show on the Food Network and the Travel Channel. However, it always angers us that they never seem to leave California or New York for anything. It’s almost comical at times. Bobby Flay is going to throw down for the best Maine clam chowder in …. Manhattan, NY? For the best empandas in …. Manhattan, NY? The best southern fried chicken in … New England? Bravo, Travel Channel, for spreading your boundaries outside of the traditional filming areas. Those of us in the Midwest are thankful that you are recognizing that there is life beyond the coast. And, beyond metropolises! Not only can you drum up more interesting shows, but you can increase your viewers in the Midwest. The New York Times is unlikely to cover your TV show when you film yet another wonderful restaurant in New York City, but I know that Pittsburg’s regional media was all over it.

My family experienced the same excitement recently when watching American Pickers, a show based out of a small town near the small town in Iowa that my entire extended family either lived or currently lives in.

Now, if only we can get the Travel Channel to Maryville for a Hangar vs. Pagliai’s pizza showndown …

Anyway, back to the quilt. I love fortuitous finds. (Hence the extreme excitement over the Pittsburg TV show.) My coworker, who hopefully isn’t reading this (Darren, if you’ve read this far: LOOK AWAY), is nicknamed The Rocket Scientist. He is always solving problems, constructing solutions and fixing computers. When wandering Sarah’s Fabrics in Lawrence, the most amazing fabric store within a 2 hour drive, I stumbled upon the Rocket Scientist collection of fabric by Keri Beyer for In The Beginning. I couldn’t resist picking out a few and am so excited to make a sweet little receiving blanket for the babe to be.

In a world of mass media, mass design and mass consumption, here’s to finding the perfect fit.

February 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm Leave a comment


About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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