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why buffalo niagara sales and marketing executives really matters

Dear BNSME Members,

You are a part of a successful, historic and exclusive professional association that sales and marketing executives in bigger cities can only dream of joining because they just don’t have the resource that we have here (a resource we sometimes take for granted).

Like the region whose name we share, the Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives has been a precious gem for our active and involved members since 1942. While other professional associations have sprung up and died off along the way, BNSME’s unique tools for enhancing the professional development of our talented members has kept the association thriving for over 70 years.

BNSME is so special because, by design, it’s not for everybody – only those individual who have achieved business success and are continuing to thrive in their careers can be members. Our members must meet a specific executive criteria, they must be sponsored by a current BNSME and their application must be voted on by our board of directors.

The critical result of this vetting process is that our BNSME members get to network with and learn from their true peers. Executive-level men and women who have closed the big deals, who have interacted with top business leaders around the world and who have faced similar business and organizational challenges. Over these past seven decades, our members have often supported each other as trusted professional resources that they might not have ever enjoyed without their BNSME memberships.

Leads are established here, business gets done here, and lifelong friendships are fostered here today, just as when the association began. I know this for a fact because I have received and shared leads, closed deals and made lifelong friends directly as a result of my membership. But it’s not because I tried to plaster every hand presented to me at a meeting with my business card and an elevator speech.

What’s my BNSME secret? How come I can walk into a BNSME meeting and be known and welcomed by almost everybody there (unless I haven’t met them yet)?

I am actively involved in BNSME. Committees, dinner meetings, events…I’ve joined, participated and I’ve interacted.

I continually reach out to the new faces I see at meetings and I reconnect with the familiar faces. I focus on them…their lives, their likes and their challenges. I try to listen more than I talk (which, as an Irishman, is no small task for me).

In short, I try and treat each member the way I would like to be treated. I try not so much to make a contact as I do a friend.

As we all know, when given a choice, people would rather do business with friends.

Not always am I perfect at it but I’ve only been a BNSME member for 24 years, I still need to work at it.

I was reminded of all this today and encouraged to share my thoughts while attending a BNSME past presidents luncheon. That’s a picture (above) of just some of the association’s past leaders…you’d be hard pressed to find more loyal supporters of the BNSME mission than this group and I’ll guarantee you’d easily make a friend or two as well from that group.

The gentleman (in the truest definition of that word) in the blue blazer seated in the above picture is not only the longest tenured member of BNSME, he’s also one of the greatest sales and marketing executives this city has ever had and the greatest friend BNSME has ever known. No one in BNSME ever secured more members, chaired more committees or helped more people professionally and personally.

Every person in that picture, as well as many more who were sad they couldn’t attend, owe Bob Sommer an unfathomable debt of gratitude for sharing his talent and his time with BNSME. The association was and still is one of his great passions. We are lucky to have him in our group.

So as you think about your career and how Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives can be an important part of it…maybe consider how Bob has built his respected and beloved reputation within BNSME (hint: the answer doesn’t involve longevity). Maybe some of his examples can help you make the most out of your BNSME membership experience.

I hope it does because I know it can.

Best always,
– Peter

remember video jockeys?

I remember video jockeys because when I came out of college, I auditioned to be one. (It’s OK to laugh but’s it’s unattractive and insulting to actually snort from laughing…even at something so ridiculous).

It was to this day (I think) the ONLY on camera audition I ever did (or can remember) and I think it was probably as awful a thing to watch as has ever been not broadcast. I quickly realized I had a face for radio (of course I didn’t do much in radio after that time either). We all do things we regret when we’re young…considering ever so briefly a life in front of the camera was one of mine.

But the network I auditioned for was VH-1…Video Hits One, the Adult Contemporary version of MTV and much like its big brother, VH-1 had no earthly idea how to use VJ’s in their programming. I recall Scott Shannon being a VJ at one point and Don Imus too (you thought I had a face for radio?! And Imus is STILL on TV…the attractive bar wasn’t lowered, it was buried there).

I think they too realized these radio stars weren’t cutting it on their channel and as part of a rebranding, they went looking for new personalities, of which I never became one.

All these memories came back to me when I saw that VH-1 recently updated it logo. My first reaction was “thank God” because whatever kind of bet was lost on the creation of it’s last logo, ANYTHING done after it was going to be a billion times better.

And simple as it is, the new VH-1 logo IS better. The tough thing with static shots of network logos is…on TV they’re never static….they move with grace or speed; with color or texture but they are rarely still.

The logo implementation is good, the look is better and the potential is great.

bill and conjunction junction are 40!

You know how people reach certain age milestones and they are shocked or happy or depressed (sometimes all at once)?

Well when I realized that School House Rock turned 40 this year, I was stunned and pleased and sad (see, I can’t do anything right).

It occurred to me that my life in media may have been a bit of a pre-ordained thing:

* Born on the night the Beatles were first on the Ed Sullivan Show (a pretty major day in entertainment history)

* In kindergarten at the inception of Sesame Street (and yes we watched it in class); it was the same year I took my first tour of a radio station and was smitten/bitten by the radio bug

* At the prime learning age of 7 years old when School House Rock was rolled out

See…destiny. Oh yeah, it also reminded me that I is old.

This one is my favorite:

late news from syracuse voice over talents

I was fortunate enough to receive this November article featuring Syracuse, New York voice talents.

I’m fortunate to know some of the featured players in the article including Jerry Reed, Lauren Synger as well as Derek and Roy at SubCat. I’m very pleased they all got this nice public recognition for their talent.

something pretty darn special in the air

In the world of airline logos, there have only been a few really special designs.

One was from the defunct Pan Am, which you may have seen in the short lived TV series in 2012.

The other has been a logo that has been one of the cleanest, simplest and most recognizable logos in aviation, American Airlines. The logo, with its red and blue Helvetica font and modern eagle has been around since 1968 and even today was a timeless beauty of a logo.

Less lucky has been the airline itself, which is in the midst of a return from bankruptcy while at the same time facing a merger with U.S. Airways. The airline’s future is brighter than it was, but still not clear.

Nonetheless, coming out of bankruptcy IS a big deal, adding lots of modern amenities to your planes is also a big deal. So you might as well change the logo while you’re at…and the plane design.

So they did.

In branding circles, this kind of change is a BIG freakin’ deal. Huge!

My take? Look, I loved the old logo because it never looked dated to me…but I understand after 40+ years and a few court filings, the old AA needed a fresh look. This is a good one.

What’s really cool is the video that not only introduces the logo but the new plane design as well, I really like the look of the tail.

This change could NOT have been easy but I think the final version (without having seen it in person) looks pretty sharp. Take a look.

one quick trick for mobile web site success

You may be aware of just how many millions of smart phones there are in the world.

What that means to your business is that many of your customers will find your web site on their smart phone screens and not a regular computer monitor.

So how will you know if your site is mobile friendly? And on which phones?

Well, even when web site templates are supposed to be ‘mobile friendly’, you need to be sure!

One quick trick is to go into a Verizon or AT&T store and look at your web site on different smart phones – if it looks weird and doesn’t function correctly, you’ve just identified your marketing department’s #1 priority for Q1 ’13.

I hope that helps.