Today’s first speaker was Helen Masterson of Masterson & Friends Communications in Arvada, Colorado. Helen spoke to us today about what Wanamaker had once said, “I  know half my advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” We all know that we need to keep in front of our clients-and potential clients – but how. Helen’s strong suggestion, especially in an economy where every single marketing dollar must count, is to improve your aim. It was once simple – we did a marketing plan that included 5-6 direct mail pieces a year – attend a number of meet and greets armed with business cards and brochures and even planned a number of face to face meetings and actually talked directly to people. Now there are so many ways to communicate with people with the advent of Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and Linkedin. This makes it difficult to find the best way to communicate with your clients. The difference is which group you are trying to communicate with – those who want the piece of paper in their hand or those that want to see it on their iPad. Blogs have been a godsend in the PR world, now instead of going through the old news release all one has to do is add the information to their blog and it’s out there instantly. There is a name for this it is cognitive capacity, a Stanford Study shows that we are not good at doing too many things at once – all of our technology has not improved our cognitive abilities. Your power of marketing depends on two things – the importance of your message – if it doesn’t persuade – don’t say it and whether you are aiming at the correct audience. Helen had an intense conversation about how to communicate within an organization. You guessed it – the younger wanted to use Facebookand the older generation wanted an e-newsletter and an occasional paper newsletter. What is right for you? People are using desperate measures, Helen held up a bag of rocks with the advertising inside that was tossed into her front yard. In this age of technology, which is clearly upon us, a combination of paper and electronics often works – this has become the age of hybrid marketing. Just because newspapers are failing doesn’t mean print is dead, just look at the collection of magazines on coffee tables and in the bathrooms at your meet and greets. Some forms of the media are closing simply because the advertisers are spending less, it is not because the readers have stopped reading them. The key is to know your customers – know how to reach them – follow up. How many of you are following up on the people you talked to at the last business –after-hours? The Guest Guise publication that Helen does twice a year has a very active website – they are going out to a large market with people that want a lot of information, and are not so active on Facebook. These people can get updates from other sources – cotrip.org for resort information. The Guest Guide website has a portal for advertisers to check and change copy. The difference is that in Winter Park and Estes the website has high activity and then in Moab, there is basically no web activity – a small local community. Here is the bottom line: Customers want to do business with people who are interested in them – who listen and learn about them – you have to decide the best way to keep in touch with your customers – on a regular basis. Just do it!   

Helen Masterson * Masterson & Friends Communications * 303-467-9680 * batmasterson@earthlink.net  

Our second speaker today was Suzanne Smith of Food for Thought Catering in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Suzanne first wanted to share her infamous chocolate dipped strawberries and have us taste test a new desert creation – strawberry tart. Both were fabulous!! Suzanne wanted to talk about her collection of cookbooks of which she has around 1000. She started with the cookbooks put out by the Jr. League of Denver – such as Colorado Cache, well loved and often used book. They have a series with Crème de Colorado, Colorado Collage and Colorado Classique. These cookbooks offer a wide variety of recipes from restaurants and local flavor of Colorado. I have the Crème de Colorado and have a few favorite recipes, such as Crème Corn with bacon, need I say more! Other cookbooks that Suzanne brought in were an original Erma  “The Joy of Cooking” – this edition is unique as it has “emergency chapters” in the back that include things like how to use leftovers and how to get the most out of every meal, such as using the bones to make a soup and leftovers to create a different meal. It also has chapters on menu planning and even how to set a proper table. Another Food for Thought staple is one that we all probably have in our cupboard “Better Homes and Garden Cookbook” – this is an often used book for the meat and potato meals and other basics that are popular. Suzanne picks up cookbooks when ever she sees them – two of the fun ones that she picked up over the years are the Jello Cookbook and the Rice Crispies Cookbook, both have fun recipes that are not used often but come in handy in a pinch. The last cookbook that Suzanne showed us was her first cookbook called “The Complete Family Cookbook” which she bought at Woolworths for a dollar. This one has become her bible for cooking and is pulled out often for help with other recipes. If you need a caterer with a tried and true experience and flair give Suzanne at Food for Thought a call!  

Suzanne Smith * Food for Thought * 303-425-5442 * Suzanne.foodforthoughtcateres@juno.com * www.foodforthoughtcaterers.com