Posts Tagged ‘switchblade creative studios’

Switchblade’s Marie Macaspac Honored to be a Presenter at ARF’s 9th Annual Business of Saving Lives Conference

January 31st, 2013
Tony LaRussa's ARF 9th Annual Business of Saving Lives Conference  is Sunday, March 23, 2013

Tony LaRussa's ARF 9th Annual Business of Saving Lives Conference is Sunday, March 23, 2013

Marie Macaspac, owner of Switchblade Creative Studios and founder of AnimalRescueMarketing.com is one of 10 speakers who will be participating in this year’s Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) annual conference, The Business of Saving Lives.

Marie will be sharing the stage with ARF’s Marketing Manager, Sara Kersey, for the topic, “Social Media: Unleashed!“. The 90 minute session will cover not just how to use social media, but tips and tricks that may not necessarily be found in a “How to” manual or “Social Media for Dummies” book.

From mobile mavens to casual users, we all know social media is an important marketing tool for animal welfare groups. Social networking choices and platforms are endless…yet the time your staff and volunteers have is not. Are your important messages getting lost in a social media sea of posts, tweets, and pins? Do you see images online and wonder how they got 400 “Likes” in one day? In this upbeat session, we’ll reveal tricks for getting your content liked and shared widely (and your messages heard loud and clear!), and how to tailor content to your audience and get your animals the attention they deserve. If you have the basic know-how to navigate Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other popular platforms, we’ll show you how to stand out and get noticed!

Marie is honored to be a part of this year’s list of presenters:

  • Elena Bicker, Executive Director, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation
  • Susan Furukawa, Program Director Community Outreach, ASPCA®
  • Cynthia L. Karsten, DVM, Shelter Medicine Resident, UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
  • Sara Kersey, Marketing Manager, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation
  • Bob Lukas, DVM, Sage Centers for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care
  • Marie Rochelle Macaspac, Marketing Director, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and Founder, AnimalRescueMarketing.com
  • Rebecca Marsh, former Executive Director, Fix Our Ferals
  • Nancy McKenney, CEO, Marin Humane Society
  • Paul O’Grady, Partner, Armanino McKenna LLP
  • Betsy Saul, Founder, Petfinder.com

“I am so excited to share my expertise with my fellow animal rescue advocates,” says Marie. ” I am thrilled that this opportunity can additionally introduce new visitors to AnimalRescueMarketing.com.”

To register to attend this year’s conference, click here. It is sure to be a blast!

What is Considered a Professional Email Address? And Why Is It Important?

September 18th, 2012

professional email addressI’ve been asked several times why I highly recommend setting up your email address to match your business’s domain, i.e. if your business domain name is www.mybiz.com, your email address should be” myname@md311.phpwebhosting.commybiz.com”.  If you can afford to purchase your domain name, then please take the time to sign up for a free Google Apps account and set up professional email addresses for you and your employees. Using  professional email addresses to communicate with colleagues, clients, and display on business identity collateral is a very simple yet effective way to appear as a legitimate business that has longevity, stability, and perceived as a “real” business.

 

Surprisingly, there really aren’t many articles on the web that talk about what is professional email address is. I found one great resource that clearly explains how to identify professional email addresses on www.daniweb.com. The original post can be found here: http://www.daniweb.com/community-center/threads/218079/what-is-a-professional-email-address#

 

A professional e-mail address is defined as one that, in its entirety, represents and reflects the professional interests of the user or owner of the e-mail address itself. A professional e-mail address forms a constituent part of how individuals or organisations actively market their products, services, skills, or professional objectives. A professional e-mail address also therefore communicates factual, useful, and meaningful information about the owner or user of the address.

To determine whether an e-mail address is professional, ambiguous, or unprofessional, both parts of the address, i.e. the local element before the ‘@md311.phpwebhosting.com’ sign and the domain name that follows have to be considered. Furthermore both elements have to be judged singularly and jointly to determine whose interests the e-mail address best represents.

To clarify further it is worth looking at examples and classifying them accordingly. For the purpose of examination the examples are based on the premise that the owner is using the e-mail address in a professional context.

Examples and classification

john.doe@md311.phpwebhosting.comcompanyABC.com
Context: John Doe has a professional relationship with the domain name owner.
In this example the local element before the ‘@md311.phpwebhosting.com’ sign adopts a conventional, informative and factual format, and the domain name represents and promotes the interests of an entity that John Doe has a professional relationship with (namely companyABC).
Class: Professional.

sales@md311.phpwebhosting.comcompanyABC.com
Context: ‘sales’ has a professional relationship with the domain name owner.
In this example the local element before the ‘@md311.phpwebhosting.com’ sign adopts a conventional, informative and factual format, and the domain name represents and promotes the interests of an entity that ‘sales’ has a professional relationship with (i.e. companyABC).
Class: Professional.

jane.doe@md311.phpwebhosting.commortgagebrokers-sonline.com
Context: The domain owner has a professional relationship with Jane Doe and others who operate in the mortgage broker industry.
From Jane Doe’s perspective the domain name represents three separate entities: Jane herself, others that use mortgagebrokers-online to market their services, and the entity that operates mortgagebrokers-online itself. In this case separate parties are operating in consensus to share a domain name for mutual advantage The domain name identifies and communicates the industry that Jane is operating in, and the local element before the ‘@md311.phpwebhosting.com’ sign, (i.e. her name), is conventional, informative, and factual.
Class: Professional.

john.doe@md311.phpwebhosting.comit-consultant.com
Context: john.doe is an IT consultant but has no professional relationship with the domain owner.
In this example the local element before the ‘@md311.phpwebhosting.com’ sign is conventional, informative, and factual, and the domain name acts to identify and therefore market John Doe’s skills or services.
Class: Professional.

teddy.bears@md311.phpwebhosting.commyunusual-domain.com
Context: the term ‘teddy.bears’ has a professional relationship with myunusual-domain.com and is relevant to a service, product, or other element associated with the owners’ professional interests.
This e-mail address can initially appear to be unprofessional however the owner may be providing a niche service. From the owner’s perspective the entire e-mail address may accurately reflect their business interests in a meaningful and professional sense.
Class: Professional.

companyABC@md311.phpwebhosting.comyahoo.com
Context: companyABC and yahoo.com have no professional relationship.
In this example the elements before and after the ‘@md311.phpwebhosting.com’ sign adopt a conventional, informative and factual format. Use of this e-mail address virally markets the name of companyABC, however it also endorses the services of the webmail service / domain owner. CompanyABC is using an address that in its’ entirety, does not represent or promote its professional interests. Given the relative ease of acquiring a professional domain name, and the fact that companyABC is claiming an Internet presence, use of this email address is not considered professional.
Class: Ambiguous / unprofessional.

jane.doe@md311.phpwebhosting.comgmail.com
Context: jane.doe and gmail.com have no professional relationship.
As with the previous example this address acts to serve the interests of the domain owner / service provider. Whilst jane.doe has elected to use a standard format for the local element before the ‘@md311.phpwebhosting.com’ sign, the overall e-mail address does not actively market or promote her professional interests.
Class: Unprofessional.

johndoe.superguy06@md311.phpwebhosting.comhotmail.com
Context: johndoe.superguy06 and hotmail.com have no professional relationship. Assuming Johndoe has no professional interest associated with the term ‘superguy06’ this e-mail address does not actively promote or market johndoe in a professional context. Furthermore, the format used before the ‘@md311.phpwebhosting.com’ sign is, for argument purposes, neither factual nor informative and will not be respected professionally. The address does however actively promote the e-mail service provider. Johndoe has endorsed their service and is performing viral marketing on their behalf. From the service providers perspective their professional interests have been represented in a positive manner by the fact that Johndoe is using their product.
Class: Unprofessional.

Conclusion
In order for an e-mail address to be classified as professional, ambiguous, or unprofessional, it needs to be considered in context, format, and in terms of factual and informative content. The local and domain name elements of the address need to be considered in their relationship to each other, and the intended audience of the e-mail address needs to be understood.

14,000+ Weekly Visits to Your Website. Realistic Goal? YES!

August 30th, 2012

These are real weekly stats received by Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. On average, Mutville’s website receives 10,000 to 20,000 visits per week. It fluctuates depending on the time of year,  news coverage, fundraisers, events, or campaigns under way.

Muttville’s website launched 5 years ago, and has steadily received this level of traffic for the last 3 years.

Interested in learning some of Muttville’s Marketing and PR efforts? Here is a list of some of the organization’s regular activities, both online and offline, to give you an idea:

 

 

Online Efforts

Blogging: Muttville posts 2-3 times a week. Every blog is shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Twitter: Muttville tweets every blog post, event, and dog profile as soon they are published. Profiles are retweeted until dogs are adopted.

Facebook: Muttville posts every blog post, event, and dog profile on Facebook as soon as they are published. They also have a custom Facebook tab with all links back to the website of each dog available for adoption. They also have custom tabs with links to various website pages: Give, Adopt, Foster, Volunteer.

YouTube: Muttville has accumulated a pretty decent library of videos. In November, we were pleased to have a new volunteer who studied film, and was interested in producing our very own Holiday themed video. Starring Muttvillle mutts, it was entitled “A Christmas Tail”. It launched December 22. By New Year’s Day, it had over 4000 views. Muttville plans on producing a documentary style video and a few more fun short films in 2012. A special video is produced every year and premiered at the annual fundraiser, Moolah For Mutts. This year’s video was called “Suma’s Story”.

Social Responsible Sites: Muttville is a beneficiary of various revenue-generating services, like KarmaWell, Rally.org and Causes.org. Participating on sites like these not only earns donations to non-profits like Muttville, it also offers a valuable Marketing opportunity for non-profits to share their missions and causes to new audiences.

Other Social Media: Muttville also uses Digg, Foursquare, Instagram, as well as countless shares to other sites, thanks to our supporters and volunteers.

Inbound Links: These are some of the highest sources of traffic. These sites posts Muttville’s dog profiles of adoptable dogs: The Shelter Pet Project, Petfinder, Dogtime, PetBond, Adopt-A-Pet. Weekly, these sites provide about 50% of the total site visitors. If you didn’t know the importance of effective inbound links, here are shining examples. Businesses can create similar traffic through affiliate marketing programs.

Email Marketing: Many Muttville supporters came to know this organization to adopt a dog or simply to offer a one time donation. Muttville continues to show gratitude to every supporter with on-going communication through email marketing efforts. Often times, the subjects of our newsletters are happy and positive, to share a success story from a fellow adopter, to share a personal heartfelt thanks from our founder,  and sometimes to celebrate special occasions with our pets. Once a year, the efforts are focused for the annual Matching Grant Fundraiser.

Contests: Muttville enters many contests every year. The benefits are plenty –  a chance to repurpose excellent collateral – videos, photos, and advertisements – produced by professionals (all volunteers). The marketing and promotion efforts for the call-to-action (i.e. votes or FB likes or watching a video) are shared with the company or business sponsoring the contest; it is a great excuse to team up with supporters; and the actions can be done by anyone who has access to a computer. Of course the biggest benefit are the prizes. This past year, Muttville won these prizes as a result of winning or placing in various contests:  a new Toyota Sienna, thanks to the Toyota 100 Cars For Good contest, SF Giants star pitcher Tim Lincecum promoted a Muttville dog and spent time taking photos and video, thanks to popchips, a $10,000 grant and the title “San Francisco’s Favorite Charity” by 7×7 Magazine, and a $5000 grant from Sliderocket.

Offline Efforts

Weekly Outreach Events: Every Sunday and many Saturdays, Muttville has outreach events at retail locations, outdoor city locations with heavy foot traffic, and even their own established “pup-up store”. For two months, Muttville occupied a former retail store in San Francisco and held adoption events on Saturdays an Sundays all December and January. It was perfect timing for the holidays. Later this year, Muttville will have a permanent location on 16th Street near Florida St in San Francisco.

Speaking Engagements: Sherri Franklin is known as an expert in senior canine care, and she has over a dozen speaking engagements under her belt, not to mention countless interviews for radio, TV and news. Speaking for various organizations and fundraisers has created widespread awareness of Muttville’s senior canine cause.

News and Radio: Publicist Patty Stanton takes every accomplishment Muttville achieves and announces it to every media contact she knows.  Plus, as Patty taught me, every accomplishment is a big deal if you make it a big deal.

Fundraisers: Who doesnt love a good party? There are many supporters that  splurge all their support into Muttville’s one big night every year. Smaller fundraisers are always great too, and always can attract new traffic from the venue, location or the donors who the space, provide auction items, catering, etc

Socially Responsible Businesses: Similar to socially responsible websites, Muttville is always honored to be the beneficiary of a fundraising event hosted and organized by a business that supports Muttville’s cause. Muttville shows its gratitude by cross-promoting these businesses and including the events on our website’s calendar, which always is posted to Muttville’s Facebook wall and tweeted to our twitter followers.

All these efforts are donated by volunteers. If you don’t have staff, try interns and students help get you started on a few of these tactics. Or give Switchblade a call!

Social Media Examiner’s “5 Ways to Build a Pinterest Following With Facebook”

August 7th, 2012

Thank you Social Media Examiner for this great advice. Even WE need to get up to speed and get this strategy going!

By
Originally Published August 7, 2012 Read original article on Social Media Examiner website

Are you looking to build a strong Pinterest following?

Did you know that you can integrate your Facebook and Pinterest marketing?

Yes, there’s a way to get Facebook fans to create exposure for you on Pinterest.

Establishing a large audience of followers on Pinterest is one of the most important aspects of a successful Pinterest marketing campaign.

Here’s the skinny: Although during the setup process you can choose to link your Pinterest account to your Facebook personal page, there is currently no way to automatically hook up to your Facebook fan page.

So what’s a business to do?

The truth is most business owners have not figured out a solution. They are failing on Pinterest because they think that they have to build a new following from scratch. Well, that is patently untrue.

Here are five ways to use Facebook to build your Pinterest following.

#1: Get a Pinterest Tab for Your Facebook Fan Page

The easiest thing to do is just go to Woobox and create a Pinterest tab for your Facebook fan page.

wooboxEasily get a Pinterest tab for your Facebook fan page from Woobox.

It’s very simple to do and requires little to no technical skills. Within minutes, you can have your Pinterest account in front of thousands of your fans! This way, whenever people come to your Facebook page to either check out your latest posts or learn more about you, they can also see that you are on Pinterest.

The Pinterest tab allows fans to view all of your boards and even your pins while staying on the Facebook platform. They will not be transferred over to Pinterest until they try to repin or comment on one of your pins.

pinterest tab fb fan pageWithin just a few clicks you can easily create a Pinterest tab for your Facebook fan page.

inside the pinterest tabInside the Pinterest tab as seen on the Facebook fan page.

#2: Post Pinterest Links as Updates on Your Facebook Page

There are a few different ways to use your Facebook status updates to promote your activity on Pinterest.

One way to build your follower base is to share the direct link to your Pinterest page as a status update and tell your fans WHY they should follow you on Pinterest.

What helpful information or cool contests will they have access to? Are there exclusive promotions? Why should they follow you on Pinterest AND Facebook?

facebook status update exampleExample post of a Facebook status update promoting a Pinterest business account.

The more specific you can be about the type of value you are creating for your followers on Pinterest, the more likely your fans will join you there too.

#3: Promote Specific Boards on Your Facebook Page

On Pinterest, people can choose to either follow all, or just a few, of your boards.

Because of that feature, you may find success promoting specific Pinterest boards on your Facebook fan page.

I recommend you promote a few different boards throughout the week.

That way, you have the opportunity to showcase your Pinterest account to a wider audience on Facebook, and you can introduce them to the diverse areas of value shared on your Pinterest page.

There are two ways you can promote a specific Pinterest board on Facebook.

  • Update your status by uploading an image of a pin to Facebook. Add a description and include a link to the board on which that pin is featured.
facebook pinterest board exampleExample Facebook post promoting a particular Pinterest board.

This works well if you have a really compelling image, because it will be granted more space on the Facebook newsfeed than a link.

  • Post the link to your Pinterest board as part of a status update. An image of one of your pins on that board will be automatically generated.
full board viewGenerate a full board preview (photo and all) by posting the board’s direct URL .

Posting the link will also automatically include the text in your board description.

Make sure that you add proper descriptions of the content when setting up your boards. I’m always amazed by how few people take advantage of this opportunity.

Look how brilliantly realtor Raj Qsar utilizes this space for his branding purposes.

His board description reads:

“Raj Qsar & Premier Orange County Real Estate – is one of the most dominant Real Estate Teams in the Orange County Real Estate Market. For over 15 years Team Raj Qsar has held the philosophy to give the best service and most qualified advice to both buyers & sellers.

Implementing honesty and integrity at the highest level possible and to enjoy the entire process along the way. We are truly passionate about real estate.”

raj qsar teamTake advantage of the description area below your board titles for adding value to your brand and board.

To add a description to one of your boards, simply click Edit Board and fill in the Description field.

edit boardAdd a description to your board by clicking the “Edit Board” button at the top of your Pinterest board page.

#4: How to Promote a Particular Pin

Sometimes the best way to really serve your Facebook community is to highlight the value that you are providing in one particular pin.

This is a great way to get maximum exposure when pinning your own original content. Remember these posts can and will be shared across Facebook by your fans.

The same two strategies apply here, as they do to promote a specific board above. You can either upload the image of the pin as a status update (or include a link in the image description), or you can just include the direct link to the pin in your status area.

promote a particular pinPromote a particular pin by pasting the pin’s direct URL into your Facebook status update.

When you post a direct link to a pin as a status on Facebook, the following information will be automatically added and visible:

  • The image of your pin
  • The name of the board that includes the pin
  • The caption that has been added to your pin

So make sure you have fully optimized both your board title and caption for maximum impact. Focus on creating intriguing board titles and including a further explanation of value in the caption.

#5: Promote Your Pinterest Contests on Facebook

Contests and promotions are becoming all the rage on Pinterest. They are a very effective way to quickly add a lot of new followers and drive a ton of traffic to your site.

Unlike Facebook, there are no real restrictions regarding the way contests are promoted and hosted on Pinterest. A great way to leverage both platforms is to promote your Pinterest contest on your Facebook fan page.

pinterest contest facebook fan pageExample of how Bergdorf Goodman promoted their Pinterest contest on their Facebook fan page.

Bergdorf Goodman recently promoted their Pinterest contest on their Facebook fan page by posting an image of one of the prizes with a brief explanation. They included a link to their blog within the description of the image where fans could find more details about how to enter.

Hopefully you’ve found these five ways to use Facebook to build your audience on Pinterest helpful. I know from personal experience that introducing your fan base to your presence on Pinterest is an effective way to get more followers.

Despite all the hype surrounding Pinterest, Facebook is still the largest social media network. Why not leverage the audience you have already built there and let them fast-track your success on Pinterest?

So what do you think? Can you see the benefits of using Facebook to get more followers on Pinterest? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

Website Design and Development for Musician Ralph Carney

July 16th, 2012

Client: Ralph Carney

Challenge: Musician Ralph Carney really loved his old website. He designed most of the illustrations, and he had the site for almost 10 years! He was worried that moving to a new website with bells and whistles would mean giving up some of his favorite features. But yet Ralph really wanted a blog and to be able to haev an easily website to update the content, add concert dates and press news and reviews.

Switchblade Solution: We took all of Ralph’s favorite elements and simply moved it into a new layout. No different than moving from an a loft to a house! Ralph now can’t wait to blog and add content to his site! We also added monetizing elements for Ralph, such as links to Amazon using their Affiliate program. Now Ralph can sell his own music on his site, or send folks to purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and Bandcamp.

Video for Muttville, popchips® and Tim Lincecum

July 3rd, 2012

This video for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue was played on the jumbo screen at AT&T park before the first pitch of the July 1st San Francisco Giants game versus the Reds. It was part of Muttville’s special day with two-time Cy Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum, where Tim took to the field with Muttville team Sherri, Anne, Patty, and Marie along with a long-haired senior dog coincidentally named Timmy :-). He helped spread awareness for Muttville’s senior dog cause and also hopes to help Timmy find his forever home. Click to read more about the entire event.

Marie Featured in Grouchy Puppy’s “Influencing Positively” Interview Series!

June 20th, 2012

We were so honored when Sharon Castellanos, founder and publisher of the blog Grouchy Puppy and Editor-At-Large for Life + Dog Magazine, chose Marie to be featured in her “Influencing Positively” Interview series! Sharon has been a strong supporter of animal rescue, and a great friend to Muttville and its senior dog cause. Her dog Cleo, a proud senior, helps “mom” promote Muttville’s motto, “senior dogs rule!”

Thank you Sharon!

Read the original article on Grouchy Puppy’s website.

June 19, 2012

Influence Positively Interview – Marie Rochelle Macaspac

SmallClubsDayOff

Marie is the owner of Switchblade Creative Studios, a design and marketing agency that specializes in working with nonprofit organizations and socially responsible businesses. She also co-manages Small Club, a walking/boarding/daycare service. With Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, Marie volunteers as a foster caregiver, outreach member, and the team leader for marketing & design, and social media. For San Francisco Animal Care and Control, Marie offers support as an Animal Caregiver and provides Marketing and Social Media services.

Marie Macaspac’s passion is an inspiration to many within Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and beyond. She gives her time & talent helping unwanted senior dogs find homes. By fostering more than 40 dogs in her own home as well as offering care and shelter for foster/hospice dogs whose end is near, Marie’s heart is huge. Marie is a designer and is responsible for the accolades Muttville receives when our marketing efforts are noticed – Muttville’s website, the design of Muttville’s shirts, postcards/posters announcing an event, the concept for an event, and the design of the fast-growing Facebook page – these are just a few examples. She team leads the Marketing volunteers, overseeing video production, photography production, working with other people who give their marketing talents so that older dogs can be re-homed.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A quiet sunny warm day surrounded by nature, either the beach or the woods, with a handful of my furry friends enjoying the day with me – my girl ocean blue and all of our fosters/friends…..strolling without a care in the world, just being free and happy…

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be and why? probably a dog. Either a cattle dog or a shih tzu – or a cattle-shih tzu mix! i’d like to know what its like to be cute and cuddly, and equally smart and clever

What is your pets most treasured possession? my dog, ocean, who is an aussie, values most…being in school! yes, she absolutely loves to be in class. she values above all things learning new tricks and being helpful. I guess on that note, if she had to love a possession, she loves to wear her backpack! she carries muttville cards, my keys, her leash….and she feels like she is doing good and being helpful, which ultimately is what makes her happy.

Your proudest achievement so far? The first thing I think of is how much I love being a foster mom. I’ve proudly fostered over 40 dogs to date. Even when I think about it, I can’t believe it! And along with that experience, I value so much what I have learned hospicing dogs with cancer. Even though it was heartbreaking when I lost Collette (read my story of collette), everything I learned about helping dogs with cancer is a gift, and I have since been able to offer guidance to other hospice parents, Muttville mutts, and doggy moms and dads with their cancer dogs.

Who are your heroes in real life? When I was 6 or 7, I loved James Herriot who wrote All Creatures Great and Small, and then when I was 10, I discovered Jane Goodall and I have been a fan ever since. I never dreamed that I would work side by side with anyone as amazing as them, and here I am today – working with Sherri Franklin, who has changed the future for thousands of senior dogs as a result of founding Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. I am in awe of all I have witnessed these last 5 years, and so honored to be a part of it.

“8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses” by Geoffrey James

April 23rd, 2012

We are re-posting this excellent article from Geoffrey Jamesoriginally published in Inc. Magazine. We all aspire to be an extraordinary boss, and if we aren’t there yet, this article is a great inspiration for guidance.

sherri franklin muttville

Sherri Franklin, Founder and Executive Director of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, is one of my examples of an extraordinary boss

 

The best managers have a fundamentally different understanding of workplace, company, and team dynamics. See what they get right.

 

A few years back, I interviewed some of the most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management secrets. I learned that the “best of the best” tend to share the following eight core beliefs.

1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.

Average bosses see business as a conflict between companies, departments and groups. They build huge armies of “troops” to order about, demonize competitors as “enemies,” and treat customers as “territory” to be conquered.

Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers … and even competitors.

2. A company is a community, not a machine.

Average bosses consider their company to be a machine with employees as cogs. They create rigid structures with rigid rules and then try to maintain control by “pulling levers” and “steering the ship.”

Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community–and company–at large.

3. Management is service, not control.

Average bosses want employees to do exactly what they’re told. They’re hyper-aware of anything that smacks of insubordination and create environments where individual initiative is squelched by the “wait and see what the boss says” mentality.

Extraordinary bosses set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies.

4. My employees are my peers, not my children.

Average bosses see employees as inferior, immature beings who simply can’t be trusted if not overseen by a patriarchal management. Employees take their cues from this attitude, expend energy on looking busy and covering their behinds.

Extraordinary bosses treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm. Excellence is expected everywhere, from the loading dock to the boardroom. As a result, employees at all levels take charge of their own destinies.

5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.

Average bosses see fear–of getting fired, of ridicule, of loss of privilege–as a crucial way to motivate people.  As a result, employees and managers alike become paralyzed and unable to make risky decisions.

Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they’ll be a part of it.  As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards.

6. Change equals growth, not pain.

Average bosses see change as both complicated and threatening, something to be endured only when a firm is in desperate shape. They subconsciously torpedo change … until it’s too late.

Extraordinary bosses see change as an inevitable part of life. While they don’t value change for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees and organization embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business.

7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.

Average bosses adhere to the old IT-centric view that technology is primarily a way to strengthen management control and increase predictability. They install centralized computer systems that dehumanize and antagonize employees.

Extraordinary bosses see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships. They adapt their back-office systems to the tools, like smartphones and tablets, that people actually want to use.

8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.

Average bosses buy into the notion that work is, at best, a necessary evil. They fully expect employees to resent having to work, and therefore tend to subconsciously define themselves as oppressors and their employees as victims. Everyone then behaves accordingly.

Extraordinary bosses see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.

BEHIND THE BRAND: Bald Barbie

March 30th, 2012

Bravo to Mattel, the makers of Barbie® for this very caring initiative that surely will have its place in Barbie history. A wonderful example of social responsibility from the 50-something year old gal! Truly this is more than just an act of social responsibility. It was a thoughtful decision for a corporation to not only produce  Bald Barbie, but, as stated in SFGate blog post:  “The doll, who will be a friend of Barbie, will be donated to hospitals treating children affected by hair loss throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company will also give dolls and monetary donations to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.”

We hope this act inspires other corporations to give in their own monumental ways. They all can, you know. They just need to find the value in giving.

Online Marketing for Brian Barneclo’s “Systems Mural Project”

February 1st, 2012

Client: Brian Barneclo

Challenge: Brian’s passion project called “Systems Mural Project” is slated to be the largest mural in San Francisco. To become reality, Brian needed our assistance to raise funds from sponsors and investors.

Switchblade Solution: We optimized the Systems Mural Project website for social media networking, produced the marketing/sponsorship presentation, and continue to support fundraising events. Brian is roughly 50% closer to his fundraising goal, and is confident that he will be painting his 600 ft wall in July 2011. Switchblade continues to drum up sponsorships and awareness in the community and across San Francisco. We will continue to support Brian and provide online marketing support, and will manage press coverage throughout his mural painting dream.

UPDATE: Brian’s Systems Mural was officially completed in September 2011.  Read our blog article.

Also, check out this article about Brian Barnecilo and Systems Mural in SFGate.

And visit the new site at sfmural.com