Category Archives: Newsletter

2018 Planning and Scheduling

2018 Planning, Facebook, Logo Text Size

(This is a re-post of our January 2018 newsletter sent by e-mail. Subscribe to our newsletter here.)

Greetings and Happy New Year!

Promo Scheduling

With the beginning of another year, I always think about scheduling…what’s coming up, what’s needed to make it happen. So that’s part of this newsletter.

Facebook – Kinda Cool, Kinda Meh

And Facebook…it’s not as good as we’d like. That’s also included.

Blog Highlights

I wrote a post about logo design. See the link below.


Schedule - Quarter 1, Quarter 2, Quarter 3, Quarter 4

2018 Scheduling and Reminders

Get Reminders for Your Events

As you’re planning for this year, remember to send me your event dates if we don’t already have them. I’ll add them to the calendar and contact you at least one month before to make sure your print and promo materials arrive on time. If you’re planning a big event or a new campaign, I can contact you even earlier.

Early is better, of course. I wrote a blog post in 2013 that includes a table of suggested planning times for typical promotional projects.

See the entire post here.

Planning Case Study

Around October 1, 2017, we got a call about new panels for a trade show display needed by November 21. Seven weeks seems like a lot of time, but we needed every bit of it. It’s a textbook case study for early scheduling.

First, these were panels for the back of the display, not the typical panels for the front, so we had to research what was needed. My vendor gave me part numbers, but when I looked at the specs, I found the size was wrong for the display. They had to take extra time to research again and finally came up with the right parts.

Second, the design had to be created. My client created the artwork, and it took some extra time; they had the software needed, but they were not experienced in designing for large format printing. And there’s always the time for reviews, changes and approvals.

Third, we ordered the panels, and they arrived a week early. My client did the right thing: they put it together to make sure it worked. And they discovered they were missing pins needed to hold the panels on the back. After a quick call to my vendor, they express shipped the pins, and it all came together.

Every one of these steps took days or weeks, and it was a success because of early planning. Projects can be rushed, of course, but that usually means higher costs.


A Little Less Facebook

Facebook and other social media are pretty amazing, but for small business it can be a mix. So Pacesetter Media is going back to newsletters as a primary way to communicate with our friends, customers and associates.

Facebook the Good

I think most businesses should have at least a minimal presence on Facebook. People search for businesses on Facebook, and Google sometimes shows business pages in search results. For some businesses, lots of Facebook interaction is fitting.

Facebook is like a big community fair or an industry trade show. If you go there to smoke and joke, that’s what you get. If you go there for business, that’s what you get. Despite what I’m about to say, Facebook can help your business.

Facebook the Bad

Facebook doesn’t show posts to your entire audience. They want you pay them to advertise, so they’re going to limit your reach when you use the free service.

You can spend lots of time building a following and then lose control when Facebook limits your reach. It’s up to them, and if they change their terms next week, who knows what they’ll do?

You can test their paid ads with a low commitment; it’s really a good, low-cost way to reach people and test advertising ideas, so it’s not all bad. But when you want stay in touch with your customers, the free Facebook is hit and miss.

Back to the “Old Fashioned” Way

An e-mail newsletter is still the most cost effective way to reach your customers in mass. Postal mailings, phone calls and face-to-face visits are more personal, but they take more time and cost more.

Maintaining Your Own List

A mailing service like MailChimp is the best way to manage your e-mail list. You can regularly export your list and keep a back up on your computer. Whenever needed, you can move it to another service.

A blog is another option, but a blog is passive. It doesn’t send anything to recipients. You have much better reach and control with a newsletter.

One quick warning about mailing lists: I always suggest using a newsletter service. There are several laws and best practices you should comply with, and a service makes it easy. For a small list up to 2000 subscribers, there are free options.


Logo Study Header Image

Logos Should Have Big Text

Pacesetter Media did a blog post about logo design…usually the text should be big compared to the graphics.

See the entire post here.


Pacesetter Media – Solving Promotion Problems

When you need help with scheduling, Facebook or logos, give us a call.

Here’s to a great 2018.

2016

New Year Update

Here we are, another year has passed, and I have a few updates to share.

First, Happy New Year and thank you for your loyal business. As Pacesetter Media grows, I appreciate each and every order, referral and inquiry. I look forward to working with you in 2016.

Some updates include:


Studio Renovations

Studio Makover
I started from scratch on the studio, stripping out the carpet and repainting. I also got new power amps for instruments and general listening. That was done by April, and it’s great for lighting, photography and video. But audio recordings had some echo. That’s okay for some music styles, but not so much for spoken word. I fixed that by adding acoustic panels recently, and it sounds great.

Studio, Acoustic Panels

Spoken-word recording is better, and music listening is a lot better. I knew the acoustic panels would improve the sound, but I was surprised how clean music is now, even at high volumes.

Loud-Music Delight
Next time you’re in the area or you’re here for a photo shoot, be sure to bring your playlist on your phone or music player. We’ll hook it up and listen with a little volume. I think you’ll like it.


WordPress

Expanded WordPress Options

In 2015 WordPress was popular with clients. For small business websites, WordPress is a really good option. It’s SEO friendly and lets clients update sites themselves. It’s also flexible and scalable. We can use any theme or my own Pacesetter Media theme. I can customize WordPress for almost any web application.

You can learn more at my WordPress post from 2013.


Logo Apparel

Logo Apparel

Apparel was another hit in 2015. I launched a new website with lots of catalogs at 501Shirts.com. Whether you need a short run or a big quantity, I can offer quality apparel, embroidery and screen printing.

Volume Discounts
By the way, the magic number for polo shirts is around 100. The magic number for t-shirts is 500. At those quantities, I can offer special discounted pricing

Extra Creative Time with Large Orders
BTW: Did you know I offer extra creative time with big orders of printing and promotional items? This “time credit” can be used on any project. You can get extra design, photography and web updates you can use up to 90 days later.


Thank You – Here’s to 2016

Thank you again. I look forward to working with you in 2016.

WordPress, Woman Celebrating Wordpress

WordPress…You Heard of It, Right?

WordPress is used on lots of websites.

  • What is it?
  • Should you use it?

That’s this month’s topic.


What is WordPress?

WordPress is free, open source software for creating websites. “Open source” means it’s developed by thousands of volunteer programmers and is free (open) to use.

There are others like Joomla and Drupal; they have their fans, but WordPress has won, so to speak. It’s more widely used, and it has a large community of people, groups and websites that offer WordPress themes (template designs) and plug-ins (extra features). There are thousands of options, probably tens of thousands.

Some themes are free but the best ones cost a little (from $30-$75). Compare this to the $500-$1500 for a custom design from scratch.

Many big companies still need custom development, but for small businesses and even big companies, WordPress offers a lot for the money. If blogging is part of your marketing strategy, WordPress is the best option for that.

WordPress works like other content management systems. It

  • runs on a web server.
  • uses a shell or template for most of the site design.
  • gets text and images (content) for each page from a database.
  • inserts that page content into the template.

Content Management System Flow Chart

Third-party plug-ins and themes can add features like calendars, search engine optimization and advanced forms. And lots more.

Could your site be built with WordPress?

For many small companies, the answer is usually yes. There are other great choices, but WordPress is usually a workable option. A basic installation is a good start; add some plug ins and a nice theme, it can do lots more.

Is it easy?

Yes and no.

Yes

It has lots of bells and whistles available, either free or at very reasonable prices. Generally, they work well together.

Strength: It’s all things to all people. It does lots of stuff with lots of options.

No

It has lots of bells and whistles available. Sometimes they don’t work well together.

WordPress by itself is very stable. Even with third-party plug ins, it’s pretty stable. But you know how computers work: problems can come up with any new plug-in or new version.

Weakness: It’s all things to all people. The code is complicated, glitches can occur, and the pages served to your audience are usually bigger than they need to be.

Should I Try WordPress Myself?

It’s worth a try. The simpler your needs, the more likely it will work easily. You’ll still have to study a little to learn how to install it and edit your site. If you have the time, why not? There are lots of hosting companies that offer cheap plans for DIY websites.

Professional WordPress Websites

Of course, Pacesetter Media can get your WordPress site up and running quickly and easily. Just like Pacesetter Site, you’ll be able to update your site once it’s set up. And we’ll make it look good, of course. 🙂

Call Pacesetter Media: 813-685-9206