Announcing The Media Is Y-O-U!

Announcing The Media Is Y-O-U, a one-day intensive, hands on social media training workshop designed especially for Indies! If you’re an Indie Business owner, you know how important it is to use the Internet to spread the word about your products and services. Today, doing that is easier than ever with my one-day intensive, hands…

Details

Commentary And Analysis: The FTC’s Blogger And Social Media Advertiser Guides

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (PDF). The Guides were issued pursuant to the FTCs authority, as granted by Congress in Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45, to protect consumers from deceptive trade practices with regard to endorsements and testimonials…

Details

The Results Are In: Social Media Increases Sales

Earlier today, I suggested that social media is just media. Today, I want to share proof that, whatever you call it, it works! According to comScore, a digital marketing intelligence company, the graph below shows a marked increase in the number of discounts and special offers made by retailers on Black Friday (and ten days…

Details

Personal Care Products Council Charges $1,000 For Access to INCI Names

When I was a cosmetics manufacturer years ago, I joined the Personal Care Products Council (formerly known as the Cosmetic, Toiletries & Fragrances Association). At the time, I lived in Washington, DC and I enjoyed going to their offices from time to time to use their library. I also learned a lot from them about…

Details

Don't Get Caught Napping While Laws Affecting Your Business Are Being Discussed!

I read an interesting post today at the the CPSIA Comments & Observations blog. Maintained by Richard Woldenberg, chairman of Learning Resources, a manufacturer of learning toys and hands-on classroom educational materials, the CPSIA Comments & Observations blog tracks activity with regard to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) implementation of the Consumer Product Safety…

Details

Head of Interactive Advertising Bureau Challenges New FTC Rules

Yesterday Randall Rothenberg, head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, published an open letter to Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission highlight what he calls “a grave concern” with regard to the new Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (PDF). In particular, Rothenberg says that the Guides are unconstitutional because…

Details

Announcing Indie Business Advocate.com!

UPDATE 2/12/2010: As of today, Indie Business Advocate.com has been closed. All small business advocacy and public policy posts can be found in the Advocacy Category at this blog. Thank you. For as long as I have served small and independent business owners, I have observed how challenging it is to have an impact on…

Details

4 Words To Transform Your Business In 2010

A recent segment of 60 Minutes was devoted to the life and work of Don Hewitt, the new magazine’s creator, who passed away in August 2009. As you may know, 60 Minutes is the longest-running prime-time television broadcast in the country. I enjoyed learning about Hewitt’s perspective on the show’s phenomenal success, which he says…

Details

YouTube Direct Supports "Citizen Journalists"

If you don’t already think The Media Is You, this will change your mind. YouTube recently announced YouTube Direct, a service that allows news organizations to customize YouTube’s uploader to receive video from people who want to share items of interest with the news organization’s audience. The potential of this new format is massive, both…

Details

It's Your Lawn. Mow It.

Small business owners often say they don’t want to be bothered with social media because the learning curve is too steep. Here’s what I have to say about that. Get over it. When isn’t the learning curve steep? Here’s an analogy. If you are a homeowner, you can’t let your front lawn grow wild. Not only…

Details

FTC To Host Workshops On "Journalism and the Internet Age"

On December 1 and 2, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold two days of workshops on how the Internet has affected journalism. The workshops come in the wake of the release last month of the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which become effective on the first day of…

Details

Campaign For Safe Cosmetics: A New Report

[This post was originally published on my Twitwall on March 12, 2009. I think it is important for context to share it with you at this blog as well. You can see the comments on the original post beneath the post itself.] A 32-page report (PDF) entitled “No More Toxic Tub” has been released by…

Details

Should You Use Your Real Name Online?

Yesterday, I Tweeted my experience linking from a small business owner’s Twitter page to her website, and not finding her name anywhere. There was also no phone number and no address, yet her products were sold via a shopping cart at her site and her newsletter subscription form required subscribers to enter a first and…

Details

Top 10 Ways For Small Business Owners To Use Twitter Lists

[This post was inadvertently published yesterday. I recalled it, but not before Feedburner picked it up. I apologize for the inconvenience.] A few days ago, Twitter announced Twitter Lists, a great new feature that allows users to create pubic and private lists of people on Twitter. If you read Item #9 on Top Ten Actions…

Details

Don’t Just Own The Water. Own The Pipe.

In case you haven’t heard, Oprah Winfrey will host the final episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show sometime in 2011 when her contract with CBS Corp. (which syndicates her show) expires. At that time, she will turn her attention to a 50-50 joint venture, announced last year, with Discovery Communications called, “OWN: The Oprah Winfrey…

Details

Why You Hate Social Media, And What To Do About It

I recently received an email from a small business owner who said, “I hate social media.” In the next paragraph, she asked me what she could to do grow her business, which relies on the Internet for the vast majority of its sales. While the short answer to that question is, “Use social media,” I…

Details

Even The Media Doesn't Need The Media

This past Sunday, Mike Soltys, a media relations vice president at ESPN, announced the termination of ESPN sports personality Steve Phillips. As you may know, Mr. Phillips has been embroiled in a nasty sex scandal. I don’t watch ESPN, but I’m quite sure that ESPN must have announced this action on the air at some…

Details

Are You Flying Blind With Social Media?

According to the today’s New York Times two Northwest Airlines pilots flew over 100 miles beyond their destination because they were distracted by their laptop computers. For the 90-minutes during which they were flying in the wrong direction, they did not hear more than a dozen air traffic controllers trying to get their attention. They…

Details

Unnecessary Laws, Not Lack Of Funding, Are Destroying America's Small Businesses

In his December 12 weekly address, President Obama continued to point out the failures of financial institutions and their leaders, and once again lamented that so many small businesses have closed their doors over the past several months. He also expressed his intention to push banks to give small businesses access to lending “they desperately…

Details

What's Your Reporter's Beat?

One of the thousands of things I wanted to be when I grew up was a news anchor, and my major in college was Journalism. While I never worked as a journalist, the fact that I trained to be one explains why I have been an early adapter of the concept that small and independent…

Details