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Archive for April, 2009

One would assume that most people think about something before they do it. But we all know what happens when one assumes – you make an….well, you know the saying.

So when I saw the story about Air Force One completing a low altitude flight over New York earlier this week, the thing that went through my mind was: What were they thinking? The “they” in this case was the White House Military Office, and specifically, the director of that office, Louis Caldera, who approved the operation. And I think the answer is this: they weren’t thinking.

This PR stunt was meant to capture pictures of the 747 that is known as Air Force One when the president is aboard, flying over New York City. In particular, the Air Force was hoping to get pictures of the plane with the Statue of Liberty.  Two F-16 fighter jets accompanied the plane.

Anyone who had actually bothered to think about it for all of two seconds could have determined what New Yorkers reactions would be. (more…)

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About two weeks ago on this very blog, I published this post praising personalized magazines as a customer-centric solution to help slow the decline of the print publication. Specifically, I focused on Mine, a trial of a personalized magazine from Time Inc. and American Express Publishing. Subscribers are asked to pick content from five magazines out of several of the companies offerings to create their own unique publication. Readers could choose to receive, free of charge, five trial issues e-mailed to them in electronic format or snail mailed to them in print format.

However, what I didn’t talk about were some of the potential downsides, and the impact an error could have on the concept. Sure, newspapers, magazines and books contain errors every so often. But when a company suggests a reader can customize a magazine to their liking, and the one that they get isn’t, this is a bit of a problem.

Why am I bringing this up now, you ask? Well, while waiting for the first print issue of Mine Magazine to arrive at my door last week, I received an e-mail from the publisher. (more…)

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Most of us have lost a credit or debit card at some point in our lives. Whether we get these items back can depend on numerous factors, including how we lost it and sometimes, the attitude of local branch employees.

Last Thursday, I went to the downtown branch of a major national bank (one of the 3 largest in the country), which shall remain nameless to protect the employees in this story. I went to the ATM, made a transaction and left. Everything seemed to be normal…until the next night.

On Friday evening, I realized my check card was missing. After looking around home, I remembered the ATM transaction from the day before. Since I was convinced I must have left the card in the machine, and seeing as there were no additional transactions on my account, I decided that instead of canceling the card and waiting for a replacement, I would go by the branch on Monday morning to see if I could retrieve it. (more…)

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We all know that print publications are losing readers. In today’s world, where news happens around the clock, it makes more sense to use online sources, where news is posted as it happens. We can also set up accounts on various Web sites to get only the type of news we want. Essentially, we can each create our own online publication.

However, some think this can extend to print as well as online. Last month, Time Inc., American Express Publishing and Lexus announced a test of a new magazine titled Mine. The magazine uses the tag line “My magazine. My way,” and includes content personalized to each reader.

Here’s how it works: consumers can go to the Mine Web site and choose content from five titles out of several magazines published by Time Inc. or American Express Publishing. Lexus is the exclusive sponsor of the magazine. Readers receive five trial issues of Mine, which can be delivered either as a print publication by snail mail (limited to 31,000 subscribers), or as an electronic edition by email (up to 200,000 subscribers). (more…)

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