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Ethics in Marketing (and business, and life)

Ethics.  Ethics in business, ethics in life.  What does it mean in this post-Enron, Jack Abranoth,(fill in the latest scammer here) world we live in? 

I was searching the web for another speaker to recommend, for an event that didn’t fit my schedule.  I found sites for speakers that I knew, and those that I had never heard of — I even found the “old retired football coach” from my college — speaking on training for a marathon, if I understood that link correctly!  I stumbled upon an interesting site for a woman I didn’t know – and saw she had a GLOWING testimonial from someone who I do know, in fact that  I know quite well.  So naturally, I picked up the phone and contacted him for his verbal testimonial, and that’s where ethics comes into the picture. Or, should I say, lack of them.

He didn’t give her the glowing testimonial, nor does he have any recollection of ever saying those things she has quoted on her web-site.  He was quite concerned, and I left him mulling over his next step.

That got me thinking of ethics, and also a little bit about  “care.” Take care that you are honest in what you do! Care about your reputation!  Take care that even a small town, or a small community, or a small organization, can have people from all over hearing about you and reading about you: make sure what they are hearing and reading is true ! Accurate! Honest!  Certainly, you can’t control what others say about you 100% of the time, but you CAN control what you say about yourself!

I mean really: if you can’t trust a testimonial..Hmmm..well then, I think maybe I’ll make one up! From…from…from…Oprah! That’s the ticket! 

Well, of course, I won’t make one up.  Oprah’s never seen me, never met me, never commented on my skills (at least not to my knowledge! and I think I’d remember).  Don’t worry: you won’t find me putting her testimonial on my web site — at least not until she really gives me one! 😉

Ethics.  In this post-Enron Texas environment – ethics means so much more than in the past!

Be careful. Take care.  It’s a small world: have ethics.



A Client Speaks! (and speaks well!)

Today I had the pleasure of watching one of my younger clients give a 30 minute speech to members of her Senior Class at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin.  Alle, age 17, gave her presentation on getting her pilot’s license, and the upgrades in technology pilots have been lucky enough to experience these past few years.  She looked fabulous, and wore her Grandfather’s “wings” he earned during World War II. (he was there to watch the presentation, along with Alle’s Grandmother, Mother and Father).

Alle did an exemplary job on her speech – presenting a great deal of technical information with poise, humour and a relaxed aire.  She did a job that would make any teacher proud.  I wish her well on her journey…

to University of Texas (Austin) and beyond!!!!

No Blackmailing, Please.

OK, ok, so not everyone is a great speaker – but we always hope that our elected officials are better than average. Not this week, they’re not!

At an Austin Chamber of Commerce event recently two city council members tried to talk the crowd out of voting for Proposition 1 & 2, which the Chamber feels is too restrictive and costly. Instead of acknowledging the emotion behind the signatures that got the props ON the ballot – they just blackmailed the audience with “if you pass this we won’t fund THAT park or THAT library or this road or this….employee”.

We can only hope that the constituents (the microscopic amount that actually DO vote) will be smart enough to see that the wording in the Props is a tad harsh, and vote accordingly.

But really, guys. Don’t threaten us – we won’t fall for it; or at the least, it will just make the ones on the fence mad enough to vote….YES.

Stage Presence – From a (wheel)chair

Wow – I have to share with you information about the most dynamic young woman I met recently.  Amy is a Girl Scout, who I am coaching for a speech she will give next week at a prestigious Girl Scout function here in Austin.  She is a Senior in High School, and very much looking forward to graduation (she knows how many days by heart: 34).  She is challenged physically, and uses a electric wheelchair – and believe me her resume makes mine look amateurish! She has spoken on disabilities to our State House of Representatives, to the US Congress in Washington D.C., and even handed out awards with Geo Bush, Sr. at a ADA anniversary celebration!  She has been EVERYWHERE!

Admittedly, some days I feel life is overwhelming — don’t we all feel that way sometime?  Well, next time I feel that way, I’ll think of Amy – with the power and gumption to succeed – and succeed wondrously – in every challenge endeavor she’s encountered!

Thank you Amy, for being a wonderful role model for girls everywhere – and especially for me!

[reposted from my previous blog]

What You Should Know if You Live Alone

Not all my posts are about marketing and public speaking!

Do you live alone?? Here’s something you should think about:

One day, in a galaxy far, far away, while driving home from the grocery store, I spied an ambulance & fire-truck in front of an elderly neighbors home.

I ran over and as they took Amy out on a stretcher, I said “I’ll take care of the dog! Don’t worry!” and off they went. I tracked her down at the hospital and visited: sure enough, she’s had a stroke.  It turns out she had no relatives in Austin, so soon after myself and a few friends were taking care of Max – a precocious little …well, ball of fur!  He was adorable, but clearly “missing Mom” without Amy.

Are you prepared for an emergency of this type?  Especially – if you live alone!!?  We all can learn from this – a list of “emergency phone numbers” somewhere near the phone so a neighbor or friend can call those who should be called; maybe a list of lawyers and doctors!  You never know – if you’re taken away by ambulance, is the person left behind someone who knows you well??

Be prepared!