PR and marketing in Madison, Connecticut

English: Sign in Madison, Connecticut

Sign in Madison, Connecticut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago, my family and I moved from the Washington, DC area to Madison, CT, about an hour and half up I-95 from New York City. I’m now working on generating PR and marketing work in my new hometown and the surrounding area.

This is a quick post to say that if you’re looking for communications help, I invite you to look over some samples of my PR and marketing work, as well as additional examples of my writing. I can also work remotely if you’re based outside the area. I’ve done this before and would be happy to discuss it with you.

Please contact me via email at blog AT mikeholden.com or through LinkedIn.

#hiremikeholden on washingtonpost.com

The #hiremikeholden hashtag made it onto washingtonpost.com, thanks to my fantastic wife! The Post wished good luck on Twitter too, after I tweeted the image below.  Thanks to them and everyone else who has been spreading the word about my job search and solo PR and marketing work. I appreciate it!

#hiremikeholden washingtonpost.com

Brand Loyalty: WAKA Kickball Tattoo

How’s this for brand loyalty? One of our employees and players got a WAKA Kickball tattoo!

Nats should leverage demand for a Teddy win to get something they need

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Ro...

Photo by Scott Ableman via Wikipedia

It’s been almost exactly a year since I suggested the Washington Nationals should let Teddy win their Presidents Race on June 4, 2010, as a consolation prize to all the fans who’d bought tickets  to that game thinking it might be Stephen Strasburg’s major league debut. But Teddy came up short in that race, leaving me to assume the Nats front office had simply not yet discovered mikeholden.com as a source for brilliant sports marketing ideas—it’s the only logical conclusion.

There was some speculation this past weekend that Teddy might win the Presidents Race on Memorial Day. Alas, Teddy did not win that one either. He remains defeated, the only one of the four racing presidents to have not won the race since it began back in 2006.

I’ve heard more than one Nats fans say that a Teddy win is being saved until the team does something like makes the playoffs or wins the World Series. But I have to agree with Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog that having Teddy win around one of those events might not be ideal.

Here’s what Steinberg wrote this past weekend:

It’s customarily been assumed by Nats fans that Teddy would win on the day of some sort of milestone: the day after the first clinched playoff berth, the day of the first home playoff game, the day of the first All-Star game at Nats Park, and so on. But if you think about it, from a marketing standpoint, that doesn’t make much sense. If Teddy wins on the day of a playoff game, it’s a note on page D7. If Teddy wins on some random day in May, it might be A1 in The Post.

Steinberg is right. Events such as a playoff berth are marketing wins all by themselves. So why not save the Teddy win for its own special random date and have it be a marketing win all by itself?

Better yet, why not use that Teddy win to get something the team really needs…more season ticket holders.

It’s no secret that the Nats could do better at the box office. And the just-completed series with Philadelphia drew attention to the fact that Phillies fans still enjoy invading Nats Park, making things miserable for the home fans…and Thomas Boswell. Even Steinberg is ready to throw journalistic standards out the window and start rooting for the Nats.

So, why not bring all of this together and create a situation in which everyone (except Philadelphia!) wins, including Teddy? Set a goal, Nats. Tell the fans that if the team reaches a season ticket holder base of xx,000, Teddy will win a race during the very next home game. This approach still leaves some element of surprise. Fans might know the team is close to its goal, but it won’t be until Teddy wins that they’ll know it’s been reached.

The Nats can break out the confetti cannons, maybe launch a few fireworks and have the xx,000 season ticket holder waiting to maul Teddy when he crosses that finish line. And immediately following that, people can go back to wondering when Teddy will win again.

So who’s with me on this? Set the goal, Nats. Make it season ticket related or use it to get something else you need (if he continues to underperform, building a package around Teddy for a proven #1 starter or a center fielder who can bat lead-off might not be a bad idea, even if that thought is tough to swallow. Or send him to Syracuse until he’s truly ready—Rizzo took his time with Strasburg and is doing the same with Bryce Harper, but Teddy got thrown right into the show). Just tell the fans what they must to do to get a Teddy win, Nats. It’s been five years. Let’s move this thing to Phase 2.

On the Web, Athletes are Leaving Money on the Table

More athletes need web pages. This doesn’t sound like something that should have to be said in 2009, but Google your favorite athlete and see what comes up. Chances are the first few results are for stats/bio pages on the big sports sites—like ESPN.com or Yahoo! Sports—or for Wikipedia pages. Sometimes the top results are recent headlines about the athlete.

But what you don’t see enough of in the top results are official websites for these athletes—in other words, their own web page through which they can grab web traffic and where they get to control the content. Some sports figures have them, but not enough do.

It may seem that, unless the athlete is someone who loves the spotlight, they don’t need a website. Or that because many of them are financially set, they don’t need their own online outlet to promote themselves further. I don’t see it that way.

In my opinion, every athlete, especially the ones on the fringe, should have their own space on the web—someplace they can show their worth, pitch their products, generate support for their charities or mobilize their fans in any way they’d like.

Next time an athlete is in a popularity contest to make the last spot on the all-star team, a player with a high-traffic website, a mailing list and a strong Twitter following could have the edge.

A website could be one way for a current athlete to set themselves up to transition into a career in the broadcast booth, by getting started now with video postings and podcasts.

Or if a coach or player decides to write a book, it has better chances of hitting the best seller list quicker if that new author has a website with regular visitors.

And for retired athletes who may have played their sport before contracts got to be as lucrative as they are today, a website could be a key revenue-generator for selling autographed memorabilia, booking speaking engagements or showing they have a following that makes them worthy of endorsement deals.

Even the last player to make a pro roster has people searching for them in Google. But if any athlete, well-known or obscure, doesn’t have a site waiting to be found on Google, etc., then all the web hits go to the ESPNs and Yahoo Sports of the world.

A simple website and a little Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should get the official site of most athletes placing on the first page of the Google results, probably in the top 3 to 5 slots depending on what else they’re up against and the effectiveness of their SEO efforts. For those who don’t want the distraction or who don’t have the time to produce content for their site, there are people who can help.

But when an athlete doesn’t have a website up and running, so they can grab some of the search traffic their name generates, it’s like leaving money on the table.