Last Wednesday, the sky outside our apartment suddenly changed from sunny to scary.
Table of Contents | Volume 11, Issue 24
We stood watching out our front windows like we were living through a scifi movie. The sky turned golden yellow and then grew darker until it was dark orange.
Mesmerized, we watched the orange sky remain unchanged. As the minutes ticked by, we wondered how long the New York sky would stay dark and hazardous.
While we had read about the fires in Northeastern Canada, some of which were out of control, it was hard to believe that the dense, hazardous smoke had journeyed this far south.
The biggest change:
New Yorkers voluntarily wore masks outdoors.
► Why The Canadian Forest Fires Matter
Northern Canada and Alaska have boreal forests which are part of the world’s largest biome. They have long, cold and dry winters combined with short, warm and moist summers.
Of critical importance:
This combination creates carbon sinks that store about 30% to 40% of all land-based carbon in the world. So they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which reduces climate change.
According to Michael Flannigan, Professor of Wildland Fire at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, 3 factors must exist to create these major forest fires:
- Fuel in the form of grass, shrubs and trees;
- Ignition source to start the fire, either humans or lightning; and
- Hot, dry and windy weather.
This year, Canada experienced above-average temperatures combined with below-average spring rainfall this year This left a lot of the country, especially Alberta and Saskatchewan, ready for an active fire season.
To date in 2023, Canada has had over 2,200 wildfires. They have scorched over 12,700 square miles of natural wildland. To put these numbers in perspective, the 10-year average for this time of year is 1,624 fires that burn about 980 square miles. (Source)
Marketing Lesson of The Week
► Tony Awards: The Show Must Go On
When planning my wedding, I learned that the best people to turn to when you need to plan and execute an event are experienced Broadway professionals.
And I’m not just talking about the actors. Everyone involved with a Broadway production understands the critical role they play to make the show start on time and take place flawlessly.
Because these professionals know the curtain goes up whether you’re ready or not.
My husband’s first wife was a Tony-winning actress and many of her friends and colleagues remained connected after her passing in 2003. So they picked up the slack when we needed help with our special day.
► The 2023 Tonys
Since most of the Tony Awards Show is usually written by members of the Writers Guild of America (aka: WGA), their current strike almost shut the show down.
Instead, the show’s producers reached an agreement with the WGA. The Tonys wouldn’t use a script and the WGA union wouldn’t picket the show.
To underscore this point, host Ariana DeBose showed a binder filled with empty pages. In her words, “Every presenter is unscripted — we’re making it up as we go along.”
If you need a group of professionals who can improvise and bring off an event in a pinch, you’ll find them on Broadway.
Instead of one of the usual stages such as Radio City Hall or the Beacon Theater, this year’s 76th Tony Awards moved uptown to the United Palace, an old movie theater. The United Palace is located in the Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights, the setting for Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning play In The Heights.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Always have a backup plan and be flexible. As a marketer, I’ve had numerous elements of campaigns and presentations go south. Beyond planning a set of backup tactics, the key to overcoming unexpected challenges is to be ready to improvise.
► 2023 Tony Shows Its Support For Its Community
The 76th Tony Awards showed its true colors and support of its community, both actors and audience.
1. Two Non-binary Actors Won Tony Awards.
Wearing a sparkling gold dress, Alex Newell won the Best Featured Actor in a Musical Tony for their role in Shucked. In their words, “I have wanted this my entire life” ..”Thank you for seeing me, Broadway. I should not be up here as a queer, nonbinary, fat, Black little baby from Massachusetts.”
J. Harrison Ghee won the Best Leading Actor for their role in Some Like It Hot. They said, “You may think you’re afraid — afraid of what? Of whose opinion? If it brings you joy, do it,” (Source)
2. Antisemitism-Focused Plays Won Tonys.
Both Parade, a revival of a 1998 musical about a Jewish man in Georgia’s trial, imprisonment and 1915 lynching and Leopoldstadt, Tom Stoppard’s chilling drama about the Nazis’ impact on a large Viennese family, won Tonys in their respective categories.
Inspired by antisemitism these plays resonate more now due to the increased open hatred against Jews and other minorities.
In the words of Brandon Uranowitz, who won a Tony for Best Featured Actor for Leopoldstadt, “It’s a clarion call to pay attention to those seemingly inconsequential things that accumulate and lead to mass devastation.”
3. Tony’s Celebrated People’s Identities
This year’s Tony winners claimed the power to express themselves while urging the audience to do so as well. Michael Arden, who won a Tony for his direction of Parade stood up for the gay community saying, “When you hide in shame you are uncounted.”
New York Marketing Minute
► How To Get The Most Out Of Your Retail Location
Maintaining a retail location in Manhattan can be challenging. This is attributable to the combination of the cost of New York City real estate and online shopping competition, especially Amazon.
One retail store I always shop for specialized sports gear in person is Paragon, located on Broadway and 18th Street just north of Union Square.
Since 1908, Paragon has established itself as New York City’s go-to store for sports gear and clothing.
Because Paragon carries a selection of the top brands and has an extremely knowledgeable sales team. Each salesperson has experience using the products they sell making their advice invaluable.
Before my husband and I went to Iceland where we planned hikes, the two of us went to Paragon to buy boots. When we left with 2 pairs of high-priced Lowa boots, my husband had sticker shock. After our first hike, he admitted that I was right about the boots.
Paragon states its mission as follows:
“…[W]e are committed to bringing you the most innovative and technologically advanced products in the sports and outdoor field. It is our mission to provide a unique and fulfilling shopping experience to every customer, every time, by setting the standard in customer service and quality product.” (Source)
Paragon extended its offering to include its “Run Club NYC”. Having run his first marathon in 2011, Brian McGregor is the Run Club Head Coach; he also works as a running specialist in the store.
The Tuesday Night Runs builds on diversity and shared appreciation to support and build community among New York runners. “[Paragon’s] goal is to help each other achieve athletic success in running, as well as to foment friendship and camaraderie on- and off- the beaten path.”
Want to join the running fun?
The Tuesday Night Runs meet at Paragon at 6:15pm. Participants can check their stuff at Paragon and, afterwards, can hang out and have beers. The group is free and open to anyone who wants to join at no cost.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Always include a QR code. Post-pandemic, QR codes are everywhere. Regardless of age, your audience has a smartphone and can easily snap the code taking them to a tailored landing page. Otherwise, you risk that they never take the next action.
► Use Your Retail Space For Promotion
If you have a retail location, get the most out of the location by using your store windows to engage passersby and offering the space for other activities where relevant.
For example, Paragon uses its outdoor signage to attract customers. They use the full length of their corner window to spotlight their running shoes and to promote their Run Club NYC. Even better, it includes photographs of their community!
Around the corner, Paragon has another sign nailed to the wall. Imitating the MTA’s subway sign look and feel, it highlights special services that Paragon offers beyond new sports gear.
Maybe because it’s tennis season, the NYC Tennis Permits caught my attention as I walked by.
When I checked Paragon’s website, I discovered that they combined the permit purchase with tennis-related discounts.
By contrast here’s what the Tennis Permit process looks like on the NYC Parks’s page.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Give your audience and passersby a reason to enter your store or to contact you. Use your window to entice them to take action. The key to success: Make it easy for them to act if your business is closed! I recommend using QR codes.
► Father’s Day Reading
In honor of next Sunday’s Father’s Day, I’m sending all of my readers who are dad my digital wishes.
For those of you whose relationship with your father or children isn’t as good as you’d like it to be, I hope that you have an opportunity either to work through your differences or to leave those feelings behind so you can grow.
Although my dad has passed away, I keep the important memories of him warm in my heart. And I was lucky, my dad and I got along for most of my life.
My father had worked in the advertising business during the Mad Men era and later as the publisher of a local Queens, NY newspaper. So he offered me a lot of advice about marketing.
But what I remember most is how much he loved packing the family into his convertible and driving off for an adventure, either for a day or for a longer vacation.
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
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Organized by VUX World.
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► Voice and AI – September 5th to 7th in Washington, DC
► Content Marketing World 2023 – September 26 – 28 in Washington, DC
► MarketingProfs B2B Forum – October 4 – 6 in Boston, MA
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