“What Have You Done For Me Lately?”

And by lately, you mean 10 minutes ago.

No worries, I understand. That’s the thing with effective PR—it just makes clients hungry for more.

Anyway, here’s some of what I’ve done for you lately.

•  Got your public service announcements aired on radio stations around the state. Your board members heard them on the way to the annual meeting, too, which was nice.

•  Wrote all the copy for all the pages (20-plus) of your website. I think the finished project looks—and reads—great. Better still? You moved up in Google searches!

•  Swooped into your towns and met with dozens of your people. By the time I was done, everyone was enthused and—this is very important—on the same page. Then I got all the news media to cover your events. You can bet I was thrilled with the turnout, but I was most proud of the way your people stayed on message. You’ve got good people!

•  Helped you develop a public profile for social media. And then helped you find the words and the content to make that profile come alive. That’s why it reached precisely the people you wanted to reach. And why now you and your cause have many more friends.

•  Got your picture, your company, your work, your ideas featured in a glossy magazine that is read by tens of thousands of people. Why? Because I like you and I believe in you, your company, your work and your ideas.

•  Wrote news releases that turned into news articles and news reports. As a result, your news was featured in newspapers and magazines. It was featured on the air and on the Web. It was reTweeted and it was shared and it was forwarded. I don’t think I’ve gotten anyone Pinned or Tumblr-ed yet, but I’ve been too busy lately to check. So maybe that, too.

Wait, what? I didn’t do all those things for you? Hey, all you have to do is ask. Just because I’ve done a bunch of things for someone else lately doesn’t mean I won’t do them for you, too. Because I absolutely will. Here at Cherry Street, you’re only a phone call from becoming our newest favorite client.


Help! (They Need Somebody)

Ah yes, end-of-year giving. Time to complete the great circle of philanthropy: You made some so you give some.

If you’re looking for guidelines—how much and to whom?—Google is no help. Search “charities” like I just did and you’ll get 93,400,000 hits. Really.

Happily, some wonderful people and organizations have come through the Cherry Street Agency door or have otherwise caught our attention. As a result, we can vouch for this: If end-of-year giving opportunities are what you seek, you can do no better than to support the efforts of any or all of these three unique non-profit groups to create a cleaner, safer, more interesting  and engaging world.

The Wisconsin Museum of Broadcasting is an online repository of print, images and videos related to the history of radio and television (public and commercial) in this state. We’re talking bygone days of radio transmitters. And local children’s programming. And television weather maps with yellow circles of felt representing the sun. There’s nothing like this museum anywhere else in the world, virtual or real. Bonus: to donate you get to click on a “We Interrupt This Program” commercial as a nod to bygone days when such announcements really did precede commercials.

The Clean Lakes Alliance advances an idea—reduce weed-feeding phosphorus in our lakes by 50 percent—whose time has come. Finally (finally!) all stakeholders are at the table: environmental, industry, agriculture, government, science, education, community, civic. If you know anything about politics in Madison and Dane County, you know what a feat this is. To help, you can donate financial support at their website. Or you can click to donate sweat equity to an actual lake by participating in CLA clean-up and outreach projects. Of course, you’ll want to do both, because one look at a map of the Yahara Watershed will show you that, really, we all live on waterfront property.

Violence Unsilenced is such a simple, profound project. Simply, it is a blog where survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual assault tell their stories. Profoundly, the most important thing you can do is not to provide financial support, it is to listen. Think that’s easier than a donation? Ha! This type of violence either affects you and you know it, or it affects you and you don’t know it. There is no other option. That’s how pervasive it is. Either way, the stories are shattering. And you will need to do some shattering of your own in response, and that is not an easy thing, by any stretch. So psych yourself up and go bearing respect to this blog, where survivors tell their stories. If you listen—if you read these stories and if you take the annual pledge to bear witness and if you tell the survivors that you heard what they said—you, yes you personally, will shatter a silence that has been someone’s hell on earth for far too long.

From the simple to the profound, it’s been an amazing year on Cherry Street. We wish you happy giving, happy living, and a Happy New Year.

Little Touch, Big Brand


Say you’re a fan of Duke University’s legendary Blue Devils basketball program. (I know, Bucky, but say you are.) How happy will you be to come across this delightful little twist on two universal symbols? Tickled blue, right?

As always, it’s the little things that matter. And at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, even signage for the ladies’ room is an opportunity to reinforce brand perception.

I mention it because this is the work of ZEBRADOG, a nationally known branding and design firm based in Madison. Their work is more than just this small sign, of course; ZEBRADOG does big-idea projects all over the place. Including lots of work for your favorite team. And this particular Devil In A Blue Dress is an example of how ZEBRADOG never misses a chance to tell the story of a client’s brand in a new, creative and engaging way.

The same is true of other Cherry Street Agency clients, even when the story they’re telling is their own.

Cases in point: A fundraising pitch for the online Wisconsin Museum of Broadcasting is an actual commercial, right on the website, complete with the “We Interrupt This Program” announcement familiar to anyone who watched pre-cable television. And the Clean Lakes Alliance regularly sends Lake-O-Grams to supporters as a nod to the mail boats of a bygone era.

Convincing, creative and brand-consistent. The experts will tell you that attention to detail matters. That even one little thing can have a big impact on a consumer, a reader, a viewer, a fan. Someone should remind them of how this is especially true if that one little thing happens to be a teeny-tiny little blue pitchfork.

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