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So far Communications Team has created 402 blog entries.

Sorry my story is so long

The story used to be a staple in newsrooms across the country. “Sorry my story is so long,” the young reporter says to his editor, “but I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” Indeed, it is time-consuming to pare writing, or content, to the bone, but the return-on-investment is huge in terms of the audience who not only reads your posts but remembers it for all the right reasons. One of the keys to writing content that stands out from the crowd is emphasizing the active tenses and strong verbs, rather than the passive voice and adjectives that are too-clever-by-half. Some content creators reflexively favor passive verbiage under the misguided notion that it lends their message a [...]

The Yankees – The Brand

“Being a New York Yankees fan,” the comedian Doug Stanhope has quipped,”is like going to a casino and cheering for the house to win.” If the Green Bay Packers are the underdog America loves to cheer for the Yankees are a soap opera of celebrity dysfunction, a professional sports team tightly controlled by a ruthless, brawling owner and his son for two generations. It likely would never play in Peoria, but somehow, in the city so nice they named it twice,the New York Yankees are a brand like no other. You love them,or you hate them, but one way or another, the Yankee pinstripes inspires white-hot passions in almost every baseball fan. The Bronx bombers brand is based in [...]

First, the Eyes

If you ever read Alice Steinbach’s profile of a 10-year-old blind boy that appeared in the Baltimore Sun in May of 1984, what you are most likely to remember is that she had you at “Hello.” The first words of Steinbach’s article, entitled A Boy of Unusual Vision, did not invite you to read more so much as they dared you to turn away. First, the eyes: They are large and blue, a light, opaque blue, the color of a robin’s egg. And if, on a sunny spring day, you look straight into these eyes—eyes that cannot look back at you—the sharp, April light turns them pale, like the thin blue of a high, cloudless sky. Steinbach’s narrative masterpiece, [...]

What can we learn from Sports Brands? #45 – The Brand

The story, perhaps apocryphal, goes something like this. At the height of his fame in the early 1990s, Michael Jordan’s mother was exhorting her son to endorse the Democrats’ African-American nominee for North Carolina’s U.S. Senate seat, held, at the time, by the polarizing Republican , Jesse Helms. Jordan declined, explaining that “Republicans buy shoes too.” Michael Jordan may be the most ambiguous brand in the history of sports marketing. On the one hand, he has no peers; his collaboration with Nike put the sports apparel juggernaut on the map, and even to this day, a generation after his playing heydays, his Air Jordan brand shoes are a hot ticket. On the other hand, however, what brand other than [...]

All That Jazz

Of Dizzy Gillespie’s many jazz compositions, none is more infectiously catchy than Manteca. First performed in 1947, the song–named for the Spanish word for lard– memorably opens with the stand-up base playing a Cuban-influenced riff, and builds to a rousing climax by the horn section. The music critic Gary Giddins hails Manteca as ‘one of most important records ever made in the United States.” It is also a tribute to the power of diversity. Gillespie’s hard-living Cuban drummer, Chano Pozo, wrote the unusual opening baseline, and the layered melodies that were staples of Latin jazz at that time. Known for his bent trumpet, puffy-jowled showmanship, and association with Charlie “Bird” Parker, Gillespie, who was African-American, wrote the bridge, and [...]

Content Marketing Tales — Branding like Brando

The late, great actor Marlon Brando once said that the key to great acting is the element of surprise: the unexpected gesture or pause that jars the audience, as if from sleep and compels someone to lean forward in their seat in anticipation of something new. Similarly, the element of surprise is the key to good storytelling.  The tendency in creating online content today is towards a certain cookie-cutter conformity–search engine optimization, tags, and hashtags–but it’s often good to think outside-the-box to keep your audience on its toes. It’s nothing to overdo; a light touch is best. But a part of Brando’s genius was his ability to recognize the power in an unexpected smile, or a pause that [...]

Recent Projects

We're proud and grateful for the privilege of working with some of the most amazing business and community leaders! Powder Keg Pub -- where you can relax and enjoy a tasty, fun menu and friendly bar. An updated look for BOSS's Turning LIves Around quarterly newsletter. Winston Burton, Berkeley Storyteller, waiting for us in Sherwood Forest -- meet you there! Hercules Education Foundation -- making a difference in the lives of students and teachers. 2018 Rising Stars approaches! Join us - become a sponsor, get your tickets, or save the date! June 22! Health and Education Communication Consultants  - a fresh look for a proven brand.

By |2019-02-09T11:48:49-07:00December 4th, 2018|Tags: |0 Comments

Secure your Website

It's time! Secure your Website   Greetings! If you haven't already secured your website, it's time to take another look! As Google ramps up it's requirement for secure sites in their search rank criteria, and with the Chrome browser marking non-https sites as "not secure", you may be feeling the effects of a non-secure site. Please contact me for the best SSL solution for your website and budget. We'll make it easy! -Malaga 510.704.1777 More Info

By |2019-05-10T17:45:24-07:00September 20th, 2018|0 Comments

Customer Updates

We're proud and grateful for the privilege of working with some of the most amazing business and community leaders! Here are a few recent projects: Bay Front Chamber, where Hercules, Rodeo and Pinole meet for fun and business! Branding, Web Development, Graphic Design. SFonTheBay Project: Visit Richmond! Web Development and Content Creation (and lots of it!); Video Production, Illustration, Database Design. The Dog Day Trek, video production, voice over, video editing by SFonTheBay SFonTheBay Project: The much-loved Richmond Trail Guide! Creative, Illustration and Distribution. Coach Q, giving us the play by play of leading a business to success through a healthy team. Rebrand and Website Redesign. Bay Front Run, an event brand makeover for this beloved annual [...]

By |2019-06-01T19:45:40-07:00June 4th, 2018|0 Comments

Take a Closer Look

A common mistake many of us make is to forget, over time, that our audience really is unique. We depend on luck to find a message that connects. Don't lose sight of the true face of your best customer! Here is a quick exercise to help focus your marketing effort where it counts the most: Get specific. Consider your top 3 customers for a moment: What are their characteristics? Are they an aggressive go-getter? Nurturer? Authoritarian? Anti-establishment? At work by 6am? Dressed up? Dressed down? Social butterfly? Detail oriented? Focused on the numbers? Focused on the people? Focused on the task? Get personal, intimate and specific. What's their poison? News junkie? Pop culture junkie? Caffeine junkie? Is it family, [...]

By |2019-05-10T18:09:36-07:00February 4th, 2018|0 Comments