Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Marketers Unite

While most of you were out enjoying the beautiful weather this past weekend, I was basking in the warm glow of companionship and creativity at the annual American Marketing Association'sLeadership Summit in Chicago. It's a chance for AMA Chapter leaders to begin planning their program year. Since I will be President of the 450 member Cincinnati Chapter starting this fall (officially July), much of the initiative in that planning falls upon me. The conference takes on a different feel every year. This year's theme centered on espioniage and was entitled Mission Possible. One of the highlights was a presentation by the International Spy Museum's Chief Operating Officer Paul Bosch who talked about the facility and its more than 9,000 artifacts. While the Museum has its creative roots in Cleveland, the Museum was placed in Washington DC for obvious reasons (spying and politics do go hand in hand, you know). I'm not sure how you coorelate spying and marketing, but it got me to thinking that there is an element of cloak and dagger in securing and maintaining customers. Both spying and marketing require a great deal of background work (research). Secret agents and CMOs also need to remember who their customers are. And each must develop a level of consistency and meeting current expectations while anticipating future needs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Am just back from the new interactive Penguin exhibit at the Newport Aquarium. It was a neat experience. I was taken with how adaptive the birds are to humans. Keepers told us during the stay that the penguins view humans just like being around other penguins as they were born in captivity and hand-fed. Below is a story in the Kty Enquirer about it. Costs vary as this is an additional charge to the normal entry admission. You can check out the Aquarium website ( for pricing details but the great part is part of the proceeds benefit penguin research. I think this attraction has a lot of potential for some of our meeting groups coming to NKY.

Waddle over to Penguin House
BY RYAN CLARK RCLARK@NKY.COME-mail Print digg us!!
You've already fed the lorikeets and petted the sharks.
Now you can get up close and personal with the penguins at Newport Aquarium.
Penguin Encounters is a new 20-minute experience that allows guests to touch the penguins and observe their behavior face to beak.

A new Penguin House has been built to provide a permanent residence for three blackfooted penguins. Aquarium biologists will educate visitors and provide insight into the penguin world. The exhibit will open April 23.
Jill Isaacs, spokeswoman for the Aquarium, said that on a typical visit, patrons could touch the penguins, and watch as the animals waddle, swim, preen, shake their tails and jump into their pool.
And no coats are needed.
"The three blackfooted penguins are from South Africa and live in a temperate environment, so guests don't need to bring coats to the Penguin Encounters," Isaacs said.
Guests will learn about penguin feathers, habitat and diet.
"We hope that by seeing these animals and having the chance to interact with them, people will be able to better understand them and will also help us in our efforts to protect them in the wild," Ric Urban, Newport Aquarium's Rainforest Curator, said in a written statement.
The penguins have been named Paula, Randy and Simon (yes, after the "American Idol" celebrity judges). They are scheduled to appear on the Fox 19 Morning Show Wednesdays through May 23. Each week they will use their penguin intuition to determine which contestant will be eliminated, Isaacs said.
The blackfooted penguins are the third species of penguins at the aquarium. There are also 11 king and 15 gentoo Penguins in the 34-degree Kingdom of Penguins exhibit.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Drip, Drip Drip

I have survived the East Coast Noreaster. Actually the weather in Philadelphia was delightful until my daughter and I left Sunday morning when the rains hit. As we toured City Center Saturday afternoon and evening, the basked in the warm sun with tempertures in the low 50s. A lively crowd gathered around the Liberty Bell which was a 30 minute wait. In case you hadn't heard, a new museum is being constructed adjacent to the Bell viewing site directly across the street from Constitution Hall. A park ranger told me they have plans to build a museum themed around the first Presidential home (where Washington and Adams lived).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hope you enjoy my initial ascent into blogging. I chose Frewtopia as a play on words to eutopia, which means a high state of contentment as many of you probably already know. I'm a very content and blessed guy as you'll learn. My posts will offer a variety of topics related to my professional interests. Those include:

* Marketing & Communications- I'll assume the post of President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Marketing Association this fall. It's a very vibrant and dynamic group that has started special interest discussion groups in the areas of Word of Mouth Marketing, Business To Business and Market Research. A new Marketing Young Professionals group has also been launched recently. We have a membership of more than 500 members and have been named multiple times as international AMA Chapter of the Year (;

* Hospitality and Meetings Industry-As Communications Director of the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau, I'm very interested in information about cities around the country and the amenities they are building for visitors. I'll be doing a lot of traveling over the next six weeks, starting this weekend in Philadelphia where my 18 year old daughter will probably be attending college. I'll also chronicle some of the excited projects in my area for benefit of non-residents in the Greater Cincinnati area;

*Economic Development-This topic goes hand in hand with the meetings and hospitality sector because building things demonstrates growth. And people want to visit areas that are growing and vibrant. In Northern Kentucky alone, more than $1 billion dollars in real estate investment (luxury condos and spinoff development) is underway. I am a board member of an economic development agency Southbank Partners, a group of dynamic, collaborative individuals which make things happen on the Southern shores of the Ohio River. It's one of my favorite things I do outside my regular job;

*Business in General-I am also involved on committees/task forces related to the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, our economic development agency for all of Northern Kentucky, Tri-ED and the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. All these groups are vital to the growth of our area.

Well, I've gone on long enough. Would love to hear your comments, and look forward to future dialogue.