Veteran's Day Reminiscences

Despite playing Taps at Veterans Day observances as a high school band member, and growing up in the household of a WWII naval officer who participated in many of that horrific conflict’s South Pacific island invasions, Veterans Day had over the years become just another perfunctory national observance.

Until last weekend that is.

In New York with family and touring the air/sea/space exhibit on the Hudson River, I was the recipient of an unexpected jolt of patriotism and gratitude.

People of all ethnicities and backgrounds, and speaking different languages, flooded the exhibit, most of them in visible awe of the aircraft carrier, submarine and huge space shuttle on display.

Snatches of prideful conversation among U.S. veterans, many of them aged, could be overheard. And the retired service men and women who staffed the exhibits, patiently answered questions and told stories about their time aboard these now dated displays of America’s efforts in the defense of freedom and world peace.

Seeing all this through the eyes of our grandchildren made me especially aware of the sacrifice countless men and women have made.

As an antidote to the seemingly inane and pointless politics of today, might I suggest a conversation with a Veteran? Or maybe a visit to one of the memorials our country has enshrined to remind us that freedom is not free.

We owe an unpayable debt to those who have served. Marking Veterans Day is a small reminder of that.

Semper Fi!

vet.jpg

Finally, time to design your website

After months of planning and strategizing, making lists and spreadsheets, targeting keywords and gathering images, we were ready to build a website. (Read about the first steps of planning here and here.)

We sent out RFPs, asked around and talked to multiple designers. One proposal stood out because it suggested using SquareSpace. What better way to get to know a content management system than to use it, right? Well, we love it. We have clients on multiple CMS, which makes for a varied day at the office, but so far we’ve enjoyed all of them. SquareSpace doesn’t have storage for images, like WordPress and its media library. It also uses “blocks,” for images, text, etc., but they’re very adaptable.

We met with our designer, Joe Mielke, settled on a cost and schedule and let him get to work. Phone calls, emails and updates were common and useful and we checked in regularly against the schedule we’d drawn up.

Changes ensued, naturally. Pages that we envisioned didn’t make sense anymore and pages we hadn’t planned on suddenly seemed like a good fit. We kept referring to our theme of “Simple, Yet Beautiful” so we wouldn’t lose sight of what we wanted.

One part of digital marketing that we embrace is its fluidity. We aren’t locked into anything because we can change it. So, if that time comes that we want to add another testimonial or change a picture or add pages or … well, you get the picture.

How to plan a website redesign

This redesign took time. And work. And thought. It was creative on our part, technical on our web guru’s part. It was fun to see our ideas become reality. And we learned a few things along the way too, especially about planning. Redesigning a website, it turns out, is a lot like painting a room. Most of the work is before you actually put that final color on the walls.

Collateral damage

Collateral, those sales support tools that wind up in space-taking file folders that you’re never able to find when you need them, are office collections we all share.

Brochures, leave-behinds, sell sheets, media releases, newsletters, fact sheets … They all fall into the category of collateral.

Freshen up

It’s that time of year. Even the heartiest of winter fans are feeling a little bit of cabin fever. The antidote? Bust up that routine.

The same is true in the office. Grinding away day after day will just slow you down over time. You’ll become less effective and your creativity will suffer. And, oh yes, your clients will notice it too.