Since the San Francisco Forty-Niners (49ers) is one of my favorite National Football League (NFL) teams, I hope my angst regarding their quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is premature. One might ask, “Hey Ron, why the concern?” Well, I am not a superstitious person, but there are two reasons for my angst: 1) With Kaepernick quarterbacking, the San Francisco 49ers has woefully lost their last two games in the 2013 season and 2) The last two quarterback who were featured on the cover of GQ Magazine are both not playing in the NFL this season. Colin Kaepernick, who after an amazing performance last year in the Superbowl was touted as one of the star quarterbacks in the NFL, revealed his chest tattoos on the September 2013 cover of GQ Magazine. Mark Sanchez, who is currently injured and may have lost his New York Jets quarterbacking job to Geno Smith, client of Jay Z‘s Roc Nation Sports, and Tim Tebow, who is formerly of the New York Jets and currently not playing on an NFL team, both (quarterbacks) graced the cover of GQ Magazine.
I hope it is a coincident Kaepernick is not playing well after being featured on GQ’s cover. “Hey, Ron, you will find out in five more games if it will be a long season for the San Francisco 49ers.”
By the way, Tim Tebow was featured on the September 2012 GQ cover. Does this portends Kaepernick’s future? I don’t think so, but it sure does make me say hmm.
A moment of silence, please! Last week, on Wednesday, September 11 and Friday, September 13, 2013, Demetrius C. Newton, Esq and Patti Webster passed away, respectively. Many of the individuals reading this blog do not know these two amazing, generous, God-loving and highly acclaimed human beings. Brother Newton, as I fondly called him, was an iconic individual in the state of Alabama. He was the “first” African-American Pro-Tem of the Alabama House of Representatives. He was the 24th International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (PBS) and was currently serving as the Distinguished Service Chapter – PBS’ highest honor – Representative to the organization’s International Board. Brother Newton, a civil rights attorney, was also responsible for representing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and icon Rosa Parks during the early civil rights court cases. Even though he was ill, Brother Newton attended PBS’ 99th Conclave this past July in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and imparted these words to our brotherhood: “I thought about what I might say to you in these few moments and a few words came to my mind and they are: They’re four things that a man must learn to do and he will make his record true: To think without confusion clearly; To love his fellow-man sincerely; To act with honest motives purely; To trust in God and Heaven securely. Thank you, my Brothers, and may there be peace in the Temple of Sigma.” Brother Newton was 85 years old. I am blessed to have spent precious moments in Brother Newton’s company. His counsel has served me well. May his soul Rest In Peace.
Though I was not a close friend of Patti Webster, she is an individual I admired immensely. Patti always had a kind word for me every time we interacted. Since we both practiced the same craft, public relations, I had the opportunity – several times – to be a participant in celebratory moments discussing our clients. I remembered Patti as a down-to-earth and humble person even though she represented several high profiled celebrities. Halle Berry, Janet Jackson and Steve Harvey comes to mind. Patti was an ordained minister and she served as a deaconess at Shiloh Pentecostal Church in Somerville, New Jersey, where her father, Rev. Sidney J. Webster, serves as pastor. Patti was also an author and penned a book in 2008. She wrote a tome chronicling uplifting stories about church and God called “It Happened in Church: Stories of Humor From the Pulpit to the Pews.” Several of our mutual friends and colleagues were shocked and lamented upon hearing the news of Patti’s transition. She was a beautiful woman. Patti was 49 years old. May her soul Rest In Peace.
The world is a better place, because Brother Newton and Patti lived, shared and loved on this earth.
With the United States of America (USA) on the brink of a war with Syria which involves Russia and China, someone friendly with former Chicago Bulls basketball player Dennis Rodman should admonish him for his comical outreach to President Barack Obama. Rodman, who several months ago first visited North Korea and befriended its despotic ruler Kim Jong-un, is once again spurting absurd rhetoric about the Korean leader’s greatness. Just back from his second trip to North Korea, Dennis Rodman reminds me of a punch drunk boxer, who after years of punches to his head from being a participant in the pugilistic sport, continues to shadow boxer even though his days as a boxer is a feat of a distant past. Someone must inform Dennis Rodman, his time in the spotlight is over. “Dennis, please step away.” The United States of America and North Korea’s diplomatic relationship is too serious and fragile for an uneducated former basketball player, such as Rodman, to navigate. Unless, Rodman is a CIA official, which I doubt, he needs to shout up and get out-of-the-way, so that the trained individuals can do their jobs building a diplomatic relationship with the rogue North Korea leader, Kim Jong-un.
Shane Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Vice Media – a Brooklyn New York based media company that operates a film production company, a marketing agency, a record label and a weekly show on HBO, was shrewd to engage Rodman in his publicity stunt, which was centered around taking a famous USA basketball star and a few members of the famed Harlem Globetrotters to North Korea for a goodwill basketball game. Wisely, basketball greatest player Michael Jordan was approached, but he refused Mr. Smith’s offer. So, Smith opted for Dennis Rodman. Someone, please inform Rodman that he is entering into dangerous territory, international diplomacy. He is not trained or skilled in the art of relationships. By the way, Rodman could not even win the popular NBC game show, “Celebrity Apprentice.” Then, how in the world is he going to bring President Obama and Kim Jong-un together? He is visiting North Korea not to solve USA’s problems with one of the poorest and most dangerous countries in the world. He is visiting North Korea as an entertainer, nothing else. “Mr. Smith, please turn off the publicity stunt and inform Rodman to stop shadow boxing.”
Presently, there is a report that Rodman is planning on taking NBA Hall Of Fame Basketball PlayersKarl Malone and Scottie Pippen on his next trip to North Korea. My advice, though unsolicited, to Mr. Malone and Mr. Pippen is “please stay away from Dennis Rodman’s muddy behavior. Rodman’s entanglements in international diplomacy will place both of you in an arena which will cause you future unnecessary turmoil.”
The promise to fulfill their customers’ needs should be the primary objective of every marketer. To satisfy today’s consumers, marketers must be skilled at knowing their customers hot button issues and gear their marketing strategies towards those (customers) needs. This, sometimes, insurmountable challenge can be seemingly overcome by communicating to the customer in a one to one conversational tone. It’s also helpful if marketers can design marketing approaches in a way that’s easy for the customers to comprehend.
One of the most important virtues a marketer can exhibit is trustworthiness. The customer expects the marketer to do what he/she said they are going to do. Marketers cannot be dishonest and expect to prosper. Marketers must inform customers what they intend to do to assist in attaining the customers’ desired objectives. Marketers must seek constant feedback from their customers; it’s the most effective method in knowing if the marketers’ strategies are working. And, it’s necessary for marketers to know what are the hottest trends in the market place.
Throughout my career, I have learned projects begin with blank pages. Whether it’s the screenplay for the hugely successful movie “Star Wars,” the founding of mega media company Google, the release of a new Quincy Jones‘ album or the building of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, they all began with blank pages which must be filled with stories, applications, marketing plans and designs. Marketers should be skilled, equipped with understanding and able to provide the aforementioned elements to fill the customers’ blank pages. In other words, customers seek a resolve to their issues which they desire to access immediately. Customers need to know what they must do to get the results they need. Marketers must step into that gap.
Most important, marketers must provide quality and value to their customers; it’s the only way to build a solid reputation.