Brewer Shortstop Jean Segura is mobbed by his teammates after his game winning hit against the Philadelphia Phillies during the teams last homestand at Miller Park. So far this season Segura has been one of the few bright spots in a rough season for the team so far. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Check out these 3 branding tips on how to raise your personal profile
Former top music executive Sheila Coates knows a winning brand when she sees one.
She should — she’s worked with some of the biggest names in show business: Mary J. Blige, Diddy, Jill Scott, Lenny Kravitz and more.
Now, as the owner and CEO of her own business, BYOB — or Build Your Own Brand — since 2009, she’s taken what she’s learned as an entertainment exec and made it work for her *own* brand. This means moving beyond entertainment (though she did just help R&B siren Keyshia Cole land a shoe deal with Steve Madden) and into corporate and personal-branding territory, inking deals with the First Lady of Bermuda, Comcast, Coca Cola, Neutrogena, State Farm, Sony, Dress for Success and other marquee names.
Coates swears that a great marketing plan — as evidenced by the campaigns she’s helped develop for major and unknown acts during her 10 years in the music game — can send even an already very successful business’ image (and thus sales) over the top.
Macy’s — a client she went after while launching her “Discover Your Brand” 10-city tour in 2010 — is evidence of this. She says she landed a contract with the department store juggernaut after presenting the company with solutions to some of its branding challenges.
“I was seeing these Macy’s commercials, despite the recession and the fact that they were letting people go,” she explains. “In the commercials, the chief executive said he was always open to new ideas so I set out to show him that my company could show Macy’s consumers how to shop better and be their own brand in this economic climate. I sent it to five executives, including the CEO and he replied in less than a week. He was impressed, but wrote that he was letting people go. But I didn’t stop there. I took that email, and found out who handled advertising and promotions. I got through to the head of multicultural marketing and told her that the CEO liked my proposal. I set up a meeting face-to-face, and she loved it and got it approved.”
Coates says while she had to teach herself how to be a successful entrepreneur, strategy and tenaciousness in marketing has long been in her blood.
“I took on the onus of learning how to brand during my tenure in music,” she says of the executive positions she held handling multi-million dollar marketing budgets for Sony/BMG, EMI/Capitol, Arista, Virgin, MCA, Perspective and Hidden Beach Records. “What I was focused on with music clients is what I use with all my clients today. I need to know, what is going to make my client unique? I find that it normally takes an in-depth conversation with any client who is looking to brand him or herself. For artists I used to use a sheet with all these questions on it, asking, ‘Why are you making this record? Who are you making it for? Why do you think your record is a hit and who is it for? They had to really think about how they were and how they could make that translate into fans and sales.’”
Ultimately the keys to Coates’ BYOB concept are simple, she says, though they’re deceptively powerful in their simplicity. They are:
1. Definite it: What is your ‘brand’ and what makes you unique? Are you creative, analytical, powerful, eclectic, persuasive, outgoing? Embrace your top three attributes and use them to your advantage.
2. Look it: Your personal and business brand/style should speak volumes without saying a word. The reality is that people form an opinion of you within 30 seconds of meeting you, before you even say a word – whether at a job interview, in a business meeting, or on a first date. “If someone tells you they are a hairdresser, you immediately look at their hair,” Coates explains. “If their hair doesn’t look good, you instantly think twice about letting them do your hair.”
3. Be it: Project who you are and be consistent. Those who are most successful, know who they are and stick to their image and persona.
“I feel very happy and fortunate to have created something that changes the way people think, live, project and dress; it’s extremely empowering,” Coates adds. “I love helping people and developing concepts, so being able to combine the two while changing lives is a blessing.”
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) The Victory Unlimited Show, a popular, award winning, Internet radio program, is on a mission to get you a date for the holidays. The Victory Unlimited Show @ www.victoryunlimitedshow.com is a tongue-in-cheek”, self-help show for men that’s reminiscent of programs from the Golden Age of Radio like The Shadow, The Green Hornet, and Flash Gordon. However, rather than telling stories of fictional adventurers, during each broadcast, the host codenamed “Victory Unlimited”, answers dating, relationship, and life strategy questions by addressing them with a motivational, military-like intensity.
Though the website’s most recent post “The Holiday Mission” is actually a collection of broadcasts aimed at giving single men strategies to hook up with single women for the holidays, the breaking news is that a number of curious women have begun listening to the shows too. Now, nearly as many singles of both genders are using the Victory Unlimited Show strategies listed below to find dates before this holiday season is over.
1. The Internet Community Strategy: Use dating sites, local news sites, and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Myspace and any other places online where you can find out about what other singles are doing in your city this holiday season.
2. The Programmer Strategy: Now is the perfect time of the year to stop dodging all the invites you get from your family to go to little Johnny’s or little Janet’s school programs, piano recitals, Holiday plays, and community center events. You will be surprised at how many single people attend these events.
3. The Broadcast Yourself Strategy: Don’t keep the fact that you’re single and available for dating and partying a secret any longer. During casual conversation, let friends, family, coworkers, and even passing associates know that you’re out to meet and greet someone new.
4. The Partygoer Strategy: Go to all the parties you’re invited to and find as many parties to invite “yourself” to as possible. Tis the season to get out, get it in, and get your “party” on!
5. The Faith Base Strategy: Use the joyful, thoughtful, and sentimental spirit of the holiday season as motivation to spend more time at your church, synagogue, or place of worship. Find the right person for you while you simultaneously appreciate and celebrate your spirituality.
6. The Holiday-Break Hangout Strategy: If you’re away from home on business for an extended amount of time or if you’re a student away at school, then hook up with one of your friends, dorm roommates, or coworkers and hangout with them in their hometown for the holidays. You’ll get a chance to meet interesting people that you’d never have met otherwise.
7. The Mall Domination Strategy: Pick the biggest mall in your city that has the most people-traffic, then spend the whole day striking up conversations with every attractive person you see. It’s all a numbers game. You’ll definitely meet “someone” new and interesting before the day is over.
8. The Bad Santa Strategy: Get with some friends, put your money together, and throw a party the day “after” Christmas. Take advantage of the usually “boring” week before New Year’s Eve by giving all the single people something exciting to do, which is to come out and party with you.
9. The New Year’s Eve Party Strategy: Pick five banging New Year’s Eve parties. Start with the one where you think that the most eligible singles will be. Stay there until you’ve met, talked with, and gotten the phone numbers of as many attractive prospects as you can. Then, leave that party and go to the next one. Stay out all night until either the sun comes up or you hit the “Hook Up Jackpot”.
10. The Everyday-Everywhere Strategy: This one is easy. Make it your mission to meet people everywhere you go until the end of this year and well over into the next year. Keep your eyes open and don’t stop mixing and mingling until you meet someone special before the holiday season is over!
“Don’t tell anybody, but getting men and women to start using the same dating strategies to find each other this holiday season was all part of our master plan,” says the show’s host. “Now that it’s finally happened, what we’ve actually created here is a Win-Win, Dating Scenario.
President Obama and family arrive on stage in Chicago after winning the 2012 U.S. presidential election.(Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)
William M. Welch and Gary Strauss, USA TODAY
2:03AM EST November 7. 2012 – President Obama won re-election to the White House Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the nation’s costliest, and perhaps most bitterly contested campaign – one that ultimately came down to winning a handful of key battleground states.
Obama and Romney were in a virtual tie in most polls in the closing days of the election, with several swing states up for grabs. But Obama won virtually every critical battleground state, including Ohio, which pushed him over a majority of electoral votes and prompting widespread celebration among supporters of the president.
In Chicago, Obama greeted a throng of wellwishers at 1:35 ET with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia Sasha at his side. “Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of protecting our Union moves forward. It moves forward because of you,” Obama said. “Tonight, in this election, you, the American people reminded us that while our road has been hard..we have picked ourselves up, and for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”
Acknowledging the deep divisiveness that has polarized much of the nation, Obama vowed to work with GOP leaders on major looming issues, including the deficit, tax code and reinvigorating the economy.
Obama won at least 25 states, capturing 303 electoral votes, but held just a slim lead in the popular vote. Romney, who won 24, said in his concession speech that it was time to end bipartisan bickering.
“This is a time of great challenge for America, and I pray the President will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney said.
“The nation is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan
bickering,” said Romney, who urged Democrats and Republicans to work together on key issues, such as reviving the economy and growing jobs.
Democrats held their narrow majority in the Senate Tuesday, grabbing Republican seats in Massachusetts and Indiana and turning aside GOP challenges in Missouri, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Republicans were well on the way to retaining control of the House of Representatives, ensuring that Congress will be divided at the start of Obama’s second term.
One of the smallest of the battleground states, New Hampshire, went for Obama. So did Nevada, a state that went for Obama in 2008. Obama made 10 trips to the state, beset with the nation’s highest unemployment rate and one of the nation’s highest home foreclosure rates. Another toss-up state, Colorado, also went for Obama. The president won Pennsylvania, a state Romney looked to late in the campaign for a potential upset.
Exit polls of voters leaving their voting places suggested a razor-close outcome in a deeply divided nation, with the incumbent holding a small advantage, 51%-47%. That finding was from a survey of more than 25,565 voters nationally.
All told, Obama won at least 26 states, while Romney won at least 22 states, including much of the South, Plains and mountain West. On the West Coast, Obama won California and Washington.
Obama won two of Romney’s home states — Massachusetts, where the Republican won one election as governor, and Michigan, where Romney was born. Romney also has a home in New Hampshire, where he lost.
Obama’s strength was in the northeast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic region, including New York. He won his home state of Illinois as well as Vice President Biden’s Delaware.
Exit polls of voters in key states showed the economy was the top issue on voters’ minds, and on that and other key issues the nation remains sharply divided. It was clear that Obama would not do as well as he did in 2008, when he won with a 7.3% margin of the popular vote.
The exit polls suggested Romney won among men by double digits. Obama won among women, who were a focus of much of the campaign, but by a smaller margin than four years ago.
The polling also suggested Romney had a narrow advantage among suburban voters, who were critical for Obama’s 2008 election. The president retained a strong lead in cities.
The president appeared to have gained an edge among late-deciding voters, exit polls suggested. Among those who decided who to vote for in the last few days, 49% voted for Obama, 46% for Romney. Among those who said Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy was important to their vote, Obama was favored by almost two-to-one.
Romney made final Election Day campaign dashes to Ohio and Pennsylvania. Biden matched the late GOP campaigning with his own Ohio appearance, while Obama made calls from a campaign office in Chicago and relaxed with a game of basketball.
Across battleground states where the outcome was in doubt, and where both candidates focused most of their energies and money, more than a million political commercials aired on TV during the long campaign. But after 17 months and more than $2 billion spent by each presidential candidate, it was up to the people who flooded churches, schools and auditoriums to cast ballots.
The struggling economy was on voters minds.
“Business is rough. Everybody wants someone to blame,” said Frank Robles, 45, who employs 15 at his North Las Vegas shoe store. Yet Robles is supporting Obama, saying he’s not responsible for the worst of the economic crisis: “People need to give him a chance.”
But A.J. Jotipra, 69, a retired IBM worker says Obama has had his chance. Jotipra lost his Henderson, Nev., house to foreclosure last year. “The last four years, Obama has done nothing,” Jotipra says.
In Ohio, the atmosphere at some polling places was informal and happy, despite the barrage of negative TV ads.
Retired nurse Nancy Manion, 74, of Dublin, Ohio, was excited to vote for Romney “to put God back in schools.” But she also was thankful that campaign ads would end.
“Too many ads, too much slander,” Manion says.
In Northern Virginia, Robert Adams, who has doctorates in business and psychology, said he voted for Romney and had four words to describe the campaign: “Too long. Too noisy.” He said that “after awhile I just had the mute button on the television all the time.”
In Dixville Notch, N.H., one of two tiny New Hampshire villages that get to cast the first votes of the presidential election, Obama and Romney tied with five votes each — something that has never happened before.
“I’m bewildered, that’s the best way to describe my reaction,” said voter Peter Johnson, adding he didn’t think that Obama would get that many votes.
Besides long lines at polling places there are disputes over voter identification. Tuesday’s vote is already being challenged in some locations.
New York and New Jersey were still scrambling to resolve voting problems created by Sandy. New Jersey said it would expand online voting for those whose polling places have been disrupted, a move New York election officials rejected. New York has also had to relocate polling places, which could create voting challenges.
Voters were taking special election shuttles from storm-hit areas and voting by affidavit from any polling place they could reach after officials put emergency measures in place.
“It’s important because it’s our day,” said Agim Coma, a 25-year-old construction worker who lost his apartment and car to the storm but was first in line to vote in one New Jersey town. “No matter what happens — hurricanes, tornadoes — it’s our day to vote.”
Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida — all critical swing states for the presidential election — have faced pitched battles throughout the summer over voter-identification laws. As late as last week, Ohio election officials were issuing new rules for what ID is required and how the voter’s identification should be certified.
In New London, Pa., a long line snaked out the door as hundreds came to vote.
Poll workers asked voters for identification but didn’t require it. State legislators passed a voter-ID law earlier this year, but a state court blocked its implementation out of concerns it would disenfranchise legitimate voters who couldn’t get identification.
If voters did not have identification, they were given a flier explaining the law “for coming elections.”
In Jefferson, Wis., a steady stream of voters filed into City Hall. Mark McQuin, 39, a project manager, voted for Obama but said what many people were thinking: “I’m ready for it to be over.”
Contributing: Carolyn Pesce in McLean, Va., Julie Schmit, Nevada; Judy Keen in Wisconsin; Chuck Raasch, Alexandria, Va.; Dennis Cauchon in Ohio; Yamiche Alcindor, Denver; Donna Leinwand Leger, Orlando; Gregory Korte, Washington, D.C.; Melanie Eversley, New York; Mike Chalmers in Pennsylvania; Gary Stoller, Connecticut; Florida Today; Louisville Courier Journal; Detroit Free Press; Greenville (S.C.) News; and The Associated Press.
The Hansberry-Sands Theatre Company (HSTC) will open their season with the timeless classic, “Ceremonies in Dark Old Men.” This award winning work, written by Lonnie Elder III and directed by debrah neal, will run at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts for two consecutive weekends from September 21 thru September 30.
This story, set in Harlem, New York in 1968, depicts the inter-relations of characters who embody the “specialty” of being Black in an American Black urban ghetto in the turbulent but heightened 1960’s. This award winning work delivers a passionate snapshot of the life of a neighborhood barbershop owner on the verge of a new found entrepreneurship that unknowingly leads his family down the path of destruction with a notorious gangster/numbers racket king at the helm. Many of the storylines are germane to societal pressures of today like the headliner that African American women are both the nurturers and bread winners while holding the position as head of household in communities throughout the country. Through this fast paced drama it is revealed that blood, sweat, and tears are only a few of the sacrifices the Parker family makes to mainstream the ties that bind as they embark on their journey in “Ceremonies in Dark Old Men.”
To mark Hansberry’s 32nd anniversary they welcomed debrah neal of Gurnee, IL as guest Stage Director. neal, who is making her directorial debut with the Company, is known for her onstage as well as directorial accomplishments. When asked to share her personal interpretation of this work Ms. neal shared; “’Ceremonies in Dark Old Men’ is a story about Black men freeing themselves of the psychological ties that bind and render them hopeless in their pursuit to attain fulfillment in selfhood, worth, and economic autonomy.”
The strategy to incorporate a guest director this season presented an opportunity for longtime Artistic and Stage Director, AbNey to return to his roots as an actor. AbNey began his creative career acting with Gerald Wallace and the Peoples Theatre, Wisconsin’s first Black theatre company more than 30 years ago. He leads the cast in the role of Mr. Parker a dominant force in the play.
The Company is proud to have many of the supporting cast members with significant artistic talents that supersede this onstage opportunity. Returning to the Hansberry stage is nationally renowned poet, performer, and passionate mentor Tina Nixon, stage actor and seasoned stand up comedian Terrance “T DOT” Kingsby, Master drummer and Ton Ko-Thi, Ko-Thi’s children’s ensemble, Musical Director Tarence Spencer, longtime Company affiliate and popular radio personality Michael Carter, affectionately known as DJ Mike Mills, popular poet and actor Kerric Stephens who was first seen in one of Hansberry’s favorites, “The Other Cinderella,” promising actor Lashawnda Reynolds and in the role of Stage Manager Shelly Davis, a gifted poetic wordsmith and National Open Mike Slam competitor. Hansberry has convened this group of well known Milwaukee talent for your entertainment pleasure.
Since the essence of Ceremonies… is portrayed with the African American Barbershop as its backdrop it created a great opportunity to link a highly regarded urban mainstay to a project with equal cultural significance in the African American community. The Company hosted a first of its kind barbershop promotion on Saturday, September 7, at some of Milwaukee’s favorite barbershops including Gee’s Clippers, Dep’s Hall of Fades, Roz’s, Royal Images and salon, Plenty Penny’s. The second Barbershop promotion will take place on Saturday, September 15 when discount certificates will be available for the Saturday, September 22, 8:00 PM performance appropriately themed Barbershop Night.
The Ceremonies in Dark Old Men run will include six performances, Fri. and Sat. September 21, 22, 28, 29 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday performances, September 23 and 30 at 4:00 p.m. The production will be staged in Vogel Hall, 123 E. State Street, located within the Marcus Center complex. For additional information contact the HSTC Hotline 414.616.PLAY or e-mail [email protected]. Ceremonies… is recommended for mature audiences and includes some strong language.