Please, shut up and go away!

Like many of you, I have often experienced doubts and questioned myself on the pertinence and the effectiveness of my techniques and discourses when addressing people.

With time, I came up with a list of indicators that are definitely indicating or pointing in the right direction when it is time to find out if I might be boring or interesting someone:

Repeated, perfunctory responses: A person who says, “Oh really? Oh really? That is interesting. Oh really?” is probably not very engaged and hoping for you to go away as fast as possible. The same for the person who keeps saying: “That is hilarious.” 

Simple questions: People who are bored ask simple questions such as: “When did you come to town?” “Where do you come from?” People who are interested ask more complex questions that show curiosity, not mere politeness.

Interruptions: Interruptions are actually a good sign. It means a person is bursting to say something, and that shows interest.

Request for clarification: A person who is sincerely interested will need you to elaborate or explain. “What does that term mean?” “When exactly did that happen?”

Imbalance of talking time: Too often during a conversation, many will fondly suppose that if they do eighty percent of the talking, it is because people find them fascinating. This is rarely true. In general, people will want to have their saying, to add their own opinions, information, and experiences to a discussion. If they are not doing that, they may just want the conversation to end faster.

Body position: People with a good connection generally turn fully to face each other. A person who is partially turned away is not fully embracing the conversation. Pay special attention to body position when you are addressing someone. If the person is not sitting forward, looking down at papers, gazing into space, or checking his or her phone instead of keeping their attention obviously focused on you, this person is not interested whatsoever in what you say. 

Along the same lines, if you are a speaker trying to figure out if an audience is interested in what you are saying, just remember that people tend to slouch and lean when bored. You can measure the boredom of an audience by seeing how far from vertically upright they are. Also remember that attentive people fidget less than bored people. An audience that is upright and still is interested, while an audience that is horizontal and squirmy is bored.



Good communication is everything


Marketing communications

The Marketing Communications Mix or Promotion Mix integrates one, many or all of the following techniques: public relations; publicity; sales promotions; rebates; advertising specialties; POP displays; slotting fees; trade promotions; institutional and corporate advertising; advocacy advertising; affordable method; percentage-of-sales method; CPM, competitive-parity method; objective and task approach; USP; AIDA; selectivity; reach; frequency and copy testing; cause-related marketing; product placement; pay-per-click advertising and click fraud.

Promotion mix

The promotion mix, also known as marketing communication mix includes publicity, sales promotion, advertising, direct marketing and personal selling.

Integrated Marketing Communications

Integrated Marketing Communications is a communication strategy under which an organization attempts to use all of the promotion tools it has available to present a unified, consistent, clear, and coherent image/message to customers.

Public Relations

Corporate firms have to communicate with various publics, their customers, employees, stockholders, potential investors, channel members, governments, and the general public. It is important for a corporate firm to have a solid reputation and a positive image. A company that is thought of as unethical will not only have trouble finding employees and investors, but might also attract unwelcome government interest.

Cause-Related Marketing

Many companies are raising money for charity. One key benefit to the firm is enhancing its reputation. Also, consumers, especially those who are under 30, will buy brands that are helping improve the world. Teenagers claim that they are more likely to buy products that support charitable causes.

Do not confuse cause-related marketing with social marketing.

Social marketing

Social marketing is usually done without the assistance of businesses. The purpose may be to help society or groups by using marketing tools. It may take the form of trying to get people to do something positive and /or avoiding something that are negative. It is not meant to benefit any companies so you generally do not have the mutually beneficial relationship.

Publicity (Public Relations)

Publicity, as a tool used in public relations, is non-personal communication, that is typically in the form of a news story, which is transmitted through the mass media. The purpose of such publicity is to draw favorable attention to a company and/or its products without having to pay the media for it.

The way it often works is as follows: a company sends a press release, often with a video tape, to the media with the hope that it is newsworthy enough to be mentioned in the mass media.

The advantage of publicity, besides the fact that it is free, is that it tends to be more credible than advertising. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that the media will find the story newsworthy. Also, they might change the press release around so that it does not help the organization in any way.

Sales Promotions

Sales Promotions are inducements or gimmicks whose purpose is to encourage the purchase of a product/service immediately. Unlike advertising, where the objective is usually to influence long-term buying behavior, sales promotions are concerned with the short-term.

A problem with promotions is that they sometimes cause consumers to focus more on the promotion than the product. In fact, sometimes consumers are not at all loyal to the product but are attracted to the coupon, gift, or rebate.

Some examples of sales promotions aimed at consumers: coupons; free samples ; refunds and rebates ; demonstrations ; premiums ; contests; sweepstakes ; advertising specialties ; point-of-purchase displays ; shows; exhibits for consumers ; special events ; frequent-shopper gifts.

Mail-in rebates

Mail-in rebates are the major cause of customer complaints. There are a huge number of complaints about rebates; customers tend to lose them or the required receipts or, are late in sending them back. Indeed, 40% of rebates never get redeemed.

Advertising specialties

Advertising specialties are a good way for a company to increase awareness of its name, phone number, and or brands. It can be a way to keep the company’s name or logo in front of the customer for hours every day (e.g., on a mouse pad, mug, or pen).

Point of purchase displays

Point of purchase displays or POP displays, are important to marketers since the best time to influence customers is when they have the money and are ready to make a purchase, i.e., when they are in the store. A good POP display attracts attention. POP displays include signs, displays, cardboard cutouts, and posters. Today, digital signs are used in stores at the checkout counter to influence shoppers.

Retail Marketing is persuasive.

Serving as the last three feet of the marketing plan, P-O-P advertising is the only mass medium executed at the critical point where products, consumers and the money to purchase the product all meet at the same time. It is no coincidence that with 74 percent of all purchase decisions in mass merchandisers made in store, an increasing number of brand marketers and retailers invest in this medium.

Retail Marketing serves as the silent salesman.

P-O-P signage and in-store media educate and draw attention to consumers about a product’s availability and attributes. Coming at a time when most consumers want more information, and retailers have reduced staffing levels, Retail Marketing performs a vital service and augments cost-reduction efforts.

Retail Marketing is flexible.

It is the only mass advertising medium that can convey the same overall strategic message in differing languages to varying audiences in the same village, city or region.

P-O-P Advertising is increasingly sophisticated in its construction and utilization. Today’s P-O-P displays are easily assembled, maintained and, at the same time, more powerful in entertaining and informing in the retail environment. Retail Marketing is increasingly used by retailers to enhance the shopping experience of the customer. P-O-P is used to help overhaul a store’s image, re-direct store traffic and bolster merchandising plans.

Trade Promotions

Trade Promotions, aimed at wholesalers and retailers, include advertising; allowances ; display allowances ; slotting fees (payment for shelf space) ; trade shows ; sales contests ; free merchandise ; training ; cooperative promotions (manufacturer pays part of the expense of advertising or giving away caps with names of manufacturer and retailer).



No Business Plan Survives First Contact With Customers

Start With a Business Model, Not a Business Plan and avoid three common pitfalls:

1 – Falling in love with your first idea, without exploring alternatives

The same products, services or technologies can fail or succeed depending on the business model you choose. Exploring the possibilities is critical to finding a successful business model. Settling on first ideas risks the possibility of missing potential that can only be discovered by prototyping and testing different alternatives.

2 – Not listening to customers hard enough

Constantly talking to real potential customers from the very inception of your ideas all the way to their execution is a prerequisite for any serious founder. Great entrepreneurs are often great listeners and they can spot patterns and pick up on small details in customer stories.

3 – Not testing hard enough

Once you have an idea of those customer jobs, pains, and gains you do not want to rest until you have tested if what you have learned from talking to customers is actually real. Actions speak louder than words. There is a big difference between what people say and what they do. People might tell you they are excited about your new product, but when they are in a buying situation their behavior might be totally different. Get potential customers to perform real actions.

Do it the right way!

Distill Your Message to as Few Words as Possible.

Simplicity has never been more powerful.

People are constantly being bombarded with new information. The noise is so deafening sometimes that your most important message can easily get lost in the shuffle.  Everybody’s talking at once, saying so much, that people can no longer remember what we started talking about in the first place. Tweets are flying through the atmosphere as thick as a flock of birds, filling minds with an endless stream of useless information, and crowding out the few things that were really worth knowing.

The world is noisier now than it’s ever been, the competition is tougher and more global, and your customer is being bombarded around the clock with a massive stream of messaging that makes it ever more difficult to remember you and your company.

Focus on simplicity

To be truly memorable, to be the one product or service that people remember when the dust settles, you need to narrow down your message, streamline your sentences, cut out all the fluff, and deliver one, just one strong, simple message, and deliver it clearly and concisely. One of the most valuable skills in the world is the ability to explain complex concepts in simple, easy-to-understand terms.

Writing lots of words is easy; making your point with an absolute minimum number of words is really hard.  Yet it is so much more effective.  Mark Twain once said: “I would have written that shorter, but I didn’t have the time.”  Find the time.

Imagine you had a quick minute to tell a potential customer why he should do business with you.  Because in today’s world, that’s all you have anyway.

Write down what you want to say.  Now cross out as many words as you can, each time reading the sentence again to see if it still delivers the point you want to make.  Keep crossing out words until you have created the shortest sentence you possibly can.

Next, go to one person and deliver your simplified pitch. 

As soon as you are done, have that person tell a person who wasn’t in the room what you just said.

The goal is this:

if a person who hears your simple message can repeat it pretty accurately to the next person who asks what your company does, you’ve got it right.  If they don’t say exactly the words you want repeated–to build your brand and establish your company’s unique value go back to the drawing board and simplify it some more.  Keep it brief, straightforward, and clear.  Eliminate any industry-specific jargon.  Avoid the noise and clutter. There is elegance in simplicity.

Simplicity does not mean removing features, benefits, or services from your product.  It means distilling what’s most important about those features, and explaining them in the fewest words possible.



“Les médias papier ne sont pas condamnée à mourir, à condition de développer une stratégie multi-réseaux et de se diversifier”

À la recherche d’un nouveau modèle d’affaires,  les journaux n’ont toujours pas trouvé la solution miracle. Pour la majorité des médias écrits, l’essentiel de leurs revenus sont encore essentiellement tirés du papier et pour plusieurs,  la stratégie du 100 % numérique demeure un pari hasardeux.

Avant d’en arriver à cette extrémité, la majorité des journaux testent des solutions mixtes. Certains publient leurs informations en libre accès sur leur site internet avant d’en livrer une version plus détaillée sur papier. D’autres, essaient la formule dites “au compteur”: le lecteur est libre de consulter gratuitement une dizaine d’articles sur le site Web du journal avant de devoir s’abonner.

Peu importe le système ou la formule utilisée, pour la majorité des médias écrits en perte de vitesse,  malgré  un certain succès, ces formules ne permettent pas encore de compenser le manque à gagner publicitaire. Pour l’instant, les groupes de presse les plus progressifs réalisent maintenant une bonne part de leur chiffre d’affaires hors presse, dans des activités purement Internet.


Blogging is not for everyone!

Unfortunately, successful blogging is not easy and not for everyone. Building a successful blog is not the easiest process. It is a long process that requires a lot of work, thinking and planning.

Blogging is everything about branding and nothing different from marketing. Like for every successful marketing campaign, a successful blog shall be unique and demonstrate creativity through careful planning. Carefulness and attention to details is of utmost importance and if not done properly, all your efforts will be absolutely for nothing.

The first thing you want to do is to clearly define your overall goal. Then, you have to define your prospective audience accordingly. I would suggest starting with a spreadsheet where you can drop in all of the possible variables. This spreadsheet will be your “media
list” where you will keep track of all your activities, contacts information and results.

Build your spreadsheet according to the existing possible competition. Before even creating your blog, you need to know what the competition looks like. Is there any other similar blog out there? Is it successful? Which other blogs most closely align with your overall goal? What can you do differently and better to differentiate from the competition?

Now that you have collected all this information about the competition: their post frequency, their audience engagement, their potential reach, their relevance, it is completely up to you to use it or not at your advantage. How you do it will depend on your own specifics goals.

Finally, I strongly suggest that you keep a close eye on the following metrics to evaluate your overall performance: traffic increase; increase in Twitter followers and Facebook fans; total amount of RSS subscribers and above everything else, your SEO ranking compare to the competition.

From there use your best judgment.


JMD Public Affairs & Communications; Michel Ouellette JMD’s Systemics; Le Futuriste Daily News; Michel Ouellette JMD on Pinterest; JMD’s Opinion & Factuality on Tumblr; JMD Live on Twitter; Michel Ouellette JMD on Facebook


No more so-called experts!

The Business World is now in a major transition phase.

We are now moving from a transactional management to a transformative management style where people are no longer told what to do and how to do it. In the coming years everybody without exception will be paid for performance. People will be told what is expected from them, what are the expected end results and will be asked to communicate and empower themselves accordingly.

In the coming years, skills, knowledge and experience will no longer be the main decisive hiring factors. Good creative people with potential will be the deciding factor. People will no longer be paid for what they know, they will be paid and rewarded what they bring to the business.

You want your business to be successful tomorrow! As a manager, stop pretending you know everything about anything. Look for some creative employees that you can trust and let them empower themselves. Stop dictating what is to be done and how it is to be done. Walk around the office, around the shop, listen, engage in conversation and help your people implement new ideas.

You want to maintain the competitive edge! Choose good people, great people with a creative mind and potential and get out of the way. Recruit only players who will go the extra mile and stop investing in new technologies. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, new technologies will always be obsolete. Good people with a great mind will always be people with a great mind.

Invest in people that can do the job and let them do the job.


You decide!

While print magazines and newspapers remain a crucial part of any Public Relation, Communication or Marketing strategy and campaign, their online counterparts are steadily eclipsing them and this trend will likely continue in the coming years.

According to the Pew Research Center’s statistics, more than half of Americans receive their news from digital sources, and the number of people relying on social media exclusively for their news has doubled in the past two years.

How do Public Relations, Communications & Marketing professionals communicate this ever-changing landscape and its importance to clients?

Here are a few key explanations and details published in Ragan’s PR Daily:

7 ways online media benefits public relations

Julie lorsque je l’ai accueillie à Montréal 

Dans la pluie, le froid, l’indifférence et la gadoue, Julie Ledoux marche de Mont-Tremblant à Québec et personne ne l’accueille.

Du 15 septembre  au 31 octobre, Julie Ledoux, une jeune et très charmante résidente de Mont-tremblant entreprend seule une longue marche de 330 km pour sensibiliser la population aux extravagances et incongruités d’Hydro Québec. Malgré plusieurs communiqués de presse à cet effet, aucun support aucun suivi, aucun accueil.

Est-ce à dire que la presse se désintéresse de la nouvelle sociale y préférant le sensationnalisme? Aurait-il fallu qu’à défaut de s’exhiber nue  – – Julie se fasse écraser sur le bord de la route pour que l’on en parle? La Romaine, çà vous dit quoi? Une sorte de salade peut-être! Et le gaz de schiste? Une tempête de feu dans un verre d’eau!

Peuple de paroles et de peu d’action vous dirais-je et vous de me demander:pourquoi sommes nous colonisés?


Building content for search engine optimization is how your website receives more attention from search results. The more relevant your content is, the better your page rank will be. Here are some tips to improve the content of your website from a SEO perspective.

Keep the content of your website as unique as possible and use keywords that are relevant to your content. Search engines analyze content before analyzing keywords. If the content is not relevant to the keyword, then it scores lower.

Keep your articles short and break up your content in easy to read, three to four sentence paragraphs. Articles ranging in the 500 words area tend to work the best. Most people want a quick and easy read, they want a quick answer.

Stick to your Niche, proofread your articles and keep your content relevant to your website’s purpose. People are more likely to take your site serious if the content is well written. Optimizing your content does not mean you have to sacrifice quality. Many times, a natural flow of content relevant to the subject matter works surprisingly well.