Archive - March 2015




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Monday Morning Quarterback – 3/23/2015

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: March 24th, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Helping clients effectively communicate to their target audience.

In The Mix:

Tix For Tots Helps 180,000:
Thousands of kids throughout Minnesota do not have the means or opportunity to attend a Twins game, but Tix for Tots has helped over 180,000 kids and families attend Twins games in the last few years.  The organization is not just about baseball, Tix has donated over 700,000 tickets to sporting events, concerts and theater.  I have served on the board of this great organizations for the past 5 years and on April 2nd we are having our 4th annual Season Kick-off event in the Metropolitan Room at Target field.  This fun event features former Twins players, media personalities and a great silent auction, so please consider attending to support a great cause..  (details)

14 Hacks For Every Wine Drinker:
Want to know how to open wine without a corkscrew? How to store wine after it is open? Or most important for me how to remove red wine stains? (Hint: it involves kitty litter.)  There are even some tips on how to get the best deal. (read)

Steve Jobs Knew How To Run A Meeting:
In a short time, Steve Jobs built one of the most successful companies on the planet.  He certainly had creativity and passion, but he also knew how to run a meeting.  INC. magazine has a good read on how Jobs ran and meeting and how it could help you lead your business or your team. (read)

The Campaign Trail
Political news and analysis done differently... 

First Hurdle:
Today, the Minnesota Restaurant's push for a tipped employee tier should pass it's first hurdle. Their proposal to pay severer who earn at least $12 an hour with tips and minimum wage of $8 per hour, will be debated in the Minnesota House later this afternoon, where it is likely to pass.  Minnesota is one of only 7 states that does not recognize tips as income.
The Surplus Sounds Too Good to Be True And It Might Be:
The Star Tribune has an interesting look at the surplus from a private sector economist; "By law, the official budget projections must include inflation in estimates of revenues, but inflation must be excluded from estimates of expenditures.It was not always this way. Before 2002, Minnesota’s budget forecasts took a common-sense approach; inflation was incorporated consistently in all parts of the budget..." (more) Governor Dayton Makes Push For Pre-K:Gov. Mark Dayton is continuing to double down on his efforts to dramatically expand funding for early childhood education. Dayton wants to use $348 million from the budgetsurplus to fund universal preschool for Minnesota’s 4-year-olds.  He appeared on WCCO on Sunday to make his pitch. (watch) New Poll is Good News For Ed Reforms: A new poll released Sunday showed an overwhelming percentage of Minnesotans support rewarding performance and not seniority for teachers. (read)
Worth a Read:
A Few Favorite Articles From The Week:

Why Kids Need Chores:
Giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance, according to research by Marty Rossmann, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota. Yet, in a survey of 1,001 U.S. adults released last fall by Braun Research, 82% reported having regular chores growing up, but only 28% said that they require their own children to do them.  This piece from the Wall Street Journal is a great read and even has some suggestion on how to get your kids started with chores. (read)

The Science of Red Head's:
As a parent of 2 red headed boys I couldn't resist posting this article.  There were things I didn't know. (read)

By The Numbers:
A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers:

68
The percentage of people that favor performance over seniority when making decisions about teachers.

$50
The cost to attend the Tix for Tots Twins Kick-Off. Mention the MMQ and get a buy one get one deal.

88%
Of Minnesota is now officially in a drought. Don't tell that to all of those people shoveling this morning. (read)

18,127.65
The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week. 

The Week:
Some interesting conversations and adventures from the week that was and week ahead.....

This week I am looking forward to sitting down with my friends from Temp Tickets to help develop a PR strategy.  They developed the software behind a Twin Cities eatery selling “tickets” to patrons instead of traditional reservations. This innovative concept allows restaurants to earn revenues well in advance as well as give them the ability to plan staff and food preparations much more effectively.

Plus they got me "tickets" to Travail for my 10 year wedding anniversary on Wednesday!

Hope you have a great week!

We have over 550 regular readers of the MMQ. Please share the MMQ via email, Facebook and Twitter so we can grow past 600 readers.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 3/16/2015

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: March 17th, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Helping clients effectively communicate to their target audience.

In The Mix:

Tiger Woods Borrows Your Golf Clubs:
Readers of the MMQ know I am huge fan of Prince. That is why I was excited to hear the 2 new tracks he released over the weekend as part of his upcoming tour.  One was 5 years in the making. One of the songs is a cover of Christian singer-songwriter Nichole Nordeman's What If.  Her response to being asked by Price if he could cover her song:  she compared it to Tiger Woods asking to borrow your golf clubs or astronaut Neil Armstrong "asking if you'd like to take a walk."(read/listen)

What You Didn't Know About Guinness Beer:
Tuesday is St. Patrick's Day and a day when many will tip a few back in celebration of their Irish heritage. For those not into the green beer they may reach for the most famous Irish beer-Guiness.   So, did you know over 10 million glasses of Guinness are sold every day! Or that Guinness was one of the first trademarked products in the world?  Or that a fight in 1954 with head of Guinness Hugh Beaver, launched the Guinness Book of World Records.  Check out more things you didn't know (here)

March Madness?:
From the time the basketball tournament field of 68 teams is announced March 15 on Selection Sunday to the time the title game is played on April 6, “the cost in terms of lost wages paid to distracted and unproductive workers … could reach as high as $1.9 billion,” according to calculations by global outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. (more)

The Campaign Trail
Political news and analysis done differently... 

Beer Run:
Watching authentic grassroots movements grow and create change is one of the most fascinating things about politics.  Individual citizens and small groups can and do make a difference.  Such is the case with Minnesota Beer Activists and their quest for Sunday Alcohol Sales in Minnesota.  They held a great PR event called the Sunday Beer Run yesterday.  Whether they will be successful remains to be seen, but they have certainly elevated the conversation. (watch/read)
Sports Meets Politics:
Sports and politics are two of my favorite interests so when the two collide it makes for exciting times.  With three major events coming to the Twin Cities (Ryder Cup, Super Bowl and Final Four) in the next few years, organizers of the events are at the Capitol looking for public help.  Oh, and with the announcement that MN will be given the next pro soccer franchise stadium politics could be back as soon as next year. (read) It's All In the Clothes: Did you know Sen. Bakk, Speaker Daudt and Senator Hann all shop a the same Men's clothing store? Thursday is "I am Retail Day" at the Capitol.  If my In-Laws from The Foursome Men's Clothing Store can get leader Thissen into the store, it could be the unity needed to get the budget passed.
Worth a Read:
A Few Favorite Articles From The Week:

The End of the Yogurt Cartel:
Secret meetings in smoked filled rooms, secure phone lines designed to avoid detection and international price fixing schemes.  This is not the theme for the next box offer thriller, but an actual story about Yogurt company executives.  Read about how local company General Mills brought and end to this "yogurt cartel." (read)

Did You Know?:
So did you know that St. Patrick was a British born Christian Missionary that was kidnapped at age 16?  Or why we wear green or how the clover explains the holy trinity? Or that celebrating St. Patrick's Day in America is older than the country itself?  Before you put on your best green outfit and drink a Guinness, you should check out this 2 minute video on St. Patrick's day.  It is always a good idea to know what you are celebrating.(watch)

By The Numbers:
A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers:

95
Famed Star Tribune sports writer Sid Hartman turned 95 on Sunday.  (read)

60,000,000
The number of Americans that will fill out a March Madness NCCA bracket.  

$4.14 Billion
That is how much American's will spend on St. Patrick's Day. (read)

34,700,000
That is how many American's claim to be Irish.  That is more than 7x the population of Ireland.(read)

18,140.44
The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week. Up nearly 300 points from last week.

The Week:
Some interesting conversations and adventures from the week that was and week ahead.....

I began last week meeting with a new start up on the verge of building an entire generation of healthy, active kids.  I spent 4 hours with them, listening, learning and helping them craft a plan that will attract the investors they need to expand.  

I finished my week talking with Minneapolis largest Taxi company about building a marketing and communications plan that responds to a changing marketplace by building on their strengths and creating new partnerships to expand their customer base. Two different industry's in at different points of evolution, but fun and exciting opportunities for both. I am looking forward to new challenges this week. 

Hope you have a great week!

We have over 550 regular readers of the MMQ. Please share the MMQ via email, Facebook and Twitter so we can grow past 600 readers.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 3/9/2015

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: March 17th, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Helping clients effectively communicate to their target audience.

In The Mix
The 40 Best Foods in Minnesota:
Minnesota Monthly recently published its list of the top 40 foods in Minnesota.  This is a pretty good list, although I think they got #1 wrong.  It should have been the 5-8 Club.  (here)

The Best of High School Hockey:
Although I fear losing my Minnesota residency card, I will admit I did not watch 1 second of the state high school hockey championship.  I did however watch the best part of the tournament the All Hockey Hair team.  This video is outstanding and once you watch it you will know why it has gone viral (watch)

7 Ways To Capture Someone's Attention:
“Attention is the most important currency that anybody can give you,” said Steve Rubel of Edelman.  “It’s worth more than money, possessions or things.”  Ruben is right and that is why Ben Parr wrote this great piece in Harvard Business Review.  Where you are in sales, marketing or any leadership position this is a great read. (read)


Worth A Read
News and analysis done differently... 

Why Target Lost Its Aim:
As Target's new CEO announced another round of cost cutting and layoffs this week, The Economist published a harsh look at how the retail giant has "lost its aim": "For many shoppers, Target no longer hits the spot. In its annual results this week it admitted that the cost of retreating from a disastrous foray into Canada, and of closing underperforming shops in America, would be a whopping $5.1 billion. It is an astonishing reversal of fortune. A decade ago Target had such a chic image that people called it “Tar-zhay” with a faux French accent." (more)

Is It Time To End Daylight Savings Time?:
Their was a lot of complaining and frustration on my social media feeds on Sunday about lost sleep.  All of these people must not have a 1 year old who does not care what time it is, nor a 6 year old that rejoiced in the extra time after naps to play outside.  Of course there is a more to the argument to eliminating Day Light Savings and theAtlantic Magazine published a good read (here).

Who is  Blame For Segregation in the Twin Cities?: 
A recent study on segregation in the Twin Cities is certain to raise eyebrows: “Driven by political and government apathy, the well-meaning but misdirected efforts of housing developers, school reformers and the proliferation of organizations and groups with firm financial interest in maintaining segregated living patterns, our state has slowly reversed its civil rights heritage,” concludes a new study published by the University of Minnesota. (read)
By The Numbers:
A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers:

1918
The year President Woodrow Wilson signed Day Light Savings into law.

2005
President George W. Bush lengthened Daylight Saving Time by a month as part of a sweeping energy bill signed that year, citing the need to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil.

5.2%
In the 10 most corrupt states, the cost of corruption was calculated to increase spending by 5.2 percent. (read)

6
The number of times in a row Hermantown has been the runner-up in the state High School Championship.

17,856.76
The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week. Down 300 points since last week.

We have over 550 regular readers of the MMQ. Please share the MMQ via email, Facebook and Twitter so we can grow past 600 readers.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 3/2/2015

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: March 3rd, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Helping clients effectively communicate to their target audience.

In The Mix
It's Only a Mile:
KARE 11's Boyd Huppert had a great story on 3 Minnesotan's that have run at least 1 mile everyday for over 15 years and one streak that is going on 44 years straight, despite having run through a broken ankle.  If you want to feel really bad about already breaking the New Years Resolution to get healthy, this story is for you.(watch)

14 Things You Should Do On Your Lunch Break Everyday:
What you do during your lunch hour can be just as important as how you start or end your day.   It is crucial time that shouldn’t be overlooked. Taking a midday break during which you refuel and re-energize can not only make you a better employee, but also a healthier and happier person.  Check out these simple tips to get more out of lunch. (read)

10 Tips to Appear Smarter in Meetings:
There was a similar list I posted a year or so ago and it was very popular.  I think this list may be better, at least it made me laugh. (list)

The Campaign Trail
Political news and analysis done differently... 

$1.8 Billion Surplus:
Minnesota announced on Friday they are projecting a $1.8 billion surplus.  The Governor and Legislators were quick to come up with ideas on how best to spend this new found money.  So where did it come from and what will the Legislature do with it?  Here is a good summary.(here)

What Did We Learn From CPAC:
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference was held last week.  This is often an early test for Presidential Candidates especially those seeking to win the conservative base.  So here is what we learned according to Politico: "Bush showed he has a template for defending himself from attacks that he’s too moderate. Chris Christie’s slide continued. And Carly Fiorina positioned herself as Clinton’s main antagonist.  Scott Walker, meanwhile, is challenging Paul for conservative supremacy. Then there are two candidates who are about to make life difficult for their GOP rivals." (more)

New Poll on Gas Tax, Pay Raises, KG and AP:
SurveyUSA/KSTP interviewed 600 Minnesota adults between Feb. 20 through Feb. 24. They answered questions about Gov. Dayton's performance, transportation, commissioner pay raises and sports. (results) Don't Spend the $1.8 Billion Surplus Too Quickly: According to the Pioneer Press, Minnesota may be on the hook for up to $700 million in tax refunds. The little known or talked about case, involving how multistate corporations calculate tax liability in Minnesota, is scheduled to be heard later this month. (more)

By The Numbers:
A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers:

149,000
The number of miles Steve DeBoer has run during his streak of running at least one mile a day for the last 43.75 years. (watch)

15
The number of people that have died falling off a chairlift in the past 4 decades.  You are more likely to die in an elevator. (read)

25%
The percentage of people that wanted to see tax cuts with Minnesota's budget surplus. (read)

18,132.70
The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week. Virtually unchanged since last week.

We have over 550 regular readers of the MMQ. Please share the MMQ via email, Facebook and Twitter so we can grow past 600 readers.
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