Archive | July, 2010

Things We Love: What is it about TARGET?

22 Jul

For me, shopping is a get-in and get-out kind of experience.  Grocery shopping is a mad dash through the isles, rarely venturing down any isle aisle that is not necessary and total aggravation when someone is taking too long choosing what flavor of yogurt to buy (patience is not my strong suit).  I avoid Costco at hours when samples are out, causing otherwise rational people to completely lose their minds scrambling to taste “new and improved organic bacon bits” as though it is the last bit of food they will ever consume.

Discount stores are, for savvy shoppers like my mother and five-year old daughter, absolute heaven.  One step through the door causes me to completely panic.  Yes, I’ve actually abandoned my cart (full of “great deals”) and run from the store gasping for air.  Total chaos and I do not get along.  For clothes shopping, I avoid large department stores as well, not because they are not organized, but because the vastness of space and options thoroughly overwhelms me.Despite my severe aversion to shopping, there is one store that I find myself fighting the urge to spend hours perusing – TARGET.  There is something very therapeutic about walking into TARGET (without my children to incessantly ask for something new), grabbing a red cart, and aimlessly wandering through the aisles – just waiting for the perfect item to speak to me.  After all, you don’t know what you really need until you see it on a shelf at TARGET, right?    So, what is it about TARGET?!

I’ve narrowed it down to the top five things that TARGET hits the bulls-eye:

  1. Just the right size. TARGET is just big enough to hold everything my heart may desire, but not so large that I become lost while venturing from shoes to home decor.
  2. Fun merchandise. Whether it is clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, or patio furniture, there is always an element of fun.  Fun colors.  Fun shapes.  Fun sizes.  Fun textures.  All making every-day items like plastic spatulas a must-have.  Just think how much more FUN it will be to flip pancakes with a lime green spatula rather than a plain-old black one…
  3. Variety, presentation, and organization. As I mentioned before, I have an extreme aversion to chaos in the aisles.  While TARGET carries a wide variety of products, I know that when I venture into men’s clothes, that is what I am going to find there.  I will not find random things like toothpaste and baby rattles stacked amongst the t-shirts.  Even the clearance racks, while a bit chaotic, are at least for the most part, organized by size.  And, no matter what TARGET I choose to visit, I pretty much know where to find the items I’m looking for, even if I’ve never been into that particular store.
  4. Not too many crazies. Never have I wandered through TARGET and wondered if I’ve accidentally entered some alternate universe where everyone dresses in pajamas, rarely bathes, and finds it acceptable to dress their screaming, foul-mouthed four-year old in nothing but a diaper. Really.  Where do these people come from?  TARGET must have some kind of anti-crazy aura about it that keeps these folks at bay – thank you, TARGET!
  5. Price. I’m listing price last, because, while it important for me, I would rather buy something full price than get into a fistfight over a must-have toy with some women at a pre-Christmas sale.  I’ve found that TARGET offers items at a reasonable price, whether on sale or not.   And, for the price, quality is at or above what I would expect.

So, there you have it. The five things that makes shopping at TARGET an enjoyable experience rather than a horrifying one!

– Jenn Connor

National Campaigns: Big Risk Can Equal Even Bigger Gain

19 Jul

One of the most rewarding moments in public relations is when the hours of account work, numerous calls and emails behind the scenes, and countless early mornings spent with a triple shot Americano payoff. When everything finally goes public and your client’s campaign is a success, there truly is no better feeling in the world of PR…

(Warning: What follows is not an advertisement, but may blur the editorial guidelines a bit. What can I say, I’m biased.)

Avery Dennison started in the middle of the Great Depression when young entrepreneur Stan Avery manufactured the world’s first self-adhesive labels in a tiny loft in Los Angeles. Seventy-five years later, the international brand is celebrating a milestone anniversary with the Give Back to Schools charity initiative. Giving back to those communities that made its success possible, Avery Dennison launched a program in the beginning of July with an online contest offering ten deserving U.S. schools the opportunity to win approximately $10,000 of premium Avery-brand school supplies.

Now, less than a month later they have created public buzz by generating stellar media hits and successfully pushing out the program through state education departments, industry outlets and social media forums. Going from a trade-only PR approach to a national consumer campaign is no easy feat and with a little help from a team of experienced publicists, their contest has gone wide with over 90,000 votes, and 268,000 page views just since the site launch (and these numbers have been tripling each week)!

The contest, scheduled to run through August 31 involves everyone from teachers and school representatives to parents and students, allowing you to vote online at Avery Dennison’s Give Back to Schools site . (You’ll have to excuse the blatant plug for my client, but after weeks of eating, sleeping and breathing Avery you can’t blame me for a little partiality). So pick your favorite school and vote to win them some valuable loot!

– Samantha O’Lea

Things We Love: Bucket Lists, Embracing Our Backyard

15 Jul

One of our entrepreneurial clients shared his thoughts that work-life balance isn’t really what he’s striving for with his staff – it’s work-life passion. Enjoying, embracing and exploring those activities and adventures that add fulfillment beyond what you do with that computer, at your desk or in the name of clients or bottom lines. As we grow Red Sky we are constantly looking for ways to showcase and live out our passions as part of  daily lives. Working on our revamped website we’ll be including a ‘Things We Love’ section (thanks for the inspiration Bailey Gardiner & CarewCo!) and sharing more of our work-life passion through our blog. First up, Alena Shea & the progress she’s making on her bucket list & embracing all the adventure our home state has to offer.

With so many great recreational opportunities held in the Treasure Valley each year, it’s easy to forget about the rest of Idaho. I have come to realize (and remember in some cases) the countless options that await me outside of Ada and Canyon counties.

For example, here are a few of my favorite places/events around our state:

  • Twin Falls is home to the gorgeous Snake River Canyon. Made famous from a fellow Butteite, Evel Knievel, who attempted to jump the canyon in 1974.
  • Shoshone Falls, just north of Twin Falls. If you haven’t been, put this on your bucket list (more on bucket lists in a minute) it truly is amazing to see.
  • Bear Lake Raspberry Days where you can get the BEST raspberry shakes ever. Honestly, nothing compares to a Bear Lake Raspberry Shake – just ask the thousands of visitors who attend Raspberry Days each year.  While you’re there, be sure to rent some jet skis or just hang out on the North Shore beach.
  • Lava Hot Springs Mineral Springs. Or, as the locals (yes, I used to be an Eastern Idahoan) call them, “Hot Pots”.  There is nothing quite as relaxing after a day spent water skiing or snow skiing than to sit in the hot pots and reward your muscles for working so hard.

Bucket List – Where it all started.

My last semester of college at Boise State University, I enrolled in a Public Relations Promotions class taught by Sam Harmer, an adjunct professor who works at Lexar Media.  Sam was adamant that we have “real world” experiences during class in order to really “get” what it means to be in PR.  After dissecting a slew of “real world campaigns” we developed our own campaign with Bogus Basin Mountain Resort.  Our class successfully boosted Bogus Basins student season pass sales (December 2008) with the “real world” Guerilla PR Campaign we developed. Sam shared his bucket list with us and soon thereafter, we were assigned to develop our own bucket list. During our final class we went around the room and shared what we each had come up with.  Swimming with dolphins, learning to surf, owning my own business were just a few of the things that made my classmates lists.

Number 23 on my list: Hot Air Balloon Ride – I am happy to say, I just updated my excel spreadsheet, (I am “Type A” remember? ) reflecting I had accomplished #23 at the Teton Valley Summer Festival.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

My pilot Mona, has been flying for more than 21 years. Her love for hot air balloons started when she was asked to take some photos of a flight. From there, she decided that she wouldn’t be behind the camera, she want to be manning the burners of a hot air balloon.  I had such an incredible time on my flight. The view of Teton Valley is breathtaking. The sun rising over the Tetons, the beautiful blues of the sky and the other hot air balloons decorating the view, it was extraordinary.

When my flight was over Mona, Linda (a wonderful gal from Idaho Falls who attends the Festival every year) myself and the rest of the flight crew deflated the balloon and headed back into town.  Once we arrived back at the launching site, Mona opened a bottle of champagne and we all toasted to my first flight. She made me a little souvenir and gave my a flight certificate that reads:

The sun has blessed you with its warm hands, you have flown so high and so well, that God has joined you in your laughter and set you gently back into the loving arms of Mother Earth

What great way to celebrate my first flight!  This adventure is something I will never forget.

Teton Valley Summer Festival

This was the 29th year of the annual Teton Valley Festival in Driggs, Idaho. Driggs is the kind of small town you see in movies. Everyone knows everyone, and they are the most genuine, hardworking, civic-minded people you could ever hope to meet.  For example, Ruby Parsons, Chair of the Seniors as well as Commissioner and Chair of the Fire Protection District for Teton County welcomes all visitors of the Valley to breakfast with the Seniors at the Fairground Building.

The Eastern part of our state is simply breathtaking. After my time spent in Driggs, I decided to take the scenic route home: from Driggs to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, then along the Snake River, (where my family used to raft) to Palisades Reservoir; where I learned how to knee-board, water ski, how to perfect a “yard sale”, how to drive a boat and make a mean figure eight to dump tubers.

New Additions to the Bucket List

I continually add more to my Bucket List; living in Idaho makes that super easy to do. These are just a few items I have recently added to my list:

All right folks, what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and start jotting things down. Before you know it, you will have your very own Bucket List.

– Alena