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Melody Guy Loses Friend and Writing Partner — Please Join the Search

NASHVILLE, TN – March 14, 2013 – Nashville singer, songwriter and entertainer, Melody Guy, today announced her friend and writing partner, “Wilson,” was discovered missing. Last seen in somewhere in Arizona off I-40 or Highway 17 at the Sunset rest stop, Wilson, a black and orange basketball, plays an important part of Guy’s act and is beloved by legions of fans. Guy is asking fellow musicians and supporters to scour the nation for her missing partner, without whom, her life is less complete. “I met Wilson during a transitional time in my life and he inspired me to take my music in a direction that has been intensely positive,” said Guy. “For the last four years he’s been my friend, my familiar and my muse. I look forward to the day we are reunited.” Following in the footsteps of father, Bobby Guy, Melody’s songwriting draws comparisons to Lucinda Williams, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Kim Richey and Melissa Etheridge. She is most well known for her song, Mistakes Like Me, off her album I Feel Sane. Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Wilson is encouraged to contact Melody on Facebook at

Want to Write a Mission Statement That Doesn’t Suck?

This is the best online video I’ve seen in a while on any subject. I hope more businesses take it to heart. My take on the subject comes in the form of two lessons. Lesson one — lighten up and show a little personality. That’s what will let people connect with your brand on an emotional level. Lesson two — ban writing by committee. Brainstorming as a group is good. Writing as a group is bad. If this process is mandatory, have the testicular fortitude to be the guy at the end of the session who steps up and points out that the vapid, milquetoast crap you all just hammered out is just that. Thanks Fast Company!

Five Tips For Getting Started With Blog SEO — They Can't Read What They Can't Find

The first step in getting someone to read your corporate blog is helping them find it

The first step in getting someone to read your corporate blog is helping them find it

If a tree falls down in the forest and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound? Some say yes, some say no and people with better things to do couldn’t care less. But what if we replace the tree with your company’s blog and the forest with the Internet? Now you’ve got a brain teaser worth considering. Your business can have the best, most compelling  blog in the world, but if nobody ever reads it you aren’t making any noise. And if this is the case, what’s the point? Before someone can read your blog they have to find it. And the best way to make sure people find any kind of online content is to make sure it is search engine optimized. This month I had the privilege of attending Searchfest09 to hear what some of the industry’s leading SEO experts had to say about their industry (which is a LOT more interesting than you might think). SEO is part art, part science and part magic. It is something few will ever completely understand. Fortunately, you don’t have to become an expert to add some significant SEO punch to your corporate blog. There are a lot of great tools and techniques available that are easy to understand and implement.

Getting Started with SEO for Blogs

Use WordPressWordPress is the Microsoft (and Apple) of blog platforms. It is easy to use and there are a lot of SEO functions built right in. In addition, because WordPress is built on an open platform, there are literally thousands of people developing cool plug-ins that you can add to make your blog do all sorts of wonderful things. And there are LOTS of great SEO plug-ins available. If it is a corporate blog, consider making it a part of your company Website (like and This way, every time you add a new post, it helps your Website’s search ranking as well. Even if your blog is already established somewhere else, moving to the WordPress platform is probably a smart investment. Be forewarned, however, it is a very good idea to identify a few WordPress experts and resources before you embark on your journey. Understand the basics — Do a little reading about things like title tags, description tags and keyword tags. Learn how to develop an overall keyphrase selection strategy. If your company Website is search engine optimized, learn the keyphrases used there as well and integrate them appropriately. The better you understand these these basic principles, the better your blog SEO will be. Install good SEO plug-ins — The All In One SEO Pack is a plug-in that will allow you to customize the title, description and meta tags for each post. There are several other tools that will do the same thing as well, but this one seems to be one of the most popular. Also, investigate tools that will allow you to customize the URL of each post to include your chosen key words. Keep SEO in mind when writing copy — When writing for the Web,  you are writing for two audiences — readers and the search engines. Your readers must always be your primary focus. They must find your content compelling and valuable. That said, there are a lot of simple things that can be done including:
  • Use Keyphrases repeatedly (at least three times) in your post
  • Use titles and subheads to reinforce keyphrases and make your copy more readable
  • Make title tags interesting and compelling
  • Make sure the copy in your title tag and description tag appears in your body copy
  • Invite readers to comment
The topic of SEO copywriting can’t be effectively tackled in a single blog post. It is a subject worthy of ongoing study. The best book I’ve found on the subject is “Successful Search Engine Copywriting” by Heather Lloyd-Martin. She also provides a lot of good information on her blog. Use Web analytics — WordPress has a great blog stats plug-in that provides you with a wealth of information about your blog and your readers. It includes a report on the actual search terms that were used to get to a particular post. This is a great way to see if your keyword strategy is working and to consistently fine-tune your process. In addition to the WordPress plug-in, it is fairly easy to add Google analytics to your blog as well. Google offers this same capability and it is always nice to compare and contrast multiple analytics tools, as none of these tools seem to be perfect.

SEO is a Journey

In reality, SEO for blogs is much like SEO for Websites. In fact, from a search engine perspective, it is exactly the same. The only difference is that you don’t have to be a programmer to implement the fundamental components into your posts. And a blog post written using sound SEO practices can sometimes jump straight to a #1 Google ranking for a particular keyphrase in a matter of hours. SEO for blogs does require a significant amount of extra time and effort but the payoff is huge. While it may seem daunting at first, it really isn’t that hard once you get the swing of things. Keep in mind that complete mastery of SEO is not attainable — even by the most experienced professionals. It is a continuously moving target. SEO is a journey, not a destination. And, of course, you can always outsource the creation, management or even writing of your corporate blog. If you choose to go in that direction, make sure that the person or agency you hire has a full understanding of the SEO aspect of blogging. If you’d like more information on this important topic, feel free to drop us a line.

Communications on the Edge

Nothing cracks me up like suicide

Nothing cracks me up like suicide

I’m all about edgy. I like dark twisted humor and laugh at jokes that make many people cringe. I nearly always root for the companies that have the balls to do something different and take risks with communications campaigns that push the limits. But I also have learned — occasionally the hard way — there are times when edgy is simply not the right tool for the job. A recent ad campaign by BBDO Dusseldorf and Pepsi provides an awesome example of where edgy is definitely uncalled for. The ads portray a personification of a lonely calorie offing itself in a variety of gruesome ways. The point they are trying to highlight is the joyous fact that Pepsi Max has but one calorie. The violent and graphic images they use overshadow and muddy that point. Not surprisingly, the ads caused quite a stir. Advertising Age wrote all about the ordeal in an online article that circulated very quickly. If you look at the reader comments about the article, you’ll see that most people agree Pepsi made a big mistake – one that Pepsi’s PR team is currently working to correct. Wholesome Pepsi adBut a surprising number of reader comments defended the campaign. Their comments discuss the importance of being edgy, how political correctness has ruined the advertising business (along with everything else) and how those who are offended should simply “get over it.” The overwhelming majority of these comments came from the folks in the creative or graphics segments of the ad biz. Perhaps the apparent lack of judgment and filters is why ad agencies rarely take these guys to client meetings (a shame, really, because those meetings would probably be a lot more fun if they did). What I find most interesting is that the people who stick up for this particular campaign genuinely don’t appear to understand WHY it is such a colossal screw up. But the reason is simple; it strays way too far from the rather whitewashed and benign brand image that Pepsi has spent more than a century working to create.

Goes great with Thai

Pepsi may call itself the “Choice of a New Generation” but, in reality, they have a customer base that extends across hundreds of cultures and virtually every imaginable demographic. And the bigger and more diverse your audience, the greater the chance an edgy campaign will miss its mark and be seen as offensive or even hurtful. With a customer base as big as Pepsi’s, even if an ad like this only drives off one percent of its customer base, you are still talking about a huge number of people. Where Edgy Works It might seem ironic that the very same ads that worked so miserably for Pepsi could actually work fine for a company that is going after a more specific and targeted audience. I even think the title of the Advertising Age story on the issue works fine. It reads “Pepsi Opens a Vein of Controversy With New Suicide Themed Ads.” Even though it is a little tasteless, most of the magazine’s readership probably recognizes it as clever and are able to take it in stride. Edgy for the sake of being edgy doesn’t make sense. But when it works, it works well. There is a great Wired Magazine article about Ian Woolward, who did a bunch of print ads in the early 1990’s that pushed the envelope and arguably crossed the boundaries of good taste. But they worked (at least I thought so). One of his most infamous works appeared in PC Magazine in the early 1990’s. It was part of a series of ads for Logitech. They were a new company that had just come out with a line of ergonomically- correct mice. The purpose of the ad was to underscore how good the mice felt to use. All of the ads were offbeat, but the one that caused the biggest stir was the “peeing baby” concept. On one half of the page was a diapered baby boy laying on his back with a caption that read “feels good.” On the other half of the page was the same baby – this time without the diaper peeing straight up in the air with a caption that read “feels better.”According to Woolward, “the ad really says that the product is fun to buy, fun to use and is fairly sophisticated because the ad itself is sophisticated.” Did the add “piss off” any potential customers? Yes. But Logitech knew this and accepted it from the outset. But it made me curious enough about the product to run out an buy one and I still use Logitech mice to this day. The VW ad below isn’t real. Though clearly designed by professionals, it was (supposedly) a spoof that just happened to get leaked and go viral big time. While the political correctness police would never allow a company like Volkswagen to air such an ad, if they had, I’d probably be joining the creative types and say “just get over it.”

Greenwashing — Time to Find a New Fad

Time to find a new marketing fad -- greenwashing hurts us all

Greenwashing is more than a deception, it is bad for the environmental movement

In public relations, it is always important to make a client’s news timely and interesting. The fact that the environment is an issue that is currently front and center with the news media is a good thing for one KoiFish Communications client in particular – StalkMarket. StalkMarket makes Earth-friendly disposable tableware, utensils and food packaging out of sustainable, biodegradable and compostable plant materials. Not surprisingly, the company and its products are steadily gaining in popularity. One of the first posts on StalkMarket’s new blog talks about the topic of greenwashing. The Greenwashing Index defines greenwashing  as something that occurs when a company or an organization spends more time and money claiming to be green through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact. The problem with greenwashing is that it quickly leads to green fatigue – a situation where the meaning of the word green becomes so eroded by marketing hype that it ceases to be meaningful. While this is of little concern for marketeers who can just move on to the next topic de jour, it is an issue for those companies that are actually trying to provide meaningful solutions to serious problems. For the people who are really trying to help save the planet, concern for the environment is a lifestyle, not a fad. If this isn’t enough of an incentive to seek out new angles, consider this – the backlash against companies that are misrepresenting themselves as green has already begun. This is happening with organizations such as the Greenwashing Index. It is even starting to get mainstream media attention. The bottom line is that for companies only genuinely interested in the color green as it pertains to money, the time has come to rethink messaging strategies. If you need some assistance in developing a fresh new story, Koifish Communications is always here to help. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call.