Stay in touch. Stay in Business

If you want to stay in business, ycropped-web-site-peopleou need to reach out on a regular basis to both current customers and potential, new ones. Putting communication ideas into an annual plan is one way to make sure you stay in touch.
Develop an annual Communications Calendar:
  1. Put a plan in writing for monthly communications to potential new customers.
  2. Add ideas for quarterly contact with current customers, e.g. letters, postcards, texts
  3. Develop promotional messages, along with useful tips, for each target group
  4. Use various kinds of communication. (Direct mail, social media posts, phone texts, radio, TV or internet ads).
  5. Make sure that each communication project you put on your calendar is ready to go the first day of each month and/or the beginning of each quarter.
If you don’t have a Communications Calendar, your days will slip by and no one will hear from you. Once you put a plan in place, communicating with the right people gets easier . . . and you’re sure to stay in touch with everyone you need to stay in business.
For help in writing messages or developing a complete communications calendar, email or call 616.443.5464. CAMEO offers reasonable rates for one-time projects or ongoing PR-Communications services. Visit our website at

After Coronavirus: Advance Your Career

If your job disappeared due to Covid-19, or you’ve had to settle for second best for any reason, turn a proverbial “lemon into a lemonade” by taking another step up the career ladder. Rather than lamenting your loss, apply for a job on the next rung . . . and advance your career.

You can do-it-yourself with an easy-to-use workbookJob-Seeking: “Job Shopping: Don’t Settle for a Job that Sucks.” This self-help manual is a favorite by Susan K. Maciak, former school district career program director, now independent career and corporate consultant.

“JOB SHOPPING” is a an easy-to-use career planner for jobseekers of all ages. This  colorful, creative and comprehensive workbook may be just what you need to help you plot your way to a job you’ll love.

JOB SHOPPING, along with other career books and services, is just a click away. Order directly from the author at or go to – Maciak’s online consulting site.


Use many channels to communicate your message

Concept of Network, Internet CommunicationDo you have an idea to share, a new concept to convey, or products and services to sell?

If so . . . how can you reach as many people as possible to let them know about it?

To reach the most potential customers, use more than one channel of communication.

Options are endless. Here are just a few ways to take your message to the public:

  • One-to-one
    • Over coffee or via message, text, email, phone, etc.
  • Face-to-face 
    • Speak at small group gatherings, such as Chamber of Commerce meetings.
  • Discussion
    • Plan a meeting or focus group to discuss an idea or promote a product or service.
  • Surveys
    • Reach your audience through phone or online surveys that convey your message, while getting community input to make improvements.
  • Hand-written notes
    • Surprise people with hand-written note cards carrying your message.
  • Letters
    • Compose letters to deliver your message to multiple people via U.S. mail.
  • Email
    • Send short, but clever, messages via email.
  • Social media blurbs
    • Post concise messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Blogs
    • Start a blog and build a cadre of followers by posting helpful hints, along with product- or service-related advice.
  • Flier
    • Develop full-page or half-page fliers to leave on counters to alert visitors to upcoming events, specials, sales, etc.
  • Brochures
    • Create brochures that feature highlights of your business or agency.
  • Direct mail pieces 
    • Send postcard ads to customers, potential customers, or whole area codes.
  • Articles
    • Write and submit articles on your organization to trade publications,
  • Ads
    • Place ads for specific products and services in related publications, such as ads for dance lessons in theater programs. as well as newspapers, radio, TV, etc.
  • Public service announcements (PSAs)
    • Submit short scripts to radio and TV stations to announce anything of community interest. Free air time is available for public service notices.
  • Bill boards
    • Order a flashy billboard to run for a few months on roads widely traveled by people who may buy products or services from you.
  • Signs
    • Rent portable signs to promote special events, or install a digital sign in front of your building to alert customers to sales, specials, new products or services.
  • Promotional gadgets and giveaways 
    • Order a supply of useful promotional items printed with your firm name, logo and message to distribute to the public at fairs, shows, expos, etc.
  • Trade show exposure
    • Sign up to display your products, give demonstrations and talk about your services at trade shows related to your business.
  • Special events
    • Sponsor an annual community event, such as a race or a picnic open to the public to create awareness of your company and build your brand.
  • Workshops, seminars, presentations
    • Develop a presentation to deliver in a workshop or seminar on a topic related to your business. Let participants know how your company can help them.

For help in developing any of these PR-Communications projects and many more:

Contact Susan K. Maciak, CAMEO Consulting LLC. Email: | Call 616 443 5464 | or visit





Great gift idea for teens . . and adults in their lives

ON THE REBOUNDHigh school and college students love On The Rebound: He Lost his Girl but Gained the Whole World.

Based on a young man’s up and down experiences, this  birds-eye view of college life is a tale told with heart and humor.

An entertaining, enlightening and provocative story, it also gives parents and professors a glimpse of what teens and twenty-somethings go through today on their route to adulthood.

Order your copy from or other online booksellers . . . or request bulk rates for your classroom or youth group at



Marketing to millennials

Reprinted by blog writer Susan K. Maciak with permission from Advanced Asset Management LLC (See more at     

Marketers, take note: Casual and carefree, millennials will be a big chunk of the population GIRLHATin just a few years.

The first generation to come of age in the new millennium (those now under 35 years old) will make up 70 percent of the market soon.

Unlike Baby Boomers who ruled the second half of the 20th Century, millennials might be a harder sell. Personal possessions don’t matter as much to this new, young crowd of consumers, so what will motivate them to save a few bucks for later? Owning a BMW, a motorbike or a mansion with a diamond-shaped swimming pool is not a major goal.

Millennials like experiences. Many young adults today, experts say, aren’t as likely to be saving for a down-payment on a big house or a status-symbol like a hot car. An apartment in the city, along with Uber, Lyft or public transportation, will probably be more their style. Most millennials might save money, instead, for something more adventurous, like admission tickets to the upcoming Olympics or a Caribbean cruise.

Marketers beware. This new generation of Americans may not care so much about walk-in closets or expensive wardrobes, but may prefer flying to New York City occasionally to splurge on tickets to a Broadway Show and spend the night in a tony Times Square hotel. Life experiences motivate them more than material things. A retirement savings account isn’t as appealing as an IRA for later-in-life enjoyment.

What else motivates millennials? Millennials like to be “in on” things. That makes information a value-added asset for advertisers. Companies that use technology, such as websites, blogs, texts and social media, create customer loyalty by keeping this group up to speed on current interests. Popular info-topics could range from saving money for travel to planning special events, or focusing on anything new (food, restaurants, gadgets, medical advancements, self-improvement programs, etc.). Other motivators for millennials, include:

  • Appreciation (recognition and rewards)
  • Personal growth and fitness, social and environmental consciousness
  • Sense of belonging (clubs, special interest groups, or membership programs)
  • Assistance in solving problems (help desks, product demonstrations, how-to articles)

In a nutshell: Typical millennials can be convinced to save, invest, buy or believe in something by motivating them with experiences, events and ideas that are informative, helpful and rewarding.

Manage Your Money . . . financial facts for a brighter future by:  Advancd Asset Management LLC Follow our  financial blog:                                                                                                                           Ronald Van Surksum, CFP|4555 Wilson Ave SW – Suite 2 |Grandville, MI 49418
For permission to reprint:  Blog writer Susan K. Maciak at


Want a job you’ll love? Know yourself!

If you’re one of those people who dreads going to work, you might have the wrong job. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as doing work you love. Overworked

“Know yourself!” – Socrates

If you have passion for your position, your job gives you satisfaction and you look forward to Monday mornings, you’re in the right place.  You’re also more likely to succeed.

Promotions and raises come easier to people with passion for their work. The most rewarding careers often align with a person’s special traits. To find the right line of work for you, first follow Socrates’ sage advice from centuries ago: “Know Yourself.”

Do work you love . . . and you’ll love the work you do!

If you want to learn more about yourself and what kind of work would make you happy, use the template below to list a few of your best traits. Then, keep an eye out for job descriptions that include some of your strengths in each of the following areas:

Interests What are your main areas of interest? (Example: fashion, sports, gardening)
1._________________________   3._________________________
2._________________________   4._________________________
Talents What unique gifts or talents do you have? (Examples: musical or artistic talent)
1._________________________ 3._________________________
2._________________________ 4._________________________
Skills What special skills have you developed? (Examples: graphic design, guitar, coding, welding, etc.)
1._________________________ 3._________________________
2._________________________ 4._________________________
Abilities Which abilities seem to “come naturally” to you? (Leadership, athletics, decorating, party planning, gardening).
1._________________________ 3._________________________
2._________________________ 4._________________________
Subjects List your best (or favorite) school subjects: (Examples: English, history, math, certain electives, such as cooking or languages)
1._________________________ 3._________________________
2._________________________ 4._________________________
Susan K. Maciak | CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | PR – Communication Services || |

Once is never enough!

advertising-bank-brochure-623046 (1)

You put a full-page ad in a magazine . . . . . . and not a single person responds!

“What do I have to do to build business?” you wonder. “How much do I have to spend?”

One ad, no matter how big or bold it may be, won’t bring in a cadre of clients. One ad will probably not even capture a single customer.

Potential customers, research shows, need to see or hear marketing messages at least seven – 12 times before responding.                          

Before buying their first ad, business owners should develop an annual marketing plan, along with an affordable budget. Add at least one promotional activity monthly.

To be successful, businesses don’t have to go broke on a dozen or more expensive, glossy, full-page ads. Marketing in a variety of less-expensive ways can be just as effective . . . if your message is seen or heard multiple times.

Consider ideas like these:

Social Media Pages . . . Set up Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages for your business, then post short blurbs about your products or services once a week or so.

News Releases . . . Write and send news releases several times each year to local media outlets, describing anything “new” or different at your business.

Blog Articles . . . Post informative articles about your products and services on your website regularly.

Be visible . . . Send staff out to volunteer at schools, hospitals, community events.

Network . . . Provide every staff member with a business card and encourage them to hand out their cards wherever they go.

Let’s Talk Business! | by Susan K. Maciak | Lead Consultant
CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC
For permission to reprint:

Writing Numbers

How do you express numbers in writing?

  • Spell out small numbers. When used in sentences, text, documents or other content, spell out numbers smaller than ten. Use digits for number 10 and over.
  • Consultants Working
  • Other opinions. Experts don’t always agree on the rules. Some say that any one-word number should be spelled out; and two-word numbers should be expressed in digits. For example, write out five, twelve or twenty, but not 24 or 37.
  • Don’t start a sentence with a numeral. Like Lincoln, make it “Four Score and seven years ago,” not “4 score and 7 years ago.” That means you might have to rewrite some sentences: Instead of “400 copies were sold,” rewrite to read: “Fans bought 400 copies.”
  • ‘Three,’ ‘3’ or ‘III’? When do you use each of these symbols? Use digits (2, 3, 4, etc.) or Roman numerals (II, III, IV, etc.) when numbers stand alone, as in numbered items like rules, outlines, charts, figures, tables, ads, signs, and other places where the number is not part of a sentence, paragraph or other form of text.
  • Percentage or %? In formal writing, spell out the word percentage, rather than using the symbol %. Example: “12 percent” (or “twelve percent) not “12%”).
  • If a number is rounded or estimated, spell it out. For rounded numbers over a million, write the numeral followed by the word: “About 400 million people speak Spanish natively,” instead of “About 400,000,000 people speak Spanish natively.”
  • Exact numbers. If you use an exact number (6,211 or 528), write it out in digits. “He collected 974 sports cards.” For estimates: He collected close to a thousand cards. For numbers in the millions, use digits as in $3,635,000 or $3.635 million.
  • Two numbers next to each other. It can be confusing if you write “7 13-year-olds.” Spell out the number with fewest letters. as a numeral, like “seven 13-year-olds.”
  • Ordinal numbers. When you use first, second, third, etc., avoid writing: “He was my 1st true love,” or “My birthday is July 5th.” Instead write: “He was my first true love,” and “My birthday is July 5.
  • Consistency. Pick a style and stick with it. Be consistent within the same sentence and throughout a whole document. If a teacher has 23 beginning students, she should also have 18 advanced students. Don’t switch to eighteen advanced students.

CRITICAL: Consistency in rules followed by everyone in the whole organization is key to corporate image. Some organizations rely on style books, such as The Associated Press Style Book or the University of Chicago Style Book, to make sure that all their company’s written pieces follow the same style or rules.

 Let’s Talk Business! | by Susan K. Maciak | PR-Communications 
Promotional Writing | Blogging |Social Media Posts |Web Content  
                                            CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC                                                                                                                                                            |     |     616.443.5464


Key messages make sense

Job interviewWhat are key messages — and why do they make sense? When dozens of ads assault us every day and hundreds of texts and email alerts, social media blurbs and other forms of communications vie for our attention, key messages can simplify business.

What is a key message? It can be any important concept expressed in 12 words or fewer. TV and radio announcers, politicians and public relations people use them all the time. Before going on air, or going about your daily business, pare down your thoughts on any subjects you want to express. Reduce important statements to just 10 or 12 critical words.

Example: Our project goal is to cut spending enough to make a $10,000 profit. 

Even complicated subjects can be communicated concisely if you plan head. Think out what’s most important; then, jot down short statements that contain the main ideas.

Key messages carry more clout in meetings, interviews, presentations, group work, etc.  Rather than taking five minutes or more to convince others, use key messages to get across your most important ideas succinctly.

Published by Susan K. Maciak, PR-Communications Specialist, CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | | For permission to reprint:

Phone Calls: Still Critical for Communication

Black Rotary Telephone on White Surface
You don’t see many dial-up phones on office desks anymore. That doesn’t mean phones are outdated. In fact, they’re more important than 

Everyone answers the phone

At one time only receptionists were trained to answer phones calls professionally. Now, almost everyone on the payroll picks up business calls all day long. For business leaders, that suggests that everyone on your staff should know how to make the most of the phones, or use them to the advantage of your organization.

A few tips may save the day                                                                   . . . and the customer:

  • Answer phones promptly and pleasantly. Prospective customers will move on to another business if their calls aren’t answered by the fourth ring. They’ll go elsewhere if a grouch answers.
  • Start with your company name, then your name, rather than hip greetings like “Hey, it’s me,” reserved for friends and non- business hours.
  • Always ask: “What can I do for you?”
  • Listen carefully to each response.
  • Take notes if necessary.

If a customer’s question requires a return call, vow to get back with the caller as soon as possible – and do it! There’s nothing more irritating to potential customers than waiting forever for an answer.

Susan K. MaciakPublished by Susan K. Maciak, CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | | For permission to reprint, by Susan K. Maciak

%d bloggers like this: