An Opportunity to Support the Injured Military Marine (and play some golf!)

Warm weather, sunshine, and a game of golf to support injured Marines: What more could an avid-golfer ask for? Whether Orange County, California is right around the corner, or it is a great vacation-destination, please consider attending the Cox Community Golf Tournament for a great cause this Spring.

Please, consider becoming a sponsor of this event: I would suggest forwarding this Press Release on to your business partners or advertisement department; find out what your company can do for our injured-Marines.

You can find all the details and contact information in the following press release from C&M Communiqué. MilitaryAvenue.com is a proud sponsor of this event and we hope you will be too.




Contact: Sarah Peterson, C&M CommuniquéPRESS RELEASE
(949) 363-7974FINAL
sep@cmcommunique.comFor Immediate Release with Photo


COX COMMUNITY GOLF TOURNAMENT NEARING - SPONSORS NEEDED TO AID INJURED MARINES


Coto de Caza, CA (January 27, 2009) – Fleets of Humvees lining the street, helicopters buzzing the greens and drill instructors providing their signature brand of encouragement. This is clearly not standard issue at the exclusive Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club, yet on Monday, March 9, patriotism will soar as high as the longest drive at the Cox Community Golf Tournament.

Marking its third consecutive year, this extraordinary event has raised more than $100,000 for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (IMSFF), since its inception. Hosting a community of heroes on an unforgettable day of golf, Cox Communications is committed to serving not only its family of loyal customers, but countless others in need. Despite challenging economic times, the company’s charitable foundation, Cox Cares, is actively recruiting golfers and sponsors to rally for the red, white and blue, while making this year’s tournament the most successful yet.

Honoring today’s true heroes, while giving supporters the chance to test their skills, this golf event will exude a distinct Marine Corps Boot Camp theme. Golfers on each of two Robert Trent Jones Jr. championship courses develop a first-hand appreciation for the U.S. Marines and their service through boot camp-style activities, including push-ups, jumping jacks, MRE tastings and much more.

To make a significant difference in the life of an injured Marine and his or her family, individual golfers can register online for $325, foursomes for $1,300, and dinner guests for $100. Sponsorship packages are also available and range from $500 to $20,000, each offering a variety of publicity benefits based on the level of financial commitment. Be faithful to those who serve and sign-up today by visiting www.cox-cares.org/golf or calling 949.546.3100. Vital support currently includes the commitments of: Ketel One Vodka, Baja Fresh, Motorola, the Orange County Business Journal, Sodexo and 4 Copas Tequila.

While fighting for peace, U.S. Marines serve the country with courage and commitment, yet such service can result in catastrophic injuries. Since 2004, the IMSFF has been helping Marines, sailors and their families cope with the financial hardship they face on the road to recovery. For complete details on the IMSFF, visit http://www.semperfifund.org/.

Cox Communications believes that without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community. That is why it created the 501(c)(3) non-profit Cox Cares and has donated nearly $400,000 to more than 95 local non-profit organizations since 2000.

Cox Cares gives back to Orange County by supporting local programs that offer invaluable services to those who need them most. Dedicated to enriching the fabric of the community it serves, Cox Cares targets the needs of youth and seniors, while promoting social issues, art, science and technology. Through in-kind and direct cash support, Cox Communications’ annual contributions exceed $7 million, much of which stems from 1,000 local employees who serve dedicated customers. Cox Communications is not simply a trusted partner in business, but also a partner in building a proud community. For more information, please visit http://www.cox-cares.org/.

Tips: Do you like Free Advertising? Read Some Ideas How!

Don't you like free things? We all do and particularly in a tough economic time.

How about free advertisements for your business in the form of a media article? Do you do anything interesting for the local community or nearby military installation? When the Department of Defense media discovered we had created a new section on the site they wrote a great story about MilitaryAvenue's Answers military connection and sent it worldwide. For Free!

Why not call your local paper or TV station and make some media contacts? Tell them what you are doing and how it benefits the community. With the Inauguration over, this time of the year can be a slow period for news as folks tend to hunker down due to the weather (particularly in the norther climates). The media like a great "Support the Troops" or community outreach story to balance the sometimes negative side of their business. A media story is Free Advertising!

MilitaryAvenue provides an opportunity for three free advertisements as well! But we expand that with our other free offer in your area of expertise! We would like to place an article you write or provide in our articles section on the site and in our military family blog! We provide full credit and links to your ad! We prefer informational articles for the military community versus advertisements but what a great way to establish rapport with the community and its free!

Again, its free!
We like that! Send articles to Leanne@MilitaryAvenue.com!

See you in the MilitaryAvenue articles section and the military family blog soon!

Tips: Your Military Rewards and How to Win the Hearts of the Military Community

I or another staff member review each ad that comes to MilitaryAvenue as part of our approval process. I also frequently provide recommendations to our Partners who we want to be successful reaching the military marketplace! Our military experiences provide a unique perspective and we like to share those with you!

After several years I have seen some great Rewards and some that do not meet our criteria for a free ad. The basics of the Reward include:

1. Must have a dollar value or percentage off and be a unique offer to your military community.

2. Think of it as a coupon that a service member would bring in to you, so they know upfront the advantage of using your service or product as a military family

Now some ideas how to make it the draw that pulls folks into your business!

1. Say thank you to the service members and their families! A simple opening line, Thank you for your service says a lot to your readers and future customers.

2. Offer something unique! Bring them to your business with your innovative ideas! Consider your audience and what appeals to them. Each category of business is unique but our Featured Military Reward winners have shown some great ideas and reached a larger audience because of it! The military community is young and mobile and internet savvy!

3. Many acronyms or terms are unique to an industry but not always understood by the general public. Did you use any? If so, do they need a short explanation or do they belong somewhere else in the ad.


4. Grab them with details of what you are offering! Do not say, "call for details". That is a very obvious effort to not provide information about your offer and makes it easy to skip and go to the next ad or offer.

5. Remember you can offer specials but the basic Reward must have a year long timeframe to match the date of the ad. So offer a Veteran's Day special on top of your Reward! For example, Military personnel receive 10% off our service and products! Take an additional 10% over the Veteran's Day weekend! Your Reward can be updated or changed at any time!

6. Do not offer something that is already free! I have seen some real estate Rewards that offer "Free Comparative Market Analysis" or "Free Home Buyer services" that are normally free to the general public. We do not accept those Rewards as meeting our criteria for a free ad and most folks would quickly understand that and simply move on to another ad anyway.

7. Compare yours to others Rewards in your area and category. Look at your competitors! We all do comparison shopping and why not have the best ad and Reward possible? We bring the military community to you; now you have to win them over!

8. Keep it current! A great ad is reviewed and updated frequently and we offer free updates so go to Business Log In and enter your User Name and Password. The ad will open after you go to the Current Listings section and select the Red Edit button. Go to the checkout and submit after making edits and we will approve and have it on the site quickly.

We have a Help Page that provides assistance and a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section as well! Take the time to review it and your ad for new ideas and ways to reach out to this most deserving community of patriots! Thank you for supporting the troops!





Let Freedom Ring


Tomorrow is a great day in American history; in fact, world history. We have elected a new president and he will take office in an orderly transition! Again!

We are truly a blessed nation and many Americans do not recognize how blessed we are! The military community realizes they have something valuable to protect after deploying to, living in, and traveling to other nations without the benefits we share everyday. So as President Obama takes the oath of office we should think of those benefits and what we have to be thankful for in these tough times.

First, I am thankful for freedom of religion and the ability to worship God as I choose. We have many different beliefs in the US but our Christian heritage protects and speaks openly for freedom to worship (particularly when compared to other countries and religions). I can remember the deep relief I felt each time I stepped off a plane back onto American soil during the recent conflicts. Home again!

Second, I am thankful for my family and the strength I get from them everyday! The phone calls, IMs, emails, and hugs the military families share with each other is a great resource! When we were active duty we had many surrogate aunts, uncles and cousins due to our location. Its still that way for many and the American military family is strong and resilient!

Third, I can easily sleep at night because American soldiers, airmen, coasties, sailors and marines are not sleeping! Thank you for your service each and every one of you! I can add other public service personnel too, such as police officers, firemen and many others. Thank you all!

Enjoy the inauguration and watch with pride as our service members perform their many duties and realize that the festivities could not go on without our military's involvement.

Tips: Innovative Ways to Increase Your Visibility!



Maintenance Truck and Taxi Cab Seat Headrest

Its a tough economy and small businesses and large corporations are looking for ways to reach their markets with their message about their services and products. In the spirit of innovation we are working with several partners to help reach our market as well. When was the last time you got creative? Think about it.

A cab headrest or the side of maintenance truck! New innovations for spreading the word about MilitaryAvenue! Wait, isn't that an old method of advertising in our new world of technology? It sure is; but isn't it a great way to spread the word! Military personnel must frequently rely on cabs when arriving at a new station by air or when on temporary duty at an installation. The maintenance truck is traveling in and around the installation as well. So we thought it was worth a new effort with an old media! Some tried and true things are the best in any area of life. These companies are MilitaryAvenue partners and great supporters of the military community as well!

Trans City Cab is the base sponsor at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama and a Featured Partner at Ft Benning, Georgia where they operate taxi and limousine services. They are expanding into Ft Campbell, KY as well in the near future!

Veterans Home Improvement is a General partner at Ft Bragg, North Carolina and is a veteran owned business that understands the value of our advertising for him and has shown it through his trucks!

Be innovative! Reach out through new media, do something for your community, go back to old tried and true methods but spread the word about your business so the new and old members of your community can find you!

Tips! How do I make a Newsletter work?

I wanted to continue with some tips on an internet newsletter after my recent blog on this issue. I am not sure if I ran out of space, forgot what I was writing or decided it was too long for one blog. But here are some more ideas for your newsletter!

After your customers start reading your newsletter be sure to bring them back with regular columns, authors and features. They will enjoy seeing the same author and it helps you to stay focused on issues as well. Basically it can provide a framework for your newsletter! Where do I get ideas for the subject matter? What are you best at? Do you have any customer feedback? Do you read industry or competitors newsletters? How about blogs? Are you aware of industry blogs that might spur your imagination and provide interest items? All can provide great topics.

Be sure to use that imagination but also you need to find items that are of interest to the readership. I interviewed a financial expert from USAA (United Services Automobile Association, a military financial and insurance organization) for our military family newsletter. With their permission I used their information in our blog and newsletter. It was great as we saw a lot of increased readership and visits from folks looking for information during the economic crisis. We actually gained 500 readers in one month from several efforts but a key was to provide information that was useful on a day to day basis.

I am a retired Air Force pilot with a lot of world wide experiences which give me a different perspective on issues. Be sure to show a bit of personality and share your own experiences to reach out to readers. One of the best parts of MilitaryAvenue is that we lived the life, relocated 18 times in 30 years and have seen many of the challenges military members and their families face each day. We also have multiple military experienced folks working the site including military spouses, National Guard spouse, retired military and military brats! Tell your readers why they should read your newsletter with a bit of your human story. They will see a human behind it instead of just words and yep, humor is good but just be careful not to offend anyone.

Don't forget those other employees perspectives as well! Sales, support and other staff can be a great resource for ideas in the newsletter as well. They may have head direct contact with customers and are aware of the current "scuttle-butt" (defined as shipboard rumor or gossip). Are any of them regular bloggers or write for other reasons? Depending on their role and responsibility you might ask for their help or at least their ideas for articles, columns, etc.

We will continue to provide "Tips" as a way to help our Partners and readers with the challenge of reaching their customers with information and methods to expand their sales through effective marketing. Of course, in line with the recommendations we are always looking for feedback so drop us a line on how we are doing!

Have a great 2009 and help take care of the troops and their families who so deserve our support and appreciation!

By the Numbers: The Internet & Our Military Families

The Internet is playing an increasingly important role in the social lives of military personnel. As electronic technology in all its forms shrinks the world, the role of the Internet among military personnel, and their family and friends, is becoming a key issue -- especially with thousands of Americans deployed in a war halfway around the world.

According to a study by Military Times Media Group over 92% of Military members & their families have access to the internet. As you think about your marketing-plans for 2009 keep this in mind! Is your business internet friendly?

Economic Slowdown. Good or Bad?

That seems like a straight forward question. After all, how could anything good come from slower economic activity? While it is generally true that economic slowdowns make it harder for everyone to make and save a buck, if one takes the time to think they can discover many benefits.

One of the hidden benefits to business people is the opportunity to streamline their operations. Without a downturn, a business could grow unbalanced to the detriment of the organization. A downturn naturally causes one to rethink every aspect of how the business operates to cut out what is unnecessary and potentially unhealthy.

When the economy turns around, like it always does, the business can emerge on the other side a stronger healthier organization.

Some general tips on streamlining:
  • Take a look at all processes/activities of a business

  • Analyze the processes/activities that consume the most resources first

  • Celebrate increases in efficiency even if they appear small, little gains add up to bigger gains.

  • Be creative in finding ways to do the same or more with less

  • Ask yourself how you can simplify something

  • Ask if you can you make it bigger, make it smaller, add something to it, or take something away.

  • Look to find ways to leverage technology possibly in areas you haven’t considered it before, or in areas that haven’t been updated recently.

  • Focus on the things you can control, forget the rest

  • Don’t settle for less with less, do more or the same with less, create a net gain for your business

  • All wealth originates in the mind, nothing is ever created before it is conceived. Put the ultimate wealth builder to work for you, your mind.


When you use this opportunity to make your business more efficient when the economy does turn around, like it always does, you will be leaner and stronger for it, ready to spring into the next business cycle. If at the end of the day it’s not enough, at least you gave it your very best. And that’s all one can ask.

Wishing you the best!

    Tips! Newsletters and More!

    One of the best parts of learning something new is the ability to share your new found knowledge. As a team we like to refine our process and make sure that we are continually doing things as effective as possible, as is the case with our newsletters. After a considerable amount of research we realized that according to the experts we were doing many things right. In both our monthly- business to business newsletter and our business to customer newsletter we have been innovative and unintentionally followed the experts' advice. We have learned that we have some changes to make in order for our newsletters to be even more effective and useful for our readers.

    We shall share some of these new ideas and ones that worked for us in "Tips" our newest blog article on newsletters, email, internet advertising and other marketing methods. We want to help you reach out to your customers. We would love to hear from you and one of our changes to our newsletters is to add a feedback section so we can hear what you want and need. We will also be looking for articles from you, the experts, on how you reach your customers. Let's get started with a couple of ideas about newsletters.

    Do you have a newsletter? They are inexpensive but do take some time! Ah, but the benefits!! You can develop a regular readership and monthly features will help you focus on what your customers will read and need to know. Remember all of your readers have limited time and you want the articles hard hitting and focused. The military personnel and families are frequently new to a community so provide a link to previous newsletters as well so they can "catch up" if they find your articles interesting.

    Your newsletter should feature a table of contents so readers can see what is available! A great way to keep readers interested is to do a short lead in for each articles with a "see more" link to the full article on your website. That will bring clicks to you and allows readers to get a short review of interest items before they dig in to the article. How many of us don't read the cover on a book before we purchase it? That is exactly the idea--give them something interesting in 2-4 paragraphs and then let them see the rest.

    We are going to do this every month in our blog and newsletter so look for "Tips!" in the near future and have a great 2009!

    MAPP Tip of the Month

    How do I develop a military friendly ad? Or maybe, why should I develop a military friendly ad? When developing advertising the key phrase is audience, audience, audience and message, message, message. Similar in many ways to the real estate phrase: location, location, location.

    Do you remember the college or high school enthusiasm for your "team" or school? Are you a member of a group such as a church, social club, or business organization? You develop an affinity (defined as closeness or attraction) for groups in which you participate. The military organizations build on this cohesion to get their missions accomplished and the community lives and feels this cohesion every day. The longer a family serves the more affinity they feel for others who have been in the same difficult circumstances which they face daily.

    So are you aware of the audience? Do you know the size of the military community nearby? How many dollars do they spend in your business? I guarantee most are very young and internet users. Do you have a product or service that is needed by military customers? They can be very loyal customers and spread the word quickly about a good deal or great customer service or a simple "thank you for serving" means so much.

    Does your message resonate with the audience? One of the criteria that I use during the ad review process at MilitaryAvenue is determining the ad's military friendliness. Is the Reward valid and a unique offer to the military personnel it targets? Does it tell the business' story accurately? Do veteran or military families identify themselves to the audience to make known their membership in the affinity group? What areas do you serve in the ad? I have seen some list their county instead of the local installation not realizing that many military personnel will not recognize the name of the county. For example, Bexar County is San Antonio, TX but not many military personnel know that when first assigned in that area.

    Is the message clear that you value their service? Start with a thank you and then tell them your message! For example, "We value our service personnel! Thank you. Please visit us at "Green Street" to see our latest product/service which we have discounted 10% for military personnel!

    Best wishes for a great 2009 and much success with your business and thank you for serving our military community!

    Col K's Corner--2009 A New Year We Are Ready to See

    It is the beginning of 2009 and many Americans are saying goodbye to 2008 with a very definite lack of nostalgia. We won't miss the high gas prices, the Wall Street failures, the housing crisis, the political hype or watching some of the arrogant Corporate CEOs/Executives walk off with millions while their businesses fail. In the meantime, small businesses, homeowners and average Americans see economic crisis and a serious impact to their standard of living.

    What should a small business do when faced with customers who are not spending as much due to factors such as reduced income, credit limits, etc? Many must reduce budgets to stay open and not sink like the Big Three in Detroit or the banks on Wall Street. One of the first things targeted for reduced cost is personnel and then marketing dollars.

    Personnel can be placed on part time versus full time, benefits can change; work force reductions are hard. But how can you still maintain a marketing effort with a reduced budget? This will be critical to continued success as we climb from this recession and bring customers in the door.

    First, reduce your range: target a specific community! If you are in a military town or near a military installation don't forget to include them! I have seen ads in newspapers that completely disregarded the audience of military members and their families. They seemed totally unaware of this audience and its spending power.

    Second, look for the best way to reach your target! Is it newspaper ads, tv spots, conventions, or the internet! The military community is very tech savvy and use their computers to find and buy things! In one study over 66% of the military had purchased something on the internet and 100% have access. Many research items on the net and then purchase them later. If you were new in a town think how you would do it and where would your company be most visible to the newest members of your community?

    Third, choose the right ordnance! Who designs your ads? If it is an older marketing firm they may not have the right tools to target the audience you want to reach! The high majority of the military demographic is 18-34 years old! Do it yourself? Great, but use the right tools to make it look professional or hire a consultant to design and build the ad. Make the ad tell your military audience that your are "military friendly". I still smile at marketing dollars we spent with a company that designed an ad campaign around Abu Ghraib thinking it was a great tool for military personnel. They did not realize how repulsive that would be to military personnel and their families.

    The military community is still locked in combat with multiple deployments and tax incentives which translate into spendable dollars! We recently were at a "Field Exercise" at Ft Campbell run by our friends Star and Tara of Army Wife Talk Radio. They ask a large group of spouses how many deployments they had seen? A high percentage said "Six"! Six times overseas in combat environments. A deployment is normally at least 6 months long and sometimes 15 months!

    Have a great 2009 and we look forward to being your connection with the "Inside the Gate" community!
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