van Schouwen Associates

Getting unstuck in the face of constant change

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

The following post was the topic of a presentation I gave at University of Vermont Family Business Initiative’s first annual Families in Business Day. The post was recently published in the award-winning Succeeding in Small Business blog. I hope you enjoy it. My father once said to me, “Your job is great! You’re a CEO. […]

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Consider the Orca

Posted by Patrick Rathbun

I watched “Blackfish” (the documentary on captive killer whales) recently and couldn’t help but be persuaded by its skepticism toward Sea World’s practices. The documentary might not be objective, but through extensive interviews with ex-trainers and researchers, it reveals the history of an especially troubled whale (Tilikum) and industry. By presenting striking video of Tilikum’s […]

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Quiet day at the office?

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Workplace cycles vary, of course, but it is certain that in offices and plants across the US and beyond, the impending holidays impact the pace one way or another. If by chance you inhabit one of the many workplaces in which the phone rings less and less in the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s […]

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Toward Better Agency-Client Relations

Posted by Patrick Rathbun

The holiday season produces a good deal of stress for many, especially in regard to relationships. Invitation slights, family dynamics, political disagreements all come to the fore, but hopefully, reflection and gratitude overcome these stressors, too. Agencies, of course, see their share of healthy and dysfunctional relationships, but growth should be possible in all scenarios. […]

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Quick mix for B2B social media – taking first, important steps

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Social media has become increasingly important in business development and communications. This includes business-to-business, where the trend toward communicating through social channels has arguably been slower than in more broadly recognized consumer products and services. Now, B2B has clearly entered the fray. If your company is just beginning to get involved in social media, consider […]

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Too late to launch? Not necessarily.

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

More often than you might imagine, customers ask our vSALaunch team if it is too late to launch (or relaunch) a product or service that has been on the market for a year or more – albeit languishing or not reaching its full potential. Also more often than you might imagine, the answer is a […]

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Launch your new product, don’t torpedo it.

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Since you asked (and even if you didn’t) our vSALaunch team wanted to share its top four observations about marketing for product launches. 1. Early marketing planning is good. Please don’t wait until the 11th hour to start planning for your marketing launch. If the product is important, its marketing is, too, whether your budget […]

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Should your prospects and customers trust you?

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

“Well, of course they should trust us,” you may respond with some annoyance. Let us rephrase the question. DO they trust you, and have you given them ample reason to do so? We work in an era in which it is more than a little hard to trust. Our email is rife with phishing schemes and spam. […]

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Media Relations Should Not Be About Following Industry Rules

Posted by Patrick Rathbun

If I followed every bit of media relations advice I’ve received over the years, it would be impossible because of its contradictions. We are taught to establish relationships, but not to make too much contact. We are taught to be persistent, but never make phone calls (and maybe never even follow up). We are taught […]

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Looking to Stand Out Online? Try Rich Snippets

Posted by Patrick Rathbun

Google has evolved its optimization over the last decade to keep up with a changing internet (and its users), promote content-rich websites and combat shady SEO cheating practices. Over the years, the company has adjusted the value it places on website features such as keywords, link and content farming, site maps, and social media engagement. The […]

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