If you're in the Yukon you will not regret listening to Terry O'Reilly's latest radio program, The Age of Persuasion, that aired last weekend. The first five minutes are a rare Yukon historical tale, involving Sergeant Preston and free actual land deeds given to children inside Quaker Oats breakfast cereal. Amazing!
Stream it here on CBC.
The nostalgic episode is about Premiums, such as crackerjack toys, box-tops, and mail in refunds. How can these antique concepts be reinvented for today? Let's try a similar concept on for size:
Answer this questions correctly and you'll be entered to win tickets to Quasar’s Bach to Zappa concert on Saturday, March 2nd. The four saxophonists, presented by Whitehorse Concerts, have been awarded four OPUS prizes, including one for “Performer of the Year.”
How large an area was the Yukon land deed found in each Quaker Oats cereal box in 1955?
(contest closes Friday, January 18 at 3 pm)
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Why is it so difficult to write blog posts in the summer in the north? Lots of reasons. I want to get your thoughts on that in a moment. It's Autumn now and my fingers are feeling more inspired to write about branding—must be the cooler weather (?)
The shift of seasons is an exciting time. It's particularly action packed for me because I'm showing a newbie around town and wanting to highlight why Whitehorse and the Yukon are great. How do I show the Yukon brand?
We had a touch of summer, the fall colours are out, the northern lights performed, the people are friendly–we've done the Larger than Life bit. But it's the transition season. Sometimes I feel like the Yukon has a split identity. In the summer it's the land of the midnight sun and in the winter it's nights of dancing skies and sparkling snow.
So my question for you is, what is it that ties the city and the territory together through all four seasons? How do you introduce the Yukon brand to your visitors?
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My auto correct keeps changing the word Pinterest into interest…. get with the times auto-correct. More than one-fifth of Facebook-connected users are on Pinterest daily. That represents more than 2,000,000 members. And, it's estimated that unique visitors to Pinterest increased by 429 percent from September to December 2011. Wow!
Here are three different angles about why Pinterest grabbed our interest (but not my auto-correct):
17 Pinterest stats to show your boss or client (This is where my stats above came from)
Yukoners, are you on Pinterest? What do you think? What draws you in?
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Last weekend my partner and I were hiking near Kluane National Park and practically bumped right into an abandoned cabin. It had a unique structure using three living trees to support its walls, but more unique was the green paint used to decorate the ends of the logs and the knots where branches had been removed. It struck us as odd that someone would carry decorative paint all the way out here–we'd hiked and canoed for two days at that point. This mysterious trapper or recluse must have had graphic connections.
Our next clue was the metal sheets that had been used as roofing–they were printing plates from a 1984 Whitehorse Star paper.
It sparked an explanation about the printing process, but now that I'm out of the woods I thought I'd use the opportunity to interview Trevor Sellars, one of the printing gurus at aasman.
ER: Trevor, what can you tell me about these metal plates?
TS: Metal plates from both local newspapers have been used by Yukoners for decades (in fact over 50 years or more) as roofing materials, shed walls, table tops, and many more ingenious uses. Metal plates replaced movable metal type which was first used in 1377 in Korean and in a similar form by Gutenberg in Germany about 1450.
ER: So there's a metal plate for every piece of paper for every news paper? What happens to the plates afterwards?
TS: These large metal plates are used on the web press (a printing press that feeds large rolls of paper through four or five or six printing units) for each 4 pages of the newspaper. The two local newspapers each have their own printing plants and each uses many metal plates each week – I would guess between 50 and 70 each week. The newspapers still provide them to the public (for a small cost) while many plates are collected for recycling.
ER: Has the process changed since 1984 when these ones were made?
TS: Somewhat. The plates and the chemicals that are used to treat them are pretty much unchanged for the past few decades. Before metal plates were used, movable metal type was used and set in frames which were mounted on the printing presses. I recall watching a friend in Nanaimo about 40 years ago set metal type for the Nanaimo Daily Free Press and damaged type was returned to a melting pot where it was later recast.
There are other plate types on the market that are not metal including paper, polymer substrates, paper, etc. and are used depending on the printing technology a printing plant has in its shop.
ER: How come people use them for roofing? Have you heard of other creative or bizarre uses?
TS: Let's say that these plates make a good temporary roofing material for a shed or lean-to but they have of course been used on homes by people wanting a quick fix to a small or big problem with their roof. I have seen them used to repair holes in cars and trucks, used to sheet the walls of sheds and buildings, used on table tops at camps and workshops, fashioned as rain gutters, as liners for garden boxes, and other things.
ER: Awesome. Thanks Trevor!
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The Yukon is a small community with an even smaller business community. This can have its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, we are like a close family–when there are issues or problems we can often turn to other local businesses for support and/or advice. However, in such a small marketplace our neighbours are also our competition.
Sometimes in an attempt to position our business or company with clients we might fall into the bad habit of directly or indirectly speaking ill of the competition. Slamming other companies always looks petty and tacky and it can even make a client feel foolish if they had chosen a competitor first.
We all want to shine and to highlight what sets us apart from our competition–and that is healthy. But remember to showcase your company’s transparency, honesty and integrity–be positive about your company, not negative about someone else’s. Smart marketing is about demonstrating commitment to clients from sale to delivery of the product, and even with a follow-up to determine the client’s satisfaction.
What types of things do you do to sell yourself to your clients and customers? It never hurts to re-evaluate your own business practices.
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When I am not in front of a computer, I like to be outdoors watching wildlife through the lens of a camera. November is one of the best times of the year to watch two of my favourite animals in the north: bald eagles and Dall sheep.
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