So God Made a Farmer….

Thank a Farmer Friday

So God Made a Farmer ….

(It’s time to thank a farmer Friday!)


There has been a lot of talk in our office lately about farming and farmers. Nothing revolutionary; just about how hard they work all year long, how at the beginning of the growing season these folks put a lot of money into the ground not knowing if they will get it all back out, about how there are 5th and 6th generation (and probably more) out there that believe so strongly in what they are doing. These farmers; men, women, parents, grand-parents and children literally put the food on our tables and milk in our glasses. And they are doing it around the world.

So what do we do? We produce the best possible marketing materials and campaign so our agriculture clients can help farmers produce greater harvests and healthier milk. We take pride in our work because we know it is helping our clients succeed.

We also have our “Thank a Farmer Friday” campaign. We don’t know when it started or who started it. About a year ago, every Friday, we began posting a picture of some sort of farming, with some copy about appreciating all that farmers do and we would hash-tag it on twitter: #ThankAFarmerFriday. Often the tweets get re-tweeted and the Facebook posts get shared and we like that. It’s our small way to let a large and dedicated group of hard working people know how much we appreciate them. So when you see a “Thank a Farmer Friday” post or tweet – we hope you’ll like it and pass it along!

At this year’s Super Bowl Ram Trucks ran a great commercial about farmers. We’d like to believe they have been following our “Thank a Farmer Friday” campaign and that gave them the idea, but in reality Paul Harvey started this campaign at the 1978 Future Farmers of America convention.


March 19th, 2013

13Posted 3-13-13:


What is the big deal about the number 13?

When you order a “baker’s dozen” you will actually receive 13!
Alex Rodriquez, Wilt Chamberlain and Dan Marino all wore 13 well.
There are 13 stripes for the 13 original colonies on the American flag.
The Mona Lisa was stolen in 1911 and returned to the Lourve in 1913.
If you fear #13 you have Triskaidekaphobia like Napoleon and FDR.
There are 13 full moons in a year.
There are 13 coils in a hangman’s noose.
NASA’s Apollo 13 was one of Houston’s finest hours!
Tall buildings were often built without a 13th floor.
A deck of cards has 13 in each suit.
13 is the age your child becomes a teen – officially!
Colgate College was founded by 13 men with $13 and 13 prayers.
In Italy, 13 is a lucky number.

At Aberdeen, 2013 is going to be the best year ever for our clients!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted: 3-13-13

Media Training

Posted on


Does the thought of speaking on camera make you nervous?

Do your hands get sweaty?

Do you avoid it at all costs because you do not feel you convey your message well?

Media Training is what you need.

Media Training helps a CEO, spokesperson or presenter deliver a message in a concise, easily understood form. It also gives you practice with a “reporter” so that you become comfortable answering questions and respond with just the information you want the media to have.

Media Training is not just for dealing with the media. Communicating virtually is a growing platform. With more companies embracing telecommuting and the increased globalization of the workforce, being able to communicate effectively through the camera lens is crucial.

Whether your company has replaced expensive and time-consuming on-site seminars with webinars, or your team is just dipping its feet into video-conferencing instead of old-fashioned conference calls, you must engage your audience. Sixty to ninety percent of a message’s effect can come from nonverbal clues. If you’re nervous, distracted, or stiff in front of the camera, that’s the message your audience will take away.

At Aberdeen, we have decades of experience in media training. We have trained countless politicians, corporate executives, sales people and not-for-profit teams. One of our principals has been in front of the camera herself for 15 years. She is one of the best in the business at teaching people how to act, and more importantly, feel natural in front of a camera.

Speaking in front of a camera is not natural to many people. If it were, do you think TV anchors would make the kind of cash they do? It’s hard stuff to stare at a small black circle and deliver an effective message, whether it is to a reporter or to a sales meeting. Proper training will help you and your company communicate effectively and engage your audience.

Friday Five!

February 22nd, 2013

Posted on 2-22-13:


Five, no, SIX things we really, really like … a lot.
Friday's Five Things

Chocolate, no coffee, no… chocolate
We consider ourselves to be chocolate experts! Jalapeno, espresso, almond, Belgian, Swiss, blueberry, dark and of course, milk. We have tasted all sorts of chocolates from around the world. The best chocolates we have ever tasted (EVER!) come from a little island off the coast of Maine. Black Dinah Chocolates. We don’t know what secret ingredients Steve and Kate put in their recipes (so don’t ask) but they are so good you will hide them, hoard them, and definitely not share them – well, not willingly anyway.

Family Time
Who doesn’t love family time? We don’t mean the holidays, no, no, no – not those stress filled, way too high expectations that couldn’t possibly be met days. We mean just time together doing things we love to do; reading, cooking, laughing, sports, games, laughing. And we have a big family too – everyone who works at Aberdeen is a part of the family! Before someone joins Aberdeen we tell them they must love laughter, must love dogs, must agree to be part of the family. Here, it’s family time 24/7.

Having such a big family can be exhausting! The idea of sleeping in on a cold wintery morning sounds very appealing, but…… there are too many great opportunities that we might miss. If our West Coast and East Coast coders would sync up a littler earlier in the day, then we might be able to get a little extra SLEEP! Really though. Those quiet mornings when you wake up and realize you can go back to sleep (sshhh) for another twenty precious minutes – those are pretty heavenly.

We’ve had two birthdays, a wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day and one “I’m really sorry” floral arrangement (but we are not saying from whom) over the past two weeks. So we’ve had a lot of flowers come through the office. What we have learned: Flowers are a must in the male arsenal of cures for stupid things. Lilies smell great! Thistle also comes in white. If you run out of space for arrangements, do not put the new one on top of the scanner in your office. A good florist means an arrangement that lasts over a week. And the absolute best arrangements come from McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center in Greenwich, Connecticut!

Being told we do good work
We love it when our clients tell us we do good work and we never get tired of hearing it. Never. Ever. My personal favorite is the email reply that reads simply, “I love it!” We also really like, “Nice job,” “everyone thinks it looks great and I’m not surprised,” and “you make me look good – thank you.” We are convinced half our staff would be willing to work for compliments alone but that’s not a theory we think they want us to test.

John Wayne, Bruce Willis, Arnold, Christian Bale – and our newest favorite – Robert Downey, Jr. (or really just about anyone in the Avengers). We love it when the bad guy gets it! A shout out to the actors who play the bad guys – can’t have a great hero without a great villain. The truth is we all have a little bit of a hero complex around here: one reason we shine in crisis management situations and ASAP requests. We love it!


February 12th, 2013
Strategic branding is less like
creating a logo and more like
developing personality

Posted on 2-11-13:


Branding is not a logo! Look at the logo in this photo.  There is not one thing special about it and yet, it contains one of the strongest brands in the U.S.  It evokes an entire era and it has personality.

Developing a brand is about being real. How is a brand classified in the mind of the consumer? Environmentally responsible? High value? Easy? Trustworthy? Effective? Exclusive? Traditional? Trendy? Loveable? Yes, lovable.  Getting your customer to associate terms like these with your company takes thought and effort and a good does of reality.

Your brand should be layered into every marketing channel available.  It isn’t just colors … it is personality.  Are you high-end retail that appeals to high-end customers?  Then make certain your marketing material does not scream tacky.

If you are Starbucks, then you are green, responsible, fair trade and patriotic … and it better be present in everything you do because your customer, your client, your people – personally identify with that brand.  Personally identifying means your customers are also green, responsible, fair trade and patriotic.  Buying Starbucks reinforces their self-image.  If it were ever discovered that Starbucks was actually a soulless corporation, then its customers would be more than disappointed, they would be betrayed.  Keeping a brand real is important because to millions of customers, it is very real and they support it with their money and their loyalty.

Famous people, especially political figures, have the same branding issues.  Why did the audience cheer when Charlie Sheen walked onto the Tonight Show stage last week? If he has done nothing else, Charlie Sheen has been true to his own brand. When your brand becomes confused, there is epic failure.  When people lie about there own brand, there is epic failure.  Being real is vital.

A brand is everything: what you say, the way your ad looks, how your radio spot sounds, how your phone is answered, what you post on twitter, and on and on.  A brand is everything and that is why it has to be real.  When the brand isn’t real or if there is a disconnect between what is real and what is marketing, the results are disastrous.  And the bigger the budget; the bigger the potential failure.

Bottom line?  Brands live in the space between the fibers of a company and in the hearts and minds of people.  The more real the brand – the bigger the success.  Brands have to be real or everyone will recognize them for what they are: fake.


January 29th, 2013

Perspective Capitol-DomePosted on 1-29-13:


When you work in politics (as we did for many years), cool things happen, like running into – literally – Bruce Willis in the Map Room of The White House, or riding in an elevator with Sen. McCain and Bono discussing healthcare in Africa, or trying desperately to understand one word in a conversation with Henry Kissinger, or visiting hide-away offices in the Capitol. Cool stuff happens.

One of the coolest is the dome tour. The dome tour is something you can only do if personally escorted by a Member of Congress. Not for the faint of heart, you have the privilege of climbing 20 stories (well over 300 stairs), until you are standing outside, on top of the dome, just under the Statue of Freedom. Nearly 280 feet high!

You see Washington from a different perspective. I was reminded of the old saying “all roads lead to Rome.” You can see dramatically how the city was originally laid out by Pierre L’Enfant and Andrew Ellicott and that all roads did indeed seem to converge on the Capitol. The symbolic power of the Capitol is immense.

Upon re-entering the dome and beginning to climb down you can stop at the Visitor’s Gallery. Here you can see close up Constantino Brumidi’s great fresco, the Apotheosis of Washington, 180 feet above the Rotunda floor. It is pretty cool to see Neptune helping to lay a transatlantic telegraph cable with a warship in the background – the detail from seeing mere feet above your head is amazing. When you are on the floor you don’t even know there is a gallery up there. From the gallery you can yell as loudly as you want and no one on the floor will hear you; but whisper and a person on the other side of the gallery can hear as clearly as if you were right next to them.

What was my lasting impression from the dome tour? Looking at something from a new perspective allows you to see it in a whole new light. It exposes hidden ideas and new avenues for you to explore. If you’re stuck, do something to look at your situation from a different point of view. One of Aberdeen’s core beliefs: perspective is Key!

Aberdeen Compass

January 25th, 2013

Aberdeen Compass



Compass: noun [kum-pas]
1. an instrument for finding direction.

2. an instrument that consists of two arms, joined at one end, one arm of which serves as a pivot or stationary reference point, while the other is extended.

Nearly ten years ago, four of us sat around a kitchen table and came to the conclusion that, for all the wonderful times we had in politics, it was time to move onto the private sector.  We loved the people we worked for over the years, but we wanted a new challenge and to see our families a bit more.  We quickly realized that much of what we did politically we could do in the private sector under our own company.  And that is when the discussion really got fun!

Aberdeen Associates was born!

We knew we were very good at Communications (Advertising, branding, public relations, crisis management, etc.) and we knew we wanted to help people and companies succeed, but we were missing that core value that brought it all together.  Someone suggested an anchor – like a strong anchor in a storm to keep you off the rocks.  No, that sounded too much like we’d be weighing our clients down. Someone suggested a nautical chart – like helping to navigate.  No, that didn’t work on many levels.  Wait!  What do you need to help navigate through storms or treacherous waters? A compass!

It is what Aberdeen is all about- helping our clients successfully reach their destination!  It is the core value at the heart of why we do what we do!  We believe in it so strongly we use it for our logo, our blog, throughout our marketing efforts – wherever we can.

There are 32 points on a compass and we thought that would be a clever name for our new blog.  We want to explore different directions on our blog, but they will all have one common theme: being successful!  Everyone will contribute, some will be short – others longer and hopefully some will be humorous, but all will have a point which if taken will help you and your company be successful.

Today’s point?  If you have a destination in mind and you do not want to go along the same old path as everyone else, try a different direction, but always have a compass with you.