Friday, July 10, 2009

Hit of the Week

On July 3rd our client Improv Aware Driver, an online defensive driving course received a fabulous placement on The article was a homerun because it emphasized the course’s points of differentiation, including its fun and humorous approach to what is a traditionally dry subject matter. It also gave readers a complete overview of course and highlighted the course’s two main benefits – a mandatory 10% insurance discount for three years and qualification for point reduction on the participant’s license. is a daily news and entertainment hub comprised of several regional editions and has over eight million visitors per month. The site covers every topic you can think of, so when we found the national insurance industry writer we knew it would be the perfect fit. Our client was thrilled with the placement and expressed how this is exactly the type of placement we were hoping to achieve.

Check out the course’s website, it’s definitively something to laugh about!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Square Offices

There is a wonderful, line in Stephen Sondheim’s "Company" about all of New York converging on 14th St. It was not until I moved offices to JS² that I realized how true it is.

For the past year, I have worked on 29th and 6th . Many know the area as The Flower District despite its attempts to re-brand itself as Chelsea North. The neighborhood is somewhat fashionable when you arrive from 7th Ave, but coming from 6th Ave, it’s a disaster. Whatever way you slice it, it's not Union Square.

My first day down in Union Square was eye-opening to say the least. Much of my experience in Union Square has been later at night, so I never saw the hustle and bustle of the late morning and early afternoon. The sight of the vendors, the artists and the community reminded me of a place that could not be New York, yet the whole scene was so essentially New York. I fell in love immediately. After four days here, I learned that Union Square houses some of the best food and the most interesting people.

Let’s start with the food. One of my favorite lunch places, Spice is literally a stone’s throw away from the office; Grey Dog CafĂ© is a fun joint to hang out and grab a drink and something to nosh on; then there are the delicious dinner restaurants that line University – El Cantinero, with its sinful sangria and large plates, satisfies my Mexican loving stomach. My diet was shot to hell after two days in this neighborhood!

The people in this area are even more eclectic than the food. On my way to the subway yesterday, I passed a woman selling poems she writes on an old-fashion typewriter. What made it more interesting was that her client at the time was a man in a suite with a briefcase. Of course, I could go on describing more of the interesting people I spotted around 14th St, but I’ll save it for the spin off blog.

Well, since I began the post with a musical theatre reference, it seems only appropriate to end it with one as well. So, as Little Orphan Annie sang, “I think I’m gonna like it here.”

JS2 Explores The Proust Questionnaire

In an attempt to get to know our team members a little bit more intimately, JS2 decided to pull out the old Proust Questionnaire. Partly inspired by flipping through the latest issue of Vanity Fair (yes, the delicious one with Johnny Depp on the cover) and a reference to Proust's "Remembrance of Time Past" (A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu) we paired up and got the whole truth and nothing but the truth out of our fellow team members. We discovered many fun facts about each other and ultimately this helped us get to know how to work better together and create a stronger team foundation. I suggest you try this with your friends, family and co-workers in order to further peel back layers of the onion that we all are. To view the questionnaire: Proust Questionnaire.

July = Singapore Food Festival

July marks the annual national Singapore Food Festival and the Southeast Asian culinary specialist and James Beard nominated author, Chef Robert Danhi is on hand to help you prepare for this festive occasion with a collection of sweet, salty and tangy recipes similar to the ones that rule the streets in Asia. With the reputation for some of the best street food in Asia, and a cuisine as diverse as its inhabitants (ethnic Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians make up the general population), Singaporean cooks are known to experiment and combine flavors, techniques and ingredients resulting in a national cuisine that is unlike any other.

To learn more about Chef Robert Danhi and to view more of his Southeast Asian inspired recipes feel free to visit:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Failed Social Media Experiment

Last Wednesday, while laying (or is it lying?) in bed thinking about my sister having to put her dog Curtis to sleep the next day, I had an idea that made me feel much better – how cool would it be if I could create a viral campaign whereby people the world over would tweet about pets they have loved and lost with the hashtag in memory of curtis? I don’t think my sister is even on Twitter so I don’t know if it would have been a consolation for her but I loved Curtis too and I envisioned it being the perfect way to honor his memory, along with a recognition of the power of animals in our lives (full disclosure: I am obsessed with dogs and cats).

So how would I go about creating this viral campaign when by its very nature, viral is something you can’t control? Not to mention that I am a Twitter novice who is still just trying to figure it all out. Enlisting the help of Liz (a social media enthusiast), I set about my mission. First I signed up to follow some of the biggest Twitter influentials, from Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres to Pete Cashmore of Mashable and Drew of #BlameDrewsCancer and asked them all to encourage their followers to use my hashtag – no response. Next, I asked all the JS2ers to RT my request in the hope that their followers would catch on – nothing (thanks for trying Liz, Gina, Jamie, Amy and Amanda). While I gained followers throughout the day, not one even acknowledged my request. And then it all went to hell – Farrah Fawcett died, followed by Michael Jackson and sweet Curtis didn’t stand a chance.

While it didn’t go viral (not even close), it was a valiant effort. I guess if I knew what made something go viral, I would be a millionaire, sought out by corporations the world over to consult on their marketing initiatives. But I don’t and I don’t believe anyone does. So at least it made me feel better about the passing of sweet Curtis – RIP little boy, you will be missed.