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I love LinkedIn. It helps me build a robust professional network, which in turn makes me better in my role as a creative director and agency principal. I enjoy its thought leadership on topics that interest me – especially how to guide and direct results-oriented teams. Endorsements are great, too. They make it easy to give if someone does an amazing job – and also to receive. While I’ve always appreciated a handwritten note, endorsements tell you – and the world.

LinkedIn isn’t paying me to shill for them, but if you don’t have a LinkedIn Premium account yet, get it at least for a while. You can always go back to free if you find it doesn’t provide a strong enough return for you. Upgrading your account lets you search with greater precision. Equally important, it boosts your visibility and expands your reach among audiences important to you. People with whom you have a mutual connection or interest. People you really ought to know – and who should know you.

The Benefits of Pay to Play

I’ve used the executive-level, networking-building account. Other subscription levels are designed for those seeking jobs, searching out sales or recruiting talent. I won’t go into the varied deliverables for all the fee levels and possible savings by paying annually rather than monthly. You can see those clearly at

I simply want to share that as a professional who tries to keep her social-media interactions to an appropriate level – enough to benefit from the platform but not so much as to swamp my day – LinkedIn delivers. I can send InMails to jumpstart conversations with individuals I’ve never met, but want to. I can refine my searches so that more often than not I find the right person fast. And advanced searches serve up more profile information than I could see otherwise. LinkedIn even shoots leads my way, alerting me weekly about new profiles that align with my past search criteria.


Many free LinkedIn users have their settings on anonymous so they can view profiles without revealing themselves. Well, that goes both ways. If this is true for you, then when LinkedIn shares that others are looking at your account – you can’t see who. That information remains hidden. Which can be frustrating. It’s like being told, “Someone called and asked for you, but he didn’t leave his name.”

Exercise Your Options

Most professionals use a free account, and I get that. Premium offers a strong cost/benefit, but only if you do the work. It’s like joining a health club. If you don’t work it, you won’t reap the benefits. But even if you just stay with free, start spending a bit more time on the platform. Being inspired by what other professionals contribute. Learning more about that person you just met at a business luncheon. Sharpening your recruitment efforts. Deepening key relationships. Broadening your network. LinkedIn means business.


This column ran in the September 1st issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.

Wichita Eagle: What are the walls going up at 29th and Maize Road?

As of Monday, walls will begin to go up on the new 21,000-square-foot building at Slawson Cos. NewMarket North at the northwest corner of 29th and Maize Road.

Read more about this cool project.

Anne Maxwell Joins Greteman Group as Brand Associate

Wichita-based marketing agency Greteman Group recently added Anne Maxwell to its team. She serves as a brand associate. Most recently, she provided brand production coordination for Via Christi Health. Earlier she served as communication specialist with the Junior League of Wichita. Maxwell started her career as a reporter and copy writer.

“Anne comes to us highly recommended and the minute we met her, we understood why,” says Sonia Greteman, agency president and creative director. She conveys a sense of calm, professionalism and warmth. Her rich, varied work experience will serve our clients well.”

Maxwell’s immediate responsibilities include managing projects, writing, issuing and monitoring press releases; developing databases; serving as a liaison between the client and resourcing department; and writing for social media.

“Anne approaches every challenge with a solutions orientation and an upbeat attitude,” says Greteman. “She fits into our culture beautifully. She joins us at a perfect time – just as we’re gearing up for our busiest season.”

COVERAGE Wichita Eagle 8.25.16


Wichita Chamber Panel on Best Business Apps

Do you have a favorite mobile app that helps you with your business? Greteman Group’s digital director, Jordan Walker, recently spoke to the Wichita Metro Chamber of commerce about one of our favorite mobile apps, WorldCard. With NBAA just around the corner, WorldCard could help you organize those business cards you’re sure to bring home. Read the highlights below and then download the mobile app today.

  • WorldCard puts business card information at your fingertips. You no longer have to search for cards.
  • It’s easy to use and fairly accurate with the scanning capabilities (although the paid version is much more accurate and it’s only $6.99.)
  • It syncs the data to your phone and email. You are also able to create categories to optimize organization.
  • The app uses the phone’s camera to scan.

There were other apps shared during the panel discussion, read more here.

See photos from the event at The Chamber’s Facebook page.

Pump Life into Your Press Releases

Long live the press release. In spite of what you may have heard, it is not dead. Only ill – a tad under the weather. Ample sunshine, attention and exercise should revive it.

Let the Sunshine In

Look at your press release in the light of day. Blow away the dust mites and assess it honestly. Can you find key contacts, their cellphones (not just the 9-to-5 office number) and email at a glance? Is the main point of the release (new CEO, product release, shareholder event) immediately evident? Is there a link to downloadable photography and/or video?

Once you guarantee that you have all the newsworthy information – the who, what, when, where, why and how – think about how you’re conveying it. Keep your language simple. Your sentences short. Your points clear.

Rid yourself of unnecessary jargon. Especially in aviation, it’s possible to have a release with little more than acronyms. Avoid clichés. We have a rule at Greteman Group: no quotes that say, “I am excited to announce…” Excited is not a bad word, but a worn-out one. Dig deeper for something fresh. We have another rule, too. No exclamation marks unless you’re saying, “Fire!” Exclamation marks signal a lazy writer, resorting to punctuation for energy because the writing lacks any.


Avoid random capitalization. Again, this is rampant in aviation, so if you don’t do it, you’ll immediately set yourself apart from the pack. Unnecessary, excessive capitalization makes your copy needlessly formal and less friendly. Even if your release addresses highly technical topics, keeping things simple helps reporters master the subject matter so they can better explain it to their readers.

Focus Reporters’ Attention

Don’t bury your lead. Bring it front and center where it belongs. Establish the stakes – why your news has meaning. Use data as support, not the hook.

If you can illustrate your point with real incidents or anecdotes, all the better. Let reporters know they can contact the people you reference – maybe a customer or a front-line team member – to verify facts and get additional quotes if they want them. Stories draw reporters in and help them relate to your message – and to remember it.


Close strong. Yes, we all know about the inverted pyramid for prioritizing copy points. And it’s true you need to make important points fast and high in your release, but reward reporters who see you through to the end. Make them glad they did. A quote can be a strong way to conclude as it shouldn’t communicate key points that ought to have been made already, but should deliver insights and emotion. Think of it as that spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down.

Exercise Your Best Judgment

If you can’t quickly summarize the news you’re trying to convey, perhaps you shouldn’t be issuing a release at all. Perhaps it isn’t news.

Possibly what you really need are several pitch points that you can tailor to specific publications and include with a more personal message delivered by email, phone or in person. Maybe what you really want is to establish a relationship, to let the reporter know about your company, future plans and that you’d be happy to serve as a resource for an industry or trend story.


Why does the lowly press release continue to be so important? Because media matters. In a world drowning in data, we seek reliable information and insights that help make sense of it all.

And I like to think that reporters welcome press releases from proven, ethical sources rather than simply a call with no supporting document with facts, dates, correct name spellings and titles all in writing.

Nothing other than direct word-of-mouth testimony from a trusted source trumps an unbiased, credible news story. The media will do its job with or without your help, but if you can deliver timely, accurate information in a well-crafted press release, everyone wins. The reporter. The reader. Your company. Even our industry. Because there are so many stories that go untold.

Could it be time for you to issue a robust, must-read release?

This column ran in the August 4th issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.