Friday, March 27, 2009

WE WON $250,000 ad campaign!!!!!!

Still in total shock!!! But WE WON!!!! Marketing contest, sponsored by Malcolm Productions, Teasdale Advertising, Tampa Tribune, WFLA, Tampa Bay Business Journal and lots of other very cool sponsors!

We're getting a $250,000 ad campaign! This is totally a dream come true.

Totally couldn't have done it without our super-talented staff, especially Pat Largo and Jennifer Steele.

And of course, our very awesome cheering squad:
Fred Soriano
Jackie and Dave Simpson
Pam Butler
Teresa Morrow
Edie Farkas
Nancy ... can't remember last name!

Some very cool companies were out there, pitching their products, too. They're all invited to be in our ads!

--Ester Venouziou

Thursday, March 26, 2009

School's back in session ... virtually

In the middle of everything else in my life, i.e. clients' projects, running 911 calls (full time job #1) and taking care of my husband (full time job #2), school started up again for me this past week.

Yep. I'm 36, and still going to school. I am in valiant pursuit of the elusive Master of Fine Arts degree in writing. I have fantasies of being published, you see, and in the meantime I'll further my education while waiting for the six-figure book deal to come to my door.

I may get all the way to my doctorate before that happens. Sigh.

But it's an online program, for now, and quite intensive. My husband calls it "fake" school, and wonders why I had to get myself a cute new book bag when I only have to go down the hallway and sign on to my computer to go to class. Men never understand these things.

It's not fake at all, it's just virtual reality. And for those of us who have busy lives and haven't yet gotten the hang of juggling work, home and family, an online university program is an easy ball to bounce.

I still sit in a classroom and connect with my fellow students, but my virtual room has no borders. I interact with people worldwide in the same program I am in, and get real-time feedback from instructors. Just like raising your hand in class.

The workload is the same, but I found out that time management is an absolutely essential ingredient. You have to make yourself do the work, because there is no one right over your shoulder to proctor your progress. And to be honest, the latest celeb scandal du jour dominating the T.V. is sometimes more interesting.

And then there's the evil, gruesome draw of the Internet. Hey, you're already sitting there, might as well catch up on Tweets. And browse eBay. And email at least 37 people.

It's not for the weak-willed. (Have I mentioned my addiction to chocolate cake?) But it does seem to be the wave of the future. And for adult learners trying to further their education, going to class on your own time is a viable option.

You still meet people, still get to pick your professor's brain, and at the same time have the benefits of amazing resources that are available out there. Virtually speaking, it's more bang for your buck.

And, where else can you go to class in your underwear and still fully participate? Not that I do that, of course ...