The Power of 26 : Identify Your Target

Welcome along once again. This is Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media and once more I’m thrilled you’re able to join me for a few minutes and what is article # 3 of our series of 10, on the
Top Ten Mistakes in Advertising and How to Avoid Them

Top Ten LogoAs we saw in articles 1 & 2, we talked about testing and about the critical importance of identifying each and every ad you prepare. Those should be the foundation for everything that goes out to the marketplace.

One challenge that I’ve run into on a number of times, and maybe you have too, is that my clients have considered themselves to be the target group. While that may or may not be the case, in the majority you are selling a product or service to fix someone else’s problem, and your tastes as the product or service solution are probably really different from the recipient who needs your expertise, your product your service.

I had one client who was infamously attached to a particular media, and it’s a very fine media, but it was the only one he would use because it was the only one that he felt delivered the message that he would see. My challenge to him was quite simply, Ian, please remember you are not the target audience for what we are trying to sell.

I applaud you for being so attached to this particular media but it should not be the only vehicle that we utilize. Ultimately he relented and we did use a mix including his favorite but used the mix of media to reach a broader platform and still stay within budget.
I think this is a critical component for too many advertisers. They unfortunately and unwittingly sometimes have blinders on so that they only want to use the media that they see, and recognize, and understand and appreciate and are familiar with and that’s excellent.

It’s always a good comfort zone to be using something that you know and like and trust, and importantly if you have tested and if it’s working for you keep using it. I have no quarrel with that, however I want you to make sure you don’t discount or dismiss other opportunities…….. because I never read that magazine, I don’t listen to that radio station, I never get home in time to watch TV .

You’re right! You don’t! But you are not selling to you, you were selling to the hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands who are interested in your product, your service and they don’t really care what would you watch. What you want to do is put your message in front of them on the platforms and the times that resonate for them.

If you have a chance to see it that’s great. You will see the commercial before it goes to air and we can give you scheduling as to when it will be on air if you want to take the time to record it and watch it later.

We can give you a list of the websites that we’ll be appearing on if you want to personally go in and look at it, that’s excellent.

But don’t dismiss other media options just because they are not familiar to you. They are familiar to your audience. Your media professionals should be able to put in front of you empirical data showing this is why you need to utilize radio in addition to magazine.
Why online platforms are going to be a powerful assist to the magazine and out of home campaign. Whatever it is, firstly it should be measurable, empirical to justify it, but importantly it has to be reaching your preferred target group. So as I mentioned at the outset, the chances are pretty good you’re not your products’ target group so don’t just rely on your gut or your instinct or your own taste in media for where to place the ad.

Goodness sake I’ve placed hundreds maybe thousands of ads in media that I know from a buyer’s standpoint and not necessarily a users standpoint. And that’s fine because like it or not, I’m not always a target group for such-and-such a product.

But I do know the right media to get your message in front of the proper target.
So when you’re developing who your audience is, please take the time to be as specific as possible. You don’t want to get so finite that you end up with a universe of twelve people and I’ve seen that happen.

But don’t pick the wrong place or the wrong target group or both and then wonder gee, why this is such a lackluster response man? Nobody is buying my new space-age shovel, my post hole diggers, my whatever. They need to know that you’re providing a solution and the solution you provide has to be what they need, and has to be in the media that they are going to respond to and act on.

One client in particular was a real sports fan and yours truly as well. Absolutely pick, pick, a sport and I’m there. But they put the ad on the sports radio network because that’s what they listen to. But their primary audience was for younger females who had little, if any interest in most of these sporting programs. It’s disappointing because it was such a powerful campaign if it had been properly directed to the right audience. So here’s what I want you to do.

To fix mistake number three, do the proper research find out who is really buying your product or service and maybe that’s a survey, a store intercept survey, an online survey, a mail out, something that genuinely tells you who is buying your product or who you think your candidates are.

You can get as specific as possible by gender and age, by income and lifestyle, and a host of other demographic details that will help you zero in on them. As much as you’re able. Please do not rely on the universe of one sampling. Well my mom liked that. Oh perfect. Love your mom and you should always love Mom, but Mom’s not necessarily buying the new car, or car ramps or the trampoline for the kids or pick an item.

That’s no to say they’re not influencers, but understand importantly who is going to be making those decisions and if it is Mom that’s great.

If it’s Dad or a Dad and Mom or if it’s the boss or if it’s the treasurer, or your financial officer in the company, you really truly need to know who you’re going after to make ads work harder, be more impactful and importantly cost you less. Yes cost you less.
You will get a better return on investment and you’ll have more to spend for future marketing if you take the time to identify who it is you want to go after, what message you want to put in front of them, and which media best reaches them.

Believe me, after three decades, I can tell you it is well worth the research to know your audience. Okay, so what you’re looking for are some characteristics which consistently define your audience then you can create the message using the right radio station or website, outdoor media, newspapers that efficiently and effectively reaches them.

Equally as I mentioned at the outset take the time to test the ad. Or multiple ads on a small scale to see what works. You’ll have a lot of coding in place and a lot of planning to do but it will pay dividends when you hit the sweet spot of the ad, or the ad in the right media or media mix that bring in the customers.

By the way, many of the local media sales reps should be able to give you detailed profiles from all of their resources to give you a clear handle on who you’re after.

Let them do some leg work. Tell them who you want to reach and in many cases it’s a very specific age and income bracket that you’re after and you want to see how well their media, whatever radio station, magazine, newspaper, it happens to be, you want to see how well their media, gets in front of those audience members and eyeballs on a regular basis and can you track how well they’re performing.

Respectfully I don’t mean just ‘Likes’ that’s a, that’s a certain, KPI that seems to be quite a hot button and that’s great. But that’s not that’s not really a true measurement of how well the product is doing. You want a measurable return on investment. You want to be able to say that we spent $1,000 for this ad and it brought in $2,000 dollars worth of new business. Perfect.

If all you’re getting is 500 likes or 35 shares etc., …that’s nice. But that’s not what your marketing should be about. It should be bringing you back at least a dollar for every dollar you put out there.

So when you are testing your ads take the time to do it on a small scale. Here’s the best analogy that I will leave you with,   you don’t need to eat a whole bowl of soup to find out if it’s salty usually one or two spoonfuls will tell you

And then you’ll decide whether or not you want to eat the rest of it or move on to something else. And with that I bid you adieu for number three. I look forward to seeing you on in Article # 4.

You can view the Video of this text (Article # 3- Identify Your Target )at these links:

Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them


Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising and How To Avoid Them – Video # 3 of 10

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Dennis Kelly
First Impressions Media
Ph & Fax: 905-427-3819


The Power of 26- The Power of Planning

Greetings once again and thank you for joining me. Last week was my Return To Form, my first contribution in sometime. I hope you enjoyed it.

A successful end result in any endeavour can usually be traced back to good planning.

What do we want to do? What can we afford? What tools or talent pool do we already have? What do we need to bring in? How long will it take? Are we able to manage this?

That’s not to say your success won’t be without challenges and things to overcome.
But taking the time to plan, research, evaluate your resources, test and keep trying will eliminate a lot of pitfalls and keep you from going down too many dead ends and blind alleys.

Earlier I advised I have completed a series of videos and articles related to my work. Today we’re going to step into article number two in our series of 10, for the
Top 10 Mistakes In Advertising and How to Avoid Them.

Top Ten Logo
Article #2 – Plan Your Campaign Timing Carefully

As we saw in article number one, Testing remains front and centre The most important and powerful and effective thing you can do to help your advertising. Regardless of the budget, the message, the media placement you make.

You need to test and test and keep testing because there is going to be an opportunity for improvement, however modest, in each and every ad. And those cumulative changes can be absolute gold showing you what your customers want and need, and are prepared to put their hand up for it.

Now, you have testing ingrained and under your skin and it’s going to be
part and parcel of every ad moving forward, correct ? Good. I’m thrilled to learn that you’re onboard with that.

Mistake Number Two that I’ve seen too often through the years is that far too many advertisers are jumping in at any time without rhyme and reason wondering if this is the
best seasonality to be in front of the target. Certainly I understand very few advertisers can afford to be there all the time, running their campaign at full throttle, and that’s not unexpected.

You have to have some rather deep pockets to keep an ongoing campaign all of the
time. You can quickly make yourself broke if you keep marketing, but not testing to see if the ads are working.

The whole idea is salesmanship. And that goes back to John E. Kennedy in 1904.
Hi mantra was that your advertising is ‘Salesmanship in Print’ and so what you want to do is make sure that every single ad you have out there gives you the opportunity to make a sale. That’s kinda why you’re marketing isn’t it?

Regardless of what you’re selling, product or service, you want to sell something.
So make sure every ad is a sales opportunity for you.

Maybe this is your baptism in to Planning. Welcome. Here we go:
Here’s what I’d like you to do. Maybe some of you are already doing this and if so that’s fantastic because it will give you a much better understanding of your spending and your planning.
The biggest challenge for many advertisers is not anticipating when their best sales periods are going to be and so they’re jumping at every opportunity for every well-intended media sales person, who comes through the

In the majority they are all very good people and I have some wonderful relationships with many of my sales reps going back decades, which is fantastic. They have become true allies for me in making a campaign that works incredibly hard for my clients.
I applaud them and I continue to do business with them.

But understand their mandate is to sell. To sell the advertising space or time or placement. And they want to see you do well but they also want to see some money.
It is in their interest to get you to advertise as often as possible with their
publication, their website, their outdoor board, their radio station, and kudos to them, they should be. That can really stretch a budget if you’re trying to be there all the time and you’re not sure what you should be doing. So here’s a simple thing that will really help crystallize for you what your timings should be like.

Planning: I want you to map out an entire year on a spreadsheet. It can be any fiscal if
you prefer but for simplistic sake I try to stick to a calendar, January to December.

I want you to pick any two sales periods. If you have more, that’s great but two is easier
to work with. The times where you have some sales history showing you your best months, your products’ seasonal applicability will determine the key sales potential period.

So let’s say April and May for spring and then November and December for winter are your best sales carrots. What I want you to do is devote up to 50% of your annual ad budget to support these two windows.

That’s where perhaps upwards of 80% of your business is coming from so you should
be giving those two key periods the best opportunity to maximize your exposure. Put most of your marketing muscle in there because they are driving the majority of your revenue. Now these are the key times that you want to be making sure your name is out there on an ongoing basis. They will get your most attention and your most support.
The remaining eight months of the year will share the remaining 50% of the budget and perhaps you devote 30% to six months and 20% to the remaining two months.

You can do that up as you feel comfortable, and your cash flow allows. But what this does and it’s been my experience, that it gives you sustained presence to have some modest exposure so you’re always on your prospects radar.

You don’t have to be running full-throttle all the time but it allows you to
ramp up your presence in the four heaviest months split between spring and winter.

Then you have maybe six months that are second tier and that need some increased support. But they’re not the same demand period so you don’t have to be with your foot on the pedal quite as aggressively through those periods.

The intensity is not as critical, as your key periods. Then the lightest months for some advertisers that’s, you know, the summer period, June July maybe August when people are at last vacationing or not really in an aggressive mode of work because the outdoor beckons, those might be your lighter periods.
Please keep some spending out there. You don’t want to lose all of the equity and all of the awareness that you’ve built up through your spring periods.

So you want to have some ongoing presence, however modest, just to make sure that your key audience knows that you’re still in there pitching. Your lightest months can just be a sustaining presence. Thus the times where you have some sales history showing you your best months, your products’ seasonal applicability will determine the key sales potential period.

This is only one of many deployment strategies, as I’ve discovered. I’ve had the great good fortune of working with both large and small agencies and some advertisers who had very modest budgets while others have very deep pockets.

You don’t have to spend more than the competition. Certainly it helps, it helps to increase your media exposure when you have multiple opportunities there, but you just have to spend smarter, at the right times.

Planning means you take the time to map out on a calendar what your key sales periods are to maximize your sales messaging.  The value of ad planning cannot be overstated.

Heads-Up:  this is probably the single biggest tip I can give you.
Importantly, Plan Early. Planning months in advance you will save yourself an enormous amount of grief but more importantly you will save an enormous amount of money. So take the time to plan out your scheduling and spend smarter.

It’s been my privilege to have you along today. Thank you I look forward to you joining me in Article #3

You can view Video # Two at these links:

Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them



Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising and How To Avoid Them – Video # 2 of 10

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A Special Offer To Readers Of The Power of 26

Dennis Kelly
First Impressions Media

Ph & Fax: 905-427-3819



The Power of 26 – A Return to Form

This is a wonderfully refreshing Homecoming. Whenever you may see this, thank you for coming back.  I know I haven’t written in a while, but heck, neither has Shakespeare, and we were in grade school together.

Truly this is a wonderful in and out platform and I’m grateful for the exposure and the flexibility to chime in when I can, or not. It’s about 16 months since we said hello. I’ve missed you. But I’ve kept busy. Other writings have been required. I am going to share these in sequence as they are among the best ‘Professional’ writings I believe I’ve composed.

Some followers know I am a Media guy. Planning and buying advertising space and time in newspapers, radio, on-line, TV, outdoor and elsewhere as needed. A professional shopper negotiating for best advertising value for all my clients.

Recently I composed a series of the Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising and How To Avoid Them.  These have come full circle. Starting as Ten bullet points, to becoming a series of Ten videos posted on YouTube, my website, Linked In, then audio on Soundcloud, and transcribed to text to be picked up by an OnLine industry magazine and now as full fledged articles from 800 to 1,800 words each.

Your kind indulgence, I shall begin posting these perhaps once or twice a week.

I truly discovered The POWER of 26 in this exercise. I hope you enjoy the style and content and as always you are welcome to share and refer. These were taken from my videos, so you may encounter references which reflect that.

Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them
Text from Video #1 – Ad Testing & Tracking

Greetings and thanks very much for joining me today. This is Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media.

I’m so delighted you could join me today. It strikes me that there are quite a number of opportunities out there for you to showcase your product or service using just about any form of media, and that’s fantastic. There’s, as you have probably discovered,
certainly no shortage of media players and opportunities. However, what I found the most powerful is utilizing all of those resources to their respective individual and then collective advantages.

Sometimes campaigns work wonderfully well using the more traditional radio, television, newspaper, magazine, maybe out of home advertising. More recently some advertisers have had some success with one or more of the social media platforms and that’s terrific. I think they should all be embraced and all form part of your media mix.

Please make no mistake that it should genuinely be a mix of media because you never know exactly which particular component is going to pull the trigger and get your target group to say…..That’s for me, that’s the product that I want!

Your service is exactly what I’m after. You want to make sure you give yourself every opportunity to be seen and to be heard to promote whatever it is, whatever service or product you have out there. You want to stand head and shoulders above the crowd, in front of as many of the right crowds as possible.

So, what I’d like to share with you starting today is a series of ten of the Top Ten Mistakes in Advertising that I’ve seen through these three decades of being a professional media planner and buyer, and share some secrets and some tips on how to avoid getting into those very same advertising challenges.

So we’re going to space this out as a series of 10, done one at a time, today being the intro will perhaps be a tad longer I do hope you will you will indulge me but let’s getstarted with Mistake Number One.

And you see ladies and gentlemen, the single biggest mistake I see repeated over and over and over again is the failure to Test and Measure your ads. All too often too many advertisers simply write a cheque for the ads in the newspaper, online, TV, radio, regardless of the media and simply hope for the best.

Many of you will attest, hope marketing really doesn’t pay an awful lot of bills.
You wouldn’t put your own product, tablelamps, lawnmowers, keyboards, post hole diggers, floor tiles, into the marketplace without putting them through an extensive battery of tests to see if they can live up to your standards.

You’re testing the ad that sells the product and, unfortunately, maybe you’ve encountered this yourself, or you know friends of a friend of a friend who had this happen to them.But they put all of their muscle into one media without finding out how effective it could be on a smaller scale and all they heard was crickets. That’s a devastating sound when you’re in advertising, so here’s what I want you to do.

Here is how you fix this: To identify each and every ad you place in any and all media.  What? Dennis, identify everything? Absolutely!

You see, what you want to do is see how well every single piece of creative is performing in each magazine, website, leaderboard, big box, outdoor ad, in every radio commercial. You should have, an identifier, a tag of any description that’s exclusive to that ad so you can go back and say we invested X number of dollars in this media and it brought us two returns, five returns, a thousand returns, whatever.

The performance helps you to know exactly how well that worked. What it does is it helps you on the future campaigns by identifying for you what has been your best performer. It challenges you to come up with even better ads, better media mixes, better dollar spending, because now you know what’s performing.

Dear readers this is not new. Nor is it rocket science. But it takes time and energy
and patience which is, unfortunately, a little bit lacking in too many arenas. So when you’re preparing your ads make sure that all of that creative excellence that’s been developed has a chance to be evaluated and measured. You want to go back and track it so you can see how engaged your audiences are, how many times did they purchase the product, how many times did they go to the website, how many times that they raised their hand to say,
More. Hey I’m over here. I really like what you’re selling.
Show me more, tell me more. Give me some more information.

That’s what you want to deliver. So code your ad with the coupon exclusive to that campaign or magazine. Create a different URL or even a 1-800 number that can be tracked and monitored for every single ad.

You want to see how each ad is doing. Then, only then can you tell if it’s
working and giving you a return on the investment.

If it sounds like an awful lot of work, well you’re right. Yes. You’re right, it is. But you are setting a template that will help you refine every ad moving forward. And if you get it right, right out of the gate, then kudos to you and Congratulations.

But in the majority there’s going to be some refinement, some improvements, some
opportunity to tweak subsequent ads that says we, we know we’ve got to improve this line or this copy.

There is a famous advertising gentleman by the name of John Caples who was an aggressive and prolific advertising tester, way before the Internet came onboard.
He discovered that through all of his testing, one ad, by changing the headline performed 19 and 1/2 times better than every other ad that he had produced.

Same product, same newspaper, same service, same price point, all he did was change the headline and by changing multiple times he found one that struck gold.
You want a good return? Two times, three times better? Try nineteen and a half times better! That’s the difference that testing delivers.
Please remember when you’re testing there is no failure, there’s only results.

So here’s the strategy you might like, to give yourself a better return on investment.
One enterprising client in my history treated it this way. Because he came from a financial background each ad to him was considered different mutual fund in his portfolio and he named them before they went into the media. Now, because they were coded in names he liked, he was able to remember them but he was able to soon see how well each of his investments, as he put it, was performing. He would put more money against the ads which were performing, and changed any ads which were underperforming to a new one, to keep testing. To make sure of any money coming in he watched very carefully all of the money that was going out.

So my message to you for tip number one is to Track Every Single Ad you prepare.
It’s the only way to accurately measure what’s working.

Thank you I look forward to you seeing you on video number two.

You can view Video # One at these links:

Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them



Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising and How To Avoid Them – Video # 1 of 10



SPIKE OF ANGELS BLOG READERS: If you’re liking what’s being revealed so far in this Top Ten series, you’re going to love the treasures that await you in 9 Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising.

A specialized 3CD & E-Book package distilling 3 decades of in the trenches experience to
Nine Vital secrets you need to know to catapult yourself miles ahead of your competition. They won’t know what hit them.

Valued at over $800, this game changer is a must have to your marketing & media library. For a limited time you won’t save 50%, not even 60%, but if you act now you will save over 75% with a time limited offer of $197. That includes HST and includes shipping to your home or office.

Go get it now, before this offer expires. Click this link to order yours now.


If you order two or more sets of Nine Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising, you’ll save $47 per set and pay only $150 each for this amazing package.


A Special Offer To Readers Of The Power of 26

Thank you. It feels amazing to be back here again.  Be well.


Dennis Kelly
First Impressions Media

Ph & Fax: 905-427-3819



The Power of 26 -Endless Opportunities

‘It was a knockout blow. A punch so overwhelming I didn’t get back on my feet for fourteen years. And to deliver a blow like that, they went to a lot of trouble.’

So begins the powerful opening of the international bestseller entitled Papillon.
The story of convicted felon Henri Charriere who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colonies of French Guyana for a murder he steadfastly denied every committing.

Recently I re-read this novel. I was as thunderstruck with the powerful vocabulary of
Mr. Charriere now as I was nearly 30 years ago in the first read. His richly detailed and highly powerful scenes of the full panorama of human emotion of love, fear, torture, betrayal, murder, brutality, solitude, courage, passion, escape, and redemption make it a book bigger than its pages.

Recounting the drama he lived, he invites you in, moment by moment, where you can feel the brutality of the unrepentant guards, the hostility of several wardens and the incredible generosity of other gatekeepers, strangers and fellow inmates.

While it was ultimately made into a blockbuster of a film with Steve McQueen and
Dustin Hoffman, the raw energy he emits from the pages is nothing short of electrifying.
No film can ever do justice to the range and diversity and intensity of feelings and experiences Papillon shares with us. He recounts with riveting narrative the amazing life and near death he endured in his incarceration.

I believe it is this unfiltered delivery of the message that always appeals to the writer within me. Someone who can make words come alive while teetering on the edge of death is a skilled wordsmith indeed.

There is no limit too on the capacity of the writer to keep us enthralled in their storyline regardless of the subject, if it is well told. That is the hallmark of any writing.
Be interesting, provocative, informative, outrageous, coy, raging,  a demon at the keyboard spinning golden stories of business, fiction, fantasy, adventure…..just don’t be boring. Grab your reader by the eyeballs and don’t let go.

As near as I’m aware, Mr. Charierre had little formal education. He was not illiterate, but he was neither a University Graduate.  Yet his storytelling captivated the world in multiple languages in 1969 and his legacy lives on through his words.

There remain endless opportunities to tell your story, make sure The Power of 26 is put to good use.

Incidentally, several followers have kindly inquired about my other writing for my work. The best sequeway I can offer is for you to take a look at my e-mail series of 57 Media Spikes (–57-media-spikes.html)

It is also available in completed book form and you can secure a copy quickly through Amazon by clicking  (

Will it be as compelling a read as Papillon? One can hope. What I can tell you is it is written with the same passion as Mr. Charriere, but without the brutality endured!!


The Power of 26 – A Rebirth Everyday With Words

We remain extraordinarily fortunate to live in this day and age.

Our lives are so richly blessed with food, families, possessions, technologies, healthcare, pleasures and freedoms that it is a utopia by many standards.  Not for a moment do I dismiss the challenges many of us equally face with employment, sickness, drug uses, tragedies, accidents, political unrest, war zones and the ever volatile economy.

However it strikes me that each day is an opportunity for new successes. However large or small. Personally and /or professionally. We look to and find and celebrate those events with great delight. Birthday (it is always someone’s birthday)- no matter what day of the year. Anniversary. Job Promotion. Arrival of a new child. A family member safely returned home from travels. You finally got through that office project which had you stymied for weeks. Maybe, after all your blogs, somebody noticed enough to say something.

Congratulations. Well Done. Atta Boy. You Go Girl. YOU Did It!. Kudos. So Proud of You. Nobody Deserves It More. You Worked Hard For It. How Fabulous. Welcome Home.

Every one of those accolades can get you recharged. Fired up again. Okay, what’s next?
I can do this. The powerful element here is they are sincere, warm, genuine recognitions of all your time, energy, effort and it was so simple for the sayer to say it.

Not long paragraphs of stories and mountains climbed. Just a few simple, powerful words that can reinvigorate even most worn spirit. I express this in the hope that it perks you up to share a Well Done with a co-worker. Applaud and say Congratulations when a neighbour gets a new job. Those are very modest but powerful ways to boost the spirit of those closest to you. And it doesn’t have to come from your wallet.

Nearly every week, I have an electronic consult or phone call with a good friend and colleague in my industry. And every week when I praise him for always being there to support me, he comes back with a few inspiring words that make me want to try again harder next time.

Everyday can be a rebirth like that. It really only takes a few words to deliver emotion
that can transform lives. I am always amazed, and a bit saddened, that the best words we have for each other, all too often ,come when the person who most needs them can no longer hear them. Funerals are the minutes when a lifetime of emotion comes rushing out but the key listener is hearing from a different realm.

As I write this, the world mourns the recent loss of the musical artist Prince. Only in the wake of his passing have I learned what a generous and talented musician he was.
The tributes pour in from everywhere. How amazing and wonderful and supportive.

For all his on stage persona, I hear from reports he was a gentle and appreciative soul. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear some of the words of praise about how good, kind, smart, caring etc., you are while you’re still here to hear them?  Then maybe consider using the Power of 26 everyday to tell the people closest to you just how much they mean to you.

We remain extraordinarily fortunate to live in this day and age. Yet for all that we accomplish, nothing, but nothing starts without the words.  My business thrives on it.
So do thousands of others. Don’t let another day pass you by without realizing and using The Power of 26 to brighten someone else’s day. It will do the same to you at the same time.

The Power of 26- Write Like You Speak

To capture someone’s attention you tend to RAISE your voice so they can hear your invitation to pay attention to you.

Try doing the same with your writing. Whether that effort is for a book, an article, an ad, a memo to your colleagues, the boss, write like you speak. Give emphasis to your written word as powerfully as you would to your spoken word. To do that, simply write like you speak.

Why do we feel the need to be convoluted in our writing when it’s so simple to be clear and concise

Ie: When constructing a new underground channel where the waterway to the house would be directed, the workers were obliged to use hand held earth-moving devices.

Translation: When digging a new trench for plumbing, the men used shovels.

We stumble over ourselves finding new and old and cumbersome ways to communicate to our audience instead of telling them directly in simple language. Your message has much more impact if it has short, snappy paragraphs. Ideas that flow logically from one line to the next, to the next to the next until, son of a gun, before you know it, you’ve read the whole page.

Here’s a neat test you can give yourself. It’s painless. It’s private, and it will show you just how good a writer you are. Trust me, you are better than you think you are.

1) Get a blank piece of paper and a pen (pencil). OR
Open a new page in your Word program.

2) Get yourself a timer. On your computer. Or a watch, clock, etc, one that you can set for 5 minutes.

3) I want you to begin writing a story on any topic you want. Movies, drugs, toys, food, sex, birthdays, etc. Whatever you want. There are only two rules.

A) The first rule is the first line must contain three words: orange, sidewalk, and umbrella.

B) The second rule is you have only five minutes.

Now, begin writing- or typing your story, and make it as creative and colourful as you like, but write it like your telling me about it over a couple of beers at our local pub.  The idea here is that you are writing as though we are having a conversation, and your are telling me all about it. But you are breathless and can’t wait to get exciting news to me within 5 minutes.

NOW – Go write. I’ll wait right here.

Perfect. How’d you do? See, I told you. It’s very powerful, painless, and exhilarating to discover how amazing you already are in your day to day speaking. Remember, every great speech, the ones that history has remembered, recorded and referred to, every one of them started by being written, before being spoken.

Write like you speak. The Power of 26 is always there.

Dennis Kelly

P.S. If you’d like to send me whatever you write, at the above e-mail address, I’d love to see it.

I won’t share it with anyone, but I will send you a complimentary copy of one of several copywriting or advertising books in my possession, just for sending it.





The Power of 26 – It NEVER goes out of style

Welcome back. Gosh I’m so pleased you are able to join me again. Yes you’re right, it has been a while- I think since January this year- since my last entry. To my avid followers, thank you for remaining avid and my regrets for the long hiatus.

Sometimes for all of us, life spirals seemingly out of control, personally, professionally medically, emotionally….pick an ally and it sometimes is no friend at all. Suffice to share 2015 had more speed bumps than usual.

Just a couple of days ago, I had the great good fortune to teach. I do not do it as frequently as I should- I learn so much when I teach and this was no exception. There were 20+ students in the class and I tried to distill some media planning and buying tips and strategies and experiences of 30 years into an hour or so.  Exactly – Good luck with that one.

They were all eager sponges and seemed to enjoy the presentation which was wonderful. I like it when the audience enjoys themselves.  You try to anticipate every question and hope you have an answer.

Developing the presentation reminded me of the need for brevity and how critical it is to make every word count. There is limited time and space to communicate everything. Mastery is the art of saying novels without writing them.  Write with power. With Conviction. With Drive and Muscle behind your words. They need not be callous or vulgar to strike with force and resonance.

In the past 2 years or so,  I have struck up a wonderful international e-mail relationship with a talented and outgoing professional copywriter based in the United Kingdom. He’s been writing ads for 30+ years, while here in Canada, I’ve been buying ad space for 30+ years.

He correctly bemoans the laziness of many of today’s writers who rely on a tag line and photos to get by. There is nothing, BUT NOTHING,  more powerful and persuasive than a well written letter. They are becoming harder to find. Even less readers appreciate them. A good writer is GOLD. Is money in the bank.  Spinning those 26 letters into a sales story that compels customers to buy your product is a rare and priceless talent. Hang on to him or her with both hands. They are the keys to the vault.

Despite all the platforms of communication now available to me as a buyer, it all comes back to the same source. The Alphabet. Good Writing Never Goes Out Of Style.  That’s the Power of 26

The Power of 26: Writing Is For Life

Hello and welcome back.

It’s so nice to be in this space again and I’m thrilled you chose to rejoin me.

Reports of my disappearance have been magnified beyond all measure.

I have remained here all along, just under this radar due to some professional obligations.
But I see it’s nearly 10 months since I last contributed. Thanks for missing me.
Sorry to have been away so long.

For those of you wondering, in the past year I became a 1st time Grandfather and
my 10 month old sweetie steals away my vocabulary to describe the joy she brings.

The Power of 26 continues to resonate in everything I touch it seems.
Sometimes with unintended results but mostly with unexpected wonderful
news at the end of it.
Some readers have made themselves familiar with my advertising work and
I’m very thrilled. Thank you.

If this is your baptism with me, I am a professional media buyer by trade.
I have the great good fortune of being steward of my clients advertising funds
and recommending where we can achieve the best value and best exposure for them.

If you’ve wondered about The Power of 26, consider these two disparate but
related events. You are among coveted readers of my Spike of Angels Blog and
I thank you wholeheartedly for sharing your eyeballs on my words.
Many of you are repeat readers – followers I think they’re called. At the moment
it’s a modest fan club – but they’re MY fans. How lucky for me. And they’re drawn
here by the Power of 26.

In the time I’ve been away, I was thunderstruck to learn that my articles to
date ( a mere dozen) have had more than 2,100 reads. That’s just staggering,
but wonderful to discover. Thank you to all of you for being part of that personal

Part Two is again an unexpected but welcome treasure brought on by other writing.

In my professional role, I’ve created an e-mail series entitled 57 Media Spikes.
At the moment, it is available in its original format from my website,
and my readers have kindly shared they have extracted a few gems of guidance,
information and help in their combined messages. How cool is that?!?
My spins on 26 letters have helped multiple readers in their jobs.

During my absence from this Blog, one industry publication learned of my 57 Spikes
series. After reading the first 1/2 dozen, they startled me beyond measure by asking for permission to run the e-mail series as a Blog on their on-line edition.

I Know – my eyes went WOW just like yours did.

Since October, my series has been meted out at one or two articles per week as
my Media Blog. Here’s the drop your jaw part. I asked for a performance summary
and in the period of Dec 6th to January 6th, I had 10 of the Top 19 Blogs that month,
including the #1 position at 943 Hits. The average across all ten articles was 500.6 Hits
per article.

Maybe you do that in a weekend. Good for you. But this was just freaking awesome to
me and it continues to fuel my writing and it seems to continue to draw in readers
and that’s fabulous.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they made me an irresistible offer.
Wanna hear what they did?

The second wave of my 57 Media Spikes (#’s 30-57) are soon being released with a
sign-off link back to my website where my e-Book in PDF form,
Nine Secrets to Improve Your Advertising–start-with-9-secrets—.html
is available for purchase.  Valued at $197, it’s being offered to readers from that
on-line link (and to you –Power of 26 reader) for an unheard price of $30.

HOWEVER- that deal lasts only until the original 57 Spikes are posted on this OnLine
publication. Then the $30 offer expires and it returns to $197.  Act Now is a good plan.

The part the Publication did? Not only am I able to provide links to this e-book,
but they are assisting by providing a Big Box ad in both Desktop and Mobile sizes at an irresistible offer. How could I say no?

I share all this dear readers of the Power of 26 to demonstrate that Writing is for life.
You just never know where or when or how your words  (those same 26 letters) will
impact the people you are trying to influence and those who are an unintended bonus.

My last article spoke of being Speechless. Happily that seldom happens for me,
as the above will attest. And despite me being below the radar, I was able to continue
to weave those 26 letters into action, which just may impact the writer as much as the

Never, ever, ever let the power of the alphabet be diminished. Indeed, in many
forms through the ages, a similar refrain rings true’ The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword’

Dennis Kelly

The Power of 26 – From Wordsmith to Speechless

Does it seem each day flows seamlessly into the next?

Same routine such that you could do things blindfolded and not miss a beat?

Here’s a way to shake the stagnancy. Write.

Excuse me?

Yes that’s correct. I said write.

If you are already blogging, perhaps your are of a similar mindset.

This is a wonderfully cathartic exercise to put your thoughts on paper- or
electronic paper at least – and get clear what you want to do with a project,
a stage in your life, an idea, or your next plan for success.

If you’ve read my blogs to date, you’ll know how much I value the Power of 26,
and the incredible power attached to words. The meanings expressed and implied.
Those overt expressions of passion and rage, and the subtle expressions of passion
and rage.

Many of you who have been my followers are aware of the nature of my work as a
professional Media Buyer. At its simplest – someone who buys the advertising space
in newspapers, radio, television, on-line, magazines etc., so that my clients can put
their message in front of you.

This capacity- ever evolving through 3 decades- has given me the opportunity to at
long last put my writing skills to the test like never before.

Dozens of times through the years, I’ve bemoaned my clients unfamiliarity with the
media and why don’t they know better. So went my private rant.
Here’s why – No-One has told them!

That’s why they hired me.

To do the job they can’t or won’t or don’t care to or don’t understand well
enough to do it well themselves.
Then it’s up to me to provide some education – through Words- to show
them my thinking.
The skills I offer. How I can help them.
So I at last began a project that was 30 years in the making.

In approximately 6 weeks, I composed 57  separate e-mails, totaling 36,000
words and have them as a specialty read opportunity through my website.

Why should that matter to you? Well if you’ve ever wished you had said this…
Or cursed yourself quietly that  you didn’t say that to a client, or co-worker
then writing it out will help you master your thoughts.

It will give substance and reality to your planned actions and strategy so that it’s
not just vague ideas drifting around your greymatter.
You actually put these thoughts and plans on to paper.
Seeing them staring back at you is a chance to view a window into yourself
and refresh and refine and improve endlessly.

And so it was in this project where I devoted time and energy to sharing media
strategies, education, philosophies and explanations which I hope will be of
assistance to current and future clients.

If you’re so inclined, you’re invited to visit our site where you can sign up for a
Free- Spike of Angels Media Briefing Template and register to receive these
57 Media Spikes (also free)

There is no obligation or pressure. I hope you like the style and I hope
they impart some education for you.

As for Speechless from today’s title, I’m thrilled to share that in the past
couple of weeks, I have become a first time Grandfather. I was privileged to
hold my new baby granddaughter for a few moments when she was
only 11 hours old. No alphabet can do that moment justice.

Sometimes the best part of The Power of 26, is knowing when to stop!

Dennis Kelly

The Power of 26 – Touching Hearts and Nerves

Thanks for joining me again.

Everyday we encounter gems and hiccups it seems, and I found it interesting
to see how some people respond. An extension of my writing this blog is also
my role as a media planner and buyer.

This compels me to remain as conversant as I’m able in both traditional and
new media.

It continues to evolve and I’m not certain there will ever be a concensus.
As long as humans are breathing, their media communication networks will
remain as individual as their DNA.

Some would have you believe we should revert to only magazines and
television as all we need are print and broadcast. Isn’t that right?

Other thought leaders will surely convince you that this
Internet platform is evolving to be the ONLY platform and it will
ultimately assimilate all others in its path, devouring them like
the BORG™ of Star Trek Fame.

In a recent soapbox by yours truly, I acknowledged the growing presence
and influence of The Internet and Social Media respectively.  Make no mistake,
they are with us to stay I believe. For better or worse will be decided by history,
but it is a changing/(changed) media landscape.

Digital media choices thrive on speed and personal communication unlike
anything in history. These are very powerful and aggressive tools to deliver
our messages in a heartbeat. But the scope of the messages is handcuffed by
character limitations or relevancy.  The traditional media, tried and
true, remain in the same arena. Their roles changing, but their contribution
every bit as vital as ever.

Your blogs give you an unrestrained opportunity to share personal and
professional joys, triumphs, tragedies which is a wonderful creative outlet
in most cases.

Alternatively, the social media vehicles which proliferate are impressive
in their exponential growth.

They remain frightfully deadly in their capability to have an anonymous
assailant destroy your reputation with vicious attacks and misuse of personal
information. I’m startled to learn stories of people sharing amazingly intimate
details of their lives on line with friends and strangers, then are crushed when it is
used against them.

If you want it to stay private, then don’t share it. The Social Media grapevines
are treated like ‘Dear Diary’ and many a contributor has been irreparably destroyed
when pictures, events, and shared confidences are unearthed and betrayed.

It remains a dubious marketplace which has thrown wide open the doors of
communication to anyone who will devote the time to typing.

Other segments deem it an enormous breath of fresh-air allowing the ultimate
freedom of expression. I will not moralize here the right or wrong of the capability
this new found electronic bulletin board offers.
There can be no turning back now, and it will live on in some incarnation for
perhaps generations to come….or not.

One hundred years ago as we entered the 20th century, a new world was on the
horizon as Mr. Marconi pioneered radio. At the time, who could have envisioned
how the world would explode from there in unprecedented technological growth
through the next eleven decades. Today our words can scarcely describe how we
are pushing the boundaries of growth to unexpected- nay -unimagined horizons.

The technology of our forefathers helped pioneer the way for what was to become
our reality. When our grandchildren’s, grandchildren inherit the earth, I daresay it
will hardly resemble what we see and hear around us today. But if history is any
indication for the future, the will still have words.

They will still hold and use the Power of 26.

Dennis Kelly