Getting to Know AFFIRM – Part 4

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Happy New Year from everyone at AFFIRM! As we settle in for another successful year after a nice holiday break, I thought it would be fun to let our readers get a sneak peek into what we typically do outside of work. For this post, I asked “Where could we find you on a typical Saturday?”

Danny: At a live music show.

Katie: In a yoga studio, at the park with my dog, or drinking a craft beer somewhere near my house in Bay View.

Karissa: In the summer, I’ll be on the lake – paddle boarding, swimming, and soakin’ up the sun. When it’s colder, I’m a big fan of fuzzy blankets and cheesy rom-coms, but I also enjoy hiking, shopping, spending time with family, anything really. I’m not picky.

Amy: Well it depends on the season, but for sure at brunch at The Knick or in the Third Ward! In the summer, I’ll be checking out the festivals in Milwaukee. In the fall and winter, I’ll be watching college football and basketball.

Cathy: I’m usually at home during the day doing boring stuff like cleaning. Evenings are more relaxed; go out with friends for dinner or drinks

Ryan: You can’t find me. On the weekends I am conducting secret missions and flying around the world.

Erik: At home brewing a meticulous pot of coffee; probably off to the library for a bit in the afternoon.

Rick: Kids’ sports, family outings, back yard, deer stands or sitting somewhere with a Bloody Mary and a chaser.

Steve: It depends on the time of year but it’s usually one of three things. It could be on a golf course, at a Badger football game or working in the yard!

Traci: On a typical Saturday, you will find me sipping on a cappuccino, running errands, spending quality time with family, and finishing the day with an Old Fashioned or craft beer.

Laura: No such thing as a typical Saturday for a mom of two, but most likely would be cheering on my kids at a soccer, basketball or baseball game depending on the season, regular weekend chores, and in the evening, either a family movie night at home, a date with my husband or a night out with friends.

Meaghan: On a typical Saturday, you could usually find me catching up with friends or spending time with my family. Either way I like to be on the go!

We’d love to hear from our readers as well. What do you do on a typical day away from the office?

Go Kenosha Kingfish! Inspired Fun at Staples Marketing

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Earlier this month, the Staples Marketing crew was recognized by our principles, Danny and Steve for meeting our 2nd Quarter goals. To celebrate, we swung down to the Historic Simons Field, home of the Kenosha Kingfish, a Northwoods League collegiate baseball team. A night of baseball including all you can eat and drink on a party deck? Count me in!

Aside from the usual hot dogs, brats and burgers, there was also a surprise menu addition: cranberry cashew chicken salad sandwich, which was delicious!

Need something to wash it down with? How about soda and about eight different domestic and craft beer options!

As if the game wasn’t entertainment enough, there were tons of antics in between the action: including the mascot, King Elvis, flying across the field on a zip line, enormous beach balls being tossed around in the stands, kids “catching” King Elvis in a net, and trivia. What more could we ask for? Well maybe three feet of licorice and a gigantic popsicle – Thanks, Steve!

Whether the Kingfish won or not, we were grateful to celebrate a win for our team –  that’s inspired fun!* (*one of our core values)

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FOUR ONE FOUR LIFE

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Happy Milwaukee Day! For those who don’t know, April 14th is recognized by an increasing number of locals as “Milwaukee Day”. Why? Because…

April 14 = 4/14 ≈ 414 = the area code of Milwaukee County (and bits of Waukesha County).

And, depending on how your Excel spreadsheet is set to identify dates, you might also write April 2014 as 4/14, so we actually find ourselves right in the middle of “Milwaukee Month”, as well.

Milwaukee Day is a time to celebrate what makes our geographic area so special. Go to a Milwaukee Brewers game, walk through the Milwaukee Art Museum, and shop at the Milwaukee Public Market – but that’s just the beginning. There are dozens of area events, music venues, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, museums, bars, libraries, record stores, bike trails, and quirky little gas stations that sell fried chicken that you’ve yet to visit.

But really, this is all stuff you should do every day (except Brewer games, which will only run through October this year). Let Milwaukee Day be your springboard into an ongoing exploration of the local richness that exists 365 days a year.

Local businesses, the responsibility falls largely onto you, too. People are generally creatures of habit, and will continue to visit their customary haunts until someone or something prompts them to do otherwise. Some local media sources are very thorough with their stuff-to-do coverage, and draw attention to even the lesser known businesses when it’s warranted.  Those recommendations will only go so far, though, if you don’t also inform your fellow Milwaukeeans that you’re here, you’re awesome, and that you can’t wait for them to visit.

So, Milwaukee, don’t let April 14th be your one capsule of local enthusiasm for the year. Let it be the beginning of a more engaged Milwaukee Life. Get out of your comfort zone a little, and enjoy, but only after you’ve finished filing your tax return!

BRACKET? I HARDLY KNOW IT!

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Brackets busted? Mine, too. In fact, I’ve never put together a really good NCAA Tournament bracket in my life; and I’ve been filling them out since before most of today’s student athletes (and a few of their coaches) were even born. So, why come back every year? Why continue to suffer defeat at the hands of someone whose selection criteria are team colors and mascot names?

Because it’s fun! What could be better than watching the world’s greatest reality TV series play out, and having an opportunity to interact with it? Win or lose, it’s all good – especially for the organizers.  While this year’s tournament is nearly over, the demand for brackets isn’t going anywhere. Savvy radio stations, newspapers, and web-based companies know that there is ample traffic-generating juice in a good interactive bracket, and that it’s not limited to early spring.

The Business Journal’s “Brand Madness” and other bracket-shaped contests driven by online voting give the contestants (usually businesses) a great opportunity to market themselves. But in doing so, the organizers also drive impressions up on their own sites because people love following brackets!

When I was in college, I put together a just-for-fun bracket on social media, with such thrilling matchups as BRITNEY SPEARS vs. MILLER HIGH LIFE and PEANUT BUTTER TWIX vs. GOODFELLAS. BACON was the #1 overall seed and eventual champion, because of course it was. Friends and friends-of-friends voted for their favorites and checked in regularly to see who won each round. Some even called me to get the latest updates if they weren’t near a computer.

The point is, if you need a simple way to drive traffic to your site or social media, you could do worse than to build your own bracket and give people an opportunity to participate. It should be interesting on some level (funny or educational, if not exciting), but it certainly doesn’t have to be complicated. Let the games begin and let the impressions increase!