Here are two quick fixes for Adobe Voice

Adobe Voice logoI’m not a fan of sequels but, darn it, sometimes you need one.  We laid out the positives of the Adobe Voice app for iPad in a previous post.  Now we’re back to show you a couple of quick fixes so you can remove the advertising from your Adobe Voice video. Or, better yet, take possession of an unadorned file of your Adobe Voice movie that you can upload or store anywhere. See how in the brief video below. Have questions? Contact me at [email protected].

Did you miss Part 1 of this two part series?  Here it is.


Who was Francis Scott Key’s PR flack? – SCN Encourager

Luckily, a communications savvy patriot WAS on the scene.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 3.03.33 PMIt’s surprising what you can learn from a Sunday afternoon NFL pre-game show.

Cindy thinks those pre-game hype shows on TV are a gigantic “waste of time.”

I don’t debate the point.

How can you argue with someone who thinks the games themselves are a gigantic “waste of time?”

But millions of good true blue Americans watch these shows – and I’m glad I did.

I appreciated the history lesson.

I didn’t know that Sunday marked the 200 year anniversary of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

You’ll recall (er… I didn’t) that Francis Scott Key penned the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” in 1814.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 3.52.20 PMAfter seeing our nation’s flag still flying above the fort in Baltimore’s harbor following a heavy overnight bombardment by the British as the War of 1812 waged on, Key couldn’t contain his emotions.

He quickly wrote the long poem with a fairly well-known English tune mulling about in his mind.

I guess since we eventually won the war, there were never any future legal quibbles over copyright infringement.

But this isn’t to say that that Key didn’t need a whole lot of help in “marketing” his creation.

He needed a version of a school communicator at his side.

Snag a marketing tip from Flo. (Yes, that Flo.) – SCN Encourager

Allstate’s mayhem guy and the Geico gecko aren’t too shabby, either.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 5.29.41 PMAnd they’d probably fit right in at any NSPRA or MSPRA conference.

No doubt they’d be vocal evangelists of “going bold.”

In between signing autographs and posing with us in our selfies, they’d point out that there’s a lot in common between the insurance industry and public education.

Both entities are heavily regulated, have multiple product distribution sites, rely on thousands of credentialed providers, have been around a long time, are fairly universal from state to state, and face ever-increasing pressure from competition online.

Companies in the insurance domain are challenged to differentiate themselves from the rest of their pack.

School districts in public education share a similar predicament.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 5.42.04 PMFlo, Allstate’s mayhem guy, and the Geico gecko are modern day models for “going bold” and being memorable.

Okay – consistency and a massive marketing budget give them a boost – but these three company mascots have cut through the communications fog better than most.

They have fans and followers out the wazoo on social media and they’re not even real.

I have about 1/zillionth of their following… and I’m a living, breathing, real person!

There’s a lesson here (I think), but it’s too depressing for me to contemplate.

Anyway, the question on my mind is this.

Mobs for a good cause – you may want to start your own

On the lookout for quick tips that’ll extend your reach?

Suricate - Meercat PhotoI am.

I vividly remember where I was and what I was doing the first time I heard the English boy band New Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.”

It’s crazy to classify hearing an up-tempo pop song in the same way I remember the momentous Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America, or the Jan. 28, 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Yet, all three unexpected events triggered, for me, the same revelation: This could change everything.

Let me explain.

The first time I remember hearing “What Makes You Beautiful” was while watching a YouTube video of a flash mob that broke out in January 2013 during a Vancouver Giants hockey game.

Action on the ice slid to a halt as a dance was revealed as sections of children stood in the coliseum’s upper deck, peeled off jackets to reveal Pepto-Bismol pink T-shirts, and made cute movements choreographed to this Top 40 hit.

At its zenith, about 2,000 fresh-faced K-12 students from 17 Vancouver area schools were dancing, even the ones in wheelchairs.

The unsuspecting hockey fans were wowed. Click on the image below. You will be, too.

Making it happen

Flash mobs – spontaneous-looking performances that temporarily take over a public space – require months of behind-the-scenes planning.

That’s what I learned when I talked with Mette Hamaguchi, one of two principals behind the Vancouver schools “Acceptance” flash mobs, which now number four.

“There’s something magical about flash mobs,” Hamaguchi said. “The kids in them feel like they’re sending a message that could make a difference. And I know from comments I’ve received from parents and grandparents, and mail I’ve received from around the world, that seeing a flash mob can have a profound impact on people and expand what they think is possible.”

What’s at the core of a turnaround? – SCN Encourager

A great college football coach breaks it down.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 4.18.24 PMAnd not just any coach – this is a coach with deep roots in our state.

Butch Jones is 46. He was born in Saugatuck, MI, which located about 10-12 miles away from my own school district’s southern border.

Both Saugatuck and Holland Public are members of the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District.

Now, I don’t know Jones personally, but there’s a lot to admire about him, even for a Spartan fan like me.

Before he began his coaching career, Jones played college football at Ferris State.

And his rapid ascension up the head coaching ladder also included a successful stint at Central Michigan.

This fall Jones is guiding the charge to rebuild the Tennessee Volunteers football program.

He freely admits that the word “turnaround” has to be prominent in any description of his current task.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting.

Adobe Voice can save the day

Adobe Voice logoIt’s an elegant rescue.

Whew! The superintendent okays your much deserved one-day hiatus, though it means missing the school board meeting. Then, you discover the next day the board spent an hour discussing the urgent need for more communication, especially video.  Arghh! Adobe Voice provides an elegant solution to your dilemma using stills shots and your voice. Plus it’s free.


Stop the presses! Since posting this video, I have found a way to eliminate the Adobe Voice advertising surrounding your video. And, there’s also a way to download the video for safe keeping (it has to do with Fiverr!).  Contact me HERE.

Crying towel time. Target market solicitations are pushing me away. – SCN Encourager

As if our past weekend in sports wasn’t deflating enough!

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 5.27.41 PMI was also skipped over entirely by several businesses that were reaching out for new customers.

They made it clear that they didn’t want me.

Marketing mastermind Seth Godin predicted this would happen and I even wrote about it in the Encourager last week.

Godin said that marketing campaigns are becoming more and more “selective” and are rapidly turning our traditional universal target market into something more along the order of a diverse market with more clearly segmented “pockets of someone.”

As public school leaders and communicators, the ramifications of this cannot be ignored.

While we work hard to inform, engage, and rally our community – Godin would say that we can only do this effectively by actually connecting with each one of the “pockets of someone” that comprise it.

Almost one by one by one…

This is not good news, of course.

At least Noah could carry out his tactical plan two by two by two…

But there is value in having a defined starting point; we can strengthen our communication effectiveness right away by better identifying the many “pockets of someone” all around us.

Others are already on this.

And just WHO does Apple call at crisis time? Me! – SCN Encourager

Real-world crisis management experience is in high demand.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 3.42.12 PMPerhaps you’ve heard about Apple’s recent iCloud security breach.

Apparently, a hacker was able to break into Apple’s iCloud image data base somehow and gain access to a host of naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence and nearly 100 other well-known women celebrities.

This isn’t a good situation… for the women… for Apple… and for any level of trust we currently have in internet security systems.

It’s not surprising that when faced with such a predicament, Apple would quickly drop everything, encircle the  wagons, and shift into major crisis management mode.

It was surprising they called me, though.

I had no idea they even knew about me, my crisis management experience, or SCN.

But I was elated to take their call.

I could be on my way as a big time crisis management consultant if I played my cards right.

“Hi, Mr. Page,” said the voice on the phone. “My name is Sam Sung.  I’m coordinating the global crisis response strategies for the Apple team assigned to the unfortunate data breach which is now making the news. We’re under incredible pressure. We need you on our team pronto.”

“You can count on me, Sam,” I said. “Can I ask a few questions first?”

Quick Response Codes – Decoded


That’s what a friend thought she heard last fall as we admired an oversized sculpture of a duck-shaped pull toy at ArtPrize, a large public art competition in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“Giant Quakers” a piece created by artists Gary Cacchione and David Seitzinger of Erie, Penn., displayed in front of the Public Museum of Grand Rapids (Mich.) during ArtPrize 2013.

“Giant Quakers” a piece created by artists Gary Cacchione and David Seitzinger of Erie, Penn., displayed in front of the Public Museum of Grand Rapids (Mich.) during ArtPrize 2013.

Actually, the sound was made by me using an application on my smartphone to snap a picture of the QR code in front of the exhibit.

“Oh, silly me!” my friend exclaimed, seeing the “quack” was me fiddling with my phone. “I thought the duck talked!”

In a way, the QR code did allow the duck to talk. The code popped a story about how (and why) this whimsical sculpture was created to the screen of my smart phone.

This instantaneous access to the Internet and information is pretty slick. (I suppose it says something about me that I seek enlightenment in as few clicks as possible.)

By the time I returned home, would I have still been wondering about the big duck enough to fire up my computer and search the sculpture’s genesis?

That’s why I’m convinced there will be even more galaxy-like matrixes on entries when ArtPrize returns Sept. 24 to Oct. 12. It’s also why I’m pleased to see QR codes on more and more school communications.

“How does that thing work?” my friend asked me, obviously dazzled.

At the time, my answer was feeble. I didn’t know enough about the technology behind QR codes to explain it. So, I looked it up so I could share it with her, and you.

So what are they?

Quick Response (QR) codes are black-and-white barcodes that can be scanned and read in an instant with an Internet connection.

This technology (Google Goggles, NeoReader, iMatrix, Bee Tag) is pretty standard on mobile communication devices, but you can install software like QuickMark to allow the webcam on your desktop computer to read QR codes, too.

No need to fuss with alignment. The detection pattern can be read horizontally and vertically.

QR codes were developed in 1994 by Denso Wave, a division of Toyota, to track automotive components during the manufacture process.

Denso Wave wasn’t interested in profiting from the technology. Code generators and readers can be downloaded at no cost. Because the technology is free, it has spread like wildfire to government, marketing and education.

A trip back in time sheds light on “student centric” – SCN Encourager

This story helps explain it what it means.

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 11.03.37 PMIt’s not uncommon for people to question the emphasis our schools place on “student centric” instruction.

They may not say these exact words, but you can tell they are wondering if we’re allowing the inmates to run the asylum.

What’s wrong with traditional “teacher-led” instruction anyway?

Why intentionally tilt the pendulum back into swinging the other way?

These aren’t easy questions to answer.

As sometimes our educator verbiage itself (as flowery as it might sound) actually impedes our attempts to adequately describe the meaning of  “student centric” to parents and community members.

It’s funny that this story from a political campaign in 1886 helps explain it.