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Steve's Bowtied Buffalo Blog


The Uncle Steve's Buffalo
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com

Read the very latest from Steve twice a week on Trending Buffalo.com. You'll find plenty on family, Buffalo's history, Western New York's pop culture, and thoughts on how to make our great past part of our great future in Western New York.


The Bowtied Buffalo Blog
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com

several years worth of thoughts and ideas from Steve on just about everything and anything under the sun. Well, whatever the sun shines on in the 716 area code.


VIDEO: Winter Makes Us Buffalonians Who We are
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com January 7, 2013

The popularity of Steve's column on us and our Buffalo's winters lead him to produce a video version of the blog. The cold, gray months of January and February are tough, but they bring us together, and help us better enjoy the sunshine and warmth. (See the video)...


The Positive PR Lessons from the Miley Mess
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com August 26, 2013

What you can learn for your business in Miley Cyrus' instantaneous trip from Disney Sweetheart to hated hussy? Plenty really.
Read how her ideas may have been OK, but her execution was horrifically flawed...


Thomas J. Dolan, 1942 -2013: An Appreciation
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com August 26, 2013

Tom Dolan was a friend and a wonderful reporter for 40 years, and brought many important stories to light for Western New York. But one flip, off-hand comment he made once gave me great insight into his world, and shed light on mine as well.
Read more about Tom...


Crayon Drawings in the Art of PR
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com August 16, 2013

If the only time you contact the media is when you are looking for what amounts to free advertising for your business, you are not only leaving money on the table, but also hurting yourself. Things like opening a new store or adding a product line are all worthy of out reach, but to maximize what you get out of PR, you must move beyond the self-serving, and look to serve the public.
Read why "ok pr" can hurt you...


The Best of "The Worst" in 1980s Buffalo TV Commercials
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com July 30, 2013

You may not believe it, but 20 years from now, many of your fellow WNYers will be combing whatever the 2033 version of the internet is trolling so they can hear how HUUUUUUGE it is on Grand Island, or to try to remember what an arm and a leg has to do with diamond jewelry. With the 1980s safely in the rear view mirror, it's now OK to look back at some of the great TV commercials that may have annoyed us then, but will ceratinly make us smile now.
See all 9 videos...


Helping Others Helps Your Wallet
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com July 29, 2013

Three times during the Erie County Fair doing a good deed, and sharing food with the less fortunate will result in reduced admission costs at the Erie County Fair. The Program marks a new relationship between the Fair and the Food Bank of WNY. (read more)...


VIDEO: Run Jimmy Run Charity 5k
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com July 24, 2013

The Griffin Family, The Buffalo Bisons, and the Alzheimer's Association offer thanks following Sunday's Run Jimmy Run Charity 5k, honoring the memory of Mayor James D. Griffin, and raising money for the Alzheimer's Association. July 21, 2013, Coca Cola Field, downtown Buffalo, NY. (See the video)...


Original Martin House Window on Auction Block
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com July 23, 2013

Another amazing discovery has made its way to Schultz Auctioneers. A rare Frank Lloyd Wright art glass window from the Darwin D. Martin House will be sold at no reserve on August 3rd at the Schultz Auctioneers auction facility at 11177 Main Street in Clarence at 10am. (read more)...


Book About Long Serving Priest, Sister, to Benefit the School They Loved
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com July 22, 2013

For over 30 years, when you were looking for the person in charge at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church in North Buffalo, you got either Sr. Jeanne at St. Mark School, or Fr. Braun at St. Mark Church. Through those three decades, they became not only fixtures, but a part of hundreds of families with their extraordinary work ethics and big hearts. Now their stories, and the history of the centry old parish are being lined up for a book.(read more)...


Griffin Name Continues to Help Charities with Run Jimmy Run
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com July 15, 2013

As Mayor, Jim Griffin raised over $20,000 for local charities by sponsoring a decades' worth of annual runs in South Park. Fast forward 20 years, and the late mayor's name is now once again in the spotlight in the running world as his family, the Buffalo Bisons and the Alzheimer's Association of WNY organize the "Run Jimmy Run Charity 5k."(read more)...

Marketing & Memorial Day
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com May 25, 2013

BUFFALO, NY (buffalostories.com) - Welcome to a long (albeit chilly) Memorial Day weekend.

These three days have long been dubbed "The Unofficial Start of Summer."

There will be grilling and horseshoes and flipflops and time spent with family and friends.

And of course, there will be sales, with businesses wanting to hitch their fortunes to one of America's favorite holiday weekends.

But is that what Memorial Day is about? Hotdogs, popsicles, and moving inventory? Sure, but how about men and women who gave their lives in service to our country and for our freedom?

I would seriously consider this: If you can't find an appropriate way to commemorate the actual holiday as you try to use the day to bring in customers, I say just skip it.

Further, the "reason for the season" sentiment shouldn't just be on the print ad or the radio spot tag line. It should really be in your heart, as well as impressed on the hearts of your front line staff.

Consider: How would you feel if someone told you that a Gold Star Mother, a woman who lost a child in war, had just come through your line for your Big Memorial Day sale, and the only thing you said to her was some kind of upsell?

Going the other way can be just as bad. You also have to be careful in how you present your commemoration. Even from when the heart, if not properly executed, many might think that some how you are trying to capitalize on the lives of our brave heroes for your own gain.

The Memorial Day weekend means both picnics and reflecting upon the ultimate sacrifice. It's a dicey mix. I'm not saying don't, I'm saying make sure you do it right if you do it at all.

This isn't about political correctness, or trying to be the opposite of politically correct. It's about doing what's right. Being a good person, in the grand scheme, is always the best public relations and marketing plan you can have.

I've heard this advice given succinctly two different ways in the last few days, and they are both correct.

There's no right way to do the wrong thing.

Doing the right things for the right reasons is the best way get ahead.

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After 20 years as a producer, reporter, and news director at radio and TV stations in Buffalo, STEVE CICHON is now the President and CEO of Buffalo Stories LLC, where he simply asks... What's your story? He'll help you find your story and tell the right people in audio, video, and, as the author of 3 books in print, web, and social media.

SIGN UP to receive Steve's public relations blog by email.

The Old Days...
Like 2008
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com May 24, 2013

BUFFALO, NY (buffalostories.com) - Over the last few weeks, I've had a very unique perspective.

I've been shaping and building a business which will, among other things, help you tell your story in newspapers, radio, and television.

I've also been wrapping up the loose ends of a 20 year career in media as a radio and television producer, reporter, and currently, news director.

Those jobs I've worked in the media have drastically changed over the last two decades, but allow me to talk for a moment about the changes most relevant for you and me moving forward.

Like the population in general, as a reporter, the way I find out and receive information is unimaginable as compared to even five years ago, let alone 10 or 20.

Skipping text messages, Facebook, Twitter, every other website under the sun, the fax machine (some people bizarrely still send them), telephone conversations, and face-to-face meetings... I'd like to look at one information sharing vehicle: e-mail.

I'm looking at my official WBEN Radio email account only here. From Tuesday, May 21 through Thursday, May 23, my Outlook mailbox made the "ping" noise 649 times.

Right: 88 minute's worth of email

Assuming an 8 hour day (yeah, right), that's someone trying to grab my attention, on just one email account, about every two minutes.

Reading my email... even just looking at what comes in, can feel like a full time job. Mix in that over those three days, I ran three meetings, participated in another 2, wrote and anchored 7 newscasts, covered the Governor visiting Buffalo, and dealt with severe weather barrelling through Western New York twice... you'd be correct to assume that at least 90% of those emails will wind up deleted without ever having been read.

What story are you telling that will rise above the other 648 "pings" that are flowing into a reporter's email box over the next few days?

Is emailing a press release, the same way you did 10 years ago, really the best answer?

Not sure? Let us help. I promise I won't delete your email.

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After 20 years as a producer, reporter, and news director at radio and TV stations in Buffalo, STEVE CICHON is now the President and CEO of Buffalo Stories LLC, where he simply asks... What's your story? He'll help you find your story and tell the right people in audio, video, and, as the author of 3 books in print, web, and social media.

SIGN UP to receive Steve's public relations blog by email.

Boost Buffalo! Its Good for You!
By Steve Cichon, buffalostories.com May 23, 2013

BUFFALO, NY (buffalostories.com) - You may remember that was the slogan the Chamber of Commerce used in the 50s, 60s, and 70s to make people feel great about Buffalo.

I'm a Buffalonian who loves to tell the great stories of our area, and I've spent the last 20 years as a reporter, author, and historian doing just that.

All 8 of my great-grandparents called Buffalo home. The city is different from what it was 50 or 80 years ago, but what remains the same is us. The people.

I wear a tie most days, but I can only do that because my grandfathers worked in the plant and worked with their hands for long hard hours to build a family. Just like your grandfathers.

They worked until the job was done, they expected the same of us. They helped when someone needed it, not only because they knew they'd be helped someday, but because it's the right thing to do.

You didn't stop shovelling at grandma's sidewalk, but did Mrs. Regan's and Mr. Cox's, too. At 6 years old we all knew what was right and what was wrong.

Buffalo and its people are special. We have a common story, all of us still here. And it's from that uniquely Buffalo point of view that most of your customers will be looking.

You can never go wrong being proud of Buffalo, and your contribution to the well-being of Buffalo to us Buffalonians.

It's only one element in your story, and it might be in the background, but it's not one to ignore.

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Together, we'll make sure your customers and future customers know what makes you special.

Let us help you tell your uniquely Buffalo story.

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