Brain Dump


Making the Leap from Good to Great

Is Leap Day a holiday? (I like to think it is — see editor’s note.)

Holiday or not, when an event rolls around just once every four years, why not seize the opportunity to do something a little different? Try these ideas to power your 2024 leap:

Leap into newsjacking
Remember when the lights went out at the New Orleans Superdome during the Super Bowl? several years ago? A little brand called Oreo scored big with its now-legendary “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet.

That, in a nutshell, is newsjacking — capitalizing on a high-profile news story by inserting your company, product or service into the discussion in a clever or offbeat way.

News happens 24/7, and if you’re on top of it you might find an opportunity to ride the wave of a breaking story to benefit your business. Does content have to be directly related to your business? Not necessarily, as proven by the Oreo tweet. You just need to uncover an angle that makes sense, because your end game is to showcase your unique expertise and drive traffic to your website, not just make a witty social commentary.

Though Leap Year certainly isn’t breaking news, you could “jack” its uniqueness in a multitude of ways — for example, giving employees a paid volunteer day to make a difference in your community, offering a 29% discount or hosting a leaping contest to raise money for your local food pantry.

A few years ago, the Papa John’s pizza chain promised a free pie on February 29 to anyone who stopped by with proof they were a Leap Day baby. Other brands, ranging from Krispy Kreme and Lay’s to iFLY, have also gotten in on the fun with freebies.

Leap into collaboration
Remember the good old days of sidewalk sales, when Main Street retailers banded together to collectively drive foot traffic with outdoor displays and the promise of fabulous deals? Brick & mortar shops can consider partnering with complementary businesses to offer a special discount or freebie to shoppers who patronize each business on February 29 or during the entire week.

If you’re a professional services firm — a mortgage lender, for example — you could host a free “ask the experts” day at the local library and invite industry colleagues like a realtor, title company and real estate attorney to answer questions for first-time home buyers.

What about collaborating on a joint content asset? Fahoury Ink and Jane Tabachnick & Co often pair up on workshops to present the A-Z view of content creation, strategy and marketing.

Leap into professional development
February 29 isn’t just for driving new business. What about allowing your employees to take a leap and learn something new? Ask employees to make a “Leap List” — maybe goals to accomplish for the next six months, new project ideas, even something creative and re-energizing they’d love to try — then give them the time or resources they need to make it happen. Or, bring in a fun guest speaker for a creative end-of-the-month team-building session.

For example, juggler extraordinaire Jen Slaw shows audiences how to manage the multiple professional and personal challenges that pop up over the course of the day. And yes, she’s juggling as she speaks. What about exploring new technology tools? From productivity boosters like mind-mapping software to a hot new content distribution platform, new toys can amp up creative thinkers during the long winter months. Mix things up and help your staff regain their mojo.

When Leap Day rolls around, look at it as a bonus from the business gods — a day to take a leap of faith and try something new to grow your market share. Hey, any time the universe gives us more time to think, to plan, to be productive, it’s smart to take advantage. Whatever you choose, make the most of it!

Editor’s note: Just one in 1,461 people are born on Leap Day, and I am happily one of them. Keep an eye out for your invitation to my Sweet 16 party in 2028 😉

Authored by: Lisa FahouryMaking the Leap from Good to Great
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