June 28, 2013

Ah, Summer! Time to Re-Group and Re-Charge

Ah, Summer! Time to Re-Group and Re-Charge

I started writing this column on January 4 and haven’t missed a Friday since. This weekly posting was conceived as a way of increasing Marcum’s and my engagement in social media (our marketing people tell me that’s a good thing) and also of connecting on a regular basis with our clients, staff and friends (I know for sure that’s a good thing).

When I came up with the plan, I approached our staff public relations director, Julie Gross Gelfand, who thought it was a great idea for Marcum and for me, and agreed to take on the additional responsibility of editing the column on a weekly basis. For that I thank and congratulate her because if you saw the first drafts of many of these postings…

In the spirit of full disclosure, not only did I enlist Julie to edit, but I asked her to write the first posting, which she did. The feedback from that first week was amazingly positive. So I decided that if we were really going to make a go of this and it was going to go out under my name, it should be in my voice with me writing it. So starting with Week Two, I started doing the writing myself. And quite frankly, it’s been fun. It’s another thing to make time for during a jam-packed week, but I find that I’m really enjoying it.

The hardest part of the whole process is choosing a topic. I didn’t want to get myself niched with technical accounting topics, especially if I expected anyone to read it. So I focus instead on current business and social events, as well as news developments and firm-related topics that I thought would interest people, particularly those of you who follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn. I often figure it out over dinner with my wife Tracy, usually during the weekend before publication, and then I spend a couple of days sorting out my thoughts. Then it takes about 30-60 minutes to write them down. I email the first draft to Julie, she does a miraculous job of editing, we go back and forth maybe one more time, and we’re done.  All in all, the whole thing takes a couple of hours per week.

Then our digital marketing wizard, Chris Pelosi, takes over, gets it in the proper format, and at 10AM Eastern time every Friday, the column is distributed electronically to 40,000 people. In an average week, it is read by about 4,000. I get a steady stream of feedback, some weeks a lot, some weeks less. Most of it is positive, but depending on the topic, sometimes what lands in my email inbox is, shall we say, not flattering. But we all have our opinions, and I welcome the feedback, even from people who may not agree with me.

The most rewarding part of the whole undertaking is the many people who tell me they enjoy reading the column regularly and look forward to Friday mornings to see what I’m raving or ranting about that particular week. I’ve been able to connect with the people I wanted to when I first conceived the idea for this column, and I’d like to think they have gotten to know me better through my writing.

Now, after 26 consecutive weeks, it’s time for a breather. Having lived my entire life in New York and having grown up on Long Island, summer has always been about beach and vacation for me. So I will be taking off the first two weeks of July and the last two weeks of August to re-charge my badly drained batteries. I need to replenish my creative juices as well.

This will be my last Friday posting until after Labor Day. I think taking a break is good for everyone. All work and no play is just not healthy. I will spend my vacation time home with my family, enjoying the things NYC and Long Island have to offer during July and August. I hope all of you will get to take some time off, too. Whether it’s for a relaxing staycation or an adventure-packed trip to some exotic locale, we all need time off from work to re-group and re-charge.

I wish you all a wonderful summer. I hope you will come back relaxed and ready to tackle business as usual, and that you will log on for my first post-Labor Day column on September 6.

Happy summer, everyone!