Tag Archive | Sam Houston State University

Go Where The Customers Are Located

By Cheval John

The companies or organizations who are more successful have this one thing in common.

They always innovate.

They look at ways to make the customer experience more rewarding.

We see that with small businesses because they do not have the resources like the larger companies to advertise their products or services.

The larger companies will buy space at major events like the super bowl and this year’s major league baseball playoffs to advertise to a large audience.

The small businesses will be more creative with content marketing because of a much smaller marketing budget.

They also know that if you can build an audience slowly through content marketing strategies (blogs, podcasts, live streaming, etc.), they will win all the time because they have earned their trust.

An example of innovation comes from mid-sized college sports conferences like the Southland Conference (SLC).

They basically formed their own television network, the Southland Conference Television Network, in 2008 and have brought many sporting matchups to their member colleges fan base.

Two of the fan bases within the SLC are Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) and Sam Houston State University (SHSU).

Their annual rivalry, “The Battle of The Piney Woods” moved to NRG Stadium in 2010 and has become a fixture in the Houston sports scene.

This year’s event drew an attendance of 26,792, who saw SHSU defeated SFA 27-16 for their seventh consecutive win against their rivals.

The rivalry has continued to draw crowds since they moved to NRG Stadium in 2010 with no signs of slowing down.

And the SLC dissolved their network in 2015 due to television deals with ESPN3 and other regional networks while at the same time focus their resources on their digital network.

Another example of innovation comes from the company, Paper.Li.

Under then community manager of Kelly Hungerford, who is now the owner of Community Works, Paper.Li built their company through their twitter chat #bizheroes and have increased their customer base.

The lessons here are as follows:

1. You must create your own media company.

Brands can’t rely on press releases anymore because they are considered spam.

They also can not depend on ads because people do not want to be interrupted with commercials that will take them out of rhythm in consuming content.

The brands must have a place where they can put out quality content that will help the consumer make smart decisions which can make their lives better.

And when the consumers believe they are being helped by the brand through their content, they will tell their friends about the brand.

Soon enough, the press will find out about them.

Look at examples from organizations and sports teams like the Houston Texans who created their own networks to provide content to media outlets.

2. You have to go where the audience are at.

If your ideal customers are located on a particular social platform, you have to be there as well.

When you meet them where they are at, you show them you care.

In the same way, both SFA and SHSU decided to move their rivalry to NRG Stadium after being approached by Lone Star Sports and Entertainment because the majority of their fan base lives in the Houston area.

Plus, they get exposure from the 8th largest media market in the nation.

More press leads to more recruitment for future Bearkats and Lumberjacks.

In conclusion, you have to be where your audience are at and you have to create your very own opportunities because the right people will always notice.

Taking A “Break” From Houston, Texas

By Cheval John

It was truly exciting to have the new 2017 Toyota Avalon for an entire week because it gave me the opportunity to visit Huntsville, Texas and also The Woodlands, (a Master-Planned Community in the Houston area).

I used to live in Huntsville for 15 years due to starting college late (graduate from Lone
Star College in 2007 and from Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in 2009) before moving to the Houston area in 2014.

It was in that small city of over 40,000 that I became an accidental entrepreneur, a podcaster and an author.

What made the trip to Huntsville and The Woodlands more fun was the fact that the avalon had a Sirius XM stations that allowed me to discover awesome stations that was dedicated to jazz music and of course, ESPN Radio.

The trip to Huntsville from Houston is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The fact that the gas was still close to full was really impressive to me.

As I arrived on the SHSU campus in Huntsville, I saw that they were constructing new buildings.

And ate at the old Humphrey’s Bar and Restaurant and saw that the company had repainted the outside of the store.

A few days later, I decided to drive the avalon to the LSC-Montgomery campus to see what has changed and also see one of my former career counselors on the SHSU satellite campus adjecent to the community college.

SHSU opened the satellite campus in 2012 and it was truly awesome to let the career counselor know what has been happening in my business career since moving to the Houston area.

And of course, I had the opportunity to interact with the public relations representative, Carolina Guana, Vice President (Multicultural/Hispanic practice) at Allison+Partners, Greg Thome, Regional Communications Manager for Toyota and other influencers who were part of the Toyota Press Tour during the Houston Rockets matchup against the Sacramento Kings at the Toyota Center in downtown houston.

What I learned during the week with the avalon is the importance of business colloboration between the Toyota Corporate Office and the Gulf Coast Toyota Distributors (GSTD), which has been in business since 1969.

The representative from the dealership explained that the Gulf Coast Toyota is it’s own business and they have build a strong presence in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

Gulf Coast Toyota also have done great work in the communities in the states where they serve.

What I also learned is that Gulf Coast Toyota was responsible for getting the naming rights of the Toyota Center, where the Rockets play their home matchups during the National Basketball Association (NBA) season and the naming rights for Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, the home of the FC Dallas soccer team and the site of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivison (FCS) National Championship matchup.

What I can tell you is that Toyota has stepped outside the box to contact bloggers and social media influencers in addition to the tradional media because they understand the changes that are happening in the media world.

They also understand the importance of customer service and they strive to provide solutions that will ease the concerns of their customers.

I have a strong intuition that more and more businesses will be turning to bloggers, podcasters and social media influencers in the near future when they are launching their new products and services.

And thanks to the week long loan of the Toyota Avalon Car, I had the opportunity to take a “break” from Houston, Texas.

Bearkat Volleyball Player, Coach Earns SLC’s Top Honors

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

Deveney Wells-Gibson is the 2012 Southland Conference volleyball “Player of the Year,” Brenda Gray received league “Coach of the Year” honors and five Bearkats have been voted as All-Conference performers after leading Sam Houston to its first regular season volleyball championship since 1994.

Wells-Gibson was the top-scorer with 496 points for a Bearkat volleyball team that rolled to a 20-10 overall regular season mark and posted its highest Southland victory total ever with a 15-3 league mark.

The sophomore from San Antonio ranked No. 2 in kills (421) in the Southland and also was No. 10 in digs (339) and No. 12 in aces (34). She totaled double figure kills in 26 of the Bearkats’ 30 matches and was a two-time Southland Conference offensive player of the week selection.

Wells-Gibson is the first Bearkats to claim the honor since Julie Franzen won after SHSU’s 1993 conference championship season.

Gray, one of only 29 active head coaches in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball to post more than 500 career victories, to a season of 20 or more victories for the 12th time in her coaching career.

The 2012 Sam Houston team rolled up 13 consecutive victories at one point during the march to the conference title.

The 13-match winning streak is the longest since SHSU moved up to the Division I level in 1986.

In her 29th year of coaching this year’s honor marks her third “Coach of the Year” award in the Southland Conference.

After starting the season 3-7, the Bearkats went 17-3 the rest of the season including 12 three-set sweeps.

Her 595 career wins ranked third all-time among Southland Conference volleyball coaches.

Kendall Cleveland joined Wells-Gibson as a first team All-Southland Conference selection.

The senior from Houston totaled 389 points with 350 kills (3.53 per set) eight aces and 56 total blocks.

Tayler Gray and Kim Black, both Huntsville High School products, were second team selections.

As the Bearkats’ setter, Gray assisted on 1,162 of Sam Houston’s 1,413 kills this year and lead the squad with 383 digs.

Black was a force in the middle for the Bearkats, leading the Southland Conference in total blocks (140).

She stands No. 2 at Sam Houston in career blocks.

Kaylee Hawkins received honorable mention.

This marks the third time that she has made the All-Southland team (2009 first team, 2010 honorable mention).

The senior from Dickson is currently No. 3 in career digs (1,597).

Sam Houston is the No. 2 seed in the Southland Conference post-season tournament this weekend in Conway, Arkansas.

The Bearkats open play Friday at 11 a.m. against No. 7 seed Nicholls State.

The tournament semifinals will be played Saturday with the finals at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

This Time Really Is Different

by Cheval John

With the presidential election right around the corner, the main concern is the economy.

Some say that we are at a recovery while others believe that it will get worse.

Voters are wondering if we will ever see America return back to it’s “glory days.

To understand where we are today, we have to understand the past and that is where guest writer, Dr. Brian Domitrovic comes in.

He has written a book called “Econoclast, The Rebels Who Sparked The Supply-Side Revolution And Restored America’s Prosperity,” which deals with the ecomonic recovery during the Reagan Administration.

He writes a weekly blog called “Past and Present” for Forbes and have given presentations at various conferences that includes the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Houston Branch).

He has made appearances on radio nationally on shows like the Lars Larson Show and Voices of America and television appearances on various shows like Lou Dobbs Tonight and The Kudlow Report.

He is an Associate Professor of History at Sam Houston State University and currently serves as the Chair of the Department.

Now without further delay, here is Dr. Domitrovic:

We never seen a recovery from a recession this poor since the Great Depression.

There is some competition, and it comes from the stagflation era of the early 1980s.

The general rule is that a deep recession brings a sharper recovery, and the reason is simple mathematics.

Growth rates are calculated in the following manner: new GDP is divided by previous GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and the steeper the recession, the lower that denominator.

The lower the denominator, the greater will be a growth rate with any given numerator.

In the Depression, growth was very sharp out of the 1933 trough (40% for four years), but it still gave way to a nasty recession in 1937-38 that took unemployment to 17%.

This is the benchmark for failed recoveries: a resort to 17% unemployment.

In 1980, there was a recession, a mild one, and the recovery was meek, at 2.5% in 1981, and this gave way to another recession where unemployment just about hit 11%.

But then growth caught fire, 17% over the next three years, and 3.5% per year after that.

Today, the recovery from our Great Recession, in the aftermath of which there was 10% unemployment, has been at best on 1981 standards.

We used to recover from deep recessions with 17% growth for three years as the recovery.

Now we plod along at 1-2% per year out of a very deep swoon.

The only time we’ve done worse in the modern era is the 1930s.