Linda W. Perkins

Owning the Experience: Groupon Hits Home with this "Have-Done"

June 3rd, 2016 15:51 by Linda W. Perkins

Groupon   own the experience

In my 30 years of experience in the creative business, I have seen a lot of ads. Some good, some bad, and many in between. Many of the most popular ones have been so because they have been funny or outrageous, like seeing NBA player Dennis Rodman in a bubble bath pitching Silestone. Some have captured the essence of beauty, enticing you to want to grab hold of it by buying a perfume like Lancome's La Vie Est Belle. Rarely, however, has an ad caught my attention because I could relate to it. Today, that all changed. Groupon pegged me - my personality, my lifestyle and my outlook - to a tee, with its new ad campaign titled "Own the Experience." I literally paused the TV, rewound it to watch the commercial again, and immediately began telling everyone about it. Watch the clip below and then let me tell you why...

Click here to view Groupon "Own the Experience" ad

A number of years back, I was talking with a friend who lived in an area of town I have since moved from. She commented that there were simply "two types of people in this area: the haves and the have-nots." I was left pretty much speechless, as I was certainly not as well-to-do as many others in that community, but nor was I quite as poor as the "have-nots" she was referring to. Where the heck did I fit in? And did I really want to be in a neighborhood where I would be given the choice of either looking down my nose at others who were considered "less than" or groveling at the feet of the wealthy? When circumstances led me to a more solidly middle class area, where all races were considered equal and people were judged by how neighborly they were, rather than the size of their wallets, I was never so happy.

Today, the size of our family income would put us in the "haves" category if I lived in that other area of town. Instead, however, I prefer to live where we do...in a nice middle class neighborhood surrounded by awesome people who also have the most fascinating lives. I even have an up-and-coming rock star across the street! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are the class of people this Groupon ad celebrates: the "have-dones!" From kayaking the Great Barrier Reef to hitching a ride in a hot air balloon, I wouldn't trade all the money and status in the world for all that I have experienced in my life! Here's to the rest of the have-dones out there and to experiencing life to the fullest. Thanks, Groupon, for making me smile today! :-)

Fence Sitting Has Its Benefits

April 1st, 2016 19:55 by Linda W. Perkins

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“Hi. My name is Linda and I’m a fence sitter.”

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? And yet, when I look at my portfolio website, I feel like that should be my first line. Look here for writing samples with a marketing slant. Look there for objective news articles. Oh, and here are some blog pieces, thrown into the mix, so you can get an idea of my personal perspective on life.

If I didn’t know better, I would say I am a perpetual adolescent, still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Is it a marketing copywriter and PR flack? A reporter? Or perhaps a preacher?

The good news is that I am not, in fact, having an identity crisis. I know exactly what I want to be. It’s exactly what I am, and what I’ve been for many years: a writer.

One of my blogger friends has a favorite phrase that says, “I write because I must.”

Being a writer is more than what I do. It’s who I am. I write because I must.

When I was in fourth grade, hooked on Nancy Drew books, I wanted to be a mystery writer. Several failed attempts at short stories later, I decided perhaps I should be a poet or songwriter. I wasn’t writing for anyone else. I was writing for me. It really wasn’t until I got to college that I thought about how to make a living as a writer. And even then, as an advertising/PR major within the journalism department, I still wrote everything from ads to press releases to news stories.

Nevertheless, being a writer is a little like being a doctor: people may start out with a general practitioner, but ultimately they want a specialist.

I was a specialist for years. I entered the world of information technology in 1995 and didn’t look back for 20 years. I earned my stripes as a “creative techie” writer, translating technical jargon into business benefits. I knew Internet marketing and web design like the back of my hand, built relationships with the IT press and analyst community, and could write technical data sheets in nothing flat. White papers soon followed.

Two decades of doing the same thing can get old, though.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love technology and I still write about it. That’s the reason it still dominates my portfolio. But something inside me yearned for more. Something more … creative.

Starting Spring Sight blog in 2014 gave me more than just a way to help others. Moving beyond the marketing space connected me to a whole other world of writers. These writers were different. They weren’t product pushers or spin doctors. They were literature-inspired authors, who painted vivid imagery with their words. They were artists. I wanted to be like them, to think like them, to write like them.

With “brand consistency” etched firmly in the back of my mind, I couldn’t reconcile the two distinct sides of me. I struggled to figure out how to position myself. Will anyone take me seriously in either vein if I show them both? But as I pondered this dilemma and researched the market, I discovered a new truth.

In the world of writing today, the fences on which I have been sitting — the lines between creative writing and journalism and marketing — are all beginning to fall. A creative “hook” is no longer just for ads. Narrative is no longer bound to fiction. Short-to-the-point has its place too.

I learned news reporting back in the day when inverted pyramid style was the only way to go and the emphasis was “just the facts, ma’am.” In two weeks, I will go to a Society of Professional Journalists conference that has a session teaching the art of storytelling, which literally instructs journalists to “dump the inverted pyramid.” Yes, the facts are still important, but so is creativity.

In today’s writing world, my Gemini personality fits in just perfectly. To some, I may be perceived as a “fence sitter,” unable to choose between the various genres my pen (or computer keyboard) gravitates to. But to others, a new generation perhaps, I need only be known by one word: writer.

Spring Sight - Offering Hope to the Hurting

March 10th, 2016 17:10 by Linda W. Perkins

Hope small

It's the call every parent dreads, yet almost every parent gets it at least once.

The school is calling, and the nurse says in her sweetest, calmest voice, "We don't want you to worry, but there was an incident at school and your child was hurt..."

Whatever else she says is a blur, as your mind races, formulating a plan on how to drop everything and be at the school as quickly as possible. You're not yet in a panic, but you can feel your heart beating faster as you head out the door. Your only priority is to get to your child.

"It's okay, honey. Mommy is on the way..." you say out loud in the car, as if you believe you really can communicate telepathically to your child.

When you arrive, you fly past the receptionist into the nurse's office, making a bee line to your child. Her tears fall on your shoulder as you pick her up and hold her tight.

You look her over and brush the wisp of hair out of her eyes. She looks more scared than injured.

"Are you all right? Don't worry, it's going to be okay," you assure her.

Hearing those words, she gives a little nod. Yes, mommy is here. Everything is better now.

When we are hurting, the first thing we want is comfort. Someone to say, "It's going to be okay." In today's world, though, that kind of reassurance can be hard to find. There are many places to learn more about what's wrong with us, but few to offer us hope that things will be all right.

As children, our parents fill that role. And as parents, we do the same for our kids. But where do we as adults go for comfort and healing? Even the best doctors can't heal the heart. They can treat our bodies, but not our souls. And when the pain is chronic, we need an even heavier dose of hope.

By the time I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2014, I had already been through enough trials in my life to know my source of hope. I had learned to depend on God through tough times and to be grateful for every good day that came my way. Nevertheless, hearing the news that I had a progressive, incurable illness that would inflict daily pain and potentially render me disabled was scary. I only knew one person with the disease and I knew she had gone through some pretty tough times in dealing with it. I began asking myself questions like "Why me?" and "Why now?" and sought answers via Scripture and prayer.

My questions and answers, as I have walked this journey with RA, have become Spring Sight blog. It is a place where I share my struggles with others who are hurting, so they know they are not alone in their pain. And yet, it is more than a place to commiserate. It is a place to celebrate the gifts God gives me every day, especially His peace and joy that can transcend every trial.

After 25 years of writing about business and technology, Spring Sight gives me an opportunity to write from the heart for those who are hurting. It is a place where I can share what God is doing in my life, so that others may find comfort in His arms as well.

If you or someone you know are hurting, and would be encouraged by reading my experiences, I invite you to join me at SpringSight.net. If you are an editor of a publication looking for inspirational articles related to healthcare and Christianity, I would also welcome an opportunity to write for you.

Have a blessed day!