Discover the I-Park Foundation – A Beautiful Nature Preserve in Connecticut

ipark1I-Park is a non-profit artists-in-residence program located in East Haddam, CT.

Since 2001, I-Park has hosted over 600 artists from around the world on this 450-acre site.  The preserve serves as both an open-air and closed-studio laboratory/workshop for creative pursuits in a variety of fields. These include: visual arts, music composition/sound art, creative writing, moving image, architecture and landscape/garden/ecological design.

Each month, beginning in April and ending in November, seven artists, who have been selected by way of a highly competitive jury process, arrive at I-Park for a 4-week, fully-funded onsite residency to develop new projects or work on existing ones.  Additionally, every 2 years, I-Park hosts an Environmental Art Exhibition preceded by a 3-week residency.  For this year’s Environmental Art Program, 12 artists will create new works that respond to the landscape: sculptures, sound art and performance art.

A free public exhibition will be held on September 20, 2015.

The public is also invited for OPEN Studios on August 9th, 2015.  Meet the artists-in-residence in their studios, view their works-in-progress and walk the grounds.

To learn more about I-Park, donation opportunities and their calendar of events, please visit, call 860.873.2468 or send an email to

Seek Experts to Fill Difficult Positions – Image Marketing Consultants Explains

In some ways one of the most difficult corporate positions to fill is that of the head of corporate communications. Why? Because at those firms that also do public relations and employee communications in house, the person who runs that department has to wear several hats. He or she must know what makes products and services attractive to consumers; what makes great marketing copy; where to look for opportunities in social responsibility and social media; how to promote internal initiatives (like employee recognition programs) and much more.

But few people have a big enough head for all those hats.  Many companies, therefore, have to choose an executive with just one or two strengths and require that they appreciate the others and delegate them appropriately.

In fact, some communications executives all but admit that they don’t know how to write, or that they are terrible public speakers, or that that don’t know the first thing about social media. Certainly not everyone can know everything, but it’s disconcerting when a corporate communications director doesn’t know how to communicate.

That’s why experts are important—whether inside the company or from an outside marketing communications firm. You wouldn’t want a model airplane kit that’s missing a few parts, would you? For a business to succeed internally and externally, having just a few communications skills just won’t do. You need them all for effective marketing to fly.


Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to complimentary consultation on your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs, 203-404-4868.

Social Entrepreneurs: Image Marketing Consultants Talks About Doing Good To Do Well

More businesses may be writing into their mission statement how they plan to change the world.  This is becoming the era of the social entrepreneur.

Doing good to do well has become so recognized as a winning approach that THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE featured the thinking of Wharton professor Adam Grant on how giving gets you ahead. The incentive is clearly there for you to frame your vision in terms of making the world a little bit better place.  The new missionary forces are business people who leverage their know-how to do good.

One way to become a social entrepreneur is to create a program for hiring youth this summer.  Likely they are not looking for the money as much as for the experience.  So, you don’t have to pay them a king’s ransom, only pay attention that they are learning.  You might be their first mentor for the world of work.

Another way is to partner with a non-profit with a niche mission related to your business.  Maybe that non-profit provides pro bono coaching in financial literacy and you are a financial-planning group.  You can donate the time of a few of your planners.

A third way is to invent an app for the smartphone which empowers Everyman and Everywoman to accomplish something in their lives which they couldn’t.  An example would be how to resist overeating.

Doing good means investing in hope for the human race.  That resonates after the tragedies of Newtown, Connecticut and the Boston Marathon.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs, 202-404-4868.

Niche Marketing – Image Marketing Consultants Explains How To Hedge

There are trends and there are fads.  In your business you have to hedge your bets that your popular product or service will turn out to be a mere fad, like $4.50 gourmet cupcakes, and not a trend like nonfat milk.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that the bubble has burst on cupcakes, with Crumbs Bake Shop stock sinking from $13 per share to about $1.70.  Not only is the Crumbs chain but also bakeries across the nation are experiencing significantly depressed demand.

That’s why Image Marketing Consultants warns about the risks involved in niche marketing.  Sure, specializing in a one product or service has been profitable and a tactic to establish a strong brand identity.  However, given the rapid changes in the marketplace, especially consumer preferences, businesses shouldn’t bet the ranch.  They can introduce complimentary products and services, as has PepsiCo.  They can also, under another brand, diversify, keeping the brands separate, as has News Corp.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs, 203-404-4868.

Cutting Marketing Costs – 3 Tips from Image Marketing Consultants

With the recovery comes opportunity.  So, companies are focused on marketing.  Some will be rebranding to reach new kinds of customers and clients. Some will be launching new products and services.  And some will be trying to sell more and/or at a higher price than before.  The rub is that marketing costs can be expensive.  How can you cut yours?  Image Marketing Consultants has these 3 tips.

Partner.  To get its initiatives in the digital wallet off the ground American Express has found partners such as Wal-Mart.   They pool resources, ranging from know-how to distribution channels.  That not only saves money and spreads the risk but also increases the odds for success.

Place small bets. With so much turbulence in the economy it’s downright reckless to bet the ranch.  Try out a number of strategies and tactics in small ways.  JC Penney bet the ranch on its anti-discounting strategy and lost out big time.

Reward. Both research and experience show that customers and clients want to be thanked for doing business with you.  Companies such as Discover which structure their loyalty rewards programs right are growing faster than those with no or ham-handed programs.  Rewards don’t have to cost much and, since they reduce churn, they can save on marketing costs.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs, 203-404-4868.


Peggy Olson – Image Marketing Consultants Tells Business What It Can Learn from “Mad Men” Character

For years on “Mad Men” we have watched the character Peggy Olson suffer, grow, and finally succeed.  Unlike most of the rest of those on this series Olson not only has made it professionally.  She also has found inner centering and maybe even happiness.

Image Marketing Consultants sees plenty of lessons business can learn from Olson’s difficult journey from a blue-collar background, insecurity, and a tendency to idolize those who seem to have all the answers to establishing her own creative space, on her own terms, without bitterness.  Here are three.

Break away. From the get-go as infants, we human beings learn by imitation.  The challenge is to finally stop that and find our own identity.  There are those organizations and individuals who can’t let go of the model of the late Steve Jobs.  Yet they should be focused on developing their own type of genius.  Despite the emotional odds against her for carving out her own territory, Olson did break away.

Forgive.  Carrying resentments from the past provides distractions from the present.  That’s why the wise in every field, be it business or religion, hammer the importance of forgiveness.  That process of letting go of ancient grudges frees up energy to achieve right now.  Olson not only isn’t obsessed with the possible wrongs done her.  She also isn’t trapped in castigating herself for her own mistakes when learning the ropes of the ad business.

Stay open.  Olson is the one character on “Mad Men” whose future is open, both professionally and socially.  We can’t predict what she will put together for herself this sixth season. We only expect more suffering for Don, Megan, Roger, Joan, and Pete.  They close themselves to most opportunities.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on your marketing, partnership, public relations, special events, and social media needs, 203-404-4868.