Mark H Cohen

Mark H Cohen


165 comments posted · 2 followers · following 1

12 years ago @ SmartBlog On Social Media - Do you really need a s... · 1 reply · +1 points

Yes, you need a social strategy around content, policies and the like. But what is missing from a lot of companies who DO have social strategies is how it integrates with the overall marketing strategy. From messaging, to content, to how it works with other forms of media, to metrics - integration is a missing link that is critical to the success of social media efforts. Please, please, please don't use social in a social silo, that is the kiss of death from a corporate perspective.

12 years ago @ Fairfield Voice - The Voters Have Spoken... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thanks yermama. Yeah, Rustin did an excellent job communicating what he lives everyday as the executive director of the FACC. As I think you know, what he wrote is straight from the heart, there's no bs, no hidden agendas, etc. He is completely dedicated to ensuring that the FACC serves as much of the community as it can.

12 years ago @ Fairfield Voice - The Voters Have Spoken... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thank you Will, I really appreciate it. In addition to what I've written above, the FACC board is committed to working with the community on this - all of the community - to secure the community's ROI. Regardless of what side we have been on, we are now all in this together.

12 years ago @ Fairfield Voice - Why You Should Reject ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Well, yes, of course it puts money at risk, just like every other investment that the City makes, businesses in town make, and individuals make.

No risk, no return.

Every organization who has donated - like FEDA
And every individual donor - like me
And every business donor - like Agriplastic
And the City of Fairfield

Understands that in order to gain the benefits that a organization like the FACC provides to the community, that it must invest. And every investment involves risk.

Those named above, and all of those who have given, have done their homework. They have reviewed the FACC business plan, talked to the executive director, and talked to the board.

Some of the best business minds in this town - and some may argue in many towns - have done their due diligence and have decided that they would put not only invest their personal and business monies into the FACC, but their tax dollars as well since most pay taxes in the City of Fairfield.

None of the almost 1,000 donors has taken this lightly. We have done our homework and believe that this investment is well worth the risk.

12 years ago @ Fairfield Voice - Voting Yes On May 4 Is... · 0 replies · +2 points

Hi Shannon,

Of course there are no guarantees, there never are in any not-for-profit, or any business. We have written a business plan that has been vetted by many of the most successful business-people in town who have personally donated and/or had their businesses donate, and have had their civic organizations donate.

Those people do not take their investments lightly - and neither do we.

One of the pieces of the business plan that excites everyone is how revenue has increased and how we have shown how it will continue to. What that will do is to ADD to the Local Option Sales Tax pot - not just for community betterment - but for streets and sewers.

History has shown the City - and I really can't speak FOR them here, I am just echoing what I have heard from council members - that their other community investments: the library, the recreation center, etc, have NOT become a drain on the budget nor have they cost the taxpayers additional money. Surely, they do not have the overhead the Center has, but then again, they do not generate the revenues the Center does either.

After very careful deliberation and having explored selling the Center to private parties in and out of Fairfield, and other scenarios, the board and ultimately the bank, agreed that this plan, to have the City purchase the Center via a bond paid for out of 1/8th of the total LO Sales Tax for approx 8 years, is the most feasible plan for the Center.

If you don't believe that, I cannot argue with you and I appreciate your opinion.

However, the question then becomes, given that this is our best option to retain this asset that even our biggest detractors have admitted IS an asset to the community in so many ways, do we invest in it and in doing so, the future of Fairfield, or do we allow it to go dark with a much more uncertain future.

Oh, and before I get pounced on for the "go dark" comment, allow me to explain. If the vote is a no vote, the bank WILL foreclose on the Center. Since most of the equipment and fixtures are leased, the bank and the lessees will all wrangle over what THEY believe is the best plan for THEM to get their money back. We can speculate all we want on what the outcome of that will be, but believe me, and the bank will back this up, they have no interest in running the Center and they WILL close it while figuring out what to do with it.

12 years ago @ Fairfield Voice - Why You Should Reject ... · 0 replies · +2 points

You've hit the nail on the head Eddie, as that IS what it is, a not-for-profit facility serving the community. Just like the library and the rec center which are not expected to turn profits either. They are what makes our community rich and vibrant.

As I've written earlier, facilities like this are just not privately owned, because from a pure business perspective - make a good profit - they just don't do that. Even the major sports stadiums and arenas that command the highest ticket prices in the US for say, the NY Yankees, are primarily funded through tax dollars AND tax incentives (such as lower or NO property taxes.)

12 years ago @ Fairfield Voice - Why You Should Reject ... · 0 replies · +2 points

I wish picking up and starting fresh was even an option. But it really isn't Teena is correct.

If the building goes dark there will be little interest - if any -  from donors or supporters of any kind, and the managers who call Rustin now, asking to perform here, will stop. Once the luster wears off, and as Teena mentioned, it happens quickly, you can't imagine how quickly people get turned-off.

I had an experience last year when a business in town was going to sponsor a show, and when a negative article appeared in the Ledger about uncertainty at the Center, they chose not to. We were even going to escrow their money, but their board wouldn't have it. This is one small example of what to expect if the Center goes dark.

12 years ago @ Fairfield Voice - Why You Should Reject ... · 1 reply · +2 points

Great questions Krystal!

1 - This was brought up at the City Council meeting and every person who spoke to the City Council agreed that it should be put to a vote - even a known naysayer who I know for a fact is going to vote no.

2 - There have been more positive letters than negative lately. Last week there was one negative, there was the letter from Myron Gookin which was published here, on Fairfield Voice, and that was it. It'll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow, the last edition of the Ledger to be published with letters to the editor before the vote.

12 years ago @ Fairfield Voice - Why You Should Reject ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Well, one thing we can definitely agree on Will is that the building isn't going anywhere. If the vote fails, it will most likely sit there, dark, for months, maybe years, while bankruptcy lawyers squabble over who gets to sell which asset first.

Barring that, the proposal for the City to invest $650,000 to purchase an asset that is currently worth $1.75M, and that generates millions of dollars for the economy, is a good business deal. And to be clear, the City's investment will be joined by $950,000 that the FACC has raised from private donors - businesses and individuals. That will complete the purchase, leave the Center debt-free.

The FACC has clearly proven that it can raise private funds to support it, so the only risk left for the City is whether the entertainment, meetings, and events held there generate enough revenue to cover the costs. And for the last year and half, that has been the case.

As I had written earlier, there ARE no guarantees, but the performance of Rustin Lippincott and the oversight of the board of directors for the past year and half, indicates that the formula is working. Surely, it will continue to be tweaked, as the Center owes it to the community to be as self-reliant as it can be. But barring the unforseen, as a business-person and a tax-payer, I see this as a low-risk investment by the City - and the community - that will generate a positive ROI and continue to serve the community in even more ways than it already does.

12 years ago @ Fairfield Voice - Why You Should Reject ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Here are my thoughts on your post Krystal.

The FACC has comedy - country, rock, folk, local musicians of all genres, classical concerts - musical theater, touring reviews, touring one-man shows, movies, and in the upcoming season: magic, acrobats, hip-hop meets Stomp, a circus performed by cats and dogs, and everything else mentioned above.

Oh wait, there will likely be more MMS, a gun show, a tractor show, and other types of entertainment and shows as schedules are finalized and we hear from management.

There are very few genres of entertainment that will not be at the FACC this year. That is because management works hard to reach as many patrons as is possible, across all demographics. No, we don't exactly know our demographics yet, but  overall, the revenues generated by the shows I referenced the other day covered the costs. Surely, it would be wonderful to sell out every show. But it is naive to think that ANY multi-use theater can do that, no less one that has a relatively small audience to draw from.

So the best we can hope for is to sell as many tickets as we can to turn a profit on each show. And with a lineup that I am certain will draw more than the shows in 2009/2010 did, we will have more to build on. And then we can do better in 2011/2012.

As a marketing guy, I, too, want to know the demographics. But demographics only tell a piece of the story Krystal. I have friends who are your age who are far more interested in rap and hip-hop than Bare Naked Ladies or the Nadas - no offense intended, but they would never go see them.

The point being that our formula has to be part demos, but mostly psychographics, and that IS what we are starting to get a handle on. We know what types of acts draw and which don't, and I am willing to go out on a limb and guarantee you that the Artist Series I mentioned the other day, the one that does not personally interest you (and really, apologies that it doesn't!) will draw more patrons per show than last year. Because we learned, and will continue to.