Would you like Onions with That?

John, when is the best time for me to send my company’s weekly email?

That’s a great question.  And the answer is, when it’s ready.

I believe in great content.  And I’ve also been told that Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday night, and Sunday mornings in February are the best times for Facebook interaction.  And the best time to send out your company email is Thursday at 2:00 pm.  However, just because your timing is impeccable doesn’t mean you should cut corners on your content.  What exactly does that email say?  Is it carefully written, with an interesting subject line or are you sending out a bulk email just because it’s Thursday at 1:45 pm?

Before you hit send, think about how many emails you personally delete.  Maybe it’s the sender (Aldi has expired flour on sale!), maybe it’s the subject line (Bob, Senator Jones needs your $50) or maybe you just feel like making something disappear.  I’ve read that perhaps only 20% of all email is actually opened.  If you don’t want your email to end up on the virtual cutting room floor, think about a few things before you compose that note.

Does it have to be said?  If the answer is yes, make sure your email is clear and concise.  Get to the point on the opening line.

“Dear Bob.  We need your liver.”  You wouldn’t delete that one, would you?

“Now allow me to explain.  Veal Liver is delicious and a great source of high-quality protein.  And this week, Bistro Bistro is featuring our best customer-submitted liver recipes.  Submit your liver recipe and perhaps next week we’ll feature your liver.”

Does it include a call-to-action?  In other words: do this; buy that; call this number; eat at this restaurant.

“Dear Bob.  Your neighborhood bistro market has liver on sale!  So stop in (Stop In.  That’s the Call to Action) and pick up a couple of pounds today.  We’re here until 9:00 pm and while you’re waiting for our butchers to trim your liver, take a look at our award-winning produce department.  We’re featuring fava beans for only $3.99 a pound.  And fava beans make an excellent accompaniment to liver.”

Do you have a compelling subject line?  Because I’m going to decide whether I’ll delete or open based on your subject line.  If it’s the standard “Our latest news…” then you can bet I’m headed for the delete key.  So think about your subject line and write something compelling.  Get your recipients to take that next step.

“Our livers really quiver.”

And with that in mind, if you’re haphazard, you can produce emails that are akin to a  fried liver drenched in gravy.  It’s drenched because very little care was taken in the actual preparation.  Coat it in gravy and perhaps 20% of the public may order it.


Overcooked peas, instant mashed potatoes, and too much brown gravy. If this dish represented a paragraph in your company’s weekly email, would you want to read it?



Or you can take a moment to refine your company’s weekly emails, carefully read them three or four times looking for unnecessary words, frivolous sprigs of parsley, or too much breading.  Only use what is absolutely necessary to produce your statements, your emails, and your dinner.  And instead of drowning your liver in gravy, produce something your customers and clients should look forward to receiving, much like an appetizer at your favorite restaurant.


Liver and Onions, courtesy Thomas Keller’s Per Se. If this dish represented a story, I would want every bite.


If you’re looking for clever, knowledgeable, and affordable help with your company’s social media, call me at (864) 616-7171.


Look over here!


Lose Weight Now!

Learn Spanish Today!

Cheap First Class Airfare to Italy!

Learn to Cook like John Malik in One Hour!

We’ve all seen these “too good to be true” offers when we’re floating through Facebook, right?  And if that’s all there was to these offers, you may not pay any attention to them.  I mean, all these offers sound enticing but if you’re an advertiser, these far-fetched promises aren’t enough.  You’re gonna need a sexy photo to draw eyeballs to your advert.  And that’s where Danielle comes in.


Now you can’t help but be attracted to this photo.  Your eyes are drawn away from what you’re supposed to be doing to what Danielle is doing.  And suddenly you’re thinking, “well, I really should brush up on my Spanish, I wonder how much those CD’s are?  Maybe I’ll take a look.”

Internet advertisers refer to this as click bait and it makes sense, right?  Danielle is the bait that’s going to get you to click through to the web content.  Facebook charges their advertisers on impressions (just a look) and click-throughs so keep that in mind when you start looking at your Facebook feed.  Treat it as a minefield and you’ll be fine.  Or click away, and be prepared to wander off into the tall green grass, looking for Danielle.

Sky Dive!

At 7,000 feet, the jump master opened the door and offered me a thumbs up.  The air whooshed through the cabin, animating the nylon of my jumpsuit.  As the green patchwork gently retreated past the spinning props and whistling wingtips, I stood up, gripped the hand rail, and hesitated.

“John, I have a job I think you would be interested in, it’s a Food and Beverage Director at a wonderful resort hotel.  It’s in the Midwest but I think you’d love it.  Listen, before we go any further I want you to talk to your kids, talk to your family first.  Then let’s talk again on Tuesday because I don’t like to send candidates out of state unless they’ve taken everything into account.”

I would parachute out of an airplane tomorrow.  That is, if my wife would give me permission.  A few years ago she grew weary of meeting me at the ER, of cleaning the gravel out of my shoulder, of stitching my cuts and icing my bruises.

“Sweetheart, you really should learn how to slow down.”

I grew up in a time when boys were expected to get out of the house, to catch snakes and frogs, to fish and hunt.  We were supposed to challenge ourselves, to run barefoot, climb trees and take chances.  I still have an enormous sense of adventure and the desire to push myself.  And when that phone call came, I blurted out Yes!  And as I listened to her, I caught my own reflection in the glass of a family photograph.

Did I really need to jump out of this airplane?

For months I had been on the job hunt and it had slowly ground me down.  A chef that had spent almost six months on crutches was not what one would call a hot commodity.  I began to question myself and spent too much time in regret and pondering what-ifs.  One lousy 80-pound case of ground beef, a tiny scratch on my femur, an unappreciative employer and a knee that slowly lost stability had sidelined me for almost two years.  Months after the surgery I wondered not if I would be able to cook again but would I be able to run or go up and down stairs.  And finally I drew the interest of a talent scout in Chicago.  And she had one heck of a position she was looking to fill.  If it was just me, no family waiting for me to arrive safely back on the ground, I would have leapt out of that airplane, yelling with delight all the way down.  Yes I would have missed my town and friends but the adventure was calling.

Amy and I had a long discussion that weekend and decided that the timing just wasn’t right.  We had a lot of friends and contacts, we live in a great town and our kids, both teenagers, would most likely be heartbroken.  And what about my knee?  Would I be able to handle the stress of five or six consecutive 12 to 14 hour days?  Amy has invested a lot of time helping me get back in shape. Is this how I wanted to thank her?  Did we really have to start over in a new town, a new state, a new everything?  I don’t always know when to say “no” and that could have been my downfall.  If I had gone back to a hotel too early and a few weeks in had to relinquish my position; that could have destroyed me.  But I have a desire to be helpful, I love to make people smile and I really miss being part of a team that has its heart set on a common goal.  So what now?  If I say no to this, what would be waiting for me around the corner?  So I said another prayer and asked not for an answer, but a little bit of patience.

About two weeks later I was approached by a company that wanted to pay me real money to manage their social media.  Really.  And now here I am with a new career, a new company and new challenges.


In many ways, I jumped out of that airplane months ago, I just hadn’t realized it.