John R. Kowalski Integrative Marketing Fusion

May is Mental Health Month

It’s Mental Health Month, and I’m sure you’ve seen the conversation popping up in many places over the last few weeks. Whether it’s college students or working professionals, mental health awareness is front of mind right now – but it should be something that we discuss year round.

Marketing Stress? Take a Deep Breath & Drink a Beer.

The other day I saw & responded to a post in a marketing forum on Reddit. It was from a marketer early in his career. He’s a designer but found himself in a marketing role in a craft beer company where the owners are pretty much hands off and have asked for a Gantt Chart of campaigns for the next 6 months. Here’s my initial email to him:


Good to meet you and relax… no more stress. It’s just marketing. 😊

How about Tuesday or Wednesday next week? 1:30 your time? Either of those days work? I can set up a zoom call if that works for you.

Before diving into marketing campaigns do you know if they’ve had any branding done? My guess is no. Have they done any marketing stuff prior to you? Anything you can send me to look at?

To do things right you need to establish the brand. Meaning what the company is and stands for. It’s really the foundation of everything but a lot of times it’s ignored. But it really helps identify brand assets – statements that identify and differentiate from the competition. It’s also your checks and balances against any marketing activity to ensure you’re on strategy. Not don’t let this stuff overwhelm you at all.

I’ve attached a brand survey that I use that can help get this branding stuff done. Feel free to use it if you think it’s appropriate for your owners. I’ll get a better handle of your situation after we talk.

So basically:

  • Get your brand sorted out
  • Do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats – template attached)
  • Develop a marketing strategy (template attached)
  • Now it’s campaign time – a tool I use is for tracking and scheduling everything (there’s a free version). It’ll also create a Gantt Chart from your data. I’ve attached a manual template that has the categories I set up in Some of these categories may not be applicable to your company, but we can discuss.

So I know you’re feeling overwhelmed with all this stuff so take a deep breath and drink a beer. It’s the process to do things the right way. But even if your owners are pushing to get campaigns out, we can work around that pressure and do several things at the same time.

I’ve been doing this marketing thing for 25+ years and have seen every scenario possible and can help you along the way so don’t feel like you’re out there alone. I can help guide you along the way for you to be successful. 😊

Sorry about this long email but wanted to give you some foundations and things to think about till we talk.

Hang in there and we’ll chat soon.

Cheers! John


I always love mentoring & guiding young professionals. What takeaways did you get from the above?

Stress & PTSD in firefighters

An excellent article was recently published by FireRescue1 on PTSD in firefighters that talks on recognizing PTSD symptoms in firefighters by Jim Spell. They begin…

After years of service, firefighters and EMTs often suffer from both acute and chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.

“The fire service has made great strides in identifying stress as it relates to firefighters on and off the job. Out of lessons gleaned from the enduring trauma of war to the repeated violence connected with domestic disputes, the fire service has become aware that our experiences as firefighters are on par with soldiers returning from battle and civilian victims of battery.”

Recognizing the symptoms is the first step just prior to getting help. And due to our history, that ego thing seems to get in the way. “We’re tough and can handle it.” But what if you didn’t have to “handle” it? What if opening yourself up and being vulnerable could actually strengthen you? Make you a stronger hero to those you help and those around you.

That’s where a client of mine comes in. Leslie Yancy of Hero 2 Hero offers a range of speaking engagements and workshops on this very thing for first responders and healthcare personnel. From Leslie’s website, “Bringing awareness and education to this subject is the key to stopping the suicides and unhealthy coping mechanisms. We need to break through the stigma that says stress and PTSD is a sign of weakness. It’s your strength.”

Educate yourself on the signs and develop a network of resources to assist. There is power in numbers and none of us are alone in this battle.

Be safe.