Max Fose


IWS Wins 8 Pollies
11:23 am by Max Fose

Pollie Award is “a symbol of the ‘Best of the Best’
in political and public affairs communication”

The American Association of Political Consultants awarded IWS with 8 Pollie Awards this past weekend. The Pollie Award is “a symbol of the ‘Best of the Best’ in political and public affairs communication.”

“We are honored to receive national recognition for our political and public affairs work,” said Max Fose, President of IWS.  ”We are blessed to have great clients and are proud of the work we produced to earn these awards on their behalf.”

IWS was awarded the following Pollie Awards:

  • Best Use of Facebook Advertising Nationwide: Gold, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Best Facebook Application: Gold – U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Contact Congress App
  • Website – State/Local: Gold, Born Here, Belong Here
  • Website – State/Local: Silver, What’s a Life Worth
  • Best Use of Facebook Advertising – State/Statewide – Republican: Bronze – Sarah Steelman for Missouri Senate
  • Website – State/Local: Honorable Mention, Clear Views Phoenix
  • Website – Local – Republican: Honorable Mention – Syms for Mayor of Paradise Valley
  • Best Use of Email: Silver – Clear Views Phoenix

This is the second year in a row IWS has been awarded 8 Pollie Awards. Last year, IWS received the following Pollie Awards:

  • Overall Campaigns – Ballot Initiative: Yes on 100
  • Direct Mail – Ballot Initiative: Yes on 100
  • Vote-By-Mail Ballot Request: Yes on 100
  • Best Use of Negative Contrast: No on 302
  • Website State: Yes on 100
  • Website State: No on 302
  • Website Local: Keep the Cubs
  • Television Ballot Initiative – GOTV: Yes on 100

For more information about IWS, visit


Rachel Schubert


Today’s Consumer: Internet Savvy
02:15 pm by Rachel Schubert

comScore, Inc. just released the 2011 U.S online-shopping stats and my, oh my, Americans like to spend money online! In one year, we spent a remarkable $161.5 billion online purchasing a multitude of things. These include digital subscriptions, jewelry & watches, electronics, toys and software.

There has also been an increase in ipad/tablet use by shoppers while they are physically in a retail store. Why? Price checking!

In such economic times like these, the increasing trend towards internet based shopping predicts a bright future for businesses with active web properties.

This is your call to action, retail vendors, get your company up and running online or lose that business.

Rachel Schubert


Shopping Online is More Popular than Ever
08:22 am by Rachel Schubert

For those of you who did your Holiday shopping in-store this past Season are a bit behind the technology curve as Americans are using the internet for almost everything nowadays. According to comScore Inc., the global leader in digital analytics, retail and shipping websites skyrocketed during December 2011.

What does this mean? Well, probably not too much if you are above the age of 100 and don’t know what a computer does, or if you just hate giving gifts. But, if you are like the rest of us and usually find yourself in a shopping time crunch during the holidays, let it be known that sales in movies, jewelry/luxury goods, flowers, greetings and gifts grew substantially within one month and we are reminded of the simple joys our home can offer during the hectic holiday season.

This also could mean something for companies without a strong online presence. Of the top 50 web properties with a focus on advertising, The Google Ad Network came in first place, engaging 93% of Americans. Also, more than 6.6 million people visited a tax site to make sure their books were in tact for the upcoming year.

If you haven’t jumped on the online shopping, advertising or researching train, I would go ahead and take that leap; you won’t be disappointed.



Quora Can Make You an Expert
09:32 am by Aaron

What is Quora? Funny you should ask.

Quora is a social question and answer service where users ask questions and receive answers from other users.

I know what you’re thinking:

  • How is this different than Yahoo! Answers?
  • How is this relevant?

Quora is different from Yahoo! Answers because of the identity associated with the profiles. Most Quora accounts are already linked to an existing Facebook or Twitter account, providing more identity than a Yahoo profile.

Users also must establish their expertise in a given field. For example, if I go in and answer a specific social media question, I would put that I am a Social Media and Content Producer for IWS. This way, when someone sees my answer, they know the level of expertise that I have in the field.

The best answers are voted up by the users, and are displayed as such:

Quora was co-founded by former Facebook employees who were successful in initially recruiting big names to answer questions. These big names, such as the head of AOL answering an AOL-specific question, gave early credibility to the site.

How is Quora relevant to your business? It is a medium in which you can display your expertise.

If you work in the T-Shirt printing industry and notice someone has a question about T-shirt printing on Quora, it might be a good idea to answer it and increase the exposure of your business.

Quora allows users to create a topic that anyone can follow. When following, questions and answers related to the topic appear in the user’s home page feed, much like other social networks. Your response to the question about T-shirt printing not only helps the asker, but it will also show up in the feeds of anyone following the topic. It’s social variability, just with questions instead of “likes” or “fans.”

Have any more questions about Quora? Go to the site and ask!

David Haase


Facebook Timelines Now Live for Everyone
03:15 pm by David Haase

Things YOU need to do now that Facebook Timelines is live:

  • Pay attention. You have seven days to review your timeline, but it’s going live on Dec. 22 whether you have reviewed it or not! So, pay attention.
  • Become a revisionist. It’s your life; that means it’s your story. Revise it to tell the story you want … which for most people will involve removing at least one photo.
  • Check your privacy settings. You don’t have to let anyone see anything you don’t want them to see, and that includes your Timeline. (See ‘It’s your life’ above.)
  • While you’re in your privacy settings, clean out those old apps. You know, the ones you said could retrieve all your data and then you forgot that you even allowed them at it. Apps are easy to remove. We recommend that you do a little housecleaning.


New Launch: 2012 Scottsdale Culinary Festival
01:56 pm by Aaron

We’re pleased to announce the launch of The Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s 2012 Web site. We at IWS have been working on this site feverishly since mid-October and we’re ecstatic with how it turned out.

Not familiar with the Scottsdale Culinary Festival?

2012 marks the 34th year of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Since the event’s humble beginnings in 1978, the Festival has grown to be a community favorite that hosts nearly 40,000 guests from all over the nation with over a dozen events, hundreds of restaurants, dozens of chefs and countless fine wine and spirit selections.

If you want to know more, go visit the site. If you live in Arizona, I would encourage you to attend – it is a lot of fun every year. If you live outside of Arizona, April is the perfect time of year to visit.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, working on this site for the past month and a half has made me very hungry . . .



Google+ Finally Causing a ‘Ripple’?
09:47 am by Aaron

Google+ ran into a brick wall at the outset, being compared to Facebook.

It was competing with Facebook for the same market, or a very similar market. Both firms have impressive pedigrees, which led to numerous stories about how Google+ could be the next Facebook or a “Facebook killer.”

When such expectations are piled on anything, disappointment is usually the only realistic outcome. After a fast start, Google+ has slowed down, and many people have moved on to finding the next “Facebook killer.”

One area where Google+ has Facebook beat, however, is the graphical display of its pages and profile’s metrics. Note: I’m not saying the Google+ metrics are better. I’m saying their graphic display is better.

This is true because of a service called Ripples, which lets you see in a very nifty way  everyone who publicly shared your post.

You can access Ripples from any Google+post by clicking the drop down arrow and choosing “View Ripples.”

Google Ripples screenshot

From there are you treated to an impressive graphical display:

Google Ripples graphic

You can zoom in:

And actually see what was said by the person who shared your post:

Only public shares can be tracked, which saves Google+ from a major breach of privacy but also restricts you from seeing all shares of your content.

Ripples is a cool feature for Google+, but is it actually worthwhile? Personally, I think it’s a really cool toy but not much more. In the end we don’t need a really cool way to see who shared our posts, we just need to know if our posts were shared, +1′d, liked, re-tweeted, whatever. Unless you can afford to employ somebody to sift through the share and see who is saying what about your posts, I don’t see a practical application.



Black Friday Online Sales Up 26% in 2011
07:20 am by Aaron

Black Friday can be an intimidating experience. Every year the deals get better and the competition for products gets more intense. This past Black Friday even had an incident of a woman pepper-spraying a crowd so she could get to an Xbox. An Xbox, a product that has been around for almost six years!

With many unwilling to fight the crowds or unwilling to get up early on a rare Friday off, more people are choosing to do their Black Friday shopping online. This year, more than $816 million was spent on Black Friday online, a jump of 26% from 2010.

Online shopping becomes more popular as an ever-busy society seeks ways to make life just a little easier — with less traffic, fewer parking hassles and smaller crowds in general.

This consumer urge — is it overstating it to call it ‘consumer demand’ — requires all businesses to provide online options, from catalogs and service lists to full-scale e-commerce sites.

If you doubt that, we suggest you check out your competition … online. If the competition is there, and it’s more than likely it is, you need to be there, too.

It’s not snarky to say you should go where your customers, and your competition, are. And they are online.

As any retailer will tell you, the fun doesn’t stop on Black Friday – it just begins. The same is true for holiday shopping online. Yesterday was Cyber Monday, and you better believe the next month will have tens of millions of shoppers looking to the Internet to help them avoid long lines at the mall.



Another Facebook Metrics Change
03:26 pm by Aaron

Another day, another Facebook change

Previously, when looking at post-by-post Facebook metrics on your page, you would see “impressions” and a “feedback” percentage. This has now been changed to “people reached” and “people talking about this.”

What does this mean? The old way was both comforting — it was nice to see a post with thousands of impressions — and bleak — feedback  measured in fractions of a percentage point never felt that successful.

The new metrics show the number of unique people who saw the post (one way or another) and the total number of people talking about it, which appears to be the sum of likes, comments and shares.

Is this better or worse than the old metrics? Personally, I think it makes more sense but also tells us what we already knew – just how hard it is to create useful content that fans will share.



Our First Take on Google+ for Business
02:21 pm by Aaron

Today is an exciting day in the world of social media: Google+ officially launched Pages for Businesses. I went about trying to set up IWS’s Google+ page today and it was a learning experience.

First, I had trouble with our logo. Apparently there are some image restrictions with Google+ pages pictures. While these exist in Facebook as well, there didn’t seem to be a good auto-resize feature yet. I had to crop out “IWS” from our picture, even though I tried to make it smaller and smaller.

Once I got past the profile picture, the rest of the set up went smoothly. I ported over some pictures, info and status updates from Facebook and our infant page was ready to start crawling:

Two features that I liked right off the bat:

  1. I like how a map of IWS’ location is displayed right under the profile picture; this should be a boost for some businesses. I wish there was an option to add more than one location; our poor DC office is left out of the Google Maps fun!
  2. I like the initial circle options for pages. The ability to separate employees, customers, VIPS and other companies you may be following (or any other circle you want to create) has the potential to make the categorization of social information easier than it ever could be on Facebook.

Finally, it took me a while to figure out how to move between my profile and the IWS page. Much like Facebook, you need a profile to create a page.  Unfortunately, at this point, it looks like only a single profile can admin a page. This will have to change if Google+ truly wants to compete with Facebook.

In the meantime, if you are having trouble figuring out how to switch between pages, look no further than right next to your profile picture:

We’re not ready to swap Google+ for Facebook, but we’ll be watching. What are your plans for G+?