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Spin the Bottle
NAGARA Captivates in Michigan
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Time to Update!
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Spin the Bottle
Scott Bidwell, ASI President/COO
Cleveland's been in the spotlight recently. From politics to sports to social issues, the city's been the feature of many national headlines, which might explain why a colleague forwarded an article resurrecting the Cleveland vs. Fiji water incident.
In a nutshell, Fiji's marketing department created an ad that stated "The label says Fiji because it wasn't bottled in Cleveland" and went on to explain how equatorial trade winds and volcanic rock help create a superior bottled water product. As you might imagine, Cleveland's Division of Water took this claim personally and undertook tests, finding it contained "6.31 micrograms of arsenic per liter in the Fiji bottle,” while “Cleveland tap water as well as bottled brands Aquafina, Dasani and Evian had no measurable arsenic.”
Click here for the full "Cleveland vs. Fiji Water" story.
Separating truth from fiction can be a daunting task. It takes extra effort and time to research a product or service to determine the validity of a company's claims. From a business perspective, to not do so could put your business at great risk. You might experience loss of productivity, revenue, or in the case of our industry, boxes filled with critical client records!
As a city, I applaud Cleveland Water for doing what I think was the right thing, taking the time and effort to rebuke Fiji's claims. Cleveland has undergone a bit of a renaissance in recent years, becoming less the butt of the joke and more of an example of what can be achieved with tenacity and planning. The news generated by their actions shined a light on the city and, I imagine, spurred many who might've been unfamiliar with the city's rebirth, to take a second look.
By now, I probably sound like a member of the Cleveland CVB. What can I say? I'm proud of Cleveland. Like ASI, the city has history and longevity. Its people are invested in its continued growth and advancement - but don't take my word for it. Check out ASI (and Cleveland) for yourself.
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I've been to many conferences over the years and attended numerous presentations. Few speeches have been as captivating as the one I had the pleasure to hear during the recent NAGARA Annual Conference held on July 13th-16th in Lansing, Michigan. It was given by Lieutenant Governor of Michigan Brian Calley as part of the conference's Wednesday welcome reception and truly embodied the theme for this year's event, "on the trail of information."
Lieutenant Governor Calley recounted how, at the age of 16, he wrote to President Gerald Ford, the only president from Michigan, so there were obvious synergies. In his letter, Calley naively asked for time in President Ford's schedule to discuss his own aspirations of having a career in politics! No surprise that he didn't get the audience, but he did get a letter of encouragement which he later framed. Fast forward, many years later when, during a conversation with some colleagues, Calley was recounting the story about his letter and the subsequent letter he received. Unbeknownst to him, an aid to the president located his original letter to President Ford. He even went the extra step to mail it back to Calley for the purposes of nostalgia.
Calley cleverly tied his story to the importance of records retention, noting that while the medium is changing to electronic communication, retaining records should be no less important or significant. As he put it, at the time he wrote the letter, it didn't even occur to him to make a copy of it. Luckily, it did occur to someone, which is why he was able to share his story.
Given the many talks I've listened to over the years, this was by far, one of the most intelligent and frankly authentic stories I've heard that fit perfectly into why we were all at the conference.
The next two days continued to expand on the conference theme, with an impressive agenda of topics and industry experts. I tip my hat to NAGARA and the event organizers on putting together a truly memorable annual conference.
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