It’s a FREEkend August Promotion at 7-Eleven

Seven_ElevenHats off to 7-Eleven® for coming up with a clever way to utilize mobile marketing to show its appreciation to its customers as well as expand its customer base.  During the hot, dog days of summer, this business has come up with a pretty cool promotion.

This is a great way to reach Millennials who are all about mobile marketing.  According to comScore, the research firm that looks at how people navigate digital, consumers between the ages of 25-34 use apps more than any other age group: to the tune of about 75 hours per month. (for the complete report click HERE)

Although I can count, on one hand, the number of the times I’ve been to a 7-Eleven in North Carolina, I might be inclined to visit the convenience store much more often in order to take advantage of their FREEkend Weekends in August.

Here’s a portion of their press release:

7-Eleven®, the one who brought America free Slurpee®drinks on 7-ELEVEN Day, followed by several days of free snacks and drinks during 7Rewards™Week, is launching a new offer in August – FREEkends™. That’s short for FREE Weekends, and the offer is just that. Added bonus, August has five weekends this year.

7-Eleven will launch its FREEkend offers Aug. 1 for 7Rewards members using the 7-Eleven mobile app. That weekend’s free offer will appear in the “Scan and Save” section of the app at noon Central Daylight Time (CDT) every Saturday and Sunday in August. To redeem, customers present the featured item along with their 7-Eleven app to be scanned at the register. No purchase is necessary, and offers are good while supplies last at participating 7-Eleven stores.

The weekly FREEkend freebies are:

  • Aug 1-2, medium Fanta® Slurpee® drink
  • Aug. 8-9, Juicy Fruit® Starburst® gum
  • Aug. 15-16, medium Fanta® Slurpee® drink
  • Aug. 22-23, SNICKERS® Brand Singles Bar (1.76 – 1.78oz)
  • Aug. 29-30, Butterfinger® bar (1.9oz)

Registered 7Rewards members will receive emails and SMS text messages notifying them of that week’s offer. The offer also will appear on Only one offer can be redeemed per day and will disappear from the member’s “Scan and Save” section in the app once used. If a FREEkend offer is redeemed on Saturday, the offer will be removed from the app until Sunday at noon CDT, when it will reappear on the app. During each day’s offer, the app will show the percentage of free items still available in stores. Even though it’s free, each FREEkend Slurpee drink redeemed counts as a punch toward the 7Rewards “Buy 6, Get 7th Free” beverage rewards program.

About 7-Eleven Inc. 

7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based inDallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,500 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 56,400 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #2 on Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies for 2013; #2 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2015 Top Global Franchise list; #10 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2015, and #3 in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 Franchises to Start. 7-Eleven is No. 3 on Fast Company magazine’s 2013 list of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail.” 7-Eleven places among Top Veteran-Friendly Companies for 2014 by U.S. Veterans Magazine and is among GI Jobs magazine’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers for 2014. Hispanic Magazine named 7-Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at

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Using Photos for Publicity

As I’ve written before I am a strong advocate for using videos and written content to generate publicity. The more you have—the better.

Now I want to share another way you can get great exposure:  By using photographs taken of you at events.

It shows you are out and about and depending on what the event is, it shows you are active in your community. Anytime I go anywhere, I take a camera.  And in the event I forget the camera, I use my camera phone.

Photos always tell a story and can put you in a very favorable light personally and professionally so get in the habit, take a camera, take some pictures and start posting them.   rsz_katieparty10



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GenSwap in the Workplace


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Young People will Make or Break You as a Speaker

My 25-year-old daughter once told me, “If you really want to know how you are as a Speaker, do it in front of teenagers and then you’ll know for sure.”  She went on to say “they’re a tough crowd, with short attention spans and not easy to please.”

As a mom who should’ve received an award for the Most Time Spent at Her Child’s elementary, middle and high school I’ve always been around kids and just assumed they loved me because although I was firm, I was also loving, nurturing and gave LOTS of hugs.  I also spent five years as a Marketing Representative at a Charter School so I’ve had lots of “kid exposure.”

But because I created the Your Time to Shine Communication Workshops specifically with young people in mind, I knew I had to take her challenge.

Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of speaking to young people on two different occasions. One was a Youth Jobs Summit, where about 200 high school teens showed up in their quest to find a summer job offered by the City.  The other was at a workshop for applicants hoping to get hired for a non-profit job with Public Allies NC. (Those young people there were slightly older).

After completing both presentations, here are some speaker tips that will, hopefully, help you if you’re ever hired to speak to a group of young people:

Be Approachable:  Prior to speaking on stage at the Youth Jobs Summit, I went into the audience and met a number of the young people, complimented them on their attire (where due) and offered suggestions on how they could impress the interviewer with a few tips on having a good handshake, the importance of eye contact and smiling.  By doing that, they got an opportunity to see that I wasn’t just some boring, old adult who they could easily tune out once I hit the stage.  Because I had established a sense of relatability with them early on, they would be more inclined to want to hear more about what I had to say.

Don’t Lecture:  The last thing young people want to do is sit for 30 minutes or more listening to some “old woman” (or man) making them feel like they were back in the classroom listening to a a boring lecture.  And if your presentation is in the morning (as mine was), you may have a hard time reeling them in if they really don’t want to be there in the first place.  That brings me to my next tip…..

Be Engaging: No doubt about it, young people tend to have short attention spans.  If you don’t want them tuning you out and start texting or falling asleep then you will need to get them involved in some way.  Perhaps you may ask a question to get a show of hands or do some role-playing if your presentation calls for it.  If you have young people buy into what you’re doing with other young people from your audience, you are more likely to garner their attention and hold it.

Don’t Talk Down to Them:  In his article, Tips for Presenting to Young Audiences, Executive Speaker Coach Jim Endicott of Distinction Communication says:

“They may lack wisdom that comes with maturity, but the average high school audience of today is better informed than they’ve ever been before. Young people watch the evening news and are often more in tune with worldwide problems than some adults. Any speaker who stands before them with an attitude of being all wise will lose this audience in the first 60-seconds. Our young people encounter so much condescending speech in their daily lives that they naturally assume any adult who steps before them will deliver the same. You need to break that perception quickly.”

Give Them Something to Remember:  When your speech is over, you want to make sure you leave your young audience with some golden nuggets—something they can walk away with and put to use or to learn and grow from or give them some ENTERTAINMENT value.  When I was deciding how to approach my speech, I had a brainstorm to play off of Meghan Trainor’s song All About that Bassmaking the title of my speech “I’m All About that A.C.E. (stands for a great ATTITUDE + good COMMUNICATION skills = EXCELLENCE).  If you check out this video, you can see that I surprised them with my opening presentation:

All About that ACE

Ultimately, you want them to say this about you and your speech:


I’d like to thank you for taking the time to come to speak yesterday, Your experience is invaluable and really made your message shine. Your presentation was both fun and informative. Sincerely,  Justin Cooper

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Veteran Journalist Beverly Mahone Will Keynote Youth Summit

ACE2Veteran journalist and best selling author Beverly Mahone will be the Keynote Speaker for the Durham Youth Work Internship Program Summit.  Her presentation is titled:  I’m All About that A.C.E…. A great ATTITUDE + good COMMUNICATION skills = EXCELLENCE.

Beverly says she is honored to be given the opportunity to impart some of her wisdom to day’s youth.  “I know times have changed but I also know the skills required to be considered for a job when I was growing up, more than 30 years ago, haven’t changed.”  Beverly will share some do’s and don’ts with the teens about interviewing and how to prepare for it.

Youth, ages 14 to 21, and their parents are invited to attend this free event to explore and learn about various careers, community resources and educational opportunities.  Participants will also interact with businesses at the Career Fair, and they will have an opportunity to participate in workshops around three topics: Social Media, the Gaming Industry, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) careers.

Youth can win prizes, including a PlayStation 4, an HP laptop computer and a pair of Beats headphones.

Local businesses are invited to an orientation session where they will receive information on becoming a worksite for youth and hear from other businesses with experience working with the Durham YouthWork Internship Program.

The day-long event, which begins at 9:30 am, will be held on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at the Southern School of Energy and Sustainability, 800 Clayton Road in Durham, NC.

For more information about the 2015 Durham Youth Summit, contact Employment Program Coordinator James Dickens with the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development at (919) 560-4965, ext. 15217 or by email to

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