People often wonder what it’s like to work in public relations, and although it is a lot of work, sometimes it has its perks. This week I have the distinct pleasure of test driving a fully loaded 2011 BMW 750i on loan to me from BMW of Bayside. During the test drive week I will be sharing my observations and comments about the 750i as I go through all the activities in my busy schedule. I will not be compensated for these activities and my comments about the BMW 750i.
As a father of 20-month-old twins and president of Corbett Public Relations, I am constantly on the go and I thought it would be fun to write about my experiences. I’m interested to see what the impact of driving a luxury vehicle like this is like. Let me know what you think. Send your questions and answer the trivia questions I will be posting along the way; you can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. (twitter @liprguy or @wjcorbett and hashtag #corbettbmw)
Day 1 – Wednesday, July 6, 2011
It was a beautiful day in the New York metropolitan area with clear skies and a bit of humidity. After a brief stop at my office to collect equipment and materials for a presentation on “How to Boost Your Trade Show Efforts,” I got a quick lift to BMW of Bayside located just a few miles from my office In Floral Park. I was greeted by Peter Turano, General Sales Manager and Bill Finsilver, VP of Sales. After a brief conversation they had me sign some paperwork and then it was off for a once over of the sleek black 2011 BMW 750i.
The car is truly great to look at and is packed with technology and all that is needed to ride in luxury and comfort. I have driven in BMW’s before and even test driven a few over the years. I also did some research before picking up the car and was prepared. However, upon sitting in the vehicle I was very impressed with the modern layout, computer display and automatic gear shifter, a feature that was new to me.
Once on the road I found out quickly that the acceleration was responsive when I had to merge quickly onto a busy late morning Northern Boulevard. A few moments later I was on the highway heading to Hauppauge. Traffic on the LIE was light, which was unusual as most of us from the area know. I made my way quickly across Nassau County and along the way I tested the radio, navigation system and voice commands. After some trial and error I felt comfortable with this high-tech system.
I arrived at my first stop, the offices of Skyline New York a leading trade show and exhibit booth design and manufacturing company. I was greeted by Judy Fairbanks from the company and Rob Fishman of Sander Training. Together we provided an informative workshop for local business owners and executives seeking to get more out of their trade show appearances. We discussed trade show planning and social media topics, subjects that are regularly part of my day to day life in public relations. Judy and Rob were excellent and the venue featured a new showroom with some of the best looking trade show exhibits I have ever seen. This was the first of a series of events we are offering every Wednesday this summer. I was happy to have the 750i as my luxury ride to this event.
Following this program I used the navigation system to find my way to an IHOP on Motor Parkwaya few miles away. I arrived on time for a meeting with artist and graphic designer Jan Guarino, owner of the Guarino Graphics and Studio. I have known Jan for a number of years. We share a number of clients and we are involved in a few networking groups together. We had a late “lunch” and discussed some business synergies.
After our meeting I was off for home to meet my wife and pick up our twins. On the way I was called by a few clients and did a 15 minute interview on crisis communications for a national trade magazine. Yes, always working. On the way home to Long Island’s south shore I tested the handling of the 750i. Accelerating and maneuvering from lane to lane was a breeze. The luxury setting made the ride very comfortable. After the presentation, meetings and managing a few dozen calls and e-mails, it was quite a stressful day. The comfort of the 750i helped me to relax.
Wrapped up the day with dinner including grilled bratwurst (actually weisswurst – “white wurst” a common food served in Munich the home of what automobile company?)
Stay tuned for day 2.
Bill Corbett – BMW Week Day 2
After a busy day July 7th, I started Thursday, July 8th with a breakfast meeting at the Sea Crest Diner in Old Westbury with Ira Kader of KW Graphics. Ira is a member of LINX networking group which, I joined a few months ago. We had a productive conversation and we both learned more about each other’s businesses. Ira is also a father of twins; he shared some of his parenting wisdom with me as well.
After breakfast I jumped into the 750i. I tested the different ride settings including the two sports settings. This feature is great you can really feel the steering and breaks tighten.
I spent the next few hours working on client media pitches, press releases and preparing for upcoming meetings. In the early afternoon, I met with a number of business prospects and with Neil and Steve Levin of Webline Designs. Neil is also a member of LINX, and I work with his other son Jon of Cardinal Trade Group on business to business trade shows and events.
After the meeting, I had a PR activities recap call with the marketing team at Teachers Federal Credit Union, New York State’s largest credit union and a Corbett Public Relations client for several years. On the run again, I grabbed the “keys” to the BMW 750i and headed out. The keyless entry is convenient because I am always carrying a bag, cameras and other materials.
The afternoon looked gloomy with a thunderstorm rapidly approaching. I was actually looking forward to testing the 750i in the rain. I received my opportunity on the way to my last meeting of the day with Evan Bloom of Sir Speedy of Westbury. Evan and I had a very productive meeting, discussing his company’s growth and planning a seminar that, we will be doing together later this month at the Brooklyn Library. The seminar will be on mobile marketing and social media. Evan and I regular offer workshops focusing on new marketing technology including QR codes, social media and personalized marketing. I gave Evan a quick overview of the 750i.
The meeting with Evan was the last of the day, but the work day was not over. Wet roads gave me the opportunity to test the handling of the 750i. The road conditions did not matter the vehicle performed superbly, even in the 5 mile per hour traffic jam that I was stuck in for about an hour.
Day two ended with me pulling the 750i into the garage. I was impressed that when the remote was pressed, the handles on the car illuminated brightly with LED lights. It lookedimpressive and stylish.
Day 3- BMW Week
Day three started off quickly. I was hosting a meeting at my office for the Preferred Provider Network’s Advisory Board. On the way I stopped a New York Bagels in Franklin Square. I received two complements on the 750i when I was entering store.
Arriving at my office at 7:30 am, I was greeted by two long time friends Adam Schwam of Sandwire and Bruce Libman of Total Networking and Consulting. The Advisory board meeting covered many topics. We are always looking to enhance meetings and give members greater value and tools to grow their businesses. Some interesting new ideas were developed that will be implemented at the next meeting. We had valuable input from CPA Gary Orkin and Attorney Glenn Franklin partner with the firm of Franklin Gringer and Cohen.
On a daily basis I work with clients to help them to improve events, promote events and create new ways to develop business and relationships. I have worked with this group and the National Network of Accountants founder Joe Tucciarone for over 12 years.
Friday’s in the summer were once quite but now, I find that the firm is very busy managing multiple media relations programs and social media programs for over 25 clients. After juggling a half dozen client calls and a few dozen e-mails, I quickly drafted a social media marketing program for a new project I am working on. The remainder of the day included finishing up a proposal and working with a client to make sure information was ready for a Newsday story to be published in the next day or two.
This was a productive week, actually slower than a typical week for me. I have a few small projects I want to take care of over the weekend but I also want to spend some time with my wife and twins as well as enjoy taking a few random spins in the BMW 750i around Long Islandfor pure pleasure.