Rain in Reno? It happens — once in while

Rain in Reno rarely lasts more than an hour or so. A two-three hour soaking is considered unusual. Residents love the occasional thunderstorm. Moisture in the air produces fabulous rainbows.

So far, in May of 2018 we’ve had a showers nearly every day for two weeks. Highly unusual for this high-desert oasis — and I love it!

The foothills to the Sierra have a green hue. Plants burst to life, lawns look quenched. My flower beds and tomato plants are in heaven.

All too soon we’ll segue into summer — clear hot days and cool clear nights. For now, though, the gray skies contrast nicely with happy green trees. When the sun bursts from the clouds: it’s magic.

Reno Rainbows

Rain brings back memories of my mom singing to us, dancing around and stomping in puddles — generally making rainy days fun. Some tunes from childhood include:

Then there’s the most classic of all: Singing in the Rain

Reno boasts about 300+ days of sunshine as a major reason to move here. Some of the other 65 days include snowy days, just clouds. My two cents: Enjoy the rain while it lasts!

Do you have a favorite song about weather? A story about a fun rain event? Please share!!

Holly O’Driscoll is a Realtor with Chase International Real Estate in Reno. Reach her at hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com or 775-850-5900.


7 Reasons Video Improves Your Website 


Video Advantages

1. Quickly Deliver Your Message

Most of us tend to digest information we see and hear faster than information what we read — on the internet, that means VIDEO!  People tend to just scan intense blocks of type. Using bullets, bold subheadings and phrases all catch a reader’s attention — but video does more.

Adding a welcome video to your homepage allows you to get your message across quickly — and you set the tone and control the message. Video lets people feel they know you – and people prefer to do business with people they know.

2. Interact with Visitors

Video improves your Google search rankings. It offers another “entry point” to your message – and gets visitors to spend more time on your website. It allows potential clients to see – and hear — your value proposition. It’s an opportunity to voice a direct call to action.

Video engages your audience — which increases response rates. People get to know you, your product or service before they call.  Connecting with customers involves emotions. They’ve already visited your website. Seeing and hearing you connects them with your product, helps them understand your service.

3. Drive Traffic, Raise your Website Profile

New content drives search engines. Adding video to your site – and to your (free) custom YouTube channel – ups your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with Google. Using one or two key words in the video title and copy adds another SEO benefit, as does promoting it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Your video can be on multiple locations, without creating issues of duplicate content.

4. Get Personal

Introduce yourself and your unique value proposition directly with a video – Smile.

5. Expand Your Reach

Integrating video into your social media marketing strategy expand your opportunity to be discovered — to convert casual browsers into customers. Take an expansive approach by sharing your video through your own social media networks and allowing visitor to share it as well. Millennials love video — and adding a YouTube channel for your company also boosts your Google profile.

6. Stay a Step Ahead of the Competition

Video helps you and your company to stand out. Depending on your industry, it can give you a leg up on competitors – or keep you from being left behind. Video has been around for years, yet many companies resist integrating it — or do it very badly. Professional video is worth the investment — the quality of lighting, sound and editing all make it worth the investment. Using video on your website definitely gives your company an edge!

7. See the Numbers!

Most companies live by numbers. Executives want to see the metrics. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for websites with video is one more tool to help increase unique visits, contact requests, and, ultimately, sales. Video on a website allows you to deliver your message anytime — it’s available 24/7. It also works as a sales tool — you and your sales team — can include this personal message in emails and presentations to clients.

Have you integrated video into your strategy? Did it make a difference? If you haven’t — let’s talk!

Holly O’Driscoll is a PR/Media Strategist with Communications Strategies in Reno, NV. You can reach her at 775-762-7576. 

NBC’s Redesign — The Ruin of a Trusted Online News Site

Does anyone else out there hate the redesigned NBC News website? It looks like a Pinterest page … all big photos, no information. I am a self-proclaimed news junkie, veteran journalist interested in national and world news — as well as what happens in my city and state.  The new format repels me — the NBC News site used to be one of my top spots for a quick headline check.  Now I avoid it — even CNN’s website is better.

My first journalism job was a summer internship with WGBH-TV in Boston. Back then, the station had a live 10 o’clock news program — I ran the teleprompter and worked in the control room. I only went out on a few stories … but it was fun and I learned so much! I found WGBH a great experience for a complete novice. The news staff was generous with their time and information. I graduated from college thinking I wanted to become a TV news producer — not necessarily the on-air person, but the editor making all the decisions behind the scenes.

Circumstances landed me in Washington, D.C. — a mecca of political news. My first newspaper was USA Today. It was a brand-new (and much-ridiculed) concept at the time. I worked on big stories, learned about the power of big money and of cut-throat politics  — both inside the company as well as on Capitol Hill!

Top execs and politicians play hardball — very few manage to succeed without making serious ethical compromises. It’s reality. Those in the line of fire must constantly out-maneuver the competition to get ahead, or even just to keep their jobs. Those who don’t end up on the curb. I contend life outside the bubble — in a “real” community — has much to recommend it. Politics, ambition and money play a role in every city …  but usually on a more manageable scale.

I still keep up on the old rat race — the Washington Post, Politico, The Daily Beast, Slate, ABC, CBS, CNN — but rarely NBC anymore. I miss the old “news” format. I’m not the target audience, obviously. I wonder who is? My guess: People who care about photos, not facts, not perspective, not NEWS.

I wonder what the user statistics will reveal. I used to check it at least twice a day — sometimes lots more. Now, maybe once a week — and I haven’t clicked on a single story.

I read one comment that said it was as if Pinterest swallowed Windows 8 then vomited — I agree!

What do you think?  Are you a fan? Tell me what appeals to you about the new format.

Hate it? What should they do instead?