Thursday, February 28, 2008



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A New Endowment For The Arts, Accent Re-Focus's on Commercial Production

So we are working on a promo video for a new arts endowment that is to be announced soon. Thing is that I am not as plugged in as I should be right now and I am not sure if this is public knowledge or not. I don't want to speak out of turn but i think it's an absolutely fantastic idea. Those in the arts community I am sure know what i am talking about, and are probably thinking I am dumb and that it has been talked about forever, but i dont want to take that chance. Regardless, I promise that after the press conference, you will be the first people to take a look at our video we have put together for them. I got a sneak peak today, and it's really fantastic. I do want to tell you that I feel that the arts is playing and will continue to play an important part in Youngstown's revitalization. I get very excited hearing the buzz about whats happening in the local arts scene. From thought provoking pieces like "The Colored Museum" at the Oakland, to rennasaince men like Matt Palka to filmmakers like Chris Rutushin and others who are dedicated to bringing the arts to life in Youngstown, the city really starts to feel alive as you tap into this community.

This week there are many fun ways to explore your inner artist or meet new ones. The Oakland Theatre is holding another "The Stage" open mic night, tomorrow, Thursday, the 28th. For only a $5 dollar admission charge, it's worth it many times over. For those who want to get your "Roller Groove" on, Selah Cafe in Struthers is hosting a "Xanadu Sing-a-long Night", also on Thursday, followed by their own open mic night on Friday.

Accent Media is excited about our new phase in commercial production. As a company, we have chosen to primarily market to companies in search of long-form videos. That means productions such as Training and HR Videos, Trade Show Videos, Product and Service Demonstration Videos, Company Profile and Promo Videos, etc. Of course we are known for producing fantastic looking commercials as well, but that is not something we have been actively marketing. To be honest, it's a truly competitive field to sell commercials, and it's a little uneven when television stations can give away free production by buying their airtime. Unfortunately the trade-off to that for the advertiser, has always been a lower production value commercial, with usually not a lot of originality or thought put into it.

Most of Accent Media's commercials we have produced or made, has been brought to us by advertising agencies. We are very grateful to all of them for the work, and have some long established relationships with many fine agency's in the Mahoning Valley. Our only internal frustration with ourselves is that over half the time we are guns for hire, meaning we don't have a lot of creative imput into the commercial. Our job is to shoot it so it looks crisp and edit it so it comes across as the advertising agency directs us. When we are able to coax the agencies in creative directions that look good on screen, the result is usually a high quality production that can match most national ads. We are going to continue to make some great looking ads for advertising agencies whenever asked, but we are also starting a new push for landing our own clients for their commercial production. While the downside is that the client must still purchase airtime for their spots separately, they will recieve all the creative direction from Accent Media at no additional charge that normally is associated with agency's fees. We KNOW what looks great on video and the tricks of the trade to make your commercials stand out. We also can still put you in touch with advertising agencies who can find you some great airbuy deals, and we have made some great inroads with the stations into getting some great airtime prices negotiated ourselves. So if you or a friend is looking to put together a concept driven, high production value commercial with all of the creative and marketing energy included. Give me a call, or be looking for my sales rep to be coming by your office soon................Scott

Monday, February 25, 2008


Jeeeeesh I cant wait to get an Intern in here to help me with this blog, the entries are coming just to far and in between with me doing it solo. Hope all our blogger friends have been well. I want to announce 2 exciting things here at the blog (main blog only and MySpace homepage, you wont see it on the MySpace blog page. If you look over to your right ----------> I have installed a new "Call Me" button!! Blogger has introduced this great new compatible software that is available in Beta over at Grand Central dot Com. All you have to do is click on the button, type in your name and phone number and click on Call. The computer will then dial your own phone and connect you to our voicemail. TA DA!! When we have a message I get a notice in my email. How kewl is that?? So there you go, simple as that! I hope whenever you have a question, or want to comment, or even just say HI, that you will use this spiffy new feature.

My next big announcement, is our new Accent Media webcast called, "Accent on Youngstown". We have been thinking about putting together a :30 minute television show or infomercial for a couple of months, and have decided to test the waters with a :10 minute webcast on our website, blog and MySpace pages. We will be starting out with at least a bi-weekly pre-recorded webcast, and possibly weekly depending on our workload. We will playing around with the format the first few weeks to see how it best works for us. The plan is to get into a groove to tape segments at our studio on Wednesdays, and have the webcast up by Thursday evening or Friday morning.

We are planning on bringing all sorts of relevant topics and information for and about Downtown Youngstown and the surrounding Mahoning Valley. I am happy to announce our first webcast will have as our inaugural guests, Phil Kidd, founder of Defend Youngstown blog and newly appointed Director of Downtown Events by City Council. We will also have Brooke from the Oakland Theatre coming by to talk about upcoming events there. Also don't be surprised to find a restaurant review in the first webcast of one of our wonderful downtown establishments. You have ideas of things you want to see? Use that fancy new phone message system above, lol. We are looking forward to covering lots of segments and events. Extreme Sports, Natural Medicine, Entertainment, Bands, Food, Festivals, Bloggers, all sorts of interesting things. We are excited and are looking forward to this new venture. Stay tuned for more updates about this as it becomes available.......Cya.....Scott

Monday, February 11, 2008

Busy Busy in a Tizzy, and it's Monday!!

So being busy is supposed to be good right? Never look a gift horse in the mouth, but I wouldn't mind being just 'okay' for a day or two. I am excited to say that Accent Media is doing some great projects right now, and are really enjoying ourselves, but I am swamped. We have a short month and my Sales and Marketing Assistant is in Mexico for a week, and Fearless Leader the bossman is leaving Thursday for a week in Florida. Meanwhile, I got to spend 30 hours locked in the office non-stop to copy 1,000 DVD's for a new client. Some Southern sun is sounding pretty good to me right about now too, LOL.

We have a new client we are talking to that has some excellent products I cant wait to tell you about, but I have to wait a bit as we finalize the proposals and get the ball rolling for them. It's been a busy time for commercials as well with Sheely's, Quaker Steak and Lube, a political candidate, Windsor House, and a Sports memorabilia shop to get out the early part of this month, plus a couple of our long form projects............whew, fun and exciting, but busy. I am currently working on a deal to bring even MORE commercials to Accent Media for production, but that's for another blog.

I have had some interesting responses to my restaurant reviews for The Rosetta Stone Cafe, from 'right on the money' to 'anybody can have a rough first month'. Actually I agree with both of those, and like I said, I hope the Rosetta Stone is here to stay. Rosetta Stone did recently change their hours recently to opening a little later and closing a little earlier, probably due to Winter. Look at their website above for the new hours. We recently were called by Paprika to come try out their restaurant. I have been wanting to go there forever, and am looking forward to taking a couple people from work there soon. I will give another review when we have gone.

I am excited about the new Youngstown Blog, "44503 Live". It's been created by Phil Kidd, founder of Defend Youngstown, and newly appointed Downtown Outdoor Event Coordinator, by the City Council. As was remarked over at Shout Youngstown's blog, it really shows transparency in government and I am all for it. It goes to show just how Kidd as hit the ground running in his new position. I am looking forward to seeing Youngstown Fever hit again this week as Kelly Pavlik hits Las Vegas this weekend and a rematchto make us proud again. I wish we were on the Pavlik bandwagon earlier, it would have been awesome to make a video diary of this fight and share it with Youngstown, but he was just understandably mobbed with people and offers when he got back from Atlantic City. Who know's, maybe down the road. Any reader know Pavlik or his camp? Let him know there is a great production team in town who would love to make an awesome video for his fans.

Well, I will leave you with some unfortunate factoids about this dreaded day of the week Monday, as culled from the Cleveland Plain Dealer............

*Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend is more likely to break up with you on a Monday than any other day of the week. (whew, glad Valentines Day is Thursday this year)

*More workplace accidents and injuries occur on Monday than any other day of the week

*"The Revenue Act of 1861", the nations first federal income tax law was enacted on August 5t, 1861, a Monday of course.

*In the mid 1990's, job-placement firm "Challenger Employment," reported that empoyers announced more layoffs on Mondays than any other day

*More strokes occur on Monday than any other day of the week.

*Mondays are the east popular day of the week to go out to eat, rent a movie, or go shopping.

*John Lennon and President Reagan were shot on Mondays.

*The Titanic sank on a Monday.

*Your car is more likely to break down on a Monday than any other day of the week.

*People usually start dieting...therefore suffering...on Mondays than any other day of the week.

There's more, but I am just happy I am typing this less than 5 hours away from Tuesday or I would be really depressed. Have a great week blogger friends....Scott

Monday, February 4, 2008

Finishing My Thoughts on Rosetta Stone Cafe

I left off my last post, having been bummed about the food choices and presentations from the Rosetta Stone Cafe's dinner menu. I will repeat one caveat and lead with another; I have been in the restaurant business for about 15 years before I became the Sales and Marketing Director for Accent Media. I have managed various types of restaurants and owned my own for 2 years. Unfortunately I didnt make the wisest choice in location myself, which is a little why I know of what I speak. My second caveat is to say that I really am very Pro Yo and want the Rosetta Stone Cafe to succeed here. So having already talked about my very good lunch and so-so dinner the first week they were open, let's get into my last visit for dinner last Monday night, and my thoughts and recommendations for the cafe.

Last Monday evening I left work around 6pm and decided to stop by the Rosetta Stone Cafe for dinner before heading home. I was dining alone and brought my Sunday paper from a day earlier that I had not had a chance to read yet. At a little after 6pm there was one other table there of 6, and a table of 2, with about 6 patrons at the bar. The hostess seated me at the row of 1/2 booth and 1/2 tables, directly across from the bar. I sat on the booth side, facing the bar, kitchen area and host station. After I was sat I began to read my paper. And read, and read, and read, until 3 pages later I have still not had a server drop by. It seemed as there were 3 servers on with one of the 3 in the process of being sent home since it wasnt busy. I looked up from my paper and began to search for eye contact to get my meal started. As I sat looking around, the bartender was in conversation with her guests, the other 2 servers that were still on were putting in orders, and chatting and the hostess was polishing the silverware of the tables in my row, but at the opposite end. I kept looking and trying to make contact and nothing. Finally, after the Hostess made her way from the far table of my rown to the table next to mine, I asked if she would mind getting me a server and maybe some water to drink. The Hostess walked over to a server that was doing something at a register and pointed my way and said something to her. The Hostess then went and filled a paper cup with water and walked right by me back to her Host stand with her own water to drink. It took another 3 minutes for my server to finish what she was doing at the register and then go into the kitchen and bring the table of 2 something out.

Once the server made it over to me, she was very nice and pretty much attentive throughout the rest of the meal. About half-way through my meal, a table of 8, including children came in to eat. To add to the insult of my inattentive Hostess who never seemed to notice I was not being served, I saw her walk this family to their table while thoroughly enjoying her chewing gum. This brought a total of 4 tables in the restaurant my entire dining experience, (almost 2 hours, it was a big sunday paper folks.) My meal this time was much better, although I still wish the dinner menu had more options. I ended up with the Bruschetta, which was fantastic, and the Baby Spinach and Fruit Salad, that was perfectly fine. The sweet taste of the balsamic glaze over the tomatoes and roasted vegetables on the artisan bread was a perfect mix. Although it wasn't the best Hot Bacon Dressing I have ever had, my salad spinach was crisp and the strawberry's and mandarin oranges a good compliment. For dessert, I had the homemade Tiramisu that was very flavorful and rich, with an excellent cup of coffee. Overall, once the meal got started, it was a very enjoyable experience.

Overall after 3 visits, I have to say that the service, with the exception of my last visit until I was greeted, is pretty much on par for where a new restaurant should be. I believe the food is primarily excellent in taste, but there are definite presentation problems and the variety of the menu is not one that I think will succeed in Downtown Youngstown. One of my best arguments to back that up is the family that came in to eat this past Monday. I really have no idea what the children at that table could have ordered. This I believe is the hidden jewel of what is needed downtown. Not a 4 or 5 star dining experience, but a place where families can come, have a great tasting meal, and be able to enjoy downtown life. If I had to guess, I would say that the DeYor's core audience is 35- 65, but they offer many great children's fare throughout the year as well. The Chevrolet Centre on the other hand, has it's most successful events with families, IE: Disney On Ice, Hockey and Football Games, Ringling Brothers Circus, etc. Of all those events, where can families really eat Downtown Youngstown that is not catered to more upscale diners. I can think of BW3's and I guess Tomasino's if you dont want atmosphere. You can go a little outside Youngsown to MVR and Charlie Staples and thats it. I believe another harbinger of bad news for upscale and innovative dining is definitely Oscar's on 224 in Boardman and GQ's in Canfield. Oscar's parking lot was always half-full compared to the more family friendly and sports bar oriented Blue Wolf Tavern next door. Now Oscars has closed their fine dining concept and changed itself into a sports bar called Jeremiah Bullfrog. GQ's has already cut it's menu prices which was Oscar's first step. If you cant find fine dining diners in Boardman or Canfield, you are going to be very hard pressed to have them come to Downtown Youngstown. I definitely applaud their efforts, but if the Rosetta Stone Cafe wants to be in business over the long run, they better think about changing their menu concept quickly. The atmosphere they have created in the design of the place is fantastic for a Bistro type place with their Lunch menu intact and then some great midrange meals that cater to families more than the more refined taste's. I would love to be listening to some great jazz, blues or fusion on their stage while having a great tasting sandwich or entree in the $8-$12 dollar range that has taste appeal across a wide spectrum. Of course this is just one man's humble opinion. More power to them if they prove me wrong and are the next big thing in Downtown, but I also hope they are around for the long run, we need some stability back in Ytown and then we will all be a happier community....Scott