Going out with Carlos Miller? Five useful tips

The following advice is not guaranteed although all facts were checked at press time. It serves as a beginners guide and your results may vary.

1) Be ready to be the story.

A recent outing to the Dolphins/Raiders football game found me driving, filming and being filmed and  photographed. We did a quick count and there were 6 filming and recording devices in the car. And he wasn’t even going out to get a story. I take it back. He’s always out to get a story.

 2) Know a phone number of someone responsible and monied by heart. Or at least have it handy.

When you get arrested, they take your phone from you. In these days of speed dial and Siri, no one knows any phone numbers anymore.  Unless you want a few free meals care of Miami-Dade County Corrections, know a number.

3) Be ready to be surprised.

When I picked him up to go to the game, he made us 15 minutes late. Why? Because he wanted to go get flowers for his mom as she was coming into town.  I thought it was sweet.  But as soon as he got in the car, the conversation quickly switched to how he was photographing a nude woman with farm animals at an Art Basel exhibit and was asked to leave.

4) Be ready to make friends. Be ready to make enemies.

I’ve seen both.  Once we went out with Jim Winters on the Jim Winters bus and we saw a hellacious hit and run car accident. Jim slammed on the brakes and Carlos flew out flip cam rolling right up into this gigantic guys face. The guy was the size of a half a house and threatened to give Carlos an enema with the camera. Carlos didn’t back down. He must be part hockey player because he’d lose teeth if it meant getting a story. To this day, I’m surprised I haven’t seen him spitting bloody Chiclets.

5) Don’t feel ignored. He is paying attention to you.

He has a lot going on and is always in the middle of something. His Photography is Not A Crime Blog gets hundreds of thousands of hits a month (sometimes over a half a million).  He’s a Senior Editor at Miami Beach 411. He’s an Editor at the South Florida Daily Blog. And he’s always starting something on Facebook, even if it’s just a debate on who has the best chicken wings. Here are a few other snapshots that pretty much capture who he is and what he’s like.

Have any other suggestions? I bet you do. Let’s hear them.



Happy House, Sad House

It all started out with so much promise.

In about 2004 construction began on this house at 4191 Ingraham Highway in Coconut Grove, FL. It was an odd shaped lot and I wondered how they would plant a house there. But sure enough it started to go up and took shape.  Then the most beautiful day of all came.  The builders put up a tastefully done custom sign that said, “FUTURE HOME OF THE JONES FAMILY” and I thought it was a nice and personalized touch.

For a while after the house was done, life seemed to bustle there. Kids bikes were in the driveway, there was a basketball hoop, many balls and many other signs of a happy family in their new home.  Then came the collapse.

I don’t know what the circumstances that got the house where it is today. Irresponsible lending, borrowing, loss of job, whatever.

This is one of many stories we have seen all over the nation. And no it’s not news. It still amazes me how so many things like this that started out so happy and ended so sad. For now.


Word Of Mouth

There’s good word of mouth and there’s there’s not so good word of mouth. Yesterday I saw some bad.  And today I saw some good.

The Bad): Yesterday, when South Florida Daily Blog’s Publisher Rick tried to send flowers through FTD his order was mishandled and he posted: FTD Pretty Much Sucks (Updated). FTD’s response was less than stellar, but the comments it generated were.  One poster went so far as to say, “FTD is evil.”  Granted many of us like Rick, but that is what Social Media is about: gaining trust, influence, engagement and popularity. So it’s no surprise that many came out to comment and give their opinions.

According a 2007 document published by the  WOMMA (word of mouth marketing association) titled WOM 101, WOM is: “Listening to consumers: Engaging them in open, unfiltered conversation promptly and honestly responding to their concerns valuing customer opinion, whether it is positive, negative, or neutral.” FTD did none of that and sent him a form letter response pictured here:

Funny, one Wikipedia entry cites  FTD as “Fails to Deliver.”

Too bad that FTD fails to recognize that they are not delivering flowers; they are delivering sentiments. My grade for FTD? F. Sorry guys.

The Good): Today I saw a dissatisfied customer named Shannon Schiner contact AutoNation via Twitter (her Twitter handle @shanfishes) about a recent  Certified Pre-owned purchase.   AutoNation Social Media Coordinator, Mallory Colliflower, responded quickly and took a page out of the Bill Clinton playbook. AutoNation made Shannon feel like they she’s the only person in the world. And I’m sure Shannon would agree. Just take a look at the exchange and the speed of the response at left. 9:24, 9:33, 10:02. 10:03, 10:09, 10:58 and 11:03.

So there you have it.  AutoNation gets the A grade for gaining trust, influence, engagement and, I would imagine, popularity.

So what are some of your best word of mouth stories,  good, bad or otherwise? I’d love to hear what you have to say and I’m sure a lot of other people would too.


Word of mouth Photo credit: Media Bistro