[Ford] Escape to Springfield - and more

Just a typical week here at Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.


It's time for the major annual Portland Rose Festival events and I'm Toots Caboose, a member of the Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps. I'm also heading down to Springfield to make a presentation about social networking at the Spring Conference of the Healthcare Communicators of Oregon. Work-wise, the new signage for DiPrima Dolci, my neighborhood Italian bakery is being finalized - as is the long-awaited branding for RiverWest Acupuncture.

Oh, and I'm test-driving the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid for the Ford Motor Company.

I've been driving the Escape around Portland for a couple of days now. It's a great city car. The size makes it easy to park and I like the fact that, similar to my own Ford Ranger, a driver sits up high enough to clearly see what is going on in the frenetic combination of city walkers, bike riders, runners, out-of-town Rose Festival visitors, road construction crews and everyday business commuters. The vehicle handles really well and provides a smooth ride on the rather bumpy streets of Portland. I'm still adapting to the silence of the Hybrid switching over from traditional gas engine to battery at stops.

Yesterday, I zipped over to Extracto for my weekly "coffee therapy" with my friend Brooke. With parking right out in front (photo above), I noticed several people eying the kind of sexy Escape as they walked into the coffee house, or enjoyed their espresso from a window table.

After Brooke and I had solved the problems of the world, and she'd left for work, I was joined by collaborator Jennie Vinson, of Mission First Marketing, to go over some project elements for our client RiverWest Acupuncture. As she walked into Extracto, Jennie said "Great looking car."

The rest of my day was spent easily running errands around Portland in preparation for my one-day drive to Springfield and back, and my clown stint in the Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade.

Bright and early today I was on the road, headed south to Springfield for my Healthcare Communicators of Oregon speaking engagement. It was fun to program the Escape's GPS system to direct me to the conference venue - the fairly new Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend (photo above) - for the 100-mile drive on Interstate 5. The GPS voice wasn't too annoying - but might really get on my nerves if used in a big city, detailed driving situation.

Getting the Escape out on the highway provided evidence of the vehicle having some get-up-and-go. Again, the smooth ride was impressive on the weather-worn and rutted road surface. Outfitted as the "Limited" model, the Escape's six-disk changer, sound system provided excellent entertainment on the trip. The 1.5 hour trip flew by in the roomy comfort of the vehicle.

The Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend looks much more like a high-end mountain resort, rather than a hospital facility, when entering the campus. That impression is amplified when walking in the main entrance into the massive lobby (photo above) of the 1.2 million square feet, state-of-the-art regional medical center. Entering the expanse with a conference attendee, I commented, "I want to check in."

The Healthcare Communicators of Oregon invited me to speak to conference attendees about no-cost, or low-cost, marketing efforts through the use of social networking. The group membership is made up of medical facility managers, public relations specialists, marketing and communication professionals, designers who work with medical clients, and others. In 45-minutes that flew by, I attempted to explain how social networking could be of value to the conference goers. (photos above and below). As an example of social networking in action, I detailed how the Ford Escape Hybrid test drive came about - and shared that, as I drove the vehicle to the conference, they were now part of the marketing experiment.

Following lunch I was back on the road. With late Friday afternoon traffic, the drive home took about 3.5 hours (instead of the usual 1.5 hours). In the bumper-to-bumper traffic jam, as I neared the Portland metropolitan area, the Escape was often in the quiet battery mode. Even after the long drive, and amount of time spent in the vehicle throughout the day, I felt very comfortable and could have driven much more.

Read the other bLog-oMotives entries about my Ford Escape Hybrid test drive here.

Note: Hospital facility photos courtesy of Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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