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4 Elements to Look for In a Solid Food Delivery Bag

If you have ever worked in the food industry, you know that preparing excellent food and offering top-notch customer service are what will win the day. If you have ever been a delivery person in a pizza restaurant, then you know that getting the order right, getting it there on time and getting it there while it is still piping hot are all factors that will affect your tip. Getting the order right and getting it there on time are parts of customer service that require human effort. But, if you want to get food to customers while it is still in all of its gooey goodness, then you definitely need solid pizza delivery bags. Here are four things that a restaurant manager should look for when deciding on food delivery bags.

1. Good Insulation

The whole purpose of this bag is to insulate food to keep it warm. If the insulation is thin, it is not going to do its job. Poorly insulated pizza bags, can result in angry phone calls from disgruntled customers. It can also result in refunds and loss of your customer base. Do your self a favor and invest in the good stuff. You will be glad you did.

2. Tight Flaps

Your bag must close tightly. Insulation is only half of the package. If you want to keep the food warm, you have to keep heat from escaping. Having heavy-duty insulation is important, but for your pizza bags to be effective, you have to be able to seal them tightly. Make sure the flap will fasten securely to keep heat from getting out.

3. Handles

You may pack your pizza delivery bags to bursting or you may only be delivering one item. A good way to ensure you do not end up dropping your bag or slopping food everywhere is to get bags with handles. This will give delivery drivers more options for how to handle his or her pizza bag when removing the contents to pass the food along to customers.

4. Heating Elements

The ritziest bags have heating elements. This allows you to keep food warmer for longer. The food delivery bags plug into something that looks like a power strip when they are in the store and can then stand on their own in the delivery driver’s car. They can hold a charge for up to thirty minutes after which time they turn back into ordinary pizza delivery bags– or maybe a pumpkin. Either way, a heating element will help you keep your product mouth-watering for that much longer.

Having the right tools for the trade ensure that you can provide your customers with the best customer service. When looking for food delivery bags for your pizza shop, keep these items in mind. The Covertex Corporation website is a useful resource if you would like more information.

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8 Fun Facts About Indoor GPS

Indoor navigation fills the blanks that global positioning systems (GPS) leave. Since satellites don’t pick up well indoors, navigating indoors requires a separate system that relies on near field objects. Indoor positioning systems may use dead reckoning, fixed anchor nodes or magnetic positioning to identify user and object or destination locations.

1. No standard exists for an IPS system. Multiple systems are in the market that use acoustic, optical and radio technology.

2. Similar systems detect magnenometric information inside iron ore mines or steel structures.

3. An indoor positioning system requires trilateration, meaning three independent measurements used together to unambiguously pinpoint a location.

4. Marketing and sales use the gps for indoors to make purchasing easier. For example, Apple iBeacons lets you order donuts on your phone, then alerts the cashier when you enter the bakery. The cashier scans a QR code on your cell phone and your payment processes automatically from your e-wallet or linked credit card. According to Apple, its system can pinpoint locations from to two inches to 160 feet.

5. Beyond commercial applications, there are systems of indoor navigation for the military, such as Locata, accurate up to eight inches from its target, according to test results made public in 2013. Such systems help “grunts” navigate indoors or in urban caverns, for example, sewers.

6. Using Bluetooth and an app, a user can access indoor maps that let them navigate quickly through large, indoor areas like airports, football arenas, or shopping malls. A quick search for a destination, say a specific gate, produces a route result and a signal that guides them through the route. Some systems offer specialized navigation aid functions for physically disabled or sight-impaired users. These help users locate needed building elements like automatic doors, elevators, accessible bathrooms and the help/information desk for check out of power chairs or indoor scooters.

7. Using beacon technology, an IPS can provide automatic, “E-Z Pass” access to buildings. It can recognize authorized users as they approach the building. For added security, a building owner might add thumbprint or eye-scan recognition.

8. Commercial mapping services created the first indoor maps. Google chose London’s Wembley Stadium and Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace as some of its first projects.

IPS and indoor mapping provide two examples of wide-ranging applications of the Internet of Things. Using only their cell phone and its Bluetooth, users can connect with, interact with and communicate with objects in their home, office or during errands, and navigate through any indoor area they visit.

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4 Benefits of Furnished Apartment Rental

Furnished apartments offer renters comfort, convenience, and affordable pricing when they’re searching for more than the traditional apartment can provide to them. Many people from all walks of life can benefit from rental of a furnished apartment, including people traveling for a conference or business meeting, students, military personnel and their families, and many others. Why is renting a furnished apartment so beneficial? The Premiere Suites website may provide additional insights if you need more information.

1. Short-Term Arrangements

Many people favor signing a 12-month rental lease agreement as it secures their rental for the next year. It’s a major hassle for others, however, and they prefer to rent without a lease. Many of the furnished apartments for rent are offered without a lease agreement, giving you freedom to rent for as little or as long as necessary. When a lease agreement is required, do not expect the landlord to hand over the usual 12-month lease. Furnished apartments are a great short-term rental solution available from as short as 30-days stay. Need a three month or six-month lease? Rent a furnished unit and the problem is solved!

2. Completely Furnished

As the name implies, furnished apartments have inside everything needed to man a household, from furniture and appliances to cookware and art for the walls. Upon arrival at a furnished apartment, you feel warm, welcome, and right at home. This is perfect for young couples, students, and others just starting out or who otherwise do not have the furnishings needed to fill a home or for other situations that make it difficult to relocate your belongings.

3. Save Money

Moving into a furnished apartment saves money in several ways. First, you don’t need to hire a moving company to relocate your belongings since everything is included in the rental. Plus, there’s no reason to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to purchase furniture. Monthly rental rates are oftentimes cheaper than rates at traditional complexes, as a bonus.

4. Business Trips

Need lodging while attending a conference or a business meeting? Hotels are the usual lodging option chosen by travelers, but this choice becomes expensive and overwhelming very quickly. You’ll miss a kitchen and will despite fast food when staying in a hotel, and the lack of privacy is also of concern, especially if you’re traveling with other people. A furnished short term rental provides you a kitchen, reducing expense since you’re not eating out each day. Plus, you get plenty of space for each occupant, as well as privacy and comfort, all at a fraction of the cost of a hotel room rental.

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What Can Management Consulting Do For Your Business

Business management consulting entails helping companies to improve their performance. It involves carrying out analysis such as workload analysis and utilization analysis to determine the existing problems in the organization and developing plans for improvement. Organizations hire management consultants to conduct business management consulting services.

Management consultants have expertise and knowledge to offer approaches that will ensure business performance improvement. An implementation consultant provides organizational change management, process analysis, technology implementation, and strategy development. The consultants are professionals who bring in their methodologies to guide through the identification of problems in an organization to ensure more effective ways of performing tasks.

Why hire a management consultant
Every business will have to make a decision of whether to hire a management consultant or not at one point or another. With the right consultant, an organization can thrive by realizing sales growth and increasing profit. The benefits outweigh the costs of hiring an implementation consultant. Organizations hire management consultants to carry out the following tasks:
1. Detect problems

There will always be problems in a business that need to be solved. They could be a decrease in sales, internal management issues or cash-flow problems. Sometimes the management fails to detect the problems, so they keep on affecting the business negatively. That is why companies need to hire a consultant to detect the problems by carrying out tests and doing research.
2. Offer solutions
Detecting problems in business is just half the battle. A good consultant will use logistics to help in fixing the problem. Management consultants sit down with the managers or business owners and offer an efficient course of action to solve the problems.
3. Optimization
Some companies have inefficient work practices, yet they don’t realize how the inefficiency affects the operations of the company. Other companies are aware of it, but they don’t know how to fix the issue. Hiring implementation consultants will give the organization a fresh outlook on new ideas. It will also help to determine the most appropriate approach towards increasing productivity levels and improving quality management.
Types of business management consultants
Strategy consultants
They assist businesses to figure out issues in their work strategy and operations. That way, they enhance their performance through analysis of existing problems and coming up with plans for improvement. They play a major role in workflow management and technology implementation.
Human resources consultants
They are involved in the administration of a company’s human resources or workforce. The experts oversee organizational culture and leadership to make sure they comply with labor and employment laws. They also focus on talent management, mergers and acquisitions, and succession planning.
Marketing consultants
Their major role is to focus on developing strategies to successfully sell, promote and distribute products and services to targeted consumers. Businesses seek marketing experts to discover innovative techniques for launching and sustaining their business.
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Stretch Film Uses and Production Process

Stretch film is also referred to as stretch wrap. In a layman’s term, this is a stretchable film that is commonly used to wrap different types of items ranging from consumables to electronics. The film employs the principle of elasticity to keep the wrapped items tightly bound. In most cases, a shrink wrap is normally used around the material being wrapped with the aim of allowing the paper to shrink as heat is increased. Other than packaging smaller items, the film can be used to unitize pallet loads. The main aim of the Max film is to protect and at the same time secure and stabilize the cargo during transport. This way, it’s possible to deal with theft and tampering. In most cases, a stretch film should be puncture resistant to ensure the wrapped products are firmly and securely held.

Pallet Wrapping
Pallet wrapping process consists of two methods. There is the horizontal development and vertical development. When wrapping products, there is a highly stretchable film whose main purpose is to offer secondary protection. In most cases, the tension around this film is adjusted as wrapping takes place. In the market, there are several types of stretch films with the common ones being static dissipative film, Max film, machine stretch film, extended core film as well as hand and bundling film.

Materials used
Despite the fact that there are many materials that can be used to produce stretch wrap, the common one is the linear low-density polyethylene. In most cases, this material is as a result of a process called copolymerization of ethylene. The films can also be produced from other products such as octane, hexane, and butane. Stretch wraps are produced using two methods that include the blown process and the casting process. The blown production process is cost effective and produces quality stretch films compared to those produced by the casting process. Notable characteristics that every stretch wrap should have include puncture resistance, clarity, and static discharge as well as tear resistance and break strength.

Usage of Stretch wraps
The stretch wraps can be used for one of the following functions. First, they can be used to protect the material under consideration from sun exposure and in this case, these wraps are referred to as UV stretch wraps. Second, the stretch wraps can be used to protect materials and products from moisture and dust. Third, the wraps can be used to offer tamper resistance as well as package pilferage resistance. Other common functions include offering stability during transport in that they help in the formation of a unit load. Finally, stretch wraps play an important role in improving the handling and storage of goods in a warehouse. Stretch wrappers can be divided into different categories. There is the manual wrappers, semi-automatic wrappers as well as automatic wrappers. For more information, visit Malpack Ltd.

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Why you Need to Invest in a New Mascot Costume

Mascot customes, commonly used in businesses and sporting events, serve as a brand’s or team’s spokesperson. They also attract a certain demographic and create awareness among potential customers. Even though mascots are not required for all businesses, they are certainly advantageous.

 

Mascot costumes will assist you to:

  • Connect with the young audience
  • Show others what your organization is all about
  • Create instant brand awareness
  • Communicate with people of all ages
  • Remind people of your brand and company

But, investing in a new costume doesn’t come cheap. Depending on the design, some custom mascots can cost thousands of dollars or even more. While weighing the advantages and disadvantages of spending money on the new costume, have a look at these benefits you’ll get when you do so.

 

Get mascots with an updated look

Whether you need costumes for your business, school, or charitable organization, it’s always good to make a change. You may have used your old costume for many years, and you think it’s time to retire them. This doesn’t mean that the existing costume hasn’t seen better days. Maybe it’s still dated. However, it’s always good to refresh your look periodically. A new costume will offer you that chance to update the looks of the mascot.

 

Get improved maintenance features

Since a mascot costume is an investment like any other, you want to benefit as much as possible. A new costume will have improved support features. This can include special hooks for hanging the costume up and a storage container.

 

Get a comfortable costume

Old costumes tend to be uncomfortable to wear at some point. They may be filthy due to sweat while others can be moldy. It would be unhealthy and uncomfortable to wear such a costume. Moreover, the old costume may not have been designed with comfort and breathability in mind.

 

New costumes today are made using breathable and lightweight materials and fabric. They are easy to clean and can wick away moisture. This offers the user a great experience like no other.

 

Deciding whether to budget for a new mascot costume isn’t easy. You will need to contemplate about the pros and cons against any other way you would have used the money so that you can make an informed decision. Even though you may choose to spend that money in other ways, do not ignore the importance of having a new costume. Once you have decided to get it, be sure to explore all the available options so you can get the best costume. If you would like to learn more, visit Hogtown Mascots Inc. for additional resources.

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3 Signs You Should Pursue a Business Degree

If you are a high school student who is getting ready to graduate and who is looking into your plans for the future, or if you are an adult who is thinking about going back to school so that you can meet your goals and make positive changes in your life (such as a second career), you might be wondering what program of study you should look into. You obviously have a lot of choices, but if you are like a lot of students, you might find that going to a business college is your best choice. These are a few signs that pursuing a business degree might be a good idea.

1. You Want to Be a Business Owner

Do you dream of owning a business of your own? If so, you might not even think that you need to worry about colleges or professional designations in order to achieve your goal. However, going to college for a business degree can actually be a very smart decision for anyone who is thinking about starting up a business. Then, you can learn about everything from bookkeeping for your new business to digital marketing and more, which can make it possible for you to plan for and run a much more successful business.

2. You’d Like to Work in a Big Company

Do you have your eyes on a large-scale Canadian business that you would like to work for? If so, you might be wondering what you will need to do in order to achieve this goal. Obviously, this will vary based off of the business that you want to work for and the type of job that you want within the company, but in many cases, large businesses appreciate and value business degrees. You might find that earning a degree in business is a great way to secure the job that you want. For those interested in learning more, please visit Canadian Business College.

3. You’re Not Sure What Career You Want

It can be easy to know that you want to go to college and that you want to secure a good job but to not be sure of what you want to do. This is especially common among younger adults, who might not have had much time to think about their path. If you are unsure of which direction to go in, you might find that pursuing a business degree is a smart choice. Then, you can have a diverse and versatile degree that can help you qualify for a host of different types of jobs.

Do any of these three things apply to you? If so, you may want to consider pursuing a degree in business at a local business college.

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IRS Toughens Rules on Small Business Insurance

Small businesses are one the most ignored financial sectors in the country’s economy. Government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) often come up with regulations that target only large corporations. Due to constant tendencies to overlook this vital sector of the economy, there is increasing levels of business malpractices, especially in the small business insurance platform.

New Measures from the IRS

In what could be an unprecedented attempt to control the sector, IRS recently came up with new stringent measures to tame the rogue small business owners. The agency is targeting small business insurance providers who take advantage of its leniency to engage in schemes designed to evade taxes.The agency came up with the new rules amid an ongoing investigation where an in-house insurance provider, which provides micro captive insurance, unknowingly fell into the trap of abusive tax evasion schemes. Such companies are highly prone to malicious programs formed by small business owners to shelter themselves from paying taxes.

Program Details

These programs can accumulate deferred taxes, unlike conventional insurance quotes. Small businesses can protect their products from risks that are costly for traditional insurance companies. In the process, the companies enjoy tax-free limits set by IRS.

What the New Rules Mean for Businesses

IRS announced that it is making the rules more unfriendly based on increased cases of tax evasion resulting from the questionable transactions recorded by micro captive providers. However, there is a brewing legal tussle between IRS and interested parties. Those against the new rules claim that IRS acted without considering the possible outcome of an ongoing tax case known as Avraham v Commissioner, which is at an advanced stage in the court. Most of them feel that the agency acted too soon.

The Current State of Insurance for Small Businesses

Many insurance companies provide small business insurance policies ranging from liability insurance to disaster and health insurance. However, insurance companies treat small business insurance policies like any other cover. They do not consider the scope of service delivery or the business portfolio of the company at stake. As a result, most small businesses opt for unconventional insurance covers such as micro captives. With the increasing difficulty to do business due to fierce completion from well-established companies, small businesses go for cheaper alternatives to help them cut costs, especially in risk mitigation.

How Small Businesses Can Be Insured

Through captive insurance, small businesses can insure themselves at incredibly lower prices. Many businesses prefer this type of insurance because of the planning advantages that come with it. Before a particular business qualifies for the advantages, it must produce a detailed document showing the risks insured.

History of Captive Insurance

Micro captive insurance was started in the 1950s. Today, more than 500 companies have at least one captive policy. Through the policy, many small businesses can now avoid the volatility of the insurance market through self-insurance. According to financial analysts, insurance for small business will never get better without captive insurance in it.

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Enterprise Content Management Strategy- Keys to Success

In recent years enterprise content management (ECM) is gaining greater significance and becoming more complex for a number of reasons. The truth is that the majority of organizations’ ECM involves maintaining important documents in a shared drive or in personal computers that gets pushed around using e-mail.

Managing content is not enough. What is more critical is the ability of accessing the correct record or document version when it is needed. Enterprise content needs to be managed in a way that its usage helps in achieving your organization’s business goals. A primary ECM goal is the elimination of ad hoc internal processes that could expose your company to existing regulatory compliance risks and other associated problems.Analyzing Current Status

An important step towards achieving the desired enterprise content management in the future is an understanding of your current ECM status. Employing a best-practice approach begins by mapping the current end-to-end business processes in use across your entire organization.

Document the flow of information from people, apps and systems, and how that is creating content within your enterprise. This is what will provide you with useful insights into the current organization’s information ecosystem.

Define the Scope

ECM program scope defination is critical to user adoption and successful implementation. Considerations must be given to organizational and geographic requirements, timeframes, legacy content, information types and classes, and the customer communication management platform. The enterprise content management capability must include resilience in managing the growth of documents and also facilitate adaptability of emerging technology trends.

New Strategy Implementation

For ECM, change management goes a bit further than controlling software and managing hardware, and how they are affecting your network. It’s more about people, training, culture, and communications. It must also have a customer communication management platform that addresses the possible effects of the new changes and also anticipate user resistance.

The overall strategy must address areas of change that include processes, technology, procedures for technology version-control, retention periods, as well other areas that relate to the future desired state of ECM. Considerations must cover how the ECM strategy is going to impact employee interactions and activities plus how the benefits of the new procedures, systems and practices will be conveyed. Most importantly, it must address the drivers or reasons to implement this change.

An all-inclusive record management capability has to be part of the organisation processes and systems. ECM software tools may be employed for identifying duplicate or near-duplicate content. A vibrant enterprise information security classification scheme has to be developed.

Conclusion

Accomplishing all the above demands a cross-functional organizational team effort; executives must give the corporate vision, heads of departments sharing their operating goals while the user community continually documents challenges encountered daily. Ultimately, a well-designed ECM strategy will help you achieve goals such as eliminating bottlenecks, streamlining access, and minimizing organization’s overhead.

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Copywriting Tips for Generating Leads Through Email

Lead generation software is very helpful for increasing and managing your leads. However, you’ll still need the art of copywriting to send out compelling emails to your subscribers that direct them back to your website or landing page for a product you’re selling. If you want to improve your B2B marketing and email lead generation, implement the following copywriting tips for generating leads through email:

Write Killer Subject Lines

The most important aspect of your email is the subject line because it determines whether or not someone clicks on your email. If they don’t find the subject line irresistible to click, then they’ll likely delete it without ever seeing what you have to say. You can improve your subject lines by personalizing them, speaking to problems your target audience is facing, and occasionally adding fun emoticons for personality. When you add emoticons, make sure they will show up correctly on all devices.

Include Images in the Email

People are visual by nature and will feel more motivated to read your email when images are included. Some people will back away if you send a text-only email that doesn’t have any visuals. Images in your email copy can also help your audience quickly understand your message.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Most target audiences prefer shorter emails because they have busy lives and don’t want to spend too much time in their inboxes. Cut any unnecessary words from your copy. Not only will this shorten your emails, but it will boost your clarity.

Convey What Value They’ll Receive from Your Email

The subject line of your emails should convey what value they’ll receive from your emails. Will they save money on their PPC marketing? Will they eliminate stress during tax season? Or will they receive a discount on one of your products? Value must always be communicated in the subject line to encourage clicks.

Use Second Person

Some businesses write their emails in first person, but it’s better to use second person in email marketing. As you’ve probably heard before while learning about marketing, people don’t care about you. They care about themselves. By using second person, you place the focus on them.

Write Effective Calls to Action

Every email you send in your email marketing should have an effective call to action. Just as you should spend time writing a great subject line, you should put thought into your calls to action. A good call to action contains action words, communicates what you want the reader to do, and is relevant.

Lead Generation Software

A combination of using a good lead generation software with excellent visitor tracking features and writing better emails for your email marketing will help you boost leads through email. Implement the above copywriting tips to improve your email lead generation. Visit Clickback Inc. and learn more information from the available resources.

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How to Take Your REALTOR Marketing to the Next Level

As a real estate agent, your efforts may be regularly focused on trying to find new leads to follow up on. After all, without leads, you simply cannot generate sales and close deals. Real estate agent marketing commonly includes direct mail marketing and generating leads from yard signs in front of listed properties.

 

However, you may be looking for REALTOR marketing that goes a step above and beyond these common methods used to generate lead. With your effort focused in the right direction, you can get more leads without breaking the bank with a huge marketing budget.

 

home-blue-circle Update Your Website
Your website is one of your most significant tools available when it comes to REALTOR marketing, but you may not be using in the most effective way possible. Some real estate agents believe that simply having an online presence is enough to generate great business, but this unfortunately is not always the case. First, you need to update your website so that traffic is driven to it. This may be by incorporating a blog or RSS feed into the website, and both of these will keep fresh, relevant content on the website. This promotes great rankings with the search engines. In addition, you can also incorporate videos into your website, and this is great because YouTube is owned by Google.

 

home-blue-circle Other Creative Website Marketing Ideas
You may have heard that SEO, or search engine optimization, can drive traffic to your website organically, and this is true. You simply select a few optimal key words, and you place them strategically in your text as well as in off-site articles that link back to your website. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so take time to research current SEO tips before you get started. In addition to this, consider adding some lead generator or capture tools onto your website. For example, you could have a mortgage calculator that requires the user to enter their contact information before seeing the results of their calculator query, and you can program the calculator tool to email the contact information to you in real time.

 

Direct mail marketing is effective, but it unfortunately is not enough to generate the results that most real estate agents desire. Your broker may already have a website for the company or team, but it can be beneficial to have a personal website for you as an individual agent as well. Simply having the website is not enough, and you can easily incorporate these tips into your website to generate incredible results from it.

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Five Reasons Why Your Business Needs Business Cheques

When you have just started your own business, it may feel natural to simply write a cheque from your personal chequing account. However, this can be a major mistake that can make it very difficult to separate your personal finances from your business finances. In order to get in the habit of keeping your business and personal life separate, and to reap several other benefits, you will need business cheques.

 

1. Less Tax Hassles

Business cheques make it much easier to avoid tax headaches. Since all of your business-related payments will have been made under your business name, it will be much easier to claim these as business expense deductions for tax purposes. It will be much easier to substantiate the deductions you make in the event of an audit. Business cheques become a requirement when you have become incorporated.

 

2. Manage Your Personal Finances Better

All of your business income is sent to your business checking account. Then, you can designate a set amount that is transferred from your business checking account to your personal checking account. By keeping this set amount consistent, you will know how much you must budget for and will be less tempted to spend too much of your profits on better months. You will have a cushion to support you during less profitable months.

 

3. Take Advantage Of Limited Liability Laws

When you keep your finances separate, and your business is forced to file for bankruptcy, your creditors will be able to go after the finances in your business chequing account. However, the creditors will not be able to target your personal finances. One exception is if you are constantly mixing your personal and business expenses. If you are often using business expenses for personal matters and personal finances for business expenses, the courts will not necessarily see you and your business as a separate entity and you may be sued.

 

4. Delegate Tasks To Employees

Business cheques can have multiple signers. If you need to delegate purchasing and other financial responsibilities to an employee, having business cheques will make it much easier to do so. Employees can simply write checks for business matters. External accounting services can be given authorization to examine your business’s account statements.

 

5. More Professional

Ultimately, having business cheques makes your business appear more professional and established. This will increase the odds that customers are willing to do business with you. When a cheque has your own name on it, rather than the name of your business, some customers will wonder how serious your business is. More information can be found at D+H Cheques.

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Protecting Your Brand Name Online

Where will you be at midnight tonight?

May I suggest that you may want to consider being at your computer at that time?

Why? Because Facebook has something going on at that time that is vital for you personally and your business that’s far more important than sleeping ever will be!

As a PR person and marketer, you know the power of branding and controlling your brand name.

Tonight at midnight, Facebook is staging one of the greatest branding grabs ever – giving the opportunity to own your own name on Facebook.

But, you say, I already have my name on Facebook. But, what’s key here is not your name, it’s your URL.

Every time you want to send someone to your Facebook profile or page (remember profiles are your personal section on Facebook, pages are your business side, and you can have unlimited numbers of pages) you currently have to send them to a URL that looks something like this:

www.facebook.com/people/Your-Name/52446540 (That’s an inactive URL, BTW, so don’t click it.)

Wouldn’t you rather be able to send them to www.facebook.com/yourname ?

That’s what’s Facebook is making possible tonight – the ability to own your own name, or more importantly, your company or brand name on Facebook.(Can you imagine someone else owning your brand name on that vital site?)

And the fact that Facebook’s making this a first come first served situation, this is why it’s also vital that you’re awake and at your computer tonight, who needs sleep anyway?

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What Is Meant By The Terms Boilerplate Language And Safe Harbor Statement In A Media Release?

Big question mark made from smaller question marks (retro colors)

Boilerplate language:

Boilerplate language is a media release refers to what is traditionally the final paragraph of the release, which provides generic information about the company. It usually tells whether the company is publicly or privately traded, its stock ticker, where it’s based, the brands it owns, what it does, etc. Basically, it’s a piece of copy that is designed to communicate the basics about the company that gets routinely pasted on the end of each media release.

Consequently, it’s usually the first thing that gets cut if the release gets run, but that’s a totally different discussion.

Here’s a sample of boilerplate language from a recent AT&T release:
About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world’s most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation’s fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation’s leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s lists of the World’s Most Admired Companies and America’s Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.

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The Power Of Bloggers To Increase Even Further

A team works together to pull up a growth arrow

“The power of bloggers to influence thought, to reach large numbers of people and even to eclipse the impact of traditional media is huge and will grow even larger in the near future,” Blogging and Social Media expert Don Crowther announced today at the 2007 Blogword and New Media Expo in Las Vegas.

“What the traditional media doesn’t recognize is that many bloggers, though unrestrained by traditional journalistic methods and ethics, have audiences and actual readership larger than many newspapers, television and radio shows,” Crowther said. “Plus this audience is often more loyal and able to be influenced than that of traditional media, giving bloggers tremendous power to shape opinions, actions and purchasing behavior.”

The implications of this power are far reaching. Crowther indicated:

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Removing Fear Through Effective Public Relations

I like my neighbor, with one small exception – he raises pit bulls. He’s got 8 of them, with 3-4 rotating in to live right next door all the time.

Justified or not, the entire neighborhood is scared of them, with parents being unwilling to let their kids play outside unsupervised (a first in my small subdivision.) My wife’s terrified of them, and if she’s outside when he lets them out to do their business she goes inside until they’re done.

It’s even gotten to the point where calls have been made to the police several times by various neighborhood members for various infractions.

So I admired the way he pulled off a public relations coup this week.

Most of the neighbors were out enjoying a summer evening (hey, when it’s too cold to go outside for much of the year, we Northerners take advantage of every nice evening we can get!), watching the kids play and enjoying parental conversation, when the neighbor walked out of his house carrying a laundry basket onto his driveway.

That attracted a few eyeballs. But when he reached inside and pulled out a 10″ long, 4-week old puppy, it took just a few minutes before the entire neighborhood was gathered around, and each of the 8 puppies had someone cuddling it.

They were awfully cute puppies and they did what puppies do naturally – they captured the hearts of everyone.

As I was holding the puppy, I mentioned to him that I should get my wife to try to remove some of her fear of the pit bulls. He not only thought that was a good idea, but told me to take a puppy to her. A few seconds later, my wife was right in the midst of the cuddle session.

It’s been interesting to watch my neighborhood ever since. Each night, the puppies come out, and everyone gathers around. Barriers are being broken, fear is being reduced, comfort is increasing.

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Creating Advertising That Offends Your Customers: I Dont Get It

I was shocked this week to see an ad by Ford for their Mustang. It shows a father and son in a dark parking lot. The son’s driving, he peels out, runs a bit, then stops. The father turns to him and says “That’s what I’m talking about. This is not a toy! Want to go again?” Both laughs and they peel out again.

Now I’m sure this ad strikes deep to the heart of a few fathers who want their sons to relive the father’s teenage streetrodding experiences. And, when they dragged those fathers into focus groups the ad was probably met with applause.

But what’s clear is that they didn’t test the ad with others – the moms, the families who have lost a child to being hit by a teenage driver, MADD members, and those who look for our teenagers to be law-abiding. To them, this ad is not only offensive, but it constitutes “fighten words”.

The ad has already been pulled in at least one market where recent highly-publicized teen accidents have raised awareness of the dangers of telling kids that it’s ok to drive cars recklessly “as long as they don’t get caught.”

Want to judge the spot for yourself? It’s the one with the grinning man’s face.

This ad is just another in a recent trend towards offending one market segment while seeking to attract another. Carls Junior’s Paris Hilton adwas one we recently commented on.

Sephora has recently done the same thing with coffee cups with a lipstick mark on the rim, making them appear to have been used.

Frankly, I don’t get it.

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Our Favorite Online Press Release Distribution Services

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is which press release distribution service we recommend.

First, let me make a distinction. We have found that there are two types of press release distribution services.

– Ones that get your release out to lots of different sites on the web.
– And those that get your release into the hands of print and broadcast reporters.

Frankly, we’ve not been able to find one service that does well with both. Either they do a good job online, or they do a good job reaching reporters, generally not both.

This article will focus on the only one we’ve found that does a reasonable job of doing both at a reasonable price. In future issues we’ll discuss some of our other favorite tools.

The service is called The Yearbook of Experts and it’s one of those gems that few people know about, but really seems to work.

The Yearbook of Experts provides you a number of services, just one of which is a press release distribution service. You get:
– A profile in the printed Yearbook of Experts
– A profile in their online online ExpertClick directory
– Inclusion in their Power Media BlueBook and CD-ROM and online access to their database
– Training in how to use their service

And, the part you’ve been waiting for
– The ability to send out releases and articles through their NewsReleaseWire.

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What’s That Again – Please Drive Safely

A recent study designed to measure whether people perceived men or women to be safer drivers came up with an interesting answer:

“As a passenger, I feel safer with:
35% a male driver
23% a female driver
42% other”

What’s an other? Apparently, whatever they are, they drive really safely!

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Tips For Using People Photos That Get Results

Want to use a picture of a person in your marketing? Here’s how to make your choice.

Psychological and marketing studies tend to reveal similar results, which state that when you choose a picture for an advertising or publicity campaign look for: (Please don’t consider this sexist or get offended, it’s what the data says)

A picture of a woman (men prefer pictures of women, women don’t care, pictures of women win)

Mid to late 20’s (something about the age your mother was when you first saw her – things get real Freudian here…)

Attractive, though not necessarily sexy. Sexy turns women off, attractive appeals to both men and women.

Dressed nicely, but not sexy. Same rationale.

Smiling lightly, though not toothy grin. The best pictures are the ones where the model looks approving, like they’re happy with you, not hitting on you, more motherly “I’m so glad to see that you’re home!” looks that make you feel loved

Ideally her body should be turned to a bit of an angle to the camera

Most important – her eyes should be looking directly into the camera. The eyes are important. There’s something, particularly in men (eye-tracking research) that shows that our eyes are drawn to eyes that are looking at us. So a model looking into the camera (especially if her body is turned slightly so it appears that she is having to work a bit to look at the camera, tying back to the previous point) draws your eye to hers. Side point here – really focus on the eyes in your pictures. It’s possible to look at the camera without looking into the camera lens. You want them focused right on you. My friend describes it as “looking deep into your soul.”

In short, study your possible pictures carefully. You should feel your heart do a slight leap when you see the right one. If it does, you’ve got a winner.

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How to Profit From Obama’s Stimulus Program

a golden keys with words as a background, business growth concept

It seems you can’t turn anywhere today without bumping into talk of economic stimulus. Whether you’ll be entitled to some of that money or not, you can use it to build your business.

How? Through using it to get more PR!

Here are some story pitches that astute marketers like you can use the economic stimulus talk and Obama’s new Presidency to build your publicity:

  • Right now, before it’s set in stone, pitch a story about how the plan will affect your business. That pitch could show how you would benefit from it, how you wouldn’t, how you should get it, or even how it will be a waste of money in your industry.
  • Pitch your corporate environmental policies and improvements. Tell reporters about the changes you’ve made and how they will affect your bottom line. Show how they will increase employment, and how they will impact the environment, especially if those changes cut greenhouse emissions. Remember that those emission reductions don’t necessarily have to come from you, they can come from suppliers, customers, or even from the eventual disposal of the product. The extra work to calculate those numbers will be worthwhile, because they will likely be a lead element to your story.
  • Pitch any new U.S. employment initiative you participate in, even if those initiatives just preserve a job that might otherwise be lost to foreign workers. Again, remember, those initiatives don’t have to be just within your company. If you order a new machine that replaces one on your shop floor, you may not add a job, but the manufacturer of that machine may, and there’s a story there! Clearly communicate the number of new jobs, or the number of jobs preserved in your pitch, don’t leave it up to the reporter to do the calculations. And don’t be afraid to make estimates and assume that the money you’re spending won’t trickle down to others in the economy – the government accounting offices are!
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Using Online Video To Promote A Launch

marketing-sign

Using outrageous online video to promote your business

When Andy Jenkins wanted to promote the product improvements in his online traffic and conversion training system called StomperNet, he decided to use a powerful new online tool – online video.

As a marketing professional, you’re probably already aware that:

– Video is huge – YouTube is one of the top 3 sites in the world!

– Tons of people are accessing it – over 63% of those with broadband in the US are watching online videos, which has increased 18% over the past year

So how do you get your story seen in online video? One way is to add entertainment to your message, which is precisely what Andy chose to do.

 

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Using Twitter To Gain Publicity

Wordcloud related to word public relation

Are you actively using http://www.twitter.com to build your business?

If you’re not, you’re probably making a huge mistake.

Twitter, in case you’re not aware, is a service where people post up to 140 character updates on topics of interest to them. Those updates go out to the people who have chosen to “follow” them.

In essence, Twitter is a place where you build an audience of people who have similar interests to yours, then communicate quickly and efficiently with them.

It’s taking the world by storm, growing at phenomenal rates, and more importantly, becoming a key communications element in the lives of many.

I have to admit, when I first looked at Twitter, I didn’t get it. I saw a bunch of people there cheerfully announcing that they were going to eat lunch, that they were having a great day, and that they had just broken up with their boyfriends. There was no way I was going to join any service that helped me to more efficiently waste time, even if it didn’t cost me anything.

But my attitude, and the world of Twitter has now totally changed.

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Twitterable? What To Twitter About

Computer generated 3D photo rendering.

A great deal of your success on Twitter is based on what you choose to Twitter about.

We covered this a bit in last week’s article, but it’s worth reconsidering and going deeper.

The key is to recognize that every follower you have on Twitter is earned, and that every post you write has the potential to attract more followers or to drive off the ones you already have.

No stress…

First some don’ts:

In last week’s article we stressed the importance of NOT filling your Twitter feed with totally personal items that nobody cares about. Don’t greet the world when you get up, tell them what you had for breakfast, or when you’re going to bed. Unless you’re a celebrity, who people actually get paid for taking pictures of you doing those things, twittering on those subjects will just push people away.
Don’t do inside jokes that only a few people will understand.
Don’t complain about the world. Nobody likes whiners in real life, and they certainly aren’t going to continually follow you if you do it online.
Don’t use it as a place for spouting off on whatever subject is on your mind at the moment. Think, then write.
Unless your audience is following you because of your religious or political views, you generally should stay away from those subjects. Sorry, I know. You’ll never believe how hard it was for me to not hit the enter key after writing some amazing posts during the recent US election…

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How To Annoy Your Customers

young-businesswoman-in-stress

I sometimes wear ties. Mind you, I’m dragged kicking and screaming into the ancient and abominable art of male torture through neck binding, but I still occasionally put one on. And I get bored with them, so I’m always on the lookout for good looking ones.

So when I saw a Facebook ad offering Four Quality Ties for $1, they got my click.

FacebookTiesAd- No hidden fees!

(Notice that they specifically say “No hidden fees!” in the ad.)

By doing so I got wrapped up into one of the best examples of how to deceive and annoy your customers that I’ve seen in weeks.

The landing page seems well designed with a photo at the top, 18 ties that you can select, an order form on the bottom left and testimonials on the bottom right. The bottom of the page even has a guarantee and trust-type seals.

No mention of shipping charges, no mention of any other obligations. It appears on the surface to be a program designed to allow customers the ability to buy a sample of their wares at an inexpensive price.

It looked good, I was about to reward good marketing with my order. I was about ready to start choosing ties, when I noticed that you are required to check a box stating that you have read and agreed to their terms & conditions. I click that box, and the real deal is reveled:

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New Program Simplifies Online Advertising

Those of you who have been in contact with me for awhile know that I’m a huge fan of pay per click marketing. It’s one of the greatest marketing tools currently available to generate huge numbers of targeted potential buyers to your webpage or online sales letter.

One of the keys to success in pay per click marketing is running your ads on thousands, and in many cases, tens of thousands of keywords.

This strategy not only results in less expensive click traffic, but higher quality customers at the same time, because those who search for more specific keyword combinations tend to be farther along in the buying process than those who search for the generic term that describes the category.

Though this is a powerful, results-generating strategy, it comes at a huge price – the time required to sort though huge lists of keywords, culling out those that don’t apply, and putting them into logical ad groups for keyword advertising.

Frankly, to do this process right costs between 5-10 hours of mind-numbingly frustrating work. Seriously, you can’t hand-process keyword lists for more than about 20 minutes before your eyes start crossing and every line starts to look about the same.

As a manager of a number of high-powered, huge, expensive campaigns, I’ve done my time, spending far too many late nights slogging through yet another list.

If you’ve ever done it, you know exactly what I’m talking about…

So, you can imagine my excitement about two months ago as I talked for the first time with a guy I met on a pay per click teleconference named Richard East.

In that phone call Richard told me about a new program his team was creating that was designed specifically to handle the challenge of sorting through huge groups of keywords for pay per click and/or page-building programs.

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