6 Challenges of Water Treatment in Rural Areas

Rural water purification can be a challenging task to accomplish when compared to city water treatment. This is because the concentration of contamination in rural water is high. Most often, these concentrations go undetected. The major challenges of water treatment in rural areas are the water sources. These include:

1. Access to Drinking Water

Many people in the rural area don’t have access to good drinking water. There is no denying the fact that rural areas, just like the cities, have abundant water; however, it’s not in the right condition for human consumption. The use of polluted water has resulted in several deaths and chronic illnesses. Lack of access to safe drinking water is one of the biggest challenges facing people living in the rural area, hence the need to improve the water treatment process.

2. Lack of Infrastructure

Aging infrastructure, which includes pipelines, dams, storage, tunnels and treatment facilities are a major concern in rural areas. The majority of water infrastructure in rural areas needs to be updated.

3. Hard Water

Hard water problems are the most common of all water treatment problems in the home. Hard water occurs when the primary source of water picks up mineral content from the earth such as magnesium and chalky calcium. The mineral content of the water depends largely on the water source. One of the major water sources in rural areas notorious for supplying hard water is the borehole. Hard water is easy to detect. One of the major signs is when your soap doesn’t lather. Also, you may see water spots of your dishes. To solve the problem, homes in rural areas require water softeners. You could potentially find more information at Global Hydration, which has additional resources available on their website.

4. Hydrogen Sulfide

Minerals in water can cause a bad smell. This is usually caused by highly corrosive hydrogen sulfide gas. Without the right water treatment system, it may be difficult to filter hydrogen sulfide out of the water. Unfortunately, a standard water softener will do nothing to improve the condition of the water. A special water treatment softening system designed to eliminate this mineral content is required.

5. Water Sources

Some of the water sources in rural areas include lakes, rivers and ponds. The water quality from surface water sources is largely influenced by happenings within and around the surrounding environment. The concentration of contaminants in lakes, ponds and river water tends to be high. On top of that, the water can produce an earthy taste, making it unsafe for drinking. Since they are the major sources of water for communities in rural areas, water taken from these sources as drinking water require more water purification to make them safe for use.

6. High Sodium Content

High sodium content can affect the taste of your water. Typically, all water supplies have sodium content, but it’s at a lower concentration. But when the concentration is beyond normal, it changes the taste of the water from good to bad, making it unsafe for use. The best solution is to get a reliable water treatment system capable of fixing this problem.

Knowing the right water purification equipment to purchase depends on the concentration of contaminants in the water.

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Debunking 6 Myths about Paternity DNA Testing

Diagnostic DNA tests for most people entail testing for paternity or other forms of family relationship. Besides, a large percent of DNA tests are done for paternity reasons. DNA testing can be used for a variety of other reasons besides paternity and dna testing for ethnicity, such as in criminal cases. However, despite the popularity of DNA testing, several misconceptions surround paternity DNA tests.

1. DNA tests require blood or spit

The DNA sequence of an individual is the same in close to all cells in the body. Therefore, a DNA test is not limited to using cells in blood or spit. Experts can perform DNA tests on other cells in the body like the ones found after rubbing the swab on the inside of your check.

2. The DNA test is too expensive

The DNA analysis has changed over time, which makes testing more affordable than before. Surprisingly, you can perform a DNA test at the comfort of your home by purchasing a home collection kit, which is affordable. However, you would have to incur extra costs if you need the results for legal purposes like social security, child custody or support. However, the price is worth the peace of mind you enjoy after getting the results.

3. Paternity testing takes too long

It should be one of the most common myths about DNA testing, which discourages several people from taking the testing. In reality, paternity testing is super-fast. It takes between five and ten days for the DNA samples to reach the lab, and about two business days to get the results. Therefore, you no longer have to wait for DNA results for months.

4. Paternity testing is only done after a baby is born

On the contrary, you can perform a DNA testing on a pregnant woman using safe methods that are non-invasive. You need blood samples from the alleged father and the mother. Also, a paternity testing can be done at least eight weeks into a pregnancy, and it is safe for the fetus and the mother.

5. You can’t prove paternity when an ex-partner doesn’t agree to a test

The myth has prevented several people from finding out the truth about the paternity of a child. The fact is that you can still prove paternity even if your partner is against taking the test or is not available. You can use the DNA of the parents of the alleged father so that the medical expert runs a grandparent test. You can consult an accredited lab to know about other family tests that can be sued for paternity testing.

6. Paternity tests are painful

The fact is that needles are not used for paternity testing. The samples can be extracted using cheek swabs. Therefore, you don’t have to shy away from paternity testing in fear of needle-pricks.

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The Top 4 Marks of a Good Mover

Maybe you’re looking to move to take advantage of better home prices in a different part of your city or province, or in another part of Canada altogether. Maybe you are sending your child to university, and they need to haul their possessions to campus for the term before bringing it all back home with them afterward. Maybe you are a newlywed looking to settle down somewhere. Whatever the case may be, you’re going to want to move the right way, which means finding the best movers in Canada to help.

1. Quality Moving Vehicles

It’s fair to say that the best artists can create great artwork with whatever’s lying around. It’s also fair to say that the Renaissance Masters had a hand in creating all their masterpieces by having access to the finest paints, brushes, and painting materials of their time. By that same token, the best moving teams will typically be able to boast a fleet of moving vehicles that are of the utmost quality. These vehicles should be fast, durable, spacious, and allow for easy storage. What’s more, they should also allow for loaded goods to be easily secured to prevent them from sliding around from side to side.

2. Quick Turnaround Times

Of course, those moving vans won’t count for very much if the movers in question aren’t able to get a move on, and quickly! As such, it should go without saying that when looking for a quality moving team, you will want to check and see who can boast the best turnaround times. You don’t want your move to take an interminable amount of time, so finding a team that can do the job quickly and effectively is always the goal. There are online resources available at Premiere Van Lines Edmonton, which may provide you with more information.

3. Versatile Performance

In addition to all of that, you’re going to want a team that can also help you out with a wide range of different moves. After all, there are many different situations in which you might find yourself needing to move, as described above. Finding a moving team that has versatility means finding one that can answer many different types of moving challenges with the same level of commitment and quality assistance. They may also explicitly offer different types of moving services, so be sure to check their webpage to learn the types of moves in which they specialize.

4. Special Expertise

None of us want to work with a team that’s substandard in any facet of life, let alone one as important as moving. That’s why one of the most defining marks of a good moving team is often simple expertise and experience. Check to see how long they’ve been doing what they’re doing, and what kind of feedback they’ve received. If you’re dealing with a top-tier team, their customer reviews should reflect it.

Few decisions you make in your life are likely to be as important as the one you make when you decide to pull up the stakes and move somewhere. Make sure you make the right choice when selecting a moving team by considering all of these factors while researching your options before making a final decision.

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5 Reasons to Replace Windows before Undertaking Other Home Improvement Projects

Every home is going to need improvements, no matter how new or beautiful it is; it’s only a matter of time. If you are planning to undertake a home improvement project, then you probably have a list of things to do. Which improvement should you prioritize? It might be wise to start with the windows. Here’s why.

1. Safety and Security

You may not think about it, but your windows are an entry and exit point to your home, so windows that malfunction put you and your family at risk of theft. Before fixing the kitchen, bathroom and other parts of the home, it’s wise to keep your home protected against criminals and even the weather outside. By installing new windows, you’ve taken a step to protect your loved ones and property. Modern windows are made of quality materials and are much harder for uninvited guests to break into.

2. Style

Many people undertake improvement projects to give their home a new look. Improvements give you a sense of comfort knowing that you’re living in a home that fits your taste and lifestyle. If you want to give your home a facelift, replacing the old windows might be a great idea. There are many window style options to choose from, including awning, casement, and picture windows. Starting your home improvement efforts on the outside is a great initiative, as it gives guests an idea of what the interior will look like and improves your curb appeal. Remember that replacement windows not only enhance the look of your property on the exterior alone. They also have a huge impact on the interior as well.

3. Energy Efficiency

Many older homes are still using traditional windows built with single-pane glass. These old windows cannot withstand extremely cold winter conditions. Often, they can freeze open or shut too. With the rise in heating and cooling costs, replacing original windows with energy efficient ones can help you save more. You don’t have to worry about paying exorbitant utility bills.

There’s no denying the fact that replacement windows are expensive. But if you don’t mind installing new windows, you’ll start to enjoy great savings on your energy bills. On top of that, you’ll spend less on repairs and maintenance. It might be helpful for you to visit Panes and learn from the information on their website.

4. Noise Reduction

If you live close to the airport, a school or a busy area, you probably have a lot of noise to deal with. Window replacements with dual pane or a laminated glass will drastically reduce external noise, allowing you to enjoy your home peacefully without worrying about the hustle and bustle outdoors.

5. Keep the Weather Outside

The weather outside your home can affect the air quality in your home. Old windows, if not replaced, can leak. This gives water easy access into your home. This makes your home an open target for mould growth. Inefficient windows are highly vulnerable to leaks.

Poorly installed windows will give you a less than desirable result. It is imperative that you consult a professional window replacement contractor with experience in the business.

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How To Set Up Your RESP Account in 7 Steps?

Educating citizens is the duty of the state. And with rising costs leaving more and more people unable to afford post-secondary education, the Canadian government has found a unique solution. Registered Education Saving Plan (RESP) is an investment scheme that provides investors with tax-sheltered accounts to be used for a child’s education. Furthermore, the plan of Heritage Education Funds comes with the benefit of government grants. Here is all you need to know about setting up an account.

 

Step 1

 

Make sure that the beneficiary is a Canadian resident. RESP eligibility mandates that. It is also better to start the account before the child turns 15. While it is possible to create an account after that, the requirements for 16 and 17-year-olds are much more complicated. In some cases, the child must be below 21 years of age.

 

Step 2

 

Get your finances in order. Before opening an RESP account, it is important to figure it out if you can afford it. Dissolving an account too early comes with its own set of penalties. Thus, it is important to handle money judiciously such that such a situation doesn’t occur.

 

Step 3

 

Decide which plan to choose. RESP offers three different schemes, each with its own set of rules and regulations. Individual plans allow subscribers to choose beneficiaries not related to them. Family plans make it easier to manage multiple beneficiaries and allow more control over the finances but parents must allocate funds to the child explicitly. Otherwise, the money might default to the last added beneficiary.

Group or shared plans are much more stringent. While allowing money funds to be allocated to multiple unrelated individuals, it also comes with more rigorous rules and a schedule for contributions. Thus, research is extremely important in understanding which plans to choose.

 

Step 4

 

Make sure your child has a Social Information Number (SIN). Without one, the child will not eligible for CSEG (Canada Education Savings Grant) provided by the government, which is the main benefit that RESP provides. You can apply for SIN for your newborn via the Newborn Registration Service.

 

Step 5

 

Set up your RESP account. This can be done in multiple ways. You can consult your financial advisor, go with a brokerage dealer or contact your local bank and ask them to guide you through the process. While filling out the paperwork, make sure to apply for all grants even if you think you won’t get them.

 

The primary benefit of an RESP account is the grants they provide access to. It may so happen that you are not eligible for a grant now, but after a few years your circumstances change and you require them. If you never applied for them, there is no way to receive the funds.

 

Step 6

 

Plan your contributions. Government grants can match 20% of your yearly investments up to $500 per year for a maximum of $7,200 for each individual. Thus, to get the maximum out of your account, you need to invest $2,500 yearly for 14 years and $1,000 for the 15th year. Thus, you will have invested $36,000. After receiving grants, this will amount to$42,200.

If you start when your child is a newborn, you can let this money sit in the account gaining tax-free interest. Thus, when your child is 18, assuming a 3% rate of return, the money will amount to $61,000 almost double of what you invested.

 

Step 7

 

Start contributing. If you have followed all the steps, you should have an account ready for your investments. All you need to do is now contribute to it.

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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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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.

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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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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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