Assam PHC destroyed records: advocates

first_imgA primary health centre (PHC) in western Assam’s South Salmara-Mankachar district has come under the scanner for allegedly destroying birth-related records after a complaint that its officials took money to issue fake birth certificates.The complainants – advocates Anisur Rahman and Azaharul Islam – said the PHC issued many birth certificates against the same serial numbers. Such duplication has made it difficult for people to prove their citizenship as July 30, the date for publishing the complete draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC), draws near.Many people had enclosed birth certificates as proof of citizenship. The NRC, wary of fake documents, had on May 1 issued a notification that birth certificates issued by any entity other than the health department and more than a year after the birth of child would not be legally admissible.In their FIR on Tuesday, the advocates said a section of officials of the South Salmara PHC had destroyed the birth-related documents of 25 years to “erase their misconduct”.last_img read more

Defence Ministry dismisses reports of Army jawan’s abduction by militants in Kashmir

first_imgThe Defence Ministry on Saturday denied reports of an Army jawan being abducted by militants from his home in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, saying he is “safe”.The family of Mohammad Yaseen, who is posted with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regiment, had on Friday informed the police that some people came to their house at Qazipora Chadoora in Budgam and took him away.Mr. Yaseen was on leave. However, a Defence spokesperson on Saturday said the reports of the abduction of the jawan were incorrect.“Clarification. Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided,” the spokesperson said in a tweet.An Army official said they are trying to ascertain where the jawan had been on Friday night which prompted his family to approach the police.last_img read more

2 Indian Americans, 6 Others Charged Over Alleged Market Manipulation Practices

first_imgEight individuals, including two Indian Americans, have been publicly charged with federal crimes for allegedly engaging in deceptive trading practices in the United States.Jitesh Thakkar, 41, of Naperville, Illinois, has been charged with conspiracy and spoofing offenses, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. New York-based Krishna Mohan, 33, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas with commodities fraud and spoofing offenses. The offenses were allegedly committed when he was employed as a programmer and trader at a proprietary trading firm in Chicago, Illinois.Five of the people charged, including Thakkar and Mohan, were arrested on Jan. 29. Among the others charged are Jiongsheng Zhao, who was arrested in Australia; Edward Bases and John Pacilio, who were arrested in Connecticut; UK resident James Vorley, and Cedric Chanu, who lives in the United Arab Emirates. The Justice Department in its announcement of charges on Jan. 29 also included Andre Flotron, a former precious metals trader at UBS, who was arrested in September following accusations of engaging in spoofing.“Thakkar developed a software program that was used by Thakkar’s co-conspirator to engage in spoofing through the placement of thousands of orders on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange when Thakkar was the founder and principal of Edge Financial Technologies Inc.,” said the Department of Justice in a statement.According to the complaint, it was traced through data analysis that Mohan was involved in a pattern of spoofing over 1,000 times in a two-month period.Seven of the eight individuals were charged with the crime of spoofing — an illegal trading practice that can be used to manipulate the commodities markets. “Other than the individuals identified today, only three other individuals have ever been publicly charged with the crime of spoofing,” the statement added.Among the individuals who have been identified, five were traders employed by global financial institutions, while two others were traders at large commodities trading firms, and one was the owner of a technology consulting firm.“As alleged, the defendants in these cases engaged in sophisticated schemes or trading practices aimed at defrauding individuals and entities trading on U.S. futures exchanges,” said General John P. Cronan, the Acting Assistant Attorney.He added that this kind of conduct presents a substantial amount of risk of eroding confidence in U.S. markets. It leads to the creation of unfair playing field for those traders and investors who take the legal route to do things.“The Department and our law enforcement partners will use all of the tools at our disposal, including cutting-edge data analysis, to detect these types of schemes and to bring those who engage in them to justice.  Protecting the integrity of our markets remains a significant priority in our fight against economic crime,” Cronan said.According to the charging documents, the spoof orders often had the effect of artificially depressing or artificially inflating the prices of futures contracts traded on CME, Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), and the Commodity Exchange Inc., (COMEX).The defendants, along with their co-conspirators, to take advantage of the artificial price levels created by their spoof orders, have been alleged to execute real, genuine orders to buy these at the artificially low prices or to sell at the artificially high prices. This was done to generate trading profits or to unlawfully lessen other trading losses.“Their deceptive trading artificially affected the perception of supply and demand in the market and took away a level playing field for investors. We ask for those who observe indicators of this type of fraud to come forward to law enforcement so that we can stop those who attempt to exploit our financial system,” said Deputy Assistant Director Chris Hacker of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.He added that the FBI has taken enforcement action against multiple commodities traders who were spoofing trades through electronic trading platforms for their gain.Director James McDonald of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Enforcement said that spoofing is a malicious example of bad actors seeking to manipulate the market through the abuse of technology.“The technological developments that enabled electronic and algorithmic trading have created new opportunities in our markets. At the CFTC, we are committed to facilitating these market-enhancing developments. But at the same time, we recognize that these new developments also present new opportunities for bad actors,” he added. Related ItemsFinanceIndian Americanmarketlast_img read more

Roach: Loss to Mayweather affected Pacquiao the most

first_imgMOST READ LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Manny Pacquiao’s knockout loss against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 did not bother him as much as the setback he suffered against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015.According to Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach, Pacquiao was never the same fighter in the aftermath of being stopped as a pro. But he explained that Pacquiao, who suffered stoppage defeats in the early days of his career, saw the knockout loss as just another part of the sport.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue “Manny Pacquiao knows that being knocked out is part of the sport and accepts it more than anyone else,” Roach told boxingscene.com. “It’s part of the sport, unfortunately, things happen and that night things did not go our way.”Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) is training under Roach, best friend Buboy Fernandez and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune for his defense of the World Boxing Association (WBA) “regular” welterweight title against Adrien Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionThe contest scheduled Jan. 19 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with Showtime Pay-Per-View carrying the bout.In the same Las Vegas venue in 2012, Pacquiao faced Marquez for the fourth time in their rivalry. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting New season—not ROY plum—on Perkins’ mind TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening In the sixth round, Pacquiao appeared to be on the verge of securing a stoppage win when Marquez, in the final seconds, clipped him with a perfect counter and the Filipino star was knocked unconscious.While there was always some talk of a fifth encounter, Marquez made a career decision to reject that option and eventually retired.“We were a a punch away from getting the same result on the other side. If Manny had not lost his balance, he would not have been beaten that way,” Roach recalled.“When they knocked me out the first time I was never the same, but Manny Pacquiao sees it as part of the sport and that’s why I think he’s so efficient.”In 2015 also in Las Vegas, undefeated five-division world champion Mayweather beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision in the bout billed as “The Fight of the Century.” —BOXINGSCENE.COMADVERTISEMENTcenter_img SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Weekly Hot Jobs: Browse 360i’s Latest Openings

first_img360i is looking for top talent to help us continue to create groundbreaking work on behalf of brands such as Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Oreo, NBCUniversal, SUBWAY, Toyota and more.Right now there are more than 60 open positions across our offices. If you embody passion, purpose and perseverance, and think you have what it takes to join a top 3 agency in the U.S. for two years running (per Ad Age), we invite you to throw your hat in the ring at the links below.Associate Designer, Digital & Social Content – New YorkWe’re looking for a design talent to join our Content Studio and create eye-popping online and offline visual experiences. You’re clever, efficient, and something else that people can’t quite put their finger on, but whatever it is – it’s awesome. Apply here.Senior Media Manager – New YorkDo you have solid paid social and paid search expertise? We are looking for someone to assume a leadership role on our New York media team who will be responsible for recommending and implementing integrated strategies designed to drive success. Apply here.VP, Group Account Director – AtlantaWe’re in search of an exceptional Group Account Director with superior strategic and management skills to lead several major clients. Apply here.VP, Group Media Director – New YorkWith constant evolution in a highly fragmented media environment, digital media strategy is critical to a brand’s overall marketing strategy. We’re looking for an exceptional, highly strategic Group Media Director to join our New York office.  Apply here.SEO Strategist – AtlantaIntrigued by the evolving natural search landscape? Our SEO strategy team is at the forefront of it all. This role requires a natural sense of curiosity and proven experience in developing SEO strategies. Apply here.Account Supervisor (SEO Focus) – New YorkWe’re looking for an Account Supervisor to take a leadership role in the development of clients’ SEO strategies. This is a management-level position responsible for leading the client relationship, building and managing a team and driving increased performance. Apply here.*See also: Account Manager (SEO Focus)Product Engineer – AtlantaThe Product Engineer is responsible for leading development and launch of core product features. This includes owning source code development for backend systems, UI delivery and external data connectivity, as well as product technical support and ongoing maintenance. Apply here.Browse all open positions on the 360i Careers site.last_img read more

4 Ways to Stretch Your Retirement Fund

first_imgGetting physically fit takes discipline, effort, and more than a little energy to get to where you want to be. Regularly moving your body and sticking to a fitness plan isn’t easy, and doing so is certainly commendable—and comes with… Full Story,Table of Contents Benefits of Working During Retirement Phased Retirement Types of Employment Recommended Jobs for Seniors  Resources for Seniors  Retirement looks different for everyone. Some people dream of playing golf and visiting their grandchildren, while others see it as… Full Story,A study conducted by Charles Schwab just last year found that three in five Americans live paycheck to paycheck, yet only one in four has a written financial plan. In fact, the majority of Americans are hesitant to receive any… Full Story,Life is unpredictable. Some days aren’t all sunshine, like when your car breaks down or your house needs a repair. These situations happen to everyone. That’s why it’s important to save while things are going well, so you can cover… Full Story,Structure is the key to growth. Without a solid foundation – and a road map for the future – it’s easy to spin your wheels and float through life without making any headway. Planning allows you to prioritize your time,… Full Story,Car accidents are not only scary but also a monumental hassle. That’s largely thanks to what comes after the accident itself.   After an accident, you’ll likely have to spend ample time on the phone with your insurer. Then there’s dealing… Full Story,If you’re a furloughed government employee, you are likely feeling a good deal of stress and uncertainty about how to manage your finances during the government shutdown. While missing a paycheck is a financial moment no one wants to experience,… Full Story,Buried underneath paying bills, digging out of a debt hole, and saving for your kids’ college is the marathon of money goals: retirement. Cue the fantasies of spending your days at a leisurely pace, working on The Great American Novel—at… Full Story,When I’m on top of finances, I’m all up in my money management apps, checking my balances and the swift progress I’ve been making on my savings goals. But when things aren’t going so hot? I’m like an ostrich with… Full Story,With all of today’s home-based tech gadgets and virtual personal assistants, smart homes are quickly becoming ubiquitous. And with high demand for connected products, so too comes ease of use, accessibility and affordability.   But as with all expenses, it’s important… Full Storylast_img read more

How to Overcome the Most Common Mental Hurdles to Budgeting

first_imgThe average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Storylast_img read more

Halloween Special: Avoid the Dangers of Fraud

first_imgLast year this time– right around Halloween – my wallet was stolen from my son’s stroller. (Okay I shouldn’t have placed it in the stroller in the first place, but I never imagined anyone would steal it. It was only slightly visible, tucked inside a pouch.)You can guess the rest.In a store elevator, while a woman to my right started talking me up and gushing over my then 1 year old son’s shoes (they were really cute), her quiet accomplice (to my left) crept her fingers into my stroller pouch and nabbed the wallet.An hour later, when I realized the wallet had disappeared, I rushed home to check my bank and credit card accounts. As expected, the thieves had spared no time. They’d racked up over $500 in charges at the very department store where they’d stolen my wallet. They also purchased a number of monthly subway passes on their way out of the crime scene.Some serious professionals had defrauded me right in my own neighborhood!Lesson learned: Keep your wallet out of sight and reach.But, sadly, wallet theft is not the only way or even the most common way fraudsters can get a hold of our financial accounts. Much of it happens online via hacks or breaches.  Fraud devices or “skimmers” at ATM machines and card readers can also be sources of fraud.This Halloween here’s some advice on how to prevent your financial info from getting in the wrong hands and what to do in case you become a victim of fraud.Double Down on Password Protection A wise rule of thumb is to use various passwords for various accounts. Don’t just use one universal password for every website since it makes it all too easy for a fraudster to access your bank accounts, payment sites, etc. if he or she gets ahold of your secret alpha-numeric-symbolic code.But few of us actually follow that rule of thumb. Nearly three out of four consumers use a duplicate password, many of which haven’t been changed in the last five years, according to a recent survey.If you’re worried about remembering all your passwords, consider using password management tools that provide a secure and virtual “vault” for all your passwords. LastPass and TrueKey offer free basic memberships.As for how often should you change your passwords? Do better than every five years, but don’t worry about changing them every month. A study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found it’s better to change passwords infrequently.While some sites and offices require you to change your password every few months, this can actually backfire, the study found, because when we are forced to change our passwords so many times we don’t get very creative. We may add a “1” or make a slight variation from the last password. And this makes our passwords all the more predictable to hackers.In fact, for 17% of the accounts in the study, knowing a user’s previous password let researchers to correctly guess their next password in fewer than 5 guesses.It’s fine to change your password once or twice a year, as long as it is made of a random variation of text including different cases of letters, numbers and symbols. And stay away from the obvious like your birthdate or a sequence of letters and numbers (e.g. ABC123)Stick With Credit You may notice when you go to checkout with a card, you’re now asked to dip instead of swipe. The U.S. recently moved to EMV chip card technology, in an effort to combat counterfeit card fraud. In time paying with a credit card should get safer.Meantime, if you’re ever wondering whether it’s safer to use a debit or credit card, stick with credit. In the event of fraud, it will be easier to dispute the claims.According to the Fair Credit Billing Act your maximum liability for fraudulent credit card transactions is $50. But if you report your card lost or stolen prior to fraudulent transactions your liability could even be $0.With debit card fraud, on the other hand, you’re sometimes at a loss until the claim is resolved. What’s more, if you don’t report your card lost or stolen within sixty days your liability limit is up to $500.Scan Your Statements Keep a watchful eye on your accounts. Even if you’re a fan of auto-pay, it’s worth reviewing your bills regularly for unfamiliar charges. Card issuers and banks are getting better at alerting us of suspicious charges, but it’s always helpful to play an active role ourselves, too.If you suspect your account’s been compromised contact your bank or card company immediately and have them investigate. In the meantime, they may shut off the account and send you a new card with a new account number just to be on the safe side.Another place to look for red flags is your credit report. You can receive a free credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – once a year at annualcreditreport.com. If you don’t recognize some of the items on your credit report such as random credit inquiries or unfamiliar card accounts immediately reach out to the credit reporting agency or agencies that’s listing the false information and explain the situation. Here’s a list of their phone numbers:Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN or 1-888-397-3742Equifax: 1-800-525-6285TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289You may want to place an extended fraud alert or credit freeze on your account. You can find more information on how to do this on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.Avoid Random ATM MachinesFraudsters and ID thieves may secretly install special equipment in credit card readers either at the ATM, gas pump machine or any other card swiping device to capture or “skim” our personal information on our credit or debt card each time we swipe.  The reader makes two copies of your credit or debit card information: one to process the transaction and one to later download the information to the ID thieves.To play it safe, use trusted ATM locations. Your bank branch’s ATM is usually a safe bet, since a security officer or camera often guards it. It’s a lot more difficult for ID thieves to compromise an indoor bank ATM than say, a random ATM on the street corner outside a convenient store.Trim Down Your WalletWhile it’s not realistic to say, “Don’t carry your credit cards or cash in your wallet,” there are some other sensitive items a few of us DO carry in our wallets that aren’t necessary. The Identity Theft Resource Center recommends five things you should never carry in your wallet including your social security card or even a copy of your social security number, your birth certificate, bank account or routing numbers and password cheat sheets.It’s best to keep these items tucked away in a safe and hidden place…and by no means in your child’s stroller! Have a question for Farnoosh? You can submit your questions via Twitter @Farnoosh, Facebook or email at editor_mint@intuit.com. Farnoosh Torabi is America’s leading personal finance authority hooked on helping Americans live their richest, happiest lives. From her early days reporting for Money Magazine to now hosting a primetime series on CNBC and writing monthly for O, The Oprah Magazine, she’s become our favorite go-to money expert and friend.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedcenter_img Post navigationlast_img read more

6 Melanoma Symptoms You Should Tell Your Doctor About ASAP

first_imgThis year in the United States, nearly 100,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma. If you’re familiar with the condition, you may know that it’s the rarest form of skin cancer. But here’s the thing: it’s also deadliest.“Melanoma tumors can be very small, but as they grow deeper into the skin, they develop the ability to spread to other parts of the body. This is why early detection of melanoma is key to treatment and improved survival,” says Jennifer DeFazio, MD, FAAD, an assistant clinical member at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.Read on to learn more about the disease and familiarize yourself with the early symptoms of melanoma. This way you can see your doctor ASAP for a skin check if any of them ring true.What is melanoma, exactly?“Melanoma arises from the uncontrolled growth of melanocytes, a type of skin cell,” explains Dr. DeFazio. Melanocytes make melanin, a brown pigment that gives skin its color and that causes the skin to tan when exposed to the sun.Naturally, melanoma forms on the skin, most commonly on sun-exposed areas, including the scalp, under the nails, and even in the eyes.Who’s at risk for melanoma?Several things can increase a person’s risk for melanoma. One of the biggest ones is UV light exposure from the sun and tanning beds.“The majority of skin cancers have to do with sun exposure in the past,” says Saira J. George, M.D., a dermatology professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center. So for instance, if you had a blistering sunburn as a child, that could increase your risk. However, it’s possible that bad burns that occur later in life can also lead to skin cancer, Dr. George adds.Other risk factors include:Having a lot of moles or atypical molesA personal or family history of melanomaHaving red hairHaving fair skin or skin that burns easily How to spot potential melanoma“If there is a silver lining about melanoma, unlike cancers you can’t see, a lot of times you can watch for things on your skin and come in and get a mole checked out” and catch it early, Dr. George says.The Skin Care Foundation recommends doing a self-examination once a month. Take the time to look at your skin from head to toe, using mirrors as necessary to check your back and other hard-to-see places. (You can also ask a partner or family member to help you.)To check for melanoma symptoms, look at your moles using the ABCDE method:Asymmetry: Do both halves of the lesion look the same? Melanoma lesions can appear asymmetric, whereas healthy moles are typically symmetrical.Border: Irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined edges may be melanoma. Normal moles have nice, sharp, regular borders.Color: Melanomas tend to be multi-colored—black, brown, red, and/or blue. Healthy moles are typically one color or maybe two, but that color is evenly distributed. This isn’t so for a potentially dangerous mole.Diameter: If a mole is greater than 6 millimeters in diameter (about the size of a pencil eraser), get it checked out. “Nowadays we do see melanomas that are really small and regular moles that are large,” Dr. George says, but typically melanomas are larger.Evolving: “Moles are quiet, they don’t grow or change much, especially later in adulthood,” George says. If you notice a spot that is changing in any way—size, shape, color, borders, texture—or if the spot itches or bleeds, see a doctor.You can also use the Ugly Ducking method to spot potential trouble. “Most people form moles that are similar to one another. So if you have one that doesn’t look like the others, especially if that mole is changing, that’s a red flag,” George says. According to The American Cancer Society, other melanoma symptoms include: a sore that doesn’t heal, redness or a new swelling beyond the border of the mole; itchiness, tenderness; pain near a mole; scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump on the surface of a mole.What to do if you spot a suspicious moleIf you see a skin lesion that has any of the ABCDE or Ugly Duckling features or notice any other potential melanoma symptoms, make an appointment with a dermatologist right away. If you don’t have a dermatologist, see your primary care practitioner, who can refer you to a dermatologist.The five-year survival rate for Stage 1 melanoma is higher than 90 percent, according to The American Cancer Society. So start doing self-examinations if you aren’t already. “The more familiar you are with the constellation of your moles, the more you know when something is new or wasn’t there before,” Dr. George says. This way, if you have any suspicions or concerns, you can get it checked out straight away by a doctor.Sourcelast_img read more

New Climate Commitments on Forests and Land Will Reduce Emissions by 2%, but More Needed

first_img 37 46 Country 4 1 Russia Australia Indonesia Brazil Rank by Forest Area (2015) 6 Canada As countries refine their national commitments (called INDCs) presented at the climate negotiations under way in Paris, it is important to think beyond power plants and automobiles. Forestry, agriculture and other land use represent more than 20 percent of global emissions, and are the dominant source of greenhouse gases in many developing nations. And encouragingly, many countries are starting to pay attention to these emissions sources.WRI analysis shows that the INDCs submitted so far represent the greatest collective commitment to reduce land use emissions ever seen in international climate negotiations. China, Brazil, Bolivia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have put forth targets that could alone contribute to the protection of more than 50 million hectares of forest over the next 15 years, an area the size of Spain. This could achieve a reduction of 17 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 over 15 years, or 2.5 percent of the current total annual emissions globally. 9 United States 4 12 6 5center_img India 1 China China, Brazil, Bolivia and DRC all included INDC commitments to curb deforestation, which together will reduce global emissions by 2.5 percent. China accounts for nearly 70 percent of this pledge with its robust restoration and forest management efforts.Other countries, like Indonesia, Colombia and Peru, while not listing specific land use targets, mention the importance of land use in their overall carbon budget, which holds promise of forests and land use being included in their country-level implementation plans.Africa and Latin America Lead on Land Use Opportunities and PledgesLow- and medium-income countries in Africa and Latin America also have much to contribute by focusing on land use, even if they aren’t heavily forested. We looked at 34 African and 14 Latin American countries that submitted INDCs (as of November 1, 2015) with land use specific goals and found:Thirteen of the 34 African countries have strong, measurable land use commitments that include restoration, REDD+ and “climate-smart” agriculture (focused on increasing yields, economic gain and reducing GHG emissions). These would cumulatively lead to an estimated reduction of 1.2 Gt CO2eq over the next 10 years, or 36 percent of Africa’s annual emissions and 0.25 percent of global emissions. An additional 16 countries have less prescriptive goals that could still lead to further reductions. For many of these African countries, land use targets have the bonus of also providing economic benefits. Twenty-six of the 34 countries expect benefits like higher crop yields, reduced erosion, better use of degraded land, and greater availability of fire wood, fertilizer and shade trees. Of the 14 Latin American countries examined, six had quantitative targets that together could achieve a reduction of up to 6 Gt CO2 eq over next 15 years, or a 10 percent reduction of Latin America’s annual emissions and 1 percent of global emissions. Another five had qualitative targets.More Transparency Needed from Key CountriesUnfortunately, despite the good example set by countries in Africa and Latin America, many other countries do not have specific land use targets in their INDCs. Although countries are not required to provide sector-specific information in their climate pledges, additional transparency could create the trust and clarity needed to help secure the global climate deal.Three important countries in this category are Russia, Canada and the United States. They are among the four most forested countries in the world (along with Brazil). If managed well, their forests could significantly help reduce global emissions by absorbing excess carbon. But counting on forests as a perennial carbon sink could reduce ambitions in other sectors. Russia’s INDC, for example, may actually increase emissions partly by assuming that Russia forests will absorb carbon at maximum capacity. But in a changing climate, nothing is so certain as forest fires and tree pest infestations have spiked in all three countries recently, releasing massive amounts of carbon. A recent study suggests that U.S. forests could cease to be a carbon sink in the next 25 years.Other countries could strengthen their current targets and strategies to address emissions from land use. While Indonesia includes ambitious land use targets in its INDC, its lacks sufficient details on the modelling of its carbon stock target, goals for restoration, and a plan to deal with out-of-control forest and land fires.Forests and Land Use Can’t Be Overlooked in ParisFor all countries, rich and poor, the land use sector is critical to achieving climate targets. The added economic benefits for low- and medium-income countries further strengthen the case. Many countries examined in this analysis are on their way with strong, measurable land use pledges. As the Paris negotiations carry on, countries that haven’t done so yet should follow the leaders and include measurable land use-specific targets in their contributions to the global deal. Democratic Republic of Congo 5 Rank in Total Annual Emissions (2012) 3 Peru 7 10 3 Still, commitments to reduce emissions from land use fall short of what must ultimately be done, leaving room for even more progress during the ongoing climate negotiations.Forests and Land Use Present an OpportunityMany of the top emitting countries are also some of the most heavily forested, and emissions from land use are especially outsized in Africa and Latin America where, according to WRI’s CAIT Climate Data Explorer, they contribute about 30 percent of all emissions. A tropical wet forest in these regions can store around 250 tonnes of carbon per hectare. Thus, a heavily forested country like the Democratic Republic of Congo with its 150 million hectares of forests holds around 37 Gt of carbon. And if this forest was lost, it would generate 135 Gt CO2eq, or 3 times the total global annual emissions in 2012. 2 8 2 8last_img read more

U.S. Climate Assessment: Now Is the Warmest Period of Modern Times

first_imgA comprehensive new U.S. government report released today confirms the well-established science behind climate change: it is real, it is human-caused, it is happening faster than predicted and it poses a tremendous threat to America and the rest of the world. Titled the Climate Science Special Report, it is the first of two parts of the congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment, last published in 2014. It represents our best, most considered views of the reality of human-caused climate change. As with previous reports in this series, it does not provide policy advice, but it does indicate our most considered view of where we stand on climate change.Report HighlightsGlobal annually averaged surface air temperature, and the annually averaged temperature in the U.S., has increased by about 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C) over the last 115 years (1901–2016), with Alaska warming twice as much. Last year was the third year in a row, following 2015 and 2014, to set a new global record for the warmest year. This is now the warmest period in the history of modern civilization.Based on extensive evidence, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extend of the observational evidence, that anything other than human activity is the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have now passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level that last occurred about 3 million years ago, when both global average temperature and sea level were significantly higher than today. Continued growth in these emissions over this century and beyond would lead to an atmospheric concentration not experienced in tens to hundreds of millions of years.Human-caused climate change has made a substantial contribution to the observed 7-8 inches of global average sea level rise since 1900, a greater rate of rise in at least 2,800 years. Global average sea level is expected to continue to rise by at least several inches in the next 15 years and by 1–4 feet by 2100. A rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 cannot be ruled out. 
What is NewThe report notes that there are now many new sources confirming climate impacts, including the acceleration of ice sheet loss, and takes stock of new research and understanding on ocean acidification and warming, among other recent changes.In addition, the report reflects significant advances in science since the last report in 2014. Projections of climate change now offer greater understanding of local impacts because models now have higher resolution, and sea level rise projections now better incorporate variations across different regions in the United States. In addition, global climate models can now more realistically simulate intense weather systems, including hurricanes, and are better able to project extreme weather with greater confidence.There have also been scientific advances in in the detection and attribution of human activities in extreme climate and weather events. The report pays particular attention to extreme events in the U.S., where the science of event attribution has evolved significantly, especially in the aftermath of recent extreme events, for example, the recent California drought.For the first time, the report includes a discussion of climate-related “surprises,” or unanticipated changes, in which tipping points in the Earth’s systems are crossed or climate-related extreme events happen at the same time, creating “compound extreme events,” multiplying the potential damage and destruction.The extent of Arctic sea ice – the area of ocean water that ice covers around the North Pole – may change abruptly, becoming ice-free first in the summer and then perennially, the report said. Warming may lower the threshold that triggers extreme El Niño and La Niña events. There is also evidence of the slowing of and risk of a possible collapse of the Atlantic Ocean’s “conveyor belt” current – known to scientists as the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, which carries warm water from the Caribbean northward toward the British Isles and northern Europe — leading to significant sea level rise, especially along the northeastern U.S. coast. The ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide could be reduced as a result. In addition, if permafrost melts, releasing its long-held carbon dioxide or methane into the atmosphere, and methane hydrates at the bottom of the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean are destabilized, there could be highly accelerated warming. The report concludes that “climate models are more likely to underestimate than to overestimate the amount of long-term future change.”A Sliver of Good NewsIn a somewhat hopeful note, the report found that in 2014 and 2015, carbon dioxide emissions growth rates slowed as economic growth became less carbon-intensive. However, even if this positive trend continues, it is not yet enough to limit global average temperature rise to well below 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) above pre-industrial levels, which is the internationally established climate stabilization goal as articulated in the Paris Agreement.The second part of this year’s National Climate Assessment, Climate Change Impacts, Risks and Adaptation in the U.S., to be released next year, will detail the impacts climate change will have across multiple U.S. sectors, broken down into 10 discrete regions, including, for the first time, the Caribbean as its own region of analysis. This will provide the best picture yet of how climate change threatens specific American communities and offer an invaluable tool to leaders who want to protect their citizens. As we look forward to that report, we should re-double our efforts to address this daunting challenge.last_img read more

5 Types of Posts to Feed Your Business Blog

first_img Because of their exceptional traction, roast will introduce your blog to new audiences — the State of the Twittershere introduced the Inbound Marketing Blog to newspaper readers and France and Canada for the first time. This, in turn, will help expand you blog’s reach. State of the Twittersphere cartoons On the Inbound Marketing Blog, we’ve been using  Spinach – Healthy, Thoughtful Posts Ian-S Clearly a great blog  Tabasco – Articles That Start Fires You should work hard to make sure you’re good at these posts — that you can whip them out, and that your readers engage with them and like them. runaway wind rmburnes Inbound Marketing & the Next Phase of the Web ” is a good example.  ,  Roasts – Big, Hearty Projects I hosted. For this blog, I focus on five categories of posts. Last week   report is a great example. It took a lot of time to pull the data together and do the analysis, but it got great traction. Download the free Advanced Business Blogging webinar Content Types Jurgen Appelo Like this article? massdistraction Raisin Bran – Useful, Everyday Posts The challenge with a roast is to make sure you pick the right project. It’s a lot of time to invest in a single article, so you need to make sure you’re producing interesting, unique information.  to add levity. However you accomplish it, the key to successful chocolate cake posts is simple: have fun. ,   got me thinking about food as metaphor to describe them, so I thought I’d share what I came up with. thrives on a mix of content  — but what type of mix? These are posts that take a lot of time, but that get a lot of attention and inbound links. Our   and  What do you think? ,  These are the posts that establish your business and your blog as a thought leader. They’re posts that probe new developments in technology and changes in your industry. They’re generally a little longer than typical posts, and they take longer to write. My Post ” Originally published Jan 23, 2009 8:22:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Chocolate Cake – The Sweet Stuff What kind of posts do you publish on your business blog?  Topics: A Message for the Post Office: Direct Mail Is Dying .” This upset a lot of our readers who rely on direct mail. They spoke up — sometimes in sharp tones — in the comments, and we had a lively discussion. Lots of people linked to the article with posts of their own, and the result was that a lot of the nuance about direct mail and its status was uncovered. You can’t do these posts everyday. But they’re an important part of your overall blog mix. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack ,  barron Make sure you do these from time to time (and take the time to do them well), but don’t do them too often. Too much spinach, and your readers will get tired of it. Flickr Photos:  Every so often you need to write an article that asks tough questions. These posts might upset a few of your readers, but they also launch important, valuable conversations. For example, last week I did a post called ” Every blog needs fun stuff that goes down easily and shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously. These types of posts come in all sizes, shapes and forms. If you publish a business blog, you probably know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut, writing the same articles over and over again. videoslast_img read more

Debbie Qaqish Explains How Small Businesses Can Increase Lead Volume & Quality

first_img Digital Body Language – This phase is the “operationalization” of the solution and is broken down into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced company stages. Each sub-phase is characterized individually and highlights the “growth in the competency.” Engage – In this phase, the work of implementing the solution, integrating the solution with CRM, and setting up processes for how to use the system occurs. Training also takes place in this phase. SEO for Lead Generation Kit We also observed that marketers with a strong traditional brand or creative background, were struggling to make the change to demand-generation marketer. I caught up with Debbie via email after her talk, and she answered a few questions about demand generation, marketing automation and the ways in which small business can take advantage of both. – In this phase, the Use Cases are utilized to obtain approval from senior management and to help select the right lead management system. . help pull opportunities through the sales funnel quicker A: I think having a strong background in sales is part of why our firm is such a leader in this space. Demand generation is all about working with both sales and marketing to produce high quality leads and then to use some of these same technologies to make better pursuit decisions in the sales cycle. If I did not have a solid sales background, I think this would be a harder leap for me to make and harder for my clients to understand. A: The best are the marketing automation vendors themselves. I remember the first time I saw Eloqua – I wanted my sales people to be able to sell like my Eloqua rep. The same is true of marketers. Quite often I hear comments like, “I want to run campaigns or set up lead nurturing like you did to me!” If you enter into a sales cycle with one of these vendors, you will get a best practices example of how you can most effectively use this technology. , Align A: Great question and it’s one that we educate on quite consistently in all of our speaking engagements and certainly with all of our clients. A: These seem like practices that would only be practical for big companies with deep pockets. Is that true? (Besides the HubSpot Blog and the A: Great question! 2. Not having a common language of leads improve marketng efficiencies drive revenue through high quality lead generation Q: Where should small businesses start with marketing automation? What’s really cool about demand generation practiced with sophisticated marketing automation is that there are only about 2,000 companies who are practitioners. This is still a very early category that is growing at about a 2x rate. A: Great new book by Steve Woods – ” . Q: You have a very strong background in sales, but you’re now a principal at a firm that helps companies with demand generation and marketing automation. Can you explain the transition? Laura Ramos We did a study last year in which we interviewed leaders in demand generation and also did a large online survey with OMS. One of the more interesting findings from the study was that we are now seeing a variety of backgrounds including sales, finance and operations as becoming common for those marketers responsible for demand generation. Q: What are the two most common problems that you see when you begin an engagement with a company? Originally published May 13, 2009 5:43:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Online Marketing Summit Download our 1. Non-alignment of sales and marketing Sirius Decisions Q: What do you read — and what should marketers and small business owners read if they want to learn more about this world? Get Resultscenter_img – In this phase, marketing is gathering information and is beginning to educate themselves and senior management. This phase begins to build buy-in for implementing a demand generation solution. Demand generation is the revenue-focused set of activities of both sales and marketing that: our web site DemandGen Report Q: What companies do you look to as examples? Who has most effectively implemented marketing automation solutions? – In this phase, the important work of aligning sales and marketing begins and common ground is reached for establishing the critical criteria for success with demand generation. Sales and marketing work together to create a set of Use Cases, which will help them select the right lead management system. The Use Cases will define how they can best use a solution to generate leads and revenue. They’re also a tool used to cement buy-in from senior management. While both of these sound obvious and perhaps simple, it happens in every company we work with. Improving the alignment of sales and marketing for successful demand generation is wrapped into all of the core processes we employ while working with our clients (using Life of a Lead, Lead Scoring, Lead Management, SLAs and Guiding Principles). In addition, creating a common lead language (a natural output of Life of a Lead and Lead Scoring) is the first output of all of our engagements. For any company, working with any marketing automation system, having these two key elements in place, will go a long way towards ensuring demand generation success. , , a firm that helps companies improve their lead volume and quality. , “, anything from Pedowitz Group blog !) Every engagement we have with a client begins with a Business Process Review which involves BOTH sales and marketing. In this process, we document the Life of a Lead and create a lead scoring framework. This BPR helps the dialog and understanding between sales and marketing. So while we are facilitating, we are wearing both the sales and marketing hat. If I had a traditional marketing background, this would be much harder to facilitate. At last week’s Select These technologies work both in the marketing lead generation funnel and the sales funnel. Marketing automation is a poorly chosen term that describes an emerging category of Web 2.0 technoloy designed to: Learn more about how you can optimize your site to get found online in search engines to generate more leads for your business. Q: Let’s backtrack for a minute: What, exactly, do you mean by demand generation and marketing automation? A: We have a very clear process for how any company should start with marketing automation. We call it the LASER Apporach – Learn, Align, Select, Engage, Get Results. You can learn more about the best practices methodology for getting started with demand generation on get quality leads into the top of the sales funnel MarketingSherpa Q: Absolutely not! We work with many start-up and small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) who have embraced these technologies and practices to make a huge difference in their revenue picture. Just in the last year, the number of solutions that are available to this market has grown rapidly and with that growth has come many options and pricing ranges. Additionally, we are seeing VCs taking an interest in these technologies as they see them as a way to help ensure revenue growth. Pedowitz Group at Forrester Research. Learn The conclusion: having a sales background is excellent for this space. and if you don’t know about how sales works in your company today, find out! in Boston one session stood out for me: Debbie Qaqish’s fantastic talk on demand generation essentials. Debbie is chief revenue officer at the search engine optimization for lead generation kit Topics: Passing Leads to Sales Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Deadly Twitter Sins to Avoid

first_imgThis is a guest blog post written by our friends Nikki and Tammy at MarketMeSuite, the free social media marketing dashboard.Twitter can be a great platform for many inbound marketers to connect with potential customers, maintain relationships with current customers, and generate new leads. But that’s not to say that all marketers are using it appropriately.To make sure you’re using it the right way, avoid these five deadly sins when utilizing Twitter as part of your inbound marketing program.1. Thou Shalt Not SPAMSpamming your followers with endless links to your own website is a sure path to a lack of interest and support and a distinct lack of appreciation. Do not rely upon automated direct messages. Yes, these types of messages are allowed by Twitter. But many — if not most — users find auto DMs both spammy and impersonal. More importantly, they are a dying feature. All sense of meaning and genuine feeling goes out the proverbial window when you send these robotic and generic thank you’s. Try to connect with as many of your followers as you can…personally. The bonus? An alternative message might be less of a hard sell, and as a result, more helpful. Consider saying, “Thanks for following! I can also be reached on @MarketMeHelp if you have any questions.”Don’t spam using hashtags. This is a big, nay HUGE, no-no. Some businesses see a trending hashtag on their Twitter feed and then add that hashtag to their own tweets in the often misguided hope that those following the trending hashtag will think will see their irrelevant tweet and think they are awesome. You are not awesome for using that hashtag in your tweet. Avoid doing this at all costs. Your rep will suffer, and it will appear painfully obvious to all that you are promoting where you should not. Reserve hashtag use only for instances when the hashtag is relevant to you and your tweets.2. Thou Shall Not DriftKeep your Twitter profile and bio up-to-date. Always. Complacency kills marketability. Any individual stumbling across an out-of-date page is not going to take you seriously, and it won’t do anything for your online business reputation, except deflate it. Not tweeting is also part of this sin. No one will be interested in following you if your last tweet was 17 days ago.Don’t be lazy about interacting with others. If someone takes the time to tweet to you, tweet back to them. It’s polite, and it builds up customer and prospect relationships. Too many businesses ignore tweets. Remember that @replies aren’t the only tweets you should look out for and reply to. There are several free, third-party Twitter apps that allow you to create search panes to monitor mentions of your business, brand, and industry topics to allow you to monitor conversations and participate when appropriate.3. Thou Shalt Not Blatantly Self-PromoteAlthough Twitter gives you the opportunity to spread your message, don’t use it purely for the purpose of promoting your business, products, and services. You need to keep your social profiles sounding organic and sounding real. Remember that social media implies that there is a human behind each tweet — a real person you can interact and engage with. Constantly pitching your followers with “Try our product. It’s the best!”-type messages will only annoy them. Instead, tweet relevant content to get that inbound marketing engine primed for success. If you’re desperate to get your product out there to this audience, consider retweeting others’ reviews. Because they are not written by you, this level of outside influence creates an interest and associated trust in your brand.4. Thou Shalt Not Use Only 140 CharactersTwitter’s message convention is inherently restrictive, and sometimes you need to compromise your communication to fit into the 140-character limitation. Consider spreading your longer messages over two or three tweets, instead of a single one. This is not the time to try haiku marketing if your tweet has value.5. Thou Shalt Not BashPeople tweet, post, comment, or blog about nasty things. This lack of civility happens to individuals and companies each and every day. The very worst thing you can do is react via Twitter in a defensive manner. It can do more damage to your reputation than ignoring the troll. Instead, consider sending a level-headed tweet that says something along the lines of “So sorry you feel that way. Is there anything I/we can do to change your mind?” or DM them with your email address where the conversation can take place privately. Tweeting uncomplimentary messages about your competition is also considered poor sportsmanship in the digital world. Unadulterated bashing of a competitor will actually create a loss in respect for you and your organization. No one likes overt arrogance and a self-righteous attitude. Keep your negative opinions to yourself, and act in a mature and reasonable manner. Marketing TakeawaySocial media can be a gold mine for lead generation, but it will be little more than a dud if abused. Be personal with your tweets, always interact, and never leave a customer without a response. Think to yourself: “How would I handle this if I were talking to the person face to face?” because your social media engagement needs to be just as real.What other deadly since should marketers avoid on Twitter?Image credit: Spec-ta-cles Twitter Marketing Topics: Originally published Oct 25, 2011 8:36:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Twitter Launches Weekly Email Digest to Aid Content Discovery

first_img Twitter Updates Originally published May 15, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Twitter indicates it will be rolling out the digest to all users over the next few weeks, and you’ll know the email when you see it. Of course, you can always opt out of receiving these emails via your Twitter Notification Settings.Twitter’s Digest Email: A Marketer’s TakeAs Twitter mentioned in its announcement of the updated Discover tab, the microblogging site is making an ongoing effort to bring users closer to the content and tweets they care about, making content discovery on Twitter even easier. And the new email digest is obviously a part of this effort.From a marketer’s perspective, this is yet another win in marketers’ attempts to surface their best content to Twitter users. In a Twitterverse where the half-life of a link is less than 3 hours, marketers know how easy it is for their tweets to get buried under the frequently updated Twitter streams of their followers. But with discovery engines like this, marketers’ content has more opportunities to get in front of users, which means a greater chance of visibility for brands with a Twitter presence. This also makes it even more important for marketers to maintain an active Twitter presence and share their best content. In addition, marketers should make it as easy for their audience to share their content themselves by adding social media sharing links and buttons to every piece of content they publish, whether it’s a blog article, a landing page, an email message, etc.As for the email digest itself, we think Twitter has some email optimization and conversion work to do, as well as probably some algorithm tweaking. Consider the personalized email digest my fellow HubSpot blogger, Corey Eridon shared from her inbox. See the first story in her digest? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Yup — Corey wrote that. And she subsequently tweeted this:The algorithm behind Twitter’s digest emails needs some tweaking…the first recommended tweet was of a blog I wrote. Not SUPER helpful :-P— Corey Eridon (@Corey_bos) May 15, 2012Probably not necessary for Twitter to recommend a story that Corey wrote to Corey, right? Although she was probably flattered that her article was popular enough among the users she’s connected to on Twitter to be featured in her digest. Still — flattery isn’t really the whole point here, is it? Content discovery is.Furthermore, Twitter might want to think about better optimizing its email digests for click-throughs. Those tiny little “Tweet this story” links could be a little bit bigger, bolder, and more attractive, and did you even realize the headlines of the stories the digest features were even clickable? If it weren’t for Twitter mentioning that fact in their blog article explaining these weekly digest emails, I never would’ve picked up on that. Moreover, were you given any indication that, if you click on the thumbnails of the people pictured, you’d see their tweet about the story? I sure wasn’t, but if I clicked on them, that’s what I’d get.Let’s hope that with Twitter’s recent acqui-hire of RestEngine, its email digest gets optimized and improved over time.What do you think of Twitter’s new weekly digest email? How much do you think it will help users discover the marketing content you promote on Twitter? Looks like Twitter is putting its January acquisition of social news startup Summify to good use! Yesterday, the official Twitter blog announced that it will start sending users a weekly email digest featuring relevant tweets and stories shared by the people they’re connected with on Twitter. This just several days after news of Twitter’s “acqui-hire” of personalized email marketing service RestEngine.Similar to the updated design of the Twitter Discover tab we covered earlier this month, the summary highlights which of the users you’re connected to on Twitter shared the featured stories and allows you to click through to see their tweets. It also enables you to click the headlines to read the stories themselves, and gives you the opportunity to tweet your thoughts on individual stories via the links in the email.In addition, the digest features the most engaging tweets of the week that were seen by the people you follow, regardless of whether you follow the users who posted the tweets. Featured tweets are also accompanied by a list of users from your network who retweeted or favorited those tweets, and you can click the “View details” link in order to retweet, favorite, reply, or see the conversation about them. Topics:last_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #20: Talk to Sales and Support

first_img Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] 2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: Free Templates: Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 How to Write a Blog Postcenter_img Free Blog Post Templates 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. Topics: You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

6 Ways Your Coworkers Can Help Make Your Next Event a Success

first_imgSign in with your Twitter Account. Of course, you should also encourage coworkers to promote your event via other networks — like LinkedIn, Facebook (if applicable), and email.During your event, your coworkers are: 4) Social Media MastersHaving real-time social updates is a sure-fire way to engage both your attendees, and those who couldn’t make it to the event. Creating your event’s hashtag should be your first step, but always try to make it as short as possible so that you free up as many of Twitter’s 140 characters as you can. Make sure that all attendees are aware of your event hashtag by placing it on all event collateral — slides, email, and social communication in particular. Including the Twitter handles of your event speakers is also a nice addition.Having a coworker man the social media deck will free up some precious project management time for you, and allow attendees to feel like there is someone paying attention to their experience of the event, and answer any queries they may have. It also helps you make sure that any tweetable quotes or soundbites are captured and sent out into the twittersphere. Check out our blog post “Everything You Need To Know To Successfully Live-Tweet Your Event” to find out more on how to rock Twitter during your event — but having knowledgeable, responsible coworkers manning the social media station will be a huge stress relief for you.5) Networking NinjasNetworking is a key reason for attending events — in a recent HubSpot survey 76% of all respondents said that networking was their motivation for attending events. Obviously, this means it’s not a facet of event organization that you can ignore. In fact, it should be something that you embrace … and your coworkers can help you do that.To facilitate networking as best you can during your events, have your coworkers attend the event with the aim of getting conversations going. This is particularly helpful since each will have their own superpower or specialty in particular areas of your product or service, which means networking conversations can align with that attendees really want to talk about. Depending on the type of event and the audience present, different types of networking opportunities are more suitable than others. But, here are a few to consider — I’d recommend mixing up the staff at each event so it’s not always the same faces:Pre-Event Breakfast: This is a great networking opportunity for events that are on the smaller end of the scale and have VIP guests attending. It’s a more intimate environment that can be hugely productive and beneficial for all involved. Having managerial level coworkers attend adds further value and credibility to the session.Coffee Breaks: Coffee (or tea) breaks are inevitable during your event. They break up the day, allow your attendees to re-energize, and are also fantastic networking opportunities.Post-Event Drinks: An old-school favorite. The majority of event attendees will enjoy the idea of a few social beverages after an event to network with each other, and anyone present from your company. Make sure that you have enough representatives from your company doing the rounds, chatting to the attendees, and generally making sure that everyone is having a good time. Having a few extra hands on deck is a great way to ensure that all attendees feel like they matter.  Post-event, your coworkers can be: 6) Devoted DistributorsIt’s easy to think that once your last event attendee leaves the venue that your event is over, but of course that isn’t true. Sharing follow-up content based on what was included in the event is an integral part to event organization. SlideShare decks, videos, photos — any matter of content can be shared once the event is over via email with those who registered and attended. And with a quick click of a button, your colleagues become additional distribution channels and can amplify your reach online. Apps like GaggleAMP (which is a paid tool) are super useful here.How to GaggleAmpSet up an account and ask your coworkers to join your “Gaggle.” They will be able to log in to the app and see which messages you would like them to share through which social networks. They will be able to choose what they want to share and where. Once you start publishing content via GaggleAMP, your Gaggle members will be able to further share your messages (and thus your follow-up content) with an easy click of a button.If you’re a HubSpot customer, you already have access to this functionality within Social Inbox. All you have to do is connect your coworkers’ social accounts and you can schedule your post-event content to go out across all of their networks.Having your coworkers help make your events even more awesome is always a good call — they are smart people with smart ideas and great resources. However, the best way to make sure that they do help you out without being unresponsive is to make tasks and requests as easy and clear as possible. Give them all of the relevant information clearly and succinctly, and provide them with any assets that will help them complete what you have asked of them.If you are an event organizer and want to learn how inbound marketing can help you get more of the right people to your event, HubSpot and Eventbrite show you how in this webinar. Watch it here.What other tips do you have for leveraging your coworkers to help you with your events? Type the message you would like to be tweeted and click generate new link. Topics: Events are having a moment — especially with our very own INBOUND conference right around the corner! And for those of you who organize and execute on events, you know exactly what planning a successful one entails. Each aspect is an important element in what you hope will turn out to be a well-oiled machine.Various tips, tricks, hacks, and dare I say even shortcuts, are in constant demand from event planners, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook the secret weapons that you already have in your arsenal: your coworkers. Not only do they liven up your day with friendly chit-chat, they can also seriously up your event organizing game. So if you’re an event organizer, take a 10 minute break from trying to multitask and juggle the 50 million little parts involved in event planning, and read on to learn how you can make better use of the awesome resources you have all around you. (Or at least the ones hovering by the coffee machine.)When planning and organizing events, your coworkers are:1) Content Kings (& Queens)Your sales reps and managers are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to understanding your target market/audience. Use them. They’re in constant contact with the people for whom you’re designing your event, and thus can provide you with key insights upon which you can build your event. Ask them about the most common challenges your target market is facing, and what the trending topics of conversation are. This will help you put together the best content that will appeal to your attendees. In fact, a recent survey by HubSpot and Eventbrite found that 79% of event attendees go to events to learn. Running an event that aims to provide educational value can be more successful than a straightforward and traditional sales event.2) Speaker SpecialistsEvery event needs speakers, and whether these are externally or internally sourced, this is when your interpersonal skills are indispensable. However, rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel and build new relationships, remember that you have an extended network through your coworkers. Depending on the type of speakers desired, your colleagues can ease a little more of that event-organizing-induced pain. Here are some opportunities:Account Management/Sales: Referrals and reviews are all exceptionally effective marketing techniques, and that extends to organizing event speakers, too. Ask your Sales/Account Management teams to suggest potential speakers for your event based on their relationships with your customers.Services: Send out a “Call For Customer Speakers” email to your services team with a link to a Google Docs spreadsheet where they can drop in suggestions for suitable speakers, and the reason they feel they would be a good fit for the event. This will make it really easy for you to review and choose the best customer speakers.Marketing: The addition of an industry influencer or thought leader to any event increases its value to many attendees. Not only does it add to the “cool factor” of your event, it also continues to position it in the realm of education, as opposed to being purely product and sales focused. Chances are there are people in your organization who already have relationships with these industry mini-celebrities, and who won’t mind reaching out to them on your behalf. The good folks in the marketing department tend to be an endless reserve of contacts, and are therefore a great place to start.3) Attendance/Attendee AdvocatesEven as a kid, the prospect of hosting an event and having no one turn up was a genuine fear. Seven years old and alone with a birthday cake — isn’t that a sad image? Unfortunately, for event organizers that fear is still alive. You can be an organizational whiz kid and yet if no one turns up for your event, all that hard work is pointless. To help alleviate some of that fear, make use of your coworkers’ networks to promote event attendance. A super easy and quick way to do this (and minimize the amount of effort needed by your coworkers) is to send out a short and sweet email, which includes lazy tweets to announce your upcoming event.How to Lazy TweetClick to Tweet is a free tool that allows you to create a tweet, share the associated link, and “Whoever clicks on the link will have the message automatically added to their Twitter status box.” Just … Copy the link and share! Originally published Sep 3, 2014 4:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Event Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Competition vs. Collaboration: What to Do With Disengaged Employees

first_imgPerhaps the most powerful insight from the study is best embodied by another quote from Professor Amabile: “The power of progress … actually motivates many employees more than financial rewards.” According to the study, gamified progress tracking “can help employees visualize their progress over the weeks, months, and years they contribute to their job.” These systems help employees “appreciate all that they’ve accomplished.” Amabile calls this phenomenon the Progress Principle.In short, employee disengagement isn’t a crisis that will go away on its own. The best employers are looking for solutions to the problem, not finger-pointing or denying that the problem even exists. Many are turning to software and game elements, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Only through management’s education, awareness, and increased insight into employee motivations can a solution be reliably achieved.Enjoy this post? To read more content like it, subscribe to Sales. This post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.With disengagement among office-based employees at an all-time high, many companies are turning to software for employee engagement programs. When implementing such programs, employers are faced with a choice between a competitive or collaborative approach. We examine here the benefits and drawbacks of these opposing tactics.As any student of corporate culture will tell you, different employees respond better to different motivation strategies. A typical sales employee may respond better to a competitive program, while a typical customer service employee may engage more with a collaborative one. While all employees usually respond well to perks awarded based on merit, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to designing or managing an employee engagement program.Companies across America are having an engagement crisis. In an interview with Forbes, Professor Teresa Amabile of the Harvard Business School discusses the rising trend of workers who self-identify as “disengaged.” Contrary to the conventional wisdom that disengagement is only a problem among Millennial workers, Amabile says engagement levels are low “across the entire spectrum of age levels and income levels.”According to Amabile, while the engagement crisis first became a news item during the aftermath of the 2008 recession, now “it is even worse than it was at the height of the financial crisis,” which she finds “really kind of peculiar.” It makes sense that employees might be disengaged at work when they don’t know whether or not their job is the next one to be cut, or which additional duties they’ll be asked to perform for the same amount of pay. But even as the economy has improved, levels of engagement have remained relatively flat.Of course, disengagement is less of a problem now that the economy is recovering, right? Wrong, according to Amabile. She says that with high levels of disengagement, even in a good economy, “you are going to see slower revenue growth in the company and actually lower profitability.” Amabile said that “essentially employee engagement drives the bottom line.”Instead of pointing fingers, companies need to focus on how to reengage their workers. As the economy continues to improve, companies are starting to compete more and more for the scarce number of skilled workers. Hiring a coveted recruit only to have them immediately disengage due to poor corporate culture or other reasons is a costly occurrence that is apparently rising in frequency. Combatting employee disengagement can be done in a myriad of ways, but according to a recent employee engagement study from TechnologyAdvice, “over 70% of employees felt engagement software would help them perform better at work,” and “over 25% said it would help them stay motivated.” Additionally, over 54% of employees surveyed indicated they’d be more likely to perform a task if it had game elements.While all employees valued engagement software, and a majority valued game elements, those that self-report their desire for gamified solutions are overwhelmingly in the 18-24 year old age group. Employees aged 24-34 also reported a high preference for gamified work, but acceptance of gamification drops sharply among respondents aged 45-54 and older.Perhaps there is something to be said that the trend towards gamification in the workplace is heavily influenced by the preferences of Millennials, but enough older generations indicated they may be open to game elements that gamified solutions are becoming more commonplace in firms of all sizes and operating in all industries. A quick glance at the testimonials pages of popular gamification companies such as Bunchball, GamEffective, Qmerce, and Kudos reveals clients like Oracle, Disney, Johnson & Johnson, Pizza Hut, and Crocs are already employing game elements in their workplaces. But how — and more importantly, how well — are these programs being implemented? The trend is towards employing the powerful motivating forces of competition and collaboration.According to the TechnologyAdvice study, “the choice between collaboration and competition has a different answer depending upon the department.” When workers in general were polled, the preference for collaboration was higher overall, but the results were murky and within the margin for error. Better insights were gleaned when respondents were analyzed by job function or department. Predictably, nearly 60% of salespeople indicated their preference for a competitive work environment. Over 30% indicated they wanted a “very competitive” work environment. On the other hand, over 60% of customer service employees indicated their preference for a collaborative work environment. When looking at your own company, it’s important to recognize that departments often have different characteristics, and any engagement tactics will need to be tailored accordingly. Options for engaging employees varied more than their preference for collaborative or competitive solutions. Respondents indicated interest in engagement programs constructed around wellness or fitness initiatives, points-based rewards systems, gamified progress tracking, corporate social networks, and rankings or leaderboards for performance measurement. The best solutions often satisfy both collaborative and competitive team members, and programs can be customized for any use case.  Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Originally published Oct 4, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated October 04 2014 Collaboration/Teamworklast_img read more

Why It’s Easy to Market Your Clients But Not Yourself

first_imgIf a client so much as sneezes an idea in my direction, I’ll have a fully fleshed out strategy in under an hour.You know how all the productivity gurus describe “being in flow”? That’s kind of what happens. My brain starts overflowing with answers.“Oh! You need to do X. You need to say Y on this specific page. You need to NOT do ABC. You need to hire Z. You need to be in XYZ channels, ignore ABC channels. You need … ”Boom. Stick that brain dump in a deck, get it to the creative department, and let’s get to work.Click here to download our comprehensive guide to effective and measurable branding.Some people are given the gift of a beautiful voice or an eye for design, but not me. I got a penchant for marketing strategy.Any strategy really. Brand, social, content, you name the buzzword and I can get you a strategic plan for it. A damn good one, too. One that works — if you implement it.However …Dun. Dun. Dun.[That’s dramatic mood music]The second I need to market for my business, all my ideas turn to sh*t.No idea what channel to spend my time in. No idea who my target market is. And I can’t write a headline to save my life.“Why You Don’t Want to Be a Wantrepr –” ugh no, that’s stupid. Oooo maybe, “How To Build a Business That Fits Your Life.”No. Bad. Try again.“10 Reasons To…” ASFDHISDLFASLDFJAHHHHHHHHHH I HATE EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!Blarg.All the skills that make me a great marketer are apparently reserved for clients. The part of my brain that generates brilliance for others turns to mush when it comes to me.I’m not alone either.Every week I have the privilege of talking to founders from all over the world and we all have the same problem.We suck at marketing for ourselves. And we know it.I have four hypotheses as to why this happens:We get obsessed with industry standards and trends instead of doing what we know works.We think a lot about our colleagues, since they’re the ones commenting on our posts and sharing our articles.We ignore our instincts. We focus on “what we want to do” instead of “what people will pay for.”In the original version of this article I went through each of these in detail but then I deleted it all when I realized they’re just different words for the same thing:We stop trusting ourselves.This week I sat down with a friend and started listing a ton of legitimate reasons why I couldn’t launch a new service. He looked at me, irritated, and said, “Margo. Just f*cking launch.”Hmph. He was right. I had legitimate excuses, but all excuses sound like legitimate ones. Look:I need more time!There’s not enough people on my list.We can do it, but after the podcast is released…in 3 months.That’s fine, but not till we get an editor.It can’t be done!This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be done!!Yeah, it isn’t.Spoiler alert: No marketing is done the way it’s supposed to be done. At least, I’ve never seen it. Not in a decade.[Note: If you’ve seen a marketing strategy that was created with plenty of time and executed without issue, please email me at margo@thatseemsimportant.com becuase I’d like to hear about it.]For the rest of us, we have to learn to ship with mistakes.We’ve spent so much of our careers teaching our clients what “perfect” and “best in class” looks like, we’ve forgotten that that’s not reality.Reality is messy. Last minute. Understaffed. (Dare I say) reactive.Most of us are flying by the seat of our pants. But our energy is going to convincing each other (and our prospects) that we’ve got this figured out. That we have “systems” and “process” and perfect benchmarks and …Whatever  — just between you and me: I know you don’t have any of that. Even if your website says you do.I know your launch emails haven’t been written yet even though your FB ads went live yesterday. I know that yellow on your website isn’t the style guide yellow. Hell, I know you don’t have a style guide. I know you list all those funnel optimization services on your website, but really make money from ghostwriting blogs.I know.We all know.It’s how this works.So let’s end this cycle of “the shoemaker has no shoes,” by going back to the basics you already know, but have been ignoring:What do your customers want?NOT: What do they need?NOT: What you think your they should care about?NOT: What your competitors are offering?NOT: What will your colleagues think if they land on your site?NOT: Will former clients be impressed with me now?NOT: What do I want people to think I’m up to?Just: What do your customers want?Your job has always only been one thing: Connecting your solutions to the real problems your customer’s have.Telling others how to do their marketing is a different skill. One we’ve gotten really good at. But it’s not the same as doing it.Lucky for us the schism between the two isn’t so big. It just requires some …discomfort. We gotta get comfortable with being wrong (in front of former colleagues). And playing around…thinking outside of the “trends” and risking being perceived as weird. Which can be embarrassing and awkward for our reputation as the “expert.”But (hear me out) it can also work out really well for the people we actually care about: our customers. Topics: Branding Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Feb 1, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2018last_img read more