18 January 2005British singer/songwriter Elton John has opened a care centre in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg that runs life skills projects for orphaned, abused and neglected children.The Elton John Masibambisane Centre provides aftercare facilities as well as running various programmes during school holidays and on weekends.The UK superstar got involved after the centre and Johannesburg Child Welfare approached the Elton John Aids Foundation for help. They received funding in December 2003 and work began on developing a new venue in 2004.Elton John formally opened the centre on Wednesday, 12 January.In a press release, Elton John said: “The success of the Elton John Masibambisane Centre is an incredible template for what can be done to assist children to get into the mainstream of life.”During his low-key visit to the country, the flamboyant musician hosted a private charity dinner in Cape Town to raise money for the fight against HIV/Aids.The event, during which he performed some of his hits before an audience of local celebrities, business figures, sports stars and politicians, reportedly raised around R7-million.The singer also visited an Aids clinic in KwaZulu-Natal and toured several projects supported by the Elton John Aids FoundationThe Elton John Masibambisane CentreSince opening its doors in September 2003, the Elton John Masibambisane Centre, run by Johannesburg Child Welfare, has had to move from one venue to another as the numbers of children attending courses or using the aftercare facilities burgeoned. Initially some 70 children made use of the centre. It now caters for 165 children.Since its establishment, the centre has worked closely with the community, schools and clinics. Community groups liaise with the centre when a child is in need and the social workers then follow up the request, talking to the family and the child.Part of the work of the Elton John Masibambisane Centre is to visit families in the neighbourhood, particularly where parents are critically ill. “We counsel ill parents and make an agreement with them to keep and take good care of the children when they die”, says project coordinator Eunice Mahlanga.The children do not live at the centre. They come to the centre after school, where, with the help of community caregivers and extended family members, they are given a meal and helped with homework and preparation for the following day’s school.The children are also able to take a bath or shower at the centre, and can also use the facilities to wash their uniforms.“We don’t want to take the children away from the people they are used to, especially their siblings”, says fundraising manager Jill Edgar.By running the centre in this way, “we want the children grow up knowing that there is someone out there who loves and cares for them”, Edgar adds.The centre also offers counselling to the children. “Our plan is for the children to start making memory boxes to remember their deceased parents”, says Mahlanga.Source: City of Johannesburg Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
With the matriculants of 2016 entering the wider world, top learner, Karabo Moreni, calls on the Class of 2017 to lead fellow learners in the coming year. (Image: Brand South Africa)Johannesburg, Monday 13 March 2017 – Karabo Moremi from Dendron Secondary School in Limpopo was among the country’s top achievers for the Class of 2016 national senior certificate examinations, says playing his part in preparing for his studies was a key factor for his academic success.“I played my part, and committed myself to studying as well as assisting other learners, and all the hard work paid off. Preparation is key as I studied well in advance and I made sure that I consulted my teachers if I didn’t understand. Success in life depends on being a strong person with clear goals and an indomitable spirit.”Having obtained seven distinctions in English, Sepedi, Science, Accounting, Maths, Life Orientation and Life Sciences – Karabo Moremi lost his mother in 2009 at the age of 11 years. The 18 year old who will this year pursue his higher education degree in Actuarial Science at the University of Cape Town – said he fully understands challenges that face many families and youth in South Africa which may be a hindrance to attaining one’s goals.“Napoleon Hill once said ‘every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit’. Courage, discipline and perseverance flourish when we are tested. I am blessed because I had my father, aunt, friends, cousins and teachers who saw me through my trying times.“My wish for the Class of 2017 is for them to play their part in applying themselves to their studies because the benefits of a decent education are vital to being successful in life,” added Moremi.Brand South Africa’s GM for Marketing, Ms Sithembile Ntombela said the youth and their aspirations is a key constituency in Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part programme.Ms Ntombela said: “The Play Your Part campaign is a call to every South African to do what they do excellently and with diligence in order to help the country move forward. The Play your Part campaign was created to stimulate South African society from the ground up to fulfil their individual potential, in all they do, and Karabo Moremi embodies these values.Brand South Africa encourages matriculants to manage their study time through proper planning and to engage with other students by forming study communities to help each other – this is what Play your Part is all about. Helping and uplifting others.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There was abundant field activity last week as temperatures remained above normal and rainfall was very light, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were a season high 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 14.Clear skies allowed farmers to spray herbicides and side dress fields where necessary. Corn leaves were rolling on sandy soils and in hot, dry areas of the State. Soybean and corn conditions improved slightly from the prior week as the rains slowed and fields dried out. Reports of corn and soybean replanting meant varying levels of plant progress within some fields and overall delayed maturity.Wheat combines rolled quickly, as wheat harvested progress was up 35 percentage points from the prior week. Oat condition improved slightly from the prior week as 42 percent of the crop was rated in good to excellent condition. The hot, dry weather was good for making hay last week. First cuttings of hay have mostly been taken off of the fields and second cuttings were well underway, although all hay progress was still behind the 5-year averages. Pasture and range condition improved slightly to 44 percent good to excellent condition.You can read the full report here.
In a setback to the government’s efforts to pass the triple talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the Janata Dal(U), a National Democratic Alliance partner, on Saturday said it would oppose the draft legislation in the Upper House.Party spokesperson K.C. Tyagi slammed the Bill, which criminalises instant divorce by Muslim men with a jail term of up to three years, and said it was of an “imposing nature” and would “definitely create a lack of trust in society”.“We believe that ours is a nation based on a delicate balance in respect of laws and governing principles for different religious and ethnic groups. We must not impose any view without obtaining substantive consultations,” Mr. Tyagi said.The JD(U) does believe in reforms, but these should be brought after in-depth consultations with various religious and ethnic groups, he said.The Bill may be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, sources said. The Lok Sabha passed it on July 25 and if the Rajya Sabha passes it, it will become law, replacing an ordinance which had enacted a similar provision through an executive decree.The JD(U), led by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, did not vote in the Bill’s support in the Lok Sabha and staged a walkout. It made little difference though, as the BJP enjoys a strong majority in the House on its ownThe party may adopt a similar tactic in the Rajya Sabha.The numbers are much trickier for the saffron alliance as it is still far short of a majority and depends on parties like the BJD, the TRS and the YSR Congress — which are not aligned to either the BJP-led NDA or the Opposition.The JD(U), which is otherwise an NDA constituent, has six members in the Rajya Sabha, whose current strength is 240, according to details on its website.The government had recently got the better of the Opposition, which includes the Congress, the TMC and the Left among others, in the Rajya Sabha when it got the RTI Bill passed with the support of the BJD, the TRS and the YSR Congress.However, the three may not take a similar stand on the contentious Triple Talaq Bill, which faces strong opposition by a number of Muslim groups.
So, you’re doing a website redesign ?”Why?” is the question I always ask. Unfortunately, I usually get the wrong answer. However, if you’re doing a website redesign in order to increase traffic and generate more leads and sales from your internet marketing activities , than you should continue reading.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignThe other day I argued that most web design firms don’t design and develop websites with business goals in mind . The biggest area where these firms *generally* lack know-how is how to do a website redesign with SEO in mind. If done wrong, here’s what happens:You could lose your rank for keywords you are already ranking for. Whether you’ve put much effort into SEO already or not, most websites generate a good portion of their traffic from their organic search listings. Don’t screw it up.You could be rewriting content for no strategic reason. If you have an existing website, chances are that you’re *almost* ranking for at least a handful of relevant keywords. When you’re rewriting content, you should find out what those keywords are and then use them to guide your content creation.You could lose the value of your inbound links. Existing links from other sites usually point to different pages on your site. They drive direct traffic and support your SEO. Make sure you map and redirect old pages to new ones.You could do a lot of things that need to be redone again. SEO affects how you organize the pages on your site, your navigation, the words you use to name your pages and many more things that are more expensive and time consuming to change after you build your site. So, if you’re a marketing manager or a business owner relaunching your website, it’s important for you to understand this process. Since this process requires thorough keyword research and since keyword research requires knowledge of the business, this should be a very collaborative process.The company you hire should have these skills and collaborate with you, or you should find someone that will.As I mentioned in my last post, there are parts of your internet marketing strategy where you need to be intimately involved . This is one of them. Topics: Originally published May 7, 2008 8:15:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Website Redesign
Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. Download our inbound marketing kit . Right before HubSpot’s co-founder Dharmesh Shah took the stage to share wisdom from the book Inbound Marketing , Brandon Eley , the author of Online Marketing Inside Out shared his personal experiences in starting an online business. In different words than we use at HubSpot, he basically told us that the fundamentals of inbound marketing are the best solution to drive a thriving business today. Brandon learn ed some inbound marketing lessons the hard way, but as an early adopter who was growing his business from about 1999 through 2003, it was sort of to be expected. 2BigFeet.com was started as an online business in LaGrange, Georgia in late 1999 by two regular guys who knew how hard it was to find large shoes. In the early days of online retailing, the 2BigFeet team wanted to get found online and turn those eyeballs into dollars. They stumbled along the way, costing the business money and in many cases revenue. Brandon wants others to learn the easy way … by his example. Brandon’s key takeaways from his talk today: 1. Don’t Believe the “SEO Guys”Right after taking their site live, 2BigFeet hired an SEO consultant who ‘guaranteed’ them they’d be on the first page of Google. Sure. Right. At the time, he didn’t know better, but today we all should. There is no such thing as a guarantee to get on the first page! There are a lot of tactics that you can employ to improve your rankings , but hiring someone else to do what it takes, which is creating high quality content with relevant keywords, is not the answer. Brandon and the team were a few thousand dollars shorter and had lost about 3 months of time before they fired the SEO guy and worked on it themselves, improving results along the way. SEO is hard work because it is all about fresh and relevant content, so don’t believe any hype.2. Don’t Succumb to the Lure of the “PR Lady”A few years later, 2BigFeet felt they’d hit a plateau, and someone put them in touch with a PR lady who promised to get them coverage in pubs, local news, magazines and more. After a few more months, several thousand dollars and zero ‘free’ coverage, the team decided to cut the PR cord as well. Inbound marketing espouses the belief that journalists are out there looking for great stories — by reading blogs and following tweets — rather than waiting around to be spammed by a PR pitch. I believe there is a healthy balance that can be reached, but ultimately, great content that is findable delivers better ROI than a pure PR play . I think Brandon might agree.3. Don’t Forget to Do Usability TestingFinally, in a turn that some might think isn’t really about marketing, Brandon talked about usability testing. Turns out, there is a lot of testing in marketing, and in this case some usability feedback spurred the team to do what is effectively an A/B test on a call-to-action . They originally had a promotion code for flat rate shipping, but very few people took advantage of it and were frustrated and confused about how to use it. By moving from a promo code to a more automated flat rate shipping option, they found that conversion improved dramatically. Now, testing is a core part of their culture, and I think it should be for any marketer.By the end of his talk, part of me wished that the concept of inbound marketing had been around in 1999 so Brandon wouldn’t have had to figure it all out himself. The other part of me was thrilled that he shared his story so that small businesses the world over can dive in and be successful with Internet and inbound marketing, the easy way. Looking for more content from SXSW? Check out our HubSpot at SXSW content feed at http://blog.hubspot.com/sxsw ! Today, on the Day Stage at SXSW, there were a slew of speakers on Internet and social media marketing — just check out the schedule. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Inbound Marketing Originally published Mar 13, 2010 4:47:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Public Relations Inbound Marketing Kit
Originally published Jun 8, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Download the free webinar for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. Twitter Marketing Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media and inbound marketing can drive powerful connections and awareness; however, to have part of their budget allocated for online marketing resources, B2B marketers need to be able to demonstrate a clear ROI. And for most B2B marketing departments, ROI comes down to one major metric: leads. While awareness and conversations are important, having clear and measurable leads acquired through social media is critical to the support of future efforts and resource acquisition. In the coming weeks, we will look at social media lead generation best practices across many social platforms. Today, we are going to focus on one platform that is at the top of most B2B marketers’ lists: Twitter. Test, Don’t Assume When thinking about social media lead generation, the only safe assumption to make is to “always assume your assumptions are wrong.” Instead of making assumptions and excuses for why your company “can’t” use social media for lead generation, develop clear tests that allow you to measure and collect data around a variety of social media lead generation programs. Tests should be agreed upon by all decision-makers and have clear benchmarks for lead quantity and quality goals. Before any test, it should be clear that if the test meets the goals, it will get the resources needed to continue; if it doesn’t, it won’t. How to Generate B2B Leads With Twitter Generating leads using Twitter is really about leveraging a community of people interested in your knowledge to share your information to new people unfamiliar with your business and expertise. It is your job as a marketer to convert new visitors and connections from Twitter into leads. This isn’t a blog post about how to get started on Twitter or get a ton of followers. We already have a ton of information to help you get started using Twitter for business . This article is for people who understand Twitter and are looking to take the next step to drive leads for their business. Generating B2B Leads With Twitter Profile Pages A Twitter profile page presents a couple of opportunities to optimize for lead generation. The first opportunity for optimization is the Twitter background. First, make sure you have a custom Twitter background for your company. What is also important is to include a call-to-action or URLs pointing visitors to potential lead generating web properties. Make sure that if someone arrives at your Twitter profile, they will instantly know how to get more information. In addition, make sure they can obtain that information in a way that could also convert them into a lead. As a bonus, you can use the browser extension ClickableNow to make your Twitter profile background links and calls-to-action clickable for users who have the plug-in installed. The second, and more important opportunity you have to use a Twitter profile page to drive B2B leads is with the profile URL. Most companies simply put a link to their corporate website homepage. This approach is fine, as along as you have lead generation opportunities on your homepage and have done some testing to optimize your homepage as a lead generation tool. The problem is that many businesses don’t use their homepage to drive leads. If this is true for your business, then you may want to consider using the URL for your blog if you are using it as a lead generation tool. The other option is to create a custom Twitter landing page that provides information and insight about your company and includes a clear call-to-action or form to support lead generation. Distributing Content via Twitter for Lead Generation Using Twitter as a way to distribute content and information can helps drive leads for other content properties such as blogs, contests, webinars, eBooks, etc . When distributing content via Twitter, use a URL shortening service such as bit.ly to track statistics for the clicks and shares of your content on Twitter. This will be an important set of data to better understand what subjects and types of content drive the best traffic and leads from Twitter. Twitter serves as a great platform to generate word-of-mouth buzz around your content and ideas. As a marketer, it is critical that you have clear calls-to-action and lead generation opportunities on your blog, in your eBooks and other content you are sharing on Twitter. This, combined with closed loop web analytics , can drive clear reporting for leads and customers acquired through Twitter. Using Twitter Search for Lead Generation One of the major keys to mining Twitter for information is being able to find the most relevant information and people to your business: customers, thought leaders, media analysts, etc. Using advanced Twitter Search allows businesses to dig deeper into conversations. If you find a key reporter or analyst that covers your business on Twitter, leverage the people search feature to see who they have been talking to about your industry. This can help identify what your competitors’ relationships are like with influencers and help you determine the type of information and trends they are covering. Knowing this can help your business to tell its story better and improve lead generation offers. When identifying sales prospects and influencers on Twitter, bio information is a key piece of data. Tweep Search is a third party tool that enables users to search Twitter bios for keywords. As seen in the image above, gathering listings of users by industry and expertise is free and simple. This information can be used to generate leads and build a relevant Twitter follower base.Twitter is simple and yet complicated at the same time. Conduct tests and leverage the advice from this post to develop effective Twitter lead generation strategies for your business. How has your business used Twitter for lead genernation? Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR
– Email is an important part of the lead generation mix. Create a great email marketing campaign with an offer that each partner can send to new leads. Maybe it is a free assessment of a website, or an opportunity to attend a free consulting session. This campaign is to help move leads further down the funnel and to help increase a partners lead-to-customer percentages. Often channel managers have the ability to give marketing funds for offers, so why not provide them the email message to use as well. In a recent conversation with a channel marketing manager I was asked, “What can I do now to get my partners and resellers found?” As with many channel marketing managers, their time is very constrained, but the need to do more lead generation for their resellers is ever present. Additionally, they often talk about how their resellers do a great job once someone is introduced to them, but often their own websites are not helping them bring in new leads. After asking me that question, she said, “I wish I could just give them a few tips to get them started in Inbound Marketing and getting website traction” 1. Identify Longtail Keywords Online marketing is unique for each business. For large businesses that rely on channel partners to sell and distribute products, the online marketing process can be a challenge. With many channel partners across multiple locations, how can a business make sure that partners have the leads they need to help grow the business? brackenb your partners or resellers can quickly optimize their pages . 2. Provide Partners with Lead Generation Offers – Find 10 keywords that are in the longtail for your services or products and provide them to your resellers and partners to use. Keywords need to be used in a consistent way on each webpage in the page title, the URL, the page headers and text. By doing the background research and providing a starting point, Photo Credit: 5 Tips For Channel Partner Lead Generation 3. Create a Landing Page Template – Create an offer such as a ebook or webinar that can be downloaded or accessed from each partner’s website. Maybe your company provides security software and you have a tool that does a quick, free sweep of their network to test for vulnerability. Another option would be to offer a free assessment that will help prospect better understand which product offering best fits their needs. By creating these downloads, you are giving your reseller network an offer they can give visitors that come to their websites. 5. Share Partner Successes – If one of your partners is finding an offer is converting leads well or a free assessment is leading to more business in the door, let the network know! Inbound marketing may be new, but closing a deal is well understood and anything that drives more business to one partner will help the overall brand and network as well. Share the success! What have you done to help improve inbound marketing for your channel partners? – Create a standard landing page that every reseller can put on their main page of their website to both capture lead data, and provide an offer. 70% of visitors to a website are in the “early stage” of buying. They are not ready to purchase, but are starting to investigate. Instead of having them visit your site and then “drive on”, give them an offer in exchange for collecting some of their information, even if it is just an email address. This will allow you to stay in touch with them via email offers or turn over the lead to your sales team for qualification and follow up. 4. Develop An Email Template and Campaign Originally published Sep 2, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Lead Generation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
only 19% saying the medium was completely or very trustworthy my previous post only a third of the online population used both Further research showed that even though Facebook and Youtube were popular sites Social Media In the UK among users aged 16-24 attributes of each, while content is the driving force for 20% of social networking time was spend on a mobile device this post earlier this week, online ad spending in the UK is far and away the largest per user spend of any country in the world. social media advertising is predicted to grow at a rate of about 45% over the next two years Inbound Marketing In 2010 most consumers were pretty skeptical of information published on social networks with eMarketer just released a comprehensive report on the state of social network advertising and the findings are pretty interesting. It’s no surprise that , utilizing two channels such as video with social media can create a synergy that can often result in increased adoption and an overall success. With the ease of multimedia production these days, video offers another great method for driving engagement. Bruce Daisley, head of YouTube and display at Google UK had this to say about video and engagement: and this number is growing. As the sharing of media becomes easier and easier on mobile devices it is essential that your content is presented in a way so that when it is shared it can be easily consumed. . According to a poll by the Ipsos Marketing’s Consumer Goods team, consumers were more likely to visit a company’s website than become a Facebook fan or follow a company on Twitter. However, when looking to connect with other customers or share opinions Facebook was the preferred method. How do you take advantage of this? Use social media to communicate with your loyal following and let them be evangelists for your company. Listen to the feedback your getting and respond to customer requests, so that when a new visitor comes to your Facebook page they are confronted with glowing recommendations from your existing customers. Originally published Jan 21, 2011 3:00:00 AM, updated July 11 2013 . However, of the complainers that did receive responses only 40% received a quick response , so make sure you respond to those complaints!
Social Media Engagement Originally published Sep 13, 2011 1:01:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media can be a great promotional vehicle for sharing your content and helping it reach an extended audience beyond your direct network of fans, followers, and subscribers. But are you missing out on some low-hanging fruit to make sure you give your content what’s necessary to help it spread?When it comes to spreading content in social media, some of the easiest-to-pick pieces of low-hanging fruit are social sharing buttons. Adding social sharing buttons for sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to your website, blog articles, and landing pages is a simple way to encourage visitors to spread your content and reach even more potential customers.So if it’s so easy, everyone must be doing it, right? Wrong.According to a recent study conducted by SEO platform BrightEdge Technologies, the homepages of almost half of the top 10,000 websites studied (46.4%) had no social links or plugins installed.But what’s even more interesting is the impact of the social sharing buttons that were used on the other 53.6% of websites. Looking at the effect of social plugins on a website’s traffic and how much content is shared, BrightEdge also conducted analysis on over 4 million tweets. When studying how often a website using a Twitter sharing button was mentioned on Twitter, on average, a website with no Twitter share button was mentioned just four times. However, websites that did include a Twitter sharing button were mentioned 27 times, on average. Therefore, including a Twitter share button increased Twitter mentions sevenfold.Marketing TakeawayDon’t miss out on easy opportunities to help your content and messages spread. Adding sharing buttons to your website is simple, yet half of the top websites don’t do it.BrightEdge Technologies’ study focused on social sharing buttons on websites’ homepages. While a website’s homepage isn’t the only place marketers should be adding social sharing links, the study’s findings indicate just how powerful they can be. When incorporating social sharing buttons into your website, be sure to add them to any page you have content — landing pages, blog articles, product pages, etc. It’s an easy, sure-fire way to extend your reach.Have you added social sharing buttons to your content yet?Photo Credit: joyosity Topics: