Archives July 2022

The News World In A Ratings Universe

The decline and fall of TV news and its values

Online and digital content has dramatically changed the way we do everything as you undoubtedly, are already aware. As the way information is transmitted and shared online is changing, so are the tactics used to ensure your attention is acquired.

Now I understand that as more of the public absorbs their news from online sources, news outlets need to adapt and change to ensure they don’t lose (too much of) their market share.

A problem arises, however when these practices are taken over the top or to the extreme, which unfortunately, is what we are seeing in today’s television news outlets. It is ridiculous when 60-70% of every news headline you see is the exact equivalent of the pointless, nagging, endless ‘click-bait‘ headlines you see on websites grabbing for any advertising revenue they can lay their hands on.

We have given it the name ‘attention bait‘ – and that is exactly what they’re doing.

People are not going to stop receiving news from traditional means such as television – at least not for a long time. But as CEO’s and shareholders watch (excuse the pun) ratings fall to newer sources of media (I.E Internet) they are in a scramble to grab on to who they can, when they can.

Want an example?

Since the racist fraternity scandal, there has been at least 5 sudden additional stories that I have personally witnessed (not intentionally – I was at the gym- I don’t get my news from TV). 5 other minor & not-so minor stories about university related incidents. Do you think these all of the sudden started happening? Did (insert major network here) just discover about these injustices?

NO

They know that wherever they can throw in that includes such ‘Keywords” such as university, fraternity, student or school, they will attract an audience because it is in the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.

Want another one?

After the Ferguson Missouri shooting do you think all the sudden other injustices regarding police just start happening out of nowhere?

NOPE

It was/is the “hot” or “talked about” subject and outlets were going to capitalize everywhere they could. Is it good that these stories are seeing the light of day? Absolutely, but it is certainly not because of the good conscious of the news media.

Still not convinced?

Are you still not convinced that actual TV news uses click-bait style headlines to lure or catch the eye of potential viewers? Look at their websites! Major news outlets are some of the worst violators of click-bait junk. One of them, which starts with a letter close to the beginning of the alphabet and ends with 2 “N”s

A HUGE FONT HERE TO GRAB YOUR ATTENTION

Right above a large picture of something to surely either move or horrify a potential click-victim.

Just because a few media outlets do this doesn’t mean the story isn’t valid but the means to reach the end is so blatantly predatory it’s annoying.

The use of aggressive keywords to grab attention or incite emotion

Here’s another issue. Every time someone or something news is spoken about (usually negatively) the headline will read “The war on (insert)” or “(so and so) under-fire.”

Really? Using words such as war, under-fire, attacked and endless reiterations and reincarnations of like terms helps no one. These things are not used in effort to describe a situation to us, they’re for you to ensure as many people as possible don’t click away in the next 30 seconds.

The vague or ridiculous headlines

Vague headlines annoy me worse than anything – it is purposeful baiting and it drives me up a wall. If your story is so important and you want people to read it, take it for what it is and not ruin your credibility as a service than don’t purposefully bait. It is absolutely asinine.

The following is seriously a headline that I saw a few weeks ago and the same headline is currently being displayed by fox news.

Rare Doomed Planet with Extreme Seasons Discovered

WOW, if that isn’t the most gratuitous use of over-hyped, over-speculative, attention grabbing headlines. If you want attention so much, get a tattoo or grow long hair. Remember corporations are people, so technically Fox can do it. For the record, I never clicked on it. The headline failed.

And to continue this rant, here’s another thing

If something is such breaking news ( How is it breaking if it happened 2 days ago and the situation is over) or is so important we NEED to stay tuned, then don’t say “when we come back” and cut to 9 minutes of commercials. Some stations will do anything to ensure you don’t click away for 9 minutes. They’ll dangle that cheese right in front of you and I for as long as they can to ensure they get the most ad revenues as possible.

It’s not just TV

When you strip away the ridiculous click bait that, in my eyes, renders any website spouting it next to useless. The ‘Top 10s’ should go too – and they are, eventually on their way out.

There are some perfectly valid top 10 lists and some are incredibly useful. But you know the ones I’m talking about, those ones at the end of a page or in the sidebar. The one’s about aging, fertility or muscle building – More topical trigger words!

To Obtain the Best Viewing Experience, Please Disable Ad-Block

Oh yeah sure let me get right on that! While I’m at it would you like all the money in my bank account?

We are in a state of flux for news, the market is evolving and changing and as it does, tactics will be tried and schemes will be devised and what gives me hope is that it won’t be like this for long – it can’t be. Online users begin to notice the tricks of the trade and avoid them. That is the great thing about the internet, it is built for our use and not someone else’s (though sometimes it is) profit. If you provide a proper, concise, effective delivery system, people are happy to use it and give patronage to your service. Try and scheme, weasel, deceive, prey or stalk and you will become a heap of HTML on the ash heap of the internet along with AOL disks and internet explorer.

Online Shopping Mall – 13 Reason Why to Shop at an Online Shopping Mall

Shopping in a portal online shopping mall is shopping at its best. This way of shopping will alter the way you shop online from now on. This type of mall will allow you to shop at the same stores you currently shop at now and it will allow you to save up to 40% on your purchase. It’s like getting an instant rebate at every store. Here are some of the reasons to shop at this type of mall:

1. There are many stores and many different shopping categories; if you are looking for something specific in a specific category and can’t find it, look to another store with the mall. There are a lot of similar lesser know sites that may have just what you want.

2. You can check out your Sunday ads and then go shopping; many of the stores that print flyers are usually included in this type of mall. You can shop those stores and the same items and get a rebate on top of it.

3. The rebates offered by most stores will often times pay for the shipping and handling. If you purchase a certain amount of goods, shipping is free.

4. Going to an online shopping mall offering rebates is like going to a major shopping mall and someone handing out coupons as you walk through the door. You get these types of rebates every time you shop. You don’t have to remember coupon books.

5. You can do all your shopping without even leaving the house. You can do it at the height of the rush hour or do it a 3 AM when all the family is fast asleep.

6. You can do all your holiday shopping without leaving the comforts of home.

7. Surprise that certain someone and have it truly be surprised. Have them ask, when you found time to shop when you are so busy. Order flowers, plan a vacation, buy chocolate, jewelry, fragrances or sporting good; virtually anything you can thing of.

8. Shop for birthdays, anniversaries, special days like Mother’s day or Father’s day or any occasion and save money while doing it.

9. You will be amazed at all the lesser know sites that have the same items as the big box stores and have them a lower price, have free shipping or just offer the discounts or cash back options offered by using this type of shopping mall.

10. Shopping a portal online shopping mall is simple. There are no fees involved; no credit card information is taken. Just sign up, sign in and starting shopping at many of the stores that you already shop.

11. Many online shopping malls, offer rebates or cash discounts to over hundreds of different merchants and many different categories and many subcategories. Categories range from outdoor accessories, kitchen supplies, Home and Garden and seasonal gifts just to name a few.

12. Product choices do range from store to store so you can pick the category that best suits you. Shop big name stores like Amazon or Netshop and shop places that offer other types of merchandise. Many online shopping malls, offer monthly specials and free shipping.

13. Even if you like to shop at a conventional shopping mall, you can still use the list to comparison shop. You can decide ahead of time that has the best prices and minimize running to multiple stores just to find the best prices.

As you can see, there are many advantages to shopping in a Portal Online Shopping Mall. It saves gas, time and frustration. You can do it anytime, anywhere. All your shopping can be done without leaving home allowing more time to spend with your family.

Movie Posters – Publicity Tool For Directors

Directing a film is not the complete job of a director, as his efforts remain unnoticed till he promotes his movie in the most efficient way all over the globe before and after the release. Coming up with a movie after long time surely adds an excitement among the viewers to know what the movie is about and who all celebrities are a part of the movie. A best way to promote a movie is through movie posters. These posters are really attractive and catch the attention of viewers even in a big crowd. Movie posters must be pasted on the walls near cinema halls, public places and other prominent places where they get noticed in the easiest way.

Before a movie is released promotional movie posters showing the leading celebrities in the movie can be displayed. Special online promotion should be done by movies making the movie posters a part of the online poster websites. Poster websites can show categories like movie posters, celebrities posters etc to display the posters of the upcoming movie and posters of the celebrities working in the movie. People who are more Internet savvy might not be aware about the movie getting released but while surfing Internet they can surely come across the poster and know about the movie. Promotional team of the movie should also promote the movie by making movie posters a part of free online poster sites where a person can download the free poster and use it in any way.

Once the movie is released it is now time to come up with the movie posters depicting the most powerful scenes of the movie. People who have seen the movie will recall the movie and the once who have not seen it will surely be encouraged to watch the movie. Keep updating online poster sites even after the movie is released so as to provide viewers with the latest online movie posters.

Role Played By Bingo In The Online Gaming Industry

Bingo games have achieved so much popularity that casino gambling industry feels threatened. It is being said that the casino industry stand threatened owing to gambling maniac game of bingo. This game has literally played havoc with the marginal business that casinos had from the very day online bingo entered the domain of casino games. These games are no doubt simple and entertaining, and fun to opt for. These games allow users to earn large sums of money, formidably referred to as bingo bucks. These bucks had a chance to being converted into products, thereby making these games significantly more attractive and are great to play. These games revolutionised online gaming and gambling industry, generating a buzz throughout. The seasoned gamblers took little time to switch from other casino games to regular tables of bingo, thereby pushing gambling industry towards incurring big loss. Visit https://ufabetclub.com for more details.

In the countries that allowed bingo gambling, these games ate up entire revenue generation system of hardcore gambling industry, thereby making it the top game of the industry. A large number of online communities can now be located in the online domain, running successfully for years. This entertaining and popular game makes itself available in a wide range of patterns and come in as a welcome change to gamblers. These games turned out to be quite a rage with people from different parts of the world accepting this popular game. It was actually served like a treat to players belonging to different parts of the world.

Bingo started gaining credibility with people winning big jackpots through them. People from different parts of the world started being a part of these games soon after it made its presence. Since then, there had been no looking back for these games, online gaming industry of bingo, the websites that are in offer of these games and of course the seasoned players of this largely popular and of course, entertaining game.

Online option of this hugely popular game is user friendly and accessible and come with all essential instructions, usage guide and acquaints players with procedures involved in these games without doubt. All these details are easily available with a single click on Google search, thereby providing an option to win huge amounts of cash prize. Moreover, these games pose as the perfect time pass and are very entertaining. This feature makes these games all the more popular and feasible with masses. This has helped it top the charts regardless of places it has chosen to venture.

In the industry of online gambling, Bingo has paved way for a number of path breaking ways and patterns, making it interesting as well as income generating at the same time. Business of hosting bingo on websites achieved massive popularity with passage of time. These games are presently flashing its invites on internet and are being played in millions of homes around the world. It is now certain that this popular game is here to stay and is destined to be a part of individuals for pretty long. These games allow players belonging to different parts of the world take part in an immensely popular game. Moreover, the possibility to remain connected with players belonging to different parts of the world act as an added advantage. These games promise fun, friends and of course excitement. In fact, the most important purpose behind taking part in these games lie in enjoyment and winning cash through these games is a far off cry. It is better to sign up for bingo sites that have a provision for free bingo as that allow users to gain acquaintance with these popular games well in advance.

Daily Horoscope Predictions in Your Smartphone

While a general prediction of future events or advice in newspapers or magazines can be categorised as a ‘Horoscope’, a horoscope prediction should not be dismissed so easily. Horoscope prediction is a science, which can only be accurately conjectured by studying the relative positions of the stars and planets at the time of that person’s birth, and combining that with other elements. This complex chart is then studied to present a very specific profile of a native’s personality, life, romantic relationships, finances and other future prospects.

Newspaper Horoscopes are based on Sun-sign astrology, which is considered to be the simplest form of prediction, as it simply an individual’s birth-date is taken into account.

However much a person may claim loudly Horoscope that there can be no real truth in horoscopes, invariably all are drawn to the horoscope page and enjoy reading what the future holds for them. There is a certain temptation to read what the daily horoscope has to say. Most may even forget the forecast as the day proceeds, but they never fail to pause and read the Daily horoscope again the next day!

Horoscopes have been around since the beginning of civilisation. While ancient civilisations used horoscope to divide time into hours, months, and years, it was later used by Priests and Kings to predict whether they would win in battle, or enjoy a good harvest. Gradually, it was also used to check if the alliance between two royals would benefit the Kingdom or not, and from there on it gradually reached the general masses.

Earlier, access to astrologers was not easily available, and even today, although there are innumerable astrologers, people are hesitant to go to them, thinking it would be a waste of time. This is one of the major reasons for how online horoscope predictions emerged. The sites assist you in getting in touch with reliable and authentic astrologers who are available at the touch of a few keys to assist you with your queries. One just needs to install an App with good features and you can check what the day has in store for you before you even step out of your homes in the morning.

Getting to learn what the future holds for you has its own charm and utility. Daily horoscopes help you prepare to face the day according to what they suggest. You can even go a step further to find out what the week, or the month, or even the year has in store for you.

Keeping this popularity in mind, various Apps (many of which are also free) which provide Daily horoscope predictions have been developed which are compatible with most smartphones, and can be easily accessed by all. This way clients can be aware of what the day is going to be like and plan accordingly. Many apps even allow you to keep track of the previous day’s forecast.

Most of the Apps even have links available so that one can easily share precautions online, or directly post it on social media accounts.

Even the millennials today have stopped being skeptical about horoscopes, and are hooked to check what the daily horoscope has to say about them.

Realistic Approach to Setting Health and Fitness Goals

What is unique about health and fitness goals is they are never-ending. In the whole scheme of things, if your goal is to enjoy excellent health, possess an abundance of energy and live life to the fullest for the longest possible time, the process is ongoing and will never be complete. As we get older, the variation and intensity supplements for women may change, but the goal will always be the same.

We can, however, set mini-goals for ourselves to accomplish within a certain timeframe. For example, maybe you need to lose 30 pounds. While this fits into the big picture of achieving your health and fitness objective, setting a goal for losing weight is certainly a target within itself and should be treated as an independent goal. It could be considered a stepping stone toward achieving and maintaining the health and fitness goals we set for ourselves.

While being healthy and fit may seem like an easy set of goals to achieve-eat your five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, exercise on a regular basis-it does have its challenges. Although we intuitively know that a nutritious diet and a consistent exercise routine are essential for a healthy lifestyle and our intentions try to match that notion, within a short period of time, this regimen begins to falter and eventually it is kicked to the curb. What went wrong?

Perhaps the health and fitness goals we are setting for ourselves are not realistic and attainable. While setting your goals is essential for keeping you motivated and staying on track, trying to succeed at an unrealistic goal will only hinder the process and deter you from your real purpose. Discouragement sets in and the drive to move forward becomes lost. We can no longer envision ourselves obtaining our goals and we finally give up.

What is Your Objective for Reaching Your Goals?

In order to be truly committed to your goals, they must be straightforward, worthy and achievable. We too often fail at following through with a goal because it is simply too vague or unrealistic. Instead of saying I want to lose weight before my high school reunion, be more specific by saying, “I want to lose 30 pounds by the time of my reunion. If I start now and lose two pounds a week by watching my diet and exercising, I will have lost the 30 pounds and will look and feel good at my reunion.” This is a worthy goal with purpose as well as achievable and will inspire motivation to lose the weight.

Make a list of what you specifically want to accomplish from your goal setting. How will you benefit from obtaining your health and fitness goals? Are your goals within a reasonable timeframe to make them achievable? Be realistic about the amount of time you can devote to your goal. And very importantly, realize your fitness level so you can accurately figure that into the equation.

Setting Health and Fitness Goals That are Realistic

Now that you have defined your goals, you can begin the process by setting realistic steps to get you there. Establishing a timeline is essential. For example, if you set an impractical objective of losing 50 pounds in a month, you will most likely fail to reach that goal. Breaking that down to losing five pounds in a month with exercise and diet is more attainable and easier to put into reality. By consciously preventing failures, you will not feel defeated and are more likely to stay on track.

It is important to realize that achieving any health and fitness goal is a commitment which requires a willingness to accept when we are not “in the mood.” There will be days when you might have to force yourself to go on that run or turn your back on that gooey hot fudge sundae, so be prepared to recognize that making certain sacrifices is part of the process of reaching your goal. By all means, acknowledge your accomplishments. Treat each sacrifice as a milestone of progress rather than a loss.

Setting health and fitness goals are important in life and give you something to constantly work towards as you go through life. A fit and toned body, feeling energetic and maintaining a desirable weight is the constant reward when we make a commitment to health and fitness

Business Update: Legislation Affecting YOUR Access to Federal Contracts

Informed business owners not only are aware of the legislation that affects their business, but also take proactive steps to incorporate the changes into business-building strategies. The areas affected by recent legislation and rulings include:

 

  • Small Business Parity
  • Increased Dollar Thresholds
  • Sole Source Dollar Award Thresholds
  • Women’s Procurement Program
  • Prime Contractor Requirements for Subcontracting Plans
  • Bundling Limits
  • Size Standards Review

 

Small Business Parity

Equal footing was restored to all small business types in federal contracting programs. The types of small business affected are: those businesses who are “Small” as determined by the SBA Size Standards, 8(a) Certified, Women-Owned, Service Disabled Veteran-Owned and HUBZone. This means that the contracting officer now has the ability to choose the small business type for set-aside opportunities as opposed to being required to focus on just only one type, such as HUBZone.

Owners of small businesses pursuing government contracts will take advantage of this situation by answering every Sources Sought Notice or Request for Information (RFI) where their products or services are required. The federal government uses Sources Sought Notices and RFIs as market research to determine if enough qualified small businesses can perform the work, and if so, will then have reason to set-aside the contract for small business, or a particular type of small business. For instance, if two businesses who are 8(a) certified respond, the contracting officer may then issue the opportunity as an 8(a) set-aside. If one business responds who is 8(a) and another who is woman-owned, the set-aside may be for “small business”.

It is critical that small businesses respond to these notices in order to give the contracting officer a legitimate reason to use the set-aside program and not use a full and open competition process where all businesses, large and small, would compete for the contract.

Increased Dollar Thresholds

In the past, contracts between $3,000 and $100,000 were to be set-aside exclusively for small business, with a few exceptions. This threshold was increased from $100,000 to $150,000. Generally, this means that all contracts valued between $3,000 and $150,000 should be set-aside for small businesses.

The exceptions to this new limit would be sales made on GSA Schedules or task orders on other contract vehicles such as Government-wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) or Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts. Those sales are available to any size company, large or small.

Savvy small business contractors will take time to contact all current contracting officers for whom they have worked and educate them about the increase in the threshold and ask for any upcoming opportunities that may fall within the new thresholds.

Sole Source Dollar Award Thresholds

Contracting officers have had the opportunity to make sole-source contract awards (where no competitive bidding is required) to 8(a) and HUBZone firms up to 3.5 million dollars for any non-manufacturing work and 5.5 million dollars for manufacturing. Those limits have now increased to $4 million and $6.5 million dollars respectively.

The Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) threshold for sole source awards has now increased from $3 million to $3.5 million for non-manufacturing and $5.5 to $6 million for manufacturing contracts.

Educated business owners will contact their local Small Business Administration (SBA) representative and learn how to request and participate in the sole-source contracting process. There is a very specific process to follow to win sole source contracts and your SBA representative is a very important person who will guide you through the process.

Women’s Procurement Program

The SBA announced the publication of a final rule, called the 8(m) Program, to implement the federal procurement program for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) that has been over ten years in the making. This is an economic-disadvantaged-based program in which eighty-three industries have been identified where WOSBs are underrepresented among federal contractors. Thirty-eight of which the SBA has deemed WOSBs to be “substantially underrepresented.” The 8(m) program seeks to open up more opportunities for WOSBs working in these 83 industries.

To be eligible, the company has to be considered “small” under the primary NAICS code, and not less than 51% unconditionally and directly owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. Citizens. Further, the rule specifies that, with certain exceptions, the woman who holds the highest officer position may not engage in outside employment and must manage the company on a full-time basis during the normal working hours just like other companies in the same or similar line of business.

To determine whether a woman is economically disadvantaged for purposes of the 8(m) Program, the SBA will check her income, personal net worth, and the fair market value of her total assets. A woman will be found economically disadvantaged if her adjusted gross yearly income, averaged over the three years preceding the certification, is less than $350,000, her personal net worth is less than $750,000, and the fair market value of all of her assets is less than $3 million. In the 38 industries where women are deemed to be “substantially underrepresented,” the rule waives the economic disadvantage requirement.

Woman-owned businesses may either self-certify or certify through third parties approved by SBA. Regardless of the certification method, every woman-owned business must ensure that all requirements for the following three databases are met:

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)
“WOSB Program Repository,” to be established by the SBA
Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA)

This program is scheduled to go into effect in February 2011and the SBA estimates that federal agencies will be able to start setting aside contracts for WOSBs in the first quarter of 2011.

Right now, WOSBs are planning their strategies to build strong relationships with target agencies and prime contractors so that they will be well-positioned for accelerated success after February, 2011.

Prime Contractor Requirements for Subcontracting Plans

Prime contractors have been required to write specific subcontracting plans for all non-construction contracts over $550,000 and $1 million for construction contracts. Now, the limits are increased to $650,000 and $1.5 million for construction. Prime contractors will also be required to use the subcontractors listed in their subcontracting plan, unless they went out of business within 1 year.

Prompt payment to subcontractors will also be enforced in that subcontractors must be paid within 90 days. Contracting officers will be required to include this and related issues in the published prime contractor’s evaluation.

Bundling Limits

In the past ten years, the practice of contract bundling, or consolidation, has grown dramatically. This is the practice of combining many related or even non-related services or products under one, generally very large, contract. Because the contracts grew to extraordinary sizes, often exceeding 100 million dollars, most small businesses were effective cut out of competition.

Recent legislation now states that no Federal agency acquisition plan can include consolidation of contract requirements (bundling of contracts) worth more than just $2 million unless consolidation is necessary and justified. There is now an across-the-board policy on bundling: Agencies will be required to solicit bids from small business joint ventures and teams on solicitations above the bundling threshold.

This means that there will be many more contracts of smaller sizes up for competitive or even sole-source bids. While this is very good for small business, it will make the contracting officers’ lives difficult and demanding.

The businesses who will be most successful in this market will have all of the necessary certifications, contract vehicles and full preparation with regards to the needs of the market, not to mention strong relationships built with the decision-makers.

Social Media for Small Businesses

Social media has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Businesses of all size and shapes have started making the most of available mediums. Today we will try to anatomize tips on social media for small businesses. There are a plethora of small businesses eyeing social medium to promote their business/services. However, majorly these small businesses are failing or not being able to make optimum use of social media for their business growth. There are many theories and strategies on how to effectively use social media for established brands, but the topic social media for small businesses is seldom addressed. According to Digital state of eMarketing India 2017 Octane Research:

60% small businesses promote their business on social media. 50% focus on SEO and 35% use multichannel marketing funnel.
70% small businesses consider content strategy as their primary business loan marketing activity.
52% business owners are using social media as to efficiently address customer engagement.
More than 20% of business owners said that they are making 50% plus profit using social media.

The primary reasons for the low turnout are uncertainty on an application of social media, calculating return on investment and persuade employees/stakeholders to clinch social media. Hence it is important to address the elephant in the room and analyze how beneficial is Social media for small businesses.

Social media for small businesses is a great way for emerging businesses to generate lead and build a reputation. If regularly updated, social media can deliver more results as compared to traditional mediums. Social media for small businesses gives brands an edge of control over the content that they want to post. Also, since social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to instantly identify what is benefitting them. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for emerging businesses.

Social Media for small businesses | 10 Tips to effectively use Social Media

Define your Target Audience
The first and foremost important part that small businesses should focus on is to define their target audience. This helps small businesses to device their social media strategy accordingly. The target audience should be defined basis age group, sex, location, users’ online behaviors, their likes, interests, and preferences. For niche products, business owners can even target users based on their birthdays, anniversaries and important milestone. Audience targeting plays a very crucial role in the outcome of the results. For e.g.: a local shop selling footwear should not target users with interest in entertainment. The shop definitely won’t get the desired results.

Set achievable goals
Overnight success is a myth. Small businesses must understand this basic fact. Generally, when a new business starts selling on social media, there is palpable excitement is achieving more than set targeted sales. Businesses need to set goals which are upwards and forward. To achieve enormous goals, small businesses start updating social feed with multiple updates in shorter duration. This leads to user’s disinterest in the product/service. The set goals should be in sync with brand’s core capabilities and expertise. For e.g.: if a business is into selling shoes, they shouldn’t set a goal to repair maximum shoes in their area.

Choose the right medium
By now everyone knows, social media is for free. Even paid campaigns can be conducted at a relatively low cost as compared to traditional mediums. It is in this scenario, that we often see small businesses jumping the bandwagon and creating profiles on all the available platforms. Creating social profile doesn’t hamper brand image, but aggressively promoting a brand on wrong platforms can lead to brand losing its potential customers. Hence it is advisable for SME’s to first identify the right platform through which they can maximize their business. For e.g.: If a shoe selling brand tries to aggressively sell on LinkedIn, they won’t get a plausible response as compared to promotions on Facebook/Instagram.

Promote your core product/services
Since each and every business is riding in the social media wave, it is important for a them to promote their core product/services. Nowadays, we see a lot of businesses promoting their services as well as promoting peripheral products/services, which revolves around their core product/services. Majority of the times, this SME’s doesn’t have capabilities to fulfill a requirement, which can lead to a bad word of mouth for their business on social media platforms. Let us go back to our example; if a shoe seller is trying to aggressively promote socks instead of shoes, it is not going to benefit the business in the long run.

Create quality content
Now that we have covered the topics of identifying the target audience, setting achievable goals, choosing the right medium and promoting the right product/services let us now take a look at the type of content a business should promote on their social pages. A business should always focus on creating good quality content rather than not-good quantity content. Even if the business updates their page once in a day as long as it is relevant to their business, advocates about its core products send across a clear message it is considered as a good quality content. Antagonistically, if a business posts multiple updates which aren’t even relevant to the business’s products and services leads to users considering the business as fake/spam. Also, new businesses should try and refrain from promoting other businesses on their social platforms initially.

Create a content calendar
Making a small business successful on social platforms is no small task. It takes a lot of efforts for the businesses to keep up their conversion ratio. One such effort is to create a content calendar. Small businesses must anticipate important events and create a content calendar accordingly. Ideally, a content calendar must be planned a month in advance but an even weekly content calendar is highly recommended. This helps businesses to avoid any last minute hassles, strategize much more effectively and it also helps in creating curiosity amongst its loyal fans/customers.

Test and re-test
Social media is highly unpredictable. The content a business posts today, might not work for tomorrow. Hence, small businesses must always test their content before publishing it on their pages. Testing content also applies to the platform a small business chooses to promote. Small business owners must always don the consumer’s hat before posting about any product feature, updates, schemes or offers. A consumer’s perspective is the key when testing the content that has to be uploaded.

Look for inspiration
Small businesses must always look for inspiration from a competitor who is successful in the same category. Copy pasting competitors idea or content is not the answer. Small businesses must look for the kind of content its competitors are putting up and derive their own strategies subsequently. Inspiring content/stories always make a business to strive to create their own content that is appreciated by one and all. It helps in increasing brand consideration, brand visibility thereby increasing conversions for the business.

Calculate ROI
Even a small promotional budget is not justifiable if there is no mechanism to calculate its return on investment. It is more important in case of small businesses. It is very important for a small business to keep a tab on the budgets allocated to any promotions and the subsequent ROI related to it. If a certain promotion is not doing well or the business is not getting desired results, the brand custodian can always look for other platforms to generate quality conversions.

Analyze and Re-strategize
There can be umpteen instances where a particular campaign/promotion might not work for a business. That doesn’t mean that the promotion is wrong or the product/service is not good. Doing an analysis of the campaign is as important as setting the objective. This helps the business to formulate their upcoming strategies in more effective ways. At the end of every campaign, brands must note down the learning’s from that campaign and identify if the content/idea was appreciated by their fans or not. This helps businesses to skip the non-performing updates from future communications.

Who Should Pay For Our Health Care?

The debate goes on, should the government be responsible for providing our health care?

There are many arguments for and against national healthcare.

At one time, everyone was responsible for their own health, there was no insurance. In that day and age, medical care was a lot less expensive than it is today, even taking into benefits account the rate of inflation over the years.

The rise in cost has in part is because of all the new technology available today, but to a large degree, the rising cost is due to increased demand.

Because of the change in our national mentality, in a large part due to negotiated union contracts, everyone thinks their health care is free. Most have come to believe it is a right, a right no one pays for.

I’m a firm believer that affordable healthcare should be available to everyone.

However, because of the present system, very few people realize the cost of health care, and because it is presumably free to them, they go to the doctor for every little sniffle they get. Many visits are unnecessary and costly. People go to the emergency room for a skinned knee, or a splinter in their hand, these emergencies could be taken care of at home.

It has become “fashionable” to go to the emergency room.

Health insurance should be paid for by the individual. If each individual was benefits responsible for their healthcare, they would become more knowledgeable on what “works” and what doesn’t.

Most companies that provide health insurance allocate a certain amount of wages for the payment of benefits including health insurance, whether they tell the employee or not.

The individual employee should be made aware of this, that money should be allocated to the individual so they can purchase their health care on an individual basis.

Thereby eliminating any corporate influence the company could exert on the insurance company, and it would open the insurance industry to more competition, that is always a good thing.

That would enable the individual to have more control over his health care and ensure his right to have or not have insurance.

In some cases, when both spouses work and are covered by their individual company insurance, both companies are providing and paying for health insurance and only one health plan is needed.

Therefore, money is wasted by the couple because they don’t use the insurance provided by one company. If the money was allocated to the employee, he or she could decide how to best use the money in a way that would benefit the couple instead of the money being flushed down the drain.

It would make the individual more responsible for his own health and welfare, and it would be his choice to have or not have health care.

If he chooses not to have health insurance, then he would be responsible for any charges incurred, and pay the consequences for not having insurance.

By cutting down on the demand by eliminating people going to a doctor or emergency room unless necessary, then the cost would naturally come down, and people would find the alternative, less expensive, better forms of treatment.

Of course, there will always be an element of society who are unable to care for themselves and they should be provided for, but there are far too many people abusing the system.

The only way to prevent that is for people to be in charge of their own health. Regardless of what you believe, no one, including the government will look after you like you will.

This is America, our country was founded on the idea of the individual being able to make his or her own choices concerning how to run their lives, it’s time we returned to those ideals and get government out of life management.

Good News Or Bad News – And The Difference Is?

Ever had someone give you bad news? How about good news? What’s the difference or is there a difference?

Good news – stuff or information that makes us happy, content, reassured, secure and validated.

Bad news – the opposite.

So, it would appear that there is a difference between good and bad news – read on.

Have you ever gotten bad news but in the end things turned out well or better than you anticipated? Have you ever received good news and over time what you thought was good news ended up being not so good?

From personal experience I can tell you that I have experienced all four –

Good news that was good.

Bad news that was bad.

Good news that I thought was good but ended up being bad.

Bad news that I thought was bad and ended up being good.

Confused yet? Well I know that over time I was often confused about the difference between these two apparent opposite messages. But then I learned that sometimes bad news for one person can be perceived as good news for someone else and that good news to one person over time can be perceived as bad.

Confused? Let me explain.

In the end it’s just news and what makes it bad or good or even neutral is not the news itself but how we perceive it, judge it, evaluate it or react because of it.

How can someone perceive bad news as good you might ask? Or the opposite, how could someone perceive good news as bad?

In brief – each of us has a unique history, experiences, beliefs and values and as a result none of us ever see the same thing or circumstance in the same way.

Someone who is a worrier, negative, pessimistic or impatient might see a delay as bad when another person who understands the concept of there are things we can control and there are things we can’t control so why get all upset about something you can’t control or if you can control it get busy.

In the end everything that happens – just happens and what we do is interpret it all based on our expectations, goals, needs or mindsets and all of these are unique for each of us.

Let me give you a couple of personal examples. And if you will consider the explanation even though you may not have had exactly the same circumstances, if you will think about it I’ll be you can relate.

Prior to staring my speaking news and training career I was a national sales manager for an international organization. Long story but the short side is I had an issue with my boss, the president and as a result he fired me. Bad news, right? Well that was all I needed to decide it was time to begin a career that has lasted over 40 years and has allowed me to see the world (25 countries to date) and work with some tremendous clients and audiences. So in the end this bad news was really good news.

Here’s another quick one.

Years ago I proposed to my wife and she said yes. Good news right? (No judgments here please). Well over time after doing my best for more than fifteen years I decided that it was time to end it and why? Well, without the gruesome details, the relationship was gradually eroding my self-esteem, confidence and optimistic mindset and I decided that I didn’t like who I was becoming in that relationship. We parted, amicably – but we parted. Good news as I was able – over time – to regain all I had lost – emotionally and spiritually.

We all have our stories and we all can create lists of good news and bad news we have received but in the end it’s all just news.

During some of my corporate programs I share this simple concept – stop asking your employees for good news or bad news – just ask them for the news and then you decide which it is. Because their definition could be completely different than yours.

And vice versa – as an executive or manager don’t broadcast – I have some good or bad news – just tell your employees you’ve got some news and let each of them interpret it as they see fit based on their personal viewpoints, attitudes, mindsets, experience, expectations and how it might impact them personally.