For three decades my friend was a successful salesperson. He was gregarious, charismatic, and charming. His method was to develop a personal relationship with his clients that was very much a friendship. He would invest his time and his money in that friendship. If his clients wanted tickets to the game, he’d buy them tickets. If his clients needed some present for their children, he’d acquire it for them. He spent money on lunches, dinners, golf outings, and other things that deepened his friendship.When we had lunch, he said to me, “My sales are terrible. I don’t understand. I am doing what I have always done, but it isn’t working.”The reason that my friend’s approach quit working is because he did nothing to create economic value. His friendship and his willingness to spend money buying things to please his clients is no longer enough to win their business or their loyalty. The world changed, but my friend did not recognize those changes and, worse still, he did not change with it. He did not shift his focus to the areas where he can create value for his clients.Your client relationships are still built on your being known, liked, and trusted. But the fundamental questions have changed.Known: It isn’t enough to be known. It’s what you are known for. What are you known for? Are you known for your ability to deliver some result? Are you known for solving some problem? Are you known for your business acumen and your situational knowledge? Are you known for creating value?Liked: It isn’t easy to buy your client’s business anymore. You still need to be liked. But being liked means something different. It doesn’t hurt to be gregarious, charismatic, and charming. But your client is trying to make a decision as to what it’s going to be like to work with you long-term. The decision they are making is what it’s going to be like to have you on their team. Are you like having a great new team member? Are you going to be easy to work with? Is the rest of their team going to want to work with you?Trusted: Great relationships, business or personal, are built on the foundation of trust. My friend’s willingness to spend money now subtracts from trust. It looks and feels unethical. It isn’t unethical for my friend to spend his own money, but it often can be for the person who accepts his gifts. The trust that you need is built on your ability to keep your word and your ability to delivering the outcome your client needs. How do you enable your clients to trust you? What do they need to trust you to do?It is still known, liked, and trusted. But what these words mean has changed. You have to change, too.
The latest Hollywood blockbuster may be coming soon to a window near you. Researchers have developed a see-through video screen embedded with silver nanoparticles that’s both scalable and relatively inexpensive. While traditional projection screens come in pearly white in order to evenly reflect the whole spectrum of visible light, the new display reflects only a single, specific shade of blue. To accomplish this, the researchers took uniform bunches of silver molecules, called silver nanoparticles, with diameters of 62 nanometers. (One billion could fit on a pinhead.) These nanoparticles interact only with bits of light with a precise blue wavelength, allowing other light to pass through unimpeded. The researchers completed their display by mixing the silver nanoparticles into a water-soluble transparent polymer and hardening it in a frame. Total cost of materials? Only $10. Using a laser projector tuned to the proper wavelength light, the researchers displayed a video of floating circles on their display while the screen remained otherwise transparent, they report online today in Nature Communications. While the current display works only with a single color, the team says mixing different sized nanoparticles would allow them to simultaneously display red, green, and blue light. By combining these three additive primary colors together, they could display the entire visual spectrum. The researchers predict their technology could one day be used to project speedometers on car windshields, present moving advertisements on store windows, and even turn skyscrapers into giant movie screens.
The India and the World: A History in Nine Stories exhibition is chronologically divided into nine sections that together account for 228 artefacts, from sculptures and pottery to portraits and drawings.It opened on 11 November at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai’s biggest museum. It will run until 18 February 2018, after which it is expected to travel to the capital Delhi.Its aim, according to CSMVS director Sabyasachi Mukherjee, is “to explore connections and comparisons between India and the rest of the world”.Read it at BBC Related Items
If the Guinness Book Of Records ever introduces a section on bureaucratic decision-making, there would be more record-holders in South Block than in the Patiala sports institute. But even by Indian snail-paced standards, one of the favourite contenders for the title of the longest decision-making process must surely be the,If the Guinness Book Of Records ever introduces a section on bureaucratic decision-making, there would be more record-holders in South Block than in the Patiala sports institute. But even by Indian snail-paced standards, one of the favourite contenders for the title of the longest decision-making process must surely be the succession of officials who have been agonising over the proposal to purchase a light transport aircraft (LTA) ever since 1974.The Saab-Fairchild (below:) and (bottom) the Metro: Surprise entrantsNot surprisingly, by last fortnight, the current LTA committee had made what must be considered major progress by whittling down the original array of contenders to three and were reportedly, in the words of a committee member, “just one or two meetings away from a final decision”. But judging by the manner in which the final decision has dragged on interminably, that could mean anything between next week and next year. In fact, even as the Government was claiming that a decision is imminent, two more aircraft manufacturers hove into view over the horizon with their gift-wrapped packages to try and convince Vayudoot, the country’s floundering third-level regional air service that what they were offering would better suit its needs. The presentation of the two offers could not have been more contrasting and yet symbolises the tortuous twists and belly-rolls that the LTA decision has undergone right from its initial stages.High-powered Selling: The first offer is for the Saab-Fairchild 340, the product of a collaboration between the Swedish company, Saab-Scania and Fairchild Industries of America. Saab-Fairchild did it in style. A luncheon press conference at a five-star hotel where glossy brochures and give-aways were reverently handed out, a demonstration of the aircraft for the prospective customer and a high-level delegation headed by the company’s senior vice-president.advertisementThe other offer was, by contrast, almost a casual afterthought. An Indian aircraft dealer called Mr Mahajan, based in the Bahamas, strolled into the offices of Vayudoot General Manager Captain B.K. Bhasin dressed in chappals, T-shirt and jeans and casually inquired whether he would be interested in the Metro-3, a fast-selling commuter aircraft. Both aircraft are, at the moment, highly unsuitable for Vayudoot.Saab-Fairchild is a 35-seat pressurised aircraft that costs somewhere in the region of Rs 8 crore while the Metro-3’s performance and price-tag is hardly compatible with the three aircraft that have been short-listed by the LTA committee which is essentially looking for a 19- to 20-seat unpressurised aircraft for its four customers, Vayudoot, the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Coast Guard and the navy. The three aircraft in the running – the West German Dornier 228, the Canadian Twin Otter and the Spanish Casa C-212 – have comparable seat capacities and price-tags of just under Rs 2 crore. With the aviation business being as fiercely competitive as it is, Saab-Fairchild and Metro-3 were obviously aware that a final decision was just around the corner and yet the fact that they still put in their bids is more than indicative of their confidence that the LTA decision is vulnerable to last-minute changes.Committee Conundrum: Already, the decision has dragged on for nine years and no less than four expert committees after the original Ministry of Defence committee, headed by scientist V.R. Sinha, first met in 1974 to examine the feasibility aspects. The Sinha Committee’s report projected a demand for between 150 and 300 aircraft and also concurred on the key requirement – that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was capable of undertaking indigenous production of the aircraft selected.In April 1978. the Gidwani Committee, headed by then director-general of civil aviation B.S. Gidwani, examined 11 aircraft and recommended three – the same three that are being considered now in 1983, the Dornier, the Casa and the Twin Otter.But, in typical bureaucratic tradition, committees bred faster than rabbits. No sooner had the Gidwani Committee submitted its report than another committee, under Air Marshal J. Zaheer was set up in December 1979 to examine the Gidwani Committee’s report and recommend two aircraft. The aircraft recommended were the Twin Otter and the Australian Nomad. Barely a year later, yet another committee called the Braganza Committee was formed and the entire exercise repeated with the final decision still no closer than when the proposal was first mooted.Aircraft List: Neither was the committee-breeding process over. With the Zaheer Committee’s report still fresh from the printing presses, yet another committee called the Menon Committee was born which short-listed 10 aircraft and insisted on three requirements – short take-off and landing (STOL) capability, turbo-prop and twin-engined aircraft and low operating costs. Of the 10, two types appeared to be ahead of the pack – Dornier and Twin Otter.advertisement(From below) the Casa-212; the Dornier and the Twin Otter: Short-fistedStrangely enough, though the Menon Committee report still remains the basic working paper, the Twin Otter has not so far been invited for demonstrations.Even stranger is the fact that though the Casa C-212 has twice been rejected by separate committees, it still remains in the running, even though its rear-ramp loading system is hardly suitable for an operator like Vayudoot. The fact that Vayudoot only requires around 30 aircraft, or 15 per cent of the total requirement of around 200, is the main argument in favour of the Casa which is only preferred by the IAF.But the fact remains that it is Vayudoot which has suffered the most because of the delay in the decision. Apart from the fact that its fares and seat/kilometre costs are the lowest in the world, and by deliberate political design, its mounting losses are largely because of the uneconomical fleet of ageing Avros and Fokkers which are 44-seat aircraft flying half empty on most of its routes. The other factor is, of course, the fact that a two-year delay in decision-making can push up original estimates by as much as 50 per cent.The only aspect in favour is that the aircraft industry is running through rough financial weather and it is currently a buyers’ market. But that may not last too long. Already, both Casa and Dornier have submitted revised estimates and if the delay extends any further the original total estimate of Rs 400 crore may go haywire.Delayed Decision: Vayudoot’s Bhasin insists that the delay is because the manufacturers keep altering their estimates but admits: “Even with brand new aircraft, we will continue to make a loss unless the fare structure is revised.”The fact that Vayudoot’s initial requirement is only for seven or eight aircraft in a fly-away condition would imply that the stalling tactics are being employed by the IAF and the navy, who have larger requirements. The navy’s requirement is essentially for maritime reconnaissance for which the Twin Otter and the Dornier are eminently suitable.The Twin Otter has been around for almost two decades and has proved itself as a dependable workhorse. The Dornier. which is a newer design, also conducted successful maritime patrols during its demonstration flights in India.But with the IAF still stubbornly plugging for the Casa, the final decision could have no bearing on proven performances. As a senior Indian Airlines official who sat on one of the committees admits: “There are a lot of pressures from various directions.”Growing Pressures: But even with the “pressures”, it is hardly conceivable how a high-level committee like the present one, responsible for the final decision, manages to take so long to decide on a suitable aircraft. Apart from representatives of the four operators, the committee consists of Defence Secretary P. K. Kaul, Secretary for Defence Production, M.C. Sarin, Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence Dr V.S. Arunachalam and HAL chief Air Marshal L.M. Katre. Added to this is the fact that the project has been shrouded in unnatural secrecy from the time it started.advertisementWhat makes matters worse is that all four operators are urgently in need of new aircraft. Vayudoot is in desperate financial straits, the navy’s reconnaissance patrols are necessarily limited by its ancient Islanders, the IAF has already grounded its Devons and the Coast Guard is without any aircraft of its own. As the entry of Saab-Fairchild and Metro into the raee has proved, any further delay will only be a signal for more manufacturers to converge on New Delhi and further confuse what is already a highly confusing scenario.
Barcelona got off to a winning start in La Liga on Sunday, beating Real Betis 2-0 in a subdued atmosphere at the Nou Camp after the deadly attacks in the Catalan capital and the town of Cambrils.Rivals Real Madrid began their pursuit of back-to-back league titles for the first time since 2008 with a 3-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna with goals from Gareth Bale, Casemiro and Toni Kroos, although captain Sergio Ramos was sent off in the dying seconds, earning a 23rd career red card.Betis defender Alin Tosca diverted a cross from the lively Gerard Deulofeu into his own net to put Barca ahead in the 36th minute, while the former Everton forward, who returned to his boyhood club this summer, also laid on the pass for the second goal which was smashed in by Sergi Roberto in the 39th.Lionel Messi was the fulcrum of most of Barca’s creativity and more responsibility was placed on his shoulders due to the absence of Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta.But the Argentine was denied a goal, hitting the woodwork three times.There was a solemn feeling at the Nou Camp before and during the game with only 56,480 supporters at the 99,000-capacity arena. The club announced it had granted fans’ requests to return tickets in the wake of Thursday’s attacks, which killed 14 people and injured more than 100.”It was a moving tribute, we wanted to celebrate this victory and I dedicated the (first) goal to the victims and their families,” Deulofeu told reporters.advertisement”What happened was terrible, we hope something like this never happens again. We are not afraid but this needs to stop. This victory was for them.”RUTHLESS REALIn Coruna, Deportivo made a flying start against Real but wasted three early chances to surprise the champions.The first two fell to Romanian striker Florin Andone, who was twice foiled by Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas.Real, by contrast, were utterly ruthless.Photo Credit: AP Isco and Marcelo drove Zinedine Zidane’s side forward from the left and moved the ball for Luka Modric to shoot at goal. The Croatian’s tame shot slipped out of the hands of goalkeeper Ruben Martinez to the feet of Karim Benzema, who rolled the ball across for Bale to nudge home.Real then showed their class with their second goal after a long period of possession, with Marcelo sliding the ball to the far post where Casemiro was waiting to tuck into the unguarded net, completing a move involving 44 passes.”We aspire to play like this and we know we have the players to do it and we have worked very hard to score a goal like the second and we are all delighted with it,” Zidane told reporters.”We’re very happy with how the game went although not with what happened to Sergio. In general we’re happy because this isn’t an easy place to go, Deportivo can cause you problems and they had their chances today.”Toni Kroos met a Bale cutback to strike Real’s third in the 62nd minute while Deportivo striker Florin Andone completed a miserable night by squandering a late penalty.Spain centre back Ramos, who has never been sent off in 143 games for his country, earned a second yellow card in injury time, joining Pablo Alfaro and Xavi Aguado on a La Liga record of 18 red cards.
The day Mohammed Siraj was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad at the IPL auction for a whopping Rs 2.6 crore, he had only one dream. That was never to let his father Mohammed Ghaus drive auto rickshaw again and he kept his promise.Savouring his maiden call-up to the Indian team for the T20 series against New Zealand, one could gauge the sense of satisfaction in Siraj’s voice.”I feel proud that at 23, I am good enough to shoulder the responsibility of my family. The day I got an IPL contract, I told my father that I won’t let him work anymore.”Usi din se maine father ko bola ki aap abhi rest kaaro (that very day I told Dad that now you can rest). And yes, I have shifted with my family to a new house,” Siraj told PTI during an interaction today.The 23-year-old right-arm pacer has been on the fringes with some decent performances for India A but he didn’t expect a call-up this early.”I knew that some time in future I will get a call-up but did not expect it this soon. I can’t tell you how happy I am.”When I told my parents, they were speechless. It’s a dream come true,” said ecstatic Siraj, who is gearing up for tomorrow’s Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka.While IPL got him recognition, Siraj feels that it’s his hardwork in the Ranji Trophy during the 2016-17 season for Hyderabad that has resulted in all the success that he has got.advertisement”Whatever I am today is primarily because of Ranji Trophy performance. My 40-odd wickets last season gave me the confidence. There’s nothing like getting wickets in first-class cricket. I was picked for Rest of India after that and because of Ranji Trophy, I got the IPL deal. So 60 per cent credit for this call-up is performance in first-class cricket,” he said.Siraj said that Indian team bowling coach Bharath Arun’s tips when he was with Hyderabad last year proved to be of immense help.”I can’t tell you how much I am indebted to Bharath Arun sir. He is a brilliant coach. Last year, he was with the Hyderabad team and for the first time, I got an insight to the kind of variations needed to survive at the highest level. He told me about the variations in slower deliveries, how to bowl a knuckle ball. All these things helped me when I played IPL,” the speedster said.He also thanked Sunrisers teammate Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra for their encouragement during the cash-rich league.”Bhuvi bhai encouraged me a lot during IPL. He would come up with lot of valuable suggestions on what areas to hit at the death, the lengths for particular batsmen,” Siraj said.Playing for India A during the past few months including a trip to South Africa and matches against New Zealand A has helped him mature as a bowler.However India A coach Rahul Dravid told him that he did not need to try anything fancy and keep on doing what has worked for him till now.”Dravid sir told me that I need not change anything in my bowling. His advice has been pretty simple. Do what has got you success till now. Hopefully, I can replicate my success at the highest level,” he concluded.
As India prepare for a slew of overseas games over the next one year, the availability of the fast bowling armoury is of utmost importance. Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, India have seen the rise of many quicks in Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.Former captain Sunil Gavaskar feels that it is all due to India’s first World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev that the country can talk of such high standards of fast bowling. At the launch of Rajdeep Sardesai’s book, ‘Democracy’s XI’, Gavaskar shed light on how Kapil changed the face of Indian cricket.”Today if India talk of such high standards of fast bowling, I think the credit goes only to Kapil Dev because he showed that you can take wickets even in India, bowling quick,” Gavaskar said in the book launch event at Mumbai’s Royal Opera House.Gavaskar said Kapil was the sort of cricketer who got people to the stadiums and it was due to his rise to prominence that cricketers from small towns started to make their mark on the big stage.”Kapil made everyone believe that they can go on to play for India and captain India. Till then the players from metros used to dominate the playing XI and a couple from non-metro states would be included in the squad for namesake but Kapil changed all that. He was a flambouyant cricketer who got crowd in,” Gavaskar shared.Gavaskar added that Kapil playing throughout for Haryana in the Ranji Trophy and still representing India changed things for cricket in India. He credited Kapil for the selection of cricketers from all corners of the country today.advertisement”There were also some odd players who came in from smaller states but they could never really have an impact. Kapil changed it all. Bhishan (Singh Bedi) played for Delhi for a long time even though he started with Punjab but Kapil played for Haryana throughout. Therefore, he was the first sought of non-metro player to have an impact. That is the reason why I say that if today Indian cricket can go and scout and find cricketers from all nooks and corners and not just the metros, it’s only thanks to Kapil.”Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar also shared his warm experience with Kapil in the dressing room and said he took good care of the youngsters.”I remember Kapil Dev was my roommate when I was a young upcoming player in the Indian team. So I had to be at my best behaviour and do whatever Kapil told me to. He would switch off the lights at 10.30pm and told me, ‘Tendlya ab sona hai’ (Tendlya it’s time to sleep), so I would go off to sleep.”And then in the morning we had a 9am departure and that’s when Kapil Dev woke me up at around 8.15am and asked me, ‘Tendlya tere liye chai banaun?’ (Tendlya should I make tea for you). So I would jump up from my bed and I was like no paaji let me make the tea for you. That was his nature. Talking about Kapil paaji taking care fo youngsters, he was very much there for us,” Tendulkar said at the launch of Democracy’s XI in Mumbai.
NEW YORK — The NBA is soaring higher than ever.With a growing global reach and international players dotting most rosters, a group of marketable rising young superstars led by Stephen Curry, more competitive balance, financial stability, and an upcoming infusion of $24 billion from a television deal, the league is bouncing beautifully.The state of the game couldn’t be much better. However, everyone knows good times can fade fast.There’s a pivotal play developing over the next few years that could threaten the thriving league again.As the movers and shakers in the pro basketball industry gathered this past weekend for All-Star festivities celebrating the league’s past and present, there were watchful eyes on an uncertain future.With players and owners able to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement after the 2016-17 season, a labor battle looms — and players plan to be prepared.The NBA Players Association unanimously elected LeBron James as vice president last week at its annual meeting. James’ presence on the executive committee — and perhaps at the bargaining table — is a sign the union means business.“We had a lockout before when I was in the league and our game was really good at that time, too,” James, the four-time MVP and face of the sport told The Associated Press during the NBA’s mid-season showcase. “Hopefully, we don’t have to reach that point because both sides love where we’re at and what we’re doing.”On the surface, it’s hard to find many flaws with the league’s current status.Ratings are high, the value of franchises has exploded and Commissioner Adam Silver has taken the ball from David Stern and powered forward. Silver, who recently celebrated one year on the job, has skillfully navigated around some sticky issues, including the racial remarks made by former Clippers owner Donald Sterling that could’ve divided players and ended up uniting them.Silver acted quickly in removing Sterling, and his swift punishment strengthened a relationship with players that will undoubtedly be tested in the years ahead.Those potentially crippling issues are out of sight now, and a widening international audience is tuning in to see NBA action.“The game is bigger than ever,” said James, Cleveland’s star now in his 12th season. “The money that’s generated is bigger than ever and our athletes and our guys are doing what they need to do on the floor and off it to represent the game at a high level. So hopefully we don’t have to come to the point that we were in 2011-12, when we had the lockout. The process is going to get started and we don’t have to come to that.”Following the 2010-11 season, owners were able to negotiate a CBA that was more in their favor, cutting the players’ share of basketball-related income from 57 percent to roughly 50, costing them millions in annual salaries.That contract runs through 2021, but with the economic boost — $2.6 billion per year — coming from the TV contract, players will fight harder for a larger portion of the pie.“We want to negotiate a little better than we did last time,” said Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver. “We’re going to be well-equipped to stand toe-to-toe with the NBA and negotiate a fair deal. That’s what we want — just a fair deal.”It’s not like Silver isn’t paying attention.The commissioner has listened to the players on several fronts already, and he promised last weekend to take a harder look at scheduling and reducing the number of back-to-back games and the grueling, four-games-in-five-nights stretches to help keep players — “our partners,” he calls them — fresh and the product crisp. Silver, too, will consider a makeover of the playoff format so that the best teams qualify.Silver is concerned with keeping the game relevant amid stiff competition from other sports. It’s vital to stay affordable and attractive to an aging population as well as the next generation of hoop fans. It’s entertainment, after all, and Silver wants to keep the NBA in the center of the spotlight.“I realize we have to earn the fans’ support every day,” he told The AP. “Over the course of my business career I’ve seen a lot of great businesses seemingly disappear. We don’t take anything for granted and we realize that especially when it comes to the changing world of television that we have to focus on what’s happening on tablets and smartphones and how young people are consuming media.”Silver sees other ways the NBA can increase profit margins.He’s the first Commissioner of a major professional sports league in the U.S. to publicly support legalizing sports betting outside of Nevada. He wants Congress to change the federal ban on sports gambling and craft a structure that allows states to legalize and regulate betting.That could bring billions more in revenue to the league, though it also could create challenges to protect the game’s integrity, last tested by the scandal involving former referee Tim Donaghy in 2007.On the court, the game has been pure basketball bliss.There has been a return to team play with the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks — the conference leaders at the break — picking up where the San Antonio Spurs left off in last year’s Finals when their selfless style dismantled the Miami Heat.Teams are breaking away from isolation play and trying to copy San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich’s pace-and-space system. Leading the way is a pair of Popovich’s coaching protégées, Golden State’s Steve Kerr and Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer, whose emphasis on ball movement is spreading rapidly.“Five guys touching the ball and playing defense together,” Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins said. “It’s the way basketball was meant to be played.”The hope, for now, is that the togetherness continues, but both sides sense a bigger game coming off the court in 2017.“We’ll take care of that once we get there,” reigning MVP Kevin Durant said. “We’re preparing now for anything.”(TOM WITHERS and ANTONIO GONZALEZ, AP Sports Writers)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Apoel Nicosia produced one of the most unlikely Champions League story lines in recent times in 2012 by becoming the first Cypriot team to reach the quarterfinals.It is back in the group stage after drawing 0-0 at Slavia Prague on Wednesday, securing a 2-0 win on aggregate.LIVERPOOL ADDVANCEDLIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Juergen Klopp had just seen his Liverpool team slice open Hoffenheim to score a third goal in the opening 21 minutes when he turned to the celebrating Anfield crowd and roared: “That’s football!”Liverpool returned to the Champions League group stage in some style on Wednesday.With the attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane combining brilliantly, Liverpool beat Hoffenheim 4-2 with a devastating attacking display to seal a return to Europe’s elite club competition after a two-year absence.The Reds advanced 6-3 on aggregate in the qualifying playoff and will be placed in the pot of third seeds in Thursday’s draw.“The start of the game was like a thunderstorm,” Klopp said. “We were so dangerous, so clinical. We could have scored even more.”Hoffenheim is playing in European competition for the first time in its history this season and was swept away on another atmospheric night at Anfield.Emre Can scored goals either side of Salah’s tap-in as Liverpool surged 3-0 ahead. The third goal was masterful, with Mane breaking clear, cutting inside and backheeling the ball to Firmino, whose cross to the far post was tucked home on the volley by Can.“I think we’ve scored a few nice goals,” Klopp said of his nearly two years in charge, “but that was outstanding.”With his team now needing five goals to progress, Hoffenheim’s 30-year-old coach, Julian Nagelsmann, threw on an extra attacker in the 24th minute and Mark Uth had an immediate impact, drilling a low shot into the corner four minutes later.Neither defense covered itself in glory in the first half, and the goals kept coming after halftime. Jordan Henderson robbed Hoffenheim captain Kevin Vogt to run through on goal, before passing across for Firmino to slot into the bottom corner in the 63rd.“He was impossible to defend,” Klopp said of Firmino, his deep-lying striker.Sandro Wagner headed in a late goal for Hoffenheim.“We were running around like headless chickens,” Nagelsmann said of his team’s display in the first 30 minutes, “and they were scoring the kind of goals they always score in the Premier League.”“Sometimes,” he added, “you just have to admit your opponent is better.”Liverpool produced its exhilarating performance without star playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who remains unavailable — officially because he is both ill and injured — amid sustained interest from Barcelona.On this evidence, the Reds don’t need him, although their defensive frailties were exposed again, especially on the flank of left back Alberto Moreno.Liverpool joins Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Europa League winner Manchester United as part of a five-strong English representation in the group stage.Here’s a look at the other second legs in the playoffs:___COMPETITION NEWCOMERAt the fourth time of asking, Qarabag has made it through Champions League qualifying to become Azerbaijan’s first representative in the group stage.Qarabag was beaten 2-1 at FC Copenhagen but advanced on away goals, with the score 2-2 on aggregate. Dino Ndlovu’s 63rd-minute goal proved decisive for the visitors, who had never previously progressed beyond the third round of qualifying.Federico Santander and Andrija Pavlovic scored for Copenhagen, which has to settle for a place in the Europa League.___SPORTING, CSKA ADVANCECSKA Moscow reached the group stage for the fifth straight year and Portuguese team Sporting made it there for the third time in the last four seasons.Georgi Schennikov and Alan Dzagoev scored for CSKA in a 2-0 win over Swiss team Young Boys, completing a 3-0 aggregate win.Sporting scored five goals away from home in a UEFA competition for the first time since 1986 in winning 5-1 at FCSB, the Romanian club formally known as Steaua Bucharest. It was the same score on aggregate.STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
on Facebook. For a little inspiration, check out To understand which days of the week and what time of day works best for your specific company, start by looking at your past shares. Sort them by number of clicks in whatever social media publishing tool you use. Below, you can see how you’d do it in this blog post Then compare the activity levels of each week. Separate retweets/reposts, replies/comments, and clicks. You may notice that one method may result in more comments but fewer clicks, and vice versa. Determine which method meets the lion’s share of your goals as a marketer. repurposing and reinventing good content . Don’t forget to go back and re-evaluate it occasionally to make sure the effectiveness of your timing doesn’t change over time. When you’ve got timing down, you’ll also want to think about content variance. can really come in handy here, and if you’re a HubSpot customer, you can . He examined a database of more than 100,000 accounts to determine what timing and frequency resulted in the greatest outcomes for social shares. The General Guideline social media publishing Twitter audience, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this time is optimal for our leads and customers. All sorts of people follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks. While we love all our readers (I’m talking about you, good-looking), as a business, it’s important for us to be able to pinpoint the members of our audience who are also on the road to becoming customers. about everything marketers need to research and create detailed buyer personas, accompanied by a How to Find Your Personal Sweet Spot Determining the Most Targeted Time for Lead Engagement The right frequency for you depends a lot on the concentration of content in your audience’s stream. Think about it — you could post an update to Facebook once every 40 minutes, and if there are 20 other posts between yours, it won’t seem like your content is overwhelming. Start by taking an informal audit to see how many followers your typical follower has. If most of your active followers (the people re-posting or clicking on your content) don’t follow many others, you’ll want your sharing habits to be less frequent. You should also do some testing to determine your optimal publishing frequency. Here’s a simple one to get you started: Originally published Sep 24, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Image Credit: It’s every marketer’s concern: Am I over-communicating? Are people sick of seeing my updates? Getting frequency right is an important achievement in marketing, whether you’re talking email strategy or social updates. Late in the day and week are the most retweetable times. of content, and method of positioning of your content again and again. On Twitter, mix in @replies and retweets of other people’s content. On LinkedIn, share both the title of, say, a blog post, and also try including some details or sound bites from within it. Facebook, for example, gives you a great opportunity to feature images, pictures, and other media — take them up on it. We’ve found that understanding the personas you sell to Determining the Best Time for General Engagement In 2011, HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella conducted extensive Where possible, supplement your estimates with actual feedback from your leads and customers. garlandcannon Week One: overall : Shares are at their highest during the weekend. Topics: HubSpot’s research only went into optimal timing for Facebook and Twitter. To find optimal timing for other networks, you’ll need to do a bit of testing. How to Find Your Personal Sweet Spot Our analysis found that on weekdays, later in the day — between around 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. (Eastern Time) — was when the content we analyzed saw the greatest retweet activity. Facebook, on the other hand, saw more activity during the weekends. This could be due to the nature of Facebook or the fact that many workplaces still block Facebook during working hours. Regardless of the cause, with schedulers, there’s reason enough to experiment with increasing the content you post to Facebook on Saturdays and Sundays. HubSpot’s Social Media publishing tool Here’s the thing: . Week Two: try to space scheduled shares out by approximately research on the topic of social media timing free social media scheduling template visual content helps to drive engagement Use that timeline to structure your social shares. (pictured below) to see which of their leads and customers are actively clicking on their social shares. Tools like this enable you to get much more focused in your analysis of timing and content, because you’re peeling away the layers of your audience down just to what is working for the people who are most likely to buy from you. helpful template to help you create detailed buyer personas Start by reading Facebook While you may not be able to know exactly which share times work well for your leads without using a social contacts tool like HubSpot’s, there are some worthwhile exercises you can to do get to a closer approximation. It all starts with Whittling social media into a powerful marketing channel for your company takes a little time and research, but the time you put into tailoring your approach is well worth it. Once you’ve settled on a schedule with the best odds for your company, lock it into your publishing tool. Our While this research can serve as a general guideline, marketers should also conduct their own research to see what is most effective for their particular audience. Let’s walk through a few of the guidelines from HubSpot’s research and then some tips on how to test and customize each lesson for your company’s specific social strategy. Social media timing matters. The General Guideline check out our blog post/video Social Media Publishing In addition to answering the key questions in that article, include your best estimates about the social channels your leads and customers use and the time frames during which they’re most likely to use them. Creating a Well-Balanced Schedule We’re big fans of Increase your publishing frequency gradually, but keep the caliber of the content fairly similar. about how to analyze your Facebook Insights to improve your content strategy on Facebook. learn how to set your custom publishing schedule in HubSpot here . A persona is a compiled understanding of the characteristics, challenges, and behaviors of the people who typically buy from you. Each company has its own persona — or set of personas — with their own characteristics. Variables such as professions, family obligations, commutes, geographic location, and the like can all tilt your audience’s social media reading time significantly. Maybe you sell to educators, and early morning is the only time your audience gets for browsing Twitter. Understanding the personas you sell to is a key step to understanding what timing works for your audience: Determining Your Optimal Frequency In a nutshell, mix it up! The biggest lesson we’ve learned in social content is to make sure you’re not sharing the same content, Don’t crowd your content. HubSpot’s research found that companies that allow each shared link a buffer zone of at least an hour on either side see higher clickthrough rates overall. In fact, HubSpot’s own default suggested times in our After you get the frequency down, you’ll want to take a look at which days — and time of day — work best for generating activity and engagement with your posts. For that, you’ll need a social media tool that is directly connected to and integrated with your marketing database or CRM. HubSpot customers can do this using the . Test which types of content work well by taking one piece of material and positioning it in a number of ways. Try to track down trends by looking at your individual click and share rates. Did a particular piece of content do really well this week? Deconstruct what it was that made it so successful. If you’ve got a Facebook page or LinkedIn group, you can also poll your members to find out what kind of content they like best. You might also want to types How to Find Your Personal Sweet Spot (Without Software) How to Find Your Personal Sweet Spot We’re curious to hear any other methods you’ve used to optimize your social media marketing. How do you test your approach to Twitter: Social Media publishing tool : The General Guideline this blog post , just to be sure. Now, even though 4:30 p.m. is an active time for our Next, look for trends in the posts that generated the most clicks. In the example below, you can see that, with the exception of one, posts scheduled between 4:30 and 5 p.m. do pretty well for us. That’s a timing hot spot for HubSpot on Twitter. And you can conduct the same experiment for other social channels. Schedule your shares two hours apart, as HubSpot recommends. ? to learn about 10 different types of updates you can use to power your social media presence. Social Contacts tool two hours Don’t forget to share this post! 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Originally published Oct 10, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You’ve heard so much about inbound marketing and the need to produce content that I’m guessing you’re probably blogging, curating, aggregating, and filtering all manner of content. But there’s one type of content that you may not be focused on, and I happen to think it’s some of the most potent to be had — and that’s community-generated content.Your customers, partners, vendors, advisers, and suppliers — you know, the people that already know, like and trust you — are more equipped to tell the real story of your business than an army of writers in any marketing department. So why not engage them to do just that?Imagine taking your best, most loyal, most vocal community members with you on your next sales call and asking them to simply explain the real benefits they’ve realized because of the work you’ve done with them. That’s the power of customer-generated content when done right, and that’s why you need to routinely find ways to acquire it.But how do you actually do it? Below are five ideas to help you get your customers to tell and share incredible stories that will help to fuel your user-generated content engine.1) Create a One-Question TestimonialCreate a survey that asks every customer just one question — “On a scale of 1-10, how likely is it that you would refer us?”Now, set the survey up so that if the answer is 1-4, the survey-taker is redirected to a page that apologizes and sets the expectation that they will hear from someone immediately to find out what went wrong. If it’s a 5-7, send the customer to a page that says, you’re not happy until they’re happier, and ask them to suggest how you could have done better. For the 8-10 answers, redirect them to a form that allows them to submit a testimonial and ask them to check a box if they would agree to be interviewed for a case study.This is a great way to automate testimonial generation and keep a real-time pulse on how you’re doing. I use Wufoo forms to run this process, but I’ve heard good things about Formstack as well.2) Host a Video Appreciation PartyThis is such a great way to get lots of great video content.Once a year or so, hold a client appreciation event to say thanks and create a networking event for your clients and prospects. Hire a video crew for the event and ask some of your clients to talk about their experience with your business on camera. For some people, you might want to wait until a few bottles of wine have been emptied, too 😉 Then let them record a five-minute commercial for their own use, too.This is a great way to get lots of testimonials and case studies in one day, and your clients will get very engaged in swapping stories and selling each other on the benefits of working with you.3) Ask Customers to Tell Their StoryGetting your customers to share their experience is a very powerful form of content. You can sit across the desk and interview your customers in order to extract this kind of content, or you can employ a handful of tools that make it very easy to capture these stories.For audio-only content, a testimonial recording line from AudioAcrobat is a great way to go. You simply provide your customer with a phone number that they can call and record their story. The service then produces an MP3 and code to embed on your site for people to play the recordings.You can also use a tool like MailVu that allows you send a link with a video capture tool so your clients with a web cam can record a video testimonial or story and submit it with little work on your part.4) Establish a Community Knowledge BaseWhat if you could find a way to get your best customers to willingly shoulder creating answers to questions and best practices? Tools like ZenDesk and GetSatisfaction make it easy for you to enable community members to provide help and archived advice to other customers and prospects.Robin Robins, founder of Marketing Technology Toolkit in Nashville, TN, involves her customer community in an incredible way. She has created a membership program that allows her mostly IT business customers to receive ongoing business-building support through coaching, training, and tools she provides.She has created what she calls “accountability groups” in the membership program, and customers head up these groups and do a great deal of work keeping participants engaged and on track. Heading up these groups is not a paid position; loyal and committed customers that want to play a bigger role in the community do it.5) Help Your PeersUsing a tool like Google+ Hangouts, Skype Video Conference, or GoToMeeting Video Conference, you can easily host and facilitate a group video conference where your customers and their peers can discuss important industry and business challenges and trends. You can record and archive the event and create some very useful and engaging content.This is not a sales event, but by virtue of the fact that you have included customers in the conversation, there will be the inevitable discussions about what you’ve done to help them address a challenge. Record it all and you’ve got some powerful content.Creating opportunities to capture the stories your clients and other community members have to tell is an important piece in any fully developed content strategy.John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author. The ideas in this post are drawn from his most recent work — The Commitment Engine – Making Work Worth It. Find more information at www.makingworkworthit.com.Image Credit: libertygrace0
Originally published May 5, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Mobile Optimization Topics: The search engine goliath Google hath laid down its wrath once again — this time targeting the mobile web.On April 21st, 2015, Google began rolling out its “mobile-friendly” update, which makes mobile-friendliness a stronger ranking factor for mobile searches. The aftermath of this rollout, dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” has resulted in thousands of non-optimized websites plummeting in mobile search results. According to the Searchmetrics blog, some of the websites most-affected by Google’s mobile-friendly update include reddit, NBC Sports, SongLyrics.com, and Upworthy, just to name a few.The good news in all of this: “Mobilegeddon” wasn’t really the end of days for non- or poorly optimized mobile websites. Google’s algorithm runs in real time, so even if you weren’t able to get your site up to snuff before the April 21st launch date, you can (and should!) update it now and Google will reward you for it in its mobile search rankings.To help ensure that you have all of your mobile SEO bases covered, we created a new guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-Mobilegeddon World.The guide is available both as a .pdf file and as a responsive sitepage that you can view on a mobile device. Inside, you’ll find information about Google’s mobile-friendly update and how you can test your site for mobile-friendliness, as well as tactical tips for optimizing your website for mobile SEO and usability.We’ll also cover the differences between Google’s three approved mobile configurations: responsive design, dynamic serving, and mobile-only websites.Ready to go mobile? Click here to download the guide.Do you have any tips for making websites for mobile-friendly? Sound off in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
COMIO, a Chinese smartphone making company has entered the Indian market with its three Android-running budget smartphones- S1, C1 and P1.The COMIO S1 sports a metal unibody with curved edges and is available in two colour variants – Royal Black and Sunrise Gold. The USP of the handset lies in its slim design and metallic finish which makes this phone easy to carry and visually appealing in equal measures. On the photography front, the smartphone comes with a 13MP AF with flash rear camera and 8MP selfie camera. The phone sports a 5.2-inch HD IPS display, front finger print sensor, 2GB RAM and a 2700mAh battery.”Entering as a new player in the smartphone market, consumer satisfaction and delivering premium quality products are our main strategies to fuel the establishment of COMIO in India. Our clear vision is to be the leader in the mid-segment smartphone category in India and create a strong offline brand. Over the course of the first year, we will build a strong foundation for the brand based on the three strategic pillars- innovation, partnership and great people. We are in India for the long run and will contribute to the nations ‘Make in India’ initiative,” said Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, CEO and director, COMIO India.Also Read: Nokia 8: It has 5 cool features but it’s also missing 5 key thingsThe COMIO P1 is packed with a 5000 mAh battery and comes in a Metal Grey and Sunrise Gold colour variants. The smartphone sports a metal body with a dual-SIM phone offering, 5.5-inch HD IPS display screen, finger print sensor, 3 GB RAM, 13MP AF with flash rear camera and 8MP selfie camera with screen flash. The smartphone ensures 24 hours talk time and 30-day standby time.advertisementThe COMIO C1 sports a metal frame and will be available in Mellow Gold and Space Black variants. The device comes with Hi-fi music that offers a multidimensional listening experience. The COMIO C1 sports a 5-inch HD IPS display and 8-megapixel autofocus with flash rear camera with 5-megapixel selfie camera.All the three smartphones run on a Quad-core 64 bit Mediatek chipset, with 32GB internal memory and are 4G VoLTE enabled. The devices are also embedded with the Freezer and Clone Application. The Freezer app allows you to freeze as many applications as you wish without the worry of space constraints whereas the Clone app makes sure that all that data from your device is backed up at all times. COMIO smartphones also come with the anti-theft feature preloaded in all handsets. Other options include the lock and unlock feature, shutdown blocker, data back up, and SIM related functions.
Twitter Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Originally published Mar 25, 2019 9:26:00 PM, updated March 26 2019 Twitter is one of the most popular (and powerful) social media networks around, and businesses everywhere are smart to continue using and innovating on it.But how you use Twitter depends entirely on how its members use, follow, post, interact with, and hashtag the things they care about. Luckily, we curated some Twitter statistics to make your decision easier.Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.So, how are people using Twitter nowadays? How are businesses using Twitter? How does the network impact people’s purchasing decisions? How do promoted tweets boost offline sales, and how connected do people feel to a brand as a result of your Twitter presence?Twitter StatsCheck out some intriguing data about Twitter, below, and see for yourself. For more ideas on how and what to tweet — including 12 tweet templates to get you started — check out this blog post.Twitter User Statistics1. Twitter has 321 million monthly active users as of the end of 2018. (source: Twitter)2. 79% of Twitter’s monthly active users are outside the United States. (source: Twitter)3. 45% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 use Twitter. (source: Pew Research Center)4. 73% of Twitter users also use Instagram. (source: Pew Research Center)5. The number of U.S. adults who use Twitter has grown by roughly 10% since 2012. (source: Pew Research Center)6. Twitter is the second-most popular social network in the United Kingdom, reaching 60% of the U.K.’s internet audience. The most popular is Facebook, at 90%. (source: Ofcom)7. In Japan, Twitter Advertising reaches 38.6 million of Japanese citizens — the 9th-highest percentage reach of any other country on Twitter. (source: We Are Social)8. The Philippines has just under 3 million female Twitter users — the most of any other country. India has the most male users, at 5.9 million. (source: We Are Social)Twitter Followers Statistics9. Katy Perry is the world’s most followed Twitter account, at 107 million followers, followed by Justin Bieber and then Barack Obama. (source: We Are Social)10. The NBA and Google are the most followed non-media business accounts on Twitter. Their followers are 28 million and 21 million, respectively. (source: Friend or Follow)11. The most followed news account on Twitter is CNN Breaking News, at 55 million followers. (source: Friend or Follow)12. The most followed social media account on Twitter is YouTube, at 71 million followers. (source: Friend or Follow)13. The average Twitter account has 707 followers. (source: KickFactory)14. Netflix Brasil and Playstation Japan are the fastest-growing business accounts on Twitter, in terms of monthly follower increases. (source: SocialBakers)Twitter Usage Statistics15. The 😂 emoji is the most frequently used emoji on Twitter, having been used 2.3 billion times since 2013. Coming in 2nd is ❤️, followed by ♻️. (source: We Are Social)16. SimilarWeb ranks twitter.com the 7th most visited website in the world. (source: We Are Social)17. Twitter’s global average time per visit is just over 9 minutes. (source: We Are Social)18. As of 2018, some of the most popular Twitter hashtags included #crypto, #influencermarketing, #womenintech, #deeplearning, and #fridayfeeling. (source: HubSpot)19. Tweets that include hashtags can result in as much as a 1,065% increase in engagement compared to a similar tweet without hashtags. (source: HubSpot)20. Approximately 46% of Twitter users are on the platform every day. (source: Pew Research Center)21. In the U.K., the average time per visitor on Twitter is roughly 2 hours. (source: comScore)22. As of Q3 2018, engagement with paid Twitter Ads increased by 50% year over year. For advertisers, the cost per engagement decreased by 14% over the same time period. (source: Twitter)23. Twitter Ads are up to 11% better at mentally engaging with audiences during live events. (source: Twitter)
Rohit Sharma’s glorious show with the bat as an opener in Test cricket continued in the 1st innings for India as the flamboyant batsman added yet another feather to his already bulky cap after he came out to open on Day 1 of the 3rd Test against South Africa in Ranchi on Saturday.After launching Dane Piedt for a massive six-his third of the innings and 16th of the year-in the 43rd over of India’s 1st innings, Rohit Sharma surpassed England all-rounder Ben Stokes (15) to become the batsman to hit most number of sixes in 2019. Rohit had hit 13 sixes in the first Test match against South Africa in Visakhapatnam where in he hit twin hundreds.Inida vs South Africa, 3rd Test Day 1: Live updatesWith the majestic six against Dane Piedt, Rohit Sharma also went on to break the world record for the most number of sixes hit by a batsman in a Test series. Rohit (16) went past Shimron Hetmyer’s tally of 15 from West Indies’ series against Bangladesh in 2018-19. Notably, the Indian record was held by Harbhajan Singh (14) before Rohit went pasthe tally in Ranchi on Saturday.Incidentally, Rohit got to his 6th Test hundred with a six off Dane Piedt. He equalled MS Dhoni and MAK Pataudi on the list of Indians with 6 Test hundreds. Rohit also became only the 2nd India opener after Sunil Gavaskar to hit 3 or more hundreds in a Test series.Newly-promoted opener Rohit Sharma went on to put the pressure back on South AFrica after the early trouble on Day 1. This was Rohit’s 8th fifty-plus score in 9 innings at home but he had to work hard for this one. Rohit weathered the storm early on and cashed in on lose deliveries to get those crucial boundaries for India.advertisementEarlier, South Africa came out all guns blazing with pacer Kagiso Rabada leading the show in the morning session after losing the toss in Ranchi. Rabada struck early for the visitors by removing double centurion and opener Mayank Agarwal for 10. He then came up with a gem of a delivery to get Cheteshwar Pujara out for 0.After that, Virat Kohli was given out for 12 after the India captain was trapped in front in the 16th over on Day 1. Anrich Nortje got the ball to tail into Kohli after the India captain leaned forward with very little foot movement.Also Read | Virat Kohli’s DRS blunders: India captain has not got reviews right as Test batsman in 2 yearsAlso Read | Didn’t enjoy seeing that: Graeme Smith slams South Africa for using proxy captain at toss in RanchiAlso See:
Indian men’s star doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty continued their prolific run on Friday as they entered the semi-finals of the ongoing China Open upsetting World No. 3 pair of Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen.The Indian duo were at their absolute best as they defeated the former world champions 21-19, 21-15 in the quarter-final clash which lasted for 43 minutes at the Haixia Olympics Sports Center.In what was a rematch of the Thailand Open final, the Indian duo took a 3-0 lead in the first game and conceded it only once at 17-16. Both came out with amazing reflexes and they took the first game 21-19.The second game followed a similar script, with the Indians going one step further by staying ahead throughout the course of the game. The Chinese opponents did try to take the match into the decider by Satwik and Chirag applied an aggressive approach to win the game 21-15 to register their second straight win against their Chinese opponents.The World No. 9 Indian pair will now face top-ranked Indonesian pair of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon who defeated German double of Marks Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel 21-14, 21-19 to make it to the last four.Satwik and Chirag had earlier defeated the Japanese pair of Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe 21-18, 21-23, 21-11 in an intense second-round clash which lasted for 66 minutes. Before that, the Indian duo had triumphed the American pair of Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew 21-9 21-15.advertisementSatwik and Chirag are the lone Indians left in the fray in the ongoing tournament.Also Read | India’s singles campaign at China Open ends with Sai Praneeth’s exit
Happy New Year and thanks for reading the blog this year. Life is short, and if you’re taking precious time from your schedule to check the blog from time to time, I hope it’s been helpful to you. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see or know that’s not getting coverage here. I am always happy to hear from REAL readers. (Many of the comments I get are NOT from real readers — it’s amazing how many Viagra-peddlers and real estate agents like to comment about nonprofit marketing with helpful links to their products and services!). This has been an incredibly eventful year in politics and our economy – both of which will affect our work fundamentally in the year ahead. On a personal note, it’s also been an eventful year – I got engaged to be married, my older daughter hit the double digits in age, and I took on a new role at Network for Good (COO) that has been an exciting change. I have a feeling 2009 is going to be pretty interesting as a result of all of this.Whatever happens, we’ll be in it together. I look forward to finding my way through the excitement ahead right there with you. I’ve definitely learned more from all of you than I could ever reciprocate. Thanks for sharing your stories, your wisdom and your experiences. They hold lessons that I’ll be applying ever day in the New Year.
Think about how many times you check your email every day versus the number of times you elect to visit different companies’ or organizations’ websites.Email marketing can be an effective tool for nonprofits, but remember: it’s easy to talk only about ourselves or to treat our supporters like ATMs (which, by the way, they’re not so fond of) when reaching out is as easy as clicking “Send.”For better results — and happier donors — pay attention to these seven nonprofit email best practices for building relationships full of two-way communication:Avoid “spray and pray.” One of the beautiful features of email marketing is the ability to segment our audiences and target particular groups. Based on the information you collect from your subscribers over time, you can reach out to folks based on their geography, demographics, or even their response history. (For instance, you can send a message just to folks who have clicked through your email campaigns.) What better way to build a relationship than to make the email recipient feel as if you’re speaking directly to him or her? Talk about information other than “we need money.” We all have friends who are mooches: They’re the ones who never pick up the pizza tab, and you’ve come to associate their phone calls with outstretched palms. Use your email outreach to build a relationship that your subscribers view positively. Be sure to incorporate inspirational material, volunteer stories, opportunities to get involved and other compelling content that encourages supporters to look forward to your emails, rather than dread them or opt out of them. Send follow-up information. They say that communication is the key to any good relationship. Use your emails as an opportunity to continue or start a dialogue. Have you recently sent a donation appeal? Follow up with a status report. Thank supporters often. Share information about how their support is being used. Pass along a testimonial of someone your organization has helped thanks to the generous support of your donors. You’ve asked for action; your subscribers have taken it. Now it’s your turn to speak again and continue the conversation. Give your organization some personality. Email subscribers are in a great position to get to know the real “you”-as in who your organization is. When composing your email copy, think about the tone you’re using, the word choice and where the emphasis is being placed. Make sure it is in line with who you believe your organization truly is-that fun-loving volunteer coordinator, the serious social enterprise or the dedicated handy-man or -woman. Pick the right messenger. Next time you send an email, think beyond “From: Organization ABC, email@example.com.” Perhaps your next email is written from the perspective of a donor, a volunteer or even a dog. Create a feedback loop. Did you host a fundraising walk or gala recently? Was their a volunteer-interest meeting? Are you curious about how subscribers are enjoying your newsletters? Use email to receive feedback from your supporters. Set up a survey. Take an informal poll. Request that people email you or give you a call-depending on how many responses you anticipate. People want to know that they’re being heard, so be prepared to make some changes once you’ve asked for feedback! Lead subscribers back to your website. Include links in your emails that lead back to your organization’s website, social media profiles and upcoming events. When you get your supporters in the habit of visiting your site often, it will deepen the connection they feel with your organization. Plus, it’s a great way to test-drive new content. (For example, send people to your new blog or a page that contains starter text for supporters to post on their Facebook pages.)
Fundraising events offer nonprofits a unique opportunity to connect with supporters and potential donors.There are three reasons why this is so powerful:People are able to genuinely connect to one another.Fundraising events help encourage people to be kind and generous: they’re feeling good, having fun and surrounded by other people who are giving.Asking supporters to pledge their money and time face to face makes a bigger emotional impact and further strengthens their relationship with your organization.What better time is there to make your mission and work come to life?Terry Axelrod, founder of Benevon, says “Most nonprofits are not in the party planning business. They are in the business of serving people and making the world a better place.”With that in mind, here are three easy ways to bring your mission to life at your next event:Live testimonial. Who has your organization touched? What lives have you changed? Invite that person up to share his or her personal story! Keep in mind that this method is not reserved for human services organizations only. Say you’re an eco-conscious nonprofit who’s saved public lands from development: Invite a family who hikes there! And if you’re a health advocacy group? Introduce a child who now gets equal rights at her school, thanks to your legislation.Quick speech from leadership. Your Executive Director or CEO is the visionary leader of your organization for a reason. Where does his or her passion lie? What changes have previous supporters enabled? Where is your organization going in the next year and how will that affect those in attendance at your event?An invitation to “come back for seconds.” Take the opportunity to invite attendees to learn more. This step is your call to action for attendees! Have a board member invite attendees to take a tour of your nonprofit’s facilities. Provide your website address so people can learn more about next year’s plans and be sure to collect email addresses from your attendees so they can stay up to date on upcoming events.Not having an event? Not a problem! Look for opportunities to bring your mission to where your supporters are. You may have groups clamoring to do a volunteer project for the lunch service at your soup kitchen or distributing items to the elderly in your senior care center. Before you let them sign on the dotted line and pick a date, bring an orientation event to them at their office. This “event in a box” is a great opportunity to get the company on board with your mission and encourage them to build a lasting relationship instead of a one-day program.Need help managing your fundraising event tickets and attendees? Try Network for Good’s easy-to-use fundraising pages that allow you to create a customized event page, sell tickets, and ask for donations from those who can’t attend. It also lets you send and track emails and will automatically send thank you emails as well as emails your supporters can use for tax purposes. It’s a one-stop fundraising event management resource!