Cyber-dissident He Depu begins third year in prison

first_img News ChinaAsia – Pacific Reporters Without Borders today deplored the continued imprisonment of Chinese cyber-dissident He Depu, arrested at his Beijing home two years ago today (on 4 November 2002) for signing an open letter to the ruling Communist Party congress (which was posted on the Internet) calling for democratic reforms. Six other signatories were jailed in the weeks that followed.”Since this crackdown the regime has steadily increased its censorship of the Internet and stepped up pressure on Internet users,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.The seven arrested cyber-dissidents – who also included Zhao Changqing, Sang Jiancheng, Dai Xuezhong, Han Lifa, Jiang Lijun and Ouyang Yi – were among 192 dissidents who signed the letter on the eve of the 16th party congress. The activists regularly posted their ideas and opinions online.Their letter appealed for six reforms, among them political rehabilitation of the 1989 pro-democracy movement, the right of political exiles to return from abroad, the release of jailed political prisoners including Zhao Ziyang, ratification by the National People’s Congress (parliament) of the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights and the holding of free elections. He Depu, a member of the banned China Democracy Party and author of many online articles, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment on 6 November 2003. He reportedly suffers from high blood pressure which gives him headaches and dizziness. He is only allowed to exercise twice a week in the prison courtyard. His wife, Jia Jiangying, was able to visit him on 9 October 2004.Ouyang Yi, who set up a pro-democracy website in July 2002, was arrested on 4 December that year for the fifth time in six years and sentenced to two years in prison on 16 March 2004 for “inciting subversion.” He is due for release this December.Jiang Lijun, an energetic online democracy activist, was arrested on 6 November 2002 and given a four-year prison sentence on 4 November 2003.Sang Jiancheng, a retired manual worker, was arrested on 10 November 2002 for writing an online article denouncing corruption in the Communist Party and was jailed for three years on 6 January 2004.Zhao Changqing was arrested on 4 November 2002 for signing the letter to the party congress. He was elected to parliament in 1997 but was then arrested and jailed for three years for supposedly threatening national security. He was not released until 2001.Dai Xuezhong was arrested in mid-November 2002 for signing the letter. A member of the banned Shanghai Human Rights Association, he had previously been jailed for three years for his political activities.Han Lifa, a mechanic and longtime political activist, was arrested on 26 December 2002 for the same reason. He had previously been sentenced three times, twice to three years of “community work” and once to nine months in prison. He was freed in July 2001.62 people are in prison in China for setting up independent websites or for posting material online criticising the regime. News RSF_en Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes April 27, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders today deplored the continued imprisonment of Chinese cyber-dissident He Depu, arrested at his Beijing home two years ago today (on 4 November 2002) for signing an open letter to the ruling Communist Party congress (which was posted on the Internet) calling for democratic reforms. November 4, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Cyber-dissident He Depu begins third year in prison Receive email alerts ChinaAsia – Pacific News China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Organisation to go further Follow the news on China March 12, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures June 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

How to discover + define your brand values (and why it matters)

first_img“It’s the job of any business owner to be clear about the company’s non-negotiable core values. They’re the riverbanks that help guide us as we refine and improve on performance and excellence. A lack of riverbanks creates estuaries and cloudy waters that are confusing to navigate. I want a crystal-clear, swiftly flowing stream.” – Danny MeyerIt’s hard to believe that we’re already standing at the starting gates of Q2 for 2019, isn’t it? It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating 2018’s successes while setting our sights on the intentions of 2019. That means now is the perfect time to check in on the state of your state and evaluate where your brand is in real time. We can be all too guilty of waiting until the calendar year is over and looking back on what was and “problem-solving” after. How much more effective do you imagine your strategies would be if you shifted and course corrected when the moment was still ripe to effect change?One of our favorite ways to check in is by coming back to our core values and asking where we are as a brand and a team in relation to those values. Wrapping up the first quarter of the year is the perfect time to return to these values that essentially act as both a filter for your brand and as a system of accountability and alignment.If you don’t already have a set of clearly identified and uniquely defined values, now is the time to start getting clear. Here are some tips to get you started: Be who you are – When we talk about values, the MOST important factor is that they are authentic and real. This isn’t about declaring things that make us look good. Our values are about embodying the truth. You will feel it when you’ve got a value that is 100% true to your organization, and so will the people you’re here to empower. Forget about looking good – It can be tempting to make declarations of what you think your brand “should” be or what “looks” good. The pitfall here is that you can’t be held accountable and keep your word around something that isn’t authentic to you. “Integrity” might sound like something you SHOULD value, but maybe it’s not AS important to or true for your brand as “Creativity.” Remember that all the things you want to work towards improving can and should be alive in your strategies and goals. Define what they mean in your own words – Forming your own unique, brand-specific definitions of your values is what really activates them. You could compare five companies whom all have “creativity” in their Core Values, but it would represent something unique to each one. Using your own brand language to give life to these concepts is what moves them from the two-dimensional, into the three-dimensional world and makes them yours. Check in quarterly – Use your values as a way to check your alignment. The end of every quarter is the perfect time to look at what is and is not alive in your brand right now as it relates to the values you declare. Follow the path of your values back home when you get off track. Keep in mind that as your organization evolves, so too will your values. If something doesn’t resonate anymore, great! Change it up and get curious about what does. Your values should evolve and transform as your brand does. It’s a sign that you’re actively listening and committed to growth.So as Q1 comes to a close, take some time with your team to connect with your values and get clear on your goals and intentions as you move into Q2 informed and empowered.Need some core value ideas? Not sure where to begin? Get empowered here. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Hilary Reed Hilary Reed, founder of EmpowerFi, is an innovative thought-leader who has been involved in various aspects of strategic sales and marketing for 15 years. Her career began in 2000 when … Web: www.empowerfi.org Detailslast_img read more

Politicians unite in reverence for Diwali

first_img…even as quibble over ‘observance date’ persistsGuyana today joins scores of countries across the world to observe Deepavali or Diwali – a time when citizens across social, economic and the political strata join observance of the religious festival of ‘light over darkness.’Guyana’s two largest mass based political parties – on the occasion – were in sync with their messages, one articulating the belief “our diversity has worked and will continue to work to the country’s advantage”, while the other proclaiming occasions like Diwali continue to present the opportunity for all of our people to display to the world, as one nation, the beauty and uniqueness of our cultural, ethnic and religious diversity and tolerance.Diwali LampsThe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in its message to Guyanese for Diwali 2017 said “it is from this perspective that we continue to note the division which has recently erupted in respect of the date when we are to celebrate this great festival.”According to the Opposition People’s Progressive Party, “As we celebrate this most auspicious occasion of the Hindu calendar, we call on all Guyanese, in particular our Hindu brothers and sisters, to reflect upon the significance of this great festival and to inculcate its message into our daily lives, as we strive together, to remove the darkness of hate, discrimination and racism and replace them with the illumination of love, unity and brotherhood. “The party nonetheless is hopeful that in the near future, “these differences will be reconciled so that this pious occasion can continue to be observed in an atmosphere and environment which is devoid of any controversy and overwhelmed with divinity and mutual respect.”The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) in its Diwali 2017 used the occasion to remind that it has always been and will always remain respectful of Guyana’s cultural and religious diversity.According to the Party – constituting the largest faction of the coalition A Partnership for National Unity -“Our diversity is an asset not a liability… As we celebrate Diwali, the PNCR remains committed to ensuring unity in diversity so that our beloved country can experience real development and progress. Diwali is universally recognised as the Festival of Light, the triumph of knowledge over ignorance and the substitution of all that is negative with that which is positive.”Meanwhile, the Indian Action Committee (IAC) is also calling upon the various Hindu organisations to agree upon one date for Diwali in 2018.The IAC, in its message, calls upon all Guyanese to respect the sanctity of Diwali and engage in appropriate and fitting observances and activities.The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union in its Diwali message, also alluded to being aware of the current differences surrounding the actual dates for this year’s Diwali celebration, but do earnestly hope that this would not detract from full participation in the festivity nor will it serve in any way to obscure its enduring significance.last_img read more

Four sets of traffic lights for Old Town in next phase of Letterkenny roadworks

first_imgA one-way traffic system will be put into place on the Old Town Road of Letterkenny this Tuesday in the next phase of roadworks by Irish Water.Motorists will be facing more delays as four sets of traffic lights will be operating in the area around the Old Dunnes Stores due to restrictions.This next phase of Irish Water works will last for four weeks. The majority of the works, which are part of the Letterkenny Sewerage Scheme, will be carried out at the mini roundabout at the Old Dunnes.Traffic will be restricted to a one way system in that area and will be managed by four sets of traffic lights:1. Traffic lights on Pearse Road (to facilitate traffic coming from Pearse Road)2. Traffic Lights on Oldtown Road (to facilitate traffic coming from Glenties direction)3. Traffic lights in the area of Oldtown Bridge (to facilitate traffic coming from Oldtown/Rockhill)4. Traffic lights at Old Dunnes Stores (to facilitate traffic coming out of Dunnes Stores)Planned traffic management system for the second phase of Irish Water works at Old Town/Pearse Road LetterkennyGardaí issued a traffic notice to the public this week, adding that they will be assisting the Traffic Management Company with the traffic flow. Gardaí said: “Slight delays in traffic flow may be expected while these works are being carried out. Please obey all directions given by the Traffic Management staff and Gardaí.“The area will be monitored by Gardaí and any breaches of Road traffic legislation/non compliance with the traffic light system will be dealt with by Gardaí accordingly.” Four sets of traffic lights for Old Town in next phase of Letterkenny roadworks was last modified: August 8th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Irish WaterletterkennyOld Town Roadroadworkstraffic lightslast_img read more

6 Qualifications for an eCommerce Click and Mortar Business

first_img Originally published Jan 7, 2011 8:30:00 AM, updated August 09 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Ecommerce Marketing Transforming your brick and mortar store into a click and mortar business could be a very profitable and wise decision for your business in 2011.  The introduction of the internet and eCommerce has drastically affected the way our society shops, and thus the way businesses need to operate.  An online store can open up without ever having a physical location and pose a real threat to many traditional brick and mortar stores.  Should you turn your brick and mortar business into a click and mortar store to compete?A click and mortar is defined as “A type of business model that includes both online and offline operations, which typically include a website and a physical store.  A click-and-mortar company can offer customers the benefits of fast, online transactions or traditional, face-to-face service.”  Additional benefits of click and mortar stores are seen in increased distribution channels and a checkout clerk that never sleeps.  You can sell your products 24 hours a day and 7 days a week without ever paying a sales clerk to man the cash register.Download Now: Ecommerce Conversion Rate CalculatorYou should consider several qualifications before rushing into the online world of eCommerce: 1.  Have a Website / Willing to Pay Marketplace Fees   The most basic qualification of operating a click and mortar business is the presence of a website and a shopping cart.  If you do not have a website or a shopping cart, you should consider getting started selling online by selling through marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.  The only problem with marketplaces like eBay and Amazon are the fees associated with product listings and after purchase sales.  These fees can reach astronomical levels, leaving your ROI slaughtered.  You can avoid these fees by operating your own online store by establishing a website and shopping cart.  Make your online store found via organic search engine traffic through keyword strategies for eCommerce search engine optimization . 2.  Inventory / Willing to Drop Ship at Higher Rates   A valid concern for many businesses interested in getting into the eCommerce business is available inventory.  Selling online creates a potential problem of having your products unavailable offline.   The simple answer to this concern is to set limits to the number of items you allow to be sold online.  Almost all eCommerce solutions allow you to control the inventory of your products.  An alternate solution to controlling your product distribution is to find a drop shipper that ships products related to the ones you sale in your store.  The downside to drop shipping is the increase in price you will pay for both their inventory and shipping systems. 3.  Shipping Department / Willing to Drive to Post Office  Logistics of shipping and managing product distribution will be the first hurdle you will face when becoming a legit eCommerce business.  It is easy to handle 2 -3 orders a day, but what will you do when you get to 75 – 200 orders a day?  Shipping and logistics comes much more of a concern.  Thankfully, the increase in revenue created from 75 – 200 new orders every day will leave you with some extra money to hire a shipping manager to help process, pack and ship online orders. Most business just getting started will be fine without a shipping department and can either drive to the Post Office to ship online orders or schedule a shipping company to come and pickup packages from your place of business. 4.  Technology Resource / Willing to Learn.  An often overlooked piece to a successful online business is an employee that is technologically efficient.  This employee doesn’t have to be an eCommerce guru, but should be knowledgeable enough tell you the difference between Google Web and Google Product Search and how to get your website to show up on each.  Your technological resource should preferably have some background with eCommerce, know how to setup and operate an online shopping cart and understand how to send data feeds to marketplaces.  If you either do not have the capitol or availability of a technology efficient employee, then you need to have an eagerness to learn.  There are abundant resources available online and shopping carts such as Shopify that make it extremely easy to get started. 5.  Marketing Resource / Willing to Engage.   Online marketing for your eCommerce store and products should be a high priority for establishing a successful click and mortar store.  Just like your brick and mortar store, your online store needs advertisement in order to survive.  Thankfully inbound marketing for eCommerce is a very good solution for increasing both your store and products visibility online.  You should consider hiring an employee or intern that qualifies for what HubSpot Founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah refer to as a “Digital Native”.   These types of employees can have dramatic effects on your business and can really propel your profit growth.  If you do not have the capital or availability of a marketing resource, then you need have a willingness to engage in online marketing.  HubSpot offers a wide breadth of knowledge and resources to help you market your online and offline stores very effectively. 6.  Tenacity / Willing to Set Long Term Vision of Business Growth vs. Store Growth.  Launching a new online business is similar to opening a new brick and mortar business.  You will not achieve overnight success with your new online store.  You will not sell 100 products the first day of your store being live.  You may not sell 100 products within the first month of opening your online store.  But you will be successful if you have the tenacity to see the online business grow and succeed.  Like starting a new business, it takes time and effort to grow an online store to prosperity.  However, the prosperity of selling 100 products online a day in addition to your brick and mortar sales can be very lucrative and worthwhile.  Set a long-term vision for your business growth, not your store growth.  Selling just 1 product online a day, week or even month is helping your business grow.  Don’t forget that.last_img read more

Teaching Lawyers How to Tweet: Social Media Is Like Crossing the Street

first_img Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you run a bank, a boardroom, or a bordello. Take a moment to stop, look, and listen to your audience. That way, you won’t be left in the social media gutter with tire tracks on your BlackBerry and stains on your $700 suit. Jeff Cutler Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . But many of these firms are so paranoid and looking in one direction — following the cross-the-street analogy — that they get run down by the pedicab going in the opposite direction. They don’t see any other way of doing business or having conversations. . and how they can be used by anyone. I’m not advising (because I’m not qualified to dispense legal advice) that firms relinquish control. What I am saying — and what I told the dozens of attendees in our session — is that you can’t have an informed, intelligent discussion with your audience if you don’t listen to them first. understand the tools Essentially, social media is a communication form that puts control into the hands of everyone. And that’s not exactly the model through which many compliance-guided industries operate. For businesses like financial institutions, pharmaceutical firms, and law offices, keeping a tight leash on conversations is part of doing business. That’s why it’s so important for folks in these fields to The following is a guest post by social media My colleague, Sree Sreenivasan, gave a similar talk on May 10 in Boston, proving that it’s not just a fad. Knowing social media tools and how to use them is mainstream and in-demand. Originally published May 16, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 , and you can check out his other articles at It’s the first tenet of any conversation, whether it takes place over cocktails and stuffed mac & cheese or in the mahogany board room of some Fortune 100 company — or even over the tubes of the internet. Know your audience. Know how they communicate. Know how and where they get their information. And www.jeffcutler.com In mid-April, I found myself sitting on a panel presentation for the American Bar Association. The group was comprised of three lawyers and social media journalist Jeff Cutler — me. Our session, titled “Fad or Future: Social Media’s Place in Today’s Legal Profession,” was developed to give practicing lawyers a glimpse into how know what they’re already saying about your company and your industry By taking the time to research your audience — customers, clients, media — you’ll have a better handle on how to speak to them and with them when the opportunity arises. You won’t make the mistakes some consumer-facing companies make by giving too little credit to customers and too little attention to what those people say. [email protected] can be both a boon and a danger in their daily lives.  Topics: Social Media . Jeff can be reached via email atlast_img read more

Twitter To Start Displaying Promoted Tweets in User Streams

first_img In an help accomplish your specific business goal Social networks are growing up. Advertising is clearly only going to expand on social media services. As a marketer, it is critical to interview with TechCrunch test emgering advertising opportunities Bain goes on to explain that, while traditional online display ads only get a click-through rate of around .05 percent, Promoted Tweets are seeing engagement in the double digit percentages. The program is launching with companies like Dell, HBO, Red Bull, and Sephora. However, an ad will only appear to a user if he or she is already following the account that purchased the ad.  These Promoted Tweets will appear at the top of a user’s feed on Twitter.com, but as the user gets new tweets, it will be pushed down the page, just like other tweets. to understand how they work to Originally published Jul 28, 2011 5:35:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Twitter has stated previously that it plans to launch a self-service version of its Promoted Tweets platform to small businesses by the end of the year. , Twitter’s Head of Global Revenue Adam Bain shared a couple of interesting insights about Twitter’s Promoted Tweets. Twitter Updates Bain said, “We’ve found that 20 to 40 percent of users follow one or more brands on Twitter,” he explains, noting that this is extremely important. (The stat is based on third-party research and is so wide because the definition of “brand” varies.) He continues, “Users want to be updated when brands have updates or exclusive content. The one problem we’ve heard from users is that when there is exclusive content or deals, there’s a chance they might miss them.” Twitter announced today that users can expect to start seeing advertisements in their main stream of tweets from Twitter’s Promoted Tweets advertising platform. Most Twitter users knew it was only a matter of time before ads came to their main stream of tweets. Twitter has already been testing these ads with third-party clients like Hootsuite. . Keep an eye out for Twitter’s release of its self-service platform later this year. Only time will tell how users will embrace this new type of advertising on Twitter. What is your opinion on advertisements coming to your main Twitter stream? Marketing Takeaway Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Ready to Play Some Business Babble Bingo? [Free Customizable Bingo Cards]

first_img Topics: Originally published Jun 7, 2013 4:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 You know the best part of a meeting?When it ends.If it’s dragging on, and walking out mid-meeting is too brazen for your taste (fair), how about a covert game of Business Babble Bingo to keep your attention? You can make it look like you’re taking notes. It’s foolproof.I grabbed my fellow business-babble-averse co-worker Shannon Johnson, and hammered out a list of the 85 most egregious business babble buzzwords. Then I created some Bingo cards — available for you to print out or just save to your desktop — in this form-free, downloadable PowerPoint. Here’s a preview of one of the filled-in cards for you:You can also customize the cards to include your own Bingo words. So if your boss has a turn of phrase that really grinds your gears, feel free to add it into your cards before you start playing. I’ll leave it up to you how strict you want to be with the exact phrases — for instance I, personally, would accept “synergistic” just as easily as “synergy.” But your call.P.S. If you’re running the meetings, and you notice the Bingo cards popping out, you might have a meeting-crisis on your hands. Check out this blog post on how to run a more efficient, more useful marketing meeting.What’s your most reviled business babble word or phrase? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketing Resourceslast_img read more

5 Branding Tips for Your Next Nonprofit Fundraising Campaign

first_img Nonprofit Marketing Originally published Jan 10, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: 2) Use a consistent mission and messaging strategy. Don’t think you can tell people your mission or purpose too many times. Similarly, using consistent messaging on your campaign materials is also very important.The BmoreGivesMore campaign mission was repeatedly shared over and over again: to “create a culture of contribution” on its website, social media channels, and media outreach.Plain and simple: Having a consistent, thorough message to communicate with your audience is important. 3) Make sure everyone in your organization knows your brand and vision.Make sure everyone who is involved in your campaign knows the messaging and/or mission in and out so they are able to capably talk about and share it.Creating a brand and voice guide prior to an event or for your organization, in general, and providing it to current and new staff members and volunteers is a premier way to create a consistent message internally.4) Incorporate and promote a campaign hashtag.Hashtags are a great way to associate your brand with a conversation on social media. In the case of BmoreGivesMore, three different hashtags were used on Giving Tuesday — #BmoreGivesMore, #MostGenerousCityInTheUSA, and #GivingTuesday — which trended nationally on the day of the event.This helped GiveCorps create its own branded conversation in the city of Baltimore as well as join the larger conversation around Giving Tuesday.Associating a hashtag with your fundraising campaigns is also really helpful if you’re trying to encourage social media sharing and activity. Keep it short and easy to remember, and put it on all of your marketing materials. The BmoreGivesMore campaign included the #GivingTuesday hashtag in its logo.5) Think about your partners’ brands.Aligning your organization with companies or other nonprofits with similar brands and visions is really important when putting on a giving day.For example, BmoreGivesMore partnered with 300 nonprofits, 200 companies, and a number of universities in Baltimore that all had a common desire to give back on Giving Tuesday.If you can align yourself with organizations that have the same vision as you, you can really amplify your impact. The folks behind BmoreGivesMore used their partnerships to help smaller, local organizations amplify their efforts on Giving Tuesday through their network of partners. How are you working to brand your nonprofit for your next campaign? Got any specific techniques? Share them below!center_img Having a brand may be typically associated with for-profit companies, but that doesn’t mean it’s not imperative for nonprofits to establish their own unique brands. Having a brand is a very real and important aspect of an organization’s work that must be established from the very beginning (or reworked to fit the mission and vision of the organization).Branding is also vital when your organization is launching specific fundraising campaigns, events, projects, or programs. An excellent example of a nonprofit with a well-known brand that helped one of its major campaigns is GiveCorps, which recently had a Giving Tuesday campaign called BmoreGivesMore.The consistency of the branding for GiveCorps proved to substantially aid its messaging and helped form strategic partnerships with like brands. The end result of these efforts? Well, the organization raised $5.7M in one day (yep, one day).Let’s break down the organization to see exactly who they are and what has made them such a success — including its branding techniques.How did BmoreGivesMore start?GiveCorps, an online fundraising platform located in Baltimore, offers traditional fundraising tools and a virtual Giving Jar that allows individuals to save money and elect to donate their savings to a cause of their choice. The organization participated in the first year of Giving Tuesday back in 2012. This past December, GiveCorps saw a bigger opportunity to involve the entire city of Baltimore to bring awareness not only to Giving Tuesday, but also to give back to the city and community around them.So, in early summer 2013, GiveCorps reached out to partners and philanthropists who were interested in getting involved in some way for Giving Tuesday and its BmoreGivesMore campaign.Its founding partners included not only nonprofits, like The United Way of Central Maryland, Baltimore Community Foundation, and The Business Volunteers of Maryland, but also local universities, including Towson University, UMBC, and the University of Maryland. Even the mayor’s office got involved.With the collaboration of the GiveCorps team and its partners, the BmoreGivesMore campaign for 2013’s Giving Tuesday was created and a plan to develop a “culture of contribution” in the city of Baltimore was announced.5 Branding Lessons From BmoreGivesMore There are many things to learn from this 24-hour BmoreGivesMore campaign, but its branding strategy really stood out from a marketing perspective.So, let’s take a look at these five techniques GiveCorps implemented that your nonprofit should keep in mind and apply to your next campaign — especially if it’s a giving day.1) Use your logo and color scheme across all marketing channels.Having your logo and brand colors consistent on all marketing materials and channels is key.For the BmoreGivesMore campaign, GiveCorps kept its branding and logo consistent on its website, social media channels (including Twitter and Facebook), T-shirts, and infographics. Further, the organization used its brand colors in its Facebook graphics during the campaign to show the progress of its fundraising.Think about how you can brand your collateral, including newsletters, brochures, flyers, and emails — and your online marketing efforts, of course — with your brand colors and logo.  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Should Marketing Consultants Practice What They Preach?

first_img Topics: Originally published Mar 24, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Marketing consultants are a hot commodity. They can cost upwards of two hundred dollars an hour and they are responsible for driving your business success. Yet, hiring a stellar consultant is hard to do. Do you look for an experienced practitioner or an educated speaker? A doer or a teacher?In a nutshell, the role of a marketing consultant is twofold; they are an advisor and a service provider. Therefore, it is crucial to look for someone who possesses both soft skills and solid experience. An eloquent, confident voice cannot mask a lack of street smarts. And a soft-spoken approach cannot convey authority. One of these skills can be taught. One is only learned through practice in the field.The Importance of CommunicationThere is no doubt that marketing consultants, or any consultants for that matter, need to be good communicators, skilled listeners, and articulate conversationalists. Their job is easier if they are able to build an amicable relationship with their customers while also maintaining a high degree of professionalism. However, a great consultant does more than simply lecture — they are also attuned to the needs of others because they listen and ask the right questions.Can it be taught? Yes.Effective communication skills can be learned in a variety of ways. For example, universities offer communication courses tailored for leadership, international business, and content creation. You can also take improv workshops, join your local Toastmasters chapter, or job shadow someone in a customer-facing role.The point is, some soft skills (like the ones listed above) can absolutely be developed. Others cannot. Great marketing consultants need to be fiercely passionate, undoubtedly credible, and possess a razor-sharp mind that solves creatively for each customer instead of employing a cookie-cutter approach.And these things only come with good old hands-on experience.The Necessity of ExperienceConsultancy is essentially the process of giving advice to clients based on the consultant’s practical experience. When you bring someone on board to provide insight to your marketing team, take a hard look at your consultant’s portfolio of work. How much marketing/business experience do they have? What types of projects have they initiated or led in the past? Do they actively participate in the inbound marketing community?In other words, does the seller actually believe in the product they are selling?Can it be taught? No.Business wisdom and acumen only come with time and practice. Marketing is a unique industry. Although you can learn marketing theories from textbooks, you cannot become proficient without participation in the field. As Seth Godin says, “If you want to learn to do marketing, then do marketing.”The Best Consultants Lead by ExampleHiring marketing consultants is a significant business decision and it’s vital to remember the duality of their role as both an advisor and a service provider. They will need to act as a coach and command the attention of your team, so communication skills are important. Conversely, they will also need to solve innovatively for the unique challenges your company faces and sometimes step in to show you how it’s done.In the hunt for rockstar consultants, pay attention to a person’s soft skills, but don’t fail to do a proper background check. Remember, you’re hiring a role model.You may have heard of an infamous quote that goes something like this, “Those who cannot do, teach.” This is the wrong approach to take when choosing a marketing consultant. If I were to rewrite this quote it would go, “Those who do first, teach better.”How to Consult by ExampleOne of the biggest risks a marketing consultant faces is falling out of touch with trends because the marketing industry changes rapidly, and consultants spend more time on the sidelines. How can consultants continue to practice when their main responsibility is to consult? How do they prevent their skills and business sense from going stale?Here are some strategies to stay current and sharp while still acting first and foremost as a consultant.Demonstrate vs. LectureSomewhere along the consultancy road, people can fall into the habit of lecturing at clients instead of working with them. A mutually beneficial consultant-customer relationship should be a combination of teaching and demonstrating. Think more along the lines of, “Let me tell you, let me show you, now you try, then I’ll review.”Read and WriteThe internet is full of content and information. As simple as it sounds, reading blogs, news, and trend reports can help marketing consultants stay in the loop. In addition, providing insightful commentary on personal blogs will help them practice their written and analytical skills.Fluid Creativity vs. Rigid MethodologyWhile it’s imperative for marketing consultants to have an organized approach to their consulting, avoid the pitfall of an overly rigid methodology. Each client is unique and therefore, consultants should use creativity to solve for them instead of regurgitating tired strategies. This innovative mindset will force consultants to think differently and keep those brains keen as can be.It’s All About PassionChoosing marketing consultants can be a tall task because you must learn to balance communication prowess with practical, real-life experience and find the perfect combination for your team. Naturally, however, as consultants spend more time consulting, their communication skills improve while their experience erodes — unless they stay involved in marketing. And remaining an active marketer is not as hard as it seems. All you need is passion for your profession, because passion equals energy.So, should marketing consultants practice what they preach? Absolutely. But what do you think — what do you look for when hiring a marketing consultant? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Freelancinglast_img read more