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5 Great marketing practices

Whether you are starting a new business or want to expand an already thriving one into new markets, you will need an effective marketing strategy. And with so many ways to get the word out on who you are and what you do, you don't need to try to come up with flashy ideas or gimmicky stunts. In fact, sometimes tried and true methods are the best ways to build brand recognition.

Here are seven effective marketing strategies to help you expand your business in 2020.

1. Know Your Audience

One of the critical factors in deciding how to create effective marketing strategies is to know who you are targeting. Every demographic is going to need a different approach. For example, you wouldn't try to build a better relationship with Boomers on TikTok any more than you would try to reach Millenials with an ad in the local newspaper.

2. Set Your Goals and Budget

These two things go hand in hand, and it is essential to make sure they are both realistic. Sure, it may be tempting to set the goals super high, but there is very little chance of you meeting them unless you have a budget to match. It is also important to allocate how much goes where.

Don't just say there are XXX dollars for marketing. Sit down and decide how much you will spend on Google Ads and various social media platforms. That way, you can keep an eye on spending and adjust each quarter accordingly.

3. Use Social Media To Your Advantage

Understanding how to use social media to reach your target audience is paramount. However, not every social media channel will work best for your company. So, figuring out how to use social media and tailor your campaigns to your demographic will be one of the most effective strategies you will have.

4. Remember That Content Is King

You can have a huge budget and have created the perfect target audience template. However, if you don't have great content, you aren't going to get anywhere. You need to speak to your audience in a way that resonates with them.

So, make sure you have great content and graphics people on staff who know your voice and message. This is how you will make sure they keep everything on-brand.

5. Blog Like Your Life Depends On It

Blogging can be a great way to keep your audience up to date on all the latest news from your company, on top of any new projects or products you will have coming out soon. It is also a great way to expand on any social media posts.

However, most importantly, it is a great way to showcase your expertise in your field. If done well, blogging can be a great way to engage with your customers on a deeper level.

Building Effective Marketing Strategies

It is not only important to have effective marketing strategies from the start of your business, but you also need to revisit them from time to time and update them as technology advances. That way, you stay up with all the trends on how to reach your audience.

For more ideas on how to market your new business or help you plan a great event check out our blog.

B2B predictions 2020

Knowing how to create impactful B2B marketing materials can be tricky. Not only do you have to approach potential customers like traditional consumers, but you also have to give them insights on how your product will help them grow and sustain their business. How do you reach out and make sure your company is seen by the right people and inspire them to choose you rather than your competitors?

Here are some B2B marketing trends to help you take your campaigns to the next level in 2020.

Research

The world of B2B products is constantly changing. That is why it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing what is going out and what is coming in, especially when it comes to knowing what people want.

It is essential to make sure you do market research often. This helps know your clients and target audience better and understand how the market changes, what advances are made to get your message out, and what products perform the best. That way, you will know which B2B marketing trends to follow and implement and which ones you can ignore.

And market research isn't just a do it once and call it a day type of thing. It is vital to any business, but especially to B2B, to do research every so often to make sure things are working the way the marketing team needs them to work.

Update Your Website

This one should be a no-brainer. If your website is slow, overly cluttered, or, god forbid, not UX optimized, all of the great marketing campaigns in the world won't help drive sales up. How many times have you heard "time is money"? If people spend too long trying to find the product they are looking for or the information they need on your site, they will generally get frustrated and move on.

If it has been a while since you have updated your website, you should do it. Just remember to keep it user-friendly and full of SEO friendly content. Speaking of which...

Create Great SEO Content

It doesn't matter how great your product is. If your target audience can't find you, they won't use your company. The best way to make sure people can find you is by getting your SEO right.

There are two main aspects of SEO, onsite and offsite. Onsite SEO consists of using target keywords to communicate what services you offer to your customers. These keywords help search engines know what your site is about and then list you in relevant searches.

Offsite SEO is when other sites link back to your site. This also helps search engines recognize your field expertise and place you higher in their search results.

Ideally, both should work together to get your page noticed. This will ensure you are on the first few pages when people search for terms related to you and your product.

Social Media

Having an active and relevant social media presence is a key factor in how successful a company will be. It can be a great way to boost your SEO rankings potentially; yes, search engines also consider social media and attract more buyers.

Not only are more and more people following brands they like on social media, but they are also engaging with them on these platforms as well. That means people are looking to things like Facebook and Twitter to gain information about product launches, what other people are saying, and how the brand performs.

Plus, you can gauge what consumers are saying about your products by regularly monitoring your social media channels. So, think of it as constant, low cost, supplemental information for your market research.

Paid Advertisements

Whether with industry-related publications and websites, social media sites, or even on Google with ad words, paid advertising can still be a powerful tool for attracting new customers or retargeting old ones. But it isn't just about getting views or people to click through to your website.

Paid advertising can also help establish you as an expert in a given field. As people download marketing materials or white papers or even look through old blog posts, your analytics will register it and use this information to help your rankings on various search engines.

However, it is important to remember, while paid ads on Facebook or Instagram can be great, it is generally a better idea to use industry-focused social media platforms like LinkedIn to target specific fields and audiences directly. Plus, they tend to cost less than Facebook or AdWords and have a higher ROI for downloads and clickthroughs since they are geared toward businesses and industry insiders.

Use Analytics To Your Advantage

This is what lets you know what is working and what isn't. Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for measuring visitors to your site, how they got there, and who long they spent on each page. MOZ and Hootsuite can also help boost your ratings and understand what is performing well on social media channels.

These insights will help you and your marketing team when it comes to creating great content that is going to resonate with current and potential customers. So, it would help if you were doing quarterly analytics audits at the very least to see what is going well and what you could be doing better.

How to Find the Best B2B Marketing Trends

There are many great tools and ideas out there to help you find B2B marketing trends that will work for you and your company. All you have to do is make sure your content gets to those who need to see it most.

For ideas on how to run a great digital campaign, check out our blog on that. It will help you create and execute a great campaign to generate leads.

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Why you should consider using localization services

Trying to connect to consumers in this modern age of technology is easier than ever. With so much digital and easy to share content, brands need to make sure their content reaches all of their potential customers, no matter where they are. That is why localization services are so important.

Thanks to translation programs like Google translate and countless others, you may be asking yourself, "why do I need to shell out for a localization team"? However, localization is more than just about translating the words, as it turns out.

Let's take a look at seven reasons you should hire a localization team for your digital content.

What Are Localization Services?

Localization services translate content. It is more than a translation service, like, say, Google translate. It takes things like slang, grammar, sentence structure, and regional differences into account. This means they will translate any content you give them for a specific market.

For example, if the Central American market interests you, you would want to hire localization teams from all five countries to ensure your content speaks to the target audience in each of those countries. Or, if you are, say, a French company looking to break into the American market, you should consider different localization for each region in the US, as each has its own slang.

So, let's look at some of the reasons why you should consider hiring localization services.

1. It Helps Brands Look Consumer-Focused

When your company is willing to spend time and money on localization and getting the content out in as many languages as possible, it makes it look like you are eager to put the consumer's needs first.

But, it isn't just about getting the content translated. It is also about taking environmental factors into account. It is about knowing not to promote summer clothing to Australians in July or cute sundresses to Russians in January.

2. It Encourages Engagement

If more people can read and understand your social media posts, they are more likely to comment, share, like, and subscribe. This is even more likely if your posts display a certain amount of cultural sensitivity.

Many big-name brands have created some pretty big (and humorous gaffs) localization mistakes, with Pepsi being one of the most famous. In the 60s, the soda created the tagline "Come alive with Pepsi," which translated into Chinese as "bring your ancestors back to life." And while yes, mistakes like that will be shared across the internet, it won't be for reasons you want.

3. It Can Help Test Certain Markets

If you are thinking about expanding into markets beyond your home one, offering geo-targeted ads can be a great way to test the waters. By localizing your content, you get the most out of these ads. After all, if you are going through all the trouble of creating a great social media campaign for potential customers in another part of the world, why wouldn't you also take the time to make sure it is culturally and linguistically perfect?

4. Your Brand Looks Culturally Sensitive

This one ties in with #1 a bit while being so much more. It goes beyond making sure you understand the difference between which products to offer to northern and southern hemisphere consumers.

It means understanding that not all color schemes will work for every country and every culture. There might be times when using red would be appropriate for a Western audience but not quite what you are going for, say, a Middle Eastern one. This is when localization services can help you send the right psychological message and the verbal one.

5. Increased Revenue

By limiting your content to one language, you miss out on many potential customers. For example, if your primary language is English, you only reach about 1/4 of the people on the internet. That is a lot of people who could be using your product but aren't.

So, even if you localize your website, mobile site, and a few social media posts into Chinese, you reach over one billion more people. If you add Spanish, you are looking at another half a billion. Some of them are bound to translate into increased profits.

6. Cost-Effective

Like with any new service you are offering, getting it right the first time costs less in the long run. Sure, hiring a localization team may initially cost a little more, but you save money when you factor in revenue gains and lack of pr mishaps. So, even if it means taking a little more time to prepare a great localized campaign, the rewards you will gain from having more quality time in the market will outweigh any you see by a rushed launch.

7. Better Ad Performance

It turns out that ads targeting local audiences perform better than global ones, making a certain amount of sense. When localized ads share cultural references that might otherwise get lost in translation and help people feel connected to the product or service. Plus, people are far more likely to share content with which they feel connected. 

And, as we all know, when ads perform better, profits tend to rise as well.

A Few Last Thoughts

These are just a few suggestions on why localization is so important. Just make sure to shop around to find a company that provides the localization services you need.

We offer plenty of different services in several various industries. Get in touch today to get a quote and see what our localization services can do for you and your business!

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Five traits of a successful entrepreneur.

The term "entrepreneur" is thrown around a lot these days. But what does it mean exactly, and how do you know if you are one? Is it just being a self-starter with the desire to start a new business, or is it something more?

It turns out there are many qualities these self-starters share, and you can learn from them. Because, believe it or not, everything on this list is something that anyone can develop.

Let's look at the five traits of successful entrepreneurs and how they help people go into business for themselves.

Passion Drives Them

This one is a given, or at least it should be. Part of what makes entrepreneurs successful is how strongly they believe in and love what they are doing. It is hard to stay motivated about something you are "meh" about.

Starting a new business takes a lot of time and energy. There will be long hours setting up a marketing plan or solving those minor issues every start-up faces. Without passion, all the work and time needed to create a successful business will seem like a chore instead of an invigorating experience.

Plus, as we all know, when something you are passionate about succeeds, the feeling you get is better than any financial gain. Because it isn't about the money, it is about breathing life into something they believe in with their whole heart.

Creativity Courses Through Their Veins

Entrepreneurs tend to see the possibilities all around them. They are natural-born problem solvers. They look at everyday objects and see ways to repurpose them as marketing tools to help businesses grow or assist exciting industries.

They are not afraid of asking "what if" and shun away from the "that is how it has always been done" mentality. They dream big and can make those dreams a reality.

Plus, thanks to their creativity, they can often pull brilliant ideas out of nowhere and come up with more than just quick fixes. You can tell who is an entrepreneur at heart, even in big companies. Look for the person coming up with ideas to simplify the workflow, help productivity, and increase the bottom line with ingenuity.

Determination Is Their Middle Name

One of the essential traits of successful entrepreneurs is that they don't believe anything is impossible. Even if they have to create every tool needed to get something done, they are more than willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

More importantly, people with entrepreneurial spirits aren't afraid to fail. It tends to make them even more passionate about what they are trying to do and their vision.

For them, failure is one step closer to success. They learn from what went wrong, head back to the drawing board, and get back to work. They aren't afraid of tinkering with things to get the results they want; after all, it is part of the process.

They Look On The Brightside

It is easy to get discouraged when things don't get off the ground as quickly as you would like when you start your own business. It is easy to get frustrated when you put in a lot of work to build your dreams and throw in the towel when things don't go exactly as planned. Instead of wallowing these feelings, successful entrepreneurs realize this is part of the process and try to figure out ways to turn it around.

Being optimistic that your ideas are excellent and worth exploring encourages action and keeps you from becoming stuck and inactive. It also helps you be persistent when you have a difficult task ahead of you.

Psychology Today's website examined why optimism helps entrepreneurs succeed when the odds seem stacked against them. They found that optimistic people tended to be more creative, determined, and resilient when dealing with setbacks instead of just believing everything will work out for the best. They also found that even when faced with the statistics, those who were optimistic to a fault thought their ideas were going to succeed more often than not.

This proves the adage that if you believe it, you can achieve it.

They Take Risks

Going into business for yourself is a risky undertaking. And while it is okay to be a little scared, genuinely successful small business owners aren't willing to let a little fear stand in their way.

Instead of letting fear keep them stuck, they look at it as just one more thing on the path to success. If they can conquer their fear and take the leap, they have already overcome the first obstacle standing in their way, their self-doubt.

Once again, it boils down to optimism and perception. Instead of seeing the challenges and risks, they see opportunities and potential. They see the rewards waiting for them, not just the hurdles along the way.

Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

The five traits listed here barely scratch the surface of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. We could have added dozens of other: excellent communication skills, quirky personalities, strong work ethic, etc. However, one thing is certain at the core of what makes them successful is a strong and underlying belief they will be.

If you think you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, get in touch with us about starting your own cleaning service franchise today.

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10 holiday classics

Admit it, one of the best things about the Holiday Season is having an excuse to watch all of your favorite Christmas movies without needing to justify it. Don't worry. We have you covered. Here are 10 of the best Christmas movies of all time.

1. Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)

While this film about the lives of a middle-class St. Louis family isn't technically just about Christmas, it is where we get one of the most iconic Christmas carols of all time. If watching Judy Garland sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" to Margaret O'Brien doesn't get you in the holiday spirit, there may be no hope for your Grinch heart.

2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

There's no way this animated version of the Dr Seuss story wouldn't be on this list. After all, nothing beats hearing Boris Karlov narrate the story and voice the Grinch.

3. Scrooged (1988)

In this remake of "A Christmas Carol," Bill Murry plays a complete jerk of a TV executive. It is funny, dark, and with plenty of questionably violent slapstick humor. And even though it is 30 years old, Murry's character at the start feels contemporary.

4. Christmas In Connecticut (1945)

Barbara Stanwyck plays a food columnist who bills herself as a farm dwelling housewife with a baby despite being a single woman in New York and unable to cook herself. When her publisher demands she and her "husband" host a sailor, played by Dennis Morgan, who has just returned from the war at their farm, all sorts of zany hijinx ensue.

5. Love Actually (2003)

While it may have gotten a little flack in recent years due to the cue card scene, among others, it is still a powerhouse of an ensemble holiday film. Thanks to heartbreaking performances by the late, great Alan Rickman and the ever-perfect Emma Thompson, this modern holiday staple isn't as sweet as you think it is. Plus, it is a great watch as you make Christmas cards for your friends and family

6. Joyeux Noël (2005)

This multi-language film is based on the real-life story of the Christmas day cease-fire in WWI. In December 1914, many soldiers laid down their weapons and turned the German front into a noman's land and had themselves one heck of a Christmas party.

7. Black Christmas (1974)

This is one for your horror obsessed friends and cousins. Directed by Bob Clark of "A Christmas Story" fame, this slasher film, set at a sorority Christmas party, paved the way for films like "Halloween" and "Friday 13th".

8. Miracle On 34th Street (1947)

This is one of those films which seems to always be on from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and with good reason. We get to watch as Natalie Wood sheds her skepticism and learns to believe in magic, thanks to Edwin Gwynn as Kris Kringle. It seems like the filmmakers were responding to "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus."

9. A Christmas Carol (1951)

We could have picked any number of adaptations of this holiday favorite. However, we decided to go with the black and white Alistar Simms lead film because it brilliantly captures Dickens' story's spirit.

10. It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

No list of the best Christmas movies of all time would be complete without this masterpiece on it. Dealing with the very real maudlin self-reflection that many people face during the holiday season offers a surprising and realistic look into how depressing the holidays can be for some, despite the happy-ish ending.

A Smorgasbord Of The Best Christmas Movies

This list of the best Christmas movies has a little something for everyone. After all, isn't that what the holiday season is all about? Bringing people together and making sure no one is left out?

For more listicles about all your favorite holiday-inspired films, why not check out the rest of our blog?

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How to throw a deliciously wicked cocktail party

Are you looking to host a great networking event? Or maybe you want to do something for a special occasion beyond just another dinner party? Why not throw a cocktail party?

Admit it; you love the idea of a cocktail party. They seem so sophisticated and delightfully retro. And while it is true that cocktail parties had a brief dip in popularity in recent years, they are back in a big way.

But how does one go about throwing a cocktail party? Thankfully, they are easy to plan, fun to attend, and a great way to bring coworkers, friends, and family together.

The Basics Of Your Cocktail Party

So, when you decide to throw a cocktail party, there are some things you need to figure out fairly early on in the planning process.

  1. How many people will be on the guest list?
  2. Is it a work thing, a friend thing, both?
  3. How formal is the dress code going to be? Is it going to be casual, or will cocktail attire be required?
  4. Will it be themed or just a full bar?
  5. Is it going to be indoor or outdoor? And if it is outdoor, is there a plan in case it rains?
  6. How much and what kind of food will be served?
  7. How much money is in the budget?

Now, ideally, the guest list should be small but not too small. The magic number is between 8-15. It is also good to invite people from several different sectors of your life to get to know each other. So, a handful of your closest friends, a smattering of coworkers, plus a cool cousin or two should do the trick nicely.

The Food

While it is essential to have some tasty treats to snack on, the show's real star is, of course, the drinks. So, plan out some hors d'oeuvres and other finger food for guests to graze on. And if you don't want to get too fancy or deal with too much food prep, a simple cheese platter with some crackers, fruit, and a little cured meat will be more than enough.

The Drinks

Now, even if you will have a fun themed event, it is vital to have the makings for at least a few classic cocktails beyond a rum and coke. Also, make sure you have some beer and wine on hand if folks aren't in the mood for hard liquor. And don't forget the makings for alcohol-free drinks, other than soda and water, for those driving.

A few more things to remember if you are going to have a theme around your drinks, make sure you limit your menu to two or three drinks. Also, make sure you are comfortable mixing them by having a few practice runs leading up to the big event. That way, you don't have to keep checking the recipe and will look suave and assured in your mixology skills.

Or, you could premix your drinks, pour them into classy pitchers, have plenty of garnishes and ice available and where guests have easy access and let them serve themselves. However, if you are going to do it this way, you should remember to check the drinks, extras, and ice levels every often to make sure you aren't running low. Also, have enough for about three drinks per person to be safe.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help

Unless you are the ultimate host or hostess, you will need some help, especially if you want to socialize a little too. It is ok to ask friends and family to help with food or make drinks. You can even take turns, so everyone has a chance to mingle with guests and get to know everyone (if they don't know everyone already).

The point of having a cocktail party is to have a relaxed, mellow get together, where everyone has the chance to circulate a little, talk with folks, and have an excellent time. This includes the host or hostess.

So, if you don't want to do it all yourself, and for some reason, none of your friends or family want to help out, you might want to consider hiring someone for the evening to help out. There are plenty of college students who are more than happy to serve drinks for a couple of $20s and some free food. Or, if you want to be fancy, hire a bartending service for the night.

Some Final Thoughts on Making It Perfect

First of all, don't let the stress get to you. It is natural to feel a little stressed out when hosting a party, but don't let it stress you out so much you can't enjoy the party and hanging out with your friends and watching them meet and mingle.

You can manage the stress and worry by making sure you are prepared for the night. This means getting the invitations early enough for people not to have anything else planned for that night but not so early they forget about it. 2-3 weeks is good most of the year and at least a month during the holiday season.

Next, make sure you have all the essential bar tools. This means ice buckets, a cocktail shaker, spoon, strainer, a zester, a knife for adding that perfect twist, and a couple of jiggers to measure the booze. Also, make sure you have plenty of cocktail napkins, glasses, and little plates.

And most importantly, make sure you have enough alcohol for the entire cocktail party. Plan on 50-75% of the people you invited showing up and figure that most will want 2-4 drinks. Use these numbers to figure out how many bottles to buy.

Finally, have fun.

For more helpful tips on how to entertain like a pro, check out our blog. It is full of great advice on throwing a great dinner party and so much more.

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Innovative countries with great tech

Leading the world in technology advancement and innovation is one way countries can measure its importance on the economic and political stage. These merging technologies help improve the people's lives within the country, but they can also help strengthen their defense against outside threats. But which countries lead the way when it comes to how strong their technology sector is?

Here are some of the countries that lead the world regarding technological advances and what they bring to the rest of the world.

1. Japan

It should come as no surprise that Japan tops the list of countries with the world's best technology sector. They have long been innovators in things like automotive and digital technology. Since World War II, they have emerged as a leader in scientific and digital technologies.

Thanks to brands like Canon, Sony, Toyota, and Nintendo, Japan sets the bar for other countries to follow on top of their high-speed trains and innovative bridge-building.

2. the USA

Thanks to its remarkable advances in intelligence systems, The United States follows not too far behind Japan regarding technological contributions to the world. This may have something to do with the fact that GPS, Facebook, Apple, and Dell, are all based in the United States.

They are also pushing for a stronger and more cooperative technological relationship with Canada. Learn more about that here.

Plus, when it comes to space exploration, the US is constantly making strides to see more, learn more, and discover more about the universe we live in.

3. Germany

Germany may be famous for Volkswagen and Albert Einstein. However, their contributions to the technology sector have been much more significant in several industries, namely medicine and infrastructure, than just cool cars and E=Mc2.

Some of the areas they are leading in are medicine, both allopathy and homeopathy, infrastructure, X-ray technology, and engineering. Plus, the German academic and vocational education model allows the country to produce a more skilled generation in every field.

4. South Korea

Thanks to companies like Samsung, LG, and Hyundai calling this South East Asian country home, South Korea can boast about being one of the world's leaders in mobile and automotive technologies. However, those aren't the only contributions it is making. South Korea has long been an innovator when it comes to the world of robotics as well.

And considering the average internet speed throughout the country is 26.1 Mbit/s, which is nearly four times faster than the rest of the world, they are surfing the net more efficiently and with greater access to all sorts of information.

5. China

Thanks to its tax incentives and cheap labor, China finds a spot on this list thanks to its manufacturing power. Plus, since they have plenty of room to expand and build multiple manufacturing plants, it makes sense for companies who want to produce more, and a cheaper cost would head to China.

And it isn't just tech companies like Apple and Google with plants in mainland China. Clothing giants like Adidas, Zara, and Forever21 all have plants there, as does the makeup powerhouse, NYX. So, while it may not be leading the way in technological breakthroughs, it helps supply the rest of the world with them.

6. India

Thanks to Bangalore becoming a second Silicon Valley, India is becoming a second home to innovative tech companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple, which opened its first plant there. And thanks to its young yet highly skilled workforce, it looks like this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

Plus, over the last ten years or so, India has become a leader in the world of eCommerce, app development, and business solutions. Not to mention they are a hot spot for outsourcing labor, especially in the IT sector.

7. Sweden

While many other countries floundered after the 2008 crash, Sweden wasn't one of them. In fact, Sweden has seen some pretty significant economic growth in the last decade. That is partly because brands like Ikea and H&M, technological giants like Erikkson and Spotify, and Volvo's world-famous automotive brand are all based in Sweden.

Plus, since Sweden's government is investing heavily in start-ups, more tech start-ups per capita are located in Stockholm than any other city in the world.

8. Finland

Another Baltic country that embraced technology to its advantage, Finland is home to mobile tech leaders Nokia. However, that isn't the only way Finland is making its mark in the technology sector. Thanks to brands like Linux and Internet Relay Chat, they revolutionize how information is shared and stored.

Plus, like Germany, they are making considerable strides in the medical field and biosciences. This has led to Finland having the highest per capita income globally.

9. Israel

With more notable Nobel Prize winners coming out of Israel in the last ten years than any other country, it is easy to see why they are on this list. However, that isn't the only reason. They also have more tech companies listed on the NASDAQ than any other country in the world.

And when it comes to medical advances, they even beat Germany when it comes to technological advances, as both MRI and CAT scans were invented there, not to mention Ultrasound.

Leading the World in the Technology Sector

These nine countries are leaders in advances in the technology sector and how it is manufactured and used in everyday life.

For groundbreaking news on all things tech-based, check out our blog.

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Reasons to raise the minimum wage

The last time the federal minimum wage was raised was ten years ago. Even then, the required $7.25 an hour couldn't support a single person working only one job, let alone support a family, thus trapping many people, mainly women of color and single parents, in a cycle of poverty. With the steep increase in living costs, it is becoming harder for people in minimum wage jobs to break out of poverty.

But should we raise the minimum wage to reflect the cost of living? What are the benefits of creating a more livable wage? Let's look at why we need to raise the minimum wage.

It's Over Due

As we said above, it has been ten years since the minimum wage has been increased. Unfortunately, this doesn't' mean the cost of living has stayed the same. There is no place in the US where a person working can rent a one-bedroom apartment on their own if they work one minimum wage job.

This means that those making the lowest wages haven't been able to keep up with the economic growth and are sinking further into poverty, especially since there is a widening gap between a company's top earners, C level employees, and their lowest-paid workers.

It Will Help Racial and Gender Inequality

Historically, women and people of color work minimum wage jobs, meaning they earn less over their lifetimes than their white male counterparts. So, by raising the minimum wage, we can lessen wage inequality most often felt by women, especially women of color.

It Will Help Raise People Out Of Poverty

One of the most compelling answers to "should we raise the minimum wage" is that it would help raise millions of people out of poverty. Raising the minimum wage will help workers keep up with inflation, meaning that people can afford a higher standard of living. It will also ease people's financial concerns in the lowest income bracket.

It Lessens the Need for Government Programs

People who make more money tend to look to programs like food stamps or WIC less than those who are underpaid and underemployed. Plus, they also help generate more tax revenue for other government programs.

Calculating the increase in tax withholding doesn't have to be complicated, either. Using companies like thepaystubs.com can help ensure that all of your calculations are correct and that you are withholding the right amount from employees, especially as the minimum wage increases.

It Stimulates The Economy

If people have more money, they tend to spend more. This is especially true for those in the lower middle classes. Plus, as wages increase and people start spending money, there is an increase in the need for more workers, which will create jobs, help put money in more people's pockets, thus allowing them to buy more.

Should We Raise The Minimum Wage? Yes

Helping more families break out of generational poverty is a definite win, and most Americans favor having a higher minimum wage. So, the question isn't: should we raise the minimum wage, but how soon can we do it.

Interested in how creating a better working environment can create a more robust economy? If so, check out our retail rants blog.

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What to do in Cambodia

Cambodia automatically comes to mind when it comes to tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, which is a real shame. Home to some of the most beautiful ruins and vibrant nightlife in the region, it really should be higher on people's list of must-see places, especially the capital city, Phnom-Penh.

Here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

1: The Killing Fields

In much the same way experiencing Dachau and Auschwitz are suggested in Munich and Krakow, this memorial to the Khmer Rouge regime's horrors is a must for anyone interested in modern history. When you arrive, you will be given a headset and lead on a tour of the fields, complete with compelling narration and stories from survivors. Silently take it all in as you learn about one of the most horrible acts to happen during the Cold War.

2: Wildlife Alliance

After spending a few hours at the Killing Fields, you will need a palate cleanser. And what better way to feel better about the world than visiting a non-profit organization working all over the world to educate people on the need to conserve animals, especially those at risk of becoming endangered? At the sanctuary in Phnom Penh, you will get to feed baby elephants, visit tigers, and play with monkeys, all while learning about ways you can make a difference when it comes to how to end animal trafficking.

3: Phnom Penh Night Market

Want to sample fabulous Cambodian street food? Want to shop for great souvenirs for friends and family back home? Then head to the Phnom Penh Night Market.

The food court has stalled after stall offering everything from grilled meat on sticks to unique noodle dishes to fruit drinks to wash it all down. After eating, head to the shopping area, shop after shop selling bags, dishes, trinkets, and so much more. You could easily spend an entire night just eating and shopping your way through this pleasure hall of Cambodian life.

4: Hard Rock Cafe Phnom Penh

Yes, it is true you could go to a Hard Rock Cafe in almost any major city in the world, but hear us out. This is one of the newer ones to open, and it blends the Eastern and Western cultures beautifully, with tons of classic Hard Rock fare and even a few samplings of local flavor. Plus, with the upcoming events laid out, you can plan your trip to watch a local band or catch a more international band.

5: The Royal Palace

This royal residence was built in the 1860s and has been the home to the royal residence since, if you don't count when it was abandoned due to the Khmer Rouge. This beautiful palace is filled with golden temples, grand royal apartments, and splendid gardens you could spend hours strolling through. And since it is right on the river, when you get tired, find a spot to sit and watch the riverboats sail along.

6: The Silver Pagoda

This Buddhist temple is a stunning tribute to the official religion in Cambodia. Designed in a traditional southeast Asian style, once you approach, you will see why it is called the Silver Pagoda: there are 5,000 silver tiles on the floor as an offering to Buddha. Be sure to climb the stairs to the Emerald Buddha temple, where you will find a statue of him covered in 2086 diamonds.

7: The Russian Market

Don't let the name fool you. While you may be able to find a few Russian-inspired souvenirs leftover from the 80s when there were tons of Russian ex-pats, most of what you will find here are traditional Cambodian wares. One of the larger markets in the city, head here if you want to get silk scarves, ornate wood carvings, and spices galore, and you don't have a lot of time to shop.

8: The National Museum

Home to artifacts from ancient times to modern-day Cambodia is a great place to learn more about this hidden South East Asian gem. They also do cultural performances by traditional Khmer dancers allowing visitors to experience a beautiful dance tradition, unlike anything they may be familiar with. This is easily one of the best things to do in Phnom Penh.

9: Phocea Mekong Cruises

The Mekong is the river that runs through most of South East Asia, starting in China and ending in Cambodia. Used as a primary waterway in Cambodia, it is one of the easiest ways to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. However, if a multi-day cruise isn't in the cards, you can still take a dinner cruise and take in the cityscape as you dine on local cuisine and enjoy the view.

10: Wat Phnom

Phnom Penh isn't a hilly city. So, to have a gorgeous Buddhist temple, dating from the 1300s, on top of a large, grassy hill littered with trees is a special treat. As you climb the staircase, lined with Buddha and lion statues, the temple itself is home to not one but four statues on the Buddha. Once you are in the temple, you are bound to see plenty of students praying for good grades and gamblers wishing for luck.

Things To Do In Phnom Penh

This is just a tiny sampling of all the things to do in Phnom Penh. There are countless markets, temples, and even several non-profits dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking. It is worth visiting.

For more great ideas on travel destinations, check out our blog.

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5 amazing reasons to visit Thailand

For many people, heading to Thailand is about the fantastic beaches and fantastic party scene, thanks to its neatly 1500 islands and vibrant cities like Bangkok and Phuket.

However, there is much more to do and see in this Southeast Asian gem than just lazing all day on a beach and partying the night away. In fact, it is home to one of the richest and most vibrant cultures in the region.

So, let's take a look at five reasons you should consider vacationing in Thailand.

1. The Food

The food in Thailand is as diverse and varied as the landscape. In fact, visitors could easily go months without having the same dish twice. Part of this has to do with the fact food can differ from region to region and even sometimes, city to city.

So, this makes vacationing in Thailand a foodie's dream as they can sample a taste as many different foods and flavors as their tastebuds can handle.

2. The Temples

There are more than 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand. And with so many, spanning so many different architectural styles, visitors are bound to find one, or several, that pique their interest. Plus, since Bangkok has the most per capita, even if you are only visiting the capital, you can see some of the unique offerings the Land of Smiles has.

For example, Wat Pho is the oldest and grandest of these temples and is located relatively centrally in the palace district, making it easy to visit.

3. The Diving

This one isn't surprising, considering Thailand has about 2000 miles of coastline. That means there is bound to be some spectacular diving and snorkeling. Plus, it regularly tops lists of great diving spots, thanks mainly to places like Pattaya, which is rarely affected by monsoons.

So, if seeing things like sea turtles and any number of beautiful sea life is on your to-do list, think about finding Thailand vacation packages with this as its selling point.

4. The History and Culture

While its cities may be full of urban decor and pleasures, Thailand's rich and vibrant culture and history are everywhere you look. From its dance performances and puppet shows to its temples and ornate ruins, the Thai people are still proud of and embrace their cultural heritage.

5. The Markets

While street markets may be a thing in other Southeast Asian countries, no one does the way Thailand does. Each one seems to be dedicated to a different theme, be it food, antiques, or one-of-a-kind souvenirs for the folks back home. You could easily spend your days wandering from one market to the next and never see the same wares twice.

And don't assume this is just a daytime activity. There are many nighttime markets, especially in Bangkok. So, if you want to sightsee all day and then shop all night, Thailand is the place for you.

Just a Few Reasons Vacationing in Thailand Is a Good Idea

These are just a few suggestions on what makes vacationing in Thailand an excellent idea for anyone looking for something beyond just sitting on a beach. However, there is so much more to do and explore in the Land of Smiles.

For reasons to explore different countries, check out our blog. It is chock-full of great travel tips for those looking for a little something extra.

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How to get cheap last minute flights

Sometimes your wanderlust is just too strong, and you need to get away right now. But last-minute travel is notorious for being super-pricey. However, there are plenty of sites and ways to get discounts on flights to far-off places at the drop of a hat.

Here's how to get last-minute flight deals to help feed your need to travel.

Google Flights

What makes Google Flights so great is the same reason the search engine is so fantastic; it is super fast and comes up with tons of options. Just plug in your dates and destinations and let Google do the rest. Plus, if you don't know where you want to go, leave the destination box blank and then scroll through the results to find the best deal for the dates you have in mind.

However, it is essential to note that it doesn't mean that the flight options you get are the lowest price because they are fast. Sometimes you can find the same flight for way less on other travel sites. So, it is worth poking around to make sure you are getting the best deal.

Vayama.Com

This site focuses mainly on international flights for those who want to run away for a while; plus, since they showcase low-cost flights on their front page, you will never have to search around wonder how to get last-minute flight deals on their site. They even have a trending deals area where you will see the latest sale prices if you are unsure where you want to go.

LastMinuteTravel.com

This site pretty much is exactly what you would expect from its name, a last-minute travel site. However, unlike the two options above, they also offer great deals on cruises, hotel rooms, and vacation packages. Plus, if you like surprises, you can book a mystery hotel for meager prices; the only catch is you won't learn the hotel's name until after you have booked.

This can be a great option if you need guaranteed approval-- when it comes to needing a great hotel room at a super discounted price.

Big Booking Sites

These are probably sites you are already familiar with Skyscanner, Travelocity, or Kayak. You plug in your dates, let the site know if you are a little flexible, usually by 1-3 days on either side, let it know where you want to go, and let the site work its magic. These sites tend to be aggregator sites, meaning when you are ready to buy, you will be directed to another site.

A Few More Tricks on How to Get Last-Minute Flight Deals

It should go without saying, one of the best ways on how to get last-minute flight deals is not to wait too long to book your flight. Twenty-one days seems to be the perfect date as flights aren't likely to drop too much after then. Also, if you can search for nearby airports, do that.

For example, if you live in San Francisco, search for flights out of Oakland and San Jose.

For more travel hacks, check out the rest of our travel blog.

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Facebook 101: How to create a page for your small business.

When it comes to Social Media Marketing, Facebook still reigns supreme. With over 2 billion active users and 65 million businesses using the platform every month, there is no denying the importance of creating and maintaining a page for your small business. Decked out with special features, including targeting metrics and other ways to reach potential customers, having a business page is a great way to market your company. Unfortunately, figuring out how to set up a Facebook account for your business isn’t as straightforward as one would think. Here is a handy tutorial on how to start a Facebook page for your small business.

Before You Start:

Before sitting down and working on your business’s page, you will need to have a personal Facebook page if you don’t have one already. This may seem a bit odd, don’t worry. The two pages are completely separate. You are only using your personal account to access the pages feature. None of your personal information will be shared on your professional page. All of your business's interactions with fans of your business will be as your business. So, there is no need to worry about your privacy or safety.

Now that you are all set with your personal page, it is time to create your business page.

This is also the time to choose who will have an admin role on the page if anyone else will have an admin role. Clearly, if you are a small one-person operation, this won’t be something you need to think about. However, if you are a larger start-up or scale-up, having more people as admins means more people to stay on top of things and engage with people as your page grows.

Getting Started:

There are two ways to access the page area. One is through your personal page and the other, which is far easier, is through facebook.com/business. This is the one we are going to use for the sake of simplicity.

Once you are on the Facebook business-main page, you will see two options: business or brand and community or public figure. Be sure you chose the business or brand option.

After clicking on the get started button, you will be asked to choose your page’s name and business category. Using your actual business name is, of course, ideal. However, sometimes there are companies from other parts of the world with the same name. So, maybe consider adding your location like bobsbakerywitchita or chaptersbookstoreie to ensure you get the name you want.

Once you have chosen a name for your page, it is time to choose a category for your company. Start by typing in what sort of business you run. An autofill menu will pop down, allowing you to choose from a number of selections of industries related to your business. For example, if you type in “bakery,” everything from a bakery to cupcake shop to chocolate shop will pop up, meaning you will have the option to let people know exactly what sort of bakery you own.

The final step in getting started on the process is entering your address and phone number. If you are a strictly online business, don’t worry. There is the option not to show your physical address. It will only show which city your business is located in.

Profile and Cover Photos:

Now that you have the who, where, and what all sorted, it is time to pick a photo. This will make it easier for people to find you and know you are the business they are looking for. It should either be of your storefront if you are a brick and mortar small business, or your logo.

Once you have your profile photo uploaded, you should pick out a cover photo. According to Facebook, pages with a cover photo tend to perform better than those without. Just like your profile photo, your cover photo should reflect your business. Just make sure the photo you chose is high def and professional.

Filling in the Blanks:

Now that your photos and bare basics are up, it is time to fill in the rest. On the left side of your admin page, you will find links to various extras that will help people get to know more about you and your company. While videos and photos will come in time, the most important section to focus on at first is the about section.

This is where you can add your website, about us, directions on how to find you (if you have a physical location), and a ton of more useful information. It even has a place for you to put up your menu if you are a restaurant. Remember, the more information you give, the more like people will be engaged with your page and business. So, fill out every section relevant for your business because the more informative your page is, the more views it will get.

Quick note, when creating your “about” text for Facebook, keep it as tonally close to the “about us” section on your website as possible. The last thing you want is for there to be a disconnect between the two texts. Your Facebook about us doesn’t have to be as long or as in-depth as the one on your website, but they should match.

Adding an Action Button:

Facebook’s action button can be a great way to get potential customers to reach out or learn more. Just click the button on your cover photo's bottom right and choose from everything from messaging you on Facebook to downloading your app if you have one.

Having a call to action button upfront and easy to find can encourage people to follow up and drive up click-through rates. It also helps to focus customers' attention where you want it to go. Always a big plus.

Creating Your First Post and Getting Followers:

Now that your page has all the information ready and your call to action button, it is time to publish your first post.

The first post is important for a number of reasons. It helps you test the waters. It can help get your page's early fans to get engaged and responsive. But, most importantly, it lets people know your business is now on Facebook. You will want to create a post that gets people interested and interacts with the content.

There are a number of ways you can help people get involved with your first post. You can have a competition post between two items or ideas, using like or share to see who the winner will be. Or create a poll about several different items or products you offer.

Or you can use impactful or cute images to get noticed. By featuring a visually interesting product is a great way to get people talking about your Facebook page. Or why not add a cute animal?

When it comes to getting followers, make sure you add the Facebook button on your webpage with a call to action for people to like you. Also, don’t be afraid to share with your friends while creating an ad. Ads can be a great way to use marketing practices to get your new page in front of the right eyes.

Thanks to Facebook marketing targets, you can create ads that can be as wide or as narrow as you want. You can include age, location, gender, and interests related to your business in the targeting framework. This helps weed out people who wouldn’t be interested, allowing you the potential for higher ROIs.

While it may seem overwhelming at first, creating a Facebook page for your business is easy to do. Plus, in this age of social media and online engagement, not having one can be a huge mistake in marketing your small business.

If you need more hints at how to start a successful blog or how to use social media marketing to your advantage, check out http://blogging.org. We pride ourselves in ensuring all of our page's information is the latest and most up to date, ensuring you stay ahead of the curve.

New Beginnings. How to make friends in a new city.

Whether you are moving or just going for an extending holiday, being in a new city can be exciting and full of wonderful possibilities. However, if you leave behind a close group of friends, it can also be a bit daunting.

The idea of making friends in a new city can seem overwhelming. Where do you even start? Well, here are seven tips to help you get started.

Making Friends in a New City: Getting Started.

As you start to explore your surroundings, talk to local shop owners. They tend to have the inside scoop on what is going on in the neighborhood. So, whether it is a block party bbq or a cool slam poetry night, they will be the ones with details for you.

Try Meetup:

If you haven't heard of it, Meetup is a website and app that helps you find classes and events in your area you are interested in. So, if you love sports, use it to find amateur leagues or get-togethers to watch your favorite team play.

Bookstores:

Bookstores can be a treasure trove of events and clubs aimed at getting like-minded people together. So, check out their website or bulletin board for upcoming meetings or book clubs you might be interested in.

As a bonus, book clubs come with a built-in conversation starter.

Take a Class:

Remember how easy it was to make friends when you were in high school and college? Well, why not head back to school to meet some new friends?

Whether it is a cooking class or an art jamming class, you can learn a new skill or brush up on one you already have and meet some cool like-minded people at the same time.

Break Some Bread:

On top of being something our body needs, eating can be a great way to bond with people. There is something relaxing and comforting about eating with people, which helps build friendships.

If you are a bit of a foodie or want to explore the local cuisine, let apps like EatWith help you connect with other diners.

Get in Touch with Your Spiritual Side.

On top of religious services, many places of worship tend to have weekly social gatherings for any number of things. While this may not be for everyone, it can be a great way to connect with others. So, find a local congregation of your faith and get involved.

Give back:

Volunteering can be a great way to build meaningful relationships while improving your new community. It is another one of those activities which come with a built-in conversation starter.

So, whether it is feeding the homeless, planting trees, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, or tutoring kids on weekends, giving your time to worthwhile causes can help you build lasting and meaningful relationships.

Final Thoughts:

These are just some ideas on how you can go about making friends in a new city.

If you are looking for more ideas on where to meet new folks, be sure to bookmark our page for the latest in travel tips and city insights.

Fintech Writing Sample

Becoming A Digital-First Bank:
How To Transform Your Digital Presence.

If the last few years have proven anything, it’s that fintech is here to stay. With the rise of online financial services and paperless transactions, the need for digital-first banking has become increasingly apparent.

This whitepaper aims to helps you identify how to transform your bank into a digital-first enterprise, including reworking your business model, working culture, and the technology which drives all of it.

Smart Bundling and Service Add-Ons

During the early days of the fintech boom, some of the savvier starts-ups made a conscious decision to pick and choose which financial services they would focus on, such as lending or investment advice, rather than trying to tackle it all. This came to be known as unbundling, as it represented the move away from the all in one bundle model traditional banking institutions had been using for years. This meant larger, more established commercial institutions were no longer leading the market in terms of expertise about the products they offered. Instead, big banks began to find themselves susceptible to the cherry-picking tactics of these new, hyper-focused, up and coming digital-first companies.

Since then, there have been numerous examples of banks joining with specialist fintech providers to enhance their services. In some cases, this “re-bundling” allows banks to move beyond the traditional, narrow banking domain to a variety of useful financial add-ons, like investment, insurance (and even parking), in an attempt to help customers simplify their daily routines. This shift from simple banking features to add-ons has been a wildly successful business strategy for Chinese tech giants like Alipay and WeChat. WeChat, which started as a social messaging network, added a payment capability to streamline users’ lives. It is now one of the world’s most powerful payment brands.

Similarly, some major fintech brands, such as Revolut, have started adding traditional core banking services to their specialized focus areas. Marcus, Goldman Sachs’ fintech subsidiary, is another example of a harmonious blend of fintech borrowing traditional banking services to offer consumers the best of both worlds.

From a bank’s point-of-view, this partnership of smart bundling traditional banking services with useful add-ons supplied by fintech startups allows them to continue being the customers’ primary financial institution by offering better product features. This approach means they are far more likely to attract and retain customers, thus keeping a strong profit portfolio. Interestingly some fintech start-ups which were initially envisioned as direct-to-consumer brands to compete with banks, such as TransferWise, have begun to recognize the need to partner with larger banks as a way to reach out to their more established customer base.

Digital-First Banking for Digital Savvy Customers:

We believe the digitalization of banking will create a future where Digital Hubs provide key financial services.

Digital Hubs are platforms with which people would interact, like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. It is the consumer’s gateway to their financial life. Data can be collected over time to predict the consumer's situation and financial interactions. This means their needs will be anticipated and, where permission has been given, acted on.

How to become Digital-First:

Two or three years ago, new digital technologies and how their application could reshape banking services were primarily a topic of discussions at conferences, experiments at the Innovation Labs of bigger banks, and think pieces in financial blogs and news outlets. They are now necessary for larger banks who wish to stay competitive within the financial world.

Digital leaders are increasingly adopting these new and innovative technological advances to gain a market advantage to stay relevant. The market transformation towards being digital-first is well underway.

The actions necessary to become a Digital-First Bank fall into 2 categories:

  • Strategy & Propositions: defining future business models to drive customer value.
  • Delivery & Operations: developing organizational capabilities to deliver new propositions with speed, agility, and efficiency.

The Staying Power of Digital First Banking

One thing is certain: current business models are quickly becoming irrelevant, as their cost-income ratios are too high and the velocity of change too low. This is why, as introduced in this report, business models need to be transformed to incorporate and even changed to put digital banking solutions front and center. For example, neobanks and challenger banks that adopt a digital-first business model where the entire organization is fully digitized. This approach to bringing new products and services to the market in a digital, rather than paper, format is taking the financial world by storm. Existing banks that can properly adopt a digital-first business model and adopted agile practices, including focusing on niche markets on top of standard banking packages, can move forward and continue to grow in a lucrative way. Whereas, banks that refuse to adapt to this new digital-first approach to banking run the risk of becoming obsolete or, in the best-case scenario, merely a service platform for other, more modern financial institutions profit from

A blog on why smaller PR firms ROCK!

There is something appealing about using big names in marketing and public relations firms, and rightfully so. They have spent years working hard to earn that reputation and renown. Running the gauntlet can be daunting and challenging, but thankfully companies were willing to give them a chance. Here are four great reasons why you should do the same and hire a small PR company.

Who You Meet Is Who You Get:
When you hire one of the more prominent companies, you often meet higher-ups only to have your account passed to one of the junior account managers. This isn't possible with smaller firms. The person who pitches you is also the person who is in charge of your account. They are the one who hears your initial desires and continues to work with you the entire time, even when your PR needs to change and grow. You build a strong working relationship with them, and in turn, they have a better understanding of you and your company from the very beginning.

They Still Have Something To Prove:
Smaller PR firms can't simply rest on their laurels. They don't have any. Every new client gets 110% of their efforts because their success is directly linked to your success. Every bit of great press for you is just as crucial for them. It is their calling card, the proof they can get the job done. On top of that, smaller PR firms will work harder to make sure you get exactly what you want, often coming up with new and inventive ways to create buzz about your business.

More Bang For Your Buck:
This reason is closely tied to the one above. Smaller PR firms tend to be far more reasonably priced than their larger counterparts. Since they don't have the reputation or overhead to warrant higher fees and retainers, smaller firms are a much more cost-friendly way to raise brand awareness for your company. Every cent in business counts, and nobody understands that more than small businesses. So, it makes sense to go for a PR firm because they are in the same boat as you and know how to work within your budget.

Accountability, Accountability, Accountability:
Even the most careful and astute PR guru makes a mistake every so often. Maybe the bold new idea they had didn't go over well. Perhaps the social media campaign got off to a rocky start. Who knows? However, if the guru is a one-person show, or maybe one of three, it is a lot easier to fix what went wrong. More prominent firms often have a protocol for dealing with mishaps, which can include going through higher-ups. Doesn't just dealing with the problem sound easier?

It all boils down to that both large and small firms have unique perks to offer clients. However, taking a chance on a smaller PR firm can provide you with significant returns and a great professional relationship with someone just as invested in you as you are with them.

Press Release Sample

For Immediate Release
Name of Press Contact: Gillian Bradford

Amsterdam, Netherlands

TomTom Makes Strides In Reliable Autonomous Vehicles.

Since launching its first personalized satellite navigation device in 2004, TomTom has continually made strides in how people get from point A to point B. This year is no different. With two new developments in autonomous driving being announced at the Paris Car show, TomTom is one step closer to making comfortable, safe, electric self-driving cars a reality.

The first product to be launched is TomTom's Autostream. This new and ingenious map-building service allows cars to create an up-to-date horizon by connecting to TomTom's cloud. By partnering with Baidu and Zenuity, TomTom has engineered a high-definition map for autonomous vehicles while not overloading the device on data, thus making sure you can go wherever the road takes you all while having access to the latest information on roadwork and updated routes.

"Our early investment in the TomTom advanced map-making platform means that we can continue to deliver revolutionary innovations like TomTom AutoStream. With TomTom AutoStream, we can significantly simplify and shorten the development time for our customers, accelerating the future of driving." Willem Strijbosch, TomTom's Head of Autonomous Driving,

TomTom's MotionQ, a new and predictive way to ensure passengers' comfort in self-driving cars, is the second big announcement from the SatNav company. No one should have to worry about motion sickness or safety when it comes to self-driving vehicles. TomTom has built an overlay on the display, which allows passengers to see the car's movements, from turns to acceleration, before they happen, helping passengers feel safe and secure.  This exciting new technology will be available in partnership with Rinspeed Snap, a robo-taxi concept vehicle on display at The Paris Car Show.

What makes both of these products possible is a collaboration with Qualcomm. By combining TomTom's state-of-the-art HD mapping system with Qualcomm's camera technology and GPS data, both companies can ensure their newest technology has every advantage as they move closer to realizing self-driving cars.

Everyone should be able to get where they are going as safely and comfortably as possible. This is why the minds at TomTom continually strive to make reliable, self-driving technology a reality.

Leadership Blurbs

How City Governments Lead the Way In Corporate Sustainability

As anyone who reads Forbes or Entrepreneur knows, businesses have been looking for ways to create far more sustainable business practices. Companies from small local mom and pop stores to fortune 500 corporations are increasingly focused on how to decrease their carbon footprint and become more eco-friendly. Interestingly, many of these global companies are looking to local governments to create lasting change to their impact on the environment and ways to reduce waste. 

This is the opening paragraph for a piece for the Den Haag Gemeente on ways local government demonstrates leadership in the quest to create greener business practices.

Do Creative, Eco-friendly Gifts Create More Loyalty From Employees?

Along with healthy bonuses, vacation days, and healthy work/life balances, employers find little extras around the holidays and birthdays nurture the bond between upper management and those working under them. Even though gift cards or coffee/candles are pretty standard, it turns out bosses who take a little extra time to search out gifts that embrace the company's philosophy and are built to last while being eco-friendly help to make employees feel more appreciated. When people feel appreciated, they are more loyal and work harder.

This is the closing paragraph for a B2B marketing email for a bio-cotton clothing company specializing in fun and witty t-shirts and offered other eco-friendly gifts.  

Bolt Mobility Writing Samples

Blog Post:

Sometimes Less Really Is More.

There seems to be a never-ending array of choices in today's busy world. From coffee flavors to jeans styles and everything in between, we seem to spend more time making choices about our purchases than actually enjoying them. So even after you go ahead with an environmentally responsible decision to leave your petrol burning scooter and embrace the future with a Bolt Mobility electric app scooter, you are faced with so many different color combinations, it can still feel a little overwhelming.

So, to help streamline your decision-making process, we have decided to narrow the paint choices from 10 to 5. Choosing from the most popular colors for vehicles, we offer something for everyone, whether your tastes lean more toward classic colors or maybe you want something a little bolder. Plus, there are a variety of rims and seats for you to mix and match, allowing you to find your signature combo. With fewer alternatives, it will be easier for you to go from customizing your scooter’s look to zipping around town on it.

Facebook Blurb:
Henry Ford famously said, “A customer can have it painted any color he wants so long as it is black.”  Thankfully, we offer you a few more options. In fact, you can read about our new color choices here:

Press Release First Paragraph:

Fewer Choices Means More Opportunities to Enjoy This Electric Scooter.

Bolt Mobility is making a bold move and reducing its color options from 10 to 5. After being called “The Tesla of the Scooter Industry,” they wanted to make it easier for customers to customize their product. The hope is by limiting the number of color combinations, clients can design and order products faster. This will give them more opportunities to enjoy the freedom of owning an electric app scooter.

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