5 Great marketing practices

Whether you are starting a new business or wanting to expand an already thriving one into new markets, you are going to 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 really 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 key factors in helping you decide how to create effective marketing strategies is to know who you are targeting. Every demographic is going to need to have 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 important 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. Really sit down and come up with 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 is going to 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 have content that speaks to your audience and 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

This one ties into the one above. 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 in the near future. 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 on a deep level with your customers.

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.

Filters & Sorting

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, despite being a single woman in New York and unable to cook herself, bills herself as a farm dwelling housewife with a baby. 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 a great watch as you make Christmas card 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 play on loop 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 of how brilliantly it 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, it offers a surprising and realistic look into how depressing the holidays can be for some, despite the happyish 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?

Filters & Sorting

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 being seen by the right people and will inspire them to choose you rather than your competitors?

Here are great 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 important 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 important to make sure you do market research often, not just to know your clients and target audience better but also to understand how the market is changing, what advances are being made in getting your message out, and what products are performing 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 are spending 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, it is something you should do. 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 clearly about 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, you should have both working together to help 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 take social media into account; it is also a way to 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 is performing.

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

Paid Advertisements

Whether it is with industry-related publications and websites or 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 be registering it and using this information to help your rankings on various search engines.

However, it is important to remember, while paid ads of 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 when it comes to 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 really 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 is getting 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, sure to generate leads.

Filters & Sorting

How to sue the police for excessive force.

Every day there seems to be a breaking story about a police officer using excessive force against a civilian. And if you have been a victim of police brutality, you may want to sue the police officer and department responsible. Unfortunately, winning these sorts of cases can be difficult to prove under the best of circumstances.

However, even though it may be difficult, there are ways to successfully sue the department and get a little justice via the civil courts. You have to be familiar with what the law allows and limits when it comes to the use of excessive force by building a strong case and being persistent throughout it all.

Legal Protections For Citizens and the Police

Thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1871, namely Section 1983, anyone who feels that their civil rights were violated by anyone acting with authority under the law can seek legal restitution. In other words. If a civilian feels a police officer acted in a way that infringed on their rights, they have the right to sue the officer or the entire department.

However, it is also important to note that the police benefit from something called qualified immunity. This means that due to the job's difficult nature, police officers are given the right to perform their job efficiently and effectively without the constant need to fear lawsuits. So, if they feel someone is resisting arrest, they can use force, and if they feel threatened in any way, they can use deadly force.

This means for people seeking to sue the police for using excessive force because it can be a daunting task to prove.

Understanding The Rule of Police Misconduct

First, you need to understand the most excessive force cases fall under the blanket term "police misconduct." Other abuses can be included in discrimination (i.e., racial profiling), harassment, false arrest, and, of course, excessive force.

Unfortunately, as we discussed above, proving police misconduct can be difficult. However, here are some tips on how to prove you are a victim of misconduct:

  • To prove discrimination or harassment, there needs to be documented proof that this is an ongoing pattern of behavior.
  • To prove a false arrest, there needs to be proof that your 4th Amendment rights were violated somehow.
  • To prove excessive force, you need to prove the officer, or officers, used force that resulted in serious injury or death.

Remember, in civil court; it is up to you to prove your case. This means you need to be extra thorough when collecting evidence and presenting your case.

Your Next Steps

Now that you understand what constitutes police misconduct, you better understand the next steps you can take.

Before you do anything else, talk to a civil rights lawyer. For example, if you have been seriously injured due to excessive force, getting legal advice can help you figure out your next steps and help build your case against the police officer responsible.

This is especially important if you are also being charged with a crime because the officers will try to pin the use of excessive force on you by claiming it was necessary due to the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Most civil rights lawyers will be able to help you navigate both the civil and criminal cases together.

Keep as much evidence as you can. If you suffered an injury caused by a police officer, Justin Kimball from Preszler Law Firm (https://www.preszlerlaw-ns.com/) says to be sure to document as much information about the incident and the officer as possible.

Get the names, phone numbers, other contact details, and addresses of any witnesses to the incident you can. This may take a little leg work, depending on where it occurred. You may need to take out an ad in the local paper or go door to door if it was in a commercial or residential area.

Filing the Complaint

On top of filing a complaint with the courts, also file one with the police department, the United States Department of Justice, your State's Attorneys General office, and the United State's Attorney General's office. Do this with your lawyer's guidance because these complaints could help or hinder your case depending on the facts and how you present them to each office.

Don't forget about the other officers at the scene. Even if they weren't involved directly with the use of excessive force, if they didn't intervene, they can be liable to you too. This is because, by law, any officer who witnesses another officer violating anyone's constitutional civil rights is obligated to step in to protect those civil rights.

Be Prepared For an Uphill Battle

As we said earlier, civil cases against police for excessive force can be hard to prove and even harder to win thanks, in part, to qualified immunity. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't try to sue them. It just means you should be prepared for an uphill battle that can, at times, seem like it is not worth it.

Your best chances to win are to follow these steps and, more importantly, the advice your lawyer gives you. After all, they are there to do everything in their power to get the results you are looking for.

For helpful insights on how to set up power of attorney and other legal matters, check out our blog

Filters & Sorting

Why you should consider 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, as it turns out, localization is more than just about translating the words.

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. But, 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 be able to 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 one 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 willing 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 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. So, to make sure you are getting the most out of these ads is with localization. After all, if you are going to 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 actually 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 are going to 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 make sure you send the right psychological message along with the verbal one.

5. Increased Revenue

By limiting your content to one language, you miss out on a whole bunch of potential customers. For example, if your primary language is English, you are only reaching 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 just 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

Just 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 when you factor in things like revenue gains and lack of pr mishaps, you are actually saving money. 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 targeted to local audiences perform better than ones that are global in scale, making a certain amount of sense. When ads are localized, they 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 a connection.

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

Filters & Sorting

How to cook the perfect steak

Is there anything better than a perfectly grilled steak? There is something about an open flame that brings out the best from your favorite cut of meat. But it can be a little daunting when trying to do it yourself.

Most professionals agree a great cut of meat is essential when learning how to grill the perfect steak. But what else goes into getting it right each and every time? Thankfully, there are a few tips and tricks to help you get the steak of your dreams whenever you fire up your grill.

Getting to Know the Grades of Meat

Not all meat is created equal. In fact, the USDA has come up with a grading scale to help people understand the meat they are getting and how to prepare it.

There are three basic grades of meat sold in the US:

Select, Choice, and Prime.

They are ranked according to the flavor, tenderness, and juiciness of the cut. This can be determined by the amount of marbling present in the meat.

Select is the poorest quality of the three. It is slightly above what the USDA qualifies as edible. It is almost always what is on sale or advertised, so don't be surprised if it isn't high quality as it tends to be rather lean and without much marbling.

While some Select cuts may be cooked with dry heat or grilled, without any marinating, this is not suggested.

Choice is a great cut of beef but has less marbling than Prime. Don't worry, though. If you purchase a choice cut of beef, you will still be getting a quality steak, and it should be delicious when grilled if not overcooked.

However, when it comes to grilling, you really want a cut of Prime meat. All of the juice from the fat helps to create that butter-like quality to the taste and texture.

So, when shopping, stick to either Choice or Prime cuts. They will be worth the extra money per pound you will pay. And it is easier to make sure you grill it to your tastes with better cuts of meat.

However, it is important to note finding Prime beef at your grocery store may be difficult at the best of times. So, if you have your heart set on that perfect steakhouse steak at home, be prepared to shop around. Our best suggestion is to check with local butchers in your area, and if you still can't find it, you may need to settle for a nicely aged choice cut instead.

Best Cuts For Grilling

Filet Mignon

This small, thick cut of meat is known for its buttery texture. Its name literally translates to cute filet. It is a leaner cut of meat, still tasty, and generally more expensive than some other cuts on this list.

T-bone

This cut of meat gets its name from its distinct shape; it looks like the letter t. It is basically two steaks in one, with a bone running down the middle of the cut. Known for its taste and texture, it is what most people think of when they think of steak.

Porterhouse

This cut is like a T-bone's big brother. It is another two steaks in one and is HUGE. It tends to be used in eating challenges due to its large size.

Rib Eye

This cut of beef has a nice ratio of meat to fat, so it has a great flavor. It is also known for being easier to cook than some of the others on this list. So, it is great for learning how to grill the perfect steak.

New York Strip

This boneless cut of meat is known for being tender and having a good meaty flavor when done correctly. It may also be called a Kansas City steak or a Delmonico steak.

Skirt Steak

This is a thin but still flavorful cut of meat. It is on the lean side, so it helps to marinate it a little before grilling.

Hanger

Another thin but beefy flavor cut of meat. Thanks to its looser muscle fibers, it is another cut that is good for marinating, as it will soak up a ton of the flavor.

Prepping to Grill

Before you start to grill, there are some things you are going to need.

1: A Grill

This one is a given. It doesn't matter if it is a charcoal or gas grill, as long as you are comfortable with it.

2: A Digital Instant Read Thermometer

We will go more into this later. But make sure you have an accurate instant-read meat thermometer. And make sure it is digital.

3: Grilling Tongs

These will make sure you don't accidentally puncture your steak when turning it.

4: Make Sure Your Grill Has 2 Temperature Zones

Two temperature zones will make sure you can grill your steak at the right temperature. But more on that later.

Grilling Your Steak

You may have read for a perfect medium-rare steak to grill it 3-5 minutes on each side. However, this is just a sort of rough estimate.

Because no two grills, cooking surfaces, or pieces of meat are the same, you will need to get familiar with how the steak feels before introducing any heat. This is because the texture and density of the meat will change as it cooks.

So, to help ensure you cook your steak just the way you like it, you should spend some time getting to know what your cut of beef feels like before it is ever introduced to a flame.

Raw steak will be soft to the touch. There will be little to no resistance when you push on it. As it cooks, the resistance will increase, and the meat will get tougher to the touch.

For example:

Rare steak is still pretty fleshy when you touch it. Imagine poking yourself in the cheek.

Medium rare is a little tougher, like poking your chin.

Medium well is pretty tough, like poking your forehead.

Well done has almost no give at all.

There are those who say that to make sure you still get a little bit of the flavor from the meat; you really shouldn't cook it past medium-well. However, you should obviously cook your meat the way you like it.

Somethings NOT To Do When Grilling a Steak

1: Cook Meat Straight From the Fridge

Many professional chefs think letting your steak get to room temperature before cooking helps it cook evenly. Most suggest leaving it on a prep rack for an hour should do the trick, So, use this time to salt or season your meat.

2: Don't Use the Wrong Salt

That's right. There is a right and wrong salt to use when prepping your steak. It turns out table salt or any other fine-grained salt will have too much weight per volume, and you will run the risk of over seasoning.

Instead, use something like sea salt or kosher salt. Both have a nice medium to large grain, which will give it a nice taste without being too overpowering.

3: Don't Season Too Soon

If you don't have at least an hour or so to season your steak, it is best to leave it until right before it goes on the grill. This is to make sure you can get that beautiful and tasty crust on your steak.

4: Don't Start If Your Grill Isn't Super Hot

The flames will need to be going for at least 20-30 minutes before you even think about starting to grill. This is to make sure you sear the outside and lock all the flavor in.

5: Make Sure You Have a Meat Thermometer

Yes, we know we did just tell you to check the fleshiness of your meat with your finger. However, unless you are a total pro, it is still better to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. Here is a helpful table:

Rare: 120-130°F

Medium rare: 130-135°F

Medium: 140-145°F

Medium Well: 150-155°F

Well: 160-165°F

6: Flipping Your Steak More Than Once

Flipping your steak more than once can actually make it lose some of its flavor. Simply turn it once on each side to get the lovely criss-cross grill marks, and then flip it once.

7: Don't Forget To Let It Rest

Meat doesn't stop cooking once it is off the grill. By letting it rest a little before serving it, you give your steak the perfect chance to finish cooking and let the juices settle.

Many experts suggest pulling the meat off the grill when it is about 10 degrees cooler than your desired temperature and then let it rest in a warm place (you don't want a cold steak) for about half the time you cooked it. And if you want it hot, then just pop it back on the grill for a little warm-up, and you should be good to go.

8: Do NOT Cut or Puncture It To Check If It's Done

Cutting into a piece of meat to check its readiness is just going to let all of the juices out of the steak. This means it will dry out the meat and cause it to lose flavor.

This is where the digital instant-read thermometer comes in. It will let you check the internal temperature of your steak without having to puncture it. Every grilling enthusiast should have one.

Now To The Grilling

Cooking Thin Cuts

When cooking thin cuts of meat, like a skirt or hanger, make sure you cook it directly over the hottest part of the grill. This will ensure it is cooked evenly throughout. Just remember to take it off the heat a little early and let it rest before serving.

Cooking Thick Cuts

This is where the two temperature zones on your grill are needed. The cooler zone on your grill is only going to need to be about 225 degrees.

First, you will put your steak in this cooler part of the grill and cover it with the lid. This will help circulate hot air around your meat, making sure it is heated evenly on both the top and the bottom. Think of it like creating a little mini oven.

Start checking the temperature after about 15 minutes. If it isn't at the desired temperature, check again in five minutes and so on until it is about 10 degrees lower than the desired temperature. So, if you want a medium-rare steak, it would need to be about 125 at this point.

Once it hits that number, you want to take it off the grill for a second so you can crank the heat up and get it ready to really cook. For gas grills, close the lid and turn up all the burners. For charcoal grills, gather into a pile or add half a chimney's worth of fresh coals to the mix.

Now that everything is all heated up put your steak in the direct heat zone and flip it once to make sure it is properly browned evenly on both sides. Be sure to take it off the grill once it hits the lower temperature of how well you want it done and let it rest.

How to Grill a Perfect Steak

It can be tricky grilling the perfect steak. However, with these helpful guidelines on what to do and what not to do, you should be able to up your steak game and wow everyone at your next outdoor event.

For more helpful hints on how to get perfectly grilled meat or vegetables, check out the rest of our outdoor section.

Filters & Sorting

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. Because, believe it or not, everything on this list is something that anyone can develop.

So, let's look at five traits of successful entrepreneurs and how they help people looking to 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 trying to solve those little 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 to work as marketing tools to help businesses grow or ways to assist exciting industries.

They are not afraid of asking "what if" and tend to shun away from the "but that is always how it has 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. Even in big companies, you can tell who is an entrepreneur at heart. Look for the person coming up with ideas to make the workflow streamlined, help productivity, and increase the bottom line with ingenuity.

Determination Is Their Middle Name

One of the most important traits of successful entrepreneurs is that they don't believe anything is impossible. Even if they have to create each and 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. In fact, 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 all part of the process.

They Look On The Brightside

When you start your own business it is easy to get discouraged when things don't get off the ground as quickly as you would like. It is easy to get frustrated when you put in a lot of work to build your dreams and then 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 good 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.

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

This proves the old 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, truly 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 to 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 own 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 of successful entrepreneurs on this list scratch the surface. We could have added literally dozens of other: great 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 franchise of a cleaning service today.

Filters & Sorting

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 just 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? Well, 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 if you 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 important to have some tasty treats to snack on, the real star of the show is, of course, the drinks. So, simply 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 are going to have a fun themed event, it is important 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, in case 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 who are 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 totally comfortable mixing them by having a few practice runs leading up to the big event. That way you don't have to keep stopping to check the recipe and will look suave and assured in your mixology skills.

Or, you could simply premix your drinks, pour them into classy pitchers, have plenty of garnishes and ice available and where guests can get to them, and let guests serve themselves. However, if you are going to do it this way, you should remember to check the drinks, extras, and ice levels every so often to make sure you aren't running low. Also, have enough for about three drinks per person, just 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 are going to socialize a little too. It is ok to ask friends and family to help with food or making 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 just have a nice 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 really 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.

Some ways you can manage the stress and worry is by making sure you are totally prepared for the night. This means getting the invitations early enough for people to not 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, and 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 tips on how to throw a great dinner party and so much more.

Filters & Sorting

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 even 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 take a 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. In fact, there is no place in the US where a person working can rent a one-bedroom apartment on their own if they are 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 than 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 would be able to afford a higher standard of living. It will also ease the financial concerns of people 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 hard, either. Using companies like thepaystubs.com can help make sure all of your calculations are right, and 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, 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 stronger economy? If so, check out our retail rants blog.

Filters & Sorting

Traits of successful entrepreneurs

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 looking to 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 trying to solve those little 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 to work as marketing tools to help businesses grow or ways to assist exciting industries.

They are not afraid of asking "what if" and tend to shun away from the "but that is always how it has 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. Even in big companies, you can tell who is an entrepreneur at heart. Look for the person coming up with ideas to make the workflow streamlined, help productivity, and increase the bottom line with ingenuity.

Determination Is Their Middle Name

One of the most important traits of successful entrepreneurs is that they don't believe anything is impossible. Even if they have to create each and 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. In fact, 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

When you are starting your own business, it is easy to get discouraged when things don't get off the ground as quickly as you would like. It is easy to get frustrated when you put in a lot of work to build your dreams and then 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 good 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.

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

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, truly 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 own 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 of successful entrepreneurs on this list just scratch the surface. We could have added literally dozens of others: great communication skills, quirky personalities, strong work ethic, etc. However, 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 franchise of a cleaning service today.

Filters & Sorting

A day in the life of a social media strategist

It is no secret that thanks to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, social media plays a huge part in the marketing plans for businesses all over the world. And with average monthly social media marketing budgets in the US falling between $4,000 and $7,000 a month, it looks like social media marketing is here to stay.

But who is in charge of all the planning and executing how this money is spent? That falls to a social media strategist. So, let's take a look at who the social media strategist is and what exactly they do.

What Exactly Is a Social Media Strategist

The role of social media strategist is part of the marketing department. They are in charge of developing and implementing a social media calendar. This will include scheduling posts, creating content for said posts, engaging with people through comments, and looking at the analytics to see what is working and what isn't.

There are a variety of skills needed for this job. Here are just a few:

1: A Bachelor's in Marketing, PR, English, or a related field.
2: Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
3: Extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of several different social media platforms, i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn

You should also have some basic graphic design skills and some knowledge of how to use each of the platforms mentioned above for professional purposes. However, sometimes if you show enough potential and the role is jr enough, these are skills you can pick up on the job.

How To Find a Job As a Social Media Strategist

The first thing you are going to need to do is get your portfolio ready. This can and should include any social media work you did on a professional level, whether it was paid for or volunteer work. That said if you are trying to break into the field and don't have a lot of work yet, you can create posts to highlight and showcase your skills when it comes to crafting the perfect social media post for clients.

You should also include any other digital content you are proud of, as long as it is professional in nature. This can include blog posts, client reviews, surveys, etc. Just be sure to include any relevant information to the posts you have chosen.

Also, don't go overboard on what you include. Keep it to two or three posts you are exceptionally proud of, one or two which could be seen as related to the industry you are applying for, and any testimonials you have on your work (as long as they are positive).

Then start combing adverts. The typical job hunting rules apply here. Do your research, look for companies in industries you are passionate about, and double-check everything for mistakes before you send it in.

What To Expect Once You Get the Job

So, you have landed the job of your dreams. Now, what can you expect? Well, it turns out the day in the life of a social media strategist is a whirlwind of meetings, brainstorming sessions, writing, and engaging with the public.

Most days start with a quick check-in on how posts did through the night. Sometimes, this can mean looking at the numbers of likes or shares a post got, but other times it can mean responding to comments, making sure your target audience feels heard and addressing any concerns.

Then you might have a meeting with your team about the upcoming quarter, and any potential product launches scheduled. This is where you would discuss ROIs the company wants and what the KPIs will be.

After this, you will probably reach out to any influencers you have worked with to see about amplifying recent posts. This is also when you would meet up with the long-form content creators to talk about what they have been working on and develop good updates for their posts.

Then you would most likely meet with the graphics team. This is when you would do the final tweaking of images you have previously discussed and talk about the next week's schedule and plan for those. These can be anything from graphs to cartoons to videos to stock images you have tucked away.

What You Need To Know To Do All This

On top of all of this, it is important to regularly monitor how posts and campaigns are performing and how to make them better. There are some skills you will need to have to get all this done.

You will need to have a basic knowledge of marketing terms like ROI (return on investment) and KPI (key performance indicators). You will also need to have a good grasp of SEO (search engine optimization) and how it works with both social media and long-form posts.

Some of the soft skills you will need to develop are the ability to multi-task. If you work for a large company, you will be working on any number of campaigns at a given moment, plus liaising with multiple teams (marketing, product and development, and HR) often. Not to mention great organizational and interpersonal communication skills.

Social media strategists juggle a lot of balls at any given time. But don't let that dissuade you. It is a rewarding job for creative types who love to play with words and help build an amazing online community for companies they are passionate about.

If you are serious about finding a new career within the realm of digital marketing, we have tons of articles just like this one to help you with tailoring your CV and conducting your job search. You should check them out.

Filters & Sorting

Adventure vacations for daredevils

Not everyone wants to sit on the beach or by a pool while on vacation. Some people dream of hiking, ziplining, and rounds of golf on challenging golf courses.

Here are 9 amazing active vacation ideas for daring travelers.

What Are Active Vacations

Active vacations are designed to keep you busy and moving, and not just in a touristy, sightseeing sort of way. They are all about going off the beaten path, being bold and adventurous, and sometimes pushing yourself to the limits. They can be the perfect way to take a time out and truly get away from it all.

Machu Picchu Peru:

This archeological wonder is perfect for people who are interested in the native cultures of the Americas or just love to wander through ancient cities. You can either take a day trip to the ruins or split your trip into a four-day hiking expedition. Just be sure to take some time to enjoy all the other amazing ruins in and around the area.

Black Hole Drop, Belize

If the idea of plummetting 300 feet into the basin of a cave doesn't phase you one bit, this might be perfect for you. Nestled in the Maya Mountains, this cave looks like a drop into pure darkness. However, once you are at the bottom, you will find yourself surrounded by a lush rainforest, amazing!

Travel The Silk Road

The Silk Road was the main trading route between The East and The West for centuries. This trek through history highlights everything from the Mongol invaders to the extensive trading of the Middle Ages and Renaissance to Communist USSR. It is an absolute must for history buffs and anthropologists who want to see how civilizations influenced each other.

Papua New Guinea

Getting to this remote island in the South Pacific is an adventure all its own. Located just north of Australia, it is the perfect place to flip-flop between relaxing on one of its many beaches or taking in some of its more daring activities. Whether you decided to snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Pacific or hike Mt. Hagan, there is bound to be an adventure that appeals to you.

Southern Utah

If you love the idea of gorgeous rock formations and yoga retreats, why not considering heading to Southern Utah. Famous for its rocky desert landscapes, this gem located in the Southwestern part of the US has recently become a hotspot for health and wellness retreats as well.

So, go to marvel and some of the most magical desert sunsets imaginable while taking your yoga to the next level.

Scotland

Imagine exploring a gorgeous medieval city one day, hiking through some of the most beautiful mountain ranges the next, sipping whiskey on a remote island in the North Sea the next, and finishing up with a round of golf at one of the most famous golf courses in the world. Well, that is what a Scottish holiday could look like. Just make sure you take plenty of rain gear, as the weather can turn in a moment.

New Zealand

While it may be famous for Hobbiton now, New Zealand has long been a favorite of outdoorsy types who can't commit to land or sea adventures. With some of the best mountain walks in the world and plenty of ocean around it, those seeking any number of activities are bound to love this island nation nestled in the South Pacific.

Plus, with its relatively small population, you can easily steer clear of other people if you want to enjoy some quiet time away from civilization.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

This intricate religious monument is the largest in the world. Built sometime in the 12 century, it is some of the last remaining relics of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia.

While there is a bus service from the current capital, Phnom Penh, taking the six-hour boat ride lets you take in more of the scenery of this often-overlooked South East Asian gem. After you take in the marvel of Angkor Wat, be sure you head to Angkor City, the capital of the Khmer Empire.

Zambia

Zambia is home to the largest waterfall in the world, along with some of the most amazing safari and big game viewing in Africa. So if swimming at the bottom of one of the world's most majestic natural wonders sounds like your cup of tea or you want to walk with lions, this central African paradise is bound to be your dream destination.

Go Big or Go Home

Whatever you plan for your active vacation, there are more than enough places and adventures to be had. However, just like any vacation you plan, be sure to check for visa requirements and that you have an appropriate guide if need be. Because, no matter how epic you want it to be, safety should always come first.

For more great ideas on where to go and what to see, be sure to check out our travel tips. It is packed full of great advice on where to go and what to see no matter where the road takes you.

Filters & Sorting

Why to eat a plant based diet

There have been many talks recently about how a plant-based diet is good not only for your health but also a great way to help the environment. But switching from a meat inclusive lifestyle to a vegetarian or even a vegan one can seem tricky. However, with the rise of farm to fork establishments and plenty of options at your local grocery store, it is easier than ever.

Here are some of the best reasons to move toward a vegetarian lifestyle and how to create a plant-based diet plan.

Healthy Hearts

There has been a lot of research done on whether or not being a vegetarian actually lowers heart disease risk. According to a study conducted by the University of Oxford, those who eat a predominantly vegetarian diet have a 22% lower chance of developing heart conditions than those who ate meat.

And while they did find there to be a slight increase of having a stroke. However, it is believed to be from the lack of certain B vitamins in meat. Taking daily supplements should counteract those risks.

Lower Diabetes Risk

Regularly, people who eat vegetarian food have been shown to have a lower risk of developing diabetes. They also are shown to have higher insulin sensitivity, which helps to regulate your blood sugar. And it turns out you can reap these benefits no matter what your BMI is.

There is also some evidence that a plant-based diet can help treat the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. So, why not give it a shot?

It's Better For the Environment

The farming industry is bad for the environment. From deforestation for using the land to raise cattle to the use of fossil fuels to power farm equipment, cattle and chicken farms damage the environment.

By cutting back on the number of cattle ranches and chicken farms, we lower the negative effects of farming on the environment. If we switched to a more plant-based diet, we could feed more people using less land, a definite plus.

It Can Lower Your Risk of Cancer

Eating too much red meat has been linked to colon cancer, which is particularly deadly unless caught early. By eating more fruits and vegetables can help you lower a lower risk of developing this particularly deadly cancer.

Not only that but plants and whole grains have what is called phytochemicals, which help to fight and prevent all sorts of diseases, which happen to include cancer. To live a longer, healthier, cancer-free life, you should try to create a plant-based diet plan into your weekly menus.

How To Create A Plant-Based Diet Plan

While it may seem daunting at first, creating a plant-based diet plan is actually much easier than you think. Add a little spinach or tomatoes to your egg in the morning. Seek out meat alternatives at the store or swap out a meat-based meal with a salad one night a week.

For more helpful health tips, check out the rest of our blog. It is dedicated to helping you live a healthier, longer life.

Filters & Sorting

What to do in Cambodia

When it comes to tourist destinations in South East Asia, Cambodia automatically comes to mind, 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 awesome 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 amazing noodle dishes to fruit drinks to wash it all down with. After you are done 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 clearly laid, 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 didn'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, the majority 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 places like 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 4 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 small 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 really is worth visiting.

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

Filters & Sorting

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 lives of the people 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 when it comes to 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, on top of their high-speed trains and innovative bridge building, Japan sets the bar for other countries to follow.

2. the USA

Thanks to its amazing advances in intelligence systems, The United States follows not too far behind Japan when it comes to technological contributions to the world. This may have something to do with GPS, Facebook, Apple, and Dell, all being based out of the United States.

They are also pushing for a stronger and more co-operative 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 greater and in several different 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 model of academic and vocational education 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 on 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 just 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 10 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 in part because of brands like Ikea and H&M and technological giants like Erikkson and Spotify, as well as the world-famous automotive brand Volvo.

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 the way information is shared and stored.

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

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.

Filters & Sorting

5 amazing reasons to visit Thailand

For many people, heading to Thailand is about the amazing 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 5 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 most unique offerings the Land of Smiles has.

For example, Wat Pho is the oldest and grandest of these temples and is located fairly 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, the rich and vibrant culture and history of Thailand is 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 or 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 a great 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.

Filters & Sorting

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, 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 pretty the same reason the search engine is so great; it is super fast and comes up with tons of options. Just plug in your dates and some 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 important to note that it doesn't mean the flight options you get are the lowest price just because they are fast. In fact, 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 really 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 like Skyscanner, Travelocity, or Kayak. You just 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. 21 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.

Filters & Sorting

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 the interactions you have 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, if anyone else, will have an admin role on the page. 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 pages 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 the getting started 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 not just to find you but also to 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 which is relevant for your business because the more informative your page is, the more views it is going to 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 the bottom right of your cover photo 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 early fans of your page to get engaged and be responsive. But, most importantly, it lets people know your business is now on Facebook. So, 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 product that is visually interesting 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 when it comes to 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 the information on our page 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 comes 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 areas of focus. 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. Now, they are necessary for larger banks who wish to stay competitive within the financial world.

It’s clear digital leaders are increasingly adopting these new and innovative technological advances to gain market advantage in order 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 which 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 difficult, but thankfully there were companies 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 bigger companies you often meet with 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 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 important 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 that is in the same boat as you and knows 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. Maybe 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. Bigger 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?

What it all boils down to is that both large and small firms have special perks to offer clients. However, taking a chance on a smaller PR firm can offer you big returns and a great professional relationship with someone who is just as invested in you as you are with them.

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 on how 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 demonstrate 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 are finding 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 which embrace the philosophy of the company and are built to last, while being eco-friendly, help to make employees feel more appreciated and 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, which specialized in fun and witty t-shirts but also offered other eco-friendly gifts.  

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 been making 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 being connected to TomTom’s cloud. By partnering with Baidu and Zenuity, TomTom has engineered a high definition map for autonomous cars, 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 the comfort of passengers in self-driving cars, is the second big announcement to come from the SatNav company. No one should have to worry about motion sickness or safety when it comes to self-driving vehicles. So, 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 to feel safe and secure.  This exciting new technology will be available in partnership with Rinspeed Snap, a robo-taxi concept vehicle that will be 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 make sure 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.

Bolt Mobility Writing Samples

Blog Post:

Sometimes Less Really Is More.

In today’s busy world, there seems to be a never-ending array of choices. From coffee flavors to styles of jeans 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 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.

Can I Sue My Uber Driver if They Crash?

Imagine it. You've just had a great night out with your friends. You were the picture of responsibility, didn't drive, and called an uber. Or maybe you are catching a late night/early morning ride from the airport and didn't want to have to deal with parking.

The next thing you know, you are involved in an uber car accident and have been injured. You probably have a million questions running through your head.

What are your rights? Who's responsible for your medical bills? Am I going to need a lawyer for this?

Well, have no fear. Here is a no-nonsense guide to help you navigate the aftermath of an uber accident.

The Legalities of an Uber Car Accident:

Peer to peer ridesharing is only about 10 years old. This means there isn't a lot of legislation on the liability of drivers when it comes to Uber accidents.

And since Uber drivers are technically independent contractors and not employees, it means if you need to sue Uber, they can deny the claim. However, all hope is not lost.

If the accident wasn't your driver's fault, Uber does have the policy to cover under-insured drivers up to one million dollars. This is partially due to the fact that many drivers tend to be under-insured and Uber wanted to cover their bases.

The Small Print:

Because, of course, there is small print. This policy ONLY kicks in under certain circumstances.

For example: If the driver is logged into the app but hasn't connected with a passenger yet, Uber only covers $50,000, or you and your driver are involved in a hit and run. If this is the case, then the full one million kicks in.

However, if your driver has insurance or if they are not at fault then you need to deal directly with the insurance companies.

If Your Driver is at Fault:

If your driver is at fault is where it can get a little tricky. This is where you would need to either hire a lawyer or look into the laws on the books about what sort of recourse you have as a passenger. These laws and regulations can vary wildly from state to state.

So, if you were in an accident while on holiday in New York or living it up in Vegas, you need to do a little research on what actions you can take. Some states like California will let you sue Uber directly, but this isn't the case in most other states.

This means you will need to wade through the insurance and at-fault laws in your state, which can be daunting under the best of circumstances. Add being injured with a heap of medical bills piling up and it is downright herculean.

Dealing with the Driver's Insurance:

Another area where this gets tricky is with the driver's insurance itself. While some companies have started to expand their policies to cover ridesharing, many still don't extend policies to cover commercial driving. And even though Uber does have a liability clause, it could take what feels like an eternity before you see any money.

That means if your driver is at fault and doesn't have the right insurance, you could be in for a long and lengthy legal battle. It is important to know what you need and how to get your money.

First Steps:

Hopefully, you had the smarts to take photos and get everyone's information. Also, if it was serious enough, and you are capable, call 911. Doing so will help you down the line, especially if you have to go to court and prove your case.

Next look for witnesses. Never assume you are going to be able to remember everything that happened correctly. Accidents are traumatic and can affect your memory of events.

Having innocent bystanders make statements are useful for the accident reports and in court if it goes that way. Make sure you get their contact info so it is easier to get in touch later.

Get checked out even if you don't think you are hurt. While this should go without saying, it is amazing how many people don't do this because they don't see any injuries or feel hurt

What To Do Next:

So, you've gone to the doctor and gotten checked out. Or you are out of the hospital/cast/whatever and it is time to start trying to get the mountain of medical bills paid. What do you do?

Well, first you contact the driver's insurance company. This has the potential to be an absolute nightmare and cause stress headache after a stress headache. Because let's remember, it is their job to not payout; if they do settle, it is a lowball offer to just get the case over with.

If you can't settle it easily or fairly, and you probably won't be able to, it is time to contact a lawyer. Look for a lawyer specializing in personal injury. After all, these guys have plenty of experience working with insurance companies and know how to get them to payout.

The best way to find a personal injury lawyer is to ask for recommendations or search online. Sure, there plenty of jokes about just waiting for them to chase your ambulance, you want to hire someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Because the best way to get great results is by having a lawyer you trust.

If You Have to Go to Court:

Hopefully, things won't get this far. However, if they do, it is best to be prepared.

Your lawyer will walk you through how to testify. It is important to remember that they are the experts and have (hopefully) done this before. So, listen to their advice, be open and honest, and remember to try and stay as calm as possible on the stand.

Final Thoughts:

With any luck, you won't need this information. Unfortunately, if you are looking at this page, you probably already do. So, with a little bit of forethought and tenacity, you can get everything covered.

Not all legal cases are all about Uber car accidents. So, if you have other legal issues going on, are a legal eagle, or just exceptionally better, why not check out our page?

Filters & Sorting
Close