Tag: 爱上海419

  • South Africa honours Rivonia trialists

    first_img12 July 2011 President Jacob Zuma has called on South Africans to ensure that the story of Liliesleaf Farm, where a key group of anti-apartheid activists was arrested in 1963, is told in full for the benefit of current and future generations. Speaking at a ceremony to remember the stalwarts in Johannesburg on Monday night, Zuma said the Liliesleaf Farm arrest was one of the important milestones in South Africa’s liberation struggle. Monday marked the 48th anniversary of the 1963 arrests at the farm, which led to eight of the 10 accused – including former President Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni and Ahmed Kathrada – being sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage. While Mandela was not at the house during the arrests, he subsequently became accused number one for his role in the formation of the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), which marks its 50th anniversary this year. Kathrada, Mlangeni, Denis Goldberg and Mandela are the only four surviving members of the group. Zuma said the events that followed the trial made South Africa what it is today. “Ours is a society which is a model for many countries, especially those in conflict … it is this society that those who used Liliesleaf Farm as a place for meetings and hide-out hoped to achieve. “We owe it to them and the many sacrifices they have made to preserve this heritage and ensure that it is used to heal our nation and bring unity and social cohesion.” Zuma said the Department of Arts and Culture had decided to declare the farm a national heritage site to make sure that it was properly preserved. “Those who worked and held meetings at the farm were convinced that the goal of a united, free and prosperous South Africa was possible, hence they took practical decisions to ensure that it was achieved,” added Zuma. Mandela, who could not attend Monday night’s ceremony, said through a written message that the anniversary should be used to honour and remember all those who laid down their lives in the fight against apartheid. “At that time, we were not the ones on trial by the system so we must honor and remember those who fought it,” Mandela said. Goldberg said the events of 1963 should always be used to build and unite the country. “We said we need unity and vision and we all decided to put our differences [aside] and I ask you Comrade President [Zuma] that in our fight against poverty today, we adhere to this vision of unity and building our country,” Goldberg said. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

  • Transnet opens wagon maintenance facility in Northern Cape

    first_img29 July 2014State logistics company Transnet officially opened a R30-million wagon refurbishment facility in De Aar in South Africa’s Northern Cape province on Monday.The De Aar wagons depot will maintain various types of wagons for Transnet Freight Rail, functioning as a satellite workshop for the Transnet Rail Engineering Beaconsfield Depot in Kimberley.Speaking at the opening, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said the investment was aimed at increasing Transnet Freight Rail’s capacity on the main freight corridor between Johannesburg and Cape Town.This facility has already created jobs and improved rail engineering skills in the area, Brown said, adding that 47 people, 22 of them from De Aar, had already been employed, and that an estimated 300 direct and indirect jobs would be created through this facility.“Government is committed to revitalising the economy of rural towns such as De Aar, so that we create sustainable livelihoods for the local people,” Brown said. “A wagon refurbishment facility will have a long-term impact not only on De Aar but surrounding areas, as it will be a springboard for development within the broader Northern Cape province.“The establishment of such a facility brings hope to the youth of De Aar to become engineers and better their lives.”After the opening, Brown and Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas handed over two new houses to families who agreed to make way for Transnet’s new Youth Multi-Purpose Precinct next to the De Aar Rail Station.The youth precinct comprises a youth shelter for 20 homeless boys, a youth educational centre, a recreational park and a social club for youth volunteers.The Transnet Foundation will fully fund the De Aar Youth Precinct NGO for the first three years (2014, 2015 and 2016). During this time, the Transnet Foundation will engage with other potential partners to invest in the precinct.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

  • Pompeo Champions Trade Agenda

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest DES MOINES, Iowa (DTN) — Iowa farmers noted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo largely kept his cards close to his vest regarding trade talks with China, but they nonetheless appreciated Pompeo coming to the state on Monday to make the case about the importance of demanding structural market changes in China.The secretary of state didn’t share many specifics on trade talks with China, but reiterated the Trump Administration’s case why the trade talks were needed even if the resulting tariffs led to lower market prices and export sales for U.S. farmers in the short term. While the secretary largely avoided domestic politics in his talk, the trip to Iowa could be viewed as trying to shore up support with farmers, a favorite constituency of President Donald Trump.Roughly 200 people attended the event at the World Food Prize headquarters in downtown Des Moines. Pompeo also toured a Corteva facility earlier in the day and spoke with a local Future Farmers of America group.Pompeo criticized the state control asserted over business in China, saying it leads to corruption and poor overall oversight and control. He pointed to food outbreaks in China such as contaminated baby formula to show where government control failed Chinese consumers.“Competition and choice requires companies to play by the rules,” Pompeo said, pointing to journalists, non-government groups, investors and food-safety advocates as an “entire eco-system” that keeps an eye on the government and markets. “Only the free market makes life better in the long run.”INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFTFocusing on intellectual property theft, Pompeo highlighted a case out of Iowa in which a Chinese national was caught trying to steal seeds out of a cornfield. It was later discovered the man had sent several packages of corn seed to China. In another agricultural case, Chinese nationals were caught by Customs and Border agents trying to leave the country with bags of biotech rice.Farmers asked about the major obstacles left to getting a trade deal with China, as well as when the U.S. might lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada to further facilitate ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. On China, Pompeo said he can’t get into specific details, but the issue of market access is overshadowed by the intellectual property theft and forced transfer of technology that China demands. Those technology issues “are real and not something the Chinese are going to give up easily,” Pompeo said.CURB RETALIATORY TARIFFSPompeo indicated U.S. negotiators are trying to embed enforcement mechanisms into trade deals, but at the same time curb the ability of China, Canada and Mexico to place retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.“This risk of retaliatory tariffs — you’ve seen it in pork and we’ve seen it in other places — is real,” Pompeo said. “The president is deeply aware of this, the trade teams are all aware.” He added, “We’re working to clean up all of these issues along the side of that. I hesitate to get too far ahead of myself, but I’m optimistic we’ll get resolution and pull back some of these retaliatory tariffs.”Pompeo said trade agreements need enforcement mechanisms that don’t require long battles in court, adding that this has been a repeated mistake in past administrations negotiating trade deals. Pompeo joked, “We’re trying to make original mistakes and not repeat the past ones,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure we don’t fall down the same trap that American trade negotiators have done so many times.”CONFIDENT OF USMCA PASSINGPompeo also told farmers he was confident there were enough votes in Congress to pass the USMCA. In the end, officials in Canada and Mexico will also see that ratifying the new trade deal is the best outcome, he said. Pompeo said it “remains to be seen” how the Trump Administration will unwind the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, but he reiterated confidence on the USMCA.“I am, as is the president, enormously sympathetic to what you all are going through, but I wouldn’t want to predict a day or a week or how this is going to fall out,” Pompeo said.Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, now ambassador to China, said he wanted to bring Pompeo to Iowa to talk about what is being done “on these very delicate and important issues.” Besides the trade talks, Branstad highlighted the nuclear talks with North Korea and talks between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to restrict the chemicals used to make the opioid fentanyl.“Obviously trade is a huge issue Iowans are concerned about, and yet frankly it is an issue that should have been addressed a long time ago,” Branstad said, adding, “We can’t let this continue and if we get an agreement we’ve got to find a way for it to be enforceable.”Branstad told reporters he did not know if Chinese officials would take up Trump’s call for China to eliminate tariffs on agricultural products.STEEL AND ALUMINUM TARIFFSMark Recker, chairman of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, told Pompeo farmers invest in checkoff dollars to invest in promoting international markets. Going from that, Recker asked the secretary about the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, and how those could be removed to get the USMCA finalized.“I think he still held his cards close to his vest,” Recker said. “I think they want to keep those (steel and aluminum tariffs) on for whatever reason to, I guess, keep the carrot out there for Mexico and Canada to get the agreement done.”Canadian and Mexican officials have noted that they do not want to ratify the USMCA until the tariffs are lifted, Recker noted. “Speaking as a farmer, we know we have to get those removed to get that agreement done.”FARMERS’ VIEWS ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATIONRecker had just returned from the Commodity Classic event in Orlando, Florida. When asked about the sense of farmers’ views on the Trump Administration and trade, Recker said, “I think the general sense, I think they are OK yet. They have made the commitment to this administration and Trump, knowing before the election this was an avenue he could take and the financial consequences coming along. But I still think farmers are going to look and ask, ‘Who’s our alternative?’ Right? I think they are still going to stay committed to this administration in general.”Ben Riensche, a farmer from Jesup, Iowa, had a similar take as Recker regarding how much Pompeo could say about the talks with China. “Our administration has clear goals on what they want to get to and they aren’t going to show all of their cards to get there,” Riensche said.Riensche added Pompeo wanted to assure farmers the administration continues to negotiate aggressively. Riensche said he continues to have patience with the talks.“Farmers by nature are just used to poor crops, hail, bad crops and markets,” he said. “One little rough patch negotiating doesn’t really scare us off. Give me a little more time and that might change, but this hasn’t tested the farmers’ resilience yet.”Riensche also had asked Pompeo about the status of Indiana farmer Kip Tom’s nomination to be agricultural ambassador to the United Nations. Tom was nominated last July, but has yet to get a confirmation vote in the Senate — despite a unanimous committee vote last September advancing his nomination. Riensche’s question was one of the few that got Pompeo off script as the secretary complained about roughly 40 nominations being held up in his department right now.“I should have you all sign letters on his (Tom’s) behalf,” Pompeo said, adding he was “enormously frustrated” with the Senate process. “I couldn’t tell you (about a confirmation). I don’t know what those timelines look like.”Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(ES/)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

  • Geocaching.com Hamsters Go Big Time

    first_imgGeocaching.com HamstersRumor has it Geocaching.com internet servers are run by cute, hard-working, squeaky-voiced hamsters. Now you can have a Geocaching.com hamster of your own. Your hamster could either be a Trackable or commemorated on clothing. The hamsters just launched  their own products today. You know you’re kind of a big deal when you have your own merchandise line. But the humble hamsters weren’t always big time.The hamsters toiled running Geocaching.com (Groundspeak) servers in obscurity for years. All that changed six months ago. Thousands of geocachers watched this first Geocaching.com hamster video as the site received a server upgrade in May. Instantly the hamsters were a hit.Hamster Trackable TagTwo lucky geocachers even adopted retired Geocaching.com hamsters used in the video. You can follow the adventures of one the hamsters in Germany on the blog, “Karlson the little hamster from Groundspeak.”Now Shop Geocaching is introducing hamster themed merchandise. Customers outside the United States can ask their local Official Groundspeak Distributor for hamster merchandise. You can buy Trackable Groundspeak Hamster Tags.  You can also purchase hamster shirts.Detail on Hamster ShirtIf you’re interested in watching the hamsters in their natural habitat, you can watch all three Geocaching.com hamster videos at the end of this blog post.As far as what’s next for the Geocaching.com hamster, a lot of folks are asking. The answer may just rhyme with “bleacher tankth smoothie” (feature length movie) … or could that just be another rumor?Hamster Shirt GEOCACHING.COM HAMSTER VIDEOSThis is the first Geocaching.com Hamster video launched in May of this year. Geocachers discovered the history of the hamster rumor and learned more about the server upgrade. SharePrint Related”Hammy” a Groundspeak Hamster Finds a New HomeJune 22, 2011In “Community”Groundspeak Hamsters Find New HomesJuly 1, 2011In “Geocaching.com Souvenirs”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – April 27, 2011April 27, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter” Share with your Friends:Morecenter_img The video you see below is the “Down for Maintenance” hamster video which will appear when the site is briefly down for performance upgrades. Geocachers in Europe sent hamster food to Groundspeak Headquarters when the servers were slow during one week in the summer. We thought it was hilarious and wanted to thank them, including a cameo by Geocaching.com Co-Founder and CEO Jeremy Irish. This is the response video from Geocaching.com posted on German blogs. Ironically since the hamster food arrived the servers have been faster than ever. Hmmmm…  (Please do not send any more hamster food)last_img read more

  • Illinois Enacts Withholding Tax Credit for Small Employers

    first_imgIllinois enacted a personal income withholding tax for small employers.Who Qualifies for the Credit?Employers with 50 or fewer Illinois full-time employees who make minimum wage can qualify for the credit. An employer must aggregate its employees to determine the threshold if:– the employer operates more than one franchise; or– the employer is a unitary business group member.The credit does not include employees who have worked fewer than 90 consecutive days before the reporting period. But, credits can accrue during that 90-day period for future reporting periods.An employer is not eligible for credits unless:– the average wage paid each employee for all employees making less than $55,000 during the reporting period exceeds;– the average wage paid each employee for all employees making less than $55,000 during the same reporting period in the prior calendar year.How Much Is the Credit?The base credit is the difference between wages paid in Illinois during the reporting period to:– employees who made minimum wage; and– employees who made less than minimum wage.The credit cannot exceed the employer’s tax liability for the reporting period.The amount of the credit equals:– 25% of the wages paid for 2020 quarterly reporting periods;– 21% of the wages paid for 2021 quarterly reporting periods;– 17% of the wages paid for 2022 quarterly reporting periods;– 13% of the wages paid for 2023 quarterly reporting periods;– 9% of the wages paid for 2024 quarterly reporting periods; and– 5% of the wages paid for 2025 quarterly reporting periods.Employers can continue to claim the credit for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2026 and:– ending on or before December 31, 2026 for employers with more than 5 employees; or– ending on or before December 31, 2027 for employers with no more than 5 employees.P.A. 101-1 (S.B. 1), Laws 2019, effective February 19, 2019Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

  • 3 Ways for Floundering Agencies to Find Growth

    first_img Originally published May 2, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Scaling an Agency Have you had a conversation with a college sophomore lately?In this example, it is also the equivalent of talking with a 7-year-old.“I want to be a nurse or a psychologist. I want to save the world. No, I want to make money, so I’ll be a lawyer. But I really like writing, so I’ve thought of getting an English major and then getting my master’s in education. I heard the job prospects were bad for accountants, so I was thinking of going into engineering.” Ask any 7-year-old the same thing: “I want to be a fireman and a ballerina and an astronaut and maybe a teacher.”Ask most agencies what they do and you’ll get a similar response — a list of things they can do, want to do, and might be able to do. It’s a dizzying response to a basic question. And the answer has much larger consequences.Running an agency requires more clarity and focus, and without it, most communication firms move forward like they’re stuck on those banned playground merry-go-rounds. There’s little chance for growth when you’re simply spinning. An agency loses an account and fires three people. It wins an account and brings on five new employees. It changes its branding every two years. It eliminates departments. It adds new services based on one client. There’s little stability, and its biggest selling point is the brands it has worked with.So, how you can stop the madness and point your agency toward growth?Find a FocusA marketing agency has to be a chameleon; with each new client comes a different audience, voice, mission, and goals. In order to do this — and do it well — the agency is constantly changing its mindset to accommodate its clients’ needs.This innate ability to adapt leads to two types of problems for the agency’s own brand: it either creates a blank slate, where clients’ work and PR shout-outs command the attention, or the agency tries to be all things to all types of clients by listing off services like The Cheesecake Factory’s 50-page menus.A Pinterest/YouTube mashup of past work isn’t necessarily detrimental to an agency’s ability to land an account. But seeing isn’t believing, and in this case, thoughtful, knowledge-based information about a specific area of expertise or industry will do more to convince a client of the possibilities that a partnership will bring.The same is true for the agencies that create a rolling list of services — everything from direct marketing to event activation to SEO. Few clients truly believe that you can do all those things you list off well. They are looking for an agency that specializes in marketing to a niche audience while having a strong history of, say, successful public relations campaigns. They are searching for an agency that has experience matching live events with social media and technology. Show this, but also talk about the strategy, challenges, and unique insights your company brought to the project.Having more than one service gives you the ability to create an integrated marketing experience for clients, but having a clear focus will bring the clients to you.Invest in EducationLiving in a town with one of the best journalism schools in the country has given me the opportunity to meet, mentor, and train young talent who are looking to jump into the advertising industry after graduation. This has also given me the opportunity to see first-hand the substantial disconnect that exists between traditional training and the real world. Agencies that hire based on a book of designs and copy are doing a disservice to their existing team. Hiring someone who can create the “big idea” is not enough anymore.Unfortunately, it is then up to the agency to train and evolve to make up for this gap in knowledge. Someone who knows “how” to use a CMS is much different than someone who understands the possibilities and limitations of the platform. A social media manager who can throw in a few hashtags but doesn’t understand the rules of engagement in a crisis is less useful than a fax machine.Allison Kent-Smith, founder of Smith & Beta, a digital-centric educational program said: “For years, the industry has continued to look mostly outside agency walls for digital talent. We continue to trade and exchange the same talent with an average tenure of about 18 months. A formal agency digital education program elevates the literacy of many, rather than relying on the expertise of a few. Reality is, a few experts does not scale. So if an agency wants to grow and evolve (or lead), they must invest and reinvest in employees. This education investment does not start and stop — it is an integrated, ongoing part of everyday 21st century work.”Marketing firms that implement a structured, year-long learning program to create a knowledge base of content, SEO, user experience, data mining and analysis, information architecture, and technology will not only create big ideas but will also be able to execute (on time and within budget) on those strategies.Acquire New Business StrategicallyMany marketing firms are great at building relationships with existing clients and maintaining those for years. But more troubling to agency leadership is the quality of new business opportunities. A big part of this is a lack of structure and strategy. If the agency does have a dedicated new business professional, she usually lacks the resources and support from leadership to develop and implement a sales strategy, one that includes tracking and managing leads and informing how the agency is marketed and seen by prospective clients. New business then becomes a goose chase — responding to RFPs, making calls, networking, spamming people on LinkedIn, etc.New business needs to be a cross-functional role where not everyone is expected to bring in new leads, but each staff member should be required to provide support to the new business department on an ongoing basis.”I often hear advertising and digital agencies lament the fact that they have an on again off again business development program,” said Peter Levitan, a new business consultant. “I think the only way that an agency can overcome this malaise, the malaise of not having a consistent business development plan, is to make sure that the plan and process is baked into the agency’s DNA. That means that the CEO, ECD, and partners must wake up hungry every day and make sure that all employees understand that their futures are dependent on agency growth.”Growth of an agency needs to be strategic. Bring on clients who understand, believe in, and support how you approach work. Don’t hire more talent that isn’t a fit for your culture just to be able to support a client win. Think through how “big” you can get and still feel like the same agency you were passionate enough to build. Find your focus and plan for growth. The merry-go-round might just stop long enough for you to find yourself on stable ground.Jami Oetting is the executive editor of The Agency Post, an online publication for marketing and advertising professionals. The publication is running The Agency 100, an annual ranking of the fastest growing marketing companies in the U.S., to celebrate growth, solid client relationships, and stability. Connect with her on Twitter @jamioetting or on Google+.Image credit: The Knowles Gallery Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! 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  • Google+ Update Makes It Easier to See What Your Friends Like, and Other Inbound Stories of the Week

    first_imgThis week, brands everywhere started to switch things up. New features, new monetization models, and even new data cropped up everywhere … and you’ve got to make sense of all of these new shiny objects in case they could be a great opportunity in your marketing. To help make sense of the ever-changing world of inbound marketing, we compiled the top stories of the week with some quick takeaways for you. So you can, you know, spend your time kicking butt at your job instead of searching for news stories. Enjoy!Google+ Update Makes It Easier to See What Your Friends Like, From MashableLast Tuesday, Google+ made it easier for your content to spread on the social network. Now, Google+ users can see posts that people in their circles have +1’d as well as their own successful posts all in their main stream. That being said, only your public posts will have the potential for an expanded reach — anything you post on Google+ that is for your circles only or is private will not be promoted.Marketers, let’s get pumped! With this new feature, you’ll have more opportunities to extend your content’s reach. Of course, you’ll still need to create top-notch content for this feature to kick in in the first place … but still, this new feature is something to get excited about. Read more about this update on Mashable.How Millennials Shop Online, From eMarketerIf one of your buyer personas is a millennial, you’re in luck this week. eMarketer released some interesting data on how millennials shop online, detailing things like how much time they spend shopping online and what types of products they prefer to purchase online versus in-store. Whether you’re an ecommerce shop or a brick-and-mortar business, these trends are definitely something to be aware of. Learn more about millennial shopping habits over at eMarketer. Instagram Enables Photo and Video Embedding to Spread Its Content Across the Web, From The VergeThe lack of embedding feature for Instagram posts has been a big pain point for a while. If you ever wanted to use your Instagram photos and videos elsewhere, you had to have some hacking knowledge. Lucky for us, Instagram just released a feature that allows all public photos and videos to be easily embeddable. (If you want a step-by-step guide to embedding Instagram photos and videos, check out our blog post).This is fabulous news for us marketers who itch to include visual content in our marketing … but may not have the best design skills. It’s easy to take a picture or video on Instagram, and to include it on your blog or website you just have to copy and paste a snippet of HTML code. The new embed feature can also give our Instagram content a potentially wider reach through you and your fans’ networks. Learn more about this new feature on The Verge.A Practical Guide to Building a Killer Content Strategy, a Free Ebook From HubSpotStruggling to get started with creating your own content? It can feel daunting, especially when you have a zillion other marketing activities on your plate. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out our latest ebook, “A Practical Guide to Building a Killer Content Strategy.” You’ll get a ton of tips and tactics to take away so you’ll be cranking out quality content in no time! Download the free ebook here. Publishers Try a Different Kind of Pay Wall, Unlocked by Watching Web Video, From Ad AgeMedia outlets are still trying to find their secret monetization sauce. Though native advertising and the comeback of paywalls have been all the rage lately, some publishers are trying out video ads instead. Most people are used to seeing ads before YouTube videos, so this could be a potentially profitable source of income for publications. That being said, videos should be kept short, as data shows that only 12% of America will watch a video ad for 30 seconds.For marketers, this could be a new advertising opportunity or even a trend to keep an eye on if you plan on pitching participating publications. While there isn’t enough data yet to determine whether this is a solid form of revenue, it’s an interesting bit for us as savvy inbound marketers to watch out for. Learn more about this new type of paywall at Ad Age.Pinterest Now Has 70 Million Users and Is Steadily Gaining Momentum Outside the U.S., From The Next WebYes, we all know that Pinterest is a top social network, but did you know that it’s increasingly attracting an international audience? According to data by Semiocast, 45% of new Pinterest users that registered in June 2013 were from outside the U.S. While U.S. users are still far more active on the platform, international folks could start becoming a larger and larger chunk of active users as more people register.For those of us who are marketing to international audiences who haven’t jumped on Pinterest yet, it may be time to take another look at the social network to see if it works for your organization. If you need help getting started, take a look at our guide for using Pinterest for business. Learn more about this data over at The Next Web.What other stories did you hear about this week?Image credit: .faramarz Originally published Jul 14, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! 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  • 8 Inspiring Graduation Speeches With Valuable Business Lessons

    first_img Collaboration/Teamwork Originally published May 29, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack It’s graduation season once again, which means a new batch of college graduates is eager to get their diplomas, and a new round of commencement speakers is excited to receive their honorary degrees and impart wisdom on the new graduates before they disperse into the “real world.”Beyond all of the pomp and circumstance, the typical commencement clichés, the jokes about hangovers and not remembering who the commencement speaker is, there are some truly remarkable and timeless graduation speeches that will be remembered for a long time to come by people of all ages.This article will provide a roundup of some of the best graduation speeches of the 21st century, as well as a few highlights and key takeaways that I think anyone in our industry can really benefit from. Enjoy, reflect, and take notes!Charlie Day — Merrimack College (2014)Charlie Day is a television actor, producer, and comedian. He is best known for work on the hit sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” which is on track to be one of the longest running sitcoms of all time. His commencement address at his alma mater offers various life lessons based on experiences from his own life. Beneath all of the humor are some important life lessons about taking risks, success and failure, and overcoming fear. Some of the best takeaways for marketers:”You cannot succeed without the risk of failure””You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism.””You don’t have to be fearless, just don’t let fear stop you.”Conan O’Brien — Dartmouth (2011)In his 2011 commencement address at Dartmouth College, Conan O’Brien manages to poke fun at Dartmouth for its inferiority complex, insult all of the Ivy League schools except for Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, suggest groundbreaking policy, and still find the time to impart wisdom on the graduating class. Through a remarkable combination of wit, humor, and originality, Conan discusses evolving dreams, failure, and the importance of not trying to be like everyone else. My favorite quote from the speech that I think business owners and entrepreneurs in particular may find inspiring:”It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can be a catalyst for profound reinvention.”J.K. Rowling — Harvard University (2008)In her 2008 commencement address, J.K. Rowling delivered her speech entitled “The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination.” Throughout her speech, she offered riveting stories based on her own experiences to illustrate the things that people can learn about themselves through failure, as well as the role of imagination in changing our world for the better. Here are some of her highlights:“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”Michael Lewis — Princeton (2012)Michael Lewis is the author of the best-selling books Lair’s Poker and Moneyball. His 2012 commencement address focuses on the motifs of success and luck and the profound connection between the two. Through anecdotes from his own life, Lewis illustrates the fascinating idea that all success is accompanied by some degree of luck. For those successful folks out there that can poke a bit of fun at themselves … a takeaway:”Success is always rationalized because successful people don’t want to acknowledge that they were actually just really lucky.”Marissa Mayer — Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) (2009)At the time she delivered this speech, Marissa Mayer was an executive and spokesperson at Google. She is currently the CEO of Yahoo, where she has been since 2012. Her address offers personal stories, and both insightful and practical advice about topics ranging from the importance of asking the right questions, to surrounding yourself with the right people, to finding the courage to do things that are uncomfortable, and the power in sharing information. A few things she recommends that I think anyone in business can stand to be reminded of:”Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.””Find allies rather than adorers.””Find the courage to do things you’re not ready to do.””Find places where you’re comfortable … By being comfortable in your environment, you’re freed of your insecurities and the things that hold you back, but don’t need to.”“Power comes through sharing information. Tell everyone everything. The more valuable the better.”Denzel Washington — University of Pennsylvania (2011)Denzel Washington begins his speech discussing failure and the importance of taking risks, like many of the other speakers on this list. His most unique and interesting point comes later in his speech when he talks about the notion of having something to “fall back on.”Rather than underlie the importance of this cliché, Denzel offers an interesting, alternative perspective. Arriving at the central thesis of his speech, Denzel explains that if he is going to fall, he wants to “fall forward.”Although at first this seems like it is simply an optimistic take on the traditional cliché, he then offers two anecdotes to illustrate his point and to really make it resonate with his audience. He, almost poetically, proclaims:“Reggie Jackson struck out twenty-six-hundred times in his career, the most in the history of baseball. But you don’t hear about the strikeouts. People remember the home runs. Fall Forward.”“Thomas Edison conducted 1,000 failed experiments. Did you know that? I didn’t know that because the 1,001st was the light bulb. Fall Forward.”“Every failed experiment is one step closer to success. You will fail at some point in your life. If you don’t fail … you’re not even trying. Sometimes, it’s the best way to figure out where you’re going.”Steve Jobs — Stanford (2005)This is easily the most famous commencement speech on this list. In this renown address, Jobs shares heartwrenching stories from his personal life about his first days in this world, being fired from Apple, and grappling with illness, in order to tackle topics like connecting the dots, love and loss, and even death. Here are some of the most notable moments:”You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.””Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.””Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.””Stay hungry. Stay foolish”Admiral William H. McRaven — University of Texas (2014)Admiral McRaven is the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command. Although most of the speeches included in this list are from people in some way connected to media/tech, I felt that this speech just had to be included. In it, Admiral McRaven offers ten life lessons based on and supported by aspects of his NAVY SEAL training.All ten of his lessons, and the stories that accompany them, are worth watching, but here are a few highlights:”Start each day with a task completed.””Find someone to help you through life.””Respect everyone.”What is your favorite commencement address on this list — or better yet, what’s your favorite unlisted address? Share with us below.last_img read more

  • Dear HubSpot: My Boss Won’t Let Me Do My Job

    first_imgNew here? This is a weekly column that we do to answer people’s most burning questions about inbound. If you want to submit a question to be answered, click here. This week, we hear from a frustrated marketer whose well-meaning boss is bogging her down with distracting tasks. Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. Dear HubSpot,Here’s my issue in a nutshell. I was hired to execute an inbound lead generation program, which I was excited about because I figured I wouldn’t have to do much convincing about why inbound marketing works and I could just start doing blogging, social, lead gen, etc. That only ended up being kind of true, and now I have a to-do list from my boss that’s a little ridiculous in my opinion. I feel like I was hired to do one thing but the to-do list she’s giving me is totally counter to what I was hired for. It’s not that she won’t let me do inbound, she’s totally excited about it… it’s just that she’s asking me to also do all these other things that aren’t that critical in my opinion. And then by the time I’m done with the other things she wants me to do I’d be tacking on another 4 hours to my workday. To give you an idea, here’s what I walked out of our meeting today to execute on (the first 6 are mine, the rest she tacked on):Edit two blog posts and scheduleAssign at least 5 more posts to writer to get through next weekReview whitepaper and send to designerCalculate lead targets for year and backtrack out for monthly goalsDo same for trafficDo persona interviewsAdd new press mentions to press pageSchedule candidate interviewsGet new email template designs, old ones need updating (keep in house)New CTA creativeGo to lunch meeting with [company name redacted], old colleague worked there, might want to do some kind of partnership?Write new boiler plate copyIf this was your to-do list, what would you do? Do I cut her tasks? My tasks? Talk to her? I think I need help prioritizing this short term and figuring out what to do long term too.Signed,Bogged Down in BSHey BDBS,Sounds like you need a cocktail. Grab one then come back and read this.Alright, so it sounds like there are a few underlying issues here. First, you’re at a new job so you want to impress your boss, but you don’t feel like you’re getting the opportunity to put your best foot forward and show how effective you can be. Second, you don’t know how to prioritize your to-do list in a way that helps you keep your sanity, please your boss, and show results. Third, you don’t want this insanity to become a way of life, so you’re wondering if there’s a way to change what you and your boss agree on as high- and low-priority.First, let’s address the fact that your boss probably doesn’t expect you to finish everything immediately. She hired you because she trusts your capabilities and judgment. So think of this as an ongoing to-do list that she expects you to prioritize — and that means sometimes her things won’t be right at the top.However, to get the breathing room you need to execute the inbound tasks that are important to you, you need to get your boss off your back a bit. One of the best ways to do this is to show her that you’re on top of the things she asked you to do by knocking off one of the easy, less time intensive items immediately. That gives her confidence that you’re going to get to everything on the list eventually … it just may not be right now.Looking at your list of things, I’d venture a guess that adding press mentions to your website — while not that important — is one of the least time intensive things on that list. It’s also the first thing you added that was one of her specific requests, which tells me it’s probably the first thing she mentioned to you in your 1:1 — so she cares about it and it’s top of mind for her. Bang that out ASAP, let her know it’s done, and you’ll give her some peace of mind that you’re going to get through the tasks.Now that you have a little breathing room, I’d like you to know that your hunch is right. Some of the things she has asked you to do seem a little less impactful than the things you want to work on. However, she has some good items on there. For instance, it may seem like scheduling candidate interviews is a distraction, but think of the long-term benefits for you here. That’s help coming your way. Help that makes your to-do list a lot shorter, which means you have more time to do the things you were hired to do. She’s right to ask you to prioritize that.Let’s examine one of her items that you can deprioritize — those email templates. Using context clues (you said you were sending your ebook to a designer) I’m assuming you don’t have a designer to do those templates for you. It also sounds like you’re the first inbound marketer there, so your inbound lead generation program probably isn’t too robust. That means your TOFU needs (new ebooks) are much bigger than your MOFU needs (new email template designs). You’re right to prioritize TOFU growth over a time-intensive redesign of email templates.Finally, let’s examine one of her to-do items that could end up being a great use of time, or a bad one. That lunch meeting with the “old colleague.” This could be a legitimate comarketing opportunity for you that helps you expand your reach and seriously grow the top of your funnel. That means more traffic, more leads, and a great start to launching a fantastic inbound lead gen program.However, your question mark and the fact that this is an “old colleague” sounds like there’s not a clear agenda for this meeting, and it could just be a favor to a friend. Here’s the thing. This could very well be a total waste of time — from a lead gen perspective. But it will also give your boss confidence in you. It shows you’re open to new opportunities, and that she’s right to trust you to lead a strategic discussion with a potential partner. This has less tangible value, but value nonetheless, and you should take it seriously (even if you curse her when you get home).I hope that helps give you an idea of how to approach these lists. It’s always a balancing act, these to-do lists, but you should take a few high level things away from this:Your boss is really excited you’re on board right now, so she’s probably sending a lot more your way today than she will a few months down the road. You’re the person who’s helping her implement the mass of ideas she’s had floating around in her head. It’s stressful now, but it’s a good position to be in.It takes time to earn trust, but it comes with execution and accountability. Even if you think some of her requests aren’t that high a priority, think of it as an investment in your future autonomy.Even if you’re not excited about some of the things she’s asked you to do, implement them well. Over time, it’ll be clear what activities are high value, and which ones are not, based on how much business value results from it. But you don’t have a leg to stand on if you half ass it. Then she can just blame their failure on the half-assery!It’s okay to push back and ask for help. If you truly can’t fathom getting everything done, it’s time to have a “something’s got to give” talk. Position it as a conversation about agreeing on what the lowest value activities on the list are, and pushing those to the bottom of the priority list. If you agree on it together, no one comes out feeling their initiative isn’t getting the attention it requires.Good luck!Do you have a question you’d like answered? Submit it here. Originally published Jun 6, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Time Management Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

  • The Marketer’s Guide to Developing a Strong Corporate and Brand Identity

    first_img383SaveHow to Translate Your Brand Identity Into Actual MarketingOnce your brand is defined and you’re ready to take that brand to market with inbound marketing, a new website, content, paid media, and any other element of outward-facing marketing, a creative brief will help you define the purpose of each particular piece of marketing communication underneath your brand umbrella. When writing a creative brief, these are the questions that need to be answered:1) Define the project deliverables.What will be the result of the brief? Will it be a video? A website? An infographic? A whitepaper? An email campaign?2) What is this effort expected to accomplish?What is the goal of this particular creative project? What do we want to happen after the intended audience sees this piece of creative? What action do we want people to take?3) Whom are we talking to?A clear description of the intended audience, which should include demographics, psychographics, as well as how the audience currently thinks and feels about the brand or product in question.4) What’s our message?This is derived from your brand position and should include a statement that encapsulates the single most persuasive or compelling product benefit.5) What do we want them to think or feel?This is derived from the “Essence” step of the corporate identity process, and should describe the emotion you want your audience to feel after seeing this work.6) What justification are we providing as support?Explain why the audience should believe your claims. Here, you can detail the benefits of your product or service, why your offering is better than your competitors, and how these benefits substitute the claim you made in #4 (“What’s our message?”).7) How is that different from other brands’ messaging?Here you want to set yourself apart from the competition by clearly pointing out why your offering better serves the needs of your audience. Are you faster? Are you less expensive? Are you easier to implement?8) How does this contribute to the brand’s positioning?Every piece of communication you create must tie back to your brand identity. Here you can explain how this singular effort supports the greater brand promise.9) Which practical considerations or restrictions are there?The nuts and bolts of your campaign are explained here. If it’s a video, are there length preferences? Are there words or phrases that must be said? Are there things that you absolutely can’t say? Are there cost considerations or time constraints?A creative brief becomes particularly handy when you’re working with an outside creative firm or ad agency. It concisely provides the direction needed to create the work, and it ensures everyone’s on the same page before resources are expended.When to Ask for Help Developing Your Corporate IdentityIf the above seems like a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be. The basic intent is to paint a clear picture of what your brand stands for and how you want it perceived by your customers. However, if the process seems daunting or you feel you could benefit from some professional help, then by all means reach out to a branding agency. Here are some considerations if that’s the route you’d like to take.Have a clear understanding of what you are hiring the agency for and the services you need.Do you have an in-house design staff, but just need help defining your brand? Have you tried to develop your brand identity on your own but are not confident it’s defined clearly enough? Does your research feel sub-standard?An agency will want to know where exactly you are in the process so they can properly focus their efforts on the areas of need. Here is an RFP (request for proposal) template you can use to formulate your thoughts if you choose to reach out to agencies.Can you afford a branding agency?Just like any professional service, a branding agency costs money. On the flip side, just like any professional service, you’re hiring experts with a ton of experience who know their craft and can provide expertise you either lack or don’t have time to learn. Through the RFP process, you’ll begin to get an understanding of what different agencies cost. Be as specific as possible when you detail the scope of the work you’re looking for.Match the size of your company to the size of the agency.If you’re a small or mid-sized business, you should seek out a small or mid-sized agency. While you might find a deeper service offering at a larger agency, you might not have access to the agency’s top talent as they will likely allocate it to their larger clients. With a small or mid-sized agency, you’re more likely to have direct access to the agency president if needed, as well as the agency’s top talent.Match the agency’s area of expertise to your industry.While any agency worth its salt can certainly learn the ins and outs of your industry segment, many agencies, by design, choose to focus on specific segments and hire personnel with deep experience in that field. Identify which agencies focus their business within your industry, and start there.Meet the agency principal and everyone who will work on your account.This is known as the “chemistry test.” Anyone can be the best in their field, but if personalities clash, it’s a recipe for disaster no matter how capable the agency may seem. An informal lunch, meeting at an industry event, or an after-work meetup are the best ways to get past the professional veneer and experience the true personality of the people you may end up doing business with.Tying the Branding BowRemember: Brand is an evolving asset. It’s one that requires continued attention. One that your customers will have a big role in shaping. One that you’ll need to foster. One that you’ll return to, make adjustments to as your business grows or changes.But overall, defining your brand identity is much like packaging and presenting a gift. You want the recipient to be pleased with the offering — and that includes everything from the outer wrapping, to the style of packaging inside, to the gift delivery, to the usefulness and appropriateness of the actual gift itself. You want the recipient to understand that forethought and heart went into the selection of the gift, and that it was chosen out of compassion and understanding. And you want it to represent the love you have for that person — in this case, your customers.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Branding Topics: Originally published Oct 26, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Chances are, if someone mentions GoPro, you think of a super-sturdy camera for the adventurous.Why’s that? Because GoPro has done a good job defining its brand. Great brands like GoPro are easy to recognize. Their missions are clear, and they foster that customer loyalty all businesses crave.A brand is one of the most valuable assets of a business, and it needs to be carefully crafted to ensure it properly and authentically represents the business.Crafting a brand is a shared endeavor, though. Customers, employees, blog readers (sound familiar?), and anyone who interacts with a business has a role in shaping the brand, which is why we’ve created a very short survey to see what HubSpot means to you. Because what it means to you will help us deliver on your expectations. (We’ll get to that a little later in the post.)Do you know how your brand is doing? Does your business have a brand identity?Click here to download our comprehensive guide to effective and measurable branding.If it doesn’t, or your brand isn’t as strong as it could be, follow along with this post. Branding may seem like a fluffy concept, but we’re going to try to put some structure around it so any marketing team can get started defining their brand strategy.What is brand identity?A brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers,” according the American Marketing Association. Your brand identity is the representation of your company’s reputation through the conveyance of attributes, values, purpose, strengths, and passions.It includes what your brand says, what its values are, how you communicate its concepts, and which emotions you want your customers to feel when they interact with your business. As Jeff Bezos says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”The Brand Identity PrismTo help illustrate brand identity with a more holistic view of a brand, an internationally recognized corporate branding specialist named Jean-Noel Kapferer created a model he called the “Brand Identity Prism.” The Brand Identity Prism illustrates six aspects of brand identity: physique, personality, culture, relationship, reflection, and self-image.Image Credit: Salman AbedinAccording to the model, the synthesis of each of these elements is what drives a brand’s success. Here’s what each of them means:1) Physique is the recognizable, physical aspect of the brand.It includes the logo, color scheme, packaging, and the online spaces and communities. If we’re talking about Coca-Cola, it’s stuff like the logo, the cursive font, the shape of its flagship glass bottle, and so on.2) Personality is the brand’s character.It’s how the brand communicates with the outside world. This might be expressed in a certain writing style or voice, design style, color scheme, and even by way of celebrity endorsements. Coca-Cola’s personality is happy, playful, refreshing, and all about sharing and having a good time.3) Culture is the value system and basic principles on which a brand bases its behavior.There is an intimate connection between a brand’s culture and its organization. Coca-Cola’s culture is based around socializing and sharing.4) Relationship refers to the relationship between people that a brand might symbolize.One example would be a relationship between a mother and child, or among friends. Coca-Cola symbolizes an equal and friendly relationship among people in a community.5) Reflection refers to the reflection of the consumer; in other words, the brand’s most stereotypical buyer.While a company might have multiple buyer personas, this is the “top” type of buyer. For Coca-Cola, this might be 15-18-year-olds who value fun, friendships, and sports, although Coca-Cola’s target audience is much broader.6) Self image is the consumer’s ideal self.It’s kind of like a mirror the target persona holds up to him or herself. Marketers and advertisers can draw on their target audience’s self image to direct their strategy and approach. A Coca-Cola drinker, for example, might see him or herself as social, communicative, and the type of person who seeks adventure and pushes boundaries.Now that you have a better idea of what brand identity is, let’s talk about how it applies to your branding strategy.Determine Where Your Company Sits in the MarketBefore you attempt to define your brand, you need to do some exploration. Take a long look at your company to get a clear picture of its purpose and place. The familiar SWOT analysis can help, actually. Here’s what each letter of the acronym stands for:Strengths: Characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others.Weaknesses: Characteristics that place the team at a disadvantage relative to others.Opportunities: Elements that the project could exploit to its advantage.Threats: Elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project.When you do a SWOT analysis, you should involve everyone in your company, as well as some of your best (and worst — yes, your worst!) customers. This can be done with a simple survey that asks questions that get at the four points in the SWOT analysis. Or if you prefer, it can be achieved with an in-depth research survey and audit that looks at your brand awareness, usage, attributes, and even purchase intent. They are typically performed by an outside firm … but more on that later. You can also download our SWOT analysis template.However you gather the information, once you get it, you should be able to sit down with your marketing team and clearly state your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Once you have a clear understand of your SWOT, it’s time to define your brand.The Steps to Corporate Identity Design & DevelopmentDeveloping or refining a corporate identity is a five-step process that aims to clearly define what your brand stands for: its goals, its personality, the emotions you want people to experience when they come into contact with your brand, and a clear conveyance of that identity through a positioning statement. Here’s what you’ll need to create to do that:Step 1: Vision StatementA vision statement describes what you want your company to become in the future. It should be aspirational and inspirational. Ideally, the statement should be one sentence in length and should not explain how the vision will be met. (Don’t worry, that’ll come later.)When developing your vision, keep these questions in mind:What are your most important products and services?What products and services will you never offer?What is unique about doing business with your brand?How would your customers describe your brand?Where do you want your company to be in five years?To give you an idea of what you should end up with, take a look at JetBlue’s vision statement:JetBlue Airways is dedicated to bringing humanity back to air travel.”Step 2: Mission StatementA mission statement defines the purpose of the company. It should be simple, straightforward, articulate, and consist of jargon-free language that’s easy to grasp. It should be motivational to both employees and customers. When crafting your mission statement, keep these tips in mind:What are the specific market needs the company exists to address?What does the company do to address these needs?What are the guiding principles that define the company’s approach?Why do customers buy from you and not your competition?To give you an idea of what a good mission statement looks like, take a look at The Walt Disney Company’s:The Walt Disney Company’s objective is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products. The company’s primary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value.”Step 3: EssenceSay, what? That’s right, your essence. This sounds fluffy, but seriously, you need to develop an “essence.”The essence of the company speaks to the intangible emotions you want your customers to feel when they experience the brand. A brand’s essence is the representation of the company’s heart, soul, and spirit, and is best described with one word. When defining the essence of your brand, consider these points:When your customers experience your product or service, what emotions does the encounter elicit?If your brand were a person, how would you describe its personality?Check out this SlideShare: “The 9 Criteria for Brand Essence.”Read this blog post on cultural archetypes.Here are some great samples of brands’ essences:Volvo is “safe.”Disney is “magical.”Lamborghini is “exotic.”Step 4: PersonalityJust as with humans, a brand’s personality describes the way a brand speaks, behaves, thinks, acts, and reacts. It is the personification of the brand: the application of human characteristics to a business. For example, Apple is young and hip, whereas IBM is mature and set in its ways.What personality do you want to put forth when people experience your brand?Are you lighthearted and fun?Are you serious and all business?Are you down-to-earth?Are you playful or matter-of-fact?Step 5: Position or Value PropositionA brand positioning statement, or value proposition, is a one- or two-sentence statement that clearly articulates your product or service’s unique value, and how it benefits customers. It must define the audience, define the category in which the brand exists, cite a clear product or service benefit, set your brand apart from your competitors, and instill confidence the brand will deliver on its promise.When crafting a positioning statement, consider:To whom are you speaking? (Target market, demographic, and persona)Which market segment does your product or service serve?What is your brand promise? (Both rational and emotional)Why is your product or service different from the competition, and why should your customers care?For instance, Warby Parker has a great brand positioning statement:Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.”(Read this blog post for more examples of inspiring company vision and mission statements.)To help make this easier for you, we condensed these questions into a checklist that you can reference during this process:383Save last_img read more