Advertising Selling Premises

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PR Play 11-10 from The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators

Copy Strategy – Sales logic behind an advertising message.
Creative Platform – A document that outlines the message strategy
decision behind an individual ad, commercial or an entire campaign.
It is based on the creative brief (page 366).
• Product-centered strategies – Ads that focus on the product
itself. Should be based on fact. Often a scientifically conducted
test or other research technique provides support for a claim.
— Claim – A statement about the product’s performance – its features
or attributes.
— Brag and Boast – An advertising strategic message written
from a company’s point of view to extol its virtues and accomplishments.
If a claim is made, it must be supported by fact.
• Prospect-centered strategies – Ads that focus on needs and
wants rather than on what the company can produce.
— Benefits – Statements about what the product can do for the
user.
— Promise – A benefit statement that looks to the future.
— Reason Why – A statement that explains why the feature will
benefit the user.
— Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – A benefit statement
about a feature that is both unique to the product and important to the user

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Co-Op Adverising

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What is Cooperative Advertising (Co-Op)?

A form of advertising where a national manufacturer reimburses the
retailer for part of or all of the retailer’s entire advertising expenditures
for ads carrying the manufacturer’s brand(s).

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3 takeaways from the latest jobs report

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For the entire ZipRecruiter story by Julia Pollak, see Courierpostonline Sunday, April 4, 2021.

According to a recent jobs report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added 379,000 jobs in February, beating expectations.  That is a significant improvement over January, when the economy added only 166,000. It is also about twice the average monthly job gain before the pandemic.

Nevertheless, given that the economy is still down 9.5 million jobs since earlier this year — and 11.9 million jobs below its healthy pre-Covid-19 trend — the job gains should be seen as fairly modest. They do not yet signal a rapid rebound, but rather the slow reawakening if the labor market after the Covid-19 winter.

Here are some key takeaways from the report.

1. The leisure and hospitality sector is finally reviving

2. Very few workers returned to the labor market

3. State and local government education was the weak point of the report

Again, get the full story in the April 4, 2021 edition of Courierpostonline.com

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Improve your customer service skills

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For the entire ZipRecruiter story by Kaila Kea, see Courierpostonline Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021.

Customer service skills aid professionals in delivering quality service and meeting customer needs. This skillset includes patience, attentiveness, timeliness and good communication.

Here are some features of good customer service that most people agree on.

1. Good customer service comes with a good attitude

2. Helpfulness is key

3. Going the extra mile

4. Empathy

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4 things a resume must include

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For the entire ZipRecruiter, see Courierpostonline  Sunday, March 21, 2021

There are many opinions on what information you should and shouldn’t include on your resume. But there are certain basics that must be there. Here is the good news: You already have all the answers to this test. These are the big four.

1. Contact information

2. Work experience

3. Education

4. Skills

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Tips to Succeed: View your failures as a learning experience – or – turning a stumbling block into a stepping stone

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“What’s the key to being a successful entrepreneur?” Change how you
think about failure.

Failure is the “F word” of business – It’s not polite to mention it. After
all, failure is what happens to other people, right? But what happens when
we ourselves fail? We either try to quickly forget the experience, or we
wallow in self-doubt and recrimination.

If you’re in business, sooner or later, you’re going to have failures. But
sometimes, these “failures” can turn out to be fortunate. They force you to
re-examine your goals, decisions, methods. Then, you can choose to take a
different – better – path.

Here’s how the best entrepreneurs deal with failure:
• Redefine it. Experienced entrepreneurs make a failure a learning
experience.

• Analyze it. If – when – you fail, take a close look at the causes. After each
and every setback, big or small, take a clear cold look at what happened.

• Depersonalize it. Stop kicking yourself; everybody fails. While you must
analyze your mistakes, you won’t learn anything if you’re too busy
beating up on yourself.

• Change it. Remind yourself of what you learned and actively try to
change your behavior. Be patient and forgiving because change takes
time.

• Get over it. Move on. Don’t dwell on your successes or on your failures.
You’ve got a life to live, and each day is precious. So, like the old song
says, ”Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again.”
Rhonda Abrams – www.rhondaworks.com

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

8 Tips For Improving Your Phone Skills

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Since a face-to-face meeting is virtually impossible in today’s COVID-19 business world, you need to pick up the phone to get things done. And to help you improve your phone skills (especially when the person you are calling doesn’t report to you), we have listed below some tips to help you achieve greater phone success.
8 Tips To Help Improve Your Phone Skills And Techniques.
Tip #1: Have An Objective – Before calling someone, write down the objective of your call. It can be as simple as a modified report or a request for more resources. The key is to know what the details are of the call – ahead of time.
Tip #2: Ask The Person For Their “Help” – Start by asking the person you’re calling for their help. Then quickly state the benefit (not yours) of why this needs to be done.
Tip #3: Smile When You Are Talking/Listening – Even though the person you called cannot see your expressions, your smile comes through loud and clear.
Tip #4: Add A Personal Touch To The Call – Use the name of the person you are calling as it will show them that you are interested in them. We cannot stress enough the importance of putting yourself in the listener’s place.
Tip #5: Drop Your Cell Phone And Stop Typing – Avoid the typical distractions such as looking at your cell phone, typing an e-mail or scouring your iPad. Also, don’t be eating or drinking anything.
Tip #6: Be Mindful Of Your Tone And Volume – If you are condescending or using a loud voice, the other person will shut down immediately. If your voice is loud by nature, lower it. Conversely, if your voice is low, increase its volume. Keeping the phone about an inch from your mouth will help as well.
Tip #7: Use A High-Quality Headset – If you are using a headset, make sure it’s of high quality; your voice needs to sound exceptional. If your headset makes you sound like you are calling from a rusted tin can, toss it out and get a better one.
Tip #8: Summarize The Call/To Do List – At the end of the call, it is wise to summarize what the to-do list is as it is a great way to eliminate possible issues. Additionally, don’t forget to get a timeframe of when things will be done, too.
Executive Summary: When calling someone, always be mindful of the person you are calling. Keep the call professional and brief. Additionally, don’t forget to summarize the call. But most importantly, focus on the person you are calling; therefore, drop your cell phone and stop typing that e-mail as people know when you are distracted.

[Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]

Resumes — Getting better results on search sites

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(The following comes fro ZipRecruiter.com and Courier-Post on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021)

Here’s a stat you may not know: More than 75% of resumes submitted online are read by a robot before they are ever seen by a human. IF they are ever seen by a human.

That’s because most employers use Applicant Tracking Systems, a type of artificial intelligence that parses resumes to find what they consider to be the most qualified candidates.

At ZipRecruiter, we use that technology, so we know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating a resume that can get your application past these robots and into the hands of a human recruiter.

  1. Use a plain, boring template

Conventional wisdom may say that your resume should be eye-catching and exciting, but the truth is that robots aren’t big design fans.

They read from left to right, top to bottom, and only know how to read certain fonts and formats. So use the most boring, straightforward template you can find. Leave out columns, tables, headers, footers, text boxes, logos and nonstandard fonts. Use a “minimalist ATS-friendly” template rather than a designed one to make sure it can be read.

  1. Use generic job titles

Many companies get cute with their internal job titles: sandwich artists, teammates, crewmembers. Robots aren’t really interested in cute. But they do love a perfect match, which is why you should write your past job titles on your resume using generic terms that everyone understands. A good way to do this is by going to a job site and finding job descriptions that match your current role. Of course, be careful not to inflate or change your role into something that’s not representative of your work.

  1. Write like a caveman

Be succinct about the work you did. The resume parsers will pull applicable snippets of your resume to pass on to recruiters, so you want those pieces to be simple and easy to follow.

Instead of writing something like “Answered, transferred, conferenced and forwarded audio communications for over 24 incoming and outgoing exchanges,” simply say “Answered and redirected company’s 25 phone lines.”

  1. Use numbers

Rather than just listing the tasks you performed, use numbers to capture the scale of your accomplishments. It goes a long way in showing that you’re a results-orientated employee who can deliver.

  1. List your skills

Make sure you include your skills and any training or certifications you’ve received. And be as specific as possible. At this point, everyone has experience with Microsoft Office. But if you give examples of the experience you have, such as “Microsoft Excel revenue model building,” that will go a lot farther in making you stand out. It can also be helpful to list the number of years of experience you have with each of your skills.

[Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]

3 Tips To Help Manage Underperforming Remote Workers (Share With All Managers)

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From Dale Carnegie
As Covid-19 disappears, working from home isn’t going to as there will be a large percentage of the workforce who will still work from home on a full-time or part-time basis. And if you are a manager of a remote team(s), you still need to deal with underperforming team members.
The good news is this: Dealing with underperforming people in a remote work environment allows you to have specific conversations versus mentioning performance issues too casually.
3 Tips To Help Manage An Underperforming Staff Member.
Tip #1: Set Expectations – This is the first step as it allows you to set concrete deliverables or expectations. Plus, it helps you from being ambiguous when it comes to what is expected.
Tip #2: Learn About Their Work From Home Situation Take the time to learn what their work from home issues are, as it can help you better understand what is going on with them. Alternatively, you might want the person to come into the office X hours/days a week to help offset their performance issues.
Tip #3: Help To Improve Their Performance – After determining what their current challenges are, it would pay huge dividends to you if you would give them guidance with learning a new skill. Whether this is regular meetings or setting up a mentor program, there are many low-cost ways to help someone.
Other Tips To Consider When Managing Remote Workers.
  1. Look for signs of distress in your employees.
  2. Equip your team with the right technology.
  3. Promote dialogue with one-on-one conversations.
  4. Tell your employees that you trust them to work independently.
  5. Reinforce organizational values.
  6. Use objectives to create clarity.
  7. Focus on outputs, not time worked.
  8. Increase recognition for successes.
  9. Catch your staff doing things right.
  10. Proactively survey your team to see if they need help.
  11. Encourage innovation in new AND old systems and processes.
  12. Provide opportunities to share successes.
Why Workplace Performance Matters.
Here are four reasons why performance matters in the workplace:
  • Poor performers lower workplace morale.
  • Low performers increase the workload for everyone else.
  • Managers spend too much time dealing with underperformers.
  • Poor performers cost organizations tens of thousands of dollars in lost productivity, sales opportunities, social media issues, and word-of-mouth referrals.
Executive Summary: Working remotely has its challenges, but remote workers can be more productive than traditional in-office workers; therefore, address performance issues sooner versus later as the good performers will help your company grow and thrive no matter the circumstances.
[larry@larrylitwin.com]

5 Ways A Disengaged Employee Will Cost Your Business Money

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While Less Than A Third Of Employees Are Engaged, Some Groups Of Employees Are More Engaged Than Others.

  • Engagement levels appear to increase during the first 5 years of employment
  • Executives (VP and Higher) and medical workers are the most highly engaged group of employees
  • Employees in education, social work, and sales are the least engaged
  • Employees ages 50-60 are the least likely to be engaged
  • 26% of part-time workers are engaged vs. 31% of full time workers
  • 45% of managers and supervisors are engaged, only 23% of all other level workers are engaged

5 Ways A Disengaged Employee Will Cost Your Business Money.

#1: Impact On A Co-Worker(s) – Negativity is contagious, and your disengaged employee has the potential to “infect” his or her coworkers. This has an overall negative impact on team morale and productivity.

#2: Their Performance While On Company Time – As you know, time is valuable. The disengaged employee makes poor use of his or her time, costing the company money. Often times you will find a disengaged person on their cell phone and/or surfing the Internet.

#3: Poor Customer Service – Your employees should be cheerleaders for your business and seek to make the same out of customers. However, a disengaged employee has no enthusiasm to pass on to customers.

#4: Poor Job Productivity And Performance – A disengaged employee is not motivated to meet goals or go the extra mile when it comes to getting work done. Additionally, an employee without sympathy may dodge phone calls, e-mails, and other responsibilities.

#5: Lack Of Quality In Their Work – A disengaged employee has little motivation to produce quality results. He or she may struggle with deadlines and will not seek out responsibilities or leadership roles. By contrast, an engaged workforce wants to do what is best for the company. They are generally more creative and innovative and feel loyal and emotionally connected to their work environment.

Executive Summary: Our research has revealed that although there are many factors that affect an employee’s engagement, it really comes down to three core areas:

  • Someone’s relationship with his or her immediate supervisor.
  • Senior management’s ability to lead the company and communicate its goals.
  • Organizational pride; the vision of the organization and/or a company’s corporate social responsibility.

P.S. Disengaged employees cost companies $11 billion annually according to the Bureau of National Affairs!

[Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]