Advertising Selling Premises

Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

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

Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

Co-Op Adverising

Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

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).

Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

8 Tips For Improving Your Phone Skills

[Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]

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

[Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]

(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)

[larry@larrylitwin.com]

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

[Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]


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]

4 Leadership Tips To Help During Tough Times From Dale

[Comments: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Tip #1: Learn How To Navigate The Issues And Your Employees – Anyone can maintain course in calm waters; however, the biggest and most noticeable difference is how a leader performs during tough times as opposed to calm times. Take a step back and develop a vision by seeing what could be done to change things or what could be looming around the corner. This will help you to be better prepared should something terrible happen.
Tip #2: Avoid Being Just A Manager – The difference between leaders and managers is that leaders are able to motivate everyone in their organization during difficult times, whereas managers tend to manage the “status quo” or the current process. Trying to manage the status quo in times of uncertainty is just not effective. To develop leadership abilities, we suggest looking into some leadership courses, buying books, or visiting the local library for resources on leadership. It would also be to your advantage to see what other leaders are doing by joining network groups or industry associations.
Tip #3: Work On Creating A Positive Change – If you genuinely lead, you will, by default, cause positive changes in your organization. And this change is essential because it breathes life back into an organization. To help you create a positive change in your organization, look for some high-profile leaders and professional coaches in your area or industry, and see what they are doing. To help you get a new perspective on things, you should also consider a subscription to business magazines like Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, or SUCCESS Magazine.
Tip #4: Talk With Your Team Regularly – Picture yourself on an airplane that is hitting a lot of turbulence. Wouldn’t you want to know what is going on and how long it will last? Better yet, what is the captain doing to find a smoother altitude? The same goes for your employees when your business starts to hit tough times.
Executive Summary: While you cannot predict all of the events that will affect your business, you can employ the above four strategies to navigate your way through tough times. Leaders who invest time in communicating with their staff, reviewing alternate strategies, and staying close to key clients are implementing some of the best practices for leading in both good and bad times.
[Comments: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Do These Five Things to Improve Your Resume Right Now

[larry@larrylitwin.com]

From ZipRecruiter on Sunday – Jan. 24, 2021 by Kat Boogaard (ZipRecruiter.com)

If you’re like most people, you hear the word “resume” and let out an exhausted groan. I totally get it—resumes can be a pain.

Condensing all of your skills and professional experience into a document that’s incredibly scannable and easy to read—without 0.2 margins and size 6 font? Well, let’s just say it’s a challenge.

However, the key is to not get overwhelmed by your document. How? Well, try getting everything out on paper, and then work on polishing it up. That’s much easier than trying to make each line perfect right from the start.

Are you already to the polishing step? Great—the hardest part is over! So, here are five quick things you can do to improve your resume right now.

1. Remove Irrelevant Information

Since you spent your time essentially dumping all of your information onto those pages, it’s time to weed through and get rid of all of that stuff that truly doesn’t matter. Ideally, you’d like your resume to be one page—meaning you don’t have extra real estate to waste on pointless and irrelevant information.

Your high school extracurricular activities? Get rid of them. That line about your GPA? Delete it. That classic phrase that goes something like, “References available upon request”? Hit the backspace key. Most hiring managers assume that you’ll have references to offer if you’re asked—so there’s no point in wasting page space on that filler line.

You want every single line of your resume to be powerful. So, get rid of anything that doesn’t make you seem like an impressive and qualified candidate. Your resume doesn’t need to detail your entire life story—it just needs to showcase your professional highlights.

2. Check for Quantifiable Achievements

It’s all too easy to fill your resume with all sorts of buzzwords that hold very little meaning. And, I won’t even deny that those keywords are important.

However, you don’t want your resume to be all fluff and no substance. This is why it’s important to include several quantifiable achievements. So, comb back through your document and look for places where you can add some hard facts and statistics.

Instead of saying something soft and vague like, “Worked as a core member of the sales team,” you’ll want to state something more powerful like, “Grew sales by 25% in the first quarter.” Including those numbers makes the statement much more impactful by proving you not only know how to talk the talk—you can also walk the walk.

3. Tailor It

I hate to sound like a total wet blanket, but it’s imperative that you tailor your resume for every single position that you apply for. Yes, I know it’s a total pain to adjust a document that you’ve already spent so much time on. But, if you’re aiming to seem like the most qualified candidate for the position, then you need to make sure that your resume highlights exactly what the hiring manager is seeking.

This process doesn’t need to be anything overly complicated. Start by taking a look at the description of the specific job you’re applying for and pull out keywords and the most important skills they’re searching for. Then, take a look at your own resume. Make sure that those keywords are included in your own document. And, those skills? If they’re things you actually possess, then you need to make sure that they’re adequately emphasized in your document. Highlight them in our “key skills” section, and move any related bulletpoints toward the top of each job description so that they’re spotted first.

These changes seem small—and, in reality, they are! But, they can have a big impact on where your resume ends up in the pile.

4. Do the “Skim Test”

When you spend so much time agonizing over your resume, you’d love to think that hiring managers spend hours admiring each and every bullet point and sentence. However, that’s not the case. In fact, the average hiring manager spends just six seconds scanning your resume before deciding which pile you should be put in.

Needless to say, you need to make sure your resume not only incredibly easy to read—but easy to skim. Ensure that your name and contact information are in big, bold letters at the top of the document. Next, scan through to confirm that your eyes easily catch on your past employers and job titles. Finally, continue scanning your document to make sure that you can easily spot your education and special skills sections.

These are important portions that nearly every hiring manager will glance for. And, if they aren’t easy to spot within those six seconds? Well, you’re bound to head straight to the wastebasket.

5. Proofread

You might think your resume is flawless—but you’d be shocked at how many different typos and errors your eyes are completely skipping over. When you’ve spent so much time on a document, you become too close to it to pick up on those things. For some reason, your brain sees what it wants to.

So, you need to go through your resume several times to make sure you’ve addressed all of those pesky slipups. My favorite tip? Read your resume backwards. Reading in such an unnatural way forces you to focus on each word—making you that much more likely to catch those embarrassing blunders.

There you have it! Five ways to polish up your resume. And, now that we’ve broken it down, it doesn’t seem that overwhelming, right? So, go ahead! Open up that document and get started. You’ll be glad you did it!

[larry@larrylitwin.com]

Stand out in your job search

[Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]

From ZipRecruiter/CourierPost online on Feb. 7, 2021

  1. Get personal
  2. Improve your documents
  3. Go above and beyond.
  4. Polish your social media presence
  5. Follow up                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           [Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]