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

Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

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

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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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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]

4 Leadership Tips To Help During Tough Times From Dale

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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]

7 Tips To Help Your Staff Feel More Valued

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Tip #1: Reward Them – It may seem obvious, but if someone is going above and beyond their job, do not forget to reward them. Whether through simple praise, offering them more challenging work, or giving them that long-anticipated raise or promotion, it is important to show them that you appreciate what they do. And do not wait for yearly promotions. It is better to express your appreciation sooner than later, so your employee knows that they are being noticed; it might encourage them to work even harder!
Tip #2: Lend An Ear – People want to be heard, so to make them feel appreciated, make sure you spend time really listening. This means that you are giving the person who is speaking your full attention, including eye contact, and acknowledging them.
Tip #3: Remember Names – People are always impressed when you remember their names. Greeting a person by name with a smile makes a huge positive impression. People might not remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel.
Tip #4: Be Gracious – As small as it might seem, saying thank you really does help your staff feel more appreciated. Be specific about what you are acknowledging them for, and make sure that you are sincere so that your “thanks” are taken seriously. This will make people feel good and encourage them to do just as well, or better, in the future.

Tip #5: Stay Away From The “Three Cs” – Do not criticize, condemn, or complain. Avoid being negative when interacting with co-workers or direct reports; there are many effective ways to deal with people and gain results without criticizing or condemning others and

 complaining about them or a situation.
Tip #6: Show A Positive Attitude – When you speak about other people, always try to be positive. Although this may not be easy all of the time, it will always work in your favor if you are fair when assessing other people. Secondly, it will be a positive reflection on you too.
Tip #7: Build On Someone’s Natural Talent – Everyone has some quality or skill that makes him or her important and valuable to an organization. Recognize someone’s talent in a proactive manner by catching him or her doing something positive such as producing a great result on a project, delighting a customer, looking for ways to cut costs, or to become more efficient. Doing this will encourage a person to keep using this skill and will contribute to self-confidence and an overall feeling of being appreciated.
Executive Summary: People who feel appreciated tend to “go the extra mile” for you and will be more loyal to the organization. Additionally, it fosters a more positive work environment that is crucial for anyone’s growth professionally and personally.
[larry@larrylitwin.com]