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Be A Hero! Spread The Word and Save Lives!

Encinitas, CA. National Volunteer Week is April 23-29, 2017. This is the time of year when many people strive to take time out of their busy lives to make a difference in the lives of others. TreasureLives, a suicide prevention and mental health awareness organization, is seeking assistance spreading the word about their missions of preventing suicides and destigmatizing mental illness.

This year, TreasureLives will be using all proceeds to fund their transition to non-profit status. Once this is accomplished, they will be able to receive grants for programs the organization strives to create and to produce and distribute more products promoting mental wellness.

TreasureLives teaches that it doesn’t take much to be a hero. The smallest act in your eyes can make an immense difference in the life of another. The simplest, most effective thing you can do is to spread the word via social media using TreasureLives’ hashtags: #TreasureLives, #PauseNotStop, #AwesomeHero, and #ZeroSuicides.

TreasureLives has outlined “A Dozen Ways to Donate.” These suggestions range from a simple act of sharing to hosting a fundraiser: the options include a variety of skill sets and time requirements. Visit http://bit.ly/TLs_Volunteer_Pledge by April 29, 2017, to make a volunteer pledge. You will be rewarded by having your name, company, photo, and/or logo on the TreasureLives Wall of Heroic Volunteers. You even have the opportunity to receive a special gift!

To locate TreasureLives’ social media links, learn specific ways you can help and to pledge a volunteer act, visit http://bit.ly/Heroic_Volunteers. If you would like to make a financial donation to assist in TreasureLives’ transition to non-profit status, please visit http://bit.ly/0_Suicides. To donate via PayPal, go to http://bit.ly/TL_Donations. International donations are welcome. All who participate will be mentioned on a special Heroic Volunteers page on the TreasureLives website at http://bit.ly/TreasureLives.

Please run this article. If you wish to interview Melody Nolan, founder of TreasureLives, or for additional information, contact Cari George at treasurelives.media@gmail.com or call (760) 298-3144.


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Amsterdam, January 2017. The Amsterdam-based Twitter targeting company My Social Database – daily analyzing data of 320 million Twitter accounts – recently developed a nifty new tool that exactly shows you which influencers on Twitter are of major importance to you, your product, brand or company. This generous Twitter data analyst now provides you with a free listing of your personal influencer Top 500, if requested before February 1st, 2017!

My Social Database delivers listings to marketers and other parties interested in enriched data. Their systems daily prepare new listings of branches, professions, and industries, whilst reading out Twitter data worldwide, and has these analyzed by their own unique systems and formulas. These listings are based on real-time data and are used for (international) marketing campaigns and twitter mailings.

Who exactly is of influence to your company? How do you identify them? And even get in touch? My Social Database constantly analyses the answers to these questions and came with a brand new tool; the influencer listing, providing a list of 500 influencers of relevance in an area of preference. On the website Mysocialdatabase.com, it is explained in a crystal clear way; you fill out the keyword (e.g. marketing) and within days you will receive the influencer listing of your choice in your mailbox.

About My Social Database:
My Social Database started in 2012 with discovering and applying the unique opportunities of Twitter, essentially an open database constantly updated by all participants. The company developed groundbreaking tools to read and analyze all information of relevance, thus developing an enormous database containing 320 million targetable accounts. Selections can be made on anything, from language to hobby, from marital status to profession… www.mysocialdatabase.com

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DDC DS Banner

Denver, CO / January 23, 2017 – The DDC Group’s North American divisions (DDC) launch a suite of solutions to empower companies with a sturdier digital marketing presence. Companies today must look to effectively portray a clear online presence in the ever-changing digital world. They need a quality brand image, a contemporary website and a strategy to continually optimize their online platforms.

As a global business process outsourcing (BPO) provider focused on reducing costs and increasing efficiencies for companies, DDC recognized this critical issue and knew that they could solve the need for companies who are looking to strengthen their digital marketing performance and ultimately boost sales.

The solution to this issue: DDC Digital Solutions (DS). This service focuses on building and optimizing company websites for advertisements and SEO functionality. DDC DS spearheads effective company branding and pinpoints application development for mobile and tablet-friendly website functionality.

“We understand how a vigorous digital marketing strategy can transform your business in today’s busy world. Both consumers and businesses alike are changing the way they look for goods and services, and it is largely taking place on the web. This means that companies need to change the way they market to potential customers. Whether our customers are looking to rebuild their website, create a mobile app, or develop a strategy that offers measurable results, DDC DS is a powerful solution set that adds tremendous value to your marketing and sales enablement efforts.” noted Chad Crotty, Vice President of DDC FPO & DDC USA.

DDC DS is the one-stop shop for your company’s digital marketing needs. To learn more about how you can take a load off, visit www.ddcfpo.com or www.theddcgroup.com.


DDC FPO and DDC USA are the North American divisions of The DDC Group, a leading global provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) experts and solutions. With operations across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, DDC’s 3500-strong staff delivers services in more than 40 languages with cutting edge technology using ahead-of-the-curve industry standards. DDC continually strives to develop custom systems that meet clients’ needs, while enhancing the quality, cost containment and labor elasticity of their back office operations.

Businesses, professionals, and others who use social media to promote a brand often are unsure whether what they’re doing is effective.

Their usual ways of measuring success – such as how many leads or sales were generated – don’t really apply and that leaves them puzzled.

“Even people who are enthusiastic about social media aren’t always clear on what to expect,” says Jay York, senior social media strategist for EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com). “One problem, I think, is that people mistakenly focus too much on ‘likes’ and figure the more likes the better.”

So just what are the best ways to calculate whether you’re setting and achieving realistic marketing goals on social media? Here are a few things York says you should expect from your efforts:

• Growth of followers. You definitely should see growth in your number of followers, but beware of trying to compare your growth to others. A company with a well-established brand is going to see growth more quickly than a company that hasn’t had much exposure. Follower growth is a long-term game so you shouldn’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen as quickly as you had imagined.
Quality and quantity of reach. To understand social media’s reach compared to other ways of getting your message out, York suggests you think of a billboard. You can pay to put your message on a billboard alongside a highway where passing motorists will see it. But are those people in your target audience? Some are, no doubt. Many aren’t. With social media, you can find the people interested in what you’re offering. You can also use social media’s analytic tools to gauge how far and wide your message is reaching.
Engagement. The level of engagement on social media varies greatly. Some people just read or look at what everyone else is posting, but don’t post themselves. Others regularly post their own content, and they like and share what others post. Often they’ve attracted an enormous following. “Those are the people you want to go after,” York says. “Follow them and they may follow you in return. If they share one of your posts, then you’re reaching their large audience.”
Traffic to your website. Whenever you’re interacting on social media, one of your goals should be to send traffic to your website, so be sure to include a link. How can you measure whether this is working, though? One way is Google analytics, which will tell you not only whether your website traffic has increased, but also let you know where that traffic came from.
The immeasurable. Sometimes the impact of social media efforts can’t be measured. For example, if one person sees something a business posted on Twitter and mentions it to a friend, that friend might check out the company’s website. If asked how they heard about the business, that person will say it was through a friend – even though it was social media that got the connection started.

“There’s a science to managing a social media campaign,” York says. “If you want the best results, you can’t take a willy-nilly, anything goes approach. You’ve got to carefully determine the most effective ways of reaching your target audience, choose content that’s most likely to engage them, and monitor what’s working.”

About Jay York

Jay York is senior social media strategist for EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a firm that represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. York, whose extensive experience in social media marketing dates back to the early days of MySpace and LiveJournal, helps EMSI clients make sense of the vast realm of digital marketing, from creative social media to overall marketing strategy.

With high schools and colleges out for the summer, young people are looking for short-term employment, enjoying vacations or participating as volunteers for numerous causes.

But anyone who owns a family business also can take advantage of summer break by putting their offspring to work for Mom and Dad, and that doesn’t mean a favored position in management for the fortunate son or daughter.

Instead, they should be going out with a construction crew, handling a cash register, dealing with paperwork or working at whatever entry-level position might apply, says Henry Hutcheson, president of Family Business USA (www.familybusinessusa.com), a consulting firm.

“They can come in as regular hires, get to know some of the employees and gain an understanding of the business,” says Hutcheson, who also is author of “Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business.”

That learn-the-operation-from-the-ground-up philosophy can help pave the way for the day when Mom and Dad want to retire and the next generation needs to take over.

“To start preparing your children for the top position, they need to spend some time at the bottom,” Hutcheson says.

Among the lessons the summer will provide the younger generation:

  • They’ll start to learn if the family business is the right fit. The children can begin to gauge how interested they might be in the business, and the parents can begin to evaluate whether they are cut out for it. Often, families carry the expectation that the next generation will take over, but that’s not always the best scenario. Sometimes both the business and the child will be better off if the child chooses another career.
  • They’ll develop a deeper understanding of the business. If they do eventually inherit the business, they will perform much better in their leadership role if they have been exposed to all aspects of the job. Summer break is a good time to initiate them without making it a sink-or-swim endeavor. “Many family business owners go astray by giving their kids more responsibility than they should have or by shielding them from hard work,” Hutcheson says. “You want to avoid setting them up for failure, but you also don’t want to encourage a sense of entitlement.”
  • They’ll profit from other viewpoints. Parents shouldn’t assume that only they can judge how well the son or daughter is doing during this summer exploration. “Find employees who can give you honest opinions on how well your children are working out,” Hutcheson says. “Your children likely act differently around you than around others, so a third-party assessment can help in evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.”

“One of the other lessons they will learn from this summer experience is the same one all teenagers and young adults learn when they take a summer job – the value of hard work,” Hutcheson says. “It’s easy sometimes to create a comfortable ride for children, but the most valuable dollar they’ll ever get is the one they earn on their own.”

About Henry Hutcheson

Henry Hutcheson is president of Family Business USA (www.familybusinessusa.com) and specializes in helping family and privately held businesses successfully manage transition, maintain harmony, and improve operations. He is a popular speaker at professional, university and corporate-sponsored events, and is author of “Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business.”

Creative Disruption has long been used in the marketing world to break existing patterns of behavior of a target audience. Smart CEO’s are using this technique to change the pattern of behavior in their leaders.

National business consultant Lorraine Grubbs along with CEO Frank Granara of Boston based General Insulation recently used creative disruption to address lack of honest communication among their high potential team.

This team consists of 10 individuals selected to participate in the company’s high potential program. They had been together through four development sessions and, as expected, some individuals embraced this opportunity to learn while some members were not giving it their all. Although the higher performing team members knew, nothing was being done among the team members to encourage the lower performing members to step up their game.

Lorraine and Frank gathered the team together and introduced a creative disruption technique based upon the TV reality show “Survivor”. Each member of the team was asked to submit the name of an individual who they thought had contributed the least and asked to explain why. Not surprisingly, out of the 10 team members, three people were “voted off”. The team now validated these three individuals, previously identified by Frank and Lorraine.

After collecting the names, the team was asked to call the individual they had voted off to tell them why. The intent was to not only have them identify the weakest link, but further, to have them communicate honestly with the person and finally to come up with a way to help them improve their performance.

In the training world, we say, “People can’t argue with their own evidence”. This was a great way to teach these leaders how to conduct difficult conversations while addressing individuals’ vulnerabilities.

Although no one was eliminated, it was a tough exercise for all participants. Ultimately this creative disruption technique taught a critical leadership lesson – honest communication.

How can you utilize Creative Disruption techniques to enhance communication among your leadership team? No one likes to have difficult conversations, and this exercise proved its value in the elevation of the team’s trust in one another.

About Frank Granara and Lorraine Grubbs

Frank Granara and Lorraine Grubbs are co-authors of “Beyond the Executive Comfort Zone: Outrageous Tactics to Ignite Individual Performance” (www.executivecomfortzone.com). Granara is CEO of General Insulation Co. and has a bachelor’s degree in business from Northeastern University. Grubbs is president of the consulting firm Lessons in Loyalty. As a former 15-year executive with Southwest Airlines, she takes principles and practices she helped develop to companies that strive for better employee engagement and loyalty.

The many differences between men and women are evident even when it comes to retirement.

Women, with longer life expectancies and lower average salaries, are much more concerned than men about whether they will be able to save enough money to have the kind of retirement they want, studies show.

But those concerns are not necessarily a bad thing, says investment advisory representative Joshua Mellberg, founder of J.D. Mellberg Financial (www.jdmellbergfinancial.com).

“If they are concerned, it may inspire them to more carefully study their options for saving and understand what they need to do so they can have a stable and rewarding retirement,” Mellberg says.

“Anyone who doesn’t have concerns may just not be paying attention. But women shouldn’t let their worries overwhelm them so much that they don’t take action.”

His recommendations for women planning for retirement include:

  • Understand Social Security options. Generally speaking, single women are better off if they can delay filing for Social Security until they are 70, when they receive a larger monthly check than they would get at their full retirement age, which is about 66 or 67 for most people these days. Filing before your full retirement age results in a reduced benefit. But if you’re married, additional factors come into play and decisions about when to file for Social Security should be handled jointly with a spouse to get the maximum benefit.
  • Educate yourself. Traditionally, many women left the finances up to the husband, but that dynamic clearly doesn’t work, Mellberg says. Women need to make sure they are involved in discussions about retirement planning and educate themselves about their investments. Both spouses should participate in discussions with a financial planner because both will benefit from or be harmed by any decisions that come out of those discussions.
  • Start saving early. Clearly, it’s too late for those about to retire, but younger women need to understand they can’t afford to wait. A study by the National Women’s Law Center showed that, because of the gender wage gap, women on average would need to work 11 more years than men to earn the same amount of money over a working career. That would mean 11 more years of saving as well. That’s why it’s even more imperative for women than for men to start saving for retirement as early as possible.

“Anyone with concerns about retirement should sit down with a financial planner to review your finances and look at options,” Mellberg says. “Having a good plan in place can go a long way in reducing any stress you feel about the future.”

About Joshua Mellberg

Joshua Mellberg, president and founder of J.D. Mellberg Financial (www.jdmellbergfinancial.com), is an Investment Advisory Representative and licensed insurance agent. He is a sought-after speaker on retirement income planning strategies and has been featured on CNBC, PBS and Yahoo! Finance.

Whether business-to-consumer or business-to-business, sales jobs account for a huge share of the workforce.

And with competition in sales fierce, you might think there would be plenty of analysis guiding companies and workers on how to do their very best to win and keep customers.

Not so, say sales experts Dave Stein and Steve Andersen. Most commentary on the topic focuses on one narrow aspect of the job – closing the deal.

“Point-of-sale strategies make sense for retail, although I think most customers and consumers want more from a salesperson than thinly veiled interest just to get a signed contract,” says Stein, a widely cited strategist.

“Customers want to be confident that they are doing business with organizations that understand their business and the uniqueness of their requirements,” says Andersen, president and founder of Performance Methods Inc. “A long-term, trust-based relationship proves beneficial for both parties – especially for a B2B customer. They don’t want to have to go looking for a new provider each time they require additional solutions, products and services.”

As co-authors of “Beyond the Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer-Driven World” (BeyondTheSalesProcess.com), Stein and Andersen offer tips to sales people for a long-term strategy in getting and keeping customers.

  • Do your homework. If you’re going to connect your services to a customer’s needs, know what those needs are ahead of time, before a potential sale has even started to take shape. Don’t assume that the goals of the next CEO you speak with are the same as the last one. Do research specific to each prospect.
  • Give them a reason to love you. Get to know them on a personal level. Learn about their passions and what makes them tick. Relationships matter – a lost concept among many in sales today.
  • Stay engaged with your customer after your last sale and before your next. As with any relationship, customers want to know they’re appreciated and respected on a human level, not just financially. Stay in touch and try to engage with them regularly to discuss the things that matter most to them. Follow their business on social media and react to their successes.
  • Leverage past successes to earn their commitment for the future. Validate the impact of what your solutions, products and services are doing for their business. As progress continues, explain to them how your will continue to create value with them in the long-term.

“As ink dries on the contract, stress levels drop for the salesperson, but it rises for the customer,” Stein says. “Keep your eye on the ball.”

Andersen says, “It all boils down to them trusting you – before, during and after the sale.”

About Dave Stein and Steve Andersen

Dave Stein is a sales consultant and strategist whose expertise has been widely sought after as a top-tier media source. Steve Andersen is president and founder of Performance Methods Inc., a sales and account management performance consulting firm whose clients include industry leaders and many of the world’s top companies. They are co-authors of the evidence-based “Beyond the Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer-Driven World” (BeyondTheSalesProcess.com).

Why Neglecting Your Personal Brand
Can Torpedo Your Career

AT&T understands the importance of promoting its brand.

So do Toyota, Disney and McDonald’s, just to name a few.

But individuals often don’t understand just how critical it is for them to promote their personal brands as well. In fact, their careers depend on it.

“No one from the CEO to the secretary can afford not have a strong personal brand (online and off), if they want to succeed in today’s job climate,” says Karen Tiber Leland, a branding expert and author of “The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand” (www.karenleland.com).

A personal brand – much like those corporate brands – tells the world about you. It’s a way of selling yourself and your image in a way that leaves a positive impression.

Leland points out that personal branding is not a new idea. She notes the article that Tom Peters wrote in 1997 titled “The Brand Called You” which helped give rise to the popular idea that an individual can be just as much a brand, as a soft drink or laundry detergent. She also points out that people such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin were carefully nurturing their brand images decades and even centuries before it became fashionable.

“Even though personal branding has been with us for decades,” says Leland,
“the advent of social media as a daily part of all our lives, has brought it to the forefront and made it a priority in today’s wired world.”

Leland says there are several reasons why it’s important for everyone to follow Churchill and Chaplin’s lead and cultivate a personal brand. A few of those reasons include:

  • You need to outshine the competition. The job market is a competitive place and it’s easy to get lost in the clutter of all those other applicants. You can stand out from the crowd by carefully crafting your brand with elements that can range from the way you dress to the way you tell the story about the accomplishments you have achieved.
  • Social media is forcing your hand. “It’s critical to make sure your online presence (including Facebook, LinkedIn etc.) represents you in the most powerful and professional way,” says Leland. Why? Because potential employers will check them out to check you out. According to a 2015 CareerBuilder poll, 52 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. And not having social media accounts isn’t a good option because 35 percent of those employers say they are less likely to interview someone who doesn’t have an online presence.
  • A negative image could undermine your career goals. While social media sites can help promote your personal brand, Leland says, they can also be your worst enemy. That same CareerBuilder study reported that 48 percent of employers chose not to hire someone based on social-media content. So ditch inappropriate photos, references to drinking, critical comments about former employers and anything else you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see.

“Anyone who plans to wait out the personal-branding trend until it passes needs a new plan,” Leland says. ““It’s no longer an option in career management. If you don’t define your personal brand, someone else will define it for you.”

About Karen Tiber Leland

Karen Tiber Leland is a branding expert and author of “The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand” (www.karenleland.com). She is also president of Sterling Marketing Group, where she helps companies, CEO’s, executives and entrepreneurs build stronger personal, team and business brands. Her clients have included Apple Computer, LinkedIn, Twitter, AT&T, Avis Car Rental and Bank of America, among many others. She is a regular guest of the media and has been interviewed by Fortune, Fast Company, CNN, MSNBC, and Oprah, among others. Karen has spoken for Stanford, Harvard, The American Management Association, Young President’s Organization and others.

Millennials have something of a mixed reputation when it comes to work.

Studies show that they aren’t loyal to employers so much as to the job itself. They also want to find a purpose to their careers beyond making money – which a pretty good thing, says Jackie Dryden, co-author with Bethany Andell of “Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line: And Build Your Brand on Purpose” (www.savagethinking.com).

Companies have had a front-row seat in recent years for watching the difference between millennials and previous generations, the latter being motivated more by traditional incentives, such as money.

“Millennials might be feeling the backlash of receiving negative press but they are right – a company must first start with purpose; then innovation and profits follow. Companies have much they can learn from this youngest entry into the workforce,” says Dryden, Chief Purpose Architect of Savage Brands, which works with companies to build purposeful brands.

Millennials constitute those born in the early 1980s to the late 1990s, and employers would do well to adapt to the millennial mindset, Dryden says, as they have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, according to population estimates released in April by the U.S. Census Bureau.

For those leaders who are ready to reap the rewards of leading their businesses with purpose, Dryden has identified three critical steps in what she calls Savage Thinking. They include:

• FOCUS: Identify what the company stands for and uncover its purpose, mission, vision, values and behaviors. These statements create the foundation for the company’s journey toward improved employee engagement, stronger relationships and more enduring success.
• FILTER: Examine each element of the business to understand what is currently in place to support the company’s “Focus” and where obstacles exist and from there generate a roadmap for moving forward.
• FUSE: Align all of the company’s words and actions in support of what the
company believes in.

“These three phases establish the structure that supports everything a company stands for and provide the guide for everything they do,” Dryden says. “When a business is able to engage Millennials, along with all other stakeholders, in speaking and acting with one purpose, it begins to propel the company toward meaningful and sustainable success.”

About Jackie Dryden

Jackie Dryden, co-author with Bethany Andell of “Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line,” is Chief Purpose Architect at Savage Brands (www.savagethinking.com). Author of her one-of-a-kind parenting book, “Just Me: What Your Child Wants You to Know About Parenting,” she is a sought-after speaker and news source across all media platforms.

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