Monthly Archives: April 2015

Pros and Cons of Mobile Business Intelligence

By | Administrative Support, Business Management and Leadership | No Comments

Young urban professional man using smart phone. Businessman hold

Business intelligence is a vital part of running a successful corporation. Because of this, many businesses are beginning to use mobile platforms for business intelligence.

While mobile business intelligence may seem like the way of the future, there are a number of pros and cons that business owners should consider before making the switch.

Pro: Information wherever you are
Whether you’re at lunch with a client, on your way to the airport, or relaxing at home on the weekend, mobile business intelligence allows you to access your business’s information wherever you are.

Con: Every device works differently
The same information that is easy to manipulate and read on an iPad screen may be cumbersome to navigate with the track ball of a Blackberry.

Pro: Hands on experience
Rather than viewing information in a report or presentation, mobile business intelligence allows you to interact with data in new and more hands-on ways.

Con: Separation of business and personal information
Most people do not want to deal with the hassle of maintaining two tablets or smart phones. Because of this, corporate applications are either being used on a personal device or a business device is also being used for personal practices; either way, there is a definite lack of separation between business and personal information.

Pro: Manage data in real time
Mobile business intelligence platforms allow you to monitor and manage incoming data in real time. This allows businesses to make immediate decisions about what is and isn’t working, changing tactics and strategies as needed.

Con: Lack of security
The security for smart phones and tablets has not yet caught up with the security for desktops and laptops. Because of this, mobile devices can be more easily hacked – as well as more easily lost or stolen. Using mobile business intelligence could potentially compromise sensitive or confidential information.

While mobile business intelligence continues to grow in popularity, consider the pros and cons before jumping on the bandwagon.

How to Improve Your Email Marketing Subject Lines

By | B2B Marketing Communication Strategiesv, B2C Marketing Communication Strategies | No Comments

Set the Tone words on a computer keyboard button or key to injec

Most people receive dozens – if not hundreds – of emails every day. Because of this, it can be hard to make your email stand out in the sea of other inbox messages.

Your email marketing subject line is often the most important part of your entire message; after all, great body content will go to waste if the message heads straight to the trash folder. To help get more of your messages opened, follow these easy steps on how to improve your email marketing subject lines.

1. Keep it short and sweet
When it comes to subject lines, the shorter they are the better they are. Research has shown that the ideal subject length is around 50 characters. While it may seem difficult to get your message across in such as small amount of space, doing so allows you to distill down your message to one or two key points.

2. Add preview text
Most email providers show the first few lines of an email along with the subject line. Make the preview text count! Pack as much enticing content as you can into the first few sentences to substantially boost open rates.

3. Show readers how they’ll benefit
Entice your readers with subject lines that show them what they can gain by opening your email. Likewise, people love numbers; the subject line “Eight reasons no one is reading your newsletter” is much more likely to get opened than “Reasons your newsletter isn’t successful.” But…

4. Don’t make false promises
A catchy email marketing subject line is important, but you need the body content to back it up. If your emails can’t deliver on what they promise, they’ll be deleted faster than you can say “unsubscribe”.

5. Create a sense of urgency
Subject lines that advertise phrases like “today only” or “24 hour sale” are much more likely to get immediately opened. This sense of urgency helps ensure your message will be read now rather than being put off until later, when it might be forgotten. A similar tactic to creating a sense of urgency is creating scarcity with phrases such as “limited release” or “limited quarantines”.

6. Personalize
Whenever possible, use the recipient’s name in the subject line. If you don’t want to use personalization tokens, use pronouns such as “you” and “your” to make your readers think you’re speaking directly to them.

7. Ask a question
Readers are more likely to open an email that presents them with a direct question. This helps initiate a conversation and draw them in with what you have to say. “Can you live without these beauty products?” is a much more intriguing subject line than “Beauty products you can’t live without.”

How to Ask for Help in the Office

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Young Student Overwhelmed Asking For Help

Asking for help in the office can be hard. Unfortunately, many workers feel that they will be labeled as incompetent or lazy if they ask for help, often leading to bad results and further consequences if they try to go it alone.

Instead of unnecessarily struggling with an issue on your own, follow these helpful tips on how to ask for help in the office.

1. Try it first
No matter how impossible a task seems, try to accomplish it on your own before you ask for help. Use a wide variety of solutions or ideas to try and tackle the issue. By doing so, you’ll have more to contribute if you do need to ask for help by explaining the methods you already tried that didn’t work.

2. Don’t wait too long
Staying at the office until 1 am, neglecting other projects, or missing deadlines may all be indicators that you’re stuck or in a rut on your current task. The longer we delay asking for help the worse the problems can become and the fewer options there are to resolve them,” says psychologist Richard Plenty. Instead, ask for help before you once again find yourself as the last one in the office on a Friday night.

3. Ask a trusted colleague
If you’re uncomfortable asking for help, turn first to a colleague whom you trust. Fess up to your insecurities; more often than not, they will be honored that you chose to come to them for help. Doing this may also help you quickly resolve the issue – without needing to turn to your boss for help.

4. Use different words
Instead of saying, “This is overwhelming,” try, “This new project is making it difficult for me to manage my time effectively.” Likewise, instead of admitting that you don’t know what to do, address the progress you’ve already made or the things you’ve already tried. Doing this can turn a pity party into a collaborative brainstorming session.

While needing to ask for help may leave you feeling like a failure, the way in which you ask for help can shape how others in your office view you. By following these steps,  you can confidently ask your coworkers for assistance next time you need it.

Quick Fix Guide for Fixing a PR Disaster

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Public Relations

Whoever said “There is no such thing as bad press” obviously didn’t live in the world of social media and the 24 hour news cycle. Now more than ever, businesses are under constant scrutiny; the way you handle a PR disaster can either make or break your company.

There are a wide variety of public relations disasters, from the mildly embarrassing to the downright inappropriate. No matter what you’re PR problems you’re facing, the following quick fixes can help you avoid a PR nightmare and get your business back on track.

1. Quickly acknowledge your mistake
In the age of the internet, nothing ever truly goes away: tweets can be screenshotted before they are deleted, videos can be continually reposted, and one bad review can quickly turn into 100. Because of this, it is extremely important that you acknowledge that a mistake was made as soon as possible.

“A day is too long,”  says Jennifer Berson, president of Jeneration PR. “Even if you don’t have all the information you need, at a minimum you should be telling people that you are aware of the issue and will provide more information the following day.”

2. Issue an apology
“The really important thing to recognize about apologies is that they are a very smart thing to issue,” says Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, founder and business-writing specialist at Syntax Training. “In order for the client or perspective customer to get over the bad feelings, we have to issue the apology. It helps the other person release their anger about it.”

Apologies should frequently include and repeat words such as “apologize”, “regret”, and “sorry” in order to appear more sincere. A public apology doesn’t necessarily have to take the form of a full press conference; for small infractions, a heartfelt letter, tweet, or statement on a website may suffice.

3. Make it right
If a product is faulty, recall it. If customers had a bad experience, offer them coupons or exclusive experiences. Doing what you can to make things right can often increase the public’s perception and respect for your company following a PR disaster.

4. Counter with a positive campaign
A PR nightmare doesn’t have the mean the end of your company. Instead, focus on creating a positive campaign to change people’s perceptions of your organization. “Go on a positive press campaign,” says Melissa Cassera, publicity expert at Cassera Communications. “Even though negative things about your company will stay online forever, you can push them down to Page Three or Four on Google, and no one goes to those pages anyway.”

Dealing with a PR disaster doesn’t have to be the end of the world. By responding quickly, apologizing, doing what you can to make it right, and positively altering people’s opinions, your company can survive – and thrive – after a PR disaster.

Great Project Management Tools

By | Tech, Tools, Gadgets and Apps | No Comments

Project Management

Most projects in the modern work environment are no longer single person jobs. Instead, they require multiple people working together on various timelines to complete. Because of their complexity, managing modern can often be a logistical nightmare.

The following five tools are designed to make project management easier for everyone involved. With a variety of styles and features, there is sure to be a great project management tool for your business.

Asana is one of the most popular project management tools on the market today because of its ease of use and wide variety of purposes. The software’s design allows users to keep track of multiple projects at the same time, with the ability to cover both personal and business tasks. In addition, Asana is free for those with less than 15 users; the software is not pared down for free users, while paid users get better access to customer service and the ability to host guest users. Used by companies such as Dropbox, Pinterest, and Uber, Asana is a great project management tool for a wide variety of companies.

Trello is a user-driven project management tool that easily allows you to drag, drop, and organize multiple projects and to-dos at the same time. Different projects can be organized into different boards with their own tasks and due dates. Team members can easily comment on, add supporting details to, or reassign tasks for a project. Trello is also available on iOS and Android as well as working well on mobile devices. The user-friendly interface makes Trello the project management tool of choice for companies like Tumblr, The New York Times, and The Verge.  

One of the original project management tools, Basecamp is an excellent way to keep your team on track. For $20/month, 10 projects can be managed with unlimited users on each project; this pricing structure makes Basecamp ideal for those who have a few projects at a time but multiple users for each. In addition to the due dates, comments, and tagging done by most project management software, Basecamp also uses SSL data encryption and daily data backups for all plans.

Flow markets itself as the ideal project management tool for teams who need more functionality than Wunderlust or Trello without the overkill that comes with JIRA or Sharepoint. Flow allows you to create and assign tasks, due dates and times, add tasks to existing lists, and comment or tag tasks and files. The Flow iPhone app also allows users to easily access their projects from their Apple devices.

Google Docs
<span “font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:”calibri”,”sans-serif”;=”” mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:=”” minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;mso-ansi-language:en-us;mso-fareast-language:=”” en-us;mso-bidi-language:ar-sa”=”” style=”color: #464646;”>While not the most technologically advanced, Google Docscontinues to work well as a project management tool. Because almost everyone has a Google user account it can be easily accessed from anywhere and costs nothing to use. Google Docs is ideal for collaboratively creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and file sharing among multiple users.