Ten Tips For Posting Compelling Social Media Updates

2 Jul

Ten (10) tips with examples for posting social media status updates that capture the interest of your audience.  Infographic courtesy Socially Stacked.

10 Quick Tips for Better Facebook Status Updates

Here’s a quick summary of the ten (10) tips:

  1. Post an interesting fact
  2. Share a tip
  3. Endorse content
  4. Don’t always ask a question
  5. Inspire action
  6. Tell users what to expect
  7. Add a P.S.
  8. Use short links
  9. Use images with text
  10. Ask users to comment

10 Quick Tips for Better Status Updates



How To Craft Messages That Capture Your Audience’s Attention

27 Jun










I found this infographic to be a great way to quickly summarize the points.  Courtesy Ragan Communications:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Be unexpected
  3. Be concrete
  4. Get credible
  5. Be emotional
  6. Tell a story


Take A Weekly Technology Break

21 Jun

Time off mouse

There are serious personal benefits of taking time away from the constant hum of technology. So why wait for your next vacation? Take a device hiatus every week. On Friday night, turn off everything with a screen — your computer, tablet, and phone. Put them in a drawer to keep them out of sight. And don’t turn them on again until Saturday night.

Knowing you won’t be able to connect for 24 hours can be unnerving, so prepare in advance. Print out your schedule, along with any maps or phone numbers you need. Let people know that they won’t be able to text, tweet, email, use Facebook, or web chat during that time. Then enjoy — be present and focused on whatever you do — spend time with your kids, go for a hike, read a book. You’ll likely find the day is longer and when you power back on, you’ll feel recharged.

– Courtesy The Harvard Business Review

Bomb Blasts In Women’s University Bus And Hospital Kills 25, Injures Over 35 In Quetta, Pakistan

17 Jun

There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “Women hold up half the sky.”  The participation of women in the labour force has been shown to drive economic growth in many countries.  This attack on the women and girls in Pakistan is sad in so many ways. Let us hope this tragedy does not discourage any women and girls from pursuing an education and seeking employment.  Courtesy Aljazeera.com.   Picture1Pakistan mourns after deadly Quetta blasts

Banned group claims responsibility for blasts targeting university and hospital which killed at least 24 people.  Last Modified: 16 Jun 2013 09:30


Two attacks in Quetta, which saw at least 24 people killed, has sent Pakistan into a state of grief and shock and raised fears of renewed tension in Balochistan’s capital city.

National newspapers on Sunday carried headlines decrying the two deadly blasts, the first of which happened on a bus near the campus of the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University with a bomb hidden in the vehicle, killing at least 14 female students.

The second blast struck the casualty ward of the Bolan Medical Complex, where the wounded were taken, and a gun-battle continued in the aftermath. At least eight unidentified gunmen were reported to have taken positions in the hospital, and killed at least four security personnel who were attempting to resecure the facility and four nurses, local officials said.

Quetta’s Deputy Commissioner, Abdul Mansoor Khan, was also among those killed on Saturday.

The banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, which has links with al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Reports said a female suicide bomber carried out the first attack.

“Killing hope and history,” The Express Tribune said, “14 girls, deputy commissioner among 25 killed,” saidDawn.

“Across the country, there is shock as well as grief,” said Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad.

Three-day mourning

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the country’s interior minister, said the hospital siege and ended with security forces freeing 35 people trapped inside the building and killing four of the attackers. One of the attackers was also arrested.

Zubair Mahmood, the city police chief, said the bomb on the bus exploded after students had boarded and the bus was leaving the university, which is the only school solely for women in the province.

Another police official, Fayyaz Sumbal, added that the bus caught fire after the explosion and many students were critically wounded.

“As casualties were being brought to the hospital, terrorists had taken position inside the hospital building,” Khan told reporters. “They opened fire on on administration and police officials who arrived at the hospital. One suicide bomber blew himself up in the hospital.”

Pakistani security forces surrounded the hospital and carried out an operation to clear it once the gunmen had taken over.

“Four female nurses were killed in firing,” said Riaz Louise, the President of Balochistan Nursing Federation, announcing a three-day mourning, according to the Dawn newspaper.

Quetta is the capital city of Balochistan province, and regularly witnesses violence on a large scale.

Earlier on Saturday in the town of Ziarat – some 120km from Quetta – a rocket attack by unknown attackerskilled a policeman and gutted a historic summer retreat used by Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Since the start of the year, more than 300 people have been killed in attacks by sectarian, ethnic and anti-state groups in Quetta.

Pakistani fire fighters extinguish a burning university bus after a bomb blast in Quetta [AFP]

Take A Weekly Technology Break

14 Jun

Time off mouse

There are serious personal benefits of taking time away from the constant hum of technology. So why wait for your next vacation? Take a device hiatus every week. On Friday night, turn off everything with a screen — your computer, tablet, and phone. Put them in a drawer to keep them out of sight. And don’t turn them on again until Saturday night.

Knowing you won’t be able to connect for 24 hours can be unnerving, so prepare in advance. Print out your schedule, along with any maps or phone numbers you need. Let people know that they won’t be able to text, tweet, email, use Facebook, or web chat during that time. Then enjoy — be present and focused on whatever you do — spend time with your kids, go for a hike, read a book. You’ll likely find the day is longer and when you power back on, you’ll feel recharged.

– Courtesy The Harvard Business Review

Your Start Up Not Performing As Well As You Planned? Focus On Success!

14 Jun

Working for yourself isn’t easy.  It takes a lot of perseverance and self talk to keep going and keep believing in yourself and your company.  It is also important to put aside time at planned intervals to reflect on where you’re at and determine what if anything needs tweaking.  I therefore found this blog by Ellie Cachette to be inspirational as she recaps the various professional and personal challenges she faced since starting her company.  It’s a reminder to all entrepreneurs, that even when things aren’t going as well as you wish, “the greatest thing a founder can do, is make sure his start-up doesn’t die”….that is….. Focus On Success!

.What To Do When Your Start Up Doesn’t Fail, But Also Doesn’t Succeed

By Ellie Cachette, June 11 2013:

There were so many times our start-up almost failed, we joked it was a cockroach, a life form in its own right that, simply put, would never die.  There were times when we barely could pay our Rackspace bill, and one time I distinctly remember our blog being down because we forgot to pay that bill. There was also the time one of our investors cut our credit line in half, unexpectedly, right as we made a huge payment. And then the time our lead customer, two days before integration, committed suicide. Then the time a few weeks after that when our CTOs wife committed suicide.

There are so many things privately and publicly known about ConsumerBell that its nearly a miracle that we’ve made it where we are today. Any person close to us will say we have had no shortage of miracles and most startups that really make it far have similar stories; years where founders did contract work, or full teams were let go. We even moved my full apartment into the office hallway for a day while I was 24 hours between a lease, and experienced two hurricane blackouts in NYC and an earthquake that rocked our Park Ave office one summer.

Many of these things happened in our first year as a startup when our sole focus should be product. I remember after a trip to D.C, a water pipe exploded above our printers. We just went around the corner to a cafe. There’s always a wifi spot, a cup of coffee or an employees apartment to stakeout. ConsumerBell just would not die.

Similarly to a recently engaged couple and the way grandparents always ask, “When are you having kids?” there reaches a point where for a startup people are wondering, when you are going to IPO or raise the next round? Or have rocket ship growth? And sometimes it just never happens or even worse, sometimes like with Pandora or Tumblr it takes a while. There is this correlation between staying alive and rocketship growth. To get there the first part is staying alive and many other variables added to rocketship growth. Simply put just breath.

Yet at some point something changes: the founder gets bored, the company starts making money in a pivot that wasn’t part of the original vision or even funds run low but not low enough to justify shutting the doors – especially when there’s revenue involved. Sometimes a startup is well funded but just can’t seem to see a path of success like it thought and returns its money to investors, sometimes the market changes or the industry changes and now what was a “big” idea is only a feature but something need and so is true for the opposite when what was once a feature in time becomes a company.. Not every startup becomes a huge success like Facebook but not every startup fails either. There are plenty of startups in the middle, in purgatory of success waiting for the right VC or new CEO or market environment to change.

In the meantime what is a team or founder to do?

1. Sabbatical

From what I have heard, founders who take sabbaticals or vacations actually come back refreshed and with a new sense of balance. There’s a couple reasons for this: after massive sleep deprivation and zero separation between work and personal life, taking a step back often reminds a founder of the things that they want in their personal life and gives motivation to the work life and while in a lull this can upset investors or look like avoidance, its in almost every case helped the company and lets be honest, if a company is going to die it isn’t going to die in one week but be surprised at how much sleep a founder might need and you probably wouldn’t want many friends around. Stories of founders sleeping for days straight are not uncommon.

2. Reflect and Document

Having a lull or time for reflection can also be inspiring, its a good time to document all HR files, product road maps, organize digital assets, clean up email boxes and media content accounts like YouTube, upload missing content, re-share content on twitter. In many cases potential acquirers will be want to know many of these things like how many digital assets (files and images) to taxes and press lists. It never fails that when the acquisition opportunity arises founders are usually too busy with other things so doing it when possible is not only therapeutic but efficient. Also in the process you might find a gem or two of inspiration.

3. Help Other Startups

Dedicate a portion of time to help other startups in different phases. This will be refreshing to transfer knowledge and also help spread the word of what you are working on in a way that could spark new ideas or allies. When all seems lost helping others often reminds a founder of the world outside its own startup and can give perspective.

4. Do Something Different

One thing founders certainly give up is their personal lives and can albeit even forget what a personal life is making decision one sided. Take a class, do something random, spend a week with family somewhere far. Do something totally different and step out of the founders role.

5. Don’t shut down

airBnb had to sell cereal at one point to keep their company alive, in the early days of FedEx their CEO gambled his money at blackjack to win and make payroll. Evernote the night before closing its doors received a $500k investment from a user in Sweden and Blogger (which sold for rumors between $20MM and $50MM) to Google had to lay off every single employee before finally getting acquired. That founder, Evan Williams went off to start what is now Twitter today, so the greatest thing a founder can do when their startup isn’t failing is to make sure it doesn’t die. Timing is everything.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-to-do-when-your-startup-doesnt-fail-but-also-doesnt-suceed-2013-6#ixzz2WBzIJkw6

New York City Targets Energy Drinks And Sweetened Teas in Advertising Campaign

6 Jun

I worked in the Health Industry for over 3 years and the rise in obesity and non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke is a real concern for the state, not jut in Trinidad and Tobago which has the highest rates in the Caribbean, but globally. We started to tackle this in 2011 through a public education programme about the need to lose weight, get active and eat healthy.  It is interesting however to read about the push back by the American Beverage Association (ABA).  The global public health problem of increasing waistlines is not something the ABA can hope to address with Public Relations.  A more appropriate response would be to continue to add more affordable healthier options to their product mix.  Please read this blog by Natalie Zmuda and let me know what you think.

NYC’s Latest Target: Sports Drinks and Sweetened Tea

‘Pouring on the Pounds’ Ads Also Goes After Energy Drinks, Fruit-Flavored Beverages

By:   Published: June 04, 2013
New York City is at it again. The city’s health department launched a new iteration of the long-running “Pouring on the Pounds” campaign, this time targeting sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit-flavored beverages and sweetened teas.

The ads, which will air on TV and be seen on city buses, warn New Yorkers about the dangers of sugary beverages that may “sound healthy.” Past versions of the campaign have gone after soda.

In the latest series of ads, non-carbonated beverages are attacked for being packed with sugars that can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and complications like amputation, heart attack, vision loss and kidney failure. Outdoor ads show a sports drink bottle that’s pouring nauseating globs of fat into a glass. The ads, slated to run through June, encourage New Yorkers to replace sugary beverages with water, seltzer, fat-free milk and fresh fruit.

“Sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit-flavored drinks sometimes sound like they’re good for us, but they are contributing to the obesity epidemic just as much as sugary soft-drinks,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, in a statement.

The health department says sales of non-carbonated sugary drinks have risen substantially in recent years, and the ads are meant to warn New Yorkers who “may mistakenly believe that non-carbonated sugary drinks are healthy.” According to the health department, data from the New York City Community Health Survey shows that, of the 10 city neighborhoods with the highest obesity rates, nine also boast the highest consumption of sugary drinks.

According to Beverage Marketing Corporation, energy drink volume rose 14% in 2012. Ready-to-drink tea rose 5% and sports drinks were up 2%. Those figures don’t separate out unsweetened or lower-calorie options.

Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo referred calls to the American Beverage Association.

Kevin Keane, a spokesman for the ABA, referenced a new study from the Centers for Disease Control that shows over a 12-year period, U.S. youth and adults lowered their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages by 68 and 45 calories per day, respectively. Mr. Keane added that the ABA has reviewed the city’s Community Health Survey and that its claims connecting consumption of sugary beverages and obesity don’t “add up.”

“This obsession that the New York City Health Department has for beverages is really unhealthy, because it’s misleading New Yorkers. The contribution of sugar-sweetened beverages to diets is small and declining, yet obesity rates are going up,” Mr. Keane said. “The facts don’t match their rhetoric.”

Last year the industry was extremely vocal in condemning New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the health department for attempting to institute a ban on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. That effort was struck down earlier this year by a New York Supreme Court Judge.

“The people of New York City are much smarter than the New York City Health Department believes,” Coca-Cola said in a statement, at the time. “We are transparent with our consumers. They can see exactly how many calories are in every beverage we serve. …New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase.”


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