Winter maintenance worth the effort

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.Have you ever heard someone say, “What do farmers do in the winter?” As you are aware, there are many answers to this question.Winter is a great time to get ready for spring planting, which will be here before we know it. One of the most important parts of the growing season is planting. It’s crucial that your crops get off to a good start and it’s important to make sure that your planter is field-ready when the time comes. Planting seed into the best possible growing conditions is a one of the most important tasks of spring field work. A planter in need of some adjustment can result in varied seed placement, uneven emergence, and ultimately a reduction in yield potential.Check for and replace any parts of your planter that are excessively worn. No-till coulters or disk openers that are worn out will not create the proper seed furrow and may cause poor seed placement. Good seed-to-soil contact is critical in ensuring seed germination and uniform emergence. Emergence that is uneven can cause a loss in yield potential. No-till coulters should be adjusted to operate at the same depth or slightly shallower than disk openers.Seed firmers in good condition will also promote adequate seed-to-soil contact. Check the chains and sprockets on your planter. Make sure chains are operated at the correct tension and replace any sprockets that are worn as well as chains that are stiff, rusty, or excessively worn. Smooth chain operation is a critical component of proper planter operation and seed spacing. Any hesitation or jerk in the system will result in seed spacing that is not uniform.One of the most important aspects of planter maintenance is calibration of your planter. Make the necessary adjustments to your planter to make certain it will plant at the population you desire. Broken or worn parts on planter units should be replaced and units should be periodically calibrated.Along with performing maintenance on planter units make sure seed tubes are clean and are not damaged such that they will prevent even seed spacing. Calibration of your planter and units will reduce skips, doubles, and triples in seed placement. Research has shown that skips, doubles, and triples can cause a reduction in yield potential.In the recent publication Corn Stand Establishment and Planter Maintenance, Purdue Extension Agronomist Bob Nielsen said: “Yield data from our small-plot research and from replicated strip trials indicate that about 2.5 bushels per acre are lost for every 1 inch increase in the standard deviation of the plant-to-plant spacings.” Uniform seed spacing minimizes competition between plants for water and nutrients and promotes efficient use of sunlight.Once you’ve gone through your planter, it’s a good idea to test it out before you head to the field. It is important to evaluate a planter under conditions closely resembling those you will find in the field. Keep in mind a gravel driveway in the barnyard may work but it might not accurately resemble field conditions. Evaluate your planter’s performance at the speed you will be operating in the field. Check your planter for smooth operation, make sure seed spacing and depth is even and accurate. Making a few adjustments to your planter this winter will require some time and effort. This is time well spent and it could really pay off in the spring.last_img read more

Getting More Energy from the Sun

first_imgSeeking the ideal materialToday’s commercial solar cells are made from one of three materials: silicon, cadmium telluride (CdTe), or copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS). Each has strengths and weaknesses.Silicon solar cells are highly efficient, converting up to 25% of the sunlight that falls on them into electricity. Silicon also is very durable. However, it is very expensive to process silicon into wafers. And these wafers have to be very thick (about 0.3 millimeters, which is thick for solar cells) to absorb all of the sunlight that falls on them, which further increases costs.Silicon solar cells – often referred to as first-generation solar cells – are used in the panels that have become familiar sights on rooftops. Our center is studying another type called thin film solar cells, which are the next generation of solar technology. As their name suggests, thin film solar cells are made by putting a thin layer of solar absorbent material over a substrate, such as glass or plastic, which typically can be flexible.A CZTS solar cell on a flexible glass substrate made by Corning. (Photo: Tara Dhakal)These solar cells use less material, so they are less expensive than crystalline solar cells made from silicon. It is not possible to coat crystalline silicon on a flexible substrate, so we need a different material to use as a solar absorber.Although thin film solar technology is improving rapidly, some of the materials in today’s thin film solar cells are scarce or hazardous. For example, the cadmium in CdTe is highly toxic to all living things and is known to cause cancer in humans. CdTe can separate into cadmium and tellurium at high temperatures (for example, in a laboratory or house fire), posing a serious inhalation risk.We are working with pyrite and CZTS because they are nontoxic and very inexpensive. CZTS costs about 0.005 cents per watt, and pyrite costs a mere 0.000002 cents per watt. They also are among the most abundant materials in the Earth’s crust, and absorb the visible spectrum of sunlight efficiently. These films can be as thin as 1/1000 of a millimeter. Global demand for energy is increasing by the hour as developing countries move toward industrialization. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, worldwide demand for electricity may reach 30 terawatts (TW). For perspective, one terawatt is roughly equal to the power of 1.3 billion horses.Energy from the sun is limitless – the sun provides us 120,000 TW of power at any given instant – and it is free. But today solar energy provides only about 1% of the world’s electricity. The critical challenge is making it less expensive to convert photo-energy into usable electrical energy.To do that, we need to find materials that absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity efficiently. In addition, we want these materials to be abundant, environmentally benign, and cost-effective to fabricate into solar devices.Researchers from around the world are working to develop solar cell technologies that are efficient and affordable. The goal is to bring the installation cost of solar electricity below US$1 per watt, compared to about $3 per watt today. RELATED ARTICLES Cost of Solar Electricity Hits a New LowPV Systems Have Gotten Dirt Cheap Green Building in the Cheap Energy EraSolar Potential Is Far Greater Than Earlier EstimatesThe Big Allure of Cheap PVSolar Now or Later?U.S. Wind Energy Prices Hit an All-Time LowThe End of Peak Oil? So far, cells are inefficientWe need to crystallize these materials before we can fabricate them into solar cells. This is done by heating them. CZTS crystallizes at temperatures under 600 degrees Celsius, compared to 1,200 degrees Celsius or higher for silicon, which makes it less expensive to process. It performs much like high-efficiency copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells, which are commercially available now, but replaces the indium and gallium in these cells with cheaper and more abundant zinc and tin.So far, however, CZTS solar cells are relatively inefficient: they convert less than 13 percent of the sunlight that falls upon them to electricity, compared to 20% for more expensive CIGS solar cells.We know that CZTS solar cells have a potential to be 30% efficient. The main challenges are 1) synthesizing high-quality CZTS thin film without any traces of impurities, and 2) finding a suitable material for the “buffer” layer underneath it, which helps to collect the electric charges that sunlight creates in the absorber layer. Our lab has produced a CZTS thin film with seven percent efficiency; we hope to approach 15% efficiency soon by synthesizing high-quality CZTS layers and finding suitable buffer layers.CZTS solar cell structure (Drawing: Tara Dhakal) Pyrite has a stability problemPyrite is another potential absorber that can be synthesized at very low temperatures. Our lab has synthesized pyrite thin films, and now we are working to layer those films into solar cells. This process is challenging because pyrite breaks down easily when it is exposed to heat and moisture. We are researching ways to make it more stable without affecting its solar absorbency and mechanical properties. If we can solve this problem, “fool’s gold” could turn into a smart photovoltaic device.In a recent study, researchers at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley estimated that solar power could provide up to 45% of U.S. electricity by 2050. To meet that target, we need to keep driving down the cost of solar power and find ways to make solar cells more sustainably. We believe that abundant, nontoxic materials are key to realizing the potential of solar power. At Binghamton University’s Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP), we are investigating ways to make thin film solar cells using materials that are abundant in nature and nontoxic. We want to develop solar cells that are reliable, highly efficient at converting sunlight to electricity and inexpensive to manufacture. We have identified two materials that have great potential as solar absorbers: pyrite, better known as fool’s gold because of its metallic luster; and copper-zinc-tin-sulfide (CZTS). Tara P. Dhakal is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Binghamton University, State University of New York. This post was originally published at The Conversation.last_img read more

Understanding Autodesk Smoke 2013 Project Files

first_imgInside of this main folder, /usr/discreet/project… you will see all of the projects you have created on Smoke that are available.  There is also the main project.db file which contains the database for all of the projects so that they get listed in the project selection box when you launch Smoke.The ‘project’ folder contains the projects effects setup files. Inside the main project folder (“My Smoke Project”) are sub folders for each of Smoke’s various effects nodes.  For example, if you saved a TEXT effect it would be saved in [ /usr/discreet/project/text ] by default.You are free to save effects anywhere you like, but the default settings are kept in the projects sub folders. This is also the location seen in the [SETUP DIRECTORY] portion of the Create New Project screen. So it is possible to create a unique location for one project or for all projects to share any saved effects setup files.The Smoke Clip FolderNow, copying just the project folder and saving it, will not secure your project metadata as Smoke uses a more intricate database system for project management.   Inside /usr/discreet/clip… is where the Media Library information is saved. The Media Library would contain the metadata for all of your project library folder names, clip organization, sequence information, effects history, and workspace layout.The Media Library workflow and structure has changed in the Smoke 2013 release from previous releases. The ‘VICStopshere.clib’ file is the main library file and it contains all of your clip metadata including pointing to the actual media frames in your Autodesk Media Folder. Without these .clib files, your project would have no information as to where your media is, and you would see red invalid frames in your project.The ‘workspace.wksp’ folder is new to Smoke 2013. It’s inside here where each of the Media Library folders are broken down and the metadata for each is stored, as well has some effects history.  You will also notice that there are multiple backup files that get created. These are automatically created by Smoke, and are useful if you have a catastrophic project corruption, as you can use them to restore your media library information. However, project corruption is very rare in Smoke.  I have had to fix a corrupt Smoke project library about 4 times in 8 years, under 40 hours a week heavy use.The .000 files are the current used file. The .001, .002,.003 files are the backups:Under normal uses, you shouldn’t have to mess with the Smoke project folder or the clip folders.  All Smoke project management is controlled through the app interface.  It is there that you create, delete, and edit projects. However, it is always good to understand what is going on under-the-hood, so that you fully understand how Smoke works.Try Smoke 2013 for Free!The Smoke Pre-Release Trial is currently ongoing and will be free and useable until September 15th.You can download Smoke here: Smoke 2013 Pre-Release Trial. Where are my Smoke 2013 project files stored & how do I access them?In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at how Smoke manages project files, a must-know for any serious Smoke user!  We’ll go beyond the “Create New Project” screen to see how Smoke project files are organized and stored.The Smoke Project FolderAutodesk Smoke project files are not like the project files in Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer. The metadata that makes up a project is stored in 2 places./usr/discreet/project/usr/discreet/cliplast_img read more

CWG opening show to depict flavours of India

first_imgA worker sweeps a pavement in Gurgaon on Monday as the city prepares for the Queen’s Baton relay to be held on Wednesday, September 29, 2010.Leaving all controversies aside, the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) promises to be a gala event showcasing the flavours of India.  The main attraction of the October 3 ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium remains the aerostat. The oval-shaped 80 metres x 40 metres aerostat, which has been designed by Mark Fisher, will be placed at a height of 25 metres. Tethered at eight locations, it will remain suspended with the help of Helium. Top of the line lighting, projection and audio specifically created for the show will be part of the extravaganza. The music will be given by Ranjit Barot, Hariharan and Taufiq Qureshi.  Musician A.R. Rahman will give two performances, including a powerhouse segment on Mahatma Gandhi. Around 7,000 performers will be ready to enthrall audiences for two and a half hours. They will be joined by 800 dancers, who will present classical dance performances choreographed by Sonal Mansingh, Pt Birju Maharaj, Raja and Radha Reddy. The folk dance segment will be performed by 750 dancers from all over India. A troupe of 100 dancers, choreographed by Santosh Shetty, Devendra Shilav, Bansi Kaul, Kalpesh and Shiamik Dawar, too will put up a performance. There will also be a pulsating rhythm performance by 800 drummers. While the costumes for the ceremony have been done by Anna Singh, Serath Narendra and Ashima and Leena, the props have been put together by Dan Quatra and Umang Kumar.   The yoga segment will be orchestrated by Patanjali. The opening ceremony has been planned by a core creative group led by Javed Akhtar, Shyam Benegal, Prasoon Joshi, Bharat Bala and Wizcraft, keeping the Indian culture and heritage in mind.advertisementlast_img read more

Klay Thompson interested in joining Lakers if LA snags Anthony Davis

first_imgView comments Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Through his agent Rich Paul, Davis had already informed the New Orleans Pelicans that he has no intention of signing a contract extension and he wants to go elsewhere. Davis, who is averaging 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game this season, was fined $50,000 by the NBA for his public trade demand.The Lakers have always been one of Davis’ top destinations.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThompson, one of the deadliest shooters in the game, will be a free agent this summer.The Lakers acquired the biggest name in free agency last offseason when LeBron James left Cleveland for Hollywood. PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes With James, the Lakers went as high as fourth in the Western Conference in the early part of the season.But James, who is in his 16th NBA season, has been sidelined with a groin injury he sustained against the Warriors on Christmas Day and the Lakers have slipped to ninth in the three-time NBA champion’s absence.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: PH lost about P161.5B tax revenue from big trading partners in 2017 PLAY LIST 03:46Lacson: PH lost about P161.5B tax revenue from big trading partners in 201703:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Joel Embiid, 76ers get easy win over Lakers Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson celebrates after scoring a three pointer against the Chicago Bulls during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)The Los Angeles Lakers could be hitting on two birds with one stone if they land superstar big man Anthony Davis.According to Adrian Wojnarowski of, Golden State All-Star Klay Thompson’s “attention will be on the Lakers” in the offseason if Davis is there and if the Warriors don’t offer him a max contract this summer.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants MOST READ ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

7 Reasons Social Media Is Bad for Marketing

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jul 20, 2010 11:45:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 While social media has contributed many great things to marketers, all of the good stuff doesn’t come without its own baggage. We have talked about the good side of social media for marketing a lot on this blog, but we have under-reported on the negative aspects that social media has brought to the marketing industry. Stepping back to think about it, these seven negatives are clearly consequences of the growth of social media as a marketing discipline.7 Reasons Social Media Is Bad for Marketing 1. Focus on Scale at the Detriment of Relationships – Many people view social media as a way to engage with more people in a faster way than ever before. Yes, information on the social web moves fast, but often at the expense of deeper personal relationships. Marketers, while they can reach customers in new ways and get feedback from them faster than ever before, still aren’t personalizing communications and engagement to the benefit of customers and the organization. Most corporate social media content is too often re-purposed from another channel or vague and not customized to the prospects’ preferences in different social channels. 2. Focus on the Wrong Metrics – A fan or a follower isn’t a business objective. Social media has enabled marketers to chase metrics that don’t impact their business. The reason for most of the discussion surrounding social media ROI is caused by measuring the wrong metrics. Reach, leads and sales should be some of the tangible metrics that are measured as part of social media marketing strategies. 3. Time Isn’t Free – One of the big misconceptions is that social media is free. While many tools are free or low cost, they take a substantial amount of time to learn and use. Time isn’t free. Many marketing departments are becoming overloaded or passing off social media to interns because they underestimate the time it takes to learn and implement. 4. Another Organization Silo – Social media should be a catalyst for integration, but instead it has caused further silos in too many organizations. Instead of becoming a component of every department within a company, social media is now another group under the marketing umbrella and sits in a silo away from other disciplines like customer service and product development where it could be an important factor for organizational improvement. 5. More Noise Than Ever Before – Social media has reduced the cost of sharing information with others to practically zero. Because information sharing is now so simple, the web is getting continuously crowded with more and more information that is spam or irrelevant. All of this noise makes it harder to reach target prospects and for messages to resonate. 6. Online Gluttony – Now that online communication can be so easy and scalable, many marketers are going over-board with detriment to their marketing goals. This means that instead of having the right blend of online and offline marketing activities, some marketers are placing most or all of their attention online. While online is an important part of marketing, offline events and marketing still drive results and support important sales and marketing relationships. 7. Lack of Change – Social media has been a catalyst of change for the way millions of people communicate. Unfortunately, most marketers haven’t changed. The content marketers are putting into social media is the same boring and legally reviewed sound bites that people have tuned-out on TV and in print. Marketers are doing the same thing and expecting to get different results. Social media is not driving this change, but just enabling marketers to do bad marketing easier. Do you agree? In what ways do you think social media is bad for marketing?  Photo Credit: |Chris|     Topics: Social Media Marketinglast_img read more

5 Real-Life Examples of Awful PR Pitches

first_img Business Pitches Topics: Originally published Jan 26, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 As we’ve discussed in past blog posts, it’s not easy to pitch journalists. They receive hundreds — if not thousands — of pitches every day, which makes it easy to understand why they have to ignore most. So while it’s inevitable that your pitches will end up in journalists’ trash bins every now and again, there are still some ways to increase the odds that your pitch captures journalists’ attentions — and even warrants a response! One of these ways is to stop making sloppy pitching mistakes, which can be detrimental to the success of your pitch. To help you, we’ve gathered 5 awful examples of real-life pitches to demonstrate what NOT to do in your media pitches. We’re sure these pitches went straight to the trash; learn from their mistakes so you can avoid the trash bin yourself. (Note: We’ve changed the information within brackets to preserve privacy.)Example 1: It’s Vocus’ Fault!This pitch was just your regular, run-of-the-mill email.  At the bottom, it read:This press release was sent through the Vocus PR platform. Should you no longer wish to receive these communications, please unsubscribe through the link in the footer. If you do not want to be listed on the database, please contact Vocus directly to request for your details to be removed: [PHONE NUMBER]Source: Bad Pitch BlogHow Can You Make It Better?Sure, many public relations professionals use databases like Vocus or Cision to get in touch with media professionals. It is also a great resource to gather more information about a journalist and help you build a relationship. But it is also interpreted by many to be a way to spam a lot of journalists in a short period of time. When using software to gather a list of names and email addresses, put some additional thought and research into it. Gather more personalized information about the journalist. What has he or she written about in the past? It’s fine to use information you source from your software, but it’s still important to make it a personal pitch.  Example 2: Acting Casuali work with [XYZ] university school ofhospitality in miami, a leading business school in the country specializing in thehospitality and tourism industry(with graduates living & working all over the world as business owners- everythingfrom hotels, resorts, restaurants, catering operations, to specialevents logistics companiesto department heads in major hospitality corporations- marriott, hilton, W- asfront and concierge desks, human resources, accounting, housekeeping,beverage & revenue management departments, etc.)and was hoping we could work together on a storyabout what happens after graduation-as you know, high schools & colleges are graduating a lot of studentscome this april and may, and i would love to work with you on a storythat wouldanswer one of these 2 questions:a). does an internship lead to a job? is it worth working for free?b). what’s next- how to look for a you know, i work with [XYZ] School of Hospitality in Miami,a leading hospitality school in the country,a)and i can introduce you to students who are interning,and students who have gotten jobs as a result from their internship,as well as employers who work with interns as well as with employers whohave hired their interns.and one more option:an interview with someone who got a job with another employeras a result of a recommendation from the employer they interned for.b). and if you wanted to work on the 2nd idea,i can connect you with graduating seniors and academic advisor atschool about tipsshe would have to land a job in this economy.let me know your thoughts,and we’ll get it done!thanks much,and i’ll speak w/u soon,Source: Bad Pitch BlogHow Can You Make It Better?Even if you have known a journalist for years, you should never be this casual in a pitch email. Pitches need to be professional and demonstrate your value as a resource. There should be no grammar, punctuation, or capitalization errors — especially not an entire, long-winded, rambling email full of them. Yes, bulleted or numbered lists to get your points across is a best practice, but it should be a concise, organized list. You may know everything about your company or cause, but the journalist does not. Make your pitch clear, succinct, and organized.Example 3: Mail MergeHi FIRST NAME, I represent a major potato crisp brand that will launch an exciting new contest on Monday with a popular late night TV host. Readers of [your company] can win big including a chance to showcase their comedic talents and a trip to NYC. Our brand is as serious about blogger relations as we are about taste, so before sending you any details you could live without, our policy is to first ask for your opt-in. If youd like more information, just let me know and Ill shoot it your way Monday morning. Please let me know if you would like to hear more. Thanks!Source: PRNewserHow Can You Make It Better?Of course, the FIRST NAME error is obviously bad. But that’s not necessarily the main offense in this pitch. The problem here is lack of originality. The pitch is vague, and it doesn’t even include a compelling call-to-action. There is no reason why the reader of this email should opt-in to the offer, given he/she has no idea what it’s about. Even if you don’t want to reveal the full campaign, you need to give the journalist a reason to ask for more. Example 4: Kind of a StretchSinus Problems, Cancer Stand in the Way of Healthy Valentine LipsNation’s ENTs Urge Patients to Keep Lips KissableAlexandria, VA- What’s a Valentine’s Day without the kiss, and what’s a kiss without your lips? This year, the nation’s ear, nose, and throat doctors offer a reminder that healthy lips are the key to a memorable Valentine’s Day experience; unhealthy ones can indicate serious health conditions.”Healthy lips are certainly important on Valentine’s Day,” said [Bob Smith], MD, member of the American Academy of [XYZ]. “Dry, cracked lips, which aren’t good for kissing, can be the result of sinus problems and nasal blockage from septal deviations and other causes. Those sinus problems can also result in snoring, which will take the romance right out of that Valentine’s night.”Cracked lips can occur when a person with a blocked or stuffed nose is forced to breathe through his or her mouth. The flow of air decreases the moisture in the skin, and causes the lips to crack and peel. As a side effect of nasal congestion, stuffiness, or obstruction of nasal breathing, cracked lips add to the real discomfort of nasal congestion. The discomfort is one of the most common complaints seen by otolaryngologists.”Cracked lips are just the tip of the iceberg when we discuss lip health,” Dr. [Smith] warned. “Perhaps most concerning is lip cancer, which can severely impact one’s quality of life, and in some cases, lead to death.”Lip cancer usually appears as squamous cell cancer and/or malignant melanoma. Most squamous cell cancers occur on the lower lip, and can be caused by tobacco usage, UV exposure, or alcohol use. They may look like the more common, and less dangerous, basal cell cancers, and if caught early and properly treated, usually are not much more dangerous. If there is a sore on the lip or lower face that does not heal, consult a physician. Malignant melanoma classically produces dense blue-black or black discolorations of the skin. However, any mole that changes size, color, or begins to bleed may be trouble. A blackish spot on the lips, face, or neck, particularly if it changes size or shape, should be seen as soon as possible by a dermatologist, otolaryngologist/ear, nose, and throat surgeon, or at least by a primary care physician.”Before you wind up with lip cancer, it might be a nice Valentine’s present to your loved one to give up those cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco,” [Smith] added. At the very least, make sure to protect your lips from sun exposure with a UV-rated sunblock, just as you do the rest of your skin, he said.Source: Bad Pitch BlogHow Can You Make It Better?It’s great when you can leverage the timeliness of a current event or holiday in your pitch, but it’s not great when that connection is unnatural and forced. Using Valentine’s Day as a way to talk about lip cancer will just make journalists feel uncomfortable, and it might even be offensive to some. Instead of talking about Valentine’s Day, research a few fundraisers for cancer that your business may be able to participate in. Sponsor a support group for cancer patients and their families. The key is figuring out other ways to connect your business to the cause. To top it off, this pitch is obviously just a press release, and it’s extremely long. Most journalists would’ve quit reading after the first sentence. Don’t just repurpose a press release as a pitch. Entice journalists with the interesting nuggets that get them asking for more information.Example 5: Press ReleasesDear [Joe],Please consider the press release below for publication in an upcoming issue, either on-line or in print.Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks in advance for your consideration.Source: Bad Pitch BlogHow Can You Make It Better?We started hinting at this in our last example, but let’s elaborate. In the past, a lot of journalists depended on press releases. What many people don’t realize is that, unless you accompany it with a compelling pitch, your press release will be ignored. Instead of sending something like the above, tell them some of the exciting news that your press release contains. Outline some of the main points into a list. Consider including information that the press release does not contain to show why it’s awesome. But do not rely solely on the press release.What are other ways you can improve your public relations pitches?Photo Credit: Big West Conference Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Only 6% of Fans Engage With a Brand’s Facebook Page, and Other Marketing Stories of the Week

first_img Facebook Engagement Topics: Many inbound marketers have reached the point where they’re actively using social media, business blogging, and working on their on-page SEO, but how do you take your marketing to the next level?You’re smart for having that scaling mindset and wanting to do more, but the problem is keeping up with it all! Facebook and Google have been making some serious changes lately, and growing a following of loyal subscribers for your blog isn’t exactly something that happens over night. So how does a marketer do it all?In this post, you’ll find the top 6 marketing stories and resources of the week to keep you updated and help you learn how to scale your online presence.Google Searchers 3x More Likely to Be Logged-In Than Bing, From Search Engine LandHave you noticed that social and search are becoming more and more integrated lately? Well, according to a recent survey from Search Engine Land, 62% of respondents reported they do not want or gain benefit from social results mixed in with search results. Whoa. That throws us marketers a bit off course, doesn’t it? Isn’t personalization a good thing? In the same survey, data also revealed that 61% of Google searchers are logged into a Google service when using the search engine, compared to 22% of Bing users. This shows that Google clearly has an advantage over Bing when it comes to collecting information about users, due to the high rate at which users are logged in to the search engine. Even if users aren’t certain they want social and search to be integrated, this data proves that users are still using it at an incredible rate, regardless of what they might want. To see more data on Google vs. Bing in their social integration battle, check out the full story here.Google Launches Promotions on Google Shopping, Enables Distribution to Google Offers & Maps on Android, Too, From TechCrunchGoogle recently announced a new feature for merchants called ‘Promotions,’ where retailers can add promotions to their product listings in Google Shopping, Google Offers, and Google Maps on Android. These new promotions are meant to encourage foot traffic to a retailer’s store through Google Offers, which, if you’re not familiar, is similar to Groupon and Groupon Now. Essentially, you can purchase a deal online and then visit the store’s physical location to redeem that deal. Additionally, retailers can now create promotion lists, map them to the right products in Google Shopping, and then upload them to the Google Merchant Center. With this system, users can also redeem special promo codes, allowing retailers to actually track and measure the performance of their brick-and-mortar promotions. If you’re interested in learning more about Google’s new updates for retailers, check out the full story here.Facebook Launches Global Pages to Simplify Brands’ International Facebook PresenceFacebook has recently launched a new structure to business pages for global brands, called Global Pages. This change is aimed to provide a better, localized experience for international brands’ prospects and customers, while also consolidating a business’ global Facebook presence into one destination. Do you know of any brands with multiple Facebook Pages for different countries and languages? Well, maintaining these confusing, multiple pages will no longer be an issue with Facebook’s new updates. Now a brand can simply have one general Facebook Page, but also take advantage of the ability to automatically route visitors to the appropriate version of the page depending on their geographic location for a more personalized experience. Administrators can customize each variation to include different cover photos, profile photos, applications, milestones, ‘About’ information, and even news feed stories. Does this global consolidation sound like something you’d be interested in? Read the full story here to learn more.EdgeRank: Doing the Right Things Doesn’t Solve the Bigger Issue, From Social Media TodayHave you heard of Facebook’s Interest Lists? According to Facebook, “Interest Lists are an optional way to organize the content you’re interested in on Facebook. You can create your own Interest Lists based on the things you care about, or subscribe to other people’s lists.” Sounds pretty great, right? They’re not a brand spankin’ new feature, but many brands have been recently encouraging users to create these Interest Lists, in hopes that the brand will appear more in users’ news feeds. Of course, this doesn’t solve the bigger issue of EdgeRank overall because, according to Social Media Today, Facebook is “deciding that my news feed is too cluttered and attempting to fix that for me (and you) by developing an algorithm and basically deciding for me (and you) what I’ll find interesting.” Big brands like Starbucks and Coca-Cola get a great deal of fan interaction, so they generally have a higher EdgeRank. But what about the smaller brands? To learn more about the lingering EdgeRank issue, you can read the full story here.Only 6% of Fans Engage With a Brand’s Facebook Page [STUDY], From MashableOh, so hundreds of thousands of people ‘Like’ your Facebook Page? You must be getting so much engagement! Or maybe not. According to a study reported by Mashable, “On average, just 6% of fans engage with a brand’s Facebook Page via Likes, comments, polls, and other means.” Wow. So what does this mean for brands if 94% of people who Like your page are not engaging? Let’s look at this statistic from a positive point of view. Those 6% of people engaging are your “super fans,” which means they will gladly like, share, and comment on your page content, which helps boost your EdgeRank. In fact, “each month, the so-called super fan Likes 10 posts, shares five pieces of content, and comments once,” according to Mashable. So what you can do as a page administrator is leverage these 6% of engaged fans, and use them to your advantage. Make sure you’re catering to the needs of your core audience and you will build a much better, more prominent presence in users’ news feeds. To learn more about this study, you can read the full story here.How to Grow & Scale Your Business Blog: A Guide to Increasing the Reach and Marketing ROI of Your BlogYou’re probably already aware that content creation is a very necessary function of successful inbound marketing. And for the inbound marketers who embrace that, a business blog is one of the most reliable and effective platforms for publishing your content. So wouldn’t it be great if you could scale the impact of your blog so it makes an even bigger, better, and more powerful dent in your marketing results? We recently released a new ebook that will teach you how to implement an advanced blog marketing strategy to help you grow, scale, and rethink the role of your business blog. Most importantly, this ebook will teach you how to actually convert blog visitors into dedicated subscribers. To learn more, download the free ebook here.What other informative marketing stories or resources did you come across this week? Share them in the comments below!Image credit: Wim Vandenbussche Originally published Oct 21, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more