Career Switch From Journalism to Public Relations – Research, Communication Skills Transfer Smoothly

As the economy squeezes news editors, reporters and producers into new careers, many emerge into the public relations field. Aside from any initial hesitation about “going to the dark side,” it can be a smooth glide from one form of information delivery to another.

That was my experience after three decades on editing desks in New York, New Jersey and Michigan — my version of a path many others have taken successfully. “I was hired for my first PR position many years ago because of my journalism experience, and I know many others who have made a successful transition,” says Christopher Trela, an independent practitioner in Costa Mesa, Calif.

But one veteran PR executive in Washington, D.C., thinks we’re generally ill-prepared for the profession. Richard Mintz, owner and managing director of The Harbour Group in Washington, D.C., boldly waves a red flag at PR aspirants whose first career involved bylines and the Five W’s.

“Journalists by their nature don’t make great advocates or public relations people because they’re trained to be objective rather than to take sides,” he told Atlantic magazine blogger Jeffrey Goldberg in January 2010. “They also tend to work alone, and they have no business experience.”

Those comments in a post headlined The Great Journalism Exodus score one out of three for accuracy, based on my background and that of other newsroom emigrants. Overlap “between the two fields is galactic,” says Jill Parker Landsman, who brought seven years of reporting and editing experience to her position as communications director at the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

Business imperatives are recognized

Direct business administration know-how typically isn’t a tool carried out of newsrooms, it’s true. That’s not to say all journalists are clueless about management, marketing and bottom lines – life-and-death issues in their industry. As Goldberg notes at the start of his post: “Friends in the public relations business… tell me they are inundated with calls from journalists looking to escape our profession before it dies, as opposed to after it dies.”

Characterizing journalists as rigidly objective and solitary doesn’t describe professionals accustomed to flexibility, point-of-view narratives and teamwork. While balanced fairness is the goal, journalism requires subjective decisions about themes, sources, word choices, quote selection and presentation sequence. Reporters and editors work closely with photographers, graphic artists, page designers and online producers – a newsroom version of account teams.

Mintz also seems to overlook or devalue reflexes that accompany newsgathering experience.

“I use my skills to help my company make better decisions on how to place stories, land coverage and shape releases that will capture the attention of journalists,” says Ed Garsten, an electronic communication manager who joined Chrysler in 2005 after more than 30 years in journalism. “My colleagues turn to me often and ask, ‘Will journalists buy this?’ That empowers me to be truthful to them…. I’m fitting in very well.” He had worked for CNN, AP and The Detroit News.

Aleta Walther, a marketing communications consultant in San Clemente, is familiar with bias …

As the economy squeezes news editors, reporters and producers into new careers, many emerge into the public relations field. Aside from any initial hesitation about “going to the dark side,” it can be a smooth glide from one form of information delivery to another.

That was my experience after three decades on editing desks in New York, New Jersey and Michigan — my version of a path many others have taken successfully. “I was hired for my first PR position many years ago because of my journalism experience, and I know many others who have made a successful transition,” says Christopher Trela, an independent practitioner in Costa Mesa, Calif.

But one veteran PR executive in Washington, D.C., thinks we’re generally ill-prepared for the profession. Richard Mintz, owner and managing director of The Harbour Group in Washington, D.C., boldly waves a red flag at PR aspirants whose first career involved bylines and the Five W’s.

“Journalists by their nature don’t make great advocates or public relations people because they’re trained to be objective rather than to take sides,” he told Atlantic magazine blogger Jeffrey Goldberg in January 2010. “They also tend to work alone, and they have no business experience.”

Those comments in a post headlined The Great Journalism Exodus score one out of three for accuracy, based on my background and that of other newsroom emigrants. Overlap “between the two fields is galactic,” says Jill Parker Landsman, who brought seven years of reporting and editing experience to her position as communications director at the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

Business imperatives are recognized

Direct business administration know-how typically isn’t a tool carried out of newsrooms, it’s true. That’s not to say all journalists are clueless about management, marketing and bottom lines – life-and-death issues in their industry. As Goldberg notes at the start of his post: “Friends in the public relations business… tell me they are inundated with calls from journalists looking to escape our profession before it dies, as opposed to after it dies.”

Characterizing journalists as rigidly objective and solitary doesn’t describe professionals accustomed to flexibility, point-of-view narratives and teamwork. While balanced fairness is the goal, journalism requires subjective decisions about themes, sources, word choices, quote selection and presentation sequence. Reporters and editors work closely with photographers, graphic artists, page designers and online producers – a newsroom version of account teams.

Mintz also seems to overlook or devalue reflexes that accompany newsgathering experience.

“I use my skills to help my company make better decisions on how to place stories, land coverage and shape releases that will capture the attention of journalists,” says Ed Garsten, an electronic communication manager who joined Chrysler in 2005 after more than 30 years in journalism. “My colleagues turn to me often and ask, ‘Will journalists buy this?’ That empowers me to be truthful to them…. I’m fitting in very well.” He had worked for CNN, AP and The Detroit News.

Aleta Walther, a marketing communications consultant in San Clemente, is familiar with bias …

Sports Shoes Vs High-Heel Shoes

I wore casual clothes and sports shoes from the moment I can remember. Then it came one day that I had to take interviews for getting a job after my graduation.

Every one around me was saying that I should get some formal clothes and high-heel shoes. I was not willing to do that as I really could not work out why I have to torment myself with the uncomfortable clothes and shoes. However, every one told me that the formal dress would leave a good impression on the interviewer's mind and help me to get more chance of success. So, in order to get a job for living, I changed my casual clothes with formal dress, sports shoes with high-heel shoes. Every one said that I looked great in that formal dress and I myself knew well that the formal dress had really made me more confident. Only till that moment did I realize the advantages of formal suit and high-heel shoes. At that moment, I can understand why the young ladies prefer to wear high-heel shoes even they feel uncomfortable with them.

After a few days, I got used to suit and high-heel shoes and went to different interviews with them on. Thanks to them that I performed quite good in the interview and got a good job soon. And moreover, when I went to work in that company, I found that it was OK to wear casual clothes and sports shoes there. So, I can wear formal clothes and high-heel shoes when there are big occasions and casual clothes and sports shoes for daily work. …

Real Estate Investing Plans, Goals and Crucial Formulas

Real estate investment get-rich-quick methods upset me for a couple of reasons. They generally assume that you are going to self-manage the property yet ignore your cost of time to manage. Moreover, they promote “no money down” methods yet fail to warn you about the risks of high leverage. Besides, I find it difficult to trust anyone claiming to have found a goldmine when they anxiously peddle a map so it can be found. If they really discovered the way to real estate investment riches, why would they share it?

Actually, there is no secret way to attain real estate investing success.

In real life, you must work hard with good research and a commitment to a sound and systematic analysis. Pathways leading from get-rich-quick seminars are littered with disappointment; the key to successful investing, however, is to take as much time as necessary for proper preparation. Time is on the side of the prudent real estate investor.

In this article, we are seeking to help you better understand several nuances associated with real estate investing. We would like to discuss the importance of building a sound investment plan with meaningful goals and then cover the formulas of four popular financial analysis models used regularly in real estate investing.

Build a Sound Investment Plan

Having a plan with stated goals is one of the most important foundations of successful investing. However, it’s not about having lofty intentions and then declaring, “I want to be worth twenty million dollars one day.” There’s nothing wrong with desiring better things in life, the problem is that simply declaring something doesn’t bring you any closer to achieving it. The idea is to develop a general plan with stated goals and a method on how to get there.

Goals Must be Meaningful

Goals are the shortcuts to your desired destinations. Goals are not essential to life, many people do just fine without any kind of goal at all, but goals are essential to successful real estate investing. For a goal to work for you, however, it must be attainable, measurable, tied to a timetable, and clearly defined.

Moreover, divide long-range goals (say further out than one year) into intermediate goals, and your investment plan into subsections such as “cash flow requirements,” “net worth projections,” “tax shelter benefits required,” “cash withdrawal from plan,” and so on.

Start here: How much cash do you have available to invest comfortably? What length of time do you plan to stay invested? How much of your own effort do you plan to contribute?

Define a general plan: You plan to develop or own only the highest quality properties in prestige locations. You plan to own the largest market share of office buildings under 12,000 square feet in your local market. You plan to maximize your tax benefits on purchases and use tax-deferred exchanges and installment sales when available.

Define a detailed plan: How much cash do you want to collect each year beginning in the 10th year? What net worth …

Private Labeled Bottled Water for Sporting Events and Participants

Sports and athletics are such a pervasive force in American culture that few people can avoid their impact. Memories of an important game, event, score, or sports outing are often long lasting whether they are at the institution, team or individual level.

Personalized bottled drinking water is an excellent way to create lasting memories and produce high quality messages. Branding messages are available for teams, institutions and individuals.

Private label water is also an ideal vehicle for fund raising by schools, teams and individuals. Sales revenue through personalized bottled water sales at school sporting events helps ease current budget restrictions.

Sports in America

America is a sporting country with a substantial amount of time and resources devoted to the enjoyment of competitive sporting activities. Sports go hand in hand with a health and wellness life style and competitiveness is an important element in building character in our country's youth and future leadership.

From childhood until post retirement, sports and athletics serve to entertain and create role models as part of programs of exercise and healthy living. As children and young adults combine competition with sound programs of academies and extra curricular activities character and integrity are created. Continuing through adulthood, middle age and retirement athletics are a constant factor in American life. Many retirees spend a great deal of their free time pursuing sports based healthy lifestyles.

Sports in America is a major multi-billion dollar industry. Professional teams represent the major cities in America and engage in all major sports. Colleges base a significant amount of their activities and fund raising on sports and this approach permeates high schools, middle schools and grammar schools through the nation. Club teams and private leagues can be found in many towns and cities. Suppliers of sports products rank among the Fortune 500 of companies.

In addition to team sports, almost every family in the country is engaged in some form of sports activity with such sports as golf, skiing, water sports, bowling, outdoor events and others ranking high on the list of family oriented activities.

The Value of Memorable Events

Pleasant memories of unique performance or events are the result of many sporting activities. Often the powerful memories of a winning season for a local team, the big game that a child participates in, the unforgivable birdie, eagle or hole in one on the golf course and other memories remind one time and again. Many people derive significant pleasure from these memories.

Over time however, even the most powerful memories fade and memorabilia are often valuable as reminders. These reminders take many forms but serve to create continuity and continued interest in the healthy lifestyle of sports and athletic competition. Since individual and team performance is often the result of many hours of practice and hard work, a reminder of accomplishment is often valuable.

Personalized Bottled Water Memories

Personalized bottled water is an excellent way to preserve the memory of important sporting events. With a custom designed label for each and every occasion, …

Difference Between a Sports Watch and a Dress Watch

Many people do not understand that certain timepieces cannot be worn with certain outfits. A popular mens watch is a silver stainless-steel chronograph watch such as the Submariner series or Tag Huer watches. While these are great watches, they are sporty. You would not wear a watch like that with a suit or tuxedo. On the other hand, if you are wear jeans and a t-shirt, you would not wear a Rado or a Movado watch since those watches are meant for dressy attire.

Sports watches were made for the primary intention of being used in certain sport events where you could use a timer or stopwatch such as football, soccer, track and field, etc. These watches have the standard sport look such as a chronograph, stainless-steel bezel, and tachymeter. A watch like this has normally a bigger face and looks great with casual outfits and is very versatile in the style of outfits it will look good on. Something like this will not work well with formal outfits for occasions that require suits or tuxedo’s. A sport watch will stand out too much and in a negative way making your entire outfit look tacky.

For a tuxedo or formal occasion where you must wear a suit and tie, a dress watch is preferred and gives off a stylish look. Unlike a sport watch which many features and a larger face, a dress watch is basic and subtle. The biggest fashion mistake that men make when wearing outfits for formal occasions is wearing accessories that bring too much attention. Instead, you want a classic, timeless look, and the perfect way to pull off a look like this is a very subtle watch. One of the most famous watches for doing this is the Movado. A Movado watch is known for how subtle they are yet they are one of the best selling watches for formal outfits and dress codes. Generally, these watches have a muted stainless-steel or leather band and the face of the watch will be black and normally does not have the time numbers on the face. It has just the hour, minute, and second hands making it a very simple, yet exquisite watch to wear.

Not all watches are made equal and it is good to wear the correct watch to the type of setting and atmosphere it was intended for. You would not wear a classic timepiece to a baseball game and you also would not wear a over sized chronograph watch with a tuxedo to a wedding. Knowing the right watch to wear will give you a boost of style and confidence.…

Prescription Sport Sunglasses – Seeing the Light

You'd think the major manufacturers of sports eyewear would be keen to cater for spectacle wearers, especially given the sheer numbers of us (yes, me included) in the world who are somewhat challenged in the eyesight department. Well, guess what – they are – keen, that is – though, they do not like to shout about it. Why? In all honesty I'm not entirely sure, but my best (educated) guess would be that when it comes to splashing the cash from their marketing budgets on magazine and other forms of advertising, they look at it as a game of numbers and concentrate On hitting the greater part of their audience who do not wear spectacles.

In taking this line, I personally think they've missed a trick. These days, ever greater numbers of middle-aged to older people are partaking in sport and leisure activities, and a sizeable number of them need a little help with their eyesight. It's a medical certainty that for most, the coming of the big 'four zero' will herald a downturn in your eyesight, and even if you've always been proud of those apparently perfect peepers over the years, it may be time to admit a Visit to the optician is necessary.

As mentioned above, there is actually quite a decent selection of prescription sunglasses for sport on the market – you just have to put in a little work to find them. When you do, do not be surprised to find most are expensive; After all, we're talking about a requirement for optical perfection, and you have to pay for the glasses plus adding your prescription lenses. How could that possibly be cheap?

The best solutions to the prescription issue, offered by quite a few manufacturers, involves what the trade call an 'Rx clip' or 'Rx insert'. In essence, the insert is a plastic spectacle clip that holds your prescription lenses and sets behind the actual wrap-around sports tinted front section of the frame. Very often, the tinted lenses are interchangeable, bringing practical and versatile options to the spectacle wearer. Solutions of this type are offered by the likes of Oakley, Bolle Adidas and Rudy Project, as well as a myriad of lesser known manufacturers. None of them are cheap, and there is a pitfall with this type of eyewear that, despite surprisingly, even the 'big boys' of the sports eyewear world often fall foul of …

The problem is this: in order to ensure the tinted lenses do not sit too far off your face, making you look like something out of Battlestar Galactica when you hit the golf course, most manufacturers seat the Rx adapter way way back in the frame – So far back, in fact, that your eyelashes touch the lenses. Not only is this a quite literal irritating problem – you'll also soon find, if you are taking part in active sports or even walking across the beach on a blistering hot day, that sweat will drip from your eyebrows down …

Principles of Marketing 101

Marketing results should be measured in only one way – increased sales. Marketing should not be considered an art form. Its mere existence is not enough. Marketing is the first step to the sale. There are seven underlying principles upon which to base your marketing strategy and efforts. Follow them and your business will be a raving success. Violate them and you will fail as so many small businesses do.

The seven underlying principles are Image, Differentiation, Repeat Business, Ease of Doing Business, Networking, Likeability, and Emotion. Let’s begin with image.

Image

Much like people have an image so does their business. Some people are informal and likeable, as are some businesses. Some people are formal and aloof, as are some businesses. Your image is wrapped up in your packaging. The clothes you wear, the haircut you sport, the weight you carry, and the age you are, all create your image. The same applies to your business.

Every way your business presents itself to your customers adds to or detracts from the image you are trying to create with your marketing efforts. Decide on the image you wish to convey to the public and design your business to support that image. Your business cards, letterhead, website, advertising materials, and every other portion of your business which will come into contact with a customer must reflect the same image.

If you sell a product, your image is also reflected in your packaging, the colors, the box, the website, the store — everything. If you sell a service, your image is reflected in your writings, your website, your proposals and your presentations. Make every interaction with a customer or prospect reflect the image you have for your business.

However, remember, it is far easier to create an unforgettable image by differentiating yourself from the competition.

Differentiation

Be as different as a zebra in a herd of horses. You must be different from your competitors in order to stand out. And, you must be able to convey that difference in all your messages to prospects. If you know you are different and don’t convey it, you lose. You must leverage your differences to your advantage.

If you can’t differentiate yourself, it’s because of two general reasons. You think you don’t have any competitors. Or, you have copied your competitors to the extent you all look alike to your prospects.

Thinking you don’t have any competitors is a dangerous and naïve position to take. Even if someone doesn’t sell the exact product you sell, they do compete with you for people’s money. If a potential customer is spending money with someone else, they aren’t spending it with you. Offer something different in product or service.

The second option, where you look just like your competition, is equally dangerous. In this situation, the only way to compete is by having the lowest price. Lowest price also translates to lower profit margin. This means you’re working harder to make money than you have to.

Differentiating yourself …

Private Note Holder Leads

The private note holder industry is one of the greatest opportunities available in the market no matter the economy. There are always going to be opportunities in this industry for someone to make money. If you know anything about Real estate and the value of the industry then you know about cash flow. If you have cash flow then you have wealth. Many people will start buying seller finance notes to create this cash flow. Other times notes are created to facilitate the sale of a property but the holder does not want to hold the cash flow. It does not really matter why they don’t want it. Perhaps there are other interests where they want to put the money or maybe they just want to have the cash now. Whatever the reason there are many private note holders who would rather sell the note they hold for cash. To them immediate cash is king.

If you are looking to work the note business as a broker or beginning buyer of notes then the right note holder lead list is important for you to be able to contact these potential note sellers. It is also important to understand what such a lead list really is and what your expectations should be. It is true there are many of these note holders who do not want to keep the note they ended up with. It is not true however that any company can offer you a note holder lead list which exclusively contains people who want to sell. Not holder lead lists are simply public record data that has been gathered for marketing purposes.

There are some important things to understand before buying a mortgage note holder lead list. The first is to understand the data and recognize it for what it is. With many consumer lead lists the data is simply pulled from current addressees and is current with the name and address that exists now. This type of list is not a specialized list. When you are dealing with a more specialized list such as seller finance note holder leads, the data you seek is specific to the document that was recorded and not to the current address or name. With the private mortgage not holder list you are seeking data that was recorded often years prior. It is the action of the private note being created that you are seeking.

Once you understand that the data is often “old” data due to the nature of the requested information then you can move to understanding the statistics. Make yourself aware of the possibilities of what may have happened since that note was created. The best possible option is that the note was created and the seller or note holder still lives at the same address and no mistakes were made in recording and he wants to sell.

That is not always the way it goes however. Often times the note is created and then the seller moves. Other times …

6 Metrics For Measuring SEO Success

Search Engine Optimization is a long-term investment. Unlike PPC advertising, which can produce results immediately and generate qualified leads within days, SEO often takes months before it moves your website into the desired top search rankings. So, how do you know if you're on the right track in the meanime? What metrics can you use along the way to determine what's working, to keep you moving in the right direction, and to course correct as needed? And how can you tie these into your bigger-picture online marketing analytics, to help you make better marketing and budgeting decisions?

Here are the 6 most important measures that will tell you how well you're doing in the Organic Search Ranking game. These are the tools of the SEO trade, and any SEO consultant should have them at their fingertips. Before you embark on measuring, however, make sure you know what goals you're trying to reach, and set yourself up to measure the things that will have the greatest impact on your long-term success.

Ranking Reports

Since the main objective of SEO is to improve your website's search ranking for valuable keywords, the most obvious metric is your ranking. At the simplest level, you can easily track this by typing your keyword into Google each week and watching where your website appears in the list of results – if you're doing the right things in SEO, you'll see it inch up over time . If you're tracking multiple keywords, Google Webmaster Tools allows you to track the top search queries people are using to find your site, and the average position each one achieves in rankings. If you're looking for a leader and deeper metrics, consider some of the more sophisticated ranking tools that measure your all keywords on all search engines, and track progress over time. We use and really like Advanced Web Ranking from Caphyon – it's easy to set up, easy to use, and has a simple, intuitive interface that shows progress for all your keywords over any time segments – but there are many others as well.

Website Diagnostics

Since your keyword rankings may take time to move up, it's also important to track and tweak other key measures – starting with basic diagnostics that can tell you if your site is 'search engine friendly.' Google Webmaster Tools is a terrifying tool for diagnosing anything on your website that might trip the search engines and cause them not to see, crawl, or index the pages on your site. And if Google can not crawl or index your site, searchers will never find it. Any good SEO consultant should know how to read these diagnostics, and know what to do when there's a problem.

Inbound Link Metrics

Links coming into your site from other sites is arguably the largest determinant of your search ranking. The quantity, quality, longevity, diversity, and productivity of inbound links are there before important metrics to track. Often link building efforts – which you can do yourself …

How the Internet Has Forever Changed Marketing

In the last few years, consumers have changed the way they find what they want, and where they want to get it. Business supplies, concert tickets, and that perfect gift are now on the web, and that’s where many people are going. In the past consumers have responded to direct mail, cold calling, and trade shows in addition to conventional advertising. Those methods are less effective than the internet and also harmful to the environment through toxic ink, paper waste, fuel costs, and other excess energy consumption. With the use of search engines, it is now easy to filter out gimmicks and find what we are looking for directly. The tools are at the tips of our fingers and unlimited. We have access to search engines, social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), and blogs where we can find information as well as reviews on those services or products we are researching. Therefore, marketers must change their tactics to accommodate how the internet is changing business.

Inbound Marketing is now far more effective. The internet and the emergence of sites such as Google, MSN, Yahoo, Digg and other sites, allow consumers to research what they are looking for without involving the companies directly. “The internet has changed the dynamics of the business world, necessitating from ‘old marketing’ techniques to ‘new marketing’ techniques” (hubspot). Business owners now need to ensure that their website is optimized for this. Website content matters, as well as the location of key words or phrases. To optimize a website, key words must be in the page title, headings, URL, and in the page text. Keeping content fresh and updated is another good way to increase search engine rankings, especially when used in conjunction with viral videos, podcasts, and YouTube videos.

By adding simple tools such as a blog, a site owner creates a unique opportunity for search engine optimization (SEO). However, keep in mind that the blog set up with its own webpage for the best results. Websites are also setting up RSS Feeds. This allows consumers to have their favorite websites send them updates, as opposed to going to each website and searching for the information. Most people have very busy lifestyles and don’t have time to waste. By simply adding this feature, websites are ensuring more visits to their site.

Social networking is a huge way to market to consumers, with 34% believing that businesses should be involved with a social network, while 51% believe they should also interact with consumers through a networking site. After a website has established itself and has more visitors, the designers should add an online form for visitors to register for updates, newsletters or give-a-ways. This also generates new leads for the business. Credible inbound links also generate more traffic to your website and rank your site higher on the search engines.

With all of the “new” technology out there, it is far more effective for advertising dollars to utilize the web and market to consumers in the format …