How A Pink Bowl Created Buzz

Just Salad's Pink Bowl Promotion

Just Salad’s Pink Bowl Promotion

Just Salad gave a great example of how to create buzz with people who already love their product: Faithful Customers.

They sent out 100 skip-the-line pink bowls to faithful customers and then promoted the concept and the buzz took things from there.

A happy Customer who blogged about his pink bowl experience!

Personally I’d never heard of Just Salad, but that may have something to do with me living in a third-world-country. However, I felt myself wishing I had a pink bowl from this restaurant and I could skip lines for a fresh salad! In fact, I think the TSA should  provide this sort of thing for lines at the airport! I can see it now…” Hey! You can’t cut in the line…Oh, sorry, I didn’t see your pink carry on bag. Come right on in!”

Ok, so that’s dreaming a bit. However, I think Just Salad did a great job of getting their name out there AND rewarding those who have been faithful to their business.

“For the cost of a bowl, shipping, and a free topping, $20? the small business reached thousands of customers and prospects.”

via How to Create Word of Mouth Magic | LinkedIn.

Overexposed: The Dim Future of Photojournalism?

D. Sharon Pruitt, taking photos of her daughter Hayley, is one of a growing number of amateur photographers who earn small fees for their work. From the NYT article referred to below

I’ve written about it before, but the future of professional photography as a solo art isn’t looking any more lucrative than it did several years ago. In fact things are becoming more specialized and “good” is becoming “good enough” for cash strapped newspapers, magazines, print and web venues.

In the NY Times story, “Image of a shrinking path”, talks about how professional photographers are being overwhelmed by the amount of stock images and cheaper competition from amateur photographers who are flooding the market for weddings, portraits and even magazine and print work. The photography market has become overexposed with cheap but quality digital cameras that even those with little or no training can use to make quality images that pass for most customers.

I agree that someone who was looking for a career as a studio, portrait or even journalism photographer isn’t going to find themselves in a hot market…however someone who is willing to wade into that field, be excellent at what they do AND diversify their imaging abilities they could find themselves in a good position to grow with a hybrid industry that is still in blossom: Still/videography

Three tips for up and coming photographers:

1) Be the best photographer you can be and find ways to be better.

Devin Graham’s Facebook profile image

2) Learn and shoot video too. Check out the likes of Devin Graham who is taking YouTube videos to a new level and making money doing it. Besides even for photojournalists, this is the digital age and videos are part of image reporting now.

3) Do what you love. If you don’t really enjoy the work and toil of photography, find a way to make it enjoyable or do something else that you  do love and go be the best at it!

 

The Importance of Intercultural Communication Skills

Why Intercultural Communication Skills are Important to Me

I have often heard people say, “The world is getting smaller.” Yes, in a sense it is true more people are coming into contact with different people as travel and communication across the globe increases Since each of us will, no doubt, be coming into contact with someone from a culture different from our own, it is necessary for us to be able to communicate.  If we are unable to communicate with other cultures, we will become completely centered on our own culture and miss out on the blessings and ideas found in other cultures.

Intercultural communication is important to me, not only to gain from other cultures, but so I can understand others better.  Each person I meet has different backgrounds and a culture different from my own.  Whether as part of an occupation or in a friendship, understanding differences in culture helps me to be more understanding and enjoy the value of our different qualities. Continue reading

Carefully newsjacking your way into the public eye

Looking for that news hook? Newsjacking may be exactly what you’re looking for!

Read David Meerman Scott’s book…’cause he wrote the book on Newsjacking! His perspective on connecting news stories with your product or business can be a great way to get yourself in the public eye. Just be careful what news you jack or you could end up with a black eye.
On Nonprofitmarketingguide.com, Kivi Leroux Miller describes how how you can get yourself in the second paragraph of news stories if you learn how to respond quickly to the news of the day!

It works like this: a news story breaks. Journalists are under pressure to update that story for the next edition or broadcast. So while the core of the story (the first paragraph) doesn’t change all that much, the second paragraph does, with additional details or insights or related quotes. That’s your chance to swoop in with something a reporter can use that’s related — but not necessarily essential — to the main story to freshen it up. Then your part of the story gets repeated as other media outlets pick up the story. ~ Miller

Newsjacking can be done by commenting on the newstories and hopefully getting picked up like Remco described in the comments here.

I prefer the idea of having a relevant connection to the story that is interesting enough that it caches the attention of the reporter. It’s OK to use a bit of humor with this as long as you don’t go overboard, You can even newsjack serious stories as long as you keep them in good taste.

Here are some great examples from Scott’s book

I love how the London Fire Brigade newsjacked the story of Kate Winslet saving Richard Branson’s 90-year-old mother from a fire.

Oakley Sunglasses did a great job of newsjacking when they jumped on an opportunity to give glasses to the sun sensitive 33 Chilean miners. They each received Oakley Radar sunglasses to protect their eyes as they exited the mine after their long ordeal below ground.  Estimates say that Oakley garnerd about $41 million in promotions for the $6300 worth of product they donated.

Newsjacking  can be a great way to tie-in your organization to the latest news, but just be wise about how you use this technique. There will eventually be a news story that relates to your organization but it may be one you want to stay away from or at least be really careful how you tie-in to it. For example, if the local pound burns down, announcing your hot dog dinner to raise funds to spay and neuter dogs in the county would be less than advisable.

Have you newsjacked a story? Tell me how you did it in the comments below!

~ M

 

Finding a car in Guatemala

While there are hundreds of car lots all over Guatemala, if you’re in the business of buying a car you may want to check out the vehicles that are for sale at GPautos.com.

This web site gives you online access to thousands of vehicles in a searchable layout. You can pick from cars, pickups, SUVs buses, trucks and even boats from all over the country.

If you’re selling  a vehicle, this site can be a great place to present your vehicle to the rest of the country.

OLX’s logo

You can also buy and sell vehicles at the OLX site here. Many vehicles are available and you might find better prices on OLX than on GPautos.

Continue reading

Camera+ App for iPhone

Camera+ logo

Camera+ is my new favorite App for the iPhone. ($1.99)

I’ve been using the standard camera option on my iPhone 3GS. It was handy but nothing fancy and with pretty much no options or editing capabilities. Camera+ has so many options, filters and editing tools built right in that it turns your iPhone camera into a photo machine that gives you customized images that look awesome!

Summary

Fresh bean dip

Easy to use and great additional features for your iPhone camera including zoom, filters, self-timer, and more! Many options are available without paying more than the basic 99 cents. (There are additional features available for additional costs but they’re just more filters.)

Things I love about it:

  • Quick button response — The Camera+ App provides quick response times. When you push the shutter button…the photo is taken. What a concept!
  • Timer — Want a photo of yourself? Camera+ includes a self timer with audible warning. There are 5 second, 15 second and 30 second timers available.
  • Cropping — Get just the good stuff when you crop down the image as you desire. Options allow you to keep a variety of ratios or crop freestyle.
  • Borders/Frames — This option really makes your presentation look good before you post your images out to your friends. Includes a variety of options to choose from
  • Filters — One of my favorite things… I really like the options that are provided. From antique looks to HDR and limited depth of field , cross processing and more, this App provides a wide selection of filter effects that can be expanded (paid service).
  • Sharing —  With Camera+ it’s easy to share your favorite images via Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, or by emailing the image size of your choice to your friends. Continue reading

Online donation options for non-profits

Several online payment services offer many useful tools for businesses and for non-profit organizations too!

As e-commerce becomes more and more common and is embraced by many as the norm. It is not time to sit back and wait for people to send checks to your organization. When it comes to fundraising, it is time to take that same ease of payments that for-profit organizations use and bring it into the non-profit world. Put online giving within easy reach of donors. Here’s a breakdown on three options for online donations.

Thanks to PayPal,  Amazon.com, and other sources like Facebook’s FundRazr App non-profits have the ability to collect individual donations or even schedule ongoing gifts with tools that e-consumers are already familiar with.

PAYPAL

PayPal Donate Button

PayPal Donate Button

PayPal offers several options that give non-profit organizations the ability to accept donations in a simple way that consumers are already use to using PayPal accounts or credit cards. See a guide on how to setup online donations on PayPal.

FEATURES:

PayPal features include:

  • Configure buttons and copy HTML code for use on your website or HTML websites
  • Enable one-time donations at donor-determined amounts,
  • Schedule regular online giving at pre-determined amounts and cycles
  • Management of funds
  • Auto receipt
  • Optional info collection for followup

DONATION ACCEPTED:

PayPal accepts donations from people with or without PayPal accounts through:

  • PayPal Account transfers
  • Credit Card Processing

COST?

With PayPal’s fee structure  you receive a discount if you verify your 501(c) 3 status. The regular rate is 2.9% + $0.30 but while the non-profit rate is just a wee bit less:

YOUR MONTHLY
DONATIONS
YOUR FEE PER
TRANSACTION
EXAMPLES
$0 to $100,000 2.2% + $0.30 $2.50 fee on a $100 donation
$100,000+ 1.9% + $0.30 $2.20 fee on a $100 donation

AMAZON.COM

Amazon Payments Logo

Amazon.com offers a similar non-profit donation plan. Amazon’s no start-up cost option  includes the ability to configure your own donation buttons (to be posted on your site or in your html e-mails).  Amazon also provides flexibility to set fixed, minimum, or donor-determined donation amounts along with scheduling ongoing gifts.

Donors will have to either open an Amazon Payments account or have one already to use this service.

Amazon supports giving through:

  • Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB).
  • Bank Account debits (only supported by Amazon FPS)
  • Amazon Payments balance (only supported by Amazon Simple Pay and Amazon FPS)

Cost?

Amazon charges no start-up fees, but neither do the other options listed here so that’s no big deal. The key is to compare per-payment charges. At Amazon they’re pretty similar to PayPal:

  • For credit card transactions >= $10: 2.9% + $0.30 for credit card
  • For transactions < $10: 5.0% + $0.05 for credit card

I couldn’t find good info on their charges for non-credit card transactions, but they provide a pretty good FAQ page.

FundRazr

FundRazr provides a unique option of embedding your giving links into Facebook and providing goal-oriented giving with on the fly followup charts so donors can see how the donation project is progressing.

I like this idea, but have found it to take some work to setup (though recent reviews say it’s easy now!). Still with the popularity of Facebook this could reach a lot of people on the social network.

Payment sources?

  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card
  • Paypal Account

Cost?

Recipients pay a fee of 4.9% + $0.30 on every payment. The fee includes all PayPal transaction fees. This is higher than either Amazon Payments or PayPal’s regular service, but the ability to integrate with Facebook is really attractive even at nearly 5% in fees per payment.

Conclusion

I like PayPal but it doesn’t hurt to have several options as long as they’re displayed in a user-friendly way.  In unofficial numbers PayPal had more than 153 million accounts worldwide in 2008.  Amazon has about 615 million and Facebook has over 500 million users. That puts Amazon in the lead with users by evaluating your audience may be a good idea if you just want to use one service instead of all three.

Keep in mind the fees involved. You’ll need to account for these as you keep up on your records since this will be a reduction in the total donation you receive when transferring the donations to your organization.

Do you have a different source that you use for online donations? What’s working well for you?

Let someone (or a dog) wear your shirt.

For two years Evan White and Jason Sadler have been wearing shirts. Well actually they’ve been wearing shirts for most of their life, but now they get paid to wear t-shirts through www.iwearyourshirt.com.

It’s part of a unique marketing ploy that is getting some attention across the blogosphere. iwearyoushirt sold out days for 2010 and are making progress toward filling up 2011. January, February, March, April, and May are sold out. The price of having your shirt worn by Jason and four others started at $5 on Jan. 1 and goes up by $5 each day for a full $1825 on Dec. 31, 2011.

Even Jason’s dog, Plaxico, is in on the shirt wearing. At $50 a day you can have your custom made t-shirt worn by Plaxico.

They even make the shirt for you!

Here’s how they describe their shirt wearing services:

“There is no other place on the web you can pay such a small price to have such an awesome community see your company/product/service/etc.”

via How it Works in 2011 | I Wear Your Shirt.

Great Website enhancing tool: Wibiya

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Wibiya’s handy toolbar (see a sample at the bottom of page here). This tool helps increase interactivity and keep people on your site longer. Plus there are revenue generating options integrated if you want to use them!

Wibiya provides a web toolbar that enables blogs and websites to integrate the most exciting services and web applications into their blog or website.

via About Wibiya.

Facebook Group vs Facebook Fan Page: What’s Better?

When it comes to Facebook its hard to know whether it’s best to make a fan page or to use a group page. I came a cross a great description on Search Engine Journal.

Here’s a quick summary of Ann Smarty’s review of the two features. I didn’t include it but her article includes a great table that compares the feature of pages and groups.

  • Pages are generally better for a long-term relationships with your fans, readers or customers;
  • Groups are generally better for hosting a quick active discussion and attracting quick attention.

via Facebook Group vs Facebook Fan Page: What’s Better? | Search Engine Journal.