Friday, June 1, 2007

e a meat-lover, but she

Your dog may be a meat-lover, but she or he is not a true carnivore, like cats.

Therefore, unlike other predators, dogs require more than meat for daily nutrition. It is true that no dog is the same, and nutritional and caloric needs of dogs do vary. Differentiating stages of the dog's life mandate evolving requirements, as well.

All dogs, though, require minimum quantities of six basic nutrients: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and water.

Dogs are not herbivores, either, so while plant-based proteins can be beneficial, they are lacking in some essential amino acids provided by animal-based proteins, and should never be considered a sufficient protein source in and of themselves. Commercial dog foods are often rich with plant-based proteins, which are more difficult for your dog to digest and absorb. The type of protein contained in the food is essential to know. Foods containing cereal proteins (wheat, corn, barley) have little nutritional value for dogs. Muscle meats, eggs and organ meats (such as liver) provide much more usable protein.

It was at this point

It was at this point that I realized I needed help.

I went through months and months of therapy but to no avail. Until one day Ralph the dog got very ill. He came down with a rare kidney disease and we had to put him to sleep. After that things went back to normal with my wife once again calling me Ralph.

I no longer had urges to do dog things. I became my old self again. But I often wonder what would have happened if Ralph the dog had never got sick and my wife continued to call me 'Lucky'?

(c) All rights reserved.

I just can't decide and it is driving me nuts. Should I get pet medical insurance or not. I can't sleep and I'm losing my hair.

another household pet.

Anyhow, after about a month of calling me 'Lucky' I noticed the dimensions of our relationship were changing. Not only between myself and my future wife but between myself and the dog.

Every time my wife called out the name 'Lucky' I would come running. And the dog would look at me strangely. Almost as if the dog was wondering - what in the heck is a human doing with a dog name?

Not only that but I could have sworn that the dog was sneering and laughing at me. Soon the dog stopped obeying me and began treating me indifferently like I wasn't its master but just another household pet.

It was around this time that I noticed I really enjoyed having me ears scratched by my wife. I would cuddle up with her on the sofa and put my head in her lap and she would gently scratch the backs of my ears.

Then one day we were out taking a walk and we decided to cut through a park. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a squirrel near a tree and for some uncontrollable reason I took off and started chasing it.

quirky lady but I love her.

When I first started seeing my wife she had a dog with the exact same name as me which is Ralph. (Why people give dog's people names I'm not sure?) When ever she called out our name we would both come running. It caused a lot of confusion. She decided to clear up this confusion by renaming one of us and it was me she renamed. She decided to call me 'Lucky'.

The first time I met my wife was in a casino in Atlantic City. I sat down beside her at a Black Jack table and the moment I sat down she started winning big. From that point on she considered me lucky for her and her pet name for me became 'Lucky'.

The only problem with that is that the name 'Lucky' is more of a dog name than a person name. I thought she should have renamed the dog and called him 'Lucky' and let me keep my real name. But, she didn't see it that way. She's a quirky lady but I love her.

est friend’ could never be truer.

Labradors are highly intelligent creatures, who love to play (especially in water due to their backgrounds in the fishing industry), and are easily trained from a young age, which is why so many are used as guide dogs and sniffer dogs. House training is relatively straightforward, and the dogs can be taught where to go to the toilet, and the general ‘house rules’ from a very young age. Elder dogs can also be trained, although it is advisable to do so when they are puppies to ensure best results. Due to their characteristics, Labradors often make superb family pets, and are very child-friendly. As with humans, they crave attention, and very much need to feel loved, and part of the family environment. They are relatively quiet, yet hugely enthusiastic and can provide the family with hours of quality entertainment. They are non-aggressive, kind and eager to please; they certainly aren’t dull, and their boundless energy means they will play for hours on end without getting bored or disinterested. Labradors most certainly are a breed where the phrase ‘man’s best friend’ could never be truer.

eir coats healthy and looking their best.

They are very active and energetic dogs, and therefore need plenty of exercise - ideally they should be taken for a walk twice a day, as they can become irritable and sometimes destructive if left to their own devices for too long. Labradors are not particularly fussy eaters, and in fact experts recommend that they are given the same types of fresh fruit, vegetables and meats that humans consume, in order to provide the best balanced diet. Many dog foods available commercially include a large proportion of these ingredients, but the key thing to look for when purchasing it is the word ‘fresh’. Dog foods that contain too many waste products, artificial preservatives and processed meats can lead to conditions such as obesity, which can be hard to reverse, especially as the dog gets older. The basic rule of thumb when devising a dog’s diet is not to feed them anything you wouldn’t eat yourself. Their coats are waterproof, and have a natural shine, which can be enhanced through their diet. Grooming is also important in order to keep their coats healthy and looking their best.

Labradors are a b

Labradors are a breed of dog which makes great pets, due to their loving, loyal and affectionate nature. Common types include black/chocolate Labradors, and golden retrievers, so-called because of their original duties of diving into the waters off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, in the 17th CE, to fetch the fishing nets from trawlers. They cost around £300-£500 to buy, and can prove relatively cheap to look after, living up to the age of 15 (human) years old. These pets become very much a part of the family, and as each dog has its individual tendencies and characteristics, they can prove very difficult to replace. If they are from a good breed, veterinary bills can often be low, as they are rarely sick. Male dogs should be neutered, in order to prevent any scent marking, over zealous sexual behavior and fighting with other males.

urability and comfort.

Leather harness is also some of the mostly used dog training equipments. Usually made of heavy duty materials, leather harnesses fits all breeds or types of canines and usually have adjustable straps. In addition to that, another one of the mostly used dog training equipment is the dog collar. The dog collars that are available these days are very diverse. Dog collars helps prevent unpredictable attacks that may and can happen during training sessions. Remember, when buying a dog collar, always of for those that are made up of excellent materials for extra durability and comfort.

Dog leashes are essential equipments used for dig training. A dog leash is a elongated material band that are primarily used to secure the canine by the collar, thus preventing accidental attacks. They are also used to control the canine by simply pulling the dog leash.

The most significant aspect of dog training is to have the basic equipments required for dog training. The dog training equipments provide additional help in the training of the dog. They also provide extra precautionary measures. The purpose of these dog training equipments is to prevent any mishaps during dog training sessions.

Leather muzzles

Additionally, the numerous and diverse types of equipments used for dog training helps simplify the training sessions. They sizes and lengths of the dog training equipments vary. Nevertheless, they provide great results and help the canine pet owners properly train their dogs.

Leather muzzles that are used for dog training are one of the most commonly used equipment. The leather dog muzzles are made of leather that are non toxic and safe for dogs. The nose area of the leather dog muzzles has extra padding for additional comfort. These dog training equipments prevents injuries caused – either accidental or not – by dogfights, bites and eating mishaps such as poison, garbage eating, etc. The leather dog muzzles can fit on any types or breed of dogs. They are not only used for training sessions, leather dog muzzles are also used when traveling with your pet dog or patrolling and guarding or when visiting the vet. Most of the transportation companies these days allow owners to bring along their canine pet as long as the dog is attached with a leather muzzle.

Having a good

Having a good relationship with your canine pet is essential if you are planning of having a pet dog. That is why it is also important that you must train your dog, for it to be compliant, closely controlled and to further enhance the relationship between the canine and the owner. Training enables the canine pet to have positive patterns in terms of behavior.

Most dog owners do not know it but training your canine pet can be quite enjoyable and also worthwhile. That is, if you exert extra effort, time and dedication – not to mention a whole lot of patience – in training. Most importantly, safety measures must be considered at all times during training.

Equipments that are use for dog training are primarily designed to provide safety precautions. These dog training equipments offer additional protection to avoid unpredictable and accidental attacks that may and can happen during training sessions.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Have you ever noticed

One of the most powerful ways to bring traffic into a website and build links is to use press releases.

If you’re using online methods to distribute your press release, you’ll find that every time you submit on, it will bring in both traffic and links.

Even if your press release doesn’t generate any interest from reporters, it will still help your website.

A great press release can completely change your business and bring in a flood of traffic, links, and even get you on CNBC or Oprah.

Even when given all the benefits of press releases, however, most people will never use them.

They have a list of excuses that include: I don’t have anything newsworthy; My business is different; I don’t know how to write a press release; and this one really befuddles me – because someone might actually call them and want to interview them – they’d have to *gasp* actually talk about their business to someone.

Of course, they’re just that – excuses. Coming up with something newsworthy is relatively easy. Any business can benefit from the use of press releases, they’re even relatively easy to write. For those who are afraid you might actually have to talk to someone, though, I’m not sure what to tell you – a lot of times, no reporters will call, but they might.

Here’s a few tips for successful press releases.

1) Headlines Are Vital

Just like a great headline can make or break a salesletter, the headline of your press release can make or break it. If your headline doesn’t grab someone’s attention, then it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your press release is because nobody’s going to read it. If you need help coming up with headlines, just go to your library and look at the headlines of magazines and newspapers. You’ll find plenty of great headlines within their pages.

2) Not An Advertisement

Remember that your press release is not an advertisement. While you can certainly use them to promote a new product or service in your business, the actual press release should read like it’s being written by a neutral third party. Think of yourself as the reporter writing the story about the product, why it was created, and a little history. Don’t hype up the product, just give them the facts.

3) Quotes

Have you ever noticed how just about every article you read in a newspaper has a quote from one person or multiple people? That’s because quotes make your stories more interesting. Always include a quote from someone in your press release, even if the only person you can quote is yourself.

So next time you’re looking for to get more traffic or links to your website, give the press release a try.

One area I really struggle

Most business owners do not realise that they are an expert in their field. The media always require expert opinion when collating data for a story. How can you bridge the gap and get your business in the papers?

To do this affectively you need to keep a look out for any breaking story that is in the same line of business as yours. As an example say you are in the computer repair business and a story breaks out about a new virus doing the rounds. Contact the reporter or media organisation that broke the story and offer them your expert opinion.

At this point, do not talk about your business but rather focus on the story, possible solutions and problems if this virus is not controlled quickly. If you are lucky the newspaper will publish your expert opinion and next time a story requires further information they will get in touch.

Many people do not realise that the media organisations have an insatiable urge for new material. How can you fill this requirement? One way of helping the media is by writing articles. I sell franchises, so I write many articles about the franchise industry. I am careful that within these articles I never talk about my business but rather focus on the franchise industry.

I write about anything and everything to do with the franchise industry apart from the field I am in. The reason for this is that the media hates self promotion articles.

These articles have been published on many franchise websites, newsletters and magazines around the world. The only reference that the article was written by me is the signature at the bottom of the article which they are obliged to publish if they want to use my work. I call this viral marketing.

It is even better when the stories are published on the medias website as then you have live links back to your website. One article I wrote "Business Cultures Old and New" has been published in many different websites and publications around the world. It has been translated in many different languages.

I am actually amazed at which articles have worked for me. An article that I might have spent a week working on might never catch on whilst one that was written in ten minutes could really catch on. The secret is to write many articles and leave it the media to decide which ones they like.

One area I really struggle in is in creating a catchy headline. By chance I manage to get it right some of the times. I have noticed that the headline can make the difference between the article being successful or not.

Another useful bit of information is that negative articles tend to do much better then positive ones. People are much more eager to read about scams operating in your industry than they are about the opportunities.

I will leave you with on final thought. Never ever make up anything in your article and always research any facts that you include within. If you do quote any statistics, keep a record of where these came from just in case you are asked to substantiate your research. Your words will come back to haunt you if you have any half truths and your article does well.

It’s a chance not at all

Here’s the formula I use for these kinds of releases. I call it the 3S approach -- Situation/Surprise/Support.

The first paragraph sets up the situation. The second paragraph reveals the surprise. The third paragraph supports the claim made in the second paragraph.

One very typical 3S is discussing a common problem in the first paragraph (For centuries, people have accepted memory loss as an inevitable result of aging.) The "surprise" paragraph announces the solution to the problem (But one local man says he’s ready to prove the medical establishment wrong.) The "support" paragraph then tells the story. (John Smith, an Anytown entrepreneur, says he’s found the key to retaining a strong memory function far into old age. His "Memory Maker" software is based on ancient Chinese texts that were used more than 2000 years ago to...)

Another 3S -- let’s revisit our mudslide watching friend. How would you start his story using this method?

While John Smith’s colleagues at the National Atmospheric Center are watching the skies for signs of lightning and tornadoes, his attention is focused elsewhere.

John Smith is listening to the mud.

As the Chief Mudslide Analyst at the NAC, Smith spends his days glued to a seismograph, eyes and ears peeled for the telltale signs on an impending slide.

Along with the 3S in action, I also followed the 7th Commandment. That really short second paragraph is a visual grabber, and will keep the journalist reading right into the meat of the release.

9. Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness. This may seem an obvious point, but it always bears repeating.

Tell the truth.

Don’t inflate, don’t confabulate, don’t exaggerate. Don’t twist facts, don’t make up numbers, don’t make unsubstantiated claims. Any decent journalist will be able to see right through this. If you’re lucky, you’re release will just get tossed out. If you’re unlucky, you’ll be exposed.

It’s a chance not at all worth taking. Make sure every release you write is honest and on the level.

10. Thou Shalt Know Thy Limitations. Not everyone can write a press release. A good feature release, in particular, isn’t an easy thing to craft. If you just don’t feel like you have the chops to get the job done, hire a professional.

One last tip: right before you start writing your release, spend an hour or two reading your daily paper, paying special attention to stories similar in feel to yours. Immerse yourself in how the pros do it and you’ll be in the right frame of mind to tackle the job! To view professional press releases updated daily, go to: and click on the "Press Release Gallery"

he hard news story i

In baseball, it’s said that you know an umpire is top-notch when you never notice his presence. If he’s doing his job, he won’t call attention to himself in any way. It’s much the same for the writer of a press release. When the recipient of a release focuses only on its content -- and not on its creation -- the writer has succeeded. With that in mind, here's The 10 Commandments of Press Releases:

1. Thou Shalt Be Professional. No goofy fonts, rainbow paper or silly gimmicks. Even lighthearted press releases represent a communication between one professional and another.

2. Thou Shalt Not Be Promotional. If you can’t get enough objective distance from your company to write a press release that’s not filled with hype and puffery, hire someone to write it for you.

3. Thou Shalt Not Be Boring. Even the driest subject matter allows for some sparks of creativity. Journalists like knowing that there’s a human being communicating with them, not some corporate robot.

4. Thou Shalt Be Brief. Learn to cut out extraneous words. Keep your sentences short. Include only the points necessary to sell the story. The well-crafted one page press release is a thing of beauty.

5. Thou Shalt Know Thy Recipient. A features or lifestyle editor is a very different creature from a city desk editor. If you’re promoting the opening of a new winery, the food and wine editor may be interested in all the details about what kind of aging process and wine press you’re using. The city desk editor just wants to know when the grand opening is and what’s going to happen there.

6. Thou Shalt Use The Proper Tense. When writing a hard news release -- a contract signing, a stock split, a major announcement, etc.) use the past tense (Acme Industries has changed its name to AcmeCo, the company announced today...) When writing a soft news release -- a trend story, a personal profile, etc. -- use the present tense (Jane Smith is one of the best marathon runners over 40. She’s also blind. Thanks to new technology from AcmeCo, Jane is able to...).

7. Thou Shalt Think Visually. A press release is more than words -- it’s a visual document that will first be assessed by how it looks.

I’m referring to more than font size or letterhead. I’m talking about the actual layout of the words. Whether received by mail, fax or e-mail, a journalist -- often unconsciously -- will make decisions about whether to read the release based on how the release is laid out. Big blocks of text and long paragraphs are daunting and uninviting. Short paragraphs and sentences make for a much more visually inviting look.

When writing a non-hard news release, I often use a simple formula -- the lead paragraph should be one or two sentences at most. The next paragraph should be very, very short.

Like this.

8. Thou Shalt Tell A Story. How to arrange the facts of a hard news release is pretty much cut and dried. The old "who, what, when, where and how" lead and "inverted pyramid" concepts still hold. (Rather than engage you in a course in basic newswriting, I’ll direct you to a really good discussion of what the inverted pyramid is.

Check out:

So let’s focus on a soft news release. The trend story, the feel- good company story, the "gee-whiz, I didn’t know anyone was doing that!" release. The difference between these releases and the hard news release is simply a mirror of the difference between a feature story in, say, the entertainment section of your newspaper and the breaking news report on page one. The hard news story is about cold, hard facts (A mudslide closed portions of Interstate 70 last night, causing massive delays). A feature article about the guy who spends all day looking at seismograph readouts trying to predict where the next mudslide will occur will be very different. It’s likely to be in present tense, it won’t load all the facts upfront and it will be designed to draw the reader deep into the text. It is, in short, all about storytelling.

No Hit-and-Runs

Anyone who has ever tried to write & distribute a press release may have despaired when it was not immediately picked up by the major media outlets and run, 24-7, on CNN, NBC, CBS, and Page One of the Wall Street Journal. What went wrong? Do reporters still read press releases, or do they select their stories in secret, cupcake-fueled meetings held in underground caves?

While searching for an answer, we happened to meet Richard Brandt, a veteran Business Week reporter who now consults with hi-tech entrepreneurs on how to talk to the business press. He's also writing a book about Google. As someone who spent more than 15 years on the other side of the press release, Richard knows what reporters want--and don't want--from press-release-writing entrepreneurs. Following is our summary of his advice.

1. Save the Spam for Breakfast
One of Brandt's pet peeves occurred when executives would call or e-mail him with a pitch on a topic that fell completely outside of his beat. Entrepreneurs who came to him without any knowledge of his interests were treated with the same ignorance with which they treated him. He avoided them. Ditto for spammed press releases.

So, how *do* you reach a stressed out journalist with an idea you think will truly interest readers?

2. Change Thy Attitude, Grasshopper
Journalists are a lot like us. They respond to folks who have something of value to offer and who are interested in long-term relationships. It follows that the best way to approach them is with with a spirit of giving. Rather than immediately asking a journalist to write about your company, offer her a tidbit of industry gossip or other useful insider information. When you change your attitude, you can't help but also change your approach. And your results.

Which leads us to research.

3. Do Your Homework
Search for relevant articles in a niche magazine or other publication, and find the reporter who has covered that topic. Now, read the other articles that reporter has written. When you've done your homework, you can approach reporters as someone who is genuinely interested in helping them. This simple step will position you light years ahead of your competitors--including many PR agencies. You can't help but stand out.

4. Cultivate a Soulmate
If you happen to have any insider information or connections, e-mail or call the reporter telling him you really enjoyed his article on X, and have some information on Y you think would be of interest. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and it's particularly welcome after a day of spam & solicitations.

5. No Hit-and-Runs
Don't expect to get instant coverage. Most people are offended by the idea of an immediate quid pro quo. Instead, focus on developing a long-term relationship with your reporter in which you position yourself as an expert on her topic. And where you give more than you receive. This builds your credibility. When the reporter is ready to write another story on this topic (or, when you're ready to write your next press release), your name will be on the tip of her tongue.

person makes all the difference.

Finding the press is the easy part, but turning its attention towards yourself or your company in a beneficial way takes strategy, chutzpah, and good fortune.

When Janet Jackson performed at the Super Bowl in 2004, her suspicious "wardrobe malfunction" turned the eyes of the nation upon her, and the furor following the event put her prominently in the news. Whether or not Jackson planned the incident, it failed to sell her CDs or advance her music career.

A publicity stunt is only worthwhile when you are able to leverage the media spotlight to further your communication objectives without damaging your credibility. Here are a couple of publicity stunts that worked and the strategies behind them:

1) In 1984, I broke the Guinness World Record for the most time swinging in a hammock. Interestingly enough, the record I broke was my father’s, and he done this a few years earlier as a way to get media attention for his store specializing in hammocks. The stunt worked for my father, and he got some favorable write-ups that led to an increase in sales.

My hammock record was even more successful in creating publicity because I tied it to a timely event. I sent out press releases and contacted the media notifying them that I was breaking the record as a way to gain attention in a bid to make hammock swinging an Olympic sport. Since I broke the record just before the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the media loved the story and covered it in print and on television. Sales of hammocks rose even higher.

2) John Younger, founder and president of Accolo (an HR recruiting company), read a front page story in USA Today about a controversial Paris Hilton television commercial for Carl’s Jr. It struck him that she had probably never eaten a hamburger in her life – and that this could be tied to the concept of hiring the right person for the job. With this in mind, he proceeded to create a 30 second spoof video entitled “Rethink Recruiting” emphasizing how hiring the right person makes all the difference.

Accolo’s advertisement generated millions of downloads from the company’s website, and it was prominently featured on Good Morning America, Jay Leno, WGN, The Big Idea with Danny Deutsch (MSNBC), the New York Times, New York Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Business Times, and many more media outlets.

In a recent email from Younger, he wrote “Accolo has considerably more market awareness when we contact prospects, referral sources and candidates… It positively influenced our largest contract to date.”

If you’ve pulled off a publicity stunt that helped your achieve your business objectives, I would enjoy hearing about it and sharing it with others.

Besides being interviewed

Slick packages made to look like news with a reporter are commonly used unedited by small regional television stations that have limited budgets for news production or are understaffed.

While some stations have a policy of not using VNRs, it is good public relations practice to provide professionally shot video clips designed to be used as stock footage.

Some critics of VNRs have called the practice deceptive or a propaganda technique, particularly in cases in which the segment is not explicitly identified to the viewers as a VNR.

So it is a grey area and one to be careful of. At the end of the day you need to weigh up the costs of doing it versus the potential return on investment.

If you only have a small budget, I would avoid a VNR and just use a standard media release.

Interviewer: What other aspects are important in putting together a media release to help get it to publication/to air?

Thomas Murrell: Accuracy, timing and the quality of your distribution list. And of course you will have more success if you have a personal relationship with the journalists or editors concerned.

Sometimes having a coffee or lunch with select media can be just as successful in getting media coverage than just blasting away to a list that you have no relationship with.

Media get bombarded with hundreds of releases a day. If you can target specific sections - health, business, education with specific angles you will have more success.

Interviewer: I have heard lunch works well!

Thomas Murrell: Lunch is good - but often media are time poor. You must pay and never have any expectation that anything will come of the luncheon.

Interviewer: Can you give us any tips for leveraging your ideas?

Thomas Murrell: If one person has questions about your area of expertise, then there will be many others with the same questions.

Interviewer: Can you expand a bit more?

Thomas Murrell: Turn all these questions into titles for articles and media releases you are going to write.

For, example - with your permission, I'm going to take all the questions you've asked in this global online forum and my answers and I will turn them into at least three articles.

These articles will be pitched to health professional trade magazines, websites wanting articles and of course my own eZine, Media Motivators read by 8,000 professionals in 35 different countries.

I could then take seven of these articles and then turn them into a white paper or free eBook.

This could be given away as a downloadable PDF on a website or other online forum.

You see providing tailored content that provides answers to the questions most commonly asked by your prospects is the new currency to promote yourself as a recognised authority.

I call this the gravity effect of a strong personal brand and positioning yourself as the 'go to' person.

By attracting prospects to your business by this powerful and invisible force, you not only have more qualified leads which will increase your conversion rate to sales, but you will also have less wastage.

Traditional marketing reaches out to people through the push approach, but the gravity approach uses information to pull people to your business.

Besides being interviewed on an online forum, here are five other ways I leverage my expertise:

  1. Writing articles for eZines, websites and trade magazines.
  2. Turning these articles into an eBook, white paper or traditional book.
  3. Interviewing other experts for an article, book or podcast.
  4. Reading other books and doing a book review with key points. You learn and then leverage with others.
  5. Record presentations and turn them into a product or break them up and broadcast them as a podcast or video on YouTube.
So you see I've spent an hour in this forum and yet have written three articles at the same time! So thank you for asking me to take part.

While expensive co

What happens when your MQ, or what I call Media Intelligence drops?

Does this fall over time or because of your actions or behaviours.

I believe poor decisions can lead to actions and behavious that decrease your MQ.

This in turn impacts on your reputation.

Think low MQ people and the names Paul Wolfowitz from the World Bank, Ben Cousins from the West Coast Eagles and Paris Hilton come to mind because of their recent actions that have eroded goodwill with their stakeholders or fans.

Understanding how the media works is vital in gaining successful coverage for your organization and raising your MQ.

What does the media want and how can you increase you chances in obtaining coverage?

Here is part two of the three part series on increasing your MQ.

Interviewer: Do sending pictures with media releases help get publicity?

Thomas Murrell: Yes, you can add them and they are useful for web releases and print but a waste of time for TV and radio. Don't show your ignorance of how electronic media works by making this blunder.

My rule of thumb is to add a line at the end of the media release for print and web that says "pictures can be provided on request".

There are exceptions of course. Take for example the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) which has both a radio and TV network and now an extensive oline news portal where they publish pictures because a visual image both in print and online can add to the impact of a story.

Of course you can also send a Video News Release (VNR) to a TV station.

While expensive compared to the cost of a traditional news release, they allow you to provide information the TV station may not have the resources to collect themselves.

An example would be a remote minesite or even computer generated graphics for a new stadium, transport development or oil and gas project.

Any element that is graphically appealing that could add value to the story.

you to follow up.

Public relations is all about credibility and trustworthiness. If you don't practice PR, then you are likely to be incredible.

Some of the elements of a PR program include research, media relations, publicity, special events, employee relations, client relationship management, crisis communication, trade shows/conferences, community and government relations, and corporate identity. PR helps you shape internal and external opinion about your organization with an eye toward building support among your key "publics."

What can you expect from PR if it is done correctly?

- Boost Credibility. Media coverage or word-of-mouth from the right people heightens your credibility much more than an ad ever could.

- Build Trust. People trust what they are familiar with. A proactive PR program that gets and keeps your name in front of people can be the first step in building that trust.

- Generate Leads. Positive publicity for your products and services can generate sales leads for you to follow up.

- Word-of-Mouth. By increasing awareness of your company, people and products, media coverage provides fodder for the word-of-mouth machine.

- Shape Attitudes. From employee communication to publicity, PR tactics can be used to tell your story convincingly to key publics.

- Refine Customer Service. Those who believe PR is about one-way, top-down spin doctoring - I hope - are relics of the past. Two-way PR, in which the company actually solicits and listens to customer feedback, can provide the kind of edge companies need today in this age of commoditization.

So, don't be incredible. Make PR an integral part of your business strategy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

With both the playing

Once the rail is padded and trimmed you need to cover it with vinyl just like you covered the playing surface with felt. When you are stapling the inside you will find that you need to cut the vinyl to make it fit properly without any wrinkles. This isn’t a problem; just make sure you don’t cut too much away.

With both the playing surface and the padded rail complete all you need to do is place the rail over the playing surface and screw them together from below. The finished product is a durable poker table top that has the same look and feel of any casino table in the world. If you like you can also build legs and have the table be a permanent fixture in your game room. Now… Shuffle up and deal!!!

The next step is to upholster

The first thing you need to do is decide the table that you will be placing your table top on when you play poker. You need to measure and cut both sheets of plywood to the size of that table’s top. This should give you 2 identical pieces of plywood that also match the size and shape of the table that will be supporting your finished product. Once this is done you need to cut a 4.5” ring off of one piece and a 2” ring off of the other piece of plywood. These two rings of wood will later form the padded rail.

The next step is to upholster the playing surface. To do this all you need to do is fix the sheet of ¼” foam to the smaller of your 2 pieces of plywood, cut off the excess, and add felt. Once the foam is trimmed down to size just lay the wood (foam side down) on top of the felt and staple it around the edges after pulling it tight. You may want to have a friend help out with this part to make sure that you get the felt tight on the surface of the table.

The place where most people struggle with this project is when they are trying to build and upholster the padded rail. To start you need to place the 2” ring of wood on top of the 4.5” ring and screw them together. Then you will use the 1” sheet of foam to cover the rail but don’t cut off all of the excess like you did with the playing surface. You want to leave enough foam on the inside and outside of the rail so that it can wrap around and pad the sides of the railing as well as the top.

The supplies you need

With the recent poker boom it seems like everyone is getting into the game. You can’t turn on your TV without seeing poker somewhere on some channel. The next logical step is home poker games. It’s easy to set up and nearly everyone knows how to play now. The only thing you need is a few poker buddies, some poker chips, and a deck of cards. But what if you wanted to take it a bit further? What if you could have a casino quality poker table right in your own home? Believe it or not, you can.

What if I told you that you could build your own casino quality poker table top for under $200? I’m not talking about those cheap flimsy folding table tops that you see online. I’m talking about a durable all wood table top with a real casino style padded rail and a nice padded playing surface. The nice thing is that anyone who knows how to use a saw can build one.

The supplies you need are as follows: 2 Sheets of ½” plywood 2 Sheets of closed cell foam (1” for the rail and ¼” for the playing surface) 1 Sheet of vinyl to upholster the rail 1 Sheet of fabric to upholster the playing surface Wood nails, Staples, and Adhesive

guests can easily find their table.

3. If you are using round tables, the general etiquette is to seat males and females alternately around the table. If you are using long tables, seat couples opposite one another and then alternate male/females along the table.

4. The tables closest to the Bride and Groom should be reserved for the closest friends and family.

5. Give each table a name or number. Table names could be themed - for example people, objects or places that are relevant to you as a couple. Names also remove the perceived hierarchy of tables. You should create a name card for each table (your venue may do this for you) so that guests can easily find their table.

Top Tips for Other Tables

Top Tips for Other Tables
1. Seating tables with just one family group will let them relax, but won’t do much to encourage mingling. However, a table where no one knows anyone else might be a bit daunting for most people! Try and arrange a mix on each table – so everyone knows a few people. By thinking about guest’s ages and interests you can make sure that each table is likely to get on and have fun!

2. Where to sit singles can also create a dilemma. On one hand you might want to try out a little matchmaking, but on the other, this could be rather uncomfortable and awkward for your guests (it might be very obvious too!). Certainly avoid a ‘singles’ table but generally do whatever you feel is best for your guests.

The Top Table Dilemma

f you remember only one thing…
Do what you think would make you and your guests most comfortable.

The Top Table Dilemma
While the traditional top table (Bride and Groom seated at a long table flanked by the wedding party) is still favoured by most, alternatives are often being introduced as family structures get more complicated. The traditional layout is as follows:

Chief Bridesmaid–G.Father–B.Mother-Groom-Bride-B.Father-G.Mother-Best Man

There are alternative arrangements – these are useful when parents have split up and are possibly with a new partner. Alternatively, you may want to avoid the top table altogether and have a romantic table for two, or sit with other friends/family.

There are a number of options for the seating plan:

f you have a small, informal reception, you may not feel you need a plan. However for larger numbers, or a sit down meal, both you and your guests may benefit from a seating plan. Guests are saved from a mad panic of trying to find a seat on a table with their friends/family and you can place people where they’ll be happiest! The wedding meal may last for 2-3 hours and is a significant part of the day. If your guests are sitting with people they get along with, it will make a big difference to their overall enjoyment of the day.

There are a number of options for the seating plan:
• No plan at all – best for stand up buffets or small and informal events.
• Assign guests to tables – you allocate guests to tables but the choice of seat is theirs.
• Assign guests to seats – you specify the seats at which each guest will sit.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Experts in economics

Graphic or web design and web programming – Often employers will want a combination of all skills required for these jobs so I have lumped them together. These jobs do require extensive knowledge and frequently specific software. However, many will take entry-level employees, so if you can get the education, you may be able to get a job. Many community colleges offer courses in these areas. You can check online educational resources as well.

Experts in economics talk about "supply and demand". The above jobs are in large supply and are waiting for you to fill the demand. If you take the time to develop your skills, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to find a job in one of these areas.

by teaching yourself

Transcription – The most common form of transcription jobs I find are in medical transcription and usually ask for at least two years experience. However, legal and business transcription is a growing market. People doing teleseminars are also hiring transcribers to transcribe their talks. Then there is the growing captioning field, which are the transcribers who type for the closed captioning on your television. You can learn medical and legal transcription through correspondence courses. Or become a general transcriber or captioner by teaching yourself and practicing to improve your speed and accuracy.

Translation – The Internet has made the world a smaller place and many companies want to make their website and other materials accessible to people in other countries. If you are fluent (speaking and writing) in more than one language, there are many companies that need your services.

Customer service

Copywriting – Don’t let the word "writing" scare you. You don't need a degree in English to be a copywriter. In fact, some of the most successful copywriters break most rules taught in high school English. The best thing about copywriting is that it can be very lucrative and requires very little in terms of education and experience. In fact, many copywriting experts indicate they earned a fulltime income their first year without having previous experience. Copywriting involves writing promotional materials including ads, brochures, sales letters, press releases, reports, and web site copy. There are many good books that teach about this type of writing and all say you don't need to be a great writer; you simply need to learn the techniques of promotional writing. Some books that can teach you about copywriting are "The Elements of Copywriting" by Gary Blake and Robert Bly and "Writing Copy for Dummies" by Jonathan Kranz.

Customer service – This is another job that doesn't necessarily require a lot of skill or experience. Most customer service jobs I find are related to order taking and help lines, and usually require a pleasant voice, second phone line or DSL, and headset for your phone.

Sales/telemarketing/research (phone surveys) – Many people hate sales and telemarketing, but if you want to work at home badly enough, its an area worth trying. Most companies have established scripts and training so it's easy to jump right in. Like customer service, you will likely need good phone skills, a quality phone with headset and high-speed Internet access.

jobs pay very well.

Every day I get email asking me how to find legitimate work-at-home jobs. I have to say this always baffles me because every week I wade through thousands of jobs to find a select few to post in my weekly newsletter. The problem I believe is that people look for the wrong jobs in the wrong places. They often limit themselves to jobs like "typing" or "data entry" that are so rare they might as well give up on the idea of working at home.

My suggestion to them is to find work in areas that are hiring. There are many companies looking for home-based employees to do work that doesn't necessarily require a great deal of experience or education. So why not go after these jobs
Some people tell me, "I don't anything about these jobs." THAT'S OKAY. Many of these jobs don't require a formal education and some have entry-level positions. Further, several of these jobs pay very well. As long as you're willing to learn and work hard, there are companies ready to hire you.

Here are six job types that have hundreds of job openings available now. These jobs are found all over the Internet on job related websites. If you have been searching for a work-at-home job, you have probably run into many of them. Remember, even if you don't know how to do these things now, many are easy to learn and are worth considering.

A lot of medicos

A lot of medicos keep away from transcription, because they consider it boring, even demeaning. I beg to differ. It keeps me updated, through the interesting medium of case studies. Every patient’s record tells a new story. My horizons of study have broadened. How else would a homoeopath get to know so much about scans and transplants? The field is going from strength to strength every day, if you consider the fact that there are over 70 medical transcription companies in the city. The fear that someday USA might decide to stop sending us these records and thereby make us redundant doesn’t bother me much. I have other professional qualifications, remember? But for the moment, the money is good, the prospects are great, and it’s a whole new world.

That is when Crossover

That is when Crossover happened. It allowed me to work as a proofreader in the morning and practise as a homoeopath in the evening. The job requires me to check if the copies documented from audio files containing the records of patients in American hospitals are medically sound. Eventually, circumstances compelled me to work from home and I began working as a transcriptionist, a person who documents the audio recordings, because the required software for proof reading cannot be installed in a home PC. Initially, I was restless, because I was not used to sitting at home, but then several things worked out to my advantage. For starters, I save on the commutation time. The money is good. I also get to learn about exciting new technology .

because I had a comfortable hold on English.

Graduating as a homoeopath and hospital management student, a job in a medical transcription company was not on the agenda. I used to work at the Pune Fertility Centre as a medical officer, and it was my boss who suggested that I take a crack at it, because the business was booming. Apparently the only reason why she asked me to give the interview a shot was because I had a comfortable hold on English.

Though the job of a transcriptionist is supposedly quite mechanical, I decided to accept the offer because there was good money involved, almost thrice as much as I was earning at the hospital. I underwent training that involved understanding the various styles of American accents and spellings of medical terms that differ from British English. In fact, this is what keeps many Maharashtrians away from this field. The American accents can get quite confusing and differ from area to area; a tough call, unless you’re really conversant with English. No wonder then that out of 80 transcriptionists, you would find only 15 Maharashtrians. However, a few weeks of night duties, travelling 20 km from home took a toll, and I began to look for a new company

Monday, May 28, 2007

Have fun collecting your Perfect Coins!

Tubes are plastic containers designed to hold a number of the same size coins. They come in different sizes for different coins. They are fine for bulk storage of circulated coins and are appropriate for higher grade Uncirculated, BU+ and MS60+ coins. A disadvantage is that the coins cannot be viewed without being removed from the tube.

Hard Plastic Holders are preferable for more valuable coins. They are self sealing, and not known to contain any materials that harm coins and offer good protection against scratches, touching and handling, air and chemicals, and other physical damage. They are available for individual and small sets of coins, and come in all sizes.

Slabs are Sonically Sealed hard plastic holders for individual coins. They offer Excellent protection. Because of the expense of having a coin slabbed, they are generally suitable only for more valuable coins – i.e.: BU+ and MS60+ Coins.

Although generic slabs are available, most often, a slab will be seen holding a coin that has been Professionally Certified and Graded - which has tremendous advantages. The biggest advantage is when buying a coin on the Internet or by phone. You know what you’re getting. A coin Certified and Graded by one of the “Top Four” gives reliability, assurance and security. A big advantage over the scam sellers of raw coins, and non-conforming grading companies.

Have fun collecting your Perfect Coins!

Plastic Flips are available

Plastic Flips are available in various materials. "Soft" flips were once made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which decomposed over time with disastrous results for coins; leaving a green appearance and substance. PVC flips are no longer made and sold. Mylar, vinyl and acetate flips do not contain PVC. While not airtight, they are reasonable choices for moderate value coins that will be "left alone" for multiple years.

Vinyl Pages (8 ½ x 11) which fit into a 3 ring binder. Well suited for Cardboard and Vinyl Flips, with great visability of coin obverse and reverse. This is a Great Favorite.

Mylar-lined Cardboard Flips, often called "2x2s" or cardboard flips. At one time, the most preferred and commonly used. but also available in other sizes, are similar to plastic flips. A coin is placed between the two halves, which are then folded over and stapled together (some brands contain an adhesive). The boxes that they come in are ideal for multiple coin storage.

Paper Envelopes or Paper Flips

Paper Envelopes or Paper Flips of various sizes (usually 2 x 2) are still used for single coins. Be sure to use envelopes made explicitly for holding coins, otherwise your coins may change color (tone) over time due to reaction with sulfur or other chemicals present in the paper. Since the coin can not be seen, it is now out of favor with collectors.

Folders and Albums are sold primarily for series and type sets. Properly used, they offer moderate protection from wear and handling. Over the years coins may tone due to reaction with sulfur or other chemicals present in the folders and albums, and are therefore not a good choice for long term storage of higher grade coins. The coins are still exposed to light, air, chemicals and human touching. Albums have clear plastic covers over the coins, which slide in and out. This sliding action can leave unwanted and unattractive marks on the coin.

Types of Containers or Holders.

Types of Containers or Holders.

Almost anything will do for coins with small or no numismatic value. A coin that is worth only face value, is not likely to have much numismatic value. while nearly airtight holders made of inert materials are a better idea for valuable coins.

Bags, jars and boxes are adequate for raw pocket change and circulated coins.

Storage of Individual Coins

Storage of Individual Coins

Putting Individual coins into Holders is Imperative for all coins whose condition is BU and above, or MS60 and higher. Coins below these designations are considered “circulated” because they are found in the general circulation of money. Typically this will mean they are found in pocket change, or in rolls of coins purchased at a local bank. Although collecting Circulated coins is a great personal challenge for many collectors, the more serious Coin Collectors will concentrate on “Uncirculated” coins (BU+ and MS60+ ) because of their better condition (grade), value, and appearance.

Storage of a Coin Collection

Storage of a Coin Collection

The Environment of the entire Collection, or Group of Coins is the focus, taking into consideration Temperature, Humidity and Light. A relatively constant, moderate to low temperature and low humidity are preferable for long term storage of numismatic collectibles. Placing packets of silica gel, which absorbs moisture, in the coin storage areas helps control atmospheric humidity. The less light, the better; and absolutely no sunlight. This is why a safe or vault is ultimate storage container; because it controls Temperature, Light and Humidity, and provides Superior Safety. Groups of Coins, or Collections are best stored in plastic coin boxes, such as sold by PCGS, NGC and Whitman, and which will hold 20, separated, “slabbed” coins. Another alternative is a cardboard coin storage box (single and double; red, blue or black), which stack easily on each other. Different sizes are available for slabs, as well as Vinyl and Cardboard Flips.

The Media Can Be Your Friends!

Create a Mailing List:

People who you know already play your games are the most likely to play more of your games. Try putting together a simple email list to send out alerts about new games, challenges, events and high scores etc. Something simple like this can bring back veteran players and instantly increase the success of any promotional event, as well as driving people to play new games when they arrive at your locations.

The Media Can Be Your Friends!

Don’t forget about the power public relations. The media are always searching for story ideas and you can often piggyback on a national story by giving your local media a local angle on a larger story. For additional help on public relations efforts, please contact our parent company, for a free marketing consultation.

Educate Your Players:

Educate Your Staff (and location staff!):

Your staff as well as those in locations should be knowledgeable about the games. This will help when interested players might have a question about how to play or if the game is “good” or “fun.” Having a staff member there able to say, “yeah, it is a great game, let me show you how to play it!” can turn someone interested in playing into someone who can’t stop!

Educate Your Players:

When you get a new game, do you just place it in the location and hope people want to play it? If you are, then you are missing out on a great promotional opportunity. Try placing posters in the bathrooms, on the front door or even tent cards on the tables.

Create a Challenge:

However, here are five quick, nearly free, things you can do to nearly instantly improve your cash box.

1. Create a Challenge

2. Educate Your Staff (and location staff!)

3. Educate Your Players

4. Create a Mailing List

5. The Media Can Be Your Friends!

Create a Challenge:

In the good ole’ days, people fought furiously for the top spot in the high-scores table on video games. Today however people need something more – for video, pinball, pool, or darts. Promotions as simple as offering free movie tickets, a steak dinner or even a tee-shirt can be the difference between an empty cashbox and a full one. The best part is that often you can find sponsors to provide the items in exchange for being promoted in your locations.

in crucial things, unity

1. in crucial things, unity
2. in important things, diversity
3 . in all things, generosity

Gandhi is a person who changed the peoples, but he never hesitated to change and learn form other peoples too. This real historic story taught me one thing, "In life you will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called LIFE where you will have opportunity to learn lessons, you may like it or think them irrelevant and stupid." The lesson of generosity, That's why this story changes the people; What about you?

Thanks for your time consideration

Nilesh Gore

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi went from every city and village for uniting peoples and collecting funds. During one of his tours he addressed a meeting in Orissa( Part of India). After his speech a poor old woman got up. She was bent with age, her hair was gray and her clothes were in tatters. The volunteers tried to stop her, but she fought her way to the place where "Gandhi" was sitting. "I must meet him," she insisted and going up to Gandhi then from the folds of her sari she brought out a copper coin and placed it at his feet.

Gandhi picked up the copper coin and put it beside carefully. Fund Manager said "I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees and what to do with a copper coin." in reply Gandhi said, "We have to keep this coin because this copper coin is worth much more than those thousands, If a man has several millions and he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn't mean much. But this coin was perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me all she had. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made. That is why I value this copper coin more than a millions of rupees. she has not scarified the copper coin for me but for the freedom and welfare of this nation and along with the coin she gave us a lesson of genuine generosity & commitment to the nation" Gandhi said," She remind me and all of us the 3 deeds these are

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Frenzied and Frazzled

Why do I do these things to myself?
By now, most of you are familiar with National Novel Writing Month. I signed up for my first NaNoWriMo in 2001, back when there were still fewer than 200 writers participating. That first year was the only year I’ve completed the challenge. I think it was just important to prove to myself that I could start a novel and finish it, since prior to that month, the longest story I’d ever written was just five words short of 6000.

So I suppose it makes sense that Scriptfrenzy would appeal to me. What did I say about writing for stage and screen? That it was as unnatural to me as birthing babies out my ear canal? Of all the forms of writing I’ve attempted in my career, screenwriting is…well, let’s just say I have more confidence in my ability to write a prize-winning Villanelle.

Worse yet, I’ve found myself a partner.

I say “worse yet” for my partner’s sake. She doesn’t know me from Adam. We jokingly plotted the demise of one fictitious “Mr. Smith” on Microsoft’s QnA one afternoon, in order to illustrate a grammatical point, and our writing styles and sense of silliness meshed so well that I impulsively suggested she and I ought to team up for this Scriptfrenzy thing I’d just stumbled upon. Instead of wisely and suspiciously saying, “Who the heck are you and why would I want to collaborate with you? Couldn’t that get me in trouble with Homeland Security?” she said something that sounded like “What fun, count me in!” (I think her actual words were, “What is Scriptfrenzy?” but I took it to mean “Sounds like fun!” and put her name down as my writing partner. Hey, unlike NaNoWriMo and true to the “misery loves miserable company” principle, Scriptfrenzy allows you to write alone or in teams of two, giving you plausible deniability, should the whole project fall flat on its buttered buns.

In other News

We all know this about our family members and our offline friends, too; they like us, they admire our talents, and they don’t generally wake up in the morning intending to lie to us. But when all is said and done, their approval or disapproval of the sum total of US matters more than any helpful critique they may have to offer. My husband is a patient teacher, and a good one, but he is not the best teacher for me. He has only to smile at my mistakes with a look that says, "That's so cute," and I'm devastated. Thick skinned as I am, I rarely ask him to read what I write, and I pray he doesn’t say, “Oh, can I read that?” Luckily for us both, he seems pretty relieved to be off that particular hook, himself.

In other news…

I quit the guitar lessons. “Creative differences, eh?” said my husband.

“Yeah, Jerry deserves to teach someone who at least hopes to play like Segovia some day.”


“Never mind. It just kills him that I want to play folk music. That and the fact that I still can’t play the theme to ‘Green Acres’ after three months of lessons.”

“Quitter,” muttered Katie, opening the guitar case and playing Incubus songs by ear.

“Brat,” I said, smacking her over the head with “Three EZ Sheryl Crow Tunes.”

My arthritic neck and arms have been thanking me, though. They’re now able to hunch over the computer keyboard for an extra hour a day.


Nooooooo...if you get this accepted at any online stock photo agency, I will personally buy you a bag of doggy treats for your model. Adorable pup she may be, but think about it: What possible use could this be to a designer of brochures, ads, web sites, or any other commercial venture that needs photos/graphics of anything? It's the TOP OF A DOG'S HEAD. No eyes, no expression, no dog. And I think you need to mop the floor...Sorry, but no.

Of course, it could just be she knows me well enough by now to know I'd rather rip off an arm than hurt an aspiring writer or novice photographer. One of my contest challenges was to submit some of these photos to Shutterstock, a New York based microstock photo agency. New York agencies (photographic, literary, dramatic, and otherwise) aren’t renowned for a liberal outpouring of the milk of human kindness. I once watched a New York director gleefully rip the beating heart out of a five year old for singing “Edelweiss” off key. After just three notes. “Next!” The child was tough; she didn’t cry. But my high school music teacher almost did when she didn’t make the cut. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I admire willingness to tackle new challenges, try new things, and keep at it until she masters them. I tease her mercilessly, but I wouldn’t waste my time if I didn’t like her and think she had talent. Without a doubt, she will succeed at whatever she puts her mind to.
Thinking back to how we “met,” I have to laugh. Poor was on the receiving end of one of my especially blunt and honest reviews. As I recall, I mistook her for a curmudgeonly, preachy old man with a college degree instead of an aspiring and vibrant young writer who was still in high school, and wrote my review accordingly. She took it amazingly well; in fact, she’s been known to ask for seconds. We have a deal, and I: I don’t sugar coat - I still write my reviews as if to a curmudgeonly, preachy old man, if she writes like one - and she doesn’t take any of it too personally.

I got to tell you

I got to talking about critique this past weekend. She wrote, “Online, I can be thick-skinned- you know, you've torn apart some of my writing, have I ever emailed you back, completely crushed? But off line- it's weird. I am VERY emotional. Off line, my feelings get hurt a lot easier. Online, rarely ever.”