A simple and brief intervention can provide lasting protection for adolescents against the harmful effects of food marketing. Researchers find that reframing how students view food-marketing campaigns can spur adolescents, particularly boys, to make healthier daily dietary choices for an extended period of time. The method works in part by tapping into teens’ natural desire to rebel against authority. Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily
So you’re in the early stages of launching a small business. You’ve got a great product or service and obtained funding to get the company off the ground, but what about marketing? Do people know your business will be opening soon?
Getting noticed is one of the biggest challenges facing new small business owners. There are many different ways to market your business, such as using internet ads, social media pages, content marketing, in-person networking and more.
Some methods may be more effective than others, depending on your industry. But two areas all businesses need to excel in are internet-based marketing and in-person networking.
We’ve compiled a list of small business marketing tips, strategies and ideas that will help get your business noticed before, during and after opening.
13 Small Business Marketing Tips, Ideas and Strategies
Below is a breakdown of different tips, strategies and approaches on small business marketing. These tips and ideas are ranked based on when you should consider implementing them during pre-launch or in the early days of your business.
1. Create a Marketing Budget
For small businesses operating on a shoestring budget, it can be tempting to save money by not setting aside funds for marketing. But if your marketing strategy is to rely on word of mouth to promote your business, you’re in for a rude awakening.
Josh Rubin, CEO of Post Modern Marketing, tells small business owners they have to create a marketing budget, and the value of that budget can’t be an amount that will break the company if it doesn’t produce immediate results.
In the early days, you’re going to be spending time determining your company’s identity and figuring out what messaging connects with new customers. Be prepared for a lot of trial and error. “So set a budget that you’re willing to lose,” Rubin says.
2. Secure Your Company Name
You have an idea of what to name your small business and think it will connect with your target audience, but is that name available online?
“I see a lot of business owners that think of the name of their company but then don’t think about reserving a URL with [that name],” says Sherry Bonelli, owner of Early Bird Digital Marketing. She is also a small business mentor with Score, a volunteer group supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration that connects business owners with mentors from similar fields.
Having a website address that matches your company name is important, as people are doing more business online. It might be difficult for potential customers to find your website if they don’t match.
Once you have a business name in mind, go to a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy or Google Domains, to see if the web address is available. Prices start at $ 12 per year to reserve a domain name using Google Domains.
3. Create a Logo and Brand
If you want to be taken seriously as a business, you’re going to need to look the part. It might be tempting to create a generic logo and use a website template or stock photos when launching, but that isn’t necessarily good in the long run.
“I think many small business owners skimp on this step, and that’s a big mistake because if you don’t look like a real company, customers and clients are not going to trust you,” Bonelli says. Freelance websites such as Fiverr, Upwork and 99designs connect business owners with graphic designers who can create a custom logo, color palette, business cards and overall design for your business. This can cost anywhere between $ 300 and $ 500.
4. Build a User-Friendly Website
Once you have your logo ready, it’s time to build your website.
The way people search online has created many changes to website design. Having a site that looks good on smartphones and tablets is more vital than ever.
Website builders like WordPress.com, Squarespace and Wix, come with mobile-friendly features. They offer multiple templates, customization options and support for a monthly fee. Think like a potential consumer when building your site and make sure it has all the features and information you’d want to see.
5. Make Your Website SEO Friendly
Now that you’ve built your website, you should make it as easy as possible for people to find it when searching the web. Search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO, is the process of getting web traffic from search engine results. SEO plays a crucial role in helping local and small businesses get discovered online.
Several factors determine a website’s search engine ranking. These include posting well-written blog pages that establish your topic credibility on a regular basis and using correct keywords associated with your business. To learn more about best SEO practices, check out free resources on sites such as Moz, Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal.
If you’re planning on opening a physical location such as a restaurant, store or office, don’t forget to create a business profile on Google My Business, a free business listing service, that provides your essential info,such as a street address, phone number, hours of operation and business description.
One of the primary benefits of Google My Business is that it drives the “Map Pack” on Google search results, which may increase your visibility, in-store visits or calls This service is only available for local businesses with a physical address, not internet-only companies.
6. Create Social Media Pages
Now it’s time to create social media pages on platforms your audience uses. You can count on using the major platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn — to promote business news and engage with your customer base.
At all stages of your company’s life, you should also keep an eye on what your competitors are doing with their social media platforms. “If a competitor is using Pinterest and it seems like they’re gaining a lot of engagement, then Pinterest might be a place you want to go,” says Kim Randall, owner of KiMedia Strategies, a small business marketing firm.
7. Find Free or Low-Cost Business Services
Money is going to be tight in the early days of starting your small business, so it helps to use free or low-cost services to help your marketing. Below is a list of programs that can help you save money running your business.
Buffer is a social media tool that allows users to schedule posts in advance or post the same content to different platforms at once. It has free and paid versions, starting at $ 15 per month.
Google Alerts are free and will help you keep up with what people are saying online about your business or keep up with specific keywords.
KeywordTool.io is a free service that allows business owners to do keyword research for their website and ads.
Apps such as Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor can be useful when writing blogs or content on your website. These will help you write more succinctly and catch grammatical errors. Grammarly has a free version and a premium version that includes features such as a plagiarism detector, vocabulary enhancement and genre-specific writing-style suggestions. The premium versions costs $ 29.95 per month (or a discounted rate of $ 139.95 when paid annually).
8. Buy Online Ads
Once your business has opened, it’s time to start advertising. Google Ads, which appear when you search on Google, is an obvious place to start because of the search engine’s popularity. According to Google, businesses generally make an average of $ 2 in revenue for every $ 1 they spend on Google Ads.
Bonelli says the problem with Google Ads for new small-business owners is that it can be expensive. To make it effective, she says to include your ad the information that users seek when they search on Google.
For example, if someone is searching for “wedding gown alterations,” the web page your ad sends users to must emphasize that your business specializes in wedding gown alterations.
9. Set Up Email Marketing
People who sign up to your email marketing program tend to be the most engaged members of your audience. These members generally read more articles after opening the email and are more likely to buy your products or services. That’s why it’s important to provide content and information your audience cares about in every email blast you send.
“If you’re mailing out to a random [email subscription] list you didn’t build, that’s where you’re not going to be effective. But if you mail out information that people are interested in, that’s where it’s really effective,” Bonelli says.
Include a button on your website that allows people to sign up for your email campaigns. A free version of MailChimp can help build your email list — it allows you to send up to 12,000 emails a month to up to 2,000 subscribers. The paid version allows you to send an unlimited number of emails to an unlimited number of subscribers. The cost of the membership increases based on the number of subscribers.
10. Craft an Elevator Pitch
Before you start meeting potential customers and attending networking events, do you have your elevator pitch ready? An elevator pitch is a speech lasing 30 to 45 seconds that tells the listener who you are, what you do and how your business will be better than the competition. With some practice, it may lead to a potential customer. Learn more on how to develop a great elevator pitch.
11. Become a ‘Thought Leader” in Your Field
When your business is off the ground, think about establishing yourself as a thought leader. A “thought leader” is a marketing term for a recognized authority in a field who is sought after as an expert.
Every business owner is a thought leader without knowing it yet; there is a reason you started your business, so let people know what you know. For example, if you’re a photographer, write blogs offering tips and tricks on how to take better iPhone photos or suggest “three things to look for in a wedding photographer.”
Randall used this strategy in the early days of social media marketing. “When I gave my thoughts, tips and everything else away and became a thought leader within the social media space, I gained a lot more clients,” she says.
Early on when people are not yet visiting your site, consider becoming a guest contributor on another established website in your field so you can promote your knowledge on the subject and point people in the direction of your website to learn more.
Another way to become a recognized expert is by meeting your target audience. Meetup.com is a great way to find local groups who are interested in topics related to your business. For example, if you run a knitting or sewing store, you might look to see whether any knitting or sewing events are happening in your area and offer to give a free demonstration.
12. Get Involved With Your Chamber of Commerce
Not all marketing is done online. Getting involved with your local Chamber of Commerce will enable you to meet fellow business owners during in-person networking events and other chamber functions. Over time, you’ll expand your professional network and be able to utilize their resources.
Rubin says his Chamber helped his company get featured on a local news segment. Once you start to support other businesses, they’ll do the same when you have a big event or project.
“All it takes is your time and your energy,” he says.
13. Find a Business Mentor and Continue Learning
As a new small business owner or entrepreneur, it’s never a bad thing to seek guidance from people who have been in your shoes. There are both local and national nonprofits devoted to helping business owners.
Score offers their mentoring service free of charge. Rubin, a Score volunteer, says if you want to know more about marketing, Score can connect you with retired marketing executives or other knowledgeable people who can help you grow your business.
“I’ll scream their praises from every rooftop because everyone always thinks that you have to pay for this kind of business support, and it’s out there for free,” he says.
As you progress and figure out what marketing material connects with your audience, don’t stop learning new things. Small business marketing is a topic that is difficult to master because strategies that work now will change and marketing fads come and go.
Luckily, there are a lot of free blog posts, courses and resources out there to teach business owners about SEO, social media marketing, internet advertising and more.
You can sign up for a massive open online course (MOOCs), keep up with the SEO sites listed above or follow marketing professionals you admire on LinkedIn or other social media.
“There’s so much information out there now that if business owners spend an hour a night just searching the web and teaching themselves how to do small business marketing, they’ll be successful at it,” Bonelli says.
Matt Reinstetle is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
It’s both amazing and completely bonkers that you only really need a computer and a reliable internet connection to make good money in 2019. And while you can always learn how to code and build websites for companies, there’s also money to be made in digital marketing (lots of it, FYI).
But digital marketing has also expanded significantly to include much, much more than setting up an Instagram account and posting photos of your cat. If you’re interested in training to become an elite digital marketer or social media manager, check out these online courses that can help you get started. Read more…
Young people’s awareness of alcohol marketing — and their ownership of alcohol-branded merchandise — is associated with increased and higher-risk consumption, a landmark study has found. Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily
In 2019, the same old approach to home improvement lead generation is not going to cut it.
That’s nothing new — and yet research shows contractors do not utilize digital and online information or capabilities to further their business interests. Think about the amount of time we’re all on social media – less than one percent of home improvement contractors are using social media to reach potential clients! That’s a huge missed opportunity in today’s digital marketing environment.
Meet your 2019 key performance indicators (KPIs) and exceed them with an intentional approach. One of the easiest—and fastest—ways to assess the current state of your business is processing some data that you already have.
Data analytics measure your online presence and determine which parts of your business are currently and potentially most profitable. Online programs such as Google Analytics measure and report on the following aspects of your websites:
Total site visits for a given period (day, week, month, etc.)
Individual page visits
Where visitors come from geographically
How your site visitors came to your page — which links they used to get to you, or an online derivative of referrals
At Modernize, for example, we use the thousands of surveys homeowners submit to us to learn more about homeowner needs and challenges in the home improvement space — whether for solar, roofing, HVAC, windows, or other projects. Learn more about our most recent findings in the latest Homeowner Survey Index: Q1 2019.
Repeat Successful Contractor Behaviors for Successful Outcomes
What are your best-performing channels? What types of projects led to the most repeat business? How are you using referral data to create new leads and create an ongoing funnel of new work?
These are some basic questions to get you started on finding out what works for your business and what doesn’t. Some contractors repeat past behavior without the data to back it up, relying instead on memory or top-line information — like product brand and time of project — to assess current tactics.
That’s not enough. Supplement your unique marketing strategy with an additional online presence and increased storytelling in the form of blogs and social media posts. You’re also going to need to keep track of the feedback you receive from homeowners. Within your CRM or Lead Management Tool, you should always add a lead status pick list to show where homeowners live within your sales funnel, and how the lead ended up closing out in the end. For example: Completed Project, Budget, Timing, Not a homeowner, Credit Reject, etc. By religiously updating your lead source, lead status, and close dispositions, you’ll be able to make informed marketing decisions over time, discard leads that will never convert, and create drip campaigns for the ones that have the potential to eventually convert. The more detailed information you can capture, the more you can make intelligent business decisions about where and how to invest your outreach, marketing, and lead generation budgets.
Whether you restart an old lead generation campaign that didn’t work out in the past or amp up your social media creativity, this is the year to start taking chances for the sake of growing your company. Just don’t take silly risks, take informed ones.
Keep An Eye on the State of the Home Improvement Market
While your own data is important, new business means new data — if you want to generate leads, you know to get to know clients you haven’t worked with yet.
For example, you should know and base your tactics on the fact that between 40 and 60 percent of homeowners conduct most of their research online before taking on a home improvement project — depending on which trade is involved, from solar paneling to roofing.
The term online is a vast and broad one, and we can get more specific because Modernize data provides perspective from thousands of homeowner surveys — it’s one way we stand out in the value we can offer you.
Here are the online resources homeowners find “the most helpful” with planning their project:
17%: Home improvement websites (like Modernize)
14%: Social media
7%: Email Newsletters
It’s this type of information that you can compare to your own past work to come up with a data-driven and intentional strategy in the year ahead. Many contractors use Modernize for assistance in devising and building just such a strategy. Find out today how Modernize can help do the same for you.
Other Lead Generation Tips to Help You Meet Your KPIs in 2019
Modernize provides a vast array of resources for contractors to achieve their objectives and learn about the homeowners they want to work with.
Take a look at our blogs, case studies, infographics, videos, and more to learn something new today. For now, here some quick hits to take away and use while you build an analytics-based strategy for the coming year.
78% of prospects convert with the first party that makes contact.
80% of leads do not close on the first call.
40% of leads eventually convert with long-term follow-up.
50% of leads only get one call.
Calling a prospect twice as opposed to once increases the chance of making contact by 87%.
The best days to contact a lead are, in order:
And the best hours to contact a lead are, in order:
4 to 5 p.m.
2 to 3 p.m.
8 to 9 a.m.
3 to 4 p.m.
9 to 10 a.m.
Whether it’s starting your online efforts from scratch or diving into your decades of experience to discern trends and help you sharpen your client base, learn more about us today and find out how we can help you.
These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Friday. LVMH to develop luxury hotel and flagship in London When LVMH acquired the luxury hospitality group Belmont at the end of 2018, it was a sign that the conglomerate wanted to expand into high-end experiences. This week, the company …
Researchers sketched a vivid line Friday linking the dollars spent by drugmakers to woo doctors around the country to a vast opioid epidemic that has led to tens of thousands of deaths.
The study, published in JAMA Network Open, looked at county-specific federal data and found that the more opioid-related marketing dollars were spent in a county, the higher the rates of doctors who prescribed those drugs and, ultimately, the more overdose deaths occurred in that county.
For each three additional payments made to physicians per 100,000 people in a county, opioid overdose deaths were up 18 percent, according to the study. The researchers said their findings suggest that “amid a national opioid overdose crisis, reexamining the influence of the pharmaceutical industry may be warranted.”
And the researchers noted that marketing could be subtle or low-key. The most common type: meals provided to doctors.
Dr. Scott Hadland, the study’s lead author and an addiction specialist at Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction, has conducted previous studies connecting opioid marketing and opioid prescribing habits.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to link opioid marketing to a potential increase in prescription opioid overdose deaths, and how this looks different across counties and areas of the country,” said Hadland, who is also a pediatrician.
Nearly 48,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2017, about 68 percent of the total overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 2000, the rate of fatal overdoses involving opioids has increased 200 percent. The study notes that opioid prescribing has declined since 2010, but it is still three times higher than in 1999.
The researchers linked three data sets: the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Open Payments database that shows drugmakers’ payments to doctors; a database from the CDC that shows opioid prescribing rates; and another CDC set that provides mortality numbers from opioid overdoses.
They found that drugmakers spent nearly $ 40 million from Aug. 1, 2013, until the end of 2015 on marketing to 67,500 doctors across the country.
Opioid marketing to doctors can take various forms, although the study found that the widespread practice of providing meals for physicians might have the greatest influence. According to Hadland, prior research shows that meals make up nine of the 10 opioid-related marketing payments to doctors in the study.
“When you have one extra meal here or there, it doesn’t seem like a lot,” he said. “But when you apply this to all the doctors in this country, that could add up to more people being prescribed opioids, and ultimately more people dying.”
Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, said these meals may happen at conferences or industry-sponsored symposiums.
“There are also doctors who take money to do little small-dinner talks, which are in theory, supposed to educate colleagues about medications over dinner,” said Kolodny, who was not involved in the study. “In reality this means doctors are getting paid to show up at a fancy dinner with their wives or husbands, and it’s a way to incentivize prescribing.”
And those meals may add up.
“Counties where doctors receive more low-value payments is where you see the greatest increases in overdose rates,” said Magdalena Cerdá, a study co-author and director of the Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy at the New York University School of Medicine. The amount of the payments “doesn’t seem to matter so much,” she said, “but rather the opioid manufacturer’s frequent interactions with physicians.”
Dr. G. Caleb Alexander, who is the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness and was not affiliated with the study, said that the findings about the influence of meals aligns with social science research.
“Studies have found that it may not be the value of the promotional expenditures that matters, but rather that they took place at all,” he said. “Another way to put it, is giving someone a pen and pad of paper may be as effective as paying for dinner at a steakhouse.”
The study says lawmakers should consider limits on drugmakers’ marketing “as part of a robust, evidence-based response to the opioid overdose epidemic.” But they also point out that efforts to put a high-dollar cap on marketing might not be effective since meals are relatively cheap.
In 2018, the New Jersey attorney general implemented a rule limiting contracts and payments between physicians and pharmaceutical companies to $ 10,000 per year.
The California Senate also passed similar legislation in 2017, but the bill was eventually stripped of the health care language.
The extent to which opioid marketing by pharmaceutical companies fueled the national opioid epidemic is at the center of more than 1,500 civil lawsuits around the country. The cases have mostly been brought by local and state governments. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who is overseeing hundreds of the cases, has scheduled the first trials for March.
In 2018, Kaiser Health News published a cache of Purdue Pharma’s marketing documents that displayed how the company marketed OxyContin to doctors beginning in 1995. Purdue Pharma announced it would stop marketing OxyContin last February.
Priscilla VanderVeer, a spokeswoman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, said that doctors treating patients with opioids need education about benefits and risks. She added that it is “critically important that health care providers have the appropriate training to offer safer and more effective pain management.”
Cerdá said it is also important to consider that the study is not saying doctors change their prescribing practices intentionally.
“Our results suggest that this finding is subtle, and might not be recognizable to doctors that they’re actually changing their behavior,” said Cerdá. “It could be more of a subconscious thing after increased exposure to opioid marketing.”
Organization: Yumi KimWeb Site: http://www.yumikim.com Yumi Kim, a growing contemporary women’s brand based out of Soho, is looking for enthusiastic undergraduate and graduate interns for this Spring / Summer 2019 to assist in our corporate office. Design/production, wholesale, ecommerce, …
Bozoma Saint John is best known for displaying her marketing chops at massive corporations including, PepsiCo, Beats, Apple, Uber, and currently Endeavor. The chief marking officer will now grace our television screens in a completely different way, showcasing her own brand with a new documentary series on Starz Network entitled, BeingBadass.
It is said to be “a mix between Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,Mister Rogers, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.” In a statement recently released to Fast Company, Saint John said the series’ underlying message is “to show up wholly as ourselves, especially for anyone who feels ‘other-ed’ and that you don’t have the allowance to be fully yourself.” She added, “I’ve had a lot of great feedback from different types of people who have said they appreciate that I’m able to be exactly who I am in all these spaces, even if I’m the one and only.”
This show aims to be aspirational, inspirational, and motivational, but not without its highs and lows. Topics will span across her business and personal life and will showcase her love of fashion and address the challenges of being a single, working mother, and widowed. Saint John’s husband passed away over five years ago after a battle with cancer. Saint John, who graced the cover of BLACK ENTERPRISE last year, will interview folks in similar situations to gain their perspectives.
Bozoma Saint John (center) on the cover of the January/February 2017 edition of Black Enterprise Magazine
“I don’t agree with the line that says you walk into an office and you leave yourself outside,” Saint John continued. “I hope this show inspires people to celebrate all the parts of themselves that perhaps are rough around the edges. There’s something we can learn from each other, even if we’ve been through some things that are tough, or we love things that we think are frivolous. All those things are worthy of celebration and exploration.”
In addition to sharing her bold personal stories, there is also a tech element to this: Saint John will dive into her previous positions at Uber and Apple and where she believes innovation will happen next.
The show is set to air next year but is currently in production.
As Christmas shopping gets into full swing, new research reveals how reputation influences our purchasing decisions and the price we are willing to pay relative to other product features. Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily
Armarium is the first platform to introduce global luxury brands to the sharing economy. Armarium offers the best edit of high fashion to rent and the highest calibre of stylists to hire via a website and mobile app, a NYC Fifth Avenue showroom and various international pop ups in jet set locales. …
There are few people disciplined enough to teach themselves the inner workings of internet tools and turn their learning into a career. Interpersonal communication has become somewhat of an anomaly. As interactions become more digitized, there are even fewer people capable of creating relationships online that translate into practical connections. If you’re looking for a rare example of someone who’s done both then look no further than Rebecca Ijeoma, better known as Dimplez. Dimplez, the founder of IJEOMA Agency, built a digital marketing career working with Capitol Records, SXSW, Ne-Yo, and more. Capitalizing on timing, transparency, skill expansion, and opportunity brought her a career with limitless growth potential.
Capitalize on Timing
“I first got my start in undergrad, while at the University of Arizona. I began as a blogger and didn’t realize that I was onto something until ’07-’08 when some of my blogs started getting syndicated on Global Grind,” she says. “The traction my writing was gaining piqued my interest. I wanted to create more, and cover more—and wound up teaching myself photography. I eventually learned everything that went into creating and maintaining a site, including web and graphic design.”
By 2009, MissDimplez.com came to life. It served as Dimplez’ digital real estate where she could provide her perspective on cultural moments. The year 2009 was the dawn of the creativepreneur era, a time where people were turning their creative abilities into cash. Using tools like WordPress, Tumblr, and Twitter anyone could build their own site, and share content to the masses. Major outlets were syndicating independent work in a mad grab for content. It turned bloggers, graphic designers, photographers, and videographers into authoritative voices in culture. Dimplez took full advantage by teaching herself transferable skills, making her a prime candidate for opportunities in the newly formed job market of digital marketing.
Creating Community and Opportunity
Instead of shielding her learning curve from the world, Dimplez used transparency to build community. She shared the good and bad of her website building experience. It connected her with people who needed her newly acquired expertise, which turned into paid work.
“I was designing sites, creating graphics, and maintaining servers for artists and media personalities alike. People who had never met me in person got to see and trust my skills and abilities based off of what I presented and was able to create digitally.”
Employment Is Not The Enemy
Being your own boss is a millennial’s dream. When Capital Records offered Dimplez a digital marketing manager position, she happily took the job.
“Stepping into a role or position at a company you do not own is not a step back, nor does it take away from who you are as a creative,” says Dimplez. “It actually serves as an opportunity to learn a broader perspective and hone a skill set that will only benefit you in the long run.”
“Effective storytelling is the distinction between gaining a fan or just gaining a follower. Fans make an emotional investment in you, your career, or your art. A lifelong fan is worth more currency in theory and actuality, than 1,000 followers that may never truly buy into you.”
Dimplez represents what creative work and building a career in digital marketing is all about: being a self-starter and seeing the lesson in every working scenario.
The suit says Trump, his children and their company "received millions of dollars in secret payments" from a videophone company, ACN, in exchange for Trump promoting the firm without disclosing the endorsement was paid for. Real Estate
If you’re an owner of a construction company, you may find the world of marketing a bit intimidating. With more than 85% of all home improvement projecting starting online, it’s more important now than ever to optimize your digital marketing strategy to align with your sales goals. Whether your company handles all marketing campaigns in-house, you utilize a third-party lead generation service, or a mixture of the two, we’ve compiled 3 keys to a healthy Sales & Marketing relationship that will help your team surpass your revenue goals.
In response to mounting criticism from consumers, citizens, and lawmakers, Facebook is pursuing a public relations blitz. The media giant wants to change people’s perceptions about how it is handling the scourge of misinformation and concomitant threat to elections presented by its websites and apps.
Enter the “war room.” Facebook invited journalists from a number of publications–Fortune included–to visit a cramped conference room on the company’s Menlo Park campus inside which a squad of 20-or-so employees is tasked with valiantly defending democracy around the globe–from the U.S., to Brazil, and beyond. The walls and desks are cluttered with video screens and computer monitors. Around them, Facebook’s freedom fighters huddle, clattering away on their keyboards, stemming a tide of malicious, politically-motivated influence campaigns.
One moment in Fortune reporter Jonathan Vanian’s account of the war room made me grin widely. A Facebook executive, Samidh Chakrabarti, director of elections and civic engagement for the company, tells Vanian that having everyone in the same room allows for “face-to-face” communication and quick decision-making. A few paragraphs later, we learn why Facebook does not plan to invite collaborators from other misinformation-besieged Silicon Valley companies, like Twitter and Reddit, to take seats in the room. It is easier for these groups to collaborate “virtually” rather than physically, says Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy. Hmm…
Facebook’s war room seems, to this columnist, like a PR stunt. It is reminiscent of the cybersecurity fusion centers that banks and other companies set up to dazzle visitors. Such displays are “mostly for show,” as Jason Witty, chief information security officer at U.S. Bank, told the New York Times for an unrelated story about such flashy workspaces. They, you know, lookcool.
I do not mean to denigrate Facebook’s efforts entirely. To be fair, the company is trying to address the many problems that plague its platforms. And the war room does serve an important purpose: making the company’s behind-the-scenes battles more tangible for its own employees, for regulators, and for the public. Hopefully it does help quench disinformation.
Still, the tidy image of the war room comes across as a bit of marketing misdirection. After all, the walls of this room extend far, far beyond Menlo Park. Ask any journalist. As the Times’ editorial board notes in a recent op-ed, Facebook effectively relies on news reporters as an army of unofficial, unpaid, outsourced content moderators, helping to root out spammers, trolls, and propagandists. Companies like Facebook “have all the tools at their disposal and a profound responsibility to find exactly what journalists find–and yet, clearly, they don’t,” the Times writes.
Welcome to the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here. You may reach Robert Hackett via Twitter, Cryptocat, Jabber (see OTR fingerprint on my about.me), PGP encrypted email (see public key on my Keybase.io), Wickr, Signal, or however you (securely) prefer. Feedback welcome.
Rushin’ to the polls. The Justice Department charged a Russian woman named Elena Khusyaynova, 44, with conspiracy to defraud the United States by interfering in the upcoming 2018 election. Prosecutors say she managed financed for a foreign influence operation called “Project Lakhta.” The group allegedly spread misinformation online to incite controversy over divisive social and political issues.
Google censored search engine. Google CEO Sundar Pichai doubled down on the company’s interest in a censorship-friendly search engine for China, codenamed “Project Dragonfly.” Pichai said Google wants to provide people access to information while complying with laws around the globe. Asked about employees’ protests over this project as well as over potential U.S. military work, Pichai said “we don’t run the company by holding referendums.”
After the curtain. The Washington Post has published the final opinion piece of Jamal Khashoggie, the Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist who is reported to have been dismembered and decapitated at the country’s consulate in Istanbul by more than a dozen Saudi agents. (Saudi Arabia, after denying involvement for 18 days, now claims Khashoggie died in a fistfight gone wrong.) Khashoggie, in his posthumous column, calls for alternatives to the “state-run narrative [which] dominates the public psyche” in the Middle East. I include this excerpt because the Web has become a global battleground for information warfare, and securing cyberspace requires a recognition of that fact.
The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe, which grew over the years into a critical institution, played an important role in fostering and sustaining the hope of freedom. Arabs need something similar.
Into the aether.Popular Mechanics’ latest installment of “We’ve Been Wrong Before,” a series that explores debunked scientific theories, offers a history of aether, a mysterious element invented by the ancients whose idea persisted, in various forms, until the 19th century. Two scientists, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley, famously failed to prove the invisible material’s existence in an 1877 experiment that involved attempting to measure light moving at different speeds. Albert Einstein would build on the duo’s findings with his theory of relativity. As Popular Mechanics writes, aether, echoes of which resonate in today’s concepts of dark energy and dark matter, “may be the most enduring imaginary concept in scientific history.”
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News