The Real Easter story?

 

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Hi there.

This week the blog falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, so I thought I would mention an Easter story and its relevance to business.   Just before I do that, here is a link from Wikipedia,  with What is Easter?

For some companies, Easter is yet another business opportunity to cash in and potentially make money off the back of celebrations and festivals. Rightly or wrongly, when we work within the marketing field, we all have stories to tell, therefore we use whatever means we have available to us, to do so.

So, can we promote a business whilst being real? Of course, we can, if our business ethos is based on honesty and integrity.

Can a company operating as a charity be a workable business? Of course, it can.

 

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One company that has been managed to promote the ‘real’ Easter message and is a viable business is The Meaningful Chocolate Company with The Real Easter Egg.

Launched in 2010 The Meaningful Chocolate Company product range started with a Fairtrade egg accompanied by the Christian message of Easter inside the box.    Due to the fact that the eggs were overtly Christian, the company faced an uphill battle to have the eggs sold in large supermarket chains.  This was despite the company putting profits made to the charity.

Whilst most of the chains have sold the eggs at some point during the last seven years, one chain remains defiant.

What can we learn from this particular Easter story?

Perseverance.

If you are passionate about what you do, if you have a good product and you believe in it, then persevere.  Most sole traders or SMEs agree that the first few years are tough, but you just have to keep going despite opposition.

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The company now sell advent calendars, again with a ‘real’ message. They have been open to change and have learnt to adapt whilst not compromising what they stand for. So if you know a product is doing well, look at ways to build or expand your current range.  You already have your customers’ attention with your excellent product, so why not introduce something that they would also enjoy?

Be ethical/remain ethical

By this, I am not only referring to offering Fairtrade products, but also how you operate as a company. Hopefully, in your business plan, you thought about your vision and mission for the company, the ethics that you and your brand stand for.  Hold on to those principles.

I hope that this has given you something to think about.

As ever thanks for reading, and remember you can follow me on Twitter and contact me via my website.

Take care and have a blessed Easter,

Tricia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Fools Day (Don’t get caught out!)

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Hello there.

So it’s the 1st of April, and to some, it will be a relief that the day has fallen on a Saturday so they won’t fall foul of silly office pranks.  However, you are not off the hook from the media. This week’s blog includes possible origins and some past pranks.

Now what is April Fools Day all about and why do we celebrate it?

Let’s look at the first definition of April Fools Day, on Wikipedia and two other possible origins by Wonderopolis and Metro. Pope Gregory the thirteenth and Geoffrey Chaucer make appearances in the theories.

So although there is just speculation about how all this business of playing tricks and inflicting hoaxes started, it still continues to this day.

Here are some of the best pranks, according to The Mirror and Bored Panda.  Although some are funny I am in no way advocating any kind of deviant behaviour towards, friends, family or work colleagues, under the guise of April Fools.

April Fools pranks have not alway gone to plan. According to the Guardian Google had to pull the plug on a joke which backfired last year. I wonder what they’ll do this year?

Well, I hope that you don’t get caught out today. You can be sure though that there are no tricks up my sleeves. If you need help with social media management, website content, blogging or proofing, then contact me via my website. Also for those who want to start a blog or need some help with a current blog, book your place soon to get an early-bird discount for my Introduction to Blogging workshop on April 28th, 2017.  See you there!

Take Care

Tricia

 

 

 

 

 

These are a few of my favourite things – Christmas Edition

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Hi there.

Happy Christmas Eve! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read this blog. I thought I would keep it simple this week by throwing together videos and people with  Christmas being the central theme.

The first of my favourites is the Birmingham-born poet and musician Benjamin Zephaniah.  I have included him because I find his poetry funny and thought-provoking.

You may recall that Talking Turkeys was a poem I used back in August. Being about turkeys, I thought it would be good to hear it again. Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for your failure to eat your turkey on Christmas Day due to the contents of the video!

For a reminder about my favourite poems, see https://pmnoblewrites.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/these-are-a-few-of-my-favourite-poems/

Okay so next on my list is a beautiful carol which I think sums up the real meaning of Christmas. O Holy Night sung by the ‘Queen of jazz’ Ella Fitzgerald takes us back to her roots in the church.

My next choice is a poem which I think has been cleverly written.  T’was the night before Christmas is a well-known children’s poem about A visit from St Nicholas, written by American writer and professor Clement Clarke Moore.

Last and by no means least is the final few moments of an animated version of a great Christmas story which has never lost its appeal over the years. A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens and was first published in 1843.

Thank you for reading and sharing in this self- indulgent blog.

All that remains for me to say is I wish you peace and joy this Christmas.

Take care,

Tricia

Poppies for the fallen

untitled (2)Hello there.

This week to mark Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday I thought I would mention a few poems that have been used in services and events to honour those who have died.

I have decided not to get involved in any political debate about the colour of poppies or even whether a poppy should be worn, and just concentrate on appreciating a few lines of poetry used, to sum up the mood.

Before introducing the poems, here are a few websites which explain the history behind poppies, Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/what-armistice-day-remembrance-poppy-9144046

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/how-we-remember/

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/remembranceday

The poem For the Fallen by Robert Laurence Binyon has these famous lines:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

For the full poem see https://allpoetry.com/For-The-Fallen. 

A quote from Rudyard Kipling‘s The Old Issue.

All we have of freedom; all we use or know – / This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.

For more quotes from poems check out The Telegraph‘s Remembrance Day Quotes article – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/11189802/remembrance-day-quotations.html.

I hope that you can take time out and read and reflect on some of the words of the poems.

Thanks for reading.

Take care.

Tricia

 

Is your content on fire?

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Hello there and welcome to November!

So, it’s November the fifth, and tonight many will be heading off to organised firework displays to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night! Without going into the politics of why the UK commemorates a failed attempt to blow up the House of Parliament, the blog this week is about fire/fireworks of a different kind.

Should you wish to indulge yourself with some more information about what happened back in 1605, check out http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/guy-fawkes-history-bonfire-night-4570317 for an interesting read.

So, what are the fireworks of a different kind? Well, I am referring to having explosive website/blog content.  Sorry, I know you are rolling your eyes, but I thought the fire/fireworks theme  would work really well with social media.

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We all know that content is the key to attracting an online audience and we all want visitors to engage with what we write.  We want them all to stop and take notice of the scintillating  flames called content.

Okay, so enough of the fire analogies, for now. So how do you ensure that the content of your website is so appealing that visitors will come back time and time again?

Well, it would take more than one blog to explain and there are excellent resources out there. As ever I will point you in the direction.

A major player in all things social media is Hubspot- http://www.hubspot.com/.  They are all about attracting and retaining clients with creative content. The website says that they have 500,000 subscribers, so they obviously know a thing or two about inbound marketing.

If you don’t know your inbound from your outbound marketing, then another popular social media source is Mashable UK with a handy infographic that explains it all.  See http://mashable.com/2011/10/30/inbound-outbound-marketing/#UL2WbWG_kkqg.

A rising star closer to home which offers a fresh approach to social media, is the social media agency Happy Socialhttp://www.happysocial.co.uk/.  

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With access to so much help, you will soon be breathing fire into your content!

Whatever you do this Bonfire night, be safe.

Take care,

Tricia

 

 

 

Spring Forward, Fall Back!

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Hi there.

You may be wondering what on earth is this ‘Spring Forward Fall back’ business? Well, if you have not remembered that the clocks go back this weekend, then the title says it all. In Spring the clocks go forward and in Autumn (or Fall if you are North American) the clocks go back. So, remember to put your clocks back!

For the origins of this phrase see, http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/spring-forward-fall-back.html. The site explains that fall originated in England and referred to the fall of a leaf in Autumn.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you will know that I mention William Shakespeare a few times and if you are not a fan then maybe you had better look away now!

If like me you enjoy finding out where phrases originate from, then start with Phrases.org.uk, in which you will find 135 phrases coined by William Shakespeare.

Here are a few to whet your appetite (sorry, couldn’t resist):

All’s well that ends well – A risky enterprise is justified as long as it ends well. Phrases.org.uk, state that John Heywood used it before Shakespeare.

High time – The time that something is due to be done. According to Phrases.org.uk:

High time’ derives from the allusion to the warmest time of day – when the sun is highest in the sky.’

By the way, ‘whet your appetite’ (not to be confused with an older phrase ‘whet your whistle’) has been around since the 17th Century and refers to stimulating your thoughts so that that you develop an interest in the subject matter.

I could go on and on, but I won’t as I previously covered this subject in my series You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

Well, I hope that you enjoyed this brief jolt through the past. The next time we meet, we will all have had an extra hour of sleep! Enjoy!

Take care

Tricia

 

 

 

 

 

Black History Month Special

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Hi there

It’s October which is synonymous with Black History Month, so this week I thought that I would write a short piece about where you can find information concerning Black businesses, entrepreneurs and significant figures from the 1800s through to present day.

In an article by Ronald Barba, called 21-successful-black-entrepreneurs-throughout-history, we are introduced to men and women who changed the way the US business landscape looked. They were entrepreneurs in fields such as engineering, banking and publishing to name but a few.  Please see http://tech.co/21-successful-black-entrepreneurs-throughout-history-2015-02 for the full article.

One of the entrepreneurs mentioned in the article is Annie Malone, who you may recall from my blog called In Celebration of Women Part Two! – https://goo.gl/1bgKCE.  She founded Poro College, a commercial and educational college established to develop cosmetics and hair products for African-Americans.

In Top Black Leaders of 1800s and 1900s, (https://goo.gl/5nypZM), D L Chandler of News One continues with more prominent figures in the Black business world, some of whom appear in the Ronald Barba article.  Chandler says that these particular business people were chosen as a way of:

‘highlighting their significant contributions to American society.’

Whilst there can be no doubt about the effect that America has had on the business world globally, on this side of the pond there have been some figures who have made an impact on British society and beyond. In 2008 David Smith of The Guardian wrote The 10 powerful Black Britons who changed the world, see https://goo.gl/rxsPP3 and in 2014, Natricia Duncan for the Voice online wrote about the Most powerful Black People in Britain Revealed, see, https://goo.gl/QANvpd.

I hope you enjoyed this article and if you feel motivated to do more research on Black History Month then a good place to start would be http://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk.

 Take care,

Tricia