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Khalistan Shadow Looms Over Justin Trudeau’s Visit to India

first_imgKhalistan was the primary concern raised by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh during his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Feb. 21.“I raised the issue of Khalistan as it’s the primary issue, as there is money coming in from various countries including Canada that then helps create unrest in Punjab,” Singh said, according to ANI. “I also handed over a list of people in Canada that we think are involved in spreading ruckus in Punjab to Trudeau,” he added.Singh also said that he was very impressed with Trudeau and they discussed investment prospects in the service sector, dairy farming, agriculture and trade between Canada and Punjab. “He is very sincere and willing to work alongside Punjab. I hope he will take our talks forward,” Singh said, according to the news agency.It was earlier being said that Trudeau is being snubbed by the Indian government during his ongoing visit to the country because of the lack of clear stance from him against the Khalistan issue, and for avoiding clear condemnation of Canada-based alleged Indian separatists. Trudeau, who landed with his family in India on Feb. 17, has not met Prime Minister Narendra Modi yet, who on previous occasions had laid out a red carpet for other heads of states.Another new controversy is plaguing Trudeau’s official India visit, after his wife Sophie was photographed with a convicted Khalistani terrorist, Jaspal Atwal, in Mumbai on Feb. 20. He was also photographed with Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi, who before the India visit dismissed his links to the Khalistan movement.Atwal, who was an active member of the banned International Sikh Youth Federation, was also invited for a formal dinner with Trudeau at the Canadian High Commissioner’s house in New Delhi on Feb. 22. The Canadian government withdrew the invitation to Atwal following media reports about his connection with the separatist movement, and his conviction for the attempted murder of former Indian minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986.Jaspal Atwal, a convicted Khalistani terrorist who was active in the banned Int’l Sikh Youth Federation, photographed w/Canadian PM’s wife Sophie Trudeau at an event in Mumbai on 20 Feb. He was also invited for formal dinner with Canadian PM, invite being rescinded now (CBC News) pic.twitter.com/pT7P3eLq1L— ANI (@ANI) February 22, 2018 Prior to meeting Singh, Trudeau and his family visited the holy Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple, in Amritsar. They were accompanied by Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and other officials.The Trudeau family performed kar seva at the Golden Temple’s kitchen, where they were taught to make roti by Michelin-starred chef Vikas Khanna. The Trudeaus tried to make the roti while their children Xavier James and Ella-Grace Margaret accompanied them.On Feb. 20, Trudeau and his family met many Bollywood celebrities, including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Anupam Kher, among others.Tonight, we celebrated stronger ties & new co-production opportunities between Bollywood and the Canadian Film Industry. And who better to help than @iamsrk himself… Great to meet you! 🇮🇳🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/1OcwsA9lMS— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 20, 2018Meanwhile, India and Canada signed 66 new contracts during the ongoing visit of the Canadian PM. The deals, which are worth $1 billion in total, would potentially create 5,800 jobs in Canada. Trudeau is scheduled to meet Modi on Feb. 23 for bilateral talks. Related ItemsCanadaJustin TrudeauSikhismlast_img read more

Dosa- licious!

first_imgDosas are the new pizzas! Americans are acquiring an insatiable appetite for those lacy crepes from the south of India and dosa joints are popping up all over. Along with the traditional dosas, savvy entrepreneurs are introducing new flavors for a new audience.Thiru Kumar’s Dosa CartOne of the dosa-pioneers in Long Island is Jay Jeyasri, whose House of Dosas sees a steady stream of Americans asking for – Gunpowder Masala Dosa! After this volatile concoction was written about in a local review, Jeyasri has experienced a huge demand for it. “Americans now eat more spicy than us,” he says. “They take out tissues and are sweating, but they finish it and they love it! We even have Koreans who want it very spicy.” Other favorites with the non Indian customers are the Spinach Masala Dosa and the Paneer Dosa, while kids love the Cheese Dosa, a triangle filled with Amul cheese. The Cheese Masala is a blend of cheese, onions and potatoes. For the truly adventurous or the geographically confused, Jeyasri even has a Chinese Dosa, which is filled with vegetable noodles and sliced into four pieces.Actually, an non Indian couple, Gary & Isabel MacGurn latched on to the versatility of the dosa in 1997 when they started Hampton Chutney Co. in Long Island, introducing such offbeat fillings as Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Balsamic Roasted Onions, Spinach and Goat Cheese and Avocado, Fresh Tomato, Arugula and Jack Cheese. There’s even a Breakfast Dosa with eggs, spinach, roasted tomato, cheese and avocado. Hampton Chutney has a very popular location in Soho and a new one is opening uptown. Madras Saravana Bhavan’s Ram Nanjunda with a 4- foot long dosaThere are dosa places in every state with an Indian population, from Atlanta to Los Angeles, and all seem to be thriving. Lexington Avenue in Manhattan alone boasts at least a dozen dosa places, the latest being an import from Chennai. Saravanaas is a franchise of Saravana Bhavan, a well-known chain there, and the chefs have been flown in from India. It serves the traditional classics, like dried fruit rava dosa and ghee idlis, in a modern décor. Its special novelty – as in India – is the six-foot long family dosa that is now available in its restaurants on both coasts. So how does one cook a six-foot dosa? On a seven foot grill! And how do you serve this dosa, which is taller than most Indians? On three plates! In Atlanta Madras Saravana Bhavan claims to have created 7 foot, 12 foot and 20 foot dosas for special events.And now you also have a traveling dosa salesman! Thiru Kumar has become almost a cult hero for the dosas that he provides to New York’s Village community from his dosa cart. He is always parked at Washington Square Park and the dosa cart is a huge hit, especially with the New York University crowd. Kumar gets up at 5.45 in the morning and gets fresh food ready in his kitchen facilities in Queens. By 11 he’s at the cart and has people queuing up for his reasonably priced treats right up till 4 pm.His Jaffna dosas cost just $1 and are an intriguing mix of black lentil, red raw rice and natural herbs. How many dosas does he make in a day? That depends on the weather. He’s one chef who always checks the weather forecast before he cooks; if it’s going to rain, his stove won’t be quite as hot. Still, he averages over 250 people daily, and by 4 pm his cart is empty.Kumar says he had tried many other professions earlier, but has found his true calling with the dosa cart. He came to America from Sri Lanka through the Green Card lottery, but now seems to have hit a dosa lottery!For those who want their dosas dipped in spirituality, the place to go to is the Ganesh Canteen in the basement of the Hindu Temple Society in Flushing, where the dosas, idlis and other South Indian delicacies. are prepared by volunteers and the profits benefit the temple. Divine Dosas, you might say! Related Itemslast_img read more

The More Money You Make, The Less Vacation You Get — Here’s Why

first_imgWould you rather have more vacation time to spend with your family, or make more money? In an ideal world, you would be paid well and be able to take a decent amount of vacation time. Unfortunately, American workers have a hard time disconnecting.Though Glassdoor’s recent research shows that the average employee takes more time off now than in previous years, data shows that taking time off doesn’t always mean taking time off. Even when employees actually take vacations, they still check e-mails on their phone; respond to messages from their boss, or check-in with co-workers. Some even take phone calls or hop in on a video conference! So does making more money really seem that great when it often means you get less time off? Here’s a look at what data shows is the reality for people who make more money.Only 54% of employees use their paid-time offThe good news here is that, compared to three years ago, employees are, on average, taking more vacation time now than they were in 2014. But, research shows that the average employees only used half of their allotted vacation time in the past 12 months. 66% of employees who take time off still work during vacationPart of the issue might be that even when employees do take time off, they still can’t disconnect from work. It’s hard to want to take a vacation when you know you’ll end up spending part of it on your computer. Unfortunately, two-thirds of employees who reported using their vacation time said they still worked even though they were away from work. More than a quarter of employees who took paid-time-off in the last 12 months say they were contacted by a co-worker or their boss about work-related matters, despite knowing they were on vacation. Even those who weren’t contact by employees still had trouble disconnecting. 23% of those who took vacation said they had trouble not thinking about work–and 14% even mentioned that a family member complained about them working while on vacation. We just don’t know how to relax anymore!The Dos and Don’ts of Working on VacationThe gender gap doesn’t just apply to pay–it’s about vacation time, too!Not only are women paid less than their male co-workers, but also research shows they are also less likely to report receiving paid vacation time. 75% of female workers reported paid vacation time, compared to 82% of male workers. Moreover, women are less likely to actually take the time off too. 77% of female employees ages 18-34 who received vacation time took time off in the past year–compared to 93% of men of the same age range who took time off in the past year. Employees sometimes use paid time off to look for another job!It’s sad but true. Data shows that over one in ten, or 12%, of employees surveyed, said they had used paid-time off or vacation time in the past year to interview for another job. It’s probably not a good sign to work for a company where you have trouble getting time off just to go do an interview somewhere else!The more money you make, the more “on” you are expected to beMaking more money sounds great, right? That is until you realize that the more you make, the less vacation time you get. Employees who earn a household income of $100K+ (27%) are more likely than those with a house hold income of $50-$74.9K (15%) to indicate that they are expected to stay aware of work issues and help out if something needs their attention, even if they are on vacation and using their paid time-off. Moreover, it gets even unhealthier. 8% of those who work while on vacation say they drink alcohol while attending to work issues. 34% say they work on vacation because they fear getting behind on their work and 13% of respondents say they are afraid they will lose their job if they don’t keep up with the work while they are gone. Lastly 7% of employees who take time off are afraid of their boss, so they continue working while on vacation.19 Amazing Companies Offering The Best Vacation Packages Hiring Now!If you have a high position that pays well, no one else can do your job while you’re on PTO30% of employees say that they have to keep working even when on PTO because there is no one else at their company who can do their work when they are out. Data shows that, among employees who took vacation time in the past year, 24% of those with an income of $50K or more were more likely than the 6% of those with an income of less than $50K to say that they worked while on vacation because no one else at their job could do their work while they were gone.Moreover, those with an income of $75K or more were more likely than those with an income of less than $50K to say that they have worked on vacation because they feel like they can never completely disconnect with their work because of their responsibilities.The reality here is that we, as American employees, have a hard time disconnecting from work and managing our work-life balance. Whether it’s being afraid to fall behind or being afraid of our boss, or if we’re simply so dedicated to our company that we just work all the time, we really need to get better at setting boundaries with our offices.last_img read more

New White House Pay Reporting Rollback Cannot Stop Employers Committed to Equal Pay

first_imgTuesday, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that compensation reporting requirements for employers will not go into effect as planned. The OMB told the U.S. Equality Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that it has initiated “a review and immediate stay of the effectiveness of the pay data collection aspects” of the commission’s EEO-1 form. In other words, the White House has told companies that they no longer need to report on their pay practices.However, according to Dawn Lyon, Glassdoor’s Chief Reputation Officer, the strong trend towards pay equality cannot be stopped.“As employers, we don’t need a reporting mechanism to do the right thing,” she says. “It is incumbent upon the employer to remain committed to equal pay regardless of who is in the White House.” The announcement, she insists, will not roll back The Equal Pay Act of 1963 even though it will affect an Obama-era pledge to increase reporting on compensation. “Over the past couple of years, there has been a notable change in the attention employers are placing on pay equality,” says Lyon. “Employers are doing the work to look at what’s happening in hiring, promotions, and pay raises to have a handle on equal pay and to prevent unconscious bias from seeping into the process.”Employees are “demanding pay transparency” as well says Lyon. According to a U.S. Harris Poll conducted by Glassdoor, 95% of employees/job seekers say it is important to be thoughtful and informed about a company’s pay philosophy (e.g., how pay is determined, how pay increases are determined) prior to accepting a job offer.  Furthermore, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of U.S. employees say they would not apply for jobs at employers where they believe a gender pay gap exists. On Glassdoor, the fastest growing job site in the U.S., nearly 3,700 companies have already committed to paying equitably for equal work and experience, regardless of gender, in order to directly nip the persistent plague of pay inequality in the bud. “Employers have the opportunity to affect change,” says Lyon. “We’re already seeing thousands of employers taking steps to analyze their pay, and ensure that they are paying fairly.” One increasingly popular way among employers is to perform an internal gender pay audit to understand whether a gap exists. This involves examining payroll data for evidence of a gender pay gap, and making recommendations to senior management about ways to lower gender barriers in recruitment, hiring, pay and promotion before they arise as broader organizational concerns. Glassdoor has created a free guide for employers that will allow them to perform their own analysis, complete with the algorithm needed to conduct the pay audit.“We all have to continue to do the right thing and do the work to stay committed to equal pay.”Employees, to better understand whether you are paid fairly get a personalized salary estimate with Know Your Worth, and find salary negotiation tips on our blog.To any company who wants to show your commitment to helping close the pay gap, we invite you to do so by signing the pledge here, and using #StandForEqualPay on social media. Take it one step further by learning how to analyze the gender pay gap within your own organization with our technical guide for employers and guide for HR practitioners, 5 Ways to Address the Gender Pay Gap.last_img read more

Bayern Munich shocked by £420,000-a-week Alexis Sanchez demands

first_imgBayern Munich fear Arsenal ace Alexis Sanchez will refuse to drop his personal demands.The Mirror says Sanchez has told the Bundesliga champions that he wants a £21.85million-a-year package to move to Munich.That works out at an incredible £420,000-a-week following the fall of the pound against the Euro – and would wreck Bayern’s strict wage structure.The Bavarian club’s hierarchy has been shocked by the figures being quoted to land the 28-year-old forward.And the growing belief in Munich is that Sanchez wants to join Manchester City and is trying to force Arsenal’s hand.The Gunners will demand £50 million for Sanchez – and are adamant that they will hold him for the final year of his contract rather than sell him to a Premier League rival.last_img read more

​Tottenham star Alli gives hope to lower league players

first_imgThe career path of Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli inspires former Crystal Palace midfielder Jake Gray. Alli signed for Spurs in 2015 after breaking into the first team at League One club MK Dons. Since then, the 20-year old has gone on to become one of Britain’s brightest young talents.And now James, who left Palace for Luton Town last summer, believes the England midfielder has set a precedent for players.”In terms of who I have looked up to in the game, I always looked up to James McArthur when I was at Palace,” he told Bedfordshire on Sunday.”But I am a Spurs fan, so I really admire Dele Alli, and he shows all lower league players what you can achieve if you really apply yourself.”last_img read more

Southampton join Everton, Newcastle in race for Arsenal defender Chambers

first_imgSouthampton is interested in signing their former defender Calum Chambers. The Englishman left St. Mary’s for Arsenal in a deal worth £16m back in 2014.However, after initially thriving with the Gunners, the 22-year old became a squad player for Arsene Wenger.Last season he was shipped out on loan to Middlesbrough and regained his confidence, making 25 Premier League starts for the Teeside club.His performances at Boro have piqued the interest of Southampton, as well as Newcastle United and Everton.last_img read more

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud close to West Ham agreement

first_imgWest Ham are closing on a deal for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud.The Sun says if Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette does finally go to Arsenal, Giroud could be on his way out of the Emirates for £20m.The Frenchman, 30, wants regular first-team football and is determined to stay in London if he does leave the Gunners.Those two factors put West Ham in pole position to bag a targetman who has netted 96 goals in five years in England.Hammers boss Slaven Bilic is desperate for more firepower after Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho all suffered injury-wrecked campaigns.last_img read more

Man City goalkeeper Angus Gunn explains Norwich move

first_imgManchester City goalkeeper Angus Gunn has explained leaving on-loan for Norwich City.Gunn admits the chance to follow in the footsteps of his father, Bryan, at Carrow Road was a no-brainer.”I found it difficult at Manchester City to get a chance because of the quality of player there,” he told talkSPORT.”Maybe a few of the lads here with England are in a similar situation. If you are not pushing for a start in the Premier League then you need to be looking for football elsewhere.”It is part of growing up and being a younger player at a Premier League club.”last_img read more

Guti’s Real Madrid youth team clinch superb Treble

first_imgGuti’s Real Madrid youth team have clinched a stunning Treble.With a Champions Cup and league title already wrapped up, Guti led Real Madrid’s Juvenil youth team into this Sunday’s Copa del Rey final against Atletico Madrid with a treble on the line – and they secured it.By defeating their city rivals 4-1, the youngsters made history and lifted yet another trophy. It means that the only trophy to have eluded Guti’s youngsters this season was the UEFA Youth League, a tournament in which they fell at the semi-final stage.last_img read more

The Missing Midwives

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on April 1, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A new report is out today from Save the Children on the “Missing Midwives.” They identify a shortage of 350,000 midwives globally resulting in higher maternal and neonatal mortality. The report focuses on the consequences of this shortage on children, but the findings are of interest to the maternal health community as well. Increasing the number of midwives and the number of births attended by skilled professionals would have beneficial impacts on mothers.From the report:The global shortage of 350,000 midwives means that many women and babies die from complications that could easily be prevented by a health worker with the right skills, the right equipment and the right support. There are 358,000 maternal deaths annually, and more than 800,000 babies die during childbirth each year. Millions more newborn lives are lost in the first month of life. if births were routinely attended by midwives and skilled birth attendants with the right training and support, the lives of 1.3 million newborn babies a year could be saved.The International Day of the Midwife is coming up on May 5 which will “celebrate midwifery and bring awareness of the importance of midwives’ work to as many people as possible.”Share this:last_img read more

Crain’s features Freelancers U seminar speakers

first_imgTwo of Freelancers Union seminar speakers, who have presented on the topic of incorporating your business, were just featured in an article in Crain’s New York Business. Attorney Stephen Furnari and accountant Howard Samuels both offered advice on tax implications for choosing an LLC or an S corporation. Furnari said that, “If you’re a solo entrepreneur making about $100,000 net a year, you could be losing $7,500 to $8,500 in tax savings” if you establish an LLC rather than another entity. Samuels explained that “In New York City, as an S corp, your profit is subject to an 8.85% tax.” To hear more of their pearls of wisdom, sign up now for the seminars they’re presenting this fall: • September 30, Legal Basics for Every Freelancer, presenter: Stephen Furnari • November 17, Tax Deductions and Quarterly Payments, presenter: Howard Samuelslast_img read more

Small Business Week reminder: Check your estimated tax payments

first_imgYes, we are fresh off tax season, which means most small business owners have just calculated — with help from the IRS — whether they paid enough tax for 2018. If you are self-employed you should be familiar with making estimated state and federal tax payments each quarter. If you’re not, with this week being Small Business Week, it’s the perfect time to check to make sure you are paying the right amount and paying on time to avoid fines and penalties.Need an estimated tax refresher? Check out the tips below:If you make more than $400 freelancing in a year, you have to pay the appropriate estimated taxes on the income. Unlike when you work full-time for someone else, your taxes are not automatically withheld from the checks you receive from freelance clients. As a freelancer, you are responsible for paying estimated taxes on a quarterly basis throughout the year.The amount of estimated tax you owe depends on your level of income and if you’re factoring in state and local taxes. You also need to know what taxes you may be responsible for in the city where you are conducting business. This information can usually be found on the website of the city where your freelance business is based. If you do work for clients or sell goods in other states, you need to know if you will owe taxes in these locations, too.Keep track of your previous year’s tax rate to estimate how much tax you owe. If you are making close to the same as you did last year, this will give you an idea of how much to set aside (or you can check with a tax professional). Generally, consider 33% of your taxable income a good starting point. It is often helpful to save money for your tax payments in a separate account so you know that you have the money on hand.Know when to pay. The remaining schedule for estimated tax payments in 2019 is:For income received April 1 through May 31, estimated tax is due June 17, 2019.For income received June 1 through Aug. 31, estimated tax is due Sept. 16, 2019.For income received Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, estimated tax is due Jan. 15, 2020.Do not wait until the end of the year to pay. It is risky to assume that you will be able to pay all your taxes at the end of the year in one lump sum. Paying them quarterly will help you keep on top of them and avoid fines and penalties. If you miss a quarterly tax deadline, file as soon as possible and speak with an IRS representative about appealing the penalty. Do not wait until the next period to pay.Be aware of how estimated tax penalties work. The IRS applies a penalty to estimated tax filings when you have not paid enough tax during the year or when you have not filed on time. The IRS applies a percentage (the penalty rate) to figure out your penalty amount for each quarter (for the first quarter of 2019 this amount is 6 percent).These penalties apply unless you meet the safe harbor limitation for 2019 which requires that:A person’s tax payments are equal to at least 90 percent of their tax liability for the year, or;A person’s tax payments are at least 100 percent of the prior year’s tax liability (110 percent when joint filers’ gross income is over $150,000).In regard to your 2018 taxes, due to the fact that the IRS released tax withholding tables early in 2018 and they did not reflect some adjustments in the new tax laws, the agency is now waiving the penalty for any taxpayer who prepaid at least 80 percent of their total tax liability for 2018. However, if you did not prepay 80 percent of your total tax liability or more, you will not be eligible for the waiver.It is a good idea for all freelancers to check their estimated tax payments as well as the rate at which they are paying estimated taxes for 2019 to ensure they are, at a minimum, meeting the safe harbor threshold. Given that it’s small business week there is no better time to do a quick check — it may just save you from having to pay an unwanted fine or penalty!Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers and self-employed individuals across the country. He offers a free consultation to members of Freelancer’s Union and a monthly email newsletter covering tax, accounting and business issues to freelancers on his website, www.cpaforfreelancers.com — which also features a new blog, how-to articles, and a comprehensive freelance tax guide.last_img read more

How to Save for a First Class Flight

first_img Post navigation You’ve backpacked your way through Europe, you’ve stayed at nice hotels and even eaten at Michelin star restaurants. You’ve crossed a lot off of your travel bucket list but there’s still one thing that needs to be done: fly first class.Flying first class is crazy expensive, but we still need to try it at least once in our lives. If flying first class is something you’re dying to experience, try these five tips to make it happen short of saving the actual full price!Stay LoyalAs I previously mentioned in a few posts, collecting airline miles is the best way to save money on flights of all economic status. However if you’re looking to fly first class, I recommend you pick an airline co-branded credit card. The sign up bonuses offer you tens of thousands of points just for signing up and spending a certain amount of money within a particular time frame. These sign up points (and any additional points earned after the signup period) will equate at least one round trip flight to Europe in first class.The key with sticking to a particular airline and remaining loyal is that it will be a lot easier to gain elite status over time. There are a lot more hacks for gaining points quickly all of which I listed in this post here. Here’s an example of some co-branded cards that might be worth checking out:Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit CardUnited MileagePlus Explorer CardGold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American ExpressPlease note that I am definitely not suggesting you spend a bunch of money you don’t have just to obtain points (that’s where the credit card companies try to get you). Use these credit cards for business expenses, home expenses you would eventually be using with your debit card, or for large purchases like we did with our wedding. This way, you’ll be able to hit the minimum points without going into debt.Don’t Book Last MinuteBooking last minute can be a crapshoot. Sometimes you might find that you’ll save as much as 30% off by waiting last minute. With flights however, most of the time you’ll pay as much as 40% more than you would if you had booked ahead of time. This is because they know business fliers will have last minute flights for work and their companies are forced to pay the price in the name of business.If you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, book at least seven days before your departure date. As I stated in my post about saving for your flights, 3-4 months before departure is the current optimal time to buy flights. Please note that this may change in a few months time as airline companies always want to keep you on your toes (and keep you spending more).Book WeekendsMost individuals who fly first class/business class are professionals traveling for work during the week. So contrary to popular opinion, it’s best to book a first class flight during the weekend. You’ll find better savings since there are less individuals vying for the same seats. After all, these business fliers aren’t up for another trip during the weekend!Upgrade at Check-In or At the GatePerhaps you didn’t have the miles when you purchased your flight. Or maybe you didn’t have the money at the time, but you do now. Instead of taking your chances for a free upgrade at the gate (which yes, that can actually happen), purchase an upgrade when you check-in for your flight. If there are seats available this close to take off, they’d rather get some money from you than none at all and will provide you with a discount.If you want to take a chance at the last moment possible, you could always see if there are free upgrades at the gate. I’ve heard of people on their honeymoon getting free upgrades, but it didn’t work for us. Sad emoji. Worse comes to worst, you can still pay the same amount you might be willing to pay at check-in.Bribe the Flight AttendantOkay, so I don’t actually mean a real bribe here. I simply mean you should be nice, friendly and give them chocolates from the local duty-free shop (seriously do it, it’s a thing). Once the cabin doors shut, ask the flight attendant if you can move to an open first class seat before take off. With your sweet smile and their pockets full of chocolate, they might let you up front. If not, they might just offer you some free cocktails. Sebrin Elms is a twenty-something newlywed with two kitties and a serious obsession with travel. She started her blog, The Clumsy Traveler, in anticipation of a 3-month long honeymoon around the world. When she came back, she wasn’t ready to stop writing and traveling! You can learn more about her story on her blog or follow her on Instagram @theclumsytraveler.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

Should You Really Take Immune-Boosting Supplements When You’re Sick?

first_imgWhen you start to feel a cold coming on, or even worse, the flu, your natural instinct might be to guzzle down as much Emergen-C as humanly possible.But is that really a good idea? Short answer: It depends. “We all know we need certain vitamins to repair and heal our bodies, and zinc and vitamin C have been proven to help protect the body, before you’re sick or right at the start,” says Aileen Marty, M.D., a professor specializing in infectious diseases at Florida International University. Cold supplements can help cut the cold off at the knees, and reduce symptoms, she says.According to a 2013 review on the efficacy of vitamin C for colds, it’s particularly useful for people who are super active or have physically strenuous jobs, but the jury is still out on whether it can do much for the general population (a few studies have shown it reduces the duration of colds by about a day, but not enough to be conclusive). Meanwhile, research has also linked zinc to faster recovery from cold symptoms.More Isn’t Always Better Here’s the catch: When it comes to water-soluble vitamins, like vitamins B and C, the body can only absorb so much. “If you take too much, you’re essentially wasting your money because you’ll just pee it out,” says Marty. (The same seems to go for zinc; the body only stores a minimal amount.) But, luckily, other than being a money-waster, taking a bunch of vitamin C won’t hurt you. That’s not the case for several other vitamins that can be found in immune-boosting supplements. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, can cause issues when they’re taken in large doses. These are absorbed in the small intestines and then stored in the liver and fat tissues. It’s much easier to reach dangerous levels with fat-soluble vitamins because they build up over time. Vitamin A overdose, for example, can cause vision changes, bone pain, and liver damage. According to the National Institutes of Health, supplements are the the primary reason people experience vitamin A toxicity. Unfortunately, though, experts aren’t sure exactly how much is too much. So, for now, most health professionals and nutritionists advise not taking any more than 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of any given vitamin or mineral through supplementation alone, Marty says. (You can find information on your RDA for some vitamins and minerals here.) For the record: Immune-boosting supplements often contain concentrations of vitamins that far exceed your RDA. For example, one packet of Emergen-C Immune + Super Orange contains 1,667 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, and 500 percent of your daily value of vitamin B6. And one dose of Airborne contains nearly 17 times the RDA of vitamin C, more than 100 percent of the RDA of select B vitamins, 40 percent of the RDA of vitamin A, and a day’s worth of vitamin E. If you follow the dosage instructions and only take the cold-fighting supplement for a short period of time, there’s very little risk of toxicity, Marty says. However, the longer you take high amounts of fat-soluble vitamins, the more they can build up in your body. That’s why these immunity-boosting supplements are only intended for short-term use, she adds. There’s A Better Way To Boost Your Immune System “The best thing anyone can do is maintain good health every day by eating well and exercising,” says Marty.It’s true. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, it’s always best to operate with a food-first mentality. If you’re looking for vitamin C, try yellow bell peppers, guava, kale, papaya, and strawberries, which all have more vitamin C than an orange. For zinc, add foods like shellfish and yogurt to your diet. Basically, as long as you’re eating a whole-foods diet that’s rich in a vegetables, produce, meats, and dairy, you should get all of the nutrients you need for a strong immune system. And if your doctor does find that you have any nutrient deficiencies, supplement that nutrient specifically, and follow your doctor’s instructions on dosage, she says.Meanwhile, research shows that exercise can actually boost the cells that aid our immune system and lower inflammation. For example, a 2015 University of Houston study found that a single bout of moderate-intensity exercise, like jogging or lifting moderate weights, activates the immune system to fight off infection.So maybe consider swapping out your supplements for a rainbow-filled plate—with a side of exercise.Sourcelast_img read more

Facebook Launches Online Education Center For Businesses

first_img Facebook It is clear that Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Facebook.com/Business must be sick and tired of hearing about Google’s new entry into social networking. Well, the social media giant is hitting Google back right where it hurts. Google’s failure to have pages for businesses has been well documented. To make that pain a little worse, Facebook has launched According to Facebook and other social media companies an Inc.com article Google+, Google+, Google+! The folks at , a Facebook spokesperson said, “Facebook allows small businesses to create rich social experiences, build lasting relationships and amplify the most powerful type of marketing—word of mouth. We created Facebook.com/Business to make it even easier for people to reach these objectives and grow.” Marketing Takeawaycenter_img Facebook Business Pages What do you think of Facebook’s new resources? Facebook Marketing ebooks Originally published Jul 28, 2011 1:25:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 are growing up and working on refining their monetization strategy. Facebook understands that for it to generate revenue from not only major brands but also small business owners it has to provide education for businesses. While much of the information is pretty basic, especially if you have already read some of our Topics: . , it is valuable information for businesses that are new to Facebook. Especially valuable is the information and walk-through content that Facebook provides around its advertising platform. Facebook is an important part of a successful social media marketing campaign, regardless if you are a B2C or B2B company. It is important to get the basics right, which include setting up a Facebook Page. Once you have the basics down, be sure to test other aspects of Facebook marketing, including their advertising platform, to determine how it works for your business. Stay on the look-out for more social networks working harder to cater to business users.last_img read more

Kazakh Olympic figure skater stabbed to death at 25

first_img\R Astana(Kazakhstan), Jul 19 (AFP) Kazakh figure skater Denis Ten, who won bronze at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, died today aged 25 after being stabbed, Kazakhstan’s culture and sports ministry told AFP.Ten died in hospital after medics fought to save his life following the attack in which he lost three litres of blood, the ministry’s press service said.Kazakhstan’s Vesti.kz news website reported that Ten died of stab wounds after being attacked by would-be car thieves.He was reportedly stabbed in the right thigh, causing severe blood loss.City police said that he was stabbed by two unidentified attackers who were trying to steal mirrors from his car, RIA Novosti news agency reported.The International Skating Union said in a tweet it was “deeply saddened” by the news.”Our heartfelt condolences go out to Denis’ family, friends and fans across the world,” it said. Social media erupted in sorrow and anger at the news of his death amid demands for an investigation.Ten was of Korean origin and his great-great-grandfather was a Korean-born independence fighter, General Min Keung Ho.He was trained by American coach Frank Carroll following a spell with Russia’s most renowned coach, Tatiana Tarasova.Tarasova told RIA Novosti news agency in Russia that she had spoken to his mother while he was still alive in hospital.”What a nightmare! What a tragedy!” she said.Ten won silver at the World Figure Skating Championships in 2013 and bronze in 2015. He won the 2015 Four Continents title in Seoul.”I am ethnically Korean and I am virtually skating in my home country,” he said at the time.advertisementAt Sochi in 2014, he won bronze in the men’s free skating final, despite skating in two different boots. (AFP) SMJSMJlast_img read more

Battle of the Brands: Which Famous Rival Company Has Better Marketing?

first_imgComarketing is also a big part of the social equation for these brands. For example, MasterCard has teamed up with brands including Lyft and Gilt for social promotions, while Visa has joined forces with the likes of The Gap and Orbitz.So, the two brands have similar social follower counts and they employ similar social social strategies. The main differentiator thus far is MasterCard’s blog and lead capture capabilities. But what about market share?Visa has the bigger chunk of the market, claiming 45% of credit card purchases to MasterCard’s 24%. If we look at the number of cards in circulation (as opposed to purchase volume), Visa is again the bigger fish, with 49% to MasterCard’s 31%.This is a tough one to call. MasterCard might be winning some marketing battles, but Visa — with its market dominance — is winning the war.Can we just call this one a tie and move on? (Make your case in the comments section if you have a strong opinion one way or the other!)Winner: MasterCard & Visa (tie)4) Fender vs. Gibson  75Save75SaveWhile musicians, especially guitar players, are likely familiar with these brands, here’s a little bit of background for the uninitiated.The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co., Ltd. (now simply the Gibson Guitar Corporation) was founded in 1902 by Orville Gibson. Gibson invented the archtop guitar, which has a construction similar to that of a violin. (B.B. King is known for playing one.) But Gibson is perhaps most famous for the solid-body electric guitar it released back in 1952, the Les Paul. (Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Ace Frehley of KISS, and Slash of Guns N’ Roses all famously played Gibson Les Pauls.)Then there’s the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, which was founded in 1946 by Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender. The Fender corporation was a solid-body electric guitar pioneer, and first gained traction with its Telecaster model. (Bruce Springsteen plays one, and they’re popular in country music). But the iconic and oft-copied Stratocaster guitar is Fender’s true claim to fame. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan all famously played Fender Stratocasters.Of course, the absolute BEST way to settle the Fender vs. Gibson debate would be to have the greatest Fender guitar players of all time form a band and face off against a band comprised of the greatest Gibson guitar players of all time. It would be a “Battle of the Guitar Brand Bands,” and I would gladly sell my left kidney to see it.But let’s get back to reality. In terms of marketing grader score, Fender has the edge with a 57 to Gibson’s 48. Two of the factors that account for this score discrepancy: Fender uses marketing automation, while Gibson does not, and Fender includes its brand name in its page titles (which is good for SEO), while Gibson does not.On the social following front, however, Gibson is the clear winner, with 988 thousand Twitter followers to Fender’s 373 thousand, and 7.7 million Facebook Page Likes to Fender’s 2.09 million.In terms of what they’re actually posting on social, the content is very similar. On Facebook, both Fender and Gibson post lots of high-quality product photos mixed in with photos (and videos) of famous musicians playing their products.On Twitter, it’s the same story — but both also take the time to retweet folks who @-mention them, especially when it’s customers showing off their new purchases. Ultimately, I think the Coke vs. Pepsi marketing battle boils down to this: Coke = Happy. Pepsi = Cool. Coke is really marketing happiness, not Coke. But if you drink Coke, it will make you happy! Pepsi is really marketing a cool lifestyle, not Pepsi. But if you drink Pepsi, it will make you cool!But at the end of the day, Coke takes the cake.Winner: CokeSo, there you have it: Six brand battles have come to an end. What did you think of the outcomes? Would you have picked different winners? Sound off in the comments section below! Sign up for Visa Checkout, the easier way to get exclusive @KatyPerry merch during her show. https://t.co/WNs0ifDW8e— Visa (@Visa) January 31, 2015 @gibsonguitar Just had this delivered! Tone, looks, love! pic.twitter.com/l4IOjJaaRK— Mike (@Cohassetguy) February 8, 2015 One style isn’t necessarily better than the other, but it’s worth noting the difference. On the website front, McDonald’s is technically the winner, as it earned a marketing grade of 65 to Burger King’s 62. (Want to see how you stack up against McDonald’s and Burger King? Run your website’s URL through our free Marketing Grader tool.)However, from a design perspective, Burger King’s website definitely takes the cake. It’s modern and responsive and is loaded with beautiful, high-quality imagery. Meanwhile, the McDonald’s site feels outdated and corporate. When we take every factor into account, however, this marketing match is an easy one to call: With its massive social following (and massive market share), the McDonald’s brand reigns supreme. Winner: McDonald’s2) Duracell vs. Energizer75Save75SaveBoth of these major battery brands chose qualities of actual batteries to base their marketing upon. While one chose durability, the other chose energy (or the ability to energize). Can you guess which quality belongs to which brand? ;)Clearly, Duracell wants to be the durable battery; the reliable battery; the battery that will be there for you. Is it a coincidence that the brand uses copper (a shade of brown) as one of its main colors? (FYI: in color psychology, brown is associated with dependability.)The Duracell marketing slogan? “Trusted everywhere.”Then, there’s Energerizer. The brand that’s all about energy — energy that keeps things going, and going, and going. Whereas Duracell is known for its copper top, the classic Energizer battery uses red and yellow in its design, two colors that are both associated with energy.The Energizer marketing slogan? “That’s Positivenergy.”Now, onto the measurable stuff: From a marketing grade perspective, Duracell eeks out the win with a 62 to Energizer’s 60. But given that Energizer has what I consider to be a slightly more modern-feeling website, this category is a wash.On the social following front, Duracell is the clear winner. Even when we combine Energizer’s brand and mascot Twitter accounts, Duracell still has more than twice as many followers. And when it comes to Facebook Page Likes, Duracell has more than 37 times as many as Energizer.Neither brand, however, is as prolific in the social media space as McDonald’s or Burger King. There’s much less consistency, and social posting for both Duracell and Energizer increases dramatically when there’s a special event or occasion (e.g. New Year’s, the Super Bowl, a product launch, and so on). Otherwise, both brands are pretty quiet.When Duracell and Energizer do post, the content is very product-heavy. You won’t find any quirky quotes or cute animations on their feeds, but you will find photos — and videos — of batteries. Lots of batteries. Even batteries made from batteries! While neither brand really shines in the social media space, Duracell is clearly doing something right (or at least better) to account for those high(er) social following scores. Perhaps its partnership with the NFL, and all the NFL-related content it’s allowed to post as a result, is helping to drive its success.In terms of market share, Duracell is the superior, claiming 29% to Energizer’s 25%.So, when it’s all said and done, there’s really only one way to call this match.Winner: Duracell3) MasterCard vs. Visa75Save75SaveFinally, a brand that has its blogging and lead generation game together.With an 81, MasterCard scored the second-highest marketing grade of any brand website analyzed in this post. The main reason(s) for the high score? A regularly updated (albieit hard-to-find) blog called “Beyond the Transaction,” coupled with forms that visitors can use to subscribe to MasterCard’s content.The blog includes both original posts, which you can access from a top carousel (or by topic via the sidebar), as well as curated posts, which are presented Tumblr-style beneath the original posts. Notice how the form lets you choose the specific types of content you might want to subscribe to. (Nice touch!)And while Visa’s website is no slouch (hey, it has the third-highest marketing grade score in this post with a 66), it doesn’t deliver in the blog department. While Visa does have a corporate Tumblr account, which is kind of cool (I think), from an inbound marketing perspective, it isn’t as effective as MasterCard’s setup.When it comes to social following, we’ve got a real dogfight on our hands. MasterCard has more Twitter followers, with 393 thousand to Visa’s 261 thousand. Yet on Facebook, Visa’s 17.7 million company Page Likes outshine MasterCard’s 12 million. In terms of how these two brands utilize their social channels, two words come to mind: Celebrity endorsements. MasterCard recently had Gwen Stefani front and center in many of its social posts (leading up to the Grammy’s), while Visa teamed up with Katy Perry (leading up to her Super Bowl halftime performance). Say hello to the world’s 1st AA battery made w/ 4% recycled batteries—Energizer EcoAdvanced™! http://t.co/aCfRM2stLD #TransformingInnovation— Energizer (@Energizer) February 3, 2015 75SaveYou might have already known coming into this first match that on the financial side of the house, McDonald’s is the clear winner: $28 billion in annual revenue vs. Burger King’s $1.15 billion in 2013.So perhaps it’s not surprising that McDonald’s is dominating on the social following front, boasting more than twice as many Twitter followers as Burger King and more than seven times as many Facebook Page Likes. McDonald’s gets more business and they have more customers, so it makes sense they’d have more folks following them on social.Great. But what do Burger King and McDonald’s actually do on social?For Burger King, it’s all about the food. Lots of food pics on both Facebook and Twitter. Some are your standard glamour shots, while others are a bit more fun (like playing Jenga with chocolate chip cookies).In contrast, McDonald’s seems to put more emphasis on culture and happiness in their Facebook and Twitter feeds. And while McDonald’s food does get its share of the limelight — especially in the form of customer photos that McDonald’s re-shares — their overall social presence doesn’t feel as “food-centric” as Burger King’s.Their Facebook cover photos are a prime example of this. Burger King: food; McDonald’s: colorful hearts.When McDonald’s does talk about its food on social media, it does so in an almost scientific way. They’ve now got the dude from MythBusters showing us how they make McDonald’s fries, which is part of their ongoing “Our Food, Your Questions” campaign. (Spoiler alert: They make the fries out of potatoes.)Meanwhile, this is how Burger King markets its fries on social media:Another difference between the two burger brands is their respective spots on the quirkiness spectrum, especially in regards to Twitter. Whereas Burger King embraces oddball humor, publishing lots of funny, weird quips and comments, McDonald’s often goes for the cute stuff. FRIENDS ARE IMPORTANT FRIES ARE IMPORTANT FRIES ARE FRIENDS— Burger King (@BurgerKing) January 19, 2015 Express delivery to Arizona: 700+ Duracell Quantum batteries to power communications for #SB49 #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/JjWRcs77OT— Duracell (@Duracell) February 1, 2015 The winner of this automotive marketing melee? I say BMW, due primarily to their stellar blog. And when we look at revenue, the numbers help to reinforce my choice: In 2012 (the most recent year I could find apples-to-apples data for), Mercedes-Benz had revenues of €61.66 billion. In that same year, BMW pulled in €76.84 billion.Winner: BMW6) Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi75Save75SaveI know, I know … the whole “Coke vs. Pepsi” thing has been done before. Many, many times before.Nasdaq did a cool “by the numbers” piece on it a year back, and Business Insider created a pretty decent timeline/slideshow on the topic in 2013. And heck, we even ran Coke and Pepsi through the Marketing Grader back in 2011 and wrote about the results.Most of you already know the winner here: Coca-Cola. It’s not just the superior market share (Coke controls 42% of the carbonated soft drink market to Pepsi’s 30%) or Coke’s larger social following — though those statistics certainly help. I think the real reason why Coke wins is because “Coke” has managed to become nearly synonymous with the words “soft drink” and “soda” and “pop.” Heck, in some parts of the U.S., particularly the South, people do use “Coke” in place of those generic words.Another (anecdotal) reason why Coca-Cola wins: they invented Santa Claus. (I mean, not really, but close enough.) Ok, so we know Coke is the winner, but for the sake of science, let’s take a look at how Coke and Pepsi’s marketing strategies differ.To start, a glimpse at their respective websites reveals a clear distinction between the two: Pepsi is going all-in on the millennial demographic, while Coke is content in being the “classic” brand.Whereas the homepage of the super-modern Pepsi site features these cool cards for displaying videos, photos, and other content, the Coke website is pretty old-school. There’s a top nav, a slideshow (with only one image, for some reason), and a Coke TV spot embedded smack dab in the center.In the social posting department, there’s a similar sort of vibe: Pepsi is appealing to youngsters with its invincible-high-school-student-inspired “Live for Now” slogan, while Coke’s slogan, “Make It Happy,” is a bit calmer and more cross-generational in its appeal.When you scroll through Pepsi’s Twitter feed, you’ll finds lots of photos and videos of young people, especially young musicians.  Hey LA! Be on the lookout for #GRAMMYs & @GwenStefani tix all over the city. #FindTheGwenabees #PricelessSurprises https://t.co/BvG0cz2DiZ— MasterCard (@MasterCard) February 3, 2015 Their friendship just got a 1-Up. pic.twitter.com/Hp6srRTG14— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) January 18, 2015 And yes, in case you were wondering, that’s a Stratocaster in the top (Fender) photo and a Les Paul in the bottom (Gibson) photo.Now, onto market share. We finally we have a close one in this category: In 2012 (the most recent year I coul find sales data for), Gibson did $325 million in revenue while Fender did $350 million. It’s pretty darn close!So, when it’s all said and done, who’s the winner? My vote goes to Gibson, and here’s why: Even though it didn’t get as high of a Website Grader score, and its sales were slightly lower than Fender’s, Gibson’s social following is substantially larger.What’s more, when I Googled “famous Les Paul players” during my research for the opening of this section, Gibson’s own content showed up first in the search results: “15 Iconic Les Paul Players”. In contrast, when I Googled “famous Stratocaster players” I had to scroll to the bottom of the search results to find Fender’s entry: “Fifteen Strat Players for the Ages.”Winner: Gibson5) BMW vs. Mercedes-Benz75Save75SaveNow, on to an international example. Here we have the battle of the luxury German car brands: BMW (based in Munich) and Mercedes-Benz (based in Stuttgart).Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have USA-specific websites, and in some cases, USA-specific social media accounts. But for this exercise, I’m focusing exclusively on their primary, international identities. (So, for example, while you might recall BMW’s slogan being “The Ultimate riving Machine,” that’s actually their American slogan, not their international one.)Alright, on to the good stuff. With a marketing grade of 87, which happens to be the highest grade of any brand on this list, BMW handily defeats Mercedes-Benz (marketing grade: 60) in the website category.The main reason for BMW’s domination: a well-maintained (and well-designed) blog, which drives lots of social shares.On the social front, things are a little closer. Mercedes-Benz is winning the Twitter war with 1.19 million followers to BMW’s 785 thousand. However, BMW has the advantage on Facebook, with 19.6 million Page Likes to Mercedes-Benz’s 18.1 million.What are these rival car brands up to on social? They share a very similar playbook, which consists primarily of one play: Post beautiful photos of cars! (Both brands also post beautiful videos of cars … but I’d argue that’s just a variation of the first play.)Another popular move (which we saw in the Fender vs. Gibson battle) is to retweet customer- and fan-submitted photos. Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz do this, and they also @-mention customers to congratulate them on their new rides, which is a nice touch. Give the Internet something to smile about. Spread happy instead of hate and inspire others to follow. #MakeItHappy http://t.co/OYXSsA1AqW— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) February 3, 2015 Originally published Mar 2, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017  Meanwhile, Coke has recently been using Twitter to help “spread happy instead of hate” on the internet.  When your hero NAILS an #OutoftheBlue performance on stage at the #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/F5peZD06iL— Pepsi™ (@pepsi) February 9, 2015 Marketing Case Studies Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Ba da ba ba ba, I’m lovin’ it.We can instantly identify their logos. We can hum along to their jingles. We’re on a first name basis with their mascots. We can repeat their slogans as mantra.How were big brands like McDonald’s able to attain such a ubiquitous status? How did they become so darn well-known?Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.As a marketer, I’d like to think the answer is obvious: marketing! Inventing the Ronald McDonald mascot, designing those golden arches, creating all those catchy jingles, teaming up with all those celebrities, and running all those cross-promotions with other big brands over the years … that’s what transformed McDonald’s from a California-based burger chain into a global icon, right?Or … was it the competition? We’ve all heard that competition drives innovation. And for McDonald’s, which has been battling Burger King (among others) for market share since the late 1950s, this competition created a sort of “hamburger arms race.” New burger styles and combinations were — and still are — being innovated constantly.The competition uses two patties in their burgers? We’re gonna use three patties in our burgers. The competition puts four slices of bacon on their burgers? We’re gonna put 37 slices of bacon on our burgers … and special sauce.But product innovation isn’t the only benefit of competition. Whether it’s McDonald’s battling Burger King for fast food supremacy, or Duracell duking it out with Energizer for the “best battery” title, or Visa wrestling with MasterCard for the credit card crown, or Fender fighting Gibson for greatest guitar brand — both brands always end up benefiting from the brawl.Everybody Wins?When competing brands continually pour resources into driving awareness around a particular product or service, awareness around that product or service goes up. And that’s good for everybody who provides that product or service — a rising tide lifts all boats. At the end of the day, Fender doesn’t care if it loses a few guitar sales to Gibson, and vice versa. The bigger problem for both brands would be if overall interest in (and demand for) guitars dropped. Hence, both brands market the crap out of guitars, even if that means customers occasionally spill over into each other’s territory.In conclusion, when big brand rivals go head-to-head, they both benefit. So I guess that means everybody wins! All the brands mentioned in this post are winners and everybody gets a trophy. Thanks for reading!But Wait: Some Win Bigger Than Others… Okay, I’m being told that this is America and my original ending isn’t going to fly.So, let’s throw some major brands into the Marketing Matchup Ring of Doom (trademark pending) and see how they stack up against their respective competition. We’ll look at stats and strategies from five pairs of rivals, and try to extract some marketing wisdom along the way. First up, it’s the battle of the burger joints.1) Burger King vs. McDonald’s75Save @OfficialJakeD Well, congrats are in order!— BMW (@bmw) February 17, 2015 Topics: RT @KatieFnCompton: This also arrived today! Thanks to @Fender for such a sweet guitar! So cool. pic.twitter.com/dwGpxcIUNI— Fender® [Guitars] (@Fender) February 10, 2015 @Habichuelas24 Congrats, Marc 🙂 We love the color!— Mercedes-Benz (@MercedesBenz) February 17, 2015last_img read more

How HubSpot’s Recruitment Team Aims to Use Greenhouse to Mitigate Interview Bias

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published May 2, 2019 8:00:00 AM, updated May 02 2019 Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are major points of growth for most businesses right now, and for good reason — diverse teams can help companies increase revenue by 19% and enable companies to outperform industry norms by 35%.In the tech industry, we’re seeing a particularly strong focus on diversity and inclusion, particularly since both women and people of color are largely underrepresented in the tech space.However, making a meaningful impact isn’t easy — it requires taking a microscope to a business’s embedded culture and structure and being open to some major changes.As recruiters at HubSpot, we tend to be on the “front line” for bringing in remarkable talent. So, in 2019, we knew we needed to step up our game when it came to ensuring our recruitment process was fair, consistent, and inclusive of a truly diverse candidate pool.If you’re a recruiter, you know that recruiting is both art and science. So enabling our teams through technology to decrease the opportunity for bias was critical for creating scalable solutions.Ultimately, we needed to incorporate scientific guardrails to help our recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers decrease mental shortcuts — while still innovating and excelling in what they do best. No small task, right?That’s where Greenhouse Inclusion and HubSpot meet.Click here to download our free guide to hiring and training a team of all-stars.Why choose a pilot program?HubSpot is one of the first companies to pilot the new Greenhouse Inclusion technology. The platform allows us to reduce mental shortcuts, mitigate bias, identify problem areas, and measure success — all big changes. But the prospect of implementing thought-process change across our entire global organization was beyond daunting.Ultimately, to reduce risk, we decided to initially run two pilot programs for specific departments so we could refine the process before sharing it with everyone at HubSpot. We needed a few test cases to help uncover flaws, get stakeholder buy-ins, and evaluate if using the tool was the right decision for the team.How We Ran Our Pilot ProgramThis was an exciting time to get some of our teammates into the sandbox to play around with the new process and technology. However, we recognized early that setting some clear expectations and goals was critical to ensure we stuck to a timeline and didn’t disrupt too many of our day-to-day operations.When meeting with the pilot teams, we were open, honest and transparent on what we predicted could be road bumps and difficult muscles to stretch in implementing a new process to their hiring teams. First, we explained this was going to be time-consuming and could take multiple meetings with stakeholders to get off the ground.Additionally, we told these pilot teams that the value these changes could bring wouldn’t be immediately visible, but would ultimately impact our hiring processes long-term. We wanted teams to go in with eyes wide open.We also wanted to remain transparent about the inner-workings of the process with HubSpot employees. Since we want to use Greenhouse Inclusion as a global tool in the near future, it was imperative we socialize the technology with the non-pilot teams early.To do this, we embarked on a marketing roadshow and shared the “coming attractions” with business leaders, interview teams, front-line teams, and our employee resource groups. We decided it was imperative to start sharing the ‘why’ behind this technology early to help grease the wheels for future roll-outs.Three Things We Learned1. Sharing the “why” with your team is critical.Ultimately, the Greenhouse tool is good leverage, but the learning curve extends beyond just showing users how to build scorecards in Greenhouse.When implementing change with a new piece of technology for a recruitment team, sharing the ‘why’ behind your method is really important.Both interviewers and our recruitment team yearned for additional conversations on the root cause of biases, how they could personally work to mitigate them in their day-to-day, and how they could track whether the tool was working.2. Put your pilot teams in the driver’s seat.We purposefully avoided being overly prescriptive on the step-by-step formula for using some of the structure scorecard tools. By sharing the ‘why’ (as mentioned above), we gave our pilot teams the destination while depending on them to build the best path there.We found we got much better output when the pilot groups got their hands dirty and tried things first. This helped us build out training materials for the global launch.3. Be diligent about quality assurance.It’s understandable and easy for users to lean back onto muscle memory when launching into a new tool. We could have been better about reviewing scorecards immediately, and course-correcting any errors quickly. This would have allowed us to catch confusion with the tool early, before it snowballed. Ultimately, we realized we needed to be more diligent about holding ourselves accountable to the new process, and ensuring data integrity. Whether or not you choose to implement bias-mitigating technology at your own company, it’s critical you dedicate time and resources to train your interviewers to be more thoughtful about the role they play in driving an effective and empathetic hiring process for candidates. This will help your company build a stronger employer brand, and attract better talent down the road.If you’re not a part of your company’s recruitment team, take a look at 53 Little Things You Can Do to Impact Diversity at Your Company for other ways you can help.last_img read more

Instagram Ad Specs & Sizes in 2020: an Updated Guide

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Video thumbnail image dimensionMinimum width: 500 pixels VerticalMinimum resolution: 600 x 750 pixelsMaximum resolution: 1936 x 1936 pixels Originally published Sep 27, 2019 4:00:00 AM, updated September 27 2019 Image source: MailchimpExamples of Different Types of AdsWhether you’re using an image or video ad on Instagram Feed or Stories, a few guidelines apply at all times:Avoid using URLs in captions since they aren’t clickable in Instagram.Captions can be up to 2,200 characters.Do not include text or logos on 14% of the top and bottom of your ads. If you do, these will be covered by other ad elements like the CTA or profile icon.Below, we’ll cover more detailed specifications and examples on each type of ad.Image adsImage ads consist of an image that promotes your business, brand, or product. These ads are an effective way to convert social media followers. According to Omnicore, 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram, and 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram for product discovery.Below are the detailed specs from Facebook Business (reminder that Facebook owns Instagram):FeedFile type: jpg or pngRecommended resolution: Upload the highest resolution image available that meets ratio requirements.Image dimensionMinimum width: 500 pixels SquareMinimum resolution: 600 x 600 pixelsMaximum resolution: 1936 x 1936 pixels Instagram Marketing Image aspect ratioMinimum aspect ratio: 400x500Maximum aspect ratio: 191x100Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01 StoriesVideo ratios: 9:16 and 16:9 to 4:5Video length: maximum 120 secondsVideo dimensionMinimum width: 500 pixels StoriesImage ratios: 9:16 and 16:9 to 4:5Images with more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.Image dimensionMinimum width: 500 pixels LandscapeMinimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixelsMaximum resolution: 1936 x 1936 pixels Video aspect ratioOption 1Minimum aspect ratio: 400 x 500Maximum aspect ratio: 191 x 100Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01 Below is an example of what a Carousel ad would look like on the Instagram feed. This ad contains four images that users can swipe through.Image source: Online Advertising SchoolVideo adsVideo ads can be used to bring your product or service to life. According to Omnicore, Instagram videos get over two times more engagement than Instagram photos.Below are the detailed specs from Facebook Business:FeedRecommended resolution: Upload the highest resolution available that meets file size and ratio limits.Maximum video length: 120 secondsVideo dimensionMinimum width: 500 pixels Video sizeMaximum video file size: 30MB Video aspect ratioMinimum aspect ratio: 400 x 500Maximum aspect ratio: 191 x 100Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01 Image ads: Feed — Minimum width – 500 pixels. Minimum aspect ratio – 400×500. Maximum aspect ratio – 191×100. Stories — Minimum width – 500 pixels. Maximum aspect ratio – 90×160. Carousel ads: Feed — Recommended resolution – 1080×1080 pixels. Stories — Recommended resolution – 1080×1920 pixels. Video ads: Feed and Stories — Minimum width – 500 pixels. Minimum aspect ratio – 400×500. Maximum aspect ratio – 191×100. Maximum file size – 30MB. Maximum duration – 2 minutes. Instagram Ad Sizes Video sizeMaximum video file size: 30MB Image source: InstagramInstagram ads as a marketing strategy are here to stay. That’s why it’s important to understand the image sizes and requirements for your ad campaigns. Besides ad specs and sizes, Instagram also has other ad policies online.Want to learn more about social media dimensions? Check out our ultimate guide. Option 2Maximum aspect ratio: 90 x 160Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01 Video thumbnail image dimensionMinimum width: 500 pixels Below is an example of an image ad for Grubhub. Note how the “Order Now” text on their ad is not blocked by the CTA, because they made sure it was not in the bottom 14% of the image. In addition, the text on the Pick Up Stix logo on the top is pushed further down so it isn’t in the top 14% of the image. This is what an image ad will look like on the Instagram Feed.Image source: GrubhubCarousel adsCarousel ads are the ads that display multiple images. Instagram users can swipe to see a series of images in these ads, both in the feed and in Stories. These ads give you more space to creatively tell a story to promote your business or product.In Stories, there are two types of Carousel ads: native or expandable. Native stories display three cards. Expandable stories display one to three cards that give people the option to “keep watching” to see the rest of the cards (up to 10 total).Below are the detailed specs from Facebook Business:FeedMinimum number of cards: twoMaximum number of cards: 10Image file type: jpg or pngVideo file type: Supported file formatsVideo maximum file size: 4GBVideo length: up to 60 secondsRecommended resolution: minimum 1080 x 1080 pixelsCarousel ratio: 1:1Images with more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.Aspect ratio tolerance: 1%Maximum number of hashtags in text: 30StoriesAspect ratio tolerance: 1%Maximum number of cards in the prompted Carousel ads: 10Maximum video duration for carousel videos: 15 secondsMaximum video duration for prompted Carousel videos: 60 secondsMaximum video duration: 120 secondsNative Stories CarouselMinimum number of cards: twoMaximum number of cards: threeRatio: 9:16Recommended resolution: 1080 x1920 pixels Expandable Stories CarouselMaximum number of cards: 10Ratio: same as newsfeedImages with more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery. Topics: Image aspect ratioMaximum aspect ratio: 90 x 160Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01 Below is an example of a video ad from Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix uses video footage of their products to showcase fun outfits, plus the benefits of their service. This ad also had better engagement than the image ad example. It had 2,761 likes compared to 32 likes from Grubhub’s image ad. Working in marketing can feel like you’re constantly playing catch up. With new trends and algorithms to keep up with, it can be hard to find consistent success with your strategies.One area that’s always changing is social media. But between uploading a blog and composing a drip campaign to nurture new leads, getting started with your Instagram ad campaign can seem daunting.However, Instagram ad campaigns are still a powerful way to reach your audience. According to Sprout Social, Instagram’s ad revenue will bring in nearly a quarter of Facebook’s total ad revenue by the end of 2019, and 30% of total ad revenue by the end of 2020.However, before you can get started with your ads, we want to ensure you have professional-looking images and avoid pesky error messages like “image is too small.” With more than one billion monthly active users, you want to put your best foot forward.Here, you’ll find Instagram ad specs and sizes to help you get started, plus examples of different types of ads.New Data: Instagram Engagement in 2019last_img read more