Important Message for Subscribers

I always believe in evolving the Ann-Sense Blog. It is time for a change here at Mind The Gap Public Relations around Ann-Sense. The blog is going on eight years old so it is time to “grow-up.” There will be changes to how you receive updates: Important message to my subscribers via the email option. I will be moving platforms. If you subscribe to this blog via email, I will be importing your details into the new database. No worries you will not miss any updates as usual. Now if you are a RSS subscriber, there should be no worries either. You do not have to do a thing. Though I would highly recommend switching over to email subscription today. You can do that right here and now:  Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name While Monty Python may sing about SPAM and it maybe a tasty treat, SPAM in your in-box isn’t very nice. I guard my email address and I’ll do the same with yours if you chose to subscribe via email and I hope you do. No SPAM from me. Moving Forward Please let me know in the comments section if you would like me to move towards a weekly or monthly email newsletter where my post would be featured as well curated content I like and I think would be helpful to you. I value you as reader and want to provide you more content in a format more convenient for you. Thank you for joining me on our journey for knowledge!...

Monday Ann-Sense Good Customer Service

Good customer service will keep customers. The sentiment in that sentence sounds like a no-brainer, but many businesses do not seem to understand that. If you do not take care of your customers, they may not come back or recommend your business especially if your business is providing a service or product. Instead of talking about companies doing it wrong, I want to share with you a good customer service experience I recently had. We have old cars. Like really old cars. I had to take our 2000 Honda Accord with 170K plus miles on it into the Honda dealership (Davenport Auto in Rocky Mount, NC) for a major service. It was time for a second timing belt and water pump as well as detailed look over the car. I had a problem. The dealership needed to keep our car more than a couple of hours ( and more like a a couple of days) and they were out of loaners. (Our other car is just an around town car now.) As everything was getting sorted out, I decided to check out the Crosstour, which is Honda’s version of a crossover. It has been on my radar for some time now, but never looked at it too closely. I took a test drive since we hope purchase a new car in the next 12 months and we really need to do our research before hand. Buying a car is a big ticket item. My car preferences are pretty narrow: AWD and wagon. That narrows my choices greatly. To further make it difficult, we are a tall family. I’m 5’8″....

Monday Ann-Sense Productivity Plan

There are times when you need to reboot and create a productivity plan. February was a blur for me leaving me feeling shattered brained. Time to refocus and get a productivity plan in place for moving forward. Through the move and putting my new office together, I came across some old paper clippings. Real gems. One clipping was about a “Five-Day Productivity Plan” cut out from one of those HR magazines my former CEO would put in everyone’s mail bin to read and pass on. Before I thought about throwing it out, I read it. Helpful tips on this crinkled paper where the highlighted parts have faded. The information came from Work Less, Make More by Jennifer White. Here is what she suggested for a productivity plan and they make sense to me: • Decide on Monday what your top three projects will be for that week then complete them. • Set aside one day to just get through stacks on your desk. I would add going through your email inbox to that one. • Rank everything on your “To-Do” list according to its importance then when your priorities are right, dump the bottom 20% of the list and forget about it completely for at least one week. Amazing how the important items will start to rise to the top and the ones with no impact just go away. • Read and respond to email by actually reading, responding, and then filing into a folder. Do not put it into a folder until later; just deal with it now. <- Really works and I would add keep your inbox to...

Monday Ann-Sense New Office

OK, it is Tuesday so it isn’t Monday Ann-Sense, but this one time we’re having a Tuesday Ann-Sense. Roll with me here. I’ve got good news! Well, it is official: Mind The Gap Public Relations, LLC has a new office! As part of moving to a house with more room, I got a dedicated office space. In December, we bid farewell to our old house and Mind The Gap Public Relations’ work space in the dining room for a new office space. Frankly, the business outgrew the dining room and needed a more permanent space conductive to continuing to grow Mind The Gap Public Relations. It was difficult renovating the space while continuing to serve clients and write; however, we did it. The transformation of a room in pretty rough shape in the new house into a proper office space inspiring productivity and creatively is completed. I am thrilled to be in this new office space. And we are open for business! Let’s work together! The Book Social Media Crisis Communications: Preparing for, Preventing, and Surviving a Public Relations #Fail is now available in eBook format. Buy it now! (If you like the book, please  leave a review; it is greatly appreciated) TIME CRUNCH? Are you putting your crisis communications plan together and need help? Or are currently dealing with a crisis and need crisis communications assistance? Get help NOW. Contact Ann Marie at ann@mindthegappr.com or +1 302.563.0992...

Branding is Important to Your Business

Branding is an important aspect in the world of business, and it’s so much more than simply how a brand looks. The visual representation of the logo of Nike, for example, is only the surface piece of the Nike brand. It runs deeper than that. By definition, branding is about the process involved in creating a unique name and image for an organization. The aim of branding is to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the marketplace which attracts and keeps loyal customers. A logo isn’t a brand. A product isn’t a brand. And a service isn’t a brand. It is all of that woven together, creating a connection with your employees and customers. For example, let’s talk about Apple. It is an iconic brand known globally. The silvery apple with a bite missing is the company logo. Apple’s products are personal mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. The Genius Bar is a service they make available to customers. What makes Apple’s brand is the cult-like devotion of users to their products and services based on their brand promise: every new product must deliver simplicity. A brand promise can be defined as a commitment connecting your organization’s purpose, positioning within the market, people, and customer experience into one. There are three things that make a successful brand: ■ Projecting a consistent look. Think back to Apple and how when you look at any of their devices or materials, you know that is from Apple. ■ Projecting a consistent tone in your communications. Apple has developed its own language and way of presenting its products. ■ Projecting...

Digital Media: Native advertising is a growing trend.

Native advertising is one of the hottest topics in digital media right now. According to new data from BI Intelligence, a research service from Business Insider, spending on native ads will reach $7.9 billion in 2014. It is projected that by 2018 spending on native advertising will grow to $21 billion. Yet no one can really give a solid definition of native advertising. Most advertising professionals can agree that native advertising is a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. And the “native” means that content is consistent with the other media on that platform. Native advertising comes in different formats such as promoted videos, images, articles, commentary, and music. The three main types of native advertising are: ■ Sponsored content, which is content distributed by publishers. It is also known as content marketing. It is placing sponsored-funded content beside editorial content. This type of native advertising is often shown as “Other content you might be interested in.” An example could be an article on women’s prisons made possible by the Netflix show, Orange is the New Black. ■ Social-native is Twitter-promoted tweets, Facebook-promoted stories, and Tumblr-promoted posts. Twitter and Facebook were the first platforms to embrace this form of advertising. ■ Native-style display ads are those ads placed in your feed that are more customized than the traditional display ads. Native advertising is nothing new according to Amy Vernon, a digital consultant and former journalist. Magazines and newspapers have been doing it for years with special advertising sections. Television has also been using native advertising for years, too....