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Action, Interaction and Reaction from the Ritz team

Listen to what I’m telling you

Posted: May 31, 2012 - 3:45 PM ET - by Elisabeth

You have probably heard what has become an adage of presentations:  “Tell them what you’re going to tell them.  Tell them.  Tell them what you told them.”

It makes sense because the average person forgets 40% of what he hears within 30 minutes, 60% by the end of a day, and 90% after a week.

How do you make sure your audience remembers the 10% you want them to?

  • Focus – consider the purpose of your presentation or speech; your key points; and your audience.
  • Repetition – the more frequently a message is heard, the more likely it will be remembered.
  • Proximity – the more recently a message is heard, the better it will be remembered.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner … or maybe a scone?

Posted: May 17, 2012 - 5:30 PM ET - by Elisabeth

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest … and congratulations! I loved all those words of inspiration and since I get to pick the winner, you are each getting a prize. Every one of you will be receiving a Starbucks gift card! If your motivational quotes ever fail you, maybe some coffee and a sweet treat will be a good pick-me-up.


Between hype and reality

Posted: May 17, 2012 - 5:30 PM ET - by Elisabeth

In Chicago this week all the buzz is about NATO, but not so much what this meeting means in terms of global politics, what might happen in Afghanistan or Russia’s missile-defense system. The buzz is mostly about the inconvenience to the city and our curiosity about the potential impact and spectacle of protests.

It’s hard to tell what’s hype, what’s reality and what’s really important.

It reminds me of the conversations I have – and the questions I get – about social media. Clients want to know how much inconvenience (additional time or resources) in exchange for what impact (engaged clients, increased sales, etc.).

The digital world has changed the way we deliver and receive information, and it can be overwhelming for business owners and marketers to sort hype from reality in determining which opportunities are relevant and valuable. According to a 2012 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll, 79% of small businesses surveyed are using word-of-mouth to promote their business, 63% are using their company website, and just 39% are using social media channels.

Planning your social media strategy shouldn’t be vastly different from planning your overall communications strategy. You really need to ask yourself a few key questions:

  • What do I need to say?
  • Who do I need to say it to?
  • Where do I go to reach them?

Once you can answer those questions, you can adapt your message and tools according to the channels you select. A tweet of 140 characters might reach a mass audience and a press release of 300 – 500 words can be tailored to reach specific journalists covering your industry. Do you know which of these options will have the greatest impact on your stakeholders?

A few more interesting statistics from the poll may help you cut through the hype:

  • Since 2010, the use of location-based social channels, such as Foursquare, among small business owners has nearly doubled from 5% to 9%; 25% of small business owners using location-based services believe that the application is important for sales generation, compared to just 2% in 2010.
  • Small businesses with a LinkedIn presence increased from 25% in 2010 to 31% in 2011, a jump of 25%; small business owners are increasingly using the social forum for networking with other businesses and gaining awareness from other businesses and consumers in the local community.
  • Small businesses with a Facebook presence increased slightly from 41% in 2010 to 44% last year.
  • Twitter presence dropped slightly year-over-year from 19% to 18%.
  • Only 4% of small businesses are using daily deal sites (i.e. LivingSocial, Groupon) for marketing purposes, led by leisure/tourism/lodging, of which 14% are using these sites; of those businesses using daily deal sites, more than 90% are running promotions at least several times per year.
  • Three in four (75%) small businesses surveyed have a website, about the same as last year, with nearly a third (31%) having a mobile website – i.e., one designed for viewing on a smartphone.

What motivates you?

Posted: May 3, 2012 - 3:45 PM ET - by Elisabeth

Is it compensation?

Or appreciation?

Is it something more?

Fulfillment? Amusement? Accomplishment?

We want to hear (actually to read) your favorite quote … those words of inspiration tucked under a corner of your desk, tacked to a bulletin board or jotted on a notebook page … your own fighting words or a deep thought by a famous mind … the sentiment you look for in that moment when all seems lost and you don’t know how you will ever go on … or, you know, when you just need to get all fired up!

Our favorite submission will receive a little recognition and a big reward in the next blog post.

Okay, maybe not so big … but you can dream … and all it takes to win is the click of a mouse!