5 Social and Digital PR Tips about Online Crisis Management

Emirates Airline EK521 Crisis Management Digital Social PR

Emirates Airline

In a recent article I have wrote on Linkedin, I analyzed Emirates Crisis Management Strategy which helped them overcome the incident online.

Please explore The 5 Social & Digital PR Tips of Online Crisis Management which I hope you will like it and find it beneficial.

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Top 5 Reasons of Why Most New Businesses Fail?

top 5 reasons why new businesses fail

Seeing businesses go down the drain really breaks my heart. Many business owners keep on wondering why they are failing and unable to break-through?

I my humble opinion, the following are the main reasons of why most new businesses and start-ups fail:

  1. No Planing
    Business without a strategic plan is like a blind guy walking down the street without something to lead him in the right direction. You need to have goals, to understand the world around you and to know how things works before entering the market
  2. Bad Marketing
    You might have a “Great” product or service but you sell less. Your competitors might have a “Less Quality” product or service but they sell more. What is the secret then? I can say: “Packaging”. Yes, it’s all about how you present your product and how to create a buzz around it. This will increase the chances for you to sell more and for your business to live longer
  3. Hiring The Wrong People
    When it comes to hiring the right employee, you need to look for key things in that person: Personality, Qualification and Experience. Hiring a respectful person with a good personality who is educated and well experienced will lead into “Innovation”. In some countries, I have seen a weird trend. I have seen companies who totally depends on interns and fresh graduates to do business by putting them in the front line! This is cheap and unprofessional. Would you trust a company that send to you a 20 year old guy in order to sell you a product? I don’t know about you, but I would not.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you must not get fresh people to work for you, but don’t risk putting them in the front line. Have a mixture of mature and fresh blood in your company
  4. No Patience
    The problem with most newly established companies that they want to “grow big” and to do “everything” in a very short period of time. I could tell in less than a minute if the person on the other line is providing a professional service or not by simply asking few questions as follows:
    a. Do you have a company profile?
    b. How long have you been in the business?
    d. Who are your key clients?
    e. Do you have a portfolio?
    f. What is your methodology or approach?
  5. Bad Budget Management
    You may require a huge budget or a small one, it all depends on the type of the business you are running. To me, neither is important as long as you know how to manage it. Over-spending or Under-spending will lead you into troubles. You must smartly spend your money through the most effective channels that give the highest ROI

The bottom line: Plan well, do smart marketing, hire the right people, have some patience, effectively manage your spend and you shall make it.

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Why Social Media makes my life easier?

Why social media makes my life easier?

The Problem

Most of todays newsletters are being delivered with rich content in it, and just like most online marketers, I tend to keep myself updated with the latest news, trends and buzz surrounding digital media.

During the past month, I have been struggling in maintaining the size for one of my 1GB private email accounts. In no time, I figured out what was eating up my quota and discovered that I became a newsletters-subscriptions-addict.

I was able to keep up with the few number of newsletters I used to read everyday, but recently it became a nightmare for me and literally things gone out of hand! How many newsletters do I really need to read everyday? I asked myself.

Being organized, I started to create sub folders and filtered out most of the messages each to be automatically redirected to its corresponding folder. It worked great at the beginning, but later I started to miss reading some important emails and losing control as most of the folders started piling up with unread messages!

The Solution: Social Media

I truly love newsletters because it comes personalized and more focused. But nowadays we are living in a world of information-overload and the desire to know more about almost everything in life is growing. That’s great, but we have to learn how to do it correctly.

Some people might suggest to “Burn The Feeds” and to get an RSS reader. Excellent suggestion! But what about the following:

  1. Diversity of the messages I want to read?
  2. The direct interaction with the people contributing and sharing?
  3. Staying in touch with your friends online & round the clock?

I won’t stop signing up to newsletters nor reading my favorite news feeds. One of the great things about newsletters is “archiving” as you can retain & perform a simple search to find the link to your favorite topic, however, I personally find it more enjoying going through my Twitter & Facebook accounts to learn and share all the day long.

That said, here’s my action plan:

  1. Step1: Going through each and every newsletter, giving each one a priority weight
  2. Step2: Visiting the originating website and see if it has an active Twitter and/or Facebook account to “follow” & “like” so I don’t miss anything
  3. Step3: Unsubscribing from the mailing lists of the websites that keeps me updated through social media and retaining the most important ones which:
    1. Offers higher-focus on certain topics
    2. Does not have an active social media channel

I am much relieved now, I can enjoy scanning a less cluttered inbox and feel great sharing knowledge with my friends.

What about you?

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The ABCs of e-Mail Marketing: Top 5 Mistakes You Must Avoid!

ABCs of e-Mail Marketing: Top 5 Mistakes You Must Avoid

KISS: Keep it simple stupid.

Simplicity is The Key.. this is what I have learned & practiced.

Before start working on your next e-mail campaign, put yourself in the shoe of the customer and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is that subject line meaningful & grabs my attention?
  2. What’s in it for me?
  3. Is the message simple & attractive?
  4. Is there a clear call to action?
  5. Will this message appear OK on my browser / e-mail client?

Mistake #1: Bad Subject Line

This is one of the most critical things you must take care of.

Imagine if you were wearing a scary mask and knocked on someones door, would the house owner open the door after examining you through the door’s eye?

I doubt. I actually believe he will run to get his 50 caliber gun.

Yes, unprofessionally-written subject line will lead your message either to the trash bin or straight to the junk folder.. and believe me, you don’t want it to end in either places.

Example of a good & bad e-mail message subject lines:

  • Bad Subject Line: “Programming Courses For You”
  • Good Subject Line: “Learn HTML 5 in 30 days!”

The first subject line is weak (does not grab attention), it also make the user wonder about the type of courses provided.. in his subconscious mind, he would say: “What courses? hmm, this message seems another SPAM!”.

The second subject line says it all (HTML Course), the user will know about the offer even before opening the message. Above all, the subject line is coupled with a time-frame (30 days) which is enough to push the customer to open the message & read more about the offer.

Mistake #2: Bad Targeting

Sending irrelevant offers to your customers will make you look unprofessional.. your will be wasting time, effort and money by doing so.

Do your home work (Analytics) & always do a background check on the mailing list before sending any offer to your customers. This will help in measuring success and doing your ROI analysis at later stage.

There are things you need to do before considering executing a new email campaign.. a customer with high propensity will mostly convert, here are some examples:

  • Mailing Lists: Create several types of lists, when you capture a new subscriber, ask him about his interests (i.e Computers, Cars, News..etc) and based on his choice, add your customer in the proper mailing list
  • User Profile: If the customer is registered on your website and has a profile, you can send him relevant offers based on his profile details (i.e Age, Gender, Education..etc) & based on his interests as well

Mistake #3: Bad Sales Copy

So now you have written a killer subject line that got the customer’s attention and triggered him to open the message, but unfortunately, he can’t skim through it!

.. It’s lengthy, stuffed with zillions of information, millions of links, dozens of images and full of rainbow colors.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Personalize It
    Salute your customer by his name saying: “Dear Maher,”.. yes, make him feel special
  2. Fulfill His Needs
    Since the message is targeted and you know he loves programming, make your customer feel that you know what he requires and what he needs by saying: “Are you interested in exploring the great features of HTML 5?”
  3. Keep It Short
    Don’t wind your customer with loads of information, keep the sales copy short and utilize the power of the “bullet points” to highlight the product / service features
  4. Make It Emotional
    Force the user to “dream”, to “think about” and to “visualize” by saying: “Did you know…” or “Imagine that…” or “Let’s explore…”, this has a magical effect on your sales copy
  5. Text Formatting
    Don’t use ALL CAPITAL words, this implies SHOUTING. Don’t use more than 2 colors as this will distract the reader (example: make the text color black & the links blue)
  6. Less Clutter
    Don’t include many visuals and use only as needed. The visuals should also be self-explanatory (descriptive), otherwise you will divert his attention
  7. Testimonials
    If you have testimonials from other satisfied customers, include 1-2 testimonials in order to give the customer another reason to buy your product

Mistake #4: Bad Call To Action

What exactly do you want from your customer?

Do you want him to signup in your upcoming seminar? or you want him to buy your latest e-book so he become entitled to win an iPad? ..or do you want him to do both?

  • Bad Call To Action: “Click here to buy my e-book for only $25 and you will be entitled to win an iPad.. and hey, Click Here to signup in my upcoming seminar about digital marketing & get 20% instant discount!”
  • Good Call To Action: “Buy my new e-book within the next 3 days and get 20% discount.. you will be also entitled to win an iPad!”

As you see, in the first example there are many calls which will confuse the user. The second example is straightforward, the call to action is obvious and since there is a time-limit for the customer to make a decision (within 3 days), the conversion will be higher as the interested customers will fear of loosing the window of opportunity!

Be focused and smartly lead your customer to “1 action” only.

Mistake #5: No Compatibility & Usability Tests

The picture will never be complete till it’s highly visible.

Once you are done with the development of your email message, go through the following checklist:

  1. Desktop e-Mail Client Compatibility Test
    Test your message by opening it using Ms. Outlook, this is one of the most popular e-mail clients out there, you want to make sure your message is rendered correctly in it
  2. Web-Based e-Mail Services Test
    Will the message appear fine in Yahoo! mail,  Hotmail & Gmail? You need to test & preview the message across the most popular e-mail service providers
  3. Stylesheets
    Are you using the Cascading Style Sheets to control the formatting of the message content? If so, do not use external / imported CSS and simply define it locally
  4. Images
    Don’t add images as attachments, but host them on your web server instead and link them accordingly. Don’t use large size image files as this will slow down the message loading

Conclusion

E-Mail marketing is an art, common sense & science.

Keep trying & testing till you are %99.9 satisfied with the quality of your message.

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Digital Survivals: Technology and Gadgets May Save Your Life!

GadgetsHave you ever been lost in the dunes of the desert, under the tides of the sea or even on the mountains of the moon?

This could happen to you any time, any where.


Survived from being Buried Alive

This is the second time for me to read a story on how really technology and gadgets can save a life of a desperate person.

The first story talked about how a Survival from Haiti Earth Quake has managed to save his life by escaping to a shelter and to do the necessary first-aid to stop the bleeding of his wounds.. using a Digital Camera and a Cell Phone!

For over 60 hours, Dan Woolley, an american man who work as an “Interactive Technician” was trapped under the rubble of the hotel he was staying in, after the crazy quake which damaged Haiti and turned the whole place into a grave yard.

After the hotel collapse, Dan was drowning in a complete darkness, bleeding and feeling pain in his head and legs.. he was trying to look around to find a place where he could breath and feel safe, but he was unable to see anything because of the darkness.. loosing his glasses made the situation even worse.

He started to take pictures using his Digital Camera that was strapped around his neck, he was able to spot the location of the buried elevator by looking at the pictures he took through the tiny monitor located at the back of his camera. He crawled to the elevator and started to think about a way to stop the bleeding before he drop unconscious.

Using his Apple iPhone, he ran an application called “Pocket First Aid & CPR”, which teaches people what to do during accidents and such situations.. he followed the instructions and managed to stop the bleeding until he was rescued later on!


Survived from being Frozen to Death

This time from Germany.. it’s about a photographer who wanted to take some pictures of the sunset and got lost in the darkness of the icy sea.

On the northern side of Germany, the man walked on the frozen water of the sea to catch the moment.. when the dark fallen, he realized that he was lost.. he was unable to find his way back to the beach as everything around him was dark and the beach was already covered with the snow and everything just blended in!

Disparately, he started to flash using his camera in sake to either find his way to the beach or to draw the attention of anyone around so he can be saved.

While the guy was struggling for long time in the north.. a woman on the far south of Germany was watching the sunset through a public webcam when she saw the camera flashes and felt that there is something wrong and someone may be calling for help! She immediately called the police who in return sent a patrol to that area and started to flash back using their car’s headlights.. the man was finally rescued and Survived from being Frozen to Death.


The Bottom Line?

Digital Camera, Smart Mobile Phone, Health Software, Web Camera & Internet… the list is endless.

The world is moving Digital.. catch-up before it’s too late!

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Apple iPad – What lies beneath?


Apple iPad

I remember when I read about the new upcoming great product from Apple couple a months ago.. but I have never expected that it’s going to be so great to the extenct that you might think twice before buying your next laptop!

Apple iPad

Apple iPad

Yes! it seems that  Apple iPad will be replacing the business-related laptops and note books in no time. The 10 hours powerful batterly life is more than enough to keep you on top of your work. This incredible device weighs only 0.7 KG (1.5 pounds) which makes it very convenient to carry. Based on your choice, iPad comes with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB memory space.

iPad is loaded with a powerful processor with a speed of 1GHz.

Apple iPad - Games Plagin

Awesome Gaming Experience

Applications & Games

Whether you are a software or games addict, Apple iPad is for you. There are more than 140,000 programs that can be installed on this mind-blowing gadget that you can shop from Apple Store.

While playing your favorite game, you won’t need a mouse or a keyboard to drive your super-charged sports car.. all what you have to do is moving the screen left & right and the smart device will drift the way you want!

With Apple iBooks, you can download and read your favorite book at any time and from almost anywhere.. the 9.7 inch screen is wide enough to let your digitally-read & write in a very convenient manner.


Internet

Internet Choholic? No problem! with the 3G network and the latest Wi-Fi technology support that allows you to receive a whopping download speed up to 7.2 Mbps, coupled with Apple’s hot browser “Apple Safari”.. you are more likely to be online 24/7.

Check your e-Mail through the web, look up your home from Apple Maps, connect with your friends and family members on Facebook.


Video, Audio & Photos

Video watching experience has never been more enjoyable. You can enjoy watching all of your favorite videos online using YouTube or offline by loading your videos and playing them using Apple iTunes.

You can also enjoy listening to your favorite Audio Tracks by importing your files right from your iPod or loading it externally.

With the Multi-Touch Screen Technology, you can browse through your photo albums and enjoy a very crisp looking images the way you have never experienced before. 


Connectivity & Accessories

Of course Apple won’t launch such a product without crafting some really neat accessories and connectivity features, such as: Bluetooth Wireless Technology Support, External Keyboard, Ability to hook your iPod camera, to connect to your TV / Projector, to load your favorite photos and videos from your Digital Camera / SD Card.. and much more!

Based on your requirements, starting from $499 and up to $699.. you can own your own Apple iPad.


Closing Thoughts

I think that the iPad is a good choice for Business and Corporate customers (Presentations) in addition to the casual travellers (Digital Books Reading & Internet Surfing).

Few things I didn’t like about iPad:

  1. No USB port
  2. Low in desk space (64GB is not enough)
  3. No Camera
  4. Can’t Multi-Task (can’t run more than 1 application at the same time)
  5. No Adobe Flash Support.. and Steve Jobs seems so annoyed about it!

It seems that Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple is really unhappy with Adobe as Flash can’t run on iPad due to performance issues which causes iPhone & iPad to crash!

The following is an “inexact” quotes from Steve that has been recently leaked-out from a private meeting with his employees: “Adobe is lazy. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash. The world is moving to HTML5.”

It seems it’s going to be a long journey before fixing this really important issue!

Hmm, I was very touched with what this gadget has to offer.. but I am so confused now.. I think I will have to think again before considering buying the new iPad!

If you are uncertain of whether this is the right gadget for you, Click Here to watch a review on CNET.

For more details, visit Apple iPad Web Page.

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New-News.com Speaks English!

New News Speaks English!

New News Speaks English!

I am so pleased to proudly announce the launch of the English Version of my News & Media Website (New-News.com)!

What is New News?

New News is a News portal that is focused on delivering the latest MENA, US, Canada, UK and the most popular International news updates.

I have launched the Arabic New News in November 2007, and after gaining popularity, I have decided to develop the English New News, to serve the western audience, covering the latest news from over 50 trusted sources.

Sleepless nights, hard work, dedication and the most important.. the support I received from the loved ones.

Time to set back and relax for a while 😉

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