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Use a PR Agency to Promote Your Event

Anyone planning a community event should consider using a public relations agency to help promote the event. By nature, a community event is a public event, and in the interest of maximizing attendance and participation, public relations tactics must be employed. Of course you can perform the PR functions and promote the event yourself, but the best results are achieved when hiring the pros.

Below is an outline of some key benefits to hiring a public relations agency to promote your community event.


* One of the best ways to get the word out about your upcoming community event is through the press and media. A public relations agency will have established relationships with key reporters on not only a local level but nationally as well.

* Utilizing their contacts to promote (companies, brands, events, etc.) is the lifeblood of PR professionals and agencies. Because of this, they tend to be strategic, on the ball, and focused on the end result.

* Using a public relations agency to promote your event will increase your likelihood of getting coverage in local and/or national newspapers or on television or radio news programs.

* Because information coming from known and trusted news sources is more credible than obviously paid advertising, members of your community are much more likely to take note of your event than if they were to find out about it through paid advertising.

Event Planning

* Ideally, you should sign on with a public relations agency early in the event planning stages. Doing this will ensure coverage by long-lead media and is a must if your event is expected to have a very large turnout or is held on a national or international basis.

* Even if you plan to do all of the planning for the event in-house and handle all the details internally, a good PR agency will be able to help you strategize every aspect of your event to maximize promotion not only of the event itself, but also of your organization. A public relations agency will help you strategize an appropriate mix of promotional activities, including but not limited to:

o Sponsorships
o Program launches
o Analyst tours
o Media tours
o Press conferences

* A good PR agency will gravitate toward promoting your organization (in addition to the event) just because it is in their nature.

* Most public relations agencies have event planning and event marketing capabilities. If you are operating on a large scale and expect mass media coverage, you will be well served to have an experienced agency ensuring everything runs smoothly at the event with regards to accommodating the press. If you are on a budget, however, you can likely choose the promotion services you need the most on an "a la carte" basis.

Message Makers

Public relations agencies are typically comprised of many different levels of corporate communications professionals. For this reason, having a PR agency promoting your community event can come in handy when it comes to your event materials. Consider having the agency develop your marketing materials to ensure that your message and tone are consistent and appropriate for your target audience. If the PR agency is involved from the beginning of the planning process, they can be instrumental in developing invitations, flyers, posters and more. Keep in mind, creative resources of a public relations agency are likely to be more extensive than your own. If you plan on hiring a PR agency to promote your community event, definitely leverage their creative strengths.


Great Managers Attract (and Keep) Great Talent

Widespread research suggests that people do not leave organizations; they leave their managers. The implication of this finding is that managers who are respected and seen as supportive of the people who work with them are indispensable to successful organizations. Without them, competent people may leave their current organization in search of better treatment. The resultant costs of recruitment, engagement and subsequent retention can be enormous. Less tangible are the indirect costs associated with the loss of corporate intelligence and the impact on morale.

I ask participants in management workshops to isolate the characteristics of individuals with whom they have worked who they deem to have been exceptional managers. Their answers seldom focus on the educational background or technical capabilities of those people. Instead they emphasize that exceptional managers are passionate, have vision, are caring, treat people supportively, make work fun, challenge people to be their best, provide lots of feedback, listen intently and encourage teamwork. Traditionally, these skills have been labelled, somewhat pejoratively, as the "soft skills". The insinuation is that they are "touchy feely", too mushy for the real world of work and, in some instances, even inappropriate in a "professional" environment. My experience contradicts this and supports the thoughts of Roger Enrico, former CEO and Chair of PepsiCo, who says that "the soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff".

Successful organizations must invest in developing the skills that are critical for the managers of their people to function effectively. What are they? For many years we have taught managers that they need to provide clear direction, to communicate better, to vary their management style to fit individuals' level of development and to attempt to engage people in the pursuit of the organization's raison d'etre. These skills have certainly helped managers to become more productive. But there is more...

In the mid to late 1990s the topic of emotional intelligence gained prominence in management literature. Research at Harvard suggested that emotional intelligence was at least four times as critical as a predictor of success as either IQ or technical skills. Another study at the Centre for Creative Leadership indicated that for successful managers, emotional intelligence is nearly five times as important as their IQ or technical skills.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to effectively perceive, manage and use one's emotions and to effectively manage emotional connections with other people. While there are eleven components of emotional intelligence, I will only mention a few.

To maximize the contribution of our people and their talents, research into emotional intelligence says that we must support managers as they develop skills in a variety of areas. These include helping managers learn to: assess their strengths and weaknesses; manage their strong impulses; remain optimistic in spite of severe challenges; listen more effectively; become more adaptable to rapidly changing conditions; become more emotionally self-aware; and demonstrate empathy. Managers who refine these skills will be seen as more authentic by those they lead. The outcome will be more people who feel that they are respected and valued by their managers. Under these conditions, people are more likely to be fully engaged in their workplace and to contribute their maximum effort for their manager. They are also less likely to shop the market for other opportunities.

Undoubtedly, effective managers are indispensable to successful organizations.

"the soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff."
"Emotional intelligence is nearly five times as important as IQ or technical skills."


Most Popular Sizes of Banner Stands

When you attend a trade show, you may notice that your eye is drawn to the booths that have banner stands. That's because banner stands provide an extremely noticeable visual display that attracts passersby. Banner stands are a great enhancement to any trade show display and provide a high-end, professional impact for a reasonable price.

There are several different types of banner stands on the market today, but there are a few types and sizes that stand out in popularity. What are the most popular banner stand types? Why do certain sizes of banner stands have more of an edge?

Sizes of Table-Top Banner Stands
Considered an entry-level banner stand, table top banner stands provide the impact of a banner at a reasonable price. They come in a variety of formats, and they offer a great way to add visual appeal to your table-top display.

Popular sizes of table-top banner stands include 24 inches high, 18 inches high, and 42 inches high. Choosing the right height for a table-top banner stand depends on several factors, such as price and portability.

However, the most important thing to consider when choosing the size of your table-top banner stand is how the size will fit with the rest of your display. You don't want the banner stand overwhelming the rest of your materials.

Sizes of Roll-Up Banner Stands
Roll-Up banner stands provide the ultimate in banner stand portability. The banner rolls up or down on the stand and offers very easy setup. To set up the banner, you simply roll it out and connect it to the other end of the stand.

Some of the most popular sizes of roll-up banner stands include 78 inches high and 84 inches high. These sizes are large enough to get noticed and are easy to read from a distance, both important features for a trade show display.

It's hard to miss life-size banners at a trade show. Even though they cost a bit more than table-top versions, they really draw people in.

Choosing the right size of roll-up banner stand is really a matter of budget. In general, the large the stand, the more you have to pay. However, it's also important to consider the visual impact of these larger stands.

Sizes of Tension Pole Banner Stands
The main advantage of tension pole banner stands is that minimal hardware is seen on the front of the banner, allowing the main focus to be on the graphic. Surprisingly, this option is less expensive than many other banner stands and is a more practical alternative for some companies.

A disadvantage of these type of banner stands is that the banner must be unrolled manually, causing the system to have a shorter life span than some other banner stands.

Popular sizes for tension pole banner stands include 48 inches high, 60 inches high, 72 inches high, and 80 inches high. The height of these banner stands makes them a great and highly affordable option for adding vertical aspects to your trade show display.

Choosing the Right Size of Banner Stand
There are several factors to consider when choosing any type of banner stand. The same is true for choosing size. The following factors are important to consider in your selection:

- How often will you be using the banner stand? Do you need it to be extremely durable?
- How large is your display? Do you want the banner stand to be the main focus?
- What is your budget?

These are just a few questions to keep in mind before you determine what size banner stand will help make your company stand out from the rest.


Team Building - Working Together For A Common Goal

Team building is what you make of it. You can work well with your co-workers or not. As you build a team in the work place, you will notice how this well oiled machine works.

I remember early in my career when my best friend and I were dishwashers in a country club and we worked so well together that we saved hours worth of payroll. Yes, it was income that we lost, but due to our speed we were paid an hourly wage that was higher than most employees there! We were able to finish the night with time left to have fun before curfew.

If you are looking for a way to develop team team work skills, there are a couple of ideas that have been proven successful time and time again.

It is up to you to decide what kind of team work project you need to incorporate, and how much time, effort, and money you are willing to put into the project. Building team work capacity is one sure fire way to get better production for your employees.

In the past few years, team building has taken off to become one of the biggest trends in the business sector--and there are plenty of people who are willing to write about it, including business psychologists and professional consultants. One great book to check out if you are interested in team building is Quick Team Building Activities for Busy Managers: 50 Exercises that get Results in Just 15 Minutes by Brian Cole Miller.

This book offers team building activities to busy managers that do not have time to waste an entire day shaping his or her team. As the title says, this book offers 50 unique exercises that only take 15 minutes to complete. This is a great book if you just want to incorporate one exercise a day.

You may also want to check out Team Building Activities for Every Group by Alanna Jones. This book will help you to find the team work activity that is appropriate for your company.

There are activities that will suit the needs of every type of group. Overall, team work is an essential topic for any company that is looking to expand. By purchasing one of these books you will be taking a step in the right direction. Check out your local bookstore today.

If you would rather teach your employees yourself you may want to pick up a book to read before starting. A great book to start with is The Big Book of Team Building Games: Trust-Building Activities, Team Spirit Exercises, and Other Fun Things to Do by John Newstrom. This book is among one of the best sellers for people who are looking for an effective corporate team building exercise.


Color Business Cards: Add Some Flair

Have you ever received a business card from someone that is completely generic, and printed in black and white? If you are like a lot of people, you probably had a bad first impression of this person. You may perceive them as being unprofessional or even cheap. You do not want to be perceived this way, so buy color business cards to be safe. Vistaprints offers color business cards for a very reasonable price. You are provided with a wide selection of designs, layouts, fonts, colors, etc.

Color business cards are a great way to make a good first impression on new or prospective clients. Sure, color business cards will cost more than the generic black and white cards, but the money that you save you will lose in business both now and in the long run. Color business cards are not that much more expensive to boot. It's best to shop around for variety and price, but I strongly recommend Vistaprints. They have never done me wrong!

You have a couple of options when searching for color business cards.

First off, you can go to a traditional printer. Try the printer that you already use for brochures or sales literature. They will most definitely be able to provide you with color business cards.

You may also want to try an online business card printer. Ordering color business cards online will allow you to choose your design and colors, and see immediate prints. This way you will be able to see which colors work for you, and which ones you should avoid. Continue to design several business cards until you have found that perfect blend of color, fonts, layout, design, and artwork.

Lastly, you may want to print your own color business cards. You can purchase business card maker software, and go at it yourself. This is one great way to ensure that you get the colors that you want. You can print out a couple of samples and choose the one that works best. There are many different business card software programs available and generally speaking, you get what you pay for.

Color business cards can help to increase your business and to make your company image appear professionally to outsiders. This part of a business often goes overlooked, but it should be a top priority for everyone. Find the option that works best for you. Go online for the variety of business cards available along with the ability to try out different styles of business card.


Coin Collecting for the Abolsute Beginner Learner

Gold coins are something of a rare commodity. They were circulated only until 1933, which makes them expensive when they are auctioned. The nice thing about gold is that its value probably will never go down - making it a good investment.

Another rare coin sought by collectors is the Liberty Seated Dollar. These were last produced some time in the 19th century and are considered to be a rare find.

From 1875 to 1878, twenty cent coins were minted. This coin looks very much like a quarter and since its value is very low today, it is a coin worth looking for.

The Barber half dollars are rare coins that were minted from 1892 until 1915 and are collected by people depending on date or type. One of the challenges that occurs when searching for this coin is finding one in good condition.

The 1917 type One Standing Liberty Quarter is another coin worth owning. It was only minted for 2 years and shows the exposed breast of Ms. Liberty. This design created such an uproar that it had to be replaced and was only circulated for a year.

Mercury dimes were produced periodically during the 20th century. The market value of them is $50 a piece.

The Walking Liberty Half Dollar is a beautiful coin for collectors. They were only circulated for 4 years and are considered to be one of the all time rare coins to ever exist.

The Texas Commemorative Half Dollar is another rare coin. Only 150,000 of these were minted over a 4 year period and just 60% to 80% of these are still available today making it one of the hardest coins to find today...

The most expensive coin is the $20 Saint Gaudens. This was sold in an auction for nearly $8 million. The design is truly superb and the value of it has never dropped even during the 1980-82 bear market.

Rare coins are truly a challenge for anyone who seeks to make this a mission in life. Not only are they hard to find but it they are expensive to acquire. Should a person have the funds available to purchase them then this adventure is truly something worth finishing.

Once you have the coins now you need to grad them

A "grade" is described as a shorthand designed by coin experts (numismatists) to reveal a coins appearance. Simply put, if a certain coin collector tells another collector that he owns an uncirculated Charlotte 50 half eagle, both should already have a concept of the coins appearance without even seeing it, because of the claim of its grade.

Some disclose that designating a grade to rank or categorize a coin is more of an art rather than science, since often it is extremely subjective or biased; this applies particularly when working on Mint State coins where little differences, in terms of grade, make so much difference in the price.

Grading can be learned, studied and applied with a predictable and known outcome that eventually depends on judgment, not feelings.

Like any language, science, sport, or research, it is best to learn and understand coin grading one component at a time, through serious study and experience.

Today, most numismatists use the Sheldon grading scale. While there are those that complain of "too many grades", most experienced coin graders recognize and appreciate the fact that there is a wide range in features between ranges.


This is the method of stamping or imprinting a drawing or a symbol onto a blank. Depending on the coins design, it can either have weak or strong strike. An example of this would be the Type II gold dollar on which both sides (front and back) have the highest strike that is perfectly aligned, meaning, these designs require weak strikes.

Generally the strike is not a key factor in establishing the coins grade except when it is included in a series where the value is connected to strike.

Preservation of the coins surface

The number of coin marks as well as where they are placed is a significant element in establishing the grade. While there is no fixed formula on the number of coin marks that sets its grade, there are several regulated standards regarding the significance of the location or positioning of a scratch.

For instance, a coin having a deep scratch that it is not easily visible on its reverse (back) side will not be strictly penalized. However, if the same scratch was positioned on a noticeable or obvious central point on the front, such as the cheek on the Statue of Liberty, it would be penalized much more.

Patina or luster

A coin can have a variation of textures on the surface, influenced by design, the metal that was used and the mint of origin. Textures can include frosty, satiny, proof-like and semi-proof-like.

When examining the coins surface in terms of grade, two things should be looked at; the quantity, or what is left of the original skin (has to be intact), and the location and amount of marks.

Luster is important especially when determining whether a coin is either circulated or uncirculated. A coin in Mint State technically; is free of abrasion and wear and must not have significant breaks in its luster.


This is a very subjective element in determining coin grade. For instance, a gold coin showing dark green-gold pigmentation may be unattractive to one collector and attractive to another.

As gold is moderately an inert metal, it is not prone to much color variance as copper or silver. Although wide ranging colors may exist in gold coins.

Almost all of US gold coins had been dipped or cleaned, therefore not anymore displaying their original color. As coin collectors become knowledgeable, most of them are attracted and fascinated to coins having their natural color. In most coin series, it is nearly impossible to discover original coin pieces.

Eye attraction or appeal

Color, luster, strike and surface marks come together, comprises eye appeal. Note that a coin having superior eye appeal can be strong in one aspect, such as possessing exceptional luster but not quite as strong in another aspect, such as not so good color.

A coin that is undesirable in one aspect yet good enough in all the other aspects can still be distinguished as below average in eye appeal.

Knowing how to grade a coin is very important so that one can have an idea of the value or price of the coin that he is buying or selling. When new to coin collecting, be sure to ask the help of an experienced collector or dealer when buying or exchanging your coins.


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