Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
I was thinking about small businesses and how they are especially hit hard in a down economy. I wanted to post some tips that you can do for free that will help continue your business building efforts even in a recession.
1) Get local with search. - Make sure your company is listed in Google and Yahoo local directories. They are free and you can even link to your web site.
2) Get local in business/service directories - with directories like Angie’s List and CitySearch popping up, be sure your company is listed in the relevant local directories. Be sure to ask customers to write a recommendation for your company as well.
3) Build a local media list at smaller newspapers and start a relationship. Offer advice, take a reporter to lunch. Local media is easier to reach and if you are doing neat things with the community, be sure they know about it. Having an event for charity? Send a media advisory.
4) Remember your employees. PR isn’t all about outside relations - make sure your employees are motivated and happy. You can reward them with small things like praise (employee of the month/quarter), pizza in the office for a job well done, etc.
5) Discover social media. Start a blog on WordPress and talk about your industry, not just the company. Give tips, advice, general observations. Sign up for Twitter, a microblogging site, and follow people that interest you and join the conversation. Create an account in LinkedIn and Facebook and reconnect with old friends and colleagues. You can even ask business questions in LinkedIn and answer others’ questions and be seen as an expert in your field.
6) Okay, I said five but here’s a bonus tip. Sign up for Help A Reporter.com’s newsletter and get PR queries from journalists looking for sources. But be sure if you answer, that your pitch is on target, short and sweet and do not send attachments. Include contact info in your email and links if needed.
Need help with your marketing and public relations? Contact Jen Marketing for more information.
Monday, September 15, 2008
My daughter has a peanut and egg allergy and I am learning all I can about children and food allergies.
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I am still afraid of flying with her allergy and the snacks on the plane. We are flying Northwest Airlines and they don't serve peanuts, but the snacks they do serve might have nut in them, so who knows. They will make an announcement at the gate if you ask when you check in as well.
I am still afraid of going to restaurants on our trip. I don't like confrontation and it is my fear that I will bring up my daughter's peanut allergy and they will say everything is fine and then there will be cross contamination and she'll have a reaction. I have restaurant cards that I printed out and hopefully people will be understanding.
I am a new fan of Sunbutter. It does taste just like peanut butter and my older daughter loves it. My allergic one doesn't like it but that is okay since I don't want her to get used to it and then accidentally have pb somewhere else when she gets older. She might associate it with her initial reaction which was from pb.
I contacted Disney for our trip in September. They are great. They have an entire division for special diets. They recommend that you make reservations in advance. Then about 2-3 days before, call the restaurant and remind them about your food allergy. Then when you get to the restaurant, talk to the manager and chef and they will prepare a special safe meal for your child. I have read great things about them. Here is one families' experience with it. I will blog about it after we go.
I bought two books - the Peanut Allergy Handbook which is a small book that you can put with your epi-pen and benedryl. It has pages to put medic-alert info and details on yoru child as well as helpful advice to deal with the allergy and if there is a reaction, what to do. It is also good to give caregivers. I also bought the Peanut Allergy Answer book. I will start reading it this weekend. They are both available on Amazon.
As always, be vigilant and educate everyone! We are in this together. It really does take a village.
I also have to get a doctor's note to travel with her benedryl and epi-pens. It is my fear that they will be taken in security. I will call the allergist's office and post what I learn.
I just ordered two peanut allergy books from Amazon and will post about those too once I read them.
Information is power and learning how to manage it all and read labels is the most important thing for newly diagnosed families.
We had a birthday party for our oldest daughter who turned 5 last weekend. I ordered the Publix cupcake cake and made safe cupcakes for my youngest daughter. So that worked out okay as she broke out in hives from tasting a Publix cupcake a few weeks ago.
You watch an old Donny & Marie show and are taken back to the days of 3 networks and only a handful of channels.
You remember pong as the breakthrough video game that started it all.
You lived life without a cell phone, the internet and a computer until your 20s.
You hear 80s alternative songs on the easy listening radio station.
Some fun links:
You Might Be a Child of the 80s http://www.inthe80s.com/80schild.shtml
Are you a child of the 80s quiz http://www.blogthings.com/areyouachildofthe80squiz/
Child of the 80s http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/80schild.html
Cool 80s stuff http://www.childofthe1980s.com/
Great Child of the 70s/80s/90s site http://www.childhoodsite.com/
The nurse said for now, avoid all eggs. I asked her about the frozen french toast sticks and she said that for some foods like frozen, processed french toast sticks, the egg protein is weaker since it is much further away from a pure egg. It might have been cooked out or the processing weakens it. So what does that mean? Well, no bakery items obviously and no eggs. But everything seems to have egg in it! Some breads have egg brushed on the outside! Here goes my paranoia scale - up and away.
I found a good sheet for egg allergies to avoid so we'll start here. How are you all managing out there allergic moms?
And what about flu shots and other vaccinations with eggs in them? More questions for the doctor I suppose.
Egg Allergy Informationhttp://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/egg_allergy.html
Foods to avoid with egg allergy - print out for your wallet http://kidshealth.org/teen/misc/eggallergy_cutout.html
More egg allergy infohttp://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/health/1065007/
I am worried about family giving my daughter unsafe snacks as I'm still educating them of the importance to read labels. We will see how it goes.
I found some one piece swim suits on sale for my oldest daughter today on clearance for $2.80 each. Score! And they are Hannah Montana and High School Musical suits with hair bands. Woo hoo!
Also scored swimsuit coverups for both girls. Is it just me or are some of these girls swim suits too revealing like bikinis? My girls will wear one pieces for many years to come.
Just random thoughts from a pre-vacation panicked mom.
Have a great holiday weekend everyone! Be safe.
Pick up Disney toys/stuffed animals/clothes at Wal-Mart before trip and hide them/bring out during trip.
You can bring snacks into the parks - we brought cereal bars, raisins, etc. They check your bag but it's allowed.
Take the monorail around to the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary resorts and walk around each resort to see each theme.
Ask to ride the front of the monorail and kids get a monorail operator license!
Eat at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney - great sandwich, low cost - they even have breakfast.
Walk on Disney's boardwalk - it's just like New Jersey and there are carnival games, etc. Restaurants, a bakery, ESPN zone, a boat ride, you name it! You can see the fireworks at Epcot here too.
Make a reservation for character dining and make it the end of the brunch time around 11 - 11:30 before it ends. You have more time for characters and less people by then. (our favorite place is at the Contemporary - Chef Mickey's)
You can get a mini-fridge and stay at the Pop Century or All-Star resort and you can take the bus.
See the characters at Epcot Character Spot - they are all lined up inside the building and if you go early, there is little wait time.
Go around the world at Epcot - we like to eat at the Rose & Crown in England - make advance reservations - good kids menu, pick out an oyster in Japan and get a pearl - under $20.