More People Reading News Online

Not too long ago, we found our daily news through either the newspaper, the TV, or the radio. The whole world relied on these 3 mediums to learn what was happening in the world so much so that media houses literally ruled the world. Not so today, when the internet has made sure that the news is no longer the forte of any one particular media house. Almost everywhere, they have had to re-invent themselves so that they can transfer their news to a web platform the web is distributing news much faster than it ever was before.

When top news breaks in Palestine, the people in South Africa or the South Pole will know about it seconds after it appears on the internet as a news item. Individuals, who were the biggest portion of newspaper buyers and TV watchers, today receive their news through their personal computers and smartphones. Technology makes it possible to receive all kinds of news on mobile phones. According to recent statistics, people who own mobile phones will spend between 65% and 75% of their day close to these devices. This means that they receive alerts for all kinds of news that they are interested in. They never need buy a newspaper or magazine. Pictures and videos are available online, and the need for TV to reinforce news with images declines even further.

It is entirely possible for a piece of news to travel without a single word of hard print. In remote places of the world where it was difficult to transport hard print, a simple mobile phone can keep an individual as informed as someone in New York or Paris. Many media conglomerates of the 80s and 90s died because they were not able to change. They relied on advertising dollars that they made through hard print, but the internet today has changed the face of this revenue stream as well. Almost any advertisement that is considered by a business will be considered for the internet, and maybe for hard print. Advertising on the internet can be inexpensive, too, meaning that these media companies have to find additional ways to generate revenue. Many of the largest have moved their publications online. Even then, the debate of the death of hard copy newspapers and magazines continues. They are not left with much choice though, because so long as a person has access to a cheap mobile phone that can access the internet, and most do, they will most of the time prefer to get their news variety from there.

Posted in news | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Public Executions Plus Pre-Employment Tests Equals Your Company Grows

Opportunity knocks. You want a workforce of only productive, responsible, dependable employees. Right?
Problem = You have some (A) unproductive or underachieving employees, (B) irresponsible employees, plus (C) employees you cannot depend on.YOU HAVE FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY = HOLD “PUBLIC EXECUTIONS” NOWYes, you read that right. I recommend you hold “public executions” at your company.
I do not mean you “cancel” harm anyone physically. Do not hang anyone at dawn.Instead, de-employ employees who are any of the following:- unproductive or only average in productivity
- irresponsible
- undependable
- trouble-maker – who harms other employees’ productivityAnd here is how to de-employ scumbags – oops, I mean lousy employees: Hold a “public execution.” By that, I mean make sure every employee in your company knows those lousy employees are being tossed out the door because they were (A) unproductive, (B) irresponsible, and (C) undependable.You could hold an all-employee meeting after your de-employ underachievers. Clearly explain your companyA. values and adores employees who are productive, responsible, and dependable
B. will ‘throw out the door’ anyone who is unproductive, irresponsible, and undependableEnd the meeting by saying all the survivors are appreciated – but do not give them any employment guarantees. Remaining at your company is based on being productive, responsible, and dependable. If any employees fall off the wagon, the management team will throw them off the wagon, that is, de-employ underachievers.PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS TO THE RESCUEPre-employment tests give you the quickest and most accurate way to hire applicants likely to perform on-the-job like your company’s high-achievers.How do pre-employment tests do that? Two ways.First, for “white-collar” jobs, you readily can custom-tailor behavior, personality and cognitive ability tests so you know benchmark scores of your best employees. Then, you may prefer applicants who get pre-employment test scores similar to your outstanding employees on behavior and mental ability pre-employment tests.Second, use a dependability pre-employment test for “blue-collar” jobs. You can prefer applicants whose pre-employment test scores forecast (a) honesty on test, (b) strong work ethic, (c) low impulsiveness – related to accidents and also interpersonal clashes, (d) low theft/stealing concerns, and (e) low substance abuse concerns.Also, do interviews, reference checks, and background checks. But, remember these common problems: (a) Research shows most interviewers are horribly bad at predicting job performance based on their interviews, (b) it is hard to obtain useful reference checks, and (c) background checks miss many problems.Pre-employment tests, in contrast, are research-based and can be custom-tailored to help you hire applicants with qualities similar to your company’s “superstar” employees.EXAMPLE FROM A COMPANY PRESIDENTI recently received a phone call from a company president. He considers hiring the best so important to business growth that he must approve all hires. He refuses to approve hiring anyone who may not be outstandingly productive, responsible, and dependable.Pre-employment tests, he told me, are the key tool he uses to hire the best.He explained, “We have huge numbers of applicants. Most have nice work histories – and sound great in interviews.”"I rely on your pre-employment tests to hire great employees – because the pre-employment tests tell me whether an applicant will be as good as our best employees,” he observed.”The pre-employment tests help us hire wonderful employees – just like our very best employees,” that company president concluded.”PUBLIC EXECUTIONS” + PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS = WINNING FORMULAProductive, responsible, and dependable employees help your company grow. So, you may bet your company and your career on a fairly safe formula.Simply do these steps:1. Make a list of your underachievers – employees you regret having on your payroll.
2. Hold “Public Executions” – de-employ those average and below-average employees
3. Tell remaining employees that you de-employ underachievers. You allow no place to hide.
4. Use pre-employment tests – to help you hire the best.When using pre-employment tests, do the following:First, for “white-collar” and skilled jobs, use pre-employment tests to predict – or forecast – both behaviors and mental abilities. Custom-tailor the two pre-employment tests to help you hire applicants who get test scores the same or similar to your super-productive employees.Second, use dependability pre-employment test for “blue-collar,” hourly, and unskilled jobs. See if you can hire applicants whose test scores forecast they answered honestly, have great work ethic, are non-impulsive, and probably will not abuse substances nor steal.Pre-employment tests and “public executions” will help you build a workforce of people who help your company grow – humans who are (A) productive, (B) responsible, and (C) dependable.COPYRIGHT 2009 MICHAEL MERCER, PH.D.

Posted in Employment Work | Tagged | Comments Off

Marketing to Senior Citizens – Health and Fitness, the Growing Trend Amongst Seniors

Today seniors can’t afford not to get moving! With all the hype around nutrition and exercise the aging population is well aware of the benefit of an active lifestyle.Most seniors of the 55 plus group are keen to reap the rewards of healthy aging through a variety of activities. They are not newcomers to the gym so to speak. Most have kept active with some form of physical activity throughout their lives, whether it is hardcore workouts in the gym or a congenial round of golf on a summer’s afternoon. Women of this age group have also managed years of multi-tasking, most having juggled full time careers, while raising families and still found time to fit in some form of exercise. These women became well acquainted with aerobics, step classes, strength training and power walking. Also, stress relievers such as yoga and pilates were embraced to combat tension and fatigue. In many cases these activities were their salvation of an overly busy lifestyle.It is only natural then, that these baby boomers are looking to continue their active lifestyle into retirement. Quite possibly, with the time constraints lifted at this stage in life, it leaves them to focus more sharply on their health and wellness.A huge opportunity exists for gyms and programming facilities to cater to this senior market. The number of seniors is set to skyrocket in the next five to ten years and if gym operators are to jump ahead of this curve, they should set their marketing sights on appealing to and attracting this demographic.How to go about this? What are seniors looking for when it comes to staying fit? Firstly it is important to see a visual image that they can relate to. Marketing success is all about seeing yourself in the picture, being that person who is strong, fit and beaming with energy. If a beautiful twenty something image is smiling back, then age becomes a handicap in the mind of the senior, derailing their good intentions, making them feel like they can’t compete. The perfect image that will empower the market they are trying to impress is an attractive fit senior pursuing the exercise of his or her choice. An ad such as this will pop with the 55 plus market, creating a role model with whom they can immediately identify and connect. Seniors like everyone else need to be able to put themselves into that ad campaign and honestly believe that it could be them looking out. This puts the wheels in motion for a positive mindset and a “can-do” attitude.Seniors are only as old as they feel. Once again we come back to the mind-set, which is a very powerful tool. Boomers today are constantly fighting the aging stereotype that has depicted seniors in the past. Seniors in their sixties often look, act and feel ten to fifteen years younger than their actual age. Advertising should play up to this pretense which promotes this healthy reversal known as “turning back the clock”.Another means of promoting fitness is to educate the senior who wants to get moving and who wants information as to how this will benefit them and enhance their life. They need to know the positives, what they can expect, and can look forward to as a result of embarking on the fitness journey that the marketer proposes. The campaign needs to encompass every aspect of their life, proving that properly presented, seniors will understand that an opportunity to change is being offered which will impact and alter their lifestyle. It’s within their reach, all that remains to be done, is to get out there, set realistic goals with realistic time frames and make it happen.This brings us to another point. Marketers should focus on the enhancement of senior life overall, as a result of engaging in exercise and activities, rather than the promise that, if you join up you will achieve this enviable body or snag that hot date. The quality of life and the heightened enjoyment of everyday activities which seniors can have as a result of exercise need to be highlighted.Marketing programs should also contain testimonials and feedback from actual seniors delighted with their progress and accomplishments, similar to that of “before and after stories of weight loss”. Seniors want to hear how it has enhanced and changed other people, who are just like themselves. They want to hear the successes, for example, how exercise lowered blood pressure, how strength training enabled other seniors to do more, how medication was reduced, how endurance was stretched. It all gives the feeling that anything is possible, if they can do it, then I can as well. It sends a message and an incentive to become a joiner.Seniors often prefer to sample a program on a trial basis to see if it’s going to be the right fit for them. Offering special programs geared to this group is smart when limiting them to one or two classes. Fitness activities can be offered at many different types of senior living facilities. Places such as retirement communities and nursing homes already recognize the need and benefits of fitness and nutritional programs. Approaching these senior residences is an effective strategy of marketing to large groups of seniors. There are also many senior assisted living residences that do not have organized fitness classes or programs in place yet, but they will soon. Visit these places and offer a free class or program, if these programs are successful you will know that this appeals to seniors and if the need is strong enough to continue. This will help to target the senior market, zeroing in on what works and what doesn’t.Marketers of fitness need to alter their sales approach to seniors. This age group is not impulsive and will appreciate a thorough, softer sell approach. Seniors need and want information and prefer patience. This in turn builds trust, instilling confidence in the senior contemplating buying a membership. It basically reaffirms that they are doing the right thing in taking this first step to join.Seniors as consumers hold certain expectations that need to be met for fulfillment. As part of the packaging of the programming, seniors also need and crave socialization and to be part of the group. They need leadership, to have an instructor to safely guide them through the program, with an eye to protecting them from injury and awareness of ailments like arthritis and osteoporosis in the participants. They look for convenience, with minimal stairs and easy entry, or even better brought to their home. Lastly they want value and attention, to feel like they are progressing and that their state of well being is something that is noted.As with any market, the sales approach needs to be geared to their age defined needs and preferences. In the year 2010 and in the coming years the greying of the boomers market will keep growing by leaps and bounds. There will be an even greater emphasis on slowing the effects of aging and possibly the reversal through movement and exercise. This, the marketers realize is what it’s all about at any age. Seniors, like everyone else, want to maintain a high quality of life and that definitely includes exercise to make it happen.

Posted in Health and Fitness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off