The Cutting Tradition: Heather Hastie on FGM — Why Evolution Is True

Reader Heather Hastie continues her investigations into female genital mutilation (FGM) with a 47-minute movie on the practice, narrated by Meryl Streep, posted on her website. I urge you to watch it, though bits are not pleasant to watch, like the slicing off of a clitoris with a non-sterile razor blade. This is often done […]

via The Cutting Tradition: Heather Hastie on FGM — Why Evolution Is True


The gap between PR & Marketing

Despite the confusion, there are important differences between marketing and public relations. Below is a helpful albeit non-exhaustive list.

Focus. At base, marketing focuses on products and services while public relations focuses on relationships. (This is how I explain the concepts to my undergraduate students.)

Function. Both marketing and PR are management functions. The two serve different purposes, however. Marketing is a line function that directly contributes to an organization’s bottom line. Public relations is a staff function that indirectly supports an organization’s goals and objectives.

Target. Marketing’s target is the customer. Marketers strive to meet customer demands in order to move goods and services from producer to consumer. PR targets a range of publics and goals that collectively support an organization’s objectives. Examples of these publics (or stakeholders) include customers, the media, employees, suppliers, the community, investors, political leaders, financial and trade analysts, and more.

Carryover benefits. Public relations contributes to organizational success by building and maintaining a positive social, business and political environment. Studies show a customer’s favorable perception – shaped by positive, well-placed news coverage (likely generated by PR) – benefits and “lifts” an organization’s marketing and price promotion strategy. Interestingly, such carryover benefits are not reciprocated by the other marketing functions (Mark Weiner, “Unleashing the Power of PR”, (2006), p. 8).
Paid, earned and owned media.
Paid media – This marketing mainstay includes print, radio and television advertising. Paid media plays a major role in the marketer’s campaign strategy and consumes the bulk of most marketing budgets. An extreme example is Super Bowl advertisements. According to Alex Konrad’s February 2013 article in Forbes, last year’s Super Bowl generated a record $4 million, on average, for the 30-second ad spot.
Owned media – Examples include websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter profiles. It hasn’t been established which function – marketing or PR – holds the key to social media’s kingdom.
Earned media – Earned or “free” media is part of the PR professional’s playbook. Earned media is published through third parties such as bloggers, journalists and other influencers. It also includes word-of-mouth transmission via social media. Earned media is perceived as more credible than paid media because of third party-endorsements. On the downside, free media is “uncontrolled,” meaning an organization cannot affect a story’s slant. Still, free media offers a cost-effective way to win customers, as illustrated by an AT&T marketing-mix study detailed in Weiner’s book. According to the author, the analysis revealed that PR’s cost-per-customer-won was substantially less than other AT&T marketing-mix agents such as advertising and direct marketing ($17 versus an average $77). PR’s thrifty attributes stem primarily from earned media.
Both marketing and PR play substantive roles in accomplishing corporate goals and objectives. Savvy leaders should learn – and appropriately integrate – marketing and PR into their corporate strategies to better achieve organizational success.

Applications Marketing, Does


Some of ways to market your products on applications includes:

  1. Release early and release often. You may have heard this refrain before, but it’s vital for growing your user base and attracting investors’ attention. Release core features, then leverage communities such as Hacker News and Product Hunt to grab early adopters before building out the kitchen sink. Look at it this way: If you don’t have a user base, how can you be sure you’re building something people want?
  2. Find your niche. You can differentiate your app in a crowded market in two ways: Introduce features that no one else has, or target a specific niche. These strategies aren’t mutually exclusive. Take QUAD, for instance — yet another entrant in the crowded mobile messaging market. QUAD focused on its unique ability to message more than 50 people and has heavily marketed its app to college groups like fraternities and sororities that have a real need for a bulk messaging system. By doing so, it’s enabled itself to live alongside other messaging juggernauts like WhatsApp and GroupMe, rather than compete with them.
  3. Be exclusive. Nowadays, it seems like everyone uses Spotify, but it wasn’t long ago that the company was just starting out in the U.S. and only available by invitation. While Spotify used invitations to make it easier to scale in a new country, it also had the added benefit of creating buzz around this exclusive new app. By capitalizing on word-of-mouth marketing, Spotify helped itself stand out in an arena that companies like Rdio and Rhapsody had been occupying for years.
  4. Optimize for the App Store. Much like the need to optimize your website for search engines, it’s important to make sure your app has the right keywords in its title and description so users can find you. It sounds minor, but if your app doesn’t come up when users type relevant keywords into the search bar, then it might as well not exist. That’s why app design and development companies like Fueled have started making App Store optimization an integral part of their development process.
  5. Build in social calls to action. Social word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow your user base. Build in social sharing so users can brag about what they’ve just accomplished, whether that’s leveling up in a game or logging miles in a running app.

It’s easy to assume your app can become the next Snapchat as long as you build a solid product, but what makes that app successful isn’t the fact that it exists — it’s the efficiencies it creates.


Monetizing Your Blog: Four Ideas to Consider — The Daily Post

From ads to tip jars, we’ve got you covered.

via Monetizing Your Blog: Four Ideas to Consider — The Daily Post

Here are four ways to earn money from your site that have worked well on blogs and websites.


Impressions is the measurement of how often an ad has displayed for a visitor on your site.

If you’ve been interested in running ads on your site, you may have heard about programs like AdSense, Chitika, or Infolinks. These can be useful to sites with a general focus, but they rely on millions of impressions to be profitable. They can be difficult to configure, and the software that powers them often slows your site down.

Don’t have a custom domain name yet? Check out one of our plans!

Since users still wanted an effective, easy-to-implement ad program, we built WordAds. WordAds lets you focus on creating your content, instead of spending your time troubleshooting Javascript. Any site can apply to use WordAds; all you need is a custom domain name.

If you chose the Premium or Business Plan for your site, there’s even better news in store: you can turn on WordAds immediately! Visit your WordAds settings and change the visibility to either of the Run Ads selections.

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Be sure to also fill in the Site Owner and Tax Reporting Information fields; this will prevent delays on payouts of any earnings your site brings in, and is necessary if you’re a US-based blogger.

If you are a self-hosted site owner, WordAds is available to you as well! Check out the AdControl plugin that you’ll need to take part in the WordAds program. You’ll also find information on how to get started with WordAds for your self-hosted site.


If your blog focuses on a certain topic or niche, affiliate programs can be an effective way to earn income from your writing. Affiliate programs allow you to link to specific products or services on other sites, and if a visitor to your site clicks on the link and makes a purchase, you’ll be rewarded with a percentage of that sale (and of future sales, in some cases).

Affiliate programs work best when you refer to specific items that are closely tied to the topic of your posts. For example, if you have a cooking blog, an Amazon affiliate link to the fancy new mixer you bought could be a smart move. Nearly anything that can be purchased online is a good target for affiliate linking. There are many affiliate networks and sites to choose from, though selecting the one with the highest payout isn’t always the wisest decision. You’ll want to make sure you’re promoting products or services from a reputable site that your loyal audience can trust.

For most bloggers, prominent sites like Amazon and eBay provide excellent opportunities to link to products you’re mentioning in articles. They’re also trusted eCommerce sites, so your visitors won’t have reservations about ordering that nifty gadget you’ve mentioned. However, if there’s a widely trusted retail site in your specific area of interest, it might provide a greater affiliate commission, with expert-level knowledge in your subject matter. It’s perfectly acceptable to use more than one affiliate program, so feel free to mix and match to promote the best deals to your readers.

Sponsored Posts

If you’ve built up a substantial audience on your site, you may have companies contacting you to write a sponsored post. These can be a great way to get early access to products, receive free or heavily discounted items, or just earn a per-post fee. If they offer an affiliate program, there’s even more chance for profit.

If you receive payment, free products, or significant discounts for a blog post, there is a bit more due diligence to think about. In the US, the FTC issues guidelines on how to appropriately disclose reviews that originate from company sponsorships. While the FTC doesn’t typically monitor individual bloggers, these regulations are in place, no matter how small your audience.

Selling Products & Services

A common way to make money on the web is by selling a product or service. If you’ve got a knack for creating things people want to purchase, you’re already on the path to selling online. Handicrafts, shippable food items, or vintage clothing are all great examples of things people successfully sell online.

Not sure if you need to move to a self-hosted site? Check out this article to learn if it’s right for you.

On, we make selling things easy — just use a Paypal button. If you have a product that’s a bit more complex, or if you need a full eCommerce solution, it’s possible the best route for you is moving to a self-hosted site with a WooCommerce online store.

Donations, Gifts, & Tips

Finally, the most straightforward way to earn money from your blogging is to simply ask for it! If you’re a writer that posts stories online, it can be a great way to generate a bit of income, and it’s certainly less time-consuming than assembling and publishing an entire book.

For most site owners who want to accept donations, a Paypal button is a great solution. Depending on your particular niche, sites like Kickstarter, IndieGogo, Patreon, and GoFundMe may fit your needs as well.

Accepting money in this manner doesn’t need to be just donations, either! Many soon-to-be-married couples make a donation/gift button available for offsetting honeymoon costs in lieu of traditional wedding gifts. Bands sometimes accept early donations in exchange for priority access to music. You’ve probably even seen companies accept deposits or contributions towards in-development, cutting-edge products.


Making extra income from your blog or site is great, but always remember that the quality of what you publish is what’s most important. Without great posts, your visitor numbers will dwindle, and the income you make will soon follow.

Compelling Ways to Rally Your People and Keep Them Engaged in a Company

Employee engagement is a hot topic for most businesses.

There is no lack of expert advice in the form of books, magazine articles, motivational seminars, and consulting strategies that you and your human resources team can turn to for motivating your people and, ultimately, getting them to care as much about your business as you do – or, at least, to perform as if they do.

From team meetings, to reward programs, to suggestion boxes, to “casual Fridays,” to game rooms, to rest areas, to coaching your managers on how to communicate more effectively, to all of the other tips and techniques that continue to be extolled – well, it’s enough to make your head spin and certainly enough to keep your HR department busy, busy, busy.

But the million-dollar question, of course, is do any of these tactics actually work?

And, if you can even demonstrate that they do, are they worth the time, effort, and expense you’re putting into them?

Or are they just drawing attention and resources away from other critical aspects of the business at hand?

I have a much simpler, much more powerful and compelling solution for you.

It’s called: The Story of Your Business

The Story of Your Business becomes the spirit that mobilizes it, and you, as well as everyone who works for it (and buys from it, lends to it, and supplies it), and extends even beyond the walls of your company to impact everyone in your community, however large or small your community might be.

Without “Your Story,” your business is reduced to just plain work.

“Your Story” should reflect an idealized version of your business and create a vivid picture of what your business should be and why.

When your people hear the impassioned words of “Your Story” and see for themselves the picture it creates, it gives them a compelling target to strive for in their own work as they put it into action every day through the implementation and continuous improvement of the systems you’ve created.

“Your Story” is paramount because it is the encapsulation of your entrepreneurial Dream, Vision, Purpose and Mission. As such, “Your Story” is not just Any Story; it’s “Your Story,” the Story you must love.

Do you imagine that Walt Disney loved his Disneyland Story? Or Debbie Fields her Mrs. Fields Cookies Story? What about Fred Smith’s Federal Express Story, Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s Story, or Howard Schultz’s Starbucks Story?

Do you think these people loved their stories? Do you think that others loved to hear them, and still do?

I daresay that all successful entrepreneurs love the Story of their businesses.

Because that’s what true entrepreneurs do: they tell stories that come to life in the form of their businesses, and then they live them!

So get into the storytelling zone.

Behave as if it means everything to you and show no hesitation when telling it.

Tell “Your Story” with passion and conviction.

Tell it with precision.

Never hurry when telling “Your Story.” Let it be unveiled, slowly.

Look your people straight in the eyes and tell “Your Story” as if it were the most important one they’ll ever hear about business.

Because it will be, for them, just as it is for you, since you are asking them to pour their hearts and souls, their brains and imagination, their time, commitment, and sweaty persistence into it, just as you are doing.

Remember, a great Story never fails.

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