As Shutdown Takes Hold, an Essential Few Scientists Still on the Job

first_imgA bird identification expert might not seem like an employee essential to keeping the U.S. government functioning. But ornithologist Carla Dove was one of a select corps of federal scientists deemed important enough to be exempted from a sweeping government shutdown that began today,  paralyzing research funding agencies, shuttering a wide range of science projects, and sending home more than 800,000 federal employees.“I’m getting prepared to be lonely,” Dove said yesterday, noting that most of her colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., wouldn’t be allowed to work. “It will be me and 650,000 museum specimens.”The shutdown is the result of an epic stalemate between the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which could not agree on how to finance the government for the 2014 fiscal year, which began on Tuesday. It is the first shutdown since the winter of 1995–96, when an impasse over spending priorities prompted agency closures that lasted nearly a month. This time, however, the disagreement centers on efforts to undo the new U.S. health care law known as Obamacare.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The crisis came to a head yesterday, as Senate Democrats four times rejected bills passed by House Republicans to defund or delay Obamacare in exchange for funding the government for a few months at existing levels. Without such appropriations, agencies technically have no money to spend.Some agencies still openA shutdown doesn’t mean that the entire government closes. It is largely business as usual at agencies the White House has deemed essential for public safety and national security, for instance, including the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.At the 10 national laboratories supported by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science, researchers are soldiering on. The labs, which support x-ray synchrotrons, neutron sources, and other major facilities used by academic and industry scientists, are run for the government by private and university contractors. That means the labs were not required to shut their doors immediately. In fact, most appear to have a cushion of money left over from the last fiscal year, which ended yesterday, that they will use to keep going for as long as possible.Officials at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, for instance, say they have no immediate plans to turn off the Advanced Photon Source, an x-ray synchrotron that supports some 4600 researchers each year. “We’ve got a month and after that we are powering things down,” says Eric Isaacs, the lab’s director. Thom Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, is less optimistic about how long his lab can keep the doors open. “Basically, we’re trying to take things day by day for the moment,” he says. “I don’t think we can make it through a month.”Both Mason and Isaacs stress that, even as their labs remain open, the lack of funding is affecting smaller research efforts. Oak Ridge receives funding through roughly 40 different sub-budgets or “control points,” Mason explains. Although lab officials have some ability to redistribute money within each sub-budget, they cannot move money from one to another. So different research efforts will run out of gas at different times if the shutdown continues, Mason says: “There are 40 odd little cliffs that you go over as each of these buckets runs dry.” Once enough programs have been forced to stop, Mason says, it will become untenable to keep the lab open, even if other programs still have a shekel or two to spend.At the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, director Doon Gibbs sent staff a memo this morning that read, in part: “Laboratory management will continue to take prudent steps going forward to mitigate the impacts of the shutdown, and we ask you to do your part by limiting all non-essential travel, conferences, training, and meetings, etc., to help reduce costs. … Please maintain your focus during these uncertain budgetary times, watch out for each other, and concentrate on the things we can control.”Grantmaking shuts downOther research agencies are already feeling the pain. At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 73% of its more than 18,600 employees have been ordered to stay home. Although outside researchers can still submit grant applications through automated systems, NIH won’t process them. And study sections won’t meet to review pending applications.The widely used PubMed database, which holds biomedical papers and abstracts, is not being updated, and the GenBank gene database isn’t taking new data. No new patients are being admitted to the NIH Clinical Center, where more than 1400 studies are under way. The grants system also ground to a halt at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which spends 95% of its budget on research done by others. (Researchers who already had money in hand from both agencies can continue to draw funding.)Meanwhile, public websites have gone dark for NSF, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, and other agencies. “Due to the Federal government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable,” reads the NOAA site. “We sincerely regret this inconvenience,” NSF says. Websites at NIH and DOE are still up, but won’t be updated, according to notices.The essential scientists Every agency, however, has a list of employees that it says should keep working no matter what. At NSF, that “exempted” workforce amounts to just a few dozen people responsible for security, information systems, and overseeing its Antarctic program. NASA’s few workers include those watching over the International Space Station. At NIH, more than 5000 employees have been deemed critical to caring for patients and other tasks, including about 730 who are maintaining experiments in NIH’s 1140 intramural laboratories.One scientist on NIH’s essential list is Al Singer, chief of the Experimental Immunology Branch at the National Cancer Institute. He reported to work today to tend the lab’s colony of 14,000 mice, who give birth to 1200 pups each week that must be genetically tested and culled. “There’s no way this can stop,” he tells Science.A veteran of the last shutdown, Singer worries morale will suffer. “It’s a major disruption and people look at their job differently afterwards,” he says. “It takes a while to reenergize.” One NIH worker, he said, felt as though she had been fired. “There’s a lot of anxiety now,” he says. “People have to realize it’s a political fight. We’re collateral damage. But the intent is not to hurt us.”In Boulder, Colorado, a skeleton crew of NIST physicists and technicians is maintaining a cesium fountain clock that keeps official U.S. time accurate to 1 second every 100 million years, says Tom O’Brian, chief of the time and frequency division of NIST. Just 15 of the usual 100 or so employees will work limited hours to maintain the clock—“one of the most complex pieces of equipment in the world,” he says. It is essential to keeping GPS units, electrical power stations, and telecommunications networks in sync. “We depend upon really precise and accurate timing and synchronization for our modern technology every day,” O’Brian says.At NIST’s Boulder nanofabrication facility, four people out of about 100 will stay on duty to make sure temperature changes or other unforeseen events don’t damage millions of dollars in equipment in the facility, which serves a variety of academic and industry users. “It’s not a natural condition for everything to be shut down,” says lab manager Vince Luciani. He will remain on duty to check gauges on more attention-needy devices, including ultrahigh vacuum systems and photolithography equipment. He’s already looking ahead to the end of the shutdown. “To me, it’s very important, once they say ‘go’ and we can start working again, to as quickly as possible pick up where we left off.”At the Smithsonian, Dove will be doing a job that her bosses deemed essential: trying to identify birds that have collided with aircraft. On Wednesday, she is expecting feathers and other samples taken from a helicopter crash last March. Fall is always her busy time, she adds, with seasonal migrations leading to up to 50 bird strikes a day. And one of her contracts with the U.S. Air Force requires a quick turnaround, so Dove says she will be alternating with one other person to try to keep the backlog from building up. After she preps a sample and isolates DNA, she will be able to call in a sequencing technician to have the DNA deciphered. Then it’s up to her to match the DNA to a species and write a report.This year’s shutdown is also déjà vu for Dove, who was one of the few to stay on the job during the last closure.  “We’ve never had to close down,” she says. Overall, just 12% of some 6400 employees at the Smithsonian, which is two-thirds federally funded, are allowed to work.How long Dove and other essential scientists will be working without their colleagues is unclear. Also unknown is whether, once the crisis is resolved, the furloughed workers will be paid for the missed time.In the meantime, there is a fair amount of confusion about how to inform the public about the impact of the shutdown. An NSF official who was at work today after being deemed essential hung up on an inquiry from ScienceInsider because “talking to the media is not part of my excepted duties.” And the media managers at two DOE national laboratories said that all press queries were being handled by DOE’s office of public affairs, which will be closed for the duration of the shutdown.With contributions from Adrian Cho, Jocelyn Kaiser, David Malakoff, Jeffrey Mervis, Elizabeth Pennisi, and Kelly Servick.last_img read more

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Decoding Customer Service Speak: Are You Secretly Being Insulted?

first_imgHas an organization or university offered you an opportunity with a stipend? Whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is a set amount of money that helps offset living expenses. This fixed amount is financial support provided while you’re… Full Story,Truth is, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to college: new friends, a new routine, (college parties!), and more independence. But along with all these perks, it’s also time to start thinking about your finances…. Full Story,A routing number is a unique number that identifies a specific banking institution. Each routing number is made up of nine digits. Routing numbers are sometimes referred to as an American Banker’s Association routing transit number or an ABA RTN…. Full Story,It’s stressful enough having a car loan over your head and staying on top of your monthly payments. But what if you have an upside-down car loan — in other words, the amount you owe on your set of wheels… Full Story,When you’re trying to get your financial house in order, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics. You might stress about how to adjust your budget, where to find some extra cash for the holidays or what funds to… Full Story,Shortly after graduating from New York University with a Master’s degree, Melanie Lockert turned to food stamps, as she worked her way out of $81,000 in student loans. “There were a lot of emotions around carrying that debt. It caused… Full Story,Traveling is one of the best things in life, and luckily, low funds don’t have to dash your dreams of enjoying an epic adventure. A wealth of destinations—both in the U.S. and abroad—are so affordable that even hardcore penny pinchers… Full Story,While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer… Full Story,Times have changed since Grams and Gramps were your age, looking to settle down and buy their first home. But today the house with the white picket fence—or that trendy loft in downtown—isn’t completely out of the question if you… Full Story,We recently hosted a Twitter chat as part of our #RealTalkSeries. And let’s just say, things definitely got real. Many of you joined us to discuss “taboo” and cringe-worthy money questions such as how to improve a bad credit score,… Full Storylast_img read more

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A Data Drought Hampers Cities from Acting on Climate Change

first_imgFor example:According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors survey of 288 members, 67 percent of U.S. cities lack the energy-use data necessary to create a community-scale GHG inventory or any type of local climate action plan.The Philippine Climate Change Commission said that “Community-level greenhouse gas inventory is an important step to guide the 1,634 cities and municipalities in the Philippines in formulating relevant local climate actions that would enable them to track their progress as they transition to a low-emission and climate-resilient development pathway. One of the challenges that needs to be addressed is the difficulty in acquiring, accessing and/or completing the necessary activity data as they conduct their GHG inventory.”In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the city has access to some activity data, but is still missing crucial figures. For example, the City’s Climate Change Division said that “where they can access some data from a company that manages the landfill where the city’s waste is buried, the rest of the municipalities do not have access or find it difficult to obtain the same information.” Because of this, decision-makers must model some of the figures, a labor-intensive endeavor. Large, wealthy cities like Buenos Aires can augment this partially available data, but smaller, less wealthy areas are unable to do the same.A Need for Open and Transparent Activity DataCities, civil society groups and other subnational bodies are requesting that national governments and utilities make more data publicly available. They are pushing forward an agenda of transparency and open activity data, one that if delivered will help cities around the world to accurately set a low-carbon trajectory. For example, at a December 2017 meeting of the Australian Climate Action Roundtable, the represented states and cities agreed to explore a “means to increase accessibility of greenhouse gas inventory activity level data to sub-national governments to support greater subnational climate action and accounting.”Policy experts, advocates and city officials are working hard to increase the success of their climate action commitments. Will national governments, utilities and others heed their call to make more activity data available? Imagine you’re a local sustainability officer developing an initiative to reduce emissions. But you don’t know how many emissions the city produces, or where they’re coming from. You don’t know who the city’s biggest energy users are, how many cars are on the road, or the amount of waste produced every year. And even if you can set goals for reducing emissions, you have no way of measuring progress against them.This is a situation far too many policymakers and city officials face every day. While cities occupy only 2 percent of the world’s land, they account for 70 percent of global emissions. Lacking the right data to take action puts them—and the whole world—in jeopardy.The Data Cities Have vs. the Data They NeedThere is a growing number of cities around the world moving toward efficient and clean energy systems in order to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. To accelerate this momentum, we must make it easier for cities to conserve their scarce funds, time and capacity, and empower them with the data needed to improve decision-making. Yet cities, particularly those in developing countries, are experiencing a “data drought” and need support to address it.To set and track progress on local and national climate goals, it is important to have open and free activity data—data on energy use, transport fuel, vehicle miles traveled, waste, agriculture, land use, industry and more. Activity data allows cities to gain insights into which activities have the largest impact on reducing city-wide emissions—whether through electricity generation, energy use for buildings, transportation or land use choices.The information they have, however, is often insufficient and partial data in formats unsuited to their needs. When they do have data, it’s often national or regional figures on transportation, land use and other sectors, which are hard to translate into city-level activity data. Even wealthy cities with a long history of emissions accounting face this data drought.Buenos Aires, Argentina is one of many cities struggling to get the activity data needed to create climate action plans. Photo by Halloween HJB/Pixabaylast_img read more

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How to Build Better Buyer Personas to Drive Killer Content

first_img Buyer Personas Originally published Jan 25, 2012 11:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Pick any day of the week, and there’s one thing on every inbound marketer’s to-do list:  creating new content . Marketers used to create content only when it suited their company’s internal needs – say, when they had a new product to promote. Well, inbound marketing forces you to give up that approach. But constantly coming up with new content can be overwhelming, and if you panic and start pushing out content that’s a bad fit for your audience, you risk attracting the wrong kind of visitor while driving away high-quality prospects.That’s why, like publishers, inbound marketers must have a detailed picture of their target audience in order to create optimal content for them. The best way to understand your audience is to build buyer personas with these 3 steps: segment by demographics, identify their needs, and develop behavior-based profiles. 1. Segment by Demographics Who are your ideal customers and prospects? What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interests? Where can you reach them – on search engines , social media , or blogs – and what kinds of content do they prefer? These types of questions will help you develop buyer personas. Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.Start developing personas by researching your existing customer base to identify the most common buyers for your products and services. You may have several different types of buyers, so give each one a detailed description, including name, job title or role, industry or company info, and demographic info.For example, a community bank’s biggest customers may include small business owners and mothers managing the bank accounts for a family of four. In this case, the bank’s marketers might name these personas “Business Owner Bob” and “Martha, the Busy Mom,” and extrapolate details about their responsibilities, the typical size of their business or household income, what geographic region they’re in, and so on. 2. Identify Their Needs Based on those profiles, you can outline the pains, needs, and challenges of each persona by asking yourself several important questions: What are the biggest problems they are trying to solve? What do they need most? What information are they typically searching for? What trends are influencing their business or personal success? Analyzing the path that prospects take on the journey to becoming a customer is a great way to get insights about the needs and challenges of your target audience. If you use a marketing platform like HubSpot , you can see which search terms brought prospects to your site, how long they stayed on your site, which pieces of content they viewed, and which forms they’ve filled out. Such lead intelligence will help you make better decisions when identifying the characteristics of your ideal customers and ways to nurture your new prospects. 3. Develop Behavior-Based Profiles Next, develop a profile of each persona’s typical online behavior. You know who they are and what their needs are, now think about all the ways they research a potential purchase on your site or on others. Here are suggestions of the questions you should ask:What do they do online? Do they read blogs? Are they active on  Twitter , Facebook , or other social networks? What kind of search terms do they use? Are they email newsletter subscribers?What kind of information do they tend to consume online? Educational pieces? Trend articles? Interactive tools like calculators or worksheets? Do they watch videos or listen to podcasts?Which of your products do they spend the most time researching? How do they use those products?The result of this process should be a detailed description of your personas’ demographics, needs, and behavior. The more detail you pack into your persona development, the easier it will be to create content for each of your target customer segments and know where to promote it.Don’t look now, but you just put yourself on the path to a killer content strategy. This post is an adapted excerpt from our free ebook,  A Practical Guide to Killer Marketing Content .  To learn more about keeping those great content ideas flowing,  download the free ebook here! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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How to Send Group Direct Messages on Twitter [Quick Tip]

first_imgHow to Create a New Group Message From ScratchSending a DM to multiple users on Twitter is very similar to sending a DM to a single user. Here’s what you need to do.Step 1: Click the envelope icon, labeled “Messages.”On desktop, this is at the top left of your screen. On mobile, this is at the bottom of your screen.Step 2: Click “New Message.”On mobile, this is the chat bubble icon at the top right of your screen.Step 3: In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of your followers to whom you want to send a message. When you’re done, click “Next.”Step 4: Type out your message and click “Send message.”Group DMs, like one-on-one DMs, have a 140-character limit. You can add photos to group DMs just as you can with one-on-one DMs.How to Add Members to a Pre-Existing Group MessageStep 1: Click the envelope icon, labeled “Messages.”Step 2: Click on a group message to open it.Step 3: Click the ellipsis in the top right-hand corner and choose “Add people” from the menu that appears.On mobile, you’ll have to click into the tweet to see the ellipsis. You can also view all users in the group and leave the group by way of this menu.Step 4: In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of your followers to whom you want to send a message. Click “Done” to add them to the group message.They will not be able to see previous messages exchanged before they were added.How to Share a Tweet in a Group MessageWhile public tweets are great places to have conversations, they’re also a great place to find conversation starters, writes Kamdar in his blog post. He urges users to “spark conversations and support your points of view by sharing tweets from your timeline, even if they’re from people who aren’t part of the direct message.”Here’s how to share tweets with a group.Step 1: Find the tweet you want to share, and click the ellipsis below the tweet. (On mobile, you’ll have to click into the tweet to see the ellipsis.)Step 2: Choose “Share via Direct Message” in the menu that appears. Twitter’s direct messaging feature (“DM” for short) has long been a way for users to communicate privately in one-on-one conversations with their followers. But recently, Twitter launched an update to the DM feature that allows for group messaging with multiple users — up to 20 in one message.In this post, we’ll talk about the details of the group message function. Then, we’ll go over how to create a group message from scratch, how to add members to a pre-existing group message, and how to share tweets in a group message. Let’s get to it.The DetailsIn a blog post on Twitter’s official blog, Product Director Jinen Kamdar reiterated the importance of direct messaging: “Private conversations on Twitter are a great complement to the largely public experience on the platform. You might prefer to read (or watch) tweets but converse about them privately.”Now, you can expand the conversation to an entire group of users at once. Here’s what you need to know:The group message function allows Twitter users to communicate privately with up to 20 users within one group.If a DM has fewer than 20 participants, additional users can be added to the conversation at any time and by any group member — not just the user who started the group.While you can only start group conversations with your own followers, not everyone in the group has to follow one another in order to chat.When a user gets invited to a DM, they’ll receive a notification that they’ve been included.Both group and individual DMs now support pictures, links, emoji, and tweets in addition to text. Twitter Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 10, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated August 26 2017 Topics: Step 3: In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of your followers to whom you want to send the tweet. Then click “Next.”Step 4: Add a personal message to send along with the tweet if you’d like. Click “Send message” when you’re done.Your accompanying message has a 116-character limit.That’s it! Want to learn more about direct messages on Twitter? Click here.last_img read more

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Social Media Copywriting: How to Compose Text for 5 Different Channels [Bookmarkable]

first_imgMost of us know that social media is an essential part of a brand’s marketing strategy. After all, 92% of marketers say that social media is important to their business. And yet, managing it continues to be a source of frustration for many.That’s understandable — there are many moving parts to a successful social media strategy. There’s knowing the right frequency with which to post. There’s the measurement of any ROI on these efforts. And, there’s determining what the heck to post to each channel.There’s technology available, for example, to post the same content to multiple social media channels. But should you be posting identical messages to each network? As it turns out — no. Different channels have different audiences, peak times, and character limits. And each one is built for a different style of writing, which means there’s one more thing to consider: What should the copy for each social network look like?Click here to sharpen your skills with the help of our social media workbook.That’s why we put together the guidelines below to compose copy for five different social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat. So read on — and start writing.How to Compose Text for 5 Social Media Channels1) FacebookLet’s start with a look at Facebook’s audience:Source: Pew Research CenterWith 79% of all online adults on Facebook, it continues to be the highest-utilized social network of those measured in Pew Research Center’s 2016 Social Media Update. But out of the channels we’ll cover here, it also has the highest rate of usage among the 65+ audience.When you’re composing text for Facebook, it’s important to keep these data in mind — especially if that’s who your brand is targeting. Let’s say you’re creating a marketing budget and want to decide how to allocate a portion for social media. While we encourage having a presence across all channels, if you’re aiming for the attention of the 65+ audience, this might be the best network for an ad spend or a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. Focus your energy here, and then repurpose that content for other channels.Less than half of marketers believe that their Facebook efforts are effective — and we have to wonder if that might have something to do with the content they’re sharing on that particular network. So let’s go over some basic ground rules:Make sure your formatting is correct. That’s a big reason why we discourage auto-posting duplicate content across multiple channels — you risk including an “@user” tag that’s only fitting for Twitter or Instagram.Facebook’s character limit on status updates is 63,206. However, that’s far from ideal. Generally, people don’t visit Facebook to consume long-form text or stories — that’s what your blog is for. In fact, Buffer has found that Facebook posts with 80 characters or less receive 66% higher engagement.Plus, less text allows greater focus to be placed on any visual content that accompanies it. Posts with images, for example, see 2.3X more engagement than those without.Facebook is a particularly good vehicle for promoting your external content — things like blog posts, reports, or videos. That’s what 76% of users seek when they visit Facebook: interesting content. But don’t just post a link without a description. Be sure to accompany it with brief, attention-grabbing text that signals what the content is about, or poses a question that it answers.2) TwitterSource: Pew Research CenterTweets have long come with a maximum of 140 characters, but that doesn’t include images, videos, polls, or tweets that you quote. Plus, according to social media scientist Dan Zarrella, the ideal length is actually around 120-130 characters — those tweets showed the highest click-through rate (CTR).Source: BufferWhen you’re composing copy for tweets, remember that hashtags are an effective way to indicate and summarize what your message is about. Plus, it’s a nice way to become discovered by users who might be using hashtags to search for tweets pertaining to a certain topic — Buddy Media found that all tweets with hashtags get double the engagement.But exercise some restraint with hashtags, and make sure the text that accompanies them comprises the majority of the tweet. Limit it to one or two — these tweets have a 21% higher engagement than those with three or more.Source: BufferNotice how music site Pitchfork uses Twitter to promote its Facebook content: Today at 1:15pm EST: We’ll be live streaming @SlowdiveBand’s private session at a recording studio in Brooklyn https://t.co/QoPu1cazZL— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) May 9, 2017 Originally published May 15, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated November 29 2017 Using your caption to provide context is especially important when sharing videos. These typically automatically play without sound, so use the description to let them know what they can’t hear — and maybe even motivate them to listen.And about those hashtags: Unlike Twitter, it’s okay to use more than two here, but it’s advised to use less than eight. According to research conducted by Piqora, the sweet spot seems to be around seven hashtags — those Instagram posts seem to get the most engagement.Source: Social FreshAs for Instagram Stories, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of detail on character limits there but because the text overlays the visual content — which is the focus — don’t obscure too much of the photo or video with a caption.5) SnapchatWhile we’re on the topic of not obscuring visual content, let’s discuss Snapchat. Again, because the focus here is on the visual, you’ll want to prevent distracting viewers from it with too much text.According to Teen Vogue, Snapchat’s character limit is 80 per post. The word “snap” implies brevity, so try not to ramble. The same goes for your Snapchat story: “a compilation of Snaps that a friend has posted to their Story over the last 24 hours.”Here’s a fun example of how the Food Network created an entire Snapchat story based on the idea of coffee. It began with a small promo on “3 Ways to Step Up Your Iced Coffee Game” under Featured Stories:Source: Social FreshThen, it shared a series of animated images and videos all pertaining to the topic, ranging from recipe tips to clips from the network’s show, “Cutthroat Kitchen.” It took a simple topic — coffee — and expanded it into engaging, consumable content to highlight what the brand does best. Social Media Campaigns Let’s say you have a bigger audience on Twitter than on Facebook, but you want to build your presence on the latter. Twitter can be a good vehicle for driving traffic there, by promoting things like live streams that will be taking place on your page.3) LinkedInSource: Pew Research CenterLinkedIn has become an interesting content distribution channel. Users can share simple post updates, usually business-related (think: job openings and professional conferences), and push them to Twitter at the same time, though we don’t recommend that — see our note on the problems with identical content across different channels.But in 2012, LinkedIn introduced its Influencers program, which recruited notable business figures to guest blog on LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Eventually, that platform became open to all LinkedIn members in 2014, positioning it as an outlet for people to share original content with an audience much larger than they may have received on their own domains.That’s part of decentralized content: A concept that allows users to share their work that has been published elsewhere on a content creation platform. Unlike most social media — where limited content is displayed — the full text and images of the work are shared, with the original author and source credited, on a site different from its origin.That makes LinkedIn a good place to re-post and link back to your blog content. But why make the duplicate effort? Well, consider this: 29% of all online adults use LinkedIn. Does your blog have that kind of reach? If it doesn’t, you can reach LinkedIn’s larger audience by syndicating your own content on their platform, drawing more attention to your work.According to Andy Foote, the character limits for these posts are 100 for the headline, and 40,000 for the body.4) InstagramSource: Pew Research CenterSince Instagram is, first and foremost, a platform for sharing photos and videos, the primary focus should typically be on your visual content. But it’s helpful to provide context that lets users know what they’re viewing — within reason.Like many of the other channels we’ve discussed, people don’t use Instagram to read long-form content. And while Instagram doesn’t appear to specify a maximum total number of caption characters, it’s cut off after the first three lines. That’s why we recommend limiting captions to that amount, and if you require more text, make sure the most important information — like calls-to-action — is included in the first three lines. Hashtags, @mentions, and extraneous details can go toward the end of the copy.Here’s a good example from New York Magazine. Without pressing “play,” the post appears to just be an image of a laundry basket — something that could mean any number of things without context. But the caption is used to indicate that the magazine recently did a roundup on the best socks for every occasion. Cute, right? Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Notice that for certain parts of the story, there’s a call-to-action at the bottom to “Watch” or “Read.” While Snapchat doesn’t make this entirely clear, it seems like that’s strictly a feature of ads, and not something that can be added organically. However, if your budget permits, adding these CTAs is another way to drive attention to you longer-form content.Get That Copy RightManaging your brand’s social media presence is no simple task, but it’s more than possible. And now, writing creative, compelling copy for your various channels can become a fun task.Draw some information about your audience composition for each social network. Then, see how that compares to the usership data from Pew Research Center. From there, you can see where you have the most active audience, and how you can repurpose content from one channel to draw attention to another one — and attract website traffic.How do you create and repurpose copy for social media? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

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2 Simple Frameworks That Will Make You a Better Storyteller

first_img Originally published Jan 31, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 17 2018 As content strategists, we spend a lot of time talking to business people about the importance of storytelling to their business. When the subject comes up, a lot of folks get nervous. They say things like, “Well, I’m no Hemingway!” or some other nervous response.The pressure of storytelling can keep a lot of people from even trying.But here’s the thing: we don’t have to be Hemingway to be good at stories. Storytelling is part of what makes us human. If you have human DNA, you’re built to tell a story. Unfortunately, some of us give up on our storytelling ability too early.But even if you’re not a professional storyteller, there are a couple of storytelling frameworks that can help you bridge the gap. The two frameworks discussed below will help you regain some storytelling confidence, and start telling engaging stories in business and in life.Free Download: Marketing Editorial Calendar TemplateThe Hero’s JourneySee if you can guess what story this is.We have a hero who starts in humble beginnings and answers the call of adventure. She leaves home, gets out of her comfort zone, receives training from a wise old mentor, and then goes on a great journey. On this quest, she faces a bad guy, almost loses everything, but eventually succeeds and returns home having changed for the better.What story are we talking about?Is this Star Wars? Harry Potter? The Hunger Games? The Odyssey? The Matrix?It’s actually all of them.This is a template for storytelling called The Hero’s Journey. It comes from author Joseph Campbell, and it’s everywhere. It’s one of the most relatable storylines because it basically mirrors the journeys of our own lives. Understanding The Hero’s Journey can give you insight into how to frame your own stories, whether it’s the true story about your company or a fictional story that stirs your imagination.The following diagram breaks down this Hero’s Journey template, step by step.We start in an ordinary world. A humble character gets called to adventure and initially refuses, but meets a wise mentor who trains them and convinces them to go on said adventure. They’re then tested. They meet allies, and they make enemies. They approach a final battle and almost lose but, eventually, find it within themselves to succeed. They return home to an appropriate hero’s welcome, transformed by the journey.Let’s walk through this from the lens of the greatest story ever told.Yes, we’re talking about Star Wars. Let’s step through a crude synopsis to see how well it matches Campbell’s pattern:In the first Star Wars film, we begin with the rather ordinary Luke Skywalker. He lives on a farm on a desert planet. One day he meets some robots who need help. They need to find a local hermit named Obi-Wan Kenobi. So Luke takes the robots to Obi-Wan, who basically says, “Luke, you need to go out and help save the universe.” Luke initially says, “No, I have all this stuff going on,” but Kenobi, who becomes Luke’s mentor, convinces Luke that he should go. Kenobi trains him how to use a lightsaber, and Luke goes on an epic space adventure.On the journey, Luke meets the villain, Darth Vader. He battles evil stormtroopers. He makes friends: Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia. And then he has to help defeat the super-weapon, the Death Star. Nearly everything goes wrong, but in the end, Luke succeeds in blowing up the Death Star. The last scene of the movie is of Luke getting a metal put over his neck by the princess, who kisses him on the cheek. Now he is in his new home, a changed man, emboldened by the great power of the Force, which he can use on future adventures.This is the Hero’s Journey, which—modified in various ways—we see repeated in stories throughout history. The simple version of this is that pattern of tension that we learned from Aristotle. We have an ordinary person (what is), and we have adventure that lies ahead (what could be). The transference from one to the other is the journey.In business, the case study is a rather common way marketers use this kind of story to sell a product or service. (Most of them are a little less entertaining stories than Star Wars, unfortunately.) A case study is the story of where a customer was, where they wanted to be—the tension!—and how they overcame that gap.If you listen to podcasts, you’ll hear this story told in most every ad. One of the most common ads is for Harry’s razors, which tells the story of “Jeff and Andy, two ordinary guys who got fed up with paying way too much for razors at the pharmacy and decided to buy their own warehouse to sell affordable razors.”The problem with most brands’ stories is they either don’t fully utilize the four elements of great storytelling, or they don’t walk us through enough of the steps of the Hero’s Journey to capture our attention.That’s why these frameworks are so useful. They’re a really easy way to ensure that we’re more creative when we’re coming up with stories or trying to convey information.It’s sort of like a haiku: If we told you right now to come up with a poem on the spot, you would probably have a tough time. But if we told you to come up with a haiku about Star Wars, you’d likely be able to do it. This framework helps you focus your creativity.Another great story template comes from comedy writing. It starts similarly: A character is in a zone of comfort. But they want something, so they enter into an unfamiliar situation. They adapt, and eventually get what they’re looking for but end up paying a heavy price for it. In the end, they return to their old situation having changed.This is the plot of pretty much every episode of Seinfeld.For example: During the sixth season of the show, George gets a toupee. This new situation is unfamiliar, but he likes it and quickly adapts to it. Once he has what he wants, though, he starts getting cocky. He goes on a date with a woman and behaves like a haughty jerk.It turns out that his date, under her hat, is actually bald, too. When George is rude about this, she gets mad. His friends also get mad at him. “Do you see the irony here?” Elaine screams at him. “You’re rejecting somebody because they’re bald! You’re bald!” She then grabs George’s toupee and throws it out the window. A homeless man picks it up and puts it on.The next day, George feels like himself again. “I tell you, when she threw that toupee out the window, it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he tells Jerry. “I feel like my old self again. Totally inadequate, completely insecure, paranoid, neurotic, it’s a pleasure.”He also announces that he’s going to keep seeing the bald woman. He returns to apologize to the woman, only for her to tell him that she only dates skinny guys.So then George goes back home, having changed. He has his regular bald head now, but he’s learned a lesson. (But because it’s Seinfeld, he goes back to his old habits by the next episode.)Both of these types of journeys are the journeys that we all go through in our lives, our businesses, and our families. As a storyteller, you can rely on these journey templates to shape your plots so you can fully unleash your creativity within.The Ben Franklin MethodWhen Benjamin Franklin was a boy, he yearned for a life at sea. This worried his father, so the two toured Boston, evaluating various eighteenth-century trades that didn’t involve getting shipwrecked. Soon, young Ben found something he liked: books. Eagerly, Ben’s father set his son up as an apprentice at a print shop.Ben went on to become a revered statesman, a prolific inventor, and one of the most influential thinkers in American history. He owed most of that to his early years of voracious reading and meticulous writing—skills he honed while at the print shop.Franklin wasn’t born an academic savant. In fact, in his autobiography, he bemoans his subpar teenage writing skills and terrible math skills. To succeed at “letters,” Franklin devised a system for mastering the writer’s craft without the help of a tutor. To do so, he collected issues of the British culture and politics magazine, The Spectator, which contained some of the best writing of his day, and reverse engineered the prose.He writes:I took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, try’d to compleat [sic] the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand.Basically, he took notes at a sentence level, sat on them for a while, and tried to recreate the sentences from his own head, without looking at the originals.Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them.Upon comparison, he found that his vocabulary was lacking, and his prose was light on variety. So he tried the same exercise, only instead of taking straightforward notes on the articles he was imitating, he turned them into poems. I took some of the tales and turned them into verse; and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again.As his skill at imitating Spectator-style writing improved, he upped the challenge: I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat [sic] the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts.He did this over and over. Unlike the more passive method most writers use to improve their work (reading a lot), this exercise forced Franklin to pay attention to the tiny details that made the difference between decent writing and great writing:By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer.When he says a “tolerable English writer,” he’s being humble. In a trivial amount of time, teenage Franklin became one of the best writers in New England and, shortly after that, a prodigious publisher.But more importantly, being a better writer and a student of good writing helped Franklin become a better student of everything. Good reading and writing ability helps you to be more persuasive, learn other disciplines, and apply critical feedback more effectively to any kind of work. When we’re hiring for Contently, our first impression of a candidate is dramatically impacted by the clarity of their emails.After building his writing muscles through his Spectator exercises, Franklin reported that he was finally able to teach himself mathematics:And now it was that, being on some occasion made asham’d [sic] of my ignorance in figures, which I had twice failed in learning when at school, I took Cocker’s book of Arithmetick [sic], and went through the whole by myself with great ease.6Perhaps Ben’s little secret for learning to write isn’t so dissimilar from what MIT professor Seymour Papert’s research has famously revealed: that children learn more effectively by building with LEGO bricks than they do by listening to lectures about architecture. It’s not just the study of tiny details that accelerates learning; the act of assembling those details yourself makes a difference.This is an excerpt from the Amazon #1 New Release, The Storytelling Edge: How to Transform Your Business, Stop Screaming Into the Void, and Make People Love You by Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow. Order it today to take advantage of some awesome pre-order bonuses. Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Storytellinglast_img read more

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The 19 Instagram Accounts With the Most Followers (& What Marketers Can Learn From Them)

first_imgTaylor has also used her Instagram as a tool to promote shows and albums. Like Ariana Grande, she recently posted stories to promote and give users a taste of her single, “ME!” As they viewed the short story, users could swipe up to a link which listed sites where you could listen to, download, or save the song. This strategy gives users a taste of content and then a quick payoff when they swipe up.Key Takeaways From the Most Followed AccountsBy looking at the most-followed brands and influencers, we can see some key strategies that many of them have in common.Here are a few that you can start using, even without a giant following or a large social-media budget.Optimize captions witty or thoughtful captions with hashtags, account tags, and eye-popping emojis.Use cross promotion or paid strategies to join forces with other accounts or influencers.Experiment with new features including Stories or IGTV to give users new ways to engage and consume your branded content. During games and other events, you can find FC Barcelona launching one or multiple Stories with their own video content as well as curated content sourced from fans.With curated Stories by fans, they’re able to post more fresh, interesting content. FC Barcelona’s curated Stories also enable fans to contribute to the Instagram channel. While we aren’t able to post stories directly, you can find some on the account’s page.6. 9GAGFollowers: 50.2 Million With plenty of dog, cat, and baby videos, meme references, and jokes that are almost too relatable, 9GAG has one of the funniest accounts on Instagram.The account’s Instagram stories and Stories Archives engage their audience well too — they post a ton of polls about topics that everyone has an answer for like, “Is soup a food or a beverage?” and “Would you travel to the past or future?” 2. National GeographicFollowers: 111 Million National Geographic hires the most talented photographers in the world, so their Instagram posts of landscapes, cityscapes, and the surrounding life always seem to be awe-inspiring. But their stunning visuals aren’t the only reason why they’ve attracted over 100 million followers.National Geographic is a historic magazine that’s famous for their credible journalism and compelling storytelling. In each post’s caption, they are able to craft fascinating narratives about the photo or video, usually in a way that spreads awareness for a relevant environmental issue. InstagramNational GeographicNikeReal MadridPC Barcelona9GAGNASAUEFA Champion LeagueMarvelChanel 9. MarvelFollowers: 37.5 MillionMarvel posts regularly about its movies, TV shows, and Marvel.com content. It also mixes things up with the use of photo and video posts. Additionally, the account occasionally uses fun videos to cross-promote with other Marvel-affiliated accounts and influencers.  Cristiano RinaldoAriana GrandeSelena GomezDwayne “The Rock” JohnsonKim KardashianKylie JennerBeyoncéLeo MessiTaylor Swift The account’s content is a mix of sports-related updates, photos capturing his life outside of the arena, and occasional motivational posts about topics like fitness and clearing your mind.One thing this account puts great effort into is the imagery. All of its images and videos are crisp, clear, colorful, and high-production quality. We’ve found that editing images before uploading to Instagram can really make a difference in how professional a brand or individual account looks. Ronaldo’s account is one great example of this.2. Ariana GrandeFollowers: 156 MillionAriana Grande has recently gained an incredibly large following on the platform. Her brand is especially relevant to the younger demographic of Instagram. Throughout the last four years, it seems that Ariana has not needed to use partnerships or promotions to strengthen her following. Here’s an example of one of the few promotional posts she has had on her account, which dates back to 2015: 1. Instagram Followers: 303 MillionInstagram sets a great example for brands who truly want to engage an audience on their app. By curating and reposting their users’ most captivating content on their own profile, Instagram shows their followers that everyday people can meet their creative and artistic potential on the platform.This inspires brands and normal Instagram users to spend the time and effort required to craft visually gripping content that will instantly hold an audience’s attention. Top Instagram Accounts (Influencers) When Instagram was first released, it was thought of only as a fun, visual social media network. Nowadays, it’s also used as a major content promotion tool for brands and influencers.In fact, according to Sprout Social, 80% of Instagram users follow a brand, and one of the three most-viewed Stories of all time was posted by a business account.Along with business accounts, influencer marketing is also on the rise. For instance, 93% of influencer marketing campaigns took place on Instagram in 2018.By introducing key product updates like video, stories, and IGTV, Instagram now boasts over 1 billion monthly active users who spend close to an hour scrolling through the app each day they log in.Instagram’s popularity lets most brands forge an emotional connection with a massive audience. Some brands are so good at visually engaging and resonating with Instagram users that they’ve attracted tens of millions of followers.*Bonus Content* Click here to unlock 20 powerful strategies & hacks for increasing Instagram engagement.To help you learn from the platform’s best of the best, we’ve compiled a list of 19 accounts with the highest number of followers — as well as a few key takeaways from each. Because the accounts with the most followers belong to influencers and celebrities, we’ve split this rundown into two sublists that are brand and influencer specific.  Currently, it seems her strategy involves a high posting frequency, with around six or more updates per week. She mainly uses the platform to update users on her daily life and her music career. These posts often include photos of her dog, behind-the-scenes videos, and concert highlights. 4. Real MadridFollowers: 72.6 Million Real Madrid is arguably the most popular soccer team in the world, so most of the team’s Instagram posts update their massive fan base on scores, highlights, and transactions.But the way they attract and engage twice as many Instagram followers as teams with similar fan bases isn’t through standard updates. They’ve built their enormous following by giving their fans an inside look of the team’s everyday activities through player takeovers and practice highlights on IGTV. Instagram also does a good job of promoting their stories and IGTV show about celebrities, wildlife, and other culturally relevant topics. They post original content that highlights upcoming episodes, but the posts read more like a feature story than an advertisement, which sparks more interest in the show. Many of her posts usually include short captions which may only include one or two emojis. This does not seem to be uncommon for major celebrities on the platform, as they may not have a large need to optimize captions.While Ariana and other listed influencers may not have, or need, a caption strategy, those starting out on Instagram or aiming to grow their following should follow optimization best practices. These include crafting interesting captions that may use hashtags, and account tagging.3. Selena GomezFollowers: 151 MillionSelena Gomez’s content is a fun mix of paid partnerships, selfies, and quotes. As the former most-followed person on Instagram, she has mastered optimized photo captions, Stories, paid partnerships and cross-promotions with other influencers.  Instagram Marketing Harnessing the power of the past is one of the most effective ways to evoke an emotional response from your audience and forge a connection with them. With that in mind, nostalgia should always be in your marketing arsenal. The legendary fashion brand also posts a lot of content about Coco Chanel’s early fashion influences to promote Inside Chanel, a web series that recounts Coco’s life and how she built her fashion empire.center_img They also use Instagram stories to drive traffic to their website by asking their followers to swipe up and see if they correctly guessed the name of a TV show or movie with only emojis as clues. On IGTV, they generate even more brand engagement by letting their followers ask questions during live Q&As with celebrities.As the only online content platform on this list, 9GAG proves to marketers that interacting with your audience is one of the best ways to engage them, develop a relationship, and attract more followers like them.7. NASAFollowers: 43.7 Million Scrolling through NASA’s Instagram feed makes you feel a little like an astronaut floating through the depths of space. You’ll experience intimate views of different planets, constellations, and supernovas in the Milky Way galaxy, all of which are taken by NASA’s spacecrafts and Hubble Space Telescope. 1. Cristiano Rinaldo Followers: 170 MillionSo, who has the most followers on Instagram? That would be Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s been called the world’s best soccer player (or fútbol player).Along with the expected soccer action shots, his Instagram strategy largely involves paid partnerships and cross promotions. Here’s just one example:  She uses IGTV to promote her projects, like trailers for Keeping Up with the Kardashians. She will also occasionally team up with other influencers for tutorial-styled posts.In this video, her hair stylist Mario Dedivanovic walks fans through how they can recreate Kim’s recent Met Gala look:6. Kylie JennerFollowers: 137 MillionWhile Kylie Jenner’s individual account follows her day-to-day life, she has also used it as a tool to promote her companies: Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin. Although Kylie regularly tags and engages in cross promotion with her companies’ accounts, her personal Instagram still has over 100 million more followers than the other two, combined.Most recently, Kylie has used IGTV to give fans Kylie Cosmetics tutorials. This strategy allows her audiences to see how the products look and learn how to use them before they make a purchase.This type of content may engage prospective buyers that are both experienced and less experienced in shopping for makeup.7. BeyoncéFollowers: 128 MillionLike Ariana Grande, Beyoncé focuses more on her artistic side than in cross promotion or paid promotion. She also breaks from the usual mold by rarely posting captions and letting her high-quality imagery or video speak for itself.On her Instagram, you can usually find slideshows of high-quality photos of her, high-fashion shots where she’s seen in different styles and outfits, and occasional promotions of her own personal projects — such as her Netflix concert documentary, Homecoming. Ariana has also experimented with IGTV. Recently, she used it to announce the drop of her new song “Sweetener” by including the song in the post itself, as well as a link to it in the caption.This type of strategy might make her followers and fans feel like they’re being rewarded for their loyalty on the platform. At the same time, the possibility of hearing Ariana’s new music might entice new audiences to follow her.  Topics: While her posts strategically embrace paid promotions and influencer cross promotions, she also uses Instagram to share inspirational quotes or her thoughts on certain political topics, which adds more of a human side to her page.4. Dwayne (The Rock) JohnsonFollowers: 145 MillionOn any given day, Dwayne Johnson might use the platform to update fans on his family life, what he’s eating on his “cheat days”, his fitness products, or the movies he’s working on. He’s also started using IGTV to promote his projects and personal brand. He often films himself giving fitness tips, discussing his new products, or updating fans on other interesting events in his life.5. Kim Kardashian WestFollowers: 141 MillionThe Keeping Up With The Kardashians star has recently posted a lot more about her family and her KKW Beauty Line. She also is no stranger to cross promotions and partnerships. While most of her posts are artsy or strategic, she is not afraid to post something jaw-dropping or humorous from time to time.Here’s one funny post where she promotes The Secret Life of Pets. 9. Taylor SwiftFollowers: 118 MillionThe musician’s Instagram is filled with photos from concerts as well as a few photos from her everyday life. Unlike Beyonce and Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift embraces captions with emojis and hashtags. She also does an excellent job of tagging other accounts. This account is a good example of how strong captions and account tagging strategies can really optimize your Instagram.Her posts are often colorful and in slideshow format, which allows users to swipe through multiple images.   NASA’s Instagram Stories and IGTV channel also educate their followers about interesting space insights, like the views of the sun and Earth, the search for life in space, and NASA’s new technology launchesNASA’s popularity on Instagram proves that you can actually create educational content that doesn’t sacrifice any entertainment value.8. UEFA Champions LeagueFollowers: 41.3 MillionIn the last year, the Champions League surpassed the NBA’s account in Instagram followers. Like the other soccer brand accounts we’ve noted, the Champions League regularly posts action and team shots, as well as updates related to upcoming and past games. Along with regular updates and action shots, some of the account’s regular posts include stats like “Top Scorers,” behind-the-scenes videos, and team roster images.  Breaking down these barriers between fan and player makes Real Madrid’s fan base feel like they actually know their favorite players on a personal level, which develops a more intimate and loyal relationship between the two.5. FC BarcelonaFollowers: 71.1 MillionLike Real Madrid, FC Barcelona updates Barcelona fans with sports photography, season-related stats, information about Barcelona players, and other fun tidbits related to the team and season.They use a mix of content styles with videos, action shots, and posed photos, but they always use many tags, hashtags, and eye-popping emojis in their captions. While many other accounts, like HBO, promote their content by posting trailers as Instagram Stories, Marvel uses Stories to cover red carpet premiere events. These stories include photos and clips of the stars, as well as other interesting things that happen at the events. Most recently, Marvel featured the premieres of Dark Phoenix and Avengers: Endgame. 10. ChanelFollowers: 34.9 Million Throwback Thursday will always be a huge deal on social media — who doesn’t love a heavy dose of nostalgia every week? Recently, though, Chanel decided to take #tbt to the next level. They’ve been evoking nostalgia in fashionistas all over the world by posting old ads that spotlight previous fashion trends for their Chanel Holidays campaign every day. Top Instagram Accounts (Brands) Originally published Jun 11, 2019 5:12:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 National Geographic also uses Instagram Stories, Stories Archive, and IGTV to drive traffic to featured articles and videos on their website. But they also know their followers prefer not to leave the app.Instead of using gimmicky visuals and clickbait copy to coax people into visiting their website, they actually summarize the feature article or video in their stories and IGTV shows.For marketers, National Geographic’s Instagram strategy clarifies that it’s crucial to meet your audience where they are, and not force them to go somewhere just because you want them to go there.If people end up clicking through to your website, that’s great. But you should be more than willing to educate your audience where they want to be educated, even if it results in a lower amount of traffic.3. NikeFollowers: 88.5 MillionIn the advertising industry, Nike is known for their motivational ads that inspire athletes to believe in themselves when aiming to reach their full potential.On Instagram, the iconic brand’s content follows this theme, with posts in the form of short films, documentaries, and inspirational videos and photos. Nike also uses Instagram to update their followers with quick news about the sports world, proving that they deeply understand their audience’s interests and desires. 8. Leo MessiFollowers: 121 MillionThe soccer player regularly posts photos of himself on the field, as well as his daily life. His posts are a mix of photos and well-edited videos. When videos are included, they are often part of paid promotions. Messi has also dabbled in the Stories feature, where he shows off photos of himself, images from game events, and some images of his family. While he doesn’t post large captions on his personal posts, he usually optimizes paid promotional posts with tags and hashtags. He also posts thoughtful captions in both English and Spanish. This might open up his following opportunities internationally.  Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

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IPL 2020: Ravichandran Ashwin set to join Delhi Capitals

first_imgAce Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is all set to make a switch from Kings XI Punjab to Delhi Capitals for next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).”Yes, it was a work in progress and we were waiting for the signature of one of the KXIP directors before going ahead with the deal. The team management believes looking at the last season that he can play an integral role on the kind of wickets that we play on at home,” a DC official told IANS.Ashwin, who was signed by Kings XI Punjab at the 2018 auction for Rs 7.6 crore, led the franchise in 14 matches in this year’s IPL edition and scalped 15 wickets.Overall, the off-spinner has taken 125 wickets in 139 IPL matches at an economy rate of 6.79, which is the best among all Indian bowlers with 50-plus wickets.KXIP have not made the IPL play-offs since 2014 when they finished as runners-up. The Punjab-based franchise has not been able to perform as per expectations ever since IPL’s inaugural season in 2008 and are, along with Delhi, the two franchises, who have not been able to lift the trophy till now.It is also reported that Kings XI are likely to appoint a new captain, with K.L. Rahul being currently the favourite.Former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson, who was in charge of KXIP in this year’s edition of IPL, last month joined Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as director of Cricket Operations.Delhi Capitals are also in talks with Rajasthan Royals to bring in Ajinkya Rahane to their squad for the next season of the cash-rich league.advertisementlast_img read more

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Lenovo launches Carme smartwatch in India to take on Mi Band 4: Key features and price

first_imgOn Saturday, September 14, Lenovo announced a new smartwatch called the Carme (HW25P) in India. The Lenovo Carme (HW25P) smartwatch comes with a price tag of Rs 3,499. The company has announced that the Lenovo Carme will be available on Flipkart and Croma starting September 15. The smartwatch comes in two colour variants- Black and Green.The Lenovo Carme smartwatch offers a sleek design and is mainly dedicated to fitness enthusiasts. The Lenovo Carme smartwatch comes with a 1.3-inch IPS colour display and also comes with a one-touch sensor that will enable users to control the watch. It also comes with IP68 waterproof support and equips dustproof technology.The Lenovo Carme offers up to 7 days of battery life on a single charge, the company claims. It comes packed with a 200 mAh battery setup. The Lenovo Carme smartwatch comes with various health and fitness features like pedometer, 24 hours heart rate monitor, sleep monitor, among others. It also comes with 8 sports mode that includes skipping, badminton, basketball, football, swimming, walking, running and cycling.The Lenovo Carme smartwatch comes with features like weather forecast, search for the phone, alarm reminder, stopwatch and smart notifications for emails, text messages, calls and other social media apps. It equips Bluetooth version 4.2 and is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.Commenting on the launch of the smartwatch CP Khandelwal, Founder, PR Innovations, said, “Lenovo has always met the ever-changing needs of the youth with offerings that serve their aspirations. In a hyper-connected world, the youth aspires to simplify their lives with a mere finger swipe. Owing to the needs of the tech-savvy generation, Lenovo Carme brings alive the latest technology with a unique combination of trendy design and wide array of smart features. We are hopeful that just like our previous launches, Lenovo Carme will also be well accepted by the India market.”ALSO READ | Xiaomi will unveil Mi 9 Pro and Mi MIX 4 with MIUI 11 on September 24last_img read more

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2nd T20I: In-form India face revamped South Africa in Mohali

first_imgAfter the no-show in Dharamsala, India are all set to kickstart their home season and resume their T20 World Cup 2020 preparations in the 2nd T20I of the ongoing 3-match series against South Africa in Mohali on Wednesday.With the focus shifting to T20 and Test cricket after 2019 World Cup, India announced a relatively younger squad with fresh faces for T20I assignments.Having not won the T20 World Cup title since the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2007, India are keen on establishing themselves as big a force as they are in other formats, in T20 cricket.With two T20 World Cups being held between 2020 and 2021, India have a golden opportunity to improve their reputation in the shortest format of the game. Currently ranked No, 4, India would want to climb the ladder on the ICC charts with some success in the coming months.With head coach Ravi Shastri clearly signalling for change in the T20I set-up, India have packed their T20I squad with quite a few all-rounders. While the Asian giants did find success with the combination in West Indies, a South African side, hoping for a fresh start under newly-appointed Quinton de Kock may offer the right test.Upcoming T20Is will help in preparation for 2020 T20 World Cup, reckons #TeamIndia batting coach Vikram Rathour pic.twitter.com/lPcVDPrpW2BCCI (@BCCI) September 17, 2019Big test for India’s gamble with all-roundersIndia have not picked wrist-spin specialists Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav but have handed an extended run to the likes of Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja in the T20I squad. It is evident that India are looking to add more depth to their batting by picking all-rounderers over specialist spinners.advertisementLeg-spinner Rahul Chahar will be hoping to shine in the upcoming T20Is after getting the first taste of international cricket in West Indies.On the other hand, the top-order has familiar faces in Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. The trio has had a lot of success in white-ball cricket and India will be hoping their rich run of form extends to T20I format in the coming months.Shreyas Iyer’s form is a huge boost to India’s middle-order that has lacked firepower in the recent past. However, concerns remain over “careless” approach from big-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant who has got a timely reminder from his head coach Ravi Shastri that he is not just letting himself down but also his team.Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya returns to the set-up after missing the West Indies tour. The fast-bowling all-rounder becomes a crucial part of the squad, considering the upcoming T20 World Cup will be held in Australia.With the big boys of Indian pace unit getting more time away from T20I cricket, the team management will be closely monitoring the progress of the likes of Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar and Khaleel Ahmed in the shortest format.On the other hand, South Africa will be keen to put behind the memories of a disastrous World Cup campaign and start afresh. With several new faces in the team, Quinton de Kock faces a stern test against India at their own backyard.What to expect from Mohali after Dharamsala washoutGood news for cricket fans! There is no rain threat on Wednesday in Mohali. The Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium has always proved to be a batsman-friendly wicket and expect nothing different during the 2nd T20I. Teams winning the toss are likely to take into account the dew factor that has been common in Mohali.India vs South Africa, 2nd T20I squadsIndia T20I Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.South Africa T20I Squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Rassie van der Dussen (vice-captain), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde.Also Read | Shikhar Dhawan as important for India as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma: Harbhajan SinghAlso Read | Ben Stokes and his family deserve better: Manchester United star Marcus RashfordAlso Read | A Dhoni or Kohli would never fall prey to bookies: ACU chiefAlso See:last_img read more

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China Open 2019: Praneeth keeps Indian challenge alive after Kashyap, Sindhu crash out

first_imgWorld Championships bronze medalist Sai Praneeth is the lone Indian remaining in the fray at China Open BWF Super 1000 tournament after big names from the country crashed out on Thursday.Sai Praneeth, unseeded in the prestigious tournament, defeated lower-ranked local shuttler Lu Guang Zu 21-19, 21-19 to reach the men’s singles quarter-finals. World No. 15 Praneeth had opened his campaign with a three-game marathon against Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand on Wednesday.Sai Praneeth will face 7th seed Anthony Ginting of Indonesia in the quarter-final on Friday. Praneeth, who headed into the tournament on the back of winning a bronze medal in August’s World Championships in Basel, had beaten Ginting in straight games in their latest meeting — Round of 16 at the world meet.Anthony Ginting progressed to the quarter-final after edging past Parupalli Kashyap in the Round of 16 match on Thursday. Kashyap, who had eased past Brice Leverdez on Wednesday, came up with a stiff fight only to go down 21, 23, 21-15, 12-21 to the World No. 9 in an hour and 10 minutes.World Champion Sindhu ousted in 2nd roundEarlier in the day, China Open witnessed the biggest upset so far when PV Sindhu crashed out as early as the second round. The reigning world champion had outclassed former Olympic champion Li Xuerui in straight games on Wednesday but fell to a spirited effort from World No. 15 Porpawee Chochuwong of Thailand.World No. 5 Sindhu clinched the first game comfortably but failed to keep the momentum going. She eventually lost the 2nd-round match 21-12, 13-21, 19-21 in 58 minutes.advertisementDisappointing day for doubles shuttlersThere was disappointment in the doubles campaign as well as India’s top-ranked men’s doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost their 2nd-round match in straight games to 4th seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan on Thursday.Satwik and Ashwini Ponnappa went down in the mixed doubles second round to Japanese pairing of Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo 11-21, 21-16, 12-21.India’s women’s doubles pair of Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy were ousted in the 2nd round as well. The duo was blown away 12-21, 17-21 by 2nd seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan.Earlier on Wednesday, London Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal suffered a first-round exit from China Open after a straight-game loss to Busanan Ongbamrunphan of Thailand.Also See:last_img read more

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World Wrestling Championship: Sushil Kumar knocked out

first_imgIndia’s Parveen Rana lost to Changjae Sue 12-1 after having won his first-round match against Korea’s Changjae Sue 12-1 by technical superiority in 92Kg bout. Earlier, Sushil Kumar, Sumit Malik and Karan Mor lost their opening bout on Day 7 at World Championships.Parveen successfully completed two takedowns to take a 4-0 lead going into the break. In round 2, Parveen counter-attacked to take a huge lead of 12-1 lead and win his opening bout.Earlier, Sushil Kumar lost his first-round bout 9-11 against Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev in the 74kg category. Sushil had a five-point lead at the break but Gadzhiyev made a remarkable comeback scoring six points in the first two minutes of the second round.Using all his experience, the wily Indian had raced to a 9-4 lead but lost seven points in a row to lose the 74kg qualification bout.However, the second period belonged to Azerbaijan, who first pushed Sushil out and the scored of a takedown and took the lead with a gut wrench from a ground position.Later in the day, Sushil Kumar was knocked out after his opponent Azerbaijan lost.Also, in the 125kg, reigning Commonwealth Games champion Sumit Malik lost 0-2 to two-time European Championships medallist Daniel Ligeti of Hungary.Sumit too holds a chance to make a comeback if his opponent Daniel Ligeti reaches the final in 125kg category.Karan lost 0-7 to Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan in his first-round qualification in the 70kg category. After trailing 0-3 in the first round, Karan suffered the same fate in the second round. He got another penalty for passivity.advertisementAlso See:last_img read more

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Visakhapatnam Weather Forecast, India vs South Africa: Rain threat looms over 1st Test

first_imgVirat Kohli led-India will start the home leg of their World Test Championship, when they take on South Africa in the first Test, starting on October 2nd in Vishakhapatnam.India are the top-ranked team in the Test rankings and started their campaign in the World Test Championship with a win over the West Indies in the Carribean earlier this year. Also, India are leading the World Test Championship points table with a maximum of 120 points from the 2 Tests played.Wriddhiman Saha will take over the wicketkeeping gloves from Rishabh Pant whereas Rohit Sharma will start life as a Test opener in the first Test of the 3-match series against South Africa.Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami will look to shoulder more responsibility and take the load of spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah.A young South African team, thin on batting experience after the retirement of Hashim Amla, might not test a strong Indian bowling battery but it surely will lack teeth against the likes of Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma over three five-day rubbers despite home conditions bringing into play spin factor more than pace.The weather could play spoilsport during the first Test between India and South Africa starting here on Wednesday with rains predicted on all five days.It has been raining here regularly since the last one week and there is an 80 percent chance of showers on the opening day of the series opener.There is 50 and 40 percent chance of rain on day two and three and play could also be affected on the final two days.advertisement Screengrab from Accu WeatherAlso See:last_img read more

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Manipur celebrates National Unity Day despite shutdown called by COCOMI

first_imgManipur on Thursday celebrated National Unity Day despite a shutdown call by Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI).A ‘Run for Unity’ event was organised by the State Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry at the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex. The Run for Unity marathon was flagged off by state Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip in the presence of Education Minister Radheshyam Singh, Lok Sabha MP Dr RK Ranjan Singh, Chief Secretary of Manipur Dr Suresh J Babu and several top brass Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry officials.The event witnessed participation by the students of National Sports University, Para Military personnel and several sportspersons of the state.Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is observed on the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, an Indian politician who played an instrumental role in India’s struggle for independence, and later during the integration of the country.In 2014, when a new government was formed at the Centre, it was decided that October 31 be celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.At the time of independence, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel played a key role in convincing several princely states to align with the Indian Union. The day of his birth, therefore, celebrates his efforts and contributions.On October 31, Centre’s Naga issue deadline supposedly ends. People in Manipur’s Imphal Valley and some other areas are expected to hit the streets to express their commitment to the protection of the state’s territorial integrity.COCOMI has urged people, irrespective of their religion and ethnicity, to suspend all normal activities on October 31 and be a part of a mass protest movement.advertisementALSO READ | President, HRD Minister attend JMI Convocation, praise University’s role in nation-buildinglast_img read more

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‘King’ Virat Kohli turns 31: Cricket world filled with pride and honour

first_imgIndian captain Virat Kohli turns 31 today. The poster boy of Indian cricket continues to entertain, break records at will and set examples for others. While leading the Test No. 1 team with aplomb, Kohli has brought on many accolades to his impressive CV over the years.Kohli is loved by millions across the world for his majestic batting. Currently leading the world in run-making, Kohli is by far the best all-formats batsman in the world. While Australia’s Steve Smith and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson give him tough competition in Tests, what makes Kohli the best is his supremacy across formats.On the occasion of his 31st birthday, fans and many others in the cricket fraternity took to Twitter to wish the Indian captain.Fastest to 20,000 international runsMost double hundreds as Test captainFirst to clean sweep ICC awardsHappy Birthday to player extraordinaire, @imVkohli pic.twitter.com/SyoF0mvNmCICC (@ICC) November 5, 2019As #TeamIndia Captain @imVkohli turns 31, we take a look back at his maiden ODI hundred and where it all started for the Run Machine. #HappyBirthdayVirat ?????? pic.twitter.com/6vNY1U4p8HBCCI (@BCCI) November 4, 2019Wishing you a very happy birthday Virat! Continue scoring runs and leading India with the same passion! All the best. pic.twitter.com/DhExlercwCSachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) November 5, 2019Happy birthday @imVkohli here’s wishing you a great year. God blessRohit Sharma (@ImRo45) November 5, 2019Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Chiku! @imVkohli may you achieve all the happiness and break every benchmark!! pic.twitter.com/kI1T8rt1mTadvertisementIshant Sharma (@ImIshant) November 5, 2019Yeh bhi din they ! Aur ek aaj ka din hai ! Jahan bhi ho khush raho , God bless you always ! Happy birthday @imVkohli pic.twitter.com/kIuqtCwXIl yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) November 5, 2019Many more happy returns of the day dear @imVkohli . Wishing you a great year full of happiness and sunshine! May you continue to set new benchmarks and experience ever more love and joy #HappyBirthdayViratKohli pic.twitter.com/KYg3CGHQeiVVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) November 5, 2019Happy birthday mere chotte veer @imVkohli modern generations batting master,I wish you all the success on and off the field.. May waheguru continue to bless you with everything..stay happy and healthy.. #HappyBirthdayVirat pic.twitter.com/VQxlESr9NVHarbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) November 5, 2019Wishing a very happy birthday to @imVkohli. Best wishes and may you have some wonderful years ahead! pic.twitter.com/0T6QrZD4deAjinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) November 5, 2019#happybirthdaysuperV @iamvkohli. May you continue breaking records and lead the nation to greater heights pic.twitter.com/MOqslWA0pvUmesh Yaadav (@y_umesh) November 5, 2019Happy birthday dear Virat @imVkohli. Have a great year. Good luck. pic.twitter.com/9mrzNa4q9RAmit Mishra (@MishiAmit) November 5, 2019Happy birthday @imVkohli bhaiYour dedication and commitment towards the game is a great example for us. Best wishes skipper pic.twitter.com/lM5SZnI19fKuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) November 5, 2019Getting a glimpse into his mindset has been refreshing & incredibly insightful. Happy Birthday to one of the fiercest competitors on the field, @imVkohli.Wishing you a year filled with happiness, health, and more success! pic.twitter.com/iSVBYaJ8jdMayank Agarwal (@mayankcricket) November 5, 2019In 2012, when I played for RCB , watched Barcelona play on his laptop together. I thought he had something special about him but never knew he was going to become an absolute legend @imVkohli #HappyBirthdayViratKohli pic.twitter.com/baoFsOc5evMohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) November 5, 2019He’s done superhuman things on the field and now he is a superhero off it – what a way to celebrate your birthday, @imVkohli!#HappyBirthdaySuperV – can’t wait to see what’s in store as the show premieres today at 3:30 PM on the Star Network.subramani badrinath (@s_badrinath) November 5, 2019Happy birthday, brother @imVkohli More runs, more power & more glory to you on your special day. Keep doing what you do. Best wishes, always! pic.twitter.com/IjdNqwjNW8Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) November 5, 2019Wishing Indian captain a very #HappyBirthdayViratKohli.Keep going! #KingKohli #GOAT @imVkohli pic.twitter.com/Dzympg9GMrR P Singh (@rpsingh) November 5, 2019May the ball always appear as big as this and may your batting always be like a F5 button, refresh everyone who is blessed to see it. Badalon ki tarah chaaye raho, hamesha khush raho @imVkohli #HappyBirthdayViratKohli pic.twitter.com/32sydYLeRgVirender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) November 5, 2019Wishing you nothing but the best @imVkohli , here’s to a fantastic year ahead for you. May everything you have wished for and more come your way. Happy birthdayRobin Aiyuda Uthappa (@robbieuthappa) November 5, 2019Best wishes to the Indian captain, passionate cricketer, the run machine and a fantastic human being! Happy birthday @imVkohli #HappyBirthdayViratKohli pic.twitter.com/qYdEM4Oxk1advertisementBoria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) November 5, 2019#KingKohli #ViratKohliDYK, his first T20I wicket came before he actually bowled his first legitimate ball in this format. His first delivery in T20I cricket was a wide and MS Dhoni effected a stumping at Manchester in 2011. The batsman: Kevin Pietersen.#HappyBirthdayViratKohliMohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) November 5, 2019Happy Birthday Virat Kohlithe incredible batsman,role model,run machine & modern-day cricketing colossusOn his 31st birthday I’ll be sharing 31 unbelievable facts about #KingKohli. His journey & much more. Stay tuned#HappyBirthdayViratKohli #HappyBirthdayVirat @imVkohliSarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) November 4, 2019Since Kohli’s DebutMost Runs – Kohli (21036)Most 200s – Kohli (7)Most 150s – Kohli (14)Most 100s – Kohli (69)Most 50s – Kohli (98)Most 4s – Kohli (2107)Most M.O.M – Kohli (55)Most M.O.S – Kohli (14)#HappyBirthdayViratKohliCricBeat (@Cric_beat) November 4, 2019Happy Birthday, @imVkohli. Thank you for all the joy – game after game, year after year.I’d nearly stopped watching cricket after the Golden Generation retired. But then this man came along and…#HappyBirthdayViratKohli pic.twitter.com/JYyd39LAHBSohini (@Mittermaniac) November 4, 2019(1/2)In 2016, Virat Kohli scored a century in a 15 over IPL game, despite having stitches in his thumb. He made 900+ runs in that season. I thought Virat has peaked. He will never play better cricket than this.Sagar (@sagarcasm) November 4, 2019(2/2)But I was wrong. He swept all the ICC awards in 2018. And his game is only improving with each passing day. What a guy!#HappyBirthdayViratKohliSagar (@sagarcasm) November 4, 2019A great captain and an entertaining batsmanWishing @imVkohli a Happy Birthday.. #HappyBirthdayViratKohli pic.twitter.com/CWoDGPygOQRamesh Bala (@rameshlaus) November 4, 2019From a chubby Delhi lad to one of the world’s greatest batsmen On Virat Kohli’s 31st birthday, we take a look at Indian skipper’s incredible cricketing journey! #HappyBirthdayViratKohli @imVkohli#ITSpecial by Prerna Ahuja pic.twitter.com/KmvsTZpSX1India Today (@IndiaToday) November 4, 2019Kohli has come a long way now – from leading the country’s U-19 team to World Cup glory back in 2008 to leading India’s charge in dominating the world of cricket in all forms of the game.As the captain of the team, he leads by example and his obsession with fitness is no secret. He spends hours at the gym, watches what he eats and expects his men to do the same.Kohli is currently enjoying a well-earned holiday and will return to the field during the 2 Tests vs Bangladesh starting on November 14. In his absence, Rohit Sharma is leading the Indian side vs the tourists in the ongoing T20I series.last_img read more

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The number one villain in the way of good decisions

first_imgOne of the worst things we can do when making decisions is to frame them too narrowly. This can lead us to the wrong thought process – and false choices.As Dan Heath puts it in his new book, “The first villain of decision making, narrow framing, is the tendency to define our choices too narrowly, to see them in binary terms. We ask, ‘Should I break up with my partner or not?’ instead of ‘What are the ways I could make this relationship better?’ We ask ourselves, ‘Should I buy a new car or not?’ instead of ‘What’s the best way I could spend some money to make my family better off?’”Or – to put this in nonprofit terms – we ask, “Should we have an event or not? Should we blog or not? Should we get rid of that board member or not?”Dan’s new book Decisive is all about this kind of problem. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work provides practical ways to beat narrow framing and other villains of decision making. Here are two of his tips (and I quote):1. Consider opportunity cost. If you are considering an investment of time or money, ask yourself, “What is the next best way I could spend this time/money?” If you can’t come up with any other combination that seems enticing, you should feel more confident that you’re making the right investment. 2. Multitrack your options. Always try to think AND not OR. Can you avoid choosing among your options and try several at once? For instance, if you’re deciding whether to invest time in Spanish lessons or ballroom dancing classes, do both for a while until one of them “wins.” Or, rather than hire one employee out of three candidates, could you give all three a 2-week consulting project so that you can compare their work on a real-world assignment?For more tips, join a free Network for Good webinar with Dan today at 1 pm Eastern. Register here.PS for fun, here is one of Dan’s great teaching videos on giving better presentations. It draws on his book, Made to Stick.last_img read more

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How to Harness Emotion as You Get Ready for Giving Season

first_imgLast week, we introduced a series on four lessons learned from fundraising for real nonprofits in Baltimore. This week, we’re diving into the first lesson: the emotional nature of giving.We’ve said it before– giving is an emotional act. Donors give when they can feel a connection – when they know they are doing something to help something (or someone) that they care deeply about. They could care less about your goal to reach $10,000 by midnight – what they really care about is ending hunger, ending systemic poverty, destroying the school to prison pipeline, providing safe shelter for women in need, or making recess fun again.When the Network for Good team went out to help real nonprofits, we learned this first-hand. The team that raised the most did so by leveraging the already-emotionally driven assets of the nonprofit (Wide Angle Youth Media), and sent them out to all of their family and friends. This double shot of an emotional appeal combined with personal connections between the donors and fundraisers themselves resulted in over $2440 in a 12-hour period.What can other nonprofits take from this?Tell a Good StoryWhen the Network for Good team ambushed Wide Angle Youth Media (WAYM) at their office in Baltimore, their initial plan was to create a video in the spirit of what WAYM does. The team quickly discovered that a project like that would take much too long, so they decided to use WAYM’s existing assets.The team watched one of WAYM’s videos and used that as inspiration to create a giving page.A successful giving page is one that creates a compelling story as to why the donor should give. To do that, use the five C’s of storytelling:Core message: The core message is that one thing you want people to remember after hearing your story. When developing your story, ask yourself three questions:What do I want donors to think?What do I want them to feel?What do I want them to do?The answers will help you uncover your core message and how to structure your email campaign. They’ll also guide you through the logical and emotional sides of crafting your story and engaging donors with the copy.Connection: Powerful stories are about creating an emotional and authentic connection with readers. This often happens in the beginning of a story (“Call me Ishmael.”)  The same goes for an email. Think carefully about your message’s salutation and the first sentence. How will you hook a reader and get them to stick with you through the end? A great example is personalization. Using a donor’s first name in the salutation (e.g. “Dear Sarah”) is a powerful way to build a connection.Character: This is often the person writing the email, or it might be a monthly donor talking about why she was moved to offer ongoing support, or the story of a person served by your programs. It could even be the story of a shelter dog finding a forever home. The sky’s the limit.Conflict: Conflict is crucial in fundraising. It creates a sense of urgency, which encourages people to respond (and give) to help you resolve the conflict. “These villagers have to walk five miles a day for fresh water. Donate now to build a new well.” Conflict and call to action are intertwined.Call to action: A call to action is the thing you want people to do. A good call to action is very specific and active: Click here to give. Donate now. Use active and affirmative phrases that motivate people to follow through.Work your networkAfter creating a stellar donation page, the Network for Good team of fundraisers did everything they could to spread the work to their networks. This meant Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as well as personal appeals to potential large donors. At the end of the day, over $2440 was raised.Why did this work? Donors are three times more likely to give when asked by someone they know. Imagine, if you asked 5 people to give, and each of them asked five more people, right away that’s 30 potential donors. And this is perhaps the strongest argument we can give for why you should consider making a peer-to-peer campaign as part of your giving season strategy. More importantly though, it’s why you need to spend time now building up your relationships with the donors in your database already. When you’ve spent more time fostering a meaningful connection with your donors, they’re much more likely to be ready to give come December.For more ways to build an emotional connection with donors, grab a copy of 7 Ideas to Engage Your Donors Before Year-End.Check back next week as we dive into the second learning from our day in Baltimore, and how local nonprofits can take steps to overcome the time and capacity challenges that threaten their success.last_img read more

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International Women’s Day 2017: Thirty Years of the Safe Motherhood Initiative

first_imgPosted on March 8, 2017March 13, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Today is a very special International Women’s Day because this year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative. The Safe Motherhood Initiative launched in 1987 at the Safe Motherhood Conference in Nairobi, Kenya as a global movement to reduce maternal mortality. The conference took place at a pivotal point in history for the maternal health community. Allan Rosenfield and Deborah Maine had just published their groundbreaking commentary, “Maternal mortality—a neglected tragedy: Where is the ‘M’ in MCH?” in which they astutely observed the lack of focus on the mother in global maternal and child health programs. Momentum was building among United Nations agencies and the World Health Organization (WHO) to address the fact that 500,000 women worldwide were dying from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications each year. The Safe Motherhood Conference provided an ideal opportunity to turn that momentum into action, and thus, the Safe Motherhood Initiative was established with the goal of reducing maternal mortality by 50% by 2000. Stakeholders identified three main strategies for meeting this goal:Strengthening community-based health care by improving the skills of community health workers and traditional birth attendants and screening high-risk pregnant women for referral to medical careImproving referral-level facilities to treat complicated cases and serve as a back-up to community-level careDeveloping an alarm and transport system to serve as a link between community and referral careMaternal health gained considerable attention following the launch of the Safe Motherhood Initiative at several conferences including the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, the Fourth World Conference for Women in Beijing in 1995 and the Social Summit in Copenhagen in 1995, but the goal of reducing maternal mortality by 50% was not achieved by 2000. Challenges included data collection and measurement, limited political will and a lack of consensus on strategies for intervention.In 2000, safe motherhood was reaffirmed as a global priority, as illustrated by its inclusion in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the eight MDGs—MDG 5—was to improve maternal health, with two targets to accomplish by 2015:Target 5a: Reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three quartersTarget 5b: Achieve universal access to reproductive healthIn 2005, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health was formed to strengthen global advocacy, coordinate country-level action and promote a continuum of care perspective. The Lancet published its Maternal Survival series in 2006, which contained evidence-based strategies for reducing maternal deaths.Over the last decade, there have been substantial efforts to continue the work of the Safe Motherhood Initiative. For example, WHO has published and updated recommendations for improving the quality of maternal health care, the Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality working group was established and The Lancet published another series on Maternal Health. New targets for maternal mortality have been set for the Sustainable Development Goals period (2015-2030), strategies to meet the targets have been proposed and there has been renewed commitment to holding stakeholders accountable for results.The maternal health field has made considerable progress over the last 30 years, but more work is needed. The global maternal mortality ratio decreased by 44% between 1990 and 2015, but roughly 300,000 women around the world still die every year from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Ending preventable maternal deaths is possible with continued investment in maternal health research, programs and policy at the global, national and local levels.Join the International Women’s Day conversation on social media by using the hashtags #IWD2017 #WomensDay #BeBoldForChange.—Learn more about International Women’s Day.Explore trends in maternal mortality between 1990 and 2015.Read the “Strategies for Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality” report.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Collaboration and Creative Communication: How the WOMAN Trial Findings Translated Into Maternal Health Policy Change

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on December 11, 2017December 12, 2017By: Haleema Shakur-Still, Associate Professor of Clinical Trials, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Project Director, WOMAN TrialClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)When our research team first started exploring whether an off-patent drug called tranexamic acid could reduce the number of people—mainly young men—who bled to death as a result of trauma, I never imagined that more than a decade later I would be surrounded by maternal health experts discussing how this treatment could help new mothers around the world. But that’s exactly where I found myself at a special event at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) titled, “How can we stop women bleeding to death in childbirth?”Six months after results from the WOMAN trial were published, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its guidelines to include the use of tranexamic acid for prevention of PPH. Our hopes for the WOMAN trial came to fruition, demonstrating the protective effect of tranexamic acid on postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), a devastating complication that kills roughly 100,000 women every year—or one woman approximately every six minutes. We found that tranexamic acid, when administered within three hours of delivery, reduced a woman’s risk of death due to bleeding by one-third.All too often we scientists focus our energy on conducting high quality medical research and collecting more and more evidence to improve health outcomes—and this is important. However, research doesn’t have an impact on people’s health unless the information reaches clinicians and policymakers who can implement the findings. As Professor Joy Lawn, Director of the MARCH Centre at LSHTM and chair of the event highlighted, “Tonight is about time. Time that we take a stand to say that women shouldn’t be dying from something preventable, like bleeding.”As I reflect on the discussions, I have thought about two keys that have helped the WOMAN trial results lead to better maternal health outcomes and more effective policies: collaboration and creative communication.CollaborationThe WOMAN trial was a collaboration on an epic scale, involving 20,060 women from 193 hospitals in 21 countries and thousands of doctors, midwives and nurses. We were delighted to have representatives from some of these groups at the event, including Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, former president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and Her Excellency Toyin Saraki, Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives.In addition, recognizing the importance of including representation from professional bodies, maternal health advocacy groups and policymaking organizations, the WOMAN trial steering committee elicited feedback from WHO colleagues from the beginning.Involving numerous stakeholders from different sectors throughout the process helped ensure that the findings would translate into maternal health policy change.Creative communicationAs researchers, we need to be creative about how we share findings to reach a target audience. Some strategies for effective communication include letters, fact sheets and presentations at conferences. Harnessing the power of social and digital media by translating research findings and information into a story is another opportunity. In the past, the WOMAN trial collaborators and I have produced cartoons and animations to illustrate how tranexamic acid works. We have found videos to be another effective vehicle to tell the stories of women who experienced severe blood loss during childbirth and how it impacted their lives.At the event, we unveiled a new communication tool—the Blood Clock—which will remain on display at LSHTM until February 2018. The Blood Clock is a unique art installation whose aim is to raise awareness about PPH and the need for urgent treatment, illustrating that every six minutes, somewhere in the world, a woman dies from PPH. It was created by Consultant Obstetrician Dr. Graham Tydeman, who regularly deals with the problem of blood loss in childbirth.Now we need to keep the momentum going. I call on providers, policymakers and other members of the global maternal health community to act on these findings and educate others about tranexamic acid. No woman should die from preventable causes on the day she gives birth.—Watch a video of the Blood Clock.Read the findings from the WOMAN trial.Share this:last_img read more

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