Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Did U Know ??

This is a continuation of our regular series blog posting of a “Did U Know” message to help us all be a little more knowledgeable about the environment and sustainability in our communities.

Sustainability Quiz

Turning off the water while you brush your teeth saves enough water every minute to fill:

A: 8 milk cartons (4 gallons)

B: 22 coke cans (2 gallons)

C: 1 bathtub (52 gallons)

D: 1 milk carton (1 gallon)

Test your green-smarts by finding the answer below.

Did you know that? – answer to the Sustainability quiz:

Answer: A (8 milk cartons/4 gallons): Water is one of our most precious limited resources. Try to conserve it whenever you can!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Did U Know ??

This is a continuation of our regular series blog posting of a “Did U Know” message to help us all be a little more knowledgeable about the environment and sustainability in our communities.

Sustainability Quiz
Which of the following takes up one-fifth of all the energy used in an average home?
A: Lighting
B: Television
C: Computers
D: Parenting

Test your green-smarts by finding the answer below.

Did you know that? – answer to the Sustainability quiz:
A: Lighting - If every household in America changed just one light bulb to an energy efficient one, together we’d be saving enough power to light 7 million homes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Did U Know ?

This is a continuation of our regular series blog posting of a “Did U Know” message to help us all be a little more knowledgeable about the environment and sustainability in our communities.

Sustainability Quiz

How much of the bottled water we buy actually comes from the tap?
A: None
B: 3%
C: 40%
D: 10%

Did you know that? – answer to the Sustainability quiz:

Answer: C - 40% - With prices as high as $10 per gallon, bottled water can cost four times as much as gasoline. Think about purchasing a water filter instead for your household tapwater.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Guest Blogger Sonia Simone, founder of Remarkable Communication and associate editor at Copyblogger. gives us words to tweet and blog by.....

The Ten Commandments of New Social Media

A lot of people new to social media wonder if there are any rules, and if so, what are they? You’ll be glad to know that yes, this frontier isn’t quite as wild as it looks. Even in these relatively early days, there’s a healthy set of conventions, laws and norms. Just like the original ten, these won’t keep you out of every kind of trouble, but they cover the big stuff pretty well.

Commandment #1: Thou Shalt Participate in the ConversationThe conversation is going to take place with you or without you. The 21st century has no patience with cowards. Opting out is not an option, so get in there and participate.

Commandment #2: Thou Shalt Not LieNothing will sink you faster in the wired world than lying and all its variants. It’s too easy to compare stories, and too easy for your attempted coverups to get leaked. Don’t tell two conflicting stories in two different media. Don’t say you’re one thing when you know that your actions tell an entirely different story. Don’t tell lies of omission. And . .

Commandment #3: Thou Shalt Not AstroturfSee Commandment #2. Don’t try to engineer conversation or use fake characters to advocate for you. I guarantee you will get caught, and your credibility will take a beating you may never get over. Creating a space for conversation is good. Creating sock puppets is bad.

Commandment # 4: Thou Shalt Talk Like a Human BeingCorporations don’t hold conversations. Enterprises don’t hold conversations. Entities don’t hold conversations. Conversations take place among people. Be a person.

Commandment #5: Remember Thy Community and Keep It HolyIt’s not an audience of passive recipients of your message. It’s a community made up of a complicated mix of personalities. The community has its own needs and its own imperatives. Take care of your community.

Commandment #6: Thou Shalt Not Be a WimpBullies have been a factor in every social group that has ever existed. The anonymity of the Internet gives bullies an extra measure of courage. You must face bullies down every time you encounter them, clearly and forcefully.

Don’t let bully-wrangling turn you into an aggressive butthead yourself. And don’t be a hall monitor, waggling your finger and quoting rules. (Or commandments!) Instead, see #5: be a citizen who values civility and defends it on behalf of your community.

Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Not SnivelYou’re going to get beat up every once in awhile. Never, ever whine about it.

Commandment #8: Thou Shalt Write What Is Worth ReadingTypos aren’t necessarily a big problem, although you notice you never see one on Copyblogger, Problogger or Seth’s Blog. Vague, weak, or meaningless writing is a big problem. Write clearly and with vigor. Cut out every line of corporate doublespeak. If you don’t know how to do that, subscribe to Copyblogger, read it faithfully, and put their advice into practice daily.

Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Not Pontificate About Stuff Thou Knowest Nothing AboutYou will get caught and mocked and that’s just embarrassing.

Commandment #10: Thou Shalt Have a Sense of HumorIt’s just people, and people are pretty much the funniest thing ever. Nothing will serve you online as well as a sense of humor, especially about yourself.

This is a great compilation of things to do and NOT to do for today's social media world and those of us who struggle to live in it.

special thanks again to Sonia Simone, founder of Remarkable Communication and associate editor at Copyblogger.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Public Relations and being Social in today's economic downturn

Most will agree it's going to be tough for the next 12 months or so for public relations and most anything connected to marketing budgets. But there are unique distinctions that can help PR stand out from other tactics.

Conventional wisdom is that all companies cut their communications and marketing budgets during a downturn. This will undoubtedly lead to a tough time for PR practitioners. While this is true to an extent for those who are part of and deal with major corporations, there are a lot of businesses that continue to grow in a downturn. Especially those who can operate efficiently and thrive without the necessary big budgets.

This downturn gives public relations practitioners a great opportunity to let people know that PR can be an affordable way to market one's goods or services. A solid PR plan can offer efficiencies in comparison to other types of marketing. A simple reason ad firms might struggle in a downturn is because their model relies on commissions from a total advertising spend. When ad budgets go down, their revenues fall. In contrast, a good PR plan often doesn't rely on the purchase of any expensive supplemental service or product, which means that PR firms have the flexibility to work with a wider range of budgets.

Not to mention, the use of social media as part of a campaign. This is the new buzz dealing with blogs, facebook, myspace, linkedin, Twitter, and many more. Public Relations practitioners are a perfect match to excel in this new opportunity of promotions. And the best thing is, social media campaigns do not require alot of monetary investment. Another reason that PR has the chance to shine during hard economic times.

You might say, 'alot of people are using social media, not just PR people.' That is definitely true. There are some top of the line social media experts that don't even practice public relations (Mike Volpe with HubSpot, Chris Brogan with CrossTech Media, Skip Lineburg with Maple Creative, Justin Seibert with Direct Online Marketing, etc.). But PR's true foundaton of communication and sharing of knowledge with the public is what makes it a perfect fit for industry professionals. PR people are already delivering messages and spreading the word, social media just gives them more outlets to use and a broader audience to impact.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Charleston could lose 2009 Regatta

Reports are out that Charleston Mayor Danny Jones suggested that the 2009 Regatta be canceled, unless sponsors step forward to help pay for the event. Mayor Jones says sponsors are lacking for the event next year.

Jones says private sponsors would have to come up with at least $350,000 in order to save the 2009 Charleston Regatta. He stated, in 2008, the event lost $100,000.

Charleston's Sternwheel Regatta has been an annual riverfront tradition in the city since 1971. Thousands of people have come every year to enjoy live entertainment and other activities.

So if anyone has any spare change laying around, send it to Charleston to save Regatta 2009.

We gotta Regatta - but first we gotta get $350 grand....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Simple ways to cut fat and calories in holiday favorites

A little something for all of us with this fast approaching holiday season. I know we, especially in WV, love to enjoy our holiday buffets of delectible goodness. Maybe these tips will help in the holiday preparation and instead of watching some football, maybe you can get a pickup game started in the back yard.

Use two egg whites instead of one whole egg.

Try dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, dates, plums) in place of nuts.

Replace baking chocolate with three tablespoons of cocoa powder and one tablespoon of canola oil.

Reduce the amount of sugar in baked goods by one-quarter to one-half.

Use evaporated skim milk in recipes that call for whipping cream.

Substitute an equal amount of applesauce for at least half the oil in muffins, brownies, or quick breads like banana bread or cranberry bread.

Use low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese instead of mayonnaise and sour cream in dips.

Cook stuffing with chicken or vegetable stock instead of oil, butter, or margarine.

Top casseroles with almonds instead of fried onion rings.

Choose reduced-fat cheeses for salads and casseroles.

Make a low-fat crust for pumpkin pie with 1 cup of Grape Nuts ® and ¼ cup apple juice concentrate.
source: American Dietetic Association, www.eatright.org

Friday, November 07, 2008

Byrd stepping down as Appropriations Committee chairman

This might not be so good for WV's share of the federal dollars that flow into our state for economic and community development projects. What do you think?

By Paul J. Nyden
Staff writer of the Charleston Gazette

U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd announced today that he will step down as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee as of Jan. 6.
First elected to the Senate in 1958, Byrd is the longest-serving senator in American history. He chaired the powerful Appropriations Committee, which doles out projects across the country, for 10 years.

In a news release, Byrd said he decided to step down "only after much personal soul searching, and after being sure of the substantial Democratic pickup of seats in the Senate.
"I am now confident that stepping aside as chairman will not adversely impact my home state of West Virginia," he said.

Over the years, Byrd played a critical role in sending money back to the Mountain State -- more than $1 billion since 1995. That money funded university medical centers, paved highways, expanded airports and built dams to control floods. Dozens of projects around the state bear his name because of the money he helped get to build them.

Last week, the Washington Web site Politico.com reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was looking to move Byrd, 90, out of the Appropriations Committee chairmanship.
Byrd reacted angrily, as he had with similar reports previously. "I am disappointed that, according to press accounts, the Majority Leader is talking to others about the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee,'' he said in a statement released by his office. "This is the sort of Washington back-room gossip which ill serves the Democratic Party in a year when Democratic unity should be paramount.''

On Friday, Byrd said he hopes to continue serving on the Appropriations Committee and chairing its Homeland Security Subcommittee. "I have been blessed to have had the honor to represent the people of West Virginia in the United States Senate for 50 years. I have been honored to lead the Senate as its majority leader for 12 years," he said.

"To be serving in the Senate at such a momentous time in our history fills me with enormous pride," Byrd said. "I endorsed President-elect Obama because I believed that we had taken the wrong course both at home and abroad. I am delighted with his victory."

Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, will replace Byrd as Appropriations Committee chairman.
Inouye, Byrd said, "has stood in line for many years and now his time has come. He is my friend. He is a genuine American hero. He will be a skillful and fair chairman of the Appropriations Committee because he is a man of outstanding character and great wisdom.

"To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven," Byrd said, quoting Ecclesiastes. "I thank the people of West Virginia for continuing to put their faith in me. I thank God for the long life He has granted me and for the opportunity He has given me to assist this great country through long service in this magnificent institution, the United States Senate."

-but I'm sure Sen. Inouye won't be sending $1 billion dollars our way anytime soon....
Senator Byrd you have done WV a great service in your longstanding dedication and support of our state.