Since her launch on Saturday, May 13 from Daytona Beach, Florida, I've been on the sidelines anxiously waiting for Shaesta Waiz, to make her historic crossing of the transatlantic ocean from Newfoundland to the Azores.
On June 9 she flew solo from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada (CYYT) to Santa Maria Island, Portugal (LPAZ) in the Azores in 8 hours, 10 minutes; then flew from LPAZ to Madrid’s Cuatro Vientos airport (LECU) in 7 hours. What an amazing accomplishment with both flight legs completed perfectly and in less time than scheduled.
Of course, this is just a part of her solo journey around the globe where she plans to make over 30 stops on five continents, in 18 countries – with more than 25,000 miles flown. Her mission is to share the importance of STEM education to children, especially young girls, around the world. She is sharing her passion for aviation and the importance of education by meeting with schoolchildren, aviation professionals and student pilots. As someone who has witnessed her speaking to a large group of young children, she is captivating and no doubt making an impression on everyone she meets.
As a board member of Dreams Soar, I've had the opportunity to act as her public relations consultant and my focus is to obtain media coverage from a variety of outlets to help promote Dreams Soar's mission. Here's a recent story about Shaesta in Amy Poehler's Smart Girls blog.
Now that Shaesta's in Europe, she will be visiting Madrid, London and more amazing places to encourage the next generation to pursue STEM-related careers. Follow her on her journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
My days typically begin at 5:30 a.m. For almost three hours every morning, as my mother would say, I dilly dally. I check my email, play on Twitter, feed the dog, get dressed for work, take a photo of my dog for Instagram, and before I leave the house, try to squeeze in a monologue or interview from one of my favorite late night talk shows. I'm not exactly using my time well or making a difference in the world, unlike Gabe Fleisher, a 15-year-old budding journalist who is taking the political world by storm.
Each morning before Gabe goes to school, he writes a popular political newsletter, Wake Up To Politics. I learned about Gabe while reading today's New York Times, of course while I was lying down on the couch savoring yet another cup of coffee. I loved his story and thought I'd share it!
Apparently, his interest in politics began when he attended the 2009 presidential inauguration at the ripe old age of 7. Gabe became so enthralled with both history and politics that his first newsletter, The Daily Rundown, was written by request from his mother, his first subscriber. Today, as the sole staffer and Editor-in-Chief of Wake Up To Politics, Gabe, has interviewed Sandra Day O'Connor, Rand Paul and Ben Carson, to name a few and is committed to keeping up with the 24-hour news cycle to keep his readers informed..
Take a moment to learn more about this interesting young man who has amassed a pretty impressive following (according to his Twitter page, he's increased his subscribers by over 5,000 people in three days). Here's the NYT article by Stuart Emmrich-
Homework? First I Need to Get to the Bottom of This Comey Story
Have you ever worked so hard to communicate a new employee program or customer product or service that you thought you couldn’t possibly inform your audience more to get their buy-in and then someone tells you that they’ve never heard about your initiative? It’s a tough pill to swallow for any communications manager, but it happens all the time. With all the emails, social media messaging, videos, podcasts and more clogging up communications, your users just can’t keep up. For this reason, you need to develop a communications strategy to successfully engage your audience.
Here are five easy steps to develop a successful communications strategy:
1. The Power of 3
Complicated, wordy communications are easily forgotten and in many cases ignored. Here’s a great article on the psychological power of 3 and how this theory will improve your communications.
2. Develop initial communication
Will your first message be an email, a video or part of a social media campaign? Determine the first communication that you believe will grab your audience’s attention and make it memorable.
3. Repurpose your communications
My mother always told me not to put all my eggs in one basket and you shouldn’t either. Just because you developed a winning email to announce your initiative doesn’t mean anybody read it. Create follow-up emails and other communications that will reinforce your message.
4. Choose your channels
Connect with your audience through social media, video, webinars, blogs and any other means that you feel will make an impact. The more options available, the better the chance that one of them will reach your desired user.
5. Create a project calendar
Now that you’ve created your initial communication and determined additional channels to distribute future messages, create a calendar to organize when, who and how to distribute your communications.
Ultimately, just because you believe your message is important doesn’t necessarily mean your audience will agree. Be creative in your delivery and make your audience understand what’s in it for them. Once you’ve achieved that goal, it’s critical to consistently convey your message through a variety of channels to achieve engagement.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the dizzying amount of business ideas you have rolling around in your head, but never seem to act on? Or are you interested in pursuing a new career to finally land your dream job, but not sure where to start? These are the types of challenges that Connie Whitesell, business coach, works with every day to help individuals achieve their goals.
As the founder of Scattered to Streamlined, Connie takes your brilliant, yet sometimes scattered ideas and helps you develop a streamlined action plan to put you on the right path. She has worked with business owners, executives, and managers in a variety of fields and industries guiding and providing them with the tools to excel in their careers and business endeavors.
Just like you, she’s a professional who has felt the “itch” throughout her life to pursue something new. Taking the leap from the corporate world in 2001, she and a partner started a Human Resources Consulting firm in Chicago. After 10 years, she searched for something new. Not wanting to give up everything that she had built, she researched adding a new service to her firm that eventually led to business coaching.
Inspired by her own coaches, Tracy Laverty and Cheri Aiken, Connie admired how they created successful coaching practices by guiding individuals on the steps to take to improve their lives. While searching for her own purpose, Connie even entertained the idea of starting a small retail business which led her to create an extensive business plan that gave her the insight to help others with their business initiatives.
As you can see, Connie’s transformation as a coach didn’t happen overnight. In fact, she has been a dedicated student of coaching even before she received her certification as an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, a Certified Professional Coach with the International Coach Academy, and a Senior Professional of Human Resources with the Human Resources Certification Institute. She also appreciates the work of Jack Canfield, the famed author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. Having worked with him personally, she is a graduate of The Canfield Training Group’s year-long Train the Trainer Program where she enjoys bringing Jack Canfield’s Success Principles and proven transformational training methods to audiences across the country.
She now can add the title of author to her resume with her recent books, Fashionably Late - Real Life Stories of Finally Showing Up! and Ignite Your Leadership. Both books highlight how to be a leader whether it be in a professional capacity or simply managing your life. She also has an insightful podcast Small Biz 101.
If you find yourself stuck and not sure how to take the next step, contact Connie to help you gain clarity and maintain focus. With her assistance, you no longer have to dream about your passion you will live it.
For me, when I work with amazing people with even more amazing stories, they inspire me to be better. Melissa Wandall is one of those people whose mission is something I really support and want to help champion.
Melissa is a tireless advocate, or should I say One Unbreakable Advocate for traffic safety. A personal tragedy propelled her into uncharted territory that because of her commitment has made a real impact on making streets safer for all of us.
I've been working with Melissa for nearly a year focusing on promoting her brand through social media. The experience has allowed me to tap into skills I've done in the past, but since creating The Write Blend I now have the opportunity to sharpen.
Recently, she launched a new site focusing on her advocacy skills. I wrote content to emphasize her accomplishments and assisted with the look and feel of the site to better present her background in all facets of advocacy. The purpose of this rebranding is to focus on her expertise as an advocate consultant who can assist individuals or organizations implement an advocacy plan.
Take a moment to review her new advocacy site and blog. Not only is Melissa an engaging speaker and an empowering spokesperson, she is also an accomplished advocate who will assist in making your voice heard!
I recently saw Arianna Huffington interviewed on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday series where she had an “aha” moment (get the Oprah reference) after she woke up at her desk in a pool of blood. She collapsed from sheer exhaustion and what she discovered was waking up on your office floor does not mean you’re successful.
Her own burnout led to a much needed self-discovery which she detailed in her bestselling book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. The book draws on the latest groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving back.
Get more sleep, don’t leave your phone on your nightstand while you sleep, create a healthy workspace and learn meditation are all tips that Arianna offers us to battle the Age of Distraction. Here is an article on a few additional ways that saying “no” is the way to key productivity.
With a new year, we vow to eat better, exercise more and obtain our dream job. For many of us, somewhere around mid-February, we abandon our yoga class for another Netflix marathon, give up fruits and vegetables for chocolate and ice cream and forgo plans to find a better job.
Resolutions are great, but many of us need an extra incentive to stay on track. That's why I chose to create a vision board to visually represent my goals. Once you determine what you want to achieve, sit down and find photos and words that inspire you to meet these goals.
For actual tips on how to create your own vision board, take the advice of Connie Whitesell, a Life Coach who has found success in creating her own and counseling her clients on their benefits. Here are her 10 tips to creating a board that represents your true desires and goals.
Ahh the Holidays! From Black Friday to New Year’s Day each of us is running that treadmill for a little more than a month’s time to accomplish all the tasks and errands necessary to meet our holiday goals.
Amidst all the chaos, the season is a perfect time to enjoy celebrations with family and friends. We’re lucky that Phoenix and other locations around Arizona offer amazing opportunities to get into the spirit! Here are my favorite events that I look forward to every holiday season:
1. Holiday Tea. An indulgence that brings me back to my childhood, holiday tea is a fancy afternoon filled with scrumptious tea sandwiches, pastries and a variety of teas. In Phoenix, make your reservations now for The Ritz Carlton, the Arizona Biltmore, The Phoenician and The English Tea Room in Carefree to name a few.
2. Las Noches de las Luminarias. A magical event where more than eight thousand hand-lit luminarias are perfectly arranged to illuminate pathways and highlight the beauty of the desert. This traditional Southwest celebration at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden has become my favorite holiday tradition that both your spouse and children will look forward to.
3. Holiday Lights at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park. This landmark railroad park transforms into a winter wonderland with a train ride through seasonal displays, a tunnel and more!
4. Cityskate. Take a spin around an ice rink at Cityskate at Cityscape in downtown Phoenix. Open till January 11, this is a chance to show off your skating skills and savor the many nearby dining options.
5. Journey to the South Rim on the Grand Canyon Railway. There’s no better way to visit The Grand Canyon then by way of a scenic 2 hour trip on The Grand Canyon Railway. From the town of Williams, you can board the train at the depot located across from the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. For children, the The Polar Express, features a special journey to visit Santa Claus at the “North Pole.”
6. Hotel Holidays. We are fortunate to be surrounded by some of the nation’s most luxurious resorts and during the holidays these retreats go all out to get you in the holiday mood. The traditional Southwest experience at The Camelback Inn, the historical feel of The Arizona Biltmore or the many seasonal events at The Princess all offer an escape for any member of your family. Even if you simply tour their lobbies to view their holiday displays it promises to be a memorable experience.
7. Live Performances. Christmas music, The Nutcracker, Holiday plays and more abound during this time of year. The Mesa Arts Center has a great collection of performances from traditional choirs to children’s plays. The annual Nutcracker performance by Ballet Arizona is a treat for any child and local churches and community centers feature holiday shows for every taste.
8. Holiday Cooking Class. If you’re interested in raising your culinary skills to impress your holiday guests, take a cooking class at Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn to learn how to make gingerbread houses or enroll your child in a Junior Chef’s class at Williams-Sonoma to learn how to bake the best cookies.
9. Gingerbread Display at JW Marriott. A 40-foot x 25-foot gingerbread village at JW Marriott Desert Ridge is simply a work of art. Located in the main lobby, this year’s theme is "Christmas in Who-ville." Filled with whimsical Dr. Seuss characters this display is a town with Oreo cookie streets, ornate candy cars, a Santa Shop, an abundance of candy canes, lollipops, and holiday lights in addition to numerous hand-crafted gingerbread houses.
10. Cheers at the Coach House. If you take advantage of all these events, you deserve a little cheer! A hot toddy, martini or whatever your pleasure can be had at The Coach House, an unassuming local watering hole in Old Town Scottsdale. Covered inside and out with thousands of holiday lights and decorations, here you can raise a glass to another joyful holiday season in Arizona.
As a social media manager, your daily challenge is to drive visitors to your web site and not your competitors. It doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it have to only consist of endless search engine optimization (SEO) or expensive pay-per-click advertising, there’s plenty you can do to increase your site traffic for free.
The trick to increasing organic site traffic is to give your customers what they want – quality advice, information and insight. Here’s how to do it:
1. Blog, Blog, Blog - It’s a fact that companies that blog regularly, generate 67% more leads than those that don’t blog. Creating relevant and inspiring content is crucial to engaging a faithful audience. Hire a freelance writer, have leadership offer their tips or ask your customers to write a review. Variety in your content and who delivers it is key.
2. Lights, Camera, Video! - According to Cisco, globally, consumer internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, 79% in 2018, and 74% in 2016 up from 64 percent in 2014. Videos allow for greater engagement and lower site bounce rates. Create a ‘how to’ or an inspirational video on Facebook, Vine or Instagram.
3. Get Up, Close and Personal with Your Content - Your interactions need to be personalized by offering tips, advice and ultimately solutions. By humanizing your content, you’ll inspire users to stay longer on your site and learn more about your products or services.
4. Tell a Story - Every company has a story. Utilize a mix of visual and written content to tell your story to appeal to your customers’ emotions to increase trust for your brand.
5. Keep it Internal - Once you have a respectable amount of content, add internal links to your blog posts and other areas of your web site to strengthen your message and guide visitors to more relevant content. This tactic keeps visitors on your site longer, which boosts your search rankings.
6. Seek Incoming Links – Google prioritizes sites that have a lot of incoming links, especially from other trustworthy sites. Reach out to clients, friends, family members, partners, suppliers, industry experts, essentially anyone to link to your site. The more incoming links you have, the higher your site will rank.
7. Promote on Social Media – Once you’ve made the effort to write these blogs and create videos, your best promotional tool is social media. Utilize LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more to get your name and web address out on the Internet.
It’s important to note that if you pursue this type of content strategy you first need to know your consumers. Understand their demographics and behavioral preferences because one size does not fit all!
Even though age discrimination in the workplace might seem less than a threat than sex or racial discrimination, it’s everywhere. In fact, there actually may be more examples of age discrimination in corporate America due to Boomer aged professionals staying longer in the workforce.
Employers probably believe that older workers aren’t as flexible or possibly easy to train, or overqualified and likely to leave for a better opportunity. Both scenarios aren’t always the case and in many instances mature employees are interested in seeking a challenge rather than the rocket-to-the-top career path that their younger co-workers strive to achieve.
Further proof that corporations and especially the technology industry is not a fan of older, experienced professionals, this week veteran Newsweek journalist Dan Lyons released his memoir, titled Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble. The book is an account of his year and a half adventure as a 51 year-old marketing fellow at HubSpot. A company that once topped The Boston Globe‘s list of best large workplaces, was described by Lyons as one where older employees are subjected to “frat-house behavior,” that included office hook-ups, Nerf gun shootouts, and a lack of open communication from absentee bosses.
What’s even more disturbing is a quote by Hubspot chief Brian Halligan stating that Hubspot was “trying to build a culture specifically to attract and retain Gen Y’ers,” because, “in the tech world, gray hair and experience are really overrated.” Here’s an interview conducted in the New York Times with more insight from Halligan.
What I see, as a Gen X’er, is that older professionals suppress their true feelings to simply stay under the radar to avoid ruffling any feathers and risk losing their jobs. The economy has adversely affected these individuals and often times they struggle to hold onto positions that are a lesser job in order to pay their bills.
It’s really a no win situation for both the employer and the employee, if the culture only focuses on the younger, inexperienced and less expensive worker. I believe that the organizations who unite their generational workforce will exceed their corporate goals by creating a community where everyone realizes that by working together they all have something to gain.