October – National Cyber Security Awareness Month

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure everyone has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. This marks year 14!  The website has a wealth of resources from tip sheets to suggested social media posts and links to training and educational resources.  There is a great infographic here about how to get involved.  Each week of the month has a unique theme from online safety to protecting infrastructure from cyber threats.  The site is a great resource, visit to learn more. We’re all responsible in keeping our personal, company, and client information safe, make sure you are well informed. Staysafeonline.org is a great place to start.

 

 

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Late Afternoon Energy Boosts

 

 

Stress-Free-ProductivityIt’s late afternoon, you’re dragging, what do you do to energize for the rest of the day?  Lots of strategies here from caffeine, which means the newly opened coffee shop around the corner has seen several visits from us already, to taking a brisk walk.  Those walks might be walking meetings or just a good chance for a change of scenery and a change of pace.  This article from Fast Company has many great ideas that might work for you. Research shows late afternoon might be the best time for team meetings or brainstorming.  It also might be the best time for your social media postings, while others take a break with their social media they just might see your posts!

Each of us needs to determine how we can best optimize our days.  Plan ahead, do tasks at the ‘right time’, and sometimes take a break to refresh can all help us keep our productivity high all day long.

Our Interns, and Summer, Are Almost Gone!

Hard to believe it but school is about to begin for our interns, and school starting is often seen as the sybolic end of summer.  It’s been great having them with us.  Two are employees of one of our clients, which we have hosted in our office, and one we claim as our very own.  So many benefits, for both them and us. 

They have learned much of the ins and outs of customer advocacy but that’s only the beginning.  With very little experience in an office beforehand they also learned communication skills, how to dress, business etiquette for meetings, and that lunch with your friends might allow for a different set of manners than when in a work setting.  They all go to great colleges but there is a lot about day to day behavior in the workplace that they have no way to learn until they are in the workplace! 

We benefit as well.  Nothing like having your documentation tested by someone with fresh eyes and that has never used any of the referenced applications!  We’ve been able to accomplish much more with their help. While we might have to do some teaching or reviewing they have been able to contribute from day one, allowing us to get to ‘wish list’ projects.  Having interns also provides a growth opportunity for Referential staff. Mentoring others is valuable experience and we did match each intern to staff for the bulk of their work. 

Being honest, we’re looking for a great pool of talent to help us not only in the summer but throughout the school year and just possibly to join Referential, or one of our clients, once they graduate.  We’ve had interns for years and the set we have now is great, we’ve been very happy to work with them.  And we must thank them for introducing us to a wonderful fried chicken restaurant, another benefit!

Localization – most marketers aren’t happy with results

Do you localize content?  Some of our clients do.  We’re involved as we have on staff native speakers of several languages and are able to localize, not just translate. A recent study from the CMO Council surveyed marketers for information about the state of localization in their company and is summarized in this article on MarTech Today by Amy Gesenhues. 

A full 75% of CMOs invest less than 10% of their budgets for localization and, regardless of spend, a large majority are unhappy with the results. Of the total surveyed only about one third felt they were doing well or were very advanced in this area.  

The report address the broad issues of localization, it’s certainly not language alone. For international content one must address everything from number, currency and date formats to colors and visual images plus so much more.  Even strictly within US borders localization efforts are also applied to content due to large differences across the population. it is important to change your content to best meet the needs of various locales. Localization is a complicated area!  

Get the full report here  for insights on marketers views about localization efforts and see how your company compares. 

Email Trends

An interesting article and infographic from ReachMail  here. “Work Email Trends After Hours”.  They surveyed 1000 people who consider email important to their work, in the US, about their email use and discovered some interesting trends and even regional differences, here are a few:

  • 49% of millennials have never sent a work email after 9pm
  • 75% of us check work email on our days off
  • 71% of us on the West Coast check email on vacation vs. 61% of the total surveyed 

It’s interesting information.  Not only is email important for our work we use email with many of our clients as the fundamental way to interact with their customers.  Looking at this information can give us some insight into responses.   

What fact did you find most surprising?  How about that only 54% feel they receive more email now than they did 3 years ago! I don’t know about you but we get lots more!

A great use of 30 minutes

Want to make good use of 30 minutes?  Read the blog post from Salesforce,  here, and follow some – or all – of the suggestions for improving your sales skills.

We are all selling all the time even if sales is not our official role.  The blog post is a quick read with several different activities you can do, each with an estimate of the time commitment.  They are a good starting point for any of us.  If you want to know more there is a link to download 100 sales tips. 

See below for one tip, check out the post for more and remember to keep moving!

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Thoughts on Productivity

It was a siesta for Winston Churchill, even in the midst of the Second World War. Instead of getting more done aim to have less to do in the first place. Be realistic, and doing it all may not be realistic. Being industrious isn’t enough, after all even ants are industrious. Give your employees recognition and praise, productivity rises. 

Those ideas are from “30 Real Quotes on Productivity You Can Relate To, How billionaires, writers, leaders, and philosophers think about productivity”.   Read it here

It’s worth a visit to read these great quotes about productivity from a very diverse set of individuals including Warren Buffett, Stephen King, Bruce Lee, and so many more. You are bound to find a favorite and, hopefully, inspiration. Remember this for the next time you need to move from procrastination to action! Tell us which quote you like most or share your favorite quote from another source.