Email Lists and Segmentation Originally published Mar 20, 2012 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Email list are like milk — they’re perishable. In fact, rotten email lists can leave you a lot worse than just queasy. Bad email lists can make it nearly impossible for your messages to get into your prospects’ inboxes. Return Path reports that 83% of the time an email address is not delivered to an inbox, the sender’s reputation (defined by the sender score ) is to blame. And what makes a bad sender score? Sending emails that get marked as spam, which is exactly what happens when you send to bad lists. Sniff Test for Email? It’s pretty easy to identify bad milk; but what about bad email lists?Turns out they’re not so tough to spot either. Generally speaking, a bad email list is one where many of the recipients are not expecting and do not want your email.Of course, that’s pretty general, so how do you get more specific? At HubSpot, we ask a series of five questions to every customer who uploads a list to our email tool . The questions, listed below, constitute our basic email list sniff test.(Note that we ask these questions about lists that are uploaded to HubSpot but not lists created from leads collected by customers with HubSpot forms or our leads API . That’s because we assume that if the leads are collected by the customer using a HubSpot form or the leads API, the contact has a recent business relationship with the customer and is expecting to receive email.)So without further ado, here’s the test: 1) Does everybody on this list have a prior relationship with your business? Yes? Move on to the next question. No? Get rid of the list — or at least the people you don’t have a relationship with. Pronto. If the person doesn’t have a prior relationship with your business, they’re not going to be expecting your email. Not only is emailing them just spammy, but it will also hurt you. Without a prior relationship, many of the recipients will mark your message as spam. Those spam designations will then turn around and hurt the sender score of the servers you send from, which will make it harder for you to get your messages delivered. 2) Do you have an unsubscribe list? Yes? Nice job! On to the next question … No? Do not pass go; do not send to list. Go back to the drawing board, and build a new list. Every list should be accompanied by an unsubscribe list. Here’s why: If you have a prior email relationship with the people on your list, you will inevitably have people who have unsubscribed from said list. When you load that list into a system like HubSpot, you need to load both the master list and the unsubscribe (AKA suppression) list. If you don’t, you’re going to end up emailing people who have already unsubscribed. That’s against the law , and, since people on the unsubscribe list are likely to mark your email as spam, it will also reduce your ability to send successful emails. 3) Did you purchase, rent, or lease the list from a third party? No? Excellent! Next question! Yes? Agh! No dice. We can’t let you send to that list from HubSpot — and it’s unlikely you’ll have success sending to the list from any other quality, reputable marketing software solution. Why? It’s pretty simple: The people on that list do not have a prior business relationship with you. At best, they gave their address to somebody else and are expecting email from them , not you. At worst, their address was harvested from some sort of directory, and they’re not expecting any type of email. Any sending you do to this list will get flagged for spam and ultimately reduce your future conversion rates. 4) Will the people on the list be expecting (not surprised by) your email? Yes? Awesome. One more question. No? Game over. Time to do some more inbound marketing to build yourself a clean and quality list of recent opt-ins. Which leads us to our final question … 5) Have you emailed these contacts within the last 12 months? Yes? You’re good to go. Your list is smelling great. Create some awesome emails with super useful content, and you’ll have yourself some amazing conversion rates. No? Sorry. Twelve months is a long time. Chances are, a big chunk of your list already forgot about you and will be surprised by your message (remember question #4?). That means they’ll mark it as spam, which means your delivery rates will drop. How to Create Lists That Don’t Stink — And Keep Them That Way So what’s the best way to create lists that won’t get marked as spam? By building your own list with remarkable content that drives traffic to your site, and then entices them to opt in to your emails with compelling marketing offers (that are clearly associated with your business) on your site and well-optimized landing pages. (This ebook, An Introduction to Lead Generation , will help you get started.)Here at HubSpot, we build our list with offers like content and tools, including webinars , ebooks , and Marketing Grader . By building these lists internally, we’ve made our email marketing program far more productive that it would have been if we had purchased lists.So how do you keep your list smelling good? Good list hygiene . On a general level, that means keeping an ongoing email relationship with your list so recipients are always expecting your messages. More specifically, that means sending to them at a predictable cadence , making unsubscribes easy, maintaining reliable unsubscribe lists and, perhaps most importantly, continuing to grow your list organically. So, what do you think? Do your email lists pass the sniff test? And are we missing anything on our sniff test? Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Originally published Jun 13, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated August 29 2017 In email marketing, the success of your messages is largely dependent on the quality of your list. And although we’ve talked a bunch about list segmentation and list health on this blog (have you taken our email list sniff test yet?), there’s still more you should understand about lists. (Who knew the topic of email lists could be so darn extensive?)What we’re referring to in this post is the concept of static lists vs. dynamic lists . Do you understand the distinction? It might sound simple, but we’re surprised by how many marketers really don’t know the difference — and when to use one or the other, for that matter. We’ll keep this lesson to the point so you can once and for all understand what distinguishes one list from the other, and start applying the right uses of each to your email marketing programs. What Are Static Lists? Quite simply, static lists are, well … static. These lists consist only of contacts you’ve accumulated up until the point when you create the list, and they remain unchanged unless you manually add or remove contacts. Static lists can either be created using contacts that already exist in your database, or through a manual upload to your email tool. Typically, they’re created through the latter method, as oftentimes they consist of contacts that were gathered through offline methods or other online campaigns not connected to interactions on your website. HubSpot’s email tool , for example, allows users to create static lists in both of these ways, as you can see from the screenshots below. When to Use Static Lists in Email Marketing Of all the types of email a marketer can send , static lists are generally good for one-off email sends, email campaigns that you run infrequently, and for lists of contacts that don’t change often. Here are a few examples of when you’d want to use a static list in your email marketing: Event Registrants, Attendees, or No-Show Lists: No one can travel back in time to register for or attend your event in the past, right? That’s why event lists tend to be ones that remain static. You might use these lists to send follow-up information or content post-event, whether it’s an in-person event or an online one like a webinar. Staff Lists: Do you send a quarterly newsletter to your company’s board of directors? How about an internal one to your business’ employees? These are lists of people that don’t typically change often, and you’ll probably also have to manually update them anyway. Trade Show Lists: Did you snag some prospects’ contact information from your presence at a trade show or another industry conference/event? This is a great use case for a static list upload. What Are Dynamic Lists? Dynamic email lists, on the other hand, are lists that constantly evolve as certain criteria are met. This criteria could include a specific property (e.g. contacts from a specific state or contacts from a specific industry), members of other lists (i.e. a list combining other lists!), or contacts who completed certain landing page forms . New contacts get added as they meet the criteria set for the list, and furthermore, dynamic lists will also remove people who no longer meet that criteria. Get it? Dynamic. These lists are powered by data and intelligence that can be collected by your marketing software or CRM as well as through interactions contacts have on your website, such as downloading content or visiting certain web pages. Dynamic lists are also critical for slicing and dicing your database into various segments for more effective and relevant email marketing .You’ll need to consult your email software provider to see if dynamic lists are part of its services available to you. To understand how they work, below is an example of a dynamic list in the making in HubSpot’s Contacts and Email tools . In our tool, we call these dynamic lists ‘Smart Lists.’ Here, we’re generating a segmented list of contacts who have Twitter follower counts of 1,000 or more. Once this list is established, as more of our contacts’ Twitter follower counts grow and meet that 1,000-follower threshold, the list will also grow. In addition, any contact whose follower count dips below 1,000 will automatically be removed from the list. So if we wanted to put some extra social media promotional muscle behind a particular piece of content or marketing offer, we might use this list to send an email to the contacts in our database with the greatest Twitter reach. Email Lists and Segmentation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When to Use Dynamic Lists in Email Marketing Dynamic lists are best used for email campaigns in which you plan on sending email more than once to a certain list of contacts that changes and gets updated frequently. As time goes on, your dynamic list would automatically adjust to your changing volume of contacts. This saves you the time from creating a new list every time you want to email that segment and keeps the list fresh and up to date in real time. Here are some examples of when you’d want to use a dynamic list in your email marketing: Customer List: Keeping your customers in the know with a monthly newsletter about your newest product tutorials, features, and other updates? New customers come, and (unfortunately), some go, so a dynamic customer list will enable you to automatically include new customers — and exclude ex-customers — on your next newsletter send. Free Trial Users: Use a dynamic list to send ongoing tips about how to get the most out of your company’s free product trial. This way, new contacts who start a free trial get automatically looped in the next time you send an email of tips to this list. Block Lists: Dynamic lists can also be used to suppress certain contacts and protect recipients from receiving too many emails. For instance, you could create a dynamic list of anyone who has already signed up for an event, and block that continually updating list from future sends designed to promote the very same event. Interest-Based Lists: Create an evolving list of everyone who downloaded content on a particular topic, then make sure your emails to that list match that interest category.When it comes to dynamic lists, the possibilities really are plentiful — and powerful. Just think of all the very targeted email you could send! In what ways are you using dynamic lists to improve email segmentation ? Image Credit: adamentmeat
Originally published Jan 6, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 When was the last time you paid any attention to your blog subscriber emails? “My blog subscriber emails? I’m pretty sure those just … get sent, right?”Probably. For many marketers, subscriber emails were likely something you configured when you first launched your blog — never to be thought about again.If this sounds familiar and you’re treating your blog subscriber email like just another automated email you set and forgot, you could be missing out on a wealth of opportunity. Not to blame you, though. Most automated blog subscriber emails from software are nothing to write home about. In fact, HubSpot’s own software only recently, with the launch of our new Blog tool on HubSpot’s new COS, started giving customers the ability to truly customize their blog subscriber emails.But if you do have the ability to customize these emails, they’re definitely an important asset to leverage. After all, depending on how often you blog and how many email subscribers you have, these emails go out to quite a few of your contacts on a regular basis. Are you making the most of all their potential?Using the HubSpot software’s own blog email capabilities as our prototype, let’s dissect the anatomy of an optimized subscriber email so you can identify areas for improvement in your own emails.The Anatomy of an Optimized Blog Subscriber Email1) Recognizable Sender NameMake sure your sender name makes it clear to recipients who the email is from. This is likely the first thing your subscribers notice about your email notifications, so if it’s not immediately evident to them that your email is from a known sender, your emails might end up straight in the trash.In HubSpot’s case, because multiple sections make up our blog, we use “HubSpot Blog” followed by the name of the particular section the contact is subscribed to as our sender name. This makes it easy for recipients to identify that the email is coming from, say, the marketing section of HubSpot’s blog.2) Clear, Catchy Subject LineBecause your email’s subject line is the most critical factor in whether your recipients decide to even open your email in the first place, make sure you give it ample thought.Considering your subscriber emails are most likely automated and triggered every time you publish a new post, a great approach here is to simply use the title of the blog post as your subject line — if your software enables you to do so like HubSpot’s does. Knowing this, make sure you take the subscriber email into consideration when you’re crafting your blog post titles.And be sure to avoid lengthy titles — 50 characters or fewer will ensure the subject line doesn’t get cut off in most email clients, particularly for mobile users. Also, make sure the title is catchy and interesting while also clearly indicating what the content is about. Misleading titles may get you the initial click, but over time, they will lead to the loss of subscribers’ trust — and ultimately, an increase in unsubscribes.3) Enticing Preview Text If your software enables you to customize the preview text of your email, this is another great opportunity to increase opens of your subscriber emails.The preview text is the copy that appears immediately following the subject line of your email. Use this real estate to further clarify what your recipients are getting and get them excited about what’s inside. Remind them that this is a notification email about your awesome new blog post and entice them to open it with some creative copy. But again, keep it brief! 4) Responsive Template Your email recipients are reading their emails on various devices, operating systems, and email clients — desktops, smartphones, tablets, iOS, Android, Gmail, Outlook — you name it! This means that in order to send effective blog subscriber emails, they should be optimized for each and every one of these different platforms. That’s where responsive email templates come in handy.A responsive template will automatically adjust to suit your email recipients’ individual situations — whether they’re using Gmail on a desktop, an Android smartphone, an iPad, or any other combination of software.So, if you have access to responsive email templates, use them! (Note: HubSpot’s Email tool has a variety of responsive templates to choose from and customize). If not, make sure you at least keep mobile email optimization best practices in mind when you’re designing your blog subscriber emails.5) Logo/Branding Now, on to the body of the email itself. Remember, getting your subscribers to open the email is only half the battle. The true goal is to get them to click through to the post itself. First things first: Incorporate some branding, such as your company’s logo, near the top of your email. This reassures subscribers that your email is coming from a trusted sender and adds some consistency to your blog notification emails.For instance, in HubSpot’s own blog subscriber emails, we use the same banner (with the addition of the HubSpot sprocket logo) that appears at the top of the section of the HubSpot blog the email is associated with.6) Personalization Greet your subscribers by name! If your blog software is connected to your contacts database, chances are you may know at least the names of many of your blog subscribers. Use it to your advantage and make your subscriber emails a little bit more personal using dynamic tags. Just be sure to set a default value for this dynamic tag for those people whose names are not in your contacts database.7) Introduction/Greeting You can also introduce your latest post and let your brand’s personality shine through with a quick, friendly greeting. Just keep in mind that, because your blog notification emails are automated, this greeting can easily get stale to recipients over time. If you’re going to incorporate a greeting, try to remember to switch it up every once in a while. 8) Clickable Blog TitleProminently display the title of the blog post you’re emailing about, and make sure it’s hyperlinked to the post itself. (If you’re using HubSpot’s new Blog tool, the title of your post is automatically pulled in to your email and hyperlinked for you.) This is exactly what your subscribers are looking for — and the main point of your email — so you want to make sure it’s easy to find to encourage clickthroughs.And as we mentioned earlier, when you’re brainstorming the title of your blog post, keep in mind how critical it is for generating clickthroughs from not only your emails, but also promotion in other channels like social media. For help with blog title generation, check out this simple formula for writing kick-ass titles. 9) Post Preview Some subscribers may need a little more convincing that your new post is worth the read before they decide to click through on your email. This is where the post preview comes in handy.Depending on the capabilities of your software, this is a good place to either provide a quick summary/description of your post or include the first few sentences of the post itself to draw readers in and entice them to click for more. Feel free to experiment with both to determine which generates more clickthroughs.If you’re using HubSpot’s new blog subscriber emails, you can choose to either show the post in full or just the content appearing before the “Read More Separator” (which you can set) in the post itself. Since the goal of your email is likely to drive subscribers back to your blog so they can explore not only this particular post but also your other content, I strongly recommend the latter. 10) Compelling Image and Alt TextUse the power of visual content to make your subscriber emails even more clickable by including a compelling, relevant image in your post preview. Not only will this help draw in the eye, but it will also make your emails more sharable, increasing the likelihood recipients will forward it to others and expand the reach of your blog content. And don’t forget to add relevant alt text for those recipients who either choose not to enable images in their email clients or whose email clients don’t support it. If you’re using HubSpot’s new blog notification emails, keep in mind that the image in your email will automatically get pulled in from your blog post if it’s included before the Read More Separator in the post itself. As such, you’ll need to add your alt text to the image in the post (not the email) and choose compelling images for your posts as you’re writing them. The good news is this is not only a best practice for email, but also for the social shareability of your blog content in general.11) “Read More” Call-to-ActionWe know every effective marketing email has a clear call-to-action (CTA), so how does this translate to your blog subscriber emails? Well, if you’re main goal is to drive subscribers back to your website where they can read the article you’re emailing about (and hopefully other articles), make sure that next step is crystal clear!After your post preview, include a call-to-action for recipients to read the full article on your blog. Experiment with the copy of this text link to see what generates more clickthroughs, and if your software allows, try a more prominent button CTA instead.(Tip for HubSpot COS Users: You can use HTML to display your “Read More” CTA copy more prominently, using styling like bolded text or headers.)12) Secondary CTAsThis begs the question — should you include any secondary CTAs in your blog subscriber emails? What about a CTA promoting an offer relevant to the content of the post? You know, for lead generation? To be honest, this depends on your particular goals and the type of secondary CTA you plan to use.If the goal of your blog subscriber emails is to drive traffic to your blog, then it’d probably be wise to forego any competing CTAs that might interfere. If your goal is to use these emails as another source of lead generation, feel free to experiment with secondary lead gen CTAs.For HubSpot’s own blog subscriber emails, our main goal is to drive subscribers back to our blog, so we chose to exclude lead gen CTAs. However, we do include a CTA for subscribers to download our free Newsstand app, enabling them to read our blog content optimized for their iPad — a complementary, but not competing offer.You’ll also notice that our “update your email preferences or subscribe to other sections” anchor text link is a CTA in and of itself. We have this there as a way to make sure subscribers know their options, save them from unsubscribing, and promote the other sections on our blog. 13) Social Media Follow Buttons Not every post you email is going to tickle your subscribers’ fancy. Maybe your blog is about unicorn care, and one of your subscribers is already an expert unicorn dietician. While your introductory post about unicorn diet may not be something she feels is worth the read, that doesn’t mean she has to go away empty-handed.For instance, is she following your company on Twitter yet? How about Facebook? A form of secondary CTAs, social media follow buttons are a great way to engage and nurture blog subscribers in other channels, and increase your overall social reach. Configure these buttons for the social networks in which your company actively maintains a presence.14) Footer Last but not least, customize your email’s footer. The most critical component of your footer is CAN-SPAM compliancy, so be sure to include your company’s physical mailing address and a clear unsubscribe link.You can also use your footer as an opportunity to save a few unsubscribes by reminding subscribers that they can always modify their current email preferences if they’re receiving too much email.HubSpot’s new blog subscriber emails enable you to offer subscription via an instant, daily, weekly, or monthly frequency, so if instant emails are overwhelming your subscribers, you’ll want them to know they have other frequency options before choosing to unsubscribe altogether.How else can you customize — and optimize — your blog subscriber emails? Share your tips in the comments! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Email Lists and Segmentation Topics:
Originally published Jan 8, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Website Development Topics: Why Learn HTML?HTML and CSS are the basic programming languages for web development and design. They are beneficial to learn for developers, marketers, and people in many other disciplines. Learning HTML can be used for situations like formatting a blog or email, working with a CMS, embedding external content on your site, and creating usable content.I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I’m terrified of leaving something at home. I obsess over making sure I have enough T-shirts, jeans, shoes, travel-sized shampoos, earrings, books, magazines — because what in the world would I do if I didn’t have them, but needed them? And even if I over-pack, I know I’m prepared for any situation vacation will throw at me — a random fancy dinner out, a day at the pool, or just an afternoon out shopping with the family.In the same vein, knowing HTML is like making sure you’re fully prepared for a vacation. You may not end up using it every single day, but the times you do end up using it, you are so grateful that you had the foresight to figure it out. Knowing HTML can save you hours of frustration, precious time with your design team, or even money dealing with an external contractor.HTML has always been nice-to-have knowledge, but it’s becoming more than nice-to-have for the marketer trying to save a buck. (And that sounds like every marketer I’ve met.)In fact, there are a bunch of situations I’ve caught myself in in which handy HTML knowledge saved the day … and thus, this post was born. If you’re not quite convinced that you’d benefit from knowing basic HTML, keep reading. Here are seven* scenarios you might find yourself in that can be fixed with just a bit of HTML know-how. 1) When Formatting in Your Blog Post/Email/Landing Page Goes AwrySometimes, I swear my content has a life of its own — and a mean streak. That blog post that I worked on all day will suddenly have images with funky spacing, no text wrapping, and outrageous sizing, and, of course, all looks okay in my WYSIWG editor. Luckily, with some HTML knowledge, I can dig into the post to remove and tweak code that is causing the problem.HTML Pro Tip: If you find a bunch of funky tags you want to remove, copy the raw code and paste it into a raw text editor. Then, choose the Find and Replace option — you can search for offending snippets of code and leave the “replace” box blank. Once you’re done, you can paste it back into your HTML editor, and poof! De-bugged formatting. 2) When You Paste a Blog Post Into Your CMS From Word or Google DocsLots of people don’t know that writing a blog post in a typical word processing program — like Word or Google Docs — and then copying it into your CMS will give you lots of HTML headaches. Sometimes, when you do that, your CMS will add extra snippets of code to your piece that will mess up formatting.With some HTML knowledge and the pro tip above, you can easily remove any offending snippets when transferring content from Word or Google Docs to your CMS.3) When You Need to Tweak an Email TemplateI’m going to take a wild guess that you don’t want every email you send to look exactly the same. While sending consistent emails is a great thing most of the time, there will be specific campaigns you’re going to want to customize emails for. This could be as simple as right-aligning your images instead of left-aligning them or changing up the color of your text to stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes.With HTML knowledge, though, you can make these changes yourself, instead of relying on an in-house designer or hired development shop. Seriously, it’s empowering to make the changes yourself and move on to more pressing marketing matters. 4) When You Need to Make Your Content Easy to ReadOne of your top concerns when creating content is to make it easy for people to consume. This means using formatting (bold, italics, headers, colors, etc.) to make your content scannable and digestible. And while most WYSIWG editors will let you easily apply those formatting options to your content without touching code, not all will. So take control of the way your content looks by souping it up with some and
Interviews are vulnerable times.There aren’t many things more nerve-wracking than walking into a room of people you desperately want to impress, and then getting questioned about (and ultimately judged on) your career choices, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and overall personality.And, as if that weren’t bad enough, what if you’ve totally sweat through your shirt and it’s visible to everyone? Or your heel broke on the way to the office? Or you accidentally ordered the messiest dish on the menu?Thanks a lot, Murphy’s Law.Where do you see yourself in five years? Take our free quiz here to figure out the next step in your career.We all have an embarrassing story or two from our job interviews, but some are definitely worse than others.We surveyed professionals about job interviews gone wrong for this article. After laughing a lot — and cringing a lot, too — we chose some of our favorites stories to share with you in this post. (Names and identifying details have been changed.)1) The Open Fly”I was interviewing for a pretty senior level position at a formal company, so I wore a suit. I went to the bathroom before the interview, and while I was pulling the zipper up, it broke. I started freaking out, looking for a pin or something to hold it closed. I found nothing and worked myself up into a pretty big sweat. I walked into the interview red in the face, sweaty, and with an open fly, which I tried to awkwardly conceal by folding my suit jacket over my arm, shielding the view of my pants. They must not have noticed because I got the job! (And also got my pants fixed.)”2) The Miscalculated Hug”In a final round of interviews with a large company, the women in HR who I had been speaking with for the majority of the process invited me into her office to see how my meetings with the hiring managers went. As she started to walk toward me, she began to put her arm up, signaling as if she was about to give me a small nice-to-see-you hug (we had gotten to know each other over the recent weeks). To reciprocate, I started to motion a hug back, until I noticed she was only trying to shut the door behind me. It was extremely awkward. She didn’t call me back afterward.”3) The Mix-Up”Once I went to an interview … and realized mid-way through it was a date. (Enough said.)”4) The White Lie”I was interviewing for a copywriting job at a fashion company. At that point in my life, I was not making very much money at all. (As in, I ate leftovers from my office’s fridge when rent was due at the end of the month.) In my interview with the fashion company, they asked me what kinds of stores I like to shop at — and the truth was that I shopped at cheap department stores because that’s all I could afford at the time. I debated being honest and saying that, but knowing that could jeopardize my chances of getting the job, I ultimately decided to try to lie my way into an acceptable answer. But … then they asked me follow-up questions about each store I named, none of which I’d ever stepped foot into. I fumbled, the interview ended several minutes later, and I didn’t hear from them again.”5) The Totally Bizarre”My senior year of college, I traveled to New York for interviews with an agency through Career Services at my school. My first indication that something was wrong was when no one at the company could tell me when to book my return train, even though my first interview was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Then, I found out that everyone I spoke to — six or so people — had been there for less than three months, and it was a very small company (15-20 people). “Next, I got the ‘let’s leave the interviewee in the conference room and see what happens’ move. After about five minutes, I stuck my head out and had to go down the hall to find someone, since my next interviewer was nowhere to be seen. I finally found someone — a new guy who was super apologetic — he found the person who was supposed to be interviewing me, who was just hanging out waiting for me to be proactive. Finally, I interviewed with the CEO. I walked into the interview and right off the bat, and he started mocking my ‘little Ivy League suit.’ But everyone in the office was wearing a suit … and they had been recruiting at my school!”From there, it only went downhill. After condescendingly mocking my appearance, he went on to make personal attacks about my family, my previous professional experience, and even my academic choices. It was bizarre and, frankly, psychotic. I walked out almost in tears, but sent follow-up emails to everyone else I interviewed with that day. I got an email back really late on a Friday night from one of the guys who interviewed me, apologizing for the CEO’s behavior and saying he’d be happy to help me get a job elsewhere (since apparently he ‘can be hard on people’). “I ended up withdrawing my candidacy since I couldn’t imagine being a subordinate of someone who was that controlling and awful (because I could only imagine how he treated his employees — if his interview behavior was any indicator). When I withdrew my application I made it very clear that it was due to the behavior of the CEO. He responded saying “Thank you for your message, albeit perplexed as to what you could be referring to. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!”6) The Forever Intern”I once interviewed for a VP-level position, and the hiring manager asked me to describe each position I held, from first to most recent. I spent only a few seconds detailing my first internship, which I held more than 15 years earlier. Not so fast. He insisted I’d moved on too quickly, and he wanted me to spend more time explaining what I did as an intern. So I took out my resume and read it to him word for word to emphasize the pointlessness of his unweighted process.”7) The Please-Don’t-Pee-My-Pants”Probably the worst interview experience I’ve ever had was at a callback interview. I was meeting with four people, each for 30 minutes. This was my third callback of the week, so I was pretty tired the morning of the interview — and since it was super early in the morning, I went to Panera to get an iced tea before the interview started. I was also kind of starting to lose my voice, so I accepted the water they offered me when I arrived at the office. “After consuming all these liquids, by the time I sat down for my third interview but after we had already begun talking, I realized I really had to pee. I don’t even remember what I said to the interviewer because I was so focused on not peeing my pants. I was bright red, sweating, and kept uncrossing and recrossing my legs. As soon as the 30 minutes were over (thank goodness I made it without a disaster), I immediately asked to use the restroom before my last interview began. It was probably really obvious I had to pee the whole time since I definitely didn’t look so hot. I didn’t get an offer.”8) The Lost Helmet”I once interviewed for a marketing manager position at a company that sells outdoor gear. In keeping with the outdoor theme, I opted to ride my bike to the interview. I got there super early and decided to kill some time reading by the water. I put my bike on its kickstand next to me and hung my helmet on the handlebar. It was SUPER windy that day, and in a total freak occurrence, the wind blew my bike down and my helmet fell into the water! It was like a 20-foot drop down to the water, so there was no retrieving it. The first thing the hiring manager asked when I walked into the store was, ‘You don’t wear a helmet?!’ I tried to explain what happened but it was so outrageous that it sounded like a lie.”9) The Coffee Slip-Up”I was interviewing to become an undergraduate professor at a very traditional, prestigious university. I got there about 25 minutes early so I could look for parking, go to the bathroom, and maybe even get some coffee. It was 7:30 a.m. so nobody was in school yet. I went ahead and bought a small cup of coffee and walked with it towards a table where I could read a newspaper while I waited. Somehow, I spilled half the cup of coffee over my recently bought white blouse.”I had 25 minutes to fix it, so I sprinted to the bathroom and got some water and soap to get it off. I was halfway through washing it out, leaning over the sink in a very ridiculous position, and a lady came in and asks me if was all right. I told her about my stupid mistake, and how this was a super traditional school so I had dressed up in my suit and white blouse, and so and so forth — I kind of babbled all this at her. Once it looked decent enough (after eventually crawling under the hand dryer to make it dry), I was only five minutes early for my interview. I got in and the interviewer was the same lady that I bumped into the bathroom. My face must have clearly shown my embarrassment because she just laughed. I still got the job.”What’s your worst interview story? Share with us in the comments below! Interviews Originally published Oct 14, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:
I tried to explain public relations to my grandmother once …This was many years ago, back when PR pros cut press coverage from publications we could actually hold in our hands, and few marketers talked about SEO in everyday conversation.“So, it’s advertising,” she’d say, and I’d try again to explain that, no, it’s not.“Advertising is about paying for attention; PR is about earning it.”I don’t think she ever got it, and she’s not alone. Most people still think PR is some kind of black magic flacks work on the press — you sprinkle a little witch’s potion, and TA-DA! You’re in The Wall Street Journal. But PR is a more strategic, sustained practice than that, and it’s a field content marketers need to understand as owned, earned and even paid media continue to intersect.Below are seven PR lessons for content marketers (and for my relatives who still don’t understand what I do).Download Now: Free Press Release Template7 PR Lessons Every Content Marketer Needs to Learn What is PR?If your impression of PR pros is influenced entirely by Publicist Samantha Jones from Sex and the City or Fixer Olivia Pope from Scandal, you probably think the whole industry is busy planning parties and solving national crises (while wearing really fabulous pantsuits). The reality is somewhat less exciting — but it’s also much more relevant to content marketers.PR is about getting a company in front of the right audiences at the right time, with messages that make its spokespeople sound like human beings, not marketing super bots.Today, that effort has a lot to do with content creation and distribution. The press, analysts, bloggers, prospects, venture capitalists, and other influencers want compelling content. In real life, Samantha and Olivia would be spending much of their days drafting articles for contribution or creating premium content with a team of writers and graphic designers.What do journalists want from external content creators?Every publication that accepts contributed content has some kind of guidelines for what they’ll take, and most follow the same best practices content marketers do. Editors will ask you to draft articles that keep their audiences in mind, offer helpful guidance to readers, are compelling and easy to read, leave out the promotional stuff, and deliver something fresh that won’t be published anywhere else.Sound familiar?These are many of the same parameters content marketers follow everyday.Are contributed articles the only content PR handles?The short answer? Not by a long shot.Strategic PR is about solving business problems, so if the business problem is, say, a lack of leads at the top of the funnel, content can be a big part of the response. Depending on the exact scenario and the resources, a full-service PR team might recommend publishing on various social media channels, launching a comprehensive blogging program, creating a push around premium content (such as an ebook or series of infographics), putting out an email newsletter, or even a combination of these tactics.Whatever the recommendation, a PR team can explain the supporting assets and workflows that need to be in place, as well as measure the results to determine what’s working and what needs to shift.Do PR and content marketing compete?Content and inbound marketing evolved at a time when PR was evolving, too. Just as marketers started to embrace strategies for drawing target audiences to them instead of pushing messages out to the masses, PR was experiencing a shift driven in large part by the shrinking media landscape.There are now fewer journalists typing away in newsrooms and reporting back from the field — 20,000 fewer than in 2008, according to a count Gigaom put out last year before closing its own doors. But that doesn’t mean there’s less need for copy.And while many web-based publications are eager to publish more material to attract readers (hello, inbound), editors are looking for expert content contributions. If an editor wants a 2,000 word article from your CEO on an industry issue, is that a PR request or a content marketing request? Or is that question completely dated in the integrated marketing era?Is PR measurable?Yes, and if anyone tells you differently, run in the opposite direction.Just like content marketing, goal-based PR should provide tangible business results — not just a list of press hits. The metrics marketers use to measure awareness, engagement, lead generation, investor interest, sales, and other goals are the same ones you can use to measure PR.”Of course, your PR efforts are even more measurable when your website is well-equipped with lead generation forms, tracking tools, and automated follow-up systems that allow you to capture visitors and convert them into real prospects and customers,” explains Rod Thomson, president of The Thomson Group, a Sarasota-based PR and messaging firm.And while it can be challenging to sort through all of the information at hand, it helps to use questions to focus your analysis.Are you getting mentioned in analyst reports? Are influencers talking about you on social media? Are readers clicking through to deeper content from your blog? Where are visitors going once they hit your landing pages? Are they converting? After a quarter, six months, or a year of PR efforts, how have you progressed toward your primary strategic business goal?These are the kinds of questions PR pros should be able to answer about any campaign.If PR and content marketing overlap so much, what’s the benefit to having both?If you’re lucky enough (or smart enough) to have PR and content marketing experts on your team, you’re in great shape to influence targets everywhere — from the media to analysts to website visitors to social media followers and beyond.Your PR pros and content marketers can support each others’ activities, inspire each others’ creativity and keep messages coordinated to better support your overall strategic goals.How can content marketing teams best align with PR? Content marketing and PR teams need to communicate.If you’re promoting a new ebook, for example, your PR counterpart might be able to repurpose that asset for contributed content, social media outreach, influencer engagement, media pitches, and more. On the flip side, a successful media campaign should spark ideas for you about which messages are resonating, what prospects want, and how to incorporate that into future content creation.These days, it’s my kids who are asking me to describe what I do for work. I have been much more successful in explaining it to them than I ever was back when I first entered PR and relatives asked me to define the industry.To my daughters, I say, “I help companies tell stories people want to hear.” I imagine content marketers tell their families something similar, and that is a good thing for practitioners in both fields. Topics: Originally published Jul 1, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! 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Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.Every Friday, our team comes together for a weekly reflections meeting. It’s our “touchy-feely-kumbaya” moment where everyone has an opportunity to open up and share what’s on their mind.Primarily, we try to focus on three things: what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what we learned. We then document those lessons, and once-a-year, we review the key themes. It’s surprising– and a bit embarrassing — how often issues we discussed in March are repeated in August and again in November, but it’s all part of the learning process. This year, a few interesting themes emerged that I thought would be valuable for others to review. Here are some of the most important lessons we learned in 2015.1) Outline project unknowns as much as knowns.It’s very easy to find yourself putting together a beautiful project scope or proposal that painstakingly details every requirement the client has mentioned during your sales calls. The problem is, once the project kicks off, you’re going to find yourself dealing with many, many things the client did not explicitly state. Image purchasing, content implementation, hosting fees, etc., are all aspects of any web project not typically top-of-mind for the client. Be sure your contracts and documentation tackle as many of these project unknowns as possible. Include language that provides a means of factoring in cost/time when these little surprises sneak up, as they always do.2) Transition from managing a sales pipeline to a relationship pipeline.The idea of a sales pipeline is to track opportunities across various stages in your sales process, each with their own weighted likelihood of turning into an actual deal. Having a sales pipeline helps you determine where to invest time and energy in opportunities. The problem, however, is that most sales pipelines only look at a 30-to-90-day window. With this narrow of a view, it’s far too easy to cast “slower” opportunities to the side.We found that focusing on building relationships with companies that could be great clients, even if they’re a year away from that, is far more valuable than ignoring every prospect who doesn’t meet the perfect profile for your sales pipeline. You shouldn’t expel that much energy on these prospects, but you should set reminders to connect periodically, invite them to relevant events, and send them useful content. This can lead to huge returns beyond this month or even quarter. 3) Help define success for your customer.The reason most potential customers are speaking with you is because you’ve demonstrated a capacity for solving their problem. Embrace this truth, and control the vision for working with your customers. Focusing on identifying and addressing their needs is critical to a successful sale, but don’t let them dictate all the terms of engagement.You’ve done this “thing” far more times than they have, and it’s important that you explain what will make a project successful. If timelines are unrealistic or certain content or systems need to be finalized before you can start a project, be sure to communicate this to the client. It’s far better, and far more profitable, to set clear “rules for success” with a potential client and hold them to those boundaries. 4) Don’t overlook easy money.If your agency thrives on large project-based deals, it’s tempting to always go after the “whale” and ignore the “fish” along the way. If every new deal is six-figures, why wouldn’t you put your time and energy into those opportunities? However, when you focus 100% of your time on these big wins, you often sacrifice opportunities for “easy money.”Support retainers, appropriate technology recommendations that have a referral kickback, and one-day workshops are all value-added services you could offer existing clients. These relationships are already established so they don’t require the same effort as a new deal. Sure, the check isn’t as substantial, but if you build in a practice of upselling across all of your clients, you could see an impressive uptick in account size.5) Focus on solving problems, not just implementing solutions.It’s not uncommon to find that your team is obsessed with how to implement a specific solution within a project. Whether it stems from client interest or internal interest, once you’re fixated on making something work, it’s hard to take a step back. Taking a step back, however, is often the only way to avoid blowing the budget on a project. This step back should not be focused on re-evaluating the solution, rather re-evaluating the problem. Ask both yourself and the client what the exact problem is that you’re trying to solve and the impact of not solving it. Sometimes the solution is simply doing nothing.6) Don’t view account management and project management as the same role.Many larger agencies already have this baked into their operations, but this was a big lesson for us to learn this past year. Although they can sometimes be tackled by the same person, the responsibilities associated with account management are not the same as those associated with project management. Account managers need to focus on defending the client’s needs at all times while project managers need to focus on defending the agency’s needs at all times. This sort of conflict is healthy as it ensures both sides are properly represented in the creative process.In addition, the very metrics each role should be focused on are considerably different. Account managers are accountable for growing their book-of-business with clients while project managers are accountable for expanding the profitability of the relationship. These are two very different mindsets, and two very different roles.7) Always be selling.Once that initial contract is inked, it’s tempting to pop the champagne and call it a day. Closing a deal does not mean that the sales function is over. A client who accepts a contract simply means she believes in your plan for solving her problem; it does not guarantee that she believes in your execution of that plan. Every person involved in the project needs to realize the importance of continuing to sell ideas and solutions to identified problems. Every new deliverable is a new first impression.8) Realize the difference between makers and managers.There is a big difference between “makers” and “managers” within an agency. Makers are responsible for creating deliverables and executing the plan for a client. Managers are responsible for setting that plan and ensuring resources are appropriately allocated to enable execution. Many agencies depend on their team members to play both a maker and manager role. Effectiveness as a maker requires long, uninterrupted time where execution can take place. Effectiveness as a manager requires continued communication and performance analysis to ensure the plan is on track. Treat team members differently depending on the role they play and their responsibilities, and respect the differing work needs of each type within the structure of your agency.9) Work in time blocks.Most tasks will take as long as you allow them to. And complicating this problem is that in most agencies, we’re inundated with so many tasks from so many different accounts that things are constantly done right before they’re due. Working in a reactive pattern, where tasks are constantly being shuffled around based on the latest fire or ASAP request, only perpetuates inadvertent procrastination. Take control of your workload by carving out distinct blocks of time to tackle projects, and set the end of that block as your hard deadline.10) Repeat everything. Repeat everything.Repetition is a key ingredient for success as an agency. This includes repetition in communication, resources, and process. Repetition in communication ensures everyone is on the same page and that expectations are met. Repeat those expectations, and repeat the plan for meeting them. Repetition in resources ensures you have a game plan should someone go on vacation, get sick, or quit a project. Having redundant roles is an important safety net for any project. Finally, repetition in process ensures that you create repeatable results and start building efficiency into your delivery. The more your processes repeat, the more likely they can be automated, leading to tremendous gains in efficiency and profitability. 11) Manage against scope or timeline, not both.Bumps come up in a project. Unexpected requests or roadblocks are inevitable. Budget is often that hardest thing to revisit in a project, so consider whether scope or timeline needs to be re-evaluated as problems emerge. If timing is critical, scale back on what needs to be accomplished within a specific timeframe. If completeness is key, push out your launch date. If the client can’t choose between the two, bring up money again.12) Negotiate constantly, but wisely.Remember this: You’re negotiating throughout the entire lifespan of a project. You’re negotiating for extra resources, reduced scope, quicker turnarounds, etc. As in any negotiation, the key to success is knowing all of the terms of which you’re negotiating. It’s far easier to get what you need from a client and still make them happy if you give them something they want. When faced with a significant problem in the project, ensure you understand what’s really important to the client and what’s really important to your agency. Oftentimes, negotiating over different terms and bringing awareness to that is all it takes for everyone to walk away happy.13) Have a process, but know that the process will change.Technology, experience, resources, and many other factors will lead to evolutions in your processes over time. You’ll add new deliverables, cut out unnecessary steps, and automate some of your workload. But this sort of benefit only works when you have a process that you’re currently using. You can only measure improvement or evaluate efficiency if you have a benchmark. If you have a process for how your projects are delivered and how your agency is run, you can track and improve things going forward.14) Build in padding for inaccurate project estimates. It seems no matter how many times we’ve done a project, something always comes up that affects our original project estimate. Perhaps it’s a desire to continue improving our processes or “one-upping” our last project, but things inevitably take longer than expected. Understand this, embrace this, and add padding to be conservative. Extra time and extra money provides room to over-deliver for your clients and make them even happier with the project’s outcome.15) Remember that contractors are not employees.In a world of specialization and the need for ever-changing scale, it’s likely that your agency depends on some sort of contract-based labor force. They provide the natural capacity necessary to take on larger projects or unknown technologies. For this very reason, contractors can be one of your greatest assets.However, remember that they are not employees and should not be treated as such. Employment and tax regulation aside, professional freelancers and contractors have chosen that profession for many of the benefits that come with it: unlimited vacation, remote working, schedule independence, etc. It’s foolish to expect that contractors will make the same sacrifices or meet the same demands as an employee. As such, it’s critical that you establish clear expectations on the “softer side of your relationship in addition to the scope, time, and budget requirements you’re bound to discuss. Agree on communication schedules, deadline management, and anything else that might cause a problem for a project down-the-line.16) Show, don’t tell.As agency folk, we’re participants in the “idea economy.” We’re paid for coming up with and executing ideas that will solve our clients’ problems. Clients are our lifeblood, and they command respect in the creative process. However, we cannot assume that the ideas in our minds are the same as those perceived by our clients. Hypothetical pitches and explanations might get people excited, but it doesn’t lead to consensus around expectations.Don’t be afraid to introduce working deliverables into your process solely to serve as a means of crystallizing ideas into a form that has boundaries. Even a napkin sketch will give a client a better sense for your vision than flowery language over a bourbon-fueled dinner. If the client is excited about an idea, she should be excited to spend 5% of the total time/money to sketch out the parameters of that idea before committing to it fully.17) Promote others first.Imagine going to a party where the guy in the corner is constantly shouting about all of the awesome things he’s done. It won’t take long for you to excuse yourself from the table. The same goes for your marketing efforts. If all of your marketing is focused on promoting how “awesome” your agency is, how long will it take for your audience to leave? Focus your marketing on educating and sharing the success of others before your own. It builds trust and credibility. It also builds community as those you promote will promote your work in turn.18) Do less marketing to do better marketing.It’s easy to start the year with a huge list of marketing activities your agency will pursue to expand your footprint: blogging, events, emails, advertisements, podcast, sponsorships, etc. It all sounds great on paper, but such a diffused strategy is more likely to lead to a bunch of smaller failures than one or two major successes. Figure out what channels resonate with your target clients, align these with your voice/skillsets, and determine how you can maximize the impact with the limited resources you have at your disposal. Double-down on those few things, and ignore everything else.19) Find the source of the stress.Agency life is fueled by deadlines and tight budgets. No one has ever claimed it’s a stress-free business. But letting this stress affect us leads to poor performance, which leads to more stress. When you find yourself feeling as though every project is going wrong, the problem is unlikely that everything sucks.Take a step back, and identify what the real source of stress is. Then, create an action plan for dealing with it. Is it personal? Did you lose a deal? Is a client being pushy? Not resolving the major stressor in your life will impact other responsibilities on your plate. Tackle the real source of stress, and everything else might just be a bit easier.20) Celebrate your accomplishments.You’ve won awards, generated millions of dollars in value for your clients, and created jobs that give people the opportunity to pursue their creative passions. Running an agency can be overwhelming, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Do not let the challenges of running the business overshadow the successes along the way. Take time to step back and celebrate wins individually and as a team. Reflect on how much has been accomplished during just one year, and use that to fuel your work going forward. Topics: Agency Marketing Originally published Feb 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State tailback Justice Hill continues to impress in his freshman campaign. Facing a second-and-short in the redzone, No. 27 had his number called — and he delivered with a spin-move away from a defender as he powered his way into the end zone.Justice Hill. Beast mode. pic.twitter.com/yxtqw5zcHH— Oklahoma State (@TheOkiePokie) November 12, 2016
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Brandon Weeden recently made it back for an Oklahoma State spring practice, and he talked about the team and his time there in an interview with Allison Gappa.“I’m impressed,” said Weeden of the team at the beginning of April. “I told all the coaches — especially Coach Glass — that these guys look different than when I was a sophomore or a freshman.“We had some good looking athletes but especially D-line and some of these receivers. I’d be the shortest guy in the quarterback room. Guys look good. Playing fast, which I like to see.”Weeden was particularly enthralled with the Mason Rudolph-James Washington twosome because of how it reminded him of himself and No. 81.“I’m sure they’re going to break every record we ever set, and I hope they do,” said Weeden. “I hope they do. I’m excited for Mason more than any of them.”Yes, this is probably true. Rudolph probably will end up with all the career QB records. But Weeden will still have him from a per-season perspective.Either way, it’s pretty cool to hear the best QB1 in school history comment on the one who will probably go down as the second best.We caught up with @bweeden3 at practice last Friday. Check out his interview with @AllisonGappa after the scrimmage. #okstate pic.twitter.com/3ijUlNitaF— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) April 4, 2017Also, nice pullover.
Barcelona Barcelona equal record for unbeaten La Liga run Joe Wright 06:40 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Barcelona Primera División Ernesto Valverde Guardiola Lionel Messi Luis Suárez Barcelona v Girona Girona Real Sociedad The La Liga leaders have surpassed the club record for an unbeaten run in the league, set under Pep Guardiola Barcelona have equalled the record for the longest unbeaten run in a single La Liga season.The leaders reached 32 games without defeat in the top flight with a 6-1 thumping of Catalan neighbours Girona at Camp Nou on Saturday.Luis Suarez completed his hat-trick after Lionel Messi’s brilliant first-half brace and Philippe Coutinho scored his first league goal for Barca in spectacular fashion. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The run matches that of Real Sociedad back in 1979-80.Sociedad’s total undefeated streak lasted 38 games, running from April 1979 through May 1980, meaning Barcelona is still six games off equalling the La Liga mark that extends beyond a single season. Barca’s run surpasses their previous club record of 31 games in a row without defeat, which was set back in 2010-11, when Pep Guardiola’s side won 27 games and drew four between matchday three and 33 of the season.They have only lost three times in all competitions since Ernesto Valverde took charge — dropping both legs of the Supercopa de Espana against Real Madrid in August and losing 2-1 to Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final, although they advanced 2-1 on aggregate.32 – Barcelona have lost none of their last 32 league matches (W27 D5), the second ever unbeaten run of any side (Real Sociedad, 38 between April 1979 and May 1980). Unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/wsrcvn3kS6— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 24, 2018Barca’s victory against Girona sees them stay top of the table, with 20 wins and five draws from 25 games. They lead second-placed Atletico Madrid by 10 points.The club go to take sole possession of the single-season unbeaten record Thursday away to Las Palmas.
Real Madrid Zidane still unsure if Kroos and Modric will feature at PSG Ryan Benson 07:45 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Real Madrid Zinédine Zidane Real Madrid v Getafe PSG v Real Madrid PSG UEFA Champions League Primera División Real Madrid face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday and there is still uncertainty about Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Zinedine Zidane is still unsure whether Toni Kroos or Luka Modric will be fit to feature in Real Madrid’s Champions League round-of-16 second leg at Paris Saint-Germain.Madrid cruised to a 3-1 win over Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday in preparation for their crunch European clash, but both Kroos and Modric were missing.Kroos, who impressed in Madrid’s 3-1 first-leg win over PSG, has been struggling due to a knee ligament sprain, while Modric has a hamstring problem. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Madrid have just two more training sessions before they face PSG in Paris on Tuesday and Zidane still does not know whether they will be able to play.”They still have not trained with us,” Zidane told reporters on Saturday. “We’ll have to see on Sunday if they do [train].”I can’t tell you anything. Today has not changed anything from yesterday. We’ll see if they train with the ball [on Sunday].”I will never regret injuries. If they can’t be with us, other players will play. The only thing we have is to look at Tuesday and see who we are going to go with.”We have two days to see how Luka and Toni are. I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do and what we have planned.”What I want is for all of us to travel. I hope everyone trains on Monday, but I don’t know.” goals. points. days to go until we face @PSG_English…#HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/8Z2mwjpLGF— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) March 3, 2018Tuesday’s trip to the Parc des Princes will be Zidane’s first return to France as a coach.But he does not see any significance in that and is warning his players they will need to do the ugly parts of the game to progress to the quarter-finals.”It’s true that it’s going to be the first time for me,” he said. “Even if I go to France for the first time as a coach, I will prepare the game as usual.”We’re just going to think about the game. We know it’s going to be very complicated. We’ll have to get our hands dirty to win it.”
Liverpool 0 Porto 0 (5-0 agg): Low-key Reds book quarter-final spot Guy Atkinson Last updated 1 year ago 05:41 7/3/2018 Getty Images Liverpool booked their spot in the Champions League last eight despite an underwhelming performance against Porto. Liverpool booked their Champions League quarter-final place with an uninspiring 0-0 draw against Porto at Anfield.The Reds’ lacklustre performance hardly mattered, though, after a devastating 5-0 win in Portugal three weeks ago all-but secured a first appearance in the last-eight since 2008-09.That first-leg cushion enabled Jurgen Klopp to make five changes to the side that beat Newcastle United 2-0 on Saturday, with leading goalscorer Mohamed Salah dropping to the bench for Adam Lallana, who was making his first start in two months. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sadio Mane had two clear chances to open the scoring in the first half, the second of which crashed against the post, while Dejan Lovren headed over.James Milner and Roberto Firmino also squandered opportunities in the second period and Lovren blocked a late effort from Oliver Torres to ensure the Reds remain one of three unbeaten sides in this year’s competition alongside Tottenham and Barcelona.Liverpool were a long way from their swashbuckling Premier League form and Klopp will hope they have not lost any impetus ahead of the crunch clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.#UCL last eight awaits. pic.twitter.com/2dbbpYr5VX— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 6, 2018After a sluggish opening, the hosts burst into life midway through the half with Mane inches away from opening the scoring. The Senegal forward – who scored six goals in his previous three Champions League games – met Joe Gomez’s fizzed cross with an acrobatic volley, which flashed agonisingly over. Mane went even closer just after half-hour mark when he pulled Milner’s pass out of the sky and drove a low half-volley against the inside of Iker Casillas’ right-hand post. Milner was the architect again soon after, whipping in a teasing free-kick that Lovren could only head just high of the target.32: Casillas beaten but Mane’s shot strikes the post and is cleared away. Brilliant pass from Milner.[0-0]https://t.co/5rVaVEyNIn pic.twitter.com/bRmReWi66c— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 6, 2018Milner had a chance of his own two minutes after the restart, but he failed to make a clean connection with Lallana’s cross and the ball bobbled harmlessly wide.Porto finally carved out an opening when Majeed Waris shrugged off the attention of two Liverpool defenders to fire a low shot towards goal, which was kept out by the under-worked Loris Karius. Firmino saw a goal-bound effort blocked by Porto captain Felipe moments before being withdrawn for Danny Ings.Salah was brought off the bench with 16 minutes remaining and, unsurprisingly, went close to adding to his 32 goals this season, though Casillas was equal to his drilled attempt.Oliver almost spoiled Liverpool’s outing late on, while Ings should have scored his first Champions League goal with a looping header that Casillas did well to paw away and keep the Reds off the scoreboard. Key Opta facts:- Iker Casillas made his 167th appearance in the Champions League, 16 more than any other player in the history of the competition (Xavi next on 151).- This was the first Champions League game this season with no first-half shots on target.- Liverpool failed to score at Anfield for the first time in their last nine games in all competitions, since a 0-0 draw against West Brom in December.- The Reds have kept five clean sheets in their last six games in the Champions League, only conceding against Sevilla in November (3-3). read more
PAOK PAOK president invading pitch with gun leads to Greek Superleague being suspended Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 22:52 12/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() PAOK Super League 1 PAOK v AEK Athens AEK Athens Premier League Ivan Savvidis entered the field armed with a gun towards the end of Sunday’s clash with AEK Athens, with top-flight football having now been shut down The Greek Superleague has been suspended indefinitely following the remarkable scenes that forced Sunday’s title clash between PAOK and AEK Athens to be ended early.PAOK president Ivan Savvidis entered the field with his security team to confront the referee after his side had an 89th-minute goal from Fernando Varela ruled out for offside with the score at 0-0.Images taken on the pitch showed Savvidis apparently carrying a gun in a holster during the chaos that followed, with players and officials eventually leaving the field. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The match was abandoned two hours later and, although PAOK tweeted to claim a 1-0 win, the goalless draw was upheld, meaning the hosts remain five points shy of AEK in third and winless in their past three games.When they will have the opportunity to remedy that slump is now anyone’s guess after Deputy Minister of Sport George Vassiliadis announced all matches would be suspended until further notice.”We will not allow the phenomena of the past to be resurrected, assuming the political cost where necessary,” he said after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, having pledged to make “bold decisions” on the matter earlier on Monday.”The most important thing is the rules that apply to everyone. We decided to discontinue the championship.”Controversy has marred Greek football over recent years.The Greek Government has taken the decision to suspend the Greek Championship until further notice— Hellas Football (@Hellas_Football) March 12, 2018 Games were suspended in all divisions after referee’s chief Giorgos Bikas was the victim of an arson attack in November 2016, while investigations into a match-fixing scandal that came to light in 2011 remain ongoing.Two weeks ago, PAOK’s home game with Olympiacos was abandoned before kick-off when visiting coach Oscar Garcia was struck by an object thrown from the stands. PAOK were initially docked three points but overturned the decision on appeal.”For three years now, the government has fought to redeem path of football,” Vassiliadis continued.”In the next few hours we will start meeting with the federation and the league. We are in open communication with UEFA and will not restart unless there is an agreed framework from everyone to move forward with terms and rules.”We are continuing the battle for transparency and better football. Everything is on the table.”We are waiting for the proposals from the federation and the league. We’re on an indefinite interruption. We are expecting a new framework of rules.”UEFA and FIFA have both condemned the events at PAOK versus AEK but maintain any disciplinary measures to be imposed fall under the jurisdiction of the Greek Football Federation (HFF).
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. This is how close OU was to recovering an onside kick to potentially force OT or win the game… pic.twitter.com/E8QvwlJYoj— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 26, 2019Watch how Kansas won just their sixth Big 12 game this decade (not a typo, they’re really 6-79 since 2010 … of course Tech showed below why they’re 29-56).This is why Kansas just won. Unbelievable mistake by Texas Tech after the blocked kick. Jayhawks kick again and win on 32-yard FG. pic.twitter.com/gI2uYSfanS— Max Olson (@max_olson) October 27, 2019Add it all up and somehow Baylor is sitting at home chuckling like Kevin at what transpired on Saturday. The Bears have a 1-3 WVU team coming to Waco on Thursday night, and are two wins over the right teams from locking up a Big 12 title appearance.As for the Pokes? Well, it looks more condensed than it did a week ago, but I’m not sure it necessarily looks a lot better. If they take care of TCU next week, that’s when it starts to get a little optimistic.Beat TCU and then you have two of those one-win teams (Kansas and WVU) left plus OU at home. We can start to dream a little bit then, I suppose. Although I don’t know if an Alamo Bowl appearance counts as dreaming. The Tech loss hurts. Don’t lose to Tech, and all of a sudden you’re third in these standings with all the opportunity in the world.I’m not convinced all is well after OSU’s statistical outlier of a game (more defensive INTs than penalties in a single game has only happened one other time in the Gundy era), but as Saturday proved, you get wins however you can get them in the Big 12.Lastly, I thought this from Carson was good. The Big 12 isn’t the best league or the most talented. But it’s definitely the fairest, which — ironically? — hurts you when it comes to both national perception and playoff appearances.Today is a reminder The Big 12 is really hurt by the round robin, 9-game conference schedule. The last team to go undefeated in the regular season? 2009 Texas, before the round robin schedule. Other conferences can avoid playing the best teams in a given year & less conf. games.— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) October 27, 2019The Big 12 cannibalized itself on Saturday as four dogs beat four favorites on one of the weirdest slates in recent memory (and it’s not as if there haven’t been weird slates!).The fun part here is that we haven’t even reached November yet.So now it’s Baylor …. and then OU … and then everybody else pelting each other with rocks trying to sniff third place with a shot at second down the stretch. I’m thankful for a day of madness because it included Oklahoma State, which is still one of those teams lingering in the middle. After what transpired on Saturday in Ft. Worth, Manhattan, Lawrence and Ames — and given how this season has gone — that’s about all anyone could ask for.*Depending on where you wager on CFB Four underdogs* on Saturday. Four Big 12 wins. Chaos, honestly.OU’s early tilt with Kansas State ended with a video review about whether a corkscrewing onside kick hit a player before it went 10 yards and whether that player was blocked into the ball or whether he ran into it himself. And that was the second weirdest ending of the day in the conference … in the state of Kansas.A review.• Kansas State was a 21.5-point dog at home (won by 7)• Oklahoma State was a 10.5-point dog on the road (won by 7)• TCU was a 1.5-point dog at home (won by 10)• Kansas was a 4-point dog at home (won by 3)That’s 37.5 points piled up on four outright winners. The Sooner tears after getting smoked in the Little Apple — I might add — were tasty.“There’s a lot of parity week to week,” said Mike Gundy after his team won for the 10th time as a road underdog since he took over in 2005.“A lot of times it comes back to those three things we talked about (turnovers, penalties and big plays). That’s the one thing that college football has going for it right now is parity week to week. The fans love it, people that come to the games love it, TV networks love it.”This is true. We all do kind of love it. The OSU and TCU wins were fairly straightforward (as far as this nutty conference goes anyway), but K-State was wild, and then Kansas was a fever dream. [whispers] I have no idea how this call was overturned for Kansas State, and I don’t really care.
Years ago, my dad once gave me some really good advice about relationships – stick with people who bring out the best in you. Better yet it should work both ways – that you bring out the best in the other person too. I wish I’d followed this wise counsel my whole life. Don’t worry, you haven’t stumbled upon Dr. Phil’s blog. I’m getting to my point, and the theme of my blog for the next week.When we’re thinking about how to market ourselves as organizations, we need to think about what’s best in us, and how it matches with what our audience wants. I put up the following nifty little diagram a long time ago, but it is worth running again. It shows that you want to focus all your efforts on the marketing front – and the organizational front – on the intersection between:-What your organization focuses upon (which is hopefully what you’re good at)-What you do better than anyone else (what is completely unique about you)-What your audience cares aboutI think we’re pretty good at identifying the first two but we tend to forget that third circle. PLEASE ADD THE THIRD CIRCLE TO ALL OF YOUR STRATEGIC THINKING. Ron of BrandCurve posted a comment this week about email that takes it a step further – not only should you add the circle, he says you should then start a conversation. I agree.I think the real issue behind email effectiveness [all marketing, I’d say — KA] is the consumer’s willingness to participate and receive that mail [message]. Intrusive, one-way, monologue-like messages where the consumer has no say – are sure to stay closed! We want a relationship with our target audiences, so to have that relationship, we need to not only think about ourselves but also how we intersect with them. We need to bring our audience back into the picture. The center of this diagram is our sweet spot, in our relationship with our audience but also for our organization in all we do. It’s what will bring out the best in us!I am focusing on this sweet spot, which is based on the work of some branding folks and which is related to Jim Collins’ hedgehog concept, because it’s also at the core of the best marketing book that I have read in a very, very long time: Made to Stick. I am so enamored with this book, I am going to be blogging about it all week. It’s Sticky Week here at my blog.One of the main points of Made to Stick is that simple, core concepts are what stick in people’s minds and guide whole organizations, and I think this is a useful way of viewing the idea of the sweet spot. The authors of Made to Stick call the process of identifying this essence, “finding your core.” So what is your core, aka your sweet spot? If you stuck to it – and only it – in deciding what to do and what to say, you might find yourself with a renewed sense of focus and heightened impact. The books says Southwest Airlines succeeds in large part as an organization because it knows its sweet spot is low fares. Every decision is weighed against this organizing principle — will this lower fares?Much more to come.
The following referees have been selected in TFA National Referees Squads. National Referee SquadDave Baggio NSW – Wagga Wagga Touch Association Rob Bowen NSW – Nathan Budge QLD – Redlands Touch Association Tony Calabria NSW – Griffith Touch Association Brett Freshwater QLD – Redcliffe and Districts Touch Association Luke Heckendorf NSW – Hornsby Touch Association Luke McKenzie QLD – Wagga Wagga Touch Association Chris Schwerdt WA – WA City Touch Association Amanda Sheeky SA – SA City Touch Association Kim Skelly NSW – Anthony Smith NSW – Hornsby Touch Association Brad Smith QLD – Ipswich Touch Association Coach: Ian MatthewEmerging Referee SquadBrian Blechynden WA – Southern Districts Touch Association Annabelle Connolly WA – Southern Districts Touch Association Damon Cupitt NSW – Katoomba Touch Association Jake Davis NSW – Singleton District Touch Association Lachlan Freshwater QLD – Redcliffe and Districts Touch Association Michael Littlefield QLD – Burdekin Touch Association Kai Maruta NSW – Penrith Touch Association Zan McCahon NSW – Penrith Touch Association Luke Saldern NSW – Manly Warringah Touch Association Aaron Searston QLD – Toowomba Touch Association Denise Weier QLD – Townsville Castle Hill Touch Association Nicole West WA – Northern Districts Touch Association Andrew Yon VIC – Fawkner Park Touch Association Coach: Dave FieldMasters Referees SquadSteve Bell NSW – Hornsby Touch Association Amanda Draper NSW – Parkes Touch Association Renee Flach QLD – Townsville Castle Hill Touch Association John Frost NSW – Nelson Bay Touch Association Scott Marsh QLD – Townsville Castle Hill Touch Association Barry McNamara NSW – Wollongong Touch Association Marcus Muller QLD – Townsville Castle Hill Touch Association Chris Murray WA – Northern Districts Touch AssociationBernard O’Donohue NSW – Hornsby Touch Association Tim Pearson NT – Alice Springs Touch Association Fiona Quinn QLD – Mackay Touch Association Chris Reynolds NSW – Parkes Touch Association Bill Slade NSW – Hornsby Touch Association John Taylor NSW – Newcastle Touch Association Greg Taylor QLD – Townsville Castle Hill Touch Association Coach: Chris Dolahenty Related Files2017_national_referee_squads-pdfRelated LinksNational Referee Squad
World Cup Lugano backs Neymar and Brazil for World Cup glory Dejan Kalinic Last updated 1 year ago 10:55 6/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty World Cup Neymar Brazil The Selecao are still World Cup favourites, particularly after the PSG star’s return, according to the former Uruguay international Former Uruguay international Diego Lugano believes Brazil have never been so strong and remain World Cup favourites, particularly after Neymar’s return.Tite’s men are yet to hit top form in Russia, but a 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday lifted them into first place in Group E.Neymar, who was sidelined for three months before the tournament due to a foot injury, got on the scoresheet in that victory , and could be seen with tears in his eyes after the fact. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Lugano – a 95-time Uruguay international – feels Brazil deserve to be favourites to win the tournament as they, along with Spain, are the top teams in the world. “I still think that Brazil, together with Spain, are the strongest team in the World Cup, and the most solid,” he said.”I’ve never seen a Brazil squad so strong coming into a World Cup, with so many players.”They’re tactically organised like never before, physically strong and very solid mentally. Tite has done a great job with them.”I still think Brazil are the favourites to win this World Cup, even more with Neymar back to full fitness and playing again.”Que linda vitória! Na raça! Digna de Copa do Mundo! #GigantesPorNatureza #WorldCup Lucas Figueiredo / CBF pic.twitter.com/zW1JINGLi0 — CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) June 22, 2018 Not yet guaranteed a spot in the last 16, Brazil face Serbia in their final group game on Wednesday, with a draw enough to see them through to the last 16.
World Cup Video: Croatia vs Denmark – Head-to-Head World Cup 2018 last 16 match preview Goal Last updated 1 year ago 17:30 6/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy World Cup Videos Croatia v Denmark Croatia Denmark Goal previews the clash between the Group D table-toppers and a side led by the talents of Christian Eriksen, as well as three other last 16 matches
World Cup Kroos quitting Germany duty would ‘hurt’ World Cup winner Matthaus Stephen Creek 21:16 7/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Germany A former skipper of Die Mannschaft considers the Real Madrid midfielder to remain a key player despite the need for change on the back of Russia 2018 Germany great Lothar Matthaus dubbed Toni Kroos one of the country’s “future leaders” and called for the Real Madrid midfielder to stay with the national team after their World Cup disappointment.Kroos gave Die Mannschaft hope of reaching the knock-out stage with his dramatic late free-kick in a 2-1 Group F victory over Sweden, but he was unable to prevent the subsequent 2-0 defeat to South Korea that sent Germany home from the World Cup at the opening stage for the first time in 80 years.The 28-year-old midfielder was one of few Germany players to come out of the tournament with much credit and Matthaus warned that the national team could ill afford to lose his services. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “Toni Kroos leaving the German national team would hurt me very much,” Matthaus told Bild.”He played an extraordinary season for Real Madrid.”He can still play on the top level for four more years and improve those around him. Him stepping down would be a real loss.”For me, he’s one of our future leaders.”Matthaus said that Germany coach Joachim Low should address the question of whether his more experienced players are ready for the challenge of restoring the team’s pride during qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.”Coach Low must have a clear idea regarding the WC 2022,” said the 1990 World Cup winner. “He should talk to every older player in the squad about motivation and perspectives.”He doesn’t need to attack those players, it’s just an ordinary process because we’re Germany, not Panama.”There are alternatives for each position.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery confirms axing Ozil; pushed about selling German in Januaryby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery admits he dropped Mesut Ozil for their Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham.Ozil failed to make the matchday squad for last night’s 2-0 reverse.Emery explained: “It’s a tactical decision because I thought that the players that were with us today were the best choices for this match.”Asked if Ozil was at the Emirates for the game, Emery continued: “Yes.”We are thinking of every player. We have 24 or 25 players and when they are playing one game and not in another, it’s the decision. Today it was tactical.”Emery was then pushed about whether Ozil could be sold next month.”My focus now is analysing this match and also Saturday against Burnley is very important. We are going to assess every player, how they are tomorrow in training and for a difficult match against Burnley on Saturday.”I am thinking about the match on Saturday, and not thinking about another situation.”