Business · Consultations · Public Relations

Client Screening Process

My firm has a client application process. We request clients to submit an application. In addition, answer a 5 questionnaire on the PR services in need.  Thereafter, we schedule a 1-hour consultation to discuss the objective goals for the client. During the meeting, we listen and set out to outline a potential PR campaign to grasp an understanding of their needs and the measurement spectrum if our firm can be allied to provide the services requested. Lastly, we have an open dialogue for the client to ask questions. To provide comfort of assurance to hire our firm, we submit creditable analytics of our past clients.  After the initial consultation, we discuss if there is a mutual beneficial business alignment for both parties.


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

Tips for increasing work efficiency at work

The best way to be increased work efficiency at work is to set up an objective goal calendar weekly, monthly, and quarterly. A great tool method to utilize is Google calendar. Google calendar is very accessible via mobile.  In addition, it’s a great way to connect other Google calendars, Dropbox of files, whereas you can have groups view and share. A great work efficiency spectrum to have schedules and files, all in one place. In addition, Google Calendar is structured to set alerts, connect to other social media outlets and chat networks.  The essence of work efficiency is management and productivity. This includes setting goals, manage the lateral progressive of a timeline, handle and complete multiple tasks, all while monitoring the process of measuring, achievable results of work efficiency. My tip is to utilize Google calendar is. The importance of work efficiency is about structure, and being consistent in staying on top of everyday priorities.


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations · Sports

A Business Advice I Am Thankful For

The best business advice I was given was 2008 at a golf charity event by a veteran retired NFL Player.  He advised me to always stay authentic, and to never change no matter how difficult and successful things will become.  He told me I was extremely talented, Although, talent will not take you far if you are not authentic and nice to people. People like to do business with people they like, and have a mutual admiration and respect for. You build and cultivate relationships upon the basis of authenticity.  I keep his advice close to my heart and I live by it personally and professionally.


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

The Top 5 Reasons People Fail at Business Development by Christen Hatfield

As nearly every ambitious company knows, its growth potential lies with its business development efforts. Although business development seems like an easy concept to grasp on the surface, there are subtle nuances and finer points that many people gloss over, making it hard to properly understand. This difficulty, which in many cases can sabotage the most earnest efforts, can be attributed to five key symptoms of bad business development. Many of these symptoms can be attributed to selfishness or lack of experience, but not addressing them could have major consequences to any business development professional and, in turn, their company.

Read on as we discuss how these symptoms reflect a misunderstanding of the core concepts of business development, as well as offer tips on how to remedy them.

1. Lack of Emotional Intelligence

Let’s take a bird’s-eye view of business development. A person is hired to bring their existing business relationships and to build new ones with potential partners, all in order to ultimately bring new business to the company in the form of strategic brand partnerships. The simplest explanation is that your goal is to bring in new business. While this might sound like conventional business development, this concept and the setup itself are decidedly wrong.

If your employee takes this task too literally, you are left with a real problem. A business development professional interacts with people, real people with feelings and emotions. These people are not one-dimensional and can be extremely sensitive to hollow motivations. As such, great biz dev pros need a high amount of emotional intelligence. You have to be sensitive to the people you interact with. In order to be great at business development, you not only have to value the person in front of you, but you also need a desire to help them.

This might not immediately help you land your first large account, but that is not what business development is about. Business development is about creating personal connections and leveraging them to gain business. And you make these connections by valuing the people you interact with as well as their interests. The most fulfilling and successful way to satisfy your own goals is by helping your clients satisfy theirs.

2. Not Attentively Listening to Your Client

You won’t know what your client’s interests are without listening to them. It’s easy to hear what a person says, but actually listening attentively is something that requires a lot of effort, and it can be a difficult thing to master. Any attempt at business development is unnecessarily made much harder by not attentively listening. We get so caught up in our own interests that we forget to listen to those of our clients. Many people have the perception that if they speak more, they will be viewed as intelligent. But in reality, your incessant chatter only frustrates clients and makes it seem like you’re overcompensating for diminished ability.

Most of the time, all you have to do is sit down and listen intently. For example, if your client voices concern over a proposed schedule, address it directly instead of defending it, deflecting it or ignoring it. By doing so, you show your potential business partner that you’re attentive to his or her concerns and will likely be attentive enough to address future concerns in a timely manner.

3. Being Persistent to the Point of Annoyance

Being persistent can be a great thing, and having the right type of persistence is vital to being a solid business development professional. But there’s a fine line between “persistent” and “annoying.” There are many situations in which being persistent can be seen—and rightfully so—as annoying or pushy. Repeated emails and calls, especially those made at an unnecessarily high frequency and during busy times of the day, will only get you so far. You might get one deal from the relenting party, but that party may remember how pushy and annoying you were, and they may avoid contact with you down the line.

With that in mind, it’s incredibly important to give your client the space and time needed to think about your offer and reply to it. Doing so recognizes their time to be as important as yours, which will be seen as a sign of respect. If your potential partner sees you as respectful when trying to make contact, it’s a great indicator of the respect you’ll have for them throughout the course of the relationship, and these are the types of relationships biz dev professionals must foster.

4. A Lack of Empathy for the Client

Be considerate of your client’s mindset, including their mood, needs and wants. Clients have their own deadlines and goals, so put yourself in their shoes before reaching out. Never cold call potential clients on Mondays or first thing in the morning. The majority of people begin their days by checking their emails, getting prepared for the day and finishing any items left behind from the day before. The last thing you want to do is disrupt your client’s usual routine and attempt to compel them to speak with a stranger, especially in the morning.

Are you in a better mood on Fridays? So are most other people. You have a better chance of getting a good reaction to a cold call with a person who is in a good mood. Never underestimate the power of good timing.

5. Overconfidence

The thought that having a great product or service alone will make a business successful is based on faulty reasoning. This overconfidence is based on the logic that you don’t have to do the work needed to cultivate a market. But the truth is that solely providing a good product or service is not enough.

You have to highlight your products’ or services’ benefits in a way that addresses your client’s needs. Only then can you hope to start selling your product or service as an acceptable solution to your client’s issues. Otherwise, the biggest obstacle between you and your customers will be your ego.

Great business development professionals come in many different types. We all have unique ways of reaching out to potential clients, but the one thing that great biz dev pros have in common is that they are selfless people who care about their clients’ wellbeing. They create a foundation of strong relationships by helping others. Through these relationships, they create opportunities that are based on trust, respect and a mutual appreciation for each other’s goals and values.


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

The Seven Secrets of Top Performers by Bernard Marr

That some organizations are highly satisfied with and reap significant benefits from their Business Performance Management (BPM) efforts while others are dissatisfied and gain marginal or no benefits, was a central finding of Measuring and Managing Performancea recent global survey of over 3000 organizations by the Advanced Performance Institute and Actuate. But what separates the top-performers from the also-rans? Our analysis uncovered seven critical performance factors, which can be collectively viewed as the “inside secrets of top performers.”

Factor 1: Buy-in and Ownership

As with any management initiative, if there is no ownership and buy-in for BPM from the top then it will fail. But senior leadership support is not the full story. Our analysis found that there often is buy-in at the top but little at the bottom of the organization. As figure 1 shows about half of the respondents see top-down buy-in with little buy-in at the grassroots. Nine percent reported a complete lack of buy-in and 21 percent reported pervasive buy-in.

This indicates that BPM is seen as a top management initiative and viewed with suspicion at the grassroots, along the lines of “senior management is checking on us.” Moreover, the grassroots often disagree with the measures and analysis performed or feels that the consolidation and scoring exercises are flawed, but are too disconnected to discuss the problems because they’re not part of the strategic measurement effort.

Poor buy-in at the grassroots level is caused by a lack of engagement in the design and communication of the BPM approach as well as a lack of trust in the data quality or in how the data might be used. A closed-loop system where everyone understands the rationale of the BPM approach and has access to the data reaps the most benefits.

Factor 2: Motivation for BPM

Implementing BPM for the right reasons is another “secret of success.” The most successful implementations are those where BPM is introduced voluntarily by the company to improve its decision-making and generate new insights and understanding that drive performance improvement. If it is introduced because of external needs to report (often the case in government organizations where central government or regulatory bodies force the reporting against targets) then there will often be resistance. But resistance is often internally driven, where maybe internal quality departments or senior management teams are seen as forcing performance reporting and measurement

Our research finds that only about one-third of companies implement performance measurement and reporting for the right reasons. Another third sees it more as an internal pressure to report upwards and demonstrate performance. This “Big Brother” controlling approach should be avoided

Factor 3: Integration of Operational and Strategic Approaches

Next up is the alignment and integration of strategic and operational metrics. Measuring and Managing Performance found that companies who only use KPIs to measure and report operational performance report low levels of benefits. By the same token, companies that have strategic KPIs but don’t align them with operational metrics also report low benefits. But those companies that take an integrated approach and who align strategic and operational KPIs with Strategy Maps or Mission and Vision Statements report the highest levels of satisfaction and benefits. This is simply “joined up,” thinking.

Factor 4: Integration of Performance Measurement and Analytics

Another factor that is fast becoming a differentiator is the level of integration between traditional KPI measurement and analytics. While KPI measurement is more static, with a focus on high-level indicators to monitor performance against high-level goals (the ‘how well are we doing against our plan?’ question), analytics is more dynamic, using wider and larger data sets to challenge the business (the what, why and how questions). Those companies that reported that they combine approaches such as KPIs and Balanced Scorecard with Business Intelligence and analytics generate more benefits in the form of richer and more comprehensive business insights.

Factor 5: Time-Focus of BPM

Traditionally, performance data was used to report historic information – for example, financial performance of the last quarter or results from a staff survey. Our survey finds that this still holds true for about one-third of companies.

More sophisticated approaches allow companies to track performance much more in real time, creating a more integrated approach where measures are consolidated and reported as things actually happen. Eleven percent of survey respondents primarily use data to focus on real-time performance, whereas about half see it as a mix between historic and real time.

Due to sophisticated or predictive analytics tools, companies can now also use their data to look into the future. Through their BPM efforts, the top performers are primarily concerned with the next quarter and what is required to improve performance in the future, which is true of seven percent of respondents.

Factor 6: Data Quality

Ensuring a high standard of data quality and so avoiding the “garbage in, garbage out,” syndrome is another of the “inside secrets of success.” If we want good insights that lead to improved decisions that drive future performance then we need data we can trust. There is no point putting in place sophisticated performance reporting and shiny dashboard solutions if the underlying data is not reliable.

However, our research finds that data quality is still a major issue in the also-ran organizations. Whereas just 10 percent of respondents reported that they have a well-governed data quality management, almost half that they have only reactive data quality management (i.e. they’re looking at areas where data quality has become an issue). A further 15 percent said their data quality management is undisciplined, leading to poor or varied data quality.

Factor 7: BPM Technology

The proper exploitation of technology is the final of our seven secrets of success. Technology to support BPM activities has evolved massively over the past few years. Initially the focus was on storing and reporting performance information using databases and dashboard solutions. Today’s sophisticated solutions need to do everything, combining integrated BPM platforms with the ability to perform predictive and big data analytics, along with root-cause analysis on past and future data, – all to enable companies to visualize performance in interactive graphs and reports delivered to mobile devices over the Internet.

However, most organizations are some distance from doing this. Sixty one percent of companies use office tools such as Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint as their main tools to report and analyze performance (and report the fewest business benefits and user satisfaction levels). The greatest benefits/satisfaction levels are reported by the 10 percent that use integrated performance management and analytics software. But note, our experience shows that solutions that support a continuum of needs work best, allowing organizations to embrace performance measurement at a level they’re comfortable with, gradually moving away from simple reporting towards predictive analytics.

BPM has come a long way from the days when easy to find (but often unreliable) data was captured, reported through marginally valuable KPIs and from which “rough guesses,” of likely future performance could be made. With Big Data analytics and data management generally becoming a core capability in leading organizations, it is our firmly held belief that integrating KPI measurement with powerful analytics will be “the next big thing,” in the BPM space. It will change everything. Measuring and Managing Performancefinds that top performers already know this.

I hope this was useful? As always, I am keen to hear your views on this topic. Please share any comments, ideas and suggestions below…

Finally, here is a slide-deck that summarizes the main points:


I really appreciate that you are reading my post. Here, at LinkedIn, I regularly write about management and technology issues and trends. If you would like to read my regular posts then please click ‘Follow’ (at the top of the page) and feel free to also connect via Twitter,Facebook and The Advanced Performance Institute.

Here are some other related posts I have written:


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

The Role of an Internship in your Business Success by Ron Torossian

internships 300x175 The Role of an Internship in your Business Success

It’s a question every career oriented professional asks when entering the workforce. And it’s a question every employer needs to have an answer for: How do you get a job that requires experience when you don’t have any experience?

The answer? Realize you may not get the job you want, so go out and get some experience. This little nugget of reality is reason number one you better not skip that college internship.

According to a recent survey, business students who reported having business-related internships were much more likely to get at least one solid job offer upon graduation. Sometimes sooner.

More than 61 percent of those who had done the internship had a job offer in hand by winter of their senior year. Compare that to 28 percent of the group without one. That means doing that internship more than doubles your chances of landing a gig after graduation. And before you think, “yeah, but, for what jobs,” this percentage stayed fairly even across many different industries.

Banking had the highest rate of job offers at 70 percent followed by consulting, technology and retail.

One of the reasons for the internship benefit is obvious. Sure, that college internship gives you the requisite experience so many businesses are looking for in a new hire, but it is much more valuable for a very different reason.

Doing that internship creates relationships where you would not otherwise have them. No matter what field you want to enter (unless it’s academics) you will meet more people in that field while on the job. Relationships are valuable currency in business. They help you get hired, help you move up and help you strike deals you might not otherwise be able to land.

Even if you plan to go out on your own, that internship can still offer you priceless experience and insight into the industry. The real dynamics and logistics. Who the main players are at every level of the industry. Answers to questions you hadn’t even planned on asking. Keep that in mind if you are considering skipping the internship. You might never learn what you should have known.


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Business · Public Relations

Marketing Mistakes

The #1 marketing mistake is not gaining consumers’ interest.  A marketing mistake is not having a brand that is authentic, and the failure to reach its target consumers. In lieu, a marketing campaign can fail due to focus misplaced, incorrect pricing, and not providing product and services as promoted or advertised.  A company main marketing campaign must have an objective goal that focuses on the potential consumers needs. The essential development of a company’s brand has to be able to connect and attract the right consumers.  The marketing campaign needs to have a consistency of informative, engaging, influential and relatable message to consumers,  A marketing campaign has to be quarterly monitored, managed and revised to stay allied with consumer’s interests.  In essence, the marketing strategy needs to have consumer interchange from direct surveys, and product reviews.


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

I am a woman entrepreneur who gives back to its community

I am an advocate on community outreach. Each year, my priority commitment as an entrepreneur is to give back to the community. I join alliances with several corporate sectors to contribute and participate in sharing the joy of “giving back” to non-profit organizations that are in need of support and volunteer assistance.  In addition, I help in the fundamental research, education and community services and advocacy programs with my clientele roster, and network connections in the sports and entertainment industry.

My community relations responsibilities stables to cultivate business relationships that help to build a spectrum of community relations platforms. As a publicist, I utilize my clients to share in the support, participate and endorse  community relations campaigns in which they can personally relate. This helps to increase awareness to different causes such as Autism, Education, Cancer Research, and Health issues within the community. It’s important that I stay involved to maintain a presence of leadership and influence. Lastly, it pays off by showing that my public relations role is to “lead by example” in taking a stand for community causes.


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Surround Yourself with Positive People by Dave Block

The Gratitude Guy says, “There is a REASON why certain people come into our life. The POSITIVE or NEGATIVE energy and emotions we EXPERIENCE in turn lead us directly to the people we ENCOUNTER.

For example, POSITIVE people can help you realize your DREAMS as the OPTIMISM becomes CONTAGIOUS. These positive FRIENDS will not only help you REBOUND from the negative hits you take in life, but they will also INSPIRE you to be the best you can be. Positive individuals want others to be HAPPY, and will go out of their way to help you become more SELF-CONFIDENT when you’re feeling down or need some extra special attention.

On the other hand, surround yourself with NEGATIVE people, and you’ll become negative and LOSE your confidence as they will always DRAG you down to their level. They HAMMER away at you with all of the things you CAN’T do and all of the things that are IMPOSSIBLE. They barrage you with GLOOMY statements about the LOUSY economy, the PROBLEMS in their lives, the problems soon to be in your life, and the TERRIBLE prospects for the future. If you’re lucky, they might even throw in a few words about their ACHES and PAINS and recent ILLNESSES. End these TOXIC friendships!

I believe life affords us many OPPORTUNITIES to meet so many INCREDIBLE people. Find the GOOD ones and take the time to get to KNOW them.

I am so BLESSED that I am currently SURROUNDING myself with people who have made the CHOICE to face each day with HOPE, GRATITUDE, and EXPECTATION. They know that EVERY day is a GOOD day simply because they get ANOTHER CHANCE! Another chance to REALIZE how very GRATEFUL they are for every SECOND they have to experience this WONDERFUL world, in this COURAGEOUS game WE play called LIFE.”


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How Long Should Your Resume Really Be? by Diana YK Chan

This is a great question that’s also a common concern among candidates. Everyone who has written a resume knows that the real challenge is to convey a compelling picture of your experience while also being concise. Remember, a Hiring Manager or Recruiter isn’t going to necessarily read your resume right away, they’re going toscan it to find relevant information. If they like what they see, they’ll then go back and have a closer read to decide if you should be brought in for an interview.

Key message: if you hand in a resume that’s too long or too wordy, it might not get read fully.

Here’s the truth: Recruiters spend only about 6 to 7 seconds to scan a resume.

Here’s what you need to know – no matter who you are or what level of experience you have, the general rule of thumb is to do your absolute best to stay under two pages. If you’re a student, new graduate, or have less than 7 years of work experience, make one page your goal!

Your resume isn’t only a description of your expertise, it’s also an example of your communication skills. Being able to express yourself clearly, concisely, and compellingly is in huge demand right now, and if your resume is more than two pages than you risk giving off the impression that you’re not great at synthesizing and paring down information.

I know that staying under two pages isn’t easy for a lot of professionals, so to help you out, here are three tips to help you cut irrelevant content!

1. Emphasize the requirements you found in the job posting.

With a limit on how much you can write, you have to make sure that what you include screams ‘IDEAL CANDIDATE’ right off the bat. This means incorporating relevant functional keywords, experience, and action verbs that relate to the role you’re applying to. Great news: these can all be found by taking a close read of the job posting! The key here is to translate those requirements to benefits statements of how you add value to the organization.

2. Less is more.

The art of impactful communication in resumes is to package what you have to say into manageable soundbites that convey your experience but don’t list every single detail. I recommend having no more than five bullet points for each role you’ve held and to limit each of these to three lines of text or less. Some key ares to include: your experience, education, volunteer work, and awards. Challenge yourself to pare down your stories to get to the core message!

3. Revise, revise, revise!

When you review your resume, consider the question: am I including this because it’s relevant to the role I’m applying to, or because it’s stroking my ego? Resumes are about selling yourself, and most importantly, proving that you can add value to your target organization. Talking about that time you ran a marathon (although impressive!) can be cut if you need more space to convey your relevant expertise. My top tip: send your resume to a friend along with the job posting you’re targeting. They’ll be better able to objectively cut your content and check for grammar.


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