Emails are a necessary evil. Like it or not, it’s how people and organizations communicate in 2015.

If you want to unsubscribe, CAN-SPAM makes it super easy. In a nutshell, the 2003 CAN-SPAM act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) sets the rules for commercial email (including small businesses and non-profit organizations), establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them and spells out tough penalties for violations.

So rather than just hitting reply and asking to be removed, or worse replying with STOP like you would a text message, scroll to the bottom of the email and look for messages like this one from the Home Depot:

Home Depot Unsibscribe

 

Or this one from Groupon:
Groupon Unsubscribe
Even Facebook has an easy unsubscribe:
Facebook Unsibscribe
Avoid looking like you’ve never used email and if you want to unsubscribe, scroll to the bottom of the email and follow those directions.

French Lentil Soup
Sometimes it’s a challenge to find foods that fit the No Six diet (no: dairy, wheat, eggs, fish, soy or peanuts) I’m on for Baby A. Luckily, I have a forever patient husband who is willing to search things out. He found this wonderful French Lentil Soup recipe, originally from Bon Appetit and with a few tweaks, it was wonderful.

Ingredients:
3-5 strips of bacon, roughly chopped
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions (we used yellow)
1 cup chopped celery stalks
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups (or more) chicken stock
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
Balsamic vinegar, about 2 tablespoons (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat bacon in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat. Leave the bacon grease in the pan and add the olive oil. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups stock, lentils and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and the Balsamic vinegar. Ladle soup into bowls.

My opinion:
Like any good soup, this isn’t much to look at, but it is delicious. It is hearty and filling and all around wonderful. I can’t wait to be able to eat warm pita with it!

Mexican Black Bean Soup with Sausage
It’s been a roller coaster of spring-like temperatures and freezing, regular February temperatures around here the last few weeks. That plus the lovely no six diet (no: dairy, wheat,eggs, fish, soy or peanuts) diet I’m on to help baby A’s digestive issues means we’ve had to get very creative with dinners. Luckily for me, J has taken the changes to our culinary repertoire in stride and has come up with a lot of alternatives to our favorite dishes. He found this lovely one from Food and Wine magazine.  Since I was baby A wrangling, I only got a picture of the finished product.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped (we used about 3 tablespoons of minced garlic, but we like garlic a lot)
1 canned chipotle chile, seeded and finely chopped (since we didn’t have this on hand, we used 1 teaspoon ground chipotle)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
3/4 pound smoky cooked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, thinly sliced (we just went with two andouille)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for garnish
2 tablespoons very finely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sour cream for serving (we left this out because it’s dairy)

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the chipotle or ground chipotle, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the black beans and chicken stock and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Using a potato masher, coarsely crush some of the beans (we skipped this step).  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage to the beans. Then add the lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, or longer if you’d like! Ladle the soup into bowls and serve, passing the sour cream and lime wedges separately.

My opinion:
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this ended up being very filling and just the right amount of heat to warm me from the inside. It’s absolutely a soup we will add to the rotation, even once we (hopefully!) can start adding the no items back to my diet.

This webinar was centered around the five mistakes most businesses make when creating social marketing plans. Presenters Uri Bar-Joseph, Senior Director of Marketing at Simply Measured, and Lauren Berry, Enterprise Client Partner at Simply Measured, promised a webinar to understand how past performance should influence next steps and how to create a social planning framework to help ensure you hit the mark.

The webinar from opened with a question:
Hardest Part of Social Planning

Bar-Joseph commented that planning is like thinking and you can’t separate it from human nature. We plan because we want to set ourselves up for success.

“Planning should be the starting point of the social media marketing management process,” he said. “Planning is one of the four functions of marketing management, alongside analysis, implementation, and control.”

Twenty-five to 30 percent of your time should be dedicated to planning the social campaigns.

From there it quickly moved into the Social Media Marketing Management Process.
SOcial Media Marketing Management ProcessSocial media marketers should look at each component of the process and then integrate the individual components to come up with the best processes and practices for your organization.

Make sure you have the right goals that align with your business’s goals. Make sure your goals are aggressive, but not too aggressive. The most important reason to set good goals is to improve.

As yourself: What makes a win for the stakeholders? How do you get the rest of your organization to celebrate wins with you? Find someone on that same team to be a devil’s advocate.

Data should be used to enhance performance, not just to have a cool report. Don’t get bogged down in the numbers. Find one to three goals and metrics that will help you map business needs. You don’t need 60 pages to share that information.

Avoid tunnel vision. Your strategy should be multiple components, not just a single one to focus on. This goes hand in hand with not falling in love with the plan. You need to be flexible. By being attuned to what goes on around you and evaluating the plan along the way you will be more likely to meet your goals.

Don’t ignore your competitors, but don’t assume that the first competitors you think of are your actual competitors. Find a competitor set that you can compare yourself against. This should be competitors who are targeting the same audience you want to target. Then look and see what social platforms they are using and how they are using those platforms to engage that audience.

Social is fast, but you still should review the data and the data of your competitors. A competitive analysis is not always about beating someone. It should be easy to get competitor information and glean practical data from that information. That data should also help you create a persona (or personas) for your target audience.

Don’t limit your data to social, you should also talk to sales people and research group that did secondary research on the audience.

Your audience can and should tell you what they care about. When you know that information, don’t be afraid to try it. While it is easy to get distracted by new social channels and predictions of demise of established channels, pay more attention to where you audience is and where they might be.

Look at your audience demographics, those metrics may tell you a different story about your audience than you originally thought it would. Interactions should support the business goals. Goals are not necessarily key performance indicators. Focus on specific goals and find the key performance indicators that will give you the right answers.

When evaluating your plan, make sure to include answers to : do your assumptions still hold? Can you validate those assumptions either way?

Takeaway slide:
Social Planning Takeaways

Promised takeaways were:

  • How to think about planning in context with social analytics
  • Tips for better strategic planning and performance measurement
  • How to collect social data about your brand, audience, and competitors

All three elements were reviewed, but not in concrete or specific examples.

You can see the entire Twitter conversation from the hashtag: #SimplyPlanning.

What do you think?

You're a New Mom! When I was pregnant, I hated the phrases “just you wait” or “I’ll remind you of that when…” Now that Avonlea is here, I hate the phrase “you’re a new mom” as much if not more.

I’ve been surprised at how this phrase is used to be condescending and demeaning and everyone from strangers to medical professionals use it to “excuse” or justify my behavior or worse devalue my concerns.

Somehow the new mom designation translates to being uninformed or ignorant in addition to overly emotional, irrational, harried and unstable. Even worse is when the person says, “you’re a new mom” with an eye roll or a tone that indicates you “silly woman.”

Let me be clear, I’m not being an overly emotional new mom because I’m tending to my daughter’s needs. I’m not being an irrational new mom by being prepared. I’m not just being a new mom because I notice changes in my daughter’s behavior and ask questions. I’m not just being an overly concerned new mom because recommended courses of action aren’t working. I’m being a mom.

I first encountered this phrase when I was at the local Macy’s and trying to find a place to change my daughter’s diaper and if necessary feed her. (This was after finding out that the handicap doors didn’t work, so I shouldn’t have had my hopes up.)

Not only was the bathroom not equipped with a changing table but trying to find a chair to sit in for nursing or giving her a bottle was almost impossible.

In desperation, I found a handicap dressing room with a seat. Thankfully even though we were just going to the store for a short time, had packed an extra outfit, a bottle and a few diapers. Poor girl needed the new outfit, two diapers and drank the entire bottle.

When we emerged from the dressing room with a new outfit and a happier (not screaming) baby, fellow shoppers commented on how I “must be a new mom” because I was “over prepared.”

I don’t think I was even a bit over prepared! I was just prepared and knowing my daughter and her general needs doesn’t make me over prepared.

By far, the worst and most condescending comments about my being a new mom has come from a medical specialist we’ve seen.

After our terrible experience in the Pediatric Unit when Avie was four days old (see above photo), I’ve become a much more vocal advocate for my daughter. I’m not afraid to be request the next steps in treatments and I’m willing to do my homework.

When the physician recommended course of action isn’t working the timeframe he indicated it would and I say I want to try something else, don’t tell me just being a “new mom.” I want my daughter to get better. I want to make sure this isn’t going to cause long-term issues because we weren’t proactive enough.

So when a nurse or physician essentially blows off my well-researched questions or indicates my wanting to try something else is just because I’m a new mom, it makes me irate.

I highly doubt non-new mothers would ignore their child’s symptoms or would want to be unprepared for a diaper blow out. All parents should feel comfortable advocating for their children whether they are first time parents or fifth time. Period.

About Aurora

My father named me after Sleeping Beauty. The princess theme stuck. Unfortunately, the only castle I can claim is the one in Disney Land. These are the musings of a princess without minions, knights or fairy tales. I have to do my own bidding.

The views in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or clients.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers

pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 51 other followers

%d bloggers like this: