Thursday, May 31, 2007

increasing their frequencies.

If there’s enough money in the PR budget, be sure to use professional survey firms in the perception monitoring phases of your program. If not, you’re still fortunate because your PR people are also in the perception and behavior business and can pursue the same objective: identify untruths, false assumptions, unfounded rumors, inaccuracies, misconceptions and any other negative perception that might translate into hurtful behaviors.

It’s quite clear that setting just the right public relations goal allows you to deal effectively with the most serious problems you turned up during your key audience perception monitoring. Your new goal could call for straightening out that dangerous misconception, or correcting that inaccuracy, or neutralizing that fateful rumor.

At this point, take special care because you must now identify the right strategy, one that tells you how to move forward. Remember that there are just three strategic options available to you when it comes to handling a perception and opinion challenge. Change existing perception, create perception where there may be none, or reinforce it. Since the wrong strategy pick will taste like crumbled Gorganzola cheese on your bread pudding, be certain the new strategy fits comfortably with your new public relations goal. You don’t want to select “change” when the facts dictate a “reinforce” strategy.

Like it or not, a strong message is needed here, one aimed at members of your target audience. There is no doubt that crafting action-forcing language to persuade an audience to your way of thinking is very hard work. Which is why you need your strongest writer. S/he must create some very special, corrective language. Words that are not only compelling, persuasive and believable, but clear and factual if they are to correct something and shift perception/opinion towards your point of view leading to the behaviors you are targeting.

How are you going to carry your message to the attention of your target audience? With the communications tactics most likely to reach that group of people, of course. After you run the draft message by your PR people for impact and persuasiveness, you can choose from among dozens that are available to you. From speeches, facility tours, emails and brochures to consumer briefings, media interviews, newsletters, personal meetings and many others. But be sure that the tactics you pick are known to reach folks just like your audience members.

Because we know that message credibility can depend on the credibility of the means used to deliver it, you may want to try it out before smaller meetings and presentations rather than using higher-profile news releases.

About now, talk of progress reports may be heard, and they are a signal that it’s time for you and your PR team to begin a second perception monitoring session with members of your external audience. Many of the same questions used used in thebenchmark session can be asked again. Now however, you will be watching carefully for signs that the problem perception is being altered in your direction.

Don’t forget that you can always speed up program momentum by adding more communications tactics and increasing their frequencies.

This template can be effective for most public relations challenges you face. When you successfully alter the perceptions of your key external stakeholders, in most cases moving their behaviors in your direction, you should soon enjoy the satisfaction of achieving your managerial objectives.

Let’s start out with a caution

Let’s start out with a caution for business, non-profit and association managers: the premise of public relations implies that the work you do BEFORE you use PR tactics, such as press releases, brochures and broadcast interviews, will determine the success of your public relations effort.

Reason is, if you are one of those managers, the PR plan that flows from that premise will call for achieving your managerial objectives by altering perception leading to changed behaviors among those important external audiences that MOST affect your department, group, division or subsidiary.

Here, read that public relations premise for yourself. People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is usually accomplished.

Of all the things the premise tells you about public relations, the most basic may be that you need to do some serious planning early-on about the behaviors of those vital outside audiences rather than exploding right out-of-the-gate with a tactical broadside.

For example, you don’t want to move prematurely into press releases, talk show appearances, zippy publications and fun-filled special events before you get answers to questions like these: Who are you trying to reach? What do you know about them? How do they perceive your organization? If troublesome, how might we alter their perceptions? And perhaps MOST important, what behaviors do we want those perceptions to lead to?

That is a critical planning concern because the people with whom you interact every day behave like everyone else – they act upon their perceptions of the facts they hear about you and your operation. And that means you should deal effectively with those perceptions (and their follow-on behaviors) by doing what is necessary to reach and move those key external audiences to action.

Once the preliminary public relations planning is complete, you can look forward to PR results such as rising membership applications; customers making repeat purchases; new approaches by capital givers and specifying sources; community leaders beginning to seek you out; fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; prospects starting to do business with you; welcome bounces in show room visits, not to mention politicians and legislators viewing you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities.

But who will do this specialized kind of work? An outside PR agency team? Folks assigned to your operation? Your own public relations people? Regardless of where they come from, they need to be committed to you and your PR plan beginning with key audience perception monitoring.

Are the folks assigned to you really serious about knowing how your most important outside audiences perceive your operations, products or services? Do they really accept the truth that perceptions almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your operation?

Take the time to review with them in detail how you plan to monitor and gather perceptions by questioning members of your most important outside audiences. For instance, how much do you know about our chief executive? Have you had prior contact with us and were you pleased with the interchange? How much do you know about our services or products and employees? Have you experienced problems with our people or procedures?

ou’re saying.

Although I still believe there is a place for advertising as a brand maintenance or brand affirmation tool, I am convinced that to build a brand today, you need PR. At one time advertising did build brands. But this was in a simpler America. That America, sadly, is no more.

I’ve been re-reading The Fall Of Advertising & The Rise Of PR, by Al and Laura Ries, and it is their book that has moved me from suspicion of advertising’s demise as a brand-builder to conviction.

As the Ries’ say, “Publicity is the nail, advertising is the hammer.” What does this mean? It means that your PR effort helps make your message believable so that your advertising will have credibility when it hits.

Typically, companies want to hit the market hard and make a lot of noise. Advertising allows you to launch quickly, control the message, and have your message in as many media as you have the money for. However, that does not mean your message will be believed. The louder advertisers yell, the less likely I am to believe them. How about you?

PR takes time and does not necessarily work on your schedule. Planting new ideas or changing minds is a slow process. When your PR program rolls out over a longer period of time, prospects have time to adjust their attitudes. Brands that take this approach are longer lasting, too.

Chevrolet, for years the number one auto brand, was still number one in ad spending in 2001. It spent $819 million dollars – 39 percent more than Ford spent. That year, Ford outsoldevrolet by 33 percent. Since 1997, Chevrolet has outspent and undersold Ford. Chevrolet spends $314 per vehicle and Ford spends $170 per vehicle. Do you think advertising is working for Chevrolet?

Kmart, embroiled in financial difficulty for years, had revenues of $37 billion and spent $542 million on US advertising in 2001. Wal-Mart spent $498 million and garnered four times the revenue: $159 billion split between its Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores. The average Wal-Mart store does $46 million in sales each year while its Sam’s Club average store sells $56 million. Sam’s Club does almost no advertising.

Those are old brands, you’re saying. What about some newer brands, Harry?

OK, let’s look at Remember the dog sock puppet that starred in their commercials? It won awards, but not sales. In six months had $22 million in revenues and spent four times that much on advertising. Off-base advertising creativity at work.

The Body Shop was built totally by publicity. No advertising at all. Starbucks, until recently, did virtually no advertising. It has built a brand through good PR efforts. Starbucks’ annual sales are around $1.3 billion, while advertising expenditures over 10 years, have totaled less than $10 million.

Finally, what advertising agency do you know that has built its brand with ads? Things that make you go “hmm.”

Although our

This in-group/out-group distinction provides us with the basis for ethnocentrism, which is the tendency to interpret and to judge all other groups, their environment, and their communication according to the categories and values of our own culture. We are guilty of ethnocentrism when we hold that our view of the world is the right one, the correct one, and the only one.

We are all familiar with stereotyping, which is one of the most serious problems in intercultural communication. Our tendency to hold beliefs about groups of individuals based on previously formed opinions, perceptions, and attitudes is often a defense mechanism, a way of reducing anxiety.

There are many other causes of cross-cultural misunderstanding: lack of trust, lack of empathy, and the misuse of power. All of us know what they are about and the turmoil that they cause. But, how can we do a better job at communicating among cultures?

The same skills that we need to communicate in general apply to cross-cultural communication. Lets look at some of those skills:

Know yourself: Identify your attitudes, your opinions, and the biases that we all carry around. Identify your likes, your dislikes, your prejudices, and your degree of personal ethnocentrism.

Take time: Listen to the other person and allow him or her to accomplish their purpose. Don't jump to conclusions. Some times we finish the thoughts and ideas of the other person before he or she has finished talking. Some cultures non-verbal styles call for periods of silence and long pauses.

Encourage feedback: Feedback allows communicators to correct and adjust messages. Without feedback we cannot have agreement. First we must create an atmosphere where others are encouraged to give us feedback. Again, don't be afraid of silence. It could be the appropriate feedback at times.

Develop empathy: The grater the difference between us and others, the harder it is to empathize. To develop empathy we must put ourselves in the other person's place. By becoming more sensitive to the needs, values, and goals of the other person, we overcome our ethnocentric tendencies.

Seek the commonalities among diverse cultures: Despite our cultural differences we are all alike in many ways. We need to seek that common ground to establish a bond between ourselves and the rest of humanity.

Although our own ethnocentrism might have hindered us from getting to know people from other cultures, let us be more than ever committed to help ourselves and others overcome the barrier that culture creates. Let us endeavor to minimize the occurrences of cross-cultural misunderstandings as we develop the attitudes and the skills that are needed to communicate cross-culturally.

and patterns

Each of us is exposed to people from other cultures on a regular basis, in the workplace, in our social activities, at school, or even within our families. Our culture hinders us from getting our message across as well receiving the full message that others want to convey to us. This article expound on three aspects: what culture is, the main causes for cross-cultural misunderstandings, and the attitudes and skills that we need to communicate cross-culturally.

When we think about culture we first think about a country, and particularly about its food, art, customs, and patterns of behavior. These are the outward manifestations of a system of values, assumptions, and deeply rooted beliefs. Culture emerges as a group of people face and then react to the challenges of life. The responses to those challenges that are successful are taught and shared among members of the group and are passed on from the older to the younger members. Culture is then learned through experience.

You can think of culture as having three levels:

• The top level is the outward manifestations, the artifacts: visible behavior, art, clothing and so on.

• In the middle level are the values. These are invisible rules that cause the artifacts

• The most powerful dimension of culture is the implicit cultural assumptions. These assumptions lie so deep that they are never questioned, stated or defended

Culture also exists among Americans, but what are the implicit cultural assumptions of Americans? Some of the most distinctive characteristics of the American culture are: individualism, equality, competition, personal control of the environment, self-help concept, action orientation, informality, directness, practicality, materialism, and problem-solving orientation.

These American values and deeply rooted beliefs are very different from other country's values and beliefs. The implicit cultural assumptions of Americans are often opposed to those of other cultures. When individuals from different cultures run into each other's values and beliefs, cross-cultural misunderstandings take place.

People constantly interact with people who have similar views and who reinforce their beliefs. To be able to distinguish between the in-group and the out-group is of central importance for individuals because it allows them to find an identity as to who they are and who they are not.

In the book entitled Cross Cultural Encounters , Brislim states: “If individuals have out-groups whom they can blame for troubles, the in-group is then solidified since there is a common goal around which to rally.” Later on he says: “Individuals become accustomed to reacting in terms of in-group and out-groups. They continue to use such distinctions when interacting with people from other cultures whom they do not know.”

react but do respond.

A PR product or service launching is a perfect way to build momentum slowly. It handles the first and most important hurdle to overcome in building a brand -- credibility.

Step 1: Be a leak-er. The media adores describing events that are "going" to occur. Use it and use it to its longest capacity. Don't jump out too soon.

Step 2: The Slow Buildup. Like a rose, slow gets more beautiful to people the more it unfolds. It is the way people expect and are comfortable with, respect it.

Step 3: Recruit natural allies to support your launch and buildup. Especially, the enemy of your competitors.

Step 4: Bottom-up rollout. You don't want to jump up to the roof and yell, people just think you're crazy. Begin at the lowest rung on the ladder first. Consider each rung a media outlet. Each media creates its own momentum, its own attraction.

Step 5: Listen and Adjust. Be very aware of credible comments and adjust accordingly. Don't react but do respond.

Step 6: Make message modifications. What attributes are working and build on them. Observe media feedback and watch for media nosebleeds.

Step 7: Patience. Launch occurs after PR has run its course, not before. Have a big D-day planned with a massive approach.

After PR comes advertising and not before. The advertising handles the conventional hurdle -- being popular enough so people buy. Conventional, people buying because other people are buying, never comes before credibility. Credibility is why the most effective brand launching starts with PR.

(c) 2004, Catherine Franz.

you attend t

With a dismal failure rate of more than 75 percent among restaurants, you must be sure you do everything you possibly can do to promote your restaurant through free publicity. Here are 16 tips that will boost your publicity efforts and help you finally get noticed--even if you don't have a big advertising budget.

1. Call the advertising department of every newspaper and magazine you want to get into and ask for a copy of their editorial calendar. It’s a free listing of all the special topics and special sections coming up during the calendar year. It will tip you off to sections where your story idea would be a good fit, so you can query the editor weeks and even months ahead.

2. Call the food editor or columnist from your local newspaper and invite her to lunch or coffee—or to your restaurant. Offer yourself as a resource. Ask “how can I help you?” Feed her tips and story ideas. Become such a valuable source that she keeps coming back to you for more information and eventually writes about you.

3. Produce your own television show on your cable TV company's community access channel. The station will rent you the camera equipment for about $20. You can produce either one show or an entire series of programs, from how to cook with fresh garden produce to a show on how to buy fine wines. Air time is free. Call your cable company for details.

4. Build a network of other restaurant and food industry professionals—even if they are your competitors. Agree informally that you will refer reporters to each other whenever the media calls. Often, reporters want more than one source for a story. It’s a chance for all of you to get additional publicity.

5. Whenever someone asks you to write for their electronic newsletter or online magazine, visit their web site first and see if they have a resource section where you would be a good fit. Ask to be listed for free, in exchange for providing an article.

6. If you publish an interesting print newsletter with information about new trends in your industry, helpful tips for your employees or interesting stories about things that happen in your restaurant, send complimentary issues to local and national food columnists, food reporters, restaurant industry trade publications and other publications whose audiences you want to get in front of. You’ll be amazed at how many reporters start calling you for interviews.

7. Don’t forget newspaper and magazine columnists. They’re always hungry for fresh ideas. Keep in touch with them and feed them ideas regularly. Tell them about trends you are seeing in your industry.

8. Call local radio talk show hosts and invite them to call on you when other guests cancel. They will be thankful you offered. Write articles for industry newsletters. My favorite resource is the Oxbridge Directory of Newsletters, which lists more than 18,000 newsletters by topic and includes detailed information on the type of audience and subjects covered. Most larger libraries have this resource directory.

9. Contact your trade association and ask them to refer reporters to you. Many reporters who don’t know where to find sources start by calling trade associations.

10. Always refer to yourself as an “expert” in your marketing materials, at your web site, in your email signature file, and in your media kit. The media always seek out experts and interview them.

11. If you receive a favorable restaurant review, reprint it on placemats, or frame it and post it in your restaurant wall. Quote from it in your paid ads. Post it at your website.

12. If you have found innovative ways to attract and retain employees, let the media know. The labor shortage in the restaurant industry is a hot topic.

13. Suggest profile stories of employees who have interesting hobbies or participate in outstanding community service projects. The reporter will ask them where they work—and that’s more publicity for you.

14. If your restaurant is a tourist attraction, pitch a story idea to in-flight magazines.

15. If you attend trade shows for the restaurant industry, hook up with reporters who are covering the show and pitch story ideas about trends in your industry, or an idea about your restaurant.


Public relations is all about credibility and trustworthiness. If you don't practice PR, then you are likely to be incredible.

Some of the elements of a PR program include research, media relations, publicity, special events, employee relations, client relationship management, crisis communication, trade shows/conferences, community and government relations, and corporate identity. PR helps you shape internal and external opinion about your organization with an eye toward building support among your key "publics."

What can you expect from PR if it is done correctly?

- Boost Credibility. Media coverage or word-of-mouth from the right people heightens your credibility much more than an ad ever could.

- Build Trust. People trust what they are familiar with. A proactive PR program that gets and keeps your name in front of people can be the first step in building that trust.

- Generate Leads. Positive publicity for your products and services can generate sales leads for you to follow up.

- Word-of-Mouth. By increasing awareness of your company, people and products, media coverage provides fodder for the word-of-mouth machine.

- Shape Attitudes. From employee communication to publicity, PR tactics can be used to tell your story convincingly to key publics.

- Refine Customer Service. Those who believe PR is about one-way, top-down spin doctoring - I hope - are relics of the past. Two-way PR, in which the company actually solicits and listens to customer feedback, can provide the kind of edge companies need today in this age of commoditization.

So, don't be incredible. Make PR an integral part of your business strategy.

Contact your

If you're trying to promote your store, but you don't have a big advertising budget, relax. There are lots of ways to get in front of the audience you want to reach by using free publicity. Here are tips that will boost your publicity efforts and help you finally get noticed.

1. Tie your story ideas to the holidays. Here are some examples: Gourmet gift baskets that make the best Christmas gifts. Bookstores that are doing special programs that tie into Mother’s Day. Health food stores that can explain how to create a vegetarian meal for Thanksgiving.

2. Call the advertising department of every newspaper and magazine you want to get into and ask for a copy of their editorial calendar. It’s a free listing of all the special topics and special sections coming up during the calendar year. It will tip you off to sections where your story idea would be a good fit, so you can query the editor weeks and even months ahead.

3. Invite a reporter from your local newspaper or magazine for coffee or lunch. Instead of asking, “Will you write about me?” a better question is “How can I help you?” Offer yourself as a resource in your area of expertise. Talk about trends you are seeing in your store.

4. Consider starting your own television show on your cable TV station’s community access channel. A floral shop can do a program on how to create dried flower arrangements. The station can rent you the camera equipment for a nominal fee. Air time is free. Produce one show or an entire series of programs. Call your cable company for details.

5. Build a network of other retailers in your area. Agree informally that you will refer reporters to each other whenever they call and want your views on a topic on which you all could comment, such as a new sales tax increase.

6. Write how-to articles such as this one for newsletters published by groups in your community, or for newsletters read by audiences who buy your products or services. Be sure the last paragraph tells readers how to contact you.

7. Don’t forget newspaper and magazine columnists. They’re always hungry for fresh ideas. Keep in touch with them and feed them ideas regularly.

8. Get on your local TV news and the morning TV news feature shows. Tie your product, service, cause or issue to a breaking news event. Pitch yourself as the local angle to a national story. Or suggest a feature story with great visuals.

9. Write articles for electronic magazines and include a paragraph of information at the end that leads readers to your web site.

10. Contact your trade association and ask them to refer reporters to you. Many reporters who don’t know where to find sources on a particular topic start by calling trade associations.

11. Always refer to yourself as an “expert” in your marketing materials, at your web site, in information that explains your workshops, in your introductions during public speaking engagements, and in your media kit. The media always seek out experts and interview them.

12. Pitch stories about your product, service, cause or issue that tie into the weather. Weather stories are mandatory at most media outlets, and newspapers and TV stations, in particular, are always looking for fresh angles that tie into today's and tomorrow's forecast.

13. Pitch story ideas about your business to the reporter who covers the retail beat for your local business journal or business magazine.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Shoot a couple

Shoot a couple of games of pool on it. How does the action feel? Is the ball trajectory hampered by inconstancies in the felt, either on the surface or in the cushions? How well preserved are the cushions? Do they have any tender spots? Are they sagging anywhere?

Furthermore, ask whether the bed comprised of one solid sheet of slate, or divided into three sections that can crease the playing surface along two lines? You can test this yourself but running a hand over the felt where the table is divided crosswise into three sections. If you feel a bump, perhaps this used pool table is not right for you.

A good used pool table is a great find that can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

sales, yard sales, estate sales,

Used pool tables are frequently available. Keep an eye on your local classified section for moving sales, yard sales, estate sales, and so on. You’re sure to run across something eventually.

When shopping for used pool tables, ask all the same questions you would if you were buying a new pool table. What size is it: 7, 8, or 9 feet? What are the body, bed, and cloth made out of?

If the body is made out of more than one piece of solid wood or other material, check the connections for wear and tear. How sturdy is the table? Crawl underneath the table and have a look, as if you were a car mechanic. Stand next to the table and give a shake or two, back and forth, and side to side. Bring a carpentry level with you. Set the table on even ground (as gauged with the level) and test the bed with the level.

Herbal cleansing:corn

Herbal cleansing:corn stigmas have strong diuretic action. Taken for a long period of time they help to dissolve stones in kidneys and also protect urinary tract from infection. Put 1 tea spoon of corn stigmas in 1 cup of boiling water and steep on steam for 2 hours. Drink 0,5 of cup 3 times a day 1 hour before meal for 6 months.

Put 1 table spoon of crushed bearberry leaves in one cup of hot water and steep, covered, on a water bath for 30 min, then cool and strain. Add enough cold boiled water to make one full cup. Take warm 1/3 cup 3 times a day.

Put 3 table spoons of crushed horsetail grass in 500 g of boiling water and boil for 30 min, then steep for 1 hour. Take 0,5 cup 3 times a day. Horsetail cleans kidneys, fights infection and removes toxins and heavy metals. However it can not be taken if acute inflammatory diseases of kidneys are present.

ut 3 table spoons of fresh grate

Carrot kidney-cleansing: 1 table spoon of carrot seeds put in 1 cup of boiling water and steep overnight. In the morning boil infusion for 3 min, let cool down and filter. Take 2 table spoons 3 times a day.

Place 2 table spoons of dried and crushed carrot tops in 500 g of boiling water and steep over night. Take 1/3 cup of warm infusion 4 times a day before meal. The treatment is long-up to 6 months-but brings very good and stable results.

Put 3 table spoons of fresh grated carrots in 1 cup of boiling water and steep over night. Drink during the day, slightly warming up every portion. The cleansing lasts 1 month.

Drink 1 cup of carrot juice 3 times a day for 6 months.

Onion cleansing:take 0,5L bottle and fill half of it with cut onions, add vodka up to the top and keep in warm place of 10 days. After that filter and take 1-2 table spoons 2 times a day before meal.

Coniferous cleansing

Coniferous cleansing:15g of pine, spruce, fir or cedar buds add to 0,5L of milk, bring to a boil, remove from heat and filter. Drink 0,5 of cup 2-3 times a day for 2 weeks. This kidney-cleansing remedy helps reduce kidney stones to sand and removes it from the kidneys.

Put 2 table spoons of finely cut roots of a dog rose in 1 cup of boiling water. Boil at low heat for 15 min, filter and drink 1/3 of cup of warm infusion 3 times a day. Continue for 1-2 weeks.

Parsley seeds:1 tea spoon

Kidney cleanse should be done only after the cleansing of the digestive system and liver. Otherwise there is a strong possibility that serious health complications may arise. The mechanism of kidney-cleansing is based on extensive urinary excretion. That is why all remedies used for this process are strong diuretics.

Parsley seeds:1 tea spoon of seeds put in 0,5L of boiling water and steep over night in a thermos. Drink 0,5 of cup 2-3 times a day. Together with the infusion from parsley seeds drink an infusion made from raisins. Rinse 2 table spoons of raisins, put in 1 cup of boiling water and let stand over night. Drink infusion during the day and also eat raisins. The kidney-cleansing takes 7 days.

or censor your thoughts.


One great way to get some ideas is to use the power of the internet. If you spend a little time at your favorite internet search engine you can often find pictures of what other people have done for their wedding table ideas. Another resource is wedding and bride magazines. If you start planning early enough this research stage can really help you narrow down your ideas. Every time you see something that catches your eye and you think to yourself hey that is cute cut it out or copy and print it. Then keep a big folder for all of your scraps of research. This is what many artists do when they are working on a piece of art and decorating your wedding tables is an art and not much different. The important thing with this step is to not filter anything out or censor your thoughts.

If you find something you like even if it doesn’t match your themes go ahead and cut it out and save it. Then later after you have assembled a good deal of research material you can lay them all out somewhere on a big table and look over them with a friend or family member. Talk about each one and start to analyze what you like about them. Keep a list of things that you notice and like about each picture. By the end you will have your list of wedding table ideas already made. It will then just be a matter of putting things together and firming up the ideas.

As you can see coming up with wedding table ideas can be very easy if you start early enough and take the time to plan. Just make sure you don’t get yourself in a bind by doing this at the last minute.



The second thing that is important to think about before really gather all of your wedding table ideas is the venue for the reception. You will want to decorate for an outdoor spring wedding very differently then a indoor winter wedding. For example if you are doing an outdoor wedding your might want to simplify your decorations and go for a more natural look and feel. However since outdoor reception tend to be in very open spaces you will want your decorations to be on a larger scale albeit simply and natural.


Very similar to taking your theme into account while planning for the reception decorations if you have chosen any colors for the wedding now is the time to pull these in also. If your bridesmaid dresses are all a deep purple then you might not want to use contrasting and bright colors for the table clothes or in the decorations. Instead you will want to subtly enhance the colors of the bridesmaid dresses. In that case you might want to use some very light pastel purples or even white.

Wedding Table Theme

Have you planned everything down to the last detail of your wedding but found yourself stuck on the wedding table and you are looking for ideas? There are lots of great decorations and ideas to have beautifully wedding tables at your reception. This article will help you gather some ideas and think of different ways to decorate which will hopefully spark your own interesting wedding table ideas.

Wedding Table Theme

First and foremost if at all possible you will want to carry the theme of your wedding over into your wedding table decorations. This will save you a lot of extra work and brain power because you can use the same ideas from your theme. For example if you are having a fairy tale themed wedding then you will want to carry this into the decorations of your wedding table and maybe go for a medieval flair for the tables. So always take into consideration your wedding theme and save yourself a lot of work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Schedule follow-up meetings

Have a brochure and/or a web site. Some people will probably want to hear more about your business later, so give them the opportunity to get the information they are looking for.

* Meet people, ask about their business or services. Be curious and ask about them. people love to speak about themselves, so ask questions and listen to their answers.

* Be a problem solver. people will be more interested in you if you tell them how you can solve their problem instead of just hearing your story.

* Go to people; don’t wait for them to come to you. Some people are very shy, they will be very happy if you make the first move.

* Go to events with a friend, a colleague, a client, and introduce people to each other.

* Send a thank you note or email to your new contacts. Thank them for their time and reintroduce yourself in a few lines. They met lots of people during the event and your business card doesn’t say everything about you. So it is good to reinforce your introduction.

* Give them the link to your web site. Tell them about your newsletter, if you have one. This is the best way to stay in touch on a regular basis.

* Schedule follow-up meetings with the people you had a good connection with, or if you think that you can help each other.

* Do it again and again. You will see that networking can expand your contacts, which will definitely help grow your business.

really start doing business together.

It is about patience. The benefit will not appear overnight, and this is why you need to follow up with your contacts. Networking is like dating, one meeting is not enough to know someone. It will probably take some time, some meetings, some lunches or some drinks before you really start doing business together.

Here are some tips on how to maximize the benefits of a networking event.

• Be prepared when you attend a networking event. Know your goals. Are you looking for leads, partners, new clients, services?

* Bring your business cards and a pen to take notes on the back of the cards you receive.

* Have an effective 15 to 30 second elevator pitch. Learn how to sell yourself before your services or products. People want to hear about you first and when they know you and trust you, they will buy your services or refer you to someone else.

What networking is?

Furthermore the other attendees might not appreciate your attitude.

What networking is?

Networking is more than just shaking hands and collecting business cards.
It is about building relationships and being committed to help other business professionals.

It is about the quality of your contacts and not the amount of your contacts.

It is about consistency. The best is to belong to two or three groups, attend their events regularly, get to know the other members, and in exchange they will get to know you and trust you. When you see the same people over and over you develop a strong and relationship with them. The benefit of building relationships with a committed group of people will result in new leads for your business.

one of your shelves?

Networking is not a numbers game; you need to focus on quality and not on quantity. Some people think that they had a successful event when they have collected 30, 40 or more business cards, but they are missing the real point. How many of these 30 or 40 people will you be able to follow-up? How many of these 30 or 40 will follow-up with you?
What is the purpose to collect a huge number of business cards that will end up in a shoe-box on one of your shelves?
Networking is not a place to sell. You have to be prepared to give your elevator pitch to introduce yourself, not give a sales pitch. If you attend an event expecting to find a client to close a sale right away, chances are you will be very disappointed.

*Stillbirths and all infant deaths especially those suspected of SIDS.

*Operative and peri-operative deaths in which the death is not readily explainable on the basis of prior disease.

*Any death, which occurs less than 24 hours after the admittance to any hospital, nursing home or institution or at home, including those under hospice care.

*Deaths known or suspected to be due to contagious disease and constituting a public hazard.

* Deaths occurring in prison or penal institution or while in custody of the police.

* Deaths of persons whose bodies are to be cremated, buried at sea or otherwise disposed of so as to be thereafter unavailable for examination.

*Stillbirths and all infant deaths especially those suspected of SIDS.

* Any death where there is uncertainty as to whether or not it should be reported to the Coroner's Office.

Our Coroner gave us

Deaths occurring under suspicious circumstances, including those where alcohol, drugs or other toxic substances may have had a direst bearing on the outcome
Deaths occurring as a result of violence or trauma, whether apparently homicidal, suicidal or accidental (including those due to mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical or radiation injury, drowning, cave-ins and substances), regardless of time elapsing between the injury and the time of death.

Our Coroner gave us an interesting example to the importance of the underlined statement…

A rather violent fight between a couple ended with a man hanging on to the hood of his girlfriend's car as she tried several times to dislodge him by hitting other vehicles. The man went into a coma for several years until he died in the hospital.

* Any death in which trauma, chemical injury, drug overdose or reaction to drugs, medication or medical treatment was a primary or secondary, direct or indirect, contributory, aggravating or precipitating cause of death.

The following is a list of cases reportable to the coroner

The first topic I want to discuss is how is it determined if an autopsy is needed. I've included, with permission, the list that our speaker Lyell P. Cook D-ABMDI comprised. Please note that this list is comprised from the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and they may not be the same qualifications in your local area.

I've included all of the reasons just in case you might want to include a twist in your mystery story, since not all mysteries involve a murder.

The following is a list of cases reportable to the coroner

* Sudden deaths not caused by readily recognizable disease, or wherein a physician on the basis of prior (recent) medical attention cannot properly certify the cause of death.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I have had a great time

Through the course of the book, I hope you found the information you were looking for, and there is still a little bit more to come. Following this is a glossary of origami terms so you always have a reference if you can’t remember some of the origami language that we have discussed in this book.

I have also included a list of many of the websites that I have used in creating this book. A variety of resources await you in your origami journey. Each one of them has something different to offer, whether it is advice or learning origami, a new and dynamic creation, or something else.

I have had a great time bringing you the information in this book on origami. I can only hope that you have learned what you need to know to springboard you to greater origami heights.

Keep on folding, and enjoying this ancient art, and pass it on to others like I have passed it on to you!

Best of luck!

a way to make creations

Origami is a wonderful and elegant art. It has been developed and embraced over the past 2,000 years by young and old alike. Who would have ever thought that you could fold paper in such a way to make creations like:

Flowers (roses, orchids, tulips)

And there are so many more. I could not have possibly included all of the different patterns there are out there, but we included some of the most popular designs that would get you well on your way.

But, more important is the fact that we started at the bare bones basics and we ended up making some great creations. When you know the basics of any art form, the sky is truly the limit in your artistic ability.

Scissors and blades

Scissors and blades

Although traditionalists might have a problem with using scissors and blades to help cut paper, it does have to happen sometimes. With that said, it rarely has to happen when you are doing the actual design of the origami piece.

Many of the origami patterns call for a square piece of paper, and unless you get commercial origami paper, you might have to cut your own to size. A good pair of scissors or an artist’s blade and a straight edge will do the trick.

Foil backing

Foil backing

This isn’t a major item in origami, until you get into more intricate designs. Many experienced origami artists use foil back paper for certain items that you aren’t going to be able to fold with regular paper. These items might include: antennae on insect designs, and possibly small legs on any of the other creatures that tickle your fancy.

You can usually find foil backed paper in a craft store and it can quite expensive. Some people make their own (quite inexpensively) but it can be messy, as it involves using craft glue and aluminum foil wrap along with tissue paper to give you the same kind of look.

Commercial origami paper

Commercial origami paper

Colored and plain white bond paper can be bought inexpensively for just a few dollars and most of your basic origami creations can be made with this paper. You can also use construction paper, but it is heavier, and you won’t have a lot of luck doing wet folding.

Many experienced origami enthusiasts will use commercial origami paper. This kind of paper is slightly lighter than standard bond paper, but it is actually more durable than its bond counterpart.

One of the other advantages of using commercial origami paper is the fact that it is only colored on one side. The opposite side of this origami paper is white. This is extremely helpful if you are designing or building dual-colored pieces like a zebra, for instance.

Plain white paper


You can almost use any type of paper in any color that you want. But, in order to make your origami fun and not frustrating, it might be best to use standard printer paper. If you use thinner paper, you might tear or wear out the sheets. If you use heavier paper, it might not be the easiest to work with, and the folds get more difficult to make as the paper folds over itself.

Some of the different kinds of paper you might want to use are:

Colored bond paper (standard printer paper in a color)

Colored construction paper


Plain white paper


Aside from the materials, we are also going to show you some of the basic folds, and how to read the directions of many of the patterns that you can find.


In origami, you might not just need paper – it always depends on how far you want to take your creations. Here are some of the tools in you should have in the toolbox:


Foil Backing

Scissors or blades

Glues and paints and other craft goods

To paint a jack-o-lantern,

To paint a jack-o-lantern, begin with a circle or oval of orange paint. When the orange paint dries, add small triangles in black paint for the eyes and nose and paint a toothy smile in black as well. Add a green stem and your jack-o-lantern is complete.

The most important thing to remember when face painting is to have fun and keep it simple! Children aren't expecting a Picasso to be painted on their face. They simply love to celebrate the occasion and face painting is the perfect way to light up the face of any child.

Nothing is "sweeter"

n my opinion, the simplest design to paint is that of a ghost. The basic shape of the ghost is that of a triangle. With a brush loaded with white paint, paint a loose triangle by creating a wavy line to outline the ghost. Fill in with more white paint, dot on black eyes and a smile and the ghost is complete.

Nothing is "sweeter" than a face dotted with painted candy corn. The basic shape is a pyramid, with yellow on the bottom third, orange on the middle third and white at the peak. You can create a candy corn crown by painting the candies in succession along the forehead.

For a small

Begin with good quality, water-based face paints. You can find them online or in some theatrical stores. A palette of six, good-quality face paints is priced around $12.00 and includes enough paint for 70 or more cheek art designs. Water-based face paints apply as easily as watercolors and remove cleanly with a paper towel and water.

For a small gathering of children, two or three small to medium sized paint brushes will be sufficient. A bowl of water to rinse the brushes and a roll of paper towels conclude the list of basic supplies.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Some wonderful Support

See, that's actually one of my biggest fears. I'll quit, but I'll start again. I'll lose the weight, but gain it all back - and then some. So that's just not going to happen. And in determining that I would not fail - no way in Hell - I found the substitute for the rebellion factor that's kept me lighting up over the past three decades. I was really tempted not to mention quitting in public. I was downright sneaky about the whole thing for the first few days. In fact, I only wrote about it in my blog (thus proving that very few people read the darned thing) - it was eleven days before my husband noticed I'd quit, and two full weeks before my father-in-law figured it out. The kids caught on after about four days.

I did enlist and receive the most wonderful support from my Sparkly "March Moms" (a group of moms and dads with kids my son's age - we've been together on an Internet mailing list for almost twelve years, now, since learning we were pregnant and due in March 1996). One of them took me on a virtual tour of the world - on non-smoking flights to destinations like a gorgeous under-the-sea restaurant or the ICEHOTEL, where smoking would be impossible or disgustingly inappropriate. They quietly congratulated me each day I stayed quit, without once making me feel they'd think less of me or lecture me or preach to me if I didn't. They knew it was that "f*** you!" cig that was the biggest challenge of all to give up - and never once triggered the impulse. I love my March Moms. I love my family, too, but I can't quit smoking for someone else - that whole "If you loved me, you'd..." tactic never worked on me. Mom made very sure of that, before she let me go out on my first date. I'm sure she had no idea I'd use my inner strength of will as an excuse to hang onto bad habits, but I doubt she'd have weakened my resolve to make quitting smoking easier, in any case.

Quit smoking

I smacked myself, hard. Then I opened up a browser window and Googled myself. Sure enough, there they were, in my 2005 NaNoWriMo blog. (Don't ask me why I keep doing that to myself.) I'd laid everything out with clear intent and specificity, hadn't I? I'd even figured out all the steps necessary to get there. No getting out of this - I'd been careful not to build in loopholes. Damn the legal training...

Anyway, the weight loss was easy, once I stuck that foot out there in front of me and started to move. A few months later - December 2006 - I was thirty pounds lighter. I reviewed the goals I'd set and checked each one off the list with pride. I got to the end of the list...

Quit smoking.

Oh, no I hadn't... yep. I looked at the list again. I had. Why? I whined (in my head). I was doing so well; now, a year later, I didn't even want to quit smoking. But suddenly, I wanted very much to do everything I'd vowed to do at the end of 2005. I'd said I would, I'd said it in public, and by G-d, I would. I took a deep breath. I set my quit date to...December 29. That'd get me through the holiday stress, I reasoned. And I won't have to think about it for another three weeks. Yeah, there was that. Unfortunately, I ran across this post on commitment. It opened with the following quotations:

I asked myself ...

I asked myself right then and there: Self, do you want to be right where you are now, next year, on your birthday? That was about seven months away. A quick mental calculation told me that was a reasonable length of time in which to meet my weight loss and fitness goals at a safe one- to two-pound a week rate. Oh, sure – I want to be fat and sassy this time next year. Why not? Especially when it comes time to go to J.J.'s company picnic and show it all off in a new swimsuit...

The answer, of course, was "No, I want to be thin and sexy before I buy a new swimsuit, and I'll be darned if my husband's coworkers see me looking like that again, next summer!" If not now, when? I knew I could do it. Somehow, I knew without a doubt that I could reach all the goals I'd set for myself. "The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step," Confucious said.

"Just put one foot in front of the other, and keep moving," my mother often said.

Okay, starry-eyed Self, I muttered. Where'd I put those "resolutions" for 2006? Oh, crap...I posted them in public?

Stop Smoking

In September, I stumbled across SparkPeople again. "Oh, yeah, I remember this," I thought. I chuckled over the goals I had set in January, remembering how fresh and full of potential the New Year had seemed, back then. I stepped on the scales. Wow. I weighed just about the same thing I had nine months earlier. (I know that sounds good to you if you're caring for a newborn and working on losing the "baby weight," but I'm 43 and my "baby" is ten years old.) I browsed through some of the other members' pages and saw their "before" and "after" shots. Some of them used virtual proxies built through retail clothing sites, but even those are surprisingly accurate. (I can just see all those virtual models getting together in cyberspace: “Don't you think she could've had the decency to dress me in something other than my undies before posting that for all the world to see?” People for the Ethical Treatment of Virtual Models requires that you post a photo of yourself, dressed only in a bathing suit – it's a much more potent motivator.) Anyway, it hit me like a ton of bricks: If I'd done what I'd said I was going to do, back in January, I'd be at my goal weight now. Instead, I'm right where I January. Nothing has changed.