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Marketing and more: for women and men in business online. We blog about the many issues women face in life, business, and play. Written by Yvonne DiVita, Lena West, Donna DeClemente, Mary Schmidt, Amanda Posner, Chloe Spencer, AmyK and Robbi Hess. Engag

Last Build Date: Mon, 01 Dec 2014 04:31:00 PST


How to Unleash Your Pet Business’ Marketing Success

Tue, 18 Nov 2014 07:34:29 PST

Business owners who work in the pet industry are lucky to have an inherently loyal customer base of animal lovers and pet parents who cherish their fur babies and want to give them the best products and services available. Marketing your business well ensures that those committed pet owners are aware of your existence and more likely to refer others your way. Never underestimate the impact an effective marketing plan can have on your overall success as an entrepreneur. By following some basic marketing guidelines, you’ll immediately gain a head start on the competition. Identify Your Target Customers In order to launch a successful pet business, you have to know your customers. For those in the pet industry, you at least know that your customers are animal lovers and pet owners, but don’t stop there. What other businesses or organizations might use your products? Consider county animal shelters, rescue groups, veterinary offices, and domestic violence or homeless shelters (both often have clients with animals). What geographical area will you target for advertising? Will you offer special rates to certain non-profit groups? Take the necessary time to thoroughly identify your target audience and how you’ll market to each customer. Create Promotional Materials Every business needs great promotional materials like business cards, flyers or newspaper advertisements. Those in the pet industry should especially utilize these since theirs can be more creative and feature adorable pet photos or animal print lettering. Create a fun tagline for your business, and add animal sounds like purrs and woofs to radio ads. With today’s technology and available sound boards, creating an animal jingle is easily done and can help increase your customer base. Little details can go a long way when it comes to establishing yourself in the industry and ultimately standing out in the crowd. Spread the Word Social media is one of the best ways to market yourself completely free, so businesses should create accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and get ready to hashtag. In order to make your online presence as valuable as possible, post at least daily, promote any and all sales or new merchandise, and encourage shares and likes by offering discounts to those who “check in” at your business. Create a business website, allow customers to join your newsletter list, and send out emails with exclusive coupons or discount codes. In order to build your brand, reward customers who refer friends. Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face contact either. Going around your community to share business cards or business information with potential customers is a great way of letting them associate a face with the business. Offer Incentives One of the best things that an emerging or established business can possibly do is offer rewards and perks to its customers. People love free things, so loyalty cards, email coupons, free shipping and flash sales will keep customers coming back. Some stores offer Friday freebies or featured products that are 10% to 50% off in order to target multiple types of customers. Don’t forget to offer fun incentives to first-time customers as well. 20% off coupons for an initial purchase is a wonderful and effective way of inspiring a sale. You can also encourage customers to “like” or share your business information on social media by giving additional discounts. Special discounts for rescue groups and non-profits can also set your business apart from the rest, and you’ll establish a more appreciative and loyal customer base in the process. Get Creative Not many people get the opportunity to work with animals each day, so take advantage of the exciting work environment by letting your creativity shine. In order to drum up business and free advertising, launch a community contest that lets pets take center stage. Have guest speakers on animal rights or allow local artists to regularly showcase animal-inspired paintings and sculptures. Donating any slightly damaged or unsold seasonal merchandise to local a[...]

Stay Connected While You’re Home for the Holidays

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:17:08 PST

If you, like many people, will be headed over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house — or anywhere else for that matter — you may stress out at the idea of stepping away from your business for days or weeks at a time. Thankfully, we live in an era of technology and being out of the office doesn’t have to cause a catastrophe for your business. Here’s how to reduce that holiday stress, enjoy time with family and friends, and keep your business up and running. Plan Ahead. Simply giving your customers a head’s up that you will be unavailable (or have limited access to email if you can’t go cold turkey) will eliminate much of the email you’d get during that time. Your customers are busy with their own holiday plans, so don’t expect too much activity while you’re away. Take care of any assignments or projects that are due ahead of time. Ask your clients if they need anything before you leave. (Do this at least 2 weeks out.) Spend extra time now clearing your plate for your vacation. Get Your Apps Ready. The great thing about technology is how many wonderful mobile applications there are. You don’t even need your laptop to stay on top of business. Queue up the apps that you use so that they’re easily accessible on your phone. The Freshbooks mobile app lets you invoice people, track time, and accept payments on the go. The Insightly mobile app lets you take your CRM wherever you are, so you can keep the pulse on what’s happening with your customers. The Google Calendar app helps you stay on top of meetings and deadlines. Carve Out Time to Work. If you absolutely need to check in with work, plan ahead of time when you’ll do it. Maybe it’s the early hours before the kids are up, or after they go to bed. Limit your time and stick to it. Check in, put out fires, then put your devices away. To manage their expectations, let your family know you plan to spend some of your vacation working. Schedule work ahead of time so you don’t miss out on family get-togethers or events. Find somewhere quiet to work so you can focus and finish quickly. Set up automatic task reminders in your CRM. You'll be notified when critical tasks are waiting so you won’t miss a deadline no matter how busy you are. Put Your Marketing on Autopilot. Your marketing efforts can go on without you while you’re enjoying eggnog and Christmas carols. You can write several blog posts in advance and schedule them to publish while you’re gone, and you can even schedule social media updates. Spend a few hours lining everything up so there’s no evidence that you’re not working hard, even when you’re skiing the slopes. Use a social media dashboard like HootSuite to schedule updates on all platforms. Use Twitterfeed to automatically share your blog posts through your social networks. Set up your email marketing software to automatically send emails while you’re out. Know When to Say No. It’s far too easy to check your work email with a touch to your phone, but do you really need to? Technology has made us all too accessible at times, and it’s up to us to take control again. If there’s not a reason you need to make yourself available to your staff or employees, turn your vacation autoresponder on and go enjoy your family! Sign out of your work email from your phone so you’re not tempted to access it. Turn off social media notifications. Let go and enjoy your time off! You’ll never be satisfied trying to work and enjoy your vacation at the same time, so aim not to work. It’s a challenge for us Type A personalities, but it’s completely doable. Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s also the founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and contribute[...]

Your Power is in Your Voice #womenofpower

Sat, 04 Oct 2014 06:50:59 PDT

by Yvonne DiVita "It's great reconnecting," she said. Her voice boomed through the phone with a power that penetrated my entire body. It dominated her presence. I could see her speaking to me, through the miles between us, the phone line, the very air separating us. "I agree," I said, without anywhere near as much impact, I am sure. We talked business. We talked personal lives. We laughed. We shared a few stories. We took the frayed edges of our lost connection and began to repair them. The color of our lives improved. We went from gray to red... and variations between. I find it encouraging to talk to women on the phone when their very presence is demonstrated by the power in their voice. One of the areas I feel most strongly about is in the use of one's voice to accomplish goals and achieve more results. Women tend to be quieter. We tend to be gentle, if we need to push the other person in our direction. We shy away from the booming, startling voice of authority... the voice men use, mostly, when they talk business. This is not about why men get more done or why people listen to them more or why they command a higher presence in business. It's about how women can improve their position in business, no matter where they are, by using the power of their voice. Sound can be a weapon. A weapon need not devastate. Sometimes a weapon is a means to an end. Sometimes the end does justify the means. Picture yourself in a crowded room, people are sitting, fidgeting, gathered around tables or standing in the back of the room. They're clearly anxious. The lights are turned down low. The rustle of paper programs can be heard among the whispers. waiting for the speaker - is it you? At the front of the room is a stage, with a lectern. All these fussy people are waiting for ... you. You are behind the curtain. You are speaking to this group of anxious people, men and women, from businesses across the nation. You are keynoting a conference. How will this turn out? Much advice revolves around how well you know your topic and whether you've practiced enough. That goes without saying, doesn't it? My advice is this - get a voice coach. Improve your speaking voice. Be confident and demonstrate power by dominating that soon as you open your mouth. Create the outcome you want by owning the experience. Your voice is more than a way to share your story, it's a tool of immense power that should resonate in the ears and minds of every person in that audience, long after you're gone. I am still struck by the phone conversation I had two weeks ago, with this powerful woman I am so glad to be reconnected with. Who is she? You will learn in weeks to come. For now, I wanted to share the story of a powerful voice, rather than the people who have powerful voices. It doesn't matter how tall you are, how much you weigh, what you look like, or the color of your hair. It doesn't matter where you grew up or how many times you've been published. What matters is... how confident are you? Your voice will tell your audience (audience of one or one thousand, it doesn't matter) that you know who you are and they will leave knowing who you are. In the process of discovering who you are, they will learn more about your passion and your mission and you will gain followers. Learn to speak out loud. #womenofpower

Conversation with A Friend #friendshipendures

Fri, 03 Oct 2014 10:57:25 PDT

Dr Lorie Huston and Yvonne at WIPIN by Yvonne DiVita #friendshipendures “This is an amazing event,” she said as we met in the narrow hall of the exhibit area for BlogPaws Denver, 2010. Her blue eyes sparkled like a sunny afternoon in June. I have to admit, I was pleased with all the praise coming our way. The event was the second BlogPaws, here in Denver, back in our launch year. I remember the conversation so well because having someone of the stature of Dr. Lorie Huston compliment you is not something you forget. “Thank you,” I said. We shook hands. We talked a bit more about why BlogPaws was created and how it could serve the veterinary world. We had a Vet track at the conference and Dr. Lorie was especially interested in that. That was the start of an enduring friendship, and she accepted an invitation to join our unofficial board, which met mostly by phone each month. I came to rely on her insight and expertise. I came to appreciate her knowledge not only of blogging (wow, a veterinarian who blogs!), and using blogs effectively for a veterinary practice, but for many other things; for business, for life, for the good health of my pets, even for inspiration. Dr. Lorie inspired me to be more than I am, better than I am, and kinder to others. During our friendship I never heard a harsh word about anyone, from her. That’s a cliché, I know. However, with Dr. Lorie as we all called her, it was true. She epitomized the kind and gentle veterinary professional – as good with her patients’ humans as she was with her patients, themselves. I remember last year being so upset about a certain incident, really hurt by it, and Dr. Lorie sitting across from me at a separate event we were both attending, looking at me with sympathy. There was a sincerity there, and calmness, that I badly needed at that moment. “I don’t think they meant it that way,” she said, in her quiet husky voice. She understood, but wanted to help me overcome the feelings of anger clearly evident in my scowl, my hard sighs, even my gaze, no doubt. “I know them pretty well and I bet they were just confused.” “Perhaps,” I said. I could feel my heart calm. “I just don’t get it… why would they do that?” “Everyone makes mistakes.” The look on her face said, “Try to forgive.” And so, I did. And, I discovered the issue was as much my fault as anyone’s. So, I reached out, I talked it through, and I made amends. Because Dr. Lorie was so right – every story has two ways of telling, and yours might be partly right, while the other person’s is also partly right. Together, you need to let go of acrimony and agree to move on. When I told Dr. Lorie what I’d done, she gave me that amazing smile and I felt reborn. reborn “If you were here now, Dr. Lorie,” I say to her this morning, in the silence we have embraced, the little bit of space we are taking to say the goodbyes we did not get to say to her, on that horrible day this week that we learned of her passing, “I’d tell you how much I appreciated the time you gave me; time to vent, time to laugh, time to share and learn together. I’d tell you how much I valued our friendship. I’d remember the times we had at BlogPaws and WIPIN, where you looked so beautiful, with your hair all done up and your smile as bright as all the stars in the sky, and I’d listen to your stories from your vet conferences or the times you were at AAHA with Tom. “I’d tell you how much I admire you because you bring such grace and honor to all that you do. I’d ask about your cats – how is it I never asked about your cats? I’d tell you stories about Emily and Olive and Molly. And I’d cry with you over the loss of my beautiful Chester. “If you were here, I’d ask about the learning center we’re building and get your advice on what to include and I’d thank you for sharing so much with me, over these few years we knew each other. “If you were here, I’d hug you again and take a picture with y[...]

Blogging is So 1999!

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:43:33 PDT

by Yvonne DiVita It may only be October but the New Year is looming. Somehow, once we hit September, the days and weeks pass by in a blur and before you know it, Jolly Old St Nick is arriving, with the celebratory night called New Year's Eve, hard on his heels. I wonder how St. Nick celebrates - does he just crash and heave a big sigh, and wait for his wife to bring him a beer? #thingsthatmakeyougohmmmm Over the last two years, as I've worked more intimately in blogging and programs with brands, over at BlogPaws, my emerging and strong community of pet people who blog or tweet or just connect to make life better for animals everywhere, I've learned a thing or two about where we're going with this social media stuff. You know, the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc...stuff. The stuff that is a direct result of blogging. Back in 1994, when I started blogging, we were brand new. "What's blogging?" folks would say, with that quizzical look on their faces, when we told people that's what we were about. "It's... like an interactive newsletter, online," I would say. Or, "It's a conversation," Tom would say. The blank looks persisted. Over time, folks 'got it.' The Internet, they discovered, was a useful tool. The Internet, and websites, and BLOGS, could help them market and sell and connect and grow. Hallelujah. The infographic over at Social 4 Retail tells us that 6.7 million people blog on blogging sites, while 12 million blog via social networks (Facebook and twitter). It also says...wait for it... drumroll please... "the majority of bloggers are WOMEN" Looking at that graphic, we see a list of the highest earning blogs which includes Mashable, Techcrunch, and something called Car Advice. Interesting, the car advice one. The others are well known and you'd expect them to make almost any list of good blogs. The key here is to recognize that they are blogs. As we move into 2015, into a new decade, into an ever increasing world of "what ifs"... where folks like my 16 year old granddaughter take social media and talking phones and texting for granted, the way we old folks took color TV and remote controls and power steering for granted when OUR parents had to watch black and white TV, get up and change the 3 channels if they wanted something new, and drive cars that built muscles... I have to wonder where the whole blogging craze is going. We're moving beyond the focus of blogging. It was a tool to build expertise and connect people by sharing stories. It was a way to meet new people without ever leaving your home. It grew into a way to market to the masses by having individuals, consumers if you will, share the product or service or next big promotion. People began to accept the input from bloggers - and brands recognized the influence these popular writers maintained. Suddenly, okay, maybe not 'suddenly', maybe over a period of years, bloggers gained not only acceptance but respect. Of a sort. There are still brands today that mistrust bloggers and we are as likely to be portrayed in TV shows or movies as gossipy, with a lack of integrity, rather than as journalists who deserve to be paid for their work, not their opinion. And yet... as time marches on, which it is wont to do, regardless of how many naps you take or how long you step away from your computer or whether you miss a favorite TV show or not... the world of marketing, to women or otherwise, has begun to change. It's moving away from blogs. It's moving away from social. Let me clarify, lest you rush to cancel those Facebook ads you launched yesterday, or you dismiss that amazing new agency with the smart and talented social person who is going to get you in front of thousands of new customers, at the click of a mouse... Bloggers are still influential. Bloggers are actually growing in influence, by virtue of their expertise and knowledge - gained over the last ten years doing this kind of thing; connecting to people personally, through their writing,[...]

#Sunisforshining Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 10:31:04 PDT

by Yvonne DiVita "You're just so hard to work with!" Harsh words to hear. Especially given the fact that I'm not hard to work with. Yes, I am proud and confident and I can be domineering. But, I also listen well and 99% of the time try to see things from the other person's viewpoint. The incident causing this statement arose from an event that had happened several weeks prior. The person making the statement had worked with a competitor, a big competitor, to devise some online content that she now wanted ME to share. I was surprised. I was confused. I was ... slowly, a bit angry. "I'm here, I'm focused on this also, as you know," I wrote to her. "It confuses me why you would work with when we have an on-going relationship and I am always at your beck and call to create content." The answer to that statement was, "That makes me feel bad. Is that what you make me feel bad? This wasn't my doing. It was . I just participated." I had to let it go because, after all, I don't own anyone and relationships are open for interpretation. This person obviously felt it was okay to not only create content with a competitor, but to then ask me to share said content. I chose not to share. I chose to make note of the insult - yes, it was an insult - and move on. Fast forward to the opening sentence of this post. I was being told how hard I am to work with because I had made a stance weeks earlier, defending myself and my work. Interesting? More than that, it goes to intent on the other person's part. The intent was... all hers. She wanted to "have her cake and eat it too"...if you will. For a few moments, that comment stung. It caused me a high level of consternation. It made me catch my breath. Until the next morning... when, I rose to see... the sun. Since then, I look out the window in my office and the sun shines brighter than ever. It reminds me that relationships, certainly business ones, come and go. It reminds me that smiles gender more and better attention than tears. It reminds me that I am in charge of how much sun shines into my office, thereby into my world. Early morning sun can be brutal. It flows through the blinds like sharp knives, cutting my vision into random pieces. I find myself forced to close the blinds and turn the lights on. Oh that sad artificial light so many of us live with, day to day, in stark offices across the country. I hate it. I use it sparingly, only when the sun, the real light of the world, prevents me from accomplishing my good work. Each day, I rise here in Colorado, and I thank the good Lord and the Power of Light, for the sun. I often stand at my back door and marvel in the beauty of my grass, my trees, my simple but small yard, where the dogs cavort and chase squirrels. Am I really here? I sometimes ask myself. Is this my world? What luck, if that is true. If, indeed, I do not live in an alternate universe where I am only dreaming or imagining the beautiful yard out back, the stunning yard out front, the wondrous walking paths we take the dogs down almost daily... then I am blessed, am I not? Courtesy Photo | NASA | 09.22.2009 Though I am still seething a bit over the comment that I am hard to work with - born of the result of my standing up for myself - I realize more and more that I have sunshine all about me. I embrace the warmth and light of this marvelous orb as it serves to show me the way forward. My way is to move on and not allow foolish comments to dictate my happiness. I am reminded of this old song of my youth, "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying"... by Gerry and the Pacemakers. "We know that cryin's not a bad thing -But stop your cryin' when the birds sing," they told us. And yes, I see birds out my backdoor. I hear them singing each morning. I hear the soft and soothing sounds of a breeze in the trees. I can't help but smile, each and every day... The trials and tribulations of owning your life, of accepting the bad with the good, and[...]

Business Lessons From the Life of Joan Rivers

Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:40:24 PDT

A successful business is often about finding the right key to open the right door. Joan Rivers once said, "If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door — or I'll make a door." She doesn't mention anything about finding a key, probably because she'd just knock the door down. The passing of this feisty, much-loved woman brings up a wealth of knowledge on how to navigate the business realm. Here are five business tips for women based on the legacy of this dynamic business woman. 1. Know When and How to Act Ms. Rivers was a flamboyant gossip at all the right times. Good gossip catches all sorts of buzz, right ladies? Her red carpet interviews always caught attention. Instead of acting straight-laced and professional, Joan would joke and judge. She knew exactly which buttons to push to get the right kind of attention. Professionalism can mean a lot of different things. For Joan, it meant being the bull, not grabbing the bull by the horns. She knew that she had to stand out to be a successful actress, comedian, and all around Hollywood superstar. What can you take away from this for your business career? Do you need to be more outspoken or do you need to listen more often? 2. Strengthen Your Work Ethic According to Fortune Magazine, Joan made over $1 billion with QVC over a 24-year period. How did she do this? She worked her tail off. Everyone knows that a successful business involves a lot of hard work. But somehow, this all-around colorful lady found time to stretch her career fingers into publishing, acting, comedy and philanthropy, among other things. Even an introvert has to learn how to stand out from the crowd to reach new career heights. If you don't take anything else away from this, just remember that successful people are often good at more than one thing. Take some classes online or go to a seminar and reach just a bit broader with your next lesson. Learning new things can only help you. 3. Stay Relevant Do you work in the fashion world or for a scientific journal? Do you keep up with the latest trends? This fiery fashionista was never behind the times. At 81-years young, Joan was still stirring up gossip about the latest celebs. She was always in the thick of things, and she always made it clear that she knew exactly what was going on. Keep up with events in your industry and you'll stand a better chance of staying ahead of the pack. 4. Embrace Humor A sense of humor goes a long way in any business, and Joan certainly had enough to get her through some interesting events. It can reduce stress and bring coworkers closer together. Humor can also be an ice breaker — or a deal breaker, so watch the line! — and can really help you survive the business landscape. Just because you're at work doesn't mean you can't have a good time. That wasn't a joke. Honest. 5. Stop Apologizing So Much According to a 2010 study, women apologize more frequently than men. Think about Joan Rivers — she wouldn't apologize for anything. This might not always be the best tactic in the business world, but business women in particular should stop apologizing unnecessarily. Pantene grabbed on to this concept for their "Shine Strong" marketing campaign, which has some nice examples in a business setting. This isn’t a bad idea for day-to-day life, either. Take inspiration from the life of Joan Rivers. Hard work, persistence, humor and a creative mind go a long way in the business realm. Go find a key to your own business, or just kick open the door yourself! Written by Ali Lawrence. Related articles Joan Rivers Death -- Hollywood Reacts An Ounce Of Joan Rivers Chutzpah Stars pay tribute to Joan Rivers Celebrities reflect on Joan Rivers death 5 Lessons PR People Can Learn From Joan Rivers

Can We Trust Women Empowerment Ads?

Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:45:06 PDT

Guest post by Katie Parsons By now you’ve probably seen the viral “Like a Girl” video ad from Always that features men and women from different age groups performing physical actions like running or throwing a ball like (you guessed it) a girl. The ad, directed by women’s rights documentary maker Lauren Greenberg, has been hailed as an empowering one for both genders by proving that perceptions of what women can and cannot do are vastly man-made. The ad joins a growing list of them that highlight strong, powerful women who are comfortable in their own skin, including those from brands like Dove, Pantene, and even athletic-wear manufacturer Under Armour. The ads first debuted online – an attempt to capture the attention of the 93 percent of millennials, ages 18 to 34, who do research online before deciding to buy and who are certainly more interested in the social messaging behind campaigns than older generations. On the surface, these ads are designed to be thought provoking and inspire an empowered feel for women. Are they really all that they seem though? As with all marketing, you have to consider the source. Always is owned by the world’s largest consumer packaged goods company, Procter & Gamble. Among other things, P&G manufactures makeup, hair dye, and even some anti-aging products – none of which really send the message that women should be embracing their beautiful, natural selves. The same is true of Dove (owned by Unilever) and Pantene (also a P&G brand). These companies present marketing campaigns with titles like “Real Beauty” while promoting products to the contrary. Perhaps a case can be made for Under Armour and its genuine message of women as strong and empowered. Long before it released its viral ad featuring atypical ballerina Misty Copeland, Under Armour was showing women with fit, not thin, physiques with sweat dripping down their faces after a tough workout. Again though – Under Armour wants to sell more products to women and that is the aim of its newest ad. Is the company providing a public service, or simply manipulating the good feelings of women to its own advantage? Historically, women have always been a tricky demographic for marketers to corner. Without enough attention to the things that concern them, marketers lose their interest. Sending patronizing messages, or ones with an old-fashioned or sexist feel, risk turning women off to a particular brand forever. Women are important to the economic bottom line, though. It’s estimated that in the next decade, women will control 66% of the wealth in the U.S. No wonder marketers are working so hard to reach women on a level they appreciate to the extent that they will open their wallets when the time comes to buy a particular product. Whatever the motivation, the latest string of ads that ride the empowered women trend is an important contributor to the cultural discussion surrounding women, their portrayal in the media and the power of their spending habits. Are you a fan of women empowerment ads – or are you weary of their messages? Katie Parsons is a writer for She covers small business news and technology, and also blogs about her family life on Mumbling Mommy. Photo via Flickr/Creative Commons

What will your verse be? #theworldneedsart #artneedsyou

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:08:04 PDT

The non-profit organization Art as Action means a LOT to me. I've been on the board for 2 years and counting. While I don't perform, my daughter and granddaughter do. They embody the concept of Artivism, which is to perform in support of community, to share something bigger than the individual. This organization is focused on people, and the concept that art is fundamentally a part of the human condition. We believe: the world needs ART. Art needs YOU See below: ART as ACTION nurtures & cultivates a wide range of Artivists including: People with Parkinson's Disease who uncover their inner dancer through our Reconnect with your Body classes At-risk youth finding a safe space to explore their place in the world through our Young Artivists Performance Lab program at Attention Homes Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter Veteran performers, both experimenting with new genres and embracing their primary art form Closet artists just discovering their creative potential through our Artivist Process We do a fund raiser every year. This year, we are SO CLOSE to our goal... only a few hundred dollars off! I share the purpose of Art as Action with you, my dedicated readers, and ask you to consider a small donation. Think about it... you are part of the human condition. You are part of the art of being alive. You are part of a bigger purpose in this small world of ours. You may write a verse... we think Art as Action can help inspire that verse. Will your verse speak to the whole world, or will you continue to hide it away? Share it. Be one with Artivists like me, my daughter, and my granddaughter. Inspire your daughters and granddaughters. Share Art as Action with them. ART helps us understand that which is bigger than ourselves. ART as ACTION provides participants and audience members the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and explore the common feelings and experiences we all share. Our programs and performances provide a place to discover unexpected connections and stop feeling so small and isolated that we stop contributing what is unique about us. We embolden the distinct, rare creativity deep within each individual. YOUR donation helps us compensate the human-power it takes to make our programs and performances successful.

STOP Making These Writing Mistakes

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:30:00 PDT

Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess Oh the misteaks we've scene! (Please tell me you see the mistakes in that prior sentence!) I'm not certain whether it's the texting generation or pure laziness, but the mistakes I see in the daily missives I receive make me cringe -- especially when they come from #womenofdistinction for whom I have great respect. Here are five mistakes you should be aware of and eradicate from your writing: You type and then simply hit, "send." Whoops, did you even give your email a once-over? If you haven't had enough coffee before you hit reply all you may be sending along a mistake you had never intended to send and once it's gone you can't get it back! Never send a message before you re-read it. An editorial tip I learned from my time at the newspaper is to read your item from the bottom up -- that way your mind will not be filling in the blanks and you won't skim over a mistake. Be real in your writing. If you wouldn't normally toss around $10 words, then don't do it in your writing. Your recipient will not be impressed and will likely wonder if someone else is writing your messages for you. Of course, if you are talking about a technical issue and need to use industry jargon, go right ahead, but offer an explanation if necessary to the jargon. Your recient shouldn't have to run to the dictionary to decipher the message. They're are to many mistakes being made by people in are industry who simply use the wrong homonym. If you're not certain which is the correct one, then please ask someone which "they're, their or there" you should use. Hopefully you caught the mistakes in the first sentence of this bullet. Tell me what you really mean. If, for example, you read one of my blog posts and like it, say so. If you say, "it was nice" I don't know what that means. Was it informative? Enlightening? Hilarious? Or are you saying "nice" in a sarcastic way that I just can't feel in the email message? Don't back into your sentences. This is something I learned from my years of writing fiction. I also learned when I wrote fiction that I didn't just say what I meant. I had a build up of unnecessary information to get to the point. "Starbucks has great coffee. Sue and I went there for coffee the other day." What?! How about, "Sue and I wanted a great cup of coffee so we went to Starbucks." -- short, sweet and to the point. (obviously it doesn't have to be Starbucks, but it does need to be clear) What errors do you see in the emails you receive, or what errors have you been guilty of? We'd love to know!