Thursday, 30 November 2017

Applebees Is Offering $1 Long Island Iced Teas Called ‘Dollar L.I.T.’ This Holiday Season

Applebees will be offering $1 Long Island iced teas to costumers. Months after offering the Dollarita, the restaurant chain announced that they will be offering Long Island Iced Teas at a discounted price in December and people on social media could not contain their excitement over the news.

Applebee’s is calling the drink, the “Dollar L.I.T.,” which contains vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, and sweet and sour mix. There are no strings attached to the $1 offer — Long Island iced teas will be available in all participating Applebee’s stores, all day every day starting Dec. 1.

Keep in mind the promotion is only at participating restaurants. If you want to see if your local Applebee’s is in on it, contact the restaurant or check online at It is always best to contact your local Applebee’s about their participation.

Here are some reactions on social media to Applebees selling $1 Long Island iced teas.

“The dollar drink is back at Applebee’s just in time for the holidays, and this time, folks can enjoy a $1 Long Island Iced Tea,” Patrick Kirk, vice president of beverage innovation at Applebee’s, said in a statement. “The Dollar L.I.T. is kind to your pocket book and a great drink to share with old friends and new ones this holiday season.”

Alongside the announcement, Applebee’s reminded people to “please drink responsibly”. Applebee’s new strategy comes after executives recently decided to shutter more than 100 locations amid a 6.2 percent decline in same-store sales. Those are numbers that would drive anyone to drink.

What do you think of Applebees’ latest drink offer this holiday season? Are you excited for $1 Long Island iced teas? Let us know in the comments section.

Photo Credit: Source

Source: B2C

Online Communities: Help Your Customers Help Each Other

geralt / Pixabay

In this very social world, customers have a lot of options when it comes to getting support from companies about the products and services they buy: there’s phone, email, FAQs, knowledge bases, forums, chat, social media, and much more. Because expectations (including the need for speed and the need for more effortless service) have changed, many customers prefer a self-service route, seeking help through social media and online communities/forums, among other channels or options facilitated by others who have used the company’s products and services.

Online communities have become a popular alternative lately. They’re much more prevalent now than ever before, and customers are turning to other customers for assistance with common and not-so-common issues. There are both what I’ll call “sanctioned” and “non-sanctioned” online communities, where the former is created, moderated, and owned by the brand, and the latter is stood up by fans of the brand or others who are simply willing to help their fellow customer. I’ll focus on the sanctioned type.

Online communities that are created by companies have a lot of benefits for customers, including allowing them…

  • to build relationships with other customers and, potentially/ultimately, with the brand

  • greater convenience, i.e., they can get help on their schedule or on their time; sometimes issues happen at midnight, and not all customer service call centers are staffed at that hour

  • to get the help they need, oftentimes bypassing a lot of the most-basic questions that a support agent may ask, thus getting to the root of the matter – and to the solution – much quicker

  • to help others, which is often a motivating factor; this allows customers to build their own personal brands via these communities

  • to share feedback with the company and other customers about the product, the service, and the company, with hopes that their voices will be heard and improvements will be made

  • to talk about their experiences with the product, the service, and the company, again, to be heard and to drive change or improvements

Companies with online communities have reported higher customer satisfaction rates, improved retention, reduced call volumes, and more-efficient support systems. Doing the math on that means that communities not only benefit customers but companies, as well.

Companies get…

  • relationships, i.e., online communities encourage and facilitate customer relationships

  • raving fans who want to help other customers; in the end, this is one of the characteristics of raving fans, i.e., wanting to help the brand, work for the brand, and see the brand succeed

  • feedback about their products; when the community text is mined and analyzed, rich insights can and will be uncovered

  • feedback about other parts of the customer experience; we know that people don’t often stick to the topic at hand, and when offered a forum to communicate, they take advantage of it

  • to listen to customers and learn about the overall support experience; they can use what they hear from the community to redesign the phone and email support experience

But these communities don’t become successful just by setting them up and having people ask and participate. There must be a concerted effort to ensure this doesn’t become an avenue where customers can be disappointed.

For communities to be successful, brands need to be sure to…

  • design the community experience, i.e., design it to be effortless or to require much less effort and more flexibility than phone and email

  • seed help/knowledgebase links and other support content throughout the community forum to address the most-commonly asked questions

  • keep all such content fresh and relevant

  • seed questions to get the community going

  • categorize questions and topics to make the UI, search, and interactions simple

  • encourage and let customers help each other, but…

  • make sure questions don’t go unanswered

  • assign and rotate subject matter experts to the forums; these experts will offer assistance, when and as needed

  • encourage participation from influencers and other forum participants, even going so far as to award them with points toward some reward for their involvement

  • reinforce good behavior and professional conversations; nothing makes an online community go south faster than when the profanity and arguments start rolling

  • not just help customers but listen to them, as well

  • make it a great experience for your customers

Companies can reap real financial benefits – in terms of cost savings, process improvements, reduced call volume, and customer retention – if these online communities are managed correctly.

We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. -J.K. Rowling

Source: B2C

Can Working Remotely Work for Your Organization?

Technology makes virutal team collabortion effective over geographic distances.

Adobe Stock

Modern technology has made it easier than ever before for teams to collaborate over great distances. Using tools like Google Docs, two team members can edit a proposal or report draft together in real time—despite being separated by hundreds of miles.

The practice of working remotely is one that many businesses have seized upon, only to later reject because of flawed implementations.

For example, Yahoo famously ended its “work from home” policy in 2013 as a part of then-newcomer CEO Marissa Mayer’s efforts to turn the ailing company around. As noted in a CNN article from around the time of the decision: “Mayer’s ex-employer Google (GOOG) views it as a productivity killer… it’s clear she does expect dedication – and to Mayer, that means showing up every day.”

Yet, just a few years after the landmark decision, it seems as though Yahoo has changed its position on telecommuting to work. According to a Huffington Post article from a few years after the “work from home” ban, “two years later, it’s clear: Telecommuting has won. Even Yahoo seems to have softened its stance. Workers inside the company told HuffPost that some employees still do occasionally work from home, depending on their job, and some do not have a desk in the office.”

For this kind of change in attitude, there needs to be a valuable business reason—some kind of benefit that outweighs the perceived risks of not having direct, face-to-face contact with team members.

What Are the Benefits of Working Remotely?

There are many potential benefits to using virtual teams and having individuals work remotely—whether they do so all the time or just a couple of days a week. Some of these benefits include:

  • Reduced Employee Absences. It may seem counterintuitive, but not forcing employees to come to the office every day can actually reduce absenteeism. There are a few reasons for this, but a major part of it may be that working from home grants employees a greater degree of schedule flexibility—allowing workers to blend their work and personal schedules with less disruption to each. Another reason may be not having to deal with the morning commute.

  • Increased Productivity. Many employees working from home report being more productive when they work remotely. In fact, according to statistics from a TINYpulse survey, the percentage of workers who are more productive is “an overwhelming 91%!”

  • A Deeper Talent Pool to Draw On. A necessary part of maintaining an office job is that the worker needs to live close enough to make the commute on a daily basis. And, moving to a new location is an expensive and risky proposition for many potential employees. This puts an inherent limiting factor on the pool of talent available to a company. As Diebold CEO Andy Mattes said to the Huffington Post: “we wanted the brightest people on the planet… We were fishing in a small fishing pond.” The company’s offices were located in Canton, OH—far away from the major tech centers of industry where many of the top talent lived.

  • Reduced Overhead Costs. Using virtual teams can help companies save money on overhead costs such as physical office space, utilities, and custodial expenses. With telecommuting, there is less need for large, expensive office spaces to house employees while they work.

  • Increased Job Satisfaction and Engagement. Remote workers with flexible hours often report higher levels of happiness and sense of being valued than the average worker. As noted in the TINYpulse survey, the average happiness value of remote workers (on a 1-10 scale) was 8.10, while all workers averaged a 7.42 on that scale. Additionally, remote workers averaged a 7.75 rating when asked “how valued do you feel at work?” versus a 6.69 average among all workers.

  • Virtual Workplaces Are Friendlier to the Environment. By eliminating excessive office space and daily commutes, companies can minimize their carbon footprint—and those of their employees. According to statistics from the EPA, the average passenger vehicle creates about 8,887 grams of CO2 per gallon of fuel burned. If each worker travels the average distance cited by the U.S. Department of Transportation (15 miles) in a vehicle that gets 30 mpg, they will consume a gallon each day five days a week, 51 weeks a year; producing 2,266.19 kilograms of carbon emissions in a year.

Despite these benefits, many organizations remain leery of work from home and other remote work/office programs, or are scaling back existing programs.

What Are the Drawbacks of Working Remotely?

There are several counter-arguments frequently raised when the prospect of using virtual teams or working remotely is brought up. Some of these arguments have a valid basis, while others are simply stereotypes about remote workers:

  • Low Productivity. A frequently-held belief about remote workers is that they do not work as hard or are unreliable—but the available data doesn’t support this belief. As pointed out earlier, many employees experience a productivity boost when they work remotely. However, it does take focus, self-motivation, and some comfort with ambiguity for a remote worker to be successful.

  • Communication and Collaboration May Suffer. Leaders often believe that collaboration and communication will suffer with a team that telecommutes to work. This belief stems from the assumption that employees who are not in the same location will find it more difficult to develop relationships and interact with informal spontaneity. However, many collaborative technologies can actually enhance communication and collaboration among peers—it just requires consistent effort to acclimate to these tools and break old habits. Additionally, research has shown that the “open concept” office, wherein workers share a space and work directly with one another, doesn’t produce better results. In fact, as noted in one Forbes article, open concept offices “hurt our productivity, our job satisfaction and even our health.”

  • Virtual Teams Won’t Be as Responsive to Sudden Developments. Another concern with remote workers is that there will be a communication delay whenever there’s a critical update that needs attention. However, modern communication methods negate this concern. If a worker has the resources to submit work remotely, then they can be contacted at a moment’s notice using email, text messaging, phone calls, Skype, social media, collaboration software, etc.

Can a Virtual Team Work for My Organization?

For most businesses and other organizations, having people work remotely is a viable option—unless the employee’s job function requires their physical presence.

For example, you probably will not see construction workers, doctors, massage therapists, retail and food service workers, or police telecommuting to work any time soon. However, even in those industries, there are many job roles that can work remotely—doctors are starting to make remote diagnoses of patients with online tools, police dispatchers can route communication traffic from home, and sales departments often sell products over the phone rather than from a display floor or office.

Making Working from Home Work in Your Industry

To realize the full benefits of working from home, the organization needs to be prepared to support virtual teams.

Some basic guidelines for prepping an organization to support a virtual workforce include:

  1. Keeping Virtual Teams Small. OnPoint’s research has shown that the most successful virtual teams—generally between five and ten people. Larger teams are more susceptible to pitfalls like a lack of clear roles and goals.

  2. Finding the Right Team Leaders. The best leaders of teams that work remotely have to balance both execution-oriented practices with the interpersonal communication and cultural factors of the team. They are able to leverage technology and adjust their behavior to meet the challenges presented by virtual work.

  3. Create a Plan for Recognizing and Rewarding Performance. Just because a remote team is “out of sight,” its members should not feel “out of mind.” Failing to recognize and reward achievements can hurt a virtual team’s engagement. Consider setting up celebrations and bonuses for major achievements.

  4. Hold a Face-to-Face Team Kick-Off for New Teams. OnPoint’s research shows that virtual teams that hold an initial face-to-face kick-off meeting outperform ones that don’t. These meetings help get every member on the same page regarding team goals, structure, and processes.

  5. Establish a Plan for How Team Members Communicate. During the kick-off meeting, it can be helpful to establish which communication technologies remote workers should use to communicate with the office and set policies for when face-to-face meetings should be held (if possible). This helps smooth out communication strategies and improve collaboration later on.

  6. Host OnLine Team Development Activities. Building trust on a virtual team is a major challenge because there is a lack of direct, personal contact. Holding special team development events when practical can help to build interpersonal relationships and develop trust between remote workers.

  7. Monitor and Assess Performance. Every team in an organization needs to be assessed on their performance. In these assessments, remote workers need to be gauged on what they’re doing well and what areas of improvement there may be in their performance. After an assessment, guiding the employee’s development with a performance improvement plan can help ensure positive change.

Offering employees the ability to work remotely can be an effective way to boost productivity and employee happiness. However, work from home programs and virtual teams should not be launched on a whim—it requires careful planning and preparation to make these programs successful.

Is your organization ready to handle working remotely? Learn more about building a virtual team and making it a success today!

Source: B2C

How to Find and Stop Your Biggest Time Waster

Vivacia / Pixabay

I’ll admit it; I have lost business hours to well known time wasters. I’ve let my time on social media spiral, I’ve lost more than a lunch hour to Netflix, and I’ve slept through my alarm. Entrepreneurs are just as susceptible to wasting time as anyone else. The only difference is that it costs us money when it happens.

That means you need to find and stop your biggest time waster if you’re an entrepreneur. If you keep losing time, you’ll keep losing money.

Track Your Time

Tracking your time is a sure fire way to see how long you’re spending on each thing you do. Do it for one week and I guarantee your mind will be blown.

Tracking your time will show you everything you do in a day and how much time you’re spending on it. There are things that actually take a lot of time (writing, coding, designing) and things that can get away rom us and cost us time (hello, social media!) Knowing the difference can help you budget your time more effectively and can save or earn you more money.

Here’s a list of tools you can use to track your time.

Let Go Of Time Wasting Clients

Clients that take more than they give can be roadblocks to success. How many times have you lost time waiting for an email or phone call, or had to work through too many rounds of edits with just one client?

Letting go of clients that have a death grip on your time means you’ll definitely have more free time to pursue bigger and better clients. This is a bit of a risk- letting go of a sure-fire client in favor of the chance for a bigger one.

However, getting bogged down with clients that test your patience and waste your time is a guaranteed money loser over time. The longer you stay with a client that you don’t like, the less money you earn in the long haul. Plus, you’ll be unhappy! You want to do work that makes you happy, so let those clients go. Phase them out so that your income doesn’t take a drastic hit all at once.

Track Your Accomplishments

Something that I do each week is write down on my desk calendar everything I have to do in a week on Monday. I list out everything- from everyone that I want to email, to each meeting I want to take, to every piece of writing I need to do.

Then, on Friday, I list out everything that I accomplished. I cross out the items I accomplished and make a to-do list of the things that still need to be done (if any.) Most weeks I get everything done because I knew what needed to be done. By placing everything on my desk calendar stuff doesn’t languish on a to-do list. Each item has a time and a day.

Then at the end of the week, I see what I did and didn’t do. This helps me determine things I’m good at, things I’m slow at, and things that use my time up.

Don’t lose money to things that you don’t need to do or aren’t good at. Find your time waster (or wasters) and make more money!

Source: B2C

How Philanthropy Motivates Your Employees

StockSnap / Pixabay

In an effort to pad their culture and motivate employees, many companies spring for superficial trappings—ping-pong tables, casual Fridays, fridges stocked with exciting snacks. These things are fine, but their appeal is fleeting. Once the novelty wears off, their motivational power is diminished.

But what if I told you there was a motivational technique that offers much more lasting value? What I’m talking about is philanthropy—or, if you rather, corporate social responsibility. Align your company with a cause. Allow your employees to feel like they are adding value to the world; that they—and your company—are part of something bigger, and something good.

This sense of mission, of doing good in the world, can keep employees engaged with their work and optimistic about the impact they are making. That’s what makes it such a valuable addition to your company culture.

In fact, we can break it down further still. Three specific reasons to adopt a culture of philanthropy include:

  1. It leads to happiness. There’s something to be said for a happy employee base! Philanthropic giving stimulates the brain and causes the release of endorphins, so there is true, physiological happiness generated here—and that, in turn, leads to lower turnover and higher productivity.

  2. It allows your team to bond. A culture of philanthropy fosters a sense of camaraderie; everyone is working together and has a common objective, which can increase your team’s sense of cohesion. This impacts all levels of your business.

  3. It’s fulfilling. Your employees may not feel totally, inwardly satisfied by meeting big sales goals—at least, not forever. But active kindness and compassion can go a long way toward boosting that sense of fulfillment—and again, the result is lower turnover, higher workplace satisfaction.

As we enter the holidays, there is no better time to embrace a spirit of giving. The effects on your culture can be incredible.

Source: B2C

Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show To Host Phillies And Eagles Greats From Champion Teams

The Philadelphia Sports and Memorabilia Show is coming to King of Prussia, PA, for fans of all things related to the great teams from Philly. There are some big names coming to the event from the 1960 Eagles championship team, the 1980 Phillies World Series champion teams and current players. Here are some highlights of the autograph signings:

Mike Schmidt is an American former professional baseball third baseman who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies. Schmidt was a twelve-time All-Star and a three-time winner of the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player award (MVP), and he was known for his combination of power hitting and strong defense: as a hitter, he compiled 548 home runs and 1,595 runs batted in (RBIs), and led the NL in home runs eight times and in RBIs four times.

Steve Carlton, nicknamed “Lefty”, is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched from 1965 to 1988 for six different teams in his career, but it is his time with the Philadelphia Phillies where he received his greatest acclaim as a professional and won four Cy Young Awards. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

Charlie Manuel is an American senior advisor for the Philadelphia Phillies, and a former professional baseball outfielder, coach and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). During his playing career, he appeared over parts of six MLB seasons for the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers. After his playing career, Manuel managed the Philadelphia Phillies, winning the World Series in 2008.

Lenny Dykstra played for the New York Mets from 1985-89 and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1989-96. In 1983 he led the Carolina League in 6 offensive categories. That season, he hit .358 with 8 HR, 81 RBI, 105 stolen bases ,107 walks and only 35 strikeouts.

Bernard Hopkins Jr. is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1988 to 2016. He is one of the most successful boxers of the past three decades, having held twelve major world championships in two weight classes, including a reign as the undisputed middleweight champion from 2004 to 2005, and lineal light heavyweight champion from 2011 to 2012.

Athlete autograph tickets can be purchased on-line or at the show. On-line ticket sales end the Thursday before the show at 5:00pm. When advanced tickets sales have ended, you can still buy tickets at the show. Unless an athlete has been posted as sold out. Advanced tickets will be available for pickup at the Will Call area at the front of the show. They do not mail advance tickets.

Are you excited for the autograph signing event? Who are you looking forward to meeting and getting a signature from at the Philly Show? Let us know in the comments section.

Photo Credit: Source

Source: B2C

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Whatever You Do, Here’s How to Find Meaning In It

StockSnap / Pixabay

A big goal that most people share in common is that everyone wants to do something that they love. Whether that’s working a particular career, not having a career at all or focusing on something else, everyone has a passion that drives them. It’s exciting to think about getting to a point in your life where you only have to do what you love, but that’s not a reality for everyone.

You might find yourself in the more common situation, where you’re doing something you don’t really enjoy but it accomplishes something that’s necessary. It buffs out your resume or pays the bills. Not all parts of life that are like this are bad, but if they go on long enough, they can begin to feel defeating.

If you tend to get discouraged when you think about your daily routine, try instead to find meaning in what you do. There’s always something good that comes out of what you do, but sometimes you just have to try a little harder to look. If you give it a shot, you find that you love the benefits that come out of it for you.

  1. Attach Work to Your Dreams

It’s common for people to lose the joy they once got out of their own lives if they lose sight of why they started on their path in the first place. Write out a list or make a dream board—make something visual that will serve as a reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’ll help refocus you and give you a new sense of drive to accomplish your goals.

  1. Recognize the Little Things

This can take some practice if you don’t already do it. For even just an hour, make the purposeful intention to value all the little things that happen in your life. This means being grateful that the sun rose, that it’s not raining and that you had food on the table for breakfast. It means you appreciate the full weight of a completed project, successful employee correspondence or a meeting that went well. Don’t take anything for granted, and if you have to, create more meaningful moments for yourself.

  1. Help Others Until It Becomes a Habit

It’s human nature to be self-serving. After all, a human’s basic instinct is to survive, which means that when it comes down to it, you’ll do anything you have to in order to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head. That in itself isn’t anything bad, especially since it can’t be helped. But, if you indulge selfish tendencies too much, it can actually lead to feeling unfulfilled. Instead, reverse the process and try to help people out whenever possible.

Helping people has been proven to be a secret to happiness. Even if it takes extra effort on your part, you’ll have a distinct feeling of accomplishment when you help someone and see the happiness they feel when they realize they don’t have to do something alone. In turn, this will also make you feel happy, because you’ll know that you did something good for someone else and helped make their day better. That feeling can sometimes be what turns your whole perspective around.

  1. Reflect on Your Own Growth

It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in life. It’s constantly moving and there’s always something new to think about. Especially as you get older, responsibilities get bigger and you can lose yourself in what you do. Sometimes it’s good to take a moment to put things on pause and reflect.

When you can, go somewhere quiet, like a park bench or a porch swing. Get comfortable and think about who you used to be. When you were a kid, what did you dream about doing? What did you love to do? As you got older, these things probably changed. What replaced them? Think about if your younger self would admire who you are now. Chances are good that they would.

As an adult, you help people every day. You successfully bring home food and sometimes eat yummy stuff just for fun without asking anyone permission. You don’t have to go to school anymore and no one assigns you chores. Your younger self would probably love your current life, so try to find that same value but thinking about all the little things you can do that are great. It’s a method of stress relief and it’ll help you be more of a thankful person.

  1. Ask How You’re Going to Save the World

There are no superheroes out there who can fly or have super strength, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of regular heroes that help people every day. You don’t have to be a firefighter or policeman to make a difference and save the world. You can do that right from where you are and easily turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Ask yourself how you can make a difference in the tiny world you’ve created for yourself. Help people at work or at home. Tip your waiter a little extra or return the shopping cart back to where it’s supposed to go. Good actions work like a domino effect, so spreading goodness will cause a ripple effect. You may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single jump, but you can help that single mom pick up her fallen purse while she’s carrying her small kid. It may not seem big to you, but it could mean the world to them.

Finding meaning in what you do is possible if you just think differently. Sometimes it means refocusing on what got you started in what you do, but it always means different things for different people. Try multiple methods of finding purpose in your life and then hold onto what works. You’ll eventually accomplish what you set out to do and then you can move onto the things that make you truly happy, without sacrificing your joy anywhere along the way.

Source: B2C

Altstadt Brewery Review: Great German Style In Kolsch And Lager With Rich, Satisfying Taste

Though Oktoberfest has passed, it is still a great time for German style beers. Altstadt Brewery is an authentic bavarian brewery dedicated to creating the purest, easy-drinking beers.

Located in Fredericksburg, Texas, Altstadt will celebrate its grand opening in Spring 2018. They are excited to show off their 120-acre old world destination which will feature a fine dining restaurant and brewery tours.

Altstadt’s premium German-style beers are carefully made using only four ingredients which are hops, barley, yeast and artesian spring water. Alstadt uses the finest hops, barley and yeast imported from Germany.

Their Kolsch is a German-style brew that originates from the town of Cologne. Light in color and known for its clean, crisp flavor that finishes with a subtle hop aroma. A perfect blend of hops and malt. This brew gave a clear yellow look with a white head and decent lacing. It had clean grassy smell. The taste and feel is light, a bit less flavor than some other kolsch style beers.

Their signature Lager is a noticeably malty yet light and clean-finishing beer that is perfectly balanced by its imported Noble hops grown in Hallertau and cold fermenting yeast from Weihenstephan, Germany. Their lager had a medium amber color with very little head. You will smell sweet malt. It was a very clean, light bodied lager perfect for relaxed easy drinking.

Going for a spin 🔃🍺

A post shared by Altstadt Brewery (@altstadtbrewery) on Oct 2, 2017 at 3:23pm PDT

Overall, it was a great experience sharing beers from Altstadt. Again, what did you think I got right and what do you think I said wrong? Let us know in the comments section.

Disclaimer: For purposes of this review, Altstadt provided a sample of their beers.

Photo Credit: Altstadt

Source: B2C

What to Do About a Bad Employee You Can’t Afford to Fire

No one is indispensable when it comes to employment. However, there are skills that make someone irreplaceable in their workplace. These include:

  • Being a smart worker

  • Taking calculated risks that consistently pay off

  • Having skills no one else has

It is great to be all of the above and a good employee. However, despite embodying some or all these qualities, an individual can still be poor at being an employee. Or, they can get lucky and the timing is just not right to fire someone on your team. There are six types of difficult employees that you might have to continue working with.

The Bully: This is the individual who strikes terror in the hearts of fellow employees. They like to pick on the quieter members of the group and don’t really care how their behavior impacts others.

The Victim: This is the employee who never takes responsibility for anything. Things just happen to the victim type of employee. Once they have done their “part”, any fallout that occurs is never their fault.

The Nay Sayer: In this case, the employee is negative about everything. They resist everything that is suggested, from new policies to a change in the processes. They tend to badmouth any suggestion put forth by fellow employees or the management.

The Smart Cookie: The smart cookie is indeed a brilliant mind and knows it. Their smarts make them arrogant and full of their own ideas and they like to let everyone know about their incredible ideas at every turn.

The Narcissist: Narcissists are all about themselves. There is no room to accommodate others because they may take the limelight from them. They can be very competitive with a tendency to resort to underhand methods to stay relevant.

The Phantom: The phantom is never there to work with others in a team. Every time a team effort is suggested they come up with an excuse why they can’t be there. Although they can get their share of the work done they are never there to lend a helping hand. Sometimes they are not even there to take up their share of the work.

How to Deal with Such Employees

The bully: Find out why they are so aggressive. Give them a healthy outlet to let out their aggression and show them how their behavior negatively impacts the growth opportunities that come their way despite their great work.

The Victim: Accountability is the key to dealing with the victim. It is important to show them that they have a responsibility when it comes to their work and any subsequent situations that arise from it. Give them a schedule of what to do, the quality of work you expect and the time of delivery.

The Nay Sayer: Negativity can be hard to eliminate in a person. Instead of trying to force positivity use them to poke holes in proposals and projects in order to seal any loopholes that others may not see. Because they see the negative in everything, this could be their integral role in every project.

The Smart Cookie: The good thing about smart cookies is that they like to be right. Showing them how wrong their approach to work has been and how it impacts on their delivery and potential can be a huge catalyst for change.

The Narcissist: A narcissist may need to run solo projects in order to be effective and not feel undermined. It is important for them to have the spotlight on themselves alone in order to be productive and they will outdo themselves in a bid to shine.The Phantom: This employee needs a hard talk about respect, working together, work ethics and responsibility. Clearly, they believe that it is not their responsibility to help out in team endeavors, nor do they expect to be physically present, even during work hours. No amount of nurturing will curtail this bad behavior. Sometimes an ultimatum can help them snap out of their poor work ethic.

Any of these people can be difficult to deal with. But by understanding the “type” of difficulty and how to manage it, you can potentially make the situation much more sustainable.

Source: B2C

Deploying and Integrating a Modern CRM System

Brian Shultz is Vice President of Sales & Marketing at ABB, a pioneering tech company that is over 100 years old. The two main elements of ABB are electricity and process automation where Brian’s role resides. He leads his teams to optimize business while delivering a premium experience for ABB’s customers and partners. In this podcast episode, we discuss what it takes to deploy a modern CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. The insights Brian provides may change the way you think about CRM systems regarding their value to a business.

Why Businesses Need a Modern CRM

Brian says it’s crucial to implement a modern CRM to:

  1. Allocate scarce resources

  2. Forecast properly

  3. Improve the customer experience before, during, and after the sales cycle

  4. Reduce SG&A (Selling, General & Administrative Expense)

The challenges to launching a modern CRM system relate to adoption within the organization and the technology. Brian points out that no one enjoys data entry, so the trick is to show the salesperson how inputting accurate data can benefit them. To facilitate adoption, he took it a step further at ABB and introduced Pipeline Manager as a layer on top of Salesforce. It reduces the need for data entry which has helped with adoption rates.

Tune into this podcast episode to discover Brian’s insights on overcoming resistance to adoption of a CRM.

The Customer’s Role in a CRM System

The customer is one of the most significant stakeholders when adopting a new CRM platform. They benefit from the customizations you deliver in the customer experience. With a global base of employees, an up to date CRM system comes in handy when addressing issues. ABB even created a portal to allow customers access to their information and history with the company.

Having a CRM system allows ABB to solve problems before they arise. Brian says that data drives what matters. It’s no longer enough to have a great product; brands need to provide a great experience too.

The modern CRM is much broader than a sales tool. Brian recommends forming a committee to decide on what and how to integrate a CRM system. He says your discussion needs to involve the customer to find out how to make it easier to work with your company. Get leadership involved and get buy-in from all customer touch points. Listen to episode 187 to learn more about the benefits and challenges of launching a modern CRM.

Episode Sponsor: Frost & Sullivan STAR

Featured On This Episode:

Source: B2C

The Profit: Marcus Lemonis Helps Tumbleweed Tiny Houses Build A Strong Foundation

Tumbleweed Tiny Houses

“The Profit” is back for season 5! This week, Marcus Lemonis visits Colorado Springs, Colorado to help Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, a tiny homes manufacturer that makes customized tiny homes, RVs, hotels and more. According to CNBC, owner Steve Weissmann “lacks the leadership skills needed and has put the business in over a million dollars of debt.” If Lemonis cannot build a solid foundation, the entire business could crumble.

Visiting their main office, Lemonis is immediately concerned over the months-long backlog the company is experiencing. But he loves the craftsmanship and quality of the tiny homes. Lemonis is also worried that Weissmann doesn’t seem to have done all that much research in regards to his company. The customized manufacturing process also slows down the building of the homes. After meeting Lee, the COO, and Tracy, the director of sales, Lemonis also expresses concerns over the team structure and sales process. He notices that the “nuances” are severely slowing down their production.

After reviewing their financials, which include a lot of debt and money that Weissmann took out of the business (causing Lemonis to accuse him of running a “smoke and mirrors” business), Lemonis offers $3 million as a loan to clean up the finances with 75 percent equity. He also wants to improve the process and business model, which involves setting a limit on the number of models and customizations.

Then, Lemonis spends the night in a tiny home to see how the units can be improved. He thinks the space could be better utilized and practical additions, like charging stations, could be incorporated into the design. He likes the “homey” feel and pitch of the roof, but tells Weissmann that the design definitely needs to be changed. He worries that Weissman simply doesn’t care and he adds that he needs to be more committed and better serve the business.

In an effort to improve production manager Austin’s leadership skills, Lemonis then invites customers to provide feedback. he thinks the homes need more storage space and more integrated furniture options. Austin confronts Weissmann about the new COO and explains that the multiple layers of management need to be adjusted. He wants to know that Weissmann will take action in response to his concerns. Ultimately, however, Austin quits after they failed to properly address the issue. Lemonis quickly re-hires him, but acknowledges that the layers still need to be changed.

At a local manufacturing company, Lemonis then sets up a new space for trailer production, which will help the Tumblewood team finish the existing models and start production on the new ones. Lemonis then learns that several employees left, including Lee. Weissmann acknowledges that bringing Austin back was the right move.

The team then reviews the new standard units, which feature a utility closet. Lemonis proposes bringing one of the standard units to a national account that could buy homes on a regular basis. His original timeframe of two and a half weeks is turned down by Weissman and they both agree to push it back by another week so that the pressure on employees is lessened. Lemonis is happy that communication, respect and the layers of management have greatly improved.

Previewing the new standard unit, which costs $79,000, the potential national account likes the brightness and furniture, but worries that the pitch of the roof is a bit low. They question whether that could be changed, which Weissmann declines due to the new standardization process. The buyer ultimately agrees to a deal.

At the end of the day, the team is very impressed by the changes and commends Weissman’s commitment. Lemonis also shares that Austin and Tracy will be made partners in the business. He says he is “excited” over his investment in Tumbleweed, which he envisions “has a very bright future.”

See how social media reacted to Tumbleweed Tiny Houses on “The Profit” below:

Social Media Reacts to Tumbleweed Tiny Houses’ Appearance on “The Profit”

“The Profit” airs every Tuesday at 10 p.m. on CNBC.

What were your thoughts on Tumbleweed Tiny Houses’ process and layers of management? How do you feel about the changes that were made to the company? Do you think Marcus Lemonis made the right decision to invest in the business? Sound off in the comments section below!

Source: B2C

Marketing Your Clients Will Thank You For


When I read the book Content Rules by Ann Handley and CC Chapman, I knew the marketing game was changing. Content Rules wasn’t just another book about content; it was about shifting the focus of what content means to our clients today. It was about making content that had real value: utility content.

About a year later, I was putting together a presentation on content marketing and I needed a quote. So, I went right to the source. I asked Ann Handley (via Facebook messenger of course) if she could sum up her book in a sentence or two. And boy did she…

“Be relentlessly customer-focused and not corporate-focused. Ask yourself… ‘What marketing will my customer THANK me for?’” – Ann Handley, author of Content Rules and Everybody Writes.

Think about that. Most marketers are concerned with conversion rates and ROI. Those things are certainly important. But, what if in addition to ROI, the marketing was also useful to the target audience? What if they loved it so much they became more than clients… fans, advocates, cheerleaders?

That goes to the heart of what Ann was saying. Don’t waste your marketing efforts.

Marketing today is a 3-step process that repeats with every new person you touch…

  1. Being a resource

  2. Being known

  3. Being trusted

Being a Resource

When we started Wood Street in 2002, we already knew the “build it and they will come” model was flawed. Simply having a presence was never enough. Just look at the big names who survived the dot com bust: Amazon, eBay,

These companies survived because they offered consistent value. And they continue to improve the user experience of their websites because they understand that the customer can always go elsewhere.

For us it was a clear sign that a website needed more than a pretty face and a contact form. Almost immediately after founding Wood Street, we started a regular email newsletter (with an archive on the website, a precursor to blogging).

I have to give some credit here to my dad who owned an email marketing firm at the time. And yes, we used his services (and we paid).

“How to Turn Your Website into a Resource”

The first issue of our newsletter was titled “How to Turn Your Website into a Resource.” I say this to show that being a resource is nothing new. And it goes back much further than our first Wood Street Journal (clever, huh?).

In order to build a business from nothing, we needed to build trust. To build trust, we needed to be known. To be known, we had to offer consistent value.

I’m not talking about value like “everything must go!” value. Value like “teach a person to fish” value… a go-to resource.

So, we wrote a post or two a month on web design, web development, marketing, SEO, etc. We archived each on our website which helped tremendously with our SEO.

But, this wasn’t just about keywords. This was about truly helping our clients to succeed. We still have clients today who tell us that they have found tremendous value in the content we produce.

Some clients have even told us that they will print our posts and file them in a folder for easy access. That’s about the best compliment we can get. It’s also validation that what we’re doing works.

Being Known

Creating that content, in addition to client meetings, speaking at seminars, and the quality of our work, helped to build our reputation as a sought after web design and development firm, locally in Frederick but, also regionally (DC metro), and now nationally… all from being found because we are “known.”

We became the “experts” that clients told their colleagues, friends, and contacts about. Wood Street is not just a successful company that makes a lot of money. We’re known as a group of talented experts whose mission is to help their clients succeed.

But, this wasn’t a matter of simply sharing great content with our clients. We had to get that content out there! I love this quote from Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute

“Traditional marketing is telling the world you’re a rockstar. Content marketing is showing the world you’re one.”

You might be the best at what you do but if no one knows, you will struggle. Don’t be shy, get your stuff out there!

Social Media

Social media is more than just a place for cat videos and political arguments with friends from back in the day (maybe that’s just me). These channels have proven to be a great way to get your content out there.

I’m not talking about advertising, although that can certainly help to boost a post. In the case of “being known,” you want to establish an organic following.

To do this you need to mix it up. I recommend 80/20. 80% posts that are from a source other than your website. These are posts from trusted resources that you know your audience can use and will appreciate.

I recommend using some sort of scheduling tool so you can space these out. We use Buffer. I love it! It’s super easy to use, has a handy Chrome utility, and I can get analytics on all the posts I share.

Plus, I can share to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and even Pinterest. (I’m not paid to say this either unless Buffer really wants to drop me some coin.)

The remaining 20% is for your utility content. And because you’ve proven yourself to be a reliable resource of utility and informative content, the 20% will gain more traction.

Currently (and this could change), Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and some LinkedIn content is all indexable by Google. This is a great way to build viable links to your content that will be crawled by Google.

Facebook requires a login to view content so think of it as a closed system. You can still share there to boost content visibility. It just won’t get you any direct SEO value.


A great way to boost the reach of your content is with syndication. Much like a radio program is syndicated, your content can feed to websites with larger audiences and reach way beyond your website alone.

Take some time to find the top blogs in your industry. Look around on those sites and see if they offer syndication. A lot of larger magazine websites will do this simply to get more content. Here’s an example of a website that syndicates our content.

These sites will usually pull your content in through a feed, like RSS or XML. Check with your website developer and make sure you have this set up.

You can also manually “syndicate” your content. Everyone wants in on the content game. So, lots of aggregators and social channels have allowed users to post content directly on that channel.

Post your content to Reddit, Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, and wherever else your audience might be hanging out.

You’ll need to decide with each post where it makes sense to repost. Think about your audience on these channels and what content, in which format, makes the most sense for that audience.

And always add a line at the bottom stating it was reposted with permission with a link back to the original.

And this isn’t duplicate content, it’s reposted with permission!

Guest Posts

There’s been an ongoing debate on the value of guest blogging. Matt Cutts from Google killed it in 2014 but it still goes on and can still be a successful strategy.

This is when you create content for another website. This is different from syndication in that the content you create will originate on a site other than yours.

But, be careful. The content you offer needs to be of value to the audience of that website. If you’re just trying to spread thin content (content with keywords and little value) as a link building exercise, you will be sorry. Google hates thin content. The website owner will too and stop publishing your stuff.

Think about it this way. You are a member of your local chamber of commerce. You ask to be a speaker at one of their events. If you show up and speak about nothing of value or just shill your products or services, the chamber and event attendees will leave with a bad taste in their mouth.

Guest blogging follows the same rules. It is a privilege to be asked/allowed to write for someone else’s audience. At the very least, don’t make them regret it. In fact, make that content so good that they come back for me.

I would recommend establishing a real relationship with the editor of that blog/website before asking to guest post. Share their stuff. Comment on posts. Offer to help promote their events and content to your audience. It’s called the “giver’s gain.”

And do this with all of the SMEs (subject matter experts) at your organization. Anyone who is a good writer and can generate very valuable content should be on your guest blogger list.

Where’s the ROI? It’s in being known to a new audience as a resource. And you get a link back to your website in your byline! Qualified traffic is the kind of traffic you want and smart guest blogging can get it for you.


Don’t forget about the trusty ole standby, email. Email is alive and well in 2017. Just look at these stats from Hubspot

  • Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI. (Econsultancy, 2016)

  • Email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020. (The Radicati Group, 2016)

  • Gmail has 1 billion active users worldwide. (Statista, 2016)

  • 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015)

  • 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes. (HubSpot, 2017)

Email newsletters are a great way to make sure your clients get the content you’re creating. Email is a channel where you can be a bit more promotional. But, I would recommend that at least 60% of your email content is utility content, whether yours or from an outside source.

You want to always include…

  • “View in Browser” option where users can view the email content in their browser.

  • Preheader links so they can get to linked content quickly without having to scroll or even load all email content.

  • Images and clear links that encourage recipients to view the content on your website. I recommend using short blurbs in the email with a link to read the full post on your website. You always want them going to your website where it’s easier to drive conversion.

  • Social share options so they can share your email content to their social channels.

  • Your branding, make sure it’s clear that this email is from you. Stay consistent and your users will become pros at interacting with your email content.

More Content Boosting Options

There are so many ways to get your content out there. That could be a post all by itself (note to self, write posts on content boost).

I’ll close out this section with a few of my favorites. Try these out and track which ones actually drive traffic back to your site using a URL tracker like or or your website analytics.

This list will always change, so, don’t ever stop looking…

  • SlideShare, AuthorStream – sites where you can post your presentation slides

  • YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and more – video sharing services

  • Bookmarking sites – post your content on ScoopIt, BizSugar, StumbleUpon

  • PR – boost your content the old fashioned way, pay!

There will always be new places to post content, keep looking!

Being Trusted

Being a resource means you consistently provide valuable content and other resources to your followers. And being known means that you have established yourself as a resource whose follower numbers and website traffic continue to grow because of it.

But being trusted is bigger than those two. Trust is a loop. You provide solutions. Your audience sees that as valuable and shares “you” with their friends and followers. And this is the circle of life!

Of course, being trusted isn’t just about sharing great content. You need to truly understand your audience. What makes these people tick.

Who is Your Audience?

In UX terms, we call these your user personas. These are profiles of real users or containing real characteristics of a specific group of users. When developing user personas, you’ll want to look at the user’s goals, expectations, motivations, and behavior.

  • Goals: What do they expect to accomplish?

  • Expectations: How do they envision the journey?

  • Motivations: What problem do they expect you to solve?

  • Behavior: How will they use your website or the materials provided? What’s their state of mind?

Asking these questions for each channel and each instance of content shared can seem daunting at first. But, with enough time and practice, you’ll get to where it’s shorthand. You’ll be able to answer these questions without even asking them.

Your Content Value Exercise

To see what I mean, take the last 10 items you shared/posted on a specific channel that your audience uses. This could be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, whatever. Just make sure that all 10 were shared on the same channel.

And this could be your content, someone else’s content, an app you think is useful, news, etc. Anything you shared with your audience.

Now, go through these quick steps.

  1. Post that link in a document and include the title (if appropriate) and a brief description of what it is.

  2. Underneath that, list out the goals, expectations, motivations, and behavior of the person you most hope will view this content.

  3. Once you have all 10, go back through and read what you listed. Share with a co-worker if appropriate.

  4. Assign a grade to each based on how well the content matched the goals, expectations, motivations, and behaviors of the person you’re trying to reach. This could be a scale of 1 to 10 or A through F. Whatever works for you.

  5. Now, review the top scoring articles. What about those makes them winners according to the needs of your target audience?

Now you have a baseline for what good content looks like. You’ve answered the question “what marketing would my client thank me for?” You also can see what has value to your audience and, more importantly, what does not.

Marketing Is Part of the User Experience!

There is no shortage of utility content out there. We are swimming in an ocean of content. Your job as a marketer and communicator is to sift through the noise and be the go-to resource for the stuff that truly matters to your audience.

Marketing your clients will thank you for does not ignore ROI or leave money on the table. Quite the opposite. In today’s information age, value reigns supreme! To illustrate what I mean, I’ll leave you with this quote from Joe Natoli, UX master at

UX (user experience) isn’t just about users; it’s really a value loop in three parts:

  1. The person using the website has to perceive that it’s valuable to them.

  2. That perception has to be validated through use. Proof equals trust, which means they use and/or purchase.

  3. When both things happen, value comes back to the business/creator: increased market share, customer loyalty, money made or money saved.”

In other words, good UX means good ROI, happy clients, better traffic. Marketing today is part of your UX strategy. And value is what users/clients/fans expect! If you don’t deliver, someone else will.

Source: B2C

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

4 Demand Generation Mistakes Hurting Your Brand Right Now

Ramdlon / Pixabay

I was recently asked by another B2B marketer what I thought about a particular demand generation tactic. Specifically, they were asking whether I thought its potential impact outweighed any possible harm to their brand.

This got me thinking: There are many B2B marketing tactics that could go either way, supporting your team’s efforts to scale sales pipeline or hurting your brand reputation. Which direction often depends on a number of factors, such as the persona targeted, their stage in the buy-cycle, the cadence of tactical execution and more.

While I find the four tactics discussed below to be – when used on me personally – harmful to brands, others may not if the tactics were used in the right circumstances. This is why diligence with demand gen strategy development, persona- and/or account-targeting precision and execution timing are vital to drive demand without undermining your brand reputation.

Here are four demand generation tactics I often find particularly harmful to brands.

1. Employing shady social engagement tactics

There’s a slew of social media practices (and martech solutions enabling them) that marketers have picked up like bad habits over the last few years. Here’s an example you’re all likely familiar with: You see you have a few new Twitter followers; so, in return, you politely follow those in your industry – only to get hit with an onslaught of automated direct mail pitches moments later. I’ve never responded to one of these – it’s just a more modern way of spamming. Same goes for LinkedIn.

It’s hard to understand why people do this; anyone who has the decision-making authority sought after by the purveyors of these practices typically has neither the time nor the inclination to react favorably to such a tactic. In my opinion, it’s more likely to scar your brand than generate quality engagement among your audience.

Obviously, social media is very important for B2B marketing and selling today. And there are some great social selling tactics. But it’s important not to confuse these with the more abrasive, brand-hurting social media mistakes.

2. Treating new prospects like long-time customers

This tactic can be demonstrated in a wide range of ways, from spamming cold contacts purchased in lead lists to weird direct mail practices to variations of the social media ploys discussed above. Personalizing messages to prospects is always a good idea, but it must be done in a manner that’s appropriate to that prospect’s past engagement with your brand.

Let’s take direct mail as an example. This tactic can be terrific way to set your brand apart from the competition – in a good way. Say a contact has engaged in a few pieces of key content, was scored as a sales-ready lead and sent over for follow-up. Let’s then say that sales had a good, initial call to identify the contact’s pain points, during which time the sales rep discovered that the contact/prospect was a huge San Diego (…I mean LA) Chargers fan, and the rep passes that info to you. You (putting aside your newfound hatred of the Chargers since they abandoned your city) have a LA Chargers mug shipped to their office with a nice, slightly clever note. That’s a good use of direct mail.

Now, let’s use the direct mail tactic in a different context – this one having actually happened to my colleague, Triniti, a few weeks ago. She received an envelope in the mail containing a coaster with a handwritten note on it that read:


Look forward to meeting you soon.

[Insert ambiguous URL here]


Triniti has no idea who Dan is, nor any clue where the URL will take her or for what reason. Had there been some sort of pre-established rapport, this would’ve been okay (not great in my view, but at least not as creepy). Instead, Triniti was left with an uncomfortable experience which she (and I) now attach to Dan’s company brand.

3. Using “club promotion” tactics on the wrong personas

In an initial draft of this blog post, I labeled this mistake “Overhyping the product, solution or trend” and wrote about how certain vendors hype up a new B2B marketing trend as if it’s the newest hit show on Netflix or HBO.

I then let my colleague, Kate, read the draft and she didn’t think “overhyping” was a problem. …well it is for me. Why? Because I’m an older generation-Xer, kind of a jerk and prone to eye-rolling when B2B marketers treat…say ABM…as if it’s the latest Tesla invention. To me, such tactics come across as disingenuous, incongruous and just unhelpful.

Kate, on the other hand, is a millennial, who literally wrote a book on being a successful millennial. And she’s more open to this type of marketing. So, what avoiding this mistake comes down to is ensuring you’re using this tactic on the right personas. In other words, you probably don’t want to be handing out “ABM”-bedazzled hats to a 48-year-old CMO. But it’s often the case that younger professionals find this kind of stuff fun and engaging.

The key here is to be very selective when it comes to these polarizing tactics. You must have a very clear idea of which personas will view certain engagement efforts favorably and which will shun your brand for them. If you can’t figure out who’s who – don’t do it.

4. Overusing marketing buzzwords

This one slowly seeps into the daily routine of anyone who’s worked in the business world long enough. When I first entered the private sector a decade ago, I thought I’d never catch the business buzzword bug. Yet, here I am, often cringing moments after certain words or phrases exit my mouth: “growth hacking,” “move the needle,” “impact” (as a verb), “disrupt,” “synergy,” “snackable content” …I’ve used them all and much more at some point, and I’m not proud of myself.

However, I’m pretty good about not using them in anything I write for content marketing purposes. It’s one thing to hear someone use marketing buzzwords; it’s a completely different thing to read them on a company website or in an ebook.

Buzzwords and slang may seem to you like you’re conveying an engaging, conversational tone; and from time to time they do help create that tone. When overused, however, buzzwords and slang just come across as bad writing or pandering to an unsuspecting audience. One makes your brand look unintelligent and other disingenuous.

Marketers must craft their messaging and content like a good chef creates a menu: It should be just trendy enough to convey familiarity with a pre-existing demand (i.e., so audiences can identify what they’re looking at) without being so peppered with clichés that the restaurant/your brand loses any unique value and/or credibility as an industry leader.

The takeaway – being diligent with your demand generation strategy, precise with your targeting, timely with your execution and, most importantly, balanced with your benefit-to-potential-harm ratio is important to maintaining your brand’s reputation.

Source: B2C

Melania Trump Threatening to Scratch Out Barack Obama’s Eyes ‘If ISIS Lay A Finger On Barron’ Is Fake News

Wikimedia Commons

Reports that Melania Trump threatened to scratch out former President Barack Obama’s eyes “if ISIS lay a finger” on her son Barron are false. Rumors that the First Lady issued a hostile warning to Obama following an alleged threat against the 11-year-old first son stemmed from a notorious purveyor of fake news.

According to PolitiFact, the fake claim originated on YourNewsWire, a disreputable/clickbait website known for publishing conspiracy theories and fake news. The article claimed that Trump threatened Obama after ISIS reportedly called for the assassination of President Donald Trump’s youngest son. It purported:

First Lady Melania Trump has warned former president Barack Obama that if ISIS terrorists “lay a finger” on Barron Trump, she will “scratch his eyes out.”

Melania Trump’s warning comes days after ISIS terrorists used social media to call for the assassination of Barron Trump.

The rise of ISIS, funded and supported by Barack Obama, is viewed as another Obama-era failed project in in D.C., and Melania Trump has warned Obama that “if his chickens come home to roost in my house, if anything happens to my son, I will scratch his eyes out.

Supporting terrorists anywhere in the world can have serious and long term consequences,” Melania Trump said, “and if any of these psychopaths so much as lay a finger on Barron there will be hell to pay.”

The report, of course, is entirely fabricated. The First Lady did not threaten Obama and, while YourNewsWire contains no disclaimer on their website, RationalWiki provides a short description of the site’s falsehoods:

YourNewsWire (styled as[1]) is an Los Angeles-based clickbait fake news website known for disseminating conspiracy theories and misleading information, contrary to its claimed motto (“News. Truth. Unfiltered”).

While the First Lady did not issue any warning to Obama in regards to her son, an “ISIS supporter” did reportedly issue a threat against Barron using the Telegram chat app. The alleged threat, which was reported on by outlets such as USA Today and AOL, was shared by the Washington Free Beacon—which claimed that the call for assassination came from a pro-ISIS channel.

The Middle East Media Research Institute said the initial message allegedly “called for the assassination of Barron Trump, and shared the address [of his school], and called for the backers of the terrorist organization to assassinate him.” According to AOL, in addition to Barron’s photo, a “hashtag using the words ‘handle the son of the mule of America"” was also used in the post. Snopes writes, however, that the MEMRI report “did not state that the threat came from a known-terrorist, or from a leader of ISIS, or through some form of official communication from the terrorist organization”—therefore, the contents of the message were largely exaggerated by some outlets.

Real or not, the message did not elicit any response from the Trump family, nor did it cause the First Lady to issue any threats against Obama.

Here are some examples of people sharing the fake story on social media:

Social Media Shares Fake Story about Melania Trump Threatening Barack Obama If ISIS Harms Her Son

Have you seen the fake story about Melania Trump threatening to scratch out Barack Obama’s eyes if ISIS hurts Barron Trump circulating social media? What are your thoughts on the message? Sound off in the comments section below!

Photo credit: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian, Wikimedia Commons

Source: B2C