Archive for November, 2011

Savoring The Optimal Of BMW In Los Angeles In A Test Drive

Having a test drive helps car buyers in establishing whether the car has the preferred features and specifications and also whether its performance is up to par. Buyers From Bob Smith BMW are offered cars selected to provide a wonderful ride and experience. These are some of the tips that buyers can embrace while having a test drive to make the right purchasing decision.

If the buyer is looking for a car for daily commuting, it is not advisable to just take a test-drive around the block while at BMW dealers. It is important to determine whether the car has the ability to navigate even in the worst traffic and on busy streets. The best way to achieve this is by testing the car on an expressway or busy street where one can get its feel more appropriately.

There are other important features to look at and they include how well the car is insulated against noise. This could be by going to an airport or to a noisy place to identify the level of insulation. The car windows should remain open for a while and closed in order to evaluate how noisy the area is. Rolling up the windows will help in knowing the measure in which the noise filters into the car.

It is important to check both the neck and back support, especially if one is likely to spend a lot of time in the car while driving. This mostly applies to small cars where commuting takes several hours or there is heavy traffic. The seats should be those that can provide great support that will keep the back and the neck healthy and safe.

Cars that come in small designs might not be the best choice for those buyers who spend long hours driving. This underscores the importance of the buyer to look for a car that is comfortable even when covering miles. This goes hand in hand with checking the frame of the seat to ensure that ones legs are not compressed since can short circuit blood circulation in the legs and end up making driving uncomfortable.

The buyer should ask the dealer all the questions pertaining to the performance of the car before and after the test. Many designs have now hit the market and they have unique features such as outlets and adaptors for holding hand held devices such as mobile phones and laptops. It is therefore important to check whether the car has some of these additional features.

Most of the designs for BMW Los Angeles car dealers are built with features such as automatic adjustments of seats to give driver unequalled comfort. This also helps in relieving pressure on the feet. The best way in which one can get the best car is by engaging the BMW auto dealers to assist in the selection process.

Bob Smith BMW Review

Beyern Wheels – An Ideal Option For BMW Motor Vehicles

Looking for perfectly hub-centric wheels that will match your car’s tolerance? Beyern rims are the answer to your solution. Their wheels are exclusively made for BMW cars.

As a customer you can choose from their finest collections which can suit your taste and style.They offer 6 types of wheels: the Rapp BMW, Wolff BMW, 5 Spoke BMW, Baroque BMW, Mesh BMW, and the Multi BMW.Rapp BMW by Beyern wheels come in 3 designs: silver, chrome, and gloss black mirror with cut lip.The Wolff BMW Wheels is made from a 3 piece wheel with inner and outer barrels and comes in 3 unique designs.The silver rim has a mirror cut face and chrome lips, the chrome rim has a very sleek and simple design, and the matt black rim has an elegant gloss cut lips design.

The 5 Spoke BMW Wheel or custom rims come in silver and chrome.The Baroque and Mesh BMW Wheels come in a silver, chrome, and black design.The silver and chrome multi spokes designs is offered by the the Multi BMW Wheels which supports the vehicle’s tire and spider.

They also offers trendy custom rims designed for BMW cars and SUVs.It comes in larger lip wheels that range in size, from 15×7 inches to 22×11 inches.The larger lip wheels give BMW cars and SUVs more grip on acceleration.This can be achieved by using larger wheels which perform better when making turns and using the breaks.

Beyern wheels which gives suitability for your car is the ideal choice for your BMW.They are very known for their using massive machines for their production.The highest standards are used in constructing their wheels.When making wheels it is very important that they produce the lightest possible weight which will produce better performance.

To achieve excellence, Beyern works hard in providing excellent performance and elegant designs.By adding its magnificent wheels to your car it will look very elegant.Wheels made by Beyern will definitely attract a lot of attention and will provide a custom ride to your car.You do not have to look elsewhere just to find wheels that is suitable for your BMW for Beyern is ready and available to provide a perfect set of wheel for you.

Nonprofits and Social Media: Finding A-Listers to Create a C-Level Board

href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://windmillnetworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Nonprofits-Social-Media-Executive-Board-Search-Woman-Telescope-Landscape.jpg"> class="alignright size-medium wp-image-5169" title="Nonprofits Social Media Executive Board Search Woman Telescope Landscape" src="http://windmillnetworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Nonprofits-Social-Media-Executive-Board-Search-Woman-Telescope-Landscape-300x225.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="225" />I recently wrote a blog for Idea Girl Media about building a strong board and what areas nonprofits should address when structuring their board. While href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://ideagirlmedia.com/2011/09/non-profit-essentials-blocks-for-building-strong-boards/" target="_blank">“Non-Profit Essentials: Blocks For Building Strong Boards” addresses the “what” when building Boards, one reader commented that it’s finding the “who” that can be troublesome for href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/09/01/nonprofits-social-media-small-npos/" target="_blank">small nonprofit organizations. NPOs should be striving to recruit C-level Boards (CEOs, COOs and other high ranking executives from local companies), but how do you break into that elite circle?

“Recruiting high end board members is no different than cultivating potential major donors. The key is building relationships, and this does not happen overnight,” said Shana Masterson, Associate Director of Interactive Fundraising and Engagement for the American Diabetes Association, in a private interview about finding board members for NPOs conducted for this blog post. id="more-5168">

Masterson is absolutely right – cultivation is key. The problem most of us have, however, is finding prospects and figuring out how to open doors. href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://windmillnetworking.com/2010/11/12/social-media-strategy-objectives-nonprofits/" target="_blank">Social media can help nonprofits with both. Companies across the country are engaging in social media efforts and that includes the C-level staffers. From blogs to Twitter accounts, you can find top executives from many companies surfing the Web. Engaging in a variety of social media sites can help you get access to these people – even if you don’t know who they are yet.

“Take advantage of social networks. You may not know your potential board member, but LinkedIn allows you to see second and third connections of those you are connected with. Have your boards and staff do the same,” Masterson suggests.

Browsing LinkedIn to see your contacts’ connections is a good way to identify potential Board members. In addition to identifying new prospects, you are able to look at what groups they are using on the site and what organizations they are already involved with in the community. You can also search social media sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to locate potential candidates in your geographic area. Neal Schaffer’s blog href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/07/07/search-twitter-for-people-by-location/" target="_blank">“5 Alternative Ways to Search Twitter for People by Location” sheds some light on apps that can help you research people in your area who use Twitter.

Using social media sites to do some background homework on potential candidates may also narrow down your candidate pool for you. The new LinkedIn feature that allows people to list volunteer experience on their profile is a great help for this endeavor. Someone who is already volunteering for three or four organizations may be spread too thin to take on your project. You should also encourage current Board members to list your organization on their profile. You never know who may take notice. You can read more about listing volunteer experience on LinkedIn profiles in Mashable’s article href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://mashable.com/2011/09/07/linkedin-profile-volunteer-causes/" target="_blank">“LinkedIn Now Lets You Include Volunteer Experience in Your Profile.”

Once you’ve identified a prospect use social media sites to make your first connection. Does the person have a blog? Take the time to read blog entries and leave comments. Most bloggers respond to comments left and this is a great way to start a conversation. See if the potential candidate is on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Take the initiative to retweet, repost and comment on their site posts. Join the groups they use on LinkedIn and engage in conversation there.

You may find that not only are you able to start engaging your current prospect but that others will join the conversation and lead to new prospects. C-level executives attract other C-level prospects. Once you’ve managed to bring one or two high ranking people onto your Board getting the attention of others will be easier.

After you’ve engaged your potential candidate in conversation, use social media to link their interests with your organization’s mission. Find connecting points and show the person why they are a great fit for your NPO. Post information to their Facebook site or Twitter account about upcoming education programs or symposiums your organization is hosting. Is your NPO funding a project that highlights an interest of your potential candidate? Blog about it and then send them the links on LinkedIn or other social media sites. C-level executives are busy people; take the initiative to connect the dots between their interests and your needs.

Social media can be a great starting place for getting someone familiar with your name and organization. Getting in front of the person is the first step in the cultivation process. The one thing you must remember is that this is a process – building relationships doesn’t happen overnight.

About Amy Stephan

href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://windmillnetworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Amy-Stephan-Online-Profile-Photo.jpg"> class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-4883" style="margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Amy Stephan Online Profile Photo" src="http://windmillnetworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Amy-Stephan-Online-Profile-Photo-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="100" height="100" />This monthly Social Media and Nonprofits post is contributed by Amy Stephan. Amy is a consultant and non-profit professional with more than 10 years of field experience working in fundraising and development. She provides nonprofits with help in fundraising and major gifts, capital campaigns, board and volunteer development and staff leadership, working with organizations of all sizes to plan, implement and assess social media strategies. While holding leadership positions with local branches of organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the American Diabetes Association, Amy developed a passion for all things related to fundraising and non-profits. In addition to her non-profit work, she is a freelance writer and blogger who has worked as a full-time writer and editor for daily newspapers and magazines. She writes weekly for her own blog – href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://kindergartenmazetoconcretejungle.blogspot.com">Kindergarten Maze to Concrete Jungle. Follow Amy on href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://www.facebook.com/amystephan.3">Facebook, href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://www.linkedin.com/in/amystephan">LinkedIn and href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://twitter.com/#!/amy_stephan">Twitter.

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Connections Byte: Chewing on Relationship Building in PR vs. Social Media

href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://windmillnetworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Apple-Bite-Social-Media-Public-Relations-Relationship-Judy-Gombita.jpg"> class="alignright size-full wp-image-5056" title="Apple Bite Social Media Public Relations Relationship Judy Gombita" src="http://windmillnetworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Apple-Bite-Social-Media-Public-Relations-Relationship-Judy-Gombita.jpg" alt="" width="191" height="190" />The inaugural byte focused on two of the three pillars of PR: reputation and value. Now let’s gnaw away on the third pillar of relationship building to test its sturdiness, particularly in relation to social media (“engagement and information”).

As a framework, let’s revisit key definitions from the title="social media public relations pr" href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/09/27/bytes-from-pr-sphere-social-components-public-relations/" target="_blank">last Bytes from the PR Sphere column:

Relationship building – connections, informal or formal, short- or long-term, developed with various stakeholders through dialogue, actions or transactions.

CPRS definition of PR “…relationships between an organization and its diverse publics, through the use of communication, to achieve mutual understanding, realize organizational goals, and serve the public interest.”

Stakeholder – a person or organization with an interest or concern in our organization or something our organization is involved in.

A “relationship building” Thesaurus search produces synonyms such as:

  • affiliation, association, bond, liaison, link, correlation, tie, union, blending, agreement, coming together, unification, amalgamation, merger, coalition, grouping, partner…

All of these are legitimate word substitutions for solid and formal, organizational PR goals and arrangements. id="more-5150">

Notice what is missing? Words such as:

  • friendship, companionship, acquaintance, camaraderie, social contacts, colleagues, banter…

Now here’s your social media and PR pragmatist’s thesis at the front end:

The majority of significant relationships related to PR are developed offline and quietly amongst relevant decision-makers in positions of influence and authority.

What is this heresy being claimed?

Where is the engagement, transparency and the democratization of social in this statement? What about empowerment and a sense of fulfillment by those important stakeholders: all employees? Isn’t PR 2.0 supposed to value input from customers and other stakeholders in two-way, symmetrical communication?

The type of “connections” listed in the second grouping may play a role leading up to a significant organizational relationship. But in the majority of scenarios they will not. That is the reality…and I don’t see it changing in the near future.

The critical difference is most of those elements pertain to personal and informal connections—publicized or realized in social media—versus organizational public relations(hips).

Note that customer relationship management ( href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://tweets.windmillnetworking.com/topics/crm" target="_blank">CRM) is a sub-set in this scenario, plus generally its direct report line in organizations is not to public relations (or marketing)—although I’d be most interested in learning about corporate examples proving otherwise.

So let’s keep our eye on the ball regarding the primary reasons for participating in social media, professionally, first, and personally, second, in terms of public relations:

  1. Organizationally “relating” and participating on various platforms, with an integrated communications strategy, to add to the reputation and value of your (employer/client) organization.
  2. Personally (either as advisor or hands-on tactician practitioner) demonstrating a knowledge base and skills set in effectively making use of these channels for the above (#1), with accountability and creativity, in proving why the organization and its PR department are worthy of the online attention of stakeholders.

In both the professional and personal online spheres and platform accounts, this may include making public existing connections and affiliations.

Now let’s examine “ href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://www.thefreedictionary.com/aspiration">aspirational” relationship building in the digital sphere.

Other resources on relationship building

In a recent post by my href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://www.prconversations.com/">PR Conversations colleague, Heather Yaxley, href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://www.prconversations.com/index.php/2011/10/relationship-advice-for-pr-practitioners/">Relationship advice for PR practitioners, she examined “organization-public relationships” including the focus and the skills needed by the practitioner. Here are a couple of pertinent extracts on critical needs:

“…to be translated into practical competencies to become recognized as a vital intelligence-based skills set to close the gap between the “friendliness” focus of relationship building in practice and an informed understanding of research and knowledge-based strategies.”

“…to know how to build professional, multi-dimensional relationships to help organizations manage conflict situations or seek co-orientation with a wide range of individuals or groups over time.”

Heather kindly references my own guest post on href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://www.marketingmel.com/about/">Mary Ellen Miller’s blog, title="Layers of relationship all fresh so far with online friendlie, Mel" href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://www.marketingmel.com/2011/09/12/layers-of-relationship-all-fresh-so-far-with-online-friendlie-mel/">Layers of relationship all fresh so far with online friendlie, Mel. Both of us believe it’s important to distinguish between personal relationships—including whether they are mainly peer-to-peer and/or potentially transitory in nature—developed in social media, to that of organizational public relations ones.

Prevalent types of relationships in social media

The majority of relationships I’m witnessing in social media relates more to promotion of personal connections—shout outs to “friends,” old and new. Advertising plans to meet up, sometimes in excruciatingly dull (and meaningless) detail. Public thank you’s for retweets, a past favour done or an introduction made. (Even I’ve been guilty of some of this “showy” excess, but I am consciously trying not to do it, unless there’s some value-add to others—for example, highlighting some knowledge gleaned after meeting a thought leader, etc.)

Some individuals (often consultants in the social media sphere) take tremendous pride in the blog “commenting communities” they’ve created. Kudos to them for attracting so much interest and attention, but it does beg the questions:

  1. Do you look at your blog primarily as a business…or as a place for personal expression? What is its focus? How do you bill it? How often do the posts reflect the blog’s stated purpose?
  2. If it is a href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/06/01/why-your-business-blogging/" target="_blank">business blog, are you attracting the right stakeholders from an organizational perspective and developing potential business relationships…or are you mainly having friendly debates with people who hold similar (or vastly divergent) opinions as you, who may even work in the same areas or sectors?

Enough about what’s not effective

Pointing out what’s not overly effective in online organizational relationship building is easy. Providing possible solutions is not. Here are some things to consider in building or solidifying online organizational connections with relevant stakeholders:

  1. Besides determining href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://craigpearce.info/public-relations/internal-journo-seo-expert-trust-calisthenics-pr-pro/">internal subject experts for things like blog posts (author, quotes or as an interview subject) or videos, think externally, for either existing or aspirational partners. Are they prepared to offer you information-rich and relevant content for other stakeholders, with full attribution and links, on your site(s)? Will the partner company similarly help to market/promote the guest appearance and make the relationship evident? If your organization is in service or manufacturing, existing or potential supplier-company partners are a perfect example of possible involvement. Particularly if the organization doesn’t have a well-trafficked blog or video channel of its own. It’s a win-win situation for relationship building (plus marketing and profile).
  2. Participate in Twitter chats and demonstrate sector knowledge and/or thought leadership (sometimes individuals monitor for these things). Same thing with LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+ group discussions. Invite members of your leadership team or specific areas (e.g., HR or engineering) to participate in relevant chats; alternatively, quote him or her by name. (It should be self-evident that quotes from leaders should not include proprietary information or unwittingly offer competitive intelligence.)
  3. Monitor these same discussions and look for senior-level or relevant subject experts at other organizations, which you can point the correct person in the PR department or leadership team to consider to approach, offline. Propose an outline of the parametres of a potential new relationship.
  4. If you attend an in-person event with a social media connection (e.g., a tweetup), look to promote similar things as above, to grow relationships. And for heaven’s sake, don’t spend the entire time talking to the people you already know through social media, particularly if they hold the same position as you, with a competitor or similar organization (e.g., an agency or consultant). Simply say hello and have a brief discussion before moving on to new people and possibilities. For more tips in this area, see my Public Relations 2011 submission, href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://craigpearce.info/public-relations/pr-primer-social-networking/">PR primer for (social) networking.

(Help add to this list in the comments section with your success stories of making use of social media to build relationships for your organization, beyond the personal.)

Relationship building moving forward

In a recent # href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://twitter.com/#%21/search/%23socialmedia">socialmedia Twitter chat ( href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://hashtagsocialmedia.com/event/132">#sm132 transcript), I posed the question of whether someone’s existing online network could or should be part of the employee evaluation process. Following are my favourite responses:

href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~https://twitter.com/KatFrench">Kat French (guest moderator: Separating the Personal & Professional in Social Media…or Not): Employers need to be clear if leveraging your personal network is an expectation of a new hire.

href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~https://twitter.com/djenders">Dennis Jenders (#sm132 active participant): In the digital world, I think it is assumed that social networks will be used to evaluate you.

href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~https://twitter.com/jasonbreed">Jason Breed (#socialmedia co-founder): What I’ve seen: personal social brands get you hired, but an employee’s social network is not considered as part of the promotion process as yet.

In moving “relationship building” forward in the social media sphere (from personal connections to organizational PR), I think this might prove a tremendous incentive for a bonus or promotion:

Helping to create and build a formal, long-term relationship with a stakeholder first “met” online.

Wouldn’t it be incredibly relevant and satisfying in merging the PR and social media fields of practice in this way—even if the bulk of the discussions and arrangements ended up being developed offline and quietly amongst relevant decision-makers in positions of influence and authority? Not a bad thing to have on your CV, either.

href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://windmillnetworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/gombita-judy.jpg"> class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-5054" style="margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="gombita-judy" src="http://windmillnetworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/gombita-judy-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="80" height="80" />This monthly PR column post is contributed by Judy Gombita. Judy is a Toronto-based public relations and communication management specialist, with more than 20 years of employment and executive-level volunteer board experience, primarily in the financial and lifelong learning nonprofit sectors. She is the co-editor and Canadian contributor (since 2007) to the international, collaborative blog,  href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://www.prconversations.com/">PR Conversations. Find her on  href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/windmillnetworkingblog/~http://twitter.com/jgombita">Twitter.

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SearchCap: The Day In Search, November 4, 2011

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Mobile Traffic To Retail Sites To Hit 15% During Holiday ’11

    More evidence of the growing importance of mobile comes this time from IBM, which predicts that “an unprecedented 15 percent of people in the U.S. logging onto a retailer’s Web site are expected to do so through a mobile device…

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SearchCap: The Day In Search, November 3, 2011

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Google Search Algorithm Change For Freshness To Impact 35% Of Searches; Twitter Firehose Remains Off

    Google announced they are rolling out a new search algorithm change that helps make the search results “fresher.” The big news here is that besides for the results being fresher, the results will change for about 35% of all searches…

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How to Improve Conversions through Surveying

In business, the customer may not always be right, but when it comes to getting better conversions through your website – it pays to listen to what they want. In fact, by asking the right kinds of questions, you can get vastly more information and insights that go well beyond your typical analytics package.

Surveying potential customers is a good indicator of where users may be slipping through the cracks in your sales funnel…

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Email scheduler, PDF export, and a transition to the new Google Analytics interface.

Two of the most requested features from the old version of Google Analytics that have been absent in the new interface are report email scheduling and PDF export.  We are happy to announce that both email scheduling and PDF export functionality will be the new interface in a few weeks.

Because there are significant differences between reports in the new and old versions of Google Analytics, we would like to use this opportunity to solicit your feedback regarding which scheduled email reports should be preserved in the new version…

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