My Page Took On A Life Of Its Own
A few weeks back I was writing an article and used my mouse to underscore a word … then the strangest thing happened. My page took on a life of its own and began to repeat pages and wouldn’t stop until I turned off my Word application.
Thinking that I’d been hacked or that there was something dreadful happening from outside my browser, I turned off my computer and rebooted.
Everything seemed fine until using the mouse again to copy and paste words in a document. Again, the document began to auto repeat constantly. Before I could use the keyboard, 20 unique new documents had been created. Yikes!
Distraught and fearful that a hacker had taken charge of my computer, I called my Microsoft guru Leonard. Our computers run on Windows 7. We talked about the syndrome. He set me about methodically running assorted system tests to verify if we had a major breach. After running an ESET, Malwarebyte, CC Cleaner, and assorted Internet cache tests, removal of the mouse in device manager and re-booting the system, we determined that my computer and our network was not compromised.
Leonard ran some deep clean boot analyses remotely and called the next day with his analysis of the problem. He said: “As strange as this may sound, it seems as if you have a stuttering mouse.”
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or ask if he was joking. He went on to say that while looking for the syndrome he discovered mention of the stuttering mouse presenting the same strange problem I was having. Leonard suggested that we replace our remote mouse with a new model. We had already changed the batteries the previous day, and realized it wasn’t a battery issue.
So, we bought a new remote mouse, turned off the computer, inserted the remote wireless mouse receiver/driver, inserted a battery and everything seemed to work well. I had no issues whatsoever the remainder of the day. Problem resolved.
Well, not exactly. The next day I booted up the computer ready for catching up on all the projects I’d been unable to work on … and my keyboard wouldn’t function. The mouse was working perfectly but the keyboard was dead. Even though we changed the keyboard’s battery, just sat there.
This time we didn’t call Leonard. Realizing that the old mouse was a matched component with the keyboard purchased several years previous, we further deduced that the new wireless mouse receiver/driver was not programmed for the old keyboard – they obviously share one remote wireless receiver. So, we went to Staples and bought a combo mouse and keyboard, came home, inserted the new receiver in the mainframe and poof, the problem was solved.
This fix was inexpensive and simple once we realized the problem. However, it terrified us because we naturally went to the ‘worst-case’ scenario and assumed a security breach or hack.
We had never heard the term “Stuttering Mouse” before this incident. I’ve been using computers and keyboards since they were invented. Maybe reading this article will save you the fear and surprise of a similar experience.
Now you know how to handle this surprise; hope you never have to deal with it.
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A Little Help From Your Friends
It seems more often than not today unexpected chaos or disruption enters our professional sphere. And so, risk management should be at the top of your meeting/event planning focus.
Even though we don’t like to think about it, the potential hazards causing the most disruption or danger in groups of people include “manmade” threats such as cybercrime, protests, terrorism, and shootings. “Natural” occurrences such as earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires also fall within this discussion.
The value of risk prevention is really immeasurable. Everyone benefits when management does its homework and plans accordingly. Implementing the practices below offers proven risk management preparations every company needs to explore when planning events and meetings. The following disciplines create a safety net by avoiding risk management problems.
- Evaluate Risks: When selecting a venue, evaluate the risks of each meeting location and activity for potential issues and hazards.
- Identify ‘Request for Proposal’ Issues: Use the RFP process to identify security areas. Ask for relevant information such as:
- Emergency procedures strategy
- Additional security costs
- Keeping non-attendees out of meeting areas
- Record of recent criminal incidents in and near facility
- Cybersecurity measures available to protect attendees and staff from hacking
- Firearms policies
- Consider Safety Measures: Meetings/events with certain types of activities may require safety measures and additional scrutiny, including:
- Athletic events - “fun runs” and swimming
- Events where alcohol will be served
- Events featuring cannabis (marijuana), or when the meeting organizer knows that attendees may be using cannabis at meeting-related events, even where legal
- Permitting attendees to carry firearms
- Safety ‘Perception’ Matters. Be aware that attendees’ perception of safety may be as important as actual safety, when encouraging meeting attendance.
- Request Emergency Plans: Ask hotels and venues for their emergency plans and adapt/integrate them as appropriate.
- Design a Security Plan: Create a security plan, including attendee ID verification and a crisis communications system. Consider hiring security personnel based on all risk factors.
- Allocate Security Responsibilities by Contract: Use meeting contracts to allocate responsibility for risk and possible losses that clearly designate which parties are responsible for each type of security. Execute indemnification (hold harmless) agreements to protect against loss caused by venues and contractors.
- Protect Computers and Cyberspace: Secure computers by running antivirus software, changing passwords regularly and educating staff and management to avoid “pirate” networks and risky websites/emails.
- Safeguard Attendees’ Personal Information: Only divulge attendee personal information on a “need-to-know” basis, and then only to persons and businesses that provide demonstrable assurances of protecting data and securing their networks. Ensure General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) compliance, when required.
- Insurance Is Essential: The meeting organization, third-party planners, venue and other contractors should all have their own insurance, in sufficient types and amounts.
If you already have included some or all of these practices into your charter, fantastic. Any mentioned that you haven’t considered will likely provide your company a soft cushion of comfort and confidence when you incorporate them in your risk management program.
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Ways to 'High Five'
It’s often hard to persuade people to evaluate your product or service … especially if they’ve never heard of you. So how do you turn that around? Keep in mind that your marketing message should focus on content that’s relevant to your audience. So exactly what’s it takes to actually do that?
1. Introductions Matter
The importance of your “About Us” ranks on top. It’s your chance to establish credibility and highlights what you stand for. Nike has done a great job of doing this. After reading their “About Us” page, consumers quickly ‘get’ that the company’s objective supports people similar to them who are at different stages of their fitness journey.
2. You Have What ‘They’ Want
Rather than jot down a series of campaign slogans, consider how your company culture connects with your base. Think about your consumers’ emotional needs—not just the ones provided by the competition. Finding the emotional “hooks” in your message differentiates your product from all the others. Start telling people about it.
3. Crystalize Product/Service Benefits
Balance the emotional impact with facts ... a generic “ours is better than theirs” statement won’t get you there. Offering them stats and real testimonials defining your product’s superiority is the secret ingredient for success. Just start writing facts down and you’ll see the powerful messages you may have overlooked.
4. Prove It
Combining an emotional thread with logical reasoning is a solid first step to good creative, but until you keep those promises, it’s all empty boasting. Once you decide what qualities create a long-term connection with consumers, enlist the help of your entire organization to bring those ambitions home. Otherwise, your customers might feel they’ve been misled.
5. Counter Competitive Messages
This is a tricky strategy but can be done with fines by mentioning your competition by name. The trick is to do it without sounding boastful or tasteless. Next, be sure to showcase your weaknesses in a positive way. A perfect example of this happened years ago when Avis came in second behind Hertz in annual sales statistics. Avis quickly developed a tagline “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder.” Simple taglines such as this don’t brag to attract customers—but rather reveal a company’s strengths and honesty.
6. Let Er Rip
Perhaps the most straightforward but hardest motivator is your Call to Action which requires
Being Concise – get their attention and Being Specific-- guide them in the right direction. Get the, there by explaining their next steps as clearly as possible. By using action words such as “buy,” “download,” or “submit” in your Call to Action, you don’t limit your outreach to those who already understand how your business works.
The objective of effective creative is to make a lasting impact on consumers which results in them taking the next step – learn more or purchase. The above persuasion marketing tactics establish stronger connections to those you wish to attract or retain … and isn’t that the point?
Just know that your message should focus on content that’s relevant to your audience and not just toss in clever words and attractive graphics.
Strategic use of persuasion usually turns potential consumers into active customers. Sounds easy but sometimes pulling the components together require a bit of help. That’s where HQZ Experts can assist. If you’re message isn’t working, let us offer some fresh ideas and new approaches.
HQZ Experts assists clients in creating effective B2B marketing tactics to manage, track and refine content marketing approaches. Let's talk about your approach
Yes You Can Recycle Stuff
Simple and easy steps help strengthen your social media content.
Take a look at your ‘past’ content library to see where you can pull tidbits of information then create new content from that material. Often older pieces still contain relevant takeaways or quotes that your universe finds valuable. This also helps extend or reinforce the life of your content.
Segment or select sections of a larger asset to create smaller, more detailed breakout pieces. For instance, pull stats or key figures from an infographic and repurpose them in new posts as the focal point. Doing so expands the length of a campaign and highlight relevant sections by channel audience interests.
Remove posts that are outdated. Social media is instantaneous, so the last thing you want is to have your brand appear out of touch. Since you still occasionally want to reference old social content, create archive folders to keep the content alive, with less visibility.
Transform an old piece into a new piece. Sometimes an asset just needs refreshed branding to feel new again, and there’s really no reason to reinvent the wheel. Consider taking an existing asset and designing it for a different audience.
Because the electronic universe is so vital you have lots of options in ‘refreshing’ used slogans, photos, statistics or studies … there’s always new eyes searching for information and interesting material.