Hey, I’m not sure if you have the time right now, but it would be great if you can read my latest column. Is that OK?

…said the weakest communicator ever.

Confidence is a powerful tool to gain respect and get stuff done.

As you compose emails/documents (and in conversation too), remove these words/phrases from your vocabulary. They make you look weak.

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Our client, Habitat ReStores of South Hampton Roads, honored its Red Hat volunteers at the 2017 Dream Builders Luncheon on Thursday, December 7 at the Westin in Virginia Beach Town Center.

Thanks to Inside Business for running the photo from the event in a recent issue.

The Red Hats, who oversee construction of the Habitat Homes, were honored as a group as Volunteer of the Year. Many of the Red Hats have volunteered for 10+ years.

Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who support the mission!

The laziest verb in the English language, in my opinion, is “get” (or “got”).

Why lazy? We use “get” for so many scenarios that the word now lacks any character. Instead, we should get a more descriptive verb.

See? There I go again with “get.”

Let’s try the sentence again.

Instead, we should choose a more descriptive verb.

Much better.

Here are three more uses of “get” and how to fix each one.

  1. Before: I’m excited to get the front-row concert tickets. After: I’m excited to receivethe front-row concert tickets.
  2. Before: He got up and walked right out of the meeting. After: He stood up and walked right out of the meeting.
  3. Before: I can’t believe we were able to get her as a keynote speaker. After: I can’t believe we were able to land/book/secure her as a keynote speaker.

Get my drift? 🙂

Technology continues to advance at an alarming pace, and sometimes it feels like once we finally understand how to do something technology related, it becomes a thing of the past. Do not wait to learn this new trend, instead, get ahead and start familiarizing yourself with digital advertising!

Although newspapers and billboards can grab the attention of a small group of people, a majority of successful advertising these days is done digitally. Companies and individuals are using outlets such as Facebook and Google AdWords to find buyers who are particularly interested in their product or services.

By running ad campaigns through Facebook, you, the administrator, can narrow down where your ad is shown with parameters like income level, interests, geographical location, marital status etc. This means that you are able to target a niche audience composed of individuals looking for exactly what you are selling. This ensures that your ad is seen only by those who meet the qualifications for the product you are selling or have shown particular interest in the service or product you are selling, which in turn, leads to more sales for you.

By running ad campaigns through Google AdWords, individuals searching for terms similar or relating to your product or service are shown your advertisement or company name/contact information. This means that even if individuals do not click through to your site, they are still provided with your company phone number and product/service description so they become more familiar with your brand. Although you can only set geographical parameters for your audience, Google AdWords is still very popular since people search for things on Google every day and you can select a wide range of search terms so that individuals are constantly being presented with your advertisement.

Word of advice, GET STARTED NOW! Both Facebook and Google AdWords require a bit of a learning curve, whether it is learning how to navigate the admin sites or running multiple campaigns to find out what terms/parameters drive the most business. However, once you have mastered the sites, the results will pay for themselves.

Do not wait to join the digital advertising era. Start now so that you can be ahead of your competitors and be the success story that everyone talks about.

We were proud to help our client, Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads, stage its “Home Builders Blitz” from June 5-9.

During the “Blitz,” hundreds of volunteers from the community came together and built a house from scratch in the Lake Kennedy neighborhood in Suffolk.

And did we mention Habitat built the home in just FIVE days!

The “Blitz” event was a great opportunity for local builders to invest in their community and provide a deserving family with a place to call home.

During the week, we encouraged media in Hampton Roads to cover the build. We were able to obtain coverage from WAVY, WTKR, WVEC and The Virginian-Pilot.

WAVY: Habitat for humanity building Suffolk home in five days

Photo gallery: http://interactives.wavy.com/photomojo/gallery/44041

Video: http://wavy.com/2017/06/06/habitat-for-humanity-building-suffolk-home-in-five-days/

WTKR: Fast paced construction builds Suffolk home in five days

Photo Gallery: http://wtkr.com/2017/06/10/habitat-for-humanity-welcomes-five-families-into-suffolk-homes/

Video: http://wtkr.com/2017/06/07/fast-paced-construction-project-builds-suffolk-home-in-five-days/

The Virginian-Pilot; Habitat for Humanity blitz in Suffolk builds an entire home in five days

Story: https://pilotonline.com/news/local/habitat-for-humanity-blitz-in-suffolk-builds-an-entire-home/article_7ecd0841-baf1-59eb-9939-bd5da8982ec4.html

In addition to the “Blitz,”, Habitat for Humanity held a dedication ceremony on Saturday, June 10. At the ceremony, Habitat welcomed the Williams, Jackson, Armstrong, Steward and Boone families to their new homes.

How can we generate positive news coverage for your events? Contact us to start the conversation!

It is probably counter intuitive that a city as large as Virginia Beach (over 450,000 in population) would still rely on volunteers, a fairly rural tradition, to provide emergency medical services.

But if you’re injured or sick in the resort city, the odds are an ambulance manned by regular citizens, well trained to administer life saving care, will arrive at the scene. Today more than a thousand men and women, ages 18 and up, answer the call, many “running” a weekly 12-hour shift that they incorporate into their otherwise busy work or family schedules.

Shouldn’t someone thank them for this sacrifice of their time and energy? Read more →

I’m often asked a tricky but important question about business communication:

“When should I be formal or informal with my business emails?”

Read more →

When we learned a young couple planned to become engaged after a skydive at our client, Skydive Suffolk, we jumped into action.

What a perfect opportunity for media coverage, we thought.

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By Joel Rubin

One reason I started this business in 1991 was the opportunity to be on the ground floor of big things. As a reporter, you generally know little about a new idea, a big event or an amazing product or service until some PR type tells you about it. Being there on day one to shape the story, or conceive it, is exciting and that’s what keeps me going at age 63.

So do the younger people on my staff whom I have the honor to mentor and lead. Sometimes they laugh at my suggestions, but other times, they say “great” and off we go. It works the other way too. We are now in the midst of formulating a big project that we created out of thin air, “Rock the Squads!”, next May 7 to call attention to the amazing and selfless work done by our volunteer EMTs in Virginia Beach. I thought of it, Jennifer named it and Ashley, who works year round on behalf of Kitty Schaum and the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad Foundation, will be in charge of it. That’s how we roll at RCG.

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By Joel Rubin

Every city in Hampton Roads, in partnership with the local Chambers of Commerce, conducts a State of the City event each year.

It typically features an uplifting speech by the mayor, a PowerPoint with lots of pictures and a feel-good video. Some are better than others (often based on the mayor’s speaking ability), and most are typically a bit too long for the audience of business people who are looking at their watches, wondering when they can get back to work after lunch. Still, they are popular and well-attended programs, which is why city staff invests a great deal of time in producing them.

I’ve attended lots of these state of the city events but rarely have had an opportunity to be consulted about the content. Hampton changed that this year, thanks to their dynamic economic development director Leonard Sledge and city manager Mary Bunting. They wanted some creative ideas because Hampton has a new mayor, Donnie Tuck, and they wanted to help him make his first State of the City memorable. Read more →