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While we were here learning many computer programs and office etiquette, our Veterans were off protecting our country.  Now, when they have returned to civilian life and the modern workforce, they are finding they do not have the skills that many of us do for landing that perfect job.

Their training in the armed forces does not guide them on how to maneuver through the multiple computer programs that are often used in the workforce today and asking for help and/or training is not engrained in their behavior.  Even routine tasks like setting the notifications on the meeting calendar would enable them to ensure they are on time for meetings.  In the military, it is thought that if you are not 10 minutes early for an event, you are late so it is very uncomfortable for Veterans to be late for meetings.  While working with Veterans at Disability Advocates of Kent County, Christine Morse of Avid Marketing Alliance learned about the large gap in knowledge and wanted to make sure that all Veterans were “caught up to speed” on these tasks like she was trained over the years.

After her assignment at Disability Advocates of Kent County, Christine decided to help as many Veterans as she could by simply sharing her knowledge. She developed a program which trains Veterans on multiple programs, at least getting them up to the knowledge level that she and her teammates have had the privilege of learning.  The trainings are listed below and take a great deal of energy and time in order to promote and deliver so she contacted SpartanNash because of their commitment to Veterans.  “I understood that if any organization were to understand the importance, it would be SpartanNash. Just as I thought, they were in full support of helping Veterans to gain meaningful employment.  They decided to participate by sponsoring this new program!” says Christine. “I couldn’t be more excited so me and my team mate Katie Potter who is a Veteran herself knew we were heading in the right direction!”

We have two classes scheduled for March 20 and March 22 which will focus on Microsoft programs. Other Veterans have offered to help coach, mentor, guide, and train other Veterans as we move forward throughout 2018 with multiple classes.

Classes Offered:

  • Microsoft Office Products: This is an overview of the most commonly used aspects of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • LinkedIn and Resume Writing
  • email and email Etiquette: Google and Outlook
  • Civilian Workforce Etiquette
  • A more extensive Excel training is being created and will be offered to those who want an extended training within this program.

SpartanNash has hundreds of employees that are Veterans and offer numerous services for our armed forces along with numerous other organizations. Christine says that “SpartanNash is one of our largest and most humble organizations in the community that help so many people.  I will be proud to give them credit on all levels for their participation in this effort.  We are also finding other organizations willing to participate by providing training locations such as the KDL , Kentwood Location, GRCC, and MiWorks.

   

March 20, 2018                       SpartanNash Corporate Facility

3:00—5:00 pm                        850 76th St SW, Byron Center, MI 49315

Course Description: Learning the most popular tasks and navigation skills for producing Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  Feel free to bring  your laptops or we will have computers available for you as well.

Offering a second location so it may be easier for people. KDL is on the bus line!

March 22, 2018                       KDL, Kentwood Location

3:00—5:00 pm                        4950 Breton Rd SE, Kentwood, MI 49508

To learn more about the upcoming classes, please call Christine at 616.581.5876 or visit the Facebook page.

This is a one hour training presentation overview which helps the attendees to better understand their marketing options and helps them to create a solid marketing strategy.

These tactics are robust, proven, and cost effective marketing which is led by Christine Morse. Christine believes in the power of story telling and will share the best practices and tools which set her clients as the leaders within their industry.

During this program, you will learn:

- which of the free marketing tools are most effective and how to point people towards your sales funnel,

- how to create an engaging content calendar which cuts down on your time spent on marketing each day,

- how to utilize organic SEO marketing instead of paying per click.

Seating is limited to 10 participants so you have time to ask questions and we can collaborate. Create ideas that will work well with your organization. Your own creative think-tank!

$40 for Training and $150 / Results Workshop

Trainings are 1 hour in length and cover an overview of all needed marketing tools for a strong Integrated Marketing program for your organization. This will provide enough knowledge to get started so you are confident in the time you are spending on your marketing.

Workshops are 3 hours in length and helps the attendees to create their actual strategies, content calendars, and we act as the company's think-tank, coming up with ideas for them to market their organization! We want you to walk away with the actual documents that can help you to move forward with your marketing. Bring Your Laptops....we will be working hard, it will be fun and in the end, you will walk out with your full content calendar.

Ask us about the upcoming workshops and presentations. Christine@avidmarketingalliance.com or by calling 616.581.5876.

Registration:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/utilizing-free-marketing-tools-for-boosting-sales-tickets-42201707443

christine morse profile picturePlease share this presentation event information with someone in your network that may be managing their own marketing or starting a new business.  They will receive tips on how to create a solid foundation for your Integrated Marketing. 

Please join us for an overview on robust, proven, and cost effective marketing which is led by Christine Morse.  Christine believes in the power of story telling and will share the best practices and tools which set her clients as the leaders within their industry.

During this program, you will learn:

ABOUT CHRISTINE:

Christine has over 20 years of experience in marketing, team leadership, client relations and sales with companies such as Herman Miller, Amway International, Spectrum Health, Avid Marketing, and Disability Advocates of Kent County and has recently RE-kindled her marketing agency which includes a training program for Veterans.

Christine excels at providing strategic counsel in marketing, training her clients' team on how to execute the marketing plan and/or walking alongside  them as their marketing department.

She also donates her time and energy towards many local non-profit organizations which contribute to the sustainability of this community. Some of these organizations AWE (Alliance for Women Entrepreneur), Guiding Light Mission, Women and Girls Lead (WGVU), USGBC (US Green Building Counsel), WMSBF (W MI Sustainable Business Forum), Veteran Job Services, and several others.

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Recently, a few friends have asked for help in creating their presentations and then in creating another one for myself recently, I realized, there is a real science to creating these so I thought I would share with you on this topic.

Most presentations are 30 to 40 minutes in length so it keeps the entire commitment within 60 minutes and provides time for Q&A.

You were asked to do the presentation because of your knowledge on a particular subject so congratulations!  I am almost positive that you have thousands and thousands of hours involved with this particular topic and more than likely, this topic has about 50 side conversations that flow into it as well, right?  When you get to be our age (51 years old), we have a great deal of knowledge piled up in our brains and sometimes it all feels like it is all related so we could go on and on and on and on.... However, our audience is there for one reason....to learn about the specific topic that was promised.  So here, we go.  Stay focused....I am going to try and keep it brief even though each bullet could be paragraphs long!

  • Take the title of the presentation, along with the description and put it onto your first slide.  This will help to keep YOURSELF on point as well as provide a nice overview for your audience in the beginning.  It's best to set expectations in the beginning of what they will learn so it may need editing but plan on leaving it there.  Let's say your description states that you are going to teach your audience about 4 main points of information.
  • Create 4 or 5 blank slides and put a title onto each slide which breaks out your 4 main points of information - one on each slide. This is going to keep your information narrowed down to the most important information.  I put 2 or 3 bullets onto each of these slides and then type all of my thoughts below into the notes section.  The next day, I will go back and edit those notes. Narrowing down the words to pinpointed information and always making sure it is relevant and on point with the main objective of the slide.
  • Do the same for each slide.  Always making sure that you are only talking about what was promised.
  • Do not use acronyms or jargon for your industry unless it is obvious.
  • Make sure this information is broken down into bite-sized pieces and in a logical hierarchy of relevance so the audience will be able to digest the information while you talk. Our goal is for them to be able to implement this information into their own work or thoughts after they leave.
  • Each slide should include an interesting image with few words so it creates impact and stirs emotion. Keeping a few words on the slide will ensure the  audience is listening to you instead of reading your slide.
  • Your design should be on point with your brand. I have been using the same PowerPoint branded slides for the past 9 years because that is my brand. It is what people are expecting to see.  Font needs to be easy to read, great color contrast, not cluttered, vibrant colors and  images with impact are always best.
  • Since I want the audience listening to me instead of writing notes AND I want their contact information, I will let them know the notes can be emailed to them tomorrow if they give me  their business card afterward.  Works like a charm and helps me to build a relationship with each person who is interested enough in the presentation to ask for the notes!  Of course, always, first thing in the morning after the presentation, be sure to send the PowerPoint (in pdf form) with the notes to the contact.  Do not miss this very important step...ok, this leads us into a "Turning Your Presentation into a Sale" blog!
  • On your last slide, type "Thank You" and/or "Q&A" with your contact information and your logo.  While answering questions, leave this slide up for people who want to write down your contact information.

Easy right?

I just love this work and am excited to be able to share this information with you!

Christine Morse

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!

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Well, if you are a marketing geek, like me, Integrated Marketing IS exciting!!  It provides a rhythm and cadence which will attract more attention to your products and/or services.  Also, the best part of it is that you are creating the information ONE TIME and using the same content and images through all of your marketing tools.  This saves a great deal of time and provides a consistent flow of approved and useful information.....what could be better?

So what is Integrated Marketing you ask....... It is an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.  Thanks to DMA for the definition. 

Make sense?  If you are searching for a way to cut back on the amount of time that you spend on your marketing programs, reach out to us, it's what we do on a regular basis for clients and we love it!

Christine Morse

Here is my LinkedIn profile if you're interested.

Website and Printed Materials Working Together - The perfect combo!

This is your organization's hub - main storage of public facing information. This needs to be updated, precise, full of relevant information for your audience and pointing visitors towards your sales funnel.  We can create an engaging, beautiful, accessible website which will be fully optimized for various search engines. We believe in first trying organic optimization which combines Universal Design elements with strong content focused on obtaining sales and interaction for your programs and services.

Your printed marketing materials should be a mirror of your website which is vibrant, has impact and is minimalistic in nature. Laser focused content that helps to catch attention (preferably without jingles), describes your product or service, directs people on how to contact you for more information.

So excited to report that with our last client we were able to increase their website hits from 125 a week to over 1700 a WEEK! It's all about Universal Design, great content, engaging activity, video, and accessibility!!! BOOM!

Great! We've increased the flow of traffic - now what?   Visitors need to stay on your site until they have been through several pages of content and landed softly into your sales funnel.  It's like a waltz, great music, and atmosphere will keep their interest while you gently move them from place to place.  

If you are considering an updated website, please contact us.  

 

 

screenshot of word and document stating How to Create Accessible Word Documents

I will bet that answer is a resounding YES!

Did you know millions of people have Print Disabilities? Accessible documents provide access to readers with all types of disabilities, not just blindness or low vision - that is a common misunderstanding.

Here are some characteristics that can lead to a print disability:  

  • Vision Related, Blind, Low Vision, Color Blind, Perceptual
  • Physical: Difficulty lifting, positioning, or holding books and paper and turning pages, navigating a document with fine motor issues
  • Learning Disability/Dyslexia/Processing Issues
  • Cognitive: Unable to read or to gain meaning from standard print materials

Microsoft Word has tools you can use to make sure they can read your documents and we can train you on how to use these.  Once you take some initial steps and learn to use these tools, accessible documents will be so much easier. 

I am about to turn 51 and I even struggle with this at times.  10,000 people turn 65 every day in the United States and I'm almost positive that your organization provides services to some of our older citizens.  We convert your inaccessible documents so that all people can read them. This can be a daunting task for your team so, let us help you!

What is Section 508? In a nutshell, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended) requires that electronic and information technology (EIT) to be accessible for people with disabilities. EIT includes: Software, Websites, Mobile Applications, Videos, and Hardware which consists of computers, networks, and printers.

Section 508 applies to your organization if you are on the list below:
Government agency or administer a federal program.
Vendor or contractor for a governmental agency.
Educational institution that receives federal funds via the Assistive Technology Act.
Hoping to secure a government contract? Being Section 508 compliant will increase your chances of being chosen as the preferred vendor.

Word "clarity" viewed from a glasses.

57 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE A DISABILITY. 

  • 7,442,800 people with visual disabilities.
  • 22,652,000 people with motor disabilities
  • 16,503,600 people with cognitive disabilities
  • Millions of people use some form of technology to read information on line. This is not counting the 10,000 people who turn 65 every day in the US who can access your information easier when using Universal Design principals.

Can all people read your information?

Often, the accessibility "checkers" will give organizations a false confidence and we are finding that many people are not concerned about the "users" experience. This is disheartening.

Our human centered testing (with Jaws and various other tools) can tell you the truth about the user experience. We can train your team on various strategies which include social media, websites, events, video, electronic and printed communications, and much more. All working together, focused on your goals, while making a more accessible world. What could be better!?