My tip this week: be aware of what’s happening around you; and please don’t hesitate to report acts of cruelty to authorities. Lets all do our part to keep animals safe.

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Hello, everyone!

This Sunday I write my blog with a heavy heart. There is a heartbreaking story on the news about acts of cruelty to a Gopher Tortoise in Orange Park, Florida. Some teenage girls thought it would be fun to torture a young gopher tortoise to death. They burned it, kicked it and stomped it laughing the whole time. How do we know about this? They videoed it and it went viral.
Many people including teens that knew those girls reported the incident to the police. The police take this sort of thing very seriously. The gopher tortoise is federally protected as a threatened species and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission also list it as a species of special interest.This is a CRIME! It’s beyond my comprehension how anyone can take pleasure in the pain of any living creature. The Gopher Tortoise is the State Reptile of Georgia and belongs to a group of land tortoises that originated in North America 60 million years ago.
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 It digs burrows that provide shelter for 360 other animal species. Wow! Talk about a provider for the “animal” homeless. While this incident is horrific it is not the only act of animal cruelty happening each day across our country. It will continue to happen unless more and more people speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.
People who commit these horrendous acts often go on to escalate their acts onto humans. Please, please do your part to STOP cruelty to animals! If you see someone mistreating an animal REPORT it. You can remain anonymous if you are in fear of retaliation by the offender.
My tip this week: be aware of what’s happening around you; and please don’t hesitate to report acts of cruelty to authorities. Lets all do our part to keep animals safe.
Have a great week,
Romeo, the little black dog

My tip this week: stay committed to something that gives you fulfillment in your life!

 

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Hello, everyone!

Are you passionately committed to something?
Some of us do commit ourselves to something and stick with that commitment. Maybe we have made a commitment to a relationship or a community project, maybe we’ve made a commitment to our church or school, or any number of others things we may commit ourselves to. But, what does being committed to something mean to you? Some people commit themselves to doing something and they have good intentions of sticking with it but after a while their energetic attempt at reaching their goal fizzles and fades away.
Dieting , quitting smoking, stopping alcohol consumption, etc. are some of the well publicized types of commitments that have a high rate of failure. Why? Is it because we aren’t strong enough or willing enough to put forth the effort it takes? Or maybe we just aren’t serious enough.
Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure without realizing that’s what we are doing. Maybe we need to take baby steps when committing ourselves to a cause, project or a change in our lifestyle. Being totally and completely committed to someone or something takes real EFFORT. Maybe you, the student, have decided to commit yourself to making good grades at school. That’s a great decision, but it will take hard work and dedication to achieve your goal. Sometimes we give up on things we try to commit ourselves to because things start getting tough and we get scared of failing so we opt to quit instead.
Think twice before giving up. Things may get tough here and there along the way, but keep on trying. If you’ve committed yourself to do volunteer work at your local hospital, church or school, and it becomes overwhelming, instead of giving up just cut back a little bit to ease your load. I think we all need to have something to be committed to to give our life purpose and meaning. Staying true to a commitment doesn’t necessarily always come easy, but your hard work and effort will be worth it in the end. We always feel better about ourselves when we go the extra mile to reach our goal.
What are you committed to? I’d love to hear your story!
My tip this week: stay committed to something that give you fulfillment in your life!
Have a great week,
Romeo, the little black dog

My tip this week; if you haven’t done so already, put together a summer safety kit ( sunblock, bug repellant, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, etc) and keep in it a handy location but out of the reach of little ones.

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Hello, everyone!

I hope all of you had a fun and safe Fourth of July. I stayed away from all the loud noises as did all of my pals. The lights from fireworks are pretty but all those loud noises are just to scary for me.

660fe7a2b5da8f053694ac8442494cfcWe are really getting into the very HOT part of the summer and already there have been quite a few news stories of pets and children being left in locked hot cars. People please listen when I tell you that when you leave your pet or child in a closed up car in the smoldering summer heat it’s the equivalent of putting them in an oven and baking them. I know you wouldn’t do that! Be responsible, leave your pet safely at home and take your children with you or get a qualified babysitter to watch them. You may think you will only be in the store a couple of minutes but any amount of time in a locked, closed up car is dangerous. Also, you should never leave your child alone in the car no matter what the temperature is.

If you have a pet that stays outside year round please make sure they have a place that’s shady and they have fresh cool water. You’d be surprised how fast their water heats up when the temperatures are in the 90′s.

Summer time can be lots of fun, swimming,boating, fishing, baseball, volleyball.barbecues,etc. but, toysremember if you don’t play SAFE you could get hurt or cause someone else to get hurt and then the fun goes right out the door.

Keep a good sunblock on hand and apply regularly to avoid burns and sun damage. There are many on the market so even those with super sensitive skin can find one that works for them. Remember to keep hydrated! It really doesn’t take long when you are playing hard in the heat to become dehydrated, you may be having so much fun that you don’t realize it until you start feeling weak and dizzy. Take breaks, get into the shade and drink some water and you’ll be ready for more fun in the sun.

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I know a lot of people walk their dogs all year round, that’s great for both of you, but, remember to protect their paws. You wouldn’t want to walk bare-footed on hot asphalt and neither would they.

 

 

 

 

You and your children and 4-legged family members can have a fantastic summer that is filled will lots of memory making fun, just remember to keep it safe!

My tip this week; if you haven’t done so already, put together a summer safety kit ( sunblock, bug repellant, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, etc) and keep in it a handy location but out of the reach of little ones.

Have a great week!

Romeo the little black dog

Marketing Myths, Part 2: Social Media Marketing is Easy

Myth: Social Media Marketing is Easy 

Truth: Successful Social Media Marketing is difficult, detail-oriented, time-consuming, research-intensive, content rich, and measurement driven.

 

Absolutely, there are people in many roles who think social media marketing is easy, quick, and intuitive. Their company has chosen an intern or the youngest person in the firm to be in charge of social media marketing, expecting that the work will be done in that individual’s spare time (between other tasks). Some of the characteristics of this approach to social media marketing – the easy version, if you will – are the following:

  • Social media is handled in isolation from the regular marketing team, the sales team, and the customer service team.
  • The company decided arbitrarily to post twice daily (weekdays)  on each of four platforms:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • Pinterest
  • The content of the posts is the same, including the same wording, except that more pictures are posted on Instagram and Pinterest. This company is a professional services firm.
  • All posting is done at 2:00 pm Central time.
  • Topics are chosen at the whim of the individual managing the social media accounts
  • Posts are typed into a platform off the top of the poster’s head and then copied and pasted to the other platforms.

social media marketing is easy - little black dog social media and more

A far more successful approach to social media marketing does the following:

  • The firm hires an agency or individual with knowledge and experience with social media marketing. Or they choose someone in the firm with a passion for telling the corporate story, and send that person to intensive training in social media marketing.
  • The social media expert immediately schedules a knowledge sharing and planning meeting with at least the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief Sales Officer (CSO), chief public relations officer, chief customer service/customer care person, customer loyalty specialist, Chief IT Officer, and all members of the sales, marketing, public relations and customer service teams. The goals of the meeting are:
    • Understand the responsibilities of each group or individual
    • Understand how social media can be used to extend the reach of other departments in broadcasting company information and listening to the voice of the customer.
    • Understand how social media can be used to help prospective customers make their way along the path to purchase, assist the customer in using the product or service purchased, understand additional ways the product or service can be used, assist with any difficulties the customer experiences with the product, keep the customer happy, provide incentives for future upgrades or additional purchases, build customer loyalty, and deliver meaningful rewards to loyal customers.
    • Discuss how social media marketing can be used to assist other departments or teams gather needed customer, target audience or competitor information and insights.
    • Identify key recurring events in the company
    • Identify upcoming events in the company
    • Provide product and/or service information and updates to customers
    • Provide helpful information to customers and prospects that will nurture them toward either a purchase or brand loyalty.
    • Engage the customer in ongoing conversations, insights, information, etc.
    • Establish a schedule for future update meetings of the group.
    • Map processes that will facilitate inter-departmental sharing and cooperation in the future.
  • Research the target market(s) to identify their interests, concerns, needs, and goals.
  • Research and identify the social media platforms most used by the target market and current customers.
  • Monitor the identified platforms to identify:
    • The tone and topic of conversations
    • The peak times of day when conversations relevant to the firm occur
    • The days of the week when conversations occur that are relevant to the firm
    • Key influencers of the target market on each platform
    • The kind of information shared and clicked through on by the target group
  • Create a posting schedule for each platform – when are people most likely to share, like, comment upon, or click through on posts
  • Set achievable goals for the social media marketing program
  • Research other companies in the industry in order to know what they are doing and what is working on social media.
  • Research all competitors to understand how people feel about them, what they like and do not like about them, what they are doing on social media and how it connects with other marketing and PR efforts.
  • Research to understand what the market thinks about the firm, its promises, products, services, value proposition, etc.
  • Develop an integrated content strategy and plan to provide the information prospects and customers want, to start conversations that will engage the audience, and to provide incentives and rewards.
  • Identify the best person in the firm to write the informational pieces needed. Ask the best person to write the needed content and, if necessary, identify someone who can help with the writing.
  • Create the communication and management processes and programs to ensure content is created on schedule and that postings occur on time, unless pre-empted by an emerging issue or customer concern.
  • Create a style sheet for each social media platform and distribute it to all writers.
  • Adapt or work with others to create a corporate style sheet

Only when these pieces of the process are in place (and perhaps a few others) is the social media expert ready to begin posting to social media platforms, ensuring that the right content is in the right format and tone for each platform and posting it at the optimal time for the desired customer response. Finally, the social media leader will need to monitor and analyze the effectiveness of each post and make appropriate adjustments.

Which do you think will be most effective?

 

 

Where are the Controls on Digital Companies?

Mind Control - Little Black Dog Marketing

Mind Control by Cynthia Rogers at Pinterest

By a member of the staff who prefers to remain anonymous

There have been many reactions to Facebook’s disclosure of their recent “experiment” in manipulating the content of news feeds in an effort to learn how the tone (positive, negative) of posts in the news feed affect the user’s mood – at least as assessed by the positivity or negativity of the user’s next post. I am one of the many appalled by this little “experiment” by Facebook. My question to readers and government officials is this: Where are the controls on Digital Companies?

I have found the willingness of Americans and others to throw away their right to privacy distressing for some time. Yes, I use social media and digital channels daily. I use them for business and for our clients’ business interests. Social media have become a necessary evil for marketers. That does not mean I am willing to sacrifice my right to privacy or my right to use a communication channel or platform without someone presuming it is acceptable to attempt to manipulate my communication with others or play mind games without my knowledge IN ADVANCE. Doing so without seeking permission in advance is a clear violation of my right to privacy and to be safe from psychological or other attempts to manipulate my thoughts or actions.

By my interpretation of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other laws, this is clearly illegal and should be prosecuted and punished. Further, it is unethical and unconscionable behavior toward one’s customers. Finally, it is an act of unmitigated arrogance and disrespect for others. There is no justification or rationalization on the part of Facebook’s employees and owners that could make these actions tolerable.

To the general public, I urge you to wake up and take stock of the amount of personal information you are blindly giving away on social media and consider the other illegal and unethical uses people could make of the information. I implore you to stand up and align yourselves with those who would protect all of us from exploitation and manipulation by unscrupulous companies and individuals. Finally, I call upon all appropriate Federal and State agencies to prosecute this abuse by Facebook and upon Congress to enact strong laws to protect those who are blind to the ramifications of allowing such behavior.

A special tip this week; to learn more about this special org. please visit PatriotAssistanceDogs.org.

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Hello, everyone!

June has almost come to an end. Seems like it just flew by.

As everyone starts making their plans to celebrate the Fourth of July, I’d like to make a dedication to all the brave patriotic dog heroes past and present. Dogs have been used in wars for as many years as conflicts have been around. Their roles and their treatment has been forever evolving and I must say , for the better.

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 Let’s start back just a little bit to WWI when an American Pitt Bull Terrier mix became the most decorated dog of that war and was given a rank of Sgt. His name was Sgt. Stubby. Chips became the most decorated dog of WWII. Traditionally “war” dogs were returned home, after the war was over, to their former owners or new adoptive ones.

During the Vietnam War they were considered “expendable equipment” (  can you IMAGINE!). Over 5,000 dogs were sent to war in Vietnam but few made it home. They were either killed in action, euthanized or simply abandoned. What a tragedy! Through lobbying efforts of Vietnam War dog handlers congress approved a bill allowing U.S. military working dogs to be adopted after their military service was done. In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed a law making legal.  The Vietnam War earned the distinction of being the only American War in which the dogs didn’t make it home. th0VG1QM52

Military dogs continue to work as sentries, search & rescue, scouts, mascots,drug & bomb sniffers, etc. Their work is hard but they do it with bravery, loyalty and honor. Retired military dogs are often adopted as pets or as therapy dogs. Service-dog_CCI

Which brings me to tell you about an organization called Patriot Assistance Dogs. Dogs that have been donated by their owners, rescued dogs or dogs bred for this organization are used. They are paired up with  veterans that are disabled either physically, emotionally or both at no cost to the vet. Some of the services the trained companions provide for the vets are; reminders to take meds., interrupting harmful behaviors, leading away from stressful situations, getting help when needed,waking from night terrors, interrupting panic attacks, maintaining a vets personal space and more. This has made a world of difference in the lives of many vets. Sometimes, the difference between life and death.

So as you are celebrating please give a special thanks to all our Patriotic Dogs, they are here for us, let’s be there for them.

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A special tip this week; to learn more about this special org. please visit PatriotAssistanceDogs.org.

Have a fun and SAFE July Fourth!

Romeo the little black dog

( special thanks for info to wikipedia & PAD org.)

My tip this week: think “rescue cat adoption, PLEASE.”

Hello, everyone!

3f03a762fa4b8a37fa741ae4cf78a5f8We are well into the month of June, and it just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t say something more about rescue cat adoption. I feel so strongly about lending my canine voice to help out my feline friends. Please! Please consider visiting your local shelter when you decide you are ready for adopting a furry 4-legged pal to become a member of your family.
Even before visiting a shelter do your homework! Find out all the basic facts about cats; their care requirements, behavior, health facts, etc. For instance, if you’ve been around cats you’ve undoubtedly seen them rubbing their heads on things. But, do you know why? Basically it’s one way that they de-stress themselves – it improves their mood. Also, if they are comfortable with you they are letting you know that by rubbing their heads against you. They have glands in their facial area that secrete pheromones and oils that help mark their territory. In other words they are telling others that you belong to them. It’s a good behavior!
Some people think having a cat means NO maintenance and they would be WRONG. Yes, in some ways their requirements are less taxing than a dog; but they still have needs that must be met in order to keep them happy and healthy.
First, as with all pets, fresh food and water are very important, and they need a CLEAN litter box ( cats are821dc3158c9e10484cfac59110ee9bfa very particular about cleanliness) and they need regular vet care and proper grooming ( some just need a combing a couple times a week, while some breeds need daily brushing/combing to keep their coats tangle-free). Second, some people think that because a cat seems rather aloof they don’t need or enjoy attention. That is simply not true. They just like to be in control of when and how they receive it.
Back to visiting a shelter: now that you’ve educated yourself, you are ready to adopt your forever pet. As you meet the furry felines try to notice which one is taking the most notice of you. They just seem to have great perception about who they want to be with. Maybe it will take a couple of visits before you make a final decision, and that’s okay because you want it to be a lifetime choice.
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Before you bring your new family member home be sure to have everything in place: food/water bowls, litter box, bedding, something to scratch their claws on and various entertaining toys. I know alot of people want feisty little kittens, but if you are looking for a cat that’s a little calmer a senior cat would make the perfect choice.  AACM09-poster_web
I just know you will love and enjoy having your new cat become a forever member of your family.
Have any heart-warming cat adoption stories you’d like to share? Well, I’ d love to hear them!
My tip this week: think “rescue cat adoption, PLEASE.”
Have a great week,
Romeo, the little black dog
(special thanks to Dr.Eric Doughterty, DVM)

 

My tip this week; take time to show your “Mother” how much you love and appreciate her for all she tries to do for you.

Romeo the little black dog

 

Hello, everyone!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the terrific moms out there.

What is the meaning of being a mom? It is my feeling that a Mother has an unconditional love for her child, which doesn’t mean that she thinks her child can do no wrong but that no matter what, her love will not diminish. 

A mom is a teacher , not only teaching her child to walk, talk, eat and use the potty but life lessons as well.

A mom is a nurse. She administers tender loving care when her child is hurt or sick.

A mom is a chauffeur. She is endlessly shuffling her children from ballgames to dance classes to after school programs and much more.

She is a seamstress. She is there to sew on a button, fix a torn hem and make a costume at the last minute for a part in a school play.

She is a cook. While she most likely didn’t receive any formal training she can whip up a nutritious meal in mere moments using just a few ingredients.

A mom”s heart must endure letting her child set off on adventures of their own starting with the first day of school to sending them off to college.

A mom is stronger than anything man-made and must rely on that strength if her child goes to war for their country.

A mom is not perfect and she may make mistakes now and then, so be forgiving and let her know you love her unconditionally.

A true mother comes in all shapes and sizes. Families are made up of moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. Moms can come from any of these other roles but it makes them no less your mom.

A mother has the most rewarding job in the world and sometimes the most heartbreaking.

My tip this week; take time to show your “Mother” how much you love and appreciate her for all she tries to do for you.

Have a great week!

Romeo the little black dog

My tip this week: get organized and decide how you want to celebrate throughout the month of May…it doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s the little touches here and there that can matter the most.

Hello everyone!

Wow, May is a busy month full of lots of celebrations. Today is Star Wars Day! Star Wars fans all around the world are having movie marathons and dressing up like their favorite character of the much loved movie series. Who is your favorite? Well naturally, I’d probably pick the Ewoks . They are afterall all furry like yours truly.
Mil-Appreciation-Month-copyOn a more serious note, May is “Military Appreciation” month. There are many families that won’t have their military loved one home this month to share in May’s festivities. Let’s show our appreciation to our military men and women and their families for the sacrifices they make for us all year round.
Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo for Mexicans. Let’s get involved and celebrate this cultural holiday. You can happy_cinco_de_mayo-13925plan your dinner menu around the spicy, flavorful food and set your table with the colorful accents of Mexican heritage. If you are so inclined, you can play some Mexicano music and have a margarita as well.
Have fun experiencing other cultures through food and music. Food and music are two fantastic ways to bring people of different cultures together.
Of course, May is also the month for Mother’s Day, so next Sunday don’t forget to show your mom how mother-s-day-gift-ideasspecial she is to you. If you live close by think about preparing her a special dinner or even a brunch. Flowers are always a nice touch. If you live far away a card and phone call will have to make do. Think about making your own card…it adds an extra special touch.
grad1May is also graduation month in most states. Good luck to all those young men and women who will be beginning a new chapter in their lives. Like I said May is just full of celebrations!
My tip this week: get organized and decide how you want to celebrate throughout the month of May…it doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s the little touches here and there that can matter the most.
Have fun!
Romeo, the little black dog