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Thursday, 29 March 2012

38% of Adults DON'T use Social Media

By Shea Bennett on March 28, 2012 8:00 AM

More than six in ten (62 percent) online citizens around the world use the internet for social networking, reveals a new study from independent market research company Ipsos.
Social media is most popular in Indonesia, where 83 percent engage, ahead of Argentina (76 percent) and Russia (75 percent). However, while these findings are impressive, social networking usage continues to lag behind email in every country, with a heady 85 percent of those polled favouring the electronic messaging service as their top online activity.
Working with Reuters News, Ipsos surveyed 24 countries from across the globe, and found that the majority of those in each territory used the internet for sending and receiving emails, with the only exception being Saudi Arabia, where less than half (46 percent) emailed. Hungary (94 percent) led Sweden (92 percent), Belgium (91 percent) and Indonesia (91 percent) amongst the top emailing nations.
Of course, social media is a veritable infant compared to the titan that is email, but it has quickly established itself as a force in its own right in less than a decade. Some 61 percent of U.S. citizens now use social media, and even in countries where the pastime is less than average a strong minority – 35 percent in Japan and 42 percent in Saudi Arabia (which is an amazing disconnect in and of itself) – still engage.
Rounding out the study, Ipsos noted that Voice-over IP (VOIP) is now being used by 14 percent of people worldwide, and is most popular in Russia, where more than a third (36 percent) of citizens use the technology. This contrasts wildly with the U.S., where just 6 percent are using VOIP.
(Original Source: IpsosSocial media image via Shutterstock.)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Print Production Colour Conformance in the USA


Reston, VA—NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies announced today the publication of a new technical report, CGATS/TR016:2012 "Graphic technology — Printing Tolerance and Conformity Assessment," which solves one of the problems that confront printers in trying to match the colors specified by the print buyer. This new Technical Report provides new tolerance guidelines (characterization datasets) for color conformance from the receipt of the job from the buyer, through proofing, to print production. These new guidelines satisfy the needs of both the printer and the print buyer by specifying the relationship between the numerical input data that comprises the print job and colors to be printed and thus ensure a more accurate reproduction of the buyer's job.

While the traditional approach of assessing color conformance (defined in ISO 12647-2) satisfies some of the printers' needs, the new guidelines satisfy the needs of both the printer and the print buyer by specifying the relationship between input data and colors to be printed. TR016 additionally addresses two other industry needs: 1) evaluation of color reproduction conformance on heavily optically brightened papers, and 2) multiple tolerance levels, which allow printers and print buyers to choose tolerances appropriate for the print job.

Committee for Graphic Arts Technology Standards (CGATS) co-chair Steve Smiley, Vertis Communications' Director of Color Technology, noted the value of TR016 stating, "Finally a meaningful technical report that allows consumer products companies to define a printer's requirements. This report sets the groundwork for printer certifications according to accredited standards. This technical report also validates the use of reference print conditions in PDF/X files, and will push our industry to satisfy our customers' expectations."

The new technical report is the result of a shared effort between CGATS and the IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance) Print Properties Colorimetric Council. Committee members involved in the development of this technical report included a broad range of leading industry printers, software vendors, commercial printers, academia, and other industry stakeholders.

NPES supports and administers the activities of the ANSI-accredited CGATS Committee. Participation on the committee is open to anyone having an interest. For more information contact Debbie Orf, Assistant Director of Standards Programs at phone: 703/ 264-7200 or e-mail:

See more PR announcements from from thecanvasmag

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Data Security Breaches Threaten UK Businesses

How do you guarantee the safe destruction of all your confidential documents?

All companies have confidential information, whether it’s financial, employee, or customers records and the secure destruction of those records has never been more important. With data protection laws and legislation being increasingly stringent, your business could incur a large penalty for not adequately destroying or safeguarding your company data (fines can be as much as £500,000).

Reduce your shredding costs

Internal shredding can be non-productive and time consuming, when staff spend valuable time feeding documents into shredders. Plus, can you be sure that your staff are fully aware of the potential sensitivity of those documents, or data protection laws.

Why use Irongate’s shredding service?

e’s shredding solution saves you time and money, is completely hassle-free and guarantees your confidential waste is destroyed securely. As an existing customer of Irongate, our fleet of vans already visit your premises regularly, so placing this service with us does not increase our carbon footprint but it substantially reduces yours as there’s no need for ‘special journeys’ by other suppliers. Plus, it is invoiced through your normal credit account – one supplier, one invoice.
It’s So Simple…

Order a quantity of Bags ‘n’ Tags. Product code: SHREDBAG

Max capacity is 25kg per bag.

When bags are full, seal with the security tag and request a collection via our online ordering portal or by calling our customer service team on 01332 345950. Product code: SHREDCOLL.

Bags are collected next working day and a receipt is issued.

The bags are taken to our secure destruction site, shredded and recycled.

Choosing the right removal firm

Choosing the right removal firm

Monday, 26 March 2012

Inspirational Marketing Practices

Marketing Practices That Inspire vs. Those That Irritate

March 2012 - Pitney Bowes surveyed 6,000 consumers across the US, UK, Germany, and France to clarify what customers expect and desire from interactions with businesses, and which interactions irritate them. The findings are important because a few larger marketing trends amplify the consequences of effective vs. ineffective customer communications.

   Actions Seen as Negative by Consumers   

ü  Sending weekly emails (89% negative)

ü  Asking customers to support a brand’s charity or ethical concerns (84% negative)

ü  Sending offers from third-parties (83% negative)

ü  Encouraging interaction with other consumers via an online community (81% negative)

ü  Encouraging customers to attend branded lifestyle events (71% negative)

ü  Call center reps getting too chummy on the phone (70% negative)

ü  Inviting consumers to create their own homepage (69% negative)

   Actions Viewed as Acceptable by Consumers

ü  Customer satisfaction surveys are perceived as an acceptable practice by 75% of those surveyed.

ü  Keeping in contact at a frequency that doesn’t upset the customer is key; 74% of consumers welcome a monthly offer sent to them via postal mail

ü  A certain level of personalization and familiarity is welcomed; 59% of consumers surveyed say they appreciate online personalization on websites, such as “Welcome, Jane.”

“This survey confirms that brands should listen to consumers before they send out their communications,” said Dan Kohn, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Pitney Bowes, Inc. “Every interaction must honor the interests of the customer first, only then is a relevant offer or call to action acceptable to consumers. Each conversation between a brand and a customer is an opportunity to delight or disappoint. We’re all learning how to do more of the former and less of the latter.”

For information see also: Print In The Mix.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Social Marketing Mistakes

Here's a link to a blog stumbled across 

Keeping things fresh and relevant is a real challenge - these tips will help me improve and I hope you find them useful too.

10 Preventable Social Marketing Mistakes

1. Not Being Consistent
2. No Interaction
3. Not Adding Personality
4. Not Linking Accounts
5. Not Asking for Likes and Follows
6. No Quality Content
7. No Call to Action
8. Not Writing Effective Profiles
9. Not Proofreading
10. Getting Too Personal

Detailed blog post at

Maybe you have some alternate views? Please let me have a comment - or let me have a guest post to share!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Irongate Group Says Gordon Gecko got it wrong...Green is Good.

As a major supplier of business products and services to organisations throughout the UK, Irongate Group is extremely aware of the impact we have on the environment and are committed to reducing it. We are ISO 14001:2004 certified and actively pursue a programme of targets and objectives to reduce our own carbon footprint.
·    our route analysis technology enables us to plot the most efficient delivery routes, leading to optimum efficiency and reduction of mileage and emissions
·    our delivery boxes are made from recycled materials and whenever possible, bags and envelopes are used for small deliveries
·        we re-use, recover and recycle as much packaging as possible.
We also work closely with our customers to help make their office a greener and more sustainable place to work including:
·        single source supply – reduced admin, fewer invoices and payments
·        order consolidation – fewer deliveries
·        online ordering & proofing – quick, easy and paperless
·        switch to email invoicing
·   switch to alternative products with environmental credentials in our ‘Happy Planet’ range
·       free printer cartridge recycling scheme
·       convert to digital print on demand – reduces obsolescence and waste
·       target your marketing – reduced print runs, page counts and waste
·       document re-engineering to maximise the press sheet and reduce wasted space

Friday, 9 March 2012

It's = it is

Its vs. It's

its - Associated with a thing previously mentioned or in reference to an animal without prior knowledge of the animal's gender.

Incorrect: That monkey will never be a ballet dancer; it's posture is horrendous.
Correct: That monkey will never be a ballet dancer; its posture is horrendous.

it's - Contraction of it is or it has.

Incorrect: John bikes to work. Its his favorite part of the day.
Correct: John bikes to work. It's his favorite part of the day.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Twister Hits The UK

Or how to avoid annoying your audience with a sensational  headline that turns out to be a cheap trick.

Here's an example of what NOT to do:   Click Here.

See what I did. It is wrong but I did it purely to illustrate the point. It's highly probable you don't want a personalised flash drive and exceedingly unlikely that you expected to be taken to a link to anything other than UK weather news.

It is very easy to tempt with misleading headlines, tweets and facebook posts but but ultimately it is a foolish and misguided way of acquiring traffic.  I was sucked in only last week by a headline which stated "Amazon to stop selling books". Sucker!  

Hence this post. My advice? Don't do it. It's annoying. Don't become a Twitter T#@t.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Today is the New Tomorrow -

How to Overcome Procrastination

Probably the biggest cause of low productivity and one of the hardest habits to break - procrastination. The thing about procrastination is that it creeps up on you. You don't really notice all the time that you're doing; it depends on how you procrastinate. You will find ways to procrastinate that will give you the impression that you are super busy but you still don't get anything done, anything of importance that is. All the unimportant things, all the trivial matters, they are all getting major attention. Tasks that you could delegate or even eliminate all get done, almost religiously. But the most important tasks, the ones that you would assign a priority A1, the must-get-this-done-or-the-business-will-fail tasks, those are the ones that we most often procrastinate upon. Why? The reasons are manifold. I have researched this particular topic extensively and have discovered lots of reasons why people procrastinate. It's not only for obvious reasons.

The number one excuse for procrastination is time. "I simply haven't got the time to do this right now" is the most common response for why people put things off. This can be true, of course. Chances are that you really don't have a whole weekend at your disposal to clear out your garage or the 5 hours it would take to write the whole report. But: and this is really a But with a capital B, nobody is asking you to do that. The major secret to getting large projects done is to break them down into smaller, manageable chunks and work on them one at a time. Make the chunks really bite size so that you don't have the excuse that they take too long, then schedule them into your planner. Each task shouldn't be longer than 30 to 60 minutes which is a period of time that anyone can find in their diary.

If after doing that you still find yourself procrastinating and coming up with excuses such as (still) lack of time or that you have more important things to do such as filing or alphabetising the contents of your fridge, then there are other, deeper seated hurdles at play. These can be grouped into two categories. Reasons that have to do with the project itself and reasons that are down to your personality. Have a look at the table below whether you can identify with any of these reasons and also what are some solutions to get over them.

Project Related Reasons for Procrastination
Project is out of your expertise and/or you don't know where to start.
Consult an expert; find someone who has done this sort of thing before and ask for help. Nobody can be expected to know everything. Option 2 - find a how-to book on the subject.

Project is boring.
Consider delegating to someone who enjoys this kind of work. If that's not an option, challenge yourself. How fast can you finish each part of the project? Set yourself a deadline and see if you can beat it by x amount. The adrenaline rush will help to get you moving.

Project is threatening.
If you are worried that you'll get in trouble if you get this wrong then you are likely to delay the whole thing. Consider: what is the worst thing that could happen if you get this wrong and how likely is it going to happen?
Also, what exactly do you need to get it right? Have you got all available tools and information? If yes, you're already half way there, so make a start. If no, consider getting help or even delegating to someone with all the tools available to them.

Personality Traits That Increase Procrastination
Conditions are never perfect and if you wait for perfection you will never get started. Refocus to what is the minimum you need to get started, then go. You can always adjust along the way.

Lack of Self Confidence
Break the project down into bite size tasks and put them in the order they need to be completed in. Concentrate on one task at a time. Reward yourself once each step is achieved.

Thriving on Adrenaline
If you only ever get things done in the last minute or just beyond because you "work better under pressure" why not set yourself tight deadlines throughout. Break the project into smaller chunks, and make sure that you can only just achieve your deadlines. This way, the adrenaline will keep flowing AND the project will keep moving along.

If you want to know more about the subject of overcoming procrastination, please refer to my 3-part article entitled "How to Stop Putting it Off - Say Goodbye to Procrastination For Good". It is published on Ezine Articles on the web and you can access it by clicking the links below.
There you will find even more ways to let go of that procrastination habit.
And if you want to be up close and personal, I am holding a networking seminar on this topic on the 13th March 2012 in Nottingham. Please visit for details.

Isi Dixon
Consultant, Motivational Speaker & Author
Well Organised
Professional Organising & Productivity Specialists
Tel: 07732 915456

Author of Get Twice As Much Done In Half The Time – 10 Productivity Strategies for Your Office
Available on my website (with a special bonus edition of Printable Forms, Templates & Worksheets)

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