Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be offered a new deal by Manchester United, the Premier League club’s manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday ahead of a friendly with Los Angeles Galaxy.Speaking at a news conference on the eve of their first pre-season tour match in California, Mourinho left the door open to the Swede returning when he recovers from knee surgery.The out-of-contract Ibrahimovic, 35, was United’s top scorer last term after joining on a one-year deal, but he was injured in April and is likely to be sidelined at least until December.”If the decision is to stay and wait until December — he can’t be back until them — why not wait? We are speaking and changing ideas,” the Portuguese coach told reporters.With Ibrahimovic out of action, Mourinho has brought in Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton for a fee put at about 75 million pounds ($98.27 million) by British media.Mourinho said United signed Lukaku because he is a ready-made Premier League player, having had lots of experience in England, which hopefully would allow him to fit in immediately.”Obviously there are other good strikers in football, but the Premier League is a very specific habitat, a difficult habitat for strikers, and normally they need some time to adapt but Lukaku has been in the Premier League for five seasons,” he told reporters.”Now he comes to a club with different responsibilities in the right moment of his career. He is still a young player but he has years of experience in the Premier League and the Belgian national team. He will go into the Champions League, which was also his main motivation.”advertisementMourinho needed a player who knows how to score against defensive teams that, using his famous phrase, “park the bus”.”Romelu is not a player that participates a lot in the build-up play. He is a player that normally plays in the last third,” added Mourinho.”We had so many opponents last season that decided clearly to defend, closing spaces, playing with lots of defenders and defensive midfield players.”We needed a target man, which is not (France forward Anthony) Martial or (England striker Marcus) Rashford.”We have good options, good players, but a target man, a clear number nine, one who is comfortable to play in the box, we thought that was Romelu.”
Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles is eager to help the Premier League club halt their slump and says he could return from a foot injury for Saturday’s trip to Leicester City.Lascelles sustained the injury during Newcastle’s league defeat to Bournemouth last month and the Tyneside club have lost three and drawn one of their four matches in their captain’s absence to slip to 15th in the table.”I trained for the first time this week… I will see how I get on,” Lascelles told the club’s website. (www.nufc.co.uk) “It’s hard to watch especially when the team is not doing great.”I feel responsible. I am trying hard to get back as soon as possible and fingers crossed it can be Saturday.”Newcastle are winless in their last six league games as they travel to ninth-placed Leicester, who have won their last two matches.
TE Connectivity introduces Potter & Brumfield relay T9G series, a 30A power PCB relay for HVAC, appliances and industrial control applications. TE’s Potter & Brumfield relay T9G series is the smallest relay in its class, with a 30 percent smaller package size and 13 percent less PCB floor space all while keeping the standard footprint, allowing manufacturers to add more components on PCBs without having to compromise on relay performance.TE’s T9G series is a globally versatile relay with UL, CQC and VDE certifications. Its PCB and quick-connect terminations also make the relay user-friendly and easy to install. TE’s T9G series meets IEC 61810-1 for reinforced insulation due to its breakthrough design where the distance between coil and contacts has been increased, while the overall package is smaller. The benefit is helping to prevent circuit flashover from control to load, resulting in a safer application.T9G series has a 4kV between coil and contact rating providing better galvanic isolation. T9G series has 8kV rating providing a higher degree of protection for the application. The T9G uses a 900mW coil that provides a 10% power reduction vs. conventional 1W 30A Power PCB relays. Upgrade existing applications to TE’s T9G series, a relay designed for higher required performance.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous TI: automotive headlight systems with new high-resolution DLP technologyNext Phaedrus Systems: automated fault injection function for TESSY 4.1 from Razorcat
This post originally appeared on Inbound Insiders, a new section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Inbound Insiders.Consistently creating great content with a small team is a common challenge for many marketers today. As a three-person inbound marketing agency, we’re in the same boat.It can be pretty daunting to sit back and think about creating 12 months of content. Sometimes, you face creative overload when topics won’t stop rolling around in your head. Other times, it is like trying to draw water from a long-abandoned well.So how does one boil this down to a manageable process? We’ll help explain how you can develop a kicking lead generation campaign around a simple, effective piece of content. Let’s dive in!Step 1: Plan campaigns around cornerstone pieces of original content.Thinking of your blog in campaign terms is helpful. A campaign is a collection of content shared on your blog, email list, and social media that all points back to a similar offer. Creating a cornerstone piece of content first makes the process of building out ebooks, blog posts, emails, and social updates incredibly easy.A cornerstone piece of content should be an original piece of content that is focused toward a specific vertical or pain that your target market is facing. Typically, these pieces of content can take a hefty investment of time and resources to produce. These can be online, like an in-depth industry report, or a traditionally offline piece, like an op-ed or seminar series.As an example, I recently wrote an article for a magazine. The topic was inbound marketing for industrial businesses. This was written to help business owners and marketers create an inbound marketing game plan to help them find qualified leads in the industrial B2B space. After sending it off to the publisher, this article served as a cornerstone piece of content and fueled a three-month campaign.Step 2: Repurpose a cornerstone piece.Planning your campaigns out for the next 12 months will help you and your team to break down the content creation process into manageable chunks. Creating a cornerstone piece of content allows you to get the heavy lifting associated with creating an original piece of content out of the way. This opens up the door for amazing opportunities with content repurposing.From a cornerstone piece of content, it is easy to extract blog posts, ebooks, webinars, SlideShare presentations, and more. If your cornerstone content piece isn’t a download that will help you generate leads, find a way to repurpose it and place it on a landing page. If it isn’t generating leads, there is no way to measure your ROI.I pulled the copy from my article into PowerPoint and started reformatting it as a checklist. The result was a 45-page resource called “The B2B Marketing Checklist.” The repurposing process was easy. I simply took the action steps I originally shared in the article and broke them down into more detailed descriptions.Step 3: Generate blog posts.Creating amazing content is only the first step toward success in marketing. Promoting the content is just as important. It may even be more important.Blogging is an obvious platform to begin promoting your offer. Coming up with the ideas for these blog post titles is easy because you have framed them within the context of a campaign. Break down your content offers and use blog posts to expound in greater detail. Think of your buyer personas and the unique concerns and questions they have around a similar issue.Taking these persona considerations into mind can help you create 3-4 blog posts from a single idea expressed in a content offer.With “The B2B Marketing Checklist,” I took the PowerPoint file and printed out the 45 slides in handout format. This made it really easy to go through the content in the checklist and identify points that we could break down in even further depth in a blog post.After reviewing the checklist, we had outlined 55 blog post titles! The crazy thing was, it wasn’t that hard. It was the context that was key.Step 4: Unlock your marketing context.As you’re creating epic content, there’s always the underlying goal of providing the reader with a clear next step. While you’re creating blog posts, it can be a stretch, at times, to provide a related, next-step resource to the reader.By starting with the content offer and working backwards, you’re able to produce blog posts that are extremely relevant to your downloadable resource which you leverage to convert visitors to leads. This simple shift can help you greatly improve your conversion rate, but more on that in a little bit.Step 5: Turn it into a system.This process has allowed us to created a large volume of quality content in a short period of time, while still expanding our reach to new audiences. Not only have we shared these posts on our blog, but we have also reached out and shared several of these posts on other blogs, like here on the HubSpot blog.Think of this system like a tree.As a marketer, you’re essentially managing an orchard. Each tree that you plant is a new campaign that can grow, flourish, and bear fruit for the organization.Think of your central piece of content like the trunk of a tree. In our case it was an article for a trade publication, but it could be any number of things: a presentation from a conference, an in-depth industry report, or a course taught through your local chamber of commerce.Branches then shoot off from the trunk in multiple directions. The branches are content offers placed on landing pages. These can be ebooks, webinars, checklists, buyer guides, and so on.From the branches of your tree, shoots emerge. These shoots are blog posts — the leaves that attract the sunshine and nourish the entire tree. Each blog post is an opportunity to rank for new keyword phrases and answer questions from members of social communities.If the shoots are strong enough, they flower and their sweet fragrance attracts new visitors back to the website. This takes shape via social shares, comments, +1s, and inbound links.We saw a marked increase in visitors and leads.The tree metaphor is cute, but it isn’t worth much if it isn’t backed up with statistics. Here are some takeaway points from our campaign around “The B2B Marketing Checklist.”In terms of traffic to our website, we saw almost a 30% increase in visitors and our lead quantity also increased almost 40%.The more we blogged and shared the resource, the more leads began converting on “The B2B Marketing Checklist.” Not only did the number of leads converting on the offer continue to rise …… but the conversion rate on the landing page also continued to rise, too:We also A/B tested the calls-to-action we shared at the end of the blog posts on GuavaBox.com. This brought out some interesting data to help us make better marketing in the future.As you can see in the chart below, we created two different designs that linked to “The B2B Marketing Checklist” landing page. Each one had a similar color scheme and text, but one design significantly outperformed the other.The benefits of this system can be great.Managing content and your inbound marketing system is a challenge for marketers everywhere. There are a lot of moving parts that need to be working in unison.This system can help you quickly outline and plan campaigns for months in advance. With this plan in place, you’re still free to supplement your editorial calendar with curated posts or the latest industry news. It will bring you peace of mind to know that your team isn’t pressured to come up with unrelated creative ideas every few days.By beginning with your persona in mind and focusing on creating one solid piece of outrageously helpful content, you can supercharge your content creation. Make it rain, old sport!Andrew (@AndrewJDymski) is the VP of Inbound & Co-Founder of GuavaBox, an inbound marketing agency. GuavaBox is focused on helping companies in the industrial B2B market reach new customers through content and inbound marketing. He is also the CEO & Co-Founder of DoInbound, a software system helping inbound marketing agencies manage, track, and scale their business. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. Topics: Lead Generation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 11, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017
Originally published Apr 6, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: LinkedIn Marketing This week marks the first week of April; a week full of distractions from April Fools’ Day and the first signs of sunlight after many long winter months.While we of course found little ways to enjoy the sunlight and the April Fools’ Day pranks, we also got down to business — blogging business, at least. This week’s content is practical, and focuses on things that you can do to be more efficient in your tasks and more effective at driving results. Want to Squeeze More Conversions Out of Your Landing Pages? Read ThisSo, it’s a new month. Your boss likely wants you to get even more leads this month than last month. This blog post will arm you with the information, data, and examples you need to optimize your landing pages for lead generation.How to Tweet Around the Clock Without Being on Twitter 24/7Those who tweet more often tend to have more followers. This means that if you’re serious about growing your Twitter presence, it’s imperative that you find a way to tweet multiple times a day. In this blog post you will learn how to tweet multiple days every day without dedicating all of your time to Twitter.5 Things Many Marketers Forget When Running A/B TestsA/B testing is an extremely important practice in today’s data-driven marketing world. That said, with A/B testing it’s very easy to make a minor mistake and totally screw up your results. This blog post identifies five A/B testing mistakes that marketers should avoid.The Hidden Costs of Creative Work (and How to Budget for Them)No matter how much time you devote to budgeting your marketing spend, there always seems to be little hidden costs of creative work that you didn’t anticipate. In this blog post, you’ll find a list of expenses that are often overlooked so you can incorporate them into your budgeting plans.The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedInLinkedIn is the most popular social networks for professionals as well as one of the top social networking sites overall. Despite being a powerful platform, LinkedIn often gets underutilized by marketers. In this blog post, learn how to use LinkedIn to its fullest potential. 4 Important Factors That Will Affect the Cost of a Website RedesignYou’re website is likely one of your most important marketing assets. As a result, you need to make sure that it’s up-to-date and optimized to its fullest potential without taking up too much of your budget. This blog post breaks down some of the most common factors that influence the price of a website redesign. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Peter McNamara, who won three Grand Slam doubles titles with fellow Australian Paul McNamee and reached a career-high No. 7 in singles, has died. He was 64.His death at his home in Germany from prostate cancer was confirmed by David Law, a family friend and tennis commentator, on behalf of McNamara’s wife Petra.McNamara formed a long and successful partnership with McNamee the pair dubbed the “Super Macs” in Australia to win the Wimbledon doubles titles in 1980 and ’82 and the Australian Open title in 1979.”Hard to believe that after 50 years of friendship Macca is gone … you lived life to the full mate and will be missed,” McNamee said in a social media post.McNamara also won five singles titles, reaching the Australian Open singles semifinals in 1980, the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1981 and the last eight at the 1982 French Open. A knee injury effectively ended his playing career at age 28.Tennis Australia described McNamara as a much-loved and respected member of the tennis community who was “known for his flair and gifted shot making.”McNamara became a successful coach, working with Mark Philippoussis, Grigor Dimitrov and more recently rising women’s star Wang Qiang of China.He joined the Patrick Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Paris in 2009, and worked extensively with Dimitrov.”He was very charismatic, totally passionate about his job, and such a great team mate,” Mouratoglou said on Twitter. “He did an incredible job with Grigor Dimitrov helping his transitions to the pros.”Read more | Hall of Fame Open: Leander Paes and Marcus Daniell crash out in semifinalAlso see:advertisement
Originally published Aug 7, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Despite the tech industry’s reputation for being a community of early adopters, one very important thing has remained stuck in the past: gender equality.Working in the industry for years in a handful of executive roles, Sue Heilbronner saw this first-hand: “For a lot of my career, I’ve been the only female in the room. That was true when I was a federal prosecutor, and it’s been true as an investor and startup executive. But it never really bothered me until recently.” So, Sue did what exceptional leaders do: She set out to make a change.Enter MergeLane: a startup accelerator based in Boulder, CO. Startup accelerators set out to provide early-stage companies with the funding and mentorship they need to get up and running (the two best-known examples are Techstars and Y Combinator). But unlike most accelerators, MergeLane focuses exclusively on companies that have a female founder or executive.Sue joins me this week on The Growth Show to talk about MergeLane, their mission to work with women-led companies, her career change from being a federal prosecutor, and lessons from great leaders. Here are a few highlights from this episode (click on the time-stamp to jump to that part of the podcast):Background on MergeLane and startup accelerators (1:30)What led her to start an accelerator focused on women, and why she was initially hesitant to champion this mission (3:30)The best way to build a professional network (9:00)How she re-invented herself in the middle of her career (10:00)How a $10,00 check from a friend led her to start MergeLane (12:30)Why you need to earn leadership, and the qualities of great leaders (15:00)Why she won’t tolerate gossip at work (16:00)The importance of transparency in business and advice for companies looking to make the shift (17:00)The 15 commitments of conscious leadership (20:00)What most companies get wrong with growth (24:00)Leadership issues that women have to face more often than men (30:00)Click the play button below to listen to this episode in your browser, or subscribe on iTunes to download episodes from your mobile device:Want more recaps of the latest episodes of The Growth Show? Check ’em out here.
Originally published Jan 26, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 3) Content-Driven NewslettersTime is a valuable asset: audiences may be interested in the cause that you support, but they may not be ready to get involved just yet. Instead, they’ll need a bit of warming up and nurturing. You’ll need to engage with them at multiple touch points—to share stories and educational resources around your mission and vision. It may sound counterintuitive, but you won’t want to push memberships too aggressively here. Instead, you’ll want to focus on building a rapport with your audience. Here are some tips for types of content to share:News and regular updates about your organizationImpact reports and stats surrounding the communities that you serveStories about the people you’ve helpedWhat’s most important is that you reach audiences with information that they’ll care about and find personally valuable. Over time, you can build a feedback loop between your readers’ content consumption patterns and messaging that they’ll find compelling. You can use personalization technology, for instance, to share news and updates that they care about rather than communicating every last thing that has happened over the past month or quarter.Take a look at the following email from Inbound.org, which curates relevant content into a regular newsletter. Information comes tailored to specific audience browsing patterns and interests.4) Renewal NoticesLife gets busy, and memberships can fall through the cracks as a result. You’ll want to make it as easy as possible to automate membership sign-ups and to give your audience a friendly nudge to take action. Email makes this process easier.Send follow-up reminders when memberships are about to expire, and make renewing as seamless as possible. You can start by filtering your list based on expiration date: contact your members two months out, one month out, and then within a few days.Be attentive and sensitive to the fact that your audiences are busy. Make sure that ‘next steps’ are easy and clear. By automating the processes and reaching out to audiences ahead of time, you’ll ensure that no member falls through the cracks.A great example to follow comes from domain registrars. Well ahead of expiration day, these companies reach out to their customers for renewals. Consistency and tactful persistence are key for moving the needle.5) Opt-Out SurveysIf you’re losing members, you need to figure out why. Email can help you identify pain points and identify improvements to make in your messaging, moving forward. Start by running a simple form or email survey to ask members why they’ve decided to leave. You could then use that data to send more personalized follow up emails that ask your former members to come back, while telling them about new features that make them want to join again. Last But Not LeastAlways thank your members—this small gesture can go a long way. When someone new joins, thank him or her, and drop a reminder of the benefits of the memberships upfront. Find subtle ways to make your audience feel appreciated. Make connections stronger, as a result. Topics: Nonprofit Marketing Nonprofits operate in a crowded digital ecosystem with aggressive marketing tactics and massive advertising spends from the corporate world. It can be tough, as a result, to reach target audiences—especially for membership recruitment. How can nonprofits stand out, build visibility, and drive engagement in a landscape where the average email user sends and receives 122 messages a day?The answer is simple: do what you already do best by building long-term relationships with the communities and stakeholders that you serve. Rely on your value proposition to stand out and build an emotional rapport with your audience. Communicate your organization’s unique value proposition in a way that sparks interest and action. And of course, be practical: humans need friendly nudges and reminders from time to time. For inspiration, we’ve compiled a few ideas a examples. 5 Types of Emails Your Association Should Send to Increase Memberships1) Tailored, Personalized, Human InvitationsAs more visitors spend time on your website, your association will slowly build a repository of data. Using this information, you’ll want to create focused messages around the benefits of joining your association. You can use the following types of data to guide you: Content consumption patternsReferral paths and traffic sourcesTime spent on different parts of your sitePast engagement, online and in person, with your organizationIn addition to using this data, make sure that you send your messages from a real person from your team—not a corporate-like mouthpiece. Your target audiences want to feel like you value their time, attention, and participation with your organization. Remember that you’re connecting with a human being on the other side of the computer screen.For an example from outside of the nonprofit space, take a look at the following message from HubSpot. It’s customized around specific audience interests and tailored to specific actions that audiences have taken on the site (based on the webpages they’ve viewed and the content they’ve read).2) Diverse Options for JoiningOne-size-fits-all memberships are a thing of the past. Today’s consumers are looking for highly personalized complements to their lifestyles—nonprofit affiliations are no different.In addition to featuring clear benefits for joining, nonprofits need to offer several options for membership, to make joining easy for the largest group possible. You’ll want to consider the following: Payment timingsPayment amountsValue offeredPerks availableIf you’re not sure how to structure these options, your current members are a great resource to leverage. Start by segmenting your member database by demographic and psychographic traits that are relevant to your organization (i.e. household income, cause affiliations, educational interests, etc.). Run a survey and conduct qualitative interviews: you’ll see patterns that are relevant to your messaging.Your audiences will respond to different incentives. Make sure that your organization’s are fully defined.As an example, take a look at ProductHunt. The company puts together a curated email newsletter with products and services that its subscribers will find helpful. The company uses social data to piece together its messaging, based on what its subscribers’ connections are upvoting.
What were your favorite advertising trends this year? Let us know in the comments. 2016 was a year of unprecedented creative opportunities for advertisers.Advancements in technology enabled agencies to develop campaigns across innovative new mediums, pushing the boundaries of digital advertising and inviting consumers to experience brands like never before.Before we see what 2017 has in store, let’s take a look back at some of this year’s most impactful advertising trends. The following four marketing tactics left a big mark on 2016, and they show no signs of slowing down as we head into the new year.See which trends fueled some of the most creative ad campaigns, and start planning your first 2017 campaign. 4 of the Biggest Advertising Trends of 20161) Experiential MarketingFrom branded pop-up shops to larger promotional events, brands definitely embraced experiential marketing in 2016. And agencies rose to meet this growing demand.Big brands like Coca-Cola, Google, and Anheuser-Busch sought out agency partners who specialize in creating brand experiences that woo participants and generate buzz on social media.So what makes experiential marketing so powerful? Casey Conway, a founding partner of Say OK — the agency behind experiential work for brands like Google, Microsoft, and Converse — says it helps brands relate to people who don’t typically connect with traditional advertising mediums.”We pride ourselves on getting those people who think they know better, who can see right through the traditional side [of advertising], and hit them in a cool, unique way,” Conway said to Adweek. “It’s not about a brand just being the logo [in an immersive experience]; it’s about giving the consumer an awesome experience from a brand.”Example: SXSW ‘Suicide Squad’ Tattoo Shop Pop-UpWhen Warner Brothers wanted a unique way to promote the Suicide Squad movie at SXSW, they turned to the experiential ad experts at Milwaukee-based GMR.Their team temporarily converted a tattoo shop in downtown Austin into Harley Quinn’s Tattoo Parlor, offering free temporary and permanent tattoos inspired by the film’s characters to anyone who was interested. The shop was redesigned with decor from the movie and staffed with a team of Harley Quinn lookalikes to draw people in.The event was a massive success for Warner Brothers, drawing in over 2,400 SXSW attendees and generating 35.4 million impressions on Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Dec 19, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017 2) Virtual RealityVirtual and augmented reality have been rapidly gaining momentum for a few years, with investments in the space topping $1.1 billion in 2016. Skeptics have expressed concerns as to whether or not the tech is accessible enough to generate widespread and sustainable consumer interest, but this year advertisers began to realize that people are generally enthusiastic about exploring the new medium.A survey conducted by Nielsen’s Media lab found that 24% of consumers said they will likely use or purchase VR next year, and another 20% said they would try it after learning some of the basics of the technology.Companies like North Face, Samsung, and NBC all got in on the action, and smaller VR-focused marketing startups began cropping up to meet demand from major brands. In a signal of commitment to the medium, The New York Times even purchased Fake Love, a New York-based agency specializing in VR and AR campaigns.”It’s completely immersive,” said Adam Harter, VP of marketing and cultural connections at Pepsi, speaking at a video conference. “We believe that if you can create an emotional connection with the consumer, you will hook them, you will make them fans of your brand. And I don’t think that any other experience other than VR can create an experience that people want to share more.”Example: The National Park Service’s “Through the Ages” short filmTo celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial anniversary, National Geographic partnered with Facebook’s Oculus Team and VR production agency Felix & Paul Studios to create a short film highlighting the natural beauty of Yosemite National Park.Starring President Obama and his family, the 11-minute VR film offers viewers a uniquely immersive glimpse at the park as the first family explores the landscape. The video is available for Oculus Rift and on Facebook’s 360-degree video platform.You can watch the 360-degree video version on the White House website.Image Credit: The White House3) Live Video2016 was the year of live video for social platforms. Facebook launched Live back in April, Twitter introduced a mobile integration with live-streaming app Periscope, and Instagram just released a live video streaming service to all U.S. users in December.Live video has become an inclusive extension of video marketing, allowing users to connect with content in real time. Brands have been taking full advantage of the new streaming capabilities, inviting consumers to experience live branded content directly from their devices.And consumers are eager to tune in. Retail giant Lowe’s unveiled their Black Friday offers on Facebook Live to an audience of 32,000 (and picked up an additional 891,000 views via promoted posts over the following days). Martha Stewart broadcasts a series of popular live cooking videos, and Refinery29 hired a team of 10 staffers just to focus on creating Facebook Live content for the lifestyle website.”Live content is uniquely compelling when it offers rarity,” said Topher Burns, group director of product innovation at Deep Focus, to Adweek. “Glimpses of life you’d never usually get, spaces you’d normally be denied access to, things that are happening in one moment that you’ve just got to see.”Example: Taco Bell’s Friendsgiving FeastTo celebrate Thanksgiving this year, fast food chain Taco Bell held a “Friendsgiving” feast, inviting a group of social media influencers to their headquarters for a unusual spread of Thanksgiving-inspired taco creations.They streamed the whole dinner live on Facebook, attracting an impressive audience of 150,000 taco-loving consumers throughout the broadcast. Image Credit: Taco Bell’s Twitter4) Influencer Marketing”Influencer marketing” became a much-circulated buzzword in 2016, but it’s still a largely uncertain investment for brands and agencies.The concept of influencer marketing is pretty straightforward: to reach new audiences on social media, brands pay “influencers” — social media personalities and celebrities with massive follower counts — to post about their products. It’s become an extremely prevalent practice (particularly on YouTube and Instagram, where even pets are getting in on it), but there still aren’t clear compensation guidelines for influencers or ways for brands to measure the success of influencer-driven efforts.And there’s been some legal backlash. TruthinAdvertising.org, a nonprofit devoted to fighting deceptive advertising, called out the Kardashian sisters in August for not being transparent about what brands they were being paid to promote on Instagram. As a result, many sponsored posts now include #ad or some variation to indicate that a post is a paid endorsement, but brands complain it reduces the efficacy of the posts.Despite some of the issues with the practice, many brands have found success with tapping influencers to promote their products and target niche audiences. Lifestyle brands have been particularly successful reaching consumers through influencer campaigns.Example: Honest TeaHonest Tea, a beverage company, regularly partners with social media influencers to reach their target audience: young mothers. The brand has selectively recruited seven Instagram-famous moms to share challenging parenting moments with the hashtag #RefreshinglyHonest.
Human Resources Originally published Oct 18, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated November 26 2018 We know diversity matters.Diversity in the workplace can increase ROI, lead to more innovative ideas, and foster a more productive work environment. In fact, companies that place emphasis on diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above the industry median.And, as Stephen Covey once said, “Strength lies in differences, not similarities.”Download a Free Guide and Template to Help You Create a Company Culture Code. Embracing diversity is a critical step for your business to grow and make an impact on a global level, but oftentimes, it’s difficult to discern the true benefits of diversity — and, if you don’t know the benefits of diversity, how will you ever push for change?Sure, we can say, “strength lies in differences,” but what particular strengths are we talking about?Here, we’ve cultivated a list of five awesome benefits of diversity at work, so you can understand and teach others why your company needs to enact diversity initiatives immediately.Benefits of diversity in the workplaceDiverse perspectives can foster innovation.Diverse teams will perform better, and come up with better ideas.Diversity can help your company become a global leader.Diversity will improve your work culture and help you attract better talent.Diversity improves your company’s customer service. Topics: 1. Diverse perspectives can foster innovation.There have been plenty of studies to support the notion that diversity breeds creativity and innovation. It makes sense — if you have a team of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, you’ll have a broader range of solutions offered.As Janina Kugel, Human Resources Board Member and Chief Diversity Officer at Siemens, notes, “Diversity strengthens our innovative capacity, unleashes the potential of Siemens’ employees and thereby directly contributes to our business success.”Ultimately, it’s critical you have diverse perspectives to enable your team to brainstorm out-of-the-box solutions to complex problems, or challenge each other’s way of thinking.Diverse perspectives can also help you develop better products to meet your customers needs. For instance, Mattel Inc., a global toy manufacturer, has said, “We understand that a culture rich in diversity is key to business success. It allows us to better understand the business opportunities in various markets around the world, and develop products that resonate with consumers in diverse cultures.”By promoting diversity, Mattel Inc. is able to create more innovative toys and remain a global leader in their industry.2. Diverse teams will perform better, and come up with better ideas.If you have a team of people with different skills, backgrounds, and prior experiences, you’re more likely to have people who offer unique ideas and brainstorm better solutions. In fact, Harvard Business Review found diverse teams are able to solve problems faster than cognitively similar people.Additionally, diversity enables you to create a culture in which everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. If you have a team of nine men and one woman, that one woman might have some fantastic ideas but remain silent out of a sense of being outnumbered. That’s a shame — her ideas could be the solution to a major company problem.Melissa Obleada, HubSpot’s D&I Program Manager, told me, “There’s research that shows you’ll prepare better arguments for your case if you are working with a group with diverse points of view. If you expect that you’ll get pushback, you’ll think more about why your ideas are worth fighting for or listening to.”Ultimately, creating a company with diverse teams will inspire more creative ideas, but just as importantly, it will enable you to create a culture in which your employees feel safe sharing those ideas.Plus, as Flora Wang, a Sales Engineer at HubSpot who gave a presentation on Diversity and Inclusion at HubSpot’s INBOUND 18 conference, pointed out, “Diversity is key for people to be successful at work — and everyone deserves the opportunity to excel. A key factor of success is knowing that you have a community that empathizes and understands your experiences so that you can bring your full authentic self to do the best work possible.”3. Diversity can help you become a global leader.It’s likely you already work with clients or vendors from other countries. As your competitors scale up globally, it’s critical you’re able to do the same.By having employees who speak other languages or understand other cultures, you’re more likely to succeed in the global market.Wattpad co-founder and CEO Allen Lau believes their success as a start-up came from Wattpad’s ability to enter the global market through diverse employees — “In the early days of our business, my co-founder Ivan and I searched for a way to kick start our audience growth. It was painfully slow until we made the decision to support additional languages on our app. Luckily, we had worked with people who lived in these countries who could provide the insight we needed to strengthen our product.”You’ll need a diverse team of employees, with unique cultural backgrounds, to combat foreign challenges and satisfy clients from other countries.4. Diversity will improve your company’s culture and help you attract better talent. A survey by Glassdoor found 67% of people consider diversity an important factor when deciding where to work. To attract top talent, it’s imperative you incorporate diversity into the workplace.Along with attracting top talent, diversity will help you improve your company’s culture and retain current employees long-term. Remember, the term “diversity” isn’t a label for one person — it’s a label for a group of people. We are all diverse by nature. Everyone has different perspectives, backgrounds, and skills.By encouraging diversity, you’re allowing every employee to feel comfortable being authentic.As HubSpot’s D&I Program Manager Melissa Obleada notes, “Most people aren’t happy and don’t want to stay at a place where they aren’t comfortable. People change jobs for their commute, for their family, but most importantly, for themselves to feel comfortable.”Ultimately, your employees will never be truly happy until they feel authentic at work and in their roles.5. Diversity improves your company’s customer service. Customers like to speak to people who understand their issues and can offer solutions unique to them. By having a diverse team, you’re more likely to have employees who can empathize with your customers and offer better, more tailored solutions.According to a Walker study, by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. As the importance of customer experience continues to grow, personalization in customer service will become even more crucial.Good customer service is about creating strong personal connections between employees and customers. A diverse team will help you form stronger, more authentic relationships with a broader range of customers, allowing you to outperform competitors long-term.Diversity in the Workplace StatisticsIn case we haven’t convinced you already, here are some impressive statistics that demonstrate the powerful benefits of diversity in the workplace:57% of people think their company should be doing more to increase diversity among its workforce.83% of millennials are actively engaged when they believe their organization fosters an inclusive culture, compared to only 60% of millennials who are actively engaged when their organization does not foster an inclusive culture.For every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior executive team, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rise 0.8%. In the U.K., EBIT rises to 3.5%.Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.Companies reporting the highest levels of racial diversity brought in nearly 15 times more sales revenue on average than those with the lowest levels of racial diversity.Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.Diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture a new market.One study found academic papers written by diverse groups receive more citations than papers written by people from the same ethnic group, getting more credit in the field.Diversity in the Workplace ArticlesTo learn more about specific benefits of diversity in the workplace, check out some of these additional resources:”Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter” by Harvard Business Review”‘Diversity’ Is Rightly Criticized As An Empty Buzzword. So How Can We Make It Work?” by NPR”Has ‘Diversity’ Lost Its Meaning?” by The New York Times”How to Increase Workplace Diversity” by Wall Street Journal”Why ‘Thought Diversity’ Is The Future Of The Workplace” by Business Insider Don’t forget to share this post!
Originally published Feb 28, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated March 01 2019 In Simon Sinek’s famous Ted Talk “How great leaders inspire action”, he fleshes out a concept that some of the most inspiring leaders and organizations — specifically Apple, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright Brothers — leveraged to build loyal followings. It’s called Start With Why.Start With Why suggests that if your brand truly wants to inspire an audience to follow you, your core message should focus on your organization’s purpose — not how you make your product or what your product is. Spotlighting why people should care about your organization is how Apple, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright Brothers ultimately built a body of support for their causes, even though they all faced fierce competition.Simon Sinek’s notion that people buy the “why” behind your organization, not the “what” or “how”, isn’t some idealistic trend catching fire in the business world today. It’s actually rooted in human biology. To explain further, the most primal part of the brain is called the limbic system, and it controls all decision making. It also happens to control all of our emotions and feelings.So, resonating with your audience will also appeal to the part of the brain that’s responsible for action. In other words, if you can evoke emotion, you can drive behavior. If you can’t do the former, though, you’ll struggle to build a loyal following, let alone sell them anything.But how do you discover the “why” behind your organization? How do you actually connect with an audience and inspire them to follow you? One of the best places to start is by writing a brand manifesto.Free Download: How to Create a Style Guide [+ Free Templates]What is a brand manifesto?A brand manifesto describes why your organization exists, its purpose, and why people should care about your brand. It’s typically an emotional story that captivates your audience, emotionally connects with them, and persuades them to support your brand. Not only can it build a loyal customer base, but it can also attract top talent to your organization.5 of the Best Brand Manifesto Examples1. NikeImage Credit: PinterestEven though Nike endorses some of the biggest names in sports, like LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Serena Williams, they never boast about how the best athletes in the world use their equipment. Instead, they stick to what has skyrocketed them to the top of the sports equipment industry — emotional resonance.Nike wants people to understand that success doesn’t mean becoming the greatest of all time. It means you did everything you could to become the best possible version of yourself. And that’s the “why” behind their brand — to empower every athlete, regardless of their talent or ability, to reach their potential and achieve their own greatness.2. FiatImage Credit: PinterestFiat isn’t just selling a sleek, Italian car. They’re selling a lifestyle. In their brand manifesto, you get a glimpse of the life they want to offer to their customers — a life that they can live with burning passion and thrilling excitement.However, Fiat doesn’t want its customers to live recklessly. They actually want them to treasure the little things in life just as much as the big things. So the “why” behind Fiat’s brand isn’t really changing their customers’ lifestyle — it’s changing their attitude toward life. And that’s a compelling mission to have.3. The North FaceImage Credit: PinterestMost travel equipment brands focus on how their products can enable you to travel and explore your surroundings, which is engaging on the surface. But, in The North Face’s brand manifesto, they go another layer deeper by diving into why we explore.By describing how exploring helps us understand ourselves better, The North Face’s purpose is crystal clear — they not only want to help us explore more, but they also want to help us change for the better, lead more fulfilling lives, and cherish what we have.4. AppleImage Credit: PinterestFor almost his entire career, Steve Jobs was considered crazy. His bitter disdain for the status quo compelled him to shatter conventional wisdom whenever he could, driving such a large wedge between him and his colleagues that they forced him out of the company he founded.Despite all his controversy, though, Steve Jobs’ ability to think differently was what fueled Apple’s innovation and transformed it into the most valuable brand in the world.Steve Jobs’ story is the driving force behind Apple’s purpose. If they can inspire people to think differently and challenge the status quo, then they can help propel society forward and change the world — just like Steve Jobs did.5. Levi’sImage Credit: PinterestNo one wants to coast through life. But, a lot of times, we drift away — and we don’t even notice it happening. To help catch yourself settling in life before it’s too late, Levi’s crafted a brand manifesto overflowing with so much purpose that it could convince Eeoyre from Winnie-the-Pooh to go make his mark on the world.By asking their audience whether they’ve made the world any better and telling them that all they need is their gut instinct and the clothes on their back to make that impact, Levi’s conveys a brand purpose almost everyone would passionately follow for the rest of their lives — don’t ever settle.How to Write a Brand ManifestoIdentify your organization’s “why”.Write in second- or third-person to place your audience into the story you’re telling.Describe how your brand’s purpose will improve people’s lives. Branding Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: 1. Identify your organization’s “why”.Your brand’s purpose drives your entire brand manifesto. Without presenting a clear and convincing purpose, your manifesto will seem like an inauthentic, emotionally manipulative sales pitch. Your audience wants to know why they should care about you — and your product’s “best-in-class” features has never been a compelling enough reason to support a business.To uncover your organization’s “why”, consider asking your founders why they started the company. What problem were they trying to solve? Why did it bug them so much? And why do they want to keep growing the company? You’ll most likely find your organization’s purpose within those answers.2. Write in second- or third-person to place your audience into the story you’re telling.In each of the brand manifestos above, you’ll notice that the copy pulls you in by including the words “we” or “people”. That’s because Nike, Fiat, and The North Face all know that their audience primarily cares about how the brands can help them, so using pronouns like “you”, “we”, and “them” (when referring to their own customer base) can engage people on a personal level and place them in the narrative the brands are crafting.3. Describe how your brand’s purpose will improve people’s lives.Most people aspire to transcend their current identity and lives. Self-actualization is a universal goal that almost everyone wants to achieve. And the smartest brand marketers understand this about the human condition.For instance, did you notice how each of the brand manifestos above is essentially a life mantra that can improve your life? Nike — define and meet your own greatness. Fiat — enjoy life to the fullest. The North Face — never stop exploring. Apple — think differently and challenge the status quo. Levi’s — don’t ever settle in life.By describing each brand’s purpose in a such genuinely selfless fashion, each company’s brand manifesto can prompt their audience to imagine a future with their product or service bettering their lives.Start With WhyYour brand’s purpose is one of the most challenging things to pinpoint and communicate. But if you want to craft a compelling brand manifesto that will engage an audience and persuade them to support your brand, you must be able to clearly convey the reason you exist and why anyone should care. Only then will you be able to build the loyal following that every brand craves.
Originally published Nov 7, 2019 5:20:00 PM, updated November 12 2019 12. Edit the post. To learn more about how to use Instagram, including how to create a new account, how to manage notifications, how to connect other social media accounts, and how to upload to your Instagram Stories, take a look at our How to Use Instagram: A Beginner’s Guide. 9. Add your location. Finally, if you want to share your content on your other, connected social media sites (like Facebook or Twitter), simply slide the bar from the left to the right.When you’re ready to post, click “Share” in the top right. Instagram offers 25 filters — scroll to the right to peruse your options, and click on one to preview how it will look on your photo. (Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Filters to learn more). You can click “Edit” at the bottom right to adjust contrast, brightness, etc.When you’re ready, click “Next” in the top right. 1. Tap the + icon at the bottom of your screen. 2. Choose a photo or video from your library — or shoot one in the app. Instagram will show you the photos already saved to your phone. Choose one of those to post. Alternatively, you can click “Photo” or “Video” in the bottom to take a photo or video within the Instagram app itself, if you don’t already have an image you want to use.Once you choose an image, click “Next” in the top right. With over 800 million active users, Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most far-reaching social media networks you can use for marketing purposes.Instagram has proven a viable advertising option for businesses today, and shows no signs of slowing down — in fact, eMarketer estimates worldwide Instagram ad revenues will exceed $10 billion by 2019, an exponential increase from 1.86 billion in 2016.If you’re not already using Instagram for your business, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunity to grow brand awareness and reach a wide audience. Fortunately, adopting an Instagram strategy can be relatively easy with enough time and effort.However, if you’ve never used the app, you might be daunted by the first question likely to cross your mind — How can I post my first image?If you’re ready to post an image to Instagram, we’ve got you covered. Here, we’ve cultivated a quick-and-easy guide to posting on Instagram, to ensure you can begin attracting some of those 800 million users today.Download our essential guide to Instagram for business for more helpful tips and tricks. You aren’t limited to just a square image on Instagram. You can actually share horizontal or vertical images as well. To get more of your image seen, pinch the screen of the photo you’ve selected on the Library screen.However, while Instagram does allow vertical and horizontal options, the images still need to fit into some specific dimensions. So, you might still need to crop a tiny bit of your photo to get it to fit. 10. Play with emojis. Posting to Instagram consistently can help businesses find resonance with their audience and grow better, but doing it right is just as important. Here’s how to post to your Instagram account step-by-step. Emojis are fun and can make your caption more eye catching. If you know of a few relevant emojis that could fit with your post, stick them in the caption area.For example, if you’re posting a vacation photo, you could include a beach umbrella or a plane to show you flew somewhere.Be sure not to go overboard and post emojis just for the sake of posting them. If you post a bowling emoji along with a photo of a beach, that obviously won’t make sense to people. Similarly, if you post 20 emojis that loosely relate to a post, you might just annoy your followers or come off as desperate. How to Post to Instagram 11. Share the post on other social media platforms Get creative and write a nice, interesting caption to go with your photo. Since text can help optimize your post in Instagram’s search, writing something can only benefit you. If you’re on a fun vacation or at a neat event and you don’t feel like including that information in your caption, you can mark where you are in another way. On the post page, tap “Add Location” to put a location on your image (which makes it easier for people to find your post).When you post an image or video with a location, it will show up between your name and the block of content on the feed. Typos happen to everyone! If you just posted something and notice a glaring spelling error, don’t panic. Simply tap the three dots that appear on the right across from your name, then tap “Edit.” 3. Crop the image. Do you have multiple photos and want to highlight them all? Instagram allows you to do this with its carousel feature.As you go to tap a photo or video, first tap the icon just above your photos to the right that looks like stacked squares. Once you tap this, you’ll see a number on the corner of every image or video you tap. This number notes where the content will show up in the carousel. How to Post on Instagram 4. Try a carousel post. Want your friend or their followers to see a photo that you posted of the two of you? Tag them!On the post page, you can click “Tag People” to tag other Instagram accounts in your post. Alternatively, you can include their handle (or their username beginning with an @ symbol) in your caption. 8. Tag friends. See that plus sign (“+”) in the center of the image above? That’s your starting point. See that post from our culture account? That’s your end point. Click that plus sign and you’ll be ready for the next step, below. With Instagram’s search feature, users can search by hashtags. So, you should make sure to write relevant hashtags in your caption. If someone does a search of a hashtag you placed in your caption, they might find your post as well as others that included the same one. 7. Use hashtags for post optimization. 6. Type your caption. Tap the + icon at the bottom of your screen. Choose a photo or video from your library — or shoot one in the app. Crop the image. Try a carousel post. Pick a filter. Type your caption. Use hashtags for post optimization. Tag friends. Add your location. Play with emojis. Share the post on other social media platforms. Edit the post. Topics: 5. Pick a filter Instagram Marketing Don’t forget to share this post!
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. James Washington is finishing up his sophomore season in Stillwater, and he has already earned himself a reputation for his ability to make stupidly impressive one-handed catches in practice – and in games.The bowl practices have already started, and the Cowboys are making preparations for Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. Naturally, James Washington is back to doing his one-handed circus grabs. Here he is making tough catches look…not so tough. Check out this video shot by KFOR Sports Reporter Nate Feken:James Washington is good at football. #OKState pic.twitter.com/sdinoFEN4y— Nate Feken (@TheGreat_Nate) December 11, 2015AdChoices广告
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Congrats to my pal, the “Great One” @Ben__Grogan, on becoming the all time leading scorer in Oklahoma State history! Well deserved ???— Matt Hockett (@matt_hawk59) October 22, 2016 Happy for my brotherin @Ben__Grogan breaking the OSU all time record for points!! All those kicks and bicep curls paid off! #BennyMac pic.twitter.com/SpxMazOlEb— Kip Smith (@KipKip_Hooray) October 22, 2016https://twitter.com/JMElias47/status/789876486752784384 Oklahoma State took care of business on Saturday in Lawrence, spoiling their homecoming 44-20 in a mostly uneventful game (if it weren’t for some Piesman moments!) But there was one major milestone met Saturday by Ben Grogan, who became OSU’s all-time record holder for most points scored. OSU players took to social media to congratulate him.Congrats to my brotha @Ben__Grogan well deserved!!— Jordan Sterns (@31rzns) October 22, 2016 Congrats to @Ben__Grogan for becoming OSU’s all time leading scorer today ??? #StillSoftThough— Brad Lundblade (@BradLundblade) October 22, 2016 Congratulations @Ben__Grogan on a milestone record! Now it’s time for homecoming #GoPokes— Mason Rudolph (@Rudolph2Mason) October 22, 2016 Congrats fam @Ben__Grogan ❄️❄️— Jalen McCleskey (@lilsho2) October 22, 2016
Hey, you.Brad Underwood wants you to come watch his team play on Thursday. And he’s willing to help you get off work.He’s done the leg work to write up a nice, fancy official paper that just requires some work on your end. Fill out and BOOM, your boss will automatically excuse you from work. Maybe.ICYMI: @OSUCoachBrad says to go ahead and take Thursday off work. $5 tickets with the promo code “LUNCHBREAK” at https://t.co/JeOOvHgAiY pic.twitter.com/A47UuxkZq6— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) December 20, 2016Pretty cool idea, huh? OSU plays at NOON on Thursday in Gallagher-Iba Arena. They will face Texas A&M-CC. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Word on the street was James Washington and Mason Rudolph would be returning for their senior season.During bowl preparation in San Antonio, the two put those rumors to rest with an announcement on social media that they would indeed be returning.!!! #okstate #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/6UN2poyrU6— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) December 27, 2016 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
I recently collected data on recruiting rankings going all the way back to 2005, Mike Gundy’s first year in Stillwater. We rolled out a few interesting things I found and think about what OSU’s position in the recruiting world will be going forward. Hope you’ve enjoyed them. This will (probably) be the last piece.Let’s be clear about something — Mike Gundy is succeeding at Oklahoma State. That is undeniable. I am 100 percent in the Mike Gundy camp when it comes to college football coaching. In fact, I think he’s probably underrated by a majority of Oklahoma State fans. He’s an amazing coach. The Eddie Sutton of OSU football. On the Mount Rushmore of OSU sports.OSU has been awesome since he took over. I mean awesome.Better than Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Missouri, Arkansas, UCLA and Miami. Here is a look at OSU’s company since 2005 when Gundy was put in charge of OSU’s program. These are the records of schools since 2005, sorted by winning percentage.Ludicrous.So my conflict is not with whether OSU is great or Mike Gundy is an awesome coach. Both of those things are empirically and statistically true. My conflict is this: Can OSU be even better than it has been? Can it recruit better and win more and become a national powerhouse? Can it fill the void Texas has left on a national level? Can it …. become Clemson?Maybe the better question is: Does it even want to?When we discuss the future, we must always talk about the past. What are your goals? Where are you trying to go? What do you want to do? Each program has different goals of course. It would be silly for North Texas to have the same goals as Alabama. So what are OSU’s? Let’s look at three quotes. All of them are from last season.Quote 1“So a long time ago, when we started this, my goal was to put a quality team on the field so that people that loved Oklahoma State football knew every Saturday we had a chance to win.” -Mike GundyQuote 2“Our goal each year is to get our team prepared so that when we step on the field the fans can be proud of the product that’s on the field. We’re going to play hard, we’re going to do it respectfully. It’s extremely difficult to predict wins and losses or to see how the game is going to go — any game. But our goal is to win a conference championship. We have always felt like if we can win the conference championship that would allow us an opportunity to get to the playoff.” -Mike GundyQuote 3“I think the benchmark is to win [the Big 12]. Maybe six, seven or eight years ago, to play was good, but the benchmark has changed. How you are evaluated has changed. The way this team is critiqued has changed. That just means we’ve gotten to this point. A lot of people have done great things to get to this point.” -Glenn SpencerIt is clear from these three quotes that OSU’s goals have shifted over the years. From simply putting a quality product on the field back in 2005 to winning conference championships in 2017.Spencer and Gundy both said it. There is one more step left in the evolution of a team, though, and that is to get where OU is. Where your goal is to win a national championship and a Big 12 title is just a signpost on that road.The problem? I’m not sure how you can get to space with the way things currently stand.We already looked at how recruiting wins national championships. Then we looked at how OSU isn’t necessarily interested in becoming an elite recruiting school. So it seems the program is at a crossroads here. Can you really become Clemson without recruiting like Clemson?I asked four national writers (both CFB and CFB recruiting) for their take on this. On how OSU can move incrementally to become elite at recruiting (like the teams in the graphic we looked at here). This is what they said.Travis Haney (247 Sports): I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure that Oklahoma State can consistently move into that category, mostly based on geography. Isolation is such a difficult thing to overcome — largely because it’s that much harder to get recruits on campus for unofficial visits.None of the hot Texas prospects just happen to be stopping through Stillwater is my guess. That’s not to say a dynamic staff cannot make some headway and land some higher-end targets, but I believe OSU is one of those schools that’s going to have to lean on identification and development – and some JuCos — to balance out that gap.And I’d say Gundy’s staffs have done a really nice job of that. I’m kicking around doing a story on him as the most underrated coach in the country relative to consistency and resources. So maybe this is just what the program is in terms of recruiting, unless you move it three or four hours south. It isn’t a death sentence, but it’s certainly a hurdle.Jake Trotter (ESPN): I mean, can you? How many programs have crossed that threshold over the last two decades? Oregon? Texas A&M sort of? The “big boy” programs you reference have won national titles and/or exist in incredibly fertile recruiting grounds like the states of Texas or Florida. It is almost impossible to go from a good recruiting program to an elite one.Greg Powers (Scout): Rankings classes are valued by determining quality and quantity. It is very interesting that you use the No. 14 nationally as the spot that would be ideal for a program like Oklahoma State to rise (ed. note: I asked how you move from No. 34 to, say, No. 14 in an email to Greg), because the last time it took a full allotment of recruits was in the class of 2014 (28) and it actually finished at No. 14 nationally in the Scout rankings.Since that time the highest number of recruits it has signed is 22 (2017). Over the past three classes it has signed over 34 percent of its talent from the JuCo ranks, and JuCo prospects are not valued as highly as high school prospects in the team recruiting rankings formulas. We view OSU and TCU as two of the best talent evaluating staffs in the conference and it is that ability to identify and secure that type of solid talent that has made those two programs competitive within the conference.Woody Womack (Rivals): Make the leap from good to great in recruiting is always tough for programs like Oklahoma State. It takes a combination of consistent on-field success as well as pipeline to elite talent. I think if the Cowboys were to make a few runs to the college football playoff they could parlay it into more consistently ranked classes in recruiting.There are loads of interesting nuggets, but the one about JuCo players and OSU not fully filling out its classes in a given year is maybe the most intriguing to me. Gundy is, pretty undeniably by these writers, one of the best at evaluating the right kids and building a successful culture with them.But Oklahoma State still has a long way to go as a program. We would all love to see the Cowboys string together a run of three Big 12 titles in five years or four in nine years. Something like that. OSU is closer than ever to joining a crop of nationally-relevant schools that contend at the very highest level every year. So close. You can almost taste the milk and the honey of that sweet terrain.OSU has built itself (with Mike Gundy as the chief architect) into a tremendous college football program. One that is worth being proud of and following and enjoying. And don’t misunderstand me here. Things are great right now. These really are the golden years of Oklahoma State football. I’m fine with winning a Big 12 title every five or six years. The yearly product is incredible. I’m not complaining.But success breeds the desire for more success, and opportunities to break into that circle of prosperity that reboots itself year after year don’t come around that often for schools like Oklahoma State. The opportunity to become OU is right there. And despite what you think about OU, that is a program anybody should want to become (on the field anyway).I realize that this takes time. That you don’t build Bama overnight (unless your name is Nick and you wear a straw hat to two-a-days). I realize it could take two decades or maybe three. Or maybe it’s impossible. I don’t know. What I do know is that OSU is inches away from breaking through and winning multiple conference titles and playing for national titles like the other schools we’ve talked about.And yet it still sometimes feels like they’re so far away. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
PSG PSG ‘a collection of individualists’ and unable to match ‘absolutely disciplined’ Real Madrid – Sagnol Iain Strachan 01:41 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images PSG UEFA Champions League Real Madrid PSG v Real Madrid The former France international feels the Ligue 1 leaders have crashed out of the Champions League to proven performers as they lack unity Paris Saint-Germain are still missing something intangible and played like a “collection of individualists” as they exited the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid, according to Willy Sagnol.PSG gave up the lead to lose the first leg of their round-of-16 tie 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu last month.And they went down 2-1 at home in the return fixture on Tuesday, bowing out in the first knockout stage for the second season in succession. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “Real presented themselves as a team in the second leg, Paris did not,” former France international Sagnol told Kicker.”PSG was just a collection of individualists, while Real acted as an absolutely disciplined team.”The Ligue 1 leaders were missing the injured Neymar at Parc des Princes, the Brazil international having suffered a broken metatarsal.And Sagnol does not feel the remaining players can be blamed for feeling the absence of the former Barcelona man.”In a sense, a team is naturally dependent on such an exceptional player,” he said.Sagnol also questioned the elevation of Dani Alves to a leadership role, the veteran having only arrived in the French capital from Juventus in July.“If Dani Alves belongs to the players’ council… that’s too much responsibility for him, not on the pitch, but in the group,” he said.”It means that something is missing, a [naturally] grown hierarchy, continuity.”This club is young and suddenly has a lot of money, and just wants to lose no time, but skipped a few steps on the way up.”It remains to be seen how PSG’s Qatari owners will respond to their latest European disappointment, although Sagnol cautioned the club against increasing their transfer expenditure. He said: “Money certainly does not matter, Chelsea took 10 years before the many [Roman] Abramovich millions brought great success in Europe in 2012.”As a fan, I think the project is great. [We] 50 per cent love, 50 per cent hate PSG, and when you have such top players, you always experience pros and cons, often out of jealousy.”