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In a world where videos have become one of the most effective ways to advertise a product, many business owners are looking for strategies that can help them create a great video to share on social channels like Facebook. If this is the case for you, note that there are numerous techniques you can employ to make it happen. Here are six of them: 

 

1. Keep It Short

As noted in Entrepreneur, you should strive to keep the videos you produce as short and succinct as possible. Ideally, your video should be less than three minutes long. This strategy is effective for many reasons, including the fact that it means you'll be providing the viewer with a lot of valuable information in a short period of time. Creating short videos also decreases the likelihood of you losing the viewer's interest. To really optimize the video, make sure that you share what it is about within the first few seconds.

photo: Lee Flynn

2. Develop A Compelling Call To Action

Videos are a form of advertising designed to compel the viewer to do something. This could involve making a purchase, signing up for your e-newsletter, sharing your brand with other individuals, etc.

To ensure that your viewer does what you want them to do, you need to create a compelling call to action. Be sure that the call to action provides the viewer with an incentive for following through. An example would be "By making a purchase today, you can save 50% on this cutting edge lawn mower!" Ideally, this call to action should appear at or near the beginning of the video. It should also be repeated numerous times within the video, including the end.

 

3. Include Your Contact Information.

Your video should make it easy for the viewer to get in contact with you. There are several ways that you can include your company's contact information, including titles and captions, links, annotations, and voice-overs.

 

4. Utilize Titles And Subtitles

Creating a catchy, descriptive title for your video is immensely important. Doing so will enable your viewers to understand what your video is about immediately. Also be sure to include subtitles so your viewer can follow along as major themes change throughout the video. Video production companies will typically offer title and subtitling services to help you with this endeavor.

 

5. Be Upbeat

In the Forbes article "6 Qualities To Make Your Videos Go Viral," Ilya Pozin notes that there are several strategies individuals can use to increase the likelihood that their videos will be seen by a ton of people. One of those strategies is ensuring that the video has a positive overtone. In defending this claim, Pozin noted a study which found that the content which was shared the most tended to incorporate an upbeat note that engendered happy emotions.

 

6. Engage Your Audience

This strategy is applicable and advantageous for any aspect of your marketing campaign, including video production. Engagement is all about getting your viewer actively involved with your brand, and optimized engagement tends to entail higher conversion rates and brand loyalty. There are numerous techniques you can implement to get your viewers involved, such as including a questionnaire at the end of your video. You can also answer questions posed by your audience in the video. Even sharing a bit of personal information about yourself promotes engagement because it enables the viewer to develop a sense of relationship with you rather than simply considering whether to buy your product.

If you're serious about creating a successful video that can be shared on Facebook, now is the time to start implementing techniques that will help you do so. You can use some or all of the techniques outlined above to produce the dynamic, exciting video that will capture and keep your audience's attention!

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

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The internet has become a great way for people to promote themselves online. However, if you're going to promote yourself online, you want to do it in the most professional way.  

 

Here are some tips to help you reach more people online.


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Create Videos

You are probably already posting articles. Are you also posting videos? Some people like to read articles, and some people like to watch videos. Some people like both. If you add videos to your website and social media pages, the additional media option can reach more people. At the same time, you don't want to alienate anybody. Therefore, be sure to have subtitling services add closed captions to your videos to prevent excluding deaf people.

 

Create QUALITY Content

 

Did you know that there are roughly 27 million pieces of content uploaded onto the internet every single day? That's a lot of content out there! Every day! So, you need to make sure that yours is as good as it can be. Write articles on trending topics and make the articles visually appealing to your clients. All articles should include graphics, pictures, or both. My best advise is to find one writer that you mesh with and hire them on contract to write for you regularly. Always quality check to make sure that the articles are up to par. Do not be afraid to be funny- no matter what your field is. People read articles that they find interesting, funny, or sexy.

 

 

Analyze the numbers and adjust accordingly

 

You can always analyze the numbers. You can see which articles get the most hits and which ones your clients don't seem to be interested in. You can also follow trends. Try to post at times when you know that the most people are looking at your pages. And if a certain article topic seems to be getting attention, try to write on the same topic in a different way.

 

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Utilize social media

 

If you're not already using social media to promote your business, that's a mistake. Almost everyone is on social media today. In fact, most people get notifications from social media straight to their phone. The main social media sites to use are Facebook and Twitter. If you work in a photogenic field, you may also want to sign your business up for Instagram, too. Google+ is extremely important, because it will help put your business on Google's map when searched.

 

Promotions

 

The best way to get people to like you or be your friend on social media or to visit your website is to give them something. Put a coupon exclusively on your website and make them join your newsletter to get it. You can do similar things with social media. Now that you've got them, be sure to post interesting content and put up some promotions from time to time.

 

Don't over-do it

 

Being overzealous can actually hurt you if you're looking to reach out to people online. Instead of useful content, it could start to come off as spam. Keep social meeting postings to about 2 - 3 a day. A newsletter should be about once a month.

 

 

Hire a professional

 

One of the biggest reasons to hire a professional is that you have better things to do. Sure, you could learn how to resize an image that you want to put on your website, and you can write an article that applies to your field. If you are doing that, who is doing your job, then? Hire a professional. It's best to find someone who can handle as much of the responsibility as possible. Be very clear about your needs and check the work regularly to ensure that you are satisfied.

 

Online marketing can bring a business to a completely different level. If it's used properly. Follow these tips to see what a difference it can make.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

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With the rapidly rising popularity of technology being incorporated into our everyday lives, it comes to no surprise that technology, especially in the form of YouTube videos, are some of the best ways for your company to display its strengths, while further bolstering its reputation in the process.

 

Music to my Ears

It's official: the average human's attention span is now scientifically proven to be shorter than that of a goldfish's. On average, most companies have about 8 seconds to gain the viewer's interest. In order to be successful, most companies tend to mix in a little bit of music towards the beginning of their YouTube videos. The sheer diversity of music allows it to be incorporated into a variety of other methods, which will be covered later.

Photo: YouTube.com

 

A Laughing Success

Humans seek instant gratification, it's just in our nature. With the breakneck speed of today's technology, people have evolved to want things NOW. This drive has evolved in us being attracted to what we view as the most entertaining.

 

Every business YouTube video is recommended to have at least a couple seconds of humor. This is to not only gain attention, but also lighten the mood and prevent the viewer from automatically zoning out, as the video begins to talk about your company's more important aspects and strengths. GEICO, a car insurance company, became one of the most well known car insurance companies due to the incorporation of crackpot comedy into their commercials.

 

 

Caption Please!

We all make mistakes, and it's perfectly fine. But what happens if your video completely forgot to mention one of your company's best qualities, or some other vital information? Instead of going through the breakneck process of making an entirely different video, just at captions. Fortunately, various

 captioning services are at your disposal to broadcast that important company message. With many of these services being paid by the minute, it might explain why most company commercials cram in a profusion of information in only a few seconds.

 

Quality Control Leads to More Clients

In the world of YouTube business videos, quality equals quantity. If the quality of your business videos aren't up to standards for the typical viewer, then this effectively slices out a wide margin or potential customers. When making a video, don't just take it on the fly, prepare the script, scenery, and everything else in advance. Furthermore, shelling out a few extra dollars for quality gear, such as a high tech video camera, is definitely an investment that will pay off in the long run. To put a perspective on how traumatic a sloppy video can be for a company, take a look at this poorly made video game trailer. Yikes! As a further insult, it was rated by numerous critic websites as one of the worst video game trailers ever created, with the company now nearly out of business.

 

Put It Where It Matters

While it's a nearly flawless idea to add humor or music to quickly attract the viewer's attention, on fatal flaw of many companies is to put their company name and contact information at the very end of their videos. Going back to our rapidly diminishing attention spans, It make more sense to put the the company name or logo towards the beginning of the video, then adding the logo or name at the end as well, followed by the contact information. Since humans are attracted to new and memorable events, companies can utilize this to their advantage while making a YouTube video. Seeing a new logo might spark further curiosity and a longer attention span, while companies, such as GEICO, have their commercials watched for the sheer comedy.

 

Conclusion

Precise, polished equipment, humor, music, company information placement; There certainly are quite a few components to making the perfect YouTube Business video. While there is no formula for the "perfect" video, these are some of the main ingredients to make your company succeed.

 

 

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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Photo: YouTube.com

 



 

 

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Websites and Web apps throughout the years have become more complex as technology advances. Production has therefore also become more complicated and evolved, and therefore a site's success hinges on how users perceive and how well they can interact with the site.

 

Questions asked might include: "Do I value this website or does it add to my life value? Is it usable and efficient? Can I understand it?" Questions like these are what people going to sites ask unconsciously as they interact with the content. The answers to these questions help users decide if they will become regular visitors to the site.

 

Auditing site design should be centered around website visitors answering these questions positively. Here is a guide to help you understand what is left out many times during site auditing, and what you can do to make sure a site or application carries what it needs to better user's experience and increase traffic to the sites.


Usability

Is the site user-friendly? Many audits on sites leave out this part. When looking at the site, from the user's point of view, can someone easily find what products are available for example. And if they want to navigate the site to get something, is there more than one avenue to find it? For example, on a charity website you might want to put a donation link there so that inspired people can give. However if you only have a link on one of the pages in the site, 3 or 4 clicks into it, it might get less traffic and therefore less donations. Try to put a link on 3-4 different pages of the site. Also make sure one click takes them to a giving page.

 

Perceived Value of the system

If the site looks terrible or like it's from 2001, people are going to lose interest quickly. It is odd that website look alone promotes value of a product, but audits sometimes miss the importance of making a site modern and up-to-date with current trends. Users will see an old-looking site and immediately think that your product or selling point is also old and out-of-date, and if the same material is available on a nicer, newer looking layout, the user's perceived value of the other site will be noted and your site will lose their traffic.

 

Languages

Some sites miss the fact that languages other than English are helpful. It is possible to add in other languages to your site to increase your marketability to the world through good subtitling services. If you also have a video on your website you may want to translate and localize it for other global users that will visit the site. Here is a possible helpful link:

 

Efficiency in Performing Tasks

Is the checkout process on the site easy and quickly done, or is it cumbersome with many steps? Don't forget to audit these things. Are the input fields easy to fill out or do they take a long time? Is the completion process easy or will the user have to go through the entire process three times to actually finish a purchase? Sometimes a user will stop using a sight mid-purchase simply because they can't be bothered to fill it out, or they need to leave and have no more time to fill out the form. Then they never revisit the site because they remember the negative result the first time they visited.

 

Many people seeking to audit a site miss key things a user might identify as making the site worthwhile and pleasant to use. Also a negative experience might take away traffic from a site. "Do I value this website or does it add to my life value? Is it usable and efficient? Can I understand it?" are all questions to ask so as to not miss anything when checking a website or application. These steps will help the audit and also the user's experience, and the better experience will lead to more customers coming to the site.

 

 

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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Philadelphia, the fifth most popular city in the United States, is transforming in a very high rate.Cameron Johnson

 

There are many factors that are contributing to this transformation, with one of them being mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Several mergers were announced in 2015 and were effected either in the same year or earlier 2016. The M&As are expected to have many effects on the business activities of Philadelphia. The economy of Philadelphia as a whole will be affected too, since the M&As are happening in almost all industries. 

 

Four of the mergers are expected to greatly impact economic activities of Philadelphia, the home to over 1.5 million people.

 

Below are the mergers:

 

Blue Coat and Elastica:

 

As part of a larger effort to expand its product offerings, Blue Coat Systems acquired Elastica for $280 million. It gives organizations the power to choose applications and other data sources in a secure manner. It also sells hardware that enables organizations to view encrypted data in their data centers. Elastica, on the other hand, shows the cloud services being used by the employees of a company. The acquisition has led to the creation of a reliable and efficient company, able to provide cloud service security. Photo: cloudnewsdaily.com

 

The impact of this acquisition will mostly be felt in the IT industry for any organization that stores confidential business data on Salesforce, Google drive or Dropbox will be affected. A merit that comes with Blue Coat’s acquisition is added information security, since organizations are now in a position to secure their cloud services using their cyber security providers. It can be predicted that in the next one year, current approaches to information security to both companies and government agencies will have changed drastically.

 

Jefferson and Kennedy Health:

 

Another popular merger that has taken place in Philadelphia is between Jefferson and Kennedy Health. This merger will result in the creation of one of the largest healthcare systems in Philadelphia, as the system is expected to make as much as $4 billion in revenues on an annual basis. This merger will affect any organization in the region which has commercialized medical services. Since this merge is literally big, the trust of clients in the resultant health system is expected to rise. In the next one year, the way healthcare is offered in Philadelphia area will have changed. This can be concluded as the merger aims to create a model where healthcare is taken to patients, rather than patients looking for healthcare.

 

Blank Rome and Dickstein Shapiro:

 

Blank Rome, a company founded in 1966, has acquired Dickstein Shapiro. This acquisition will be advantageous to the people of Philadelphia, given that an average of one hundred attorneys will be recruited. This acquisition will affect any firm that represents clients in various litigation matters. Blank Rome terms this as a strategic move to offer comprehensive services. The effect of this acquisition in the next one year shall be reduced competition in the legal industry. The image created by this acquisition is that of an efficient, trustworthy service provider.

 

Anexinet and ListenLogic:

 

The technology industry has had a number of M&As. One of the noticeable ones is the acquisition of ListenLogic by Anexinet. Anexinet has a created a reputation over the years by providing digital services that enable organizations to evaluate and choose business strategies. On the other hand, ListenLogic provides social intelligence that helps organizations adapt their business strategies to customer requirements. The acquisition can only be termed as natural, and have led to the creation of an efficient service provider. According to Anexinet, ListenLogic is complimentary to it as a company offering digital solutions. This acquisition is expected to have a noticeable effect on any company that offers customer analytic solutions.

 

Philadelphia is expected to transform greatly in the next one year. There are myriad projects being undertaken to affect this. With strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions can create great economic values, and make Philadelphia what it should be.

 

Cameron Johnson is a business consultant and social media expert. Over the course of his career he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international marketing conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.

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Creating a greener, more sustainable and more cost-effective household is a concern shared by a growing number of homeowners. Last year saw record levels of spending on home improvement and renovation projects. There are numerous home upgrades and installation options that can reduce energy consumption, allow property owners to lower the cost of their utility bills and reduce the environmental impact that homes and their occupants may be having on the natural environment. From upgrading older-model appliances to the installation of home solar-panels and environmentally-sustainable building materials, homeowners have plenty of opportunities to go green.

 

Energy-Efficient Appliances

 

Outdated appliances may be resulting in higher levels of energy consumption and usage than many home and property owners might realize. When it comes to energy-efficiency, heating and cooling costs typically account for the bulk of home electric and utility usage, but even small appliances can make a big difference. Replacing major home appliances with more energy-efficient options and upgrading even smaller appliances that may be wasting energy can play an important role in the effort to reduce consumption and lower bills. High-efficiency appliances can provide households with the opportunity to reduce energy usage without having to make changes to their day to day routine or habits.

 

Heating and Cooling Costs

 

As many as 86 percent of new home buyers interested in sustainability cite heating and cooling costs as their chief concern. Upgrading climate control systems, investing in window-mounted AC units that provide room and area-specific cooling or taking advantage of the potential energy savings that heat-pumps and other sustainable equipment options may be able to provide can significantly reduce monthly costs. Replacing outdated heating and cooling equipment, especially appliances that have been poorly maintained or may be suffering from mechanical issues, is often the single most effective way to curb household electric usage.

 

Sustainable Building Materials

 

Reducing electric consumption directly is not the only way to create an energy-smart home. Utilizing sustainable building and construction materials during a renovation or upgrade project can have numerous ecological benefits that may include reduced carbon footprints to superior home insulation. Even kitchen cabinet refinishing options and counter-top surfaces made using sustainable materials and environmentally-friendly manufacturing techniques can reduce the impact homes may be having on the natural world. Discussing various material and installation options with a professional can turn up several options that may be ideally suited for an upcoming renovation project.


Home-Solar Installations

 

Generating sustainable energy on-site through home-solar installations is an option that continues to grow in popularity. While the initial purchase and installation costs needed to make use of these systems may be considerable, solar-electric installations can actually pay for themselves over time by providing homeowners with the means to reduce or even eliminate their monthly utility bills. Solar installation options may not always be the best solution and output can vary depending on regional climate and equipment choices. For property owners who are serious about creating a more sustainable home, solar power is an option that is always worth considering.

 

Seeking Financial Assistance to Cover the Cost of Home Renovations

Grants, low-interest loans and other forms of financial assistance such as deciding a flat fee mls with a real-estate agent may be available to help cover the costs of an energy upgrade or other sustainable home improvement projects. Property owners who may be interested in remodeling their home but who may be concerned about the total costs of such a project can benefit immensely through low-interest loans and other forms of assistance. Being left with no other choice but to cover installation and other upgrade costs out of pocket can limit the range of options available or place unnecessary strain on household budgets.

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

  

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Many people with limited funds are getting a start in business with the revolutionary idea of micro-franchising. For a very low investment, entrepreneurs can own their own proven franchise with relatively low risk.

 

What is micro-franchising?

 

This is a concept that applies the traditional franchising model to very small businesses. The idea originated in less developed countries as a means to help lift people out of poverty. Today it is applied around the world. Micro-franchising is a systematic approach to creating limited versions of simple businesses.

 

The franchise model

 

A company (franchisor) with an established service or product contracts with an individual(s) who operates under the franchisor's guidance and name in exchange for a fee,  or the franchise contract spells out the responsibilities and obligations of both parties. The franchisor provides marketing, support, and training while the franchisee manages working operations. The same basic concepts drive micro-franchises. In micro-franchising, the franchisee usually accepts jobs booked by the franchisor, or may rent space for a kiosk or cart to do business from. Usually this is a shopping mall or other public market, but even some large retailers have leased space to micro-franchises.

 

Benefits of franchising

 

Apart from lower starting costs, franchisees have the advantage of not needing to test new business ideas, as the franchisor's supporting resources are already in place, and is able to reap all the benefits of an established business:


  • Product recognition thanks to the name and brand of the parent company

  • Advertising and marketing support run by the franchisor at a national level

  • Area franchises that limit competition

  • Administrative support such as IT services, call centers, or bookkeeping

  • Low cost supplies that are usually purchased by the parent company at large volume discounts

 

Franchising is a successful means of business startup, compared to the fact that only two-thirds of small businesses survive beyond their first two years. But it's also a successful development model when it's scaled back to the idea of micro-franchising, which helps bring success even to those with very limited funds or experience. Low-cost products or services such as coffee kiosks or grout cleaning become a means of income.

 

A working model

 

In countries such as South Africa and Bangladesh, the concept of micro-franchising was implemented to provide income opportunities to the poor and proved highly successful. In Liberia, almost 100% of young micro-franchisees were still in business after seven months.

 

The strength of franchises is that they are a proven system, offering a clear roadmap to success by following a proven system. Franchisees are buying into not just a brand, but established supply chains, marketing, routes, and equipment. Franchise opportunities such as floor refinishing service, for example, will entail access to all the tools, materials, and training required to complete the job satisfactorily.

 

The business skills required are much less demanding of micro-entrepreneurs; rather than having talent for innovation or marketing they need only be able to copy ideas and follow guidelines. Micro-franchising allows people to learn about business in a limited, structured way with strong support systems in place. This learning experience is invaluable should the time come to embrace other business opportunities.

 

Steps to success

 

The key elements of operating a successful micro-franchise are to focus on the core concepts of franchising as a business model:

 

Social-minded entrepreneurs

 

Franchisors are industry experts providing brand awareness and skills training to entrepreneurs. The right approach for the franchisee is simply to deepen their understanding and familiarity with local clientele.

 

Support

 

Micro-franchisees should take every opportunity to exploit provided resources, including training and back-office help with things like bookkeeping and taxes. These ideas involve basic business skills which are much more difficult to acquire in a less structured environment. A franchise can be thought of as a mentoring arrangement. And not to be ignored is the value of emotional support and self esteem from being immersed in a successful business model.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

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The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) is at the forefront of medical technology in that it has invested heavily in health information technology. They have taken up an initiative in prenatal care, collect data on chronic conditions and have a state-of-the-art radiology and imaging department. Photo: www.bizjournals.com

Investment in Health Information Technology 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in conjunction with the National Association of County and City Health Officials, did a study of Philadelphia’s health information systems. The study has indicated that the PDPH has been revolutionizing the healthcare industry by being at the forefront of information technology and electronic medical records. 

The PDPH has established Electronic Health Records (EHR) for eight community health centers that serve 90,000 low-income residents in Philadelphia. The sites get linked electronically to other ambulatory care facilities, as well as hospital-based physicians located in Philadelphia. 

Furthermore, the PDPH has made it easier to track data that will improve the quality as well as the safety of clinical services provided to its residents. PDPH and its partners have selected an EHR vendor. Their partners are within as well as outside the public health system. 

They work with the Philadelphia Prison Systems (PPS) Medical Operations Group. Additionally, they work with federally qualified health centers, ambulatory health services, the county nursing home, and the Office of Innovation and Technology. The PDPH’s intent is to assist with the delivery process for inmates by tracking the amount of direct care services provided. They want to make sure that detainees get sufficient care. 

Prenatal Care Initiative 

The PDPH formed a partnership with the Prenatal Care Laboratory Information Exchange Initiative. The goal is to assist in reducing the administrative burden. As a result, it will improve the overall quality of the clinical services for pregnant women. The PDPH and its partners are working to establish a city-wide prenatal care information system. This will make it easier for all delivery hospitals to access patient information. This gets done with secure access to the files. 

Data on Chronic Conditions 

Among the PDPH’s initiatives is putting together a complete data repository for a set of chronic conditions. They have named it the Chronic Disease Data Repository. The initiative got funded by the CDC in the hopes of gathering more information on morbidity. They will start off by focusing on hypertension. 

Radiology and Imaging 

The PDPH has a state-of-the-art radiology and imaging department called the Einstein Department of Diagnostic Radiology. It is quite advanced with its diagnostics. They are capable of demonstrating still and moving image tissues with precision. They can accomplish the same with bones and organs. Their diagnosis and treatment are accurate as a result. 

The radiology department uses a Computerized Picture Archive and Communications System (PACS). PACS Radiology enables them to get paperless and filmless access to patient images that they then pass on to physicians. Radiologists who are in other locations get the option to consult with the team. They are also involved with the latest research and clinical trials that will help to identify and provide new therapies, medications, and treatment techniques. 

Challenges of National Healthcare Policy 

The PDPH would need continuous federal funding for it to succeed in the future. For that reason, they are monitoring the national healthcare policy. At the same time, they are questioning the long-term impact of the Affordable Healthcare Act. They do not know if it will get repealed by the majority representation in Congress; neither do they know if they would continue to get funding. 

Additionally, the PDPH are also questioning the status of the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Despite the uncertainty of the EHR system, Philadelphia residents will benefit from the program. 

In conclusion, Philadelphia is leading in medical technology due to its investment in Health Information Technology, Prenatal Care Initiative, and the collection of data on chronic conditions. They also have a state-of-the-art Radiology and Imaging department. Although the EHR system is a success, they face the uncertainty of continued federal funding.

 

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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Photo: www.bizjournals.com




Flooded basements not only cause substantial financial losses, but they can expose you and your family to harmful mold and mildew spores. Consider these helpful tips to reduce losses, prevent health issues and clean up the mess.

 

Turn Off Power/Check for Hazards- Regardless of the depth of the water or the cause of the flood, the very first thing you should do is cut the power to the basement. After the power is off, you should check for hazardous conditions that may exist from the flood waters. Look for mildew, mold, bacteria and electrical hazards.Photo: Greg Dastrup

 

Call Your Insurance Company- Before making changes or removing anything from your flooded basement, you should contact your insurance agent. Be aware that most standard homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flooding. However, if you purchased a separate flood policy, your policy may very well cover the damages. In either situation, it is advisable to contact your agent.

 

Consider Professional Services- After taking care of any hazardous situations and making sure the power is off, it’s time to evaluate the situation in your basement. You need to decide whether you can afford to hire a restoration company or clean up the mess yourself. You should also keep in mind that many molds will begin forming within 25 to about 36 hours after flooding takes place. Restoration companies can come in and remove the water, haul out carpeting, damaged furniture, cabinets and other items. They can also treat the area for mildew and mold. In addition, professionals can also dry the basement using commercial air movers with a dehumidifier.

 

Essentially, they may be able to restore some of your basement to the previous condition if you’re willing to pay for their services.

 

Clothing/Protection- Depending upon the flooding situation, you could have several inches of water, mud or even sewage in the basement. Therefore, you should protect yourself by wearing rubber boots, long pants, gloves and a face mask to protect against molds and mildew.

 

Remove Water- Begin the water removal process before trying to remove all the contents of the basement. If there is just a small quantity of water a mop and bucket works just fine. However, if you have a significant amount of water to remove, you’ll want to use a sump pump, water transfer pump or a wet-dry vacuum to remove the bulk of the water. Next, open curtains and windows to let in ventilation and circulate the air. Remove drawers from cabinets and open cabinet doors and closets.

 

Order a Dumpster- Consider ordering a large commercial dumpster to dispose of damaged items that cannot be restored. Dumpsters can be rented by the day and will make your cleanup that much easier and efficient.

 

Removing Damaged Property- Evaluate the flood damage of each item. More than likely, you will have to toss items like upholstered furniture, mattresses, and pillows. In most cases, you may also have to dispose of carpeting and the padding, which usually shrinks even if it’s possible to remove the dirt, mold and smell.

 

Walls and Built-ins- Remove baseboards and save if they can be reused. Cut and remove portions of any moist drywall and wet insulation damaged in the flood. If possible, uninstall built-in cabinetry and closet doors so they can dry outdoors. Cabinet refinishers might be able to restore expensive cabinets damaged from flood waters or insects.

 

Disinfect the Basement- Apply a strong disinfectant solution made from bleach and pine oil with a pump sprayer on the flooring and walls to disinfect the basement.

 

Dry Out the Basement- Check with a local home center about renting a dehumidifier and air movers. Air movers pull out moisture from within framing materials, flooring and drywall. The dehumidifier finishes the drying job by drying the moisture from the air. When dealing with a flooded basement, make safety a priority, contact your insurance agent, and remove the water quickly to prevent additional damage and health issues.

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

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Every business needs to market their products wisely to stay ahead of the competition. There are four Facebook marketing tips Philadelphia business owners can use to their advantage. They can ask intriguing questions to start discussions. Other ideas include sharing useful information to followers, finding out what social media platform their customers use and optimizing their Facebook profile page to show up in searches. Cameron Johnson

 

Use Questions to Start Discussions

 

The question could be about a significant event that took place during the day. It has to be something engaging. Use what happened and form it into a question. Ask your followers how they would have handled the situation.

 

For example, if you are selling a product that saves all your passwords in one place, you can phrase a question like this: “What do you think about this gadget?” Substitute with a link to your product where you see “this gadget.” After that, you can write, “You will not believe what happened to a colleague of mine. She was working on a crucial project in a word document. She set a password for the file, but she misplaced it.” Had she had that gadget that you are selling, she would not have gone crazy trying to find the password.

 

Your followers will make all types of suggestions. As long as they click on the link and keep the discussion going, you will have a winner.

 

Share Some Tips

 

Everyone likes free information that is useful. Come up with a few tips on something practical that is helpful to your followers. Give out a few pointers and use your product to demonstrate how useful your tips are.

 

For example, Blue Coat Systems did an excellent job in their newest video of giving out practical tips to its cybersecurity-focused followers on how to avoid malware. The tips have a level of insight that goes beyond the normal blog post and is based off of research conducted by Blue Coat themselves. Just remember, the tips have to be practical and useful for the marketing campaign to work.

 

What Social Media Network your customers Use?

 

Find out what social media platform your customers use. You want your ads to reach them, so you have to use the same social media sites like your clients. For a business to consumer advertising (B2C), Facebook ranks the highest for social media marketing. According to Sprout Social, there are 20,000 people on Facebook every second. SproutSocial further states that Facebook has 1.44 billion monthly active users and 1.25 billion mobile users. Daily active users add up to 936 million users and mobile users add up to 798 million. These numbers are impressive.

 

You can also use your website and your products to drive customers to your Facebook page. When you insert the manuals for your products, be sure to mention the social media sites that you use. Encourage your customers to ask questions about the products on your Facebook page.

 

Remember to Setup your Facebook Profile

 

When you set up your Facebook profile page, you have to optimize it. For example, you can include much data on settings and information about your page. Start off with the description by using up the maximum amount of space to tell users about your business. You get to use 154 characters in the page description. Use these characters to get your message across. A good example of a short description comes from the Philadelphia Business Journal. They used their short description to both acknowledge awards they’ve received and what they do.

 

Tell your followers who you are and what you do on that page. Leave off your hours of operation and location. There are designated areas for your location and hours of service. Then follow through with the remainder of the settings and add all the information you can about your business. Make use of the categories and subcategories as well.

 

In conclusion, you can run a successful business if you utilize Facebook to suit your needs. You can ask questions to engage your followers. Be sure to include a link to your products when you ask questions. Give out free useful tips using your products. Find out what social media sites your customers use and optimize your Facebook profile page so that your company name will appear in searches.

 

Cameron Johnson is a business consultant and social media expert. Over the course of his career he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international marketing conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.

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