Category Archives: Branding

Post Networking Event Tips

By: Gina Mason

Networking events can be a great way to expand your personal Rolodex and your business. However, the key to truly getting the most out of networking events is not so much what you do at the event, but what you do after that makes a big difference. Post-event follow up is crucial to building long-lasting relationships and beneficial business connections.

Many of us are guilty of falling short on the follow up process after events and may be missing out on some great business opportunities. Even though it can be time consuming, taking a few minutes to follow up will create long-term relationships and is the key to a successful business.

Here are a few tips on how to follow up with new contacts after networking events:

Do some research
Check out your new contact’s website or do a Google search to see if they have been featured in any articles. This will give you the opportunity to get some insight on their business and see exactly what they do. Most importantly, it may give you some ideas or speaking points for when you connect with them via email.

Reach out immediately
Don’t let your new contact’s business card sit on your desk for months or only reach out to them when you need something. Send them an email within 48 hours of your networking event to remind them of who you are, what you do and recap anything you discussed. This will begin the conversation and the relationship building process.

Connect on social media
Shortly after sending the email, be sure to connect with your new contact on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. This will help you stay up-to-date on anything they are working on and may give you a perfect reason to reconnect later down the road (i.e. say Happy Birthday or congratulate them on an accomplishment).

Give first
It’s understood that in networking situations that you are going to ask people for assistance, but giving a helping hand first will prove that you are a valuable connection. Make an email introduction or refer some business to them before you ask them for something. Your new contact will appreciate the thought and will most likely return the favor.
Meet in person
Connecting face-to-face can be very powerful and will only help cultivate the business relationship by creating a rapport. Whether it’s for lunch, a drink or a cup of coffee, don’t underestimate the power of being in the same room. Not only will you be able to fill your new contact in on what you are working on, but you can also brainstorm some ideas on how to work together.
Reconnect frequently
Try to stay in touch with your new contact any way that you can. Send them a quick email to catch up or relevant article, set up another meeting or invite them to an event on a monthly basis. This will keep you on the forefront of his/her mind and will foster a lasting relationship.

I hope you found these tips to be helpful and that they will assist you in developing a strong business network. Best of luck with your next networking event!
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McDonald’s New Transparency Campaign

By: Gina Mason

They say that, “desperate times call for desperate measures,” and it appears as though the world’s largest fast food chain may be facing some hardships. With sales and stocks declining, McDonald’s has been testing out a variety of tactics in hopes to keep people coming back to the “Golden Arches.”

From changing up the way in which the food is served to restructuring their messaging, the fast food giant has been trying to keep up with the ever-changing eating habits of Americans. Today, we are living in a much more health-conscious society where people are concerned with things like gluten and want to be educated on where their food came from, how it was raised and how it was prepared. This presents an issue for companies like McDonald’s where their food items are mass-produced and they may not be as willing to share the way in which they make/create their menu items.

In an attempt to remedy this issue, McDonald’s launched a new multimedia campaign called “Our Food. Your Questions,” in an effort to be completely transparent and answer the questions of customers and critics alike. The campaign asked people to tweet their questions such as, “Why can’t I get a McRib year-round?” and “What is actually in a Chicken McNugget?” to create an open dialog. In addition to trying to engage the public, McDonald’s has been in the process of releasing a series of videos answering some of the questions that have been submitted.

This week, McDonald’s released another video that revealed the contents of their famous Chicken McNuggets. What was once rumored to be made of “pink slime” and mystery meat, the McDonald’s dispelled the myth by taking viewers “behind-the-scenes” to show them the process of the nugget-making at a Tyson plant in Tennessee (that uses real chicken, SHOCKER!). This is just one of many videos that will be released during this campaign with the goal of showing people they offer “quality” food.

However, I personally question if the decline in sales is due to the validity or transparency of how the food is made or if it is attributed to the lack of healthy menu items. While, I have consumed many chicken nuggets in my lifetime, the reason I no longer choose to eat at McDonald’s is because the food on the menu is so unhealthy. Whether you are eating a salad or a Big Mac, the calories and fat content in almost all of their items is very high. While I applaud their efforts to be transparent, I think they need to add more healthy items in order to get people coming back for more. I will be interested to see how this campaign works out for McDonald’s and to gauge the public’s reaction.

To learn more about McDonald’s campaign, check out their Our Food. Your Questions website:

What do you think of McDonald’s transparency campaign? Does it change your feelings on the brand? Do you think this is helping them or hurting them?

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