Archive for February, 2012

Blog » Archive for February, 2012

Recycling Tips for Being a Green Company

Here at Idyllwild Advertising we are a very environmentally conscious and earth friendly company. I would like to share a few things that we do to make our office greener.

Recycle products used in the office.

For paper, envelopes, and junk mail- place a decorative box or container in your office next to your printer (We have a cute, fabric woven hamper) making recycling stylish and functional.

  • Used printer cartridges -take them back to Office Depot and you can get an in-store credit or money back, so you can and save on other supplies you need for the office.
  • When bringing a lunch, try to do so with reusable containers. It is healthier to eat from home and you don’t have fast food wrapper waste.
  • Buy reusable glasses, plates and silverware rather than paper or plastic dinnerware.

Paperless! I realize that going completely paperless is not always possible, but by doing a few small things you cut down waste considerably.

  • Scan and email a document rather than making copies and mailing them. If you have a meeting outside of your office take your laptop to the meeting and present a digital copy. If anyone requests a copy you can email a pdf to them. (This is a regular practice for Idyllwild).
  • Opt out of paper statements with your bank, phone company, insurance company and any other vendors that offer paperless statements. I find it a lot easier to view my statements online and we are saving trees.
  • Use online banking whenever possible, direct deposit and online bill pay saves time and you use less checks.

Conserve Energy.

  • Switch off any unnecessary lighting throughout the day.
  • Turn off all computer equipment, machinery or other mechanical appliances when not in use.
  • Wear cute warm sweaters in the winter and turn the heat down.

Holiday gifts.

  • Always order Holiday cards made from recycled paper. For instance this year we gave Recycled Holiday cards infused with the seeds from wildflowers. Clients can plant them in the spring.
  • Give the gift that is for the client and the environment (two gifts in one). This last Holiday Season we gave little pine trees, making it the gift that keeps on giving for years to come.

We are always open to new ideas. Let us know if you have any suggestions to make Idyllwild a greener company.

-Lori Davis, Office Manager and Accounting

How to Avoid Email Clarity Mishaps

When you work in an office and have clients, it is impossible to get away from sending emails. Let’s be honest, if you live in the 21st Century, you really can’t avoid sending emails. But what most of us forget is proper email etiquette, which almost always leads to an email clarity misunderstanding.

We have all had it happen to us one time or another; you send an email to a colleague, client or friend and they email back with a rude response letting you know they are upset. The confusing thing is that you had no idea you even wrote anything wrong, or offensive in your email to them. So how do you avoid these email clarity mishaps? I suggest doing the following things:

  • Be concise and to the point. Euphemisms are not an appropriate place for emails. They will get you in trouble.
  • Always write in a formal tone even to your friends and family. To make it less formal, change your introduction and signature, but keep the body of the email formal.
  • Be polite. Including a ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can sugar coat almost anything.
  • Jokes are really hard to pull off, so leave those to in-person conversations only.
  • Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Take your time when creating an email. Those times that you are in a hurry are often the times you mess up. That mess up could be an accidental inappropriate word or something as simple as writing “don’t” instead of “do.”
  • Be careful about who you cc.
  • Do not write in CAPITALS.
  • Be mindful of the message thread. Even though you didn’t write it, someone else in your message group could have written something offensive. Make sure you know what is in the thread and make sure you erase anything inappropriate before you email it on.
  • Most importantly, and I can’t express this enough, read the email before you send it! Take out anything that might be misinterpreted.

Good lucky and happy emailing!

-Hannah Halstrom, Project Manager/Copywriter

Why is Directory Management important for your business?

Because each day while working with different clients there is always something to change or fix. When I first started doing Directory Management I was under the impression that this would be a simple job that took minimal effort. I was entirely wrong!

The more listings that I corrected the more listings that appeared (but of course they didn’t appear correctly). It was almost like every listing was regenerated into triplets! For instance, in a matter of three weeks I went from adding or correcting fourteen directories, to adding and correcting thirty directories, and all this was for a single client.

Another important thing to keep in mind when providing Directory Management is the business category in which your client is listed in. What I mean by that is if your client is a restaurant, it is important to list them in food related directories such as Urbanspoon.com or involve them in restaurant promoting websites such as Restaurant.com.

A GREAT example of this is Angieslist.com! Angieslist.com was originally created to help people find local mechanics that would work on old cars and do classic car restoration. Although, Angieslist.com has grown a lot since then this is still the best directory to add any auto related business to.

The more I learn about Directory Management, the more I picked up on the best ways to optimize our client’s listings, such as throwing in their keywords with the description. This process not only gives the listing a longer description to appear more complete, but adding keywords also helps your listing get processed higher on the directory list, therefore making it easier to be found.

There is so much that goes into optimizing your directories to get the best results. So if you want to make a huge improvement to your organic search results, make sure you complete a thorough picture of your company online and control adverse or wrong written information about your company or brand. Idyllwild Advertising not only has the time, but the knowledge to archive any client’s Directory Management.

-Shaudai Short, Social Media/Directory Management

Systems Come Naturally

As I grow my company, I have had to build many systems and define many policies to create an easier, more efficient way for our staff to work. Honestly it still boggles my mind that we have come so far. I think, wow I didn’t know how to run a business before. Now I do and I’m actually getting pretty good at it.

Then the thought struck me that perhaps it is just good human instinct that develops a thriving business, not only an MBA. If your intentions are well and you are good at what you do, you will find a way to make it happen.

I think that comes in all things in life – it is a natural reaction to a problem. Find a solution, i.e., I fall in a hole. My first instinct (and anyone else’s you would hope to god or we would all be doomed) would be to crawl out of the hole. Once you got out of the hole, if you were to get thrown back in, it would be easier to get out the second time. And, if you just kept getting thrown back in (unless your spirit was broken) you might begin to devise a better and even better ‘system’ of getting out. Hell, once you devise this system now you can start to devise a ‘system’ to get back at the jerk that pushed you in the hole.

See, it’s just natural.

-Michelle Smith, Chief of Operations

Our fight with Google Places is over!

I recently discovered a new way to edit a Google Places page and it made me so very happy. Rather than fighting with them to update information on our client’s accounts, I have found a solution that solves our problem. Well for now at least.

For those of you who know, and for those of you who don’t, Google Places can be a bit of a pain in the butt, especially when you are trying to edit one of your listings.

For some reason, (sometimes this happens and sometimes it doesn’t), but Google will take several months to update new information you enter on your page. This is very frustrating.

For example, let’s say your business relocated and now you have a new physical address. Even if you enter your new address on your place page, it will still show up as the old address. The same thing goes for telephone number changes or description changes.

And the worst part of all of it is that there isn’t anyone to contact at Google. There isn’t a customer service number to call and complain to, no email address to email; all that is available is a forum where you can leave your comment.

Luckily, I just discovered a way to solve the problem. On each Google Place page, there is a “Report a Problem” link that allows you to submit problems to Google. If you use this link, Google takes prompt action and will call your location to verify that the new information is correct, and get this, they will actually fix the information right away!

If you are one of the many people who have been having problems with your Places page, I urge you to try this tactic, or if you have any other advice about editing a Google Places page I would love to hear it, just leave a comment below or email me at hannah@idytise.com.

-Hannah Halstrom, Project Manager/Copywriter