Posted by Elena del Valle on April 10, 2019
Dollars and Sense
Photos: cover art by Leah Carlson-Stanisic, Jeff Kreisler photo by Betsy Bell
In Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter (Harper Paperbacks, $16.99), a 275-page softcover book published in 2018, Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler explore how we spend our funds. The authors question our financial decisions and basic assumptions about money. They suggest ways we might override long held habits and our own instincts to make better financial choices.
From idea to publication the project required four years. The book, filled with humorous touches, is easy to read. It is divided into three main parts and 18 chapters.
When asked about the primary target audience for the book Kreisler replied by email via his publicist, “Anyone who’s ever used money.”
Jeff Kreisler, co-author, Dollars and Sense
Asked what expertise he has in behavioral economics and what drove him to write about the topic he said, “I’d worked with Dan Ariely on several projects and my past work – including Get Rich Cheating had touched on behavioral principles. I wanted to write about it because I became a convert to the way behavioral science combines traditional economic decision making with real human psychology to explain our flawed irrationality and to FIX EVERYTHING (maybe).”
Regarding promotional efforts for the book he said he was relying on “traditional publishing, interviews, speaking, HispanicMPR.”
Dan Ariely, co-author, Dollars and Sense
“To help people make better decisions about money, or at least understand their decision making process which, in turn, would help reduce the stress and worry associated with not understanding money… and that, I hope, would lead them to live better lives,” he replied when asked about his main goal in writing the book.
Ariely is the James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He publishes in scholarly journals in economics, psychology, and business. He splits his time between Durham North Carolina and the rest of the world.
Kreisler is editor-in-chief of PeopleScience.com. He won the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, writes for television, politicians and chief executive officers. He tries to use behavioral science, practical experience and humor to understand, explain and change the world.
Click to buy Dollars and Sense
Posted by Elena del Valle on April 3, 2019
Si mi mama fuera ornitorrinco
Photos: Science Naturally
Seventeen years after the publication of If My Mom Were a Platypus Science Naturally published a Spanish translation of the children’s book. Si mi mama fuera ornitorrinco (Science Naturally, $12.95), the 64-page softcover title written by Dia L. Michels, translated by The Spanish Group and illustrated by Andrew Barthelmes is filled with color illustrations and journal style sketches of animal babies and their families on most pages.
Author Dia Michels
“The inspiration for the book came out of pregnancy misery,” said Michels when asked how the book came about. “I was so excited about being pregnant and becoming a mother – but my joy was soon mollified by round-the-clock morning sickness, frightening nightmares, and general wretchedness. I started researching other mammals to see who did pregnancy better than humans. Long story short, I decided that, for the purposes of pregnancy and breastfeeding, nothing could be better than being a platypus. The only way I could survive being pregnant was to could channel my inner-platypus. This desire to know how other mammals reproduced continued past the birth of my daughter, and pretty soon, I knew enough about mammal birth and breastfeeding to create a book. Many years of research went into parsing down which mammals to include. All it all, it took about a dozen years from idea to publication.”
She explained the book is used most frequently in a classroom setting, suggesting it might make a good addition to a home library for nature-minded children or gift for mothers with new babies. It works well as a read aloud option for children ages six to eight and as an independent reading reference text for ages eight to twelve and above. The publisher released free downloadable Teacher’s Guides, with hands-on activities, in English and Spanish.
Andrew Barthelmes, illustrator, Si mi mama fuera un ornitorrinco
“I love learning about patterns and oddities in the mammal world, from hippos being the only mammal whose eyesight is just as good above water as below, to lions being among the only mammals that will wet nurse,” Michels said regarding the weirdes random fact about the mammals in the book. “My favorite random fact is that hooded seals, who spend their lives swimming in arctic waters, will only breed, whelp, and breastfeed on land. Why is that weird? They live where there is no land. The only way the species can survive is by procreating on sea ice—and hoping it doesn’t melt before they’re done!”
An inside page from the book
When asked how they are promoting the title Michels replied, “We are promoting this title at bilingual education conferences, parenting events, and STEM symposiums nationwide. We’ve also circulated a digital press release, advertised directly to our previous Spanish/bilingual customers, and reached out to those who bought the English edition of the book. We also sent an extensive pre-release mailing to libraries, media, and medical professionals. Additionally, we’ve partnered with literacy organizations, including First Book, to make the title available to students in Title I schools at a highly discounted price.”
The title reveals how fourteen mammals navigate the path from helpless infants to mature adults. It was designed for readers ages 10 to 14 and younger Read-Aloud listeners. The seals along the top of cover represent some of the awards it has won. The “NSTA Recommends” designation means it was endorsed by the National Science Teacher’s Association. The yellow seal is an award from Creative Child Magazine, a national publication for parents. The book was chosen by a panel of parents and educators for the Book of the Year award. The blue award is a Young Voices Foundation Seal of Approval, which honors books that inspire, mentor, and/or educate readers of all ages.
Posted by Elena del Valle on March 28, 2019
Wise Guy by Guy Kawasaki
Photo: Guy Kawasaki
In his newest title Guy Kawasaki, author of 14 books, shares the insights he has learned over his lifetime. Wise Guy Lessons from a Life (Portfolio, Penguin, $28), a 246-page hardcover book, was published this year. It is divided into 11 chapters and begins with the emigration of the author’s grandparents to Hawaii.
When asked how long the project took to complete he replied by email, “It depends on how you want to look at it. From the time I decided to write the book until it was on the shelf was about eighteen months, but it took me sixty-four years to accumulate the wisdom to write the book. So the answer is between eighteen months and sixty four years.” And to a question about the audience for the book, he replied, “The primary audience is anyone with $20.”
“My publisher used the traditional methods of PR, ad buys, distribution through a salesforce, and social media,” the author replied to a question about promotion. “I used social media to recruit testers and reviewers; I spoke about it anywhere that I could; and I tapped my relationships with influencers. In general, we left very few stones unturned.”
The book is written in chronological and topical order. Kawasaki explains at the beginning of the book that he believes wisdom isn’t linear or quick. Each chapter includes a story and a section of what the author considers the lesson or wisdom to be gained. It is easy to identify as it is marked with a shaka or Hawaiian surfing hand symbol.
“My main goal was to empower people by telling them stories and then explaining the significance and wisdom underlying each story,” he replied when asked why he wrote the book. “This is not to say that every story in the book is a success story. I discuss many of my mistakes because they are highly educational. I hope, at least, that people will make different mistakes than the ones I made.”
When asked whether people can learn from anyone’s experiences he replied, “People can absolutely learn from the experiences of others. Otherwise 90 percent of books are a waste of trees and time. Are those people saying that they can’t learn that they should wear seat belts without being in a car accident?”
When asked if he is planning another book he replied, “I’ve written fifteen books. When I finished the first one, I told myself that I didn’t have any more books in me. I’ve now done that fifteen times. I don’t find topics. Topics find me. When the next topic finds me, I’ll write it.”
Click to buy Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life
Posted by Elena del Valle on March 13, 2019
By Jay Gronlund
The Pathfinder Group
Jay Gronlund, president, The Pathfinder Group
Photo: Jay Gronlund
We have heard a lot about Millennials (i.e., Generation Y), their impact on business, politics and society, and how different their values and practices are. Well, get ready for Generation Z. Their attitudes and actions are even more progressive and even more confounding to marketers. This Generation Z (born after 1996) is the best educated, most diverse and easily most open to emerging social trends of any prior generation. And their potential impact on commercial and political brands will be transformative. Click to read the entire article What To Expect From Generation Z
Posted by Elena del Valle on March 7, 2019
The Expanding News Desert Report
Photos: UNC Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media
Many people believe balanced journalism provides us a sense of belonging to the place where we live and reinforces our trust in democracy. In the last decade it has become clear that newspapers and print media in general have had difficulty adapting their revenue model to the digital era. New generations seek news on social media and online via what have become the top online publishers, at least the ones with the highest revenue, leaving traditional media floundering in the winds of change. As a result in the United States increasingly our communities are losing access to local news. Cities and areas without local dailies or weeklies or with ghost versions of their former publications have been called news deserts.
In The Expanding News Desert (University of North Carolina Press, $12) Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses news deserts nationwide. The 102-page softcover book published in 2018 is divided into two main sections: The Loss of Local News: What it Means for Communities; and The Enduring Legacy of the New Media Barons: How Private Equity and Hedge Funds Changed Newspapers.
Since 2004 the United States has lost about 1,800 papers, including 60 dailies and 1,700 weeklies and California leads the nation in loss of dailies, while New York, Illinois and Texas lost the most weeklies, according to the book. Equally impactful to the rise of news deserts is the loss of readers. In the past 15 years, the book says, readers dropped to 73 million from 122 million. At the same time loss of competition has resulted in less coverage of local and state news, which studies have found often results in government inefficiency and increased costs, the book points out.
Penelope Abernathy, author, The Expanding News Desert Report
A troubling trend is the purchase of newspapers by investment companies who as a result become large and powerful controllers of news at a national scale. Their cost cutting and profit enhancing measures often have resulted in “ghost” papers, publications with too few resources to adequately cover their markets. The largest 25 companies of this ilk own 2, 198 papers. The largest of them is New Media/Gate House with 451 papers and a total circulation of 4.4 million. Others include Gannett with 216 papers, Digital First Media with 158, Adams Publishing Group with 144 and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (CNHI) with 114.
The analysis in the book is based on information collected by the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the four years prior to the publication of the book. The researchers examined the status of more than 9,000 publications from data sourced from press association and governments as well as independent online research. It excludes the largest newspapers such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today as well as specialty publications. The book author invites readers to its partner website for local level specifics regarding news deserts.
Posted by Elena del Valle on February 27, 2019
The Journey to Wow
Photos: Shaun Belding
Shaun Belding believes that when it comes to customer service the customer’s point of view is the only one that is important. Convinced it had been 25 years since anyone had written about the issues he set out to remedy the situation by authoring The Journey to Wow The Path to Outstanding Customer Experience and Loyalty (Koehlerbooks, $16.95) using a fictional company to illustrate the salient points.
“It was the right time for this kind of book,” he said when asked by email why he wrote the book now. “Customer experience is continuing to be a dominant factor in organizational success, so the topic is something that every company needs to be focused on.
The inspiration of the book came from two things: The first was that I saw a gap in the existing literature surrounding the topic. While there were a lot of very good books that touch on specific aspects of customer experience – convenience, effort, customer service, etc –there weren’t any that examined it as a comprehensive entity.
The second inspiration was that, since Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles wrote Raving Fans 25 years ago, nobody has really presented customer experience from the perspective of the customer. It seems to me that, when push comes to shove, the customer’s is the only perspective that really matters, isn’t it? I found it a little odd that the one voice that matters, the customers’ voice, hadn’t really been heard for 25 years.”
His target audience? Anyone who is involved with customers and not just customer experience geeks, he said.
“Having said that, some of the core messages are directly targeted to people in executive leadership positions,” he said. “There is a direct relationship between a company’s ability to deliver consistent, sustainable customer experience, and how well a CEO truly understands the perspectives of his or her customers.”
Regarding loyalty the author said, “The best way to define loyalty is through the words of our customers. Loyalty is when a customer asks, ‘Why on earth would I want to do business with anyone else?’ – and then can’t think of a good answer.”
The 201-page softcover book published in 2018 has 26 chapters and an epilogue. It was written using a fictional narrative.
Shaun Belding, author, The Journey to Wow
When asked how long it took for the book to be published he replied, “I’m almost embarrassed to say. The Journey to WOW was a bit of a journey for me as well, as it took ten years to get it from start to finish. I had to squeeze the time out between trying to run a company and travelling around the world with my speaking engagements. Oh yeah – and trying to be a husband and father – I can’t forget about that.
On a positive note, the experience was a bit of a wake-up call for me. Toward the end, when I started re-reading it, I realized how many of the references that I had written in the early stages were already outdated. Nobody uses faxes or PDAs much anymore. I had to change those references.
I also realized that I had not initially included anything related to social media and smart phones – because those hadn’t yet begun to impact the business world in a big way. It was crazy that I had to update the book so much before it even got published. A big reminder of how fast our world is changing.”
When asked why he used a fictional company (Household Solutions) in the book he replied, “With Household Solutions (instead of an existing company) I was able to create a wonderful composite which allowed me to demonstrate many of the common challenges all companies face.
The most important issue I was able to illustrate was right at the beginning – an executive leadership team that had no idea how bad their customer experience was. And that, despite how bright and motivated they were, they still were failing to see how profoundly it was damaging their future. This level of unawareness is far more prevalent than almost everyone realizes. The fact that the iconic retailer Sears filed for Chapter 11 only two weeks after The Journey to WOW came out really punctuated that fact.
Even those companies that are trying to keep their fingers on the pulse of their customers are at risk, because most of the methodologies they are using aren’t giving them the real or whole story. This actually puts them at greater risk in some ways, because the Big Data convinces them that everything is okay, and they become complacent.
It also allowed me to highlight the impact of some common corporate practices that have a profound negative impact on customer loyalty. Things like companies that hide their telephone numbers, and make it impossible to have a conversation with a human. Executives that build walls around them so that they don’t have to talk with customers. Decisions that are focused more on customers’ wallets than on customers themselves.”
When asked: How can a company convince disinterested employees to offer outstanding customer service? He answered: “Fantastic question. And the answer really boils down to two things – leadership and support.
There are indeed some customer service employees who just don’t care. There are many more who do care but don’t know what to do. The question we need to ask is – why? How has this happened?
Far too many customer service employees aren’t set up for success from the moment they are hired. They aren’t given anywhere close to an adequate level of direction, appreciation, respect or tools to do their jobs well. It seems to me that this is more of an indictment of leadership than anything else.
Leaders need to have a clear and motivating purpose for their teams – something that gives their team a reason to care. They need to lead with passion. They need to ensure their team is trained (with professional training, not just a couple of YouTube videos to watch). They need to clearly articulate their expectations to each team member, and then provide relentless support to help them be successful.
Most companies want to deliver outstanding customer service, and most understand the tremendous value and ROI that comes with it. But most don’t know where to start. Most try to apply solutions before they truly understand what it’s like to be one of their own customers.
Not coincidentally, those companies that have succeeded are also the ones which have a strong and sustainable customer-focused culture. They understand that a culture of outstanding customer experience isn’t achieved by just telling employees to deliver better service. They know that delivering outstanding customer experience is a mission. It is in a company’s DNA. Most importantly, they know it’s not a destination – it’s a journey.”
Belding is chief executive officer of The Belding Group of Companies. The Journey to Wow was his sixth book. His first five were on how to navigate difficult people and achieve success in the workplace.
Posted by Elena del Valle on February 18, 2019
Diane DiResta, CSP, author, Knockout Presentations
A podcast interview with Diane DiResta, CSP, author, Knockout Presentations (see Consultant updates public speaking guide) is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, she discusses why public speaking is the new competitive advantage with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.
Diane is founder and chief executive officer of DiResta Communications, Inc., where she coaches leaders on communications and public speaking to gain business influence and impact. She serves as adjunct faculty, and is an international speaker and guest lecturer on four continents. Diane’s experience ranges from working with chief executive officers to media training sports and entertainment celebrities.
Prior to starting her business, Diane worked for the New York City Board of Education as a speech therapist, served as a training specialist for Salomon Brothers and was assistant vice president of Drexel Burnham’s Institutional Sales and Training Trading Program. She speaks to corporate women’s initiatives to build confidence in their leadership.
To listen to the interview, scroll down until you see “Podcast” on the right hand side, then select “HMPR Diane DiResta” and click on the play button below or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home from the RSS feed. Some software will not allow flash, which may be necessary for the play button and podcast player. If that is your case, you will need to download the file to play it. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the February 2019 section of the podcast archive.
Posted by Elena del Valle on February 13, 2019
By Mario Anglada
Mario Anglada, CEO, Hoy Health
Photo: Mario Anglada
Three trends pose a growing issue for Hispanics families in the United States: 1) Hispanics have the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group 1; 2) this community is projected to comprise almost 29 percent of the U.S. population by 2050 2; and 3) healthcare disparity for this underserved population persists in the form of barriers to care, including cultural/language barriers3, lack of access to preventive care, and the lack of health insurance. In 2015, 19.5 percent of the Hispanic population was not covered by health insurance, as compared to 6.3 percent of the non-Hispanic white population.
Click to read the entire article: Helping Hispanic Families Access Affordable Healthcare
Posted by Elena del Valle on January 31, 2019
Photos: Kevin Lund
Kevin Lund makes a living as a content marketer. He is convinced that while content marketing is not overly difficult it is a skill that needs to be developed. Believing he had know how to share with the world he spent a year conceptualizing, writing, editing and producing Conversation Marketing How to Be Relevant and Engage Your Customer by Speaking Human (Career Press, $16.95), a 230-page softcover book published in 2018.
“Any business, entrepreneur, marketing & communications professionals, content managers, and writers, who are interested in connecting with their own audiences, creating value for them, and ultimately monetizing that relationship,” he said by email via his publicist when asked about the target audience for the book.
“Companies and brands need to focus on eye-level conversation to create actionable content,” he said when asked about the term “speaking human” in the subtitle. “Speaking human implies using the same social mores that we employ in personal conversations with our peers – i.e. no jargon and having the ability to shape thoughts and inspire action through conversational story-telling.”
When asked: In this era of hacking, privacy concerns and identity theft how do you gain or regain your client’s trust? He said, “I’m not sure I have enough details to answer this question effectively. But broadly, there is a conversation happening around this subject that firms who are affected by this should be a part of. Educational articles to get in front of a potential problem are great ways to instill trust in an audience, particularly when they come from well-known brands.”
“All are effective with the right strategy,” he replied when asked: what are the most effect means and venues for communication, smartphones, tables, desktops, social media, email, online, print, broadcast? “It comes down to a smart channel strategy. The long sale process today can be through multiple touch points. Each of us have a unique preference for information gathering. Casting a wide net, but focusing on a majority of that strategy in the places where your audiences are hanging out the most is important.”
Kevin Lund, author, Conversation Marketing
“Email is still considered to be one of the most effective means for generating revenue and information-sharing for B2B and B2C firms,” he said when asked about the effectiveness of email marketing today. “Particularly when it comes to opt-in email campaigns. If a brand has a content strategy, using a blog or microsite, for example, using a lead-generation program that solicits signups for an email that is relevant to the person will have much higher open rates than unsolicited rates. The cost of creating information-based content in emails, like a newsletter or blog post, are nominal, and the ROI is very high.”
What is the best way to deal with market fragmentation? He said, “Fragmentation is a content marketer’s best friend! It’s all about relevancy, which is not the same thing as writing a couple of articles now and again that reach a smaller segment of your audience. It’s about creating multiple content strategies targeted to smaller groups of a larger audience. Go deep and niche. The more niche, the more”
So many companies talk, but don’t engage or respond, is that strategy advisable? His reply: “That’s a terrible idea. Complacency kills and content isn’t going away. Brands who don’t engage with content are putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Content marketing is about engagement using two-way conversation, not one-way conversations. If brands are just talking, nobody’s listening. There’s a right way and a wrong way to engage in conversation. Putting out trite content and hiding behind the language of “you” isn’t going to instill trust and win customers.”
The book is divided into three main parts titled Planning, Talking and Learning; and 10 chapters. Chapter titles are: Earn Attention, Tell A Story, Stay Humble, Pick Your Party, Be Relevant, Open Up and Listen, Start the Conversation, Known When to Stop Talking, Get Your Customer Involved and Ditch the Checklist. The author highlights Red Bull Media as “perhaps the world’s most successful content brand.” Lund is the founder and chief executive officer of T3Custom, a Seattle based content marketing agency.
Posted by Elena del Valle on January 21, 2019
Linda Jane Smith, author, Lessons from The Meanest Woman Alive
Photo: Linda Jane Smith
A podcast interview with Linda Jane Smith, author, Lessons from The Meanest Woman Alive (see Lawyer shares advice with women on breaking glass ceiling) is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, she discusses how women can unleash their power with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.
Linda strives to strike fear into the heart of opposing counsel. According to her resume, she is one of the top five female litigators in the United States. She is teaching working women in varied fields to shine, lead and succeed, not by leaning in or out manning the men, but by using their unique feminine advantages to advance their careers.
To listen to the interview, scroll down until you see “Podcast” on the right hand side, then select “HMPR Linda Jane Smith” and click on the play button below or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home from the RSS feed. Some software will not allow flash, which may be necessary for the play button and podcast player. If that is your case, you will need to download the file to play it. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the January 2019 section of the podcast archive.
Click to buy Smashing Glass & Kicking Ass