Branding Vs Advertising Vs Promotions Vs Marketing Vs Public Relations

Many people are confused as to the differences between branding, advertising, promotions, and public relations. For that matter, the actual process of "marketing" is misunderstood just the same. To give you a basic understanding, marketing is not a one time event or activity, it is a process, a combination of things which blend together By definition, Marketing is the act of mixing product, price, place, and promotion. But first, on to …

Branding.
A great example of branding is Apple. IMac, iPod, iTouch, iPhone, iTunes. Get the point? Apple has created a massive brand strategy using the "i" element. Think of the Ritz-Carlton, LifeTime Family Fitness, Hilton Hotels, and what do you see? First class service, luxurious amenities, excellent service? Now, how about Best Western, 24-Hour Fitness, Motel 6? What kind of "Brand" is each of those? Can you see the contrast? What is your company brand? Are you sure? If you think you're a high-end facility, do you show it? Would you see the front desk clerk at the Ritz-Carlton wearing a button promoting the frequent guest club? Would you see a front desk clerk at a Motel 6 wearing a $ 1000 suit? Does everything you do, say, print, write, and provide consistent with your brand message? If not, you may want to consider who your true target audience is, and work at ensuring you continue to provide services that directly relate to them.

Advertising
Advertising is the actual process of displaying your message. Advertising on the radio … Advertising on tv … The one act of making something happen. Tie your Advertising and your Branding together, you have the Marketing Process. If you are just "advertising" without any direction, any goal, any unity, then you're just a lost puppy wandering aimlessly hoping someone will give you a good home.

Promotions
A promotion is typically a one-time event for a specific purpose or goal. Whereas marketing is ongoing, a promotion can be a one-day, one week, one-month, or even one-hour event. In retail, a "SALE" is typically a promotion. Car dealerships offering Zero percent interest is a limited time promotion. They typically have a specific start and end date, and have a very clear understanding of the ROI (return on Investment) any particular promotion should achieve to make it a success.

Public Relations
PR, or Public Relations, typically revolves around un-paid news sources and focuses on your business as it relates to the community. If you see a positive, or hopefully positive, story on the news or an article in the newspaper, this is the type of press a Public Relations firm may help you get. They have strong relationships with the news media and often feed them stories about their clients, in hopes of some free press. You, too, can harness the power of free press and public relations, although it can be difficult at times to get noticed, which is the PR firm's strongpoint.

Marketing
Marketing is the process that drives all the above elements. It directs the feel, image, and tone of the advertising, promotions and public relations. To each of these elements, there are experts in each of these fields. You can hire a company just to handle your branding, and another to handle your advertising, marketing, and yet another for your public relations. Of course, as a small business owner, you may not always have the budget for such companies. You can learn how to achieve the same results at http://TheMarketingWire.com and get the latest in marketing news, education and resources to help build and grow your business.

Important Things To Consider When Choosing A Hotel

Choosing a hotel to stay in is one of the most important decisions to make when planning a trip. This can be difficult, especially when embarking on a journey to an unfamiliar destination. A perfect choice can help make the trip a more exciting experience while a poor choice could ruin the trip altogether. Below we will discuss five major factors to consider before booking a hotel.

Price

Choosing a hotel that suits your travel budget is a key factor to consider. This would help you save some cost if well thought out. Hotel prices are affected by location, hotel type (luxury or budget hotel) and also by the facilities. With the right research you can get a good bargain in a top hotel (especially when they offer discounts).

Location

So many questions would come to mind when considering the hotel’s location. Is it close to the venue of your primary reason for travelling? Is it in a secure location? What is transportation in the area like? What are the tourist attractions around the area? Are there any medical centres around? All these questions and more need to be properly answered to make sure you are close to everything you would need throughout your stay.

Facilities/Amenities

This is one very important factor to consider because it helps you understand what facilities are available at the hotel compared what the ones you need. Therefore helps you avoid unpleasant surprises. For instance, it would be discouraging to find out that the hotel does not have Wi-Fi and internet connection, especially for those on a business trip. How about finding out that you might need to share the bathroom or some other conveniences.

Value

Getting true value for money spent can only be done by comparing prices of the different hotels simultaneously. You can ask for discounts and other lucrative offers ad save some money. Apart from considering the price of the hotel, you can also research about value added services like laundry/dry cleaning, internet access, extended room services, etc.

Reviews

Reading through the experiences of others who have stayed at any of the hotels you are considering would help to authenticate the quality and standard of the hotel. Though you can’t solely rely on this factor, most times these reviews are honest and vital resources needed when deciding between hotels. These reviews help you answer questions like are the hotel rooms clean, are the air conditioners working, how friendly is the customer service and whether the food at the restaurant is any good.

If you put these five factors into consideration before booking a hotel for your next trip, am sure you would not be disappointed with your choice.

Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

Our modern, urbanized lifestyle relegates most of us to a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting or working behind the computer is commonplace. While it is almost impossible to give up our jobs, there are ways in which we can incorporated exercise into our hectic schedules. If you live in an apartment, make the effort to walk your way up to your residence. If you take public transport to work, try flying from the train or bus one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way. Take time off to exercise at least twice a week, 30 minutes each time. Vigorous exercise engages the cardiovascular muscles and improves blood circulation, reducing the risk of high blood pressure.

Maintain A Healthy Diet

Our food intake today includes some form of processed food. Increased affluence has led to demand for better lifestyle and with it, food that looks appealing and tastes good. While it will be impossible to eradicate processed food altogether in your diet, try replacing some of it with fresh food. Replace sausages and bacon with fresh meat. Use natural seasoning like species and herbs instead of pre-packaged condiments. If you need to snack, choose apple slices or cupped corn over potato chips. When eating out, ask for reduced salt or go salt-free. Cutting down on salt goes a long way towards giving yourself a healthy body.

Reduce Stress

We live in a competitive world. The pressure to perform both in the workplace and at home brings stress to us at a level never witnessed before. If you feel that you are burning out, drop your work and go for a walk. Take a stroll through the park or sit quietly by the beach. Breathe some fresh air. Find a moment of solitude and let your mind enjoy some peace, even for a short 30 minutes. Better still, set aside at least an hour every week to spend some quiet moments by yourself. Do not wait till the stress starts to build up. Prevention is better than cure.

Avoid Excessive Alcohol

Research has shown that excessive alcohol consumption has the effect of increasing your blood pressure level. In addition, alcohol contains calories, which leads to weight gain, one of the factors leading to high blood pressure. If you are a heavy drinker, aim to reduce your intake gradually over time. If you must drink at social functions, limit yourself to just one or two drinks. Having less alcohol cleanses your system and puts your body on a path towards normalcy.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the foremost contributors towards the increase of blood pressure. Smoking increases your blood pressure temporarily but instantly. Frequent smoking increases the frequency of increased blood pressure and the long-term effects of such temporary blood pressure increases can not be ignored. Aim to quit smoking over time. Reduce your number of cigarettes gradually till you have quit altogether. There is another benefit to be enjoyed: The gradual absence of nicotine also reduces your chances of getting narrow arteries and hardened artery walls, two major factors leading to blood clot, which in turn causes heart attack or stroke.

Summary

In summary, exercise, eat healthily and remove stress from your life. Also aim to reduce your alcohol intake and quit smoking. A few simple changes in lifestyle not only greatly reduces your chances of getting high blood pressure but also makes you more fit and feel good!

The Safety Net

Within the dream we are dreaming, A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is clear that we have a safety net. We seldom see it that way as we feel trapped in a world of our making with no way out. Fear and guilt overwhelm us and we look to the words of the Course to elicit feelings of safety while completely misunderstanding where to find safety. The ego uses the reminders of the Truth from the Course so that we end up quoting them to ourselves and each other in an effort to feel good, prove we're right and extremely safe in a world of terror. This approach is an ego tick that negates the practice of true forgiveness.

When we're willing to recognize this world is not a happy place and we do not feel safe, our justifications with the ego get called into question during the practice of forgiveness. We find we're literally junkies who are addicted to excuses for what we're going with the ego; And since the ego can not allow forgiveness to reveal any ego trick, justification is a defense. Remember, a defense does what it says, ie, it defends (protects) and only what is weak uses defense due to the fear of lack or loss.

A reminder does what it says, ie, it reminds or points the way to something else in the mind. Reminders of the Truth from the Course point away from belief with the ego and towards (the meaning of) the Truth. This is a course on the practical application of forgiveness and the experience of the meaning of the Truth. It is not a course on faith and justification. The choice is yours in how you will use the Course.

A common example that most course students recognize is regard anger. Nowhere in the Course are we told we should not get angry. That would actually be unrealistic. We are simply told not to deny we're angry and to admit we are choosing to get angry. However, what we are told is not to justify the anger. Do not make excuses for why you are angry. It's never for the "justification" reasons you think.

Taking this basic concept, let's look into the ego trick of justification as a defense to keep the ego safe which we mistakenly believe is our safety. Once you understand the trick, it can be applied to undoing anything with the ego. In this article, we're going to expose the trick using the reminders of the Truth from the Course as those are also subject to justification.

Belief, Justification, Assurance and Defense

What makes it so difficult to recognize the ego is using justification with reminders of the Truth is because they seem so wonderful and that we want to believe them. They sound like the Holy Spirit is telling us they are true when it's really the ego tricking us into believing they are true. It brings down to the difference between a defense of the ego and a reminder from the Holy Spirit and the choice you make. There is a huge difference in the mind.

First, let's look at few basic concepts to further the discussion:

Belief

Choosing to believe in an unreal ego idea (thought) makes it appear real and so you only have to invest belief with the unreal to prove you are right. Continued belief (judgment) keeps the idea with you.

Justification

Justification means, "to show, prove or declare something is right." It is the reasoning used by the ego for believing the unreal idea.

Defense

Since all belief and justification is in the mind, defense is in the mind and it means, "an attempt to justify (prove correct) or to do something in favor of an action." The only action you can take in the mind is decision making. Choosing to justify a ego belief makes a defense. It protects the unreal belief as you're in total agreement with the ego and denial of the Truth.

Let's be really clear: The defense (belief plus justification) does not make what you are trying to believe true. It makes the belief (unreal) appear real. The meaning is still what you've chosen with the ego even when used to justify a reminder of the Truth.

Assurance

Assurance means, "to dispel doubts or a promise." There are two types of assurances: God or ego. The only guarantees the ego provides is what you're already experiencing and is clearly not working. Reminders of the Truth (God) point directly to the assurance (promise) of what is real. You choose which one sounds better and if it is the reminder, then you've got to get out of the justification trick.

The Separation Never Happened

We would not believe we're in this world unless we've already bought into the idea that we've separated from God. "The separation never happened" is the basic Truth reminder as part of the Atonement in the Course. It does, however, get used by the ego as a defense to negate the practice of forgiveness.

Justification of the reminder is the ego defense strategy. If we rephrase "the separation never happened" to the ego version, the trick of justification begins to expose itself: "Because the separation never happened, as the Course says, you are justified and correct to believe it did not happen." Honently looking reveal that we just explained why our belief that "the separation never happened" is correct using our "because" excuse (justification) with the ego. Again, this is not a Course on faith or justification as that further the ego and hides what the Truth reminder is pointing towards (which in this case is part of the Atonement, the solution). One mistaken belief leads to the next. Not far behind are the justifications as to "why" you are safe and still at home with God (other Truth reminders) in this world.

The Safety Net

Remember, this is a course in the obvious. The safety net can not be found in belief which defends the ego. It is only in those reminders of the Truth in the Course. Those do not require belief. Truth is not an idea. It's reality.

All reminders of the Truth, which are so lovingly pointed out to us in the Course, are there to do exactly what a reminder does: Remind us that we have reality (Truth) to catch us if we make a different choice. This does not mean to choose to "bliss out" on these assurances through ego belief. Rather, it means to consider them the explanations for why it is safe to practice forgiveness and obtain the experience of the Truth (which needs no defense).

Consider the rest of the Course another set of loving explanations for what you are choosing to give up (forgive). The light of Love shines brightly enough for the safety net to be obvious to anyone willing to look at their ego and forgive.

Defenselessness

To the ego, defenselessness is seen as weakness and yet to see the safety net, you will need to stop defending the ego. The justification junkies we all are is merely a mind addiction from wanting to be right instead of happy. However, now you know that justification of belief merely defends the ego; And now you have the trick exposed to apply to anything in your life.

Defenselessness (not defending the ego) is true strength because it relies on the Father where the Truth reminders point to remembrance of Him. To head in that direction in the mind, you must first accept that you've already chosen with the ego and will continue to do so as you learn forgiveness. You are going to get upset and angry. Do not defend (justify) that anger. Also, accept that you've been trying to believe your way to the Truth instead of practicing forgiveness of the beliefs (judgments) which leads directly to where the reminders point. Do not defend (justify) the trick even if you feel guilty or angry (do not justify them). Every time you accept responsibility for anything as being your choice, even when you've chosen to believe with the ego, you have the ability to choose differently because you are not justifying it which is protecting the ego.

What you are believing with the ego is what you are forgiving. The Father has provided the safety net but it's your decision to use it or not. The Truth reminders point where to look in the mind for the safety net and how to forgive. Forgiveness leads directly to the meaning in the Course that safety is in defenselessness. Forcing faith merely reinforces the ego. That's not true bliss and not the safety net.