29.10.13

Get your company on the Social Media Boat!


By Brighter Business Empower Inc.
Empowering Individuals to Succeed in Business
You’re a business owner.  You have a GREAT idea.  You have a website and a home office.  Now get to work.  One of the easiest and CHEAPEST ways to promote your company is through social media.  But doesn’t Facebook just take up too much time?  You don’t have the time or energy to see what everyone is up to.  You don’t need to see your friend’s kids Halloween costumes, too distracting.  And the last thing you need is to see what your best friend had for lunch.  Newsflash!  That’s NOT was social media for business is all about!  If you’re not on social media for your business YOU ARE MISSING THE BOAT!  


A recent survey from BMO found that more and more Canadian small business owners are turning to social media.  BMO says that these small companies are using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to look for ideas or suggestions, track feedback and to check out their competition.  BMO says 57% of about 300 business owners contracted for the study said they use Social Media.  Which is up 17 points from last year’s survey.  Half of all businesses (46 %) use social media to promote their company's brand, while 38% use them to sell their products and services.


So how do you effectively use Social Media to your advantage?  First get yourself a business Facebook Page, a business Twitter account and add your company to your personal LinkedIn Account.  If three is too many to handle, pick just one!  Get the hang of one first then move onto more.  


If you’re already familiar with Facebook, start there.  But start a new business page.  Start by getting your friends to like your page and ask them to share.  It’ll grow from there!  But how do you manage to keep up with posting to this page.  This is where you’re organizing business skills come into play.  The great thing about Social Media is that you can schedule in your posts.  Here’s a great link from Facebook on How To Schedule Facebook Posts.  Then schedule a time to go in and ENGAGE with your followers.  If your followers know that you care about you’re posting they’re more likely to come back.    


What to post?  You know your business best!  Pick things that will educate them on what you do.  Post ideas that they can use on their own.  Find things that will evoke their emotions as well.  And yes even recipes!  What?  Seems odd.  You’re a business, why would you want to post a recipe?  People LOVE posting food online.  We all need to eat, and if you’ve got a great recipe, post it.  Most importantly, engage with your followers.


As a Brighter Business Empower member we just posted a BONUS for you!  We have “5 Tips to Creating A Social Media Calendar” with ideas on specific content.  This is an excellent guide on how to organize your posts.  If you’re not a Brighter Business Empower member, join NOW, details HERE

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28.10.13

Safe Trick or Treating - Calgary's Child Magazine






For the 19th year, The Calgary Partners for Safety will be on patrol. More than 800 vehicles will patrol Calgary streets from 6pm to 8pm, making sure this will be a safe Halloween. 

The program is designed to take a proactive approach to Halloween safety and has two objectives: 
1. To Provide Halloween Safety Information to Parents and Children; and 
2. To patrol Communities on Halloween Night.

The Partners for Safety include:

Calgary Police Service

Emergency Medical Services

Calgary Fire Department

Calgary Transit

Shaw TV

Calgary’s Child Magazine

Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services.

Any child experiencing a problem can go to a partner for help. Between calls, Calgary Police Service and Emergency Medical Services will have units patrolling residential neighborhoods. This will provide a high visibility for the youngsters trick-or-treating. Calgary Fire Department will also have vehicles on patrol and fire stations will be open as a safe place for our youngsters.

Calgary Transit’s buses and C-Trains are in the community providing transit service from early morning until late at night. If young trick-or-treaters need assistance, they can approach any transit vehicle they spot. Each vehicle has a radio and in an emergency, the bus or C-Train operator can contact the appropriate emergency personnel.


 Halloween safety tips:

Tell your parents which area you will visit and when you will be back.

Stay out of houses and cars unless parents permit.

Travel in groups down one side of the street before crossing to the other.

Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at intersections.

Avoid short cuts through alleys, lanes or private property.

Check treats with an adult before eating them.

Wear bright, reflective clothing.

Use makeup instead of masks which can limit your vision.

Carry a flashlight.

The safety of children on Halloween is still a major parental concern, and the Partners would like to remind all motorists to be extra cautious when driving on Halloween night.

Happy Trick or Treating!! 
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17.10.13

Women Talk - Women Sharing Ideas


by Christina Rowsell



We all know that there are some pretty amazing women in this world.  And here's an opportunity to hear some of these spectacular individuals speak.  Women Talk!

Women Talk is an annual evening gathering, where women share their inspiring thoughts, ideas and experiences.  It's fast-paced, informative, and motivating with each presenter speaking for 15 minutes, “Ted Talk” style.  You'll laugh, you'll learn and you'll be entertained by amazing Women Talk-ers!

This inaugural evening will feature Global TV anchor, reporter and personal trainer, Cara Fullerton as the Keynote Speaker, sharing her passion for living a healthy lifestyle. Other presenters include police officer Lynn McDonald (Personal Safety Training), Rica Shae (Burlesque Performer),  Lisa Simone (Recovery Advocate), Jane Crowshaw (Business Coach) and  Karen Turner (Efficiency Coach). The MC for the evening is longtime Calgary radio and tv host, Sue Deyell!
Founder of Women Talk, Brigitte Lessard, says “by sharing ideas and knowledge, we strengthen our selves and our community. I believe every woman should speak in public at some time in their life; it’s very empowering!”

It's an evening you don't want to miss, AND it's all for a GREAT cause!  All proceeds from this event are going to the YWCA of Calgary!  Tickets for Women Talk are available at: www.womentalk.ca  
Event date: Thursday October 24th 
At: 7pm at Cardel Theater (180 Quarry Park Blvd SE, Calgary)

WOMEN TALK strives to showcase AMAZING women and the AMAZING things women do!
Brigitte Lessard
 
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15.10.13

Geena Davis and The Canadian Women's Foundation

by Christina Rowsell 
The Brighter Side

She's an award winning actress in movies like "Beetlejuice", "A League of Their Own" and "Thelma & Louise", to name a few. Geena Davis is also the founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (GDIGM), which works to combat the unequal portrayal of women in media through extensive research and education. 

Davis was in Calgary in support of the Canadian Women's Foundation for the Calgary Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency. This morning alone, an incredible $620,000 was raised. Davis also wrote out her own personal cheque to make a donation. Funds raised will help the Canadian Women's Foundation fund life-changing programs that empower low income women to move out of poverty and into confidence! And at the start of the breakfast we were giving the run down of what this means. Their commitment is to not only help women and children, but to educate. Educate women and children, but to educate you and I. 

1.) Stop the Violence - At the Canadian Women’s Foundation, they want every woman to live free from violence. 
2.) End Poverty - At the Canadian Women’s Foundation, they want every low-income woman to have the chance to move herself and her children out of poverty. 
3.) Empower Girls - At the Canadian Women’s Foundation, we want every girl to believe in herself and realize she matters.

And who better to get the word out than Geena Davis. Who too has been working tirelessly on her own organization the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at http://www.seejane.org/ - Improving Gender Portrayals in Children's Media. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence the need for gender balance, reducing stereotyping and creating a wide variety of female characters for entertainment targeting children 11 and under. 

I was a bit in awe watching the actress speak this morning. I mean, come on... she's Geena Davis. They listed off the movies she'd done and I've seen almost all of them! And once she began to speak she, for me, turned into a real person. Not to say I don't still see her as a star, but I love that moment when a celebrity becomes just like the rest of us. Telling stories of her childhood and making her way in her chosen field of work. And in that field of work, being an actress, that's when she was awaken to the lack of female roles in the media, especially in children's television programming.

Davis went on to tell a story where judges attempted to hold gender-blind auditions for their orchestra but were put off by the sound of the female musicians’ heels. When the women auditioned walking out onto the stage with heels on, the results were skewed in favor of male musicians. BUT, when the women took their shoes off the final results were equally split between men and women. WHAT!? I was shocked to hear this. To be honest with you, when I hear a pair of heels coming down the hallway I think, power, confidence and presence. 

(My own side story about heels here: I was in my early 30's working at a radio station with an amazing woman who co-hosted the morning show. Every time I saw her, either at work or out in the public I noticed how beautifully she dressed, right down to her high heels. I already respected her, but I admired her more for making the effort to look her best and that included her heels. (say what you will about the health problems related to wearing heels). But those heels really showed me her strength, her courage, her beauty AND her confidence. And since working with this beautiful and talented woman I wear heels everyday. (Unless of course flip-flops are appropriate! LOL). 

So when I heard this story that women had to take their heels off to make it into the orchestra, it blew me away. So what kind of message are we sending our children? In Geena Davis’ opinion, the best way to change bias against women is to change the representations from the source. Suggesting that the Media itself can be the starting point in fixing the problems it’s creating. And hopefully, being in the media I can help paint that picture. 

I do think we are making strides, but we have a long way to go. Canadian Business just published The Power 50 - Canada's Most Powerful Business People August 2013. See the story here, - and on that list only 2 are women. That's 8%!! 6th Place is Julie Dickson - Superintendent, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Age 56 and in 24th spot is Heather Reisman - CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc., Age 65. WOW! Only 2 women out of 25 made the list. My question is why? What stops women from getting to the top? 

I certainly know many successful business women. They may not make millions, but they have passion and drive for what they do. We should celebrate them all! I might just do my own list of business women who make a difference in our own city. I'll work on that. This way we can start celebrating the accomplishments of beautiful and talented women just because they are just that. It's not about how much money they make, but about the difference they make. And mentioned before, it starts with you. You standing up and believing what women have to offer. "Helping women and girls is not only the right thing to do, it's an intelligent investment in a better future." ~ Canadian Women's Foundation - www.canadianwomen.org

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11.10.13

Hannah Rose & The Loving Tree

via Press Release by www.seanliv.com
©Hanna Rose - Author "The Loving Tree"
How many kids around the world feel like they’re not smart enough, or funny enough, or good enough? It’s a problem every kid faces at one time or another, but where can they go when they feel like they’re all alone?  (I know I can certainly relate to this when I was a child!!)

Eight-year-old Hannah Rose has the answer. Hannah wanted to share an inspiring message of hope to kids just like her, and she created a story of self-esteem and friendship.

The Loving Tree is Hannah’s first book, and it’s a story of a young orphan girl in the care of a grumpy old man. The girl is eager for a real friend, but doesn’t believe that anybody will ever like her. Then one day she meets a magical Loving Tree, and begins to learn the true meaning of friendship and love.

The Loving Tree helps to show kids that loneliness won’t stick around forever, and how to believe in themselves. It’s great for parents and kids to read and discuss together.  (I really could have used this book when I was a little girl.  Amazing that this little girl is show the rest of us that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel)

Hannah Rose will be holding book signings and doing interviews this fall, perfect for the whole family. Join Hannah in helping kids everywhere to understand they’re all unique, and all worthy of love.

Hannah would be happy to pay a visit to read The Loving Tree to your school or organization.

©Hanna Rose - Author "The Loving Tree"
Date: Sunday December 22, 2013 
Location: Good Earth Coffee House and Bakery 
Address: 332 Aspen Glen Landing SW
 Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

You can get Hannah's books at
Fallen Angel
827 - 17 Avenue SW

Here's Hannah at her book signing at Chapters in Chinook Centre.  
© Hannah Rose - Author
Remember that song from Whitney Houston "I believe the children are our future.  Teach them well and let the lead the way."  Hannah Rose you are a remarkable young lady!  I can't wait to read more books from you!  

Visit Hannah online at http://www.seanliv.com/_/Hannah_Rose.html

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7.10.13

Swamp Party Amazing Cake and so much more!

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side


Swamp Party!
Not sure when I thought having a themed birthday party for my children was a good idea... oh right, when I saw their faces when the set up was all done.  I think putting in the effort to create this beautiful memory is important.  And no, you don't have to break the bank, but you do have to put in time.  This isn't for anyone who wants to "whip" something up for the next day.

My son is turning 4.  I asked him what kind of a party he wanted.  His reply, "an alligator birthday party!"  Sounded simple enough... as long as I gave myself at least a month to plan it.  So what's the first thing I do... I "Googled" Alligator Birthday Party.  The first thing that popped up was "Swamp Party".  So that's where it all began!

First the cake.  I put it out there on Facebook if any of my friends knew someone who could do a Swamp Cake.  I was flooded with resources of people who design cakes.  Now the hard task of going through all the names of talented cake artists.  I couldn't believe how competitive the cake industry was.  So many cakes to choose from.  But one really stood out for me.  Sugar By Tracy.  A mom of two adorable children who bakes out of her home.  Tracy's cakes blew me away.  So I put her up to the task!  She was game and came up with this!


© Sugar By Tracy
What!  Wow!  So many compliments on this cake from family and friends.  And for under $100!  She's located in Penhold Alberta, but makes regular trips to Calgary.  Tracy, you certainly have a gift!  What a GREAT IDEA from an AMAZING PERSON!  Keep up the good work Tracy.  You know how to bring a smile to a 4 year old!  Young and old, you have a gift for making the world smile through your talents!  Find out more about Tracy and Sugar By Tracy here, and LIKE her Facebook Page.


Hilary's Hobbies Magnets
Now the rest of my theme.  I went to www.123rf.com to find the right alligator.  My son and I looked through the pictures and he came up with this one.  I knew we wanted to do something special with this picture, that's when we found Hilary's Hobbies.  She's a stay at home mom just trying to make some money doing what she loves.  She specializes in wooden wall letters, growth charts, signs, hair clippy boards and holders and these goodie bag magnets!

Thank you Hilary.  Find out more by LIKING Hilary's Hobbies Facebook Page.
Customized Chocolate M&M's®
Then on Google I noticed a lot of parties had a candy bar.  LOVE that idea.  So I went out looking for Swamp Theme candies.  Again, on Google I found Customized Chocolate M&M's®.  This was the most expensive part of the party.  But worth it!  So very cool!  My son was so excited to see his face on the M&M®.  It even arrived in a chilled M&M® bag!  Once in a life time opportunity to have his own personalized candy!  But I made up for the cost of the candy through the candy jars.  I picked these ones up for $.74 each from SuperStore.


Swamp Candy Jar
And the final step was the decor.  Fortunately for me I have Adobe InDesign.  So I was able to create my own labels.  There are lots of graphic designers that you can hire to help you out with this.  But make sure you know what you need and how much.  I did a birthday banner, candy jar labels, candy bar labels, stickers for the table, Swamp Game label and goodie bag labels.  The graphic designer that I recommend is Jaime Wedholm Graphic Design.  Go to  www.jaimewedholm.ca and LIKE her page on Facebook.
 
Swamp Candy Bar
Pin the Alligator in the nest!


















She's also exceptionally talented.  Not only can she help you with your birthday theme, but she's can help you with logo design, packaging, promotional materials, trade show booth elements, advertising and now magazine design.  (I'm currently working with Jaime on the Brighter Business Empower Magazine.  She's a dedicated worker, a passionate artist and an amazing designer.)

Then pick one game.  As my house was full of 4-8 year olds, they only had the attention span for one game.  And my 6 year old actually came up with this one, Pin The Alligator In The Nest.  The grass (nest) came from the dollar store along with the board to put it on.  

A little time and effort on your part and you'll have a GREAT themed birthday party.  I also want to thank GOOGLE for allowing me to have ideas at my fingertips!

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