by Ephraim King

I am sitting in a class with creative people from a potpourri of cultures and professional backgrounds. I am inspired to write again and ask … “Why not Tzfat”?

So many of us yearned for Tzfat while we were still abroad. I did. When I made Aliya it was elsewhere. I started in the South and moved to Jerusalem later. I maintained a connection while still abroad and frequently visit after Aliya.

Many like minded professionals have found their way here, drawn by the special spiritual and creative climate. Israel’s economic miracle has turned the Galilee into a powerhouse of hi tech

Until now – creative professionals with great experience and command of the English language and culture had to choose between professional fulfillment in the Center or spiritual and creative fulfillment in Tzfat.

The dichotomy is felt on Tzfat’s outer borders as you appear to cross between two worlds. The recent growth in hi tech surrounded Tzfat but has not hit Tzfat … until now …

A new medical school is opening in the fall. The Youth Center and Tzfat College, Tzfat Mayor’s office, Immigration Absorption Ministry, Nefesh BeNefesh Go North, and many hi tech, bio-tech and green/clean tech companies are bullish about the future of Israel’s Northern Frontier.

A beginning artist may have started as a child, learning to paint by numbers and connect the points. A child’s curiosity is encouraged and uninhibited by adults that tell the child what s/he can’t or shouldn’t do or be able to do or think.

The hi tech and Jewish world is all about connections. A point in physics actually has no mass at all, yet together we see something real. Now we have a dedicated team of lecturers and writers that will connect a veritable reserve of creative professionals with great opportunities in the area and without. We see the tremendous potential and are voting with our feet.

So come here and join us in our newest challenge in practical Zionism, not about land, but about space and time. Let’s transcend our restrictions and begin thinking outside the box … together … you and me … we …

Why Tzfat? Why not?

… To be continued …

clip_image002Maria Perez, director of news operations for ProfNet recently published 7 tips for better writing on her blog.

She starts by saying that good writing is not just about substance. It’s often style that is just as important. You might be the most expert of all experts, but nothing will undermine your credibility more than an email/business plan/blog post riddled with errors and typos.

To put your best foot forward and get readers to focus on the substance of your communications, follow these simple tips for improving your writing:

Pick a style, any style. It doesn’t matter if it’s the AP Stylebook, Chicago Manual of Style or The Elements of Style, pick a style and be consistent with it. I promise it will help your writing.

Write Like You Talk. Or, in the words of Paula Abdul, make it your own. After you’re finished writing the article, press release, blog post – whatever – read it out loud. If it sounds stilted, make changes.

Less is More. If you can say something in 10 words instead of 20, do it. That is all.

Use short paragraphs. James Patterson once said his use of short chapters is one of the reasons his books are so successful. You can apply this to your writing with short paragraphs. Long paragraphs make readers think they don’t have enough time to read the entire post.

Use bullet points. For the same reason you should write in short paragraphs – posts with long paragraphs could be daunting for many readers – you should consider using bullet points whenever possible. Not only will it make it easier for you to write (especially if you’re writing for an online outlet, which often means multiple posts each day), but it’s also easier on the reader.

Spllchek. If you wnt pepole to take you serriusly, run a spellchek on whatevr dockumint you write, wethur a private email or sumthing for publik consumpshion.

Check, and double-check, your facts. If you say your company is the only one making thingamajigs, make sure it’s true – especially because things can go viral so quickly nowadays.

Written by Maria Perez, director of news operations for ProfNet, a service that helps journalists connect with expert sources. To read more from Maria, visit her blog on ProfNet Connect at http://www.profnetconnect.com/profnetmaria/blog/

clip_image002E-mail cold calling still works. If done correctly, it can be a highly effective marketing tool. However, the email must be compelling. Writing such an email is not easy.

Here are some tips on composing a good email:

1. Make each email personal.
Decisions makers want to receive an email that is tailored them. Generic emails with a standard offer are ignored. Explain why you sent the email in the first place (e.g., following an exhibition or a one-on-one meeting) and describe your offer as a one-time great opportunity especially for them. This is even more important when the decision maker is referred to you and you were therefore not in direct contact yet. Make sure to tie in the decision maker’s issues, concerns, problems or challenges.

2. Make it legit.
With the current strict regulations concerning unsolicited emails, any email you send as part of an email campaign must have an opt-out. Explain how you got the email details of the decision maker (e.g., after downloading a white paper, registered to receive your newsletter). Make the opt-out as user-friendly as possible; avoid asking for the reason.

3. Keep it short and to the point.
According to researchers, you have less than 20 seconds to capture the reader’s attention. This means that the first three lines (including the header!) are crucial. Once readers lose interest, they will delete your email – forever. If the email is to the point, chances are higher that there will be a follow-up.

4. Make it non-spam and readable in preview.

Decision makers are busy. They have spam filters to avoid their inbox from clogging up. The subject line of your email must explain in a concise way what the email is about. “Great Offer” and “Free Trial” are terms that immediately alert spam filters. Decision makers also scan their inbox in preview mode. The first paragraph of your email must entice the reader to open the email and read it in full.

5. Talk to your reader.

You want the reader to be in touch with you. This can be asking a question, a request for more information, downloading a white paper, an invitation for webinar or subscribing to your newsletter.

(Image courtesy of paythetroops.org)

clip_image001Ever heard of the Ebbinghaus Effect? Quite likely not. However, Ebbinghaus Curve of Forgetting is an essential tool whenever you are developing integrated marketing strategies or want to create messages with impact.

In order to know how effective your strategy or message will be, you need to understand the implications of the Ebbinghaus Curve of Forgetting.

Hermann Ebbinghaus received his doctor of philosophy degree in Germany in 1873 at the age of 23. While teaching at the University of Berlin, he pioneered research about human memory. In 1885, he published “Ebbinghaus’ Curve of Forgetting” showing that a given piece of learning is forgotten by more than half its audience in one hour. The share of the audience that retains the message is reduced to 33.7 percent after one day, to 27.8 percent after two days, and to 21.1 percent after 31 days.

Percentages apart, this fundamental research is the basis for two concepts that make marketing communications more focused, efficient and effective.

The first concept is reach and frequency.
In order to create awareness of a brand, you need a combination of reach (who is our target audience) and frequency (how often does your target audience need to be exposed to the same message).

But there are two major restraining factors: time and budget.
It takes a few weeks (for a known product) or months (for a new product) to stay on the radar of the target audience. Supporting a strategic mix of media requires a substantial budget with no ironclad guarantee of success.

The second concept is integrated messaging.
If the publications are perceived as different, the memory stores it as new messages of different products or brands each time. As a result, the marketer starts from scratch which each medium.

How can marketers avoid the Ebbinghaus Effect? By implementing an integrated marketing and communications campaign:

1) Define target audience
2) Carefully formulate the message
3) Choose appropriate media communications channel(s)
4) Communicate the message with sufficient frequency
5) Make sure to integrate the look, feel and messaging of all communications
6) Work within time and budget restrains
7) Use strong stimuli to support the recollection of the message
8 ) Check the short and long term recollection of the message

Done successfully, a company or brand can be in its audience’s memory for years, even generations. Levi’s and Coca-Cola are perfect examples.