Quoted – Icahn Turns His Powers of Persuasion on Tim Cook – ECommerce Times

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Despite Carl Icahn‘s declarations that he’s interested only in what’s best for Apple’s investors, the self-proclaimed champion of “real corporate democracy” has his doubters.

Why add to Apple’s debt to pay for the buyback when it’s sitting on so much cash?

“A lot of the cash is overseas, and if you brought it back to the United States for a buyback, it would get taxed at a very high rate,” business professor Scott Testa told MacNewsWorld.

“Since it’s so cheap to borrow money, it makes no sense to bring the money back into the United States and get killed from a tax perspective,” he added.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/Icahn-Turns-His-Powers-of-Persuasion-on-Tim-Cook-79268.html

Quoted – 10 Tips for Better Time Management at Work – Staples.com

English: John Nepolitan photo taken at the sta...

English: John Nepolitan photo taken at the start line of the NYC Diamond League meeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of us struggle to find enough time in the day to accomplish all that we need to do, but the crunch can be even more difficult for those working in a small business. Here are 10 tips to help you find time to focus on your business.

Tip #5: Take Breaks

Don’t underestimate the value of downtime, which helps your brain recharge and clears your thinking. Dr. Scott Testa, director of the Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp at Villanova University, likes to go on predawn runs or bike rides. “That time unfocused on the business and exercising allows me to focus on the business,” he says. “It’s counterintuitive, but it helps me focus on what is important.”

Quoted – Icahn Scoops Up Apple Stock Post Product Launch Plummet

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Another short-term shock to Apple’s share price has been its inability to hammer out a deal for wider distribution of the iPhone in China.

“The No. 1 disappointment was there was no China Mobile deal, although I think that deal is coming,” business professor Scott Testa told MacNewsWorld.

The longer it takes for that deal to come, however, the more Apple’s share price may suffer.

5c No Cannibal

Wall Street was also disappointed with the price point for Apple’s developing world phone, the 5c, Testa noted. “It feels the handset business is a commoditized area that Apple should be super aggressive in and go after the low-end Android phones.”

http://www.macnewsworld.com/story/78952.html

Quoted – FOSS Devs’ Biggest Complaints: Documentation and Licensing – Linux Insider

English: Logo for the Open Source Initiative F...

English: Logo for the Open Source Initiative Français : Logo Open Source (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FOSS Devs’ Biggest Complaints: Documentation and Licensing

“What makes open source so good is often what makes it undesirable,” suggested Scott Testa, director of Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp at Villanova University. “If you are a big corporation, you want to adhere to the license, but in some cases the legal issues are not clear. If you are a programmer, you just want to get the code writing job done.”

“What makes open source so good is often what makes it undesirable,” Scott Testa, director of Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp at Villanova University, told LinuxInsider.

“By nature open source has poor documentation and problems trying to figure out if your intended use is legal,” Testa explained. “If you are a big corporation, you want to adhere to the license, but in some cases the legal issues are not clear. If you are a programmer, you just want to get the code writing job done.”

http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/78825.html

Looking for companies or organizations who want a free business plan written or updated?

Business Plan in a Day book

Business Plan in a Day book (Photo credit: Raymond Yee)

Looking for companies or organizations who want a free

business plan written or updated?. .

Entrepreneur course by students. . – email me stesta97@gmail.com

I am also looking for Entrepreneur or Business related speakers who want free publicity.

You must come to Philadelphia to present and work with students. . no teleconferencing or Skype

Quoted – How to Find a Mentor to Help You Navigate Small Business Ownership – Staples.com

Staples (Canada)

Staples (Canada) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Small Business Administration study shows that business owners who had three or more hours of mentoring experienced higher revenues and stronger growth than those who didn’t. So why wouldn’t you consider mentorship for growing your business and yourself? Here’s some important information to consider when it comes to finding a mentor and building a relationship as a small business owner.

Just Look Around

Villanova University’s director of the Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp, Dr. Scott Testa, says there’s no best place or worst place for finding a mentor than the places you already go. “It’s how you’d meet a spouse or girlfriend — at a bar, convenience store, friend of a friend,” he says. Mentors can be college professors, former bosses and partners. “Find those people you have a common bond with and like to spend time with.”

Mitchell and Testa agree that the best mentors have strengths that are your weaknesses. “The best mentors push us out of our comfort zones and force us to look at things in a different way,” Mitchell says. “You want a mentor who’s the opposite of you so that you learn and fill in some of the gaps.”

When Testa was starting a business, he looked for mentors to provide an entrepreneurial example. “I really needed someone I felt could understand the experience I was going through,” he says. “My mentors helped not just with technical stuff, but also with the psychological.”

http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/tech-services/explore-tips-and-advice/tech-articles/how-to-find-a-mentor-to-help-you-navigate-small-business-ownership.html

Alternative Energy Development Group teams with Dr. Scott Testa to teach tomorrow’s leaders Energy Development, Clean Energy Finance, and Entrepreneurship.

The AEDG team led by  CEO Chris Fraga, teamed with Dr. Testa to teach 8-weeks of summer class as part of the Julian Krinsky curriculum for business students at Villanova University.  Specific topics included:  Renewable and Alternative Energy Technologies featuring Solar PV and Bloom Energy Fuel Cell’s; Energy Development for the Commercial and Industrial market; and Energy Finance including the Power Purchase Agreement business model.

Dr. Scott Testa invited AEDG to participate because of their subject matter expertise, innovative ideas and entrepreneurial success. “I requested AEDG to participate to bring outside of the box thinking, topics of relevance to a global student base, and their passion to create a memorable experience”, said Dr. Testa.

http://www.aedgonline.com/news/alternative-energy-development-group-teams-dr-scott-testa-julian-krinsky-summer-enrichment

Quoted – Fresh & Easy stores could pull out of Valley – Businessweek

Fresh & Easy‘s parent company is considering selling its stores and pulling out of the U.S., leaving the fate of the eight stores in the central San Joaquin Valley up in the air.

But at least one retail expert said the end is near for Fresh & Easy.

“I think eventually they’ll pull out,” said Philadelphia-based independent retail expert Scott Testa. “They’ll probably find a buyer.”

But the stores didn’t make the kind of money its parent company wanted to see. Fresh & Easy entered an incredibly competitive environment, Testa said.

“This grocery business is a tough, tough business,” he said. “Margins are small.”

Signs of the retailer’s struggle were evident in the Valley.

The company closed the Fresh & Easy at Cedar and Shields avenues in January, part of at least two rounds of store closures companywide.

Read more here: Businessweek

Quoted – Black Friday walkout: why Wal-Mart is focus of labor’s struggle – Christian Science Monitor

walmart beijing

walmart beijing (Photo credit: galaygobi)

Wal-Mart‘s low-cost recipe for success is under attack from the threatened Black Friday walkout as workers protest low wages and benefit cuts. The retailer is fighting back, accusing organized labor of making trouble.

As the hottest shopping day of the retail calendar looms, the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, is embroiled in a battle to defend its image, even its formula for success. A growing number of employees, protesting low wages and benefit cuts, is vowing to walk out on Black Friday.

“Wal-Mart has become the poster child for all the issues surrounding labor right now,” says Scott Testa, a Philadelphia-based business consultant and blogger who has studied Wal-Mart’s business practices extensively. The company has implemented aggressive anti-union measures, he notes, closing a store inCanada rather than negotiate.

The issues at stake are not peripheral, says Mr. Testa, adding that they go to the very soul of Wal-Mart’s business model. The Arkansas-based company, founded a half-century ago by Sam Walton, lives and dies by its ability to cut costs, he says.

Testa notes that Wal-Mart has evolved over the years by dwelling on the fringes of urban areas.

“Many of the municipalities where Wal-Mart has thrived were happy to give the company big open spaces of under-used land, where there was no development,” he says, adding that employees in hard-hit regions have been grateful for the jobs.

But now that the company is expanding into major urban areas such as Los AngelesChicago, andBoston, “they are experiencing a kind of worker pushback that they have largely been able to avoid,” adds Testa.

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2012/1121/Black-Friday-walkout-why-Wal-Mart-is-focus-of-labor-s-struggle

AV Pioneer McAfee Covering Tracks in Murder Drama

Image representing McAfee as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Antivirus trailblazer John McAfee is on the run from authorities in Belize who are seeking him in connection with the murder of a neighbor. Although McAfee has been away from the tech world for a long time and no longer has anything to do with the company he founded, there are concerns that the emerging lurid details of his life and possible crime could taint the company that still bears his name.

John McAfee, founder of the eponymous antivirus software company, is wanted in Belize in connection with the murder of American Gregory Faull, according to news accounts. The San Pedro police department is said to be actively searching for McAfee, who has gone missing.

This episode is focusing a very public spotlight on the downward, highly destructive spiral McAfee reportedly has been on for years — a cycle that is said to include drugs, guns, prostitution and a lot of violence. His early days as a tech luminary — he was one of the first people to design antivirus software and to create a virus scanner — are clearly long gone, never to reemerge.

The McAfee Brand

It is fair to wonder how these events — now making international headlines — will impact the McAfee corporate brand.

On one hand, it is hard to imagine how they could have any impact. Though he founded the company, John McAfee has long been divorced from it, noted Scott Testa, director of development forChina Project Hope and a former marketing professor at Cabrini College.

“In an odd way, it could wind up even having some positives for the product line,” Testa told the E-Commerce Times. “After all, what do they say? ‘ There’s no such thing as bad publicity.’”

The events could wind up evoking feelings of familiarity with the McAfee brand among consumers, even after this drama recedes into the background, he suggested.

“I really don’t think there will be negative ramifications from a brand perspective,” Testa said, although “you can bet that Intel will do whatever it has to to disassociate itself from what is happening.”

A name change could be in the company’s future.

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/76613.html

Quoted – How to Lead like Oprah – Forbes

Oprah Winfrey at her 50th birthday party at Ho...

Image via Wikipedia

In the last season ofOprah Winfrey’s 25-year-long television program, The Oprah Winfrey Show, the queen of media has been looking back with nostalgia on what she’s built—a global audience and a $2.7 billion net worth—and forward with excitement to what lays ahead. She transitions from network TV to cable in January to cut the ribbon on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which is arguably the pinnacle of her career. She didn’t get here by chance, of course. She led the way.

“She’s the ultimate self-made business leader,” says Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, Penn. “Her basic leadership style is unparalleled and incredibly effective.”

“You can’t build a business by yourself,” says Testa. “She really knows how to motivate people.” Oprah’s people strategy is simple. She invests in top talent, seeks out smart mentors, values her customer and consistently nourishes each relationship.

Like every great leader, Oprah has become the best by surrounding herself with the best. She carefully selects her top team to assure competence and compatibly, and then stands by them. Success stories like Rachael Ray and Dr. Phil remain under her management. She also seeks out mentors that she admires who will offer her guidance. Early in her career, attorney Jeff Jacobs advised crucial contract deals and helped her launch her company, Harpo, which has been the key to her wealth. Moreover, Oprah allies herself with other power players, from celebrities like Julia Roberts to politicians like the Obamas.

“She became a billionaire by spreading the wealth,” says Testa. Not only did she often spontaneously give to people in need who came on her show, she established several philanthropic efforts that bettered the world. Her motivations were at times questioned by the press, but giving back allowed her the credibility to continue growing her wealth. She launched the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, a school in South Africa and an audience-mobilizing effort, Oprah’s Angel Network.

http://blogs.forbes.com/jennagoudreau/2010/10/22/how-to-lead-like-oprah-winfrey-own-rachael-ray-dr-oz-phil/

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Quoted – My total gym fees are … what?! – Montreal Gazette

NEW YORK - AUGUST 21:  Rena 'Rusty' Kanokogi a...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

 

Certain questions should not be asked of people at the gym. For example, “Is that all you can bench press?” or “Do these spandex shorts make me look fat?” These are impertinent and potentially embarrassing questions.

Even worse is a question that is rarely, if ever asked: “What do I get for my initiation fees?”

At a handful of Montreal gyms, the question might well be on the verge of taboo.

Gym folk will be familiar with the scenario. You learn the price for a one-year membership. “That’s $550 for one year, everything included.”

Then the zinger: “And with the joining/signing/administration/initiation fee, the total comes to $675.”

Huh?

Scott Testa,  college marketing professor, has three words to say about fees: “Just tell me.” He would rather be told, “If you can’t afford it, I understand completely. This may not be the club for you.”

Initiation fees have been around for decades.

“They go way, way back,” said Concordia University marketing professor Harold Simpkins. “The idea was you collect money and put it into capital funds for upgrades. Fees also act as a filter, and make it more difficult for members to leave.”

Said Testa: “This is the old country-club idea: You want to make it exclusive, like a lot of golf clubs and high-end sports clubs. They all had large initiation fees – 10 grand and up.”

Many Montreal clubs have undergone major, impressive renovations, notably the downtown YMCA, MAA, Atwater Club and Le Sanctuaire. So why not call it what it is? Why not be frank with the consumer?

“People have the right to make money,” Testa said. “On the other hand, consumers need to protect themselves and get the best deal they can.”

But charging to open a file?

“What’s that cost? A nickel? At the end of the day, initiation fees are almost pure profit,” Testa said. “From a consumer’s standpoint, I don’t like paying them, but we are in tough economic times, and people don’t see gyms as something they need. The vast majority of users will drop out, and clubs count on that. So why not get the money up front? My position is ‘If you prove yourself from month to month, then I’ll come back to your gym.’ ”

Testa suggests a face-to-face meeting if you want to try for lower fees: “That way you can read body language. And, remember, you get what you negotiate.”

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/total+fees+what/3679132/story.html#ixzz137zI94v5

 

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/total+fees+what/3679132/story.html#ixzz137ywQMVl

 

 

http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/total+fees+what/3679132/story.html

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Quoted – Gen Y moms prefer digital, rather than face-to-face, communication more than their older cohorts.

A photograph of a 2 month old human infant, hi...
Image via Wikipedia

Gen Y moms prefer digital, rather than face-to-face, communication more than their older cohorts.

Mothers are more connected online than the average woman, with younger moms especially committed to digital communication, says a report examining moms and online behavior. More than 90 percent of U.S. women with children under age 18 in the household are online, compared with roughly three-quarters (76.3 percent) of all adult women. Mothers of Generation Y, however, are even more involved in online communication than their older counterparts, with nearly one in five (17 percent) stating that they use email or Facebook to communicate with immediate family—with “immediate family” defined as family members living in the same household.

 

While Baby Boomer moms said that they communicated with family members in person most of the time (an average of 62 percent face-to-face communication), Generation X mothers stated they do so 58 percent of the time, says the report. Gen Y moms said that their face-to-face communication with immediate family averages just less than half the time at 48 percent. Boomer moms are also less likely to use Facebook as often as their younger cohorts do, while one in five (19 percent) of Gen Y moms reported that they spend at least two hours a day on the social networking site.

 

 

Marketing consultant Dr. Scott Testa, also a professor of business administration at Philadelphia-based Cabrini College, says that he has also observed this fast-moving trend.

“Generation [Y] and [the mom] demographic is rapidly moving to electronic media,” he notes. “In order to reach these moms [companies] need to go digital.”

Singer warns marketers to not be too complacent when it comes to reaching out via social media.

“Too many marketers are sitting back and waiting to see how social media pans out, as though it’s a temporary phenomenon,” she explains. “But it’s as permanent and as influential as TV was in its infancy, and it will grow even more important. The more quickly that marketing executives learn to harness social media, the more likely they’ll come out ahead because of it.”

Testa agrees. “It is not a fad,” he adds. “Those companies that really get it could really target [this group] effectively.”

http://www.demodirt.com/index.php/generation-y-trends/consumer-spending/433-digital-age


 

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Quoted – Hulu Revving Up for Bold IPO Move

An evil plot to destroy the world. Enjoy! (Log...
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Hulu is about to make a big move — talk of an IPO within the next couple of months appears to be well founded. The timing is right, says BU professor N. Venkatraman, as the economy is expected to pick up in 2011, and the tech sector with it. “Media will be one of those sectors that will be redefined by tech, and Hulu wants to be seen as the leader of the pack.”

Hulu is expected to file a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission for its initial public offering by the end of the year. It believes it can raise US$200-$300 million, according to an unnamed source in a Reuters report.

The final decision to move forward is expected to be made in November, the source said. If it does happen, the IPO is likely to be in April or May.

The deal would value Hulu at $2 billion.

Two billion dollars is likely a fair valuation for Hulu, according to Scott Testa, a marketing professor at Cabrini College.

“I think the partners want to take some money off the table with the IPO,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “Also, I think this may be a good time for the partners to go public from a balance sheet perspective. This way they will be able to get a tangible valuation for the company.”

Besides giving the investors an exit for their initial capital, the bulk of the proceeds will certainly be sunk into the company’s business model, continued Testa. “Data center investment is what I would guess — or buying data center space in disparate locations on worldwide basis.”

Google needs significant redundancy to keep YouTube operational, he noted. “When you are talking about video, you are talking about huge, big pipes — and fiber is expensive. It is not like running a website.”

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/Hulu-Revving-Up-for-Bold-IPO-Move-71008.html?wlc=1287007214

 

 

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Quoted – Contract process full of pitfalls for small firms Government specifications, timelines often overwhelming – Chicago Tribune

American Express
Image via Wikipedia

Contract process full of pitfalls for small firms

Government specifications, timelines often overwhelming

Valerie Lilley‘s Navy coat contract was part of a government set-aside program aimed at growing small businesses. Since 1997 Congress has had a goal of awarding 23 percent of government contracts to small businesses.

But a study by a business credit card unit of American Express found that on average it takes a small business nearly two years of trying before it wins its first contract.

n this sputtering economy, the situation Toluca Tailoring found itself in wasn’t uncommon. Small businesses are more likely to count on winning a single big order after they run out of options, said Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College. That’s why he said small businesses should carefully read a contract to account for any potential payment lags.

“Some of these decisions that may be important from the small business owner’s perspective may not be a priority for these huge government agencies,” Testa said.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/feed/ct-biz-1010-toluca-side–20101010,0,3775650.story

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Quoted – Yuan expected to appreciate at snail’s pace

Assorted international currency notes.
Image via Wikipedia

The appreciation of the yuan initiated in June by China’s central bank has raised concerns among investors, especially regarding the impact on China’s major exporters.

However, experts agree that the immediate impacts of yuan re-valuation will be minimal as the Chinese government is expected to realize the appreciation through a series of minor steps.

The general economic principle dictates that a stronger yuan will have negative impacts on China’s export-led companies. However, Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa., said the controlled pace of the appreciation will mitigate such impacts on China’s exporters.

“I do think it [impact of yuan valuation] will be minimal because I think it will be gradual and will give the exporters time to adjust to the new currency environment,” he said. “If it was something that would happen dramatically, it would hurt them more.”

http://medillmoneymavens.com/2010/08/25/yuan-expected-to-appreciate-at-snail’s-pace/

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Quoted – Google Begins Buttressing Its Net Neutrality Argument

Google Logo bg:Картинка:Google.png
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fter a few days of absorbing the criticism of its joint proposal with VerizonGoogle (Nasdaq: GOOG) — a company that was once counted as a stalwart in the push for Net neutrality — is defending itself.

In a nutshell, the plan calls for excluding the mobile Internet from most of the consumer protections that would apply to the wired Internet. It would allow the creation of a “private” Internet, where service providers such as Verizon could offer as-yet-undefined broadband services.

Both companies were hit with a wave of criticism following their announcement, but the comments aimed at Google have been more withering because of the perception that it has sacrificed Net neutrality principles.

In making its defense, Google noted that even if people don’t agree with all of its points, the proposal at least represents progress toward resolving what has become a contentious issue. It also took pains to address what it called several “myths” circulating about the proposal, starting with the notion that Google has sold out on Net neutrality. (Its rebuttal: No progress was being made in Washington, and partnering with a provider would move the debate forward.)

Average citizens may not understand all the nuances of Net neutrality policy, but they are starting to hear about it one way or another, if only because of the ink devoted to the joint Google-Verizon proposal, said Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College.

It is the type of debate that can easily devolve into evil versus good, he observed, depending on who is framing the issue.

“I think at a certain level, people’s gut reaction when they hear the bare-bones argument is to side with Net neutrality,” said Testa. “People are leery of the Internet being “controlled” by any one party.”

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/Google-Begins-Buttressing-Its-Net-Neutrality-Argument-70618.html?wlc=1281823953

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Quoted – Cheaper ways to get ink help keep businesses in the black

Ink tubes connected to the printer cartridges
Image via Wikipedia

While economists and business analysts have been busy fretting over the rate of the economic recovery, grossly focused on the latest jobs report, GDP figures and the inflation rate, maybe there is a more obvious indicator they should have been paying attention to all along: the ink cartridge business.

It’s something many businesses cannot live without: the ability to print checks, invoices, records and receipts.  And at prices ranging from $25 to $200 apiece, printer, ink and toner purchases can be among the more expensive for a company.

“If business is just down, you’re simply doing less printing,” stressed Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=167790

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Social Networking Consultants

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25:  In this photo ill...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

My friend Bob Garrett at Garrett consulting  http://garrettconsultants.com/ has been doing some work in regards to Social Networking on some of my Social networking accounts. . the results have been amazing. . if you are business or individual who is looking to build your presence in this area you should definitely talk to him. .

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Quoted – Americans Tend to Be Social, Playful Online

This is icon for social networking website. Th...
Image via Wikipedia

Social networking is taking up a large chunk of the time Americans spend online, followed by gaming. Although emailing is losing favor, it’s not likely to fade away. “There needs to be something else, something better than social networking, to completely take its place,” maintained Scott Testa, a professor of marketing at Cabrini College.

With 41.2 percent of U.S. consumers’ online time devoted to social networking, social games and emailing, other online activities are becoming neglected. The time consumers spent on instant messaging, for instance, dropped to 4 percent from 4.7 percent. Portal usage dropped to 4.4 percent from 5.5 percent.

Meanwhile other once high-growth categories have slowed dramatically. Search increased to 3.5 percent in June 2010 as a percentage of time devoted to this category — compared to 3.4 percent a year ago.

Watching videos or movies was the only other activity to experience a significant growth spurt in terms of share in online activity, growing by 12 percent from 3.5 to 3.9 percent.

None of this is surprising, said Scott Testa, a professor of marketing at Cabrini College.

Social network sites like Facebook and Twitter is where Internet use is moving,” he told TechNewsWorld. “That is why providers likeMicrosoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) are trying to mimic these features as much as possible.”

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Americans-Tend-to-Be-Social-Playful-Online-70535.html

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Help Wanted – Marketing Intern

Internet Marketing Internship

About Applied Systems Technology, Inc. (AST)

Applied Systems Technology is a software development and management consulting firm exclusively serving the staffing industry.

Since 1985, we have helped staffing firms re-engineer their business processes and better realize the potential of technology to drive change, improve efficiency, and enhance profitability.

AST currently has 15 employees, and is based out of the Hudson Valley, NY. We have remote offices in Albany, NY, and Philadelphia, PA.

AST and Internet Marketing

Everett Reiss is the Director of Marketing and Communication for AST, overseeing and being hands-on in the following areas of Internet Marketing:

  • Maintaining main website: http://www.astusa.com and Staffing Energy Center, which is directed at clients: http://astusa.com/staffingenergycenter.
  • Running Mad Staffing Blog: http://astusa.com/staffing-blog.
  • Weekly and monthly email marketing campaigns to clients, prospects, and industry leaders.
  • Direct mail campaigns to clients through Sendoutcards.com.
  • Writing and posting monthly press releases on website and through PRWeb.
  • Producing and posting helpful YouTube videos for the staffing industry.
  • Directing AST’s social media presence on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Weekly and monthly email and website analytical reporting.
  • Webinars and association speaking engagements on technology and social media.

AST continues to devote more and more time and resources to Internet marketing because of its low cost (excluding time), the ROI thus far, and ability to directly interact with target audience (staffing executives and managers).

How Does an Internet Marketing Internship Fit into the Mix?

AST is a small business, so everyone wears multiple hats.  In addition to marketing, Everett is involved with project management and account management.  Additional hands are needed to help in the following areas:

  • Keyword and SEO research using Google’s Keyword Research Tool.
  • Search engine optimizing the content that Everett and other AST employees write for main website and blogs.
  • Formatting the content that Everett writes for distribution on Mad Staffing Blog, email campaigns, and through other channels such as PRWeb.
  • Keeping our email database up-to-date and carving it up into additional segments: type of staffing firm, women-owned, geographic, etc…
  • Monitoring conversations on Twitter and Linkedin that AST should be aware of and could potentially participate in, or encourage clients to participate in.
  • Edit and posting some of the video content that AST produces on YouTube and blog.
  • Researching other tools and areas of social media that either intern or Everett sees value in potentially adopting.
  • Potentially work one-on-one with AST staff members to build out their Linkedin profiles and maybe even Twitter profiles.
  • Post updates on AST’s Facebook Fan Page and Twitter profile.
  • Potentially contribute content for the Mad Staffing Blog, Squidoo pages, Linkedin discussions, and even Wikipedia.

Requirements

We are looking for applicants with the following skills, experience, and disposition:

  • Microsoft Office products, especially Word and Excel.
  • Some college-level marketing coursework and/or experience.
  • Comfort and familiarity with social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and blogging).
  • Creative and business-writing experience.
  • Ability to do a thorough job on structured tasks such as maintaining an email database, while being able to do more open-ended research and writing assignments.
  • Familiarity with HTML, basic video editing, and graphic design experience is a plus.

Other Details About Internship

  • This is an unpaid internship.
  • 10 to 20 hours per week.
  • Flexible hours.
  • This is a “remote internship”: meetings will take place in public places, coffee shops, or on campus in areas with Wi-Fi.  Most of the work can be done remotely.
  • Intern can use their own laptop, or a laptop can be provided.

If Interested…

Email your resume to Everett Reiss at ev@astusa.com, and in the body of the email explain why this internship interests you and why you would be a good candidate for it.

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Quoted – Continued jobless claims drop 255,000; experts not optimistic

The Frances Perkins Building, the U.S. Departm...
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The number of people collecting continued unemployment benefits dropped by 255,000 in the week ending June 5, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday.

According to the report, 4.5 million people filed continued insurance claims for unemployment, the lowest level since December 2008.

Continued claims reflect people who file each week after their initial claim until the end of standard benefits, which usually last 26 weeks but have been repeatedly extended during the recession. The figures do not include people who have exhausted their benefits or stopped looking for work.

Initial jobless claims for benefits fell by 3,000 to 456,000 from last week’s revised figure of 459,000 claims. The number includes only initial or first-time claims made by laidoff workers.

Initial claims hit 597,000 one year ago and continued insured unemployment totaled 6.5 million.

“The economic growth numbers aren’t negative, but the recovery keeps slowing down,” said Scott Testa, assistant professor of business at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, Penn., in an interview. “It does help to some point that the government is providing so many Census jobs, but what we need to get out of this is good, full-time permanent jobs.”

Employers added 431,000 jobs in May, but 411,000 of those were temporary U.S. Census positions.

“Realistically, I don’t see a major uptick in private-sector hiring until around January 2011,” Testa said.

On a state-by-state basis, Illinois was among the highest in initial claims with 909 new claims. Florida, California, Arizona and Georgia saw the biggest increase with more than 1,000 new claims.

Layoffs in Florida among several industries drove up new claims by 3,460.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=166695

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Quoted – National initial jobless claims fall for second straight week; Illinois’ claims rise

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The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits last week fell 10,000 from the week prior, its second straight week of decline, as the economy continues its flirtation with expansion.  Initial jobless claims for Illinois increased, however, as the state’s employment picture remained dreary.

The advanced seasonally adjusted amount of initial jobless claims was 453,000 for the week ended May 29, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday, down 10,000 from the previous week’s revised figure. That was slightly lower than economists surveyed by Bloomberg LP were expecting.

“This is going to be a long-term trend,” stressed Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.  Testa was hesitant to draw positive conclusions from this week’s report, suggesting employers are unlikely to boost their hiring until 2011.  “Very little hiring gets done during the summer,” he said, though he expects a hiring “uptick” in January and February.

The residential real estate market is still hurting, Testa said, and housing “touches a lot of points in the economy,” since it is indicative of consumer confidence and spending.

Yet, the retail industry is showing some positive signs, Testa said.  “The real litmus test is going to be the holiday season shopping,” he said.

Quarterly data on jobless claims is a stronger indication of the employment outlook, Testa asserted, because weekly numbers are constantly being revised.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=166271

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Quoted – A good fit in the market is key for clothes sellers

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What odds for survival would you have given the men’s store Mortar when it opened in March?

The store sells denim jeans from $189 to $330. Shirts are $100 to $220. The designer boutique is not on Post Oak Boulevard — it is in Montrose. And while the economy is picking up, the apparel retail industry is far from booming.

But for co-owners Iris Siff and Sacha Nelson, it’s a fine time to be in retail. They have already made plans to move their less than 3-month-old store at 1844 Westheimer to a nearby space almost three times the size.

If their initial solid business is an indication, the owners found a winning formula by focusing on upscale contemporary casual attire — they don’t sell suits — for men in their 30s and 40s while offering the same level of service one finds at a high-end store selling business clothes. Most of their lines are exclusives from emerging designers.

For a concept like Mortar to work, it does not have to reach large numbers of men, but it does need to convince its targeted shopper that what it offers is unique and relevant to his lifestyle, said Scott Testa, professor of business at Cabrini College near Philadelphia.

“If you can identify a really specific segment of the market and understand it and gain traction through word of mouth, you can explode,” Testa said. “As the saying goes, ‘There’s riches in niches.’”

For such businesses “there’s less price pressure because they’re looked upon as having things that are unique,” he said.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7027714.html

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Quoted – Leading indicators drop, experts still expect “sluggish” economic growth

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The Conference Board reported Thursday the Leading Economic Index fell 0.1 percent in April, the first drop in a year, after a 1.3 percent gain in March and a 0.4 rise in February.  Nevertheless, economists still expect slow but steady economic growth in the months to come.

April’s dip is a sharp contrast with the year-earlier month, when the index rose 1 percent following consecutive decreases in the previous six months.

The Conference Board is a business-supported research organization. Its Leading Economic Index, composed of 10 economic indicators, is designed to predict economic activity. Typically, three consecutive LEI changes in the same direction usually reflect a turning point in the economy.

“I think we’re starting to make some headway,” said Scott Testa, an economics professor at Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “It’s going to be a steady slow climb. We’re not going to see anything dramatic, however, until fall, or maybe until 2011.”

The most influential lagging indicator is the unemployment rate, Testa said, which is “probably what the Fed looks at most for the inflation rate.” He continued, “When the Fed sees momentum, it’s going to start looking at raising interest rates again.”

Testa has a hunch that consumers will see inflation occur in oil and energy. “Energy has been kept in check two to three months, but the summer driving season combined with the Gulf situation is going to cause a small blip in prices and have long term affects on the price of food.”
http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=164935

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Quoted – Fast Food Keeps Pushing Value Envelope

Taking the value menu down yet one more rung, Taco Bell has introduced a $2.00 combo meal featuring a taco or burrito, medium soft drink and a bag of Doritos. The move is seen as a direct strike at popular dollar menus at McDonald’s and other hamburger chains, where three items cost $3.

Commercials that began running Sunday even poke fun at the dollar menu. Taco Bell workers and customers are seen pondering how the chain can sell three items for $2, and assume one of the items must be “free.” The actors then argue about which item the freebie is.

Speaking to Walletpop.com, Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College, said fast food chains are using these deals as loss leaders and hoping consumers stock up on fuller-margin items.

“They get you in with the $2 promotion and while people are there they hope they will spend money on other areas such as some extra guacamole and up-sell them on those products,” he said.

http://www.retailwire.com/news/article.cfm/14514

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Quoted – Apple’s Leaky Vietnamese Connection

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Why so many Apple leaks from Vietnam? Once again, the Vietnamese blog Tinhte has revealed what could be a real-deal upcoming Apple product. The blog recently showed a new MacBook days before Apple announced it, as well as an iPhone prototype that looks very much like the 4th-gen device Gizmodo obtained last month. This time, Tinthe has shown an iPod touch with a 2MP camera.

Since tight control over new product information is an important part of Apple’s success strategy in its markets, this latest rash of leaks — multiple fourth-generation iPhones, information on MacBooks and now this supposed iPod — must be disturbing to the company. However, it shouldn’t be surprising, according to Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.

“If you’re a large company, and you’re outsourcing R&D and manufacturing, you’re going to have leaks,” he told MacNewsWorld. “That stuff is going to happen.”

While the Tinhte leaks may have minimal impact on Apple’s marketing strategy, Cabrini contended, that’s not the case with another lapse in the company’s information control: the obtaining of an iPhone prototype by the gadget website Gizmodo.

“Apple gains a lot marketing firepower from the secrecy of their products,” he asserted. “The loss of the prototype did much more damage than the other [leaks].”

While the Tinhte leaks may have minimal impact on Apple’s marketing strategy, Cabrini contended, that’s not the case with another lapse in the company’s information control: the obtaining of an iPhone prototype by the gadget website Gizmodo.

“Apple gains a lot marketing firepower from the secrecy of their products,” he asserted. “The loss of the prototype did much more damage than the other [leaks].”

http://www.macnewsworld.com/story/Apples-Leaky-Vietnamese-Connection-70042.html

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Wanted Students looking for Sales Position

Hi Dr. Testa,
I hope all is well with you and your students!
I wanted to send you a link to a great new opportunity for students seriously considering a job in sales. (Not marketing or PR, but actual selling.)
The internship reports to the Director of Sales at South Jersey Magazine.  The student selected for this experience will be able to job shadow the director, AND go out on the road with experienced sales reps to learn first hand how sales are done the South Jersey Magazine way.
It’s a fast turn-around time for candidates to apply, so if they’re able to get me a resume by this Wednesday, May 26 – or NO later than this Thursday morning before 1:00pm - I’ll be sure to include them in my reviews.
All the best to you and looking forward to staying in touch over the summer!

If you have any questions, please just let me know.

Cheers,
Sandy
Sandra Perilli
FolioFLY LLC, Founder
201-410-4320
www.foliofly.com (site in progress)
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Quoted – Lower energy prices leads to cheaper cost of living; inflation still in check

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The cost of living fell slightly in April, led by lower energy prices, a sign that inflation is still in check. But prices rose in the Midwest

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday a 0.1 percent decrease in the Consumer Price Index on a seasonally adjusted basis. The index for energy dropped 1.4 percent while food prices were essentially flat, up 0.2 percent. The core index remained stable.

“As long as unemployment continues to be stubborn, I think the Fed is going to stay on the sidelines for a while,” said Wai, who predicts flat interest rates for the year.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=164844

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Quoted – Time for a successor to Oprah? Who will it be? – Forbes

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Oprah, the media mogul who’s one of the most influential women in the world and also one of the richest, has reached a level of success that’s not easily replicated. But now that the queen of talk is pursuing a more behind-the-scenes role with The Oprah Winfrey Network, there may finally be room for a successor.

But it won’t be easy to fill her shoes. The key to Oprah’s vast wealth–Forbes estimates her net worth at $2.4 billion — has been in owning her brand. Her unique mix of drive, popular appeal and business savvy sets her apart from most mere talking heads.

“She has multiple revenue streams that allow her to leverage her brand better than anyone on this planet,” says Scott Testa, an entertainment industry consultant and marketing professor at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.

But she’s not the only one who has extended her media empire beyond a single talk show.

Rachael Ray got her start in 2001 as a chatty cook on the Food Network’s 30-Minute Meals. Today Ray hosts a syndicated hour-long talk show, The Rachael Ray Show, in addition to 30-Minute Meals and other specials for the The Food Network; she also publishes a magazine, Every Day With Rachael Ray. She’s written more than 20 cookbooks, has launched several successful food product lines and endorsements and created Yum-o, a nonprofit organization that provides food to needy families and funds cooking education and scholarships.

Testa calls Ray a “strong and interesting” candidate to be the next Oprah, adding that she’ll be especially successful if she expands her audience beyond foodies.

Could the next Oprah be a man?

Ryan Seacrest, Dr. Phil McGraw and Dr. Mehmet Oz could be considered top contenders. Now a household name, Seacrest hosts the mega-successful American Idol, hosts and produces shows on E!, has a syndicated radio show and reaches more than 3 million followers on Twitter. Meanwhile McGraw and Oz have cornered niche markets in daytime after getting their starts as experts on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Both launched hour-long talk shows that reach several million viewers per day, and have healthy online followings.

But Oprah is ultimately a feminine force, and it’s hard to imagine women connecting with these men with the same intensity. “It would be very hard for a male to do what she has done,” says Testa. “Her female audiences are very loyal to her, and they spend money on her magazine and the products she endorses.”

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100513/oprah-successor-forbes-100516/20100516

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Quoted – Target making inroads into Walmart’s base, survey finds

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Everyone loves to hate Walmart, and yet the Goliath has always been the undisputed retail leader with unbeatable prices and customer base. But could that be changing?

The other area where Target is scoring is store locations, said Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College.

“Walmart wants to be in the outskirts, where there’s not a huge population density,” Testa said in a phone interview. “Target is going where Walmart isn’t — more dense and urban locations.”

But Target still has a long way to go before it can surpass its towering opponent that offers eye-popping deals. For now it seems to be putting up a good fight.

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/05/05/target-making-inroads-into-walmarts-base-survey-finds/

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Quoted – Consumer confidence index reaches high, signaling economic recovery

Consumer confidence has reached its highest level since September 2008, another sign that the economic recovery is underway.

The Conference Board Inc.’s Consumer Confidence Index rose  5.6 points in April to 57.9 from 52.3 in March. The survey uses 1985 as a base year of 100.

It’s good news for everyone from homebuilders to store owners because higher confidence should result in more sales and consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of gross domestic product.

The persons polled who said business conditions are “good” rose to 9.1 percent from 8.5 percent a month  earlier, while those who said business conditions are “bad” declined only slightly to 40.2 percent from 42.1 percent.

The economy has been helped by tax relief legislation, said Scott Testa, an economics professor of Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “This is the first time home-buyers assistance from the federal government has driven the economy.”

Psychologically, people feel the economy is at the tail end of this recession, Testa said. “We’ve seen other numbers in check such as inflation and the sentiment is certainly more positive than it was a year and a half ago. People are less afraid of losing their jobs,” he said.

Consumers’ outlook improved from March. Those anticipating improved business conditions over the next six months increased to 19.8 percent from 18.0 percent.

The rising Consumer Confidence Index runs counter to a preliminary report on consumer sentiment released by the University of Michigan, based on a survey conducted in  mid-April, showing that sentiment declined from March to April.

While the two surveys ask similar questions, the sentiment survey is conducted via phone, while the confidence survey is conducted with written questionnaires given to more people. The full consumer sentiment report will be released Friday.

“There may not be a very statistically significant difference between last month and this month, there’s a lot of noise from month to month,” Barsky said.

The survey also suggests that while consumers are more optimistic about the job outlook, the proportion of consumers expecting an increase in incomes declined to 10.3 from 10.8 percent.

“I don’t know anyone who has received a pay increase,” Compall said.

People are still nervous, Testa said. “The big lagging indicator in any economy is usually the unemployment rate and it still hasn’t moved that much. Those indicators make people generally hesitant in some ways.”

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Quoted – Immigration law may cause AriZona Iced Tea to regret its name

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What’s in a name? There’s more to it than you might think as a certain New York beverage manufacturer found out recently.

AriZona Iced Tea found itself brewing in Arizona’s controversial immigration law that allow police to demand citizenship proof from people they think look like they are in the country illegally. The legislation has divided the country with one half shouting to boycott all things Arizona and the other celebrating the bold move. Caught in the mess is AriZona Iced Tea, whose only connection to it all is its name, which it shares with the state.

AriZona Iced Tea did the right thing by addressing the problem immediately and clarifying any misconceptions, said Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College.

“The worse thing you could do is bury your head in the sand and hope that something like this would go away,” Testa said in a phone interview. “In today’s day and age with communication and rumors spreading so rapidly, you have to move that much quicker to address any problem head on.”


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Quoted – 5 questions to ask before getting a credit card with an annual fee

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There’s no doubt about it: More credit card issuers are adding or increasing annual fees. But there are still plenty of no-fee options, so before you sign up for a new card with an annual fee, make sure the benefits are worth the costs.

Spurred by the Credit CARD Act and new Federal Reserve Board regulations that limit the types of fees that credit card issuers can impose, card issuers are looking to increase revenues by adding or raising annual and other fees. In fact, 35 percent of all credit card offers mailed to consumers in the last quarter of 2009 carried an annual fee, the highest percentage in the past decade, according to Synovate Mail Monitor, a direct mail tracker.

5. Have you done your research to get the best deal? If you’re looking for a new card and considering paying an annual fee, your due diligence should include comparing rewards cards that have a fee with those that don’t and calling customer service to get more information if there is something you don’t understand. Many credit cards don’t offer a lot of specific information about redeeming rewards on their websites and in mailings, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you get a new card.

If you already have a rewards card, check periodically to make sure the benefits you originally got the card for still exist, says Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “Credit card companies generally are not in the business to advertise what they’re taking away from you,” he says.

And make sure to call your card issuer and ask them to waive the fee every year, Testa adds. “You’ve got nothing to lose,” he says. “The worst case, they say no.”

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/help/5-key-questions-credit-card-annual-fee-6000.php

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Quoted – Powerball outmuscles Mega Millions in sales, jackpots – Philadelphia Inquirer

Mega Millions logo
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Powerball is on a roll.

Wednesday’s annuity jackpot got to be gigantic – $252 million – by leaving the main rival in the dust.

Both grew for 11 drawings, but the top prize in Mega Millions rose only to $143 million Tuesday night.

When states began selling both lotteries on Jan. 31, observers wondered how they’d fare head to head.

The verdict seems to be in.

Powerball is Coke, Hertz, Muhammad Ali. Mega Millions is Pepsi, Avis, Joe Frazier.

Pennsylvania directs its proceeds, after expenses, to services for the elderly. New Jersey puts most of its lottery revenue toward higher education.

This delayed payout works to Powerball’s advantage, though, because the annuities get the large type and the bigger hype, said business professor Scott Testa of Cabrini College in Radnor.

Powerball added to this edge early last year, when it boosted its starting jackpots to $20 million, topping Mega Millions’ minimum $12 million.

“It’s probably a pretty good strategy move by Powerball,” Testa said.

But a head start doesn’t explain all of the momentum.

In early February, when Powerball’s annuity rebooted to $20 million, Mega Millions was offering $32 million ($20 million cash) and yet a half-dozen drawings later, Powerball’s annuity nudged higher, hitting $114 million vs. $112 million.

Has to be some additional appeal.

One clear edge is the Power Play. Every Powerball jurisdiction has this multiplier option, including all 37 states that now also sell Mega Millions. But players in 10 highly populated double-sales states – including New Jersey and New York – have no such option. They declined to retool and add a similar, Texas-innovated selection called the Megaplier.

While Power Play proceeds don’t directly fuel jackpots – they go toward their extra payouts, Alvanitakis said – many multiplier fans have no choice but to favor Powerball.

In addition, a Power Play ticket automatically awards $1 million to anyone who matches all the numbers but the Power Ball. The number drawn as the multiplier doesn’t matter. The Megaplier can award $1 million only when it comes up 4.

But Testa suspects the best explanation for Powerball’s apparent preeminence is much simpler:

“It’s a better name. It has better brand recognition. More people recognize what it is,” the professor said.

So just as people go into stores and ask for Kleenex or Windex when other brands will do, lottery players tend to think and say Powerball, he said.

“The name Powerball seems to resonate better with lottery players.”

“When you’re talking about gambling, you’re talking about dreams and emotion, and logic usually doesn’t come into play, believe it or not,” Testa said.

“If you really were thinking logically, you wouldn’t gamble, because you know the odds are against you.”

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/pa/20100421_Powerball_outmuscles_Mega_Millions_in_sales__jackpots.html

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Quoted – Are performance reviews a waste of time? – New York Post

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Of all the workplace rituals abhorred by employees and management alike — meetings, team-building exercises, meetings — few are as despised as the employee performance review.

Workers resent being picked apart like a frog in a high school biology class, while managers rue the time it takes away from their real jobs. Many look at employee reviews the way middle-aged folks look at their birthdays: grateful it happens only once a year.

Damn the torpedoes, many companies insist on doing them. But some experts are saying “Enough!”

Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College, agrees that “Historically, they’ve been very good in regard to evaluating and keeping workers on the right track.

“Ultimately, the reviews are not only good for the employer, but for the employees to show where they stand,” he says.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/jobs/grade_35x4nH5k3YTDlsXbcr1OiO#ixzz0lp9eTK3y

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Quoted – PBS39 pins future on new studios The public television station is approved to build $17 million media production center

PBS39 pins future on new studios

The public television station is approved to build $17 million media production center

”Diversification of revenue is a key strategy for any nonprofit,” WITF Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Pavelko said.

But Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Delaware County, said a public television station having space doesn’t guarantee it will generate revenue. The nonprofit stations are competing with for-profit studios that are veterans at renting out space to companies and nonprofits.

http://articles.mcall.com/2010-04-09/news/all-a1_4pbs.7227345apr09_1_new-studios-videos-station/2

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Quoted – Consumer pay a little more in March, inflation not yet problem

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Consumer pay a little more in March, inflation not yet problem

Prices paid by consumers in March rose slightly, a sign that inflation has not yet become a serious problem for the U.S. economy.

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last month, according to a Wednesday report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“I think the Fed should keep interest rates low,” said Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College. “I think to raise interest rates now would be a little premature.”

However, others think the Fed’s current policy on interest rates will be unsustainable in the future.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=162995

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Quoted – Point of Sale – Portfolio.com

NEW YORK - MAY 20:  In this photo illustration...
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Many a retailer offer their own credit cards, hoping to lure in shoppers who may not be able to purchase in cash. But do the benefits of offering a dedicated line of credit outweigh the risks?

Go into the fitting room at a major retailer and you’ll see an ad for its own branded credit card touting benefits from cardholder special-savings days (like Tuesdays at the Gap)—promises of exclusive sales and discounts.

But with so many credit delinquencies and defaults hitting lenders, why would retailers want to expose themselves to that kind of risk? “Credit is a source of revenue,” says Scott Testa, a retail consultant and Professor of Business Administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “And most chains outsource the actual processing to larger banks. Home Depot’s consumer card, for example, is managed by Citibank. In terms of exposure, depending on how the retailer structures the deal with the bank, the stores can be minimally exposed to risk.”

“If they’re outsourcing the operation to a bank, the costs are relatively low because a major lending facility will already have financing on a major scale in place,” Testa says. “If they decide to keep it in-house, companies need to account for computers, credit processing, customer-service professionals, mailings, and other miscellaneous office supplies.”

“Since banks have been dealing with so many losses on consumer cards, they might hold stores partially responsible for costs associated with loss, especially in the case of stolen and unauthorized credit use,” says Testa referring to what’s known as “charge backs” in the industry. If a store accepted a stolen card and has a signature on file for the transactions, the credit issuer can—and usually does—share the burden with the retailer.

The other elusive element is customer service. “Since this is a service that has to be managed, it’s important that the retailer aligns with a bank or credit agency that it trusts to accurately portray the store and its values in a positive way,” Testa adds. Agents must be knowledgeable about the products sold, reflect the service standard of the company they represent, and embody its core culture, experts say.

http://www.portfolio.com/resources/2010/04/08/the-value-of-store-branded-credit-cards

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Quoted – Consumer credit unexpectedly declines to 3-month low

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Consumer credit unexpectedly declines to 3-month low

Borrowing by U.S. consumers decreased in February, more than economists anticipated, a sign consumers are still reluctant to take on debt without continued improvement in the job market.

Consumer credit, encompassing credit card debt and non-revolving loans, decreased $11.5 billion, or 5.5 percent at an annual rate, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.  Economists polled by Bloomberg LP estimated a decrease of only $700 million.

The February measure is just another indication that consumer spending, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of economic activity, will continue to stay put until households begin to feel more optimistic about the labor market.

Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, Pa., said that despite the encouraging news on the job front, job security is still hampering consumer spending. “People are much more frugal when they know they are going to lose their jobs, or they are already out of work,” said Testa, who pointed to the importance of credit to the success of the U.S. economy. “We are a nation of credit cards, we love buying,” said Testa. “Unfortunately that puts us in a position where we have high debt levels.”

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=162693

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Quoted – Bottoms-up tomato gardening lucrative, but productive? – Philadelphia Inquirer

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Bottoms-up tomato gardening lucrative, but productive?

It sounds a bit like a pet rock for gardeners, but consumers seem to love the upside-down Topsy Turvy tomato planter, which has been sprouting all over the marketplace.

Bill Felknor, a folksy inventor from Knoxville, Tenn., has sold millions of his curious creations since they first appeared on QVC in 2003 – more than seven million last year alone, making it one of the most popular gardening products ever introduced.

It’s a natural – times three, according to Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College in Radnor, who grows tomatoes the old-fashioned way.

Like any consumer group, he said, a certain percentage of gardeners are on the hunt for the hot new thing. With the increased interest in home vegetable gardens, even folks with little or no green space want to get growing. And the idea of being able to do this without getting dirty or having to weed . . .

“That’s kind of the holy grail for gardeners, isn’t it?” asked Testa, who has done consulting for firms that make novelty items, produce infomercials, and sell on QVC.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/89856262.html

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Interviewing Skills for Success – Free Seminar at Cabrini

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Interviewing Skills for Success Free Seminar at Cabrini

Dear Cabrini Professors, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is having two seminars this month at Cabrini College, led by students of Cabrini College Chapter of SHRM.  All junior and senior business students are welcomed to attend these events. It would be greatly appreciated if you can make an announcement in your classes to help get the word out.  Below is a brief summary of the seminars. I will also stop by your office tomorrow Tuesday, April 6th in the monring to drop off flyers for any students interested in taking one. SHRM presents “Interviewing Skills for Success” Seminars. The first seminar will be held on Thursday, April 8th at 6:30pm in the Iadarola Center lecture hall . Human Resource Professionals from the Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (GVFHRA) will lead a discussion on the best, most effective interviewing tips that can help you ace an interview. The second seminar will be held on Thursday, April 22nd at 6:30pm in the Library Conference Room.  At this time, attendees from the first seminar will be able to practice their interviewing skills by participating in mock interviews led by Cabrini College’s senior HR students. Participants are asked to dress professionally and bring a resume. Interviews will last approximately 20-30 minutes with time for feedback commentary on what the interviewee did well and needs improvement. Thank you for helping in spread the word of these two great seminars!

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Quoted – The Ladies’ Turn – Wall Street Journal

Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...
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The Ladies’ Turn

When it comes to house hunting, Kim Sliney is the first to admit she can be picky. The 46-year-old interior designer just couldn’t see herself living in small, chopped-up rooms. Or being happy in boxy interiors adorned with blah bathroom tiles and Formica counters. After visiting—and vetoing—37 houses, the single mom from Exeter, R.I., happened upon her just-right fit: a newly built, $350,000 home that boasted a spacious-feeling layout, killer walk-in closets and custom details like crown molding, granite countertops and a gas fireplace—for no extra charge. How did she stumble into this particular development? She was driving around in the area and saw a woman-centric sign on the entrance. “It was very intriguing,” says Ms. Sliney.

Men may think they run the world, but it’s women who are now getting the royal treatment from the housing industry. Indeed, say housing market watchers, builders are now strenuously working to win the hearts—and checkbooks—of female buyers. And with the economy punishing the sexes unevenly, single women have become an especially important force to be reckoned with in real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, they now sign on the dotted line in nearly a quarter of all U.S. home deals—up from 14% in 1995.

And home hassles aside, skeptics say some of the marketing flurry around women is half-baked. Part of the problem, says Scott Testa, a marketing professor at Cabrini College, is that the real estate industry has been a late adopter of modern marketing techniques. Its fairly recent desire to learn what customers want simply leads to better design—like kitchens opening up into family rooms—which isn’t necessarily woman-centric. “More people like open design,” Mr. Testa says. “Whether that’s a woman preference, I don’t know that as a fact.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304871704575160112777930360.html?mod=WSJ_Commercial_sections_BuyingAndSelling

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Quoted – Sorry, friends, it’s Lent

Facebook, Inc.
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Sorry, friends, it’s Lent

For some Christians, giving up Facebook has become the chosen form of self-denial

Third-grade teacher Margaret Plasmier asks her students in religion class to think about the sacrifice of Jesus and use him as a model during Lent to decide what they could do without and what they can do for someone else.

She hopes her Immaculate Heart of Mary Schoolstudents will become better people because of the discipline of sacrificing something, and she hopes the same for herself.

So she’s given up Facebook.

And she’s not alone. A random survey of readers and friends found dozens who had forsaken the social networking site until Easter, raising the question: Is doing without Facebook the 21st-century spiritual equivalent of fasting?

Traditionally, fasting and other sacrifices are undertaken by Christians to prepare themselves for Holy Week, which commemorates the sorrow of Jesus’ death and the glory of his resurrection on Easter.

Many people choose to give up a vice or luxury — candy, sodas, movies, snacks, smoking — and use the money or time to help someone else.

And these technologies will evolve in unexpected ways, says Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College, in Radnor, Pa.

“We’ve only touched the surface in terms of functionality,” he says.

Today’s Facebook, he says, is like Pong — the early and simple tennis-like video game. Look how sophisticated video games have become, Testa says.

“It will be interesting to see 100 years from now how all this will change us,” he says.

He believes the positives will far outweigh the negatives, though, he says, people will need to use the technologies wisely.

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20100328/LIFE/3280312

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Cabrini Com. Dept. to host annual career panel of Philly Ad Club, Tuesday, April 6, 6-7:30 p.m. Widener Lecture Hall

Careers in Advertising & Communications: Where The Jobs Are! And the exclamation point is there for a reason. To proclaim that, at long last, there are signs that the outlook for jobs in advertising and communication are improving. Lots of different types of jobs in a wide range of companies are out there for students majoring in advertising, communications, marketing, and related disciplines, and these events will help you find them.

The event features a panel of advertising and communication professionals—drawn from ad agencies, media buying firms, PR firms, and media companies—discussing the questions that are top-of-mind for students, such as:

  • How do I get an internship? How do I land that first full-time job?
  • What can I do to make myself a more desirable candidate to potential employers?
  • What’s the best place to work? Ad agency vs. media company? Agency or in-house? Big vs. small agency? Philly vs. New York City?

And the panelists will stay around after the formal discussion to network with you and answer your questions one-on-one.

All area college students are welcome to attend.  Registration will open the week of March 22; we’ll contact you via email to let you know.

Follow Philly Ad Club Students on the Web:

We’re building an online community for Philly Ad Club Students. You can become a fan of our Facebook page and learn about upcoming events, see photos, and post your own comments. We’re also on YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Students, faculty, and career services professionals—members and non-members—you’re all invited. Here’s the info you’ll need to get started:

Facebook page: Philly Ad Club Students
YouTube channel: Youtube.com/phillyadclubstudents
LinkedIn.com group: Search groups for Philly Ad Club Students
Twitter: @PACStudents

And of course, you can also contact us via email at students@phillyadclub.com.

http://www.phillyadclub.com/event_article.php?id=1659

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Help Wanted – PR Internship

Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building You...
Image by stevegarfield via Flickr

This company has been around @3 years and is devoted to helping consumers address business complaints for any company, more quickly. He’s gotten some good press, he’s gotten some “other” press. He’s looking for a student/students to help get his name “out there”, maybe get him some interviews and at minimum be covered in a positive light by some bloggers.

I know it’s later in the school season, but if you or another teacher you know is interested in connecting with him, I believe we can even arrange a stipend for the students that assist.
sperilli@foliofly.com

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Help Wanted – Marketing Professor – Stevenson University

Help Wanted – Marketing Professor – Stevenson University

fashionmerchandisngjobdescription

Quoted – Does D.C. have it in for Toyota?

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Does D.C. have it in for Toyota?

Washington stands accused of launching a self-serving witch hunt into Toyota’s spectacular fall from grace — thanks, in part, to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who warned Americans to stop driving all recalled Toyota vehicles before facts forced him to admit his advice was unwarranted. Indeed, with support from the governors of Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and Mississippi, which all house Toyota plants, more than a few observers now wonder if public ownership of General Motors and Chrysler influenced the decision to hold congressional hearings into Toyota’s product woes.

Whatever the case, attitudes toward Toyota are clearly harsher in the States than Canada. (In this country, sales actually jumped 25% last month, despite federal rumblings about the need for a political probe.) “When people were dying from tampered Tylenol in the ’80s,” says American business professor Scott Testa, who teaches at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, “Johnson & Johnson pulled the product and gave everybody money back. And they stopped advertising. But I am still seeing ads for Toyota minivans. That’s insanity.”

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/managing/strategy/article.jsp?content=20100412_10006_10006

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Presenting at the American Institute of Higher Education on March 18

I am presenting my paper “How Green Marketing affects Corporate Strategy” in Williamsburg, VA this Thursday, March 18.

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Quoted – Amazon vs. Apple: Battle of the books – MSN

Apple Inc.
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Amazon vs. Apple: Battle of the books

With its new iPad, Apple is taking aim at Amazon’s core business and its Kindle book reader. Can the ‘e-tail’ pioneer keep up as books, music and movies go all-download?

Amazon.com has come out on top in the digital revolution that’s moving sales of books — as well as compact discs, DVDs and lots of other products — online.

But there’s a second digital uprising afoot, and some experts think Amazon won’t fare as well — and could lose a sizable chunk of its core bookselling business.

Any Amazon losses would likely be gains for Apple which could do to its “e-tail” rival what Amazon has been doing to brick-and-mortar competitors.

Apple’s chief weapon in this battle of online giants — the iPad — will be rolled out April 3, with preorders starting March 12. Among the many things people will be able to do with these flat touch-screen computers: download and read digital books from Apple’s new iBookstore.

One of the main reasons Apple dominates music is the popularity of its iPod players and its music-playing iPhone. Lots of companies make music players, but Apple dominates so thoroughly that “iPod” is nearly a generic term.

Though we won’t know for sure until it hits the market, with its smooth interface and bright color screen, the iPad seems sure to be a comfortable way to read books, believes Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in the Philadelphia area and an avid Kindle user. “The iPad is going to blow the Kindle away as far as ease of use and the quality of the screen,” he says.

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