Is this the end of the Davis Cup road for Leander Paes?

first_imgIndian tennis world is abuzz with Mahesh Bhupathi coming back into the Davis Cup fold after six long years. The veteran has not played a Davis Cup tie since 2011 and after the London Olympics selection fiasco, was even suspended along with Rohan Bopanna, from selection in team. He never got a chance again as his relationship with AITA reached another acrimonious crescendo. (Latest Sports stories)But on Thursday, the former world number one doubles player was confirmed as India’s next non-playing captain. He will take over from Anand Amritraj but only from the tie after next one, in September 2017.AITA says this is to ensure Anand gets a farewell tie, but that makes little sense as Anand’s term has come to an end and there is no need for a farewell of sorts. It seems this has been done rather to ensure the paths of Bhupathi and Leander Paes don’t cross.Paes is currently tied with Nicola Pietrangeli of Italy with 42 Davis Cup doubles wins. Another win against New Zealand in the next tie and he will hold the record for most wins outright. It looks like he could hang his Davis Cup boots post that.Last tie against Spain in Delhi in September, Paes was categorical to say many times that he is playing for the records. He’s got his 7 Olympics and now could get the Davis Cup record too. Paes has had a few rough months on the men’s doubles circuit with his rankings tanking and being forced to play challenger level events. While no one can be sure when he retires, it is closer than ever before.advertisementIf all goes to plan, Paes will exit and former estranged partner Bhupathi will take over the reigns as captain, free from the baggage of their past fights and to build his own team. Bhupathi’s wealth of experience can be crucial to a young team but it can certainly do without the ego tensions between two veterans.The tone and tenor of the AITA secretary general, Hironmoy Chatterjee’s media interaction while announcing this decision repeatedly suggested Paes is no longer a cinch to make the team. “Whether Leander is in the team when Bhupathi takes over, we don’t know. That selection will happen when we get to that tie and we will cross that bridge when we get to it.”Coach Zeeshan Ali, who’s tenure has been extended for two more years, echoed the same. “Leander is part of this team for next tie while Mahesh only takes over from next one. So let’s see how this goes before we get to the next one.”What will also be interesting to see is if Rohan Bopanna will come back into the team under Bhupathi after being overlooked for the next one.last_img read more


first_imgSaina, who has been struggling with her fitness post her Saina, who has been struggling with her fitness post her knee surgery which crushed her Olympic dream, showed signs of coming back to her best as she defeated Jindapol, Sung Ji and Cheung. But she lost to Marin in the league stage before succumbing to compatriot Sindhu in the semis. Unheralded Satwiksairajs rise was another positive that came out of the tournament as the 16-year-old from Andhra Pradesh showed that he has the mettle to take on the might of more experienced pairs. Satwik, along with his partner Hoi Wah Chau, dished out some splendid performances against Mumbai Rockets Yong Dae Lee and Nadiezda Zieba and Delhi Acers Jwala Gutta and Vladimir Ivanov. Among teams, Delhi Acers disappointed the most as the defending champions ended at the bottom of the points table with just eight points. Delhi were hurt badly by the lack of depth in womens singles as Jindapol and Tanvi Lad were no match for their illustrious opponents. Jwala and Vladimir Ivanovs lack of form meant they lost three of their mixed doubles matches. Jorgensen, who was the third costliest buy for Rs. 59 lakhs, and Koreas Son Wan Ho also could not live upto the expectations. Delhi were also affected by the 11-point scoring format and travelling schedule which affected the performances of their top shuttlers. “From a players perspective, when you shorten the game, the technique of the player goes for a toss. Personally, I am not really up for the 11-point scoring system as the quality of badminton will surely go down,” said Jwala Gutta, who played for Delhi Acers. Delhis star shuttler Jorgensen said: “I think we had a tough schedule as we were travelling after every tie and it affects performance sometimes. Prasad Mangipudi, director of Sportzlive, who holds the exclusive license rights for the League in India, said planning the travelling schedule of the teams was a challenge in such a small window. “Our biggest hurdle is the window. It is a tough challenge to travel to five cities with six teams and also it is New years time, Christmas time so many player from countries such as China, Korea and Japan are not willing to play at this time. But our ambition is to make this league so rich in 4-5 years time that no player can afford to miss it,” he said. “So we are planning to have more teams. Already 4-5 cities are interested. Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kolkata and Pune are interested. So we have will sit down and evaluate before taking a call.” PTI ATK PDS ATKadvertisementlast_img read more


first_imgSaying his confidence has gone up after the greatSaying his confidence has gone up after the great knock for a winning cause in Chennai, Nair explained he never even thought about the subsequent ODI series against England, in progress, for which he was not picked.”Obviously, confidence increases when you score runs at the international level. You have more belief that you can do more at that level.”I was not expecting anything. It is the selectors call. All I can do is to keep scoring runs. It is up to them to pick me or not. I am really not thinking of those things. I dont have any expectations. It is the beginning of my career and I am working hard and waiting for the opportunities.”Conceding there would be pressure of expectations now from the public, Nair said he was more eager to live up to his own expectations.”That is going to be there. I have my own expectations and like to stick with them and not worry about expectation of others. That way, I dont really think about the outside part.”I have been working hard. It is all about getting the opportunity and using that opportunity to the maximum and doing well for the country and making the team win.””I was just hoping to get some runs. The team was under pressure in that situation when we lost (team captain) Virat (Kohli). That motivated me to do better,” said Nair about his grand innings.advertisement”Everyone was really happy that I could do really well and they were just congratulating me and told me to keep going,” he remarked.Asked about his muted celebration after reaching a rare landmark, he said that was the way he was always.”It is just the way I am. I dont want to change. I dont want to be someone that I am not. Whatever happens on the field is just how I am always.””There were not any special kind of celebrations. Just normal,” he replied when asked whether there were any celebrations back home. PTI SSR NRBlast_img read more

Normalcy restored in TN,NHRC notice to govt on police excess

first_imgChennai, Jan 24 (PTI) Normalcy today returned at the Marina here and elsewhere in Tamil Nadu, a day after violence broke out following the police crackdown on pro-jallikattu protesters even as more than 100 people were arrested in connection with the incidents.Buses, autos and taxis were plying as usual and there were no untoward incident reported from anywhere, police said.Additional police pickets were posted in sensitive areas here, especially the Triplicane locality abutting Marina Beach, the epicentre of the week-long protests, and Alanganallur in Madurai.In related developments, the national and state human rights forums took suo motu cognisance of alleged police excesses during the crackdown and issued notices to the government.Police said over 100 people were arrested in connection with yesterdays violence when sections of the protesters fought pitched battle with the police here while being dispersed from the Marina. More than 90 police personnel were injured in the violence.The arrests were made for allegedly indulging in rioting, arson, stone pelting, torching of vehicles and unlawful assembly, police said.Chennai, which was badly affected yesterday with road blockades and suspension of bus services in the aftermath of the violence, returned to normalcy much to the relief of common man.”Most of the small group of protesters who had yesterday refused to disperse from Marina Beach have left with only some continuing to stay put,” a senior police official told PTI.Civic workers are working in full swing to clean up the beach area in view of the coming Republic Day celebrations.advertisementTraditionally, Republic Day parades happen on Rajaji Salai along the beach.The jallikattu protests, predominantly by students, ended yesterday after the Tamil Nadu assembly passed a bill replacing the ordinance for the conduct of the bull taming sport. (MORE) PTI VGN VS TVS VS SMJlast_img read more

PM welcomes participants of T20 World Cup for blind

first_imgNew Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today welcomed and extended best wishes to all the teams participating in the T20 World Cup for the blind being hosted by India and said it will popularise cricket among the visually-handicapped.”A warm welcome & best wishes to all the teams & supporting staff who have come to participate in the T20 World Cup for the Blind 2017,” he tweeted.”The T20 World Cup will showcase quality sporting talent among the players & will popularise cricket among blind persons,” the Prime Minister added.10 teams are participating in the tournament which started today. Matches will be held in a number of cities across the country. The final will be held on February 12. PTI AKK AKKlast_img

Yuzvendra Chahal a product of Indian Premier League: Sourav Ganguly to India Today

first_imgYuzvendra Chahal took six wickets for 25 runs as India bowled England out for just 127 to win their third T20I by 75 runs on Wednesday, securing a 2-1 victory in the three-match series. (Never dreamt of taking six-wicket haul, says Yuzvendra Chahal)Chasing 203 for victory, a spectacular batting collapse by England saw it bowled out in 16.3 overs – with the last eight wickets falling for just eight runs and six players failing to score. (Yuzvendra Chahal second bowler after Ajantha Mendis to take six-wicket haul in T20 InternationalsChahal became the first Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul in T20Is, and he also took the third-best figures in the shortest format. Only Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis has achieved a six-wicket haul before him, twice, with figures of 6-8 against Zimbabwe (2012) and 6-16 against Australia (2011). (Bengaluru T20I: Chahal’s record haul of 6/25 sets up India’s third successive series win over England)Former India captain Sourav Ganguly credited the Indian Premier League for the rise of Chahal. The 26-year-old Chahal plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.”Chahal is also a Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler. So, he knows this surface as much as anybody else does. T20 cricket has been a product of the IPL and Chahal has been a product of the IPL. He has got better and better by bowling in the IPL. He knows exactly what to do. It’s a terrific effort. IPL has had great effects on India’s T20 side and you have seen a lot of players come out of that format and do well for India,” Ganguly to India Today.advertisement’INDIA WERE OUTSTANDING'”India were outstanding tonight. After that over of Jasprit Bumrah in Nagpur in the previous game, they were a different side. They just smashed England out. When you get 202 run on the board, very seldom you lose cricket matches. England were not good and they haven’t been good for a long, long while except 2012.”‘HOPE DHONI KEEPS COMING AT NO.4’In this format, hope Dhoni floating up and not down. That’s what is important for India and give him time. Even in overseas conditions, give him 10-11 overs so that he sets in. And that’s how he can be dangerous. If you keep giving him 10-11 deliveries, he can’t do that. So, it’s a great decision by Virat Kohli and I hope he keeps him at No.4last_img read more

JK Tyre Himalayan drive flagged off from Siliguri

first_imgIndia’s first and only tri-nation rally gets under way here on Saturday, with as many as 100 top rallyists from around the country competing in this gruelling event over five days and 1250 treacherous kilometres.The Biswa Bangla JK Tyre Himalayan Drive 5 will begin on Sunday morning, after the ceremonial flag-off on Saturday, and will traverse through the majestic mountains in Darjeeling Hills and various picturesque routes in Bhutan and Nepal.While the TSD (Time, Speed and Distance) rally will test the skills and courage of the drivers and navigators, as also the mettle of their mean machines, it also aims to promote tourism and people to people connectivity between the three countries.Unlike most other rallies, the JK HD-5 covers a wide variety of terrain, ranging from tarmac, river beds, dirt tracks, forest paths and mountainous roads. It will skirt steep slopes that makes it not only challenging but also dangerous for the participants.Among others, national TSD champions Asgar Ali and Mohammed Mustafa, Nirav Mehta and Subir Roy and Saurav Chatterjee will be pitting themselves against the natural terrain as well as each other for glory.”We are really excited about the HD-5. It is India’s only international rally that goes into two other countries,” Sanjay Sharma, the head of JK Motorsport, said. “This is not only be a great opportunity for our top rallyists but will also give a huge boost to the sport in all three countries,” he added.On the first day, the rallyists will drive through North Bengal’s lush forests that are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including the Royal Bengal Tiger, the one-horned rhino and the Asiatic elephant, as well as past picturesque tea gardens before hitting the mountain road to Paro in Bhutan.advertisementOn the second, they will journey to Dochula Pass, situated at an altitude of 3100 metres, going past Thimphu, the enigmatic capital of Bhutan. They will then return to the quaint town of Paro that sits pretty in a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains.The rallyists drive back from Paro through the Dooars on the third day, and climb up the hills to reach Darjeeling, the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’. The fourth leg of the rally, on March 1, will see them driving from Darjeeling to Hile in Eastern Nepal.The last leg will have them driving from Hile back to Siliguri, where the gala prize distribution ceremony will take place in the evening.The JK HD-5 draws inspiration from chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee’s vision of ‘connecting Bengal’ to its neighbours and encouraging ‘people to people connectivity’ in the region.last_img read more

Pune Test done and dusted, look forward to Bengaluru: Anil Kumble

first_imgIndia coach Anil Kumble on Thursday said it was important to move ahead from the embarrassing defeat in Pune and focus on the Bengaluru Test to get back to winning ways against Australia.Australia won the first Test of the four-match series by 333 runs with two days to spare and snapped India’s 19-Test unbeaten run, shocking fans who expected the team to steamroll the visitors.Also watch: I consider Kohli as the best batsman right now in all formats: Michael ClarkeKumble felt his team needed to forget what happened in Pune and concentrate on making a comeback in the series in Bengaluru Test starting March 4. (Why Australia’s spinners won’t threaten India again in this series)”What has happened in Pune is done and dusted. We didn’t play really well, didn’t adapt to the conditions. Every game we need to adapt to what comes our way. Australia played well,” Kumble said at the press conference ahead of the second Test.”We don’t need to worry about the Pune loss. Really looking to forward to this game to get back to winning ways. It was a team failure and we cannot point fingers at anyone,” he added. (Can Virat Kohli’s India repeat 2001 heroics vs Australia? Harbhajan Singh and Nayan Mongia recall Kolkata miracle)Skipper Virat Kohli had blamed India’s batting – they were skittled for 105 and 107 – for the unexpectedly lopsided 333-run defeat.The former India captain, who took charge as the head coach in June last year, said his side will look to play as a unit in Bengaluru and tick the boxes which they failed to do in Pune. (Sourav Ganguly recalls 2001 miracle vs Australia at Eden Gardens)advertisement”Australia are a quality side. Don’t think we played to our potential in Pune. We want to play to our potential in this match. Partnerhsips as batting unit, bowling unit, didn’t tick those boxes. We want to tick those boxes to win the Test match,” he said.Before the Pune Test, India were on an unbeaten streak at home in the 20 previous matches, while Australia entered the series on a streak of nine losses in Tests played in Asia. (Pune pitch rated ‘poor’ by International Cricket Council)”You can’t keep winning every game. It has to come to an end. 20 games winning streak in international cricket is quite challenging. This team has able to do it. This team adapted to different situations but last game we did not and that’s why we lost,” Kumble said.The coach also made it clear that there was no question of dropping batsman Ajinkya Rahane from the playing XI after a single failure in Pune.Rahane got the nod in Pune ahead of Karun Nair, who slammed a triple hundred against England in the Chennai Test. However, Rahane’s poor performance in Pune, where he managed to score 13 and 18 in both innings, led to questions being asked on his place in the team. (India frugal with praise for Pune tormentor Steve O’Keefe)”There’s no question of dropping Ajinkya Rahane. He has scored well and has extremely successful. We still haven’t discussed the team composition. It is unfortunate that Karun Nair has missed out. That’s how the team composition goes.”That’s the beauty about this group. Whoever has come in, has done really well. Unfortunate for Karun, he is a class act. Our aim is to win every game,” he said.India were also found wanting in their choice of referrals in the match, losing all four reviews while fielding and managing to overturn one decision from the umpire out of three while batting. However, Kumble felt it was too early to question the team’s DRS usage.”Don’t think we missed it out on DRS. We did certainly better in DRS than England and Bangladesh. Those calls were really close. Don’t think we need to talk about it now,” Kumble said.last_img read more

Virat Kohli furious after Steve Smith tries to cheat

first_imgEmotions ran high in Bengaluru where India and Australia were tangled in a tense battle to win the second Test of a four-match series. Soon after India had been razed by Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, the visitors, chasing 188 lost openers David Warner and Matt Renshaw and first innings half-centurion Shaun Marsh.CLICK TO WATCH FULL VIDEOHowever, Australia seemed to be back on course for their modest chase as Steve Smith led the fight for the tourists with another gutsy innings. Umesh Yadav, introduced late into the attack, generating excellent pace as he attacked the stumps repeatedly. (Virat Kohli is rattled and feeling the heat: Steve Waugh)DRS – Dressing room review system? Smith tries to get some suggestions from the dressing room for a review #INDvAUS BCCI (@BCCI) March 7, 2017 In his fifth over, Umesh bowled a grubber and trapped Smith in front of the wickets. Umpire Nigel Llong immediately upheld a loud appeal by India. Smith, walked down the pitch to discuss with Peter Handscomb before opting for the DRS.However, things got heated when Smith looked up at the dressing-room for help with the referral. According to rules, players are not allowed to seek external help – they are only allowed to consult their batting partners at the other end. (Not right to comment on Virat Kohli’s rare failures: Sanjay Bangar)Understandably, Virat Kohli was furious with Smith’s attempt to bend the rules and the Indian captain rushed to the umpires. Llong ran up to Smith and told him he was not allowed to check a referral with the dressing-room, where technicicans and support staff have access to state-of-the-art technology.advertisementSmith walked off the field but Kohli was still angry with what his Australian counterpart tried to do. Australian commentators on air for Star at the time of the incident said Smith may not have been aware of the rules. (Kohli is suffering is brain fade, says Mark Waugh)But that is a little hard to believe given Smith is captain of the world’s second best Test team. He is the best batsman in Test cricket and rules are spelt out clearly in international cricket. Unlike India, Australia have used the DRS far longer.How this affects the relationship between the player for the rest of the series remains to be seen. Indian and Australian cricket teams have had an acrimonious past and this new bunch under Kohli does not believe in giving an inch.last_img read more

Digvijaya accuses BJP of horse-trading to reach majority mark

first_imgPanaji, Mar 12 (PTI) The Congress today claimed it has the numbers to form the government in Goa and alleged that the BJP was indulging in “horse-trading” to reach the majority mark.”The BJP has been involved in horse-trading, promising sums, ministries, corporations and SUVs to the non-BJP MLAs to get their support,” Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh alleged.”I have never seen in any other state where a political party which has been rejected outright, where the CM has lost, six ministers have lost, yet they are staking claim to form the government,” he told reporters here.”The BJPshould accept the defeat. The people of Goa have defeated the BJP,” said Singh who is here in Goa to oversee the partys affairs after counting of votes.Notably, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar bit the dust in Mandrem and submitted his resignation to Governor Mridula Sinha after his party finished way behind the simple majority mark.Besides the humiliating defeat of Parsekar, who lost by over 7,000 votes, six BJP ministers too were trounced.Singh said the Congress party is in touch with “the non-BJP MLAs to form the government.””We are also in touch with non-BJP MLAs and we are absolutely sure that we have the numbers on our side. We will definitely have over 21 MLAs with us,” he said.On attempts by BJP to retain power by cobbling up an alliance with smaller parties, Singh said he is surprised at the “hunger for power” of (Defence Minister) Manohar Parrikar and BJP.advertisement”I appreciate Parrikars deep commitment and love for the soil of Goa, but he should be sporting enough to accept the fact that the BJP has received drubbing under his leadership,” he said.”BJP was always claiming to be a party of morals and characters. Is this the moral and character of any political party?” he asked.Parrikar had said yesterday, “In the situation of a fractured mandate, everyone is in the race to form the government. We are also there. If BJP acts like a core group and brings together smaller parties, we can still give a stable government.”The Congress emerged as the single largest party in the state by winning 17 seats while the BJP bagged 13.Both the Congress and the BJP are trying to woo the smaller parties to form government in the 40-member House, where the majority mark is 21.The MGP, the Goa Forward Party and the independents won three seats each while the NCP bagged one seat in the state. PTI RPS GK RAXlast_img read more

Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara star as Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh in final ODI to level series

first_imgSeamer Nuwan Kulasekara picked up four wickets to help Sri Lanka register a comfortable 70-run win in the third and final one-day international against Bangladesh on Saturday and level the series at 1-1. (Scorecard)SPORTS WRAPHalf-centuries from Kusal Mendis and Thisara Perera took the hosts, who lost the opening ODI in Dambulla, to 280 for nine in their 50 overs after Bangladesh won the toss at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.Kulasekara’s double strike at the start hampered Bangladesh’s chase as the touring side were reduced to 11-3 and they never recovered before being bundled out for 210 in the 45th over.Kulasekara struck twice in his first two overs to send back Tamim Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman while test captain Mushfiqur Rahim was out lbw first ball to paceman Suranga Lakmal.All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and opener Soumya Sarkar put together a quickfire partnership of 77 for the fourth wicket before the latter fell to off-spinner Dilruwan Perera.Shakib made 54 but his dismissal to Dilruwan effectively ended Bangladesh’s hopes of a series victory.Sri Lankan captain Upul Tharanga and Bangladeshi captain Mashrafe Mortaza pose with the trophy. (AP Photo)Mehedi Hasan Miraz delayed Sri Lanka’s win with 51, his second half-century in ODIs, before he was out to the first ball of Kulasekara’s third spell. The seamer also dismissed Taskin Ahmed to finish with figures of 4-37 in 7.3 overs.Earlier, captain Upul Tharanga and Danushka Gunathilaka gave the hosts a brisk start with an opening partnership of 76 before both were dismissed in quick succession.advertisementThe 22-year-old Mendis, who scored 102 in the rain-disrupted second ODI in Dambulla, continued his strong form with a well-made 54.Sri Lanka looked good for a big total but lost their way in the middle after the runouts of Dinesh Chandimal and Milinda Siriwardana.Chandimal’s knock was cut short at 21 when he was out in bizarre fashion with Mushfiqur Rahim removing the bails when the batsman had lifted his bat after having initially grounded it in the crease.Thisara’s 40-ball 52, which included four fours and a six, gave Sri Lanka’s innings late momentum.last_img read more

Manchester United cruise to victory vs Sunderland

first_imgManchester United put a spate of recent draws behind them to boost their top-four hopes with a routine 3-0 victory at bottom club Sunderland to move fifth in the Premier League on Sunday.Once again it was veteran Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic who provided the inspiration for Jose Mourinho’s side, scoring the opener and setting up a late goal for Marcus Rashford.Henrikh Mkhitaryan was also on target while Sunderland had Seb Larsson sent off shortly before halftime.Six draws in their last nine league games had eroded United’s hopes of a top-four finish and victory over Sunderland was imperative if they were to stay in touch.They were frustrated for 30 minutes but once Ibrahimovic produced a clinical finish for his 28th goal of the season in all competitions they were untroubled.”The result was good. We resisted the results of yesterday when Manchester City and Liverpool won, they left us in a position of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It was ‘yes’,” Mourinho, whose side moved above Arsenal and are four points behind Manchester City with a game in hand, told Sky Sport.”We got three points and it was a solid display. It was against a team that is sad, it’s normal. Against a team that is sad, if you score before then it’s difficult for them to react.”You could feel the negative feeling around the team. That is felt with a team close to relegation.”Sunderland have gone seven league games without scoring and with seven games remaining they are 10 points adrift of safety and seemingly doomed to relegation.advertisementManager Davis Moyes said Larsson’s red card for going in on high on Ander Herrera had killed the game.”I don’t want to blame referees for my position and us losing,” he said. “Today the result was helped by the referee.”Manchester United were playing well but it was a decision that went against us.”United took the lead at a sun-drenched Stadium of Light when Ibrahimovic, receiving the ball with his back to goal, shook off his marker and buried a low 20-metre shot past Jordan Pickford.Victor Anichebe went close to an equaliser but his close-range effort was blocked by United keeper Sergio Romero who was starting in place of the injured David de Gea.Any Sunderland hope disappeared with Larsson’s red card and 46 seconds after the break Mkhitaryan fired past Pickford.In the 89th minute Ibrahimovic combined with substitute Rashford who beat Pickford with a cross-shot for his first league goal since September.last_img read more

If content is king, how do you become king of content?

first_imgAll week, I’ve been talking about how much content matters. Here’s a guest post by the wonderful, savvy nonprofit marketing mind of Jono Smith on why – and how – to create content worth sharing.Credit: Social Signal.Marketing has done it again–we’ve created another catch-phrase. It’s alternately called content marketing, idea marketing, or thought leadership marketing. But hold on: marketing has always created content, and good marketing has always been about good content, so what’s so special about content marketing?In the spirit of Robin Hood Marketing, content marketing is a concept borrowed from the corporate world and now being utilized by nonprofit marketers. In a nutshell, content marketing is the art of understanding exactly what your target audience wants to know about your issue area and delivering it to them in a relevant and compelling way to. In its simplest form, it involves developing great content, making the content easy to find and engage with, using these engagement opportunities to demonstrate to your target audience that you are the thought leader in your issue area, and ultimately capturing, cultivating and converting prospects to donors.In the world of B2B and B2C marketing, it’s an article of research that bringing quality “thought leadership” ideas to prospects early in the buying process helps win business. For example, Whole Foods Market regularly publishes content (through its website, blog, Facebook Page, Twitter feed, print magazine, etc.) about natural and organic foods, presumably to position the Whole Foods brand as the world’s though leader in natural and organic foods.Is it working? In spite of a difficult economy, Whole Foods has experienced identical store sales growth of 6.4% over the past two years, and they are continuing to gain market share at a faster rate than most public food retailers. When asked why, their co-founder John Mackey said, “We attribute much of our success to … our initiatives in areas such as healthy eating, animal welfare and sustainable seafood. These initiatives are aligned with our core customer base and reinforce our position as the authentic retailer of natural and organic foods, further differentiating the Whole Foods Market shopping experience and making us the preferred choice for customers aspiring to a healthier lifestyle.”Now Whole Foods didn’t just decide they wanted to be a thought leader and talk it into existence with mediocre content marketing. They realized that they must have mind share before they could have market share. In other words, it’s not enough simply to identify a global (childhood obesity) or regional (conservation in Michigan) issue that your constituents are facing and develop content that explains it. You need to take a strong point of view on why it is an issue, what is going to happen, and how to deal with the ramifications. In addition, your point of view should be differentiated from competitors’ views, original, and perhaps even somewhat counter-intuitive.We can see from the Whole Foods example that there are two important components to operationalizing thought leadership: first, creating compelling ideas that map to your mission and case, and second, packaging those ideas into consumable content. So how do you formalize this? First, you need a single, focused goal to provide direction, motivation, and operational guidance. Here’s an example.Let’s say your thought leadership goal is to become a recognized leader in the area of Childhood Obesity, and the key results you are going to measure against are content consumption, keywords in Google’s top 10 rankings, earned media, house list growth, and new donor lead generation.To get started, you need to think like an editor and establish a publishing process. This process involves seven steps: 1. Identify (or validate) your target audience (for example: Mothers ages 35-54 of children ages 3-12).2. Create a thoughtful and memorable theme (for example: Healthier Kids, Brighter Futures) and point of view (“Some say it takes a village to raise a child. We say: it takes a backyard, a playground, a park.”).3. Research and validate your theme and point of view with your target audience (this can vary from simple telephone interviews to sophisticated qualitative and quantitative analysis).4. Validate your point of view with secondary research. For example, “Research connects the lack of outdoor time to increased obesity, depression, stress, diabetes, ADD and poor performance in the classroom.”5. Determine which marketing channels your target audience is most activate in.6. Create an editorial calendar to keep your content consistent and relevant.7. Deliver targeted, relevant content. Managing marketing as a content creation engine isn’t easy. Operating like a publisher requires a totally different mindset, skill-set and roles. For example, it means hiring copywriters with journalism and research skills. But given how increasingly difficult it is for organizations to stand out from the crowd, launching content marketing campaigns that demonstrate your mission and vision and breakthrough ideas may be your best opportunity to differentiate yourself from your peers. Are you ready to test a content marketing campaign for your organization?Jono Smith is Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Event 360. He writes for the Event Fundraising Blog.last_img read more

How much is social media influencing – or reflecting – events in Egypt?

first_imgThis is a matter of hot debate. On one hand, there is outrageous hype suggesting social media is fomenting revolutions. On the other hand, there are people saying it has zero value in organizing. Neither of these is true. For some thoughtful reflections, check out:Beth Kanter’s blog today on Egypt. She cites Jillian York’s level-headed take:To be honest, so much of the rhetoric around the use of social media in Egypt and Tunisia makes me want to scream — folks act like these American tools just dropped from the sky like humanitarian food rations, set to save the people from their (American-supported, natch) dictators. As Sami Ben Gharbia so eloquently noted on Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan program last week, these networks have existed for a long time. Are they enhanced by social media? Of course, and I’m sure Sami would agree. But when did we go from referring to social media as a tool to calling it the catalyst of a revolution?I will leave this with a final thought cribbed from Ethan Zuckerman, who wrote last week: “Tunisians took to the streets due to decades of frustration, not in reaction to a WikiLeaks cable, a denial-of-service attack, or a Facebook update.”Geoff Livingston’s reflections today, “Revolutions: Don’t Shoot the Messenger.” He notes:…Social media is just a communications tool set, and perhaps not even the most powerful one at play… The best testimony about social media’s role in these events has to be the efforts of the Tunisian and Egyptian governments to thwart or completely cut off the Internet…Perhaps the most sane analysis of the debate about social media’s role came from Jeremy Littau: “So of course social media caused the uprising in Egypt, and of course it didn’t. It truly is both and to try and pin it on one type of public is too simplistic. It’s never one thing.” Indeed, there are many, many factors at play in the Egyptian protest, most importantly the willingness of individuals to publicly stand against oppression.last_img read more

99 social media tools (but don’t use them all!)

first_imgHubspot has a great guide to social media tools which is super-useful as a reference. It’s free, covers the gamut (outreach, engagement, monitoring and tracking), and you can get it here. Please note, I am by no means recommending you use all 99. Or even 9. As Jeff Brooks pointed out on his blog this week, using massive amounts of tools is not as smart as choosing a small few to use well.So what tools are nonprofits using? Craig Newmark has done some interesting benchmark work among the biggest organizations, summarized in a new infographic.Here’s a highlight. You can see the whole diagram here.last_img

10 simple ideas for things to share on social media

first_imgAre you stuck on what to post on social media today? Network for Good has a great mini-guide on the topic here (free with registration). Check out our tips for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. And while you’re downloading the document, here are ten quick ideas if your creative well is dry. Thanks to my colleague and guide author Caryn Stein for these pointers. And don’t forget—you can always highlight someone else’s great content when you don’t know what to say yourself. That works well in the social media gift economy. And on this blog!1. Offer a sneak peek of an upcoming newsletter, event or program.2. Show what goes on behind the scenes at your office.3. Introduce a member of your staff.4. Report from the scene of your work or event.5. Share photos of your volunteers in action.6. Connect your work to a news story, trend or meme.7. Ask a trivia question related to your cause.8. Share a testimonial from a beneficiary or supporter.9. Choose a “fan of the day” and give them a shout out.10. Celebrate a success story.last_img read more

Rallying the Troops: the Staff Plan for #GivingTuesday

first_imgMake #GivingTuesday an event for your team, and a win for those you serve. In just a few days #GivingTuesday will be here. Whether you’ve planned for months or just for a week or two, there’s one more thing you can do to make it a great day for your nonprofit.Organizations large and small can put their campaigns over the top on #GivingTuesday by creating a “day of generosity” that involves your staff, board, and volunteers. Plan a day of hard-working fun that involves your team in outreach and celebration as you hit milestones toward your goal.The recommendations below are targeted at a mid-sized organization, so scale the plan for your day up or down to fit your organization’s capacity. Volunteer Event coordinatorIf your nonprofit is hosting a hands-on service event for #GivingTuesday, the volunteer service coordinator should be part of the war room team. Ask them to provide photos, quotes, and results from the volunteer activity that can be shared with potential supporters online and in email. Make this #GivingTuesday your best yet! Kick off your year-end fundraising with our tools, training and matching funds. It doesn’t matter if your organization has 2 staff members or 200, you can raise money on #GivingTuesday and we can help.Free #GivingTuesday resources are available to all nonprofits through Network for Good’s All TUEgether campaign. Network for Good customers can leverage matching funds for all donations made on December 1, 2015. Plus, customers have access to expert coaching, new donors, and exclusive resources to help plan a stellar #GivingTuesday campaign.Not a Network for Good customer yet? No problem. Sign up for a demo and find out how easy it is to raise money online. Get ready to have your best giving season ever. Set up a #Givingtuesday ‘war room’ so the team is all together in one place. There will be hard work to do and a party atmosphere will make a long day more fun.Consider these suggestions to elevate the excitement and spur the efforts of your staff and volunteers: Thank key partners and sponsorsAlert the community to Day-of challenges and contests (especially if they change hourly)Inspire the community with Day-of rewards or incentivesAsk the community to GIVE and SHAREMention the Campaign Hashtag and URL Make it a party! Phone outreach teamYour phones can be the most powerful weapon on #GivingTuesday. You can organize an actual phone-a-thon of sorts, reaching out to supporters to thank them for past generosity and invite them to join your #GivingTuesday campaign. At a minimum, you should reach out to board members, key friends of your organization, and active volunteers to enlist their participation as givers or sharers.Donor supportAssign one or more people to be available to answer questions from donors should they arise.Social outreach staff The social team will be the ambassadors of excitement for the campaign. They will focus on: Covering the dayYour #GivingTuesday staff plan should cover a time period from about 8am to 10pm. The busiest donation periods are likely to be from 9am to 3pm and 7pm to 10pm, and these are the windows when you’ll want the most coverage.Suggested staff rolesLeaderAppoint a leader so campaign staff have a single point of contact for questions throughout the day. The leader should have a list of contact information for all staff and partners (include cell phone numbers and email addresses). He or she should be ready to address technology issues should there be problems with your online giving site. Have the phone number of your software provider handy in the event there is an issue. He or she may also be assigned as designated representative to talk with the media if there is press interest in your campaign.The leader (or a designee) should be ready with talking points highlighting the key aspects of the campaign. · Building excitement by posting content to social media channels.Engaging with followers, fans, tweets.Promoting key milestone content such as Goal Updates, Prize winners, media coverage.Alerting other staff to any social postings related to issues or questions.Forwarding any social postings from the media to the team leader. Provide special t-shirts, wristbands, hats or other swag if you have it. If you don’t, consider asking each team member to wear something in the colors of your organization’s logo to create that spirit of a team.Have food throughout the day.Have a first gift ceremony, where the team members contribute whatever they can to the campaign and put that total on the board as the “founders” gifts for the campaign.Take an UNselfie of each team member and one of the whole team together and post on social media.Have a visible tally board so everyone can see when you are getting close to key milestones Work hard, have fun, focus on your goals, and it will be a great #GivingTuesday!last_img read more

‘Arnautovic could play big role at Man Utd’

first_imgMarko Arnautovic could play a decisive role for Manchester United if he joins the club from West Ham, according to Austria team-mate Marcel Sabitzer. Jose Mourinho is said to be interested in bringing Arnautovic to Old Trafford, perhaps as early as January, in order to bolster his options in attack. The 29-year-old signed for West Ham in 2017 from Stoke City but his agent said in November that he could leave to pursue Champions League football.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! RB Leipzig’s Sabitzer thinks his international team-mate is ready for a move to United after showing his “real class” in recent seasons.”Marko is a great guy,” Sabitzer told Omnisport. “I get along well with him and we have played together for a long time with the national team. We are good friends and once went on holiday together. I like him a lot and I think he feels the same way about me.”Everybody can see that he has athletic qualities. He had a lack of maturity and luck in Germany and I think he knows that. But his performances in England the past few years have demonstrated his real class and I can see the same in terms of the national team.”That’s why I believe that he can make another step forward and play a major role there [at Manchester United]. I cross my fingers for him.”Arnautovic, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury and is not expected to be fit until next month, has scored five goals in 13 Premier League appearances this season.He worked with Mourinho at Inter during a loan spell in the 2009-10 season, but played just three times in Serie A.last_img read more