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Promotional Fruit and Vegetable Shaped Stress Balls for Promoting Healthy Living

There are few promotional gifts that can encourage healthy eating than fruit and vegetable shapes stress balls. These eye-catching, squeezable business gifts get your message right into your target audience's hands. It is hard to ignore a message that is so well promoted. The fun stress shapes are good for clients and employees.

Restaurant owners are big purchasers of fruit and vegetable stress balls. They are not always used to promote healthy eating at many food establishments. Often fruit shaped stress toys are used to promote exotic drinks during happy hour or fancy after dinner deserts.

These healthy stress shapes are also regularly used by promoters of exotic holiday destinations. A firm specialising in holidays to Mexico could easily use avocado, tomato and chilli shaped stress relievers to build that image of a holiday of a lifetime, for example.

But the most popular use of fruit and vegetable stress relievers is to promote healthy eating and living campaigns. This can be done by small companies that order just a few hundred for their employees and/or customers or done on a major scale. I once supplied 100000 strawberry shaped stress balls. They looked great but tasted terrible.

Personally I think fruit and vegetable stress toys with all their different colours look amazing at exhibitions, trade shows and conferences. Ordering just a few hundred of several different shapes can really make your trade show stand something to behold. Some of the most popular are banana, apple, lemon, lime, grapes and orange shapes. There are literally hundreds of different shapes to choose from.

You will want to purchase your promotional stress balls at trade prices. There is no point purchasing your stock from a promotional gifts supplier that does not import their own stress balls. You can actually save up to 50% by having your supplier send your stress relievers directly from where they are manufactured in China to your door.

It does not matter where your stress ball supplier does business. As long as they deal directly with the manufacturer, you can ask for your stress balls to be manufactured and sent directly to you from the factory.

What's more, you can have your stress shapes manufactured to order in the Pantone colours of your choice if you purchase in this way. Simply specify which colour you would like your stress relievers to be manufactured in and sit back and await your specially made promotional gifts.

Five Environmental Message Mistakes And How to Fix Them

You've heard the phrase "look before you leap." But what does that mean when it comes to environmental writing and communications?

First, an urban legend about what can happen if you don't look before you leap. Enjoying healthy sales of its Nova automobile in the U.S., Chevrolet introduced it to Latin America -- where it bombed. As it turned out, "no va" -- means "no go" in Spanish, and the name was turning potential customers away.

Environmental insiders make mistakes like this all the time, but you don't have to.

When the stakes are high, savvy communicators pre-test their message before they commit to it. For example, advertising executives screen their latest commercial with a sample audience, before they spend millions to air it. Political campaigns test out slogans and speech lines with voters, before the candidates use them on the stump. Trial lawyers practice their arguments in front of mock juries, before they head into court.

They use the pretesting to avoid mistakes -- and to sharpen their message so they get what they want.

In my practice, I help nature protection and pollution control organizations pre-test their fundraising letters, petitions, brochures, webpages, and related materials. I see some mistakes come up again and again. So here's a short list of our own "no va" moments that you should take care to avoid:

Mistake #1: "If only they knew." I hear this one from my clients a lot. "If only they knew they lived in a watershed," "If only they knew they knew the storm drain went to the creek." So they produce materials that are long on science education and short on action messages. As you might expect, these materials produce little action.

Mistake #2: Weak photography. Nature protection groups use a lot of pretty nature pictures. Pollution control organizations show a lot of pipes and oil slicks. No problem there, but when we pre-test those messages, test subjects often ask for photographs that demonstrate what action they can take.

Mistake #3: Professional jargon. Scientists, engineers, and lawyers tend to use professional lingo that sends the message to the public that your message isn't meant for them. Pre-testing your materials is great way to uncover words that you thought were plain English, but aren't.

Mistake #4: Too depressing. Sure, you have to convince people there's a problem before they will do something to help solve it. But if you go to far, you will demoralize your audience.

Mistake #5: It's all up to you. Let's face it. Most of the things that everyday citizens can do to protect nature or control pollution make a pretty small difference -- and they know it. But when we all do our part, it adds up to something big. So it's very important to include in your message some words and pictures about the other people who are doing their part: donating, picking up after their dog, turning off their lights, signing that petition, etc.

Learning what the five mistakes are is a great way to avoid them. And another way to avoid these mistakes is to follow some writing guidelines like the Water Words That Work method. This 4-step method incorporates the findings from many environmental message pre-tests and opinion polls.

Finally, pre-testing your environmental message isn't just for those with deep pockets anymore. There are many new market research services coming onto the market that you can use to catch mistakes and sharpen your message, just like major corporations and candidates for high office do. When you simply can't afford "no va," pre-testing is a "no brainer."

The Advertising Campaign

Armed with knowledge of your industry, market and audience, a media plan and schedule, your product or service's most important benefits and measurable goals in terms of sales volume (number of units sold), revenue generated or other criteria, you are ready for action. The first step is to establish the theme and, if appropriate, the specific tagline that identifies your product or service in all of your advertising.

The theme of your advertising reflects your special identity or personality as well as the particular benefits of your product or service. For example, cosmetics ads almost always rely on a glamorous theme. Many food products opt for healthy, all-American-family campaigns. Automobile advertising frequently concentrates on how the car makes you feel about owning or driving it rather than its performance attributes.

Likewise, a tagline rests on the single most important reason for buying your product or service. "Nothing Runs Like a Deere" (John Deere farm vehicles) conveys performance and endurance with a nice twist on the word "deer." "Ideas at Work" (Black and Decker tools and appliances) again signifies performance but adds reliability and imagination to the statement. "How the Smart Money Gets that Way" (Barron's financial publication) clearly connotes prosperity, intelligence and success.

Preparing the Ads

The initial design of your advertising, the creation of the tagline and the tone of voice you'll use to establish your personality are so critical that it almost always pays to have professional help. Hire the best designer and copywriter you can afford at the start. Later, you can ask newspapers, radio stations or magazines to follow your guidelines in preparing specific ads if you can't afford to continue relying on professionals. How do you know a good ad when you read, write, design or evaluate one? Most importantly, a good ad focuses on one message: the single idea you want this ad to convey. That idea may revolve around price, features, convenience, quality, enhanced technology or a time-limited offer. Support that idea with as much copy or illustration as time or space allows. Good ads rely on "The Three I's": Involve, Inform and Illustrate.

Involve the audience: A good ad arouses curiosity, lures in prospects and invites them to participate. It does that with words, images or sounds that are compelling and with information that aims at their strongest interests. Example: "Please Your Client and Your Accountant" appeals to the reader's desire to be doubly successful by giving good service and making money.

Inform the buyer: Your prospect wants the answer to one question: "What's in it for me?" This may be a faster, easier or less expensive way to attain a specific objective, "TransEuropa Express: The Fast Track to the Time of Your Life," for example. It may also be something less tangible: stylishness, prestige, praise or the admiration of friends and colleagues. Look at clothing, soft drink and health club ads for good examples of this appeal.

Illustrate the benefit: Even people who aren't paying much attention while turning the channel or the page can see your message in a micro-second if it's well illustrated. Effective display means illustrating not only the product or service but the benefit as well. Example: Campbell Soup Company's advertising shows mom and her kids in a traditional kitchen setting with a loving atmosphere and hot soup. Nordic Track ads portray a slim young man or woman exercising. Both imply that the customer will also look or feel that way by using the products being advertised. You can even illustrate radio and television ads with your choice of music and background sound effects.

Everyone persuades for a living. There's no way around it. Whether you're a sales professional, an entrepreneur, or even a stay at home parent, if you are unable to convince others to your way of thinking, you will be constantly left behind.Donald Trump said it best, "Study the art of persuasion. Practice it. Develop an understanding of its profound value across all aspects of life."


Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you've seen some success, but think of the times you couldn't get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others.

Ways to Spread Your Church Facebook Message Virally

You've heard that, with its more than 500 million users, Facebook is now the 3rd largest "country" in the world! What does that mean? It means, the second you log in to Facebook you have just entered one of the LARGEST mission fields in the history of the planet! Spreading your message has never been so important. Getting your message to go VIRAL is the best way to reach the WORLD with your message.


What do we mean when we saying viral? We mean passing on the message from one person to another, multiplying exponentially after each exposure and finally leading to epidemic proportions. (Well, at least 100 NEW people!)

Just like anything else, success does not come overnight (unless your Justin Bieber). It all boils down to publishing content consistently that your congregation will appreciate, enjoy and ultimately help in bringing them closer to Christ.

Let's begin with the Basics:

Daily Posts

The fundamental rule in Social Media engagement is to always be "UPDATING". People are always on the lookout for what is new, so make it a point to post daily or better yet as often as you can. No matter what your topic or theme may be, keep it clear, simple and interesting. If you do that, your followers will quickly respond and even re-post it. Try an inspirational verse or saying for the day... Guaranteed "Like" magnet!


Photos and humor will bring more attention than anything else on Facebook. Just make sure that you don't post personal or controversial pictures and always ask permission before posting pictures of your congregations as some people have good reasons not to have their picture on Facebook. (Even people in the Witness Protection Program have to go to Church!)


Oh, the questions I get on this one! Do I need a fancy camera and lapel mic with a camera man and a production team ready to edit the video with 3D graphics and lower thirds? NO. Most Laptops have a built-in camera and mic that is good enough to do daily devotional videos for your congregation. The KEY here is to make it easy, simple and part of your daily or weekly routine. If your spending more than 10 or 15 minutes, you're taking too long!

Simple steps:

1. Keep it below two minutes and one is even better!

2. Use whatever camera you have or buy a $39 dollar USB webcam at Walmart

3. Use jing from techsmith (free) to record your desktop or your face.

4. Upload to screencast (a free service provided by jing)

4. Switch back and forth from your face to your desktop for an incredible cool effect that people will wonder if you put HOURS in your production!

5. Just do it. Record, upload and post to Facebook...Today!

The great thing about this process is that there is NO editing and No setup. Very quick way to get a daily video out the door for your congregation.

Send A Note

If you think that a Note is the same as the regular status update, you are wrong. Using the Notes is recommended for posting longer messages as it does not have a maximum character limit. Moreover, notes can be easily retrieved unlike a status update which may be difficult to locate especially when there are numerous posts made in a single day. (I usually have several hundred!) So, if one of your followers would like to read a certain post again, all they have to do is go over your notes tab and quickly find "the eloquent masterpiece's you have written". You can see the Notes application on the left side of your Facebook Home Page. From there, you can write your message and start tagging people.


Tagging is a feature in Facebook that allows users to refer and identify people in Photos, Videos and Notes. It is a way of linking and sharing information to a targeted audience. This function however has its limits such that Facebook only allows a maximum of 50 tags for both Photos and Videos and 30 tags for Notes. For the more advanced users, there's always a work around for this. (Yes, I've got connections.)


The good old reliable Like, Share and Re-Post are your most convenient allies in Facebook. These 3 gestures are displayed on Live Feed and your friends and congregation who think the same will most likely duplicate it. Personally I'm very glad there isn't a Dis-Like button

Questions and Polls

Posting of Questions and Polls is a sure way of catching people's attention. Who doesn't like giving their opinion. Questions spark people's interest and will ignite healthy discussions along the way. Facebook provided some template questionnaires, otherwise you can make your own. Take full advantage of this feature to analyze and evaluate issues, interests, feedbacks or even sermon research. Friends can be invited to take the poll and you can also link the poll to an Event. (OK, that's about as complicated as I'm going to get.)

Guest Poster

Once in a while, it is a refreshing twist for your followers to see a post from a "Guest Poster/Pastor". You can invite an upcoming speaker to post a few times to introduce himself and prepare your congregation for him coming. Ask some members of your group to contribute to your Facebook Page's content. Use this strategy at random so that it will not be predictable. Remember to give "teasers" prior to the event date to build-up excitement on your Page.


Creating an Event is another way to circulate your message across your followers and even beyond your Church members as Events are displayed on a person's Facebook profile and News Feeds. Keeping your Event public will also allow non-followers to see it (and all its contents) and may add themselves to the guest list. Inviting non-Facebook users is also possible as long as you have their e-mail addresses.


If you have a Twitter account, you can use it alongside Facebook to spread information. Before, Twitter was primarily used as a messenger to invite Twitter followers to view Updates/Postings on Facebook Pages. Lately, Facebook users have been allowed to post status updates from Twitter to Facebook using the Twitter App.


Have you noticed the surge of Facebook contests? You too could use the same for your Church's Facebook Page. Stick to fun, simple and interesting themes like photo contests, art contests, t-shirt/poster design contests, best "quotation", "passage", or "tips", guessing games (ex. how many golf balls are in a fishbowl), and bring-in-a-friend (referral) to name a few.

Now, to the More Advanced Stuffs:

Word of Mouth and Discussion Boards

Facebook's Discussion Board is an avenue for making connections between and among people on Facebook. A Public Discussion Board is generally provided in a Facebook Fan Page. However, it takes a few steps to set-up a Private Discussion Board (if you prefer it that way). It is basically a chat room where people talk about certain topics or a way to catch-up on each other.


Newsletters automatically send the most recent updates or feeds from a Page to its followers. Most often, these Newsletters are sent via e-mail. They work to increase readership and engagement as well as encourage participation in discussions. There are several Newsletter Applications available on Facebook and it's up to you to choose which among fit your requirements.


A more contemporary viral phenomenon dubbed as "Meme" has also taken Facebook by the storm. Memes are unique ideas that are created and transmitted among people within a culture to be specifically imitated. Facebook had its memorable share of Memes in the past year such as "25 Things" (Make a list of 25 random things about yourself), "Cartoon Character" (Sometime in November 2010, users were asked to use Cartoon Character for their Profile Picture as a campaign to end child abuse) and "Doppelganger Week" (Posting a picture of yourself beside a celebrity that resembles you, some kind of a look-a-like game). If you happen to have an idea or a concept similar to this that would advance your cause, by all means spread it!

These techniques might overwhelm you at first but as a friend of mine always says "Do it once and you can do it again, better". In other words, Practice makes perfect.

To conclude, getting people to like and follow your Church's Facebook Page is pretty manageable, however, keeping people interested, connected and really grasp its mission is a totally different ballgame. If you play the social media game right, Your message will be spread across the world fulfilling our great commission.