PM News

5 Hacks That Will Cut Your Workweek in Half
November 21, 2014

Work was consuming my life. I had begun skipping runs, losing touch with friends and becoming a stranger to my own neighborhood.

While growing up in a Midwestern farm town, I had been taught that hard work leads to success. Although that belief hasn't changed, this experience put my priorities in perspective.

I realized that it's just as important to work smart so you can live a balanced life. Sometimes it takes creativity for an entrepreneur to reach that level of equilibrium. The following hacks have given me my life back.

Brands Are Wasting Time and Money on Facebook and Twitter, Report Says
November 21, 2014

Market research firm Forrester published a report for brands titled "Social Relationship Strategies That Work." So: What works?

Not Facebook or Twitter.

The crux of the research suggests that brands are wasting their time, effort and money on Facebook and Twitter to diminishing returns. A study conducted by the firm from earlier this year found that posts from top brands on Twitter and Facebook reach just 2 percent of their followers. Engagement is even more measly: A mere 0.07 percent of followers actually interact with those posts.

 

This Swag Bag's Big Draw? Live Lobster
November 21, 2014

Between all the galas, fundraisers, and VIP events, Washington D.C. is a city swimming in swag bags. But EquityEats—a new restaurant crowdfunding platform in which investors earn profits, not just perks—may have just outdone them all at its launch party last night. As guests parted the event, hosts handed out bags with live lobsters.

The idea came from EquityEats CEO Johann Moonesinghe as a way to promote one of its restaurants seeking funding called Lighthouse, which plans to serve a menu limited to burgers and whole lobsters.

"We were kind of like, 'Are you serious?'" said Steve Lucas, vice president of strategy and communications for EquityEats.

AP Specialties Recalls 172,000 Power Banks
November 20, 2014

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and AP Specialties, San Clemente, Calif., announced a recall of the latter's Two-tone Power Bank Charger yesterday.

The entities recalled about 172,000 units of the charger, noting in the recall that when "being charged or being used to charge another device, it can overheat, causing a fire hazard."

No injuries have been reported, but there overheating incidents were reported in addition to another incident that resulted in fire damage.

The China-made power banks—sold for about $8 to $11—were given away as promotional items at various meetings, trade shows and industry conventions between November 2013 and August 2014.

The 3.6x1x1" charger has a white top and colored body available in black, dark blue, light blue, lime green, orange, pink, purple, red, white or yellow. Each also contains a name or logo on the side of the bank. On the top of the charger "OUT SC5V" and "IN DC5V" appears. Those that contain a period—"OUT DC5V."—are not involved in the recall.

Consumers in possession of one of the recalled power banks should stop using the item and contact AP Specialties for a replacement. The supplier will send the consumer an envelop and lane with instructions on how to return the item and receive a replacement free of charge.

Contact AP Specialties at 888-877-7221 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or visit www.powerbankrecall.com.

5 Ways to Boost Your Email Productivity Today
November 20, 2014

Delete. Archive. Respond. Ignore. Oh, the joys of processing email. We all do it every day, choosing with lightning speed which messages are important enough to retain, which ones need an immediate response, and which ones should be summarily dismissed like a blind date gone awry. Even the most seasoned email gurus (they do exist, really) can learn a few more tricks. Here are a few to try when you log in the next time.

Postal Service 'Functioning Normally' After Cyber Breach
November 20, 2014

The U.S. Postal Service is "functioning normally" after a recent cyber breach that compromised customer and employee data, and the agency has yet to find evidence that hackers used the information for identity theft, according to the agency’s head of digital security.

Randy Miskanic, USPS vice president for cybersecurity, called the attack "very sophisticated" but "limited in scope" in prepared testimony for the House subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census. The congressional hearing on the breach is set for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Ugly Sweaters Becoming Fan Favorites
November 20, 2014

Ugly Sweaters used to be a silly party theme around the holiday, but they are now becoming popular. So much that pro leagues, like the NBA and NHL, have added them to their online stores.

How Adidas Puts Your Images on Its Shoes
November 19, 2014

Adidas has let the buying public in on a little secret: the ability to step into a production line with their own shoe design. With the new miZXFLUX app that launched this month in the U.S., the company opens up its production process to the creative—and paying—folks who want to transfer their own images onto their feet.

Torben Schumacher, Adidas Originals vice president of footwear, told us the timeline to open up the technology was short—only about five months from "idea to launch." The concept started when Adidas began promoting its own product with satellite images of cities.

The New Breed of Performance Wool Clothing
November 19, 2014

For centuries, savvy outdoor adventurers have layered up in wool for its warmth-trapping, water-repelling, sweat-wicking and stink-fighting properties. But this age-old textile continues to evolve, thanks to a handful of sheep ranchers and entrepreneurs across the U.S. who, after decades of exporting their wool, are keeping the highest-quality fibers here to develop new products for the American market.

A revitalization of the entire domestic wool supply chain—from textile mills to wash operations to skilled cut-and-sew factory workers—has enabled companies to experiment and push the materials to new levels.

Insiders Think Lululemon Is in Serious Trouble
November 19, 2014

Lululemon's new CEO has had an "uninspiring tenure" so far, and the yoga brand is suffering from an exodus of loyal customers, according to analysts at Sterne Agee.

The firm has downgraded the retailer from "neutral" to "underperform," citing lasting damage from product-quality issues and difficulty attracting new customers, among other issues.

"Many customers have left and it's hard to get them back, especially given the focus on the women's active apparel business from brands such as Nike and Under Armour, and retailers such as Athleta, Sweaty Betty, Victoria's Secret, and others which have bitten into LULU," Sterne Agee analyst Sam Poser writes.