SOA: Small Projects are showing immediate ROI

first_imgWhile some large SOA projects struggle, smaller and incrementally deployed projects are showing immediate returns on investment.  A recent article by Heather Havenstein tracked some successful small-scale SOA projects, including one at Siemens AG in Munich.Siemens first implemented an SOA-based solution to automate IT requests for items like new equipment and passwords.  After other departments saw the system in action they requested something similar for themselves.  Being SOA, many of the components were reusable and similar solutions were easy to roll out, allowing processes across a number of departments to improve.Siemens focus was to select processes that we re-occuring hundred and thousands of times each day and also ro reapply components constructed for the initial pioneering apps.The very nature of SOA encourages incremental expansions and updates rather than monolithic implementations that are hard to upgrade and patch.  Keeping large, big-bang implementations focused on company goals is hard — once these project starts up, mid-course adjustments are very difficult.  That’s not the case with SOA.The article quotes Tracy LeGrand of Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Minneapolis as saying that “SOA is a journey with incremental benefits”.last_img read more

Business Blog: Why You’ll Kick Yourself Later For Not Starting One Now

first_img One other point of interest from the report was that there are 100,000 (that’s not a typo) new blogs created every day.  I suspect the vast majority of these are being started by individuals, not businesses, but that will likely change in the coming year or so making the pile you will need to climb over even higher if you start then.  This is another reason the age of the blog matters because there is more and more competition in the blogosphere and more competition to get into people’s RSS readers. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack One section of the post hopped out at me.  They did some work on trying to correlate certain events with overall “success” of a blog.  Their definition of “success” is a function of the number of other blogs linking to your blog within the last six months.  The blogs are broken down into low, middle, high, and very high authority based on the overall number of links into them within the six month window.  The thing that jumped out at me was how closely correlated the success/authority of the blog is with the age of the blog itself.  Despite throwing out data that is greater than six months old, the older the blog the more likely it is to gain very high authority.  Have you started a blog for your business yet?  If not, why not?  Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments. Originally published Nov 9, 2006 2:50:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 OnStartups I can imagine a myriad of reasons for this.  Over time you get more people linking to you from their sites/blogs that produce traffic that builds (particularly if on blogrolls) slowly over time.  The blog starts getting noticed by Google around consistent themes over time as well, so that when someone comes onto Google to search on a certain term, your blog starts moving up the list and gets clicked on more frequently.  Dharmesh’s center_img Topics: blog has been around for just over a year and now gets more than a third of its traffic from natural searches on Google.  Both of these effects are cumulative and climb steadily, so that even if your content does not get any more interesting or frequent, the baseline readership tends to increase.  If you are running a small business in a niche market, I recommend you get the process started of creating a blog sooner, rather than later.  A blog is a tool that can help you “attract” prospects through links and natural search that will likely be interested in your company’s offerings.  A blog is a way for you to “engage” with your prospects enabling them to self-qualify for your offering.  Lastly, when someone visits your website (brochureware), they often just come once and never return, but a blog gives them the ability (through RSS) to subscribe to anything new that comes out and a reason (fresh content) to come back for more. Blog Optimization Technorati is a system used to track, rank, and search the blogosphere which now includes 57 million blogs.  They recently came out with a state of the union post on the blogosphere itself which is a pretty interesting read, albeit a little on the long/complicated side.last_img read more

8 Tricks That Will Help You Connect With the Right People

first_img Flickr Credit: erica_marshall Learn how to Get Found in the Inbound Marketing book. Order the book now on Amazon.com . Originally published Oct 12, 2009 3:01:00 PM, updated June 25 2019 This is a guest article by Maribeth Kuzmeski, author of new book The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life . She is also the founder of Red Zone Marketing , which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. It’s a question most of us have asked ourselves: What makes successful people so, well, successful? It’s tempting to think that those at the top of the ladder know something the rest of us mere mortals don’t—quite simply, what sets you apart from the competition is your ability to connect. Here a few simple tips that have helped some of world’s most successful.Access 80 Professional Bio Templates + Examples.1) Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that reads, “Make me feel important.” This was the life philosophy of Mary Kay Ash, the well-known cosmetics mogul. Her genuine concern for others catapulted her out of poverty and was the secret to her success. 2) Seek out a common interest. People want others to be like them. Establishing that you and a client root for the same baseball team or volunteer at the same charity will go a long way in making you relevant in his eyes! 3) Don’t work from a script. Try to scrap the memorized pitch in favor of a more natural conversation. You’ll seem more at ease and authentic—and your prospect will be less tempted to think that you’re fluffing up the facts. 4) Remember the remarkable. Entrepreneur Sunny Bates makes a point to identify and write down the things that stand out to her in every conversation. She then references those statements in future interactions—and has been amazed by the reactions she’s gotten when others realize that she has paid attention to and valued what they’ve said! 5) Cultivate curiosity. According to Lee Iacocca, former Chrysler CEO, “A leader has to show curiosity. He has to listen to people outside of the ‘Yes, sir’ crowd in his inner circle. Businesspeople need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions.” 6) Act like a good listener. (Don’t let your body image betray you!) We’re constantly bombarded with information, so it’s almost instinctive to tune it out. When you’re interacting with someone, you need to consciously change your body language to reflect that you want to receive information; otherwise, it may appear that you’re trying to get away from it. Remember, your face says it all. 7) Resist the urge to be a one-upper. Perhaps you feel compelled to share that you battled the flu for twice as long as your colleague. Or maybe you’re dying to tell your client how great your vacation to Hawaii was after she mentions her trip to the lake. Three words: Don’t. Do. It. When you’re always trying to top other people, you’re ruining communication. 8) Ask effective questions. When you’re communicating, remember: garbage in, garbage out. If you ask the wrong questions, you’ll get the wrong answers—or at least different answers from the ones you were hoping for. Think about what you’re hoping to learn, and remember that an open-ended question is almost always more effective than one that elicits a simple “Yes” or “No” answer. Are there any other tricks you can think of to make sure you’re connecting with the right people to build your business? Get the Inbound Marketing Book Networking Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Why PR Doesn’t Drive Sales

first_img ,  “The key is to find social media and tech-savvy PR pros, who use content and social strategies to drive success. Your firm should be creating remarkable content, building relationships with journalists and bloggers, offering training and education to strengthen your internal team, and generating coverage that produces inbound links, traffic and leads.” Do you have any good experiences on how to focus PR campaigns to help marketing as opposed to sales efforts? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section. Bad habits are hard to break, but the first step is admitting that PR and sales are not directly related. Instead PR is one of many top of the funnel tactics to bring in new marketing efforts Typical PR campaigns are measured by the number of media coverage / placements per month. Sure, a PR retainer includes content creation, strategy, etc., but success is typically measured by the number of hits and more recently, the number of shared media hits on Twitter and Facebook. These numbers can fluctuate month-to-month depending on seasonality of your content and news cycles. How many times do you hear a caveat with a particularly low number one month vs. another month? In reality, sales success and public relations campaigns do not have a direct correlation. The key factor in bridging the gap that most people miss is Integrating Public Relations With Marketing 2. Sales reps don’t care about Public Relations 2. Think Strategy Why PR Doesn’t Drive Sales Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack TheTruthAbout So if you’ve invested a lot of money in a PR agency retainer, how do you get the top of the funnel activities to actually get the most qualified leads to turn into customers? You’ve heard it from us before, but you’ll hear it again. Create remarkable content. It’s the only way to differentiate yourself in the noisy media landscape. Use your PR agency as an extension of your marketing team and rely on them for new, out-of-the-box ideas on the type of offers you can build to get more lead conversions. Originally published Dec 10, 2010 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 PR 20/20 Luckily, some agencies are getting smarter and hiring digital natives to execute on modern PR campaigns with social media strategies to connect and build relationships with influencers, generate media coverage, and communicate relevant messages to customers and prospects. The best PR campaigns should bring you the most qualified leads. Wouldn’t it be great to report to your CEO or CMO that a campaign brought in 500 leads in the past six months? The best way to do that is to drive traffic to a landing page and get a lead to convert. Instead of having your PR agency focus on getting media coverage around new functionality in a product, why not promote an ebook or webinar to get new leads?   – marketing Sure, the glitzy ink you’re getting in high-profile publications with your agency’s contacts is exciting, but let’s not forget that the real value an agency should provide is strategic counsel. Periodically check in with yourself and ask, is my agency thinking tactically (short-term) or strategically (long-term) on the campaigns we’re executing? 1. Focus on Content . concern. 1. There’s No Science Behind PR Success Data According to HubSpot partner Paul Roetzer, President at 3. Leads, Not Impressions Topics: They care about the number of good leads, not the original source of the lead that introduced them to the company. The source of the lead is a Photo Credit: Inbound Sales (Marketing)last_img read more

The Only Time You Want Zero Engagement on Facebook

first_img Originally published Aug 15, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Facebook’s latest News Feed algorithm update allows Facebook to surface more relevant content more easily based on your past engagement with a post, a friend, or a brand page. Essentially, they want to figure out what you enjoy and show you more of that, even if you missed something by a few hours.Among the factors Facebook uses to measure your past engagement are Likes, shares, comments, and (perhaps most interestingly) how often you hide posts from a person or company. As a result, Facebook’s brand page analytics, which they call “Insights,” now shows you Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam, and Unlikes of Page by Post. This is critical to note as a marketer, as it represents the only time you want engagement metrics to reach zero.Social media engagement metrics are typically measurements of positive sentiment — Likes, shares, retweets, pins, and so on. We as marketers in 2013 aim to increase these numbers. What’s bizarre about Facebook Insight’s new, um, insights … is that for perhaps the first time in social media, we now must react to a negative type of engagement. As Christopher S. Penn on the always-stellar marketing blog Awaken Your Superhero called out recently, we now have a set of engagement metrics that we actually want to minimize.This is smartly said by Christopher, but it brings to mind a scary reality: how do you respond if metrics like “hides” start to climb? This action, after all, measures essentially a “Dislike” button, and now we can actually report its use and act on what we learn.So what, exactly, should you do if your Facebook Insights report shows a high volume of followers hiding your posts? We put our heads together on the HubSpot marketing team and came up with the following checklist:1) Examine frequency immediately. Are you posting too much?The very first action you should take is to examine frequency. Consider your own habits with Facebook posts, whether from brands, friends, or family. Nothing is worse than seeing too much from the same source, right? If you see your negative engagement metrics start to creep up on Facebook, be sure to critique your own posting schedule. Social media, and really all of inbound, is about treating people like people and being helpful, useful, and human. Nobody likes to be bombarded over and over.Compare posts with unusually high “hide” counts in your Insights report on Facebook — had you posted right before? Are you leaving enough time between posts to allow your audience’s feed to populate with a variety of content from friends and family? Nobody likes the friend who posts 17 pictures of their dog within an hour, let alone the business who opens the floodgates and dominates the news feed.2) Create (or revisit) your buyer personas.Checking your post frequency was the first action to take because it may help you solve something quickly and urgently. Building or revisiting your buyer personas, on the other hand, is a foundation on which all your inbound marketing can be built. If you’re new to personas, these are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on real data about customer demographics and behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.Human interactions improve if you have greater context on the person with whom you’re speaking, and the same can be said of sharing content on Facebook. Understanding your buyer personas upfront can help you post relevant content. If you’re already created personas but still see an increase in followers hiding your Facebook posts, it might be time to revisit your original descriptions.For a helpful template on creating personas without spending too much time doing so, download this free guide and step-by-step builder.With your buyer persona description or template pulled up, you can then …3) Analyze your content mix. Are you posting the right variety?Remember the comedian Dane Cook? Those who do will sometimes comment about how great his first standup act was, followed by how progressively awful he got with each subsequent show. The common knock on him? He did the same thing over and over and over again, and now, he’s borderline irrelevant.The same can be said of providing your Facebook followers with content. People are nuanced and change their motivations, even throughout a single day. Your content should try and match that. You don’t need to do an in-depth psychoanalysis of your buyer, you simply need to create a variety of content. On Facebook, you can share text, visuals, video, links, invitations, and more. Mix things up to keep it interesting, exciting, and engaging in a positive way … just like any human relationship! And using that buyer persona description can help you pinpoint the types of content to start with if you’re rethinking your posting strategy. (For example, if your buyer is often pressed for time, cut down the amount of text and use more graphics, with relevant copy written in graphical format.) 4) Compare posts being hidden with other, more successful content.If you see an uptick in post hides, compare the content driving those negative actions to other posts that might have received more Likes, shares, and comments. With what types of content does your audience actively engage? Can you create and post more of that type? Was the negative trend hitting a certain type of content? Facebook Insights also shows you the “Best Post Types” report to make this analysis a bit easier.In the event you lack any data because there hasn’t been engagement with your posts overall, or if you’re just starting on Facebook, consider a quick glance at competitors’ Facebook pages or other companies you admire in your industry. What are they posting that their followers seem to engage with positively? Are visual posts getting Liked and shared more than text-based comments? Do more people share posts when the company publishes fun, playful things versus more serious, helpful content? Some call this “stealing” — artists call this “inspiration” — but whatever the case, it’s good to survey the playing field every once in a while, especially if you’re just starting out.5) Examine the ratio between your positive engagement metrics to post hides.While you should do everything in your power to avoid upsetting followers, it’s important to be realistic: someone, somewhere may actually choose to hide your post. (We never would — your posts are awesome — but someone might.) And that’s okay! Once you cover all your bases listed above, crosscheck your negative and positive numbers. How do your overall hides compare to the volume of Likes and shares you’re getting? Keep in mind that the more visibility you have, the more all numbers will increase. Your goal is to ensure that you minimize your hides while maximizing your Likes and shares.As always, with any content or inbound marketing tactic, react to data and optimize your approach but ultimately, spend your time doing what your customers and fans love. Address any alarming trends in your Facebook data accordingly, but keep in mind that you should be solving a problem, providing education or entertainment, and generally spending most of your time providing your Facebook followers with the best experience possible. What advice do you have for creating positive engagement and reacting to negative sentiment on Facebook?Image credit: DaveBleasdale Social Media Engagement Topics:last_img read more

The One Mistake Almost Everybody Makes on Twitter [Quick Tip]

first_imgAs I hope you saw (and enjoyed), we relaunched the HubSpot blog as a totally reimagined, multi-section destination for inbound marketing, sales, and insider tips. We even added a features-focused section (Up and to the Right) by our very own Dan Lyons. Naturally, since I was excited about this new chapter in HubSpot history, I tweeted. I forgot something, though … @HubSpot’s reimagined blog is live! Check out #InboundHub: http://t.co/xP44vA6vnj— Jay Acunzo (@jay_zo) October 17, 2013Did you spot it? No? I’ll tell you then: I started the tweet by @-mentioning someone without adding in any character to start the tweet. The only people who could see that tweet would be HubSpot, me, and anyone who happens to follow both of us. My followers would never see that appear in their feeds.Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.This is a very subtle nuance to Twitter that plenty of folks miss: If you want all of your followers to see your tweet in their stream, you MUST start a tweet with a character and not an @username. Yup, that’s right — that means all those tweets you sent starting with @ weren’t visible to the audience you thought would see it.Why is this alteration to your tweets so important to get right? Well, think of it this way: Not making this change could be the difference between a tweet that many Twitter users view, share, and react to, and a tweet that essentially no one sees.The Right Way to Tweet for the Right AudienceHere’s a look at exactly who sees what kinds of tweets:Note: This excludes direct messages (DMs), which are the one-to-one private messages on Twitter. The above table references regular tweets only.So, just like my tweet to “announce” HubSpot’s new blog design, starting a message with a profile handle like @Bob doesn’t actually show up to anybody but the person I’ve mentioned and my followers who also follow him. When you add any character at all before the Twitter handle, like a period or statement or quote or anything, the tweet becomes visible to all of your followers, just like any headline you tweet out.One common explanation for why Twitter sets up tweets this way is that it wants to allow two people to interact with each other, have a conversation, and engage freely without spamming their respective followers’ feeds. It adds very little value to me if I can see every single tweet from @HubSpot saying “Thanks!” to others — unless I also follow who @HubSpot is thanking.Makes sense, right? If I volunteered to follow each person or brand individually, I’m telling Twitter I’m interested in what they both have to say. A conversation between the two could then be valuable or interesting to me. If I only followed one, though, that’s far less likely. (After all, I’m not really likely to care what my friend is saying to a complete stranger.) Twitter gets this dynamic and has created this rule accordingly.Are there any other Twitter tips and tricks you think are worthwhile to share? Share your Twitter knowledge in the comments below! Social Media Fails Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Oct 18, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog Posts

first_imgCongratulations! You’ve published a blog post. After brainstorming a topic, doing a whole lot of research, writing a few drafts, adding a couple sweet images, picking a call-to-action, having a buddy edit it, and tightening up your title … the hard work is all done, right? Right?Not so fast, my friend. While we all wish we could just sit back, put on a pot of tea, and watch the traffic to our posts come pouring in, it doesn’t quite work that way.To get more eyeballs on your new blog post, you need to do more than just hit “publish.” You need to optimize that content, promote it, share it, and get it in front of the right people. How you do that all depends on the post, but if you’re struggling for some ideas, here are 10 things you can do once you’ve written a new blog post to get the most out of your efforts.1) Add a teaser to your email signature.Adding your most recent blog post to your email signature is one clever way it can support your marketing. You can create a custom email signature using HubSpot’s email signature generator, which allows you to feature a link to your blog or your latest post.2) Shorten your post’s URL and use it to link to your post on social networks.Short URLs are way easier to share and remember than their longer counterpart. You can use bit.ly to shorten your URLs, or if you’re a HubSpot customer, every blog post’s URL is automatically shortened and tracks clicks. (HubSpot customers: Learn more about your automatically shortened URLs here.)Include your new shortened URL in social media posts promoting your new blog post. When posting, keep these two best practices in mind, too:Use images to promote your post, as this has been proven to significantly increase engagement on both Twitter and Facebook. Switch up the language you use in your posts, as well, instead of just tweeting the title with a link — analysis on tweet copy from the @HubSpot account revealed that the difference in number of clicks on a “title tweet” (a tweet that includes the title of a blog post + a link to that post) versus a “copy tweet” (a tweet that presents the blog post as a sentence or question) was not statistically significant. Be sure to include both types of copy in to humanize your updates and give your social media posts a little variety.3) See if your post can help others on Twitter.Search for related hashtags or keywords on Twitter and see if your blog post can answer anyone’s questions or contribute to a discussion — and remember to use the shortened URL when responding.4) Share your blog post with prospects.Did you just publish a blog post that would be really useful to a particular lead or customer? Send the post their way via a tweet or a quick email. (HubSpot customers: In Social Inbox, notice each tweet is color coded to help you identify customers and leads in your Twitter stream.)If you’re offering them helpful and relevant information, they’ll appreciate that you thought of them and might think of you more as a trusted source of information. Click here to learn more about matching content to folks in every lifecycle stage.5) Share your blog post with colleagues.Think about the social reach of all of your colleagues combined — don’t let the opportunity to reach those audiences go to waste. The key is making sharing as easy as possible for your colleagues. When your blog post goes live, send an internal email that includes the title of your post, a brief explanation, and a shortened link to the post. Make it even easier by created a few ready-made tweets that include the link and are under 140 characters.6) Syndicate your post on LinkedIn and other websites.LinkedIn can be a great place to syndicate your content because anything you publish there is automatically pushed out to everyone in your network and could be featured in one of the many topical LinkedIn channels. Publishing there has been rolling out to all users since February 2014, and if you’re linking back to your original post, you shouldn’t be too worried about duplicate content.Other places to try syndicating your blog post include Quora and Medium, where you can take advantage of their additional promotion of popular posts.7) Give it a boost using paid marketing.Take advantage of paid content distribution opportunities to amplify your message and supplement your reach on organic search. These opportunities include Twitter Ad campaigns, Facebook campaigns, and LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates feature. Content discovery platforms like Outbrain and Taboola also can well.Just be sure you spend a lot of time defining your target audience on each platform so you get the most bang for your buck. (You can learn more about paid content distribution here.)8) Pitch your post to the press.Authoring a well-written blog post helps position you as a topic expert — something journalists are always looking for. It’s not easy to pitch to the press, but if they do pick up your post, it could mean a big bump in traffic for your website. The potential ROI of writing a simple email is worth it, but you’ve got to make sure you’re writing the right email. Journalists can receive hundreds of pitches in a day, so be sure to include concise bullet points describing the main point(s) of your post in your email pitch so they don’t have to click through to anything. Finally, don’t make any careless grammatical errors or misspell the reporter’s name — it usually means they trash your pitch. (Learn about more silly mistakes to stop making in your pitches here.)9) Post teasers to discussion boards or other websites.You want new eyeballs on your blog post, and a great way to entice new readers to come to your website is by posting a compelling thought or question on an external site, such as inbound.org or a LinkedIn Group, along with a shortened link to your new blog post. As long as your content is relevant and adds to the discussion (and you’re not the only one posting self-promotional content on the site), it’s not spammy.10) Include the post in a “kit” offer.In the long term, if you find yourself writing several blog posts that are related to each other under an umbrella category, consider bringing them together into a “kit” offer. Gate this offer behind a landing page form and collect contacts when people download. (Like this idea? Learn more about how to repurpose blog posts into ebooks here.)What do you do after publishing a blog post to generate more traffic? Topics: Originally published Oct 3, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 How to Write a Blog Post Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

A Visual History of Google Algorithm Updates [Infographic]

first_imgIn the early days, Google’s search engine wasn’t nearly as powerful or accurate as it is today. I’m talking back in the late 90s and early 00s, when search engines were little more than keyword-matching and link-counting machines. Ranking highly in search results could be accomplished by essentially using a simple, two-step procedure:Step 1: Stuff your keyword phrase into your website as many times as possible.Step 2: Get as many gosh-darn inbound links as you possibly could.For those early “SEO gurus” who gamed the system — achieving high rankings while adding little value for actual searchers — the fun wouldn’t last. Every time Google found a weakness in its ability to deliver relevant, high-quality search results, they made fixes to address it. One of the more recent Google search algorithm “fixes” was a mobile-friendly update, which put more emphasis on a website’s mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for searches from a mobile device. The aftermath of this update was informally dubbed “Mobilegeddon.”To make sure your site is optimized for Google’s algorithm update, download our free guide, How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website.Curious how the latest change stacks up against previous Google algorithm changes? To give you a snapshot of all of the major changes that Google has implemented over the years, we teamed up with Moz to create the infographic below.A History of Google Algorithm UpdatesShare This Image on Your Site read more

Colorado Springs to Take Military Promotion Initiative on the Road

first_imgThe Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance is launching a campaign to promote the area’s military installations through a series of appearances at military conferences and trade shows across the country.The effort is a follow-on to the initiative the alliance led last year to show the community’s support for Fort Carson in the face of a second round of Army cuts shrinking active-duty forces by 40,000. That campaign encouraged residents to send postcards to the Army to protest a potential loss of up to 16,000 soldiers at the post.“We want Colorado Springs to pop up in conversations with the leaders,” Andy Merritt, who heads military programs for the business alliance, told the Colorado Springs Gazette.Merritt is forming a team of local defense advocates to make the region’s case for preserving and growing existing missions, as well as adding new ones. Relying on local leaders from Colorado Springs will allow the alliance to convey one of its primary messages — that the region has carried out a variety of actions to improve the quality of life for personnel and their families.In recent years, area governments have improved road access to installations and purchased land near Fort Carson to protect the installation from possible encroachment. The Pikes Peak region also has a plethora of support groups aimed at helping troops and their families, according to the story. The key is getting the word out.“If the decision-makers don’t know what you’re doing, the effect is minimal,” Merritt said. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more