Colored and Normal Contact Lenses – Not Mere Fashion Accessories

Can looks kill? Well we don’t know about that, but a pair of piercing eyes certainly can! The eyes once called the ‘windows to the human soul’ have since become the tool to present a whole new you. Your eyes are the most noticeable facial feature and can enhance your personality when projected the right way. Depending upon perception and cultural setting, the color of the eyes may reflect a person’s traits too. For example, dark intense eyes are purported to be the associated with seers, soothsayers and even criminals. Blue eyes are synonymous with royalty and have a certain sex appeal. Brown eyes are apparently ‘dreamy’ and romantic, while green eyes are believed to suggest feline qualities. The hold of the color of eyes on the human psyche is for real; no wonder people go to great lengths to showcase them, mold them modify them.

Enter the era of contact lenses – visual add-ons that serve dual roles, that of visual correction as well as a beauty aid. Normal lenses are usually used for therapeutic purposes as a substitute for glasses. These colorless eye lenses are manufactured with an ophthalmic value and have the requisite magnification number as recommended by the ophthalmologist. The lenses are transparent and preserve your true eye color. For those seeking colored eyes there are in fact a host of choices. Colored lenses are usually favored by those looking to mold their natural looks with a pair of arresting eyes. There exist a range of colored lenses to add to your aesthetic appeal. The fun with colored lenses mean that they can be worn by almost anyone, as long as you take your overall persona into consideration. Present the right image by opting for the appropriate eye color depending upon the occasion. Try wearing a subtle shade for an afternoon engagement and a bold striking pair for an evening out.

The common variety of colored eye lenses is opaque and tinted variety. Opaque lenses do not allow the original eye color to be seen and are used by those who want to conceal their original eye color. Tinted colored lenses allow the original eye color to be seen and are used by people who wish to enhance the original color of their eyes. Colored lenses also have an added advantage over normal lenses in that they have inbuilt UV protection. This helps protect your precious pair from harsh sunlight. If you wear prescription lenses but wish to enchant your audience with a pair of distinctive colored lenses, try colored contacts that have the corrective properties. These dual lenses have the magnification factor desired inbuilt. Ensure however that you don’t compromise on quality over cost; combining the color and magnification requires a high degree of industrial precision and this makes the high-quality colored lenses rather pricey.

The cheaper ones may even cause blurring of vision due to the color introduced by substandard manufacturing processes. And the engineering difficulties involved mean that very high magnifications cannot be introduced into colored lenses. While this may seem like bad news for those with much weaker eyes, you know that you are getting the best out of your normal transparent lens where the corrective power is well retained. Finally, whether you are looking for prescription contact lenses, or a pair to enhance your looks, the market provides a dazzling array – just pick the pair for you and be your own fashion icon!

Five Characteristics of an Effective Communicator

Life is all about communication. Continual transmissions are sent out about ourselves throughout every day… even when we choose to say nothing. From our body language to our eye contact, facial expressions and tone, communications are sent and received whether consciously or unconsciously.

It stands to reason then, that communication is a big part of our lives and we need to take charge of how we communicate. Cultivating a communication strategy is an essential part of professional development and a crucial piece of your blueprint for success.

People who are effective communicators possess some of the following characteristics.

1. They pick up on the emotional cues of others and fine tune their message accordingly.

These are the people who get a “feel” for the situation before just diving in. They know their audience ahead of time and have a good mental picture of how their communication may be perceived. Strategizing their communication in advance may look something like coming up with different scenarios that may be presented and developing answers or talking points around some of these issues so they are prepared to respectfully be the champion of their ideas.

2. They don’t avoid difficult situations.

People, who understand the importance of effective communication, do not hide from perceived confrontation. Instead, they take advantage of these times to take notes and hone their strategy so they can operationalize it to hit the mark in a way that lends to their credibility. Getting a reputation for not having the hard discussions only takes away from your authority and eventually your ability to have people respect your ideas and opinions.

3. They seek mutual understanding by asking question to know if their message was heard.

Knowing the right questions to ask is an essential part of effective communication. When you are truly listening to someone, you validate them by taking a deeper dive into what they have presented. When you are communicating something the same stands true, ask questions to make sure your message was relayed effectively and it was received in the way you intended it to be. This will help validate your communication strategy or allow you to see that you need to tweak your delivery.

4. They are organized in their communication and present it in a logical manner.

There is nothing more ineffective in communication than what I call “word vomit.” If a mixture of words come spilling out at a rapid rate with no real organization or noticeable purpose, people simply tune out. The experience is likened to attempting to give someone a drink of water with a fire hose, even though there is a lot present, because of the force and disorganization, very little hits the target and is digestible. Think about what you want the outcome of your communication to be ahead of time. From the outcome, develop objectives in terms of the bullet points you need to convey to get your point across. Be succinct, most of the time… less is more.

5. They ask for feedback regarding their communication and do not become defensive when it is received.

Becoming an effective communicator is a journey and most of us always have room for improvement. Asking for feedback from others is one of the best and most cost effective ways to grow professionally. The beauty about feedback is that it can be done formally and informally. On the formal side, you can design a feedback form when you are giving a large or important presentation or prior to a meeting ask individuals if they would be willing to provide you with feedback afterwards. Informally, most people are willing to assist you if you share your desire to improve some aspect of yourself. In this case, let people know you are working on developing an effective communication style and ask for them to share their thoughts.

5 Personality Traits You Need to Succeed in Public Relations

A colleague new to my agency once regaled us with a conversation he had with an older cousin of his at a family wedding. My colleague, then new at the job, excitedly told his cousin about his new job as a public relations (PR) executive in a boutique PR agency. Unexpectedly, instead of complimenting him on his new career path, the cousin smiled sadly and clapped him on the back.

“I used to do public relations at my old company,” she said. “Good luck. You’re going to need all of it.”

If you think the life of a PR officer is a glitzy, glamorous one of wining, dining, and ‘networking’ with clients, you have another think coming. Ranked by Forbes as one of the 10 most stressful jobs in the world, it is no secret to anyone in the industry that public relations is a highly challenging career path for anyone to take up.

On the flipside, this challenge is what also makes public relations one of the most satisfying careers in the world. There is almost nothing more satisfying than having the press release you have painstakingly amended time and time again getting snapped up for coverage by the media, or having your client congratulate you for overwhelmingly successful results of the PR campaign you and your team had spent hours brainstorming months before.

It is tiring work, but when it pays off, the satisfaction is sublime – mostly because good PR ideas, like all creative outputs, are very personal, and also because of how increasingly necessary it is for a company to practice good public relations.

In an era where instant communication is readily available to the masses, public relations has become vastly more relevant than ever before. The industry has also transformed with the growing need for Online PR, Blogger PR and Social Media Marketing, especially in such a time where communications technology is so widely available and seamless. With the relentless spread of information about everyone and everything, at anytime, it has become more important than ever for businesses to 1) focus on managing the perceptions of their consumers, and 2) gain their attention in a world where attention is becoming an increasingly scarce resource – exactly the roles PR practitioners were made to play.

Do you have what it takes to excel in public relations? Here are 5 personality traits that you will need.

1) Time-Management

Having excellent time-management skills will always be a significant aid to you in any career. However, time-management is especially important in PR, especially in an agency environment where one has to juggle multiple accounts at once. Your email inbox will never stop buzzing, your office phone will never stop ringing, and the ‘URGENT’, ‘IMPORTANT’ tasks on your to-do-list will never stop coming. It is important to be able to prioritise all of these tasks, and to manage your time effectively enough to respond swiftly and efficiently to every one of your client’s enquiries.

In short, if you want to succeed in this industry, dust off that planner you got for Christmas – it will quickly become full in no time at all.

2) Communication

This may seem like a no-brainer, seeing as public relations is, first and foremost, a communications industry. But it is impossible to overstate the importance of being able to communicate clearly and concisely in public relations. It is not just about being able to charm your clients and sweet-talk to the media – we live in a world where the attention span of the average consumer is becoming shorter and shorter, and subsequently, the word-limits for communication too.

Having good communication skills is not all about having an extensive vocabulary, impeccable grammar, and speaking with confidence any longer. You need to be able to grab your audience’s attention by its shirt lapels and keep it there in the simplest way possible.

3) Familiarity with Technology

Technophobia is simply not an option if you want to enter the communications industry. While traditional media and press releases are still the bread and butter of public relations, consumer attention is becoming increasingly focused on the web these days. Take a good look at any recent publicity campaign. More often than not they are centered on smartphone apps, social media movements, or viral videos. To produce these things, a good public relations officer will need to comfortably wield an arsenal of social media, software, and hardware.

4) Creativity

A memorable quote from Thank You For Smoking, a film about a smooth-talking tobacco lobbyist: “That’s the beauty of argument. If you argue correctly, you’re never wrong.”

While the film is not specifically about the public relations industry, this line is extremely applicable. Clients are not always going to provide things that are immediately appealing to the public. If they did, they would not require public relations at all. However, every account you are assigned to will have something interesting to publicize – it is only a question of angling it in the right way, which is the job of everyone in public relations.

Be creative. Find the appealing angle.

5) Responsibility

This is the last item on our list, but it certainly isn’t the least. From having an astute eye for small details in the content your produce for clients, being quick to respond to client and media inquiries, having a fervor to learn new things to better serve your clients, to being able to promise clients results and actually deliver them, having a strong sense of responsibility is intrinsic in all aspects of public relations.

On the Formation of a Business

This is not a how-to guide, more a study in the beginnings of a business.

How does a business start? How does it grow? What drives some to succeed and some to fail?

What is a business?

We all understand what a business is, but how is it defined?

A search among different sources will give you a range of different definitions. Chambers dictionary list it as defined below:

business noun 1 the buying and selling of goods and services.

This highlights the common theme among all the definitions, buying and selling. It doesn’t matter what the end product of the company is or what service it is that they supply what matters is that someone wants to buy it.

The aim of any business, no matter how lofty a mission statement they may purport to follow, is to make money. They need to provide something that other businesses or customers will part with money to have access to. It’s important to remember that not all businesses will have the aim of a profit. A charity can be run as a business, they may give away all the money they receive or spend it on helping others, but they still need to be able to have that income stream to be able to operate.

How Does it Start?

I’m not going to get into depth about the formation of a business in a legislative sense, whether a limited company, partnership or group, that information is for another time. I want to focus on the concept of a business itself.

A business always starts in the same place. With an idea.

This idea must have a market value. Without a market value the idea is just that, an idea. The market value is the amount that people would be willing to pay for your idea, whether a physical product or an intangible service, it must have value.

These ideas can come from anything. Many come from people already working in an industry seeing a specific gap in the market that they could fill. Some come from the archetypal inventor, creating in his garden shed something that the world has never seen before. Many of them will leave you with the same reaction, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

From Idea to Business?

The hardest part of the business is this part. How to get your wonder product or idea from your thoughts to existence and profit?

This is the key part that can make all the difference between a successful business and a failure. Research. The successful businesses know that they will make a profit before they even start, it may be several years down the line but they know it will work.

Finding out the target market, the competition, the price points, the costs incurred to provide the service or product, advertising, overheads and working out margins to produce a profit without pricing yourself out of the market. All of these things need to be done and done well before even beginning the process of setting up a functional business.

This is why creditors or investors would require a full business plan before helping a business start up, no matter how good the idea itself is. Getting that idea to a functional point requires an enormous amount of effort and dedication.

Business Formation

The plan is in place. The profits are mapped and there’s even a lovely graph to show exactly when they will occur and how much they are expected to be.

The next step is where your investors come in, it requires an outlay to get a business up and running.

Whether it’s a small outlay, the renting of an office and copyrighting your company name, or whether it’s enormous, building a factory to produce your product while employing and training all the staff to operate it, the crux is the same, you will need some investment.

Many small businesses start with just their founders savings to set up, and this is often enough, while others will turn to banks for business loans.

This is going to be the most expensive period your business will ever see, there is always a period of investment before any return can be made. Once the returns begin coming in then further growth is possible but before any profit comes the initial investment.

Business Operation

The first aim for any new company is stability. Getting the business to a point where it is not losing any money. Obviously every company will be aiming for a profit as quickly as possible, but stability is more important.

A bumper period in a new business can lead to extra growth and outlay that the business cannot support and a quieter period following this can lead directly into financial difficulties.

Reaching a stable point means that there is the time to consider future growth and new strategies, without the pressure of knowing that every moment wasted means money lost. Only from this secure position can the appropriate decisions be made for the future.

From Business to Success

There is a certain mystique around the growth of those enormous corporations, the stories of Apple or Google starting in a garage and Facebook from a student bedroom. It is definite that a certain amount of luck is required but it is just as certain that no business can grow to that scale on luck alone.

There is one defining feature of all successful companies and that is that the right decisions were made. Time and again, those in charge of the company have made the right choice in regard to growth, the right choice in regard to competition and the right choice in regard to investment. Not everything they’ve done has always been a success but due to their structure and planning they are in a place to be able to cope with this.