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January 2014

Your company and social media.


After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, oil giant BP experienced a backlash via social media, becoming a victim of “brandhacking”. A source unaffiliated with the multinational company created the Twitter handle @BPGlobalPR, gathering more than 137,000 followers while sending out satirical tweets about the multi-billion-dollar disaster, such as “Catastrophe is a strong word, let’s all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy.” The account is still in existence and has almost double the followers of the actual corporate BP account.

Even the world’s savviest corporate executives can be caught off-guard by the power regular consumers wield when it comes to expressing their thoughts on social media, said Paul Armstrong, founder of UK-based Digital Orange Consulting, who has worked with giants like Google and Mindshare. “Many brands are simply not prepared for the worst-case scenarios,” he added. Only 12% of the 2,100 global companies interviewed in a 2010 Harvard Business Review survey said they were using it effectively, but two-thirds of those companies say their social media use will grow.

Social media is still in its infancy, which is something acknowledged by social media executives and the companies that employ them. In fact, employees on the social media front are the most powerful–and therefore vulnerable–asset a company has when it comes to brand perception. The people charged with maintaining a company’s persona need as much support as those companies can give, both in training and resources.

Crafting a roadmap
To avoid gaffes such as BP’s social media debacle, marketing directors are getting smarter about using tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to their advantage – even if they cannot always control the message. Social media strategies can be even more effective once they move outside of the marketing department and start quantifying results, said Steve Nicholls, UK-based author of Social Media in Business. “Companies need to think about how to use social media to gain competitive advantage,” explained Nicholls, whose clients include British Telecom and Ciena Corporation.

Communications professionals should focus on a few social media platforms, rather than tackling them all. “What works for one company won’t work for another,” said Nicholls. For example, encouraging public Facebook comments for a company such as a financial institution “where customers hate their guts” can magnify complaints, he added. Many of those companies are better off growing their presence on LinkedIn or Google+ where comments are less prevalent. Continue reading “Your company and social media.”

Time to leave GDP behind!


Image Continue reading “Time to leave GDP behind!”

Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (Newsflash)


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We invite you to read up more on this great initiative by clicking below link:

http://www.infodev.org/EPIC

Information on warranty collected from selected establishments in Belize


Cell Phone Survey Results - BC and SI_001

The Belize Bureau of Standards is currently conducting a cell phone survey to capture information about warranties provided by selected establishments across Belize. Kindly click on the link to view the results for Belize City and San Ignacio collected in January 2014.

Cell Phone Survey Results – BC and SI

Metrology in Food Processing


By: Lennox Nicholson, Consumer Protection Inspector, Belize Bureau of Standards

During the last quarter of 2013, the Bureau conducted a metrology survey that collected a wide range of information on the inventory and use of metrology equipment across the productive sector in Belize. The results show that of the 1865 equipment documented, 496 (26.6%) items are used to monitor/measure pressure. These equipment are used to measure fluid (water) and gas (primarily ammonia) pressure. Pressure equipment is prevalent across many sectors in Belize especially the food processing and agro-processing sectors. The bulk of pressure equipment in Belize can be found in power generating and refrigerating equipment used in activities such as citrus processing, shrimp processing and storage and fish processing.

The monitoring of pressure is rarely associated with food processing. However, its importance to these industries is derived from the essential role another indicator plays to these industries ie: temperature. The maintenance of appropriate temperature throughout the production process is essential to maintain product quality and safety. The equipment used to establish and maintain the optimum temperature in production and storage are power generating equipment and refrigeration equipment. In order to ensure that such machinery is functioning properly, pressure is a key indicator. If the proper ranges are not maintained during the operation of machinery, a failure may occur. Such machinery failure can inhibit the plant’s ability to maintain optimum temperatures leading to product loss or deterioration of product quality. Therefore, pressure is an essential indicator to the food processing and agro-productive sector. Given its importance to product quality and safety, it is essential that the readings obtained from the gauges and dials be accurate and reliable. In view of this, there can be no doubt that in the future, the BBS must develop the capacity to verify and calibrate pressure measuring equipment. This will go a long way to assist the productive sector in maintaining and enhancing the quality of its products.

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