21 Dec
2019

Revealed: Donegal people earn lowest incomes in Ireland

first_imgDonegal people have the lowest incomes in the country, new CSO figures reveal.The average household in Donegal takes in €32,259, which is €12,000 below the national average.Households in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median gross income at €66,203 in 2016, when the study was taken. Donegal also has the lowest income per person among the working population, where the average pay is €24,626 a year.In contrast, one in five households in Donegal received the majority of their income from working age social welfare payments.The geographical study looked health, wealth and education, finding that Donegal had the highest proportion of medical card holders in Ireland. Nearly half (48.4%) of people in Donegal had a medical card in 2016.Looking at the impact of education on income, the study found that people with an honours degree education in Donegal also earned some of the lowest wages in the country. Donegal people with an honours degree qualification as their highest level of education had the second lowest earnings at €34,537 per year. Carlow was the lowest at €34,326.Infographic by CSO   Revealed: Donegal people earn lowest incomes in Ireland was last modified: June 21st, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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18 Dec
2019

Proteas go pink for World Cancer Day

first_imgWorld Cancer Day is on 4 February 2016, a global event that unites the world in the fight against cancer.(Image: Cricket South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterThe special day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness of and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action. South Africa has a long tradition of giving its support to the fight against cancer. And in recent years South African cricket has become a strong supporter of the cause.Cricket South Africa (CSA) and PinkDrive have urged cricket fans to support the team during their traditional Pink One Day International (ODI) against England at Wanderers, Johannesburg on 12 February.It’s the third time the Proteas have donned the pink for a good cause, and according to CSA, previous events have raised almost half-a-million rand for local cancer awareness programmes and non-profit organisations. The money is used to buy mobile mammography and gynaecology testing centres.This year, CSA hopes to raise R1 000 000 and fans can contribute by sending an SMS with the keyword PINKDRIVE to 40158.“Our support for PinkDrive is one of our foremost social programmes and underlines the fact that cricket has a broader responsibility within society,” said CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat at the PinkDrive launch on 26 January. “The Pink ODI (will) mobilise cricket fans and the CSA family in support of a most worthy cause.”CSA, Bidvest, the Gauteng Cricket Board and sponsors, including Momentum and Castle Lager, will all contribute to the pink theme of the day, as well as raise funds. In addition to the Pink Proteas, billboards and branding around the Wanderers stadium will be decked out in pink. Merchandise, including hats and T- shirts, will be on sale for the day.As is tradition for the PinkDrive match, sponsors have offered players game incentives to add to the contributions.Momentum will donate R10 000 for every six hit into its family area spectators’ zone, and R100 000 for every boundary that hits a giant inflatable M placed in the arena.Castle wants to donate R10 000 for every catch of the day, while R2.50 from every beer sold on the day will also be donated to PinkDrive.Venue sponsors Bidvest will donate R1 000 every time the ball hits the (pink, naturally) branded boundary rope.Highlights from previous PinkDrive gamesJason Holder and AB de Villiers on the future of #cricket: https://t.co/zrlCqTItDG pic.twitter.com/h9PB2B3SiB— ESPN Caribbean (@ESPN_Caribbean) January 16, 2016In 2015, South Africa played in pink against the West Indies at Wanderers. It seemed as if the colour came packed with luck as AB de Villiers, Riley Rossouw and Hashim Amla all scored centuries to give South Africa a total of 439, surpassing the highest score in one-day international cricket. The Proteas held the previous record of 438 in the legendary game against Australia in 2006.Captain De Villiers led from the front, scoring the fastest century in one-day international history.The history of cricket and pinkInternational cricket’s association with cancer awareness began in 2005, with the formation of the McGrath Foundation. That fundraising and awareness initiative was started by former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath and his wife, Jane.Following Jane McGrath’s initial diagnosis and successful treatment for breast cancer, the couple wanted to use their status in the cricketing world and Australian society to draw attention to the need for cancer technology research and awareness for women, particularly young women, to have regular cancer checks.Initially a standard fundraising operation, the foundation’s pink-themed cricket events boosted its popularity, first in Australian domestic competitions and later in official games by the national side.Now in its tenth year, the foundation holds regular annual pink events, including the Sydney Pink Test, an iconic centrepiece of the charity held during Australia’s home Test match in January every year. In February, around World Cancer Day, there is a number of charity matches played featuring pink stumps. On 31 January 2016, Australia also played a Pink T20 in Sydney against the touring Indian team.Supporting Jane McGrath Day at the Australia v India T20 Cricket #janemcgrathfoundation #artisgroup pic.twitter.com/C3f9OSvMlB— Chris Greatrex (@chrisgreatrex) January 31, 2016Jane McGrath died in 2008, but her memory lives on in the pink initiatives held by cricketing nations around the world on World Cancer Day, including in South Africa.Source: News24Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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15 Dec
2019

The Customer Care Bar Has Never Been Higher, so Brands Must Automate to Keep Up

first_imgRelated Posts Fang ChengCEO and Co-founder of Linc Global With This One Question, You’ll Never Need an Ic… Product and price have been the foundational differentiators in retail for decades. However, in a world plagued with ever-evolving consumer expectations and innovative new competitors, relying on these differentiators is no longer giving brands the competitive advantage they need to thrive among the fierce competition. It’s easier than ever for consumers to perform price comparisons of similar items, and the rise of e-commerce giants such as Amazon is making an ever-increasing number of lookalike products accessible in two days or less.Advances in manufacturing technology and the sophistication of global supply chains have only stoked the fires of competition, making product quality less of a differentiating factor. As brands fight harder for customer loyalty, exceptional customer experiences and value-added services have emerged as the new game changers when executed well.In fact, a 2018 Salesforce survey of consumer preferences around the globe found that 79 percent of consumers feel like the experience is equal in importance to the products and services offered by a company. Fortunately for brands, there are many different ways to deliver a winning experience.From rewards programs and free shipping to how-to guides, appointment services, and extensive warranties, brands have a wide array of tools at their disposal to drive loyalty and create customers for life. For these tools to effectively serve customers at scale, however, brands need to focus on implementing automated customer care in order to better serve and engage their customers and create net-positive returns from these value-added services.The Evolving Scope of Customer CareAlmost all consumers have experienced the frustrations of traditional customer service. They dial a phone number when an issue arises and listen to long menus of options, aggravating hold music, and repeated assurances that — in spite of the available evidence — their call is “very important.” Most customer service agendas reside in defense mode, cleaning up problems with a tight deadline. Customer care, however, relies on being proactive by providing value-added, meaningful assistance for consumers at every stage of their purchasing journey.For example, cosmetics brand Glossier proactively looks for ways to bring its customers’ voices into its product development. As a result, new and updated products better reflect consumers’ needs and emphasize the importance of their preferences. To carry this through, Glossier’s team fosters customer care by interacting with consumers using candid responses and emojis, similar to how one would communicate with a friend. Taking this connection to new heights, Glossier’s team helped an anxious bride-to-be when she wrote that the brand’s Haloscope highlighter was out of stock. Instead of sending a generic reply, the brand’s team reacted similarly to how a best friend would — messaging all employees to see whether someone had the highlighter and ultimately sending the product before the big day.The most pervasive modern brands are seeking every opportunity to parlay their expertise into value-added services and experiences that engage and excite their customers, and the Freeman “Global Brand Experience Study” has interesting findings on the results. Nearly 60 percent of CMOs surveyed felt like the brand experience created lasting relationships with critical audiences, and 90 percent of respondents lauded the brand experience as a source of compelling engagement.Another impressive, proactive customer care-centered brand is Best Buy. After Amazon took the spotlight by offering fast delivery for electronics and the potential use of drones in the future, Best Buy knew it needed to find a new way to differentiate itself. To do so, it looked at its entire customer journey and realized that its audience often needed help before committing to an electronics purchase. Tapping into its customer care mindset, Best Buy now offers an advisor program, which provides free in-home consultations to help interested consumers learn about new products and what is needed for installation.With so many brands excelling at modern customer care in new ways, the bar is being raised higher every day. That’s great news for consumers, but it’s an intimidating prospect for companies operating on decreasing margins. However, through the use of automation, the expanding landscape of customer care can take on a new life, and brands can be more than able to meet consumers’ expectations.5 Benefits of Automated Customer CareAutomated customer care software is an efficient, scalable solution that delivers the following benefits to brands across verticals:1. Elimination of hefty costsUse automation tools such as chatbots to process a vast number of customer queries and take a significant weight off the shoulders of your service agents. Thanks to developments in AI and machine learning, your chatbot will only get better at interacting.Automated assistants can help customers with a unique blend of service, merchandising, and sales solutions, as well as additional engagement opportunities. Text-based chatbots currently see the most widespread use, and with recent advances in natural language processing technology, they are enabling customers to interact with intelligent bots across a wide range of needs. Additionally, these bots are available via other channels such as voice and web chat.Chatbots are commonly used in customer service scenarios, and they’re particularly valuable because they are capable of bearing the brunt of requests, answering most online queries, and only transferring customers to live agents when necessary. As a result, fewer agents are needed to deliver a higher-quality customer experience.2. Differentiation in the marketOne of the most pressing issues when it comes to customer care is delivering personalized experiences to consumers that don’t take a toll on a brand’s budget. According to a report from Business Insider, the No. 1 barrier to personalization is a lack of resources. Fortunately, with the right tools, a brand can offer engaging services without an astronomical increase in budget, all while reducing costs and creating new revenue. The key to this is automation.Implementing a customer care automation strategy means you can deliver value-added services to more customers across diverse channels, all without increasing your customer service cost. In turn, automated assistants operate around the clock, offer real-time engagement and service to your customers, and improve the reach and results of service-based differentiation initiatives.3. Better engagement in the channels customers preferAs consumers become well-versed in multichannel settings — often communicating with short-form, quick questions — it’s hard for brands to communicate on the channels consumers use the most. Even with a presence in some channels, agents often lack the ability to access the consumer’s current context and history with the brand and are not empowered to provide an immediate resolution.However, customer care automation enables customers to engage with your brand across new channels that you might currently be missing out on while providing immediate service on others. For example, you can use a messaging platform to send customers notifications about product recommendations, answer questions about rewards status and points, and set reminders for events happening nearby. According to Sumo, customers and businesses exchange more than 8 billion messages each month on Facebook Messenger alone. In fact, customers crave this engagement, and 53 percent say they’re more likely to buy from a business that supports chat.4. Unlocked data sourcesDelivering customer care through automated interactions gives brands a wealth of new data that can be used to improve customer experiences, trigger campaigns, and help live agents handle inquiries.Customer care automation software is built to not only provide automated services to a customer, but also share data in real time with other systems. As a result, a unified customer profile provides the AI with what it needs and offers other existing systems access to this data. Bringing together customer profile data, interaction history, and derived insights, such as size preference, frequency of purchase, and sentiment, gives a brand more opportunities to use enriched data in order to offer great customer experiences and drive more engagement and revenue.5. Improved marketing effectiveness and ROIWhile digital paid campaigns can come with a hefty price tag, they are a mainstay for acquisition and retention campaigns alike. Incorporating automated customer care allows ROI to grow organically and affords brands the ability to cut down on ad spend costs by improving audience target, creating additional touchpoints, and driving more engagement through convenience and an improved customer experience.In fact, interacting with customers on such a personal level is powerful, and research from The Boston Consulting Group suggests that retailers that implement personalization strategies see an increase in sales of up to 10 percent. By delivering meaningful services that are based on your unique expertise in your product category, you create relevancy with consumers, along with loyalty and revenue. As a result, your automated customer care can become a tool to convert new customers, retain current ones, and supercharge existing marketing initiatives. Fang Cheng is the CEO and co-founder of Linc Global, a customer care automation platform that helps brands differentiate with automated, value-added services and experiences across the channels shoppers prefer. At first glance, customer care might seem synonymous with customer service, but in reality, brands that are taking a more holistic approach to customer care and incorporating automation to make value-added services more accessible on channels that customers prefer are setting themselves far ahead of the competition. If loyalty, engagement, and the customer experience are top priorities for your brand, understanding and implementing automated customer care now can position you to see gains in the short term and provide you with a strategic advantage for the future.center_img AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… How Self-Service Technology Can Boost Startup G… Tags:#automation#customer service Man or Machine? For Better Customer Service, Us…last_img read more

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12 Dec
2019

In-Camera or in Post: How to Get the Same Effects as Expensive Lenses

first_imgYou can add the first two of these in After Effects with another great template, this time from RocketStock. You need to map the lens flares to the flares in your shot, which can be fine for a couple of shots, but it could be a huge headache for an entire feature film.These experiments concluded that it’s smart to test the effect you’re thinking about before you dive headlong into in-camera or post effects, to see where the best medium is: control vs. time. Then, at least you’ll know what you’re getting into.Looking for more video production tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Master Premiere Pro’s Timeline with Source PatchingWhat to Consider When Upgrading to the Pocket Cinema 6KThe Lost Joys of Using DIY Filmmaking Equipment3 Tips for Stabilizing Smartphone Videography5 Documentary-Style Lenses for 5 Budgets In this article, we take a look at three common effects and whether the post-production version lives up to the in-camera effect.One of the oldest questions in digital cinematography is “in-camera or in post?” Do stylistic choices like lens type, filters, and lens shake work better if you use them with the camera on set, or can you produce the same effect in the comfort of your post-production home — without compromising the original negative?Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. In-camera effects are generally cheaper, and you can control their details on the day of shooting — with the director present for sign-off. Post-production effects take longer, but you get finer control, and if they’re too over the top, you can dial them down — or dial them up if you need to. Like any post effect, they cost more. However, they can cost a lot more if you’re trying to apply the effect — like anamorphic lens style — to an entire film.Let’s start with the easiest: lens filters. DPs who think modern digital cameras and lenses produce an image that is too sharp and clinical, and lacks the chemical imperfections of film, use pieces of glass or plastic that screw onto the lens or slide into the matte box. Tiffen’s Black Pro-Mist softens images in a very filmic way — especially skin imperfections — and blooms the highlights. It comes in different strengths, as well as screw-on and drop-in formats. We found that the mid-tone detail slider in DaVinci Resolve did a very similar job to Black Pro-Mist — as well as turning down contrast. The best result was adding the lightest kind of Black Pro-Mist 1/8 on the lens, then using Resolve to increase the effect. That way you’re not locked into an extreme look.The next challenge was camera shake. A small amount of camera shake finds its way into most handheld shots, and it is pretty standard. A violent and dramatic camera shaking effect, like those used in fight scenes or earthquakes, is hard to control and not healthy for the camera (over a long period, it can shake parts loose from the rig). There is even a device called the “image shaker” that mounts on the 15mm rails in front of the camera, shaking the image without shaking the delicate insides of the camera.With some motion blur, we found it pretty easy to add camera shake in post by using free templates on the internet and mapping the footage to them. Be aware that you’ll need to shoot at a higher resolution than your delivery resolution, so you have room to move the frame around and not see black around the outside of your frame.The last and most difficult in-camera effect we tried in post was anamorphic lenses. Many DPs are obsessed with anamorphic, but few movie-goers know or care which lens shape a filmmaker uses. That said, they can probably work on a conscious level to associate the film with other movies — both classic and contemporary — shot anamorphic.The three main visual qualities of anamorphic are vignetting, edge distortion, and an oval horizontal lens flare.last_img read more

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