PGAs of EuropeAdvancing Associations – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:58:33 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Italy’s Di Ponziano Honoured With Christer Lindberg Bowl http://www.pgae.com/ask/italys-di-ponziano-honoured-with-christer-lindberg-bowl/ Tue, 09 Jan 2018 13:11:10 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20890 Donato Di Ponziano, has been awarded the 2017 Christer Lindberg Bowl in recognition of his impact on, and services to, European golf...]]>

Leading PGA of Italy Member Professional, Donato Di Ponziano, has been awarded the 2017 Christer Lindberg Bowl at the 2017 Annual Congress Gala Awards supported by Rolex, in recognition of his impact on, and services to, European golf.

The Christer Lindberg Bowl is named after the PGAs of Europe’s first Chairman, reflecting the importance and influence of its winners.  Di Ponziano’s worthy naming as this year’s recipient acknowledges the role he has played within golf, from grass roots level all the way to top-level elite performers.

 

“It is a big privilege and I know what it means because it comes from Christer Lindberg who was a very special man,” said Di Ponziano after receiving the award at the 2017 Annual Congress Gala Awards Dinner at Costa Navarino in Greece.

“I don’t know if I deserve it, but what I know for sure is that I have a lot of colleagues in Europe that helped me a lot…so I am very proud of it.”

The Italian has been instrumental in the development of the PGA of Italy and its education programme, ran the Men’s, Women’s and Seniors’ Italian Opens for a number of years and is currently Technical Director of the Performance Centre at ‘Royal Park I Roveri’ in Turin and a TV commentator for Sky Italia.

His influence has not just been limited to Italy, however, having worked extensively for golf in Europe as a PGAs of Europe Board Member for over 20 years. He was then PGAs of Europe Honorary President in 2014-15 recognising his service to the Association and the stature that he has had across the continent.

“At the beginning of my time with the PGAs of Europe, it was not easy,” Di Ponziano added. “Different nationalities, characters, egos – but then golf helped everybody to be what Europe expected – a group of Professionals who worked together to achieve great results. Our role was not to be a genius, but to build bridges between knowledge and the people who don’t have the opportunity to be close to golf.

“I think the world of golf is better than it was before, and the PGAs of Europe has been an important part of my life and I am very thankful to my colleagues from across this time.”

This was also shown with his role as a Ryder Cup Policy Board Member and his work as a Golf Developer in carrying missions much further afield than just Europe.

India has become particularly close to Di Ponziano’s heart having visited many times across 20 years, working to teach a large number of coaches and players and also having helped established the National Golf Academy of India (NGAI).

In 2015, in recognition of his efforts in India, he was given the honour of becoming India’s first ‘Master Teaching Professional’ by the Indian Golf Union (IGU).

He is also hugely well known for his role in developing the first European Teaching & Coaching Conference (TCC) in Milan, Italy, in 1990. The TCCs became a fixture on the PGAs of Europe’s schedule with the hugely successful and ground-breaking events taking place in France, Switzerland Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, with many led by Di Ponziano or featuring him as a speaker.

These TCC events were designed to help standardise and improve the development of educational knowledge and methods among the PGA Professionals across Europe and resulted in thousands of individuals gaining knowledge that at the time was unavailable to them elsewhere.

Di Ponziano’s impact on golf has been wide reaching in various elements of the sport making him a very worthy recipient of the Christer Lindberg Bowl.

For More Information On All of 2017’s Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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For more information on the 2017 Annual Award Winners visit Annual Congress Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search the hashtag ‘#AnnualCongress’ or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

The Annual Congress Gala Awards are partnered by Rolex, Costa Navarino, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, BMW and Aegean Airlines, and are supported by The Botanist, The Blue Beetle, Bulldog, G’Vine gins, Marendry apperitivo, and Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers.

2017 Annual Congress - http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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Italy’s Di Ponziano Honoured With Christer Lindberg Bowl
5-Star Evans Receives Prestigious PGA Professional Award http://www.pgae.com/news/5-star-evans-receives-prestigious-pga-professional-award/ Sun, 07 Jan 2018 17:22:14 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20819 Managing Director and Co-Owner of the Centurion Club, Scott Evans (PGA of GB&I), has been awarded the PGAs of Europe's 2017 5-Star Professional Award...]]>

Managing Director and Co-Owner of the Centurion Club, Scott Evans (PGA of GB&I), has been awarded the 2017 5-Star Professional Award by the PGAs of Europe, in recognition of his outstanding work in various areas of golf.

Evans’ vast experience of working in some of the world’s best golf facilities, including creating the hugely successful Centurion Club, make him a worthy winner of the award that acknowledges those who show the highest standards and achievements in the areas of expertise and activity they have been involved with.

 

“I am very honoured to receive this award – to be accepted and recognised by your peers and colleagues is everything you work towards,” said Evans in his acceptance speech video shown to guests of the 2017 Annual Congress Gala Awards Dinner supported by Rolex at Costa Navarino in Greece.

“Receiving the award means so much to my family and I – there’s a lot of people to thank from throughout my career, young and old, past and present, who have been a huge help and support – I really accept this on their behalf as much as my own. It’s a tough business we’re in and I just wanted to be tougher than the rest…it comes from Scottish grit, determination and doing the best job that I can.”

Described as a great example for those working in golf management and a consummate professional, Evans joins the outstanding roll of honour that reflects the extreme merits, diversity and international nature of PGAs of Europe 5-Star Professional Winners, which include Ryder Cup Captains and Open Champions since the award began in 1992.

Evans began his career training as a Civil Engineer and carried out his PGA training under the guidance of the much respected former PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Captain, Bill Watson, at Whitecraigs Golf Club until 1990.

He then moved on to work in the USA at the prestigious Tom Weiskopf-designed Troon Golf and Country Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, working alongside Weiskopf himself and also the creator of Troon Golf, Dana Garmany; a move that would prove to be the catalyst for his career in club management.

Evans worked in Arizona for two years, and by 1995 had also worked through the opening stages of Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club with Peter Downie, and Loch Lomond Golf Club with Paul Dellanzo.

In 1996 and at the age of 28 he moved onto Bearwood Lakes Golf Club in the UK where he was responsible for taking the project from the latter stages of construction through to the finished product. It was here he spent 10 years working under Ray Wilson of Southern Golf fame and seeing first hand the construction of some of Europe’s finest golf courses.

Adding another big name club to his CV, Evans moved on to the London Club as General Manager in 2005 where he was instrumental in turning around the fortunes of the club and creating an agreement with the European Tour that ultimately led to its hosting of two London Senior Masters, two European Opens and a World Matchplay Championship.

Moving back to Troon Golf in 2007, he then worked on many new European projects whilst becoming Managing Director of the La Quinta Resort in Marbella, overseeing its renovation whilst introducing the European Seniors Tour Benahavis Senior Masters.

In 2010, Evans continued his journey to where he is now with the development of the Centurion Club just outside London, where he recently received the award from PGAs of Europe Chief Executive, Ian Randell [pictured above, right] and PGAs of Europe Honorary President, George O’Grady CBE [pictured above, left].

Finding a piece of land just 30 minutes from central London was just the first step in a journey that, along with his Dutch business partners Bert Pronk and Andre Hendriks, has led to the creation of a club that is now famed for its forward-thinking approach, including an acclaimed golf course, a unique membership structure and, a modern club culture and facilities – such as a restaurant operated by the Michelin-starred chefs, the Galvin brothers – that are relaxing, comfortable and high quality in equal measure.

The club has also gained international recognition for becoming the venue of the innovative European Tour GolfSixes event that began earlier this year.  Centurion has been instrumental in the success of the revolutionary format of two-man teams from 16 different countries that brought over 9,000 spectators through the club’s gates, and also gave it huge exposure to millions of people around the world with its extensive TV coverage.

The development of the club is a great example of the dedication, drive and expertise that Evans has, having overcome many challenges, including the development of a successful and sustainable facility during one of the worst economic periods in our lifetime.

With this exceptional list of facilities and clubs that Evans has poured heart and soul into, he is more than worthy of being named a 5-Star Professional.

For More Information On All of 2017’s Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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For more information on the 2017 Annual Award Winners visit Annual Congress Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search the hashtag ‘#AnnualCongress’ or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

The Annual Congress Gala Awards are partnered by Rolex, Costa Navarino, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, BMW and Aegean Airlines, and are supported by The Botanist, The Blue Beetle, Bulldog, G’Vine gins, Marendry apperitivo, and Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers.

2017 Annual Congress - http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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5-Star Evans Receives Prestigious PGA Professional Award
Liam Duggan Earns PGAs of Europe ‘President’s Award for Golf Development’ Honour http://www.pgae.com/news/liam-duggan-earns-pgas-of-europe-presidents-award-for-golf-development-honour/ Sat, 06 Jan 2018 14:53:39 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20806 PGA in Ireland Advanced Professional, Liam Duggan, has been posthumously awarded the President’s Award for Golf Development (Individual)...]]>

PGA in Ireland Advanced Professional, Liam Duggan, has been posthumously awarded the President’s Award for Golf Development (Individual) in recognition of his tireless efforts and huge successes in developing golf in schools and promoting inclusivity in Ireland.

Over a period of six years, Liam created an extensive system for golf coaching in schools across Ireland. This allowed thousands of children to access golf that otherwise would not be able to, engaging in a number of projects that created playing opportunities for people of all ages and physical and mental capabilities, all whilst providing employment for many PGA Professionals.

In early 2017, Liam was diagnosed with an extremely rare condition and after a short period of treatment, passed away suddenly at the University Hospital Kerry aged just 37, leaving behind his much loved wife and two children.

Nominated by the PGA in Ireland, Liam was naturally a worthy recipient of the President’s Award for Golf Development, as it aims to acknowledge the work of an individual or specific project that has excelled in developing golf.

Liam began his PGA career in 2003 and graduated with distinction having finished third, first and second out of all the trainees in the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland training programme. After a short time in the United States at Kiawah Island, the global economic climate led to interviewing for dozens of jobs and work outside of the golf industry. With few opportunities within golf arising, he felt it necessary to make his own.

In April 2011, after realising that there was not enough of a focus on juniors within golf in Ireland, Liam founded LDgolf, a freelance coaching service offering tuition in Limerick & Kerry, with a primary focus on junior coaching and development.

Seeing a clear gap in the market, he focused on delivering golf in schools creating fun and safe learning environments and positive experiences and ensuring he taught the fundamentals of golf, life skills and cognitive and affective intelligence.

This opened the floodgates and after only a few years, the programmes were becoming incorporated into the curriculum and there was enough demand that he was able to create a revenue stream and take on two further PGA Professionals.

By the end of 2015, the ‘Rising Star’ programme had 24 PGA Professionals delivering instruction in over 225 schools, to more than 3,000 children each week on average, with pathways established to 32 golf clubs and coaching venues in the country.

The programme showed success with various high performing juniors coming through the system, but also in engaging PGA Professionals that gained the skills necessary to keep employment in the golf industry at a time when many were not able to.

Liam was then able to take his incredible work much further with the development of the CommuniTEE programme that focuses on bringing golf to the 90% of the population that do not have access to the sport, such as school children, the over 60s, those with special needs, and also families, with structured pathways to golf clubs to provide long-term playing opportunities.

He was then a natural fit to work with other organisations such as The First Tee Ireland and their one day “Primary Days” programmes, and with UNESCO Chair at Tralee IT and the co-developed “Let’s Inclusivize Golf” programme focusing on creating opportunities for people with disabilities in golf.

This work also led to engaging with The Els Foundation and the delivery of “Els for Autism” programmes with the Foundation placing a plaque at their headquarters in Florida in tribute to Liam and his work.

Liam’s wife, Catherine [pictured above], was present at the 2017 Annual Congress Gala Awards Dinner at Costa Navarino in Greece to collect the award in recognition of the legacy for golf in Ireland that he has left. PGAs of Europe Honorary President, George O’Grady CBE, presented Catherine with Liam’s award, receiving an emotional and a much-deserved reception from the attending guests.

For More Information On All of 2017’s Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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For more information on the 2017 Annual Award Winners visit Annual Congress Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search the hashtag ‘#AnnualCongress’ or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

The Annual Congress Gala Awards are partnered by Rolex, Costa Navarino, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, BMW and Aegean Airlines, and are supported by The Botanist, The Blue Beetle, Bulldog, G’Vine gins, Marendry apperitivo, and Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers.

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Liam Duggan Earns PGAs of Europe ‘President’s Award for Golf Development’ Honour
‘Golf Éducatif’ Programme Recognised With European Golf Development Award http://www.pgae.com/news/golf-educatif-programme-recognised-with-european-golf-development-award/ Fri, 05 Jan 2018 14:18:44 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20790 ‘Golf Éducatif’ has been awarded the 2017 President’s Award for Golf Development (Project) at the Association’s Gala Awards supported by Rolex...]]>

‘Golf Éducatif’ has been awarded the 2017 President’s Award for Golf Development (Project) by the PGAs of Europe at the Association’s Gala Awards supported by Rolex.

The President’s Award for Golf Development acknowledges the work of an individual or specific project that has excelled in developing golf. Since 2003, Golf Éducatif has worked to use golf as an educational tool that promotes the values associated with the game – respect, etiquette, humility, environmental awareness, concentration, and citizenship – to French schoolchildren and adults regardless of their socio-economic background, or physical and mental capabilities.

The Project develops environmental and social awareness and helps people to take responsibility by getting them involved in the construction, development and up-keep of their own golf courses, with well over 20 courses being created across France.

 

The Project is the brainchild of PGA of GB&I Professional, Bill Owens [pictured below, left], who has led it from its very beginning and received the award at the 2017 Annual Congress at Costa Navarino in Greece from PGAs of Europe Honorary President, George O’Grady CBE [pictured below, right].

“I can’t wait to take this into all the golf courses we have built and I know the pupils are going to be so proud,” said Owens after receiving a standing ovation during the awards ceremony. “This could really help us to build more Golf Éducatif courses all over France. A lot of people said we couldn’t do this but I love that kind of challenge – this is a real rocket that will let an awful lot of people know what we’re going to do with golf and what Golf Éducatif is.

“I see Golf Éducatif as an important educational solution because we’re in a serious situation worrying about the environment. The philosophy that the project works on is that there is 82% of the world’s population living in 18% of the territory…so we have to have an education for children that shows how they get in contact with the environment and we believe they can only do this through a game, and that game is golf. They need the tools to do this and Golf Éducatif can be that tool, and is what education will be about in the future…we have a model that can set an example for the world.”

Owens’ specific teaching method called “Le Geste Naturel”, combined with the use of 30% distance golf balls, enable participants to play in a wide variety of environments such as sports grounds, educational facilities, public parks, derelict and un-used land and the grounds of psychological and physiological health units.

Courses are built so they are adapted to the 30% ball and participants are then able to learn using an “educational golf” teaching formula taught to teachers and educators that creates a multi-disciplinary experience including artistic and creative studies, mathematics, physics, sport, history, and civil instruction.

The programme’s strong environmental focus creates awareness and individual responsibility for the ever-increasing urban population through the re-use of existing, inner-city land, and recycling of golf equipment and any items that are available to participants, such as old tyres to build greens, leftover paint, old building materials and even clothing.

The project has worked tirelessly to place golf in the heart of the education system in France with around 50 teachers or educators being taught every year, each of which is working with around 30 pupils.

Owens presented an overview of the project during the 2017 Annual Congress sessions to representatives of Member Country PGAs showing how the model could be rolled out internationally allowing other countries to also see substantial social, physical and psychological benefits.

For More Information On All of 2017’s Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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For more information on the 2017 Annual Award Winners visit Annual Congress Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search the hashtag ‘#AnnualCongress’ or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

The Annual Congress Gala Awards are partnered by Rolex, Costa Navarino, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, BMW and Aegean Airlines, and are supported by The Botanist, The Blue Beetle, Bulldog, G’Vine gins, Marendry apperitivo, and Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers.

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‘Golf Éducatif’ Programme Recognised With European Golf Development Award
The Costa Daurada, A Universal Heritage http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-costa-daurada-a-universal-heritage/ Fri, 29 Dec 2017 07:00:17 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20955 With its excellent climate and its privileged location, and more than 80km of coastline, the Costa Daurada is a leading tourist destination in the Mediterranean]]>

The Costa Daurada has always been a welcoming land. Its excellent climate and its privileged location, with more than eighty kilometers of coastline, also with mountains rich in natural and heritage resources make this area, made up of six counties located in the southern area of Catalonia, one of the leading tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.

The destination currently provides a rich and varied array of golf courses where to enjoy this sport all year round. All the courses are also located close to the main towns of the Costa Daurada and have very easy access. Moreover, these are high-quality courses as they have been designed by world experts such as Robert Trent Jones Jr and Greg Norman.

 The Costa Daurada, A Universal Heritage

In 1991, the monastery of Santa Maria of Poblet, in Vimbodí-Poblet, became the first monument of the Costa Daurada to achieve the Unesco World Heritage Site listing. The declaration arrived after years of restorations to recover the ancient splendour of a unique monastery: with a mixture of styles: from Romanesque to Gothic and a monastic community that maintains the communal life.

The discovery of Tarraco is also synonymous of a trip back in time that will enable you to enjoy a small piece of the history of the Roman Empire. The light, the pleasant temperatures, its port, etc. were factors that favoured the idyll between the Romans and Tarraco, a city that for two years, from the year 29 to 27 bc., even became the residence of Emperor Caesar Augustus. The Roman Tarragona is also a World Heritage site: we suggest you visit the amphitheatre, the walls, the circus, etc. Don’t forget to stroll around the streets of the Part Alta (high part) where you can still perceive and discover its rich history.

The bourgeoisie of Reus promoted the construction of new buildings in the historic centre of the capital of Baix Camp, which at the end of the 19th century became their manor houses and are now authentic architectural gems that you will be able to discover when strolling through the centre of Reus. The icing on the cake of this architecture is the Pere Mata Institute, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, and that was built following the pavilions model of the Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona It is currently possible to visit the pavilion “of the distinguished”, which is of great architectural beauty. At the Gaudi Centre, you will be able to learn the secrets of this talented architect.

Human castles are culture and one of the deeply rooted traditions of the Costa Daurada. With more than two centuries of history, this tradition, which came from the town of Valls, has spread first along the Catalan geography and now, even beyond the barriers and borders of this territory. Strength, balance, courage and wisdom are values associated with human castles and are the reason why they have been declared intangible asset by Unesco.

Wine Tourism

The Costa Daurada is a territory of excellent wines. Since the Romans arrived, vineyards are grown in the counties in the south, although the greatest expansion took place with the arrival of the Cistercian and Carthusian monks. The production of grapes and wine making has been deeply rooted in the monastic tradition and since the middle ages, it has also been adopted in this territory.

Although, in addition to the history, the geographic and climate conditions of these counties produces wines of a great quality and of a special singularity. In fact, in the Costa Daurada, there are five designations of origin, some of which are even made with autochthonous grapes, as well as the Designation of Origin Cava.

To be able to enjoy the wine culture, the wine tourism offer increases day by day, with cellars that offer routes to discover the territory, the vineyards and at the same time taste the wines and cavas that are made there.

In this context, we also propose the discovery of the architecture linked to the wine culture. We are referring to the modernism cooperative buildings built at the ends of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, as a result of the zenith of the cooperative culture.

Find out more about the Costa Daurada in next month’s IGPN…

For More Information Visit www.costadaurada.info

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The Costa Daurada, A Universal Heritage
Golf Escapes & PGAs of Europe Join Forces http://www.pgae.com/news/golf-escapes-pgas-of-europe-join-forces/ Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:21:32 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20645 Leading golf travel company, Golf Escapes, have joined together with the PGAs of Europe to become part of the Association’s Corporate Partner family...]]>

Leading golf travel company, Golf Escapes, have joined together with the PGAs of Europe to become part of the Association’s Corporate Partner family and to collaborate on the upcoming ‘PGAs of Europe Travel Club’.

Since 2002, Golf Escapes have sent over 70,000 golfers around the world on tailor-made trips and continue to add new destinations and venues to their portfolio all the time.

Golf Escapes will become ‘Official Travel Supplier to the PGAs of Europe’ providing expert guidance, information and travel services for PGAs and their Member Professionals operating golf travel holidays and coaching groups.

 

The relationship will see both organisations work closely on the ‘PGAs of Europe Travel Club’ – an exciting new initiative that will also engage other golf travel operators across the 35 Member Country PGAs and enable golf clubs, resorts, facilities and destinations to promote themselves through this network to their 21,000+ PGA Professionals and the golfers that they interact with on a daily basis.

“It’s fantastic for us to partner with the PGAs of Europe,” said Golf Escapes’ Managing Director, Jon Ruben [picture above, 2nd left]. “Accessing this network of PGAs and Professionals is a great platform for us to build on and to increase our year-on-year growth.

“We very much see Professionals as ambassadors for golf travel – once they’ve seen resorts and areas, then they are able to impart their knowledge on to their members and guests, and we can add value to that as we have been around for 15 years and we know people in all of these resorts.”

“We are really going to be hitting the ground running with the Golf Escapes team in developing the PGAs of Europe Travel Club, and the partnership in general,” added Ian Randell, PGAs of Europe Chief Executive.

“The expertise of Golf Escapes, combined with our network, will enable us to promote the benefits of golf travel for Professionals and their clients, whilst also allowing the promotion of the world’s best venues and destinations to the most discerning audience and leading influencers in the sport.”

Golf Escapes will also be working with the Association to produce educational content that provides useful, relevant and interesting information that informs PGA Professionals about the benefits of golf travel, group tuition breaks and how to create exceptional experiences for their clients.

For more information visit www.Golf-Escapes.com

Golf Escapes - Official Travel Supplier to the PGAs of Europe

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Golf Escapes & PGAs of Europe Join Forces
Growth Mindset Culture http://www.pgae.com/ask/growth-mindset-culture/ Wed, 25 Oct 2017 08:16:23 +0000 Train Ugly http://www.pgae.com/?p=11094 The USA Women’s Volleyball Team has been one of the best at applying growth mindset into their team culture...]]>

The USA Women’s Volleyball Team has been one of the best at applying growth mindset into their team culture. 

Their staff explains how they do it:

This interview was the inspiration behind The Growth Mindset Playbook (a page dedicated to laying out the best ways to teach and implement growth mindset).

I’d like to give a huge S/O to Karch and his staff for being so incredible these past few years – I can’t explain how much they’ve helped the Train Ugly mission!

If you’d like to see the crew in action and learn more about their approaches, check out:

THE TRAINING THE GAP CONFERENCE

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Growth Mindset Culture
PGA Professional Spotlight: Marie Jeffery (PGA of Austria) [PODCAST] http://www.pgae.com/ask/pga-professional-spotlight-marie-jeffery-pga-of-austria-podcast/ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:07:43 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20084 Marie Jeffery tells us about how she got into golf, her work in the world of 'Communicology', and her views on female participation and development in golf...]]>

Marie Jeffery is a Member of the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team and a PGA of Austria Member. We spoke to Marie to find out more about how she got into golf, her work in the world of ‘Communicology’, her experience with the Austrian Girls National Team and views on female participation and development in golf.

“I think women’s golf has a great future if it can market itself correctly. For me it’s as exciting watching a ladies’ tournament as it is watching a men’s tournament. Sometimes people get a bit drawn to how far the ball flies and they attack impossible pins and take on impossible shots, but the ladies play really clever golf too.

“I was at the Evian Championship last year and what I saw was very impressive – they had a very professional attitude and were really focused on the range so there’s no difference between them and the guys. I would like to see ladies get much more TV time and more acknowledgement for what they are doing.”

Interview Highlights:

00:29 – How Marie got into golf…

01:39 – Entering a golf club as a young girl golfer…

02:21 – The changes in golf in Austria…

03:23 – Marie now works at the same facility that she started her golf career at…

06:25 – Being driven by those that originally discouraged her golf…

08:23 – Getting the Austrian National Team Coach job…

09:20 – Becoming involved in ‘Communicology’…

11:25 – Using ‘Communicology’ to break things down and not get lost in the detail…

12:10 – Key learnings from Marie’s career so far…

14:19 – The difference between teaching & coaching…

16:00 – What changes has Marie seen over the time she worked with the Austrian Girls squads…

18:49 – Working as a National Coach is a 24/7 role…

19:41 – What is the future of girls’ golf…

20:48 – The challenges face in women and girls’ participation…

23:01 – The difference between girls and boys’ sport …

24:26 – What are the mistakes most beginner golfers make…?

28:15 – Who is the best lesser-known coach Marie has worked with…?

30:19 – What advice would you give your 25-year-old self…?

31:09 – Marie’s views on who she feels are ‘successful’ people…

32:05 – Marie’s favourite book…

33:01 – The advice has Marie found beneficial up until now…

35:01 – What might surprise listeners about Marie…

35:19 – The golf equipment that gives Marie the most joy…

35:55 – Marie’s dream Fourball…

36:34 – Advice for aspiring PGA Professionals…


Find out more about Marie at www.functionalgolf.at and at functionalgolfat on Facebook.

Find out more about the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team at http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGA Professional Spotlight: Marie Jeffery (PGA of Austria) [PODCAST]
KPMG Release 2017 Golf Participation Report http://www.pgae.com/news/kpmg-release-2017-golf-participation-report/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:34:08 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19842 The latest of KPMG’s annual publications offers analysis and insights into Europe’s golf industry, and this year shows slight growth in the industry...]]>

The 2017 Golf Participation in Europe Report, which provides invaluable figures for key stakeholders in the golf industry, is the latest of KPMG’s annual publications offering analysis and insights into Europe’s golf industry. This year’s edition bears good news in store for the golf industry: slight growth.

According to the survey, which is based upon statistics compiled from local golf associations in 43 European countries, the continent’s golf markets are displaying positive signs of growth in 2016.

In fact, when taking a closer look at Europe’s golf markets, 81% of local golf associations indicated in 2016 that their level of participation had either stabilized or increased. The remaining 19% of European markets still experienced some decline, including key markets such as Scotland and Austria.

The research demonstrates that the number of registered golfers showed a slight increase, by 2% (+82,584 players), while the supply of golf courses declined by 28 courses (24 openings and 52 closures). Forty-six per cent of European countries surveyed experienced a growth in participation rates, 35% showed stability and in 19% of the countries surveyed demand declined. The research further shows that men make up 67% of the total registered golfers across Europe in 2016, and the proportion of European population who actively played golf (0.9%) has not changed since 2015.

“As we have identified a moderate level of growth in 2016,” says Andrea Sartori, Partner and KPMG Global Head of Sports, “it is important to reflect upon various creditable golf development initiatives, which have been launched in previous years with the aim of reaching new audiences and retaining existing golfers across Europe. These initiatives and the hard work of many other golf industry stakeholders, provide evidence for a consciously optimistic outlook for the game’s development. Certain markets have demonstrated exemplary performance and highlighted the opportunities a proactive and coordinated approach can achieve.”

Click Here to Download the KPMG 2017 Golf Participation Report for Europe at www.golfbenchmark.com

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KPMG Release 2017 Golf Participation Report
How to Keep Your Brain Sharp http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-keep-your-brain-sharp/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:43:11 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=12215 Coaching 4 Careers reveal 4 ways you can keep your brain sharp to preserve healthy cognitive function and sharpness across all the right areas...]]>

The brain. The body’s most powerful organ. Only a brain surgeon could fully understand its inner workings or how it does what it does. One thing’s for sure, though: you’ll miss it when it’s gone.

With Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia on the rise, ‘brain-training’ is very much in vogue among retirees and younger whippersnappers alike. As game developers have been quick to appreciate, preserving healthy cognitive function means maintaining sharpness across all the right areas, from memory and recall to problem solving and planning. There’s enough there for a bi-annual upgrade and then some.

Video games aside, there are plenty of equally as efficient but less costly ways to keep your grey matter firing on all cylinders. Here are some top tips for successful cerebral conservation:

1. Learn something new

Be it the cello, Ancient Greek or Chinese calligraphy, teaching yourself a new skill is a great way to keep the old brain cells ticking over. A recent study of retirees showed that a challenging mental activity one a week reduced the risk of dementia by 7%.

2. Get physical

Work the rest of your body while you’re at it. Research suggests that 30 minutes of exercise three times each week can reduce dementia by 40% and cognitive impairment by 60%. The secondary benefits should also be obvious.

3. Food for thought

You don’t need a PHD in nutrition to know some foods are better for the brain than others. Indulge in vegetables, nuts and fish – staples of the Mediterranean diet that promote blood-flow to the brain. Drink plenty of water and stay off the junk food!

4. Take a load off

From catching enough ‘Z’s each night to meditative techniques, giving your brain some much-needed down time is essential in reducing wear and tear. It will also help you maintain skills such as problem solving, concentration and memory. Aim for 7.5 to 8.5 hours a night for optimum brain function.

Whether happily retired or gainfully employed, whatever your age, looking after the stuff upstairs should be a top priority. The good news is that keeping your neurotransmitters nimble needn’t cost the earth and can slot fairly easily into your day-to-day lifestyle.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Forbes; NPR.com; Time

Article-Header-Images_Coaching4Careers_Brain-Sharp_01

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How to Keep Your Brain Sharp
PGA Professional Spotlight: Alastair Spink (PGA of GB&I) [PODCAST] http://www.pgae.com/ask/pga-professional-spotlight-alastair-spink-pga-of-gbi-podcast/ Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:45:15 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19589 We speak to PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team Member, Alastair Spink, about his journey as a PGA Pro & how he has become a leader in women's golf development]]>

Alastair Spink is a Member of the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team and a PGA of GB&I Member. Here we speak to Alastair about his how he made it into golf to eventually become a PGA Pro, along with how he has become a leader in women’s golf development and participation taking an academic approach to his work in creating the hugely successful Love.golf programme.

Interview Highlights:

01:14 – Early beginnings in golf…

04:38 – Alastair’s first golf coach…

07:58 – How has the way Alastair learnt golf shaped his coaching style…

08:48 – Turning Professional…

12:58 – Working at Hintlesham Hall Golf Club in Ipswich…

16:16 – An increased in development and working as a County Golf Development Officer…

22:24 – Taking an interest in gender disparity in clubs and golf in general, creating an interest in women’s golf development…

23:54 – How did Alastair create a women’s participation-led programme…

27:37 – Barriers to developing women’s participation programmes…

29:06 – How will female participation help the industry in general?

30:32 – Learning from the stories and communities developed at ‘Park Runs’…

33:12 – What changes have you seen in golf across your career?

35:00 – What’s the main mistake golfers make when taking up the sport?

37:05 – What would you tell your 25 year old self?

38:57 – Alastair’s favourite books…

39:34 – What might surprise us about Alastair Spink?

40:21 – Alastair’s dream fourball…


Follow Alastair on Twitter at @Thegolfcoach and find out more about Love.Golf at www.love.golf.

Find out more about the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team at http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGA Professional Spotlight: Alastair Spink (PGA of GB&I) [PODCAST]
The Value to Organisations of Offering Career Support to Staff http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-value-to-organisations-of-offering-career-support-to-staff-2/ Wed, 06 Sep 2017 11:05:52 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=19679 With global employment trends changing all the time, the need to keep and develop staff should be at the top of an organisations agenda...]]>

There is little recent data about career management conversations in the workplace:

Kelly Global Workforce Index – August 2014 (230,000 people across 31 countries participated)

  • 57% people agree that career development discussions are beneficial in terms of the opportunity to acquire new skills
  • Only 38% had these discussions with their employer in the past year
  • Only 29% are satisfied with the career development resources provided by their employer

With global employment trends changing all the time, the need to keep and develop staff should be at the top of an organisations agenda.

Whether the organisation is a school, SME, Not for Profit or Corporate, many seem frightened to invest in the career management of their staff, they think staff will be unsettled, leave, or want more than they can offer. Some work very well with their staff, helping them manage their careers and reap the reward. The reality is that staff who feel valued and invested in are more likely to stay with an organisation and be motivated to work harder.


“Managing human capital is a misnomer. Humans are ‘beings’. We want to be known and valued for who we are, and our aspirations and ambitions recognised and seen as important. It’s a missed opportunity for an employer not to attend to these needs and thereby reap the productivity gains that accrue from more motivated, loyal employees”

(Talent, Careers and Organisations, What Next? Corporate Research Forum)

The value an organisation can reap when investing in their staff:

  • Staff are more settled and less distracted as they have plans for their future
  • Organisations can plan their future if they know what their staff want and plan to do
    • Demographics
    • Succession planning
    • Recruitment
    • In house development of staff
  • An organisation planning what will happen with regards to its staff must be more cost effective
  • Fewer surprises
  • Less need for interim, agency or contract staff
  • Better ongoing communication between staff and employer
  • Staff more likely to say if they are looking for a new role
  • Organisation able to deliver a more structured handover if they know a member of staff 
is/wants to leave
  • Employers who cannot afford financial rewards/bonuses, can support the development and 
career management of staff, which can be a cost-effective reward process.

The ability to manage your career and future is a life skill, if organisations don’t invest in their staff to give them these skills, how can they then pass on these skills to the people who work for them and to the next generation who they might educate and/or influence.

There are many processes for managing careers and these can be integrated into a workplace environment, below is a cycle often used to develop process that works within different organisations, depending on what is needed and required by the organisation and their staff.

Often employees find it easier to have these conversations with someone external first.

“My volunteers felt better placed to plan an effective conversation with their manager once they’d been coached, which is a win-win for the organisation”

(T Delamare, An action research study on the barriers facing women developing their careers and how they can be supported using a coaching framework. MA Dissertation, Oxford Brookes University, 2016)

“Internally focused workplace development opportunities are likely to ensure that a particular employer realises investment in development for the organisation. Yet, the worker might not have the skills transferable to other organisations. This is in contrast with the premise of the type of ‘deal’ where enhancement of employability is the key value derived from the employment relationship by the worker. Instead, they may be receiving only the development that is relevant to their current employer, without the promise of job security.”

(CIPD – Attitudes to Employability and Talent, Sept 2016)

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The Value to Organisations of Offering Career Support to Staff
Miller and Millar Make Perfect Match http://www.pgae.com/news/miller-and-millar-make-perfect-match/ Wed, 06 Sep 2017 10:15:57 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19144 The 2016 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Ralph Miller recieved Peter Millar apparel as part of his Championship-winning prize...]]>

2016 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Ralph Miller (PGA of Holland), has received his Peter Millar apparel as part of his Championship-winning prize.

PGAs of Europe Corporate Partner, Peter Millar, awarded a yearlong apparel contract to Miller furthering their support of the European game.

 

Miller managed to successfully convert his lead and dominant play at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria in October to take the Championship honours, the first prize of €10,000 and the Peter Millar contract.

2016 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Ralph Miller (PGA of Holland)

“After winning the Championship it was great to receive a Peter Millar apparel contract for 2017,” explained Miller. “The high quality clothing is both great looking and great fitting! I really love the clothing and I have had many compliments from members at our club. Thanks again to Peter Millar for the support and I am looking forward to a great 2017 season!”

“We’re pleased to be giving a clothing contract to the very worthy winner, Ralph,” said Managing Director Peter Millar International, Mark Hilton. “He will wear the latest Peter Millar designs from both Crown and Crown Sport collections over the coming year and we look forward to working with, and supporting, him throughout that time.”

Sign-up for the exclusive Peter Millar member offer at http://eur.pe/PGA-Peter-Millar-Offer.

For more information on Peter Millar visit www.petermillar.co.uk.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Miller and Millar Make Perfect Match
Three Years of Curating International Expertise in IGPN http://www.pgae.com/ask/three-years-of-curating-international-expertise-in-igpn-2/ Tue, 29 Aug 2017 15:00:32 +0000 Ian Randell http://www.pgae.com/?p=19608 Issue 36 of IGPN marks a great point in the history of our digital magazine – its third anniversary of providing interesting, relevant and useful content...]]>

Issue 36 of IGPN marks a great point in the history of our digital magazine – its third anniversary since we revamped a simple monthly newsletter into a fully interactive and digital-only magazine.

IGPN still continues its mission of providing interesting, relevant and useful content to our Member Country PGAs and their individual PGA Professional Members.

We have had contributions from across golf and many other sports and industries. Not just from within Europe, but from around the world. And from PGA Professionals and a wide variety of experts, academics and figureheads.

This 36th Issue looks at an area that is, and will likely remain, at the core of what a PGA Professional does – coaching.

We have expert input from our John Jacobs Award for Teaching & Coaching Winner and coach to numerous European Tour and Ryder Cup players, Mike Walker, world-renowned coach, David Leadbetter, and our 5-Star Professional Award winner, Alan Walker, as well.

This information is designed to educate, inform and inspire and is an excellent example of the type of content we are working hard to develop and the direction in which our communications strategy is headed.

We must also remember that coaching is not just limited to the driving range or the playing lesson – we must continue to coach ourselves and our peers to advance all of our skills and become better and better at what we do.

A quick glance at the variety of information on our A.S.K. platform at www.pgae.com/ask will immediately show what we mean with content looking at the coaching golf to all manner of abilities, but also coaching and development information about growing the game, careers, productivity, business, marketing, and much more.

This information, together with the delivery and spread of IGPN, enables us to support our Member Country PGAs with their advancement of their PGA Professionals by curating international expertise and making it open and available to those who wish to make use of it.

We will continue to develop our communications into the future across an ever-changing technological landscape, and IGPN will always be a fundamental part of that.

As a final point, it would be remiss of us not to mention Sergio Garcia and his phenomenal win at Augusta National. It was difficult to pick sides on the final day as he and Justin Rose battled it out but whilst Justin would no doubt be a worthy owner of a green jacket, we were all delighted to see Sergio break through as a major champion. Hopefully this is just the beginning…!

If you would like to contribute to A.S.K. or IGPN then we invite you to share this with Aston Ward at aw@pgae.com and hope that you will join us in developing our Member Countries in Issues of IGPN, and the years ahead.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Three Years of Curating International Expertise in IGPN
Robert Kalkman Foundation | Ryder Cup European Development Trust Project Focus http://www.pgae.com/ask/robert-kalkman-foundation-ryder-cup-european-development-trust-project-focus/ Sat, 26 Aug 2017 09:03:32 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19146 The Robert Kalkman Foundation supports children across the Netherlands by encouraging them to find a new passion in life by playing golf...]]>

The Robert Kalkman Foundation was established in 2007 by former Dutch international footballer, Robert Kalkman, and is designed to support children with cancer and/or a physical limitation by encouraging them to find a new passion in life by playing golf.

The Robert Kalkman Foundation has received funding from the Ryder Cup European Development Trust in order to continue providing opportunities to children across the Netherlands and allow the Foundation’s clinics to increase in size and frequency.

Golfing World caught up with Robert at the Foundation’s golf day to find out more about the great work being done…


To Find Out More About the Robert Kalkman Foundation visit www.robertkalkmanfoundation.com.

For more information on the Ryder Cup European Development Trust visit www.RCTrust.info, and follow @RyderCupTrust on Twitter.

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Robert Kalkman Foundation | Ryder Cup European Development Trust Project Focus
PGAs of Europe Strengthen Provision of International Golf Development Expertise http://www.pgae.com/news/pgas-of-europe-strengthen-provision-of-international-golf-development-expertise/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 06:00:46 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19391 The association is strengthening its position through the formalisation of its Golf Development Team and an increased strategic focus in golf development...]]>

The PGAs of Europe has taken steps to strengthen its position as a leader in the provision of international golf development expertise through the formalisation of its Golf Development Team [pictured] and an increased strategic focus in this area.

The Association has long been at the forefront of golf development, utilising its network of 35 Member Countries and the 21,000+ PGA Professionals they represent. It is now taking further steps to ensure that it is positioned and equipped to provide a comprehensive and effective set of services, guidance, tools, initiatives and expertise to assist countries in growing and promoting golf in their territories.

 

“The PGAs of Europe are uniquely positioned to provide services and expertise for developing golf on an international basis, said Chief Executive of the PGAs of Europe, Ian Randell. “This is both through our own Golf Development Team and our network of National PGAs and their PGA Professionals who provide a skilled workforce for the advancement of the game and golfers.

“We are building on the experience and knowledge that has been gained over the past 20 years or so around the globe to move forward with a holistic view to the provision of expertise. This ranges from strategic, structural and political guidance, to sharing good practice and expertise in areas such as education and coaching to help a country achieve its golf development objectives in whatever form they may take.”

A major step toward this has been the formalisation and continued integration of the Golf Development Team – a group of 24 Golf Developers that are highly skilled in a wide variety of areas relating to golf development such as, beginner and elite coaching, management, participation activity with key focus areas such as juniors, women and disabled players, as well as consultancy and professional education.

The Golf Development Team, managed by PGAs of Europe Director of Education & Membership, Tony Bennett, have been deployed in a wide variety of golf development missions and activity for over two decades, in particular for The R&A and their ‘Working For Golf’ Programme. The Association will place greater emphasis on shining light on this hugely valuable activity moving into the future through its communications and ongoing activity.

The Association recently hosted a Golf Development Team meeting at its Belfry HQ that brought together many of its existing members, and some that are newly added, to continually develop the Team and inform them of the PGAs of Europe’s current activity and updated strategic undertakings and to share the latest good practice initiatives, along with details of new tools and strategies now available.

The Team Members also attended the Golf Development Team A.S.K. Workshops, the latest edition of the initiative that gives PGA Professionals a platform to share experiences, ideas and stories in front of a live audience in short, sharp and concise 20 minute sessions, ensuring the Team Members also took part in CPD activity for their personal and professional development.

For more information on the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team visit http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGAs of Europe Strengthen Provision of International Golf Development Expertise
1st Schools Championship in Lebanon Creates a New National Buzz Around the game! http://www.pgae.com/news/1st-schools-championship-in-lebanon-creates-a-new-national-buzz-around-the-game/ Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:33:41 +0000 Mark Taylor http://www.pgae.com/?p=19246 After a successful first visit to Lebanon within the ‘R&A Working for Golf’ remit earlier in the year, we (The...]]>

After a successful first visit to Lebanon within the ‘R&A Working for Golf’ remit earlier in the year, we (The PGAs Europe) were requested to help organise and implement a Schools Championship for students, parents and train the workforce in succession management to facilitate future Schools Championships in conjunction with the Lebanese Golf Federation and Golf Club of Lebanon.

The Schools Championship proved a huge success with over 70 children attending the day at Golf Club Lebanon, Beirut, the children aged between 6 and 11 years represented six schools which had all received prior coaching through the Lebanese Golf Federations’ ‘Golf in Schools Programme’.

The event which removed the barriers to participation by inviting teachers, parents and friends of the participating children, coaching taster sessions were also delivered to attending parents whilst the event took place. Further coaching offers and entry level memberships were available along with general information on golf and its many benefits, including tours of the golf clubhouse and golf course.

The three hour event showcased golf to VIP guests and high ranking Government officials including the Minister of Tourism and the assistant to the Lebanese Sports Minister being also in attendance…The blistering midday heat did require more Parasols to be brought in for the dignitaries though!!

As desired the event aided in changing the negative political perception of golf in Lebanon, also empowering parents and local officials to view how much fun golf can be, alongside all of the many health and social benefits that golf can offer. This was ultimately justified in the Golf Club Lebanon securing an indefinite extension to the lease of the land from the Aviation Authorities. Both Club and Federation are now better positioned to continue to move forward with their business plan – with the future of their only facility to date secured.

Upon interviewing attending parents they were amazed at the location and readily stated that they didn’t even know that the Golf Club existed, with the demand for green space increasing as housing developments continue to monopolise the area, they all suggested that golf would provide an excellent activity in which all the family could participate in beautiful surroundings.

We were able to attract coverage from local TV stations and newspapers who later wrote a full page article on the event, again another first here as golf received its first full page mention in the Lebanese National Press!!

Such events continue to justify how important it remains for Federations and Golf Facilities to reach out and engage the local community, developing support and relationships with both the community and political stakeholders…more importantly to shift golfs’ stereotypical perception and increase participation in our sport to new players of all ages. Both The Federation and Golf Club have been inundated with enquiries since the event, attaining new sponsorship opportunities, recruiting new schools to their programme and participants of all demographics to their club coaching and membership offers.

Please contact The PGAs Europe if you would like further information or assistance on such events.

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1st Schools Championship in Lebanon Creates a New National Buzz Around the game!
Saving Time and Money: How Social Media Works For an Early-Stage Startup http://www.pgae.com/ask/saving-time-and-money-how-social-media-works-for-an-early-stage-startup/ Sun, 25 Jun 2017 12:26:12 +0000 Buffer http://www.pgae.com/?p=13789 There’s often a critical time (or two) in a business’s journey when it’s make or break and time is at a premium...]]>

There’s often a critical time (or two) in a business’s journey when it’s make or break and time is at a premium.

There’re often times beyond this, once a brand is established, where time is still scarce and efficiency is the name of the game.

The team at Smart Pension has felt both sides of this in the past couple years and has experienced the time crunch particularly on the social media side (sound familiar at all with your experience?). One of the UK’s leading pension companies, the Smart Pension team pulled through in an incredibly inspiring way.

Here’s their story of how they’ve come up with their social media strategy, saved time, and found the best tools to use.

pablo

Social media and an early-stage startup

Jack Saville, a marketing executive at Smart Pension, built his startup to be the go-to source for UK pension and auto enrolment. And one of the key marketing strategies he chose for traction was content.

One of the first jobs was to put as much great information and helpful content on the website as possible. However when we finished creating content, we also wanted to shout about it on social media.

We were churning out so much content in the beginning that logging and posting each article on each social media channel was becoming a real time consuming exercise. If we had had Buffer in the beginning we would have saved a great deal of time (and money) in the crucial start-up, make-or-break phase of our business.

Smart Pension made it through this early critical stage and is grateful to now be a more established entity. They’ve kept right on working.

The content team crushed it early on and put together the majority of the foundational, main topics needed to be a thought leader on pensions and enrolment. The next phase was tackling current news and changes, being more of a real-time resource for Smart Pension’s growing audience.

smart pension graphic

This shift to timely content also needed timely distribution, which is where social media marketing has really paid dividends for the team.

The news section is where we direct most of our efforts now. This is important, as investing a lot of time in your news section shows your customers that you are well aware of the changes in the industry, and that we know that the services we provide need to be altered and suited to the current market and the current pension laws. Social media is the channel in which we communicate our knowledge of industry changes to our customers.

Not a content creation problem … a content distribution one

In building out this news hub, Smart Pension ran into a slight problem:

We work so hard on making sure our news section addresses the current topics in the pension industry, that sometimes we finish a number of articles at the same time.

It’s a similar problem that might crop up for publishers, news organizations, online magazines, and others. It’s not that there’s any trouble coming up with content to share, it’s more a matter of knowing what to share and when to share it.

Jack and his team found the solution here with social media scheduling from Buffer.

Smart Pension spaces out new posts every few hours so that there’s room between each update.

The articles don’t all go up as a wall of similar-looking tweets and posts.

The buffered schedule makes it so that content hits the timeline at all times, helping to reach people who may be online at different times throughout the day.

And the beauty of it all: All this scheduling can be automated.

The scheduling function is also helpful to the work flow of the team. The team member who wrote the article can schedule the post for times of the day that we are posting less and then proceed to the next task. The team members do not have to try and remind themselves of when to post their articles.

Additionally, with the scheduling function we can then post articles at night and at weekends when team members would not necessarily be working. This means that we can have a round the clock presence on social media, without having one of our team members staying up all night!

Scheduling + Analytics

Lots of content to share and a set number of times to share it all: When do you get the most bang for your buck with social media sharing?

The Smart Pension team came up with a few experiments to test the best time to post for engagement.

Here’s an example:

To find out if it’s better to post extra content at night or over the weekends, set up a schedule for both and check the results.

After a few days, log into the Analytics section of Buffer and check to see which time slots have tended to perform the best. You can see this from the Analytics view with a quick glance and intuition…

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 1.03.44 PM

… or you can export data from your past period of experiments, and filter the results for each different time.

Here’s a sample spreadsheet using data from my own sharing:

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 11.14.36 AM

(Couple this with the takeaways from Buffer’s optimal timing tool to get even more confirmation for which way you’re leaning.)

Great content goes great with images

As we are a start-up, we cannot afford to have a graphic designer to create the imagery for our social media posts every time we need to post something. Pablo give us the ability to make our social media posts look interesting and exciting, whilst not having to pay for a graphic designer to design them and create them.

According to our most recent data here at Buffer, we’ve found that tweets with images get 150% more engagement than tweets without.

The takeaway: Test content with images!

We believe in this so strongly that we built our own tool for making this as easy as can be. The free image creator at Pablo makes it simple to create images for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and more, all at the ideal image size, all looking beautiful—no matter your design skills.

Here are some that the Smart Pension team has used on their latest social media updates:

Working with a team on a social media calendar

And another key piece to the team’s workflow and system is keeping all this distribution organized. One of Buffer’s newest features works great in this case: the social media calendar.

 

Our content calendar is designed to make sure that we are regularly completing and posting content through buffer. We can all log into buffer and see what other people are planning, and then we can plan our content around the existing scheduled posts.

pablo

Image sources: Iconfinder, Pablo

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Saving Time and Money: How Social Media Works For an Early-Stage Startup
Noteworthy European Golf Club Trends in 2017 http://www.pgae.com/ask/noteworthy-european-golf-club-trends-in-2017/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:28 +0000 Golf Business Monitor http://www.pgae.com/?p=19083 Golf Business Monitor & Rob Hill examine key trends and data from golf facilities throughout the EMEA territory...]]>

Golf Business Monitor & Global Golf Advisors’ Rob Hill examine key trends and data that could help you plan and make business decisions that will ultimately benefit your business…


Through our numerous assignments and research initiatives at Global Golf Advisors over the last twelve months, we have encountered both unique challenges and consistent trends at golf facilities throughout the EMEA territory. Here, I have identified five that are particularly noteworthy for their influence on current golf facility performance at European Clubs.

1. Capital Maintenance Trends

Capital maintenance, capital improvements and the funding of both are amongst the greatest challenge facing golf facilities now and are expected to continue to be so into the immediate future. 40% of clubs are reporting that they have more than three year’s worth of deferred capital maintenance and expenditure, largely a consequence of economic recession/stagnancy between 2009 and 2015.

Long-term capital planning is rare, with most clubs lacking a formal plan to fund capital requirements, using whatever cash is available each year to fund their reserves. Less than 50% have a capital reserve study in place informing long-term capital requirements. Of those that are investing in capital, almost 6 in 10 are using a combination of debt and membership levy to fund their programs.

Clubs spend on average 7.6% of gross annual revenue on capital maintenance but estimate they need to spend 9.6% to keep pace with capital maintenance.

2. Women make the ‘buy’ decision

Historically golf clubs have been institutions that served male viewpoints, wants and needs. New programs and services are changing membership structures, methods of club governance and the feasibility of many clubs.

In her book, “Marketing to women” Martha Barletta indicates that 91% of home purchase decisions are made by a woman. Typically, the club membership decision is a part of the home choice decision due to location, psychographic and demographic profile.

As such, clubs must reset membership programs to address the primary push/pull factors that influence the buy decision. Women prize their clubs as a platform for socialization. Clubs must demonstrate in clear and appealing ways that the lifestyle of the club is diverse, active and accessible for busy women and their families.

Sales and marketing tactics in forward- thinking clubs are seeking to address schedule flexibility, interesting and current programs and the opportunities for meeting and keeping friends.

3. Business Intelligence

There is increasing adoption amongst clubs of more sophisticated business intelligence for decision-making. This includes the tracking and analysis of financial and operational performance trends, market pricing trends and positioning, member satisfaction and net promoter score (NPS), comparable club benchmarking and targeted market segmentation.

Club Boards/Management have an increasing need for quantitative, interfaced data to afford informed decision-making about the club.

Club Managers continue to report feeling pressure due to performance comparisons to benchmarks and competitors in all areas, especially as they relate to dues, fees, compensation, benefits, pricing, and staff levels. Other leaders struggle to meet their Board’s demand for data which has led to an increase in staff hours to track, monitor, analyze, and produce data. Some GMs have found traditional sources of data to be insufficient in providing the data their Board/Owner wants.

Top performers are tracking specific internal and external market KPIs and act upon them to sustain the market position. Many clubs – which lack the comfort of capital or staff resources to execute their own intelligence program – rely on frequent, concise surveys that monitor customer satisfaction, such as the secret shopper program provided so effectively by 59Cub. Some have even tied staff bonus incentives to member/customer satisfaction ratings.

More recently many clubs have turned to subscription-based services such Global Golf Advisors’ Strategic Intelligence Platform to track operating performance, customer satisfaction, and competitive market data all in one central portal.

4. Sustainability

Last July, London’s new Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a ‘crackdown’ on pollutants. His goal is to “Make London one of the World’s most environmentally friendly cities”. His plan to achieve this goal includes amongst other things creating an ‘Ultra-Low Emission Zone in central London by 2019 and beyond central London by 2020.

The fact that Mr. Khan has placed this issue near the very top of his agenda, is a great indicator of just how much influence sustainability and environmentalism has on the public mindset – politicians don’t tend to tackle issues unless they are going to improve their popularity.

Many clubs are now rightly keen to present their sustainability credentials, but to have resonance, consumers want to know the details/specifics and the outcomes. For clubs, this means their efforts in this space should be measured and proactively reported, with the support of a trusted third party.

The Golf Environment Organization is doing extraordinary work in supporting clubs achieve exactly this. Their club tools are not just providing vital guidance on best practice for sustainable performance, but are now also providing measurement and reporting tools to aid in effective communication of the results of such performance.

5. Membership

Gone are the days when most clubs were operating with waitlists and a pipeline full of members lined up to join the club. The reality is that most clubs must now aggressively seek and find new members. Successful clubs are adopting a more data-driven approach to membership recruitment/retention and are adjusting membership and amenity offerings to be more competitive in their business space.

61% of clubs map the location of their members to identify trends and areas for new member growth. Global Golf Advisors recommends that clubs do this annually to maximize membership sales effectiveness.

Six in ten clubs have encountered challenges with an aging membership or growing senior member category. Two-thirds of this group has adopted a set of tactics to address these challenges, among which adjustments to age bands and entry fees are most common solutions.

More than one in four (28%) clubs have experienced a decline in their total number of members in the last 5 years. The annual attrition rate of clubs in the UK is 3.5% while in the rest of Europe that rate is 4.7%.

The top three factors for creating a sustainable membership strategy include

  1. improve overall amenity quality,
  2. embracing modern technologies to complement modern lifestyles, and
  3. further enhancing the club’s platform for connecting its membership.

Trends such as these, although not universally applicable, are highly valuable indicators of change. The capacity to be prepared for change and take advantage of the opportunities that come with it, is what marks a successful club. Best put by Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

Rob Hill is a Partner at GGA with responsibility for their EMEA Office. A former recipient of Boardroom Magazine’s “Strategic Planning Firm of the Year” award, GGA brings an unmatched financial, marketing and operational focus to each of its strategic assignments. The firm serves over 2,700 clients around the world from offices in USA, Canada, Sydney (Asia-Pacific) and Dublin (EMEA). Rob can be reached at rhill@globalgolfadvisors.com.

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Noteworthy European Golf Club Trends in 2017
Building & Effectively Utilising a Database http://www.pgae.com/ask/building-effectively-utilising-a-database/ Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:29:43 +0000 Mark Taylor http://www.pgae.com/?p=19089 Data capture is the king of small business marketing - for every piece of good data accumulated, marketing costs are starting to reduce...]]>

Data capture is the king of small business marketing and an ever important facet for retaining customers at golf facilities. For every piece of good data accumulated, marketing costs are starting to reduce.

The objective should be to create a database of around 5,000 worthy leads and this will form the basis of all of the marketing initiatives for the year. This need not be as expensive as some people might think as off-the-shelf software is readily available and is really affordable if not free of charge or already in place in the clubs software systems.

What is required?

Golf facilities need to consider 3 factors when making their choice of how to best implement and manage a successful database capture campaign:

  1. The scale required: This does not just apply to the number of records currently held, but more importantly how this resource will grow in the future. What commitment can be implemented to regularly maintain, update and develop the information accrued?
  2. Budget: Whilst this should not be the first criteria for such an important business tool, budget will reduce the likely options including the building of a bespoke database which can be expensive
  3. How it integrates with other business systems: This can save a lot of anguish in the future if the database works alongside other marketing and communication tools, especially the club website. The website should be at the core of all marketing activity and it needs to talk directly to the database to save on unnecessary administration.

Most golf clubs can operate quite happily using ‘Microsoft Access’, part of the Office package to set up a database and manage their data. It is easy to set up and access information and is also flexible enough to create information fields which reflect the information gathered from customers. It also allows the flow of data (import and export) from other sources.

Data Capture…How to collect data

Once the database is in place, begins the hard work in acquiring and categorizing data as the information and contacts begin to grow. There is no doubt that the more data which is acquired, the more powerful and effective the clubs marketing strategies will become.

Here are some simple guidelines to ensure that gathering data on customers is central to the marketing programme and continued customer contact:

  • Draw up a set of procedures and standards to be used whenever a customer has direct contact with the golf club. Communicate these to any customer facing staff and ensure they are adhered to.
  • Give staff both the tools and training to assist in collecting the information. These can include simple contact cards to be filled in following a telephone call or completed when customers arrive.
  • Build all marketing around the website, as this resource is working 24/7 and is therefore by far the most reliable employee when it comes to collecting and processing information on your customers.
  • Refuse to do any marketing which is not measurable. In order to continue to build a database successfully, be aware of which marketing promotions are producing the best results.
  • Offline marketing must support online activity. Use all advertising and marketing brochures to drive people to the website. Don’t miss out on obvious opportunities such as including the website address on scorecards.
  • Have a marketing plan which co-ordinates all direct marketing activity and ensures customer identification:
    • Why? (What offer?), When and How? (email, direct mail, text)
  • Build systems that allow automated follow up. This would include automatic replies to any website or direct email enquiries, including alerting staff when customers have arrived. Processes to customise letters, bulk email tools which allow emails to be tracked are also useful in reducing time and administration.
    • Act now; with more and more people reverting to finding information online, clubs can’t afford to delay in establishing the processes.

“Once a person has failed to find or receive information on your golf club it will be more difficult to win back their interest”.

The most common data collection methods are listed below:

Data collection through via the clubs website.. Make your website do the work for you. After all it’s open for business 24/7. There should be a least five email data collection points on various pages throughout the visitor’s section of your site.

These should be in the relevant sections on your website, but include:

  • Sign up for special offers and advanced notification of open competitions
  • Sign up for notification of membership availability and offers
  • Sign up for offers in the Professionals’ shop and F&B promotions
  • Sign up for coaching and tuition days
  • Sign up to enter our monthly draw to win a free fourball

Ensure you make the calls to action very obvious on each page.

The first part of the season is key to building data so make sure both reasons to sign up and offers are varied.

To cut down on the administration make sure your website has a database set behind it so it is collating and storing the information for you.

Email collection at your golf club:

Ensure that every member of staff knows the importance of collecting data. The professional or whoever greets green fee visitors should be given a supply of sign up cards and all visitors should be encouraged to sign up. Explain they received advanced notification of competitions, tee times, special offers and also get entered into a monthly draw.

Collect as much data as possible but don’t over-do it.

Name, email address, postcode and how they heard about your club should be the bare minimum.

Online tee times:

If your club runs online tee time system then you have an existing opportunity for people to sign up to receive your weekly newsletter. Tee time systems provide a huge amount of information about a player before they even set foot on your golf course. This makes targeting emails even easier. If your club’s members are reluctant to see a tee time introduced at their club then why not trial a tee time ‘looking’ system for visitors.

Golf groups can equal 50 visitors:

Don’t treat societies as just one booking. There can be as many as 50 visitors so make sure you collect data from each player. Offer a free prize draw on the day if they complete a visitor satisfaction survey (which also captures their name and email address).

Offer everyone a repeat visit voucher which they have to go on your website and download using a promotional code.

Watch the birdie:

If you club has a meet and greeter, get him to take a happy snap of visiting groups on the first tee. Collect their email addresses and then have the photograph sitting in their in-box for when they return from their round. Great customer service and a good way of collecting data!

Work with local businesses:

Build an opt-in email list by working with other businesses such as hotels or the local tourist board. Make sure links are established to the club website on their websites and vice versa. Ensure the link sends them to page to register for future information and offers. Offer to run special offers such as golf giveaways or concessionary offers which the hotel can send to its customer base.

How to store data

Customer databases are not something which only large companies can aspire to. For the average database of most golf clubs which is anywhere between 2,000 and 10,000 names, they do not always require a specialist system.

Off-the shelf database tools

It’s very easy to construct a database with all the data fields required in a package such as Microsoft Access. This comes as part of the Windows Microsoft Office software which most clubs have installed.

Let your website do the work

A well-developed website will have a database sitting behind it. This will automate the collection of all data through the website itself and allow for easy administration of the data collected by the pro shop or other business avenues. Such systems also simplify on-going, regular communication such as e-newsletters or promotional offers.

Does it need to talk to your other systems?

Most clubs have automated many of their systems such as member databases with swipe cards behind the bar. It is not necessary for marketing database to interact with POS systems initially as it could be very expensive to set up. Use the visitor database to run marketing initiatives independently. Once a healthy business has been achieved, facilities can then look at more sophisticated ways of tracking spend.

What data should be collected?

When collecting data, is it important to strike a balance between collecting enough useful information without alienating customers.

The bare minimum should be name and email address if you are only intending to communicate by email. If you plan to send communications by mail, then collect their postal address – but only do this if you have every intention of using this data. (The more data you request, the less likely they are to complete it).

It is also advisable to collect mobile numbers as text marketing continues to grow grow in the future.

When possible, collect details of every transaction at the point of transaction including the date, time and amount paid. Pro shop staff must be made aware of how important this is. If a tee time booking system is in place, then this will do the job for you. This information can be useful in building up a profile of your customers’ playing habits which will make targeted communications even easier.

Please find below a series of videos to assist in building a database in Microsoft Access:

Stay legal

Businesses which store personal information and sends communications to customers (members or visitors) must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and increasingly the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

Currently not-for-profit organisations are not required to register but may be wise to check as you seek to use data in a more commercial fashion.

As a rule, if you are communicating to members, you have an opt-out option. However, it might be part of your membership terms and conditions that members receive information from the club relating to their membership and offers.

Before communicating to visitors, you must always have an opt-in option at the point of collecting their data.

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Building & Effectively Utilising a Database
International Golf Pro News Reaches Three-Year Milestone http://www.pgae.com/news/international-golf-pro-news-reaches-three-year-milestone/ Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:24:34 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19027 IGPN has reached its 36th Issue as it continues its mission of providing useful, relevant & interesting content to PGAs of Europe Member Countries & PGA Pros...]]>

Digital magazine, International Golf Pro News (IGPN), has reached its 36th Issue as it continues its mission of providing useful, relevant and interesting content to PGAs of Europe Member Country PGAs and their individual PGA Professional Members.

The monthly publication is distributed amongst the Association’s 36 Member Country PGAs and their collective 21,000+ PGA Professionals becoming a hugely valuable resource that allows the PGAs of Europe to support the PGAs with their advancement of their own Members.

Issue 36 is a Coaching Special featuring interviews with Mike Walker and David Leadbetter, content from SNAG Golf, Golf Pride, the PGA of Switzerland, Peter Millar, BMW, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, and news from the PGAs of Europe and its various events and activities.

IGPN originally took the form of a print publication for a number of years, however, with the continued development of digital communications and the work of publishers, All Square Media, the magazine went exclusively digital, ensuring it can be read widely and provides the best possible responsive and interactive reading experience no matter what device is being used.

Its success has largely come from the quality of content produced, both in-house, and using curated international expertise from a wide variety of expert contributors. Content is featured in a broad range of areas such as marketing, coaching, psychology, productivity, business management, career development, golf development, sustainability and much more.

The magazine also ties in to the Association’s ‘A.S.K.’ (standing for Attributes. Skills. Knowledge.) activity in which content is created and curated for a dedicated thought-centre on the PGAs of Europe website – www.pgae.com/ask – and is open for PGA Professionals to read whilst providing a valuable content resource for PGAs to use in their own communications.

If you would like to contribute to IGPN or A.S.K. then please contact Aston Ward at aw@pgae.com.

Sign-Up to Receive IGPN for FREE @ WWW.PGAE.COM/IGPN

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International Golf Pro News Reaches Three-Year Milestone
5 Ways to Get MORE Out of Your Work Week w/ Will Robins http://www.pgae.com/ask/5-ways-to-get-more-out-of-your-work-week-w-will-robins/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:03:50 +0000 Golf in the Life of http://www.pgae.com/?p=18943 Will Robins and GolfIntheLifeOf.com discuss some of their favorite mindsets and habits to help you get more out of you day / week / year...]]>

Sometimes it feels like time can just fly by and we’re not really sure what happened or what progress was made. Will Robins and I sat down to talk about some of our favorite mindsets and habits to get more out of a day / week / year.


Subscribe iTunes | Android | RSS

Read the entire story behind this here from James Clear.

Will’s first suggestion – The Ivy Lee Method

  1. At the end of each work day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
  5. Repeat this process every working day.

Read the entire story behind this here from James Clear.

The biggest killer of everyone’s day is opening up emails first things in the morning.

Everyone is always asking “how” questions. What really matters is the “why”.

Take some time to improve your business / sales skills if it’s something you struggle with and go outside of the typical education / certifications. Give yourself permission to try some new ideas out with the framing of an experiment or challenge.

3 Morning Questions:

  • What happened yesterday?
  • How do I feel about that?
  • What am I working on today

Will’s past episodes on coaching programs:

Group Coaching Q&A part 1
Group Coaching Q&A part 2
Working with Groups

Links / Resources

Charles M. Schwab productivity story – Ivy Lee Method
2017 Coaching Workshop in Orlando
Will’s Consulting Company RGX
BJ Fogg – Tiny Habits

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5 Ways to Get MORE Out of Your Work Week w/ Will Robins
6 Ways to Find Out Whether a Job Candidate Will Fit Your Company’s Culture http://www.pgae.com/ask/6-ways-to-find-out-whether-a-job-candidate-will-fit-your-companys-culture/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:23:18 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=13769 Found an applicant with the right skills? Time for a culture interview. You know that job applicant has the right skills to fill your open position...]]>

Minda Zetlin is a business technology writer and speaker, co-author of The Geek Gap, and former president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She lives in Snohomish, Washington. Like this post? Sign up here for a once-a-week email and you’ll never miss her columns.

@MindaZetlin


You know that job applicant has the right skills to fill your open position. But what about the right personality? Ignore cultural fit at your peril, for your new hire likely won’t last long.

I’ll always remember one of my co-workers at my first company. Although she did excellent work, she seemed to zig while the rest of us zagged. In a group of frumpy, often pudgy writers, she was an accomplished martial artist. Where many of us were just getting our feet wet in the business world, she had been around for a while and worked in some legendary places. Where we tended toward the silly-a plastic-encased slice of prosciutto once spent a week tacked to our department’s bulletin board-she was deadly serious. Not surprisingly, she soon moved on to a job at a prestigious non-profit that was working hard to change the world.

Hiring someone who doesn’t fit your company’s personality can be a very costly mistake. To avoid making that mistake, make sure to interview job candidates for cultural fit, as well as job qualifications. That advice comes from Tara Kelly, CEO of customer experience software provider SPLICE Software.

Kelly makes sure to include a culture interview in the hiring process, and she says it’s made a big difference. “It is important to understand employee values, motivators and interests,” she explains. “Understanding what keeps employees fulfilled is a key element to build a truly successful team. Whereas regular job interviews focus on verifying qualifications, culture fit interviews focus on ensuring potential candidates fit the corporate culture and core values of the organization.”

Given that every new hire is a big investment, it’s worth taking the time and effort to interview for cultural fit as well as skills and experience. Here’s how Kelly does it:

1. Define your company’s culture.

You may not need to do this, and Kelly doesn’t mention it, but if yours is a small or start-up companies, your culture may not be something you’ve given a lot of thought to. You should, though, because you definitely have one and a bad cultural hire will hurt you.

Your mission or vision statement is a good place to start-it won’t define your culture, but it should identify the values that drive you and your employees to show up and work hard every day. Beyond that, take a look around and consider how your company compares to others in your industry. Ask your employees or colleagues for input, until you can come up with a sentence or two that captures your company’s personality. Consider this example from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: “Our culture is friendly and intense, but if push comes to shove we’ll settle for intense.”

2. Write job ads with culture in mind.

“Culture fit should be integrated into every aspect of recruitment,” Kelly notes. That begins with your job ads, which should reflect both your company’s brand and its culture. If yours is an informal, family friendly workplace, with child care on site, and where pets are welcomed, say so. If yours is an elegant workplace with a prestigious history, say that.

3. Include culture questions in regular interviews.

From your first conversations with a candidate, interviewers should be thinking about cultural fit, Kelly says. “Once applications are assessed, pre-screening interviews should occur over the phone to see what first impressions candidates make and gauge personality for a possible fit.”

Candidates who pass this screening should be invited to an in-person interview with their potential department head. “The department head should also screen the applicant for culture by introducing a few less technical questions,” she adds.

4. Know which questions to ask, and which not to.

“Ask questions that speak to the core values and culture of the organization, without directly asking about each value,” Kelly advises. “For example, ask ‘what is something you have accomplished this summer that you are really proud of?'” This type of question helps SPLICE find candidates who like to learn new things or improve their skills. “At SPLICE, we really value a love of learning and improving things,” Kelly explains. “Our fundamental core value is, ‘We believe it can be better.’ So we like to see that not only in someone’s work life but their personal life too.”

It should go without saying that there’s a difference between culture and bias, and you should be clear about that difference, especially when it comes to questions that could land your company in legal trouble. To say that your culture is fun-loving and risk-taking is fine; to say that all employees should participate in extreme sports means your workplace discriminates against disabled or older workers.

In Amazon’s we’ll-settle-for-intense culture, an employee who’d just had a miscarriage was told by her supervisor that the company was likely the wrong place for a woman looking to start a family. Not surprisingly, many labor lawyers have been contacted by current or past employees seeking to sue the company for attitudes like these. Someday, one of these suits will get filed.

5. Train employees to conduct culture interviews.

“Once it is verified that a candidate has all the necessary qualifications and has passed all the preliminary culture fit screenings, a culture fit interview should be introduced as the last phase of the process,” Kelly says.

But you’re not the one to conduct the culture fit interview-the candidate’s potential co-workers are. That means they’ll need some training about what to ask and what to listen for. “It’s crucial to ensure the team is prepped on the purpose of a culture fit interview prior to participating,” Kelly says.

In general, she says, you should select four to six employees from around your company to talk informally with the job candidate about hobbies and interest and how these things tie in with your company’s personality. “Employees should be encouraged to ask questions that tie in to the organization’s value system.”

6. Gather feedback.

Employees who conduct a culture interview should fill out assessment afterwards that scores applicants on numerical scales of good-fit-to-bad-fit, and also ask for written comments. After you review those assessments, call the employees together for a quick debrief to make sure you understand their feedback and get a better sense of how the candidate might or might not fit with your company and its values. All of this input, together with the candidate’s performance on your skills assessment, will put you in the best position to make the right choice.


This article originally appeared on Inc.com – to view the original article visit http://eur.pe/1kkmevy.

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6 Ways to Find Out Whether a Job Candidate Will Fit Your Company’s Culture
How to Develop and Perfect Your Social Media Sharing Schedule (It Could Double Your Traffic!) http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-develop-and-perfect-your-social-media-sharing-schedule-it-could-double-your-traffic/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:01:02 +0000 Buffer http://www.pgae.com/?p=13617 Nowadays, in order to grow an audience on social media, it’s not as simple as just posting when you feel like it.]]>

Nowadays, in order to grow an audience on social media, it’s not as simple as just posting when you feel like it.

Audiences have become more sophisticated over time and as a result it is important to have some sort of social media strategy. In order to start implementing that strategy, a schedule is a must for a lot of businesses.

A sharing schedule can help you double your traffic and provide your audience with consistent and valuable information that will make them more likely to follow and engage with you.

It can be a little daunting getting started, though. As you try to figure out

  • Where to share?
  • What to share?
  • When to share?

In this post I’ll help you answer these essential questions and share some ways that you can develop and perfect your sharing schedule (with a sneak peek at how we do things here at Buffer too).

Let’s dig in!

how to create social media sharing schedule

Where to Share?

social media icons

So you want to share, but where should you share? There are so many different platforms all with their own advantages, however it’s almost impossible to share on each network well unless you have a large team helping. If that isn’t the case, focusing on specific platforms might be the best solution here.

When thinking about which platforms you should prioritize in your schedule, a good question to ask yourself is:

Where is your audience?

Do they spend most of their time on Twitter? Facebook? Knowing this will allow you to focus your energy on the place where you have the potential to reap the most benefits.

Pew Research Center put together a list of the demographics of all the key social networking platforms. This might help you get a little more insight into each platform.

Once you have narrowed down the platform(s) you would like to focus on, you can now come up with you sharing plan.

Different plans for different platforms

I would definitely recommend coming up with different plans for each platform you select. Facebook is very different than Twitter for instance, so it makes sense to have a different approach when sharing to your audience on Facebook versus your audience on Twitter.

CoSchedule has a really neat graphic sharing some of the different topics to share for each platform. They also go into depth for each platform over at their articles if you would like more information.

what-content-works-on-social-networks

What To Share?

Now that you have figured out where you want to share your awesome content. It’s time to figure out what to share.

Sharing More Than One Type of Content

A good way to share is to have a mix of content to provide your audience. I would recommend not solely focusing on your own content, but giving them variety to look forward to. Providing a service or entertainment to your audience is more likely to lead them to follow you and engage with all of your content, rather than bombarding them with only promotional updates.

Here is an example of the type of content you can share.

what to share pie chart

According to CoSchedule, a report from The New York Times Customer Insight Group found five major reasons why people share content with their networks:

  1. 49% share for entertainment or to provide valuable content to others.
  2. 68% share to define themselves.
  3. 78% share to stay connected with those they know.
  4. 69% share to feel involved in the world.
  5. 84% share to support a cause.

So give them something they can share! :)

Is Your Content Evergreen or Time Sensitive?

When it comes to your content, it can be good to think about whether what you are sharing is evergreen (can be shared multiple times at any point in time) or time sensitive.

A schedule for time sensitive material will most likely be different than one for evergreen content. For instance, time sensitive material will only be able to be shared within a specific timeframe before it is retired, while evergreen content could potentially be shared again a year from now.

If you have both types of content, coming up with separate sharing schedule for each type might be something to consider.

How Do You Want to Share?

You have your content ready to be shared, but how do you want to share it? How do you want to relay it to your audience? Do you have a specific tone you would like to use?

Here are a few things you can think about.

Voice

Creating a consistent voice is a really important component of your social media strategy. We have written an extensive guide on how you can find yours here.

Type

Links, images, videos, quotes, GIFs. There are so many different ways you can share your content. Finding what works best for you whether it’s only images or a mix of everything will be a great asset for creating your schedule.

Update

While I do recommend sharing the same content multiple times, I do not recommend you share the same update twice. Find different ways to share the content. Pick an image to share for the first time, then find a quote the second time and maybe a GIF the third, so that your audience doesn’t feel like they are always seeing the same thing in your feed.

As for the update itself, we have a handy guide and infographic to help you with sharing the optimal length every time.

social-media-length-infographic

When To Share?

You have now figured out where and what to share. The next step is figuring out when to share and importany when to re-share! Kissmetrics found that re-sharing content could double your traffic:

2-social-sharing-double-traffic

Frequency

Let’s first think about frequency. How often do you want to share?

  • On publish
  • Later that same day
  • Next day, Daily
  • A Week later
  • A month later?
  • Even later than that?

It really depends on your needs and your audience’s response to that frequency. Some of the best practices for each platform are highlighted in the infographic from SumAll below.  This is only a guideline, I would highly encourage you to test things for yourself as well.

infographic how often to post on social mediaHere is our sharing schedule at Buffer. You can see that we tend to share more often on Twitter and less on other platforms, leaving more time between each share.

social media posting schedule

When starting out, I would recommend looking at the content you have already shared and taking a look at what you feel might be the best times to share your content. If you haven’t shared anything yet, this is the perfect time to start experimenting and learning about your audience.

A key part to figuring out your frequency will be finding the point at which sharing more would yield diminishing returns. CoSchedule has a fantastic graphic illustrating diminishing returns.

law-of-diminishing-returns-for-social-sharing

And that’s when testing comes into play, which I discuss further below.

Create a calendar

In order to keep you on track, creating a calendar might be a huge help. It can also help you outline one time events. For example if you plan special coverage around the Holidays, a calendar could help you plan ahead and make sure you won’t forget to share.

Hootsuite has a great template available for a social media content calendar.

Social-Media-Content-calendar-Screenshot-620x265

Editorial-Calendar-Example-620x408

Here at Buffer, we have our own Social Media Calendar which you might find helpful in planning your sharing. The calendar is available for those on Awesome and Business plans (if you’re not yet part of our paid plans, I’m hoping you this might convince you to give it a try!) and allows you to take a look at your week of sharing at a glance.

social media calendar1

It could be helpful in planning and putting into action your sharing plan, by letting you schedule updates in the future, shifting things around if needed by dragging and dropping and giving you a visual of what you are sharing when.

Here is an example of our current social media calendar on Buffer:

buffer social media calendar twitter1

Testing

test social media schedule2

Now that you have a base to work with, I would also recommend implementing some testing into your sharing in order to come up with your perfect schedule.

Some of the things you can test include:

  • Different times
  • Different days
  • Different topics
  • Different types of updates (pictures versus no pictures, videos, quotes etc.)

I would recommend being quite intentional with the way you test things. Make sure you are able to measure the correct variable and that what you are seeing is due to the variable you are trying to measure.

For instance, if you would like to figure out the best time to share your blog posts, trying different days and times is a great way to start. However, it is important to continue the experiment for some time before drawing conclusions. An update performing really well on a Tuesday at 9am, might be due to it being an optimal time or it could be the result of the blog post itself being more popular amongst your audience. That is why I would recommend, testing that specific time multiples times in order to confirm that posts shared then do in fact always outperform posts shared at other times.

Analyze

analyze social media schedule

Once you’ve spent some time testing, you can focus on analyzing your data. A few questions you can ask yourself when looking at the results include:

  • When is your audience online?
  • When do you get the most reach/engagement?
  • What types of updates tend to get the most engagement?

Take a look at the performances for all your posts in the previous 30 (or 60) days and figure out what seemed to resonate with your audience.

Buffer provides great analytics for you to use if you are using the application to share your updates.

buffer analytics social media schedule

Adjust

adjust social media schedule1

You’ve tested, analyzed and now you can adjust. Taking into account everything you have learned, you might want to adjust your sharing schedule by implementing some of the discoveries from your data analysis.

For example, if you noticed an increase in engagement for blog posts updates on Tuesdays at 9am (after you have confirmed it through multiple testing), you can start sharing your blog posts at that time from now on.

I would also encourage you to continue to test, analyze and adjust, in order to make sure your schedule remains adapted to the changes in your audience’s wants and needs.

Bonus: How We Share at Buffer

At Buffer we’re constantly changing and testing new approaches when it comes to social media, especially after losing almost half our social referral traffic. I wanted to share our sharing schedule for both Twitter and Facebook and some of the things we’ve been trying lately.

How We Share on Twitter

Our current Twitter schedule involves sharing 11 times a day during weekdays and 8 times a day during weekends. Here are the current times we share (our timezone is set to Denver, CO).

Buffer Twitter schedule 2

Buffer Twitter schedule 1

I would say that 99% of our posts include some sort of media. We tend to use mostly images, since they tend to be they help boost our engagement, we have also enjoyed sharing GIFs and videos once in a while.

Here are some of our most engaging posts in the past 30 days taken from Buffer’s Analytics. A few standout findings:

  • You will noticed that these all contain an image (we tend to create our images using Pablo)
  • 3 out of 7 are about Twitter
  • Two of the updates link to the same article, highlighting the importance of re-sharing your content
  • One is a competition we ran to celebrate reaching 400k followers. (We’d love to experiment a little more with competitions)

Buffer Twitter Popular Posts 3

Buffer Twitter Popular Posts 2

Buffer Twitter Popular Posts 1

In general, we tend to reshare posts that seemed to resonate. We sometimes change the update and sometimes reshare as is.

How We Share on Facebook

Our current Facebook schedule has us sharing 3 times a day on weekdays and once on weekends. Here are the current times we share (our timezone is set to Nashville, TN).

Buffer Facebook schedule 2

Buffer Facebook schedule 1

On Facebook, we focus on sharing posts from Buffer’s Social and Open blogs and use the status copy to provide context or a story around the post being shared.

We have also recently started sharing quotes that inspire us on a regular basis (those quotes are also being shared on Twitter and seem to be appreciated there as well).

Here are some of our most engaging posts in the past 30 days taken from Buffer’s Analytics. Some of the things that seem to resonate here are announcements, images, insider story about Buffer and life hacking type articles.

Buffer Facebook Popular Posts 1

Buffer Facebook Popular Posts 2

Buffer Facebook Popular Posts 3

Buffer Facebook Popular Posts 4

Buffer Facebook Popular Posts 5

Buffer Facebook Popular Posts 6

One of the things we’re also thinking of experimenting with is the timing of our shares. One of the tools that we will be using to find new optimal times to share is the Buffer Optimal Timing tool, which finds the best time for you to share on a specific social network and updates your Buffer schedule accordingly.

Over to You!

What are some of the steps you’ve taken to develop and perfect your social sharing schedule? Have I missed any steps? Do you have additional tips? I would love to hear them all in the comments section.

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How to Develop and Perfect Your Social Media Sharing Schedule (It Could Double Your Traffic!)
The Top 5 Things To Do When Branding For Multiple Cultures http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-top-5-things-to-do-when-branding-for-multiple-cultures/ Tue, 30 May 2017 14:40:08 +0000 Luke @ Pixeldot http://www.pgae.com/?p=13838 Pixeldot's Luke Taylor gives his top-5 guidelines for effectively creating and managing a brand across different cultures and countries... ]]>

As I type, I am sat in a generously wide seat, surrounded by a cacophony of English, French, German and Canadian accents and the satisfying hum of the Eurostar. We’re gliding through the scenic French countryside, travelling towards the depths of the English Channel and back into the beautiful surroundings of London St Pancras.

Myself, Jan and Chandra are returning home from a four day trip to the French capital to work with a long-standing global client who is based there. We are working with them to deliver a very complex rebrand with multiple stakeholders and teams across Europe, the US and Australasia.

Over the past few years we have delivered rebrands across Europe, the US and Africa. Being based in the UK, I wanted to share how we create brands that resonate with people in those countries, that grow and evolve with their culture, and ultimately achieve success for the companies we represent. Here are my top 5 guidelines for a successful outcome.

1. Immerse yourself in the culture.

It seems like an obvious thing to say, but we know it doesn’t always get done. Companies look to the UK for design skill and creative thinking, but to deliver a project successfully you (as a company) need to look wider than your personal experiences and that can be difficult. All good creative people are like sponges, soaking up information, ideas and bringing influences like trends, styles and messaging from the world around us into our work. But, what if those influences don’t mean anything to the people you are designing for? What if those ‘eureka’ moments don’t resonate with an audience of the outside the UK?

That’s where immersing yourself in the culture or cultures of the client is vital. As an example, when we are working in France, we go to France and visit the client, we ask them to show us what makes France French in their eyes. We visit locations of historical importance, we watch their films, listen to their music, try and learn some of the language, and most importantly we look – we look at what they design, how they design, what influences their design culture. Only by doing this can you start to consider what design and branding will work in that chosen culture.

2. Don’t trust cultural stereotypes.

We would all like to believe that we are ‘worldly’ and knowledgeable people – who look outwardly at global information, understanding cultures and people. But really we still view the world and the different cultures as stereotypes. We think of the French as chic, the Americans as loud, the Germans as serious and the British as stiff upper-lipped. Clearly that isn’t the case, but you would be amazed at how many brands are created with a stereotype at its heart, e.g. Delice De France!

By visiting, learning and living a culture you can start to see past stereotypes and begin to see similarities – parts of our cultures that merge and overlap. Once you are able to do this you can start to see where a brand resonates across multiple cultures, across languages and trends. When you reach this point you can create a brand thread which ties branding, emotion and design to cultures across entire continents or further afield.

3. Be in the room.

It’s as simple as that – be in the room. Be in the room for client meetings in their offices, be in the room when they discuss the answers to your brand questions, be in the room when they are chatting about their weekends, or plans for the evening, be in the room when that room is a pub, a bar, a restaurant – be a part of the team. By becoming a member of the client’s team, you become a part of their culture. You can learn what really makes them tick, what drives them forward, why they come to work everyday, what is in their heart that differentiates them from others, and what really should be in the heart of the brand.

4. Learn the subtleties.

Great brands are not created through billboards or advertising campaigns alone, they are delivered through subtly – beautiful touches of quality, finesse and intelligence; the beautifully produced bag, the expertly finished brochure or the refined smooth wording of a letter.
Subtleties differ from culture to culture and learning what different people see as the differentiator of quality can be vital to the overall success of a rebrand.

For example, in Africa, colour is a vital part of visual language. Colours represent different events in life, from celebration and weddings, through to morning and funerals. The colours symbolise emotion, and that emotion is imparted into the brand. Those emotional ties to colours will run deep into the subconscious of the viewer and therefore as brand thinkers we have to be mindful of this and utilise the power of colour to enhance a message or brand position – brandthinking in colour.

5. Ask the hard questions.

If you want to know if your brand works, ask the people who live it. We are specialists in creating brands that deliver growth, brands that have emotion and brands that resonate with target audiences, but when working in different cultures how do we know we have got it right, before we launch? Simply – we ask.

We spend time presenting the concept and brand developments to a wide range of the client’s team, from directors to admin staff. The directors will look at the brand from a strategic point of view and will trust our opinion and advice, but a receptionist will look at the brand with their heart – they will tell you what they feel and that is vital. When the strategic mind and emotive soul of the brand align, we know we have the right outcome for the organisation. It is easy to be afraid to show the brand and to ask “what do you think?”, as they are four words which can turn your project on it’s head. But they are the four most important words in any brand project.

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So there you have it, 5 top tips for branding in different countries and across cultures. As part of our Brandthinking™ process we deliver exciting, emotive brands through a wide range of countries and cultures. There are many more things which need to be considered when doing these complex projects, but I hope these 5 tips will give you an insight into they way we think, and help you in any future planning for projects.

If you have a brand that you wish to launch in the UK or further afield, and think our Brandthinking™ process and creativity can help, then we would love to hear from you.

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The Top 5 Things To Do When Branding For Multiple Cultures
Benchmarking Performance: A Facility’s Secret Weapon http://www.pgae.com/ask/benchmarking-performance-a-facilitys-secret-weapon/ Wed, 10 May 2017 12:18:13 +0000 Golf Management Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=18191 Getting the full picture of how your golf club is performing means you also need to know how you are measuring up against your competitors and the market...]]>

Getting the full picture of how your golf club is performing means you also need to know how you are measuring up against your competitors and the overall golf market.

 Here the PGAs of Europe and PGA Professional, Mark Taylor, explore this underutilised area of management looking at where to start and what to think about when it comes to benchmarking your facility…

Certainly many factors influence a club’s reputation and performance including; perception of the club’s brand, the quality of the course, course activity levels, recognition of the bottom line value of guest play; to name just a few!!

 

Benchmarking is a tool that provides facilities and management teams a way to compare their clubs with peers.

Here’s what to consider when benchmarking…

Benchmarking is a process for golf operations seeking to compare financial performance and operating metrics to others in the same industry and re-align business strategies that have become unsuitable.

Through considering the results and practices of others in the same space, an enterprise can potentially improve its own understanding and management of processes and practices.

Information is crucial, and this is accessible from various sources:

  • Competitor golf club websites and social media space
  • ‘Mystery shop’ your local golf clubs
  • Understanding trends in the market and adapting to meet those needs
  • Golf Benchmark National/International comparisons and metrics (e.g KPMG)
  • Benchmarking in local areas or regions

The factors that you may wish to consider in benchmarking competitors are:

  • Membership numbers and fees
  • Membership Retention
  • Visitor fee prices
  • Visitor packages
  • Food & Beverage
  • Golf Course reviews
  • PGA Professional Golf services, retail, membership sales and coaching provision
  • Is the PGA Professional active within recruitment & retention strategies?
  • Where and how competitors are marketing?
  • Are you comparing like for like products?
  • Is your benchmarking SMART in each area of comparison?

Only by knowing the answers to these basic questions and understanding where you fit in the local marketplace, can you be realistic about what is feasible.

The questions you wish to ask competitors may also vary – for example, in European tourist weighted/seasonal destinations, the benchmarking process may need to be adjusted to identify different gaps in a business from a conventional ‘member’ golf facility.

For venues that either currently benchmark or are evaluating the use of benchmarking processes, there are several factors to consider:

Resource:

Benchmarking is an important resource that a club has at its disposal and should be considered both during budgeting and strategic planning.

Planning:

Benchmarking helps club committees/course owners and management teams deliberate about plans and operations in new and more intelligent ways. It may also help reduce input drawn from other industries that may not apply to golf clubs and facilities. The operating, financing, investment, marketing and governance practices of golf clubs all have their own unique characteristics.

Understand the Limitations:

The first thing to understand is both the goals and the limitations of benchmarking.  It is, after all, a tool and not an answer. Comparing your club to others of similar standing should identify disparities that are worth understanding.  It is not a case of right or wrong, it is just a process to help develop more thoughtful questions and a better understanding of the surprising intricacy of the golf business.

Be sure to benchmark against a comparable set of venues…

In selecting facilities to benchmark against, it is important to choose a peer set with similar amenities. Comparing a golf-only club against clubs that provide, for example, leisure club integrated golf/leisure membership or dual course options etc. would make the comparison less meaningful.

For the same purpose, simply selecting clubs in your geographic area may not produce the most meaningful result. Comparing yourself with clubs of your general revenue size and, to the extent available, other factors including number of golf holes, amenity offerings, F&B revenues, etc. will help produce more telling results.  Studies have proven that geography means far less than one might intuitively suspect…

In addition to financial data, benchmarking operating data such as golf rounds played; the financing of capital expenditures, member numbers, membership costs, joining fees, governance practices etc. can be very valuable.

Key personnel within the club, including PGA Professionals have the ability and knowledge to treat this level of information with the respect it deserves and use it to drive positive change, improve service levels and profits, both in their business or for their employing club.

While the business model of golf is often consistent from venue to venue, each individual business is unique and is therefore required to make decisions based on their individual needs.

Benchmarking should not be considered a one-off exercise… To be effective, it must become an integral part of an ongoing improvement process, the goal being to be informed of ever-improving best practices and implement the necessary interventions to close the performance gap.

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Mark Taylor is a Development Officer for England Golf, a Fellow PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Professional, as well as a PGA Tutor and an R&A Golf Development Professional.

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Benchmarking Performance: A Facility’s Secret Weapon
VIDEO – How to Balance Projects With Jason Glass http://www.pgae.com/ask/video-how-to-balance-projects-with-jason-glass/ Tue, 09 May 2017 14:22:17 +0000 Golf in the Life of http://www.pgae.com/?p=16618 Learn from Jason Glass about how to balance projects and do them all at a very high level. Great info for the entrepreneurial coach...]]>

Learn from Jason Glass about how to balance projects and do them all at a very high level. Great info for the entrepreneurial coach.

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VIDEO – How to Balance Projects With Jason Glass
[PODCAST] Actionable Social Media Trends and Stats to Help Guide Your Marketing in 2017 http://www.pgae.com/ask/podcast-actionable-social-media-trends-and-stats-to-help-guide-your-marketing-in-2017/ Sun, 07 May 2017 11:46:34 +0000 Buffer http://www.pgae.com/?p=18619 The team at Buffer explore the latest Social Media trends and stats to get your marketing going this year...]]>

We are excited to share our third, very special bonus podcast episode with you on important social media trends and stats going into 2017!

Our bonus episodes offer a fun change of pace from our traditional “interview-style” episodes on The Science of Social Media. Get to know the hosts Hailley, Kevan, & Brian a bit better as they share thoughts on the future of social media – complete with actionable takeaways and useful insights.

This week we’re chatting all about our brand new State of Social Media 2016 Report! 3 major trends emerge from the study, including the peak of video marketing, Facebook remaining atop the pack, and the importance of customer service on social media.

A huge thank you to all of you for joining us every week for brand new episodes. We appreciate you taking the time to listen and for your amazing support over the last few weeks. We’d love to hear from you on iTunes or using the hashtag #bufferpodcast on Twitter.

“That’s what I see social media in 2017 being – Understanding why you’re there and then creating something awesome for the people that you’re hoping to reach on that channel.”

3 Themes That Stood Out to Us From the Survey

Theme #1

The first takeaway is that video is on the rise and about to hit the peak. If you ever wanted to get into video marketing, now is the time to do so! We found that there are some inherent challenges that people are experiencing that are keeping them from fully joining.

Theme #2

No one has really left Facebook like everyone was saying might happen once organic reach dipped. From our study, about 9 out of every 10 marketers use Facebook and 9 out of 10 use Facebook Ads. I think some of the response to the dip in organic reach is people moving to Facebook Ads. So, marketers finding a way to make the most of that giant network.

Theme #3

Only 1 in 5 survey respondents – so 1 in 5 brands, 1 in 5 marketers – use social media for customer support. And that was shockingly low for me. At Buffer customer support has been very key to us and it has been key for a lot of the brands that we admire. That feels like a really neat opportunity for brands to stand out.

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[PODCAST] Actionable Social Media Trends and Stats to Help Guide Your Marketing in 2017
What Does a PGA Professional Bring to Your Club? http://www.pgae.com/ask/what-does-a-pga-professional-bring-to-your-club/ Mon, 01 May 2017 20:55:44 +0000 IrishGolfer.ie http://www.pgae.com/?p=18649 IrishGolfer.ie & the PGA of GB&I's Paul Wisniewski explore the benefits a PGA Professional can bring to a facility and why they add huge value to a business...]]>

IrishGolfer.ie and the PGA of GB&I’s Paul Wisniewski explore what benefits a PGA Professional can bring to a facility and why they add huge value to the whole business…

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A question often asked is, What value does a PGA professional have at a golf club? The answer can be quite a lot.

Does your club have a PGA Professional?  Are you looking to recruit one?  Perhaps you had one in previous years but not anymore?  Times have changed and so has the role of the PGA Professional at club level.  In the heady days of property booms and third houses a PGA Professional at your club was seen as a sign that things were good, that business was strong and having the pro there was just something that clubs did.

Fast forward a few years and clubs saw their incomes drop and many responded by letting their PGA Professional go (or perhaps not taking on a PGA Professional) as they perhaps didn’t see the value that they brought.  Nowadays though, the modern PGA Professional is an invaluable asset to a golf club and it’s great to see how diverse and integral the role has become once again, the role of the PGA Professional is back where it belongs.

Given the right circumstances and direction a PGA Professional can add significant revenues to any club.  The logo for PGA Professionals contains the phrase “The heart of golf” for a good reason.  It’s not because they’ve gone through rigorous training and feel they deserve it. It’s because they’ve gone through rigorous training, have learned about golf clubs from the inside out, have likely spent more time in golf clubs than even the most dedicated club members and they are the lifeblood of any club.  The PGA pro doesn’t only stand in the shop to answer your questions anymore, they are involved in so much more behind the scenes and here are some of the ways in which a PGA Professional can add value and revenue to your club;

1. Knowledge

A PGA Professional goes through an intensive three-year training programme covering all aspects of golf club management as well as the physical aspects of playing the game.They have a broad knowledge of everything required to run a golf club and can be a great source of knowledge on a wide range of topics from membership to marketing.

2. Revenue

This is a key area in any business but in a golf club there are so many ways to increase & control revenue. Why not engage with your current PGA Professional and ask their advice on this and see what they can come up with? Equally as important as revenue is cost control and again the training that PGA Professionals receive puts them in a unique position to advise and assist with this.

3. Customer service & interaction

The person at a golf club who has the most customer interaction is the PGA Professional (43%, with the next person being the GM at 13%). They are the face of the club.Whether it’s a members competition on a weekend or a friendly fourball playing on a Tuesday afternoon, the PGA Professional is likely to be the person who greets you, explains the club policies, encourages you to have dinner or buy a shirt from the shop and this interaction can lead to repeat business and of course the increased market perception for your club.

4. Advice

More and more PGA pro’s are being asked to join in on committee meetings to offer advice and guidance.This is wonderful to see but many more Irish clubs could benefit from the input of a PGA Professional in this area.It shouldn’t only be competition committees, the PGA pro can be a useful asset in any committee, they know your club as well if not better than you do, they know all your members, they get direct feedback from every single visitor and surely that should make them the first name on the committee sheet?Don’t forget too that your PGA Professional is also a great source of knowledge on the latest equipment, clothing and many can even advise on some nutrition and exercise regimes if you’re so inclined – this is an under-utilised but greatly effective members asset.

5. Lessons

Many people only see the PGA pro as just being someone you go to for lessons – obviously this is far from true but lessons are a big part of what a pro can bring to a golf club.If a member can get a lesson from a good PGA Professional at their home club then they will do so.Players from other clubs can come to your PGA pro for lessons too which increases the public profile of your club. Moreover the pro can give introductory lessons and programmes aimed at getting people into golf who have never played.This can result in membership increases and further revenues for the club.Did you know that if someone takes lessons they play 20% more golf, spend 65% more on F&B and spend 70% more on retail?

6. Marketing

This is an interesting one as along with the pro and the manager, marketing was one of the first things to be cut when revenues dropped in Irish clubs.Through their personal contact with golfers your PGA pro is marketing your club, through giving lessons to non-members your PGA pro is marketing your club, through their interaction with other PGA pros and through them being very good at their jobs your PGA pro is marketing your club.It doesn’t always have to come down to spending money, but if it does then your PGA pro is well positioned to advise you on where is best to spend it.They eat, sleep, live and breathe golf, if it’s happening in golf they will most likely know about it so why would you not ask their opinion?

7. Member recruitment & retention

A recent survey found that 100% of people who took coaching lessons from their PGA Professional stayed as a club member the following year. That’s a staggering statistic when you consider the membership turnover in many golf clubs.When it comes to member recruitment the PGA Professional is probably the first person that any prospective member will meet.They will come in to ask questions, get forms or to play a round and see what the course is like.The pro can have a huge impact on recruitment and an educated, friendly face who knows about the club is the ideal person to have dealing with new members.

These are just some of the benefits of having a PGA Professional at your club, there are so many more and to talk to someone at the PGA about it or if your club is looking to recruit a PGA Professional you should contact Paul Wisniewski at the PGA Irish Region on Email: paul.wisniewski@pga.org.uk or Telephone: 085 8821756.

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What Does a PGA Professional Bring to Your Club?
5 Quick-Fire Ways to Master Your Marketing http://www.pgae.com/ask/5-quick-fire-ways-to-master-your-marketing/ Mon, 01 May 2017 15:41:54 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=10478 The world of marketing, advertising and commercial messaging is something we come in to contact with all the time...]]>

The world of marketing, advertising and commercial messaging is something we come in to contact with all the time.  Everywhere we turn we are faced with stimuli that are designed to promote certain behaviour in us, which in most cases is to go and buy, or interact with, a service or product.

For PGA Professionals involved in any area of the game, knowledge of marketing and some of the key concepts that come with it can be very useful to themselves as individuals but also as marketers, sales people, and value-adders for a business.

Here IGPN looks at just some of the main things in marketing that could help you be better prepared to market yourself and the business you are a key part of, whilst also giving you more knowledge of the marketing that takes place around you.

Article Header Images_Marketing - Strategy

1. STRATEGY

You can’t move in any direction without a plan of where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.  Too many people are too concerned with just ‘doing some marketing’ and don’t look at things with enough depth and focus.  Marketing is an incredibly broad term and you need to ensure what you are doing is relevant, achievable, and has an end goal.

The first step is to think about what you want to achieve out of any marketing activity.  Why are you doing it, and what would be the ideal things to achieve?  Make them as realistic, relevant and specific as you can.

There are so many platforms, media, methods and ‘hot topics’ within marketing that you need to ensure that what you are planning to do is worthwhile and has the potential to make a difference.  Don’t take on something just because a lot of other people are doing it – if it’s not right then you could be wasting valuable resources that might work a lot better elsewhere.

Research is key here – what platforms/media fit your goals, your target audience, their usage/behaviour best?  What pushes them to take action and change their behaviour to what you want?  There are plenty of ways to do this through market research and statistics, but the easiest way is to just ask for yourself – if your market is accessible then get out there and ask the questions needed to work out what makes them tick.

A good way to think of engaging in marketing activity is to compare it to giving a lesson – a good coach will assess a player’s strengths and weaknesses, look at their goals and targets, and then work out a route to get them to that position, taking into account all of the internal and external factors that could come into play.

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2. WEBSITES

Your website is truly your online hub – they can be so versatile and useful in a digital and connected world that optimising them should be a number 1 priority.

What do you want your website to do and say?  Working these things out enables you to direct your attention to the things that are most important for the end-user.  If you are a coach and you have a website to promote your services, then are what clubs someone uses the most important thing, or should things like your skills, experience, knowledge, and then booking/contact information be up the front?

If you use other platforms, for example, Social Media sites, or perhaps there are certain sponsors or facilities you are linked to, then you should be signposting these appropriately.

Once you know what your audience is after you can begin to tailor the site and its content to them.  Stats software such as Google Analytics can provide incredibly useful and actionable information that can help you look at who is viewing the site and where from.

Enterprising Professional coaches are even getting custom-designed websites built that allow their clients to login to an area that is just for them where they can see their lesson videos and key tips that are specific to them – the ultimate in specificity.

A website can also act as a great platform to host your content – you could write your blog in one section and then keep your photos in another gallery section, all whilst allowing you to share that information and have a living, breathing calling card for yourself or company.  Static websites no longer cut the mustard – the more you can keep the site fresh and new the more reasons people have to keep on returning.

Article Header Images_Marketing_01

3. SOCIAL MEDIA

Any platform on which a community or network of some kind is hosted can be considered Social Media.  There are a lot of platforms out there so it is important you know which ones [if any] are going to be useful for you and your audience.  There’s no point having an account on everything if no-one interacts with you there, plus it can be hard enough sometimes to stay on top of a few platforms, let alone lots of different ones!

Again you can use research to work out where your audience are and what platforms they use, and then you can begin to create and share content on there.  Share what you post on a blog or website and then look for like-minded brands/people/etc. and share what they come up with.  You can even look to share what your community/followers say and share – engaging in two-way conversation provides real value to someone using a platform.  It gives a brand or business an identity and personality that a person can build an affinity with.

As a brand your place on these platforms is often going to be met with caution.  Generally speaking, people are wary of mixing their communities with brands and marketing messages, however, it is something that is done.  Twitter for example is known for its users following their friends and their favourite brands, but the difference here is that brands have to work hard to gain the trust and interest of a user.  They are often speaking to consumers on the same level, using the same reference points and interests to communicate with them rather than blasting out automated marketing messages.

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4. CONTENT

This is pretty much anything that you output that is consumable by an end user.  Nowadays this is mainly content that is produced online and shared in some way be it a blog post, and article, news item, video interview, or gallery of images (but it can also be more ‘traditional’ things like leaflets, newspaper articles, guides, etc.).

The creation and curation of content can be a very simple and very easy way of marketing something.  Creating your own content involves composing your own information, perhaps researching a subject, providing an opinion piece on something, or generating something brand new.  Curating is gathering content that already exists and then sharing it amongst others that could also find it interesting.

For example, you might want to generate some content for your website that details your opinion on a well-known player’s swing technique.  You could create a short blog post that explains your thoughts, which is then shared across your Social Media platforms.

But you might also want to show what research/articles you have read to inform your decision so you could bring together a series of links that would be useful for those wishing to find out more from elsewhere [like we have done with this article].  It shows your own content is well informed, it shows you want to help the reader even more, and it also alerts others to the fact that you are sharing their information (and they may even do the same thing for you!).

The key thing is to ensure you create and curate content that is relevant to those that are consuming it.

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5. EMAIL

Marketing emails are something that is so commonplace in our digital lives that they are often overlooked as being achievable on a small scale, but that’s not really true especially considering how many different platforms there are [some of which are free!], and how easy they are to use with a variety of templates that can be matched to your tastes.

Successful email marketing comes from having a decent email database (remember it’s quality not quantity) and knowing what sort of information they want to receive.

The database is the easy bit – most Pros will have, or at least have access to, a database of their clients with email addresses and then some information about them.  Facilities with advanced systems may even have a database that includes much more about individuals, such as date of birth, brand preferences, sales records and more.  All of this information can be used to ‘tag’ and categorise contacts so you can create not just one overall database, but multiple sub-databases within it.  You can then leverage this information to your advantage.

For example, you might have a sale on in your facility’s shop – you could send one email showcasing male-orientated products to the males in the database, and female-orientated products to the females.  Or you could even go by brand preference and send everyone who likes ‘Brand X’ one email with the latest Brand X offers and those who prefer ‘Brand Y’ with the latest Brand Y offers.

This is something that seems time-consuming but really doesn’t have to be – again with the ease with which you can create emails in these modern systems you can create one email, copy it, and then just update the wording and imagery for another target audience.

Once you have the database down then the next step is to ensure what you put out there is useful for them – if they don’t like a certain brand (or at least haven’t said they have an affinity to it) then it’s probably not worth sending them offers when something else might work a lot better.

Or perhaps you want to send them a newsletter with a digest of information – tap into their interests and what they like to read about – and if you don’t know, then send the database an email asking for their preferences so what they receive is relevant to them!

Again the thing to get right here is relevancy – if something is not relevant, interesting or of use to the end user they will not give it any time.  Your email will either be deleted or added to the junk mail folder, and that’s assuming they don’t just go and unsubscribe in general.

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5 Quick-Fire Ways to Master Your Marketing