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While most of us are focusing on the upcoming holiday season and the numerous responsibilities that come with end-of-year planning, Virginia elected officials are busily preparing for the 2015 General Assembly session. We are in the heart of the prefiling calendar which means that members of both the House of Representatives and Senate have started introducing legislation which they hope to introduce next year for a vote. If last week’s elections taught us anything in Virginia, it is that both sides of the aisle are going to be pushing hard for their specific agenda – even at the state level. Republicans believe that the closeness of the vote between Sen. Mark Warner and challenger Ed Gillespie, coupled with their stronghold on Virginia’s congressional delegation have given them a mandate to push a more conservative agenda. Meanwhile, Democrats are energized to do the same since their party controls the state’s top three seats of power.

It’s that time of the year! The leaves are changing colors, mornings are a little chillier, and the holidays are right around the corner. For most companies, the Fall signifies budgeting and plan preparation for the next year. This is especially true for marketing departments. As you begin to plan for next year, it is important to take a step back and figure out exactly which tactics are going to provide the best return on investment. Here are some recommendations on how quantitative data can be useful when determining your budgets.

If you have social media accounts for your business, then at some point you’ll encounter negative comments online. An unsuccessful product, poor customer service, and customers unhappy with their overall experiences may lead to negative remarks on Facebook or Twitter. According to Digimind, 80% of consumers have received advice through a social media outlet regarding which product or service to purchase. What are the best practices when handling negative comments? It says a lot about you and your business on that way that negativity on social media is addressed. Here are the top methods for responding to unhappy users on social media:

As relationships between organizations and customers/clients evolve, more buyers are looking for individuals and companies they can trust. They want to work with someone who is seen as an expert in his or her field and is a trusted resource. This type of relationship is especially true in the B2B world as every professional service and A/C/E firm knows. Gaining the necessary expertise to serve clients takes time, diligence, experience, and hard work. However, that expertise doesn’t become valuable until you leverage it. If no one is aware of your unique skills they won’t help you land new business.