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TEA.G.I.Friday On my mind by Gail Gastelu

Friday, July 31st 2015 @ 11:52 AM

Let’s discuss information based customer appreciation . . . does your company share enough? Do your customers appreciate you? What more can you do? Where is the balance? It’s an interesting conversation to have with others. Many businesses blog and constantly worry if they are doing it right or often enough. In my opinion, consistency is the key at whatever interval you decide. “Just Do It.”

If you follow the 80/20 rule as it pertains to business, you should be giving 80 percent of the time. Here at The Tea House Times, we choose to give a lot. From our massive and free tea news feeds to Tea Scoop and other information sharing, we are not only giving something to our industry but helping others to give as well (i.e. guest blogs). Think about it. What companies do you appreciate most? Are they offering some sort of support or value added service or simply taking your money and hounding you with ad-like emails rather than information based customer appreciation?

From my point of view:

I’ve been asked - Why doesn’t The Tea House Times hound people for advertising? Seriously – no pressure! We don’t operate the same as traditional magazines. So, how can we or how do we help market tea related businesses that need it but want to do it in a very unique way? This is what’s on my mind right now as I continue to add new business and consumer friendly services to The Tea House Times company portfolio – ever increasing the number of ways we connect businesses and consumers to all things tea. Yes, more things are coming over the next several months to help all tea businesses strengthen their customers’ appreciation of tea.

We are now living in a digital age. Since we are in publishing, information management, and content marketing, these are the things we follow and study. There has been a great shift from print advertising, real mail, etc. to digital advertising, email, social media, and so on. The problem is that businesses now face very strong ad blocking programs heavily used by consumers. So, now what? Many types of online ads and pop-ups are being blocked. Your online ads through various mass advertising providers and/or social media that you paid good money for - may not be seen. It may be time to welcome back some traditional advertising, and direct mail pieces (real postal mail, yes!)….when the masses are elsewhere, you’ll stand out again. Personally, I’d love to see some fun mail in my real postal mail again. (I received a free lipstick in the mail at home the other day – not exactly my shade – but when was the last time you received a cool little sample, fun postcard, or other friendly mail piece?)

The Tea House Times received several new advertisers over the last week. This was completely without trying….we don’t actively pursue ad sales in a high-pressure way; rather, we self-empower advertisers with our automated website that accepts their self-registration for advertising, allows their self-posting of news and blog or article entries, event postings and more. Some have asked me why our rates are so reasonable . . . and also expressed surprise that we are not overflowing with too many ads as most magazines are. The reason is that I believe in helping people through information and content rather than messaging and the way we present ads is rather unobtrusive. Additionally, many of our services are supported by those who partake in our online Tea Course continuing education, in person Tea Course Fast Track, Tea Etiquette Certification and other programs and services we offer such as custom training and websites for tea rooms. In short, we love our advertisers and of course we’d love more because we appreciate them and want to help them – but we don’t go out of our way to pressure any business into doing it! Hopefully that’s the refreshing part of doing business with us. Relaxed, easy, all we want to do is help others in the tea industry to connect in a positive way – and, our favorite advertisers are those who understand and value the art of giving back.

Over the next six months or so, I’ll be rolling out a few new ways to connect businesses and consumers to all things tea – the new programs I am working on will benefit people far and wide in many special ways – tea is special, it truly is. We are already reaching half a million through print and other unique partnerships and digital distribution methods. Our intent is to continue to reach more and more tea consumers and all types of businesses fitting into that perfect demographic of adding tea as a new profit center or simply enjoying it as a consumer. . .to reach them Where they are - and where and who they are is very widespread.

Follow my blog, follow The Tea House Times, and visit with me at a coffee or tea trade show. Let’s continue to connect through this incredibly rewarding world of tea and share it in ways that assuredly provide that feel-good reason people drink tea and socialize over afternoon tea.

It's been awhile since I penned a TEA.G.I.Friday post since I've moved most of our blog posting to Mondays, but this is what's on my mind and thought it made for good weekend musing. Have a great weekend and stay cool!

 

For the Love of Tea. . .

Gail

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GAIL GASTELU is Publisher of The Tea House Times, Producer of TeaCourse.com continuing education and TeaEtiquetteCertified.com among other numerous products and services to connect businesses and consumers to everything tea. Gail lives in NJ with her husband and two children. Her motto is "Just Do It!"  Learn more about Gail's work here.

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