How Do You Talk, Eat and Live in a Language You Are Learning?

From teacher to learner

To set the record straight I will confess: as a teacher I was a touch sanctimonious about telling students how easy it was to learn English. Then I arrived in Chile in July 2010 about the only words I knew were hola and amigos. Would what I’d been telling students to do work on the other side of the language learning experience?

Come with me as I live, eat and talk what I preach.

Getting Started

I rearranged my life so that Spanish becomes front and center. The language-learning formula is that you will quickly be able to read and follow what is happening. The context will help even if you don’t understand every word. Next you will be able to increasingly comprehend what people are talking about. Moving right along you may start to talk like an 18-month old, but vocabulary will develop. Writing is the most difficult. Even people who speak the language exceedingly well, rarely write like native-speakers.


So how do I live Spanish? When I get up in the morning I tune in to RTVE radio and/or television out of Madrid on the laptop. No commercials and the announcers speak in clear, crisp voices. If the people you are listening to speak well, it is much easier to follow the conversation.

And when you really listen, you will start to hear how many words are, in fact, the same as English, but with a different pronunciation. English stresses the first syllable; Spanish the penultimate.

Another perk is that the newscasts are repeated so what I miss the first time I’ll catch more of on the second go-round. My usual station is the 24-hour radio exterior – en directo. I became fluent in economics as 23 of the 24 hours are devoted to discussing the financial crisis in Spain.

For newscasts on television, watch the announcer’s mouth. Remember this is now deaf people learn to speak, so pay attention and imitate. Sports broadcasts are also good listening exercises as the vocabulary is limited.

Now I only listen to Spanish music. And only watch Spanish movies. Sub-titles – which makes it a bit of a waste of time as you are reading in English rather than listening in the target language – isn’t a problem on RTVE. If your family and neighbors complain about the gongs and wailing in the Chinese opera you’re listening to/and or watching, get head phones and tune them out.

For the first few months– when I was reading the news in Spanish on the BBC– I really didn’t know much about what was happening in the news. But once I could follow it, I realized I hadn’t missed much anyway. However, my reading skills improved.

I have kept a diary since August 1981. So I force myself to write a bit in Spanish every day. Is t is not great literature, but it is amusing to re-read it after a few months and pick out the mistakes. When I read or write, I try to concentrate on the verbs. More on this topic later.

To live the language, also check out local food festivals, multi-cultural events, language-exchange programs and Internet offerings. Even if you want to learn rather obscure languages – such as Khmer or Inuit — there are online resources ready and waiting.


Studying Spanish – and one should live the culture – is so much more fun with a glass of sauvignon blanc from Chile in one hand and a tapas in the other. The same is true for steak and Malbec at midnight. In fact, after a couple of glasses of Piso Alto vino I get quite conversant.

While you are in the bookshop, pick up a cookbook in the target language and whip up a few dishes. If in doubt about the ingredients, check with a translation program as you don’t want a cup of sugar in your soup. Then put on some music, pour a drink, light a few candles and mentally transport yourself to the target language country.


Once you get past the grunt-in-single-noun stage, it is time to tackle the verbs so that you can talk to people. Even though memorizing how to conjugate verbs rivals getting a root canal all languages hinge around these stubborn little critters. No verbs, no action. End of story so get on with it and embrace verbs as your friends.

Turn learning verbs into a fun activity of saying a sentence in the present, past and future. Then reward yourself with a sip of saki if you are learning Japanese. Read a passage and underline all the verbs.

Also make a note of which tense they are in: past, present, future. All of a sudden you will have a “eureka” and patterns will start to appear. It will all begin to make sense. And when that happens, take yourself out for a meal at your target language restaurant. Hopefully the waiters in the Korean cafe will be able to talk with you.

To learn to speak well you have to practice every day. When I started to work as a lecturer at the University of Waikato I used to practice my lessons in front of a full-length mirror. By watching myself I learned how I presented to the 400 or so beaming second-years in the auditorium. I now do the same things with Spanish. And it is a good thing, too, as I now live in Phnom Penh and Spanish speakers are not readily available.

I would pour a glass of wine, pull up a chair in the front of the mirror and review my day. Topics include what I did and what I will do tomorrow. Sometime I just sort of wander off and talk about whatever. I take my Spanish book with me so I can refer to it – particularly the verbs – when I need to.

Okay, so it may sound a touch strange, but believe me it does work. Another option is to video yourself. If you are concerned that other people might think you need a mental health assessment, tell them you are trying out for a part in the Ukrainian play. As long as you have a cover story nobody ever asks.

Learning another language is mental gymnastics. The more practice the better you get. In summary live, eat, and talk it and it will be more fun.

Michael Peel’s Africa

Perhaps Africa’s and indeed Nigeria’s biggest enemy with regards to negative and biased reporting is Michael Peel, I have indeed tried to contain myself and to be patient with this voyeur cum journalist but I can not hold myself anymore. Not after his last damning report and one-sided take on fraud and scams purportedly emanating out of Nigeria which he claims costs the United Kingdom billions annually.

As we say in Nigeria, enough is enough. How long should we stand by and watch this fellow dehumanise Africans and indeed Nigerians with his negative take on the African continent? This past week, most of the United Kingdom newspapers have been awash with Mr Peel’s story, conversations on tubes and buses and in offices have been ignited once again with the story of Nigerians and their financial invention – the 419 scam. But this is not all that Nigerians are good at; unfortunately it is the only one that Michael Peel chose to tell the world.

For people like me who speak the English language flavoured with a thick Nigerian accent, and who bear flag-waving African names, there is no escaping the scorn, ‘sympathies’ and jeers. As the West African correspondent of the Financial Times Newspaper, Michael Peel has never found anything good and positive in the whole sub-region worth reporting, his reports are usually couched in cynicism, threads of decay, death and backwardness knit them together, just like the news reports of his fellow western media journalists stationed in Africa whose only mandate is to report the bad and ugly. For Michael Peel and his associates, there is nothing good coming out of Africa; Africa is still a dark continent and its people savages and criminals.

I often wonder, when they go to bed at night, do they calmly shut their eyes with the satisfaction that they have done their best through their many warped and negative reports to improve the lives of the Africans whom they constantly denigrate, or does the thought that they may be contributing to Africa’s backwardness linger somewhere on their minds?

As an associate fellow of Chatham House, does Michael Peel not realise that the documents he authors and which are endorsed by Chatham House in a way influences policies including the decisions taken by governments and global investors concerning Africa, and that such parochial take on issues is at cross purposes with Africa, and indeed Nigeria’s march towards national re-birth, and its current drive to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs)?

Where has the journalistic objectivity he learnt in journalism school gone to? In telling his readers how much the United Kingdom loses annually to fraud emanating from Nigeria, he conveniently ignored the fact that his fellow citizens (the ‘innocent’ victims) are also co-perpetrators in the crime, and that their ‘misfortune’ only came about because of their greed and immoral inclination to rape Africa and rob it of its resources. A disposition that dates centuries and continues to be witnessed in Africa’s many mines and oil wells.

So who is smiling last now? The poor Africans that he so much detests and derides constantly, subjecting them to constant ridicule in the western media, and elevating them to favourite dinner table topics, and ballroom party conversations in Westminster through his negative reports, or is it the greedy white men and women who planned to reap where they did not sow and got done in the process?

Maybe Michael Peel should take a cue from John Simpson, BBC’s former Africa correspondent and world affairs editor who reports Africa just like a partner in Africa’s progress and development should; praising and critiquing it when necessary while at the same time savouring, celebrating and immersing himself in the culture of the people; their food, music, art, and lifestyle. In one of Mr Simpson’s many introspective essays published sometime in 2000, in an edition of High Life, the British Airways in-flight magazine; John Simpson wrote what I consider to be one of the most beautiful articles about Nigeria ever written by a non-Nigerian. In the said article, he bared his soul while declaring his love for a country that he said was probably one of the best countries in the world to live in despite the odds and challenges. Surely there are things Mr Simpson must have seen or experienced to have made him arrive at such a conclusion. Such an endorsement coming from a widely travelled man and writer obviously beats the many battering at the keyboards of the Michael Peels of this world who may have overstayed their welcome, and should now be thinking of packing their bags and leaving the beautiful continent; the land of the great rivers and the rising sun.

I guess it is only Michael Peel that can produce the statistical formula he used to arrive at the alleged amount of money the United Kingdom loses annually to Nigerian fraudsters, if his billion pounds calculations were true, would there have still been a need for Nigeria and the rest of Africa to be asking for debt cancellation? Would such gigantic proceeds of crime not have been visible on the ground? Would all the roads and pavements in Nigeria not be tarred and paved with gold, and would the economy of the United Kingdom not have seriously felt the impact of such illegal capital flights moving out of the economy to Nigeria?

Michael Peel should please get another vocation and leave Nigeria and Nigerians alone. Scare mongering is hardly what the world needs at this stage, particularly the United Kingdom which currently grapples with a myriad of issues including large scale corporate fraud (post – Enron, Andersen, WorldCom, Tyco etc), organized crime, poverty, anti-social behaviours, teenage pregnancy, threat of terrorism and rising unemployment etc. If he is so much concerned, he should be trawling the studios of the BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5 as well as Sky exhorting his people and advising them not to give away their ‘billions of pounds’ to Nigerians.

Africans and their governments share part of the blame for not fighting their own battles themselves. They have repeatedly failed to invest in their own media systems and infrastructures with which to tell their own stories. It may be along this line though that the Nigerian government-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) recently started broadcasting internationally. Worthy of note also is the reported plans by Nigeria’s News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to begin a 24-hour transmission from January 2007, just like other global news wires. These are all positive moves which if sustained in the longer term would give Nigeria a voice on the global arena, in addition to the little efforts of privately owned terrestrial channels such as Africa Independent Television (AIT), Bright Entertainment Network (BEN) Television, and OBE etc.

The attempt by Mr Peel to palm off his guestimates as research in order to support his position and those of his paymasters is indeed appalling; if only he was sincere, a casual probe would have told him that most of the scam emails do not originate from Nigeria, agreed some unscrupulous Nigerians may have popularised the scams but other citizens of the world including citizens of the United Kingdom have since perfected it. Mr Peel can not argue for sure that the daily ‘Euro Millions Prize Monies’ and such similar scam emails which bombard our email boxes daily all originate from Nigeria, or does he not watch the BBC Watchdog programme? How many Nigerians have been featured in that programme? Are the usual suspects not his fellow countrymen and women who get caught in the act while attempting to fleece other law abiding citizens including pensioners of their hard earned money?

The age-old reliance by African countries on western media such as the BBC, Financial Times, CNN, VOA etc for information has not really done Africa much good. The time has come for Africa and Africans to start telling their own stories, and to commit Michael Peel and his co-travellers who feast on Africa’s misfortunes, and are always quick to condemn, judge, blame and criminalise the good people of Africa with their myopic reports to the rubbish bins of history.

SaleHoo – Get Great Discounts in Wholesale Tote Bags Via SaleHoo

Be practical! At this time of crisis we all need to be more practical. Why pay for high priced items when you can actually have them at lower prices? Take for example the tote bags. Many people are very fond of using tote bags because it can carry almost everything they need. And despite of being capacious, it still looks fashionable to carry.

You can have these useful tote bags at very low prices when you purchase them at the wholesale market. While wholesale market only entertains bulky orders, you may find this too much for your own use. So what else you can do with these bags? Well, this is a great opportunity for you to earn extra money!

You will enjoy selling this kind of bags because of two reasons: First, it is not difficult to sell since most people are very fond of tote bags and second, it can generate huge profit.

In wholesale market, you will be amazed to find various types of tote bags. They all come in different brands, designs, sizes and colors. Of course, you should be very creative and meticulous in choosing your bags. Make sure that your items are at par with the latest and hottest designs in the market.

You can search wholesale suppliers in the internet using reliable web directory like SaleHoo. SaleHoo is one of the first online databases that specialize on wholesale contacts. All companies in SaleHoo’s database are 100 percent authentic. All of them have undergone strict screening process before they are considered in the list of reputable wholesalers. SaleHoo has an extensive list of wholesale companies. And because of their growing population in SaleHoo, these companies are in tight competition. You can find lots of gorgeous bags that are on 70 to 80 percent discount sale. And this rate can give you a larger profit margin.

SaleHoo’s database is always updated. And if in case you cannot find any wholesalers that offer the kinds of tote bags that you want in your store, you can just send an email request to them and their staff will be glad to assist you in your research. You can also use their online chat to talk directly to their staff. You can chat with other customers if you want to conduct your own investigation on the reliability and authenticity of their companies.

Public Relations’ Bad PR

When placing stories in the media, you want to highlight you product or service, but you also have an equally important second objective. You want to educate. I don’t think that I can emphasize this point strongly enough. Public Relations has bad PR. It is known for its fluff and hype, for the sleight-of-hand work, and, whereas, all of that exists, the glitter and flash isn’t what makes for an effective campaign. What makes media placement effective is that it tells a story, it educates, it gives the public information on a particular topic or field that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

We represented a physician who was working on a new cancer drug and was in the midst of clinical tests. The first series had been quite promising. He was looking for patients with a certain type of cancer who were interested in participating in the study. He received hundreds of calls after a local TV interview ran, from people wanting to find out more information. These people would have never been aware of the study, and their opportunity to participate in it, if it had not been for the interview they saw. How about a couple of examples that are not quite so serious?

A skin care expert who has created her own make-up line, appeared on a TV segment teaching consumers how to buy cosmetics for less. The piece explained how to read and understand labels and how to shop for quality, yet inexpensive products. She was presented as an expert, her products were highlighted, and the public learned new information.

The President and CEO of an Internet company who specialized in B to B solutions, was interviewed in a national publication on the changing face of the Internet. He was able to discuss his company and the solutions it offered, establish himself as an expert in his field, and educate the public.

All of these pieces highlighted and focused on the client’s company, but they also educated. By watching the programs or reading the articles, the public learned new information. The pieces were informative and (hopefully) added to the quality of the viewers’ or readers’ lives. Done correctly, it educates, instructs, entertains, and whets the public’s appetite to know more. On the marketing end, it also stimulates your target audience to make an appointment, purchase a product, or to visit a store. But the bottom line comes down to presenting yourself as an expert, an educator, as someone whom both the media and the public turn to for information and advice, you are communicating with and educating the public.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2009

Five Years On From Ground Zero

Five years on, I talked to Afshin Rattansi who worked on the Al Jazeera strand that first identified the 9/11 plot. His novel, The Dream of the Decade, deals with the issues of finance, terrorism and the media.

What do you think about the conspiracy theories that linger about 9/11?

“‘I don’t want to get into the conspiracy theories that maintain that 2,752 people died because of deliberate action by U.S. federal authorities. Those theories, along with scores of websites that catalogue seeming inconsistencies about the attacks, are believed, however, by hundreds of millions of people around the world. That is because the U.S. is so little trusted when it comes to truths in the developed world. Worse is that the perception that the U.S. administration invariably lies to its citizens and the people of the world catalysing hatred for the U.S. and perhaps catalysing far worse attacks in the future.”

What was it like to work with people who had met the masterminds of 9/11?

“When I heard that bin Laden’s people told my boss at Al Jazeera that it was the rich Saudi who vetoed a strike on U.S. nuclear facilities using passenger planes, I felt a shiver for what may yet happen if U.S. foreign policy continues to inspire those ranged against United States.”

And what do you think of the U.S. response to 9/11?

“Obviously, the biggest threat as far as premature death to U.S. citizens is not terrorism. It’s poverty. If the Annie E. Casey Foundation is to be believed, 24 million U.S. children are living in households with adults without full-time employment. Massive cuts in welfare by the Clinton administration were compounded by President Bush. You have worsening economic indicators, greater power exerted by private equity firms – Business Week had a great piece about “The Merchants of Red Ink” –

“Tom Herz and the the liberal think tank, Center for American Progress (CAP), have shown,

a child born into a poor family, defined as the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, has an one-in-a-hundred chance of making it into the top five percent income level. Poverty is generational and very dependent on race but it’s not that different for those who think they’ll make it rich through hard work. Children born in the middle quintile, that’s to parents whose incomes is between $42,000 and $54,300 also have only a 1.8 percent chance of reaching the top five percent, a likelihood not much higher than in poor families. We know that millions of Americans – men, women and children – are dying because of something far more dangerous than Al Qaeda.”

But that is surely a long term goal – to end poverty?

“Given that according to UNICEF, it would only take an estimated $40 billion a year to achieve and maintain universal access to basic education for all people in the world, basic health care for all, reproductive health care for all women, adequate food for all, and clean water and safe sewers, the response to the real killer of most Americas is pretty obvious, not least when you realise that $40 billion is less than 4% of the combined wealth of the 225 richest people in the world.”

But combatting terrorism has been the main task that the Bush administration have set themselves. How have they done?

“Hundreds of thousands have died because of U.S. military adventures since 9/11, all sanctioned by democratically accountable U.S. institutions, on the basis of lies.

“Obviously, during the UK investigation into the death of the source used by my programme at the BBC, Dr. David Kelly, it was painfully obvious how the so-called establishment would go to the ends of the earth to believe every statement made by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Given the number of deaths in Iraq, it makes one shudder to realise that populations should not seek information from their elected officials, nor their media. Uranium from Niger, the outing of CIA officials, notes copied from the internet..everything showed the parlous state of modern journalism and how close journalists have got to power. It is left to comedians, now, people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to tell the truth to power and to people.”

But what about the internet?

“It gets harder to find things. But, certainly, United States TV is streets ahead of the UK when it comes to television news. Channel 4 News in London and the BBC’s Newsnight TV programmes in the UK are so boring that it is not surprising no one watches them. If I was Tony Blair, I would thank my stars (or his holistic healers) for the fact that the UK has no show like Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, daily news programme, broadcast from New York. Even Fox News which is blatant about its partisanship, often gives a better more rounded international picture of events in the world than the UK now receives, thanks to its boring selection of Reuters and Associated Press round-up wires.”

But there has been harsh criticism of policy on Iraq in the press?

“Since Iraq, liberal newspapers and broadcasters have steadily moved to the far right when it comes to economic policy. As for foreign policy, criticism of the Iraq war, both in the UK and the U.S. seems often enough to be based on partisan politics. But I’m not sure Al Gore wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. Here in the UK, it is left to the Conservative Daily Telegraph to regularly lambast the Blair government. But I’m absolutely sure that a Conservative government would have acted just as Blair’s did. The only anomaly is why trade unions that back Tony Blair’s Labour Party, should so readily support the wanton destruction of countries such as Lebanon and Iraq, thus aiding the 7/7 plotters that killed 52 in London’s worst ever terrorist attack.”

So if it is the global economy that is killing so many more than the terrorists, how is that going to perform?

“Luckily, for those with credit cards and properties, debt financing of the UK and U.S. economies have saved a lot of people from the abyss. This triumph of optimism over economic theory has succeeded in keeping things ticking over for decades. Alan Greenspan – the Fed Reserve Chairman who helped send South East Asia into an economic tailspin and nearly destroyed the world economy famously said that theory and not kept up.”

To conclude, what should one think, five years after the attacks on New York and Washington?

“Well, worse crimes are committed every day. And that the zero sum game of the world’ superpower’s need for Middle East Oil and its backing of the main recruiting sergeant for Al Qaeds (Israel) needs to be solved.”

And are we closer to a solution?

“I can currently see no progress on either of these two axiomatic plates upon which the political techtonics of the world rest. As the IMF and the World Bank and the UN grind away, an ever connected world allows the disgruntled to continue their deadly theatrical events. Let’s hope that next time, they don’t use the nuclear option.”


Look Into Online Wholesale Dropshipping For That Extra Income You Want

Today, extra income whether it’s from regular or online sources, is being looked for by many people. These people have many different reasons for looking for the extra income; it could be for extra leisure time spending or it could be to simply make ends meet in their busy lives. At the end of the day, it just means that many more people are looking for ways to supplement their regular incomes. That is where all the available internet business opportunities come into play.

You can make money at all sorts of online businesses provided you are skilled and knowledgeable enough to make effective use of your PC and the Internet. Wholesale dropshipping is one of the sought after online businesses today. This business is ideal for those people who cannot allocate excessive amounts of money to physical infrastructure or technology. It is also wide open to the kinds of products you would want to sell. Therefore, one of the first things to do on your way to online business success is to become a member of one of the leading online business directories that exist today.

This type of directory is in a position to let you know about dropshippers and wholesale suppliers; both organizations which play a key role in the industry. The Salehoo wholesale directory is one such directory which has the reputation of being an excellent starting point for your online success. It is known to provide information on just about nine thousand suppliers of wholesale goods and the drop shippers that can take these goods to your end customers. It can also focus your attention on wholesale marketing with tools that are said to greatly assist you in your overall marketing efforts.

Finally, Salehoo is well known for always being up to date with the latest information on its suppliers. This can be very important to you because the players in this industry are known to be ever changing. In reality, it is quite easy to be a Salehoo member. Just take a look at the website, access the registration page, fill out the online form and pay the very reasonable one time fee for a lifetime membership. You will get immediate access to its many useful features.

Wholesale Handbags – Wholesale Handbags For Young Ladies to Grab

Most of our teens now a days want well-known designers handbag to grab. Above all, the most wanted brands in the world of fashion world have been continuing to innovate their patterns for a growing customer base parents of teenage girls who wants to purchase their products.

Teens these days go for the supreme and most recent lavish accessories available in the market, they always wish to own branded handbags as well. As the prices of these products most of time considered as excessive and unaffordable, some parents of these teens have looked and found a great route to have their teenage daughters a high-demand bags is with wholesale handbags. As these teens would really want to keep up with the present trends and want to grab one of these expensive bags, parents however found alternative to satisfy their teens. Since parents will actually want their teenage daughters to be happy, what they do when going into handbags shops, they would go for the wholesale handbags.

The prices of these wholesale designer handbags hold it achievable for young girls’ parents to care for their young girls. Cheap high style ladies’ fashionable handbags have permitted the parents of these girls to purchase an elegant designer handbag for their teenage daughters at an reasonable price.

This is also a positive venue for wholesalers because when such parents have the chance to grab and afford the wholesale prices of these designer handbags, they always pay for these items promptly and in great numbers. Parents would really find ways and possess so much pride in seeing their young daughters’ eyes glitter with pleasure in finally owning a fashionable and trendy designer handbags.

To top of all these, most admirable brands in the international fashion world have hold these fashionable styles and stayed to make their styles for a rising customer. As this is base on the parents desire to provide their young girls wishes to grab the latest and most lavish accessories up for grab in the fashion market.

For these, teenage girls live up with trends, a high style handbag is a preferred investment that will be in fashion for a long time.

For the teenage parents who want their girls to realize the importance of quality and style, the route to wholesale handbags made it possible for them to provide their daughters a lifelong message of economize but high in fashion products and making their daughters smiling.

China Media Booms

No one really knows how many television stations there are in China. Best estimates put the number at 5,000. Yet, just over ten years ago there were no more than 40. The number of newspapers has increased from around 200 to more than 2,500, radio stations have blossomed from a 100 to 1,200 and TV and radio penetration is now over 85 percent.

In just, 10 years, the media in has exploded. But it is still heavily regulated and owned and controlled by the state run Communist Party. Most local media is pro-China in its content and style and is used as a tool for control and influence over the country’s huge population.

There are also limits on foreign journalists – where they can travel and to whom they can speak. Overseas media regularly have their offices screened and their activities are closely monitored.

Taiwan, Tibet and human rights issues are strictly off the editorial agenda.

Despite this, consumerism has well and truly arrived in China. There’s now an increased sophistication in the market – and marketing communications, brand management and reputation building have become big business.

There is no such thing as privately owned media in China – and foreign companies are restricted. Consumerism is driving up advertising revenue. The dominant Chinese television network, CCTV is said to earn a total of 1 billion yuan or A$200 million a year.

So in this environment how can Australian companies effectively get their message across and plan marketing communications strategies in China?

The first thing to understand is how companies will have to work in a very complex and constantly changing regulatory environment.

“China is very conscious of reforming its media and has some relatively progressive thinking internally about where to take it,” said Gary Davey CEO of Star TV in Hong Kong. “But it’s going to take a very long time because they are equally sensitive about the importance of control.”

An older generation of bureaucrats still sees the media, and television in particular, as a propaganda device and any attempt to reform it into a commercially driven business raises great suspicion amongst the Chinese leadership.

In the past the News Corporation owned STAR TV has upset Chinese authorities and Davey is quick to point out the sensitivities of the Chinese marketplace, especially when it comes to cultural differences.

“You might be able to run a successful State-run security operation by trying to force your own cultural values down someone else’s throat, but you certainly can’t run a business doing that.”

STAR TV has had to develop strategies that fit these realities. “We’ve created new companies with Chinese partners to play a part in the evolution of the policy,” Davey said.

The days of handing out long red envelopes filled with cash to journalists at press conferences in China could also well be over. The industry is trying to clean up its act and has recently released a new code of practice for both public relations professionals and journalists.

The local media is still very pro-China in its content and style but the practice of accepting cash and gifts in return for running positive stories is now being phased out.

Tony Turner has worked in corporate communications in China for over 25 years and is the Hong Kong based Chairman of the Rowland Company.

He says in the past there has been a degree of cronyism, corruption and lack of transparency in the media but that is changing as Western-based multinationals entered the market with a new set of communication standards.

“What we’ve got today in Hong Kong is a highly professional, highly inquisitive and free media,” he said.

Turner believes many multinationals don’t want their name tarnished by being caught for paying journalists.

“The opportunity for PR and professional PR is as great as it ever could be,” Turner said.

This view is reflected in Beijing where Gua Hu-ming heads up the China International Public Relations Association. He says PR as a profession, started in China 15 years ago and first appeared in joint venture hotels.

In the past it has been standard practice for reporters to accept cash and gifts in return for running positive stories or even working in conjunction with investors to ramp up the stock market.

But this is changing Mr Gua believes the Chinese media and journalists are becoming more professional.

But what impact is the Internet having on traditional news sources and PR campaigns?

Dr Xueli Huang is an expert on Internet marketing based at Edith Cowan University in Perth.

He says Internet usage is growing in China with 60 million users but news content is still heavily controlled.

Most users are young and cannot afford a computer. Instead they use Internet cafes to send emails and their main news sources are limited to international news sites such as the BBC World Service and CNN.

“I don’t think the Chinese Government will ban all the news sites, but Government will certainly want to control political sites.”

Bandwidth is also a problem in China. Huang believes newspapers, radio and TV will still provide local news because of the time in downloading information from the Internet and the lack of infrastructure.

So if you are doing business in China here are 12 success tips for implementing a successful marketing communications plan:

1. Understand cultural differences. Be sensitive to local communities and understand the complex and varied structures of the Chinese media. They are not uniform and often controlled at a local, provincial and national level. I will never forget the cultural shock of seeing an armed red-guard standing on a pillbox outside a TV studio in Guangzhou asking for my official ID. Improve your cultural literacy by understanding the culture and history of those you’re doing business with. Respect these differences and don’t impose your own values & perceptions on how the local media should treat you.

2. Use a local spokesperson. Depending on the news value of the story, you will have a better chance of gaining media coverage the more Chinese you make your message. Using a local spokesperson will give you greater credibility. For example in PR campaigns for Nokia and IBM in China, they use local Chairmen who are Chinese because they are well respected and have deep Chinese roots.

3. Know your point of difference – what you do in your own backyard you also have to do in new markets. Find out what makes you or your service or product unique in the marketplace? How will it stand out from the competition. In the past cultural differences have been used as an excuse for dubious practices not acceptable back home. This has changed.

4. Clarify your communication objectives? What do you want to achieve? To inform or entertain? To provide information? To build a profile? To influence public opinion? Personal marketing? Marketing or launching a new product or service? How will cultural diversity and differing news values influence this? News values differ in China. Often issues will be reported one or two days later and not with the urgency or timeliness of the Western media.

5. Define your target audience? Who is your target audience? General public? Customers? Competitors? Suppliers? What age are they, what level of education, what beliefs and values, geographical location, how do they use the local Chinese media? How credible is the media your target audience uses? Does it still have credibility even though it is controlled? The media is evolving and becoming more respected.

6. Identify the best channels of communication. What is the best way to reach your target audience? TV, Radio, Internet, newspapers – local or national? Do your homework on how news is structured and gathered. Investigate who is reporting on what. Find out the nuances. TV has the highest penetration, while the Internet is growing amongst younger Chinese.

7. What is your key message? The media is becoming more competitive and market driven. They need readers and viewers to stay viable in the new economy. How can you make your message appealing and newsworthy? Distill what you want to say into three key points. Always check translations of media releases. Have them retranslated back into English to check for accuracy.

8. Build your case? When building your case look for the China angle. What are the features, advantages and benefits of your message for your Chinese targets? What evidence and proof do you have that is seen as credible and independent within their cultural belief system?

9. What is the China hook? What will make your message or news release stand out from the rest and appeal to the values of Chinese journalists. You are not successful in China until the local market tells you. Giving money to Chinese journalists is no longer acceptable. Use more legal and ethical incentives such as providing transport, lunch or a gift or souvenir item.

10. Develop long-term relationships with the media. Visit and meet journalists face to face. Network, get to know them and involve them in the story. There is now a focus on the interactive brand experience. For example in a recent mobile phone campaign local journalists were involved in trailing the product prior to launch. They were asked for their feedback and engaged proactively in its development providing them with ownership of the product and subsequent story. Relationships and personal connections, or guanxi are very important in China and especially so in cultivating good media contacts.

11. If you have to face the media yourself … Use the Three Golden Rules to Perform at your Best = Know Your Topic, Be Prepared, Relax.

12. Seek Professional Help. For maximum impact, effectiveness and value seek the advice of a media and communications professional that can help your company see the media as an opportunity not a threat.

Source: “China Media – The Ethics of Influence”, 1999

Wholesale Fashion Accessories – Wholesale Rhinestone Belts, A Fashionable Accessory

In the women fashion world, one of the more important ladies accessories made available in the market are the belts. And these belts are fancied frequently studded with rhinestones, turquoise and other semi precious stones. A woman belt must hug either the hips or the waits, so the rhinestone belts would be a size larger than the standard size of the woman’s waist. From thick to thin, dressy to casual to formal wear, our belts must go well with all moods, ages, costumes and important events we attend to.

There are numerous types of exclusive women belt such as custom-made belts and those studded with gold,silver and diamonds. These belts are not just for function anymore, these are also worn for fashion above sweaters, shirts, dresses, eventually becoming an essential ingredient of the modern women outfit.

Most the ladies western belts are prepared out of reptile skins with chain models and have rhinestones or turquoise on them.

So when you have decided doing a wholesale business for fashionable accessories, Rhinestone belts are considered one of the best in women fashion accessory business market. Wholesale rhinestone belts and buckles come in various sizes, colors,designs and shapes. Some of these are simple plastic ornament, novelty and rhinestone-studded ones.

The rhinestones are originally coming from the Rhine River in Austria. It comes in rock crystals shape. But these rhinestones are also duplicated that are finished from glass, acrylics, paste and gem quartz and they cost lower than the original rhinestones.

Rhinestone belts are fancier, and it has a wider range of designs and styles than those available for men, for teens and the kids alike. These belts can be made in leather, plastic loops, plastic strips and reptile or some animal skins.

In the wholesale market, there are a large variety of wholesale rhinestone belts that are available in the market, these includes genuine rhinestones cross belts, spur belts, turquoise cross belts, cowgirl rhinestone belts, and many other western design belts available. There are the black and white zebra stripes designs bags also available for wholesale, also the blue and white cow print belts, tiger print rhinestones belts and the kids size rhinestones belts.

In the variety in making different styles and designs of the women rhinestone belts for wholesale, these also comes in ostrich turquoise color with turquoise cut stones, camel color ostrich belt, lime green ostrich and many more.

SaleHoo – Learn to Use the Dropshipping Method For Gaining Profits

It is normal for a business to have or face different kinds of problems and issues whether you are starting it or while it is on the run. Some of the facets a business struggles with especially for the starters are the lack of money investment for establishing it. The biggest challenge for a business while it is on the run is how to keep its momentum to keep it strong and be consistent with the services they are rendering.

Business men and women have found out that SaleHoo can overcome these kinds of issues. They have used SaleHoo to alleviate all the problems and conquer every challenge a business can face. So what role does SaleHoo plays to unravel these problems?

It is very important for a business to gain profits for the products they are selling. Maximizing the profits for a business can be done by selling the items with the most demands. Selling these products in a short time frame would give the seller a huge profit. If the seller is promoting some kind of products that are not in demand as well as hard to sell then the business will not gain profit.

Entrepreneurs have discovered that by selling products online there is more possibility of gaining profits more. One of the methods business person used is the dropshipping. In this way, they could sell items without even buying it from the company. They will just sell it through online and once the client purchased an item the seller will just forward the order information to the dropshipper. The dropshipper will then be doing the delivery as well as the packaging of these products.

Also, since it is an online business, different people from different parts and places in the world can see their products. By providing good photos of the products and relevant information, customers will more likely to buy it. And with the use of the power of technology, this way the customers will have a convenient way of buying the goods. Using the dropshipping technique, you can promote products as many as you can and customers will be enticed to buy more from you.

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