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Archive for the ‘Studies, surveys, reports’ Category

Digital first is the new normal for newsrooms

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

newspapersThe full digital tool-set is now in use in newsrooms and editorial offices around the world – with far-reaching implications for the public relations industry, the latest Oriella Digital Journalism Study has found.


Back at the first part of this century we worked for one of the first online tech news outfits and broke a considerable number of technology stories online ahead of local media. A columnist for a local publication said it probably gave established traditional print news outlets morning headaches. Now, however, most news organizations understand the importance of breaking news online.

A ‘digital first’ policy, breaking news online as it happens, is in place at over a third of the media titles surveyed with use of mobile apps, in-house produced video and social media as a news source all on the rise.

The Oriella Digital Journalism Study, based on a survey of almost 550 journalists from 15 countries spanning Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, tracks how digital technology is impacting how news is gathered and published around the world.

Wholesale changes in gathering and reporting news

This year’s study – the sixth – provides evidence of wholesale changes in how publications gather and communicate stories. This year’s study further found a quarter of the journalists surveyed often prepare multiple versions of the same story as it develops, while a fifth said that ‘citizen journalism’ now carries as much credibility in their organization as mainstream reporting.

mobile devicesDigital media is also shaping publications’ revenue models. The proportion of respondents saying their outlet has a mobile app has nearly doubled over the past two years to 40 percent. In addition, use of premium apps to monetize content has increased by a third since 2012.

Robin Grainger, Director of the Oriella PR Network, said: “Our study suggests 2013 is a watershed year for the world’s media. The growing interest in ‘digital first’ reporting, video, real-time news, mobile content and citizen journalism all exemplify what we’re calling the ‘New Normal for News’.”

Game-changing ramifications

“If these trends accelerate, there are some potentially game-changing ramifications for media and communicators alike. First, touch-screen interfaces will open up new possibilities for storytelling. One example could be interactive graphics (or ‘digi-graphics’) which blend high design and big data to enable readers to navigate their own path through stories.”

“Second, we may see a polarisation of journalistic output. At one end short, ‘tweet-like’ news updates will provide near real-time coverage of events in print and on video, optimized for small screens.

At the other end, we may see much longer-form feature and investigative pieces. ‘Shorter but quicker’ journalism could also afford media brands greater prominence – and consequently greater traffic – in search rankings, news readers and ‘social news aggregator’ apps such as Flipboard and Pulse News.”

Amid the technology change, traditional values remain

social mediaThe study finds that journalists are using social media for newsgathering, but continue to place an emphasis on trusted sources and pre-existing relationships.

For example, 51 percent of journalists said they source new stories from microblogs, such as Twitter and Weibo, but only when they already know the source behind them.

When the source is unknown, their use by journalists halved, to 25 percent. By contrast, 59 percent of respondents said they sourced their news from conversations with industry insiders.

The sources most trusted by journalists were academics and other experts, who were trusted by 70 percent of journalists; technical experts in companies (trusted by 63 percent) and analysts (trusted by 49 percent). Generally, we’ve found, academics and technical experts are much more oriented toward telling what they see as the truth than other sources, so this makes sense.

Company CEOs were trusted by only 41 percent, and actually distrusted by one in eight journalists. The least trusted individuals were politicians, PR professionals, heads of marketing, and community managers – all of whom were more distrusted than trusted by journalists (see chart).

Personally, we’ve had nearly all of these sources attempt to mislead us over the years. A CEO, PR pro, or politician will outright lie if they think they can get away with it – and some will do it even knowing you’re aware that they’re lying or fudging the truth. That’s why multiple sources are important on stories where there is any doubt.

Journalists’ attitudes to their job

Despite all the changes occurring within newsrooms, the study found journalists remain upbeat about their jobs. Thirty-four percent said they believed digital media had improved the quality of their journalism over the past two years. However, the digital model is creating headaches for many of them: almost a third (32 percent) agreed that they are finding it harder to keep abreast of events on social media.

Grainger continued: “For all the technological change, the fundamental role of journalism remains the same – to gather evidence from sources, build narratives, and then convey them.

What has changed, however, are the tools at their disposal. The brands that achieve cut-through in the ‘New Normal for News’ will be those keeping abreast of these changes. They will be the ones that integrate their storytelling – using conventional text, video, graphics and interactive content – as well as harnessing the social media profiles of their own people, and those of key influencers around them.”

BizBash names the top 10 innovative brands in events

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

coca cola adBizBash, a trade media for event professionals, has named its 2013 list of the most innovative brands in events right now.

Driven by an understanding of the value of events and how experiential marketing tactics can maximize consumer loyalty and revenue, these brands are breaking new ground and challenging others to follow.

“Standing out in the saturated world of experiential marketing is no easy task, but these 10 companies found innovative ways to attract attention to their products. And this list isn’t just about naming the buzziest brands—we looked for companies that actually saw results,” said BizBash executive editor Anna Sekula.

The top 10 innovative brands in the industry include:

1. Target: One of the most visible brands in event marketing, the retailer continues its reputation for innovative events and engaging marketing tactics.
2. Coca-Cola: The beverage giant stays in the spotlight by sharing the attention with events seen around the world—and keeping its marketing message global.

Samsung phone

A Samsung Android phone.

Samsung: The mobile division of the Korean electronics maker stormed onto the scene in 2012, using a series of experiential marketing tactics to build awareness for its smartphones.
4. Xbox: The debut of Halo 4 was one of the biggest media launches of 2012 with a marketing push that included flying a massive glyph over London.
5. Red Bull: The company brings its brand identity to life with daring, high-stakes activations.
6. Dos Equis: The beer brand’s ongoing ad campaign has made an indelible mark on the marketing landscape.
7. Nike: The athletic equipment giant develops products—and hosts clever events—that foster a strong sense of community among its fans.
8. Univision: The media company built a new event team in its 50th year.
9. Ford: The auto giant staged a buzzy multimedia campaign to introduce the 2013 Fusion.
10. Warby Parker: The online eyewear retailer is using quirky marketing tactics to make waves in the retail industry.

The full story on the most innovative brands and innovative people can be found at

Top ten cities for new college grads named

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Raleigh is number six on the list of the top ten cities for new college grads from

Raleigh is number six on the list of the top ten cities for new college grads from

College graduates from across the country have more in common than that shiny new diploma and the class of ’13 distinction. No matter where they received their degree, they all face the same life-changing decision: where to work and where to live.

 While the national unemployment rate is moving down, competition for jobs is still stiff, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics citing 11.7 million unemployed persons (April 2013) and a mere 3.8 million available jobs (March 2013).

With apartment rents increasing each year and the continuing challenges of a slower economy, it is becoming more important for recent grads to explore the possibility of starting their professional lives in a city that offers the best overall opportunity for employment, career success, living affordability and an energetic, youthful culture.

Making the decision easier

For the sixth year, has complied the “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates” to help make this big decision a little easier.

“When starting the search process, it can be tempting to focus on just the biggest cities,” said Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager for “In fact, many other ‘best of’ lists tend to be heavily weighted toward the country’s largest markets, which obviously offer a lot of career opportunities.

However, it is important to carefully consider all aspects that a city, even a smaller market, has to offer before deciding where to settle down.”

Personally, we’d look at how these cities and the states they are in treat the “creative class,” and their support for education, and recreation, as well, for instance.

Kotula added that the first step should be to identify cities that offer affordability alongside professional opportunity. Hand-in-hand with this qualification is to try and determine if the city’s demographics line up with those of a recent college graduate.

“If you are single and in your early to mid-20s, chances are the lifestyle in a city with a similar demographic profile will be more appealing than it would if you were striking out on your own in a market that is heavily skewed toward married households with a higher median population age,” continues Kotula.

The sixth annual “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates” list is a resource designed to help identify the best places in the country for new graduates to begin this chapter of their lives, taking into account employment opportunities, salary, rent for a one bedroom apartment and the city’s median age and percentage of male and female only households, as an indicator of the youthful singles’ scene.

The 2013 “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates” list, along with the average rent for a one bedroom apartment, includes: 

Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Apartment
1.        Phoenix, AZ $ 708
2.        Orlando, FL $ 857
3.        San Antonio, TX $ 794
4.        Columbus, OH $ 634
5.        Austin, TX $ 1,006
6.        Raleigh, NC $ 788
7.        Oklahoma City, OK $ 722
8.        Fort Worth, TX $ 795
9.        Dallas, TX $ 983
10.     Minneapolis, MN $ 1,177

The “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates” list distinguishes itself from other “best of” lists through its comprehensive view of what qualifies a city to be considered.

“Over the past six years that has been culling this list, we have adapted to economic changes and have adjusted our methodology accordingly,” states Dick Burke, senior vice president and general manager, “This way we are evaluating what is most meaningful to recent graduates in the context of the bigger picture in unemployment, affordability and other key factors.”

Affordability, unemployment considered

This year’s list took into account affordability vs. just median income, which gave advantage to cities where the average rent for a one bedroom apartment falls within the recommended 25% of gross median income. In addition, unemployment was a major factor in determining this sixth annual list. Cities with unemployment above 7% were eliminated.

Burke adds, “We believe that a low unemployment rate contributes to a vibrant community with more job opportunity across the board, which is good not only for entry level positions, but also as an indicator of potential as a person moves through his or her career.”

In addition, this year’s list takes into account demographics. Added weight was given to cities with the highest percentage of population between 25-29 years of age and men-and-women-only households, as an indicator of the youthfulness and singles scene in each market.

In addition, cities with significantly low or high median age for population were eliminated. Kotula comments, “This helped steer our list away from all college towns, which is reflected by a low median population age, as well as cities that skew more middle to retirement age population-wise.”

Nearly half of all video game players are women

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Mobile gameAdult women represent a significantly greater portion of the video game-playing population than boys age 17 or younger, and nearly half of all video game players are women, according to new research released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

The report, 2013 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industryfound that women comprise 31 percent of the video game-playing population, while boys 17 and under represent only 19 percent of game players.

Women are 45 percent of the entire game playing population and 46 percent of the time are the most frequent game purchasers.

Here at the TechJournal we don’t find this surprising. The range of games appealing to women as well as men has never been higher. Personally, we know women addicted to their tablet solitaire games, word games, and even Angry Birds.

“This new data underscores the remarkable upward trajectory for video games. It is an entertainment form enjoyed by hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents the U.S. video game industry.

“A diverse and energized consumer base, remarkable new hardware, and outstanding software all combine to foster growth for our industry.”

Parents monitoring childrens’ play

In addition to changing demographics, the report shows that parents are closely monitoring what their children are playing. According to Essential Facts, parents are present when games are purchased or rented 89 percent of the time, and children receive their parents’ permission before purchasing or renting a game 80 percent of the time. More than a third of parents report playing video games with their children at least once a week.

Parents continue to rely on the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) video game rating system and parental controls to make purchasing decisions and monitor game play.

Nearly 90 percent of parents said the ESRB rating system is either very or somewhat helpful in choosing games for their children, and 86 percent said parental controls available on all video game consoles are useful – a sharp increase from 73 percent in 2012.

“Our industry takes seriously our partnership with parents and our responsibility to provide families with tools to help them make educated entertainment choices. We are encouraged to see parents use these resources and take an active interest in their children’s game play,” Gallagher said.

The 2013 Essential Facts provides statistics on industry demographics; the types of games played and game platforms used; how parents monitor and engage with their children around game play; the top-selling computer and video games; and overall sales information for the industry.

Another finding that isn’t overly surprising: many older adults play games. Boomers were the first on board the video game revolution, buying up those now ancient Atari game consoles with Pac Man, Basketball, and Space War, among other arcade games.

Notable findings include:

  • 58 percent of Americans play video games;
  • 51 percent of U.S. households own a dedicated game console, and those that do own an average of two;
  • The average game player is 30 years old, and 36 percent of game players – the largest age segment – are 36 or older;
  • 43 percent of game players believe that computer and video games give them the most value for their money, compared to DVDs, music or going out to the movies;
  • 62 percent of gamers play games with others, either in-person or online; and,
  • Consumers spent nearly $21 billion on game content, hardware, and accessories in 2012.

Ipsos MediaCT conducted the research for Essential Facts, which is the most in-depth and targeted survey of its kind, gathering data from more than 2,000 nationally representative households.

Big data is paying off for big companies, report says

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Big Data


Big data is paying off – at least for big companies, says a new research report, Big Data in Big Companies.

The report describes how 20 large firms benefit frombig data projects. Report co-authors Tom Davenport of the International Institute for Analytics (IIA) and Jill Dyché of SAS, the leader in business analytics, explore how these companies have deployed analytics to generate value from their big data assets.

“We’re making a big bet on big data,” says Bill Ruh, Vice President of GE’s Software and Analytics Center. “With that said, the pilot projects we’ve put out there have solved some big problems already. Our early proof-points were important. Now we’re moving forward with even more complex problem sets. We’re making this a part of everything we do.”

The report highlights the most cross-industry, big data success stories ever published. Research participants included AIG, Bank of America, Caesars Entertainment, Carolinas Health Care, CIGNA, Dell, Discover, Fidelity, GE,, Schneider National, Sears, T-Mobile, UnitedHealthcare, UPS, Verizon and Wells Fargo.

Big data pays off in multiple ways

“As we engaged big company executives in conversations about big data for this report, they all agreed that big data is an evolutionary set of capabilities that would have new and sometimes unanticipated uses over time,” said Davenport, Research Director of the IIA and Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School. “But every one of these executives conceded that they couldn’t afford to make big data a mere academic exercise. It needed to drive value, and better sooner than later.”

Big data initiatives enable companies to analyze diverse data – structured and unstructured, from internal and external sources – and uncover new insights. Executives at the big data early adopters in the report stressed that analyzing big data delivers big payoffs by creating new business capabilities and helping their organizations conduct current processes cheaper, faster and more effectively.

“Big data wasn’t really a commonly known term when I first started,” said Kerem Tomak, Vice President of Marketing Analytics at “With all that data – and a 50 percent year-over-year growth rate – it’s more than likely that the business demand for big data at will only increase.”

Value of a single big data platform

Big DataExecutives interviewed for the report described the value of combining reporting, analytics, exploration, protection, and recovery on a single big data platform. Big data environments usually coexist with, rather than replace, data warehouse and business intelligence infrastructures already in place. Organizations that were most effective and likely to succeed fostered strong relationships between business and IT.

“Big data was a wake-up call for these executives,” said Dyché, Vice President of Best Practices at SAS. “As high-performance analytics became a reality and performance accelerated, they began realizing what could be done. Sure, companies can use big data solutions to fast-track complex business processes. But the promise of fresh innovation is the real allure of big data for executives. They’re turning their attention – and their budgets – to emerging technologies and skills.”

The report found that transforming organizations through analytics requires new skills, leadership, organizational structures, technologies and architectures. Most organizations surveyed are augmenting existing analytical staff, adding data scientists with IT capabilities who can manipulate big data technologies. Solid knowledge of data architectures, data quality, and master data management hubs are just the beginning for firms pursuing big data as a long-term differentiator, the report concluded.

For a free download of Big Data in Big Companies, visit

Smartphone distracted walking can be dangerous (infographic)

Monday, June 10th, 2013

no cell phone graphicHave you seen that video of the man absorbed in his smartphone as he walks off a train platform and falls onto the tracks? The dangers of distracted driving have been widely reported, but few consider distracted crossing of streets and roads to be a major safety risk in this country.

According to the Liberty Mutual Insurance Pedestrian Safety Survey unveiled today, 60 percent of pedestrians walk while texting, emailing, talking on the phone, or listening to music despite 70 percent considering those behaviors to be dangerous.

Such distractions may have been a contributing factor to the 4,280 pedestrian deaths in traffic crashes in 2010, a 4 percent increase from the previous year, as reported in the latest data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA).

Distracted walking is risky

“So much attention has been paid, and rightly so, to distracted driving that we have ignored the fact that distracted walking and crossing can be just as risky,” said David Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety. “From an early age, we all learn how to safely cross the street – look both ways, wait for the walk sign – but as adults many of us seem to forget those simple rules.”

Of the more than 1,000 adults surveyed by Liberty Mutual Insurance, the majority of respondents (55 percent) consider texting or emailing while crossing a street to be the most dangerous activity when walking – more so than those who feel running across a street to beat oncoming traffic (40 percent) or jaywalking (24 percent) to be the most dangerous.

Such pedestrian safety concerns are valid, as a 2011 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that 1,152 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms after being injured while walking and using a cell phone or some other electronic device.

Specific survey results also include:

Consumers that engage in activity Consumers that find the activity dangerous
Text or email while crossing the street 26% 55%
Run across the street to beat oncoming traffic 46% 40%
Talk on the phone while crossing the street 51% 26%
Listen to music while crossing the street 34% 25%

Despite all these warnings and even awareness of the danger of talking while walking or driving, cell phone users continue both behaviors, many thinking “it won’t happen to me.” Nevertheless, we’ve personally seen more than one person walk into a door or trip over a curb while talking on a phone.

Drivers Prioritize Phones over Pedestrians

According to the Liberty Mutual Insurance Pedestrian Safety Survey findings, like pedestrians, drivers do realize the dangers of their actions but do not modify them for safety. For example, three in five drivers say talking on the cell phone while driving is dangerous for pedestrians, yet 70 percent still admit to doing so.

Likewise, drivers realize that talking on the phone, texting and listening to loud music is dangerous for pedestrians yet a significant percentage of respondents continue to engage in behavior they recognize as risky.

Drivers that engage in activity Drivers that rate the activity dangerous for pedestrians
Read or send text messages while driving 38% 90%
Talk on a cell phone while driving 70% 59%
Listen to music at high volumes while driving 64% 33%

“The reality is that neither drivers nor pedestrians seem to actually realize the dangers of their distracted behaviors,” added Melton. “The fact that drivers and pedestrians continue to engage in dangerous habits, despite claiming to recognize the risk, suggests that the majority of Americans are taking a cavalier, ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude.

As the weather warms up and we head into the summer driving season, pedestrians and drivers need to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads, whether on foot or behind the wheel.”

Strong smartphone growth seen, tablet sales staggering

Monday, June 10th, 2013

smartphonesOver 6.6 billion mobile phones will be in use by the end of 2017, according to CCS Insight’s new market forecast, published today. Two thirds of them will be smartphones, up from less than 25 percent in 2012.

Also, competition among smartphone makers is expected to increase and tablet sales are described as “staggering.”

All this means marketers must make sure to include strong mobile components in their campaigns.

In the first three months of 2013, smartphone shipments exceeded those of non-smartphones for the first time ever. Sales of smartphones have been helped by new, cheaper devices, especially, but not only, in emerging markets. The mobile and media analyst firm expects 1.86 billion mobile phones to be shipped in 2013, of which 53 percent will be smartphones.

The blisteringly fast growth of smartphones in Western Europe and North America will see penetration levels approaching saturation point in these markets within three years.

Half already smartphones

More than 50 percent of the mobile phones in use in these regions are already smartphones. CCS Insight predicts this figure will grow to more than 80 percent in 2015. Beyond 2015, much of the growth will come from emerging markets.

At the same time, sales of tablets are rising at a staggering rate. Altogether, global shipments of smart mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) will increase 2.5 times between 2012 and 2017, to reach 2.1 billion units. CCS Insight predicts that by 2017 the combined number of mobile phones and tablets in use will exceed the world’s population.

tablet computersPew is releasing a report this morning that says more than a third of Americans (34 percent) are now table owners.

Despite the strong growth there’s no room for complacency. Even dominant operating systems like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android will face challenges. Marina Koytcheva, director of forecasting at CCS Insight, comments: “Having defined the modern smartphone era, Apple is struggling to keep up with overall smartphone market growth, particularly as that growth shifts toward emerging markets. Apple will have to choose between sustaining its profit margin and holding onto market share.”

Competition not standing still

Koytcheva continues: “Android on the other hand is highly dependent on Samsung. As profit margins are squeezed Google will need to ensure Android remains a viable choice for other phone-makers.”

CCS Insight points out that competition won’t stand still either. Koytcheva said, “Microsoft desperately needs to make an impact in smartphones as the PC market shows no sign of leaving the doldrums.

Similarly, BlackBerry seems determined to remain a relevant competitor. And let’s not forget new upstarts like Tizen, Firefox OS, Sailfish OS, BaiduYi and Aliyun, which are all hustling to grab a share of this lucrative market.”

When it comes to smartphones it’s not just about competing software platforms. “Giving phone users the next generation of communication technology is going to be critical”, says Koytcheva. “Mobile network operators are investing huge sums in 4G technology and are pushing hard to get 4G-enabled phones into people’s hands.”

CCS Insight expects sales of 4G devices to grow tenfold between 2012 and 2017, to 650 million units, with almost half of them going to emerging markets in 2017.

Starting salaries for IT pros rising, hot positions named

Friday, June 7th, 2013

mondoStarting salaries for technology professionals in the U.S. are on the rise from 2012 to 2013, according to new research conducted by Mondo, a leading technology resources provider.

IT Security Managers (with 10 plus years’ experience) and Systems Analysts had the largest increase in base compensation from 2012-2013, rising from $90,000 to $145,000 and from $65,000 to $83,000, respectively.

According to Mondo’s research, the following technology positions have experienced significant salary growth from 2012-2013.

  • Data Analysts’ base salaries increased 18.3% from $60,000 to $71,000
  • EC2 engineers base salaries went up 18% from $100,000 to $118,000
  • Help Desk Senior (7-10 years) staffers’ salaries increased 15.4% from $65,000 to $75,000
  • Technical Writer base salaries went up 14.3% from $70,000 to $80,000
  • CIOs base salaries increased 8.3% from $180,000 to $195,000
  • Android Developers’ base salaries increased 8.3% from $120,000 to $130,000

“The intense demand for highly-skilled technology professionals is resulting in significant increases in the salaries for those professionals with expertise in the areas of mobile, big data, cloud computing and user engagement skills,” said Michael Kirven, founder and CEO of Mondo.

“And, companies across the U.S. are reversing the trend of outsourcing skilled technology labor overseas, and now understand that skilled IT workers that are located within their innovation centers can give them a competitive edge  which is driving demand here in the U.S for technology professionals.”

Kirven added, “Looking to 2014, we see a spike in demand for HTML5 developers with salaries predicted to range from $97,000 to $135,000.”

Industries and companies MBA students see as ideal employers

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Google ranks number one among MBA students asked to name ideal employers.

MBA students no longer see the financial industry as the golden path to riches, apparently. It has seen a steady decline in the ranking of ideal employers by Universum Global since 2009.

The 2013 rankings saw just one bank, Goldman Sachs; hang on to its coveted Top 10 spot – no other bank made the Top 10.  Of the students who still consider banking a top industry, one of the top three employer attributes attracting them is prestige.

Technology is still an attractive industry, if the MBA student rankings of their ideal employers is a guide. Among the top ten are Google, Apple, and Amazon.


The most preferred industry for MBA students, Management and Strategy Consulting, sees prestige as the 10th most important attribute, behind others such as leadership opportunities, a creative and dynamic work environment, and challenging work.

Consulting secures the top industry title

Management and Strategy Consulting is the top industry of choice for MBA students and elite strategy consulting firms McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company and The Boston Consulting Group have all retained their Top 10 positions this year, but broader professional services firms are gaining ground.

Deloitte“What is interesting as you look at the data is that the elite strategy consulting firms have stayed stable or decreased in the rankings; however, other professional services and consulting firms (Deloitte, IBM, PWC, Accenture) have all risen in the rankings,” saidMelissa Murray Bailey, Universum President of the Americas.

“As leadership opportunities are one of the key attributes attracting MBA students to this industry, this trend could be a result of the larger firms’ concerted focus on offering a greater variety of career paths than before.”

Strong consumer brands make an impact

AppleApple’s MBA ranking stayed steady at #3 this year and Amazon was right behind after having jumped two ranks from #6 to #4. Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, LVMH, and Unilever also featured within the 2013 Top 30. Similar to Management and Strategy Consulting, the attributes attracting MBA students to Consumer Goods (the second most preferred industry) are leaders who support development, leadership opportunities and a creative and dynamic work environment.

While all of the Top 30 consumer goods organizations obviously have strong consumer brands, this doesn’t always correlate with a strong employer brand.

“A strong consumer brand is a blessing and a challenge when it comes to managing an employer brand,” advised Bailey. “I would go as far as to say that when a company has a strong consumer brand, it needs to work even harder to make its employer brand known to potential candidates.

“Otherwise, there is the risk of disappointment and high turnover when students have jumped to the wrong conclusions based on what they know about an employer brand. The two can and should complement each other, but the messaging needs to be focused and deliberate to ensure success.”

Top 10 Ideal Employers for MBA students:

1. Google, 2. McKinsey & Company, 3. Apple, 4. Amazon, 5. The Boston Consulting Group, 6. Bain and Company, 7. Nike, 8. Walt Disney, 9. Deloitte, 10. Goldman Sachs. Please visit CNN Money for full list:

Green business equals a green bottom line, survey says

Friday, June 7th, 2013

biggreenThree out of four small businesses responding to a recent survey reported that, unlike much of the economy, sales for green products and services actually increased over the course of the recent economic downturn. 

Among those businesses, the greener the company’s practices, the higher their sales, according to a major new survey conducted by Green America (GA), EcoVentures International (EVI), and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO).

In a report presenting the survey findings, the three groups note that, over the past 10 years, the market for green products and services has expanded dramatically. For example, the green building market has increased by 1,700 percent while the conventional building market has contracted by 17 percent. The organic food market has increased by 238 percent in comparison to the non-organic food market’s expansion of only 33 percent.

Going green impacts the bottom line

Survey analyst Dr. Julie Cincotta, principal, CLA Organizational Solutions, said: “This survey shows that green business is not just about feeling good, it positively impacts an organization’s bottom line. Green products and services are in growing demand by the American public. Small business operators agree that green practices and products can be the key to more sales and bigger profits.”

Conducted from late June through early August of 2012, the survey of 1,305 small businesses shows that:

  • Of the respondents that reported gains during the recession, the more green the company was, the more likely it was to report increased sales. The survey segmented the 1,305 respondents into three groups based on the green attributes of their products and services and their level of adoption of specific actions intended to make more efficient use of water, energy and/or waste.
  • The “deep green” segment in the survey (the 27 percent of business owners whose answers reflected the most intense embrace of “green”) reported stronger performance compared to their “light green” peers (38 percent of respondents) on nearly every dimension tested. There also was a “medium green” segment accounting for 35 percent of surveyed businesses.
  • Nearly six out of 10 (58 percent) small businesses said that they had been able to expand their products and services with green offerings during the recent economic downturn. Of this group, 84 percent said their investment in these new green products and services had been rewarded with increased sales.


  • Nearly four out of five (79 percent) of small business survey respondents strongly agreed that offering green products and services gave their businesses a competitive advantage.
  • 75 percent of small businesses surveyed planned to expand their portfolio of green products and service offerings.

For the full survey results, visit

Milestone: Majority of Americans now own smartphones

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

PewInternetA majority of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind, a milestone finding by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project says.

Because 91% of the adult population now owns some kind of cell phone, that means that 56% of all American adults are now smartphone adopters. One third (35%) have some other kind of cell phone that is not a smartphone, and the remaining 9% of Americans do not own a cell phone at all.

Younger adults have consistently led the way in smartphone adoption, the new Pew report notes.

But, it also says, every major demographic group experienced significant year-to-year growth in smartphone ownership between 2012 and 2013, although seniors—defined as those 65 and older—continue to exhibit relatively low adoption levels compared with other demographic groups.

Some 18% of Americans age 65 and older now own a smartphone, compared with 13% in February 2012.

Smartphone ownership does vary significantly by household income.

However, that variation is unevenly distributed across different age groups. Younger adults—regardless of income level—are very likely to be smartphone owners. Conversely, for older adults smartphone ownership is more of an “elite” phenomenon: smartphones tend to be quite prevalent at the upper end of the income distribution but much less common among those with lower income levels.

Additional details are available with charts in the full report (see link in first paragraph).

Figure 1

Figure 4

Figure 5

US market a key driver of change in digital recruitment

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

broadbeanDid you know that while America leads the world in social network and technology innovation, it trails Brazil, India and China in economic growth?

Despite the lingering economic downturn, the United States is ranked as one of the Top 10 global “Markets to Watch,” according to a new study from Broadbean Technology, a leading online recruitment software provider.

The study, Digital Recruitment: The Hottest Markets in 2020, compares global markets – from the US to Australia– and the factors that will shape recruiting over the next 5-7 years, including GDP growth potential, earnings trends, cultural phenomena, and mobile and social Internet use.

The Hot Markets report recognizes the U.S. as a key driver of change in global digital recruitment – leading the pack in the use of social networks for job sourcing and innovation with nearly one in three businesses using social professional networks as a major hiring source.

Recruiters in the U.S. have embraced digital recruitment tools – from LinkedIn to Facebook to online job boards – as highly effective, lower-cost options to finding the best employees as they wrestle with fewer resources and constrained budgets.

Be more competitive

These tools and services give recruiters the ability to quickly adapt to changing market and social conditions, such as a burgeoning contingent workforce brought on by 77 million retiring baby boomers seeking post-retirement employment.

Other factors, such as the difficulty employers experience in connecting with qualified candidates, will further drive participation in the digital realm.  For example, close to 50 percent of U.S. employers today have difficulty filling jobs with qualified talent.

“Contrary to popular belief, employee retention has actually been rising for the past twenty years,” said Kelly Robinson , CEO of Broadbean Technology, referring to a recent report from the Federal Reserve Board showing an increase in average employee tenure.

“Regardless of whether this is due to greater employee loyalty or a general reluctance to move given the current economic climate, the end result is that businesses need to be more competitive and innovative in the ways they target and attract talent. Digital recruitment tools offer increasingly effective means of engaging with potential employees and showcasing a company’s personality and culture.”

For U.S. businesses, innovation will mean looking at how digital recruiting tools can help connect the more than 3 million jobs currently open in the country with the millions of unemployed workers seeking employment.

The Digital Recruitment: Hottest Markets in 2020 List*

1.    Brazil – A young, confident and ambitious market, Brazil has growth potential on many levels and is known to be digitally innovative.

2.    India – India’s sheer economic growth potential makes it an exceptionally interesting market. Only serious development imbalances keep from the top slot.

3.    China – Although significant political and cultural challenges remain, the sheer growth performance and destiny of the world’s largest economy make it attractive.

4.    US – Expected to stay a dynamic, innovative economic powerhouse and driver of change in digital recruitment over the next few years.

5.    Australia – Another confident and ambitious AsiaPac country, Australia’s skill shortages make it ripe for innovation in digital recruitment.

6.    Japan – This massive, technologically innovative economy is undergoing cultural change after many years of stagnation.

7.    Canada – Although small in size, Canada has been fast to adopt new ideas, with a range of unique opportunities for the introduction to the new digital recruitment offerings.

8.    Germany – Considered as the European economic powerhouse for the foreseeable future, and currently undergoing significant labor market changes.

9.    Russia – A wild card, Russia is beset by deep political and economic issues but has a range of opportunities to unlock its untapped potential.

10. Mexico / UK – Mexico, another wild card, is highly problematic at present but has the potential to suddenly take off and become the new Brazil. The UK has significant economic growth issues but is traditionally one of the world’s largest recruitment markets.

The Digital Recruitment report, including the top 10 Hottest Markets, is available at ‘The US Blossoms’ infographic is available at

Apple rules in the Enterprise, consumers prefer Android

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Enterprise users prefer iPhones and iPads, while consumers tend toward Android devices, study says.

Enterprise mobility trends do not mirror consumer preferences. Despite the hold Android has on global market share, the Good Mobility Index reports that iOS remains the preferred enterprise platform, says  Good Technology.

Android is poised to continue to take share, but the total number of Android device activations increased just five percentage points year over year, despite the explosive growth the platform achieved in 2012.

The total number of activations on iOS devices dropped by nearly the same figure year over year, but the platform remains the clear market leader with 75 percent of total device activations.

“With bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies now becoming the rule, rather than the exception, it’s more imperative than ever to have a cross-platform solution that can be deployed across the number of devices coming into the workplace,” said Christy Wyatt , CEO and President, Good Technology.

“And despite what device they may be using, users want a seamless, integrated experience that allows them to be as productive on the go as they are on their desktop or laptop.”

iPads, iPhones most popular in the Enterprise

Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

Good’s Quarterly Mobility Index shows the iPhone 5 topped enterprise users’ most popular device list, followed by the iPhone 4S, and the latest generation iPad came in as the most regularly used tablet.

Perhaps due to explosion of application transformation in the enterprise, another key finding bucking global purchase trends is enterprise tablet usage.

One in four device activations is now happening on a tablet as activations have grown to 27 percent of total device activations in the workplace; in contrast, worldwide figures from IDC show that tablets represent only 1 in 5 devices shipped in the tablet and smartphone category in this quarter.

Claiming seven percent of overall device activations for the quarter, the Samsung Galaxy SIII was crowned the most popular Android device, playing a substantial role in fueling the growth of total Android activations. Among Android devices, activations of tablets almost doubled in Q1 2013 compared to the previous quarter.

Additional report findings include:

  • Total device activations jumped almost 30 percent year over year, with 99 percent of activations on iOS and Android platforms.
  • Activations from Android tablets almost doubled during Q1 2013 while iPad activations dropped by five percent.
  • The Financial Services industry continued to lead other industries in total device activations with 24 percent, as well as iPad activations with 30 percent.
  • There was a two percentage point jump in total device activations across the public sector compared to last quarter.

An ongoing initiative to track activations across the breadth of mobile platforms and devices, the report leverages findings from the more than 5,000 Good customers worldwide to highlight global mobility trends and usage patterns. The full report is available to view in PDF.

Smartphone traffic, orders up over 100 percent for some brands

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

mobilephonesYear-over-year smartphone traffic for apparel, health and beauty and home goods brands saw huge increases in smartphone traffic and orders, according to Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform to major retailers.

Compared to May 2012, the Branding Brand Mobile Commerce Index shows the following year-over-year gains for the 18 clients tracked during both periods:

  • Smartphone visits increased 102%
  • Smartphone orders increased 104%
  • Smartphone revenue increased 103%

In May 2013, mobile devices generated one-third of total online visits (20% smartphones; 13% tablets) and 17% of all e-commerce revenue (4% smartphones; 13% tablets). iOS continued to dominate across all categories.

“Desktop’s piece of the e-commerce pie is shrinking,” said Chris Mason , Branding Brand co-founder and CEO. “We are excited about the implications these numbers have for our clients, not just online but also in-store. Traditional commerce models no longer apply.”

These figures also show that the mobile commerce sector has heated up much faster than the Internet alone did. Mobile provides considerable and increasing juice to  ecommerce and digital marketing.

While many people still only occasionally use desktop and laptop computers, nearly everyone old enough to leave the house alone has a mobile device or two. Here at the TechJournal, we’ve seen a fair amount of evidence that tablets are even more shopping/marketing friendly and consumers are using them in growing numbers.

The complete report, along with accompanying images, is available at

Consumers go green, but differ on paying more for it

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

 greenjobsU.S. consumers continue to go green, as 78 percent say they buy green products and services, a steady increase over 69 percent last year, according to the 5th Annual Tork Sustainability Study.

The study was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of SCA, makers of the Tork brand of away-from-home paper products.

Why people are buying green products appears to be shifting, as more consumers say they buy green products because they are better for their health. This year, 20 percent of consumers cited health reasons as why they bought green products, up from 14 percent last year.

Americans split about paying more for green

That percentage increases to 26 percent for adults between 18 and 44 years old. Those who say they buy green products because it’s better for the environment are virtually unchanged, at 47 percent this year, compared to 48 percent last year.

The sustainability survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive in May 2013 among 2,068 U.S. adults aged 18 and over.

The study also shows that Americans are split when it comes to paying more for products if they could be guaranteed of ethical and responsible manufacturing practices. According to the survey, 43 percent of Americans said they would pay more, while 44 percent said they would not.

The survey found that having children under the age of 18 in the household has a significant impact on consumer decisions. More adults with children in their household (78 percent) say they know how to determine if green claims and statements are true as compared to 72 percent without children. Also, adults with children in the house are significantly more likely to pay more for responsible and ethically sourced products (51 percent) than those without children (39 percent).

Why consumers will boycott companies

“People are paying more attention to health when choosing to buy green, and I believe that adults are more aware when children are in the house. It suggests this trend will continue as future consumers are being raised with these values,” said Mike Kapalko , Sustainability Marketing Manager for SCA’s North American away-from-home professional hygiene business.

“While this survey shows Americans are split on the idea of paying more for ethically and responsibly manufactured products, a recent USA Todayarticle stated that 9 of 10 Americans will boycott companies that engage in irresponsible business practices. It’s not a matter of paying more, but willingness to pay at all.  Clearly there is a case for companies needing to be green, be good or be gone.”

The 5th Annual Tork Sustainability Study showcases SCA’s industry leadership and commitment to helping create a sustainable and ethical marketplace. SCA chose to release the results of the survey today to recognize World Environment Day, a United Nations observance of environmental issues.  Survey results are available upon request.

Governance gaps pose risks to family-owned businesses

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

DeloitteFamily-owned business executives may be impacting their companies’ long-term success and competitiveness due to gaps in the areas of governance, board operations and succession planning.

So says a recent Deloitte survey, Perspectives on family-owned businesses; Governance and succession planning.

More than a quarter (28 percent) of respondents from family-owned businesses indicated that they do not have a board of directors. Additionally, a significant majority say their boards have no term (82 percent) or age (89 percent) limits on membership, and one-third do not evaluate or provide any compensation to board members.

“Family-owned businesses are a huge component of the U.S. economy, and their attention to good governance practices can have an impact on success and failure,” says Tom McGee , national managing partner of Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services, Deloitte.

“Tapping into the insights and experiences of an engaged, diverse, and independent board can yield significant operational advantages in the long run. Given that these companies are considered engines of job creation, a sharper focus on governance is important to their longevity, and to the success of our economy as a whole.”

Board Composition
In terms of board composition, of the family businesses that have a formal board, only 39 percent are controlled by a majority of non-family, non-executive members. Moreover, two-thirds of boards have fewer than 30 percent female membership and 28 percent have no female board members; among companies with revenues of $200 million to $500 million, that figure rises to 48 percent.

“It is not enough to simply have a board,” continues McGee. “Members of the board must reflect the changing demographics of the world we live in. They should be expected to bring rich and varied expertise and backgrounds to the role, and also be held accountable for their success in guiding the company’s growth and future.”

Succession Planning
Succession planning is one of the main areas of inactivity when it comes to governance of family businesses: Close to half (49 percent) of respondents say they only review succession plans when a change in management requires it. Similarly, 41 percent do not have leadership contingency plans. Moreover, 42 percent of non-executive family members are unfamiliar with succession plans.

“Many family-owned businesses struggle to maintain their family-owned status past the second generation,” adds McGee. “And while succession planning can be an uncomfortable topic for owners, especially founders, it is critical to the success of an enterprise. By creating a stronger governance and succession strategy, a family-owned business is much more likely to preserve the founder’s long-term vision for generations to come.”

What’s causing conflicts between IT vendors and partners?

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

ComptiaChallenging economic times, new technologies and new methods for selling information technology (IT) solutions have contributed to an increase in conflicts between vendors and their channel partners, according to a new study released today by CompTIA, the non-profit association for th­e IT industry.

Six in 10 IT channel companies say the incidence of conflict has increased in the last two years. Eight in 10 say conflict has affected their business negatively, including 21 percent that described the impact as “major.” The findings are included in CompTIA’s Third Annual State of the Channel Study: Channel Conflict and Deal Registration Trends.

“Conflict between IT vendors and their channel partners is not a new issue, but it’s a dynamic that ebbs and flows,” said Carolyn April , director, industry analysis, CompTIA. “Right now, the channel is roiling for many firms.”

Encouraging news

The report also includes encouraging news. A significant number of channel firms are responding to conflict by reinventing their business.

“They’re looking inside their own organizations to get their own house in order to become more appealing to the customer,” April explained. “They’re improving their own service capabilities, specializing in vertical markets and making the move to a managed services business model, which cements them to a customer.”

April cited three factors that have contributed to the rise in channel conflict.

  • A poor economy, which drove a number of technology vendors to focus more on direct sales to customers at the expense of their channel partners.
  • New methods for reaching customers with technology services, such as cloud computing.
  • New entrants into the market, such as telecom companies that now offer IT services in additional to their traditional voice services.

The result has been lost business for many channel firms. More than three-quarters said they lost one or more deals in the last 12 months due to channel conflict.

The study is the result of an online survey of 350 U.S. IT company executives conducted in February 2013. Additionally, a series of in-depth interviews with IT channel executives at a cross-section of Fortune 500 and mid-tier technology vendors were conducted in February and March 2013. The complete study is available at no cost to CompTIA members who can access the report or by contacting

Majority of employed expect to seek a new job

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 Nearly one-half (42%) of employed job seekers are dissatisfied with their current job, with a surprising majority (81%) of the employed expecting to actively search for a new job in the next year, according to job site

Desire for higher compensation, seeking a better skills match, and personal fulfillment were listed by those currently employed as top reasons for seeking a new job. Conversely, over a third (36%) of participants are searching for a new job due to job loss.

The survey also indicated that job seekers, whether employed or unemployed, were generally confident of finding a job. In fact, 79% of the employed and 75% of the unemployed job seekers felt confident about acquiring a new job in the next year.

Seeking fulfillment

“Our survey revealed that an overwhelming number of job seekers are in search of a more fulfilling job experience,” said Jeffrey Quinn, Vice President of Monster’s Global Insights. “Unemployed job seekers continue to visit Monster to identify their hiring opportunities, while employed job seekers appear to be expressing greater confidence in entering the job market in search of a fulfilling career.”

While many job seekers express confidence in finding a new job, many are also frustrated. More than half (56%) report they are struggling to find a job matching their salary, title and location preferences. In addition, a sizable amount (47%) cannot find jobs for which they are qualified. More than one-third (38%) of respondents indicate employers do not understand their skills and experiences.

Job seekers looking for more fulfilling work responded with the following sentiments:

  • Nearly all (97%) Monster job seekers value the use of their skills and abilities and the enjoyment of the work they do
  • The need for respect and appreciation rank among the highest desired traits of a new job (97%)
  • Monster job seekers (96%) rate salary as an important factor
  • Job security is highly valued (95%)
  • A small group (40%) of job seekers value flexible work schedules and the option to work from home

You can view an infographic detailing the findings here. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Retailer efforts fail to slow “showrooming” trend

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Digital shopping cartHave you gone to a store, examined a potential purchase, then bought it online? Many Americans have and continue to “showroom.”

Despite brick and mortar retailers’ best efforts to keep consumers buying in-store, forty percent of Americans have “showroomed,” or tested out a product up close in a store but then purchased it online.

Showrooming was a hot topic back in December, as many shoppers were using the tactic during the holiday shopping season to snag the best prices.

According to a recent Harris Poll, which set out to determine whether the issue still remains, Best Buy, Walmart and Target are the most likely brick and mortar stores to get showroomed, with 23%, 21% and 12%, respectively, of showroomers choosing these stores to most frequently physically examine goods before buying online.

Among these showroomers:

  • Men prefer showrooming at Best Buy over Wal-Mart or Target (28%, 19% and 10%, respectively)
  • Women’s first showrooming destination is Wal-Mart (23%), followed by Best Buy (17%) and Target (14%)
  • Men’s average spend the last time they showroomed ($210.10) is significantly higher than women’s ($137.10)

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,114 U.S. adults surveyed online from April 15-17, 2013 by Harris Interactive. (Full findings and data tables available here)

Death of a Salesman

Amazon continues to be showroomers’ dominant destination, with 57% identifying the online retail giant as site where they most often make their showrooming purchases.

“You’ve got to hand it to Amazon: they are truly a retail darling that knows how to deliver on customer expectations,” said Mike de Vere, President of the Harris Poll.

“The company led the rankings in our annual Reputation Quotient study, as well as taking the E-Retailer Brand of the Year title in our annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study; these results further stress the company’s clout, by displaying its ability to pluck customers right from their competitors’ stores.”

What reasons cause consumers to buy online? Are pushy salespeople preventing customers from completing their purchases? Almost six in ten showroomers with smartphones (59%) prefer looking up product information on their phone to asking a salesperson for help.

Give ‘Em What They Want

How can brick and mortar retailers change consumers’ behavior and get them to make their purchases in stores? A majority of showroomers (57%) will be more likely to make purchases in brick and mortar stores that have implemented permanent price matching policies in order to compete with online retailers.

Retailers can also benefit from allowing consumers to place orders online that can then be picked up in a physical store – half of Americans (50%) have made purchases this way, and nearly all of those who have (93%) report being satisfied with the process. What offerings won’t bring consumers in? The idea of charging consumers to physically examine a product in a store before purchasing at a different online retailer proved to be unpopular, with only 15% of consumers willing to be charged for showrooming.

Over eight in ten Americans consider the following factors to be very important or important when deciding to purchase in a store rather than online:

  • Being able to take the item home immediately (86%)
  • Taking advantage of sales in store vs. prices online (84%)
  • Not having to deal with the hassles of returning online such as paying for shipping and/or having to pack item (83%)
  • Ability to touch and feel item (83%)

Americans worried about data breaches, split on info sharing

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

keyA majority of Americans are concerned about data breaches involving large organizations, but are evenly mixed on whether legislation should require private businesses to share cyber attack information with the government, according to new research conducted by Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS).

Results from the Unisys Security Index, which regularly surveys more than 1,000 Americans on various areas of security concern, showed high levels of concern about data breaches among Americans.

Respondents to the survey said they were most worried about data breaches hitting their banks and financial institutions, with two-thirds (67 percent) reporting concern.

Here at the TechJournal, we see weekly reports of companies, agencies and organizations suffering serious cyber intrusions, the theft of personal information, and high costs of repairing their security. The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure seems applicable here.

Split on federal legislation

A majority of Americans surveyed also reported concern about data breaches involving government agencies (62 percent), health organizations (60 percent) and telecommunications and Internet service providers (59 percent).

Findings released last month from the same survey also showed most Americans harbor some level of concern about identity theft (83 percent) and credit card fraud (82 percent), both of which can arise from breaches at large organizations.

Despite these concerns, Americans polled were split on whether federal legislation to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity defenses should require organizations like banks, utilities and healthcare organizations to disclose breaches to the government.

Roughly half (48 percent) of respondents said they do not believe private businesses should be forced to disclose and share cyber attack intelligence, but a similar proportion (46 percent) said they think Congress should pass cybersecurity legislation mandating that the private sector share cyber-attack information with the government.

You have to wonder why people worry about having these security breaches disclosed. What are they hiding besides lax security?

Cost of breaches outweigh those of prevention

The poll was undertaken in March, via 1,006 telephone interviews, approximately a month before the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was passed by the United States House of Representatives. CISPA is not expected to be considered by the Senate this year, and many point to a lack of consensus on its information-sharing requirements as the reason.

“Americans clearly see a need for stronger methods to prevent cyberattacks, and many see a natural role for government in that process, but they differ on precisely how government and the private sector should interact in that regard,” said Steve Vinsik, vice president of enterprise security for Unisys.

“Regardless of where the legislation ends up, businesses and government agencies need to realize that the costs of breaches far outweigh those of prevention – and that Americans are paying close attention.”

They should be paying close attention. We don’t know anyone with digital segments in their business who has not had to deal with security problems and we know few private individuals who have not had to replace credit cards and change passwords due to these continuing security troubles.