Friday Favorites: Golfdom

Best of 2015, as picked by the editors


The issue: Golfdom, September 2015

Selected by: Editor-in-chief Seth Jones

Golfdom Sept. 2015

This is a tough choice for me as well, there were a few issues that stood out to me…

If I had to pick one issue though, the September issue my favorite of the year, partly for what it is, and partly for how it came about.

First, how the cover story, “Friends in High Places,” came about: I needed new golf clubs.

Seriously. I needed new sticks, and I asked my golf pro where he suggested I go to get them. He suggested Wolf Creek, about 45 minutes from my front door. Sounded good to me. Then he asked if I’d like to meet the superintendent there. Sure, sounds great. Then he mentions that they just did an interesting little project there… it might make for a good story. Yeah, OK, it might. Then he mentioned, after an hour of me hitting golf balls — maybe if I had time, I could also meet Tom Watson while I was there… I told him, “Jeff, if Tom Watson is ever available to meet, at whatever time, I’ll be there.”

sethfridayfavoritesThe next day I was having lunch with the World Golf Hall of Famer.

The story was a fun one, too. It has maybe the best ending of any story I wrote this year. And everyone loves a happy ending, right?

Other fun things about the issue: I was able to give a shout-out to Jeff the golf pro in my column that month, as well as run a photo of him with my son… and I took the cover photo myself, and was happy with the quality of the image, especially for an amateur photographer like me.

It’s not everyday you find a good story like that right in your own back yard. And it’s certainly not every day that I get to have lunch with a legend of the game, either.

Friday Favorites: Pit & Quarry

Best of 2015, as picked by the editors

The issue: Pit & Quarry, August 2015

Selected by: Editor-in-chief Darren Constantino

If I have to pick one, I’d say it’s the August Pit & Quarry, with its focus on Technology. The cover story was on the use of drones, which was something very different for us. Also, Managing Editor Kevin Yanik did an interesting feature on load scanning, and we had a story called “Virtual Reality,” about aggregate-plant simulation software. It was one of those issues where I learned many new things myself during the process of proofreading and editing.

5 steps to a successful webinar

By Diane Sofranec | Managing Editor, Pest Management Professional

Photo credit: evan_carroll / / CC BY-NC-SA

Webinars an effective way for you to connect with current and prospective customers because they provide you with valuable information, including each attendee’s contact information and feedback on the topic presented.

Here are five steps you can take to ensure you present a webinar your customers will attend until the end and share with colleagues.

1. Choose a Compelling Topic

Tailor your message to your audience. Think carefully about what you hope to achieve with your webinar. Do you want to spread the word about a new product or service, offer an in-depth look at new technology, or educate customers? Presenting a webinar on a topic that’s trending, unique, or useful will make it easier for you to attract attendees. It will also show customers your company is a valuable resource because it’s at the forefront of what’s happening in your industry.

2. Select a Captivating Speaker

Use someone who can enthusiastically speak about the subject. Your speaker should know enough about the subject to confidently answer attendees’ questions. You don’t want someone who will simply read words off a slide; your speaker should use interesting images and an enthusiastic voice to convey your message.

3. Practice; It Makes Presentations Better

Hold a practice session to make sure your speaker knows how to advance the slides, and can speak clearly and loud enough to be understood. Also, ask your speaker how long the presentation will take to give and adjust accordingly. Be sure to add an extra five minutes for questions from attendees.

4. Promote Your Webinar Often

Get the word out about your webinar at least three weeks in advance. Remind attendees they can sign up now and watch at their leisure if the live date is inconvenient for them. But don’t stop there; promote your webinar after it takes place, too, for those who may not have signed up the first time. Also, email the registration information to your customers more than once – and be sure the emails all have the same look – in case they forgot to sign up.

5. Engage Your Audience

During the webinar, make your presentation more interesting to attendees by adding polls, live chats and a question and answer session. The responses you get will reveal whether your topic is relevant for your target audience.

Use social media to extend your message to a wider audience. If your speaker says something interesting, attendees will want to tweet it.

Deliver a webinar your customers – and potential customers — will want to attend and keeps them engaged, and they will rely on you for valued information again and again. Let us help you get started.

Staff Movie Review: The Intern

By Heather Gooch | Editor, Pest Management Professional

I love Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway individually, so when I saw the trailer several months back about The Intern, a comedy with the two of them together, I knew I was in.

I’ve been an intern, and I’ve worked with several interns over the years — including our current professional, Hillary Morgan. I knew the concept could provide great comedic (and perhaps dramatic) material.

The movie did not disappoint. There were even a couple plotline surprises along the way, to shut down the naysayers that this was a by-the-numbers workplace comedy.

It’s not going to win these two fantastic actors another Academy Award, but it’s definitely an enjoyable popcorn movie.

Friday Favorites: Landscape Management

Best of 2015, as picked by the editors

As the end of the year grows near, the editors of our magazines choose their favorite issue of 2015. First up, Landscape Management Editor-in-chief Marisa Palmieri tells us her favorite issue of 2015 differs from her usual pick.

The issue: Landscape Management, July 2015

Selected by: Editor-in-chief Marisa Palmieri


Landscape Management, July 2015“Pick ONE favorite issue?! That’s like picking my favorite child, sister, parent or college roommate. They’re all great for their own reasons.
I always love our October Business Planner because it offers page after page of awesome business advice. And the LM150 (June) and Industry Pulse (December) are also near and dear to my heart because of all the effort that goes into them and the research insights that come out of them.

But I think for 2015, I have to choose our July issue, which features a great company called Sun Valley Landscaping on the cover and also includes our NALP Community Stewardship Awards supplement. If you need a dose of inspiration, this is your go-to issue of LM.”

How to network like a pro

By Hillary Morgan | Digital Media Intern

A skill that’s important in any line of work is the ability to network. Bianca Male ofBusiness Insider puts it simply: “Knowing the right people can get you places that you might not reach otherwise.” Forging these deep connections can help you secure a job, move up in your industry, and find more opportunities to expand your business. Seems pretty important, doesn’t it? There’s actually a lot more to networking than many people think.


To network, first you need to show up. How can anyone connect with you if you don’t put yourself out there? Dr. Ivan Misner of Business Network International advises, “Networking is a contact sport! You have to get out and connect with people.” This means going to industry mixers; joining professional associations, groups and clubs related to your field; and being active on social media sites.


Many view networking as simply handing out business cards to anyone and everyone you meet and hoping for the best. Author Andrew Sobel disagrees with this approach. In an article for, he recommends creating quality contacts rather than focusing on the quantity of contacts you have. He says, “There is a penchant to meet lots and lots of people. It’s fueled a bit by social media, where we’re told we need large numbers of Twitter follower, followers of our blogs, LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends,” but this superficial level of connection is rarely helpful for most people. It’s more important to forge solid relationships with a smaller number of contacts that you actually know and trust.


Bianca Male of Business Insider makes it a point to say, “Your network will be useless if you don’t maintain it.” Whether you call them, send an email or note, or simply share their links on your social media, you will be taking steps to maintain a relationship with your connection. Sobel shares an anecdote about a peer from college who contacted him with the hope of gaining an investor for his new business. The problem was, “I hadn’t heard from him in 30 years.” He continued, “He did not maintain a relationship with me, and he didn’t evoke my curiosity.”


Anyone you meet has the potential to help you. In an Forbes article, Andrew Vest says, “Someone you meet may ‘just’ be a clerk, but they may have valuable connections or knowledge you’d never learn about if you’d dismissed them.” This also includes people outside of your industry. These people may have information that you would not have otherwise been privy to.


In today’s age of Twitter and Instagram, it’s important to connect online as well as in person. Adding someone on LinkedIn can help you meet potential connections, or maintain your current network.


CareerCast recommends never approaching a contact to ask for a job. It’s much more useful to ask for information or leads, because asking someone for a job can make them uncomfortable which may destroy your connection.


Sobel says, “The greatest networkers I know genuinely like to help others.” It’s possibly more important to give to your connections than to ask them for help. Sharing information and connections with your connections builds a sense of trust. Make sure your contact knows you are there if they need anything.

If you follow all of these tips, you’ll be on the road to successful networking. Above all else, remember to make true connections and maintain those connections. According to Misner, “Networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. It’s not just about who you know – it’s about how well you know them.”


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