Both the Tuscaloosa City Schools and the Tuscaloosa County School System opted to dismiss early on Tuesday, Feb. 2, in the wake of a severe weather threat. Tuscaloosa high schools, Magnet Schools and the Alberta School of Performing Arts dismissed classes at 11:30 a.m.; all middle schools dismissed at noon and all elementary schools were dismissed at 12:30 p.m. In addition, all Tuscaloosa County Schools closed at 12:00 p.m. In addition, American Christian Academy dismissed at 12:30 p.m.
The Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency urged everyone in town to be weather aware, as our area was in an “elevated risk” area for severe storms through Tuesday evening, Feb. 3. According to the National Weather Service, the biggest weather risks included high winds (15-25 miles per hour with higher gusts in the afternoon, with the possibility of damaging winds up to 60 miles per hour in the elevated risk area), heavy rain and, possibly, tornadoes.
Dr. Robert Witt will serve as the United Way of West Alabama’s (UWWA) 2016 Campaign Chairman. In this volunteer leadership role, Dr. Witt will join with the campaign cabinet and a broad network of United Way supporters in fund-raising efforts to meet the 2016 campaign goal that will provide crucial financial support to United Way’s 26 partner agencies in West Alabama.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Witt leading our UWWA campaign this year,” said Jackie Wuska, President and CEO of UWWA. “His proven success in building support and partnerships to better our community will have a lasting impact on our nine-county region. We believe Dr. Witt’s leadership will result in both increased community participation and heightened awareness of the critical needs in West Alabama.”
Other new members named to the UWWA’s Board of Directors are: Susan Bell (University of Alabama), Lindsey Case, (Capstone Bank and UWWA Young Leaders Society President), Nicole Perrigin (NUCOR Steel) and Jay Wells (Alabama Power Company).
The City of Tuscaloosa will host a free Christmas tree recycling event starting Dec. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 10.
During this free drop-off event, citizens and businesses can drop off live Christmas trees, live wreaths and live garlands in the designated area at the Curry Environmental Services facility located at 3440 Kauloosa Ave.
‘Tis the season for spending time with family and friends, and for finally revving up your holiday shopping. But as you’re making your list (and checking it twice), and running all over Tuscaloosa and Northport to make your purchases, remember: Scammers are out there, and they’d like nothing more than to take advantage of our spirit of giving.
With this in mind, Attorney General Luther Strange issued a reminder to everyone, including local residents.
“The best protection against scams and crimes of opportunity is not to be caught by surprise by scammers and thieves,” said Strange.
Marketing is expensive. Whether you use traditional avenues, social media or relationship marketing- it is and should be- a considered part of your overall business budget. To get an idea of what costs look like, here is an overview of typical marketing costs.
Typical print ads cost $500 to $20,000, depending on whether the publication is local or national, the size of your ad, whether you use color and if you've negotiated a multiple-ad rate. You can spend as much as $500,000 to buy the inside front cover of some national magazines.
Radio advertising costs can range from $200 to $5,000 per week depending on your location. You will also need to factor in the cost of producing the commercial.
Billboard advertising costs roughly $1,500 to $4,000 in most small- to mid-size US cities, though it can dip as low as $250 in rural areas and can reach $14,000 or even higher in larger markets such as New York City.
Social media is not “free” either. You either have to have staff time dedicated to it (and it takes a lot of time to do it properly) or hire someone else to do it. Plus, most campaigns will not perform adequately without paid advertising through social media. If you see a viral campaign, someone-somewhere, put some big dollars behind it to make that happen.
Some of these numbers may seem high, but they include a range of business sizes. A general rule of thumb is that it costs between $50 and $150 per hour of agency time for social media marketing, depending on agency size and complexity of the campaign.
Launching a new Twitter account using a standard ad agency, complete with setup and outsourcing content creation/consumer interaction (all 280 characters at a time), costs an average of $2,000-$4,000 per month – and that’s just for Twitter. With that said, the total price range was $1,000-$7,500 per month.
What if you already have an existing Twitter account, but need some help to take it to the next level with an agency? Restructuring an existing Twitter account with “limited coaching” to achieve client goals is still going to cost you between $1,000-$2,500 per month, with some charging as much as $4,000 per month.
Facebook management pricing can run a bit higher than that of Twitter alone. To set up a new Facebook account and provide limited ongoing training to business partners, online PR agencies charge an average of $2,500-$5,000 per month, with some going as high as $9,000.
However, if you’d like to also do social media marketing on channels like Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and SnapChat, those additional channels can easily cost you $1,000 or more for each one that you add on.
Using a social media freelancer is typically the same cost as an agency, but you may be able to do smaller projects. On average, freelance social media runs about $50 per hour at a minimum.
Relationship marketing and networking also have a cost. Owner time is usually a big part of relationship marketing. Which also means that sales growth is limited by owner time. In addition, there is time spent updating contact lists, sending emails, following up on leads, going to networking groups (plus their associated fees), memberships to clubs, and expenses like business lunches and golf games. Administrative assistants can help, but their salaries (on average $41,000) are rarely thought of as "marketing" even though that is a big part of what they do. Time is money and relationship marketing is expensive in terms of time. Many business owners weave their networking time into their social life. Which is both fun and profitable. But it is limiting in terms of growth.
President Stuart Bell announced on Wednesday that UA will hire a central diversity officer and develop a new diversity plan.
In a press release, Bell said he’s directed UA’s Strategic Planning Council to include the addition of the diversity officer as part of its work. He’s also charged two senior administrators with assessing the University’s current diversity initiatives.
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is making another campaign stop in Alabama. Trump will hold a rally at the BJCC this Saturday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m.
Secretary of State John Merrill confirmed Trump’s upcoming visit.
“I am confident that Mr. Trump’s appearance will be welcomed with enthusiasm, just as it was in Mobile,” said Merrill.