With the importance of the internet and other electronic media in conducting business, our publishing company, BNP Media, is branching out beyond print media, and is discovering a wealth of opportunities for our customers with electronic media.

We understand. You are overwhelmed with information and nonstop technology. As a customer-focused media company, we are committed to delivering information in ways that will make your job easier and more efficient. You can thrive by strategically managing how and when you receive information.

1. Go Online for Training
Today, high-speed connections, in-house projection, enhanced software, improved two-way communication and experienced providers make Web-based training an engaging experience.

Need proof of participation to qualify for CEUs? Many Webinars provide a link allowing you to print a course completion certificate.

Takeaway: Challenge your staff to use Webcasts instead of costly travel, and you’ll improve training.

2. Use Online Community
Perhaps you’ve avoided places like You Tube, bulletin boards and blogs. But for a growing number, online community is now an essential source of their business success. A huge benefit of online community is free access to people just like you who have already tackled your challenges.

Another aspect of community is the ability to build your reputation. Community participants don’t want a sales pitch (spammer!), but they respect you for providing useful information and solving problems. Respect translates into trust, and trust translates into opportunities for your company.

Takeaway:  Find trustworthy bulletin boards, blogs and communal spaces that focus on your industry.

3. Find Information With Lightning Speed
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a geeky way of saying “fast answers”. If you are even a bit Web savvy, you’ve Googled something. But Google can be overwhelming when you pull up 101,234 results.

A better option is vertical search – using the search functions of industry-specific Websites. Some, like BNP Media’s sites, license Google technology for speed but limit the search to a highly defined universe of data, making your search vastly more efficient.

Takeaway: Visit the top Websites in your field and bookmark those providing the best search results.

4. Use Online Directories
Online Directories are a perfect complement to print versions. The annual print directory is a “must have” item on your desk. Once you find items that might “fill the bill” you can refer to the companion directory online. Some things to look for online include links to supplier Websites, spec sheets and even product videos.

Takeaway: Print directories remain excellent resources for industry and product information, but also consider visiting online versions for more comprehensive and immediate information.

5. Read Breaking News
Whether you’re a leader in your company or headed up the ladder, staying informed has never been easier.

  • Websites. Limit your visits to sites that are updated frequently and offer professional coverage.
  • E-newsletters. Electronic newsletters offer a big advantage because they come to you, but focus on those that provide truly useful industry information.
  • RSS feeds. Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is a way to assure you are alerted whenever certain news breaks on the Web. RSS requires you to sign up for a reader and select the topics you want.
Takeaway: Avoid news overload. Focus on Websites, e-news and RSS feeds that best meet your needs and unsubscribe to the rest.

6. Study In-Depth Content
While the Web is fantastic for immediacy, it is equally strong in providing content that will help you obtain comprehensive knowledge, perspective and leadership skills.

Archived articles stored on industry Websites allow concentrated study of a topic or in-depth analysis of an expert’s opinions.

Syndicated research can help you maintain a high level of expertise on a topic or industry, and provides insight for strategic planning.

Takeaway:  Search Websites for meaty data and expertise. If required, register to gain access to highly valuable information that others may miss.

7. Conduct Business Online
E-commerce is more than a buzzword. Many companies now require online purchase orders, applications, designs, specifications, bids, change-orders, credit checks and payments.

Takeaway: Embrace this trend by becoming e-commerce savvy. Promote your company as Web-friendly, making sure your Website is customer-driven, and you will be rewarded.

8. Buy the Right Technology
Your staff may be clamoring for iPhones, Blackberries, Windows Vista or other technology. While these products can enhance your company’s ability to receive and relay information, new technology produces a strain on resources. Your IT staff may require significant ramp-up time and your users will need training.

Takeaway: A good solution is to skip one or two generations of tech products, but commit fully when you do jump in. Having everyone using the same version of the same product enhances company-wide efficiency.