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Nothing like the Sun

Hembury Books Founder and author Jessica Mudditt has taken time out from disrupting the world of publishing to write her second book.

Once Around the Sun charts the hybrid publisher’s year-long backpacking journey throughout South-East Asia, an adventure that changed her life.

“It’s taken me 18 years to get this book out,” Mudditt tells The CEO Magazine. “The fascinating cultural practices, natural beauty under threat and terrible poverty I witnessed made me determined to become a journalist.”

A champion of the hybrid publishing method, Mudditt says writing a book can generate so many opportunities for business owners.

“Being an author makes you stand out from the competition like nothing else,” she says. “It’s a fantastic way of introducing yourself to someone whose professional circle you would like to belong to.”

Hybrid publishing has made this much easier, she adds. “Self-publishing is fantastic because it means important stories are still told and progressive ideas come to the fore. Traditional publishers are no longer the gatekeepers of the book world.”

Free Period

A new survey of Australian workers has revealed some surprising figures surrounding the idea of providing free period products in the workplace. Given that 48 percent of Australia’s paid workforce is female, the idea of normalizing periods is gaining traction. Here are some of the report’s key findings:

1. 73 percent of respondents found there was a need for organizations to provide free feminine hygiene products in the workplace, but only 24 percent do or had plans to.

2. 89 percent of gen Z (18–24-year-old) respondents believed in the need to provide free period products at work.

3. Workers from the real estate and property management industry were overwhelmingly (100 percent) in favor of the idea, compared to 84 percent of transportation workers.

4. 80 percent of those surveyed thought free period products at work would positively impact employee wellbeing and comfort.

5. Male respondents shared the sentiments of females.

Movers and Shakers

Launched on International Women’s Day, Women Who Move Nations is a new podcast that showcases the most influential women in the global public transport sector.

Hosted by former Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand CEO Michelle Batsas (now Executive Director of Future Mobility at the Department of Transport Victoria), the podcast shines a spotlight on the achievements of a very small minority – only four percent of transport CEOs are female – and offers their unique perspective.

Among those interviewed so far include Michelle Sheppard, Senior Advisor at Victoria’s Department of Transport and Planning, about her work to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the LGBTIQ+ community in the sector; author Veronica Davis, a former Director of Transportation in Houston, Texas who has delivered more than US$64 million in projects for communities affected by poverty; and Nicole Kalms, a leading authority on how tomorrow’s cities can be made more female friendly.

Produced by the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ) and sponsored by smart technology leader NEC, Women Who Move Nations is released fortnightly on all major podcast platforms including Spotify and Apple.

Add the Wow Factor

A dynamic new method of attracting customers is scratching post-COVID-19 travel itches. Available in both the United States and Australia, the Fun Escapes travel incentive promotion (Vacations Incentive in the United States) allows businesses to offer free vacations as a powerful lure to customers.

Businesses can get hotel vouchers that entitle customers to enjoy three-to-seven nights at their choice of more than 100 idyllic destinations around the world – a value of up to US$641 – for just US$62.

Hotels and resorts provide unsold rooms in the hope that ‘freebie guests’ might spend money on food and beverages during their stay. Thus, the situation becomes win–win: businesses attract greater sales by giving customers a free vacation, and the hotels win because they’re filling rooms that otherwise would have been empty.

The promotional package is provided by The Institute of Wow, a direct-response marketing agency well-drilled in the skills of attracting new customers for businesses. Owner John Dwyer says a free vacation is the ultimate “incentive-based marketing” tactic.

“We tell businesses they should use this the way McDonald’s uses their Happy Meal toys,” he tells The CEO Magazine.

Having created the customer drawcard method during his time consulting to the Greater Building Society (on a campaign featuring Jerry Seinfeld), Dwyer says it’s the perfect way to keep customers happy without having to sacrifice margin through price drops.

“It’s better to distinguish yourself with a free bonus with purchase than simply discounting and seeing your competitors match you in five minutes.”

The success stories with this free vacation promotion are a mile long, he adds, with businesses boasting sales increases of 100 percent to 400 percent simply by offering an incentive and taking customers’ eyes off the price.

“We’re all used to travel scams, but I’ve made sure this is the real deal. There’s no timeshare presentation, no strings. Ultimately, everybody wins.”

Dwyer, a marketing veteran and Principal at the Institute of Wow, says vacations are the most powerful marketing persuasion tool at a business’ disposal. “It’s hard to beat a free vacation.”

Sleep on It

If you’re feeling tired at work, you’re not alone. New figures suggest that behind that closed executive door, you’re likely to find your boss adventuring in slumberland.

A recent sleep survey in the United Kingdom by Expert Reviews found that CEOs nap 39 percent more than managers, despite 77 percent of surveyed CEOs agreeing they get the required seven-to-nine hours of sleep each night.

Those below the managerial level fared worst in that regard, with only 38 percent of that sector claiming to get enough sleep. Meanwhile, a little over half of managers meet or exceed that recommended sleep duration. Business owners have it even harder, with only 45 percent of business owners saying they have enough sleep.

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