Friday, February 28, 2014

Harvesting the Best of the Best : A Bright Leaf Awards 2014

The annual showcase of  the best published agriculture stories and photos as well as broadcast reports is now open for entries  for the 8th Bright Leaf Agricultural Journalism Awards.

The prestigious Bright Leaf Awards are given to the most outstanding and relevant agriculture stories in print, radio, and television.  It will also honor the most compelling photos that capture the essence of Tobacco farming and the agriculture industry. 

Project Head of the Bright Leaf Awards, Didet Danguilan is encouraging all professional Filipino journalists residing in the Philippines to join the competition as their way of sharing the successes of farmers through their stories — in whatever medium—to the public.

"Their stories need to be seen, heard and appreciated. The Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards is the best way to achieve that," she said.

The categories for the Bright Leaf Awards are:

  • Agriculture Story of the Year
  • Agriculture Photo of the Year
  • Tobacco Story of the Year
  • Tobacco Photo of the Year
  • Best Television Program or Segment
  • Best Radio Program or Segment
  • Best National News Story
  • Best Regional News Story
  • Best National Feature Story
  • Best Regional Feature Story and

  • The Oriental Leaf Award.  This special award is given to those who have won a Bright Leaf Award in any category for five consecutive years.  The Oriental Leaf Awardees become part of an elite group of individuals that comprise the Bright Leaf Hall of Fame.

"We want to highlight the stories that enlighten and inspire our countrymen.  This is even more important now because of the recent typhoons and earthquakes that have greatly impacted the agriculture industry.”  Ms. Danguilan added, “This is one way to provide some light in what was a very dark time for the Filipino farmer.”

This contest aims to get a larger crop of entries than any other year by actively reaching out to tri-media practitioners from more agricultural provinces to invite them to submit their articles and photos.

All entries should be published, aired or broadcast locally from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014. Participation is free of charge.  Contestants can submit as many stories in any of the categories however no story can be entered into more than one category.

All entries may be in English or any of our preferred Philippine regional dialects.  However, for entries that are not in English, participants are requested to submit an English translation.

For entry forms and more information, visit

Bright Leaf Secretariat:
Email    :
Tel       :  (02) 697-8110
Cell      :  (0915) 5508301, (0918) 4130797

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Choose a Franchise

If you want to launch a business with minimal risk, business franchising seems to be the most attractive option. Since you would be expecting a long run of business, you should carefully think on what product or service you would want to invest in. So, how are you going to pick the right choice?

1. Keep an open mind. There are thousands of franchises to choose from. With a variant of options, selection can be daunting. Therefore, do not limit your options on a particular business.

2. Check on the demand and competition. Firstly, you should take into consideration the demand on a particular service or product. The demand is one pillar that would keep your business on the run. Lastly, competition is healthy, but too much of it will be a deterrent for your business to prosper. Therefore, choose a franchise that has high demand yet low to moderate in competition.

3. Inquire. Before you invest your hard-earned money on a particular business, you should seek pertinent information regarding the franchise. For instance, ask the franchisor about the concept, trainings, and the expected sales on a monthly basis. In addition to this, you should also talk with franchisees who owned a franchise business you consider to give you an idea on how the business and as well as the franchisor is doing in the long run.

4. Be observant. As you ask for information, you should take note on how the staff addresses your concerns. When you see that they are reliable, then the likelihood of their support system is dependable which is very much important when you encounter problems along the way.

5. You decide. Once you narrow out your options, then go for your decision. Accept the challenges in a dynamic world with your eyes wide open.

Business franchising is one demanding and challenging venture to head on. To ensure that you will be able to seize potential growth and success, your starting point should be right from the start.

Monday, February 17, 2014

5 Things Every Business Manager Should Have in Place

Much of being a manager is about how you conduct yourself day to day in the workplace. But with the right ideas in place, the difficult process of managing a team can become much easier. Here are five things no manager should fail to implement.

Team Meetings

Team meetings are crucial for workplace communication. They allow you to share your goals, plans and ideas with staff. Not only does this keep your team up to date and informed, it also makes them feel included in developments and changes happening in your workplace. It will keep everybody on the same page, and help create process uniformity. But team meetings aren’t just a way for you to talk to your staff. It’s also a great opportunity for your team to talk to you and to each other. Staff can voice questions and share concerns they have been having. They ask each other’s advice, and learn from each other’s ideas. This will help prevent workplace disputes and ensure everyone is best placed to deal with their workload.

Complaint and Dispute Resolution Procedures

If a conflict does arise in your workplace, it is important it is not allowed to fester. Make sure there is a way your team members can make complaints about the behavior and conduct of other staff members in a staff that is confidential. If two members of your team do have an argument, don’t take sides. Instead, try to move the discussion to solutions rather than dwell on the problem. Take those fighting away from the rest of the staff and help them reach a compromise. If you think you’d have trouble in this situation, consider a professional management course such as those offered by HBA learning – take a look at their page here.

Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are an important part of creating an individual relationship with the members of your team. You don’t need to score them out of ten – in fact, that’s probably the worst thing you can do. Instead, performance reviews are a time for you and a staff member to discuss their strength and weaknesses. Although it’s important to discuss the previous period, performance reviews are just as much about looking forward as looking back. Help you team members to set goals, and discuss with them any concerns they have, or road blocks they may face in their quest for improvement.

Incentive and Reward Scheme

Everybody likes to be recognized, and an incentive and award scheme will ensure that those in your team who do put the extra effort in don’t go unnoticed. Since praise and recognition is the goal, prizes offered don’t need to be extensive or expensive. Instead, it’s important employees are awarded publically. Give them a title such as “department innovation award” that will sit well on their resume. Make sure incentives and rewards are not competitive, but available to all who excel. This will encourage others to strive for similar results.

Mentorship Programs

Starting out as a new employee can be a very daunting and difficult task, and a staff member who is “green” and inexperienced won’t add as much value to the team. Pair new staff members up with an experienced mentor who can help the new employee overcome problems, and can answer the endless questions they are sure to have. The mentor shouldn’t be someone who the new team member reports to, as this can be a very intimidating experience. Instead, they should be approachable and easy to talk to.