Chicago - West Suburbs
Dad, Technologist, Old-time Musician. Web Development, SEO & Social Media - Exclusively for small business; exclusively in Chicago & Suburbs.
@Howie Goldfarb @bdorman264 Probably starts out term but the more radiation exposure you get, the more hybrid it becomes :P (Thx for reminding me why I'm a vegan...)
1 year, 9 months ago on Five Steps to Create Compelling Content
Great content ideas. But I like the potato planner :) I have more than one client with a collection of products and no guide as to the circumstances under which their customers should consider them. Last month I built a "selection" tool for a client (who really understood this idea), where the visitor enters their production details and then the tool generates a list of adhesives that would work for the job. I've done these kinds of things before but your post gives me the seed of an organizing principle for this kind of service.
At the next level up, each of us consulting types needs a "potato planner" to help our clients see which of our services best organize their offerings for their specific customer's "personas" :P Maybe we get that message out through posts, tools, graphics, videos, etc. At some level, it's all story telling.
And your post gave me a great idea for one of my new prospects :) Thanks !
1 year, 10 months ago on Five Steps to Create Compelling Content
@KensViews LOL - I'll have to remember that one !
2 years, 1 month ago on How Soon Is Now? The Future of PR Firms, Part 2
Ken - your training point is well made. Everyone wants highly trained hires but, in the wake of our economic crisis, few want to fund the training. The "logic" of trying to hire well-trained employees -- i.e. hiring employees away from companies that pay for training when you don't -- escapes me.
The way to hire and retain good employees is to make it clear that we are part of solution rather than part of the problem.
@belllindsay Great ideas Lindsay! I think we forget sometimes that, although fair compensation is certainly important, that people don't work for money alone. If we want the whole heart and the whole mind we have to create a very unique (almost tribal) sense of community -- something worth defending and protecting in this scary business jungle :)
@ginidietrich @Glenn Ferrell Now I know where Alexander Calder got his ideas :)
2 years, 1 month ago on Gin and Topics: Rap Songs, Royal Doctor, and Social Media
Worth the read just to see the dog flip :)
@Lisa Gerber @MolliMegasko You can always blame Arment...
3 years ago on The Top 10 Fiction Books Every PR and Marketing Pro Should Read
@MolliMegasko OK - I'm back on it :)
As I told Gini, I'm still on withdrawal from reading (on her recommendation) the dragon tattoo series. Don't think I'm likely to find quite as compelling a trilogy anytime soon.
I'm halfway through "Unbroken" (on my wife's recommendation) and got waylaid by another EXCELLENT non-fiction book on the history of trade -- something worth reading by anyone in 'marketing', etc.: "A Splendid Exchange", by William Bernstein -- I can't recommend it enough. Amazing stories about "how-things-came-to-be-the-way-they-are" in this book.
By the way, a fiction series (used to be a trilogy, now reorganized I think) which goes very well with Bernstein's book is Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle" series. The heroine is an economic genius navigating the times of Sir Issac Newton; the hero a rogue who at one point navigates one of the most famous trade routes of the period.
I never heard the word "publics" until this article - is it even in the dictionary ?
There are demographic, political, etc. subcategories of people that we have to communicate with. Because of our blind devotion to semantic simplicity, we used to call the set of these subcategories the "public". We got pretty smug doing this "abstraction" thing.
Fortunately for us, PRSA has ripped the cover off of this "public" thing and, to our horror, showed us that there is this entire seething Hieronymus-Bosch-like collection of separate groups inside here ! My God, we have to add an 'S' !!
Seriously, just to be trendy, PR has to show that it too has been profoundly influenced by string theory. If our universe has become "universes", then certainly our "public" has become "publics"
3 years ago on Redefining Public Relations
@ginidietrich I've always been fond of Glossolalia. Think it's somewhere in the Carib. Set me up as governor and I'll get you an offshore account there :) (You can be my first honorary Glossolalian.)
3 years ago on The Ever-Looming Inbox
@ginidietrich LOL! - I'll leave "ruling the world" to you. You're the photogenic one :)
What a great opportunity to gripe about email ! I'm with you, I clear my email probably 3 times a day. All my working life I lived by the rule that emails have to be answered in 24 hours. So why doesn't everybody else live by our rules ? Sheesh :)
@ginidietrich@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Obliviously trendy :)
3 years, 1 month ago on Stuck In a Rut? Pivot Your Business.
In a world where companies try (and fail) to embrace the "shoot the dogs that don't hunt" and "eat your children" responses to change, this certainly leaves fewer bodies behind :) Interesting to think about whether Hubspot is right that there is a shift from the buzzwords of SEO and Social Media towards the more embracing "inbound marketing" phrase ... I wonder how many SEOs are contemplating this particular "pivot" move.
@deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis Well I just gave out my +K for today with a "Happy Social Media Day". K is for Karma... you hope it comes back around :)
3 years, 8 months ago on 12 Most Fun Things to Do on Social Media Day – June 30, 2011!
Wow - never heard of Social Media Day. I'm a big fan of +K -- great way to thank great engagers !
Nice article Peg - thx :)
@donnatalarico Oh yes ! I'm trying to construct some guidelines for small industrial customers on what types of things they should be putting in the About Us, Contact Us, etc... even the Home page, because the content which they provide to me is almost always very terse and sometimes provides no real information. The About Us page is actually much more important than most people think, because it is (many times) the last page visitors look at before they give you a call. By the time they get there, they have already decided you are selling something they are interested in, so they go to the About Us page to see if they are comfortable with doing business with you, if they trust you, do you sound like someone they can work with, etc.
By the way, if you run into any good posts that provide guidelines or checklists for these standard pages, I'd love to hear about them :)
3 years, 8 months ago on Small Business Tip Tuesday: 8 Things I Don’t Want to See On Your Website
@KenMueller @Shonali Absolutely ! I'm a big fan of video.
@KenMueller @Shonali Like I said - I agree completely with both of you -- and Ken, judging from your photo -- you definitely know something about photography. I hate stock photography. I offer photography as a service when I have to or, when the work is beyond my capability, direct clients to photographers they can afford.
However, for some shots it's not just a matter of pulling out the $200 Canon and cutting loose. It may be an assembly shot, where the client is illustrating how they construct something -- but there are no jobs of that type in house at the moment, there is no inventory to set it up with and they have just gotten a huge contract that they are working 24 X 7 to fill -- and there is no end in site to the workload.
So occasionally you may have 2 alternatives:
1) Be idealistic. Give up on the client and leave them with their 1990s, clip-art laden, Front Page monstrosity - and let the newly-designed, SEO-optimized website you just constructed languish, or...
2) Consider the customer's welfare, admit to yourself that she is in a fix and suggest a stop-gap measure so she doesn't keep losing business because of her ancient website.
I am not championing stock photography -- far from it . I am championing making the best choice for my customers even when I have problems with all of the alternatives.
You know -- I totally agree with you on every single point. But, having had a few small industrial clients now, I understand why there are so many sites with stock photos -- because many of those sites would have never been finished or gone live without those photos. There are many small businesses that are under so much pressure that, once their website redesign is underway, find they can't supply the required content,. And encouragement, recommendations and offers of professional help, etc. can't fix the problem because they just have no time. The stock photos become the last ditch, life-jacket-and-life-boats means of getting the #&!#ing thing live.
I hate them but now I have a better appreciation of why they exist.
@HowieG @ginidietrich @Glenn I'm basically on the same page but, to some extent, I am passing judgement without having tried Tumbler. So like Gini I really should take the time to do something experimental with it before I offer any more judgements. Maybe I'll set something up for my wife's pottery classes. :)
3 years, 8 months ago on Thinking About Moving to Tumblr? Don't.
I'm sorry -- I still think that this is tying your own fate a bit too tightly to Tumbler's.
It sounds like Steve Rubel is putting forward an argument analogous to putting a store in a mall. Putting a small store in a mall is a great way to place it in the traffic stream. For more important stores -- the anchor stores -- they generate the traffic stream. In this case the store (analogously Steve's blog) may be more important to the mall (or Tumbler) than the mall is to the store.
However -- on the web, I'm not sure this analogy really works.
My problem lies with giving up ownership of your domain for a small niche (subdomain) in a more powerful domain. When you own your domain you can switch to another technology (e.g. CMS's - Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc...) whenever your business needs change, transparently.
I pretty much agree that links don't seem to be any more of a problem than if you did a major site redesign. You would still have to do 301 redirects and (altho this is huge effort) go out and gradually "fix" those links where there was no longer a 1-to-1 correspondence with any new focus areas. Tumbler may or may not make this easier -- I don't know -- but for me this would be a small consideration compared the "branding" and risk-management issue.
Your domain is both part of your brand, and is technology-independent. I wouldn't want my brand too tightly tied to someone else's. Technologies come and go... and so do things like Tumbler. And then there is a whole SEO nest of issues... I'll leave that for someone else to comment on :)
@HowieG @ginidietrich Hmm sounds like Fred is about as elusive (or maybe "illusive") as Charles (Arment) :)
3 years, 8 months ago on The Communication Industry Has a Perception Issue
@ginidietrich What's really funny is that I just now noticed your shoemaker comment in the post. I've gotta slow down :)
I think "industry perception" is the generalization we-the-people (me, you , all of us) construct based on anecdotal information. Human beings focus on outliers. The public perception of Wall Street is built from Bernie Madoffs and Michael Milkens. The public perception of the Oil Industry is made up of mental images of the BP gulf disaster, the Exxon Valdez, etc. Almost anyone would agree that these two industries have "industry perception" issues.
So (by my bad induction) "Industry perception" may be caused by people (these outliers) but it then comes to have an independent existence that none of us can ignore. The communication industry positively glows with integrity compared to Big Oil and Wall Street, but I agree with Gini that "the communication industry has a perception issue."
That said, 1) no one does business with the general public and 2) no member of the general public does business with an entire industry. Danny does business with Janet. Gini does business with Fred. From that perspective, Danny's right in calling it a people issue. You and I can't affect "industry perception" in the large, but we can shape our "brand" perception through each human contact we make. As Gini said, PR companies do PR for everyone but themselves.
A shoemaker would make his kids some shoes if bare feet were considered bad for the shoemaking industry. :)
@samtaracollier Slightly a side-bar here, but if you blog for a law firm, a topic that hasn't gotten much attention in perhaps years (and in which I am very interested) is photographers' rights. Not as cut-and-dried as it would seem ... a great topic for a blog post on the law.
3 years, 8 months ago on Networking In The New Digital Age
Gini - I think that (fundamentally) you're just a great conversationalist who has forgotten that you are talking through a keyboard (I almost said - gag - typewriter) instead of face-to-face. :)
There is a nice little blog checklist embedded in this post. I always have such difficulty collating my past tweets, it would be nice to see a post of "best blogging checklists" sometime. I know that is not precisely in your target area but... just saying.
3 years, 8 months ago on Four Reasons You’re Not a Media Company
@hanelly @AngelaDaffron @ginidietrich You got it. By the way - nice thoughtful answer to Yasin.
3 years, 8 months ago on Five Reasons the Intern Shouldn’t Run Social Media
@ginidietrich Absolutely. No degree that I know of prepares you to deal appropriately with an unexpected reputation crisis or a very important angry customer. Sure guidelines help but dealing with crisis situations successfully is the result of having a person with the right "emotional intelligence" who has integrated a "big picture" view with the guidelines and, through experience, has learned to make the right adjustments in the moment without freezing. That's pretty tall order for most interns. Many long term employees have not yet learned how to do this.
Ha ! Traditionally, companies would never consider putting an intern in charge of marketing. It seems companies hiring interns to do Social Media just aren't connecting the dots :P
But if I were an intern, I'd jump at these opportunities :)
@deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis @seocopy Cool - worth it.
3 years, 9 months ago on 12 Most Prolific Bloggers I Read Daily
@SEOcopy Hmmm... m'be Sean can do a "12 most exotic bloggers"... altho you might want to think about whether you would really want to be part of that :)
Great list Sean -- Glad you included Gini ! But you definitely missed one: Gabriella Sannino (@SEOCopy), whose home is http://level343.com, guest blogs so extensively, in both English and Italian, that she's hard to keep track of :)
@deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis My pleasure - have a nice weekend :)
3 years, 9 months ago on 12 Most Awesomely Spectacular Ways to Lose Customers
@deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis @Glenn Ferrell The chicklets are great. I need to do something like that too.
From the code, the way it shows in firebug, it was intended that the bullets be suppressed for this ul using a " list-style: none outside none". But I suspect that is overridden somewhere else in the code. (Wordpress has its mysteries) HOWEVER, the "ol" tag appears to have bullets suppressed so if you change the "ul" tag to an "ol" tag that fixes it. Firebug is great - :)
Should be an easy change for your coder if he can get to the plugin code.
@deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis Sean - this looks great. You probably want to suppress the bullets with a 'list-style:none'. It looks like you tried to do this but I suspect that that style has to be applied to a 'ul li a' element to get it to work. (Been a while since I did one of these tho...)
First visit to your site - nice - but couldn't find an RSS feed :( -- do you have one ?
Altho I haven't been thinking of customers this way, this makes sense in terms of giving some basis for spending time/money on marketing efforts. My customers are small businesses who need web development/ seo to help drive growth, etc. So there are calculatable averages associated with offerings but there is also some ongoing maintenance and seo & follow up phases, etc.
However, a great relationship with a customer and strong communication really seem to leverage the returns to the customer's business which, in turn, is going to pay off in further work. So my focus is more on finding those great relationships than calculating out how much revenue a customer will generate. Besides ... working with customers like this is an awful lot of fun -- and that has its own value :)
3 years, 9 months ago on How To Calculate The Value Of A Customer
Nice, Lisa -- "Counterinsurgency" is about the best metaphor I've heard for this. Back in the old Michael Porter school of competitive strategy, brand protection was entirely focused on "moats" and "walls" called "barriers to entry" (things like economies of scale, product differentiation, creating switching costs, influencing government policy, etc.) We're all just too distributed and exposed now for fixed fortifications. It's a brave new world of "listening posts" and quick response tactics :)
3 years, 9 months ago on Brand Warfare as Counterinsurgency