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@ginidietrich Yeah, anyplace that sets up "process streams" would kill me.

1 day, 21 hours ago on The 10 Percent of Communicators Who Get it

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The consensus word scares me. So many big companies couldn't achieve consensus on a brand of pencil to order. Maybe the word is "involvement?" Because I often see that. Company hires a firm and thinks their involvement is over, when really it's just begun.

And speaking of farms, I shot a commercial in a 100-degree cornfield a couple of summers ago. What the hell are those GIANT (okay, inch long) flying bugs that are EVERYWHERE. Like gnats, only GIANT. Geh.

2 days, 9 hours ago on The 10 Percent of Communicators Who Get it

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@EdenSpodek @ginidietrich My dentist has a slogan: "Prompt appointments for busy people." I barely get my jacket off before I'm called from the waiting room for my cleaning. I LOVE her.

2 days, 20 hours ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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@kanya632 @crestodina @ginidietrich Another approach I've seen and which I highly approve of: your contract specifies a date for completion. You bill half up front and the other half is due at the end of the term (say, 90 days or 6 months). If the project extends past that, it's all up for renegotiation.


I once worked on a brochure -- A BROCHURE -- for a law firm that took 11 months. ELEVEN MONTHS!

2 days, 20 hours ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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@ginidietrich @hackmanj ??? That's bizarre. Every firm I know has a ready source of outside help (like me) that they tap when they face sudden overload.

3 days, 6 hours ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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@kanya632 When I do a proposal for a client I always make clear that meeting the deadline is a two-way thing. It requires accountability from both of us. I will turn things around promptly, and I need them to do the same. If we build in two days for them to review a certain stage and they take a week, that obviously affects the schedule. I can't just compress my times from two days to two hours to get us back on track.

3 days, 6 hours ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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@LauraPetrolino Here's my client peeve, and it happens often. They're all "When can I get it/when can I get it/When can I get it?" You give them a date and then you deliver (usually ahead of deadline). 

Response: crickets. A couple of days of silence as they run it through the mill. Seriously? You can't even just say, "Thanks, we'll take a look"?


3 days, 9 hours ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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Ha-ha, I love Josh's scenario. Here's mine (and I'm afraid I'm kind of on the doctor's end). I don't drive much -- maybe once or twice a month at most, but recently I had to be on the road a LOT. So I always imagined a confrontation with the dummies who plod along below the speed limit, refuse to go around a car that's in the process of parking or who sit at green lights. When they'd demand to know what my problem is, I'd respond, "I'm sorry, I'm actually on my way somewhere. You, apparently, are just driving around for the fun of it."

Never happened, but I dream ...

Anyway, busy is about prioritizing. When I'm super-busy I cut back on the things that matter less (to me), like reading blogs, social media, etc. But I always respond to email and phone, even if it's, "I can't do this right now but I will at [x time]. 

It's interesting that when I do respond promptly to people's requests they almost always say, "Wow, thank you for being so prompt!" It's obviously a big surprise to people, because so many people are unreliable!

3 days, 10 hours ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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The Times has fewer readers than Buzzfeed or HuffPo, but they also have a paid subscription base. Maybe that's peanuts compared with the ad revenue that the others generate?

I have not read the report yet—it's been sitting in a browser tab for a week—but am looking forward to checking it out. What I find interesting is what's happening with their traditional competitors, like the Washington Post. I don't know if it's Bezos' influence, but I haven't wanted to subscribe to the Post this much since the pre-Internet era. It seems every month my allotment of free reads ends earlier and earlier. Whether it's clickbait or not, they're doing a much better job of creating provocative content with headlines that sell. 

They're not quite BuzzFeed or HuffPo, because when I click through I don't instantly regret it (as with Huffington) and it's really substantive (unlike BuzzFeed.) The Grey Lady looks downright stodgy in comparison, and it's got me thinking of moving my subscription dollars from the Times to the Post. 

3 months ago on Digital Times and the Innovation Report

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@ginidietrich Yeah, I believe it. Maybe it's gotten better in recent years with technology enabling better communication and relationships, but the trust issue was a tough one to overcome. I mean, part of it is definitely revenue, but a big part is also, "Do I trust these jagoffs I don't know with a client relationship I've spent years cultivating?"

2 months, 3 weeks ago on The Lies PR Firms Tell

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@LauraPetrolino @belllindsay Yeah, libraries leave a bad taste in my mouth. Got shushed a thousand times as a kid. They beat the extrovert right out of me ...


3 weeks, 1 day ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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@belllindsay Me, too! Or neither? I care not a wit about germs. But I have an extraordinarily high "ick factor." Even as a grade school kid I would never, ever, take a bite of someone's sandwich or ice cream when offered. Totally gross.

And, yes, when I consider where people take their books and magazines??? No thank you ...

3 weeks, 1 day ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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Don't know if this is OCD, but speaking of newspapers, I always wonder about people who pick up a used newspaper on the bus or subway and read it. Yuck. (Of course, that's also why I won't touch used books or library books ...)

3 weeks, 1 day ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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@ginidietrich Yup, met him at Counselors Academy -- he's a fellow reformed thespian.

1 month ago on A Social Media Contest, Cole Haan, Pinterest, and the Rules

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Yay, Michael Lasky!

Every few days I get an email saying someone somewhere has repinned a photo of Morrissey from my boards (or whatever they're called). I should go back and there sometime and see what's up. The most popular things I've done on every social media platform are all off-message. 

1 month ago on A Social Media Contest, Cole Haan, Pinterest, and the Rules

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@biggreenpen Thank you, Paula. I loved seeing the Virgil quote on your wall!

1 month ago on My Visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum

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I can be a kneejerk tweeter when I'm really annoyed. Like when it took 45 minutes to check into a hotel at 10 pm one night. Oddly, I feel embarrassed when a company replies and really annoyed when they ignore it.

Also, it's just weird to be exposed to friends' customer service issues via their social media feeds. So yeah, I'm trying to breathe before snark-tweeting.

1 month ago on Four Questions to Ask Before You Complain on Twitter

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@craighadden Thanks, Craig -- looks like we're of the same mind on this. Motivation for the sake of motivation is pointless, and an information dump is won't inspire anyone to do anything. So yes, everything should be aimed at getting audiences to ACT.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on How to Cut the Fat From Your Speech: 7 Tips

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I ...

Um ...

No, here's the thing. It's ...

Nope, sorry, can't do it. Not without violating both the no politics and no cursing rules. But I commend the level-headed among you.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Hobby Lobby, Values, and Social Media

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@ginidietrich I don't mean to sound naive, but who the hell is out there telling women—people, even—that they can have it all? Life is a series of compromises.


1 month, 2 weeks ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@RebeccaTodd Oh no, this never went past the first date. I had a ridiculous crush on her. And, get this: I met her because she came into our office to interview for a job she didn't get. Now *I* didn't interview her and was not involved in the decision-making process. But still ...

I miss the 80s.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on What Having it All Really Means

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What's fascinating to me is that we're still having this conversation. I remember a very specific moment over TWENTY-FIVE years ago when this came up. I was on a first date and she declared that she didn't buy into this "whole supermom thing."

(Which I thought was an odd topic for a first date. We later switched to "seen any good movies lately" and got into a discussion about the societal/psychosexual implications of Fatal Attraction. This girl was deep!)

Anyway, it's obvious that this issue is nowhere close to being "resolved." I'm not saying we shouldn't talk about it, I'm perplexed that we still HAVE to talk about it. It's a conversation that's been going on for several generations now! John Lennon was right.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@belllindsay I was going to say that. Not many people have staff at the office to help supervise their kids!

1 month, 2 weeks ago on What Having it All Really Means

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Great story, and hilarious! Though I imagine the reaction might have been different if you were a company with a different kind of customer base.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Crisis Communications: What Happens When You Swear at Your Customers

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I was just thinking about this the other day. My agency and solo friends do a lot more networking online and in real life than our corporate counterparts, many of whom have been in those jobs for some time. I do think it's a security/stability thing. Agency people are always having to hustle, while those entrenched in an organization see less immediate need. I suppose it's also possible the corporate types are wary of going to networking events where they're likely to be constantly pitched to for business.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Are agency PR counselors better networkers than their corporate counterparts?

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Wow. I would ask, "How much ad space do we need to buy if we get to write the feature ourselves?"

1 month, 2 weeks ago on The Danger of Pay-to-Play Earned Media

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@biggreenpen Wow, that is brilliant, Paula! And, of course, tying it in to the message/content is critical, so it doesn't come off as a gimmick.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I attended a presentation/workshop a few months ago at the local National Speakers Association chapter and the speaker stood rock solid in one place for the entire half-day and managed to hold our attention. It was a masterful demonstration that sometimes the best body language is minimal, and about owning your space.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on 3 Tips for Public Speakers: 2 Smart, 1 Dumb

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@Eleanor Pierce Chimps sell. I don't have a metric for that—just a gut instinct.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on PR Metrics: What to Measure in the PESO Model

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Awesome advice—simple, easy to follow and clearly illustrated. Thank you!

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Three Psychological Secrets to Turn Visitors into Customers

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@LauraPetrolino And now I have my new tagline.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Buyer Personas are Critical for Content Marketing Success

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@Shelley Pringle Yes, you shamed me into it! We'll see how many I actually end up with.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Buyer Personas are Critical for Content Marketing Success

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Okay, maybe 10 is overstating it, but I have people who might just buy my books, corporate decision-makers who might hire me to speak, others who would hire me to do corp comm work, and agency people who bring me in to help their clients ... And I'll ignore the acting side for now! But you're right -- some of these could probably be combined.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Buyer Personas are Critical for Content Marketing Success

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This is really helpful information, Shelly. Thank you. I've been resisting this because, honestly, I probably have 10 different potential customers for the various things I offer and do. Which may be a problem in itself. But I'm going to check out the template and see if it lends a little clarity.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Buyer Personas are Critical for Content Marketing Success

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@biggreenpen Thank you, Paula! Glad you enjoyed and got something out of that! Now have you heard the one about the priest, the rabbi and the duck?

1 month, 4 weeks ago on 25 Ways to Create Shareable Blog Content

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Wait, I didn't mean Clay!

2 months ago on Is Social Customer Service the Only Way?

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@LindaEsposito Yes, this: "the atmosphere is ripe with instructors projecting their insecurities, anger, misguided messages and unresolved conflicts on the newbies because they can." Not just in LA!

@Erika Napoletano, I have found in this scene that instructors often don't quite know what to do with the students who fall outside the mold (the 20something aspiring SNL star).

2 months ago on How to Accept a Gift or How to Not Be a Jerk When Someone Gives You One

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@jasonkonopinski Yes, some elite bloggers seem to blog almost exclusively on their customer service issues and how they repeatedly bashed the company on social media. I find it infinitely UNfascinating.

2 months ago on Is Social Customer Service the Only Way?

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Yes. This I think is a critical missing link for a lot of companies, as @jasonkonopinski also said: the chain of contractors they use.

We ordered a bathroom sink from one of the big box home stores and dutifully paid the extra so they would get the 150 lb. package up a dozen steps and into our home. (Which is crazy in the first place—if we didn't pay extra, they'd just leave it on our sidewalk.)

Anyway, the store contracted shipping out to a company based in another state, which subcontracted it out to a local shipper near Chicago. So through this chain of subcontractors they basically subcontracted accountability.

Stuff was late, misdelivered, damaged, etc. The store eventually made up for it by waiving fees, etc., but it took a ton of legwork on our part. 

Customer service? I think not.

2 months ago on Is Social Customer Service the Only Way?

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@Eleanor Pierce The drama! The fact that someone would get so defensive and take drastic action in response to a simple inquiry immediately makes me think maybe they already feel they're doing something fishy?

2 months ago on The Social Media Mob

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This is why I resist most Facebook shares that I'm supposed to be either "outraged" about or "heartwarmed" over. I'd like to say it's good judgment, but it's really just a natural contrarian streak.

Though I think another element of the mob mentality comes from a good place, actually. Its people's instinct to rush to the defense of someone they know—we've all seen it, we've all done it. And we don't quiz the person about the other side of the story, we rush in to support them.

Finally, when it comes to "the truth" I like Lindsay's take on it. I've always had a slightly different take—that there is no objective truth, just different people's versions of it.


2 months ago on The Social Media Mob

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I thought it was a great idea. But now that Walmart's given its side of the story, I'll be interested to hear what the "other side of their side" is. Do their sources and evidence stand up to scrutiny?

2 months ago on Walmart takes on the New York Times with creative PR tactic

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Yes, the agencies do this as well, especially at year-end to boost their numbers.

2 months ago on New 120 Payment Terms from Big Brands Require Agencies Play Bank

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I did see that, yes. The squeeze is definitely on. As discussed elsewhere here, I think charging interest (or incorporating it into the fee) is a smart way to go.

2 months ago on New 120 Payment Terms from Big Brands Require Agencies Play Bank

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Ridiculous. I assume these companies demand better terms than 120 days from the customers who pay them. And, yes, as Clay said, this causes cascading problems for all the contractors, subcontractors and vendors down the line. 

I'm doing more billing in advance, or 50% upfront on a project. This push to squeeze vendors just creates unnecessary tension in the working relationship, which must eventually effect the work in some way. Bleh.

2 months ago on New 120 Payment Terms from Big Brands Require Agencies Play Bank

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I'm glad we can use the "E" word again. For a while it was a bad word and trivialized due to stupid politics. (In fact, I had to look up the controversy to be reminded of exactly what the issue was.)

But it's SO important—not just in marketing, but for leadership, crisis communications and, well, just about any type of communication.

2 months, 1 week ago on Empathy is a Marketer’s Most Important Trait

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Nepotism!

Wait, people in Utah are rude? Really? I've only spent a little time there, mostly in touristy areas, so I wouldn't know. But that surprises me.

Anyway, it's fun getting to know something about your family, Gini! And, Laney, I love the cake pic!


2 months, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Laney Namanny

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@kelseytrif Thank you! I agree, it all starts with knowing your audience. Your other points are also very, very important -- some of them fall under the other 11 sins (at least as I outline them).

2 months, 1 week ago on 11 Deadly Presentation Sins

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@photo chris Yeah, it's weird to think of a world where a friend's recommendation may mean less than that of total strangers!

2 months, 1 week ago on Content, Trust, and the Power of Influence

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