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What a great brand building story ! And no social media was involved ... at least till now :) Hats off to Justin and Frank.
1 year, 10 months ago on Brand ambassadors are created by amazing customer service, not recruited
@Lisa Gerber Ah - I meant "Integrated Communications" - not "Integrated Marketing" (below). :P
1 year, 11 months ago on PR vs. Integrated Communications
@Lisa Gerber Sometimes I think this is a "blind men and the elephant" problem -- say "blind people" - men shouldn't take all the blame :) So we have this elephant and it has all these pieces. You, Gini, and others really understand the PR (evolving into "Integrated Marketing") pieces. Rand Fishkin, Bill Slawski & others have their hands on the SEO pieces. Avinash Kaushik can really describe what the Analytics piece looks like, there's a whole crowd around the blogging & social media pieces (Ann Tran, et al...).
The SEO piece and the Social Media piece are starting to grow so many tendrils between them that their getting hard to distinguish. And to a slightly lesser extent the same thing is happening between PR and SEO/Social Media. Google's algorithm changes seem to be a big catalyst for this.
Looking at it like a "philosophy of knowledge" kind of problem. The steps would be:
1) Name the Elephant (the "object" of knowledge)
2) Provide a definition of the "Elephant" (what it is and what it isn't)
3) Break it into it's parts and name those.
4) Identify the characteristics of each part.
5) Identify the relationships between the parts.
6) Identify the functions by which the parts, and the whole, interact with the outside world
But our first problem is we are at 3 & 4 and have to work our way out to 2 & 1, and to 5, 6, & 7, and our second problem is that the elephant is mutating at a rate (at least) equal to or similar to the rate of Moore's Law.
By the way, I'm increasingly inclined to just say that the elephant is "Marketing".
What a great question (from Andy) -- and I love your answer ! I've always assumed I knew what "community" is -- but this is a great image -- when the community begins to have a conversation of its own, separate from the catalyst. I think I'll steal that for my next client discussion :)
1 year, 11 months ago on Community Building, Content Marketing and Charles Arment
Completely agree :) PR's PR problem is its name -- just like SEO's PR problem is its name. I should have a good designer create business cards where "SEO" is (elegantly) crossed out, and "Inbound Marketing" is "penciled" in. That might work for a T-shirt too, and we could have one for PR / "Integrated Communications" :) ... then there's baseball caps...
@jasonkonopinski @ginidietrich Thx for the link ! @puzyrevmazim did a short post a couple of days ago on "The Paradox of Choice" by Barry Schwartz (http://ht.ly/blEuD ) so I had heard about him -- but he's on my reading list now.
I think I agree with this. I know I've offered clients too many choices before. So maybe this message is: 1) Minimize your offerings. 2) Ensure that each offering is sufficient, clear and concise. 3) Present the choices simply and visually. Fewer words and better design, as always, means harder work :)
Nice post Gini :)
2 years, 4 months ago on Four Things Customers Want When Making a Purchase Decision
OK, you've got me hooked -- at least for the book :)
2 years, 10 months ago on The New Yorker Breaks Embargo and Violates Ethics
@MatchesMalone Only the words seem inconsistent, certainly not the imagery.
2 years, 11 months ago on Politicians Trying to Control What Is Said Online
@KenMueller@Lisa Gerber Definitely thought provoking... doesn't really provoke me to write anything... just to think :)
Way to go Emma Sullivan :) Gini - (speaking of politicians desire to control the web) congratulations -- you got through this entire article without mentioning SOPA (what a rat's nest of issues that is.)
@ginidietrich@Erin F.@Lisa Gerber Actually, it looks like a pretty hastily thrown-together Wordpress site (Thesis theme). Most of the pages have identical structure. Wonder if they paid for the images ? (i.e. just how far back are their ethical guardrails :) )
2 years, 11 months ago on Coghlan Consulting Group Run By Morons
Ha ! Good for the LA Times :) I'm surprised the Central Basin scam lasted an entire year. Did they honestly believe that no one would ever want to follow up on one of these articles with a reporter ?
@jasonkonopinski@ginidietrich@DallasKincaid Great thread... I'm cracking up :)
2 years, 11 months ago on Staying On Top of Technology
Agree completely on Google+. Not worth a lot of attention yet. Great advice on tracking technology use by the big brands -- something I don't do enough. Most new technology shows up in my HUD because I either 1) found it screening articles for my daily posting activity, 2) found it while trying to solve a very specific customer problem or 3) my kids told me about it :)
@DoTime_WX@ginidietrich I'm with you. SEO tools and social media get your visitor count up but it's analytics that tell you how to increase your conversion ratio.
2 years, 11 months ago on Seven Tools for Your 2012 Marketing and Communication Plans
@Lisa Gerber@FocusedWords@TMNinja@livefyre I'm also a big fan of Livefire. What we (I) also need (besides examples of gamification) are examples of what gamification is NOT. So far, I haven't seen a definition I like and I think those negative examples would help frame out that definition. Like .. where do contests and sweepstakes fit ?
@ginidietrich Probably better than mine - I use torn up scrap paper :)
2 years, 11 months ago on Getting More Done: My Secret
Fully agree. We are not well-equipped to do multi-tasking. If I ever had an ideal day, I could block out the time to start and finish a single task completely -- but the world of "client interrupts" forces me to find ways to store the "state" of the task so that I can resume it quickly when the interrupt is done.
Managing "latency" (the "ramp-down" / "ramp-up" time between tasks) is the secret to efficiency. We all try to do good scheduling and prioritization, but the key to managing latency is figuring out a method for capturing exactly where you left off on a task so that you can resume it quickly.
When an Operating System is interrupted during a task, it pushes the "state" of the task onto a stack, to be popped off whenever the scheduling algorithm says it's time to resume. OSs may start and stop the same task many many times before they complete it (depending on workload.)
Of course, operating systems never get pissed off or flustered -- but that's another topic...
Anyway, to be really effective, most of us (especially those of us without steel-trap short term memory) have to have some kind of scheme to "push" the critical details of where we left a task to a piece of paper, file, notebook -- some consistent "stack" -- where we can pop it back off after the interrupt. If you don't do this, latency will EAT your day :)
@JayDolan Except for world peace, etc... there is no better goal :)
3 years ago on Three Examples of Social Media Gone Bad
@ginidietrich@JayDolan I agree. Good link for this particular post :)
@JayDolanJay -- you've got to admit though, that both your blog title and your posts are ... provocative. I suspect that the occasionally nasty, negative comments help prove that you are "doing it right" -- given the mission of your blog. (Although, it's a shame that commenters can't take this whole social media thing -- and themselves -- less seriously :) )
@ladylaff Maybe this is why Obama wants to bring home the troops...
Some of my favorite examples are the ones I find when I'm vetting followers (usually in the wee hours) trying to find great people to follow-back.
But first, just to be clear, I'm looking for several things when I decide who to follow:
1) You tweet great content
2) You retweet and engage with others
3) You aren't pumping out advertizing, self-aggrandizement, etc. etc.
Just give me 2 out of 3 please !
NOW -- A few show stoppers for me are:
1) You have no tweets. So I should follow you... what ... not tweeting ...?
2) Your tweets look like Bartlett's quotations (after I put it through the shredder.)
3) I see, anywhere, the words "Get more Twitter followers".
4) You look EXACTLY like Angelina Jolie (unless, of course, you ARE Angelina Jolie.)
5) In your description, you've identified yourself as a "pimp".
6) You have no picture, no location and your tweets are protected. Better not to tweet at all if you are in the Witness Protection Program.
OK -- here's another issue. How do you say "No" to a client's copy ? This actually falls loosely into the domain of #5 above.
How do you tell a client that their copy will not work for their audience (or possibly any web audience) without getting yourself into extensive un-paid coaching sessions ? I actually know how tell them. I just haven't figured out how to avoid the extensive discussion (which have, in extreme cases, extended to writing me emails with questions on grammar, hyphenation, etc.)
A competitor/occasional-collaborator suggested having an Allowance in the Proposal for rewriting the customer's copy. That's the best idea I've heard on this.
3 years ago on Five Effective Ways to Say No
@Griddy My contracts are also Proposals (that get signed.) But each proposal has an attached "Project Scope" (more detailed that the summary in the proposal) a "Schedule" (1 page document dividing the project into weeks with columns for responsibilities) and a "Terms and Conditions".
(As you said) Many times clients don't read the full proposal. So I try to find ways of stepping through it and summarizing it before they sign. I need to work out a simple slide show that covers responsibilities (graphically).
Project and Responsibility Creep:
1) If you have a good scope and a good statement that defines responsibilities (the most important for me is how the client is provides content -- formats, etc.), you probably don't need a "Project Creep" clause.
2) I am thinking of putting an Allowance in the proposal (separate from the Total) that would cover any additional "Content Conversion / Manipulation or Development", that the customer may want to offload (when and if they run into trouble.) I think this clause will help in discussions on responsibility.
The reward a client gets from a really good scope is a fixed price. Without a good scope, I can't quote a fixed price.
Best of luck !
@HowieG@Danny Brown@Griddy Howie, this is great LOL ! I needed a laugh. I am, at this very minute, in the process of writing a "no" email to a client :)
Hi Ingrid -- Great topic !
Instead of suggesting we rewrite the contract -- as in your #5 above, I suggest a change order. Customers understand change orders. Change orders are generally either "Fixed Price" or "Time and Materials" (although there are other options - check with any PMP :) )
Change orders can also be used to control "Responsibility Creep". I could say more...
@HowieG@ginidietrich@Lisa Gerber Well.. I agree with everything here ! Besides the union worker who doesn't care, at the local level - many times - the home owners don't care what happens downtown either. Which is one of the reasons we need to be vocal about supporting our local SBOs.
Not that homeowners shouldn't care -- a vibrant downtown area supports all property values in a town.
3 years ago on Jobs Czar Should Look to Small Business Leaders
Exactly ! We ask for things. Government gives them to us. They stay elected, and we all gradually slip into budget overruns, followed by desperate searches for new revenue. If we could only figure out a sexy way to ask for a balanced budget and a sensible procedure for deciding on what gets cut... instead of continuing down the "loudest-voice-gets-whatever-they-want" path.
That's a meme I would like to see go viral :)
If nothing else, stretch things out. Wait another year before we do that unnecessary road work -- on residential side streets where it does nothing to support business. Even a better idea would be to wait till it's really necessary.
Good CEOs have no more than 3 top objectives a given year (i.e. a given budget period.) If we could get town, village, city councils down to that. Perhaps we would get a little more focus on our spending.
Maybe one of your readers can change who Obama appoints. I can't. But I can focus on the little data points that make up the statistics -- help local business get more attention, more traffic, more sales; communicate with those who can support them in government. Talk to your local SBOs and find out what their top 3 problems are - then dig a little bit (in Six Sigma they call this the "5 Whys".) Start anywhere. Maybe just fix an incorrect address or add a picture of their business on Google places, add a positive comment on Yelp . While you are waiting on your clothes, chat with the owner of your Dry Cleaners - maybe explain some concept about websites, social media, etc. that would help them.
SBOs are incredibly beleaguered and busy. "Blame-talk" wastes a huge amount of time. Defining problems, identifying, debating and deciding on solutions seems so much more productive -- even tho defining and solving problems -- especially making hard tradeoffs -- is tough work, doesn't get anyone elected and doesn't make for such stimulating writing :)
What a major time-sucking comment this was... and I blame all of you :)
@Lisa Gerber Well.. as you can see from my reply to Howie, I didn't ... entirely.
@HowieG I completely agree with (what I think) is your main statement:
"I think the focus should be on small business growth. Removing the red tape and stream line everything from getting funding to hiring etc but not removing things like worker safety or environment regulations (EPA, FDA etc)."
I think that's the right focus - define the issue, establish exactly 'what' the amount of financial burden is on small businesses. Decide how much we need to lower that burden and then make the (extremely) tough trade-offs to get down to our target. Focus on the problem -- not the blame. If we each focused on what little we can do in the voting booth and in our day-to-day work to help small businesses more competitive, I think we could find a way out of the mess we are in. It requires a different attitude from each of us. It also requires politicians to be willing to take the heat, for the greater good, and perhaps to settle for a single term.
I should keep my mouth shut... but...
...on further consideration, I'm going to take my own advice :)
Have fun in Orlando ! Thought about you on the plane-ride back from Virginia last night. I was reading "Relic" and, as a rampaging brain-eating beast was munching it's way through a panicked cocktail party crowd, the PR Director was upstairs reassuring the Museum directors that anything could be fixed with the right PR :)
3 years ago on Managing Negative Online Comments
@HowieG@trontastic@ginidietrich Or blast a gadjillion emails out there ! But use the right keywords -- "Viagra to make your business grow" -- that might work :)
3 years ago on Using Google AdWords to Test Your Messaging
Ha - another good post title - "Do SEO experts really exist ?" I'll take a different tack: "Does SEO have to be a specialty ?". I think that depends on the size of the client. (And I'm dying to get up on my soap box but don't have the time right now :))
Your 2nd question: The USS Wilkesbarre reunion wrapped up last night. Went great, thanks ! Wonderful stories. Maybe these guys will have one more get together before they call it quits -- as long as us "youngsters" do the heavy lifting :)
Fascinating Post -- and a great lead in for your next post: "What is the Difference Between a Search Engine Marketing Expert and an SEO Expert ?" :)
Fascinating study -- something I've suspected for a long time. I think many small businesses actually fear growth -- because their expertise does not include the management skills necessary to delegate, expand capacity, outsource, streamline operations, etc.
Many SBOs are very smart - and the know it. For an SBO, who has built their business from the ground up, their experience of "success" includes doing everything themselves - selling, accounting, taxes, IT, sweeping the floors. This sometimes becomes more of a habit... a trust issue... a security blanket. Seems benign until it starts to become dysfunctional and puts the future of the business and the employees at risk.
A leader who cannot delegate and outsource cannot think about his business's future, cannot plan effectively and, most of all, cannot adapt to an accelerating rate of change. Many SBOs who have tried to do their own websites, their own SEO, their own Social Media have rapidly realized that this is much more complex and time-intensive than they ever suspected.
In today's world, even standing still -- maintaining current revenue levels -- sometimes takes outsourcing, delegation and innovative thinking.
3 years ago on Research shows small businesses intend to be small
"Cull your networks" - amen to that. With the emergence of Google + culling became more important than ever. When it starts seeming like Social Media is an end in itself we need to slap ourselves in the face a few times, or go out and meet with a live customer ... or something ...:)
3 years, 1 month ago on 5 Days to Turn Your Blog Into a Social Media Hub – Day 2: Decluttering
Great process Gini - thanks ! After the website's up, the SEO basics are done and the Blog is in place, it's always a challenge helping my SBOs (clients) with how to do this in their own niche. This gives me at least a good brief set of instructions for that. (But you are right. It is very time consuming and only a fraction of business owners will actually commit this time -- and possibly expense.)
3 years, 1 month ago on Blogger Outreach: Three Steps to a Successful Program
@KenMueller Amen brother.
3 years, 1 month ago on Four Ways to Unplug and Focus
@JoelFortner Not kidding (except about the hole in the wall.) I think in diagrams :)
3 years, 1 month ago on Measuring PR Success: Seven Metrics to Consider
Love this list. Thinking of diagramming it in a circular flow chart and taping it to my wall: "Thought Leadership --> Web Traffic --> Brand Awareness --> Lead generation --> Lead nurturing --> Lead conversion --> Sales". I could put a pin in the box as I moved around the circle -- to make sure I paid enough attention to each. (Of course, pretty soon I would have a large circular hole in my wall -- but it's a thought :)
@Anthony_Rodriguez Ha ! I don't think it's in the same category. This is clearly humor. Calling candy "healthy" is obviously (judging by the comments to this post) not humor. (However, I can imagine half a dozen really funny advertising sketches coming out of this NFL/condom idea though... maybe YouTube is the place for those)
3 years, 1 month ago on Old PR Stunts Don’t Drive Sales
@ginidietrich Glad you liked it. There's a whole Claes Oldenburg angle here too... just needs a little thought :)
@FocusedWords@ginidietrich I know I'm getting way oFf track here (considering the seriousness of this event) but my wife just came up with another one: 1950s Sci fi movie "Them", with a dozen giant ants carrying this 6 ton bar down into their hole :)
When they run these ads, we better get some credit ! (Especially the giant vending machine with the Jaws music.)
@FocusedWords Instead of Godiva, think "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman". Think of a PR campaign that makes fun of itself. Serious newscaster: "World's Finest Chocolate created a 12,000 lb bar of chocolate as a PR stunt, but suddenly in a small town near White Sands, where the first nuclear tests took place ..." Then just run footage from the 1950s movie of the 50ft woman tearing roofs off of stores...
Gini, thanks for reminding me about the cub scouts. After I saw this I was wracking my brain for where I could buy some :)
Seriously though, as horrifyingly socially irresponsible as a 12,000 lb bar of chocolate is, it WILL work -- human psychology has not changed since the 1980s (just fashion, thank God). Besides, this could become a hit. Just imagine the size of the vending machines -- more ammunition for your defense of sharks. This will definitely be "the vending machine that kills people." :)
@ginidietrich@Ameena Falchetto Gosh darn ! (That was in case your mother's listening.)
3 years, 1 month ago on PR for Products vs. Services: Do They Work the Same?
@ginidietrich@Ameena Falchetto Me too. Hard work. Wish it were easier to do :)