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Sorry to join the conversation late, but this is a great series and a great subject! I'm still in awe of how @ginidietrich can do it all, but I surmise that underneath she really is Wonder Woman...gold bracelets and lasso of truth and all!
1 year, 9 months ago on Off Script #2: Gini Dietrich on Business, Balance and Access
Congratulations on making the Washington Business Journal's list! And enjoy your vacation and take time to unwind :)
1 year, 9 months ago on Can I Have a Word? Five, Actually
It was very bold and brave of you to bring this discussion up at your agency, Ancita! It's often too easy for any organization to feel comfortable with the "old way" of doing things, even as the communications world evolves and changes. I'm too far removed from PR to weigh in on this discussion, but I can say that social media communications is shaking up all forms of traditional communications, including higher education fundraising. It's jarring for people who are used to the old guard to think of new and unique ways of reaching their audiences, but sometimes, social media can be an effective bridge.
1 year, 9 months ago on Elevator Pitch or Twitter Pitch?
Great post, Mike! I think a lot of times, communications/marketing pro's are afraid to admit to failure because it such a charged word. I've found that with every "failure" or setback, there is always a lesson learned that can be applied to the next scenario which could eventually be successful.
1 year, 9 months ago on Viral Sucks and Failure is OK
Nicely done, Frank! I have a lot or respect for the First Amendment, especially since I studied journalism and gradually moved to PR. These freedoms so engrained in our society, it amazes me to see how journalists, bloggers, and pretty much anyone expressing their opinions are treated in countries without such safeguards. Hope you and your family have a fun and festive Fourth of July!
1 year, 9 months ago on PR, Common Sense and Independence Day
Great post, Angie! The way you make measurement seem so logical, you'd think more people would do it! I don't know what deters people from measurement, but I've had to struggle with it in higher education because there are many facets that are seemingly "unmeasurable." But having worked in PR for some time, there's always ways to see an up-tick or stagnation in any field.
1 year, 10 months ago on Smart Measurement For Creative People
@Shonali I know what you mean-- I used to have more time for Twitter
chats and social media participation in general. My job constraints on a
daily basis aren't as flexible as before but I try to make time in the morning
and especially over the lunch hour. The alumni relations one usually
happens over the lunch hour but once a month.
More than anything, I have to cut myself some slack and be
okay with not being as active as I used to be. If I only have time to
read one or two blog posts or post one or two tweets a day, then that's okay.
We're our hardest critics in the end!
1 year, 10 months ago on How To Use Twitter For PR
These are great tips, Shonali! I especially agree with participating in Twitter chats centered around areas of interest. I had been active in one for social media and pharmaceutical companies back when I worked my old job, and it was a great resource for learning, connecting with peers, and generally building a good online community. I've been happy to find another Twitter chat more recently that relates to my current job, where people who work in alumni relations and university fundraising share ideas and have a regular discussion.
I love how I learn about the budding Twin Cities craft beer scene on your blog while also learning about social marketing! I agree with your age bracket suggestion--not all young/20-somethings are always willing to shill for the price of craft beer and may stick to their familiar mass produced varieties. I've had to make that transition myself as my palate for beer has developed past Grain Belt! But it's a good point to think outside of what a craft brewery may think of as their typical (or desired) customer to make them stand out from the rest.
1 year, 10 months ago on Are craft breweries doing enough to market themselves differently?
Great post, as always, Frank! I find it's a commonality that transcends marketing, as I'm finding myself doing a lot of "peer review" in the higher education setting, which is to say I'm scoping out the competition. The other problem of being first/the leader is you always have to look behind you to see who's catching up to take your place. Either way, you have to take the risk sometimes and be the leader in order to move beyond the stigma of always coming in second.
1 year, 10 months ago on Marketing: the Race to 2nd Place
I can't wait to see the finished product! Great work, Gini!! I voted for the first one because it had a different approach to the concept and didn't repeat the word "spin." Then again, I am a horrible copy writer, so who knows if that really matters. Good luck with the rest of your book project this summer :)
1 year, 10 months ago on Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle
@Shonali Hi Shonali! Yes, I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I had some personal stuff going on last Fall and needed to retreat for a while. I'm re-evaluating my blog theme and plan to re-launch soon. It feels good to be back :)
1 year, 10 months ago on Monday Roundup: Learning From our Mistakes
Yikes, I've learned from many mistakes in the past that I shutter to write them all down here! One lesson learned from working in an agency with demanding clients is listening to what people are saying even when they are *not* saying it. For example, the dean of our college is a wine connoisseur, and at the first board meeting I attended over two years ago, when a colleague bought 2-liter bottles of Bolla, he made a comment that he wouldn't water his lawn with that wine!
So, when I had the responsibility of buying wine for the next meeting, I found some decently priced wines that were a step up from a frat party. Needless to say, he complimented my wine selections and I found out through conversations with him before the meeting that he likes Central California wines and doesn't mind screw top bottles. Now, I have a better sense of what wines to select at alumni dinners and for meetings where he will be in attendance.
It goes a long way to make mental notes and to cater to your customer's likes-- whether a client, a higher up or a colleague for that matter.
I agree with Danny-- I can't wait to see how this discussion picks up!
I agree that bloggers are writers, but I would add that they are *blog* writers (if that makes sense). If they can write a book, then they are authors; if they can pull off a good investigative piece, then they are journalists. But the proof is in the result (or the medium, as Danny puts it). I would consider myself a blog writer but would never consider myself an author or one who is good with fiction writing. When I worked as a reporter, I considered myself a journalist but I would never write the same way for a blog. Some people can wade in different writing pools and some cannot (I for instance, cannot be an advertising copywriter-- I like too many words!)
1 year, 10 months ago on Is A Blogger A Writer?
Great post, Frank! Again, I feel like I learn something every time I read your posts. I haven't yet been active on Google+ but I can see the value in your reasoning from a branding standpoint. Add on the problems Facebook has had with advertisements and user backlash, and it might be that marketers will eventually catch on. I doubt Google+ will go away and it's too early to call it a useless form of social media just because it's not Facebook.
1 year, 10 months ago on Why Google+ is a Better Place for Brands
@ginidietrich You will LOVE 99 Problems! Seriously, anyone who has worked at an agency can relate.
2 years, 7 months ago on The Top 10 Public Relations Blogs
@dbreakenridge The honor is all yours, Deirdre! I have always admired your work and dedication to this ever-changing communications world.
@badpitch No need to thank me-- it's my minor tribute to your blog for keeping PR people in check!
@allison_boyer Thanks, Allison! Hope you find some new favorites from this as well.
@WordsDoneWrite Thanks for the opportunity to contribute some of my favorites!
@Shonali You'll always be one of my blogger heroes! Balance is more important than blogging sometimes, so I hope you continue to be happy and healthy-- just be sure to post now and then to stay in touch :)
You're welcome, Frank! This is my little tribute to bloggers who have inspired and helped me learn-- and you deserve to be on that list :)
I still think you are secretly the bionic woman-- that's okay if you don't want to include that minor detail in your first hour run down ;)
I am really boring with my first hour-- walking an 85-pound adorable mutt, feeding that mutt and its feline companion, going through my beauty process, watering the garden, and making my lunch. I do however pick up my iPhone as soon as I get into the kitchen to check messages. It's very different not working in the PR agency world, where my mornings were much more hectic. But to your point, we can make time for what we need to do-- it just takes effort, which is easier said than done!
2 years, 8 months ago on How Successful People Spend the First Hour of their Day
Seeing as how I am late to the conversation, you can see that I've drastically scaled back my social media usage as of lately. It was hard at first, but I had to really prioritize my time at work for my job (where I was recently promoted) and not on fielding tweets and scanning my Google Reader for new posts like an obessive compulsive.
I think we need a self-help book like "I'm OK, You're OK" for the social media junkies!
2 years, 8 months ago on Social media is NOT that important
I have been eagerly awaiting the second part to your story!! It clearly looks like this individual was exploiting the situation-- did he *really* want to help that poor intern with her choice of professional wardrobe? How was this tied to the mistake she made? Did it have anything to do with what she was wearing?
This really looks like a situation of "you can't pull a PR trick over on PR people" (even if not all the bloggers were PR folks). We know what pitches look like and when someone is taking advantage of a situation for their own pitching purposes. It's sad, but it happens because most folks committing that error really think there's nothing wrong with it.
Thanks for sharing this all-together bizarre pitch experience!
2 years, 8 months ago on The Intern and the Executive Coach, Part II: Criminal
These are great tips, Frank!
Many of these points resonate with me, and I would say many of them are essential to succeed in just about any industry or job. I second your last point-- work isn't worth it for your career if you do not enjoy it. Too much, people think they have to "pay their dues" in order to get to where they want to be. I'd argue there are no dues to pay, just limitations we place on ourselves.
2 years, 9 months ago on 7 essential principles to succeed in PR
Great post, John-- I'm big on organizational cultures and how they affect the construct of companies (or teams for that matter). You raise a good point with the psychology behind why American employees do what they do. The idea of American Individualism definitely explains some of the underpinning reasons why companies might be more motivated to encourage the individual over the collective. I can relate to this as my former corporate experience rewarded the senior staff member who brought in the most new business with a sizable bonus...that never quite trickled down...
Either way, this gives us lots to think about when approaching organizational culture and what it might really take to break free of the silo structure.
2 years, 9 months ago on Build an Organizational Culture that Deconstructs Silos
Very nice post, Shonali! I used to fall into the category of the "over-achiever" who must get everything done on her to-do list. That only resulted in personal disappointment that I brought upon myself-- probably a Midwestern thing...
So, even though I keep many lists (on my iPhone as well; at the office; and on my calendar), I often start the day with a small list of what needs to get done *that day*. If I can cross off a few items from that list, then I can take them off my other lists and then they're not as long as they were before. I've learned that the small accomplishments help make the most out of all I want to achieve and those little victories keep me going :)
2 years, 9 months ago on Being in the Moment
Hi Lisa-- yes, sometimes the fairy tale ending is not what you would think it to be. At least this was a good learning experience for me and I hope for others who worked at the agency. I am always fascinated by organizational culture and change transitions, so it's an area I'd like to continue studying.
2 years, 9 months ago on A Tale of Organizational Change
Thanks, John! You're exactly right-- change takes engery and work. If you're not in it for the long haul, then it's not even worth starting. Communications during organizational change are extremely important, to your point, and that presents an area of opportunity for PR and communications pro's.
Hi Shonali-- great to hear from you! Yes, it wasn't easy to stay, but I felt a commitment to the company to carry on the change effort. However, as the kingdom began to crumble, I realized it wasn't in the cards.
@ginidietrich I SO appreciate this opportunity, Gini! And it's cathartic to think about how much I've learned from my experiences.
I love the smell of sarcasm in the morning. It smells like...hilarity!
It's too bad that PR practice is going the gimmick route with integrated communications. Rather than boast about their fancy new word, why not show some results? Measurable outcomes? I would like to see where this new paradigm goes on this roadmap that will literally blow the minds of marketing and PR pro's for years to come. Oh, is your sarcasm bug catching ;)
2 years, 9 months ago on It’s Social Media – Let’s Make Shit Up!
Great post, Frank-- you're always challenging me to think through these communications topics! It's not an easy topic to pin down with any kind of solution; it's merely the path that online and social communications is paving for us and challenging those who work in PR to address.
2 years, 10 months ago on We are all journalists, but are we editors?
Wow! I'm sure this experience will be forever emblazoned on that intern's psyche for the rest of his/her life. Can't wait to read part two....
2 years, 10 months ago on The Intern and the Executive Coach, Part I: Clueless
Shonali, I would never hold it against you for scaling back your blogging schedule! I am so happy you're taking on a new role and furthering your career-- that's wonderful. But I can only imagine the level of adjusting your'e going through from small practice to corporate office.
I can relate, as I've really let my blog lag lately because I'm also just exhausted after taking a graduate class this Spring semester and getting through a busy Spring. I know my role at my job will change in the new fiscal year, so I'm trying to figure out what works with my blog, if weekly or bi-weekly posting makes sense. I agree with @HowieSPM that your health and sanity are the most important. And so are the little things in life that make you smile, because all this social media and blogging stuff could disappear tomorrow-- and you know what? We'd be okay because we've got just as much going on in real ife that's more important!
2 years, 10 months ago on Catching Up
I'm with @KenMueller on this one--wow. I can't believe someone even thought that was a good idea. If anything, it only hinders the CEO's reputation for avoiding the question (which no doubt will be raised again and again, thanks to this incident magnifying it!) And it feeds into the stereotype that PR professionals are lackeys and aren't to be trusted by the press.
Seriously, this is the kind of stuff movies are made for-- here's to hoping Mike Elk at least gets a "made for TV" movie out of this crazy story.
2 years, 10 months ago on PR Pro Charged with Barricading Reporter in Room
Great post, Mike-- tell it like it is! Too bad other companies or brands don't want to go the extra mile in translating their social media/online connections into real life connections.
2 years, 10 months ago on Social Media’s Dirty Little Secret
It's good to recognize the effects of working in silos for any size business in any industry. Much like Rebecca points out, some people don't know how else to work. The hard part is the change effort required to "break down silos," which is easier said than done.
Here's my experience with silos-- I worked in a mid-sized agency with marketing and PR where there were a lot of turf battles and obvious silos. Then, a new company president essentially forced employees to work in integrated teams because they had to share a budget. It was an interesting case study I used for my master's thesis because it spoke to the very reasons why people went into their silos to begin with--money and the bottom line.
I wish it had a happy ending, but unfortunately, that leader left and with a fractioned leadership team, I essentially witnessed almost two years of work to remove silos ruined as they were built up again! I felt like I was in a time warp because it reverted to the same organizational culture as it was when I started working there. So, unless the leadership is truly behind and has the resources to maintain a silo-less environment, it's very easy for employees to revert back to their comfort zones.
2 years, 10 months ago on Breaking Down the Silos: Lonely vs. Functional
Great list, Jayme! I had never thought of it this way, but you do a good job of showcasing the diversity of blogging styles. I think I'm more of a mashup, personally, since I switch between communications topics, current events, and personal stuff. But it's always fun!
2 years, 10 months ago on Six Types of Blogging
Great post, Frank! Your professor's advice rings true for so many working professionals, not just those in PR. I know I get frustrated with myself when I don't have all the answers, but to your point, finding them is the real work. And it's often beneficial to my knowledge and development to seek those answers or research them.
2 years, 11 months ago on
The answers PR pros need to know | Sword and the Script
That is so sweet!!! Happy belated birthday! Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday-- hope you have a great week as well :)
2 years, 11 months ago on A Social Media Birthday Cake
Glad to hear you're doing well and enjoying your new job! I also work full time, take a graduate school class each semester, and blog part time, so I have to accept that I can't be very prolific with my online activity sometimes. It might not work for everyone, but I have an understanding with myself and make it very clear to my readers that this is a part-time/quarter-time gig. I like blogging and reading what other people are writing about. But if I have to focus on other things like work, school, and life in general, than that's okay as well.
Hope you have a great week!
2 years, 12 months ago on A May Day Balancing Act
Happy birthday, Mr. D! You and Gini sound like a wonderfully happy couple. Gini, I can't tell you how many photos I've taken of my husband sitting with the laptop and our dog curled up by his side as well. Must be a guy thing...
2 years, 12 months ago on #FollowFriday: Kelly Dietrich
These are great reminders for companies and institutions interested in incorporating social media into their communications strategies. I think the "shiney new object" syndrome takes over and causes leadership to expect that they have to be everywhere socially without evaluating the value and relevance first. Thanks for sharing your insights!
3 years ago on Four Points to Remember When Adopting a New Social Network
I appreciate your candor in sharing how negative blog comments make you feel, Jayme. It's not an easy topic for people to talk about.
I know I sometimes self-censor myself for fear of inciting a negative comment, and that's not what blogging is about. We all have different viewpoints and opinions, but some folks can be a little nastier than others when expressing their angles. Yes, negative comments and constructive feedback are a part of the game. The key is not letting them ruffle your feathers and handling the criticism to help strengthen your point of view or to possibly change it.
3 years ago on About Negative Blog Comments
Gini, I always assumed you simply twirled around like Wonder Woman and your blog posts magically appeared because you write so much (and so well) that you are like a superhero!
All kidding aside, I appreciate that you share your craft with the rest of the blogging community because it shows how it takes real dedication and time to create what you have here. It's not to say it's brain surgery but it does take the stamina to keep things moving despite work and real life. And honestly, we get to reap the benefits of your blood, sweat, and blogging, so no complaining here :)
3 years ago on The Spin Sucks Blogging Process
Bravo, Mike-- I second your sentiment on social media for all ages! There are applications to each age bracket and even some that transcend age all together.
I've been dealing with this sentiment because I'm younger in my department and everyone expects me to "know" social media. I often remind my colleagues that I use what makes sense to me and what I enjoy getting the most out of. Social media is simply a menu of options that we as users can set the parameters for but it doesn't mean that if you're active on one, then you are an expert on all.
3 years ago on Social Media: Age Is Not An Excuse
Love this post! I'm amazed at what people will say in public and think no one will hear them. My husband is notorious for listening on other people's conversations at restaurants or coffee shops. I'm a modest Midwesterner who tries to consciously *not* do so.
Oh, and it might not be a pick up line or a date story, but I technically met my husband while I was working as a barista at Starbucks! If you're in a long line, you should check out who the baristas are flirting with because that was my game and it worked out :)
3 years ago on Of Starbucks and Starcrossed Lovers
Wow, you must seriously have been in my head because I have been dealing with a colleague who does not respond well to feedback-- constructive or otherwise! This particular person probably falls into the first category of terrioriality and defense of the status quo. I think I'll probably giggle to myself next time I hear them react to some feedback or new ideas because I'll be thinking of the Lord of the Rings!
3 years, 1 month ago on Five Inappropriate Ways to Respond to Criticism