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"If we remove someone, we explain to everyone else why we did that, citing something in our policy the person violated. Today, the community does the rest of the work."

Great example of being "transparent" (I don't know why, but that word always seemed a bit out of place for me...I'm not a projector sheet). Once a community understands how you operate and why you make certain decisions, you will find that your community actually begins to take ownership of the work for you. They become the best ally in your fight against online trolls.

5 and 7 are mu two big ones. Usually it is someone who has a genuine problem or they just want to rile you up. Either listen and respond or just ignore them. I haven't had to ban anyone,but I guess I would if they were persistent at the insults or begin attacking everyone else in the community.

1 year, 10 months ago on Seven Tips for Dealing with Online Trolls


Hey Stan, thanks for the mention. Five guys makes it super simple, especially when you have a large family. Getting burgers to hungry mouths as fast as possible is a necessity, so by numbering the burgers in the order they were given keeps you from having to unwrap every one and verify its contents before handing it out. Also, the Cheerios at CFA are a genius idea, as well as the sticky placemat and sanitary wipe hung over every high chair. Simple is easy to do, doesn't cost much and can make a huge difference in customer experience.

1 year, 11 months ago on At QSR's, convenience is key to the customer experience


I have seen more companies get 'empowerment' wrong than right. More often than not, a company who claims to work around employee empowerment is just using the employee as a creative tool. It looks like Etana is getting this right. If you are going to promote a culture that leads from the bottom, you have to be willing to get out of the way when they start to run with the idea (whether it be in a speedo or not). The hardest part isn't letting the employees come up with the ideas, they are going to have them regardless, it is being willing to back them and watching those ideas play out.

2 years ago on Corporate culture like a revolution starts from the bottom. 3 strong examples from @EtanaInsurance


@ginidietrich Very true. But you figure someone had to have stood up and said - "you know, I don't think this is going to turn out well." Man, to be the one to say "I told you so" when it was all said and done. I wonder if anyone got either a promotion or if nothing else, a bit more respect after they stood against the idea. That is, if someone had the gumption to do so.

It is one thing to invite people off the street and ask nothing of them other than to try a new dish, but to invite actual critics and people with thousands of ears at their disposal...I guess they figured Murphy was on vacation or something.

3 years, 6 months ago on Blogger Relations: Know Your Audience


This just goes to show that what works for one doesn't work the same for all. Sure, there have been a ton of successes with this kind of campaign, but you take a HUGE chance on dissapointment when you invite a bunch of your biggest critics with the most social influence and try to pull the wool over their eyes. Especially as @jenzings mentioned, they built their reputation around their lifestyle and were completely thrown under the bus - hence the even greater need to retaliate.

3 years, 6 months ago on Blogger Relations: Know Your Audience


9/11 is an extremely touchy subject when it comes to brands. The potential for a crisis is huge based on feelings bubbling up in the stomachs of those who vividly remember the attack 10 years ago.

No matter what position a brand takes, whether they plan to do something in remembrance or not, they need to be bold in their actions. 9/11 was a very serious matter and not only will people remember those brands who just use the event as marketing promo, but they will also remember the brands who are only half-doing their part.

Basically, put up or shut up. Do something big to really make as much of a difference as possible or just let the day pass in silence and remembrance. Anything less will most likely garner you some harsh comments from your once loyal fans.

People can smell tactics. Get your heart in the right place and go from there.

3 years, 6 months ago on 9/11 Anniversary Offers a New Set of Social Media Challenges


"How does having Brand X in my online world benefit me?" Great question to ask.

Sometimes it is only the association, but for me, I prefer brands who play back in the social sphere. The trick is for brands to completely embrace their story (that's where we come in) and figure out the best place to tell that story. You have a great list here. I'm going to have to go check out a few of these I haven't heard about before.

3 years, 7 months ago on Digital Storytelling: 30+ Social Tools to Create Sharable, Memorable Stories


@Tia Peterson

As a PR professional and a blogger, I completely relate with #4. Relationships should be an ongoing thing, not just a stop and go for your product. It is so much more than that.

On another note, I am completely jealous that you are a food blogger. *My dream job* :) But seriously, I know you guys work hard at building a community and relationship with your readers and by the looks of it, you are doing a great job at it. Keep up the great work and the amazing content!

3 years, 7 months ago on The Four Principles of Food Blogger Outreach



Great article. I used visualization when I was in Gymnastics and Diving to help my body prepare during the times I was not in the gym or at the pool. I visualized so much that my muscles and body knew exactly what to do when put into that very same physical situation. It got to the point where I didn't have to think about the motions I would need to go through, but my body did what felt natural and rhythmic.

The subconscious and visualization are two incredibly interesting topics to study and learn more about. And one of the interesting points is that rehabilitation centers for people who have been in incredible accidents are actually having amazing recovery results when they practice these same techniques with their patients. You really can control your environment with enough mental persistence.

3 years, 8 months ago on Are You Born to Succeed?


Awesome post JK. I especially liked this part "Thanks to them, I’m changing my attitude. An entrepreneur at heart can still fulfill their hunger right in middle of having a corporate job (or any less than ideal situation) if one is willing to become an intrapreneur, or someone who uses their entrepreneurial spirit inside a company."

I like the word intrapreneur. It describes, to a tee, what we should be, especially when we have not yet left our corporate jobs. I worked in government purchasing for 3 years before I left my job to start Prolific Studios and during that time I learned as much as I could about business in general. I spent time testing out ways of dealing with vendors and clients as well as spending as much time as I could in the accounting and HR departments to see how they function as a whole. Not only that, but I love seeing the big picture and if I can relate the simple tasks I was doing over the span of the whole company I could really get behind what I had to do.

Basically, my job became my unofficial MBA training. Not only did I watch what effect my actions had on sales, but I also played a role in our IT department beta testing new software and helping them fine tune our systems.

Loving where your thought process is going JK. Looking forward to your next post!

3 years, 8 months ago on Unleashing the Entrepreneurial Mind By Becoming An Intrapreneur


@Lori You have it exactly right. Coming from my own personal experience with the dreaded word, and as unfortunate as it might be, I can explain my reasoning to my family when I say no, but as soon as I do to someone in the outer circles, that is the end of the conversation. Basically, I know I can "help them see my way." It sounds bad in hind-sight and it is something I have been working on in my own life.

I think part of the reason it is so hard to say is the disappointment it causes. No is a negative word - more often than not. I know I have a hard time disappointing others and a lot of that comes from my past. But there is a lot more negative that can come from the ones we love when we fail to say no to others. Sometimes the ones we disappoint most are the ones closest to us.

Very complicated species indeed!

3 years, 8 months ago on Do You Feel Guilty When You Say No?


I often say yes when I mean no. No is one of the hardest words out of my mouth and my wife can attest to that except when it is to her or the kiddos. I find that it is also so much easier to say no to our family, the ones that often give us the most leeway when it comes to our mess-ups. Do you find that to be the case?

3 years, 8 months ago on Do You Feel Guilty When You Say No?


@jeffespo great list of reasons to devote to social media, but what about just listening? I devote quite a bit of time each day to just search around and listen to what people are saying about my niche. From there, I can develop blog posts and other features to help alleviate those problems - not specifically to my customers, but to people who are interested in what I do.

Do you factor "listening" time into your social media expenditures?

3 years, 8 months ago on How much time should you devote to social media?


@JGoldsborough It is quite simple really. If you look back in time to all of the great inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs, you will notice one thing that usually differentiates them from those who have not quite achieved the same status. Failure. Take Thomas Edison's famous quote for example (which I have hanging up in my office) "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Your failures are nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, you are that many steps closer to perfecting your trade. Why not celebrate those steps?

Part of me hates to say it is only a numbers game because at what number do you give up? 10? 100? 1000? It isn't about numbers, it is about finding out and passing along all the ways that it doesn't work...until you find something that does.

Like @ValerieSimon said in her story, by failing you are investing in your education and the education of those around you.

3 years, 8 months ago on Mistakes


Failure is inevitable. Failure to learn from your failures is inexcusable. "Brands need to give their employees the right to make mistakes." This statement is extremely true. Especially coming from a corporate job where failure meant getting in trouble. I find that with the people I work with now, as the owner of my own company, it makes work so much better (and improves the morale) if we all come together and almost celebrate failure, figure out what went wrong, what we can learn from it and often times come out with a ton of new ideas.

Failure can be a great thing for a company. Bouncing back often increases the tensile strength of a team. Failure is good. Not learning from it...not so good!

3 years, 9 months ago on Mistakes


I am not fond of the question, myself. But now that you mention it, it does seem pretty obvious that people (outside of networking events - and yes, there are people outside of networking events) are looking for the easiest way to connect and what you do is often the first step to find out a little about you without getting too personal.

I mean, you wouldn't walk up to someone and ask them "Boxers or Briefs?" That would be a little awkward. Albeit, you would get some interesting responses...hmm. Might just have to try that one out next time. I'll report back my observations.

3 years, 9 months ago on Four Words That Define Who We Are


If you want some serious #FakeHashtaggery, be sure to follow some people in the Veterinary field. Coming from such a field, we often create entire paragraphs out of hashtags. It is really more of an art form than anything else. You know, art, like bringing crying babies to ballets or talking during a movie or #HashtagsThatGetSoLongYouWantToPullAllOfYourEyelashesOutAndMoveToACountryWhere


Stuff like that...

3 years, 12 months ago on #Fakehashtaggery