strategist, builder of human business teams. blogger. speaker. runner. blended family dad. jedi master. i'm nate riggs
You bring up some good points, Gini. Just heard on NPR that Best Buy is going to follow suit with Yahoo and ban employees from working at home. Lots of people seemed to be surprised by the move by both brands, but I think we have to keep in mind that while all the online collaboration tools are great, scaling adoption inside of huge organizational cultures like these companies is a battle in itself. If you're a small, networked, entrepreneur-type, then online collaboration is 'virtually' a no brainer. It's easy for folks with our past experiences to naturally gravitate towards new tools.
But in corporate environments where Exchange Servers and heavy IT departmental politics are still at the controls, I feel like getting employees to gather around virtual water coolers is going to take some more years. As some of the new companies grow larger, the trend will probably shift. It's all a bit silly, but in the end, people really dislike change...
1 year, 11 months ago on Can Technology Replace In-Person Meetings?
@crestodina I would love to see it! Glad you got it out there!
2 years, 2 months ago on #FollowFriday: Andy Crestodina
Glad to see you featureed here @crestodina ! Well deserved, my friend. The work you are doing on CM strategy is stellar and people should see it!
@sarahjstorer I'm a Cyber Monday guy myself, but I am taking the kids out tomorrow. they've never been. Hooray... ;-)
2 years, 2 months ago on Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: Which Day Offers the Best Shopping Experience?
You give some great tips Collyn! I feel like you and my wife should talk. We have three boys as well and she's doing the stay at home thing right now. I feel like more use of social media might help her cope with the lack of adult time that comes with the territory ...
2 years, 3 months ago on Using Social Media While on Maternity Leave - A New Mom’s Ode
@AmyMccTobin Fair enough. I use Path for that and it's free. Limited to 50 people per network which keeps you close to your real life friends. G+ is good for that with circles, but to your point, it's hit or miss in terms of activity
2 years, 4 months ago on As Twitter Locks Out Developers, a New Site Welcomes Them
Meh. I think it will die before it ever gets off the ground.
Pay for play social networks have never really been appealing to the masses. I mean, I get where his head is with the core values video, but truth be told, there's not enough appeal to build enough trial to keep their business going on membership fees. Likewise, isn't it kind of a cart and horse argument? For one, why would I pay to be a part of a social network where none of my friends were? And, what about business social media users? My own use is probably 70% business at best, so I'm not necessarily concerned with 'fun features'.
But that's me. I can't speak for everyone...
Nice rundown, John. It makes sense that Google designed their system to max their own return on investment. Users need to be aware of this and how easy it is to tip the scales back to your favor. Thanks for getting this out there. VERY helpful!
2 years, 4 months ago on Return on Investment from Google AdWords? Stop Wasting Your Budget in the Settings
@Engage121 Totally my pleasure. You guys have some very appealing features for anyone who is multi-unit retail or food service players. Keep up the good work!
2 years, 4 months ago on 8 Social Media Tools for the Food Service Industry
@Jeremy White My pleasure Jeremy, and thanks for stopping by. I was impressed with the Belly folks and I know some people at Mimi's Cafe who have used them for a few promotions and done well. Let me know what you find out!
@ChelseaHickey Thanks for stopping by! They have a very good idea and with some development time and a bit of budget, I think they can find a nice niche in the industry. Again, it's all about POS integration. That's really what operators and franchisee's need right now. It makes for a HUGE operator for tech companies serving the industry...
Dude, really sorry to hear how things turned out. I could tell you were looking forward to this and this Phil guy sounds like a piece of work.
I think your close hits the head on the nail. Do you really want to be a part of an organization that is so incredibly rigid? It's still just BBQ and people do it because they enjoy it. Sounds like Phil has a tendency to suck the fun out of things.
2 years, 4 months ago on What We Can Learn From Me Getting Kicked Out of a BBQ Contest
@WordsDoneWrite They always do!
2 years, 5 months ago on How to Set Up Lighting for a Video Interview
Incredibly helpful video, Allison. Thanks! : )
@HowieSPM It's just amazing to me how people's belief structure can trump better judgement. Everyone is entitled to believe what they want - I don't challenge that at all - but from a business/PR/Marketing perspective? The whole thing was a staunch, mindless statement...
2 years, 6 months ago on The Chick-fil-A PR Crisis
I've spent many dinners at Chic-fil-Et in the past few years. It's usually where my wife and I meet my son's mom and stepdad for chats about our schedule with Kaden since there's a location close to his former pre-school.
The part that peeved me the most in the statement (and one that I thought might be even have more of a negative impact on Chic-fil-A's business) was this:
"...and we are married to our first wives."
So basically, Cathy has not only condemned Gay and Lesbian couples -- he's also condemning blended and step-families (and remarriage all together for that matter) as not fitting with their version of "biblical definition". #elitistdouchbag if you ask my opinion!
That seems to border on religious extremist and really strikes a chord with me since I'm what you'd consider a more liberal Catholic (liek @PattiRoseKnight below) as well as a blended family dad who has dropped countless dollars at their locations.
From a business perspective, what a stupid thing to say too!
Speaking against Gay and Lesbian couples is bad enough, but in reality, it's probably not the 'aspirational' audience of Chic-fil-A. They are very deliberiate in their focused targeting of families with multiple children in the household. The end game is to drive up the average guest check and increase sales. More kids means more dollars in the door.
Think about that for a second -- what families typically have the highest number of kids? Thaaaat's right folks ... blended families and families joined by divorce and remarriage. With the current divorce rate near 50% in the U.S., that audience is VERY large.
In the end, their food is still light years better (and healthier) than McDonalds, and the service at the restaurant level is outstanding. Great operations execution will usually trump PR and marketing in the chain restaurant business.
For me though, it looks like we might need to find a new meeting spot for our all-family meetings. It seems that our kind is no longer officially welcome at Chic-fil-A...
Thanks for the write up, Allison. Very much appreciate the mention. If anyone would like to check out the deck from the talk, they can download it here -- http://slidesha.re/BWENYListPost
2 years, 7 months ago on How Formulas Can Make You a Better Blogger
Glad you were able to take something from the post @benjoseph23 : )
2 years, 7 months ago on Social Subscribe – Why Facebook Likes Do Matter
@bdorman264 haha. I will make sure not to let up ;)
2 years, 8 months ago on #FollowFriday: Nate Riggs
@HowieSPM @ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber I am sad to report that we are down to two dogs now. Bruce ate Dozer, the Chihuahua I brought back from my time down south... ;-)
@KenMueller Hi Ken! :)
@MichaelBowers You know, that year I had been speaking at chambers and to small groups at Panara, but OGS was the first time I was on a stage with presenter monitors (#FTW) and in front of hundreds of people. Not to mention Chris (who I've always looked up to) was sitting down in front -- I was absolutely terrified...
@jasonkonopinski Heck yes! But, I am waiting for the payback eventually. It will come when I least expect it...
@ginidietrich We focus on stellar customer service in Columbus!
@Marcus_Sheridan Okay ... now I officially owe you a beer in NYC next week :)
@samfalletta Thanks dude. One of the other things that was awesome about OGS is that we finally had some time to catch up. It's amazing how busy things can get and then next thing you know, it's been months since you've seen people. I enjoyed getting to hang out again! Your stuff on the middle panel was content gold for folks who are ready to actually go about getting their businesses to 'be social'.
@margieclayman Hey, here's an idea for next year -- will you do a talk at #OGS13? It's @MichaelBowers , but I'll bet if we poked him enough he'd be happy to give you the floor. :)
@ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber I don't think anything would be more appropriate than that. The little guy is Max. He's the common denominator in our blended family. The one that looks like me is Kaden (mine genetically). He just graduated Kindergarten yesterday evening (yes, they do that WITH cap and gown apparently). Jacob is the dark complected one who's the middle kid. He and I chose to become father and son. :)
Wow, Gini! I'm honestly humbled by this post. Thank you! You couldn't have picked a better image to describe where I am at in life. Don't get me wrong -- I love what I do for a living, speaking, and giving my friends a hard time ;), but what I love MOST of all are my boys and my wonderful wife Sarah. There the reason for everything these days for me. Geoff Karcher has worked tirelessly to remind me that it's okay not to work all weekend long, and that the world won't end of you take some time away from the internet. The move to TKG has been one of the best bets I've made in my career up to this point in that they've helped me find happiness in a new sense of that 'work-life balance thing' everyone talks. Who knew, right?
This year's OGS was by far the most successful it's been since I've been involved. I really believe that what you added was a big reason for that. Every business owner in the room appreciated your transparency when you talked about all of the good and bad times Arment Dietrich has been through in the past few years. We're always happy to share our victories in their business, but it takes a hell of a lot of gusto to be willing to share the hardships as well. Thanks for being a brave enough to tell those stories. :)
Thanks also for being on the panel before your talk. My part in moderating was pretty easy -- ask smart folks questions, and then shut up and take good notes! I think the four of us each walked away with some new ideas to apply. In end, that's what it's all about for everyone -- discovering new ideas...
@HowieSPM @ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber - those are some VERY expensive rent-a-kids. I should just consider buying them but I hear the costs really go out of whack during the high school and college years... ;)
@geoffliving That's a really interesting thought, Geoff. I HATE the clunkiness (if that's a word) of the current FB mobile app. What I do love is how the timeline photos are now displayed. Downloading the camera app now and may take your recommendation to heart on this...
2 years, 8 months ago on Three Reasons Facebook Camera Will Work
I think you're dead on with your thinking, Gini. People already using Instagram will most likely stay there in that it delivers, and it also offers integration with other services that the early adopter crowd will have a desire to use (Tumblr, Twitter, Foursquare).
That said, everyone else on Facebook could probably care less about this apps. They're not nerds, but 'everyday' Facebook users. For those folks, this app is an attractive alternative. The kicker will be in how Facebook decides to roll it out to the existing user base. I feel like they've never been very good at getting their own apps in front of the user base. Will be interesting to see their next move, and if the investigation scares them into litigation paralysis for a few weeks...
@HeatherWhaling See, I agree and disagree with that statement. Jim Canteruicci would call making work and life work together 'congruency' and I do think that's something to strive for.
But for me, balance is different, very important and very possible through the choices I make. With a wife and 3 kids who could care less about Pinterest's valuation or Facebook's IPO, 'balance' defined for me is about devoting un-interrupted attention at home with all devices closed. Balance is coaching youth soccer and going to tee ball games, or even the occasional date with my lady. It's hard to make a career-home life cocktail in that sense.
But again, my opinion is the product of my own situation ... and our situations are very different. That said, I am all about a guilt-free support groups so count me in! :)
2 years, 8 months ago on HOW TO: Avoid Burnout at Work
Great advice and post, Heather. I think it applies to more than just PR pros, but probably small businesses, entrepreneurs and independent consultants as well. The buggest challenge is learning to get rid of the guilt you may feel when you do make the good choice to skip out early on Friday or *for God's sake* sleep in past the usual 5AM routine.
Driven and passionate professionals love what they do and want to do it all the time because they find happiness in the work. It's easy to forget that you can also find happiness in not working at all. When you remember that, the feelings of guilt pass fairly quickly.
@ginidietrich Very excited about you visiting Columbus and our first time meeting in person. :)
2 years, 8 months ago on Marketing in the Round is Here!
Congrats @ginidietrich and @geoffliving ! Kudos to both of you for getting this one out there! :)
Like the design, Danny. Kudos.
2 years, 8 months ago on Of Blog Design Changes and Looking to the Future
Nice ideas and post Heather. Not sure I necessarily agree with dropping off frequency of content in that the web moves so fast, and human eyeballs on it move faster. Space your content out to far and you loose potential eyeballs, whether your content pass the 'holy smokes' or not.
the best situation is to have both -- high frequency of good stuff. Which, as you pointed out, most brands have not fully figured out yet in terms of content marketing.
So, with the Instagram and Pinterest examples (which I think are both good observations), are you suggesting that brands share get more visual content as opposed to written? If so, how does that play against the somewhat annoying inforgraphic craze right now? I feel like that bubble is where I see the most "look at me' style of content these days...
2 years, 8 months ago on The "Look at This" Approach to Content Marketing
Nice moves Amy! Really digging the style of your videos, edits and approach. I feel like your're going to be getting picked up by a TON of brands as a online host in the next few years... :)
2 years, 9 months ago on Blogs on Comedy Central :: TWIB Ep. 7 [VIDEO]
@cbarger @JayBaer @Ari Herzog
Most of the promotions we see are heavily weighted to the favor of the brand. For instance, restaurants will offer discounts only if they can hedge their bets that the discount will increase the size of the average guest check or increase traffic during a slow day part. In the end, the consumer doesn't get all that much value.
Personal brands who can be promotional AND be social at the same time are few and far between ... and chances are, a good amount of them are self-employed because of their skills.
For example, Exact Target's brand as well as Convince and Convert siting the background of this entire post and discussion. No one minds or is annoyed because the brands themselves have added real value for the audience.
For promotional activities to not be seen as "annoying" value must be equal across the brand (Exact Target, Convince and Convert), brand advocate or persona (Jay) and customers (us reading and in the comments -- some of whom control budgets to by services and products from the brands who might use ET or CC someday).
So then, if it brands are forced to be humans (a good thing) and it takes a special human to be able to pull off social promotion without annoying the audience, is the real problem solved in the HR department?
Sorry for the dissertation, but you folks started a really interesting discussion...
2 years, 9 months ago on New Research: Americans Hate Social Media Promotions
@HeatherWhaling Probably true. Hasn't happened yet because it seems that every time an idea gets momentum to the point where it's worth talking about, the concept leaves for the coast. Big checkins and big eggs if you ask me.
2 years, 10 months ago on Embrace Risk. Stop Being So Humble.
@BobbyRoberts And that's what is one of the most frustrating things about the whole debate. Somehow people seem to think that kind of capital doesn't in Columbus. Apparently those people have never had lunch at Easton Town Centre...
On bullet 4, I completely agree. All of that data is incredibly valuable to brands as insights and I feel like that may eventually be a product that they could sell. Probably could sell it at a premium too simply based on the sample size.
5 is kind of a truth in business, no argument there -- except that we've never really seen a single business with a billion customers scattered all over the world, most of which spend an insane amount of time each evening staring at the product.
It seems like Facebook has a platform and attention that would allow them to do a ton of stuff very well. Unlike other brands where consumers can simply decide to switch to a competitor or forgo buying the product at all, Facebook users are incredibly invested in terms of time, personal content and their real (and fake) friends.
Not sure exactly what that means, but I know that we've probably never seen anything like this IPO before...
2 years, 10 months ago on Five Things to Watch Out for as Facebook Goes Public
I think it comes down to one thing, Heather -- dollars (or the lack of enough in the midwest to make it an attractive place for tech start ups to take root.). Yes, TechColumbus has some cash flow and facilities to support early stage start ups, but when the rubber meets the road and a start up needs 10-20MM in funding to really grow, there just simply isn't enough capital available in Columbus (unless you name has something to do with "medical devices").
I'm not at all surprised at the reaction from Austin as I had a few conversations like that as well. In my time in the scene in Columbus, I have seen more start ups die or move because of this problem.
For instance, anyone remember a little website called Toobla developed by Brian Link and Jake Zaxby back in 2008-2009 at TechColumbus? The whole idea was a pinboard concept where you could collect content and then use Toobla to embed it on other sites. They couldn't get any funding from the midwest for the idea and it eventually died. Bummer.
Today, we know of an almost identical concept called "Pinterest". Seems like that idea had some merit, right? The difference? Pinerest secured more than 37.5 MM in funding and is based in Palo Alto (where all those dollars are readily available -- but only for folks who live or move to the local backyard).
Until Ohio and other midwest states can bring in the levels of dollars that support real and sustained start up growth, this will continue to be a problem. The result will be good ideas, good people and incredibly potential leaving the midwest to find the seeding that helps them achieve their dream. No one can blame any entrepreneur for doing what they have to to make their dream come true.
I'm no start up expert so don't take this comment as anything more than observations and opinion. But, the midwest start up dilemma is real and like everything else in business, I think it has to do with the availability of dollars.
Really dig the post, Josh. Rule #4 sounds similar to what Klout does with the idea of True Reach. While it's not a perfect metric, it does tend to lean towards a users reasonable expectations of how many people in their network are actually paying attention. It can actually quite humbling... ;-)
2 years, 10 months ago on Social Networking Spam – 5 Rules for Marketers
Bullet number 4 has me intrigued and from watching your preso yesterday on Microsoft, Tim. While having MS's eyes in my living room is a bit creepy, I think you right in that the next evolution of how we interact on the web takes the friction of any and all devices out of our hands. The freedom of removing the friction of a handheld object makes online communication more accessible to more people, AND a more natural form of communication itself. Thanks for opening my eyes to this... :)
2 years, 10 months ago on Voice Computing Puts the Words Back in Your Mouth
I guess I never understood what was so hard about ROI in social media. It's just tools. Use tools well and you get value. Use tools poorly and you've wasted your investment of time, energy, money or all three.
It comes down to two sets of metrics -- the ones that tell you how big and strong you are building your new online channel and then the KPI's for your business that are effected by the types of things you do on the channel you've built up across social media.
But ... I still think my mom still has ROI too. ;)
2 years, 10 months ago on Five Ways to Measure Social Media Efforts
Great work, Paul. Really dig the perspective on this. What will be interesting is to see how colleges and universities begin to alter curriculum to teach to this new shift towards the "hybrid" web communications professional (if thats even what they should be called).
For instance, how much of this type of training can be built into a circular model, versus more experiential learning in the field? Most of the professionals I know who would fit the classification of hybrid have learned their trade in the trenches, usually driven by necessity of launching a business or having to fend for themselves after a more structured job disappeared. It sounds like @CutlerDave has experienced something like this, and he's absolutely spot on with his comment towards hiring practices around more linear candidates.
2 years, 11 months ago on The Hybrids are Coming: Evolution of the Prototype Marketer
To be honest, I don't get it either. Frankly, I think it was a terrible move by Google. How does the idea of gaming help me to collaborate with other businesses, clients and partners. As far as I can see, it doesn't. Seems likely to be a press gimmick or some type of smoke screen to distract attention while the Google folks work on something else, under the radar. And they would probably think of that too. They're Google -- some of the smartest people in the world...
3 years, 5 months ago on Google+ Announces Games: I Don't Get It