Archive for April, 2014

The First Tweets of Top Social Media Influencers

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

I learned recently that there’s a quick and easy way to find the first tweet of anyone who has been engaged with Twitter. You just go to this link and enter in the @username of someone and you’ll see there first post — aka tweet.

My first tweet for @StratCommun was on October 1, 2009 – wow! That surprised me. I know I’ve been engaged for some time, but didn’t realize exactly how long. Time flies, as they say (pun intended).

SEO: Optimizing for the “right” words and phrases–those that drive real results!

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

If you Google the term “strategic communications” my company — Strategic Communications — is likely to show up on the first page of the results you see. Great, right? Well, not necessarily. But, the fact that it does, and the results that I see, have provided me with some key insights into the types of words and phrases that I, and my clients, should be optimizing for.  (more…)

CEOs and Social Media: Getting the Boss on Board

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Socializing Your CEO, a report released by Weber Shandwick, indicates that only 18% of the CEOs of the largest companies in the world have their own social network pages-a 2% increase from the 2010 report. It would appear that CEOs are simply not jumping on the social media bandwagon, at least not personally. Don’t believe it? Do a quick search on LinkedIn, arguably the most “professional” of the various social media channels, and see how many CEOs you find.

You’ll find some, but they don’t represent the CEOs of the Fortune 500 — or even 1000. Most, like me, are CEOs of their own small firms or consultancies.

So, what gives? (more…)

Yes, the C-suite is concerned about ROI — communicators should be too!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

I’ve been speaking and writing a lot about how communicators can do a better job of connecting with C-suite leaders to get traction for their ideas and proposals. Most recently, I presented a webinar for Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media and Ragan Communications on How to Talk Social Media to Your Hospital C-Suite. I also wrote a series of articles on the topic for IABC’s Communication World earlier this year. And I have a presentation coming up in May for Health Leaders Media.

Much of my work and research has been around issues related to social media but, in truth,

What do your employees know about your brand?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

In our work with organizations, primarily in service professions (e.g. healthcare, consulting), we often find one critical audience overlooked–employees. Particularly for service organizations, employees are everything. They literally are the product! If they aren’t kept informed about your company’s mission, vision, values and desired brand image, they can’t help you support your brand.

The big question for you: do your employees understand your desired brand image?  (more…)

Communicating Efficiently Online

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Expanding communication opportunities bring both benefits and challenges to marketers today. While the availability of a wide range of communication options can be empowering, it can also be overwhelming. Which to use? When? How? How can you ensure that you’re not just wasting your time?

Marketing staff at both large and small organizations are finding themselves faced with significant opportunities today, but these opportunities can translate into a significant amount of work. What can they do to ensure that their time is being spent most effectively? (more…)

What You Need to Teach Your Employees About Customer Service

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The best product or service in the world won’t be well received by customers if it is delivered poorly. Businesses of any kind and any size — whether virtual or bricks and mortar — must deliver exceptional customer service to compete effectively in what has become an increasingly competitive business environment. With businesses able to sell their goods literally around the world, your field of competitors has increased exponentially.

That means that you need to ensure that your employees are prepared to


Making Strategic Planning Work

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Why do strategic planning efforts so often fail? It’s a question I ponder a lot and one that I’m asked frequently by clients and business colleagues. I work with companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries on strategic planning efforts. Previously as a marketing manager/director of corporate communications in the education, energy and healthcare industries I was involved in a range of strategic planning activities from business planning to the development of marketing plans and project-specific plans.

Most of these plans are developed, reviewed, revised–and, sadly, forgotten. Here are some of the key factors that I believe contribute to the successful execution of a strategic plan — whether it’s a business plan, a marketing plan, or a project plan. The process is the same, and so are the potential pitfalls.

We recommend these best practice steps: (more…)

Recovering From a Mistake

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

We all make mistakes and most of us have learned over the years that making mistakes and, most importantly, successfully recovering from those mistakes can be great learning experiences. In fact, I’ve noticed in the communication classes that I teach that it’s one thing for me to tell students, for instance, that they need to proofread carefully and that they should be particularly attentive to client and company names and another thing entirely when they actually make such an error and the client notices it. They learn far more from the latter.

The most important thing that anyone can do to recover effectively from a mistake is: (more…)