Archive for October, 2014

The Masses Don’t Matter: Why I’m Looking for Fewer Followers, Fans, Likes and Retweets

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Over the years I have learned something about myself: I like results. In fact, I’m pretty much addicted to generating results to various efforts. Many years ago this might have been responses to “query letters” I would send out to editors to attempt to interest them in a freelance article contribution. Then it was writing copy and renting mailing lists to generate results through direct mail. Today it could be anything from tweaking the content of a web page to generate more visitors, writing a social media post that “goes viral” and generates a lot of back links or, most recently, attempting to generate traction with LinkedIn long-form posts. (more…)

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An Often Overlooked Audience You Shouldn’t Ignore!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

I had an opportunity recently to speak to a group of human resource (HR) professionals in my community about a topic I’ve always been passionate about–employee communication. My undergraduate degree was in Psychology and Social Work. My dream as a child was to become a psychologist and, from seventh grade on, that was the path I thought I would take. However, during my senior year of college, I had my first internship and realized that I was not cut out to be a counselor. So, I pursued another path. I was working for a local governmental agency at the time, and I took an interest in HR management. The concept of employee motivation was very interesting to me and clearly aligned with the psychological principles I had learned about in school. So, I toyed with the idea of potentially creating or serving in a role that might be called a “corporate psychologist.”

Then, as fate would have it, (more…)

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The 3 Most Powerful Words to Boost Your Career

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Humility is a powerful thing, but it’s rarely seen in action. This may be because, in order to rise to the top, leaders need to have a strong ego and self-confidence. They must be willing to take risks and move forward, even in the face of significant adversity. Too often, though, leaders may be unwilling to admit when they’re wrong. After all, admitting that they’re fallible may seem, on the surface, as an admission of weakness.

However, the opposite is true. (more…)

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The Innovator’s Edge: Addressing Needs That Don’t Exist!

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Despite the fact that business and advertising classes and textbooks tell us that the first stage in the consumer decision-making process is identifying a need, there are certainly instances when consumers don’t know they have a need. That’s where innovators can have an edge.

Lee E. Miller and Kathleen Hayes Onieal recently wrote a blog post for Harvard Business Review called “Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine.” In the blog post, Miller and Onieal discuss the fate that often befalls new, groundbreaking innovations: Nobody believes they will catch on! The very fact that something is so revolutionary and unheard of often makes getting buy-in from key decision-makers next to impossible. The authors point out some of the reasons for this, including organizational inertia, fear of change, financial disincentives and fear of failure, among others.

So what can be done to overcome these obvious challenges? Certainly, companies introduce innovative products and services all the time. What makes the champions of change within those organizations succeed? Miller and Onieal point to several paths to success: (more…)

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5 Competitive Forces That Should Be Shaping Your Strategy

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Every MBA student or undergraduate in an introductory business strategy course has encountered Porter’s Five Forces. The concept, outlined by Harvard economist and professor Michael E. Porter in 1979, has been a foundation of business strategy in both academia and the business world for decades.

Professor Porter revisited the topic in a recent article in Harvard Business Review, appropriately titled “The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy.”

For those unfamiliar with the five forces, they are: (more…)

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Social Media Analytics: Going Beyond the Numbers

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
There’s a big difference between data and information, although the distinction can be subtle. Over the past few years I’ve been very interested in helping organizations determine whether their communication efforts are achieving desired results and, especially, their social media efforts. Social media is such a “big deal” these days that it’s not unlikely for organizations and individuals to want to “jump on the bandwagon” or continue to participate in social media simply because “everyone else is doing it.” Unfortunately, that’s not always a good reason to invest time and resources.

The difference between data and information can be helpful here. (more…)

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