To Blog (Or Not To Blog)…

May 10th, 2012 No comments

I wrote To Blog or Not To Blog back in 2005 I think–Blogger.com just sent a note saying it was on their server with FTP capability and they don’t support that anymore. So I went ahead and updated it’s location.  Here’s a snippet:

It sounds obvious, but many corporations get it wrong. They create sites with a blog-like format but no personality. Their sites are updated frequently, but without identifying who the people posting are. Or, they are posted with intriguing thoughts and ideas, but don’t allow for public comments and discussion on the site. A sure way to drive readers away is to write a blog using a corporate voice rather than the discernible, unmistakable voice of a human being. The key to business blogging is that people—not the business—read, write, and respond. You can’t blog by Businesses can join the blogging movement in several ways.

First, they can develop an outward-facing corporate blog or internally-written employee blogs, which are supported by the organization to achieve specific results—whether those results are boosting the thought leadership of executives and employees to improve employee satisfaction and morale by giving employees a platform to exercise their voices, or to build better relationships through online conversations with customers and constituents.

Organizations may even choose not to blog at all from a corporate perspective, but to instead support and encourage employees in doing so on their own. Corporations are also using blogs internally to facilitate knowledge management, collaboration, customer relationship management, sales, and product development processes.

There are as many uses for blogs as there are people to write them.

But the point for business is: Conversations are already taking place among the millions of blogs that you can tap into. These conversations—about you, your industry, your company, your competitors, and your market—will occur whether you participate in them or not. Effective blogging will help you to participate in the kind of conversations that enhance your business, building relationships that make people want to do business with you.

A walk back in time, when the value of blogging was up for debate. Notsomuch anymore.

Categories: So-So Media Tags:

Infographics – 21st Century Comics for Grown-Ups

May 10th, 2012 No comments

The rise of the infographic – those pictorial, USA-TODAY-resembling, visuals on steroids – are today’s comics for grown-up business people. Easy to digest, visually engaging, and soon to be downright annoying, look for infographics to add interactive and search capabilities and goodness knows what else. 😉

Categories: freaky_deaky, meta Tags:

Square is the New Long

January 14th, 2012 No comments

We were doing some work with our designer on the new logo for The Sessum Group (yeah yeah the site is coming, cobbler’s children and all of that), and I noticed something I hadn’t thought of before: logos must be square. The designer came back with a really nice looking logo, horizontal, would have been jazzy across the top of our letterhead, and I was all: YES!  A strange thing happened on the way to social media though. It looked like crap in Facebook. The same logo that would have rocked corporate stationary didn’t scale down to a nice thumbnail, which, in a 140 character world, all businesses must do. If it doesn’t look good in a twitter profile square, or a facebook newsfeed icon, then it’s probably not the logo you need right now, today, in 2012, can you believe it’s 2012? GAH!

SO back to the drawing board we went, to square-proof our logo, so it would display well in the mini-pixel world of social media, where brands that best emblazen a postage stamp stand out and large-scale works of art are best saved for corporate headquarters wall art.

And so it goes…

Categories: So-So Media, Trends Tags:

The Crazy Thing Is…

January 14th, 2012 No comments

Pretty much all of it.

Categories: grieving, Humor Tags:

happy birthday, blog sister…

November 3rd, 2009 1 comment

allied turns 8.

and that’s really really hard to believe.

Categories: freaky_deaky Tags:

Those were the days my friends, I kinda thought they’d end.

September 26th, 2009 No comments

salad-days2

Jeaneane Sessum, Chris LockeKat Herding Media – a great parody site by up-and-coming PR consultant Kat Herding and her buff assistant Jeremy.

red state payback

September 24th, 2009 No comments

obamafema1

Categories: freaky_deaky, Humor, Polisicks Tags:

news and embargoes and techcrunch and scoble OH MY!

September 23rd, 2009 No comments

I think everyone has gotten the memo by now: TechCrunch stopped honoring embargoes from PR people a long while back. And today, TC has still stopped honoring embargoes. Elvis also remains out of the building.

It’s understandable Mike doesn’t want to deal with embargoes because he spends time writing stories that are supposed to be news while another outlet breaks the embargo and Mike doesn’t run the story because the news isn’t new anymore.

As Mike’s argument indicates: no one wants old news. And news is only news for a second. If you’re lucky.

Mike has some advice on how to release news the new-fashioned way — he says to release the news on your own corporate blog and then email everyone asking them to take a look. So he’s basically advising you to break your own embargo (and spam your friends). heh.

Over on facebook (WTF) Robert Scoble has some suggested ways around TC’s no-embargo policy for companies who still care about giving their left nut to appear on TechCrunch. Example:

Donate $1,000 to a charity if Arrington keeps his mouth shut (will cost you maybe $5,000 to keep a few big bloggers in line). Make it public. That way he’ll look like a loser if one of his writers breaks wind first.

Only thing is, Robert hasn’t been copied on the memo stating that companies – yes, even tech companies – don’t care as much about appearing on TC as they once did.

You see, THEY got the memo letting them know that they should care to be where their customers and users are. Those people are not hanging around TechCrunch.

The old technobility has lost its crown. Long live the mommy blogger.

(taking tongue out of cheek)

The larger issue of the end of the embargo is a pain in the ass for PR people and a pain in the ass for the reporters who have always been professional enough to stick to embargoes.

It’s also a pain in the ass for the Press Release itself, which finds its role further weakened, because the entire “pre-seeding” process before a press release hits the wire has to change when the media won’t agree to hold off on publishing until a specified date and time.

So what do outlets like the Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch who now shun embargoes really want? They want the exclusive. They want to be the only outlet to get the news, or they don’t want to play.

So how do you make news?

FIRST, you help people do something so special that they are compelled to tell their friends. You help them do that thing better and with less energy and expenditure than your competitor. You incent and reward them for telling their friends – you make them your business partner. You work with a communications pro (I’m thinking of dropping the PR term altogether) who connects what you’re doing — and what PEOPLE are doing WITH what you’re doing — to everyone who should know about it.

And you don’t stop.

Embargo that.

—————–

NOTE: cross-posted to allied. no embargoes were harmed in the making of this post.

10 Blog Mamas Join Forces as bTrendie Advisors

August 4th, 2009 No comments

btrendie-mamas1

In news flying about today, you may see mention of bTrendie. That’d be a GOOD thing. (Why you might not see this news is another post, coming soon to a snarky social media blog near you.)  Several of my esteemed blogosphere cohorts, plus yours truly, are helping bTrendie bring a shopping experience to moms and soon-to-be moms that is welcoming and valuable.

Answering the age-old question, “Where are all the women bloggers?” bTrendie can answer, “We have TEN of ’em right here.”  It’ not often that you see a company ask for guidance from its customer base in a way that respects and honors their individual ideas and lifestyles. That really IS news.

My bTrendie partners in crime include:

• Kristen Chase is the author of the popular weblog Motherhood Uncensored, and writes Mominatrix, a featured column at The Imperfect Parent. Her first book, “The Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex” will be released in December 2009. Kristen is also Publisher and Chief Operating Officer of Cool Mom Picks, a cheeky product and service review blog, and Principal at Parent Bloggers Network.

• Lisa Estall is a busy mom blogger with two children under the age of 4. She maintains two blogs, Mogul Baby and Mrs. Mogul. Lisa’s career background includes working in television and film in NYC. She currently writes about pop culture and the latest baby and parenting products at Babycenter and Babble.

• Leslie Flinger has been blogging personally for six years at what she now calls The Little Black Dress Edition. She owns and is the lead developer at Catapult Web Development and holds a Masters Degree in Information Technology. Mrs. Flinger is a self-professed nerd, over-shares at Room 704 and Seattle Mom Blogs, and can be found tweeting as @MrsFlinger. She is a wife, mom of two, drinker of wine, and lover of sexy code.

• Armed with a blackbelt in sarcasm, Tracey Gaughran-Perez writes about her life at Sweetney and about famous people’s lives at MamaPop. Tracey is a PhD dropout and ex-college professor turned parental unit and internerd blogger. She adores Jon Stewart, Indie Rock, science geekery, and underdogs in all their various incarnations.

• Amanda Hill is a freelance writer and blogger from Kentucky who writes for her own blog, Shamelessly Sassy, as well as contributing to several others, including Babble’s Droolicious and AOL’s Lemondrop. The mother of a sassy four-year-old redhead, Amanda is a lapsed vegetarian and an avid shopper.

• Denise Howell is a technology lawyer, blogger, columnist, and hosts this WEEK in LAW on TWiT.tv. Denise created one of the first law-oriented weblogs, Bag and Baggage. and writes for The American Lawyer and CBS Interactive. Her expertise on emerging technology and law has been recognized by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired News, The ABA Journal, The American Lawyer, and others.

• Haley Overland is queen of the slash factor – a mom/writer/blogger/consultant/art dealer/freelance writer and yoga teacher. In addition to her love of chai lattes, Haley blogs at Cheaty Monkey contributes to Canada Moms Blog, and promotes art for kids at Kids Deserve Art. In her spare time, she shares her observations on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cheaty

• Liza Sabater is founder of two of the most influential political blogs in the United States, Culture Kitchen and The Daily Gotham. Liza was rated in the top 10 of last year’s Now Public MostPublic Index, a list of the 50 most influential individuals in New York’s new media market. She has been a guest on CNN.com TV, PBS’ NewsHour Online, and others. When she is not blogging or evangelizing, Liza returns to her secret life as her boys’ gym and basketball mom in New York.

• Halley Suitt is the CEO of Wellness Mobile, a start-up with offices in Boston, MA and Mountain View, CA. She was CEO of Top Ten Sources where she acquired the social media fashion site, Stylefeeder. She is a NASM Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and a long-time blogger, having launched Halley’s Comment in 2002. Halley has been an adviser to TotSpot, Club Mom (now Café Mom), and a keynote speaker at BlogHer. She wrote the first Harvard Business Review case study on blogging and has appeared on Oprah.

If you want to check out the site, you can use invite code JENEANE, or ask one of the other advisors for their double-secret-decoder codes. 😉

OH YES and we tweet too: @bTrendie’s advisors are: @mublogger, @mrsmogul, @MrsFlinger, @shameleslysassy, @dhowell, @cheaty, @blogdiva, @jeneane, @halley, @sweetney.

For more details, see the official press release .

Categories: PR Tags: , , ,

The Jazz of Social Media

June 7th, 2009 1 comment
Coltrane Blows

Coltrane Speaks

I came across a good article in AdWeek about how and why social media differs from the broadcast mindset. In the article, Paul Gunning explains that while companies are rushing ahead into social media as the next-best-shiny-new-way-to-build-their-brand strategy, they haven’t yet crossed the reality chasm. Gunning describes this headlong blind rush into social media as “techno-ecstasy” — which I define as the love of being in love with social media.

The phenomenon is musical, really.

The problem is that while traditional marketers and MBAs and HR folk understand what it feels like to “broadcast their message,” they don’t know what it feels like to “jam,” to play with micromarkets in an already-in-progress composition, an evolving melody, on the market’s own stage, in the customer’s own house.

You see, Marketing 1.0 had charts.

Social Media is improvisational.

It really comes down to that.

It’s a struggle for classical marketers to feel comfortable playing social media jazz, because engaging with your market can feel REALLY uncomfortable. You can get dirty. It doesn’t always sound right. You have to Let Go. You can be misinterpreted. You don’t always look good. You can’t control the flow.

On the social web, clams are a given. How you respond, what you make of those mistakes and conflicts, and how you RECOVER determines how you build loyalty, a following, and long-term trust.

You can hear things you don’t want to hear when you decide to join this unending song of conversation.

You can be asked to change things you can’t change. You can be upstaged by the competition, who is allowed to walk right in with their snazzy new thingamajig and tell the same people you’ve been talking to why their thingamajig is better. And they may be wrong, or they may be right, but you may be having a conversation that you CERTAINLY wouldn’t have paid $4,000 to see spread across a full page ad for all the world to see. You might in fact pay double that, if you could, for them NOT to see it.

But you’re having that conversation because you showed up.

According to Gunning, there are some surefire questions you can ask to find out if you’ve been afflicted with techno-ecstasy:

1. Am I focused on using the social realm to listen to and learn more about my consumers, or am I more focused on executing a fan page?

2. How much participation is required to make a difference on my brand? Does adding 4,600 “friends” have any impact on this goal? Is this scalable to the level I need?

3. Has my company trained CSR, legal, HR and sales on our social-media strategy, or has only the marcom department received a social-media 101 session?

I’d add a thing or two here, related to whether a company is ready to play in the social media arena, or whether they should stick to classical marketing in rehearsal rooms a little while longer. Ask yourself:

1. Have I been shedding long enough to understand my sound, my self, my capabilities, what I bring to the scene — or am I trying to pose so that I don’t miss out?

2. Have I really studied the early and fundamental material of this era of change – Have I read Cluetrain, looked back at blog archives from the turn of the century, so that I understand the foundation of this art form before I step up to the mic myself?

3. Am I committed to finishing what I start, to staying in this relationship – group – collaboration – with my customers and colleagues and competitors over the long haul? Can I agree from the start not to pack up and go home early?

Like the business of music, Social Media is not glamorous, except for the fortunate few.

Sure, you have your viral video successes.  You have your “OH i WISH that would have been MY company” campaigns. And you have “OH i’m GLAD that wasn’t MY company” disasters.

But if and when you decide it’s time to add to the collective knowledge and shared fun, to the stunning composition of what’s possible, there is one thing for certain: you will be changed.