Category Archives: repuatation management

Outsourcing PR? There’s a Platform for That

ImageCame across this news on TechCrunch about a PR startup, AirPR, that’s building a platform to help start-ups and big company’s with PR support.

We can all agree that PR is a tool in a marketing plan, as much as a hammer is a tool in belt. If you don’t know how to swing a hammer or pick the right nail for the material being used, it’s the fault of the user and not the tool? Yes? And are companies are really spending $50K without a scope of work?

And, I still don’t understand what this means:

The mission, according to AirPR’s founder, is to decrease the friction for the PR professional, while increasing efficacy for the client — a mission that, if it is followed-through, could bring a huge benefit to startups and big companies alike.

You can read more about it on TechCrunch. And visit AirPR.

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Contacts Visualized

Cool tool called InMaps from LinkedIn Labs allows you to visualize your LinkedIn network. Here’s mine:

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A Healthy List of Great Companies

Everyone loves a good list. If you’re a blogger, you know that a good list will drive a good amount of traffic. However, there is still a couple of lists that hold significant interest and weight.  FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work for is one of those lists.

One surprise this year was the number of healthcare companies that made the list.  Twelve. Twelve healthcare companies made it. This got me thinking that with all the bad economic times and troubles in the world, can helping people mean more than money and perks.

I look up some research and found this interesting quote: “Happiness lies at the intersection between pleasure and meaning. Whether at work or at home, the goal is to engage in activities that are both personally significant and enjoyable.”

Looking at this list of companies whose employees speak highly of their workplace is inspirational and this year it seemed a little softer, healthier, happier.  And that is a good thing.

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What’s with All the Questions?

“Good questions outrank easy answers.” — Paul A Samuelson

If you’ve been online lately you’ve noticed a lot of answering going on. There’s been an explosion of social media tools that look to create an environment for knowledge sharing. From the professional LinkedIn Answers, to the friendly Facebook Answers, to the personal Formspring and now the new kid on the block, Quora. And that’s not including the informal question and chat session that take place on Twitter on a daily basis.

With all these questions, it makes you wonder if anyone has the answer.  It also leads me to believe we’re in the golden age of knowledge management by having so many accessible tools to gain, share and distribute information on a variety of topics. One of the key goals of KM is it informs, rather than instruct. This information enables individuals or organizations to move towards collaboration at a quicker pace.

While some of these question platforms are easier to use than others, the good thing is people now have a variety of ways to gain information and share knowledge. Here’s how I’m seeing these platforms being utilized:

1. Demonstrate Expertise: Some of the content being created by individuals is quite informative and thought out. Users of these answer boards are using these platforms as a way to establish themselves as experts on a topic or showcase their understanding of a topic.

2. Setting up the Sell: I’ve had some cases where I’ve answered a question in a question forum and was promotly solicited a product that solved for the question being asked. The person who asked the question was the salesguy. It’s an interesting way of gaining visibility to people who are experiencing these issues and identifying qualified leads.

I’ve also seen some really good vendor selection discussions that are educating the broader audience on pros and cons in selecting vendors. These are important conversations to be monitoring if you’re responsible for vendor selection or if you’re one of the vendors being discussed.

3. Networking: This is different than showing expertise, rather this is about finding like-minded, like-tasked people to continue the conversation offline.  Peer mentoring is a great way to extend your skill set.

The last example is probably the most important along the model of true KM.  The path to collaboration is the most important step along the KM model.  Being able to turn positive business outcomes from knowledge received is key to helping improve organizations and individual performance.

If you approach these and other message boards with that mindset, I’m sure you’ll be able to look past the noise and find the value of the the question.  I’m curious to hear the ways you’re using these forums and innovative ways you’re seeing them being used.

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The Fifteen Most Hated American Companies Of 2010 – 24/7 Wall St.

Think a company’s reputation doesn’t matter?  A look at these 15 companies and why they made the list will show consumers demand trust.  In 2010, some companies broke their trust, others are un-trustworthy, while others have consumers trusting that they are up to no good.

The actions of a brand and the promises they break speak volumes on how the public perceives the brand.  It’s also worth noting there are several brands on here that have highly publicized and admired social media program.  Two ways to look at this: either social media does nothing to improve reputation or these companies have such an acceptance of their poor reputation that they will pull all the stops to right the ship.

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Personalization, Not Social Media will be the Biggest Trend in 2011

It’s that time of the year when everyone produces their top 10, 7, 5, 3 lists of 2010 and others give their predictions for the coming year which are only extensions of the trends seen the year before.  This is not a list.  Rather, it’s just a statement of one trend that I think is coming in a big way: personalization.

We’ve all seen 2010 define, at least for companies, social media as a tool.  About time! Web strategist and social CRM pioneer, Jeremiah Owyang predicts 2011 is the year of integration for SCRM.  But what that means for consumers is this year will be all about personalization.

The 4 M’s: Media, Movies, Music and Mobile

Segmenting the way we receive media is not a new idea, we’ve had RSS feeds and Google alerts for awhile. But the ability to customize our own media experiences will explode this coming year.  using Facebook connect and single-sign-on, consumers will start to carve out their online viewing preferences by providing marketers insight into how they surf.

When Netflix announce its new streaming only service, it signaled a shift and preemptive attack on the consumer trend of selecting a movie and wanting it now.  Even HBO could possibly go streaming and not need to be tethered to costly cable plans.  GoogleTV and Sony are making it easier to view online content on your TV and bringing this self-selection model that won the internet for Google is about to come to the TV.

Music. Pandora. Grooveshark. iTunes. Cheaper, better quality and more programming and the ability to create your own stations around artists you like. The thumbs up rating in Pandora is a thumbs up for personalization in 2011.

Mobile has been a trend that is coming like a freight train.  It’s not new. But it will grow. Search “smartphone growth” and you’ll see all the jaw dropping figures for yourself. eCommerce, internet, social media, global economies are all effected by the rise of smartphones.  These phones combined with their Apps allow consumers to personalize and manage their life.  Companies like FourSquare and GoWalla will battle to provide businesses the ability to personalize their consumer experience once someone checks in.  What all this check in data will turn into is buying habits and behavior.  Mobile is such an exciting space right now and really its true power won’t be seen in 2011.

These are just my thoughts on how next year will go. With audiences being so segmented now, it’s only inevitable that personal experiences are the next frontier.  Humanization and accessibility of/to brands boils down to being personal.

Don Lucchesi said, “it’s not personal, it’s business. ” Watch 2011 to be about making business personal. And for consumers to further personalize their media consumption.

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Here’s to a Pretty Good Week

Sometimes things just fall into place. Personally, professionally and otherwise.  I was fortunate that this was one of those weeks.  Lots of very cool highlights professionally. And, the best part is I got to come home to a wonderful family each day.  This was a week that was not without a little drama, but it ended by hearing from dear friends and learning that a little seed planted years ago in my past “life” will soon receive national attention. More on that later. :)

So without further rambling. Here are the hits!

Applied Materials was featured on the homepage of Way cool.

Applied CEO was on Fox Business and I met anchor Liz Claman in person.

Applied placed #8 on Newsweek’s 2010 Green Rankings.

AND…the new and improved launched. More on this later.

So, that was my week. Not to shabby. Hope you had a great one too. OH! And, one of the highlights from my week as mentioned above…

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