Archive for the ‘Molli’ tag
This week our guest posts focus on adapting the traditional to the new. The week will culminate tomorrow with a webinar on How to Socialize Your Newsroom.
Today: The Role of the PR Professional by Lisa Gerber.
We have a joke around the office: Gini Dietrich is a junior programmer, vying for a senior programmer position.
In fact, Molli is so excited about the new company features and analytics from LinkedIn, it’s all we hear about.
The PR professional as a technologist is not a new topic but one I’m pretty passionate about.
For one, I love technology and what it can do to expand knowledge, relationships, and productivity. I have no patience for the haughty “I have more important things to do with my life than to be on Facebook.” I mean, come on.
But I also love it because it allows me to do what I do from my home in Sandpoint, Idaho, working from my office pictured above.
As PR/marketing professionals, it is our responsibility to stay ahead of technology. For that matter, it is the responsibility of any professional regardless of industry.
Deirdre Breakenridge dedicates a chapter of her book Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional to this topic. The PR pro as a technology tester is one of the eight new practices we need to perform in order to transform our position at the decision-making table and to remain relevant in today’s marketplace.
Still, I’d like to delve into this particular chapter more.
Being a technologist is key and it means more than just being able to use Facebook and know what a retweet is. It means you understand how to use a content management system. You know the principles of search engine optimization. You know what inbound links mean to your site traffic. You know how to do keyword research. And you know how to look at analytics and understand what they mean.
There are six categories in which technology understanding should exist.
- Social media monitoring and measurement tools;
- Analytics and measurement;
- Social media influence tools;
- Collaborative social media platforms;
- Content management systems; and
- Social media news release platforms and distribution.
We can’t know it all, and for some of you, you have large enough teams where you can rely on experts in each area, but it’s important to have a level of curiosity and a need to self-inform.
In the book, Deirdre lists four ways to stay ahead of technology and I’ve added a fifth.
Five ways to stay ahead of technology.
- Use it for yourself, personally. Filter the Shiny Object Syndrome for your clients or your employers by testing out the technology for yourself. Use your critical-thinking skills to determine how this could be applied from a business perspective. Be able to answer the question when your boss or client asks about it.
- Follow blogs and influencers. You’re reading this blog so that’s a good start. We strive to play that role for you. Subscribe to and read other blogs, such as TechCrunch and Mashable. Follow influencers and other respected names in the social media space (Deirdre’s blog is one of them).
- Test new technology. When Google+ first came out, we set up our own page and started playing with it before we told our clients to hop on it.We use GoToMeeting for webinars and client meetings, Skype for conference calls, and Yammer for internal collaboration. We test the tools so we can give educated recommendations to our clients.
- Don’t take short cuts. We talk about this all the time, and couldn’t agree more with Deirdre. There is no quick and easy way with any of the tools and technology. It’s designed to make our lives easier and more productive, but never to replace the fundamentals of hard work and real relationship building.
Remember the days when IT used to hate marketing and marketing thought IT was full of guys that said, “That can’t be done”? Those days should be over now. We need to know more.
What do you think?
I love 60 Minutes just as much as my grandma does, but unlike my grandma I’m only 28. So you can imagine my distress when they aired a segment on the Millennial generation shown in an unfavorable light.
This is my generation they are talking about and I am upset about their generalization.
According to them, we are selfish, sheltered, spoiled, coddled by our parents, and ill-prepared for a demanding workplace. The episode goes on to some extreme examples of moms calling bosses to talk about their kids’ annual review and organizations changing their management style to fit the “emotional needs” of people my age.
Yes, I had a rocky first year of work out of school. It was not filled with my most proud professional moments. But I’ve spoken with many Baby Boomers who have told me they to have felt unprepared for their first jobs. So why the harsh perceptions?
I’ve held steady jobs way before I could even drive. I’ve been promoted with every job I’ve ever held. I was even promoted while holding a four-month summer position at Panera on college break. So is it just a few bad eggs or are we really that “entitled?”
I’ve been pretty pissed off about this recently and finally felt empowered when I saw this quote posted on the Newera Social Marketing Facebook page;
I’m part of that generation known as Millennials, and even if we don’t know whether social security will be around when we retire, or if we’ll be able to retire, or if we’ll even have jobs to consider retiring [from], we know this: We are hustlers.
- Taken from a Good Culture post titled What Generation Overshare Can Learn from Biggie.
I realize it’s not enough to just be pissed off. I also can’t change the paradigms of the generations before me. What I can do is hustle and help my fellow Millennials.
To do this, I’ve joined Kristine Simpson and the Young PR Pros team to help prepare new graduates entering the workforce. The weekly podcasts include interviews, tips, and advice to help entry-level communicators get a successful start to their career. We talk not only about what to expect, but also what employers expect of them.
One step at a time. Here’s to being proud of the Millennial title that was given to me.
Today’s guest post is written by Molli Megasko.
The “capture Kony” message has been all over Facebook. It’s been dissected by the media. Everyone is praising the video gone viral.
If, for some reason, you’ve been in outer space or under a big rock these past weeks, you can watch the video here.
I wanted to write this post not to talk about how great it is that a 30-minute YouTube video has had something like 75 million views in just one week but rather, how it achieved that number and what went wrong.
Why the Video Worked
- Celebrity endorsement. When the video was first posted, the group pushed to get just 66,000 views. When Oprah was contacted, her tweet turned into a rain fall and in less than 24 hours, the views skyrocketed to 9.6 million.
- Good message. How do you get millions and millions of people to watch a 60-second clip, let alone a 30-minute video? By adding a human element. I don’t know about you but when that little boy was learning about the good guy and the bad guy, it really touched me. The message itself is sad but shies away from the “In the Arms of an Angel” animal rescue feel.
- Strong calls-to-action. Most social media awareness campaigns are only looking for “likes” as a call-to-action. This video gave a few options for people to feel like they contributed.
- Sense of urgency. People respond to deadlines. When you give someone a date to not only to do something but an end date that marks success, people look forward to the outcome.
Why the Video Didn’t Work
- Lack of facts. The team behind the video apparently did not fact check. The reports on the whereabouts of Kony and the size of his army is not accurate. If you plan to put something on the Internet you want shared, make sure your facts are double- and triple-checked (especially if you’re pointing fingers at let’s say… the government).
- Unclear cause. Inevitably, the video might end up making Invisible Children more famous than Kony himself. And even if the world knows the Kony name, what good is it if he is still out there? I suggest having a targeted website, not Invisible Children.com, as well as a separate Facebook page for the cause.
- Wrong call-to-action. I know I mention the call-to-action above as a success, but it was the wrong action. Posting a video on your Facebook wall and hanging up a poster doesn’t mean you contributed to the cause. The Huffington Post calls it a “hollow kind of activism.”
- Where’s the money? According to the group, “only 32 percent of the $8.6 million it raised last year [went] toward direct services.” When asking for donations or having an e-commerce for a cause, it’s important to either direct the funds to another channel or be up-front about where the money is going.
In terms of awareness was this a success? Of course.
Before you go off and try to make the next KONY 2012 film, make sure you put as much effort into your cause as you do your video or you might end up in your birthday suit “running back and forth on a street corner and yelling incoherently about the devil.”
Today’s guest post is written by Molli Megasko.
I’m in a couple book clubs and always push for fiction when it comes time to vote. It always improves my writing, storytelling, and inspires everyday creativity.
The following is a list of the top 10 fiction books I’ve read and how they can, and will, play a part in my professional life.
- Still Alice: Written from the voice of a women who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, author Lisa Genova takes us on a journey. The writing conveys the confusion and anxiety the protagonist feels so well, it makes me want to be a better storyteller.
- The Hunger Games: Need I say more? These easy reads are the definition of page turners. The trilogies, like the new Chemical Garden rage, provide lots of creativity. Just the thought of someone creating these other worlds inspires the reader to push the boundaries.
- The Handmaid’s Tale: This is my sister’s favorite book of all time and I’ve read it twice now. Margaret Atwood mixes old eras with future scenarios giving you pause to ask yourself how you would have reacted in the different situations.
- The Paris Wife: I’ve always been infatuated by Ernest Hemingway so when I heard about a book based on one of his lovers I just had to read it, and I’m glad I did. It’s interesting how in such a dynamic time of drugs, art, sex, and mixed culture, the imagery of the writing allows for any women to relate to the struggles of finding oneself.
- All the Dragon Tattoo books: If you have not read these yet, it’s not too late. I’ve never been into murder mysteries but somehow this story drew me in. I didn’t like the first book as much as I did the following two, but what struck me with the series is how well Stieg Larsson helps you visualize everything going on. It’s not the amount of detail as much as it is seeing things through the different character’s eyes.
- Little Bee: I like this book not just for the story line of survival, injustice, and bravery, but the way Chris Cleeve switches between different perspectives. Usually with those types of books I am dying to get back to the point-of-view from one of the characters, but in Little Bee, it’s done so eloquently you don’t even realize you’re jumping around.
- Unbroken: This is by far the best book I have ever read. Laura Hillenbrand also wrote Seabiscuit, which I did not like, but this time she tells the fascinating story of a World War II prisoner of war. The character development is such that I have never before felt more close to a character. Not only is the story compelling, but it’s told in a way that is impossible to put down.
- Running with Scissors: Even though it’s been ages since I’ve read this, there is something troubling about the boy’s optimistic attitude that keeps coming back to me over the years. The way he turns his life into a learning session reminds me not to be so diluted and to let things go.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day. David Sedaris is one of my favorite authors and this has to be his best book. How is it that I can relate to him? I’m a young white woman raised normally in the suburbs of Detroit. I have nothing in common with his life, but I feel like I not only know him while reading his books, but that he is a long-time friend. (I’m taking French classes and two weeks ago we were learning how to make nouns plural. I kept thinking of Me Talk Pretty One Day when he says he would always order things in bulk to avoid masculine and feminine and I’m totally doing that trick when I go to Paris this summer.)
- Are You There Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea: Chelsea Handler writes in a way that makes you constantly laugh and snicker at the same time. Her stories bring me down to earth and remind me that compared to her, I am not funny and my life is dull.
I will carry these books with me for a long time. The memories of the detail of the stories might fade, but the ideas have longevity.
What are some of your favorite fiction books and how have they affected your professional life?
Today’s guest post is written by Molli Megasko.
I’m sure you’re as overwhelmed as I am with all Google+ search and looming FTC investigation stuff, but as marketers, it’s our jobs to stay on top of what is happening and how it can affect our clients or our companies.
If we break it down, I see two different debates going on:
1) Fairness (for corporations and businesses); and
2) Privacy (on the individual side).
Let’s dig into each one.
Fairness for Company Brands Not On Google+
Is Google monopolizing the Internet? As Greg Sterling stated at the end of his Search Plus Your World experiment, “Google+ participation becomes effectively mandatory as an SEO tactic when it comes to the effect on local searches.”
The exercise of searching the same topics with search plus on, and with it off, shows little difference in organic results at the moment. However, it does show different GoogleAds results.
The issue here is once more companies start to treat Google+ with the same attention they give Facebook, they will be shown over others regardless of relevancy.
Privacy for the Google+ User
The gist is search plus your world search results are now customized to your particular interests and include photos and comments from your Google+ connections.
According to The Huffington Post, there are organizations criticizing “Google for changing search results to favor its content and raised concerns about the affect on consumer privacy.”
The issue is you can stop your searches from searching your network, but you can’t stop your Google+ information from being searched.
As an individual brought up on Facebook and the Internet, I know anything I post online can somehow be seen by people I may not want to see. So, for me, no matter what the space, I don’t post anything I don’t want seen by my mom or my boss.
Regarding the fairness aspect of brand search, as a public relations professional, I say, “Bring it on!” This is what we do; we make our brand visible and give them a competing voice against the rest. For a small business owner, I might be scared. If I’m not even on Facebook or Twitter yet, I would probably be so overwhelmed I might not even try.
What is your stance on these two debates?
You can connect with Molli on Twitter at @mollimegasko.
It’s Facebook question of the week time (clap, clap, clap)!
This week’s question comes from Rajka Milanovic Galbraith. She asks:
Gini, is this where you want us to post questions (it is)? I hope so or I will be one big DORK (you’re still a dork)! Here is my question: What do you think of the Talent.me app on Facebook for networking? I just got an invite and have not responded.
My answer is in the video below (or click here and it’ll magically appear) and, as much as I hate to admit it, I quote Sean McGinnis. I also butchered her name. I now know it’s pronounced Ryka, not Rajka. Sorry, darlin! We’ve never actually spoken on the phone so I wasn’t sure. But I’m burning it in my brain now: Ryka, Ryka, Ryka.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Have a better answer?
Oh! And don’t forget to head over to Facebook and leave a question on the wall there. Even better, leave a question and determine WHO you want to answer it. That way, you’ll get to see more Arment Dietrich faces.
There are some of us who wait until Christmas Eve to shop (cough, Martin Waxman, cough).
Of course, I have no room to talk this year. I’ve been traveling and speaking so much that I still have most of my side of the family to get. Hope my mom doesn’t mind taking me shopping later this week!
For people like Martin and myself, I asked my team for their thoughts on holiday gifts.
What came back was a hodge podge of some inexpensive (and some expensive) and fun gift ideas.
- K Cup Coffee Brewer. Early this fall, Crister Delacruz and I were at a meeting where we offered a shot of espresso. Both espresso snobs, we eyed this K Cup pot the client had with cynicism. He talked us into trying it and the result was something delicious and super easy to make. So, when Molli Megasko had it on her list, I knew it had to be included here. The brewers start at $89 and go up from there.
- Amazon Gift Cards. I know some people don’t feel like gift cards are personal enough, but I like to receive them as gifts. Rather than try to guess what your peers, colleagues, or clients like to read, treat them to a gift card so they can choose themselves. If you insist on buying them a book, do something such as The Synergist, Brand Against the Machine, The End of Business As Usual, The Like Economy, What Would Google Do, or Groundswell. You could also pre-order them Marketing In the Round. It’s due out in May so it’d be the gift that just keeps giving.
- GPS System. Some of us have those colleagues who, when we get in the car with them, forget all common sense, not knowing which way is north or their left from their right. A GPS system is not only a great gift, but it helps them keep you safe while in the car. Starting at $70 (and moving up from there), it’s a relatively inexpensive gift for someone who takes your life in their hands.
- French Press. Public relations is the second most stressful job in the United States so it makes sense that something coffee-related ended up on our list twice. Our office likes the French press because it steeps and brews a better cup of coffee. And it’s only $17.
- iPad. Only half of us in the office have iPads and the other half are insanely jealous. While not something you’re likely to buy just anyone, it’s a great gift idea to show how much you care. It’s cool, it’s hip, and it’s extremely useful. The only thing we don’t like the iPad for is creating content. But everything else? It’s fantastic.
- Bluetooth iPad Keyboard. To go along with the new iPad, buy a bluetooth keyboard. This is a life saver, as you use your iPad more and more because it cuts down on the hunt and peck typing and allows you to type as fast as you normally do on your regular computer. If you hurry, it’s on sale! Only $30.
- A Tailor. My mom would be very happy to see this on the list. She gets mad at me when I’m too lazy to have something tailored so it fits a little bit better. And this goes beyond having pants hemmed, but also bringing in suit jackets to fit your waist or shortening sleeves. Give someone the gift of great-fitting clothes.
- Unbroken. This book is a story about World War II survivors and Molli says it’s, hands down, the best book she’s ever read. She said it’s so good it deserved its own category. I haven’t read it yet, but will be picking it up!
- Wireless Mouse. With the exception of mid-air on a flight, you can use a wireless mouse anywhere. I have two on my desk, one in my purse, and one in my suitcase. That way, I’m never without the use of a mouse, which makes it easier to do work from Starbucks, a hotel room, or someone’s lobby while you wait for a meeting.
- Westone Headphones. I’m going to go ahead and admit this is a luxury gift idea, but they are so worth the price. These are the earphones I wear when listening to music on the plane so no one will talk to me, and also when I ride or cycle. They are so much better than Bose earphones, there really is no comparison.
So there you have it. Ten holiday gift ideas that, if you buy now, will still arrive by Christmas.
Today’s guest post is written by Molli Megasko.
Whenever I tell people I work from home, they respond with an “ah…”
But being a telecommuter means more than wearing your PJ’s all day (although, uh, that is a really great perk).
As virtual companies are on the rise, you might be presented with the opportunity to work remotely. And if you’re a person who procrastinates or loses focus easily, working from home might be more of a challenge than you realize.
I’ve been working remotely for more than two years now and can sum up my experience into five tips that will help you telecommute successfully.
- Phone and Skype – Make these communication channels you new best friends. Sure, email and social media work for getting the message across but true conversations and brainstorms happen vocally. I make sure to have a few calls scheduled each day whether with clients or colleagues.
- Start good habits– If you’re new to working from home, the first few months are the most important. The way you work now will most likely be the form you take months later so wake up early, get a coffee, and get to your computer. Don’t turn on the TV or start other bad habits because it will become too easy to do later and your boss/clients/peers will notice.
- Overcommunicate – You might find it annoying but I send weekly updates to my boss, weekly statuses to the company, and weekly check-ins to my clients (on top of my daily calls). It’s hard to feel part of a group when you’re miles away. By overcommunicating what you’re working on, you stay top-of-mind and build trust.
- Treat yourself – While you may not have the luxury of free office supplies or happy hour with co-workers, remember the pros of working from home. Take little breaks after you finish a project or assignment. Go play with your dog or read to your kids. Just make sure to set time limits and use those breaks as rewards for something done at work.
- Know how to turn it off– This is the hardest thing I had to learn and frankly, I’m still working on it. My computers and office space are in my kitchen, and I live in a 600 square foot apartment in Manhattan. You do the math. I find it too easy to keep working when my husband is working late or nothing good is on TV. This is what they call burn out, or as I call it “hermit-crabbing.” While you’re setting your habits, remember it’s also important to shut down and work on your work-life-balance.
If you’re a telecommuter or have worked remotely, share your tips here on how to be successful while working virtually.
It’s the day before Thanksgiving and, as I sat here last night trying to decide what to blog about, I though it’d be fun to ask my team what they’re thankful for this year.
The only rule? They couldn’t be thankful they have a job or for their families or all the stuff people always say.
We know you’re thankful for that stuff. And you’d BETTER be thankful you’re working with me.
I asked them to have fun with it and to be creative.
So here is what some of them have to say.
Molli Megasko and I have worked together for nearly five years. She was an intern, fresh out of college, and she was hired full-time because we liked having her around so much. Turns out she’s become really good at her job, too.
She is thankful she gets to work from home in New York City. She gets the work culture of a boutique agency and the social life of a Sex and the City girl. She’s also thankful her sister is having a baby, which gets her mother off her case for a little while.
Crister DelaCruz has been working with us since May and she brings a sense of style we all try to mimic.
She is thankful for perspective. She said:
Things haven’t come as easily to me in the last few years as they did during the first decade of my career. It has taught me to appreciate every accomplishment, kind gesture, and trustworthy colleague even more. The lesson I’ve learned have been invaluable.
She’s also thankful for sunscreen, the healthy lifestyle in which she was raised, and her parent’s genetics. Why? Because she turned 40 this year. And I’m here to tell you, she looks 25. I’d be thankful for that, too.
She is thankful for the “unfriend” button, which she used with joy earlier this week (I have to go see if I’m still friends with her). She’s thankful for connectivity, Skype chat (where you’ll find the two of us all day, every day), FaceTime, and Dropbox. She is grateful she gets to do something she loves every day.
She’s thankful for Friday nights and turning off her alarm when she goes to bed. That’s because she thinks she has to compete with me on who can get up the earliest. Trust me, she isn’t going to win that one. But she can certainly stay out past 9 p.m.
She’s thankful for the mountains which, in winter and summer, are fun to go up and even more fun to go down. And for a husband and best friend with whom she rides those ups and downs. And she’s thankful for the friends she did not unfriend. I looked -we’re still friends.
And me? I’m thankful I have such a great team who like one another. This is very important and it hasn’t always been that way. When you work with people who like one another, it’s MUCH easier to do your job.
I’m thankful I have such a strong relationship with both of my parents. I seem to have gotten the best of both of them and I’m grateful for everything they continue to teach me.
I’m thankful for Mr. D, who makes me laugh multiple times a day, even when he’s telling the same joke I’ve already heard 20,000 times.
I’m thankful for Jack Bauer, who is an old man in a dog’s body, and who loves me more than he loves anyone else.
I’m thankful for my work husband (Patti Knight) who takes better care of me than I take of myself.
And I’m thankful for this blog and social media, which has brought me all of you. When people ask how we’ve built such a strong community, I always respond with, “You mean, the crazies?” And I mean it. You’re all crazy and I love each and every one of you for it.
I love my crazies! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Today’s guest post is written by Molli Megasko.
I live in New York City and finding a spot for dinner can be a daunting task. With about 25,000 restaurants an easy cab ride away, Google just doesn’t cut it.
If my husband and I feel like eating out (which is most of the time), we have a process. We choose a culture, pick a neighborhood, find Zagat-rated places, then look at the reviews on Yelp.
This usually narrows it down to two or three, then we choose by menu choices or which place can seat us sooner.
A few nights ago I found this Moroccan place in our neighborhood that got an A rating and I wanted to try it out. We looked at Yelp and it had bad reviews and against my better judgment, I wanted to try it anyway. The outcome? It sucked and we vowed to never go against Yelp again.
Which got me thinking, how much in new sales do companies get with good Yelp ratings?
After doing a little bit of research, I ran across a new study from Harvard Business School titled “Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com.” The study concludes that one full star boost on Yelp can increase sales by five to nine percent.
Just in case you did not read that correctly…businesses can see a five to nine percent increase in sales just from one extra star added to their review.
So, what does this mean to marketers? What does this mean for small businesses?
It’s time to stop paying attention to bad reviews and work on our communication skills to gain good reviews.
Bad reviews are going to happen if customers have a bad experience; the hard thing is encouraging customers to post positive reviews.
Six Ways to Boost Your Yelp Rating
- Do good business. First and foremost, make sure you are tight from the inside out. Don’t expect positive reviews to happen if you’re not giving your customers what they were promised.
- Own your Yelp page. Make sure all the information on the page is correct – the company name, address, cross streets, etc.
- Encourage customers to take photos. When customers are using your product or service, let them know you encourage photo-taking and sharing and direct them to your review page.
- Follow-up with customers. After the sale, follow-up with your customers either by phone or by email and ask them to post a review if they were happy with your services. Send them the link to make it as easy as possible for them. Here is a recent example of one I received from a florist I used for an event: “Please keep us in mind for any upcoming events, and if you were pleased, do recommend us to friends and/or write us a review on Yelp. And of course if you have any photos of the flowers from the event that you would like to submit, we would greatly appreciate that.”
- Send an email blast to past and current customers. Same idea here as number four. If you distribute a newsletter, add this as one of the topics, or just send a note to your database about how you’re working on some marketing activities and if they wouldn’t mind, to leave a review on your new Yelp page.
- Promote your Yelp ratings. Take some of the reviews and use them as testimonials, note your star status on your website and like from you blog. Remember, one star boost can increase your sales.
What other tips do you have for generating positive reviews on Yelp?
Social Media and Media Relations Measurement
with Johna Burke of BurrellesLuce and our own Gini Dietrich.
Thursday October 27 at 11:00 a.m. CT.
This webinar is $50 and you can register here.
Boost your Yelp Rating…and Your Sales With These Six Steps originally appeared on Spin Sucks on October 26, 2011.