True LinkedIn Confessions

By | Social Media | One Comment

I just got a notification that read, “Christopher Long would like to connect with you on LinkedIn.”

Now, it’s not completely ludicrous that Superbowl winner, New England Patriot, and former St. Louis Ram Chris Long would want to be connected to me. We have met, after all, when I worked on the media relations for Champion Brewing Company’s collaboration Waterboys IPA.  We live, in the off-season, in the same town. I saw him at the gym just last weekend.

If you’re still not sure to whom I am referring, this guy:

 

Chris Long

 

Still, I saw the notification and I said …

Get. Out.

GET. OUT.

And, like a SCHOOL GIRL, thought, “He remembered me!”

And then I clicked through to LinkedIn.

Not him.*

Sigh.

 

 

*Apologies to this Christopher Long, whom I have not met. He probably gets mistaken for the other guy all the time.

 

Does Blogging Still Work for Business? Marketers say Yes

By | Social Media | 2 Comments

I spoke to the local chapter of the American Marketing Association last night. Many of the people in the audience represent small businesses and are often the sole marketers in their organization. There were varying levels of experience with blogging, but for the most part, they were all trying to get a handle on how to get the work done.

I’ve had business owners question whether blogging or as I prefer to call it, publishing your own content online, is still worthwhile and relevant. I really believe it is, based on measurable evidence of client engagement, traffic, and lead generation. In the research I did for the most up-to-date statistics, I found the following infographic from Digital Information World.

  • Small businesses with blogs see 126% increase in generation of leads
  • The average company that blogs gets 97% more inbound links
  • 78% of businesses that blog daily (I KNOW) have acquired business through their blog

Part of what we do is help businesses figure out the best blogging strategy for their business and a way to get the work done. I’m interested in learning what other people think about blogging for their business, what successes they’ve had and what challenges they face.

Beware the Default Message When Building Local Business

By | Social Media | One Comment

There’s a new business development and professional networking tool on the scene: Alignable. What makes the tool different from LinkedIn or other social tools is its focus on connecting local business representatives. Here’s the message I received today to connect with someone on the platform:

 

This is a fine message, in general. The problem is that I’ve known the sender for about ten years. We’re connected in about a dozen ways and have done business together before. That’s a pretty common story for the majority of people in business in my local network. This message comes across as not only ridiculous but offensively impersonal. The default settings of these tools ALWAYS make it easy to blanket your contact list with the same default introductory message in an effort to build your network quickly. Don’t do it. You run the risk of having the opposite effect.

Distracted: Lack of Focus and Attention is Making our Lives Worse

By | Communications | No Comments

Numerous PSAs inform us that distracted driving is bad, something we all know, yet continue to practice. It’s hard for us to sit through even a half-hour TV show without checking our phones numerous times. The embarrassingly messed up  Best Picture Award announcement at the 2017 Academy Awards was blamed on an accountant distracted by a tweet.  Children whose parents pay more attention to their mobile phones are acting out to get the attention they need.  We’re failing at paying attention in ways that are inevitably making our lives worse.

Too many of us believe in the fallacy that multitasking makes us more productive and effective. We know better, but we’ve all become experts at distracting ourselves. It’s hard to sit quietly and wait for an appointment, accompanied by nothing but our own thoughts, without checking our phones. When I’m on a deadline, or working on a client or writing project I do manage to shut everything else out. I need to. I know that the results are far better when my total attention is focused. I don’t take calls or look at texts; I don’t stop to check social media sites. I just write. Sometimes I even disconnect from wifi so I’m not tempted to take a little break. It works.

Over the weekend, there was a popup, sudden, severe storm that caused a power surge at my home. The modem failed and since Saturday, our home has been internet-free while we wait for the replacement to be shipped and installed.

It’s been surprisingly freeing.

Work has happened just in the office or at meetings. Entertainment is in interaction with one another or reading books. It’s so tempting to continue internet-free at home for longer, to see if we can resume better habits of paying attention, of focusing on one another or on the tasks at hand. I keep seeing evidence of distraction hurting people around me. I think it’s important to take stock of how distracted we are, and how much we’re allowing distraction to happen, before we lose what matters to us.

Hal Movius on Negotiation, Conflict Resolution in the Workplace in Fast Company

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Hal Movius ResolveNegotiation expert Hal Movius published a book, Resolve: Negotiating Life’s Conflicts with Greater Confidence  and has immediately gained nationwide attention. Hal’s book comes at a time when anxiety is high, and relationships, in and out of the workplace have another layer of potential for conflict. This week, Hal teaches us how to turn confrontation at work into productivity. From the article:

“People who think of themselves as pretty cooperative tend to avoid or give in when they’re up against more powerful counterparts at work. But the fact is that using confrontation in these situations isn’t about getting aggressive or being pushy. Do it right, and it becomes a subtle technique for prodding your counterpart back to the table. With a little resolve and a willingness to wade into conflict rather than shrink from it, you can actually build more collaborative partnerships than you’d otherwise think.”

I’m learning a lot from Resolve and from Hal’s work. Learning techniques for successful negotiation and perhaps more importantly, building one’s confidence to deal with work issues is something just about everyone needs.