The Three Dead Friends You’ll Have on Facebook

By Communications, Crisis Communications

I have three dead friends on Facebook. It’s hard; especially when their birthdays show up, or when well-meaning mutual friends post a message to their wall because they’re thinking of our deceased friend.  If you don’t already, you’ll have friends on Facebook who die, either expectedly or unexpectedly.

Dying in the digital era has new challenges. For the user, managing privacy and security is important while alive — having your information totally inaccessible can be a real pain for the friends and family you leave behind.

Enter the age of Credential Management: a new field that touches the legal issues, health care, banking, social media and more. If you have a will, it’s important to leave instructions for your family on how to access your bank accounts. Passwords for all manner of online-managed personal details should never be written down, but instructions for how to get them are going to be critical in the event that you become ill, hurt, incapacitated in some way, or even die.

I recently started using Dashlane for password management. I like it for a number of reasons but one big one is the Emergency Feature, which allows me to name a contact or contacts who will be allowed access in the event of an emergency. You can read how it works on the site, but it makes sense (waiting period that you set from two days to three months, and never a release of your master password) and gives me the peace of mind I need to conduct my life.

What are you doing to manage your credentials?

How to Use Your Network to Help a Friend in Transition

By Communications

I heard from a friend who lives in my city. Her relationship has ended, and she’s moving to another city in another, far-away state for a fresh start. Let’s pretend that city is Boulder, Colorado. I’ve always wanted to visit Boulder. Anyway, I wasn’t entirely sure who I know in or from Boulder, but I was certain that there is someone or a few someones, my network being what it is (fairly large and varied), and the way people move about the country following relationships, jobs and other opportunities.

On LinkedIn I went to Advanced Search and typed in a Boulder ZIP code. That pulled up three people in my network who currently live and work in the area. Huzzah! I went to my friend’s profile, clicked the arrow next to Send a Message on her profile, scrolled down and selected “share profile” and sent a note to those contacts saying hello from their former city (coincidentally, they all formerly lived in Charlottesville), and introduced my friend, asking them to be kind and hook a sister up.

I don’t know how this will work out, ultimately, but it’s what you do, and how you do it.

LinkedIn: Zero to All-Star in Under Two Hours

By Communications

One of the most requested services we offer seems so simple on its surface. The Executive Session is designed to help clients in a one-0n-one meeting define their individual professional communications goals, review and improve their online presence, and create a plan for them to continue on a strategic path. Since professionally, one’s LinkedIn presence is sometimes the only place a person is visible online, we focus on getting our clients’ LinkedIn profiles up to snuff.

What I’ve observed in these sessions is that we can get a client up to All-Star status consistently in under two hours. Devoting the time to getting that important work done is often not a priority for business people, but the benefits they realize as soon as they’ve completed this work have a lot of value.

Rarely does anyone WANT to sit down and master a LinkedIn profile. People are overwhelmed by the platform, or worried about doing something wrong, or just annoyed by the hassle of taking the time to do what might be thought of as a tedious task. That’s why we set aside this time for a session we aim to make fun, fast, informative, and above all, valuable.

We get you to get this important work done — and for many people who have taken advantage of this service, it’s helped them build business, make valuable new connections, and further their career objectives.

Now, isn’t it time you were an All-Star?

Putting Pen to Paper: Can We Return to a Lost Art?

By Communications

I’ve written about how tired I am of e-mail. It has its uses, but fails in many ways. Phone calls are great, when needed. Texting is fantastic for a lot of quick communication. I’ve been thinking, though, of doing more writing by hand starting with the end of this year.

No, no: I don’t just mean holiday cards. I mean letters. Not a lot. Just a few.

My friend Amanda is very, very good at this. She sends the best birthday cards and handwritten “thinking of you” notes I’ve ever received.

A little secret? I keep them all. I keep all the handwritten, mailed notes I get. I have a rather large drawer full of them. When I’m having a particularly crappy day, it is really nice to open that drawer and read the words of dear friends and family.

So why haven’t I returned the favor? I get hung up on the lack of awesome stationery and an available pen. (Pretty sure I can remedy that). I get hung up on the fact that my fingers are near a keyboard or a smartphone all of my waking hours.

I’m going to give it a whirl, though. I have two very special people to start writing to, and I’ll see where it goes from there.

Do you write by hand? Do you like it when you get something handwritten in the mail?