Archive for March, 2013

March 31, 2013

Talk about a compelling headline!

The promise of writing content for internal audiences that will actually get read.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3007591/how-write-content-your-company-people-actually-want-read

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March 30, 2013

Phasebook?

Been on Facebook lately?

If my own “friends” can be used as an averaging sample, I’d say the answer is no.

I’m not dissing social media—Facebook in particular, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or any of the others—and I won’t because it’s already become an interesting part of my work as a professional communicator. I don’t think we’ve even come close to realizing the business and branding potential of social media. When else in time—aside from when we were still selling bottles of tonic off a horse and buggy to a crowd of settlers—has business had a chance to have a real conversation with the individuals they too often see as a lump of target market? And if they’re being honest, most companies will admit that they’re still sliding around the surface of what is possible, trying to figure out what works for them. They’ll get there. Watch a few early TV commercials and try not to squirm.

Small businesses in particular have so much to gain—social media is relatively cheap compared to other media, it’s doesn’t require a gargantuan effort and fulfils one of the commandments of content marketing—that every company can be a broadcaster or publisher. I don’t understand why every artist, photographer, interior, graphic or fashion designer—anyone who works in a visual medium—doesn’t have a portfolio on Pinterest. And I can’t figure out why businesses are staying away in groves from Google+.

But business uses aside, if my group of friends is typical, then personal use of Facebook is in decline. Sure there are still some diehards on there frequently, but even they’re posting fewer and fewer bits of information about their own experience, and are sharing or liking or otherwise passing on the often colorful postings of others. Outside of new houses, new puppies (ok, guilty), the odd political opinion and a random complaint or announcement of celebration—people just don’t seem to be saying much on Facebook anymore. As a personal branding platform, LinkedIn has it beat in the shade…in fact, as Facebook gets less personal, LinkedIn seems to be getting more so, with colleagues and contacts sharing more about their working lives.

Perhaps the early critics of the “ubiquitous-ization” of Facebook, the ones whose argument usually questioned why they’re want to know what someone on the other side of the country had for lunch, were right. Personal lives just aren’t that interesting—unless you happen to be the person to which that life is happening. Let’s face it, we’ve all at least hid or in a more drastic frame of mind, “unfriended” the constant braggart or bore. Too, some days it’s hard enough to come up with something worthwhile to say to those with whom we share a bed and mortgage—it’s not humanly possibly to constantly communicate your cleverness to your hairdresser’s sister and that guy who sat behind you in grade 10 math.

Or could it be that the novelty has just simply worn off?

It’s not that I regret having a personal Facebook page. Where else would I have put Zoey’s puppy pictures or the video of my renovation or announced my marriage to a captive audience. At least it was captive at the time. What I learned in using the platform has been invaluable in my work life. It was interesting to see how people I knew in my teens turned out. I felt confident and powerful in ignoring the friend requests from those in my past who don’t belong in my real or virtual present. And I was “found” by someone I used to be close to—I’m glad we’re friends again.

I think that social media in one form or another is going to be with us for a very long time—and I’m willing to bet that whatever will captivate our attention after it hasn’t been developed yet. But it will be. So to some extent, Facebook will be a phase for us all.

And while I may check in on my personal page from time to time for old-time sake, it’s time I started seeing other platforms.

I need my space Facebook.

It’s not you, it’s me.

March 21, 2013

Read all about it!

If you have even a passing interesting in content marketing, you’ll gain a great deal from Chief Content Officer. The latest issue is out. It’s info to make you a better content creator. Or a better content client.http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/chief-content-officer/

March 18, 2013

Creativity is back in the spotlight.

Which makes advertising fun again. You remember fun, don’t you?

http://www.webinknow.com/2013/03/the-good-times-are-back-and-marketing-is-fun-again.html

March 16, 2013

Who are your heroes?

According to my mother, when I was quite young, I would cut photos of detergent or face powder or toys out of magazines and catalogues, paste them to a piece of paper, write a story about why they were good things to have and make a presentation to the dolls and stuffed toys I had assembled around my kiddy table. When I watched “Bewitched,” it wasn’t Samantha and her magic family that interested me, it was Darren’s work at McMann and Tate that held my attention.

These were obviously signs of things to come.

Despite what the writers of Mad Men would have you believe, little girls who wanted to be advertising creatives (and when I look around at agency biz events, I’m thinking there were more of us than one would have expected) had our role models. There was Shirley Polykoff, creator of the famous “Does she…or doesn’t she?” campaign. There was Mary Lawrence Wells, who took the idea of branded content to new levels when her agency not only did a campaign for Braniff Airlines, but also decided on the décor of the planes and the outfits for the flight attendants. And there was my personal fav, Jane Trahey, who set a new standard for fashion content in the years when she was a force in Neiman-Marcus’ advertising and later opened her own New York shop where she won clients like Elizabeth Arden and created the famous Blackglama Furs campaign.  In addition, she wrote plays and a handful of books, one being On Women & Power, that was pretty much an early roadmap on how women could get and keep high-powered jobs. I’ve given a half dozen copies away to women I thought could use the moral support—and I continue to seek out copies in used bookstores.

These days I’m reading people like George Lois, Lee Clow and others—plus the content “specialists” like Joe Pulizzi or David Meerman Scott (whom I liked even more when I found his book World Wide Rave free on Kobo. How generous.)

Perhaps some of you didn’t start planning your career while preparing for first grade, but I’m thinking if they would have made a line of collectible cards featuring advertising executives (the kind that used to come with that stick of pink powdery gum with the consistency of Bristol board), I would have collected the whole set.

Hummm…there’s a product idea.

Everyone needs a hero. And whether you get ideas or the courage or the strength to stay focused from someone writing about the industry or elsewhere, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you make an effort to find the motivation that keeps you raising your personal bar and going after what you want.