Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

More Social Media Abuse

November 22, 2010

Recently I launched a new website/company, SynergiSocial, focusing on social media training for people who have never used social media before.  Apparently I need to expand my scope of services to experienced technical people who can’t keep their e-traps shut.

First there is this gem about a guy trashes the city of Memphis on Twitter while visiting FedEx which is located there.  This condescending Tweet could have cost Ketchum a multi-million dollar contract.  Then I came across this post describing how, after accepting a job at Cisco, some guy Tweeted that he hated the job before even starting.

Folks, social media is not about you; it’s about everyone else who reads what you put out there, which is why it’s called social media and not me me me me media.  I previously wrote a blog post about topics people should generally avoid posting to Facebook and Twitter.  I didn’t think I had to say this but apparently I do:  in addition to the other things I listed in the earlier blog post, DON’T trash your employers, employees, clients, enemies or friends on social media.  The Internet has a long and unforgiving history, and these postings will probably end up biting you at some point down the line.   This is especially true in a terrible economy.

So please be careful when using your social media.  A good rule of thumb is to use your outside voice:  if you wouldn’t say something in polite company or at a dinner party, why would you put it on the Internet for the whole world to see?

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Writing, writing, writing…

July 14, 2010

About twice per month I write articles for a policy-oriented website called FourStory.  You can click here to find my latest installment, which talks about bridging the digital divide.

Spirit Airlines — Doubling Down on The Stupid

June 23, 2010

Evidently Spirit Airlines has doubled-down on a really stupid idea.

For the uninitiated, Spirit Airlines is attempting to capitalize BP’s oil spill by running ads depicting the beaches they service as full of oil-soaked women, not crude oil gushing from deep beneath the earth’s surface.  Hardy har har.  One disgruntled person wrote to Spirit and got the following response:

Thanks for writing to Spirit Airlines, and for your feedback about our new marketing campaign.It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with this sale. We are merely addressing the false perception we have oil on the many beaches we service, and we are encouraging customers to support Florida and our other beach destinations by continuing to travel to these vacation hot spots.

Please accept my apology if you find this campaign offensive. It is certainly not our intent to offend our valued customers. We’ve actually received positive feedback from many who appreciate our efforts to stimulate travel to the state.

I’ve forwarded your incident to our Marketing Department for further review.

Again, thank you for your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

Shorter Spirit Airlines:  You’re not as funny or clever as we are, and that’s your fault!

If I may get on my soap box for a moment, I’d like you to highlight one point in this response:  “I’ve forwarded your incident to our Marketing Department for further review.”  Oy vey.

Too often, as in this case, communications is not considered to be an integral part of a company’s business strategy, leading to disastrous results like this.  Leaving comms out of the decision-making process is a huge mistake, and yet it is so common.  A company that communicates well has everyone on board, and on the same page, from the very beginning so there would be no need to forward “your incident to our Marketing Department for further review.”  Once more, Corporate America:  Communications decisions are ultimately business decisions and should be treated accordingly.

This ad campaign should have never been green-lighted.  Let’s hope cooler, saner heads prevail and this ad campaign gets squashed.  Sadly for Spirit Air, that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

As a side note, the most commonly used word in their response is “Feedback”.  In fact, they use the word three times in five short paragraphs.  Don’t you think they should emphasize things such as “Concerns” and “Service” instead of something as dry and emotionless as “Feedback”?  Yeesh.

Yay! I (Kinda) Got a Promotion!

June 21, 2010

Great news!  I recently (kinda sorta) got a promotion!  I am now a Regular Contributing Writer for FourStory, a Foundation-funded, non-profit website dedicated to advocating for fair living conditions for everyone in the Southland.

My feature is entitled In Transit, where I write on a broad range of topics, including transportation issues, economics, government, policy, politics and whatever else comes to mind and / or pisses me off.

You can read my latest article here.  Be sure to check out the other writers as well; they’re very bright and write compelling and interesting stories.  You can follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or at the website’s home page.

How did you get this “harmonized communications” idea?

May 5, 2010

Good question!  I get this one a lot.

A couple of years ago I met with two women who worked together, full time, in the same office.  Both of them helped run a small firm.

I asked the one woman, “What does your business do?”  and she gave one answer.  I asked the other woman, “What do you do?” and she gave a different answer.  Then, they turned to each other and started arguing!

It occurred to me that, if they don’t know what they are doing, how do their customers, their employees, their suppliers etc…?  The answer was, they didn’t.

So I proceeded to narrow their unique value proposition to three words (I modified an approach that a prominent branding firm used) and created a harmonized comm strategy for them.  And lo and behold, their comms were more consistent, harmonized and effective. 

That’s the short story of how I got started on this path.  So far I’ve used this approach on dozens of organizations and have seen amazing results.  So here I am, plugging away, using this approach on numerous kinds of organizations. 

How did you get on your career path?

Trying to fix stuff

April 28, 2010

Okay, so I’m trying to get this blog, er, harmonized with my website, specifically the font. Bear with me folks.