BlogHer 06 Business Blogging Unpanel
Well, regular readers have noted that blogging has been ultra-light recently. Reason? Burning the midnight oil on client work so I can enjoy my trip out to BlogHer at the end of the week.
I am really looking forward to the whole conference, but particularly the Saturday "Unpanel" on Business Blogging.
More than once, I've had a bit of angst about this, worrying that maybe nobody would step up and volunteer to share their case studies.
Well, I needn't have worried. My fellow women bloggers have come through and we are going to have some great case studies to get us started. And I hope that EVERYONE attending the session chimes in as we go along. No experts here. Just folk figuring it out as we go along :-)
I've posted a summary doc with all the links to the various case studies on my site. You should also check out the BlogHer post on the session (where this will be cross-posted.) One of the blogs is no longer active, but we have some docs and screen shots, also on my getgood.com site. Please, if you are planning to attend this session at BlogHer, take a few minutes to check out the blogs. While we will have WiFi, we will NOT have an overhead projector during the session.
And don't forget, we have a great giveaway, thanks to Debbie Weil, who couldn't be with us but has donated a copy of her new business blogging book. Hot off the presses!
My thanks to the wonderful women who have volunteered their case studies for this session: Stephanie Hendrick, Jody DeVere (Ask Patty), Celeste Lindell (Average Jane), Heather Sanders and Lori Taylor. And a special thank you to my co-panelists Toby Bloomberg and Yvonne DiVita who joined me in this experiment, and without whom the blogosphere would be a far less pleasant place.
Thanks! See you in San Jose.
Rocketboom and Net Neutrality
While I don't think the changes at Rocketboom merit quite the attention they've been getting, I have to admit, I do like Joanne Colan's style.
Something that DOES merit our attention is the debate about net neutrality. Ted Stevens' "tubes" comment notwithstanding, everyone online should take the few minutes necessary to familiarize themselves with the issues, and US legislation, at stake. Website "How Stuff Works" has a good primer on the issues (courtesy CBS News Public Eye blog). For more, check out Save the Internet. And of course Jon Stewart.
Wayback Machine: Remington Steele
For a complete departure from our usual marketing and PR topics, today I invite you to step into the Wayback Machine with me, and take a little trip to 80s television.
To Los Angeles and "Remington Steele."
Last weekend, we were in Best Buy picking up some gear for our podcast rig (yes, you read that right, more later this summer once I have time to get everything sorted) and I saw the DVDs of the first 3 seasons of the series on sale for 1/2 price. Of course this is a gambit to build new viewers for the last 2 seasons (out on DVD in August) but who cares. I was a big fan of the series during its original run, so all three DVDs made their way into the shopping cart.
And my friends, I am hooked all over again. I had forgotten just how good it was. Sure the hairstyles and clothes are a little dated. Everyone isn't walking around with things stuck in their ears talking (presumably)on the phone but looking like nothing so much as "Crazy Eddie" talking to the Invisible Man. Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist have pretty classic styles. Since they have the lion's share of the screen time, 80s big hair and knit ties on the secondary characters don't bug me that much.
And the stories themselves hold up pretty well, all things considered. The plots rely more on smarts and the flirtation between the two leads than they do on high tech gadgetry so we don't have to laugh too much at "technology." All in all, Remington Steele is pretty good screwball romantic comedy with a dash of detective. As I recall, it wasn't as good in later years, when the stars reportedly weren't too fond of each other, as in the beginning, which is what I am watching now, but it is still better than most. I'm sure enjoying it a heckuva a lot more than the dreck on TV these days.
But if you'd rather pass the time with a cheesy 80s star, I direct you to David Hasselhoff's music videos on YouTube. As I commented this morning on Andrea Weckerle's blog, Hasslehoff just might be living proof that Botox causes brain rot. Or something. Anyway, check out the videos (hat tip to Andrea for reminding me about them in her post today).
And finally stepping out of the Wayback Machine, but still in TV-land, don't miss the French TV commercial for Canal Plus (hat tip to Sandy for this one).
Dell's New Hell and other ruminations
Poor Dell. Damned if they don't and Damned when they do. I'm joining the voices who want to give Dell a break, and let them get their feet under them in the blogosphere. They deserved to be damned when they ignored bloggers' comments and complaints. They do not deserve it now, when they are trying to engage.
Those of us that believe in corporate blogging should be glad that they are giving it a go, and not be so quick to jump on them for not doing it the "right way." Just exactly what is the "right way" and who said there was only one right way to do this blogging thing anyway? Hey, if Dell screws up, and doesn't treat the blogosphere with respect on its blog, there will be grounds for criticism. But every newbie deserves the benefit of the doubt, even a major corporation with a history of customer service problems :-) Far better commentary in this vein from the following folks: Kevin Dugan. Shel Holtz. Andy Lark. Tom Murphy. Jeremy Pepper. John Wagner.
Contrast Dell's efforts with some of the other corporate behaviors we've seen this month alone. Comcast: its response to the YouTube video of the sleeping repairman was to fire the repairman. That's it? They are way underestimating the scope of people's dis-satisfaction. But then again, quasi-monopolies often do. More from Rick Short and Mary Schmidt
And then there's Jupiter Research. Where to begin this tale? Short version: Jupiter issues press release about some research. Bloggers ask questions about research methodology. Jupiter blows them off, says you aren't reporters. Bloggers try again. Jupiter gets offensive. Bloggers quizzical, wonder just what exactly is Jupiter hiding? Certainly not the fact the the press release about the "research" was a thinly disguised advertisement for new clients. That's pretty obvious. Could it be that the "research" isn't robust??? Toby Bloomberg started it all with some honest questions, Fard Johnmar did the research and you can find some good commentary on Neville Hobson's blog. Methinks Jupiter needs to get on board the cluetrain... And rethink its marketing approach. Crappy press releases that are really thinly disguised advertisements are part of how we got into the "press release must die" meme (remember that?) in the first place.
UPDATE 7/13: Toby reports that Jupiter is making some changes !
New Workshop: Getting the Message Out - Be Heard, Understood and Remembered
Two months ago, I gave a short talk on communications to one of the dog clubs to which I belong. This group does a fair amount of lobbying on the state level, and the club officers wanted to give the members some guidance on how to speak effectively with legislators and other influencers. I've turned the material into an one-hour workshop:
Getting the Message Out - Be Heard, Understood and Remembered
Whether you are talking to a reporter, lobbying a legislator, or speaking to your employees, you need to be heard, understood and remembered. Our one-hour workshop “Getting the Message Out” offers three tips that will help you tell your important message effectively and memorably.
While this is a for-profit endeavor when it comes to for-profit organizations, I'm happy to do the workshop pro bono for charities and civic groups. All I ask is that the group cover my expenses to get to their location. Drop me an email at email@example.com if you'd like more information.
one hand, other hand: why companies need CRM
July 7, 3:10pm EDT: Inbound telephone call from what must have been a monster.com call center or telemarketing vendor since the area code shown on caller ID was Broward County, Florida, not global HQ in NY nor the local (Maynard Mass.) office. Caller wondered about my business recruiting needs, was getting ready to do the pitch for monster. Fair enough. Everybody has to make a living.
I currently have an ad running on monster.com for a marketing/pr assistant. Which my caller did not know. Hmmm.....
Now to be fair, we do have two businesses operating from our lovely Hudson headquarters, GetGood Strategic Marketing and my husband's computer consulting business, Active Oak LLC. We share the phone number, which was of course in the ad listing :-)
The monster.com telemarketer had to dial my number somehow, but even if it was a call list generated using a random number generator versus a directory, there is really no excuse, in my mind, for failing to check the numbers against the monster client list. Especially current advertisers :-)
All that said, I am extremely happy with the responses to my ad, and am willing to forgive monster this slight lapse in business acumen. But.... were it a service that I was less happy with, and I got an equally clueless telemarketing call, I would be far less likely to let it go.
Lesson: if you are doing outbound prospecting or even customer service calling, you should be using an enterprisewide CRM. There is no excuse for a telemarketer not knowing someone they are calling is already a customer.
R is for ROCKET, P is for PERSPECTIVE
Well, I am just back from vacation, and still catching up on work, so this post will be mercifully short.
It's about perspective, people.
Yeah, both news items are about rockets, sort of, but let's get real: a business split, of a small though high profile tech business, versus ongoing proof that our fearless leader picked the wrong "axis of doom" when looking for weapons of mass destruction.
Sure Amanda is cute and Rocketboom was fun and the ongoing soap opera is like the proverbial train wreck. But, let's have some perspective.
Troops are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. North Korea is marching irreversibly down a nuclear path. Gas prices are horrendous for consumers as Halliburton and other Cheney friends line their pockets. Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the London subway bombings.
Think about it.
Then hug your kids, pat your dogs and cats, kiss your spouse, call your mother. In whatever order floats your boat.