Friday, December 12, 2014

The Pepcid Generation--Overcoming the challenges of the inter-Internet crowd

"Live streaming?? Mister, we can't
even get channel 9 half the time."

If you’ve ever shoved a Frampton Comes Alive! 8-track into the cassette player bolted to the dashboard of your mom’s Dodge Dart …
If you’ve ever pulled the kitchen phone so far into the dining room in a futile attempt to get a little privacy that you stretched the spring right out of the cord …
If you’ve ever thumbed through yards of Dewey Decimal drawers in search of a code that will lead you to a distant corner of the library where the book you need for your term paper used to be hidden before it was checked out by someone else …
You’re part of the inter-Internet generation.
The inter-Internet generation is comprised of millions of people just like you who are struggling to keep up with their younger social-media savvy staff while trying to convince their older Internet-ignorant boss that their organization needs a stronger online presence.
Meanwhile, social media is disrupting your tidy little 20th century infrastructure that was humming along just fine until about two years ago. Your event attendance and membership numbers are down, the media wants to know if you will be "streaming" your news event (while your biggest technical concern is how to attach your organization’s logo to the podium), and the one reporter who did show up asked you, "How many trees did you have to kill to make all those press kits?"
Sound familiar? If so, click here to learn how you can use social media to take back control of your staff, your boss, and your career.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Can ya hear the train a-comin'? It's rollin' 'round the bend ...

"Hold on a sec. I can't hear you
over that train whistle."
And it's about to crush your organization.
The train is called progress--communications progress to be exact. Social media is reshaping our communications landscape in ways we never imagined. It is disrupting companies and organizations with such speed and such force that 20th century corporate giants are toppling over like Russian semis in a YouTube video.
Having reshaped corporate America, social media disruptions has its sights set on the ideas industry--trade associations, nonprofits, advocacy groups--any organization that trades in ideas.
You need to act. You need to get out of the way of the train. We can help.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Be wary of Weight Watchers' ways.

Weight Watchers is in an existential tailspin. This short video explains what they must do if they hope to survive in the Interactive Age.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Skip this post if you communicate better than Bono.

"We sent out the release, we tweeted a link
to the release and posted it on Facebook
and still no pickup. I think it's time
we turn it up to 11." 
As we recently reported, U2 apologized to the world for shoving their latest album down every iTunes-owner’s throat, explaining that they were afraid their album “mightn’t be heard" because "there's a lot of noise out there.”
And while Bono and the lads are trying dynamic, innovative and breathtakingly stupid tactics to be heard through the noise, you're still sending out press releases. Granted, you did tweet a link to that release with this grabber: "Check out our latest press release by clicking here," but you're still not getting the attention you used to get back in the good ol' days.
You're not alone. According to the 2014 Associations Communications Benchmark Report, "associations of all sizes, industries and operating budgets are communicating ... even less effectively with members than they were as recently as three years ago."
The solution is simple, really. Rather than attempt to cut through the noise by outshouting your competition, why not create content that your audiences want to hear and let them find you instead?
This is the secret behind the success we're having with our Be Heard Formula, a process we developed to help our clients get their stories heard through all the noise.
At the heart of the process is the principle of “giving away your best stuff,” which is what this post is all about. Right here, you'll find a short video that explains exactly what we do to help our clients break through the noise. Check it out when you have a moment (even if it’s just to see me stuck on the side of the road in Bethesda MD waiting for a truck to haul my motorcycle back to the shop).
We got these results in two hours using one of our Be Heard Formula tactics.
We got these results in just two hours using one of our Be Heard Formula tactics.
And after you watch the video, give us some feedback. Was this information helpful? Are there particular challenges that you’d like help with? And how about the video ... did you like it? Go ahead. We'll all be glad you did.
See you on the other side.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Keep your chin up, Ukraine.

That wasn't you, Putin? WTF?
Lots of people around the world and in the States are pulling for you. Give us a call if there's something we help you with.

And Putin, seriously, WTF, those tiny giraffes weren't enough for you.

That wasn't you? Really? He looked just like you. He even had all of the ass-pects of your personality, so to speak.

Friday, November 7, 2014

You really do need to be heard, if you know what I'm saying.

The hours were irregular but it paid well.
Hey kids,

In my day job, I teach people how to be heard in the Interactive Age. I used to be a corporate flack defending the right of every American to eat junk food without being taxed or scolded. But I actually got tired of arguing and decided to teach other people how to argue ... or at least how to be heard.

So if you want to learn how to be heard through all of the noise on the Internet, check out this video and learn from the best. Especially, you kids in Ukraine. You guys still have a LOT of persuading to do.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Weight, weight! Don't tell me! Why willful ignorance will put Weight Watchers out of business

"Pay no heed to that 'wireless' warning. It is my fundamental belief that tools alone will never reach the levels of success that are possible when they are combined with human engagement.”
"Pay no heed to that 'wireless' warning. It is my fundamental belief that tools alone will never reach the levels of success that are possible when they are combined with human engagement.”
It looks like apps are going to be the death of Weight Watchers. Not appetizers—software applications, specifically free online fitness apps. These apps that “suggest diets, count calories, and track progress” are carving heaping helpings from their profitability, according to a recent Washington Post article.
To be fair, competition from apps is not necessarily a death sentence. A lot of companies have survived technological disruptions by adapting to the new environment. But it looks like Weight Watchers is not going to be one of them, if recent comments by WW’s CEO Jim Chambers are any indication.
On an analyst call last year Chambers said, “We do not believe that free apps will solve the obesity epidemic. [But] I see now that the situation we are facing as a business and organization is more difficult than it originally appeared.” An honest admission and a good base to build on.
But then, during an analyst call this past July, Chambers said something that only Captain Edward “Those Icebergs Ain’t So Big” Smith could appreciate. “It is our fundamental belief,” he said, “that tools alone, technology alone, food programming alone will never reach the levels of success that are possible when they are combined with human engagement. … The strength of the Weight Watchers brand is and always will be in the human connections that make a weight-loss journey more successful.”
Unfortunately for Weight Watchers stock holders, Chambers is dead wrong about the technology. Apps don’t operate in a vacuum. The folks who share their app-derived weight-loss data on Facebook and other social media platforms enjoy the same support and encouragement as those who hop on a scale in a church basement, only on a much wider … uh, scale. The same goes for recipe-sharing, step-counting, and tearful binge-eating-confessions.
Chambers isn’t alone. History’s highway is littered with the wreckage of blue chippers who ignored the "paradigm shift ahead" signs posted whenever a game-changing technology alters the landscape.
How about you? Is some new technology willful blindness threatening to make your organization obsolete? How about your industry? Especially you, my association associates, is there a valuable service you provide that could be replaced by technology? Are there any services that can’t be?