Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Channeling your inner sewer monster to connect with your audiences

"And these stones were imported from ...
try to keep up with me people. There's
still more to see on the tour."
My experiences with sewers goes back to my early childhood when I got stuck in a debris catch basin about 20 yards into a sewer pipe near our house in Camp Lejeune. I was only stuck there for 10 minutes, but I spent every second desperately trying to hoist myself up out of the trap. The wall was just a little too high for me to escape, so all I managed to do was waterboard myself. That experience has left me terrified of the sight and sound of water rushing through culverts. True story.
Years later, we hoodlums would line up empty Knickerbocker Natural beer bottles on the sewer grate near Marius Overhand's house and throw rocks at them until the cops drove by, which usually gave us about five minutes of bottle-smashing time.
The most hilarious sewer-moment of my life actually involved Marius. After a night of drinking (a lot of) Knickerbocker Natch', we convinced ourselves that all of the coins we had dropped down the holes in the manhole cover on Bayberry Lane were still there and that it only made sense to get a crowbar, lift the manhole cover, and scoop up the loot.
Once we lifted the cover, Marius jumped in and climbed down. To our great disappointment, there wasn't any money down there. To Marius' greater disappointment ... well, I'd better let him tell the story. But remember, we had drunk a LOT of Knickerbocker Natural.
But I've matured some since then and am now putting sewers to a far greater use--as the centerpiece of a lesson on how to connect with your audiences. You can check out the video here.
If you didn't already, check out the Knickerbocker Natural link above. It is a bizarre--yet strikingly accurate--super-8 portrayal of young men being idiots in the early 70's. It made me a little verklempt, not gonna lie.
Also, if you have any sewer-related tales, share them with the class in the comments section.

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.