- I want to go to Ireland for a vacation starting on Monday
- I’m going to travel by plane – it’s faster than going by sea
- Check expedia.com for the best flight prices
- Book a room in the Shelbourne hotel in Dublin
- Hire a car for the trip from Avis
If you follow social media – and this probably relates more to blogs and Twitter than the other channels – you know there’s a lot of opinions on marketing and PR out there.
Now, on the whole, this is a good thing, but at the same time, there’s often a lack of good, honest discussion of some of these opinions and memes.
So when someone provides a contrarian view on one of the sacred cows, it’s always worth a listen.
Designer Stefan Sagmeister addresses the question of “storytelling”…
Source: Darren Barefoot.
As a regular listener to For Immediate Release – hosted by Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz, I was listening to Monday’s episode which included an interesting discussion on Enterprise Social. As a guy who works on the Microsoft Office PR team – which of course includes Yammer – this is a subject close to my heart. I started writing a comment on their Google Plus community, but it was very long, so rather than annoy other members of the community I thought I’d paste the comment here and just provide a link.
Interesting piece on Enterprise Social adoption (Disclaimer I work on the Microsoft Office PR team – which includes Yammer but I am also a long time FIR listener ).
I’m not sure it’s a surprise that adoption rates of enterprise social are slower than ‘consumer social’ (or perhaps just social media?). As you know the formal deployment of technology in a business is often slower for a multitude of reasons.
Enterprise social is often part of a broader company transformation – after all it enables people to work together in new ways. Telstra is an interesting example of that.
"It (Enterprise Social) has solicited a degree of honesty and openness. There’s occasionally a little bit of stuff that comes out, but I tell you I never jump in. It’s self-managing, because other people jump in.” David Thodey, CEO of Telstra.
The majority of companies undertake initial pilots before taking the decision to deploy it more widely. For example after an initial trial, UK retailer Tesco is now rolling out Enterprise Social to their 320,000 people.
Having said that, there is strong growth in the number of companies, teams and individuals using Enterprise Social. Although Yammer is only one of many enterprise social services, it is being used by over 500,000 organizations today.
Shel’s point on the importance of app-based networks is a valid one, however I think you’ll find that most enterprise social providers already support apps so people can use them wherever they are – desktop, laptop, tablet and phone – and companies are putting serious effort into making it easier for employees to use it. Qantas is a good example:
As discussed on the show, greater integration of Enterprise Social with the tools people are using today will accelerate adoption and that’s why in Microsoft’s case (Ref: Disclaimer above) we’re integrating Yammer across Office 365, so you can use it with Outlook or collaborate on a document via Yammer etc.
Beyond the traditional benefits such as increased collaboration and productivity, the broad adoption of Enterprise Social enables a new set of intelligent tools and services that aid personal and group productivity. Delve is a great example of this. It intelligently uses all the information and communications across your company to deliver the personalized information you need, where and when you need it.
The real value of Enterprise Social is that it is helping people, teams and organizations to change how they work. It’s something we call ‘’the ‘Responsive Org. Adam Pisoni, co-founder of Yammer puts it well in this interview:
“Companies as they exist today were designed for the industrial revolution when most of the work was routine and repetitive …
“The world has become a giant network but companies have remained rigid hierarchies.”
“It’s not about the technology any more. There’s value in working differently. Tools like Yammer don’t work unless you change the way you work.”
Red Robin is just one company that has transformed its business using Enterprise Social:
Yummer is particularly remarkable because it gave a voice to the "silent" front-line workers at Red Robin. Prior to Yammer, these employees would pass information up the company management chain, but they rarely received feedback about what was done with the information.
The good news for Enterprise Social is that more and more companies are using it to transform how they work and many are seeing real, tangible, business outcomes.
Start before you open OneNoteOne of the great things about OneNote is that you can just dive in and start adding notes and thoughts, archiving emails, clipping web pages etc. However, I always advise people to invest some time thinking through how they want to use it, what are your work and personal priorities and responsibilities, what information will you put in OneNote etc. One useful way to do this is what David Allen calls a mind sweep. This is a process of sitting down and pulling together everything you have going on in your work and personal life so that you have a good left to right view of your world from an urgent project to cleaning the yard. The next step is outlining the priorities you have and using those priorities to drive the structure of your OneNote. At this point you should also think about where you want to keep your OneNote notebooks stored. You can save them locally to your hard drive or you can use built in support for OneDrive and for work related content you can also use OneDrive for business. For me using OneDrive is essential, it keeps all my notebooks synchronized across all my devices. So no matter where I am, I have the latest content.
Structuring OneNoteMy OneNote notebooks have evolved over time, however the main structure has been consistent and works for me. There are three active notebooks I use:
- Personal (Web) – this is the default notebook that’s opened when you install OneNote – I’ll explain why it’s easiest to use this notebook later
- 2014 Work notebook – my work notebook for the current financial year
- Reference notebook – a general notebook
Personal (Web) NotebookThis is the notebook where I spend most of my working day. I’ve structured it based on my personal and professional priorities. It includes the following sections:
- Quick Notes
- Projects Work
- Personal Projects
- Someday Work
- Someday Personal
Work NotebookThis is for all the reference information you need as part of work life. Each year I’ll have a specific Work notebook, and when the year ends I retire it to my archives and create a new one. This keeps all the reference material, notes, emails, files, etc. for that year together and in context. I’ve over 10 gigabytes of OneNote notebooks that contain a lot of information and resources going back over the years. So how do you structure it? Well there are probably a number of core focus areas or responsibilities for your job. For example things like Administration, Management, Planning, then specific clients, services or products – this will obviously be specific to your work life. I have a tab for each of these areas in my work notebook. Then when I have a relevant email, article, or meeting note I file it in the related area (and cross link them to my project pages) which creates an incredibly rich database of relevant work information. Finally, I also have an archive tab. When a project is complete I put it in the archive folder which gives me a full inventory of projects completed through the year. Note: Given it’s work-related information I host this notebook on OneDrive for Business – which comes with Office 365 and ensures sensitive company information is separate from your personal OneDrive.
Reference NotebookFinally I have a reference notebook. Whereas the first two notebooks hold mostly date-specific information, this is a big old notebook that I use as a repository for evergreen information I may want to review or read again. How you structure this really depends on your interests, for me it has career related content, PR content, old manuals, interesting articles, quotes, resources, etc.
End of yearAt the end of the calendar and work year, I archive the year specific content that I have in my Personal (Web) and Work notebooks into new notebooks for that particular year – one for personal and one for work. I keep any information that remains relevant for the new year.
Some additional OneNote Tips:
- Hyperlinking: The best power tip is hyperlinking in OneNote. Not only can you link to web pages, but you can link to other notes. So for example in the Agendas section. I can link to previous meeting notes so I have a complete record of past conversations I can quickly review. From your project page you can add files and links to related notes.
- Tags: OneNote has useful tagging capabilities which make it faster and easier to find information later. One absolutely killer feature is tag search. You can not only search all your notes and notebooks for tags but you can pull together tags onto a ‘summary page’ – this is a great feature.
- Outlook Integration: When I build out my projects, I’ll have a list of next actions. Using ‘Ctrl-Shift-K’ I can create an Outlook task from that action and the two items are linked, this is a great focus tool. Also, when the Outlook task is completed the item is marked complete in your notebook automatically.
- Using two OneNote windows: When you start using OneNote a lot, there may be times you want to have two OneNote windows open rather can clicking back and forth between pages (or using Alt-left or right arrow). Instead just hold down Control-M and a new OneNote window opens.
- Office Lens: One of the best things about OneNote is that you can add practically any type of digital content from anywhere. This includes making non-digital information digital. Think about that printed brochure, that receipt, napkin, whiteboard or moleskin page. Office Lens is a fantastic little app that simplifies capturing that content with your phone and transfers it automatically into OneNote. It’s also smart, optimizing capture with different modes from Whiteboard to documents and photos. It’s currently available for Windows Phone.
- Onetastic: Microsoft developer Omer Atay has created a set of great little tools and add-ins for OneNote including OneCalendar where you can view all your notes on a Calendar. It’s a free download and I recommend it.
- OneNote is now available on Windows (both traditional desktop and as a modern app – which is really nice and worth a look if you haven’t already). Windows Phone, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android and on the web.
- There’s also a host of new complimentary apps and services for OneNote from doxie to Feedly and IFTTT.
- 2014: One(Note) productivity tool to rule them all
- 2013: Get your life balanced and productive
- 2008: PR in 2010: Coping with the Cacophony
- 2008: How do you stay organized?
- 2007: New PR – another failed resolution?
Last week a friend passed along a post from a PR firm’s blog that had me rolling my eyes so hard and fast that I strained them.
You see, in the rush to publish a critique in a timely manner, the author didn’t allow ignorance or even the most rudimentary research get in the way of their opinion. It was like they had a pre-canned post and they were looking for an example they could use. It resulted in a piece that was was not just inaccurate, it was ill conceived and simply untrue.
After reading this critique I did something that the author clearly had not done, namely a little bit of research. The blog is from a firm that claims to provide ‘strategic counsel’ - though in fairness the website didn’t specify what they provide strategic counsel on. Reading the blog post, I’ll wager it isn’t strategic counsel on public relations.
There’s been a rise in this quick reflex PR ‘analysis’ – and in fairness it’s not something unique to PR - you see it everywhere. People don’t stop to let facts get in the way of their published opinion.
But they should.
Having been on the inside of many issues, I know that the communications team will be working through tough decisions and there’s not always an easy or simple resolution. In fact, the growth of social media has meant that issues today have far more phases, twists and turns than ever before.
Regrettably these days communicators are often not only dealing with the issue in question, but they’re dealing with the hurlers on the ditch who often pass judgment without any insight (or interest) into many of the complexities involved.
I have no problem with fair, reasoned criticism but the rush to jump on the bandwagon without any insight or rudimentary research isn’t something that should be encouraged.
|Tip: If you’re interested in some good, solid advice on personal productivity, I really recommend Getting Things Done. It’s a great introduction to putting some shape on all the information and commitments you’re managing every day and ensuring you’re focused on what’s important. For me there’s four main things I focus on in terms of productivity:|
||If there was just one tool I could have for managing my work life and my personal life, it’s Microsoft OneNote.|
- Capturing random thoughts or notes at my desk or on the go using the OneNote phone or desktop app
- Meeting notes (you can auto-generate a meeting note from Outlook, with all the attendees etc. already populated)
- Project planning including outlining
- Project plans (including hyperlinks to other OneNote pages, attaching relevant files, photos etc)
- Archiving relevant email (one click from Outlook)
- Saved web pages, articles, RSS feeds
- Cut and Pasted information from other apps or websites
- Printing documents for review (once OneNote is installed you can print a document into OneNote as you would use a printer)
- Sharing notebooks which I can collaborate on with colleagues
- Capturing screenshots
- Inserting pictures and photos
- Capturing photos of whiteboard diagrams and incorporating them in my notes
- Scans of paper documents and brochures
- Capture handwritten notes – both directly with a stylus or from a notebook via the camera on my phone
- Take audio and video recordings of meetings which OneNote indexes (with the agreement of participants)
- And much more!
- Windows 8.1 + OneNote: Why the digital notebook is finally a reality
- Microsoft OneNote is a Note-Taking Power Tool
- How to Organize your life with OneNote
- Seven Tips and Tricks to Get More Out of OneNote
- Living Life with OneNote: Family Edition
- Use OneNote anywhere with the OneNote Web App
- 5 Cool OneNote Tools You’re Probably Not Using
- Microsoft Lync (for work calls, instant messaging, video calls, conference calls)
- Skype (for personal instant messaging, and calls)
- Yammer Notifier – keeps my on top of what’s going on with Yammer (and I use it with the Yammer web app)
- Tweetdeck – my preferred Twitter desktop client from Twitter
- Microsoft Office 365 (including Outlook, Excel, Work, Powerpoint, OneNote, Access)
- NextGen Reader – since the sad demise of syndicated feeds with my beloved FeedDemon I’ve turned to NextGen reader which syncs with Feedly. The new sharing capabilities inside NextGen make it a great tool for not only keeping up with news and content but sharing and keeping them for later.
- Reading List – If you have Windows 8.1 the reading list app is a great way of keeping lists of sites you want to read in the future together
- Stacks for Instapaper – Along with Reading List I’m a long time user of Instapaper. The Stacks app for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone is a great way of accessing deferred reading wherever you are.
- Flipboard - I’ll just send you to Stuart Bruce’s review of Flipboard
- My primary PC is a Lenovo Carbon X1 – great machine, nice touch screen, thin, fast
- Surface Pro – nice mix of a full Windows PC with tablet capabilities, great stylus support
- Dell Venue Pro 8" – great 8" Windows 8.1 device runs all your Windows apps, with fantastic battery life
- Nokia 920 – love my Windows phone, plan to upgrade to the Nokia 1020
- Two 20" Monitors – can’t live without them
- Polycomm Communicator brilliant device for conference calls where you’re out of the office
- My Doxie scanner turns paper docs, sketches etc. into digital content for OneNote
- NEW: Quick overview: Setting up OneNote
- 2013: Get your life balanced and productive
- 2008: PR in 2010: Coping with the Cacophony
- 2008: How do you stay organized?
- 2007: New PR – another failed resolution?
- Having a system you trust to capture everything in your world. This ranges from incoming emails, tweets, drive-by meetings, phone calls or ideas you’ve had in the shower.
- Process all these items and make decisions about them. For example, you have an email from a colleague, is there an action you need to take? If no, then do you delete it, file it for later reference, or if you can’t do it now put it on a list? If yes, what is the action? Is it a new project? Do you need to delegate it? Can you do it in less than 2 minutes? Then do it.
- Organizing all this information into a system you can trust and use.
- Regularly reviewing your (personal and professional) lists, commitments, goals, objectives and schedules is key. It’s how you keep the system live and relevant.
- Taking Action. The whole point is to actually get stuff done.
There are a number of things I love about this video.
It is very smart, well shot, and it’s surprising, entertaining, and memorable.
The other thing is that it’s a really compelling and creative way to demonstrate a pretty mundane (to me) product feature.
You may argue on the ROI of this video, but then neither of us have any idea of the objectives or the measures of success.
So instead, let’s just enjoy it.
I first saw this on Thursday and it had 40,000 views, in less than a day that jumped to 8.7 million (and growing).
It’s so good, I even forgive them using Enya for the soundtrack.
The steering on those Volvo trucks is – thankfully - magnificent.
Thank goodness for that.
I have always been a big believer in the important role that professional bodies play in the world of Public Relations. Promoting a common set of standards across this reputation-challenged profession is a good thing.
However, with no common enforced regulations, perhaps the quality of our work can by judged by the standards we set for ourselves?
There was recently a great guest post by Jean Valin and Daniel Tisch on the PR Conversations blog discussing the Melbourne Mandate (and this week For Immediate Release posted an interview with Jean and Daniel on the Mandate), which aims to define a set of roles, responsibilities and principles for PR practitioners.
From the website:
Today, unprecedented public access to communication presents new challenges and opportunities for organisations – and for global society. This presents a new mandate for public relations and communication management: a set of roles, responsibilities and principles hereby endorsed by delegates to the 2012 World Public Relations Forum in Melbourne, Australia.
The new mandate
Public relations and communication professionals have a mandate to:
- define and maintain an organisation’s character and values;
- build a culture of listening and engagement; and
- instill responsible behaviours by individuals and organisations.
I’d strongly recommend you to take some time to review the Melbourne Mandate and see how it applies to the work you’re doing.
The Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management is behind the Melbourne Mandate. It’s an organization that represents many of the world’s largest PR professional bodies and is also involved in the Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles, a set of proposed standards for measuring Public Relations.
Given the changes taking place in the world of communications this is a good thing. As I’ve said before, as long as PR agencies are using proprietary measurement as a competitive differentiator we’re in trouble.
Bonus: Read Andy West of Hotwire PR on the importance of supporting the measurement debate
I should preface this post by pointing out that I spent many of my childhood weekends surrounded by racing cars. When I wasn’t watching my father trackside, I was watching the sport on TV. While my brother has continued the family tradition, these days, besides the annual trip to Le Mans, my motorsport habit is mostly sustained through traditional and social media.
Maurice Hamilton is a veteran journalist who has been covering Formula 1 since the mid-seventies. In the video below he talks about how he got started in journalism in the 1970s and how that world has radically changed over the intervening decades.
For anyone with an interest in motorsport it’s recommended, for others, well your mileage may vary .
I recently had the opportunity to review a ‘report’ by a social media guru analyzing the ‘social strategies’ of a number of household brands. The report had some lovely visuals, some interesting examples of tactical executions, but overall it was a great example of what is too often missing from discussions on social media and often PR.
The report had many opinions but was light – read non-existent – on how these programs were tied to clear business objectives and more importantly how well the campaigns actually performed against those objectives.
In other words, in the real world, where a marketing or communications professional is building programs to drive against business objectives, it was value-less.
This is often where I find the industry of social media punditry fails.
Of course, social media is important, but before you get to the interesting, execution, you have to stop, understand your business, your industry, your objectives, your competitive challenges, your internal challenges, your audience, your resources, and when you have a clear understanding of those elements, then you start planning.
If this is obvious to you, that’s great. If you’re not taking this approach, then there’s a real opportunity for you to significantly increase the impact of your work.
Let’s extend Mr. Ogilivy’s thesis – 50% of advertising is useless but you never know which 50%- to the world of social media and Public Relations. If we’re looking for what’s useless, I’d be willing to start with programs that aren’t tied into a set of defined business objectives.
Measurement can be a thorny subject – though at least there’s beginning to be some consensus – but executing campaigns not tied to business outcomes is at best madness and at worst negligent. Communications requires a balanced scorecard that encompasses a range of measurements from the basic inputs, outputs and results, to qualitative measures over time. And this work all starts with the business objectives.
These processes don’t mean you can’t experiment or move quickly – or indulge in ‘real-time marketing’. Actually it’s the complete opposite. If you know your business, are clear on what you need to achieve and are actively measuring outcomes then you’re in a better position to experiment and in a better position to learn and evolve your execution.
We may live in a troll producing always-on, always-connected world, but engaging with people, building relationships and trust takes time. There isn’t a shortcut. In fact, as people become more sophisticated in how they use media and struggle to manage the ever increasing volume of information they come across every day, the process takes longer and is indeed more difficult.
There isn’t a silver bullet, but there are some tried and tested things that help us frame communications campaigns and put us in the best possible position to not only have impact, but to demonstrate that impact.
On a related topic, I strongly recommend you read Alastair Campbell’s speech at the Center for Corporate Public Affairs Annual Oration in Melbourne. In my opinion he does a great job explaining why objectives, strategies, and a commitment to long term thinking are so essential in the changing world of communications:
But you do it (communication) within a clear strategic framework, you engage the public in a much more sustained way, and you run co-ordination systems that work, so that over time your messages get through, over time your changes are understood and they deliver, and over time people become much more reasonable in their analysis. What you do is more important than what you say, but how you say what you do will help you if you are doing the right thing. Every time you say or you do, you land a dot.
While social media may appear immediate and tactical, successful social media, like the rest of communications, requires planning, insight, strategy, measurement and commitment.
That’s the starting point for great communications.
I’ve always been a big advocate of the productivity benefits of RSS. It’s a simple technology – though not always understood – that is an incredible aid for anyone who needs to keep on top of vast swathes of content whether it’s breaking news, updates or online opinions.
The death of Google Reader has many of us RSS users trolling around for an alternative way to keep our RSS feed consumption synchronized across our various devices. (Personally I’m still in mourning for the untimely demise of FeedDemon by far my favorite RSS reader. The good news is that you can still use it – and I will – but the lack of support for updating feeds across my PCs, phone, tablet etc. reduces it’s utility somewhat.)
So in preparation for this change I’ve been reviewing my RSS feeds and specifically the PR blogs I’ve been tracking and reading over the past 10 years. I’ve built up a list of about 120 PR-related blogs.
It’s interesting to note how many of those PR blogs, like this one, are dormant or dead. (For the record this one isn’t dead but definitely could be mistaken for dormant).
So that begs the question, what am I missing? What active and useful PR blogs are you reading? What should I by adding to the list?
I’m in beautiful sunny Charlotte today to speak at the third annual conference of the Center for Global Public Relations at the University of North Carolina, which this year is focused on the Millennium Generation.
I gave an overview of Microsoft YouthSpark – our initiative to create opportunities in education, employment and entrepreneurship for 300 million young people around the world over the next three years.
Henry Doss, Brook DeWalt, John Paluszek and Dr. Alma Kadragic discussing the global challenges facing youth at the conference today.
There are a great collection of people here today and some fantastic hallway discussions.
This is a nice and indeed natural end to my time working on the Citizenship team at Microsoft. From getting formally involved in our Citizenship efforts when I joined Microsoft in Ireland in 2005, to moving to the United States in 2009 to take on a global communications role for Citizenship, I’ve had a fantastic opportunity to learn, work on amazing projects, with amazing partners and of course an amazing Citizenship team at Microsoft. And there’s been a lot of fun on the way.
All good things must come to an end, so in the past month I’ve taken on a new role joining our Windows team, where I’m leading a wonderful team of creative, smart people working on PR and storytelling for consumers, commercial customers and application builders. Today’s event is a great way to mark a new phase in my working life.
If you were attending the session earlier today here are some useful links and resources I referenced:
- Microsoft Citizenship Report
- Microsoft YouthSpark Site
- IYF Opportunity for Action Report
- National Talent Strategy
- Microsoft YouthSpark Hub
- Microsoft Citizenship blog
And don’t forget for all the latest news you can follow Microsoft Citizenship on Twitter: @msftcitizenship.
I’m also looking forward to attending the UNCC PRSSA Region 7 conference on Saturday.
The Pew Research finding that the reaction to an event on Twitter is often very different to actual public opinion isn’t a big surprise is it? It seems to me that spending any time on your chosen social media channel – and specifically Twitter – makes that fact self evident.
It’s one of the great things about social media, anyone has a voice, and also one of the drawbacks of social media, anyone has a voice.
From a marketing perspective social media often resembles a big virtual medicine show. Along with news, humor and sane views there’s a universe of self-styled gurus peddling their miracle cure to your personal or organizational ills. It’s easy to spot.
Whether it’s the wizard who offers advice on how social media will drive organizational change for example in HR, even though they’ve never worked in HR; or the endless Monday morning quarterbacking on other people’s work, when the quarterbacks often have absolutely no experience of dealing with the issue they’re dissecting or no insight into the specific issues the company is dealing with.
These people are better known for words than deeds. In Ireland there’s a great old adage that captures this: ‘show us your medals’.
So this week when I read about two such ‘thought leaders’ leaving one social media tool or another for a multitude of reasons which included things like ‘doesn’t match my personal values’ I sighed.
In a good way.
Social Media companies, on the whole, are in business to make money or get a juicy exit. That’s how the capitalist system works. Most of you are not willing to pay for it (look at the limited success of app.net with 11,000 backers) up front, so these channels will make their money through advertising and the advertising is based on, surprise, surprise what you do and say on social media. There are privacy concerns of course, and most of the sites have to be up front on privacy and how you can retain yours, but you know what? Nobody seems to care a lot.
So normal people use these social tools, as tools. They find information, share information, connect with people, keep up with breaking news and issues. It’s not rocket science. It’s social media.
The findings from Pew Research point that marketers would be well advised to focus on understanding who and where their audience is, and spend less time worrying about the hot air.