Have you ever met someone with whom you instantly connect? Someone so welcoming yet wise and humble but so special that you become instantly inseparable…that they make you better and maybe you help them become better too? That’s my very special relationship with Paul Greenberg.
Over the last few years, Paul’s set out to release his latest masterpiece, “The Commonwealth of Self-Interest.” He invited some of his closest friends to contribute including Bruce Temkin, Ray Wang, Brent Leary and Esteban Kolsky.
Twenty-first century customers are demanding more than ever – they will communicate with a company in whatever channel they need to at the time they want to. They want their interactions with the company to be seamless, convenient and simple. They want to get whatever it is they want to do with your company done as fast as possible. AND they want more
On the importance of agility…
Agility is a way of thinking and working. It’s an open and aspirational mindset, perspective and constant series of actions that incessantly seek to deliver new value to evolving markets. Agility is the key to relevance.
If you’re lucky enough, you’ll come across a transformational leader that inspired you at least once in your life. It could be a teacher, a manager, or your Mom! You’ll probably remember the way they made you feel years later…
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‘Be confident!’ It makes perfect sense when you see it written down but managing to harness the power of the terrifically useful but often elusive concept of confidence is…easier said than done.
One thing’s for sure though, it’s useful as…
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I must admit to being torn as to which advanced technology causes me more angst: robocalls from Uzbekistan or becoming hopelessly lost in voice mail hell.
Since I was recently contacted by Clutch and asked to blog about the findings of their recent report on “phone menus”, I’ve opted to address voice mail hell.
Here’s their report.
Since the research told me what I already knew, I asked Riley Panko of Clutch what insights were gleaned from the findings.
She shared three:
1.) Keep phone menu options to three or less.
2.) Consider more creative ways to personalize phone menus without taking up a customer’s time. Kin Insurance, for example, routes an incoming call to the appropriate resource BEFORE the caller even speaks to someone. Good for you, Kin.
3.) Always include the option to speak to a living, breathing human being.
Pivoting quickly as we communication
I have the distinct pleasure of being chairman of the Institute for Public Relations and a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.
This past week each organization convened in Manhattan for the IPR board meeting and Page Spring Conference, respectively.
The issue of the day (or week) was the purpose of purpose. Organizational purpose, that is.
I participated in three different purpose brainstorming sessions that included the best and brightest from the worlds of corporate America, academia and the agency world.
The bottom line is that purpose is still very much a work in progress.
For example, it is still seen by some Wall Street-focused CEO’s as non mission-critical (one participant referred to that baffling phenomenon as “the CEO blind spot”).
Others noted that purpose is still being confused by some CCO’s, CMO’s and CHRO’s with the corporate mission.
Most of the IPR/Page members “get” purpose. It’s intended to
So this is the episode when the three stooges of the SmallDataForum were meant to reflect wistfully on what was Great Britain exiting Greater Europe.
The irony of recording this on April Fool’s Day wasn’t lost on us.
Brexit Fool’s day is every day, these days. Our resident classicist Sam even managed to squeeze in Juvenal’s Satire VI, and even though the reference was in regard to another April Fool’s – Facebook regulation, haha – Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes might just as well mean “who regulates the regulators?”
Ah – wouldn’t that be The Great British Electorate? Well, they have spoken, just over 1,000 days ago. And what they said, means what it means. Fool’s Day and any other day.
After our recording, the Prime Minister finally reached out to the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition to figure out how to move forward. Or sideways. Or move at
It’s true, you really can be your worst critic. That little voice that exists to keep you up at night and tell you in no uncertain terms that, ‘woahhhhh, you’re in over your head here, buddy’ is an incredibly irritating…
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With this episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report, FIR 181, Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz embark on a renewed journey every month with conversation at the intersection of business, communication and technology, just as when they first started out in January 2005.
In this episode for March 2019, H&H discuss these stories:
Print is still a viable communication tool; Raspberry Pi is distributing multiple print magazines
Pandora is the first streaming service to introduce a sonic logo
In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in New Zealand, we find ourselves at a fork in the social media road
The nature of a news story determines the trajectory of its lifespan
Gartner expects AI to assume 80% of all project management tasks by 2030
Companies are now mining your voice to learn more about you for purposes both noble and nefarious
On March 9, a technology trends report was published that is breathtaking in in scope and scale.
Comprising a PDF of more than 380 pages, the 2019 Tech Trends Report from the Future Today Institute covers hundreds of trends in areas ranging from artificial intelligence and advanced robotics, to home automation and the Internet of Things, to workplace and learning technologies, smart cities and much more.
As the publisher describes it:
This report is intentionally broad and robust. We have included a list of adjacent uncertainties, a detailed analysis of 315 tech trends, a collection of weak signals for 2020, and more than four dozen scenarios describing plausible near futures. Do not try to read it in one sitting. Begin with the Executive Summary and Keywords, then review the top tech trends listed for your industry.
Some good advice here. I started reading it yesterday, quickly realising that this is
“We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.“ So the famous US Supreme Court Justice and ‘crusader for social justice’ and breaker-upper of Gilded Age monopolies, Louis D. Brandeis is said to have said, perhaps sometime in the early 1930s.
Today, perhaps the best-known neo-Brandeisian anti-trust advocate is Tim Wu, Columbia law professor, ‘father of net neutrality’ and author of a series of books likening today’s commercial excesses – in particular in the digital space – to the ‘Gilded Age’ of the late 19th and early 20thcenturies.
Of course, it is not really an either-or debate. It’s a complex and convoluted, tangled web of interests and angles, and any claimant of simple solutions has likely got a degree from snake oil university.
Neville discusses an article in The
I’ve read quite a few recent articles in the advertising and marketing trade press suggesting the halo surrounding the magical word “digital” is not only fading, but actually becoming a bit of an albatross.
According to this article in Marketing Week, more and more marketers are disbanding their separate digital departments and teams and folding them into the larger marcom group. Why? Because, just as was the case with social media, digital is no longer perceived as a standalone “thing.” It’s now seen as simply one more channel in the never-ending battle to engage with stakeholder audiences in a holistic way.
And, as the article points out, we all live in a digital world. So let’s move on and get back to calling ourselves marketers and not digital specialists or influencer specialists or CSR specialists, etc. We’re marketers, pure and simple.
This development comes as no surprise to
The February 2019 edition of the Hobson and Holtz Report podcast, aka FIR episode 176, is a show that marks a big milestone for Shel and I.
It’s the 1,000th episode* of a podcast that we began in January 2005.
In addition to recollections of times past and comments from listeners from throughout FIR’s 14-plus-year history, plus special news from Shel about continuity plans, we report on these stories in this episode:
It seems that every new day brings with it another egregious self-inflicted crisis caused by racially and gender-insensitive marketers.
The most recent examples are the truly horrific gaffes committed by Adidas and Gucci, respectively;
How could anyone think this was okay?
“There are somethings that just don’t make sense in life; Adidas celebrating black history month with this shoe is one example”
While the in-house marketing team and agency partners are unquestionably at fault for their lack of social awareness, I think the real genesis of these blunders lies with the designers and engineers.
These are the uber cool and uber insulated types who are constantly trying to come up with the hippest, sleekest and most cutting-edge sneakers, sweaters and widgets.
Having worked with designers and engineers alike, I know they live within their own ivory towers. They obsess over trends, technology and ease-of-use, but are oblivious to the
Achieving five stars on Glassdoor for an organization is the equivalent of a restaurant receiving 3 stars from Michelin Guide.
But based on an explosive Wall Street Journal expose, all that glitters at Glassdoor is most certainly NOT gold.
Here’s Peppercomm Partner Deb Brown’s POV. Personally, I’d give it 4.5 stars:
What happens when your entire business model is questioned? That’s what happened to Glassdoor recently when the Wall Street Journal published an investigative report titled, “How Companies Secretly Boost Their Glassdoor Ratings.” That title has to hurt, especially when on its website, Glassdoor states, “Built on the foundation of increasing workplace transparency…”
Employers flood the ranking site with 5-star postings requested from enthusiastic staffers, leading to unusual spikes, a WSJ investigation found.
To be fair to Glassdoor, employees who are upset at their former or current employer are probably more likely to post negative reviews than content employees