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Newsjacking with David Meerman Scott

March 9, 2012

Day 1 of South by South West Interactive 2012 welcomed its attendees with the expected long registration lines with an added bonus of  torrential downpours and unusually cold weather in Austin. However, because of a great advice from a colleague of mine, Wayne Kurtzman, I  arrived a day earlier and avoided all this registration madness and instead caught a session with David Meerman Scott who was there to promote his ebook on Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage

David is a seasoned presenter who knows how to tell great stories. In fact his entire presentation was based on examples that drove home his overall message of the importance of listening and reacting to news in real time. Read more…

Three leadership qualities I learned from Steve Jobs

December 21, 2011

“Here’s to the Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world – are the ones who DO!”
~ Apple Computers ~

The 1997 quote from the famous “Think Different” marketing campaign for Apple products might have been conceived to represent the elusive qualities of Apple product users, but it is also a very good description of Steve Jobs himself whose business philosophy and colorful life has been described in his biography written by Walter Isaacson.

Yes, I did read the 600+ pages of Steve’s life including the proud and not so proud moments both as a leader and as a family man. I saw him as a youngster who thought the rules did not apply to him, a young college drop-out who chose to study Buddhism rather than finish Reed College. I saw a young entrepreneur whose way to get what he wanted was by either yelling or sobbing uncontrollably in front of his business partners and finally I saw him as a powerful CEO whose way to approach difficult problems was to avoid them all together including avoiding his early cancer diagnosis that might have cost him his life. Was Steve Job’s way to get what he wanted right? Not exactly. Was it successful? You bet. Read more…

No need for a lab coat when using social media for research

December 8, 2011

I recently had an interesting exchange with an acquaintance of mine who is in charge of multiple customer research initiatives that are based on traditional research methodologies including surveys and focus groups. He openly expressed his disapproval of using social media for any type of statistically valid research due to his inability to control where his social data is coming from. While he continued to list all important points that make traditional customer research far superior from what I can gather through social media monitoring service I could not help, but notice a bigger point that he was missing entirely:  ubiquitous access to social data that anyone (with or without a research lab coat) can begin to manipulate and analyze for relevant insights.  This creates opportunities for anyone (and marketers in particular) who are willing to learn a few tricks of the trade to use social media data not to replace but to supplement their formal market research initiatives.

Jason Falls and Erik Deckers in their recent article “How to Use Social Media for Research and Development” take a similar stand on empowering everyone marketers, product managers and small business owners to take advantage of data from social media conversations. How? They lists two major ways:

1)      REACTIVELY by using free or paid social data monitoring and mining tools to access, analyze and gather insights from existing conversations

2)      PROACTIVELY by seeking customer answers to direct questions posted in social channels.

Let’s analyze both from two different perspectives:  a small business owner’s point of view who often needs to rely on himself to perform all relevant research activities as well as a marketer in an enterprise setting who has an ongoing need for relevant customer insights that limited corporate market research resources cannot satisfy. Read more…

What’s the future of the “social strategist” position?

October 16, 2011

I am a proud parent of a UCONN freshman (go Huskies!). Recently my son and I had several conversations aimed at helping him figure out how to get the best of his early college experience. He quickly ventured into bigger questions about discovering his life passions that will hopefully change into a fulfilling long-term career. Just like I was several years ago he is questioning his course selections and doubting his original major choice. He is anxious to get it all figured out regardless of the fact that he has been attending college only for the past couple of months! What’s the rush? – I ask. Isn’t college supposed to be a place for exploration? Read more…

How to spruce up your Social Media 101 presentations

August 4, 2011

I am in the process of talking to a whole bunch of social media practitioners-in-training about the value of social media and I am constantly looking for ways to spruce up these Social Media 101 presentation aside from just having a bunch of PowerPoint slides to walk folks through. Here are some ways I broke the monotony of “death by PPT slides”



You cannot go wrong energizing your participants with some upbeat music & cleverly along with visuals. Here are the powerful three I keep on using over and over

Social Media Revolution  -the basics – use these powerful stats to explain the basics concept behind social media


Social Media Revolution in Business – yes, it has the powerful ROI stats there Read more…

What do you need to know about your conversation participants before setting up your social media strategy?

May 3, 2011

As part of J.Boye’s ” Knowledge sharing for digital decision makers” Conference I had a chance to participate in a workshop delivered by Bob Boiko (University of Washington) titled “Social Media and Information Strategy”.

Bob presented his information strategy framework to include

  1. Identifying your business goals
  2. Identifying your audiences
  3. Figuring out the information types you are going to share with your audience
  4. Lastly picking your channels to facilitate info. delivery

His info. strategy would follow this basic template

” We deliver the right info (aka content model) to the right people (your audiences) the right way (through appropriate channel/s) to meet our goals (aka business goals).”

The addition of social media conversations revises his strategy template to now mention information exchanges.

“We deliver the right content or facilitate information exchanges for the right people in the right way to help us meet our business goals.”

In a way this strategy building framework reminded me of Forrester’s POST methodology that I have been advocating when helping my stakeholders build their social media strategies at Pitney Bowes (my employer)

Forrester's POST methodology

But what I’d like to share with you here is Bob’s laser sharp focus on better understanding the conversations themselves Read more…

Blogging for marketing and communication profs

May 1, 2011

I recently had a chance to talk to a group of Public Relations professionals about blogging. Although I did multiple “Intro. to Blogging” talks in the past couple of years I needed to pause and really think about this one. PR folks don’t need training on how to communicate (heck, they can be my teachers on this topic), but what they need is a clear understanding on how to adjust their writing style for blogging success including understanding differences in blogging goals, audience, content and most importantly tone.

Blogging vs. marcom writing

Blogging vs. marcom writing - what's the difference?

The anatomy of a blog post (aka writing for the web)

Starting with a great blog post title and finishing with a call to action great blog posts have a specific anatomy. BTW, I’ve used one of the posts from the HubSpot blog  because I believe they are doing a superb job illustrating all of my blog anatomy points AND I highly recommend for great insights about marketing automation. Read more…