Monthly Archives: April 2013

4 Reasons Why a Blog Helps Your Personal Brand

I recently attended an event in which someone discussed the important of personal brand. Personal brand, she said, is important as you continue to climb the corporate ladder.  But, what if you’re not where you want to be? Blogs are a great way to increase your visibility and build your personal brand empire.

Blogs are not something new. According to Wikipedia, blogs began in the late nineties. Folks for the last ten years have been sharing their experience, knowledge, and general random thoughts, but it wasn’t until the last few years (2004 ish) that blogs really took off.

There are many benefits to writing a blog:  brand awareness, build authority,  content creation, and search engine optimization.

Brand Awareness

Brand Awareness isn’t only for large companies. What do you want folks to think about you? Your blog can be a great way to build your personal brand. Use your skills, interests, and experiences to build your blog, ultimately build your brand. Your personal brand isn’t just for your blog, but your digital presence.  Susan Payton wrote this article regarding how to be the “It” expert in your industry that is worth a read.

Authority

Blogs are a great way to express your knowledge on a topic and build trust with your audience. Hubspot wrote a post on 11 ways to use content to build authority. Passionate about social media? Cool, then write about that. The key to building expertise is to share your stories. Everyone has something to share. Start writing down your ideas in a notebook or use Evernote. Personally, I keep a small notebook to write down my ideas. Lots of posts have come those scribbles. Most of the ideas I jot down come from conversations at work or something I read. No matter how random the idea is write it down. Start using those ideas for posts and turn your ideas into opportunities. This is how you build authority by sharing your experience.

Your BrandContent Creation

You can’t build your empire without some content. You heard content is king, but what does that mean? I like Anna Famery’s summary on topic, “If there is no content worth reading or seeing on the site, than people won’t go.” How do you fuel the content machine? Jot down different topics to discuss on your blog. Here is a list to get you started:

  • Industry trends
  • Best practices
  • Tips
  • Pitfalls
  • Top Ten lists
  • Case Studies
  • Personal Observations
  • How To’s
  • Work Funny Ha Has

Need more? Here is another post to read on how to write great content from Jeff Bullas.

Search Engine Optimization

Trying to rank for certain key words? You should think about how to incorporate those into your blog. Amy Portfield writes a great post on how to make your blog rank well. Don’t know where to start? Think about how folks find you on the interwebs. If folks are looking for the ultimate basket weaver, how do they find you? You can check your website analytics, if you are using Google Analytics under traffic sources.

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#FunFactFridays: Add Some Ta-Da in Your Dashboard

Happy Friday!

Hope your weekend is starting off right. Today’s #FunFactFridays is all about dashboards. If you are like me, you are glued to your Google Analytics dashboards daily. I found this helpful article on Six free ‘Realtime‘ Google Analytics Dashboards that you can use for any website. Thanks to Dan Barker (@danbarker) for this amazing gem!

If you not checking your analytics for what is driving folks to your site, you are missing a huge opportunity. I regularly check Google Analytics to see where folks are coming from (referrals), what are they reading (content drill down), how long they are spending (time on site), and what they are using to get to our site (audience: mobile). This is one of the key activities for me when I am looking to create engaging content. Gotta know where folks are coming from and what they are reading to continue to drive traffic.

Putting the Ta-Da back in Your Dashboard. Photo courtesy of tadaaustralia.wordpress.com

Putting the Ta-Da back in Your Dashboard. Photo courtesy of tadaaustralia.wordpress.com

The 6 ‘Amazing’ Dashboards are:

  1. Realtime Overview
  2. Realtime Channels
  3. Realtime Geographic Info
  4. Realtime Organic Search
  5. Realtime Content
  6. Realtime Social Media

Read more: http://snipi.co/l/0:1lapRs8x2Mi4

Are You a Disruptive Diva?

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading the WSJ and an interesting article appeared on Why Divas Need to Make No Apology. The premise of the article was that healthy divas make the workplace better.

Interesting that there was such a description as “healthy diva.” I think when most people think about divas, it is mostly in a negative connotation. I would include myself in the group, but maybe I was biased. I decided to poll my network to see their reaction on “healthy divas.”

Poking a little fun at the thought of divas, I made a side comment to my coworker, “ha ha, I wonder what kind of diva I would be?”

Is disruption bad for business?

Are you a Disruptive Diva

Are you a Disruptive Diva?

Without a beat, my coworker said, “you would be disruptive diva.” Wow, that can’t be good. Hoping this was a compliment; I began to think more about being disruptive. What made me disruptive? Disruptive by definition means to destroy usually temporarily, the normal continuance or unity. The act of disruption is to question the status quo. To raise the concern whether this project or idea is a good idea. Questioning past protocols and its impact. Check on all of the above. I do that and most meetings begin or end with, “how is this going to help us achieve our organization’s goals?”

Is questioning the norm, an indication of intelligence? For me, if I didn’t question the norm then I wouldn’t be doing my job. Sometimes shaking things up helps change your perspective and in turn create solutions you hadn’t considered and that’s the point.

Disruptive Checklist

So here my checklist if you interested in being disruptive. It is not about being a contrarian, but rather question “business as usual” to ultimately keep improving your business.

  • Do you raise your hand to ask why?
  • Do you share your vision with others?
  • Do you question the norm?
  • Do you challenge your colleague’s assumptions?
  • Do you push the envelope?

Wear your disruptive badge of honor. Without folks like you innovation would never happen. Disruptive is vital to creativity and innovation.

Final thoughts: There are lots of articles tying disruption and change management. In 2005, Harvard Business Review wrote about secret change agents. The essence of the article was there are “positive deviants” who are challenging their organizations for the better. Perhaps the next time you’re in the meeting and your colleague is questioning you, you will reconsider this challenge as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to change your line of thinking potentially for the better.

#FunFactFridays: Tips for Media Interviews

In public relations, everyday you are constantly thinking about how to get infront of the media. You have spent countless hours researching the right reporter, crafting “the pitch”, and following up.  Then it happens: the reporter responses, “Sounds interesting, when can I set up an interview?”

Huzzah. The moment you’ve waited for. But there’s a catch: Your expert isn’t “comfortable” speaking with the media. Argh! Hopefully you did your research selecting the right expert, but everyone gets nervous from time to time speaking with reporters.

This week’s #FunFact is tips to help your expert ace their next interview.

Before the Interview

1)    Confirm the duration, time, date of your interview. Many times you are one of many interviews on a given day. Make sure your reporter has the correct day and time. Also note time zones.

2)   Write down three key points you want to cover. Without a framework you run the risk of getting off topic. Stick to your topics.

Media Interview

Check, Check, One, Two.. Do you know how to prepare for your next media interview?

During the interview

1)   Zen Zone. Set up your call somewhere quiet so you can think and not be distracted.

2)   Tell a story about your experience. The reporter is looking to thread details into the overall story. Be vivid. Be genuine.

3)   Make your Point. Emphasis your key points using phrases such as, “ the key point is..” or “ remember it is important to.”  This helps highlight the important details and more likely to be remembered.

4)    Be confident. You’re the expert and that’s why the reporter wants to hear from you.

5)   Nothing is off the record. Everything you mention can and will most likely be used in an article.

6)    Feel free to ask for clarification on questions.

Mr. Fix-It’s Guide to Public Relations

Dad + Garage+ Stuff Breaking = Powerful #PR Lessons

Sitting at my desk the other day, I began thinking about how working in my dad’s garage helped me prepare for the somewhat unpredictable, stressful career in public relations. My dad was Mr. Fix It. There wasn’t anything that he couldn’t build or fix without ingenuity, duck tape, and nails. I spent many summers working with my dad on his “diamond in the rough” truck, housing projects like updating the bathroom, or anything that struck my dad as needed to be fixed.  This is exactly what every girl wants to do: get dirty, use tools, and hangout in the garage. But looking back at it now, I can appreciate some of the lessons I learned during my “on the job training” courteous of my dad.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

How many times have you picked up the phone and on the other end is some type of crisis. Big or small, it will most likely derail your day. The equlivant to this is when my mom would say, “Hey, the drain isn’t working and <insert something exaggerated>.” Calmly, my dad would go into the garage, grab his toolbox, and come back into the house. Of course, dad needed an assistant. My function was super important; I was chief flashlight holder looking on as my dad tapped, bang, and cursed his way to a solution. He didn’t complain. He looked at whatever the problem was and fixed it. Few words in between, but in the end it was completed. Now, I address challenges in the same fashion: no theatrics and maybe a few expletives along the way. You can get frustrated behind closed doors, but in front of your clients or stakeholders, calm and collected will get the job done.

Mr. Fix It PR Guide

Problems? Duck tape is your answer to everything.

Creative Solutions.

Any homeowner knows that things are bound to break. Our house was no exception, but instead of calling a professional, my dad tried to fix it himself. These were the days before you could type in “fix <insert item>” on YouTube. My dad without fail would bring the toolbox out, take a look at what ever was “broken” and attempted to fix it. Sometimes with duck tape, sometimes banging on it, or creating some type of DIY solution. Crazy enough this worked. Many times, PR folks have to make things happen and fast. Last minute interview and no expert? No problem. Creativity is one of the best assets a professional can have in their tool belt. Learn to think on your feet and be prepared for anything. Sometimes it is the crazy ideas that work and get the job done.

Be Fearless, but not Stupid.

Working in the garage had it benefits. I learned how to hammer a nail, use a level, and change my own oil. All great skills to have, right? Most importantly, I learned when to take a risk or when not to. Dad may have been Mr. Fix-It, but there where a few things he didn’t touch: electric, demolition, and electric (twice because you can’t be too careful). Similarly, you can be fearless, but don’t take unnecessary risks. Early on in my career, I definitely took some risks that I probably should have not. Like learning when not to say, ” I told you so” to your boss or sharing your “honesty” to a coworker. Like dad said, “don’t be stupid.”

I had no idea that helping my dad with his weekend projects would help me build vital skills for my  career. Thanks dad for teaching me I could do anything if I put a little elbow grease and tenacity behind it.

#FunFactFridays: Stats on Presentations

If you have been reading my blog, you already know how much I love using SlideShare. Your #FunFactFriday is all about presentation stats from SlideShare. While it is dated from 2011, I think there are some great nuggets about presentations such as the average number of slides, the country who uses the most slides, and the world record for the longest presentation (number of slides).

Happy Reading!

Seven #SocialMedia Tips in Less than Eight Clicks

Happy Tuesday. Thinking about sharing practical advice in social media, I decided to do a top list of articles from my past posting. One of the reasons I decided to start writing this blog was to share my past experiences and provide solid advice to folks looking for ways to use social media. I don’t believe it is difficult, I think it’s hard to change the norm and get people to try new things. I want to share advice without the hype and ra ra. We all know we should be doing more with social, but often don’t know how.

Seven Tips in Eight ClicksSo, here is my attempt to provide solid advice for the folks who are looking for real tactics. Practical tips for the pragmatic professional.

Happy reading.

Holy Grail of Gaining More Followers on Twitter

Part 1: 4 Things I Learned during My First Year of Implementing a Global Social Media Strategy

Part 2: Everyone else is an expert

Part 3: You Need an Executive Champion

Part 4:  Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch

When Tactics, Not Strategy Drives Your Social Media

Who is Driving Your Social Media Bus