Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

Leadership Styles September 21, 2010

Filed under: People that are smarter than me — jenharris @ 6:51 pm
Tags: ,

I had a few beers tonight with Derek Ellis of Tsuvo Social. We talked a lot about leadership styles and in some cases the lack there of. And as I sit here thinking about these styles that I have been exposed to in the past five years, I wonder who or what style I want to work for in my next endeavor.
I honestly can’t sit here and quote leadership styles. But it’s kind of like pornography at this point…I know it when I see it.
So yes, I could Google and read up on different styles and types, but I want to know from you…where have you been the most productive and the happiest…and how did you use that to further develop who you are as a working, contributing human being?
Xoxo
-jen

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When CEO’s (or News Directors) “Get It”: Fox12 August 18, 2009

In November I was asked to be KTRV’s “Twitter Correspondent” during the Presidential election coverage.  Their thinking was “Why continue to have the same ‘ol stodgy old Political Science Professor every year saying the same thing, when we could interact with the public instead?”

We did a video on how to sign up for Twitter and told viewers to do so at the beginning of the special Presidential Election coverage.  We asked questions via Twitter and on air and showed those comments during the coverage.  This was groundbreaking in Boise…a very big deal.

Since then, Fox12 always has the best stories with local Tweeple as the experts.  They are the hip cats in town.

Although News Director, Kelly Cross, might not be the CEO, he is in charge & leads a crew of hip anchor Tweeple.  Here are his answers to the same questions I asked Rick Lierz about what he is doing to lead the charge with Social Media.

When did you first see the possibilities of integrating social media into Fox12?
You and Bob J. really gave me my first exposure to the notion of integrating social media into the world of local television news.  The work you did in conjunction with my local news team in covering the general election back in November really showed me the potential such an integration could have.  I also was lucky enough to have a good friend (@schlanghole), already immersed in social media, who pushed me to get more involved specifically with Twitter.  He convinced me to plow through my reluctance and become an active member of the Twitter community, and he showed me how to be involved.  He gave me a set of guidelines that really make sense, and clarify how to and how not to successfully integrate s.m. into the tangible world.

What have been the very first steps – tools, training, educating, convincing, rules etc?
Getting my coworkers involved has been interesting.  It’s been about a 50/50 split between those who readily jumped into s.m., and those who consider themselves too disconnected to try.  Those who’ve expressed an interest in being more active have gotten support, encouragement, and guidance from me.  In truth, my crew has done an excellent job of really engaging the other people out there on a personal level, as well as pumping information out when it’s timely and relevant.

Now that you have taken the first steps…if you were to do it over again, what would you do differently?
If I had it to do all over again, I’m not sure what I’d change….I admit I’d love to take back a handful of tweets that seemed o.k. when I sent them, but in hindsight made me feel embarrassed or ashamed.

What tools do you see being the most effective for your overall purpose of using SM?
From a professional standpoint, Twitter has been easily the most effective s.m. tool for us.  We have a very good balance between social and business engagements, and I feel that overall, we are way ahead of the curve in terms of local media outlets using s.m. effectively.  In sheer volume, I’m sure our competitors on Fairview are still bigger…but I would argue that we bring a far more genuine and appreciated approach to s.m. and that the local Twitterverse would agree.   From a personal standpoint, FB has been a great platform for reconnecting with old coworkers, classmates and friends…I think it’s less effective from a business/social mix standpoint.

What is your favorite tool to date?
Twitter

Who do you recommend the most to others to follow or friend?
My recommendation to others is to follow if you’re looking to engage, inform, and learn at a fast pace….and friend if you’re looking to reconnect with your past.

What are your 6 mo, and 12 month goals?
My short and long term goals right now are unclear in terms of s.m.  – except to say that I want to be ready when the s.m. world evolves and the ‘new’ Twitter emerges.  Getting on the bus early is a must.

Future…if you had unlimited resources?
If I had unlimited resources, I’d retire and let somebody else figure it all out!

 

When CEO’s “Get It”: Franklin Building Supply & Social Media August 7, 2009

FBSFor the past four years I have been talking to CEO’s, Presidents and high level executives about Social Media as to why they should be paying attention and start dipping their toe in the water.  Well, thanks to TwitterOprah Ashton Kutcher the last 6 months have been a blast talking to people not about why, but how soon can we get involved!  Twitter just made social media easier to understand the voice and the speed at which information can travel.

When I first met Rick Lierz , the CEO of Franklin Building Supply, he was eager to learn about Twitter & the bigger picture of Social Media.  He has learned so much in such a short amount of time and is so excited to move his company forward, it literally makes me tear up!

To my delight, more and more CEO’s are “getting it”.  To be honest, if the CEO of the company doesn’t “get it” you either enter into the SM school of dentisry you move on to another company that has the understanding that if you don’t evolve and change, you die.

I wanted to share a new blog series with you that dives into the minds of these CEO’s and what makes their Social Media plans so great.  Rick was the first person that I wanted to highlight, because there is a plan & you can see it in his eyes that he “gets it”.  I believe he has the potential to lead an industry that is traditionally non-geeky and not so “computer savvy”, yet it relies on all the components of social media: relationships, friendships and camaraderie to get a deal done.  Quite the undertaking, but I have no doubt he will succeed!

When did you first see the possibilities of integrating social media into Franklin Building Supply?
Fairly recently, actually.  I was firmly of the opinion that things like Facebook and Twitter were somehow bad, mostly a fear that they would suck time out of the productive business work day if we acknowledged its existence at work.  The economy turned down in our industry nearly three years ago, and as it went from bad to terrible, we began to experience a complete reset in old beliefs and norms.  For me, the reset included a reevaluation of how we define customers and how we communicate with the world.  I have to admit, learning about social media was the biggest surprise for me in this total reset.  It is very exciting.

What have been the very first steps – tools, training, educating, convincing, rules etc?
We are still pretty early in the process.  The first thing I did was learn about Twitter.  I’m still an analog by nature, so I took a beginner Twitter class at Consilio.  That helped me enormously with the philosophy of social media, which was the key to my understanding the role SM plays in the bigger picture.  From there I expanded my own tool set into Facebook.  I had been on LinkdIn for a while, but didn’t appreciate it before.  And You Tube became something more than an occasional diversion, as I studied how all these tools fit together.  The next step was to gather some receptive people in our company, what you can evangelists, and begin to scratch out a plan to make SM a regular part of what we do in the company.

Now that you have taken the first steps…if you were to do it over again, what would you do differently?
I would do it sooner.  We are still early enough in our evolution that I can’t yet tell what mistakes we’ve made.

What tools do you see being the most effective for your overall purpose of using SM?
Twitter, a web-based community for the public as well as one for employees, a mix of blogs and industry based educational information sprinkled among them, YouTube to share our experiences and have fun.  There are so many free resources out there to help a company communicate internally and externally.  It is an exciting time.

What is your favorite tool to date?
I am enjoying Twitter and I see its promise and relevance, but I can’t claim to be good at using it yet.  I still struggle with the concept that what I have to say isn’t very interesting, so my tweets are sporadic.  I am most excited about launching communities that are interactive, which is still in development.

Who do you recommend the most to others to follow or friend?
Find other business folks who clearly get it.  Their tweets will tell you.  If it’s all about their products or service and not about an ongoing relationship, then its just white noise.  I learned the most early on from the CEO of Zappos.  His tweets are funny, serious, entertaining, teaching, inspiring, and he does a great job of making followers feel like a part of his company.  There are some great local business folks to follow.  You just have to get on and experiment.

What are your 6 mo, and 12 month goals?
By the end of this year, I would like to have a public community and a private community launched.  Before that time, we need to complete our development of policies for social media and begin, through evangelists, to encourage use of the tools available right now by employees throughout.  Of course, a fair amount of education will be in order.  Our industry is evolving, but is still very much analog in nature.  A year from now, I would like all employees in the company to be looking to the private and public communities in the first instance for their information about the company and to be interactive in the ongoing effort to improve what we do for customers and each other.  I would also like to see the public community growing steadily in participation with people from outside the company.  Those are the big picture goals.

Future…if you had unlimited resources?
If we had unlimited resources I would hire someone to be our SM leader, to teach and train and evangelize and get the entire company to the next level of understanding and use more quickly.  Unfortunately, it may be some time in our industry before we can afford such a resource.

Thank you Rick!
-jen

 

BlueLine Marketing Update July 29, 2009

BlueLinePeople are constantly asking me: What ever happened to everyone at BlueLine Marketing?  (and that is usually followed by “what happened TO BlueLine?” and “wow, you guys were WAY ahead of the curve“)

For those that don’t know: BlueLine Marketing was a word-of-mouth marketing company based in Boise, Idaho.  We were preaching, teaching & selling what is now Social Media to companies that “got it”…there were not many.  Things happened and doors closed in December 2007.

The Founders: (in alphabetical order)
Brian Critchfield: Director of Marketing at Boon, Inc.  LinkedIn:

Justin Foster
: Founder/Managing Partner at Tricycle Brand Development.  LinkedIn:

John Hardesty
: CEO & Co-Founder of Tricycle Brand Development. LinkedIn:

Brian Packer
: Director VP of Marketing at ZAGG Inc.  LinkedIn:

Soon thereafter: (in the order that I remember)
Erik Warila: Marketing & Communications at Micron. LinkedIn:

Tac Anderson
: Social Media Director at Waggener Edstrom.  LinkedIn:

Jen Harris
: My bio here. Looking to solve people’s social media woes, whether it be as an independent contractor or inside a really brilliant company that understands they need someone “on the inside” to move their social media needle.  LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jenharris

Mike Boss:
At Mike’s request: “It would be great if you would leave out the stuff about my time in rehab, although my two years as a soldier of fortune is OK.” No worries Mike, your secret is safe with me my friend.
Mike lost his job back in November as MPC Computer’s PR Manager, is currently taking the inspiration and tools he gained from his BlueLine days and applying is BYOM (Be Your Own Media) model to the creation of a social media association for independently owned culinary businesses (www.behindthemenu.org).  He remains determined that the business model for this endeavor should be as innovative as the tools and techniques that make it possible to begin with.  In the meantime, as a self-acknowledged unemployed bum, he believes you should feel free to buy him lunch whenever possible and at least feign interest in his goofy ideas.  His mother will bless you for those small acts of kindness.

Kristine Asin
: Marketing & Events Owner at StinaLu Studios.  LinkedIn:

Krissa Wrigley: VP Research & Evaluation for Idaho TechConnect

Rachel Wilson: Corporate Education Liaison at University of Phoenix. LinkedIn:

FlatPlanet People (web development company that was aquired by BL in 2006)
Sam Swenson: Founder of Socialplasam. LinkedIn:
Ben Whitaker:

So there you have it!
Did I miss anyone…is your job not accurate or detailed enough? (Mike is our writer, he is allowed).
I love everyone here, no matter what the past was. It was the experience of a lifetime that has allowed me to change the lives of others. xoxo, always.

 

We The Tweeple – Boise Style June 1, 2009

Filed under: People that are smarter than me — jenharris @ 11:35 am
Tags: , ,
Deacon Mike

Deacon Boss

My dear friend, Mike Boss, is now doing a 10 minute pod-cast series with local Boise Tweeple about…Twitter! More than 140 characters…with sound!

Yes, this is a bit of an ego push since Mike made me his first…but more of a thank you to him & a push for you to sample his amazing writing.  He writes & pod-casts about local eateries with Behind The Menu as well as writes about local businesses in TechTalks, blogs for the IBR, and is just an overall great guy.

Look out, he could be writing about you soon…and you will be glad he did.

 

#FollowFriday in +140 Characters March 6, 2009

In the spirit of #FollowFriday on Twitter, I would like to introduce you to five Tweeple that always catch my eye and why I think you might enjoy following them.  #FollowFriday is nice & all, but I like to hear from people why they think they are so great…here are my Tweeps!

@TacAnderson Tac introduced me to Twitter.  He is also the first person, outside of my husband, that I told I was pregnant with the twins.  He jumped up and gave me a great big hug—if you can hug, you can be my friend.  Oh, and he’s frickin’ brilliant.  He knows every new product, every cool kid knows him, follows him & wants to be him.  The thing is – he isn’t arrogant about his notority in the world of social media.  He is cool as a cucumber & genuine to the core.  And he doens’t owe me a coffee at all for this.  🙂

@MikeBoss Disclaimer: I set up Mike’s original Twitter account while we were at MPC Computers together.  Mike took the love of telling stories about food, his Middle East travels & his cats and turned that into relationships with computer and education publications that got MPC Computers off the “black ball list” (btw: that is not my quote, it is someone that was higher up the MPC food chain than me).  He didn’t have to buy the inside front cover to get a story or a quote from the publisher, he gave them content & value through stories, insights and heart felt comrodery with people.

@SaulColt  Saul is the Head of Magic (and self proclaimed Mayor or Twitter) at FreshBooks and he holds that position close to his heart & does it damn well!  My favorite part of following Saul on Twitter is that he is FUNNY!  His little insights about the cabbies he encounters, the food he is eating & the house he just lost make me laugh…and he responds back – kudos!  

@DirecTV  If you have DirecTV you MUST follow them.  They don’t tweet out that much but when they do it is valuable info…like when they offer free HBO!  Quick story: Our signal went out one night and my husband was on hold wiht them for 45 minutes (on that thing-a-ma-jiggy called a “phone”).  I had just started following them & gave it a crack – with in 8 minutes our signal was back!  

@SteveAMiller  My favorite part of his bio is his first line: Kelly’s Dad.  Won my heart right there.  Steve has given me advice during my most recent lay off & we have actually had a REAL phone call.  He has many years behind him in consulting in the marketing world and shares his knowledge & tidbits well….and he has a great band (jk-not THAT Steve Miller).

 

You Have a HUGE Marketing Budget! January 21, 2009

That’s right, your marketing budget is HUGE…just as big, powerful & relevant as the big dawgs.

And here’s the catch….it’s your salary as well.  Marketing of the company is your time, energy, blood, sweat & tears of getting the story out about your product and/or service.

Here is what your Marketing line items should consist of:
Blogging, blogging, blogging & did I mention…blogging?  Don’t sell, tell your story & tell your customers stories.  Think NBC Olympic athlete profiles…how compelling were those? You watched those just as much as the actual event!
Post on other relevant blogs. Provide a story, thought or content, not just “buy my product”.
Join your local chamber & go to more than 1 event a month.  Continue the conversations online!

OnLine Networking:

  • LinkedIn “answers”.  There are people out there smarter than you.  Learn from them & be the teacher as well
  • FaceBook posts (don’t spam, inform)
  • Twitter (again, post relevant 140 words & don’t just say “hey, do you need my product?” How would you react to that?
  • Community/Forums: there are SO many out there that are relevant to you & your business.  Check out www.Lithium.com to see if they host an interprise community that fits your needs.

Real Life Networking:

  • Post Chamber Chatter: Tell people about your blog, that you Twitter, that you are on LinkedIn.  Invite others to discuss further topics online – where YOU are at!
  • TweetUps – join & then you will get it.
  • Check the paper – at least the online version…don’t kill a tree to drive to an event. 🙂

Resources
Go to www.hubspot.com & spend at least a whole day reading, learning & watching every single thing they have produced…even the funny stuff is good!  Be sure to check out their Friday webcast of what happened that week in social media – good stuff.

Is this a big no duh? Or is this an AhHa? Make use of your time and make use of the resources around you – they are powerful my friend.