posted by on job loss, marketing, Social Media

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That’s the thought uppermost in my mind as I write this Blog post.

Losing a job is never easy, whether due to a layoff or one’s shortcomings as seen by a superior.  I had both types happen to me in 2009.

The first was a layoff from an engineering firm due to the economic downturn.  I had been with the company for over three years, and succeeded in transforming a fragmented marketing effort into a well structured and effective vehicle. I loved the varied aspects of the job: relationship building, writing, ROI measurement, speaking engagements, PR, branding work and strategy development and implementation. I had a terrific boss and support staff with whom I still keep in touch. While not without periods of stress, it was for the most part both challenging and fun.

The second job loss is best described as an unfortunate situation due to a few things: my own shortcomings, perhaps not the best fit of responsibilities to core strengths, and what I believe was honest mis-communication between a superior and me on a couple of key tasks. This company provides traditional PR and Social Media Marketing, and consists of a great group of talented folks. I’m very grateful to have worked with them. My role was to manage and oversee a social media campaign for a client. It was a successful effort with a very happy client, and I am proud to have played a key role in that.

The first job loss made me go out and relearn how to market myself. We can all get a little too comfortable and complacent at times. Dozens of resumes sent out, many interviews, and many “so close and yet so fars” can make you quite adept at selling yourself. I learned so much from this process that I use every day.

The second loss lit a fire within.  I love social media marketing. I have found my niche. Period. It’s great fit for me – a natural online extension of what I’ve been doing, and am quite good at if I do say so, for over twenty years. No way was this loss going to stop me from  mastering some technical aspects of this field I needed to improve upon, (check!) and then developing some great clients (check!) to do great work for. Game on.

With all the folks hurting out there that have lost jobs, I truly hope you, too, can at some point sincerely say: “Thanks for hiring me, thanks for firing me.”  I’d love to hear from you on how a job loss (or two) has benefitted you in some way.

posted by on Opinions


I must be a little slow on the uptake today.

I was pondering how Apple could have made such an utterly avoidable goof – bringing a 4G iPhone to market that has the significant receptivity problems this one has, according to reports that began swirling in the last few days.  A lot of us are scratching our heads over this one.

Then I realized the joke is on us:  How could we be so naive as to think they wouldn’t bring it to market regardless?

With the competition becoming increasingly fierce in the Smart phone market, the race to create devices with superior speed and functionality has been eclipsed by the race to get the “first to of its kind” to market before your competitors do. Apple, to its credit, has always been the innovator and standard bearer in this regard, so we have expectations bordering on the delusional where their offerings are concerned. I love their products and am awed by them. I admit it.

Still, we should have gotten our first clue that something might be amiss when Jobs introduced the 4G to a salivating audience a few weeks ago, and it had a receptivity problem then. Supposedly it was too many people on the network. Could this happen to anyone and not be indicative of a larger problem? Of course. But this is Apple, and they’ve done this enough that it should have been Clue Number One for us to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.  For Apple’s part, let’s also consider their well publicized zeal to get their 4G to market before or simultaneously with HTC’s 4G EVO.

Ahh, hindsight.

No question in my mind Apple knew of this problem a long time ago. They also know that we, the buying public, are so enamored with their products that we’ll bend over anyway. After all, we can simply hold it differently, since we’ve been doing it wrong all these years, (what WOULD we do without Jobs to guide us through this thorny jungle?) or just buy what amounts to a fitted rubber band to solve the problem. And guess what? It’s immediately available – how amazingly convenient – at $29.00 a pop. Chaaaaa-ching.

Ok, being the first to have the latest and greatest “handheld brain” is way cool. But is it necessarily smart?  Or so important that we can’t wait just a little while for the “bugs” to get worked out? That’s what our parents taught us.

I’m not sure what’s more troubling to me: What this issue says about Apple, or what it says about us. Hate to say it, but I’m going to have to go with the latter.

posted by on FaceBook, Social Media, Uncategorized

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Recently, a business I friended on Facebook held a contest on its page to win an iPad. It started out as a well run contest with the following:

  • You had to “like” the Facebook page in order to participate and be eligible to win.
  • One question was posted daily on a special ‘Friends Only’ page, which encouraged people to check in often for the contest’s duration of seven days.
  • Status updates posted to the wall encouraged participation throughout the week, and contest questions that arose were quickly answered.
  • Answers to the questions came from the company’s Blog, Facebook Page, YouTube channel, and Website, so you had to read and learn about the company in order to find the answers.
  • On the seventh day, the last question was posted at a previously undisclosed time (of course). One lucky person who posted first with the correct combination of answers would win the iPad.

So far, so good. The components for a great contest were present. On day 7, however, I saw an inconsistency in the way one of the answers was presented on two different pages of the company’s website. Specifically, one of the questions asked for the number of regional offices. On the page entitled Company Overview, there were six offices listed, all designated as regional. On the page entitled Regional Sales Office, however, only five of the six were listed, with one clearly designated as a satellite office.

So, which answer was correct? Six? Five? Four? I decided on four, since the one designated as a satellite office on the Regional Sales Office page was in a smaller market, with the remaining four in larger metropolitan areas. I figured maybe this question was to test one’s attention to details.

The correct answer?  Five.


Interestingly, earlier in the week another participant noticed the same inconsistency and asked which page to use for the answer. The company’s response?  “Look for regional offices in North and South Carolina,” which meant not to consider an office located in Augusta, Georgia, and listed on the Company Overview page as regional, but not listed at all on the Regional Sales Office page! Huh? Wouldn’t it have made far more sense to acknowledge the website error, and make the information consistent on both pages right away?

Needless to say, I didn’t win the iPad. I would have, had ‘four’ been the correct answer to the question at issue.  I did inquire, both on the Facebook Page and in a call to the company’s headquarters, about the satellite office designation, and how many offices are considered regional. You guessed it – I got different answers, including mine, for different reasons from each source. That’s where I left it. Another telling point: As of this writing, the Regional Sales Office page has been changed to include all six offices. That’s good – at least the information is more consistent in both places. There’s still that satellite office designation on one page that bugs me. Oh, well.

So, I guess if the contest were held now, the correct answer for the number of regional offices would be: Six? Several people guessed that. They didn’t win iPads, either.

It was tempting to pursue this further, but the thing is, I am just not that desperate for a free iPad. The conflicting info was an honest mistake, as was its initial oversight in planning this contest, I am sure. My time is better spent here to warn of the perils, and point out the inherent unfairness, of conflicting information within online mediums when having a contest of this type. Hopefully, some valuable lessons will be gleaned from sharing this example. That’s worth more, in the long run, than that iPad anyway.

posted by on FaceBook, Social Media, Twitter

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So you’re using Facebook, but you’re still not sure about Twitter? A lot of people think that because of their Facebook presence, Twitter would be redundant for them. I think I know why they feel that way. I believe it has a lot to do with Twitter’s status update prompt: “What’s happening?” They see a few folks who use those precious few 140 characters to share the mundane details of daily life and they think, “Wait, don’t I already do that on Facebook?” And they’re right.  Except that this isn’t what you should do on Twitter. Twitter has a higher calling, as it were, which is great to be a part of once you understand a few key points. Make no mistake, I don’t THINK you should be on Twitter. I KNOW you should be there.

Much as I love and use it now, I readily admit at first I didn’t “get” Twitter. I don’t think most people do, initially. If you joined Facebook first, then Twitter may seem limited by comparison. Yet, Twitter in my opinion is by far a better medium to get really useful information from reliable sources on just about any topic of interest quickly and efficiently. Its brevity, which novices can find limiting and even frustrating, is its best and most valuable feature. Each tweet is easy to digest, can be easily shared, and the short bursts of info enable you to cover more “ground” quickly. The symbols and shorthand are easy to learn and use once you visit the site a few times. I use it both as communication and research tool. By following those individuals, organizations, and companies who have content of interest to you, you’ll find it an invaluable and virtually unlimited resource platform to use for your personal and professional benefit and that of others. Have a complaint about a company on Twitter? You’ll likely get a response in hours, if not minutes. Want to stay abreast of current events?  Often the first place I learn of breaking events is Twitter. Other mediums are slow by comparison. Have insights to share? Tweet it. Looking for a job? Post a link to your resume. The possibilities are endless.

As for the redundancy issue, remember, Facebook is more about personal connections with people you’re acquainted with, and sharing information in much greater detail. Twitter is better used as a pointer of sorts to worthy information of greater general interest to many people. They are two completely different tools that complement each other.

My advice? Sign up at Right now. Read over the Twitter Basics in the Help section, and if you’re a business, check out that section, too. Both appear at the bottom of theTwitter page. Next, type in some topics of interest, start following a few folks, and tweet at least twice a day. Offer interesting content (including links where appropriate) ask questions, (even about Twitter itself – people love to help) respond to requests for info when you can, be friendly, and let your personality shine. In other words, be your interesting and unique self and you‘ll reap the rewards. Concerned about the time it takes? Don’t be – you can do all this in 15-20 minutes a day several days a week. I promise.

New to Twitter ? If you have questions we’d be happy to address them, If you are a seasoned Twitterholic, tell us what you love about it!