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2 posts from November 2009


Social Media & Engagement of Employees or Customers

May I Have Your Attention, Please!

Never before have we been so inundated with messages vying for our attention. Email, texts, blogs, radio, TV, direct mail, print, Twitter, LinkedIn updates, Facebook and more! Add to this the immediate access we have to a virtually unlimited amount of information via the web. It can be overwhelming.

The challenge we all face is how to get our message heard by the people you really want to hear it. It isn’t easy to be heard over the din and it’s not getting any easier.

When I face this complicated task I strive to simplify it. Who needs to/wants to hear your message?  What exactly is your message? Why does your audience want to hear it? And last should be, in my opinion, what is the strategy to get the message out?

Conversations I overhear include, “You have to Tweet!” Or, “You don’t blog? Are you crazy?” Or, “What do you mean you only have three connections on LinkedIn?” Or, you get a puzzled and demeaning glance when someone learns you aren’t on Facebook or have a fan page. Personally, this sounds arrogant and elitist.

Don’t get me wrong. Those are all great tools. The recent Influence Insiders Blog Talk Radio Show reinforced the power of new media channels. It also forced me to think critically about what is right for me and, more importantly, what is right for my clients. If you are wondering how to get attention so your message is heard, the show is worth a listen.

Relative to engagement of employees or customers, I think you should go where they are currently. That will pay short term returns. And for the more leading edge media, even if your audience isn’t there, consider being there when they get there and weigh the benefits of helping lead them into new media types.

From a practical perspective, this means that building engagement with your audience needs to be a thoughtful and deliberate effort. And, if you’re not there yet, fully vet new digital communication channels to maximize your impact. The best way to do this is to get involved in new media channels and just listen. If you’re not doing that, “what are you thinking!”

Listen to Influence Insiders on Blog Talk Radio


Getting Ahead with Coopetition

InfluenceInsidersLogo One side effect of the anemic economy has been the dispersion of many myths regarding how competitors face off in the marketplace. In fact, it has led to unprecedented collaboration among previously defined competitors and has led to the creation of the term coopetition.

Previously successful companies have been humbled by a stumbling economy and the proliferation of excellent content facilitated by the adoption of Social Media has made leaders rethink partnerships. It used to be easy, and even make some sense, to lock down your IP and thought leadership. But today, it seems to me to make more sense to collaborate, share what you have and help each other get ahead faster.

In addition, I see the constant blurring of lines between disciplines and the increased need to offer genuinely integrated solutions for client’s people performance needs.

It’s in that spirit that we are bringing together a group of smart and successful entrepreneurs in a forum where we will explore ideas, brainstorm and learn from each other. I’m very excited and you can join us!

The Influence Insiders BlogTalkRadio show will take place the first Wednesday of every month, 12:00-1:00 pm eastern time and we want to hear from YOU!  The show can be found at: Use the call in number (646) 381-4430.

You can read more on the I2I Blog and read more about the team below.

Influence Insiders is a core group of experts, bloggers, thought leaders and smart folks who will be getting together monthly to talk about the things that challenge them and their clients associated with engaging audiences.  

The Team

In no particular order:

  • Ann Bares (Minneapolis): Managing Partner  – Altura Consulting Group, author of the blog Compensation Force (a featured blog)  and editor/contributor for multi-author blog Compensation Café and one of the Top 25 Talent Blogs as ranked by Fistful of Talent (FOT) – a popular talent management and HR focused blog.  Ann has been a compensation consultant with RSM McGladrey, Inc., Riley, Dettmann & Kelsey LLC, and Watson Wyatt Worldwide.
  • Frank Roche (Philadelphia): Partner iFractal – sponsor and contributor to very popular KnowHR blog.  Frank and his team focus on helping their clients talk to their employees.  In the past Frank led Mercer’s Human Capital Practice in the Netherlands and worked at Hewitt Associates.
  • Heather Margolis (Boston): President Channel Maven Consulting – Prior to her current role Heather led channel programs for companies like EMC, EqualLogic, and Dell.
  • Julien Dionne (Ottawa, CN): Julien authors the very informative blog and works with OpenSymmetry a consultancy that specializes in Sales Performance Management strategic planning, business process optimization, technology assessment and system integration engagements across diverse industries and software providers.  He has worked with Accenture and nGenera prior to OpenSymmetry.
  • Lance Haun (Portland, Or): Lance has a long history in the HR field and authors the highly rated and read blog YourHRGuy – now called Rehaul. He currently is VP Outreach for a company called Meritbuilder – an online employee reward/recognition portal with a unique feature of being portable – moving with the employee as they move.
  • Todd Hanson (Appleton, WI): President and Founder of Catalyst Performance Group and .
  •  Paul Hebert (Greenville, SC): Managing Director I2I – author of Incentive Intelligence, contributor at Fistful Of Talent and general good guy.  20 years helping companies design and operate incentive, recognition and loyalty programs – degree in Statistics, worked on the Space Shuttle and B1 Bomber while employed at Rockwell and did a stint at a branding and corporate identity firm.