Posted tagged ‘communications’

It’s Summertime! Less Time Than Before.

June 8, 2009

tre-coverFor the past couple of weeks and probably for the next couple, we have been out-of-pocket–traveling to graduations and other family-related events. For this reason (and others we will keep to ourselves) I have failed to post frequently to this blog. (That’s my confession.)

However, I have been quite busy out in the real world and on LinkedIn making connections to people who can potentially provide me business. So I’ve been active.

Feel free to contact us at On the Mark Writing if you or your company need a well-written press release, a carefully-crafted press kit, marketing collateral, or editing services.

In this down economy, if you are unsure of the process of writing news releases or marketing collateral (i.e. sales letters) why not get a professional writer to create them for you? News releases are an excellent way to get people to talk about your business and subsequently driving traffic to your website. The key is conversations. If you create a dialogue between your business and your customers or clients, ultimate those conversations will create revenue in your pocket.

How ’bout it?

Did You KNOW???

April 23, 2009

A friend sent me the link to this video this morning, and its message is both exciting and a little scary. Did you know that in only one year, the top 10 in-demand jobs did not exist only five years ago?

Sometimes information is too much for us to process, and sometimes we are immobilized by too much of it. Watch this 5 minute video, and then  let me know what your thoughts are about it.

Does this information come at us to fast for us to fully comprehend? Is anyone else frightened by the information overload which is occurring every second of every day 365 days a year?

How ’bout it?

The Marketing Rules are (Still) Changing

March 6, 2009

tre-coverAs the world has witnessed the collapse of billion dollar companies such as AIG and Merryl Lynch, some of us stood by and were only able to watch in horror as if we were watching the Titanic sinking after hitting the iceberg. “It can never sink. It’s just too big,” they said. One can almost hear the naysayers scoffing at anyone who predicted such a catastrophic failure as what happened on Wall Street. “No, the banks can never fail. The government won’t let that happen.”

Look where it [our confidence] got us. Over the past two or three years, we have taken special notice to some blogs, names and phrases, such as, “Relationship Capital.”

The Relationship Economy is a system in which we are worth who we know and what we know. For example, I personally have just over 2,400 so-called “friends” on the online social network known as Facebook. A year ago, I had exactly 67 “friends” on that same network. Realizing that the shift from a goods-based/knowledge-based economy to a relationship-based economy, I started adding “friends” like crazy. Today, with my 2,400 + “friends,” I am more valuable than I was on March 5, 2008.

I’ve made connections to people all over the world, most of whom I will never meet or even speak to on the phone. And while I would say many will prove to be fruitless, I have made some really good connections to people in some very high places with companies such as Dell, IBM, Apple, HP, and, my favorite, Comcast.

The marketing has changed in the past six months. People are coming to the realization that the social networks are becoming more vital to businesses rather than just a fad. People are watching television online, listening to the radio online, getting their news online, and companies are capitalizing on the world’s ability to connect online.

So what’s my point?

With people spending so much time online and our ability to remain connected to the world, via Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and RSS feeds, the marketing has changed locations and forums, but the message is still the same: “LOOK AT HOW GREAT MY PRODUCT IS!”

That’s where the marketing guys come up short. Rather than talking to us, they need to be talking with us. Finding out what it is we need. What we want a product to give us, etc.

In The Cluetrain Manifesto, written by Doc Searls et. al., says that marketes are conversations. It does little to aid your bottom-line if you are speaking in a language none of your customers can understand. Therefore, the relationship isn’t there.

Now, some companies have adapted their marketing to The Relationship Economy, but the big-boys–the banks, the insurance companies, etc.– have not. That’s why they collapsed in ’08.

Companies have forgotten that they aren’t all about million dollar homes and large offices with gold trash cans. When a person is made to feel important, that is when you will develop consumer pride and brand loyalty. But when a service call is not kept, the call is dropped, or the company doesn’t seem to care about YOU, the consumer, that is when the walls they have built all around them start to crumble.

The move toward the relationship economy is coming, and I think it may catch many big companies unaware.

How ’bout it?

The Communications Factors and The Relationship Economy

January 22, 2008

comchart.gifWith the emmergence of The Relationship Economy, people are beginning to ask themselves, “How do I capitalize in this new economic system?” The main trait of those people and businesses which have led the way to the Emergence of The Relationship Economy is that they all have created and maintained relationships with others.

How have they done it?

One of the major keys to nurturing relationships with others online – through Facebook, LinkedIn, Link to Nashville, etc. – is to have meaningful conversations with those who can receive and contribute value to their own personal networks. Every one of us has a personal network; from friends, members of the same church, neighbors and family.

 To foster relationships online with “relationship capital” conversations of some sort are required. The Communications Factors play a major role in the conversations. Whether they are facilitated by videos, blogs, emails, or social networks, the conversations need to be carefully crafted so that the message remains clear no matter what kind of day the recipient is having.

We all have read emails and thought, “What’d he mean by that?” Sarcasm and dry humor doesn’t come across well without face-to-face communications, so we created “emoticons” or simple keystrokes to show our intent: colon and closing parenthesis produces : ) or jk is understood as “Just kidding.”

But beyond these quick shorthand signals which were readily adopted by the internet generation, there is really no way to create/establish and maintain relationships other than through word choice and sentence structure.

Granted, if someone gets offended by an email a friend sent, the worst thing that could happen would be the loss of a friend. However, in the business world, if a large segment of the consumer is offended by an ad-campaign, Millions of dollars could be lost, possibly never to be recovered.

The Relationship Economyis determinate on the number of quality relationships that a business or individual has with others who can ultimately provide value – directly or indirectly – to one’s own personal network. The quality relationships can be created and maintained by having conversations with others who share similar likes, dislikes, or interests. In turn, those conversations – one to one, then to millions – must be made crystal-clear through the knowledge and understanding of the language (i.e. rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.).

How ’bout it?

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

November 6, 2007

The worst thing that could happen is you spend about four minutes watching this video and you feel that it’s been wasted. But hey, who hasn’t wasted time watching YouTube videos? (I know I have.)

You Catch More Flies with Honey Than with Vinegar!

October 24, 2007

As we’ve written, the Communications Factors have a powerful impact on the world around you. Especiallyaround you. The ways you communicate with the world determines, to an extent, how the world views you and how it responds to your message.

If you pepper your language with profanity and vulgarity, people, whether they admit it or not, will have a different view of you. On the other hand, if your speech is full of soothing affirmations, your audience, no matter how big or small, will feel that you are interested in and concerned for them, and as a result will be more receptive to whatever you are trying to convey – it could be a sales pitch, your political views, or even your beliefs on God.

Case in point: I remember when I was a few years younger and I was involved in a traffic accident. Thankfully, I wasn’t going that fast, but I kept going while the person in the car in front of mine had come to a complete stop. CRUNCH!

I couldn’t believe I had done that, and I was beating myself up emotionally when I saw the woman get out of the car I had tapped. She was not injured, and I was fine (though I felt a little stupid). As she approached the driver’s side window, I could tell instantly that she had a peace about her. The first thing she said to me was “Are you hurt?” It would have been perfectly understandable if she stood there, looking at her car and my car, muttering obscenities. However, she did not.

“It’s just a car,” she repeated periodically through the conversation as we waited for the police to show up to make a report. Years before this, I had gotten out of the car and screamed a river of profanity after I had been rear-ended at a stoplight. Ashamed of the action I took almost 20 years ago, I only bring it up to show the difference between the communication.

I know I’m not the only person who has ever taken his eyes off the road and run into a stopped car in front. One of the co-authors of Every Man’s Battlerelates his story of driving along the coast in California and eyeing a good-looking, scantily clad jogger as he plowed into the car ahead of him. FOR THE RECORD, I hadn’t been ogling a woman. It was dark, and the streets were slick.

How ’bout it?

The Communications Factors: Gender Differences on the Web

October 22, 2007

Author and Indiana University professor Susan Herring has done extensive research on the different ways men and women use the internet, and to read GENDER DIFFERENCES IN COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION: BRINGING FAMILIAR BAGGAGE TO THE NEW FRONTIER, click on the title.

She writes about the attitudes toward “flaming,” or sending hateful, insulting messages in response to someone else’s comment which are intended to degrade or belittle the commentor’s intelligence or abilities. She sent out an anonymous survey, via the internet, to the members of a discussion group in which they were asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 5, how much they disliked flaming. Though she seems surprised by the results, I am not: “Although women expressed a stronger dislike than men, giving it [flaming] a score of 4.3 as compared with 3.9 for men.”

 Why am I not surprised? To paraphrase Owen Wilson’s character in Night at the Museum, “Look, we’re men; We fight; It’s what we do…”

Men, in general, relish the battle, the conquest, the victory. We look at all flames or attacks on our views as challenges to be confronted.

In the online world, flames challenge our beliefs, and therefore allow us, if only “virtually,” to engage the aggressor in a battle of wit and intellect. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to embrace opinions differing from their own, and therefore don’t like for themselves or others to be targets of such attacks. What do I know? I’m a man, and men have been trying to figure out women for thousands of years!

How ’bout it?

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Susan Herring

Program in Linguistics
University of Texas
Arlington, TX  76019