July 21, 2012

In case you didn't think LinkedIn is for you

An interesting post on LinkedIn today reinforced the notion of six degrees of seperation...and that through social media those degrees are reduced to one or two. A man in Bahrain posted about a bet he made with his boss: that for ever comment or "like" on his LinkedIn post, his boss would pay him a dollar.

Now, whether or not his boss holds up his end of the bargain or whether this bet is even true, the image below clearly demonstrates how quickly people can connect. For me, this post was highlighted by two of my own contacts neither of which have direct connections to the original poster I suspect. In less than five days, this post made it my way....and yes, I liked it!

Don't underestimate the power of social media and the desire for humans to connect. For good, bad, or otherwise, online communication travels quickly and in directions you cannot always plan. Here's the result:

July 13, 2012

The art of time suckage is contagious

I have always been early. Overly early. I would much rather arrive well in advance and end up waiting for someone, than be making a mad dash to be on time or running late. And for the most part I realize that I am one of few people built this way and so it doesn't bother me when someone else is a bit tardy. Life is busy right? The public transit is tricky. A neighbour stops to chat. And forgetting something can force a quick run back home. I get it.

But in business I find myself getting more and more agitated at the lack of respect for the function of time. And not because I find myself waiting. But because I now find myself pushing meetings (3, 4 times), rescheduling tasks, adjusting timelines, and making excuses because the :00 and :30 that signify a meeting start/end have seemingly no value to many other people.

July 12, 2012

Infographics....why are they awesome?

Today Kobo posted an infographic about the romping fun of readers to help promote our Fifty Shades of Grey titles. It's the first infographic I've been personally involved in from conception to completion and it's been a great exercise.

Things I like about infographics:
1. If the subject matter is remotely personal/embarrassing/controversial, creating an infographic will send you on wild searches for imagery.
2. In our case, we used the infographic to present survey results about romantic rendez-vous-ing. This infographic is now like a badge of honor for all the hard work that went into the overarching campaign.
3. Infographics are easy to share through social media. People look for these things online which means a simple #infographic in your Tweet can go a long way.
4. Your friends and colleagues will love you. Seriously, I'm amazed at what an infographic can do to have people recognize the work you do.

Things I learned about infographics:
1. Online tools like Easel.ly are pretty amazing. If you've got basic design skills and have access to PhotoShop you can create some amazing things. Keep in mind however, that the templates may limit your creativity.
2. You can post the infographic as a JPG or PNG, but it's so much better if you get your web guys to host it for you so that you can embed URL back to your site.
3. Remember to post the infographic direct to Twitter pics as well as URL (even if in separate Tweets). Otherwise, you'll miss an opp when people check out your pics online.

Have you done an infographic lately? Tell me about it!

Here's ours:

July 11, 2012

See's Candy

All right....time for a complete departure from defense, technology and PR. Has anyone heard of See's Candy? I have just been introduced by a colleague and it is DEE-LISH! Based out of San Fran this company has been around since the 1920's .. how do they not have a Toronto store?!

I just had an assorted molasses chip and my world has been changed. Any ideas on how I'm not going to eat the whole box for dinner while I sit at my computer for a late night office sesh? I make no promises!

There's a serious time warp

I find it amazing that whether you're doing the managing, or being managed, there is an incredible time warp that seems to happen. You know the one, where your boss asks you for five-million things last minute and the next day wants to know where you're at with previously planned tasks you clearly had no time to get to. Or when as a manager you expect something to take an hour and your team looks at you like a crazy person as they've barely made headway into the project.

While certainly not perfect, I've learned  that in these instances I must remember that my team is full of brilliant people who do great work. If there's a time warp going on, it's worth a discussion to see if a process can be improved, a new direction taken, or my expectations need to be adjusted. That's just fair.

Anyone experiencing a time warp today?

July 1, 2012

Attention to Detail

It's something that most PR people pride themselves on. From making sure your messaging covers every possible angle, to placing people at a roundtable to generate the best discussion. From TDRs and work-back plans, to project timelines and reports, we are known for making sure our executives have a fresh shirt for a photo opp and that signage is conveniently placed for the highest visibility.

Apparently however, this doesn't apply to me when it comes to doing things around the house. It's like all those skills suddenly disappear the minute I walk in the door.

Case in point....the curtains I bought from IKEA.....should have double-checked the package!