Archive for July, 2011

Some tips for driving change initiatives within organizations

Over the years, I have experienced the satisfactions — and stresses and frustrations — of driving change within several organizations. Among those efforts were re-establishing a proactive media relations program with the computer trade press, creating and implementing an extensive internal communication system, and developing and carrying out a strategic social media marketing plan.

A webinar this week by a hospital public relations executive about implementing an unsupported (at first) social media plan reminded me of some of the practices that have helped me lead change efforts. Here are some things I’ve found helpful:

* Have passion for your cause. Really believe in what you are doing. That’s probably been my No. 1 asset. I can see the possibilities and opportunities. My enthusiasm rubs off on early adopters and change agents.

* Connect with others who have driven (or are driving) similar changes. You can support each other and share ideas. It’s very helpful to have moral support — and to offer backing to someone as they push through negativity.

* Stay abreast of the latest statistics and data that support your cause — and share with key audiences. For example, I have been getting great data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life project about how Americans use the Internet for healthcare information and decision-making. I share relevant stats with others on a frequent basis.

* Study what your competitors and leaders in your industry are doing — and report to decision-makers. Give them a good idea of what’s out there. Tell them that you want to be ahead of your competitors and among the leaders in your industry — and that this is possible. If there is a will, there is a way.

* Once you begin to implement, track and share regular statistical reports spiced with real-life examples. This is essential. I have found that doing a monthly report with bar charts and stories of how changes have helped achieve a strategic business goal open many doors. It’s part of the strategic process — Research, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation.

* Give presentations about your program both within and outside of your organization. Incorporate stats, stories, video. You need to repeat a message seven times to just achieve awareness. This is a great way to move toward that standard.

* Listen to what supporters and naysayers are communicating. Build upon the support, and address the concerns. It’s great to have an answer in advance to every conceivable “what if.”

* Post quotes from industry leaders in your workspace. I know this sounds silly, but it has helped me reinforce key messages and generate positive discussions in the past. For example, I love this one from Lisa Baron: “Ignoring social media makes you mute, not invisible.” I put it in a Word document, printed out, and put on the wall in my office.

Those are just a few thoughts that come to mind during my weekly blogging time slot! Please feel free to share any more in the comments.


Did Google get it right with social networking this time?

At first, I was in denial. After coming back from a relaxing family vacation in Canada, I kept hearing more and more about Google+. But I acted like it didn’t exist.

“That’s all I need,” I thought, “another social network to manage. I love my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I’ve invested so much time into building communities in those social networks. Don’t add another one. I don’t have the time.”

But then, everyone in social media marketing that I admire started singing its praises. A discussion thread on the Social Media Health Network (Mayo Clinic) grew and grew. My RSS feeds loaded up with posts about this new social network. Videos began popping up on YouTube.

It was time to give it a try. Yesterday, I put out a plea for an invite — and got one immediately. Within minutes, I was adding friends, associates and social media gurus to my circles. I was amazed. Nearly everyone I know in the online space was already there! See what happens while you’ve “gone fishin’.”

Soon, I had read and viewed a number of posts and videos about Google+. I had added the app to my Android phone.

Based on my initial impressions, I think Google may have gotten it right with social media this time. I think they’ve come up with a good cross between the best of Facebook and Twitter. Great design. Easy to use. Friendly to Android. And everyone (almost) is there!

How do you like Google+?

Categories: Social media Tags:

Some tips for enhancing your LinkedIn experience

In May 2011, American LinkedIn users spent an average of 15.4 minutes on the site. Meantime, Facebook users averaged 374.9 minutes on the site. 

That statistic caught my attention in an interesting article about LinkedIn in the most-recent issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. The article described how LinkedIn plans to enhance the site to draw more visitors and keep them there longer. It also spoke about how competitors are producing similar career-related services for platforms such as Facebook.

When I talk about social media marketing, I encourage people not to overlook LinkedIn. I share success stories relating to personal branding and marketing of my wife’s book, From Incurable to Incredible: Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds. For example, we visited with cancer coach Mark Roby in Detroit upon return from a vacation in Ontario, Canada, to Cincinnati. My wife met Mark through LinkedIn.

Here are a few practices I’ve found helpful with LinkedIn:

(1) Keep your profile current. Give it a quick read monthly and tweak the wording if necessary.

(2) Integrate offerings from Slideshare, Amazon and WordPress that automatically update your profile with your latest blog post or PowerPoint presentation. The Amazon tool allows you to share with readers reviews of books you’ve read.

(3) If you’ve got an Android phone, use the new app to keep up on updates from your network and invite connections. They’ve improved the app considerably.

(4) Participate in LinkedIn group discussions. Share links to helpful blog posts or news items. Comment on discussion threads.

If you are like me, you spend a lot of time on Facebook. But, if you want to enhance your career possibilities or possibly drum up some business, don’t forget LinkedIn. It’s a powerful tool, extremely potent. Please feel free to share any more tips in the comments below. 

Categories: LinkedIn, Networking Tags: ,