Event Summary | SV Forum: B2B Content Marketing Best Practices

B2B-Best-PracticesEarlier this week I attended the latest Marketing and Social Media event for SV Forum. The event focused on B2B best practices for content marketing and centered around the experiences of the CMO for Apttus. It was a rare evening event where there were not any slides.  [Read more…]

Volunteering | Why do it? What’s the benefit?

Volunteerism. Yes!Indulge me just a moment. I come from a long line of volunteers. My Mom was the PTA mom during elementary, middle, and high school. Sometimes she was at school more than me. I was even called by her name in my sixth grade math class. Now, maybe that’s because we actually do look alike, and maybe that’s because my teacher saw her at lunch that day, who knows? All I know is that my Mom volunteered because her mother volunteered at school. [Read more…]

People Create the Ideal Atmosphere and Work Product

Who is on Your Team

While out for St. Patrick’s day last week, it occurred to me that every bar has its different people. I noticed a few types: the new to town, the creepy old man, the regulars, the drunk girl, the gaggle of girls and the group of guys. Every bar has them. And they play a vital role in creating the atmosphere and experience of the bar patrons. This got me to thinking about the members of a marketing and communications team.  [Read more…]

What’s Your Purpose? | How to Network at Events

Networking at EventsHow often do you attend events? Lately, I have been to at least two a week. How valuable that event is to me depends greatly on the people I meet there.

In February I attended an sfAMA networking event in San Francisco. It was a long way to go, but the people I met there more than made up for the drive. Why is that? [Read more…]

Super Bowl Super Year – Well Written Tweet

So, I had a very strange thing happen to me this week. Let me explain …

I attended an event I helped plan for the Silicon Valley chapter of the International Association of Business Communications (SV/IABC). It was a lovely affair at Levi’s Stadium here in Santa Clara, Calif. (more about that in a moment). As I usually do, I sent a few tweets about the event. One of them included a photo of the speaker, and a pretty benign explanation about where I am and the speaker’s name. Here’s my Tweet:

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Is Story Hour on Your Calendar?

The first month of 2015 is just about finished. Let’s face it, time moves fast, and so does the pace of communications and marketing.

Create a StoryNo matter what industry you work in, or what kind of company you work for, business moves faster than most of us want to admit. Why do you think we are all chained to our mobile phones, stressing out each time we hear the email notification, and diving for our phones to answer on the first ring?

What if we took a few minutes and stopped what we were doing to take a few minutes to seriously consider about the story we want to tell?

[Read more…]

Learn Something New While Networking

I would classify myself as a lifelong learner.Networking

This is evident in the years of membership with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). I have been a part of IABC since graduating from California State University, Fullerton with a communications degree in public relations. I often share with people how I can attribute ALL of my jobs to connections I have made through networking.

Which brings to me to my favorite reason for networking. Aside from meeting amazingly smart people everywhere I go, networking functions are almost always disguised as professional development sessions as well. And the information presented at them is difficult to find in any other setting.

In the last two weeks I have attended two events:

  1. Last week IABC Silicon Valley presented an evening with Stacey MacNeil who shared her journey to create a new way of communicating internally with HP’s 330,000 employees across the globe. I learned that it’s important to be comfortable being UNcomfortable and that at some point you just have to get out what you have created.
  2. Earlier this week, SVForum’s Marketing and Social Media SIG lead a discussion about ownership of social media. They brought in an attorney who was surprisingly entertaining who gave us examples of landmark social media cases and their potential implications. The most interesting piece of information I learned is that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a group of five people, determines social media case outcomes based on 30-year old laws.

Did I have any crazy ah-ha moments to put into practice right away as a result of either event? No, probably not, but I gained valuable pieces of knowledge for some point down the road.

What is your favorite networking option?

Happy Networking!

Busier Than Ever

How is it possible to be busier than ever and not have a job? I recently – a little over one month ago – was let go from my job. Yes, it was the four month old one. Turns out it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I now am getting ready to embark on a new adventure, in a new city. It means a move to Northern California and the adventures begin next week.

So, what have I been up to since I was let go? Well, I hit up my network quickly and had several interviews schedule within days. There really wasn’t time to feel sorry for myself, which is a good thing in my opinion. It meant that I opened my mind up to more possibilities than ever before. Here’s my quick list of activities:

  1. IABC/OC Second Tuesday Luncheon attendance (2)
  2. IABC/OC Executive Board Meeting attendance (2)
  3. IABC/OC Education Liaison activities with the California State University, Fullerton IABC students (4)
  4. Guest lecturer at CSUF for my good friend Dr. Cindy King
  5. Interviews (4)
  6. Looking for a job (countless resumes sent out)

And that’s just to name a few, and doesn’t include all the errands and chores I was able to accomplish. My house has never been so clean, and my fiance has never eaten so many home cooked meals in a row. All the IABC/OC activities have definitely paid off over the years. Every job I have worked at was the direct result of the wonderful people I have met along the way in my extensive networking.

What have you been up to in the last month or so, and how has it lead to where you are now?

Cheers to Catching Up with Long Lost Friends/Colleagues

Tonight I went to the monthly Mix event for AIGA/OC. It’s been several months (let’s say six) since I attended. I was reminded of the third Thursday monthly event by a Facebook post from a friend. Social media works, people. It got one extra person to the event tonight.

While there, I ran into people I haven’t seen in person on probably two years or more. It reminded me that it’s important to keep in touch with folks. Don’t forget to work your connections, you never know where the next piece of business will come from.

My list of people to contact for lunch or coffee dates has increased by at least four based on one evening. I’m committed to working through my contact list and networking. And, out of that there are infinite possibilities.

What possibilities did you create today?

Common Courtesy Still Is Part of Business

I was reminded twice today that business is more about common courtesy and building relationships than anything else.

First, I read a blog post titled “10 Things Your Grandmother Can Teach You About Social Media” on Social Media Today. It struck me that this post is not about the technicalities, such as which network to use or what information to post/share, of social media. It is about the common courtesy that people should extend to one another as human beings. It’s small but important things, including minding your manners, dressing appropriately, and doing what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it, that make all the difference. Doing these small things will get you the job, story, etc. when all else fails.

Second, I had the privilege of hearing Tim Mead, vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim speak to a small group (no more than 12) of IABC students at Cal State Fullerton this evening. He has been working for the Angels organization for 32 years in some capacity, including intern, secretary, assistant, director of public relations and more. His greatest takeaways from his years of experience working for several club owners and managers are this:

  1. Be polite and courteous to everyone, no matter who they are – media, players, fans, agents, children, etc.
  2. Always reply to every phone message, fax, email, Tweet etc. You never know where it will lead you.
  3. Listen. Often times his job is about fixing problems, and the only way to do that is to have all the information. Become the confidant and you’ll always have what you need.
  4. Nothing can replace please, thank you, yes please, no thank you, I don’t know and I’ll find out. These phrases can help get you out of almost every jam you can think of.

So few people take the time to say please and thank you these days, that when you hear it, you’re almost surprised. And it shouldn’t be that way. When was the last time you held the door open for someone and they just walked through without saying a word? How did that make you feel?