Saturday, May 30, 2009

just do it!

As a Virgo, I'm a big fan of organization. I also have a tendency to get overwhelmed with my perfectionisms (I don't think that's a word, but it should be: a combo of mannerisms and a perfectionist's attitude).

Today, I'm tackling the art and science of writing a "to do" list. Btw, I love that there is an "art" to it; in fact, there's an art to anything as long as you desire to work creatively. :)

Lifehacker
says think of your "to do" list as a list of instructions: if the instructions are clear, specific, and easily executed, you're golden. The instructions should be written in such a way that you don't have to do any additional thinking once you've read them. It's the planning up front that does the thinking for you; Lifehacker says 90% of doing anything is the planning.

Make sure you differentiate between projects and tasks. A "to do" list is not the place for projects that require a lot thinking or are vague in description (Ex. write a research plan). To make it on the list, these projects need to be broken up into tiny, smaller tasks (Ex. Write background, write, objectives, write target audience, write topics to discuss, etc).

Use specific, active verbs. Inspire yourself to work with creative terms of action: analyze, create, write, develop, organize, etc. Note: if something's been on your list for a long time, break it down further or re-word it to get the energy going. 43 Folders says the best trick here is to simply phrase your task in a form like: “verb the noun with the object.”
Consider, for example, how an oversized to-do like “Prepare the big presentation” might be improved upon by zeroing in on the physicality of a first step like “Draft four ideas for our presentation’s theme.” Where the former task provides no purchase for a sensible ascent, the latter gives us a fat handle for getting started with something that already feels familiar.
Well, I hope this has helped some of you. I know it's certainy given me some food for thought when writing out my next "to do" list or revising my current one. Make items actionable, make them tasks and not projects, break it all down into bite-size bits, use the right verbs, and start getting things done. Just do it!

Because only you hold the power and responsibility for defining your work. (43 folders)

levels of connectivity

Everyone wants to know how to get involved with social media. What BIG IDEA do I need to come up with? Is it an advertising space? How do I do it.

Funjet Vacations (via one of Gmail's ads) has got it right. They are connected. They understand that I might want to share some of the information I see on their site with other people I know. So they have put information on social media sites that enable that sharing to happen.

Another useful way to use these same sites is to provide options to share the information you're currently reading on X site ON Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, via email, etc.

I do like how Funjet provide a myriad of ways in which you can receive information from them, depending on your level of connectivity.

I expect to see more sites integrating with the main three (Myspace really seems to be going the music route): Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

With so much on the web, having these ubiquitous tools helps us all streamline communications and the information that's relevant to us. Instead of creating something new (unless it's better), just sync up with these already existing, popular social media sites. Your fans will thank you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

my mission

WOW. Even though I've changed the header several times since I started this blog, my mission is still the same idea:
One of the most motivating words to me is connectivity: the value of being connected in order to grow. This blog should be a center for a learning, a place to share experiences and knowledge, and a social media outlet for junior planners who read blogs.
Funny that I probably wrote this in early 2008, and we couldn't be more connected to each other as we are today, and social media has taken off like wild fire.

I need to pay tribute to Piers for teaching me how to spot trends. :)

Overhaul

Hey JPIA fans, I want to apologize for the lack of serious content lately. I hate to disappoint. I have a lot to say and have found myself getting setback by "the fear of perfection" lately...it's stupid really. A wonderful recruiter once told me about stalling on my resume: "Well you're definitely not going to get a job that way!" True dat.

So I think what I need is a clean-up. As a strategist, I need a BIG IDEA to inspire the direction I go with this "overhaul."

BIG IDEA: creative connectivity? Inspire productivity? (woah, a rhyme!) how about: connected productivity? I wish I had a better word for productivity...NOTE TO PLANNERS: EVERY WORD ON THE BRIEF COUNTS, don't ever think that it doesn't.

I'm looking for inspiration lately. The work day sometimes just seems to fly by without any of it...damnit, I can do something about this. :)

Ok, so I know where I want to be. Where am I now - feeling stuck, bogged down by "too much stuff," overwhelmed with idealism, inhibited by deadlines. YIKES!

JPIA needs a pep-talk. Come on Junior! Get your sh*t together, you can do this! You love planning, creating ALL aspects of a strategy, and being creative with communications; The "social world" is so easy to get wrapped up in. Make time for your solo act; it will pay-forward into the social sphere tenfold.

off to clean-up now. Go!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Twitter stats

Oh you, blog, every time I find you and come back to post something, I feel like I'm re-discovering you all over again. I'm glad I have you. :)

My post: Twitter stats.

Currently I am following 150 people, some of these people include: @herdmeister (Mark Earls), @Kotaku, @kylecameron (Kyle Studstill), @iconoculture, and @chr1sa (Chris Anderson)

222 people have decided to follow me. This feels good. To have a community 222 strong means I bring "value" to a large group of people on a pretty regular basis, and this number is only going to grow.

I have almost updated my Twitter feed 400 times (currently at 390). Wow. This feels like a ridiculous amount of Tweets, and to the people who don't get this service at all, it would seem uber ridiculous. But I think these numbers are all good ones.

I feel like I've made some new friends on Twitter. Again, the people who don't get Twitter would be laughing their a**es off if they read this. They don't get it, this Twitter gig; and honestly, after reading about the guys who started it, I think they're a bit surprised themselves, but I think only good will come of it.

What do you think?

Monday, May 11, 2009

This week's MYT


Next-Gen News - the future of news will be timely, relevant, bite-size bits of customizable content

Monday, May 4, 2009

conversations to listen for

Stumbled on this today: Ten conversations to listen for in social media; they are:
  • The complaint
  • The compliment
  • The problem
  • The question or inquiry
  • The campaign impact
  • The crisis
  • The competitor
  • The crowd
  • The influencer
  • The point of need
For clients wondering how to use social media, this is a great primer list. Now you just have to be sure and have the right research company lined up to monitor the conversation.

MYT 14 - Capturing Customers

I have started publishing newsletters for my agency under the title "Trend Lab." It's a long story (this Trend Lab bit) that I will hopefully get to soon for you JPIA readers. But this is the output of one week's efforts at scoping out the new, the conversation, and where the focus should be for clients, brand, account teams, and creative teams.

Have a creative week! ~Trend Lab

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Capturing Conversations: the future of customer service

With all the talk of Twitter being a customer-service platform (among other things), I'm curious to know how this dialogue of sorts (in 140 characters or less) will affect what we've known to be "customer-service" - you call some 1-800 number on a website or on the back of a direct mail piece, then get re-routed through various robot-operated loopholes in the system and maybe, just maybe you'll end up talking to a real person about your issue. I can say with full confidence, this is not the best we can do. So, what can we look forward to in terms of customer-service in 2009?

"Customer Service is the New Marketing"



The smart brains who put this together are Thor Muller & Lane Becker, the guys behind getsatisfaction.com - people powered customer service for absolutely everything. Getsatisfaction is getting it right, but if it was created in 2007, what has it inspired CS (customer-service) to be since then?

An open, transparent, and public conversation. Think about blogs. When one reader/customer/user leaves a question in the comment field, another reader/customer/user may respond with an answer, leaving the original blog author to benefit from their discussion. Think if this was a brand who was able to facilitate as well as witness this conversation - not only is this FREE feedback, but it encourages brand loyalty by being transparent, offering up dialogue, and providing timely and direct feedback.

The future of customer service is about capturing conversations. Go get 'em!

[feel free to read more on why Get Satisfaction rules]