Category Archives: social networks

What a working mom can offer to her kids

I’ve not been publishing posts lately.  In part of my busy schedule, the maturing of my role, the dedication to my family time.  But also, my vigilance to not share what #agencylife can not be shared.  It concerns me to share too much.

This past Friday was a PA day – and I was asked if my kids would join in some field work.   I’ve long admired @mszego – my former boss of integrated strategy.  One of the things that @mszego always encouraged was the importance of getting personally connected to a category.  This doesn’t generate a focus group of one – just the opposite.  It opens our minds to the possibilities of the category.

Anyhow – here is my thank you letter to the amazing planning team at the agency that welcomed my kids this past Friday.  It is raw, heartfelt and interesting in its own right as a window into a working mom’s soul.

There are times, as a working mother, that I feel like I just can’t keep up to the stay at homes.   Choosing to work over staying at home is a decision you might know is right but often feels painful.

I can’t make paper mache pinatas, I don’t send personalized family portrait holiday card ornaments, I can’t even sew my daughters brownie badges on her brownie strap.  I’m a bad day time volunteer for my kids’ school pizza day – having stood up the school three times last year.

But I was quite certain this past Friday – that I was a mom who rocked both in my eyes and my kids eyes.

Who else could offer their kids focus group experience [doing xxxx], then a pizza movie and gifts.  Where else could my daughter run the halls with a little friend and my son terrorize the 3rd floor …  [judgement aside please -  They have received a taste of my working work - work, inspiration, energy, my coworkers and the environment.  I know they will remember this for a long time.]

For this, I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You have balanced the scales for me.

Measuring non-profit contribution: @JaimeStein ‘s impact on #Climb4Cord

Jaime Stein represents a new breed of non-profit campaign contributors – one whose efforts can be easily hidden by traditional fundraising measurements.

A 2013 Case Study in Non-profit fundraising [or should we call it contribution raising?]

@JaimeStein is deeply involved in #Climb4Cord; a fundraising event where a select group of executives climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Canadian Blood Services ambitious project to raise funds for a national public umbilical cord blood bank.  This event just happened in August 2013 and the whole team raised an impressive $350K.

By traditional measurement, Jaime was listed as the third top fundraiser (last time I checked)  - a wonderful achievement given the aggressive goals and fundraising achievements of his colleagues in #ClimbforCord.  [let's give pause to recognize all of them who signed up to climb the side of a massive mountain and committed to raising >$1K]

Climb4Cord

I first became aware of @JaimeStein ‘s efforts – as he announced his 6 – 8 month long training program and invited friends to sign up in a Google Calendar for one of his weekly training hikes in Toronto #KiliHikeTO.    I had the pleasure of walking with @JaimeStein on April 11  <- his blog captures this.

I count Jaime among the new breed of social wunderkind – who are as active outside of their emploi as they are inside it.  Folks who expertly leverage social media or technology partnership to advance their personal ambitions  ( like the impressive @sneiditee @hessiejones @mmonaa @helenandrolia @natandmarie or @greenwooddavis ).  Among his many efforts, Jaime participated in #BeerHikeTO evenings with friends, secured awareness, commitment and generous donation from ING Direct and worked with good folks from Roadpost to secure satellite technology ( DeLorme inReach satellite communicators) to test and send progress of his trek back through social media channels.  [Jaime's blog post on the very cool technology here].   He no doubt contributed to the over 3100 mentions on twitter, 27 blog posts and over 192 news articles covering the climb.  [sysomos for #climb4cord, #beerhikeTO, #kilihikeTO in the last 12 months].  The folks tweet sharing Jaime’s climb messages included some great Canadian twitspokespeople – the @CEO_INGDIRECT, @DaveoHoots, @CTVCanadaAM, Erica @YummyMummyClub.

Jaime created tremendous awareness and consideration for #Climb4Cord – of course, he was the lead for social media efforts for the climb – but still contributions well beyond revenue.  I think someone like Jaime is needed on every major non-profit fundraising (contribution) drive.  The trick will be to identify the ‘influencer’ properly (recommended reading of @DannyBrown @SamFiorella ‘sInfluence Marketing book as a great start)

But in reviewing the donation website, I was stuck that Jaime’s other efforts were not affecting his ‘rank’ as a fundraiser – and yet – by blogging, running Twitter events, inviting Canadians to joining his personal training – he was likely creating far more impact than revenue.    Most fundraising goals are clearly expressed in dollars — and yet, for a non-profit that also relies on generating awareness of a new cord blood bank and encouraging personal cord  (and blood) donations, non-revenue metrics must be valued as much as generating revenue.   I’m certain Jaime’s efforts are not lost on Canadian Blood Services – they have come across influence marketing in its truest form.  Jaime is personally connected to the cause and happens to be a brilliant marketer (in social and otherwise).  It may just be the website and measurement had not yet caught up to fundraiser like Jaime.   Yet, I am left wondering if there are other non-profits who have yet to measure efforts like Jaime’s  - who is ushering in new levels campaign contribution.

Let me know your thoughts.

@LDillonSchalk

My snarky advice to buying likes & followers…

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Sometimes my emails make great blog posts.

A respected friend of mine was recently asked by his client if they should personally buy likes and follows.  Noise maker that he is, he invited our thoughts on the matter.

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After a number of emails flew by… I entered the debate.  I decided to add my two cents.  To which, proud moment, @schnitzelboy said “and that’s why i wanted LDS to weigh-in.”

My response:

“Okay.. time to waft in..

I absolutely *hate* these get rich quick schemes.  Of course, I do support paid ad support for social – not from bots but from ad placements with users self selecting their participation.

In the early days, when I won some social media management business back in 200x – we were horrified to discover hundreds (HUNDREDS!) of nonsensical twitter followers & following that had naught to do with the brand advocacy, current consumption or future intent WITHIN  Canada.  Although they did not use a get rich quick scheme as your website below – they followed anyone who even mentioned the brand, anywhere in the world.  We learned quickly that year how to dump a following – note – Twitter has limits!

I think having some sizable critical mass goals are admirable and necessary for starter brands but these schemes are not the way to do it.    I don’t think going ‘organic’ alone is the way either.  Social media grows exponentially and the first part of the hockey stick is long & boring without some kind of interference.  Some targeted paid, integrated marketing, very clever content can help shorten the hockey stick.

If this is an individual asking, slap them on the side of their head.   Those with experience can look at the velocity of their accounts – no. tweets vs. followers, etc – and see something is amiss.  Social can do a lot of brand / reputation damage when you fake it to make it.

Happy Anniversary to me

WordPress’ kind badge on my seven years in blogging!

This blog replaced the one I left behind at IBM Canada back in 2006. IBM had a magnificent internal blogging tool – and about 1% of IBM employees were blogging. When I left IBM in 2006, I feel the pain of leaving a blog behind.

I always feel like my blog is like a neglected child – in that I think of so many posts but life prevent too many words from reaching my blog.. I guess that is what twitter is for..

5 quick tips on YouTube video uploads

Anyone can upload a video.  But few do it well it seems.  It is a pet peeve of mine to see a beautiful video just dumped on YouTube..

Beyond creating a video for online versus other media (which is pretty big) – one has to remember that YouTube is a search engine.  The second largest.  Entertainment, How Tos, anything with Cats will do well – but attention is needed on five core things..

  1. LINKS:  Add a contextual (clickable) link in the description back to your online reference centre – be that a website or other network.  What’s interesting is that many add links but they aren’t active.  Ensure you have the “http://&#8221; before the www URL address to make it work.
  2. TAGS:  Although I would rely on a good search person’s opinion for a video tag selection, I would start at time & location tags (like 2012, Canada, Toronto), then popular search terms for the topic of the video, then descriptors or quotable titles/sayings within the memorable video.  Using the term “best” would be cheating but also indicative that you know how people search on YouTube.
  3. ANNOTATE:  I don’t think this does much for organic search results but it is standard practice I guess to note any music used and give credit.
  4. TITLE:  Really.  build.  this.  for.  search.  Use terms that are popular.  Use YouTube Google ad words tools to see what related terms there are to your title.
  5. DESCRIPTION: Make it interesting.  Explain something about the video content.  And double check for relevant key word use within your paragraph.

Finally – don’t wait for views to come.  Seed your video – if it is original content worth for eyeballs – submit it to Buzzfeed, to stumble upon, to many of the dozens of sites that aggregate content.