Marketing

A Positive Digital Footprint

This evening I went to a digital safety presentation by a youth resource police officer sponsored by our local PTO. Most of what he said was fairly valid, but the way he said it was questionable in my mind.

First, it was very much of a digital immigrant telling other digital immigrants how their digital native children should act online. He admitted that he just didn't get why people talk about food or share their location online. In my mind, this made him less credible.

More importantly, his talk sounded like he was asking the parents to limit or curtail their children's online activity. To a certain extent this makes sense. We don't want kids to do things online that could end up hurting them. He spoke about making sure that kids didn't grow up with negative digital footprint.

I suggested that he might want to look at things from the other side. How do we encourage our digital native kids to have a positive digital footprint? How do we help these digital natives develop a good digital portfolio and a strong personal digital brand?

These are the questions we should be grappling with.

Social Media and Event Planning: @CHCConnecticut, @SolomonEvents, @NoRACupcakeCo, @JordanCaterers, @ImagineThatCake

While my focus on social media really started with a political and literary bent, I cannot avoid the role of social media marketing and this week, I ran into a some good examples of how this should really be done.

@CHCConnecticut, where I work as social media manager, was celebrating its fortieth anniversary and opening a state of the art new health care facility in Middletown, CT. Throughout the process, we worked with many organizations, from architects and building contractors, through caterers and event planners.

@SolomonEvents handled key parts of the event planning. In addition, they tweeted throughout the week about the event. I was sharing tweets with Heather Solomon before I met her, and she end off the tweeting with:

The pleasure of connecting on Twitter then actually meeting in-person (@ahynes1). #WhyIEnjoySocialMedia

She talked about the cupcakes we had one evening from @NoRACupcakeCo and @WhalePack retweeted a picture she had taken. Also, joining in the discussion was the caterers, @JordanCaterers, and the bakers, @ImagineThatCake

Of course, the event was about more than just food, and there were notable dignitaries at the event. @chrisdodd, @govmalloyoffice, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, whom the Denver Post retweets messages about via @hickenTweets, and State Representative @mattlesser.

Social media helped cement relationships established during the event and allowed many people to get their messages out in a conversation about the event. It was a good example of using social media together with event planning.

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An Analysis of the Goldman Sachs Public Statements

Yesterday, I wrote about the overarching issues of the resignation of Greg Smith from Goldman Sachs. I made a reference to crisis communications. While I recognize how difficult it must be to be in the communications department at Goldman right now, it does look like they really failed in their efforts to address Mr. Smith's concerns.

The message Lloyd C. Blankfein and Gary D. Cohn sent March 14, 2012 to the people of Goldman Sachs starts off

By now, many of you have read the submission in today’s New York Times by a former employee of the firm. Needless to say, we were disappointed to read the assertions made by this individual that do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients.

They go on to talk about how Mr. Smith was just one voice out of 12,000 vice presidents and that a survey of staff found that 89% felt that they provided exceptional service to their clients.

Reading between the lines, 11% of the staff don't feel that their firm provides exceptional service to their clients. Doesn't that strike you as a bit high? The rest of the letter doesn't do much better.

So, let's put this into context. On the 13th, Bloomberg reported Goldman Sachs Hires Ex-Treasury Aide Siewert for Communications.

Siewert started working in New York as the global head of corporate communications, replacing Lucas van Praag, who is leaving after 12 years. (Curiously, the same amount of time that Greg Smith was at Goldman). Talk about an exciting way to start a new job.

The Bloomberg article goes on to say,

Goldman Sachs was viewed unfavorably by 54 percent of respondents in a Bloomberg survey of traders, investors and analysts conducted last May…

Goldman Sachs’s score was among the lowest in a recent study of corporate reputations, according to a Feb. 13 statement from Harris Interactive

That's a very different picture than the memo to employees painted.

After Mr. Smith's OpEd, Bloomberg posted an editorial, Yes, Mr. Smith, Goldman Sachs Is All About Making Money: View. The comments were overwhelmingly negative. The anonymous Bloomberg editors were painted as stuck in a false dichotomy. Either, you look out for the best interests of your clients, or you make money. In fact, businesses that don't look out for the best interests of their clients end up losing clients and going out of business.

The day after, there were reports about how Goldman stock had dropped 3.4% of its stock value, or $2.2 billion as a result of the disgruntled employee. Yet it picked up 2.2% to recover somewhat today. Others have written about what this may do to recruiting efforts for Goldman.

A statement from a Goldman Sachs spokesperson hits a better tone. In the Wall Street Journal's blog entry, Goldman Rejects Claims Made by Outgoing Executive we find:

“We disagree with the views expressed, which we don’t think reflect the way we run our business,” a Goldman spokeswoman said. “In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful. This fundamental truth lies at the heart of how we conduct ourselves.”

If Goldman had led with this, followed by comments about taking the accusations of Mr. Smith seriously and investigating them, they probably would have come out much better.

Yet the way news cycles go, this story will be soon enough forgotten and will fall into the background, until the next issue with Goldman comes up, and people return to this one.

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Conference Overload! #InternetWeek #pdf2011 #weitzman #chc2011 #gsmamha #healthapps

Well, next week, is Internet Week in New York (#InternetWeek). There are lots of interesting events as part of Internet Week, and last year, I spent almost all of Internet Week in New York. At the start of Internet Week, there is also Personal Democracy Forum (#pdf2011). In the early days, I used to always make it to PDF, but I haven’t been in a few years. Also, as part of Internet Week is the Digital Publishing and Advertising Conference (#dpac). I almost always make it to that conference.

However, this year, I will be at the 2011 Weitzman Symposium, Designing the Moment: Remodeling Health Care (#weitzman). Of course, if I could clone myself and be at multiple places at the same time, I’d really like to be at Community Health Centres: Acting Today, Shaping Tomorrow (#chc2011). They have a neat Social Media Guide for their conference.

If we could throw in teleportation, I’d be at the Mobile Health Summit(#gsmahma) in Capetown, South Africa. If all of this wasn’t enough, I just learned about The Health Data Initiative Forum (#healthapps) being organized by the Institute of Medicine. They are doing something interesting. They are streaming it live and having viewing parties. You can get more information at Calling All Health Innovators: June 9th Health Data-Palooza Live.

So, I’ll catch pieces of what I can here and there.

QR Code Adoption

Lee Odden over at ToPrankBlog put up a blog post today, Will QR Codes Gain Mass Adoption?.

His post ends,

as creative and interesting QR codes are, I’m a bit skeptical in terms of mass adoption. For some reason, I can’t imagine consumer behavior changing to start scanning codes for things when they could just search or enter a URL. There’s also the technology that needs to be adopted by more devices.

Granted, I was a bit skeptical of Foursquare and Twitter too, but also Google Wave and Second Life.

What do you think?

My regular readers will recall that I've talked a lot about QR codes, as well as Google Wave and Second Life. So, I wrote a fairly long comment, that stands pretty well as a blog post of its own:

I am an innovator/early adopter in the technology adoption lifecycle, so I've always been a fan of new sites and new technology, whether it be Foursquare, Twitter, or Second Life and Google Wave, so it should come as no surprise that I'm QR Code believer.

First, however, let me offer a brief digression about Second Life and Google Wave. I don't believe either of those ideas failed. What failed was the companies efforts to promote it. I've spent a lot of time in Second Life and alway felt it was seriously mismanaged. I started talking a lot back then about the importance of open source virtual worlds, and just as we see Second Life dwindling, we are seeing more and more interest in OpenSim, an open source version of Second Life servers. While I have less for criticisms of Google, I find it interesting that while Google has stopped promoting Google Wave, they handed to code over to Apache, and there folks working on various open source Apache Wave servers. (I've run both OpenSim and Apache Wave servers).

Okay. Back to QR Codes. People need a reason to scan a barcode, whether it is a one dimensional or two dimensional bar code. In supermarkets, where UPC codes have been around for a many years, and during the early years, were rarely scanned, it is only in recent years we have gotten to the point of consumers scanning bar codes as they check out. They get something in return, a shorter wait in the checkout line. (At least in theory).

If people will scan UPC codes for some value, they will scan QR codes if value is presented to them. I've seen small specialized cases where that value exists: Scanning a QR Code at a museum to get information about a painting. More information for those who scan QR codes. I've heard stories of people scanning QR Codes in Japan to request taxis pick them up at a taxi stand. Better service for those who scan QR codes. I've heard stories of QR codes on Real Estate ads as a more efficient way of asking for information about a house for sale, but I haven't seen that and don't have details. That said, the QR Codes that I've scanned in magazine articles have not provided me any benefit.

So, will QR Codes make it? Yeah, when some creative people find ways of using them to provide value to customers that they can also profit off of, and I'm sure there are some creative people out there that can pull it off.

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