Tag Archive | business

Magic words of Motivation

“I believe” :  the strongest two words that motivate all of us.  What made crowds appear in Washington on a hot summer’s day to listen to Martin Luther King speak about civil rights?  ” I believe “.  And not what HE necessarily believed, but what they believed as well.  What made the Wright Brothers push through their challenges to invent a flying machine?  Because they believed in that what they were doing would positively change life forever.

Simon Sinek speaks here about the motivation behind WHY people do what they do.  What changes people’s behavior?  The ‘golden circle’ is a visual showing us that we act from the inside out.  The WHY or what we believe in is truly what motivates all of us.

Once we realize this, we will be able to achieve what we want to achieve.

  • Career  – because we will want to get up every day for work knowing the WHY you are doing it.  Your vision will be clear.
  • Hiring – you will know who to hire, because now you know what to look for in those that will be your team mates.  They will believe in what you are doing more than just wanting to be there for a paycheck, which is the ‘what’.
  • Customers – your customers will buy from you because they know the WHY behind why you are offering this product / service ( Simon uses the example of APPLE )

What is really incredible is that this circle, and all of what it means, is rooted in biology – the design of our brain.  Science tells us that WHY is what motivates us, not WHAT.

Trouble viewing the TED talk video?I Go to your TED talks app  and search on Simon Sinek.

Related articles:

The Golden Circle

Following your passion – Easier said than done – Jeremy Floyd

PR Pros are Sharpening their Virtual Pencils

We are never too old to stop learning, and in the fast-paced and ever-changing world that we live in, this statement could not be truer as it pertains to communications.  This is why, Public Relations professionals are back in the classroom and sharpening their virtual pencils.

With the introduction of new technology, a real paradigm shift has happened in the way people interact with each other (Clay Shirk’s Book – “Here Comes Everybody”).  They now have the ability to hold two-way conversations ‘on demand’, and they like that.  These same people know that organizations and companies have the tools to converse with them in a similar fashion, and they expect it.   So, as PR professionals we need to develop our skills to stay current, so that we can offer the best possible service to our customers.  This is why I have gone..

Back to School

Last semester I had the privilege of taking the introductory social media for public relations course at McMaster University.  Under the direction of Martin Waxman, we had the opportunity to become better acquainted with  certain social media ‘tools of the trade’, learn some best practices and network with other professionals in our field.

This semester, led by Jared Lenover, we will learn various strategies, tools, techniques and best practices for :  Researching, Planning, Implementation, Management, Evaluation and Measurement for social media as it relates to public relations.

Key questions

that I will be asking from this course are:

  • Engagement:  How do I increase the quality and quantity of engagement with my audiences on various social media platforms?
  • Strategy:  How to best align social media within the overall business strategy to receive the greatest success?
  • Tools:  What are the best tools on the market for the best value, and when do I use them?

Class in session >>>> Let the learning begin!

Social Media: Part 3 – The Budget

Budgeting for your Social Media Program


First thing we must understand is that there is a difference between a Social Media Program and a Social Media Campaign.  Programs (Plans)  are developed within your overall strategy and will often have smaller programs / campaigns within that plan. Tactics are used to achieve the objectives for these programs and campaigns.   Even if you only decide on a limited program for social media, (i.e. Facebook profile with a contest once a month)  please go through the planning exercise to make sure that it supports your overall business objectives.  Offering SMART objectives (S- Strategic, M-Measurable, A-Achievable, R-Realistic and T-Time-bound) will help build your case to get the budget that you seek for your program.  If you are the owner of your business, part of a charitable organization or an employee at your company, you will need to justify this budget to measure your return on investment and for forward planning.  (Refer to my Social Media Research and Plan blogs for steps 1 & 2 ).

  1. Research – Do you need to do anymore research?  Are you going to have to include any of this in your budget (i.e. Focus groups).  Some organizations will do a research budget first and then based on the results move to the next step to acquire more budget for the program.  For small businesses, much of your research can be gathered at the most a nominal charge:  Free information available on the internet, informal conversations with key customers, and marketing data that you have collected over the years.
  2. Social Media maturity – If you already have certain social media platforms set up (i.e. Facebook page, Linked in company, Twitter account) this will save some time.  If you have staff that can assist and you, and you yourself  have some familiarity with using social media, this will give you some support and background to getting started.  Much of the start-up budget is just getting your online profiles set up.  Much of Social Media budget is allocated to TIME.  If you have someone on staff that can create, manage and monitor your profiles, consider this as an option; BUT,  think this through because it is your reputation and money that is being used.  Source out a social media expert to get some quotes, you might be surprised.
  3. Hire a Social Media Consultant, or not? Your biggest portion of budget will be to your ‘Community Manager’.  Salaries for this position varies depending on the time commitment, expertise and what part of the world you live in.  I have seen salaries ranging from $35-$50K on LinkedIn.  If you decide to bring in a consultant to help you develop your strategy, this will be an added cost as well. Make sure you do your research on what to expect out of someone who will assist in developing your strategy.  Not only will you want them to have experience in Social Media and Public Relations, but you will want them to have a good grasp of overall business strategies.  Check out the Related Resources section below for tips on hiring, or ask me any questions in the comment section.
  4. What do you want to achieve?  The more you want, the more it will cost.
    • Profiles – how many?  How many updates needed on each profile?  How often?
    • Where will you get your content?  Time – who will do this?
    • Monitoring – Will you have someone monitor social media for trends, competitors, etc.
    • Will you be having campaigns throughout the time period?  What will this look like?
  5. Tools – There are many free tools that are very effective.  As your programs grow, you may want to purchase a subscription to a social media tool to assist in the area of management, monitoring and analysis.  Hootsuite, Hubspot, Constant Contact and Radian6 are examples of some social media tools on the market.  Some of these tools offer a Free trial, or a Free limited version of their product and this is fine for starting out, but as your team and program grows, you really should consider a software tool to support your efforts.  Automation will not only save you time, but will help with efficiency.

Budget Checklist

  • Who – Human Resources to start, implement, manage and evaluate the program and/or campaign
  • What – Objectives – What does success look like ?
  • When – Timeline – milestones and final evaluation
  • Where – Social Media sites to be used
  • How – Tactics:  How are you going to achieve this?  Monitoring and Measurement:  Tools to be used?

These questions will frame your budget.  Human resources will be your largest contribution to your budget.  Be realistic, but also understand that you set up opportunity for evaluation so that you can review your budget for long-term planning.  Consider too that you may be paying  less now for traditional media (i.e. print) to free up some budget dollars for human resources and other social media resources needed for this initiative.

Related Resources (articles, books, blogs):

Mashable:  How to Optimize your Social Media Budget

Brian Solis – The State of Social Marketing 2011-2012 – Brian talks about the situation of Social Marketing today.  181 Brand managers, agency professionals, and experts were surveyed and Brian offers highlights, graphs and other social media statistics on his blog.  Not surprising, but one of the greatest challenges in keeping social from being main stream in organizations is budget challenges.  BUT keep reading because statistics are showing that organizations are planning to increase social spending over the next few years.

Alia Haley (guest blogger) SocialWayne.com- Budgeting for Social Media:  Who pays for it and why

SMART Objectives – http://topachievement.com/smart.html

Neil Schaffer : Hiring a social Media Consultant

Ann Gregory:  Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns (book on KOBO)

Spin Sucks:

Social Media: Getting started – Research

“I’m just too busy”, “I just don’t understand the technology”, “I haven’t needed it before”, “I will get to it soon”…..

Are these some of the comments that you give to your employees when they suggest that having social media as part of your communication strategy would be beneficial to your business?  If you have a plan, and are running with it, good for you!  This is an ever evolving process and there will be challenges along the way, but at least you see the value in including social media as part of your overall business plan.  If you are a customer-centric B2B compared to a similar B2C business, your plan may look a little different, but the need to include this as part of your communication strategy is still very important.

Here is some information to encourage you to get started, and tips to consider when moving forward into the world of business social media.

Interesting 2011 social media statistics provided by Social Media Examiner:

  • There are now more than 800 million active Facebook users, with over 200 million added in 2011.
  • Over 80% of all Americans use a social network
  • Why are businesses moving towards the use of Social Media?- Connecting with customers, Visibility, Self-promotion
  • 50% of small business owners reported gaining new customers through social media – most notably through Facebook and LinkedIn

So are you convinced that you need to get started?  First things first, do your research.

Research Tips

  1. Employees can be your best resource – If you are not tech-savvy, it is most likely that a few of your staff have been using social media personally for many years and will be more than happy to help you get started.  Ask their advice.
  2. Know your customers – Many of your sales people will have ‘front-line’ feedback about your customer’s buying habits, how often your customers use  mobile devices when walking around the store checking prices, and even customer feedback on where and how they spend their on-line time.  Where your customers are (online platforms i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc), there you should be also.
  3. Competition – See what your competitors are doing.
  4. Industry Support – Do any of your industry groups, or brands offer marketing support for your development of social media in your business?
  5. More information – There are more books and online articles available for your reading pleasure, but this can get quite overwhelming considering the technology and development of this field of business is constantly evolving.  But if you are interested, check out My BlogRoll for more links to blogs & articles on the subject.
  6. Outside help – There are many marketing and public relations consultants and agencies that are experts in the area of social media and digital marketing.   Limited budget?  Look for a recent graduate looking to develop their portfolio.  A more complex plan, consult a seasoned professional.

Watch out for the next segment – ‘THE PLAN’

Questions/Comments?  Please write below.