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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Can't Be Serious - Status Quo in Social Media and Life - The Dodo Bird is Calling

You Can’t Be Serious - Status Quo in Social Media and Life - The Dodo Bird is Calling!

Let’s face it; saying that things should or could remain status quo is like burying your head in the sand and hoping that when you come out, things are exactly like you left them.  So, why exactly do people think this?

Over the last few days alone I have heard status quo mentioned in terms of a community and the call for it not to change.  I have heard it referenced in terms of social media ‘still’ being a fad – talk about having your head in the sand!  Just today Gini Dietrich spoke of status quo in her great post Seven Metrics PR Should Track to Gain Respect.  Gini being Gini though, knows that status quo is not the answer.

Folks, status quo is just not possible.  Think about it this way.  Say you decide that you are going to continue to do things the way you always have.  You say, if isn’t broken, why fix it?  Good philosophy many would say.  Perhaps at one time that were true, but let’s look at a good examples of status quo:

Dalhousie, New Brunswick, is a beautiful little town in Eastern Canada.  It was a mill town.  It was a wealthy little town.  You noticed I say, “was”.  As times changed, industry standards changed, the mill and its processes more or less stayed the same.  On top of that, there was no aggressive action to bring more industry or new industry to the town.  A once thriving town is now but a shadow of itself.  The mill was torn down earlier this year, as so many other buildings have been.  Where the mill once stood is now a vast expanse of emptiness.  This was my hometown, so seeing it disappear goes way deeper than words can express. 

Image compliments of

There are of course theories that prove that organizations (also organisms) can only go on “as is” for a certain period of time before needing to change or innovate to survive.  The S-curve, which has been discussed by many great minds, discusses just this and if you are into some interesting theoretical discussions, do click on the hyperlink. 

My point though is that we can’t just stick our heads in the sand.  If we do, the world still goes on around us and change occurs with or without us.  So, to avoid going the way of the dodo bird, we need to continually change and innovate.

So, the question now is:  do you agree or disagree?  Can you promote status quo and survive?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Reputation Management, the #1 Reason the C-Suite Needs to Listen to Social Media

A good reputation is priceless. Once damaged, it can be both difficult and expensive to reverse — and in some cases, impossible.

With the onslaught of corporate scandals a decade ago there were significant changes in corporate governance, including the introduction of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. These wide-sweeping changes were introduced to rebuild consumer confidence.
Back then, our biggest worries were about what was said in the latest press reports. Add social media to the mix and a whole new dimension has been added to protecting corporate reputation. The question then becomes, What is your company doing to monitor and protect your reputation in the social space?

More recently, there has been a momentous change in how corporate reputation is affecting the bottom line.  In fact, a 2011 Eisner Amper Board of Directors survey, found that reputational risk had actually overtaken regulatory compliance as their number one concern.


To underscore just how important reputation has become, RepuStar launched its Corporate Reputation Index, calculated by the Dow Jones indexes in late 2011. Corporate governance experts now recommend that you manage reputation the same way you would manage any other asset that you have.

So what are the critical social media conversations that the C-Suite could start with?  Here are four that can really shed some light on corporate reputation:

  1. Brand mentions (both the volume as well as the sentiment.  Are people being positive or negative about your brand?
  2. Names of your executive, board of directors other high profile public facing employees.
  3. Discussion around key initiatives, events or activities.
  4. Safety and health issues.

Has your enterprise company listened to conversations around its brand and reputation? Now’s the time, before you have a reputation management crisis on your hands.

(Note:  this is a blog post that I wrote for my day job and it originally appeared on on July 20, 2012)  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Top 5 Buzzwords from 2012

As yet another month, and year quite frankly approaches its conclusion, I wanted to do something a little different for my post.  I wanted to take a look a few buzzwords. 

You know, those little words or phrases that appear and just seem to bore into the brains and vocabularies of every person with a voice, a pen or a keyboard. A good indication to know when something has become a buzzword or buzz phrase is when you can’t go an hour without a colleague using it or you read it in blog posts regardless of where you turn.  Sometimes, the reaction is a physical twitch that emerges without control.  You will see someone have some sort of physical reaction and wonder, what the heck is up with him?  That would be the reaction to overused buzzwords.  It happens to all of us, so we should at least have fun using them.

Interestingly enough a lot of these buzzwords appear to have started in the social media space and transcended to the rest of the business environment.

Anyway, there are a lot more, but here are 5 that I find interesting:

1.      Cadence

This little gem is surfacing just about everywhere.  From the cadence of accountability to the cadence of software releases, “we” as a collective, want to make sure that we march to the same beat I guess and therefore, need our cadence.

It will be interesting to see if this word follows us into 2013 as a popular buzzword.

Image compliments for

 2.  Community

Community is not new.  Prior to social, we all thought about community in terms of where we lived.  Big business who want to be involved in their local communities often set up Community Relations or Community Liaison Committees, so this is definitely not new.  Then of course came social where community became something different and much bigger.  It was your customers, every possible prospect, your fans and your influencers to name a few. This is really the exciting part and expanding your horizons to embrace new people, is thrilling.
3.  Engagement

We apparently all want to engage with someone:  community, employees, prospects, customers, etc. You name it and there is someone, somewhere trying an engagement strategy of some sort.  Not a bad thing actually.  Being engaged means that you are participating and contributing, so a good thing really!

4.  Leverage
In addition to wanting to engage with everyone and their dog, we also want to leverage relationships, knowledge, industry and partnerships.  We don't seem to be leveraged out yet, so let's stay tuned for that one.

5.  Curate

On top of cadence, community, engagement and leverage though, I think that the top buzzword for 2012 has got to be curate.  Regardless of which industry you are entrenched, we all want to tell a story.  We need to curate, or take time to create content or a story worth telling and sharing.  I love the idea and it sounds somewhat romantic to curate..doesn't it?  Am I wrong here? 

So, that sums up five little words that are a part of my everyday vocabulary regardless of whom I am chatting with.  What are your top buzzwords for 2012?  I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Oh and just one parting thought for today...why not try to use each of these words in one sentence all together at least once a day for a week?  Who will be the first to call you out on the overuse of buzzwords?  It is a challenge and it could be fun.