Archives for category: Social Media

I am all for Return On Investment (ROI).

However, defining ROI in any small service business, particularly in marketing, can be incredibly difficult to be even remotely useful. Most businesses don’t bother except when it is easy. But for some reason, when it comes to social media, ROI is mission critical.

Why?

You can place an ad for discounted services, with a coupon, running for a month, and a unique web address, and  a unique phone number, and track that (but honestly how many actually do this?) But how can you track the person who becomes aware of your business through that ad, spots your sign one day while driving by, and then six months later needs and uses your services unrelated to the ad?

What is the ROI of your fax machine?

What is the ROI of customer service?

What is the ROI of a strong brand?

How do you place a value on communicating with a significant proportion of your clients every day?

Most businesses consider word of mouth one of the most important forms of promotion. It is essentially free and it is highly effective. With social media, we have the opportunity to insert our businesses into the “word of mouth” of our customers, and thereby their friends, and their friends friends. Why would you not get involved and take advantage of that?

Facebook for my business probably takes up 15 minutes of my day on average. An email, or even a call by the time I’ve documented it, to an upset client can easily take an hour. Should I not deal with an upset client when I don’t have to because the ROI is lousy? Yes, you can place a value on a client and on retaining that client. You can even track that you do get some clients from Facebook, but you may also get clients because you have an email address or a telephone number. When was the last time that anyone figured out the ROI of their email system? Even when buying a new phone system most businesses to not justify it with ROI, but rather than as the cost of doing business.

Small businesses often look up to companies such as Nike and Apple and see their devoted, and almost rabid, fan bases as evidence of marketing in action. I would argue, however, that companies like Apple and Nike create devoted fan bases is by being approachable and interacting with their clients – Apple in particular. I’m not the greatest Steve Jobs fan, but there are lots of examples of Steve taking the time to reply to ordinary consumers and being very interested in what they had to say. HP, Dell, et al. for a number of years, sold dramatically more computers than Apple, but it was Apple who held Mac World every year. Nike became cool because they did not go after deals, they went after people who actually used their shoes – athletes. They engaged their most high profile target market.

Of course, there is a lot of other marketing involved, but remember Apple’s most famous ad only ran once in most markets. Apple, and Nike for that matter, opened their own stores that operate on a quite a different model from other retail outlets. There is some argument that this was to help control the customer experience, but I also feel it was to be able to respond, and engage, with customers. Like all companies, they do not always get it right, but I do think that it is the willingness to attempt true engagement, and a real concern for the customer experience, that breeds fierce loyalty.

Social media is not a strategy – engagement, however, is.

So how to do social media and get some results and some traction?

To me, a major issue for small businesses is when they are on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, YouTube, and are doing all of them badly. Focus on one, and only one, and do it well. Then you can move on to another one.

Create things,or provide a service, using social media that other people will value.

Share other people’s content sparingly.

Self promotion has to have value, or at least not look like self promotion.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your fan base or ask them to share.

Drive fans to your website, or blog, from places like Facebook or YouTube not the other way round.

Pick your social media sites carefully. In my opinion, YouTube, for example, is very useful and can expose you to an enormous audiences, but the attention span is fleeting and the sense of community is almost non-existent. Embed videos in your site or page. Facebook works for my business and my previous business. Twitter does not. However, Twitter will almost certainly work for my new business, and it works for me personally. This has a lot to do with the small towns versus large cities and the  nature of my business – it may well be different for yours. Google+ has some personal value, and some SEO benefits, but has little real world value at this point in time in my opinion. But it does look very pretty!

Numbers of likes or followers are pretty irrelevant. It is the level of engagement that counts. I’d much rather have two hundred relevant, and engaged, fans or followers than 6,000 just making up the numbers. As someone much smarter than me once said: “If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business.”

And finally, don’t cross post, post from one social network to another, unless you really know what you are doing.

And even then just don’t do it.

Please.

I beg of you.

I see people I respect and who should really know better, cross posting and it is counterproductive. Content for Facebook does not translate well to Twitter because of the character limit. Twitter’s special characters are not understood by most Facebook users.

There are social networks where cross posting seems to work pretty well, but again, it is a black art, and if you are questioning the ROI of any social network, cross posting from a different network is not any kind of an investment.

To sum up this long, and sprawling post, the ROI of social media is the ROI of engagement. If talking to existing and new customers is not for you then I wish you well.

That just means more customers for the rest of us.

Many thanks to my friends and colleagues on the Marking in Veterinary Medicine LinkedIn group for the conversation that this post was cannibalized from. Also many thanks to Ali Burden-Blake (@inkspotsocial) for her excellent blog post: “Stop! Why using social media won’t work for your veterinary practice.” which inspired the conversation in the first place.

 

Violated Online is a interesting book for a number of reasons. But by far the most interesting thing is the quandary at it’s heart.

Wyer runs a company that specializes in Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM) and Violated Online is essentially a 200 page pitch for the SERM industry. In case there is any doubt, SERM is essentially the same as the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practiced by online marketers to ensure that search engine results reflect the results that they want.

The fundamental idea at the heart of Violated Online is that we live in a connected world and that information is easy to find or publish. That this world can be a scary place, and that things have changed, should really come as no surprise to anyone.

It is hard not to feel while reading this work that the author would rather go back to the “good-old-days.” By its own admission, Violated Online states that a lot of personal information was always available offline, but that now this information is a lot easier to access and somehow this makes the internet is a bad thing. It is interesting to reflect that only 10 years ago we gladly gave our social security numbers to department store clerks, or any other number of people, to bring up account information. Just like we have all learned to control our personal information, we also have to take responsibility for our online presence.

To be fair, Violated Online, makes this exact argument. However, most people reading it will only take away from the near hysterical tone is the idea that to protect themselves they need to stay off the internet or employ a SERM company. For example, some of the advise is practically useless for the average person – registering every single web address permutation of you and your families name. Great advise for a business, or someone in the public eye, but more than a little over the top for most people. It is easy to forget that in the days before the internet, if the major media misquoted or focused on an individual, there was very little recourse. The internet can magnify these problems but it also provides an avenue for correcting those mistakes. Violated Online makes no such comparisons or admissions.

However, the biggest issue with this book is that on the one hand it bemoans that individuals can be anonymous online, and then rails against social media’s use of proper names and identities. You can’t have it both ways! The online identity issue is significant, but it needs to be handled with education about when you can and can’t rely on online information and who posted it.

Violated Online is an important book and is well worth reading, despite its problems. Just don’t buy into the end of the world scenarios and take away its most important message – take control of your life online before someone else does.

(Clicking on the cover above will take you to the book’s Amazon page and contribute to my book buying habit / problem.)

2011 has felt like the year of the Bayer Brakke Study. Most of what has been written in the world of practice management, seminars, and conversations between managers, have ended up talking about the Bayer Brakke study.

This was finally summed up for me when attend a one day workshop held at VSCoT by Butler, Bayer, and Jessica Goodman Lee, CVPM of Brakke consulting, on the study itself and what to do about it’s findings.

I felt it might be interesting for me to give my personal view point on some of what I took away from this presentation, the Bayer Brakke Study in general, and what it means for the veterinary profession, clients and pets, as a whole.

1: The profession needs to change and it needs to take the change seriously.

The 1998 Brakke study made 19 recommendations and the only one that was adopted by almost all veterinary practices was to raise fees. Now that was a good thing – fees need to rise, but the other recommendations we’re also important. Inventory management and reducing expenses, for example, were the recommendations with the next highest adoption rate and they were adopted by less than 50% of practices.

Just raising fees is fine when the economy is doing well, but does not bode well recessionary times and helps explain why visits are down and some practices are have had a significantly hard time over the last couple of years.

What was valid five years ago is not valid now – never mind 10 years ago.

2: Normalcy is not an excuse for inaction.

One of the elements that the study points out is that many practices believe that all they have to do is “weather the storm” and everything will get back to normal. What is currently being misunderstood is that the industry has changed. New competition, with different business models, have arisen partly in response to these challenging times, and who is to say that these will end anytime soon? Only 20% of practices expressed serious concern about the changing market place.

The other major issue is that business itself has changed. As Jim Lecinski points out in his book “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” buying, consuming and even reviewing habits have changed. As a business you ignore these changes at your peril.

3: We Live, or Perish, by Communication with our Clients.

59% of dog owners and 56% of cat owners would bring their pets in more often if they could prevent problems and extensive treatments later on. The figures are almost identical when owners believe that their pet will live longer by bringing them to their veterinarian more often.

In addition, 56% of clients feel that their veterinarian does give them clear instructions as to when they should bring their pet in.

4: Cats – the Great Opportunity.

As I personally experienced while helping with the pet evacuation due to the Monument Fire in Sierra Vista, cats are woefully undeserved by the veterinary community. The bottom line is that cats do not get brought into the vet enough or sometimes ever. It is difficult for the owner, difficult for the cat, and difficult (from the client’s perspective) for the veterinary practice.

If a veterinary practice sees 25% cats and 75% dogs, and there are 13% more cats that dogs in the U.S. the opportunities are enormous both for the business of the practice and in improving feline health.

5: It is all about money – except when it is not.

Getting inventive about payment options, whatever they might be, are seen by clients as needed services. That does not nessecerally mean that veterinarians have to become banks, but it does mean that we can’t wash our hands of the financial issue. The practices that are able to provide options will find clients flocking to them. It is also important to note that choice is not always a good thing. It can send a a mixed message to clients who are looking for a recommendation. Pet insurance is an obvious area where having a practice provider of choice in terms of recommendations can make a big difference to clients.

Trumping the financial issues, however, is communication as mentioned above. If we do not explain the value of what we do and why we do it (exhibit A: the lack of feline visits) how can we ever expect clients to?

I can sum a lot of what I have written above by one word: Management.

The industry needs to embraise management (this may seem like a self serving argument as a practice manager, and to an extent it is, but it does also does not make it any less true) as a key ingredient for practice health. It is no accident that the Bayer Brakke Study shows that the variables most constistant with increased visits were: seeing the same veterarian every time, wellness exams considered the most important service, marketing and advertising as important to practice success, and the active use of social media. The variables most consistent with decreased visits were: advertising undermines credibility as a veterinarian and lack of referral arrangements with shelters, groomers etc. These are all areas where good management can make a significant difference. Managers have to be allowed to manage, but they also need to manage well.

Proper practice management is not just the responsibility of the managers. Of course, managers must manage, but there has to be a sea-change in understanding that proper practice management actually effects patient health and outcomes.

Just ask all those cats!

These are just my take always, any others or any other ideas? Lets here from you in the comments. Abuse, as always, very welcome.

For a field supposedly bereft of metrics, social media is full of them.

I have more Facebook fans / Twitter followers / blog subscribers than you do. My tweets get re-tweeted more often, more people are talking about this on Facebook, and every blog post has a hundred comments. And, of course, the crowning achievement, my Klout score is higher than yours.

I’ve had a couple of run-ins lately with social media envy. The first was a blog post that was very popular for all the wrong reasons – I took a position that lots of people disagreed with. I don’t regret that post (or the sentiment it contained), but it did get me thinking on the nature of why that post was so “popular” compared to others on my blog. Certainly, it has been a long understood concept that controversy boosts readership (just ask a tabloid journalist). However, what really made me start thinking on this topic was why would readers engage more just to tell me I’m wrong? Does this kind of thinking carry over into more corporate blogging? Should I start my next vet practice blog with the words “I hate pets?”

Obviously, you won’t find any anti-pet blog posts from me any time soon. But it led me to start reassessing as to why I decided to start blogging in the first place.

The next thing that really set off the social media envy was Facebook. Working in small communities, and have having a very successful Facebook presence on the two major pages I have run as a veterinary practice manager, I believe I am justifiably proud of both the number of fans and the level of engagement, without vast sums of cash being sunk into the pockets of Mark Zuckerberg. My pages have had significantly better engagement, and fan bases than my competitors, or other local businesses. Of course, it is therefore disheartening to come across others who seem to be doing a better job – with more fans and better engagement, even if they are not in your market. Social Media envy I hate you.

The bottom line, however, is that social media envy, like envy and jealously in general is pointless and stupid. The real questions to be asking ones self when faced with social media envy are:

1: Does my presence achieve what I want it to achieve?

2: If someone else is achieving more than I am how can I learn from them and is it even possible for me to do something similar? There is a big difference, for example, in running a Facebook page for a rock band versus running a page for a veterinary hospital or a restaurant.

3: Am I making forward progress and do my clients, and potential clients, like what my online presence delivers for them?

Social media, is a element of a marketing strategy, not a marketing strategy in itself. It is a tool to achieve your goals. And those goals can be quite ethereal. If social media is not working for you, then it is time to try something else or learn from those who doing what you want to be able to do.

It is not a race.

It is not a competition.

It is a tool.

It makes no sense to judge yourself, or even the tool, by how others use it.

Comments, good, bad, and indifferent are always welcome – flame away!   

For those who do not use Twitter, you might not know about Friday Follows. The idea is that on Fridays, Twitter users recommend other Twitter users to follow.

It has fallen out of favor of late a little, the Twitterverse can be fickle, and I’ve never been a big believer anyway – preferring to retweet (repost others messages) on a regular basis. But it has always been nice to get one.

Yesterday, however, I got the best Friday Follow ever from Jim Dougherty who goes by the name @leaderswest on Twitter.

Jim’s Friday Follow took the form of a short – talking to camera – video, explaining to users why they should follow me, and others, on Twitter. The genius of the idea is that each subject gets their own short video making it very easy to view and share by the subject.

This is great content marketing.

Easy to consume, relevant, and selfless – which of course reflects very well on the content creator like all great content marketing. It would be interesting to see if all recommendations will eventually be like this: personal, short, and on video. It has certainly got my wheels turning considering just how effective I find the video below. Interestingly, Jim used Keek for this project. Keek is hoping to be video Twitter.

Please follow @leaderswest on Twitter, after you follow me!

Video Friday Follow about @mike_falconer from @leaderswest

(Keek's embedding does not work very well in WordPress yet - just click on the image to take you to Jim's Keek page and his video post about me!)

Well, what did you think?

Let me know in the comments and take a look at Jim’s other Friday Follows in the same page.

Bad feedback, subtle (and not so subtle) digs on Twitter, your mistakes pointed out for all to see, and then you go make it way worse…

In your online life, just like your business life, it can be hard to take criticism. We are not married, after all, to our peers – business is personal. But just like in person, going ballistic certainly does not help the relationship, how you are perceived by other people, or even your own equilibrium.

I seemed to attract a deluge of criticism online and off recently. In addition, I had a management issue that felt like backhanded criticism. Although my first instinct was to react as if these were attacks, by standing back, taking a deep breath, and actually trying to see what the other person was saying, I realized that they all had merit – and in some cases, there were things that needed addressing.

What is so odd, for me, is that, I consider it a key function of my job to address client issues when they come up about my practice. I survey every client who visits us, so thanking clients for positive feedback, and trying to address negative feedback, is part and parcel of what I do.

Learning the lesson that bad, even unjustified, feedback about your business is not a personal attack was an easy lesson to learn. Understanding, that personal business criticism should be handled in a similar vein is harder to learn, but ultimately even more important.

Comments welcome (please be gentle…)

This week, I take pot shots at webinars and why I think they are a waste for speaker, and the virtual attendee.

Webinars, where a speaker presents over the Internet, at a predetermined time to an audience sitting at home or at their desks, have always seemed to be a classic example of having your cake and eating it too. By the way – that expression makes no sense whatsoever. If I’m having cake you better believe that I want to eat it!

Anyway, I digress…

The problem with webinars is that they have all the disadvantages of actually going to see someone speak, with none of the advantages. The timming of the webinar is decided by the speaker, or organizer. The transfer of information is limited to that timing window and whatever notes are issued.

From the speaker side, webinars offer the possibility of actual interaction with participants. However, because the interaction is one way, unless initiated by the viewer, the speaker has no idea as to how well the presentation is going and therefore how to tailor it to address potential issues.

I also cannot help shaking the notion that webinars are, for the most part, the lazy way out. If online delivery is what is required, let’s have proper content. Presentations that can be downloaded, shared, and watched again and again on the viewers schedule. YouTube, Slideshare, or even PowerPoint all make this very easy.

While saying all this, I do think there is great value in physical meetings and presentations- particularly for the conversations that happen before and after the meeting. Social media, is an excellent way of approximating this offline interaction of a physical meeting- online, but the realtime contraints of a webinar don’t really lend themselves to this interaction.

Plus, who doesn’t need more great content.

You build a marketing strategy, craft your brand, have a good grasp of your online identity, lots of likes and followers on the various social media platforms, and even have developed great connections to your local media…and then you do something really stupid that could potentially blow it all.

Nobody is perfect, and we all makes mistakes – I’ve made some doozers. But there is a real difference between making mistakes, admitting those mistakes and then trying to fix the problem, as opposed to declaring war on your customers and ultimately your own business.

Lets take this little Twitter gem for starters courtesy of the Daily Mail. A customer in your restaurant overhears a waiter being rude about another restaurant owner who the customer happens to know personally. Your customer is not to thrilled with the service already, and finds this behavior to be rather off, so they Tweet about it. What you do not do, as a restaurant owner, is call up from home, ask to speak to the customer in question, curse at them down the phone, and then demand they leave. That, however, is exactly what happened. In the ensuing Twitter onslaught, the restaurant came off far worse and created a massive (the restaurant is in Texas, the Daily Mail is a UK newspaper as an example) amount of negative publicity over a customer service issue. An apology, and a courtesy meal or bottle of wine, could have turned this incident into a minor win instead of this major fail.

Next up, the auto-body shop that after using a photographer’s work on their Facebook page without permission, proceeded to threaten and abuse the photographer on their own Facebook page for all to see. Needless to say, the page went viral over Twitter and Facebook. With the almost universally courteous, and intelligent, posts from supporters of the photographer, and gangsta inspired vitriol from the body shop it could only be seen as a massive marketing failure right in front of the businesses own 500+ fans. I believe the page is now been taken down as I can no longer find it, but if anyone knows if it is still up please drop me a line so I can share the link.

The Airbnb saga, has been done to death but is instructive because even very smart people can do really dumb things. The basic outline is that Airbnb is a service that allows homeowners to rent out a room on a short term basis like a hotel. Unfortunately, when an owner returned to find their apartment trashed, and their identity stolen, Airbnb basically stuck their heads in the sand and appeared to try and discredit the victim to stop her blogging about her experience. After a major backlash, Airbnb added safeguards, an insurance policy, and tried to do the right thing by the victim. But it could be too little too late considering their model is very easy to copy and already has a number of competitors. Most people had never even heard of Airbnb until this story exploded.

Finally, something a bit closer to home, how would you, or your staff, feel about having this tweeted from your hospital by a doctor, or about your pet?

Twitter vet image blanked out

Not only is this amazingly unprofessional, but all it will take is a single person to make the connection between hospital and Twitter account (the account does not identify the hospital, or the doctor, but I have still blanked out what is there in the interests of fairness) and this will become a huge problem. I’m sure it violates the hospital’s social media policy and I’m sure you could make an argument for it also being damaging to the profession to boot!

The bottom line is that your reputation and your brand are fragile. It is very easy for it to be damaged by just forgetting the basics of customer service. Never do anything, or say anything online, that you wouldn’t want on the front page of the paper or on a billboard. This is an age where it is easier to get your message out than ever before, but it is also just as easy for everyone else. And nothing travels, or goes viral, quite as well as scandal or bad news.

Does anyone have disastrous stories they would like to share or other examples they have seen online? Share with the rest of us in the comments!

(Click on the image above to view the book on Amazon!)

With possibly the longest subtitle ever: “Move your business forward through the convergence of search, social & content marketing,” Accelerate! cannot be accused of false advertising.

Quiet simply, Accelerate is a blueprint for successfully using 21st century tools for small business online marketing. Written by Arnie Kuenn, the president of Vertical Measures in Phoenix, and a co-founder of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association; Mr. Kuenn certainly knows his stuff. In fact, it is one of the few criticism of the book that I have, is that it gets a little dense at times, particularly early on. The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) section while being very detailed gets to be a little much and will require a couple of readings for all but the most experienced of readers. However, the style does settle down, and it would be a mistake to give up on the book as and what you are left with in the end is, a user friendly handbook for search, social media, and content marketing.

The book covers all the major players as you might expect; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google; but is also covers a lot of the less mainstream sites. Accelerate! plucks a number online tools out from the magic geek SEO toolbox to help with almost every aspect of the radical overhaul of your marketing strategy that will undoubtedly unfold once you have finished the book. I myself, am already looking carefully at how I put posts together for my site and have joined a number of social bookmarking sites directly because of this book.

A self published book, also available in a Kindle edition, I was initially concerned about the physical binding on Accelerate! I’ve had problems in the past with the spines of self published books cracking and then loosing pages after a single reading. I’m happy to report that this is not the case with Accelerate! I did take care not to be too absusive to the spine, but i needn’t have worried, the book is in great shape and looks the same as when it arrived.

I mention the self publishing issue, not just because of quality, but also because the text of the book directly references it as well. With a subject such as search and social media marketing, it is easy to get very out of date very quickly – Google+, for example, is not mentioned once. As the text explains, being a self published book, in addition to being an E-book, allows for easier updates than traditional publishing. I, for one, hope we do get new editions on a fairly regular basis, because this a great resource and one I know I will be referring to for quite some time. In fact, I found it quite odd to see URLs in the footnotes and be unable to click on them – should have got the Kindle version!

Mr. Kuenn’s book will not tell you how to brand and create a marketing strategy for your business – hopefully that is why you read my blog! What Accelerate! will do, however, is tell you how to navigate the waters of the increasingly complex world of search, social media, and content marketing. This still might not mean that you still don’t need to hire someone of Mr. Kuenn’s caliber, or the man himself, to work with you on these magic things. But if you do you’ll at least know what they are talking about and why.

If you want to get serious about search, social media and content marketing, you need to buy this book – it does what is says on the cover!

(Clicking on the cover above will take you to the book’s Amazon page and contribute to my book buying habit / problem.)

So far in this series we’ve looked at how your brand and marketing strategy are perceived and reacted with by your clients – but what about your staff?

Without your staff on-board no marketing program will succeed. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that probably one of the most important elements of any marketing program is having staff buy-in. But how to get it?

Simplicity

This is not a dig at your staff, but rather those overblown and meaningless missions statements that seem the populate the corporate world. Your brand and your mission statement should be one. They need to work together and be given as much thought as each other. A mission statement should also be able to be understood by mere mortals and, in an ideal world, be able to be remembered.

A great example of this is talked about at length in Stick, a book by Chip and Dan Heath that I reviewed here. Southwest use the slogan “The Low Cost Airline.” This slogan, which is the central part of their mission statement, informs the decisions that both management and staff make everyday –

“Should we have sandwiches on this flight?”
“Does that make us the Low Fares Airline?”
No because the added cost of the sandwiches might increase the fare price.

“Should we joke about a flight attendant’s birthday over the intercom?”
“Does that affect us being the Low Cost Airline?”
No it doesn’t – so go ahead.

Having an overriding statement, that is the building block of your mission statement helps, give your staff a sense of mission and purpose. If you use it to define your decisions everyday, and tell them why it fits into that statement, they will soon see the benefits of this kind if thinking and hopefully adopt it as their own.

Keeping Staff Informed

It is a surprisingly common mistake, I’ve made it myself several times, but your staff should not be the last ones to find out about any kind of marketing program. Not only does it frustrate the staff, it upsets the client and creates the exact opposite impression in their mind that you were probably trying to create in the firs place. It is also a great idea to have staff involved in the planning stages of any marketing program. This stops it from being “your” marketing program and makes it “our” marketing program – a much better solution all round.

Explain What is Out There

It might come as a shock, but staff do not cruise their employers website, social media pages, and review sites at night, when they get home from work, as a method of relaxation. Take the time and effort to explain these resources to staff so that they, in turn, can be knowledgeable to clients when they ask.

Provide Reminders

If you are promoting particular products, ensure that staff have the tools, training, and reminders to be able to effectively do their jobs. What do I mean by reminders? Well it could be as simple as a poster or you asking about their progress on a daily basis and it could be as technical as power point presentations running where both clients ad staff can see them. As Seth Godwin says “Competence is the enemy of change.” In other words, when you give your staff new products, protocols, and ideas to work on, you are making them less efficient for the time it takes them to learn all the new things. Naturally, they might be a little resistant to that. All the help you can provide will make the transition to a new state of competency as straight forward as possible.

Be Emotional

If you care about an idea, concept, or product – show that you do. Tell stories about how this product, idea or concept will affect your clients, your staff, or whom ever. But if you cannot show that you care about something, how are your staff ever going to care? You don’t have to have them high fiving and lifting you on their shoulders, and there is an element of risk with putting yourself out there – they might not respond. But without that emotion and, for want of a better word, passion your pitch to your staff will become just as important as the text from an instruction manual.

How do you promote your ideas and strategies to staff? Have you found some other great ways to get people onboard? Leave a comment below to share with me (seriously, I don’t have all the answers) and other readers.

Next week: The Double-Edged Sword of Media Relations

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