Sunday, March 12, 2017

Which Headline Is Best?

1. Everything You Wanted To Know About LinkedIn, But Were Too Embarrassed To Ask
2. Unleashing The Hidden Power Of LinkedIn
3. Do You Have A Full Understanding Of LinkedIn’s Hidden Powers?
4. Here’s How To Overhaul And Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
5. You’re Doing It Wrong: LinkedIn
6. Your LinkedIn Profile Could Be So Much Better! Here’s How
7. 31 Changes You Should Make To Your LinkedIn Profile Right Now
8. Is Your LinkedIn Profile All It Can And Ought To Be?
9. Hey! What’s Wrong With Your LinkedIn Profile?
10. Could Your LinkedIn Profile Be Better?
11. You Have A LinkedIn Profile. Now What?
12. 31 Easy Ways to Dramatically Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
13. Are You Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn?

Addendum (3/19/2017): The results:

My Dream Dinner Party

1. Michael Phelps
2. Aaron Sorkin
3. Larry David
4. Jerry Seinfeld
5. Warren Buffet

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2 Smart Social-Media Tips From POLITICO

From a memo from Executive Editor Paul Volpe:

In our ongoing effort to extend our reach and expand our readership, we’re making a few changes to our workflow and asking you to tweak the way you file your stories in the following ways:

1. Offer additional headlines. Multiple suggested headlines already speed the publishing process. They also can make a big difference in how many people read your story. We’ve been doing A/B tests on headlines, in some cases doubling or tripling readership based on a headline change. Due to time and resource constraints, we’ve been running these tests on a limited number of stories. And sometimes we miss the pivotal testing window. With your cooperation, we’ll be able to run significantly more tests and capitalize earlier by switching to a headline that makes a clear difference. Starting today, reporters should provide at least two headlines that are significantly different for each story you file. If you file in the CMS, these should go in the Note field on the Notes tab.

2. Provide at least two suggestions for Tweets or Facebook posts beyond the story’s headline. Trevor Eischen and our web team publish more than 400 times daily to our social accounts. To craft compelling posts, they now must read every story we publish, search for the key points and determine what is most likely to engage readers. The reporters and editors most familiar with these stories should give them a sense of what we think is the most important information. This will save time, allow us to publish more quickly, free up the team to focus on our social media strategy and help us build our audience. If you file in the CMS, these should go in the Override tab under Twitter Title.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Right and Wrong Way to Distribute an RFP

I’m a member of several ListServs, where RFPs are sometimes exchanged. God bless Colleen Gratzer for writing up the following reply, which encapsulates everything that’s wrong with RFPs — and how to fix them!

Hi, [Redacted].

There have been a few RFPs sent to this list over the past year.

I would like to share some constructive feedback to help your organization in the future with RFPs and why sending them out to lists or posting on a website is not the best route. With all due respect, sending an RFP to a large list is unlikely to bring you good-quality candidates.

Your work sounds like it would be a good fit for me, as I mainly work with nonprofits, have almost 20 years of experience in the health care industry, and do this type of work. But it would not be a wise business decision for me to respond to this because there is no mention of budget and I have no idea how many people this has potentially been sent to or
been seen by. Preparing such a proposal would require days of prep time, and I have no idea of my chances (1 in 5 or 1 in 200) or if I’d even be able to provide something in your ballpark.

Your organization would be better served by vetting appropriate candidates,inviting a few (3 to 5) to bid, and sharing a budget range to work within.

It’s like when buying a car: you could spend $15,000 or you could spend $80,000. Whether or not you have a budget, you might have monetary expectations. Once you provide a range, then appropriate solutions can be offered in the proposal, or the designer would know up front it’s not doable or not.

I hope that helps.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Love-Hate Relationship With Gmail

I rely Gmail for both my business and my personal life, yet every day I’m reminded of its major limitations:

1. I can’t sort messages in any way other than by date.

2. The trash can is called “archive,” and operates according to peculiar rules.

3. Creating a rich-text signature is an exercise in frustration.

4. The “select-all” function is MIA.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Question a Man’s Judgment, Not His Motives

As a freshman senator, Joe Biden saw Jesse Helms, the archconservative North Carolina Republican, ripping into a piece of disabilities legislation.

Biden was furious, and began attacking Helms to Mike Mansfield, the Democratic Senate majority leader.

Mansfield asked Biden if he knew that Helms and his wife had adopted a disabled nine-year-old boy no one else would take.

Question a man’s judgment, not his motives,” Mansfield instructed.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Best Managers Have This Trait

“It wasn’t right at the start, but I remember the first time I flew with the President on Marine One. You still want to do your job, especially when you’re around him, so I was replying to emails. He just kind of put his hand on my arm and said, “Hey, put that down and look out the window. This is pretty special.” That’s something I’ve tried to do all along.”

Life at 1600 [Time]

Make the Central Proposition on Your Website Crystal-Clear

Here are two good examples:



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

18 Ways to Create Content

There are so many ways to “create content” these days, I’m dumbfounded when a client complains they don’t have time. Let’s review the buffet of options:

  1. A slide deck
  2. A webinar
  3. A bloggers’ roundtable
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Twitter
  6. Facebook
  7. Instagram
  8. Pinterest
  9. YouTube
  10. Case studies
  11. An e-newsletter
  12. A news release
  13. An event
  14. A blog post
  15. An op-ed
  16. A list of frequently asked questions
  17. An infographic
  18. A white paper

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Why Typos Matter

In 2015, a team of Russian-affiliated hackers began to target prominent Democrats. One phishing email in particular went to John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign

“Someone just used your password to try to sign into your Google account,” the message said, adding that the sign-in attempt had occurred in Ukraine. “Google stopped this sign-in attempt. You should change your password immediately.”

Given how many emails Podesta received through this personal email account, several aides also had access to it. One of them sent the email to a computer technician to make sure it was legitimate before anyone clicked on the “change password” button.

“This is a legitimate email,” Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide, replied. “John needs to change his password immediately.”

With the subsequent click, a decade of emails that Podesta maintained in his Gmail account were unlocked for the Russian hackers.

In an interview, Delavan said that his bad advice was a result of a typo: He said he had meant to type that it was an “illegitimate” email, an error that he said has plagued him ever since.

Addendum (1/2/2017): Now, Delavan claims he didn’t meant to type “illegitimate”; he meant to type “not a legitimate.”

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What Donald Trump Can Teach Us About Media Training

Roy Peter Clark explains:

A recent NPR report captured the enthusiasm of Trump supporters at a rally in Cincinnati, where the next president thanked the State of Ohio for his victory, patted himself on the back for getting Carrier to stay put and tossed red meat to the carnivores in the crowd on some of their favorite campaign themes.

In turn, the crowd chanted a series of slogans:

On Hillary: “Lock her up.”

On immigration: “Build that wall.”

On Washington: “Drain the swamp.”

I needed to hear them spoken in close proximity to notice that structurally the three slogans were identical. Each began with an imperative verb (lock, build, drain). Each was three words long. All nine words were one syllable in length. Each verb was transitive, that is, it carried an object. And in each case some unspecified subject was order to do something to something else ...

These three-beat slogans seem to be a special form of battle cry ...

“Lock her up.”

“Build that wall.”

“Drain the swamp.”

They are chant-able like many popular sports chants: “Let’s go Mets!”

Their expression in three words offers a kind of completeness: this is all you need to know. And their brevity rings like the gospel truth.

They show fidelity. They are confident, at times to the point of intolerance. Fact checking and wonkery bounce off of them. They seem silly when spoken by an individual. Coming from an excited crowd they express a collective energy, an army of followers ready to go to war for their king.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why Political Comedy Is So Effective

Before he died, George Carlin explained why people like John Oliver, Jon Stewart, and Bill Maher are so persuasive:

“You are never more yourself than when you have been surprised into laughing. That is a moment when your defenses are down, in a manner of speaking. Most of the time, when you talk to people about — let’s call them ‘issues,’ okay? — people have their defenses up. They are going to defend their point of view, the thing they’re used to, the ideas that they hold dear, and you have to take a long, logical route to get through to them ... But when you are doing comedy or humor, people are open, and when the moment of laughter comes, their guard is down, so new data can be introduced more easily at that moment.”

Monday, October 3, 2016

When Is a Video View Not a View?


The Online Video View: We Can Count It, but Can We Count on It?