Integrating Pieces of You Into Business Blogging


Call it synergy. Rajesh might say there are no coincidences.

One. Jeneane Sessum invited me to co-lead a non conference session with her about women and social media this Saturday at SoCom 07. Any excuse to play with this cool diva and I'm there in a NYC minute. One of the topics we want to open is integrating your personal and business self into social media be it blog, podcast, vlog or community. Should you?  And if you do, how much of you can you and/or should you give away on a business blog?

Two. Recently I've been thinking more about how far do I take the personal on Diva Marketing. I write about sweet Max. I've even told a story about my grandmother and drop bits and pieces about my background and life. The personal is usually subtle and woven into business stories.

Three. A few weeks ago Divo Lewis Green started a series honoring on people who have served in the armed forces by posting photos. I sent him a couple photos of my dad in uniform with my mom.  I anticipated that the post would include several other photos and was surprised to find Lewis had dedicated an entire post to Lou and Anne Bloomberg .. along with their story. My thoughts were WoW .. my folks are now part of the history of an exciting communication change. Then I thought .. perhaps I should cross post on Diva.

Sidebar: Lewis is looking for more photos.

Four. Rajesh's comment:  Very nice story about your parents Toby. Love to hear more... again turned my thoughts to how much should personal stories be integrated within a business blog.

Five. Tonight I was watching Men In Trees and the showed ended with this line, "Everytime we bite our tongues we know each other a little less." 

Call it synergy. Rajesh might say there are no coincidences.

Mummy_and_dad_and_popsieI would love to share with you the photo and story of my parents Louis and Anne. I know Dad would have loved this medium .. Mom probably not so much so.

The older gentleman is grandfather "Popsie." I think it was taken at the Cocoanut Grove night club in Boston. Probably in 1942.

As our family story goes .. my dad and my mom met on a blind date. Dad proposed that very night. They were married 6-weeks later because of "the war." If two people were ever soul mates it was Lou and Ann.

Although she loved being a mother, she loved being  Lou's wife even more. And he was crazy about her too. I have a lot of the letters that my dad wrote but none that my mom wrote. My mom gave me these letters just before she died and told me that there were many more but she destroyed them because they were too personal. One can only imagine ;-)

To bring it back to branding and social media .. if the heart of social media, as a marketing tactic, is developing relationships. Then letting people into some of your personal life should be okay.

So .. how does the personal self fit into a business blog? I suppose the first question to ask is, "How comfortable are you with giving away pieces of you in the context of a business blog?" 

The next important question to ask is, "How far do your readers want you to go in that direction?"

Communications Strategy For A Social Media World


Healthcare_vox Fard Johnmar, Healtcare Vox, pulls no punches in his new Free eBook, Envision Solutions E-book: From Command & Control To Engage & Encourage: A New Healthcare Communications Strategy For A Social Media World. He kicks off his theories with a powerful statement.

The healthcare industry will have no choice but to engage and develop social media if it is interested in helping people find accurate and helpful information online.

Although there has been some dabbling into blogs, podcast and vlogs the healthcare industry, as a whole, as been reluctant to take the big leap into social media. Fard explains that part of the hesitation is a reflection a culture of tightly control of information.

In industries such as pharmaceutical and biotech and hospitals which are all heavily regulated it is understandable that offering an open commincation forum may appear like a walk on the wild side. However, healthcare  providers that have entered into this world understand that providing an open dialogue is critical in educating consumers of healthcare.

From Command & Control To Engage & Encourage examines two models of communication strategy. The traditional Command and Control where information is carefully crafted and messages are spoon fed to the media and other stakeholders in a more or less 'pure' form. Although this model may appear to increase the odds that what is communicated = what people actually hear, in the social media world, it no longer works. Consumers of healthcare are online searching, talking and exchanging opinions about healthcare products and services.

I agree with Fard'd position that it is fool hearty for healthcare organizations to bury their heads in the sands of denial. As in other industries, ranging from technology to packaged goods to services, no company controls their messaging or the brand experience. The internet changed the rules of the game. Dr_kildareWe're not in Dr. Kildare's world of the 1960's! The sooner healthcare providers shake off the grains of sand the sooner they can begin to use social media as a competitive advantage to build stronger relationships with their customers.

Fard offers a solution in a social media communications model he calls Engage & Encourage

Engage & Encourage - A New Media Communication Strategy

Phase I - Engage
Aggressively working with influential developers of social media to encourage them to talk about healthcare issues, products/service

  • Conduct research to identify influential social media
  • Monitor the conversation

Phase II  - Encourage

  • Collaborating with social media to encourage the accurate transmission of healthcare messages
  • Producing social media that will help enrich and expand online healthcare dialog

Stage I - Research Social Media & Develop Messages

Stage II - Engage Traditional and Social Media

  • Advertising on blogs, podcasts,wikis, bulletin boars
  • Public/social media relations - developing messages to journalists and creators of social media and encouraging them to tell your story
  • Posting Multimedia on a Video Sharing Website

Stage III - Social & Traditional Media Deliver Messages

  • Monitor mentions

Stage IV - Encourage Accuracy & Dialog

  • Develop your own social media e.g., blog, podcast, vlog, discussion board to help shape the dialog

Stage V - Measure Audience Response

  • Media coverage, advertising reach, audience response

In addition Fard encourages healthcare organizations to get into the game by producing their own blogs, podcast, videos, wikis an/or message boards.

The eBook is an easy read and offers tips on how to begin the development of a social media communication strategy. Although written for the healthcare industry the concepts are applicable to any industry. The end quote brings it home.

Remember, we may live in a new world, but the old rules still apply. Powerful communications has always been about getting people to pay attention and take action. The engage and encourage strategy is just another means of achieving the same objective.

Sidebar: Fard Johnson's definition of social media - The term social media refers to a group of technologies that enable people to collaborate, interact or meet via the internet.

Sidebar: Cross posted on The Medical Blog Network

Is 2006 - The Year of the Wiki


In 2004, the word of the year was Blog. In 2005, the word of the year was Podcast. In 2006, will the word of the year be Wiki?

What's a wiki? Glad you asked. The word wiki is based on a Hawaiian word meaning super-fast. Sandbox_2In diva terms, it's a blog for multiple authors where everyone gets to play at the same time. Companies have been using wikis as internal project management systems. Some organizations are exploring bringing wikis out from behind the internal firewalls and into the world wide web.

Clear Admit, an educational counseling firm that guides MBA candidates through the maze of applying to top B-school programs, launched an interesting wiki that supports its Clear Admit Blog.

The Clear Admit MBA Admissions Wiki provides people going through the MBA experience an opportunity to share what they've learned. There are tabs for the interview process and the application. There's even a tab for current students to tell the real scoop on what's going on in classes and on campus. The wiki includes links to some of the schools' bloggers.

Between the blog and the wiki Clear Admit has created a comprehensive resource for MBA wannabees. What makes The Clear Admit wiki unique is that it works in tangent with the blog. Click on the blog links to Interview Reports and Bloggers by School you'll be taken to the wiki pages. Information flows back and forth.

Haven't seen anything quite like this one. Have you? Needless to say the biggest challenge, for any wiki, is getting people over the hump of the learning process and then encouraging them to participate.  If you have any feedback on the Clear Admit wiki or ideas on how to encourage readers to contribute please give Alex Brown a shout out.

More Wikis
Charlene Li's Public Wiki
Photo Wiki
Product Wiki
The Speaker's Wiki
Fortune 500 Business Blogs Wiki

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