Posts Tagged ‘Tips and Tricks’

Once A Day: Going Offline to Stay Sharp

Thursday, October 1st, 2009


Above is the original notepad that inspired IBM’s storied ThinkPad laptop computer line (via Merlin Mann).  Being digital professionals and our worlds moving a mile a minute online – what are some things, as PR professionals and trusted communication counselors, that we can do to help focus ourselves?

Switching from e-mail and phone call and conference room to really helping keep the big picture in mind not just for your team but your clients as well can be helped by simple, daily exercises that will take less time than you think and – hopefully – reward you down the line.

  • Talk to every person on your team – what is everyone working on?  Maybe it impacts some of your projects?  Or sharing what you’re doing can help someone think about their work differently or offer different perspective on your own.  This isn’t a formal meeting, this doesn’t have to be face-to-face but it’s important to look up from the grindstone and check-in with your team.
  • Double-check a budget or goals/objectives for a program, campaign, etc. – what comes next?  Is what you’re working on the right thing that needs to be done?  Often, when projects are launched into, everyone focuses on the immediate next steps without managing the finish line – doing this will not just help deliver a great product to your client but help you think strategically about the program, campaign or project you’re working on.
  • Take 5 minutes to think – as easy as this sounds, you’d be surprised about how few of us do it during the course of a day.  Focus on a new skill or a topic you want to know about, or try to connect ideas between clients and trends.  The small savoring of mental focus might just give you your next big idea!

Want more?  Check out The 99 Percent.  A think tank from the awesome folks at Behance (which inspired this post), it’s a great site that focuses on what happens after your team walks out of that brainstorm – when it’s time to put ideas into action and all the things to take you from point A to B.

What to do about a Twitter hack?

Monday, June 8th, 2009

There have been lots of examples of brands and individuals getting hacked on Twitter. In some cases, this results in exciting opportunities (think @The_Real_Shaq), in others, it can be a threat to personal or brand reputation (think Exxon or, most recently Tony LaRussa).

In response to the lawsuit filed by Cardinals manager, Tony LaRussa, last week, Twitter founders had the following to say, “Impersonation violates Twitter’s Terms of Service and we take the issue seriously. We suspend, delete, or transfer control of accounts known to be impersonation. When alerted, we took action in this regard on behalf of St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.”

In addition, they’ve previewed a new service, coming this summer, that will seek to authenticate brand or personal accounts so that owners and users can have a clearer sense of who they’re talking to and why they may or may not be getting the responses they’re looking for. Verified Accounts will come with a badge, like the one below.

Twitter Verified Account
Twitter Verified Account

Now, until this service is launched, there are a couple things you can do as a brand to be prepared.

  1. Do your homework. Even if you aren’t ready to start a Twitter account, you should take ownership of your brand name and a few derivatives. This will prevent people from stealing your name. While you’re at it, check out Name Check, and see where you are susceptible to hacking all over the web. There are other services out there as well, such as Reputation Defender, that can help individuals track and improve your online reputation.
  2. Set up Live Listening. Use an RSS reader. Set up searches for your name and your company’s name. Pay attention to where you are being mentioned and how.

Also, it’s important to remember that not all hackers are bad. Really? Yes. Take, for example, the hack-job done in conjunction with one of my favorite TV shows, Mad Men. You can follow @Don_Draper and the gang on Twitter – but these characters are not from AMC or their agency. This network of profiles was set up by fans of the show. After initially trying to disband the characters, they were allowed to continue tweeting, and continued to grow an audience and provide fans a way to connect with the show. Big win all around.

HNTBAOTI Volume 1: Turning Off Autoplay on Flickr Video

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Okay, here’s the first installment of what I hope to make a regular occurrence here at Open the Dialogue, and I’m officially calling it “How Not To Be Annoying On The Internet.” [Thanks, Chris!] Of course, HNTBAOTI as an acronym doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue, but whatever. We’ll be using Flickr Video to offer up sub-90 second videos / screencasts (and yes, that’s a GOOD limit to have), and the first volume is one of my personal favorites, turning off the nifty autoplay feature. It’s like turning off the keytones on your cellphone 30 seconds after purchasing a new phone, except…well, it’s just not on a cellphone.

In any case, without further ado, here we go.

Hope you enjoyed this installment, and we’ll hope to bring you more soon!

[ed: and before you ask, I did the screencast using SnapzProX on my iMac, and converted the file down to Web-ready using Apple's QuickTime Pro. The original file version wasn't working on upload but the converted, m4v file, did, so give that a whirl if you're unable to get .mov files working at first.]

Words of wisdom in less than 140 characters

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

From Rex Hammock, in response to a question from Josh Hallett:

If an event wants presentation slides a month in advance, send them something you did a year ago. That’s where the audience is.

TIME Widgets

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Ooh, never noticed this either – Lost Remote sez you can embed a widget from TIME magazine with a quote of the day in your own site if you want to. Wow, a widget with a credible source behind it. Go figure.