IMC Intuition

Thinking out loud about all things IMC

Archive for June 2010

Digital Journalist Survival Guide: A Glossary of Tech Terms You Should Know

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In my corner of the office, we seem to be constantly investigating new software and digital strategies that are in a constant state of flux in our respective fields, Integrated Marketing Communications and Information Technology.  I found this article,  thanks to PR Daily and Poynter Online, which  is a great resource for keeping up with the language of the art: 

Digital Journalist Survival Guide: A Glossary of Tech Terms You Should Know.

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Creative Tension & Listening

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You can look at most any PR, communications or marketing blog and get a cookbook style tome with step by step instructions for perfection in communications.  Here are two examples:   “If Tiger would have…” or “BP should have…”  It’s really easy to apply communication rules to someone else’s dilemma, then sit back and take credit for being an “expert.”

 Oh my, the web is full of it. 

My career didn’t begin in the la-la land of marketing, it actually started in the nitty-gritty of industrial manufacturing operations – purchasing, expediting and a brief stint as storeroom keeper in our shop; the area where dedicated employees, working with our engineering and field service group, work miracles on a daily basis within the pressure cooker environment of meeting shipping dates and satisfying customers.   I think here in marketing where everything always works, I forget just how much tension exists in the daily operations of manufacturing.

Particularly coming from the idealistic world of graduate school, I sometimes am perplexed as to why my colleagues don’t seem to get what I’m trying to accomplish in Marketing Communications.  I was brought back to reality this week, reading an article by Dwight Barnhard from Superior Aluminum Castings, Inc. in Modern Casting Magazine (June, 2010, p. 38).

Dwight uses the analogy from what was once a standard childhood occupation – using two tins cans connected by a string to create a private long distance conversation, making use of the principle of vibration to carry the sound.  He reminded me that this particular communication system relied on a tight string; in other words, it worked as long as tension was applied.  The second consideration was that only one person could speak at a time, while the other person had to listen, very carefully.

His conclusion is that, “Like the tin can and string, if used properly, creative tension and a listening ear can turn dialogue into teamwork and vision.”

This was a good comeuppance for me this week; maybe it’s  not my colleagues that don’t get it, I’m thinking it’s me… Creative tension and listening are my mantra for this week!

Links for this post:

Modern Casting Magazine,  http://moderncasting.com/

 Superior Aluminum Castings, http://supalum.com/

About Artists and Gifts – Are You Indispensable?

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When I first started reading Linchpin, I wondered if Seth Godin was working secretly in my company, because I recently had a very similar conversation with my boss, who absolutely is looking  for linchpin performance.  I think Seth is spot-on when he says:

Our society is struggling because during times of change, the very last people you need on your team are well-paid bureaucrats, note takers, literalists, manual readers, TGIF laborers, map followers, and fearful employees…

What we want, what we need, what we must have are indispensable human beings.  We need original thinkers, provocateurs, and people who care.  We need marketers who can lead, salespeople able to risk making a human connection, passionate change makers willing to be shunned if it is necessary for them to make a point.  Every organization needs a linchpin, the one person who can bring it together and make a difference.  Some organizations haven’t realized this yet, or haven’t articulated it, but we need artists.

Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection or a new way of getting things done.

That would be you.      Seth Godin (2010) Linchpin, Are You Indispensable?, p. 7-8

My boss went on to say that people have to understand that our work lives will never return to what they were, even two years ago; we have to shift out of the old factory mentality and into linchpin mode in order remain relevant.

You really have to read this book, Seth has a very engaging, easy-to-read writing style as he takes us on an interesting journey on how the old factory mentality was formed, how it is changing, and what lies ahead.

Buy the book to find out exactly what the definition of a linchpin is and why we need to return to being a culture that gives gifts – I’m not telling – but on the Presentation Zen news feed today, I found this incredible example of an amazing linchpin, artist and gift, Roz Savage:

Links for this post:

Seth Godin’s Blog (where I found out about the book):  http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/

Linchpin, Are You Indispensable?:  http://sethgodin.com/sg/books.asp

Presentation Zen (excellent blog):  http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/

Roz Savage:  Why I’m rowing across the Pacific on TED:  http://www.ted.com/talks/roz_savage_why_i_m_rowing_across_the_pacific.html

So, How’s Your Content?

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I was recently invited to sign up for the Content Management Institute (CMI), and I must say their introductory emails do not disappoint.  Let me back up here…

From the Inside Out

I work for an engineering-heavy capital equipment manufacturer therefore our organization is lead by sales, rather than marketing.  Sales engineers, as a rule, are not particularly interested in practices such as segmentation or creating customer profiles, much less personas.    Their job is to develop and sell projects, and they do that exceedingly well.  When we get into discussions about content driven marketing on our website, well… needless to say, it’s just not their thing.

 From the Outside in

 Working solo on developing our website along with everything else, I have found some great tools and insight on the CMI blog http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/blog/.

 My two favorite posts so far:

In “How to Start Your Content Strategy:  The Discovery Phase,”  Chris Moritz provides a link to a great template by Maadmob (Donna Spencer) for organizing your website content:  Navigation title, page title and URL, list of all downloadable files (publications, resources, fact sheets etc), and content relationships – it’s in there. 

http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2010/06/content-strategy-discovery/

A follow up post, “A Quick and Dirty Way To Segment Your B-to-B Content Marketing,” Robert Rose offers a clever three-step model to offer content value to the different types of people that are seeking, and finding value, in your content.

http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2010/06/a-quick-and-dirty-way-to-segment-your-b2b-content-marketing/

Soon CMI will be charging a membership fee, but for this moment, you can access very useful information for free.  Take advantage of it. 

Just in case you are on a budget like mine, here are two more great free resources:

=> A List Apart:  http://www.alistapart.com/

=> Smashing Magazine: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

So how’s your content?   I have a new navigation design in my plan, so I’m ready to really get serious about content this summer before special event season comes ‘round again in the fall.  Happy Analytics!