Posts Tagged ‘Danielle Jones Trinidad’

Media Relations – your key to passing crisis 101

February 10, 2014

imageCrisis 101. Regrettably that’s as far as even the most advanced communications professional in the Caribbean gets. Possibly it can be considered fortunate to learn about crisis management only in the classroom but that fortune quickly runs out when your company is thrown under public scrutiny for an accident or incident.

Two years post the Ca (more…)

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Thinking of Social Media brand management D.I.Y.?

August 19, 2013

ImageYou’ve heard all the success stories. Start ups and entrepreneurs that build amazing brand awareness and business by promoting via social media. So now, when those businesses are now going multi-platform (i.e.: expanding beyond one social media site) you are thinking of taking your “Facebook Plan” to the next level by going beyond your friend base – ALL BY YOURSELF.

Wake up and smell the multi-platform reality.

Social media D.I.Y. (do it yourself) brand building was successful for entrepreneurs 3-5 years ago because it was new. Growth was easier back then. Audiences were pretty much captive to one site and EVERYTHING was cool. 

Back then, social media was like the world to a toddler. Everything your social circle did online was awesome and you HAD to try it out. It was “rad”/ “killer”/ “fresh” or basically any cliche social statement of youth that is now totally passe. Social media has grown up

Need another example? Ok. 

Back then social users said things like: “Oooh my BFF just liked (insert cool boutique name). They MUST be cool. Let me like it too by clicking my mouse.”

ImageToday social users are less wowed by the same activity saying: “OMG my Facebook friend just checked in at (insert boutique name). How lame that store’s not even on Instagram. I just un-followed my BFF bc their check ins are TOTALLY killing my smartphone battery.” 

If you don’t get the difference. Let me spell it out. The social media audience is no longer captive or easily wowed. We can’t stand “social spam” and chances are, we’re checking sites via our smart phone where battery life is king and frequent is less appealing than newsworthy. Social recommendations (recommendations by friends via social media) need to be AUTHENTIC and not business generated to be meaningful. 

Re-enter the PR profession. 

Around the world PR company CEO’s (likely all now under 50 with the older generation being kicked out in favor of those who understood this ‘digital age’), are breathing sighs of relief. The more savvy among them are saying “I told you so”. Why? History gives us a good reason to know why ITUSO (I told u so) can so easily be “what’sapp”ed throughout the PR world. 

Social media evolved as advertising did initially (somewhat so anyway).

Before the rise of the newspaper, stores advertised with simple signage. They depended on word of mouth from customers and good signage to make their business grow. Then billboards, radio and newspapers entered as ways to reach the public and more focus was put on them to help grow business. Word of mouth always remained important but the media by which to capture attention of the public became more complex. Expertise was needed. The PR agency was born. Today PR is reborn because the varying ways to reach audiences online have evolved WAY beyond business posting signs in their online business window. 

In addition to there being more channels – there are simply more social media users. Those store window signs just don’t cut it anymore. Businesses need help. 

So is social media D.I.Y. impossible for businesses? Not impossible BUT then again, its not impossible to solve a Rubik’s cube on the first try either (of course, you can Google ways to do that too!). So how do you grow your digital brand in today’s social media landscape? 

Hire a digital media consultant. There are a few of us out here with actual social media track records. DO NOT JUST HIRE AN INTERN (glad I got that off my chest)! Whether you hire someone certified in social media with a track record of growing a variety of business social media presence or a large scale agency,  digital media consultants work with various budgets.

To reminders here

1. Don’t be cheap – you get what you pay for. 

2. Empower yourself with enough education to at least have a sense of what the consultant is doing. (Stay tuned – I’ll have an offer to help you with this in the coming weeks). 

As you educated yourself, keep in mind that savvy social media management is not “a post here” and “a post there” – its a STRATEGY with set targets, goals and measurable milestones. Where to start?

Think about why your existing channels (ok we know its totally ONLY Facebook for 99.9% of you out there) have likely plateaued in growth or engagement. How? Look at your content and ask – what’s new here that will make customers/ fans/ friends come back.  

Get that answer then find a partner in a specialist. Tell them your vision. Agree on clear objectives. You focus on growing your business and let them work for you to help grow your digital brand. 

Hugs! 

 

About those Photos….

March 1, 2013

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Don’t look now – you’ve been tagged! Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2013 is over. The glitter is finally out of your hair. The suntans are beginning to fade and the good times are now memories…or are they?

Enter the embarrassing social media picture.  Exit your reputation (potentially anyway).

Today, those few moments of “wildness” as we say in T&T, can be captured digitally and live on forever. So, what can you do about it? You’re probably not going to love the answer. 

In reality, there is only prescription to prevent your reputation from coming into question as a result of an illicit photo featuring your image – don’t put yourself in compromising positions. Told you that you would not like it. 

I am promulgating that you refrain from the revelry that is T&T carnival? Should you dress less scantily? Where will this nonsense type of advice end you wonder? It stops there – just avoid the compromising positions! 

I’m not saying not to “tief a wine” – I am saying to be smart about it. Be aware that your actions can come back to haunt you so limit the moments. 

Ok so to those of you still reading, the advice gets a little better. Set some standards and make your friends aware of them: 

  1. No photos please! Ever notice how MANY of those illicit photos feature people looking straight on at the camera? There’s a reason for that. Some people like the wildness captured. Fight the power. Stop striking poses and fewer photos will be taken
  2. You better as somebody! Ask your friends, family and partygoers in your circle to refrain from taking pics of you “living it up” in a party/on the road for carnival/ “liming”. Explain that you’re not keen on the photos of your revelry being shared with the world. Identify the consequences for those who violate that up front and ask that they respect your opinion. (Note, piccong will likely will follow. Your friends may tease you a bit, but after a while, they’ll understand). 

  3. To tag or untag? Untag is the answer! While your friends may not take photos of you, the world is now full of photographers. Papparazzi (interpret as other party goers who INSIST on taking photos everywhere they go) need only have a mobile phone to capture a moment. They post. Friends tag you. What do you do? Change your settings to ensure only YOU see tags or, even better, that any tags require your permission. This way, fewer photos you don’t want will be visible on your social media profiles. 

  4. Take it a step further. If you don’t like the photos – write the websites, people who posted them and ask them to be removed. Yeah – I’m serious. I’ve done it and generally people comply. 

So, I’m not suggesting you change your offline life completely to avoid pictures (though some slight tweaks won’t hurt). I am suggesting that you aggressively manage your online profile. Consider starting your own blogs and you tube channels to share the image of yourself you want the world to see. 

That said. Offline ALWAYS meets Online. Ensure your reputation does not “wine to the side” when they meet. 

How to Keep Your Job AND Your Social Media Presence

February 27, 2013

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We reach! People are losing their jobs because of social media. No longer just in the US/ UK – but right here at home. 

Trinidad and Tobago has had various examples in the past year of social media use negatively impacting the real, offline, lives of users. Whether it was that sad video of children being made to fight that made it to Facebook, the erratic tweets of political enthusiasts during the recent elections, or even the reporters that have lost their jobs/ are under investigation for “rants” on social media – FINALLY social media is having an impact on real life in T&T….or is it the other way around? 

Stop the madness people. Your real life IS your social media life. You take time out of your day to read blogs, check your Facebook accounts, follow trends on Twitter and Lord knows, you are viewing videos on YouTube – a site so popular it now impacts what makes it to Billboard’s top charts. 

So, you’re logging on to social media for about 30 minutes. Did not realize more than just your friends are there huh? Your boss is too smarty! According to Facebook research shared by technology trends site Mashable, worldwide, Facebook users spend 10.5 billion minutes each day surfing the site — and that doesn’t even include mobile use. Collectively, that’s nearly 20 years per day that people spend living online instead of offline. Do we REALLY think that this does not have an impact on real life? Guess what, your real life includes a job – and employers are starting to look more closely at what you are doing online and what that could mean for your offline behavior

And keeping your posting settings private…MEH! That’s not going to really help you in the long run. Got friends? The Caribbean is small, T&T is smaller. Someone is going to see that post that reflects your real life. Seen a screen shot posted this week? Yea…I thought so. 

Harlem shaking in your boots about that picture/video/post that you may not want your boss to know about aren’t ya? 

So is it possible to keep your job AND your social media presence? Yes (obviously). How? The advice isn’t too different from advice I shared three years ago:

  1. Don’t list your place of employment on your personal profile. What? Really? Yes. Why? Because this way it becomes a little easier for your company to distance itself from your statements. Before listing your employer you should seek their social media policy on this anyway – to review and be familiar with their tips and guidelines (even though these evolve). Even if you do NOT list your employer – your posts (as are all our offline/ real life actions) are often covered by your employee code of conduct and confidentiality statements. This tip has a downside. It can take away from building your professional brand – particularly if you are a newer job seeker. Consider posting your place of employment only on LinkedIn or professional sites that YOU DO NOT link your Facebook, Twitter or other more personal social media sites to.

  2. Don’t make your personal social media accounts your work accounts. This is a classic mistake. You reply to customer queries on twitter, correct wrong from your personal Facebook account or discuss work in forums with the view of protecting your company’s reputation. Courts in the US are trying to figure out if this is ok. As many view social media as the new water cooler. But in the lovely, breezy Caribbean, there’s no precedent set yet and…um…do you really want to be the guinea pig here? Unless you are authorized to do so or specifically required to via contract, avoid this. Refer queries about your company to your media relations/ customer relations/ PR department. 

  3. Don’t share anything via social media that you would not want your grandmother/ grandfather/ boss to know. Those pics of you taking a belly shot off the stripper at the last bachelor party you attended – maybe not such a good idea tagging yourself in it or worse – posting to TWITTER. Even with the strictest privacy settings, a screen shot can take your reputation down.

In summary? Be smart offline and be even smarter online. You will keep your job and your social media presence – no matter where you work.