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A regularly updated resource of information and news items.

Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

Why Your Business Should Be on Google+

Posted Thursday, April 10th, 2014

There are some very compelling arguments in favor of including Google+ in a social media marketing strategy.

Google Plus has a huge user base
With more than 540 million active monthly users, Google Plus sees its number of users increase daily. Google is encouraging you to link your profiles on Google Play and YouTube and with more peopel using these platforms, more people will be using Google+

Make use of Google Hangouts.

With Google Hangouts, free live video conferencing can take place for as many as 10 people. The benefits for a small business are obvious: You can reach out to customers, dealers, vendors and social media contacts at no cost. You can also participate in Hangouts initiated by others and communicate with thought leaders in your niche.

Be cognizant of the Google connection.
Google is at the epicenter of all search engines. While Bing is also a player, Google is still the big daddy. There is sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest that profiles that do well on Google+ get indexed quicker on Google. Add to that the fact that Google Plus business pages are beginning to show up on search engine results pages, and you have two very strong reasons to work on establishing a presence here.

Take advantage of Google+ reviews.
With Google+ reviews showing up on search results, potential customers might be influenced to choose your business if they come across positive reviews. Therefore, provide great service and proactively solicit reviews on Google+. Nothing beats a favorable reference from one human being to another.

Explore Google+ Ripples.
Google Plus is a feature-rich social media platform; you can leverage Circles, Hangouts, Hangouts on Air, Communities and Ripples. The latter category can be particularly useful for small businesses. It is a data visualization graph that lets you take in at a glance the manner in which your content has been shared.

Are you on Goolge+ or is your business? How do you think it compares to Facebook, Twitter or Linked?


An entrepreneur’s guide to social media: How to avoid being boring and predictable

Posted Friday, September 7th, 2012

How to keep your social media updates fresh and inject some fun into them too.

It’s important to let down your professional guard a little when using social media. Social media land is, surprise surprise, a social place. People share things they find funny, thought-provoking, interesting or useful with their connections as well as serious or business related information. It’s important to pay close attention to the more light-hearted subject matter you can share with your followers.
“People share things they find funny, thought-provoking, interesting or useful with their connections as well as serious or business related information.”

You could start with something as simple as asking them what they’ve got planned for the holidays – few businesses connect with their customers on that level – but those that do find they can build strong relationships with their following – just take a look at Coca Cola, or Starbucks pages on Facebook for that.

Admittedly, you only have a certain number of options for the actual format of your updates – pure text, adding links, uploading a photo or sharing a video. Nevertheless, you can vary the type of update you post, and it is content, to keep things fresh.

You should always try to keep things varied because if your updates get predictable, boring or annoying, at best your followers will hide your feed and at worse break their connection with you permanently and unfriend you.

Tempting though it is, do avoid taking the easy route by constantly auto-publishing content from your blog, or republishing your tweets as a Facebook status update, or syndicating someone else’s RSS feed for weeks on end.
Your followers will spot these updates for the automated filler it really is – a subtle display you’re being a bit lazy and fairly disinterested in them and their needs online. Not good.

People who constantly share identical (syndicated) content from their favourite profile on their other profiles usually forget to check into their other social media accounts. So, some hapless Facebook follower may reply to one of these syndicated Twitter messages, and the profile owner fails to spot that interaction for many weeks. Two out of ten to that approach.

Don’t push your products and services every five minutes

Although you may represent the brand you are not here to promote it constantly. Your comment threads, Facebook wall, Twitter, email lists, forums or any other communication channels in your control are not to be used as promotional vehicles either.

Your job is to help and support, so inform any other individuals in your organisation that may think otherwise and ensure the protection of the trust, openness, integrity and fun in your community.

It really is okay to be you

Don’t bring into your community a rigid professional, corporate image if that doesn’t fit with the people you’ve connected with. Be yourself. Fit your community and be as comfortable in yourself as you can be. This makes it easier to represent the opinions, subtleties and aesthetics of your community.

You are a human extension of a URL in being an online community and social media marketing manager so any clash between your personality and brand image will become not just an obstacle but an insurmountable one.

Don’t invite all and sundry

This is crucial to a successful social media marketing strategy. Although large numbers of registered users looks great you need to be sure they are the right kind of users. Don’t just simply connect with anyone – whilst it may boost your ego it won’t boost your sales. It’s like a musician in a jazz band doing a secret gig and packing the venue with gangsta rap fans – yes they’d have the numbers, but not the influence and the relationship to make them spend money.
A smaller, targeted following of fans beats a large bunch of indifferent strangers

New users that have no passion about the focus of the community, who aren’t bothered about contributing unique, interesting content will soon disappear, so it’s better to focus on a steady growth of users who are more likely to be committed to the community. A smaller number of passionate quality users are much better than a mass of bored users contributing nothing.


Why you don’t involve your company in social media…..

Posted Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

At SWARM we’re trying to preach the good word of social media. To us it makes perfect sense that you should immerse your company in this modern, fashionable and highly effective form of PR, Marketing, Advertising and Communications. So we can list reason after reason why you SHOULD be on social media but we thought we’d address the concerns we’re confronting in meetings and explain why these aren’t motives to stay away from social media at all!

I don’t like it… …I don’t have a profile.
You might not like social media but your business’ target audience does! 50% of the UK population are on Facebook and 20% have a Twitter profile. In fact it’s not just that they have a profile, 15 million people in the UK login to their Facebook profile every day.
Your company can’t ignore the fact that despite your personal belief that it’s people making strange updates and spending too much time on the platforms, it is where people are communicating with each other and surely you’re business wants to get involved? Don’t miss out on the conversation!

What if people say negative things?
Whether you like it or not people will always have an opinion and often they’ll want to share that with people on the social networking sites. This is NOT a bad thing. In fact it gives you the opportunity to manage your online reputation. Where in the past, most criticisms were spread across the internet on forums and various sites, with the rise of Facebook and Twitter, you have the opportunity to monitor what people are saying and most importantly contact them and make sure any problems are corrected. In fact it shows that your company is on the ball and responding to feedback. Make sure that if you do enter social media you’re monitoring your profiles regularly and responding carefully- it’s even worse if you’ve created profiles and then not replying to comments or mentions.

There are so many sites I don’t know which ones are best for me
Following on from the last concern, you have to decide which social networking sites will best benefit your business. Pick a couple which offer the best return and stick with them. Don’t spread yourself thin because you’re less likely to keep on top of it and if there are comments that need attention, you’re more likely to reply if you have fewer profiles to check. If you’re starting on social media for the first time, start with Twitter and Blogging for six months for instance and then assess whether it’s beneficial to move into Facebook and LinkedIn if it fits your strategy.

I don’t understand it
If you want to keep your social media management in-house then there are plenty of webinars, articles and blogs on social media and the best ways to use it. But in the most case, we explain why you should be on social media, the benefits and the returns  and we talk you through it. We’ll outline the basic principles of social media and it’s our job to ensure your business gets the best from social media.

Stay in contact with SWARM on Twitter

 


Third of UK small business ‘use social media every day’

Posted Thursday, October 14th, 2010

More than a third of the UK’s SMEs use social media as a marketing method every day, according to new research.

Simply Business, 8th September 2010

A survey compiled by publishing group Daryl Willcox suggests that 35 per cent of firms surveyed post daily updates on services like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Of those firms questioned, more than half said that they use social media. A quarter said that they use the tools “every few days”.

Some 60 per cent of users said that social media has had a positive impact on their business. Of these, 46 per cent reported an increase in brand awareness.

Social media is becoming an increasingly important tool for small firms with relatively modest marketing budgets. Many SMEs have enjoyed higher marketing ROI with social media, as a result of the increased ability to target activities.

Daryl Willcox, founder of the publishing group, said: “The number of companies participating in social media on a daily basis shows the growing importance of this marketing channel.

“The fact that 60 per cent have reported a positive impact on their businesses shows SMEs are becoming increasingly receptive to the benefits.”

LinkedIn proved the most popular social media platform, with 73 per cent of respondents saying it was their most commonly used tool. Facebook and Twitter were close behind with 64 and 63 per cent respectively.


How to Become a More Savvy Networker Online

Posted Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Building up a business network isn’t easy, but it is essential if you intend to succeed anywhere in the world of business. This is especially true of small businesses without the track records of larger, more established organizations. Personal connections can mean all the difference between profitability and bankruptcy.

Mashable, 16th June 2010

In a previous article, I wrote about ways to reignite your existing network online. In this post, I want to focus on how to use the web to make actual, lasting connections that will help you achieve your goals.

Many businesspeople don’t think of the web as a place to make connections, but rather to communicate with them. This isn’t true anymore, and in fact social media tools can be more effective than in-person meetings, especially when you’re trying to build an international network.

1. Consistently engage people you want to add to your network. If you want to get on somebody’s radar, start @replying to them on Twitter, comment on their Facebook posts, or create discussions around their work on your blog. If you’ve met them before, it’s fine to send a Facebook or LinkedIn request, although everyone has different rules for accepting or rejecting friend requests.

2. Don’t become a pest. There is a fine line between communication and harassment, and once you cross that line, there’s no going back. Don’t bombard your network with an overflow of social media messages. Use your best judgment.

3. Join online communities in your industry. There are a ton of mailing lists, message boards, and social networks dedicated to small business or your chosen field. You just have to find them. For example, many entrepreneurs regularly visit and contribute to Hacker News, a community for hackers, founders, and entrepreneurs. Find niche communities like it that focus on your field of business and get connected.

To get started, here are a few tips for connecting with other entrepreneurs via social media.

4. Don’t limit your online networking to one person or one network. There are a lot of great people to engage, but if you ignore them because you only want to use one network, then you miss out on a lot of potential engagement and potential contacts. Keep an open mind and try out new tools and new networks.

5. Bring it offline… eventually. Online communication is great, but when you have the opportunity, nothing really beats a one-on-one conversation over coffee. If you’ve been consistent in engaging your network online, then you won’t run out of things to talk about in person. Once again, don’t rush an in-person meeting. In most cases, you’ll know when the right time is to take it offline.

Consistent and meaningful contact is key to building a strong network. Be an active member in your network and keep them engaged. The network you build online will deliver huge returns throughout your career, so put in your full effort.


10 Branding and Marketing Trends for 2010

Posted Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Niels Bohr once noted that “prediction is very difficult, especially about the future,” but then he didn’t have access to predictive loyalty metrics. Happily, we do. And, as they measure the direction and velocity of consumer values 12 to 18 months in advance of the marketplace and consumer articulations of category needs and expectations, they identify future trends with uncanny accuracy.

BrandingStrategy, October 01 2009

Having examined these measures, we offer 10 trends for marketers for 2010 that will have direct consequences to the success – or failure – of next year’s branding and marketing efforts.

1) Value is the new black

Consumer spending, even on sale items, will continue to be replaced by a reason-to-buy at all. This spells trouble for brands with no authentic meaning, whether high-end or low.

2) Brands increasingly a surrogate for “value”

What makes goods and services valuable will increasingly be what’s wrapped up in the brand and what it stands for. Why J Crew instead of The Gap? J Crew stands for a new era in careful chic –being smart and stylish. The first family’s support of the brand doesn’t hurt either.

3) Brand differentiation is Brand Value

The unique meaning of a brand will increase in importance as generic features continue to plague the brand landscape. Awareness as a meaningful market force has long been obsolete, and differentiation will be critical for success –meaning sales and profitability.

4) “Because I Said So” is so over

Brand values can be established as a brand identity, but they must believably exist in the mind of the consumer. A brand can’t just say it stands for something and make it so. The consumer will decide, making it more important than ever for a brand to have measures of authenticity that will aid in brand differentiation and consumer engagement.

5) Consumer expectations are growing

Brands are barely keeping up with consumer expectations now. Every day consumers adopt and devour the latest technologies and innovations, and hunger for more. Smarter marketers will identify and capitalize on unmet expectations. Those brands that understand where the strongest expectations exist will be the brands that survive – and prosper.

6) Old tricks don’t work/won’t work anymore

In case your brand didn’t get the memo here it is -consumers are on to brands trying to play their emotions for profit. In the wake of the financial debacle of this past year, people are more aware then ever of the hollowness of bank ads that claim “we’re all in this together” when those same banks have rescinded their credit and turned their retirement plan into case studies. The same is true for insincere celebrity pairings: think Seinfeld & Microsoft or Tiger Woods & Buick. Celebrity values and brand values need to be in concert, like Tiger Woods & Accenture. That’s authenticity.

7) They won’t need to know you to love you

As the buying space becomes even more online-driven and international (and uncontrolled by brands and corporations), front-end awareness will become less important. A brand with the right street cred can go viral in days, with awareness following, not leading, the conversation. After all, everybody knows GM, but nobody’s buying their cars.

8) It’s not just buzz

Conversation and community is all; ebay thrives based on consumer feedback. If consumers trust the community, they will extend trust to the brand. Not just word of mouth, but the right word of mouth within the community. This means the coming of a new era of customer care.

9) They’re talking to each other before talking to the brand

Social Networking and exchange of information outside of the brand space will increase. Look for more websites using Facebook Connect to share information with the friends from those sites. More companies will become members of Linkedin. Twitter users will spend more money on the Internet than those who don’t tweet.

10) Engagement is not a fad; It’s the way today’s consumers do business

Marketers will come to accept that there are four engagement methods including Platform (TV; online), Context (Program; webpage), Message (Ad or Communication), and Experience (Store/Event). But there is only one objective for the future: Brand Engagement. Marketers will continue to realize that attaining real brand engagement is impossible using out-dated attitudinal models.

Accommodating these trends will require a paradigm change on the parts of some companies. But whether a brand does something about it or not, the future is where it’s going to spend the rest of its life. How long that life lasts is up to the brand, determined by how it responds to today’s reality.


Curtain twitchers, the CIA and the rise of Facebook

Posted Thursday, October 1st, 2009

New technology and old-fashioned curiosity have made social networking so hot that everyone is cashing in. Nico Macdonald helps you sort the tweets from the bots

 Design Council

If everyone felt like Jerry Seinfeld, Facebook wouldn’t exist. The comedian observed: “As an adult, it’s very hard to make a new friend. Whatever group you’ve got now, that’s who you’re going with. You’re not interviewing, you’re not looking at any people, you’re not interested in seeing any applications.”

Yet, for most of us, the social instinct is deeply ingrained. So deeply that, by the age of seven, research suggests, two thirds of American children have an imaginary friend. Technology has made it possible for us to connect with real friends in undreamt of ways. When Tom Coates, a staffer in a London office of Yahoo!, needed a break, he decided the best way to round up some company was to post this message on Twitter, a hip social networking service: “I need to go for a walk to clear my head. Yauatcha for macaroons anyone?”

Social networking is such a phenomenon that many employers – even the CIA – now have Facebook pages and use the site as a recruitment tool. The agency plans to launch its own staff social networking site called A-Space.

The wisdom of friends: the psychological argument for using social networking sites full of ‘people like us’ is compelling. But how long with the fashion last? And what do sites need to do to increase their reach?
Asking all your friends if they’d like to join you for lunch would once have been impractical. But sites like Facebook allow us to gossip and curtain-twitch online, be bored by someone else’s holiday snaps without visiting their house, plan a business meeting and accelerate the getting-to-know-you process. Instead of taking months to realise that a new acquaintance, like you, can quote Seinfeld scripts verbatim, you can join a group of like-minded souls in minutes.

New technology, old-fashioned curiosity and a dollop of ‘wisdom of friends’ psychology have made sites like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo immensely popular. A 2007 survey found that 48% of American teenagers online visit social networking sites at least once a day and 72% use them to make plans with friends. In the network age, computing power is in the hands of more people and is tackling new challenges. We’ve moved from using computers as work objects to the widespread use of computing-enabled things – laptops, mobile phones, games consoles – to manipulate emails, diary entries, instant messages, contact information, URLs and blogs wherever we are.

Social networking is driven by significant technical developments and rapid social change. The current fears for – and of – teenagers – may explain why they have become core users of social networking sites, spending more time at home on the internet. As a rule of thumb, for every hour we spend on the web, we typically spend 23.5 minutes less with friends and family.

The culture of fear and decreasing trust have made some wary of encounters with strangers and reluctant to embark on deep personal relationships. Surveys show that a record one in four Americans say they have no close friends at all. Many prefer ‘safer’ relationships mediated, to an extent, via a screen, where they can connect with a wider circle of friends in a non-committal fashion. Consumer trends analyst Linda Stone calls this “continuous partial attention”, adding: “To be busy, to be connected, is to be alive, to be recognised and to matter.”

Cheaper travel and a more integrated global economy, where staff change jobs more often and are more likely to work abroad, have played their part too.

Keeping in contact, avoiding cowboy plumbers
The functions social networking best supports are, in a nutshell or seven:

Familiarisation and maintaining contacts. From status updates and edited profiles you build a rounded picture of an individual. People you know may share this with you – to varying degrees – if asked. Essentially, human knowledge is being connected by the network (rather than embedded in it – the goal of so many past computing visions).
Swapping, sharing and storing of ‘objects’ – photos, movies or songs – online. We can be told when something of interest has been uploaded.
Group discussion, which is moving to social networking sites. Contributors’ real names and pictures can be displayed and you can check their profile.
Finding and hiring skills. The self-employed already use sites like LinkedIn to get in touch with businesses and customers regardless of location.
Online or internet-enabled applications which allow us to manage tasks, meetings and diaries. You can, for instance, open up your diary to contacts.
Campaigning. You can network with people with the same ideology. But the likes of Facebook can’t, by themselves, reinvigorate the democratic process.
Searching the web. Social networking can reveal, filter, enhance or shape the data we find when searching. We can link, recommend or rate almost anything and form an opinion influenced by our knowledge of the contributor or the number of recommendations. In a world full of cowboy plumbers – or so reality TV shows would have us believe – we might be relieved to find one implicitly recommended because they’re linked to someone we know. Friends or contacts are acting as ‘trust engines’, and by answering, friends build their relationship with you and increase their kudos with others.
While Google focuses on computer science, engineering and performance, Yahoo! has focused on what Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product strategy, calls “better search through people”, buying bookmark-sharing tool del.icio.us and photo-sharing site Flickr and developing such services as Yahoo! Answers.

Junk mail, smart address books and over-engineering
Social networking sites need to improve. As Facebook’s personal profile – which includes favourite music, TV shows, films and books – is completed manually, it is of limited use and soon out of date. Profiles would be richer if they drew on actual activity, such as the music we buy or play. Artificial intelligence-based tools could help others access a user’s locally stored information. There is a risk of over-engineering, though. An element of a profile or relationship can be extracted or inferred but do we want to share it with everyone? Giving users visibility on – and control of – what they share is a design challenge. Already LinkedIn lets you ‘View my profile as others see it’.

Sites need to be accessible and to hand, as easy to use as a stapler. Modern mobiles and smart phones like the iPhone have feature-filled browsers. A site such as Jaiku offers a dedicated application for modern Nokia devices that identifies your geographic location to your circle of friends. You could have a smart address book that tells you if a contact you plan to call is busy or abroad. Giving physical form to such ideas is the Availabot, a pop-up figure that stands up on your desk when the contact it represents comes online and falls into a flaccid heap of despair when s/he goes away.

Exhaustion, Rupert Murdoch and evolutionary psychology
The subtlety of human relationships can’t be over-estimated. We finesse what we tell different people, even lie. There is a danger that concerns about privacy, and scares based on extraordinarily rare – but shocking – abuses of social networking tools, may deter people from using these sites. Worries over security, time wasting and other abuses has led employers to block access to Facebook.

On a practical level, there is a danger of exhaustion. Coates says: “The amount of sites using social networks is so substantial that [registration] is no longer something people will go through again for no obvious reason.” Sites could be integrated as an external service to other sites. If LibraryThing could access your Facebook profile, it could show you books your friends liked. Profiles could be abstracted so they can be ‘applied’ to any site or service. So far, this has had little success, but as social networking profiles are made easier to edit and when this approach presents a competitive advantage, the ‘abstract’ approach may flourish.

Rupert Murdoch’s strategy for MySpace raises another issue. MySpace plans to run a TV series about showbiz wannabes as it strives to persuade users to linger longer, so they can be targeted by ads. If these sites are not full of user- generated content but have content developed by professionals, does that extend their appeal or fatally undermine it? Facebook has announced it will start targeting ads based on user profiles. Will users be deterred by advertising or welcome it? Concerns about privacy have been heightened by Facebook’s plan to allow (user-controlled) elements of profiles to be indexed by Google.

Historically, human relationships have built over time from face-to-face encounters, in which we use body language and other cues to assess honesty. By contrast, the ease with which we can indicate friendship with social networking allows us to appear to have a cohort of friends. There is some science behind Seinfeld’s gag. Evolutionary psychology suggests we are hardwired to remember no more than 150 people. These smaller, more intensely focused groups have often been responsible for scientific, technical and intellectual breakthroughs. The trajectory of social networking is in our hands. Will we, as a society, take these services seriously – or be satisfied to play online with our new ‘friends’?


Social networking for business is next big thing

Posted Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Social sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn feed the craving people have to find one another, exchange information, catch up and solve problems.

Commercial Appeal, June 8, 2008

But there’s more, and for business, this matters. In the back-and-forth of ordinary conversation, ideas pop up.

They may be about your product or ways you could do things better … or new products your customers could use if you were hearing what they had to say.

“Those conversations are going on online anyway, believe me. You want them going on in your foyer,” Barger said.

The idea, of course, is that if people are talking in your presence, you’re the first to hear what is being said.

And if it’s said on your site, the exchange can be cataloged and stored, giving you a tidy archive of correspondence.

Barger, president and chief executive of LunaWeb Inc. — a Memphis company that does Web design and Internet marketing — is speaking Wednesday on social networking at the Public Relations Society of America meeting at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn.

“It has gotten to be such an important part of a PR person’s job right now,” said Bob Phillips, chapter president and Thompson & Berry Public Relations account exec. “Listen, business is so competitive. Everyone wants to know as much as they can find out.”

Barger is likely to start his talk by reminding the audience that “business used to be a faceless entity behind a security guard at the corporate gate.

“A perfect corporation was a business entity that could be perfected with mass production and quality assurance. It was all mechanized, and not human,” he said.

Now, with the push to put a face on the corporation, companies are using professional photos of employees on their Web sites, for instance, and finding employees, such as Don Dodge at Microsoft, to blog in voices that are credible and, well, folksy.

Blogging opened up a dialogue that social networks expanded. Today, there are more than 200 social sites, excluding niche networks — sometimes called vertical sites — tailored to specific audiences.

LinkedIn is one of the best for connecting professionals. In Memphis, about 100,000 people have Facebook pages. Two years ago, the population was probably closer to 40,000, Barger said.

Everything changed last fall, when Facebook broadened its membership beyond its college core, and the universe changed overnight.

“Now all of sudden, Facebook is saying, ‘Business, we welcome you. Here is how you set up shop; here’s how you engage your client base,'” he said.

“Businesses tapping into social networks to expand customer base need to have a clear idea of what they want to achieve,” said Chelsea Dubey, account executive at RedRover.

“You need success metrics, such as: How many people use the site? How many prospect leads are generated?

Social networking just for the sake of social networking isn’t always a good investment. It needs to connect to other elements of your sales and marketing strategy,” she said.

When FedEx Corp. created NetFace in 2006, a social networking site for employees only, it did no promotion but sat back to see how quickly a community would form, said Nicole Heckman, manager of innovation research.

“We found it was much more viral than we expected,” Heckman said. “Over several months, we had 2,000 active users.”

People into social networking use the word “viral” to describe how quickly networks form and spread.

Some companies build in viral functions, giving users gifts for telling friends.

“One of the things I found was that it really did give employees a way to have a personal identity within a large organization,” Heckman said.

People were soon connecting in and outside work to talk with people who had worked on similar projects or simply to play flag football.

“It really doesn’t have to be a huge investment,” Heckman said. “We accomplished FaceNet with a team you could count on one hand. You do obviously have to have someone manage it, but it wasn’t someone’s full-time job.”

For people who think the networks are just for kids, the average new Facebook enrollee is in the mid-30s.

“Many of my friends that are older and less tech savvy could care less,” said Gwin Scott, president of business incubator EmergeMemphis.

For him and the startups he works with, social networking is a chance to attract like-minded people, plus it gives business a way to tap into audiences that aren’t watching as much TV or paying as much attention to other traditional media.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division rolled out a blog in January, frankly as damage control after the utility was rocked with leadership scandals and contributions to its Plus-1 charity fell to record lows.

“We had to look at taking a more creative approach to communicating with our customers,” said Glen Thomas, head of the utility’s public relations. “We had to take the blinders off to look at the different ways to reach our customers, interact with them and respond to them.”

When looking over the staff for a potential blogger, Thomas suggests someone already passionate about the subject area.

“The woman writing our blog would chastise us if someone had a plastic bottle in trash,” he said.

Oh, he also suggests frequent views of the blogs that tend to break news in Memphis so you’re not caught off guard when the media come calling.


 
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