Hot Topics In The Community
Monday, April 29, 2013 by Grace Duffy
A photo is supposed to be worth a thousand words. Well, that is only a fraction of the number of words spurred by one particular photo over the weekend.
In short, a publicist for Disney Motion Pictures took suggestive photo with four bloggers while on a press junket. Those involved claimed it was just harmless fun-- good friends goofing off. Be that as it may, the misstep happened when the publicist posted the photo online and left it subject to interpretation.
You can read a balanced account of the story from AdWeek, with links to the original post that called out the impropriety of the photo and comments from its defender. One of the bloggers seen in the photo provides her take on it as well. You can make up your own mind about what exactly the photo suggests…
Monday, April 22, 2013 by Grace Duffy
Sadly, last week’s events in Boston, in West Texas, and all around the globe have become all too familiar. Yet, some people still have trouble grasping how to behave online during a national tragedy. While the news dominated Facebook and Twitter, some continued to carry on, business as usual and apparently oblivious to what was unfolding.
Admittedly, it is difficult to know what is appropriate when emotion and fear are running high. For that reason, we have put together some simple guidelines on how to behave on social media in the midst of a national tragedy:
Saying nothing is better than saying the wrong thing.
You can never go wrong with being silent when a tragedy occurs. Most of the social media ire from this past week was directed to companies who either turned the events into a promotional opportunity (yuck!) or allowed scheduled tweets to persist as news was coming out. Unless you or your company was directly involved (which is a whole other conversation with your PR team), it is best to remain silent. This goes double on the promotional front.
If you feel particularly moved, you can respectfully express your condolences at a later time… or not. You are not required to comment on every single tragic event in the world. Really!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by Grace Duffy
While the world headed into a financial crisis in 2008, a new kind of economy emerged- the Share Economy- and created a new kind of entrepreneur. Also known as collaborative consumption or peer-to-peer marketplaces, the sharing economy is a practical yet creative system in which people can make an extra income from renting out a spare room in the home, their cars, pets, clothing, personal belongings… anything you can imagine.
Forbes estimates “the revenue flowing through the share economy directly into people’s wallets will surpass $3.5 billion this year with growth exceeding 25%”.
The concept of sharing goods and services is not a new concept. After all, business owners have always been resourceful with bartering, renting unused equipment, or sharing locally with friends and family. However, it is the Internet, acting as an intermediary, which has made sharing a global phenomenon.
Searches can be extended to strangers anywhere in the world and for a fee that is likely cheaper and more convenient than an outright purchase of new items. The social web brings about a new level of trust with on-the-spot ratings, recommendations, and verifications. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter allow you to check people’s profiles before renting to them. Smartphones let transactions happen anywhere. Borrowers can see what’s being shared nearby and pay immediately.
Even if you have no interest in renting out a room in your house or loaning your car to a stranger by the hour, you can still benefit from the Share Economy as an entrepreneur and/or small business owner. Here is how:
Friday, April 12, 2013 by Grace Duffy
Taken to the most basic level, a brand is a name that stands for something. The most successful brands are those who make a personal connection with its customers and consistently deliver a great product/service. Think Apple, Google, or Disney. When you think of individuals who are considered brands, what names come to mind? Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, any number of celebrities and professional athletes. But would you consider yourself a brand?
A recent article in Forbes, Personal Branding Is A Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign, says that you should.
Personal branding is a popular concept at the moment or rather, a ‘commoditized’ term”, as the Forbes article states, but what does it actually mean?
Once upon a time, your personal brand easily could have been summed in your job title. I am… a Software Engineer at Sabre. I am… an attorney at Chowdry and Associates. I am… President of the PTO. Professionally, the brand of the company you worked for preceded your personal brand and could exist separately from your personal life, hobbies, or interests However, in our modern, tech-savvy society where jobs are constantly in flux and our lives are interconnected through social media, people are looking beyond your title and questioning who you are… really.
Monday, April 01, 2013 by Grace Duffy
Early in your career, work relationships tend to follow a set script—your boss tells you to do something and you do it. Any on-the-job training that you may get is typically focused on the job at hand, but does very little to guide or prepare you towards “what’s next”. Within traditional organizations, there was once a set path towards management, but our modern, global workplace is much less prescribed. There are many paths that one can take and it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts.
An often untapped source of guidance is mentorship. According to a survey by the American Society for Training and Development, 75% of private sector executives said that mentoring had been critical in helping them reach their current position. It can be a valuable tool at any point in your career.
What is a good mentorship relationship?
A successful mentorship can be fluid, but at the core are collaboration, commitment, respect, trust, and clear goals. Mentors, like coaches, nurture your talents, provide direction, and ask the right questions, but are not there to simply tell you what to do. A good mentor will help you set short-term and long-term goals, provide encouragement, and give advice. A mentor offers the benefit of their experience and connections and can help you develop key skills and workplace tactics.
What a good mentor relationship is not like is a therapy session or a fast track up the corporate ladder. While you can look to your mentor for support, your time with him or her shouldn’t be spent complaining or whining. A mentor can introduce you to the right people, but you should never expect them to hand you an opportunity or pave the way. You have to earn those on your own.
Where do you find a mentor?
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by Christina Montoya Fiedler
Whether it's a cover letter, resume, article or even just a very important email, we all need help with writing from time to time.
Even the best writers get stuck every now and again, and there's no shame in looking to outside resources for help in elevating our prose. Here are four great grammar friendly websites to help us makes sure that our writing is clear, concise, and cohesive.
Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips
Grammar Girl is a writer after my own heart. She knows how to spark up a good conversation and make a seemingly boring topic such as grammar, interesting. She delivers just what she promises – quick tips with a side wit and humor. If you don't feel like browsing her site, you can always listen to her daily pod casts which feature different grammar related topics. I love the fact that she often strives to show the rules of grammar visually. Check out her latest diagram about the usage of the oxford comma. Not sure how to use it (or even what it is)? You will after you see this info graphic!
Monday, March 18, 2013 by Grace Duffy
Did you hear about the guy who made his resume into a chocolate bar (and was hired). His friend posted about it on Reddit and the story went viral. Or, that guy who applied to Amazon by turning his resume into an Amazon product page, complete with shopping cart and ads? What about this first-of-its-kind video resume on Vine, an app that enables users to create and post six-second video clips for Twitter? Amazing, right?
In this digital age where QR Code resume threaten to make your embossed paper look lame and infographics rule the web, a multitude of companies have emerged to dust off the tired and boring from text resumes. Companies such as Vizualize Me and Loft Resumes can add a graphic spin, showcase your unique skills and personality, and optimize the visual appeal of your resume, but can they get you the job?
Friday, March 15, 2013 by Grace Duffy
Ballet, baseball, open house, science fair, conference calls, nap blanket comes home from daycare on Wednesdays, sack lunches for the field trip on Thursday, Hubby is working late on Tuesday, Spring Break… This is what my past week consisted of. There is no way that I would have been able to keep this all straight on a wall calendar in my kitchen… much less in my head.
A few years ago, my husband and I switched to Google calendar to manage our family’s ever-evolving schedule. Hearing one too many times “Didn’t I tell you about that big event for which we will need a babysitter and is happening THIS evening?” put me over the edge. “That’s it! If it’s not on the Google Calendar is it NOT happening! Done!”
Monday, March 11, 2013 by Grace Duffy
You’re social media savvy and looking to start something new. You are constantly encountering businesses, both large and small, that desperately need help in growing or maintaining their online presence. The need is tremendous. The opportunities are there. You’ve thought about putting your skills towards being a social media consultant, either full time or as a way to earn a little extra money, but have no idea where to start.
Before you quit your day job, here are FOUR basic things to consider when jumping into becoming a Social Media Consultant:
Saturday, March 09, 2013 by Christina Montoya Fiedler
It's funny that as I write this, I am procrastinating and looking online at everything other than this blank word document. Forty-five minutes just shot by as I pinned my favorite recipes, outfits and cute kitten pics on Pinterest. Hold on, someone just sent me a friend request. Okay. I'm back. Where were we? Yes, procrastination. It happens to the best of us, and not because we are lazy or unmotivated. We just get burnt out on the ins and outs of working life.
Life and parenting coach Lauren Rosenfeld says it best:
"We all procrastinate, sometimes. But be careful. What we avoid ends up taking over our precious time and our energy. If you take two days with your stomach in knots, walking past a pile of bills (or laundry, or unsorted mail, or unscrubbed pots and pans) that would otherwise take fifteen minutes ... You've just spent two days and fifteen minutes on that task. Wouldn't it be better just to take the fifteen minutes to get it done?"
Amen to that. It's true that cycles of procrastination come and go. But here are five ways that I'm tackling things when the procrastination bug bites: