Tag Archives: communications

Did Leonardo Da Vinci have a Macbook Pro?

7 Oct

McKinsey Quarterly recently published an article about the rising importance of creativity in the digital world … and it’s good news!

The creative economy

As we labour away in a frenetic 4th Industrial Revolution where WORK is being transformed by algorithms and bots … some of us wondering where we will fit, the one shining star is digital creativity.

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See machine learning is great for programmed processes but not so great for human creativity. That’s where Leonardo fits in. I know for sure he didn’t have a Macbook Pro but his fecund mind and total genius produced art and engineering and product design.

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Who cares if you are marketing on Instagram, Facebook or Youtube – it’s still all about great content and that has to start with big ideas.

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This has to start with an existential approach to business thinking and that will come from the top.

source: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/five-fifty-Creating-Creatives

Do what it takes to stand out

1 Jan

Rombaut shoe copyAs I delve deeper and deeper into the world of digital marketing and social media, discovering countless apps, knowledge bases, channels, classes and courses, tips, tricks (hacks), opinions, videos, podcasts and webinars, influencers, etc. – it can tend to be overwhelming.

One thing hasn’t changed though and that’s the need to be creative. To have big ideas (thanks David Ogilvy) and to be brave.

It doesn’t matter what medium you are on – achieving cut through is more important than ever.

It might get people to stop just for a second.

AIDA = Attention Interest Desire Action

 

I love this

7 Mar

comminications mistake

I shouldn’t but I do love this.

Looks like they need a communications coordinator real bad!

I’ve changed the name of the recruiter to protect the guilty.

Attention to detail … and when in serious doubt use spellchecker.

Communication sandwich

6 Jan

Crowds

I’m on a break and spending time with the people I care about. This means that I don’t have to get up when the alarm goes (who called it an alarm?) This means that I have some extra time to attend to things. Some of the things I attend to are digitalised. Well, to do with the internet and technology which is moving a lot faster than I can type or breathe probably.

I’m involved in communications which is a broad field if you really think about it.

Communications can be encyclopaedic or minuscule like gestures.

In business it’s about branding, positioning and ultimately selling.

I’m taking some time now to check out the digital world and it’s BIG. Bigger than ever before.

Everyone’s in there having a go.

Check out Linkedin > the business connections portal. Everyone’s up there posting and commenting and liking. This’ll be there.

Then there’s Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, instagram, youtube, vimeo ….

It’s hard to get a solo as my mum used to say.

I’m wondering if I should get a sandwich board and stand in the city somewhere.

The giant chicken suit might work too.

Raymond Chandler, his hat, and the mechanics of writing

11 May

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I admire Raymond Chandler and I love his hat. It’s straw unlike his writing.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Chandler was probably the godfather of the hard boiled private eye. That may sound like a Bedouin dish but it’s a description of a certain literary genre.  The pulp school of crime fiction. Chandler was an interesting character himself. Raised partly in the barren mid west of Nebraska and partly in an English public school, his metaphysical trajectory included stints as an accountant for an oil company and an alcoholic. The alcohol produced blackouts, he forgot to go to work and he lost his comfortable job which left him holding his hat. It was the tail end of the depression and Chandler lived at that time in Los Angeles. It was a lawless, corrupt place with bruising you couldn’t see.

Chandler had been dabbling in poetry since he was a schoolboy. He now had an opportunity. He decided to become a writer.

At that time, there was a magazine called The Black Mask. A pulp offering launched in 1850 by journalist H. L. Mencken and drama critic George Jean Nathan as a money maker to prop up a more literary offering, The Smart Set, “a magazine of cleverness”, was an American magazine of literature and culture.

Chandler was an intelligent man who approached his pulp writing with a scientific mien. Like Ernest Hemingway he laboured over unfussing his writing. It was all about the mechanics.

Chandler’s most famous invention was Philip Marlowe, the world weary gumshoe … sorry I had to say that. His novella’s – The Big Sleep and Farewell My Lovely are classics of the genre.

He wrote sentences like this

‘It was a good crowd for a Tuesday but nobody was dancing.”

Here’s to Raymond Chandler.

Do you think there’s some merit in cutting out the flap doodle.

On the internet no one reads anymore.

Remember Raymond when your writing.

Everybody loves Raymond.

 

The politics of great coffee

30 Jan

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My cousin is a coffee nut. She’s an aficionado. Coffee is important to her. She appreciates good coffee.

What I mean is, when she forks out between $3.50 – $4.50 for a takeaway coffee she hopes it’s going to be well made.

The problem is that you can count on your hand the number of places where the coffee is properly made. Where there’s a trained barista working the ‘piano.’ Where the taste and the blend, the colour and thickness of the froth are just as important as the silly leaf pattern.

She can be embarrassing too, this cousin of mine. It’s pretty confronting going to get a coffee with her. You know why? She speaks her mind. She tells them if the coffee is not up to her standards. She tells them and I back slowly away.

I’m tainted with that english politeness. Here in Australia, we were colonised by the British and that’s one of the hangovers. Politeness. We tend to seethe not speak up. We vote with our feet.

Is that good? NO.

Last week my cuz was in her local cafe (she lives out of Sydney.) She happened to compliment the young lady making the coffee. It was good. Up to her standards. The owner overheard this and exclaimed … ‘Oh. Coffee politics!’

No it’s not coffee politics at all. If you run a cafe, you make coffee. The coffee is supposed to be good at a cafe, hence the name … cafe.

Is it strange to expect your customers to not care about the coffee you serve?

Go on. Invest in your self, your staff.

Train them up. Give them the goal to make prize winning coffee. Make them proud!

And, get out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat.

Edvard Munch and social networking

28 Jan

the scream

I haven’t posted anything for a while because I’ve been busy living my real life.

That’s the life I have that’s actual not virtual.

My real life includes spending time with my family > my son is starting his 1st year of high school (that’s what we call it here in Australia,) and there were text books and stationery and uniforms to buy … oh and a digital tablet too! Cost a lot of money.

He’s full of anticipation and some nerves I guess. We’re happy and sad hoping to hang on to our little guy for a while longer before he thinks we’re total freaks.

Meanwhile, I’m checking emails and the emails that communicate new posts from Facebook, blogs I follow, tweets from Twitter.

Made me want to SCREAM

Too much now. Way too much.

As a marketer or a communicator both in the business and personal worlds … give us all a break.

Ask yourself:

Is this relevant?

Will it piss people off? (pardon me)

Does it add any value?

Like in sales, know when to shut up. Don’t oversell after you’ve heard those words, ‘I’ll take it.’

Just smile and start gift wrapping.

In the real world, we have real lives to live too.

Don’t we?

Anchorman 2. When is too much marketing too much?

15 Jan

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I love Will Ferrell and I think Steve Carell is a genius. This newish brand of just plain silly comedy out of the US is funny. And in my book, any excuse for a laugh. I was really looking forward to seeing Anchorman 2 with my family. The first Anchorman was great. And I know Will Ferrell is not to everyone’s taste.

But when I first heard about the 2nd Anchorman instalment I was kind of excited.

And then I heard about it, and I heard about it, and I heard about it again.

Transit ads on buses. The usual internet blitz. Cardboard moustaches. A hell of a roadshow. Youtube ads and trailers.

Saw the film and loved it.

But guess what?

The box office results have been disappointing.

What could have gone wrong? A stellar cast. Great script. Funny as …

No. Too much marketing!

To quote the Steven Zeitchik’s Los Angeles Times story (December 23, 2013)

‘That heaping plate of Ron Burgundy over the past few months (there was also that anchoring of news in North Dakota, the relentless Dodge Durango commercials, the Newseum exhibition, the underwear cross-promotion) made people feel like they had gotten their fill of the character.’

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being repeatedly bashed over the head.

Be strategic and subtle. Plan your marketing. Give ’em time to breathe.

But let them know you’re there.

Anyway … I loved the film!

Anger = no training

14 Jan

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This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the protagonists …

Just recently, while staying at a friends house while they travelled, I had to wait for a new pool pump to be installed (the old one had broken down under warranty.)

Days went by and there was no communication from the company involved.

Meanwhile the pool was getting greener and the weather hotter.

My 12 year old son was waiting to have a swim but couldn’t because of the state of the pool.

I rang the company and spoke to the owner. She seemed quite cranky when i asked her what was happening to the pump.

After much to and fro-ing, the guy finally arrived to install the new (replacement) pump. As the guy was fitting it, he discovered another problem with a valve. He told me that he would ensure the owner of the business would call me re fitting the extra valve. By 11.00 am the following morning there had been no call so I rang them.

When I expressed my frustration, the owner lost her temper.

I told he that I wrote training packages on customer service, but she kept right on talking.

I said ‘but I’m the customer!’

She didn’t hear me but finished up by saying “we’ve gone out of our way for you.” She clearly hadn’t. She then hung the phone up and I was left feeling a little bit (not a lot) unhappy. Because I train in these areas I thought about how she must have felt. Stressed, unappreciated and just plain angry.

Dealing with difficult customers is something all business people need to do with the one aim of keeping the customer happy, because every angry customer tells another 10 people and so on.

Try this:

Depersonalise and strategise

Listen

Come up with solutions

Make a friend of an enemy …

and they will tell 10 people how great you are.

The issue is that many people in business don’t have any training in these areas.

They do take things personally.

Things go wrong. That’s natural.

But if you handle the situation calmly and strategically you make many friends.

In just 60 seconds

6 Jan

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According to an article published in the second half of 2013, this is what happens on the ‘net’ every 60 seconds.

To quote the article in the UK Daily Mail, published July 30:

‘In just a single minute on the web 216,000 photos are shared on Instagram, a total of £54,000 ($83,000) sales take place on Amazon, there are 1.8 million likes on Facebook and three days worth of video is uploaded to YouTube. 

Cashback site Qmee has created an infographic that shows this information as well as how many tweets are sent, photos are viewed, Skype calls are made, domains are registered and more in 60 seconds.

The graphic pulls information and figures from PC Mag, Business Insider and other sites to create a the snapshot.’ 

So what does this say to businesses who are trying to market themselves in 2014?

You better get some fresh content.

Google loves new and updated content.

Content that is relevant to your market.

PLAN DO ACT CHECK