Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The New Networking: Human Curator

By: Chad Cohen

The LinkedIn invite is the business handshake of our generation. But it's also a bit like Business Speed Dating and the outlet for millions of spammers, trollers and others looking for a shortcut to business success. While social media has made it easier for us to connect like never before, there is still something to be said about being more human when we network. Because no matter how much you tweet, blog and update, nothing in business is as powerful as actual face time with prospective business partners and customers. From Vegas to Hong Kong, Atlanta to Mexico City, here are my five favorite tips for in-person networking:

  1. Speak on Panels - Let's face it, walking up to a complete stranger can sometimes be harder than speaking to a room full of them. The great advantage of being a thought leader in your industry, is that everyone at the event gets to know you and usually those with the most needs for your services will want to meet you following your talk. Focus on educating your audience and communicating your expertise, because no one wants to sit through a sales pitch.
  2. Show Value - People are more likely to connect with you if they think there's something advantageous to them in making a connection with you. It's the classic case of "what's in it for me." Therefore, build relationships first with new connections rather than straight out asking for new business or a new job right away. 
  3. Make Introductions - I love introducing people. If you introduce two people and they hit it off, they will always be grateful to you. And people you have introduced to someone else are more likely to return the favor. 
  4. Be a Good Listener - Listen hard. Rather than talking only about yourself, spend quality time listening to what others have to say and what they are looking for. The more you listen, the more you will learn and the more helpful you can be to the person you are networking with.
  5. Share Your Passion - Win people over with your enthusiasm for what you do. Leave a lasting impression by telling a story about why you work where you do. Talking about what you enjoy is often contagious and can get other people to share their passions while creating memorable two-way conversation. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Deepen Business Loyalty: Be Transparent

By: Chad Cohen

Transparency - that is making the practices, policies, operating procedures, data, and future development ideas available to customers, employees, or even strategic business partners - runs counter to the traditional business model. I would argue that while unconventional, transparency also has the potential to increase loyalty and deepen relationships, reveal problems you might not even be aware of, spur innovation, and increase the value of your core product or service. 

By becoming vulnerable, brands can open up to what they traditionally hide from customers, partners and investors. Talking about these issues openly can even deepen relationships with those often kept at arm's length, even groups within their own company. 

To understand the value of transparency, franchises have to ask the the question: What was someone able to do as a result of new knowledge that they could not have done otherwise? What benefit or value did I get as a result of exposing data? 

It's all well and good to work hard on a project today, tomorrow, next week - but what is it all for? What are we working towards? What do our customers really want from us? How do they want to interact with us? 

Transparency is not just good ethics, it's smart business. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Millennials: Don’t Fear Us, Embrace Us

By: Andie Biederman

Millennial. The simple uttering of the word tends to put people in a tailspin (minus the Gen Y’ers themselves of course, myself included).  Are we a blessing, or are we a curse? Many say millennials have no regard for money, are too attached to technology, are self-centered and the epitome of a narcissistic society, lazy, and the list goes on. But there are those who seem to understand this generation — a generation that has caused quite a stir over the last decade for embracing an overly passionate, open-minded outlook on life.

Let me help you love us. I read an article once in Forbes that called us “globally-minded,” lending support to the idea that we millennials are in fact self-expressive, upbeat, connected and yearn for an existence that is nothing short of grandiose. So what’s wrong with having a little vigor and intensity? When it comes to careers, these attributes are what executives look for in young, budding professionals. The workforce is made for people like us, the go-getting folk who strive for success and seek out opportunity to make an impact, climbing up the ladder as quickly as we can. We have a collaborative mindset, are influenced by pop culture and relevant trends, are adaptive to a variety of environments and appreciate open communications.

So don’t fear us, embrace us. Because we’re sticking around and making moves faster than the blink of an eye.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Avoiding a #PRFail During A Crisis Situation – What Not To Do

By: Rachel Tabacnic

In the wake of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight #17, there are plenty of ways to handle the situation of addressing the media via television and social media.

According to Ragan’s Daily here’s a list of the five essential questions that should be asked during the first fifteen minutes of a crisis situation, which is better known as the “golden hour”.
  • Focus on the most immediate and pressing issue.
  • Get the facts.
  • Determine who is involved and who needs to be.
  • Identify the community impact. 
  • Know where the media stands.

From today’s situation, it seems like everyone is just starting to get a bearing on what should be addressed during their “golden hour”. At this time, Malaysia Airlines has released a public statement via Twitter addressing the crisis, but what’s next.

What I’ve seen today over television and social media has been total chaos. Everyone is in a frenzy trying to place blame on what took the flight down. In times like this its best to sit and wait for the news to release statements, but when CNN starts showing coverage of people climbing around on the wreck it, doesn’t seem as effective to me. It’s a crime scene and it should be off limits to the public and media at this time.

Also, while I am at it, I really hope that someone determines if the black box has been located instead of going back and forth on Twitter reports they have it. Apparently, Newsweek is the only publication reporting that the box has been found!

It’s hard to believe that Malaysia Airlines has experienced two crashes within in a year of each other. When it comes to situations like this, we always learn from past situations. Here’s an article that shares five lessons that were learned from the last Malayasia Airlines crisis -

Do you think they learned anything from their first go around that they are applying to today’s situation?