Persuasive Picks for week of 5/13/13

5-Google+-Insights-Resources-and-Tips-for-Business-Plus-InfographicGoogle added 41 new features to their social network darling, Google+. Yes, 41! With 190 million monthly active users, Google+ is still not as popular as other social communities, but interactive expert Bernadette Coleman thinks that with these updates comes a more appealing, more competitive network. She explains why social media marketers and small businesses should pay special attention in New Google+ Features Hit the Web – via SocialMediaToday

Yahoo announced that Tweets have become an important information source for many and will now be featured in Yahoo’s news feed. While few details have been revealed, it’s probably safe to assume that Yahoo will feature tweets that are popular, influential and of course meet certain criteria for authenticity and newsworthiness. Business2Community contributor, Victoria Harres, helps communicators prepare and provides 4 Best Practices Brands Should Implement, Now That Twitter is a Yahoo News Source

emotionsKing Fish CMO Gordon Plutsky wants to remind brands that people buy for emotional reasons. So while the digital marketing revolution has enabled companies to communicate directly with customers, it’s how companies choose to communicate with customers that will determine their ability to create emotional connections. Check out Gordon’s picks in  4 brands that emotionally connect with consumers - a look at leading companies that are moving past transactional relationships to better connect with empowered customers on iMediaConnection.

When Did Social Media Lose Its Way? In the early days of social media, users interacted like real people do. However, in time, social networks evolved into pits of broadcast messages. MarketingProfs‘ Verónica Maria Jarski posts an infographic from Hubspot that demonstrates the history of how brands lost their way in social media, and how they can find a path back to their roots.

Telecommuting Tips for Those Who Don’t Work at Yahoo

This week is National TeleWork Week (March 4-8). Coincidentally this week also falls on the heels of the Yahoo decision to stop all telecommuting – so for those of you that work at Yahoo we apologize in advance, and you can stop reading here :)

Work from home comic

Whether you think Yahoo made the wrong decision or it was all ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ it does help to raise awareness for the passion people have for telework — and we are no exception. With over 15 years as a virtual business we have deep experience on the topic. So without further ado — here are our team’s work from home tips for success.

Tips for staying productive when working from home:

  • Keep the “To Do” list handy. Knowing what you have to accomplish makes it easier to plan your day and there is a huge feeling of accomplishment when you cross things off the list.
  • Take advantage of the little perks you wouldn’t have in a traditional office and customize your environment however you are comfortable and productive; wear comfortable clothing, sit on a balance ball instead of a chair, play some motivational music – heck, light a candle. These are luxuries the office worker isn’t typically allowed, so go for it. Your work environment has a huge impact on productivity, so create a space that makes you feel good.
  • Take mini breaks. Get up and walk around to get the blood flowing; check the mailbox; throw in a load of laundry; take out the trash. Take advantage of your home setting and knock out a few quick chores throughout the day.
  • Have a daily routine. Have breakfast, followed by a big cup of coffee, work through the morning’s emails, plan out your day, schedule a walk at lunch and make sure you get out of the house.
  • Plot projects based on natural rhythm. For example, perhaps try to work on writing and pitching later in the day when you can focus and dig deeper without as many distractions.
  • Eat lunch. On busy days, it’s so easy to lose track of the time, but take a brain break and eat something healthy to give you that final push for the remainder of the day. When in doubt, chocolate helps then, too!
  • Give yourself a win. In PR, we’ve got a variety of projects and priorities and things are constantly changing, but start the day with a “win,” meaning tacking at least one smaller project to completion. There’s nothing as inspiring as crossing something off your to-do list early to get the day going on a positive note!
  • Get a sounding board. If you are an animal lover consider adopting a dog or cat. If not, you could always try a Talking Tom doll. Working from home can be isolating and everyone needs someone to talk to, even if they can’t talk back :).
  • Have a back-up plan. Just like an office that could lose Internet access, power, or be shut down for maintenance, know what your back up plan is and be able to get there fast. Working from home should be seamless even when inconveniences like power outages happen.

Still not sure you are ready to work from home? Here are some direct quotes from our team members to inspire you to explore the idea further:

“I absolutely love having the ability to work from home. There’s something so satisfying about being able to dig in and get work done more efficiently without the usual office distractions, and it’s given me a better quality of life overall.”

“At one point in my career, I was commuting three hours per day (round trip) – that’s 60 hours per month of “lost” time! So I’m not only appreciative to have that time back each week, but also grateful to be able to reinvest it in things that matter, whether it’s work, family, friends, hobbies or just recharging my battery.”

“I believe that happy, fulfilled people are more productive and creative in their work, and I’ve seen that firsthand at PerkettPR. Our colleagues are able to attend functions with their kids, run marathons, blog, cheer on their favorite sports teams, write books, win Maker Faire competitions, create art installations displayed in museums, and much, much more. It’s that kind of passion, perseverance and out-of-the box thinking that makes us more interesting as people, and is also allows us to offer a greater depth of imagination and resourcefulness in our daily work.”

“As a mom of three, working from home has allowed me stay in the workforce, contribute financially to my family, all while staying an active – and visible – participant in my children’s lives every single day. The idea of commuting to the city – two hours each way, not getting home until 7pm – I couldn’t imagine a bigger detractor to my productivity than taking away those hours with my kids.”

“I love working from home because with school-aged children, I feel better knowing that I am nearby and accessible if there is an emergency such as a call from the school nurse. I don’t have to worry about waiting for a train ride home or sitting in traffic. That is invaluable to me.”

“Life is way too short to spend a quarter of your waking hours sitting in traffic in a car. There is too much to do and too much to experience with all of those wasted hours. Successful people are successful no matter where they work: At airports, in an office , on the beach…working from home is no different. You just have to be diligent about eliminating distractions.”

We believe our team’s appreciation for a solid work/life balance has a direct impact on their contributions to our success. And as Jean Baptiste Su says in his above linked Forbes piece on the subject: Happy employees make great companies.

What are some of your work from home productivity tips?

Persuasive Picks for the week of 12/13/10

Top 10 PR blunders of 2010
Is there anything more satisfying than reading about the PR trials and tribulations of others to reassure you that you’re doing everything correctly? Read on to find out – unless you’re on the list… in which case, move on to the next pick. :)

Finding the Sweet Spot for Journalism and Social Media
There’s no doubt that mainstream print media entities are still trying to figure out who should be running social media within their respective organizations. This AdvertisingAge post from Thomas Pardee explores how the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today are handling the task.

One-third of Brands Converting via Social Media
Stats abound in this MarketingProfs recap of a recent R2integrated survey that found over one-third of participating companies have been able to make cold hard cash through their social media efforts. That number is projected to increase throughout 2011, as over 60% of marketers surveyed will be increasing their budgets for social.

Leaked Slide Shows Yahoo Is Killing Delicious & Other Web Apps
As an avid user of Delicious, I was saddened to hear that Yahoo will be pulling the plug on the well known bookmarking service in addition to several other acquired services. Luckily, there’s an export feature in the Delicious settings section to download and save your links. Mashable’s Jolie O’Dell gives the rundown on the story, via this post.

6 Social Media Success Metrics You Need to Track
Social Stratagist Jay Baer shares several “undervalued” sources of social metrics that you should consider adding to your measurement routine.

Raleigh’s Social Media and Tech Community share 2011 Predictions at TIMA Summit Party

Last Thursday night I attended the TIMA Summit Party – the only afterparty for the Third Annual Internet Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina. Quickly becoming one of the largest internet conferences on the East Coast, the Internet Summit was a near sellout this year with an estimated 1500 attendees!

Bringing together Internet executives, senior marketers, entrepreneurs and investors, this years speakers represented companies like Google, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Yahoo!, Go Daddy, AutoTrader.com, and more. Speakers presented on topics ranging from Social Media, to Mobile, Online Video, Cloud Computing, Real-time, Analytics, Online Advertising, and E-commerce.

The TIMA Summit Party was also a huge success! Hosted by TIMA and co-sponsored by DesignBox – who provided the awesome venue – and MediaTwo Interactive, some have said this year’s party was one of the best events tied to the Tech/Social Media community of Raleigh.

The following video offers a small taste of how great the event was and features a few of the party attendees sharing their predictions for 2011. What do you think will be the hot trends for 2011? What do you think about some of the predictions shared in this video? Share your response in the comments section below – and thanks for watching!