Thursday, March 28, 2013

We offer solutions to help customers achieve business objectives

It is sad how many IT companies, especially government contractors employ such language to describe their business. Look at the website of almost any IT company and you will be hard pressed to work out what they actually do. I cannot work out why marketers are so obtuse about this.

Are you a cloud computing provider? System integrator? Web services consultant? Software tools developer? Web designer and content management company? Just say so.

Do you develop software for the financial services sector? Data visualization to the military? Records management for the legal market? Just say so. 

I have never understood IT's aversion to direct communication.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The power of the free sample

Brite Technologies offers free instructions for virus removal to highly skilled computer users. What a brilliant idea.

New to me local blogs

Security Debrief, Security Debrief is a blog dedicated to homeland security, terrorism and counter-terrorism, intelligence and law enforcement that provides context to the debates, policies and politics that are playing out in Washington, D.C. ...

... Security Debrief is produced by Adfero Group and The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute.

ECC IT Solutions

ThinkTech Blog, the blog of FedSolutions

Cloud Market Views, the blog of Virtustream

Straight Tech, the TMI blog, from Technology Management, Inc.

Turtle Wings blog, a blog about recycling electronic waste.

Managing Technology, the blog of Visular

The Interactive Files: Squash Errors, not Bugs!, From Wellfire Interactive

Whitehorse Technology Solutions

Accelera Solutions

Salient Federal Solutions

AETEA Information Technology

Thursday, March 21, 2013

More arrogance from Google/Blogger

I went to make some minor tweaks to my sidebar, hit update, and got a whole new design. That would not be so bad, except, in its infinite wisdom, Blogger decided to erase my entire sidebar of laboriously collected links.

 Jerking your users around really isn't a great way to do business. It is true that Blogger is a free tool, but it only has value because so many of us worked very hard to build up our blogs. To have all that work suddenly snatched from you simply because blogger decided they wanted to make design changes is aggravating beyond words. Shame on Blogger, shame on Google.

Monday, March 18, 2013

When control gets out of control

Having a PR C risis? There's Probably an App for That
Indeed, brands want more control over what appears on franchisees’ Facebook and Twitter pages. Ray Wert, co-founder of automotive marketing agency Tiny Toy Car, said rogue messaging often damages brands in his space. 
"Many crisis communications issues are caused on the sales front," Wert said. "Carmakers are looking for tools to help dealerships be good social media actors." Software providers, take note.
As a PR pro, I am not enthusiastic about centralized control. Time is one of the most important element in crisis management. Letting a situation simmer while senior management decides how to respond gives a minor discussion in social media snow ball into a major PR disaster. Sometimes a swift response from a worker bee is the best way to calm a social storm. I am trying to think of a major PR crisis that was caused by a rogue franchisee or low level employee, and I cannot think of one. However, I can easily name a hundred PR disasters precipitated by the actions of senior management. It is difficult to believe that trying to control the social media of franchisees it going to enhance engagement with one's customers.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Advertising is cheaper than comment spam

Now that I have begun to post more regularly to this blog I have seen a surge of comment spam. Sigh.

Sadly it appears to be coming from humans rather than bots. So someone is paying for humans to do this, or has purchased fancy bots.

You know what would be cheaper and actually effective? Would generate site traffic to your website and generate good will? Paid advertising.

You can buy a week's worth of advertising on low traffic blogs from Blogads for as little as $1000. Or you can purchase a sponsored post on Reddit, which will appear on the top of the sub-Reddit you select, prices begin at $20. Or you can purchase some keywords on Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine.

What a great name for a Communications blog!

Say no to mean, I Say What I Mean, but I Don't Say it Meanly The thoughts and words of Diana M. Rodriguez

 She has some excellent tips for email, my personal favorite:
Don’t #2 Texting acronyms: Many college students will be in for a rude awakening if they believe that acronyms that are used in text messages are acceptable when writing business emails. For example, using the acronym “GTG” for “good to go” will not be accepted or understood. In an office environment is best to stick with clear, concise wording and limit the use of abbreviated acronyms that the receiver may or may not understand.
Readers of this blog know that I try to stay away from acronyms of any kind. Between federal acronyms, military acronyms, and technology acronyms, room for confusion is too great. We should try to set a good example for our clients.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

We sell to people, not search engines

The Guardian has a great piece on the confusion about the hype around content marketing:

The danger for brands getting caught up in this is that they are indeed viewing it as a panacea. Rushing in, rather than remaining firmly focused on their customer, their interests, passions, anxieties and hopes, to try and understand what sort of content they're interested in. 
Most importantly, why they'd ever want to hear it from you and why you're bothering producing it in the first place. 
If the answer to that question is "to drive SEO, to get round the Google Panda update, to help social sharing, to reduce our bounce rate on our website", your move into content marketing is only going to benefit the content marketing salesmen.
It is useful to have a library of keywords and a social media calendar to give your social media effort form; but if you don't engage your audience it is just so much more blather on the internet. When you write you should have a specific audience in mind. It makes it easier to write meaningful prose.

Friday, March 01, 2013

NIST asks for help in building cybersecurity framework

NIST to build cybersecurity framework, with your help
The Cybersecurity Framework will be a set of voluntary standards and best practices to guide industry in reducing cyber risks to the networks and computers that support critical infrastructure vital to the nation's economy, security and daily life, according to the NIST announcement published in the Federal Register. ...
...The first meeting will be held April 3 at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md. Registration information is available here.
If you have concerns about cybersecuirty or privacy, I urge you to participate in these discussions."