How does your paper resume stack up to this?

May 1, 2013

The world has changed.  Things are different.  This is the new normal.  This ain’t your grandaddy’s marketing.

We can say it a million ways but some folks just aren’t going to get it.  Or at least not yet.

With the tools out there, the connections that can be made and the audience’s diminishing tolerance for being shouted at — there are many things we need to do differently.  Including finding a job.

Check out this slideshare (PPT) presentation that Lorenzo Galbiati sent me as he embarks on a job hunt.  (Email him here if you want to chat about career possibilities)


Imagine you need to hire someone.  You get a standard paper resume and this PPT.  You can only interview one candidate — who would you choose?

We need to re-think everything and there are plenty of sacred cows that need to be done away with.  If someone ever says to you — this is how it has to be done or this is the standard — ask more questions, think beyond the “usual” and remember that the world has changed.

The last thing you want to demonstrate is that you haven’t been keeping up.

 

Can’t see the PPT?  Click here to view over at www.slideshare.net

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Why your brand is dead in the water

August 14, 2012

Here’s how most brand evolve.  The organization’s leadership huddles up at a corporate retreat (or if it’s a start-up, around the kitchen table) and decide on a tagline and maybe a logo.

The tagline becomes the battle cry of the brand and they’re off to the races.

Or worse yet…the organization hires an agency who claims to “do branding” and after a little deliberation, the ads have the new tagline and logo and voila, the brand is launched.

Fast forward 6 months or maybe a year.  The tagline and the brand are limping along.  No one really uses them anymore.  And if they do, they think of it as the “theme of the month” and assume it will just go away over time.  And it does.

There are many reasons why a brand fails….but the biggest one in my opinion is that the employees are not properly engaged and connected to the brand.  Without a huge investment of time, energy and some money — the brand remains a superficial cloak that can easily be pulled off or shrugged off when it gets to be a challenge.

Your employees are the key to a brand’s long term success.  It’s that simple.

When we are asked to develop a brand for a client, we require the step we have dubbed “seeding the brand” which is the whole idea of introducing the brand promise to the employees and letting them take ownership of it — deciding how to deliver the promise, how to remove the barriers to keeping the promise and how to keep the brand alive inside the organization.

If a client won’t agree to implementing that stage of the process, we won’t do their brand work.  No ifs, ands or buts. Why? Because it won’t work without that step. And I don’t believe we should take their money if we can’t deliver success.

Discovering and then building a brand takes a village.  And you have to start by including your own villagers.

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How do you communicate with your team?

April 28, 2011

104701857
…How’s your employee communication?

We’ve talked before about the importance of recognizing your employees as a very important audience for your business. You need them to all be pulling in the same direction. But like any audience — you have to decide what are your key messages to them — and how do you deliver them.  Over and over.  They’ll need some repetition so the key points can really sink in.

Employee communication is probably an area that every team leader or boss could improve.  (think I’m wrong — ask your team!) I’m curious — how do you communicate with your team (or how does your boss communicate with you?)

Have you tried any of these?

Ask Them

GOOD — Employee surveys: Don’t even bother asking their opinion, if you aren’t going to act on what you learn.  The good news about employee surveys is that the anonymity is likely to get you feedback that’s more candid.  And if you have a big crew, it’s probably the only way to get a fair representation.

BETTER — A scheduled chat: What, if instead of the formal survey, you carved out a set time every week and you, throughout the course of the year, met with everyone individually and picked their brain a little, while sharing your vision and thoughts?

Tell Them

GOOD — An all staff meeting: The plus of this is that everyone hears the same message and can ask questions, watch other’s reactions and participate as a group.  The down side of this is — someone always misses the meeting and if you have multiple locations across multiple time zones — tough to coordinate.

BETTER — Regular messages from leadership: Whether it’s an internal intranet/blog, a monthly video from the CEO, a weekly wrap up e-mail from the team leader — I think in this case, frequency wins.  If your team knows they’re going to hear from you on a regular basis, they’ll be more confident that they’re in the know.

Bonus points to you if you give them feedback avenues. Which is the perfect segue to…

Listen to Them

GOOD — The tried and true suggestion box: Whether you literally have suggestion boxes throughout the office or you use an electronic version, giving your employees a chance to speak up/out with ideas, questions, concerns etc. is a good start.  But some pumps need priming.

BETTER — Involve them: Are there some big financial goals you want to hit?  Put together a task force and ask them to help you create the plan.  Need ideas for holiday gifts for clients — pull together 3-4 people and give them the assignment.  Want to improve your recruiting efforts?  Why not put together a blend of young/old, new/seasoned employees and ask them why they took the job, what they love about the job and how you could improve the working conditions, etc.

Everyone works better and harder when they believe they are contributing.  So the best way to listen is to ask…and then implement!

This is one of my personal goals — to get better and better at being plugged into what my employees are thinking, doing, wondering about and tapping their insights to make MMG an even better place to work and do business with.

How about you?  Do you do any of the above?  Have any other suggestions to share?

 

 

 

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Advice for finding that first marketing job

April 6, 2011

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How to find that first job

It’s spring time, which means the robins, tree buds and soon to be college graduates are all popping up everywhere.

I remember how tough it was to find that first job.  Everyone wanted you to have experience but no one wanted to give you that first job…so you’d get some experience!

I am often asked by college students how they can compete in a sea of “I did an internship, I got good grades, my parents are pressuring me to find a job” applicants out there.

So…for all you soon to be and recent grads — here’s my counsel (from the MMG website).

If I were you and I wanted to snare a job at MMG, here are some of the things I would and wouldn’t do. (and naturally, this applies for any job, just substitute the company specifics.  And, I’d replicate this for the 3-5 places you really, really want to work.)

I would:

  • Read the MMG website carefully, to get a sense of culture and tone.  Be sure this sounds like a good fit for you.  I know you need a job — but your first job is so important.  You’ll meet your first mentor there.  Or not.
  • Sign up to receive MMG’s weekly e-newsletter, the Marketing Minute.
  • Stay smart — keep reading advertising, marketing and social media blogs, magazines etc.  You’re going to do this for your entire life — so you’d better get in the habit now.
  • Follow MMG on their Facebook page and Twitter.
  • Read Drew’s blog and if I really want to stand out from the pack, I would subscribe (via e-mail or RSS reader) and within a week, make an insightful, articulate comment on a post.
  • Ask my friends, contacts etc. if anyone knows anyone at MMG who could make an introduction.
  • Be very mindful that my cover letter/resume are the biggest demonstration of whether or not I get marketing.  I would ask myself…if I were a product and MMG was the target audience…how would I sell me?  How would I make myself different from all the other applicants?
  • Download and read “Giving College Grads a Fighting Chance.”
  • If I have a blog, I’d link to Drew’s because I know he’ll check to see who I am.
  • Know that they’re going to check my Twitter, MySpace, Facebook etc. pages.  So if they need cleaning up, I’d clean them up.
  • If I had no relevant job experience, I would look at the job experience I did have and figure out what elements of marketing were present there.
  • Join the local social media club, ad club, marketing club.  Whichever is more relevant to what you love to do and your market.  But start getting connected, if you haven’t already.
  • If I didn’t get the job or they didn’t have any openings at the moment, but still think this is the place for me…I would stay engaged.  I would keep reading/commenting on the blog.  I’d drop them a note every month or so.  I would become someone they notice/know.

I would not:

  • Send a cover letter or resume that even slightly reads like everyone else’s.
  • Rely on any cover letter/resume book. I would throw those away and refer back to my marketing text books.
  • Under any circumstances tout my ability to work with people (or that I like them) as a strength or skill.
  • Send anything that a pair (or two) of fresh eyes didn’t proof.  A typo will get me tossed right into the “no way” pile.
  • Hit send or lick the envelope until I checked and double checked the spelling of the agency, the agency owner’s name and anything else (like their clients) that I might reference.  (see bullet point above)
  • Try to BS my way in.  Because I should expect that MMG will smell that a mile away and ask about it until I admit that I sent the same “I believe your agency is perfect for me” cover letter to 12 agencies.
  • Humiliate myself. I would double check that I put the right cover letter/resume in the right envelope.  (I’d hate to be the one who makes that mistake, but it has happened.)
  • If I really wanted to work there, I wouldn’t give up.  I wouldn’t be a stalker, but I would keep at it.  I would look for ways to help them, even before I got a job there.  Because I would believe that I am going to work there eventually and begin behaving like I already do.

You don’t have to do any of this.  It’s your job hunt, after all.

But remember, at MMG (and most smart businesses) we hire as much for “culture fit” as we do for competency.  We can teach you marketing.  But we can’t teach you to be a team player.  Or curious.  Or passionate about our work & our clients.   We’re not going to force you to be someone who believes in giving  back to the community.

So along with your work and academic achievements, show us that stuff.  And show us that you get why that matters.   Then, we have something to talk about.

Your job is pretty straight-forward.  If you’re smart and creative enough to sell us you, we know you can help our clients.

Good luck!

 

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Meet your company’s spokesperson

February 11, 2011

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Is he your new spokesperson?

Take a few minutes and walk through your place of business today. Really look at the people who work for you. Your goal — identify the employees who are just there to get the paycheck.

  • Maybe it’s the 16 year old part-timer who calls in sick about as often as she shows up.
  • Or the employee who has been there for the past 20 years and is just biding his time until he hits retirement age.
  • Or the employee who is still bent out of shape because they got passed over for a promotion and goes out of his way to sabotage the woman who got the nod while he looks for another gig.

Congratulations — you just met your organization’s new spokesperson.  There is no “off the record” anymore.  Because we’re always on the record.  Just ask former Congressman Christopher Lee.

The idea that a disgruntled or disengaged employee could say something unfortunate is not new.  But in the good old days, they might tell a few friends over a beer or vent to their family, but it was pretty contained and isolated.  And as soon as the words left their lips…they evaporated in thin air.  No record, no residual.

Not today.  Any employee can shoot off their mouth on Facebook, Twitter or another social media outlet and literally infect thousands of people with their opinion in a matter of seconds.  And thanks to Google, screen shots, archives and savvy web users — those words never disappear.  They are etched in digital stone.

Whether you like it or not, this digital age means that every single employee you have represents you 24/7.  On your time, on their time.  On your communications tools and on their own.

Before you start breathing into a paper bag — recognize that this isn’t an inherently bad thing.  It can be a wonderful thing, if handled right. But it does require that you understand the risks, the potential rewards and how you can set your employees up to be fantastic representatives of your brand.

I will dig into that on Monday, so stay tuned.

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