Monday, November 29, 2010

Good, Bad Or Otherwise: Sentiment and Communication Goals

As more companies in New Zealand start to run social media listening tools, it’s important that you keep sight of the communication objectives and don’t drown in the tech.  


Sentiment analysis is one area where I’ve seen web analysts cranking out large complicated reports that are really of limited use to the communication teams.


For example, I worked on a project recently where the listening reports all showed ‘heavy negative sentiment’ even though the media management team had done an excellent job.


The goal of the communication was to let customers know about planned business disruption so many of the traditional and new media comments showed people being frustrated about getting the news that they would have to ‘expect delays’.


But they got the ‘expect delays’ news so the messages were communicated accurately and received. Job done.


Social media listening software can’t interpret this kind of scenario so you need human media analysts that can link back to company objectives.  Let’s not forget that clippings and media activity reporting has been around for a very long time and you have people in your organisation that can offer more useful insight than a software package. 

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Overwhelmed by your kind messages. Thank you. RIP Pike River Miners

Please support the Pike River Facebook group


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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Prayer For The Missing Pike River Coal Miners

I've just been to a church service and prayed for the Pike River Coal missing miners. 

My great-grandfather, grandfather and Dad have all worked in mines. I never imagined in this day and age something so terrible would happen in New Zealand. 

It's very heart wrenching and I can't imagine how hard it must be for the families. 

Our prayers are with you. Please be safe. 

Faith and hope in God, 


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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Twitter Promos: Something to Tweet About

The 'Something to Tweet About' STA travel campaign caught my eye the other day with huge retail window posters with the Twitter birdie all over them.

They look very nice and the thinking is sort of there but one thing needs some's nearly impossible to see the STA Twitter address.

While I was being a smarty pants and pointing out to someone that their Twitter campaign had no Twitter address I did find it at the foot of the poster @STATRAVELNZ and I see the follow buttons are at the bottom of their website. I went looking for them because I'm a nerd and have no life but most people wouldn't.

If your call to action is to Tweet or follow on Facebook, make it stupidly easy for people to connect.

Thanks for giving me something to Tweet about STA travel.

By the way, Twitter have released a style guide for all of their trademarks (Twitter bird, follow buttons etc) so a good idea to keep an eye on them as I;m sure they are going to start cracking down shortly and getting all Apple about everything.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Now I Know Why Hamilton Loves Richard O'Brien: Rocky Horror Show

Me with the Riff Raff statue to Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Show, Hamilton

Hamiltonians flip out over Richard O'Brien and now I know why. 

Last night I went to the opening night of the Rocky Horror Show at the Civic Theatre and joined the cow town fan club. 

The real life version of Richard as narrator seemed so right and his naughty, dark spooky voice makes you want to go camping with him and sit around telling ghost stories with a torch.

The sound and lighting blew me away as the cheesy Happy Days characters dissolved into a parallel universe with fishnets, Adam Lambert makeup and some seriously 'intimate' rumpy-bumpy deflowering bedroom scenes.

Yes I did stand up and do the Time Warp at the end.

Well, I think I started off doing something more like the Macarena crossed with Wiggles Big Red Car but my creepy Transylvania show hands were fabulous.

I wish I had known more song lyrics as the mother and daughter combo seat dance sing-a-longing the whole way through in front of me were off their heads with joy; shrieking at the entrance of ever character and exploding into applause at pretty much everything like crazed Justin Bieber tweens.

The whole thing is clever, spicy, ridiculously creative and a bit risque. Expect to see some epic performances (Riff Raff's voice is amazing for one) and some muscly men in high heels and animal print budgie smugglers. Heaps of fun.

Richard O'Brien is a legend and well worthy of his bronze statue on the main street of Hamiltron -City of The Future.

PS:If you are Ned Flanders, I advise you stay at home and watch the Wiggles. Definitely R18.


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Women At Work: Like Men Only Cheaper

The discussion around gender pay parity blips up every 12 months or so and it seems to have done another loop.

I did my thesis on this kind of stuff so I'm a bit reluctant to to turn the 'on' button on here because I will bore both myself and you but if there's one message I have for chicks in the workforce it's this: learn to play the game.

Don't get me wrong. The fundamental issue is still one of biology and the reality is, women have babies and women are generally the primary care giver and women tend to want to have babies in their prime career establishment window (28-40 years).

But I do think that women need to learn to stop being so petty and channel their competitive energy for horizons broader than tearing the crap out of the women that sits at the cubicle next to them. I would love to republish here an email I was shown last week from two women having a catfight in a department. It was appallingly catty and walked dangerously close to ballooning into a major HR bullying issue. Very silly and I hate to say it but there's no way a man could have conceived of yet alone written the emails. 

Women (myself included) struggle to distinguish between public and personal and tend to get over-involved and not maintain a professional distance while still networking and building strategic alliances and partnerships that benefit their development.

I'm part of a networking group of women in senior communication roles that has formed organically. We have all worked together at some point and actively support each other to aid our careers. It's taken us along time to figure out and feel comfortable with doing this and some people have dropped out. It seems having someone round to your house for lunch and then mixing up contract talks with a review of the new curtains is a bit close and icky for some.

Trust becomes a problem. Is this person being nice to me because they like me or because they want something from me? Training yourself to not overthink it means that you won't fall prey to your insecurities. Do the two have to be mutually exclusive? Isn't it true that people choose to do business with people they like?

In my opinion, men naturally move between private and public better; hence 'the old boy's club' and the Wednesday golf outings.

A bit simplistic I know and there are plenty of other factors (discrimination, lack of flexible arrangements, organisational structure) but it's something to think about and you can see the results in senior role statistics. Put the claws in and dial up the long lunches. 

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Don't EVER mention your Twitter followers in a meeting


It's super awkward turtle when the person sitting across from you (ie: me) knows you joined two weeks ago and have a rubbish feed. 

Don't do it. Ever. Twitter follower numbers are a sham and should never be spoken of out loud. It's about influence, connection and community; not numbers. 

If anyone ever mentions Twitter numbers in a meeting, shut it down. It's rubbish. 

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rowing Your Own Boat

I happened across a little documentary over the weekend about the history of New Zealand rowing.

Hosted by the world champion men's pair Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, it gave some interesting insights into performance culture and talent development.

One part of the story that struck me was the rationale behind New Zealand Rowing shifting their focus from large, eight-man boats to smaller, single sculls and pairs (I don't know much about rowing so I hope I've got the terms right). Basically, it was the discovery of world and Olympic champion, Rob Waddell

Rob Waddell was far outperforming all the other rowers and his talent would have been lost in a team of eight. So they put him in his own boat where he could excel.

There are times in an organisation when you need to follow the slowest ship but to achieve true excellence and top levels of performance, you can't be afraid to let your stars shine. I don't think companies do a very good job of this and it leads to frustration, staff turnover and tolerance of mediocrity. It leads to a culture of 'average' as everyone has to plod along in the middle of the bellcurve.

Team work and stakeholder management and consultation are important but don't be afraid of a little competition and letting people win. Otherwise everyone loses.

Maybe there are some people in your organisation that need to be given their own boat?

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Rant Of The Day: Student Loans Moaners & Phone Number Hiders

1. People that moan about student loans. 

You are investing in your brain you stupid girl. Moaning about a $17,000 student loan when you would be more then happy to spend the same amount on a mid range Japanese two-door hatchback with an MP3 player. Or a house. "Investing" 300k in a house is fine but spending 50k on your brain that will give you future earning potential and that you will have forever? I have an impressive student loan and you don't see me moaning about it. Best investment I ever made. Get some perspective. 

2. Receptionists that don't give out mobile phone numbers

Even after explaining that I'm a client, I have his card with the number on it (somewhere) and it's urgent I cancel a meeting a not waste his time? After two seconds of Google stalking I found the same number listed on the company website. It's a company phone number, not a personal one. Annoying. He's not Obama. 

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