Simplify Your Communications

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, what you’ve accomplished, how many degrees you have, or who you’ve worked with. If you can’t get your idea across to me in a few sentences or less you’ve lost me.
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The Coolest Video You Have Ever Watched

You have to watch this video…careful now, they do use some colorful language, earmuffs for the kids.

At the end of the video you are given a choice and taken to this video, from there a very cool thing happens…

Type in whatever you want and a video will play according to your request.  Go on try it.  What a cool way to get people to interact with your video.

Free Prize Inside….a Wine Bottle?

How come wine company’s never offer a contest where you could win something on the bottom of a cork?  Ok, you’re right, people who buy $50-$100 bottles of wine do not care about whatever it is under the cork, as long as it smells like fine wine.  I’m talking about the cheap inexpensive wine, you know the bottles that no one is aging in the cellar, the ones that you buy for the weekend and if they last till Monday you’re having wine with supper.

I see an opportunity here.  You could develop a classy contest, partner with the New Yorker or Napa Valley and offer a prize people will talk about around the water cooler.

Creating an incentive for customers to look for your wine at the store can be a powerful tactic.  With whatever excuse you come up with as to the reason why wine company’s don’t do this, ask yourself, why?  And why couldn’t they?  I am open for a discussion.

Photo Credit: Gary Tamin

What is strategy?

“Management plan or method for completing objectives; plan of procedures to be implemented, to do something.” –

“Strategy refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal.” – Wikipedia

“A mental tapestry of changing intentions for harmonizing and focusing our efforts as a basis for realizing some aim or purpose in an unfolding and often unforeseen world of many bewildering events and many contending interests.” – John Boyd’s

“Strategy is about knowing where your company is today, where you want to take it, and how you are going to get there.” -Peter Drucker

However you define it, all strategy really means is focusing on a certain objective and determining how to achieve it.  Have you ever brainstormed ways of revamping your company or product to ensure a more competitive stance in your market?  Have you ever wondered what may happen if there is a large shift in your industry?

Too many industries are facing large changes in how business is conducted with the majority of organizations ignoring it.  What used to be safe is now risky.  If you’re not exploring where you industry is headed, where your competitors are expanding to and what your customers are talking to each other about, you may be missing the most valuable information about your industry.

The best part about this ever changing business landscape of the future is that the internet, if used effectively, can become your most powerful tool to explore your options.  It is never to late to start learning, you’re already on the right track by reading my blog ;).

The choice is yours, either start learning and exploring or  take the “safe” alternative and do business as usual believing you’re industry is immune to change.

56 uses of social media in Saskatchewan

  1. Instead of “news” build your own RSS reader
  2. Begin following local bloggers in your RSS reader and keep searching for new ones
  3. Challenge a local blogger, disagree, leave a comment
  4. Offer to write a guest post for a local blogger
  5. Offer to write a guest post for an industry specific blog
  6. Hold a local specific contest (Treasure hunt via Facebook?)
  7. Start a local restaurant review site, make it fun
  8. Ask for feedback of your product/service via Twitter
  9. Offer to take pictures at an event and start a Flickr account for them
  10. Host a picture contest
  11. Host a picture caption contest for other businesses
  12. Encourage patrons to take a picture of their meal and share it online for 25% off the meal
  13. Tell stories about your product on a blog
  14. Host a community blog with many different contributers
  15. Start selling your product on Facebook
  16. Encourage employees to offer reviews of the company via LinkedIn
  17. Start a local trivia blog (written, video, picture)
  18. Offer free products/services to people with lots of friends on Facebook
  19. Put your website on all printed material
  20. Put your Twitter name in places where no one would expect to see it (get creative with this one)
  21. Put your blog and Twitter name on the inside of a box of donuts and deliver them to potential readers
  22. Put your blog, vlog, landing page or video in your e-mail signature
  23. Start a collection of local website on Delicious, sort them in a meaningful way
  24. Host an online garage sale
  25. Host an actual garage sale via Ustream
  26. Add you company to Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and any other geo-location service
  27. Offer different deals on Foursquare, see what works
  28. Host a city wide treasure hunt via Foursquare
  29. Host a 24 hour Foursquare challenge
  30. Leave an unbelievable “deal” on Yelp and see who takes you up on it
  31. Document the entire Foursquare challenge on YouTube
  32. Do a video production of your safety manual
  33. Record the “Monday morning announcements” on YouTube, make them fun
  34. Set up Google alerts to monitor your company’s name being mentioned
  35. Add you business to Google maps (seems simple but many people overlook this one)
  36. Give me a reason to go to your website daily
  37. Host a local “Tweet-up”
  38. Offer to begin a Twitter account for a large local event
  39. Setup an your automatic e-mail the next time you’re on holidays to say “you’re only responding to requests on Twitter”
  40. Have a video contest, offer a large cash prize
  41. Make a video explaining everything about your organization
  42. Make a video about a different employee every day until you run out of employees
  43. Start a YouTube channel for your company and post a video per week about industry specific topics
  44. UStream your Friday at the office
  45. UStream a different place/person in your office weekly
  46. Have a “submit question” box on your homepage, answer every question that comes in
  47. Submit a fascinating story to Digg and Stumble Upon once a week
  48. Sell T-shirts on your home page for charity, let people vote on the charity
  49. Start a Foodbank challenge with one of your competitors, document everything on a picture blog
  50. Create an interactive fundraising tool on your website
  51. Encourage all of your staff to fill out their entire profile on LinkedIn, make it a company wide activity
  52. Host an appreciation BBQ for the employee of the month, video tape it and post all the pleasant things said on your company blog
  53. Start an e-mail newsletter and fill it with the most helpful information/links in your industry
  54. Recognize employees who go above and beyond on your company blog
  55. Put your Twitter name on a billboard by a busy street
  56. Give free coffee to everyone downtown who becomes a fan of yours on Facebook

This is just the beginning of what you could do, the possibilities are endless.  Have anymore you want to share?  Please do!

Mosaic + Foursquare=Match Made in Heaven

The business applications for Foursquare seem to be increasing.  As more people join, the more attention the platform is getting from businesses.  Albeit Saskatchewan is a little behind the “checkin” train but that doesn’t mean some businesses are trying Foursquare on for size.  Just today I found this on Twitter.  

Coda Clothing may not explode with business but I went and bought a shirt to get in the draw, will you?

I believe those who could benefit the most from Foursquare are events like Mosaic.  In a three day span, thousands of people will be traveling to and from nineteen different pavilions.  Like the Haggis at the Scottish pavilion?  Leave a tip for everyone else who checks in there.  Want to know which pavilion your friends are at?  Or better yet, which pavilion is the most popular?  Check Foursquare.

For the Mosaic organizers, create special badges for those who checkin to ten, fifteen and all nineteen different pavilions.  Offer a prize to people who checkin at all nineteen pavilions.  The pavilions themselves could have a swarm badge where if over fifty people checkin, all food is 50% off for an hour, just as an example but you get my gist.

Why would Mosaic do this?  Where is the economic return?  How about all the story’s and tidbits of information that people will write about on Twitter and Foursquare.  I’m sure the organizing committee would be interested in the feedback left online about how Mosaic 2010 was.  Capture and share the positive messaging, and deal with the negative upfront.  All the positive comments that were made online now become your messaging towards tourists thinking about visiting Regina.  It’s the authentic online story being told that is going to attract people to come in future years.

It seems like a very cost effective method of spreading the word about Mosaic and garnering feedback on how to improve this long standing tradition we host every year in Regina.  What do you think?  Would it work?  Would you checkin somewhere to get a discount?  Heck, I sure would!