Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rearranging the Four-Quadrant Priority System

Somedays, the to-do lists are too full of random and uninspiring tasks. It becomes too easy to procrastinate. I've tried the four quadrant tactic -- the one that plots to-do activities on a matrix of important-to-less important and urgent-to-less urgent. And while I haven't given up on it yet, I always seem to do only what is urgent anyway.

So I've decided to try and motivate myself by getting rid of the important/less-important column and replace it with Fun/not-Fun. In addition to having more fun keeping the chart updated, it should be even easier to plot items using urgent and fun, rather than sorting the important from the urgent, which are too often the same! Now, if I can just discipline myself to do one Non-Fun task before each Fun item, I should double my productivity! Since not all work nor all personal tasks fall in once category, I'm hoping to have more fun getting more stuff done in all quadrants.

The new goal will be to have more fun items than not-fun items, so that when all the non-fun items are done, I can just do more fun things. That sounds rewarding.

However since blogging is decidedly fun, I'd better now go do something not quite as fun!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Using social media sends messages to employees and customers

What would a communicator’s blog be without a reference to Marshal McLuhan?

His famous pronouncement that “The Medium is the Message” is a consideration in all communications strategies. The medium (advertising, news conferences, newsletters, radio, events, websites, are just some examples of mediums) is as important as the timing, and whether live, in-person or virtual, the medium sends a message about more than simply the tool used.

Choosing interactive, on-line media says a lot about your business. Using social media tells prospective employees your business culture takes advantage of the latest technology and that a social media policy may be in effect. More critically, social media tells prospects, clients and partners they are important to your business because they are invited to be your fans on Facebook, to subscribe to e-newsletters, to respond to corporate blogs, to participate in product feedback, to engage on Twitter, and to connect one-to-one with your business in so many other ways.

When launching new products or announcing new services, media relations strategies are often teamed up with public and customer relations strategies. For example, Social Media Releases are being developed to include hyperlinks, standardized tags, media-rich content, and easily embedded postings. Now, companies who know their customers are engaged in online communities (who isn’t?) must incorporate social media strategies as part of their marketing and communications strategies.

Some companies are hesitant to get involved in social media in part because the term “social” conjures up images of out-of-control commenting, pictures not meant for the public eye, and misuse of company time and resources.

Changing the corporate mindset around social media could be as simple as renaming it as an Interactive On-line Media strategy. As part of a strategy, there becomes a business purpose for using these tools. And as any with medium, telephone, email, and letters as more traditional examples, policies and technologies can help business manage its reputation and presence in day-to-day as well as on-line interactions.