Video: Social Networking for Employee Collaboration

Recently the Social Media Breakfast of Minneapolis/St. Paul hosted a panel discussion about employee collaboration via internal channels. Many large companies (and some small) in Minnesota are using these technologies to increase problem-solving capabilities and productivity for employees.

As a member of the planning team for SMBMSP, I was tasked with planning the session, securing the speakers and moderating the discussion. I was honored to find three top-notch pros to join us: Kelli Carlson-Jagersma from Wells Fargo, Steve Brantner
 from Pentair and Mary Maida from Medtronic. You can watch the video here to learn more about the tools, successes and hurdles they’ve encountered launching and managing internal social networking tools in the workplace.

SMBMSP #63 Behind the Firewall: Social Networking for Employee Collaboration from Social Media Breakfast – MSP on Vimeo.

Feeling stretched? Tips for working with challenging clients

I’ve spent many years working in large organizations where the marketing and communications teams need to serve as a support function to the business unit leadership, working in many ways like an internal agency. We often referred to our colleagues in the business units as “clients” and strived to provide great client service. The trouble is that budgets and staff resources are always at a minimum and there’s no way you can meet all of the client demands. In these situations, I’ve learned, it’s helpful to lean heavily on expectation-setting and not over-promising beyond what you can truly deliver.

Here are some of the strategies I’ve found particularly helpful to successfully navigate these sticky situations.

1. How do you make them feel? Your relationship with the client is often less about what you do for them and more about how you make them feel when you’re with them. In a world where most people are under extreme pressure to perform, sleep deprived and on deadline, it’s important to pay attention to our attitude (be positive) and make sure we present our best self. Many times clients think of marketing/communications as the “fun time” of their day and want to “be creative” and enjoy the time with you. Other times they might look to you as a confidant, or want to chat about their weekend. Be friendly, be curious, give them your full attention and make them feel as though they are the most important person in your world in that moment. Because they need to be.

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#mnblogcon & blogging your passion

Minnesota Blogger Conference

This weekend bloggers from throughout the great and chilly State of Minnesota will descend on St. Paul for the 4th annual (sold out) Minnesota Blogger Conference. You can feel the excitement on interwebs!

After dedicating many hours to organizing the first three conferences, alongside friend and co-founder Arik Hanson, this year I’ve taken a step back due to time constraints. Arik and the rest of the team carried the torch and hundreds of bloggers are very grateful they have. I give Arik and the team a lot of credit for their work this year, I know first hand how time consuming it can be to pull off this event!

Of course I’m planning to attend the event this Saturday and am honored to participate in one of the sessions. I’ll be moderating a panel on Blogging Your Passion, featuring panelists Amanda Ingle, Zhenya Hutson and Jennifer Prod. I’m looking forward to connecting with these women on why they feel passion is a necessary ingredient to blogging and how they find their inspiration. We’ll talk about different ways passion comes across on a blog and how it helps bloggers connect with readers. I’m also curious what advice they have for bloggers who are just starting out or feel they are burning out and need a lift.

I have many more questions up my sleeve and the audience will get a chance to ask questions as well. I hope to see you there. If you can’t make it, feel free to participate in the conversation by watching the #mnblogcon hashtag at 10:45 a.m. central.


8 ways to use your network to attract great job candidates

I recently hired two new employees to my team. My colleagues in recruitment and fellow managers were surprised by how many great candidates applied for the position. We had a higher number than usual in part because I actively sought out candidates using my personal and professional networks.

Many managers rely solely on their recruitment team and forget how much they can personally do to find great candidates. You have a network, use it!

In addition to the job listings your recruitment team posts, here are some ways you can spread the word:

1. Email your colleagues – Send an email to your team and others throughout the organization who frequently work with this open position. Ask them to think about candidates who might be interested in this opportunity. Include a brief summary of the position. Encourage them to view the posting on your company web site and to let you know if anyone they refer applies for the position so you can keep an eye out for the application.

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5 tips for PR folks on working with bloggers

Creating memorable blogger experiences can pay off. Cub Foods held an in-store blogger event for nutrition. Pictured are Liz from Kitchen Pantry Scientist, Kate from Kate in the Kitchen and Crystal from Cafe Cyan.

I’ve heard quite a bit of negative chatter lately from bloggers about the PR pitches coming their way. This isn’t a new thing, of course, there’s been a rub between PR folks and bloggers for as long as there have been blogs.

There are a number of insightful PR folks out there doing great things with blogger outreach. I’ll mention a few of them later in this post. My perspective on the topic is fairly broad. I’ve been blogging for more than 6 years, I’m a marketing and communications professional in my day job, and well, I know a lot of bloggers through my work as founder of the MN Blogger Conference.

I started my lifestyle blog Marketing Mama as a place to write about things that are important to me. The majority of pitches that come my way are not relevant and not personalized. However, it can be pretty amazing when the stars align and a great opportunity comes my way. I’ve had some awesome experiences via my blog, such as a VIP night at a U2 concert and an all-expense-paid trip to NYC. And those are just a couple of them off the top of my head.

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