Tag Archives: Marketing and Advertising

Naming a business: pitfalls and tips

A rose by any other name

Naming a business that is much more difficult than one might expect. Here are some resources to assist with that challenging task.

I was talking to my friend Chrissanne Long who owns and operates a great local business networking group called Lakeland Business Leaders and I mentioned missing a recent meeting that got lost in the holiday shuffle.  She responded that we all lose stuff in the “holiday shiffle.”  We both laughed and she joked that she going to register the domain for shiffle bcause she swears, half the time that seems to be the way people come up with names for their products and businesses.

That conversation got me thinking about this post idea. Ok, I’ve been thinking about business names too, but how to go about it was a good idea for that research and a blog post.  During the research, I googled “”Shiffle”. It turns out that Chrissanne wouldn’t have been able to get it anyway. It was already taken, by an HR related tech product of all things.

Shiffle (http://www.shiffle.com/) is really simple shift scheduling software.

Shiffle is also a slang term in the Urban Dictionary:

Drizzle and Shake Combined!
Yo let shiffle that thousand island on your salad homie.
by aubreony September 18, 2011
Bottom line point  here is two fold. You never know where you might get your inspiration for a business name from, and you also never know who might have been inspired by something else first.  That’s why it’s important to do some research first.
Here are some tips to help with that.
Let me know how it goes.
Business (Photo credits: www.roadtrafficsigns.com)

Choose Your Business Name

8 Mistakes To Avoid When Naming Your Business

Ten tips for naming your company

Tips for Naming Your Business

12 Tips for Naming a Business, Brand or Product

Great tips! Really helpful advise for naming a #startup –> “How to Name Your Company

How to pick the perfect name for your startup or business

Enhanced by Zemanta

Question the relevance of social media

Hey Jay – Finally got a chance to respond to your last #NoFearHR post!

A view slightly askew
A view slightly askew (Photo credit: mvndrvrt)

I don’t know about you, but I have been super busy   It’s made it tough to keep our conversation going for the last couple of weeks, but I’m back.

A couple of weeks ago, you asked me about what I thought about discussing social media with the C-suite, and specifically about how the HR practitioner ought to begin the conversation about the value of social media to an executive team that still uses the term “twittering”?

My first reaction is that educating  your executive team starts with a general discussion of social media  platforms and how they might be a valuable part of an overall corporate communication strategy.   for me that conversation would start with a series of one on one meetings with the members of the leadership team.   I’d want to get their personal take on social media.

I don’t mean their take on whether Facebook is cooler than Twitter.  I’m talking about an open candid discussion with them about social, and what they think of it.  The I’d ask some pointed questions.

  • What’s your biggest concern about our company using social media?
  • Have you seen any that use social media that you like?  If so, what and why?
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen if we go social?
  • Has your department dealt with any employee issues related to social media policy matters?
  • Would you be interested in seeing how our brand looks in the social media world?

This would be a great start.   Then you could start sharing relevant information and data that would help illustrate and illuminate specifically how social is already impacting your business.   This should help to build the business relationship between the C-suite and HR as it relates to social.

What questions would you ask, Jay?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Taking the fear out of a social media implementation

Ghost fear
Ghost fear (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

This is another post in the #NoFearHR project.  Here’s my response to Jay’s thoughts in “Lose the Fear and get to work“.

Beg forgiveness

Jay,  There is more than one way to approach a social media implementation inside your organization.

You deserve credit for the bold choices you have made around your social media implementation at the hospital. I really like your approach.

Your “beg forgiveness” approach is a good one – kind of like planting a seed, nurturing it and letting it grow slowly into something bigger.  I like that approach, but it  only works in some organizations.

When I asked you how you would approach implementing social media if you were starting fresh today, one of the things you mentioned was that before you went running off “launching a strategy“, you needed to get your team on board.   In fact, I think I’ll quote you:

Looking back now the most important move involved two parts:

1 – Introducing social tools one-by-one to the team at a pace that was comfortable

2- Requiring them to use the tools

For me, having a social media strategy that no one on the front line believes in doesn’t make much sense. Without the commitment of the people around me in HR, our journey into social media would never have made it to tweet #1 (let alone #12,000.)

I think that’s a pretty valid viewpoint for one small department within an organization, especially if it’s for something like the human resources department using social tools to recruit talent.  I’d do the same thing in that situation.  The level of risk is small, and the ROI comes pretty quick if you do it right.

I’d suggest a different approach when it comes to getting the entire company involved in social media.

Ask permission

Some implementations are going to take longer, Jay.  You said in your post that if you were starting over today, you would want the C-Suite to be on board with the effort, especially Marketing.  I think that’s critical, and is a better approach for most situations.

Here’s a good rule of thumb for  HR people who are looking to get their company into social media to follow:

The more conservative the organization, the more important it is to have support from the CEO down.

What I’m saying is that anyone taking the lead on a social media implementation is to do so based on the scope of the project.  Things like size of the organization, scope of the implementation, availability of resources, and span of control all come into play when planning a social media implementation.

If you work for a large company, your implementation will have a greater chance of long-term success by doing the prep work that gives the C-Suite confidence in the effort.    You need to know your organization and choose the approach that will work best for you.

Here are some other considerations that went into the social media implementation at my company:

  1. Educational process for executive team
  2. Decision on whether to engage with social or not
  3. Platform/tool selection
  4. Preparation for launch – design, training, voice of brand
  5. Tools for moderation, publishing, listening, monitoring
  6. Preparation for worst case scenarios
  7. Develop team of internal Subject Matter Experts
  8. Define who controls messaging

Both approaches are valid.  Smart leaders will select the best path for them.  The most important thing is to get started on doing the work that gets you into the game.

What other tips would you suggest for a social media implementation, Jay?


Enhanced by Zemanta

Don’t fear the Tweeter

Fear and loathing of social in the C Suite


Beyond Fear (album)
Beyond Fear (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Good morning Jay,  I just read your very thoughtful and constructive rant about Lots of Fear in the HR C-Suite.   I thought your comments about the reluctance of HR executives to adopt social media as a part of the HR strategy were spot. on, and that kind of pisses me off.  Honestly, this is one I just don’t get.


Why HR should use social media is old news


I used to be able to half-way  buy the old excuses – no time, no staff, no resources, blah blah blah…ad nauseum, but not so much any more.  I’m with you all the way on this, Jay – “…it seems to me HR leaders are missing a huge opportunity to jump into the modern world of social leadership. Sure there’s a downside, but everything has a downside.”


Social media cuts right to the heart of the HR function,  Jay.


It embodies what we do every day – reaching out to people, sharing ideas, and working together.   It’s all about communication, Jay – and it’s a game-changer if you do it right.


Yet it seems to paralyze the heartbeat of many otherwise courageous executives who can’t, won’t,or more realistically don’t want to embrace this brave not-so-new world of social media.


Jay, does this conversation about why HR should be using social media already sound old?  I swear somewhere I hear somebody talking about seats at tables…


Let’s talk about how to put social to work in business


I don’t want to to go there.  Let’s not make this conversation about why HR should use social media.  That’s old news.   Let’s make this conversation about how to put social media to work inside a professional business organization, and how HR can be the leader of these efforts, and the value of why that matters.


Where would you start with social media?


You are doing that in your HR shop right now, Jay.  Where would you start if you were starting today?


— Mike


 This post is of a new project called #NoFearHR where Jay Kuhns and I will be conducting a dialogue on the impact of social media on the Human Resource function and business.




Enhanced by Zemanta

You are always on stage with social media

Stage Mess + Wrong Focus
Image by juhansonin via Flickr

The social media spotlight

A quick story about social media and the value of reputation.

An HR colleague just hired my wife to do a web design project (smart) via a post from LinkedIn that I noticed and responded to.  She was not the only choice for this project. There were several other bidders.

What was the difference maker on this deal?

A blog post that I wrote a few months ago.

The post was about my non-traditional marriage, which is not exactly the kind of post you would think of related to  building business relationships.  What our colleague told my wife is that when he read the post, he felt it demonstrated the “humanity” of my relationship with Kyle.

Here’s the social media lesson.    A post I wrote  about my personal life weeks ago resonated with someone I don’t know that well.  I had networked with him on-line and been introduced in person, but I never viewed him as a client or customer.   In the end, his personal knowledge and impressions about me (and Kyle) led him to select her over several other qualified options because of that impression.

It’s important to remember that when you use social media, you are always on a stage.   Everything you write, say or share will create an impression about you, and color the impressions of others.  Make sure what you put out there is showing you in the correct light – your best personal and professional presence, but real and human as well.  You own your social media presence every day, whether you realize it or not.

Use the power wisely!

Enhanced by Zemanta

How social media can change your life

My latest on Talent Culture

I am currently in the midst of a significant career shift.   Even though I report to an SVP of HR, I am now assigned as the social media community manager for the Fortune 100 company where I work.  My primary responsibility involves using social media tools and platforms to create a community with our customers.  As you might imagine, this is taking me in a number of new directions career wise.

It also makes me reflect more on how I am going to stay up to date with the rapidly changing human resources field while simultaneously acquiring new knowledge related to social media.   In an interesting twist, one of the first places I have turned to is the various social media based communities that I have been a part of inside the HR community and different social media communities, such as TalentCulture.

These communities have tremendous value, not only for networking and exposure, but as a social learning resource network.   I have been spending an increasing amount of time in these communities in the last couple of weeks and I don’t see this changing in the near future.  These communities offer incredibly rich and valuable resources.  You will be a more cultured professional in regards to social media for participating in as many of these opportunities as possible. I have created a list of resources below where you can get started. Happy exploring!

Communities that keep me connected:

1. TChat – The intersection of Talent + Workplace Culture – Leadership, Recruiting, HR, Social Media, Innovation.

2. RadChat – recruiting, sourcing and social media all blend here

3. Talent Net Live –  Live Social Recruiting Chat

4. Hire Friday Chat – where jobseekers convene

5. HR Happy Hour – this weekly show focuses on HR, management, leadership, and workforce technology

6. Drive Thru HR – this daily show gives a colorful look at what keeps HR warriors up at night

7. BlogChat – is exactly what it sounds like, a weekly twitter chat about blogging

8. Speakchat -connect speakers, event planners, speaker bureaus, publicists, and clients

Here are a couple of communities I left off the Talent Culture post:   Women of HR, HREvolution

IMAGE VIA webtreats

Enhanced by Zemanta

Day two at #SHRMLEG11: HR has a new attitude on social media

HR interest and use of social media on the rise

Social media panel at #shrmleg11 on Twitpic

There are about 550 people in attendance at the Legislative Conference this year.    They are offering 3-4 concurrent sessions at a time.   This morning, the social media panel hosted by Curtis Midkiff was a standing room only venue.  Along with Fistful of Talent superstar Jessica Lee and Shana Glickfield, the panel offered expert advice and recommendations on dealing with the issues facing the HR profession today.

I am not going to try and recount everything they discussed.   The panel members shared great advice,much of it the same advice any seasoned users of social media in the HR space can provide today.    Things like:

  • Social media is increasingly useful for recruiting and brand promotion.
  • Social media is a great way to promote increased employee engagement.
  • Social media really can’t be locked down or shut off, even when your company fears the productivity drain.

HR pros aren’t resisting social media anymore

What I found refreshing about this session, and the social media sessions from yesterday is a new attitude towards social media on display among the HR practitioners in the room.     There are changes on many fronts.

Attendees at the concurrent sessions are no longer fighting that idea that social media has entered the workplace, and is a topic that they have to deal with as HR professionals.   They are asking questions about developing policies, and how they can get more information about social media.   People are seeking advice on how to put platforms to work, rather than crying in despair that they couldn’t possibly find the time to work with social media.

SHRM is laying down the “SMAC” on social media

Even SHRM is going places.   Curtis discussed the fact that March is social media month at SHRM headquarters.  They are rolling out a social media policy, and providing training on how SHRM employees can become social media ambassadors for the organization.   He also discussed how no one department in SHRM owns social media, but rather they all put the tools to work in different ways.    He also talked about their Social Media Advisory Committee (SMAC) at SHRM, which oversees the development of policy, and provides guidance on other issues.

It is much more fun to write about how our profession is moving forward in using social media than it is to rant about how more people need to step up.

Keep up the good work, HR!


Enhanced by Zemanta

Inside Washington DC at #SHRMLEG11: SHRM, Social Media and Balance

Society for Human Resource Management
Image via Wikipedia

2011 SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference coverage

This is the second straight year that I have attended the SHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference here in Washington D.C.   Last year, when sat down to write about day 1 at the Conference,  I posted a  rant called Inside Washington SC:  SHRM, Social Media and Fearmongering that complained about the very unbalanced and negative sessions that were presented at the Conference.

SHRM and their scary lawyers

In part, I wrote:

You turn to your industry professional organization, and you attend concurrent sessions that offer lawyers discussing those risks.   At this conference, that would be attorneys Michael Cohen and Cynthia Gibson.  Both gave competent presentations on the risk factors employers can face through from social media.  In my opinion, both presentations were designed to incite fear about social media and did very little to explore the potential benefits that social media can offer to companies as a tool.  Frankly, neither presentation did much of anything to put social media in a positive light.

If you were an HR practitioner who is already reluctant or ambivalent about social media, these sessions could easily provide another check point on the litany of excuses.    “Social media is too risky for us to use here at XYZ Company.  I heard it at SHRM!”

This is dangerous and unprofessional.

SHRM: not afraid of social media anymore

I am very pleased to be able to report that this year, the presentation of social media in general is much different.   SHRM has worked hard in the last year to “get” social media, and are making great strides in that respect, internally and externally.  In fact, I am attending a meeting later in the week to assist SHRM in making some changes to SHRM Connect, their on-line social networking community.  More on that later.  Let’s look at the 2011 coverage of social media here at the Legislative conference.  The Hashtag is #SHRMLEG11 if you want to follow the tweet stream.

Social NOTworking — How HR Can Help Protect the Company

This was the AM session I attended today. The presenter was Jody Katz Pritikin, an attorney and consultant from California who according to her web site Proactive Lawsuit Prevention recognized early in her legal career that almost all employment lawsuits are preventable.

In her session, Pritikin said she wanted to provide information on organizations could protect themselves from various types of social media abusers within the company, to help teach HR about the litigation landmines inherent in a workforce which uses or permits social media.
Unlike last year,  the advice from Pritikin was fresh, and acknowledged both the positive and negative aspects of social media.  Her advice was concise, and based in common sense.  Put simply, Pritikin recommends handling social media like any other workplace concern:
  • 1) develop an iron-clad social media  policy
  • 2) communicate the policy to your employees
  • 3) enforce the policy consistently.
Pritikin also provided  a nice overview on several recent social media cases including Pietrylo dealing with employer cybersnooping , Quon dealing with the expectation of privacy and the AMR Facebook case dealing with concerted activity and organizing.
Great job by Pritikin in covering the legal risks of social media in a fair and balanced way.   Kudos to SHRM for coming a long way on this in a year, and for paying attention to the feedback they got on this topic from a lot of people this year.  I’ll see some of you at theSHRM Legislative Conference VIP Reception and
Tweetup at the Library of Congress this evening!
Enhanced by Zemanta

How to not get a job

An HRHistory video episode

What is HRHistory?

HRHistory is a random series of vlogs featuring me riffing on pretty much anything that come to mind on the topics of HR, labor relations and social media.   Some of the stuff will be some of the crazy stories about things I have experienced working in HR for way too freaking long.    This first one is a little long at just over three minutes.  Call it a rookie mistake and cut me some slack. 

The video is called “How to not get a job”.  It is not completely safe for work due to some language which some may find offensive, but it is how the thing went down, so be forewarned!  Now go check out my little tale of bad judgement, crude language, ethical dilemmas, unemployment and HR.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The SHIFT has hit the fan

Weird (Hanson song)
Image via Wikipedia

Social Media Thoughts from HR Florida

MMMBOPP! by Hanson?

No, not that Hanson – Michael Hanson.

Michael Hanson of Jobs2Web gave this presentation on the Social Recruiting experience at the 2010 HR Florida State conference.   Check out what he has to say about how the Shift has hit the fan.

Here are a couple of hints:

  • Recruiting has become incredibly complex.
  • The job search experience SUCKS!
Enhanced by Zemanta