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Posts tagged ‘personal branding’

[infographic] How to improve your personal Google rank

Almost everyone googled himself/herself quite a few times. But were you happy with where your name appeared in your Google search results?

Each day, one billion names are Googled. Unfortunately for many, half of all people don’t find themselves in the first page of results when they Google their own name. Only 2% of individuals own the entire first page of their results.

How you can improve this ? Take a look at this infographic. (more…)

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Success – Seven Deadly Sins

Better tomorrow,
PR Pret-a-Porter.

Eddie Stobart: the history of a British Brand

For many people, lorry legend Edward Stobart changed the face of freight and built up one of Britain’s biggest brands. But how did he create such a phenomenon?

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Stobart Group Ltd (trading as Stobart Group) is a large British multimodal logistics company, with interests in Transport and Distribution, Estates, Infrastructure and Civils, Air and Biomass, through operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium. The company is incorporated in Guernsey but has operational head offices in Carlisle, Cumbria and Widnes,Cheshire but hopes eventually to re-locate its Carlisle, Cumbria offices to a new, purpose-built building at Carlisle Lake District Airport, where it owns a 150-year lease expiring in 2150.

Started by ‘Steady’ Eddie Stobart in the 1950s as an agricultural business in Cumbria, the company was incorporated as Eddie Stobart Ltd. on 23 November 1970 as a haulage firm, eventually passing to his son, Edward Stobart. After a series of complex takeovers, the Stobart company has developed from a haulage company to an intermodal logistics company, achieving a stock market listing without an IPO through a reverse takeover of the Westbury Property Fund. Following the step down of Edward in 2003, the Stobart family is now represented in the business through Edward’s brother William Stobart.

In 1976 Edward and the fleet of eight lorries moved to Carlisle to be closer to the M6 motorway.

oana vasiliuA lot of hard work, never declining an order, and a virtual paranoia about keeping his lorries, characterised by their Tautliner bodies, immaculately clean eventually paid off, and Edward started to get orders from larger businesses. One of the key success factors for the company was its specific emphasis on building a strong reputation and corporate image. For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, if any driver was caught not wearing a tie while on duty, he or she could face disciplinary action. Similarly, the company had a policy that all drivers must wave back and honk their horn in the traditional truck-driver fashion when signalled by a passer-by or “Eddie spotter” to do so.

Other key elements in its growth at this time were the introduction of a new management team in 1986 and the opening, on 1 April 1987, of its first depot in the English Midlands .

If cleaning up the industry’s image was Edward Stobart’s triumph, then giving lorries female names was his masterstroke.

The first was named Twiggy, after the model, and later there was a Tammy and a Dolly, after singers Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton.

Today, the fleet includes a Laura Abbey, an Angela Rachel and an Elizabeth Jane – with the privilege of naming new lorries being that of official Stobart fan club members, albeit after a three-year wait.

So how did such a simple marketing tool – female names and fleet numbers – become such a big phenomenon?

Steve Hayes, editor of Trucking magazine, says an off-the-cuff remark by a BBC Radio 2 broadcaster about 10-15 years ago was one of the catalysts.

“It was just a remark on a breakfast show, but it seemed to fire imaginations,” he says.

Glenn Patterson, marketing manager of the fan club, says Eddie Stobart: Trucks & Trailers, on Channel 5, also boosted the fan base.

But branding expert Jonathan Gabay says sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.

“Stobart is not just names, it is the people behind the names. It’s a brand for the people, being driven by the people.”

But he says Edward Stobart was really “quite exceptional” in what he achieved.

“Very few brands become legend in their own brand lifetime. And this wasn’t the Apple iPad, a cool, technology brand. The idea of a haulage company capturing the imagination is quite remarkable.”

By 2000 the enlarged Eddie Stobart Group Ltd. consisted of three divisions: Eddie Stobart Ltd., Eddie Stobart International and Eddie Stobart Promotions. Today, there are about 2,200 Eddie Stobart trucks on the road and the firm’s official fan club boasts no fewer than 25,000 members.

“He wanted to smarten up the image of truck drivers and the industry – and to his credit, he did,” says Mr Dossetter.

 

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

 

Social media: limit or limitless ?

As company, do you need one Facebook account connected with one Twitter account or you need more? Maybe two, three, four ? How much is too much asks David Rogers in Bnet.

What’s his answer?

By now, most businesses know they should have a presence on Facebook or Twitter. But the more digitally-savvy businesses often ask, How many? Should you have only one Facebook page? Or multiple ones?

While some brands, like JetBlue, are represented by a single corporate Facebook page and a single Twitter account, other brands, like Dell, seem to sprout new Twitter accounts and Facebook pages every day, one for every department or division. Does this make them more efficient? When is it too much–or too little?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple one-size-fits-all answer. The best approach depends on your business, customers, brands and overall media strategy.

When One Voice Is Best

The benefits of a single, unified presence on a given social media platform are clear. A single account makes it easier to build a sizable audience. It may help focus your social media efforts (especially if you are a small or medium-sized business). It will provide a clear presence for your brand, and will avoid confusion among your customers about where to go to find you online.

When You May Want to Manage Multiple Accounts

However, there are many cases why multiple voices may be more effective for achieving a business’ social media goals.

Following are 7 reasons why a business may do better with multiple accounts:

1. Different Business Units. Many larger companies are structured around distinct business units that serve customers with different needs. In these cases, it can be much more valuable to the customer to follow or connect with a social media presence that is specific to their own needs. Dell, for example, has separate Twitter or Facebook accounts for its enterprise (@dellenterprise), education (@dellEDU), and small business (@dellSMBnews) operating units. That way each account can provide content and interaction that is more relevant to the right customers. SimilarlyGE has separate accounts for GE capital, water, aviation, appliances, and lighting. And at Columbia University, where I teach, there are separate accounts for the Schools of Journalism, Law, and Business.

2. Different Geography & Languages. Businesses operating in different countries may find a need for distinct social media accounts, especially to suit different languages of customers there. Dell has separate Facebook pages for India, Thailand, and Malaysia, among others. The Johnnie Walker spirits brand has a single master Facebook page that links to 32 international Facebook pages, allowing for content that is customized and in the local language: Mexico (Spanish), Brasil (Portuguese), Israel (Hebrew), and others.

3. Different Content Topics. Media companies and other idea-focused businesses that are producing a great deal of content for their customers may want to set up different social media accounts around different topics, so that customers can select those which are most relevant to them. The New York Timesruns numerous Twitter and Facebook accounts that spotlight the content of its various sections: Politics, Science, Travel, Food, Music, or even the Crossword Puzzle. Similarly, a university may set up separate accounts focused on atheletics, arts events, career placement, or even specific events or conferences.

4. Different Local Branches. Some businesses that have a brick-and-mortar retail presence may benefit from separate social media accounts for local branches. Whole Foods combines an overall corporate presence in social media with numerous accounts for individual branches (from Detroit and Chicago, to my hometown market in Montclair, NJ). This allows customers to get localized information about events, store news, and special deals happening at their own branch.

5. Different Social Media Strategies. Separate accounts can also be valuable when a business is trying to use the same social media platform for different strategic aims. Comcast uses one Twitter account as a customer service channel, and another one to share information on its community investment program. GE’s @GEreports provides news on technical innovations to its investor community, whereas accounts like @GEresearchjobs focus on hiring. Dell has run a very successful standalone Twitter account focused on sales of discounted inventory, @delloutlet.

6. Unique Voices within the Company. For companies with social media-savvy employees, and a great many customers seeking to interact online, it is sometimes beneficial to add personal corporate accounts in social media. These are accounts that are named by the company, but identified by a particular employee (from Zappos’s CEO Tony Hsieh, to customer service specialist @ComcastBill).

7. Unique Sub-Brands with Strong Personalities. If a company’s product brands, or sub-brands, have a strong enough personality of their own, customers may be more interested in connecting with them in social media, than with the corporate master brand. (Would you sooner “like” the Dove brand, or its parent Unilever corp?) Chevrolet has its own accounts on Twitter and Facebook, but also maintains accounts for Chevy Trucks, Chevy Camaro, Corvette, and the new all-electric Chevy Volt. The typical customer for Chevy Trucks and the Volt are likely quite different.

Making Sense to Your Customer

In essence, the decision of one or many voices within social media comes down to an understanding of your brand architecture (are you seen as one company? Or a collection of exciting brands?), and of your customer base (is it relatively homogeneous? Or do you have distinct networks of customers, which don’t overlap very much?).

If you do have good reason to establish separate social media accounts, and the resources to support them, make sure you keep them clear for your customer. The goal should be to avoid confusion, while allowing for more relevant and meaningful interactions with customers that build long term relationships and add value to your business.

 

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Personal branding – Job hunting (part 2)

oana vasiliuI was presenting here one of the most creative CVs I’ve ever seen. Now I’ve found something new at #truRomania, one of the most interactive HR un-conferences from the world. (more…)

Presidential reading list

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I just found on the Internet what president of US, Barack Obama, has read during these years of presidency. Let’s take a look: (more…)

Social Media Jobs Titles

Almost everyone knows what Internet is. I assume that almost everyone has an idea of what social media means, or have heart that it is a new type of communication and expressing.

oana vasiliuAccording to Wikipedia, social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue.

Social media can take on many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microbloggings, wikis, podcasts, photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. By applying a set of theories in the field of media research (social presence, media richness) and social processes (self-presentation, self-disclosure) Kaplan and Haenlein created a classification scheme for different social media types in their Business Horizons article published in 2010. According to Kaplan and Haenlein there are six different types of social media: collaborative projects, blogs and microblogs, content communities, social networking sites, virtual game worlds, and virtual social worlds. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing to name a few. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms.

Here are some examples offered by Wikipedia:

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Communication

Collaboration/authority building

Multimedia

Reviews and opinions

Entertainment

Brand monitoring

For all these sites and online platforms, someone invented a job which is traditionally known as: social media something. What I found today via Linkedin, was this funny article written by Sam Fiorella, one of the editors of PR Daily. You can find the whole article here.

In my business and online travels, I’ve seen an alarming trend in the manufacturing of unusual job titles. Someone has to stand up and say, “Enough!” So, I’m going to call out the 12 most ridiculous social media job titles, in no particular order, in hopes of curbing this trend.

1. Web Alchemist

2. Head of Interactions

3. Ant Colony Foreman

4. Chief People Herder

5. Chatter Monkey

6. Community Data Guerrilla

7. Social Media Guru

8. Social Media Swami

9. Public Happy Maker

10. Social Media Evangelist

11. Social Media Rockstar

12. Social Media Missionary

You’ll notice that I left out the ever popular: “Social Media Expert.” It was omitted purposely. It’s simply too ridiculous to make even this list. The reality is Social Media is simply too new and evolving too quickly for anyone to legitimately be called an expert. Even if it wasn’t, a “social media expert” is akin to being a “talking expert.” It has no real meaning.

Hope you enjoy it!

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Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Pronunciation and spelling – big issues

oana vasiliuWe have to admit that not everyone has a natural language talent and can pronounce correctly names, places, locations, especially if these aren’t in the native language.

Spelling city offers us some scientific explications, which are extremely useful.

The importance of spelling has been questioned in recent years, as word processing programs are equipped with spell checkers, and some educational reformists have suggested that focusing on spelling holds back the creative processes of writing.  Reading Specialist Susan Jones, M.Ed., has researched how spelling improves reading and writing fluency and how it improves vocabulary and comprehension.  Professor Jones helps Vocabulary and SpellingCity.com as a member of the newly-formed educational advisory committee.  Below is her recent paper debunking some common myths about spelling and helping to establish the importance of spelling in education.

The Importance of Spelling
by Susan Jones, M. Ed.  2/2009

Spelling over the last few years has been the subject of a commonly mailed piece of Internet “wisdom.” And I quote:

 Aoccdrnig to rscheearch by the Lngiusiitc Dptanmeret at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.Translation: According to research by the Linguistic Department at Cambridge University, it doesn’t matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be at the right place.  The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it without a problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole.
This paragraph has been widely circulated on the Internet since 2003, and it is still referred to, either as a point of interest or to defend inconsistent (poor) spelling, or choosing not to teach it. Is it because it rings of the truth that it makes scholars and educators cringe? Hardly. Among other things, there was no such research, and the words in the passage don’t follow the rule of “only the first and last words matter.”  It’s a myth. It is fluent readers who can figure out this highly predictable text – and the path to fluent reading includes a firm foundation in the sounds represented by letters and their spelling .
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In journalism and PR, these issues are extremely important: your mistakes are seen by thousands if not millions of persons. Some of these mistakes are drastically punished, from cuts of salary to losing their jobs.

Online TV, in the breaking news section, is the most predictable place to make mistakes. You may have a prompter, but transmitting live can be sometimes overwhelming, especially if the subject is very juicy.

Please take a look on Obama vs Osama:

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Office dress code

It’s summer time for a while now. And it is gonna be much more hotter than these days, so we have to dress properly for the office, not for a walk on the beach. I know that Forty-degree weather and a suit jacket don’t exactly mix and match, but neither do guys in shorts and corporate boardrooms. Not to mention the fact that, at any given point during the summer, it’s about 20 degrees cooler in the average office building than it is outside.

I think it is possible to create a summer work wardrobe both comfortable and professional. Resume Bear offers us some great tips:

1. No flip flops: Ladies, this faux-pas is typically committed by you, so listen up: “Flip flops are beach wear which transpired into ‘commuter-wear’ and then slowly into office wear,” says Lizandra Vega, author of “The Image of Success: Make a Great Impression and Land the Job You Want.”

Not only do they look unprofessional, but their namesake “flip-flop” noise is an easy way to drive your co-workers nuts every time you walk by their desks, so opt for strappy sandals, espadrilles or ballet flats instead.

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2. Choose light colors: “Lighter color garments help you keep cool during hot summer months,” Vega says. “Dark colors absorb heat, while light colors reflect heat.” That said; make sure the color isn’t too light. See below.

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3. No peep shows: Summer clothing is often made of lightweight, lightly colored fabric. This can make for a comfortable commute, but it can also make for awkward over exposure. “Avoid apparel in fabrics that are so lightweight that they are see-through,” Vega says.

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4. Wear an undershirt: It may seem counter-intuitive to add an extra layer when it’s hot out, but (men especially), if you don’t already wear an undershirt, you might want to start now. The extra layer will help absorb sweat during a mid-summer commute.

“Wearing a cotton undershirt actually helps men feel cooler as it will absorb perspiration,” Vega says. “[Plus],if a lighter fabric shirt is chosen, the undershirt will prevent it from being see-through.”

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5. For women, dresses are best: Women are at a serious advantage when it comes to dressing for summer at the office for one simple reason: They can wear dresses.

“Dresses are a great option because it avoids having to wear a jacket,” Vega says. “A wrap dress, a sheath or shift dress are appropriate options.”

If you will be forgoing the jacket, look for styles with short or three-quarter length sleeves, even sleeveless if you feel comfortable. Tank-style dresses are too casual for the office without a jacket or cardigan, though.

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6. Keep an extra layer at work: Women can keep a wrap or lightweight, neutral-colored cardigan in their desks in case the air conditioning is kicked into overdrive. Men can do the same with a blazer or sweater.

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

Personal branding – job hunting (part 1)

oana vasiliuWhat would you do for the job you like most ? How will you impress the HR team ? What is the difference between you and other candidates ? In other words, how do you promote yourself ?

Last week, it was a viral news among HR specialists about a excellent-creative CV. I wonder who gave him the job he wanted most.

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You can find more information here. Thanks Ruxandra for the idea.

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

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