Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 at 8:06 AM
This fall is my family’s 14th and final year at the elementary school where all three of my kiddos attended for at least five years of their lives. It’s going to be tough to leave because many staff members are like family. Volunteering at the middle and high schools aren’t the same as at the elementary school. So I’ve been making an extra effort to be more involved because it’s my last chance as a parent.
A moment of insanity … volunteering to do the newsletter
I went a little crazy and volunteered to do the PTA’s newsletter. I knew I could do the newsletter, but the time commitment was a concern. (I know how to say no. Yes, really, I do!) It took a lot of time to do the just-released first issue, but it’ll go faster next time now that I have a template for it. (I hope!)
To my surprise, the raves started pouring in. I couldn’t imagine why because previous editors did a nice job with theirs. Folks said they appreciated the extra effort with the interactive features, such as linking to parts of the PTA website and adding bookmarks that you can click and it takes you to the related page. They also liked the editorial calendar with due dates, list of articles in past issues month-by-month and easy online access to the calendar.
One issue down. Eight more to go. I hope I can keep this up.
Lagniappe: Do more for others
Lagniappe [lan-yap] n. 1. Small gift given to customer with a purchase. 2. An unexpected bonus.
Employers and clients hire folks to do a job, provide a service or create a product. They also gain our expertise and experience even if it comes from an unrelated field. That’s part of providing good customer service. Part of our job is to speak up when a manager leans toward a decision that may not be the best one for the company. Sometimes you have to be proactive and say, “I don’t recommend this route because of XYZ. The better route would be LMN because … .”
You inform. You offer solutions. You explain why. You respect the final decision. That’s all you can do.
You can also look for ways to help improve the business. For example, one client’s website had a bug and his staff couldn’t fix it. I went in, played with it, harumphed a few times and finally fixed the little bugger. (Ha! I’m reading “Ender’s Game.”) What I do for the client? I’m an editor and writer. He didn’t hire me for web design or website management. (I got my start as a writer by writing about web design.) It’s a skill I happen to have that turned into a lagniappe.
It’s not just for surprising and delighting clients and employers. You can apply it to all parts of your life.
What’s your lagniappe? What are some ways to do a little something extra for clients?
Thursday, July 11th, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Like most of you, I rarely pay attention to commercials. (What about during the Super Bowl? Nah. Not too interested.) I zip through them. (Thank you, DVR!) If I can’t skip the commercials, I use the time to catch up on reading or play Fairway Solitaire (darn you, Gutsy McDivot!) on my phone. But then I caught a woman talking with her hands. Stop. Rewind. Play. As a deaf person, I couldn’t help but be interested in what Mary had to say.
This speaks volumes about relevancy, or lack thereof. As you watch the video, think about what type of company could be behind it. (The video has subtitles, but you can jump to the script.)
What did you think when you found out the company? Watching this made me think about bullying and how deaf folks want to be viewed as a person like everyone else. Maybe it was a public service announcement or an ad for a nonprofit organization.
It took three views before I could remember the company behind the ad. First time, I couldn’t recall. Second time, right type of business, but not the name. Third time, I wrote it down.
Mary said that people who are deaf want to have friends and be treated with respect. Agreed. And then what? It had no closure, no real point. How was this relevant to viewers and the advertiser’s business? Buy insurance, get friends and respect?
Relevance isn’t just about the audience. There needs to be some connection between the content and the business. This video showed how the lack of relevancy made it harder to remember the company.
Granted, the company attempted to tell a compelling story … but the story didn’t go anywhere, showed no connection to the business and failed to be relevant to the audience.
This video reiterates the importance for marketers and advertisers to create content that’s valuable and relevant to their business and, most importantly, to their target market. An Ascend2 “Email Marketing Strategy Outlook Report” survey says that most effective tactic to achieve email marketing objectives is “creating relevant and compelling content.” And yet it’s also the most difficult tactic to execute.
Why does it matter? When something isn’t relevant, it won’t connect with the audience and be memorable. It also affects a company’s reputation. Content marketing is rife with examples of irrelevancy.
What did you think of the ad? Can you recall a time when you came across something that was not relevant to you? What other ways do companies fail to be relevant? Please let me know your thoughts in comments. Love hearing from y’all!
My name is Mary and this is my aha moment.
I think we spend too much time fingerpointing and saying, “Oh, that’s their problem.” It’s just so awful.
Deaf people are just like people who can hear. They want a family, they want friends, they want the opportunity to go out and experience various things and they want respect.
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