Our Message to Skeptical CMOs: Fresh Ground #25

FG_Podcast_Ep_22.jpgEd Gaskin interviewed Fresh Ground co-founder Todd Van Hoosear for his “Up Close with CMOs” segment on The Pulse Network. Todd gives an overview of how Fresh Ground helps with the Four Cs: Content, Community, Conversation and Conversion. Ed does a great job at playing the skeptical CMO, and what results is, I think, an interesting discussion on social media marketing. We hope you like it.

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Here’s the full video:

Todd’s Pulse Network CMO Interview from Todd Van Hoosear on Vimeo.

Michelle Manafy on Clout vs Klout: Fresh Ground #24

FG_Podcast_Ep_24.jpg In a recent blog post about social media clout (and of course, Klout), Michelle Manafy discussed the difference between IRL clout and real klout. As a person with true clout, who has been in the content industry for a long time, we wondered: does it really matter if you don’t rank as high in the social media world? Does social media influence translate to true influence? Chuck Tanowitz asked these and other questions of Michelle, editorial director for the enterprise group at Information Today, Inc., editor-in-chief for EContent magazine and the co-editor and contributor to the forthcoming book (March 2011) Dancing with Digital Natives: Staying in Step with the Generation That’s Transforming the Way Business is Done.

Some excerpts of the conversation:

“It’s essential [to build our presence up on social media channels]…. [I]f you are not visible in a social media context … you’re invisible, and rapidly becoming obsolete despite a wealth of knowledge.”

“If you can’t be found by search, do you exist? Even if you have the highest quality information, if no one can find it, so what?”

“[Y]ou do have to make yourself [and your content] visible, even if you have assets, knowledge, etc. that you do feel are of high value. If nobody knows about them, their value goes way down [to] near zero.”

“I think we are actually seeing the first generation emerge … in our workforce that believes that transparency is the best way to do business — that by sharing, we further build our reputation and our knowledge and our clout.”

“Most organizations are [still] led by those who were not raised digital — who were not raised in this richly collaborative, open environment. Younger customers expect a level of openness that [some of the older generation just] cannot imagine.”

“If your company were a person, would I friend it?”

“One of my personal mantras is developing business models around interactions, not transactions….”

“[Look at today’s web-native businesses,] in which the entire business model, from the ground up, is based on interaction with consumers or potential consumers; where your innovation, your product development, all of these things are done publicly so that your customer relationships and your marketing exists at every stage, in every corner of your business.”

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TechCrunch, Texting While Driving, Are Hatchbacks Back?: Fresh Ground Podcast #23

The Fresh Ground Podcast will return to its regularly scheduled Mondays (hopefully) next week, but in the meantime, please enjoy Todd’s guest appearance on another great podcast that has resumed after an even longer break than our summer one: PRobecast. Launched under Doug Haslam’s watch at Topaz Partners, Tech PR Gems grew to become a well respected podcast before suffering from “I have a day job” syndrome, as many podcasts do.

PRobecast episode #91 featured special guest Todd Van Hoosear along with Topazers Alison Raymond, Joanna DiTrapano, Tony Sapienza and Evan Siff talking about the recent purchase AOL made, content curation, texting while driving, hatchbacks, etc. Here are the issues we covered:

Has Social Network Content Creation Plateaued – Research from Forrester is saying that while social media use is on the rise, social media content creation has shown no measureable growth over the past year. Are you a creator or a curator?

When it’s the Case of TMI, Curation is Key – Paul Gillin recently had an article in B2B Magazine talking about the importance of not just creation, but curation. There is almost too much information out there – and to find the important things, you must find ways to sort through all the information coming in.

AOL’s New Purchase: TechCrunch – AOL bought TechCrunch for around 40 million dollars. What does this mean for the future of TechCrunch. Can they really be unbiased when owned by a public company?

Bye, Bye Texting While Driving – There has been a lot of discussion over the texting ban. 30 states and the District of Columbia have banned it. However, research has been finding that since the ban, crash rates rose as people where trying to go “under the radar” while still texting. Living in a society that is always connected, what do you think of these bans?

Can RIM’s PlayBook Run Up Against the iPad? – RIM recently announced a new tablet called the PlayBook. This seems to be the most similar competitor to the iPad. Do you think the PlayBook has a chance against the giant that is Apple?

Are Hatchbacks Cool? – Ford has reported that 60-percent buyers are opting for the new Ford Fiesta hatchback, stating that just over 8-percent of cars last year were hatchbacks. Is the hatchback a new trend?

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The Promise of Social CRM: Fresh Ground Podcast #22

The Fresh Ground Podcast is back after our extended Summer Break. Here is an excerpt from the first part of Todd’s presentation on the promise of social CRM at PodCamp Boston 5, along with the slides from his session.

Todd spoke on a number of issues facing businesses looking to get a unified view of their customer across email, CRM and social media. It’s a dream that is not too far off according to many analysts and professionals watching the social CRM space.

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Stephen Baker: Fresh Ground Podcast #21

FG_Podcast_Ep_21.jpgI first met Steve Baker several years ago when he was working on his book The Numerati. This was after he had already co-authored an influential cover story on blogs for BusinessWeek that acted as a wakeup call to corporate America. The message: ignore blogs (and social media) at your peril.

His later cover story on math lead to a book contract for the Numerati, for which he took a sabbatical from his long-time weekly reporting job. Of course, he had to come back to BusinessWeek before setting off again, but this time the decision was made for him. Bloomberg had purchased the venerable publication from McGraw-Hill and changes there included massive layoffs.

Steve now blogs on his own site is writing a new book, which is due out in early 2011. During his interview with us via Skype, he talked about leaving BusinessWeek and starting a new phase of journalistic life. Among the interesting quotes from the interview:

“I didn’t enjoy my time back [at BusinessWeek after the first book-leave] as much, in part because the magazine was failing and it’s no fun to be part of sinking ship.”

“The money [at Bloomberg] comes from the data, journalism by itself couldn’t create the kind of empire they have”

“The advertisers can tune into your own interest and your behaviors, learn about you and target you with advertising, so they get to know you much better than an advertiser in a print publication.”

“I think you need to accompany book writing these days with blogging and keeping up with people on Twitter and other more social media platforms. And then once you do a book then perhaps you can get more revenue by doing things like speaking.”

“The one positive that comes out of [the changes in journalism] is that there is more opportunity for people in their 20s because organizations are getting rid of people like me in their 40s and 50s.”

“Even writing about IBM… I’m benefiting from IBM’s own publicity and in a sense I’m part of it. That puts me in a different role and I just have to be clear with people about what my possible conflicts are… but it’s something that we all deal with in one way or another because we have to find new revenue streams.”

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Michelle Perroni on Job Hunting in 2010: Fresh Ground #20

FG_Podcast_Ep_20.jpgMichelle Perroni had a PR challenge: she had to sell a young client to a marketplace filled with news, noise and more noise. Who was her client? Herself! Michelle had recently graduated from Brigham Young University – Idaho, and found herself job hunting for public relations agency jobs in a saturated market. How to stand out? Her tactic: take out an ad on Facebook.

Fresh Ground principal Todd Van Hoosear, not one to click on many ads, was intrigued enough by her approach to click on her Facebook ad, and wondered if it had led to any job leads or other opportunities. They spoke yesterday by phone from her home in the Houston area about her search, social networking and public relations.

While the ad hasn’t led to an offer yet, she’s netted nearly 400,000 impressions, 761 click, and emails from all over (including Fresh Ground and Edelman, among many others) after her $100 five-day run. She targeted based on interests (e.g., PRSA, social media, journalism) and agencies. If you have a job for her, tell her I sent you!

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Chuck Hester on LinkedIn for Media Relations: Fresh Ground #19

In this second part of a recording of Chuck Hester’s presentation on LinkedIn success secrets from Newcomm Forum 2010, Chuck shares some great tips on using LinkedIn for media relations, among other great tips. Chuck Hester is a LinkedIn power user with over 10,000 connections on the business networking site and the author of “Linking in to Pay it Forward: Changing the Value Proposition in Social Media.” He serves as director of communications at email marketing firm iContact.

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Our opening music is “D.I.Y.” by A Band Called Quinn from the album “Sun Moon Stars” and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

Chuck Hester on Being a LinkedIn Power User: Fresh Ground #18

Chuck Hester is a true LinkedIn power user, with over 10,000 connections on the business networking site. He is also the author of “Linking in to Pay it Forward: Changing the Value Proposition in Social Media” and director of communications at email marketing firm iContact. Fresh Ground Principal Todd Van Hoosear got a chance to listen in on — and record — Chuck’s presentation on LinkedIn success secrets at Newcomm Forum 2010. Here are excerpts from the first part of Chuck’s session, where he shares tips on getting started and connecting on LinkedIn.

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Our opening music is “D.I.Y.” by A Band Called Quinn from the album “Sun Moon Stars” and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

Francesca Karpel on Bridging Employees and Customers: Fresh Ground #17

Francesca Karpel heads up internal communications at NetApp, a company that has twice been named the #1 Great Place to Work. She connected up with Fresh Ground principal Todd Van Hoosear at the 2010 NewComm Forum to talk about social media and corporate culture.

Some highlights of the conversation:

“Our vision for online community was to … flatten the company if you will, so that it didn’t matter where you were in the world, what function you were in, what level of the organization you were in — that you would have equal access to other people in the company to ask or answer questions, to really transcend so many of the barriers that create silos.”

“As I started to look at [flattening the organization], I discovered that there were a number of pilots going on within the company testing social media, community, blogging, [and how we could help partners and customers. I] asked those folks if they would like to be part of my initiative to find a platform that we could use internally, with a common hope that we could find a platform that would work internally and externally, but no promises.”

“We launched both our internal communities and our external communities at the same time as we launched our [new] brand back in March of 2008…. What this allowed us to do is to offer both our customers and our employees a functionality that they didn’t have before of immediately asking and getting questions answered.”

“Most of our communities are actually public communities, so whether or not you’re a part of, say, our services team, if a conversation, if content in that area interests you, you can search for it…. We really only have private communities when there is a business reason for that community to be private — where there’s a need for confidentiality.”

“We’ve created [an] environment which leans to being very open. Actually, the very first employee who commented in our NetApp Live … internal community was someone from Singapore. And what we found with other initiatives is that people who are from outside the U.S. are some of the early commentors.”

“I completely respect the concept and the practicality of a firewall to protect data that needs to be protected. But not all information needs to be protected.”

“We’re using the Jive Software platform, and their most recent upgrade includes a concept of ‘bridging’ [both external and internal communities while respecting confidentiality]. The bridging would allow an employee to see public content … with the same search that they would use … in the internal community.”

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Our opening music is “D.I.Y.” by A Band Called Quinn from the album “Sun Moon Stars” and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

Manish Mehta on the Social Grid, Shiny Objects & Three Mile Island: Fresh Ground #16

Manish Mehta is Vice President, Global Online for Dell Online, where he heads up strategy, social media, community and search worldwide. As one of the founders of Dell.com, he has been a key player in Dell’s evolution. This is the second excerpt from Manish’s keynote at last month’s NewComm Forum, in which he draws parallels between the rise of social media and the rise of nuclear power. In this part, he describes the value of social grid and the risk of shiny object syndrome, and asks us what our Three Mile Island will be.

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Our opening music is “D.I.Y.” by A Band Called Quinn from the album “Sun Moon Stars” and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.