Get @TheCityHourApp For Social Networking

Soulati-Screen-Shot.jpgI recently had the distinct pleasure  to speak with Lance Seymour, chief marketing officer with CityHour, in this Google+ HangOut On Air. During that session, I also got to to send Alex Lubinsky, founder of CityHour, in the Ukraine some big love from we in the U.S. See what we get to do in sponsored posts? We can send hugs and kisses on a personal note across countries and oceans to those in strife. Big XO to you, Alex!

Now back to scheduled programming…

Hear About CityHour Here

CityHour is a new social networking tool with a big vision.

Have you ever traveled and had downtime in an airport or wandered aisles at a tradeshow wishing you were meeting someone instead? How about meeting someone totally new who also wants to do the same?

That’s what CityHour app does for iPhone users (coming soon to Android). Within minutes, and I mean minutes, you can hook into peeps you don’t know with your same interests and make connections happen. I’m impressed, and after seeing what Lance has to say below, you are going to be impressed, too!

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Politicians Need Message Mapping

Soulati-Message-Mapping.jpbDuring election season, I usually get a call from several attorneys seeking marketing services for their bid to become a municipal judge or other position as an elected official. When the call came in recently for this same circumstance, I informed the caller I would consider adding my hat to his ring only after we executed a message mapping exercise.

Politicians need message mapping just like other business leaders do, too.

Message Maps Are Critical Tools

I always say, every company needs a message map. That goes the same for solopreneurs and especially politicians.

When a politician is running for an office associated with a party, a message map is the critical first step to ensure everyone in the campaign tracks with the views of the candidate.

Imagine if a candidate steps in front of a camera for an interview and answers a question with something out of left field no one was prepared for? Enter damage control! Call out the crisis communications team!

Executives of companies are no different than politicians when it comes to media interviews. They, too, require a message map, media training (with the map), and role playing to prepare for tough questions from journalists. If the CEO of a company does not heed counsel from the public relations team and goes off on a tangent that is off message, a lot of damage can be done with comments out of context. We have all seen how politicians fare in these circumstances, and it ain’t pretty. [Read more...]

What’s Your Marketing Value Chain?

In a 20-minute presentation I gave yesterday…do you know how hard it is to deliver merely 20 minutes of value?…to some small business owners, I spoke on two cogs in the marketing value chain.

I delivered a caveat that this marketing value chain was of my creation with a PR core. I have no idea if there is such a thing as a value chain for marketers, but it sounded good enough to put into a diagram.

The Soulati Marketing Value Chain

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Soulati Marketing Value Chain


Because I have 30 years as a public relations marketer,  I know this hybrid approach to a blend of public relations and marketing is spot on. It’s what I do for my clients, and it’s what I listen for when speaking with businesses that may need my services.

Thus, in my presentation, I said that message mapping was the most critical aspect of the marketing value chain. Not only have I rebranded myself as a Message Mapping Master, I firmly believe this exercise is highly required by everyone who makes business happen. If you want to ask why, I have a new autoresponder series in the sidebar of my blog on top. Please sign up, and I proudly admit writing these myself (it was a true feat).

Get A FREE Message Mapping Book

If you stop by my site, you’ll also see the opportunity to download my free Message Mapping: Why You Need It & How To Do It ebook.

Promoting myself in this post is NOT the goal; however, I’m so excited with my new site and rebranding (it’s just been a short week!) that I had to plug a bit. [Read more...]

Message Mapping: Why Your Business Needs It

Message-mapping-book-Soulati.jpgThat word “messaging?” It’s been around a really long time, born in traditional marketing and public relations. And, you know what? It remains as important today as before, perhaps even more so.

Technology has disrupted how business markets to customers and how sales teams build relationships, too. It’s ever more critical to ensure your messaging is tight to inform your business story to everyone outside your company.

I am a message mapping master.

For 20 years, I have been standing in front of businesses of all sizes to help them fine tune messages to position the company with authority.

Not much has changed with the process I use to facilitate a message mapping session. What has changed is the clutter. Companies, solopreneurs, small firms, business units, sales teams, and corporations are struggling to deliver a clear and simple message. [Read more...]

There Is No Online Invasion Of Privacy!

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

Last week I read an article by Matt Wilson via PR Daily. Titled, “Microsoft reportedly accessed blogger’s email to trace rogue employee”, the company was called out legally snooping in the blogger’s email, despite its Hotmail privacy policy.

Long story short, Microsoft is reviewing and “evolving” their policies after being reminded of its extreme criticism of the big G.

At the end of Matt’s article, he asks you if Microsoft’s promise to be more careful is enough. GO THERE to post your answer. [Read more...]

What’s Happening With @Soulati?

Jon-Buscall.jpgHas anyone missed me? I know a few have and thanks for the well wishes. But, guess what? I’ve not been sick; thank my fortunate stars.

Where I have been is under a rock in the dark trying to muddle through an intense time at my blogging house and for my brand. It’s what every company must experience. You can call it transformation, and it’s a journey that takes awhile…a long while, with lots of introspection and grappling with the demons of the past that form you into today’s persona.
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As a result of this experience, my blog has been basically dark since prior to January. I can’t say I’ve missed worrying about what to write on a near-daily basis, but I’m feeling the absence of expressing myself and communing with you, too.

Today, I can honestly say, I see the light. It’s just around the bend, but
having brand new digs is making the light waves brighter.

I need to give my second child (to be born in my next life) to one astonishing businessman, friend, colleague, and partner by name of Dr. Jon Buscall of Jontus Media. Jon is the consummate digital marketer, a brutal editor, and a whiz at website design. His team, anchored by an adorable man named Juanjo, made my new website and me simply gorgeous.

Hire Jon Buscall of Jontus Media

Please hire Jon Buscall for ALL your digital marketing needs and to assess your future journey with digital. Better yet, hit this landing page and schedule a free Marketing Intensive with him!

Essentially, long story short, the lights are back on.

  • I have a new website — it’s all mobile, responsive and built for conversions.
  • I am doing digital marketing the right way because I hired Jon Buscall.
  • I have a project manager on my team who is also the consummate writer and knows my fears and challenges about failure in Jenn Whinnem. Tweet Jenn @TheJenn, but don’t hire her, she’s mine.
  • I give a mega shout out to Cathy Tetrick for spending a Saturday as my photographer.
  • I have a new auto-responder series I wrote all by myself, and you can sign up for it via my blog page right here in the sidebar. (That was an astonishing feat, mind you!)
  • I am building my email list because the experts said I have to; so, if you don’t mind, sign up and see how it’s done!

I’m so happy in my new house that just launched not even 24 hours ago!!

Find any kinks? Please do share. It’s always great to have fresh eyes on a labor of love. And speaking of love, I have missed you and love you to pieces.

In gratitude…

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How Do You Network? There’s An App For That!

CityHour-App.pngNetworking is a topic everyone loves to chat about, and there’s no limit to how people claim they do it well. In an unsponsored post I wrote here about the importance of networking for young PR peeps, I commiserate with everyone about the no-fun feelings for the rubber-chicken circuit.

In this sponsored post (everyone get that?), we’re going to look at a new app called CityHour that takes networking to a new dimension. I’m jazzed about this one, too, and I’ll tell you why in a moment.

First, do you read the Wall Street Journal? I’m still a print junkie and read it daily. I was so surprised to see a story about networking featuring Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media guru and angel investor, touting the demise of the business card! Yes, another obituary!

Gary was making huge fun of the people who toss their business cards out and believe it’s networking. You know the types, right? When you’re at a tradeshow or luncheon with strangers and someone pops out a business card and deals them around to everyone whether you asked for one or not.

The CityHour App

Now we get to the juice. How often are you in a city on business and have time to kill? How about that always-customary two-hour layover in the airport? If you’re anything like me, you would prefer to use that time more wisely and meet up with someone to cultivate a bit of business.

I have never known the best way to manage that until now.

The CityHour business networking app culls contacts from your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. It searches for people within a geographic range of you as well as in similar fields.

Upon my first review of the contacts it suggested for me, everyone was brand new and there was a huge variety of people I could schedule for a networking meeting on my calendar.

It’s one of the easiest apps to work with…if you follow this blog, you would’ve seen my post called, I Am App Challenged! (LOL).

What you need to do is download the app from the iTunes app store. It’s free and installs in about one minute. You’re ready to go with a log in to either Facebook or LinkedIn, and then the fun begins!

I’m pretty excited about using my time more wisely when I’m traveling. What I’m going to check out though is whether I can also set up a business networking meeting with someone from the CityHour suggested stream and meet with them for the purpose of my second blog post in the series.

That will be my experiment, because why wouldn’t I also want to incorporate this into my weekly business development planning? Instead of a cold call or tossing a business card around the table, I can have CityHour make me a few suggestions and make a connection that way!

Stay tuned for how that works out; I’m eager to see that, too!

Should Brand Influencers Feel Guilt?

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Dino Dogan owns Triberr shirts in every color; psst, he also owns Triberr.

Professional bloggers toil day in and day out to develop a brand and solid content people want to read. My blogiversary is this month; we’ve been married four years, this blog and me.

In the life of a blogger, that’s nearly a lifetime. Along that journey, the word monetization pops up and there begins the need to get paid for these smarts.

Thanks to Triberr’s new direction offering bloggers an opportunity to join campaigns, write a few blog posts and get paid, we now have that option.
Bloggers apply, the application is reviewed, a blogger is selected, blog posts are written and published, and a fee is exchanged. Cool, eh?

So, why is there guilt associated with that?

Anyone else feel a twinge?

Dino Dogan said it best to me, “When bloggers rep for a brand, it’s not congruent with self perception.” What he means is we all have worked for free for so long that when the opportunity to get paid comes along there’s some concern about “Am I worthy? What will my community think?

I think he’s right…if I get paid to put up a post and have to add the disclaimer, “hey, this is a sponsored post!” there’s some discomfort about that, like I should feel badly I’ve been hired to write for a brand that needs help.

What I’m here to say and help each of us get over that hump of “am I worthy?” is this:

Bloggers work harder than anyone I know and we’ve done it FREE for years. For we who do it well, there are now opportunities to showcase smarts and do some really neat writing. For those who are feeling upset on the sidelines, jump in! There’s opportunity for all! For bloggers who don’t trust they’re worthy, carpe diem! This is finally where your hard work pays off!

Thanks, Dino and Dan!

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The Dark Side of Blogging

BSteel-Girl.jpgack in my Chicago agency days, public relations was the dark side. When journalists crossed over, they took a big ribbing.

Bloggers have a dark side, too.

It’s oriented to the lightness of writing tone and levity. If there isn’t any, then a blog post can turn into a complete whine with negativity rampant.

Other times, life happens. Some people choose to push through the negativity and write like normal. Others, like me, can’t find the inspiration to be light and informative because personal emotion gets the best of that.

Another reason there may be a dark side is due to transition. Did you know I’m in digital marketing hell? Getting a crash course in the world of auto-responders and email campaigns. Not too fun for me, as it’s a completely different way of life than what I’m used to. I’d rather hire the experts!

So, there are a few reasons why I’ve put aside the pen awhile, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging not knowing why.

See you sooner than soon.

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Are Google+ Communities A Thing Of The Past?

English: Google+ wordmark

English: Google+ wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the day I pull the plug on Bloggers Unite, the Google+ community I so eagerly and quickly established to build a place for we bloggers to qvetch, klatch, and ‘raderie.

It worked. For a bit.

In the beginning, as with most things new on the Interwebz, the sharing and energy around Google+ was #RockHot. Everyone wanted in on the action, and my community became a friendly place for peeps to read new material and cascade a few plusses around the sphere.

After that, the invasion of the non-English bloggers happened overnight. One day, we all knew one another, and the next folks from Latin America, Europe, and South America joined and posted blogs in their native tongues.

As owner of this community, it became challenging to support and share blogs I couldn’t read. Yes, someone did inform me to use Google Translation; however, my time is limited.

Segue.

It’s All About Time

What did Google+ communities offer beyond a Facebook group or LinkedIn group? The chatter wasn’t different (in my community, at least). We who jumped in together were already connected on other social channels.

Although I did try to jump start the conversation, it seemed bloggers posted something and took off to greater confines where the engagement was more robust. I get it, so did I!

Amber-Lee Dibble, kindly accepted the role as co-manager of the community, and then she got swamped on a wild horse adventure (no kidding, she lives in the Alaska interior).

Are Other Google+ Communities Thriving?

Like you, I joined some really robust communities back in the day. When I was publishing my first book a year ago, Writing With Verve on the Blogging Journey, (if anyone wants a free copy in exchange for jumping onto my list, let me know!), I joined APE The Book managed by Peggy Fitzpatrick for Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. With 3,400 members, it’s easy to get lost and lurk.

After I gleaned all I could (it was crazy with information), I had to turn off notifications as it became too much sensory overload.

Viveka von Rosen owns a community of 600 members about LinkedIn, her specialty, and I still see those notices rolling in my in box.

Maybe that’s the ticket to success for a G+ community? Specialty topics everyone wants to learn about?

Could be! And, what do you think? Are you still involved in any #RockHot Google+ communities?

Please list them here and tell us why as I’m now seeking a new home to visit!

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