Beware: What Does Your Digital Personality Convey?

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As the old saying goes…”you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  When was the last time you “Googled” yourself or your company?  This week my IMC class explored the importance of creating a digital identity.  Some of our initial discussions revolved around our own professional online presence which I will admit made me sweat a little at first.   Fortunately, after a few Google searches of my own, I felt reassured my digital personality is on the right track.

In her “Developing POP presentation,” Dr. Dawn Edmiston (2012), encourages viewers to take control of their professional online presence.  If you haven’t already, Edmiston suggests some basic first steps:

1.       Claim Your Domain Name.

2.       Differentiate Yourself.

3.       Use a Professional Photograph of Yourself.

4.       Develop Consistent Profiles on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook

           and Google +.

Once you have established yourself, how will you ensure your digital personality will be found? To help boost your search engine optimization (SEO), Edmiston recommends using a website called brandyourself.com.  This online tool helps you build out your profiles, analyze any links associated with your name, recommends titles and links to boost SEO and assists with monitoring your rankings and alerts.

Mastering your own professional online presence is a great exercise and helps to build your knowledge and skills as a twenty-first century marketing professional.  Take the plunge and Google yourself today!

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When the Internet Goes Down…

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The little router box in the basement of my home went dormant this week. A silent hush came over the house and signs of panic appeared on the faces of my two teenage sons. Had it been a planned outage we would have been more prepared. This unfortunate incident resulted from an unintended consequence during a landscaping project in the backyard and we had not planned for such a catastrophic loss of connectivity.

The silence suddenly broke and some possible solutions to the outage were proposed. We could create a digital “hot spot” with our cell phones. Or we could ask the neighbor for the password to their wireless connection which shows up in range of our home. Of course, those were the solutions posed by the teenagers but mom and dad had other ideas. We could go for a walk, read a book and go outside to view the evening sky afterwards.

In an article posted on the Huffington Post earlier this year, author Britney Fitzgerald builds a case for some good old fashioned “plug pulling” by parents to relieve some of the constant exposure to digital devices among teenagers. Fitzgerald provides further insights into a recent survey conducted by Common Sense Media, an independent nonprofit advocating media knowledge for both parents and children.

According to the survey, a vast majority of American teens state that social and other digital communications are a daily part of their lives. While teens today are exposed to nearly constant digital stimulus the survey concluded that most teens are fortunately still in overall good emotional health. The survey also state that 43% of the teens who responded would like to disconnect from the internet occasionally.

Fortunately for my children, they had no choice but to disconnect this week. As a family, we realized how much we rely on our digital connections and what  a nice change of pace being “digitally disconnected” could be.  Going forward, I will make a greater effort as a parent to require days where we do not use the Internet.  

LaVonne Brown: Life-long learner of IMC

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LaVonne is the Director of Client Experience and Director of Marketing for a privately held wealth management firm in Rockford, Illinois.  She has over 18 years of experience in the sales, public relations, marketing, hospitality, customer relations, and tourism industries as well as experience in financial services, non-profit management, event planning, and fundraising.   Throughout her career, she has personally  experienced the growing need for an integrated approach to marketing.  As a life-long learner poised with an optimistic approach, she enjoys today’s challenging world of communications and marketing.

Hello World! A Marketer’s Indy 500: Emerging Media puts Consumers in the Driver’s Seat

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You might be thinking that I am a fan of NASCAR, right?  I only follow racing just enough to know that the pit crew plays an incredible role in the success of the driver but ultimately, the driver presses the accelerator and maneuvers the track.

As a marketing professional in today’s ever-changing and extremely fast-paced world of technology I often feel like my job is more of a pit crew leader, creating and selecting the best tools and strategies all while the consumer is flying past me. Consumers have greater power and influence over brands today mainly due to the constant emerging media platforms. 

My blog will explore and discuss  ways emerging media is affecting the fields of marketing and communication.  Technology is moving at a rapid pace and without a keen sense for what is happening around us, efforts to promote our brands can quickly become ineffective or worse yet completely derailed.

Consider the voice of Molly Katchpole, a 22-year old recent college graduate who took on the Verizon Corporation when they introduced a $2 convenience charge for paying a bill online or via your mobile phone.  She crafted a petition, utilized social networking and the website Change.org to rally for her cause and assembled 165,000 signatures in a matter of hours.  Verizon backed down shortly afterwards.  Prior to the Internet and social media, this entire scenario would have taken months or years.

There certainly is reason to celebrate when it comes to new emerging media trends as well.  Consumers having a stronger voice can also level the playing field for smaller brand’s that may not have the advertising and marketing dollars to tell their story. 

Take the story of the Tough Mudder competitions for example. These are hard-core 10 –12 mile obstacle races not for the faint of heart.  Wil Dean and Guy Livingston came up with the concept of Tough Mudder while attending Harvard Business School.  Armed with an $8,000 marketing budget they launched their first location and event on Facebook in 2010.   Tough Mudder competitions are listed in 28 locations throughout the United States in 2012.  Go to You Tube   and see the experience for yourself.

What emerging media trend has you most excited? Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

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