March 11, 2013
Telecommuting has been all over the news this week. First, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayerchanged the company’s policy that allowed employees to work (sometimes entirely) from home. Yahoo tried to put the story in perspective with a press release that said, “This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home. This is about what is right for Yahoo right now.”
Just a few days later, Best Buy announced thatit would eliminate its renowned Results-Only Work Environment, a program that allowed corporate employees to work when and were they chose, as long as the quality of the work met the company’s standards. Like Yahoo’s change, it’s not a total ban, but corporate employees are now expected to work 40 hours a week and to come into the office “as much as possible.” Best Buy spokesperson Matt Furman said, “Bottom line, it’s ‘all hands on deck’ at Best Buy and that means having employees in the office as much as possible to collaborate and connect on ways to improve our business.”
So, are Yahoo and Best Buy doing the right thing? As a consultant to major brands on culture and employer branding, I think they are.
|Working from home — a lost luxury?
Both these companies are engaged in turnarounds. Smart companies react to changing situations with their own changes, so I see these moves as responsive to business needs. It’s also reflective of the companies’ faith in their talent to help them steer the ship out of the storm.
Mayer and Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly know that they need the collective brainpower of their employees to come up with great and wonderful ideas. It takes a village, after all. In fact, Marissa Mayer was brought to Yahoo to make the company more like Google – and neither Google nor Facebook, both of whom have made it so easy for us to connect with people virtually, allows unlimited telecommuting.
Bloomberg, a hugely successful digital company, was a pioneer in seeing the value of instant, in-office, business exchanges in real-time. Their buildings famously have no offices, only shared spaces. It’s even part oftheir employer branding: “Our wide-open workspaces encourage collaboration.”
Many other companies limit or ban working from home. In fact, 15 of Forbes 100 Best Companies to Work For have no telecommuting program.
Talent management professionals have long known that it’s a business imperative to have the right talent for the right jobs at the right time. Now we coming to recognize that they need to be in the right place too.
Need help changing your culture? Email me and we’ll talk.
January 28, 2013
I’ve told you about Social Media Superstars and various best practices – but what about worst practices? What are some tactics to completely avoid?
Here are some of my personal pet peeves for each major social network. Think of them as social media don’ts.
Ignoring questions and comments. Twitter, like all social media, is supposed to be a dialogue – that’s the “social” part. Only broadcasting and never replying is almost like shouting continuously. Everyone can see that your Twitter stream has no @mentions or retweets and they’ll know it’s pointless to communicate with you before they even try.
Not using all the features. Believe it or not, some brands post only text and links. The Photos tab is empty, or maybe has their logo as a default. And don’t forget that Facebook allows you post videos, as well. In fact, you can have 10 custom Facebook tabs. Use them! Tabs can be used for posting jobs, holding contests, or creating interactive experiences. Look what Coca-Cola offers, for example.
We make a lot of videos here at Brandemix, so my pet peeves are production-based. Bad lighting and bad sound absolutely ruin videos for me. So are videos that stretch three minutes of content into ten minutes of agony. And some people don’t understand the concept of a second take, stammering their way through a presentation. Take the time to do videos right or else they may go viral for all the wrong reasons.
If you’re in a LinkedIn Group, please add to the conversation and comment on others’ posts before posting a blatant advertisement for your services. Yes, we’re all on LinkedIn for business purposes, but that doesn’t mean civility and etiquette don’t apply.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a fan of Pinterest accounts that only repin others’ pins. To me, it’s like only retweeting on Twitter and never posting something original. You don’t have to be an artist or designer to have access to some kind of visual collateral. Post photos of your office, or your employees, or your neighborhood. Do you have a pet? One category that never fails for me: dogs wearing sweaters.
Those are the worst offenders for each of the major social networks. Google Plus suffers from the same problem as Facebook, and Instagram abounds with the same poor production quality as YouTube.
What are your social media pet peeves? Have any examples? We’d love to see them.
And, of course, if you’re having trouble achieving social media best practices, we’re happy to help.
December 3, 2012
It’s important to have a well-executed, well-timed strategy that generates the most buzz from all audiences – both internally externally. A bad launch can undo much of the hard work you put into the rebranding itself.
Here are four steps to ensure your rebranding is successful.
Every one of your channels and materials should announce the new name, logo, focus, or services. That includes your website, your email signatures, your newsletter, and your blog. Make it clear that your operations won’t be interrupted and that current customers have nothing to worry about. Give a link or email address where customers can ask questions.
I also recommend a press release distributed through PR Newswire or free services like Online PR News and Newswire Today. Here you can go into more detail about the how and why of the rebranding. Accentuate the positive and promise there will be no problems with customer service or product offerings. Include quotes from your CEO. And press releases are great for SEO – especially if you’re changing or adding keywords to your brand.
2. Change Your Social Media
If you’re rebranding is just in the form of a new logo and tagline, it’s pretty easy to change your social channels’ profile pictures, icons, and “About Us” copy. But if you changed your name or even your focus, get ready for more of an overhaul.
You can change your Twitter name at anytime, but your Facebook Page URL can only be changed if you have less than 100 likes. You can request a change from Facebook directly or simply create a new Page, encouraging your fans to follow you there. Then taper off your posting on the original Page.
As for YouTube, don’t worry about uploading all your videos to a new account. Though you can’t change your username, you can create a vanity URL that directs viewers to your original YouTube channel. Personal Pinterest usernames and Google+ names can be changed with only a few clicks. The hardest site to alter your name? LinkedIn, which requires a special email request.
|A great example of a blog post explaining a company’s rebranding
3. Make Corrections in the Field
Personally inform any blogs or publications that have covered you or listed you of the rebranding.
Do a search for your brand. If you see it mentioned in a blog or message board, write a comment that notifies readers of the rebranding. It can be as simple as “Kentucky Fried Chicken is now KFC.” Informative without being too promotional.
In fact, you can even enlist your employees. We once worked with a major financial client that held a contest, giving a prize to any worker who found an example of its old logo anywhere on its websites.
Make sure your partners, clients, and vendors are aware of the change and have your new branding on all their materials. Shut down or redirect any legacy sites or links that may confuse your customers. Make sure your Google AdWords or Facebook Ads accounts have your new keywords. Search several pages deep into search engines to see if there’s any website you missed.
Of course, there’s always a small chance that the public won’t respond to your new branding. Look at what happened when the Gap changed its logo. The same thing is happening to JCPenney – but the Gap had the sense and humility to switch back
As our name implies, Brandemix specializes in branding, rebranding, and employer branding. If the process seems overwhelming, or you’re ready for a major change, we’d love to get into the mix!