Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, 01.29.2013

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you a social media wiz? Media relations guru? Master of event planning? We all have perceptions of our own skill sets and strengths and weaknesses. But what do your peers see? It’s difficult to know exactly what others think about you, but LinkedIn’s endorsement tool may do just that by allowing you to take a look at yourself through another's lens. At one time you probably entered your "Skills and Expertise" on LinkedIn to highlight your specialties. Now, with the introduction of “endorsements,” there's a good chance your connections have supplemented that information by selecting the areas in which they think you excel. By looking into those endorsements you can begin to piece together others' perceptions of you. read more »

“Fans” & “Followers” to the Rescue!, 07.11.2012

Still wondering why it's important to have a loyal group of "fans" and "followers" online? Many people struggle to see the value in cultivating communities on Facebook and Twitter. Will it lead to more sales? How will this improve the bottom line? Well, here is an example of another way you could see ROI from your digital following.

On Monday, the Washington, D.C. City Council threatened to pass an amendment on a taxi modernization bill that would create a minimum cab fare in the city. The amendment would have negatively affected new kid on the block and industry disrupter, Uber, by making its minimum fare five times the price of a traditional cab’s fare. Uber brings luxury living to the masses with low-cost private drivers chauffeuring social Washingtonians around town in "sleek black cars." Launched last December, Uber quickly found an enthusiastic customer base eager to hail reliable and safe vehicles from the palm of their hand. The Uber mobile app allows monthly subscribers to find nearby and available drivers and request an immediate pick up. The dreaded haggling over credit card vs. cash payment is avoided with the app automatically deducting fare, which includes tip, from the subscriber’s card on file. The reliability and convenience of Uber gave many people in our nation’s capital the transportation solution that would suit their lifestyle. However, Uber hit a speed bump with the pending rollout of their new low-cost hybrid vehicle service, Uber X. The amendment proposed by the D.C. City Council would have dramatically increased the cost of Uber X, which is aimed at a more cost-conscious demographic. read more »

Strength in Others, 09.29.2010

Our Community - Houston’s art scene has long been under-appreciated at the national level, despite the extraordinary breadth of local creative talent and world-class museums.  Aurora Picture Show is one of the local arts groups storming through barriers and helping to put Houston on the art map. Social Media - Still doubt the power of social media? Blogging is, in effect, changing Chinese culture—from politics to communication styles.  As Chinese society becomes more open, it will be fascinating to watch the role social media plays in the transition. read more »

Strength in Others, 09.17.2010

Our Community - The City of Houston issued a challenge to building owners to green their offices and office buildings.  Participants in the challenge will learn about green building practices from some of Houston’s leading sustainability experts, with the goal of increasing the number of LEED certified buildings in the city.  Register online at www.houstongoc.org. Social Media - Advertisting Age wonders if the press release’s heyday has come and gone and if corporations will now rely on social media platforms, like Twitter, to communicate.  Simon Dumenco writes, “…BP dutifully issued press releases detailing its well-plugging and clean-up efforts, but it dropped the ball on Twitter, leaving an opening for the parodists of @BPGlobalPR to wreak havoc.” read more »

Strength in Others, 08.26.2010

Our Community - Courtenay recently had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at WordCamp Houston with Marc Cohen of AIDS Foundation Houston and Chris Valdez of Primer Grey. The team discussed the development of the Positive Outlook Blog for youth living with HIV and AIDS. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg even sat in on the session (hello, nerves!) and posted a photo to his blog! Social Media - From El Profe’s Blog, the five rules of marrying journalism and social media. Our favorite: Journalism first, technology second. read more »

Strength in Others, 06.10.2010

Our Community - AIDS Foundation Houston--an organization near and dear to our 20K hearts--just launched a new blog, Positive Outlook, to chronicle the thoughts of participants in Camp Hope and UniversalTeens. Follow along to gain insight into the lives of youth living with HIV and AIDS. Social Media - B2B engagement in social media is dramatically increasing, with firms expected to spend $4.8 billion on interactive marketing by 2014. Branded social network pages, PR outreach and social media monitoring are expected to be the primary platforms. - Controversy brewed this week over BP’s purchase of Google and Yahoo terms related to the oil spill. A strategic (and expected) PR and business move? Or a blatant attempt to skew information available to the public? Social Responsibility - We’re looking forward to the 2010 Net Impact Conference. It’ll be an opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds in sustainability and meet the people who are earning a living by doing good. - Entrepreneur magazine discusses how to highlight your company’s social responsibility. We just wish they’d discussed more about internalizing a culture of responsibility and sustainability, rather than just how to externally communicate CSR. Communications Olio - On the Media, a weekly NPR broadcast, examines the current media climate and threats to freedom of expression. - 100 of the best quotes on innovation. Our favorite: “I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs (and it’s not just because we love Macs) We don’t claim to know everything — or even have the time to attempt to sift through the vast catalogs of articles and blog posts. So, in the spirit of #SLGT (support local, grow together), we will stand on the shoulders of giants (hello, cliche) each week to pass along links that we find interest, useful or just plain fun. Leave us a comment with your recommendations for what we should be reading and who we should be following.

Strength in Others, 05.28.2010

Our Community - Noah's Kitchen has fast grown a reputation as one of Houston's brightest new nonprofits. This meals-on-wheels-type organization is helping feed the homeless, with an army of dedicated volunteers and leaders. Take a moment to check them out, and find out how you can support their efforts. Social Media - Muckrack is the coolest site we've seen for tweeting one-line press releases and getting the inside scoop from journalists on Twitter. There is a $50 minimum for tweeting press releases -- not sure that the value has quite been proven enough to warrant the cost. read more »