Say the Magic Words

by KGBTexas Admin on August 26, 2015

What makes people feel good about their jobs — money, recognition, titles? According to a story carried recently in the Wall Street Journal, the single most important motivator in the workplace may be … gratitude.

“Researchers at the London School of Economics analyzed more than 50 studies for a 2011 paper that looked at what gets people charged up at work. They concluded that we give our best effort if the work gets us interested and excited, if we feel that it’s providing meaning and purpose, and if others appreciate what we’re doing.”

A 2013 survey of 2,000 Americans on gratitude sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation found that 80 percent agreed that receiving gratitude makes them work harder. Here’s the kicker: only 10 percent managed to express gratitude to others on a daily basis. “‘Thanks’—whether sent up, down or sideways—was rarely heard.” [click to continue…]

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Make Your Mark

by KGBTexas Admin on August 24, 2015

I very often, as a pastime, find myself surfing Instagram and Facebook, getting caught up in the hilarious memes, life quotes and indirect bashing. It’s quite entertaining. Recently, though, I ran across one with meaning, one I decided to save for motivation: “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.”

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That’s exactly what this PR business is all about isn’t it – building a brand, an identity, a reputation. I particularly love PR because it allows the best of personalities to come together. Meeting people in this field is refreshing.

Learning how to differentiate yourself is the challenge.

What’s the game plan? From your attire, hair and makeup, to strategizing how your brand is going to set you apart from your competitors. I, by no means, have this all figured out, but that’s what keeps this so exciting. It’s an industry of endless possibilities.

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You get to establish who you are, distinguish yourself via your work ethic and determine every day if you are that standout employee. And if you’re not, figure out what’s missing.
Professionals are constantly searching for new ideas and opportunities to grow, expand and develop into leaders in the industry of our choice.

Networking is key. Building long-lasting connections can lead to the visibility and credibility that leads to a meaningful career – a career in the field where you control your success and allow your skill sets and value to shine bright. PR folks come in daily ready to represent our clients, manage their brands and ensure they are perceived in a positive light.

Do the same for yourself. Manage your own reputation, be deliberate, work like a boss. Ready? Set…Go!

– Jessica Gonzales

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Buyer Persona Creates Audience-centricity

by KGBTexas Admin on August 17, 2015

Sometimes when it comes to crafting effective campaigns, we forget about our audience. Let’s face it – It is easy to slip into the “feature only mode” in this business. We’re all pushed with deadlines and details. Hey, we’re human.

There is a tool though that can help you stay focused in like a laser beam on your target audience. That tool is a “persona”. Quite simply, a persona is a fictional, but very detailed description, of your target audience.

buyer-personas

There are firms out there that specialize in researching and writing personas for you, but I suggest, before you make that kind of monetary investment, you might try building your own version first – here’s how to get started:

• Download an example – (just Google “buyer persona” and you will find plenty)
• Choose one from the group – don’t worry about getting the “perfect” one right out of the gate – select the one that makes the most sense to you
• Fill in the details to begin writing the story of this imaginary person
• Don’t be surprised if you have some blanks that require you to go and do some research (that’s really the whole point of the exercise – to learn about your audience)

Let’s take a look at a hypothetical example:

Let’s assume, for a moment, our company makes GPS navigation systems for automotive use. Let’s say we discovered through our research that our primary target market is female, age 20-35, and is married with 2.67 children, is primarily a working, professional mom who is extremely busy – she spends much of her time just keeping things moving at home and work. If she’s not rushing to make sure her kids are on time to school, she’s rushing over to soccer practice and trying to juggle other important engagements. While she is not “technologically-challenged”, she does think spending lots of time fumbling with “techie” stuff” only slows her down – so she prefers things that are quick, easy and reliable. Let’s face facts – Elizabeth has more important things to focus on.

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With all this knowledge about Elizabeth, our strategy can now begin take shape. Using the template you downloaded, fill in all the details you know about Elizabeth – be sure to pick out a photo as well – it will help (especially if you have more than one target audience).

Hang that persona up on the wall right above your desk. Now, as you write your creative brief, be sure to look at Elizabeth’s persona through the entire process. Then, after you prepare your creative brief, take it along with you to your creative team and discuss what you know about Elizabeth. You can even make it fun by doing a quick role-play and “be Elizabeth” as you discuss tailoring our communication strategy around Elizabeth’s needs and interests.

As I’m sure you can see, in this particular case, instead of talking about how the GPS technology was originally designed for military purposes, we want to focus our message on how easy our product is to work, and how much time Elizabeth can save by avoiding traffic and taking the fastest routes to her destinations.

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This exercise can be a valuable investment. Once completed, you can always have them mounted and framed to hang in your office as a constant reminder of who the real boss is.

– Chris Yost

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Hook’em with Humanity

by KGBTexas Admin on August 12, 2015

There is one television program I truly enjoy watching every week, and I have since I was child. It’s “CBS Sunday Morning.” This news magazine gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

cbs

Do I love the program because of the grandpa-like nature of its past and present hosts, Charles Kuralt and Charles Osgood? Maybe. But greater than the nurturing voices of the hosts are the stories told. The stories are inspirational, interesting and quite intriguing. The common thread is a human one.

Where else can I learn about the all-star player in a blind baseball league in Austin, Texas? How about the founders of an adult summer camp in Wisconsin? And did you know there are kids that still play marbles and they even have a National Marbles Tournament in New Jersey? I do now!

These stories may sound odd, but it goes to show, there is a story to be told, no matter how mundane you think your line of business or organization may be. People make your business interesting, and it’s their story, their innovation and their zest for life that makes your corporate story worth telling.

Are you at a loss on how to find the human story in your organization? Start by asking a few questions, and better yet, get to know the people you work with every day. Once you know your colleagues, their talents and their motivation for working, you’ll find your human-interest story.

As you go through your week, take note of the stories that draw you in. I bet you’re hooked by humanity, too.

-Elaine Matthews

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You Scream, I Scream

by KGBTexas Admin on August 10, 2015

It’s high noon on a Tuesday morning. I’m just arriving to work after undergoing some  painful oral surgery; I get out of my car and immediately begin to sweat. The 100-degree Texas heat hits me like a bag of bricks. As I near the office door, the perspiration lining my back steadily increases, and I can’t help but think  the forecast for my day is much like the weather forecast – horribly unpleasant.

ice cream

Ben & Jerry’s to the rescue.

Two hours later, life hadn’t improved. Hungry and unable to eat, the right side of my mouth throbbing, and inexplicably still sweating in the air-conditioned office, I longed for a glimmer of hope from my first-world problems. Just when it seemed like all was lost, the faintest whispers of ice cream began to fill the hallways. I followed a crowd of excited co-workers back into the oppressive heat and directly to a Ben & Jerry’s truck in the parking lot.

I looked around to see young professionals streaming from their offices like children streaming to…well, an ice cream truck. Mine was clearly not the only life  Ben & Jerry’s “Texas Truck Tour” was saving today. Samples of cold, Texas-churned Bar-B-Que Peach and Bourbon Pecan Pie ice cream soothed my aching jaw and eased the sting of the San Antonio heat. This, and the flavors were delicious.

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As I savored the flavorful tastes, I couldn’t help wondering why Ben & Jerry’s would suddenly appear in my hour of need. As it turns out, it wasn’t because they sensed my desperation.

Ben & Jerry’s is concluding its state-wide summer tour in which it’s been promoting and taste testing these two Texas-specific flavors. The campaign has been heavy on social media and tasters are encouraged to vote for their favorite flavor, which will ultimately be placed in grocery freezers in the fall of 2015.

Our state is a large market and, combined with being subject to some of the hottest weather in the nation, Texas is the perfect demographic for this type of marketing effort. Ben & Jerry’s is also smart to capitalize on the notable absence of a certain Brenham-based brand. (Ahem, Blue Bell, your butter pecan will always have a special place in my heart.)

Ben & Jerry’s will be in and around San Antonio until August 14. Tweet them at @BenJerrysTexas to invite them to visit you for free ice cream samples. A visit from them made my day a whole lot better, and could do the same for you.

-Colin Brown

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