Friday, November 29, 2013

The weekend read

You're stuffed, aren't you? So's this edition of the weekend read, where I curate the best leads, finds and reads I shared on Twitter this week, with an eye to what communicators need to know about media relations, social media, strategy and audience data. Let's serve up a second helping of stuff for your long weekend:
Sing for your seconds: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is looking for a strategic publicist.

I'm always thankful that you save room for the weekend read. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


In America, it's Thanksgiving Day, a day to be thankful--and you have my gratitude for being a regular reader here on the blog, no matter where you are in the world today.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, let me share a story about gratitude from one of my favorite TEDMED speakers, Ed Gavagan. Watch this and think about what you're grateful for...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

8 things that put years back on my life: My efficiency list

I look at time these days like a wallet, full or empty. Time is money, and the years in your life. With it, you can add life to your years. Here are 8 things that put years back on my life and ease my work, making both a walk on the beach. Many, but not all, of these links get you special discounts and sometimes get me the same:
  1. Fancy Hands: I've tried other virtual assistants, and this one--hands down--works the best for me. I use Fancy Hands for a wide range of tasks, from blog research and permissions requests to dinner reservations, sending flowers, dealing with bureaucracies, making appointments, setting up conference calls, you name it. They're fast, efficient and cost-effective. The company was started by a New York Times R&D exec who needed, well, extra hands.
  2. Uber: I'm about to go car-free, but I've got a driver and that's a start: Uber. I don't need to handle cash when I ride with them, as it's all billed to my credit card, complete with tip to the driver, and Uber offers a range of rides (black sedan, SUV, small car or taxi). Best of all, it's in cities all over the world, and can be hailed from a phone app that tells you how far away the driver is--a matter of minutes. Uber's my preferred ride....and in a year when I traveled extensively, it's something I factor in as a time-saver.
  3. Evernote: I've written before about using Evernote to take my office paperless, and love it even more now that the company--highly valued by investors--has enough funding to keep adding more and more features. I use the premium version for more searchability and storage, and this year, have been curating and sharing notebooks full of resources with private clients and public audiences alike, just one feature I love. I'm writing a book in it right now.
  4. Global Entry and TSA Pre-check: I can shave an hour or more off my advance time at many airports in the U.S. and when I re-enter the U.S. after a trip abroad, thanks to enrollment in these two programs. Domestically, I can skip the usual security line, and don't have to take off shoes, belt or electronics or empty my carry-on bag, either. When re-entering the U.S., I skip the forms and the customs agent. Did I mention it costs just $100 for five years? This year alone, the program has saved me at least 50 hours of time, and I smile at the TSA agents who wave me through. I hear the beach calling.
  5. Amazon Prime: Prime, Amazon's $79 subscription for two-day shipping all year, has changed how I shop for everything, and allows me to get things fast--sometimes the same day. The fact that it includes tens of thousands of streamable movies and TV shows has helped me ditch cable television. 
  6. Griffin Technology Elevator Laptop Stand: This ergonomic tool, which elevates my laptop to eye level, saves me time by saving my muscles. I've got fewer neck and shoulder issues, and this works at both my sitting desk and my Stand-Up Workstation. The two things, in combination, make me healthier and more at ease, almost like a time gain.
  7. Sony Bloggie Duo Camera: Since the Flip camera is no more, I've settled on this camera, which I own in multiples for my group workshops--it meets my requirements for being easy enough for anyone to use quickly, records in HD and offers sharing options so I can send videos to clients. And each one is as small and light as a smartphone.
  8. Audible audiobooks: I'm a longtime Audible listener, and whenever I am on the move--walking, taking public transportation or on long-distance travel--Audible lets me multitask with reading-by-listening for both books and podcasts. Because I can sync Audible recordings with ebooks on my Amazon Kindle, it's easy to turn to text when I need a reference for a post.
What's putting years back on your life?

Friday, November 22, 2013

The weekend read

Put another log on the fire, and let's call it a weekend, shall we? I've gathered up all the great reads, finds and leads I shared on Twitter this week, and stacked them for you right here:
Fired up. Ready to go: Everyone needs to read this once a week. It's a quote from a big interview with Merlin Mann on The Great Discontent:
I think we sometimes overlook things we don’t realize we’re already good at or have limited experience with. You may be beating yourself up about not having good enough grades in biology to go to medical school while overlooking the fact that you’ve been working in your family’s hardware store over the summer for eight years and have an extraordinary sense of how to deal with people. That’s a skill that a lot of doctors in their 50s would kill for: they’ve never learned to understand and be empathetic towards others. People have all kinds of soft skills that you can’t train someone to have, but they beat themselves up because it’s not the thing they think they’re supposed to be good at.
You're really good at showing up here so you can get smarter by Monday. Don't think I haven't noticed--and don't think I don't appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend.

It's nearly the end of the year. Are you leaving professional development or training money on the table? Email me at infoATdontgetcaughtDOTbiz to schedule individual or group training in public speaking, presenting, or social media; to prep for your upcoming TED or TEDx talk; or a communications retreat.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

12 ways I'm using Evernote now on business travel

Celtic mirror in the British Museum
No matter how much or little I take with me on business trips, I'm always packing Evernote, the mega-notetaking program that's part of my go-to productivity suite. I use Evernote's premium service for maximum storage and searchability every day, but on the road it really proves itself as a portable office. Here's how I'm using it for business travel now:
  1. Store photos: Like most folks, I snap photos while I'm traveling, usually with my phone. The Evernote app on my phone includes a camera, which I can use to put the photo directly into a notebook. If I forget, or want to snap the picture fast using the phone's camera app, I can still share it into Evernote. This museum photo from a London trip went right into my own little photo museum in Evernote. I also snap pics of meeting rooms and speaking venues, whiteboards loaded with notes (all searchable in Evernote), and more.
  2. Work on the plane/train: Before a trip, I set key notebooks for offline use and sync up my devices so I can access info, reading, to-do lists, vital documents and more, even when the wifi is weak or nonexistent. 
  3. Face-to-face contacts at conferences: When I'm at a conference, I use the Evernote camera app to snap pictures of new contacts, preferably wearing their nametags, so that the text can be searched later. That means I don't need to recall your name, just the name of the conference we attended, to find your picture. Before the conference, I can search all of Evernote to find notes in which existing contacts are already mentioned, a great way to refresh my memory before we meet again.
  4. Conference planning and notetaking: When I chaired the European Speechwriter Network conference in Brussels in September, I started a notebook for the conference right away as a planning tool and used it to manage my role at the meeting on-site, from my script to logistics. Since then, I've started conference-specific notebooks for other major meetings I'm attending, particularly if I'm acting as more than just an attendee. 
  5. Skype conversations: Skype is often my on-the-road phone service, and I use the free Callnote app when I'm recording a call. Callnote will notify the other party that they're being recorded before the call begins, and will put the recording right into Evernote--either automatically at the end of the call, or after you review it.
  6. Packlists and other lists: Evernote's my regular to-do list program, but trips each get their own packlists, based on a core list I keep here. If I travel to a city frequently, I'll save its packlist in the city's destination notebook (see below). You can even include--and check off--checkboxes if you're that kind of listmaker.
  7. Destination notebooks: After experimenting with many other ways of doing this, I've settled on keeping a notebook for every major city, state or country to which I travel. Part guidebook, part business travel receipt storage, I keep everything related to that city in one place: airline tickets and boarding passes, train and hotel reservations, receipts, take-out menus, restaurant recommendations and reviews, lodging ideas, upcoming events, discounts, contact information for local friends, receipts for expenses to be reimbursed and for tax purposes, shopping options, local business vendors, office rental options, taxi or car service companies. Then I leave everything in that city notebook from previous trips, a great and searchable way to remember that little restaurant or neighborhood resource. Better than any travel guide and much lighter.
  8. Long-distance collaboration: I collaborate with a couple of long-distance co-conspirators, so we use shared notebooks in Evernote into which either of us can put or read notes, articles, source material, photos and more. When we get together in person and mention something in another notebook, it's easy enough to start sharing a previously closed trove of info. I use the Powerbot app, compatible with Evernote and with Dropbox, to save important collaboration emails right from Gmail into Evernote.
  9. Important documents: Rather than make and tote paper copies of my passport, other government IDs, tickets, boarding passes, birth certificate and other important documents I need while traveling, I've scanned them all into Evernote. In an emergency, I can access them from any computer with online access via the website, on my Kindle or on my phone's Evernote app. This is a notebook that's configured for use offline, to make things easier.
  10. Receipts: I save trip receipts in Evernote, either by scanning them in my hotel using the compatible Doxie portable scanner or by tossing them in a Shoeboxed envelope I carry with me; Shoeboxed gets my envelope of receipts once a month, scans them into a web interface and recycles the paper. From there, I can download the receipts into Evernote or an accounting program. Better yet, any emailed receipts get forwarded right into the correct notebook. You can do this with any email in your inbox by sending it to your unique Evernote email, adding the notebook name in the subject line following an @ symbol (as in "@New York City") or a tag in the subject line, using the # sign. Or, use your unique Evernote email as the email you use to sign up for notices from airlines, trains, and hotels to have their emails sent directly to your default notebook. This is a core component of my near-paperless office plan. Bcc-ing emails I send about trips to Evernote gets the filing done automatically.
  11. Expense reports: When it's time to submit expenses, I can merge separate notes with receipts into one note, add a spreadsheet summary created within Evernote, and email it to my client, again right from the program. 
  12. Maps and directions: Particularly on trips where I'll be in a location for a week or more, I save maps of the neighborhoods where I'm staying or where I know I'll be going, and mark them for offline use. I also save driving directions for frequently visited locations--no need to search twice. This year, I rented a flat in London instead of staying in a hotel, and stored menus from nearby restaurants, maps to grocery stores, cab company contact info and much more, both as I planned and carried out my stay.
That's just scratching the surface of Evernote's utility for business travel, and the program gets smarter all the time. Check out more ideas in this post I wrote in 2011 on Evernote and business travel, and take a look at what might be coming next in its features. You can use my link to sign up for Evernote and get a free month of Evernote Premium. Do you use Evernote for biz travel? Share your tips in the comments.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Decision by anecdote, and how communicators can fight it

I'll never forget the time a board president of mine was preparing his first message to the organization. His message centered on the idea that public audiences intensely disliked and mistrusted our work, and wanted to combat that negativity, ideally with a big national campaign. By the time I heard about the message, it was close to publication time. I called him directly. "This is going to be a big initiative for your communications office," he told me, thinking I'd be pleased.

"That's great," I said. "But I did have a question about all this: Where are you getting your data? I only ask because all the data I have says the exact opposite of what's in this message."

That question prompted a useful--and needed--conversation in which I shared my data and found out he didn't have any, but was working from anecdotal evidence. The idea that the public finds your profession unpopular is a sticky meme and an effective rallying cry. But I knew that pushing against a nonexistent myth wouldn't add luster to our reputation.

That's the premise behind Beyond Anecdote, an essay recently published in Inside Higher Ed that urges communicators at universities to be data collectors in an effort to combat decisionmaking-by-anecdote, in which programs get scrapped, signs get reformatted and initiatives are born because a trustee, donor, fellow staffer or faculty member has an anecdote to support the change. And if you know anything about statistics, an n of 1 is never valid.

My only complaint? The authors of this piece could have gone further, as they suggest data that can be collected on campus, metrics from existing efforts at the university. The smarter communicator fighting the tide of decisions by anecdote will need more ammo, and should be cultivating external data from government agencies, nonprofits, and independent research groups. Your research should include the full marketplace in which you exist--from the business world, the public sector, the nonprofit world and higher education. The data context in which decisions are made shouldn't stop at your own door.

(Photo from Oberazzi's photostream on Flickr)

It's nearly the end of the year. Are you leaving professional development or training money on the table? Email me at infoATdontgetcaughtDOTbiz to schedule individual or group training in public speaking, presenting, or social media; to prep for your upcoming TED or TEDx talk; or a communications retreat.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The weekend read

It's the weekend, time (as we used to say as kids) to make like a tree and leave. But before you depart, start getting smarter by Monday with the good reads, data and leads I raked up on Twitter this week:
Can't leave until I tell you how delighted I am that you find your way here on Fridays. Have a wonderful weekend!

It's nearly the end of the year. Are you leaving professional development or training money on the table? Email me at infoATdontgetcaughtDOTbiz to schedule individual or group training in public speaking, presenting, or social media; to prep for your upcoming TED or TEDx talk; or a communications retreat.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The comment wars: Your catch-up guide

Folks have been, well, commenting about comments--and trying to find ways to navigate as organizations and companies around the trolls, fakes and rants that come in comment culture. Here's a roundup of what's happening:
What's your policy on comments? Will these changes affect it?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The payoffs for persisting with a blog, part I

"How did you find me?" I asked the new client who wanted coaching for a big talk.

"My sister reads your blog on public speaking, and when she heard I was doing this talk, she said, 'You need to call this coach'."

She's not the only one. Most of my business comes from referrals, but these days, the referrals come through my blogs as often as from satisfied clients. I easily get 50 percent and often more of my business from my blog readers. Even when a prospective client comes in via a contact, she has usually read either or both blogs enough to figure out my style, experience and approaches.

That's just what I hoped would happen when I started my blogs (8 years ago for the don't get caught blog, 6 years ago for The Eloquent Woman, which got its initial test on the DGC blog). You may like them as good reading and resources, and I hope you do. But both blogs have a more basic purpose in my business, which is to bring in new business and add value for current clients.

Persisting with my blogs these days involves posting three times per week on each one, as well as amplifying those posts on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Sound like a lot? That mix has brought me many payoffs. Here are the ones I value most:
  1. New clients: Far and away my favorite payoff from the blogs, new clients come through the blog nearly every week. By the time they contact me directly, they have an idea that I can do what they need me to do, and we can start the conversation further along the road. "I can tell you understand a TED talk, and I see you've done a lot of work with scientists," said the managing editor of TEDMED when she called to see whether I could coach their mix of science and medical speakers, as I have now for the past three years. Today, TEDx speakers, or speakers looking to do TED-like talks, follow in her wake.
  2. Commissioned articles: Everyone's looking for good content. Both and Toastmaster, the magazine of Toastmasters International, regularly reprint my blog posts or commission new articles from me, thanks to the blogs. That expands my audience, and builds my writing business. I know many freelance writers who say they don't see the point of writing a blog "for free," but mine bring me paid writing assignments and gigs that drive a ton of traffic. Go figure.
  3. Speaking engagements: I'm not a full-time speaker, but blogging has expanded my paid invitations to speak, including conferences that ask me to conduct pre-conference workshops on social media, working with subject-matter experts, media interview skills, or public speaking and presenting.
  4. Collaborators and co-conspirators: Worth their weight in gold are the amazing collaborators and co-conspirators I've amassed via these blogs, partners working with me from all parts of the globe. Some contribute directly to the blogs, some are my best tipsters and idea-generators, some spread the content far and wide. Others work with me on non-blog-related projects, but came in through the door of the blogs, a door I intend to leave ajar for more conspiratorial advantages in the future.
  5. Muses: A step above those co-conspirators are my muses, regular readers of what I serve up here, but readers who also have the rare ability to push me forward. Their feedback makes the blogs better, and they've gathered around me thanks in part to the blogs. I am ever grateful for this.
  6. Books and ebooks: 2014 is the year you'll begin to see ebook and book content from me, much of it generated and audience-tested first on the blogs. And once the info is updated, expanded and published, the blogs will be promotional vehicles, with their well-developed audiences. Building the audience first takes the most patience with a blog, but once it's there, you can rock and roll.
  7. Writing practice and voice: When I started this business nine years ago, I had as a goal to get back to what I called "more of my own writing," rather than solely turning out good stuff for clients. Today, thanks to the blogs, I rarely offer writing for clients and do most of it here on the blogs. In the process, I've strengthened my writing process and muscles and voice, an important thing for a former journalist to recover. Nearly priceless. that is.
  8. Readers and sharers: Readers are among my best contributors, and only time can develop the relationship with readers that I'm lucky to enjoy on both my blogs. Their questions make the best blog post ideas, and I almost always answer a reader's question with a specific blog post. they also answer my questions, providing more content and fodder for the blogs. I especially love readers who share posts on via Facebook, Twitter and other networks. Their recommendations really pay off:
I often meet colleagues who look at the blogs and think or say outright, "Wow, you're wasting a lot of time doing those blogs and giving away that content." I can tell by the questions they ask me about the blogs, and because it's clear they haven't figured out what I'm really doing here. That's fine by me--I just need prospective and existing clients and readers to figure it out, and so far, they seem to get it.

Stay tuned for another post--part II--on how I manage to generate the content that creates these payoffs, and how you can, too.

(Image from Sean McEntee's Flickr photostream)

Friday, November 08, 2013

The weekend read

Did you pencil in the weekend on your calendar? I hope so, because it's almost here--and I'd hate for you to miss it. Let me give you a picture of the best leads and reads I found and shared on Twitter this week.
I'll scribble this anywhere: So glad you made it here again on a Friday. Enjoy the weekend!

It's nearly the end of the year. Are you leaving professional development or training money on the table? Email me at infoATdontgetcaughtDOTbiz to schedule individual or group training in public speaking, presenting, or social media; to prep for your upcoming TED or TEDx talk; or a communications retreat.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Strategic view: Q&A with Case Foundation communicator Allyson Burns

(Editor's note: I'm starting a new Q&A interview series on the blog, to bring you the strategic views of top communicators who are working creatively. Allyson Burns is senior vice president for communications and marketing at the Case Foundation, a leader in using social media creatively in the nonprofit sector. This year, she's one of the finalists for Washington Women in Public Relations' "PR Woman of the Year Award, which I was fortunate enough to win 10 years ago. We met as members of the nonprofit Communications Network a few years ago, as private foundations were beginning to consider how and whether to use social media. Since then, I've had an eye on the foundation's effort to provide technical assistance to grantee organizations as they, too, began incorporating social media. I asked Burns to share that approach and the insights she's gained.)

DGC: Go back to when you were considering how to use social media. What did you decide on as an approach, and how did you come to that decision?

Burns: I think we're in a somewhat unique position because our leadership have always been inolved in social media. Going back to the early days of AOL, they were involved in some of the early precursors to the online communities we use today, so to them, the idea of social media is inherent. When Facebook opened up to non dot-edu email addresses, Jean and Steve Case mandated that everyone on staff join Facebook, and when pages opened up, the foundation had one of the earliest Facebook pages. Steve joined Twitter early on and did it so much that at one point, people thought his account had been hacked--but it was just his frequency of sharing. That's now part of what we look for when we recruit new team members. We want everyone, the whole organization, to see the value and participate in the conversation on social media, not just communications.

In terms of extending our mission with social media, we started in 2007 with the America's Giving challenge. Our goal was to introduce to a wider audience the idea of micro-donations and donating online. We wanted to demonstrate to consumers that it was easy and safe, but also to introduce new platforms like Causes and leveraging social networks to raise awareness. We saw a real opportunity to help nonprofits get comfortable with these platforms for raising awareness, for communications, and for going where their supporters were. 

Did your grantees agree?

One piece of feedback we got from our grantees was "Boy, we sure could have used some training" before the America's Giving challenge. So in 2009, we launched a video series with folks who were experts in social media and marketing. Sarah Koch from Causes did one of the videos; today she's our director of social innovation. The reaction told us there's a huge appetite for this kind of help, and it was our first real eye-opener into opportunities to teach not just nonprofits but people in the sector writ large.  So we've created a topic hub on our website with content and videos on how to use social media effectively, what's the value in using social media, the strategies, the platforms. 

Is that common for foundations, have you found? If not, why not?  

It is starting to become a bit more common. We've seen a shift for foundations, which are used to lifting up their grantees but not lifting up themselves, and that may have contributed to the philanthropic sector's slow approach to social media. In our case, after we decided to be a resources for our grantees, we needed to do social media well ourselves--we want to walk the talk. Some of that capacity has to be in a communications function. We have the luxury to take some risks and try new things so we can help the sector. There are other organizations moving in that direction. Some foundations are embracing social media as a storytelling tool. Nonprofits have really led the charge there.

What do your grantees think of it? How are they taking advantage of it?

I think they like it. The feedback we've gotten from grantees and larger nonprofit community is it's a real gift we give even if we're not giving a grant to their organization. One of the organizations we've worked with as a grantee is Water for People out of Denver, which has a communications staff and a person dedicated to social media, who shadowed our digital marketing manager for a couple of days. Out of that, they got an idea for a campaign. 

Is training part of your focus?

We have not been offering trainings. From a resource perspective, there are lots of organizations filling that gap. We don't necessarily spend a lot of time doing training, but find the best of what's out there and share it. Our role is more to curate and share the information, and help to drive traffic.

What's a big lesson you've learned in this immersion in social media?

One of the lessons we've learned over the last couple of years in terms of social media campaigns is that you should keep it simple when trying to engage with the community. We've had success with season-driven campaigns, which are traditional in a consumer marketing approach. So we think about the opportunities to celebrate Mothers Day or Fathers Day. The campaigns that are more effective ask people to do something...but not too much. So we might do a holiday campaign featuring small and large volunteer actions you can do, and give you the chance to win gift cards for your own holiday shopping plus a donation to the charity of your choice. In contrast, we ran a back-to-school Instagram video campaign with several layers. You had to submit a short video, and enter on Facebook. The videos were solid, but the process became complicated for the user.

Which platforms is the foundation using now?

Of course, we want to engage with people where they spend most of their time, so we are on Facebook and Twitter for that reason. But we also are trying to learn and see what the opportunities are for us on LinkedInYouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+

How do you measure results?

We're currently undergoing a big evaluation of our digital strategy. It's important to reset every so often, and to ask are we meeting our goals and are they the right goals? On a day to day basis, we use Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Radian Six as broader social media monitoring tool. We don't just look at numbers--we look at numbers when trying to grow community. But we are also trying to look closer at engagement and thinking about how to measure engagement. On Facebook, we look at shares and even Facebook has struggled with that. On Twitter, we look at retweets and interactions. We take a weekly topline look at our overall measures, and dig into the numbers on a monthly basis.

What would you like to be able to do that you're not doing now?

Figure out what the magic engagement formula is. One thing we've struggled with is how to smartly grow your community while engaging your community. How do you bring people in and what do you want them to do? I would like an answer to that, going into 2014. Because we're not a typical nonprofit, our call to action is different--we're not asking for donations, but for people to share this piece of content or go volunteer. If we figure that out, we'll share it.

In addition to the links above, here are more of the Case Foundation's online resources related to social media:

(Photo courtesy of the Case Foundation. Used with permission.) 

It's nearly the end of the year. Are you leaving professional development or training money on the table? Email me at infoATdontgetcaughtDOTbiz to schedule individual or group training in public speaking, presenting, or social media; to prep for your upcoming TED or TEDx talk; or a communications retreat.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Beyond status updates: 11 ways to get your *real* work done on Facebook

I see Facebook as part of my work, but too many organizations see Facebook as a tempting timewaster, and they've been successful at discouraging its use: Just 29 percent of Americans report using Facebook at work every day, and it leads a list of banned social media sites in a survey that shows that some 20 percent of Americans cannot access Facebook at work. This may be an overreaction, as only five percent of employees report Facebook and other social sites as office timewasters, and an even more recent analysis suggests that it's your free time that the Internet is really taking over. But what if you reframed that problem and started using Facebook to make your team more productive?

Here are 11 ways to go past status updates to get your "real" work done on Facebook. It's not an exhaustive list, but should be enough to get you started:
  1. Convene a committee: Use a closed Facebook group to convene a task force or committee, while keeping their posts private. Members can share news, ideas and articles as well as post issues and comment on others' posts efficiently.
  2. Get an agenda: Start adding work events to your Facebook calendar, then go to your events page and click on "list" to show them integrated as a list by date. You'll also see birthdays and personal events integrated on the list. Or, export your calendar into any of several commonly used calendar programs.
  3. Chat behind the scenes: Might sound obvious, but I still see many work teams that leave Facebook to use email or IM, when those functions are built right into the site. Coordinate with your team and get agreement to share info behind-the-scenes using these functions.
  4. Store and edit your photo stash: You're already storing photos somewhere on Facebook. Add the in-Facebook app for PicMonkey--one of my favorite photo editing tools--and it will pull all your Facebook photos into one place, while letting you alter, crop, adjust, add words and filters and much more. You can also upload and alter photos stored on your computer or elsewhere, right from the app.
  5. Work the mailroom: Manage UPS deliveries from the UPS My Choice app on Facebook.
  6. Create a store: Ecwid helps you add a shopping cart to your Facebook page that can support multiple languages and currencies, among many features. If your business or organization sells any kind of merchandise to your customers, members or supporters, why not do it here?
  7. Confer with colleagues worldwide on Skype: All of Skype's text, image-sharing and voice and video calling services are available via the Skype Facebook app. No need to leave Facebook to make a call.
  8. Build your mailing list: Constant Contact's FB app lets you encourage easy sign-ups for your email marketing lists, right from your Facebook page and Contact Me makes it easy to let fans get in touch or sign up for your lists. Ditto for AWeber, another popular email marketing service.
  9. Talk to customers, hold open office hours or find out what your audience is thinking: Add LiveChat for fan pages to do all that. Customer service can happen right here.
  10. Book a business lunch: The OpenTable app lets you find and book reservations at restaurants around the world, which means you can use it for those local networking lunches as well as your business travel meals, right from Facebook. Event planner? Many restaurants on OpenTable now list private dining options and rooms or tables for big groups.
  11. Locate contact info: The Truecaller app on Facebook connects you with this collaborative contact directory--a global option for looking up ways to get in touch with business colleagues and prospects.
Are you working on Facebook, beyond status updates? Leave your tips in the comments.

Friday, November 01, 2013

The weekend read

You don't have to be a famous author to check into the hotel known as the weekend. Before you join the guest list, check my list of the best news, ideas and data I found and shared on Twitter this week:
Thanks for checking in again this week...Love having you as a frequent guest. Have a great weekend!

It's nearly the end of the year. Are you leaving professional development or training money on the table? Email me at infoATdontgetcaughtDOTbiz to schedule individual or group training in public speaking, presenting, or social media; to prep for your upcoming TED or TEDx talk; or a communications retreat.