Friday, December 17, 2010

This Changes Everything!

My children go to an ESL (English as a Second Language) elementary school with 500+ students and 14% of them are ESL students. We currently have 11 different countries represented within the children in that program.  Due to lack of dollars, our district unfortunately does not provide foreign language into the daily curriculum for the English only speaking kids to learn to communicate with the other children.  Yeah... a bit wonky, isn't it?

Granted, when you see the children, all out on recess, playing with each other and having fun, there's no translation needed.  Nor when you see them all sitting together at lunch laughing with each other.  Some really good things just don't need words.  

When they do...   I WANT THIS!

Can you say BRILLIANT?

Can you see this being used to increase world relief efforts so we can all understand each other and communicate better from the start?  I see this aiding Doctors Without Borders and the military and foreign exchange programs.  How do you see this being used?  Punch some holes in it... tell me why you don't think this is a good thing?

The world is getting smaller and more intimate every day and it makes me fall out of my chair with joy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Found Your Voice Yet?

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Alan Weinkrantz as he and Jeff Pulver were touring the nation on their 140 Character Conference, and they came back through Kansas City. We had an intimate little group from the Social Media Club of Kansas City meet up at the 810 Zone in Harrah's Casino, for some drinks a few laughs.  The beautiful part was... getting some one on one time with these amazing social media guys.

Alan said he'd heard I do social networking for some mid to large size businesses in Kansas City and was intrigued.  Then asked me a question that has resonated with me ever since.  Seriously... I think about it often and have since asked my clients the same question.

"What is your voice?"

Did that mean "what is the personality, the persona, the feeling we leave people with after each tweet or posts or blog?"   Well, yeah.  I think it does.  

Shortly after that meeting, I met up with social savvy sales guy Ken Miner, of Spiral 16.  We talked about how companies spend crazy amounts of money and time on training their employees to correctly translate the company's culture. Whether you communicate with them via phone or in person.  Is it a friendly company in person? When you walk through their doors, are you greeted with a warm smile and do they look you in the eye and welcome you in?  Do they ask how you are?  Do they really seem to want to help you?  Are they genuine?  How's their tone and inflection on the phone?   Are they trained to make you feel good before, during and after you communicate with them? 

How many of them have an accurate portrayal of their culture through Facebook, Twitter, community chat rooms, blogs, etc... ?

A great example of a company culture being portrayed from start to finish was, Longbranch Saloon, on the Plaza in Kansas City, MO.  It was the first snarky and sarcarstic sports bar restaurant I had ever been to, (1980's thru the 90's) that announced it from the moment you walked in the door. "Home of the meanest waitresses in Kansas City".  The atmosphere was fun and you got great food and good service, mixed in with comments like "You don't need one more French fry" "Stop talking so I can concentrate and write your order down" to "Now, get the hell out of here" after you've paid.  That was the reputation they wanted and you knew what you were getting in to the minute you arrived. You also left feeling slightly insulted and laughing hard about it.  I can't help but think the fun they could be having on Twitter... where snark is a value.

So now, I'm thinking about every connection my client's make online and about how you feel when you speak with them... and beyond.  Is it the right voice?  Have we found our voice yet?

What is your voice for your client or better yet, your own personal brand?  Think about it.