A Change in Method (Marketing)

Every day, on my walk home, I think about things.  I let my mind wander to see what it will come up with.   I try my best to keep it productive, things that could actually be done, though my mind does wander off into the realm of the impractical from time to time.  Lately I have been thinking about marketing and ways to use social media for a variety of things.

Investor figure 3

Artists moving from traditional forms to digital forms can start to understand what business accountants have to deal with when it comes to intangibles. A painting is tangible, but a digital painting is not. When you put things online you are selling the digital representation of the painting.

As a part of my interest in Washington State’s Commute Trip Reduction requirements, my organization has to put forth a “good faith effort” to get our employees to and from work without driving alone.  I have been working on the marketing for the program for four or five years and I have pretty much run out of ways to do “traditional” marketing methods (flyers, promotions, word of mouth, electric reader boards etc.)  I have been working on using Facebook as a marketing platform to get information out.

I chose Facebook for one reason, I am not putting out content 3 to 6 times a day on a schedule.  Usually I will spend an hour or so in the morning reviewing posts from similar agencies or agencies that will effect CTR participants and repost their relevant posts.  My other goal is to have at minimum one original post.  Some days it is a inspirational or funny quote or a short FYI or blog post I discovered while researching for marketing materials.

I have been tinkering with some ideas about creating some survey’s geared towards helping people figure out if alternative commuting is worth looking at (crazy schedules can be a hindrance.)  I would also like to make a fun survey about what kind of commuter the person might be (grumpy bus rider, road rage driven carpool passenger, vanpool mom, etc.)  I know it can be done, I just need to sit down and come up with the Q&A paths.

One problem I have is getting the word out to our employee’s.  I think that I will be able to resolve that with support from our administration department, they have pull and maybe we can get information in the company newsletter.  I am surprised at the number of employees that have Facebook but refuse to become “friends” with people they work with (understandable) or do not know how to create and use the groups feature.  Maybe we need to hold a educational FB course.

It is difficult to make the transition from “traditional” marketing to online, tech savvy methods.  When I have a copy of the flyer or pamphlet I just have the feeling that I accomplished something and I have a physical object to show for it.  Uploading things directly online removes that feeling,  I do not have a hard copy, everything is intangible.  It is a strange feeling.

Things are easier to find, the internet is indexed very well (thank you search engines and Google.)  I use StumbleUpon on a regular basis and I find things I enjoy and am inspired by on a regular basis.  I still have an empty feeling because there is no tangible thing, sitting on a shelf making me look at it once a week when I dust.

I have been reading and researching on using FB for marketing.  I have not had the opportunity to practice much of what I have read.  Some of the ideas require monetary investments, the program does not have a spending account, other require more time than I am willing or able to invest.  More research is required to find a solution that has no cost and low time requirement.  Thankfully I am not in a rush.

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Novaturient

Thanks to WordPorn on Facebook I am learning tons of new words to explain the complex desires, emotions, and thoughts that I have daily.  Today’s word is Novaturient.  It is a adjective meaning; Desiring or seeking powerful change in one’s life, behavior or situation.   Basically how most people feel when they have been doing something for a long time and know that they have grown out of a job/task and the people they work with.

TimeForChangeMany, many people have these feelings.  Many of them do nothing about it.  They just sit in their “status quo” world being miserable. Most do not think they can risk a change.  Change is hard and scary.  No one ever really wants to change.  Most people are creatures of habit and move through the day on auto pilot.  Day in and day out the same thing, hardly a deviation. 

But what if I refuse to change?  How could I break free of the daily rut or grind?  I only have a few suggestions, but they require making a change and possibly taking on extra duties.

1. Pick up a project.  Many offices have “special” projects or tasks that are short term that need to be done.  Why not spice up your job duties by trying one of these tasks.  You will meet some new people, maybe learn a new skill (or use one that has gone unused.)  This may even lead to a new position if it goes well.

2. Decorate your space.  If you work in a cubicle or have an actual work space you can try decorating it (or redecorating it.)  This usually depends on your companies work space policies.  Something as simple as changing the computer’s desktop wallpaper can make a big difference.

3.  Make a slideshow of all the fun or interesting things you get to do at work.  Every time you become unmotivated check out your slideshow or power point and be reminded of the good things about work.

4.  Take your breaks and go some place new.  Go outside for a walk or eat lunch in a new place.  Exercise is known to provide a positive change in mental status (make you happier) and new scenery is always good.

Those are my suggestions.  I am sure there are more out there, feel free to share them.  You might make someones work environment better.

Sucked In

Occasionally I will get “sucked into” a project.  Instead of being a job or task it turns into a personal mission for me. Half the time the projects are not even mine.

I MUST: succeed, make it better, do this/that, help out, investigate, plan, do, more, more, MORE!

I have two projects that I have become sucked into, my employers Commute Trip Reduction program and a website and logo design for someone that my spouse is working with.  Yep, I am not even responsible for one of them!  I just got sucked in when I was asked a question.

If you live in a major metropolitan area you might know about Commuter Programs.  Many cities or states require that employers with a large amount of employees working during a particular time frame promote “alternative commute methods.”  Basically they will pay you to do something other than drive alone to work.  I help out with our organization’s CTR program.  I do the graphics, marketing and help with data entry, if I have time.  Recently we created a FaceBook page for the program to help promote it (we have zero budget.)  I just spent a good portion of my day researching the laws and policies dealing with the program.  This research goes beyond what I would need to know to create any graphics for the program.  Why?  So I would have things to post on the FB page.

I have essentially absconded with the FB page.  I am not sure why.  I do not think I am the “best” person to post things.  I am not the only person that creates content.  The program coordinator had the idea a few years ago.  It just popped up again and I ran with it.  It really is a good way to distribute information to lots of people.  I might have run away with it because I ended up creating the new logo for the program and a bunch of icons to use.

I do not want to have this on my shoulders.  I have better things to do that think about things to post on FB about commuting.  The problem is that I do not think the program coordinator will pick up the slack if I stop.  I am not sure that they see the value in the FB page.  I am working on getting others to manager the page, hopefully it will happen soon.

CommuterBar

My “Commuter Icons Bar” Once I have the single icons done I am going to share them for other people to use.

My goal with today’s post is just to vent about my uncontrollable need to take over things that I really do not need to be involved in.  I know that there are lots of people that deal with things they have “done to themselves” everyday.  I did it to myself.

HorseBlindersThere are ways to keep myself from doing taking things over.  One is to be conscious of the boundaries in the office.  If the person who is in charge of the program is here and in their space, I should shut up.  Even if I think they are explaining it wrong, just shut it.  Second is to stop paying attention to EVERYTHING in the office.  Put on my “blinders” and do my work.  Ignore the office chatter unless my name is called or one of the few key words that signify that I am being called.

Easier said then done.  I am going to work on it though.  I also need to cut back on the time I spend managing my CafeLand cafe at work.  One thing at a time though 😉

Much to Post about Nothing

Ah the joys of working in an office environment during the Holiday’s.  Nothing much happens.  I have caught up on all of my paperwork, checked on my Cafe in CafeLand, poked around Craigslist, read most of the newer blog posts (even liked a few,) and now I am getting close to being bored.  No better time to come up with a post to fill the time.

First bit of Nothing

If Melancholy really was a town I was wondering how you would find it.  Most of the time I just “fall” into it, but I have noticed that one can choose to go there or take a road or path to get there.  These observations lead me to believe that Melancholy Town is in a valley with steep walls that is close to the “Road of Life.”  This way when you are walking on the road you can misstep and fall into Melancholy Town.  You can also see an exit from the main road and choose to walk down the hill into Melancholy Town.

Then I started thinking about the geographical location of the rest of the emotions.  Depression would be a dark gray, grassy plain a short walk from Melancholy Town, you can take a visit to Blah ditch as you head over (just in case you do not want to be Depressed.)  When it comes to Anger I start to have problems with my map.  Anger could be some mountains on the far side of the Depression Plains, or it could be a boggy swamp.  Most people think that Anger is in opposition of sad, but both emotions feed into each other and Depression can be a symptom of Anger and vice versa.  I think mountains because they can naturally be shades of red, though a swamp is dark and will “suck” people in just like anger can.  Maybe a mountainous region surround by a bog?  I am going to have to sketch this out one day.

I did not really thing of the positive emotions.  Joy and Bliss would have to be on the other side of “Road of Life.”  I envision lovely brooks and meadows as far as the eye can see.  Some rivers and lakes for the “deeper” emotions.

 

Second bit of Nothing

Working with spread sheets on a daily basis can be really draining.  I feel like my brain is going to ooze out my ear at any moment.  When I finally got everything updated and calculated I was bushed (part of the reason I am close to bored.)  As much as I love Excel, I hate it at the same time.  I would love to just have each cell input as I think about the contents of it.  If math needs to be done, just mystically happen.  Automatically know that I want the cell formatted as text and not general (who wants a 8 digit number to turn into a date?)  I have had to do a lot of reconciling of various records and files with other programs and databases.  Some were much easier than others.  My brain still feels like mush, just thinking about it makes it mushier.

My Third bit of Nothing is/was kind of negative.  I was thinking about the people that protest in front of the Planned Parenthood.  I wonder if they were going to keep to their Thursday ritual and spread hate during the holidays.  I hope not.  That is already a bad thing to be doing.  Protesting during the holidays instead of spending time with your family is just stupid, borderline moronic.

Well, I think that is pretty much all I have right now.

I tried to add some photo’s but my office computer is blocking the popup.

Maybe some artist out their can come up with a sketch for what geographical emotions would look like.  It sounds like an interesting project.  I might work on it too.

Happy Holidays

 

Getting it Together

The beginning of this month has been crazy.

I quit my internship.  It was not taking me where I wanted to go.  They also changed direction and I was not going to be able to do what I spent 3 years in university and many thousands of dollars and hours to do.  I started out as a web developer for their WordPress pages but quickly let myself get sidetracked with the graphic design component of the work.  I left because I was offered a SUPER AMAZING pro-bono gig for a non-profit. 

There are some things I need to do to take full advantage of the opportunity.  Get a business license is one of the first things I need to do.  Another is set up a formal meeting with them and find out exactly what they need and figure out how to provide it.  I have many, many ideas that will help them grow and prosper, but what I can do depends on what they want. 

A big part of the project gathering the basic information on Who, What, When, Where and How.

  • Who is going to do the blog, the FB, YouTube and Twitter and when?
  • What constitutes acceptable content? 
  • What cool stuff can we offer the variety of interested parties? 
  • Who are our stakeholders?
  • What do our stakeholders expect?
  • How do we give the stakeholders what they need and expect
  • When do the stakeholders expect the product?
  • Can we get it to them in a timely manner?
  • Where can information and content be found?
  • How do we market ourselves better?

There are so many other questions to ask, but those will get us started.

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Thank you yourownawesome.org for the image. It is AWESOME!

I learned a lot at my internship.  Some of the questions I will ask came from that.  It was a great experience but in the end I was not going to go in the direction I wanted to go. It was time for me to move on and use my skills and talents in another area.

I actually waited a bit to long to make this choice.  By the time I had, I was struggling to complete what little work I was given.  I dreaded going to “work” and events.  Once the direction changed and more staff was “hired” (more interns,) I realized that I did not have to stay around.  It was not in my best interest to stay around.  The dis-satisfaction was causing problems elsewhere and I needed to move on.  It was not an easy choice.  I am very loyal by nature.  There are times when it is better for everyone to just move on.  Sometimes it just takes time to realize it, or, as in my case, another opportunity to knock and be really awesome.

I am going to be working really hard to make my part successful and I am going to blog about the process.  I cannot wait to share my new work with everyone out there.  I will as soon as the ink dries on the plans.  Many of you that follow my blog are going to be interested in the organization and I hope that you will be able to offer me input to make things awesome.   

Maybe, just maybe, we will inspire others to take up the cause.  Or maybe someone who is starting a web based non-profit will succeed and make their dreams a reality based off the information I have shared.

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