Sunday, April 1, 2012

We've moved!

The day has come!

Accidental Information has grown up and is now a shiny new communications company. We are so excited.

Come join us!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Accidental Information Evolves a process of change in a certain direction: unfolding; a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state: growth.

The world evolves constantly. So do our environments. There comes a time with a blog must do the same thing. It's been a great run sharing my views, voice and the various ideas that spring into thought. During my journey of sharing, learning and connecting, one interesting thought stood out. So it's time to turn this idea in to reality and chart a new course. By adding a lot of passion and some elbow grease, I'm about to share the next stage of life for Accidental Information (AI).

So what does this all mean? In a few weeks, Accidental Information will be all new and transform from a communication-based blog to something bigger and better. This new destination will deliver unique and interesting information and some much needed fun. 

Excited to see what's next? Connect with AI now and be the first to know when the new site is up. Here's how to reach us:


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

IABC 2011 World Conference Recap

Communicators talk a lot! And that’s a good thing. 1400 communication, marketing and social folks chatted, networked, learned and saw some sights in San Diego last week. The IABC World Conference was full swing in and offered much of the same things in the past, a place to share and learn. I was lucky enough to co-facilitate a session on Sunday sharing three hours of open space to collaborate hot topics and network our butts off. I stayed for the rest of the conference and took advantage of sessions, interesting keynote speakers, and my favorite part of any major event, meeting new people, like-minded or not. 

So what did I get out of the event? I’ve categorized my experiences in bite-sized nuggets for your scanning pleasure. But don’t just read and close the page. Share a few highlights of your own in the comments section. Isn’t that half the point of going to a conference? Share the wealth!

Best lines I heard or overheard:
“Your brand is what your employees say it is.”
“Value is in the eye of the beholder.”
“…prune your garden.”

Takeaways and Reminders
These are key points that resonated with me in the sessions I attended. Most are not new. But they are terrific reminders to be true and stay on point for successful approaches.

  • Biggest theme: Make it simple (write in plain, simple language) 
  • Integrated communications: Focus on blending plans and tactics vs. a singular approach to marketing, social media, executive communications, etc. 
  • Emotional connections: Connect with employees emotionally to drive overall engagement and passion. Make it personal. 
  • Drive traffic: Want better adoption? The best way to drive traffic to your site is to put the must-have items on it. i.e. pay stubs, schedules for hourly employees 
  • Multiple approaches: One fit does not work for all regions and employees. For example in a sustainability program, employees in Asian Pacific markets prefer group contributions vs. employees in the US which usually prefer to contribute individually. Know the audience and be nimble in your approach.
  • Offer outcomes: Understand the outcomes of your communication plans and services so you can focus on offering a service with an expected outcome to clients. This addresses that problem or situation a client wants to tackle. Clients too often are focused on services and something fun without understanding the best approach to solve their problem. 
  • Think big about your brand: You really only have one brand. Or at least you should. Even sub-brands are okay as long as they deliver on your brand and promise. Everyone that touches this brand is now part of a brand system. Connect these people and initiatives to drive one brand message. If everyone is working together in a brand system, the message stays clear. And a clear message helps employees understand the company and their role. 
  • Find the gaps: Communicators are in the perfect position to spot the gaps in strategy plans. We can look at it from all angles (employee, leaders, and consumer). Find the gaps and point them out. This is usually when communications can connect plans and ideas. 

Happy Improvements
I wrote a post last year recapping the 2010 conference including a few things I’d like to see changed. Guess what, people listened. Here are a few of those things as well as others that I believe worked nicely.

  • Case studies: I was happily surprised to see more case studies and real experiences vs. an onslaught of vendors. I walked out of sessions with not only some knowledge, but most of the time with a new contact to share future ideas with. 
  • Social media: There were session about it and a lot more attendees using tools while attending the conference. This was the first year I didn’t feel like the ugly duckling (swan…get it?) because I was tweeting and not many others were. Yay for embracing a current technology and rhythm. 
  • Digital copy: It was nice to see a digital copy of the schedules and programs. I will admit, I actually do like the printed brochure. But digital was a step in the right direction. By the way, the right direction is listed below in the mobile app bullet. 
  • Vendors: It was nice to see a few new vendors. I always like to know about new options. Maybe think about getting a Foursquare, Jive or Yammer there. They make perfect sense! 

Thoughts for Next Year
Call it what you will, challenges, learnings, whatever you do don’t do this again, or just plain that could be even better – all ideas to make 2012 an even better conference experience. 
  • Collaboration: I am so glad IABC attendees had the option of joining an online group to share and interact around the 2011 conference. Now I’d like to see a permanent place instead of a one-time instance. Sad but true, the current Ning site will probably fade away. Why not use a place that IABC folks are already visiting, like LinkedIn. Make use of the space and do not create another place to distract. Adoption will also be better. Or if Ning is the ticket, make it a on-going living space in the IABC website. Connect them!  
  • Mobile app: Take the digital schedule and resources and turn them into a mobile app. A digital version of the schedule can only do so much. Let me tag my schedule, build one, connect to the online collaborative space, see the twitter feed and more. Build it and we will come! 
  • WiFi: You knew I was going to say this, right? I was okay without it this year because we were in the US. But for our non US folks and the attendees with WiFi only tablets, WiFi is a must. Make some magic. 

I end with a big smile and a resounding, “I’m glad I attended”. IABC is evolving and I can see it. I look forward to sharing, learning over the next year and seeing everyone at the 2012 conference. Who knows, maybe I’ll even throw my name in the hat for a session I’m cooking up. Interested?

Keep sharing and connecting!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A New Communication & Social Media Adventure

The countdown is over. I've said goodbye and now I'm ready to start a new adventure to expand social media and interactive communications to a whole new audience. Yes this does mean my time with the Mouse has come to an end. 

I am happy to officially announce to the greater public, that I've accepted a position with Avery Dennison. In my new role, I'm tackling interactive communications and social media for the Company. I'll focus internally toward the employees through the Intranet and technology outlets like mobile devices, touch panels, and more. Additionally, I will focus heavily on social media platforms, best practices and campaigns for the internal audience and externally to consumers and clients. Once I jump in and become immersed, get ready to hear more about this exciting journey. 

About Avery Dennison
Avery Dennison continues to evolve while embracing trending communication practices and continues its strong commitment of innovation. Avery Denison is probably a lot more than you might think. Take a glimpse into our world and see how Avery Dennison is all about Inspired Brands and an Intelligent World: 2010 Year in Review

As I said farewell to the Walt Disney Company, I shared a brief video to Disney colleagues. Here's a copy of that video.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How to Communicate a Clear Message: An Ad by KLM

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines just released a new video showcasing a social experiment they conducted. What if someone was in your personal space? Would you feel uncomfortable? Of course you would. This simple and easy to understand video explains that KLM knows what it's like to feel uncomfortable with someone in that protected space. The real message - we listen, we get you and we have a new program on European Business Class flights. Personally, I was sold with the new perk of an empty seat next to me. Now that's priceless. 

Yes, this video summarizes a new program. But it's with simplicity of human behavior and a soothing pace that makes this perfectly toned ad a winner. But this is just an ad, right? Well I of course think about how to apply this to employees of an organization. What if we set a soothing tone, listened more intently and said we get you to our employees? It would be one step closer to engaging our colleagues - honest and simple. Now watch for yourself.