The end of the (written) word as we know it?

As someone who prefers writing over speaking any day of the week, one Rosemary O’Connor quote has always resonated with me:


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”


If you feel the same way, then you may have a similar reaction to Facebook’s prediction that, in five years’ time, the written word will be out—at least when it comes to social media—and video will become the communication method of choice.


According to the social media giant, the number of text updates has already started to diminish, while video is on the rise. As someone who gets clunky in front of a camera—who trips over her words, can’t remember what she wanted to say, and says “like”, “um” and “uh” an embarrassingly inordinate amount of times in one sentence—I can’t imagine a day when I’d ever turn a camera on myself to announce a mundane update in my life.


That said, I understand the whole notion of “show, don’t tell”—and while it may be difficult to capture many of life’s personal, spontaneous moments on camera, I definitely see how businesses could start relying more on video when it comes to social media marketing.


What do you think? Could the written word eventually become extinct? What would that type of world even LOOK like?

If a blog falls in the forest does anybody hear?

With March break upon many of us, my mind is onto more metaphysical questions – thus the subject line.  What I am referring to here are metrics and measurement, a subject whose importance cannot be overemphasized.  One of my favourite business mentors taught me that “what you do not measure cannot be improved”.  It is a lesson that we constantly convey to our clients, as well as applying it internally.  When you consider that improving conversions from 2% to 3%, for example, can mean a 50% jump in revenue, you start to take it seriously. 

In the Web 1.0 world, there are numerous software measurement and metric packages that vary in sophistication and price.  The one you choose depends on your type of business and the metrics you look for.  In our business, and for clients, we use Google Analytics, as well as a serverbased package that acts as a check and balance, so to speak.  In my book, when considering data richness, ease of use, and price (free!), Google Analytics is unrivalled.

In the social media world, measurement and metric software is a fairly nascent space but it is developing rather quickly.  One option I have been testing and will deploy in a number of upcoming social media campaigns is Ubervu, which measures “conversation”, “reactions”, and a variety of other metrics in the social media universe.  Go to, input your company name in the “Search for Social Media Conversations” window, and click “Analyze”.

 At the end of the day, it’s the not the software you pick but the fact that you do it consistently and continuously adjust.  Remember: “you cannot improve that which you do not measure”.

What Would Google Do?

One of the ways we make our clients’ lives easier is by reading and studying the latest marketing trends and then synthesizing them into actionable strategies and tactics. This way, we can help our clients keep up with the massive amount of information flying their way.  In fairness to my partners at AR, they often do come up with original thinking and ideas.  For me,  it only happens once in a very long while.  Most of the time I gather the best practices and strategies out there and tweak them so our clients can apply them to their businesses and industries.  It’s a win/win – they get a medley of the best that is available and I don’t have to over-tax my brain.

To this end, over the next few months I will be sharing some insights I’ve been gleaning from some leading thinkers and writers on marketing and social media/networking.

The first book I want to talk about is What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis, which I read (actually listened to, courtesy of over the holidays.  It will definitely influence some of our marketing strategies for clients in 2010.  To make life really easy (which is what the Internet is all about), before starting to discuss it, here is an excellent summary you can peruse to familiarize yourself with it.

Please share your thoughts once you’ve had a chance to check out the summary.

View more documents from Steven Zwerink.

Is Social Media for Real?

A good number of our clients have been rolling out social media initiatives over the last year or are in the process of doing so.  These initiatives include blogs, podcasts and social networking.

We also hear regularly from clients who are considering initiatives but are still unsure about the effectiveness and staying power of this particular marketing channel.  One of the most frequent questions we hear:  Is this social media thing for real and should be deploying our resources to leverage it?  To answer this question I will direct you to some stats that were sent to us by a friend of ours, who herself is a savvy marketer. Check it out here:

5 do’s and don’ts of building a network of marketing communications colleagues

In an earlier post, we talked about the rich resources available in the marketing communications industry. You don’t have to figure out everything yourself – you can make use of the experiences of others, and pass along yours as well.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re networking:


Stay professional, positive, and generous. The more you give in your networking relationships, the more you will receive.

Consider a more formal networking arrangement such as a think tank or mastermind group. There will likely be an agreement to cover things like scheduling, eligibility, and structure.

Shop around for volunteer opportunities within your group or association. Sitting in on a committee or helping to plan an event is one way to develop relationships with the people who make things happen.

Attend the educational and conference events that genuinely interest you. This way, you’ll be at your most energetic and engaged, and you’ll meet people you can relate to.

Make the best first impression you can in your online profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Write and proofread your profile carefully and include an attractive, professional, and friendly photo.


Expect referrals, introductions, or assistance right away. People refer to, help, and do business with those they know, like, and trust.

Start your own group – online or offline – before you consider the time, energy, and commitment involved. If the group fades away or falls apart, your credibility could take a hit.

Gossip or criticize about your colleagues. It only reflects poorly on you.

Talk to the same people at every meeting. Venture out of your comfort zone and approach people who run in different circles or who have more experience than you have.

Forget to bring business cards or collect the business cards of the people you spoke to. Follow up with any information you promised, or to book another time to get together.

Your network may just be your most powerful resource. Whatever your question, there is someone with an answer. Whatever your experience, there is someone who could benefit from hearing about it. Whatever you need, someone in your network either can help, or can introduce you to someone who can help. It’s worth the time to build a strong network.