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Wednesday
Nov192014

How Wonder Woman can help pump you up for your big moment

Power Posing can help you feel like a super hero.

The pressure is on. Whether it’s an interview or a presentation, your palms are sweaty and your voice is shaky.

Don’t just stand there. Strike a pose. Just make sure it’s a power pose.

In her powerful TED talk Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy talks about how emulating Wonder Woman doesn’t just change your mindset, it changes your body chemistry.

A power pose is one where your body language is open and looking powerful. There is the classic, CEO feet on the desk pose, as well as the victory pose with your hands spread in a large “V” above your head. The opposite is the low power pose. Your body is hunched down and curled up.

Cuddy’s research had one group assume a power pose for two minutes and the other a low power pose. After just a two-minute "high power pose," the risk tolerance of the high-power posers increased, while the risk tolerance of the low-power posers reduced.

“This, the researchers found, was the result of a profound change in body chemistry. Testosterone is the "dominance" hormone,” said Cuddy. “After a mere two-minute pose, the testosterone levels of the "high power" posers rose 20 percent. Testosterone levels for the "low power" group, meanwhile, fell 10 percent.”

So should you walk into your next presentation and put your feet up on the table? No, but while waiting for your big moment, find a private place and power pose for a few minutes. You will be amazed at the difference it makes.

Thursday
Nov062014

Lowe Commercial Spawns Spat over Shyness

The flap over Rob Lowe's portrayal of a painfully shy cable TV subscriber underscores the problems with using humor to make a point. You are bound to offend somebody in the process.

Actually Lowe appears twice in the funny, but controversial ad — once as a suave DIRECTV guy and the other as a hapless, creepy guy who watches people at a swimming pool through binoculars or sniffs a woman's hair at the movies when his cable TV goes on the blink.

Steve Soifer, CEO of the International Paruresis Association, expressed displeasure with the ad that shows the shy, unattractive Rob Lowe having trouble urinating in public.  According to the group's website, 7 percent of the population or 21 million Americans suffer some form of social anxiety, referred to as Pee-Shy, when voiding in a crowded place. 

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Monday
Oct202014

Letting Your Weird, Creative Side Shine

Many young people have deserted Facebook for photo-sharing on Instagram. For brands trying to appeal to a younger demographic, Instagram is the place to be.

In the land of selfies, it takes clever marketing to score on this photo-centered social media platform. Instagram also involves more than simple sharing or "likes." It appeals to people who like to engage and be part of something.

For example, a music group called The Vaccines asked its Instagram users to take photos at shows and festivals to crowd source a music video. Others have employed Instagram for online fundraising, using fetching photos to tell the story about the fundraising recipient.

Instagram isn't for everybody. If you and your customers like to produce and read lengthy white papers, choose another channel. But it you can let creative side loose, Instagram can be a fun and informative avenue to activate your audience.

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Monday
Oct132014

Content Marketing + Savvy Promotion

Effective content marketing requires producing the content, then promoting it through a variety of channels. The art is knowing what to write and the science is knowing how and where to promote it, says Intel content strategist Luke Kintigh.

Like it or not, 90 percent of viewership comes from 10 percent of the content. Some pieces are winners and some just trot along for the ride. Kintigh argues for a promotional strategy of placing your bets on the winners who show the best promise of attracting clicks.

According to a story by Russell Working, writing for ragan.com. Kintigh's strategy has tripled page views of Intel's iQ online magazine over the last year.

Like many other smart brands, Intel has turned to content marketing, using the online magazine as its thought leadership platform. iQ contains a wide array of stories about how technology is transforming everything from health care to craft beer. Intel pays to promote its content.

Many companies and nonprofits lack the financial resources of an Intel or a Microsoft to produce and promote compelling content. But the lessons from the big guys still apply. Good content and savvy promotion can pay dividends.

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Tuesday
Oct072014

Compelling Corporate Storytelling

Microsoft Stories, "An inside look at the people, places and ideas that move us," is an excellent example of corporate storytelling.

The website looks and feels like an online magazine. It is actually a collection of corporate stories made to look like an online magazine. It is content marketing designed to give Microsoft staffers a face and Microsoft customers an entertaining experience.

The key "message" is subordinated to storytelling. Readers are engaged, not just message targets.

One of the featured stories is a profile about Kiki Wolfkill (her real name), who is in charge of the "Halo" video game, which has gone from a first-person perspective to an immersive world where players consume and create the game as they play. 

We learn through the profile, written and laid out in magazine style, that Wolfkill combines her talent as an artist with her thirst for speed as a racecar driver to stimulate her design adrenalin. By the end of the piece, you would like to talk to Wolfkill over one of her Asian fusion home-cooked meals.

A video game has gone from a game to a face. 

Other stories describe how five young technologists, who were finalists in Microsoft's Challenge for Change program, visited the Amazon, a former NFL player uses technology to battle ALS and a computer scientist splits​ his time between developing software and making wine. You even learn the Seattle Seahawks mascot doubles as a Microsoft demo whiz.

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