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Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

August 23rd, 2016

What Does Client Service Excellence Mean to … Anne Trapasso

At Voce/Porter Novelli, client service excellence is foundational to everything we do. It’s our most important product. It’s how we grow our business and measure our success.

With client expectations higher, competition fiercer and budgets tighter, the room for error is marginal. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard in order to develop deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients.

That’s why four times a year we celebrate the Client Service Star Awards as an opportunity to recognize 10 outstanding Voce/Porter Novellians around the globe each quarter who exemplify the principles of Client Service Excellence. Winners of the Client Service Star Award have been recognized by both colleagues and clients alike for their dedication to: building long-term relationships, deepening their knowledge of the business, creating value in their daily role and keeping promises.

In this second installment of the client service excellence blog series, we spoke with Voce’s very own Q2 Client Service Star – Account Manager, Anne Trapasso.

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What do you do at Voce/Porter Novelli?

 I’ve been with Voce/Porter Novelli since the summer of 2010 and over the last six years I’ve worked on various accounts from social media publishing for a consumer brand to driving media programs for B2B clients. For the past 2+ years, I’ve really focused on helping build the Security Practice at Voce while simultaneously running the media relations programs for Palo Alto Networks and Micro Focus. As an Account Manager who’s worked my way up from an intern, it’s been so exciting to grow at the company and understand what it means to be a great Voce employee at each level.

What does client service excellence mean to you?

Client service excellence is all about going above and beyond for the customer. That involves really getting to know your client, and that helps forecast asks before they even come in. Client service excellence goes far beyond baseline account activities – it’s about digging in deep with your client to determine what will make them (and their entire department) look good to their boss and how you can help them achieve that level of excellence. You know you’ve succeeded when your client regards you and the PR team as a true partner vs. an outside entity present only to help push specific campaigns forward.

How have you come to learn successful client service? 

During my time at Voce, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredibly smart, dedicated and kind colleagues. It’s through watching and listening to their interactions with clients, organizing weekly check-ins to talk through program strategies and always being open to feedback that has really taught me what it means to deliver the highest level of client service.

Do you have any role models who you look up to in this regard?

There are so many facets that fall under the term “public relations.” It’s why I still have a hard time explaining to people exactly what is it that I do each day. And because we must wear so many different “hats” for our clients, that has allowed me to cross paths and learn from so many wonderful professionals. Those that I really look up to the most are supervisors and clients that can extend beyond the actual work to build relationships. It’s during those times and interactions that we’re able to learn about each other, the client and their imperatives. In my opinion, this is how excellent client service can be achieved.

What advice would you give to others looking to mirror those client service excellence principles?

  • Don’t ever stop working hard – some days it will feel like you aren’t making any progress. It’s during those times especially that you need to push forward, and you’ll come out as a stronger and more resilient professional.
  • Don’t work harder, work smarter – this may seem to go against my advice shared directly above, but as you’re honing skills in a particular area, always ask yourself, “What can I do to make this [task or program] easier, faster, and smarter to achieve greater results for my client in the end?”
  • Be open to learning from anyone who is willing to share knowledge with you – we are not in an easy business. Beyond the strategy aspect, we must remain aware of client and teammate personalities, limitations and not to mention the ongoing news cycle! Always have an eye out for colleagues and supervisors who are willing to take the time and teach you – no matter their specialty. This is an ever-changing business – you never know what new opportunities may arise!

Filed in Voce People

August 10th, 2016

Voce Co-Founders Share Their #firstsevenjobs

It’s always interesting to know what each person’s career background is especially when it goes wwwaaay back to their first jobs. You get a chance to relate to them especially if you had similar first jobs or perhaps you learn why they were molded a certain way. To find out more information about the Voce Communications co-founders – Richard Cline, Dave Black and Matthew Podboy – we asked them what were their first seven jobs and this is what they said:

RC

Richard Cline

  1. Newspaper Boy
  2. Dishwasher/Line Cook
  3. Grocery Bagger
  4. Baseball Coach
  5. Waiter/Food Server
  6. Distance Learning Technician
  7. Journalist

MP

Matthew Podboy

  1. Supermarket grocery bagger
  2. Convalescent home dishwasher
  3. Restaurant busboy
  4. Food preparation assistant
  5. Wendy’s fast food
  6. Valet car parker
  7. Counselor with autistic children

DB

Dave Black

  1. Paperboy
  2. Pizza maker
  3. Pizza maker again
  4. Photo developer
  5. Flower delivery boy
  6. Bus Boy
  7. Flower Delivery Man

 

What were your first seven jobs? Post a comment below.

About the Author
Randy Ksar is VP of Digital at Voce Communications. You can follow him at @djksar on Twitter.

Filed in Voce Culture, Who We Are

August 10th, 2016

Employee Advocacy and Tools of the Trade: A Q&A with Citrix’s Rhonda Hughes

In continuing our conversations with employee advocacy experts we interviewed Rhonda Hughes from Citrix, who is going to be one of our panelists at the Flipboard/Voce Employee Advocacy Meetup on August 15, 2016, to be hosted at Flipboard’s HQ in Palo Alto.Julie Hayes, Autodesk

What is your role and what organization do you work in at Citrix?

I lead our corporate social media strategy acting as the voice of Citrix in our social communities. I am also an internal consultant and educator on social media related topics across the business. My role sits within the global corporate communications team which is within marketing.

A big area of my focus is on helping people “do social” well. That includes both our social media practitioners who are responsible for a Citrix brand social account and, more generally, our employees.

How did the idea of an employee advocacy program come about at Citrix? Why was it needed?

The idea for our employee advocacy program actually came from employees.

At the time, I was the community manager for the Citrix SaaS division (GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, etc.). Our marketing team was creating really fantastic content including webinars and infographics on broad topics like how to be a better presenter, better manager or better leader – things most business professionals care about. I’d promote the latest webinar, for example, with Dan Pink or Guy Kawasaki on the GoToMeeting Facebook page and would see comments from coworkers about how great the topic was. I realized we had an internal awareness issue.

We were creating all this interesting, relevant and shareable content but most employees didn’t know about it or understand how they could properly share it with their social communities.

From there, I built a proposal, outlined requirements and evaluated vendors. While we were in the evaluation stage, a VP, at the time, made an introduction to a small start-up that an investor friend of hers knew about and we became their 4th customer.

The goal for our program was simple: make it easier for employees to:

  • See the latest Citrix content & news
  • Share the things they find interesting with their social networks

In Spring of 2013, we launched a pilot with 40 employees. The response was incredible. We used the results — traffic to the website, webinar leads and also qualitative feedback from our pilot participants—to make the case for further investment extending an invite to the entire division. Shortly after I was promoted into my current role, now with global purview across the entire company, not just a single business unit or division, I continued to grow the program to its status now at nearly 1000 employees.

What was your experience with advocacy programs before you started the one at Citrix? 

Three years ago, employee advocacy wasn’t really a term I’d heard of. Most of my prior experience was geared towards customer advocacy –collecting and amplifying social testimonials, surprise and delight campaigns, etc. I did build a process for collecting stories and photos from employees but it was more focused on gathering content to share via our product social accounts vs. encouraging employees to tell a story on our behalf.

How do you determine what content is going to perform well with employees? 

With nearly 1000 participants from across the globe, it became really difficult for me to select content that would appeal to everyone. That’s why our program continues to evolve.

Earlier this year we introduced a new option so employees can personalize what content/news they see. Participants have access to a web app where they create a customized content library and can schedule social posts and see analytics. Like before, we started with a pilot and used the results to make the case for further investment but the results and feedback from employees has been phenomenal.

Join us on Monday, August 15, 2016, from 6:00-9:00pm, at Flipboard’s HQ for networking and a panel discussion about best practices & pitfalls in starting and growing an employee advocacy program.

Eventbrite - The Rise of Employee Advocacy in the Enterprise

About the Author
Andy is responsible for developing and implementing social media and digital publishing programs for Voce clients.

Filed in Events

August 2nd, 2016

Employee Advocacy and Authenticity: A Q&A with Autodesk’s Julie Hayes

Authenticity. It’s one of the most unique elements employees represent that typical marketing channels simply cannot. At Autodesk, equipping employees to convey that sense of authenticity by telling great stories has been a core tenet of their employee advocacy program.

Julie Hayes, AutodeskWe sat down with Julie Hayes, Senior Brand Communications Manager at Autodesk, to uncover this and other best practices from her work building out a successful employee advocacy program.

Julie will be a featured panelist at the Flipboard/Voce Employee Advocacy Meetup on August 15, 2016, to be hosted at Flipboard’s HQ in Palo Alto.

 

What’s your role at Autodesk?

​​​​​​​My team focuses on driving greater awareness and understanding for Autodesk, both internally and externally.

When did you start the advocacy program at Autodesk and what and who does it all encompass?

While rolling out our new corporate brand in 2013, we realized how passionate our employees were for who we are, and where we’re going. Finding an easy means to activate that passion, and getting out of the way, became my priority. We launched Bonfire, our first formal employee advocacy program, in May 2014. To date over 25% of our employees in 35 different countries are actively sharing content with their personal social networks, and over 600 Channel Partners are doing the same. We’ve since expanded our advocacy opportunities beyond social sharing, and market the many ways employees can stand-up offline as an Autodesk Advocate based on their location, skill set, and area of interest.

Has the definition of employee advocacy changed since you started the program at Autodesk?

Not exactly. For our online efforts we’ve remained true to the original spirit of Bonfire, but as our program has evolved we’ve made room for strategic social sharing efforts that cater to more niche audiences or content. We’ve also trained sales employees on social selling principles, which is less about advocacy and more about personal brand building and relationship marketing. As we move into the offline space of Employee Advocacy, our wins with Bonfire have opened doors to more broadly define employee advocacy, both the who and how.

If you could give one tip for others to get executive buy-in in buying a platform what would it be?

If there’s no risk, there’s no reward. Convince your executive team to let you pilot a small effort to determine if there’s an appetite, test and learn, and build the business case to expand. The practice and infrastructure behind employee advocacy programs is still somewhat new, and what works for one company may not work for another. You can only find that out by doing something first.

How do you keep employees motivated to share Autodesk content? How can you prevent it from being just another app they launch once a month?

For a voluntary program like ours, we recognize there’s always going to be turnover, and our goal has never been to have all 9,000 employees on Bonfire. I truly believe the core of our success has been our approach to content. Promoting products is the job of traditional marketing channels, not our advocates. Our employees are motivated by telling and sharing great stories, and we have lots of them. We curate content daily, in an authentic voice, across a diverse range of topics, and in 8 different languages. There’s something there for everyone. We take a conservative approach to gamification, choosing to incentivize during thematic content pushes. And by tapping into our company-wide rewards program to recognize great advocates, we’re integrating what might look like a marketing program on the outside, into the cultural fabric of our company.

Join us on Monday, August 15, 2016, from 6:00-9:00pm, at Flipboard’s HQ for networking and a panel discussion about best practices & pitfalls in starting and growing an employee advocacy program.

Eventbrite - The Rise of Employee Advocacy in the Enterprise

About the Author
Randy Ksar is VP of Digital at Voce Communications. You can follow him at @djksar on Twitter.

Filed in Events

July 26th, 2016

Employee Advocacy Meetup August 15th at Flipboard HQ

Flipboard and Voce Communications invite you to a panel discussion about best practices & pitfalls in starting and growing an employee advocacy program. The panel will be moderated by Josh Quittner at Flipboard, editorial director and include the following panelists:

Speakers at the Employee Advocacy Meetup - Andrew Stoltzfus, Rhonda Hughes, Julie Hayes

– Rhonda Hughes, Corporate Social Media Manager at Citrix

– Julie Hayes,  Sr. Brand Communications Manager at Autodesk

– Andrew Stoltzfus, VP of the Technology Practice at Voce Communications 

B2C and B2B brands are finding one of the best way to connect with their customers, prospects and potential recruits is through authentic and real conversations from employees. According to recent studies, employees have social networks that reach 10x a company’s followers, and that employee-shared content generates 8x more engagement than brand content and is re-shared 25x more often. In addition, people trust other people (including employees) 90% of the time, compared to just 33% who trust official brand content. 

Join us on August 15 at Flipboard HQ in Palo Alto at 6:00pm and invite your fellow digital and communication peers. We’ll be taking your questions and diving into the following: 

  • How do you sell an employee advocacy program to executives and employees?
  • What organizations beyond marketing does employee advocacy help?
  • What role does employee advocacy play in managing your brand’s reputation?
  • How do you measure a program? Does it change from when you start it to when the program is mature?
  • Which organization typically owns the program?
  • How do you keep employees from hurting the brand, intentionally or accidentally?

Come to find the answers, learn and mingle.

Eventbrite - The Rise of Employee Advocacy in the Enterprise

Hashtag: #FlipMarketer

Follow @vocenation and @flipmarketer

About the Author
Randy Ksar is VP of Digital at Voce Communications. You can follow him at @djksar on Twitter.

Filed in Social Media Voce

June 16th, 2016

Voce Voices: Did Curiosity Kill The Cat?

Did curiosity kill the cat?

If that cat worked in public relations, then definitely not! That cat is most likely thriving and making its celeb cat clients incredibly happy. It’s rainin’ catnip.

Want to achieve great things, like Mr. Cat? Follow our featured Voce Voice for this week, Melissa Gaffney’s advice! Stay tuned for more from Melissa this week on our Voce Instagram…

Filed in Uncategorized

June 15th, 2016

Voce Podcast Ep. 9: Apple’s WWDC News

In the latest episode of the Voce Nation Podcast, Randy Ksar and I talked about all – or at least much of – the news coming out of Monday’s WWDC keynote and presentation by Apple. You can watch the conversation below.

In the episode we talked about:

  • SiriKit and how more apps and their content will be accessible via Siri. Also, how Siri will soon be available on desktop machines through the new OS.
  • Swift Playgrounds and how this will help kids learn more about coding and app building, which is good for Apple specifically but for everyone more generally.
  • iMessage and how it’s adding features like stickers, emoji display and suggestion options to retain its user base amid increased competition from Whatsapp, Line and other messaging apps.
  • Apple News and how it’s not only redesigning but offering locked-screen notifications that will feature more media and interactive content as well as allowing people to subscribe to publications from within the app.

And, as usual, lots more. You can visit Apple’s Developers site to get more details. And you can read some of the stories we reference in the podcast in our Flipboard magazine.

You can catch older episodes of the Voce Nation Podcast here. Connect with Voce on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Soundcloud. And follow me and Randy on Twitter for more. Finally, subscribe to the PNConnect Weekly Reading newsletter here or sign-up to get it via email directly.

voce nation podcast

 

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

Filed in Voce Nation Podcast

June 13th, 2016

What Does Client Service Excellence Mean to… Elysia Nazareth

At Voce/Porter Novelli, client service excellence is foundational to everything we do. It’s our most important product. It’s how we grow our business and measure our success.

With client expectations higher, competition fiercer and budgets tighter, the room for error is marginal. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard in order to develop deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients.

That’s why four times a year we celebrate the Client Service Star Awards as an opportunity to recognize 10 outstanding Voce/Porter Novellians around the globe each quarter who exemplify the principles of Client Service Excellence. Winners of the Client Service Star Award have been recognized by both colleagues and clients alike for their dedication to: building long-term relationships, deepening their knowledge of the business, creating value in their daily role and keeping promises.

elysia nazareth

In this new blog series, we’ll talk to some of Voce’s very own Client Service Stars and explore what client service excellence means to them. To kick us off, we interviewed our Q1 Client Service Star – Supervisor, Elysia Nazareth.

Q&A:

  1. What do you do at Voce/Porter Novelli?
    1. As an Account Supervisor in the San Francisco office, I support clients by way of media relations and program management, spanning corporate and product programs. Recently, my clients have included those in cybersecurity, B2B and B2C technology, providing a pretty varied and dynamic day-to-day experience.
  2. What does client service excellence mean to you?
    1. To me, client service excellence is about more than delivering consistently high quality results on time. It’s about bridging the gap from being a “do-er” and an executer to becoming a trusted, strategic advisor; which often means taking the extra step to put yourself in your client’s shoes and walk around in their skin. It’s about asking smart questions to ensure you’re helping them identify the real business challenge and not just the most apparent surface-level challenge, in order to deliver the best possible outcomes. It’s about anticipating and pre-empting the needs of your client, but also the needs of their various stakeholders. And finally, it’s about digging deep into their industry and getting smart on their competitors so you’re offering strategic counsel on how they fit into the current competitive landscape and what they can do to change perception.
  3. How have you come to learn successful client service?
    1. I’ve had the great fortune of working with some whip smart colleagues and clients – ones that have transitioned over time from professional connections to close friends. I’ve also witnessed some strained client situations, from which I’ve tried to absorb as much as possible in order to apply those learning’s in the future.
  4. Do you have any role models who you look up to in this regard?
    1. For me, a true measure of successful client service is when you can evolve from a service/consultant role to a budding personal friendship – I’ve had the great fortune of working with and learning from many managers who’ve mastered this ability. Many of these managers also happen to be women who I look up to immensely both professionally and personally, and who have gone on to do amazing things. They’re great moms, respected executives, caring friends and thoughtful, passionate people.
  5. What advice would you give to others looking to mirror those client service excellence principles?
    1. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Michael Dell once said, “Try to never be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people or find a different room.” Once you surround yourself with the right people, always look for opportunities to be a fly on the wall and take every opportunity to observe and absorb.

About the Author
Andy is responsible for developing and implementing social media and digital publishing programs for Voce clients.

Filed in Voce People

June 10th, 2016

Voce Client Coverage: 6/10/16

Every week the Voce team works tirelessly to secure important coverage for clients. Below is just an example of the results of this week’s work and you can see more on Flipboard.


sandisk logoSanDisk

Android Central, SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick allows you to access data on the flash drive wirelessly

In-depth product review of SanDisk’s Connect Wireless Stick flash drive.

The SSD Review, SanDisk X400 SSD Review

Placed product review yields favorable results of SanDisk’s latest X400 drive.


palo alto networks logoPalo Alto Networks

Electric Light & Power, Holding the HMI Hostage — The Growing Threat of Ransomware

Del Rodillas shares key insights on the growing threat of ransomware in ICS environments on Electric Light & Power.


Want to find out more about Voce and what it can do for you? Visit our Services page, then meet the Staff that makes all this magic happen. Finally, contact us today to learn more about Voce’s capabilities and operations.

Filed in Voce Clients

June 3rd, 2016

Voce Client Coverage: 6/3/16

Every week the Voce team works tirelessly to secure important coverage for clients. Below is just an example of the results of this week’s work and you can see more on Flipboard.

micro focusMicro Focus

TechSpective, MySpace Hack Shows Danger of ‘Zombie’ Accounts

Geoff Webb explains why old websites containing personal information still present a security risk today.


sandisk logoSanDisk

Tom’s Hardware, SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD Review

In-depth review of SanDisk’s Extreme 900 Portable SSD.


palo alto networks logoPalo Alto Networks

CNBC Mad Money, Palo Alto Networks CEO: Growth Of Cybersecurity | Mad Money | CNBC

In an exclusive interview, Jim Cramer spoke with Mark McLaughlin, chairman, president and CEO of the cyber-security company Palo Alto Networks.

The Street, Jim Cramer’s Top Takeaways: US Foods, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Palo Alto Network

In an exclusive interview, Jim Cramer spoke with Mark McLaughlin, chairman, president and CEO of the cyber-security company Palo Alto Networks.

The Daily Dot, New malware targeting critical infrastructure takes after Stuxnet

Director of threat intelligence, Ryan Olson comments on recent IRONGATE malware targeting ICS systems.


Want to find out more about Voce and what it can do for you? Visit our Services page, then meet the Staff that makes all this magic happen. Finally, contact us today to learn more about Voce’s capabilities and operations.

Filed in Voce Clients

Voce Photo Stream