We Are Communication Architects

Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

January 26th, 2016

Christopher Barger On For Immediate Release

One of my favorite podcasters in the communications business is Shel Holtz at For Immediate Release. I’ve been listening to his shows since I was at IBM a decade ago. Shel is always insightful, and he is able to attract the best minds in the business to share their thoughts on the latest developments in our business. So when he asks you to be on his show, you say yes.

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I was one of the panel on this week’s episode, number 19 in his new series, along with RedPhlag CEO and UC-Berkeley instructor Gerry Corbett and author and consultant David Spark. We talked about a number of the stories that topped the news in the communications business in the past week, such as why brands just can’t seem to shut up for just a little while when tragedy strikes or a celebrity dies; why the PR trade press seems to be dominated by coverage of who’s taken a job where rather than covering the actual business of communications; and the ongoing efforts to bring the Internet to the world’s poorest populations (and whether that will really do them any good). Smart panel, I had a great time chatting with them and I learned a few things. You should give it a listen.

About the Author
Christopher Barger is Senior Vice President of Global Digital at Voce/Porter Novelli. You can follow him on Twitter @cbarger.

Filed in Content Marketing, Marketing, Social Networks

January 26th, 2016

My 2016 Resolutions: Heather Brinckerhoff

It’s a new year and even if you don’t believe in resolutions, or think you can’t stick to them (I see you January gym rats) – it’s always a good idea to set goals for yourself, personally and professionally. When I sit down to write my goals, I take a look at my pain points from the previous year. What could I have done better? What held me back? How can I be more productive? My 2016 goal list is pretty long, including a lot of tactical things I’d like to work on. I won’t bore you with those, so here’s a sample of my broader 2016 goals:
Leadership
 
Lead: Being a young manager, it’s very important to me to continue to grow and develop this delicate responsibility. I’m very fortunate to have leaders around me who encourage me and provide numerous opportunities to help me grow as a professional. My goal this year is to value the growth path of those that I manage as much as my own. This includes learning the tricky process of gracefully passing down responsibilities and taking some from those above me. I also plan to attend numerous management/leadership conferences this year to learn new management styles, how to create opportunities and be a well rounded leader.
 
Be-Encouraging
Be an encourager: Let’s face it, in the work place, we’re heads-down trying to meet deadlines, brainstorming new ideas and communicating with clients and coworkers. The last thing we’re consciously thinking about is being positive and encouraging, but it probably should be top 3 on our daily to-do list. A positive work environment fosters creativity, good communication and motivation. I hope my coworkers see me as someone who praises their successes and encourages them when they’re in a slump.
Be Consistent
Be consistent: A character trait that I really admire from those I look up to is consistency. As small as it seems, consistency can do big things. Being consistent with people shows them they are important to you (If you make plans to chat with a coworker weekly, keep that meeting.) Being a consistent leader helps those that you’re managing provide excellent work, if they always know what’s expected of them there is much less room for balls to be dropped. Being consistent with your attitude helps people trust you, it’s much easier to work with someone who is consistently positive, cheerful or even quiet. As long as your coworkers know what they can expect from you, it helps them trust that you won’t have a meltdown in the middle of a big meeting or project. I hope those around me see me as someone they can count on to be consistent, in my attitude, management style and work-life balance.
Get-Uncomfortable
Get Uncomfortable: Sometimes we get so into our routines that we forget amazing things come outside of comfort zones. Great ideas happen when we are thinking beyond our daily tasks and daring to go above and beyond what is expected. This year I want to make sure I’m remembering this on a daily basis and keeping in mind that at any moment new opportunities can arise so we need to be ready!
I’m so excited for this year and to continue to apply these goals in and out of work. I’ll leave you all with one of my favorite quotes, from an article by Jeff Harden. I hope to never forget that success doesn’t happen in a day and goals aren’t achieved in a day either, persistence and perseverance always win the race.
“Success is often the result of perseverance. Other people may be smarter, better connected, more talented, or better funded. But they can’t win if they aren’t around at the end.”

Tweet: .@heart2toe is the latest to share her 2016 resolutions. See what she has planned here: http://bit.ly/1WKlRYu

Filed in Voce People

January 25th, 2016

Celebrate the Community Manager in Your Life

In case you haven’t heard, today is Community Manager Appreciation Day, a moment to appreciate the community managers in your organization. These are the folks who are, in many cases, on the front lines of your online strategy. They’re engaging in and guiding forum conversations, responding to Facebook comments and otherwise interacting with the people formerly known as the audience.

image via UserVoice

image via UserVoice

As a group of us were discussing this in Slack an interesting theme emerged: There’s no one hard and fast definition of what constitutes a community manager. In some cases this person is only responsible for managing forum conversations. In others the title applies to staff who have the same responsibilities as others who are more generally tasked with social media content management.

Wherever you come down on this topic and however broadly or narrowly you and your organization define the role, one thing remains: It’s important to have this role filled. You can find out more about where community management stands by checking out the most recent State of Community Management report from Rachel Happe, who also shared her thoughts on the future of the role with Voce’s Randy Ksar a while ago:

Increasingly, prospects and customers seek out and get trusted, relevant information about products and services from peer communities. Because of this, companies are becoming much more intentional and strategic in their approach to community management in order to ensure consistency between the product, customer experience and market conversation. By providing community infrastructure that enables peer engagement, communication teams can contribute to and influence the conversation in ways that add value to both their market and their organization.

Most interesting from her comments is the emphasis on how the role is at least in part about enabling peer engagement. One thing that’s consistent throughout definitions of the community manager is that it’s not so much about pushing outbound messaging as it is about making sure the community’s organic conversation is going well, that it’s remaining on-topic and respectful and that people have their facts correct. So a community manager’s greatest tools are patience, a good and well-understood set of guidelines for participation and, in general, good people skills. They need to be able to guide people back on-topic, reprimand (either gently or more forcefully) people for guideline infractions and more. They are the traffic cops, correcting where they need to, enforcing where they need to and getting out of the way when they need to.

Go hug the community manager in your organization. Or buy them a cup of coffee (or something stronger) to keep them going and otherwise give them a shout-out. Odds are they’ve earned it.

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 Uncategorized

January 25th, 2016

What Gets People’s Attention at Sundance?

The Sundance Film Festival is underway, bringing the filmmaking elite to the streets and theaters of Park City, UT for several days of screenings, conversations about those screenings, acquisitions negotiated in hotel suites and more. The fest is always an interesting mix of established directors and actors who are there selling and promoting the smaller, independently-produced film they’re hoping will be picked up for distribution and up-and-coming talent hoping a successful screening will catapult them to stardom.

SFFabout

As the realities of film distribution have changed over the last several years, so have the metrics for success for attendees. Filmmakers who once coveted attention from big studios and looked down on being relegated to VOD status are now just as interested in talking to a distributor who will help focus on iTunes, Netflix and Amazon deals as they are one who is promising theatrical releases. And with the changed distribution landscape has come a changed marketing reality.

I asked Alex Billington of FirstShowing.net to share his thoughts on what he’s seen over the 10 years he’s been going to Sundance and what gets his attention:

This is my 10th year returning to Sundance, and I love discovering great films during the festival. Low-key marketing seems to work the best, and I always appreciate a unique poster. One of my favorite things to do is wander around and spot posters stapled to the various boards around Main Street. I have been convinced to suddenly see a film based purely on the poster alone, plus it’s amusing to see so many posters and flyers and notices all striving for space in the cold and snow. It seems like it’s not worth it, but it is. Making a unique film stand out from the crowd (123 feature films in the 2016 line-up) in little ways can make a big difference.

I’m also a fan of little trinkets connected to the film given out at screenings, even if it’s something basic, like a pencil. Sundance is the best place for marketing experimentation and finding out what kind of aspects of a film will connect with audiences (or not). The more elaborate the setup, the more likely it will be lost in the mix; often the most effective marketing is the simplest. I just want to find the best films during Sundance, without worrying about marketing overload or hype.

Many moons ago in my capacity as Marketing Director at a company before I joined Voce I attended Slamdance, the festival that happens concurrently with Sundance in Park City. As part of that – I was working for a social network for movie conversations that no longer exists – I was responsible for distributing just the kind of trinkets Alex is talking about. I kept a steady supply of mini-Sharpies, pens and notepads, all branded with the company logo, on the swag table for filmmakers and press to grab. Throughout the festival I saw not only the piles of these I had left out continually decline but then people use them as they covered and attended panel discussions and other events. (Side Note: Only I could attend four days of a film festival and not see a single movie.)

What Alex mentions above, though, is an important note that has applications for any kind of event or conference: Don’t overlook any opportunity to get people’s attention, and don’t be afraid to go low-tech. Watching the coverage from afar, it seems that most press at Sundance have been heads-down since about 12 hours after they arrived in Park City, something many conference-goers of any type can relate to. That means they may not see the cool things that a filmmaker or studio are doing on Twitter, but they will see the poster that catches their eye as they hustle from one screening to the next or waiting for the shuttle back to their base of operations.

Tweet: What gets people’s attention at #Sundance? @firstshowing shares what works for him over 10 years of attendance: http://bit.ly/1RIKt4l

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 Marketing

January 22nd, 2016

Voce Client Coverage Roundup – 1/22/16

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.

renesas logoRenesas

Ebedded Computing Design, Renesas Autonomous Driving Development Platform accelerates driverless functions at CES 2016

Brandon Lewis’ CES demo of Renesas’ ADAS driving platform, which he describes as “a real-world proof of concept for the path to autonomous driving.” (VIDEO)

rook security logoRook Security

SearchSecurity.com, DHCP servers must be patched against denial of service attacks

Security Operations Leader Tom Gorup shared his opinions on a critical security patch that would help prevent denial of service attacks on users. 

palo alto networks logoPalo Alto Networks

CFO.com, ‘Get Educated,’ Says CFO of Cybersecurity Juggernaut Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks CFO Steffan Tomlinson discusses how security is everyone’s responsibility, even the finance chief.

beyond trust logoBeyondTrust

CSO Online, Social engineering: 7 signs that something is just not right

CSO Online published a slideshow demonstrating the warning signs of social engineering, based solely on thought leadership provided by Morey Haber, VP of Technology.

armor logoArmor

SearchSecurity.com, Cisco Security Report: Dwell time and encryption security struggles

Journalist Mike Heller incorporated Armor CSO Jeff Schilling’s concept of malware “dwell time” in place of the more traditional “time to detection” metric. This incorporation helps validate Armor’s thought leadership and messaging.   

whitehat security twitterWhiteHat Security

New York Times, Apps to Manage Passwords so They Are Easier to Crack Than ‘Password’

WhiteHat founder, Jeremiah Grossman, talks with The New York Times about secure ways to manage passwords. 

workday logoWorkday

Fortune, Here’s What 22-Year-Olds Need to Know About Their First Job,

Workday’s Ashley Goldsmith discusses her top insights for millennials entering their first professional job.

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.

Tweet: Here’s just some of the coverage Voce secured for its clients last week: http://bit.ly/1Sa9KTR

Filed in Client News, Voce Clients

January 22nd, 2016

My 2016 Resolutions: Beca Mueller

Friends3007JonFavreauPeteResolution #1 – I’ve conquered the APR world (a la: The One with Ross’s Thing – “PETE: And I feel like I’ve conquered the business world, and I feel like I’ve conquered the intellectual world, and now I-I have the most beautiful woman in the world.”) so now I want to conquer the CPRC world. “The credential of Certified Public Relations Counselor or CPRC is the second tier credential offered by FPRA. The certification process was developed to recognize professional growth and achievement of senior members who have already earned the APR designation. Candidates for CPRC must be a member of FPRA and have a minimum of 10 years of professional practice in public relations. “

Resolution #2 – Be a better citizen of the world (a la: The Walking Dead, Season 6: “(Tyreese) his father had taught him it was his responsibility as a “citizen of the world” to be aware of the news and what’s going on” (fact check, season 6?) I’m tired of the barrage of information all day long with no good way to sort through all of the world news, culturally relevant news, client-related news, etc.   – I want to find a way to better absorb the relevant information, skip over the “nice/fun to read” and get rid of the rest and still find a way to disconnect when I need to do that. In a world where we work/live/breath the digital environment and we have an app for everything, can’t I find a better way to consume the information?

Resolution #3 – I should become “more powerful than you can possibly imagine” – Obi-Wan to Darth Vader. Finally figure out – do I need an MBA – is it relevant to me? Is it worth my time and money, is it valuable to my employer. etc. will it make me the the most powerful Jedi in the world?

Filed in Voce People

January 21st, 2016

Content is Dead. Long Live Content.

In related news … Media is dead. Long live media.

Pundits are calling it: content is dead. Or at least lazy content is dead. Or it’s not dead, you’re just doing it wrong. Everyone’s got a perspective. There’s a reality, though: content has been at the forefront of the communications and marketing lexicon in recent years, but we have reached peak content. Perhaps instead we need to look at what that means, not just what people are saying.

Here’s my take: screw the buzzwords. Smart communications and marketing isn’t simply about creating the shiniest bells and whistles, or dropping everything you already know each time a new buzzword or platform arrives on the scene. Instead, it’s understanding the levers available and when to pull which ones (more on that in a bit).

So what are the pundits really saying?

The latest buzzword (content) may be nearing its end. Its death may be hastened by the lack of a consistent definition of what content is. Content marketing. Content strategy. A website. Video. Infographics. Whitepapers. Blog posts. Press releases. It’s atomizing all of that. It’s anything and everything you want it to be, but if you slap on the word content people will listen.

And then there’s media (hence my subhead). This is a particularly fascinating word, since like content it has many meanings. Ad agencies have media buyers. Journalists are media. Companies have a media section. We talk about paid, earned, shared and owned media.

Architecting a Solution

As content and media have increasingly merged, it’s that much more critical to look at the fundamental way we architect a smart communications and marketing plan. By grossly oversimplifying it, I view it as a three-part process:

  1. Listen. Identify what your audience and customers are looking for based on what they’re actually saying, not what you assume. Then build your story around that.
  2. Customize. Find the various pipes that will most effectively convey that story to your audiences. Then customize your story according to the dimensions, bandwidth, and requirements of each pipe.
  3. Engage. Finally, build, rent, buy, or pitch the editors of said pipes to fill them with the right “stuff” (aka, content) and advance the conversation in both directions (there’s a reason this isn’t simply “Distribute”).

Diagram-for-Andy-r3

The pipes (channels), the capabilities of those pipes (multimedia), the neighborhood each pipe reaches (target audiences), the gatekeepers of those pipes (editors or advertisers) – that all may change year-to-year and day-to-day. But the strategic approach to finding the right pipes and filling them with “stuff” in a manner that best achieves your strategic objectives and your audience’s needs will continue to be the guiding function of our industry. No matter what buzzword we choose to use.

This Has Happened Before

The history of SEO is a telling example. A decade ago, it was the Holy Grail. SEO allowed well-paid consultants to get you the top search result and generate traffic, by using some sort of black magic. But at the end of the day, Google (the pipe owner in that situation), adjusted its algorithm and continues to do so to focus on displaying quality, relevant, sharable content at the top of its results pages.

Sound familiar? SEO merged with communications to turn into social media marketing (again, an oversimplification but accurate), which then merged with media and journalism to become content.

Throughout that transition, there were experts at manipulating the algorithm or techniques to their advantage. But those experts were ephemeral. Those that have stood the test of time are the architects, those who understand the principles and strategy behind which pipes to use and when.

The pipes are changing, they have gone from physical (fax machine, newspaper, broadcast TV) to digital (website, mobile, etc) and are shifting to virtual (VR, Google Glass, whatever’s next). The owners of each pipe need to constantly adjust to how the pipes work, the nuances of the chemistry that each can carry, the shifting capacity and networks of each.

The Bottom Line

A successful approach to communications and marketing starts with a story, a story that’s relevant and informed by what your audience wants. Then customize that story for your audiences and get it to them in the places where they pay attention and respond back – which leads to a feedback loop to adapt the story as needed.

The process of getting your story to those audiences involves many different types of pipes, but the expertise of filling the right pipes with the right substance at the right time is not going away. In fact, with so much noise to cut through, that is only going to grow in importance.

So maybe content is dead. Maybe media is dead. Or maybe, just maybe, the buzzword era is dead (or maybe I’m delusional).

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

Filed in Content Marketing, Media, Search, SEO

January 19th, 2016

Voce Student Essential Reading 1/19: Focusing Twitter, Defining Public Relations & More

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Image via Online Journalism Blog

Social Media

Wikipedia at 15: Millions of readers in scores of languages

“Wikipedia turns 15 on Friday. A key element in its creators’ vision of a user-generated online encyclopedia was to make it a repository of information serving audiences in multiple languages. The first non-English versions launched shortly after the Wikipedia’s founding in 2001, with offerings in six languages – German, Catalan, Swedish, French, Spanish and Russian.”

Voce Insight – Wikipedia remains hugely important to the English-speaking audience. If someone is researching your company or organization, chances are they’ll be looking for you on the site. It’s worth noting however that Wikipedia’s importance (or at least what is important) varies with language and nationalities. It’s also critical that companies recognize that the Wikipedia editorial community has strict standards when it comes to how PR representatives and agencies work to make changes to Wikipedia entries. Many leading PR agencies, including Voce/Porter Novelli, have agreed to abide by a specific code of ethics for PR and Wikipedia, and we cannot recommend strongly enough that you do as well.

How to: find local Twitter reaction to a national event

“When a national news story breaks and you need local reaction, how do you exclude the national-level updates that dominate all the other coverage? On Twitter there’s a simple answer: search within lists.”

Voce Insight – Google alerts can be great for monitoring news on a daily or weekly basis. But that’s not going to give you everything when you’re tasked with monitoring a breaking news situation. This article has some valuable tips on how to follow the story on a minute-by-minute basis with a select group of people.

Public Relations

The Verge Co-Founder Josh Topolsky Is Raising Money to Launch a Media Startup

“Joshua Topolsky, co-founding editor of our Vox Media sister site* The Verge and most recently head of digital at Bloomberg, is working on a new digital media project that will cover a broad range of topics including politics, culture and business.”

Voce Insight – This story is another reminder of how fluid the media landscape is and how important it is to maintain relationships with all your contacts. Dedicating some time for your local reporters can pay off in the long run, as they may eventually join a national news organization or a gain a more prominent role in a media startup.

What is Public Relations These Days? Is It Time to Revisit PRSA’s Official Definition?

‘Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.’ Really?”

Voce Insight – Like all other things in life, PR is constantly changing. It’s already a challenge to describe our work to friends and family, because there are just so many aspects to it, some of which you might not even take part in depending on your clients’ needs. However, it’s important to have a general understanding and be able to give an up-to-date answer when asked, “What is public relations?”

Career

The School-To-Work Transition Is Broken: Here’s Who’s Fixing It

“The U.S. unemployment rate in November 2015 was 5.0%, down from a high of 10% in October 2009. Among young people, however, unemployment is significantly higher: just under 16% for 18-19 year olds.”

Voce Insight – It’s no secret that not all the skills you acquire on your path to employment are found in the classroom. Beyond working a job in college and developing the soft skills that will help you later in life, it’s worth identifying those workplace requirements school isn’t teaching and bridging the gap through free online training or by seeking the advice of those already working in the career you want.

3 Perceived Weaknesses in Young Professionals That Call for a Different Perspective

“As a college student or a recent grad, it’s easy to feel like you have more weaknesses than strengths. You haven’t had time to develop your skills like some of the senior-level executives have, and it’s discouraging to see all the entry-level openings that require 2 or more years of experience.”

Voce Insight – Don’t be disheartened by all the required skills needed on entry-level positions. You DO have what it takes! Read how to turn inexperience, introversion and your mistakes into wins!

Filed in Weekly Reading

January 19th, 2016

WhatsApp Drops Subscription Fee, Opens Opportunities for Brand Interactions

There are a couple things that are notable in WhatsApp’s announcement it would dropping the $.99 annual subscription fee:

First, that they saw just this small charge as an impediment to adoption not because it was outrageously high but because too many people lacked the infrastructure to make the payment. That says a lot about what sort of market the app is already in as well as what markets it wants to be part of. A 2014 report showed WhatsApp is a big hit in emerging markets and those are just the kind of populations who may not have traditional payment methods.

Second, in the blog post the company specifically calls out that they’re looking at ways for people “to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from.” Sentence structure aside, based on the examples given it’s easy to see they have customer service applications in mind here. And it doesn’t take too much of an intuitive leap to figure it will start charging the businesses that want to offer those kinds of services through WhatsApp for the tools to do so as opposed to charging people to use it to communicate with friends.

whatsapp-logo-770x285

For content marketers that means they could have a whole new channel to staff, but in a much different way than they’re doing now. It’s possible to envision a scenario where more than Twitter or Facebook, WhatsApp becomes not so much an outbound channel but one that’s primarily around reaction, engagement and other inbound comment and question management. It could become a customer service channel not in the way all social media platforms are but more in the “traditional” way that email, web forms and the phone have been, but one that resonates more with a generation raised on apps.

There’s sure to still be outbound marketing taking place on WhatsApp. Publishing brands and others are already using it, particularly in the Latin American markets where the app is most popular. But there are so many platforms devoted to push marketing eventually there will almost need to be some that are devoted either solely or primarily to inbound comment management.

For those companies who embrace this channel and the potential it has it will mean adding staff to manage that. A successful customer service program can’t be managed solely by the two Millennials you already brought in to take care of Snapchat. It will take dedicated resources that are versed in not just how to respond on this platform but also in the best practices of customer service as a whole.

At a larger level, brand use of messaging apps is still very much in the experimental era. For every company declaring they’ve seen success (however that’s measured) there are others that say it’s still a tiny, unproven bit of their marketing efforts, largely because it’s hard to answer the question “What do we do there?” That’s why paid programs get more attention and interest since “advertise” is the easy answer there. Organic reach is harder to achieve when content is ephemeral and profile discovery is difficult at best.

Details on WhatsApp’s new focus will surely be coming over the next few months as Facebook solidifies its plans and focus. Until then this is yet another developing story in the mobile age that the industry will need to be planning for.

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 Mobile

January 15th, 2016

My 2016 Resolutions: Chris Thilk

I’m not usually the type to make resolutions. After all, as Bono said, nothing changes on New Year’s Day. But I also do enjoy a fresh set of downs and so set out to make 2016 a year I did a few things differently. So here, in no particular order, are a few things I’m working on over the next 12 months:

Fill Knowledge Gaps: There are areas I’m soft in, both personally and professionally. So I’ve been working on identifying the things I feel I should know more about – woodworking, email marketing and more – and figuring out what I need to do to fill in those gaps. The good thing about 2016 is much of this knowledge is just a few minutes away online. I don’t intend to become a master in these areas, but knowing more can only help me service my clients and my family better, so there’s definitely motivation.

Don’t Get Behind: Everyone strives for Inbox Zero, which is great. But I also want to end each day at Pocket Zero, with all the stories and posts I’ve saved to my Pocket folder cleared out in some way or another. So if I’m saving a story for PNConnect Weekly Reading, it should be in there before the end of the day. If it’s something I’m going to write a blog post about, I should at least get the post started. It needs to be out of there so it’s not a hanging To Do that I’m still turning over in my mind.

Expand My Writing Skills: Sure, I can turn out a post about Twitter’s latest news in about an hour. And some of the posts on my personal blog are pretty standard at this point. Both of those are like a runner who’s really good at marathons over flat ground. But it’s been a long time since I tried my hand at fiction. And I’ve never really written anything personal. So in order to stretch new muscles I’m working on both of those and other areas this year. They’re helping me find different voices and styles to write in, which I’m hoping will improve my skills overall.

Use Up Notebooks: This is a bit of a personal one and I’ll admit I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to notebooks and notepads. I’m always in search of the “perfect” one and have stacks of old ones that haven’t quite made the cut and are sitting barely used. While I am trying to do more in Wunderlist, Evernote and other productivity apps and software there are a lot of times when I just need to write stuff down. So I’m forcing myself to use what I have before I buy anything else.

I obviously have a problem.

I obviously have a problem.

Read More: I forget where I first heard this, but versions of it circulate around Twitter every now and again: If you want to be a great writer, you first have to be a great reader. And I’m not talking about more blogs or other RSS feeds, though I have added several new sources to Digg Reader to expand my worldview. No, I mean reading actual books, something I haven’t had a ton of time to do in the last few years. I’m dedicated to at least two books a month in 2016, though, and again feel this is something that will not only expand my perceptions but also expose me to new and interesting writing voices.

Be More Professional on Twitter: Look, we both know that’s not happening. But hey, we all have to have goals, right?

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 People

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