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Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

February 5th, 2016

Voce Client Coverage Roundup – 2/5/16

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.

Citrix and BlueCat

Dark Reading, 7 Signs of InfoSec’s Groundhog Day Syndrome

Kurt Roemer, chief security strategist at Citrix, explains what’s behind shadow IT. And BlueCat CTO, Andrew Wertkin, explains the merry-go-round effect of network hardware purchasing and the impact it has on achieving flexible, scalable and highly resilient infrastructures.

Armor and Palo Alto Networks

SC Magazine, Debate: Cybersecurity information sharing allows network defenders to stay ahead of adversaries

PAN CSO, Rick Howard, and Armor CEO, Chris Drake, are featured in the February edition of SC Magazine in a debate about cybersecurity information sharing. 

rook security logoRook Security

Risk Management Magazine, 6 Tips to Reduce the Risk of Social Engineering Fraud

Chris Blow, senior advisor, shares his tactical knowledge of social engineering, including campaigns he performed himself. His commentary was included in the January/February cover story. 


New Hampshire Union Leader, NH undergoes ‘transportation boom’

LinkedIn Economist, Guy Berger, talks about the LinkedIn Workforce Spotlight, which leveraged Economic Graph data to examine the state of NH’s economy in advance of the Presidential primaries there next week.

Micro Focus

SearchSecurity.com, Costly government cybersecurity system needs major changes

Michael Angelo, chief security architect at Micro Focus, is quoted on how encryption is changing network security.

whitehat security twitterWhiteHat Security

eWEEK, Google Discloses Flaws in Avast, Comodo and Malwarebytes Products

Jeremiah Grossman, founder of WhiteHat Security, talks with eWEEK about security flaws in Chromium browsers. 


InfoWorld, Security flaws not so critical if admin rights are taken away

Morey Haber, VP of Technology, explains the importance of removing user administrator privileges from employees to help protect companies against vulnerabilities. This subject plays right into BeyondTrust’s value proposition. 

palo alto networks logoPalo Alto Networks

LegalTech News, Survey of Cyber Experts Sheds Light on Attackers Habits, Best Prevention Strategies

In a new study released Monday, Palo Alto Networks partnered with the Ponemon Institute to understand not only what motivates cyberattackers, but also how we can turn the tables on them by taking away their financial incentives to attack. 

Filed in Voce Clients

February 3rd, 2016

Where Does a “Big Game” Ad Fit In A Content Marketing Plan?

Are you ready for this Sunday’s Big Game? Have you bought that new flat-screen TV, planned what kind of pizza and sides to order and what kind of guacamole to have for your guests? Are you ready with conversations-starters to fill in the time between commercial breaks?

Yes, as we’ve been told by countless articles and numerous studies, many viewers watch the game more for the commercials than for the game. Recently a new survey showed 77% of respondents see those commercials as mostly entertainment, even as they do realize that they’re being marketed to. But I’ve been thinking of how the commercials can or should fit into an overall content marketing plan.

For the sake of simplicity let’s say that these commercials are what we would term “Premium Content,” a big moment in an ongoing content plan that is meant to create a spike in conversations and generate press coverage. It’s safe to assume these commercials fit that definition. As we know Premium Content moments should be supported both before and after release by Core Content, or the everyday messaging that happens online and offline.

Today I’m going to look at what three brands are doing in advance of their Big Game ads, which is costing $5 million. Next week I’ll look at the commercials themselves and then the week after that I’ll review what they’ve been doing in the wake of that big moment, specifically on Twitter since it’s an easy single source to audit. So let’s dive in:


On January 22nd they teased the audience to “Meet the Ketchups,” a family of condiments, on 2/2. A week later they introduced “Original” and then on 2/1 (what happened that  they went a day earlier than planned, I wonder) we were introduced to the whole family. That tweet said the whole family would be in “the Big Game” and linked to the full 60-second commercial the company planned for the broadcast. A 30-second version of the spot was then shared natively on Twitter the next day. After that they RTd @Someecards praising the commercial and then did the same for an @Mashable post.

The spot appears to be part of a long-running campaign from Heinz called “Heinz Ketchup Got a New Mustard” that’s meant to introduce Heinz Mustard. Anthropomorphized condiment bottles play out how Heinz Ketchup breaks up with generic mustard for the new Heinz Ketchup, which has “better taste.” This is an expansion of that to show the whole family – hence the teasers. So the company has been using #MeetTheKetchups on social. Aside from the native video there hasn’t been a whole lot of engagement on Twitter and it’s interesting to see, considering the buzz the full commercial has been getting that it’s not doing more to amplify the conversations other people have been having about how cute the wiener dogs are.


The website design and hosting company began teasing their involvement, which involves live game commentary by the Key & Peele team on February 1st, less than a week before the game. Since then the company has shared a few short videos and GIFs featuring Lee and Morris, the pair played by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, as they get ready for their broadcast. As usual with these two everything has their unique sense of humor attached. There are a couple posts where Squarespace has asked individuals – presumably those who have been talking positively about the campaign to date – for permission to use their Tweets on the campaign site.

squarespace super bowl

All the posts include the #RealTalk hashtag to reinforce the campaign branding and keep people focused on the the single point of conversation. Most of the posts also contain a link to the campaign landing page, which right now is counting down to the Big Game and encouraging visitors to tune in for the Real Talk commentary. It also has all the videos and GIFs that have also been shared via social. Smartly, there’s also a big call to action in the upper right hand corner encouraging people to Get Started and “Create a dope website.”

Deadpool (20th Century Fox)

Despite being one of the few upcoming movies with a TV spot confirmed for the Big Game there’s nothing on Twitter about it. No encouragements to stay tuned for the full commercial or teases or anything else. That’s all the more surprising considering reports 20th Century Fox will be making a big deal about the Merc With A Mouth in other ways, including having star Ryan Reynolds work a food truck on Friday night and holding the press junket Saturday night in a bar near the stadium where the game is being played. The studio also is said to have big social media plans, including lots of Snapchat activity, during the game itself on Sunday.

So how will this play out? How much conversation will these efforts have in execution? We’ll have to wait until after the game to measure the results.

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 Content Marketing, Marketing

February 2nd, 2016

Voce Student Essential Reading 2/2: Facebook’s News Feed, Public Relations and the Village People, How to Follow Up & More


Image via Bloomberg

Social Media

News Feed FYI: Using Qualitative Feedback to Show Relevant Stories

“The goal of News Feed is to show you the stories that matter most to you. The actions people take on Facebook—liking, clicking, commenting or sharing a post—are historically some of the main factors considered to determine what to show at the top of your News Feed. But these factors don’t always tell us the whole story of what is most meaningful to you.”

Voce Insight – This is proof that likes, comments and shares aren’t the only thing going into getting a post from your page in the newsfeeds of more people. It’s more complicated than that. Moreover, this shows again that Likes or generic engagement should not be the end goal of your posts. You want your audience to take meaningful action in some way, so baiting them to just hit like and do nothing else is not the answer.

Inside Facebook’s Decision to Blow Up the Like Button

“The most drastic change to Facebook in years was born a year ago during an off-site at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley, a 10-minute drive from headquarters. Chris Cox, the social network’s chief product officer, led the discussion, asking each of the six executives around the conference room to list the top three projects they were most eager to tackle in 2015. When it was Cox’s turn, he dropped a bomb: They needed to do something about the ‘like’ button.”

Voce Insight – This is something for community managers to pay attention to, as it will profoundly affect how their audiences react to content. Brands need to be ready to take more nuanced feedback to inform how they communicate.

Public Relations

Five Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations

“Very few people can explain what people in public relations really do. If you’re a cop, a construction worker or a cowboy, everybody knows your job function. (If you’re a cop, construction worker and a cowboy who hangs out with a guy dressed in leather, you’re in the Village People.)”

Voce InsightSelf-explanatory.

8 Tips For Writing A Listicle That Will Get Published

“That said, as one of the people who reviews the freelance pitches that come into Bustle, I can tell you what I’m looking for in a listicle as an editor.”

Voce Insight – Listicles, so hot right now. This article gives you a quick introduction to listicles, how to pitch them and then, as the headline states, tells you how to write a killer listicle for publication. It’s an easy-ish way to get your foot in the door of the world of content.


4 Non-Annoying Ways to Follow Up After an Interview

“You landed the interview, and as far as you’re concerned? You nailed that sucker. Or, you met with a recruiter who seemed super interested and incredibly connected with the exact kinds of companies for whom you want to work. She said, “Keep in touch!” Awesome. But a couple of weeks have gone by and nothing’s happened. So what do you do now? Can you follow up with her without reeking of desperation or looking like a pest?”

Voce Insight – If you’re applying for a public relations job, this is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your chops. You’re really pitching yourself here, so showing you know how to maintain contact after an interview is important.

10 Experts Share the Best Career Advice They Ever Received

“The best career advice I ever received was from my very first boss 30 years ago. She told me, ‘Show, don’t tell.’”

Voce Insight – Everyone needs a pick-me-up every once in awhile; reference these tidbits of phenomenal career advice for the occasional boost for inspiration.

Filed in Weekly Reading

February 2nd, 2016

Voce Presents: What Do You Love?

The month of February contains Valentine’s Day. This means that for the next month, peaking around February 14, there will be all sorts of proclamations of love, people waxing poetic about the nature of love, and probably at least a few elaborate marriage proposals well-staged for cameras and social media platforms.


That’s all well and good; who are we to get curmudgeonly about a little love? In fact, we at Voce want to get in on the love action this month. (Sometimes, the double-entendres write themselves.) But romantic love isn’t the only kind of love worth celebrating, y’know. “Love” also describes extreme passion for an object or concept or abstract.

People have been known to love pizza, love a song or a movie — or if they’re lucky, love their jobs. The kind of passion for something that we describe as “love” is as boundless and varied as the kind that makes poets money and makes dreamers swoon. And embracing these passions is part of what makes life worth the trip, even if no one else really understands why you love what you love. As actress Kristen Bell has said,

“I have friends who wear Star Wars costumes and act like the characters all day. I may not be that deep into it, but there’s something great about loving what you love and not caring if it’s unpopular.”

We agree. So over the course of this month, many of your favorite Vocians (and we know you have at least one!) will be sharing with you on this blog the things that we love and are passionate about. Some of them will be work-related, some will not — and that’s as it should be. But we’re hoping this exercise may give you a little insight into what makes us tick and who we are as a company. Stay tuned to see what makes Vocians giddy.

emma watson i love this song

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 Voce Culture, Voce People

February 1st, 2016

Grease is the GIF

Did you watch “Grease: Live” last night? Follow-up question: Did you watch it on TV or on Twitter?

GREASE: LIVE: (L-R): Keke Palmer, Kether Donohue, Julianne Hough, Andrew Call, Carly Rae Jespen, Carlos PenaVega  Aaron Tveit, David Del Rio, Jordan Fisher and Vanessa Hudgens in GREASE: LIVE airing LIVE Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 (7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Cr: Tommy Garcia/FOX

As an almost painfully avid musical fan (you may have caught my recent writeup on the incredible social media potency of Hamilton), “Grease: Live” was a Big Deal for me, and constantly refreshing my Twitter timeline throughout the broadcast was a vital part of the experience. I agree with Walt Mossberg’s recent assessment that Twitter has become “secret handshake” software, a tool bogged down by arcane rules and norms. That said, occasions like “Grease: Live” are the times when (for me at least) knowing the secret handshake pays off. While Instagram photos are carefully manicured and Facebook updates are filtered and shuffled out of order, on Twitter, it’s still OK to be verbose and overexcited and just plain weird. Better yet, that weirdness is a shared experience, exploding all over your Twitter feed without any algorithms to get you down.

Clearly, Fox was savvy to all this, because the network took steps to streamline the “Grease: Live” social media experience. Official social media channels shared looks “backstage” throughout the broadcast. (Marty’s double tearaway costume!) Meanwhile, GIFs from the broadcast appeared on Giphy with impressive speed and were promptly shared by everyone from Vulture to Broadway.com, multiplying the reach of #GreaseLive conversation even further. So even if you weren’t watching “Grease: Live,” there’s a good chance that you were still “watching” it through friends and publishers all over social media.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen GIFs dominate real-time conversation around a TV event, and Fox was smart to anticipate it. It’s a testament to the power of content strategy even in real-time scenarios. Fox couldn’t prepare GIFs of its live broadcast ahead of time, but its streamlined approach to turning around real-time conversation fodder as quickly as possible paid dividends, taking a typical TV broadcast far beyond the scope of TV.

Note: Hat tip to Chris Thilk for teeing up the concept for this post and for giving me an excuse to look at Aaron Tveit GIFs, you know, for work.

Filed in Community, Microblogging, Social Networks

January 29th, 2016

Voce Client Coverage Roundup – 1/29/16

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.


eWEEK, A Day in the Life of a Datum

This slideshow was focused the Citrix concept of the journey that one datum goes through from inception to reality, highlighting the phases of data—at rest, in use and on the move—and the types of devices, applications and services that data reaches along the way.



Buyer’s Lab, Canon, Fujitsu and Kodak Alaris Scanners earn BLI Winter 2016 Pick Awards

Fujitsu’s fi-6400 won a Winter 2016 Pick award from Buyer’s Lab for Outstanding A3 Mid-Volume Production Scanner.


InformationWeek, 10 Stupid Moves That Threaten Your Company’s Security

Jeff Schilling, Armor CSO, shares with InformationWeek how phone scams can compromise company security. 

Palo Alto Networks

CSM Passcode, Digital attacks on China critics intensify, says cybersecurity firm

SC Magazine, Scarlet Mimic group targets minority activists, likely government supported

Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 research team helps identify the culprits behind a targeted malware attack.


Fortune, Best Large Workplaces in Tech

Workday was listed as the second company for the “Best Large Workplaces in Tech” review on Great Places to Work. Fortune highlights that Workday “leads by example when it comes to how it treats its own,” with employees highlighting that the culture is “incredible” and that “there is always someone willing to help you. Hard work is recognized and fun is encouraged.”


Examiner, TILE tracking device uses social cloud community to find lost items

Tile’s Bluetooth tracker and companion app receive a five-star review from the Examiner.


SearchSecurity, Oracle Closing an Attack Vector by Deprecating the Java Browser Plugin

Morey Haber, BeyondTrust’s VP of Technology, got to speak to a significant software announcement. Rapid7 was the only other vendor quoted. 

Rook Security

CNBC.com, Be prepared: It’s tax-return fraud season

Rook Security CEO J.J. Thompson shares advice to help protect people against tax fraud, receiving national coverage.

Filed in Voce Clients

January 28th, 2016

Facebook Gets Most of Its Users – and Revenue – From Mobile

Facebook released its quarterly earnings yesterday and the dissection of the numbers was fast and furious, with the hot takes raising the aggregate temperature of the United States by 3 degrees and helping the Northeast get out from under the snows of Jonas.


Among the numbers reported were:

  • Facebook has 1.59 billion monthly users, two thirds of which are daily active users. That’s up 14 and 17 percent respectively. That translates to Facebook being more essential to people’s regular communication lives than ever before.
  • Reported revenue was $5.8 billion, which is up 52% from this time last year. More strikingly, 80% of the company’s advertising revenue is coming from mobile, a massive shift from a year ago. Effectively all – 1.44 billion – of the monthly users are accessing Facebook via mobile, which goes a long way to explaining that revenue jump. Notably, Facebook did not breakout Instagram ad revenue, but an independent recent study says ads are up, largely because of more brands buying video ads and a CPM that spiked after the API opened up.
  • The company pretty much challenged YouTube to a fight in an alley by reporting Facebook users are watching 100 million hours of video daily. Facebook has been building out its video offerings, including dedicated tabs, the expansion of live video streaming to all U.S. users and more so they clearly see this as the future.

So now for my own lukewarm takes on the news:

With mobile being so dominant in consumption it needs to be dominant in formatting as well. That means as content marketers we need to keep in mind not just how engaging we think the content itself is going to be – is the voice right, do we have a good graphic etc – but also about what it’s going to look like when people view it on their mobile devices. Check it out on your own phone. Posts are often truncated even more than they are on the desktop, meaning your copy needs to be more concise and catchy.

Mobile also means less click-throughs. We can debate the merits of quickly-disappearing content and the long-term implications of an off-domain content strategy. And we should. But the 2016 reality is that Facebook doesn’t want to send you elsewhere. So figure out how to advance your messaging in short, highly-engaging ways if you want them to be seen here. That makes photos and other media more important than ever since they see higher average levels of engagement

Advertising revenue is up for them, but the engagement you’re seeing on your page is probably down. Unless you’re contributing to that rising revenue. The connection isn’t that hard to figure out. Despite assurances that of course it wouldn’t do anything like squash organic reach in a quest for advertising dollars, the rise in ad revenue comes at a time when that organic reach is down for many pages, leading managers to put advertising dollars into expanding that reach for key posts or for the page as a whole.

(In general it’s recommended to pay to boost the reach of a specific message – the launch of a major campaign or product, a current sale or something else that you want additional eyeballs on – as opposed to paying to promote the channel itself. The latter means you’re buying an audience that increasingly is not reached, the former is paying to actually reach the audience.

Facebook is touting video numbers at a time it’s still plagued by problems in that category, specifically with thousands (if not more) of pages that rip videos from either other Facebook pages or from YouTube and then republish with little to no attribution. This means that funny viral video you’re creative team worked hard on and which you put on your page might get 25,000 views there, but it’s also getting hundreds or thousands of views on these other pages, none of which you can count. This goes back to something I’ve said before, which is that the best strategy combines social networks and YouTube. The former gives you a quick hit of views, the latter provides for long-term search.

It’s hard, at this point. to see where the ceiling is for Facebook. It’s becoming so big at this point only the government would be able to shut it down (you have to wonder how close we are to an anti-trust case). With usage patterns increasingly turning toward mobile-first and Facebook now fully committed, it seems, to owning the mobile experience (helped by acquisitions of Instagram, WhatsApp and more) it’s positioned to be a major force in content marketing for the foreseeable future. You may not like it, but that’s where we are, so plan accordingly.

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 Content Marketing, Marketing

January 27th, 2016

My 2016 Resolutions: Christopher Barger

January always brings the promise of new beginnings, the righting of wrongs, and the sense that it’s a good time to reinvent oneself in at least some fashion. For myself, I have a list of both personal and professional resolutions. Here are the most important things I want to do in 2016.

Get less cynical about digital. I’ve been doing corporate digital and social since before MySpace launched and since Facebook was only available at about five universities. I was doing corporate social for IBM back when “social” meant blogs and podcasts only. So I’ve seen pretty much it all: the rise and fall of social platforms, the predictable hype cycle that surrounds most every platform or tool that’s launched, the rush by would-be gurus and self-titled social media experts to be “first” on a new platform. I’ve rolled my eyes and gnashed my teeth at the speaking fees commanded by some social media “thought leaders” who in my opinion aren’t worth listening to at all, much less paying for. And I’ve gotten pretty cynical about this whole space, to be honest with you. My private emails and Slack exchanges are full of smart-assery and derisive comments about the hype cycle around The Next Big Thing whenever it comes out and everyone’s hyping it. I don’t think I’m very good at hiding my scorn for the gurus, if they’re ever mentioned in a work conversation. Yeah, it’s safe to say that I’ve become a real cynic when it comes to social media. And objectively, 99% of that skepticism is well-deserved.



But I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I ought to be taking my Jerk Hat off just a little more often. Maybe I am missing out on hearing some good ideas from someone who might have something worth hearing if I wasn’t so busy being cynical. Or I might be late to the game on something that might be really impactful, just because I ignored it in my jaded skepticism when it first started to emerge. It can’t hurt me to be a bit more open-minded when something new comes along, or to hearing what someone else has to say. My BS-o-meter will stay finely tuned, of course… but maybe I’ll change its default setting in 2016, from “automatic” to “wait and see.”

Write more. It’s ironic for someone who a) used to be a very active blogger, and b) makes a living telling companies that they have to produce good content at a regular cadence in order to be effective, but I don’t write very often for the Voce or Porter Novelli blogs. I’ve been trying to make more of an effort in the last couple of months to post more, but I can and should do better. You’ll see me posting much more often for our blogs, maybe even doing a few podcasts, in 2016. On the personal side, maybe this is the year I finally get to putting one or more of the novels to electronic paper that have been rattling around in my brain for years; I keep saying I’m going to do it, and I never have.

Expand my knowledge. The digital space changes fast — we all know that. While it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to be an expert at all aspects of a profession (and I’d frankly mistrust anyone who positioned themselves as such), there are some key pieces of the digital space that I’d be more comfortable if I understood better or knew more. So I’m going to ramp up my learning on analytics and measurement in 2016, for starters. There are other things that either have come along or will come along that I should know more about, but analytics is the space more clients are asking about and it’s the thing I should bone up on the most.

Brevity. I seem to be constitutionally allergic to writing concisely — always have been. The length of some of my emails is a running joke inside Voce, and when I am asking our editor about word limits on blog posts, it’s a given that I am talking about maximum words allowed, not minimum. I’m going to work on saying more by saying less in 2016. (ed. note: dude…)

Be the biggest loser. My weight has been a challenge for me for a while now (wouldn’t we all like to be thinner or fitter?), but in 2015 I got really sloppy and put on pounds at an alarming rate. I gained almost 50 pounds from the beginning of 2015 — and it even got so bad that my doctors began giving me The Speech about weight loss. And they’re right – I need to lose weight. The consultant’s lifestyle isn’t always very conducive to healthy living, but 2016 needs to be the year I stop making excuses and start being healthier. I’d love to lose 100 pounds and probably should lose at least 80, but if I’m being realistic, I’ll be happy being down 50 or 60 pounds at the end of 2016 from what I was at its beginning. I’ll be a happier person, and a more energetic professional, if I can do it.

Start using productivity tools. I am one of the last of a dying age; I prefer to take handwritten notes, keep everything in notebooks, maintain handwritten to-do lists. But even I am having to admit now that some of the digital or online tools could probably help me. So I’ll start to learn the preeminent ones and experiment with some that are coming up.

Network better. I work from home, so my networking opportunities are usually limited to my 3 year old, my dog, my wife, and my 13 year old if it’s one of the days where I’m not too uncool to talk to. I have used my home office as an excuse, and I haven’t gotten out to network nearly as often as I did when I worked from an office. That’s got to stop. So in 2016, I’m going to get out more. I’m going to join the Detroit chapters of one of the big professional organizations in communications — and I’m going to actually go to meetings. I will get to more conferences and actually talk to people in between sessions instead of scurrying to the next place I have to be. I used to be pretty good at networking; five years in a home office have dulled my skills, and it’s time to once again refine them.

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 Voce People

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.


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:
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 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: 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

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