Monthly Archives: October 2012

More than a soapbox

Twitter has become ubiquitous. Even payroll companies have Twitter accounts. Can you use Twitter to your and your company’s advantage? I think so. Twitter accounts can be protected. You can allow only certain people access to the account. In other words, you can set up a company account that only employees can see. You can set up accounts for departments. You can use Twitter as a fast simple way to communicate. The storm out East is a perfect example. For those inland, the threat was not so evident. Suddenly the decision to close shop doesn’t have to be made far in advance. It can be decided last minute, not at a dangerous last minute, but now there is more time to gather information before making a decision. A change in a meeting is one Tweet and now everyone knows. A family emergency can be communicated to co-workers and save a lot of time. Information can be spread quickly. It is can be faster and is briefer than email, Tweets can be received on smart phones and computers. As a communication tool, Twitter can be immensely useful. As soon as I get me some people I’m going to get myself a Twitter account. “DonutGirl@Donut Girl #Stopping @ bakery! Who wants pastry?”

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What’s a boy or girl to do?

Flyers are still a good communication vehicle. Really, they are. I like them. You can’t tweet everything. Flyers are good for garage sales but they are good for other things too. Say you want to start lunchtime book club but you don’t want to email everyone in the company. Posting flyers in the cafeteria or lunchroom and in elevators or the company bulletin board is a fine way to pass along information. Any information that needs to be posted will get more attention if it is well designed and compelling. Below is a type only flyer. Think about how you use type, the size and spacing. Think about balance, how will it catch people’s eye? Large look at me type is an excellent way catch the eye. What about putting the title in the middle as in the example below? A little effort in the beginning can have high impact and results. Tear-offs are optional but are a good remember the date or sign-up here reminder.

To tweet or not to tweet

Apparently you should. I googled-wait for it-payroll and got several hits, including one payroll company with nearly 2,000 followers. Many of the followers are other types of companies and other payroll companies. Some might be customers or trade organizations. Many of the tweets are tips or information about services.

There are several things you need to consider when venturing into social media. One, is do you have the time or several people to maintain your effort? Don’t make it one person’s job, they might change jobs and then the social media account might languish. Another is will you have enough content? And maybe most importantly, have you set up guidelines for staff to follow? You want to be a-political, not over fanatical about sports or celebrities. You need to think about your page on twitter. Make sure your company name and logo are prominent; follow your branding. Make sure posted images are appropriate. Tweeting may not make much of an impact but it might be something to try if you have the resources. And lastly, if you find you don’t have relevant followers you can shut it down.

How small is too small, how big is too big?

You had an illustration, ad or some sort of identifier made for your conference, gala or grand opening. Is it too small? Does it not enlarge well on a banner? Does it not shrink well onto a postcard or flyer? These are considerations your designer will have asked about or topics you should raise. That’s why planning is important.  Consider the following:

       

In with the new

New employee training, the smell of anxiety in the morning. You show them where the coffee room is, then where the bathroom is and last of all where to find you. There are so many things all new hires have to learn besides their job duties. They have to learn not to ever, ever bring an orange to the office. (This happened to me once. I brought an orange in to eat and the second I started peeling it a woman in my area went berserk.—true story.) What I implore you not to forget to go over the branding strategy. You might think this new hire will never come into contact with the branding let alone be in a situation in which they would make use of it (Really? Never? No quick ad for a program, no helping out on a presentation? Are you sure?). Still, make sure they know what it is where the branding book can be found because you do have one. You might think I am being a bit (or a lot) heavy handed, I am. I am because I have seen what happens when some one who doesn’t understand begins to change just this one little thing and before you know it that strategy you paid $15K-$25K (not an unreasonable sum) goes out the window. I’ve seen it happen. If you use a designer don’t count on them to hold your employee in check. Your renegade is your designee. There are mountains of information a newbie has to learn including the company identity and their identity for 40 hours a week should be a part of that.