Friday, June 29, 2012

In Everything You Do, Be Image-Driven


I don't mean literal pictures or photos. Images are ideals held by more than one mind. It is a shared perspective that translates to every member of your immediate circle. In business, we worry a lot about what our image is, because:

Images beget relationships.

Relationships beget progress.

Progress begets fortune.

Fortune begets satisfaction.

Satisfaction begets an image. 

Every business that I can think of desires to have a positive image that exceeds the expectations of their publics, as well as the comparisons made with their competition. 

So in every decision you make as an employee, employer, manager, executive, or what have you, always be image-driven. 

Executives, make sure your employees know what your ideal image is, and if they don't, plaster it on your wall. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Do You Know Your Sales Process Cold?


Jake Sanders - How many prospects do you have right now that you have had your initial discovery call with but haven’t closed? My guess is 98%! Well, it’s not really a guess because according to FollowUpSuccess, only 2% of sales are made on the first contact.

So 2% of the time, a prospect is going to lay a deal right on your lap. Fantastic. Congrats. Btw...that is NOT sales my friend. That’s order taking.

Ok, well then how do you close the other 98%?

Following up is a great start, but the previous article also points out that 80% of all sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contact, meaning the first, second or even third follow-up just isn’t enough.

If you don’t know your sales process like the back of your hand, then today is the day to learn! Stop whatever you are doing right now, get out a piece of paper, and write down your company’s successful sales process. Keep in mind that your company may have multiple sales processes based on the different products/services it sells.

Once you have it written down in front of you, take a look at your pipeline and figure out where each deal is in the process and exactly what your next step needs to be. Call and follow-up to make sure the prospect received additional info, examples, proposals or proposal reviews. Finally, ask for the close and collect the money. There you have it.

Now that you know the true next step, you can handle it with confidence and get each deal moving in a positive direction. The key here is knowing exactly why you are following up and having that plan ready before you pick up the phone or draft the email. It sounds really simple and obvious, but the reality is that almost 75% of all salespeople will never make more than two attempts to follow-up with a prospect.

This means that simply knowing your sales process and executing the right steps at the right time already puts you ahead of the average joe salesman. That little bit of extra effort is what will propel you to close more deals!

Jake Sanders is the Vice President of Sales at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information about Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Internet: More Mobile Than Ever


A new study by Pew just confirmed that 88% of US adults own a cell phone and 55% of US adults browse the internet on their phone. Keep in mind that this doesn't include teens. Even more interesting is that of those 55%, 31% report to using their phone to access the internet more than any other device.

These numbers would be wise to note seeing as they are indicating explosive growth in mobile web. After all, smartphones weren't even a common name back in 2009, and the iPad has only been around since 2010, just two years ago.

In just a few years, we have seen the rise of mobile internet on par with the rise of everyone's favorite topic these days, social media. Social media, however, is really just a facet of the importance of digital technology and how those advances are shaping the way we connect to each other online.

Marketers aren't the only force in the world that need to take note of where their audience is accessing their content. Businesses looking to keep their products relevant need to make sure that their services reflect these shifts in technology.

Making your product or brand "mobile-friendly" is much more important than some may think.Not caring about how your site appears on a mobile phone, for example, can be a disastrous PR move, seeing as your site is a reflection of your credibility.

There are definitely great abiders by this, as we see many more businesses utilizing cloud software more efficiently than ever, but that is not enough. As I said before, digital technology and how it is constantly changing shapes exactly how we use these new advances such as the cloud, mobile apps, telecommunications, what have you.

More and more people are converting to the notion that tablets and smartphones are the true tools of the future. Will your company heed that?

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We Don't Want Your Money

Wil Seabrook: As a small business owner, part of my responsibility is monitoring our bottom line and always focusing on expansion. But I’ve found that things get really serious when I focus all my attention on money. Money is not why I get out of bed and come to work every morning. I get out of bed because I love working with our creative team to produce products and services that actually help our clients.
When we wrap up one of our videos or deliver a new sales relationship for a client, it’s like Christmas morning seeing the fantastic response. The client is excited and reinvigorated on the reasons they get out of bed. Our job, simply put, is to help our clients explain to their audience exactly what they bring to the table and why it has value.

When it comes to our own bottom line, I’ve found that the more I focus on simply making sales or bringing more income in the door, the less fun the whole process becomes. What is fun is helping every client expand their business. That’s what we do all day every day, and there’s always a fresh creative challenge, as well as something new to learn about the amazing and creative ways that people solve problems I never even knew existed!

I’ve become more of a renaissance man in the last few years as I’ve learned about hundreds of business models in dozens of industries. I can actually predict trends in tech and business, not because I have my ear to the ground of the latest industry reports or Wall Street predictions, but because I’m actually talking to the hard working people who are out there every day making our economy grow under the most challenging conditions we’ve faced in a generation.

That’s why I get out of bed in the morning and why I love my job and our creative team as much as I do. We don’t focus on making money from our clients. We focus on giving them the best possible return on their investment with us. We’re in this for the long haul, and we’re here to help. There’s no better game out there than the one we’re playing.

When a client says things like “This is literally the best money I’ve ever spent on our PR and marketing,” then I know we’re doing our job and loving it in the process.

Here's a few recent video examples to give you an idea of our work:

Wil Seabrook is the COO and Co-founder of Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information about Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.


Monday, June 25, 2012

10 Qualities of a Good Writer


Keep in mind that there's always exceptions to the rule, but these are qualities found in most good writers.

10. Punctuality: the writer is timely and fulfills commitments.

9. Magnamity: the writer gives credit where it's due.

8. Credibility: the writer is persuasive.

7. Industry: the writer never stops writing.

6. Opportunistic: the writer sees value in almost everything.

5. Passion: the writer is a master of emotion.

4. Discernment: the writer understands his/her audience.

3. Receptive: the writer reads.

2. Perception: the writer is always forward-thinking.

1. Obsession: the writer is annoying, even to himself/herself.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Want Dictates Commitment

I came across this awesome video the other day that I wanted to share. After watching it, think about how bad you want whatever it is you want and the write down what you need to do to get it and then go and execute what you wrote with complete focus. Enjoy!



Friday, June 22, 2012

Are You Recruiting Your Prospects to Close?


Jake Sanders- If you follow the world of college athletics (specifically NCAA Division 1 Basketball, give me a break I'm from Kentucky!), there was an interesting article published on ESPN today.

The article pertains to a rule change allowing coaches to contact recruits via phone calls, text messages, Facebook, Twitter messages, etc. There will be many schools, families and recruits that will embrace this opportunity to use today’s more contemporary (and preferred) communication methods to connect with recruiters and college programs.

After all, coaches are trying to do the exact same thing you are as a salesperson: CLOSE the deal. After reading the article, I asked myself, “Do I know how my prospects and clients prefer to be communicated with? Could this be the reason I am having a hard time reaching certain prospects?” Ask yourself the same question.

Your prospects are always giving you signs and signals on how to find and communicate effectively with them. They’re practically giving you an electronic roadmap. If a prospect puts their cell-phone and LinkedIn profile on their email signature, they are telling you it is okay to connect with them using these methods.

Listen to them and take advantage of this opportunity. Don’t ignore these tips from them and continue to pound their desk phone line and leave the same follow up message. Call their cell or send them an invitation to connect on LinkedIn (once they have accepted, don’t forget to send them a direct message asking for what it is you need!). You may find that a prospect who seems impossible to catch at their office is quick to respond to a call on their cell or a text.

Now with all this being said, remember to be professional and not a stalker. If a prospect doesn’t give you their cell-phone, don’t try to get it from someone else at their office. Odds are it won’t sit well with them. Be smart and use today’s available technology to communicate more effectively with your target.

It will help you close more deals.

Jake Sanders is the Vice President of Sales at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information about Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here. You can find more content from Jake on his website, Sales Snacks, here

Thursday, June 21, 2012

3 Ways We're Attracted to Brands Like We're Attracted to People


What makes a product brandable, or rather, have the ability to be promoted effectively?

I liken the dynamic to relationships. Specifically, how people are attracted to other people. It takes three ingredients:

1. Appearance

Aesthetically, how does a brand and its product appear to the consumer? For most of us, the first thing we notice about a person we inevitably become attracted to is their looks and how beautiful we think they are. This is a basic human process that translates into how we superficially judge a product we see in the store or on a billboard. If the product doesn't have that attractive look to it, it will be much harder to make the product attractive to its target audience.

2. Personality

How we interact with a person is a major factor in developing a liking for them. We need to be able to have a chemistry with the person, approve of what they represent and enjoy being associated with them. Much is the same with how we utilize a product or service. If I have a bad time with a certain brand and hate how the company interacts with me via media, advertising and my actually using the product, I will not start a relationship with that brand. 

3. The X Factor

We've all had those relationships where we loved the appearance and personality of a person, but we just couldn't see ourselves spending all of our time with them. The X factor is an unseen, unexplainable aspect of our attraction to people, as well as brands. This is what truly separates the brandable products from the rest. Unfortunately, it eventually comes down to luck. 

We like to think of marketing as a science, and it is to a point. Tragically, the X factor is a product of many variables surrounding a brand that can prevent a company from reaching the global audience they strive for. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Effort to Effortless

Robert Cornish: I'm sure it's real to you that sometimes things take a little more effort than planned for. If you were to push a car that was out of gas, it would take some effort to get the thing rolling, but once you gained some momentum, it would practically roll itself.
In any situation in business, you can handle or overcome obstacles with sheer effort. In other words, if you were trying to make one sale, had three prospects and all three cycles were not closing - you could go get 30 prospects and take a huge amount of effort to work all 30 and some would close - agreed?

And so it goes with your prospecting activities, sales and revenue. While you can read business book after book on the topic, the funny thing is, some problems are so simple that we overlook them. Just sheer effort can change your entire company.

You've seen the person on the basketball court who just works harder. Just hustles more and takes more effort than the others. That person seems to eventually get all the balls and score the points.

Well, this applies to business as well. If you're not completely satisfied with your current growth rate, sales results or revenue numbers - I'd suggest taking a lot more effort. Perhaps you're not doing enough now?

If you were pummeling your sales team with new reaches (sales leads) each week one after the next so much so that they needed to get an assistant to help organize them - or if you created an assault of new videos for every product, service and value proposition for your company and then posted them on every square inch of the web as well as emailed every prospect about it - you would impact your numbers positively.

At first, this would seem like a lot of effort because it's well above what you're doing now, but after doing it consistently, you would start to see new business calling and emailing you almost effortlessly.

So think in terms of effort. Push yourself to take far too much effort and the result will be in line with what you're looking for.

With all that said, our team can help carry the burden for some of the effort. In fact, we love it! So bring it on. Let us help drive your sales with our strategic relations program and videos. We'll make effort look good.

Robert Cornish is the CEO and Cofounder of Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information about Richter10.2, or if you want use our agency's services, check out our introduction video here.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Can Kickstarter Transform the Publishing Industry?


Yesterday morning, we tweeted a blog post from Seth Godin highlighting his recent endeavor to use Kickstarter to fund his next book, The Icarus Deception.

Like most Seth Godin fans, we were interested to see how the funding would develop. This would truly measure the online influence of one the world's best bloggers, Seth Godin. Our expectations were shattered 3 hours later when the book reached its goal in record time

This is definitely exciting for Godin, but it's also exciting for everyone involved in the prospect of crowdfunding. For months, critics have been panning Kickstarter as a fad that doesn't have the same clout of traditional investing. This is yet to be proven true or false, but we do know that the potential of Kickstarter and all crowdfunding startups is not to be ignored.

After all, the same was said with ebooks just a few years ago, which are transforming the publishing industry. How much more can be accomplished through crowdfunding in the way that we promote, publish and distribute books that are truly lauded for their content, not their name? 

Kudos to Seth Godin for taking such a big risk with his book. This is a well-deserved win for him that is sure to have a ripple effect on the publishing industry. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Employee Training That Really Works

It is well known that any competent and expanding organization needs people who know what they're doing. The general way of any startup, whether the entire company is getting started or a new endeavor of an existing company is getting started, is to cope, cope, cope.

If cope is continued, the startup will not survive.

The key to moving up and out of the vicious cope condition is to organize. Among other things, a key component often left out of organizing is creating standard job manuals (hats) for each post. Much energy is required to make hats for every post in the organization. But once they are made, expansion can really occur, and the organization's existence is ensured.

We at Richter are well aware of what it takes. As a result, there are hats created for nearly every post with a "Richter College" to go with them, and training occurs almost every day. This has been very successful with Richter, as we are moving out of the condition of cope as a group into the condition of strong and stress-free production.

Scott Schaefer is the Training and Hat Writer for Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information on Richter10.2, please visit our introduction video here.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Brands That Are "Future-Ready"


I was awoken this morning by a flurry of interesting texts from one of my colleagues. She asked me a simple question:

"What brands are 'future-ready'?" 

Without even making sure I completely understood what she meant by "future-ready," I gave her these brands:

Heinz, TOMS, Old Spice, Doritos, Nissan and Ford. 

I don't think I was anticipating having to explain why I chose these and why they are, as I define it, brands that are actively anticipating and preparing for the ever-changing needs of their audience (and future audience). 

Her response to this list was expected. Obviously, TOMS is known as being a very "forward" brand, and Nissan and Ford both publicize their innovate technologies through the Leaf and Ford Sync. What surprised her was Heinz. I can imagine she was thinking, "How is ketchup a 'future-ready' brand?"

My reasoning for this was simple. Heinz was the first (and one of the only) brands I ever found to actually "get" Facebook pages. The way they brand themselves creatively and expertly on their Facebook page, integrating their promotions and CSR on top of that, caught my eye and reinforced my habits as a loyal Heinz customer. Also, just look at their new ketchup packets that make it so much easier to use their product. Plenty of people complain about ketchup packets, but who anticipated this product redesign?

On top of that, they have a great track record. Heinz's famous "thick and rich" campaign has resonated with a lot of advertising and public relations professionals. They took a huge weakness of their brand, thick ketchup being hard to be poured out of the bottle, and turned that into a strength by advertising that their ketchup is thicker and richer than the competition.

It was one of those campaigns that really highlighted a company taking traditional advertising concepts and adapting them to the changing wants of their audience, and they show no signs of losing sight of their aptitude for good advertising. Their bottle redesign, for example, was ingenious and is still in regular use. 

When it comes down to it, a "future-ready" brand doesn't have to be about inventing an entirely new wheel, or even reinventing the wheel for a new audience. It's about figuring out exactly who your audience is, what they're thinking, and tailoring your message, brand and product to them. 

It's a simple concept, though rarely executed. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Treat Every Day Like It's Your First


Anyone who takes their sales career seriously knows it is very challenging. It takes a lot of desire, commitment, knowledge, training, etc. to be successful. Sales reps spend hours committed to learning about their company, it’s mission, the products and services they offer, how these products and services solve their client’s problems, and how to sell themselves, their company, and it’s solutions.

It only starts there. Once a sales rep feels comfortable with their own company, they must develop new business by prospecting, building rapport, and just asking questions. They must learn the problems the
prospect’s business is facing, present a solution, ask more questions, follow up, ask for the deal, follow up again, you get the idea. IT’S TOUGH!

So, why is it that new salespeople can come into an office and have what seems to be overnight success? They have less knowledge about the company, it’s products and services, customer base, and in some cases, experience.

Well, It is really quite simple. They don’t have any considerations!

They haven’t been beaten up by all of the objections, barriers, long sales cycles, and flat out NO answers. Furthermore, when they do come up against these issues, they simply handle them and move on. They are eager and hungry to be successful in their new role and don’t let the daily grind get to them.

Let’s face it: sales can take a toll. Even the most seasoned reps can get bogged down and have bad days, weeks, or even months. In my opinion, the most successful sales reps act just like the new kid on the block every day.

So, treat everyday just like it is your first day! I am sure you will see results.

Jake Sanders is the Vice President of Sales at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information about Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

At Some Point, Any Step is in the Right Direction


We love to talk a lot about what we'll accomplish someday. Friends get together and find pleasure in dreaming like teenagers. "Eventually, I'll get out of this town. Eventually, I'll get the job I've always wanted."

Something strange happens. We stagnate, and not for any particular reason. Your environment has a knack for finding ways to tie you down, even when you're unmarried or without children. Jobs, family, and friends always give us convincing reasons to stick to what we know. 

Familiarity breeds contentment, then contempt. That's why there are times when taking any step, even backwards, is in the right direction. A step backwards can get you back to a place where you try harder in an unfamiliar setting, pushing you and reminding you of what value you possess. 

I could say something as generic as, "take risks." But it really comes down to, "just do something."

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

U.S. Economy Slowing Down-How to Keep Your Business Moving Forward


Reuter's came out with a study today with some bad news for the U.S. economy. U.S. companies are finding it more difficult to grow their revenue now than at just about any time since the financial crisis.

For some, this is just baffling. We've been told by our government that the private sector is doing just fine. Since 2012 started, many companies have been nothing but optimistic about the recovery and starting off the year with impressive numbers. What we've seen, however, is a sharp downturn to start off the summer, with growth almost half of what it was last year. 

This slowdown is discouraging, but should serve as a warning more than anything else. Just like pain is our body telling us to stop what we are doing, this news is a similar wake-up call for businesses trying to grow like it's 2002. 

The problem typically comes down to sales. Getting people to buy your product or use your business is always a challenge. It seems like we are trying harder and harder to make profitable connections but are coming up shorter and shorter as the quarters go by. Well, what works? What can companies do to change what they're doing and finally see some manageable growth that isn't just a fluke?

I submit a new strategy for businesses to try out. PRIME Strategy. Conceptualized by the Richter10.2 Media Group founders, Robert Cornish and Wil Seabrook, PRIME is built to create the relationships that businesses are trying to make with their customers and vested interests but aren't able to do on their own.

It's not exactly public relations, marketing or advertising. Instead, it's strategic relations: identifying exactly what audience you want and crafting a message designed specifically for that audience, making the deal an inevitable close. 

How do I know this works? We use it for our company, Richter10.2 Media Group. We use PRIME to find clients for our video company, R102 Video. We're seeing constant growth with no sign of slowdown, even during these trying times. 

5 weeks ago, I had no idea what Richter10.2 Media Group was about. After, a month of being introduced to their mission, purpose, and history of growth, I have an irresistible urge to share their methods that are working for more and more businesses every day. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2 and PRIME, check out our introduction video here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Where Does Creativity Come From?


Merriam Webster defines creative as having the ability to create rather than to imitate. Creativity is about originality, imagination and in this case, the production of some kind of idea. This process is not complex. 

If creativity was complex, it would probably be easier. If it was broken down into a detailed formula or mathematical structure, creativity could be predictable and manageable. Creativity is not complex until it tries to be persuasive. The variables that come into play when trying to present a creative idea as a means of trying to get someone to do something becomes extremely complex and reliant on countless, unseen variables.

Being creative, however, is simple. Original ideas come down to a person's affinity for thinking differently and being aware of their idiosyncrasies. Everyone has a level of creativity, but the misnomer is that the most creative person can produce an original idea at will. While this is a fantastic skill to have, it is not really the most useful, especially because it is easy to believe you are creative when you're not. You can know when you are being creative by simply knowing where creativity comes from.  

Creativity comes from objectivity. Without delving too much into philosophy, it is imperative to remember that originality is a product of being separated from bias and consistent thinking. This is why anyone can be creative. It is because anyone can and will be objective at some point in regards to the creation of some kind of idea or concept. In business, proposals and campaigns are pitched to management in an effort to accomplish objective approval. The managers have an incentive to be unbiased. For that reason, a good idea must be interpreted objectively first and foremost. 

If I am creating an advertising campaign to generate sales for shoelaces, I will have a hard time if I create a concept built upon my own love of shoelaces. Creative ideas come from the practitioner who says, "What if I wore sandals everyday? What would get me to buy shoelaces? What is persuasive about shoelaces?" 

The point is that the process of creativity can be achieved through more than just meditation or thinking really hard. It takes preparation and an awareness of your own ability to produce something original and genuine. If you find that you can't produce something that your boss doesn't like even though you apparently love it, it's probably because you aren't creating something. You are imitating your own wants and desires that, in this case, have no real effect on anyone else. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The War Against Facebook Pt. 2


As a recap, Facebook is in the midst of a true sink or swim year as they are experiencing the climax of bad press that has been building up over the years surrounding privacy issues, viruses, and people getting tired of the service. 

One important thing to note is that Facebook is a behemoth. They will hit 1 billion members absent deus ex machina. All I'm pointing out is that the service is poised for a fall now that it has hit a high peak. Could they overcome? Sure, but at this rate, it is more likely that Facebook has trying times ahead of them, and they should be prepared for the worst.

What would I do if I was their head of public relations? While I am no expert, I have observed that the most successful businesses that have achieved a high level of popularity always find unique and interesting ways to solve their problems. 

Facebook has to seriously deal with their problem of their servers not being able to accommodate so many users, causing a lot of bugs and slowdowns to ensue. Expanding their servers is a legitimate problem for Facebook, but it must be done in order for the site to keep its users happy. They need to acknowledge the problem in the press and own up to it, showing everyone that they are making steps to improve the service.

When it comes to Facebook's privacy issues, it would be counterproductive for them to diminish the issue as they have been. They've taken great steps already to making their privacy settings easy for people to understand and apply to their profiles, but people still blame the site for not being transparent. Instead of ignoring these complaints or just addressing the issue through a press release, Facebook needs to find a way to turn this weakness into a strength.

The same goes with the site recently buying Instagram and offering its own Instagram clone. The problem is perception. People see Facebook trying to be "everything to everyone" through moves like this, and all it does is drive away users. It wasn't a bad move for Facebook to buy Instagram. Far from it. The real problem is that Facebook is allowing itself to be seen as a lackluster site that is buying up the competition. Both are essentially untrue, but that is what the conversation is becoming, and when enough people are saying something, enough people are believing it. 

Facebook can't control the conversation, but they can guide it. Their current strategy has been to distract its users from its drawbacks by constantly delivering new content that matches their rivals. That isn't enough anymore. The site needs to win back its loyal users that people like me join Facebook to connect with. As soon as my friends aren't on Facebook, I won't be on Facebook, and that rings true for many other people. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Image Credit:


Thursday, June 7, 2012

The War Against Facebook pt. 1


Let me start off by saying I am no knight for Facebook. The day Facebook and I break up, if it will ever happen, will be just another day. Still, I can't help but notice that more and more people are taking up arms against the service, almost like it's some kind of coup. Let me explain.

I spend hours every day studying trends and opinions that are spreading around the online universe. Doing this on a daily basis has helped me develop a knack for predicting trends and accurately understanding shifts in public opinion. 

That's why the past few weeks have made me wary about Facebook's future. It's not just that the social media giant has been experiencing misfortune with it's recent shift into going public and tanking in the stock market. Stuff like that recovers and is not truly indicative of the company's future. The real trend that is scaring me is the overblown reaction to all of this bad press. It started with people deleting their Facebook accounts at a more rapid rate, seemingly doing so because they were fed up with privacy issues.

Yes, privacy. Facebook's biggest obstacle separating it from total domination, at least in my opinion. Facebook has dealt with some seriously bad PR over the years with privacy issues, turning extreme loyalists and users of the site into malevolent naysayers. The same goes with ongoing issues with viruses slipping into Facebook's scripts at an ever-increasing rate. 

Now, however, we are seeing new trends of people outright getting rid of their accounts because they are just sick of it. Many people just don't see value in the social site for reasons that range from lack of good content to it taking up their lives for little-to-no reward. It's bad enough that Eric Jackson, a credible analyst, is announcing to the world that Facebook will be a memory by 2020.  Bad press like this just seems to be a reason that the process of Facebook's end will be even sooner. 

To me, it almost seems like a conspiracy against Facebook. It's most likely not and there's really no evidence for it, but what I see is a few extreme haters of Facebook repeatedly announcing to people online that the site is, for lack of a better word, boring. Old. Tired. Done. Enough people seem to be agreeing, even though the site really hasn't changed that much these past few weeks.

Am I a Facebook hater? By no means. I love the site and I check it regularly. Unfortunately, it is waning on me. I am one of those users that finds it more and more rare to read updates I actually care about. I would much rather check my Twitter feed which is always bursting with good content, and I have even begun to dust off my Google Plus account and have been finding it rewarding. 

Time will only tell. Facebook needs to implement some kind of new PR plan in order to turn this negativity around before it becomes a problem big enough for people besides me to see. What would I do? Come back here tomorrow for the answer in pt. 2. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quick Ways to Ensure Password Protection and Security


More and more reports are coming in that over 6 million LinkedIn passwords (which is roughly .05% of LinkedIn members) have been leaked by a Russian hacker site. While this is not 100% certain, internet watchdogs are encouraging everyone to change their passwords as soon as possible to prevent their online info from being stolen.

This is a great time to discuss tips you should take to make sure your online information is always safe and secure. While online security sites like LifeLock and Equifax can be great deterrents against online attackers, there are also free ways you can keep yourself safe and protected.

It really comes down to common sense when choosing your password. I know it's tempting to have the same password for every site with only a few variations, but this doesn't fly when technology is becoming more sophisticated everyday. Your best bet is to have a different password for each facet of your life.

Your bank account, first and foremost, must always be its own and should never be integrated into any of your other passwords. You'll probably get away with having similar passwords for your various social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, but remember that these sites have access to a lot of your private information. Erring on the side of caution is highly recommended.

If your main worry is forgetting your password, you should also consider staying away from listing your passwords on a document saved to your personal computer. You are much better off writing them down and storing them in a safe place. 

I love Google Chrome and how it saves all of my passwords for me so I don't have to log in to a site every time. Unfortunately, we are entering a new age of advanced technology where almost anything can be hacked and compromised. While I don't foresee Google Chrome going down this route anytime soon, it is just as well that I am constantly entering my passwords in manually if for no other reason than to memorize my passwords. 

Finally, change your passwords often. At least twice a year is pretty reasonable, but the more you change them, the better off you ultimately are. Also, if you share a password with someone for any reason, it is smart to change it soon after, no matter how much you trust that person. One good reason to do this is because they may use your password on an insecure network.

When it comes down to it, common sense is the real deciding factor between whether or not your online life will remain safe and protected. Be sure to listen to that nagging voice in your head telling you to make your password something besides "1234."

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Survive the Beginning of the Month

It's a new month, which means all of that energy your team used to finish the last month off strong is starting to wane off. Morale is probably higher now that stress has been relieved, but your daily production is starting to diminish. What can you do to keep that energy going?

That's a tricky question to answer because employees maintaining that same energy means that they are having to sustain high levels of production, which often results in stress. Unfortunately, employees don't want to wrap their heads around being their absolute best on a daily basis, even if they are more than capable of that.

Obviously, managers know that being your absolute best on a daily basis is essential to seeing production (and everyone's wages) grow. So, how do you go about energizing your staff without stressing them out? 

It's all about wording. It's honestly that simple. If you want your team to stay upbeat and energetic, encourage them. Don't challenge them with daunting, morbid tasks about "how good" last week was. A good manager will motivate his employees to keep the energy up by setting the example and letting employees come to the conclusion that they need to stay productive themselves. 

A great example of this is how the executives at my company, Richter10.2, keep the energy up. They measure our production on a weekly basis and provide solutions for us to solve any problems we come across with our workload. The result is a fully trained staff that knows exactly what they need to do watch their numbers grow, and our morale is always high as a result.

Give your employees goals and watch them meet them. If they don't meet them, train them. Constantly telling them to hold to an arbitrary energy level just creates stress, even though the intention is to motivate. There are tons of ways to incentivize your office to increasing their production without making them feel like their jobs are on the line. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.


Monday, June 4, 2012

What Does The Acquisition of Buddy Media Mean for Salesforce?


For years, Salesforce has been on the front-lines of social media marketing by providing tools and resources for organizations to measure their social media influence.

As you may have read this morning, Salesforce has purchased Buddy Media, one of the top social media marketing companies, for $689 million. The real headline is that Salesforce now has control of the world's top social media marketing companies since it also acquired Radian6 just last year. 

So, what does this mean for the Salesforce, one of the biggest cloud-based sales companies? Obviously, there is more to the story than their revenue increasing. While the company has been growing rapidly, especially with this latest acquisition, it has also been preparing a new service that has only been hinted at until now.

Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, has commented, “The idea behind the deal is simple. By combining Buddy Media with the rest of’s products, including Salesforce Radian6, the leading social media listening platform, we will be able to deliver the first comprehensive Marketing Cloud that will allow customers to listen, engage, gain insight, publish, advertise and measure social marketing programs.” 

This is great news for companies looking to get the most out of their social media platforms, especially during a time when social media branding is so critical to a company's success. With the implementation of this "Marketing Cloud" on the horizon, there really seems to be no limit to how sophisticated our cloud-based technology is going to become and how agencies will dramatically change how they research and measure online impressions.

All things considered, the real question is: who will really capitalize on this new technology and who will be left behind? Salesforce is a good example of a company who refuses to be the latter.

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Which Social Media Work Best for Sales? Pt. 2


As a recap, we looked at Facebook and Twitter in part 1, carefully looking at the advantages and disadvantages of using these mediums to establish relationships with potential clients and leads. 

Next we'll go into some of the lesser known, but still large, social networks that offer something uniquely different for salespeople in particular. 

3) Google

Yes, Google (especially Gmail) is a social network that is constantly growing. The merging of email and the Google search engine behemoth was definitely welcome among a huge segment of professionals with over 350 million active users at the beginning of 2012.

The extension of this growing network into Google Plus doesn't hurt their reach either. Like Facebook and Twitter, many people have Gmail accounts, and these are the people your sales team is looking to connect with. One of the huge advantages of this jack-of-all-trades social network is, in fact, it's ability to provide tools for almost any online experience.

Want to contact a potential client? Gmail. Want to follow up in a casual way? Google Plus. Want to share a document without cramping their inbox? Google Docs. Google is a safe haven for salespeople looking to reach their clients professionally and politely for almost any type of situation. 

4) LinkedIn 

Some people forget that LinkedIn has been around for quite a while, quietly building its network and reputation as the "professional" version of Facebook (even though it launched a year before) and has transitioned from being known as a job search engine to a full-fledged hub for professional networking.

The beauty of these online resumes is that salespeople are able to do ample research on their prospects before initiating contact. They can also pay to use InMail, which allows them to message their prospects not connected to them. In return, potential clients can look at your profile and make a more informed judgment call on whether or not they want to respond to you, giving you a better shot at starting the relationship. 

Thanks to the groups function, sharing information with a huge number of people makes gathering new leads and reaches even easier. Posting articles and starting discussions on different LinkedIn groups has the potential to get your name out there among the targets you actually want to reach. In a way, LinkedIn is the ultimate cold-calling social network. 

5) Skype

Last is Skype, the authority on video messaging. If your company isn't already using Skype to some degree, you are really missing out on one of the best ways to communicate internally and externally. Although Skype is not very effective when trying to find new prospects, it is very useful in communicating with a prospect with some clout. The instant messaging features on top of video messaging make it easy for you to close deals faster by communicating more directly without pestering the client. 

In conclusion, all of these networks have their disadvantages for creating and sustaining relationships with your prospects. Careful use and practice, however, will help your sales team accurately utilize these networks to their full potential. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.