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Does Your Company Support Your Blog?

Does Your Company Support Your Blog?

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    As much as you think blogging and social networking are mainstream, corporate America has not caught up

      quite yet. Many companies are fearful that they are losing control of their brand — and they are.  Companies are trying to put together social media guidelines as quickly as possible, so that employees know what they can and cannot say online, concerning their brand.  You’ve probably seen a blog with a disclaimer and blown it off like it didn’t exist and I don’t blame you.  Everything you say and do, whether online of offline, is a reflection of your brand and all brands you’re associated with, such as a nonprofit you are volunteering for, your company and even your friends. Most companies are top-down, which means if executives are fearful of social media, then there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to blog or share information about the company online.  This, of course, is an opportunity cost because talent is the most important corporate asset!
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      The research says a lot

      Companies haven’t completely embraced social media and some never will. Executives won’t even accept friend requests on Facebook or LinkedIn and most aren’t ever going to use Twitter.  IT departments block many sites, including social networks because there is a security risk associated with

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        them.  Also, any company with a lot of classified information, in certain industries like legal, doesn’t permit social networking use at all.  A lot of journalists aren’t even allowed to have a blog or a website.  As you can see from these statistics, there are a lot of hurdles corporations need to get over for social media to become the basis of how business is run.

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        Should you work for a company that doesn’t let you build your brand?

          No! If a company doesn’t let you build your personal brand using social media tools, your career will be sabotaged because you’ll lose your voice (a freedom that everyone should have).  Aside from the first amendment, if your voice isn’t heard, then you suffer a competitive disadvantage because there are millions of other voices out there.

          Companies are afraid to lose their employees to competition, which is one reason why they are afraid of employees building their own brands.  When employees start blogging and gain visibility through search engines and social networks, they become more marketable and may be recruited by another company.  Let’s be honest though; if a company doesn’t allow their employees to use social media, and another company does, wouldn’t it be smarter for employees to change companies?  Your brand and online network is your insurance against possibly losing your job in the future.  It’s all you’ve got.  Make sure you work for a company that supports your career, not just their own agenda.

          Companies benefit from your brand

          Companies need to understand quickly that their employees can actually help their organization, even when not in the office. A single employee now can pass a corporate message (or even a press release) to the outside world, at a fast space, while maintaining consistency.  Employees can also safeguard the corporate brand by monitoring brand mentions on social networks and Google.  Helpful employees might take it a step further and answer people’s questions about products and services.  Companies don’t even have to pay higher salaries right now to have their employee evangelists support their cause.  All it takes is empowerment and a little bit of trust!

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          More by this author

          Dan Schawbel

          Dan Schawbel is the leading personal branding expert for young professionals.

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          Last Updated on November 18, 2020

          15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

          15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

          It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
          Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

          1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
          2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
          3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
          4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
          5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
          6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
          7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
          8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
          9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
          10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
          11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
          12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
          13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
          14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
          15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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