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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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          Last Updated on January 13, 2020

          The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

          The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

          No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

          Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

          Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

          A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

          Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

          In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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          From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

          A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

          For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

          This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

          The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

          That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

          Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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          The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

          Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

          But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

          The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

          The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

          A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

          For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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          But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

          If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

          For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

          These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

          For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

          How to Make a Reminder Works for You

          Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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          Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

          Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

          My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

          Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

          I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

          More on Building Habits

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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