Tag Archives: IACP

Presenting…Objects & Relationships

It’s a few days late, but here’s my “Objects & Relationships” presentation from IACP.  Two things:

1. I know that I’m simplifying the concept of “social objects.” It was most appropriate for this audience and personally, I like the simplicity.
2. On the rambling, especially on the first slide, I’ll improve. I know it’s not fun to look at a white slide while I ramble (for those who know me know that I can ramble). I like this idea of multimedia education so I’ll strive to get better at this.

And for those of you who want the presentation itself, here you go.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Why Business Cards & Video are the Same to Me

I’ve got a little more left in me from the IACP presentation/posts.  First, I don’t think I posted the right picture with the last post.  To say something is “The End” is never right.  I just liked the picture, but it just hasn’t sit well with me since I posted.  This one makes up for it.

I’ve gotten multiple requests (thank you, everyone!) for my presentation, so I’m going to record some audio and post the deck + VO later this week.  I’ve sent it around to some folks since the conference and I don’t think it’s going to be useful to them without the VO.  I am a visual person, but I always have problems with someone else’s presentation.  First question I ask – “can you walk me through this?”  The good presentations don’t include many words.  They’re more discussion starters.  So, it’s coming.  I’ll get it posted as soon as I can.

The one thing I can do now, though, from what I’ve sent around and posted, is to give you my business card analogy.  As I said previously, my point of view on video is that it is just another piece of content.  An object.  Just like a business card.

I can spend a lot and get that business card made to where it looks really nice or I can make it myself for a fraction of the cost and it won’t look as nice.  The first impression is important, certainly depending on who I’m giving the card to, but in the end, the purpose is the same:  to give people information.  My objective with this business card is to share it with as many people as I can and maybe they’ll share it with people they know.  But I can only measure that object by the number of people who see it – it’s all about quantity.

There’s another piece of the puzzle, though, and that’s what I hope happens when I give my business card away.  I want someone to reach out and start a relationship with me.  Relationships can grow.  It doesn’t matter if I give my business card to a 100 people if none of them reach out to me and we don’t develop a relationship.  Relationships aren’t about quantity.  They’re about quality. 

And this is where I think it’s important to think of objects as just that.  It’s not just the thing you’re producing (the content).  It’s what surrounds that thing (the context).  It’s finding the right balance between the two – content and context.  Between quantity and quality.  Between objects and relationships.  As marketers and communicators, we try to navigate the ecosystem as best we can to strike this balance in everything we do.  We try to be more successful than not.  But it’s not easy.

Do you just give your business card to as many people as you can?  Or do you complete the puzzle and try to develop a relationship?

Can’t Ever Be Too Prepared

The panel discussion went well today at IACP.  I was pretty nervous leading up to it, primarily because I didn’t feel like I was prepared.  One of my college professors, the late, great Larry Hovis (from Hogan’s Heroes) lived by the mantra:  Be on time, Be prepared, and Be sober.  Simple, right?  It’s good.  Pretty much covers the bases.  It’s interesting to see how many people you come into contact with during a day can’t meet these criteria.

So the lack of preparation was with me.  I was up late last night trying to finish my presentation and practice.  I should have been at this stage days ago.  Instead, I felt like I was preparing for a personal BD pitch – pulling things together at the last minute.

But alas – I did finish, of course, and everything came together and when the panel started, all was good.  I was worried that I would be speaking over everyone’s head, talking about social media and social objects and content/context and all they wanted to hear from me was Video 101.  But I think I broke it down well, where it was digestable for everyone in the audience (wide range of audience, in age, digital acumen and focus).  I got some good feedback from some of the attendees, so mission was accomplished.  And now, I have a pretty good POV on content (objects) and context (relationships).

In the spirit of getting better, I’m always looking for feedback, so if you have any, let me know.  Would love to hear your thoughts.

Additional note – I hung out with Pat Hellberg from the Preset Group for a few hours last night and I’ve got to say, I really like those guys.  (Pat ran Nike’s digital signage network for a long time.)  They’ve been really good to me, which I appreciate.  They’re all very smart and it’s always fun to talk to smart people.  They’re also huge advocates of the DOOH space and doing everything they can to help companies navigate in the space.  Pat listened to my POV (which was really my presentation) on content/context and provided a bit of insight (via something kinda unrelated).  In any case, if you’re looking for someone (or a group of guys) to give you the 411 on digital signage/DOOH, look no further than the Preset Group.  They’ll steer you right.

Objects & Relationships – Equally Dependent & Important

I am off to IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) to speak on a panel about the importance of video in this industry (food/beverage, hospitality, etc..), specifically from the POV of a brand.  We represent many brands and organizations within this industry and I’ll end up showing a few examples.  But my story isn’t necessarily around the videos, per se.  From my perspective, the video (just like any piece of content) is just another social object (which is an idea/term that’s been around for quite awhile).  It’s a thing.  It gets created, consumed, and shared.  It’s measured in quantity (how many people end up seeing the object?)

But that’s only half of the story.  By itself, it can only do so much for the brand (I’m not going to get into the details of “objects” and “nodes.”  In the spirit of keeping it simple, I’m going to talk in generalities re: social objects.)  The other half of the story is the relationship, the engagement, the context.  Where along the brand’s communication stream – relationship path, if you will – is each person seeing these objects?  Brands need many different social objects to develop/sustain/grow relationships with their audience.  These relationships are measured in quantity (how strong are they?)

If each of them – objects (content) or relationship (context) – work independently, your brand leaves a lot on the table.  Separately they might be strong, but in the end, they are still independent. 

Independency is not the world we live in now.  We live in a world that is interconnected (social) and multi-platform (mobile).  Both have a profound effect on how brand’s should approach 1) creating content (in this case, videos) and 2) creating relationships (engaging).  Everyone and everything can be engaged with, consumed, and shared when people want, how they want, and on what device (screen) they want.  The true nirvana for brands is to consistently, more-often-than-not have a bead on where the audience is in the relationship at the time they are consuming the object so you can create more effective objects.

Here, when content and context work together, not only can brands drive reach (eyeballs), they can build stronger relationships.  Strong relationships grow into trust-based relationships.  Trust-based relationships grow into advocacy and evangelism.  And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.  

Are you creating independent, 1-off objects?  Or are you working to marry content & context?  Shout if you can.