Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into action...in a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
email:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning

Randall Craig

Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

Find more about me on:

A few of my most recent blog posts:

Have you ever slipped into the assumption that just about everything (and everyone) is fully connected over the social web?  That a connection is one click away on the latest smartphone?

Randall Craig at North York Harvest Food Bank. Sorting food at North York Harvest Food Bank

Recently I had a stark reminder, in the most unlikely of places, that this is absolutely not the case.  For several hours, I spent sorting food at the local food bank. Instead of going through the front, where patrons were able to pick up their food, I went through the back, where potential food bank users had to register for the privilege of being able to eat.  This group wasn’t sitting in chairs surfing on their smart phones (they didn’t seem to have them). They weren’t using the “surf station” (there wasn’t one), and they weren’t talking to each other about the latest innovation on Facebook or LinkedIn.  The only computer in the entire area seemed to be a 1990s-era machine used to record the volume and type of food collected.

While you and your organization may not consider food bank users a target market, this experience was a great reminder that in our haste to adopt social and mobile marketing, we may inadvertently ignore bona fide groups that either do not have access, or choose not to use, these channels.

This week’s action plan:  Has your excitement about social and mobile caused you to inadvertently de-emphasize or ignore an important, but unconnected group?  This week, look between the cracks of your existing outreach plan, and seek to identify parts of your market that you may have left behind.

Internet insight:  The reasons for “not connecting” are quite varied. In large parts of the country – particularly rural areas – high speed internet is simply not available.  For others, it may be a philosophical barrier: they have concerns about privacy.  For others it is educational: they don’t feel comfortable with technology.  And for others, economics play a role, either for the cost of the technology, or the cost of data access.  And of course, there are many others, including language, accessibility/access, and even lack of awareness about your organization.  Connecting with each of these overlooked populations may mean the difference between success and failure.

Lessons from the food bank:  I had the opportunity a few years ago to interview Gail Nyberg, Executive Director of the Daily Bread Food Bank.  This organization distributes over 1 million pounds of food monthly, through 170 member agencies.  Here is the interview:  http://www.professionallyspeakingtv.com/gail-nyberg/

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

{ 0 comments }

Activating your learning investment

by Randall Craig on April 14, 2017

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

Tagged as: ,

We spend hours reading books, attending seminars, and taking courses, but too often, the knowledge is lost, and virtually no change takes place. Must this always be the case? Instead, after you read, what can you do? Here are eight specific ideas…

  1. Summarize for colleagues
  2. Make reference notes
  3. Create an action plan – do something
  4. Blog about it
  5. Forward the book to a friend or colleague
  6. Reach out to the author on their site
  7. Join a discussion group on the book’s topic
  8. Review on Amazon or other book sites

And what have you accomplished by doing these eight items? Four key benefits:

  • Integrated the concepts into your own context.
  • Improved your long-term recall.
  • Connected the ideas outward to your personal and professional communities.
  • Developed an inventory of interesting anecdotes that can be used in conversations and networking.

This week’s action plan: While it didn’t take an hour to read this tipsheet, if you got this far, you can probably point to a few ideas that resonate.  This week, summarize the tipsheet for your colleagues, make reference notes, create an action plan…  (You get the point!)

Insight:  It might just be tempting to forward this Tipsheet as is.  While you certainly can do so, it is far more valuable if you put context around the knowledge before hitting the forward button. For example, what if the Tipsheet had a simple comment beforehand, such as “Let’s ask Pat to do a lunch-and-learn when she returns from the tradeshow – what do you think?”

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site

www.108ideaspace.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

{ 0 comments }

Insight: Improving Creative Potential

by Randall Craig April 7, 2017

  What is the one rubbish statement that single-handedly limits our creative potential? “Some people are incredibly creative, and others are not.  I am more analytical than creative.”  Rubbish! Creativity is a skill to be mastered – not an endpoint of a so-called creative-analytical continuum. In the interest of providing practical ideas to improve creative […]

Read More

Always-on Social Media Society

by Randall Craig March 31, 2017

One of the major downsides of social media is the addictive nature of it: even when we are on vacation, we feel the need to post photos, check others’ Facebook walls, see who has viewed our LinkedIn profiles, and Tweet about what is important to us.  (We train ourselves for this by constantly checking our […]

Read More

Blog and Social Media Errors [updated]

by Randall Craig March 24, 2017

Have you ever seen a mistake in someone else’s blog or social media post?  Or maybe you’ve been a victim of this yourself?  It could be a simple typographical or grammatical error, a case of misattribution, or a more serious case of factual error. Unfortunately, it happens far too often, for some very obvious reasons: […]

Read More

Agile Methodology

by Randall Craig March 17, 2017

Project managers the world over build Gantt charts, PERT charts, Work Breakdown Structures.  They focus on delivering on-time, on-budget. No matter your role, is there something that can be learned from the profession of project management? In the olden days – and sadly, “today” for many organizations – the most common project management approach is […]

Read More

Trust, Website Security, and SEO

by Randall Craig March 10, 2017

Whether real world or on the web, trust is a powerful factor. For users of the popular Chrome browser, Google recently made a change that is sure to give many people pause.  Consider the image below: for the first time, the word “secure” appears within the URL bar. Contrast this, with this next screen shot, […]

Read More

Insight: The Business of Risk

by Randall Craig March 7, 2017

What if something goes wrong? Most people are not keen on taking risks. A small faction of people are definitely risk–takers. Whether you are one or the other, the decisions you make often boil down to one ratio: The Risk-return equation. We spend a lot of time on Return, and a lot of time on […]

Read More

Six Tests for Testing Trends

by Randall Craig March 3, 2017

How often have you read a prediction, statement, or about a trend, and began to wonder if it were true?  Sadly, with so many instant experts, pundits, and self-serving gurus, it is sometimes difficult to tell fact from fiction. Here are six tests that can help you improve your signal-to-noise ratio: A trend is defined to be a projection from a known state in […]

Read More

Becoming an Efficient Thought Leader

by Randall Craig February 24, 2017

One of the more popular thought leadership “strategies” is to create relevant, provoking, leading-edge content.  Not only does this provide evidence of the thought leader’s special knowledge, but it also helps attract new followers, through sharing (social and real-world), and through discovery (Google, conference speeches, and publicity.) The most successful thought leaders recognize that this […]

Read More

Six Top Thought Leadership Articles

by Randall Craig February 17, 2017

For most people in senior roles, the holy grail of recognition is embodied in two terms: Thought Leadership and Trusted Advisor.  Yet too often, these very terms are thrown around, overused, and just perhaps, may be losing their value. Notwithstanding this, the underlying concepts are powerful – with a matching value in the marketplace.  Here are six posts that explore […]

Read More

Bloated Websites: Transparency vs. Accessibility

by Randall Craig February 10, 2017

How often are you frustrated by websites that have so many pages, it is impossible to actually find anything? Unfortunately, this is all to common of a complaint.  Websites are often used as corporate dumping grounds for every bit of information from every new initiative, often spanning backwards into the decades.  And every time the website is […]

Read More

Customer Service: Automated, Templated, or Customized

by Randall Craig February 3, 2017

Many organizations struggle with setting up a social media (or email) response strategy.  How do you trust front line staff to answer properly, if they don’t know the policies?  How do you have a consistent response, no matter who responds, or when?  And how do you minimize service costs, while maintaining service quality? One thing is certain: […]

Read More

Seven Disruptive Business Models

by Randall Craig January 27, 2017

Do you see your website, CRM, social media, and other digital initiatives as a way to improve service levels, market your organization, or be a central part of your thought leadership strategy?  While important, at best these are tactical approaches:  too often the bigger opportunity of digital transformation is ignored. This isn’t surprising, as digital initiatives are often driven from […]

Read More

Insight: Software Costs in the Age of the Cloud

by Randall Craig January 20, 2017

Software has a cost, but it may not be as clear as you may think.  Yes, purchasing Excel may be straightforward, but what about CRM, Marketing Automation, a new financial system, or any other core database that requires collaboration across the organization? In the olden days, it was relatively simple:  the application was usually custom-written, and […]

Read More

Five Steps to Reduce Risk

by Randall Craig January 13, 2017

Are you keen on risk?  Do you seek it out?  Most people and organizations don’t – and for good reason.  Yet risk is not necessarily bad: it is part of the risk-return equation; it identifies potential opportunity… and exposure. What is bad is unnecessary risk.  This simple framework can help: Step One: Identify all of […]

Read More

New year, new thinking?

by Randall Craig January 6, 2017

While the new year may in fact be refreshing, have you ever considered that your approach to marketing might be, at best, dated? That you might be following a strategy of incremental improvement, when a completely new approach might be what is really called for?  If so, you’re not alone.  But why? It is much easier […]

Read More

14 key digital planning reads for 2017

by Randall Craig December 30, 2016

Do you have a pile of reading, perhaps sitting at the corner of your desk?  Clippings that seem particularly important that you would get to “at some point”?  Or perhaps, a digital version kept safely in an obscure folder, just waiting for you to find the time to read? These clippings are particularly important, as they provide […]

Read More

Consumerization

by Randall Craig December 23, 2016

Wikipedia defines consumerization as the reorientation of product and service designs to focus on (and market to) the end user as an individual consumer, vs an earlier era of organization-oriented offerings.  It speaks to growing markets by looking for a completely different category of buyer, who may also be an influencer for the organizational purchase. Of greater […]

Read More

Brand values: reporter or columnist?

by Randall Craig December 16, 2016

Would you rather be a reporter, or a columnist? Reporters have a great combination of investigative skills, communication skills, moxy, and pluck. Columnists are made from the same raw material, but they get paid far more.  Why? Readers care more about what a particular person is saying than what a generic person says. Said another way, a staff reporter […]

Read More