Archive for The New York Times

New York Times Appoints Digital Pro to Engage its Readers

newspapersImagine The New York Times appointing an assistant editor for audience engagement.

Only 33, Alexandra MacCallum was described as a “business-side executive,” who will have a dual reporting role to the news and opinion editors.

My, how times have changed. Read More→

The “Gray Lady” Reinvents Itself in the Digital Era as Readers Leave

The New York times innovation studyThe “Gray Lady” is The New York Times, so-called because the type in the print version is so dense. That’s a moniker the newspaper no doubt wishes it could shed as its readership is eclipsed by online journals Huffington Post and BuzzFeed.

Adding further insult, The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed regularly repackage the Times’s content and draw more traffic than the original stories in the Times. How? By promoting the heck out of their content on social media.

Behind on Social Media

Read More→

Oops! I Should Have Said That on Twitter

No, that’s not a mistake in the headline. Do you have a Twitter account with blank space where your photo should be alongside one or two lonely tweets? That’s not good for your brand.

I just read an article in The New York Times When Publicists Say ‘Shh!’ recounting the recent flaps over Charlie Sheen’s Twitter rants, and the series of tsunami jokes by Gilbert Gottfried that promptly lost him his job as the voice of the Aflac duck.  Many other celebrities have similarly found themselves in hot water with their fans – and their publicists – over inappropriate tweets.

Not Your Problem

But that’s not your problem. Your problem may be you that don’t post often enough to Twitter and your other social media accounts. This matters because potential clients and employers are all over social media these days searching for more information about you. Even your own company may be monitoring your activity, for compliance reasons.

It doesn’t make a good impression when they see an account that looks to be abandoned. You wouldn’t go to a job interview without sprucing up your appearance first. But your social media presence represents you in cyber space. As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Social Media Checklist

Schedule an hour or two  to complete these initial steps so that your social media sites don’t look like abandoned orphans:

    1. Include a photo of yourself. You don’t need a professional to take one. Just a nice head shot. (Incidentally, once you choose a photo, go to Gravatar where you can upload it so that it follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog).


    1. Include a new background for your Twitter page. You could use a background from Twitter’s limited selection. But for more choices of free backgrounds go to twitrounds or TwitrBackgrounds. There are dozens to choose from.


    1. Fill out your profile. This is especially important on LinkedIn, one of the first stops for employers and prospects.  Make sure it’s complete. It does NOT need to be perfect. You can always tweak it later. I do.


    1. Set up a weekly schedule. This article is not for social media addicts who are posting several times daily. It’s for ordinary folks who want their visitors to see recent activity. Set a goal: I will tweet, share an update on LinkedIn and post to Facebook at least X times a week. They don’t need to be original – you can tweet a story you read, and include a link to an article for Facebook. When you post on LinkedIn you’ll see a box to check if you want the update to appear on Twitter. Two for one.


  1. Check up on yourself.  On Friday, review your activity. If you’ve been a laggard, then do a couple of updates to your sites — retweeting other people’s content or posting a link to an interesting article. That’s your assignment for yourself before the weekend.

I could devote an entire article about your social media strategy: are you posting primarily for friends or to build your professional brand? If you’re on my site you know my point of view. If you’re working, then every post should offer value to your business readers. Don’t tweet anything that you will be embarrassed by later.

Also, no one wants to know what you ate for breakfast. And this goes for friends and business associates.

Job Recovery Rewards Companies That Engaged Employees

[tweetmeme]I hate to say I told you so – but the job market is definitely on the uptick and employers who didn’t engage and invest in their employees are worrying about it.  No, not about having too many resumes to wade through.  Au contraire, an article in this past Sunday’s New York Times, confirmed my prediction eight months ago in “Advice for Employers on Labor Day: Keep up the Employee Communications” that companies investing in their employees and communicating with them regularly will be best positioned to grow once the recession abates.

According to the Times story, the economic recovery coupled with the continuing retirements of Baby Boomers, will result in a worker shortage.  The article quoted Tammy Erickson,a consultant whose recent work has focused on the changing workforce, as saying some companies “have no idea what’s going to hit them.”

For Hire: Where are the Employees?”

As I warned in my blog, “By keeping tight control over hiring, the pool of skilled workers at every level – from the shop floor to the executive suite will diminish as employees fall behind technically or leave their fields…. smart companies will understand how important internal communications is…. companies need to be investing in their employees to keep them sharp and motivated…. ratcheting up their efforts in communicating with employees – through intranets, newsletters, webinars and personal get-togethers.”

Employee engagement isn’t just for the good times – keeping employees motivated and happy in order to retain them as competitors try to poach them away.  No, smart companies understand that employee engagement is 24/7 through the good times and bad.   Now with the economy improving and job boards beginning to buzz once again, it won’t only be those out of work seeking new opportunities.  It will be the employees working for companies who took the you-should-be-happy-to-have-a-job attitude.

As Barbara Safani,a career consultant quoted in the article said, “Employers want to be cognizant of how they’re engaging their current employees.”  They need to reward their workers, monetarily or otherwise, she said, or risk seeing them walk out the door.