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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

What’s in a mononym?


Star-cross’d Juliet asked almost the same question. The answer is everything

Unlike her parents, Juliet couldn’t care less about her intended’s surname. Names, as far as she was concerned, were just artificial constructs. Better consider the person than their name, she declared.

Poor soon-to-die-tragically Juliet was wrong. She couldn’t escape the conventions of her time.

Yet ironically, where Juliet was referring to Romeo’s surname, Montague, it’s their Christian names which have bestowed immortality upon them. Mononymically speaking.

In connected 21st-century Britain, and even abroad, names are so much more than names. They’re brands. We connect with them in milliseconds.

How did it come to this?

How did it come to this?

Being known by your first name alone is the very pinnacle of instant, connected success: Jesus, Elvis, Bono, Moses, Banksy, Donovan, Ella, Maggie, Pele, Napoleon, Michelangelo, Galileo, Superman/woman. Whoever. Add your own. Read more…

Taxing telephone times


HM Revenue and Customs in Whitehall.

Your call is important to the Chancellor

Unlike Facebook and Google and Amazon and all the other multi-million £££s perfectly legal non-taxpayers of disrepute, I called HMRC last week. Better known as the tax office to you and me.

I mention the above-named global giants because the difference between them and me (and you?) is that I wanted to ask how I could ensure payment had been received by them.

An alien concept not understood by the afore-named favourites. And you heard it here first:

They (HMRC) answered the phone after a couple of rings. Tops.
They were extremely helpful when I asked some details about my tax demand: What did this bit mean? Why have you asked for that?, etc.
When I then explained that I had actually paid them (alien concept referred to above) but had used an incorrect reference number and was a bit worried it may have gone astray…they took care of everything immediately and without fuss.
And told me not to worry! This must be how counselling sounds.

This is not what I had been lead to expect. Newspaper stories about the impossibility of phoning HMRC last week were generally scathing. Headlines such as this were commonplace:

HMRC under fire for attitude to taxpayers

Read more…

Thinking small for New Business


So we’re all back at work. Mostly.

Swapped ritual ‘Happy New Years’. Exchanged handshakes, air kisses, bit o’ goss. Been to our first catch-up meetings. Agreed our account objectives. Got all fired-up. Full of that ‘Let’s make it happen, guys!’ Sworn not to drink until February. All that clubby familiarity. Yeah, baby.

2014 is literally so last year.

A Leader appeals
A Leader appeals (see below)

So too with New Business. Sectors have been sorted. Resources have been enhanced. Seen the big picture. Identified the gaps. Know what we want. Efforts will be redoubled. Let’s go!

Ahhh…maybe it really works that way:

  • the stronger you wish it
  • the louder you say it
  • the bigger you think it
  • the more likely you’ll get it.

Strategy conceived of in terms of common-sense and solid practice. Just when you thought Christmas was over, too.

So let’s try and nail this. Ask just one question for new business starters. Then listen very hard to the answer(s). Here’s the question:

So what are you actually going to do?

Read more…

New business: elevator pitches and Post-it Note tests


A good friend shouted at me yesterday. Rebuking me for my having described something as being so obvious that it was pointless dressing it up as useful info. Or I should say dressing it up as a fashionably useful infographic.

Well if it’s so-o-o obvious, WHY ISN’T EVERYONE DOING IT, THEN?

Do you call that friendly? Nor do I.

Anyway, when I say ‘good friend’ we’ve only actually met once. Briefly. Still that’s more than many Facebook ‘friends’ have ever met so on that basis I reckon he must be a good friend.

And when I say ‘shouted at me’, well…he didn’t really shout. He messaged me via Twitter. But he had written (keyed?) in UPPER CASE and the words themselves weren’t complimentary. As I’ve noted, above.

Yet isn’t this what friends are for? Although that’s still one mean tweet.

The ‘obvious’ infographic  which I commented on was simply superfluous. Limited ‘info’ and more ‘fog’ than ‘graphic’. Judge for yourself.

Bland content massively over-designed to create an impression of value. Like Britain’s Got Talent.

Elevated talking

As business development bods know, their job is to tell a great story about their agency. Usually in about ten seconds. Or maybe a bit longer. Depending on where you are (on the phone, on a plane, networking at a conference, in a bar) this generally involves three things: Read more…

Some time back in 2005


Good morning, tweeps! How are you? Looking forward to your weekend? If you need help or advice today, we’re online till 5:30pm GMT

I don’t mean to be mean to Monarch — really I don’t — but this comment represents how some organisations haven’t quite woken up to the Age of the Customer yet. As George Orwell might have said, not all customers are created equal. So why treat them all equally? Or equally badly?

Hard to believe but back in 2005, there was no Twitter. Neither was there an iPhone, YouTube or Facebook (unless you were a Harvard student wanting to keep in touch with your mates buddies). But things have changed somewhat since then.  The problem is, organisational response to this change has been slow. So demand and supply aren’t perfectly aligned.

If indeed there is ‘a problem’, is it all their fault? Or might we choose someone else to blame? Read more…

Can you keep a secret?


Wanted: 60,000 people. Must be able to keep a secret.

Did it start with a small ad like this? In the Radio Times. Or the Telegraph, maybe?

Ring of confidentiality

Qualifying factors, despite anti-discrimination legislation (which may not apply in that they’re all volunteers) may have included the following:

You are likely to be in your 70s. You believe BBC and ITV is the only proper telly. You will never have heard of, nor will you have ever used or owned, a mobile phone.  Or a computer. OK, possibly an Amstrad.

A ‘smartphone’ is an alien term to you. You will never have heard of ‘the internet’, Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or any other funny-sounding media thingamy. ‘Texting’, ‘tweeting’ and ’email’ are also all Greek to you. Talking on the telephone — in your hall, next to the front door — is what you do when you need to call the doctor. Or the police to have the gypsies removed from your front lawn or the local cricket pitch. You will have no friends and, probably, no family. 

It’s difficult to know how else could 60,000 people have kept a secret. A very big secret, too. They must have been bribed. Or have  Read more…