Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The keynotes have been inspiring and I strongly encourage anyone who has any interest in how our government is using Web 2.0 technology to check out the conference videos. It is well worth your time.
My general observations:
- Cloud Computing: The Federal Cloud Computing Initiative (FCCI) is behind the strong cloud application focus. The belief is cloud computing will allow government agencies to be more efficient and facilitate transparent, collaborative and participatory government. This is quite a departure from a few years ago. The government seems to be moving away from hardware discussions and to practical application and engagement tools to facilitate the Open Government Initiative. What's inspiring about this is that there is no shortage or seemingly no limits to the types of interactions and engagement that can be developed and used by all stakeholders to make accessing government data, services and programs easier and more user friendly.
- Say 'YES' to Passion and Creativity: Sounds crazy, but the reality of it is that I've seen more case studies here about successful government projects that REALLY challenged if not disregarded the dry approach of government communications. THAT'S A GOOD THING. For example, the City of Bryan, TX, turned their annual water quality report into a calendar for citizens that not only included report highlights, but also the real government employees in charge of keeping the city's water system safe. It is a FABULOUS example of government communications being presented in a straightforward and fun manner while celebrating the employees who work hard everyday.
- Help Wanted: It could take 12-18 months for a program to be implemented after a government contract award is given. What is fascinating are the examples of using contests and open development to drive government innovation. For example, The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Developers Initiative opened up five of the city's bus line route information to developers to see if they could build applications to inform the public. The results were astonishing. In just two months, more than a dozen applications had been built by developers including smartphone apps, SMS services, a phone system, and event an LED sign. The outcome was so amazing, that MassDOT is opening the data for all 180+ bus routes to continue innovation.
- Another example of this call for innovation can be seen in the numerous public-private partnerships that are driving citizen engagement. A partnership with between NASA, JPL-Caltech and Microsoft drove the creation of the Be A Martian website. The purpose of the website is for the public to participate as citizen scientists to improve Martian maps, take part in research tasks, and assist Mars science teams studying data about the Red Planet. Websites like this not only educate, but provide an opportunity for collaboration.
- Adoption is going to be fast. Greater government adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and applications is within sight. The tipping point for almost all levels of government to actively participate and engage with the public is not far behind. There is a palpable energy driving the adoption of these tools and infinite possibilities to make our government, cities, towns and our world a better place with the proper development, execution and oversight of these tools. Now is the time to start to contribute and become involved.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Fortunately for federal sector marketers, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has made it simpler to understand what federal agencies can utilize to reach constituents online and therefore what government agencies should be able to see when it comes to online content.
Apps.gov is an online resource for government employees that provides guidance and access to available solutions under the government's new cloud computing initiative. Listed are business, productivity, and social media applications that government agencies can use to carry out their own communication activities. What this means to companies looking to market to the government is that the social media services listed are most likely (but not always) the types of platforms that government decision makers will be able to view behind government firewalls. Companies looking to reach government audiences online should check apps.gov to get an idea of what the government is using to reach constituents to effectively develop digital assets and tools for government stakeholders.
Not all government agencies may utilize or have need for all the resources listed on apps.gov. Each individual government agency must use these tools in accordance with its own policies, procedures and other federal mandates. Nonetheless, apps.gov is a valuable information resource for federal sector marketers and communicators.
Interested in getting your company's services on Apps.gov? Check out the Vendor FAQ to learn more.
UPDATE: On May 25, 2010, the GSA launched info.apps.gov to provide federal agencies and the American public valuable information about the federal transition to cloud computing including available cloud services, examples of best practices, and updates from the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative. You can learn more about the info.apps.gov site here.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
The Brad Traverse Group - A subscription site ($5/month) the Brad Traverse Group lists jobs in and around the DC area for those interested in public affairs, public relations, media and consulting. It's worth the $5 a month as many jobs are exclusively listed and will not appear anywhere else.
Indeed.com - A job listing aggregator, Indeed.com will save your searches and let you know how many new jobs have been listed since your last search, saving you time. I really like Indeed because it is simple and efficient.
Ned's Job of the Week - Ned's list (available for view on the Web site) highlights jobs in defense, communications, and event marketing/promotion. While the job listings span the globe, there are quite a few in DC Metro Area.
HillZoo.com - An online publication for those on and around Capital Hill, HillZoo.com lists on and off the Hill jobs for those interested. Some are political, some aren't. Definitely worth a look.
Social Media Jobs - For social media and digital strategy pros, Social Media Jobs lists opportunities nationwide.
Other job sites for PR Pros/Communicators:
O'Dwyer's PR Job Seekers and Employers
Ragan Communications (A great site for corporate and internal communicators)
SoloGig.com (Great for independent consultants. Also lists some short time and permanent positions)
Public Affairs Council (Government relations, associations, public affairs, policy and communications positions)
DC Public Affairs + Communications Jobs (Great blog that seems to catch and list hot jobs in the DC Area and beyond)
For those interested in nonprofits:
Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, DC Chapter - You will have to register to gain access to its career center, but registration is free and it's a great way to network.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Most recruiters will tell you that the best way to find a job is to network. I will admit that I have gotten most of my jobs in communications by networking.
A little background:
I got my start in PR by getting an internship at a major agency in DC when I was still in college. This was shortly after the dot com bust and the only reason I was even considered for the internship is that a professor wrote me a great letter of recommendation to include with my application (this is was back when there were about 300 applications for one paid intern position - yes, paid! I can only imagine what the number is now.)
The same was true with my first job out of college. Another professor was able to recommend me to the CEO of a strategic communications firm who was looking for a new hire. Over the years, I've written many letters of recommendations, given verbal commendations, and provided insight and job leads for former interns, colleagues and friends who are actively looking for and pursuing other opportunities. Paying-it-forward has always paid off for me.
I have been very blessed and fortunate that my network has helped me time-and-time again with finding jobs. But what about those looking for a new position right now? How do they become a part of your extended network?
Solution: Help A PR Pro Out (HAPPO)! A brilliant idea of Valerie Simon (@valeriesimon) andArik Hanson (@arikhanson), HAPPO is an effort to connect brilliant communicators with organizations looking for smart and savvy professionals! On Friday, February 19, from 10 am – 2 pm CT PR bloggers, agency leaders, and PR professionals from across the country will donate their time and talents to help fellow PR pros connect with employers as part of the first-ever “Help a PR Pro Out” day. Here's how you can get involved/help:
- Are you a job seeker? Prepare a creative blog post, pitching yourself to prospective employers and share it via Twitter during the event on Feb. 19 using the hashtag#HAPPO. The HAPPO “market champions” (see below) will help by retweeting and connecting you with potential employers in your specific market (or markets you’re willing to relocated to).
- Are you an employer looking for talent? Follow the hashtag #HAPPO on Friday, Feb. 19 and share your openings. Market champions will do their best to connect you with talent they think matches your specific needs.
- Are you a PR blogger/Twitter addict? Yes? Then share the #HAPPO tweets with your personal networks and lend your support to those in need. Help your market champion identify job seekers and pair them with potential employers. This is your chance to make a difference!
- Jeremy Pepper (National)
- Mary Deming Barber (National)
- Jeremy Porter (Atlanta)
- Kellye Crane (Atlanta)
- Doug Haslam (Boston)
- Jennifer Wilbur (Southern CA)
- Gini Dietrich (Chicago)
- Sarah Evans (Chicago)
- Allan Schoenberg (Chicago)
- Lauren Fernandez (Dallas/Fort Worth)
- Richie Escovedo (Dallas/Fort Worth)
- Jamie Floer (Florida)
- John Sternal (Florida)
- Justin Goldsborough (Kansas City)
- Arik Hanson (Minneapolis/ St. Paul)
- PR Cog (New York Metro)
- Deidre Breakenridge (New York Metro)
- Valerie Simon (New York Metro)
- Heather Whaling (Ohio)
- Anne Buchanan (Philadelphia)
- Abbie Fink (Phoenix)
- Deanna Ferrari (Pittsburgh)
- Adrienne Biggs (San Francisco)
- Danny Brown (Toronto)
- Dave Fleet (Toronto)
- Shonali Burke (Washington, DC)
- Mike Schaffer (Washington, DC)
- Heather Huhman (Washington, DC)
Other resources in Washington DC (#HAPPODC) include Debbie Friez (@dfriez), NicoleN(@NicolePRexec), Patrick Wixted (@pwixted), Ashley Settle (@amsettle), Meghan(@meggiepoo), Amanda (@amandamogul) and of course yours truly. Watch for us to tweet for information about the event and resources for job seekers during this coming week.
For more information about Help A PR Pro Out Day, visit http://helpaprproout.com/.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
About the Free Culture Conference 2010:
Students for Free Culture is convening the international free culture community
for two days of networking, learning and acting. Free Culture X, the 2010
conference of SFC, will take place on February 13th and 14th at George
Washington University in Washington, D.C.
The vision is to bring together student activists and free culture luminaries to discuss free software and open standards, open access scholarship, open educational resources, network neutrality, and university patent policy, especially in the context of higher education.
You can get information about the schedule and register by visiting here.
Monday, January 25, 2010
- Understanding capabilities - Do you know how the creative team works to develop a concept for a print ad? What platform the digital team uses for Web development? Meeting to have a basic understanding of how each department works and understanding their processes will help to better manage internal and client expectations.
- Bandwidth needs - How many people are going to be needed to work on the account? Developing a strategy with a few key people, sourcing it out to a larger team for brainstorming/research and then narrowing down project leads within departments should help effectively manage resources. This is a tightrope to walk:Too many cooks in the kitchen and nothing gets done; Too few, and the customer may leave because of poor service. Best to strike a balance assign roles early.
- Set expectations - Who's doing what? Weekly reports? Billing? Day-to-day contact? Once an integrated team is established, it is imperative that roles be set for key deliverables so there is a clear understanding of what department and which individual in each department is responsible for doing what. Ending a meeting recapping who is taking the lead on certain initiatives (strategy or tactic) is key. It eliminates confusion and the assumptions made by other team members on who is in charge of doing a specific task.
- Collaboration tools - Avoid 'death-by-e-mail.' Set-up an online workroom or portal that allows collaboration and the creation of vital campaign materials to appear to all working on the project. Even better are collaboration tools that allow for real-time discussion on documents, production schedules and meetings and send out "alerts" to relevant team members if there is a change or crucial update (think production schedule change or change in messaging) so the entire team is notified and the change is documented and updated across campaign materials.
- Create efficiencies - There is no reason that someone or multiple people can't be on a laptop taking notes and updating documents while integrated teams are meeting. Having someone or everyone mobile on the account (to the degree resources allow) will save everyone on the team time and avoid the dreaded "I'll have to go back to my desk to send you that" or the "I'll type that up later" conundrum. Create efficiencies by doing things like note taking and document updating when the meeting is occurring. Work smarter, not harder.
- More communication - I have found that integrated accounts require more communication across all departments. While individual meetings between various departments may be necessary to iron out details, having a standing time everyday where all departments can come together and exchange information/insight is key.
- Same team - At the end of the day, everyone involved in an integrated account are on the same team. Respecting each other and understanding that we all are in this together and will help each other avoids any "us vs. them" or "they don't get it" mentality, which unfortunately, can develop if the effort is not made by all parties involved to really respect and understand each other's processes and work.