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Picks of the Week: Oct. 30 - Nov. 5

Posted by Laurel Miltner on November 5, 2010

Today, we take a look at how the balance of personal and corporate brands affects the workplace and HR, how to improve your website's content, optimizing your site for mobile devices, blogging statistics from Technorati, and tips for becoming a better PR professional.

Branding & Social Media: Balancing Personal and Corporate Brands

In, The Corporate Brand is Cramping my Personal Brand, Todd Defren argues that “As the Millennial Generation comes online in the business world, corporate leaders will increasingly need to figure out how to deal with their young employee’s ‘personal brands.’”

He anticipates that just as employers are scouring the web to learn more about potential employees, socially saavy job prospects will soon do the same to potential employers — and if they don’t want to associate their personal brand with that company, they’ll walk away from an opportunity.

Todd is of the mindset that corporations should want to hire the A-players who have worked hard to build their personal brands, as this success can translate to success for the company. However, this will likely be a difficult transition — especially in traditional, hierarchical corporations.

He offers tips to both “the company” and “the personal brand” in how to deal with this inevitability, and find a balance between corporate and personal brands that works for all parties.

This got Mitch Joel thinking, and he then wrote an article that asked, Is Twitter Killing You? He takes a slightly different stance than Todd, and posits that “brands may not hire individuals with significant digital footprints… [Because] most companies are looking for a team player… not someone out for their own glory.”

Mitch concedes in the end that he’s not convinced that an individual would refuse to work at a company without a social presence, or that a company wouldn’t hire a qualified person because they’re too active online (assuming the activity is… appropriate). However, he says: “it's interesting to think about a world where individuals do have a personal brand that has as much (or equal) to significance as those of corporate brands and how that plays out in the corporate world and the Social Web... because we are at that unique moment in time.”

So, business leaders and young professionals, what’s your take on the situation? Do personal/corporate brands play into whom you hire, and where you want to work?

My thought: If the social web offers an opportunity for individuals and brands to get to know each other better, and really determine if it’s a good fit before entering into a contractual relationship, maybe that’s a good thing.

Web: Content & Mobile Design

The Three Biggest Mistakes Companies Make with B2B Websites 

Noting the number of dated, brochure-style corporate websites, Dianna Huff says: “Today’s B2B website is a living, breathing, dynamic marketing asset. It’s the first thing people view when doing a search or following up on a recommendation made on social media. As such, it’s a real-time extension of your business culture, your marketing and sales department, your help desk, and your HR department – to name only a few functions.”

So, what are the three biggest mistakes to avoid?

  • Poor messaging. Namely, using language that speaks more for you than for your customers and prospects.
  • Non-existent or faulty SEO. If you haven’t thought about search when developing your site and its content, that’s a problem. However, even if your site is “optimized,” again, make sure it’s optimized for your target audience, and uses the language THEY use.
  • Lack of content. (Or, the right kind of content.) In addition to fun stuff like blog posts, ebooks and video, make sure you also include foundational elements that can help site visitors get to know your brand, and what it has to offer them.

For more, see Dianna’s full article.

Is Your Website Mobile-Ready?

With more people browsing the web via mobile devices, it’s important to consider how your website comes through on them. This article features advice from John McTigue on ensuring that your site is optimized for mobile users, including:

  • Reducing the use of flash in the mobile version
  • Streamlining content to quickly get key points across
  • Using video
  • Simplifying navigation

For more on developing a mobile strategy for your site, see John’s full post

Content & Social Media

State of the Blogosphere 2010

Technorati released its annual State of the Blogosphere Report this week, which includes key statistics on the makeup of the blogging world. Key findings (direct from Technorati) include:

  • Bloggers’ use of and engagement with various social media tools is expanding, and the lines between blogs, micro-blogs, and social networks are disappearing.
  • Sharing of blog posts is increasingly done through social networks—even while blogs remain significantly more influential on blog content than social networks are.
  • 25% of all bloggers are already engaged in mobile blogging. And 40% of bloggers who report blogging from their smartphone or tablet say that it has changed the way they blog, encouraging shorter and more spontaneous posts.
  • Another important trend is the influence of women and mom bloggers on the blogosphere, mainstream media and brands.
  • Over half of respondents plan on blogging more frequently in the future.

For more stats and additional details, see Technorati’s complete State of the Blogosphere Report. (Even if you don't read it now, this is one I suggest bookmarking for reference throughout the next 12 months or so, until the next one is published.)

PR

10 Tips to Become a More Successful PR Pro

As Matt Royse says in this article, “In today’s ultra-competitive PR world you need to find ways to stand out.” He then offers ten things he does regularly to stay current with trends, increase his knowledge and capabilities, and overall become a more successful professional.

Some of my favorites:

  • Learn something new.
  • Become a better writer. (Not "righter," as I initially started typing. Apparently I need to take this one to heart.)
  • Develop deeper relationships.
  • Prioritize.
  • Network.

Actually, these are all really good tips. So for details on the above, and the other five, you should probably just read the full article.

And, if you take these tips seriously… Did you know that we’re hiring

What were your favorite articles of the week? Comments are open for your opinions.

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