curb-smartphone-addiction

I’m not sure I need a mental health professional to validate my feelings about technology’s evil downside, but it’s good to know that most of us are on the same page about one thing: overuse (or call it “abuse”) of anything—be it drugs, alcohol, food, or your credit card—can lead to undesirable outcomes.

Over the past few years, the explosion of smartphones and social networks has made us accessible anytime, anywhere, to anyone. While this may be positive in many ways, the downside is very real.

While the study cited is anecdotal at best, Time released this article a few months ago about a correlation between excessive Twitter use and high levels of infidelity or divorce. Not surprisingly, the behavior that fuels one to openly and constantly share (or overshare!) information generally reserved for a trusted partner or friend is the same behavior that would likely lead someone to search for validation elsewhere.

Smartphones and social media allow these latent behaviors to come barreling to the forefront much faster.

So, where do you fall on the spectrum? Are you the jerk pulling out your phone during a date with an intelligent woman because you lack attention span? Or perhaps you’re the gal who takes selfies 15 times a day—especially when you’re feeling down—then constantly checks Instagram to see how many “hearts” you’ve gotten.

If you’re looking to “slow your roll” and get your life somewhat back to normal, here are seven tips for curbing your smartphone addiction. I’ll bet if you take these to heart, society at large will benefit. And your friends and family will be grateful, too.

1. When waiting at a crosswalk or crossing the street, keep your hands in your pockets. If you don’t have pockets, clasp your hands behind your back, like you’re wearing invisible handcuffs.

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Brand-journalism-outlets

The proliferation of digital combined with the democratization of information via the Internet has shifted our information consumption habits dramatically. Where once we were comfortable being spoon-fed, each of us now possesses the tools to be active information seekers demanding real-time answers for our every want and need.

As consumers, we have become empowered to choose the information we engage with and as a result, the relationship between brands and media has also adjusted to serve our emerging behavior patterns.

There are more opportunities than ever for brands and businesses to self-publish and directly communicate with their customers. Owned content is a powerful vehicle for connecting with your audience, and brands are jumping on the opportunity to establish outlets that create a direct consumer touch point.

Brand journalism is still learning to walk but even in its infancy, there are many lessons to be learned from those blazing the trail. Below are 15 companies whose brand journalism outlets are chock-full of key takeaways, best practices, and innovative approaches.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to brand journalism, so check em’ all out and decide for yourself: Whose channel reigns supreme?

1. GE

Beautifully designed, impeccably curated, and impossibly clickable, GE’s online magazine features stories about innovation, science and technology. Along with viewpoints on important issues regarding GE and the world, GE Reports should be applauded for its uniqueness and its uncanny ability to capture attention.

2. Eloqua

The bottom line about Eloqua’s channel is it’s all about the bottom line. Exploring the role innovation plays in revenue generation, Eloqua looks at demand generation, operational efficiency and marketing analytics. Point blank: It’s all about revenue.

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dont-be-a-jackass

The most inspiring leaders and successful professionals I know all have one thing in common: they aren’t jackasses.

He always goes too farWhat is a jackass, you ask?

They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, which make them hard to pinpoint; but ultimately “jackass syndrome” can affect even the most brilliant minds and busy business people, leaving those who are forced to interact with them feeling confused, frustrated, and often angry.

This is not a good thing for a company or long term working relationship.

All things considered, how do you ensure you aren’t being seen as a jackass (“JkA”) to those you’re leading or currently working with – be it customer, co-worker, or client?

Below are some tips for reducing your jackass quotient by at least 51.8%:

1. Don’t be continually late to meetings or important calls. Sure 5 to 10 minutes might be ok, but beyond that you look like a complete JkA. A secondary, related offense is keeping meetings long with no real agenda as you blather on about this that and the other thing. That is not productive; it’s counter productive and just gross.  

JkA reduction potential: 8.2%

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NEO-white-paper

This week, in completely un-AirPR fashion, we are going to talk about ourselves ad nauseam. Well, not really about ourselves but about something we are pioneering (which may even be more self-involved and gross) called NEO™.

News Engine Optimization.

I am weary of this practice of self promotion, as it often leads to your audience “voting with their feet” – as my dear friend Stephanie Losee points out in this Mashable article about brand journalism best practices.

But I’m forced here to harken back to my utilitarian roots, which hold that what we’ve stumbled upon, at least conceptually, is important for the PR masses. It’s for the greater good if you will.

At its core, the fundamentals of NEO are based on PR’s favorite new pastime: SEO. I say this only half-jokingly because SEO is clearly an important component of the digital landscape; but it also has the potential to be the bane of a writer, marketer, or content producer’s existence.

I bring you a very on point quote from Adam Weinroth, CMO of OneSpot.

Shameless disclaimer: We share a mutual investor, and he’s probably one of my favorite CMOs, so I have a hard time being objective because I pretty much think he’s always spot on:

“SEO has long been an effective tool in allowing marketers to optimize content by analyzing data and getting insights on their audiences but can often fall flat in actually determining which messages are the stickiest.”

Why thank you, Adam. What a perfect segue and subsequent set up for NEO™.

If you have 18.4 minutes, I’d love for you to take a look at the white paper we released this week and tell us what you think.

How important is the ability to track key messages?

How does it help in terms of optimizing future PR efforts?

And ultimately…is NEO™ the greatest good for the greatest number?

 

content crushes

Admit it. You receive at least one email a day that gets you all giddy. Maybe you’re inspired by quirky copywriting or maybe those tips on how to metamorphose social content into conversions gave you something cool to share at your last marketing meeting. Don’t be shy —we all gain inspiration from somewhere.

Here, I invite you into my personal closet full of content crushes. Sign up for their newsletters, read their blogs like juicy tabloids (often and fanatically), and reap the rewards of being informed by some of best in the business.

Without further ado, I bring you 6 newsletters content marketers should sign up for right now:

1. For cream-of-the-crop copywriters: Copyblogger.

This blog is all about how to streamline your content creation, measure success, and storytell in a way that’s both authentic and branded. From how to spice up bland text to “The 5 Things Every (Great) Marketing Story Needs,” Copyblogger shares the ins and outs of words that work. The best part? The content is stripped dry of overused jargon. It’s straight-forward, quality content about well…content!

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