Do You Have a Minute?

clockIf only people would ask me that question. Instead, they pop into my office to share ideas, ask for feedback and, sometimes, because they simply want to chat. It’s partly my fault as I have an open door policy, and I have many people reporting to me directly and indirectly.

I have so many interruptions, though, that I am not able to efficiently complete my work, and it’s frustrating me.

I realize I need to manage my time better so I shared with my boss. She provided me with some research she had found on the topic.

The irony? She interrupted me to deliver it! (We did both chuckle about it, but still….)

To manage interruptions, try the following:

1)      Assign specific times for an open-door policy

2)      Require staff that if they have problems, they should also bring proposed solutions

3)      Track interruptions to see if there are patterns

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to work.

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How Does Your Community Grow?

Are you part of a community? Of course you are! And more than one. In fact, if you are on Facebook you are part of the 4th largest country in the world! That’s because Facebook now has more than 300 million accounts.

This means that how we communicate is changing – and rapidly. Many youth today don’t even pick up a phone to talk; they pick it up to text. I don’t send emails to one of my dear friends because she won’t read it. If I send a message on Facebook, I know she will get it, read it, and answer it. By the way, she’s 70!

Last week I attended the PRSA-Richmond chapter meeting. We heard from Dave Saunders of Madison + Main, who talked about social media, which he says “is the marriage of creativity, technology and interactiveness.”

With more than 1.5 million people on the Web today, he says it’s critical to be connected. Most in the audience raised their hands to say they are participating in social media through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Several had a blog. Then he stumped us. “How many have Tumblr” accounts? Very few hands. I don’t know much about it. If you do, I’d love for you to comment. 

When I Googled it (and when did that become a verb?), I discovered it is a “free and lightweight blogging platform aimed at quick and easy linking and sharing.” I’ll start experimenting soon; heck, I’m still adjusting to life with a blog. I promised myself I would post every Sunday and Wednesday so while I’d love to be reading a good book, I’ve got to finish this post. It’s just like being a reporter on deadline except that the only editor standing over me is in my head.

Dave also shared the benefits of social media and what it won’t do.  As for benefits –

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Reputation management
  • Improved search engine rankings
  • Increased Web site traffic
  • More sales for your product or service (if you didn’t know it, Dave says, “Cold calls are dead.”)

 What it won’t do –

  • Fix a broken company
  • Make you rich
  • Replace your other forms of marketing or PR

Quite simply, social media is another platform that is used to enhance your community, personally or professionally. So how does your community grow?

One New Member

Times are tough, and one of the first areas to be cut are membership dues. Businesses cut the expense and members often do, too. But don’t!

Think about what you are getting. NFPW connects you with about 1,500 other communicators. I can’t tell you how often I’ve reached out to members when I needed to hire a freelance writer or learn how to do something. Members also have helped guide me through the often murky waters of a job hunt or a new job.

Leadership opportunities abound. I cut my teeth on a newsletter for my state affiliate. I learned event planning because I coordinated several state conferences and, eventually, was co-director of the 2007 NFPW conference. Those skills translated when I had to coordinate quarterly awards ceremonies, National Night Out events, and milestone celebrations as part of my “other duties” in my job description.

So I hope you’ll renew when it comes time in the next several weeks. But more importantly, I hope that you will bring in a new member. Carol Clark, our newly elected secretary, came up with the campaign of “One New Member.” Your NFPW board committed to it — each of us is recruiting one new member. And those who attended the NFPW banquet Saturday night in San Antonio also heard the same challenge. 

Bring in one new member next year. Let’s grow this organization and share our resources, know-how, and networking with others.

Are you up to the challenge?

SNAP!

I thought it was about time that I put my money where my mouth is and start a communications blog. I was just elected president of National Federation of Press Women, and I hope to use this platform as a means to share with other members, potential members, and anyone who just enjoys communicating in today’s world.

A bit of background, I ran for president of NFPW, a 1,500-member professional communications group because I’ve gained so much from it — friendships, job skills, advice. It was time to give back.

My platform for the next two years is a SNAP!

Sustainability: It’s all about retaining and growing our membership. And that shouldn’t be difficult to do because of what NFPW is.

  • NFPW is a full-service organization offering something for members in all areas of communications, and I’d like us to sustain that. Our members indicate that the organization is beneficial to them, and I want to continue to provide members with what they NEED TO SUCCEED within their careers.

Networking: What can we do for you?

  • I’d like to build in more opportunities for CONSTRUCTIVE NETWORKING. At a recent conference we sat at tables based on our interests. That allowed individuals to meet other like-minded professionals. I would continue such activities and add others.
  • One of the easiest ways to network and remain current in today’s marketplace is networking through SOCIAL MEDIA, and I will make a big push for that. Join us on Facebook and LinkedIn and follow this blog.

 Professionalism: NFPW offers an outstanding conference each year. In addition, our affiliates host conferences, meetings and workshops.

  • The talent and resources exist, but we need to CAPITALIZE on them and SHARE by using easy-to-use technologies and social media.
  •  My goal is to offer teleseminars, on-line presentations, and other resources for our members at little to no cost.

 Additional platform, Fiscal Responsibility:

  • Prudent stewardship of our resources is needed. We need to focus on areas that benefit our members and take a hard line look at the budget, cutting costs in areas where we can and applying those funds to other areas that are more critical to our members’ needs.
  •  We need to streamline and find more efficient ways of operating.
  •  Equally important, we must be transparent with the budget and money so that members understand how fiscally responsible NFPW is with the resources entrusted to it.

I’m looking forward to the next two years. More importantly, I’m looking forward to engaging with you through this blog. Let’s start the conversation.