Monthly Archives: February 2016

Job Hunting in the Age of LinkedIn

The is the logo of the Job Hunting and networking site LinkedIn

from Flickr

The Hidden Power of People Skills in a LinkedIn Society

Job hunting in the age of LinkedIn is simple as pushing a button on your smartphone app. Can it really be that effortless? In a recovering job market, the emergence of networking sites appear to level the playing field for everyone. However, research has shown that social skills play a major role in landing jobs in today’s competitive labor market.  Continue reading

Emoji’s Made Social Media More Social

Emoji’s Made Social Media More Social

During the early stages of text messaging and social media, character counts were maxed out at 140, and users had to find inventive ways to use their “voice”. Thoughts, feelings, and emotions became challenging to express, and with messaging rates still at a price/per, long conversations were too expensive for most users. Networks became bogged down and engineers and researchers were called up to create solutions. A Japanese research facility began testing a new form of expression. One that only took 1 character to convey, the Emoji. Emoji’s made social media more social immediately and the world of digital communication was forever changed.

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Social Media Skills Gap

The image illustrates the social media skills gap for employeesbusiness world is experiencing a social media skills gap. For years, many businesses considered employee social media usage as something to be discouraged. At the least, it was thought of as a time waster and at worst, something that could gravely damage the business if done incorrectly. Gradually, the business world entered the social media realm. At first, companies typically had just one person or small team handling social. All other employees were to refrain from using it. Sometimes platforms like Facebook were even blocked on the office computers.

Toady, almost every department benefits from the use of social media. Just consider how it has enhanced the efforts of customer service, marketing, sales, branding and more.   Employers now consider experience in social media a critical job skill and are desperately seeking employees with proficiency in this topic. Fast Company estimates that the current social media skills gap is costing companies billions of dollars in missed opportunities and lost revenue. Continue reading

Junior Master Naturalist Program

North Texas Master Naturalist and students identifying bobcat skull.

The Perot Museum’s Junior Master Naturalist outdoor education program is a unique well rounded curriculum.  It is also one of the first of its kind in the United States.  Perot Museum staff educator Jessica Crowley, said “From day one, students participating in our kick-off season of the Junior Master Naturalist program have been super excited and engaged in the content.”  The program is a joint activity of Perot and highly trained North Texas Master Naturalists volunteers.

Nineteen students grades 4-6 gather one Thursday night a month in the Perot learning lab to study Texas geologic history, aquatic science, plant biology, and the biology and identification of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. They then follow-up each lab with a field trip on  specified Saturdays to local Dallas area nature parks to explore what they have learned in the labs.  Everything from collecting fossils, setting up game cameras, scat identification, planting seed balls to restore a Blackland Prairie and learning how to track animals in the field.  Both the labs and the field trips are extraordinarily well organized with expert educators who are adept a making learning fascinating.  The pilot program began September 2015 and will conclude June 2016, sign-up will begin July 2016 for the 2016/2017 year.

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Facebook video views, what is a real view?

Are those high numbers on the video post real Facebook video views?

If the  Facebook video views are not dissected and one is relying on those inflated Facebook video view numbers, we’re afraid that everyone is being fooled. Let’s talk about Facebook video views and let’s get real. What are accurate Facebook video views? According to the latest statistics on a Facebook video view, if the video is watched for three seconds it is counted as a video view.  Within both Instagram and Facebook if a video is viewed for three seconds it counts as a video view. Let’s compare the Facebook and Instagram video view to a You Tube video view. In a You Tube world a video view must be viewed for thirty seconds to count as a true video view. This brings us to the question is three seconds in Facebook really long enough to qualify for a video view? Continue reading

Leaders and Managers

LeaderLeaders and Managers

Today, leaders and managers must be able to set the goals, develop a plan, communicate the plan, supervise execution of the plan and continually build a motivational climate.  Many companies must meet the new challenges in the global world.  Globalization has changed the way leaders and managers do business.  What make a good leaders and managers?   Continue reading

I Hate It: How to Respond to a Bad Review

This is a photo of respond to a bad reviewYour customer is mad and heads online to let everyone know, can you (should you) respond to a bad review in a positive way? You work hard to create a great guest experience at your winery and criticism may hurt, but how you respond to a bad review matters and it can impact your future.

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Party Favors: Social Media?

Party Favors: Social Media?

You bring the chips and I’ll bring the drinks.  This used to be the necessary party favors.  But now, what’s a party without social media?  The party favors need to consist of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat.  Social Media is how we engage with one another and the huge event we are gathered for.

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Opinions in 140 Characters

Opinions in 140 Characters

Has social media become our microphone and platform for voicing everything?  It seems like in 2016 and for the past few years, we voice our opinions in 140 characters.  Twitter has become one of the most popular social media sites and has taught us to send and read short messages, within 140 characters.  But specifically to Twitter, seems to be its use to voice any and all opinions.  We find out breaking news and updates on the site but more importantly it is where consumers tell just really how the feel about a subject or issue.  People use twitter to share their stance and discourse and to feel they have directly informed the person or source whom they probably would have no chance of communicating with without the social networking service.

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Is social media undermining women’s rights?

A look into social media’s sinister underbelly yields important questions — Will it ultimately empower women, or is social media undermining women’s rights and reversing our progress toward gender equality?

social media undermining women's rightsIn a recent Paper magazine interview, 14-year-old Disney Channel star Rowan Blanchard and 58-year-old Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards predicted social media will be a powerful force in “opening doors” for women and empowering them to offer their authentic stories to the world. But are they terribly off base in their optimism? A look into the shadows of the social world reveals tales of social media undermining women’s rights more than laying ground for a brighter future.

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Writing for SEO is a Little Science and a Lot of Art

Writing for SEO is a Little Science and a Lot of Art


The NBA Slam Dunks Likes

The NBA Slam Dunks Likes

The NBA All-Star Weekend has been a huge event in the sports world dating back to the early 1950s.  The event is a weekend filled with everything a true basketball fanatic will love.  Bringing the best players in the nation together for various events demonstrating skill and strength, the event is sure to bring viewers from all over.

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Digital crisis planning

Thoughtful digital crisis planning can help you product your brand reputation

What if today is the day? The day of the big challenge, the one you weren’t expecting, to your company’s brand. Has your team done the necessary digital crisis planning? Continue reading

Marketing Snapchat Stories

Have you considered marketing Snapchat stories for your brand?

If you haven’t , it’s time to look at the latest tools and consider marketing Snapchat stories. What the heck is a Snapchat story and how does one even relate this story to a brand?   A Snapchat Story is different from a Snapchat message. A Snapchat message disappears within one to ten seconds. A Snapchat story is a photo or a video that you post to your Snapchat story section that remains available for viewing over and over again for 24 hours.
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Yoga and Social Media: Are we turning impressions into injuries?

The debate on yoga and social media continues, this time with a critical question: In the struggle to gain more followers and share of voice, is there a point where you begin sacrificing safety for shares?

Yoga and social media debate: Yoga SelfiesSocial media can be a powerful tool for yoga businesses. But is there a place yoga professionals need to draw the line? The yoga and social media debate began with the topic of yoga selfies and their predominant showcasing of thin, white women doing acrobatics. Do these photos perpetuate misconceptions about yoga, what it stands for, and who can participate? As diversity increases among yoga teachers and brands on social media, these issues are beginning to dissolve. We’re seeing a wider range of people of varying body types, skin colors and ages featured. But now we’re faced with perhaps a more serious issue: When it comes to yoga and social media, at what point can our shares present a danger to our students? Continue reading

Hostile Workplace Environment

Workplace-BullyingHostile Workplace Environment

Bullying for the past decade has gained widespread attention in recent years, and has become an important issue to be addressed.  For example, Miami Dolphins and the NFL suspended Richie Incognito for threatening, humiliating, and intimidating his teammate Jonathan Martin.  Workplace bullying is on the rise in the American workplace, making impossible for an employee do their job.  An estimated that fifty-four million people are subjected to emotional abuse in the workplace each year in the U.S.  Organizations are still struggling to recognize and alleviate this problem. (Georgakopoulos, Wilkin and Kent, 2011) Workplace bullies choose their targets, timing, location, and have the need to control the targeted individual. Bullying occurs regularly, and victims tend to be apprehensive about reporting it due to the difficulties often associated with proving it.  Workplace bullying needs to be explored in a sustained and systematic way because organizations have a responsibility to protect their employees from the psychological harassment of a workplace bullying. (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper, 2003) Workplace bullying occurs when one person or a group of people intentionally inflict pain or harm another employee.

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Are Bloggers Talking About Your Wines?

5 tips to get bloggers talking about your winesThis is a photo of are bloggers talking about your wines?

If they are not already, you absolutely want to find a way to get bloggers talking about your wines. Data collected by BlogHer shows that 87% of people have made a purchase after reading a blog review of it. There are more than 1,300 wine bloggers currently writing worldwide. It’s the new media. Continue reading

Dunking For Dollars


This is a picture of Jordan Kilganon dunking a basketball during the NBA All-star dunk contest.


The Decision Social Media All-star Jordan Kilganon Made to Turn Dunking Into Dollars

Dunking a basketball and doing it well can certainly lead to a pocket full of dollars.  On the other hand, in today’s job market, there’s no guarantee that a college education will immediately lead to a job.  Yet we are told from childhood the importance of going to college and that a degree is certain to open doors for you.  With his recent showing of inspiring athleticism at the 2016 NBA Dunk Contest last week, Jordan Kilganon shoots all sorts of holes in that theory.  If there’s one take away from this post, it’s take your best shot (or dunk) doing what you love most.  Continue reading

Educating Dallas Kids in Nature

Photo from top of West Rim Trail at Dog Wood Canyono of Joe Pool Lake

Beautiful view from the top of West Rim Trail of Joe Pool Lake

Educating Dallas kids in nature has never been easier!  Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is an amazing place to easily give yourself a break and let kids of all ages be free to explore and have adventures.  Dogwood Canyon is unique in that it is the only true canyon in the Dallas area and is a mere 15 minutes south of downtown Dallas off 67 in Cedar Hill.

Toddlers thru Pre-schoolers safety while exploring

For younger children, Dogwood Canyon offers a specially designed natural play and picnic area.  It is enclosed so you can relax and watch your child do what is so inherent to their being – play in nature.  Called “Nature Play” the space has stump jumping, a climbing wall, a crawling tube and a sandbox.  The Dog Wood Canyon educators feature story time in Nature Play.  Currently a story is told featuring a turtle’s adventure while the staff shows a live turtle.  By March 2016 Dogwood Canyon will expand Nature Play to include a sensory garden and a small trail, where small children can feel like they are hiking.

Nature Play Area Sign

Nature Play area with rock climbing wall, multi-tiered sandbox and climbing tube

Nature Play area with climbing wall, crawling tube and multi tiered sand box


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Biblical precepts, karma, health

God’s biblical precepts are both spiritual and physical. Our biblical health and wellness i.e. karma, (mind, body and spirits) are subject to these laws yet we see and unhealthy church ignoring these precepts. The laws of nature are part of this health and wellness karma. Biblical karma cannot be better explained than by reading the  AMPC (Amplified Bible Classic Addition) version of  Galations6:7. “Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at, scorned, disdained or mocked by mere pretensions or professions or by His precepts being set aside. We inevitably delude ourselves when we attempt to delude God. For whatever we sow, that and that only is what we will reap.” I call this biblical karma. Karma defined refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect).
The laws of nature are part of these precepts and when we violate these laws our physical health pulls us down. One cannot expect to smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, eat donuts for breakfast and expect good health and spiritual holiness. That would be a mockery of God’s law in my previously mentioned Galations scripture. Have you ever heard a woman cry out to God concerning her husbands lung cancer.? “Oh God, why did you allow my husband to get lung cancer!” You could almost hear God reply, “Why did he smoke two packs of cigarettes a day?”
We know foods are chemicals and chemicals affect our brains our thought life and spiritual walk. Let me ask you this. Why do the Sunday schools continue to feed our children candy as a reward for answering biblical questions correctly? Why are church community events like Fall Festivals, in leu of Halloween, distributing massive amounts of candy to attract children to hear the gospel? When asked these questions church leaders respond that no one will show up if they don’t offer these poisons. Well then, let’s just offer them a shot of whiskey! When you study the effects on the blood it has the same impact! How long will we continue to watch children and  adults die in the church because we refuse to link our bible with its precepts on health and wellness?

College Faculty Use Social Media

College Faculty Use Social Media More Than Workplace Employees

Faculty in the collegiate space, typically thought of by the corporate world as slow moving and behind the times, use social media platforms more than workplace employees. An April 2011 survey shows that college faculty use social media in myriad ways both professionally and personally, outpacing their corporate counterparts 2-1. While faculty reported that they were aware of most of the social platforms, Facebook, YouTube, and Blogs were noted as those that were most frequently visited and used, some out of necessity and not out of desire. Interestingly, faculty who have been in the professoriate for more than 20 years showed the same level of awareness of social media as those who have been in the field for fewer than 5.

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Customer Service on Social Media

Image is collage of words about customer service on social media

Customers increasingly expect responsive customer service on social media

More and more customers are looking to get customer service from a brand through social media. Service requests have increased 2.5 times in the past two years.  According to the Social Media Benchmark Study by J.D. Power and Associates 67 percent of consumers have contacted a company through social media for customer service compared to just 33 percent who responded to a company’s social marketing. Here are some steps to improve your customer service efforts.

Train and Empower Your Customer Service team

A well-trained customer service team will greatly benefit your company. Make certain to educate in multiple areas, such as social skills, the company’s customer-care guidelines, when and how to escalate, customer behavior and conflict resolution. Empower them and equip them with multiple methods of resolving issues, for example, not always defaulting to a discount when resolving an issue or complaint but offering other ways of making the customer happy.

Monitor and listen proactively Set up alerts for instant notification when your brand or product is mentioned in a positive or a negative way. Proactively address any negative sentiment.  Listen on social for indirect product mentions and address issues quickly.  Social listening can also help a brand to zero in on their competitor’s issues. Remember that finding ways to solve these challenges before competitors can lead to increasing their market share.

 Respond Quickly Response time is critical to customer sentiment. According to The Social Habit, 32% of consumers expect to get a response within 30 minutes and 24% expect the 30 minute response even outside of normal business hours.   Companies should track response time to monitor Customer Service performance, and to determine when a staff increase may be necessary.

Keep a separate account for Support Many of the companies that do best with customer service, such as Microsoft, American Express and Zappos, have created a separate account for customer service and support. This allows a separation between marketing and branding efforts and consumer support. Keeping a separation also helps to interpret key performance indicators in a more meaningful way. For example, KPIs would focus more on speed of response and resolution for the customer service side. On the marketing side, it would focus more on how the audience is engaging with the brand.

If you follow these suggestions, your  customer service team should be well prepared to satisfy customers when they reach out through social media.


Protected: Digital Plan Examples

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Snapping while Chatting

snapSnapchat: Texting of 2016. But, one must ask, when is it appropriate to Snapchat in the work place? Or can it be pulled off without being noticed? Is it possible ? Always great questions. Generation X? Generation Y? It doesn’t matter. Here’s the 101 on how to Snapchat at properly work. There are only two big rules you must follow.  Continue reading

Is your brand positioned for speed?

Why having a brand positioned for speed matters

Millions of people viewed and talked about a major event this past weekend. And the companies with a brand positioned for speed attempted to use the resulting trending topics for content.

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Snapchat for Nonprofits

“Get on Snapchat,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. The numbers do confirm that 18 percent of social media users are on Snapchat and that jumps to 71 percent of users age 18 to 29. But in the age of intuitive apps, platforms and devices, trying to get started on Snapchat can feel a bit like a flashback to your childhood when you would tried playing Street Fighter on Nintendo. You sat there pushing all the buttons with great fervor trying to win without ever developing much skill. After you cross the hurdle of figuring out how to use the app, there is the question of, “what am doing here?” A good place to start is to see what other nonprofits are doing.

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A Leader’s Legacy



What makes a great leader?  A leader is a person who wants to be the face of an organization, the person responsible for success and failure, the person who has all the right answer, and is someone who has no room for improvement.  These tend to be commonly held beliefs in our society and “A Leader’s Legacy” sets out to show how these beliefs are not only wrong but how true leaders act.  The book discusses what it is to be a leader and how legacies are left behind.  The book disputes leaders are born or made, and shows that leaders aren’t always the charismatic  or natural leaders. Continue reading

Emoji Marketing

Should your brand be using Emoji Marketing?

Could your brand benefit from using emoji marketing?  First off, let’s define exactly what emojis are.

These are images used in emoji marketing

Various emojis

Emojis are picture characters that can be incorporated into text, email, and other social media applications to convey a feeling or concept. These tiny images are changing the way we communicate online. Increasing numbers of people, especially younger users, are using emojis as a form of shorthand to quickly convey messages through visual content. Emoji usage and even the mention of the word ’emoji’ tripled from 2014 to 2015. This increase was so significant that when the Oxford Dictionary announced the 2015 Word of the Year, instead of a word it was actually an emoji. Continue reading

Super Bowl or Ad Wars?

This is a picture of the Super Bowl 50 logo with the Vince Lombardi TrophyIn The Digital Age, Super Bowl Ads Rule Super Sunday.

If you tuned in expecting an offensive showdown in Super Bowl 50, you got quite a different outcome. The game turned out to be a defensive battle. And while defense can win championships (congrats Denver), it doesn’t generate much excitement. So what else is there to do when the game you spent hundreds of bucks to host is a snoozefest? Why, take to social media and check the buzz on all the commercials of course! Continue reading

Cedar Ridge Preserves Nature and Minds

Cedar Ridge Preserves Nature and Minds

Imagine educating your kids in Dallas’ most beautiful nature preserves. Well you can. It may be just a few miles away but it’s hundreds of miles from the madness of carpools, appointments and over scheduled kids.

Picture of Cedar Ridge sign agains beautiful Texas sunset

Cedar Ridge Preserve Sign

While there are many nature options available, Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve is a Dallas treasure. Perched on the edge of the Edwards Plateau off Highway 67, it’s the ideal place where both parents and kids can truly take a breath, relax and revel in Dallas’ own slice of the hill country. Besides the views at an elevation of 775 feet, it’s where the Blackland Prairie meets the limestone escarpment of the plateau. It’s one of the few places in Dallas kids get to see native grassland, wildflowers, and spectacular hills all in one place. Not to mention, those incomparable Texas sunsets and coyotes serenading at dusk and morning!


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