LAX Approach

On July 18, 2011, in Photography, Travel, by Josh Hallett

LAX Approach

It’s always fun to kill that last hour in LA under the LAX approach near In-N-Out. A few weeks ago I camped for a bit, but only had a point-and-shoot. Sadly no 7-4′s only a few 7-7′s.


In-Store Convenience or Failed Reminder?

On April 16, 2011, in Marketing, by Josh Hallett


Plenty has been written about Blockbuster v. Netflix so no need to hash through that. However, seeing these in-store Blockbuster kiosks in mini-marts makes me think less about convenience and serves more of a reminder of how far they have fallen. From thousands of large retail stores, to “we can be like Redbox” vending machines. I’m waiting for all the tax-service sign wavers to start holding up Blockbuster signs.

It’s like the old star athlete that refuses to retire. Just sad.


Blue Angels at Sun n Fun Fly-In

On April 2, 2011, in Photography, by Josh Hallett

Blue Angels - Gear Up or Gear Down?

Blue Angels - Slow Pass

Earlier today the Navy’s Blue Angels performed at the Sun n Fun Fly-In. Great show.


Your Front Row Seat at ESPN

On March 30, 2011, in Clients, by Josh Hallett

Matt Leiker has all the details on a new Voce project that launched today: ESPN Front Row.

ESPN Front Row

They’re kicking off the blog we a 24-hour behind-the-scenes look at ESPN. Cool stuff.


Testing out Flickr’s new photo sharing feature.

Update: Hmmm, it works, but the largest photo size option available is 500px, and with this new layout I’ve been using 640, so for now I’ll still do it the old-fashioned way.


Update 3.30.11: Well the acquisition of Radian6 by certainly ties into this post.

I say this all the time; a brand will ask “How will you measure this program?” our response, “How do you currently measure your existing programs?”

Sometimes we get a good answer, but often it’s not a clear answer. If the organization has an existing methodology in place to measure the effectiveness of programs, why not try to plug into this existing system? It’s not always easy though.

There is no lack of data and tools to document activities on external social networks, but what we focus on is crossing the membrane intact. Going from off-domain to on-domain and aligning the data to give real insights and value.

Crossing the Membrane Intact

The internal/existing measurement problem is either rooted in technology, or communication. We often see the communication issue. The corporate communications team isn’t always in constant talks with the analytics team and may not know the depth of measurement available to them.

While the social media industry moves forward with new services and richer analytics, linking them back to internal systems is still a hit or miss proposition. Services like WebTrends and Salesforce are paving the way to link on-domain and off-domain activities into a single view and the hope is more vendors get very serious in this space.

The problem is stated in a simple question: How effective is social media compared to other traditional forms of communication? Let’s try to look at the data….if it’s available. The majority of the time social media wins by default since there is more data available, but it’s not always a fair fight.

This get’s back to my post from yesterday, we work off the data we have available, and not the data we don’t have.


Hey look a SXSW post. No not really. But it does start there.

One of the panels I attended was the “Measuring Social Media – Let’s Get Serious,” session. At Voce we’ve been focusing on measurement as a core program component for a while so it’s been interesting to see the rest of the industry evolve. This evolution is occurring at the service level with a number of different tools available, the agency level and somewhat at the brand level.

During the measurement panel my new colleague at Porter Novelli, Israel Mirsky asked a rather pointed question about data integrity from Twitter. Namely who has the fire-hose of data. Too many services are only using the API, which only provides a sub-set of data, and calling it ‘Twitter’. It’s not a complete data-set. As Israel points out:

The major problem that has arisen is the crop of slick-interface social monitoring and analytics tools that use the API instead of the Firehose and represent themselves as though they are appropriate analysis tools for significant amounts of conversation. While okay for small businesses that don’t have much volume, for brands with medium to large amounts of conversation, the data provided by the API is incomplete because the API will only give away so much data for free and caps their access.

This is a major problem. Bad data = bad research = bad decisions = bad results and damaged relationships with stakeholders.

The other holy grail for many is cross-platform analytics, that is taking data from all the social media services and mashing them up to make sense of a larger picture. There is no shortage of data, but it is complete and can you trust it? Lastly the goal is to make sense of it all….externally and internally……more on that in a second.


Countdown to 2012 US Grand Prix in Austin

On March 28, 2011, in Formula 1, by Josh Hallett

The 2011 Formula 1 season kicked off this past weekend, so you know what that means? The countdown has started for the return of F1 to the US in 2012.

We know the where, Austin, TX. As for the when, we’ll need to wait till later this year for the provisional 2012 calendar. I can’t wait. I went to the majority of the races in Indianapolis when F1 last made a state-side run.


As for this year, the Australian race was a great start to the season. Will anybody be able to catch Red Bull? I think one thing that gives hope to McLaren and others is that both RBR cars weren’t completely dominant with Webber struggling. Renault also had a great podium, but was it a fluke or an indication of more to come?

My allegiance is torn. I’ve always been a McLaren fan, but to the same extent an Adrian Newey fan. I think as long as RBR and McLaren are battling it out I’ll be happy.

You can’t argue though that the cars are just gorgeous.

McLaren MP4-26


Welcome Mr. Barger

On March 25, 2011, in News, by Josh Hallett

Christopher Barger, GM

Over on the Voce Nation we broke the news that Christopher Barger would be joining our team. We’re all pretty fired up over his addition.

Photo by Becky Johns


2 Million Views

On March 22, 2011, in Photography, by Josh Hallett

Flickr - 2 Million Views

At some point over the past week or so I passed an interesting milestone on Flickr, 2,000,000 views. My interest in photography has not waned, just the time to do it.


Porter Novelli Acquires Voce Communications

The big news was released yesterday, Voce has been acquired by Porter Novelli. Exciting things ahead!


Use My Photo, Wait Don’t Use My Photo

On February 9, 2011, in Photography, by Josh Hallett

Sharing is caring, or that’s the standard line we’ve heard countless times. Sharing, however is not without its consequences.

Pikes Public Market - Seattle, WA

Take Flickr for example. People love to share photos on Flickr, I do it all the time, in fact I currently have shared about 22,231 times. I post almost all my photos with a basic Creative Commons license. Almost 99% of the time this works out great. As an amateur photographer it’s nice to see your photo in lights so-to-speak.

Then there is the other 1% of the time.

Recently I’ve found a few organizations that are holding protests have used my photos as part of their online campaigns. One current example is a movement against SeaWorld, another is a labor dispute with Publix.

Those of us in the social media community know how quickly photos can be shared and if you allow free use via Creative Commons, well then people are free to use it. However, there are some individuals that don’t understand this and in some cases think I support some of these causes. Not the case.

It’s a delicate balance. Seth Godin had an experience with very open Creative Commons licensing a few years back.

I will continue to share my photos and hope that they are put to good use, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

(Disclosure: Disney Parks are a current client and many, many years in the past I did consulting work for SeaWorld)


Why? That’s What I’m Asking, A Lot

On February 8, 2011, in Social Media, by Josh Hallett

Last year I ranted about the ‘should’ – that was the rash of folks always saying what a brand ‘should’ do. My response/rant was asking how? How to plan, execute, scale and measure these ideas?

Lately though, before we even get to the how, I’m asking why? Why would we do this? If it’s for the sake of doing it, then sorry, not interested. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for experimentation, but it has to have some structure.

Everybody has a finite amount of time and budget, with that comes the need to prioritize. That’s where the why comes in. How does something new (usually a shiny object) fit into those priorities? Yep, thought so.


Sample Social Media Program Diagram

On November 12, 2010, in Social Media, by Josh Hallett

In presentations for clients and various groups we use quite a few graphics to convey concepts related to social media. In the next few weeks I’ll be posting some samples and providing a bit of background on each graphic.

First up is a sample social media program diagram. The primary purpose of this graphic is to showcase all the work that is required behind the scenes to manage a successful social media program.

Sample Social Media Program Stucture

We’re certainly not proposing a one-size-fits-all approach with this graphic. Each organization has unique needs based upon their structure, goals and resources, but you get the point. Of course everybody gets excited about the public-facing activities like Twitter and Facebook, but how about exciting things like Asset Management and Governance Programs? The graphics doesn’t even begin to cover measurement functions or internal organization which brings another layer to the discussion.

Clients that have been running effective social media programs for years typically have all these bases covered. We frequently see social media programs strain under the pressure of growth. Planning and documentation are key to managing growth and handling internal communications/expectations.

Too complex? Don’t worry, if you’re a small business here is a simplified version. Of course I know some people may argue that this is all a large business needs as well :-)

Social Media for Small Business

Cross posted to Voce Nation.


The ‘Big Idea’

On September 29, 2010, in Social Media, by Josh Hallett

So what’s the ‘big idea’? How about this, forget the big idea and just make sure all your small ideas work, and work well, day in and day out. All that small, builds to something big.