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Happiness is… Work

When work gets busy and life gets busy (often at the same time), staying happy at work can be a challenge. Happiness in general is a very loaded term that can’t be addressed in one blog post. That said, I’m always eager to learn what other people do to achieve happiness in the work place.

One aspect of work that can sometimes be overwhelming is very simple: Mondays. Monday can be daunting – it’s the start of the week and the start of a long to-do list. At a recent all-staff meeting, our team discussed strategies for preparing for a stress-free Monday. Here are some of the helpful tips our team shared:

  • Be Schedule-Aware – Check the schedule to make sure you’re fully aware of all meetings scheduled for the early part of the week.
  • Go to Bed Early – Get a good night sleep on Sunday night.
  • Don’t Fall Behind – Stay up-to-date on e-mails throughout the weekend so they don’t pile-up. Don’t necessarily respond, but scan so there are no surprises on Monday morning.
  • Keep it Free – Avoid post work plans on Monday night so you can rest after work.
  • Write it Again – Rewrite your to-do list on a fresh piece of paper so you feel organized.

Read more after the jump…

Should You AMPlify Your Website’s Exposure?

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Photo Credit: Google Webmasters Bog

With the increasing mobile adoption rates, we should all be concerned with providing a good mobile user experience. This includes the need to maintain a fast site speed.

Typically you have about three seconds to capture a users attention before they abandon your website. What happens if it takes three seconds for your site to even load? They’ll likely never even get there.

Recognizing the need for websites to load quickly, Google recently started working on an open source initiative called the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. This project gives website owners the tools to create Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). These AMPs use various technical approaches to load content almost immediately, creating a faster experience for mobile users.

Read more after the jump…

Go Ahead, Procrastinate

cumulus-cloudsWhen’s the last time you did absolutely nothing? As a working mom, I honestly can’t remember. Life is full, challenging and scheduled.

 

I recently listened to a TED Radio hour show on Slowing Down that had me nodding my head with each of the talks. And laughing. And sighing. Maybe one or two internal eye rolls. One of the talks was with psychologist Adam Grant says those who slow down – even procrastinate – tend to be more creative, original thinkers. Procrastination allows us to reflect, build and improve on ideas.

Read more after the jump…

Three Leadership Tips for Navigating Interpersonal and Team Dynamics

During the past few weeks I have had numerous discussions about team dynamics, interpersonal issues among colleagues and team leadership. Part of these conversations stem from my upcoming 12-week maternity leave and planning client coverage. Another driver of the conversations has been a presentation on crisis and issues management that I have been asked to give this upcoming weekend for a Young Living essential oil convention, organized by the Lemon Dropper team (my sister-in-law is one of the primary event organizers).

When I was asked to speak about navigating issues and “crisis” situations among teams at the essential oil business conference, I’ll admit that I was nervous. I felt unqualified and wondered what I could offer these small team/business owners – most of whom work from home for their oil business. Yet as I dug through old crisis plans for GFM clients large and small, I realized just how similar team dynamics, and issues management among team members, can be to companies of a much larger scale.

Read more after the jump…

PR Lessons from the South Platte River

rainbowtroutTo call my husband a fan of fly-fishing would be a huge understatement. He is passionate about the sport and spends every spare moment he can on the river. I mention this because I’ve had the chance to go fishing with him a couple of times this summer, and while I’m nowhere near as experienced or skilled as he is, I have managed to glean a few PR lessons while standing hip-deep in the water in my waders:

Read more after the jump…

Twitter’s Moments feature may finally be worthwhile for brands

Twitter MomentsTwitter’s Moments feature, a curated tweet slideshow around a single topic or story, was announced and launched a little more than a year ago with barely a whimper, even after the social media platform added a Moments button to the footer of the mobile application. But an announcement earlier this month has created a new opportunity for brands to use the tool other than purchasing ads seen by dwindling numbers.

Read more after the jump…

Turns Out Pop-Ups Annoy Google, Too

Some users find it annoying to visit a website on a mobile device and be presented with a pop-up window, preventing them from easily viewing the desired content. Turns out, Google agrees.

Google Punishes Websites With Pop-Up Ads

Photo Credit: Google

Pop-up ads, otherwise known as interstitials, are a form of interruption marketing. They are frequently used to capture email addresses, suggest related content or for legal obligations, such as age verification or accepting cookies.

Google Takes a Stand Against Interstitials

The trouble with these pop-ups is that they make it harder for users to reach the content they are interested in. In the interest of helping users find their desired content, Google recently announced that starting in January 2017 it will give priority in search results to pages without these pop-ups in place, pushing down rankings for pages using them.

Google Punishes Websites With Pop-Up Ads, Exceptions

Photo Credit: Google

Some Interstitials Are Exempt

There are, of course, some exceptions to this new rule. Websites using pop-ups to fulfill a legal obligation, private password-protected content login pages, and small banners such as app install banners, will be in the clear when used responsibly.

Time To Drop the Pop-Up?

Knowing there are literally hundreds of different signals making up the Google search algorithm, we also know this is only one factor when it comes to search engine optimization strategy. Even a web page with the “bad” pop-ups in place could still rank highly – if it has great, relevant content in place.

But Google algorithm aside, if your pop-up doesn’t fit into one of these “exempt” categories, it might be time to weight the pros and cons of keeping it anyway. Might your website be annoying more people than it’s worth – and eventually going to be taking a hit in the search engine results too?

Deconstructing Hope Solo’s Olympics Implosion

Hope_Solo_(16539697180)In public relations, it often is the small things that make big differences. The U.S. Women’s National Team goalie, Hope Solo, learned that lesson the hard way when she was suspended from the team for six months this week.

What were the little things that went so wrong for Hope?

  1. She used colorful language. Many athletes engage in sour grapes after a tough loss by complaining that the better team actually lost. They will use expressions like, “They didn’t win; we gave it to them.” Hope expressed those thoughts, too, but she made her quote more colorful by calling the Swedes “a bunch of cowards.” In my non-scientific survey, the word “cowards” appeared in 100 percent of the media coverage. Journalists love colorful, which can work for you or against you.
  2. She had priors. No criminal appearing before a judge would expect to catch a break when he or she has been convicted before. And Hope should have known that she had little margin for error based on her previous actions this year alone that included a domestic violence arrest and allowing her inebriated husband to drive a U.S. Soccer vehicle.
  3. She set the stage. A lesson that every professional wrestler learns is that it is okay if they love you or hate you; it is indifference that will end your career quickly. Hope loves the spotlight, and she established herself as the anti-hero of the Rio Olympics before she even left the U.S. by tweeting photos of herself in heavy-duty, mosquito-proof outfits. She thumbed her nose at her Olympics hosts, and she was already the center of attention when she arrived.
  4. She violated the spirit of the Olympics – When athletes are paid mercenaries (i.e., performing in for-profit leagues while being paid millions of dollars), fans tend to be pretty forgiving for lapses in etiquette. But when you act like a jerk on arguably the biggest sports stage in the world that is also synonymous with sportsmanship, it becomes a problem.

Read more after the jump…

Three Things NBC and the Olympics Reminded Us About Content

Photo credit: Brian Godfrey

Photo credit: Brian Godfrey

I’m a guy who genuinely enjoys the Olympics. When you combine a few sports I know well with several sports I know absolutely nothing about – and then roll it all up with fierce competition and patriotic undertones…count me in 11 out of 10 times.

Unfortunately not everyone feels the same, and it showed with the TV ratings from the Rio Olympics – down 17 percent from the 2012 London games. A major part of the problem, it seems, was tape delayed programming and the subsequent social media spoilers. NBC’s approach to Olympic coverage in Rio reminded us of three very important things that hold true across the board when it comes to content:  Read more after the jump…