Updates from March, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Brigit Law 3:26 pm on March 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Retail, , , Target Corporation   

    The Secret of Social Media Success by Target 

    I just shopped my groceries at Giant which I like, probably because of its Dutch roots of owner Ahold: it almost make me feel like shopping at home in The Netherlands, only much bigger.

    Although, I am not so attracted to ‘like’ big food chains – or any big chain for that matter – on Facebook, but I was curious and checked out the three leading US food stores in my area on Facebook.

    And the difference is huge: Giant has 40 likes and no active page, 2.207 likes and Target has 9.818.115 !!!! likes.

    Of course, we all want to know the secret of their success!

    I did not find much information on Target’s Social Media policy with a quick search on Google, but perhaps it has something to do with this: Target’s Community Outreach program. Target says it is on track of giving 1 billion dollars to support education by 2015.

    Now, how much more social can one get?

    It’s something one just has to like!

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  • Brigit Law 12:25 am on February 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Herald Mail, , Shippensburg, Spike Lee, ,   

    An Evening With Spike Lee 

    I am marking another American experience tonight: my evening with Spike Lee!

    Spike Lee is an American film director, producer, writer and actor. With his production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, he has been producing films since 1983. Lee is famous for the way he evolutionized the role of Black talent in cinema. Lee also directed commercials for Nike, Converse, Jaguar, Taco Bell and Ben & Jerry’s.

    Our meeting was not quite up close and personal, but with seat number J-109 in an almost sold out hall of the Luhrs Performing Arts Center in Schippensburg (PA) where he lectured about “The Cultural Diversity in America”, it was as good as it could get.

    As my friends know, everything that has to do with diversity has my attention. Since I left my home village in The Netherlands, I have been different myself. First and foremost as a country girl in a big city, but also as a Dutch girl living in other people’s countries and as a Dutch wife to a Scottish husband. Diversity is part of my daily life since I left home at 18 and it will be for children for whole their lives.

    Lee’s performance in Shippensburg tonight was great.  He is a wonderful and motivational speaker who tackles serious issues – the life of African-Americans – with a good sense of humor. He urged students to follow passion, not pay. To this end, Lee was happy to share his own personal experiences and challenges in life with his public, in particular his vision that you should choose a study and do a job you enjoy doing no matter what others (parents) say. “If you are driven in wanting to do something, do it!” was his advice to the public.

    However, his view on the stagnation of Afro-Americans can be disputed. Lee sees a stagnation in the life of African-Americans since the 40s when Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in her role as a maid in ‘Gone with the Wind’ and today, annu 2012, when African-Americans win again Academy Awards through actors Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer who played … maids again. To me this seems more a sign of stagnation in the life of women who are in a sleepy state of mind since the time of the suffragettes. At lease the African-Americans got their American President, the female society not (yet).

    I was also a bit disappointed about his answer to a young African-American guy in the public who explained his difficulties to make films due to lack of finance and closed doors in Hollywood. His answer was to persevere and to keep on believing in yourself and your drive (dream). My answer would be a question: where are the African-American businesses that should support African-American culture? It is not up to the ‘old’ Hollywood and its white face history to write and direct the screen plays that bring diversity in America to life. A drive is based on an emotional need, an urge and a passion. This can only be told through stories with with award winning roles of leaders in society played, written and produced by African-Americans themselves.

    In fact, it is all about empowering yourself to succeed with a group of people through ‘shared values’. A concept that focuses on the connections between societal and economic progress.

     
  • Brigit Law 11:57 am on February 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Privacy, Rules   

    5 Facebook Rules I Live By 

    I felt some feeling of spring in the air when I left the barn at Wilson College this morning. The sun shone differently, warmer. The horses were in good form and I can look back on a very good riding session. Every time it amazes me how horseback riding get one to experience the flow communication so clearly.

    What I am going to share with you today are my favorite Facebook tips. The five Facebook rules I live by.

    These are the rules I believe are essential to follow. Anything else, any more elaborate advice, flows from here.

    1. Share only what EVERYONE should know and DON’T share what only a few should know
    2. Don’t presume that everyone automatically receives your message. People more often don’t than do listen
    3. Apply the ‘No Man Is An Island’-approach, i.e. pay attention to others, your stakeholders
    4. Write news stories that are desirable, visually digestible and shareable. Messages must slide through digital communities like a piece of hand soap
    5. Respect people’s privacy at all times

    I compiled these yesterday for a private and membership based organization who had questions about what and what not to publish on their Facebook. They are in a phase of change where they are opening up more to the community to attract new members and events to their club. So, a critical look at how to use Facebook in these important times, is important for them.

    I hope you will have a nice day with just that little bit of spring feeling too!

     
    • aviva 12:40 am on February 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      aviva
      Good article and Nice blog greetings! aviva

    • Charles Derbyshire 11:03 am on February 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

      • Brigit Law 6:09 pm on February 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Charles: Thank you for you very kind and supportive feedback on my blog.

  • Brigit Law 9:39 pm on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Doodles, Google,   

    Valentine’s Doodle Tells The Story of Google 

    “The coolest thing, after having worked in online games for the last 10 years, is it was a wonderful return to storytelling.”

    “It felt like a Valentine for me.”

    This is what the creator of the Valentine’s Doodle Michael Lippman says about his viral work.

    The Doodle was uploaded on YouTube on February 10th and received 8,164 likes within the first 4 days.

    It’s the best piece of advertising for my continuous effort to convince organizations to use storytelling in their communications!

    Watch it here …

    Valentine’s Day Google Doodle

     
  • Brigit Law 11:05 pm on February 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , music, ,   

    American Culture? What, where … ? 

    Often,I hear that America has little to no culture compared to places like France, Italy or Greece. This is said by the media or my fellow Europeans who were on holiday here. I must say, I was slightly afraid that this might be the true after a visiting the only Amish museum in Lancaster and seeing it very strangely hidden behind the giant buildings of the commercial chains Walmart, Giant and Kohls.

    However, after living seven months in American, I am glad to say that I can agree with the opposite. America has a great culture! It is a culture that is embedded in their music, films and world famous brand slogans!

    I realized this when my sister in law said that I lived in a film after hearing one of my stories. Indeed, there have been numerous occasions now that I felt I was living a film or a song. The first time was when when the check out guy at the Walmart called ‘hey lady’ to me after I had forgotten my shopping bags at the counter, or when I feel the ‘Just Do It!’ slogan from Nike at work when I am volunteering in community and school projects here, or when I see my daughter sliding down the staircase in our house in America just like Annie Banks in the film The Father of the Bride. In the Netherlands where I come from, we just don’t have such big staircases and ‘sliding space’ in our houses and we rather talk and wait for who is going to do it than ‘just do it!’

    Culture in America may not to be found in books from great writers like in Russia or France, or in food from famous chefs like in Belgium, or ancient castles and ruins like in Germany and Greece, paintings in Italy or in a healthy living like in Scandinavia. If you want to experience American culture and history, listen to American music, see the films and live the slogans of their brands.

    So now, after a long week with work and kids, I am going to take a nice a warm bath. Because I am worth it!

     
    • 20poorandfabulous 12:00 am on February 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      of course america has a culture, every civilization on earth has a culture. how insulting you think american culture is encompassed by music, film and worst of all SLOGANS. yes, america is a very capitalist/consumerist-driven country, but you cannot blanket a country as large and culturally diverse as the united states as being solely music, film and slogans. not everyone spends their days at the local walmart or kohls, mind you. think about it this way: the south(mississippi, georgia) is an entirely different place than the northwest (seattle, portland), and the southwest (tucson, new mexico) is vastly different from the midwest (chicago, minneapolis) and the northeast (new york, boston). it’s like if someone were to tell you all european cultures (france, germany, the netherlands, etc) are simply composed of nice chocolates, wines and people who use euros. or that south american cultures (chile, brazil, colombia, etc) are simply spicy food, salsa music and hot weather. vast generalizations about any culture, people, country or continent are an insult to both the people and to your very own intelligence.

      • Brigit Law 11:02 pm on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your comments! You would have enjoyed the lecture “The Cultural Diversity in America” of Spike Lee (film director of a.o. ‘Do The Right Thing’ and ‘Malcolm X’) which I attended at Shippensburg University this evening. According to Lee, American culture dominates the world mainly through its films, music and famous brands. Unlike bombs and weapons, these expressions of emotions direct the way people think, both within and outside America.

    • Stephanie Wall 12:02 am on February 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Brigit,

      I’m so glad you are enjoying your time here in America. I remember sliding down the stairs as a child and teaching my children to do the same. What fun it is…you should try it as well with the girls and Otto. 🙂 We must have a good old fashion American BBQ this spring.

      • Brigit Law 10:43 pm on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Steph! I have added the American BBQ to my ‘things to experience in America’ 🙂

  • Brigit Law 10:55 pm on January 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    The Real Meaning of Nike’s ‘Just Do It!’ 

    Since my recent move to America (I am dutifully following my husband on his career path), so many famous slogans from world leading American films and product brands have become much clearer to me. In fact, most have a much deeper meaning than I could figure out from sole marketing when i was living in Europe. For example, I thought that the ‘Just Do It’-slogan from Nike was something like a sport related yell, but I know now that it is part of the American way of living. Or at least that is my perception of it.

    Cultural differences do go deep, I know from previous moves to different countries. So deeply that it stirs up ones emotions completely. Through better and worse I have learned that the best way to overcome these is to plunge yourself into the way of life of the people surrounding you as soon as possible after you set foot on the soil that is your new, temporary, home.

    That’s why, since moving to Pennsylvania last summer, I have stepped into volunteering at several local organizations. Mainly to get settled into live here quickly, partly to keep my professional skills alive and kicking while not working. As a Dutch woman, I am amazed about the easygoingness of ‘getting things done’ here. The only thing is that you have to do it yourself! Just Do It seems to me a real emotional and cultural representation of the American people and I admire Nike for this. As former advertising and communication professional, I normally see lots of shallow creativity.

    The first time I had to ‘deal’ with Nike’s ‘Just Do It!’ was with my first side job as personal assistant of the President of the Standards and Certification Committee of the EBA (European Business Association) in Moscow. To get around the new legislation that all English text and slogans on products in Russia should be in Russian language, Nike opted for just dropping the ‘Just Do It!’ and let their symbol, the “swoosh”, speak for itself. It’s a great example of creative leadership in business.

    Now, when I sit in committee meetings in local Pennsylvania, the first reaction I get from my new American friends and colleagues on my ideas for doing something different is: “That sounds great Brigit. Do you want to Do It?”

    And you know what, after three years of working as an independent consultant in the complex and hierarchical Brussels networks, this ‘Just Do It’ American attitude gives me a real sense of empowerment – the one that is embedded truly and deeply into human society as opposed to the politically driven one – , inspiration, commitment and creative freedom, professionally as well as personally. Nike’s new ‘Just Do It’ Beijing campaign, The Courage Within, is so true to human nature. I will still not buy more Nike, but I respect the brand more now I know more about its home country.

    It’s great that after only six months here, I have found something American and meaningful that I will treasure and take with me on my next adventure when we will move back to Europe in a couple of years – or anywhere else.

    So, if you have lots of ideas and want to see them materialize, then do like me the following:

    1. Get (the courage to get) off your bottom

    2. Get ready for action

    3. Don’t stay floating on the surface of cultural differences, let yourself drown into it – real deep

    4. Be resilient every minute of the day (keep on smiling and ‘keep the glass half full’, no matter what)

    5. Join or create networks where people challenge you to ‘Just Do It!’

    Thank you Nike, thank you America!

     
    • Mariska 8:56 am on January 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very recognizable story! I remember my 4 months studying in Budapest in the 90’s where I met Lilly. In the middle of the turning times in Eastern Europe there was a profound sense of ‘Stay where you are and don’t move’ amongst the young people that were stuck in their old communist habits. Lilly, coming from the US with only a basic course in design, applied for a art director job at a major international advertising agency and got the job! How’s that for a first entry on your CV!
      So there I got it. Just do it. It takes you places you can’t imagine…

    • themysticmom 8:14 pm on April 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Love it, Brigit! True represenation of both you and the American culture! 🙂

    • themysticmom 8:15 pm on April 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very nice, Brigit! Very accurate representations of both you and the American culture! The rest of it probably should be…”if you don’t Do It, someone else will!” 🙂

  • Brigit Law 9:58 pm on December 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , mommies,   

    Mommies Are The Strongest Brand 

    Just read this fabulous update from a friend on my Facebook account:

    Leia : “Nathan is a boy, Ella is a girl, Daddy is a boy, Rex is a boy, Leia is a girl and Mommy is a mommy !”

    Can you think of a stronger showcase of brand awareness?

    No doubt it’s because mommies are: meaningful, authentic, transcendent, operational and above all, the ones who gave birth to a very valuable ‘product’.

    In the end, life is all about perception.

    (Note: For privacy reasons I have changed the names in this article.)

     
  • Brigit Law 8:06 pm on April 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , emotional communication   

    With my stories I … connect 

    I just bumped onto a great blog from Melissa Bennet. A lovely example of a young professional who explicitly but in a very authentic way uses her stories to connect to friends, field colleagues and future clients: blog from Melissa Bennet. This is what Social Media is about.

     

     
    • Melissa Bennett 9:11 pm on April 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for posting about my blog! I really appreciate it. Storytelling IS a great way to connect and build relationships through social media. Plus, everyone has a story to tell!

  • Brigit Law 7:20 pm on January 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Bye bye ‘Globalization’ – Hello ‘Cities’! 

    It looks that ‘globalization’ – a buzz word that has kept us going for the last decade – is losing its shine. Today, the Dutch newspaper NRC published a visionary article (Wanneer steden de wereld besturen) with research references and talks, concluding that our world which seems increasingly more difficult to manage, cities not countries will form “islands of government” on which the future world order will be built.

    Funnily enough, last Friday I advocated a similar trend when I popped a question at the end of the lecture ‘Crisis Busters: from Marx to Krugman’ by Lord Robert Skidelski (writer of the book “Keynes, The Return of the Master”) at the Maastricht University Campus in Brussels, by saying that the word ‘globalization’ should better be binned. It is getting old-fashioned and simply doesn’t fit any longer in way people see their lives and how they want to live in it today, while securing a good life for themselves and their children in the future. 

    I specifically say ‘see‘ here, because in the end it is all a matter of people’s perception. We’ve always lived in a globalized world (the world is a globe) and cities have always had a tremendous amount of power on people’s daily lives. It’s just the way we decide to look at it in business and politics, how they feel they could make sense of everything that happens around us and then talk about it, that makes Nationalization and Regionalization follow each other up as different trends in history.

    So, ‘Cities’ is the new buzz word, and no doubt ‘Design’ ‘Architecture’ and ‘Citiplanning’ will follow suit. A very important development in emotional communication and Storytelling that allows us to shift from talking and thinking economics to creativity as the drive to life and the new appeal!

    I am glad that my new workshop for brand, marketing and communication managers is right up there 🙂

     
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