Social Media for Business

LinkedIn-INThree things I learned during a recent job advising a technology company on getting started with social media and using social media for selling:

  • People are not taking advantage of LinkedIn’s professional headline. Anyone can find out your current job title by viewing your profile, but they are more likely to view your profile if you have an informative headline. Tell people what you do!
  • Someone has coined the “3×3 technique.” Spend 3 minutes reviewing LinkedIn before a meeting and you’ll find 3 things to discuss: people you know in common, skills you share, cities you’ve lived in/schools attended, new business wins, etc. No need to talk about the weather after you’ve spent a few minutes reviewing LinkedIn profiles (personal and corporate)!
  • People are not connected to their co-workers. You can grow your LinkedIn network quickly by simply connecting with all of your co-workers. This quick step (view your company’s LinkedIn page and click on “# Employees on LinkedIn” to see the list) will instantly add to your reach on the social network for business.

We also touched on Facebook and Twitter, but I advised (and the client agreed) they should spend their time getting their team up-to-speed and using LinkedIn daily. It’s an amazing business tool!

Front Page Results

In June, we had the privilege of working with the public affairs team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation on the announcement of their 2015 list of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in the U.S.

Their internal team tackled the national media coverage (generating excellent placements on and The Washington Post) while our team focused on nationwide coverage in all of the local media markets with an endangered historic place on this year’s list. Our work generated market-wide coverage on local TV and radio stations, online outlets and daily newspapers – including several front page stories like these in Miami and Ft. Worth:

Miami Herald - Front Page 6.24


El Nuevo Herald, 6-24


Ft Worth Star Telegram, 6-24

Website Launches in 2012

Before we get too far into 2013, we wanted to take a quick look back at some of our website work last year. Taylored Communications helped with the redesign of three very different sites, working with different designers, developers and content management systems. Our role ranged from creation of the initial of site maps to complete content rewrites to video production.

edCount.comedCount came to our team to help showcase their national prominence as a trusted advisor to educational agencies and as a thought leader in the education field. They needed to move their website from a static, brochure-ware site to a dynamic, flexible site where visitors could fully understand edCount’s capacity to build quality assessment systems, gather data and share knowledge that informs educational practice and policy.

The main challenge was that the complex and technical nature of their work required text-heavy explanations. Additionally, during the website development, the client was experiencing significant growth and was revising the way they described their services and value to potential clients and colleagues.

In our discussions with edCount, they made it clear that they applied a unique Theory of Action to all of their work. No matter what challenge a client presented to them, edCount was able to organize the problem and create a “path way” to a solution by using a version of their Theory of Action.

Our design team recommended an interactive tool that edCount could use to showcase this useful way of thinking and working. The resulting tool, an accordion-style clickable flow chart, is the centerpiece of both the Case Studies on the site and the explanation of edCount’s approach to their work.

Built in Joomla, the new site is easy for edCount to maintain and offers visitors several paths to discover information as they get to know edCount.

Our team— Taylored Communications (web strategists and content), Beth Singer Design (web strategists and design) and Viola Digital Media (technical developers)— partnered with edCount throughout the entire process to reveal richer possibilities of presenting their services, case studies and work products primarily through the site’s navigational system. Ultimately, edCount’s shift in they way they describe themselves and their work, combined with the new site navigation and tools, offers visitors not only a better understanding of edCount, but a more profound way of thinking about educational systems and change.

raffa.comWe work with the Washington, DC-based accounting and consulting firm, Raffa, on a number of projects. In 2012, the main focus was on their new website. The 25-year-old firm serves as a trusted advisor to many large and small nonprofits throughout the Metro region. Their old site was very outdated and while going through a new branding process, they decided it was time for a complete web overhaul.

The resulting site showcases their unique corporate personality and allows clients and partners to explore the variety of work they do – both for clients and for the community.

Taylored Communications helped support the development of the back-end of the site to ensure that visitors would be able to discover content that may otherwise go unnoticed. The navigation of the site is unique and our team helped work through a user testing period to make sure it wasn’t too unique for visitors to feel comfortable.

Working with Raffa’s staff, we wrote and edited all the content for the site. In addition, we created new staff and client video testimonials, with 5:00 Films, to help tell the story of Raffa. We also helped establish and grow their social networks and a new blog: The Do More Blog.

Built in Sharepoint, developed by Raffa’s internal staff and consultants and designed by Idea Engineering, the new website offers users basic information about Raffa’s many services, access to their Learning Community of classes, the opportunity to learn more about Raffa’s many community programs and their “doing well by doing good” business philosophy and more.

Companies for CausesFinally, as part of our own corporate philanthropy, Taylored Communications helped relaunch the Companies for Causes (CforC) website. As part of the board, we help CforC get out the message about the specific work they are doing to support the students at one high school in Washington, DC, as well spread the word about what a team of CEOs from small- and mid-sized businesses can do when they pool their time, talent and resources to make a difference in their own community.

Working with two of the other CEO partners from OmniStudio and 4GreenPs, we revamped the look, navigation and content of the website. Built in WordPress, we also maintain the written and multimedia content. Look for much more from this group in 2013 – and from the first graduating class from Eastern Senior High School in 2015!

Shift Change Premieres in DC on December 17th

We are proud to be one of the co-sponsors of the D.C. premiere screening of Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work. The film will be shown twice on December 17, 2012:

  • 11 a.m. at the AFL-CIO followed by a panel discussion on worker cooperatives and job creation
  • 7:30 p.m. at the E Street Cinema followed by a Q&A with the filmakers.

More details, including links to RSVP for the daytime screening and to purchase tickets to the evening screening and fundraiser, can be found on the Democracy Collaborative’s Community-Wealth website.

Companies Working for Change in DC

We’re spending some time this week working on the redesign of the Companies for Causes website.

This nonprofit was established by a group of CEOs in the DC region who wanted to make some social change (Taylored Communications is proud to be a founding, in-kind member). Their first goal is to help boost high school graduation rates in the District.

Late last year, Companies for Causes kicked off their partnership with a high school in DC with a donation of more than 1,000 books and much-needed bookcases to create classroom libraries. Last week, they also showed their support for more than 30 students at the school who were celebrated during an honor roll assembly for their academic achievements. CFORC CEOs attended and surprised the students with gift cards as an extra show of support for their hard work.

We look forward to improving the group’s website and helping spread the word about their good work – and the opportunity for other CEOs to get involved as well.

Sharing Study Findings: What parents & educators want from assessments

We recently worked with the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) and Grunwald Associates to promote their new study on parents’, teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions of educational assessments: For Every Child, Multiple Measures. In partnership with Collaborative Communications Group, we prepared media materials and social media outreach plans and produced the following video to share some of the study’s main findings:

[vimeo w=400&h=220]

For Every Child, Multiple Measures – Overview from NWEA on Vimeo.

Education Week and several blogs have already written about the study. Read the report and access the related infographic here.

Did You Hear about National Public Lands Day?

National Public Lands Day 2011 was great success! The program attracted more than 180,000 volunteers across all 50 states in support of our nation’s public lands, and I was able to help generate more media attention and social media activity for the program than the year before.

This was my second year providing media support for NPLD, and I’m proud of the growth in both the quality and quantity of media coverage. We conducted a successful media interview with The Weather Channel – live, via Skype, from a park, via a laptop with wireless Internet. That was a first for me, but as you can see, it worked beautifully!


Some other high points in media coverage this year include:

This was the year for NPLD on social media. We grew their fans/followers on Facebook and Twitter, had more people tag NPLD in their posts and tweets and saw more photos and videos shared than ever before. Visit their social networks and run some searches to see some examples of our success this year.

I conducted social media trainings for the site managers across the country. We were able to hold two trainings this year – one for managers who were new to using social networks for their parks and/or for NPLD, and another for managers who wanted some more advanced tips for growing and engaging their audiences. The site managers and their teams did a great job!

This year, Living Social featured NPLD as one of their “365 Things to Do” in about 60 cities around the country. Users saw a note about NPLD in their daily email and online. The day NPLD was featured on Living Social was also the day we saw the biggest spike in website traffic!

Great job by the whole team!

Gowalla in the Park

While working with National Public Lands Day in 2010, I wondered what could be done with a location-based service to help promote the annual volunteer event held at the end of September. Then, I came across an article in the Austin American Statesman that led with this quote:

Over coffee on a rainy Monday a couple of weeks ago, Gowalla Inc. CEO Josh Williams defined his idea of success. “When we’re influencing people to go out and visit a national park because of this social network,” he said, “that’s when I get excited.”

I thought it could be a perfect fit to help promote NPLD and to help Josh Williams get excited!

After a little investigating, I was connected with someone at Gowalla who put everything in motion. They worked with us to add the 2,000 locations hosting NPLD events and develop a custom stamp that would only be available when their users – and our volunteers – “checked in” at those locations on NPLD.

In addition, they helped promote the event in advance by pushing a message to anyone who checked in at one of the NPLD locations in early September. Those users earned a custom NPLD pin from Gowalla and they received a message suggesting that the visitor come back to the park to volunteer on NPLD. They also promoted the partnership on their blog and Twitter, and their employees came out to participate at the event in Austin (their hometown).

They even produced and mailed some limited edition Gowalla/NPLD mashup t-shirts for volunteers to wear while they worked.


As I build my consulting business, Taylored Communications, I will be adding some case studies and samples of my work with clients to this website. You will soon find examples of some social media successes, including how I’ve helped clients build Facebook followings, establish partnerships with Gowalla and carefully invest online advertising budgets to reach target audiences.

Half of my work is with new and social media tools, and half is with traditional news media, so I will also share some examples of my work generating media coverage for clients in The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and more.

If you’d like to talk about how I can help meet the communications goals of your nonprofit, association or business, please contact me!