Author Archive

Moving the Needle at NYSE

When our client ION announced their involvement in the Moving the Needle event aimed at increasing diversity in public corporate boardrooms, we knew it would be a success. After all, the kickoff event took place at the New York Stock Exchange and a group of attendees had the honor of ringing the closing bell. Check it out:

The Moving the Needle initiative seeks to connect diverse board candidates with public corporations across the U.S. So why should you care? As successful entrepreneurs and business execs, it’s critical that the companies you lead are functioning at full capacity. For most corporations, electing diverse board directors opens doors for well-rounded boardroom discussions, strategies and business performance. In fact, numerous studies have shown that diverse boards directly impact the success of a company. In “Gender Quality as an Investment Concept,” Pax World President/CEO and ION Advisory Council Member Joe Keefe cites a 2007 Catalyst study that found companies with the highest proportion of women board members “outperformed those with the lowest percentage of women by 66% on the basis of return on invested capital.”

The word “diversity” can be tricky. While ION focuses on increasing gender diversity on public corporate boards of directors and in the C-suite, it knows that diversity of thought, experience and ethnicity is also critical to a company’s performance. Sadly, seated around many boardroom tables is a group of senior-ranking white men with virtually the same background – even at some of the most well-known companies.  Bottom line: there’s no excuse for lack of board diversity. While many people argue that the pool of qualified women directors is too shallow, there is an abundance of qualified women who are ready, willing and able to sit at the table. A good board is balanced with directors with expertise in marketing, human resources, capital markets, corporate governance, and community affairs, along with industry and financial experts. And guess what? Women seem to be the dominant players in these fields.

So what can you do? We’ve touched just the tip of the gender diversity iceberg. But you can start by visiting and taking a look at the Diversity Toolkit, Best Practices and Articles pages. Also be sure to sign up for the quarterly ION newsletter to get the latest updates. Share these things with your colleagues, investors, friends, and even with people you meet on the street. You never know. You could help move the needle.

For Social Media Success, Measure Quality, Not Quantity

As with any PR program, measuring the results of your social media efforts is the key to success. However, the metrics have changed. In a recent “Measuring What Matters”  webinar, PR Industry Veteran Katie Paine explained that while we used to measure social media efforts by the number of followers, friends or likes, eyeballs don’t mean much if they don’t land on your content and do something about it. And forget about hits. Katie referred to this old-school metric as “How Idiots Track Success.” Ouch

To measure the success of your social media program, it’s important to use qualitative measurement to complement the quantitative. That’s because social media is about more than sales. It’s about conversation, engagement, influence, relationships and sentiment. But that doesn’t mean that social media won’t improve the bottom line. Over time, your company’s ability to listen for need and respond will inevitably contribute to growth.

Considering that the ratio of online to print media is now the exact opposite of what it was five years ago, it’s more important than ever to include social media in your marketing efforts. And like PR, social media is a process. It takes time to build a successful program. Seek relationships rather than followers and good results are sure to follow.  

For real-word  examples of how other companies are using seven indicators to measure social media success, read my full-length article: Beyond Hits: Seven New Social Media Measurement Metrics.

Make Big Bucks in Your Bathrobe

At c3PR, we have a lot of experience working with entrepreneurs. In fact, our Principal Mar Junge founded c3PR in 2002 to give small to mid-size B2B tech companies the chance to benefit from great PR. Before that, she was a partner in Communiqué and worked with big names like IBM, Cisco and Seagate. She’s operated her own agency since 1982 and is a founding board member of the nonprofit Sticks-2-Schools. Despite her multifaceted experience, what does she consider one of the best things about being an entrepreneur? Having the option to work from home. After all, suits are soooo 1999 – welcome to the reign of sweatpants.

Based on her success, Mar was invited to speak at the Santa Clara University Women in Business event “Making the Leap: Stories from Successful Women Entrepreneurs” on Friday February 18, 2011 in the Forbes Conference Room, Lucas Hall from 6:30 to 8:30. She’ll join a panel of three other women entrepreneurs for a discussion followed by a Q&A session and networking reception, include a tasting from specialty liqueur-infused ice cream company Silver Moon Desserts. Plus, 100 percent of the event’s registration fees will go to Dress for Success, a nonprofit that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women. To further benefit this cause, attendees are encouraged to bring gently used women’s business attire and accessories to donate to Dress for Success San Jose.

Mar’s “Making Big Bucks in Your Bathrobe” discussion will focus on how she made her entrepreneurial dreams come true. She won’t sugar coat it – successful entrepreneurs put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their work – but the results can be remarkable. In fact, c3PR’s entire team has the privilege of telecommuting. It’s not PJ’s and robes all the time, but when we’re not meeting with clients and prospects, you bet we bring out our bunny slippers.