Best Story Wins
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How to Develop a Blog Series from One Post Idea

How to Develop a Blog Series from One Post Idea | Best Story Wins |
Learn how to create an engaging blog series with these useful tips!

Via Ally Greer
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Useful piece for first-timers. Content is a form of re-framing. Take an idea, nail it to the wall, then walk around it looking at it from different directions and angles.


Time is a great 'frame' for any topic - what was this topic like before, what is it like now, what do you think it will be like in the future.


Imagine the topic as it might appear to different people in different roles. This can be how you imagine it from their perspective.


The other great idea is to ask 3 or 4 other people what they think and share that also. They can be people in other roles in your company, partners or providers or channels or suppliers.  Most 'experts' are happy to invest 5-10 minutes sharing their thoughts.


Content for me is playing with perspectives.

Ally Greer's curator insight, December 9, 2013 1:02 PM

A great way to spread out your content over a few weeks is to create a blog series! This will force you to fully think and plan out your idea, as well as to publish at least once a week. :-)

Further, it's a great opportunity to link back to previous posts on your blog as well as to leave the readers wanting more and increase the changes of their return.

Juan Miguel Galeas's curator insight, January 3, 2014 12:21 AM

Organizar un serial de posts basado en un tema ayuda a mantener al auditorio enganchado y a revisar blogs pasados.  Muy útil para generar retorno.

Best Story Wins
Win by providing proof of past performance, not just making unsubstantiated claims. Win trust, defeat competitors, close deals: with benefits realisation data, customer quotes, client success stories. Stories, examples, 'how-to' explanations in all media...
Curated by Jeremy Pollard
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5 Lessons on Innovation From Picasso

5 Lessons on Innovation From Picasso | Best Story Wins |
This summer, The New York Times pulled the curtain back on Apple Computer's
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Why is an article on storytelling, almost always an article of culture, and philosophy? Is it because the most 'real' reason to share a story is to share the beliefs embodied in the story?


Here Shane Snow draws conclusions for storytellers, and designers, and managers, and development teams - from the ethos of Apple design. And there are some sound reminders for us all about the culture of success you can inspire greatness with here.


In reading this I was reminded of an excellent documentary about Picasso's life - which shocked me to learn that at art school, he did something unfashionable these days - an apprenticeship of sorts.


Picasso spent several years doing almost photo-realistic sketches of the human body, and natural scenes. Picasso did the hard-yards, getting the fundamentals of his craft totally nailed. Then, and only then, did he realise he had earned the right to experiment without fear.

Because he knew he could always come back to home base safely, he could be bolder BECAUSE of his discipline, not in spite of it.


In business, especially around revenue generation, winning work, and using stories to connect, I believe this same principle works.


Do the hard yards. Learn the basics. Get so disciplined in the fundamentals you can break the rules then, with supreme confidence.


Grit, persistence, discipline are the best friends of the artist, the creator, the storyteller, the business person - they are values and a philosophy which is a springboard - not a barrier

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Obama's Amazing Grace shows how music can lift oratory high

Obama's Amazing Grace shows how music can lift oratory high | Best Story Wins |
Only a hard heart could fail to respond on some emotional level when Barack Obama, eulogising at one of the most emotionally and racially charged funerals in US history, started singing Amazing Grace.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

The song alone is good. The set-up, the context is extraordinary. #beststorywins indeed

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Why Productive People Take Better Notes

Why Productive People Take Better Notes | Best Story Wins |
If you can't recall what you had for lunch, why do you think you'll remember what your mentor just said?
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Logic Vs Emotion in decisions

Logic Vs Emotion in decisions | Best Story Wins |
Tony Abbott says the school is needed because of a significant doctor shortage, but the AMA says the real problem is a lack of training places for graduates
Jeremy Pollard's insight:
In our Strategy training around winning
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Deep Inside Chelsea Market, YouTube's Unofficial Film School Is Reinventing the Studio System — The Content Strategist

Deep Inside Chelsea Market, YouTube's Unofficial Film School Is Reinventing the Studio System — The Content Strategist | Best Story Wins |
Welcome to the Willy Wonka factory for the digital age.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

So how many marketing people are strong enough story tellers to earn a place here?


We help people Win Work in B2B. Some might say this is all about consumer marketing. Really?


What might it look like if you garnered 5,000 B2B subscribers to a high value YouTube channel. Then built out your relationships and networking - and earned the right to help people based on that value-added to them?


Digital word-of-mouth? Priceless...

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Why Do Stories Matter? That’s Like Asking Why You Should Eat

Why Do Stories Matter? That’s Like Asking Why You Should Eat | Best Story Wins |
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

What would happen if you gave this exercise to the people on your team you rely on to tell your company story?


How much is your ability to win work being held back by stumbling at the core of engaging customers, creating an initial emotional reaction/interaction between them and your company?


Is there enough understanding of and effort put into identifying the issues your customers have, that your stories of solving this for others could do for you?

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Why Marketing Leaders Should Embrace Story Listening Before Story Telling

Why Marketing Leaders Should Embrace Story Listening Before Story Telling | Best Story Wins |
To achieve effective corporate storytelling, marketing leaders must first embrace the art of story listening.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

The flurry of storytelling articles often miss this crucial point - stories only work, if they have context - for the listener.


How do you get context for, from, and about the listener? Listen!


Ask questions, get context - then your stories can actually be of benefit - to the listener, and you...

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Stories: Why Doctors Need Them

Stories: Why Doctors Need Them | Best Story Wins |
In an era of systematic clinical research, medicine still requires the vignette.

Via Dr. Karen Dietz
Jeremy Pollard's insight:
I love the simple, direct power of a story. Stories 'click' open circuits in our brain that help us hear, and think differently.
Dr. Karen Dietz's curator insight, October 22, 2014 3:51 PM

Here is an article about stories from a completely different field -- psychiatry -- with some key insights about storytelling for us all.

These insights are not about how to use stories in therapy (narrative therapy), nor are they about the psychological inner workings of storytelling that make people buy stuff.

Instead, this article by Peter Kramer, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University, points out the value of stories and vignettes as an important counterbalance to the prevailing "narrow, demanding version of evidence-based medicine". He also discusses how far stories should inform medical practice.

Kramer goes on to list the number of reasons why doctors of all types need storytelling in medicine.

The reason I was particularly struck by is that stories can set a research agenda. Whoa -- that's new. He then goes on to give a perfect example of how this can, and has, happened.

Another reason to embrace stories is the risk of moving toward a monoculture of treatment based on narrow data. As Kramer says at the end of the article, "We need storytelling, to set us in the clinical moment, remind us of the variety of human experience and enrich our judgment."  Well said.

What are the implications for businesses? Well, we need stories to counterbalance big data, to help discover and set new research agendas with customers and competitors, and the like.

Go read the article for the other reasons why medicine needs storytelling because each point applies to the business world too.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at 

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‘We Always Give People a Path Into Our Technology’: Inside IBM’s Incredible Content Marketing

‘We Always Give People a Path Into Our Technology’: Inside IBM’s Incredible Content Marketing | Best Story Wins |
Few of IBM's brilliant inventions are easily explained to non-technological folks, yet for the 103-year-old company, that’s okay. The tech giant has found a way to be extremely innovative even when its inventions and services are perplexing.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Helping IBM sales people and customers connect was the best full-time job as an employee I ever had. No other company has as many Phds and tech patents - but unless connected to problems clients need to address, no sales are made.


As a product manager at IBM, I was an ambassador for my product(s) - performing shuttle diplomacy between customers, and our sales and bid teams.


It is where, as a film-maker in a previous life, I discovered the extraordinary power of well told customer stories in video,  to influence other customers.


And influence in ways no sales person or brochure ever could.


I joined when the last of the older 'Office Products' reps were still around - typewriter and copier sales people - who would lug an IBM Selectric typewriter around, and new how to do demos that were so customer focussed customers often bought on the spot.


Not because of the features, but because the IBM reps really, really knew the problems and needs, and exactly how each feature delivered the benefit of having that need solved.


As the scale of selling grew, with smaller, more accessible products, we had to create re-usable demos, and proofs for use by sales people, then channel partners, and now, ultimately self-serve by customers - and video was and is still the most engaging tool for this.


Today's digital online 'reps' are managed by Ann Rubin.  With an audience of millions. But the basic rules of good storytelling still apply. Grab attention. Be clear. Make complexity relevant and simple - especially when coming from the voices of other customers.


So, how many videos of your customers have you commissioned, where it has NOT been a commercial for your company - but a simple story of a problem, consequences, and the search for answers (not a rush to you and your solution)?


How much of your content goes straight into problem solving and product/service 'positioning' - as some say 'me, me, me' marketing?


Look at the IBM examples in this story by Haniya Rae - how does what you do compare?  Even a start-up of two people can do this well, once you understand the principles.



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Post-it® Plus

Post-it® Plus | Best Story Wins |
Get Post-it® Plus on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Here's a real time saver, if, like me, you spend time leading large groups on complex ideas.


Many of us use Post-it notes for personal use. But it gets tricky when you use them in strategy sessions, brain-storming, problem solving, ideation, workflow, story mapping.  Sure you can photograph and share them, but this new (FREE) app lets you do so much more.


Highly recommended!

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What Copywriters Really Think of Your Writing | Brand New Copy

What Copywriters Really Think of Your Writing | Brand New Copy | Best Story Wins |
When you’re in the business of copywriting, you can’t help but pick up on misspellings, poor grammar and badly written copy – it comes with the territory. Since (There's a reason buskers put coins down before they play you know?
Jeremy Pollard's insight:
Yes and the same holds true in B2B proposal preparation. Too much seller-selfish-low-customer-focus, in the worldview, and writing. Especially with more technical products and services. All seller features and few customer benefits. Little social proof (yes, it did exist before social media) Or if some old school 'case studies' snuck in, even these pieces on customers end up about, you guessed it, the seller (again) As for failing to have a compelling and clear call to action - shocking ! It's back to the basics for B2B I'm afraid
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The 4 Don’ts of Video Marketing B-Roll

The 4 Don’ts of Video Marketing B-Roll | Best Story Wins |
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, creating great video content is important. One way to help keep your viewers engaged while they are watching your video is to use B-Roll.
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How to Build External Trust by Engaging Employees - Edelman

How to Build External Trust by Engaging Employees - Edelman | Best Story Wins |
An often-overlooked fact is that a company’s internal audiences – employees – hold the keys to influencing external reputation, even more so than the CEO.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

CEO trust down again - so use regular employees (especially tech staff) for proposals, investor presentations or web updates.


Broad stakeholder engagement requires trust. But what the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer highlights is this trust is low and falling in management. Not just by employees, but the broader community.


And, not unsurprisingly, that's not how management see things.


Big deals - where two or more parties are circling around reaching agreement - go better when the parties really understand each other.

But how hard is that sort of focus on the other, when management struggle to even see and understand how they themselves are seen.


My early mentors all had the same advice as Edelman. Get out from behind the desk, and talk/listen to people. Put the 'smart' phone and tablet down, stop reading emails and filling out forms.  Talk - and by that I mean ask questions and listen. Really listen.


The best way to begin to understand other stakeholders, and the best way (if you ask in a genuine way) to find out how others see you. It's the best way to build trust.


And it doesn't matter what you make, offer, sell. Without trust, you have nothing...



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If scientists want to influence policymaking, they need to understand it

If scientists want to influence policymaking, they need to understand it | Best Story Wins |
Turning scientific evidence into policy exposes a gulf between how scientists think and how policymakers work. Here’s what scientists need to know
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What’s Love Got to Do with Business?

What’s Love Got to Do with Business? | Best Story Wins |
How to fall in love with your colleagues.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Compassion - is it just hearing (really hearing) someone elses story?


Active listening is actually really hard work. What's active listening?

Well, it's the opposite of what most people do. For most people listening is that act of waiting until the other party stops talking so they can say what they been wanting to all along.


Net result, especially if that is also what the other party is doing? It's not a conversation. No information is actually being exchanged. To an observer, the two sides of the exchange, the two 'channels' appear totally disconnected.


And in asking both parties what they heard, what they felt, what they learned, the answer would probably be 'not much' or 'they sure don't listen'


So I love this article (there's that L word again) for what it will hopefully encourage - any improvement in the quality of listening, and the art of asking great questions.


As a tip - try waving in the suggested 6 questions over the course of your early time with anyone new. Not for any particular purpose or effect. Just because you really, truly want to listen, to really know something about someone else.


Jeremy Pollard's curator insight, June 30, 2015 7:19 AM

When I was a kid, one of my sales managers pointed out I had two ears & 1 mouth. "Use them in that ratio, you can't go wrong" said he

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Facebook Begins Testing Direct Publication of News Articles

Facebook Begins Testing Direct Publication of News Articles | Best Story Wins |
The social network will host articles directly on its site instead of linking to them, potentially undermining news sites and apps.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:
Is advertising dead? As a media rep or sales company, are you ready to be cut out of the loop?  At IBM we ran sessions for customers on how this new thing called the internet was going to 'dis-inter-mediate' industry and public service value chains. By radically changing old, industrial functional &  information asymmetry. I facilitated 'leap-frog' sessions for Governments in emerging markets about being able to avoid an entire generation of public services infrastructure by going digital. Ironically, IBM itself has been gutted by their blindness to the speed of this change in their own industry. Who would of thought the 'cloud' would see IBM out of hardware entirely? And now, in this article, the 'new-media' giants of FaceBook and Google are gently 'partnering’ (being disembowelled?) with the old-media giants. Giants who have lost the eyeballs of the world by thinking they were in the newspaper or TV business, not the news business (or the 'giving people what they want where and when they want it’ business) Interestingly, I suspect even these two new titans will fall prey to the same forces themselves. I work in Business To Business (B2B) marketplace, I've little interest in consumer advertising and marketing - except where these industries collide and their sales teams have to generate revenue in these changing times.  So my advice to the leaders of our B2B clients is to stay alert and nimble. And if you have a choice, always be looking for ways to put you current revenue streams, even your sacred cash cows, under threat with new ideas yourself. Because if you do not, you can bet someone else will. Or already is. Even Google and FaceBook reps. Don't laugh - but our kids and grandkids may yet say "what's Facebook?" Why?  Because their advertising revenue streams might over time become fragmented and less relevant.  When you can get all the data, commentary and insight you already need on your phone, how incredibly targeted, relevant and value-add will advertising need to be to evoke a response from you?

Seriously, who will tolerate increasing ads on their mobile? As the ads rise, people will migrate to the next ad-free media. Facebook gets too creepy, head to SnapChat or Tumblr...




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The plot quickens | Advertising news | Campaign

The plot quickens | Advertising news | Campaign | Best Story Wins |
The plot quickens. Campaign, first for advertising & creative news
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Storytelling about Telling Stories - always a bit self referential!

One business selling to another business, or organisation usually gets lost in the facts and figures. The feeds and speeds...


I agree with Tham that the deepest level of persuasion begins with emotions, and that even a cement pump sale has some heart in it.


So we can all agree consumer advertising, Not-For-Profit fund raising, and yes, politicians (shudder) know this and use this principle.


And that for most a great place to start this emotional journey with customers is by telling a story.


But how many B2B product people, marketing people, sales people, technicians, project managers have ever made the connection and used these ideas.


What's happening in your business with these ideas?

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A call to arms: let's get rid of all the jargon!

A call to arms: let's get rid of all the jargon! | Best Story Wins |
Frequent users of jargon think they’re being impressive when they’re really just baffling their listeners.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Jargon kills clarity & credibility - the opposite why most use it.


Why do we change 'voice' from email to proposal?


As Baden Eunson from Monash highlights, less confident or experienced people often use 'insider' language to feel better about their knowledge & status.


A practical working relationship via email can become stiff and strange when jargon is used in proposals - diminishing the relationship and clarity.


The Shipley Associates Proposal Guide Version 4.0 has a great section with tips on how to avoid or minimise jargon - worth reading

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Some Thoughts on Hope, Cynicism, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Some Thoughts on Hope, Cynicism, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves | Best Story Wins |
To live with sincerity in our culture of cynicism is a difficult dance -- one that comes easily only to the very young and the very old. The
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Bad news stories in the wrong context can be unhelpful. Good news stories in the wrong context can be ineffective.


I stopped watching the evening television news decades ago.

I immediately felt better. 


The relentless barrage of crises, wars, insurrections, rip-offs, government waste, robber baron selfishness - with an occasional rescued kitten towards the end - was getting to me.


Likewise, many marketers believe their job to is avoid frightening prospects with any mention of bad news, or pain. And instead focus on the happy outcomes from buying their products or services. 


Trouble is, this can miss a critical stage in influence, persuasion, and action - the understanding and belief that change is necessary at all.

Alas, conventional 'sunshine & lollipops' stories about how good it will be don't create buying behaviours. 


Unless you have fluked being seen or heard by someone on the day they decided they needed a solution to the problem you solve.


So if you didn't help them realise they had a problem, and that it would be beneficial and possible to solve it, who else did? 


And what about all the people who do have the problem you solve, but will never buy from you telling them 'it will all be better after you spend money with us'. I am unlikely to care if I do not feel the need for changing my status-quo.


So 'bad-news' can have a useful context. My Facebook feed is full of social justice causes with plenty of shocking and depressing stories. And the combination of these, PLUS the belief that action can make a difference (but not that alone) has triggered me to act.


I've joined a political party, started online petitions, and am lending my professional skills to social causes I believe in.


So how good is your understanding of your prospects' awareness of their situation?  Do you see pain they have that they do not? How clear are you about the type of stories, messages, content and Capture process needed to trigger buyer behaviour?


How much time, and money, does your marketing waste by being 'sunshine & lollipops' stories to people who don't feel they have this problem you are so proud of being able to solve?


Bad news stories in the wrong context can be unhelpful. Good news stories in the wrong context can be ineffective. Know the difference, and why...


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Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling

Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling | Best Story Wins |
Studying the neuroscience of compelling communication.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

For thousands of years, stories are how we shared, bonded, passed on our culture and values.


Our brains are programmed to respond to the setup and cycle of personalisation, tension, journey and relief (and lessons learned)


The Greek philosophers studied the most effective persuasive balance of pathos (emotion) and logos (logic) for a believable argument or reason to change.


I believe that too many people today - from parents to negotiators - rely too much on the 'facts' (as they see them) and have forgotten or ignore the role of stories as the emotional trigger for true influence.

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Tackle vague requirements in health IT with storytelling | Healthcare IT News

Tackle vague requirements in health IT with storytelling | Healthcare IT News | Best Story Wins |
Storytelling is an engaging process that is rewarding for both the teller and the listener. Having mentioned that, a requirements engineer may ask, why couldn't we bring storytelling to our domain?

Via Annette Simmons
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Here's another great example of the power of telling stories to break down a process or steps into a narrative to make more sense of it.


The sequential, time-based story is perfect for answering that classic question as a story unfolds 'and then what happened...'?


Even the least verbally expressive scientist or engineer can find a story in their research, or theory, or design approach.

Annette Simmons's curator insight, October 9, 2014 11:22 AM

This is the first of what should be a very interesting series of articles.  I've found user experience designers who use "design thinking" have been forced into storytelling the more they turn to human-centered or user-focused design process.  It is fascinating to watch how they integrate the ambiguity of stories and subjective process into strong preferences for objective thinking and pre-deterimined process steps.

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10 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Career In Your 20s

10 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Career In Your 20s | Best Story Wins |
Time to cut through the mixed messages--in the search for answers here are 10 ways to feel like you are doing everything you can.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

How did "Don't Rush!" end up on a list of 10 Way To Make The Most Of Your Career In Your 20s? 


Because, like carpenters, you need to measure twice, cut once. Planning grasshopper, Planning.


I recommend this list to colleagues with children now hitting or about to hit the workforce, and the early stage career people who have LinkedUp with me.


BTW - there are some great career ideas for those already further into their careers as well.


Let me know what works for you!

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Why We're More Likely To Remember Content With Images And Video (Infographic)

Why We're More Likely To Remember Content With Images And Video (Infographic) | Best Story Wins |
Without a visual component, your message might not be getting heard.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:
Why is your notepad or a whiteboard more powerful than a slide-deck? And why is video more effective yet again? Because visuals are quicker and more effective than just words for getting attention, trust an influencing. Words (supported by visuals) are critical if the solution execution is more complex than a piece of IKEA furniture. But with an 8 second attention span most B2B buyers will need you to get to the point faster than ever before. Which means your 'we do this' copy and White Papers just aren't going to cut it anymore...
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Competitors Are Using Video To Steal Your Social Media Lunch Money

Competitors Are Using Video To Steal Your Social Media Lunch Money | Best Story Wins |
You hear about the power of videos for B2B ad nauseum, but I have only seen a few hard stats on why mid-sized businesses should spend the time creating videos. Which is why I was glad to find these...
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

A storyteller on storytelling by a global brand about storytelling for mid-market companies?


Most mid-market companies are pretty good at what they do. But #winningwork is often not a core strength. Yet #winningwork is vital to survival. 


Here's a solid summary of key reasons for mid-market firms to look at  video storytelling to better engage clients and prospects to win more work. And the hook is that it's sponsored by IBM, where I first learned about the power of video as a product manager supporting sales teams many years ago.


Video was great when it was tapes & DVDs, but is truly awesome today with the ease, access and power of social & digital connectivity.


Check out some of the evidence supporting the value of video in #winningwork - and stay tuned for more stories on how to get started.

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The Terrible Math of Employee Engagement - Edelman

The Terrible Math of Employee Engagement - Edelman | Best Story Wins |
Almost 80 percent of companies say they have an engagement problem and only 17 percent feel they have a compelling and engaging employment brand.
Jeremy Pollard's insight:

Don't imagine social will work for you until your internal engagement scores are good.


Unless you are leading one of the 13 percent of companies with an engaged workforce, you will likely fail.


Why?  Consider the extent to which the same barriers to internal engagement will absolutely sabotage your attempts to engage externally.


If your culture has management entitlement, failure to be transparent about taking on employee feedback, or a lack of meaningful action on improvements - these same factors will also trip up your spend on 'social' with your market.


Think H.O.W.  Are you and your leadership  team prepared to be Honest, Open and Willing to change - before you ask your teams, and before you expect the trust and confidence of your customers?

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