“Captured here: Metis took a break from dominating the world of PR for a quick game of flip cup.”
Do you need more creativity and entertainment in your office? If the answer is yes, then you have come to the right blog. A recent study led by a team of brilliant minds at the University of Illinois set out to correlate the effects of mild intoxication on creative problem solving.
To prove the hypothesis that creativity and moderate amounts of alcohol coincide, the research team split a group of 40 participants into two groups. The first group was not allowed any alcohol, and the second group drank a quantity of vodka that equaled the alcohol level of two pints of beer. Next, all participants performed a standard test of insightful thinking called the Remote Associates Test, which asks participants to find a link between three words. The three words are presented on each round of test questions (coin, quick, spoon) and the aim is to identify the one word that best fits these three (silver). This research study shows that participants with higher working memory capacity often perform worse at this task because they persist with pursuing lines of thought triggered by misleading words. So, the more you drink, the more creative you become.
The key finding from the test indicates that the intoxicated participants solved more items than the control group. They solved 58 percent of 15 items on average compared to 42 percent average success achieved by the controlled participants. The intoxicated group also solved items more quickly (11.54 seconds per item versus 15.24 seconds).
If you want to spice up your office’s next brainstorming session or simply need to rejuvenate from the typical day-to-day grind, grab a beer or a vodka soda and get creative.
How does your office get the creative ideas flowing?
We’re passionate about cleantech at Metis, and we’re passionate about PR. So why not combine the two?
Members of the Metis team give an overview of media and analyst relations and traditional marketing strategies to Refuel members.
We recently hosted an event for Refuel (formerly Women In Clean Tech), which is made up of women in the cleantech industry around Boston. From MIT students to LEED-accredited professionals, the group is full of bright women who care about making our world cleaner. Check out the tips we gave Refuel on how to be successful in PR and marketing and thereby, cleantech.
Media and analyst relations: It’s important to build relationships with people, especially members of the media and analyst communities. Remember to always be polite. Even if targets don’t want to talk to you at the moment, they might soon enough. Sometimes reporters don’t have time to interview your company and write an article, but they often accept contributed articles. Maintain a positive relationship with a reporter, and she could call you looking for an article written by your company.
Social media: Companies can use social media to talk with industry influencers. You’re reaching out to reporters and analysts who are covering the latest trends in the space, so be sure to connect with them via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Whether you post their articles or ask them questions, they’ll see your company’s name.
Traditional marketing: Traditional marketing is a great way to reach customers because they’re already familiar with these strategies. They’re exposed to ads and videos in their daily lives, so why not produce your own media for them? Try creating an e-newsletter to keep prospects and partners updated on the latest happenings. Just remember to be consistent. If you send the newsletter on a certain day every month, keep sending it at that time.
The following blog post is part three in a four-part blog series about Peter Bregman's book “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Rights Things Done.”
In previous blogs, I examined the first two sections of Peter Bregman’s book, “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Rights Things Done,” which focused on looking at the world around us and how to gain focus in your life as a whole. Now, I want to zoom in and look at how to accomplish those bigger goals.
Basically, Bregman states that it comes down to being disciplined, methodical and structured. Yes, that sounds boring and unappealing, but it is this sense of routine that makes you get through the day without pulling your hair out. When my twins were born almost six years ago, our lives went from spontaneous to structured and scheduled. My routine has relaxed a bit as the kids got older, but the core of it remains the same. These same principles need to be applied to work.
You’re probably thinking, “That’s great, but I do that now and things still get away from me.” Well, who doesn’t face that issue of being overwhelmed with to-do lists? The key to success, according to Bregman, is to continually refocus. By taking one minute every hour to refocus our energies, five minutes in the morning to review the to-do list, and another five minutes at night to review your day, you keep yourself on track and within a structure that allows you to accomplish what you set out to do.
I’m implementing this 18-minute daily procedure into my work life. I’m making progress—baby steps you could say – but they’re all pointed in the right direction.
What methods make you more productive?
It’s hard to ignore news from Google, so when the search giant announced plans for its new social release, the Web was abuzz with rumors of a potential Facebook challenger. Since then, there has been much debate over the success of Google+ and if it can indeed compete with Facebook. But, as head of Google+ Vic Gundotra pointed out, we’ve been looking at the comparison all wrong. Google+ isn’t a social network; it’s a social layer. Google+ provides users with an overlay of tools with which to better socialize. So, instead of worrying about the number of users, we should be eager to take a step forward into social integration.
Here are a few articles to help your business develop a presence on Google+:
- HubSpot explains how to get started, noting that adding Google’s +1 button to your website is important, as you can reach 3.5 times more Google+ visits.
- Having doubts about adding another social profile? Sherilynn Macale at The Next Web will persuade you otherwise as she thoroughly assesses why brands should use Google+.
- Copyblogger takes a deeper look at Google’s new search algorithm and explains why a presence on Google+ is a must for marketers looking to drive site traffic and boost search engine rankings.
- Following Google+’s redesign, MarketingWeek outlines what the new changes mean for brands
Are you on Google+? Add Metis to your circles.
This is the second in a four-part series on how to master time and stay productive, successful and happy.
In my previous blog, I examined the first part of Peter Bregman’s book, “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distribution and Get the Right Things Done,” looking at how we need to stop and examine ourselves and the world around us. Now, what do we do? We know what makes us happy and we’ve outlined which skills we have; how do we best fit that into our professional lives? How do we leverage these talents to find an optimized, productive place in the workforce?
In order to succeed – whether it is in the PR world or on another career path – it is important to focus on all aspects of your life. How do you combine all these various elements into a regimen that fulfills you both professionally and personally? In part two, Bregman challenges readers to examine their strengths, weaknesses, differences and passions. It is the intersection of these four elements where he wants readers to focus their daily lives and spend their time. From understanding this intersection, you gain a sense of where you might go within your field. To do that, consider these factors:
- Strengths: What are your best PR and marketing skills? Strategy? Media relations? Social media? Find them and build from there.
- Weaknesses: Where are you insecure in your knowledge? Embrace those weaknesses rather than being embarrassed by them. If you don’t like public speaking, then focus on more one-on-one networking events.
- Differences: What makes you stand out in the world of PR and at your company?
- Passions: What do you desire most to do in your career? Focus on what you want to do, rather than what you should do. What activities do you love – tweeting and online interaction? Writing? Embrace it and stick with it. Make it your focus and passion.
Examine your four elements. Where do they intersect? And are you in the optimal location where you can be successful?
So you have a corporate blog. Kudos to you. But that’s only step one. If your blog falls victim to any of the seven warning signs below, it may be time to re-evaluate your process.
1. Your last post was two months ago. Frequent updates – at least eight to 10 per month – result in higher traffic. Check out the best posting times and stick to a schedule for optimal engagement.
2. You don't have company news updates or comments on industry news. A blog is a great vehicle to promote company announcements – whether it’s a new hire or a product update. It also presents an opportunity for companies and their executives to demonstrate their expertise.
3. There’s little to no reader engagement. Make it a priority to encourage engagement. You can derive valuable information and feedback from readers from which you can evaluate, measure and redirect your blogging efforts. Try asking a direct question at the end of each blog for readers to answer.
4. Comments aren’t answered. Readers are turned off by bloggers or companies that don’t respond in a timely matter. Be sure to thoroughly answer any questions, clarify any confusion, and respond to feedback, and you will create meaningful conversations.
5. There’s no SEO. If you put in the work to manage a blog, you should be sure to optimize it to get the best bang for your buck. Identify and use the top keywords to attract your target audience, but exercise restraint and maintain a human voice.
6. Posts aren’t promoted through all possible channels. Make your posts as shareable as possible, with buttons for readers to share directly on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon and other networks. Make sure you publicize each post on all the channels your company has a presence, and encourage employees to do so, as well.
7. The purpose of the blog isn’t clear. What goal are you looking to achieve through blogging? Do you want to drive sales? Engage customers? Announce company news and product development? Define your goals and come up with the best blogging approach. Most importantly, the blog should align with overall corporate messaging and strategies.