Social Media in the Workplace: Yay or nay?

Posted September 23, 2010 by Kellee Montgomery
Categories: Career, Life, social media

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Yesterday, I went to an awards banquet on behalf of my company. Before the awards presentation, my CEO sat on a panel to discuss the “Advantages and Pitfalls of Social Media.” I’d like to discuss what went down.

As you probably could have figured by my tag cloud, I’m in a full-blown love affair with social media. I think there is an appropriate social media channel for literally every industry and I can’t recommend it enough in on both a personal and professional level. That being said, you can see why I’d be surprised that most of the panel discussion (driven heavily by audience questions) was centered around how social media is creating a loss of productivity in the workplace. Granted this was a human resources-related event, but neglecting to highlight the tremendous advantages social media can bring to your company by spending a majority of the conversation on the negative aspects of social media seemed wrong.

I was so overjoyed when my CEO pulled out the quote, “Treat your employees like their adults”. As long as your employees know what they have to get done by when, should you trust them to do their job? After all, YOU hired them! To me, monitoring their every move and controlling how they manage their time is just creating an angry teenager needing to rebel. In fact, I’ve actually saved time on several occasions by contacting people about work-related issues via social media outlets because I didn’t have their email addresses.

If employees are wasting their entire day on Facebook and you block it, don’t you think those employees will find other ways to waste their time at work? Think about all the sites out there made entirely to fill time. Will you nix smoke breaks? Personal phone emails and phone calls? Use of cell phones all together to prevent texting and games?

Are employers just acting out of fear because of their ignorance about all the positives that social media can bring?

What do you think?

Your passion. Your life.

Posted September 12, 2010 by Kellee Montgomery
Categories: Career, Life

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Image Source

No meat to start my week

Posted September 6, 2010 by Kellee Montgomery
Categories: Life

Tags: , , , , ,

Once the a new season starts, I like to look at it as a fresh start and make new season resolutions for myself. For a number of reasons, I’ve decided to implement “Meatless Mondays” into my cuisine lifestyle. And, because I’m writing a post about it, I’ll be more likely to take it seriously.

Meatless Mondays are a great way to save money, save calories and explore new culinary options. I know I’m among many who buy the exact same sandwich everytime they go to say, Jimmy Johns, but by branching out and actually TRYING the vegetarian options, you’ll find that they’re not all that bad. I’ve learned you don’t have to be a sprout-loving animal rights hippy to enjoy meatless foods.

In honor of my meat-free Monday declaration, here’s a link to 14 easy vegetarian recipes from the Hopeless Cook including the ALT (avocado, lettuce and tomato) sandwich, tomato soup and my personal favorite caprese salad.

I’m not promising anything drastic, but I am proud of myself for making this commitment. Does anyone participate in Meatless Mondays? Anyone have any favorite veggie recipes to share? Any encouragement? I’m gonna need it!

*Photo credit: http://www.Tonic.com

The end of my Pandora road is near…

Posted August 24, 2010 by Kellee Montgomery
Categories: Career, Life, social media

Tags: , , , , , , ,

So even though I recently confessed my love for Pandora, I was a little disheartened recently when I received an email detailing how I am approaching my listening limit. Apparently, Pandora gives you 40 hours of free listening radio bliss per month, which seems like a lot, but not when you work at a desk for 40+ hours a week and Pandora is your way of drowning out ongoing telephone conversations from your cubemates.

Now I have 3 options:

1. Pay $0.99 to continue listening for the remainder of August, just so I’ll receive the same email 30 days from now

2. Pay $36 to listen without limits, plus the promise of some cool (not mentioned in the email) features

3. Do nothing, and by nothing I mean switch to Slacker Radio until I can Pandora again

Maybe I’m just being dramatic, but I really don’t see how Pandora would think anyone would pay for their services when there are other services available for free. I mean I enjoy listening to the random tracks they throw at me based on my previously-rated selections, but I wouldn’t describe it as a $36 a month worth of happiness. Would you pay the $36/month for unlimited online radio?

*Photo Credit: backtobasic.ning.com

10 fool-proof gifts for women (under $25)

Posted July 28, 2010 by Kellee Montgomery
Categories: Life

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m coming up on several female birthdays in my life and I felt necessary to write this post to help out clueless buyers and steer them away from the typical thoughtless soap and body lotions in a horrific mixture of berry-floral-patchouli scent. Some guys (and girls) need some help, here’s what I suggest:

1. A bottle of wine
As long as they’re of age, you can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of wine for a birthday present or to give to the host of a party. Bonus points if you know your girl’s favorite type/brand.

2. A good book
If you know this girl even a little bit, you could probably take a good guess at what she likes to read. Best-sellers lists and classic fiction novels offer safe reading choices.

3. Magazine subscription
I love getting this gift and it’s so easy! Buying a year-long subscription to a popular magazine is a “treat” women LOVE, but often don’t feel they need.

4. DVDs from the sale bin
Pick out 2-3 DVDs from the huge sale bins at Walmart or Target that usually go for $5 each. If you look hard enough, you can find some cinema gold in there.

5. Starbucks gift card
Again, this is an indulgence women often feel they don’t need, but would absolutely love to receive. Try something great when you bought the card? Write a beverage suggestion on the gift card for an added treat.

6. The gift of life (flowers, herb garden pots)
Ok, maybe it’s not as dramatic as it sounds, but I always love getting flowers. If your girl’s not a flower girl, a nice alternative is a potted green plant that she can set in her window and that will last a lot longer.

7. Personalized stationery or notebooks
If your girl works in an office or with clients like I do, she sends hand-written thank you notes. Personalized letterheads and envelopes are available for cheap on homemade sites like etsy or you can get crafty and make your own monograms using a rubber stamp.

8. Movie gift cards
Even if your girl doesn’t frequent the movies often, this is a great way for her to enjoy herself with the guest of her choice. Individual movie theater cards are available as well as generic version from fandango.

9. Lottery tickets
Who wouldn’t want the chance to win the big bucks? So she doesn’t win? Who cares. She probably still had fun scratching off the ticket in anticipation and dreaming about how she would spend the money.

10. Homemade dish
If all else fails or you’re completely broke, make her some homemade baked goods or meal. Don’t worry if your skills are less than stellar, she’ll appreciate the effort and that it came from the heart.

What did I miss? Ladies, what do you like to get for a birthday or holiday?

Your biggest challenge in social media

Posted June 30, 2010 by Kellee Montgomery
Categories: Career, social media

Tags: , , , , ,

I’m inspired by a recent Mashable post quoting Ford’s social media chief, Scott Monty, sharing his view of the biggest challenge of using social media.

“Exercise judgment to determine which discussions are worth spending time on. It could be engaging with a major influencer, publicly handling a customer complaint, or giving fans special access to events, information or other opportunities that would deepen a relationship.”

He also noted that you’ll need to limit how many services and platforms you use. “Decide which social networks are the most relevant to your customer base and help you achieve your broader business communications goals. Choose a small number to begin and expand your footprint based on staffing and trends that are evolving externally.”

Monty noted that half the battle is simply showing up. “It’s not just about running an online promotion or campaign and expecting results. You need to be there consistently and reliably every day, so that over time, a community will grow — and that’s when the magic begins to happen.”

I’m reminded that strengthening your brand’s social media relationships is not instant, but an outcome of continuous communication. Even though social media plans have goals, there are no finish lines. There are always more interesting people to engage with who want to know more about your brand.

What is your biggest challenge in social media?

Crowdsourcing has my mark

Posted June 29, 2010 by Kellee Montgomery
Categories: advertising, Career

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Image Source: Tangentism

Very recently, the project of developing a 12-page brochure for work was ever-so-lightly placed on my workload dinner plate. Working at an agency, I managed hundreds of design projects, however, it’s a teeny bit different at a small tech company – your million dollar budget and design team is missing. Not only did I have to produce 12 pages worth of content, but also create 6 professionally-designed spreads on a one-time graphic design pre-req class education on a limited budget? One might think impossible.

What’s is this? Crowdsourcing, you say? Sure, I’ll try it.

Basically, I typed up a detailed PDG (ad speak for project brief) and posted it to 99designs, including my $600 “prize” of how much I wanted to spend. The whole process took me about 20 minutes.

Time well spent…

I was blown away by the amount of talent I had access to. I received about 10 submissions from 10 different designers. I was able to cut designs right away that had completely missed the mark, or offer suggestions to the designs that were oh so close to what I had envisioned.

The final design that “won” exceeded my expectations on all accounts. Not only was his work phenomenal, he was very understanding with my multiple rounds of changes and nit-picking of his work. And (maybe the best part) he was Australian, which made him that much more fun to communicate with. It’s hard to get angry at messages in your inbox as you’re walking out the door when the subject line is “Good Morning, Love!”

I absolutely still see the need for design agencies and will continue to use them for large projects, however, this brochure would have easily cost me upwards of $2,000 and a month’s time if I would have gone down that road, and I wouldn’t have been able to have such a wide range of options.

I’ve also heard that Elance and Crowdspring are other good resources to use.

I absolutely recommend trying out crowdsourcing for your design projects.

What do you think? Have you used crowdsourcing before?


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