Permanent home for Mars Day

One of my other hats is to build content for my school website. This gives me a chance to dabble in some of the areas I used to, in my previous life 🙂

I work with our Web person, Lori Diab, who created this marvelous spot on our website. Lori just happens to be a former IABC Member, so we kinda speak the same language.

It’s a work in progress, but contains:

  • Links to past activities
  • Scientists with whom we have connected
  • Winners of competitions
  • Organizations supporting Mars Day
  • Media reports
  • Interviews – upcoming 
The idea for the page title, ‘Next Stop, Mars’ was from Lori. Which is timely, considering so much being discussed –NASA, and aerospace companies — about humankind’s next planetary home. Astronaut, Scott Kelly, who is the twin brother of astronaut Mark Kelly, is on a mission that begins in March 2015.
Kody Ensley - Tim Olson

Kody Ensley, working on Robonaut-2 at Johnson Space Center. Kody spoke to our students in Oct. 2012.

Humanize Your Communication – Presentation from IABC Phoenix event

When you are online do you act like a Visitor or Resident?

I sometimes joke that, whenever I hear the phrase “If Facebook was a country (often said to impress that a huge chunk of humanity is online), I am tempted to say...“I would quickly seek asylum somewhere else!”

That was one of the points I raised at my discussion with members of IABC Phoenix last Thursday, at their luncheon meeting. The point was not just about Facebok, per se, but about what it means to be a “resident” in a hyper-social world.

Interestingly enough, it’s something I touch on now, when teaching students in the computer and technology lab –my 6th grade class– what it means to be a digital citizen: Their roles, and expectations. We often have to ask ourselves: do we trade one of these for the other?

  • Visitor or Resident?
  • Antenna or Amplifier?
  • Symmetric or asymmetric?
  • Ambient Intimacy or “Alone Together”

Prezi - Chat Republic - IABCPhoenix

For those who have asked: Here’s a link to last my presentation: Humanizing Your Communication.” It’s hosted on Prezi. So much more interesting that PowerPoint.

Chat Republic backgrounder – IABC/Phoenix

In three weeks I will be speaking at a meeting of IABC-Phoenix, and to that end, this interview by Peggy Bieniek has  just been published.

It’s a bit of a long read, so if you’ve gotten used to 140-character summaries (and that’s one of the points I raise in Chat Republic), this is certainly not for you.

It is one of the most thorough backgrounders to the book, and my take on social media.

Interview with IABC-Phoenix

Upcoming Event with IABC – Making Social Media More Human

With so much wrap-around social media in our lives (in cars, at work, while dining, and every space in-between) I often wonder if what we are doing is really “communicating.”

You tell me!

Between the ‘Likes’ (yes, the controversy seems to have grown bigger) re-tweets, text chats, instant messages, video responses and check-ins, are we adding more noise than knowledge?

In February, I will be speaking to members of IABC-Phoenix, at their monthly lunch meeting. Specifically about some issues featured in my book, Chat Republic:

  • How do we deal with this new Web 2.0 world in our organizations? How do we accept the loss of control of our messaging, even as we have more channels through which to transmit and manage them?
  •  How might one put this thing we call social media into perspective –looking at history, including those quaint exchanges we once called ‘chats,’ at diplomacy and even street activism, at patient communities and some forms of asymmetric communication?
  • Why we need more antennas than amplifiers in this noisy world
  • What curation, podcasting, crowd sourcing, “media snacking” and civic journalism are all about, and where they might be headed
  • How to be Human 1.0 in a Web 2.0 world and why there’s a need for a new breed of storytellers, content curators and community managers

When: Feb 20th, 2014
Time: 11:30 am
Where: University Club of Phoenix, 39 E. Monte Vista, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Registration details here.

Twitter interview with Jessica Hansen

Welcome to the fourth ‘Twinterview’ here at HoipolloiReport, and welcome to Jessica Hansen, who’s agreed to participate / be grilled in this compressed, live format.

Others in this series have been:

It’s going on live at 9.00 am today at

AF: @JessicaLHansen Good morning Jess. Thanks for agreeing to do this Twinterview. Did you know you’re the fourth ‘victim’?

JH: @heyangelo I’m honored to be the fourth Twinterview ‘victim’ 🙂

AF: @JessicaLHansenYou’re a very big Twitter user. What do you make of compressed interviews?

JH: @heyangelo I’ve been using Twitter since ’07 & love it! Twinterviews are a great way 2 quickly share concise bits of info w/ a lrg audience

AF: @JessicaLHansen For a moment I thought you said since you were 7 🙂

JH: @heyangelo HAHA! No, the Internet wasn’t even around when I was 7 — Let alone Twitter 🙂

AF: @JessicaLHansen If you were to choose between blogging and micro-blogging, what makes more sense to you and how you work?

JH: @heyangelo I don’t know that u need to choose btwn blogging & micro-blogging…

JH: @heyangelo I’d use a blog to share more in-depth info or maybe info just about one subject (which may only appeal to a smaller audience)…

AF: @JessicaLHansen Some people think Twitter is just mindless ‘brain noise’ Wher and blogging is the new long-form journalism

JH: @heyangelo Use micro-blogging 2 not only share bits of info (& link 2 in-depth blog posts if u want), but also engage more & listen 4 info

JH: @heyangelo I’m going to have to check out The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast ( for the piece about ‘brain noise’

JH: @heyangelo There are def. still Twitter users who are posting updates about what they are eating (now famous example), and nothing else

JH: @heyangelo Those same people rarely see the value in using Twitter — It should be a two-way form of communication…

JH: Don’t use Twitter to just push ‘mindless’ info…Listen to what else is being shared, & engage w/ others to get the most value

AF: @JessicaLHansen Such as? Name three people you follow who do a good job at it

JH: @heyangelo You’re putting me on the spot–I have a hard time w/ #FollowFriday because there are so many people who are sharing great info

JH: I enjoy following people who tweet useful info (beyond the ‘yum! I’m eating a grilled cheese’) and share common interests of mine

JH: @heyangelo To be general, I enjoy following reporters to get more insight into their personalities & to learn about what they’re working on

AF: @JessicaLHansen Nice dodge, can u be specific? No harm giving a shout out to someone

JH: @heyangelo For a great list of communicators, I turn to the ‘IABC on Twitter’ list (

JH: @heyangelo Most of my #Mindspace colleagues are on Twitter–If I pick 2 who use it regularly & do a great job, follow: @BDiggs @JeffHechtAZ

JH: @heyangelo And of course u do a great job at using Twitter–engaging w/ your followers, & sharing links to interesting artices #FollowFriday

AF: Ah, Flattery! Won’t let you go off lightly, though. Let’s talk about jobs.

AF: @JessicaLHansen Let’s talk about your job. You were immersed in digital media and were laid off. Were you taken by surprise? Why?

JH: @heyangelo Yes, back to your question about jobs, and being laid off while being immersed in digital media…

JH: @heyangelo I think the best thing people can do right now is realize the power of having a strong network, esp. when u don’t think u need it

AF: @JessicaLHansen I want 2 go bck 2 that week. Did you pull out your resume? Log into LinkedIn? Posted a status update on FB? What did u do?

JH: @heyangelo When I was laid off, I had already been actively involved w/ @IABC_Phoenix, was volunteering w/ ADA, & building a Twitter network

JH: @heyangelo First thing I did after being laid off was update all of my online profiles — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…

JH: @heyangelo You always want your online profiles 2 be current, but I was surprised by just how many peopel reached out after hearing the news

JH: @heyangelo I’m connected w/ family & friends on LinkedIn & FB & know I have their support…Was overwhelmed by generosity of Twitter friends

JH: @heyangelo I was already on Twitter sharing info. w/ people–Then, when I needed support, had people offering advice, help w/ my resume, etc

AF: @JessicaLHansen How about networks in the Valley? Did you do a lot of face-to-face meetings or were you all digital?

JH: @heyangelo That’s an important point, Angelo. I connected w/ a lot of people online, but I made a point of having face-to-face mtgs as well

JH: @heyangelo @IABC_Phoenix is a great network, & there are some other chapters organizing support groups 2 help collaborate in tough times

AF: @JessicaLHansen Were there any hiring managers that found you because of your social media footprint?

JH: @heyangelo Yes, I heard from a few hiring mgrs because of my social media footprint–Scheduled in-person interview w/ @cplanchard via DM 🙂

AF: @JessicaLHansen What do you think job seekers do badly?

JH: @heyangelo Job seekers who have a strong network of pros are going to be a step ahead when it comes to finding the next career opp

AF: @JessicaLHansen And from the other side, what do you think companies seeking great employees do badly?

JH: @heyangelo HR depts are getting bombarded by resumes from job seekers right now–It’s important to connect w/ people & build relationships

JH: @heyangelo Hiring mgrs are missing out if they aren’t joining the convo on Twitter–Great way 2 find talent & learn a lot about candidates

AF: @JessicaLHansen Let’s switch to IABC. You’ve taken on the presidency this year for IABC_Phoenix. What are your three big goals?

JH: @heyangelo Yes, I’m honored 2 serve as @IABC_Phoenix President this yr. We are focusing on having our members Be Heard more than ever…

JH: @heyangelo @IABC_Phoenix will be the definitive resource for comm practices & engaging communicators at all stages of their careers

JH: @heyangelo @IABC_Phoenix will enable our members’ success in performing their jobs and advancing their careers

JH: @heyangelo Personally, I’d like 2 connect w/ as many @IABC_Phoenix members as possible this yr–Get 2 know them, hear what they need from us

AF: @JessicaLHansen From recent membership at IABC_Phoenix, attendees at events, what are members seeking most?

JH: @heyangelo From recent @IABC_Pheonix surveys, members want: smart network of comm pros, info on new career opps, & more on social media

JH: @heyangelo @IABC_Phoenix will enable our members’ success in performing their jobs and advancing their career

AF: @JessicaLHansen How do you see Phoenix positioned in terms of Communications opportunities?

JH: @heyangelo I think there are a lot of opps 4 comm pros in #Phx, but it’s also 1 of the hardest hit by this economy–We need to work together

AF: @JessicaLHansen #On that somewhat optimistic note, I’ll let you go. I know you have to run. Thanks for your time!

JH: @heyangelo Thanks so much, Angelo! I enjoyed the Twinterview (thanks for the opp!), and hope I was able to share some helpful information.

2008: IABC milestones

Many things to be thankful as 2008 comes to a close. As a member of IABC, I attended some great events, connected with some of the smartest people, and witnessed a huge shift in communications at a local chapter and international level. These included:

  • IABC Students started their own blog TakeThree

If you’re not a member of this professional, global network, 2009 will be the year to join.

Media measurement: a ‘good pulse check’ for communicators

How do you reach someone who’s fixated on print publications, and a digital nomad who’ll only scan the headline and the first few sentences of your story, online? What happens when both these people constitute your target demographic?

Johna Burke, VP of BurrellesLuce pried open that black box at the IABC Phoenix lunch seminar this afternoon. The “Four Generations” approach to media measurement means the Gen Xers and Millennials have to be reached –and tracked– in the same sweep as the Traditional and the Boomers.

It means PR practitioners and communicators should start paying attention to the core values, and what make these audiences tick. It’s not just about targeting (for marketing) but engaging them (for internal communications.) Media measurement is a “good pulse check” to understand how to best reach and manage these diverse generations, said Burke. For Millennials for instance, she recommends managers personalize their work and even their benefits package because one size does not fit all in their world. There were lots of other insights about measuring the outcomes based on this approach and the metrics.

Sidebar: There were echoes of the ‘social technographic profile‘ made popular by Forrester analysts Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in their blog, and their book, Groundswell.

If you are interested, a condensed version of Johna’s presentation, “Four Generations of Audience, Four Generations of Media–One Approach to Media Measurement,” can be found at Bulldog Reporter.

IABC Phoenix – Social Media Presentation

blogtitle.jpgIf you attended the Writers’ Group workshop on social media and blogging, here is the presentation. Thank you to the IABC, and Suzanne McCormick, for inviting me to speak.

I realize we sped through a lot of material, so please feel to contact me if you have any follow up questions.

Incidentally, if you are interested, my colleague Dan Wool spoke about the same topic on Wednesday at the PRSA luncheon. Dan has a wonderful perspective of social media. If you haven’t already, do subscribe to the RSS feed of ValleyPRBlog.

Workshop: Writers, blogs and social media

I am conducting an workshop on blogging for the IABC Phoenix Writer’s Support Group this week. The topic’s called Brave new, annoying new media. (Or why aren’t you blogging yet?)

This is not to say that every writer should have a blog, but I am a firm believer that every writer could make his/her content more blog-like. If you’re a “content creator,” (considering how newsletters, annual reports, presentations, press releases, white papers and books have analog AND digital lives) you’re probably feeling the pull of this whole web 2.0 world. It’s never too late, and there is no such thing as a dumb question*.

New tools, new formats and some cool new hacks are making it much easier now. If the technology has scared you off, I plan to keep this session 100% free of geek-speak.

This IABC Phoenix workshop is free.

Topic: Brave New, Annoying Social Media (Or Why Aren’t You Blogging Yet?)
: Cisco Learning Institute. 1661 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
When: Thursday Feb 28th
: 6.00 – 7.00 pm

You can register Here

* Fellow ValleyPRBlogger Dan Wool talks on just this topic this Wed, at a PRSA meeting.