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Archive for the ‘Teri’s Digital Media Observations’ Category

Many years ago, as an employee of Hewlett-Packard, we were required to take a week long course regarding the differences between working with men and women.   In a nutshell, there was a lot of “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” in what was being taught, but it made us more aware of the way men and woman build business relationships, solved problems and viewed their career paths.   Does gender make a difference in how we network?  Should we customize our approach on social media?

A recent discussion on Forbes.com asks “Is it true that men generally get to the point–they make instant beneficial connections–whereas most women take a more subtle approach, and develop relationships before asking for help?”

One post suggests that “men may make a faster decision as far as whether or not the networking interaction will lead them somewhere whereas the woman may want to warm up a bit.”  and another…”Women tend to appreciate emotional closeness before becoming more intimate in other ways, whereas men tend to appreciate that intimacy before becoming emotionally close.”

I think the it’s less about the communication and relationship building styles of “men and women” and more about authenticity, and being who you are. I actually think the gender lines are blurred on social media and  what becomes most important is building connections with the right people on topics you think are important. 

So maybe we shouldn’t overthink this and just be honest and real.  Maybe in the world of social and media there really isn’t much difference between Mars and Venus.

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I just had to share something I read this morning in the paper (yes, I still love newspaper in the morning).  From synicated columnist Froma Harrop’s article “America, a nation of slobs”, she states:  “Digital Technology has no doubt made many feel divorced from a larger community.  Movies that were seen in crowded theaters are privately consumed at home. Socializing happens online.  Some may view self-presentation as a pointless concern”.  So now the internet is getting blamed for our sloppy apprearance.  Is this true?  (Hint:  I am writing this as I sit here in my pajamas at 10:30, working from home.)

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As a recent student in the Masters of Communications in Digital Media Program at the University of Washington, I have started a blog.  Why did I go back to school after being in the professional world for over 20 years?  And why Digital Media?  Our lives are changing because of digital media…all of us.  Social media, in particular, is impacting our lives in a significant way.  I am an “immigrant” to social media, whereas my kids, are “born” into it.   I can ignore it, or I can learn, adjust and adapt, as it is not inherent in my life, like it is in theirs.  As a seasoned marketer in the “traditional” ways of marketing, I am watching the rapid transformation that the marketing community is taking.  Many things I read suggest that social media vs. traditional media is “either/or” and here I see an opportunity.  Social media can amplify traditional marketing and create the best of both worlds.  The focus needs to be on creating community, fostering loyalty and generating conversations.  The essential marketing values and disciplines are the same.  We need good strategy (what is it we’re trying to do), we need good messages (what is it we want to say), and we need good measurement (how do we know if we are successful).  Social media should be combined with traditional media to build on an integrated marketing platform and not work in isolation.  If not we have the “ready, fire, aim” approach to marketing.

I am fascinated to throw myself into the middle of this social transformation, talk to my peers about it and learn how others are doing it.  As a social media immigrant, I want to learn the language and the nuances of social media, and as a traditional marketing professional, I want to maintain my “culture”, the breadth and depth of the traditional marketing skills I inherently possess.

I look forward to this journey…

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