October 19, 2014

PR Nightmare, a.k.a., The Best Deal You’ll Ever Find on a Hip, New Winter Jacket

by Kate W. Hall

Kate W. Hall:

Great post on the worst way to manage social media, and an eventual saving-of-the-day.

Originally posted on Crush Corps:

My first real job was in retail.

As a highschooler in the late 90s, all I wanted was my very own cell phone. Back in the day before preschoolers were packing iPhones in lunchboxes, the only way for a kid to get a cell phone was either with rich parents, or good old-fashioned employment.

By choosing retail as my first job (like many teenagers do), I quickly learned the art of pretending to care. A nicely pressed shirt and extensive product knowledge are both a plus, but they’re meaningless without the right attitude. A recently acquired colleague coaches his sales team with the line, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It’s absolutely true, and it’s the right way to run your business, however; we all have days where our filters and willpower are put to the test.

hawke1 Earlier this morning, our…

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October 18, 2014

Play as a Necessity

by Kate W. Hall

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This pretty much sums up my life. Horribly skilled in the art of saying “no” I often find myself running 90 mph on the hamster wheel of life.

For the past week, I hopped off. Next week I’ll do the same. Before jumping into my next work adventure–consulting–I treated myself to the priceless gift of time.

What I’ve learned is that I am reconnecting with my creative self.

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My seven year-old daughter and I made this together yesterday, giggling the whole time. I’ve talked with friends–in real life! Not just on Facebook!–and brainstormed with entrepreneurial creatives like Amanda Rose of Scoutiegirl.

My Maltese pup and I have played approximately three hundred games of fetch, where she forgets the “give” part at least eighty percent of the time.

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My new book draft has gotten a polish-up, my old books have been read to my daughter’s classroom, and my face has seen more beautiful sunshine while reading on the back deck.

Although I’ll jump back on the hamster wheel after next week I pray that I’ll remember to stop and play more often.

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September 29, 2014

The Politician America Really Needs: A Certain First Lady

by Kate W. Hall

Originally posted on TIME:

In this dismal hour of American politics, there is no better way to strike just the right note of sober-minded weariness than to speak, wistfully and longingly, about the wonders of Lyndon Baines Johnson. What we wouldn’t give for the impresario of arm-twisting—the president who, in the mid-1960s, forced greatness out of Washington that transformed people’s lives. The steward of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The man who delivered Medicare. If only we had LBJ around, who could force even our do-nothing politicians to do something.

The sad truth is that today’s politics are probably too hopelessly polarized to make good use of a legislative wunderkind. What we need are politicians who are unafraid to go to the most difficult places, to look painful realities in the face. And for that, we don’t need LBJ. We need his wife.

This might seem…

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July 23, 2014

10 Ways to Know You’re a Writer

by Kate W. Hall

Kate W. Hall:

#4: me in a nutshell. Keep writing!

Originally posted on Stories are the Wildest Things:

You’ve wondered, right?

You’ve asked yourself this question many times and you’re reading this post to find out, “Am I a writer?”

Like a hypochondriac checking out WebMD for signs and symptoms, you scour articles and blog posts for the telltale signs and symptoms that you’ve got what it takes to declare yourself a writer.

I do, too. That’s why I came up with this list of 10 Ways to Know You’re a Writer.

After reading the list, click on the links to the other great blog posts and articles that relate to each of these ideas.

Please leave me a comment about which symptoms you come down with most often, or add some new ones of your own.

You Know You’re a Writer if…

10. You take really long showers because you’re working on a writing problem or your fictional characters are having conversations in your head and…

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June 18, 2014

Project: Idea Manager

by Kate W. Hall

It’s a title I’d never imagined having, but temporarily at least it’s stuck on my name tag as I’ve launched BrightIdea Software within my company.

BrightIdea is a cool, Facebook-like platform except you won’t see your kid making a goofy face or tonight’s dinner-it’s all about ideas.

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One month into the launch it’s an exhilarating and fact-finding mission: every day ideas pop into the system and it’s my job to help those reach the inboxes of creative minds to provide insight. Stemming from my entrepreneurial background the ambiguity gives me a charge and likewise there’s a lot of selling going on (per usual) to reach full engagement.

So far we’ve worked on some cool ideas like an indoor walking path for employees (we’re in the city so space is an issue as well as extreme heat/cold!) and a classified ad space for our employees to conveniently borrow/buy/sell to each other. More complex ideas are brewing, too, like customer solutions, cost-saving options and more streamlined processes.

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No two days or thoughts are alike right now, although some great minds are aligning and some serious cross-departmental connections are being made. Until we phase into a business-as-usual mode, I think I’ll keep this title. It kind of rocks ;)

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April 9, 2014

Love in the Age Of Autism

by Kate W. Hall

Kate W. Hall:

I honor of National Autism Month, had to repost this. People–and love–come in many forms.

Originally posted on Rocky Parenting:

image I recently revisited a Temple Grandin TED talk, The world needs all kinds of minds , from February 2010. I have watched this before and my son and I even saw her speak on this topic at the local University. But, each time I watch it I get something new out of it. What really stuck out to me on this viewing was a question asked of her at the end. Speaking for parents, the moderator asked, “Is it unrealistic for them to hope or think that that child loves them, as some might, as most, wish?” The question crossed me as strange and I think, based on her expression it may have crossed Temple Grandin as strange too. She answered saying, “Well let me tell you, that child will be loyal, and if your house is burning down, they’re going to get you out of it.”

I have never…

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March 30, 2014

This Little Girl Means I’m Doing Something Right

by Kate W. Hall

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I spend half of my time worrying that I’m a terrible parent and the other half exhausted from the daily trappings of parenting.

Shit. I just typed “trappings.” No good mom would consider child-rearing duties as such. All of this work is a labor of love, right?

Bad, bad mama.

Today though, I won at parenting. No, not because I schlepped my soon-to-be-seven year-old to the overpriced, wonderful American Girl Doll store. . .because we shared an experience that will forever tie us.

We dined over chicken tenders and salmon (I wanted those tenders though don’t you ever doubt it.) As her baby doll sat between us, her tiny plastic teacup waiting patiently for an imaginary tint plastic teapot, she said, “Mama, this is my best birthday ever.”

She barely touched her lunch and the store was far too massive and overwhelming for her, but she knew what her birthday wish was–“just a few clothes for her dolly.”

“I don’t need a new dolly mama, just a few new things for her. Thank you for bringing me here.” She could care less about the quantity of her birthday booty; she’s quite content with a few items.

We hold hands.

And I know that I’m saying yes to all the right things and that, for this one day, I am hers. She is mine.

She looks up at me in awe as I hold tiny little branded boxes between grandmas and moms and girls who, too have probably been waiting FOREVER to get here. She loves her dolls and the tiny, soon-to-be-lost-in-transit accessories and our time together, and I love her to the moon and back. This is my freedom.
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March 5, 2014

Can women afford to lean out instead of leaning in?

by Kate W. Hall

Originally posted on Of Means and Ends:

photo via foreignpolicy.com

photo via foreignpolicy.com

I’ve already shared some of my issues with the Lean In brand of feminism promoted by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. Rosa Brooks at Foreign Policy (whose work on drones I greatly admire) has a new piece arguing that leaning in too much is unhealthy for women:

Ladies, if we want to rule the world — or even just gain an equitable share of leadership positions — we need to stop leaning in. It’s killing us.

We need to fight for our right to lean back and put our feet up.

Here’s the thing: We’ve managed to create a world in which ubiquity is valued above all. If you’re not at your desk every night until nine, your commitment to the job is questioned. If you’re not checking email 24/7, you’re not a reliable colleague.

But in a world in which leaning in at work has come to…

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February 16, 2014

Don’t Underestimate the Power of One Tweet

by Kate W. Hall

Originally posted on olmsme40:

Early in 2013, at a tech conference named PyCon, an incident occurred which resulted in the unemployment of two attendees. One woman, named Adria Richards, was sitting in the row in front of two men who were having an inappropriate conversation. The conversation was apparently sexist and included such topics as “forking” and big “dongles” (which is a device that is plugged into a computer) that were used in a sexual context. Annoyed with the conversation happening right behind her, Adria immediately took a picture of the two men with her cell phone and sent a tweet to shame the two men on the internet. The repercussion of this action was unintended as it ended up in the unemployment of the tweeter, Adria and one of the men she had shamed.

Once a tweet is made, there is no going back. Adria’s tweet caught on like wildfire and many people (similar to Adria) felt the need…

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February 10, 2014

Social Media: Laugh with Me

by Kate W. Hall

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Akin to tomato soup and grilled cheese on a winter’s day, social media is the hungry palette, humor the appetizer. We’ve shared this as the Richmond Rocks brand previously and a good story can be retold in different ways.

This is a recent and well-received post on my Richmond Rocks Facebook page, poking fun at our angst at the snow and impending school delays.

Two hundred and forty-nine likes later, this post neither sells Richmond Rocks books nor promotes anything related to it. It does achieve the goal of keeping the book front-and-center in a time when parents are online, watching the news, and need a laugh.

And that’s important for brands to understand: not every moment is an opportunity to sell, but it can be one to connect to the consumer. And that’s a start.

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