Cann-did Thoughts from Jerranna Cannady

A blog about work, life and being social

What I Have Learned From Blogging August 12, 2009

Filed under: Social Media — jerrannacan @ 11:24 am
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TimeAs an experiment in the very area I help others with, I decided to blog for myself.  In fact, like many companies, thought I was ready to blog. I took classes, read “expert” opinions, sought counsel of others, who told me to “go for it”. But what I have found to be true,  is that either, I may not be ready or blogging may not be the best strategy for me. As I tell our clients, this takes a lot of time. Personally, I have sales quotas to meet, meetings to participate in and responsibilities that take me away from my computer. Each of these things are currently hindering me from expending much energy on this blog.

This experiment gives me the authority to tell others that the exact same things will happen in their organization if adequate resources are not allocated to the plan.

The “experts” are right when they tell you, “You’ll be tempted to jump in, but if you don’t have the time to commit, resist.”

How has your company overcome the time and resources hurdle?


Old Dogs and New Tricks July 28, 2009

Filed under: Communication,Experience,Social Media — jerrannacan @ 3:28 pm
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Jeremiah Owyang, recently posted on his blog about the skills managers and recruiters are looking for when hiring folks to develop and/or manage ongoing social programs at large brands. I personally found his research to be quite inspiring.

It was good to read that the number of fans, followers or blog subscribers, does not an expert make. I was also encouraged to read that long term experience in social media doesn’t equate expertise.  All too often, as I approach companies about assisting them with their social media strategy, the first thing they look to uncover is what is my popularity? Do I have as many followers as they do? Am I on LinkedIn, Facebook, TwitterOld Dog and blogging? The answer to that is yes, but that isn’t what qualifies me.

Let me elaborate. If a person has 20 years experience in marketing strategy, understanding how to meet company objectives and make sales, but only 1 year using social media, does that make them less of a marketer? While the tools and the methods might be different on the social web, does that make everything they learned now useless?  Can it be possible that the same mind that once assisted big brands with strategic thinking using traditional media could also use the tools of social media and develop new effective strategies?

I say yes. What say you?


Be. Do. Have. July 27, 2009

Filed under: Communication,Content Creation,Social Media — jerrannacan @ 2:31 pm
Annelies & Her Smart Car

Annelies & Her Smart Car

I spent Saturday afternoon with my friend Annelies Gentile, who with her partner Greg, run the Conduit Center for Change. She and I have been friends for years and have experienced many changes together (which is partially what makes her an expert on creativity & change.)

The purpose of our time together was to relight the fire in my creative soul. I’ve been feeling pressure to come up with profound posts that will cause people to want to comment on, and link to, so that I could be found and make my mark in the social media scene. Quite frankly, I was only a week into it and the pressure I was putting on myself was bringing me down. I kept measuring myself against others and began doubting my jump into this field. I needed to change my thinking, so I called in the expert.

Annelies brought about a paradigm shift for me. Instead of thinking I had to have something (a famous blog) in order to be someone (wise) or do something (work for a client), she suggested a different formula.


Her recommendation was that I would “be” the thing called “expert” (or “knowing,” or “wise,” or whatever), then start “doing” things from this place of beingness — and that soon I would discover that what I am doing winds up bringing the things I wanted to “have.”

I immediately saw this as a “fake it until you make it” scheme. But she made it clear, it can’t be fake. My actions must come from a sincere place. How in the world can I make my body do something that my mind doesn’t believe I wondered? And then it hit me. By taking me out of it all together.

If I want to “be” respected as someone that can assist companies with their social media efforts then I need to give that title and respect to others. Help them become that “expert”, not because of what might be in it for me, but because I really want that for them. This thinking reminded me that I had been recommending others and that I had assisted Annelies with Goggle Analytics for her blog and I had given her some direction to drive more traffic to her site. I guess I had been “doing” but without the intention of “being”. My sequence was off. I have been trying to make things happen by just doing “stuff” (commenting on blogs, Twitter, & LinkedIn) in order to draw attention to me. What I haven’t done is try to thoughtfully comment in a way that makes you better.

It’s good to have my thinking realigned.

So whether you comment on blogs, share other’s content via Twitter, or help execute an inbound marketing strategy for a friend, do it for what’s in it for them, not you. As we, a collective group of marketers, seek out our place in this season of change, let’s help one another to “be.”  That’s what I will be doing. The “have” will follow.

Which mindset are you in? Do. Have. Be. or Be. Do. Have.?


Breaking the Sound Barrier July 23, 2009


This past weekend I experienced a 300,000 ton example regarding the importance of relationship marketing.

As I had done last year, I again took my father to Norfolk for a cruise aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Harry S. Truman.

This is an annual event that allows 3,500+ family members to see, first hand, how their sons, daughters or siblings live aboard ship.

To best understand my point, I need to explain that last year’s experience was incredible. The shear number of planes landing on the deck 100 feet from where we stood, aerial demonstrations and F/A 18’s breaking the sound barrier multiple times, were truly jaw dropping. The day was so exciting that it inspired my father and I to return, this time with my husband filling out our trio.

As it turned out, this year was nothing like the last. My intention was to relive the excitement I had felt and shared with my Dad. My disappointment was caused by an event that was significantly scaled back. In retrospect, I can understand that budget cuts made it necessary to reduce the expense of the spectacle.  My point is that there was no communication that it would be different or why. If there had been we could, and would have adjusted our expectations.

The Navy is facing many of the same fiscal challenges that businesses, small and large, are dealing with. Cut backs are often necessary for survival. The good news is that most of us understand if we are prepared.

Communicating changes in they way you conduct business to your constituents will assist them in adjusting their expectations. If it has been your practice to host an elaborate party every year and circumstances don’t allow it this year, spread the word—early. By not communicating a change, you could easily erase all the good will you’ve built over the years.

More importantly, be creative. If a big-bucks event was the only time you came face-to-face with your business relations, consider individual lunches. Those who have contributed to your past success simply want to know that they still count.

You may not have the budget to break the sound barrier, but you can still stand proud.


Making goodbyes difficult July 21, 2009

Filed under: Communication — jerrannacan @ 9:27 am
Tags: ,

I said goodbye this morning to my 81 year old father. He had been visiting us from California for the past 4 weeks. Most people would be ready for their month old company to go, but I wasn’t and neither was he.

You see, for the past mme and daddyonth my daddy has been fed, nurtured, entertained, communicated with and appreciated. As a result, our relationship grew even deeper and it made leaving hard.

The same principle holds true in your relationships with your customers. Feed, nurture, entertain, communicate with, and appreciate them and you will make saying goodbye difficult too.

What are you doing make goodbye the hardest thing for your customers to say?


Moving Up the Social Media Ladder! July 17, 2009

Filed under: Content Creation,Social Media — jerrannacan @ 3:34 pm
Tags: ,

Motivated by yesterday’s article “Stop Talking. Start Doing.”, byValeria at Conversation Agent, I am moving up the social media ladder.

By creating my blog today, I have established myself as a creator. Participation Map Up to this point I have been a minor critic, commenting on others blogs, a major collector (amassing enough information to write my own book) a joiner and a spectator.

It wasn’t so much that participating at the other levels was a bad thing, but I realized that at some point you have to give back.  You see if I want to work in this space (and I do) then I need to give you something. A reason to listen to me, to trust me. Those I admire in the social media space have done that for me. They have been creating and sharing content that has taught me, challenged me, and even made me certifiable. Social media is about relationships and those are two way.

So, this is a beginning. Genesis starts with, “In the beginning God”, and goes on to list all that He created. Each created item ends with, “and He saw that it was good”.

The in the beginnig moment for my blog is today. My prayer is, that as I continue to create, each of you will “see that it is good.”



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