Business Briefing 3/3/2017

In the news…

Quick News

Government News

EU Focus

Balkan Focus

 

Business Briefing 2/3/2017

In the news…

Quick News

Government News

EU Focus

Balkan Focus

Let’s have a quality conversation!

A recent article on content marketing got me thinking. As a qualified information professional it has always been my responsibility to get the right information to the right person and at the right price. My colleagues knew that if I sent them an article or document, they could rely on the quality of the content. Increasingly though, people researching online are being deluged with rehashed, badly written ‘junk articles’.  I’m unsure whether this is the fault of a decreasing amount of discerning readership, or a rise of a new king: the search engine.

The King is Dead; Long Live the King!

The author pointed out, that even if content is not quite dead, ‘content is no longer king’. I am fully alive to the irony of writing a blog post about an article I’ve read online. But as he says, good conventional articles will always generate conversational interest without recourse to ‘broadcast advertising’. He highlights the current SEO obsession with linking and building connections. He concludes by saying that start-up businesses brave enough to blog about their ‘rough, intimate and personal’ lifecycle will reach more people.

I have been saying this for a long time. When people are writing about what they have learned through experience, their honesty and authenticity creates exceptional content. As I’ve been learning about advertising and web design, whilst refreshing networking and research skills, I’ve been left wondering what challenge will emerge next. This article has suggested it will be the fight to convince people to commission excellent content even as they are chasing SEO.

Alternative facts v alternative words

This directly affects people like me who care about creating quality content. For many years I have watched once excellent ‘broadsheet’ news outlets create click bait. They increasingly mine Twitter for faux-outrage, whilst masking legitimate issues with easy to digest polarising sound bites. The more people who link back to this trash drives advertising revenue and gives credence to these sites. And even Wikipedia is now questioning certain newspaper sources. A revolution in journalism is due.

As the media and politicians clash over alternative facts, I’m more concerned about the rise of alternative words. When sites consisting of computer generated copy exist purely to impress algorithms, there is something really rotten happening to content. This material isn’t fit to be read, people don’t want to read it, and it ultimately degrades our collective intelligence. Taking these factors into consideration, it is no wonder that when a good article gets published, it goes viral.

Let’s have a quality conversation

Ultimately the message to companies and individuals is quality. When I write for a company blog I want to get to the heart of what the company holds dear. For instance, if they are targeting a particular group of people, then blog posts should reflect and respect that business development strategy. If they are conveying a deep knowledge of a particular industry, then my research has to reflect this. Conversations online begin with an interest in your fellow human, so let’s do ourselves justice and make it rewarding. Together we can depose the search engine king of our own creating.

Business Briefing 1/3/2017

In the news…

Welcome to March – let’s hope the Mad March Hare doesn’t realise its power and send everything into a tailspin.

Quick News

EU Focus

Balkan Focus

 

Networking at the next level

lightsEffective networking skills are a perennial theme for business bloggers. I’ve written about it many times, and attended seminars designed to reassure those for whom corporate and official events are a challenge. Early on in your career it can seem insurmountable. As I’ve discovered, experienced based guidance is invaluable so I want to share with you how what I’ve been doing has improved my networking abilities.

Build your brand

I’ve spent the past few months creating a new brand. Previously I had a successful career in a London legal information environment, as well as an established interest in the art historical world. Although I’ve made use of existing contacts, a new venture requires a new focus. And given the challenges of flexible working in a foreign country, it has needed some creative thinking.

Online social networks have been invaluable. I’ve enjoyed creating a LinkedIn company page for my fledgling business and I am proud to share what I’m doing. My business briefing and quick news doesn’t go out for free every day, but when I do publish, it reaches people who value a news round-up. My existing contacts on LinkedIn have been largely engaged with my world view.

Finding the unusual in usual places

However LinkedIn isn’t the most active network that I have been targeting. Facebook has developed into an interesting alternative. One of the companies that I work for regularly has a very (inter)active and lively FB group and I follow them closely. This gives me an insight into the technical questions they ask, and they are becoming aware of my existence as a content provider. The other group has been ‘Expats meet Split’.

Using a primarily social group to establish a business brand was unthinkable when I first joined it. However there has been a recent change. My philosophy of information sharing, cultivating informed discussion, and an importance of awareness of world events seems to have struck a chord with others in the group. It has evolved into a community where local businesses meet creative expertise meet interesting individuals. And we still maintain a healthy social life.

Face to face, cheek to cheek

Engaging face to face is the best way of cementing your brand. So although people see online networks as essential, bonding with contacts in a physical environment is vital. Enterprising and organised members of Expats in Split recently created ‘Konekt’. This brought together local businesses from the leisure, entertainment and catering industries, with environmental specialists, web designers, and artists. Sharing experiences and expertise was central and I embraced it.

Read the news, be informed!

This brings me back to the concerns many people face when attending business-social events. When you bring together a mix of backgrounds, nationalities, languages, interests, specialisms, it can be daunting to confidently approach a group and strike up a conversation.

If you have been following recent local, national and international affairs, you immediately have a number of opening gambits. Even if you’re talking to someone in a different industry, you will have news interests in common. Iris Briefings gives you that edge. As you move confidently forward to join a group, when there is that conversational lull, you will be prepared. People will look around, you can catch someone’s eye and they then will welcome you into the group. Your knowledgeable air and professional interests will ensure that you become a valued contact. You will come to reflect your brand just by being you.

Business Briefing 28/2/2017

In the news…

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, take the information from everywhere!

Quick News

Government Consultation and Press Releases

EU Focus

Balkan Focus