News & Updates

News and Perspectives from Integrated Media Strategies

 

b2ap3 large Clipboard01Two-factor authentication is a method of enhancing the security of web logins to your site. It separates a website login with another form of identification that a user has such as an email address or better, a mobile phone, which will presumably be in the user's possession.  If you have a website that uses it for customer-facing applications, make sure that your process is capable of managing authentication at peak times.

An example of poor management of this process is Nationwide Insurance, with whom I have personal experience. In the course of the past few months, Nationwide Insurance has twice had failures with its authentication.  This type of failure drives frustration levels up among customers because it is time wasting and that is unnecessary.  Moreover, it occurs at a time when people are parting with cash. While they are waiting - in my instance more than half an hour for two failed login attempts plus a phone call - customers are tempted to search for a competitor who wants their business.  Requiring a phone call is standard, because it enables the provider to validate the account.

b2ap3 large Clipboard01A communications project with which Integrated Media Strategies was involved for four years is at risk.  The visibility our communications afforded the initiative attracted more than $1.2 billion in new investments and expansions to North Carolina in the advanced manufacturing sector and helped create more than 6,000 new jobs.  You could have read about it on the website, but the website is down, returning a Fatal error.

At the heart of the project was a website that supported the advanced manufacturing training departments of 10 community colleges. The statewide training initiative showcased the specialized equipment, close collaborations with industry, instructor credentials, and technical curricula.  It also provided successful examples of how graduates and students were placed as interns in the workplace at facilities across the state. This information gave industry a risk-free method to find candidates for advanced manufacturing positions - a win-win for both candidates and industry. In the same way as complex multi-axis machine tools need maintenance, so too do websites based on database-driven content management systems.  

b2ap3 large ImpersonatorI discovered on Twitter today that Integrated Media Strategies' account has been impersonated.  Our account name is @coherentmedia. The impersonator is @zobugelexuci.  I have reported the fake account to Twitter both in my personal capacity - because the tweets on that account are mine - and in a professional capacity, because that account is contravening my copyright through the use of my logo and tagline.

It brings up a few points - the first is to do a regular review of your accounts.  At least annually is a good idea. We do so more regularly, but many small businesses don't build the time in, period. The second is to check if you are receiving unusual email.  The internet can turn up strange activity, but by this I mean if you are getting out of the ordinary requests to connect on social media, follow up and check to see the source, or why. Often it will be innocent, but if not, it's worth catching it before it can do real damage. 

Many community colleges have extremely limited communications budgets and personnel and have not invested in the capacity needed to provide communications and positioning that results in transformative economic development in their communities.  A project with which Integrated Media Strategies has been involved for the past four years shows how smart, sustained strategic communications can dramatically impact economic development in 21st Century job sectors. 

The NC Advanced Manufacturing Alliance received an $18 million US DOL grant to upgrade equipment and curricula for specialized advanced manufacturing training at 10 community colleges in largely rural counties that had lost jobs to offshoring.  Integrated Media Strategies was brought on early in the project in 2011, and provided branding, marketing and communications support.  We developed a website and social media accounts and worked with college instructors and staff to sustainably create content in line with strategic positioning goals.

In September of 2015, the return on investment (ROI) on the $18 million has been more than $1.3 billion in new capital investments and expansions in the counties the colleges serve and more 6,600 jobs created. 

Each year, the African Leadership Institute picks some of Africa's top up-and-coming young leaders for an intensive week-long leadership programme.  Integrated Media Strategies arranged for all of the 25 Fellows to be interviewed on topical leadership issues and the challenges facing Africa.  Those interviews now form the basis for an integrated communications campaign that will assist in promoting the work and legacy of the institute, as well as the personal profiles of the Fellows themselves.

The interviews have been broken up into short, bite-sized interviews covering a single subject, topic or issue.  These are being uploaded to YouTube and will then be embedded in individualized video pages on the institute's website with all the usual SEO associated with these kinds of pages.  These pages will then be shared on social media over time in a staggered roll-out, providing sustained interest and content for the insitute.  In total, about 70 videos will be produced, so the rollout over social media will last at least three months. 

Anyone who has been to an Anglican or Episcopalian service can't nap in the aisles. The service calls for standing, sitting, kneeling, reading responsively - and juggling the Book of Common prayer, hynmal, leaflets with the Collect and readings and the notices.  For a new member, it's daunting and can be embarrassing losing one's way.  Working with Grace Episcopal Church in Clayton, North Carolina, Integrated Media Strategies has been developing a methodology to put the entire order of service in the palm of congregants' hands.  Since most congregants own a wifi-enabled smartphone or tablet, it made sense to develop a process to make the Sunday service hand-held and friendly.  No more juggling.  Navigate to This Sunday's Service and everything is there.  Just scroll down as the service proceeds. 

The process to deliver a simple solution was not without its challenges.

 

 

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