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Defining Mission, Vision & Values

Defining Mission, Vision & Values

Sometimes, we get so darn busy just existing and doing that it’s hard to slow down and record it all.  This same irony accosts authors in the form of writer’s block, parents who wish they were better at keeping journals and scrapbooks, bloggers in need of inspiration and… yes, even those in the field of marketing and communication.

At times when you lack motivation, inspiration or your general “get up and go,” there are some very basic steps you can take which transcend every field and most obstacles:

1.  Don’t just sit there, do something.

2.  Make an appointment – be it a phone call or face to face – with someone who infuses you with excitement.

3.  Dwell on the reasons you started down this path in the first place: that is, your inspiration.

As Stephanie and I visited today about the future of Porch Swing Marketing and the opportunities that lie ahead of us, we were once again reminded of why we are doing this.  Every business should have a mission/vision/values statement – it can be very to the point or rather extended.

If you’re at a standstill, tackling this small but inspiring project might help get you over the hump.  Consider your mission (what it is you want to accomplish, do, change or be in the world), your vision (your aspiration or charge) and your values (the core set of principles that guide you).

For example:

The mission of Arkansas Women Bloggers (owned by Porch Swing Marketing) is to be a place (both literally and figuratively) for women to gather, grow and connect.

Thevision, which we remind ourselves of regularly but may or may not always state out loud to others, is to help women find their voices and tell their stories.

A portion of our values include elevating women, supporting local brands and businesses, providing structure for meetups, content, brand ambassadors and heartfelt blogging and cultivating a place that is uplifting and provides a circle of support, advancing all women who cross our paths.

None of this completely defines us, but it DOES help center us.

Grab a scrap of paper, a napkin or a notebook and give some thought to these topics today… or the next time you find yourself in a funk.  We’d love to hear what inspires you, and we’d love to help you fulfill your mission!

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Vision

 

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Storytelling

Storytelling

We have been meeting with some fantastic businesses about partnerships, collaboration with Arkansas Women Bloggers and other special projects.  Just this week, we got to spend a little time with the phenomenal team members at The Communications Group in Little Rock, an innovative thinker at the Arkansas Farm Bureau and the inspiring leader of an organization near and dear to our hearts: the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.

Watch for more news on our work with these folks soon.  As we visited with these organizations and other individuals, we were reminded of how overwhelmed many people feel by the daunting task of managing communication and social media.  It’s essential to tell an organization or brand’s story, but it takes a lot of work.  Imagine our delight at coming across the fantastic resource below from The Whole Brain Group!

Check it out and apply it to your own efforts to grow your business, manage your personal brand or support a cause.  And if you find it all too daunting to tackle, let us know – we’d be happy to help you tell your story!

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Blogs, Marketing, Muses on marketing, Social Media

 

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On Thought Leaders

One of the best tips I’ve run across in the early days of Twitter was to follow “thought leaders.”  It’s actually become a concept I’ve subscribed to in many forms, from helping people begin to explore social media to where I focus my attention in general.If you’re active on social media sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, think for a moment about the people whose posts always make you perk up.  You care about their every move and every thought, and you don’t want to miss a thing they have to say.  They’re few and far between, aren’t they?  Consider what it is that makes their observations so interesting or particularly relevant for you.  Better yet, consider how you might follow their example and let their approach permeate the way you brand yourself or market your business.

While you’re doing all of that deep thinking, here are a few of my own thought leaders for your review:

  1. Seth Godin: Find this true marketing thought leader on his blog or on Twitter.  His daily posts are short and to the point – one of the few things that makes my daily reading list and worth subscribing by email.  Be prepared for your boundaries to be pushed: you’ll be better for it.
  2. Fast Company: Read the magazine, check out the website, read the nifty entries under Co.EXIST, Co.DESIGN, Co.CREATE or, worst case, keep up with the best musings via Twitter.  Unparalleled and innovative, intelligent writing, game changing ideas.  A snippet: this article on the League of Extraordinary Women.
  3. Mayor Cory Booker: Seem out of place in a marketing line-up?  He’s not.  If everyone took care of their brand and their customers like this guy, there would be no such thing as customer service numbers and call centers.  He saves women from burning buildings, aids pedestrians hit by cars and personally monitors the well-being of the city he serves (a novel thought, no?) as though it were… well, his full-time job.  Take note of his comments and leadership – check his site or follow him on Twitter.
  4. Leslie Carothers: See above.  The woman heads up a social media agency, so we expect her to be completely fabulous when it comes to marketing, PR and branding.  That’s not what places her in the ranks of this list of thought leaders, though: watch the care with which she interacts with every single person who crosses her path.  Watch… and learn.  Then repeat and replicate… but do it earnestly.  Find her on her website or follow her on Twitter.

So what do a New Jersey mayor, a Houston-based interior designer and social marketing guru, a New York marketing whiz and author and an innovative magazine have in common (besides the fact that one was a columnist for another)?  They recognize the fantastic in others and in the world, and they elevate it.  There’s a common mission of true focus on making the world a better place.  And best of all, small doses of their awesomeness via Twitter make these thought leaders accessible to us common folk.  Go, read, be inspired and then make something happen.

Here’s to bright ideas, illuminated by thought leaders.

If you’re not on Twitter, writer Kimberly Mitchell (my cousin) has a great pitch for it.  You can also keep up with the fledgling thoughts of Porch Swing Marketing and partners Steph and Beth there.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Marketing, Muses on marketing

 

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On the front porch swing…

On the front porch swing…

We’re in business!  Stephanie and I have been chatting since we first started collaborating on Arkansas Women Bloggers to conceive the first Unplugged Conference in late 2010 about going on an adventure together.  In fact, we’ve gone on quite a few adventures together!  However, we finally decided to pursue an actual business adventure.

We received several phone calls from friends, colleagues, brands and bloggers about their struggles to effectively communicate.  “What luck!” we thought, since we love to communicate!  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind as intriguing products lacking a PR strategy, bloggers looking for their mojo and established brands looking for a new lease on life have come our way in the spirit of collaboration.

Nothing could make us happier, because deep down what makes us tick is taking the tools in our toolkits and using them to help others thrive.  Here’s to a rocking porch swing!

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Muses on marketing

 

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