Random | Jenn Lisak

DK New Media’s Jenn Lisak Receives TechPoint Tech 25 Award

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INDIANAPOLIS – (April 14, 2015) – DK New Media is proud to announce that Vice President and Content Strategist Jenn Lisak has been selected to join the inaugural class of TechPoint’s Tech 25, a prestigious designation for 25 individuals who are critical to building organizations in the state’s tech community.

Ranging from tech builders to creators, members of this select group are considered star performers and committed team players who build others up through mentoring, teaching and positive example. Lisak, a driving force within DK New Media and the local tech landscape, exemplifies these traits. She will be recognized for this achievement at the 16th annual Mira Awards on May 2 and featured on TechPoint.org prior to the awards ceremony.

“Our state has an amazing talent pool of innovative marketers and developers who are taking the Indiana tech sector in new and exciting directions,” said Lisak. “To be considered among this group of thinkers and doers is both flattering and an honor. I look forward to continuing to serve many of our state’s established and most promising tech companies alike as we collectively work to advance the local tech economy.”

Lisak is a recently-appointed partner at DK New Media, an inbound marketing agency that specializes in new media optimization, social media, infographics and marketing strategy. Her responsibilities include content and infographic development, social media strategy, and managing and advocating for her clients. Additionally, she writes and speaks on content marketing, infographics, social psychology and social media.

In her personal time, Lisak also lends her time and talents to several Indianapolis organizations, including the Indiana State Museum 1816 Associate Board, Plan 2020, Indy Hub’s 1828 Project and Indianapolis’ Women & Hi Tech. A two-time Indy’s Best and Brightest nominee in 2012 and 2013, Lisak is a proud graduate of Butler University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2010.

For more information on DK New Media, visit www.dknewmedia.com.

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About DK New Media
DK New Media is an agency specializing in inbound marketing strategies and marketing technology, located in downtown Indianapolis and founded by Douglas Karr. For additional information, visit http://www.dknewmedia.com.

Media Contact:

Christy Chen (Dittoe PR for DK New Media) – 317.202.2280 x.16 or christy@dittoepr.com

Connecting with the Brand: The PERQ Marketing Culture

Posted by | Internet Marketing, People, Personality, Random | 2 Comments

Before I begin, for disclosure purposes, I should note that I do have a couple of friends in the marketing department at PERQ (shout out to Courtney, Muhammad, and Bryant). But I’ve always known that all three (and the rest of the department) are talented individuals, and a big round of applause is in order.

UberWhen I was a junior in college, I was part of an internship/living program at Butler that had us tour different companies around Indy once a week. One of the businesses we toured was CIK Enterprises, which, for the record, looks completely different than what it does now. I remember that the building was large and open, and I thought it was much nicer than the standard corporate American office. Despite the cubicles, it seemed like the culture supported open communication and was a little “alternative.” I liked it. I even considered applying there after college.

But given where I work now and years in between the initial CIK introduction, man, has it changed. Not just the name, but the BRAND. Yeesh.

I had the lucky opportunity to get a tour of the design overhaul in the PERQ building a couple of weeks ago, and I was already super impressed. This was even before their wall art, book shelves and street sign! The colors, the culture, the benefits – all of it – was completely different and “positive.” A big kudos for the design overhaul is definitely called for.

Then, I started to notice the marketing communications coming through for their launch party tonight (are you going? let’s chat!), and I was even more impressed. The attention to detail, the strategic partnerships, and the incentives alone set the stage for the marketing efforts to come. In order to get as many attendees as possible, they teamed up with Verge to co-market the event. Since parking would be an issue, they have an Uber deal (see above) that makes our lives easier. And they even have an incentive to write a blog post for a chance to win $500 (shush). Well done, team.

Incentive

For more information on PERQ and their new product, FATWIN, check out our recent interviews on Edge of the Web Radio:

PERQ Marketing Interview: Part 1 PERQ Marketing Interview: Part 2

Anywho, a big shout out to the fantastic marketing efforts in the past couple months, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone tonight. Cheers!

Confessions of a Project Manager

Posted by | Internet Marketing, People, Personal Branding, Personal Marketing, Personality, Random, SEO | 2 Comments

The day in the life of a project manager is crazy – emails and calls, meetings and conferences, assigning tasks internally, marketing efforts, content production, strategy consultation, managing timelines and priorities – the list goes on and on and on. My bossman, Douglas Karr, always says that my job is literally “herding cats.” Trust me, he’s not far off.

While there is a lot to do on a day to day basis, I absolutely, positively, without a doubt love being a project manager for a number of reasons. You get to be involved with every aspect and individual within the business, you meet new people everyday, you get to become a “voice” for the company, and you are constantly challenged to learn more and be better at what you do. But being a project manager isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows. It’s actually very humbling.

Why Project Management is Like Serving Tables

When I was applying for jobs after I graduated from Butler, within my portfolio, I created a short article on why being a project manager is like being a server. Waiting tables for almost 4 years through college, I learned a thing or two about customer service and managing multiple projects at once, which I thought would help me in my quest for project management glory. Granted, serving tables is a shorter engagement and has more clear cut responsibilities, it has similar concepts. Think about it – if I have a section of 10 tables on a busy Friday night, I have to prioritize the tasks at those tables to make sure that my customers are happy and that, ultimately, I get a good tip. If I can’t do that efficiently, I’ll be left with 10 dirty tables and nothing to show for it.

project management and communication tipsDo all the tables have their drinks? If a drink takes time to make, does that patron have water in the mean time? Did I let a parton know if a specific dish takes longer to make than others? Did I ask them if they’d like their side salad with their meal or as an appetizer? Did I ask them if they’d like an appetizer? Did I try to up-sell with a desert or after-dinner coffee? If they had a problem with their food, did I fix the problem in a time efficient manner? These questions are not far off from what I have to ask myself on a daily basis with clients – just switch out food for project tasks.

Let’s compare scenarios, shall we?

  • Theoretical Problem: Customer waits 10 minutes for their drink. Client waits a week for an email response. Outcome: Both are unhappy with the timing and expectations have not been met. Their trust has faltered.
  • Theoretical Problem: Customer receives a dish that wasn’t made properly. Client receives a strategy document with recommendations that do not make sense for their business. Outcome: This shows incompetency and the incapacity to do one’s job.
  • Theoretical Problem: Customer waits 40 minutes for a dish that takes 40 minutes to make, but was not told. Client requests a task that takes two weeks to complete, but wants it within an unrealistic timeline and was not notified. Outcome: Both are not aware that their expectations are not realistic from an internal timeframe and are dissatisfied with the timing.

Overall problem in these scenarios: lack of communication. 

Overall outcome: opportunity loss of tips and a client account.

A business relationship should be mutually beneficial, but it cannot be if realistic goals and expectations aren’t communicated on behalf of both parties. A customer or client can’t respect you if you don’t tell them what to expect and when to expect it. Even if you are scared of upsetting you customer/client, letting them know that you can’t get a task done until X time is better than promising something you can’t deliver in their timeframe.

Being a project manager is not just about doing your job. It’s about being able to take the heat when things get messy. You’re the main point of contact for your clients, while you’re also the main point of contact for your internal team. You’re the middleman between the client and your colleagues. If I don’t gather enough information from my clients in order for my team to do their respective jobs, then I’m not going to be able to provide enough information for my team to get things done. And I’m going to feel the pressure. Just like I would if a customer’s sandwich came out with tomatoes when they specifically said “no tomatoes.”

But enough with the analogies. Let’s get to the good stuff.

Being a “Team” Project Manager

When you’re in an uncomfortable situation with a client, it’s tough to not get defensive and emotional, not taking the complaints personally, and the worst of all, blaming it on someone else. This is a team effort – we are all responsible for the outcomes. We all have to look at the bigger picture and make sure that things are communicated properly and look at where we can improve workflow.

<rant> And that is why, as a project manager, there is one underlying truth that I believe you have to respect in order to be successful:

Everyone on your team is your colleague and your equal. Treat them as such.

how to be a good project managerJust because you get face time with the clients doesn’t mean that you’re better than anyone else on your team. My developer, Stephen, is capable of things that I can’t even comprehend or ever be able to do. My designer, Nathan, creates beautiful designs that I could never come up from scratch or even begin to conceptualize. Marty, our social business strategist, understands the depths of how content and social play together in ways that blow my mind. Nikhil, our SEO analyst, provides these complicated and intricate SEO audits with findings about things I didn’t even know existed. And of course, my bossman, Dougie Fresh, has by far one of the most complex and best grasps on search engine optimization in the industry (and that’s an understatement). Respect, appreciate, and praise them for what they do on a regular basis. You are not capable of doing your job without them.

I don’t care if you’re the CEO or on the support team. Every position within your company is needed and viable. That’s why they exist. Fancy titles aside, respect the people you work with. We’re in this together! Your success is my success and vice versa.

When things get messy and heated, a project manager’s true colors come out. A project manager’s job is to handle the situation the best they can. A good project manager will do this by putting their emotions aside, finding the best possible solution for everyone, and fixing the problem as quickly as possible without placing blame. </rant>

Words I Live By [Part 2]

Posted by | Art, Infographics, People, Personal Branding, Personal Marketing, Personality, Writing | No Comments

As humans, we face a lot of negativity each and every day. I find that having personal sayings that you live by really help. Here are a couple of personal mantras, or “Words I Live By,” that I’ve come up with, and in case you’re interested, check out part 1 as well.

What are some of your personal mantras? Seriously – I want to know. Affirmations really help our psyche and it’s important that we have self-reassurance, as well as reassurance from others. This is about empowering – not promoting.

Words I Live By: Part 1

Words I Live By [Part 2]

Words I Live By

Edge of the Web Radio: Content Marketing

Posted by | Internet Marketing, People, Personal Marketing, Random, SEO, Social Media, Writing | 2 Comments

I had a great time on the Edge of the Web radio with Erin Sparks and Jon Thompson of Site Strategics, an Indianapolis SEO company. The focus of the conversation is what’s hot in the marketing tech world, and specifically, what kind of content marketing is being shared on the Marketing Tech Blog. I always believed that content marketing is more about creating valuable content – it’s about telling a story and using that content to personalize a brand.

However, it is important to note that valuable content isn’t always about telling a story. It could simply be a blog post about optimizing a landing page. There isn’t necessarily a story with that. It might just be a simple “how to” guide. But either way, you need to create something that people will want to read, and moreso, appeal to the different senses. Content marketing is about creating multiple forms of content so that you can reach a variety of your target audience. This can mean email, blogs, social media messaging, whitepapers, ebooks, and more.

What have you seen changed with content marketing? What do you think is important? What kinds of content are your producing for your company? These are the things I’d love to learn more about.

Edge of the Web Radio: Content Marketing

This episode dives in to some of the changes going on in the SEO industry, as well as what is changing with visual marketing. I loved having a candid conversation with these guys, and they have some great insight into the business with their own experiences. But don’t take it from me – learn more by watching the show!

Facebook engagement

Facebook Engagement: What Matters Most?

Posted by | People, Personal Branding, Personal Marketing, Personality, Social Media, Writing | No Comments

Earlier today, I put a tweet out asking people what matters most to them in regards to Facebook engagement: likes, comments, or shares.

While I received mixed responses (thanks to Steven Shattuck, Kennedy Pittman, Jana Ballard, Chuck Gose, and Edgar Diaz for their responses), the overwhelming response was that comments are the most valuable to people with Facebook profiles.

As Kennedy Pittman puts it:

Chuck Gose also brings up an important point:

 

Facebook Engagement

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into each of these engagement metrics:

Likes: These are pretty self explanatory. If you like something someone posts, you, well, like it.

Comments: This is where someone actually provides their opinion on what you posted. This could be in response to a question you posed or a comment on a picture. In essence, what you shared was interesting enough to provide their personal insight.

Shares: This is where the user actually shares your content on their own personal page, with or without their own personal commentary.

While I agree that comments and shares are more important, that also depends on what kind of content you are putting out. For me, I write a lot of motivational or inspirational comments that might not require commentary.  So, for me, when I receive a “like” on one of these statuses, that is honestly the best way for people to show encouragement.

Facebook engagement

However, there are other statuses that wholeheartedly encourage sharing and comments, like one I posted earlier today about a petition in Broad Ripple to install street lamps on side streets (Shameless plug: please sign to help my personal safety!):

Facebook status that encourages comments and shares

So, if the most valuable forms of engagement to people on Facebook are comments and shares, that leads me to believe a couple of things:

1. If you are looking for comments, you should include a question or a statement that encourages commentary (Photos and links help, too). By simply making a statement like I did above, comments aren’t really necessary or encouraged. If you share a blog post, then ask the reader their thoughts or tell them to share their thoughts. Otherwise, it might just be portrayed as sharing a post for sharing sake.

Furthermore, the status must be interesting enough for someone to want to comment. A comment requires extra work for users – if it isn’t interesting, chances are, people aren’t going to comment on it.

2. If you are looking for shares, you must include a link or a photo (to be able to share), and it must be compelling and valuable.

Chuck also makes another good point in regards to shares:

I like to compare shares without commentary to retweets on Twitter: if you simply retweet what someone says, then you are simply reposting. If you retweet and add your own personal commentary, most of the time, the user is giving their audience reason as to why they found the content compelling.

So, what do you think? What is most valuable to you in terms of Facebook engagement?

Looking for someone to speak on content marketing or infographics for your next event? Book Jenn