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Salamat Kapatid! 5 Lessons Learned Working for the Happy Network!

By on Jan 2, 2013 in My Work at TV5, Success | 0 comments

December 28 was my last day working for the Kapatid network, TV5. I worked there for a little over 2 years and it’s been one of the most rewarding posts I’ve ever had. Not financially, but more of the learnings, insights, and experience that a digital/techie marketer can only get by working for a masa-based, traditional, go-for-the-heart TV network. In lieu of the usual “things to be thankful for in 2012” article, allow me to just share the top 5 lessons that I’ve learned working as New Media dude over at TV5. Lesson 1: Hit the Heart Sometimes digital marketers get lost with the technical or creative aspects of their campaigns and their materials. At the end of the day it boils down to your message resonating and connecting with your audience. Regardless if you’re using pictures or text you need to be able to tell a story and build an emotional bridge to the heart of your target market. The temptation to go all-out with features and complex executions will always be there but sometimes a single image can even be more powerful than a website that took months to create. Lesson 2: Web design is not just about creatives or user interface, it should also be about user emotion When people come up with sites they usually zero in on the creatives, the programming, and the user interface. Sometimes the problem with the creative side is they stick to much to templates and stops them from creating something that’s really innovative. Adopt a “there can be no wrong” attitude during brainstorming and let the wildest ideas fly. Ask yourself if this kind of execution will illicit or evoke a certain emotion that you want to tap for your message. Lesson 3: Crisis is inevitable, have a crisis management plan Social media has arrived. It is part of communications now and those that ignore it can do so at their own peril. While social media offers so many promotional and marketing benefits, it can also be the biggest source of headaches for companies. Here’s the bad news: crisis is inevitable. The question is: are we prepared for it? Be preemptive. Create processes and systems for dealing with crisis online. Lesson 4: Never assume everyone understands digital Not everyone can understand and appreciate digital yet. This goes for your target market, your co-workers, and most especially, your bosses. Be patient and relentless in explaining digital. Be the champion, evangelist, and authority in your company. Never ever give this up because the moment you do you will end up being an order-taker. Keep sharpening your mind and always learn the latest trends. Be in the know so you are ahead of everybody else. Lesson 5: Collaborate because you will fail if you do it alone I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most brilliant minds in the TV industry in my stay at TV5. Not all of them are digital folks and in fact some of the best learnings I’ve had are from people who haven’t “bought into” the digital craze yet but they have so many insights when they question our work. I know I only said 5 lessons in the the title but I will add one last. And this one is for everyone in TV5 New Media. Lesson 6: Give ownership to your team and let them spread their wings 🙂 To those asking where I’m going next, stay tuned! Can’t say yet but it’s definitely exciting! Happy 2013 everyone!...

Value of Momentum and How to Harness It

By on Sep 2, 2012 in My Work at TV5, Success | 1 comment

Momentum is one of the most natural powerful forces in the world. Having it can spell the difference between succeeding or failing in projects that you’re working on. With momentum you have you extra sharpness, determination, and willpower. It’s literally like going “super mode” (Super Saiyan for DBZ-Anime fans). The biggest benefit with having momentum is that usually when you win, you win big. The real value of momentum though is found not in the individual but in collective situations. Being able to instill and build a culture of momentum in your team will lead to better productivity, morale, and creativity. Unfortunately most managers and leaders take it for granted. They don’t have a strategic approach to building it and harnessing it. Here are some tips on how to do that: 1. Express Appreciation for your Team I have a tendency of looking situations like a game. When it comes to the workplace I sort of have this visual “Happiness Bar” in my head when I look at the team. The higher the bar is, the more productive and creative they are. The higher the level the faster and better we can tackle problems and execute projects. Compliments will help build that bar up. The only bad kind of compliment is the one that’s never said. If someone does a good job, praise them for it. If you’re going to do it via e-mail, don’t just say “good job”. List down why you think that person did well so he or she can keep on doing that. If you’re going to do it personally, throw in a big smile or a tap on the back. Note that you have to be sincere when you do this. If you’re not, it will show and it will just backfire. 2. Get them involved and make them own it One of the best ways to build momentum quickly is to make your team know and feel that they own the project. There’s some sort of art in doing this. Personally the best way I know how to do it is to involve the team as early as the brainstorming stage. It’s also not enough that they’re in the room when you do the session, you have to learn how to draw out the ideas they have in them and you have to create an atmosphere where all ideas, regardless if they’re bad or good, are welcome. Let them say it then acknowledge it and build on that so that they will own it. 3. Celebrate accomplishments and milestones One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the last few years is that you need to take quick breaks and recognize small triumphs. This is critical because those little celebrations put it a lot of “points” into that happiness bar. Celebrations don’t always have to be big or with the whole team. Sometimes you can bring a few members of your team out, treat them to lunch, and just thank them for their efforts. 4. Learn to manage healthy conflict A fake atmosphere of happiness is not productive and it doesn’t necessarily build momentum. If someone screws up, don’t let it pass without communicating with them. Always remember that a constructive rebuke is just as important as a gracious compliment. The hard part in conflict though is in group scenarios. You need to be able to learn and teach your team how to manage conflict so that what is work doesn’t become too personal. Keep doing it until it becomes culture The reality with creating a culture is that there’s no way to do it overnight, especially if there’s a lot of unlearning you have to do (existing team with bad habits, that’s for a different post though). Over time your team will build chemistry, the culture will be established, and hopefully newcomers will pick it up and get in...

3 Ways to Handle Haters

By on Aug 5, 2012 in Featured, Random Remarks, Success | 13 comments

In life there’s no avoiding getting haters. We all have our own world views and most of the time those differences will lead to clashes and conflict. It’s even more evident today with the rise of blogging and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. I’ve had some experience in this (lol) so I guess I just want to share how I deal with them. Here are three tips that I’ve followed and learned through the years that you might find helpful. 1. Ignore them. If there’s one thing you have to understand about haters is that they do not criticize, they attack. They take pleasure in putting you down. There is absolutely no point in trying to engage with them (especially online) because they’ve already made up their mind to shoot you down with their AK-47 even before you raise the flag for parley, lol. Remove them from your immediate consciousness because they will just wear you down and cause undeserved stress. They can distract you from doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Remember: you can never please them or satisfy them. What about the feedback that they give? If you have the strength, patience, and will power to see through the hate and find the nuggets of wisdom, then go for it. If not, don’t worry. You can always get feedback from non-haters and it will just be as good, if not better. HOWEVER, if the time comes that there is a genuine window or opportunity for you to work with them and settle your differences, go for it. Take the initiative and be compassionate. Tips 2 and 3 after the break. 2. Focus on the work at hand. Keep shipping. Best defense is success. If you’re worried about them tearing down your reputation then let me share one piece of advice that one of my mentors once told me: the hardest thing to argue against is success. If that’s the case then instead of giving your haters the time of day, focus on your work and in delivering successful products or campaigns. If you’re just starting out, build on the little successes and let it feed your psyche so that you have the confidence, strength, and determination to follow through. Use your failures as a reminder so that you are more cautious and so that you don’t miss the important little details. 3. Spend more time with the people who really matter to you. The worst thing you can do is get affected by haters and bring that negativity home to the people that truly matter to your life. Don’t get affected. If ever you do, cast it out before you go home. Draw strength, inspiration, and joy from the love of your family and real friends. Most importantly, pray for grace. You will not be able to do this on your own. Don’t get affected. Don’t get infected. Don’t spread it. Focus. Ship. Love....

How to Find “This”

By on Aug 5, 2012 in Career Advice, Success | 0 comments

If there’s one thing I’m very fortunate with, it’s that I usually end up doing things that I love and I end up getting paid for it. When I was passionate about online gaming, I stumbled upon a career in Level Up. When I decided to take on Digital Marketing, I launched New Media, got into consultancy, and eventually landed a job in Friendster. Finally, when I got fascinated about online publishing and content, I ended up in TV5. Looking back here are the top three tips I can share about how to find your “sweet spot” as illustrated in the photo above. I. Read books. This for me contributed the most. Reading books lets you see the world through the eyes of different authors. You get to “experience” what they’ve “experienced” which is invaluable because it lowers the risk of you trying out things that won’t actually work for you. Here are three books that I would recommend to anyone: StrengthsFinder and YOUnique are books that will let you find out more about yourself. This will serve as a guide for you when you need to decide what you want to try out. Linchpin is a book that falls under a category I call “Passion Fuel”. It’s a book that will just put your brain and heart into overdrive. Another way of learning is by talking to the experts. You might want consider getting mentors. All you have to do really is to ask them. If they say yes then just schedule a meeting or two. You have nothing to lose. II. Try different things. If you’re doing something you don’t like then it might be good to explore other options. Don’t resign without having a plan. You need money to keep going in life. You can’t do an Eat, Pray, Love thing without money in the bank because that’s plain irresponsible. Read books and determine what fields you might want to dabble on, read up on potential trainings you can get, invest in those trainings, and then start applying for new work. When I was starting in Digital Marketing I paid for several workshops using my own money just so I can get more knowledge in the field. III. Get encouragement. You need people who will cheer you on and not drag you down. Surround yourself with friends that have your best interest at heart. There is a huge difference between overly negative comments and constructive criticism. Go for the latter. Learn to avoid and tune out to the former. Lastly, pray for discernment and wisdom. It’s just as, if not more, important than all three steps listed above....

What’s your Passion?

By on Feb 14, 2011 in Speaking Engagements, Success | 1 comment

I was invited to be a panelist for the Ayala Young Leaders Conference 2011 last week. During the discussion, we were asked what we were most passionate about in life. Initially I was going to say “marketing” or “digital marketing” because that was my profession and industry. However a few minutes before I was called to answer I had a realization that everything that I’ve ever done was the result of my true passions: reading and writing. It started way back when I was a kid when my older brother gave me a fantasy novel called Dragonlance. At first I was bored with reading it but after a few minutes I got hooked and was plunged into another world. I distinctly remember missing lunch and merienda that day because I just poured all of my time into reading it. I couldn’t stop reading! After I’d finish one book I’d pick up another and read more. That was how my love affair with books began but just like any great love story it would have to temporarily end. I stopped reading books sometime in High School and it was only until I was in the corporate world that I rediscovered it again. When I was trying to get promoted to Brand Manager in one of the companies that I worked for, the Sales & Marketing Director gave me advice that I would forever take to heart. He told me that the secret to success is learning from the experience from others and the best way to do that is to read books. He gave me a list of marketing books that I should read. That same day I went to National Bookstore and almost blew my entire paycheck on books. The rest is history. Former Sales Director Level Up! Apol Dionglay (man on the right) After that incident in my last job, I would turn to books each time I need to improve at something. When I was having problems handling my finances I invested in several personal finance books including titles from Chinkee Tan, Larry Gamboa, Francisco Colayco, Efren Cruz, and Dave Ramsey. When I was starting to play competitive poker, I hit books again written by Daniel N. and Doyle Brunson. When I rediscovered God I spent countless hours on Christian books and of course the bible. When my career started to head towards digital I got almost all the digital marketing and social media books in Fully Booked and Powers Books. I also got a lot of encouragement from my family and friends who told me that my late grandfather (Sen. Blas F. Ople) was also a voracious reader. To add to all of that I subscribe to around 30 blogs and websites and I read all of them everyday. It’s sad that when you’re young reading books is “geeky, nerdy, and uncool”. I strongly encourage everyone, especially the next generation, to see the value in reading. It can change your life for the better. Knowledge that you can apply and put into action will be one of your best secret weapons in the corporate world and even in business. Invest in your self-improvement. Read books. Read blogs. Read newspapers. Read magazines (and don’t just look at pictures). 🙂 Thank you again to the AYLC for inviting me over. It was a phenomenal experience sharing my life stories with the kids (81 of the top student leaders in the PH attended the...