Come to Las Vegas. Learn. Play. Network.

new_york_new_york_las_vegasAs President of the Las Vegas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) 2015 through 2016, I invite you to come to Las Vegas for an exciting special event entitled Intranets, Content, & Collaboration. This professional development conference (December 9 – 11, 2015) is for anyone who needs to learn the latest about success in employee communications using digital technology.

I am pleased to have been selected as a featured speaker. Here you will learn success stories in employee intranets so you, too, can engage your workforce to drive better business results.

Are you’re looking to transform your multi-generational culture with your employee intranet? Will new technologies and social media challenge your patience and perseverance?

If you want your employees to welcome your intranet into their daily work and actually use it, the path to success involves answering these crucial questions correctly for your organization:

  • How do you position new technologies in the workplace for every employee?
  • Who can help make or break your intranet?
  • What expectations should you embrace for using social business apps?
  • When do you want leaders to endorse and recommend usage of your intranet?
  • Where are the stress points, barriers to success, and roadblocks?
  • Why do you need to have an intranet at all?

In my session you will benefit directly from my unique perspectives, guidance, and lessons learned from my years of employee intranet and internal communications leadership experience within 3 very different organizations.

REGISTER HERE and enter “SPK1215” and my name “Woody Goulart” to get a special discount.

Getting Back to the Neon Fun Desert

As October 2013 came to an end, so did my Las Vegas life. Or so I thought. Now, as June 2015 comes to an end, I’m getting to go back to live in the neon fun desert.

This feels right. This feels like what is “supposed to happen.” So, I am going with it. I am leaving my home state of California to live and work in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Yes, the weather can be impossibly hot. Yes, there also are other factors about living in the Mojave Desert that are challenging. But, for me, returning to Las Vegas feels like a fulfillment of certain song lyrics: “get back to where you once belonged.

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I know now that one must look into the sometimes stormy skies to find a patch of blue. A proper mental attitude can carry you through. You just need to discover how to stay in control of your mind and not let others encroach upon you or your thoughts and beliefs.

My partner of 19 years, Sam Glass and I will once again be locals in Las Vegas.
We know what to expect because we lived there very recently and see what’s what.

I’m pleased to be continuing my digital marketing and advertising work of 2 years for an international company headquartered in New York City that understands how to encourage excellence through flexibility in employee work locations. This is not futuristic. This is reality right now.

Golden Anniversary: Boss Radio KHJ

Fifty years is a very big deal. Happy golden anniversary, Boss Radio KHJ Los Angeles. Boss Radio Forever!

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Whenever I talk with professionals from the radio industry or read their online commentaries, I feel disconnected from them. I feel like somehow I just ventured into a room with military combat veterans who spend a lot of time talking in detail about their memories of battles and tactics for killing the enemy. They belong to a very specialized (and some say bygone) era that I only visited for a very short while when I was young. But, yet I dared to research their world and retell their stories. Sort of disrespectful. Sometimes kind of rude. But, cunning and fun for others to read.

Why You Need a Website

You only need a website today if you want to prove to others that you exist. If you are happy to remain in obscurity, you can get along just fine without having your own website.

Individuals, small and medium-size businesses, and nonprofits need a complete, yet affordable, selection of professional and customized services to enable them to win over their particular target audience with online marketing. Usually this means paying today’s high prices for professional services to get your own website. That is just a waste. And so unnecessary.

Nearly half of small and medium-sized businesses or nonprofits do not yet have their own website. One thing that I tell people today may sound shocking: You need to have a website if you want to have street credibility today in the business world. Your personal brand depends on having a website.

I firmly believe in this need to have a website after working since 1996 using the Internet for business. If you are someone who really does not want to have your own website, please read this one page and give me a chance to change your thinking.

I can help you if you start with an acceptance that yes, you need a website if you really want credibility today in marketing your business to your target audience.

Basic Rule of Business

Once you understand the need to have your own website, you need help with strategic marketing and personal branding online. The basic rule of business that I use can be explained using an ocean metaphor: You need to swim in the same waters as your potential customers.

You get the idea. The truth is: To do business today involving seeking and attracting potential customers, you need to bring what you are offering to your customers where they are.

The other simple reality is that having your own website is essential proof that you are savvy enough to use today’s contemporary tools of communication in the digital realm and online. You don’t want to be considered irrelevant or outmoded.

Perspective

Today, the use of the Internet for business is roughly 20 years old. Websites today differ greatly from how websites worked back in the 1990s when the Internet was new.

The major difference is that today’s websites are intended to interactive for your visitors compared to the old-school style of websites from the past.

Let me quickly express what you need and should want: You want a website for today, not a website that is from the 1990s. The past belongs in the past. Learn to respect the past, but understand that we must focus on today and tomorrow.

Living in the Present Day

Today, the best practice is to have a site that is attractive to look at and easy to use, plus, the website works the way it needs to work: People need to interact with you through your website if you want to be successful in using the website for your business.

The manner or way that you employ online and using digital outreach technology should be important to you. Resist the temptation to jump into an expensive contract with a provider of website services that promises you the sun and moon and a couple of galaxies, too.

Sure, having a website today is essential, but you can be smart and conservative in how you go about it. Why? You don’t want to dump a lot of money and time into something that is wrong.

Now a Warning: Merely getting your own website is not a secret doorway to either sudden riches or fame. Rushing out and using social media channels without thinking about why is not the answer to your most pressing business problems. Text messaging to thousands of smart phones may not necessarily rescue you from irrelevance.

Today’s digital technology together with the Internet represent marvelous human accomplishments and inventiveness. Websites and smart phones could surely not have been imagined a few decades ago except by the likes of science fiction writers. But, don’t get lost in the marvels that we now have at our fingertips in the 21st century.

The best way to success is to use digital technology together with the Internet as one of the tools of your trade.

Consider how computerized word processing has become an indispensable tool for writers today. Since word processing is so important to the craft of writing nowadays, how did anyone write and publish books before the invention of word processing software? Trick question.

Here is wisdom you can take with you today: Make effective use of the tools of today’s technology. Use the Internet. Have your own website. Yes, get into Twitter. And Facebook. Send text messages to reach the smart phones you know your audience uses.

Just be sure that you have carefully thought out why you are using these tools: Reaching, interacting with, and persuading your target audience should be your core reason and chief motivation.

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[My original version of this commentary first appeared in 2011 on this and other blogs.]

The Show Must Go On

What would it feel like to be a stand-up comic who was scheduled to perform in San Francisco the night after Robin Williams was gone? San Francisco’s KCBS radio covered this angle of the larger story concerning the suicide of the beloved actor and comedian. My partner, Sam Glass, and I happened to have August 11 tickets to see actor Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O’Brien on Fox broadcasting’s 24) perform at the Punch Line—San Francisco’s oldest running comedy club. The club’s announcer called for a moment of silence in memory of Robin Williams at the start of the evening’s performances. But, that night belonged to laughter, not sadness.

San Francisco

SFO  One hundred eight years ago, a terrible natural disaster descended upon San Francisco. The April 16, 1906 earthquake and resulting fire devastated the City and Bay Area. But, this is a resilient place that learned how to stand out from all other places in North America. I am working here now in San Francisco on the 17th floor of a building that stands on landfill and no, I am not afraid.

If you follow my posts here bearing the stand out tag, you already know that I relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada from the Washington, DC area during the dead of summer 2012. What was I thinking?

I asked myself that question as I melted under the unnatural feeling of daytime highs hitting one hundred eighteen degrees. Yeah, sure, the summers are damn hot in Las Vegas. But, everyone knows that.

I had to leave the Washington, DC area to move on with my life. There were many things I loved while living in Las Vegas for over a year. I just had to accept that my job meant relocating to San Francisco. And, what do you know? Although the weather is never hot in San Francisco compared to Las Vegas, in real life a person cannot pick a place to live and work based on the local weather.

Being someone who wants to stand out in life, I jumped at the career opportunity to work in San Francisco and left Las Vegas in the rearview mirror. Well, that’s a metaphor because actually I flew on United Airlines.

The most important lesson I have learned in my life is to seek change, explore new ventures, and don’t regret what you leave behind. Now I am in San Francisco, which is arguably the most beautiful city in North America. There is so much to love here.

This also is a very happening place where the economy is so good that people here choose to pay more than most other Americans for just about everything. Did you know that for $4 you can get toast in San Francisco? Bread and butter toast. Like for breakfast. Not some trendy alcoholic beverage!

Oh yeah, and then there’s that rather annoying legacy of earthquakes. Can’t do anything about that any more than I could change the terrible weather in Las Vegas in summertime.

So, to stand out, I urge you to go where you need to go when you need to move on in your life. No matter what. If you don’t want to stand out, stay where you are. That’s my advice based on my life’s lessons. I hope you will explore my other commentaries on this subject here that are tagged with stand out.

Go Buzz Power

GO-BUZZ-POWER-COVER_resizedFor everyone who wants to go out into the real world and harness buzz power: My eBook is available for 2014 in an updated edition. Revised and expanded with new content. This eBook covers the successful use of strategies and tactics in the digital realm that create public excitement about a person, place, or thing.