July 01, 2010

Trust...Are You Really Green, or Just Pretending? The T word: Trust. It was a constant theme of the speakers I heard today at a Social Media Conference, including greats such as Problogger Darren Rowse and Wine Library's Gary Vaynerchuck. It's hard to gain and easy to lose, and often easier for a small business to win than a large one... And then came today's newsletter from Marcia Yudkin, of the Marketing Minute. As usual, she hits the nail on the head, and warns about the dangers of greenwashing - being all hype and no substance. [Like restaurants that have a 'sustainable' product or two on the menu, but still bring bottled water half way round the earth to sell. Or cafes that only supply coffee in paper cups, even if you sit down.] She reminds us: "To show that you're not just pretending to jump on today's greenwagon, incorporate as many as possible of these factors: 1. Hard facts (what you've done), not commitments (what you say you'll do). 2. Substantiation for your claims - for example, back up the statement that your operations are carbon-neutral. 3. Third-party green certifications, with links that show what they mean. 4. Non-promotional material that helps readers understand the issues on which you're taking action. 5. Advice for readers on how they too can follow suit. 6. Transparency and truthfulness. Don't attempt to hide elements that go against your overall stance. Your reward: The trust of those who share your convictions, respect from those who haven't yet seen the light, and joyfulness in your conscience."
Make a 'Life in a Day' Video for your business YouTube has an ambitious project underway for 24 July: film what's happening in your life, and contribute it to a movie (like a time capsule) being produced by Ridley Scott. Sounds great, and most cameras and phones can record video. Kevin McDonald, the director, asks us to focus on several topics: What do you fear; What do you love; What makes you laugh; and finally, film what's in your pocket. But there's something simpler that could be done - using those themes, take lots of photos of the 'Life in Your Day' at your restaurant, cafe, bar, school or wherever, then choose the best 50 or so and put them together into a slide-show movie with a sound track. Apple's iMovie, Windows Moviemaker or the free online service Animoto can do this in a snap, and there are keen staff who would love to assist. Start with waking up, opening up, staff arriving, first customers, cooks at work, grumpy delivery drivers, mistakes and laughter, lots of emotions...right through to closing and putting the bins out. Encourage people to use their phones for spontaneous pictures, and share some cameras around. Have everyone lined up showing what's in their pockets! Offer your own prize for best or funniest picture. And remember one of the rules for successful digital photography: take 20 pictures and throw away 15, keeping just the best. Contribute to the competition, and add it to your own YouTube channel - if you don't have one, here's a great way to start! Here's Kevin McDonald talking about his vision for the movie:

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