Avoiding 'thee' Virus

There's no need to shed tears over the WannaCry virus.

Organizations and networks worldwide have since Friday been dealing with the fallout of massive ransomware attack that exploited a hole in PCs running Microsoft Windows that haven't been updated. 

The WannaCry hack threatens to delete users' encrypted files in a week if a ransom of $300 isn't met -- doubled if the payment isn't made in within three days. Some people are getting access to their data. Most (perhaps due to volume of hacks) are getting no response at all.

As you take stock of your home and work computers this week, the focus is turning to protecting against further attacks. Experts have these tips to guard against ransomware. Install Microsoft's official patch. The company rates the update as "critical" for supported Windows releases (For details, please click on Microsoft image below). 
  • Keep security software up to date. Install the Windows update for your PC. 
  • Beware of unknown emails, especially if there are attachments or links.
  • Do not enable macros until after you check for viruses. 
  • Back up your data. Cloud-based services are great, but not alway invulnerable. With backup drives getting less costly every day, this can be the single most effect way of combating ransomware infection. 
  • Apple is not invulnerable This can be a common misconception. Ransomware attackers are getting more savvy, and Apple is becoming 'the next target'. The same goes for cloud services, though no fault of their own...but you ARE sending data across a 'world-wide-web' which may have security breaches along the way.
Tempting as it may be in order to resolve your crisis quickly, law enforcement and cybersecurity experts don't recommend paying the ransom. It gives incentives to hackers and pays for future attacks. "My answer is, never pay the ransom," writes Lawrence Abrams on BleepingComputer.com

One other trusted resource, our beloved "Digital Goddess", Kim Komando.  Click HERE for her advisory: CYBERATTACK! 3 Steps you Need to Take Now!

If in doubt, go straight to Microsoft.  Google and YouTube will yield TONS of "solutions", some no doubt legit. Others, simply scammers. ALL are seeking new revenue -- from YOU!

(Click image for link to Microsoft)

And, be sure to check out the latest FREE episode:

6 Programming Tips to Add More Listeners

Recently, I was asked to review a benchmark survey regarding clutter on Radio stations and post key findings. While, it would have been awesome if all the responses were positive and supportive about our radio stations, it seems as if many listeners not satisfied with what traditional media is offering.

Meanwhile, here are 6 ways based on the verbatim responses to help keep your listeners happy AND add more interest, ratings and revenue to your scorecard.

1.) Know your media brand position...and promote it clearly.
One mom lamented “Too much trash talk! It is nearly impossible to listen to radio with kids. I have stopped (listening) to music stations pretty much altogether for this reason. It´s all boobs, sex, shallow subjects, and generally speaking, trash.” Obviously the station(s) referred to cannot be intended to provide a ‘family friendly’ listening destination. Yet, one must question, does anyone ‘own’ the ‘family friendly’ position in her market? If so, how and where are they promoting it? Know who you are targeting. Create a product that will exceed their needs and wants. Then tell them you are providing this product, through simple, clever positioning and creative marketing. Stations who follow this plan will find it more difficult to fail.

2.) Don’t waste your consumer’s time.
If radio as an industry invested as much time, effort and energy on creating valuable, targeted CONTENT as cutting CLUTTER, we’d all be better off. One listener noted “too much talking”, and significantly, “most of the time it is stupid things they are talking about”. Clearly, the content is not well positioned for this listener. “There is too much redundancy,” another noted, “...announcing what they are GOING to do, what they are DOING, and then what they DID!” Hitting a nerve noted by many who took the survey, another articulated this pet peeve, “Long ads with a lot of repeated phone numbers.”

3.) Watch the spot load.
By far, the number one complaint is “too many commercials”. In this new media world, broadcasters are foolish to ask “where else are they (listeners) going to go?” Savvy media consumers are only too happy to provide the answer, voting with their ears. As one respondent put it, “I realize the need for the provider to increase cash flow by the means of commercials, but as usual the greedy bastards have created an overkill atmosphere”. This can refer both to length of stopsets and total hourly commercial load. A 12-minute spot load = 20% of that hour. Are your commercials as well-conceived, written and produced as the rest of the hour? If not, fix them now. After all, effective commercial messages are the foundation of “commercial radio”.

4.) Embrace new distribution platforms.
Consumers are acutely aware of the many alternatives to traditional radio. “You can always go to SiriusXM to get rid of commercials.” observed one respondent. Ipods and streaming audio such as Pandora were also mentioned as increasingly popular options. Can it come as a surprise that smart advertisers are also finding alternative places to attract consumer attention as well? Smart broadcasters are finding that the evolving mediascape can work to their advantage when they embrace digital opportunities. From simple databasing, to secondary and tertiary streams, on-demand podcasting and vodcasting (video podcasting), text alerts and WORTHWHILE apps, stations are finding ways to provide targeted, tailored content without creating unwanted or unneeded intrusion into the broadcast day. Smarter broadcasters are learning how to sponsor these assets

5.) Don't neglect "traditional" distribution platforms
In the era of tight budgets, it's very easy for owners to cut technical needs first.  As one mentor pointed out, "you can't fight physics".  While the world (and Wall Street!) may currently be more enamored with silicone than rust, it is important that proper maintenance be done to 'old school' transmission systems.  A bad ground system, or neglecting the audio chain can easily cost audience share -- at a time when other devices are no longer waiting in the wings -- but flying off the shelves!

6.) Keep looking through the windshield, but be aware of the rear-view mirror.
To see where we’re going as an industry, it can be helpful to know where we’ve come from. One person noted “Local radio has gone from the best form of personal entertainment to corporate sanitized notes on a ledger.’ Another commented “sometimes I can drive all the way to work without hearing one song”. Revenue challenges are nothing new to the industry. However, the opportunities ahead can far outweigh the challenges – IF we’re smart enough to embrace them.

Power of LinkedIn

15 Reasons To Invest In Your Personal Brand On LinkedIn

People buy people. Always have, always will. That’s why the phrase “it’s not what you know it’s who you know” is as true now as it was 100 years ago. Today they are buying your personal brand. Think you don’t need a personal brand? Think again!
Here are 15 reasons why you need a personal brand:
  1. You already have a personal brand – if you don’t control it, it’s being shaped for you by other people. Your personal brand perception is out there, you can manage it or you can let others take it away from you. Up to you.
  2. If you want a new job then your personal brand will dictate whether you succeed or not. The first thing an HR director does is look at your LinkedIn profile. No photo, no summary page, and no updated job title/experience and you won’t even get an interview.
  3. If you want a promotion in your existing company you will stand more chance of getting it with an enhanced personal brand on LinkedIn. If your competition for that senior role has more recommendations on LinkedIn, has more connections on LinkedIn, and their profile altogether looks better they will probably beat you to that position.
  4. If you want to keep that client then you should focus on your personal brand – if you’re not and your client is being wooed by another service provider and their personal branding on LinkedIn is better than yours then you may just lose that client.
  5. If you want to win that new client then you must enhance your personal brand – if you don’t and they look at your LinkedIn profile and see nothing impressive, no thought leadership, no connections, no company page then social selling rules dictate that you will miss out and not even know about it.
  6. If you want to impress the media then you must show that you are a thought leader and demonstrate your accomplishments through your original posting and personal branding on LinkedIn. Are you someone they want to quote and interview?
  7. If you want investors then you need to give them reasons to invest. People invest in people just like they employ people or buy from people because of the person. If you have a fully rounded personal brand on LinkedIn that looks impressive and is backed up with substance as well as style then you are more likely to 1) get investors approaching you and 2) be welcomed with an open door when you approach investors. Why should someone invest in you if you can’t invest in yourself personally?
  8. If you want to reassure shareholders and keep them informed as to what you’re doing and how well you’re doing then having a personal brand that is full of confidence with updates as to how the company they are investing in is getting on then communicating this on LinkedIn through your personal profile is key.
  9. If you want to be an event speaker of any kind from speaking at a company event to speaking at a conference then you need to give the organizer of that event the confidence to choose you. If your personal brand on LinkedIn contains no speaking engagements or details of when you chaired an event successfully or recommendations from other event organisers then why should a future event organiser employ you? Add pictures, videos of you in action and list all the events that you have done and are doing. Confidence is everything in event speaking, for the organisers as well as the speakers. That confidence comes from a confident personal brand. They are banking on you satisfying their customers. They need to trust that you can.
  10. If you want to blog for a media brand then you have to demonstrate that you have the credibility and following to make a publisher allow you to blog for them and be exposed to their audience. They have to want you to publish for them. They are, after all, endorsing you by association. Therefore you should list out your writing experience and blogging experience on your LinkedIn profile and give people reasons why you are worthy of being their blogger.
  11. If you want employees or you want to keep existing employees then you have to have a personal brand worth following. All great leaders have great personal brands. Now that has changed from the battlefield and off line to social media, especially in a business context; LinkedIn. In a competitive world you need to impress and inspire your employees that it’s worth staying with you and you need to impress future employees that you’re worth following. A great personal brand can tick so many boxes when it comes this.
  12. If you want to be recommended and referred to by others then you need a personal brand on LinkedIn worth showing to other people. Remember your LinkedIn personal profile never sleeps, it’s being viewed 24/7 from people all around the world.
  13. If you want to be headhunted then it goes without saying that you need a great personal brand on LinkedIn. You profile should contain all your achievements, awards, associations, companies you have worked for, promotions you gained and innovative things that you have done. Are your keywords being picked up by Linkedin’s SEO (search engine optimisation)? If you don’t add your skills and experience then there are plenty of other people on LinkedIn who a headhunter can move onto who will show up in searches. There are many others who show all their achievements and give reasons why they should be picked ahead of you because of the way that they have communicated their personal brand on LinkedIn.
  14. LinkedIn SEO. Many people underestimate the power of the LinkedIn search platform. It works in the in the same way that Google and YouTube does. Keywords in your LinkedIn profile, achievements, recommendations, visits, credible links, content, posts, etc are all relevant in determining your position on LinkedIn searches. Don’t underestimate how LinkedIn works and how others use it to find you….or not as the case maybe!
  15. Google and SEO. You may have noticed that when you do a search on your own company or yourself that your LinkedIn personal profile and LinkedIn company page will appear next to or just below or sometimes even above your own website. This is a great asset, a great opportunity and potentially a great problem. If you have an incomplete company page on LinkedIn what does that say about you and your company? If you have an incomplete, sparse personal profile on LinkedIn and people find that on Google what does that say about your personal brand?
In summary, you are in charge of your own personal branding strategy. If you wish to achieve great things in the business world your personal brand is where it starts and LinkedIn is the catalyst for this.
If you don’t look after your own personal brand on LinkedIn then you are more likely to fail in your ambitions and your competitors are more likely to win. If you do look after your personal brand on LinkedIn then you are more likely to win and achieve all of your personal goals. It’s your choice. It’s never too late to start.

The old perception was that Facebook was for fun, Twitter was for sharing information, and LinkedIn was for businesses.

Now, the lines are blurring.  Newer options like Snapchat, Instagram and others are attracting younger users, as their parents 'invade' the more established social media sphere.

As the mediascape continues to evolve, one thing seems apparent: LinkedIn is becoming a place for PERSONAL BRANDING.  Many companies and businesses still maintain a vibrant LinkedIn presence, but since the arrival of eventual CEO Jeff Weiner, the platform has taken some innovative turns. One key component is recruiting.

So while you may feel compelled to post those beer pong pix on Instagram or Facebook, it might be a better idea to make sure your profile, posts and publications on LinkedIn are always professional, insightful, and bringing something to the party.  You never know when your next boss may be looking!

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