Dave Fleet is the vice president of Digital at Edelman, an independent global PR firm, in their Toronto office. He has worked in marketing and communications for large organizations around the world and on his blog, www.DaveFleet.com, he focuses on communications, public relations, social media and marketing. In this interview he tells us how working internationally has been helpful, some advantages of social media, and more.
You have a significant number of social media platforms available for your page viewers to click and learn more about you and your company. Do you enjoy using one over the other, or think that one of them is more useful than others as far as communications and marketing goes?
Personally I enjoy Twitter - for the conversation, for the information it leads me to and for the people it lets me connect with. However, from a business perspective it's not about one tool over the other - it's all about selecting the right tool to connect with the people you want to reach, for the objectives you want to achieve. Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses - Twitter is great for conversation while blogs are great for search optimization, etc - and so from that perspective they're all useful depending on the context.
How important is it to measure or track the traffic on your pages to gauge readership and your reach?
Measurement is critical. If you don't measure, how can you know whether what you're doing is working? It's not just reach - it's what people do once they're on your site. It's conversions; it's bounce rates; it's click paths. There's way more to look at than just reach.
I see in your “About” section that you’ve worked on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. How do you think that experience has helped you gain more insight into marketing/social media/PR, etc.?
I worked in the UK at the very beginning of my career, so my perspective was very different at that point. However, I do think that the exposure to working in a different culture, and experiencing the different cultures in other countries, has been extremely helpful for where I am now.
I liked your simple and effective way to increase creativity by simply carrying a notebook around with you at all times; while it’s so simple, a lot of people may not think to do it. Are there any other very, very simple techniques you can implement into your life to improve, besides carrying a notebook?
For me, effective email management is critical. When you get 200-300 emails every day and you don't manage them effectively, it can be crippling. The days when I do a poor job at managing my inbox, things always go bad. I wrote about my techniques for managing email here: http://davefleet.com/2011/02/5-tips-managing-email-deluge/
You blog post about startups not needing to hire social media experts was great. I liked all of the tips you provided. What do you think is the No. 1 challenge a startup company has right out of the gate?
I'm not a startup expert, but in my opinion it would be focus. With scarce resources you can't be everything to everyone, and you can't hire specialists for everything. So you need to focus on the most important areas for the business, and look to people to step up and help with the other areas.Daniel Milstein is the author of The ABC of Sales and the #1 Loan Sales Officer in America.