LinkedIn And The Afterlife

Most of us understand that like taxes, death is inevitable.  And thanks to the ever-updating nature of social media, online contact with the dead is something new to deal with…and, may I add, which takes some getting used to.

I’ve had the unnerving experience recently of being contacted by friends who have died, or so it appeared.  News of their passing was posted on the deceased’s own Facebook pages…pages which became memorial sites where friends sent them messages.

What’s weirder is when long-gone friends actually do write you from beyond.  One site,, enables programming post-mortem messages, triggered by your actual passing, and described here.

If that sounds extreme, at least learn now how to shut down your own social media pages and those of key executives and spokespeople in your company, post-passing. For one friend who died, but whose profile was still connecting to others, LinkedIn requested a death certificate or article about his death. Because his death had been a much-publicized suicide, I had many links to share, and they finally shut it down.

Although not  many states have laws, yet, to cover this phenomenon, include posting the news of an employee’s passing on your site, and sharing that link with LinkedIn in your crisis plan . Posting and then sending an online obituary to the key social networks would work also…which could be quite a few for your social media team.

Individual employees can proactively plan for this and not leave it to friends or employers to handle. Including a list of pages and passwords along with their will is one easy solution.  Corporate account pages and passwords for key individuals in the company should be part of the employee file. The various sites’ pro-active requirements and recommendations for shutting down profiles after death are provided here.

I hear groaning…and get it. Just one more category of things for people to manage. In this case, however, know that the consequences of not doing anything could be that they will eventually take care of themselves, depending on the site. We may not live forever, but in some cases,  our social media pages will.

BK boat shot

Contributing author, Barbara Kotsos, last seen alive and well, as witnessed by equally-live friends while cruising along the shores of Long Beach, CA.

Bicultural Not Ethnic Marketing

I came across an article from PRSA today, that discusses a reality that those of us who work in Hispanic marketing often discuss and share with our clients.

The new diverse: multiracial and bicultural

As marketing moves more and more online, this is readily apparent in the ways that we approach the leaders and influencers online. For instance, the majority of the Hispanic population in the United States is bilingual or English dominant. Like immigrants coming into this country for centuries…after the second generation, the dominant language becomes English. Unlike prior generations, immigrants from many parts of Asia and Latin America (and in selected cities in the U.S, from anywhere in the world), can retain their culture and integrate their language into their everyday lives.

That doesn’t mean that English and American culture is not their dominant culture, it just means that this generation has the opportunity to keep their culture a little closer than immigrants past. For me, this means that “Spanglish” is often the best way to communicate with this target market. Not pigeon Spanish, but rather the fluid mix of English and Spanish used by those of Hispanic origin born or raised here.

This, is of course, not exclusive to this community. In any gathering of immigrants from Germany to India, the conversation flows back and forth between languages. For the well educated, progressive leaders of the online Hispanic community that understanding goes a long way toward making decisions about how, when and where to reach this market. Univision – yes. CNN – si!

Department of Interim Technology- Scan -To -Share

I’ve been working on plans this week – one year, five year, next month…

My mostly, mid size clients, $50-$500 million, have somewhere between the “all the money in the world” of the big brands and the shoestring budget of small businesses.Practically, that means, we have to pick and choose the technologies, social media platforms and “new and exciting” apps we pursue.

Ad Ag Relaunch Includes New “Scan to Share”

This one, ‘Scan to print” strikes me as an interim technology…for people who still read trade news via print. Note, reading on paper will be around for the foreseeable future..but IMHO, reading and sharing of trade news will rapidly move online …just about only.

The Organic Debate – Why Consumers Buy Organic Anyway!

Surfing the different posts on the web about the recent debate on the health benefits of organic, I keep coming back to a simple question that needs to be considered…as a marketer, I mean:

Why in the world consumers buy organic anyway?

It’s not “nutritional value”.

It’s not vitamin content.
It’s Pesticides…or lack of them actually. ( and some GMO concern thrown in there too.)

So, am I worried about the impact of this recent report on marketing organics?