Intro to Jira

Hi Marketing Team,

As many of you have heard by now we are transitioning to Jira in the coming weeks. Jira will replace fogbugz as our project management tool here in marketing. As we transition I will keep you all updated on which teams will be transition when so you can start diving in and utilizing Jira.

You will find login instructions below and here is a link to the user guide.

Please take the time to read the below information regarding the transition.

To give you a little more information and to answer a few questions that have come up in the last couple of weeks.

  1. Is Marketing the only department switching to Jira? We as a company are transitioning to using Jira. Eventually fogbugz will be replaced all together and we will no longer be using it.
  2. How will this effect working with other departments? As we have transitioned to more of a line of business model here at Faithlife there will be more opportunities to work on projects with other departments. Jira will be a great tool in which we can work on cross department projects with other teams.
  3. Are we required to use Jira? What if we like what we are doing? As much as possible we ask that each team and individual use Jira for all of their projects and tasks.
    1. Why, you might ask? A few great benefits of Jira:

i.     Everything for your project is in one place. You will no longer have to add everything to the wiki, asana, google docs. (This doesn’t mean that we won’t use these tools anymore, but the amount of duplication and where you need to add information will become less repetitive.)

ii.     Management will be able to pull reports from Jira, decreasing the number of reports you will need to turn in or fill out on a weekly basis, giving you more time to work on your projects.

iii.     Time Tracking will become a lot easier!! We will be switching to a monthly time tracking system with time tracking by project for LARGE projects.

iv.     Jira is more user friendly than fogbugz.

How does this affect you now?

  1. You will want to set aside sometime over the next few weeks to get familiar with Jira, go through the user manual and attend the training that you are scheduled for.
  2. Any projects you have in fogbugz will be migrated over to Jira in the next 6 weeks at which point you will be working solely out of Jira.
  3. You will need to work in both Fogbugz and Jira until all teams has been transitioned. As much as possible we ask that once a team is transitioned you enter any new requests in Jira rather than fogbugz.
  4. Any projects that are not in Jira will need to be put in manually by you.
  5. As teams transition over you will need to start submitting your request in Jira (even if your team is still working in fogbugz and hasn’t been transitioned over).

A few terms to familiarize yourself with:

  1. Issue: An issue is equivalent to a parent case in fogbugz
  2. Project: A project is equivalent to a project in fogbugz (For example our current projects in fogbugz are: Marketing Projects: Logos, Marketing Projects: Ecommerce, Marketing Technology Team, etc.)
  3. Task or Sub-Task: A task or sub-task are equivalent to a child case in fogbugz

 

How to Login:

You all currently should have access to Jira. If you are unable to login please let me know.

To login, follow these instructions:

Go here:  https://faithlife.atlassian.net/login (you may want to bookmark this)

  1. Your username is everything in front of the @ on your faithlife email address.
  2. If you don’t have a password, click unable to access your account, and you will be prompted to create a password.

As you start exploring the tool, know that we are still making changes and these changes will continue to take place over the next 6 weeks as we get everyone transitioned over. Please be patient and ask lots of questions. If you aren’t sure how to do something connect with your team lead first, if they don’t know the answer then feel free to reach out to me.

Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns.

Thanks!

 

Kirsten

Meetings: agenda example, pointers on leading, and more

Hi Marketing,

In an effort to maximize the time we spend in meetings this year. I wanted to follow up in regards to an email Krista sent at the beginning of the year regarding maximizing your time in meetings.  Here are a few pointers on how you can make the most of your meetings.

Also Phil recommended a great book to read and I highly recommend it.  Shay (Phil’s assistant) has a couple copies that are available to check out.

How to lead an awesome meeting:

  1. Come prepared
  2. Provide all information upfront before the meeting occurs. (Everyone should know why they were invited to the meeting.)
  3. Know which decision makers need to be in the meeting and when

A great meeting invite agenda includes:

  1. A brief summary of the purpose of the meeting
  2. An agenda for the meeting
  3. Any documentation/information that needs to be communicated or discussed in the meeting
  4. Your action items/plan
  5. Your goals for the meeting
  6. Decisions that will need to be made in this meeting

Pointers on managing meetings:

    1. Opening – Open your meeting with a brief summary of the purpose of this meeting, your agenda, and goals.
    2. Facilitating
      1. Come prepared to lead
      2. When facilitating a meeting it is your responsibility to make sure that the meeting stays on track
      3. Follow the agenda you set for your meeting.
      4. Does everyone need to be there for the entire meeting? If not, make sure to communicate the time duration with each individual on when they will be needed for that meeting.
    3. Closing –Close your meeting with a brief recap of the meeting, action items to take away from the meeting, who is responsible for what action steps to move the project/idea forward, decisions that were made.
    4. Following up –Send a follow up email to everyone who was included in the meeting invite (even if they didn’t come) with a recap, action items, and timeline for completion.

How to be a great participate in a meeting:

      1. Come prepared
        1. Know what the purpose of the meeting is about
        2. Read through the agenda and materials required for the meeting ahead of time
        3. Come to participate
          1. Bring your thoughts and ideas to the meeting.
          2. If you do not think you have anything to contribute to the meeting, determine if it is really necessary for you to participate in the meeting.

I hope that these pointers can help you as you plan meetings this year and throughout your career.

Have any questions, concerns or comments? Connect with your manager (Phil, Nick, Glenn, Franklin, Josh or Krista).

Thanks! I love that I get to work with such an awesome team!

Kirsten

Kirsten Radke | Marketing Operations Specialist

10 Twitter Metrics You Need to Know About

If you manage a social media account,  you should note the following, and keep in mind that while the stats are Twitter-specific, the insights apply elsewhere (some of these findings have been available elsewhere, but it’s good to see them in once place):

From Bufferapp » 10 Surprising New Twitter Stats to Help You Reach More Followers

  1. Spell out the word retweetTwitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends 
  2. Tweets with image links get 2x the engagement rate of those without
  3. Tweets with less than 100 characters get 17% more engagement
  4. Twitter’s fastest growing demographic is 55–64 year-olds 
  5. Tweets with hashtags get 2x more engagement
  6. 66% of user-generated tweets that mention brands come from mobile users 
  7. Twitter users who mostly use a mobile device are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute 
  8. Amplifiers are 122% more likely to send direct messages
  9. Your tweets have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it, and 23x higher if you actually spell out the word “retweet” 
  10. Tweets that include links are 86% more likely to be retweeted

    (See the original post for more details, and images.)

The most surprising insight for me was the higher brand engagement on weekends. So, top off your Buffer queue or your Hootsuite schedule before heading home for the weekend. Keep the Twittersphere active while you’re away!
Rich

Does our marketing content inspire love?

Loveworks: How the world's top marketers make emotional connections to win in the marketplaceI just found this useful guest post written by Brian Sheehan, author of Loveworks. Please head over to skim the article for yourself, but here are the headlines from the article, “How the World’s Top Marketers Make Emotional Connections to win in the Marketplace.”

A loved company:

  • Is driven by purpose
  • Inspires people
  • Is emotional
  • Uncovers truth
  • Is a creative leader
  • Has a rallying cry
  • Has people power
  • Has mystery
  • Has sensuality
  • Has intimacy

Are these objectives intentionally part of our marketing strategy? Should they be?

I believe Logos is loved in the marketplace, though I suspect the love may be driven more by our our product value and customer service than our marketing communication. (But I’m fairly new here, and I may well be wrong.)

Thoughts?

Rich

Are You Sending Pain Killers or Vitamins?

Marketo has a neat article on email copy that addresses two approaches to email marketing:

  • Pain killer emails address problems a customer is experiencing and offer ways to overcome them.
  • Vitamin emails set customers up to avoid future problems and offer added benefits.

It makes you wonder:

  • Which approach should we take in Logos 5 upgrade messaging? 
  • Is the Faithlife Study Bible a pain killer or a vitamin? Both?
  • How about Noet? It’s a pain killer to those outside our current audience, but a vitamin to Logos users who just love the classics.

Next time you put together a marketing email, ask: does this audience need a pain killer or a vitamin?

 

5 Ways to Grow Your Network

This post is specifically written with our new interns in mind. However, I hope it offers something of value to each of you.

Recently Bob gave a talk and specifically encouraged all interns to reach out to those in the company with influence. Request a lunch, coffee, or even group meeting. I hope you all take the list of emails sent out and score as many lunches and coffee meetings as possible.

With that aside, there are other things you can do to connect with those who work here, and those who work with Logos. Grab your coffee and take a deep breathe, I went a little lengthy on this one.

5 Ways to Grow Your Network

  1. Get on the internet. No seriously. Sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Stumble Upon, Reddit, YouTube, Riffle, SlideShare, Foursquare, Instagram, Vine, GetGlue, LinkedIn, Vimeo, WordPress, Pheed, About.Me, etc. Learn how the internet works by doing it. Connect with your closest family, friends, and acquaintances first. Then expand from there. Observe, participate, then create. This will help you become a better marketer and grow your network. Even if most of those accounts are a fake identity because you’re afraid of being on the internet, at least you’ll get a good taste. #Internet
  2. Follow ALL your supervisors—everywhere. Phil Gons doesn’t mind chalking up another follower. Are you connected to him on LinkedIn yet?(Don’t answer if that’s a no) Have you subscribed to PhilGons.com? Have you followed him on Twitter? Seriously, it’s nothing weird. It’s not even personalunless you decide to make it. It’s all business. Phil will likely school you in history, design, business, management, and social media while eating sardines and a side of almonds. Why not follow his lead and learn from him casually. When he interacts with individuals such as Tony Reinke and Andy Naselli, you now know who Phil sees as influencers–follow them. #NetworkExpanding
  3. Follow Bob and Daneverywhere. Ok, I don’t mean find their address and follow them home. (Although, rumor has it Dan will order you lunch in exchange for Flyer fan gear that is mailed to his house) I mean connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Bob has a killer SlideShare and what he said about his reading interests is true. He shares some of the awesomest stuff everyday. See who they chat with(which isn’t often, but happens) and follow those people. Comment on their content. I mean after all, “you’re just the young intern”. Take that card and run with it! #NetworkExpandingMore #BuildingKlout
  4. Collaborate and brainstorm with coworkers. Now I’m not talking about moonlighting. I’m talking about helping each other get better. Share the blog article you just found. Show your cubicle neighbor that article about how to specialize in using hashtags. Explain over lunch how you discovered Google Authorship can boost visibility for blogs and increase CTR via organic searches. By doing so you are giving first, building others up, and establishing yourself as a resource. #Value #LearnAndRelearn
  5. Put it to the test. Have a blog?(If no, go back to #1) Want to know how to build an email list, get followers on Twitter, run a giveaway, or land an interview with your favorite author? Do it! Just do it on your blog. Sign up for MailChimp. Setup a YouTube channel. Change themes for the learning benefit. Oh, and buy your name.com.<–This will only get more expensive and difficult the longer you wait. By doing these things your marketing colleagues, new found connections, and other internet surfers will want to connect. #GrownUpStage #boom

There’s a lot of other ways to connect with people. I’m very fond of grabbing coffee. Sometimes that’s not possible. I couldn’t do that with Steven Kryger today because he lives in Syndey, Australia. We had a Google Hangout instead. So use the internet(the world’s playground) for leverage. It won’t replace the need for face to face interaction, but can in handy a lot.

Some of you may have no desire to become internet famousthat’s ok. That’s not what this is about. It’s about you discovering what’s available. Who’s available. How to help them and how they can help you. This is about your education, you career, and your community.

I hope this was helpful. If I can be of any help, please let me know. I’ve got stories I’m willing to share, and hope to learn something from you. Oh, and following me is a really good start too. Nathan Smoyer

**Bonus**

Did you know Outlook can be a great place to find your coworkers on Facebook and LinkedIn? You can easily spy who they’re chatting and connecting with too. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Click File
  3. Click “Account Settings”
  4. Click “Social Network Accounts”
  5. Done.

email connections

Each time you open an email from here on out, you can see the social activity of your coworkers within your email. Here, you can see I’m about lurk each of those LinkedIn accounts Jayson has recently connected too. If need be, I now know to ask Jayson to conduct an introduction.

Extra cool is this feature works on people from outside the company. When I chat with people from publishers, ministries, or Facebook pages, I want them to remember me. So I connect where I can. Top of mind, tip of tongue(clearly a Contagious reference, have you read that yet?). See how this works below.

email in linkedin

P. S. I purposefully did not post direct links to many of the people I said to follow or places to go. I hope you’ll learn to navigate the deep seas of the internet.

 

Email Etiquette in a Growing Business

Email-Etiquette-2Many of you know that I came to Logos from a rather large company — the largest in the world, in fact. As Logos continues to grow, there are a few areas of our business that could be tweaked, in order to help alleviate growing pains.

And based on my short time here, I think one of those areas is email etiquette.

As a smaller company, email, phone conversations, and even Lync chats can seem superfluous. If you have a question, concern, or project you need finalized, you simply walk down the hall and ask the person directly. The amount of meetings in a smaller company allows for this sort of casual flexibility, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

But as a company like Logos begins to grow, emerging from the shell of a “small business” and morphing into something — dare I say — more “corporate,” we must adjust some of the ways we communicate, in order to continue to be efficient, effective, and profitable (while still preserving the laid-back, “start up” vibe).

I would certainly never suggest that we adopt any hard-and-fast rules, nor should we all of a sudden become a company with corporate “red tape” and a litany of endless policies and procedures. After all, I left that work life behind for a reason. But there are some general tips we can appropriate for the benefit of not only productivity, but also the general sanity and well-being of Logos as a whole. I also think this is especially important as we continue to bring on new employees from a variety of big-business backgrounds.

  • Don’t reply to say “Thank you,” unless there’s more to the conversation. This is a pet peeve of many, and while it is nice to be thanked, this is probably best left being done in person. I struggle with this one, personally, so I’m sorry if I’ve ever sent you a ton of “Thank yous!”
  • Summarize long discussions. Don’t just forward a lengthy chain of emails without any explanation. Instead, give the receiver a synopsis of the discussion/project/problem up to that point, so they can quickly respond and act on the matter.
  • Reply promptly. This might seem counter-intuitive to productivity, especially if someone just says “I don’t know the answer, let me find out,” but it is vital from the standpoint of both company morale and long-term efficiency. People want to know that they are being listened to, and that their concerns are being addressed, but they also want to know that their project is moving forward. We have great resources like the Wiki and Asana to track projects — but always point a person to such resources, in case they’re not aware of the status of a project (or where it’s located).
  • Be proactive. Think about other follow-up questions or issues that might arise as part of your discussion, and answer them before they’re asked. This saves time, and helps others think through their projects. Two heads are better than one.
  • Only copy relevant people. Don’t cc the entire office when you want to reply to a single person. Don’t bcc someone if you’re concerned they might Reply All. And don’t Reply All unless it’s to tell us that the building is on fire.

More tips on email etiquette can be found here.

The better we are at communicating through services such as email and Lync, the more we’ll accomplish as a business. Because let’s face it: as we continue to grow, our face-to-face time will be less and less, and the need to streamline communication will only increase.

What do you think? What are other ways we can help improve our communication as a growing business?

The Importance of Writing in the Face of Fear

I just read an encouraging blog post from Beth Hayden at Copyblogger.com on the importance of continuing to write in the face of fear.  The author discusses how the fear we sometimes experience while writing is driven by a feeling of vulnerability.  However, vulnerability, she argues, is the key to connecting with your audience, which is the key to writing compelling content.  If we avoid the fear, we avoid being vulnerable and we fail to connect.  Consequently, we ought to write the most when we are the most afraid of writing. Check it out here.

Infographic: Exclamation Points Get More Retweets, Fewer Clicks

Social marketing scientist Dan Zarrella just released a study on punctuation in tweets. His findings: while exclamation points tend to get more retweets, tweets without them tend to get more clicks.

Note: that bottom y axis should read “clicks-per-follower.”

 

Keep this in mind if you’re promoting material—or just trying to hack Klout.

Didn’t Read It? Our Customers Can Help You Sell It Anyway

We have over 32,000 books, and no one (except maybe Kent Hendricks) has read them all. So how can you promote a live product you’ve never read or used?

Product ratings and reviews can help you zoom in on why customers love a given product.

For example, suppose the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC) is going on sale. You’re in charge of promoting it, but you’ve never read it before. Your first question to answer is, “Why would someone want this?”

Of course, you’ll read the product’s description. You can ask your manager and/or the mighty Kent for insight on why people will want to buy it.

You can also go to our customers. Just by visiting the product page, you’ll see the EBC’s overall customer rating:

The EBC had 4.5 stars out of 10 ratings at the time this was written.

In this case, you know the average customer rating was 4.5 stars—halfway between “Liked it” and “Loved it!” At the bottom of the page, you can see what customers have to say about this product they like so much.

rating-review-EBC-reviews

Pro tip: you can put “#product-reviews” at the end of a URL to jump right to this section.

Just by reading the reviews, you get a few takeaways:

  • Customers like the price.
  • It’s good for answering questions.
  • It’s a big step up from the print edition.

Boom—now you know what some customers really like about the WBC, and you have ideas for blog posts, emails, app messages, and more!

But what if there are no ratings and reviews on your product? No problem: before the promotion starts, send a targeted email to everyone who owns it and ask them to rate and review it.

Learn more about how ratings and reviews make promotions easier here.