Randi Zuckerberg’s ascension to the “voice of reason” in our fast-paced, digitally-enhanced, technology-connected age couldn’t have come at a better time.
In her recently launched book Dot Complicated, Randi addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time, how to put up boundaries around technology, and essentially build a life that is tech-interdependent.
Bonus about Randi: She’s about as sweet as they come and totally sincere in her mission to enforce positive tech role modeling. However, she does have a lil’ sass. Love.
My favorite quote ever came during Dell World 2013 a few weeks ago while she was doing an interview with Moira Forbes.
When asked how she responded to Mark when he first wanted to bring her into “The Facebook” fold:
“Why would I want to work for your stupid, little startup?”
From Facebook to the frontlines of untangling our wired lives, here are some seriously useful insights and thoughts from Ms. Zuckerberg…
Rebekah Iliff: If the core of a person’s life is a narrative, should this be true for businesses and how would an industry like PR support this?
Randi Zuckerberg: In this day and age, a business absolutely needs a narrative to succeed. As social media and an online presence becomes an increasingly integral part of the marketing plan for any business, companies have to fine-tune their persona and voice to fit the story they are promoting for their business. The businesses that are transparent and authentic are the ones that will draw (and keep) the most loyal consumers. An important role for PR is to encourage clients to really be thoughtful about how they present their brand to the world via social media and general online presence.
RI: You talk about a couple of “crisis comms” situations, both personal and professional, in your book. Are situations like these something you should tackle alone or is it important to have support? (*cough cough..PR)
RZ: Today, the lines are blurred between personal and professional crisis comms. Thanks to social media, every employee (from intern to executive) reflects and adds to the reputation of their firm. That’s why we need to always be careful of what we post online, even to our personal networks. For personal crises, it’s fine to handle them on your own, or with the advice of friends and family. The moment it implicates your company, however, it’s a good idea to have the support of a PR team. Also, make sure to train your employees to proactively communicate with customers, instead of waiting to act reactively after a crisis occurs.
RI: The barriers of distribution have fallen and its open season for people’s attention. Where should businesses look to get consumers’ attention in a loud, crowded space?
RZ: Back in the early days of social media, brands were most concerned about connections – getting more fans and more eyeballs in general. Today, it’s more about the right connections and the right eyeballs. That’s why you need a great PR strategy for attracting your brand’s unique target audience, who will turn into your most loyal supporters.
With all the noise that’s out there, I know it can be overwhelming to try to attract eyeballs. But at the end of the day, I think that what matters most is delivering quality content by taking a step back to clearly communicate the story and values behind your brand.
RI: You talk about tech-life balance (which we love). When applied, where do you see this approach most benefitting uber-busy, over connected professionals?
RZ: Tech-life balance is all about redistributing our attention to what matters most in life – our loved ones, friends, and truly living in the present moment. When we’re constantly connected to our devices, our minds don’t have the space to be creative and recharge. When uber-busy professionals incorporate a bit more balance in their lives, I think what we’ll find is that they become more alert, more creative, and more mindful of others – and in the end, perhaps even more productive and purposeful than when they are connected to their devices at work.
RI: I think we can all agree that unplugging is so important. What’s your favorite activity to indulge in when you disconnect?
RZ: I try to go for a run every day, without my phone. Having that time every day with only my thoughts to listen to really keeps me centered. I find that I often will think of a way to handle a tricky situation when my mind isn’t distracted.
Not only is she an accomplished writer, mother, and entrepreneur, Randi and her team have been a gracious supporters of AirPR and our efforts over the past year.
If you’re looking for a great read, or for tips on how to balance all this tech-insanity, hop on over to DotComplicated.
Make it a great, balanced, engaged, and productive 2014!