Good small business reads #19: Advertising trends, turning competitors into partners and situational awareness

Sometimes when I start to write this monthly feature of our blog, I am astonished by all the informative and thought-provoking articles I’ve come across online in the past month that I want to share with you. Here are three blog posts I think are very worthy of your attention this month:

From OfficeArrow.com comes “5 Key Small Business Advertising Trends for 2012.” Take particular note of the trend toward network synergy. The advise on what you should be doing on social media is right on target. Far too many businesses I’ve seen don’t bother to think whether their social media content is something that will actually connect with their followers. Don’t make this mistake. Provide useful, thought-provoking content; have a conversation with your followers instead of sending out a constant stream of sales pitches.

I’ve become a fan of 12most.com, where people write articles featuring 12 ideas or tips on their business topic of choice. In “12 Most Compelling Reasons to Turn Competitors into Partners,” Doug Rice recommends collaboration and cooperation over competition. My favorite reason among his 12 is #1: “There’s plenty of money to go around.” I have long espoused this belief. I’m not the right public relations consultant or ghostwriter for every client and I can’t possibly serve every client, so I have always sent business leads to my competitors. I always say don’t fight tooth and nail for your share of the pie; instead let’s all work together to make the pie bigger so there is plenty for everyone!

Finally, this piece from Peter Shankman on situational awareness really caught my attention and deserves a read if for no other reason than for the shock value. Peter is founder of Help a Reporter Out, which brings together businesses and reporters who are seeking knowledgeable sources. Peter spends a ton of time on planes traveling to speaking engagements. His story of how unaware one seatmate was that others could easily see the top-secret info he was reading about a client is eye-popping. Let it be a cautionary tale for all frequent flyers; be careful when you’re up in the air!

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