SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: ArCompany and InNetwork Announce Strategic Partnership

I am so excited today. As we start moving in this social intelligence space, we’ve built some pretty amazing relationships along the way, including this one with Innetwork Inc. You can also see this at the ArCompany Blog.

ArCompany and InNetwork Inc. Announce Strategic Partnership, Combine Social Media Intelligence with Influence Marketing

July 15, 2013 – Influence marketing will be an integral part of the marketing suite for most organizations over the next 18 months, according to a recent study of more than 1,300 brand managers, agencies and PR professionals. However, many businesses lack the resources and expertise to extract real business data from influence marketing campaigns. Announced today, a new strategic partnership between ArCompany and InNetwork Inc. will close that gap.

ArCompany is a thought leader in social media who provides strategic services to leading enterprises with an emphasis on social media intelligence, analytics and ROI.  InNetwork Inc. is a cloud-based solution that enables brands and agencies to identify and connect with individually vetted influencers for marketing campaigns, share of voice promotions and product launches.

“Today’s announcement is a natural expansion of the services we provide,” says ArCompany CEO Hessie Jones. “We identify and recommend best-of-breed solutions to best meet our client’s needs based on deliverables and success metrics. InNetwork’s methodology of providing authority-driven influence fits well with that approach.”

In addition to using InNetwork’s solution for client campaigns, ArCompany will help shape the solution for today’s organizational needs.  “One obvious synergy would be delivering deeper business data highlighting real business return and which influencers provided true value for the brand, as well as strategic pre-campaign goal-setting,” adds Craig Rennick, COO of InNetwork Inc. “ArCompany’s experience in this field will enhance the InNetwork solution and deliver a comprehensive offering for our clients.”

ArCompany’s leadership team includes Danny Brown, a highly respected social media and marketing thought leader, and co-author of the best-selling book Influence Marketing.  “The conversation around influence marketing has matured, and moved from impressions and reach to lead generation, customer acquisition and consumer loyalty,” states Brown. “The partnership between ArCompany and InNetwork will enable brands to successfully utilize this growing business segment to drive actionable insights that deliver real ROI and long-term success.”

About ArCompany:
With offices across Canada and the U.S., ArCompany provides data-driven strategies to help organizations turn social media intelligence into business results. Using analysis and insights from best of breed technologies, they enable their clients to leverage the changing business landscape and be drivers of change within their industries.

About InNetwork Inc.:
Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, InNetwork Inc. is a cloud-based influence-marketing tool that enables brands and agencies to run highly targeted outreach campaigns. Their human algorithm that vets influencers for authority combined with influencer and audience verified data allows marketers to select and connect directly with the best influencers for their campaign.  This, combined with their on-platform workflow and post-campaign reporting, gives marketers a comprehensive solution to run successful influencer outreach campaigns.


Hessie Jones, CEO, ArCompany

Craig Rennick, COO, InNetwork Inc.

When Life Makes You Think

I was going about my day when I saw my friend Lindsay Bell post a note on Facebook about an explosion at the Boston Marathon.

From the time it took to read that post to the time my kids came home from school 20 minutes later, thousands of posts both on Twitter and Facebook were shared: drawing attention to the details of the events. It was a whirlwind and yet it seemed to pass by like a dream in slow motion.

When my kids arrived home, I turned their attention to the television set and told them what had happened. The events had taken an even sadder note when we found out this race was in special commemoration for the Sandy Hook victims and their families. It seemed too surreal to imagine that something like this could happen again.

After 9/11, I, like many other families dove head-first and embraced family. It was a time to focus on the hear-and-now and ONLY make time for those things that were important. Hence, my son, Nathan was born in June of 2002. He would always be a reminder of how life should be lived.

I feel guilty most days…

I know I sometimes (ok, most times) treat my family unfairly. I know I have a temper that must be tempered. I know I should be more patient. I know I should call my parents more often. I know that I should spend more time with my Lola, whose time on this earth is limited. I know I should stop putting unrealistic expectations upon others. I know I should stop judging. I know I am NOT always right.

But I do know I have to be better…

I hug my kids everyday and telling them that I love them. I appreciate Shawn, my love, who has shown me more generosity and compassion and love than anyone deserves. I appreciate my parents who, still new to Canada, struggled to raise 4 kids and gave up so much so we could have what they couldn’t. I never told them Thank You. I still have lots to do to repair a lot of my past mistakes. But I’m relentless and I’m going try.

I collected some of these life lessons along the way and regretfully I have not properly recorded their origins:

…Have no regrets…Laugh like you’ve never laughed before…Dance like no-ones watching…

Tonight, I went to Tumblr to look for inspiration. I found some pretty profound stuff–many from the young’uns who have experienced more hurt, and have openly shared their souls online. Thank you for making me cry tonight. And thank you for making me appreciate what I have:)

Here are some of those amazing posts:

uarenotpowerless love90yochildrenvisitjustbeingtheregentle

There are no words for what happened today. There’s no point in speculation. It’s just another life lesson we need to learn. #PrayersforBoston

Memories of #SXSWi 2013

For all the hoopla about #SXSW I can say the following:

  • I’ve never seen such a dysfunctional transportation system in my life. Cabs not being available for hours on end was really frustrating!
  • The weather was somewhat fickle. It didn’t know whether it wanted to be nearing summer or receding to dark, dreary winter.
  • On that note, the torrential downpour Saturday night, coupled with the lack of transportation did not, in the least, keep me amused.
  • Seeing Twitter and Facebook friends FINALLY IRL was amazing! The connection was the same regardless!
  • You consistently ran into familiar faces despite the multitude of parties, locations and meetings.
  • Wifi was everywhere but not necessarily accessible. Except for the convention centre, the hotels and even Starbucks didn’t allow for consistent connections.
  • Electrical sockets were few and far between. I felt like a homeless person squatting at the Hilton desperate to find any available electricity to juice my devices.
  • Food was abundant. See pics below. You could easily gain 10 pounds just by looking at the food.
  • Canadians were everywhere! It was great that we “represented”. I’m so proud of Rogers for consistently creating an environment for Canucks to hang out!
  • I finally got to meet some amazing people I look up to including Jure Klepic, Jeremiah Owyang and Michael Brito face to face, and have a bit of conversation! That made my day!
  • Talking with people who “speak the same language” was pretty awesome.
  • Innovation and ideas were everywhere. Disruptive technology was definitely present.

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Happiness is Amazing Customer Service: Thanks Apple!

This is how I felt this past Friday night! The reason I chose the pic? Apple and it’s amazing customer service team. Happy Apple.

It all started last Wednesday when I contacted by my Financial Advisor, for the second time in a few days, wondering why he hadn’t returned my emails. He indicated that he didn’t realize I emailed me. In fact, when he looked back in his email box, he noticed mine was flagged as potential SPAM. Considering I’ve emailed him before with no issues, he strongly urged me to change my password just in case my account was compromised. So I did just: I changed my gmail password and made accompanying changes on all my email clients as well as my iPhone.

I never realized this was a nightmare just beginning!

Once I made the changes, I received an error indicating the “gmail IMAP server was unresponsive”, and asked me to verify my settings. This was happening on my Mac Mail and my iPhone. Gmail itself was fine. For most people, not being able to receive or send email is a huge impediment especially to the day-to-day business grind. Various personal and company domains were redirecting to my gmail account. I had to get this fixed.

So for three days straight I referenced forums because Google itself has NO customer service I could call. Google’s help pages and forums clearly indicated IMAP server was a known issue but the solutions they offered did not help. I tried implementing various recommendations from the forums but nothing seemed to take. I was getting seriously frustrated.

Ironically, I read Danny Brown’s blog last Friday: On Fostering the Long Tail Effect of True Brand Loyalty where he spoke about Livefyre and their ability to help him despite the fact he was using a competing comments product:

The really impressive thing? I’m not even a paying customer – Livefyre Comments is free, although it does offer premium features for businesses and media properties.

It got me thinking: perhaps Apple could help me. I had recently purchased a MacBook so perhaps my support warranty would work. When I spoke to the Support Rep, Jason we spent about 20 minutes going through the same exercise I had implemented in the previous few days. He came back and indicated that the issue was clearly the Gmail IMAP server but said he could probably help. He reviewed my settings, and we made adjustments to the ports, stopped my two-way verification, and he made recommendations on some settings that may have been responsible for hindering the emails from transmitting.

And Hallelujah! It worked!

When I started seeing the emails coming on my MacMail, I smiled. I immediately asked him to help me with my iPhone and within a few minutes emails started coming into my iPhone mail client as well!

Funny thing: Jason (I wish I knew his name) could have washed his hands from my issue once he realized it had not originated from Apple’s products, but he didn’t. He joked that Google should actually hire him considering he’s run into this issue with many Apple clients.

For the first time in 3 days I finally felt like my problems had been washed away. Apple did that for me. I felt incredibly relieved that I didn’t have to spend another second dealing with this issue.

Google, I have this message for you: You need to invest in making sure people are happy with your products

Troubleshooting forums may be ok for people who are technically oriented. Unfortunately, the rest of us feel like we’re spinning our wheels. I resent the fact that I was not able to successfully reference your support forums, or help pages to get resolution. From the forums I’ve read, I’m not the only one who is frustrated by your “form” of support.

Google, you need to change your ways quickly. Apple takes the lead in providing the best customer service ever: from their Genius bar to their email and  telephone support. They provide immediate accessibility, effective follow-up and efficient resolution.

Take notes, Google!! You may be big but you are still vulnerable.

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