Effective Messaging
No. 83
February, 2013

Yeah! It's winter. I've been downhill and cross-country skiing and snow shoeing this year. Will made this video so you can see for yourself. 

Susanna - snow shoeing
Susanna - snow shoeing


Last month 46 of you took a few minutes to fill out our online survey. You'll see the results in the first article. Some surprises, some confirmations.

My own personal version of the phone wars is the subject of the second article. You'll get to meet Blanche and learn about family phoning.

The dialogue on LinkedIn endorsements continues. I've heard the suggestion that LinkedIn is gaming the system with phony endorsements since people are hearing from people they don't know or haven't been in touch with in a long time. I've got those, too. So I checked one out and learned it was totally legit. So there.

Also, husband Will Ryan got this note from LinkedIn: "You're one of the top 1% most endorsed in United States for Public Speaking." He got 35 endorsements for this. That doesn't seem like a lot, but he is a great public speaker, so they have the facts right.


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In This Issue
Survey Results - What we learned
New Phone - The wait is over
Web Tips - Surprising Google searches
Great Education
Survey Results
Survey Check
Thanks to all who completed our survey in the January Web Words.

You can see the multiple-choice results here

Congratulations to Joe Kalinowski of Trilogy Associates, who won the drawing for an hour's free consulting.

The survey response rate was 14% of opens, which is OK, not great. But it's better than the last survey, which was 12%. Both results are in best practices range of between 10% and 20%. It's challenging to report survey results without being boring. So I've decided to tell you what I learned--what was surprising and what was confirming. I'll tell you more about the comments in a future issue.


1. By a ratio of 2-1 respondents prefer to hear from valued communicators weekly rather than monthly. That result was confirmed by Felicia Slattery, who also did a January survey and came up with similar results. Does this mean I should send you Web Words every week? Or maybe every other week? What do you think?

2. Facebook out polled LinkedIn and blogs as an information source. I guess this means I should be more proactive on my Facebook page.


1. Web Words readers get most of their online information by direct searches and email, affirming the value of regular email communication with customers and constituents.

2. Occasional emails are still the top method of communicating with followers. If you'd like to get into something a little more regular (see #1 above), be in touch.

3. Our survey didn't ask the "preferred day of the week" question this time because we did so in a previous survey. But Felicia did and learned that any weekday is good, but Wed. and Tues. are preferred. (We moved Web Words to Wed. some years back in response to a survey.)

4. Online requests require multiple efforts. Almost as many people responded to our second request as did our first. But unsubscribes went up too! (That actually was surprising.)

Surveys are a really great way to engage your community and garner useful information at the same time. Want to know how a survey can work for you? Call 413-528-6494 to arrange a free consulting session.
New Phone
White iPhone4S

My phone contract was up last July, but because I was on the fence about which phone to get, I did the natural thing--nothing.

During the fall husband Will wavered. "No new smart phone for me. I don't need it." Then he got an early morning text from a carpool buddy. "How did you send that in the dark while you were driving?" he asked. "Siri," was the answer. In fact, Siri was the killer app for us both. I'll tell you some amusing Siri stories in a future issue.

But let me back up. As a few loyal readers might remember, my first smart phone was an Android. My Aria did its job well and lasted a long time, though its manufacturers call it a "starter smart phone." Ouch!

In the end, we each got an iPhone4S. Mine is white (called Blanche); his is black. Take whatever meaning you want from that.

The Review

Will got his phone first. Whenever I looked at it, I asked, "Where is the back button?" My Android had a built-in back button so you could always take a step back.  But not Blanche. Sometimes you can go back, but it's not consistent. Occasionally, you can't go back and must start over. 

It was also easier to read things on my Android (which never did get named) even though it has a very petite screen. In general, the architecture doesn't seem as clean to me. Maybe I really am a geek. And I'm sure I would have loved Samsung's Galaxy S III, the phone of choice in the Android world these days. But it was just too large to handle comfortably, and it wouldn't fit into my smaller pockets.


By getting the iPhone4S instead of the iPhone5 I violated a long-held principle of hardware acquisition: Always get the latest and greatest. Once selected, I tend to hold on to hardware and having the newest technology to begin with makes sense.

But in the end, I think I did the right thing. Having the same phone as my partner is good for many reasons. Besides being able to share power cords, we exchange knowledge. Between the two of us, we can usually figure things out. After years of warring cell phones when each of us treated the other's phone like an alien creature, it's nice to be on the same page. Love to hear where you are in the phone wars. Be in touch.

Web Tips

Tips2Our survey shows that searching the Web is the most popular way to get information these days. Here are a few useful tricks you might not know about searching with Google. For even more, check out this article from MakeUseOf.

It's all a matter of syntax. Want to see all the movies your favorite actor has made? Try [Ryan Gossling movies]. This works for authors and recording artists as well. Want to see a specific movie in a theater near you? Search for [Lincoln zip code].

Here are some cool tricks for travelers. Enter the airline and flight number and see the progress of today's flight. Put in a specific amount of Euro's and see how much it is in US dollars. These work too: [translate lapin] and [translate rabbit French].  

And Finally . . .

Shawenon Communications collaborates with small businesses, solopreneurs, professionals and not-for-profits to get their messages across in the written word.

We specialize in electronic communications, including e-zines and other forms of email marketing, Web sites and social media.  We also ghostwrite articles and other business communications. As a solution provider, we resell Constant Contact's email marketing service.


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First name
Susanna Opper
Shawenon Communications

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Great Education 
SO turtleneck cropped
I've always loved school. So you can imagine my delight when Constant Contact offered business partners (me) a week-long sales course. Twice daily they held webinars on their products and the best way to tell customers (you) about their offerings. The sessions were really interesting, and I know a lot more than I did a month ago.

So if you've been waiting to get started with Constant Contact, now's the time. Be in touch to get the details of what I can offer.

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