Posts written by: Steven Ehrlich

Steven Ehrlich

About Steven Ehrlich

Fueled by an addiction (and brand loyalty) to Diet Coke, Steven has spent the past 18 years as a complete "tech geek." As an early adopter of everything from the Apple Newton and the Compact Disc to Satellite Radio and the iPhone, Steven has focused on the use of emerging tools and technologies to enhance both brand articulation and recruitment for a multitude of organizations including Yale University, Exelon, Walmart, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Steven is constantly on the move, both in the office and out, working with TMPers and clients alike to explore, develop, and implement strategic initiatives leveraging social media, new technology, and innovative employer brand delivery channels. He is one of the agency's thought leaders and is often found in front of a crowd - large or small - yakking away about some new thing-a-ma-jig or a socially-enabled whos-a-what-sis. At TMP Worldwide, Steven has met some of the brightest, hardest working, and talented people with whom he has ever had the pleasure to work. He is an advocate and brand evangelist for the agency and loves coming to work every day.

The Future is…Now.

My friend Tom and I were using iChat on our Macintosh laptops with built-in iSight cameras and Wi-Fi access to share information about upcoming presentations we were both working on. My iPhone rang in the middle of our video chat so I texted the person who had called me and I told them that I would chat with them via IM in a minute. I started thinking about how, according to my father, he used to have to walk to school, uphill both ways in the snow, carrying pennies and nickels in his pocket so he could pay for lunch and some telephone calls at a pay phone (A pay phone? What is that?) Tom and I discussed how media has evolved from help wanted signs to classified ads and from online job postings to social media. Tom and I had a good laugh and he shared the video below (from 1981) with me in response to my comments about how the leadership in some media organizations has suffered from a lack of innovation and vision. Amazing how far we have come. How far will we go? Which media will remain and what will emerge? What is next in recruitment and employment communications? How will brands evolve and engage? Want to know more? Reach out to me with a comment here and join the conversation. SZE

A New Day in America

Today was an amazing day. Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. I am proud, hopeful, and excited. I was in London last week and everyone was excited about the inauguration. They were excited because, even though he does not have all the answers, President Obama offers us all the hope that tomorrow will be better than today. I watched President Obama walk during the inaugural parade and was scared out of my mind that something might happen. I was hoping he would get back into the armored Cadillac. In every television image, I kept seeing the ubiquitous Secret Service GMC Yukons and I got curious as to what they contained. Thanks to YouTube, I found out. 4,000 rounds per minute. Even with this firepower, I wish he would stay in the car. Want to know more? Reach out to me with a comment here and join the conversation. SZE

In the spirit of Peace and Understanding

Enjoy this video and visit the site. Maybe we will all be able to join Matt in one of his videos. And here are the outtakes... Want to know more? Reach out to me with a comment here and join the conversation. SZE

When to Tweet, and When NOT to Tweet!

I am all about using Social Media to its fullest, but I think this takes it a bit too far! Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year! Want to know more? Reach out to me with a comment here and join the conversation. SZE

Viral Video

I was just discussing the idea of "viral" marketing with a client. They initiated the conversation by saying, "We want you to make us a viral video." I had to explain to them that "viral" is not made, it just happens. Social media has allowed individuals to drive their own conversations online and viral happens because people want to "talk" about what they have just seen. They want to share it with friends because the content of the viral video often makes them laugh. Laughter is something that is great anytime, but is best when shared with others. I am still, for some unknown reason, in a turkey-induced fog and Mondays are just tough. I need a jump-start and I thought I would share some of my favorite viral videos with you since the laughter will help me get going. You have probably seen most of these but if you haven't, I hope you like them. Enjoy! Want to know more? Reach out to me with a comment here and join the conversation. SZE The Evolution of Dance Flagpole Sitta (this one resulted in a deluge of resumes being submitted to the company) Asian BSB Again and Again Mentos OK GO

Campus Recruiting Forum

I thought I had posted this already - and now it is a bit late - but if you are in DC, I am speaking at the Campus Recruiting Forum. I have spoken for them several times in the past in different cities, and each time, the ensuing conversations have been thought-provoking and quite interesting. Again, apologies for the late notice - I was in a Turkey-induced stupor. Details are below: December 4, 2008, 8 AM - 5 PM George Washington University The Marvin Center 800 21st Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20052 SZE

Hearing voices…

I was traveling in San Francisco recently with my friend Tom Delorme from our Paris office. We had spent the previous few days at Google's HQ in Mountain View and had much food for thought after that experience. Tom had never been to San Francisco so we got to play tourist for a few days - visiting Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, etc. While there, I got to introduce Tom to some of my favorite dining options including The Slanted Door and my favorite burger joint, In-n-Out. DSCN0504.JPG During our lunch (double-double, animal style with cheese) at the In-n-Out, Tom brought up the fact that Google's phone-based search service was the model for something much larger. By dialing 800-GOOG-411, users get free search information on any topic that they could search from their own computers. There was, however, just one catch. Whenever one dialed the 800 number, the recording that answered immediately stated, "this call is being recorded." He asked me why I thought that Google would establish a server farm to capture teraflops of data from all of these calls. We went back and forth on that for a few minutes until the answer dawned on us. Google was building the mother-of-all voice recognition databases. If Tom called 800-GOOG-411 and asked a question in his Parisian-accented English it would clearly sound different than if I asked the same question in my New York tone of voice. By recording all of the calls, Google would have a polyglot database that would allow them to deliver accurate search results via voice recognition. Now, that is just the next evolution of search, but how do you take it and make it innovative? You go mobile. A few days ago, Google released voice search for the iPhone. It works. Well. As I have written previously, we have yet to truly unleash the power of mobile here in the United States. We are just starting to think about its possibilities and its impact. Given what Google has done with voice search, ask yourself this question: "Is my company ready to capitalize on search delivered via mobile device?" I am willing to bet that most companies are not even thinking about mobile search. How is the emerging technology going to impact the development and delivery of search campaigns about employment? Imagine, you will be able to deliver experiential employment videos and profiles via mobile - pretty powerful stuff. Only time will tell, but smart companies are already thinking about it. Want to know more? Reach out to me with a comment here and join the conversation. SZE

Seeing is believing!

We all know that the social networks are popular. The question is just how popular are they? Often, in discussing social networking solutions with clients, I am asked to provide them with Social ROI. It is tough to do since the metrics are vastly different. We are not necessarily measuring clicks and applications, but more often, we need to measure the virality of the message. The 'buzz" if you will. I found an interesting video that showcases a project currently underway to visualize the traffic on Facebook. It does not yet yield specific Social ROI, but it does offer the promise of harder data in the future. It is also just plain cool for a tech-geek like me! I hope you enjoy it. Want to know more? Reach out to me with a comment here and join the conversation. SZE

Social Nodes & Sociometry

I spent last week at the Conference Board's Extending Your Brand to Employees Conference listening to great people from great companies talk about the importance of articulating and sharing a strong employer brand. Although they were all at different levels of brand development, the common thread shared by all was the need for crisp execution and dissemination once the brand was formalized. In my presentation, and in those that followed from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, HP, Kaiser Permanente, and Xerox, the discussion included questions on how to use social media tools to disseminate the brand. I contend that social media and social networks are THE critical path for the successful sharing and delivery of an employer brand. Why? Because they allow you to leverage those individuals within the organization who are true social "nodes." In every company there are certain individuals to whom the bulk of the workforce turns when they need social information (where are the after-work drinks?), or political information (who is on the rise and who is on their way out?), and most importantly, knowledge (how do you build an employer brand?) These individuals are social "nodes" who exert significantly more influence upon their colleagues than others in the company. If you can identify the social nodes from an employer brand standpoint, you can quickly socialize your brand via organic pathways within the company. My colleague, Rob O'Keefe has written about this concept known as Sociometry on his blog. If you equip your social nodes with the right knowledge and information, they will spread it organically throughout their networks using enabling tools like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Successful companies are no longer parsing Brand Management and Social Media, but rather, they are understanding and engaging in the convergence of the two. Want to know more? Reach out to me or to Rob with a comment here and join the conversation. SZE

The Power of Mobile

The newest generation of smart-phones are incredibly powerful computing devices. In fact, there is not much that you can do today on a computer that you cannot do on your mobile. With my iPhone, I can email, surf the Internet, look at my photos, listen to music, watch movies, and manage my contacts and calendar. Oh, yeah, I can make calls too. I was recently in London and watched as a man got out of his car, pointed his cell phone skyward, and paid for his parking. In Asia, cellular phones are used to pay for food in restaurants and as remote controls for household items. In the United States, we have been slow to recognize the power of mobile. We had landline infrastructure built out to such an extent that we did not have the imperative to develop and deploy fast mobile networks in the same way that they did in Europe and Asia. U.S. mobile users primarily use their phones for talk and for SMS messaging, but we are starting to see significant adoption rates for mobile internet. In the U.S., we are now on the cusp of the Mobile Revolution. Around the world, in the next 12-18 months, mobile phones are going to become the primary device used to access the internet. Estimates are that 80-100 million Chinese mobile phone users log onto the Internet via their handsets every month already. Globally, the past 12 months have seen the mobile user base grow by 500 million people with 25% of the growth coming from China and India. For the first time in history, more users of a telecommunications technology are in the developing world than in the developed world. So, what does this mean to you? It means that you need to have a mobile strategy in place sooner rather than later. It means that you had better be sure that your career site loads properly on mobile handsets. I recently had an experience in which I attempted to load a prospective client's website on my phone (not my iPhone, but rather my Treo). Note the use of the word "attempted." The site failed to load properly since it was not designed to be mobile-friendly and all I got was a bunch of junk. Bad experience for a possible candidate. When you consider the fact that your brand is best delivered through the engaging content that can and should live on your career site, you can see that a user-friendly mobile web experience is critical. It is important to have a well thought out, integrated mobile strategy in order to succeed. It might include text messaging components, image recognition, and even mobile video. Most certainly, it requires a seamless and intuitive web component. The power of mobile cannot be overstated and it is time for companies to seriously plan their presence. Think of it this way: If you can properly harness the power of mobile, you can, quite literally, put your message in the palms of your candidates' hands.