Business and Politics: Boycott Likely, BUYcott NOT

Even as many corporations see great losses and a few go bankrupt, their leadership is still failing to recognize that politics in marketing for business is not a good idea.  Using ESG index and DEI initiatives as indicators for business is driving too many out-of-business by alienating customers and landing on "Go Woke Go Broke" boycott lists. Those alienated customers are now looking for entrepreneurs who start-up businesses with either the opposite politics or preferably no politics at all.

Business magazines, newspapers, and blogs are taking note and urging companies to return to concentrating on profits over politics.  
If businesses want to survive, company leadership needs to stop listening to bad advice, research the facts, and understand that politics in marketing can kill their profits and possibly drive them out of business.  Corporate leadership needs to get back to basic business concerns and strategic planning based on items key to success.

Some companies claim they are supporting social issues  because their human resources think it might get younger people to be interested in working for the organization as employees. But, does it get loyal or competent employees? Which matters most to the bottom line - customers or employees?

Is Your Company Failing?

COVID shutdowns caused a lot of small businesses to fold during and after, even though a few entrepreneurs seemed to flourish (especially those that provided delivery services) through it.  Bigger businesses upgraded their websites to increase online sales and went to Zoom meetings (and contine to do so for travel cost savings) to keep things going.  

Although people are supposed to be back-at-work now, there is still a crisis in the world if business as inflation rises, regulations increase, and the economy has not yet recovered.  Large and small companies continue going under for various reasons.   

Wondering how to tell if the company you work for or the business you own is about to go out-of-business? 

Check out these articles for employees:

Check out these articles for owners :

Who Controls American Business, Media, or Government?

Do you ever wonder who really controls American business, media, or government?  For business: you might say it is American entrepreneurs starting new enterprises, or you may think of those running franchise opportunities in America and abroad, or you may say the rich citizens who already own big successful companies.  You may even look at Wall Street to see what is currently on-top or research billionaires to determine what they are into.  For media: you might think along the technology lines of social media (aka Big Tech), or entertainment media (aka Hollywood), or you might consider journalistic pursuits (aka Main Stream Media).  For government, you may believe in "we the people" democracy as the major stakeholder or the republic and who laws are created to protect.

For every example, you are most likely thinking it is United States citizens who have achieved the American dream.  Some may even consider international and global reach as the people in control.  Then there are those that worry Communist China is really the one gaining control of American business, media, and government.  Is the USA hurling towards crisis inspired by a new type of economy based on marketing propaganda instead of quality products and preformance-based service? If it is USA citizens (native-born or legally naturalized) controlling corporate strategy, the American dream will continue to grow.   If it is not, then either environmental and growth restrictions of globalization or communist government-owns everything will be the future resulting in the crushing death of the American dream.  

Who do you think controls American business, media, or government?  Share your thought in comments on this blog post.

Are Social Media Outlets Hiding Information From Users?

In the past few years, we have learned that most social media providers are not about their users or about promoting free speech as was designated as their original purpose for existing.  No, they are a business with customers who are not necessarily the same as their users.  Most social media outlets are about profit through advertising dollars and promoting the beliefs/values of the outlet's owners.  Social media  platforms keep changing who they allow to voice opinions on their networks and what they will allow the remaining network audience to see.   A few of these actions may be directed at preventing "misinformation" or encouraging  "disinformation" to appease the government or other powers, but more are about controlling what facts social media users see. Whether hiding select information is done at the direction of owners, advertisers, or politicians is not shared with their users.  

Well-known social media platforms continue hiding information from users by constantly changing how the information is displayed.  When hiding started in 2020, Facebook users were encouraged to either view a "fact check" or "alternative view" article first before clicking through to what they wanted to view.  Twitter did something similar with a friendly warning pop-up when users wanted to share "questionable" items and forcing user to choose to continue by clicking option in pop-up or outside of it to cancel communication.  Now, the user sometimes also may click an additional option on the post to see one-time view of the article image link or video link.  To prevent the complaints, users are allowed to go to a "security" option to turn-off the platform's latest change or opt-out of tracking history

     Example of Twitter Popup when Retweeting Website/Articles 

     Example of Twitter Text on select Website/Video as of 3-4-2022 

     Example of Twitter Text on Blocked Video Sites as of 6-1-2022

     Example of Twitter to Change View Settings (from above) to Prevent Blocking 

     Example of Twitter Terms to End Accounts for ANY/NO reason effective 6-10-22

Are these new changes letting users control more of what they see or is it still about the social media outlet keeping control of that?  Will users take the 2nd or 3rd click/step required to see the hidden information from selected sites?  Will other platforms choose to change "sensitive" view options that make it sound like users will see pornography instead of platform-deemed "questionable" information.  Are social media owners hoping users will not exercise their personal choice by making the extra effort to click again?  Is the reason platforms are requiring the extra clicks so they can track user choices better or find out what is most popular topics?  Will any of it make a difference to owner's profits, advertiser's bottom-line, or to the user's free speech?  Do social media users still have the option to gather their own facts and form their own opinions? 

Articles and videos continue to get blocked, not because they have been individually "fact checked," but due to the main URL of the .com/.net/.org being targeted for reasons known only to the social media provider.  Or in the case of a video, it might it be a particular YouTube (and competitors), TV, or cable channel suppression.  So where do users go to find truth/facts or lies/fiction now?   

Yes   that's a lot of embedded questions above that are definitely NOT hidden from view!  Why?  Because  questions make you think.  If you think, then you can form your own opinions.  Sharing opinions in an acceptable and respectful way is allowed freedom of speech. The user should have the opportunity to decide, not the social network outlet.  History will tell us if the user's decision is important to the platforms they use.

NOTE:  Twitter changed ownership in 4th quarter 2022, now transparency of past and current processes is ongoing under the new management that is promoting "freedom of speech" but not necessarily freedom of reach?  See December 2022 deletions and solutions articles plus January 2023 infographic, regarding #TwitterFiles compiled data of free speech suppression and hidden truths for political reasons currently being ignored by mainstream media news that proves partisan censorship

ADDED NOTE: What about Facebook? FB uses a little italicized to make it look like users can get more related topic information, but often it tricks people by showing a list of prejudiced articles that express the social media owner's views. Although, upon occasion, it will share if a link site has/hasn't an FB page or other recent videos from that site only if it is "news" site.  But they still limit or outright  block free speech of most vocal conservatives, medical experts, Christians (formerly religious freedom to Bible), and politicians that do not buy into Zuckerberg's obvious malarkey meant only to get FB owner more money - not actually help people. In 2021, Facebook Admits in Court That ‘Fact Checks’ Are Just Opinion - in other words, what the boss wants communicated or NOT.  Then the following year, at Congressional hearing, Facebook CEO blames the government for selected censorship.

Google is no longer in the social media game, but are they a "Big Tech" who is still censoring topics in searches too? What about those MSN searches, will their AI bots censor even more?

July 2023 UPDATE: Did DNC government try to crush USA citizens' FREE SPEECH?  Will it ever be fully restored on social media platforms?

Uncovering Key Business Management Issues

The economy is down and inflation is rising!  The pandemic is not coming to an end yet and schools move to and fro with web-based classrooms - continuing to effect the workability and challenge flexibility of employees.  There are so many issues facing business this year, it is no wonder managers are trying to find what they should be doing to keep their business thriving.  Many are turning to their Human Resource departments to do research or they are doing their own research on the internet or by reading  multiple business-related publications.

There are so many articles and surveys trying to give leaders some sort of idea where to concentrate their efforts.  However, they need to be read carefully for who the article is meant to help.  Is it meant to help most corporations stay in-the-black, or to keep small businesses afloat in uncertain times, or is the article really meant to generate a business need that will actually profit the article writer more than those who read the article or post?

Two surveys that you may want to review include:

Is technology a big issue for business in 2022?  Security companies are telling business mangers that cyber security should be their main concern to prevent business interruptions.  However, only 57% of managers they surveyed agreed with that.  At the same time, companies that offer telecommunications are still saying it is important to increase virtual meeting capability and phone app usage as the pandemic has taken various twists and turns.  Are they right and are telecommunication companies ready to meet performance requirements?  Does your company need new technology, better technology, or updates to telecommuting processes and policies?

Are social issues and/or DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) a current  issue for business?  Although consultants will tell you these are major concerns, do they really affect the bottom line?  Yes, if you choose the wrong ones!  Social awareness is supposed to be key to the newer generation of employees but following what maybe advertised as politically correct has cost many companies in loss of valuable customers due to boycotts the past few years.  DEI was low on the Gartner survey as it does impact Human Resources,  Not only as a training program, employees have left companies for bringing in propaganda disguised as "diversity training" that was insulting to their personal morals, values, ethics, and intelligence.  These same employees took customers when they reported the that information on social media, which created a PR nightmare and devastated the image of those companies.  Traditional versions of DEI and EEO to build trust and understanding. as well as prevent racial issues has been effective for decades.  But some of the new "improved" versions may not be what they claim, instead they can build distrust and division.  Employees working against each other can not be good for business.  Management and HR must research heavily and attend the training themselves before they bring in anything that is not skills related to verify it meets their needs to include others not divide people.  Consultants and training material providers want to make sales, just like you do - so verify the facts instead of believing the pitch.  Make sure what you buy truly matches corporate culture and  beliefs.

Is supply chain still a key issue for businesses to be concerned about? This concern did make the bloomberg survey as the continued pandemic has and will affect it.  Whether your business is a supplier or uses supplies, you should be adapting your processes sustainable and resilient.  Organizations will need to become streamline and agile.  Products quality also needs to be maintained to ensure repeat customers. who are moving from a just-in-time ordering process to a storing for future purposes.

Seems like business managers may be better focused on the needs of their particular business than listening to the trends.  Read the surveys to learn what others think, but keep in mind that is their impression based on their experience not yours.  Focus on your compnay leadership, your customer service, and your process improvement.  Yes, you can research "what's new" just be sure to check it through your professional lens to determine if it meets you needs or just send your dollars down the drain into another's profits.  Jumping on a new bandwagon without really looking, means you are likely to totally miss your target!

Holiday Concerns in Current Business Climate

The holiday season is hectic and often stressful for employees and employers.  Wholesale supply chain issues make it hard to provide what is needed for manufacturing products or selling consumer goods. Piling on the stress for employees is schools choosing to restart on-line learning or reducing the hours on campus during the holiday season.  This forces parents to either take-off from the workplace that they recently returned to or work remotely to cover childcare and insure lessons get done.  It forces employers and their human resource departments to either do without some of their workforce or scramble to create workarounds to continue productive performance.  

New government mandates also add to this stress by telling individual and companies what they have to do and not how to pay for it without increasing the already rising inflation and the cost of doing business. "It pits government against private employers instead of working with them to create a safe working environment” says Retail Industry Leaders Association.  Employee moral and motivation may be at an all-time low with the continued restrictions, changing narrative, and perceived violation of personal rights.

These challenges make it hard for companies to take advantage of the holiday season opportunities to bolster their profits after a particularly hard past tow years.  The economy is on a downward trend making it hard for both employers and employees to look forward to a bright future.  Even though it seems hard to trust that success is around the corner, with the possibility of new "health" lockdowns as occurred in 2020, goal-setting and flexibility are very important to making the next year better for business.  

What Is the Best Alternative for Social Marketing?

Businesses are getting conflicting messages on what to do with their social media accounts.  Articles paid for by the social media companies say profits are up.  However, customers have left Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others citing: their censorship of posts, too many ads, or increasing restrictions.  Technology changes, cyber-security issues, and varying user needs are being reflected in multiple new platforms are being designed and redesigned.  New social media and other interaction alternatives seem to be coming out on a more frequent basis.  

It seems that social marketing is not what it used to be.  Where is the profitability for companies to continue to have a social media presence with specialized pages or advertisements?  What are the best alternatives for different types of businesses to reach the customer-base they want?  If you have questions about what to do now,  you may find some answers by reviewing the posts and articles below.  

If something peaks your curiosity, you can refine your own web search using concepts and ideas presented in the text of an article or post you read.

Getting Back to Work

The statistics for people returning to work, after the state and/or national shutdowns, can be confusing.  Some reports say possibly 40% of the former workforce DO NOT want to return to work because they are getting paid to stay home by the government in the form of both unemployment benefits and stimulus checks.  Others say that 2/3 of the workforce are afraid to return to work since new cases of virus are being reported and they fear getting sick.  While other reports show 25%-29% want to return to work but want more flexible work days/hours because they got used to telecommuting and doing work-from-home.  

Studies show some employees feel they are more productive working from home, whereas others feel they accomplish more at-the-office.  However, there are articles that show people want to get back to a workplace where they can collaborate in-person with others, not be distracted by children, and also return to developing their careers.

Safety options companies are considering to bring back their employees include:

  • Having everyone in the office, warehouse, restaurant, or store continue to wear face masks provided by company
  • Allowing only people with an approved vaccination and health card to come into company facilities (Rockefeller Foundation survey indicates 9 out of 10 companies prioritize this) 
  • Providing counseling and support and for this stressful situation to those concerned employees
  • Educating employees through health professionals (live or video) on illness signals and stress signs to be aware of
  • Continuing telecommuting and virtual meetings for unvaccinated employees
  • Offering on-and-off site workday scheduling options for experienced employees they wish to keep
  • Using more on-line options for interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and training to fill open positions

Company owners and managers need to decide what IS or is NOT working for the profitability and productivity of their organizations.  After issues are reviewed, re-opening options considered, and best policy/process is chosen to get people back to work, then communicate that to current and potential employees via company website.   Send emails or letters to employees to let them know the highlights and refer them to website for details and new information as decisions are made.