All posts by Tamra Matthews

Tami Matthews is a content marketing manager at ReadyTalk. What’s content marketing? It’s a fancy way to say she writes, edits, and plans content – copy, articles, videos, podcasts, and more -- for our website, social media, white papers, ebooks, etc. She has more than 20 years of experience writing and loves it so much, she does it in her spare time. When she’s not at work, she’s hanging out with her spunky daughter and loving husband, reading, writing, and hiking. She’s kinda into sci-fi and loves to talk Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Firefly, Blake’s 7, Hitchhiker’s Guide, and general geekery with anyone who will listen or engage.

We Are Family: ReadyTalk, a PGi Company

ReadyTalk, a PGi companyIn January 2017, PGi entered into an agreement to purchase ReadyTalk.

PGi

PGi is a company we’ve been watching for a long time. Its employees are dedicated to providing the best communication and collaboration experiences to customers around the globe. And they have the same values we do — a desire to excel in customer service, deliver great products and innovate.

ReadyTalk, a PGi Company

That’s why we’re pleased to announce that we’ve closed the deal as of February 2. From this point forward we’ll be ReadyTalk, a PGi Company. Our combined portfolio will enable PGi to continue providing the very best collaboration products and services.

We believe our customers benefit, too. They get the advantage of a big company with an expanded portfolio helping people all over the world. They’ll continue to enjoy fantastic customer service. And they’ll continue to get innovation.

Powerhouses Joining Forces

It’s a union of two communications powerhouses joining forces.

As evidence, within the past week, PGi and ReadyTalk were listed in the G2 Crowd Report detailing the Best Web Conferencing Products of 2017. G2 Crowd is the world’s leading business software review platform, and PGi is proud to be included, along with ReadyTalk, on this list of industry-leading conference providers.

We’re thrilled to be part of the family and combine our portfolios to provide the best collaboration experiences to enterprises everywhere.

The Hero’s Journey and Storytelling

As Marketers, we have to tell stories often. But sometimes when it comes to writing, we’ve forgotten what that story is.

hero journey
Some of the best stories involve evocative heroes leaving the known world. He’s given challenges where he overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles. After some successes and at least one defeat, the hero emerges — victorious! Whether the hero gets the girl or guy, or saves the world, the essence of what makes stories great is their ability to simultaneously take your audience on a journey. Essentially, many of the best stories involve everyday individuals overcoming unique challenges, inspiring us to do the same in our own lives.

To get geeky, Joseph Campbell mapped this hero’s journey after discovering that every major culture has heroes. Every culture’s heroes are called to adventure where they overcome obstacles. From Hercules, to Raven, to Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, these heroes are on an epic journey. His theory is that this essential storytelling is so interwoven into our fabric that it’s what we expect. For example, when you enter a movie theater, you generally know — with some exceptions — the good guys are going to win.

Okay, interesting, but how does this impact me?

Marketers can capture this same spirit within their content. While it isn’t an easy feat, there are a few strategies you can follow to craft excellent content stories and inspire your readers.

1. Your customer is the hero

It’s tempting to make your company the hero. That’s a mistake. Instead, your buyers and customers are the heroes. By using your products and services, they have overcome obstacles to victory. Victories could seem as mundane as saving money or as interesting as saving the entire company.

Added bonus: when your customer is the hero, they tell the story, too.

2. Watch your craft

Of course, your stories should be in brand — they should sound like your company. And when done well, these stories can serve in many different places — in your customer testimonials, in your website copy, in your collateral and in your blog posts. Even your salespeople should know these stories, being able to recall them quickly and easily. Not only will this give you content to use in multiple places, it’ll build the stories you tell. It may even convince prospects on the fence. Data and stories, when used together, have a greater impact appealing to people’s logic and emotions.

3. Get your audience involved

Sometimes just the story itself is riveting. That’s great! But when it’s a shared story moving beyond the walls of your office and building … wow. It’s magical. It’s mystical. It’s viral.

So, how do you involve others? You ask their stories. You can do that with polls and surveys or even as a continuted discussion. For example, just about everyone has a story for failing and what was learned. Once you’ve learned it, that in and of itself can help form part of the heroes journey.

Exciting News!

We have exciting news! PGi, the world’s largest dedicated provider of collaboration software and services, has entered into an agreement to purchase ReadyTalk. The deal, which is expected to close soon, will enable ReadyTalk customers to have access to PGi’s broad suite of conferencing and collaboration solutions supported by its global customer services team.

Read the press release.

You may have questions

PGiWe’ve tried to anticipate some of the questions you have. If you have additional questions, please contact your Account Manager or our Customer Care team.

When will ReadyTalk become part of PGi?

We expect the deal to close in early February.

What’s changing?

We don’t anticipate any immediate changes. Both companies, PGi and ReadyTalk, are committed to fantastic customer service, innovation and great products.

Will my contract/agreement with ReadyTalk be terminated?

No. As a valued ReadyTalk customer, your current agreement/contract with ReadyTalk will remain unaffected.

Will my rates change?

At this time, we don’t expect changes to rate structures. We’ll continue to offer our customers tremendous value and quality across our portfolio, and we look forward to introducing the PGi portfolio. As we learn more information, we’ll communicate with our customers.

Will my contacts at ReadyTalk change?

We don’t anticipate changes to your contacts. You can continue to reach out to your Account Manager or Customer Care as always.

Will the services I currently use be discontinued?

No. You can expect the same high-quality products and services.

Will the telephone numbers I use to reach my meeting or event change?

No. We expect that ReadyTalk access numbers will remain the same.

If I want to use PGi services now, who can I talk to?

Please contact your ReadyTalk Account Manager. He or she will put you in touch with people who can assist you.

More information

If you want more information about PGi, visit their website: pgi.com.

IT Professionals Are Like Star Wars Characters

star wars charactersAs many of us are still recovering after seeing “Rogue One,” mourning the passing of Carrie Fisher and greatly anticipating the next “Star Wars” film coming out later this year, you might have this iconic series on the mind. While the IT world is galaxies away from stormtroopers and Jedi knights, we still believe there are some similarities between the classic film characters and certain individuals you will encounter at work.

Han Solo: The Rebel

You’ve all known these IT professionals. They are great at what they do and not afraid to show off a little or bend a few rules, just like one of my favorite Star Wars protagonists, Han Solo. While tough to work with at times, they’ll always have your back when times get tough. They can go rogue, but it’s usually for good reason. And the Force is always with him.

Luke: The Newbie

N00b. We’ve all been the new guy or girl before. Just like Luke getting his first lightsaber or starting to learn about the ways of the Force, you need to be patient with this type of IT employee. While he or she might have a lot of hidden talent, this individual might also be intimidated by the weight of new responsibilities. Don’t scare workers like this off before they’re able to save your back when your industry’s equivalent of a Death Star shows up.

And … maybe be wary of their parents.

Princess Leia: The Fighter

She’s scrappy. She’s independent. She knows her way around a blaster. Much like the Han Solos in your office, she knows she’s good at what she does, but mostly prefers playing by the rules and knows how to work a crowd. Don’t let her imprisonment by Jabba the Hutt fool you — she’s always ready for a challenge. She’s always got a few tricks up her sleeve. And she’s definitely no damsel in distress. She’s the perfect gal to have on your team.

No one would know you’re related to the newbie.

Yoda: The Expert

Knows the ways of IT, he does. Mysterious. Wise. Every office needs a guru, just like all fledgling Jedi knights need masters like Yoda to show them the way. Whether you’re the Yoda of your department or know who is, don’t take these experts for granted.

Darth Vader: The Tyrant

Security. Standards. Order. Yeah, “no” is your middle name. Although you’re probably involved in your own Shadow IT projects, you have alarms, traps and systems set up to uncover rebels in your company who use unapproved software. But you’re not a bad guy. You’re just misunderstood. In your heart, you want to do the right thing; it’s just your company is preventing you from it.

Boba Fett: The Mercenary

You’re an original. You play by whatever rules you want, moving from gig-to-gig. You consult, sharing your expertise for the highest bidder. And you don’t take flack from anyone. Teams love to have you because you solve big problems. Some people don’t like working with you, but that’s not your issue; it’s theirs.

Love sci-fi? Me, too. Take Sci-Fi Personality Quiz to determine your sci-fi personality. This quiz totally groks you.

7 Marketing New Year’s Resolutions

During the time following New Years, people begin sticking to — or quickly failing at — their resolutions. Whether you plan to eat healthier or pick up a new hobby, the start of 2017 is a bright one for many people looking for a fresh start. If you didn’t realize already, businesses can also jump on the bandwagon and start their own resolutions. Here are seven marketing tips to kick off the new year at your company:

1. Go mobile-friendly

marketing resolutionsMore people and businesses are going mobile than ever before. If your website is not already smartphone or tablet friendly, you’re missing out on huge demographics of potential consumers.

2. Make sure to be responsive

Additionally, make sure your website is responsive so it has the same functionality no matter what device your shoppers are on.

3. Switch up your social media approach

Are you failing to connect with users on certain social media sites or only active on one of two? Now is the time to reevaluate your social media strategy.

4. Rethink your content marketing strategy

You need to maintain an active blog full of thought-leadership content to draw in potential consumers.

5. Get into the mind of your target consumer

Don’t market to everyone — market to your target consumers. Your products or services might not appeal to every group of people, so tailor your approach toward these individuals.

6. Measure and analyze everything

You must use metrics and analytics to track the progress of your content, campaigns and more. Without numbers, how will you know what you’re doing right?

7. Start releasing interactive webinars

If you want to look like a thought leader and build relationships with consumers, you must start launching interactive webinars.