It’s May 4th — This Is What Really Matters

May the 4th be… Wait! F that! Every news show today is covering the Star Wars meme based upon today’s date, but none mentioned the 50th anniversary of the first occurrence in U.S. history when soldiers fired upon, and killed, college students on campus. May 4, 1970, Kent State in Ohio.

The body of Kent State student Jeffrey Miller lays dead as Mary Ann Vecchio screams in anguish May 4, 1970 (John Filo/AP )

I was a freshman at Archbishop Molloy High School in New York city at the time, and was raised in a conservative household, but the events of this day opened my eyes and changed the way I looked at the world from forever.

The Viet Nam war was a divisive conflict that led to many demonstrations protesting the U.S. involvement. When then President Richard Nixon revealed in 1970 that the U.S. had secretly been bombing sites in neutral Cambodia, protests flared up on college campuses across the country.

o/~… Tin Soldiers and Nixon coming…o/~

Kent State in Ohio was one of those protest sites, and on Friday, May 1, against the war escalation led to the mayor to declare a state of emergency and asking the governor for national guard assistance to disperse the crowd. Saturday, May 2 demonstrators occupied an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) barracks on campus, eventually burning it down. The Guard dispersed them by firing tear gas canisters into the crowd. Sunday, May 3 was quieter as meetings between school, city and state officials produced conflicting information and sightseers added to the assembled crowd, adding to the confusion. Crowds were again dispersed by the National Guard using tear gas.

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“We Came In Peace For All Mankind”

photo credit NASA

At 10:56:53 EDT, exactly 50 years ago, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on the surface of the moon. At that exact moment, a 13-year-old boy sat alone in the family room of his cousins’ house in SW Miami, Florida and his life was changed forever.

He grew up mostly in the landing pattern of JFK airport, watching airplanes of all types soar low overhead, at times once every 30 seconds. He had a fear of flying, but a love of flying machines. He studied each aircraft and learned how to identify them based on their design: the tell-tale antenna extending forward from the top of the rudder letting him know it was the Boeing 707 four-engine airframe and not the similar DC-8; The tri-engine B727 (like the ones on which his uncle was a flight engineer for National Airlines) vs. the twin-rear engine DC-9.

But, above all, both figuratively and literally, was America’s space program. First the Mercury 7 men with “the right stuff”, then the two-astronaut Gemini program. Every day he thought about space, and every night he dreamed about it, perhaps because of the wallpaper of his bedroom which was a collage of colorful drawings depicting NASA rockets, Gemini space capsules and spacewalking astronauts.

Then came Apollo, a program designed to put the “first man” on the moon, which started in tragedy as the three astronauts of Apollo 1, Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed white, died in a flash fire in their capsule during a systems test, No one said it wasn’t going to be dangerous. The young teen said to his uncle a few days earlier as the mission was on its way to the moon, “Imagine how Mike Collins (Command Module pilot) must feel, going all the way to the moon but not landing on it.” He quietly replied, “Imagine how he’d feel if he was the only one to return.”

photo credit NASA

And then Neil Armstrong became “The First Man”. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second. Armstrong uttered the first words by a human being on the moon streamed across the planet, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ Grammarians would argue that used in this sentence “man” and “mankind” mean the same thing, and what Armstrong probably meant to say, “That’s one small step for a man…” But, he was 240,000 miles away, and, you know, jet lag and all…

So, on that hot summer’s night he stared in awe, alone in his thoughts about what he had just witnessed. American ingenuity at its best. Technology making dreams reality. And was he hope for the days and nights to come.
Fifty years later that young teen, now now in his sixties(!) is still enamored with the exploration of space. The U.S. has stated its intention to return to the moon in 2024. The Apollo 11 astronauts left a plaque on the moon that read, “We came in peace for all mankind.”

Let’s hope we continue to do the same.

Recruitment: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Millennials?

Talent Acquisition of the Largest Labor Segment in the Age of Social Media

Millennials, the the generation born between 1981 and 1997 today represent 35 percent of the workforce. This compares to Gen X at 34 percent, boomers at 29 percent and the silent generation (pre-boomer) at 2 percent. (Pew Research)

It stands to reason that a greater percentage of millennials use social media than, say, baby boomers, and they do so on mobile devices while on the go. So, where to reach them on social media? Pop quiz: What social media site is best for reaching job seekers? If you said LinkedIn you’d be right — but that’s best for older, more experienced hires. For recent graduates and those with under two years of experience Facebook, as well as YouTube, is where you have to go to reach them best.

What does this prime pool of potential employees want out of a job? Reports site short term rewards and long term relationships as key attractants (SHRM), but from my experience you cannot understate the role company culture plays in attracting millennial job seekers.

That’s why you need to build a relationship with them online now, in order to attract them to fill spots later. Things like an inside look at what it’s like to be an employee at your company. What freedom-friendly policies do you have (e.g. flex hours, work from home)? What on-site amenities (e.g. health club, game room, free food/snacks, etc.) can they enjoy every day on the job? What team building and other fun events can they expect to participate in if they worked here?

When you share these and, eventually, job openings, you need to optimize your social media posts for mobile devices as part of an overall mobile-first digital strategy.

The golden rule for attracting millennials to your company using social media is the same as successfully marketing to any potential customer — know your audience.

tap… tap… Is This Thing On? tap… tap…

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry — and so let it be with blogging.

Sure, you have every intention of posting one blog per week, or at least one per month. But then “real life” gets in the way and you find yourself pushed further and further to the bottom of the to-do list until, well, until you’re 3+years down the road.

So, let’s see if we can get back on track, shall we? Oh, I think, with this blog, we just did! pexels-photo-273011.jpeg


LinkedIn’s Top Ten Most Engaged U.S. Marketers 2014

I am very proud to be named one of LinkedIn’s Top Ten Most Engaged U.S. Marketers for 2014. It’s an affirmation that using social media in a way that avoids being overly commercial, overly solicitous, overly outraged, overly sedate, well, overly anything, gets your point across, adds value to the online conversation, and treats your connections with respect.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your online world.

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