Link In To Move Up

People with strong networks get better jobs quicker, promoted faster and have more resources to draw upon throughout their career. The truth is – your success depends as much on WHO you know, as it does on WHAT you do. (That’s why politicians worry about their favorability ratings. Voters – like hiring managers – tend to choose people they know and like over people they don’t.)

Today we have an especially effective resource for networking – social media. Through it, you can expand your professional network far beyond your immediate geographic location. For example, one of my favorite people in my own professional network is Hank Blank. Hank is a consultant to ad agencies and marketing departments on how to function most effectively in the new normal.  He has a great blog and gives seminars all over the country on the topics of networking, job search and career development.

We linked in with each other about five years ago (I forget how) and have been commenting on each other’s blogs ever since. Although Hank lives in California and I’m in Chicago, we still manage to swap favors from time to time. (I helped his daughter find a new job in Chicago and Hank has advised me on new business presentations.) Like me, Hank knows that building a strong network is the best way to assure continual employment. Below is a brief review of some ideas I got from Hank on networking – online and off: 

Networking is the best way to build professional relationships.

Moreover, like almost everything else involving more than one person, networking is most effective when it serves the interests of both parties. So view networking as a way to:

  • Help others, as well as yourself, achieve professional goals
  • Meet people you’d like to know through people you already know
  • Connect people you know with people they want to know
  • Build long-term relationships that you can depend on throughout your lifetime

Practice networking constantly throughout your career.

Whatever your position, industry or job title, networking should be part of your own personal best professional practices.  Here are some guidelines to help you:

  • Be open to meeting new people – in social situations as well as at professional events
  • Keep in touch with the people you meet and get to know through email, phone calls, and informal meetings
  • Meet people one-on-one after connecting at an event, party, class or other group activity
  • Make an effort to proactively help your networking contacts in any way you can
  • Thank people when they help you through email, a phone call or a written note
  • Find ways to pay back favors as soon as you can

Social media is the perfect vehicle for networking in the digital age.

Ideally, as a member of the Chicago AMA you network at several different events every year. However, if you’re like most people you have a limited amount of time to devote to onsite meetings. Fortunately, social media allows you to interact with dozens of people with a relatively small investment of time and effort. Here are TEN TIPS on how to use LinkedIn and other social media sites to expand and deepen your network relationships.

1. Fill in your LinkedIn profile as completely as you can including a photo.

In today’s job market a LinkedIn profile is as important as a resume and much more useful. It’s not only an information source you can direct other people to (see tip #2), it will be viewed by employers and recruiters throughout the world without you doing anything at all. Make sure to include a recent photo that shows you as you want to appear during an interview. Well-groomed, smiling and well worth talking to. 

2. Put your LinkedIn link on your business cards along with your email and URL.

This allows people to learn more about you without passing our resumes or performing elevator speeches. And since your LinkedIn profile can include access to work samples and recommendations as well as details of your work history, it’s an incredibly efficient information source.

3. Link in with new contacts.

After a meeting or other event where you’ve met people you’d like to include in your network, send them an invitation to link in with you using the email address they have on their business card. Make sure you personalize the invitation to include a reference to how you met and what you do. You might also suggest meeting again face-to-face in to continue and deepen your connection.

4. Share an update on LinkedIn at least once a week.

It’s a great way to keep your LinkedIn network up on what you’re doing, learning, reading, etc. Remember, LinkedIn is NOT facebook! References to grandkids, dogs and vacations are not appropriate. But do mention your attendance at a seminar, job fair, receipt of an invitation to pitch a new piece of business and any awards you win. You can also include a link to your latest blog, YouTube production or online articles.

5. Do NOT use personal social media pages for your professional contacts.

Remember, whatever you put on line could be seen by EVERYONE including future employers. So keep your personal correspondence private. Facebook is wonderful for sharing family news, political views and favorite jokes. But none of these are appropriate to include in a professional presentation.

6. Use LinkedIn groups to extend your professional network.

These groups often have job boards that could lead to employment opportunities. Also commenting on other group member’s observations or answering questions they have, is a great way to enhance your professional reputation.

7. Don’t use your LinkedIn network as a cold call list of prospects.

Social media isn’t about increasing sales in the short term. The whole point of it is to develop strong, mutually beneficial long-term relationships with professional contacts. Trying to sell something to someone you just met does not engender trust. But as your LinkedIn contact, they’ll have a chance to get to know and like you better through your profile, updates and blogs – even if you rarely meet face to face. In the end, this interaction is the best way to build the kind of relationships you can depend on throughout your career.

8. Take advantage of the insights LinkedIn offers you on a profile or job description.

When you look up someone else’s profile, LinkedIn provides you with information about who you have in common, where they’ve worked, went to school and the organizations they belong to. You can also read what others think of them and see samples of their work. If you search for a job on LinkedIn, the system automatically lists any of your contacts who are working for that company now or did so in the past. All of this is terrific information to have before you even apply for the job, let alone have to prepare for an interview.

 9. Treat your networking contacts like the good friends you hope they’ll become.

Offline – don’t be late for a date. Thank them if they treat you to coffee or a meal and follow up with a written thank you by email or snail mail. Then treat them at the next meeting. Online – acknowledge their emails and messages within 24 hours. Congratulate them on promotions and new positions. Like and comment on their Pulse blogs. And always try to help them with their professional goals if you expect them to help you with yours.

10. Remember – one way or another you’ll always get back more than you give.

Networking works best when you genuinely try to help other people, not use them.

The payback may take a while, but eventually the people you help will help you. Furthermore, the surest way to empower yourself is to help others. So practice “Altruistic Self-interest: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you – only do it FIRST!”

Happy Networking!

Wendy Lalli VP Creative, Crux Creative

Wendy Lalli
VP Creative, Crux Creative

Wendy Lalli consults on marketing projects through her own agency, Wendy Lalli Ltd. and is CD of Crux Creative, a marketing agency in Wisconsin.  She also mentors other marketing professionals in transition and wrote on job search for the Chicago Tribune and 25 newspapers in the Chicago Sun Times network.

Patrick Reid, Vice President Financial Services, Salesforce

MomentumBasicnarrowPanelist: Using the Right Technology to Improve Customer Experience

Patrick Reid is the Area Vice President, responsible for the Financial Services vertical in the Midwest and Canada. Reid has had a variety of roles at Salesforce since joining in 2005.  Reid has spent his career focused on helping his customers to become customer centric companies and effectively leverage technology to gain advantage in the market.  Reid believes that success for his customers is helping them effectively leverage technology across their customer facing and supporting functions to reduce friction and increase customer engagement and loyalty.

Reid holds a B.A in Economics from the University of San Diego.

Matthew Tennant – Global Director of Social at McDonald’s

Data Driven Modern Marketing

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Data Driven Social Modern Marketing

This presentation covers:

  • How to use social data to drive relevance
  • Developing Stories that matter
  • Building advocacy among your social audience

BIO: Matthew Tennant serves as the Global Director of Social to lead, innovate and drive the team’s success. Previously, Matthew built out the Customer Insight Center for Microsoft and led social for multiple Microsoft products. Matthew’s ability to evolve with the ever-changing social media ecosystem led him to launch the first-ever Global Digital Brand Hub at McDonald’s Corporate.

Fav McD Food: Quarter Pounder with Cheese | Outside Activities: Matthew is a yoga Instructor and practices 5+ times per week. He is also a single engine pilot and enjoys traveling to the sun in cold months in addition to spending time with friends and family.


Panel: Using the Right Technology to Improve the Customer Experience



Panelists Include:

patrickreidPatrick Reid, Area Vice President- Financial Services

MazenMazen Ghalayini, Director, Customer Experience

West Monroe Partners

BenFosterSquareBen Foster, Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy

Ketchum Midwest

Tim Handorf, Co-Founder & President, G2 Crowd

The Future of the Marketing Technology Stack

Tech StackThe modern marketer has more technologies to choose from than ever and it is getting more confusing to determine what technologies will have the most impact on your business.  Based on insights from customer reviews, we will share trends of the modern day marketers technology stack.  In addition, we will discuss how peer to peer communication is  changing the way marketers need to think about their customers and how they interact with them.
1.    What technologies are modern marketers currently using and considering using in the future.
2.    What technologies do marketers love to use and which ones would they prefer not to use.
3.    How marketers can take advantage of what their customers are saying about them.


BIO: Tim has spent more than 15 years developing and delivering software in a variety of roles including professional services and product management. Prior to G2 Crowd, Tim was responsible for Product Management at BigMachines and led efforts to deliver the top-rated quoting tool on‘s AppExchange for three years in a row. Tim loves making life better by solving problems using software technology and is passionate about working in an entrepreneurial environment, where each day is unique and learning is constant.  When not at work, he helps coach his kids’ wrestling team and serves at his local church. Tim grew up in rural Iowa on his family farm, so building software was a natural transition.  He also appreciates good sarcasm (except when directed at him from his children), and has the worst penmanship in the company.

Laura Squier, Director of Sales and Business Development for Advanced Analytics, QueBit

Top 10 Ways Marketers Can Improve Business Performance with Predictive Analytics

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Top 10 Ways Marketers Can Improve Business Performance with Predictive Analytics 


This fast-paced session will highlight 10 ways marketers can leverage predictive  analytics to improve business performance through:

1)      Acquisition/Conversion

2)      Retention

3)      Next Best Offer

4)      Customer Segmentation

5)      Customer Lifetime Value

6)      Direct Mail – Incremental Response

7)      Social Media Analytics

8)      Cross-Campaign Optimization

9)      Marketing Mix Modeling and Optimization

10)   Assortment and Demand Planning

Three program key takeaways:

1)     Predictive Analytics is not a singular application to marketing

2)     Integrate customer value

3)     Businesses can achieve value rapidly

Find out more about this presentation in this interview:

QueBITBIO:  Laura Squier has focused on Advanced Analytics since the late 1990’s across supporting Commercial and Public Sector organizations. She worked at SPSS supporting Modeler from 1997 – 2006 serving in pre-sales, services and product management roles. She has worked with various analytical vendors and consulting organizations such as SAS and Accenture. In February 2014, she joined the QueBIT team as the Director of Advanced Analytics Sales and Business Development. Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematical Economics.

Mazen Ghalayini, Director, Customer Experience – West Monroe Partners

MomentumBasicnarrowPanelist: Using the Right Technology to Improve Customer Experience

Mazen Ghalayini is a director and leads West Monroe’s Customer Experience practice in Chicago as well as the firm’s national CRM practice. Mazen has spent the last 15 years focused on enabling the sales, marketing and service functions at his clients to create more effective, profitable and engaged customer experiences. His experience includes facilitating visioning sessions with executives to create actionable strategies and roadmaps as well as leading global, high-performing teams through complex business transformation programs with cross-functional and technical implementations to drive sustained organizational change.


He pairs strong business acumen with extensive experience in customer-facing technologies to lead large-scale program management, business transformation, business process definition and optimization, custom application development, package software implementation initiatives, as well as eCommerce, CRM and ERP, data conversion and systems integration projects.

Liisa Thomas, Chair, Privacy and Data Security Practice, Winston & Strawn LLP


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Social Media and Consumer Inquiries about Data Breaches – What is the Marketer’s Role?

Consumers are hyper aware about privacy issues, and particularly sensitive to the misuse of their information by hackers and other bad actors. As companies are increasingly coming under attack, everyone in an organization needs to be prepared. The issue is particularly fraught for marketers and their companies’ social media channels when their company is hit by an attack. What can a marketer say that will not impact the company’s underlying legal exposure? What strategies will best protect the company, and the brand?

WinstonLLP Logo_CMYKLiisa Thomas is the chair of Winston & Strawn LLP’s global privacy and data security practice, and author of the Thomson Reuters publication Thomas on Data Breach. She literally wrote the book on this topic, and regularly counsels clients through thorny breach notice and disclosure issues. (Lissa is planning to make some opening remarks and then give the room a Social Media crisis to resolve. Each table is to talk among themselves for 10-15 minutes to come up with how they would solve the issue while she circulates and listens. She will present some of the table’s answers to the room and comment on the resolutions from a legal perspective. Then likely 10-15 of closing remarks.)


  1. How you can use social media to your advantage (or disadvantage!) during a data incident
  2. The biggest risks and pitfalls your company could face during a breach incident
  3. The most common consumer questions companies are asked when they suffer a data breach

BIO: Liisa Thomas, a partner based in the firm’s Chicago office, is the chair of the firm’s privacy and data security practice. Her clients rely on her ability to create clarity in a sea of confusing legal requirements and describe her as “extremely responsive, while providing thoughtful legal analysis combined with real world practical advice.”

Ms. Thomas, who was born in Finland and has lived in France, Egypt, and Spain, frequently coordinates global efforts in the privacy area for her clients. Clients value her global insights and familiarity with business systems outside of the United States. With Ms. Thomas’s assistance, her clients—which include major consumer brands, advertising agencies, and consumer research companies—are able to navigate thorny data breach disclosure issues, use emerging interactive advertising techniques, and create compliant security programs all while effectively managing their legal risks.

Ben Foster, Senior Vice President and Digital Strategist, Ketchum Midwest

MomentumBasicnarrowPanelist: Using the Right Technology to Improve the Customer Experience

Ben Foster is Senior Vice President and Digital Strategist for Ketchum Midwest in Chicago. In this role, he sets Digital and Social strategy for clients including General Mills, Whirlpool, Kimberly Clark, and Hilton.

Ben is also an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Communications where he teaches a graduate class in Digital Strategy for Advertising and Public Relations.

Prior to joining Ketchum, Ben was the Senior Strategy and Content Manager for Social Networking at Allstate. He helped create Allstate’s Social Media group where he provided strategic leadership to Social Media initiatives across all of Allstate’s business units

Before joining Allstate, Ben was a management consultant specializing in innovation strategy with Kuczmarski and Associates in Chicago. He developed the processes and governance structures required to create a culture of innovation for clients in the US and Mexico.

Ben began his career at GE Capital where he worked for numerous GE businesses across the United States and Europe in Six Sigma and Technology Strategy.

Ben holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in Economics and Finance and a BS from Miami University in Marketing and Management Information Systems. He is also a GE Certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

His research on Facebook User Growth has been published in 3 textbooks and he has been quoted numerous times in outlets such as ABC News, Huffington Post, Mashable, and ReadWriteWeb.