Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Time to Upgrade the Digital Presence

 Recently, my employers made the decision to increase our online “digital presence.” Apparently, the guys who own the company have concluded this Internet thing is not a passing fad.

At first, I thought “digital presence” was an odd way of saying someone flipped you the bird. But it turns out the phrase means a major upgrade to our website, along with new opportunities for blog posts, which then are linked to popular social media platforms, such as Face-Chat, Linked-Out, Insta-Scam, or whatever they call those time-wasting, soul-sucking things. (Oops, someone’s bad attitude accidentally leaked out again. What I, of course, meant to say is: “Or whatever they call those innovative, brilliant, business-enhancing networking and marketing tools.”)
Well, anyway, since my official job title is “Engineering Marketing Manager,” guess who is most responsible for utilizing these brilliant networking and marketing tools? That’s right, it’s me, also known as “Mr. why can’t we do everything with a Bic pen, legal pad, and typewriter, just like we did in 1981?”

So, in addition to all my regular duties (and if anyone actually knows what my regular duties are, please drop me a line), I now am responsible for three new activities: 1) Create and send out an email newsletter each month to every engineer in our territory; 2) Create and upload short blog posts onto our website three times each week, and then link them to the aforementioned Face-Scam, Insta-Linked, and Chat-Scat social media sites; and 3) Go on those social media sites multiple times each day and “Like” various industry related articles, along with offering my “comments” wherever appropriate.
The net result of all this extra work, or so I’ve been told, is that our “brand” will have a greater “digital profile,” which in turn will create “synergy” and make us an “industry trend-setter.” (Again, if anyone knows what any of that actually means, please drop me a line.)
Now, many people might think the real net result of all this is that I no longer have time to do my regular work. After all, who cares how many “links” and “likes” I have online if I can’t get a fan-coil unit selection and dimensional drawing to a consulting engineer on time? Or, does it really matter if an HVAC contractor in Arizona is impressed by the photo I took and posted of a roof top air-conditioning unit, when our sales territory stops at the New York border?

However, there is one saving grace that will get things back to normal very soon. Alert readers may have noticed an oxymoronic phrase a few paragraphs back. I mentioned that one of my new duties is to go online and offer my comments wherever appropriate. If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, you know the idea of “my comments” and the word “appropriate” should never appear in the same sentence.
I’m sorry, but I just can’t help it. Whenever I perceive an opportunity for a snarky or sarcastic remark, it just spills right out of my mouth — or in this case, just spills right out of the tips of my fingers onto the computer keyboard.

After only a few weeks doing my new digital duties, I’ve received a lot of, um, interesting feedback, half of which is along the lines of, “Hey, that was funny,” and the other half more like, “Are you allowed to say that on Linked-In?” 

I’m pretty sure that quite soon I will be suspended from all these social media platforms for violating their “terms of service.” Then I’ll be able to do my job once again. I’ve got my Bic pen, legal pad, and typewriter all ready to go. I’ll drop you a line.

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