Recently, a major security vulnerability named “Heartbleed” has made headlines around the world. This is a severe vulnerability stemming from a coding mistake in a widely-used security utility called OpenSSL. The bug affects the encryption technology designed to protect your sensitive data on the Internet, like usernames, passwords and emails. This is a flaw in the OpenSSL encryption code itself and not a virus that can be stopped by any consumer security/virus scan software.
With that being said, please note that ContactEase is not impacted by Heartbleed. Our web add-on components (such as Mobile Solutions, Mailing List Manager, Change Tracker, Online Update and RSVP Forms) are required to be installed on IIS web servers, which do not by default rely on OpenSSL.
It is still recommended that you check with your hosting provider or IT professionals to ensure your servers are not using OpenSSL. In addition, you may want to check with any online services that you use.
What You Should Do:
Confirm that both your internal web servers and hosted web servers are using a safe version of OpenSSL.
You can check which major online services have been effected using the list provided by Mashable.
Reset your password for every online service affected by Heartbleed. But beware: you should only change your password after the afflicted business has fixed its servers to remove the Heartbleed vulnerability. Changing your passwords before a company’s servers are updated will not protect your credentials from being leaked.
Follow best practices for creating passwords, using strong passwords.
Ask an IT professional inside your organization for additional tips to keep your accounts secure.
John Simpson, CEO, and Kalev Peekna, Managing Director of Strategy for One North Interactive lead an engaging session during the LMA Annual Conference entitled: Playing the Relationship Game in Today’s Connected World. The session focused on the effects relationships have and how they can impact a firm’s business and opportunities.
John and Kalev showcased how other businesses are using interactive marketing to reach their clients at every point in their decision-making experience. They also shared how essential it is to align your digital marketing and business development efforts along “The Relationship Cycle.”
From the session, the key lesson that resonated with me was that in the relationship cycle many firms are not participating in the “Active Evaluation” phase. It is in the evaluation phase that you can really learn about your business; then by following-up on the feedback, it formalizes a relationship and creates loyalty.
My favorite quote from the session reinforces this:
“Loyalty counts more and costs less than awareness.”
– Harvard Business Review
It shocked me to learn from the session that only 1 in 8 (12%) of firms always meet up with their clients to see how satisfied the legal department was with their work and 18% NEVER meet with their clients to discuss satisfaction. By engaging your clients and asking for feedback it opens the dialogue so that in future situations if an issue arises they may feel more comfortable coming forward with issues or input. Client retention should be a key part of the marketing and business development plan.
The LMA Annual Conference kicked off this year with an inspirational keynote speaker, Kat Cole, President, Cinnabon Inc. Kat’s presentation “The Difference – Lessons in Leadership, Change, and Driving Innovation” provided concrete leadership examples while tying them back to practical applications within firms.
During the session Kat shared her inspiration as she moved up from working as a hostess at 17 to becoming one of the youngest executives in the hospitality industry by the age of 26. Throughout the session she discussed the importance of partnerships in building brand reputation. Here are a few of the key snippets from the session:
What Makes Sense
You should be thinking about what strategic partnerships make sense to expand your business and brand. When being approached for a partnership, you should always ask “will I be a competitor or a collaborator,” make sure it is the right fit.
You need to be building relationships or the competition will. Think about how you can partner with the people who can help your business grow.
You should be looking for partnerships, not waiting for them to knock on your door or you will miss out. Lastly, no matter what, none of the above matters if you are not making a positive impact on the people around you!
First Things First
You need to know how your brand got started… what got you to where you are today? Cinnabon focused on relevance and differentiation to build their global brand and firms should too! Products have to be differentiated to stand out in the market, services are no different.
In order to build your brand you need to deliver value to those you serve. Cinnabon’s goal is to WOW their guests. Kat listens to feedback, reads tweets, and completes searches to see what people are saying about the brand. That’s how you innovate and create new products or offerings. Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out to your biggest critics and ask them “how can I help you?” They may become your biggest supporters!
Kat’s transparency and authenticity made her an amazing speaker at this year’s conference. The way she linked her personal and professional life experiences to practical business applications was spot on. With that, we will leave you with our final favorite advice from Kat:
The Hot Shot Rule: Think what would a hot shot do in this situation? You have to be willing to do things differently! Bring new ideas to the table and don’t be afraid of change.
Settling and just being grateful for what you have can also lead to complacence. Make sure you are always evaluating yourself and striving for excellence.
Question yourself and listen to others, make the call to make a change.
“If you don’t do it someone else will. That should be enough motivation to innovate and create.” – Kat Cole
INTERACT: If you attended the session or have seen Kat speak in the past, what were your favorite key takeaways?
Over the course of the next two weeks we will be recapping the key sessions and takeaways from the conference in our new blog series: Insights from the LMA Annual Conference. Tomorrow’s post will recap the keynote presentation from Kat Cole, President Cinnabon Inc: The Difference – Lessons in Leadership, Change, and Driving Innovation.
During the conference we also asked attendees what they would suggest others do to continue to keep their firms moving forward this year. We will be posting a new suggestion each day. Make sure to check out our Twitter feed and follow us www.twitter.com/contactease.