May 2 Was Video Day: Our Yammer Customer Story

I’m still exhilarated.

Exhausted, yeah, still a little bit. But the exhilaration hasn’t stopped.

The excitement was contagious:

My whole company (the Crisis Prevention Institute) got excited when I told them the news: After talking with the wonderful Connie Woo at Microsoft about what we did as an organization and how Yammer has helped us supplement and enhance our mission inside and out, she got excited, and within a matter of days we were hooked up with Allytics, a creative marketing firm based out of Redmond, and a local film crew, Creative Edge Productions.

My best friend, there for moral support as well as being one of the interviewees later in the day, took this picture for posterity of me being interviewed by Jim DeGroot:


Video day!

(Secret: This really is an empty floor of our building. Great space for the major interviews. Then it was back to our own two floors for real live footage.)

We had a blast with the film crew.  And fortunately they had a blast with us, as they were with us the whole day. And we can’t wait to see the final product!

Mindfulness At Work

It was in the middle of January that we hatched an idea: What if we did a month-long corporate campaign on a topic that hopefully would resonate with everyone, yet still remain “us”?

Originally, this campaign was going to be a Facebook Event of the kind that people click to join, but instead of going anywhere, they receive a daily update in their Facebook feed.

Where I work, we do a lot of great things for safe behavior management, bullying prevention, trauma-informed care, and autism. The more I looked at our offerings, the more I kept coming back to behavior management. Most of our content aligned under that topic, and it applied to a variety of industries.

We brainstormed further. When you’re trying to reach as wide a variety of people as possible, “31 Days of Behavior Management” doesn’t resonate.

Yet “31 Days of Mindfulness” does.

And look, March was coming up. March Madness. March Mindfulness. #MarchMindfulness!

Do our content, philosophy, and mission really fit in with the concept of mindfulness? You bet it does! You can’t “do” what we teach without being mindful.

Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote to illustrate this:

Exploring Mindfulness

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn

Paying attention on purpose. That’s mindfulness in shorthand.

But how do we actually do it?

Every one of us has this ability already; the trick is to develop it. By paying attention to what we’re thinking and feeling, and how those thoughts and feelings affect others, we’re effectively building in an essential moment of time to decide how to bring out the best outcome, whether you’re in the middle of a daily task or dealing with a more challenging situation.

We need to remember the big picture: The type of person we want to be, nurse, educator, caregiver, whatever our profession. But we also need to keep from getting bogged down in the small stuff that our livelihoods can bring. We need to remember to be mindful in the moment, and react to things from a place of balance, purpose, and non-judgment.

When we’re working in settings where cultivating positive relationships and making real connections are paramount to providing the best care and support, being mindful is essential.

Putting mindfulness together was a huge team effort. Once we had our concept and content picked, we met with our designers. It was in that meeting that we took the idea out of Facebook Event land and into a landing page on our website. From there, we could post each day’s mindfulness tip or resource on several social media platforms, and maintain control over the entire concept for future use..

We had that hashtag: #MarchMindfulness. But what symbol would tie it all together? You’ve got to have a symbol!

It came down to this: The lotus in green, lifting up a person in blue. (That person, by the way, is 1/4 of our company logo!)

The lotus symbolizes patience, love, compassion, and self-awareness. When it’s in green, that’s a gift to improve life and begin good habits.

Speaking of a huge team effort, by the time we had everything planned out, from content to logo to landing page with its cool calendar populating a new post every day, we were already into February.

Could we really pull off 31 days of this in March? Because this was intended for social media, that means not only 31 graphics for the landing page, but 31 socially-friendly graphics as well!

And the rest of work sure doesn’t stop just because somebody gets an idea.

Okay, so I wouldn’t be writing this if we hadn’t made it——but as today is the last day of this campaign, I wanted to say how proud I am of my team for making this happen, through all the planning and the unexpectednesses.

Here are a couple of the 31 #MarchMindfulness gems. Get all the rest right here.


Community Management: An Analog Call to Action

What do you do when you run an online community, but your audience base is mostly offline?

Give a postcard!


Imagine if you got this in the mail. From

Note I said “give,” not send. There’s a reason for this, and it’s bound up in our particular niche and methodology.

Please stand by as we transfer you to the Department of Backstory

We have a train-the-trainer model, which means our staff train someone on your staff to become certified in our training*. That person is now a Certified Instructor and as such, equipped to go back to your organization and train everyone else.

An initial training class can include people from all over their respective state, from neighboring states, and from many different disciplines.

Initial training also lasts 4 days. You have a lot to keep track of!


I looked up ‘trying to keep track of everything” and got this. That makes sense. 

So even though our staff always introduces our exclusive Yammer community during this 4-day span, we wanted something more permanent to remind people to join after the first flush of excitement had died down.

Our Yammer community is completely opt-in, see. We want you to be there if YOU want to be there, not because you’re being (nonviolently) shoved in.


Excerpt of raw courage from Pogo.

Here’s what we did

We designed an over-sized postcard that gets handed out in class by our staff instructors.

First, we answer that eternal question:

Side 1: What’s In it For Me?

Well, here it is:

“You now have access to a professional development network where you can exchange ideas, insights, tips, and strategies to help you deliver the most meaningful and relevant training programs possible.”

It’s all true, too!

Then, we give you something to do with what’s in it for you:

Side 2: TWO Calls to Action!

Because you’re sitting in a classroom when you get this postcard, there are some things that will definitely be on your mind.


  • We provided a place to write down the first thing you want to ask or say when you get in to this community of people who do what you do.
  • We also have plenty of space to write down names of classmates to reconnect with.


And of course, we include simple instructions on how to get in.

What we hope to accomplish

Our own call to action is simple, too: We want to help people remember “that Yammer thing” that got mentioned in class, and get them excited about signing up.

Maybe they won’t today, maybe they won’t tomorrow, but at some point they’ll pull out that postcard again and decide, what the heck, I’ll sign up.

Or hear about Yammer in the myriad of other ways we mention it too, ’cause we’re not dummies.


He’s not a dummy either, he just happens to be wearing a pepper on his head.

What you can do

Use this idea!

You can also actually send your postcard (people still do that!) or other eye-catching doodad through the actual mail.

It all depends on your audience base and how you want people to use your network. Even internal folks might appreciate a fun bit of mail as a desk-drop or in their mail slots.

If you’ve done something like this or are about to, let me know in the comments!

*Want to find out more about our program? Here’s our Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training, all enhanced this year.

I am also indebted to Paul Woods who, upon hearing of this idea, dubbed it “analog.”