01/20/2010

Scribles  When I heard a colleague call social media a "consequence free environment" one word came to mind: ChaosDictionary.com defines choas as: a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order. In the business world, where order and analysis are the basis of strategy, it's a small wonder why many marketers think of social media as their worst nightmare! 

However, as is often the case of a Google search I saw something else .. another spelling - Khaos - and followed the links. Khaos was the Greek Goddess of the space between heaven and earth. Some ancient writers believed that she was primary source of all things. 

Okay .. I promise not to leap into the gaping void and propose that social media is the source of all new marketing. If we think of social media not as Chaos, but as Khaos a new way to breach the void of customers and company, then perhaps we shed light on what is scary in the night but finds purpose in the day.

What do you do if you find your brand in the midst of a 'consequence free environment' where the conversation is more of nightmare than a pleasant dream? Here is a model to help breach the gap. For best results, of course, it should be part of your Social Media Enterprise Plan and dovetail into "In The Moment Marketing."

3 Steps to Khoas Social Media

Step 1: Determine Extent of Influence

 a. Follow the conversation

b. Identify the people who are posting and who is commenting

c. Determine viral impact e.g., retweets, blog links, forum discussions, etc.

d. Monitor for main stream media mentions

 Step 2: Analyze Meaning 

a. What aspects of the brand resonated with customers?

b. Where are the emotional ties to the brand?

c. What is the impact on customers about the brand and the company?

d. What is being repeated/RT’ed?

e. Is there offline impact e.g., customer call center?

Step 3: Determine Opportunities for Engagement

a. Tell your story in the same platforms

b. Co-create with your customers and fans

c. Join the conversation before it occurs!

Now I ask you, where else can you find social media served up with Greek Mythology?

Update: Thanks to @Attentio who reminded me that this is a circle strategy .. monitoring is the first and last steps; reviewing your results is also critical. So add 3 more steps please.

01/17/2010

Today Max and took a walk in the rain. Max hates to get wet and while I might like to fantasy about dancing in the rain with Gene Kelly, being out doors in a cold winter rain with winds blowing is not my ideal of fun. But we were safe. I knew we were going back to a warm house where I could relax by the fire with a hot cup of tea or even a snifter of brandy and Max, of course, could chew on a doggy treat. 

There are millions of people today in a small island in the Caribbean who are not safe. The people of Haiti will not be safe for many weeks or more likely many, many months.   

Diva Marketing is a wee voice within the billions of web pages on the Internet; however, I couldn't let the opportunity of using the space on this site go by without an acknowledgment, of what my friend Geoff Livingston says, goes beyond the damage of a hurricane to the devastation of poverty.

Miracles  If there is anything social media has taught me .. it is to believe in the miracles that people can make one-by-one-by-one. Just in case you wandered in and needed one more bit of encouragement to help here are a few sites that provide information.

Red Cross & Text HAITI 90999 for a $10 contributio(& the cost of your text message)

Center for International Disaster Information(CIDI)

14 Resources To Volunteer for Haiti

60+ Charities To Donate For Haiti

Explain Haiti To You Children NYT - 5 Ways To Teach About Haiti 

01/14/2010

Forbes 20 Women I want to share some exciting news with you. Diva Marketing is included in The Forbes 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs By Women.

It's an honor to be aligned with some of the best blogs (be they written by a diva or a divo) and with women who I admire .. many who I am privileged to call "girl friend." 

If you're new to Diva Marketing .. Welcome! I cordially invite you to visit awhile and explore some of the posts, interviews and podcasts. Drop a comment & let me know your thoughts about social media .. then go visit some more amazing women of .. 

Forbes 20 Best Marketing & Social Media Blogs By Women 

Valeria Maltoni - Conversation Agent @conversationage

Yvonne DiVita - Lipsticking @lipsticking

Michele Miller - Wonder Brand @michelemiller

Natalie MacNeil - She Takes On The World @nataliemacneil

Susan Gunelius - Women on Business @susangunelius

Shelly Kramer - V3 Integrated Marketing @shellykramer

Bernadette Doyle - Client Magnet @bernadettedoyle

Jill Foster - Women Grow Business @jillfoster

Stephanie Holland - Sheconomy @sheconomy

Lynn Terry - ClickNewz @lynnterry

Kelly King Anderson - Start-up Princess @startupprincess

Connie Benson - ConnieBenson.com @cbenson

Beth Kanter - Beth's Blog @kanter

Gwen Bell - Gwen Bell @gwenbell

Tara Hunt - HorsePigCow @missrouge

Ann Handley -Marketing Profs @marketingprofs

Rae Hoffman - Outspoken Media @sugarrae

Amber Naslund - Attitude Branding @ambercadara

Naomi Dunford - IttyBiz @ittybiz

Toby Bloomberg - Diva Marketing @tobydiva

What a nice way to begin 2010! Thanks Corree Silvera.

01/12/2010

Toss of a pink boa to Nancy Chorpenning, who inspired the title of my presentation on social media marketing for NAWBO Atlanta (National Association of Women Business Owners), and was an always awesome support as we developed this session. We felt "Follow The Dots" would be good way to frame the flow from strategy to tactics ... however .. as is sometimes the case one dot led to something slightly different.

Candy button  As I began building the deck (I often like to mix slides with conversation. People learn differently and PowerPoint offers a visual media.) candy dots ran through my mind. I thought it would be fun to include an image of candy dots to help illustrate the strategy trail.  When I went to look for graphics I found what I remembered to be "candy dots" were actually called "candy buttons."  I decided to have a bit of fun and create the presentation and analogies around a candy theme. 

The Same But Different: The candy names were different. The taste and texture were different. One candy was hard while the other was soft and chewy. However, they were both candy. They were both sort of round and colorful. Different but the same

Using that as an introduction to the session led to an interesting discussion of how not all social media tactics serve the same purpose. That what is right for one organization may not be right for all organizations. Different. However, to succeed in social media all organizations must create a plan that integrates social media into their master marketing plan. SameCandy dots  

Our Conversation Guide focused on 3 questions:

1. What exactly Is "Social Media?"

2. Is Social Media right for my business right now?

3. Which tools/channels/tactics should I begin with?

As promised to the wonderful women of NAWBO I'm happy to share the deck. Enjoy with some of your favorite childhood candy .. if you can't have a little fun with your social media, why bother?

Social Media: Connecting The (Candy) Dots

View more documents from TobyBloomberg.

01/07/2010

Blogs and Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and Flicker .. Oh My! The options for participating in social media are like the Energizer bunny Rocker little, energizing bunny .. it keeps on going and going and going. Social media grows more complex by the nano second.

On the plus side: for the most part, the capital cost of these tools is free or at a very low cost. On the minus side: the price you pay for a social media program is in human capital and time. For an organization that runs lean and mean the execution of social media can be a challenge. Social media is a hungry beast that to succeed demands content.

Enter stage left - PR agencies, advertising agencies and social media consultants who are seizing an opportunity to carve a service niche from their time pressed, staff starved clients. Yes, girlfriend, the agencies are stepping in and taking over the role and responsibilities of implementing social media initiatives.

But unlike an ad campaign or dropping a media release where no one really cares what name you use, social media is suppose to be different. Tweets and posts are suppose to be from the real people who are working for the brand .. just in case you might want to develop a real relationship. Keep in mind those who hold the conversation control the relationship.

There is a a buzz brewing that reminds me of the controversy over ghost blogging. However, since on Facebook and often on Twitter "no one knows your name" seems to be the acceptable norm, 2010 will see more. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it just fact of social media marketing life? Does it really matter? These are some of the questions that John Cass, PR Communications and I tossed about. 

We thought it would be fun and an interesting exercise to collaborate on a post about the transparency of content writing and social media engagement for client social media channels. We're reaching out to people involved in social media and asking their opinions about the level of transparency owed to a a client when an agency is hired to write content for a blog, twitter account, Facebook page, etc.

  •   What are the practices that you think should be followed? Feel free to tell us if you have differences of opinions across social media channels.

We'll collect responses through January 15th and then share the learnings by cross posting on John's blog and on Diva Marketing. Read John's introduction post on PR Communications.

12/31/2009

  • Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey

Xmas martini

As we end 2009 and begin a new decade I want to make a virtual toast to You.

Thank you for your friendship.

Thank you for your belief in social media as a credible strategy.

Thank you for your skepticism about social media as a business initiative.

Both ends of the spectrum help us learn together the possibilities of conducting business and marketing in a new way that weaves our customers' need with the brand promise.

Thank you for you joining me on Diva Marketing, Diva Marketing Talks Podcast and TobyDiva on Twitter. It has been an amazing adventure; I am humbled by your support and look forward to the possibilities that 2010 holds for us all.

Wishing you & yours all things wonderful for 2010.

Toby


12/29/2009

Stars2009 holidays are winding down. Social networks from Facebook, Flickr to Twitter helped us share memories  with family and friends. But for some people holiday memories were not so merry or jolly. In the spirit of the season, to give back, Diva Marketing  is showcasing the stories of smaller nonprofits throughout December. 

It's my wish that together we can help raise their visibility, perhaps find a new volunteer or even encourage a donation or two. Because as Laura King Edwards, Taylor's Tale, says, "Nothing should stand in the way of a dream."  Also the nonprofits that are using social media have agreed to share their strategies so we continue to learn together.

East Lake Foundation

The tale of the Miracle of East Lake begins with, Tom Cousins an Atlanta real estate icon who had a "crazy" vision that golf could rebuild an inner city community. The story is told by Mary Dugenske, Director of Marketing and Communications for East Lake Foundation.

East Lake Foundation kids Everyone deserves a chance to succeed – which is why the East Lake Foundation provides tools for Atlanta’s East Lake residents to build a brighter future for themselves and their families."

Just 15 years ago - East Lake was a blighted, crime-ridden area, home to one of the nation’s most troubled housing projects. Only 5% of students met state math standards, and the employment rate (not unemployment rate) was just 14%.

Three key building blocks -  Working with residents, the East Lake Foundation brought hope to this historic community, relying on three key ingredients:

•Quality Education: East Lake kids now enter a cradle-to-college pipeline that includes an early education program that’s become a statewide model and Atlanta’s first charter school. Students learn, excel and graduate – in fact, 97% are the first in their families to attend college!

•Affordable Housing: Families now have access to safe housing choices, plus classes, events and support groups that help them build knowledge, skills and lasting financial strength.

•Community Connections: Neighbors connect and learn from each other – for example, through The First Tee of East Lake, a dynamic program that teaches both golf and life skills while opening the doors to colleges, scholarships and jobs for hundreds of children.

Toward a brighter future -  As East Lake families begin to break the cycle of poverty, East Lake is becoming a community of choice. Violent crime is down 95%, while school test scores and property values have surged. Today’s economic challenges hit working families particularly hard — but thanks to donors and volunteers, the East Lake Foundation can continue to provide tools that build brighter tomorrows. Just $10 a week provides a child with after-school tutoring, educational support and enrichment activities that foster lasting academic success.

Social Media Strategy

Expanding the conversation - Like many small nonprofits, the Foundation has long relied on “social” events (especially volunteer opportunities) to connect donors, partners and neighbors. We’re excited about the opportunities that social media offers to connect with our supporters and broaden our outreach.

Right now, we’re focused on listening and learning about what others are saying about our cause, as well as helping supporters and volunteers tell our story via their blogs and tweets. In 2010, we look forward to expanding the conversation ourselves via our own presence on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media channels!

EastLakeLogoColor
More About Eastlake Foundation

Donation Page

Website

12/25/2009

Before you go off the grid for the holidays .. or perhaps when you come back on after toasting in 2010 .. imagine a time when there was no Internet or Twitter or blogs or Facebook or even email. It is Christmas 1947 and the CEO of a major retail organization briefs the company's ad department.

  • "No high pressuring and forcing the customer to take something he doesn't want. We'll be known as the helpful store. The friendly store. The store with a heart. The store that places public service ahead of profit. The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before."

Miracle on 34th street No, it's not a new Twitter customer care strategy. But it is an innovative sales program launched in 1947 by Macy's Department Store .. it was a Miracle On 34th Street .. on the silver screen. Customers would not be coerced into buying what they did not want and if another store had a better, less expensive product Macy's would send them to that store.

Fast forward 62 years to 2009. Social media is one of the most exciting marketing strategies we've seen in the last 60+ years. Social media teaches us many lessons. One of the most important for marketers is our business is not all about the brand .. it is all about the customer. As with so many lessons, we seem to keep relearning this one.

In the world of conversational marketing there is no room for high-pressure sales techniques. As Mr. Macy learned we have to take our lead from our customers. Adding a relationship focused social media strategy to your master marketing plan can be a powerful initiative which demonstrates that you place your customers' needs above a one-off sale.

The digital relationships that the people (not departments) who are the heart of your brand can set off a chain reaction. Continuous listening -> which leads to continuous learning -> which leads to a continuous conversations -> which leads to trust -> which leads to loyalty -> which leads to the cash register bells ringing. And every time a cash register bell rings a marketer gets a bonus or gets to keep her job (!).. oops wrong film. Sorry.

Corner grocery store digital relationships that are build not only with you and your customers, but among your customers, could never have been imagined when Kris Kringle entered Macy's in 1947. However, even as we approach 2010, for many organizations open conversations still seem like a Miracle on (insert organization name here) or like the ghost of Xmas future (oops wrong movie again. Sorry.)

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible... consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

As we begin 2010, technology developments spin even faster taking digital marketing into areas that were impossible in '47 or '57 or even '09.

Imagine a site that holds current inventory and pricing, allows for on-line financing and results in better, faster cheaper processing.

Imagine a site that allows for product customization.

Imagine a site where you can start a conversation with a real person about what matters to you regarding a product or service.

Imagine a site where you can talk to a real person who doesn't respond with an FAQ list.

Imagine a site where you can actually help change the direction of a product or service before it's even launched.

Imagine a site where you can include your review of the product, service or customer care.

Imagine a site where you can talk to people about their experiences and learn from each other.

Imagine a company that doesn't close the door (or comment section) to you or your ideas.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

It's interesting to compare a 1940's film, where finding solutions to customers' problems was perceived as unique, to 2009 where finding solutions to customers' problems is considered ingenious.

The techniques may have changed. New buzz words may be added to the mix. Bells and whistles may be a little louder. However, after all is said and done, the premise remains the same:

-Listen

-Understand

-Add value

-Do what it takes to go the extra mile to delight your customer

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

Toby max santa hats  And with that Max and I wish you a holiday full of joy and all things wonderful in the new year.

Sidebar: A Classic Diva Marketing post based on an article written for AMA Marketing News. 

12/24/2009

StarsYes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. ~ Francis Pharculles, The Sun

There are people who play Santa year long. Many bring their talents and hearts to the important work they perform for nonprofit causes. Throughout December Diva Marketing will highlight stories from smaller nonprofits that light the way for causes but rarely pull mentions in the main stream media. 

It's my wish that together we can help raise their visibility, perhaps find a new volunteer or even encourage a donation or two. Because as Laura King Edwards, Taylor's Tale, says, "Nothing should stand in the way of a dream."  Also the nonprofits that are using social media have agreed to share their strategies so we continue to learn together.

The Isipho Story

Miranda Lynch The story is told by Miranda Lynch who is the 15-year old co-founder and vice president of Isipho. Miranda's story is as much a part of the fabric of Isipho as the children she is passionate about helping.

My name is Miranda Lynch. I co-founded Isipho in December 2009 so I could do everything possible to improve the lives of the children in Nzinga, South Africa after visiting there in August 2008 while on vacation to celebrate my 14th birthday with my dad.

When we first got to Nzinga, all I wanted was to turn around and leave right away.  I had never experienced such hardship or poverty. It was really overwhelming.

But I didn’t have time to be overwhelmed, because the second I got out of the car, a girl my age handed me a saw and pointed to some wood. I understood that she wanted me to cut the wood; something I had no idea how to do, but was embarrassed to admit that, so I just started sawing. As the evening evolved, I realized that the wood I was sawing was the wood we needed to make a fire to cook our dinner. Just making and then cleaning up after dinner was such hard work and took so long that by the time we finished, I was exhausted and went straight to bed. I guess it’s good I was too exhausted to leave!

The next day my life was changed forever, because I met Amahle, the beautiful, smart, precocious two-year-old daughter of our host. Amahle doesn’t have the same opportunities in life that I do -  the opportunity to receive a quality education, the opportunity to have three healthy meals per day, and the opportunity to earn a living and support herself once she’s an adult. Amahle became my little shadow, and I came to love her like a little sister.

When we left Nzinga, I kept thinking about Amahle, and was determined to do all I could to change the inequality in her life; to do everything possible to give Amahle and every other child in Nzinga the opportunities that I believe every person deserves.

  • I know I’m just one American teenager, but I knew I had to at least try, and that I couldn’t just leave and never look back. When my mom and dad saw my passion for this, they agreed to help me help Nzinga overcome their biggest obstacles to a better life.

The municipality where Nzinga is located has identified severe and chronic malnutrition and illiteracy as two of the biggest contributors to the poverty in Nzinga. It seemed so simple to me that if they could grow their own fresh vegetables and had the proper resources to be able to receive an education, their lives would vastly improve. So we decided to start a non-profit to focus exclusively on this small village and to make a difference one child, one family, one food garden, and one classroom at a time.

I decided to name the nonprofit Isipho, which is the Zulu word for “gift,” and the nickname that Amahle gave to me because she couldn’t say “Miranda.” Our Isipho, or our gift, is to help the people of Nzinga create a better, self-sustaining community. 

We do not give them more hand-outs that just extend the cycle of dependence. We give them the tools they need to feed and educate themselves within five years without any outside assistance. Specifically, we provide them with fencing, gardening tools, seeds and gardening training so that they can learn how to garden for themselves, and be able to protect their gardens from grazing animals.They do all the rest. 

We also provide books, school supplies, educational toys and teacher training so that the kids in the village are all going to school and are learning when they get there. Before we started Isipho, only 44% of the villagers had ever attended any school at all, and only seven percent had ever graduated from high school. Our goal is to get 100% of the children in the village enrolled in school, and to increase graduation rates so that their poverty begins to improve.

In our first year we raised almost $20,000, and on just that limited amount of money we’ve been able to send:

~23 villagers through a 3 day sustenance gardening training program with the regional agriculture college.
~Provide fencing, tools and starter seeds for more than 500 square yards of community vegetable gardens
~Provide fencing, tools and starter seeds for 40 smaller, individual family garden

~Deliver over $3,000 worth of books, mathematics tools (calculators, protractors, etc.), and other needed school supplies.
~Encourage development of a local committee that will oversee and lead the programs going forward so that the villagers have ownership and ultimate responsibility for long-term success. More than half of the committee is comprised of women.

Isipho is run by me, my mom and my dad, so far on a 100% volunteer basis.

I’m founder and Vice President of the Board of Directors. I spend most of my time working on public relations and fundraising, and I’m also busy making a short film about Nzinga, using video footage that I shot this past August when we were in Nzinga building vegetable gardens and working in the schools.

My dad, Tom, is President of the Board.  He does marketing and fundraising, and is always spreading the word about Isipho.

My mom, Sheri, is Executive Director of Isipho. She handles all the day-to-day operations.

The three of us work together to plan all of the programs. We’re also putting together a really great Board of Directors right now.

It’s been really interesting to work together with my family like this. We’re a business, so we have weekly meetings, as well as quarterly planning sessions and an annual planning retreat. I’ve learned a LOT about what it takes to run a business, like how to do strategic planning, how to organize fundraisers, what it takes to do even a simple program, and a lot about business etiquette. Most of that I’ve learned by making mistakes and embarrassing myself. But that’s OK – that’s one of the nice things about learning all this stuff as a teenager – people are quick to forgive my mistakes!

Social Media Strategy

Social media is important for us, but also very natural. My dad has worked in digital marketing for a long time, and I’m 15, so I’m on it all the time. We have a limited budget, so social is a great way to spread the story and get people involved. It has been great for us, and also a lot of fun.

It also is a lot of work though, because you have to stay active. Sometimes we’ll find that too much time has passed before we’ve interacted, and other times we’ll find we’re all on our individual Facebook pages saying the same thing.

  • Sometimes being consistent and coordinated is not as easy as it would seem.

 Isipho logo
More About Isipho

Web site
Blog
Facebook page
Twitter
YouTube
Donation link

For the greater good sites from Miranda:: Idealist Gold Star

Read More Stories About Smaller Nonprofits

12/21/2009

Stars In midst of the chaos of shopping, gift wrapping and cookie baking I invite you to join me on Diva Marketing for a quiet moment to learn about the work of some smaller nonprofits. Throughout December I'll be highlighting stories from nonprofits that light the way for causes that may not be on the front page of the New York Times. It's my wish that together we can help raise their visibility, perhaps find a new volunteer or even encourage a donation or two. Because as Laura King Edwards, Taylor's Tale, says, "Nothing should stand in the way of a dream."  Also the nonprofits that are using social media have agreed to share their strategies so we continue to learn together.

The St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center Story

Suzanne conti for svsf Story is told by Suzanne Conti who has been involved with the St. Vincent and Sarah Foster Center for many years. 

At one time the St. Vincent and Sarah  Foster Center was a foster home for children with volunteers providing Easter Baskets and Birthday toys.  Through the Center's studies they believed their efforts would be more fruitful if the children stayed with their parents as long as they taught the parents how to provide and parent for a successful family life. 

Tutoring of all forms is on-going and the results are wonderful, but the needs for these young Detroit families are greater than ever.  Sr. Judith would be so grateful to any assistance given to help these children and parents, whether it be crayons for the kids after school programs or warm coats and boots.

Providing education and skill development opportunities for at risk children and families in Detroit which have been devasted with the highest unemployment (38%) and highest levels of high school drop out rates (28%).  This charity is going to the heart of the problem- working to strengthen the family unit to become nurturing productive sources for children.

Svsf center photo of girls The odds say many of the children served in the Brightmoor and surrounding communities of Detroit will end up dropping out of school and going on to lives of poverty. Children's Learning Experience helps children beat those odds. Individual and small group academic support and encouragement a positive, nurturing environment that fosters a love of learning. Strict participation standards that include a high degree of parental involvement. The goal of the Children's Learning Experience is to ensure children are performing at or above grade level, and that goal is being met.

Many in the area are living in poverty, unable to support their families. Lack of education is a major component of the generational poverty that plagues this area. The Adult Learning Experience addresses this. The Adult Learning Experience has been designed around the concept of First Steps and Next Steps. In this program we recognize that getting a high school diploma or completing a GED is the crucial first step and the foundation for self-sufficiency. To help our students take that first step, we provide tutoring in math and language.

But a GED is no longer enough to give adults the ability to support themselves and their families. It is an important first step, but only a first step. That's why the Adult Learning Experience program goes further. Building on the confidence that comes with reaching a hard-won goal, we work with our graduates on Next Steps. Whether that Next Step is enrolling in college, attending a vocational school or getting into an apprenticeship program, we support program participants as they take measured, lasting steps toward self-sufficiency.

Values

The values of founders St. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, continue to guide the expression of the Center's mission.

Simplicity

Honesty, integrity and openness in all of our words and actions

Teamwork

Working together in service to others

Advocacy

Advocating for those with no voice

Inventiveness

Being creative in everything we do

Respect

Showing respect for those we serve and everyone we contact on their behalf

Service Quality

History

The agency traces its beginnings to 1844 when the Daughters of Charity first arrived on the streets of Detroit with only $8.50 in their pockets, with the intentions of opening a school. Within two years, they responded to community need by establishing the St. Vincent Orphan Asylum and a hospital. In 1869, the sisters opened a program to provide for the needs of unwed and/or deserted mothers and their children.

It is this spirit that began the Daughter’s 150 years of service to those in need in Southeastern Michigan. They had no idea that they would be responsible for founding the first hospital in Detroit, Providence Hospital in 1945, the first private psychiatric hospital in Michigan, three schools, an orphanage, and a home for unwed mothers and children in just over two decades.

In 1928, a fire destroyed a summer home located in Farmington Hills that housed children from the old St. Vincent Orphan Asylum in Detroit. Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. and Sarah Fisher of the Fisher Body Family read the news accounts of the fire. Because of their extreme gratitude to the Daughters of Charity and Providence Hospital for saving the life of their fifth son, Thomas Fisher, Charles Fisher took action by donating more than $700,000 to build a new structure at the corner of 12 Mile and Inkster Roads.

The formal opening took place one year after the date of the fire on November 25, 1929. The home reflected contemporary thinking in the institutional care of children. The Center’s Farmington Hills campus remained open as a residential facility for foster children until October 2005. In 2006, the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center brought 150 years of family and child experience to the Brightmoor area and the surrounding community. The statistics for the area are daunting: A 40% poverty rate for children; a nearly 30% drop out rate; and unemployment levels that hover around 36%. Children are at risk, and families are failing under the crushing weight of poverty.

Svsf logo More About St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center

Donation Link

Items desperately needed

Website

Read More Stories From Small Nonprofits

12/18/2009

Stars In the spirit of the season, to give back, Diva Marketing  is showcasing the stories of smaller nonprofits throughout December. It's my wish that together we can help raise their visibility, perhaps find a new volunteer or even encourage a donation or two. Because as Laura King Edwards, Taylor's Tale, says, "Nothing should stand in the way of a dream."  Also the nonprofits that are using social media have agreed to share their strategies.

The Lendego Story

Lendego Dennis_and_Julie_2008 Story is told by the founder Dennis Hodges who explains how he came up with his unique concept where people can directly help others. As Dennis learned some times fate steps in and changes your dream for the better.

Lendego is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, Ga. that helps meet the needs of others by connecting them with individuals wishing to give. Lendego empowers its donors to choose the individuals, families, groups or organization they want to help.

  • Powered by givers, Lendego positively impacts the lives of real people with real needs. With Lendego’s peer to peer giving platform, funds can be directed to specific individuals, families, groups or organizations in need.

I came up with the idea for Lendego, a nonprofit peer-to-peer lending organization, where individuals hoping to start a business could post their ideas and stories. Those interested could lend money to the individuals and then be repaid at a later date. Hence, the name Lendego. I created my business model, built the website and was ready to launch Lendego when the 2009 flood happened in Atlanta.

Watching the floods and hearing about all the victims so close to home had a very profound impact on me. The incident made me think about all of the individuals who were affected by the tragedies of life on a daily basis and how it was often extremely difficult, if not impossible for those individuals to receive financial help in their time of need.

In October of 2009, I converted my online lending platform to an online giving platform and Lendego, a nonprofit dedicated to peer-to-peer giving was born. Individuals or families struggling with difficult circumstances can contact Lendego for assistance. Recipients can post a need themselves or be submitted by a “sponsor” -- family members, a friend, church, employer or another nonprofit that is working to help meet the individual's need.

After the need is verified by Lendego staff, their story is posted at Lendego; where givers can browse all the needs and select those for which they wish to help. Givers can give the amount they choose to each recipient. Once the need is met, Lendego disburses the funds directly to the family or individual in need. 

Social Media Strategy

Lendego’s grass roots campaign is conducted via Facebook, Twitter and traditional public relations. Right now the organization is working on the Faces of Lendego, each month a different story will be told to the public making them the Face of Lendego. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of Lendego and to change the attitudes and perceptions behind peer-to-peer giving.

Lendego logo More About Lendego
Facebook

Twitter

Website

Donantion Link

Read more stories from smaller nonprofits

12/17/2009

Diva Marketing Talks is a live, internet radio (BlogTalkRadio) show.  30 minutes. 2 maybe 3 guests. 1 topic about social media marketing. Why? To help you understand how to participate in the "new" conversation without getting blown-up. Miss the show? You can pick it up as a podcast or listen on your computer.

On today's Diva Marketing Talks Fard Johnmar, Envision Solutions and Steve Woodruff, Impactiviti, join me to explore how social media impacts healthcare, with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry. In November the FDA held two days of open hearings that began the process of their development of regulation guidelines for Pharma. For any enterprise stepping into the social web can be a challenge. However, for companies in highly regulated industries, especially healhcare, the stakes are high to get it "right."

The Details

December 17, 2009:
Time: 4:00p - 4:30p Eastern/ 3:p - 3:30p Central/ 2:00p -2:30p Mountain/ 1:00p -1:30p Pacific
Call-in Guest Number: 718.508.9924

Fardjohnmarphotoweb_002 Fard Johnmar, M.A., founder of Envision Solutions, has extensive experience in the healthcare marketing communications arena.  He has developed and implemented programs for numerous major global and domestic pharmaceutical companies, nonprofits, medical associations and government organizations.  Pfizer Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks are just a few of the organizations he has completed engagements with.

Mr. Johnmar has special expertise in cardiovascular disease, mental health,infectious disease, oncology, social media communications, public health and health policy. He holds a Master of Arts degree from New York University's well-regarded Gallatin School of Individualized Study in communications and health policy. He completed his undergraduate degree at Amherst College where he earned a B.A. in jazz ethnomusicology with additional concentrations in pre-medical studies and political science.

Mr. Johnmar writes regularly on healthcare marketing, policy and related subjects for Know More Media (KMM), a leading global business blogging network and other publications. His blog on KMM, HealthCareVox, was recognized as one of the world's top 50 English-language health blogs by edrugsearch.com. Follow Fard on Twitter.

Steve woodruff Steve Woodruff is President of Impactiviti, a pharma network advocating new on-line solutions for communications, and "matchmaking" pharmaceutical clients with best-in-class vendor/providers. Steve has over 23 years of experiences in the life sciences arena, and is a well-respected thought leader in the social media field.

Steve has rich experience consulting with numerous pharmaceutical clients (such as Pfizer, Wyeth, Novartis, J&J, Abbott, Takeda, Sanofi-Aventis, Daiichi Sankyo, and many others) on training and marketing solutions, including technology platforms and global applications. Having consulted on the design and implementation of many types of learning initiatives (virtual universities, pre-launch training, printed modules, on-line tutorials, product portals, assessments, webcasts, etc.) for a wide variety of companies, Steve brings a broad perspective to clients as new training and marketing activities are planned.

Steve contributes to the Small Business Branding blog, Marketing Profs Daily Fix, and was recently featured in an article on Better Branding in TheStreet.com. Steve has also launched several on-line portals with aggregated content feeds from the blogging community; PharmaCentral, the Marketing Bloggers portal, and BrandingWire. He has contributed to two recently published “group-authored” books, Age of Conversation and Not Quite What I Was Planning. His branding/marketing/social media blog is called StickyFigure. Follow Steve on Twitter.

In The Diva Bag

Complement of Fard Johnsmar

1. Understand what you face: Pharma companies should understand how e-patients feel about them journeying into the social media space. According to a national survey we recently conducted, they aren't too happy about pharma communicating with them via social media. 

However, drug firms may be able to improve e-patient perceptions by providing them with  what they want: the straight facts about medicines and valuable information about the conditions they or their loved ones face. 

2. Remember, this is Washington:  A lot of the commentary I've seen focusing on the FDA hearings deals with the mechanics of Internet promotion and how pharmaceutical companies are being restrained from participating fully. 

However, people have to remember that the FDA is not just going to listen to industry insiders when developing policy. They have to deal with Congress and very active and vocal patient/consumer activists who will have a lot to say about the regulations the FDA releases.  Back in the 1990s when FDA decided to approve more robust DTC marketing, many said that the agency went too far. 

Now, we have the Internet, which is some ways, is a much more powerful and pervasive medium than television.  We have to remember that FDA is being pushed in many different directions.  We may get regulations, but we may not like what the FDA does. 

In addition, we have an article on our new knowledge community, Living the Path, summarizing the FDA's changing regulatory stance and how it impacts pharma and health companies. 

Read More: 

From Steve Woodruff: Social RX: A Resource Page

From Diva Marketing on the Power to the ePatient


12/15/2009

StarsThe holidays are a time to give back to others. In that spirit, Diva Marketing is highlighting the stories of smaller nonprofits through out December. It's my wish that together we can help raise their visibility, perhaps find a new volunteer or even encourage a donation or two. Because as Laura King Edwards, Taylor's Tale, says, "Nothing should stand in the way of a dream."  Also the nonprofits that are using social media have agreed to share their strategies so we continue to learn together.

The ChildFund International Story

Virginia childfund international Story told by Virginia Sowers, Community Manager, ChildFund International.  For more than 70 years, ChildFund International (formerly Christian Children’s Fund) has been inspired and driven by the potential that is inherent in all children; the potential not only to survive but also to thrive, to become leaders who bring positive change for those around them.

We help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children around the world and in the United States to improve their capacity to improve their lives and have the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change to their communities.

We believe that change must be child-centered. Our distinctive approach focuses on working with children throughout their journey from birth to young adulthood, as well as with families, local organizations and communities globally to create environments children need to thrive.

Our work would not be possible without the generosity of our child sponsors and donors, and we are most grateful for their support.

Social Media

We have used social media extensively as part of our rebranding effort that began last July. In changing our organization’s name to ChildFund International (to align with the ChildFund Alliance), we have found social media to be an important tool to communicate the name change, build the ChildFund brand and also engage more interactively with our supporters.

In July, we launched a Twitter campaign. For every 200 followers we attracted on Twitter, an anonymous donor would provide a gift to country in which ChildFund worked. For example, one gift was a goat to a family in The Gambia. We shot video of the goat’s arrival and shared that back through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. We gained 2,200 followers in the two-week campaign, resulting in 11 gifts to vulnerable children.

We also ran a Twitter event this fall. In conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child on Nov. 20, we invited Twitter followers to tweet on a right they believed children should have for healthy development. After a set time, we voted on the top 5 tweets and put those back out on Twitter for a bit of competitive retweeting. We’re about to announce the top 2 tweets (as based on the number of retweets). Those two individuals are receiving a coffee table book with photographs of children around the world.


Childfund_logo


More From ChildFund

Website

Facebook

Blog

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedIn

Donation Link

Gift Catalog

Read More Stories From Small Nonprofits

12/11/2009

Cocktail My friend Caryl is getting started in social media. It's fair to say that Caryl is not a digital native but I felt for certain she'd feel right at home in the world of online conversations. She is one of the friendliest women I know. She's funny and smart and the first person to make a new comer in the group feel comfortable. She has the talent of talking to people.

I was surprised when she mentioned she hadn't dropped into her LinkedIn page since we set it up 4 months ago. Her reason was simple - she didn't feel comfortable. "How could that be?" I thought. Caryl is a People Person with cap Ps. Social media = people.

As we talked I found a few reasons why it wasn't as simple as dropping into a Chamber networking event for her.

Caryl's 4 Big LinkedIn Questions

1. How do you engage and determine interest without physical or tonality cues?

2. How do you jump into the conversation when you don't know the people?

3. How do you enter the conversation without being invited?

4. How do you know when to continue the discussion when there is no feedback from the group?


8 Ideas On How To Join A LinkedIn Conversation

1. Read the post and any subsequent comments before jumping into the the discussion.

2. Review the profile's of the people interacting on the thread. You may find some ideas of how to frame your remarks that add specific ideas for your group members.

  • 3. Remember the culture of (most) social networks is not based on who you know but what you share.

4. Remarks are welcomed that take the conversation into areas where new ideas are explore and even when the status quo is debated.

5. Realize that although your input may be considered valuable people may not comment back. Don't take it personally.

6. Returning often to the group will help people know you better, you them and increase your comfort level networking in the social web.

7. Results often lead to "off LinkedIn" conversations where you can continue to build relationships in more depth.

8. Respect the people in your group by keeping your comments on topic *no spammy or overt selling in this world.

What advise would you give Caryl to help her feel more comfortable using LinkedIn and social networks?

note: thanks to jbrotherlove for the edit love.

12/11/2009

Stars Through out December, Diva Marketing is showcasing the stories of smaller nonprofits. It's a small way to give back to others who give so much. It's my wish that together we can help raise their visibility, perhaps find a new volunteer or even encourage a donation or two. Because as Laura King Edwards, Taylor's Tale, says, "Nothing should stand in the way of a dream."  Also the nonprofits that are using social media have agreed to share their strategies.

The Georgia Canines for Independence Story

Ramona fa cannines information Story by Ramona Nichols, founder and Executive Director of GCI. My mother and sister have epilepsy, and I experienced through their eyes the stress and isolation that disability may create for every family member. My animals provided a support system of unconditional love, which helped the family deal with the physical, emotional, and social effects of epilepsy.

After studying animal behavior at the University of Georgia, I dedicated my life to training dogs to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. Photo: Ramona with canines Mary Kate and Ashley

Georgia Canines for Independence is a 501-c-3 nonprofit. Donations are tax-deductible. Georgia Canines for Independence (GCI) provides trained assistance dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities and other special needs. GCI is an all volunteer organization.

Each service dog learns 90 commands and performs skills such as opening/closing doors, turning lights on/off, retrieving dropped or needed items, and pulling wheelchairs. After completing 2 years of training, each canine partner is given away at absolutely no cost to someone in need. GCI also provides a lifetime of instructional support for each service dog team.

Service dogs increase independence. Many of our service dog recipients have gained employment or been able to attend college as a direct result of having a dog to assist them with daily living activities. Assistance dogs also increase self-esteem and social interactions and decrease stress and loneliness. Many service dog owners have also reported improvements in physical health and a reduction in the number of doctors' visits leading to decreased healthcare costs.

Because GCI does NOT charge for its services, our programs are made possible by community support. Insurance does not cover animal therapy or service dogs.

Social Media

GCI has a donation page on Facebook, several videos on YouTube that demonstrate how these amazing dogs help "their people" in daily living, a MySpace page and of course a presence on Twitter.

Logo ga canine More About Georgia Canines for Independence

Facebook

MySpace

YouTube

Twitter

GCI WebSite

Donation Link

Read More Stories From Small Nonprofits

12/09/2009

StarsThe Back-story - Last week I met an amazing women, Laura King Edwards, who told me the story of the nonprofit she launched to support her little sister Taylor. Taylor has Batten disease, a rare neurodegenerative disease, with no known cure. 

Laura and Taylor touched my heart and inspired this series, Stories From Smaller Nonprofts. In the spirit of the season, to give back, the month of December will showcase wonderful nonprofits. It's my wish that together we can help raise their visibility, perhaps find a new volunteer or even encourage a donation or two. Because as Laura says, "Nothing should stand in the way of a dream."

The Taylor’s Tale Story

Taylor_Laura_Cheetah_2 Story told by: Laura King Edwards: Current board president, founding member and older sister of our namesake, Taylor King; also the blogger, Webmaster and Facebook.

Taylor’s Tale Story was inspired by Taylor King, an 11-year-old native of Charlotte, NC. She was diagnosed with infantile NCL, a form of Batten disease, in July 2006.

Taylor's Tale raises funds for research and promotes public awareness of Batten disease. We are a non-profit, tax-exempt entity pursuant to Section 501(c)(3). We were originally founded by a group of dedicated volunteers in Charlotte, N.C. in early 2007.

For two years, we raised funds for the Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA). In January 2009, Taylor's Tale was granted non-profit status. Today, we work in tandem with BDSRA and other non-profits to provide financial support for Batten disease research. We have raised close to $200,000 since our inception.

We made it possible for a prominent researcher, Sandra Hofmann, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas SW-Dallas, to begin evaluating and testing enzyme replacement therapy as a cure for infantile NCL. Today, she is in the preclinical studies stage.

Her close colleague, Beverly Davidson, PhD, of the University of Iowa, whose work is very similar to Dr. Hofmann's but for a different form of the disease, just had a major breakthrough for not just Batten disease, but all of medical science. Dr. Davidson figured out a way to cross the blood brain barrier and deliver therapeutic molecules directly into the brain - a discovery that has implications for all brain-based diseases (i.e. Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, brain cancer).

In addition to Dr. Hofmann's work, we have supported or currently support work at Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Rochester and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 What is Batten disease?

 Batten disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disease that primarily strikes infants, toddlers and school-aged children. Presently, there is no known cure, and it is always fatal. Batten disease is rarely diagnosed immediately and is often mistaken for epilepsy, mental retardation, retinitis pigmentosa or even schizophrenia in adults.

Onset is characterized by beginning vision loss, seizures, clumsiness and personality and behavior changes. After onset, Batten disease causes continuing physical and mental deterioration, and affected children eventually become blind, bedridden and unable to communicate.

 Why Taylor's Tale?

 All children have dreams. Some dream of becoming astronauts and exploring outer space. Some envision careers as baseball players or firefighters. Others want to be doctors or teachers.

Taylor King, a girl who loves princesses, sparkly jewelry and the color pink, dreams of becoming a pop star or fashion designer. She loves to sing. She believes in fairy tales. Her courage inspired us to fight for a cure for Batten disease.

We are writing her story because we believe that it will help us save children like her. Every child is entitled to dream; every child's story should be a fairy tale.

  • Taylor's Tale began as Taylor's story, but along the way, it has become a story for all children. Because nothing should stand in the way of a dream.

Goals

Specifically, we work with the BDSRA to identify promising proposals made by Batten disease researchers and then provide the funding to make their work possible. Taylor's Tale believes that proposals should be built upon a "bench to bedside" philosophy; we want the work we support to work toward the end result of a human clinical trial and a possible cure for Batten disease.

And, we are proud to say that we have been able to help make history over the past several years: we are infinitely closer to a cure - perhaps only a few short years away - than we were when we began.

 Social Media Strategy

 Our small size, limited resources and strong desire to reserve the vast majority of funds we raise for research grants led us to position social media and digital marketing channels as major players in our overall public awareness/marketing strategy. Along the way, we've discovered that these tools are not only the cheapest way to spread the word - they're also the most effective in many cases.

We chose the name "Taylor's Tale" because we want to play the role of storyteller in the fight to cure Batten disease. Social media channels have an uncanny ability to help us tell our story virally - and it allows others to be storytellers, too, which fosters further support and keeps people inspired. Without social media, we'd be left with local person-to-person networking and special events to build awareness.

We'd have our Web site, but alone, that'd be a pretty static tool. Coupled with social media tools like blogging and Facebook, we've been able to reach more people than we would have ever imagined. Our blog, for example, garners feedback from people scattered across the globe. We've been able to position Taylor's Tale as a major source of funding for the research community and a reliable, welcome information source for families whose children are newly diagnosed.

 So what's next? We want to add Twitter to our social media toolkit and continue to enhance our presence elsewhere. We also want to continue pushing a campaign we launched recently called Project E-wareness - a call to people who want to help us build support for Taylor's Tale using social media channels. We even created a pdf e-wareness guide that people can download.

 Taylor Tale logo
More About Taylor's Tale

Taylor's Tale Website

Write The Happy Ending (blog)

Facebook fan page

Quarterly e-newsletter

Taylor's Tale Video on YouTube

Donation Link

Read More Stories From Small Nonprofits

Sidebar: If you want your nonprofit included in Stories From Smaller Nonprofits drop a comment and I'll send you the questions.

12/07/2009

Age of Conversation _Talk Bubble I'd like to tell you a story. Social media is all about the stories. This tale begins with two friends from opposite ends of the world who met in the virtual world of blogs. One was from the middle of America and the other from down under in Australia.

Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton had a wild idea to crowd source author a book about the new conversations that were changing the fabric of marketing. In 2007, they asked bloggers and people active in the new media space (social networks were on the distant horizon back in 2007!). Each author would have one page in the book - a max of 400 words. About 100 people joined Drew and Gavin on their adventure .. and hence was born the Age of Conversation

2008 brought Age of Conversation 2 with over 200 contributing authors. Age of Conversation 3 is in the works with about 300 authors with a publishing date in 2010. Age of Conversation 3 is subtitled - It’s time to get busy! The direction focused on action versus theory. This social media book is divided into 10 sections:

1. Conversational Branding

2. Influence

3. Getting To Work

4. Corporate Conversations

5. Measurements

6. In The Boardroom

7. Pitching Social Media

8. Identities, Friends and Trusted Friends

9. Conversations At The Coalface

10. Innovation and Execution

I'm proud to have participated in all 3 Age of Conversation books. Part of the authors' agreement is to wait at least 6-months after the book is printed and available for purchase (all of the profits are donated to charity) to publish our pages. Now that 6-months has come and gone I'm happy to share my pages from AoC 1 and AoC2 with you.

Age of Conversation 1 - Technologies is Recreating Business Intimacies

Age of Conversation 2 - Answers to the Questions You Didn't Ask Download AoG%202TobyBloomberg%20AnswersToTheQuestionsYouDidntAsk2b

.. and a preview of my page in Age of Conversation 3 - Chapter Corporate Conversations: Building The Social Enterprise

Once upon a time there was a CEO who worked diligently for many years building a successful company. One day she (or perhaps it was a he) realized the business model she had carefully crafted was no longer valid.

She found her customers and prospects were not waiting for her website to be updated, new ads to launch, sales calls returned, or direct mail pieces received in order to make purchase decisions. She discovered customers were not in company service queues waiting for answers to their questions. [To be continued in AoC 3 publish date 2010]

Idea! Age of Conversation 1 & 2 wGift boxould make great holiday gifts!

12/02/2009

Heart little girl 1. I like social media because it creates opportunities for people to be nice to each other.

2. I like social media because it encourages people to build relationships with people from different cultures.

3. I like social media because it opens the door for the people, who are the heart of brands, to meet the people who use their products and services.

4. I like social media because customers get to know the people who make the decisions about the brands they buy.

5. I like social media because it provides another avenue to understand what customers what and need from our products and services.

6. I like social media because coloring outside the lines is accepted and creativity is encouraged.

7. I like social media because the culture is built on exchanges of self and selflessness.

8. I like social media because it builds bridges of communication across enterprise silos.

9. I like social media because it is accountable and trackable

10. I like social media because it is still being defined.

11. I like social media because it encourages people to work together.

12. I like social media because of the people you meet and the friendships you build.

13. I like social media because it brings accountability to the people who make the decisions behind the brand.

14. I like social media because it can mean text, photos, video and audio.

15. I like social media because it levels the playing field for small businesses and nonprofits.

16. I like social media because it demands transparency from all who participate.

17. I like social media because it can be a laser focus for niche campaigns.

18. I like social media because it can be integrated into other marketing strategies.

19. I like social media because all levels of the enterprise can participate.

20. I like social media because of the generosity of spirit that people exhibit.

21. I like social media because of the ability to exchange and challenge ideas.

23. I like social media because it creates added value to a brand's promise.

24. I like social media because it is the ultimate customer experience.

25. I like social media because it is adds multiple ways to keep in touch with people who matter without the concern of geography.

26. I like social media because it helps us capture history .. be that of a marketing campaign or thoughts and ideas.

27. I like social media because it is changes how we look at the media.

28. I like social media because it provides the opportunity for everyone to voice their opinions and ideas.

29. I like social media because it's not about the technology it's about the people.

30. I like social media because ... Your Turn! Why do you like social media?

11/25/2009

It's not a revelation that social media occurs in the digital conversations of the Internet. However, some find it strange that conversations with people who might be more of an acquaintance than one we might call a "friend" often lead to important ideas.

It can be easier to open discussions in the world of blogs, tweets or Facebook where your thoughts fly into cyber space. Sitting across a table, where body language and facial experssions can immediate challenge your views, before words are even spoken can be a big risk.

On this day before Thanksgiving, when the smell of turkey roasting evokes memories of loved ones who broke the wish bone or split the last piece of pumpkin pie with you,  I'd like to suggest a topic of conversation for you to consider. It's the type of discussion that we often shy away from because it brings our vulnerability into play. But it's a conversation that shows how much you care. It's a conversation we need to engage in with grace and caring sooner than later.

Paul Levy, Running A Hospital, once again asked if I would join in the Engage with Care blog rally. This one hits home for me so it is with deep respect for the work of Alexandra Drane and Matt Holt who launched EWC to honor Za Vandenberg that I tell you the ..

Engage With Care Story

Last Thanksgiving weekend, many bloggers participated in the first “blog rally” to promote Engage With Grace – a movement aimed at having all of us understand and communicate our end-of-life wishes.

Over 100 bloggers in the healthcare space and beyond participated. The timing was purposeful since it coincided with a weekend when most of us are with the very people with whom we should be having these tough conversations – our closest friends and family. 

The original mission – to get more and more people talking about their end of life wishes – hasn’t changed. At the heart of Engage With Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation started. They’re not easy questions, but they are important

However, sometimes it's uncomfortable to start this type of discussion so it might be easier to begin with a bit of levity. To help ease into the tough questions, and in the spirit of the season, here are five parallel questions that ARE easy and fun to answer: 

  Engage with grace _2 jpg

Silly? Maybe. But it underscores how having a template like this – just five questions in plain, simple language – can deflate some of the complexity, formality, and even misnomers that have sometimes surrounded the end-of-life discussion. 

The five questions from Engage With Grace follow. I encourage you to think about them, document them, share them. 

Engage with grace

Some of the stories that the Engage With Grace people have heard are heartfelt. One man shared how surprised he was to learn that his wife’s preferences were not what he expected. You might have a similar story. At the very least you'll know what your loved ones want to do.

I'll end this post as I did last year ..

Toby -
Proud sister of Susan Ellen, proud daughter of Anne and Lou.
Believer in the Power of Conversation.

Max and I wish you and yours a most wonderful Thanksgiving.

Follow on Twitter #EWG

11/24/2009

Wordle: social media

Recently I was explaining social media to a friend and I had an ah ha moment. This business feels as specialized as well .. healthcare. Consider ..

Consultants ..

Social Media Consultant - Generalist

Social Media Consultant - Specializing in Verticals e.g,., healthcare, real estate, nonprofit, etc.

Social Media Services Add On - The Agencies: PR, Advertising, Consulting

Social Media Enterprise Structure - Focus on Internal Business Structure; Enterprise 2.0

Social Media Monitoring

Focus on Blogger Relations

Social Media Niche Communities

Social Media Community Managers

The Lawyers

Social Media and Government Regulations

Freelance Content Authors

Add to that companies that are bringing us ..

Social Media Conferences and Workshops

Add to that the ad world ...

Social Media Advertising Networks

Social Media Blog Networks

Focus on Facebook or Twitter advertising

Add to that

Technology end from social media platforms, widgets, apps and well .. just take a look at the Conversation Prizm by Brian Solis and JESS3 ..

Conversation prism

 This industry grows more complex by the nano second.

Note: 451 Marketing created a list of over 50 Top Social Media Strategists To Watch in 2010. Be sure to check comments for more talented people. I'm included .. and although a list is a list is a list .. still it's nice to be acknowledged.

11/16/2009

Patient Power blog Hundreds of thousands of digital voices are taking medicine to the virtual streets. There's a new cause being fought in social media communities. Not unlike the grass root movement of the '60's this will also influence change but this time in the world of healthcare.

As we've seen with consumer and business brands ePatients are using the Internet for research and social media for peer-to-peer support. On the other side of the street some healthcare providers (physicians, nurses, physician assistants, etc.) are doing much the same. Blogs, social networks, Twitter, along with gated communities like Sermo -an only for docs world- are finding their way into the process of daily communication.  

However, the healthcare eco system is complex and goes beyond those two populations to include government agencies like the FDA, Pharma and point of care providers (hospitals, medical centers, out patient facilities).

Simply put .. here lies their social media dilemma .. how to authentically (with no marketing spin) participate in the social discussions while maintaining public safety, patient privacy, transparency .. not to mention ensuring conversations are "people talk." From a lay person's perspective it sounds fairly simple; however, especially for pharma the social landscape can be a slippery slope. 

Last week the FDA held a Public Hearing on Promotion of FDA-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools. To their credit the FDA made the 2-day proceedings available to the pubic through live streams. The goal of the back-to-back 15-minute presentations from marketers, pharma companies, government agencies and media companies was to educate by responding to a series of predetermined questions from the FDA. 

While some people seemed a bit self-serving, others presented carefully researched conclusions; and others offered specific solutions from creating a task force to developing widgets for adverse events (AE) to designing online advertising. Running in the background were people tweeting the hearing.#FDASM  The commentary, often couched in humor (I learned a new buzz word from Mark Tosh : Data Smog), was as valuable to me as the formal proceedings.

From a marketer who has worked in healthcare, as well as, from a personal perspective here are my takeaways:

Monitoring
Some people felt pharmaceutical companies should be responsible for monitoring misinformation and AE comments .. according to pre determined guidelines. Others strongly felt that monitoring should not be mandated or as @rohitbhargava tweeted that brands should not be "cyber sleths." However, if Pharma does come across inaccurate data or patient concerns what should be the response protocol?

Customer Service and the ePatient
How to manage service relationship is an important issue that was addressed only slightly. Perhaps it was outside the scope. Consumer brands are setting expectations for fast, online responses to questions and concerns.  My instincts tell me that this will be the next big area for digital/social media healthcare. There are many issues to be explored from: What does digital healthcare service mean? to: How to address questions in public forums. How are AEs addressed and misinformation corrected?  Where to address those issues and when to participate in social networks.

To encourage patients to report AEs they must feel as though they are getting value back. How to encourage engagement and what constitutes "value" is critical to understand. All who are involved in caring for and serving ePatients must realize that it is not about the technology but developing a productive collaboration. Whatever means are used must be simple. Social media is about a new set of digital behaviors that begin and end with trust based on transparency.

The social media service relationships between ePatients and healthcare providers will grow in importance .. watch for it.

Physician/Patient Relationship
Most U.S. physicians like the idea of empowered patients who are knowledgeable about their conditions
Patients are utilizing digital resources, including social media, for pre treatment and post treatment
Docs remain the most trusted source of medical information

Pharma
Docs want information when they want it. Consumers want customer service. The big challenge is to correct misinformation without a self serving spin. Seems sad that would be an issue. I can't help but wonder if/how the social media culture will influence the culture of pharma.

FDA
Step into the social media world. Open a page on Facebook so the public will have easy access to information. Don't expect people to search to find you .. go where they are online. A benchmark for success should be sharing experiences vs. filling out forms. The FDA should take the lead in creating a participatory culture.

Consumer education will be critical to the success of this undertaking. Pharma could help with the out reach as could other providers. If creating consumer awaremess and understanding is not an integrated aspect the best of plans will fail.

Keep in mind that regulations should not get in the way of expected interaction (between pharma and customers and pharma and physicians.

Healthcare in social media has certainly come a long way (with miles to go) since I facilitated sessions at the Healthcare Blogging and Social Media Summits 2006-7.

The post about a conversation I had with a doc I met on a flight about blogs seems almost surreal. It went something like this .. The doc said to me - I don't want to give them that information. There's too much on the internet already. Great opportunity to make sure they have correct information, I replied. The old school doc volleyed a last remark, "I don't practice medicine that way."

My response back, "Perhaps you need to change the way you practice medicine. If I were you I'd keep on eye on blogs." Wonder if he changed his mind.

Sidebar: Thanks to Jean-Ah Kang, PharmD, Special Assistant to the Director for her gracious eMail. - There will be transcripts posted approximately 30 days after the conclusion of the public hearing, and the docket will have copies of the presentations/oral testimonies that can be requested from FDA.  We would welcome any comments you would like to provide on these issues as our docket is open until February 28, 2010 - please consider submitting comments!

Resources


Spreadsheet of presentations


Story of Two ePatiens by Dr. Val Jones

hcsc - weeklytwitter chat on social media and healthcare

Marci Roth for the illustration

Update 11-18-09 Webcasts of the FDA hearing on the Internet and Social Media are available for next 30-days.

11/12/2009

Just Thoughts for a Friday the 13th afternoon ...

Over the past few years I've asked hundreds of people what they thought social media meant.

  • Duncan Wardle's, VP Global PR for Disney, response was typical of most. - "Creating dialog with consumers."
      Women_whispering

Spent the last 2 days at social media events in Atlanta. Blogwell, complements of Gaspedal, and Atlanta Interactive Marketing, sponsored by an alphabet soup of Atlanta marketing groups: AiMA, AMA, AAC, BMA, PMA. The format for both was case studies which always makes for great learnings. I had the opportunity to see work from some big brands in a space that we mash-up and simply call "social media."

Although fun and creative, several of the strategies shared were not traditional social media in the sense that Duncan described. Let's call them Consumer Engaged Digital Events. The goal didn't seem to be for people from the brand to develop relationships with their customers but to provide a playground for customers to upload their own media photos, videos. Of course there was the proverbial for popularity voting and social bookmarks included.

Although these elaborate campaigns wrapped around peer-to-peer available conversations options, social media channels like Facebook and Twitter were used more as a vehicle to present messaging than conversations. Social media tools became the back drop to play against not the focal point. Think of it as putting social media in the role of as a support character. Ethics 2

Are these mash-up or hybrid campaigns "social media?" Are they digital WOM? Are they new media advertising campaigns? Does it matter?

Just Thoughts for a Friday the 13th afternoon ...

Consumer Engaged Digital Events

Nikon D500

Honda Musical Road

2010 Olympic Advertisers

Tide

11/03/2009

Halloween-candy 2 A thought inspired by too much Halloween candy. 

From social media networks to blogs, widgets, tweets and hot mobile apps marketers are faced with more choices than we ever could have imagined.

It seems every day brings a new shiny toy to try .. and to confuse. Add a few traditional tactics .. PR, email, advertising and search and the job becomes overwhelming. Overlay that with an internal structure  where functions are silo-ed by departments and you have a frightening disjointed marketing program.

One of the benefits that social media brings to the enterprise is a critical need to ensure cross functional communication systems are in place. As we're seeing social media does not live only in PR or Marketing or Customer Service.

Over the next few days let's take a dive into creating a Social Media Marketing Plan. The first step is to align internal stakholders and understand the landscape. What I call the P-I-E-C-E conversation is a process that helps develop a foundation for The Social Enterprise and sets the stage for developing an integrated marketing plan.

PIECE Conversation
Step 1: Prepare: educational component. as it relates to social media: competitive analysis, customer activity, industry trends
Step 2: Invite people who perceive they have a stake: C-suite, marketing, legal, technology, customer service
Step 4: Encourage people to talk openly
Step 5: Confirm and prioritize issues (including objectives/goals)
Step 6: Engage next steps create a Red Flag Memo

Red flag memo

10/30/2009

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Max halloween 09In the spirit of David Letterman's Top Ten ...

13. A zillion landing page blogs are pretending to be social media .. take off the mask and you find a search strategy built on a blog platform

12. A comment that lists a company name instead of a person is likely looking for link treats not a relationship.

11. Facebook "fan" pages with posts lifted from corporate brochures and press releases is just another tricky search strategy.

10. Nondisclosure of paid posts or reviews of comp'ed products services comes with tricks of its own .. a big fat FTC fine  Make sure you are up to date on the law or your compensation treat will pay for your legal fees.

9. The trick is on the Twitter automatic followers .. no one cares about you - BOO!

8. No @s in your Tweet stream is a sign that you 1. have few friends to play with or 2. don't know how to share treats with others.

7. Not linking to sources sites or including RT (re-tweet @s) is another signal that you don't know how to play well with others.

6. Barbs on the "Back Channel" that don't help move the conversation along in a win-win for the audience and speaker is a clue that you want all the candy for yourself.

5.  Not listening to your customers' who take time to express their pleasure and concerns in the social world is a sad trick for both customer and company. 

4. Not building social enterprise processes to ensure the impact of social media lessons are shared across multiple departments is like not sharing your Halloween candy.

3. Emphasizing measurements that don't align with your objectives and goals are like getting socks instead of candy.

2. Discounting the relationships you build and networks that you (and your customers) participate in are as real and valuable as any offline is like wearing the same costume year after year after year.

And the Number One Reason To Halloween Toilet Paper A Social Media Strategy ...

1. Forgetting to say "thank you" to your customers, employees, fans and friends who shared their Halloween candy with you.

Max and I wish you a Halloween filled with lots of treats and few tricks!

10/23/2009

This is a continuing series highlighting some of the fabulous women in the metro Atlanta area who are working in social media marketing. These divas include women from both the client and the agency side. From a personal (and I must admit selfish) view it's been a fun opportunity to meet and answer the question .. Who are the Atlanta Women In Social Media?

Today's post takes a slightly different direction. Toss of a pink boa to Karen Russell, an amazing prof at UGA, who suggested that I include a special post on educators. I'm very excited to introduce you to professors who are opening the doors of social media strategy to the next generation of  marketing and PR professionals. 

Kaye Sweetser Dr. Kaye Sweetser, Assistant Professor, Public Relations University of Georgia Grady College - Kaye Sweetser.com Google Profile UGA Profile @kaye

1. What does social media marketing mean to you? - Social media marketing is not so much a marketing plan that is created at a corporate level - rather, I see it as the organic word-of-mouth marketing that happens when a product is genuinely good. When it is good & people find it useful, they talk about it & recommend it to others.

Social media public relations, on the other hand, is just an extension of normal public relations where instead of just saying one's publics are important, the company actually reaches out through mass media to individual stakeholder. And then they build real & meaningful relationships with them.

2. My favorite social media tactic - I don't pinpoint a favorite tactic because each group and each goal is differently met. But if I had to have a fave, it would be to be REAL.

3. In 140 characters - What is Atlanta's greatest challenge in becoming a social media hub? Confidence. We have Fortune 500 corporations headquartered here but don't see ourselves as kewl as the San Francisco set.

4. An overview of your class - I teach public relations classes at all levels (undergrad up to doctoral) at the University of Georgia, primarily research. I incorporate social media assignments like creating a Google Analytics reports & teach how to pinpoint meaningful metrics in social media.

5. Social media in your class - I began integrating social media into my classes back in 2004. Since then, I've increased the amount of instruction & focus we have in class on social media. I focus on how social media & metrics supplement traditional programs.

Urkovia Andrews Urkovia Andrews, Assistant Professor Department of Communication Arts Georgia Southern University - Practical Issues  @uandrews

1. What does social media marketing mean to you? To me social media marketing is the use of social media sites to connect with individuals of the same interest area, such as public relations, communications, teaching, etc. The wealth of information and urgency in which it is dispersed via social media sites is idealistic, overwhelming, and yet refreshing. 

2. My favorite social media tactic is - I utilize Twitter more than other social media sites due to the immediacy. It’s often been said we live in a microwave world and Twitter helps amplify the cliché. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a double-edge sword, as can be seen with recent well-known corporations.

3. In 140 characters What is Atlanta’s greatest challenge in becoming a social media hub? Atlanta’s already a social media hub, but needs to avoid self-absorption. A lot is offered in Atlanta, but it’s not the end all.

4. Overview of class. I use social media mainly in the International Public Relations course. International PR is designed to expose students to public relations conducted in an international context. The class focuses on the various structures-political, economical, social, etc-that influence public relations practice in the chosen region.

This semester students were required to post their reaction to the various components of International PR on their personal blogs. Several of my tweets this semester have been geared around international issues relevant to the regions we are covering at the time. I’ve also secured upcoming guest speakers via social networking sites. Three of the guest speakers will be visiting the class via Skype calls due to their national and international location. My students are encouraged to engage these guest speakers on Twitter, PROpenMic, or through their blog or website.

5. When did you begin including social media marketing in your classes? I’ve maintained a website for my classes since 2006, yet this is the first semester I’ve branched beyond the website. 

Karen russell Karen Russell, Assistant Professor at University of Georgia Grady College. Dr. Russell is the editor of the Journal of Public Relations Research.  Teaching PR @karenrussell

1. What does social media marketing mean to you? - To me, social media is where marketing meets PR, because it's often about building relationships and publicizing people, issues and products.
 
2. My favorite social media tactic - Twitter. I love connecting with students, PR pros, and other educators in such a quick and easy way.
 
3. In 140 characters - What is Atlanta's greatest challenge in becoming a social media hub? Right now it's the economy -- I hope when it picks up people will hire my social media savvy students, who have the expertise and the passion to help Atlanta organizations move into the social media space.

4.  Overview of class - UGA has about 180 PR majors, and it's my mission to expose them all to a variety of social media practices. I use social media in all of my public relations classes, by asking students to participate, such as on Twitter, by showing YouTube videos and other social sites in class, and by bookmarking course readings on Delicious.
 
5. When did you begin including social media marketing in your classes? I began offering I used a class blog starting in January 2006, and started my own blog in April of that year. 

Sidebar: Drop a comment if you are prof teaching social media and want to be highlighted

10/19/2009

Augmented Reality. Even the name sounds scary and a bit creepy. Seems it's the latest shiny object to hit the social media world.

From a non tech perspective, augmented reality adds a 3-D touch to websites, blogs and mobile. David Berkowitz says, "Augmented reality provides a layer of digital content over real-world experiences." Marshall Kilpatrick says that Yelp was the first iPhone app to add augmented reality. John Mayer, singer-songwriter says it's a "digital hologram" and he's incorporated the technology into his video for Heart Break Warfare.

 Meijer, a retail store that opened its doors in 1934 in the Greenville, MI is certainly keeping up with the times. Meijer Their step into augmented reality is a quirky and fun Halloween experience. With your computer and a webcam you can be transformed into a scary Halloween mask that complete with sound effects. The sort of social aspects comes into play with the ability to send to your pals in Facebook, eMail or a tweet where they can comment on how cool or dorky you might appear.

Meijer is a client of BBF BL Ochman who offered to send a free webcam (via Meijer) to the first 12 people who raise their virtual hand and drop a comment that you want one. That's BL in the photo ..wonder what Benny Bix thought of the gorrila noises.

From an interactive marketing perspective it seems like a fun campaign but I'm wondering where the integration is from the website to the Halloween page and from the Halloween page to the website.  Can't seem to find the link.

10/14/2009

Max and kitty 10_09 Max and I were taking a walk yesterday. A big yellow and white cat came over to Max and he stopped to play with her. Yes, Max likes cats.  His little tail wagged so quickly. His concentration on his kitty friend was total and complete. He was in the moment. When he was done he walked happily away to his next important thing to do. Max is a very busy pooch.

I thought .. social media is an in the moment way to conduct marketing. Then I thought .. the idea of responding to an external influence at the time the incident occurs is foreign to traditional marketing. Marketing is based on strategy where research, plans and how to figure it all out comes before a formal execution of tactics is achieved. Even PR whose charge it is to 'manage' the reputation of the brand rarely responds in the moment.

Social media goes against the grain of how marketers including PR, sales and to a great extent customer service professionals have managed their responsibilities as stewards of the brand. Or does it? Can the two concepts happily co-exist? Can marketing maintain a strategic focus while still being in the moment?

Let's first define what in the moment marketing means in terms of social media. In the simplest of ideas it takes into account only four steps: Monitoring, Understanding, Interacting, Integrating

1. Monitoring the discussion occurring in the digital world of blogs, tweets, forums, social networks, etc.

2. Understanding the challenges of customers and stakeholders to what they feel impacts the brand promise; as well as appreciating the people who say nice things.

3. Interacting with the people who take the time to have digital discussions about your brand.

4. Integration of ideas into your company and into the brand.

The complexity and sophistication of social media in the moment marketing occurs behind the scenes in the How where traditional marketing's strong suite comes into play through building the foundation. 

Questions to help you think through the process of in the moment marketing for your organization. 

1. How will monitoring or listening occur? Will you use a free tool like Google Alerts or RSS key word feeds or will you contract with a social media monitoring company?

2. How will understanding or hearing what is critical information be determined? How will the information be sent to the right people at the right time .. which may be real time?  Who are the "right" people?

3. How will you reach out to customers and stakeholders? Will that occur in public through comments on posts or in tweets? Will you take the conversation offline in an email or phone call? Who will be responsible for follow-up .. both to the individual and to the community at-large who has passively heard the remarks? 

4. How will you integrate the learnings into the fabric of the brand or into new processes for your enterprise?

It's all a part of developing the new social enterprise .. but it takes so much more to be in the moment for a brand than for a dog!

10/09/2009

Raining men  Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Blogs are more than just placeholders for digital content. They are can be the home of thoughts and ideas that bring people together to learn from and with each other. And they change. Diva Marketing's focus has gone from traditional branding/marketing to how social media supports the most important aspect of marketing: the customer experience.

Along the way I've highlighted, interviewed, podcasted (is that a word?) many wonderful Divas who are doing exception working in the social media industry. I realize recently I've never dedicated a post to the "divos" .. the men in my social media world who are just as generous in sharing their knowledge, expertise and support. Today's Friday Fun tosses a pink or maybe it should be a blue boa along with a cigar, beer and bourbon, to those awesome and amazing men.

Firsts are extra special. Paul Chaney, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Bill Flitter, Tris Hussey and Shel Israel were my very first blogger divo pals back in the day when conversational marketing was not even a buzz word. In late night emails, skypes and on blog posts we explored ideas about this new way to communicate with customers that was not messaged control.

My social media divo friends expanded to include many others, Tim and Geoff and Marc and Neville and Rajesh and Des and Wayne and and and! If you have not come across these true divos of social media in your virtual travels I invite you to explore their blogs and Twitter streams.

Paul Chaney Twitter thedigitalhandshake
Tim Jackson Twitter Masiguy
Geoff Livingston Twitter Geoff Livingston
Kevin OKeefe Twitter LexBlog
Tris Hussey Twitter  A View From The Isle
Mack Collier Twitter Viral Garden
Neville Hobson Twitter NevilleHobson.com
Arun Rajagopal Twitter Arun Rajagopal
Drew McLellan Twitter Drew's Marketing Minute
John Cass Twitter PR Communications
Rick Short Twitter  B2B Marcom
Nick Jacobs Twitter NickJacobs.org
Mike Schinkel Twitter  MikeSchinkel.com
Dan Greenfield Twitter Bernaise Source
David Meerman Scott Twitter WebInKnow
Bill Flitter Twitter Pheedo
Rajesh Lawlani  Twitter BlogWorks
Tom Colins Twitter Books Blogs and Beyond
Tom Lynch  Twitter Tom Lynch Marketing
Alex Brown Twitter  Alex Brown Racing
Shel Israel Twitter Global Neighbourhoods
Peter Fasano Twitter  Peter Fasano's Social Media Strategy Blog
Joel Rubinson Twitter JoelRubinson
Jamie Turner Twitter 60 Second Marketer
Michael Squires Twitter Softscribe
Ben McConnell  Twitter Church of the Customer
Michael Kogan Twitter Definition6.
Jason Falls Twitter Social Media Explorer
Chris Abraham Twitter  Abram & Harrison
Jeremy Pepper Twitter  Pop PR Jots
Chris Brogan Twitter  Chris Brogan
Gavin Heaton Twitter Servant of Chaos
Trey Pennington Twitter Trey Pennington
Dave Taylor  Twitter Ask Dave Taylor
Scott Schablow Twitter Provenance Digital

j brother love Twitter jbrotherlove
Ike Pigotti Twitter Occam's RazR
Scott Burkett Twitter Pothole On The Infobahn
Marshall Kirpatrick Twitter Read Write Web
Doug Meacham Twitter Nextup
Cameron Reilly Twitter Gday World Podcast Network
Chris Wilson Twitter Fresh Peel
Brian Cauble Twitter App Solution Genius
Guy Tessler Twitter  American Israel Chamber of Commerce
Chris Heuer Twitter Chris Heuer's Insytes
Carlos Hernandez Twitter xeesm
Alex Geana Twitter Alex Geana
Aaron Brazell Twitter Technosailor

Lionel Menchaca Twitter  Dell2Direct
Lance Weatherby Twitter  Force of Good
Dan Schawbel Twitter Personal Branding
Graham English Twitter Graham English
Pete Blackshaw Twitter Tell 3000
Greg Verdino Twitter  Greg Verdino
Phil Gerbyshak Twitter  PhilGerbyshak
Brent Leary Twitter Brent's Social CRM Blog
Joe Koufmann Twitter Gumbo Show
Michael Russell Twitter Planet Russell
Merrill Dubrow Twitter Merrill Dubrow's Blog
Richard Binhammer Twitter RichardatDell
Lewis Green Twitter  Biz Solutions Plus
Des Walsh Twitter  Des Walsh Dot Com
Michael Rubin Twitter  Michael Rubin
Marc Meyer Twitter   Direct Obeservations
Hugh MacLeod Twitter  gapingvoid
Robert Scobel Twitter  Robert Scoble
Jonathan Freed Twitter  Digital Wagon Train

stay tuned for a few more good men .. 

Olivier Blanchard Twitter Brand Builders
Steve Woodruff Twitter  Steve Woodruff
Alan Wolk Twitter  The Toad Stool
Francois Gossieaux Twitter Emergence Marketing
Peter Kim Twitter T Being Peter Kim
Jay Berkowitz Twitter Ten Golden Rules
David Berkowitz  Twitter  Inside the Marketers Studio
Robert French Twitter  Auburn Media
Wayne Hurlbert Twitter  Blog Business World
Jack Yan Twitter  Jack Yan my site
Steve Garfield Twitter  SteveGarfield.com<
Kevin Nalts Twitter  Nalts On YouTube
Andy Wibbels Twitter  Andy Wibbels
Lee Odden Twitter  Top Rank
Josh Hallett Twitter  hyku

10/06/2009

Diva Marketing Talks is a live, internet radio (BlogTalkRadio) show.  30 minutes. 2 maybe 3 guests. 1 topic about social media marketing. Why? To help you understand how to participate in the "new" conversation without getting blown-up. Miss today's show? You can pick it up as a podcast or listen on your computer.

On today's Diva Marketing Talks we're Taking Tweet Chats Beyond 140 Characters. Twitter opened the door to interactive, real time networking, relationship building and learning .. one 140 character tweet at a time. The next generation of tweets takes it up a notch to structured conversations among many.

"Tweet Chat” pioneers join me to talk about the value and implications of Tweet Chats: Mack Collier, @mackcollier #blogchat; Dana Lewis @danamlewis #hcsm; and Marc Meyer @marc_meyer #socialmedia.

Note: Tweet chats are structured Twitter discussions that are held at a specified time. All tweets in the stream are tagged with a special hashtag to make it easy to follow the conversation.

The Details

October 6, 2009: Taking Tweet Chats Beyond 140 Characters
Time: 6:00p - 6:30p Eastern/ 5:p - 5:30p Central/ 4:00p -4:30p Mountain/ 3:00p -3:30p Pacific
Call-in Guest Number: 718.508.9924

Mack collier Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate."

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden. In 3-years Mack has grown it into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe. @mackcollier #blogchat

Dana lewis Dana Lewis is an experienced consultant and freelance writer in the fields of healthcare communications, social media, public relations, and more. Currently an undergraduate at The University of Alabama, she will complete two bachelor's degrees in public relations and political science in May 2010. Dana co-created and moderates the weekly #hcsm (healthcare communications and social media) conversation. @danamlewis #hcsm

Marc meyer

 Marc Meyer is the co-founder of Hashtagsocialmedia.com. He's also the Director of Search & Social Media for Digital Response Marketing Group, A boutique digital marketing agency based out of Naples, Florida, and he writes about all things marketing, media and technology related at Direct Marketing Observations. @marc_meyer #socialmedia

Tips From The Diva Bag

Complements of Dana Lewis

1. TweetChats are about people using Twitter to talk about one or more related things - don't put up barriers to keep people from joining the conversation. Also, don't expect to control the conversation. The best discussions aren't structured and are the ones that naturally emerge from the built-in community.

2. TweetChats aren't the answer to every "problem" facing a group of people. At some point, action is needed. The best TweetChats are those that serve as a water cooler for a community that is diversified and widespread. It's important to bring people together to share triumphs & brainstorm ideas to overcome challenges. It's also important to remember that we should take action & keep pushing the envelope!

3. There may be such a thing as "too many TweetChats". Don't feel pressured to take part in every group. Feel free to pick and choose when to participate actively and when to "lurk" or read over transcripts at a later time. Use these chats as resources & take advantage of the people who migrate to various chats - they can be perfect resources for your next challenge or project!

Complements of Marc Meyer

My tips come from some of my past blog posts:

1. Always be a first-rate version of yourself on Twitter, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else

2. Yea Twitter is cool, but in actuality what if it disappears tomorrow?. What will you do? So nurture the connections that you make and not the platform

3. What are you doing to enhance what you know and what you do? Are you enhancing the relationship, the way that you connect or creating a better conversation? Keep moving forward.

Note: Twitter Chat Schedule developed by Robert Swanwick

10/01/2009

Recently I had the pleasure to speak at New Media Atlanta about Building Brand Value Through Social Media.

Managing a brand in this new social media world is definitely a challenge for any brand steward. A world where the voices of your customers (and stakeholders) can block traditional marketing messages, takes new skills: understanding the culture of the "conversation" and how to join in while maintaining brand's equity and your individual authenticity.

I asked the attendees to fill in the blank: Managing A Brand In The Social Media World Is Like ________. Their responses were .. awesome! Which is your favorite?

Updates:
@timjackson - trying to hold smoke rings in your hand

I believe that social media is quickly taking its place as aspect of brand value. As customers come to expect the opportunity to interact directly with the people behind the brand social media will be integrated into the overall development of the "brand."

10 Guide Posts to Social Media Brand Value

1. Understand the brand strategy including: brand values, promise and overall direction
    a. Does the value proposition of your social media strategy support your brand value/promise?
2. Understand more than the demos about your target audience
3. Develop a communication system that loops employees into brand strategies
4. Understand the company culture before you venture into social media
5. Provide tactical support as needed to employees who engage with customers
6. Develop a 1st Listening Post program
7. Create/ensure communication processes are in place to provide feedback within organization and to the customer
8. Identify what is success for each tactic
    a. Based on business goals and objectives
    b. Based on the social media outputs – may be different that traditional measurements
9. Create flexible social media guidelines for employees
10. Create flexible social media guidelines for customers

As promised, here's my presentation from New Media Atlanta. Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions.