Honorees Announced for the 2016 Marketing Hall of Femme!

Direct Marketing News is honored to announce the 2016 Honorees to the Marketing Hall of Femme! These incredible women have storied careers, take risks, and push the industry and their companies forward with their edgy marketing strategies. On April 8, 2016, we’re celebrating all of their outstanding achievements and more.

New this year, the event features a Leadership Summit in addition to the Awards Luncheon. Attendees will meet the 2016 Leading Ladies, hear the first-person narratives behind their success stories, and attend educational sessions that explore the challenging yet rewarding roles of female leaders in the marketing industry today.

Introducing 2016’s most influential women in marketing:

marketing2 marketing marketing3

Learn more about the inspirational event that is the Marketing Hall of Femme:
Click here to read about previous years’ honorees and keynote speakers, view video interviews, and more.

My POV: Of course it would be to say that we need more women in technology. That’s it. I will keep it simple. And to congratulation all the amazing women named here and that work in the world of technology every day! You are my heros.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Cloud and IoT That Drive Better Business Results and Awesome Customer Experiences

The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg

With over one billion users, Facebook has become the world’s largest social networking site. Its story is incredible: from its foundation only nine years ago it has changed the way people communicate, connect and share information. Facebook has become part of our daily lives and routines. How has Mark Zuckerberg created such a successful company and become one of the great business leaders of our time, and what can we learn from him? I discuss the answers to this question in more detail in my book “Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg”, but in this post I wanted to share some quick insights around the five key elements of success. This is a Guest post by Ekaterina Walter.

Image representing Mark Zuckerberg as depicted...

Mark Zuckerberg via CrunchBase

1. Passion

“Find that thing you are super passionate about.” –Mark Zuckerberg

Successful entrepreneurs come from all walks of life and from all personality types. But one thing they all share is passion. Passion is what drives you to keep trying despite all the setbacks you encounter and to turn failure into a learning experience.

Mark Zuckerberg’s passion is using technology to bring people together; Steve Jobs’ passion was to build revolutionary products; Richard Branson’s passion is to build companies he is proud of; Oprah Winfrey’s passion is communication. Passion is essential for success, no matter what type of business you create.

2. Purpose

“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” Simon Sinek, Start with Why

Long-term customer loyalty comes from your company’s purpose. Having a purpose drives the choices a company makes, from the people it hires, the way it markets a product, the materials it uses, as well as the products it makes. Apple’s products are not the cheapest on the market, but they have inspired great customer loyalty because Apple’s purpose – to create stylish, intuitive products that change the way we use technology – is so clear in everything they do. Ben & Jerry’s have a similarly clear purpose: to create ethical, imaginatively-flavored ice cream, and fans eagerly await their next product idea.

Facebook’s purpose to connect people in the simplest way possible has driven their most popular design innovations and turned social networking into a daily habit for hundreds of millions of people.

3. People

The most innovative companies allow their employees the freedom to develop their interests and to take risks. Facebook have an interview process that only selects new employees who are the right fit for the company’s culture. Once they are in, they take part in intensive training that teaches them the ‘hacker way’ of fast, creative coding that Zuckerberg prizes.

Companies like Facebook, Apple and Zappos have created a culture that empowers courage of conviction, freedom of speech, and action. This comes from strong leadership that leads by example.

Herb Kelleher, the visionary behind Southwest Airlines, puts it this way: “Employees come first and if employees are treated right, they treat the outside world right, the outside world uses the company’s product again, and that makes the shareholders happy. That really is the way that it works and it’s not a conundrum at all.”

4. Product

Mark Zuckerberg has created a product that fulfills his passion for connecting people, one that is changing the way communities communicate. Successful entrepreneurs build their product on three principles: their passion, the purpose of the company, and the right people and partnerships. The fact that Zuckerberg walked away from lucrative offers to buy his company early on shows that he believed in his long-term vision for his product, a vision that has driven many of the changes to Facebook over the years and kept it relevant to the needs of its users. As Zuckerberg continues to say to his critics and stakeholders, “I’m here to build something for the long term. Anything else is a distraction.”

5. Partnerships

Partnerships that work are based on clear expectations, shared values, mutual trust, a fair exchange of value, complementary strengths, commitment, and mutual respect. This can be seen in the partnership of Mark Zuckerberg and his COO, Sheryl Sandberg, who has been key to Facebook’s prosperity.

Image representing Sheryl Sandberg as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Strong partnerships have been the foundation for many successful companies, from Ben & Jerry to the Warner Brothers, Hewlett and Packard, Sears and Roebuck, McGraw and Hill, or the team behind CollegeHumor. Partnerships could be based on two or more founders, or else finding the right suppliers, distributors, or investors.

Mark Zuckerberg has challenged the traditional blueprint for successful business leadership, and become the 29th richest person in the world with his company. As the way we use the internet around the world continues to change, Facebook will continue to be at the forefront of social technology, ensuring Zuckerberg’s success into the future.

About the author: Ekaterina Walter is a social media innovator at Intel, a speaker, and an author of the book “Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg”. Walter was named among 25 Women Who Rock Social Media in 2012. She sits on a Board of Directors of Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). You can find her on Twitter: @Ekaterina and her blog www.ekaterinawalter.com.



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We Blog the World Re-Launches Online Travel Magazine

We Blog the World, an online culture and travel magazine that focuses on off-the-beaten path cultural events and unique adventure and high-end travel experiences for discerning travelers, re-launched its new travel site today.

A global travel blog network made up of independent voices from around the world, the new travel magazine will add in-depth coverage of cultural events, including festivals.  Geographically, We Blog the World has coverage on every continent in the world, including the best U.S. travel destinations, the top U.S. cities to travel to, the top European destinations, the best places to go in Asia, where to go in Australia and the Pacific, tips on traveling to South America, top things to do in Canada, hot spots in the Caribbean and where to go in Central America, Africa and the Middle East.

Focused on the human side of travel and storytelling, We Blog the World has added four new sections: Travel Products, LIFE, Style and Spas & Retreats, and has expanded its coverage of Hotels & Resorts in its Lodging Section.

“The new site focused on global travel and culture, will capture ideas from untold and told travel stories for the discerning and well-traveled globetrotter who has already been to many of the most popular destinations in the world.

Events and Festivals:

While there are sites that list cultural events for a particular region, We Blog the World covers events on every continent. The expanded focus on Events and Festivals will include topics We Blog the World readers value, such as Arts, Culture, Music, Food & Wine, Entertainment, Green, Technology, Style and Women.

“Coverage of international events and festivals from a global perspective is fragmented and limited,” said Renee Blodgett, founder of the site. “We provide comprehensive and in-depth coverage of unique global cultural events, as well as other things important to a successful travel experience.”

Products: The Products section will cover in-depth reviews as short pieces on products writers discover that will help travelers on and off-the-road. Travel products can range from clothing, bags and shoes to camera equipment, mobile devices and mobile apps, net books, laptops and social media apps that focus on food and wine or help travelers navigate their way to and around a new destination.

LIFE: We Blog the World explores the human side of travel, from storytelling, human interest stories and unique experiences that shape the world today. Inspirational and life-changing stories will be told in the LIFE section through feature stories and a Q&A format.

The site incorporates a community of independent voices from around the world who discover remarkable people and experiences and then share their unique perspective with readers.

Food & Wine: For foodies and wine lovers, We Blog the World will continue to run fun and creative stories about food and wine, including events and festivals. Content will come in the form of restaurant reviews, farm-to-table experiences, interviews with chefs, unique recipes and food photography.

Lodging and Spas/Retreats: The new We Blog the World will expand its global coverage of hotels, lodging, and resorts and has added a new section dedicated to retreats and spas. Independent voices will bring a human side to travel accommodation which may include an inside peak at the people who own the hotel or resort or those who make it tick.

Style: The Fashion section has been merged with the new Style section, which will not only include creative and interesting fashion from different cultures around the world, but also style, which includes great design of products, places and things.

Women: The Women section will feature women who are leading projects and building products and services for positive social change. “It’s no secret that women are doing remarkable things and working in important initiatives across the world and so we want to highlight them – the untold unknown stories and some of the known ones,” added Blodgett. “As a woman entrepreneur and founder, I think it’s important to support other women who are spearheading projects and trying to get groundbreaking projects off the ground.”

This year, We Blog the World was a media partner of GigaOm’s Mobilize, Idea Festival, Tech4Africa, Mobile Loco, and the DEMO Conference. We Blog the World is also now hosting their site with Rackspace, a leader in enterprise-level hosting services for businesses of all sizes and kinds around the world. A very special thanks and kudos to the support, creativity and technical wizardry of those who helped with the relaunch of the site and kept things smoothly running along the way: Sky Schuyler, David Yip, Sonya Gey, Kelli Mutchler and Nathan Miller.

About We Blog the World

We Blog the World, the Globe Voice for Travel and Events, is an online culture and travel magazine focused on unique cultural events and travel experiences for the discerning, well-traveled globetrotter. Dedicated to the human side of travel, We Blog the World captures stories, experiences and visual highlights from every continent in the world through a community of independent voices.  For more insights, stories and tips on global travel and international culture, follow We Blog the World on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/weblogtheworld, Twitter @weblogtheworld, on YouTube and on Pinterest at: http://www.pinterest.com/weblogtheworld.

I have and will also be writing posts for the site!

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts



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Forbes Columnist, Mark Fidelman to Cover UCLA Social Business Course

Social Media education seems to be really important these days. The course I am teaching at UCLA is designed to help people put social media into a business context. Forbes Social Media and Mobilized Columnist, Mark Fidelman, will be writing about the event and the ROI of social media calculators, videos and resources I’ve created to help my Fortune 500 clients.

I am finding more and more of my clients requesting that I come in and give a intro to social media / social business session– with a follow on into various subjects at a deeper level depending on what business goals they are trying to accomplish.

One of the first courses of its kind at a university, the “Social Business Course” will intersperse lecture content with social business / social media experts like Matt Michelsen (@MCMichelsen) from www.TheBackPlane.com who does social media for Lady Gaga (@ladygaga), Charles Miller (@ChasMiller) from DIRECTV, Michael Brito (@Britopian) from Edelman (@EdelmanPR ) and include social media software demos so participants walk away with strategy, tactical advice as well as implementation capabilities to accomplish and align business goals and social media goals.

Demos include social business applications from Wendy Lea (@WendySLea), CEO and Jeff Nolan (@JeffNolan) of www.GetSatisfaction.com, Johnny Miller of ManuMatix.com/Bamboo, Varun Krishna and Zao Yang Co-founder of BetterWorks.com, Jennifer Tyler (@JenHowell4) Of Sysomos.com, Janice Rager (@jrag2009) and Michele McConomy (@michelemcconomy) of www.Spigit.com, etc…

In the two days, we will go through a methodology and framework on how I see a business evaluating whether they are truly ready to be a social business. That’s everything from understanding who they are looking to engage online as well as what content they are generating to fuel the interactions. I’ll also cover the various departments- PR, Marketing, Customer Service, Product Innovation as well as internal collaboration.  We’ll look at measurement, monitoring and how to know if you are actually hitting business goals. And probably the most important is to look at is the organization’s readiness to take on the responsibilities and sensibilities of social media.

At first glance, it social media and social business seem really simple. Many people have said, “Well isn’t it just a matter of having a Twitter and a Facebook page and a blog?” At its deepest fundamentals those are some of the basic building blocks. But to be success at social business means you are aligning your business goals with social media initiatives. In a recent webinar I did for Radian6, we found that many of the questions were about what ARE the business benefits of social media? That was interesting to me. Having been deep in the woods for the last several years on social media measurement, building social media ROI calculators for businesses and for vendor’s social media products, it was interesting to me that people don’t know more about this. So I’ve added it to the course.

If you are interested in any of these topics, I’d love to have you join us! We have a great line-up of guest lecturers who will bring their own expertise to the course.

To register for the class, click here: Social Business Course at UCLA, April 27-28th

It goes from 9AM-4PM Friday and 9AM-4PM Saturday.

We did a Saturday session so that people were not going to miss so much work.

WHO: This course is for executives and professionals who want to go beyond the basics and learn how to apply social media to get concrete business results.

HOW: Using case studies and real-world examples, we explore how social media affects each functional department (PR, Marketing, Customer Service, Product Development, etc…) and ways to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for each.

If you would like to be considered for a software demo for the course or a speaker in the course, please contact us and put UCLA SOCIAL BUSINESS COURSE Speaker in the subject line.


  • Leave with a social business blueprint and know how to execute with social media applications and software
  • Learn practical tips, techniques, and how to use social media monitoring to levelset where your social media program is
  • Take an assessment to benchmark the “as is” state of your social media initiatives and compare them to “could be” via best practices
  • Learn how to gear your initiatives to higher monetizations of social media investments
  • Create strategies and tactical plans that make sense to traditional organizations (even those not familiar with social media)
  • Learn how to use business cases and ROI to ease the approval process for initiatives and implementation simpler, more efficient, and effective because they are grounded in business fundamentals that maximize the ROI in social media.

WHERE: Westwood, Los Angeles

To register for the class, click here: Social Business Course at UCLA, April 27-28th

Learn. Share. Grow

New Book on Facebook: Like My Stuff – How to Monetize Your
Facebook Fans With Social Commerce & A Facebook Store

Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
website/blog: www.drnatalienews.com/blog
G+ : Google Plus posts
YouTube Videos: On ROI of Social Media
White Papers: Social Media ROI

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A Facebook Commerce Pop-Up Store- Social Commerce For Small Business: Rachel Roy Jewelry

How to use a Facebook Commerce Pop-up Store / Social Commerce For Small Business and Monetize Fans

Social commerce is the addition of shopping to social networks. Small business can profit from Facebook Commerce. But if businesses aren’t careful, social commerce has the potential to ruin social networks. That’s why it’s important how brands fulfill on f-commerce. It will directly affect the success not only for their own individual brand, but as an industry as a whole. If social networking shopping sites are not delivered in the spirit of what the customer wants, it will fail. If they are delivered well, social commerce can succeed. If not for this point alone, brands need to pay attention to f-commerce as an example of how shopping can be integrated within a social network.

English: American fashion designer Rachel Roy.

Image via Wikipedia

An example of someone who really gets social commerce? That would be Rachel Roy. Rachel used a pop-up store— a Facebook commerce store to create engaging social merchandising experiences that increase a brand’s fan base while driving transactions. By creating immersive brand experiences that fully integrate shopping as well as the shopper’s wider social network, the brand increased their social currency with those fans and customers. And a pop-up shop is a great way for brand to test the f-commerce waters without going into full-scale  shop.

Rachel Roy launched a pop-up store on Facebook, giving fan’s a shopping event that included early access to Roy’s new jewelry line which was a collaboration with British R&B artist, Estelle. Rachel Roy provided a limited edition, time sensitive offering that helped drive sales without having to offer a discount.

The pop-up store lasted three days and boosted Rachel Roy’s fan base by 25% in the first day and 100% by the end of the campaign. The Facebook Page acquired 1 fan every 1.5 seconds. The exclusive, limited edition piece sold out in six hours.

Rachel Roy

Image by Rubenstein via Flickr




The Rachel Roy pop-up shop was built on a software-as-a-service solution created by Fluid Social Fan Shop of the Fluid Agency. This is an e-commerce firm whose clients include Diane von Furstenberg, Nine West, Theory, Vans and Coach.

6 hours: Time it took for the Rachel Roy Facebook jewelry store to sell out.

3rd highest: daily sales made by Rachel Roy, the day it opened its pop-up f-store.

Bravo to Rachel Roy for being a social commerce diva!!


You can find more examples like this in Dr. Natalie’s Book: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans With a Facebook Store and learn how to use social commerce for your business!

@drnatalie Learn. Share. Grow!™

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff is a social media business and ROI business adviser. You can find her here:

Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
website/blog: www.drnatalienews.com/blog

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Frequent Flier Miles Given To Charity

This post is about how donating frequent flyer miles to charity keeps on giving back.

I was talking to my friend Molly on Facebook and I learned about something that inspired me and I wanted to share in it in the spirit of the new year and thinking differently. I posted about donating all the soaps I had gotten via my travels this past year to Chrysalis as part of my new year’s resolutions. They help put people back to work. If you are wondering how to give back or searching for New’s Resolutions– perhaps this blog post will inspire you and give you some new ideas….

Molly does amazing work in the world, but that takes money and there’s not always all the money required to do good work. She is the founder of Women With Drive: http://www.womenwithdrive.org/

Molly was able to attend the Business Innovation Factory (BIF7) conference in September, where she was able to connect with Willow Creek Ministries in Chicago. Their congregation of 20K has a cars ministry that helped Women With Drive to streamline their model of processing/intake of vehicles in order to provide not only cars to their applicants, and also revenue to fund the operations. Molly would have NEVER had a chance to meet with Willow Creek –at such high-level without the access to the conference. HERE’S THE POINT: Miles she used to get to the conference were donated by an executive of The HON Company in Muscatine http://www.hon.com/

Molly also attended the NextGen:Charity Conference in New York City. There she was able to facilitate a roundtable with some amazing women, among them Tiffany Dufu, the VP of The White House Project. She was also able to talk with Craig Newmark

English: Photo of Craig Newmark.

Image via Wikipedia

about honing their “elevator pitch” and attracting funders (Craigslist and Craigconnects). Attending this conference she was able to talk to people that she probably would not have had the chance to and make the difference she makes in people’s lives. http://craigconnects.org/

HERE’S THE POINT: the miles for that trip were donated from two sources, Lou Imbriano, author of Winning the Customer and CEO of TrinityOne (@LouImbriano) and a board member of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine. The board member is the mother of her first and best childhood friend. (Leah died of a brain aneurysm NOV2010 and her mother donated Leah’s miles gained through her extensive travel for Sylvan Learning Centers). Even in death, her childhood friend helped her reach her goals.

HERE’S THE POINT, both trips would not have been impossible for me without the donation of miles. Their budget simply could not accommodate it.

So business travelers, if you are wondering what to do this New Years… What resolutions or donations you can make, then give this post some thought. And then take some action. Reach out to Molly — You’ll be glad you made a difference!

Molly M. Cantrell-Kraig
Founder, Women With Drive Foundation
129 W. Second Street
Muscatine, IA 52761
follow us on twitter! @WWDr1ve
“Like” us on facebook

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Part 3: Comedian, Loni Love on What Companies Can Learn From Comedians, Fans and Customers

Click here to learn more on Loni Love’s wisdom about Twitter, on the importance of fans/customers and that there is nothing more special than showing you care.

This is wisdom that everyone can use!

Loni Love spoke at the 140tc conference, with me, about how marketing, PR, customer service  and comedy/ fans are very similar. Just likes companies need “fans” or customers, she depends on fans to come and see her perform at shows and on TV. Loni uses twitter as a way to reach out to her fans and build that relationship.

Loni Love Uses Twitter As A Megaphone To Show How Much She Appreciates Her Fans

Loni Love Uses Twitter As A Megaphone To Show How Much She Appreciates Her Fans

Loni typically starts the day in Twitter by providing her fans with inspirational quotes/jokes. She then sends out information on her schedule for the day, jokes, as well as links to funny stories. She says that many people find the content fun, uplifting and entertaining and they retweet it! Often fans are inspired by her tweets and they also send out jokes. She sometimes retweets those herself or comments on them.

When did this great comedian start using Twitter? In June of 2009. She currently has over 74,837 followers; at the time of the video in May 2009, she had 8,000 followers. Loving your fans means they grow over time.

TV's doctor, Dr. Drew showing Loni Love the "Luv" For What She Does

TV's doctor, Dr. Drew showing Loni Love the "Luv" For What She Does

How does this comedian’s actions on Twitter relate to Customer Service? Customers want to know they are valued. Loni sees Twitter as the opportunity to do that. Sure Loni is in the entertainment business and you might be in the business of customer service, but there is a common denominator here. And the commonality is this: acknowledging and appreciating fans or customers garners reciprocal appreciation, but in ten-fold. Often times entertainers, like companies, can seem like they are far removed from their fans of customers. Companies have often been categorized as giant, unfeeling monoliths. In part that is because their communication with customers and the public is very stayed, calculated and predicable. It is written, checked and rechecked to the point that it has lost the human touch.

What Loni has experienced by retweeting a fan’s tweet or commenting on a tweet, is that people feel that they have made a special connection with her. She says they are often surprised that she responds and interacts so much! They are delighted and feel cared about when she does something as simple as type something in less than 140 characters.

Loni’s whole purpose in being an entertainer and comedian is to make people laugh. Her goal is to help them forget about their problems for at least a few minutes. Loni loves using Twitter because it is a tool that helps her to spread her passion about helping people to remember to laugh and enjoy life a little more. You may have seen her spreading her humor and love on E! on the Chelsea Lately show.

Loni Love on the E! show, Chelsea Lately

Loni Love on the E! show, Chelsea Lately

Loni  suggests that when you think about the parallels to what she is doing and customer service, she suggests companies remember that customers are always the number one priority. You can reach out to them via Twitter and show your appreciation for them. Loyalty often comes from feeling “a part of something.” Paying attention to fans or customers helps them to feel vested in what you are doing and in what you stand for. And by showing your passion as a company, your employees will catch the appreciation bug also!

You can follow Loni on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lonilove

Loni’s website is: www.LoniLove.com

And information about Chelsea and her show, Chelsea Lately is at: www.eonline.com/on/shows/chelsea/

Learn. Grow. Share.

Thanks for tuning in!  @DrNatalie


Zappos Announces New Consulting Company at SXSW: Happiness

Tony Hsieh announced in the Samsung Blogger Lounge at SXSW that they will be launching a new company based on the book Delivering Happiness. The new CEO will be Jenn Lim. The idea came about from traveling the country in the happiness business for the book tour. I interviewed Jenn about the new company, her role and what we can except:

I’m sure that this will be successful. Tony got that customer service was the difference to make a business go from zero to a billion dollars in ten years when most businesses were still relegating that to the last thing they care about.  Here at SXSW there is a bus you can hop on — drinks and fun!!! and of course…. happiness…

Here’s Jenn’s Twitter handle: @jennlim Give her a shout out on Twitter and congratulate her! She’s gonna rock and roll this one!

http://www.deliveringhappiness.com  and www.deliveringhappinessbus.com

More about Tony:

In 1999, at the age of 24, Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos.com as an advisor and investor, and eventually became CEO, where he helped Zappos.com grow from almost no sales to over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually, while simultaneously making Fortune magazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list. In November 2009, Zappos.com was acquired by Amazon.com in a deal valued at $1.2 billion on the day of closing.


The Reason for Direct, Authentic and Genuine Communication in Social Networks: The Rogue Beer Tweet Ends in Donations

First I want to thank everyone who has been nudging me to write. Second, I want to thank Charlene Li, for writing Open Leadership. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the link.

Open Leadership By Charlene Li

In Charlene’s Introduction she talks about the hiring of Wendy Harman in 2006 at the Red Cross as the organization’s first social media manager. She was hired because people were saying not so nice things about the Red Cross‘s response to Katrina and she was supposed to “make it stop.”

A manager might have done that. Managers manage tasks. They are given a job and they figure out how to get “that” task done. Leaders on the other hand, do something different. Leaders create followership. They create energy. They create opportunity where there wasn’t one before. In Charlene’s book, she quotes Wendy who said to her boss, “We have a huge opportunity here. There are people who want to help the Red Cross and who are online every day.”

Instead of just making the bad chatter stop, Wendy saw a huge opportunity to engage the large number of people who were saying very positive things about the Red Cross and who wanted to be involved and provide help with disaster relief. As a leader, Wendy knew that the best way to make her point was to show vs tell, and she created a 4″ binder full of examples of the benefits of social media that she circulated around the organization. And Wendy gathered the most relevant mentions from an average 400 comments everyday and sent them via email to the top leadership. And she went on to accomplish many outstanding things at the American Red Cross. The point is that Wendy is quite a leader.

Wendy Harman: Social Media Manager at The American Red Cross

We knew that then and we knew that most recently with the “beer” tweet. A Red Cross employee accidentally sent a tweet out about beer from the Red Cross Twitter account, rather than from her personal account. Something like… “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head‘s Midas Touch beer…. when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd.”

What Would You Have Done? If you are a CEO or a CIO or a CTO  or a CMO and you are reading this… What action would you have taken? Here’s where the true test of leadership shows  whether you have a real understanding of social media or not. Wendy Harman responded in the most direct, authentic, genuine and human way a person could. She responded with humor. Wendy said, We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.

And guess what the reaction was? If you have been following the story you already know the answer.  Because of Wendy’s ability to handle this situation, the incident has inspired a slew of Web donations. Not only that, but both the brewer (@dogfish) and the social media tool (@Hootsuite) the Red Cross employee was using when she sent the rogue tweet –both also jumped in to drive donors to the charity.

The Red Cross blog read, While we’re a 130-year-old humanitarian organization, we’re also made of up human beings. Thanks for not only “getting” that but for turning our faux pas into something good.

What’s the message for leaders? Wendy could have pretended there was a machine malfunction. No one would have believed it. But she could have. She could have laid blame on her employee and admonished her. Made her wrong. She could have fired her. But she didn’t. She could have sent out a press release, all scrubbed and polished, with a lot of words, but not saying much, but she didn’t.

Instead Wendy was direct, authentic and genuine. She just tweeted the truth. That we are real people. That real people do real things. And we work long hours and we deal with a lot here and please forgive us when we sometimes do those real human things in public.  How can you not forgive that? We’ve all done that, been there — been human.

My point of view? There’s something different happening in business and government today. It’s not the same old, same old. It requires something different of each and every one of us. Some of us may not be ready for this. Some may not think its really happening. Some may rejoice that it’s finally here.

A Must Read: Cluetrain Manifesto

What is happening is that the voice, the voice of real, live human beings is finally being heard. In the words of the Cluetrain Manifesto, “Most corporations or governments only know how to talk in the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Same old tone, same old lies… Learning to speak in a human voice is not some trick, nor will corporations or institutions convince us they are human — with lip service about “listening to customers or citizens.” They will only sound human when they empower real human beings to speak on their behalf.”

Want to learn first hand how the American Red Cross does it? You can do that on Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011 at UCLA GravitySummit.com  That’s a conference co-created and lead by @BeverlyMacy.

And you’ll also find more details on the Red Cross and the Haiti mobile donations in Beverly Macy’s book, The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing… over $35M dollars were donated!!

Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing by @BeverlyMacy

Here’s the link to the conference. Come on down.

What are you waiting for? A rogue tweet? www.gravitysummit2011.eventbrite.com


Here’s a shout out to Beverly, Wendy and Charlene who, as leaders, have given us shining examples of direct, authentic and genuine communication at its best. Thank you ladies! YOU ROCK!

Learn. Share. Grow. @drnatalie

And thanks to the coverage and insights on other sites:






Part 1: Women Making History: Lora Cain — First Female Announcer on Wheel Of Fortune

The very first television game show, Spelling Bee, was broadcast in 1938. 1941 marked the year for Truth or Consequences, the first game show to air on commercially-licensed television. Then came Let’s Make a Deal in 1963, Jeopardy in 1964, The Hollywood Squares in ’66 followed by The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game.

Whenever there is something great, there is always someone who dares to do it first. Before anyone thinks its a good idea or realizes the potential or the market… and then everyone else follows…

And just as in the early days of creating television shows, today is no different for a first. Lora Cain is the first female guest announcer on Wheel of Fortune, a nationally syndicated network game show. With the passing of the Charlie O’Donnell, 78, legendary announcer of Wheel of Fortune, the show decided to have several guest announcers before choosing the permanent one. Listen to the interview about her experience…

If you want to help someone create a first, you can vote for her at www.WheelOfFortune.com/feedback

Here’s to you Lora, for making history!

Here’s the press release about Lora and Wheel of Fortune: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/02/prweb5059634.htm

Lora Cain on Wheel of Fortune: Guest Announcer with Pat Sajak & Vanna White

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