« April 2007 | Main | June 2007 »

Congrats! Alex Geana


Alex_genana Sometimes you just gotta cheer the success of your friends. BBF Alex Geana has scored a blog with the prestigious Huffington Post. Way to go Alex!

What makes this especially sweet is that Alex is a young writer and playwright living in Manhattan and this opportunity might .. just might .. be a key to opening some doors.

What makes this especially new media is an online publication (incorporating blogs that are perceived to be as credible and real as their journalists' columns) is creating opportunities for young artists (and business people and non profits and students and and and)that never would have been possible a few years ago.

What makes this especially fun is we have an opportunity to watch the career of an artist in the making. Rock on Divo Alex!

Alex Geana's first Huffington Post post - The Perpetual Party, Nightlife and Old New York. Rather reminds me of Carrrie Bradshaw's Sex In The City column.

HHS Pandemic Leadership Blog - The Back-story


The Health and Human Services Department has taken an innovative social media approach to creating a conversation with the public about pandemic flu. The Pandemic Leadership Blog provides an opportunity to have an open conversation and shape the thinking about how to communicate the critical need for preparedness at home and within workplaces and communities.

16 business, healthcare, faith-based and community leaders were invited to particiapte in a five-week Blog Summit. I was delighted to see Nedra Klein Weinreich among the prestigious experts. Nedra brings a wealth of social marketing and social media marketing experience to the conversation. Her first post addresses both topics and ask critical questions including how to best use social media in times of a public healthcare crisis.

I was curious as to how and why HHS chose to use social media as part of its outreach. Nedra_weinreich_2 Nedra graciously explains some of the back-story and strategy behind the Pandemic Leadership Blog.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Who was behind the idea of using blogs to create a dialogue with the public about the pandemic flu?

Nedra Kline Weinreich: I’ve been impressed with the way HHS has been dipping its toe into the water with social media. I suspect that the team at Ogilvy, which has been working with HHS on getting the word out about pandemic flu preparedness, convinced the powers that be over there that blogs are a new way to engage their constituents and key advocates in a conversation about this issue.  There is already a lot going on in blogs and wikis related to pandemic flu information and discussions, so it makes sense to capitalize on this existing base of people to get the ball rolling. I know they are also hoping to engage people who are not already knowledgeable about the issue.

Toby/Diva Marketing: In addition to creativity, it takes a certain amount of courage to launch a public blog on any subject but the pandemic flu issue seems like it might be especially risky. How/where/why did the HSS find the chutzpah?

Nedra Kline Weinreich: You’re right that it is somewhat risky, given that HHS is not limiting the blogging to its own employees, and is not controlling the content of the blogs at all. Although the Secretary of Health & Human Services, Michael Leavitt, is contributing posts, the rest of the bloggers have no affiliation with the government, and may even (gasp!) say things that are critical of the administration’s policies or actions.

I have no doubt that HHS had a hard time at first agreeing to let the bloggers post directly without any intervening approval process, but to their great credit there is no moderation of our posts at all (though comments are moderated to prevent spam, offensive language and personal attacks). I don’t know where the courage came from, but I applaud their willingness to let the chips fall where they may.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How is the qualitative information being data mined and is a formal report of the feedback going to be produced?

Nedra Kline Weinreich:I don’t know what their specific plan is, but with more than 400 content-packed comments after just the first week, I sure hope they will be doing some sort of analysis to make sure the great ideas don’t get lost. They are producing a metrics report to take a look at who has been visiting the blog, but a qualitative analysis is absolutely critical as well.  Many of the people who are leaving comments are those who have been working on and thinking about this issue for a long time (professionals and private citizens), and their input is extremely valuable.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What is your role, and the other bloggers, other than to generate content?

Nedra Kline Weinreich: Many of the bloggers represent particular constituencies (e.g., business, nurses, public health professionals, nonprofits), and the hope is that the bloggers will use their networks to get the word out and bring in more diverse voices to the conversation on the blog. The blog is also an adjunct to a one-day summit that will be happening in Washington, DC, and it allows HHS to get the discussion going prior to the event and continue it afterwards.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How will Michael Leavitt, Secretary, U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services join in on the conversation?

Nedra Kline Weinreich: So far Secretary Leavitt has written the introductory blog post, and he will be posting each week as well.  I don’t know if he has left any comments on other people’s posts, but William Raub, the Science Advisor to the Secretary, and Suzanne DeFrancis, the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, both posted comments to the blog so far.  So HHS is definitely engaged in the process.

Read More: Diva Marketing: Your Tax $ At Work: Innovation In Social Media By Health and Human Services
Cross posted: Marketing Prof's Daily Fix

Your Tax $ At Work: Innovation In Social Media By Health and Human Services


The Questions: What would you do if you were charged with developing a national healthcare policy that could impact millions of people? How would you involve citizens, the healthcare community and other stakeholders to ensure that their ideas and questions were heard and discussed?  That was the challenge facing the Health and Human Services Department as it prepared for an important Leadership Forum on pandemic preparedness.

The Solution: The Health and Human Services Department stepped into the world of Computerdoc social media and invited 16 business, healthcare, faith-based and community leaders to particiapte in a five-week Blog Summit. The blog summit provides an opportunity to have an open conversation and shape the thinking about how to communicate the critical need for preparedness at home and within workplaces and communities.

Each week the Pandemic Leadership Blog will address a different question, the Leadership  Forum will be live blogged and follow-up conversations to discuss lessons learned and next steps will be continued on the blog.

Sidebar: I call this a short-term campaign blog. It has a specific purpose and limited time period when blogging activity will occur.

Week 1: The Need to Prepare
Why is it critical for each of us to prepare for the threat of pandemic influenza?

Week 2: My Role as a Leader
What are my constituents concerns? How can I play an important role in communicating the need to prepare?

Week 3: Getting the Job Done
What do I need to succeed in communicating the importance of preparing for a pandemic?

June 13th - Leadership Forum
Live blogging from the Leadership Forum

Week 4: Forum Results
Report out from the Leadership Forum

Week 5: Making it Happen
What steps do we need to take to successfully move forward?

“The conversation about individual preparedness for pandemic flu must extend nationwide through all possible channels, including social media and the Internet. The blog summit is an innovative and efficient forum for bringing together leaders for a lively discussion on the pandemic-preparedness movement."" HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt

I was delighted to see Nedra Klein Weinreich among the prestigious experts. Nedra brings a wealth of social marketing and social media marketing experience to the conversation. Her first post addresses both topics and ask critical questions including how to best use social media in times of a public healthcare crisis.

  • What are some of the methods we can use to reach each of the audiences with our messages? (e.g., online social networks, blogs, Oprah, school district newsletters)
  • Who are the spokespeople that are seen as most credible by each audience? (e.g., local officials, doctors, peers)
  • Who are the partners that we need to hook up with in order to best reach each audience? (e.g., doctors, “mommy bloggers,” media organizations)

Sidebar: Can bloggers make a difference? Read the story of how 2 mommy bloggers used their blog to help Katrina people.

Check out the How The Blog Works page for ideas if your readers are not blog savvy. There is also a Comment Policy page.
Sidebar: HHS an RSS feed unique to each blogger would be nice.

Bravo and congrats to the Health and Human Services Department .. or should I say Pink_boa" toss of a pink boa?" .. for its innovation and courage. If a government agency can step out of its comfort zone and explore avenues to engage and leverage conversations online think of what a Big Brand or medical center, or non profit or school or business or .. or .. or .. As the saying goes, you are limited by only your imagination and a little bit of chutzpah.

Read more about at PandemicFlu.gov

Friday Fun: School's Out For The Summer But ..


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.

.. The Learning Doesn't Stop!

A few weeks Abc_1ago Drew McLellan, The Marketing Minute, invited a group of talented marketers to write a few Insights From The Other Side to help give College Grads A Fighting Chance as they enter the competitive job market. The free little eBook is a quick and inspirational read. Download a copy and use as a graduation card.

Insights is also great for anyone who is between gigs or just needs a shot of atta girl .. you can do it! Special thanks to Drew for inviting me to join in on this project. Toss of the pink boa to all of the authors who contributed!

Aaron Potts Andy Brudtkuhl Andy Nulman Andy Wibbels Ann Handley Ann Michael Anne Simons BeckyCarroll Bob Glaza C.B. Whittemore Carolyn Manning Chris Cree Christine Brown CK Darren Barefoot
David Reich Delaney Kirk Derek Tutschulte Designer Mike Doug Karr Doug Mitchell Drew McLellan
Joan Schramm Kevin Hillstrom Lewis Green Liz Strauss Mario Sundar Mark Goren Mark True
Mary Schmidt Nick Rice Patrick Schaber Paul McEnany Phil Gerbyshak  Roger von Oech Rosa Say
Seth Godin Sharon Sarmiento Stephanie Weaver Steve Miller Steve Sisler Terry Starbucker
Toby Bloomberg Tony D. Clark Valeria Maltoni

Shh! Here's a secret weapon for every person entering or in the job market now. I have to whisper this one Girlfriend because this could be what helps set you apart from the maddening crowd. Although it's not very bloggy, I don't want to tip off your competition. 

Penelope Trunk at Brazen Careers. Penelope's blog is over flowing with down-to-earth advice and information on what to do on your way to your career, on the job and in between gigs. But there is more. Penelope writes in a story style (Valeria you'll appreciate this blog) that is engaging, fun, smart and oh so well .. Penelope Trunk.

Brazen_careerist_2 Penelope Trunk's just released book Brazen Careers is more than just advice to the job seeker. If you want to understand what is important to Gen X and Gen Y in the workplace and how Gen X and Gen Y defines success this book is a must read.

June is book tour month. Drop by and say hi, pick up a copy of Brazen Careers and be prepared for a fun, smart and oh so well .. Penelope Trunk time. 

June 4, Atlanta
A Cappella Books
484-C Moreland Ave NE.
Atlanta, GA 30307

June 7, New York City
Tequila Jack’s
1668 Third Ave
Between East 93rd and 94th
(212) 426-1416

June 11, Boston
Location TBD

June 18, Tampa
Inkwood Books
216 South Armenia Avenue
Tampa, FL 33609-3310
(813) 253-2638

June 21, San Francisco
Location TBD

Sidebar: Interested in the youth market? Fleishman-Hillard's blog The Nex Great Thing focuses on that very subject.

Astrology business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

Mercury enters Cancer Mon. 5/28. It can be difficult for the mind to be objective in the watery emotional sign of Cancer. Feelings may get in the way of logic and be the cause misunderstandings especially with family members. If you have siblings, don’t be surprised to hear “Mom always did like you better!” It maybe difficult to concentrate on work as your thoughts may drift to the past around home and family or to thoughts of all the housework you need to get done.

The Full Moon in Sagittarius falls on Thurs. 5/31. Are you taking care of your physical being? The body needs the proper nourishment and exercise for optimal health. We need the wholeness of body, mind and spirit. It is a good thing to try and achieve a balance of the left-brain and the right-brain.
Look for activities that stimulate the reasoning and logical side with the creative and intuitive side.

This Full Moon is a Blue Moon. It is when there are two Full Moons in a calendar month. It only occurs approximately every 41 months. Since it doesn’t occur often, hence the expression “Once in a Blue Moon.” Since this Blue Moon occurs May 31 in our time zone (Eastern), it may occur in June or July depending on where you live.

Agencies Miss The "Relations" In Blogger Relations Strategies


Last Sunday I was flipping channels and came across the Frank Capra film Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. You remember .. the flick about this naive senator, played by Jimmy Stewart, who stands up for truth, justice and the American dream.

But it wasn't the political aspects that drew me in to watch this film on a beautiful spring afternoon. It was the story of how in 1939 Mr. Smith was at the mercy of big money, who owned the press, and the media in general, to tell his story. I wanted to cry out .. blog .. podcast .. Twitter!

Flash into 2007 and the media and big bucks don't control the flow of information. There are millions of people who talk to millions of people every day. And millions of people who are listening to those conversations. Bloggers. They are called bloggers. People who write about what makes them laugh and sometimes what makes them cry. People who write about what is important to them. Links build pathways for extended conversations. Along the way they connect with others who feel the same way and create friendships which often morph ito larger communities.

Now a funny thing happened. The very people, who like our friend Mr. Smith, tried so hard to get noticed by the media suddenly found themselves in a position where they influenced opinion. PR and advertising professionals and brand marketers began to knock at their virtual doors. Here was a new channel where promotional messages could be passed along to a target audience. Rather like little online newspapers. Or so it seemed.

Well, not quite. Bloggers are not The Press. They are not Journalists. They are just .. well, people. But the pr and advertising and brand professionals seemed not to notice. They send silly press releases or emails that  pretend to "know" the bloggers. They send messages that are often too jolly, often too crafted and often too slick. They play by the rules of old media relations not of new social media communication.

The Agency's Pitch: Hopefully you're not just learning about the social network Facebook.com from That  Girl. But the truth is, today's media landscape is shifting too fast for even many bloggers to keep up with on their own.

Diva Marketing's Response To The Agency: BTW .. I've been working in the social media space since 2004 ... gosh darn I think that was before [agency] entered the space. So nope .. guess I've been learning about social media from more than from just Facebook; although Facebook is nothing to sneeze about.

So what does a blogger do when she's frustrated with yet one more lame pitch?  She reaches out to her friends who have been down this road more times than she .. like BL Ochman and Jeneane Sessum and Yvonne Divita. Remember she's part of a community so she just might share her views with more than a few friends. She might share her views with her readers and Google searchers as well. Although the pr and advertising and brand marketers were hoping for some buzz, this wasn't what they quite had in mind. For the pr and advertising and brand marketers who are new to social media .. this one is for you!

12 Blogger Relations Secrets For PR, Advertising and Brand Marketers

1. Read my blog - more than one post would be nice
2. Read the About page
3. Targeted is better than slick. Relevant is key. I may write for "me" but I also write for the awesome divas and divos who read Diva. Want to know the secret to that? See #1.
4. Tell who you are and who you are working with/for; a signature line would be helpful.
5. Respond to email requests for additional information
6. Provide live links
7. Offer access to interviews and additional information
8. Ask if I want to receive future emails from you/your organization - and take me off your email list if I do not want to play with you.
9. Join me in the conversations. Drop a comment on a post. Send me an email note about a post I wrote.
10. Remember what your Mama taught you. A follow-up thank you for mentions would really be over the top.
11. Be a bit bloggy .. people like to do business with people they like. Let's face it .. I'm helping you do your job. By providing relevant information you may be helping me with content ideas but your competitors are knocking on my door too and I only write so many posts.
12. Vino,chocolate, trips to Paris are good. Max likes treats too .. only kidding! Don't know who Max is .. guess you haven't read my blog. See #1.

Bonus: In the world of social media relationships are the new currency.


Read more
Diva Marketing - From Blogger Relation to Blogger Relations Programs
Marketing Roadmaps - More Blogger Relations
Lip-Sticking - Why Should I Care About You? 
whatsnextblog - Vocus Demonstrates How To Screw Up Blogger Relations

Allied - Bad Blogger Pitch Week 



Summertime Marketing Conferences


Girlfriend, a little learning, a few  umbrella  drinks, a  bit  of  touring .. just in time for summer fun .. a few marketing conferences and events to add to your vacation plans. Computer_beach

May 23 - Atlanta - AiMA's Annual Spring Fling is all about rolling the dice with a night of Casino Networking . Thanks to advertising.com for their sponsorship and Julia Brown for co chairing this one with me.

June 1 - London - PSFK Conference in London

June 9 - San Jose Social Media Club Starting The Conversation

July 9 -11 - Washington DC - AMA Non Profit Conference. Worth the price of admission if only to hear Sybil Stershic and Katya Andresen speak.

July 13 - Washington DC - Success in the City New Media Nouveaux. Bloggy brag thanks to Geoff Livingston for inviting me to be the closing key note.

July 27-29 - Chicago BlogHer Conference 07

July 31 - August 1 - Chicago Ad-Tech

August 2-3- Detroit - e-Marketing Insight Conference: Trends and Travel Web 2.0

August 6-9 Washington DC eTail 2007 DC

August 7-11- Seattle - Gnomedex

August 20-23 - San Jose - Search Engine Strategies 2007

August 29-30 - Atlanta - CDC Health Marketing Conference 2007

What's The Big Deal About "The New Conversation?"


No talking please. Popcorn optional.

The Break Up
Uploaded by geertdesager

This little video is brilliant at getting to the heart of why it just makes good business sense for marketers to pay attention to the new conversations. The story shows what is really the heart of the new conversation.

The surprise for some might be the heart of the new conversation is what good marketers have always know. It's all about your customer's needs. However, in 2007, those needs are not the same as in 1997 or even 2003. 

Greer Geert (sorry!), Bring Back The Love, graciously shares the behind the scenes of how and why the video was produced along with lessons learned.  More back story at Bad Idea, indeed. Microsoft was behind this one. I'm thinking that Greer Geert just might be the next "Robert Scoble" for the Big M.

By the way, did I ever tell you I hated technology? Well I do. Not because of the changes it brings .. it's just not my thing. BUT I love the results technology can bring. So if you are not a geek, like me, think end game results. Those results are what excites me.

Technology End Game Results
>Would you like to talk directly to your customers? Try a blog.
>Would you like to create little movies that people can watch anywhere and anytime? Create a series of vlogs.
>Would you like to bring together lots of your customers in one place where they can have fun learning from each other?  Build a mash-up community.
>Would you like to create mobile groups giving people on the move a way to interact with each other? Use Twitter.

In the meantime, important conversations about your brand, customers, employees and competitors continue to whirl. Why would you not want to be a part? Divas and divos .. it's just good business sense to listen in and join in. Pinkie_promiseKeep top of mind -  the heart of the new conversation is about your customer's needs. Jump in. The water's fine. Pinkie Promise!

Blow Out The Candles


1095 days = 3 years = the number of days that Diva Marketing (Blog)Diva_birthday has been part of the exciting social media marketing conversation.

Little did I know when the I tenuously hit the publish button on May 19, 2004 it would be the beginning of an adventure that would ..
>bring a new passion into my life
>change the direction of my business
>provide opportunities to make new friends from all corners of the globe
>bring me a coast-to-coast tour of the U.S. of A
>and even bring a bit of fame in terms of being quoted in many main stream media pubs and highlighted in the best seller book on blogs - Naked Conversations by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble. Still waiting for the fortune part to kick-in. (wink)

In their book, Shel and Robert ended our "conversation" with the remark -

"In our vision, blogging changes marketing more than marketing changes blogging."

In the three years I've been involved in business blogging I believe that Both have occurred.

Marketing is morphing into a more conversational, customer-focused discipline. While at the same time blogging is becoming more strategic with a focus on supporting business outcomes. - Toby Diva Marketing

Yes, I do believe you can have an authentic, honest, transparent conversation using social media tactics and be accountable to goals and objectives.

Thanks to Merrill Dubrow, CEO blogger from M/A/R/C, a BBF and a BBBF (before BBF), for the gift of our interview.

Please help me blow out the candles of Diva Marketing's virtual cupcake Birthday_cupcake and make a wish for the continued evolution of this emerging industry.  From the bottom of my heart, thanks to You for joining me in the conversations of this exciting new world. Looking forward to what is next in our adventure.

Update: Diva Marketing shares May Blog Birthday celebrations with BBFs CK, CK's Blog, Jody DeVere of Ask Patty and Josh Hallett, Hyku. Any other May Blog Bebes?

Friday Fun: Three For Three For The Arts


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.

Give my regards to Broadway! Today's Friday Fun is applause .. applause .. applause for the arts in Hot'Lanta.

One - It's increasingly expensive to tell the gang at 42nd Street that the curtain will be going up. So when my friend Sue Chappell, Executive Director of the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts, sent me an email link to an Access Atlanta article about an important grant the Council had won I immediately clicked to read.  The mention was not only a nice acknowledgment of the funding but a bit of promotion for the excellent performing arts programs that Sue has worked hard to bring to the community.

Sue_chappel_access_atlanta_5_07However, when I clicked into the article, what I found was rather tacky. A key word, that appeared it would link to the Council's website, linked to an ad. The link has since been deleted. But I can't help but wonder how many people were confused and then annoyed. In all fairness, I think those ads are random but still .. how tacky!

Sidebar: Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts a multi disciplnary community arts organization that is NOT a part of government, but supported in its efforts by the community being served.

Two - Congrats!to my friends at the Alliance Theatre who you just might Tonymedallion03185find singing and dancing down Peachtree street. The Alliance Theatre is the Recipient of the 2007 Regional Theatre Tony Award for outstanding regional theater. AJC article. Wonder if their blog put it over the top?

Three - Last night my friend Carol invited me to join her at Symphony. It was a  Atlanta_symphony__encore_2great performance and letting the music wash over me was wonderful and much needed. Flipping through the program I found one of the most creative ads I've seen in a long time. In fact at first glance I thought .. hmm where do I sign up for this?

Divas and Divos let's bring this one home to you ... support the arts in your community.

Astrology business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

Conversations - especially ones on the phone - are bountiful as the Sun enters Gemini Mon. 5/21/07. Although take care not to run off at the mouth. It may be helpful to outline what you want to say and set a timer. You want a productive conversation. Save the idle chitchat for a social occasion. You probably have more than one business call to tend

Avoid the “water cooler” as gossip tends to be plentiful at this time. That’s all you need to slow down productivity. The rumor mill can spread like wild fire.

Energies have a tendency to become very scattered in Gemini. Try to stay focused on the task at hand or you just may find yourself chasing your tail.

Neptune turns retrograde on Thurs. 5/24/07 which may add to any confusion. Take time to go within and talk to yourself instead of trying to get everyone else’s input. Ideas may be more abstract than concrete at this time. Having faith in yourself is key.

AMA's Proposed New Definition Of Marketing


Ama_logo The American Marketing Association is writing a new definition of "what is marketing."

AMA's 2004 Definition - "Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders."

AMA's 2007 Revised Definition - “Marketing is the activity, conducted by organizations and individuals, that operates through a set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging market offerings that have value for customers, clients, marketers, and society at large.”

Two Questions

1. How do you define marketing?

2. What are your thoughts about the new AMA definition of marketing?

Update: Wanted ensure that it was clear that this is a proposed definition that has yet to be adopted by the AMA.