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Help Starbucks Get Its Groove Back


Starbucks_cup Where oh where is the heart and soul of Starbucks? How can Starbucks get its groove back?

johnmoore, Brand Autopsy, wants to help out his pals at Starbucks. He sent a few bloggy pals the following email this afternoon -

  • I’m sure you’ve heard about the leaked Howard Schultz memo to key Starbucks executives.  In this memo, Howard derides decisions the company has made in order to grow.  Howard closes the email by asking his executive team to get smarter about the business and to get more innovative to once again differentiate Starbucks.
  • Taking blatant inspiration from Seth Godin’s WHAT MUST GOOGLE DO ebook done a few years ago, I’m doing a WHAT MUST STARBUCKS DO ebook.  It’ll be totally free and posted somewhere online for all to download.  And just as Seth did, I’ve asked people to send me their ideas on what Starbucks must do to become the company it once was.  The crux of this ebook will be the ideas generated by the "Starbucks Board of Customers."

Here's what I sent johnmoore -

Thanks for asking me to play along .. Here's my 2 cents, which we know won't even buy the opportunity for a deep breath of java aroma at SB. Ooops.. there is none!

Starbucks built its success on the warmth of the experience more so than the excellence of the coffee. The neighborhood coffee shop where "everyone knows your name" or your coffee of choice must begin with the baristas and ends with the baristas. The in between details are the foam on the java that should reinforce the sense of local community.

My suggestions to would begin at marketing 101 - understanding your customers and their needs. That might result in jazz nights with area musicians or cookies from an area bakery instead of a corporate buy. Or it might mean a play area for kids with moms in one city or more outlets for laptops in another neighborhood.  It might even mean giving up some of the 'corporate' cookie cutter standardization. I wonder if  Starbucks is really ready to "be" that neighborhood shop once again?

If you want to play along all the details are on the What Must Starbucks Do post at Brand Autopsy.

Inspired By BL & Jeneane


Exercise1 Okay girlfriends if you can do I can too!

Jeneane Sessum, Allied, is on week three of being totally serious about getting healthier.

For BL Ochman, whatsnextblog, it's week one to loosing those few extra pounds and getting more gorgeous.

Okay girlfriends if you can do I can too!  Well perhaps just one last Godiva chocolate ..

Friday Fun: New Blogger Story Chapters


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.

Stories_winter_1 Bedtime stories site for bloggers, where blogging dreams and posts may change the world. - A Bugged Life

Blogger Stories is a special blog that I launched to tell the stories of how people have been touched by blogs, podcasts, vlogs and other online interactions. Building a library of stories gives us an opportunity to understand how lives have been influenced by social media .. from the heart. With these new chapters the virtual library holds 86 stories.

The new Blogger Story Chapters are stories from a professional screenwriter, a once upon a time journalist turned ad guy, a woman who is a "citizen of the world"  who shares ideas about the human side of business ideas and a woman who created a successful in-home business.

Kristen Havens - My Back Pages
Jeff Livingston - Diary of an Ad Man
Valeria Maltoni - Conversation Agent
Kristie T - Kristie T's Home Business Blog

The next time you're on a boring conference call .. don't doodle. Read a Blogger Story! Want to tell your Blogger Story? Drop a comment and I'll send you the details.

At DivineCaroline With Rebecca Weeks


A couple of weeks ago a new divine diva friend,Valeria Maltoni -Conversation Agent - asked me to play along with the meme "5 Reasons Why You Blog." Although this is not in response to that (promise it's coming soon!), the surprises that blogging brings has to be on the list.

That's how I met Rebecca Weeks, the Director, Business Development for Real Girls Media. Rebecca found me through Diva Marketing which led to an invitation to be a part of the advisory board of a new community targeting women 25-54 years of age - DivineCaroline.

Although Rebecca did not ask me to blog about DivineCaroline I thought it would be interesting to explore the behind the scenes reasons of the launch of a new community. For your reading pleasure .. an interview with Rebecca Weeks at DivineCaroline.

Toby/Diva Marketing Divinecaroline- Let’s give Diva Marketing’s readers some of the back-story of Real Girls Media, DivineCaroline.  What was the vision behind launching an online social media community targeted to women?

Rebecca Weeks - We see a void in the marketplace in which women don’t have a home or a single destination that they can turn to.  In 2006, we talked to many women who shared with us that they have very passionate loyalties to their “off-line” communities like book clubs or “mommy” groups or non-profit volunteer work. But online, they don’t know where to turn to find like-minded women or to find out about various causes that they can pursue.

So, DivineCaroline is a platform and a community that aims to be the number one resource for women online. We want to connect people with causes and to other women going through similar experiences, as well as provide them with a simple publishing platform in which they can express themselves online.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Is DivineCaroline for “divas” only or can “divos” play along?

Rebecca Weeks - DivineCaroline is committed to supporting women and enhancing their lives – whether that’s finding new friends, discovering resources for a loved one’s illness or improving communication with men. Of course we want men to participate in this dialogue. We are pro-female, but not anti-male. The fact that our “Relationship” category has the most traffic is evidence that men are integral to our lives.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Social media communities for women are coming on the scene pretty quickly.  MarthaStewart.com is soon to bring out one and then there is BlogHer and the newly relaunched iVillage with more in the works as we blog. How will Real Girls Media differentiate DivineCaroline from other players in the space?

Rebecca Weeks - DivineCaroline combines real voices with professional editorial (thus creating a “level” playing field) along with the dynamism of an online community. These three strategies have not been combined online, so we’re shattering the traditional notion of a publishing site or a portal.

Our content covers all facets of women’s lives, including health, philanthropy, parenting, career, money, relationships, home, food, culture, travel, etc. So, we’re different from iVillage and online magazines because we’re giving all women and organizations (non-profits, support groups, networking groups, etc.) a platform to share their voices. We’re bridging the gap between these causes and the women who care about them.

Toby/Diva Marketing - In an AdAge interview Real Girls Media CEO, Kate Everett Thorp, was quoted as saying, "We want people to go from an article that leads to a conversation and forum.” That’s a great concept. How does Real Girls Media plan to turn that into a reality? How does it plan to help, encourage and support its community to follow the virtual chocolate chip trail from providing content (writing an article) to participating in a deeper conversation (forum)?

Rebecca Weeks - We plan to empower women by publishing their stories alongside professional authors so that they feel as though their voice matters in the world. There are so many intimidating aspects to the current publishing world and we really want to show women that they can share their experiences in a trusted environment. They will feel compelled to deepen conversations with women who write comments on their articles. With house ads and other forms of communications, we will encourage women already writing on certain topics to open a forum or join in one they can relate to. And because we display content based on topic, not source or function, a woman reading in the “Parenting” category can easily see articles, reviews, and forums on all subtopics within that category.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s wrap our interview with what Divas are good at…What’s the best way to have fun on DivineCaroline?

Rebecca Weeks - The most fun and beneficial feeling is to write a story and then see that someone has written a comment about it.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Ooops .. one more! Let's end this on a personal note. From Rebecca Week's perspective where do you see your biggest challenges and opportunities and fun as you head into your social media adventure?

Rebecca Weeks - Rebecca_weeks I suspect our biggest challenge will be brand exposure and awareness. With people currently overwhelmed with about 1500 marketing messages a day, it will be important for DivineCaroline’s value to break out from the clutter. We’re already hearing tremendously positive feedback from users, so now we just need to figure out how to draw them into the site for a glimpse. And ironically, this happens to be the most fun part of working at a social media startup – we’re competing with massive, established media companies with marketing budgets 100 times larger than ours.

Personally, I love being the underdog. It allows us to be creative, to grow virally and to value the growth process, not just success as an end-result.

Jet Blue - Would Social Media Marketing Have Made A Difference?


Recently Diva Marianne Richmond wrote what Robert Scoble called "The Definitive Social Media Post."  She joined in on a discussion regarding the definition of social media -  "the social media world, is one of "ubiquitous connectivity and pervasive proximity" - going 'round with some of the blogarati pundits like -

  • Robert Scoble - When I say “social media” or “new media” I’m talking about Internet media that has the ability to interact with it in some way.
  • Stowe Boyd, - Social Media = what the edglings use to communicate about how to define social media.

Wondering where this discussion would go I clicked on a few links and came across a post from Stephan Collins at acidlabs - Explaining web2.0 and social media to non geeks. My kinda post so I read on. - To me, it’s the connectedness and the community that defines social media. Back in January 2007 Jeremiah Owyang was asking if the very words social media should be changed. To what? He wasn't sure. Perhaps he has a point. It took me awhile to get that social .. media  was not a new type of GNO. Only kidding .. well sort of .. this is Diva Marketing after all. ;-)

Smart people. But all this chatter made my head spin since they were basically saying the same thing. At least I think they were. By the way, my favorite description of social media is one I heard from Mike Murphy, chief revenue officer Facebook. Active Sharing Online. Simple. To the point. Easy to remember. Actively sharing implies conversations which implies building community. Online sharing implies the 2.0++ widgets and gidgets. Perhaps we should add .. "available to anyone with  internet access" and be done with it!

Girlfriend, I needed more coffee! Armed with the last of my stash of Trader Joe's Christmas Coffee blend I continued the follow-the-link-game which led me to Brian Solis at PR 2.0 who brought the dissuasion to social media and marketing and a side step away from our friends the geeks (all but Marianne who is a savvy marketing diva!). The end line of Brian's post What's Wrong With Social Media?   is relevant to marketers. - Social Media has yet to reveal its true impact among those around the would who have yet to embrace it and participate. The way we consume and share information will only continue to change until it completely transforms from one-to-many to many-to-many.

And then one more click to BL Ochman's very clever 12 Tenets of Social Media Marketing which proves that marketers do have a sense of humor .. even if a few indulge in a drink or two of the proverbial kool aid!

Jet_blue_video_2_07 At that moment the news reported the jetBlue was instituting a new concept in airline customer service - a Passenger  Customer Bill of Rights. I hoped hopped (thanks to Valeria Maltoni for the catch .. perhaps I was hoping for something innovative!) over to the jetBlue website and found front and center on the home page that David Neelman, CEO of jet Blue is using You Tube to get the message out.

According to jetBlue's YouTube profile page and based on 12:45p Eastern Time

  • jetBlue joined YouTube 20 hours ago
  • Video was added 10 hours ago
  • Some one from jetBlue logged in 1 hour ago

From a marketing perspective, jetBlue's use of YouTube, as a distribution channel, is on target. I can't help but wonder if this is the start of a beautiful friendship between jetBlue and social media marketing. Or is it simply part of a crisis management strategy? Will jetBlue join Southwest Airlines as the second commercial airline to be a part of the bigger conversation?

Just for fun .. here is the blogophere buzz on jetBlue. Google Blogs shows that in the past week there were 6185  mentions of jetBlue. Technorati shows that jetBlue's buzz went over 500 mentions a day.

Posts that contain Jetblue per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

What's interesting, and may not be a big surprise with jetBlue customers, is that among the justified rants there are a significant number of people who still love jetBlue. jetBlue customer evangelists are ready to kiss and make up. From a marketing perspective, jetBlue has a great opportunity to leverage this positive energy to help with the healing of the runway fiasco. How about a blogger relations program? How about developing a social media community where people can share their passion for cheap travel? How about an easy way to communicate with jetBlue that goes beyond the email form on its website? The sky's the limit jetBlue!

So divas and divos of social media marketing or social media or whatever you are calling yourselves these days ..The Question Of The Day: Would a social media marketing strategy have made a difference to the short-term and long-term impact of the brand called jetBlue? 

Friday Fun: Conference Conferences & More Conferences


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.

A birthday toast Gentlemanjack_tasteglass1_1 to my pal Bill Neal, the divo who taught me the virtures and vices of how to drink "southern!" Right in time for Bill's b'thday, Lewis Green posted Bill's story in the series To Those Who Serve.

Have some extra budget money to spend .. check out these coast-to-coast conferences about marketing and social media.

Event: New Communications Forum Conference & Expo 2007
Year 3 of the conference includes 4 tracks: Internal Communications, PR & External Communications, Advertising & Marketing, New Media & Journalism
Date: March 7-9, 2007
Place: The Venetian Hotel Las Vegas, NV

Event: American Marketing Association Marketing Workshop
Over twenty two- and four-hour presentations to choose from, including tracks in strategic marketing, CRM, branding, social media and customer satisfaction/value/loyalty.
Blogger Sybil Stershic is conducting a workshop titled - Marketing from the Inside Out: Engaging Employees for Strategic Advantage on 3/19
Happy Birthday Divo Bill Neal is teaching Introduction to Marketing Strategy on 3/19
Bloggy Disclosure
: I'm facilitating a session called - The Good, The Blog and the Ugly! on 3/20
Dates: March 19-22, 2007
Place: Green Valley Ranch Las Vegas, NV

Event: Creating Great Customer Experiences with Lewis Green, L&G Business Solutions/Blog
Lewis Green will lead this discussion and focus on creating great customer experiences, building customer loyalty and differentiating our businesses by being known for our customer and client experiences.
Date: March 23rd, 2007 - Noon
: Rebecca's Cafa, Burlington, MA

Event: Social Marketing University  - Co-sponsored by Public Health Communication & Marketing Program, GWU School of Public Health and Health Services. Presented By Nedra Kline Weinreich, Weinreich Communications/Blog.  Included for Social Marketing University attendees! - Next Generation Social Marketing Seminar. Learn about emerging marketing techniques. March 30, 2007, 8:30a - 12:00 p
Dates: March 28-30, 2007
Place: Cafritz Conference Center, The George Washington University Washington, DC

Event: BlogHer Business - "How to Succeed in a Social Media World" 
The conference is designed for businesses at all levels of social media integration and includes case studies, roundtable discussions, ask-the-experts micro-consulting sessions and break-out tracks. Divos are welcome!
Bloggy Disclosure: Diva Marianne Richmond & I are Mc'ing something called The Lab on 3/28.  On 3/30 I'm leading an unconference panel about Should You Blog?
Dates: March 22 and 23, 2007
Place: Hotel Affinia, 371 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY
Special Discount: $100 off when you enter the code BHBAC-DSC on the registration page

Event: Healthcare Blogging Summit 2007 Spring
Sponsored by Trusted.MD and Transmarx Healthcare. Emphasis is on the practical lessons that that can be applied by healthcare professionals and organizations regarding social media.
Bloggy Disclosure: I'll be leading a panel discussion Creating a Presence – Plan and Develop Your Blog
Strategy and Tactics on Establishing Your Social Media Presence
April 30, 2007
Place: Venetian Hotel & Resort Las Vegas, NV



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

Happy Friday Divas. With the Moon in Aquarius today and the New Moon in Aquarius tomorrow it is an excellent time to gather your friends together and exchange ideas and news. 

Mercury is now retrograde; time to reconnect with people from the past and catch up on all your paperwork (as in all those receipts needed for you upcoming taxes).

The Sun enters Pisces on Sunday bringing forth ideas and opportunities to help others. Keep your eyes and ears open for a cause that your company can sponsor or support; it will be a win-win all around. Tuesday is Mardi Gras, the Moon in Aries bodes for last minute plans. Wednesday Venus moves into Aries, sparks can fly with those close to you as procrastination and indecision will get on your nerves.

Social Media's Positive Influence On Customer Service


Oxymoron_tm Does the title of this post "Social Media's Positive Influence On Customer Service" sound like an oxymoron to you?

Earlier this week I wrote about my dear friend Millie Garfield's, MyMomsBlog, unhappy experience with a major financial institution - Capital One. Not knowing if Capital One was in tune with monitoring the blog buzz I searched thru their corporate site and eventually found an email link to a person in the PR department (which let me tell you girlfriend was no small feat!). I kindly sent off an "e" - posted on  Social Media's Influence On Customer Service. Well, I thought it was nice of me to go through the trouble. I mean if your company isn't tracking the buzz about your brands and an influencer blog like MyMomsBlog was dishing a product wouldn't you want to know?

Social media and customer care is on the minds of other people this week. Diva Valeria Maltoni's Fast Company Expert Blogger post, Chasing Customers Away, addresses the issue of the impact of social media (with reference to the Diva Marketing's post) and asks this question:

In this new business context where social media is gaining in credibility and scope can you afford to ignore these inquiries?

Sidebar: Valeria writes about customer communications. I found it amusing that that Fast Company is listing her blog under the category of Innovation. Sadly, Fast Company may be right. Excellent customer care might well be an innovative strategy. 

Let's spin this in a positive direction. I've written several atta good company posts .. even about the TSA. Teresa Caro's comment may hold some of the answers to our questions.

I don't think they understand the true impact of the blogosphere. More importantly, I think they are afraid. Those in the mainstream who just hear about the blogosphere through the media, only hear about the times companies have been flamed. Never about the times where they have been complemented. Maybe showing examples of positive experiences would help here.

Let's take our clue from Teresa. Here's the challenge .. drop a comment about examples where bloggers have said nice things about their customer service experiences AND the company has responded back to the blogger. And to do nice things for you - a surprise Diva treat to a Max randomly selected blogger or perhaps two.

To get this started here are two positive social media customer service examples.

Unilever - Heard this from the diva divine Charlene Li, Forrester Research, at New Communication Forum 2006. As the story goes .. Dan Entin couldn't find his fav deodorant - Degree For Men. He did what many a blogger might do and posted about his quest on his blog Two Percent Nation. Unilever was listening and sent him a carton of Degree. 

Kudos to Mike for seeing what I wrote and taking action to make a loyal customer even more devoted.

Radio Shack - Kristie's, WebMomz, experience is about a Radio Shack sales clerk who spent 20 minutes hooking up all the assorted cords and parts and actually did some test recordings till we got everything working. Now that’s service! Here's the comment from Radio Shack manager Tony Rosen

Thanks for the positive feedback Kristie. It appreciate the recognition you sent to my company. It always feels good to know i did something positive for a customer, we usually only get to hear about the negative. Hope everything worked out for you, and look forward to seeing you in my store in the future.

When it's all said and done, customer delight has to do with letting people know -  "You matter. I hear you. I'm paying attention to you."  In this world that spins too fast, consistent customer delight is one of the most powerful branding strategies you can put into play. Using social media, honestly and transparently, to help get that message across makes good business sense.

However, there's another element that reinforces the importance of using social media as a customer service tactic. The element of trust.  Edelman conducts an annual a multi-country research study seeking to understand the state of trust in institutions. In Richard Edelman's summary of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2007 he says -

  • The remarkable rise of the “Person Like Yourself” as credible spokesperson from 2003-6 (from 22% to 68% in the US in that period) saw a decline this year (in the US, trusted by 51%), but still ranks as the #1 trusted spokesperson in most of the countries surveyed.
  • There is a general decline in trust in all spokespeople and sources of information. That means a company must tell its story consistently and in multiple venues in order to achieve trust.

To wrap this one .. your story: 1. a positive experience with a brand that you have posted on your blog 2. the company responded back to you.

To be continued ..

Social Media's Influence On Customer Service


I want to tell you a customer service story that does not have an ending. It is a true story that could happen to any company.

eMail From A Stranger by Toby at Diva Marketing

Once upon a time .. (all good stories start with once upon a time) .. A man was working in the PR Department of a Fortune 500 financial company. Oh .. call it Capital One. He probably thought his company was a pretty good place to work. In fact, maybe it was even named one of FORTUNE Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. One day out of the blue he received an email from a stranger -

Hugh_gaping_void_better_products_1Dear Mr. S -

I wanted to bring to your attention a post written by one of your customers, Millie Garfield. Mrs. Garfield has experienced some exceptionally poor customer service, and if Capital One is not monitoring social media, I thought you might be interested in reading her post -

In addition to the fact that I'm sure Capital One would not want an unhappy customer, what makes this even more important for the organization is the visibility the situation has been given on Mrs. Garfield's highly popular blog. I would encourage you to read the comment sections as well. MyMomsBlog has been highlighted in main stream media publications like the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. The word-of-mouth influence, online and offline, could be significant and damaging.

Your organization might consider contacting Mrs. Garfield and posting a comment on her blog that offers a solution. My thoughts are that Mrs. Garfield's situation with Capital One is one that many other people are experiencing.

In this new world of easy online publishing (blogs, podcasts, vlogs) that reach not a few, not a hundred, but thousands of people with a click and then spread virally, it is becoming critical to listen and join our customers in their discussions.

Very best.

Toby Bloomberg
Bloomberg Marketing
~Strategic Marketing & Social Media Consultancy~

I wonder what Mr. S did with the email from a stranger. I wonder if he hit delete. I wonder if he forwarded it to his boss. I wonder if the company who made the Fortune 100 Best Places To Work List will care about one customer. It just so happens that one customer is an 81 year old Divine Diva whose blog has the reach and influence of more than many main stream media vehicles.

A reminder: not all consumer generated media casts a negative veiw of a product or service. That brings up another question. What do you do when something good happens to bring postive buzz to your brand? What would your mother tell you to do if someone said something nice about you? Why thank them kindly I'm sure!

What is important is social media is impacting how companies conduct business .. even if those companies don't know it.

Which in turn influences how your brand is perceived. Which in turn develops customer loyalty. Which in turn makes the cash register ring. Which in turn keeps your share holders happy with increased ROI. Which in turn puts smiles on your employees since they have jobs. Which in turn might get you on Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies To Work For List.

I wonder how this story will end .. or if it has ended.

Thanks to Gaping Void for the graphic.

To be continued ..

Read Diva Marketing's Follow-up post: Social Media's Positive Influence on Customer Service

Doing Business in Your Bathrobe


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.

When my mom did it in the '70's it wasn't talked about. When I did it in the '90's it was still something people found to be well .. different and a little secretive.  But now the shades are drawn and the secret is out and lots of people are doing it and lots more wish they were!

Home-based, Working Virtual, Working Remotely, Working at Home or Working In Your PJs .. yes, Divas, there have been a few of those PJ days for me too. But the commute sure is easy and I'm doing my part to help with the horrid Atlanta traffic challenges.

Bathrobebunny Kristie Tamsevicius, WebMomz, thought there should be a celebration for home business ownership. So much so that she created a holiday - Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Day now celebrating it's 5th year; and although you may not find a Hallmark card - yet - it's become an international holiday sponsored by International Robes.

In addition to a reason to stay in your bathrobe all day, the idea of owning a holiday is a brilliant marketing strategy. If you can make it work.  Kristie kindly agreed to an email interview. She lets us in on the back-story of Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Day and offers some thoughtful ideas of how to create and promote a marketing holiday.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Now I must admit, that sometimes I work in my PJs. Where did the idea to create a holiday around working in your bathrobe come from?

Kristie T - Five years ago when I published my book, I was looking for a fun way to create buzz. My business partner and I were joking about how entrepreneurs work at home in their pajamas. And then we said, "Hey, we should make a special holiday for working in your pjs and bathrobe or something…" And then we looked at each other and a light bulb went off. And that was how we created "Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Day" – a day to celebrate the freedom of entrepreneurs.  And it's really caught on. Today the holiday is celebrated in 7 countries around the world.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Your website is WebMomz. Is this a day for women only?

Kristie T - The holiday is for any work at home entrepreneur. It's not exclusive just to moms.

Toby/Diva Marketing - How does one celebrate "Working in Your Bathrobe Day?"

Kristie T - Well by wearing your bathrobe of course on February 12th.  We also hope that you will drop by our website, WebMomz and enter to win a plush bathrobe and other cool prizes.  There's also a cool press release you can grab and send to your local paper that tells them you are celebrating the holiday.   It's a great way to get some free press for your business.  And finally, if you are game… we'd love for you to send a picture of yourself working in your bathrobe and we'll post it on the site.

Toby/Diva Marketing - I did a bit of search research and learned that this holiday is celebrated in Britain and in Australia. When you began promoting "Working in Your Bath Robe Day?" what was your original goal? Where would you like to see your holiday go?

Kristie T - When I started the holiday, I never dreamed how big it would become.  But it's a fun celebration around a big idea – the freedom of a work at home lifestyle.   And I think it strikes a cord for many people. 

We registered it as an official holiday.  Before we knew it, some Canadian work at home communities came on board, then it was the Australian mums.   Then it was moms in the UK, Ireland, and Iceland.  This year we had a mom in Bulgaria announce she was celebrating.   

It's become a bit of a phenomenon really.  I think part of it is because of the element with the press release that gets people PR for their own work at home business.   That's the "what's in it for them" piece.  I think too that the media is looking for "good news" pieces.  This is a fun story and people want to hear that there are good things going on in the world too.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Creating and owning a holiday is a terrific marketing strategy. What advise would you give entrepreneurs who want to develop a 'holiday' of their own?

Kristie T - You need to find a big idea, something exciting that grabs people's hearts and makes them want to be a part of it.   Entrepreneurs thrive on freedom.  They are passionate about what they do.  So that translates into excitement around a holiday celebrating something they hold dear.

Second, see if you can find a sponsor to join with you.  Early on InternationalRobe saw what we were doing and wanted on board. Teaming up with a big league company gives you a lot of credibility.

Third, find a way that people can be a part of it.  Can they enter a contest?   Is there something they can do?

Submit a national press release.  Pay the money to have someone write something to catch the media's attention.   We get tv, radio, and newspaper coverage every year just from one press release.  It's totally worth it.

Let bloggers spread the word for you.  This has been key for us getting the word out in a big way online.

Make it official by registering your holiday.  You can submit your holiday at Chase's Calendar of Events to make it a real holiday. 

And if you don't want to go to the trouble to create your own holiday, see if there is a holiday that you can piggyback off of.   If you are a virtual assistant, maybe you want to make a big deal when Secretary's Day comes along with a celebration, a special discount on products/services etc. 

I say go for it.  Having your own holiday is fun and what a wonderful way to go down in history than to your own special day. 

Read More About Creating A Holiday As A Marketing Strategy


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

Be careful of spending money on impulse with Venus square Uranus today. Do you really need that $1,000.00 chair to make your office look better? If you’re having a bad day don’t go home and pick a fight with your partner especially if you were hoping to get lucky tonight. The fight could drag on over the weekend as the Sun opposes Saturn. You could end up skulking around all day and feel sorry for yourself.

This really isn’t turning out to be a great week for good communication. Everyone’s favorite falls on Wed. 2/13/07. Mercury goes Retrograde. This should be an interesting Retrograde as it is in Pisces. Communication may end up really twisted and jumbled up and be understood as something  completely different than what comes out of your mouth. The mind wants to dream in Pisces. As standard practice, it isn’t wise during any Mercury Retrograde to sign contracts. In this case it’s a double whammy.

Don’t be duped by anybody painting a pretty picture – it could turn into the swampland in Florida. Hold off till Mercury turns Direct 3/7. Then we have Valentine’s Day 2/14. Please make the best of it – kiss and makeup.

Welcome U of DE Bloggers!


Abc_1 Special Diva Welcome to the students from Alex Brown's University of Delaware's Information Technology Marketing class! This is the 3rd year that Prof Alex is teaching this innovative undergrad course that is required for marketing majors.

Students are required to maintain a blog, comment on classmates blogs and involve themselves in the world of social media. I'd suggest you drop in every now and again for some fresh ideas, interesting conversation and great resources that Alex posts.

Diva Marketing is required reading along with: 

  • ClickZ Stat
  • Dana Vanden Heuvel
  • Inside Adwords
  • John Batelle's SearchBlog
  • Modern Marketing
  • Naked Conversations
  • Scobleizer - Microsoft Geek Blogger
  • Slashdot - News for Nerds
  • Tim Berners Lee's Blog

Happy Blogging!