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Diva Talks Link's Up: The Ethics of Social Media


Pink_boa_2Diva Marketing Talks - a 30-minute tapa bite of fun and information about social media.

Toss of a pink boa to Jeneane Sessum - Allied and Wayne Hurlbert, Blog Business World  Blog Business Success BlogTalkRadio for guest hosting blog radio today's Diva Marketing Talks: The Company You Keep: The Ethics of Social Media. They totally rock! This is a must listen show for anyone interested in the issues of surrounding social media.

The thread of who we are goes across our entire participation. - Jeneane

Every action that you take and everything you do should be made with fair treatment helping others in mind. - Wayne

Tips From Diva Marketing Talks: The Company You Keep, The Ethical Side Of Social Media

Jeneane Sessum, Allied

  • Be Yourself - Figure out who you are and carry that across all social platforms.
  • If you can't figure out who you are, at least be FUNNY.
  • Admit when you're wrong, unless the other party/blogger/company is wronger.
  • Don’t Quit. Take breaks, but don’t quit because longevity counts.

Wayne Hurlbert,  Blog Business World  Blog Business Success BlogTalkRadio

  • Respect other people's work. Incorporate attribution if you are including parts of a post in your blog post. Credit should include the name of the blogger, the blog title and a link to the blog and/or post.
  • All concepts used from other blogs should be linked and credited to the source.
  • It’s okay to modify posts with details such as event dates, times or typos. However, it’s not a good idea to delete and then change major concepts on a published post. If you need to update the information indicate and date the change. Or write a new post and link back to the original post.
  • Admit to mistakes. It increases your credibility if you offer a correction and an apology.

Diva Marketing Talks With Jeneane Sessum & Wayne Hurlbert


Girlfriend, there comes a time when you just have to try on that cute pair of Jimmy Choo's that you've been longing for but were not sure if they'd fit. To take a chance on something new.

Tonight Diva Marketing Blog takes to the air waves with a BlogTalk Radio Show - Diva Marketing Talks. The focus is similar to where Diva Marketing has morphed .. to help organizations understand social media marketing and how to join the conversation without getting blown-up. It's a 30-minute tapa bite of intense flavors in the form of conversation and fun.  Time: 6:30p - 7P Eastern

Tonight's show is focused on The Company You Keep - The Ethics of Social Media and who better to join in on this conversation than Jeneane Sessum - Allied and Wayne Hurlbert, Blog Business World  Blog Business Success BlogTalkRadio

Jeneane_sessum_2 Jeneane was blogging since before blogging was cool. She launched Allied in 2001 and as you can imagine she's has a few thoughts on how ethics fits into the changing world of social media.

Wayne_hurlbert_2 When I think of Wayne Hurlbert, the words "gentleman of the blogosphere" comes to mind. Wayne frequently writes about ethics and he believe ethics is a good business strategy.

I most cordially invite you to join Wayne, Jeneane and me in a Diva Marketing Talks conversation about  the ethical side of social media marketing. If you miss the live show it will be available for download into your MP3 player of choice.

Diva Marketing Talks
Date: Tuesday, July 17th 
Time: 6:30p-7p

Pink_boa Toss of the pink boa to Wayne for his encouragement to start this adventure and his technical consulting help!

Let The Age of Conversation Begin!


Age_of_conversation_badge Three months ago 103 bloggers, from all over the word,
came together to write one book, Age of Conversation,
on one topic, the way people are communicating and connecting with each in today's world,
to support one dear friend, CK celebrate the memory of her mom,
with the proceeds going to one global charity, Variety The Children's Charity.

The visionaries behind this project were Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan who spent the last 3-months of their lives coordinating, planning and launching the book. The journey of  Age of Conversation and the lessons learned from the process are as important as the messages it includes. The book is a testimony that relationships built through social media can create a community that can make a difference. 

Each author was asked to write a 400 word chapter on the topic of "conversation." What emerged is a thought piece from some of the marketing pioneers in the social media industry. Perhaps you may not  recognize all of the names, however, these are (some of) the people, who through their day-to-day involvement in the space, are creating an important, new marketing direction.

Your company may not be including blogs, or podcasts or Myface or YouTube in its strategic marketing plans today. Most of the world might not be aware of micro blogs like Twitter, Jaiku or Pownce but trust me on this one Divas and Divos, the impact of social media is changing the perceptions of how your community relates to your brand. Those changes are and will continue to impact not only how we market but how we do business.

The Age of Conversation provides 103 points of view about doing business in a world where as I say in my chapter, Technology Is Recreating Business Intimacies -

Business is personal. Technology is fueling the emotional engagement that leads to long-term customer interactions.

What also emerged was not only a business book, that will challenge your thinking, but a book written from the heart. What an interesting world we live in .. a business book with a social media soul!

Age of Conversation Store has 3 purchase options: an eBook for $9.99 ($7.99 to charity) a software book for $16.95 ($8.10 to charity) and a hard copy book for $29.99 ($8.55 to charity). All proceeds will be donated to Variety The Children's Charity. No author, including Gavin and Drew, will see any revenue from the book.

Age of Conversation Google Map - do not click unless you have the time to click and play. Complements of Matt Dickman

Toss of a pink boaPink_boa to all of the people who so generously gave of their time and their heart to this amazing project. I am beyond honored to be included in this very important project.

Gavin Heaton
Drew McLellan
Valeria Maltoni
Emily Reed
Katie Chatfield
Greg Verdino
Mack Collier
Lewis Green
Ann Handley
Mike Sansone
Paul McEnany
Roger von Oech
Anna Farmery
David Armano
Bob Glaza
Mark Goren
Matt Dickman
Scott Monty
Richard Huntington
Cam Beck
David Reich
Luc Debaisieux
Sean Howard
Tim Jackson
Patrick Schaber
Roberta Rosenberg
Uwe Hook
Tony D. Clark
Todd Andrlik
Toby Bloomberg
Steve Woodruff
Steve Bannister
Steve Roesler
Stanley Johnson
Spike Jones
Nathan Snell
Simon Payn
Ryan Rasmussen
Ron Shevlin
Roger Anderson
Robert Hruzek
Rishi Desai
Phil Gerbyshak
Peter Corbett
Pete Deutschman
Nick Rice
Nick Wright
Michael Morton
Mark Earls
Mark Blair
Mario Vellandi
Lori Magno
Kristin Gorski
Kris Hoet
G.Kofi Annan
Kimberly Dawn Wells
Karl Long
Julie Fleischer
Jordan Behan
John La Grou
Joe Raasch
Jim Kukral
Jessica Hagy
Janet Green
Jamey Shiels
Dr. Graham Hill
Gia Facchini
Geert Desager
Gaurav Mishra
Gary Schoeniger
Gareth Kay
Faris Yakob
Emily Clasper
Ed Cotton
Dustin Jacobsen
Tom Clifford
David Polinchock
David Koopmans
David Brazeal
David Berkowitz
Carolyn Manning
Craig Wilson
Cord Silverstein
Connie Reece
Colin McKay
Chris Newlan
Chris Corrigan
Cedric Giorgi
Brian Reich
Becky Carroll
Arun Rajagopal
Andy Nulman
Amy Jussel
AJ James
Kim Klaver
Sandy Renshaw
Susan Bird
Ryan Barrett
Troy Worman
S. Neil Vineberg

Please join me in a virtual social media celebration of the Age of Conversation!
Sidebar: Link is to Age of Conversation's Facebook page.

An Interview With Paul Levy - President and CEO, Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center


Paul_levy Paul Levy, President and CEO of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and blogger of Running A Hospital Blog is no stranger when it comes to innovation and loving a good challenge. In 2002, when Paul took the helm of the BIDMC the hospital was on verge of being sold by the Commonwealth. In 2004, the medical center reported a $28 million dollar operating surplus.

With the hospital under control, I guess Paul found a few extra seconds. In August of 2006, Paul decided to add blogging to his To Do List and launched Running A Hospital Blog.  In keeping with the mantra of social media (transparency, authenticity, honesty and passion) posts run from patient's customer service concern to his views on social issues to health insurance to asking readers if he got paid too much and even the recipe of Beth Israel's famous chocolate chip cookies.

The healthcare business is fiercely competitive, especially in Boston, a city know for its hospitals and docs. In his post Opening Day Items Paul shows us an out-of-the-box marketing strategy that dovetails into the BIDMC's partnership with the Boston Red Sox. BI Babies are sent home in co-branded baby caps and a certificate for a tour of Fenway Park on birthday number five. 

Bloggy Discloure: I'm a BI bebe and I'm betting if the BI had that in strategy in-place, I would have had a few more siblings! Had to add this comment from Paul -  "And, by the way, all BID babies are above average . . .  Good to know that you are another example of that."

In an email chat Paul explained his views about about blogs and social media in healthcare. I think you'll agree that Paul has indeed taken a sip or two of the kool-aid and hit a home run with Running A Hospital Blog.

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

One of the nation’s preeminent academic medical centers, providing state-of-the-art clinical care, research, and teaching in affiliation with Harvard Medical School.  Licensed for about 600 beds, BIDMC annual clinical and research revenues are in excess of $1 billion.  Overseen by a 20-member Board of Directors and with a staff of over 6,000 FTEs and a medical staff of over 700 physicians in thirteen clinical departments.

Toby/Diva Marketing: It seems as though Running A Hospital Blog is your personal blog versus a “company blog.”

Paul Levy: This a personal blog.  It is not published by the hospital.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Why a personal blog and not a BI/Deaconess Medical Center blog a la Nick Jacobs?
Paul Levy: Dunno.  I'm not sure it matters that much, but if it were an official organ of the hospital, I would probably feel compelled to have all posts reviewed by our General Counsel, press office, and other people inside the hospital.  That would make it hard for me to write and post something at 5am or 10pm, when I do my writing. 

Also, I would probably self-censor much more, knowing that things were going to be reviewed by corporate folks. I think currency and immediacy and spontaneity are important in keeping things interesting.  Also, this way, my staff folks can honestly deny that they have any prior knowledge about what I have written!  By the way, I like Nick's blog a lot.  He seems like a wonderful guy, and they are lucky to have someone with his experience, wisdom, and good humor.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Do you think the hospital will adopt a social media strategy including blogs, blogger relations, etc? If so when? If not why not?

Paul Levy: I''m not sure what it means to have a social media strategy, at least with regard to blogs and blogger relations.  Anyone can start his or her own blog in about 30 seconds.  Why should the hospital be a repository?  If we were, then we would have to have blogging policies!  That seems inherently contradictory to the idea of social media. 

If we did post blogs on our company website, wouldn't we have to make the "space" available to all and then also have to insure that they met standards for honesty, accountability, grammar, spelling, HIPAA, good behavior, and the like?  If you permit all blogs to be posted on the company website without standards, then you are inviting lawsuits. So then I would have to have people enforce the standards. 

Why undemocratize the most democratic form of communication by imposing corporate standards on it when anybody in the company can already create their own site in the outside world?  If it is good enough and interesting enough to attract readers, the word will get around.

We are, however, looking at wikis for a variety of purposes.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Why has blogging been worth your time, energy and resources? What has surprised you about your blogging experience?

Paul Levy: Totally worth it, especially in terms of getting feedback from a wide variety of people throughout the world.  It is like tapping into an incredibly extensive community.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Are ideas and suggestions from comments distributed and/or utilized internally?

Paul Levy: Oh, yes.  I pass along ideas to our folks, and we follow up.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How does your blog fit into Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Marketing/ Community Outreach Strategies.

Paul Levy: This is not the hospital's blog.  Strictly speaking, it is not tied into our business strategies, although I like to think that there is nothing in it that is inconsistent with our strategies.

Toby/Diva Marketing: I noticed that the blog is not linked from the Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center webstite.  Nor is there a direct link from the blog to the BI website. Any plans to do that?

Paul Levy: No, it is not a hospital publication.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Did you have to first gain permission from your board?

Paul Levy: No.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How are you handling HIPPA regulations?

Paul Levy: I follow them!

Toby/Diva Marketing: What were the reactions from your peers?

Paul Levy: Some are very supportive, some are disdainful. Our physicians and nurses and other staff are very, very supportive.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What are your feelings about Sermo? Particularly the inclusion of allowing investment firms to view postings and the possibility of inviting the pharma in?

Paul Levy: I have never read it. I don't look at sites where you have to register.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What will it take for social media to gain acceptance within the healthcare community, to the extent that blogs (and other tactics) are adopted?

Paul Levy: This will happen very slowly. It is not a field that encourages open expressions of feelings or positions.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What would you tell other healthcare organizations and physicians who are considering launching a blog?

Paul Levy: Be prepared for a great adventure.

Sidebar: Thanks to Nick Jacobs for the intro to Paul Levy. Another example of the blogger network.

Shout Out To Beltway Bloggers


You are coridally invited to join Geoff Livingston, the Divas from SITC and me for a blogger meet-up at the Brio Tuscan Grille at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, VA on Thursday, July 12 at 6:00p. Let's talk blogs and social media over a glass or two of vino.

Perhaps Katya Andresen, Debbie Weil, Mitch Arnowitz and Leslie Jump.

New_media_noveaux_2 Want more blog-talk? Success In The City is presenting a full day conference - New Media Nouveaux on lucky Friday the thirteenth. I'll be there telling my bloggy story ;-) Would love to hear blogger story too!

Friday Fun: Three For Three


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.

Three_little_kiddies Play a game, read a great biz book and or listen to a few great biz ideas. BBF (best blog friends) have some awesome suggestions. The post is long because of the lists .. but girlfriend I know you can scroll pretty fast!

One For Three - play a game

When Lewis Green tagged me to play a new meme (a viral game where you get know a little bit more about your fav bloggers) I told him perhaps we should be playing jump rope. But that's rather difficult to do online so I'm telling you .. 8 Random Things About Me (yawning is allowed but no loud snoring).

Update: Steve Woodruff also wanted me to play tag with him. So Steve this is for you too!

1. I hate technology - It's what it can do that excites me
2. I'm getting addicted to My Face - Watch for interesting business applications as it matures
3. I love ice cream - It makes me happy. I don't know why it just does.
4. I love learning about and drinking wine - Have taken several courses and altho I enjoy a really nice bottle I love discovering great wines under $10
5. I love to travel - One day I'll have the $ and time to travel for fun and not business
6. I love the comedian Kathy Griffin - I can totally relate to the D List thing
7. I love jazz, music from the 40's and of course show tunes - Why? past boyfriend, my dad, theatre major
8. I love the ocean and I love watching storms on the ocean - Walks on the beach are calming, inspiring, and invigorating.

The rules are I get to tag 8 (random) people .. 

Joe Reger

Average Jane

Arun Rajogopla

Ted Demppoulos

Dr. Ellen Weber

Paul Chaney


Roxanne - maybe Rox will do a Barefoot on the Beach video (smile)

Two For Three - read a great biz book

Geoff Livingston found a creative use Facebook. He created an "email wiki" and invited some friends to help develop a list of  25+ must-read social media, marketing and PR books. This list was compiled by Chris Abraham, Toby Bloomberg, Eric Eggertson, Susan Getgood, Kami Huyse, Ike Pigott and of course Geoff Livingston. Thanks for the code Geoff!

In addition to listing the authors alphabetically by name, Geoff linked their blogs or home pages (you can get their books via Amazon, bn.com or any other preferred book seller).

Chris Anderson, The Long Tail
Paul Bausch, Matthew Haughey, and Meg Hourihan, We Blog
Rebecca Blood,  The Weblog Handbook
Todd Defren, PR 2.0 Essentials (e-book)
Susannah Gardner, Buzz Marketing with Blogs for Dummies
James Gleick, Faster
Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz,  How to Do Everything with Podcasting
Rok Hrastnik, Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS
Hugh Hewett, Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World
Joeseph Jaffe, Life After the Thirty Second Spot
Avinash Kaushik,  Web Analytics: An Hour a Day
Richard Laermer, Punk Marketing (with Mark Simmons) & Full Frontal PR (with Michael Pricinello)
Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, Freakonomics
Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger, the Cluetrain Manifesto
Christopher Locke (linked above), Gonzo Marketing
Mike Moran, Search Engine Marketing
Katie Paine, Measuring Success (free e-Book)

There For Three - listen to a few great biz ideas

Susan Getgood and David Meerman Scott did a terrific job with their audio webinar on blogger relations 101.

Sidebar: More on Blogger Relations
Agencies Miss The "Relations" In Blogger Relations Strategies
From Blogger Relations To Blogger Relations Programs
Swag-for-post: An Integration of Traditional And Social Media Strategies

Tris Hussey and Jim Turner, One By One Media, mix it up, social media style, with their new show Mediasphere.

Wayne Hurlbert's show, Blog Business Success, is becoming a classic.

Happy 07-07-2007!

Traditions From The Peachtree Road Race


There is a tradition in Atlanta that closes Peachtree Street every July 4th. The Peachtree Road Race.

What began as a simple family walk through the Buckhead and Midtown areas of Hot'lanta, has grown into a highly respected 10K race. The Peachtree, as we fondly call the Race, attracts champion runners from every corner of the globe.
However, at its heart, the Peachtree Road Race is still very much a people's race. Families and friends run together year after year to win one of the prestigous Peachtree Road Race t-shirts. Parties are held in the bars, restaurants and new condos that align the route from Lenox Square to Piedmont Park where people cheer the runners on their way.

This year Paula, who writes Astro Diva, not only continued her special tradition of running the Peachtree with her 17-year old daughter Lyndzey, but extended the mother-daughter team to include 12-year old sister Mackenize.

Traditions build memories, develop stronger relationships, provide stories to tell and help anchor the soul. My Fourth of July tradition .. making Johnny Depp Inspired Chocolat Ice Cream for Bobbi's (who runs the Peachtree too) let's-watch-fireworks-on-the-roof-of-a-midtown-condo and eat-junk-food-party.

Lessons Learned: Let's take our cue from the traditions inspired by the Peachtree Road Race and Paula, Lyndzey and Mackenzie. Traditions that you create with and for your customers can also build memories, develop stronger relationships, provide stories to tell and help anchor the soul. But traditions can be modified and made richer to include new people and ideas.

Sidebar: Thanks to Paula for modeling the cool 2007 Peachtree Road Race T-shirt!

Schwag-For-Post: An Integration of Traditional and Social Media Marketing Strategies


Pink_boaToss of a pink boa to the bloggers and marketers who continue to explore how to use social media as a credible marketing strategy. Toss of a pink boa to the people who are not afraid to make mistakes, correct them and try again. Toss of a pink boa to the community of readers, who though you may not write a blog or even comment,  are why we fight so hard to make it right.

Sidebar: The opening to this post may seem disjointed. And it is. I wrote it after reading this post and want to start with a thank you. Now on to the post ..

Smile and say cheese and if you are an influencer in your corner of the blogosphere and you just might land a new model Nikon camera. Or perhaps cool expensive shwag like a laptop, a trip to Amsterdam or a visit to the shoot of your favorite Sci-Fi TV show. The Brands (and authors too) having been tapping into bloggers, as a promotion tactic, for quite some time. Without a doubt the benefits are significant ranging from extending reach and awareness, to increasing search engine lift to obtaining the brass ring .. highly sought after peer-to-peer influence.

In corners of the biz/marketing blog world there are heated conversations taking place. Many people believe bloggers should be transparent about receiving gifts. Others feel strongly that even with  prominent disclosure a blogger's integrity is compromised or there is little benefit to their community of readers. CK says nay. Joseph Jaffe says yea. This Friday they'll come together to talk about the issues on the podcast Across The Sound.

The lines are blurring between post-for-schwag and pay-for-post. Bloggers who would never take $$ for posts accept expensive products. Perhaps it goes back to the concept of gift cards ..  presents are okay but cold hard cash sometimes seems inappropriate as a gift. So we'll accept presents but not payment. 

Sci-Fi Channel and Nikon Blogger Relations Programs: Two Different Strategies

Blogger Relations Programs are growing more complex as marketers merge promotion with product feedback and sampling tactics. Quiet on the set. Bloggers Blogging! NBC Universal invited influential sci-fi bloggers to a "digital press tour." In Vancouver bloggers were treated to a behind the scenes visit to their favorite Sci-Fi Channel shows where they live blogged the experience.  

You expect to see cameras at these things, but to see all these people with their laptops open, blogging live from the events -- it was a completely different use of media than I've ever seen. Dave Howe, Sci-Fi Channel Ad Age Interview

The Sci-Fi went further than a promotional blogger relations program when they included a research initiative. When you talk to your alpha consumers, you can learn so much. Do they like the plot lines? Do they like the marketing of the shows? Is there a passion level for certain characters? Pete Snyder, New Media Strategies - Ad Age Interview

Nikon took a very different approach. In his blog post, Blogger Relations Program: My Point of View, Michael Kemper, MWWGroup made it clear that his company (that developed the strategy) considered the Nikon's initiative a sampling program. My comment on the post -

"However, it  sure does appear an expensive "sampling program" especially when you take into consideration that there does not appear to be a mechanism for feedback from the bloggers. You are not giving away tastes of King Pao chicken.  If it quacks like a duck, why not call it a duck? A  blogger relations program "... where the goals were to desire for coverage, discussion, testimonials and good word-of-mouth recommendations."  (Italics quote from post)

If there had been a formal feeback loop, Nikon could have added value to the entire blogging community's experience through those reviews and demonstrated how to build a BRP that embraced not only transparency but helped in the learning for all .. Nikon and perspective customers."  There's been quite a bit of controversy about the program. In my humble opinion, this may stem in part from MWWGoup's misunderstand of bloggers.

The structure of the program is almost identical to how new products are introduced to print and broadcast journalists at The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NBC, CNN and virtually every other reputable news outlet you can think of. Why? Because we firmly believe that bloggers are, in many ways, journalists. The same ethical considerations that shape a marketer's interactions with print and broadcast reporters should also be respected and adhered to when dealing with bloggers. And that objectivity, accountability and transparency are a must. (Bold is from Diva Marketing)

Bloggers are not journalists. While we do want to be respected and feel that we should be treated ethically and fairly by organizations that are courting our favor we owe no allegiance to an editor, a publication or an organization. For most bloggers, their underling mandate is to be true to themselves .. not to an outside source or publication.

Like it or not brand marketers realize that bloggers can bring reach and awareness to a campaign. Like it or not bloggers want cool content not to mention it's some what of an ego deal to be acknowledged by a major brand as an 'influencer.' That said, BR programs are not going away. That said let's help this new form of marketing evolve into a tactic that adds value to the blogger, to the community (for CK is right) and of course to the brand.

~Questions Your For Your Consideration~

What should industry standards/best practices be to ensure the integrity of conducting BR programs?

What would an excellent BRP look like?

Let's get into some granular backend stuff .. what defines and how do you identify the 'influencers' appropriate within a segment?

Sidebar: I don't have a particular concern about the concept of product placement as part of a blogger relations program (I would not have been the best participant for the Nikon project .. no sour grapes here.) as long as it is build on transparency and honesty. I have accepted free biz books and coffee. I would gladly accept a free cruise .. I so need a holiday! But I would def let you know (smile).

Read More From Diva Marketing
Agencies Miss The "Relations" In Blogger Relations Strategies
From Blogger Relations To Blogger Relations Programs