How to Build a Killer Social Network: Takeaway

AMABostonLast night, several of us from PerkettPR attended the AMA Boston meeting at the Exchange Conference Center. The sold-out event featured a keynote and panel entitled “How to Build a Killer Social Network: Understanding and Optimizing Social Media.”

John Moore, Senior Vice President and Director of Ideas and Innovation at Mullen Media Hub, got the evening started with a statistics-packed keynote presentation that covered the basics of social media and social networks. John did a good job getting everyone up to speed on the social networking landscape and provided some detailed examples of how XM Satellite Radio has used social networks to engage with their target audience.

John’s presentation laid the proper groundwork for the panel discussion led by Chris Brogan, VP Strategy & Technology for CrossTech Media. Panel members included Todd VanHoosear, Social Media Practice Leader from Topaz Partners, Tom Arrix, VP of Sales, East from Facebook and Dale Durrett, Eastern Region Sales Manager at LinkedIn. The panelists provided solid answers to Chris’s questions and they each provided their own perspectives on how get started and be successful in the social networking space.

The Takeaway

It’s not uncommon for a company to want to build their own social networking community. However, it’s important to remember that just because you build it, doesn’t mean the community will come. Yes, it’s fine to consider building your own, but it needs to be part of a larger, more diverse plan that also includes going out and interacting with the existing communities that align with your target market. Tom Arrix provided a takeaway that resonates this idea. He urged the attendees to first figure out if they want to engage with people who are like them or with people who are not like them, but who would benefit from their expertise.

The drive behind Tom’s advice is to help people decide what social networks they should join and interact with first. Existing customers and people who are familiar with your brand probably already congregate in similar online communities. Those who are not familiar with your brand, but would benefit from your expertise, might congregate in different social platforms. The objectives in your social networking strategy should help indicate which of these groups should get your attention first. After spending a good amount of time inside the existing communities, you’ll have a better understanding of how to build your own social networking community and increase its chance for success.

Unfortunately, video recording was not allowed during the panel portion of the evening, but John Moore’s keynote presentation should be available in the AMA Boston website in the near future.

Gary Vaynerchuk brings “The Thunder” to Boston

WineLibrary.TV Live in BostonLast night, wine aficionado and video blogging Internet superstar Gary Vaynerchuk brought “The Thunder” to Boston in a big way. The sold out book tour stop brought 200+ “Vayniacs” to the Hotel Commonwealth for a one-of-a-kind wine-themed entertainment experience that only Gary V. can deliver. The evening’s schedule consisted of a live taping of WineLibrary.TV (aka The Thunder Show), a Q&A session, a book signing, a wine-tasting and an after-party that capped off the six hour marathon event.

Watching a live taping of WineLibrary.TV is a rare treat, and it truly captures the raw and seemingly endless energy that Gary brings to each and every show. Gary has taken a traditional business – a retail wine store – and expanded its community and fans beyond its New Jersey origins to a worldwide audience – all through the power of the Internet, online community and social networking. Gary now spends the majority of his days communicating with and building his online community.

The antics got off to a fast start when host Dmitri Gunn presented Gary (a die-hard New York Jets fan) with a Patriots-branded spittoon to use during the taping. The hilarious moment set the tone for the show, and Gary continued to entertain throughout the night. Even with the large numbers in attendance, Gary has the amazing ability to keep constant focus on the camera at all times while still being able to make the entire audience feel included in the experience.

After the taping, the wine tasting began – sponsored by Boston’s Wine Gallery – while fans lined up for a personal meet-and-greet book signing. A short while later, the night rolled smoothly into the after-party at the Commonwealth’s Foundation Lounge where the digerati and wine enthusiasts continued to mix and mingle.

Special thanks to Dmitri Gunn and our own PerkettPR team for organizing the event and securing the sponsors who included: Barnes & Noble – Boston University, Mzinga, Matchmine, Pour Favor, Select Wine Imports, and Beautiful Things by Charise.

For those who couldn’t attend, here’s a recording of the live stream (pardon the audio quality) compliments of Laura Fitton:

Also be sure to check out Gary’s appearances on Nightline, Conan O’Brien, Ellen DeGeneres, The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch and Mad Money with Jim Kramer.

Photo credit: Steve Garfield

SMB7 – Hiring/Getting hired in a Web 2.0 World

On the morning of Thursday May 1st, Bryan Person hosted the seventh Boston area Social Media Breakfast. This time around, the venue switched to the spacious Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge where there was a great mix of both new and familiar faces.

This month’s topic focused on hiring and getting hired in a Web 2.0 world. In support of the topic, Bryan recruited Stever Robbins, Aaron Strout, Todd Defren and Chris Brogan to present their perspective in support of the topic. Each speaker did a great job in telling their story as well as answering the audience’s questions during a short panel at the end.

I attended the event with video camera in hand to capture some footage for those who couldn’t be there in person. The first video we have available features Aaron Strout, VP of New Media for Mzinga speaking about his experience with hiring though the use of Twitter, LinkedIn and other web-based tools as opposed to requesting traditional paper resumes.

Once completed, the remaining presentations will be available on the PerkettPR Vimeo Channel. I’ll update this post and send out some “tweets” when the are complete and ready for viewing.

Thanks again to Bryan for hosting the event, and we’re looking forward to attending again next month!


Additional videos: Chris Brogan

The CrunchNetwork Experience

CrunchNetwork MeetupOn the evening of Thursday May 1st, we attended CrunchGear’s CrunchNetwork Meet-up Held at Red Sky in NYC. Having been part of several TechCrunch meet-ups throughout the last year, we’ve come to expect an environment that blends a level of traditional networking and vendor demos, with a healthy dose of hip and trendy party-going.

This particular event seemed to reverse the formula with a compact, oversold venue that at times felt more like a techie frat party with vendors thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, the shoulder to shoulder, standing room only crowd and extremely loud sessions of Rock Band (played by hired gamers) didn’t allow for capturing a few video interviews like we have in the past. Ultimately the event catered to the the CrunchGear audience (as it should) and is clearly in a different category than the traditional TechCrunch experience.

With that being said, there were plenty of attendees who where very happy with the event and what it had to offer. All things aside, we still managed to spend some quality time with several notable individuals including Jeff Mould, President of Announce Mobile (and new client!), Joe Walsh of SquareLoop, Sarah Meyers of, Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch, Andrew Keidel of, Gunnar Larson, CEO of NetworkGlobal.TV, Donna Bogatin, founder and CEO of StartUp Alpha and Hunter Cohen of

At the end the night we walked away from our first CrunchGear event with mixed feelings. It certainly wasn’t what we expected, but worked for the younger audience it was intended for. There were certainly plenty of smiling faces after the numerous raffle prizes were handed out! Ultimately, the experience, while not completely our scene, hasn’t soured us from attending again. Next time, however, we suggest a bigger venue and better locations for demo stations. Look forward to hearing more about bigger and better CrunchGear hosted events in the future.

TechCrunch MeetUp LA–Searching For Internet Celebrities

TechCrunch/PopSugar PartyPerkettPR is gearing up for the biggest and best TechCrunch MeetUp event yet, being held at the Vanguard in LA this Thursday night. In addition to sponsoring again, we’re interested in turning the tables on tech bloggers and reporters and interviewing them for our blog (thoughts on the NYT blogger piece? Perez Hilton vs. tech bloggers? Arrington vs. Shipley? Facebook vs MySpace? What else is on your radar?).

We’re also interested in interviewing Web 2.0 and social media entrepreneurs on what they’re working on, what they think is hot right now and where they see the market headed in 2008 – will tech stay strong?

If you’re an Internet celebrity or undiscovered talent with opinions to share, and would be game for an interview by the PPR video blog team, please drop us a note or direct message us on Twitter @PerkettPR. We’d like to meet up at the MeetUp and capture your insights for colleagues, friends and industry pundits who can’t be in attendance.

Look forward to seeing those of you that can make it on Thursday night. Please look for us at the event we’ll be the ones “lighting up the night” with some sweet shwag give-aways.