Brand Haiku for You

I was invited by my industry colleague and friend, Aaron Strout of Powered Inc., to participate in a fun experiment this morning. He asked me and a handful of other amazing marketing folks to share a brand haiku based on a recent experience we’ve had – good or bad. (Remember, a haiku is: 5 syllables, 7 syllables 5 syllables.)

Well, if you follow me on Twitter and were on this weekend, you likely heard about my recent experience with Toyota and specifically, McGee Toyota in Hanover, MA. It wasn’t pretty. So here’s my haiku for you based on my weekend – if you’d like the full story, read my blog post about the experience – and why it’s crucial for your sales team to understand that customer relationships are way more valuable than customer deals.

Toyota was wrong
Happy customers tell friends
Angry ones tell all

Now that the negative one is out of the way, here are two positive ones – because happy customers should share loudly, too.

Jet Blue I love you
Thanks for TVs and smiles
You get customers

Ideeli is cool
They sell lovely things to me
And they engage me

Follow the brand haiku to Bryan Person and his tribute to Nike, and see more haikus from those amazing marketers by watching Twitter for the hashtag #brandhaiku.

Thanks for the fun, creative and great idea – and invitation – Aaron! Readers, if you have a brand haiku, please play along in the comment section and on Twitter.

 

Online vs offline networking

Based on our expanded services over the last few years and the plethora of social media posts on this blog, we’re obviously huge fans of online networking. But when I attended the MarketingProfs B2B Forum TweetUp Monday evening, I was reminded how important face time is with those we connect with online.

I had the pleasure of seeing older friends/industry colleagues like Chris Brogan, Jim Storer, Jim Spencer, Patrick Rafter and Ann Handley, and I was fortunate enough to meet those who were – until now – online acquaintances such as Steve Woodruff, Diane Hessan, Mike Volpe and many others. I also received a lot of flack from Joselin Mane about the fact that I don’t go to enough TweetUps. And you know what, despite my push back about lack of time for family commitments, work and personal friends – let alone TweetUps – he has a point. There’s nothing quite like face-to-face networking. It provides the opportunity to create stronger bonds with others and discover chemistry that might not come through as quickly in online conversations. (It also keeps you “real” – here’s a funny post about how online and offline behaviors differ.)

Although I recognize the value in such events and enjoy most of them, I really don’t get to as many as I probably should. But you know what, I don’t see many other PR agency leaders at them either. So I started to wonder, is it a generational gap? Is online networking enough? Are those that don’t do both missing huge opportunities?

After a few of us listened to Brogan run through his event schedule – and wondered just how he does it – we talked about how not everyone is created equal. What I mean by that is that not everyone has the same personal or work situation – and so reasons for attending or not attending vary greatly.

@jeffglasson @chrisbrogan @fairminder

Younger workers seem much more likely to attend events on a regular basis – they often live in closer proximity to the city (here in Boston, anyway) and they usually have interest in meeting people for personal reasons as well (friendship or dating, for example). Older workers may live in the suburbs with a healthy commute both ways, and thus attend less often – and become more choosy about what they attend and why they attend. With many who have spouses or families waiting at home, the options for attending the overflow of events may be even slimmer.

Don’t forget that a lot of people who are active in online communities – such as Twitter and Facebook – physically live in rural areas and barely get to any face-to-face events at all. Are they at a disadvantage?

What’s your opinion?

  • Is there a generational gap in networking?
  • Is it a sign of career dedication (or lack thereof)?
  • Do you gain business value from every event?
  • Does it hurt to attend less events or is online networking just as valuable?

25 SXSW Attendees Explain Why You Should Attend Next Year…Oh and they did it in two words…

Inspired by Steve Garfield’s video montage “27 People, One Question” I thought it would be fun to do something similar during my trip to SXSW Interactive. Throughout my time there, I had some lighthearted fun with attendees and asked 25 people to give me two words that describe their experience at the event. Some of the responses, both serious and entertaining, came from folks like Jeff Pulver, Chris Brogan, Justin Levy, Jeremiah Owyang, Robert Scoble, Jason Falls, Aaron Strout, and many others. Using my handy Kodak Zi6 HD camera I captured some great footage that hopefully encapsulates what SXSW Interactive is all about and in some cases, just made me go “huh?”

So without further ado, for your viewing pleasure check out what some of this year’s SXSW Interactive attendees had to say for themselves. I am sure you will recognize a few of your friends and hopefully have a few laughs along the way.

A special thanks to everyone who participated and shared their two (and sometimes more) words and thanks for all the memories. See y’all next year – SXSWi 2010!

Disclaimer: The video quality and lighting varies slightly due to the ‘extreme’ shooting conditions of SXSW. :)

Translation: This was my first attempt and I didn’t lug around all the lighting and sound equipment with me for these impromptu shots, so some responses were a little more difficult to see/hear, but you get the point.

Music: Dan Tharp, Guitar Suite I – Movement I and II
Camera: Kodak Zi6 HD

A Tale of Two Breakfasts

While working for a virtual company is an altogether fantastic experience, it’s not uncommon for a little “cabin fever” to set in every now and then. Escaping from the home office for client meetings or networking events can offer a nice change of pace. This week I was able to venture out for some [quite cold] fresh air to attend a pair of Social Media Breakfast events here on the East coast.

Pancakes with Pulver

Brickway on WickendenTuesday morning brought me to Providence, Rhode Island to participate in one of the stops on Jeff Pulver’s Social Media Breakfast Tour. The Brickway on Wickenden was the perfect location (thanks to Sara Streeter) for the small turnout of folks ready for social media conversation. The smaller head count allowed for a much more intimate series of conversations.

A highlight of the morning was a challenge offered up by Jeff Pulver. It involved creating a brand new word to describe the experience of meeting someone online and then later on in real life. The word could not already exist and had to be capable of being used as a verb. We came up with quite a few candidates during the 2 hour session and were even able to get some instant feedback on our creations from the BlogTV chat room while Jeff streamed the entire breakfast live via EVDO. The search for that perfect word is being continued on various blogs as well as Facebook.

Muffins with Mavens

Wednesday morning not only brought Bryan Person’s Social Media Breakfast 5 event to the S & S Restarant in Cambridge, but it brought an ugly mix of snow and rain that attempted to slow down the early commute. Despite the tricky traveling, the event was very well attended. It was nice to see a good number of new faces in the crowd along with the regular set of social media mavens.

SMB5 was sponsored by our client, Mzinga, and featured a series of 5-minute speeches from Scott Monty, Doug Haslam, Jim Storer and Laura Fitton on how Twitter has changed their lives. Each presenter brought a unique and engaging story to their discovery, use and love for Twitter. Steve Garfield was able to provide a live broadcast of each speaker via his Nokia N95 for those who were challenged by the weather.

In addition to the numerous still photos that were taken at the event, I was able to capture footage of the speeches. You’ll find the speech by Mzinga’s Jim Storer below. Links to additional media created from the event can be found in the round-up post on socialmediabreakfast.com.