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5 posts from January 2009

January 20, 2009

Obama, Obama, Obama! Three reasons he'll succeed

It's 6 am out here in Southern California. I'm in front of the TV ready to witness this amazing moment that I thought would never come - a president who understands what a republic means and knows how to lead it in the age of social media.

Obama earned his spot at the podium to be seen by billions around the world not because of his skin color, but because "Brand Obama" is social media proof.  Edelman provided an excellent summation by breaking down the tactical gains into repeatable chunks. Download the report here.

Brand Obama resonates out from his soul vs. having a marketing spin of "maverick" layered over top. McCain's Maverick label seemed contrived, "No Drama Obama" rings true consistently no matter what Obama did or which year he did it in. It sure helped that he and his family are about the most photogenic bunch ever to reach YouTube and Magazine covers.

All that consistency, transparency and accessibility translated into trust factors that resonated with women and men alike. Obama had five times the friends on facebook than McCain.

Everyone is worried about how Obama is going to pull it off, with so many issues facing him on day one - I'm not, for three reasons:

1. He has done more to bring women into the political conversation than any of his predecessors. As Best Buy figured out, the more women you have on the sales floor, the higher percentage of sales. It's not about one woman at the top, it's about all women feeling included.

2. With social media, we can self-organize and get things done. Look at all the work that has been completed on Climate Change without the Bush administrations help.  Obama knows how to leverage self-directed momentum.

3. He's going to pull it off by continuing his citizen engagement program started at www.change.gov. He's provided a place to air ideas, not gripes which sets the tone for positive action. As long as we have a way to participate and feel we are being heard, we tend to stay with the brand. That's been proven over and over on consumer sites listed on the left of this blog.
I'm going to close now and turn my attention to the moment and the man that has brought trust, honor and dignity back to Washington. Where did I put that box of tissues...

January 11, 2009

And Obey the Social Media Law...

A reoccurring theme is popping up among the bloggers, one of "user-ship" and not in a good way. Women bloggers are beginning to feel used. Where do they draw the line between generosity, self-promotion and getting paid?

Today an email crossed my desk from one of my gal pals. She asked what we thought about an online magazine asking permission to reprint the full text of one of her blog postings. (At least they asked, two points for that.)

Magazine X is getting paid for drawing eyes to their site. Shouldn't they be paying for full blown articles of bloggers just like they pay for full blown articles by staff?  Taking snippets of a blog post and linking back to the original posting on a site is considered ok in a word-of-mouth world, but a full article?

When business is involved, the answer is pretty clear - get paid - unless you really need them on your resume of experiences and then it's a case of mutual user ship. But what if the person asking is a new online fellow blogger? Let's take it a step further, what if they are asking for professional guidance on a subject because you're friends?  What do you do? Give away free information or snub them?

The rules of social media dictate that you must give away more information than ever before - what used to be billable hours is now business development hours. How do you draw the line and still make a living?  More importantly, how do you decide what's right without losing friends?

Maybe its time to invoke the Girl Scout Law as it applies to blogging...

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place and be a sister to every Girl Scout / blogger...

The "respect yourself and others" rings especially true when it comes to blogging. If you don't respect your opinion and the value of it, then how can you expect others to do the same?

Yes, we have to give away more teasers than before, but if writing is your business, don't give it away.

January 09, 2009

What's Your Green APR?

DSCN3787 My first post college job was directing a the day camp for Glowing Embers Girl Scout Councilin Kalamazoo, MI. It was a great gig, I got paid to walk around in the woods and sing songs to 800 girls and 30 staff. To this day I keep an AP (All Purpose) bandana in my purse; it's good for spills, wrapping up small things, tying my sweater to my luggage and so much more. 

At camp it served as a "Quieting Tool" for the canoe paddle. The girls would tie it on their paddle handle where they thought it would most likely strike the side of the canoe thereby making our lake paddling silent. Of course, what it really did was remind them to be quiet and then the usual talking remained at whisper level as we glided along.

The discussion as to whether global warming is real or not is long over. Now the question becomes, how do we stay engaged? What can we use as a APR (All Purpose Reminder) to keep us on track day after day and year after year until we bring global warming under control?

Diane MacEachern suggested swapping out $1000 of old, brown buying habits for $1000 of new, green buying habits. I use my morning meal of organic cereal, milk and coffee to get me going on my day. For Beth, plastic is her touchpoint. For Marguerite it's groceries, Heather and Renee focus on less trash, and the Eco Mom Alliance take inspiration from each other.  

All Purpose Reminders keep us on track at home and work. 

Diane is helping companies teach their employees how to cut back on their carbon and pollution footprint. Jennifer, Jenn, Micaela, Karen .... promote the bringing down of toxins in our homes and schools, making them a safer place to raise kids. Anna earned her LEED AP to mix with her legal skills and ensure that new building projects are following the LEED guidelines. Jessica works on green education in schools and communities. Maryanne means business with green marketing. Jenn and Karina prove that small choices add up. I'm working with Green Building Pages and LACCD to begin to green up campuses for the next generation of classes and help transform the business market one product at a time. 

I enjoy being part of this virtual collection of women who inspire me daily and hold me accountable to the tasks I take on. It's like telling your friends that you're going on a diet, you feel obligated to follow through. (Hey, it works for me.) 

"On my honor, I will try..." That's all the Girl Scouts ever asked me to do and that's all the world is asking us to do now - to try. Even if Global Warming turns out to be a complete fiasco, Global Pollution is very real. For me, I'm going to err on the side of trying and with the help of a good APR and my gal pals, I know we can get there. What's your APR?

Maryanne Conlin of the Not Quite Crunchy Parent hosts this month's Green Mom Carnival topic - Global Warming. Be sure to go over there for a whole list of ideas on how this group is taking on the challenge.

January 05, 2009

I'm about to give you all of my money...

Yvonne put a call out to bloggers asking for what women need when it comes to social media. That's a pretty easy one to answer, and Aretha said it best over (gasp) 40 years ago,  R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Put your business hat on for a second and listen to this classic again with fresh ears. If you want the female consumer's money - show her a little respect when she gets home. (nice dress Aretha!)

(oo) What you want
(oo) Baby, I got
(oo) What you need
(oo) Do you know I got it?
(oo) All I'm askin'
(oo) Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)

I ain't gonna do you wrong while you're gone
Ain't gonna do you wrong (oo) 'cause I don't wanna (oo)
All I'm askin' (oo)
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit) when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

I'm about to give you all of my money
And all I'm askin' in return, honey
Is to give me my profits
When you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

Ooo, your kisses (oo)
Sweeter than honey (oo)
And guess what? (oo)
So is my money (oo)
All I want you to do (oo) for me
Is give it to me when you get home (re, re, re ,re)
Yeah baby (re, re, re ,re)
Whip it to me (respect, just a little bit)
When you get home, now (just a little bit)

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB

Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin' (just a little bit)
You're runnin' out of foolin' (just a little bit)
And I ain't lyin' (just a little bit)
(re, re, re, re) 'spect
When you come home (re, re, re ,re)
Or you might walk in (respect, just a little bit)
And find out I'm gone (just a little bit)
I got to have (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)

January 01, 2009

The "Underwire" Trends to Watch for 2009

It's a fresh year and after a nice, fairly unplugged vacation, I'm ready to get rolling on the new year of watching the market trends centered around women's work unfold. Let's start by paying homage my favorite "Underwires" -- women who hold the issues up without being seen... They are the connectors and the instigators of fresh ideas, not because they will be making tons of money off of their work, but because it's the right thing to do.

WORLD RELIGION 2009 STYLE:Leading the Underwire list would be Sande Hart, the founder and generous spirit behind S.A.R.A.H. a non-profit dedicated to interfaith activities to foster understanding between religions. Sande and others started this effort shortly after 9/11. Sandy introduced me to Margaret Henke and Sherri Loveland  who co-chair OCIce.org (Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment). By using the common ground of 'protecting God's natural gifts" that they hope to build better bridges between groups.

Maybe it's a sign of the times or just my personal awareness, but since I met SARAH and OCIce members, I've seen more and more interfaith groups popping up in a joint practicing of the peace that they preach. These acts of blended action give me great hope. 

CARS THE MOVE US:As Motown becomes Notown due to flailing car companies, Jody DeVere of Ask Patty,continues to spread her gospel of automotive education for women and car dealers as well. Jody is a pragmatic shade of green when it comes to cars, by promoting what women want in cars and service, the whole industry is getting a makeover that will come out on the other side of this market, greener and defiantly more female-friendly. If you don't believe me, then go Ask Patty.

BUILDINGS YOU CAN BANK ON: Cars are a small part of the lowering of green house gas emission, buildings create far more problems in the construction, heating, cooling, furnishing and of new offices and homes. Ginny Dyson, a Sr. Designer with AECOM, is an example of the new wave of designers who select products based on their sustainability as much as their color swatch. Her decisions help to push the conversation of what is possible AND stylish at a very high level. One BIG commercial project can do more to change the direction of sustainable products than hundreds of residential homes.

To help designers and architects learn what products are truly sustainably and not just "marketed to sound that way," Marilyn Farmeran Architect in San Luis Obispo put together a system to help assess levels of sustainability in this very confusing market. Her site GreenBuildingPages lists products based on sustainable performance, not ad dollars. The better the product, the higher it is rated.  Because social equity was important to her, she include many questions on the topic years before others took notice. Today, social equity is a cornerstone of sustainable actions along with transparency and accountability of manufacturing practices. The USGBC has made Social Equity one of the their top priorities in 2009.

RECYCLE BEFORE YOU REPLACE: About the same time I met Marilyn, I met Rose Tourje, a Procurement contractor for LACCD Builds Green and also the founder of ANewFound.org. A New is a the non-profit the collects and repositions used office furniture into other non-profits and schools, thereby keeping them out of the landfill and extending their useful life. The tax benefits of recycling vs. land filling pays for the repurposing of products. That's inventive thinking where everyone wins - companies pay less, the earth isn't impacted and the non-profits get free furniture.

GOT ETHICS? Under green transparency and accountability lies "ethics" for business in general. It's something I never thought about before until I met Elana Cantor. To me, ethics is something you either had or didn't have and it couldn't be trained. Her blog Funny Business, travels along the blurred lines of of marketing where black and white are less defined when jobs are at stake. After this little Wall Street meltdown, we can expect to see (hopefully) an ethics renaissance.

BIG MOTHER IS WATCHING: If you can't afford ethics training, just read up on the blogs that green women write and you'll see what you can get away with or not in this new VERY Social Media environment. For a quick look of on going topics go to Twitter.com/greenmoms. I've learned so much from these women who are (yes, mothers), but also lawyers, environmental engineers, marketers, LEED AP, Authors, activists and in short - a group who knows how to use their very articulate voices. Their carnivals are a monthly feature on In Women We Trust.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Before blogs, history was "written by the winners," today history (and the future) is being written by the writers.I'll be watching for more Underwires to report on in 2009. If you have someone you would like highlighted, please let me know.


If you still are feeling the bad news of 2008 and need an upper to jumpstart 2009, head over to GoodTube.org, founded by yet another woman, Kimberly Klintworth.