In Women We Trust -- book review
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being a stop on author Mary Hunt's virtual book tour for In Women We Trust: A cultural shift to the softer side of business, published by and available from Windsor Media Enterprises.
First, here's my short review of the book. Next, I'll post some tidbits from our conversation.
Mary's thesis is pretty simple, and not totally unfamiliar. Women have significant buying power, and businesses should pay attention. That's the really familiar part :-) She discusses how women are taking that buying power and using it with companies and service providers that sell to them in a female-friendly manner. And she doesn't mean packaging it in pink.
The key, she says, is to approach and sell to women in a manner consistent with and respective of women's culture. Women buy differently than men do. In order to sell your product to her, you have to approach her the way she wants, answer her questions, deliver a level of customer service that she demands, gain her trust. She identifies nine "Trust Points" Community, Respectful, Considerate, Fun, Safety, Honesty, Reliability, Thoughtful and Loyalty. If you deliver on the trust points, she says, women will buy. And you'll reap untold benefits because women will tell each other about their good experiences with you, your store, your products. If you don't....
Now, none of this is big news. Especially if you are a woman
What makes this book really worth adding to your marketing bookshelf are the checklists she gives for the Nine Trust Points. Even though the concepts are fairly easy to understand, this stuff is hard for many companies to do. In part because it means giving back some control to the consumer, which is really really hard for corporate America's command and control culture. The checklists give you a place to start ... asking the right questions, evaluating your performance and delivery and service, and so forth.
This would be a very useful book for marketers who want to reach out to the female consumer, and don't know where to start. It's a quick read and it will get you going. And if you already know where to go, but just need a little help convincing others, leave a copy on their desks :-)
Next post: my chat with Mary.
Week's end wrap-up, August 10 2006
Things have been pretty serious on the Roadmap lately, so I thought I'd wrap up the week with some lighter topics.
Starting with my favorite post-BlogHer post: My Thoughts on BlogHer 06 by Millie Garfield (Thoroughly Modern Millie/My Mom's Blog). I wish everyone could take as much joy out of life as Millie clearly does.
We have a hummingbird in the garden. This may not seem like much to many of you, but with 4 dogs and 3 cats, birds have been known to view our yard with some suspicion. We had a hummer a couple of years ago, so I started putting out hummer food, but this week was the first time I had seen one since that first sighting in 2004. They are the most amazing birds. I will try to get a picture, although I doubt I'll be able to capture it.
Instead, I will share a photo of a Rufous Hummingbird taken by my cousin, who is an absolutely amazing bird photographer. This photo appeared on the cover of a bird magazine (name of which escapes me.)
photo copyright Thomas Johnson
I'm off tomorrow, and won't be online again until late Sunday, so I wish you all a wonderful weekend!
Open your eyes: Blogs and gender
Interesting conversation over at Neville Hobson's blog about gender. Neville started by stating that gender of a blog author doesn't matter to him -- what matters to him is the content.
Of course, content is what matters. Good writing, interesting ideas and original thought are what make you want to read, and continue reading past the first post. But gender does impact how likely it is that you will find a blog. As I commented on his blog, in a specific search, the odds may be a bit more even, but:
"Where it gets sticky is when you search a blog directory on a broad term like “public relations.” I just did it on technorati (http://www.technorati.com/blogs/public relations) and the first 9 results are written by men. And the 10th is Marketing Profs.
Same with the memetrackers, especially in the tech space - there does seem to be a male bias (see Chris Carfi’s post http://www.socialcustomer.com/2006/08/mr_rivera_tear_.html)
And then there are the lists. Sure there are blogs written by women on the various top-whatever lists, but they are predominantly (still) written by men. And when you look at who they link to, you should not be surprised if their chums are also lots of guys."
And the conversation continued from there, with a great deal of back and forth between Neville and me, along with comments by, , and
I'm not suggesting anyone should read a blog or link to a blog simply because it is by a woman.
Here's the thing, though. We tend to "hang out" in an online community of like-minded people. I forget which one of my respected PR and marketing colleagues pointed this out (identify yourself and get the recognition you deserve) but our virtual communities, not unlike our real ones, are about 50-100 people. We read many of the same blogs, we comment, we make an effort to meet up at conferences, and so on. You may belong to one or more overlapping communities, and even some very dis-similar ones if you have wide-ranging interests. But it is quite likely that you'll gravitate toward one. For me, it is the collective group of PR/marketing blogs (big surprise there!). I read lots of other things too, but not as deeply. For example, I like the shows created by Joss Whedon, but I only read Whedonesque regularly.
In other words, in most subjects, I skim the surface, whereas in my chosen area, I take a pretty deep dive.
When we take that "deep dive" into a subject, in some subjects, like PR, we are likely to be finding blogs by men and women, and choosing them based on the content we find there, not the gender of the author. In other subjects, like technology, you will find women, but you have to look hard. The men have a far bigger profile. And there are not many women at the top.
When we skim, odds are that our list will have more male authors than female, simply because the men are easier to find. I'll use politics as an example: I scan about half a dozen political blogs. Four are "owned" or written by men, while only two are driven by women, Ariana Huffington, Huffington Post and Chris Nolan, Spot-on.
Gender doesn't make you a better writer or thinker. Gender shouldn't matter in the blogosphere, or anywhere else for that matter, unless you are picking a mate, and perhaps not even then, unless reproduction is one of your goals.
But no matter how often or loudly we say that gender doesn't matter,
And that's why BlogHer (and other efforts to even the playing field) are so important. We aren't proposing some sort of "blog affirmative action" where you must have so many women or minorities in your feed reader. That's simply absurd.
What I, and many other women, suggest is that you examine your biases -- conscious and sub-conscious -- and make a choice. Stay in your comfort zone, where you know everybody and they know you. Or take a step out, a virtual "walk on the wild side," and look for new voices. Perhaps even ones that disagree with you. We could all use a bit more diversity and a little less "group think."
Gender doesn't matter when it comes to smart thinking. But it is an issue. So please, folks, open your eyes. I know it's unpleasant to remember that we still don't have equality of the sexes, but we don't. Ignoring it does NOT make it go away.
You may think you're being gender blind, but I'd tell you, you are simply blind about the issue of gender.
A final example. Some have wondered why we need a women's blogging conference. We don't have men's blogging conferences, they say.... After I get through banging my head on the wall at that, I remind them, that's because most conferences ARE men's conferences. They just aren't advertised that way. Bringing these issues to light, and creating a space where women (and like-minded men) could work on them together, is why BlogHer was founded and why so many women of different backgrounds embrace it. As Mary Hunt points out, we are part of a long tradition of women getting together to build strength in numbers. Susan B. Anthony anyone???
Be truly gender-neutral. Seek out the different voices. Not because they are women or minorities but because you understand that the system favors a dominant group (in tech, it's white guys, sorry), and you want to push past that to meet some new folks with some new ideas.
Who maybe aren't just like you.
A bit more BlogHer
There has been quite a bit of criticism of BlogHer from women who did not attend the conference (Shelley Powers, Tara Hunt, Kathy Sierra), as well as some who did (Melinda Casino and others). Hugh Macleod did a cartoon, which as Elisa Camahort points out, didn't link to women who had been at the conference and wrote positive posts, only to men and posts of varying negativity.
Now we are all entitled to an opinion, and in this country, we have the right to express it. But, personally, I dislike criticism that doesn't offer an alternative. Don't like it, don't go. Or don't go again. There are things that concerned me during the conference -- I wrote a bit about them in yesterday's post, and I have some more thoughts here. But, offer the criticism with suggestions for improvement. Don't just complain. Or if you think the situation is beyond repair for you, do something else, go somewhere else. No conference can satisfy everyone. To be fair, some of the women mentioned above have already said that is their intention.
The conference wasn't perfect -- no conference is. Some of the sessions were great, some were not. Some of the sponsors did a great job. Some less so. The hotel has really gone downhill, but I didn't personally see any bugs, and the room was clean, so hey. Internet access was problematic, but it was also free. And besides, it was a good excuse to get out in the sun and talk to people.
Of course there was laughter and frivolous conversation. Pictures of and anecdotes about children and partners were shared. There was also a lot of serious conversation and networking. Just like any other conference. Maybe a bit less discussion of golf handicaps.....
My biggest concern? Tech and business folks were definitely in the minority. While I do not begrudge the mommy/personal bloggers any of their hard-won success and recognition, I do not wish all women who blog to be characterized as personal bloggers. We aren't, and some of us for very specific personal and professional reasons. After hearing about the coverage in the San Jose Mercury News and on c|net, I wondered if maybe the public impression of women bloggers was shifting too far to the personal, ignoring those of us who do not blog about our families, personal lives or food. Many of the very things I value in the BlogHer spirit -- community, participation, dare I say equality of opportunity -- were somehow transforming into something soft and girly, and therefore less serious. Apparently we don't laugh, we giggle. And so on. Yet there is absolutely no a priori reason why these values are "girly." It is a filter applied because the conference is driven by and for women.
And of course, why we needed BlogHer in the first place. I know it will come as a surprise to some but sexism does exist. Not as overt as it was before Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, among many others, burned the figurative (and sometimes literal) bra, and told the world that "a woman without a man was like a fish without a bicycle," but it is there. And women face it every day, whether it is the disdain given to a stay-at-home mom for her choice, or the roadblocks faced by a young career woman who wants to get ahead without becoming "one of the guys."
The older I get, the more I realize that we need spaces that are women-centered because no matter how you slice it, our culture is still predominantly masculine. And why I applaud BlogHer, and everyone -- women and men -- who participates in it.
The main BlogHer conference seems to be evolving into a place for the mom, the personal blogger, the solo entrepreneur. With BlogHer Business in New York in March 2007, we have the same opportunity to together build a vibrant community for women bloggers in the corporate space. Who aren't worried about monetizing their blog as much as they are about building the business case for social media in the enterprise. Who want to talk with others about how to do it, not be lectured at by someone corporate, white and probably male.
So count me in. It's going on the calendar today.
I met blogger/podcaster Nicole Simon at BlogHer. She had the best button: "Bubble 2.0." She also took a picture of me checking my email on my Blackberry during the Saturday reception as part of her ongoing research to prove that women have just as many tech gadgets as men. Yup, I'm a "crackberry" addict -- even to the point sending an email to a client from Diamond Head in Hawaii last November. Here's the evidence:
And finally, in the category of "you have got to be kidding me," just before the Saturday am session (you remember the Janes) a young woman went around to all the tables handing out little business cards for A NEW SHOW FOR WOMEN PREMIERING THIS FALL ABOUT LOVE, LIFE AND RELATIONSHIPS STARRING GREG BEHRENDT THE GUY WHO WROTE "HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU." Yeah, just what we need, another guy telling women how to fix their lives. Yuck. Well, at least we know he'll be trying to be funny unlike the other guys who think they know what's best. Calling Dr. Phil.
BTW, I don't believe this was an official sponsor, just the energetic spirit of the show's producers, so no fair tagging BlogHer on this one. Anyway, maybe it was something in the water Saturday morning......
8/25: trackbacks turned off due to spam
Well, actually post-BlogHer, but hey, if I could have found the time (and WiFi) to post during the conference, I would have. Instead, I stopped worrying about Internet access, read my email on my Blackberry and enjoyed talking to people. You know -- face to face :-)
So here's the report, in somewhat random order.
First, I think our session, Business Blogging Case Studies Unpanel, went very well. Every single one of our pre-conference volunteers made it, and they were all wonderful. The conversation and questions after the brief presentations were great -- lots of good material, everyone answering each other's questions, and asking new ones. We've got pages and pages of notes to distill into our "tips and traps" document. Watch for a draft sometime later this month.
Toby, Yvonne and I are very grateful to everyone who made it possible -- the BlogHer founders Elisa, Lisa and Jory and all their support staff, the case study volunteers, and everyone in the session, with a very special thanks to those of you who took the time afterwards to tell us how much you enjoyed it.
The conference itself. Last year, it was a bit of an experiment. This year, BlogHer is all grown up. It is a real, true, pink (not blue) blogging conference that happens to be focused on women bloggers. I think it was very successful, and certainly seems to have accomplished the initial goal, which was to let everyone know just where all the women bloggers were. Like any conference, it also had its good points and its rough spots.
Let's start with the good:
- Last year, there was a great deal of tension from and about the Mommy Bloggers. This year, I didn't sense that. In fact, it felt like the Mommy Bloggers had really come into their own, realized their market power and were ready to flex their muscles. To quote the 60s anthem, "I am woman, hear me roar." To that I say, good for you. Ride it all the way, baby. The sponsors sure understood mommy buying power, didn't they? (Subsequently I did read one woman's anti-mommy rant, but while there I did not feel it, so I'll stick with my comment).
- There have been some criticisms about the number of sponsors, the fact that they were given the podium before certain sessions that they sponsored and of course, the size small t-shirt from the condom company. Except for the Microsoft Janes on Saturday morning, and about them, I agree with Amy Gahran -- blecchh, overall I thought the sponsorships and how the sponsoring companies were handled was well done. In fact, generally better than at most conferences. Sponsors got value for money, attendees weren't hammered in the head by the sponsors, unless they chose to engage, and the GM cars were REALLY cool. BlogHer didn't pick the sponsor's t-shirts or the size, so let it go. Most importantly, BlogHer seeks sponsorships so it can have a great conference, with food and drink and parties and swag, while still keeping the registration costs down. Very few other conferences do that. If we have to put up with a little marketing to have a conference where full boat registration --all days, all events -- is about $250, what is there to complain about, hhmm????
- Closing Keynote. One of the best keynote panels I have ever seen at ANY conference. Chris Nolan was a superb moderator, and the four women on the panel Arianna Huffington, Grace Davis, Mena Trott and Caroline Little were funny, open, honest, witty, wonderful. In fact, I hereby add them all to my personal list of Wonderful Wicked Women Bloggers even though I have only met Chris and Grace, and briefly at that. Lisa Stone has a great wrap-up.
- No more lists!! When asked by a "BlogHim" what men could do to help women bloggers, Mena Trott said No more lists! Speaking of Mena, she took a little blog-heat for talking about SixApart's new VOX product when asked about the future. To that I say -- what's wrong with that? If that is what she is passionate about, and really believes in, what's wrong with her saying so. Obviously SixApart thinks this is the right direction for the future, otherwise they wouldn't have committed so much to it. And she was clear to say the product was not for the BlogHer audience, but rather for the large numbers of folks who just want to share among a smaller audience of family and friends. I think people just like to pick on her because she's young and sometimes less polished than her older counterparts in the industry. Just my .02.
Now to the rough spots. This is just my opinion, and YMMV.
- Overall the sessions I attended were good. But, the technical sessions seemed perhaps a bit too basic, and there was even less "Business Blogging" content than last year. One of the reasons people told us they liked our Unpanel was that it was one of the few business-focused sessions on the agenda. There was quite a bit of talk about perhaps suggesting a second track of advanced or business topics to the BlogHer organizers, which I would certainly support. I'm also going to think about where else I can suggest this Unpanel format. It had an energy that I really liked, and I'd love to do more of them. But.... as I've said before, I do believe the session has to have some structure and a collective product. Otherwise, it's just a chat.
- On a somewhat related theme, I did feel a bit overwhelmed by the mommy and food bloggers. There really weren't that many of us "business" types there (except of course the "Hims" and I'll get to that in a minute). Chicken/egg. Did business bloggers not come because there wasn't enough value or was the audience predominantly personal/small business bloggers, so therefore the agenda was developed for them in the first place. I really like BlogHer but I also want to find an event where the topics I am most interested in (business blogging, citizen journalism, using the new tools in business, etc.) are discussed in the same open, participatory manner that I so appreciate about BlogHer. Some have suggested the New Communications Forum. I plan to check it out.
- In response to the same question mentioned above about how male bloggers could help women, Chris Nolan replied LINK LINK LINK. Which is why I was really disappointed this morning when I read these opening lines on Robert Scoble's blog: "I think it’s interesting that I met two of my favorite bloggers for the first time at BlogHer (both of whom are men, Guy Kawasaki and John Battelle)." The rest of Scoble's post was great, and it is his blog so he can do whatever he pleases, but it just kills to see it start with links to other A-listers after the conversation at BlogHer. Then, when I went wandering over to Kawasaki's blog, I found that pictures taken of him with Scoble and Winer (3% of the Technorati 100) seemed to be what floated his boat. Again, someone I respect and enjoy reading but it seems like maybe he missed the point??? Apparently I am not the only one who's noticed this -- check out Chris Carfi's post where he relates that about 70% of the BlogHer related posts on techmeme this am, starting with Dave Winer's somewhat misogynistic screed, were written by men, while the percentage of male attendees at the conference was somewhere just north of 10%. Hhmm. The explanation from techmeme (in the comments) is that techmeme has a tech skew. Again hhmm. Not good enough. It seems white men can't dance, but they still can link. To each other. This is what has to change for interesting women tech and business bloggers to break through.
A completely non-comprehensive list of some folks I ran into/chatted with at BlogHer:
- Beth Kanter, shoe and handbag blogger extraordinaire;
- Robert Scoble. I'd never met him before and even though I kind of pick on him above, I was glad to meet him, and found him to be a delightful, generous person. After the closing keynote, I was chatting with Erin Caldwell from Forward Blog (and Edelman) about her sightseeing plans for the following day. Scoble joined the conversation and proceeded to give Erin some wonderful travel hints for San Francisco. I also chatted with Patrick Scoble in the buffet line (about how boys like watermelon -- he agreed) and he seems like a really nice kid.
- Evelyn Rodriguez. I wish I had more reasons to chat with Evelyn on a regular basis. Her perspective really helps you sharpen your own.
- Mary Hunt, author of In Women We Trust
- Tish Grier, my fellow Massachusetts and Corante blogger
- PR/Marketing pals Josh Hallet and Jeremy Pepper
- Nancy White who interviewed me in the podcast session.
- Elisa from Breakingranks
- Amy Gahran has created a wiki for BlogHer posts.
- Nellie Lide
August 25: trackbacks turned off due to trackback spam
BlogHer 06 Business Blogging Unpanel
Well, regular readers have noted that blogging has been ultra-light recently. Reason? Burning the midnight oil on client work so I can enjoy my trip out to BlogHer at the end of the week.
I am really looking forward to the whole conference, but particularly the Saturday "Unpanel" on Business Blogging.
More than once, I've had a bit of angst about this, worrying that maybe nobody would step up and volunteer to share their case studies.
Well, I needn't have worried. My fellow women bloggers have come through and we are going to have some great case studies to get us started. And I hope that EVERYONE attending the session chimes in as we go along. No experts here. Just folk figuring it out as we go along :-)
I've posted a summary doc with all the links to the various case studies on my site. You should also check out the BlogHer post on the session (where this will be cross-posted.) One of the blogs is no longer active, but we have some docs and screen shots, also on my getgood.com site. Please, if you are planning to attend this session at BlogHer, take a few minutes to check out the blogs. While we will have WiFi, we will NOT have an overhead projector during the session.
And don't forget, we have a great giveaway, thanks to Debbie Weil, who couldn't be with us but has donated a copy of her new business blogging book. Hot off the presses!
My thanks to the wonderful women who have volunteered their case studies for this session: Stephanie Hendrick, Jody DeVere (Ask Patty), Celeste Lindell (Average Jane), Heather Sanders and Lori Taylor. And a special thank you to my co-panelists Toby Bloomberg and Yvonne DiVita who joined me in this experiment, and without whom the blogosphere would be a far less pleasant place.
Thanks! See you in San Jose.
BlogHer Unpanel on Business Blogging
Here's the scoop on the session:
This panel isn’t about us. It’s about all of us. Call it an “unpanel.” Call it a “rap session.” What we call it doesn’t matter. What we do, does. And what we are going to do is share our business blogging stories and then build a set of business blogging “best practices” based on our experiences. Everyone is part of the panel, and we’ll just do the best we can to keep up with the brilliance in the room.
Here’s the format. The first half of the session is devoted to case studies. Our goal is eight – we have three committed, so we need BlogHers who plan to attend the session to step up and volunteer to share yours. How do you do that? Respond to this message (Please respond on the BlogHer site at this link) and tell us “I’m in” and let us know about the blog URL you plan to discuss in July.
During the session you’ll have 5 minutes to tell us the objectives of the blog, what worked, and what didn’t. Giving us the URL in advance lets us all check out the blog so you have to spend less time in exposition. And please, participants, do at least take a look at the blogs volunteered for the session. It will help us all get to the meat, which is creating our best practices deliverable.
Because what’s an unpanel without a collective product [You can see, Susan (who wrote this) really is a socialist at heart.]
The second half of our session is devoted to a group discussion. And we aren’t there just to chat. We want to leave the room with at least the shell of a best practices document –things that work become our best practices, things that didn’t are warning signs. This is the critical piece of this session. Without the deliverable, we’ve had a nice chat. When we create this document, we’ve helped ourselves and others be better business bloggers. Cool, huh.
So, please, if business blogging is your bag, and you are planning to attend this session, consider sharing your story. Yvonne, Toby and Susan can fill the time, but we don’t want to. We want to hear from and talk with you. Way more fun :)
Here are the case studies already on deck. Add yours in the comments. First come, first served. Five spots left, and we will do the session in the order received on the BlogHer site.
Masi Guy at http://masiguy.blogspot.com/
Know Your Bones at www.knowyourbones.com
Our Fathers Who Art in Heaven at http://murak.blogs.com/
Research from Stephanie Hendrik, a doctoral student from the University of Sweden: Stephanie will present research about when companies do inauthentic things with blogs. Things like fake blogs and fake commenters. Due to ethical considerations, she is keeping the the blogs in the study anonymous, but she is preparing a brief abstract for us which we’ll post here.
Two questions we know we’ll get:
Q. Can I talk about more than one blog?
A. Yes, but you still only have 5 minutes. Use them wisely.
Q. Will you stop taking volunteers after the 5 spots are filled?
A. Nope, keep signing up. People may decide to go to another session, or that they don’t really want to speak. Some people may take less than 5 minutes so we’ll have extra time. Who knows what will happen. Until it happens! So please sign up. We’ll go in order received until the time allotted for case studies runs out.
If you are planning to attend BlogHer, please consider joining us and sharing your blog case studies. Please sign up on the post at the BlogHer site --it is a whole lot easier if all the sign-ups are in one place. Thanks.
(cross posted to Marketing Roadmaps and MarCom Blog)
My penultimate Syndicate post... finally
Well, I never thought I would be so busy that it would take nearly a month to finish up my reporting on Syndicate, but so it goes.
Before I get to the final sessions, and my chats with the "bad boys of PR," I want to remember to share one observation. At and after the conference, there was a some gnashing and wailing that not more marketing and PR people attended this conference, even though the content was extremely germane to their practice areas. The reason is simple: they don't see the value. Why? First, the conference sounds techy - syndicate, RSS, all sorts of terms that make marketing folk blanche. Second, it is expensive against the perceived value. Finally, and most important,white men may not dance, but they sure do blog and podcast. With a few exceptions, the speaker list was a list of insiders, and mostly white guys. It's a club. No one wants to go to a club meeting when they are going to be the outsider sitting alone during the coffee break.
I may sound like a broken record, but this is why I am such a fan of BlogHer, and the truly participatory community that it has engendered. See you there!
Back to Syndicate. At this late date, a synopsis of the two final sessions seems somewhat redundant. So in reverse order, let me tackle first Doc Searls and then the PR session, and simply give you some impressions.
This was the first time I saw Doc Searls speak, and I definitely see why he is in such demand. He gives a good show. He spoke about the differences between the static web and the live web -- which by the way are far more evocative for me than the terms 1.0 and 2.0. One of his concepts that I really liked was the "rolling snowball" -- "if it's a good idea, it can't just be yours." The value chain is replaced by the value constellation. Attention has been replaced by Intention. It's not advertising, it's people searching for info. He also talked a bit about the gesture stuff, which is still a bit unclear to me. But that's okay. Then he ended with a bunch of claims, just to get people thinking. Here are the ones I was able to capture.
A free market is not 'your choice of site'
The consumer is a relic of the industrial economy
The Net is not a place where 'consumers' 'access' 'content' -- it is about production
Branding is for cattle. Respect is for human beings
Everything and everybody is becoming unbundled (mentioned Terry Heaton as a leader on this thought)
TV as we know it is already dead (1 in 3 teens can't name the leading networks, FCC moving TV off branded channels by 09)
Clear Channel killed commercial radio. Listeners are resurrecting it.
Hi-def will be cheap and standard by the end of the year
Email marketing is creepy. So is SEO. (My opinion: especially SEO)
Livest part of the live web is cell phones.
Everybody is already an influencer. We're all getting networked.
Closed formats are doomed. (Ed comment: Amen) Majority of desktops and laptops in 5 years willbe LINUX (lively conversation here)
Radio is going to be fine as long as they put them in cars
On branding: it's not brand, it's reputation
Next post: The PR Boys at Syndicate.
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It's Springtime, Must be Showtime
It's a rite of passage -- that moment when you realize that the bulk of industry conferences and trade shows are scheduled in the Spring and early Autumn. Not all, mind you. There are trade shows going on all year long in the USA. But the concentration in May June September and October, at least in the US, is amazing. You could literally go from conference to conference, just returning home to get clean shirts and underwear. I suppose some people do.... At least I hope they are getting clean undies....
Anyway, here are a few conferences and events coming up over the next few months that marketing and PR folk should check out.
Next week in NYC, Syndicate (May 16-17). Everything you always wanted to know about syndication. I will be live-blogging the conference for Corante. Posts will appear here and on the Corante Marketing Hub for sure, maybe some other places too. PubSub is aggregating the blogs from speakers, sponsors and attendees.
NYC, June 8-9, the 2006 Innovative Marketing Conference, sponsored by Corante and the Center on Global Brand Leadership of Columbia Business School. It is a two-day event. The first day is a "CMO Summit" for CMOs and VPs of Marketing. The second day is a "Marketer's Forum" open to the public. I'm not attending this one, as I have a conflict, but the speaker list is fantastic, so I urge you to check it out. Somewhere in my pile of email is a note that my readers can get a discount, so if anyone is interested, drop me a note and I'll dig it out.
Interested in bank marketing? I certainly am, thanks to my client who sells CRM systems for banks! The Boston Chapter of the AMA is getting an exclusive first look at TD Banknorth's new marketing campaign from Tom Dyck, TD Banknorth EVP and Director of Marketing. The presentation will be held Friday June 9 from 11 am - 1:30 pm at Banners Restaurant at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. Plus we get a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Garden, including areas not usually accessible to the public.
San Jose, CA July 28-29. BlogHer. Day One is sold out, but last I heard, there was still space at the cocktail party and for Day Two. Come be part of the Business Blogging unpanel on Day Two that I am doing with Yvonne DiVita and Toby Bloomberg. We want you to come share your stories!! The whole concept of the unpanel is that everyone participates and together we build a collective deliverable. In this case, we'll call it best practices for business blogging. More background on the unpanel in this post. And more to come late May, early June.
Disclosures: I am a member of the Corante Marketing Hub and the Boston Chapter of the AMA, and a speaker at (and longtime fan of) BlogHer.
BlogHer 06 Room of Your Own Update
Our proposal for a Business Case Studies Room of Your Own at BlogHer 06 made the cut. Toby Bloomberg, Yvonne DiVita and I will be leading a "rap session" about business blogging on Saturday July 29 from 1:30-3:00pm.
We'll kick off the conversation, but the underlying concept is that everyone in the room is the panel. Our goal is both to learn from each other in the room and produce a business blogging tips set so that others can benefit from our collective wisdom (and mistakes!)
I'm really looking forward to the session. I already know that two of my favorite marketing bloggers will be in the room with me. There's no artificial dividing line between the panel and the audience -- no somebodies here, we're all nobodies, and everybody has an equal voice. And we have the goal of a specific work product from the session, the tips. We won't just be talking to hear our own voices, we'll be focused, working toward delivering something of value.
On the subject of conferences, and the oft-heard complaint that it's always the same speakers saying the same things, you won't find that at BlogHer. BlogHer deliberately seeks out new voices. The sessions will definitely not be the same old same old.
And, oh yeah, you will find a higher percentage of women speakers than you've probably experienced since Girl Scouts :-)
Hope to see you there.
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