Connect the Dots

We all lost a true visionary yesterday.  Rest in peace Steve Jobs, a man who literally shaped and defined our future.  In his honor, please take five minutes to read 2005 his Stanford University Commencement address. It’s Beautiful.
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Adventures in Shameless Exploitation

by Jackie Scott
Ok Ladies…now that I have your attention, can we talk?  Where have all the good men gone?
It seems to me that every time I tune into the major networks, I attempt to tune out the latest shameless behavior associated with the bad boys of Hollywood.  And in this age of “equal opportunity” the woman of Hollywood are no slackers either.  The bad girls of Hollywood have  demonstrated that when it comes to shameless  behavior, it’s an equal opportunity playing field!
So my question is…can we  clone Paul Newman?  Here’s a guy who served his country proudly, worked hard at honing his craft and leveraged his fame to build a small fortune for local and global charities.
Paul Newman (1925- 2008) was a talented actor, director, creative entrepreneur, humanitarian and professional race car driver.  Newman co- founded Newman’s Own, a line of food products in 1982 with A.E. Hotchner.  The humble brand started in his kitchen with home-made salad dressing and has grown to include pasta sauce, lemonade, popcorn, salsa, wine and other products.  Newman established a policy that all proceeds, after taxes, would be donated to charity.  As of 2010, the franchise has donated in excess of $300 million!  And no thats not a typo, Newmans Own brand has donated over $300 million to charitable organizations!  Newman co-wrote a book about the fundraising project with his partner Hotchner titled Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good. 

So I have the following message to share with  the bad boys and bad girls of Hollywood.  If you are going shamelessy exploit yourself, can you do it for a good cause?
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Philanthropic Pearls of Wisdom

By Jackie Scott

Seth Godin had a wonderful blog today  titled
“Selling the benefits of Charity”
http://bit.ly/qFaQZ9

 At the end of his blog post he had a terrific pearl of wisdom that I thought I would share with you.  Now I admit, I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to “pearls of wisdom” and over the years I have collected quite a few inspirational quotes on scraps of paper that I have tacked to my home office bulletin board.  In addition to the Seth Godin quote below, I have included a few of my own personal favorites.  Please feel free to comment, add your own and share your favorites with me!

 “I think marketers of causes that do good have a long way to go in selling the public on the core reason to give… don’t give because you get a tote bag, or a prize at the charity auction or even a plaque. The scalable unique selling proposition is that being part of the community is worth more than it costs” – Seth Godin

“Of those to whom much is given, much is required.” – John F. Kennedy

“You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give” – Winston Churchill

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Theresa

“Americans, Irish people, are good at charity. We like to give, and we give a lot, even those who can’t afford it. But justice is a higher standard.”- Bono

“Celebrity is currency, so I wanted to use mine effectively.”- Bono

“I prefer to be remembered for what I have done for others, not what others have done for me”- Thomas Jefferson

“Each of us must be the change we want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things”- Peter F. Drucker

“What we have done for ourselves dies alone with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal” –Albert Pike

“It is only the giving of oneself to others that we truly live” – Ethel Percy Andrus

“The practice of altruism is the authentic way to live as a human being, and it is not just for religious people. As human beings, our purpose is to live meaningful lives, to develop a warm heart. There is meaning in being everyone’s friend. The real source of peace amongst our families, friends and neighbors is love and compassion”. – The Dalai Lama

“A life not lived for others is not a life.”- Mother Theresa

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The calm after the storm

by Jackie Scott

The Friday night thunderstorm has passed and I awake to a glorious Saturday morning.  Weather permitting, one of my favorite weekend rituals is to leisurely  sip a hot cup of coffee in a comfortable chair on my back patio. The slate patio has dappled shade at this time in the morning and the strong trees that provide privacy and shade hold branches that are heavy and weighted from last nights thunder storm.  The branches are arched towards the ground and the rain is rolling off each leaf at a painstaking slow pace, one drop at a time.  As I reflect on the week behind me, I feel like like that big old elm tree grounded in my yard.  Strong, flexible and seeking balance after a terrible storm – one drop at a time.

Two strong, beautiful  women in my life  that I admire and love dearly are currently under going some medical  tests and in both cases the “C” word has been mentioned.  The “C” word always sends me into a tailspin.  I was in high school when my sister Kim was diagnosed with Luekemia.  Kim fought back hard with chemo, blood transfusions, radiation and “experimental”  bone marrow transplants.  She lost her battle on July 5, 1984, and to this day I lose myself with holding back tears  every time I think about her.  

Our family was large with 5 boys, 3 girls and Kim and I were 11 years apart.  When I was little, I was her “baby doll”.  She  would dress me up in frilly cloths and put bows on my very bald head so that I could never be mistaken as “one of the boys”.   When my parents divorced, Kim took on more of a motherhood role.  She took me for rides in the country in her car to escape the crazy disfunction at home,  treated me to  ice-cream sundaes when I got As  in school and told me about the “birds and the bees”. I  miss her so much.

The  filtered sun is now playing and dancing with the reflective little pools of water on my patio.  The birds are chirping and a butterfly has landed on the warm slate in a sunny spot  to dry  it’s wings.  His wings are glistening in the sun and appear extremely heavy with moisture. This graceful little creature is slowly opening and closing his wings  and I find watching him both rhythmic and soothing.  The weight of this past week feels a little lighter to me now.  I guess we all need to take some time to dry off our wings before we can take to the air again.

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Social Media sleeps, creeps and leaps.

 by Jackie Scott

How much time should you and/or your company invest in social media and how quickly will a social media campaign reap rewards?  It’s a tough question and every social media plan should define and measure successful outcomes such as community engagement, branding/awareness, direct response, subscriptions, revenue generation, lead generation, etc.

With that being said, social media success rarely happens over night. Unless  you are Ashtun Kutcher, Oprah, Alyssa Milano or Charlie Sheen it is highly unlikely you will acquire a mass following of adoring fans within 24 hours of sending your first tweet!

I think social media is a lot like gardening – gardens sleep, creep and leap.  After almost 20 years of sculpting my little plot of dirt on this earth with weed wackers, hoes and chainsaws I have finally achieved an intimate mutually beneficial  relationship with my garden.  When I first started gardening, I didn’t know the difference between Virginia creeper and poison ivy and after several agonizing, oozing rashes and cortisone shots, I can identify a poison ivy vine from 5 feet away!  I know the pH soil requirements and the location of every tree, bush and perennial plant and when they will appear: the deer resistant daffodils arrive during the last  week in April, the peonies and tulips soon follow in May, Day lilies in June,  coneflowers in July and Hydrangeas in August.  My winter garden provides color, texture and beauty too with brightly colored maple trees in the fall and evergreens in subtle shades of blue, green and amber throughout the winter months.

How well do you know your target audiences habits and behaviors and can you provide year round interest?  Think ecosystem to create mutually beneficial and meaningful year round relationships.  Be strategic, purposeful and understand the short term and long term investment required behind all successful social media initiatives.   You will reap rewards and earn your social media green thumb by embracing all of the seasons and understanding that success may not happen overnight, but with careful planning it will happen!  Social media sleeps, creeps and leaps!

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What can a Pearl Jam concert teach us about Social Media?

 by Jackie Scott

A friend of mine recently shared a Pearl Jam video on Facebook.  When I opened the link, I was instantly moved  by the lead singers introduction to the song “Betterman”.  While he was obviously addressing thousands of adoring fans in jam packed arena, I felt like he was talking directly to me.  This incredibly talented “rock star” was humble, authentic, funny and had the incredible gift of connecting with his audience.  Before one single note was played, he captured my attention , my interest and my desire to see more.  And once he began to play his guitar and shared his gift with the audience, something truly magical happened.  I was instantly mesmerized by the hauntingly beautiful tone of his voice and his ability to lead the entire audience into song. One man, one guitar and one unforgettable example of audience engagement through an interactive experience. 

How can we engage our followers in Social Media channels to sing our songs?

1. Be authentic –  If you are a rock star, be a rock star.  If you are a geek, be a geek.  Bottom line, just be yourself.

2. Provide meaningful content and gifts – Share info, links, video, pictures, blog posts, jokes, graphics, songs.

3.  Know your audience and understand their persona – Be strategic, purposeful, and understand the long term commitment required to create an active and engaged community of fans and brand ambassadors.

4. Listen and respond to your audience in real time – Know where your audience lives; listen and engage with them frequently.

5. Create a loyalty loop – The point of purchase is no longer the end point in customer/ client engagement.  Create brand ambassadors and evangelists by engaging with your followers and by providing excellent customer/client relationship programs.  Your customer/clients will be singing your songs in no time!

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BBB offers tips to avoid tsunami scams and non-profit posers

 by Jackie Scott

The massive devastation brought by the
earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011 was unimaginable less than one week ago.  Our hearts rejoice for the miraculous survivors and our prayers go out to the heartbroken families who continue to search for their sons, daughters, wives, husbands and friends.  As the search and rescue operation transitions into a disaster recovery mission, donations will be needed to  rebuild the region and to assist families affected by this tragic natural disaster. As you open your heart and your wallet, please give wisely.  After the tsunami disaster in 2004 and the earthquake in Haiti last year, many of the websites and organizations that were created overnight allegedly to help victims turned out to be scams. The Better Business Bureau gives the best advice here http://www.wgntv.com/news/weblinks/wgntv-japanses-earthquake-donation-scams-march13,0,2353910.story

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