Happy Birthday to me (and the social media revolution)

Wow-I can’t believe it has been almost a month since I last blogged. I told you September was going to be crazy! So I am preparing for a great weekend in New York, meeting new friends and celebrating my birthday with old friends and soaking up the wonders of Brooklyn.

When I get back I will fine tune my presentation for the Mayo Clinic. I am honored to have been asked to speak with such an esteemed group of people from the healthcare communications industry. I am a bit intimidated and excited to speak right after the amazing Shel Holtz ! I am excited about sharing my experiences with social media from not knowing a tweet from a twit to now having raised over $17,000 through our Twitter based fundraising campaign.

I was able to give my presentation a practice run at the New Media Conventions conference on September 18th here in Virginia Beach. It was a great crowd-and I was excited to see them tweeting and scribbling some of my tips. I am so jazzed to get people excited and inspired about using social media to spread their message, grow their business and change the world!

I wanted to share a quick story about my constant evangelism of social media. If you are a social media junkie you probably have these stories too! One of the things I get asked from all of my non-profit colleagues is “how do you sell your board on social media”–now I just show them this video or this video (thanks Matt Singley for that one). If your board or leadership are a bit older and less able to keep up with the frenetic pace of new media-you may need to show them these videos a couple of times. I wish they had them in PPT form so we could slow down the frames but I digress.

I was on the phone with my beautiful and talented mother:
who spent over 20 years in the advertising business. I was telling her about the bit of success I have had using social media for Operation Smile and how I was considering moving into a role that would allow me to create strategy and campaigns for lots of organizations, not just one. I mean imagine if I was able to help all sizes of organizations from small neighborhood soup kitchens to large international environmental agencies. If I could help them acquire new donors, engage volunteers, rally supporters then I could help millions of people around the world just by essentially playing on Facebook and Twitter.

“But isn’t this stuff just a fad” says my normally brilliant mother.

Snarky response from the bratty daughter:

“yes mom, at some point people will stop logging on to social networks, fast forwarding past commercials on tivo/DVR and using cell phones and instead they’ll ask for more yellow page books to be delivered while they slow down to look at billboards on the highway”

I was floored–my own Mom was still on the fence. We have a long way to go but the reality is, even my Mom is on Facebook (i’m tempted to put her link here so you can all friend her and freak her out) and her colleagues are there as well. We need only look at the facts; the data included in those videos I linked to before; to know that this is not a fad, this is a natural evolution, albeit a lightening speed one, into new channels, methods and philosophies of marketing.

I am more resolute than ever that what I am testing, learning, hearing, feeling, creating will take us all down the path to richer relationships with our customers/clients/donors/friends/partners/colleagues. I am anxious to learn, i mean how many of us read over 50 blogs almost daily and thirst for more. And on top of that, we read these blogs from our favorite people and consistently there is new info and data, more and more  “light bulb moments”. You can see my blog roll over there to the right and that’s not even all of them, just some of my favs!

My point is–stop thinking it’s a fad, dip your toe in if your scared but rest assured just like your first trip to the ocean, as soon as you feel the warmth and magic of the Social Media waters, you’re going to dive in and swim around until you resemble a prune!

Happy swimming-thanks for reading..I will be posting my presentation that explores how Operation Smile became engaged with social media after my the Mayo Clinic conference so stay tuned!

One last thing—if you feel so inclined to give me a birthday present (my birthday being Sunday 9/27) I am asking for donations to my very good friends new church project in Las Vegas. They changed/saved my life’sand are asking for $100 from 500 people for their new building. I’m sure they will not be mad if you donate $10 or $20 😉 thank you to the amazing Andrew Dellapietra of MobileMatters for a $100 donation!!!

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