Posts Tagged ‘innovation’
“You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Trey Pennington, quoting Zig Ziglar on June 16, 2011 in Knoxville TN.
It’s amazing what becomes water cooler news in my office. Today, it was Trey Pennington. Although I personally never met him his work inspired me. The news of suicide today bounced across Mashable and whilst America slept, we in Sydney quietly mourned. Trey was a father to 6, husband, gentlemen, author and gifted speaker. He was a member of his community and an active member of the community of social media evangelists that I work with. He often inspired lectured small business owners with his posts, updates and pictures and he and I’s social graph overlapped time and time again.
What I liked about Trey was his style. He was not only witty, he was also and moreover willing. He did the work that he could because he could. He was “authentically helpful”.
Trey’s work reflects that he too saw the world differently. He was a storyteller. He resonated what I tell my clients all the time and he was known for reminding businesses “You don’t own your brand.”
Trey’s death disturbs me. Being an East Coast Southerner he was grain-fed and nurtured on the same business manifestos that I cut my teeth on – The Secrets of Closing the Sale, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, etc. He ran in the right circles, spoke at the right conferences, coached Congressmen, and led big business to reconsider their messaging and marketing. At the end of it, he had nothing left to live for inside himself. It’s tragic.
Today in quiet reflection about Trey Pennington I thought about all my colleagues around the world who work day in and day out in social media as well as of the family of the deceased. The Greeks and the Jews have a unique and shared custom as it relates to death and passing. Both wish those who survive “Life to Us” and “Long Life”. Whilst that is a daily and constant wish for all in my meditations and in my tweets I think my colleagues in the digital enabling realm need a bit more. We give, we share, and we do because we can. We need more than just length of days.
As in any field that involves leadership and innovation, working in digital content creation, community and collaboration is challenging. It is not for the faint of heart, the thin skinned and for anyone who is not totally and authentically connected to what they do with the courage to do it, day in and day out. Someday we might be revered like astronauts but today we are perceived as marketing rogues and digital space cowboys more so than agents of change. We train, we learn, we experiment. We mix, we match and we measure, measure, measure. Every time we are blasted into a new client’s microcosm we willingly accept that there is no such thing as static as each interaction and listening point becomes transformational. Knowledge is power. (Somehow I keep visualizing the Incredible Hulk…)
I think each and every time we take on a new voice, we knowing lose a little of our own. The darkness out there is expansive. For some of us, all that is not illuminated represents is a vast appreciation of all that we don’t know and may never get a chance to explore. It is the weight of inner space. It’s deafening. It is maddening and like any revolution, it claims a few good men. Trey Pennington, RIP.
Today someone sent me a link to this video in an email. The subject just said this: “Hey Steph – I Get It.” My friend Brian Solis @brianSolis (author of Engage – a must read for marketers and forward thinkers) sheds some light on the important role the Digital Sociologist plays in what I refer to as “social marketing architecture“.
This little post is for all those people who struggle to understand the importance recognizing the “social consumer” and the necessity of the Digital Sociologist in the ideation, planning, development and execution of new media engagement strategies. It is simply not enough to throw up a brand Fan page on Facebook.
Driving connection through a bought audience using competitions and contests does serve to list build and nudge the brand mention figures in analytic reporting, drive a few impressions, etc. but at the end of the day you gotta ask:
“Where is the love?”
It’s almost like a relationship with a prostitute – it feels great for five minutes but over when money changes hands. Empty. Devoid of emotion, loyalty and deep connection.
With so many opportunities in the social web to foster rich meaning through conversations and connections just being present/visible isn’t merely enough. The brand story has to be unique, authentic and relate-able. The value of remarkable social articles (the kinds of things that people seek, discover and voluntarily share to their streams) trumps fancy brand badges that bear no lovemark value. If I wouldn’t tattoo a brand name on my ass it is highly unlikely that I will utter that brand’s name in my sleep. In the digital landscape I see Inception beginning at the conversational level and happening because those engaged are driving discussions.
What do you think?
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