Open Leadership – by Charlene Li of Altimeter Group

In 2008, I wrote several posts about Groundswell by Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li of Forrester Research. Since the publishing of Groundswell, Charlene has left Forrester to start Altimeter Group, along with several other great people.

I responded to an inquiry put out on her blog by Charlene for people to review the book on their blogs. She was kind enough to send me a galley copy:

She held up her end of the bargain and sent me a copy. I’ve been lagging on mine. I’m reading the book now and will have a review up soon. Groundswell became an integral part of classes on social media and marketing at UC Davis Extension and based on what I’ve read so far, Open Leadership will become part of many discussions in class as well.

While, I’m reading it, I recommend you do as well. It’s already one of the bestsellers on Amazon, let’s keep it there so we can help open up the thinking of as many companies as we can.


The “C” Word – Content – Is Now Banned Here

Get your minds out of the gutter!  I’m talking about “content.” I’ve used the term a lot here on this blog and when talking with people about, PR, marketing and social media. I’ve been trying to cut down on using it and after reading this great post from Gary Goldhammer of Edelman, I’m going cold turkey.

Here’s the reason. People don’t like “content.” Nobody starts their day looking for “content.” People want stories. They want to learn about new things, maybe be entertained.

So, if you see me writing about “content,” please send me a note, yell at me or throw something heavy.

Sac Area PR Firms Hiring Senior People Again

A little over a year ago I started a news site covering marketing news in the Sacramento area. I shuttered while I had a contract with one of my former employers, Edelman. That contract ran out and I am debating re-starting or something similar.

Part of the reason I am looking at getting it going again is that news is being made again. Agencies are hiring! Want some examples?

Ogilvy hired Paul Hefner as SVP of Public Affairs.  Paul’s been a political consultant for the past few years. He’s been a director of comms for a few California Assembly Speakers and a State Controller. Add in a solid journalistic career and a stint as a Capitol Bureau Chief and I would say that Paul is going to be a huge asset to Ogilvy as they try and wrestle comms around California High Speed Rail program they won last year.

Also, Perry Communications has hired Peter DeMarco as an SVP. How’d I find out? Facebook of course.

Looking for something to do? How about volunteering

Last year I made a decision that the pro-bono work I was doing was going to be more focused on people rather than business. I still support the business and venture organizations I used to contribute time to, but now if I’m donating time I want to directly help people, not companies.

With that in mind, today I was part of a training for DOVIA Sacramento. DOVIA is the “Directors of Volunteers In Agencies.  I often hear people say, I want to volunteer, but don’t know where to start. let me help you out there. The Volunteer Center of Sacramento has a page with some great family friendly volunteer opps this summer. Check it out at

Thanks for having me, it was a fun group committed to helping people.

Make it happen – Create your own internship, job, whatever…

It’s tough out there for graduating college students looking for a job or an internship. Heck, it’s tough out there for everyone.  It’s tough for me to find enough clients. It’s tough for my clients to find revenue. You get the idea.

Here’s an article in the Wall Street Journal by Jonnelle Marte about students, who didn’t sit around and wait for the right internship to find them. They went out and created their own.

The article includes comment from  Colleen Sabatino, our client at  I would keep an eye on the students mentioned in this article, they are definitely examples of people who live the mantra of,” the harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Amgen Tour of California Rolls Through El Dorado Hills

The Amgen Tour of California kicked off today and rolled right through El Dorado Hills. We sat on a curb about a mile from our house as some of the best cyclists in the world raced by.

You can follow all of the action via Twitter with hashtag #atoc. Also, thanks to JoeE of the Amgen Tour of California who responded to my emails today during the race so I could give updates to those around us of when to expect the racers. Great job of fan engagement.

Also, as cool as it was to see the race, sharing it with my youngest, was even cooler.

Get Your Swagger On The Water – Two Totally Different Examples of Online Videos That Work

I’ve written many times about creating video that people choose to watch and share with others online. Some of my favorites are the Johnnie Walker video with Robert Carlyle, Batting Stance Guy, Dude Perfect and yes, Tiger Woods with EA.

I have two more great examples to share. Both very different.

In a class a few months ago I dinged Toyota for including a URL for their YouTube channel in their TV spots for the Sienna minivan when they didn’t have any good content related to the van on the channel.  In the class, one of the students said that she was prompted to go to the site after watching the ad and actually was angry when there wasn’t anything worthwhile to see. It seems that maybe their advertising was just a little out of sync with their new video because “Swagger Wagon,” has definitely taken off:

The second spot seems less like a commercial and doesn’t even really mention the product (which may provide some issues as to non-disclosure etc.) but uses a mockumentary style to highlight the “new sport,” of “Liquid Mountaineering.” Read more about the campaign from Hi-Tec Sports on Social Times.