#OmniNashville's Tweet-tastic Grand Opening

Pictured with Jay Cooney at Omni Nashville Hotel.
Sometimes being a socially savvy "in the know" Southern girl has it's perks. I was honored to be among some of Nashville's online influencers invited to a VIP dinner and tour of Nashville's newest luxury hotel…and participate in the #OmniNashville Twitter party at the same time!

Monday Sept. 30, 2013 Omni Nashville Hotel celebrated it's Grand Opening with an hour-long national Twitter Party & VIP Nashville gathering, hosted by @OmniNashville and @OmniHotels. The #OmniNashville hashtag was filled with pictures, facts and giveaways, including a stay at Omni Nashville.

For me, the best part was spending time with Jay Cooney, who manages Social Media for @OmniHotels from a corporate level and meeting Kellie Keyes, who manages social media for @OmniNashville (among other marketing duties), as well as others from Omni's marketing & communications team. My "marketing geek" hat was on as I learned all about how they planned the opening and manage communications as an internal team.


Think Like A Rock Star | Mack Collier on Turning Customers into Fans

I'm a fan of pop culture- just as much as I'm a fan of marketing. That's why Mack Collier's book, "Think Like A Rockstar," was such a win-win for me to read.

It's filled with stories of how rock stars and divas like Jewel, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and even one of my favorite Nashville 'ol schoolers- Johnny Cash, built their fan following by creating unique experiences that allow their fans to take ownership in helping the brand grow.

There are also examples of how companies like Red Bull, Fiskars, and Graco have used social media to build brand loyalty and celebrate the communities of their fans. If you get the book, look for tactical "Backstage Passes" throughout the book for clever ways to implement these fun learnings!


Adventures in Advertising - One Month Check In

It's been a month since my last blog post and since I've started my new job, so this is a quick post to let my friends and followers know I'm still alive! As you can imagine, I have found that starting a new job takes almost all of my focus outside of keeping Social Media Club Nashville events going and attending the occasional networking event.

I promise I'm learning a lot and will have a thoughtful and insightful blog post for you soon about my adventure in advertising aka #AgencyLife. Until then, here's a little entertainment for you in the meantime!

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Adventures in Advertising: I'm Going Back to Agency Side!

If you've ever had a conversation with me over coffee or at a conference or networking event, you know that my next big adventure is exactly what I've been seeking: working on integrated marketing campaigns with a national consumer brand. The needle in the haystack part has been finding that opportunity while staying in Nashville.

I've worked for ad agencies for the bulk of the beginning of my career and have been client side marketing for the past four years.

While I was not sure whether my next adventure would take me to client side (in-house marketing department) or consultant side (advertising agency), my goal is to make an impact with a national consumer brand in contributing my knowledge and expertise in traditional, digital and social media marketing.
I'm joining the Nashville office of Catapult Marketing- ranked Hub Magazine's #1 shopper marketing agency, where I'll be working on integrated marketing campaigns for the Mars Petcare account, which is known for its many consumer pet food brands, including Pedigree (woof!), Cesar, and Whiskas (meow!).
So, in a nod to one of the advertising greats, David Ogilvy, I'm celebrating the vast opportunities ad agencies have as consumer behavior changes along with technology. This is an exciting time to be working in advertising, especially with a firm like Catapult, which is rich in consumer and shopper data and analytics.


Jungle Gym Career Karma

I like the way Sheryl Sandberg put it in her well known book, Lean In, comparing career paths to jungle gyms, rather than ladders. It's not about who you step on or climb over to get to the top, in fact there really is no top because you can lose your job or have life events that change your status instantly.
Early in my career, I volunteered for committee roles in a professional organization, AAF Nashville. I did this to gain experience and meet people who could potentially help advance my career. I was reaching up to climb higher on the jungle gym.

As my career took many dips in being laid off, I held on to the connections I made through volunteering and networking at various marketing industry events. I circled my way around on the jungle gym, trying not to fall off. Often, I interact with others in similar career positions as me. We are there to hold each other up on the jungle gym.

After taking the initiative to start a professional networking group of my own in 2009, Social Media Club Nashville, I'm starting to see a shift in people reaching out to me for advice and assistance. I'm offering them a lift up on the jungle gym.

I embrace the irony in career karma, making a point to help everyone that I can because I've been in their position and am still reaching out to those more experienced than me. The person in career transition that you help today could be the one that introduces you to your next boss. You never know where your next move will be on the career jungle gym.

I recently participated in a 24 hour Design-A-Thon where Nashville's creative community donated marketing and design expertise to benefit Tennessee Literacy Coalition (TLC). I volunteered my time, not necessarily needing the experience or connections, but really giving back to the community. My role was on the Design-A-Thon marketing team, where we provided TLC with a twitter and blogging strategy, complete with SEO and social media training materials for their staff.

They were so grateful for the expertise. I was crying by the end of Design-A-Thon watching the Tennessee Literacy Coalition YouTube videos of the people we were helping. It was then that I realized the impact. It felt good to contribute and release some good career karma.

Whether you are volunteering for a professional organization, non-profit organization, or just helping someone reach their next career goal, I encourage you to remember that we are all a little higher or lower at times on the career jungle gym. Helping others will ensure that someone someday helps you. It's just jungle gym career karma.