#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!

Related post:


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.


#SMCNASH Social Care Event Recap + Top Tweets!

I'm very proud of the recent Social Media Club Nashville (SMCNASH) program I helped coordinate, which partnered HDI Music City and our wonderful event sponsor, Oracle, to bring the Nashville community a program on the hot topic, Social Care (Social Media + Customer Service). We gathered a top-notch panel of professionals to explore social care trends and best practices.

SMCNASH Social Care Panelists included:

The RSVP list was full!

200 Nashville business professionals registered for the event. We opened with a networking reception, with Oracle sponsoring an open bar and providing demos of their social products to get the conversation started.

We Trended on Twitter!

One of the highlights of the event was learning that @smcnash and @oracle were among Nashville's Twitter Trending topics that evening.

We reached over 30,000 people!
According to our #smcnash TweetReach Report, our conversations reached far beyond the room.

We learned a LOT about Social Care!
Check out my #smcnash + HDI Music City: Social Care Storify collection of favorite Tweets from the event >>>


From Traditional to Social Media: Tony the Tiger is Gr-r-reat!

Image via: Wikimedia Commons
If you are alive in the world today, chances are you've heard of Tony the Tiger. He's a brand icon that transcends decades. To refresh your memory...Tony the Tiger is the advertising cartoon mascot for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes breakfast cereal, appearing on its packaging and advertising since the early 1950's.

This Grrreat advertising icon, Tony the Tiger was born in 1951 as a concept of advertising agency Leo Burnett's Mad Men:  Eugene Kolkey, Raymond Anthony Wells (Tony's namesake) & Martin Provensen.  

Times have changed, but a few basic principles of good advertising have keept Tony the Tiger in the spotlight and on our breakfast tables all these years.

Consistent Brand Voice
Tony the Tiger's brand voice- stayed pretty much consistent, literally. Since 1952-For over 50 years, Kellogg's Tony the Tiger has had only one voice, that of Thurl Ravenscroft until his death in 2005.

Thurl created the brand's most famous slogan,"They're Gr-r-reat!"  Lee Marshall replaced him as the voice of Tony the Tiger in the Kellogg's commercials, but some commercials still recycle clips of Ravenscroft.


Cinderella's Social Media Engagement Lessons for Marketers

Once upon a time in a land far, far away....

Photo: wikipedia.org Creative Commons 2.5
You know the ending of the Cinderella story: She gets her prince and lives happily ever after. Before there was an "ever after," there was a path to her prince and actions she took that led to her engagement.  (Yes, engagement  has a double meaning in this blog post!)

How did Cinderella get to that magical point of engagement? Below are Cinderella's social media engagement lessons for  marketers.

1. Little blue birds are the best helpers.
Cinderella sang, and her little blue birds showed up to help her.

Marketers:  Your Twitter audience can be your best resource for product reviews, customer service and generating ideas for new products or services. Talk to to them, ask their opinions, and listen to them sing with you in the harmony of your brand. It truly is a magical thing when this happens!

2. Always have faith in your Fairy Godmother.
After her stepsisters cruelly destroyed the dress she planned to wear to the ball, Cinderella broke down in sorrow, beginning to lose her faith in dreams; However; her faith was still strong enough to summon her Fairy Godmother.

Marketers:  When your brand is attacked by online "trolls" who only seek to damage your brand reputation, have faith that your brand champions and advocates will be your Fairy Godmother to come to your rescue.  


Nashville Networking: Lessons learned from "New Business Networking"

I thought I knew a lot about networking until I read the book,  New Business Networking, by Dave Delaney. Seriously, my friends refer to me as the "queen of networking" in Nashville. Of course, I don't  claim to know everyone or everything, but I have met a few people along the way in creating and growing  Social Media Club Nashville.

Dave Delaney, author of New Business Neworking
New Business Networking has tons of stats mixed in with tips on using the latest social media and web tools. It is also peppered with stories of Dave's networking journey in Nashville. Similar to Dave, I made my way to Nashville via Jackson, TN and networked to meet friends who later ended up becoming co-workers. Small world!
I often refer to Nashville as a big small town where you are two degrees of separation from anyone you want to meet. I enjoy being a connector of people, organizing Social Media club Nashville events, and bouncing ideas off of others as I guide my Marketing career.

I'm pretty skilled at networking (if I do say so myself) but there's always more to learn!


Building Relationships Just Got Easier with LinkedIn Contacts

My LinkedIn Contacts "Rolodex" is now my personal Social Relationship Manager.

LinkedIn Contacts iPhone App views
I have over 1,700 contacts and growing on LinkedIn! I've always considered LinkedIn a digital Rolodex, adding connections as I meet them or see them pop up in LinkedIn suggestions. I've been looking at the new LinkedIn Contacts features and LinkedIn Contacts iPhone App to see what might make my life easier and improve my networking time management.

I synced my iPhone with the LinkedIn Contacts App and my LinkedIn Connections so I always have the most up to date info for my contacts. It also provides "on the go" networking with up to date activity from my network.

One feature I really like about LinkedIn Contacts is the daily reminder/task list called "your day" on the desktop version and "to do' on the app version, which conveniently suggests networking activities with my network based on things going on with them such as a new title or birthday -  Following Relationship Rule #1: make it about them! LinkedIn Contacts makes it easy to reach out to say "congratulations" and it helps me to always be "in the know" when I bump into people at events.


Lessons from Derek Young on Being a Trusted Advisor

I haven't written a blog post in a couple of weeks. I've been waiting for some inspiration to hit me in the head. Good news! Today at NAMA's Marketing Power Lunch, it did! I would describe the program as comical and amazing.

The speaker was Derek Young, a corporate advisor to companies such as Dollar General, Cracker Barrel, and Tractor Supply Company (and those are just the Nashville ones). But don't get me wrong, aside from telling us he has billionaire and Dollar General founder, Cal Turner's cell phone number, he's not a "name dropping" kind of guy.

If fact, one of the lessons learned from his presentation is to "Give people the flowers before they die," meaning don't wait to tell people they are great. Show your appreciation now.


Fake Friends and the Zombie Facebook Apocalypse

I manage Social Media Club Nashville's Facebook Group page and have noticed more and more requests to join the group from fake Facebook profiles. It has gotten to the point that I have to look at each one to see if it is someone in the Middle East that just opened a Facebook page within the last week and has no friends or photos aside from their smiling profile pic.

Here are the common things I've noticed from the fakers AKA Facebook Zombies:
  • They join a lot of groups and community interest pages
  • They did not fill out the about section
  • They "like" a ton of pages all within a small time frame, sometimes even hundreds within as little as fifteen minutes
  • They do not have any interactions, such as comments back and forth with others


Junior High 101: The Why and How of Popularity and Brand Advocacy

The opportunity for a brand to connect with an audience on an emotional level is more alive now than ever in the world of marketing.

Through social media, a brand has a personality. There's the brand voice in messaging and the visual representation in images and video. More impactful, is the ability to take advantage of a brand's popularity to make a connection and share an experience to propel brand advocacy.

popularity and brand advocacy
photo via: Flickr.com

Why does Popularity work? How does Brand Advocacy work?

1. Junior High 101: Popularity.

Everyone wants to be popular. Using social media listening tools, you can easily see who talks about your brand favorably and shares your content the most.

For whatever reason, these people are attracted to what you have to offer, whether it be a product or a service or maybe they just feel your brand says a lot about who they are or aspire to be.


Jason Townsend on NASA's Google+ and Social Media Marketing

I am pleased to have had the opportunity to sit down with one of the lead social media managers at one of the brands I #LOVE: NASA. Not only is NASA leading the way space discovery, it's utilizing multi-channel, targeted social media tactics to bring stellar experiences to us.

 [VIDEO] Jason Townsend, Deputy Social Media Manager at NASA and Georgia Cross, Co-founder of Social Media Club Nashville, discuss NASA's Google+ and social media marketing content strategies at the #moonbuggy #NASASocial event at NASA Marshall Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL (April 2013
Related NASA Social Media posts:


Brands I #LOVE: @NASA is a Social Media Star with #NASASocial Events

I've been following +NASA on Google+ for a while and always love seeing the pics from space, as well as the insider info on NASA events and Google+ hangouts about NASA's space exploration.

NASA hits it into space with social media! 
NASA truly has something for everyone with niche social media channels for all the different initiatives. Anyone can find their interest on NASA'S Social Media Connection Page. Imagine talking to astronauts IN SPACE! You can! Just connect with NASA via your favorite social media channels.

A brand with personality out of this world! One of my favorites..
Funny, suave, quirky, and sweet with a ton of pop culture references...meet @MarsCuriosity
(I think it's a guy...and I'm wooed by him!) I'm not the only one. See the Brandchannel.com article below.


Life of a Social-ITe at #TechVille2013 (Part 2)

So much is happening at TechVille 2013, I couldn't fit into one blog post!

Follow #TechVille2013 for LIVE TWEETS!
What: TechVille 2013 is the Nashville Technology Council's annual flagship event focusing on the state of technology in Nashville and highlighting technology innovation, talent, and entrepreneurship.

When: Tuesday April 23, 2013 from 8 am till 5 pm.

Basically, anyone who's anyone in technology in Nashville will be at TechVille and I'm all up in the mix of things going on!

Here are just some of the day's highlights I'm anticipating at TechVille 2013:

Great Speakers!

Keynote: Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association + speakers from Etsy, Moteva, Windstream, DePalma Studios, Populr.me -  See the full list of TechVille 2013 Speakers.

@NissanUSA is Sponsoring the Social-ITes!
This year Social Media Club Nashville's Social-ITes are proud to be sponsored by Nissan, which will have a Nissan Leaf (@NissanLEAF)  on site for us to explore the wonders of as we take the event social. Social-ITes (aka roaming reporters) are covering the event minute by minute as the most interactive form of media and PR: social media!

Visit @SMCNash's booth at TechVille!

Social Media Club Nashville will have a booth at TechVille. Look for us roaming around sharing the TechVille experience and happenings live on all the social networks. We'll show you all the latest #TechVille2013 Tweets and help you get social with some Twitter tips.

Vote me (@crossga) for "Mayor of #TechVille 2013"!

I've been selected to be in the running for "Mayor of TechVille" where the winning candidate will be determined via text vote. My platform is "The Social Connector," leveraging my fabulous social skills in connecting people. If you're attending, I appreciate your vote!

Whether you are there on site or not, please follow the hashtag #TechVille2013 and join in the conversation, follow all the Nashville Technology players, and feel free to reach out to me to connect you with who you want to meet! I'll track them down for you. It's all about building relationships.

See ya on the #TechVille2013 hashtag stream! Follow @NashTechCouncil for the roundup of speakers and sponsors.

Related TechVille posts and articles:


Life of a Social-ITe at #TechVille2013 (Part 1)

Social-ITe: Pronounced "social" as in Social Media and "ITe" as in as in Information Technology.

The term Social-ITe came from the Nashville Technology Council's staff last year when they partnered with me and a few other Social Media Club Nashville members to be roaming social media reporters at their annual tech event, TechVille 2012.
SocialITes | TechVille | #TechVille2013
Meet the Social-ITes!
(pictured left to right) Leah Mackey Schultz, Lisa French, Krista Ashton, Ashley Nicholson, Katie Adkins, and Georgia Cross.

Using our social media marketing skills and leveraging our network in Nashville, the Social-ITes helped trend the #Techville hashtag, to the top of Twitter in Nashville in 2013.

We had a blast tweeting quotes from speakers, featuring TechVille attendees and sponsors in photos, and posting video clips. No social network was left out: Facebok, Twitter, Instagram, FourSquare, Google+, and YouTube. The best part is that we shared the TechVille experience with people that weren't even there. They were chiming into the conversations and commenting on the event in real time. 

TechVille 2012 was such a success, that Social-ITes were asked to cover Social Media at the Tech Awards Gala. We were even featured in the Nashville Technology Council's annual publication, Catalyst 2013.  

It's a win, win, win situation being a Social-ITe! Social Media Club Nashville gets some exposure and recognition, Social-ITes get to make new connections while telling the TechVille story via social networks, everyone following the hahstag gets informed and entertained, and Nashville Technology Council gets a ton of non-traditional PR.

Social Media has the power to reach and connect unlike any other medium. The best part is...you...yes, YOU can get in on the action with this year's TechVille2013!

What: TechVille 2013 is the Nashville Technology Council's annual flagship event focusing on the state of technology in Nashville and highlighting technology innovation, talent, and entrepreneurship.

When: Tuesday April 23, 2013 from 8 am till 5 pm.

Follow: #TechVille2013 , @NashTechCouncil, @crossga (Me!)

 Look for Part 2 of this post Tuesday 4/23 with the inside scoop on Techville2013!

Related TechVille posts and articles:


Born to Blog | Mark Shaefer on Courage

I'm finding some inspiration in the social media marketers I've been bumping into at Social Slam and Social media Marketing World. Mark Shaefer was so kind to be my first video interview on my blog. So fitting that the topic is "courage to publish" from his book, "Born to Blog".

Mark Shaefer, Co-author of "Born to Blog" and I discuss blogging and the "courage to push publish" at the Social Media Marketing World 2013 Conference in San Diego. (April 2013)

Get the book, "Born to Blog" at Amazon.com (This is not an affiliate link.)

Learn more about Mark Schaefer

Former First Lady, Elanor Roosevelt said it best back in the day:
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
 I successfully have checked that off my list today when hitting "publish."


Return on Opportunity: Reflections from #SMMW13

I'm winding down from attending Social Media Explorer's first live conference, Social Media Marketing World (#SMMW13). There were 1,100+ attendees, amazing networking events, packed sessions with the top social media thought leaders, authors, and speakers- which was overwhelming for even a high flying social butterfly like me. Check out the pics with fellow social media marketers at #SMMW13's networking cruise. Everyone there shared a passion for social media! So what did I learn?

Social Media is Return on Opportunity.

This is the theme that comes to mind, as I am reflecting on all the new friends I've made at SMMW13, connections with these thought leaders, and their words of social media marketing wisdom.

A lot of the SMMW13 speakers emphasized how social media is about building a community, having passion for the content, and genuinely connecting and helping others via social networks.

What if that Tweet was shared and brought in a new customer that again shared their experience on Facebook and another person liked it and someone they were connected to saw it and went to your website to buy? Sounds dreamy, right?


Social Media Club Nashville Celebrating 4th year | Nashville.com Article

I'm very proud and pleased that Social Media Club Nashville (SMCNash) is celebrating it's forth year this April in bringing Nashville's social media marketing enthusiasts and business professionals together to network and learn from each other.

Apparently, you can get famous in Nashville without a song or a TV show...just by connecting people and having a passion. Check out this article about Social Media Club Nashville (and me!) on Nashville.com: Help for the New Nashville Entrepreneur
Help for the New Nashville Entrtepreneur |Georgia Cross | Nashville.com
via Nashville.com


Marketing Buzzwords VS Thought Leaders at #SoSlam and #SMMW13

Buzz, buzz, buzz...optimize your content on the social web...increase brand reach and customer influence...buzz, buzz, buzz...targeted inbound marketing campaign...Content, Content, Content...buzz, buzz, buzz....Expert, Guru, Maven...buzz, buzz, buzz...

Everyone's an expert and then again, no one's an expert in social media marketing. There's a thin line between saying you are knowledgeable in an area of marketing and actually having an expertise or concentration in that area.

There are those that were raised on traditional marketing principles in their career and have gravitated to digital (like me), and then there are those that learned the tools, are savvy salespeople, and convince others that don't know any better that they are experts.


Spring Cleaning! Refresh Your Personal Brand

Spring is here and nothing puts a little pep in your step more than a makeover! It's time to dust off that profile pic and freshen up your social media profiles to refresh your personal brand.

Think you don't have a brand? Are you on the internet? Have you ever created a profile on a social networking site? Guess what? You do, and it probably needs some polishing.

I recently refreshed all my social networking profiles, so I will guide you through it with examples. It is a little time consuming, but the investment in YOU is well worth it.

Refresh Your Personal Brand

1. Assess your digital footprint. What sites and social networks do you have a profile on? List them all. Remember to check your phone for apps you may have downloaded that are also social networks: GetGlue, Vine, Viddy, FourSquare, etc.

Georgia Cross Facebook | refresh personal brand
2. Say cheese! You're going to need some current pics. Dogs, cats, children, and even your significant other are cute but they don't belong in your profile pictures...especially on LinkedIn. 

Time to shine like a star with a photo shoot. Pick a location that will give you several interesting background angles. I chose Nashville's downtown buildings as my background.

Take lots of photos so you have enough to vary them on all your profiles. I kept the same outfit on for consistency. Be sure to get several head shots, since most social profile pics are small and that's about all you can fit into the viewable area.


Handle With Care: Your Social Media Community is Your Baby

In my experience managing social media communities for brands, I've noticed an almost parental bond that develops within a social media community manager.
Your social media community is your baby: care for it, nurture it, love it, and watch it grow.

Here's how:

Name your baby & Get it dressed.
Do not leave your baby naked with no profile image or description. Naming your social media profiles and making sure they are consistent with the brand is very important for first impressions when it's time for your baby to make friends.

Think, first day of school: the profile description, images, and colors you choose all say something about your brand's community. Make sure the "look, feel, and voice" are consistent with print materials, web and email graphics and copy, videos, and all brand elements. Always be aware of what impression you are making with your brand in social media.


Social Media Integration Checklist: Linking Your Way to More Liking

Once you have your social media profiles established and have built an audience with some community interaction, make sure you are well and consistently branded across all social networks, and then integrate the ability to connect in every marketing function and every customer touch point.

First, you have to think like a customer: where do they see, touch, hear, and interact with your brand? Make a checklist of everything, separating online and offline.

Remember, to KISS (keep it simple, silly marketer) the easier you make it for your customers to connect to your brand, the more likely they will be to do so.


"Newbie" Twitter Networking & Branding Ideas

I am often asked how to get started on Twitter or how to use Twitter for branding and business development. There's no quick fix. It takes time and dedication. Every "Twitter bird" is a little hesitant to leave the nest before taking flight.

I realize not everyone is naturally social media savvy. I'm sharing my ideas so that we may be "birds of a feather" in the Twittersphere.

1. First things first, learn the terms.
Retweet (RT), Hashtag, Follow, etc. It's a language of its own. Here's a great Twitter Dictionary as a guide: Mediabestro's "The Essential Twitter Dictionary"

2. Pick your dashboard for organizing tweets, scheduling tweets, and setting up alerts.
TweetDeck and HootSuite are the most common and they have phone apps, so you will never miss a Tweet. I use HootSuite.


I have a *Marketing* dream

Marketing DreamMonday was Martin Luther King JR Day, which made me think about dreams, my dreams. Not to steal MLK's thunder, but I also have a dream. We all have dreams.

My dream is definately more career focused than most of my friends. I'm not a singer or an athlete. My talent lies in networking and marketing. I feel that I have a talent for marketing that could be use in a larger capacity. Right now, I'm not exactly sure how.

I know I want to make a difference. I want to help people. I enjoy networking and connecting people to others that could benefit them. I dream about making an impact through marketing on a national, even global scale. I want to be a part of somethng that is bigger than just me.


Nashville #PREDS Marketing Wins

This week, I attended an ad industry event hosted by Ad 2 Nashville and AAF Nashville, featuring a speaker from the Nashville Predators (Preds) Professional Ice Hockey Team's marketing department.

Chris Parker, Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing for the Nashville Predators, spoke about keeping a professional sports team relevant during a lockout and how the team has stayed top-of mind with fans through promotions, social media, and community engagement.

So, how does an NHL team stay relevant in a lockout? Well, Chris admitted- it's no secret that you can't bring the game to the fans, which is really what the experience is all about - But you can have a plan in place that connects with the community and says "the team is still here, and we are a part of the community."

The Preds had a plan: Manage community expectations on and off the ice through fan and season ticket-holder events, sponsorship contests, charity events...And the best marketing idea of all: Do what they do best- Make Some Noise, Give the Fans a Show!

"Nashville Predators SMASHMOB" video was a hit!  The Nashville Predators surprised a youth hockey game by bringing the full NHL experience to the rink. The families and kids were stunned to see and hear the NHL announcer, Paul McCann, the national anthem, Gnash, and about 250 fans take over the game. Oh, and then they put it on YouTube and promoted the heck out of it via social media. (GO PREDS!!!)

The Preds show how even in a lockout, hockey lives...in the hopes of the little players. It's all about the experience. Bravo to the Preds for showing that in this video.

Their video got national attention! Another marketing win.
Sports.Yahoo.Com/Nashville Predators ‘Smashmob’ surprises youth hockey teams, becomes viral hit

Yes, it was a marketing move, but it was a good one that literally brought me to tears when I watched it. That's just good marketing. Telling a story. Evoking emotion. A win.

And guess what? #hockeyisback! That video will stay with me as I'm cheering on the #preds this season. It's all about creating memorable experiences. GO PREDS!!!


Nashville's Thinkers and Doers: 2 Degrees of Separation

Nashville, TN is a big small town, which according to The New York Times article, "Nashville's Latest Big Hit Could Be the City Itself", is the new "darling" of the nation. Yep, they like us, they really like us!

For me, Nashville is the land of opportunity. A place to connect with like-minded folks, share ideas, and make S**T happen.

Just this week, I was sitting in a Social Media Nashville (@smcnash) planning meeting - doing the above mentioned, when a Tweet came across from @AAFNashville: Nashville's ‪@davedelaney‬ is speaking now on BlogTalkRadio with ‪@DebCE‬ here - ‪http://ow.ly/gGvlD ‬ He's mentioned ‪@crossga‬@NashvilleAMA‬.

Flattered and curious, I tweeted to Dave to send me a link to the podcast.


Mail vs Email: Dinosaur Branding Techniques

Is mail a dinosaur? Compared to email, it may be. I check my mailbox about twice a week. I check my email inbox about twice a minute.

Maybe it's because I don't get much mail, in fact here's my count for all of 2012:
  • 3 cards
  • 1 personal letter
  • 2 postcards
I'm not kidding! In less than 10 years first class stamped mail has been cut in half from 50B in 2002 to 25B in 2011. 
[Source] about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts