Ad Love: Be Idris Elba’s Valentine

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away and my plans are set. I’ll be having pepper soup and fufu with Idris Elba.

In a collaboration with Omaze, Idris is offering one lucky winner the chance to be wined and dined by him and put up in a four-star hotel on Valentine’s Day. Further sweetening the deal (as if that was possible) is the fact that each entry into the contest donates to nonprofit charity W.E. Can Lead, which raises money to provide young girls in Africa with education opportunities.

Check it out:

And enter for your chance to win here.

IHOP’s Pancake Paradise

Pancakes bring me joy. I’ve never had pancakes on a beach but I imagine if I did, I’d be in heaven. I recently got a slice of heaven.

That’s because IHOP ran its first Facebook Live videos to celebrate its new Paradise Pancakes, which come in flavors like strawberry passion fruit, banana macadamia nut and pineapple upside down. The three videos were simple –  three gorgeous stacks of flapjacks appeared on a table on a beach, with no sound except the waves and occasional seagulls in the background. I wasn’t the only fan – the video had over 380,000 video views earlier this week and is IHOP’s top-performing social video to date.

Take a trip with me to Pancake Paradise real quick:

 

Ad Love: Hello Moto.

Back in the day, I had almost every cell phone that was on trend – the Sidekick, the Motorola Flip, LG Chocolate and eventually I landed on the Blackberry Curve. I have been a Blackberry fan ever since. I’m now on the latest, the Blackberry Priv, which is dopeness – don’t judge me. It surprises me that I never landed on #teamiPhone.

The phone that I lusted after was the Motorola Razr. It was thin, looked sleek and came in pink and gold. You could even get it covered in crystals! I have always been a practical girl, though and when I heard that the phone wasn’t really reliable, that was a deal-breaker for me. And so I lusted after it from afar.

I may get my shot at getting one now!  On June 9, Motorola will likely announce the return of the Moto Razr at the Lenovo Tech World conference in Silicon Valley.  In the meantime, they gave us a cool teaser  which transports us back to a simpler time and place – the early 2,000s. This makes me fall in love all over again.

Sidebar – it was a year ago that I was in a consumer marketing team brainstorming session about ideas we should pitch to one of our clients. I came up with two – virtual reality and nostalgia. As I sat in this meeting and explained why these themes would be huge in 2016, all I got was blank stares from a room that was as diverse as a box of Newport cigarettes. My ideas never made it to the client. This year, most major brands have tapped into those very two themes to sell products. Oh, and the firm that I worked for lost the business…

It makes me think about where I will spend my creative energy moving forward along with what type of teams/cultures will be most suitable for me and allow me to thrive. I’ll keep you posted on that.

In the meantime, enjoy:

Brand Tweets: Handy

I usually do a deep clean of my place on New Years Eve before I head out to celebrate. I can’t lie, it’s tough! This year, I am glad I had the help of Handy, “the leading platform for connecting individuals looking for household services with top-quality, pre-screened independent service professionals.”

I had low expectations for the service – it cost less than 30 bucks (a got a deep discount as a first – time user) for 3 -hours of cleaning. Needless to say, my expectations were surpassed! I tweeted out some love to Handy to show my appreciation and they kept on giving! Take a peek (click the pics to magnify):

 

Delta Makes Good Things Happen for Good People.

It has been a while since my last post. Way too much is happening – I may have to move, I am leading the re-launch of my agency’s website to happen this week and figuring out what the next step in my life is. I could certainly use a break. Maybe Delta Airlines will offer me one.

The team at Delta Airlines SkyMiles Credit Card is shelling out the goods by hosting a competition called “The Gift Back Project.”

The cute little video below explains it all. I love this. be sure to nominate your do-gooder by June 18th.

Finish Strong.

It’s hard to believe – 2014 will soon be over. This year has demonstrated tremendous lessons, both personal and professional. Here are my top five:
1. Great leaders make the difference. When the wrong people are in position, it can be damn near impossible to get things done. Being a capable leader doesn’t simply rest on your credential or a title. I’m means articulating a vision and trusting your team to execute. It means leading by example and never stooping to the lows of office politics. It means openly, genuinely and frequently recognizing the accomplishments of your team and not magnifying their failures. Dear friends, not all are built to be leaders.
2. Social customer care is everything. I’ve always been obsessed with social customer care before I even knew what that meant. ‎Three years ago I tweeted at Anthropologie and I remember, clear as day, they responded, located the item I was looking for and sent me a coupon within a matter of hours. To this day, I tell that story – they have set the standard for me. I cannot tell you (I’d be too ashamed to) the amount of money I’ve spend with them since then. Yes, I love the uniqueness of their merchandise. But more an that, I’m a fan of the brand and how they handled that incident. This year, as I encountered Pret a Manger, USPS and everyone in between, I carefully watched their moves when it came to customer response. Strong customer response via social matters to the bottom line.
3. You can’t control everything. This year ‎almost everything that I thought I could control slipped right out of my hands. I won’t go into too much detail but we have all heard the saying, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” That’s the absolute truth. At the top of the year, I became aware of the Sand Mandala. It is is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from colored sand. A sand mandala is ritualistically destroyed once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life. . It amazed me that these individuals would spend so much time creating something so ornate and then destroy it.  It’s great to focus on a goal but not to be so tied into the process of how you ‎get to the finish line. finish-line-900
4. Take a risk and if you fail, take another. This year, I continued to try out new ways to engage my organization’s social audiences. The previous year, our Facebook and Twitter Chats had been successful. I decided to explore the possibility of using livestream video to bring our annual plan meeting to various stakeholders. Weeks of planning went into the ‘how’ as it was the first time the organization would attempt this type of broadcast. There was hurdle after hurdle: we didn’t have the proper equipment, the internet speed at the venue was shaky. Even two minutes after we went to air there was a glitch – Youtube shut us down as it was picking up the ambient house music and that was in violation if copyright regulations. My team quickly worked on a resolution and it was fixed just as the Chair and CEO stepped to the podium. Had we given up at any point, if we were not relentless about achieving the goal at any cost, we would have failed.
5. You belong. I’ve been attending conference after conference for a solid month. I wanted to gain knowledge in my area of expertise, showcase my skill-set as well as meet leaders in my industry. There was a VP of a worldwide company who was set to panel at one of the events I attended who I was anxious to connect with. I checked his name on the program, determined to speak with him at some point. At the end of day two, I had my opportunity: there he was, packing up his bag and standing alone. Yet, I felt my legs carry my body right past him and out of the door. “Wait, what are you doing?!” I literally said aloud. I walked back to him, stuck out my hand and introduced myself. Long story short, he gave me his direct line and email address. Had I allowed fear to grip me, I would have walked right out of the venue and been cursing myself on the ride home.
In the next 30 days, my focus will be on mindfully observing and influencing the above areas. I’m a strong believer in pushing hard the last leg of the race. Usually, I crank up my Jay Z and I go numb as I run to last mile. Nothing else matters. I’ll let you know how I do.

Meet Your Mentor In Row 15 Seat A.

Most airlines offer first class, business class, economy class and, often, a premium economy class section on their flights. Now Delta Air Lines has introduced another, extremely exclusive, seating section: “innovation class.”

The first class-style seats are free, but will be available only occasionally to select up-and-coming professionals whose applications meet a special set of criteria. Their seatmates (who also get free seats) will be selected by Delta from leaders in various fields on their way to major industry events who have agreed to participate in what the airline is calling “a mentoring program — that just so happens to take place at 35,000 feet.”

The program’s first such mentoring session took place earlier this month on a flight from Salt Lake City to Vancouver, Canada, site of the TED 2014 conference. It paired mentor Eric Migicovsky, founder of smartwatch developer Pebble, with James Patten, a 2014 TED senior fellow who is an inventor and visual artist working on projects at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds.

Future mentors are still being chosen and “will be drawn from any field that is fueling innovation,” including entertainment, fashion, financial service, sports and advertising.

This is not the first airline-sponsored in-flight mentoring program. British Airways, for example, hosted a flight between San Francisco and London filled with what it said were “forward-thinking founders, CEOs, venture capitalists and Silicon Valley game-changers.”

I. Want. In. Here’s more on the program:

My 100th Blog Post.

It was on July 26, 2009 that I started this blog with the post, “(My) Journey for Change.” Ninety-nine posts later, what amazes me is not only how much I’ve grown since then, but also how I have remained the same. People who have very little but give their all, still inspire me  and I still adore Anthropologie.

In July of ’09, I only had three weeks of social media ‘training’ under my belt and still didn’t understand why all of it mattered. However, I knew it would change the face of the world of marketing as we knew it.

I had no clue how much it would change my life. 100th_Birthday

Today, I am still on that journey for change and oftentimes, I cannot lie, I get frustrated. I wonder will I ever reach the end of the road and achieve the ultimate satisfaction once I reach the destination. That’s the logical me speaking.

The me that is an adventurer, who loves to learn (and teach) knows that when the journey is over, I’ll stop being excited about life. She prays not for the end, but to have a blast and soak in the beautiful lessons all along the way.

It is an honor to share my experiences via this blog and I hope that I can continue to inspire and teach for another 100-plus posts.

In the meantime, take a journey back in time with me and look at what I was speaking of way back when….

Celebs Help Obama with GOTV

Everyone knows that with the right people in your corner, anything is possible. That is exactly the case when it comes to celebrities hitting the campaign trail to support President Obama in his re-election efforts.

POTUS has got an impressive 181 (and counting) stars who have is back. Athletes, musicians and actors are all lending a hand – knocking on doors, calling constituents  who reside in swing-states and participating in rallies alongside him.

This past Saturday, Stevie Wonder played an unannounced concert for voters waiting in line to vote early in Cleveland. Wonder opened a rally for Obama by rocking the arena at the University of Cincinnati with a rendition of “Keep on Running.” Songwriter John Legend, actor Laurence Fishburne, and congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis, D-Ga., were among those who went to Ohio to lead a “Souls to the Polls” effort with local churches. Danny DeVito and members of the FX sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” have canvassed neighborhoods in Wisconsin, made phone calls and visited colleges in the state.

Also included: Ice Cube, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Jason Mraz, Maya Angelou, Chris Rock, Justin Long, Jon Hamm, Maggie Gyllenaal, Chanel Iman, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Crow.
Celebrity sells. Now get off your butt and go vote.