Sunday, August 28, 2022

Marketing Touches Everything in Our Lives


Today is Radio Commercials Day, and while some may consider radio ads to be annoyances, they have been part of the entertainment industry for nearly a century. According to, "Radio Commercials Day commemorates the day when the first radio commercial was broadcast on New York radio station WEAF on August 28, 1922. The commercial promoted an American real estate agent, Queensboro Realty." Fast forward 100 years, and advertising and marketing continue to touch - and impact - our lives.

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Andrea TheoJohn and invited her to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Andrea TheoJohn, MBA is a marketing and branding professional with 15 years of global and corporate experience. She's managed over 70 brand professionals in 17 different countries, handled the branding and communications efforts for 160M Euro M&A ventures and now brings that savoire faire to her small and medium-sized business clients with The ADS Agency. Her firm helps brands figure out how to move through this world.

QUESTION: What first attracted you to marketing and branding?
ANDREA THEOJOHN: I was in grad school, believe it or not, when I was first ever formally introduced to the disciplines. Before then, no one in my life (that I knew of) was in this space. It was like the proverbial wool being lifted from my eyes, and all of a sudden, the world looked completely new! Everything I looked at, I started to view as being touched by a marketer. This laptop I’m typing on, the lamp on my desk, the phone by my hand. Nearly every single thing in our lives was touched by a marketer. It was amazing to consider! And I have been hooked ever since.

QUESTION: What brands do you think are doing a good job with their advertising and marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis?
ANDREA THEOJOHN: When Burger King made a pitch for people to order from McDonald's in response to the restaurant industry's taking a huge hit with staff during the pandemic – I thought that was positively brilliant. That was real empathy and a moment where industry became bigger than the competition.

And of course, there was Dove's “Courage is beautiful” mask campaigns – a salute to the daily N95 wearers in the medical industry and how their faces garnered the lasting imprint of the mask but also how their hearts also bore the imprint of the daily struggle, attempting to champion and beat back the virus on the front lines. I think that one was widely applauded.

Even more interesting and more relevant now than the pandemic are the Ukraine-focused ads. I was thoroughly impressed by St. Jude’s Ukraine ad about being there for Ukrainian children with cancer. Just AB-solutely heart-wrenching, real-time ad work that was masterfully done with massive empathy interwoven. Truly brilliant.

QUESTION: During a recent TweetChat hosted by Nathalie Gregg (@NathalieGregg on Twitter), you wrote, "One takeaway for me tonight: I think of how YOU (your brand) could change someone's life. Even if in a seemingly small way. Sometimes what's small to us is so BIG to others. It will come back to you in real/intangible/tangible ways. And it just feels so good. #LeadLoudly." What's your favorite part of Twitter?

ANDREA THEOJOHN: My favorite part of Twitter is the ability to connect with people known and unknown through these chats (both regular Twitter Chats and now TwitterSpaces – Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse). It’s just a unique way to connect.

With Twitter, you don’t necessarily have to answer right away, but with something like a Twitter Chat, it’s cool when you do because that part’s meant to be real-time. So as with any other platform, you can choose to engage when you like, Twitter just does it in a way that can be segmented based on your interests. Choose the chat you want to be involved in – show up every week, or as your schedule allows. You’ll get to know people who also show up on a regular basis and it’s just another way to breed familiarity, establish thought leadership and also just make good friends in your industry and elsewhere.

QUESTION: What's your favorite brand, and what makes it stand out?
ANDREA THEOJOHN: I don’t really have a favorite of anything – it’s too hard to choose – but if forced to pick, in this moment I choose two (lol). Kendra Scott Texas-bred jewelry and Spanx. Two women-led stories of powerful female entrepreneurs that I personally connect with.

I’d heard of Spanx before, of course, but I never cared about them until I heard Sara Blakeley’s story – her unwavering belief that a chick who used to basically sell the equivalent of Xerox machines went from an idea inspired by hosiery to a billion dollar business after years of trying to get people to believe and believe in it, creating point of sale display areas for it in department stores when she probably didn’t have the permission to and manufacturer after manufacturer (men) telling her it couldn’t be done. I was impressed with her Red Backpack program for female entrepreneurs she created – even though I never could figure out when the applications would ever open for that thing again, but it was still awesome. The other day at a conference I saw a red backpack on the floor and I felt like a kid who just realized Santa must be real.

And Kendra Scott randomly started making jewelry for fun, just because as a kid, her fashionable aunt had fun jewelry she liked to break apart and try to put back together just to see how it was made. Kendra peddled her jewelry from boutique to boutique, failed at retail before that trying to sell hats, then turned around and opened retail stores during the downturn of the ’08 era, successfully pitched her business all by herself to brands like Nordstrom and made all of that into a successful nationwide and beyond business. The retail shops invite you to come in, try things on, look, touch – all things you don’t normally get to do with higher-end jewelry brands – and you can even sit there and drink champagne while a jeweler customizes a piece of jewelry for you. That’s swimming RIGHT when everyone else is swimming LEFT.

Not only do these two ladies have successful, stand-out brands with gorgeous, clean, approachable imagery (Kendra) and fun, tongue-in-cheek swankiness (Sara), but they both have made their own unique impact in the world. For me, those are two awesome personal brands that have spawned amazing business brands along the way.

QUESTION: What is your favorite marketing quote, and why?
ANDREA THEOJOHN: Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear what you say.” In my world, marketing is what you SAY. Branding is what you DO. Marketing is just one part of the bigger picture of branding, which ultimately is our reputation and the way we’re perceived at the end of the day. More than all of marketing can accomplish, nothing is more powerful (for better or for worse) than your actions. It is what people remember. It is ultimately who you are as a brand. And branding is affected by a number of areas: operations, sales, finance, HR, supply chain, and more. It’s the total package. It’s every touch point and the way it culminates into an overall view of you as a company (or personal brand). I have very few favorite things, but this one is my absolute fave marketing quote. Because it puts marketing itself into perspective.

TWEET THIS: Marketing is what you SAY. Branding is what you DO. ~@AndreaTheoJohn #BrandExperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog

My thanks to Andrea for sharing her marketing insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Check out some of my fave branding quotes:

Visit Andrea's links:
The ADS Agency:
Twitter: @AndreaTheoJohn and @theadsagency

Image Credit:

Friday, August 26, 2022

Let’s Celebrate Women’s Equality Day!

Today is Women's Equality Day and marks the 102nd anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. This important day celebrates the achievements of women’s rights activists (including my great-grandmother who marched for women's suffrage in New York in the early 1900's) and reminds us of the struggles that women still face including equal pay for equal work as well as access to top leadership roles.

According to the National Women's History Alliance, "At the behest of Representative Bella Abzug (Democrat from New York), in 1971, the United States Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality."

Over the last 13 years, thanks to social media, I have had the privilege of meeting inspiring marketing, branding, customer experience, leadership, and social media experts. One of these experts is Kim Elsesser, a gender expert based in Pasadena, California. I recently connected with Kim after reading one of her enlightening posts on and invited her to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction. 

Kim Elsesser, Ph.D. is the author of the book, SEX AND THE OFFICE: Women, Men and the Sex Partition that’s Dividing the Workplace. She currently writes about gender issues at work for Forbes, and she taught about these issues at UCLA for eight years. She has published in the New York Times and The Los Angeles Times and has discussed gender issues for a number of TV news programs. Her interest in gender and work was partly inspired by her experiences co-starting a quantitative proprietary hedge fund at Morgan Stanley. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA, MS degrees in management and operations research from MIT, and an undergraduate degree in mathematics and computer science from Vassar College. Connect on Twitter @kimelsesser or sign up to receive weekly notifications of her posts for Forbes at

QUESTION: In 2014, you wrote an article in The Guardian entitled, "There's a de facto 'sex partition' in the workplace." In the article, you wrote, "All hope is not lost. An important step in breaking down the sex partition is raising employees' awareness of these issues." What do you think has changed in the 8 years since that article was written, if anything?

KIM ELSESSER: The sex partition refers to an artificial barrier at work that keeps men and women from establishing important friendships at work. That barrier is exacerbated by fears that friendliness towards the other sex will be interpreted as harassment. The Guardian article on the sex partition was written prior to the #MeToo movement, and, since then, there has clearly been a substantial increase in awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace. While the increased awareness is good in that it may embolden women to come forward to report harassment, there may also be unintended side effects. That is, there is some evidence that since #MeToo, men are more reluctant to help or even hire women in the workplace, because they fear sexual harassment charges.

(Read original article here:

(Read more on the topic here:

QUESTION: During my career, I've had more male bosses than female bosses, and without a doubt, the men were more supportive. The women were less likely to recognize my accomplishments in group settings and sometimes took ownership of my successes. Were these women leaders what has been referred to as QUEEN BEE LEADERS? And what would you have done in these situations?

KIM ELSESSER: I’ve completed research on how people feel about male and female bosses, and it turns out that both men and women overwhelmingly prefer male managers – but a lot of that preference is related to gender stereotypes and how employees expect their male and female managers to behave. You mentioned that, in your experience, male bosses were more supportive. Since we expect female bosses to be supportive (women are generally perceived as more supportive than men), sometimes we hold female managers to a higher standard in this area. So, when women are not supportive, we tend to notice it more. In this situation, when you think a female boss is being unsupportive, I’d take a step back and question – would I be thinking the same thing if a male boss behaved in exactly the same way?

(Here's a good post about this topic:

(Read about Kim's research here:

QUESTION: In your book, SEX AND THE OFFICE, what are three of the most important take-aways that you hope readers have?

KIM ELSESSER: Here are three:

(1) Sexual harassment remains an issue that too many women must deal with in the workplace.  However, adding more old-fashioned sexual harassment training sessions isn’t likely to help eliminate harassment. We need to be smarter in figuring out how to bring about behavior change at work.

(2) Particularly in male-dominated fields, women report that they are left out of business trips, dinners, and even one-on-one meetings because some men fear that their friendliness will be misinterpreted as sexual harassment. In reality, friendliness is not sexual harassment. Without access to beneficial friendships and mentor relationships with men at work, women won’t be able to close the gender gap that exists in most professions.

(3) Many say women can’t have it both ways.  That is, women can’t tell men to be cautious and respect boundaries, and then complain that they feel left out because men are behaving too cautiously. But I believe that we CAN have it both ways. Men and women can maintain appropriate boundaries at work and develop professional friendships and mentor relationships. It’s the only way that women WILL reach parity with men in the workplace.

QUESTION: What's your favorite Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote, and why?

KIM ELSESSER: In 2015, on receiving an award at Radcliffe College, RBG was asked what advice she would offer to young women today. Ginsburg said, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

I write about gender issues and the problems women face both inside and outside of the workplace. Most of my readers are women who already have some awareness of these issues and are already interested in helping women achieving equity. In terms of RBG’s quote, these readers have already joined me.  

I strive to reach and convince those that haven’t thought much about these issues or don’t already agree with my perspective. In other words, I want to lead others to join me. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

(Read the article about RBG here:

TWEET THIS: Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you. ~RBG via @kimelsesser #RBGquote #DebbieLaskeysBlog

QUESTION: If you could have dinner with three famous women from history or the modern era, who would they be, and why?

KIM ELSESSER: Any chance I can get a larger table?  There are so many great women that I had a hard time narrowing it down, but here are six that I’d like to join me for dinner.

  • Serena Williams – A record-breaking professional athlete, a businessperson, a mom – she’s done it all.
  • Cleopatra – Because she’s Cleopatra!
  • Queen Victoria – Most of what I know about Victoria I learned from the Masterpiece TV series, Victoria (which was fabulous). She seemed to be a woman ahead of her time.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsberg – There is so much to learn from her – dinner may not be long enough.
  • Katherine Johnson – I was a math major and would love to hear more about how she broke into this field and helped with the mathematical calculations for the space launches – a field dominated by white men.
  • Hillary Clinton – She came so close to being the first female president. I’ve read several books about her heartbreaking campaign – and I’d love to discuss it more with her.

QUESTION: Today, I celebrate my great-grandmother, who was a suffragist who marched for women's rights in New York in the years leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment. What does this day mean to you, and what do you hope girls and young women learn about August 26th?

KIM ELSESSER: The 19th Amendment was approved by the U.S. Senate on June 4, 1919, and adoption to the Constitution was certified on August 26, 1920, over a century ago. I often wonder what the suffragists like your great-grandmother would think about how far women have progressed in the last century. Would they be amazed that 74 of the Fortune 500 companies are run by women and that there are 24 women serving in the U.S. Senate? Or would they find it frustrating that those numbers are still so low? To many of us, it seems that progress has been slow, but when you look from a historical perspective, women have come a long way.

Hopefully, as young girls learn about this day, they will realize that it takes hard work to bring about change. Others, like your great-grandmother, worked hard to give these young girls the opportunities they have today. Now it’s their turn. Young girls must continue to pursue change throughout their lifetimes so that future generations of women have even more opportunities.

TWEET THIS: Young girls must continue to pursue change throughout their lifetimes so that future generations of women have even more opportunities. ~@kimelsesser #WomensEqualityDay #DebbieLaskeysBlog

My thanks to Kim for sharing her insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credit: Todd Trapani via Unsplash. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

Three Books to Celebrate Women’s Equality Day

As we get ready to commemorate and celebrate this year’s Women’s Equality Day on August 26, one might wonder, how can I become more enlightened about women’s equality on this important day? How about reading three amazing books?

First, a little history…

According to National Women’s History Alliance, “At the behest of Representative Bella Abzug (Democrat from New York), in 1971, and passed in 1973, the United States Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls in New York. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.”

According to Melanie Gustafson, a professor at the University of Vermont, who writes about the women's suffrage movement and women in politics, “The date of August 26th was chosen to commemorate the day in 1920 when Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the proclamation granting American women the constitutional right to vote.”


While written by journalist Nadine Epstein, the list of women included in this book were chosen by former Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the final year of her amazing life. The women featured include Deborah, the first woman judge in the bible; Emma Lazarus, a poet whose words adorn the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty; Golda Meir, the first and only female prime minister of Israel; Anne Frank, whose diary during World War II became famous; and many more.


Written by lawyer and cultural historian Linda Hirshman, this book is a story of law, women, and most of all, friendship. Here’s the description in a nutshell, “The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl – transcends political party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second women to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.”


Written by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, this book is a combination of storytelling, history lessons, and images of wearable art from all over the world.

Albright explained, “A foreign dignitary standing alongside me at a press conference would be happier to see a bright, shining sun attached to my jacket than a menacing wasp. I felt it worthwhile, moreover, to inject an element of humor and spice to the diplomatic routine. The world has had its share of power ties; the time seemed right for the mute elegance of pins with attitude.”

She continued, “Before long, I accepted that it was okay to shop with my own needs and desires in mind. Thus, when my eye was attracted to a serpent pin, I did not hesitate to buy it; this was the pin that would later launch my use of brooches as a diplomatic tool.”

“As my pins became more expressive and drew more comments, I had cause to reflect on the relationship between appearance and identity. To what extent, to adopt the old saying, do pins make the woman or, for that matter, the man? After all, the display of pins has never been confined to one gender. Medieval knights wore elaborate jeweled badges that defined their status and conferred a group identity…George Washington sometimes wore a spectacular diamond eagle that included no fewer than 198 stones…Finally, our armed forces also use pins – in the form of ribbons and medals – to convey messages about accomplishments, stature, and rank.”

“Jewelry’s greatest value comes not from intrinsic materials or brilliant designs, but from the emotions we invest. The most cherished attributes are not those that dazzle the eye but those that recall to the mind the face and spirit of a loved one…One might scoff and say that my pins didn’t exactly shake the world. To that, I can reply only that shaking the world is precisely the opposite of what diplomats are placed on Earth to do.”

So, what will you read to celebrate Women’s Equality Day? Chime in and share.

Image Credit: One of Madeleine Albright’s famous pins showed the glass ceiling in its ideal condition: shattered. (“Breaking the Glass Ceiling” by artist Vivian Shimoyama).

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Intersection of Public Relations and Personal Branding

Today is an important day for music fans all around the world because it's Elvis Presley Commemoration Day. Without a doubt, Elvis made his mark on rock and roll music, pop music, and films - and also on publicity, public relations, marketing, and personal branding. So, as Elvis Week is celebrated in Memphis marking the 45th anniversary of the King of Rock and Roll's death, let's take a look at the intersection of public relations and personal branding.

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Anu Bhatnagar and invited her to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Anu Bhatnagar is based in the United Arab Emirates. She has over 20 years of experience as a strategy expert, publicity and communications consultant, content creator, author, contributing writer, ghostwriter for CEO's and thought leaders, entrepreneur, and NGO mentor. Connect on Twitter @AnuMeera2024.

QUESTION: What's your favorite aspect of public relations?
ANU BHATNAGAR: One thing that I truly love about my work as a publicity advisor is to discover the potential value in a person, a concept or a service. Then, using my ability to articulate this through written words, in different ways, and in different styles that resonate with different set of larger communities. I see this as my contribution to society, especially when I work with exceptionally-gifted individuals, who have so much to give to the world and I become a channel through which they are able to reach others and share their value.

QUESTION: What's the most successful PR campaign you've created, and why?
ANU BHATNAGAR: One of the largest and first public health awareness campaigns in the United Arab Emirates was known as Diabetes Knowledge Action. I led public outreach, creating powerful messages for a range of audiences; news pieces on workplace health for CEO’s to interactive stories on how to choose healthier breakfasts for children in schools. I penned a book of healthier recipes and managed to get the campaign featured in over 1,000 publications.

I rate this as my most successful campaign because of the huge impact we were able to create, including normalizing the conversation about diabetes and obesity in the community and setting families on a path toward a healthier lifestyle.

This also became a turning point in my life, personally and professionally. Public health, community health, and healthcare are one of my core expertises today. I am very active in public health advocacy and am a menstrual health campaigner. I designed my very unique lifestyle coaching program to integrate well-being and food and nutrition as essential components.

QUESTION: What is the secret to successful personal branding?
ANU BHATNAGAR: Here are three secrets:
(1) Know your ‘self’ truly and then envision how you want to show this unique and powerful ‘self’ to the world and why. Let your authentic essence be the foundation of your personal branding from the start.
(2) Make your evolution a part of your personal branding strategy and don’t hide your growth, your growth lessons and your evolution to create an ideal larger than life image. Let your community see these changes and grow with you.
(3) Cultivate a mindset of “being happy and comfortable with showing your authentic self” and rise above your resistance, fears, and imposter syndrome, known and unknown, to you. This unconditional acceptance of ‘self success’ will make the journey more effortless, enjoyable, and real for you.

TWEET THIS: Let your authentic essence be the foundation of your personal branding from the start. ~@AnuMeera2024 #PersonalBranding #DebbieLaskeysBlog

QUESTION: What three famous individuals have memorable personal brands, and why?
ANU BHATNAGAR: Here are three:
(1) Richard Branson for his ability to stay candid and authentic – no matter where he is.
(2) Ayushmann Khurrana, an Indian actor, a maverick, multi-talented person, a singer, and poet. He weaves his personal style, fashion, his “feminist man” personality, social causes, and creativity all very beautifully into his brand. (
(3) Matthew McConaughey is a classic and an example of what I explained earlier: make evolution a part of your personal branding. He has evolved and is not afraid to take his followers and community with him as he grows.

QUESTION: In your Twitter profile, you list several hashtags including these two: #WomenInPolitics and #GenderEquality. This leads me to ask, what is your favorite quote from former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and why?
ANU BHATNAGAR: This quote was published in The New York Times in 2009:
“I always thought that there was nothing an anti-feminist would want more than to have women only in women’s organizations, in their own little corner empathizing with each other and not touching a man’s world. If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.”

This was so meaningful and futuristic at that time, but the sad reality is that it is still true and wanting in 2022.

I love this quote for three reasons:
(1) It calls out the “token women” syndrome.
(2) It calls for inclusion of women in ‘power and decision making roles’ because that is what it will take this world to become an equal world.
(3) Women must be at every table where policies, decisions, and such conversations are discussed. Mechanism and systems can either include or exclude women, and we need systems that make it possible for more women to enter, rise, and lead places where decisions are made.

QUESTION: Janet Yellen, the current and first female Secretary of the United States Treasury, has been described as, "A proven leader who knows how to build consensus, the kind of person who makes everybody around her better." What three characteristics are necessary to create a consensus-builder?
ANU BHATNAGAR: Here are my three:
(1) Ability to create a collective vision, something that will inspire community.
(2) Empathy that makes every person feel seen and heard.
(3) Self motivation that makes you wake up every day and go on doing what it takes to realize your vision.

My thanks to Anu for sharing her PR, personal branding, and gender equality insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credit: Redd via Unsplash.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Communication is at the Core of Social Media


Today is Book Lovers Day and is celebrated each year around the world on this date. It is an unofficial holiday that celebrates reading and advises people to put away their smartphones and all other tech distractions, and instead, pick up a book to read (of course, people CAN read books on their tablets). Closely aligned with books is the world of communication, and thus, this appropriately-themed Q&A.

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Rich Perry and invited him to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Rich Perry is a Communication Strategist. He helps to build brands that customers will trust. He co-authored Bankroll Your Mind (an International #1 Best Seller) and was a contributing author in three books focusing on personal development. He is currently writing a book for Freemasons that will focus on leadership and personal development; and he's also a writer for Entrepreneur and other online publications.

QUESTION: What attracted you to the field of communications?

RICH PERRY: I’ve always been interested in communication, as far back as my teenage years when I was an active Boy Scout. I was the one volunteering to take speaking roles at camp, train the new scouts, or create a presentation. In college, I became active in the college radio station, which took on a different mode of communication. It has continued to grow from there.

I love being able to connect with people to share ideas, meaningful messages, or inspiring stories. I also like helping people to share their important messages with others. This could mean helping someone launch their branded business blog, provide tips that enable someone to rock their first podcast interview, or offer coaching to empower someone to deliver an impactful presentation in a professional setting.

There are so many forms of communication. There’s the spoken word or a message written down. We can communicate through video or podcasts. Plus, social media and its many new features allow us to connect and share ideas in ways that weren’t possible just a few years ago.

QUESTION: In a post for Entrepreneur, you explained five ways to build digital trust. Of the five, which do you consider the most important, and why?

(Read the full post here:

RICH PERRY: I consider them all to be important, each for a different reason. But if I had to choose just one, then I’ll go with the first item which is to be trustworthy.

Spend a decent amount of time online and you’re sure to come across internet marketers and so-called gurus or experts who want to show you pictures of luxurious homes, fancy cars, and of course, snapshots of impressive bank accounts. But if you do a little digging or you’re in the right social circles, you learn that it’s just smoke and mirrors in many cases.

Being trustworthy is an important part of establishing and building healthy relationships. This is especially important in business. It’s the same whether we’re talking about relationships with customers, employees, colleagues, stakeholders, or viewers in the digital world. We should always conduct ourselves properly in word and deed to earn and maintain the trust of others.

QUESTION: What are your favorite brands, and why?
RICH PERRY: Here are two:

(1) Star Wars: This brand has not only created its own universe for fans to find enjoyment but its own culture as well. On the surface, the masses in the general public loved the movies. But below that, the die-hard fans had an ever-expanding world of content that included novels, comics, and games. Once acquired by Disney, the brand has been creating even more content for the Disney+ streaming service that has had fans sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the newest installments.

(2) Marvel: Much like Star Wars, this brand has decades worth of content that has kept fans coming back after each new story and asking for more. One of the things I love about this brand is the amount of attention they put into their releases, the level of detail, and the fan service paid to their loyal supporters. Marvel knows what it takes to make their fans smile, and they’re willing to go the extra mile (and even farther!) to please the people.

QUESTION: What's your favorite social media marketing campaign, and why?
RICH PERRY: I’m not sure if this would classify as a campaign, but a few years ago the “ice bucket challenge” took social media by storm. It had everyone participating, and soon afterward, everyone was hopping on the bandwagon to create their own challenges. While they didn’t create the idea of online challenges or interactive campaigns to raise money, they absolutely made an impact, and everyone wanted to duplicate that level of virality and success. This is proof that you don’t need a huge budget to create a successful campaign or movement.

QUESTION: Which social media platform is best for brand-building, and why?
RICH PERRY: That all depends on the brand, where their audience spends the most time, and how they want to communicate information to the intended audience.

If you’re a B2B brand, then a good choice would be LinkedIn. But if you’re B2C or your brand is more fun and visual, then something like Instagram or Snapchat is probably the better option.

The most important thing is knowing where your audience is spending time online and understanding how they like to receive information. Then communicate your information accordingly and encourage them to join the conversation.

Remember the first word in “social media” is social, so it’s important that you create engaging content that your audience will want to interact with. Treat social media as a two-way conversation when you design and execute an online marketing strategy.

TWEET THIS: Know where your audience is spending time online and understand how they like to receive information. ~@CoachRichPerry #SMTips #DebbieLaskeysBlog

How will you celebrate Book Lovers Day? What book will you read today - and what is your fave book of all time? Chime in and share.

Image Credit: AbsolutVision via Unsplash.

Check out Rich's sites:

Monday, August 1, 2022

How Do YOU Connect on Twitter?


Today is World Wide Web Day, a global celebration dedicated to web browsing and other online activities. Post a selfie, express your opinion with a Tweet, or share a photo of beautiful flowers. But whatever you do, make a connection and be social.

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Jennifer Montgomery and invited her to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Jennifer Montgomery is the Managing Partner and Director of Learning & Development at Blue Door Group in Nova Scotia, Canada. An award-winning educator, strategist, and development expert, she is a champion for life-long learning and proficient in guiding strategy and policy development across sectors. Her unique combination of business development, entrepreneurial, and teaching experiences help her clients implement meaningful and lasting growth strategies that impact all levels of business - transforming businesses into dynamic and innovative learning organizations. In addition, creating meaningful connections is at the core of Jennifer’s personal brand which she has leveraged to create and co-found the "40 Cups of Coffee" community; a network of professionals that has now spanned North America through online engagements.

QUESTION: Since we met through a TweetChat, and your Twitter profile includes "Follow to learn: how to network with purpose," what's your favorite thing about Twitter?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: Twitter is the most community-oriented social platform in my experience. The engagement there is a lot higher which means you get to build more meaningful relationships than on other platforms. The Twitter community I have experienced has been educational, supportive, and inspirational while also being a fun way to get to know others from around the world.

QUESTION: How did you come up with your Twitter handle: @40CupsofCoffeee?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: 40 Cups started as a joke when my business partner @StephClarkBDG and I had our first coffee meeting. I went home, wrote it on a sticky note and then put it on my vision board. I knew it spoke to the experience I wanted to share with others about how Networking With Purpose (having those 40 Cups of Coffee) can inspire your growth through connecting with others. Think: 6 Steps to Kevin Bacon only career focused - if you want to land a new job or score a particular contract, who do you need to have coffee with to get introduced to the people who will help make that happen for you? Each “coffee” is a actually just a metaphor for connection; a part of your 40 Cups of Coffee Journey. After 40 Cups, aka 40 connections, you literally can trace your growth through the power of each of those connections, if you are willing to be open to learning from them.

Now, 40 Cups of Coffee has become our second business journey together and we are working on bringing the teaching and resources of 40 Cups together to help more professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders achieve their goals through building meaningful relationships through effective networking.

QUESTION: Who are your some of your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: I don’t like to categorize my favorite people to follow because there are so many. What I can say is that the 5 best characteristics of my favorite accounts to follow are those that are community-focused, positive, supportive, educational, and of course, love to share coffee GIFs, jokes, and quotes. You can find these people by searching for these hashtags: #launchandfounders, #ginnsquad, #leadloudly, #tweet100, and #Ship30.

QUESTION: I'm from California and have been on Twitter since 2009. You're from Canada and have been on Twitter since 2020. There is no question that Twitter makes the world smaller and brings people together. With this in mind, what are some of your favorite uses of Twitter?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: Building and contributing to communities with the goal of learning from one another has been my favorite part of twitter. I’m an extrovert and love to meet new people and learn about their superpowers! Twitter has been a great tool to expand my network globally and has helped 40 Cups of Coffee grow to include community members from around the world and not just where I live.   

QUESTION: Lastly, thinking about the famous OREO Tweet during the Super Bowl back in 2013, what is your favorite Tweet?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: It's hard to think of one Tweet that's a favorite, but I think Tweets from Wendy's are pretty funny. I love Tweets that provoke conversations as well.

TWEET THIS: I love Tweets that provoke conversations. ~@40CupsofCoffeee

My thanks to Jennifer for sharing her social media insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credit: Joshua Coleman via Unsplash featuring quote by @ValaAfshar on Twitter.

Check out Jennifer's links: