Four thoughts as we wind down 2013


It’s that time of year. You know what I’m talking about: best of lists, top ten countdowns and recaps from the year are making their way across our in-boxes, news feeds, Twitter timelines and RSS readers. I usually would jump into the fray with my favorite albums from the year, but I have to admit that I haven’t been keeping tabs on new music this year as much I would have liked. (If you are looking for some solid musical finds, then I suggest checking out the year-end rankings from Twin Cities mavens Kyle Matteson and Brian Danaher.) Continue reading

From the social chair: the Brand Summit brand summit

This past week I had the privilege of presenting a “How To” class at the inaugural Brand Summit. (Quick background: is a professional organization that consists of client side professionals from big brands that are in charge of social media at their respective companies.) Even though the organization hosts quarterly mini-conferences, this was their first attempt at an annual gathering, and they were kind enough to ask me to participate as a speaker.

Aside from my presentation, I got to sit through some terrific sessions along with an entertaining keynote session featuring the one-and-only Tyra Banks. I was especially proud of my home state after getting to watch Twin Cities smarties Greg Gerik from 3M and Kevin Hunt from General Mills do their thing. Greg shared his experiences with  measurement and analytics while Kevin discussed how his team handles content strategy for a company that is home to a broad base of brands.

My “How To” class was about how brands should think about integrating social media into their marketing and advertising efforts. Instead of focusing on my work at Best Buy, I instead decided to share five themes I have observed which are enabling brands to have success in the market place. I also decided to have some fun with the presentation by taking a tongue-in-cheek approach of comparing bad social media strategy to mad libs. If you were able to attend the conference and see me present in person, then I would like to thank you for taking the time to do so. If you weren’t able to be there, then feel free to check out the presentation below — I’d love to hear your feedback.

Quick hitting case study: Fluevog Shoes

Earlier this fall, Leslie and I were doing the “be a tourist in your hometown” thing and decided to check out some stores that we don’t normally frequent. One of the places we visited was Fluevog Shoes in the Uptown neighborhood. They only have one location here, and it has been open for just about a year. Before visiting the store, I really didn’t know much about the Fluevog brand, but Leslie was familiar with it and promised that I’d like it. As usual, she was right.


One foot in with a Fluevog

Fluevog shoes feature a classic style with a bit of a rock ‘n’ roll edge. They somewhat remind me of more sophisticated Doc Martens. When I was looking around the store, I spotted a pair of their Andrew Oxford shoes and fell in love with them. (I have to admit that I’ve developed a soft spot for cool shoes the last couple of years. It’s the hipster in me – I know.) Leslie saw how I was fawning over the oxfords, and she bought them for me as an early birthday present. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: the YouTube Partner Program

Me and my new BFF

Me and my new BFF

For four days last week I was hunkered down at the fabulous YouTube Space L.A. for the YouTube Partner Program. This was a workshop where I got up-to-speed on all things YouTube and learned how Best Buy could take our activities on the platform up a few notches. The production studio, which is located near Marina Del Rey, also doubles as a collaborative workspace for writers, editors, directors and producers. (Fun fact: YouTube Space L.A. is located on grounds that formerly housed one of Howard Hughes’ airports.) Continue reading

my latest Twitter fave

riot fest tweet_3

In case you haven’t picked up on it, I’m a big fan of Twitter. I’ve been pretty active on the network going back a handful of years, and I love the bite size way that people are able to share information and carry on conversations.

One of the things that is key to making the most out of Twitter is to have an authentic voice. I talk about this all the time with Leslie or with the folks on my team. It’s important to have a point-of-view and voice on the platform that is true to who you are or what your brand represents.  Continue reading

confessions of a public speaking convert


Until a few years ago I hadn’t been one to embrace public speaking, and it’s mainly because I don’t necessarily strive to be in the center of attention. I like being a part of activities or work or events that are very public, like producing concerts or being a radio host or creating marketing campaigns, but I get more enjoyment when I am behind the scenes. Continue reading

it’s time to redesign the RFP


Over the course of the last several months I have been working on two RFP’s for my company. One was to hire our first social marketing agency-of-record while the other RFP was for a new social media management system (SMMS). Following a thorough and deliberate process we recently concluded our searches. While leading this work I learned the ins-and-outs of what it means to go through the RFP process at a Fortune 100 firm like Best Buy. I went through the paces with a wide range of talented people that came from areas such as procurement, contract management, information technology, corporate technology & security, legal, and privacy. I came away with the understanding that a well crafted request-for-proposal is an absolute necessity to help potential vendors provide the best reply possible. And lastly, I came away with the belief that from a client perspective the current RFP process for big companies is flawed and needs to be redesigned. Continue reading