Posts Tagged ‘@DebWeinstein’

On April 8, 2011 thirty of North America’s top social marketers converged in Toronto for #usguysEH. The sold-out, first-of-its-kind dinner sponsored by Strategic Objectives and Hashable, co-hosted by interactive guru Sam Fiorella and SO President Deborah Weinstein. Leading marketers from New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Buffalo, Montreal and Ottawa made the trek to Toronto to meet-up IRL with some of the brightest stars in the twitterverse. Check out our video and blog post for all the details.


I’ve been swimming in the #usguys stream since it first appeared in the Twitterverse in the fall of 2010. A 24/7, non-stop twitter chat focused on marketing, social media and tech, #usguys has attracted a diverse and brilliant international community of tweeps who share info, opinion and virtual friendship around the clock.

With more than 1,000 participants, including many leading-edge social marketers around the globe and a constantly shifting conversation ranging from the hottest social media trends, tools and techniques to who’s doing, drinking, eating what — #usguys has become an incubator of fresh ideas and a popular hang-out for the socially obsessed.

The idea of creating #usguysEH, Canada’s first ever IRL meet-up in Toronto on April 8, 2011, started small, in the form of a tweet I received from @Josepf, an exuberant, hyper-active marketer and poet from Philly, who was planning a spring trip to Toronto to visit family.

“Great,” I replied, “let’s do a Meet Up! including @samfiorella, a mutual friend and #usguy I’d met IRL at #ungeeked Toronto last November and absolutely adore, in my tweet. Our convo was, of course, live in the stream and the die was cast from that night. #usguys around the world wanted in!

The who, what, when, where and how much it would cost to stage a meet-up were questions yet to be answered. But the why was very clear. We would create a unique, sleek and chic Toronto destination event starring some of the finest minds in the twitterverse to have fun, meet, greet and make connections that would optimize both our personal and professional lives.

Our original cadré instantly expanded to include @jackineccity from San Francisco, @mentormarketing from NYC, @rubymarcom from Buffalo, @KarimaCatherine, @Smartel and @exoporier from Montreal and @PeterfromOttawa. We had an international happening on our hands.

My co-host in #usguysEH @samfiorella created an awesome website to promote the event and sell tickets; my colleagues at Strategic Objectives, our Toronto-based PR agency, kicked in with sponsorship dollars and impeccable event organizing from logo development through nametags, programs and event-photography and videography.

#usguysEH was everything we’d hoped for. Starring 30 fabulous social media adventurers from the US and Canada, it was an exceptionally elegant and uber-social evening in Toronto’s celebrity hang-out, Bistro 990.

An evening of fine food, drink and a fire hose full of lively, trendy conversation, there’s little doubt that the round of tequila shots, interspersed amongst our one minute elevator-pitch #intros, helped loosen our tongues. A highlight of the evening included a prezo by Mike Yavonditte (@mikeyavo), CEO of #hashable who flew up from NYC with his senior VP Jane Kim, @Jinner13, to share his latest news. It didn’t take long before everyone was hashtag happy with #justmet and #nicetomeetyou.

An oasis of discovery, exploration and fine friendship set to flourish, #usguysEH was a unique opportunity to make it real in the social world and a stunning example of the power of Twitter to attract like-minded tweeps to form meaningful communities.

We are SO grateful to our @SO_pr PR pros @AndrewFStewart, @smichm, @mjovanoski, Stephenie Peters, @Sadiethefoodie and @judyslewis, Jim Colbourne and Tom Peterson in Production for their contribution to what was a truly memorable meet-up.

Deborah Weinstein.

Public Relations has awesome power to reach into the hearts, minds and wallets of targeted consumers.

Never has this been more true than now, in the social era, when everyone has the right to be their own publisher and to spread info they/we believe is important, relevant and engaging for our audiences.

My work in Marketing Public Relations began back in the 80’s when I co-founded our national, full-service PR firm, Strategic Objectives, with my sister and partner Judy Lewis. Both former TV and radio producers with CBC, CTV and Global TV networks, we’d been on the receiving end of copious off-target PR communications for many years. We knew there had to be a better way to share and spread brand information and to harness the value of credible third party endorsements from key influencers, the media, stakeholders and consumers.

Looking back now, more than 25 years hence, I am reminded of the French saying “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” – the more things change, the more they remain the same!

Yes the world has become much, much smaller with the advent of the fax machine, PC, cell phone, camcorder, digital camera, laptop, smart-phone, tablet and social networks – all devices and platforms that allow us to communicate instantly. But the basics of results-driven communication and the practice of PR remain the same as when we started Strategic Objectives back in 1983.

  • Craft a solid, reliable, relevant story
  • Tell it to the right audiences that need/want to hear it
  • Be honest and real; show integrity with everything you do
  • Be innovative, integrated, inspired and inspiring
  • Be proactive, reactive and follow-up meticulously
  • Be prepared for issues/crisis management
  • Be consistent and true to your brand –
  • Be cautious, the internet forms a permanent record –
  • Be nimble, seize the day and every opportunity –
  • And most importantly, love what you do!

At #SOSlam we’ll discuss the brave new world of social sharing and networking; and the profound impact it has on the way we see, do things and conduct business. But it’s important, at the same time, to remember that social media is a tactic, a tool and sometimes a weapon. What it is not, is a strategy, a foolproof path that will take us directly to the fulfillment of our personal and professional goals.

Social media is an awesome new avenue that, like most technology, allows us to do more for ourselves, faster, easier and more independently. It is also uncharted territory, an ever-evolving landscape that challenges, titillates and provokes us with the thrill of the unknown, not-yet-mastered and still unconquered.

I look forward to learning more about social media with you at #SOSlam and to meeting the awesome tweeps who will converge on Knoxville from 12 States and Canada (pick me), on Wednesday, April 13. See you there. Can’t wait!

For more info on SOSlam please check out:

Deborah Weinstein, @DebWeinstein, is president of Strategic Objectives,


Last week I was interviewed by the awesome Michele Price (@prosperitygal) for the Women in Business Radio podcast. As some of you may know I’ve enjoyed an extraordinary adventure leading to where I am today, president of Strategic Objectives, Canada’s most award- winning PR agency (if not, please click here to see My Most Excellent Adventure video). Along the way I’ve learned many useful tips for the woman who wants it all. It was wonderful to chat with Michele and share my story of a true twenty-first century business woman who really does have it all (or SO I think).

Although we have been friends on Twitter for a quite some time, Michele and I met last summer IRL at the #Ungeeked conference here in Toronto.  We hit it off instantly and developed a strong virtual friendship.

I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel welcome to comment.

Deborah Weinstein (@DebWeinstein)

Last November I was asked by my dear friend Guy Gal to be a Keynote Speaker at The Biz Media’s Global Entrepreneurial Week Meet up. It was a distinct pleasure and unique opportunity to talk about my journey from feisty CBC reporter to PR maven. Our entrepreneurial spirit is still alive at Strategic Objectives, and I was excited to share my story with my fellow digital marketers. The crowd was warm and eager, the refreshments delightful. Here’s the video from of my speechification. I hope you enjoy my story as much as I enjoyed telling it.

A big thank you to @GuyGal and The Biz Media for hosting me and our @SO_PR social crew.



Last Friday I had the distinct opportunity to attend, present and mingle with some of the “who’s who” of social media at UnGeeked Toronto, a three day social media retreat. The speaker list was extensive and reflective of the professionally social atmosphere. Guest speakers included:

Mark Bowden @truthplane

Marsha Collier @MarshaCollier

Amanda Hite @sexythinker

Jason Falls @jasonfalls

Jason Weaver @mixdown04

Jeffrey Willinger @jwillie

Erin Bury @erin_bury

Bruce Powell @IQPartners

Tom Tentoglou @tentoglou

Katie Felten @KatieFelten

Karima-Catherine @karimacatherine

Heather Taylor @heatherAtaylor

Stéphane Poirier @exopoirier

Alan Lepofsky @alanlepo

Michele Price @prosperitygal

And me! @DebWeinstein

Not only were these speakers a treat to listen to, but we were greatly impressed by their humility. It was refreshing to see industry leaders take such a grass roots approach to teaching and learning from other professionals; and to hear the clear cut admission that social media is still a dynamic, every changing,  incrementally growing and expanding universe with no clear cut goals, guidelines, or processes. It is reassuring to know that even these industry leaders, who possess deep knowledge and experience in the field, are still discovering, reinventing, re examining and frankly just trying to understand social media as a whole!

As the conversation evolved throughout the event we started to talk more about how social media can be used for corporate brand building and customer service. Some of the key points from this discussion were:

  • Corporations and clients alike need to work on a stable social media strategy in conjunction with their other marketing initiatives;
  • Results driven strategy + making and meetings goals = bottom line results (every marketer’s dream!). The best way to get there is to follow the 4H’s
  • Be human, be humble, be honest, and be helpful;
  • There is heavy importance for a brand to have two way dialogue and provide feedback to the client and customer. It is the responsibility of the brand to communicate to the customer, in the customer’s chosen forum, time and space;
  • The customer now has the authority to define their relationship by befriending or defriending the brand. The ball is in their court.  
  • A brand must be engaging, credible and relevant. To achieve these proof points you must use research to make sure you are reaching out to the right people in the right way for ultimate effectiveness.

And above all!

  •  It is crucial for a company to understand that a brand must be authentic online.

Another great point brought up by our dear friend Marsha Collier was: Some Brands may have hundreds of people working in their customer service call centers, but only one community manager to deal with online customer service.  This understaffing really rankled and resonated with the group.  It is a scary lesson brand managers must learn, it is the brand’s responsibility to be where your customers are talking about you; and your job to mediate the conversation with the correct tone and manners. This leads me to another important point that was discussed at the conference — manners! As we are all aware, cyber bullying is becoming a huge problem. Some say it’s an epidemic among online communities. It is crucial that we maintain our composure, dignity and professional tone when engaging others online. You win no one over to your side of an argument by shouting obscenities, making accusations and putting down others. Social media has become the wild wild west, where there are NO rules.  As @AndrewFStewart, our community manager always says, “There is no such thing as a social media expert, only those who follow best practices and are constantly trying to refine their online engagement approach.”

Here’s a smart response from Michele Price, @prosperitygal to someone bullying you on Twitter: “Please explain to me the intention of your last tweet” #ungeeked”

As always at social media tweetups there were two conversations going on simultaneously.  One on the panel, and one on Twitter with the hashtag #UnGeeked.

Our favorite Tweeple at the conference were:

@JasonFalls, @MarshaCollier, @Prosperitygal,

@jwillie, @tentoglou, @samfiorella. @AngelOakley

All in all the conference was a joy to attend. We highly recommend you participate in a future UnGeeked. Thanks to the amazing Cd Vann (AKA: @Thatwoman_is) for putting it all together.

Strategic Objectives turned World Cup fever into a fun team fundraiser to End Malaria on Friday, July 8, prior to Sunday’s Final Match between Netherlands and Spain.  One hundred and eighty children die in Africa in the time it takes to play one World Cup game; and the need for protective mosquito nets is acute.

To raise funds for this important cause, Strategic Objectives challenged our team to manoeuvre a soccer ball through a highly technical obstacle course of client products to score on our @SO_pr goalie.  The cost of entry was a Toonie ($2 CDN)  per person, with the company matching all donations.

A great time was had by all and after the last vuvuzela was blown, the team celebrated the beautiful game and a noble cause with ice cold drinks and snacks.