Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Notable Headline: Authentic Endorsements

I really, really like a post that Ann Oliveri wrote on "authentic endorsements." Focuses on a WSJ story about how women let Chico's know they identified with Debbie Phelps (mother of Michael Phelps), who was wearing their clothes at the Olympics. Debbie wears Chico's clothes because she loves their clothes. It's authentic.

And Ann gives these questions for organizations:

1. What do we do to build loyalty?
2. "Are you overlooking authentic endorsements? Real members with their own 15 minutes of fame in public settings?
3. Do you use media 'clipping' services to justify your work or do you celebrate members' recognition as expert sources even when your association isn't mentioned by name?
4. How many celebrities have a family connection to your association, your issue?"

I believe we need to do a better job with these concepts, because there are remarkable connections and authentic endorsements. And we can do more to highlight them. As example, my association asked 2 members who are participating in the national political conventions to blog about the experience, from the perspective of being in our industry. A chance to be authentic.

Separately, a bonus to writing a blog is readers will send random comments and even pictures related to any given post I may write. Since I wrote about Debbie Phelps earlier, got a Michael Phelps "celebrity connection" - a kid in the picture (blond hair, brown shoes) is consultant Jerry Matthews' 9-year old grandson Alex, a Florida swimmer selected to march with Michael Phelps in last week's DisneyWorld Homecoming Parade. If you see Alex in the Olympics 8 years from now, remember, you saw him here first ...

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