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The Home Stretch

Saturday’s presentations were overwhelmingly good.  I feel lucky to be part of a cohort with so many intelligent leaders. And while these presentations took up most of the day’s course time, I was thrilled to have the class end with being given some insight into the best practices for social media photography, especially when the iPhone is your tool of choice. Fantastic class overall.

If you followed my Twitter activity during class, it was obvious that I was hanging on Josh Trujillo’s every word.   I have been moved by his work in the past as he has an impressive ability to capture moments in scenes of chaos that convey deep emotion.  Having his tips in my pocket are sure challenge me to capture more unique views of my environment to include in my storytelling while at the same time improving my photos of my dogs and dinners for my Facebook feed.

Now on to the group presentations.

Monetizing Communities Mini Cooper:

I think the idea was interesting, and since the events are simply an amplification of local road trips that are successful in their smaller community, I think it could have traction.  My question is really more around the monetization opportunity.  Given the financials that were presented, it felt like the opportunity was small-scale for a brand like BMW to consider successful.  I wonder if there might be stronger opportunities in partnerships that gave access to this highly desirable demographic of drivers on a broader scale.  Since the information we were presented said that they were social media social butterflies, it seems possible to use that activity not only to amplify the Mini brand, but to drive partner opportunities to both target and be endorsed by this community.  Even flipping the opportunity to have it become a select group of Mini owners who are selected for their social media savvy being given a unique Mini sponsored trip with additional sponsors adding events and prizes to the experience may be more beneficial to the sponsors than the limited reach that a 40 person road trip would normally have.

The one thing I would like to see if this was a “real” presentation to the board of BMW is validation of their facts.  I found myself wondering “where did they get that data” frequently during their presentation.  Especially if it was contrary to my own experience with the Mini owners I have contact with.  One other thing I’d like to see, a different phrasing of their summing up the 50+ audience of Mini owners as “old people.”  Ouch!  While I’m not 50+ yet, no one wants to be called old and the audience of that meeting is likely to have many in attendance who fit that demographic.

Engagement in Organizations- Pollinator Pathway:

This presentation had the most beautiful materials, video, photos and posters.  I was impressed with the mission and goals of their organization.  having never heard of it before, I now want to find ways to contribute and bring a similar project to my neighborhood.  While I loved the organization and materials, I felt the content of the group was a bit too instructive.  I left the presentation without a clear idea of what I was supposed to take away as a member of their audience.

The one thing I would like to see if this was a “real” presentation to the stake holders of Pollinator Pathway is a clear call for action.  I want to know what steps I should be taking, who I should be contacting or what I need to be researching next.

The Data Challenge- MYPulse:
I learned so much in this presentation.  The format was concise and direct, the references were well researched and interesting.  They did a wonderful job of summing up the ask of the board and supporting both possible decisions.  My notes for this presentation focus on the data they presented, it make me feel like I really understood the business challenges they were facing and the pros and cons of the approaches taken by the competition.

The one thing I would like to see if this was a “real” presentation to the board of MYPulse is a bigger deal made of their celebrity spokesperson.  As much as it didn’t directly drive the data discussion, if the team has a high-profile celebrity ready to endorse their product, that should have been the first point in that part of the discussion.  As I said, this is a quibble, as I thought this was an excellent presentation.

The Behavior Change- Aspen:

This group did an excellent job of framing the problem they are trying to address.  Instead of taking a broad swipe at increasing recycling overall, they narrowly defined their target audience and gave real thought about how to motivate a behavior change.  It was especially effective that the team took on roles in their presentation and really sold the pitch as a credible engagement with Seattle Public Utilities, and it made the presentation more fun as an audience member.  Adding the concept of competition, active message participation and a “coolness” factor to the communication felt like an opportunity for success with their targeted audience.  I also appreciated that they addressed past failed efforts in this area and took time to dissect and investigate why these efforts didn’t have the success they were hoping for.  One very effective tool used in the presentation was the video of the train hauling garbage to a landfill in Oregon.  It really drove home the fact that while Seattle is a leader in waste management, there is still a long way to go.  Less successful was the 2nd video.  I didn’t understand the message it was trying to convey and felt it just took time away from the core message of the project.

The one thing I would like to see if this was a “real” presentation to the stake holder of this effort would be a better example of a web video.  To make the project compelling, the “crown jewel” needs to be much more of an attention grabber.

The Free Threat- Root:

It is hard to believe that this was not a real magazine.  Their presentation was so compelling that as they spoke I kept coming up with more ideas to help keep this magazine alive.  By the end of the presentation, I was hoping they would be moved to start this project just so I could subscribe.  Their goals for keeping the print magazine relevant while driving a community around it to support the paid subscription were so well researched and convincingly presented, I was completely wowed.  Their visuals were stunning and the goals of presenting the beauty in food and the world of urban farming really attracted me as a half-assed urban farmer myself.  Taking the community more in the direction of an upscale movement really resonated with me and I think their strategy was compelling as it really felt to understand the evolution of the modern urban farmers.

The one thing I would like to see if this was a “real” presentation to the team at Root would be a discussion of the strategy for community curation.  This is a big departure for a magazine, but one I think is admirable.  Also, I believe their decision not to make a tablet version of the magazine is a misstep.  With the audience they are targeting, tablets seem like a natural progression.  If the desire is there to differentiate the print magazine from a purely digital offering, perhaps having additional features in the print model.  One idea that came to mind for me was to have the last page of the magazine be a seed paper.  This is a kind of paper that has seeds imbedded in the paper pulp.  They can be planted and the seeds will then sprout and grow in your garden.    Again, I thought this team did an exceptional job with their strategy, now if only they’d go make this magazine for me, I’d be happy.

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