What does it mean to harness the power of social media?

AFP TEN STAR 2012 LogoThere is so much activity on the web now that people who are busy posting, tweeting and blogging rarely have an opportunity to pause and take in the big online picture.

Believe me, I know. I’m one of them. Each of my clients requires daily feeds to the many channels that might reach existing customers, new audiences or just interested readers. But with all this action, am I really harnessing the power of social media and what does that mean anyway?

As part of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)’s three-part workshop on “The Curated Experience: Engaging Your Constituents Through Technology,” I join S. Slade Sundar of Forte Interactive and Jonathon Brownfield of On the Ball, on a panel as we talk about wrapping our schedules and minds around social media’s opportunities.

In my humble opinion, harnessing the power of social media means talking to people the way they want to be talked to and encouraging them to act on the information you provide them. While some prefer the quick bites of Twitter, others like the interactivity of Facebook. With today’s options, audiences can choose how they receive their daily data, so you want to customize your message to their methods. If you’re curious to know more, I’m officially inviting you to the fun.

In addition to offering half-day seminars on websites, AFP does some other pretty wonderful things, supporting the ever-growing industry of fundraising in South Florida. Since so much of my business is tied to raising funds for worthwhile causes, I show my support by helping AFP promote its 26th Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon, which will be held Nov. 13 at the Signature Grand.

This is the second year Durée & Company has lent a helping hand, so I hope you’ll join us in celebrating the people and nonprofits that do so much for so many.

The Move

photoOuch, ow! Sorry, I am having some wonderful growing pains.

Durée & Company has moved into larger, corporate offices in May 2013, and all of this pending change has caused quite a reaction.

At this stage, my team and I have a new piece of real estate to call home, but it’s a home that must be properly decorated, furnished and equipped before we have guests over. Just know that we are all extremely excited, and I view this as a major milestone in the timeline of my company.

A few folks to thank (insert awards-style music here please) my husband, Dwayne even if you’re born with keen eyes for a bargain, it always helps to marry a person with a second set, just to be sure. I’d like to thank my children, Harrison and Harlee, for being such consistent inspirations, and I’d like to thank my team — Jennifer Davis, Mary Green, Kristin Hanke, Jennifer Martinez, Jamie O’Donnell, Adriana Pereira, Iris Reijnen and Ingrid Vega for helping me get to a point where Durée & Company needs to branch out.

And last, but not least, I’d like to thank each and every one of my clients. They each bring a different kind of energy, perspective and challenge to my world, making me a better PR consultant and a better businessperson.

Growing pains are a great thing- I look forward to having more of them.

Durée & Company – A year of firsts

image002Six months ago, I was preparing for a trip to New York to accept my first Stevie® Award for Women in Business. So it’s a bit surreal to see my name in the finalist column once again for yet another prestigious Stevie Award, except this time, it’s for Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year – Reputation/Brand Management.

For this Stevie Award, also known as the American Business Award (ABA), there is no special female designation. I’m competing with the big girls and boys, and it feels great! I’m nominated for my team’s work on Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s Campaign: Reinventing a 73-Year Tradition.

A little background on how Durée & Company made the cut again: In the ABA system of judging, all entries that receive an average score of at least 7.0 out of 10 in the preliminary round of judging become finalists, regardless of category, and are eligible to be included in final judging. The number of finalists in a category is a general reflection of the number of entries in a category. This year, roughly 35 percent of the more than 3,200 nominations considered became finalists.
Finalists were determined by the average scores provided by more than 140 executives over five weeks of judging in April and May.

Although this is the second time I’ve been nominated for an ABA award, it’s a “first” in this category and at this level. This is definitely becoming a year of “firsts” for Durée & Company – first time being honored as one of the “100 Outstanding Women of Broward County” by Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, first time being featured with my daughter on the cover of South Florida Parenting Magazine, and first time opening a new office.

Juggling a growing list of clients, fantastic partnerships, a great team and all of these “firsts” is making 2013 a memorable – and exciting/exhausting/never-boring – year, to say the least. But now, I get to add a trip to Chicago for the ABA banquet on June 17 to the “to-do” list, and I couldn’t be happier.

See you in the Windy City!