Monday, September 10, 2007

New Online IDEA Café is going to be test this Wednesday at 2 p.m. Mountain Time. Mark your calendar now, then join us from anywhere in the world! Just click on the TalkShoe link to the left at the time of the meeting,
RSVP now at

At our regular Denver IDEA Café this Friday, September 14, Chris Lowell will share his startup experience and we do brainstorming
Any one who is starting a new project, a new business, a new career or a new career is invited to join us. We help people turn their inspiration into effective action.


I just sent out this news release to Denver media:

Good discussion about important topics.

"Our first meeting was the Friday after September 11, 2002. We almost canceled. The topic of that first meeting was 'how do we fight terrorism in our own head?' and it was a great discussion," said John Wren, founder of the Denver Socrates Cafe.

Socrates Cafe meetings started across the country when people like Wren were inspired by Chris Phillips book by the same title in 2002. For more information see

"That first group is still meeting each Friday evening from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant here in Denver near the Capitol. It is free and open to all, and no RSVP is required, just show up.

"Now there is a 2nd group that is a bit more structured. It meets each Thursday evening from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Trinity Church, 18th & Broadway. Details and RSVP at" said Wren. was started by Scott Heiferman shortly after 9/11, he tells his startup story in a short video at Wren was one of the first in the country to mash the two concepts (Socrates Cafe and together.



I just sent this email to my friends Dick Wadhams and Pat Waak, the State Chairs of the GOP and Dem parties here in Colorado. Would you like to join us Wednesday? RSVP at

Dear Dick & Pat,

We are having a CoCaCoP (Colorado Caucus Community of Practice) meeting this Wednesday at 6:30 at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant here in Denver.

Because of the recent changes in Colorado Revised Statues regarding the caucus, there is a lot of confusion about deadlines for registration, etc. At our meeting Wednesday we will finalize wording for a news release we will make to local media concerning these issues, and meetings we plan on holding through local chambers of commerce to publicize caucus participation.

Would it be possible for you to each have a representative at the meeting Wednesday as we finalize our plans?




Interesting book review:
(have you read this book yet?)

Author advocates honesty in marketingAuthor Lois Kelly proposes that truth resonates with everyone, and by presenting it in the appropriate context, your customers will be more likely to respond favorably to your message.

Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing. Lois Kelly. AMACON. 228 pages.
published 9/10/07 in The Miami Herald and posted at

One of the best, most eye-opening books I ever read about marketing was full of obvious, head-slapping observations. I sat there, turning pages, nodding in agreement as I read it. The Cluetrain Manifesto is as potent and relevant now as it was when came out, seven or so years ago.

Lois Kelly has delivered a prodigious and worthy successor to that book by looking at the ways humans communicate with each other and how conversational aspects, hooks and themes can be used for marketing. She brings the proverbial cluetrain into the station and unpacks some of the freight.

It's a great idea, really, to examine the ways that people speak with each other and the basic subjects that engage us. Author and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki thought so much of this aspect of the book, in fact, that he quotes it at length in his blog: http:/ people-tal.html

Here's an excerpt of Kelly's ``Nine Themes That Always Get People Talking'':

1. Aspirations and beliefs: helpful because they help us connect emotionally to the speaker, the company, and the issues. They help us see into a person or company's soul.

2. David vs. Goliath: Sharing stories about how a small organization is taking on a big company is great business sport. Rooting for the underdog grabs our emotions, creates meaning, and invokes passion.

3. Avalanche about to roll. You want to tune in and listen because you know that there's a chance that you will be killed if caught unaware. This theme taps into our desire to get the inside story before it's widely known.

4. Contrarian/counterintuitive/challenging assumptions. The boldness of contrarian views grabs attention; the more original and less arrogant they are, the more useful they will be in provoking meaningful conversations.

5. Anxieties. People are becoming skeptical, and rightly so. Too many politicians, companies have bombarded us with FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) with no facts to back up their point.

6. Personalities and personal stories. There's nothing more interesting than a personal story. Robert Goizueta, the respected CEO of Coca-Cola, said he hated giving speeches but he was always telling stories

7. How-to stories and advice. To be interesting, how-to themes need to be fresh and original, providing a new twist to what people already know or tackle thorny issues.

8. Glitz and glam. Finding a way to logically link to something glitzy and glamorous is a surefire conversation starter.

9. Seasonal/event-related. Last, and least interesting, but seems to resonate, is tying your topic into seasonal or major events.''

Kelly makes specific suggestions for tying many of these things into marketing messages, but she stresses that you can't fake it; the quality and content of your communication must be authentic and credible. For example, if a CEO blogs about her experience with a product, a patently self-serving claim or testimonial about her own company's goods would appear insincere. And it would be, even if it were true.

Kelly also discusses ways to conduct presentations, meetings and conversations more effectively -- and honestly. The downside to all of this authenticity and openness is that many companies probably have inferior products or may not possess a compelling story to tell. In those cases, bring out the taco-loving Chihuahuas and beer-drinking dogs.

Richard Pachter

Miami Herald Business book columns at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment or question here is very welcome! Or to keep it confidential email me at After you post or send it is very helpful if you then call me at (303)861-1447 to make sure I take a look at your comment here or your email. Thanks!