Morgan Siem Speaks at Meet The New Media

by Phil Buckley on March 3, 2011

in Social Media

Meet the New Media

Meet the New Media is an event series spearheaded by Rebecca Antonelli with some of the brightest minds in the Triangle from the news and marketing fields.

Today I’ll be live-blogging a panel discussion that includes David Crabtree, one of the news anchors from WRAL, Phil Zachary, the President of Curtis Media, Chris Baysden a reporter at the Triangle Business Journal and our own Vice President of Social Media, Morgan Siem.

Setting up now, no good wifi so that’s disappointing, but God bless my personal wifi hotspot! First thing I notice is that Chris Baysden brought a stack of business cards that is at least 4 inches high – I love a guy with confidence. Phil Zachary is talking radio with Chris on the side.

Good crowd here, about 50 people and here we go…

Oooo, neat a weird guy just ran in and did some ad hoc Rebecca bashing before being whisked away, it was really weird. I thought it was going to be something about “interruption marketing” but I guess it was real.

David Crabtree speaking at Meet the New Media

David Crabtree

David Crabtree is up first. “If all you want is publicity, buy advertising.” Reminds the crowd that what WRAL is looking for is stories that move people, not stories that are designed to push your brand. He says that a business that is super successful isn’t enough, he wants to know what that company is going to do with those profits.

Authenticity is what David likes to see. He talks about a video about a dog named ricochet. Nobody seems to know what he’s talking about. The dog taught people how to surf – even a quadriplegic. He talks about a study that came out recently that said men tell 6 lies a day and women tell 3/day. Why is that? He says he wants a story where a company lowers it price so that more people can afford your product during tough economic times.

Chris Baysden speaking at meet the New Media

Chris Baysden

Chris Baysden is next up. First he does a background dump on his company and all of it’s tentacles including newspapers and magazines all over the country. They want a weeks notice on stories that get pitched and they like “hard” news stories best. That was quick… 3 minutes and done.

Next is Phil Zachary from Curtis Media. He asks if Rebecca actually wants to put him before “this poor woman”. It’s obvious he’s never seen Morgan work a room.

Phil needs a white board for his presentation. Rebecca gives him a big intro about how he helped her many years ago get started. Phil is speaking without a mic, which I always like. He says he does not speak about marketing any more, so this is a one off event for him.

Phil Zachary speaking at Meet the New Media

Phil Zachary

Phil says he subscribes to the idea that there are 3 types of people in marketing: Innovators, Imitators and Idiots. He mentions the book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. Think of your mind as a series of ladders. What you buy and where you buy it are all different ladders. Wal-Mart wasn’t even an available ladder for him 5 years ago, now he not only has a ladder but Wal-Mart is at the top for many commodity products like soap, tissues and dog food. Then other things snuck in like english muffins and even some produce.

He goes on to tell the story of Anheiser-Busch and Sam Adams and how Sam Adams could never get up the domestic beer ladder, so they build their own “micro-brew” ladder.

The basic question is: How are you different than your competitors? If you can’t answer that, what the hell are you doing in business. Good story of the blind house painter. In the end, the moral of the story is if you’re at the bottom of the ladder it’s awfully expensive to move up up – so a better idea is to create your own ladder.

Groupon is hot. Groupon is a life preserver for some small businesses, but for most it is just putting off the end of a business that can’t figure out how to attract customers normally.

Morgan Siem speaking at Meet the New Media

Morgan Siem

Hooray, Morgan’s up now!

Is social media worth it? It depends on what you do with it!

Use social media tools to do what you need to do more efficiently. Social media is a great way to inspire people. You can spread a message of what you stand for and what you believe in.

Morgan uses her personal story of jumping on the St. Baldrick’s head shaving bandwagon to talk about looking at what’s possible rather than only looking at limitations.

It’s Q & A time!

First question is for Morgan: Social Media – how do you separate personal from business on the social media platforms?

Answer: It’s all about being authentic and true to yourself. So everyone draws their own line there. Every track you leave on the Internet becomes one of your brand assets.

Do you have to be connected 24/7? Phil says no, in fact not being connected can sometimes work as a differentiator. He relates a story of being at an event where many in the audience were checking email on their phones instead of listening to the speaker. He goes on to say you would never open real paper mail in your seat while at an event and try to pass it off as if you were still paying attention.

Rebecca Antonelli hosting Meet the New Media

Rebecca Antonelli hosts Meet the New Media

How do you use social media to increase business? Rebecca mentions Google alerts. Chris says only put a sale or contest on one platform. The problem with that is that information doesn’t stay in just one platform anymore.

Morgan finally takes control and answers it with real data and use cases. The truth is that the answer to that question could be an entire 2 hour presentation all by itself.

Next question is “How do you know who to trust when everyone is selling you?” Morgan answers by saying – don’t trust anyone. Ask what they can do for you among your network and see what they say.

What is the most effective in radio? Is it a remote or what? Phil answers – quality creative. If you hear gas is on sale for 99 cents across the street – you will act on it because it grabbed you. That’s an ad you don’t need to repeat 20 times for the person to pay attention to.

Question about blogging. What’s success can blogging lead to? It can provide answers to questions.

Next question is about doing a non-religious inspirational minute type of thing on a local radio station. Phil says that they’ve done stuff like that and are currently doing it now. He says that just start at the top by asking.

College student asks a question about how would she leverage social media to start getting better internships or jobs? Morgan grabs this one and says follow who you want to connect with them. Phil says, call them on the phone directly.

Question about is social media productive? Phil says that big deals are not done on social media.

That may be true, but most people in the room are not the president of the largest media conglomerate in Carolina and need a way to connect with people so they can get to the point where the big deals are possible. In my case, my current job was offered and accepted over Twitter – now it’s not a 9 figure deal like Phil Zachary was talking about, but it was a big deal for me!

One of the best parts of attending an event like this is having an opportunity to meet new people. Two stand out to me from this morning, one was Jennifer Kingman who runs Viamark Advertising. After Morgan mentioned that she was shaving her head for St. Baldricks, Jennifer stood up and emphasized how awesome it was and how it is also a really big differentiator. I had a chance to talk with Jennifer after and she is smart, beautiful and has very short hair.

Second was Woody Howard from New View Photography. Woody was the photographer for the event but came over after to talk with Morgan about how to get more traction for his stunning 360 degree photography business.

My final suggestion for future events would be to give it a more “new media” feel. Wireless access and a Twitter hashtag would have been 2 simple additions that would have helped spread the word about the event.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Hubbard Michael Hubbard March 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm

This was a great read – and sounds like it was a great event! Kind of sounds like Phil was pretty “old school” – but I don’t know if that was our own reporting bias – or he really was. I’d love to talk to him some day about the convergence of “new media” and “old media” as we always hear the same things from doubters that it will never work – yet we can prove ROI right down to cash register sales. Regardless – sounds like it was a great event, great turn-out and great conversation. Thanks for live blogging it Phil B!


Phil Buckley March 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I don’t think you would get many people disagreeing that Phil Zachary is “old school”. With that said, it’s what works for him. There’s no way to connect with him on Twitter so you’re going to have to use the phone. To connect with Morgan it’s impossible to connect with her by phone so you’re going to have to Tweet at her. It’s all about using the right medium for the person you need to connect with.

Also, I have no problem admitting my bias :-)


Brian McDonald March 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I want to hear more about the interruption.

Most interesting preview comments I saw about this event was that prior to Morgan being on the bill many people were asking who the “New Media” people were. I think you are right in your assessment that Phil Zachary and David Crabtree along with TBJ reporter are old media. Michael I would love to see you convert Phil, that would be worth $30!


Phil Buckley March 4, 2011 at 8:42 am

Sorry Brian, you’re right about the interruption – I can see where people would want to know more about that.

Just as we were about to get started, a guy ran up the middle aisle with a few papers in his hand and started talking very quickly… not yelling, but speaking with purpose, about how he was once a client of Rebecca’s and she was terrible or something like that. I was only sort of paying attention because it seemed staged to me. I thought for sure the follow-up was going to be, “That’s how television advertising works…” or something like that.

Someone asked him to leave and he left without any problem or further outburst – which also made me think it was strange. If I was going to make a big splash like that I wouldn’t stop until I was dragged out kicking and screaming.

So the guy came and went all in about 15 or 20 seconds. Not nearly as exciting as it could have been if the Raleigh PD Hostage Rescue Team had been called :-)


Morgan Siem March 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm

He was apparently a former client of Rebecca’s who had been unsatisfied with the results and chose the most unprofessional manner possible to display his displeasure. He barged in on an event she’s organized to announce to her entire audience that he didn’t like her work.
I don’t have a full background on their relationship, but sometimes clients are unhappy with results, but sometimes they don’t see results due to their own lack of willingness to take the suggestions provided by the people they hired for advice.
At first I thought this was staged or a joke, but it wasn’t. He was serious. I don’t mind that he has an opinion, but he lost my respect based on the way he presented it.


Brian McDonald March 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm

You should have thrown your shoe at him!


Dan London March 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

I spoke at a MtNM event in 2009 (time is flying by) and am disappointed that nobody protested my talk about social media and how traditional print and radio journalism was going to be replaced by hyper-local reporting.

I also swear that I coined the phrase “hyper-local”.


Phil Buckley March 4, 2011 at 8:56 am

I’m putting an ad on Craigslist right now to have someone come into the next SEO Meetup and throw a shoe at me!


Brian McDonald March 4, 2011 at 9:20 am

I’m getting my steel toed boots ready to throw at you at the next SEO meetup! Thanks for the update on the heckler. It’s amazing how we are more interested in conflict than learning.

Dan had I been in the audience I would have heckled you as well and called BS on your coining “hyper-local” unless it referred to neighborhood kids hopped up on sugar!

But seriously I would love to see one of these seminars be all “New Media” versus “Meet the 3/4 old media and 1/4 new media” Glad Morgan was there to represent since she can hold her own!


Morgan Siem March 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Thank you for that, Brian :)


@deanshaw March 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

Nice Coverage Phil

Re: “My final suggestion for future events would be to give it a more “new media” feel.
Agreed, for something billed as “Meet the New Media” there sure seemed to be a lot of old media talk. I sense that given the speakers (Morgan excepted) this the was really an “old media” event. I mean someone asked about radio? At a “New Media” event???

Having said that, its an important reminder that there A LOT of very important people who do their business in an ‘old school’ fashion. That doesn’t mean they are better or worse than new media people – just different.

Too often this relationship is adversarial (“he doesn’t get it” or “I’m not going to listen to a 24 year old”) when it should be “how can old media and new media work together”. Neither is going away anytime soon and we are all just arrows in the Marketing quiver, trying to achieve the same goals. Its shouldn’t be New Media vs. Old Media, rather Marketing vs. Sales like its always been :P


Phil Buckley March 4, 2011 at 11:43 am

Thanks Dean. Can’t we all just get along?


Morgan Siem March 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Perfectly put. That was kind of my starting point. That it’s not new media vs. old media, but simply a variety of tools and formats in which to do the same exact thing — share a message with people & communicate!
I fully agree that it’s not an adversarial relationship (although it’s often portrayed that way). In my opinion, you have to reach people in the way that works best for them. It’s true that a lot of very important people do their business the old-school way. That’s fine. Doesn’t mean that a lot of business isn’t also happening today in a new way. I find that the best business deals happen when you’ve meshed both:
-First contact might be through LinkedIn
-Second, a phone call
-Third, meet in person at an event
-Fourth, chat back and fourth through Twitter for a period of time, get to know each other, keep in touch, build in a personal element
-Fifth, time to talk business. Handshake and signature.

In my world, it’s not either / or. It’s about doing whatever it takes and using whatever channels make sense for what I’m trying to accomplish.


Brian McDonald March 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Morgan you are quite welcome! I agree with you and Dean that it’s about integrating new media and technology into your marketing mix. Let’s face it people have not stopped watching TV and listening to the radio in the past few years. Although those markets may not be growing as much as in past they still have a HUGE audience that social media is nowhere near in terms of size and impressions. Take the SuperBowl or March Madness for instance. More people will see ads on those two events and make purchasing decisions than they will from a Facebook ad, Twitter stream or YouTube viral video.

I think traditional media professionals need to look at how new media can extend the traditional media message. For example The Daily Show only has +/-8 minutes for their interviews. Jon Stewart will continue the interview and “throw it up on the web” for those that want more. Of course this leads to more visits to the website thereby increasing online ad revenue. I don’t think that’s his reason for doing it, he wants to continue the conversation but I’m sure the producers and network love the increase in website traffic.

For either side to say that the other is dead or no business is being conducted there is immature and pointless. Every communication and media channel has an audience otherwise it would not exist. Communication requires a sender and receiver.

I think the biggest challenge with “Meet the New Media” is that it’s misleading. The title should be “Meet the Media” but everyone seems to want to have “new” or “social” media in their event title these days to draw attendance. I guess that goes back to the old truth in advertising challenge!


Karl Sakas March 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Terrific recap, Phil! I agree with Brian — it sounds like (apart from Morgan), the “New” in “Meet the New Media” was a bit of a misnomer…


Rebecca Antonelli March 4, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Hello there! Rebecca here. I wish I had more time to comment…but I’m heading out of town shortly. I do appreciate the opportunity to respond to this discussion.

First of all, I’ve been holding these events since 1999. They were originally created as a tool to educate small businesses about what public relations was and to prove that people don’t need to hire a fancy PR firm to represent them to get publicity – they could learn how to “pitch” story ideas themselves, meet the media face-to-face, create a relationship and, hopefully, garner some free ink. Back then, 67% of companies did NOTHING other than spend [errr....mostly waste] money on advertising to promote their business. I know that because I owned an AD agency in the 90′s.

I decided to move on to another business when I could no longer predict that if you did x, y and z you would get 1, 2 and 3 – I packed it in and built a new business around PR – the one part of my ad agency that still had predictable results that I felt comfortable taking money to serve my clients. I opened, an internet based PR company created to democratize public relations, give small businesses an affordable option to get press ($99/mo. included writing and distribution of a news release), and to make me rich (this was the .com era, mind you) opening .coms around the country. I still own, and 40 others to this day.

In an effort to promote the company, I created what was then called “Meet the Media. ” The first one I held at the Sheraton Imperial was attended by almost exactly the same number of people (74) as the one I held Thursday (and also, interestingly, included David Crabtree as a panelist). I got 14 new clients for my new company that day.

There was no charge to attend. The hotel generously sponsored the event. I spent right at $1000 to promote it. Back page ads in the stock pages of the N&O. TBJ ads. Classifieds. PR. Word of mouth. Hard work. There was no “social media” back then. The past few years I’ve spent anywhere from $0 to a couple hundred to promote the event. We average 150 attendees.

Case in point: August 2009 – A $24 investment in a facebook ad netted 200,000+ views and brought in 52 attendees at $20 a head (my cost at that venue was $12.50). ONE twitter post (free): 23 attendees. Contests on linked in and email marketing: approx. 100 new attendees. Total attendance was 258. Total cost: $24. That was sweet.

I must go now….. as I say often, I can’t say “hello” in 20 minutes. But I will finish this story. If not for you folks, certainly for me.


Rebecca Antonelli March 4, 2011 at 8:53 pm

One more quick thing… The event is called “Meet the new Media” now because was taken. We often have 50/50 representation. But the truth of the matter is, no matter if it’s old, new, yellow, full color or “WHATEV” (as my son says), it’s about having the right message, at the right time, to the right people. That’s what the event has been and will always be about.


Chef Todd Mohr March 15, 2011 at 11:04 am

I attended Meet the New Media with Rebecca Antonelli and wound up getting seriously ripped off. I paid her $2000 and didn’t receive a single media hit, social or otherwise.

When I complained, she considered it “harrassment” and said that she works on an hourly basis, not on results. Now, she won’t talk to me at all and doesn’t seem to care that I’ve a VERY unhappy client.

Would you rather have results or be told that “your time is up”?
My advice is to ask A LOT of questions of Rebecca before you give her any money.

Chef Todd Mohr.


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