PR COG'S GEAR GRINDINGS

September 23, 2009

This is Another Call (Out) [Updated, please read to the end]

It seems this is necessary again…

I really didn’t intend for this to become an attack blog, but sometimes the occasion calls for it and with so much time going into PRBC it seems these are the only posts that end up here.  I’m ok with that.

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This one is response to Barbara Talisman’s blatant attempted attention-getting, inaccurate and mean posting in response to 12for12K’s latest fundraising effort

Now of my rockstaresque qualities (I can already hear the rest of the PRBC laughing) I’ve never claimed to be a master fundraiser. I’ve never claimed much of anything except being able to spot bullshit when I see it.  So let’s start….[Except where noted, block quotes are from Ms. Talisman’s post].

continuing on my rant about social media gurus

Hmmm, I’ve never known Mr. Brown to claim to be a SM guru — in fact he posts about his exhaustion with such things in a November 08 post.  A cause the PRBC fully supports.  In fact Mr. Brown states in that post “Yet that doesn’t mean I’m a guru or expert.”  So let’s immediately deflate Mr. Brown’s head in the image she is trying to convey to you of who he is.

Sponsorships being sold on EBay and Henny (?) will be hosting the Tweetathon.

I’ve never known it was possible to sell anything on Henny.  A 30 second  search would’ve brought Ms. Talisman to the identity of the elusive Henie even with misspellings.  The research here is already lacking.  Not so great for a “consultant and trusted advisor”.  I’m also worried about that sentence structure as I’m not sure how anything is sold on “EBay (sic) and Henny will be…”

Low balling once again – $250 opening bid and $350 Buy it Now.  Launching on September 29.

This we’ll come back to visit later…

Very confusing on the call…..

If Ms. Talisman was confused she should’ve said something on the call.  Or “directed” Mr. Brown, or emailed any of the other participants.  Or waited for the formal announcement.  But let’s be honest, she wasn’t confused, she wants to make the organization look bad and fluff herself in the process.

So here we are six months into Danny Brown’s well intentioned “12for12K campaign – Changing the World through Social Media.” So far, six organizations nominated by folk and selected by Brown are a part of a social media campaign to raise money.

This paragraph says nothing a calendar couldn’t.  Thanks.  How about “So here we are six months into Danny Brown’s well intentioned “12for12K campaign – Changing the World through Social Media” and….<insert conclusion/assertion.”  Then we would’ve been told something.

Allegedly – I have to ask if it was a campaign to raise money or raise awareness and business for Danny Brown. (And I realize by writing this I am only playing into the hype! But maybe this will also give the charities another opportunity to raise some more money.)

Huh?  What’s with the leading “Allegedly.”  I’m not a moron, I know what Ms. Talisman is trying to say, but it’s not coming across in Enlgish (SII — Spelled Incorrectly Intentionally).

The idea is 12 charities raising $12K each in a month or some period of time. I find it interesting Danny selected a photo where he is not looking at the camera or you.

Holy non-sequiturs Batman.  Yes, 12 charities, 12 months, 12K per month (“or some period”).  Quickly followed by an attack of the picture as a sign of dishonesty?

What is it with the attacks on pictures lately?

Since it appears important, however, I know Mr. Brown’s avatar up to a few weeks or months  ago was an image of him looking directly into the camera and only recently replaced with this more formal headshot.  So I guess he recently became a dishonest SM Guru.

But seriously, we’ve got friends, Congressmen, former presidents who will look an investigating panel in the face and lie.  But because Mr. Brown is looking down we’re not to trust him.  It’s not only ridiculous and preposterous it’s simply 1) Wrong (as in incorrect) 2) Wrong (as in questionably moral) and 3) bushleague from someone who should be a “trusted advisor” and theoretically thought leader in her field.

Unfortunately, with the exception of Share our Strength, none of the charities have come close to raising the $12,000.

Well 2 problems here.  1) It’s inaccurate — see Mr. Brown’s post for full details on this part 2) Inconsistent — mere paragraphs earlier Ms. Talisman accused Mr. Brown of “low balling.”  If he is indeed low balling then he should be hitting his mark every month.  If he’s not low balling then it means he’s working hard to make a difference and there’s possibly room for additional work and/or improvement.  Something I’ve always been taught is a sign of a person being challenged by a goal they’re still striving for — a good thing.

There’s a distrust of attorneys who claim to have never lost a case — it usually means they aren’t taking any difficult cases, this is the same thing.  Mr. Brown has set a goal for 12for12K.  If they’re still working toward that goal on a monthly basis then they are suitably challenged. You can’t not have your cake and not eat it too.

While Danny has created quite a presence for himself and a groundswell of Tweets and RTs on and off – it has not resulted in these charities reaching their goal.

Wait for it.

We need to use the social media more effectively to raise money. Like old fashioned fundraising success comes from:

  • Good case for support
  • Urgency – now not tomorrow or next month
  • Connection – to the cause or leadership
  • People give to people – give because someone asked

And here we go — this is the message Ms. Talisman has been trying to deliver — “Look at me, here’s what I know about my field.  Please get out of here you upstart.”

Like old fashioned fundraising — ok.

Good case for support — Since I’ve known him, each of Mr. Brown’s selected charities have been compelling and ‘sold’ to the 12for12K fundraisers compellingly.

Urgency — If she says so, Ms. Talisman may be right here.  Mr. Brown’s unique 12 month / 12 charity cycle automatically builds in this component.  As if any of the organization’s supporters really needed reminding that tragedies are happening now and support has to come now.  We get it.

Connection — Ahh, the key one.  “to the cause or leadership.”  That’s exactly what Mr. Brown has done — built a small army of supporters who hold events, network with each other and other they know in an attempt to do some good.  Some of the best twitter people I know I’ve met through 12for12K.  Whenever the opportunity arises I always try to integrate the organization into a project — not because I have to, because the causes are good, and the other 12for12K-ers good people.  They believe in what they’re doing  and I’ve seen that belief in their eye (pun intended based on my own avatar).

And so the “groundswell of Tweets and RTs” Ms. Talisman pokes fun at in the prior paragraph would seem to prove this connection to the cause and its leadership.  This isn’t putting the cart before the horse, or the pot calling the kettle black — it’s putting the kettle before the horse.

Either he’s not doing it or he is.  Or she’s just trying to use Mr. Brown and 12for12K’s following (15K+ on twitter) as a platform to deliver her message (more on this in a bit) since her own following of under 900 isn’t suitable.  Not a bad tactic — attack a leader of many and see if you can get some of them to join your cause by showing what you’ve got.  I don’t think it’ll have the intended fallout this time though.

People give to people — Yes.  We’re all people asking other people to give their time, money or knowledge to the cause of the month.  Guilty, Guilty, Guilty.

And then the whipped cream and cherry …

More ideas for using social media to raise money, see my next blog post.

Ahh, now here’s the real message.  I’ve told you how it’s being done wrong, attacked someone and their organization in its inaugural year, but now I’ll show you how to really do it in my next “episode.”

I won’t even begin to address some of the fishy issues Mr. Brown does in his own response, such as (from Mr. Brown’s blog):

…you [Ms. Talisman] contacted me earlier this year through email (and then phone call) suggesting that donations raised go to your company instead of the charities. You would then use this money to “consult” these charities.

I mentioned at the time that I wanted all funds to go to the charities themselves, and not to a company that may or may not help.

I won’t even pick up pencil and pad to describe how sketchy and the creepy crawlies I got when reading that.  I can only hope it’s an error on someone’s part and Ms. Talisman did not actually suggest (and pitch and re-pitch) such a thing.

Simply put, there are better ways to go about attacking someone’s technique.  Particularly in this field.  Bring me case studies, bring me proven campaigns, bring me your knowledge, work with me for a few weeks and (just like in grade school) show, not tell me how to do it if your goal is indeed properly aligned with what you claim it to be.  Heavens knows Mr. Brown will take the input and assistance of anyone willing to help out.

Here’s the challenge — Rather than knock someone down for  doing good, join them.  Host a 12for12K fundraiser Ms. Talisman.  Show the rest of the group how it’s done.  Put in your own 60-90 days planning an event, with no payoff,  and knock our effin socks off with your work.  We’ve all put in our pound of flesh and continue to do so.  Now it’s your turn.

Update (9/23/09 20:30 Eastern)

Some additional posts on this topic (sorry for the quick and dirty links — I’ve got some other stuff to get to, but I’ll come back and prettify it later):

And, perhaps most importantly, an apology from Ms. Talisman.  Definitely worth the read and I’m sure we all appreciate the comments.

http://talismantol.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/mea-culpa-to-12for12k/

e need to use the social media more effectively to raise money. Like old fashioned fundraising success comes from:
Good case for support
Urgency – now not tomorrow or next month
Connection – to the cause or leadership
People give to people – give because someone asked
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7 Comments

  1. […] This is Another Call (Out) « PR COG'S GEAR GRINDINGS prcog.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/callout2 – view page – cached Tags: 12for12k, barbara talisman, danny brown, fundraising, non-profit, social media — From the page […]

    Pingback by Twitter Trackbacks for This is Another Call (Out) « PR COG'S GEAR GRINDINGS [prcog.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com — September 23, 2009 @ 7:59 am

  2. Great post. More power to Danny and the 12for12k team.

    Cheers, Iggy

    Comment by Iggy Pintado — September 23, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  3. Hey there Mr. Cog – you do make me chuckle (that’s a very good thing). I really appreciate your support, and this post deserves a far more thoughtful comment than just, “Thank you.”

    So I will definitely revisit later in the day – I just didn’t want you to think I was bypassing you.

    Cheers buddy.

    Comment by Danny Brown — September 23, 2009 @ 10:45 am

  4. I know this is a serious matter and I took my serious tone out on Barbara’s blog. You make some outstanding points here Cog, and made me laugh in the process. Well done.

    Comment by Rachel Kay — September 23, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

  5. Man, I feel like I missed out on a great episode of Our Weird Internet. Thanks for the synopsis.

    Comment by tjdietderich — September 23, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

  6. Sure you aren’t a debater… or at least play one on TV? Very entertaining and highly effective. Kudos to you …. and Danny Brown.

    Comment by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman @jeannevb — September 23, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

  7. Coggie, you crack me up.

    Brilliant! Thanks for the link, I used the info you collected and updated my post too.

    :) Sasha

    Comment by sashahalima — September 23, 2009 @ 9:33 pm


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