Meet #umbsocial Speaker – Edward Peters

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Tell us a little about yourself and your background?photo2

First thing to know: I’m a native Californian. That means I HATE New England winters! I still have this [completely rational by the way!] mindset that if you want snow, you drive a few hours into the mountains to get it—and then leave it to go back to the warm comforts of home. That being said, I love it here in Boston – there’s lots of energy, innovation and ideas in the air.

Growing up, I first wanted to be a musician, then later a writer, and then a few years after that a filmmaker. So, it’s insanely awesome that my job writing, producing and scoring videos and documentaries allows me to do all three.

Studied Sociology and Economics in College – I’m sure the interviewer was probably entertained about my earnest, world-changing plan to write the next Das Capital – only this time fully reconciling Marxism and Capitalism into one harmonious whole. Never happened – obviously—I gave up after Chapter 2.

CD coverStarted as a writer, created the revenue department’s first website in 1995, then co-created the video production studio in 2006. Social media soon followed. Started my own production company  –Shadowfisher Productions – in 2008 for both personal and client-based video and music production.

When did you start to work in social media?

I started with social media in 2007, when we created our first YouTube account for our videos. Soon after, Twitter followed, then a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and, now, Flickr and, soon, Vine.

How does a typical work day of you look like?

I’m not sure I have “typical” days! On any given day, though, there is usually some combination of writing time, studio time (production and post) and administrative time, with a healthy dose of location filming and meetings.  Later on, a lot of my time is spent writing or doing music production in my home studio.

Do you have a role model in social media. Someone who inspires you?

I’m oddly role-model-free in the social media world.

What is the hardest thing about social media?

1. Actually doing it rather than talking about it.

2. Being consistent- both in quantity and quality

3. Finding relevant and useful content to post  – for some reason, it’s like pulling teeth to get anyone in my agency to ante up content.

What do you see as some up-and-coming trend in social media?

Easier-to-use interactive engagement tools that are better integrated with websites; increased use of video social media to create short, high-impact content e.g., Vine; more focus on quality content.

One trend I would love to see is more employee involvement and ownership of social media within their workplace.

Can you name us a brand or company that you admire for their great social media strategy/execution?

Not a company using it in a campaign per se, but, rather, a company creating the toolset to do it – and that’s Google. I’m in awe of Google – what they’ve done with YouTube and how they work to integrate their vast toolset.

Did you make any social media mistakes in the past or is there anything you would avoid in future?

Plenty. Number one was waiting four years to develop a coherent and scalable social media plan.

To be successful in social media, you need to ….?

Think about who your audience is and what their needs are. It’s easy to post self-absorbed stuff that resonates with no one (I should know!)

What is your favorite book and why?

I have two:  The Sun Also Rises and Dharma Bums.

Sun Also Rises was a real eye-opener as a teenager — not only about the Lost Generation in Paris theme, but because it’s a book that made me want to be a traveler, not a tourist, to explore and to live truly well. Every time I read that book it feels so real I feel like I have to wipe Sangria off my chin.

Dharma Bums is a favorite not only because it’s placed in my original backyard – the Bay Area and the Sierras — but because it’s a fabulous book about people – some good, some bad, some crazy – trying to look past the rampant crass commercialism of modern America and find an organic and spiritual way to live. Sounds cliché now maybe, but the book was truly prescient – it was written in the late 1950’s!

What is your favorite quote?

Easy, the opening two stanzas of Whitman’s Song of the Open Road; to wit:
Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,             5
Strong and content, I travel the open road.

 What is your favorite movie and why?

Hmm, let’s see… Breathless?  Godfather?  Citizen Kane?  Nope, better than all those, it’s….  The Outlaw Josey Wales!

OK, y’all done snickering?  I love this movie, it has a fabulous core story about a wronged Civil-War era farmer exacting revenge, but it’s also about love and loss, honor, finding a family in unusual places, not to mention the tragic consequences of war.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Sorry Ben Franklin, but it’s Oysters and Chablis that “prove that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Where can we find more about you and you work?


… and a few other links that should give you a flavor of my agency work:





10 Qualities You Need To Become A Stellar Storyteller

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b75b9e8b438627f929c10647c9d474c2Storytelling is not only a fantastic way to relate to other humans on a personal level, it is also a fantastic marketing and fundraising tool for nonprofits and other companies

When done strategically and in harmony with online channels, storytelling can and will help you raise more money and strengthen relationships with your supporters.

Great nonprofit stories:

  • Convey impact and outcomes;
  • Elicit emotion and compassion;
  • Inspire further action and commitment.

Nonprofits of all sizes need to start thinking of themselves as storytellers and not “development professionals” or “communication coordinators”. A 10-page communications strategy is of no use without the gasoline of good stories to fuel it.

How can you go from Communications Coordinator or Development Director to Stellar Storyteller?

I came up with 10 characteristics of great nonprofit storytellers. Notes that there are few people who will embody every single characteristics – they are simply guidelines to inspire you on your journey to improve the way you craft and share stories.

To be a Stellar Storyteller, you must:

Be a true believer in the cause. They must be an outspoken and passionate advocate – the kind of person whose zeal is infectious.

Be authentic and truthful. We tend to want to listen to others with whom we can see parts of ourselves; people that come from similar backgrounds and have faced similar obstacles.

This is why major donors tend to listen to other major donors, and volunteers are able to recruit other volunteers. They speak each other’s language and understand where they are coming from.

Truly understand what it’s all about. It’s not all about your organization’s agenda and what you want to convey. It’s about your audience.

A great storyteller takes time to understand the audience – what they care about, what they want to hear. Stories should be crafted and delivered with these elements in mind.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. Preparation is key when delivering a great story. However, Stellar Storytellers are able to improvise and are not rigid in their delivery.

Practice being open-minded, enthusiastic and motivated. You want others to feel what you are feeling, and you will always try new methods and new techniques to reach that end.

Remain skeptical. Always be asking yourself the questions that your audience will be asking: “How did that happen? Why did that happen? Why couldn’t something else have happened?”

By looking at your story with a critical eye, you will be able to anticipate the concerns and apprehension of your critics

Remain generous. Stellar Storytellers are generous with their emotions and their willingness to be vulnerable. They often share personal stories of their own struggles and obstacles.

To touch other people’s hearts, you must be willing to expose your own.

Understand the context. Are you telling the story in front of a group of 100 people, at an intimate dinner, or during a Twitter Q&A tweet chat?

Molding the story to fit the context is a huge part of being successful in storytelling.

Don’t think you have to be perfect to be a Stellar Storyteller. Who wants to hear a perfect story from a perfect person? (I know I don’t.)

As long as you are authentic, truthful and passionate about the story you are telling, people will connect with you and be inspired to take action.

Do you have any other storytelling qualities to add to this list?   

JuliaCampbell01web (1)

Guest post by Julia Campbell (originally appeared on the J Campbell Social Marketing blog). Julia Campbell is Principal of J Campbell Social Marketing. Her blog is at www.jcsocialmarketing.com and she is active on Twitter at @JuliaCSocial

Meet #umbsocial Speaker – Mark Forrester

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Tell us a little about yourself and your background?Forrester

Left Comcast after 16 years in TV advertising to start my own ad agency

When did you start to work in social media

When my clients expressed frustration in not being able to “meet” website visitors!

How does a typical work day of you look like?

Sales calls, edits, meetings, edits, networking-repeat!

Do you have a role model in social media. Someone who inspires you?

Hmmm, Not really-not yet

What is the hardest thing about social media?

Time poverty Vs. multitude of choices

Forrester2-MCan you name us a brand or company that you admire for their great social media strategy/execution?


To be successful in social media, you need to ….?

Start with “why” you are doing what you are doing. People will make a deep emotional connection w/ you and/or your brand when they attach themselves to your “why” because it matches up with their “why”

What is your favorite book and why?

Bird By Bird” by Anne Lamont, because it inspires

What is your favorite quote  

“My religion is simple. My religion is kindness”   The Dali Lama

What is your favorite movie and why?

“Field of Dreams”

a) because it moves me emotionally every time I watch it.

b) because it is redemtive and allows us all to touch parts of our own story that we wish we could get a “do-over” on

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

“The greatest title will ever hold is Father” I think of this everyday….

Where can we find more about you and you work?

My website is MarcusMylesMedia.com

Marcus Myles Media

℅ Quincy Center for Innovation

180 Old Colony Ave.  Suite 300

Quincy,  MA  02170


Web Videos – the Story behind the Story

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screen-capture-8Guest post by Edward Peters

If you’re looking to make web videos, here’s something to keep in mind:

Each video tells two stories

There is, of course, the narrative, the basic story you want to tell. But there’s another story too – a bit less concrete perhaps, but just as revealing – the level of craft and professionalism you put into your product. Both stories can affect how viewers respond to your video.

A lot of us who began producing web videos in the mid-aughts had a short learning curve. The medium was still relatively new and some of us figured the talking head format was a quick and easy way to deliver information… and deliver… and deliver… and…

Yes, they could go on a bit too long – but we reckoned that viewers would be just as in love with our little Flash epics as we were – especially if, heaven forbid, we were “guest starring” in the video somewhere. In that case, we thought, Hollywood was right around the corner.

Then video metrics came along.

Uh-oh. It became apparent that our love was decidedly unrequited. After seeing a consistent trend of two-minute fall-offs – the equivalent of a lousy Variety review – we learned: package your message inside a short, compelling story and people will relate to it far better; oh, and better grab their attention in the first 15 seconds while you’re at it – or start packing.

Rightly or wrongly, people do not have the patience to sit around and watch you flounder around in search of a story. So, know your message upfront. Then, keep it short, keep it sweet – and get to the point! Give your viewers characters or circumstances they can relate to and your chances of connecting grow exponentially. Your metrics won’t lie.

And, let’s not forget that other story. If we don’t take care to make a well-crafted product, why should our audience care about watching it? Quality speaks volumes about the respect you have for your viewers.

G57A9722_1Edward Peters is Executive Director of Web and Media for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) and Owner/Producer of Shadowfisher


Registration is open

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Dear Social Media Friends,

the registration for our first Social Media Night is finally open.

Please register for your ticket as long the supply last. The capacity of the new room is a little bit smaller than for the full day conference and all previous events were sold out pretty fast.


All the best