Just a bit over 90 days ago, I find myself sitting down to dinner with a rather special bunch of people. The two across from me, Bryan and Courtney Kramer, are the power duo behind PureMatter social, an agency in San Jose, California that runs cutting-edge marketing campaigns for some pretty cool clients. The couple to my right are equally hard hitting; DJ Waldow is the face of and massive creative energy behind Waldow Social, which makes email marketing magic, and his wife Kristina is a smart-as a-whip, no-nonsense OBGYN working at Stanford.
I am particularly proud to be sitting at the table, because I had worked hard to bring these people together. Because of travel, conferences, and work stuff, we had resecheduled the dinner at least two or three times before we found a date that we could all be there, even though nominally we all worked in the same town.
I was incredibly nervous, as well. Would they get along? Would they like each other? Would they like me? But from the beginning, conversation flowed freely and soon, we were all laughing and having a blast.
“Who is your favorite celebrity?” DJ would ask. I remember laughing in particular at the line of questioning, as it reminded me so much of the sort of question he asks on facebook regularly to keep the conversation going, and I recognized it as a kind of icebreaker. I also remember very crystal clearly my answer: I was the one who first said I would love to meet Ellen DeGeneres.
When I said that, I had NO idea that for the following 90 days, Bryan and Courtney and DJ and even Kristina would embark on one of the most beautiful little experiments I’ve ever had the joy to be part of: the #90DaystoEllen campaign.
I remember DJ pulling out his phone and buying the 90daystoEllen domain, right there at the table, and I remember the light in Bryan’s eyes as he imagined us showing the world that real relationships can be built via social media.
I still believe he was right, because I was there, and now, 91 days later, I have to say that it has been a true gift to watch from a distance as this team built a tidy campaign, grew it up, shared it, and made all kinds of magic along the way:
(Via 90daystoEllen.com wrapup)
“Here are some campaign highlights:
2 .Bryan Kramer appeared on ‘CreativeLive,‘ a live online web show hosted by Porter Gale, former VP of Virgin America and author of “Your Network is your Net Worth”, resulting in a feature story in “AdAge.”
3. Additional media coverage in Smartbrief and Forbes (upcoming).
4. Corporate brands such as IBM, Pitney Bowes, SAP, Cisco and BlogWorld have engaged in social; social influencers such as New York Times bestselling authors Jay Baer and Peter Shankman, Ted Rubin (CMO, Collective Bias and author), Robert Scoble (Rackspace), Brian Moran, John Steirt, Todd Wilms (SAP), Nick Westergaard, Michelle Schenker, Brian King, Chris Moody, Dewane Mutunga, Krista Parry, Kristen Fox Haaijer, Kim Garst, Scott Caldwell, Lara Baker, Scott Duehlmeier, Dino Dogan (Triberr), Shane Barker, Sandra Zoratti, Maile Keone, Robert Moore, Gini Dietrich, Lindsay Bell, Yenni Vance, Liz Reusswig, Alex Schenker, DJ’s family, Bryan’s friends and family and the team at PureMatter have engaged in the campaign through videos and social sharing.
7. Monetary donations of almost $1,500 to Feeding America from The International Culinary Center, Paper.li, Ben Hess, DJ Waldow and Kristina Milan (the “naysayer”), DJ’s mom and stepfather, and Bryan and Courtney Kramer
8. The campaign has generated over 66,172,240 impressions on Twitter (not counting Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+), achieved through sweat equity and a budget less than the cost of dinner. 20 million of these impressions were generated yesterday when our supporters helped us attempt to trend on Twitter (#damnyouMileyCyrus)
9. We have plans to create an “Ellen DeGeneres Social Kindness Award” to reward empathy and kindness in social media, as a tribute to the kindness and generosity we’ve experienced from our supporters. More on that to come.”
To have watched that unfold has been magical. To see the bond of friendship formed between people I once worried wouldn’t get along? That’s worth more than anything, to me.
I meet cool people all the time. I introduce people all the time. Not often do my introductions lead to this kind of mischief and magic. To me, this has been like winning the lottery.
Dear PureMatter team: holy cats, you got that website up FAST, and it is hilarious and beautiful. I will never hesitate to recommend your work to anyone and everyone 🙂
Dear DJ Waldow and Bryan Kramer: Y’all need to start a comedy show or something, because you make a beautiful duo. Your videos had me actually rolling on the floor laughing.
Dear Courtney Kramer: you are a powerhouse, I completely envy your organizational skills, and dude. Those memes!
As for me, I did very little apart from getting y’all together, and cheerleading via twitter. But I learned much more than you’ll ever know from watching you work together and grow this thing to what it has become.
I’m very proud of you. I’m very glad I met you. And most of all, Thank You.
So, you guys want to grab lunch, sometime? I know a great Thai place in Willow Glen. 🙂