The We First Blog.

What’s the real value of the We First Social Branding Seminar?

January 23, 2012 Comments

We’re now in the final week of registration for the We First Social Branding Seminar and I wanted to share some thoughts as to its real value to your business. There are so many conferences and training events to choose from, and your time and resources are so precious, that it’s important to know why this one is any different.

The idea behind the seminar is to make sure your brand (whether they’re a non-profit, a start up, a social entrepreneur, social enterprise, mid-size company or Fortune 500 brand) doesn’t get left behind in this fast changing marketplace by learning to use social media in a way that truly builds your business. Too often brands are rushing to social technology but overlooking the importance of storytelling. Or they have a solid understanding of their brand and its story, but they don’t deeply understand how to make social media work for them. Both alternatives are incredibly dangerous to your business and future.

Getting this balancing act between storytelling and social technology right is really hard to do. Most brands are so caught up in the day-to-day of running their business, and so overwhelmed by the pace of change in social technology, that they don’t get the luxury of time or resources to focus on it. So the seminar, and the Social Branding Blueprint created specifically for it, were designed to make this possible in a condensed time frame of two days with the support of three world-class experts.

So imagine an 70-page Blueprint that distills the learning of the speakers into actionable choices, that builds in the most effective strategic and tactical options based on the best practices of the smartest marketers in the world, that leads your through the eight critical steps that every brand must walk through to build and maintain a customer community that builds its business with them – that’s what the Social Branding Blueprint does so that you spend the two days working on creating a plan specific to your business rather than just taking notes you put on the shelf that don’t translate to real value to your business.

So the real value of the two-day seminar includes:

1. Two days focused on creating a specific plan for your business rather than a series of talks.

2. That plan is built around the best practices, cases studies and ROI of the smartest marketers in the world so it mitigates the risks you take for your business.

3. An intimate environment limited to 80 people so that we can work directly on your business.

4. World class support including myself, Robert Tercek, (former President of Digital Media at Oprah’s network OWN), and Carol Cone, (Global Practice Chair of Edelman Business + Social Purpose).

5. 1 on 1 time with the experts and additional mentors to ensure you get the personal attention your deserve.

6. Networking with the experts, sponsors (including UN Foundation, HP, Causecast, SocialVibe, Radian6, CSRWire, PRNewswire, Social Media Monthly and GOOD magazine), and fellow attendees from some of the biggest brands in the world, the smartest social enterprises and start-ups, and most progressive non-profits.

7. You get an extra ticket to invite a non profit for free. So you get to make an important contribution just by attending.

8. Taking action by investing time in yourself, your business and building a better world is the thing that will set you apart from your competitors and give your the greatest fulfillment.

We have around ten spots left and obviously registrations have to close this week as it only a week away. We’re super excited to work on your business together so register now.




How social technology will change your world, literally.

January 18, 2012 Comments

I wanted to share this video with you that features David Kirkpatrick, the author of The Facebook Effect, talking about the impact of social tools and technology on the way consumers and citizens around the world are demanding change. He does a wonderful job of articulating how the internet has heightened awareness around the world of economic inequality, and how social media has given citizens and customers all around the world an unprecedented platform to have those grievances heard. Specifically, David does a very effective job of framing a series of questions that every brand must answer today if they want to survive and succeed in the future. Those questions include:

- What is the purpose, mission, and vision of your company that could make it meaningful to distrusting citizens and customers?

- As citizens and customers around the world vent their grievances over economic inequality and demand greater social responsibility from brands, how do those companies respond using the very same tools?

- Given this inequality, how do companies themselves not only build their bottom lines, but shore up the well being of the society on which their own survival depends?

We find ourselves at a very interesting intersection between economy, which is why David’s film is aptly named “Techonomy.” For social technology is not only empowering citizens and consumers to have their grievances heard, but it also provides brands with an unprecedented opportunity to scale their messaging and play a meaningful role in social transformation. Ultimately, those that adapt and play a role in this shift will not only be the bottom-line success stories of the future, but will be the social architects of change.

It is these very questions that we’ll be addressing and answering specific to your business at the We First Social Branding Seminar being held at the Marina Del Rey Marriott on February 1-2. It’s a two day deep-dive into the specific challenges your brand faces, exploring how it should define its purpose, and tell that story in a community-facing way, that will be meaningful to its customer community and drive social change.

The seminar will be led be myself and Carol Cone (Global Practice Chair of Edelman Business + Social Purpose), and Robert Tercek (former President of Digital Media at OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network). What’s more, anyone who attends will receive an extra ticket to invite their favorite non-profit for free.

The We First Social Branding Seminar is an intensive workshop in which you get world-class support to answer the very questions that will determine those brands that succeed and leverage social media to build their business and positive impact. This is the last week to register, so register now at


Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.: Using social media to realize his vision of economic equality

January 16, 2012 Comments

Image: AP

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I’m sharing the epilogue to We First in which I reference famous words from his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech that still ring true today. Economic equality was an important part of his vision and legacy, and while strides have been made, we still have far to go. It is my hope that enlightened and purposeful brands can help to better share prosperity and create a fairer, more equal and sustainable global community.

I opened this book [We First] by asking the question: Is this the world you want? For the many reasons outlined in its pages, my answer is no. Still, the future has never looked brighter. The challenges we face are enormous, but the opportunity to shape our future has never been greater.

There is no time to waste.

Whether we are corporate executives, entrepreneurs, consumers, concerned citizens, or activists, we must begin working on behalf of our planet and those without power. If we continue to neglect them, their combined impact will permanently harm the Earth and destroy the fabric of our societies. In characterizing the plight of the African American community decades ago, Martin Luther King spoke of “a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” Tragically, in today’s global community, that metaphor is still true but it has reversed. Our world is now an ever-shrinking island of extraordinary wealth fortifying itself against a widening ocean of abject poverty and broken dreams.

Yet the shift we seek has begun. Citizen media now competes with media monopolies to tell the story of our future. As more people tell it, the needs and hopes of more people are being reflected. And the stories they tell are being framed around values that unite rather than divide us.

Business is rising to the challenge. Top down, hierarchical, fear-based organizing principles are being superseded by organic, distributed and free-flowing structures. Leading-edge companies are integrating values into their business strategies and embracing their role as enduring custodians of community and planetary well being. Billionaires and corporate leaders are willingly following the example of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg, whose personal successes feed their public generosity.

Slowly, the false separation between economic and moral values is dissolving. As it does, the measure of success is shifting from the gross domestic production of a single country to global human well being.

The great hope for business is to commit to the business of hope.

Technological change is accelerating this shift on two levels – speed and scale. Both must be enlisted if we are to collapse the time it takes to build a better world. The merger of mobile, social and gaming technology portends even greater transformative opportunities that leverage both the real and virtual worlds.

Still, the world we want will not be built by fiber optics, cell phone towers or social media platforms. It will be created choice by choice, in our hearts and minds, and with our hands. That desire for a better world is innately contagious. As Jonathan Haidt explains in The Happiness Hypothesis: “The emotions that promote the meaningful life are powerfully contagious, which increases their chance for propagation, and their encoding into our nervous systems and their ritualization into cultural practice.” New studies by behavioral economists draw the same conclusions. As one of the leading economists studying altruism, Professor Herbert Gintis, states: “It is increasingly obvious that people are motivated by morality; people are motivated by ethics. We may be seeing a possible renaissance of economic theory.”

Given this, the most critical role that social technology plays is to compound this contagious quality and quicken the half-life of change even further. To enable this generation to serve as an example for others in the future, such that we are effectively creating a self-perpetuating, generational cycle of responsibility. The gift we each give our children is the world we leave behind.

Whether or not we realize this potential depends on our choices as individuals. It is our personal responsibility to manage our thinking, behavior and lives so that we bring our best selves to what we want to achieve. Every daily choice, task and commitment represents a chance to shape our future and add meaning to our lives.

We are the ones to build the world we want. Let’s put each other first.




This week in social media: Google+, citizen activism and the future of journalism

January 13, 2012 0 Comments

Last week I had the pleasure of joining other guests on This Week in Social Media with host, Robert Tercek. As always, it was a lively discussion ranging from the rise of Google+, to citizen and consumer activism, to the future …

Read more

Smart Trust: Your must-read guide building trust to ignite your brand

January 10, 2012 0 Comments

No topic strikes at the heart of so many problems challenging our country, the private sector, and business success than the issue of trust. Today’s marketplace is almost defined by a lack, or loss, of trust. This is borne out …

Read more

Robert Tercek: The Future of TV, Social Media and Storytelling

January 9, 2012 0 Comments

We’re super excited to announce that Robert Tercek is a special guest speaker at ther We First Seminar on February 1-2 at the Marina del Rey Marriott in California. Robert is one of the world’s most prolific creator of interactive …

Read more

Tweet Memories: Top Ten Posts of 2011

January 6, 2012 0 Comments

As we wave good-bye to 2011 it’s always fun to look back at some of the ground we covered in the news, our thinking and our lives. Here’s the ten most popular posts for 2011 from my blog and thanks …

Read more

Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for brands

January 4, 2012 2 Comments

A lot is going to be demanded of business leaders in 2012 due to fast-changing social technology that is remaking the business landscape in the midst of a tough economy. To ensure that you’re one of the success stories of …

Read more

we first training

About We First (Sidebar)

About Simon Mainwaring

We First training and consulting helps the world’s most innovative brands tell the story of the good work they do in ways that build their reputation, employee productivity, sales and social impact.

Recent Tweets