Live Blogging License To Steal – Day One

Thanks to my association with Missouri wines, I am attending License to Steal this week. This national wine marketing has already sent me into a tailspin and it’s only lunchtime. Since it’s made me take a look at social media from a different angle, I thought I would share my takeaways with you.

This morning we started off the day with a introduction to social media from Karen Malone Wright, aka the Communications Goddess. Karen’s talk reminded me that I should never brand myself as an expert. Things are always changing in the social media world so there is always a new tactic, insight, etc to learn from. Her talk, aimed towards social media beginners, taught me a few things and gave me some great ideas to try.

Karen came from a traditional PR background and was an early adapter of integrating social media. She drove home the triangle to successful social media: transparency, consistency, and authenticity. I consider myself to be somewhat of a Twitter expert but she mentioned a few sites I had never heard of including TasteLive and a few I don’t actively use but probably should.

There is a slide show of her presentation but I want to get Karen’s permission before linking it; but you can check out her insights in her new book “Hell Yeah, I Can Do This : A 5 Step Guide to Today’s Internet for Women” coming out in July. Send an email with the subject line “book subscribe” to if you want to pre-order it.

Right now I am listening to Tim Hanni speak about the changing tastes of the wine consumer. He started off with an image that is seen differently depending on what part of your brain you use to process it. It was a great jumping off point to discuss one of the biggest traps companies, bloggers, brands etc fall into: tunnel vision. Tim is does a fantastic job of breaking down collective delusions and how they hold us back.

Tim brought up how learning wine about wine is challenging because the terms are so subjective. As someone who loves wines but isn’t knowledgeable about the terms and definitions wineries use, I applaud him explaning this to a group of wine experts. So may people I know love drinking wine and want to learn more but without taking a wine linguistics class. I am actually working on a Twitter/Facebook project right now with Jessica Kohler that will be a “safe” place to talk about wines free of judgment and terms we don’t “get”.

How does the wine industry make itself appealing to customers? Tim Hanni is breaking it down right now. You can have all the knowledge in the world but if you don’t know how to share it in a way that is helpful to your customer then what use is it? It’s not about educating the consumer, it’s about filling your consumers’ needs.

Make it about the enjoyment of wine. Learn to understand and celebrate the individual differences and preferences of your customer.And these principles don’t apply just to wine, embrace it for your consumer whether they are a buyer of your product or a reader of your blog.

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