Mid-Year President's Report

WOMMA LogoAnother Quarter In The Books

Wow! Where does the time go so quickly? It seems as though it was only last month that I was writing a recap of my first quarter as President of the WOMMA Board of Directors. Now it is the twelfth of July and we are already a week into Q3. It’s been a busy and productive time for WOMMA and I’ll try to bring you up to speed with a selection of key advances and accomplishments that have been made by our maturing association.

It’s been a real pleasure to lead and work with such a passionate group of volunteers that make up the WOMMA board. You’ll be pleased to know that the membership is well represented by an outstanding mix of global, national, and regional brands and agencies that truly have the best interest of WOMMA at heart. Add to that a staff that is led by Executive Director Kristen Smith, who in her third year at the helm has found ways to grow membership and revenue while delivering continuously improving educational events, partnerships, and programs. I’d like to offer the board, Kristen, and the entire WOMMA staff my sincere thanks and appreciation for another outstanding quarter of productivity and accomplishments. Let’s look at a few:

As great word of mouth practitioners know, it all starts with effectively listening.

SOW Logo - MedSchool of WOM: After making a conscientious effort to examine the feedback from attendees of prior years and carefully reviewing submitted surveys, a President’s “Innovation Task Force” was assembled to explore opportunities to better differentiate our two major events – The School of WOM and The WOMMA Summit. 

Several great ideas were brought forward, a few of which were implemented in Chicago at the School of WOM.
  • Several sessions were converted to 90-minute workshops that allowed for both presenting valuable information as well as working through examples in a practical hands-on format.
  • A speed-networking session was piloted at the end of the first day of presentations. Those who participated were able to seek out and spend valuable one-to-one time with specific companies and individuals that they were looking for suggestions and advice from.
  • And speaking of networking, WOMMA was able to use POKEN technology to help make sharing contact information both easy and fun, while encouraging attendees to say hello in a friendly face-to-face way. The clever device was sponsored by Nology Media and was a big hit, generating over 3000 contact “pokes” by over 83 % of the 300 registered attendees.

WOM COMM: With a full year of producing this program and listening to participant feedback under our belt, we have grown to understand that members who enrolled were more advanced than the 101 levels of content that we were providing. You asked for richer and deeper content, quizzes that were more aligned with the material being presented, case studies that were directly tied back to the course work, and less overlap within the first three modules. As a result, we reworked our lineup of presenters and coached them on the importance of differentiating the content between each module so that there is a building progression of learning. The quiz, which is mandatory, is written by WOMMA staff and is more aligned with the presenter’s key takeaways. The newly reformatted WOM- COMM online certificate program has just graduated its first class of students and we are eagerly awaiting their feedback.

President’s Innovation Task Force: A group of thought leaders from among our membership has been brought together on a quarterly basis to provide feedback and guidance to me as President as well as to our WOMMA staff. During Q2 a subgroup of the task force volunteered to develop a set of tools that would better enable current WOMMA members to act as advocates for the association. This work is currently underway and will be rolled out in the coming months.

Bringing our message to the market where they live and work.

Talkable BrandsTalkable Brand Exchanges: I’m very excited that we are now taking the WOMMA message and deliverables into regional outreach and educational events. The pilot program for these Talkable Brand Exchanges is intended to bring brands and agencies together who might not otherwise attend one of our national events. In addition to the February event, held in San Francisco, there are three events being planned for Chicago, Seattle and New York City. Check our member website for details on the event in your area.

Wine Wednesdays: WOMMA has schedule four Wine Wednesdays that will take place this summer in Atlanta, New York, Denver and Washington DC, with tentative dates for Chicago and San Diego. Wine Wednesdays are great opportunities for member companies to showcase their WOMMA pride by hosting a networking event in their city. To schedule your Wine Wednesday go here.

Adding value to our members and recognizing their accomplishments.

Customer Care Guidebook: Hot off the press in Q2! The Research & Measurement Council recently produced Best Practices Guide: WOM in the Customer Contact Center focused on understanding social media and customer service with six brands sharing their case studies. As a member only benefit, members can access the Guidebook in its entirety, by going here.

WOMMY Awards: The WOMMY’s are in their third year and continue to grow momentum and relevance in our industry. As the only awards focused on WOMM and Social Engagement we’ve gained credibility and international recognition. The WOMMY Chairs have added three new categories to the awards submission: Mobile, Cause Related Marketing, and Customer Relationship Management. These were added due to WOMMA’s recognition that these are growing areas of relevance and importance to our membership. It’s not too soon to plan your entry for this year’s WOMMY Awards.

That’s just a few examples of the work that your WOMMA board and staff have been doing on your behalf. It’s a great organization and one that is gaining momentum on a weekly basis. I urge you to talk WOMMA up in your organization and among industry colleagues. It’s in all of our best interest to include the thought leaders and practitioners that will help us grow the quality of our association.

I continue to be very excited about the opportunities that are developing in the online and offline space for word of mouth marketers. I hope you will join me by enthusiastically supporting and attending our upcoming events. As you know, your referral and recommendation is more highly regarded than anything WOMMA can say or do on our own behalf.

Have a wonderful summer.

Best regards,