“At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships.”

Written by Jim Price, CEO/President of Empower MediaMarketing and Starfire’s current Board President

I always seem to find correlations between what I do for fun, for good and at work.  If you aren’t living the way you work or working the way you live I don’t believe you can fully experience the treasures of life in a seamless and transparent way.  Back in 2005, when I began to get more heavily involved with Starfire, I was also leading a mission at work to create a new word of mouth marketing (WOMM) team and capability at our marketing agency.

Word of mouth is the original form of marketing that has since come back into prominence.  WOMM was born out of a need; passing information from one person to another was the only way to advertise pre-mass media and was instrumental in spreading religion, underground movements and even urban-legends.  Today WOMM has been fueled by technology (people connecting with people more often online) bringing the oldest form of marketing back to sometimes the tent pole marketing strategy of campaigns.

It was paramount we get in this business and have the capability.  As we got started we all agreed that our point of view on WOMM for clients would be to turn one-time engagements into long-term relationships and loyalty.  At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships and we wanted to help clients build those with their consumers over time online and offline.  We also believed the way to do it was for us to provide the reasons and means to get influential people to talk and refer our clients products.  Six years later, we’ve been successful.

What I did in my professional life has now come full-circle in my personal life.  Through my work with Starfire and participating in evolving their mission and vision, there’s no question there’s a correlation.  It’s time for the world of disabilities to transition to a world of inclusion where we turn the one-time engagements (outings, volunteer events, the occasional hello etc.) into long-term relationships and loyalty.  We need to create a world with people who care about them to come together to build their personal social networks.  Through conversationsconnections and collaborations at the same places we hang out at every single day, we can provide the reasons and means to get all of us who can be influential people in their lives to talk with them to build their networks one genuine conversation at a time.

Do you agree? If so, let’s do this together and tell me how you can help.

katie bachmeyer