So, you want a peek behind the curtain? A summary of the Amber behind the tacks?
Rather than give you a big narrative, why not read the parts about me and my work that interest you the most? Just click on the links to head straight for that section.
I’m the co-founder and president of SideraWorks, a social business consultancy that helps companies adapt to the complex business implications of the social web.
Previously, I was the VP Social Strategy for Radian6, a social media monitoring and engagement platform. My team helped our customers better understand the broader social business perspective that makes a platform like Radian6 so critical to their work, and empowered our customers and our own teams to stay up to speed on the fast-moving social media landscape.
I’ve worked in non-profits and the corporate world for the last 15 years, and I’ve owned my own communications consultancy. My work has mostly been inside of smaller companies that work with larger companies, including many of the Fortune 500.
My roles have spanned professional fundraising, corporate communications, marketing, professional services, and social media strategy. I’ve successfully run multimillion dollar endowment and annual fundraising campaigns, managed dozens of teams that included senior management and remote workforces, launched and relaunched several brands (two internationally), built strategic plans that actually made an impact beyond the paper they were written on and were measurable to boot, redesigned organizations to better leverage talent and meet changing customer needs, and built a renowned community and social media team from the ground up in a rapid-growth startup that was successfully acquired.
I’m the co-author of a best-selling business book, The NOW Revolution. It’s about the impact that social media has on how businesses work today, from the inside out, and the shifts that organizations need to make to stay nimble and relevant. It’s probably the professional achievement that I’m most proud of to date, and it’s even being used in some universities as part of their communications curriculum around business management and new media.
I speak professionally about social business and strategy at dozens of industry conferences and private events every year, and give keynote speeches at many of those. For more information about my speaking experience and to book me for an event, head over here.
Why I Do What I Do
Not just to market to people. Not just to sell stuff. Not just to publish things or raise money, even. But to connect humans without the limitations of geography or synchronous circumstance. THAT is something that’s amazingly powerful, and has personally and professionally impacted me for the better.
From a business perspective, the emergence of the web and its collision with our work is one of the most transformational shifts of our generation. Yes, it’s true that many companies still only see it as a channel, a promotional vehicle, another place to market stuff. But there’s so much more to it than that.
Opening the doors of communication between businesses and their communities has deep implications. How we manifest and express the culture of our organizations. How we hire, and who we hire to steward that culture. How we communicate internally and share information. How we hear what our customers are saying, and support and serve their needs. How we innovate. How we set goals, and measure them. How we get a lot more cozy with why we’re in business in the first place.
The tools aren’t the magic. They’ll always change, the Twitters and the Facebooks and the YouTubes. But the potential? The possibilities? The ability to make our businesses and organizations feel more personal and accessible again, and to share our passion with our communities on an individual basis?
How I Got Here
Very accidentally. Or perhaps by subtle design.
My adventures around the web started as personal interest years ago, with nerdy things like IRC. That collided in a professional capacity in the early days of my fundraising career, when raising money online was a “new thing” that was startling and alarming for nonprofits to try. I helped implement fundraising software and databases, and tie those to websites to actually take donations. At the time (about 10 or 12 years ago) that was a big, exhilarating, scary deal.
Working with volunteers brought online components to the fore, too, connecting people to my organizations across the web through the earliest versions of online communities and forums. It was really the early stages of community management as we’re starting to know it today. That carried over into my corporate communications career where I worked heavily on the more marketing aspects of online presence like branding, digital communications, and content. Owning my own business for a time allowed me to focus exclusively on online communications, since the web was such a passion, and that led me into the exciting world of social media and social business where I still work today.
The Personal Side
In short, I’m a mom. I’m voracious reader and a lover of the written word. I studied music in college, but never graduated, yet music is a part of my soul. I always have a house full of critters and fur along the floorboards. I love to cook and am a lover of food, beer, and wine though not a snob in any of those capacities. I laugh loudly and often, love fiercely, have strong opinions, and would walk through fire for the people closest to me. Knowing people matters to me, not just their business.
Looking forward to getting to know you, too.