Regardless of our digital age or something far older, connections matter. The networks which beget those connections can foster REALLY-COOL-STUFF-HAPPENING!
I have been asked, a LOT, if I am Croatian, or if I have any Croatian blood. I have been asked why I care so much, why I love Croatia, why I would give up my American life to try and make a difference for her? I have been told “you don’t realise how Mediterranean you are”. It has been suggested that I ‘look’ like the pre-Illyrians race of the Liburnian people. The Poles are culturally and ethnically close to Croats – cousins, if you like. Although seven generations removed from ‘the old countries’ I am half Polish, with my typically American mash-up of French, English, Irish, Scots and German making up the balance of my heritage. None of this explains the deep grounding I feel for the Croatian people, the land itself, and of course the Adriatic, but it is resonant and to honour that resonance I must ‘do’.
We are, (speaking of myself in the 3rd person like I am royalty and certain friends will laugh so hard at this that they will spew their ice cold beverages at their computer screens!), while still ‘sort of’ sitting on the social media marketing sidelines), very close to bringing a seemingly random online ‘content’ introduction into a real life connection, the net result producing a considerable marketing opportunity.
2013 October, OKCupid, a man shares a YouTube video with me. I was captivated, I wasn’t the only one. The video went viral. Savvy use of social networks result in Sir Elton John offering his ‘patronage’ and the global fame and success that accompanies such. Females of all ages and gay men alike swoon. Straight men ‘get into it’ because they cover ACDC – brilliantly. In the midst of all of this I share ‘my’ discovery with my best girlfriend while drinking fantastically cold Martini’s and she suggests we make the ultimate road trip to fly to Istanbul to see their concert. (As sobriety is regained we quickly experienced a ‘level set’ having taken stock of the price of nearly last minute airline tickets.)
Fast forward, May 2015. My friend Ken and I are now contestants in @VisitIstra’s #ShareIstria contest as team #IstraKT. But we are more than that, we are also marketing people. Ken is particularly amazing at leveraging all that social media has to offer, while my niche is how a little research will generally net the strategic ‘sweet spot’ for just about anything, we both execute nearly flawlessly. We share a firm conviction of the ethos of #GiveMoreThanYouTake.
“Hey Ken, GUESS WHAT?!” (I can hear him moan on the other end of the phone before I even tell him “what”.) But, but, BUT – this would be GREAT! Logistics impossibilities and synergies aside Ken, just BELIEVE it will happen, he doubts, I never falter.
A faint percentage of you reading this will ‘know’ long before you have read this sentence that I have been writing of 2Cellos. For the rest of you, the weekly listeners of Carol McManus’ LinkedIn Lady Show that my friend Ken Herron co-hosts, you are about to learn how two classically trained musicians have turned their cellos into a generations-defying crossover sensation and it all started with a YouTube video (sort of). 2Cellos will be making an appearance on the 22 July #LILShow in support of their playing Rovinj Jazz Festival organised and hosted by Maistra, along with Maistra representatives and both will be talking about their use of social media to build their brands. OH. BUT. WAIT. THERE. IS. MORE. Something which will make everyone with a breathe of life in their bodies want to know where Rovinj is but also do everything humanly possible to be there the night of 24 July. I will, (kicking dirt figuratively), leave that to Ken and Carol.
If you are not yet familiar with Luka and Stjepan allow me the privilege of sharing a few video selections as an introduction – humour you can understand even without a command of language, energy that comes playing from an iconic cultural song Mesečina, their ACDC cover of Back in Black and my personal hymn Benedictus (which has repeatedly appeared on my journey of coming ‘home’ to Croatia with each step I have taken).
Networks offer opportunity, while building connections into relationships can be powerful catalysts for change. The Balkans still have a lot of healing to realise. There is still pain from the ex-Yugoslav War. There is still epic corruption that is generated from a society denied so much for so long that makes people do desperate things at the expense of the whole of society. But Croatia has an unparalleled beauty both physically and within the souls of her people, something so ancient and pure that your breath is taken from you at each example of it – reverence, awe, being humbled all at once. Perhaps in offering this it is enough explanation at a visceral level of “why Croatia” until you experience her yourself.
Please follow our adventures on Twitter @Kenherron @TeresaFritschi @Commarglo (our new consulting agency) and especially with the hashtag #IstraKT (which we hope you will RT and share with reckless abandon). #WishYouWereHere
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