When Renee says “We Blog the World” she means it!
Having lived in 11 countries and traveled to nearly 90, she specializes in working with international companies and launching them into the U.S. market. As one of the first bloggers in the industry, she does more than just dabble in content and has authored more than 25,000 articles on the web and is prolific on social media. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes for two years in a row, #6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes, selected as a top 70 Digital Leader by the United Nations, named a Top 10 Social Media Mentor by Women Online Magazine, chosen as one of the Most Powerful Women in social media by CEO World Magazine, was a Shorty Awards Business Influencer Finalist and served as a Smitty Awards Judge for Travel & Leisure Magazine. She is also listed as an AlwaysOn Top 150 Business & Tech Journalist and her magazine We Blog the World was selected as an official media partner of this year’s New York Times Travel Show.
Renee Blodgett is the founder of Magic Sauce Media, a global communications consultancy whose goal is to help brands, companies, products and individuals succeed through smart and creative marketing strategies that elevate them above the noise and co-founder of We Blog the World, an online magazine, and network dedicated to luxury, adventure and wellness travel.
Me: What inspired you to start participating in social media?
Renee: I was participating in “social media” before it was officially referred to as social media, so was an early innovator and adopter of social media tools largely because of the value it provided in its earliest of days. At the time, I represented companies who were at the forefront of the industry such as RSS tool developer Newsgator, the first mainstream news aggregator on the market and collaborated with its partners at the time, which included vendors like FeedBurner, Typepad, WordPress, and others.
Me: What is the best opportunity that you have received since you started participating in social media?
Renee: I think about social media more as of a way of life rather than something I DO for a specific opportunity; it’s rather a combination of things which have come together at important crossroads over more than a decade. Perhaps a more relevant way of answering the question in the world where I play is that because of social media, I have garnered some of the most powerful relationships across a variety of disciplines from nearly every continent. Because of social media, experiences are dramatically enhanced, whether it be representing a client in Ireland, France, England or Eastern Europe or leading a blogging tour to places like Israel or South Africa. Because of social media, one random speaking opportunity in Iceland led to an extended five-week stay which transformed how I look at nature, business and the world. Because of social media, I have attended global events in places like Paris, Tel Aviv, Sydney, London, Berlin, Munich, Hungary, Prague, Tallin, Cape Town, Barcelona, Rome, Vienna, and others. Because of social media, I’ve collaborated and/or partnered with major tourism boards around the world, airlines, hotels and resorts, and the New York Times Travel Show. Because of social media, I been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post and Entertainment Weekly and others and served as a judge for the Travel & Leisure Awards. Because of social media, I am a more effective curator of places, people, and things. Because of social media, I’m less fearful of speaking the truth, my truth or any other important truth that can help causes or issues that need a face lift or a megaphone. Because of social media, I have a voice and can help others who don’t.
Me: What is the biggest challenge of having a voice on social media and how do you handle it?
Renee: When you have numbers or are not fearful of speaking out, people often ask me to send out an announcement or news about their company or product on a regular basis. The challenge is saying no when it’s not right for my audience or getting them to understand that this is one of the things under the corporate communications umbrella that I do for a living. It’s like asking a lawyer for advice or to make calls on your behalf without paying them for their time and expertise. While I love helping friends out and communities that are important to me, time, our vast networks we have built over 20+ years and our voice hold inherent valuable. Getting corporations and organizations to value that time and expertise is often a challenge in the millennial economy where everything is expected to be free or there’s a way to get it for free. In the old world, you wouldn’t think twice of paying handsomely for distribution to a targeted and valuable network but today, because there are so many platforms and so many voices, the value of extending the voice of a brand, has diminished.
Me: Any suggestions about what tech or social trends we need to be watching?
I am a huge believer that highly targeted and unique curation will increasingly be a critical value proposition in the always on noisy economy. We have tons of content across a myriad of disciplines and in many cases, the numbers are even there, but industries are also becoming more fragmented than ever. We will need to look to smart curators to lead the way so we can more effectively identify the most compelling ideas that can help accelerate our business or shed important light on our personal lives in a way that matters. This could be content related to a health issue of a family member, financial insights that help a business proposal we’re working on or marketing data that is both factually sound and respected by the same tribe our clients care about. Those uniquely defined micro data sets will rise above the noise as we get better “human” aggregators to lead the way. The best and most creative curators, editors, producers and visual artists will need to funnel that data in a way that makes sense and hold intrinsic value within and across each industry sector.