Tag Archive: Chris Dessi


Over the last few months, I’ve finally had some good fortune come my way.  The opportunity to be an Adjunct Communications Professor at Central Penn College has been an amazing experience thus far.  I hold out hope that I will continue to teach there for many terms to come.

There are some things, however, that have been challenging to me.

1) Social Media is the way young people communicate.

While I am far from a social media expert, I still think that my level of social media knowledge is much higher than the average individual.  I’ve been running successful social media campaigns for all of my clients over the past year and have an increasing presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  That being said, I can help businesses, but can I help the students learn more about social media?  Every Communications class should have some form of discussion about social media and how these Communications students can and will use social media in their future jobs.

2) Teaching Communications classes is challenging due to the constant stream of new technology.

The book that I’m using to teach my class is called Media Programming:  Strategies and Practices.  While it does a wonderful job being current and even has an online portal for constantly updated information, the field of communications technology is constantly changing and will continue to do so.  It is certainly my responsibility to stay current on things that could impact not only my class but the communications field in general.

3) My College Classes included no Social Media instruction.  I will not make that mistake as a professor.

Looking back at my time (specifically at Shippensburg University) in college, I quickly realized that not one of my professors ever mentioned social media, even in passing.  Granted, I graduated in 2009 when Social Media was just beginning to become relevant, but I still look at it as a disservice to my education.  Everything that I know about social media I learned myself, being very fortunate along the way to meet two amazing Social Media professionals, Chris Dessi and Rachel Strella.  Even though my current class has no mention of social media anywhere in the course description, relating social media to the subjects we discuss in class will help the students understand how important it is to the field of communications.

4) Colleges and Universities must be proactive when teaching social media.

Just because college-aged students have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts doesn’t mean that a) they know to use it properly and effectively and b) understand how important social media is in finding a job or c) how leveraging social media will directly impact their future career.

Central Penn College does a fantastic job understanding the importance and value of social media and how we as professors must integrate social media discussion within our classes.  I look for many colleges and universities to expand classes to include social media related courses for students.

This last year has been an amazing year for my career, but it has not been an easy journey.  The last three years since December 2009 when I graduated with my MS in Communications from Shippensburg has been full of rejection, false hopes and constantly working 60+ hours a week just to make ends meet.  However, the last year has meant more to me than any in the past 30 of my life.  I’d like to take time to thank each and every one of the people who have helped me attain some of my goals in 2012 (in no particular order).

1. My beautiful fiance Jackie and our wonderful family.  I don’t know where I would be without Jackie and the kids.  We have been together nearly 6 years and they have been the best years of my life.  Without her, I know that I wouldn’t have had the drive and passion to reach for new goals and to push forward every day.  I look forward to September 28, 2014 when her and I will begin the next phase in our life together.

2. My loving Parents.  My parents have always supported me through great times and difficult times.  While some would say that this is to be expected of parents, I have given my parents more than enough reasons to give up on me over the years.  I have not always been who I am today, but have worked so hard every day to redeem myself for my past.  My parents have never left my side and the support they have offered is invaluable.

3. Chris Dessi.  This is one person on this list that I promise if I had never met, I would not be where I am with my career.  The 2012 Social Media Summit was important in so many ways, with the main reason being meeting Mr. Chris Dessi.  Any loyal reader of my blog certainly understands how Chris has been influential in my career over the past six months.  For those of you that don’t know, Chris is the voice of social media in New York city and I have the amazing opportunity to have dinner with him after the SMS 2012.  He told me not to give up or be frustrated with hardships.  He taught me how to harness social media and how to help some of the businesses I work with grow.  Most importantly, Chris taught me to never give up when reaching for my dream.  I remember him saying, “No one want to hire you?  Work for yourself.  Show your excitement to others and they will begin to share your excitement.  It won’t be work anymore.”  Thanks Chris…

4. Rachel Strella.  This was the second aspect of the Social Media Summit 2012 that made it such an important day in my career, I was able to meet Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media.  Rachel has helped me understand not only how to use social media for small businesses, but gave me a business model that I can succeed with.  Rachel’s advice is the cornerstone of my work, but she is always able to answer questions I may have along the way.  Where Chris was my motivational influence, Rachel has been my ideological influence.

5. Steve Infanti.  Harrisburg University’s Associate VP has been a great influence in my career in other ways.  If I had never attended the 2011 Social Media Summit, I more than likely would not be currently representing 6 clients as well as a potential 10 more.  While Steve didn’t specifically change my career direction, his involvement in the Social Media Summit in both 2011 and 2012 and BarCamp Harrisburg 2012 and 2013 helped lay my groundwork for a career in social media.  He has also went out of his way to help me prepare my resume and even has helped in my search for a job.

6. My clients.  Without people like Brett Meyers of Johnny Joe’s Sports Bar and Grill, Jason Phelan of the Gingerbread Man, Cathy Haynes of CONTACT Helpline and Ken Ross of Bethesda Mission, I would never have had the support system needed to succeed.  Each one of these individuals has helped me in different ways, ways that I could never repay them for.  This support helped enable me to never give up at reaching my goals and to keep making new goals, not getting complacent.  To each of these individuals I am unbelievably grateful to.

7. Solutions for Advertising.  I may have never even received my Masters Degree if it wasn’t for Solutions for Advertising.  Peter Anderson is not only a boss to me, but one of my best friends.  I did two different sets of internships with Solutions for Advertising, as well as my graduation project, compiling and writing our Media Kit and Brochure.  Pete has always been there to help my succeed in my career, especially one day after the 2011 Social Media Summit.  It was then that I realized that my future was in social media and made Pete aware of my desire to start a social media department of Solutions for Advertising, which is thriving to this day.

8. Bart Kaminski of KollisionMedia.  Bart and I have been friends for many years and I have seen KollisionMedia get to the point where he is now having to hire people to keep up with all of his work.  Bart has supported me throughout my current venture, including referring me a few clients along the way.  I am sure that Bart and I will have a close working career in the future and that this successful year is just the first of many.

9. Tierney.  The first thing I must mention is that Tierney gave me inspiration to write this blog with her latest entry at http://stoutsandstilettos.wordpress.com/.  Not only that, she has been one of my closest followers, commenters, advisors and friends, even though we have only met in person twice.  Tierney, understand that my blog and my business would not be where it is without you!

10. Everyone that passed on me for a job.  With all of the positives on this list, it may seem strange that I am thanking everyone that passed on me for a job.  Some of the jobs that I have applied for would not have challenged me, some would have been the wrong fit and some would have just been plain boring.  I was willing at certain points to settle for a $12 an hour job, but I now realize that I am worth much more to a company.  I don’t want a job, I want a rewarding and fulfilling career.  So all of those people who told me I had the job, but that you just have to finish the interview process (3 different times!) I thank you for passing on me.  I now realize how much I have to offer to employers.

To sum up, this journey that I’m on is only beginning and all of these people (as well as some I didn’t mention) have helped me to reach great success and the potential for even more!

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

In part 1 of this blog, I chronicled the panel about the Future of Social Networking at the 2012 Social Media Summit at Harrisburg University.  I spoke of my meeting Chris Dessi (@cdessi) of Silverback Social, New York and how his ideology has impacted my social media prowess in the most positive of ways.

One of the things that I wanted to discuss was one of the questions posed at the panel:  What industries are adversely impacted by the emergence of social media?  The main response from the panelists was the notion that customer service has forever changed.  Customer service can happen in real-time.  Everyone now has recourse for companies that don’t live up to our standards.  Chris Dessi commented on a situation that happened to him just prior to the Summit.  When we went to check-in to a local hotel, he was not pleased with the service he received.  Chris has a vast number of followers on Twitter and tweeted his displeasure.  Almost immediately, he was contacted by someone at the corporate office and offered compensation for the mistake.  While his experience was not ideal, the hotel chain made it right in nearly real-time, instead of letting it get out of hand.

The panelists also made reference to the Trinity of social media, Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.  To me, there is specific things that each site does well that I would like to discuss:

Facebook is for friends.  For me personally, I have been able to not only find long-lost friends, but can use Facebook as a way of keeping up with my friends that I don’t see as much as I would like to.  Facebook is for businesses as well.  In a way that it’s a necessity to have a website, it is imperative to have a Facebook page for your business.  It is extremely valuable tool that often is not used properly by businesses.  Facebook allows you to have almost real-time interaction with your customers.

For me, Twitter has exceeded because of the Twitter mobile app.  The app is easy to use, concise and fun.  It allows people to get news from those they like and respect about topics they want to know about.  Twitter has solidified its place in the social media world, and needs to be more embraced by businesses.  One thing about Twitter, few local businesses take Twitter seriously and have not used it properly or at all.  Twitter is also a unique way to engage with your friends and clients in a new way.

Linked In is the most valuable social media site if you are a business professional.  It provides you the medium to have an online resume and be able to find employment.  The professional connections that you receive through Linked In are invaluable to job-seekers.  People still in college that will be looking for employment upon graduation really should take the time and establish a Linked In profile.  It is the consensus of almost every person at the Social Media Summit that a Linked In profile completed 100% with a minimum of 4 recommendations is by far the best thing you can do to enhance chances of employment.

A final subject worth speaking of is how some of the more successful companies engage their followers on social media.  One specific company I immediately thought of during this discussion is Harrisburg’s own Troegs Brewery.  They have a premier website and engage in an extremely different way with their fans.  They are people who know what they are doing with regards to social media.  Check them out at http://troegs.com or @troegsbeer and see why they are the premier social media engagers in the area.

Obviously I enjoyed my time at the Social Media Summit.  I got to meet three wonderful people in Amanda Haddaway, Rachel Strella, and of course Chris Dessi.  In my next blog, I will discuss Chris’s book “Your World is Exploding” and the impact that it has had on my social media outlook.  Hats off once again to Steven Infanti, Eric Darr, Andy Petroski, and all of the faculty of Harrisburg University for their generosity and wonderful amenities.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

This blog will consist of three parts:  Parts 1 and 2 will detail the Facing Forward Panel while Part 3 will detail Chris Dessi’s Your World is Exploding book and my experience meeting Chris after the Summit.

Solutions for Advertising was very fortunate to sponsor the final panel of the day, entitled Facing Forward:  The Future of Social Networking.  As a company that has recently branched out to offering social media to our clients, we felt this panel would be the most advantageous to us.  Last year’s panel (other than a cameo by Joseph Carrabis) really didn’t fulfill my expectations.  There was little insight into the future of social networking, it ended up being panelists speaking of fringe social media sites that may hit it big.  I was hoping this year’s panel would be much better than 2011, and it certainly was.

To begin, Eric Darr (Provost of Harrisburg University) was the Moderator.  Eric is someone who I sincerely look up to so I was extremely pleased he moderated this session.  The crown jewel of this panel, however, was Mr. Chris Dessi.  Here is a brief description about Chris:

“Christopher Dessi is CEO of Silverback Social. He is also an award-winning digital media executive, best-selling author, university lecturer, prominent blogger and keynote speaker.  His book “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It”, shot to #1 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases in its first two weeks of publication. Dessi is a regular contributor on Fox News, and Good Day New York. He makes regular Radio appearances on such shows as the John Gambling show on WOR Radio in NYC, and the  Mary Beth Marsden show in Baltimore on WBAL.  Dessi leverages the platforms of television, print, keynote speaking, lecturing, and radio appearances to share his manifesto that social media is a spiritual awakening, not a technological one.  In a simple, easily digestible manner he helps businesses understand that social media is not simply a shift in business, rather a cultural shift in the manner in which we aggregate and disseminate information and maps out each step they must take to succeed. ”

The most amazing thing about this panel was the opportunity to understand why social media has emerged as such a major force in today’s business landscape.  Being able to understand the importance of social media is the basis for understanding where it will go in the future.  One of the major things I took away from this panel involved Chris Dessi’s ideology:  “Social Media is much more a spiritual awakening than a technological one”.  Chris stressed how social media revolves around the basic human nature of connecting with one another but uses new technology to change the way we communicate with each other.  With this concept it is no wonder why Mr. Dessi’s POV is one that I understand and have employed since meeting him.  He shares the passion that I do about social media and he is not shy about it.

One question posed to the panelists was:  Why has social networking become so important in our society?  Chris answered this question by saying that currently social media is everywhere we go.  People are getting their news from their Twitter feed instead of local newspapers.  The way we disseminate information has changed for the better and people need to understand that social media will be with us forever.  While Facebook or Twitter may not be, social media will live on.  Chris’s final viewpoint was:  “Humans love to be heard.”

A final point I would like to cover in Part 1 was the notion that the creation of content is paramount and helps us create our online brand.  While I already knew that the creation of content is important, it provides validation to all of the hard work I put in to this blog.  I would like to take time here to thank all of my loyal readers and followers because without you I would be talking to myself.

For more information about Chris Dessi, please take time to check out the following sites:

Twitter:  @cdessi

Blog:  http://www.christopherdessi.com

Silverback Social:  http://www.silverbacksocial.com

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

The 2012 Social Media Summit was an enormous success both on a personal level and on a professional level.  Solutions for Advertising had an opportunity to sponsor the Facing Forward:  A Discussion on Social Networks and the Future.  This was our first time sponsoring a panel like this and were very pleased with the outcome of the panel.

I will be blogging about the two best panels that I attended, Social Networking and the Job Search and the Facing Forward panel.  I’d like to do a two-part blog about the Job Search, which I will post part 1 June 4 and part 2 June 11.  I’d also like to do a two-part blog about the Facing Forward panel, with part 1 being posted June 18 and part 2 being posted June 25.  I like to lay out when I’ll be posting each so I can keep myself on task, but also so my readers know when to expect new blogs.  And if it is one thing that I learned at the Job Search panel in regards to blogs, it certainly is don’t do more than you can handle.   I feel that one blog a week is certainly within my means, and for the summer at least, would like to post one per week (or so).

With this entry, I would like to go over some of the main ideas I’ll cover in my coming entries in June.  First of all, kudos to Harrisburg University for another outstanding event.  Steve Infanti and all of the staff at Harrisburg U should be proud of what they are able to with the limited resources that are available for this event.  Panelists of this event come without being paid and even have to foot their own travel expenses.  That being said, without the expertise of the panelists, this event would not be the success that is it.

There were two specific individuals that made the day very special to me personally.  The first person I would like to mention is Amanda Haddaway.  She has been quoted in several national publications for her HR and marketing expertise and has written her own book, Destination Real World: Success after Graduation for new and soon-to-be college graduates.  I also recommend job seekers follow her on Twitter (@ahaddaway) for added insight.  In next week’s blog, I will chronicle what amazing things Amanda had to say.

The second individual that made an amazing impression on me was Chris Dessi.  Mr. Dessi spoke at the Facing Forward panel and is CEO of Silverback Social. He is also an award-winning digital media executive, best-selling author, university lecturer, prominent blogger and keynote speaker.  His book “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It”, shot to #1 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases in its first two weeks of publication. Dessi is a regular contributor on Fox News, and Good Day New York.  It truly was a pleasure to have the opportunity to not only enjoy his comments on the Future of Social Networking, but also to have the pleasure to have dinner with him and discuss my career path with someone who I extremely look up to.  I will discuss what amazing advice Mr. Dessi had for me in the Facing Forward blog entries later this month.  Follow Chris on Twitter @cdessi and find Silverback Social on Facebook.

This year’s experience overall was quite different from last year in a positive way.  Last year I didn’t have the knowledge that I have now.  I didn’t know about Linked In or even where to begin with blogging.  In the past 10 months, I have made every step to put myself in a position to succeed and I’m very happy with my progress.  I did realize at the Summit that I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be.  I’m sure I’ll find my direction with the help of people like Amanda Haddaway and Chris Dessi.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495