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Expect More Arizona

When I was preparing to launch Blabbermouth more than 4 years ago, several people asked me the same question: What types of clients would you like to have? At the time, it was very difficult for me to answer that question – with the uncertainty of whether I could make a living doing this hanging over me. So, I answered the question out of fear, only half joking, saying that I would like the types of clients that would pay me.

Looking in the rearview mirror, I now know that – if I had been able to answer that question honestly – I would have described the very types of clients I ended up with. I have been so fortunate to be able to support the work of organizations that are working every day to make Arizona a better place for all of us to live. I’ve loved working with foundations like Helios Education Foundation and the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, organizations I admire deeply and all of us in Arizona owe a debt of gratitude to for the investments (and not simply financial ones) they make.

Expect More ArizonaBut, there is one client I have had since day one that has always held a special place in my heart. I have been a part of Expect More Arizona since before its official launch in April of 2009. Expect More Arizona is a movement dedicated to world-class education in Arizona. Improving education in our state is not only a moral issue, but one that determines the financial outlook and quality of life in our state. It matters to each and every one of us. It has been a humbling issue to work on, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with some ridiculously talented people while doing it.

In fact, Expect More Arizona is so important, that it is making an honest man of me. Beginning tomorrow, I take on a full-time role as their Director of Marketing & Digital Engagement. I’m so proud of the work we have done together, and I am excited to build on it to help make world-class education a reality for every Arizona student. And, I’m particularly excited about some things we have planned for this year (stay tuned)!

The last four years have been incredible and very rewarding. Thanks to all of you who helped make it great (I want to single out Nicole Magnuson, Rebecca Lindgren, Paul Luna, and Marilee Dal Pra for your support, guidance, partnership, and friendship. Also, I would be nowhere without my beautiful wife, Erin, who is my biggest champion always. There are so many more of you who have supported me. I hope you know who you are). It sounds cliché, but I seriously could not have done it without your support. And thanks, of course, to Expect More Arizona – Pearl Chang Esau & Erin Hart – for this amazing opportunity to continue our great work together and to build on what we have begun!

Please learn more about Expect More Arizona and sign up to join the movement at ExpectMoreArizona.org!

P.S. I will be converting the Blabbermouth website into a blog only site, where I will occasionally post about word of mouth marketing, Expect More Arizona, and whatever I else feel like Blabbing about. I can’t promise to post regularly (I never have anyway), but I will do my best to stay in touch here

Excellence Tour for Web

I’m very proud to have helped launch The Expect More Excellence Tour for my longtime client, Expect More Arizona. The Excellence Tour is a portal to see and share excellence in education across Arizona. Although we know there is still a long way to go before we see the type of world-class education Arizona’s students deserve, it is important to recognize and celebrate the models of excellence in our state. This reminds us that not only is excellence possible here, it is already happening across our state right now. Now, we must demand that excellence for all of Arizona’s students.

There are just a few highlights about the site I want to point out, and then I encourage you to visit, vote, and share.

  • A Google map is embedded where you can visit different areas in Arizona to see local submissions.
  • A “Thumbs Up” ticker on the map measures engagement with each example of excellence submission. It’s fun to watch those numbers climb throughout the day.
  • Each submission has its own unique URL, with buttons to share that page via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and e-mail.
  • Visitors can vote for their favorite videos, encouraging submitters to utilize their networks (and their networks’ networks, and so on) to share their submission. You can only vote for a video one time per day, to encourage repeat visitors.
  • The user-generated content gives participants ownership of the site, and the friendly competition gives them a vested interest in driving traffic.

But, mostly, in an environment that often focuses on the negative, this is a nice way to stop and acknowledge great work that is happening in an increasingly challenging arena. It’s a way to say thank you to those who are expecting more of themselves and raising the bar for education in Arizona. And, personally, I don’t think we can say thank you enough.

Please visit The Expect More Excellence Tour to see the submissions and nominate your own!

 

It’s probably a golden rule for marketers to not choose favorites, but, if you know me, it’s no secret that Expect More Arizona is easily my favorite client. It’s not just the amazing people I get to work with (from the Board on down to my colleagues I drive all over the state with) or the really cool work I get the freedom to do, but to believe so firmly in the organization’s mission and to get to contribute to its success continues to be rewarding on a daily basis.

This year, we’re taking our message up several notches with a non-partisan campaign designed to make education the top priority in this year’s elections. With that in mind, last week we launched the “Vote 4 Education” campaign. You should start to see the signs and other materials pop up in communities across Arizona any day now. And, definitely, visit the Expect More Arizona web site to read the 4 questions and 4 actions to help you Vote 4 Education.

But, one part of the campaign that I’m really excited about is the Voter Resource Center. Here, we’re trying to make it really easy for people to share the campaign materials, both online and off. We’ve included all the campaign materials that you can download and print, and we’ve supplied widgets and images so anyone can embed campaign images on their web site or blog (as seen in this post). We also provide images that we’re encouraging friends to use as their social media profile pictures

Expect More Arizona and the “Vote 4 Education” have the potential to make a significant change in a struggling Arizona. Education must be a priority now. We can’t wait to fix education until after we fix our economy. Education – building a stronger workforce, creating an education system that will attract new businesses and top talent, instead of deterring them – is the key to restoring our economy. So, join me in voting 4 education, beginning by voting Yes on 100 on May 18.

Sign up at ExpectMoreArizona.org and connect with the organization on Facebook and Twitter.