Keep the Good. Keep the Bad. Hide the Ugly.

PRO TIP: Don’t skip reading the images. You’ll miss the point. IJS

I am grateful.

I am grateful that I have the opportunity to be the gatekeeper for several brands that I have developed a deep, unwavering love for. It’s akin to that mother lion kind of love. As a Social Media Manager aka Community Manager aka Brand Specialist aka Sprinkler of Social Magic, as I’ve been known to refer to it, I protect my brands’ reputations from social media harm and navigate through those, at times, treacherous waters. And, when I’m doing that, I’m entrenched in the good, bad and incredibly ugly. As you can imagine, that can lead me down a very dark path of reading the underbelly of social media.

I am grateful for the Content Moderators that the big social networks employ. Without you, I would be seeing so much worse, I’m sure. But still. Bad and ugly seeps through those protective barriers that the social networks have created and that’s where I come in. Every day – every moment is different with its unique, emotional ups and downs. Here’s a peek into my life and what I see on a typical day.

I am grateful that this mother’s experience with this cell phone retailer was a positive one when she was going in to do a very mundane task for the worst reason imaginable.

I am grateful that Twister’s last day on Earth was filled with truly heartfelt brushes and pets from this grooming team and that his human kept the sympathy card from one of the hardest moments a pet parent experiences.

I am grateful that I’m reading this sentiment less and less with each year that passes.

I am grateful……. You know what. This is simply ugliness at its core, and I can’t find any way to spin this in a positive way. So, I’m leaving it at that.

You may be asking, WHY. Why would I continue down this path and manage social when there is so much ugliness. It’s simple. I live for the beautiful moments. The opportunities to truly make a difference in a person’s life like when a guest commented that after 12 years of dating she was getting married to her boyfriend the next day and immediately afterwards celebrating at Dave & Buster’s. All she wanted was a drink recommendation from her local D&B.

Immediately, I sent this to Dave & Buster’s and the rest is a happy history. The local team went above and beyond and the Corporate team was so delighted that this couple chose to party at D&B on their big day that they shared the guest’s post on their Brand page.

I live for these moments. It gets me through the hard times of this career. It pushes me to critically assess every engagement and sift through the hundreds of thousands of engagements I read a year to find the human moments and truly celebrate them. I hold those moments close to my heart, use the bad as opportunities to grow and lock the awful away in a mental lockbox knowing that it’s there but not allowing myself to dwell on it too much.

Like I said, I’m grateful. One of the smartest men and a mentor of mine once said to me, “Susie, let’s just keep the good, keep the bad and hide the ugly.” He definitely meant that as a social strategy that I absolutely implement to this day but I also personally live by it so I can continue sprinkling the social magic with a positive attitude.

Bark!, A “Pawsitive” Story Amidst Shutdown Woes

In the wake of the government shutdown, Bark! launched a program to help support their local communities by hooking furloughed government employees up with a free bag of pet food. Bark! is a pet supply company that provides healthy, ecologically sustainable, and socially responsible products for your animal companions. While there is a lot of buzz this week around Gillette’s highly promoted socially responsible #TheBestMenCanBe campaign, we think Bark! deserves some attention.

With just 8 locations in Maryland, Bark!’s social post around their program has gone viral – digitally and as a micro-movement. Their message is, “If your income has been affected by the government shutdown, we’ll feed your pet for free.” Since launching, they’ve been inundated with “pawsitive” messages, reviews and recommendations.

Though Bark!’s scale is small their message or rather, their bark, is mighty as it has reached furloughed humans across the United States. While their program is local and limited to humans who can physically come in and show their government employee ID, their goodwill has spread. This east coast brand has received messages from people wanting to replicate their program in their local neighborhood as well as others who are collecting donations to help furry families in need.

Bark!’s story is inspiring communities, or more appropriately, human packs to come together during this ruff time to support one another. If you feel inspired and want to help, a donation to your local pet food bank is a purrrfect place to start. (Sorry, we really enjoy our animal puns around here!)