The Power of Paying Attention

Hey, marketing people! The key word in Social Media isn’t the “Media”, it’s the “Social”.

This past weekend I spent 24 hours in Chicago with my niece, her fiance, and my brothers-in-law; professional business people all. I made a point of “checking-in” on Foursquare at each venue through whose door I passed.

I checked-in at the Marriott Chicago and proceeded from there to Rock Bottom Brewery where I spent the next 2 hours. From thence to Gibson’s for a delightful 5-hour dinner. Then from LuxBar to Pippin’s Pub and finally back to the Marriott. Day two; checked-out of the Marriott and had brunch at the Village Tavern.

It wasn’t until I stopped at the 2-year-old Elysian Hotel Chicago that a single one of my check-ins was acknowledged. We had passed the Elysian the prior evening and I wanted to “check it out” before leaving Chicago; spoke briefly with the Concierge and walked through a few public areas. Obviously they were paying attention as my check-in was followed shortly with a thank you for visiting and a Twitter “Follow”. I neither introduced myself nor exchanged business cards, but they knew I was there–and who I am!

Low-and-behold, I no sooner returned the favor with a “Follow-back” than I was IMMEDIATELY “Followed” by the Peninsula Hotel Chicago.

It seems someone else was paying attention.

All of this networking took place in the presence, and with the full knowledge, of my party of 5. We were all duly impressed.

Oh, did I mention that my nephew-to-be’s Best Man, with whom I will be in three weeks, happens to work for Google in London, or that my niece’s sister previously handled Social Media for Wet Seal?

Two of the very best Chicago hotels were paying attention to someone who hadn’t spend a dime at either … yet. They just thought it seemed like a good idea to connect.

They were both right!

They did; I have; and now you have read about it.

THAT is the power of Social Media networking.

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Open Letter to Wisconsin Governor-Elect Scott Walker

October 12, 2010


Dear Mr. Walker,


As a supporter, fiscal conservative, social libertarian, Catholic, and fellow Marquette University alum I wish to express my support for both high-speed rail in Wisconsin and Wisconsin’s stem-cell/bio-med research and development industry and academics.


Lost in the ideological puritanism of both debates is the opportunity, and necessity, to position Wisconsin at the forefront of two vital technologies for the future of the State, the Midwest, our Country, and mankind.


First, high-speed rail; while arguably an expensive and elitist extravagance at the moment there are several compelling arguments in its favor:


1.       Generation of much needed construction jobs and engineering expertise to be put to work rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure and our move to more efficient transportation systems.

2.       The re-establishment of rail manufacturing in Wisconsin.

3.       The development of a high-speed Midwest rail corridor to augment a Wisconsin high-tech research and manufacturing hub.

4.       The infrastructure to keep our economy “on-the-move” when oil once again rises (as we all know it will) to astronomical and economically catastrophic levels.

5.       The knowledge that if we do not take advantage of the Government’s largesse our federal competitors will.


Second, stem-cell/bio-med research and development:


1.       Wisconsin, California, and Massachusetts are at the forefront of medical research in the ground-breaking and potentially earth-shattering field of bio-med. My personal belief is that bio-med engineering will be to this century what electronics and metals technologies were to the last. Fortune has smiled on Wisconsin placing us at the center of this rapidly developing technology and we owe it to our progeny to develop our assets to their highest potential.

2.       California, our strongest competitor, is in their weakest economic position in history. We must strike now to take advantage of their weakness since, all-things-being-equal, we cannot compete with them on an otherwise level playing field due to their shear strength in numbers.

3.       Agree or disagree with the questions raised by the technology, we must give responsible researchers the time and tools needed to find solutions to any ethical dilemma that may be envisioned.


As campaigns come to a close and the task of governance begins I urge your thoughtful, sober support of both regional high-speed rail and Wisconsin’s stem-cell/bio-med research and development industry.


Best of luck,



Thomas P. Leisle Jr.

Central Investment Company, Incorporated 1895


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