There is a strong sense of altruism that emanates from TED and TEDx. The TEDxOrangeCoast team joined a global community of volunteers committed to bringing great ideas to the local communities in which we live. Hopefully each team member is a better person and professional because of the experience.

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We each learned new things. In the case of Online Content Producers, TEDxOrangeCoast was a real-time workout in pushing out important content to a new audience. We misjudged the local community in regards to awareness of TEDx. Being longtime aficionados, we assumed more people in Orange County were too. In the end TEDxOrangeCoast was a great success, but we were worried there for awhile. Each member of the team had some teachable moments. Here are mine:

1. Always, always, research your market.

No matter how great you think your product or idea is, there is never a reason big enough NOT to do your audience research. The more Kool Aid you have drunk, the more reason to research your market.

2. The right media mix still includes print.

By misjudging brand awareness we discounted print, and realized too late that much of our audience had to be reached through business journals and print newspapers.

3. There must be a Chief Content Officer directing content.

A Content Strategy Plan and Editorial Calendar is mandatory. A detailed plan spelled out content topics, dates, publication platform, keywords, tags, etc., and allowed the marketing team at Brandtailers to utilize the content to its optimal value. The content was the message, and taking the time to plan a strategy for delivering that message is essential.

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The TEDxOrangeCoast team has scattered for the summer as we each dive back into our businesses. In the meantime, the content lives on. I hope you will take some time to watch the talks and enjoy the “great ideas worth spreading”.

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