The Art of Volunteering: A Guide to Embracing Volunteerism

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Are you looking to enhance skills in your profession, build your network, and boost credibility? If so, consider becoming a volunteer.  Volunteerism comes in many forms and determining an end goal will allow you to decide where to volunteer and what role to take on.  Are you looking to volunteer but not sure where?  VolunteerMatch.org is a valuable resource that can help point you in the right direction.  If you have additional questions on how to maximize your experience as a volunteer, feel free to email us for some suggestions.

Taking Social To The Next Level

GMIDanthem1-300x218“Businesses do business with people,” you may have heard this one before or you may have read it on our website.  At Seven Degrees Communications, we believe in the value of relationships and that businesses do business with people, not robots or automatic machines. That’s the same belief we instill in our client’s everyday practices.  Since the early 2000s, social media has been an effective relationship building tool.  In fact, our Seven Degrees Communications team often considers social media to be the “seventh degree” to the Six Degrees of Separation concept.  We often coach our clients on creative ways that they can use social media to engage with their prospective audience to build leads and media opportunities. Recently, we worked with team building company SongDivision on a campaign designed to attract the attention of event professionals worldwide as well as build a relationship with them.  Through the use of both social media, existing “real-world” relationships and live-streaming app Periscope, this campaign was effective and demonstrated the value of today’s modern day technology.

CASE STUDY: SongDivision’s Global Meetings Industry Day Anthem

SongDivision is a corporate team-building company that brings meetings to life through music. We have been working with SongDivision on their social media presence and wanted to work with them on a campaign to drive engagement, attract attention and build valuable relationships with the events community.  Our idea was simple – let’s give back by getting meeting and event planners from around the globe to help write anthem for the inaugural Global Meetings Industry Day Anthem on Periscope.

Event professionals including media, planners, and suppliers alike were invited to take part in SongDivision’s virtual and interactive songwriting session on February 25th, about six weeks before GMID was scheduled to take place. The song writing session was promoted via Facebook Events, through paid social media ad and directly through the events industry associations including the umbrella organization, the Convention Industry Council.  The live songwriting session took place from the Metropolis Studios in London during an event with planners onsite and was broadcast through the live-streaming application Periscope.  Approximately 80 event professionals took part in writing the song, contributing chords, lyrics and musical genre.  They engaged in conversation over the Periscope messaging system and showed their love in a constant flow of hearts.

Following the session, the song was was fine-tuned, produced and recorded then distributed to all of the event industry associations to be shared at GMID events worldwide.  The song was shared publicly via social media and played at many of the GMID events across the globe.  The song received positive reviews from industry publications and a event production company in Canada even dubbed their own version of the anthem.

This campaign is an example of how today’s modern-day technology has the capability of attracting the attention from people in different cities, states, countries, and continents. SongDivision used social media appropriately to get in front of the right audience and, as a result, were positioned as leaders in interactive group songwriting.  When using social media, it’s important to break from the noise on the social platforms by being creative and inclusive and the GMID Anthem helped SongDivision do just that.

Ask how you can stand apart from the noise and make the most of today’s social platforms.

President and Chief Connector Jessica L. Levin Recognized as One of NJ’s Top Marketing and Communication Professionals

Seven Degrees Communications Congratulates Jessica L. Levin on Being Named One of NJ’s Best Marketing & Communication Professionals Under 40.


Jessica Head Shot copyWoodbridge, New Jersey, April 20, 2016—
Seven Degrees Communications is proud to announce that President and Chief Connector Jessica L. Levin MBA, CMP, CAE, was named among 35 driven professionals as Jersey’s best communication and marketing professionals under the age of 40 by the NJ Advertising Club (NJAdClub) and Jersey Shore Public Relations and Advertising Association (JSPRAA).

With 15+ years in the Marketing and Communication field, Jessica has become the “go-to” person regarding marketing, event design and trends involving technology.  Within her role at Seven Degrees Communications, Jessica consults to associations, meeting industry professionals, and professional services on developing authentic relationships in today’s social landscape. Jessica was also recently named one of the Top Fifty Women in Business by the NJBIZ.

“What is unusual about her approach is that she has been able to combine her strong professional skills with a desire to give back to the business and social community where she lives and works,” says Sobel & Co. Principal & Chief Growth Strategist and longtime mentor, Sally Glick, on Jessica’s role and contributions in the community.

Jessica channels her marketing and communication skills to giving back and currently serves as the Director of Marketing for the non-profit organization Operation BBQ Relief.  In addition, Jessica heads the New Jersey Professional Services Marketers Group, serves on a committee for the Association of Accounting Marketing where she was named Volunteer of the Year and is the President-Elect for the New York Chapter of Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

“Jessica Levin has been an exemplary leader heading our Community Services committee. Jessica outlines clear goals for her team and instills a spirit of teamwork which helps us successfully complete each initiative we are charged with,” says fellow PCMA NY Board Member, Jeffrey Musumano, on Jessica’s role as a leader.

The NJAdClub and JSPRAA will recognize Jessica alongside 34 professionals for her commitment to the Marketing and Communications field on Thursday, April 28th at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, NJ.

Where Will I Be in Five Years?

Today I am representing Operation BBQ Relief at HPBExpo.

Today I am representing Operation BBQ Relief at HPBExpo.

Thanks to the power of Facebook memories I was reminded of an event that took place five years ago today.  Reading this memory evoked so many emotions. How had five years gone by so fast? Did I use these five years wisely? And OMG what will happen in the next five years?  You see, five years ago today, I was in San Diego, sitting at Midori Connolly’s dining room table, discussing the future of Seven Degrees Communications.  We created a strategic plan and, for the most part, have followed it in terms of service offerings.  I look at the hand drawn map and check that I am on target. Sort of.

During our strategic planning session, Midori asked me a question: “Where do you see yourself in five years.”  It was the hardest question anyone has ever asked me. Five years?  I really didn’t know and to tell you the truth, I still don’t know. I knew what I wanted the company to look like and live that daily. But, me? Where did I want to be? I was challenged.

 Here is a bit about what has changed since that meeting:
  • A month after this session, I left my full-time association job to focus primarily on Seven Degrees.
  • I hired Stacy Hanas as a full-time employee along with Amanda Vazquez and Carol Malinky who are part-time.
  • I moved out of my home office into The (Co)Working Space.
  • I wrote Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People.
  • I’ve traveled to many cities and spoke at events – averaging 50 speaking engagements a year.
  • I’ve volunteered and taken on professional leadership roles in The Association for Accounting Marketing and The Professional Convention Management Association.
  • I’ve joined the charity, Operation BBQ Relief, as Director of Marketing.
  • I’ve strengthened by professional brand and even received some amazing recognition along the way.
  • I launched a publishing company and have another brand under development.
What hasn’t changed?
  • I still struggle with being productive and chasing shiny red objects.
  • I still live in the same home, a place I thought I may have outgrown, but it works for me.
  • The type of work I am doing has gotten more strategic and refined, but hasn’t changed drastically.
  • I still spend free time with a lot of the same people and continue to make new friends every day.
  • I still think where will I be in five years is a really hard question.
What I’ve learned.

Today, I accept and embrace that I am an entrepreneur.

I accept that I may chase a few dreams and reject them if they don’t feel right.

I accept that the future is very hard to predict and that’s OK.

I accept  that I need to have a plan, but refining it is crucial.

I accept that I’ve accepted that the most important thing is to do what you love and it will all fall into place.

I accept that you don’t have to know where you where you will be in five years as long as you are learning and growing along the way.

Where will you be in five years? Do you know? Do any of us know? I’m just plan on doing what I love.

Jessica Levin Named One Of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 5.39.10 PMJessica Levin, MBA, CMP, CAE  has been named one of New Jersey’s 2016 Best 50 Women in Business. The award program, produced by NJBIZ, New Jersey’s premier business news publication, is presented by Wells Fargo and sponsored by WithumSmith+Brown, PC, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Comcast Business and FGV Media.

The Best 50 Women in Business awards program honors New Jersey’s successful and influential women in business who have been making headlines in their field. To qualify, a nominee had to meet the selection criteria of being a resident and/or employed in New Jersey and hold a senior management-level position with significant authority in decision making.

An independent panel of judges selected the top fifty winners based on dedication to their careers, leadership, vision, community service, and mentoring. The 2016 judges were Cheryl Biron, One Horn Transportation; Mary Clare Garber, Princeton Legal Search Group, LLC; Angela Scheck, New Jersey State Bar Association; Sandra Schler, American Cancer Society, Inc.; Judith Sheft, New Jersey Innovation Institute @ NJIT; and Sharon Waters, Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship, Montclair State University.

“We are truly fortunate to have the opportunity to recognize this outstanding group of women,” said Thomas Curtin, publisher of NJBIZ. “As business and community leaders, they are constantly redefining success within and outside the business arena.”

NJBIZ and the program sponsors will honor this year’s winners during an awards reception and ceremony on Monday, March 21, 2016 from 6 PM – 8:30 PM at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset, NJ. The honorees will also be highlighted in a special supplement to NJBIZ.

For more information about the NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business awards program or to reserve seats to the event, please visit www.njbiz.com/events or contact Erika Plateroti at erikap@njbiz.com or (732) 246-5713.

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