Top 10 Tweet… 10 years later

On this day ten years ago, I was a marketing manager for Morton’s The Steakhouse where one of my responsibilities was to manage our Twitter presence. So when Peter Shankman jokingly tweeted about wanting a steak when he landed at the airport, I eagerly took that on as a challenge. I researched which flight I thought Peter would be on and when/where it would land. Then I called my director to ask permission (Patty McLaughlin-Pleuss did not hesitate). And lastly, I worked with the amazing management team at Morton’s in Hackensack (Mike Khorosh and Karleen Koerkel) to organize the logistics. I remember Mike saying, if we are going to do this, we need to act now… and within minutes, Alex from his team was in his tuxedo riding up to Newark Airport with steak in hand. And the rest is history!

Little did I know that what I was about to do would end up being one of the Top Ten Tweets of 2011. Today I’m reflecting on the changes in marketing that have occurred since the “tweet heard around the world”.

Working from anywhere – that wasn’t a thing for me 10 years ago. I remember logging off of my work computer and heading out to meet my co-workers that night at a Goose Island vendor party. So I only had my personal phone to check to see if Peter did, in fact, get his steak at the airport. And I couldn’t log back into work until I arrived (early) that next morning. So, there wasn’t a response or tweet from Morton’s twitter handle until the next day. What a missed opportunity to engage with the community who were talking about what happened!

Data Driven Decisions – at Morton’s, we were innovators of guest relationship marketing thanks to our leaders Patty, Cyndi Smith, Assunta Scala and Angela Reed That’s how I was able to know that Peter was an avid guest at Morton’s when he jokingly sent out that tweet. Or how Mike at Morton’s in Hackensack knew who Peter was even though I don’t think he ever dined at the Hackensack location. Patty, Cyndi and Angela had done the research to know that our top 10% of our guests dined at our locations worldwide and frequently… a significant portion of our revenue came from these top guests. At Morton’s, our mission was to surprise and delight, anticipate needs of our guests and make every moment special. Having data like their favorite bottle of wine, an anniversary date, or even which of the 78 worldwide locations that our guests dine at, helped us make data driven marketing decisions. Now-a-days, customers expect brands to know who they are. Ten years ago, it was more like an aspiration for most brands.

Social Media in the Marketing Budget – such a normal thing now but 10 years ago we had no social media budget. Catherine Merritt was THE driving force behind Morton’s social presence when she was the Global PR Communications Specialist. I learned all about Twitter from her. I put that knowledge into practice as a volunteer for a non-profit managing their social media presence and then, applied it to my role at Morton’s. But ten years ago, there was no social media budget, no dedicated resources, no handbook. Could you imagine that now? We’ve come a long way.

#Selfies started ten years ago, candy crush wasn’t a thing, the words “new normal” or “quarantine” weren’t used in every day language like it is today… what other surprising changes have occurred over the past ten years?


What’s the number one driver of employee engagement? According to Towers Watson, it’s whether or not workers feel their managers are genuinely interested in their wellbeing. Less than 40% of workers felt engaged.

Appreciation matters so much in the workplace. It doesn’t have to be awkward. Heartfelt appreciation is something you have to build up.

Ready to get started? Make October your month of appreciation and optimism.

Here’s 80+ Ways to Recognize Self and Others
Download this Optimistic October Calendar
Share your story of appreciation with me!


Take a break from the camera!

Maybe this is old news but I just watched the Good Morning America Examining Hamilton 2020 interview that aired in July and something that Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler) said stuck with me…

It’s hard for actors to see themselves on camera.

Renee’s experience on the stage is so different than our experience as viewers at home. And, how hard is it to see yourself without self-criticism.

How does this relate to the workplace?

Attending video calls can create fatigue or unnecessary anxiety. Give yourself and your team members a break by granting permission to turn the camera off.

It’s leading with Empathy. Being present in the conversation. No distractions. Aligning on the team’s vision & what matters most.

I found more inspiration from
Lead Through Challenging Times on Trailhead
The Long Road Ahead: Thriving through Fatigue from Josh Bersin

What do you think? Do you agree with turning off the camera from time to time? What other examples of empathetic leadership have inspired you?

All I want for Christmas is… a glass of wine!

It’s been several years since I completed the first level examination with the Guild of Sommeliers but a few of my friends have asked me for holiday wine recommendations so I thought I’d brush up on my wine knowledge and share a few of my favorite New World boutique wines.

Bonny Doon Vineyards: Vintner Hall of Famer, Randall Grahm, is the character behind the grape. He’s a philosopher and punster who focuses on the terroir (soil type) and nature to create amazing “Rhone-like” wines. To give you a glimpse of his personality, Grahm’s flagship wine “Le Cigar Volant” was named after the 1954 law in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC prohibiting flying saucers from traveling over the region’s vineyards. Bonny Doon Vineyards offers a variety of wine at different price ranges and the label art makes you want to hang on to the bottle long after the wine is gone.

Sequoia Grove: If you ever see a bottle of Sequoia Grove’s Merlot in a wine shop, grab it immediately. I rarely see it in retail shops but fell in love with the wine after attending a dinner with Sequoia’s President & Director of Winemaking, Michael Trujillo. Talk about passion in winemaking!Sequoia Grove Wine Label

Adobe Road Winery: Okay, so there’s been a surge in celebrities and sports stars moonlighting in winemaking but this is not one of them. Former NASCAR racer Kevin Buckler and his wife Deborah created Adobe Road located in Sonoma and their Cabernet Sauvignon comes highly recommended by my former colleague VP of Wine and Spirits, Tylor Field III.

Duckhorn Vineyards: Co-founders Dan and Margaret Duckhorn make an amazing Bordeaux style wine. They were rocking the Merlot grape before the Merlot grape was in-out-and-back-in style. Lots of steakhouses carry this wine and it’s easier to find in retail than some of my other recommendations above.

Ok – so you can probably tell that my favorite wines are typically red Bordeaux-style. I have a few posts about Chardonnay and Sparkling Wines, too! I don’t want to see any empty wine glasses this holiday season 🙂

Tell me what wines I should add to this list!

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