Jean Brown: Assessing a Product Roll-Out

Good Intentions Gone Wrong? Communications Coach Jean Brown Assesses the Launch of ZoomInfo's FreshContacts Promotion


Welcome to a Leadership Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio with Peter Clayton reporting. We're happy to have back on the program Jean T. Brown, communications expert and partner with New York City based MacKenzie Brown, LLC. Jean works with senior executives, managers, and partners of many Fortune 500 companies and law firms. She recently participated in the "Onboarding Experts Series" here on TotalPicture Radio, and I asked her to share her advice regarding the recent "dust-up" regarding Zoominfo and their FreshContacts initiative.

Last week, I published a Linkedin Question to my network regarding ZoomInfo's launch of a new initiative to help, (according to their press release), "job seekers looking to identify, research and connect with innovative companies and their hiring managers." I've found Linkedin Questions to be an excellent resource for engaging my community, and have consistently been impressed by the responses I've received. Those of you familiar with our interview with Sam Zales, the president of Zoominfo, know the responses we received through Linkedin regarding FreshContacts were immediate and overwhelmingly negative.
Here is the Linkedin Question:
I'm recording a podcast interview with Sam Zales the president of ZoomInfo tomorrow - they recently opened their database (for a limited time), to anyone willing to share their Outlook contact list - this is accomplished through a plug-in you download. Here's a link to the press release:
What should I ask Sam?
Would you be willing to swap your Outlook contacts for 2 free month's access to ZoomInfo's database?
Do you have privacy concerns related to this offer?
Thanks for your suggestions.

I posted a number of the responses I received on Zale's feature page. The interview with Jean centers on communication. I'm hoping this can be a "teachable moment" for all of us.

Questions for Jean Brown

  • I know you've had an opportunity to listen to the interview with Sam Zales, the president of Zoominfo, as well as read the comments from Linkedin members to my posting. It seems to me this is a situation of good intentions that have gone terribly wrong. If you were advising Zoominfo, what would you be recommending they do?
  • Hindsight is always brilliant. However, they clearly must not have anticipated this level of negative reaction to this effort. Now, they've done a beta program for the past couple of months that was very positive, from what I've been told. If you had been working with them since the inception of the program how would you have approached launching Fresh-Contacts?
  • I'm going to ask you to do a mini "mastering the media" session with me: Overall, how do you feel Sam did in our interview. If you were giving him a grade, what would it be?
  • Do you think he should have responded to any of my questions differently?
  • What recommendations would you have for future interviews?
  • One of the respondents to my Linkedin Question was a VP at Zoominfo, Chip Terry. I thought it was a good move for him to join the conversation. Did he set the right tone?
  • What are some general takeaways from this we can all learn from?

Jean T. Brown Biography:

Jean works with the senior executives, managers, and partners of such clients as Booz Allen Hamilton, LexisNexis, Opus Group, Fannie Mae, IBM, Stoel Rives LLP, and Fischer Francis Trees and Watts. Among her specialties, she coaches senior executives privately to help them enhance their leadership presence and communicate with impact.

Jean brings an extensive background in marketing, advertising and the performing arts to her communications coaching. Jean spent ten years in the advertising industry at D'arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and J. Walter Thompson. As Senior Vice President, Management Supervisor she directed client-service teams in the development of communication strategy and breakthrough advertising for Procter & Gamble, M&M Mars, Unilever and Warner Lambert.

Jean combines business experience with eight years as a professional actress, singer, and director/choreographer in New York and regional theaters. She served as spokeswoman for leading companies and appeared in national print ads and television commercials. Her extensive training in voice and movement brings this expertise into her work with coaching clients.

Jean Brown received an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from Dartmouth College.

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