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Jeff Hayzlett, Kodak's CMO, Talks About Social Media to Benefit the Rochester Ad Council

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

Jeff_HayzlettThe buzz going around in our city, Rochester, NY, was today's keynote presentation by Jeff Hayzlett, CMO and VP of Eastman Kodak Company about Kodak and Social Media. Jeff made the appearance for the Rochester Ad Council's Annual Luncheon. It's an impressive organization that connects non-profits to us marketing and communication professionals who donate our time and talents to help them with their marketing efforts. This annual luncheon is the organization's biggest fund raiser and has brought in some notable speakers in the past, such as the Domestic Diva herself, Martha Stewart who visited here two years ago.

It was held at the Downtown Hyatt Regency and the ballroom was packed. Todd Butler, President and CEO of the Ad Council said that they raised over $10,000 from this event, so you wouldn't know we were in a recession by those figures.

Jeff has been a speaker at many different marketing events over the past couple of years, so some of you may have seen him speak. If so you'd definitely remember him. He's exudes a big presence, both verbally and physically. He first came onstage walking from the lobby through the crowd mimicking a southern preacher and asking us to say "Amen" for social networking for the Ad Council. So hopefully that gives you an idea of his personality. This was after he was introduced by a fellow Kodak Marketing VP, Leslie Dance, who shared with us that inside Kodak they refer to Jeff sometimes as "Hayzle-Nuts". Okay, now its out!

The title of his presentation was "Social Media: A Conversation with Communities" which focused on Kodak and their use of social media or as he refers to it, OPM "Other People's Money". He reflected on the fact, which all of us in Rochester are more than aware of, that "Kodak has had a few challenges recently and digital has necessitated a few changes". Kodak had to move from a traditional imaging company to a digital company in about five years and also from a predominately consumer products company to 65% B2B today. "Even if we screw up, we now do it FAST" said Jeff.


In Jeff's opinion the worst thing that people can say about Kodak is "NOTHING"! They have moved into the world of social media and have embraced what he calls "The Kodak 4 E's": Engage, Educate, Excite and Evangelize.

He shared with us why he believes social media drives value for Kodak and other brands:

  • A new platform to amplify messages (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, MySpace)
  • It's were their customers are (some 90 million alone are members of the Kodak Gallery)
  • Rich conversations can be shared with communities
  • Low barrier to entry and cost
  • Fast, Faster, then Fastest
  • Be seen as a leader in your industry
  • Associations with great brands (Google, Dell, Facebook, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, SouthWest, Oracle, Coke)

Jeff broached the subject of ROI by saying that "Engagement is the new ROI" and asks "What is your return on ignoring?" The Kodak team tweets and monitors Twitter regularly. They retweet the positive tweets, they address the negative ones and respond quickly to some comments such as to the person who wrote "Thinking of picking up a Kodak Z6" who got more info on the product that he could dream of.

In a recent Mother's Day online promotion they implemented for the Kodak Gallery called, they gave away up a million free photo cards. Florence Henderson appeared as the ultimate TV Mom in a video they created and posted on YouTube that went viral. It included a fictitious disease that "millions of moms were suffering from". Well Kodak got some negative comments about the made up name from some moms, so they changed it.

Kodak currently is leveraging its new sponsorship with the PGA with a program called the Kodak Challenge. At the end of this year's PGA Tour Kodak will award a million dollar purse to the player who has the best score from the 24 Kodak Challenge Holes. These holes are from select PGA tournaments that were selected based on their connection to memorable moments in golf and for their beauty. A player must play at least 18 of the 24 holes to be eligible to win. Kodak is promoting this online with a dedicated website, on Twitter and on Facebook

Jenny Jenny Cisney is Kodak's Chief Blogger and the first major brand to give someone this title. Jeff said that they did get a little push-back when it was first announced as some thought it was totally a PR move. He admitted it was a little, but Jenny will tell you that she takes very little advice from Jeff on what she blogs about and is passionate about her blogging and using photos in all her posts both on the Kodak1000Words blog and in her own personal blog. You can also follow Jenny on Twitter as @KodakCB. I just did a tweet on Monday in which I congratulated Jenny on being named in Ad Age's 2009 Women to Watch!

Jeff started wrapping up his talk by sharing with us some advice such as "Speed is your friend; time is the enemy." and "Protect your brand, intellectual property and copyrights". Also, he warned us that when you enter the social media world, as we all have learned, you have to grow some thick skin because people will criticize you and sometimes they can be really ugly. Jeff's been told before that "You have a face for radio." Ouch!

You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffreyHayzlett. By the way, if you do, be prepared for all the "BIG" things he does such as hanging out with Joan RIvers and Donald Trump on The Celebrity Apprentice and getting the roof of the Kodak Theater painted with the Kodak logo so that Google Maps will find it! Thanks so much Jeff for helping the Rochester Ad Council today and for entertaining us all.


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Yvonne DiVita

I was so disappointed that I could not make the event, Donna. Thanks for this great overview. I've seen Jeff speak and he is quite an entertainer. But, also full of the right straight-talk for businesses and marketing. We have an interview with Jenny here on Lipsticking at:, which was done after she returned from the Beijing Olympics.

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