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April 30, 2014

U.S. News

Meet DSN’s New General Manager

About two weeks into my job here at Direct Selling News, I had an opportunity to travel to Utah, as part of the Direct Selling Association’s Companies in Focus event. The trip started out well—great conversation, useful information and new connections.  And then I stepped off the tour bus at 4Life’s headquarters, and it got even better. There was a red carpet, an overwhelming amount of applause and, to be honest, I don’t remember much of what happened next.

Lauren Lawley Head, General Manager, Direct Selling NewsLauren Lawley Head

When we arrived at Nu Skin’s headquarters the following day, I was a little better prepared. As I stepped onto a red carpet for the second time in 24 hours, I managed to snap a few pictures on my phone to share with friends and family—swapping the deer-in-the-headlights look for that of a star-struck tourist who accidentally wound up at the Oscars.

Don’t get me wrong. I know those red-carpet welcomes were not for me personally. But they were extraordinary just the same. To me, this red-carpet tradition signifies the way in which companies that embrace the direct selling business model also celebrate the power of individual contributors, and to find myself a part of that is something special.

Just as each person on your team has power, so too does knowledge. Our mission at Direct Selling News is to bring you—the executives leading these dynamic organizations—news and information that will empower you as you build your careers, your companies and your industry.

Part of our ongoing strategy includes striving to tell the story behind the stories shaping direct selling today. For example, when Conan O’Brien turned a stop at Mary Kay’s Dallas headquarters into a side-splitting video segment on his popular late-night show, our news team jumped at the chance to find out more about the marketing effort behind the clip.

It doesn’t get much better than Conan pulling out of MK headquarters in a pink SUV shouting, “I’m off to sell cosmetics!” But opening up your company and your salesforce to one of late-night TV’s most talented comedians isn’t exactly for the faint of heart.

In an interview with DSN after the segment aired, Mary Kay Manager of Corporate Communications Pio del Castillo shared the company’s strategy with readers. The pitch from Conan’s team was appealing, del Castillo explained, because it offered an opportunity to reach a relatively untapped market, with a viewership that skews younger than Mary Kay’s established consultant base.

“It was also an opportunity to be a little more relaxed about the brand,” he said. A key takeaway for companies that may wish to try something similar: Be prepared to move fast. The Mary Kay team had some initial back-and-forth with Conan’s producers but then didn’t hear from them for a while. The “go” call came in late on a Friday afternoon, with a request to film Monday morning. Del Castillo and his team even assembled 1,700 swag bags of Mary Kay product for the studio audience.

Of course, in addition to diving into the news, we strive to bring you exceptional value in our monthly magazine. In this month’s issue, we give you the most cutting-edge thinking about starter kits, as well as profiles of three companies—Arbonne, Scentsy, and newcomer Seacret—with plenty of experience to share.

This issue marks the beginning of my fourth month with DSN, and already I am truly excited about what I’m seeing. Former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who joined the CVSL board of directors earlier this year, spoke eloquently about the positive impact direct selling companies can make in a recent interview with DSN. Her words inspire me:

“Micro-enterprise can build economies in emerging markets, and it can especially enhance the capability of women to contribute to the well-being of their families and in a broader sense to their country’s GNP,” Hutchison said. “One of the most powerful aspects of micro-enterprise is that it has tremendous benefits in nations at all levels of development, whether it be in fully developed economies like the U.S. or in emerging economies elsewhere in the world.”

This year, Direct Selling News celebrates its 10th anniversary of covering this far-reaching business model, and I am privileged to join the team as we establish plans to take us into the next decade and beyond. If you have feedback or suggestions as I begin this journey, please reach out. I look forward to connecting with you.

Lauren Lawley Head
General Manager