A sampling of all NABE's creatures, great and small. Pet Dog Cat

A sampling of all NABE’s creatures, great and small.

Gather enough battle-weary association communicators, and who knows what you’ll get?

Actually, we now know: #PetsofNABE (A link to the entire story via Storify is here.)

The hashtag idea arose at the annual meeting of the National Association of Bar Executives. At a luncheon banquet in the Chicago Hyatt Regency, more than a dozen folks shoehorned themselves around a table to discuss the NABE website—which we as a committee were charged to do.

Over the hour, we also chatted about the other NABE channels, including Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter.

It was the Twitter that got us sidetracked. It’s always the Twitter.

I can’t (won’t) recall who first came up with the idea—though it would surprise no one if it turned out to be Kallie Donahoe and Sayre Happich of the Bar Association of San Francisco (just sayin’).

“What about a contest hashtag to engage people?” the chat began innocently enough. “Or what about just urging, I don’t know, pictures of your pets?”

Seminar-addled, the committee rapidly agreed to the experiment. We have the Twitter, we have the dogs (etc.), let’s get jiggy with it. Done. A hotel dessert has never tasted so sweet.

After that, I conveyed this hashtag notion to the NABE’s Web Editor, Brad Carr. Brad has been a legal association executive for decades, and therefore he: (1) has seen it all, and (2) is unflappable. Still, I thought he might be a tetch … flapped.

But no. He just listened and nodded (at least I think he nodded during our Arizona-Alabama phone call). On Friday morning, I awoke to the following tweet:

Would folks respond? Would they tear themselves away from their Friday duties to post their pets and to gaze lovingly at those of their colleagues?

I’m totally kidding right there. Of course they would.

As I mention in my Storify of the hashtag, #PetsofNABE may not have broken the Internet, but it did sneak onto its couch for a little bit.

The story exists here, but the hashtag lives. More animals are added all the time—and with it, the growing engagement of busy and talented people.

A serious tip of the hat to the pioneering Brad Carr and to the website committee that can’t stop ‘til it gets enough.

Have a wonderful—and pet-filled—weekend.

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