Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Anything is Possible...Just Ask Debbie Gibson

OK, by now, those of you who follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or this blog are hopefully figuring out how much fun you can have connecting with just about anyone these days thanks to social media. From my first days on Twitter when I had a close encounter with Conan O'Brien to the amazing birthday surprise that Outback Steakhouse threw me virtually for my 40th birthday, I have experienced firsthand that anything really is possible.

Two weeks ago while traveling to Florida with the Mount Vernon Nazarene University baseball team to cover their annual spring trip, I had the opportunity one night to meet up with Dan Holm and Becky Maree, the two people who manage the Twitter and Facebook accounts for Outback. We met up fittingly at the Outback by the hotel I was staying at in Lakeland and spent the next couple hours chatting about all things Outback. It was fun to finally meet them in person, to hear what all is involved in their jobs, to find out what went on behind the scenes when they did my birthday surprise, and to even get to visit the kitchen of the Outback we were at and watch Bloomin' Onions be made. They are great people and they have been so kind to me.

As part of our conversation that night, I told them that the only thing missing from the whole 40th birthday surprise celebration was the fact that I had not been able to connect with Debbie Gibson, the 80's pop singer and then Broadway star who is now on this season's Celebrity Apprentice, to get her involved. I really felt like if she read the story that she would jump on board, but with over 56,000 followers on Twitter and a busy schedule I knew that she could easily miss my tweet about it. I did say that if Outback sent a tweet that maybe that would help her notice it.

Well, little did I know that Becky took that comment and ran with it as she tweeted Debbie from the Outback account. By the time I got back to my hotel room less than half an hour later, I started seeing messages that got me excited as I realized that Debbie was now paying attention. In fact, before I knew it, she was following me on Twitter and now I knew that I had a chance to pull this off!

Debbie and I exchanged a few direct messages as I worked out the details of getting a mailing address to send her Outback Surprise to her. She had me mail it to her PR firm in Beverly Hills, so that she could pick it up the day that she filmed the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I decided to make a brief video for her to give her instructions just as Outback had done for me when this started. I also included five extra Bloomin' Onion gift cards with the package so she could enjoy giving things away just like I had. I mailed the package off and waited to see what would happen.

Well, fast forward one week. I'm checking my e-mail this morning and a message pops up from her PR person. Inside is the link to this video:

OK, needless to say, I was speechless! I mean...I've been a fan of Debbie's for over 20 years and to have her collaborate with me on a project like this is just beyond cool. To top it all off, it probably comes during one of her busiest weeks as she's on a whirlwind PR tour that has included the Tonight Show, the Today Show, and various other shows.

Thanks Debbie and Outback for making all of this possible! You guys sure know how to help a guy celebrate his birthday!


Kelcey Z said...

Ha, that is so awesome! You have taught us all a thing or two about using Twitter as a tool of interaction, not just a news source.

Unknown said...

This is fantastic! I'm glad we could help make your 40th Birthday a birthday you will never forget

Nancy said...

You are hysterical!! I was wondering if you were going to mention the junior prom theme. I remember checking the box to vote for "Lost In Your Eyes" as the theme that year. Nice way to spread about the birthday, Dave, congrats.

AXP112 said...

That's awesome Dave! I can't wait to see the paparazzi pictures of Debbie wearing her Outback shirt!!!

=)Bnpositive said...

Just catching up on all of this hoopla! Hysterical! Great job!

Diana Tocheff said...


Anonymous said...

Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
My blog site is in the very same area of interest
as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from a lot of the information you
provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you.

Visit my website auto insurance quotes online

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless just imagine if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, "pop"!

Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this blog could definitely be one of the best in
its niche. Excellent blog!

my site: Highly recommended Resource site

Anonymous said...

Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger,
and I was curious about your situation; many of us have
created some nice procedures and we are looking to swap solutions with other folks, be
sure to shoot me an email if interested.

Feel free to surf to my webpage Click On this site

Anonymous said...

Hey there, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.

When I look at your website in Opera, it looks fine but when
opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
Other then that, amazing blog!

Feel free to visit my web-site buy backlinks

Anonymous said...

When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several
emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
Appreciate it!

My homepage - over here

Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog
loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

Stop by my web blog ... Learn Alot more Here

Anonymous said...

When I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four
emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
Bless you!

Review my homepage auto insurance quote comparison :: :

Anonymous said...

Browsing I noticed your blog bookmarked as: Blogger: Six Degrees of
MVNUSID. I'm assuming you book marked it yourself and wanted to ask if social bookmarking gets you a lot of site visitors? I've been considering
doing some book-marking for a few of my sites but wasn't sure if it would yield any positive results. Many thanks.

Also visit my webpage ... get car insurance online

Anonymous said...

Thanks in favor of sharing such a fastidious idea, paragraph
is pleasant, thats why i have read it fully

Feel free to visit my website - visit the following page

Anonymous said...

A fascinating discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you ought to write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not discuss such issues. To the next! Cheers!!

my web page :: read the full info here :: ::

Anonymous said...

My partnеr and I absolutely lovе your blog and find
many of your pоst's to be what precisely I'm looking for.
Do yοu offer guеst writers to writе content foг yourself?
I wouldn't mind producing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome weblog!

Here is my blog post best cheap luxury watches online

Anonymous said...

Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work and
coverage! Keep up the fantastic works guys I've you guys to our blogroll.

Also visit my homepage ... compare auto insurance quote (

Anonymous said...

It's a pity you don't have a donate button!
I'd certainly donate to this superb blog! I guess for now i'll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed
to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share
this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

Also visit my page: cheap seo packages

Anonymous said...

I've gone ahead and added a hyperlink back to your web site from one of my clients requesting it. I have used your site URL: and blog title: Blogger: Six Degrees of MVNUSID to ensure you get the proper anchor text. If you woud like to check out where your link has been placed, please contact me at: Thankyou

Feel free to visit my site - united auto insurance

Anonymous said...

Whats up! I am about to start my own blog and was wondering if
you know where the best place to buy a website url is? I'm not even sure if that's what
its called? (I'm new to this) I'm referring to "".
Exactly how do I go about getting one of these for the
website I'm making? Many thanks

Feel free to surf to my page :: anchor text backlinks - -

Anonymous said...

Thank yοu for the goоd writeup. It in fact waѕ a amusement аccount it.

Look aԁѵanсed to moгe addеd agreeable fгom you!
Howеveг, hoω сan we сommunicate?

Μу blog post ... Treppenlifte Preise

Anonymous said...

Superb blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any
community forums that cover the same topics discussed in this
article? I'd really like to be a part of online community where I can get opinions from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

Look at my page: backlinks building

Anonymous said...

Love the Spam comments.