The Secret Sauce – Free Advice for Ragu

I have the simple goal in life to help as many people, companies and organizations find success. It is what I wake up every morning hoping to do.

Because of that, I want to give some free advice to the team at Ragu, whoever their social media agency is and any company thinking about getting into social media.

I’ve got the credentials to give this advice. I ran my own marketing agency. I’ve helped develop and execute online campaigns for The Coca-Cola Company, HBO, American Eagle Outfitters and many other companies. I get paid quite well to speak on the subject and consult with companies, but today the advice is completely free.

I just hope it helps.

My free social media advice for today is in direct relation to Ragu spilling all over their own campaign.

Twitter is a Conversation.

As of me writing this it has been 19 hours since Ragu sent their last tweet. This is not a big deal, except that their last batch of tweets were @ messages to several dads to bring attention to their newest video.

On Twitter when you send an @ message you are hoping for a response (they sure did get one from me). You are publically talking to someone and of course you hope they respond. I’ve seen responses to them and yet I’ve seen them say nothing back. It is a two way street and a conversation isn’t very good if you don’t say anything back.

Would anyone think it was a good idea to walk into a party and scream “hey look at me” and then walk back out the door without saying anything else? I think not.

Always Be Listening

This is rule number one of the Internet and without it being a core part of your culture you are in trouble.

You never know what people are saying about you online unless you’ve got your ears up. There are so many tools that can help you do this, but at a minimum you need to have Google Alerts and Twitter Search (both free) set up around your name, executive’s names and products.

Last night there was a SWARM of conversation about my post and tons of tweets, FB posts and other blog posts about the subject. I got up this morning and the conversation was still going on. I talked about it, responded to comments and continued the conversation.

Guess who was not part of it? You guessed right, Ragu.

The Internet Doesn’t Sleep

We live in a world that never turns off. Keeping old fashion bankers hours does not work any more.

Now in this case I know that the sauce hit the fan around 11:00 at night and most brands are not listening except during traditional work hours, but I don’t think that can be an excuse any more.

The fact that these @ messages were thrown out and then whoever wrote them clocked out for the night is dangerous. If you are going to open up a conversation then you need to be sure to be ready to discuss things in real time. If you want to only engage during “business hours” then make that clear.

Play Devil’s Advocate With All Ideas

Whenever I’ve been involved in building a campaign we always sit down and think “what is the worse thing that could happen.” We do this so that it vets the idea and so that we are prepared for it.

Rarely will you run into a full blown crisis, but if you don’t challenge the ideas and at least think about worse case scenarios then you are only doing a half ass job of working with your clients. I’ve worked on some pretty insane campaigns that involved shark attacks, vials of fake blood and giving out bras to teenagers on Facebook. Talk about possible pitfalls, but we were ready for them because we discussed them up front.

Don’t Overreact

I don’t know what (if anything) Ragu is going to do because of all this, but I sure hope they don’t over react.

I remember when the whole Motrin Moms fiasco happened and they instantly pulled the ad and issued a legalese ridden apology. They buried it in the sand and ran away from it rather than using it as something to talk about and learn from.

Tempers can flare and they can die out just as fast. Be calm and everything will be ok. Just don’t do nothing. That is even worse. 🙂

If You Want to Engage Parents, Don’t Forget the Dads

A final point that only applies to brands who are targeting parents.

Last night when all this happened I noticed that there is a Ragu Ambassador program. I don’t know how long this has been going on, but they have 25 bloggers involved. Any idea how many men. ONE!

Most of us guys are use to this and giggle about being “the token dad” in a group. Sure we laugh it off, but it is lazy in my mind. I’m still waiting for the day that a brand step up and fully realizes the power of all parents rather than just one group or another.


I’m writing this from an airport in Canada. I have no idea if anyone is listening, but I sure know that a lot of people are talking about my reaction and the campaign.

I truly hope this advice helps Ragu and others.

Ragu, let’s discuss over dinner. Only rule is I get to cook. 🙂

3:00 pm Update – A brand manager has contacted me and we are going to chat tomorrow.

Photo Credit: PicsIShouldShare

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C.C. Chapman


Sketch of C.C. Chapman by Hey Instigator!There are many aspects OF who I am and what I do. Putting together THIS PAGE is one of my least favorite things to write because talking about myself is not my idea of a fun time.

When asked what I do my current answer is, “I create, teach and motivate people to do more good in the world.”

Of course, that doesn’t cover all that I work on professionally and personally, so that is why I created this page.

Official bios and headshots can be found below.

Who is C.C. Chapman? I’m a…


I’m constantly writing and always working on my next book. You may have read some of my published works including Amazing Things Will HappenContent Rules or 101 Steps to Making Video Like a Pro.

Freelance writing or citizen reporting assignments excite me.


If I had to choose a style, I’d say my photos are a mix of documentary, travel and lifestyle photography. While I may not enjoy taking head shots, I love to shoot faces. I rarely go anywhere without a camera in my hand and I’ve been fortunate to see my photos on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

I’m currently shooting with a Canon 80D, an iPhone 7+ and a Chroma 4k Drone.

My photos can be found on Instagram and Flickr.

Marketing Consultant

With over twenty years of marketing, online media and community building experience I have the skills and experience to help your organization no matter the size. Previous clients have included The Coca-Cola Company, American Eagle Outfitters, and HBO.

I focus on social good/impact marketing, content marketing, and brand strategy. My favorite clients are NGOs, nonprofits or brands looking to make a difference in the world.

Feel free to double check my credentials on LinkedIn.

Keynote Speaker

I’m happiest when on stage educating and inspiring an audience of any size, anywhere in the world.

I have spoken at everything from large international events, corporate retreats and at special gatherings of unique individuals. If you need someone who will inspire, educate and entertain your audience I’d love to chat.

Advocate & Volunteer

I believe in using my skills, time and voice to champion causes that are important to me. I’m especially interested in anything military, dogs or children focused.

I’m currently the President of the Board at Wediko, a member of the ONE Girls & Women Advisory Board, serve on the board of The Hockey Foundation and recently joined the No Kid Hungry Social Council.


Helping others learn and inspiring them to achieve their goals is the most fulfilling thing I do. As a Visting Instructor of Business and Management at Wheaton College and as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Communications at Bentley University I get to do this with the next generation. I’ve also developed and taught courses for LinkedIn, CreativeLive, and Treehouse.


On top of all that I’m a proud life long New Englander who was born and raised in New Hampshire, but now resides outside of Boston.

I married my high school sweetheart, have two amazing kids and love being a dad.

I’ve been online since 1989, began blogging in 2002 and podcasting in 2004.

Previous endeavors I created include Accident Hash, Passion Hit TV, Digital Dads and The Advance Guard.

Tattoos, travel and the outdoors turn me on. There are fewer things more perfect than a well-done cocktail, a delicious meal or live art of any sort. I love my GORUCK, Field Notes and am a proud Misfit.

To understand me is to understand that I try to live a purposeful life every day that is full of adventure, love and making the world around me a better place for all.

Official Bio

C.C. Chapman describes himself as a New England raised storyteller, explorer, and humanitarian. Others have described him as a thought leader in the online marketing space, a grounded futurist and one the nicest guy on the Internet. Over the years of his career, he has worked with a variety of clients including Nike, HBO, American Eagle Outfitters, ONE, Verizon FiOS and The Coca-Cola Company.

He is the co-author of the International bestseller Content Rules and is also the author of Amazing Things Will Happen. He travels the world speaking in front of audiences to do more in the world and how to understand content marketing better.  C.C. has taught classes for, CreativeLive and now as an adjunct professor at Bentley University (where he also graduated from).

C.C. is an advocate who speaks about building passionate communities and the strategic values of content-based marketing. He is a Samsung Imagelogger, the original ONE Dad and a UN Foundation Social Good Fellow. As a storyteller for hire, his work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

C.C. is the past Chairman of the Board at Wediko and currently serves on the board of The Hockey Foundation. He happily lives in the woods outside of Boston with his loving family. Find out more at


Fun Bio

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more multi-faceted or enthusiastic creative/strategic partner in the marketing and content creation fields. This greatly hails from C.C.’s unstoppable combination of marketing experience and savvy (which a great many professionals claim to have), and incalculably valuable “on the ground” knowledge and insight as an influential content creator himself (which a great many professionals do not). The result is a best-of-both-worlds mashup of marketing expertise.

C.C. Chapman sports the pro cred to be a talker (working closely with such clients as American Eagle Outfitters, Coca-Cola, HBO and Warner Bros.), and the passion and gumption to be a doer (creating content for the emerging Online Dad market, marketing professionals, music fans and more). He’s helped create, manage and execute ambitious online and offline marketing campaigns for startups and multinationals — and has the invaluable good sense to know which outreach strategies work with audiences, and which ones fall flat.

He authoritatively speaks your language. He speaks your CMO’s language. Most important, he’s fluent in your market’s language. It’s a killer double-chocolate-and-peanut-butter combination. Contact C.C. to learn how he can help your organization achieve its business goals. There’s, even more, to know about C.C. Chapman if you want to read it — and you should. C.C.’s skills are an embarrassment of riches.


Head Shots

CC-Chapman-Cubelean     CC-AYASummit

CC Chapman Headshot Vertical    CC-armscrossed


I’m involved with a lot of organizations and clients. I believe in being completely transparent and open about everything I’m working on. I’ll do my best to keep this updated and of course, will clearly disclose relationships in any post that require them.

I am open to being pitched and invited on press trips.

Companies do send me items in the hopes that I will review it or share with my community. If you send me something it does not guarantee a review.

With that in mind, my mailing address is:

9 C Medway Road #117
Milford, MA

Current relationships include:

  • Verizon FiOS provides me with service in exchange for a monthly post on technology of my choosing


Affiliate links are used whenever they are available when linking to products of any sort.

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