Are you a Baby Boomer who thinks you can’t compete against younger folks in the Internet Age? Well, check out my interview with Ron Tannebaum, co-founder of In The Rooms, and you just might change your mind.
Tell us about In The Rooms. Why did you create this site?
In The Rooms (www.intherooms.com) is the number one social network for those in recovery from addiction, seeking help and their families and friends. With over 80,000 members in 50 countries, In The Rooms is providing a 24/7 support community that transcends the boundaries of the 12-Step Fellowship meetings. How did we get the name of the site? Well, In The Rooms is a term used in 12-Step Fellowship programs that helps maintain anonymity… so instead of saying, “Didn’t I see you in an AA meeting?,” I would say, “Don’t I know you from In The Rooms?” InTheRooms.com was born. Both my co-founder, Ken Pomerance, and I have long-term recovery so when we decided to start this site we knew exactly what should be included to help others stay in recovery.
What have been your biggest challenges starting the site and how did you overcome them?
First of all, we are competing against the younger, Internet age. Ken Pomerance and I are baby boomers so in this day and age, Internet dinosaurs. We learned fast though, relied on our knowledge of the recovery community and brought in others who truly understand the Internet world and social networking.
What kind of marketing and promotion have you done to build awareness for the site?
We are working with Big Picture Media to help us with publicity. Also, we have partnerships with MusiCares and MDinfo.com among others to help spread the word. We also use social media like Twitter and Facebook to drive awareness of the site. Fortunately, the site is very viral as our members often spread the word as well. We have some exciting projects up and coming that we can’t wait to hit.
What have been your most successful marketing and publicity activities and why?
Every day we are learning what drives membership to our site. We once partnered with the non-profit, To Write Love on Her Arms, to promote a film showing on our site and saw our biggest membership increase yet. It was successful because the non-profit targets a younger demographic who is Internet savvy as well as targeting people interested in learning more about recovery and addiction. As we move forward, we continue to look for more synergistic organizations.
What has been the greatest benefit of starting the site?
We are helping people every day. We have 80,000 members in 50 countries now and are literally saving lives across the world. In The Rooms receives thank-you-notes from members every day. There is a woman in Saudi Arabia who is not able to go to 12-Step Fellowship meetings so In The Rooms is her lifeline. I wake up every day feeling whole, knowing I am doing something that is good for the global, recovering community and humanity at large.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who want to start a similar business?
My advice would be to have an idea you are passionate about. And then from there, start out small and build it out. Know that every door that closes, another will open. And learn from others. Before we even started the site, my co-founder, Ken Pomerance, and I flew out to California to learn from the best in social networking. The most important advice is to execute.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
In The Rooms is spearheading the recovery movement and taking the shame out of addiction and recovery. We want the world to know that the old myth is dead. Addicts and alcoholics do not have to die from their addictions, but that they do recover and are responsible members of society. Recovery is an asset not a liability. We invite you to check out www.intherooms.com today.
Thanks for your insights and valuable tips Ron! For more information, please visit www.intherooms.com.
And if you need help with your publicity and SEO copywriting efforts to boost sales and buzz, please contact me here are at www.rembrandtwrites.com. I’d love to hear from you!