INTERVIEW: The Social Diva, Peg Samuel

By Al Carlos Hernandez on October 17, 2010

HOLLYWOOD (Herald de Paris) – A native New Yorker, Peg Samuel likes to say that she was pretty much born with the ‘fabulous’ gene embedded in her DNA. However, no one ever said that ‘fabulous’ was mutually exclusive with ‘diva’ Peg spent many years fine tuning her diva skills for which she is so well known. So well known in fact, she wrote the book on it.

Peg’s journey began in 1995 as an internet pioneer working in digital advertising at well known sites such as Weather.com, Disney’s Info seek/Go.com, Value Click Media and Travel Ad Network. Peg was becoming affectionately known around town as ‘The Diva’ and the go-to girl for connecting, promoting and socializing. Friends say that her social butterfly personality made her situationally aware of the hip happenings on the social scene.

Peg wanted to combine her internet savvy with her love of lifestyle and her people skills. Armed with her personal mantra of “More Everything,” Peg launched Social Diva.com in 2000, a lifestyle and entertainment website and blog which answers the age-old dilemma: Where can a girl go to have some fun?

Within four years Peg has launched branches of Social Diva in multiple cities; a trend that’s poised to continue, as it’s been recently announced that the name will soon be going global.

Featured on E! News, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC World News, Good Day New York, Entrepreneur Magazine, Redbook, Star Magazine, Lucky Magazine, AM New York, iVillage and TBS Sex and the City website, Peg lives up to her billing as our own modern day Carrie Bradshaw by helping women find out about what’s hot now without having to do the research.

Samuel is the international author of the book How to Be a Social Diva: An Essential Guide for the Girl About Town, published in UK and the US. The book provides step-by-step instructions to achieving ultimate Diva-dom.

Peg has also recently entered the music industry with her first complication Strictly Social Diva™. Released on November 3, 2009, it is a collaboration between Social Diva and Strictly Rhythm, the world famous house label with a 20 year history of the most fantastic house music in the industry.

When she is not on the look out for the most fabulous restaurants, lounges, shops, or spas to recommend to readers, Peg networks her way around her diverse groups of friends living throughout the world. Happily single, Peg and her fabulous wardrobe split their time between NYC, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Herald De Paris Deputy Managing Editor, Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez, a chronic and habitual social outcast, was introduced to The Diva Peg by his friend, film maker David Mendez. Both Dave and Peg agree that Dr. AC needs to get a clue.

AC: What were the early events in your life that caused you to realize that you had the “Fabulous” gene?

DIVA: I have always liked trends, fashions, parties and fun things to do. I was a big clubber and loved to go out to dance and socialize. I love to travel and if it was VIP, it was for me!

AC: How do you define the word Diva and how does one aspire to the office? What are the perks and downsides of being considered a diva? Can a man be a diva without being gay?

DIVA: Well I actually like to define “Social Diva” instead of just diva as that’s our name. Diva can be misinterpreted as someone who is a prima donna or a bitch. A Social Diva is a fun, outgoing, fabulous person. She is beautiful from the inside out, she knows how to take care of herself and she enjoys life. She also works for what she has. And as for men, we have a lot of both straight and gay men who love Social Diva. We do not discriminate. We are fun and loving. We say the smart men are on the list…and as for the gay community, well, it’s a love fest.

AC: You started in New Media in 1996 and are considered an internet pioneer of sorts. As a “Diva” the world is your oyster. Why did you choose to use your talents in cyber space?

DIVA: Actually it was 1995 but who’s counting? I love the internet. I’ve been working in it since the beginning of “internet + advertising” so why not use what I love to create a business? It is an amazing feeling to take what I know as a career – internet advertising – and marry it with what I love to do personally – socialize. That equals having fun to make one company.

AC: Tell us about your early experiences on line, good/bad/funny/sad…

DIVA: Oy! I have plenty! Got a minute? I was definitely in the midst of the dot com boom. It was fast paced fun and exciting. It seemed like money was growing on trees but we all know what happened. Crash and burn. I am super glad the internet has leveled out and now brands are embracing a 360 approach like we have at Social Diva Media. We offer dedicated emails, coupled with event marketing using social media as a connector of the two. It gives us a shot at talking to brands directly then getting their product front and center, in person and online in front of our fabulous audience like never before.

AC: How did you gain the title of “The Diva” and who was the first to give you that moniker and in what context?

DIVA: Social Diva was a name given to me at an early meeting of an internet group I founded called the Atlanta Internet Marketing Association. We were all coming up with kitschy names for each others titles (ah the 90’s), and it stuck. That’s what I ran with as a business name. Once I finally separated Peg from Social Diva… well maybe I haven’t yet. But anyway, I was ordering business cards and wanted a fun title. Since I can pick it, because I own the company, I picked “The Diva.” It works. People love it. I like a little chuckle out of people when they see it; that’s the point. Why take titles so seriously?

AC: I’m told that you have a social butterfly personality. What does that mean? How has that served you?

DIVA: How did you hear that one?! Did it have something to do with my company name? In all seriousness, being outgoing is a skill set that is very helpful in business, networking, getting meetings, serendipitous run-ins and just having fun. I love to meet people and talk to them and that helps in business. As an entrepreneur it is important not only to love what you do, but to get ready to talk talk talk talk and talk about it!

AC: How do you define what a social scene is? What qualifies as a hip happening as opposed to a lame/square happening?

DIVA: It has a good vibe. Terrific music and lighting is a MUST! The energy is on, the people look good and stylish, and the service must be on point.

AC: Tell us about Social Diva.com that you established in 2000. What was the goal? How did it become successful and how did you choose which cities to expand into?

DIVA: I originally opened the company as a PR firm with events. As time went on it morphed into its own brand with mutiple cities. The cities were picked because of advertiser demand and my personal lifestyle. We are currently in five local cities and we have an “Everywhere” list so no Social Diva is left behind. The “everywhere list” is for Social Divas, well, anywhere!

AC: We are a global publication. What are your plans for taking the site worldwide? What can the universe, as we know it, look forward to?

DIVA: We would love to take over the world – yes! One Social Diva city at a time. We also do destination events so if there are any big marketers reading — we will travel! We have hosted events in Turks and Caicos and London, and I can hear Milan and Berlin calling our name.

AC: Tell us about your book How to be a Social Diva and what has been the response?

DIVA: We have had an AMAZING response for the book. It was originally published in the UK and more recently in the US. Right now only the US version is available for purchase. It was our answer for Social Diva readers everywhere to know our “how to” things.

AC: Why did you decide to get into the music business? Tell us about your compilation Strictly Social Diva that was released last November. Why the affinity for house music?

DIVA: After success in publishing, Social Diva wondered, “Where to next?” The answer? Well, the recording industry of course. After all, who knows better about music that utterly rocks than a Diva? And house music is our fave. We, of course, partnered with the biggest dance label in the world, Strictly Rhythm, to get our choice in beats out.

AC: What is your ultimate goal? TV Show? Films? Lecture circuit? More best sellers?

DIVA: Ultimate goal? Hmm, that seems a bit far off. I am currently learning how to spin. You can check out DJ Social Diva on the party circuit. I would love to do a TV show if it was classy, think Rachel Zoe, not Housewives of New York. I currently do some speaking but would wait until my second book for the lecture circuit. Yes, I have a second book in mind.

But to answer your original question, my ultimate goal would be to build an amazingly solid business that our readers love. There is nothing more satisfying than meeting someone new who finds out what I do and says, “I love your newsletters! Thank you!”

AC: Tell us about your website and how people can become aware of the “Fabulous” and how they themselves can become local divas?

DIVA: Website: socialdiva.com and sign up for newsletters in your area and/or the “Everywhere List.” There are also links for our book and digital CD from the website for some extra diva power!

Edited by Susan Aceves


Comments
Maggie October 18, 2010

J’adore Social Diva!

Lori Cheek November 2, 2010

I own the manual and am a Social Diva in training! Taking personal lessons in NYC from Ms. Samuel!!! Great Interview!

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