On Giving Back

Last night, I was honored and privileged to receive the John W. Hill award at the annual Big Apple Awards hosted by the New York Chapter of the Public Relation Society of America. It was a humbling experience and it gave me cause to reflect on my career and what is important to me.

My role models at Ketchum, Ray Kotcher, Rob Flaherty, John Paluszek, Ron Culp, and David Drobis, all instilled in me the importance of giving back to the industry.  The latter three were esteemed winners of the John W. Hill award.

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Is The Jingle Really Dead?

As Seen In … Advertising Week

Ok, so why would I get so excited about this topic? To be honest, I became a closet jingle super-fan after I was given the assignment in 1989 to produce the first CD compilation of classic jingles (TeeVee Toons: The Commercials). I scoured more than 1000 classic ad tunes to come up with the top 55 of all time (Full list at the bottom but don’t peek yet).

The first question is, do they still make jingles as well as they did in the golden age of advertising? The answer is a resounding NO! What recent ad ditty can you compare to “You deserve a break today,” “Snap, Crackle, Pop,” “Be a Pepper” or “See the USA in your Chevrolet?” You simply can’t. These tune craftsmen were not great jingle writers, they were great song writers. After all, that’s exactly what a great jingle is – a great song (click to tweet).

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After 125 Careers, Mattel’s Barbie Gets Her Geek On

After 125 Careers, Mattel’s Barbie Gets Her Geek On

Ketchum and Mattel launched a diverse campaign allowing consumers to decide on what Barbie’s career would be. More than 1 million people voted online before Computer Engineer Barbie was born. The campaign garnered more than 1.1 billion impressions in outlets such as The New York Times and Today.

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10 Tested Tips for Time Management

As Seen In … BlogHer

As a mom of two active kids, wife of someone who owns his own business, published author, daughter, sister, aunt and traveling career women, time is at a premium for me, like I’d bet it is for you.

In fact, we are not alone. Several years ago, a book titled What Women Want concluded, through global research, that what women want most is time.

Research that I conducted and featured in my own book, Too Busy to Shop, showed that women were not only multitasking, but “multiminding” – mentally juggling a complex mix of family, career, self-care, to-do lists and other thoughts at any given moment, all while physically doing other things. Hence, becoming too busy to shop. Tell me it’s not so.

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10 Tips: The Social Media Landscape in China

The culture, language and networks of China are vastly different than those in Europe and the U.S. And if brands want to thrive in the region, they’ll need to seamlessly integrate new forms of media as part of the customer journey.

What if a single social media platform integrated commerce, location, messaging, and social networking? I won’t bother marking your 2020 calendars because the service already exists and is being rapidly adopted by Chinese consumers.

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Winning At Meetings: 7 Tips For Standing Out Without Falling Down

A lot – perhaps most – of what we learn at work comes by trial and error. Learning the hard way. On the job training.

Over lunch with a client not long ago, we discussed the things we wish we had learned earlier in our careers that could have helped us later avoid awkward moments or missed opportunities. It was a short lunch but the list grew quickly, and at the top for both of us: how to stand out in a meeting without looking like a show-off rather than fading into the background as a piece of furniture.

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The Trouble with Good Old Sex

Marketers have a sex problem. They slather it liberally onto any brand surface where it might stick – the ultimate consumption aphrodisiac. No one gets fired from a marketing job for saying, “sex sells.” But at the same time, they ignore or alienate the source of half of all U.S. household spending because sexy older people … well – that’s ridiculous.

The failing of marketers is that we tend to prematurely sexualize young people, and prematurely desexualize older people.

Teens and pre-teens, soaking in their volatile stew of hormonal dysphoria, are bombarded with images and messages they can’t or shouldn’t understand, with dangerous ramifications that they are massively unprepared to deal with. The marketers’ message: “Think sexy, be sexy, be sexier. No, even sexier.”

Meanwhile, mature adults equipped with the intellectual, emotional and financial resources for romantic relationships are sent a very different message by marketers: “Act your age. Don’t be gross.”

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Bloggers Are Just People and New Media Is Just Media

When I first moved to New York City in 2012, I had a random Craig’s List roommate who claimed to be a “sports blogger.” In reality, he worked as an associate at Barney’s and tweeted, wrote and ranted about sports in his spare time. He also attended the Blogs with Balls Conference every year and insisted that it was the next big thing in sports journalism.

At the time, I just figured it was a bunch of sports “nerds” in a basement (which it technically was, at first). In reality, my then-roommate was right: Just three years later, Blogs With Balls is filled with everyone from PR guys like me, to people who get paid to blog about sports, to the NFL Players Association.

My Ketchum Sports & Entertainment colleague, Brandon Williams, was a moderator for the “Measuring Online Influence” panel. We attended Blogs With Balls 6 in Chicago just days before the NFL draft to get a glimpse into the future of sports coverage.

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Global Scholar: Oh Kaepernick, My Kaepernick

The Power of a post.
Have you ever gone to bed just after sending out a Tweet or Instagram post that garnered some attention? Perhaps. But have you ever woken up to find more alerts on your screen than you can count? If your answer is yes, than you know the rush and curiosity that flows through your brain while trying to figure out, “What is going on right now?” I was pretty amazed to eventually find out that I was @mentioned in a tweet by Colin Kaepernick. Yes, THE Colin Kaepernick – quarterback of my favorite football team, the San Francisco 49ers!

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How to Invest in Yourself

I like to stretch myself, to keep growing and changing. I have to confess that I’ve always really struggled with change, but proactively challenging myself seems to be a great way for me to keep embracing life to its fullest.

I’ve been with the same company for 15 years (I can only thank my colleagues for putting up with me!). But I know that to grow I must continually test myself in order to keep evolving.

Each year I buy a leather-bound notebook and jot down a few insigths that I try to hold myself to, and regularly revisit them throughout the year. So here are my four of my favorite tips to giving your colleagues and clients the best version of yourself everyday!

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Celebrating Moms

click to enlarge

First, as a mother of two myself, let me take a moment to wish all the wonderfully hard-working and generous mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day!

Jane Sellman once said, “The phrase “working mother” is redundant.” But the ways moms define success is not.

At Ketchum, we (and everyone else, we hope) appreciate moms throughout the year. And, as marketing-to-moms thought leaders, we know that moms represent trillions of dollars in purchasing power – more than any other consumer segment – and that moms’ economic power is still growing.

We also know that moms are now the primary breadwinner, or on par with a partner, in almost half of U.S. households (Happy Mother’s Day, indeed!) and at rates that are quickly increasing around the world (click to tweet).

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