What Grandpa Abe Taught Me About Good Communication & Living a Meaningful Life

A lot has been written about marketing to different audience segments, from Gen Z to millennials to 50+, making me wonder whether what we really should be talking about is how to successfully communicate across generations. Or even the value of having relationships across generations. That got me thinking about my most powerful cross-generational relationship – with my grandfather, Abe.

Despite the fifty-three-year age difference, we formed one of the deepest connections I’ve ever had in my life. We grew up in different eras with different communication norms and yet somehow none of that mattered. The power of unconditional love certainly played a part but I also believe that at the root of it all, our relationship was as strong as it was because of the worth he placed on relationships and his understanding of how we make and keep human connections.

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The Talk of the Town: 10 Trends from FNCE 2017

Earlier this week, more than 13,000 nutrition professionals and food industry executives gathered in Chicago for the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE®) hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Members of the Ketchum team were on site, attending educational sessions, learning about new research and scouring the exhibit hall for new products and resources.

Here are their top 10 trends from FNCE®:

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Inspiration Comes in All Sizes

“Don’t let your age stop you from what you want to do.”

I’ve long been fascinated with Gen Z’s view of the world today. In particular, Gen Z is known to be the do-gooders – kids and teenagers who are compelled to make the world a better place. In fact, they don’t need to ask for permission or to wait for their opportunity because they have the tools, the technology, the network and the perspective to make it happen.

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How to Survive the Brand Apocalypse

It’s a spooky time for brands, and not just because October is Halloween. E-commerce and the growth of private label means retailers are putting the squeeze on national brands. In fact, some say the death of brand loyalty is upon us as Catalina reports that 90 percent of leading household goods brands are losing market share. If a brand apocalypse is coming, what can communicators do to help brands not just survive, but thrive in this changing landscape?

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From Politics to Retail, Diversity to Harassment, Sleep to Power: In 48 Hours, Fortune MPW Covers It All

Fortune’s annual Most Powerful Women Summit is both thought provoking and motivational. The networking is unparalleled but, the truth is, the broad range of topics is what keeps me coming back each year. The conference alternates locations between California and Washington, D.C. each year, and being in our capital gave it a different vibe. Senator Amy Klobuchar kicked us off by reminding attendees how women have to go where it is uncomfortable to go to make true progress, and that collaboration among our elected officials can make a difference.

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Data: Beyond a Shiny Toy

In a recent interview related to WPP earnings, WPP’s CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell said, “The three main reasons why the ad market is struggling are because of digital disruption, activist investors and the low cost of capital money.” He went on to talk about the first reason – digital disruption – in the following terms: “[…] digital disruption creates opportunity, because it is changing the way people consume media, how items are produced and how products are distributed.”

Anyone surprised? I’m not. In fact, I’m shocked that this realization has taken this long to dawn. As an industry, we have been talking about data and its incredible impact on our businesses for decades.

Still, I feel that we are still relegating data to a “shiny toy,” rather than as an organizing principle. Why is this? Three reasons: Denial, Data “Lite,” and Segregation.

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Are You Ready to “Scan and Go?”

Wouldn’t you love to walk into your local grocery store, scan the items on your list, put them in your bag and head straight to your car when you’re done? No waiting to reach the cashier in long checkout lines, or even shorter self-checkout lines for that matter.

I’m talking about a completely autonomous experience. In and out. Actually, it’s more like “scan and go.”

Allow me to explain.

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Hail to the YOLD and the Bold

Unsolicited, and only after a little sip of wine, a lovely woman I had just met attending the Mature Marketing Association’s Summit in London last week tugged down her skirt and showed me the newish and rather colorful tattoo on her hip and boasted she was having the best sex of her life. In her 50s, single, joyful and uninhibited, she was completely unfazed that we were among other Summit-goers at a networking event inside a proper English convention center.

Like Helen Mirren, who seems to be the marketing world’s default older sultry spokesperson, my new acquaintance is the embodiment of “YOLD,” brilliantly defined by legendary British adman Robin Wight as “young old,” the concept that “we’re all young now, even the old.” In his words, and he’s in his 70s and busy with many business and philanthropic endeavors, “ageism is so last century.”

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10 Steps to a Successful Public Relations Plan

It’s that time of year, when thoughts turn to planning for 2018. Taking a 12 month, or even quarterly, outlook is challenging when operating in a period of such uncertainty but organizations need to continue to take bets on investment and talent.

Our recommendation is to take the longest term outlook feasible for your organization but to test, measure and adapt your plan over time. Real time measurement and agility is a reality for any modern public relations team.

Here’s an approach that I use based on Ketchum’s planning methodology. It can be applied to any size of organization and market.

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How to Manage a Long-Distance (Team) Relationship

The virtual office isn’t a place; it’s a state of mind.

Our Organizational Effectiveness and Learning & Development team sits in three different locations in three different time zones. So, how do we work together successfully? How do we share ideas across oceans? And how do we form the same bond that face-to-face teams value so much?

We work hard at it.

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