Spring Cleaning: Who Moved My Click?

With so much content flying across our screens on a daily basis, it can be hard for brand communicators to figure out the best way to get a message across and ensure someone sees it. The “click-through” has long been a holy grail of measurement when it comes to an understanding of the effectiveness of a digital channel in the marketing mix but those days are drawing to a close.

If “content exposure” becomes the hot new signal that attributes marketing success, new platforms that champion passive scrolling, or the use of video, will be the most highly prioritized destinations for a client’s content to live. Putting this shift into context against Adweek’s Digital Hot List, it opens a window for today’s bravest marketers to get in early with creative programming that uses the unique attributes of today’s trending communities.

With spring ramping up here in the Northeast and summer staring at us in the face, what should you know about the technology that consumers will be “thumb-stopping” on while laying poolside? Let’s take a post-Hot List swing around the icons:

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Taking it to the Streets: Graffiti & the Power of Communications

On a recent business trip to Europe, I had the good fortune of meeting up with some of my favorite colleagues. A group of us happened to be free one Saturday and someone suggested we go on a Street Art Tour in London’s East End. Spending the afternoon outside, exploring the city? I was in.

My eagerness dropped slightly when the tour began at a street pole covered in stickers. Stickers? Was this really what we were pausing to see?

And it was then that the magic began…

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Creativity Designed to SOLVE Problems

Last month, I found myself preparing to present at the United Nations alongside a group of top social impact entrepreneurs. We were all finalists in a global competition by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) non-profit SOLVE, which focuses on “solving the world’s most pressing challenges through open innovation and partnership.” Many of the finalists had businesses and start-ups that were years in the making, and were regarded as leaders in their respective fields of refugee education, carbon emissions and chronic diseases.

My colleague Anne Marie Kearns and I came up with an innovative cancer literacy approach that leveraged artificial intelligence to help address cancer burden in developing countries. I truly believe in the idea. It could potentially impact lives and, suddenly, it all felt real once I took to the stage.

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When the Grid Goes Down: Major Utilities Must Begin Communications Preparedness

Over the past month many news stories have appeared about the current power grid and its susceptibility to interruption by both attacks and natural causes. While the industry has been monitoring and dealing with weather-related outages for decades, only more recently have policy makers and regulators taken a more focused interest on the viability of the grid with respect to cyber and physical attacks.

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Full-Court Press: VR for Sports Fans Needs a New Narrative

I stepped into the batter’s box at Yankee Stadium with shaky hands and weak knees. Waving the bat above my shoulder, I tried to look the part while Masahiro Tanaka stared down his catcher for the sign. Would he try to blow me away with a mid-90’s fastball? Buckle my knees with a slider? If that wasn’t enough to think about, there was always that devastating splitter. In an instant, there it was: slider, tailing outside. My bat sparked to life and a little bouncer dribbled up the third base line. I made contact! And I might have beaten the throw to first base too… if I wasn’t wearing a virtual reality headset.

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Navigating the Language of Diversity and Inclusion

The story of diversity and inclusion is a people story – a story directed to, and about people with, identities, hopes, desires and dreams. It is also a story of language and aspirational ideas.

So, how do we communicate the complex concepts of personal identity, unity, fairness and respect? What kind of place do we want the world to be? What standards do we set for our communities and places of work? How do we break down barriers and become the best global community we can possibly be?

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SXSW 2017: Rebooting Your Heart-Drive

SXSW is well-known as the launchpad for many technology start-ups like Twitter, FourSquare and Meerkat. While there are fewer breakout launches these days, the tech talk was still abundant with panel after panel diving deep on AI, VR, AR and an entire alphabet soup of acronyms changing the media, communications and computing landscape. One thing that stuck out this year was that conversations around love, empathy, creativity and humanity rose above the cacophony around speeds and feeds. This SXSW seemed more about emotions than emojis.

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A Seismic Shift in Our Eating Behavior

Remember the food pyramid from health class? It wasn’t that long ago that a meal was considered incomplete if portions of meat, dairy and other animal-based proteins were not included as part of the occasion. Nor was it that long ago when diets, like vegetarian and vegan, resided almost exclusively on the fringe.

Today we are at a tipping point, experiencing a seismic shift in the way people eat and approach their food. By all indications, Americans are ravenous for plant-based foods like they’ve never been before.

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Weighing in on World Water Day

Tomorrow is World Water Day: a palatable call-to-action to protect Earth’s most precious resource. Think about how many times today you have turned on a faucet for water – for taking a shower, brushing your teeth, cooking your food, making a cup of tea or re-hydrating after a workout.

It’s so fundamental to our well-being that it’s only fitting that most of our own bodies are made up of this life-sustaining molecule (between 55%-60%).

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Want to Improve Your Social Presence? Start with Video.

Whether it’s on Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Netflix, or the good old-fashioned television set, video has and will continue to be our preferred method of viewing and engaging with content and stories. Social media platforms – such as Facebook – have even put video at the forefront of their strategies. So why are so many brands simply missing the boat or, even worse, doing it all wrong?

I recently had the opportunity to hear from some of the top voices in the social content creation space at IZEAFest 2017. Here are four ways communicators can use some of the insights gleaned from the conference to propel a brand toward success not just in likes and shares, but in business growth:

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