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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Adapting to Change Can Be a Slippery Slope

When you ski the conditions are often fleeting. It may start off sunny and end up snowy; the snow conditions can be powder at the top and slush at the bottom; the light goes from bright to flat, and the wind can pick up at any time. I recently went skiing in Utah with a group of 11 skiers ranging in age from 14 to 77.  Here is what I observed, and how each lesson can impact your performance in the workplace.

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From Cicero’s Wisdom: An Aspiration and Inspiration for Us All

If you follow the PR Council’s blog, you might have read a post recently published on the responsibility organizations have to be transparent with their publics. Within it, I close with one of the most inspiring and aspirational pieces of content I have read this year, which happens to come from a pretty unlikely source. In 44 B.C. the Roman philosopher Marcus Cicero wrote, in his treatise on friendship, the simple yet powerful phrase, “To be, rather than to seem.”

I instantly liked it in relation to our business and our agency, and find it to be an aspirational purpose on many levels. Here are some of the reasons why:

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The Beauty of Technology

As a part of the Ketchum Tech team, it’s no surprise that I love the topic. And while I spend my workdays focused primarily on B2B solutions, this blog post is centered on a personal passion of mine and something completely different: how technology is making its way into the world of beauty. Just to show how pervasive technology has become, I’ve highlighted three examples of how, to varying degrees, it has infiltrated the beauty world.

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Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is on International Women’s Day

Only seven percent of venture capital funding goes to women-owned businesses, and female entrepreneurs are often encouraged to “act like men” so they can relate better to the 89 percent of male venture capitalists. On the angel funding side, about 26 percent of angel investors are women and there is rising interest in investing in women-owned and led businesses. I’ve always been intrigued by venture capital and angel funding, while being equally disturbed by its gender gap.

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International Women’s Day 2017: How to Communicate when Purpose and Politics Collide

Jennifer on the floor of the NYSE

International Women’s Day is a time when we collectively celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women around the world. It also can be a moment in time for companies to highlight women and their achievements and roles in industry.

This year, March 8 will not only be celebrated by the United Nations – with a focus on “Women in the Changing World of Work” – but it will be also be leveraged as a global “Day Without a Woman,” which calls for a one day strike of women worldwide, giving the normal day of celebration a significantly more political tone.

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A Healthy Dose of Deregulation? What Trump’s Address Means for Healthcare Communicators

On February 28, President Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, the largest and most significant speech since his inaugural address on January 20.

While the specifics of his policies are not yet known, his address established the framework for what communications professionals can expect the potential business impacts and resulting communications strategies to be as we continue through the first 100 days of President Trump’s Administration.

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