Chuck Kent is President/Creative Director of Creative on Call, Inc. the branding and creative services company that helps marketers identify and communicate the simple truth about their brands.
@Danny Brown It's tough to tell a convincingly, honestly human story when you've got a committee of storytellers on both the client and agency sides guiding, tweaking and judging the story, so yes, it is, at least organizationally, a seemingly no-win situation for brands. All the more amazing, I suppose, when a big brand actually pulls it off.
2 days, 3 hours ago on THIS Is How You Do Brand Storytelling
The best brand stories are true stories; not that you can't use fiction, as McDonald's attempts here, but to your point, the fiction has to be illuminated by a core brand truth. This McD spot is simply an ad agency' stylishly gratuitous attempt to falsely shift the brand personality. The Duracell initiatve may be taken to task as a gimmick, as Howie Goldfarb does below, but Duracell at least constructed a world scenario in which brands and consumers could interact to illuminate a little of each other's truth.
"... most content distribution is just kindergarten." Clay, you've always given the impression of a guy who definitely isn't going to let his clients' content nap.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Clay Morgan
@KateNolan @creativeoncall Yes, one can hardly argue with the audience-creating value (and industry-show attraction) of a good, hold-it-in-your-hands book (I like them for the ability to mark interesting passages with analog Post-Its... you should see my copy of Spin Sucks. Also, at this very moment, I am knee deep in print projects for the senior living sector... direct mail, big, multi-page broadsheet newspaper inserts... and this for a demographic that I believe is rapidly adopting table use. Keep those presses rolling! (Of course, when I interview people for advertorial inserts, I capture them on video, too, for digital use)
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Four Marketing Tactics that Continue to Live On
@ginidietrich @creativeoncall You mean the 12" high, wide and deep 20 lb catalog? I've been considering a blog post "Is Hubris a Valid Brand Positioning"... in any case, if a medium is still valued as a sign of corporate excess, it ain't dead yet (but that' s not where I see print's value)
I have to agree with Howie Goldfarb on the assessment of the cited post as "silly" (I would also add "self-serving"). And to your list of what will survive, I'd add print. Oh, it may be diminished, but I think he too gleefully ignores, in his digital-business-building fantasy, the continued charm of physical presence and even touch. Yes, print advertising will continue to take a hit, but direct mail... count on your real mailbox to continue filling up.
@ginidietrich @creativeoncall I remember when I worked in a truck wheel factory during my college summers, one of the full-time guys could say almost nothing else, once employing the F word 7 times in a 14 word sentence. I figured, well, it's lack of education (judgmental, arrogant colllege kid that I was), and that I'd never run into that in an office environment. Ha! But then, like you, I'm just a naive kid from Goody Two Shoes Land (Des Moines in my case)
2 months, 1 week ago on Sucks is a Bad Word
Throughout my "not short" career, I've been amazed and disappointed at the use of obscenity in business dialogue, not so much that it's offensive, but that it's so unimaginative. But then, I anything word that is overused loses it's power (could we please get the social-content-digtial world to quite flogging "EPIC!" and "ROCKSTAR!" etc.). In that regard, sucks has lost some of it's power, including negative impact, but in your instance, But as a brand name, it conveys what you're about and the spirit in which you pursue it. As others note here, it may simply help weed out the clients you likely wouldn't have a great relationship with anyway.
So Suck On! (No, no... scratch that... the word does has limits to how it can be spun).
OK, so I'm reading this thinking.. hmm.. bit of confused metaphor in the headline? I mean, I'm not a baseball guy, but I don't think that one typically wants to pitch a home run. That means you let the other player hit it out of the park. But wait.. that's brilliant! In this sort of pitching, you're not adversarial, you're looking for the old win-win.. and, to your point about knowing what the media needs, the perfect pitch is the one that will make the journalist and media outlet a winner. Play ball!(BTW, as I say, I'm not much of a baseball guy.. which may explain why I'm also a Cubs fan...)
3 months ago on Pitch Perfect: The Mechanics of Media Relations
@RobBiesenbach "...in business people will call anything a story." Good understatement
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Why Marketers Should Write Fiction
I agree... learning, or even seriously attempting, to create art, be it fiction, poetry, a short film or a narrative photo or illustration, makes us better communicators. Over the years I've always encouraged students looking to get into the business to first study how to think (I still like the liberal arts) and share their thoughts creatively before bothering to study advertising or marketing (sorry, but you can better learn that on the job, assuming you bring some human-to-human skils with you).
Another county heard from... you all might enjoy Nick Westergaard's post on the same subject today, illustrated by a very recent personal anecdote involving Garrison Keillor... http://ow.ly/vdI4W
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Why We Won’t Shut Off Blog Comments
Nice perspective, Nick (and I'm jealous you got to go see Prairie Home Companion). I think it's also a matter of what kind of media we imagine our blogs being... social media, implying dialogue, or just plain old media, in which case disconnecting comments and proceeding in monologue mode is, I suppose, appropriate. The latter is doubtless more profitable for the copybloggers of the world; most of the reset of us will do well to not only work the crowd but remember to reward it as personally as possible.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Crowd Work: A Case for Not Removing Blog Comments
@jolynndeal @RobBiesenbach @ThePaulSutton I second that!
@jasonkonopinski I think that's just it... they've moved from being social media ( a blog) to just plain old-fashioned media. Not necessarily anything wrong with that... just not particularly appealing if you're into engaging conversations and give and take versus media monologue.
@biggreenpen @creativeoncall Nah, too late... already bought my copy. I'm holding out for a job... hey, maybe I can be Gini's office Stedman, you know, the guy who seems to fill an important role but who is never actually seen doing anything?
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Social Media Connections and Landing a Great Job
Personally, I think ginidietrich is doing to have to go all Oprah on us and give everybody commenting here a job...
@Eleanor Pierce @creativeoncall Well, that ginidietrich LOVES to sing on-camera (I actually have some video to sort of prove it), so when you come to town I think we should arrange that
Eleanor... good points all, and quite nicely made in the video not embedded above. Let's fix that: http://youtu.be/_H6c86lM6VM
Oh, one other thing to fix... I can clearly see musical instruments hanging in the background of your video. Did Gini not explain that one literally has to sing for one's supper around here? So c'mon, let's hear it. We'll expect a song next week...
Change is good. It's also much more interested than not changing, so thanks. At the start of the year I changed #SocialSong Saturday (largely inspired by one Gini Dietrich, as noted in the first installment) to a once a month affair, featuring one song about an issue raised by one person (who, yes, is worth following)... of course, I'm already a month behind, but that's another story...
Now, on to the Inquisition!
4 months, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition is Coming!
@KateFinley @creativeoncall What gets my heart? Adoption. I particularly like Jiangxi China Orphan Aid https://www.facebook.com/JiangxiChinaOrphanAid... my daughters were both born in China, the eldest in Jiangxi Province. What get's my time? The family we're all adopted into: church. I love teaching Sunday School (a surprisingly apt application of a career that's taught me to distill messages and make them entertaining enough so people will pay attention). I've also become the volunteer creative department for our church, which is a very open, service-oriented place.
4 months, 1 week ago on Are We Too Busy for Compassion? Give … Like a Boss.
Kate, I've dealt with this tension in my own career for, well, the whole career. In addition to finding our own compassionate investments outside of work, I've found it important to figure out how to infuse my capitalistic pursuits with a greater sense of worth. The best counsel I ever heard on the subject – from my pastor when I lived in NYC to all of his successful-or-seeking-success, hard-charging congregants attending church on 5th Avenue – was that we can all give our daily work meaning if we approach every job as being sacred (not a term you hear much in marketing), if we harness ourselves to the task of making our client's, employee's and co-workers days better in any way, however small, that we can... and if we stick to the truth in a world that, at best, is too expedient to pay it much mind. We can "spend our lives" doing something, or we can invest them. It's a daily choice... now, let's see how I do today...
(And thanks for the thoughtful post)
ginidietrich I missed the exchange, and will need to read the full stream of tweets (wishing Storify had a way to streamline it), but I will offer one word of advice about that debate idea... Louis Gudema was one of my debate team partners in high school, and I could rarely keep up. Just sayin'... let the debate begin!
4 months, 1 week ago on Where Should You Build Community?
Hey, Gini, I featured her first!!! (And thanks for the shout out). Charm, wit, intelligence... all things we need more of. Good to see you here, Amanda. Hope to see you at Wine and Web.
5 months ago on #FollowFriday: Amanda Gant
@belllindsay oh, so THAT's Gini meant when she said she'd slipped between the covers with Mark... whew...
5 months ago on Join Mark Schaefer for a Special Livefyre Q&A Today
Great post Howie.. and Happy Birthday Gini! Particularly like the kid vid birthday cards. Just wish I could hear Jack Bauer sing....
5 months, 1 week ago on Follow Monday: Say Happy Birthday to Gini Dietrich!
5 months, 2 weeks ago on #FollowFriday: Kevin Vandever
Ooops.... Gini kindly caught a big typo (Kevin's name) on my first caption image... here's here caption contest offering... Now c'mon, all you other so-called crazies, let's hear yours...
OK, Kevin and everybody, this is all too polite (even with Howie Goldfarb weighing in)... and that photo just begs for a caption contest.. .so here goes.. my entry is below. Anybody else?
Kevin, Welcome to the most questionable club to which you will ever belong. Now... where's our wine?
@ginidietrich I don't see it (just) as a reward for the long-winded, but for those who are will to dig, and think, a little deeper. It helps get us all past "life in the shallow end," the intellectual short-changing that superficial content creation and consumption can create, a la Nicholas Carr's "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,' a book I consider to be scarily brilliant.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on The Role of Long-Form Content in Brand Journalism
I'd glad there's this general "liberation of long form" going on. It's more fun to be able to break out of a 500 word box and let posts go (meaningfully) longer... it's also better for everybody. Jonathan Salem Baskin has a great book on the benefits of forgoing brevity: "A Thousand Words: Why We Must Fight the Tyranny of the Brief, Vague and Incomplete." Going long(er) certainly helps.
Good to see you here Jason... happy #FF!
5 months, 3 weeks ago on #FollowFriday: Jason Roberts
@jenzings Great illustration of consumer disappointment (leading to distrust) when content misrepresents itself
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Brand Journalism: How to Use Sponsored Content
@RobBiesenbach @creativeoncall @ginidietrich I agree... no one likes to be fooled
I can't find much research. A NYT article on the FTC and native advertising includes this blurb: " David J. Franklyn, a professor at the University of San Francisco law school, said preliminary results from his research showed that as many as 35 percent of the consumers in groups he has studied could not identify an advertisement even when it said “advertisement” on it. Roughly half, he said, indicated they did not know what the word “sponsored” meant.
Perhaps more important, he said, is that one-third of consumers say they do not care if something is an advertisement or is editorial material, and many would be more likely to click through to an item if they knew it was an ad."
So perhaps my aversion to the willingness to employ confusion between ads and editorial is irrelevant if consumers don't care... but I still suspect (or at least want to think) that it has an impact on trust, at least long term.
The article also notes that the FTC is likely to more heavily scrutinize native advertising in the future:
@ginidietrich @creativeoncall I guess it's a matter of how clearly you say – and make yourself understood – that it's an advertorial. I have no issue with any of us making money (that is one of the larger points to our careers), I just worry that getting comfortable with "maybe they know it's an ad, maybe they don't" will undermine the already low opinion people have of the content we all provide
@ginidietrich @creativeoncall Yes, but do you disagree?
You mention a variation of the whole problem with disguised advertorials, er, sponsored content: ""...other than that a change in color, you wouldn’t know it’s an ad." Not much of a trust builder there, and not as honest as just selling ad space in one column of your blog (OK, it's an old business model, but at least more straight-forward."
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for advertising... let's just call it what it is. Advertising can and should deliver great content. It's OK to pay to put that out in front of people. It's the whole obfuscation of "where's my information coming from and why" that makes me less than excited about the trend.
Sorry, but "sponsored content," when it comes down to meaning "not clearly paid for and produced by" is just one more way to confirm "brand journalism" as the oxymoron of the year.
(Did I wake up on the wrong side of the keyboard this morning or what?)
@annelizhannan @creativeoncall @ginidietrich Excellent... I'm sure Gini will crank out a video of that by days end :)
6 months, 1 week ago on #FollowFriday: Anneliz Hannan
Nice to meet you Anneliz... though I do think Gini could at least warble you a welcome as well as write one (respect is great, @ginidietrich, but where's the love?) Maybe one of these days... Of course, Gini was caught singing once on camera... sort of: http://bit.ly/KIyKCs
I think content overload will be a (or the) big theme of 2014. It's been building for a while... Mark Schaefer wrote about it this week, though is hardly the first. He also spoke, as did David Armano at Edelman when I interviewed him last fall, of how it's all becoming a paid game again. Well, yes, the field is crowded, it was never really "free," and the more personal the messaging and attention, the better. The smartest content players – the ones still playing in 2015 and beyond – will be those who figure out the most creative ways to provide not just content but actual, personalized help (always one of Gini's strengths, from the blog to FB questions to personal interactions).
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Content Marketing: Too Much of a Good Thing?
@Digital_DRK Thanks,Daryl, and a Happy 2014 to you.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on #FollowFriday: Follow the Dreamers
@manamica @manamica Glad you like it (I was afraid if you didn' t that I'd have a fighter jet swooping low over my home office...). Maybe one of these days we'll have at least a Chicago-area meet up IRL
@LauraPetrolino @creativeoncall Thanks... I particularly like seeing him in that truck :)
@JRHalloran Thanks for the kind words. Those of us with a scriptural bent also think of that as "the still, small voice," sort of a divine urging (can you tell that I wanted to be a minister when I was a kid? Not sure how I veered off into marketing). Whatever one considers its source, you are absolutely right about how it becomes actionable... we have to listen and do something about it.
@lauraclick @creativeoncall I also have a nephew at Belmont... a terrific guitarist who helped me out with the Youtility song I did for Jay Baer. So... many reasons to come visit
@susancellura Makes me happy to hear that!
@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes @creativeoncall @RobBiesenbach Great Josh... send video (maybe strap a GoPro to your cowboy hat)
@jasonkonopinski @ClayMorgan @creativeoncall Hey, you can post video all in mime and ask followers to write out what you were saying...
@jasonkonopinski @Word Ninja @creativeoncall So, when and where is the first Spin Sucks Jam / Open Mic night?
@lauraclick Thanks Laura.. as I think I've mentioned before, Nashville is my favorite place to produce music for clients, so maybe next time I get to visit for that we can meet in person
@bdorman264 @HowieGoldfarb I was told Howie's dreams are off limits for a family-friendly blog
@NancyMyrland Thanks Nancy... but you're not just acting when you say that, are you :)
@belllindsay @Word Ninja Thanks... I like to take an annual break from my recreational cynicism, and this was it. And you know me... any excuse to sing
@Word Ninja Thanks... here's hoping 2014 brings us more chances to get together IRL
@terreece My guess is that the answer to "who" is you. Glad you liked it
@biggreenpen Thanks Paula!
@jasonkonopinski My privilege.
@ClayMorgan @jasonkonopinski Actually, I was hoping you'd do the next one together... entirely in mime. :)
@RobBiesenbach @thejoshuawilner I didn't have time to do that as animation, or I would have had Josh lasso Randy Bowden. Thanks for chimiing in!
I agree that there's a terrific opportunity to shift to useful messaging versus hyped promotion, and that it can be done well... but I get concerned when more supposedly journalistic outlets offer up the credibility of their mastheads to barely disclosed advertorials (I believe that the New York Times just announced such an offering; others, like Forbes, have been diluting their journalistic brand for some time now). To avoid damaging consumer trust – which barely exists for traditional paid advertising, at least as I read surveys like the Edelman Brand Trust Barometer – I think we will all be wise to a) embrace full disclosure of the paid status of these ads and b) re-imagine what an ad can be... namely, a paid platform for delivering useful and helpful content that, wherein we concentrate on first serving as a better route to ultimately selling.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Native Advertising is Just Good Advertising
@JayBaer @ginidietrich @creativeoncall Sorry the call of billable duty kept me away... thanks for the mentions!
7 months ago on Join Jay Baer for a Special Livefyre Q&A Today
@Word Ninja Thanks!
OK now, don't forget Jay's musical intro... everybody needs walk-on music, ya' know... http://ow.ly/rSIDa
Wish I could be there, but a client meeting calls
I think one could have leveled the same criticisms at agencies for the last fifteen years or more, and in all that time I've been expecting the old model to crumble, and yet it hasn't. What's different now, as you note, is the ability of non-traditional agencies to account for their results. Inertia and the CYA nature of many client decision-making chains will keep the old behemoths alive longer than one might think... but you are right, the boutique agencies with the right teams should have a major leg up.
That said, I've done two interviews lately, one with an American digital leader within a large company and the other with the CCO of an American agency in China, and both report an organizational shift toward just that boutique-style team you mention. We'll see if they can really pull it off.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Agencies Must Evolve or Die
@hessiej "how you treat them on a one-to-one level" is really the sticking point, I suppose, between success and lack of it. It's not only a matter of technology and structure, but of corporate acculturation, of getting the individuals within an organization to actually care about the individuals they serve. Now if there was just a app to make us all more caring...
8 months ago on Norrrrmmmm!!: You Wanna Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name
I think that Norm's – or any initiative's – success in replicating the environment of Cheers will depend more on how well it is able to help "hypersensitize" a marketer to it's customer's real needs and concerns rather than simply doing a better job of targeting sales messages, however apt, via ever-greater hyperlocalization, It is, I suppose the difference between becoming better at eavesdropping at a bar – which is what an opportunistic stranger does – and closely listening in the mode of a concerned friend.
Oh, she's a mess... just a successful one. It all depends on what she, and we, want out of life.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Miley Cyrus: A PR Case Study in Flawless Execution
Congrats, Clay; looks like 2014 should be a very interesting year for Arment Dietrich.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on #FollowFriday: Our New Vice President of Operations
@LauraPetrolino Congrats Laura (and to you, too, Gini). So that must have been why you were jumping for joy and high-fiving @jasonkonopinski after Content Jam. If anybody missed it, here's the evidence: https://vine.co/v/hwxeznFptjY
So glad I got to meet you in person!
9 months ago on #FollowFriday: Our New Client Services Director
9 months, 1 week ago on #FollowFriday: Matt Cermak
@Howie Goldfarb @Matt_Cerms Bovine slander will get you nowhere in this highly principled comment section, Howie
Welcome to the #FF fold... it's questionable company, but I'm sure your career will survive :)
I think somebody needs to create a "Moral Compass App," because it's a sad-but-true situation when we can't each find our own moral compasses, let alone follow them. We as individuals need to be able to reach beyond the expedient, safe and comfortable.... and I'm also guessing that, should your employer fire you because you refused to break the law, you might have a case there, too.... another question for Mr. Lasky, Esq.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Fake Reviews Fined; PR Firms Beware
@EricPudalov @creativeoncall Puns? What puns? The Spin Sucks community only allows the most sophisticated, Noel Coward-esque wit... (or at least half of it)
9 months, 3 weeks ago on #FollowFriday: Alina Kelly
Alina. Nice to meet you... thanks for giving new meaning to the term "Breaking Bad" (I hope your series is over, too)
Delighted to see you here Lisa!
10 months ago on #FollowFriday: Lisa Denten
Hmmm... spin classes... maybe she doesn't really believe it sucks. Nonetheless, nice to meet you Lubna!
10 months, 1 week ago on #FollowFriday: Lubna Sadik
@ginidietrich @sherrilynne Yes, but what do you use for a highlighter, particularly when riding or driving?
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Create In-Depth Articles to Increase Your Google Authority
Beyond the benefits with Google, I think the big plus to "going deep" is that you stand a better chance of proving yourself an authority to your readers once they find you.
Have you read Jonathan Baskin's latest book "A Thousand Words: Why We Must Fight the Tyranny of Brief, Vague & Incomplete"? It provides some great context as to why and how information registers with people, why deeper thinking and longer exposition is better... oh, wait a minute... it's not on audio. Sorry. Give me a call when you're headed out for your next ride and I'll read it to you over the phone :)
@dbvickery same here.. and as to Biblical perspectives on marriage, here's the one I always share with my wife: "Only one of us gets out of this alive" (Back to that thing about going all in.. being inseparable.. and liking it that way).
10 months, 3 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Community: A Modern Day Salt Covenant
Great post Brian. For all the yammering online about building trust and community and yada yada, there's little commentary on the kind of investment and commitment the salt ceremony speaks to. All in. Inseparable. And liking it that way. No online community may rise to the level of a good marriage, but recognizing the traits and aiming for them serves us all well. Thanks.
@ginidietrich Well, I think you should be Mulan (Dad's of daughters born in China always go for the kick-ass heroine) and of course Jason, as part of your extended team, has natural dibs on Goofy. But let's see... @belllindsay as belltinker? I'm guessing she's not going for that... can' t wait to see you all in costume!
10 months, 4 weeks ago on The Ideal Customer Experience: Lessons in Loyalty from Mickey Mouse
Jason, I enjoyed vicariously sharing your vacation on Facebook. I think that, as part of perhaps the ultimate content brand, Disney theme parks benefit from exceptionally positive "customer pre-experience"... at least most of the parks (see @ginidietrich comment on Euro Disney below
@AdamSmithSEO @ginidietrich @SpinSucks Gini, you went to Europe and actually included Disney?! Or are you just assuming what I assume – that the words "Euro" and "Disney" were never meant to go together?
Nice to meet you Jen; glad that your post finally revealed that all of our stats here, and no doubt offline conversations about Spin Sucks, are being carefully tracked. I guess we shouldn't be surprised given Gini's background at the NSA (I got that from Howie G, I think)
11 months ago on #FollowFriday: Jen Zingsheim
As a dad of two teenage daughters, I get fired up, concerned, ticked off about this... but I think that, as women graduate from college in ever larger numbers than men (even though still getting paid less as they enter the workforce), and as men in our culture continue to revel in extended adolescence... well, sooner or later, all of my testosterone-laden brethren will wake up from seeing/acting out "Hangover 12" and discover that all the Marissa Mayer's in the C-Suites across America have taken over all the good jobs... while looking great doing it.
11 months ago on The Double Standard in Women’s Equality is Alive and Well
I guess #FF has always secretly meant #FootballFan here... nice to almost meet you Susan.
Chuck "I Used to Be A Linebacker" Kent
11 months, 1 week ago on #FollowFriday: Susan Cellura
@ginidietrich @creativeoncall @rdopping No, you promised I could do it every day, it was just that good... didn't you?
11 months, 2 weeks ago on #FollowFriday: Six Qualities of Past Featurees
@lizreusswig @creativeoncall Hey, I'm waiting for people to post cover videos of the last one. http://vimeo.com/64303540
@yvettepistorio @ginidietrich The only problem with writing a post like this is narrowing it down to a manageable size -- sincerely, too many good folks, not enough space to mention even a reasonable fraction
@HeidiMassey Heidi, here's the very first #SocialSong Saturday, inspired by and featuring one Gini Dietrich http://ow.ly/nMp7F Enjoy those bragging rights :)
@Howie Goldfarb @rosemaryoneill Exactly... embrace it all!
@RebeccaTodd I think the basket case image is apt
@RebeccaTodd In the takes-one-to-know-one sense, I'll take your word on Dallas' character :)
@biggreenpen @howiegoldfarb @RebeccaAmyTodd You're just lobbing that "tucked in between" remark for @howiegoldfarb and @RebeccaAmyTodd to make a little trouble with, aren't you?
@rdopping Thanks, Ralph. And didn't Gini tell you? I'm signed up to do 364 more of these...
I like your Q&A blog showcase vs. just posting a release; it gives you the chance to make the information user focused and useful (asking questions that consumers want answered) and keeps the company from being insufferably self-referential
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Customized Content for Each Social Media Channel
@ginidietrich Be my guest! Besides, I believe I "appropriated it" from others myself.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on PR Firms: How Do You Know it’s the Right Fit?
We're all in the human-to-human communication business, no matter how technical or seemingly impersonal a product or service is. If you cut out the chemistry, you cut out the humanity. I always tell clients that the decision equation is Reason (I get it) + emotion (I like it) = decision (I buy it!), and it's operative whether selecting a cell phone or a PR firm.
I hope you're on the mend.
Ken, I generally agree, but feel you may be dismissing some of the more serious commentators along with the maybe-this-will-get-me-attention haters.
Jonathan Baskin has a very thoughtful take (including excellent historical context) on what is lost or negatively changed in the requisite shift in social media to brevity and visuals in his recent book "A Thousand Words: Why We Must Fight the Tyranny of the Brief, Vague and Incomplete."
Nicholas Carr's argument in The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brain, written during the ascent of social media but hardly just about it, is still worthwhile reading, too (and was summarily dismissed as curmudgeonly Ludditism by my friends who were totally immersed in all things online at the time). I don't think that embracing change requires failing to examine its losses and gains – for instance, I'd enjoy seeing more comment from you or others here on a key observation above: "social media merely magnifies who we are", as, while it is certainly a new lens through which we see and are seen, it's optical qualities may include distortion along with the magnification.
All that said, I do wish there were more thoughtful insights on the state of the social media mind and fewer facile attacks.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on The Fine Art of Bemoaning Change
@ClayMorgan @ginidietrich @belllindsay Sounds like the start of a great guest post to me: "What your press release looks like to the press" or some such. Please?
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Media Relations: How to Do it On Your Own
'Bout time, @ginidietrich And a happy friday to Josh, as one lucky dad of beautiful daughters to another.
11 months, 3 weeks ago on #FollowFriday: Josh Wilner
@Danny Brown @creativeoncall @ClayMorgan @ArCIntel I hope it works, because there's absolutely nothing wrong with branded content – in fact, brands should be bellying up to the "give us credit" bar – it's just the current mode of sort-of-but-not-really-being-upfront-about-paid-messages that is going to leave content marketing no more trusted than advertising
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Blogging for Pay: Should Brands Pay for Mentions?
@ClayMorgan I think it is different, if only that the old advertorial disclosures were almost always more obvious than the blends-in-with-it all nature of "sponsored content," "native advertising" or any of the other euphemisms. For one thing, it would be an improvement if all such paid messaging had to be labeled clearly "advertorial" or "paid advertisement"... it would at least clarify the amount of control the "sponsor" has over the content (that is, you can "sponsor" the content of the NBC evening news or the New York Times, but I don't believe you can actually pay to write it yourself).
Publicis Omnicom – PO – one large Purchase Order, mostly for client fees. Yes, they may provide even greater media buying clout for clients, and a bigger stick to knock some attention-paying sense into the digital masters like Google and Facebook, but I still don't see a lot in this for clients. I worked at an Omnicom shop for years, fairly well bracketing the creation of Omnicom, and I never saw how bigger equaled better for clients. Oh, we did great work individually, but try to get the network shops to play well together? Good luck... as you observe, it wasn't structured to work that way. And conflicts? Always a much bigger issue on the advertising than the PR side.
The bigger security blanket for clients will still pre-determine many client decisions as to which agency to hire... but while you may never get fired for hiring a big brand name, you may increasingly get fired for working with them, as that bigger-than-ever security blanket suffocates your marketing plans in service of its own bigger-than-ever bottom line needs.
My net: 1) a good payday for Publicis Omnicom leadership 2) distraction and disruption for clients and 3) more opportunity for the likes of Arment Dietrich.
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Seven Reasons the Publicis Omnicom Merger is a Big Deal
I think it's another bad example of the free-onomy, the non-economic system that seems to increasingly grow up around us. This is a particularly egregious (and/or clueless) example... but those of us trafficking in content marketing for ourselves and others also have to work hard to make sure that we fully emphasize the concept of truly sharing in our social and other business lives. I think that's why there is such consistent community participation here. We trust that the gift of our time, as you put it, will be respected, whether in the comment section (OK, respect may be pressing it when it comes to comments here)... guest posts or whatever. I'd recommend that your friend stay home and spend the time (and money) on other new business efforts.
11 months, 4 weeks ago on Perspective: Public Speaking and Time as a Gift
I think there is an energy related to not just the coffee house noise but the general environment and activity that creates it. I actually prefer to put in my noise-abating headphones to concentrate, but I am still conscious of being part of the "positive buzz" of a place. I question, however, if a website can deliver that same sense of energy along with the sound. I'll have to drop by Coffitivity and find out...
12 months ago on Coffitivity: Coffee Shop Noise and Creativity
Hmmm. I'm seeing a lot of "yeah, I'm backing off, too" comments and I can't tell if that's because a) everybody is worn out by the constant change and requirement for incessant activity and adaptation orb) because the digital realm isn't delivering at a pace equal to the investment and folks are feeling the need to invest their resources elsewhere
It would be interesting to get your analysis a year from now as to how exactly your heavy investment in laying a digital/social foundation helped build your real world (dare I say, traditional) business development efforts and opportunities.... and what you feel the relationship of online/IRL investment should be for you going forward.
1 year ago on Online Habits: Is Less Really More?
I'm not so sure about letting real journalists in here... OK, we'll give it a go. Nice to know more about you Clay!
1 year ago on #FollowFriday: Clay Morgan
@Word Ninja Nothing works better.. at least, not in the long run. The truth, when clearly presented, is also self-evident and so requires less selling, and enables more believable "telling" (hmm... anybody into brand storytelling in this conversation?)
1 year ago on Are You Ready to Hire a PR Firm?
@ginidietrich Thanks... I like having a professional advance team vetting prospects!
Great post – and great posture relative to the prospect (once again, being honest serves agency and client the best). I particularly appreciate the last two, related points about risk and getting out of your comfort zone. Tough for companies to do, but it's almost impossible to really help them if they don't.
BTW, sounds like this client needs a good brand strategist to help identify their simple, differentiating truth... hint... hint...
@ginidietrich @creativeoncall @biggreenpen :-(
1 year ago on The Spin Sucks #FollowFriday Recommendations for 2013
Thanks for including me in this august (er, July) group... and a double mention no less!. This confirms your secret desire to sing with me as often as possible, I'm sure of it... (perhaps a Google+ Hangout trio with @biggreenpen?). BTW, if anybody hasn't seen the one and only music video featuring Gini, you won't want to miss it: http://ow.ly/mGS2a
I know a number of Trinity alum (and I think @ginidietrich refers to the Three Things as the Unholy Trinity, no?), so I'm glad do sort of know you, too. I'll have to get in on this Word Ninja thing...
1 year ago on #FollowFriday: Amanda Eastep
Gini, I'll be interested to hear what your experience is, what quality of clients you attract via AirPR and how well you are able / allowed to deliver the Arment Dietrich customer experience as an "off the shelf" brand working for inexperienced clients whose expectations are set by AirPR. My guess is that your gut reaction was spot on, and you wil indeed feel like a commodity. (Should at least provide a lot of good blog fodder.)
1 year ago on AirPR: Is this the Beginning of PR as a Commodity?
Two things come to mind:1) There's always been a "scalability" issue when you've got your name on the door, but it's not just clients desire to "work with the name." They're looking for that level of expertise that the name represents, and frankly, you can better afford to provide top level talent on a virtual basis (on-call expertise) than if you tried to staff-up and "warehouse" other people at your level.
2) Clients need it when they need it, so as a service firm you and your resource are always on call (hence the last part of my virtual company name). Your non-full-time players need to be as committed to your success – and understand it as their own – as our your full-time employees.
1 year, 1 month ago on The Client Service Issue in a Virtual Workplace
@RebeccaTodd @John_Trader1 @biggreenpen The only running I do any more is letting songs run through my head... much easier on the knees
1 year, 1 month ago on #FollowFriday: Paula Kiger
@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes @creativeoncall @biggreenpen @ginidietrich @belllindsay @pattiknight @yvettepistorio @RebeccaTodd @Howie Goldfarb @bdorman264 @aimeelwest Hearing is believing... let's hear it!
@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes @creativeoncall Well, start working on that loud "guest song blog" for #SocialSong Saturday... maybe you can do a duet via Hangout with @biggreenpen (and @ginidietrich @belllindsay @pattiknight @yvettepistorio @RebeccaTodd @Howie Goldfarb @bdorman264 @jasonkonopinski @aimeelwest ... anybody getting the hint yet?)
Glad to see the fearless and fun @biggreenpen featured here. Contrary to her protestations, I can too rhyme Big Green Pen... now and then. Now I'd like to see all the rest of you Spin Suckers follow Paula's singing example (my guess is it'll be easier than matching her running times for most of us). Welcome to the #FF club, Paula!
You could always go into biz creating new media marketing action figures... starting of course with the Gini D-Force. Glad to almost meet you (I must be the only guy who didn't meet you at SoSlam).
1 year, 1 month ago on #FollowFriday: Brian Tudor
@mitchjoel We are all required to do that daily, 6am and 6pm.. don't be late. She gets made.
1 year, 2 months ago on Join Mitch Joel for a Special Livefyre Q&A Today
@mitchjoel @ginidietrich Well, sex is supposed to be about bringing things together (sorry, almost said coming together), but it usually gets sold short, just as does in-depth understanding does
@AnneReuss @nickcicero Orange is to social media and content marketing what blue is to insurance... sorry.. but it does pop! The cover design overall is excellent (unlike many in the biz book space)
@Howie Goldfarb @creativeoncall Well, I was going to suggest that Gini refer to her practice as New Public Relations... but that would be NPR
1 year, 2 months ago on How to Choose a PR Firm for Your Business
So Gini, what do you take the letters "PR" to stand for? Suggestions: Public Relationships. Practical Relevance. Or, perhaps, Perpetual Reinvention, as that's what both brands and their outside resources – call them agencies, firms, consultants, whatever – need to be equipped for going forward. I personally have always thought of Arment Dietrich as a marketing agency... granted, one arising from the primordial goop of PR – but a well-rounded (in the round?) marketing agency capable of being a clients leading strategic resource (if not it's only outsource). No?
@aimeelwest @creativeoncall Haven't had the pleasure of hard cider donuts.. but they sound delicious
1 year, 2 months ago on #FollowFriday: Aimee West
Anyone who can show us how to combine cake and beer must be followed! Glad to almost know you, Aimee... now bake yourself a wonderful birthday cake (on video of course).
All the best! Hmmm... I'm sensing a big brand keynote at Social Slam next year...
1 year, 2 months ago on I’ve Accepted a New Job with Sears
@ginidietrich What, ya' been busy or something? Thanks for the prize... to be honest, I just couldn't wait, and am already the proud owner of a copy, but please send it along and I'll gladly share it with a client!
1 year, 2 months ago on Livefyre Q&A with Beth Hayden, Author Pinfluence
Albuquerque and San Francisco? You've got me jealous just with that... now, to head over and check out Visual.ly. Welcome to the #FF club!
1 year, 2 months ago on #FollowFriday: Joe Cardillo
@ginidietrich @ChristinaHuerta Ideally a brand is positioned to make a human connection to begin with. The branding projects I do start with the objective of finding a brand's simple truth, versus manufacturing an image not grounded in the reality of how the brand honestly connects with people. Help your clients find their simple truth as a foundation and it will be only natural to build on it with open, honest human connections and communication. Easier said than done, of course, when clients are used to paying to present a precisely concocted and control image and message
1 year, 2 months ago on Five Steps to Create Compelling Content
@ginidietrich @Howie Goldfarb Wait a minute... I think Howie's on to something... a whole PR approach dependent solely on news leaks...
@belllindsay I recently listened to a really good SocialPros Podcast with the Social Media Director from Southwest... also an hour... good insight into big brands doing social media and content well (talks about their very active blog)
@jasonkonopinski @creativeoncall And on my REALLY good days, I get to dream, then wrap it in verse(s) and put it to music...
1 year, 2 months ago on Creativity vs. Me-too Content Creation
@jasonkonopinski @creativeoncall On the good days, I think we get paid to dream...
@jasonkonopinski I think that there needs to be a whole reconsideration of what it means to create a campaign, switching from the research/plan/ideate/execute/repeat next year model to one that recognizes thats is more of a living, breathing, ever-changing affair, affected and often redirected by many interested parties. Oh, and it would be nice if, per @ginidietrich, organizations would actually, completely integrate their marketing disciplines and employ Marketing in the Round... hmmm, that would make a great book title
@RebeccaTodd I'm all for ideas that have legs... but back to my point above, the brand strategy is the real idea, and the various creative expressions of it are just that.. individual expressions. Try to put the onus back on the powers that be to clearly articulate a compelling, differentiating, customer-serving brand strategy and then you can justify a wide range of unique creative (even if an individual idea is so unique as to seem a one-off), so long as it clearly serves the core strategy, including reflecting the brand personality and voice.
OK, off my branding guy soapbox...
@ClayMorgan Per your well-taken last point, while content marketers like to diss traditional marketing, the whole "Creative for creativity's sake" thing has infiltrated content marketing, too. Add to that the fact that it seems as if few content marketers are well-grounded in basic, differentiating, personality-giving, consumer-centric brand strategy (or that organizations expect them to be)... well, add that all together, and you've got a recipe for another era of meaningless marketing masquerading as inspired communications.
Sorry... it's dangerous to get me started on this subject...
An excellent choice, but really, @ginidietrich , I beat you to this. You're only finally giving Liz her due because of her well-deserved mention in the Spin Sucks Song http://spinsucks.com/social-media/followfriday-ginid/
Glad to see you here at last Liz!
1 year, 2 months ago on #FollowFriday: Liz Reusswig
@EdenSpodek @creativeoncall @spinsucks Hmmm.. are you saying it sounds like I was raised in a bar?! Oh no.... wrong glasses... there we go. Thank you for the kind words! Obviously you haven't fully picked up on the snakry Spin Suckery yet, but I'm sure it will infect you, too. See you hear an don Twitter!
1 year, 2 months ago on #FollowFriday: Chuck Kent
@sydcon_mktg @creativeoncall Thanks.. I appreciate the vote of confidence :)
@RobBiesenbach @creativeoncall Thanks, Rob. Like you I am "Fighting to end dull, ordinary communications in our time" Sometimes, of course, you need a fight song...
@PattiRoseKnight Thanks, Patti. We'll meet in the real world one of these days
@dwaynealicie @creativeoncall I have to admit that while the all-nighter was fun (I made a quick few calls and put together a small team of some of my favorite creative folks who have a high tolerance for me), I'm not necessarily bucking for that kind of gig ALL the time. However, if the check clears...
@belllindsay @Matt_Cerms @creativeoncall Hey Matt.. my original interview back in the day at BBDO NY consisted of an hour of swapping a guitar back and forth with the guitar-playing, songwriting guy who would become my boss. So you see, catchy songwriting and singing can actually come in handy
@rdopping I was asked by one @ginidietrich to save you for the next version... a duet with her :)
@Howie Goldfarb @creativeoncall @vinnywarren @adscamgeorge @ginidietrich @ExtremelyAvg I trust I get to write the theme song for said biopic ?
@jasonkonopinski Thanks. And I have an idea for our first project together "The Political Poetry Project: From Bad to Verse" We will of course need to write in the timeless form know as "no rhyme or reason."
@yvettepistorio @RebeccaTodd Who says this wasn't my musical interview?
Thanks @ginidietrich! Honored to be part of a group that is both professionally notable and, well, out of the ordinary -- what is it about you that attracts folks like us?. To the others chiming in here... I assure you I DID NOT bribe Gini although that was a sneaky lyric, don't you think? Maybe we'll actually get to grab an in-person cup of coffee one of these years.
@belllindsay It always helps if you have a "client" who a) is doing all they can to have a habit and b) is open to, well, something a little different. Gotta have some fun in this life - thanks for letting me be part of it.
@lizreusswig @creativeoncall Well, there have to be a few sincere people in the business, so you're appointed to the job :)
@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Thanks... I encourage you to give it a shot! I bet you'd, oh, be more like Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. And I know Gini and all would LOVE IT if you did a rendition of "Why Can't A Woman Be More Like a Man" http://youtu.be/Doz5w2W-jAY
Thanks for sharing a very personal, powerful story... and also demonstrating how to use a personal narrative and yet have it ultimately not be just about you. Nicely done.
As to the videos, I particularly like the young skier's post analysis, which applies nicely to much of life... I won't quote it to avoid spoiling the payoff.
1 year, 3 months ago on Gin and Topics: Inspiration Edition
@Adam | Customer Experience @creativeoncall @bdorman264 @ginidietrich Thanks Adam!
1 year, 3 months ago on #FollowFriday: Gini D
@belllindsay @JoeCardillo @creativeoncall @EdenSpodek I'll work on that...
@belllindsay @creativeoncall @EdenSpodek See also the thread below about crowdsourcing a lyric for a follow-up song "Spin Suckers"... Gini better jump in on this before her brand gets commandeered by a musical monster!
@Matt_Cerms @JoeCardillo @creativeoncall Hey, we could always crowd source a lyric. I actually hate crowd sourcing (it's too often a crutch for lack of creativity, or just plain cheapness), but for Spin Suckers, I'll make an exception.
@HowieG @creativeoncall Yep, the free shooters should do it.
@belllindsay @creativeoncall @EdenSpodek Hey Lindsay, next time you're gonna be in town let's get a bunch together... You've gotta be there!
@bdorman264 @creativeoncall Darn, I missed that one!
@EdenSpodek @creativeoncall I don't know if the bar is set that high, but I'd love to meet all the local (Chicago area) Spin Suckers in a bar to sing / record it live some time. Now THAT would be fun.
@bdorman264 Thanks. Of course, there are any number of other art forms for you to use... interpretive dance perhaps? Rumor has it Gini likes dance
@JoeCardillo @creativeoncall @Matt_Cerms That's funny... I was thinking of that as one of the original song options, but I couldn't get the tune to "Ghost Busters" out of my head for it, so I moved on... Doesn't mean it can't/shouldn't be done, though...
@Matt_Cerms @creativeoncall Ah, now you come to the crux of why I always try to work on a flat fee basis – sometimes the good ideas come quickly, but they're still good, valuable ideas. Let's just say in this case it was harder, and more time consuming, to record and edit (even simply) this piece than it was to write the song. it also pays to have good inspiration, which Gini, Lindsay and all of the "Spin Suckers" are so good at generating. That's actually less of a schmooze than it is a comment on the nature of community.
To that point, take a listen to the latest Social Pros Podcast with Jay Baer interviewing Mitch Joel... it rambles (constructively), and about 2/3 of the way through touches on how neither of them really work the comment section of their blogs anymore because it's just too darn time consuming... and yet they give props to Gini and Mark Schaefer as two exemplars of what you can build in terms of community if you're really willing to invest in it. You get people to not just comment but to invest themselves.. even to take a day out to cook up a crazy song and put it on video. Now THAT's community. You don't manage it so much as inspire it (and not in the sappy, bore-me-with-a-bunch-of-quotes way).
@jennimacdonald @creativeoncall Maybe #WiseGuyWednesday... of course, I've already grabbed #SocialSong Saturday, so please join me there!
@biggreenpen I'm still working on a good rhyme for "biggreenpen"...
Maybe if we all record a sing-along version in a Google+ Hangout she'll featured the lot of us!
@JoeCardillo Thanks... I have to admit, music has always been one of my favorite forms of marketing creativity... especially when there's a chance to make it fun. I am also infamous for singing in meetings (whether anybody wants me to or not).
@rdopping Thanks, Ralph!
@sydcon_mktg @ginidietrich I feel my #FF-ing luck changing already :) (BTW, my wife was a little concerned that that might be offensive... I assured her that if she was familiar with this crowd she wouldn't be concerned... it's not nearly as bad as Konopinski's "Spin-Suck'd" if you as me.
@katskrieger That stands for "Oh My Gini" right? (Oh, just tell it does)
@aimeelwest Thanks! Please feel free to brighten up your Saturday mornings, too, with my #SocialSong Saturday .... here's the first one, which featured (who else) Gini... http://ow.ly/kdXpb
@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Thanks! Its the least that I, as a Spin Sucker, could do to support Gini's well-deserved vacation.
@KateFinley Yeah Gini... what she said :)
@RebeccaTodd Thanks Rebecca! I'm having a good bit of fun with #SocialSong Saturday... for those who don't know, it's my weekly "Twitter Love Song" to those tweeting the really good stuff. Gini was actually my impetus for stretching a bit and doing it in the first place... just her ability to be herself on video, and do it in a production style I've come to refer to as "Social Media Casual"
@sydcon_mktg I dunno... my Fridays are kinda busy. But if Gini insists on featuring me next Friday, well, I'll try to make time. Just gotta remember to order her that pair of Jimmy Choos to seal the deal...
Good points, but tough for corporations, which worship at the altar of enhancing shareholder value and serve the God of Next Quarter's Numbers (Don Peppers, the one-to-one marketing and customer experience expert, repeatedly refers to the problem of "short-termism"). The employees who must manifest empathy externally – and I assume you're speaking of the ever-dwindling ranks of full-time staff – know from experience that they are likely to be sacrificed on the aforementioned altar if the numbers aren't looking good, which complicates the issue of being an honestly empathetic organization internally.
Tools like Yammer may be useful, but they don't create or change corporate intent. They connect and inform, which is useful, but technology does not care, and you're talking about caring.
I think corporations can do three things to actually become more caring internally
1. Hire the right leadership – caring/empathy is demonstrated not stated, and this must be modeled from the top. Your Undercover Boss example is apt.
2. Be honest with employees – corporations face tough marketplace realities, and it's better to structure employee expectations/rewards accordingly, versus engaging in hopelessly naive (or insincere) HR cheerleading.
3. Be simple: If your readers aren't familiar with it, I recommend the Siegel+Gale Simplicity Index, which amplifies your point from the CEB survey. Also, the results of the Simplicity Portfolio it tracks shows the bottom line benefit of, well, cutting the crap. I would also submit that simplicity is the most actionable route to humanity for corporations, particularly if you take it to the level of finding and living out your organization's simple truth.
1 year, 3 months ago on Empathy is a Social Currency
I worked at Mr. Osborn's agency for years (decades after he was there), and by that time, at least, brainstorming was not so much the vogue – frankly, we made fun of it as a crutch for people who couldn't come up with a decent idea on their own. I think it is often best used as "ideation research," that is, as a way to invest a broad group in the process by gathering a range of "notions" that might be relevant to a more focused "idea," which in turn might contribute to the undefinable leap to an original, inspired "concept." However, to get to those more refined, valuable creative stages, you also have to invest in people who are inherently creative (and I don't just mean writers and designers). I find that one of the best creative turbo-chargers is just have two or three people really banging ideas around, confident enough in themselves to take honest, immediate critique not as attack but has refining fire.
1 year, 3 months ago on Brainstorming for Grown-ups
@ginidietrich Can't wait! Maybe you can get Lindsay and Patti to join in, for moral support
1 year, 4 months ago on Gin and Topics: Taylor Swift and a Goat
Love the Cocktails for Two girls... see how cute lip syncing can be, Gini? (#SocialSong hint hint)
@ginidietrich That's what one gets for naming one's company Creative on Call... sometimes ya gotta get creative as soon as the call comes in. It was actually great fun; I like the energy of time compressed projects, where things can't be over thought and are forced to stay closer to the original inspiration. (OK, let me qualify that.. I like time compressed projects so long as they are appropriately compensated). And we were invited back to do another pitch with "a lot more time" (3 days). In any case, technology definitely helped make the first project possible.
1 year, 4 months ago on Can Technology Replace In-Person Meetings?
@belllindsay @ginidietrich @Danny Brown I read your comments (isn't that what I was supposed to say, Gini?)
1 year, 4 months ago on Content Idea Generator: A Magical Tool to Help You Write
@ginidietrich @Danny Brown I'm with Danny on the curmudgeon train here, particularly as my only suggestion is that they rename it the Crapulator, as its primary utility seems to be automating and accelerating our journey to Content Craptasia (have I said crap enough yet)? I'm all for jogging oneself out of a writer's block, and maybe this is good for that, but an idea generator this ain't.
I'll see you at next Tuesday's Curmudgeon's Anonymous meeting, Danny.
@rdopping @ginidietrich Whew! That's what I thought; you'll have to excuse by Dad-reflex...
I started my virtual agency some 18 years ago, and what I would have given to have Skype, Hangouts, etc! Today I leave Skype on, ready to chat, video or otherwise... but in an ideal world, I still see teamwork as a mix of the virtual an in-person.
Case in point: we sometimes act as an on-call creative department for agencies, and one called up a couple of months ago at 4pm, needing creative for a new business pitch – three campaigns, fully comped – by 7:30 AM the next morning. No problem, because I was able to a) assemble a local team quickly, work several hours face-to -ace and then continue literally through the night on Skype Pro where we can group chat, screen share, file share, etc. But – particularly for the initial creative ideas – it was much preferable to be in person, rapidly bouncing ideas off each other, seeing each others reactions, giving each other crap for the bad ones, and more quickly zooming in on what worked. Skype was just fine, however, for working through the details.
So I have some sympathy for Yahoo in their pursuit of in-person innovation... but I think they'd be wise to preserve a mix.
@rdopping @ginidietrich "...no need to waste a bunch of time going to the library anymore..." Really? I like the business thrust of what you're saying, and I've worked virtually for years, with happy results, but I'm hoping that particular phrase was at least partly in jest. As the father of teens, I am both gladdened by their ability to comfortably integrate technology into every aspect of their lives and saddened by its ability to isolate them and prevent the growth of honest, productive human relationships (see: breaking up via text). I'll weigh in on the broader subject below, but please tell me I'm misinterpreting our statement, of blowing it out of proportion!
So, has FOX "News" complained about Kid President yet?
1 year, 4 months ago on Gin and Topics: The Obamas Take to Video
Glad to see you here, Brian! Hope to spend more time with you at the Hangout this year (however, as a Dad of daughters, you will understand how Wednesday evening ballet classes can interrupt things...). And Happy Belated Birthday, too.
1 year, 5 months ago on #FollowFriday: Brian Vickery
@jasonkonopinski Great! Work on Gini & Lindsay, too. Maybe a Hangout group sing.. hmm, there's a whole 'nother video idea
1 year, 5 months ago on One Compelling Video Idea for You to Steal
@ginidietrich Thanks. Now I'm looking for a sing-along video from you, too, you know. Be fearless (or even more fearless)! Check that demo from a couple weeks back that Andrew Davis did. And Lindsay... you too. (Hey,there's not such thing as a free mention,right? Well,wrong, but do it anyway).
@jasonkonopinski Yeah, so where's your sing-along video?! Check back a couple of Saturdays for a demo.
You know me (sort of)... I prefer to sing the praises of video. Yours inspired me to launch #SocialSong Saturday, my weekly Twitter Love Song video, dedicated to the folks tweeting the really good stuff (at least a couple people in this conversation, including you, have been featured). It's still just a content baby, but is gaining some traction, starting interesting conversations with people (who are also starting to ask if I can do similar things for them... I hope they don' t mean for a cup of coffee) and, perhaps most importantly, helping me be me online. And as I said, it's really all your fault!
It's interesting, and encouraging, to see the pulling power of good storytelling. The USA Today Ad Meter (granted, just an old-fashioned popularity poll) puts the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale spot at #1, while A-B's totally inward-focused, chest-beating (and boring) spots for its "Innovative" new products rank dead last. Granted, the Clydesdale spot is a tried-and-true cute-animal, tug-on-the-heartstrings story... but when you get to the Chrysler Farmer spot, you've got a story that tells its own, self-evident truth, tugging at both reason and emotion. Compare it to many of the absolutely cretinous, forgettable and unpersuasive offerings, and it's no surprise that ruth well-told gets the last laugh.
1 year, 5 months ago on Monday Morning Ad Quarterback: Super Bowl XLVII
PS: Assuming I get to see you at Social Slam, remind me to tell you about the time I accidentally invited Gabriel Garcia Márquez to do something completely inappropriate. (Mi espanol es todavia terrible.)
1 year, 5 months ago on Poetry Friday: Pablo Neruda
OK, Jason, you got me again. Neruda. Obsession of my youth. Longing of my love-sick lad within. I had a writing professor that offended our entire (and curiously all male) class by somewhat dismissively, if accurately, saying "Young men need their poetry." And yet here was Neruda. Passionate. Unashamed. Nearly overwrought in his longing and languid attentions to the object of his love. And yet not a young man. I even translated a then untranslated poem of his (and sent it off to an ever-so-considerate Robert, then an principal translator, who actually replied). Ah, heady stuff. But the real question is... could he really cut it at copywriting? At content marketing? Lo siento, per pienso que no.
@dwfmarketer Yep, party politics has become pure business, but where the organizations fail their fiduciary duties to enhance value for ALL stakeholders
1 year, 5 months ago on The End of Spin as We Know it?
@Ryan Hanley I agree, five years is optimistic at best... it's that claim that prompted me to interview Jonathan. I encourage you to watch the full interview version, and to read both this book and Peppers & Rogers "Extreme Trust," wherein they draw an important distinction between being honest, as in not telling lies or hiding anything, which makes organizations trustworthy, and actively looking out for the good of your consumers (as when a company reminds you they are about to auto-bill your renewal, rather than simply billing it), which they say distinguishes a company as being "trustable" (their word).
@dwfmarketer Hopefully Jonathan will weigh in on that, too... as for me, the sorry state of political discourse is undermining any expectation of hearing the truth, leaving people satisfied with simply having their own POV reinforced... like a bunker is reinforced, where, as more layers of concrete are added, it becomes ever more difficult to penetrate. That said, surprise has forever been a great way to break through defenses, and what could be more surprising that consistently, blatantly, even aggressively telling the truth? I am hopefully that with people like Jonathan Baskin and Sue Unerman really making a mission of this message (for instance, they're traveling and speaking extensively at universities, acknowledging that a sea change in marketing, such as this, likely will only come with future leadership change).
@KenMueller Ya' gotta believe, Ken, ya' gotta believe... I'm an "optimistic cynic," so yes, I have my doubts, too. But these observations/predictions track with essence or others, as in Don Peppers and Martha Rogers book "Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage" Both books are worth a read.
@Sevans @stevenmcoyle We can forgive you that
1 year, 6 months ago on Join Sarah Evans for a Special Livefyre Q&A Today
@Sevans @stevenmcoyle Coffee... you forgot the coffee!
@ginidietrich @belllindsay @stevenmcoyle Headphones provide a much-underappreciated productivity boost, especially when I just need to write
@ginidietrich @yvettepistorio @stevenmcoyle @Sevans Many husbands are more interested in process than product there...
@belllindsay @Sean McGinnis @ginidietrichAh yes, interpersonal distance as an advantage of the Internet
@ginidietrich @angellr Funny how 2008 seems such an age ago, relative to Twitter, etc. It also belated occurs to me that, speaking of age, I may be the only one among those commenting here who actually remembers Bob Hope...
1 year, 6 months ago on Lessons Learned from National Novel Writing Month
@belllindsay @ginidietrich Ah, c'mon.. we're all kissing her butt, right? We think that if we get that close, maybe some of that 4:30am-gotta-get-up-and-do-it energy will rub off on us. Posterior smooching aside, there is an irresitable, community-helping charm to the honesty about your efforts, successful and otherwise, which deserves more than any variety of lip service.
@jasonkonopinski Wise man. It is, however, a good humility-inducing tool, at least for me (perhaps that's why I've avoided it so long)
@ginidietrich @angellr How did Bob Hope get in here? (Sorry, just felt the need to lighten up all the writer's angst inherent in our comments).
@KenMueller @creativeoncall Very cool :)
1 year, 6 months ago on Weekend Music Game: What’s in Your Ears?
@KenMueller @creativeoncall Yep, that was the Calvin College conference. I remember him shocking (trying to shock?) the crowd that a Christian would/could drop the F bomb. I think Mumford & Sons are catching the same kind of flack (just starting to listen to them). I really appreciate how visceral his music is, both in the lyrics and guitar playing. Great new game, thanks!
Something on Friday just for fun? What a concept! Please forgive my non-yet-participating status, re: Spotify, etc., so I will try to be as honest as I can about a likely top five artists on my iTunes playlist
1. Beatles – Hide your love away (also love the Kentucky Headhunters version); finally got the Beatles entire collection for my birthday and listen to all of it
2. Bruce Cockburn – got to see Bruce live about 15 years ago at a writer's conference; favorite song "Tie Me at the Crossroads," but favorite line is from "Soul of a Man" "I read the Bible often / I try to read it right / As far as I can understand / Ain't nothing but a burning light. Also, if you're not in the mood for lyrics while you work, check out "Speechless," for some of his incredible, signature guitar playing
3. Nickel Creek – I listen to Chris Thiele's post-Nickel Creek stuff, too, but admit I'm sill hooked on his earlier music here. Fans of romantic sarcasm, check out "Somebody More Like You" and self-doubting seekers everywhere should try "Doubting Thomas"
4. John Gorka – " The Water is Wide" from a tribute album to Pete Seeger. I am an old folkie at heart; this is one of the first songs I learned to play.
5. Taylor Swift – OK, I'm really being honest here. So shoot me. I have teenage daughters. Besides that, like many songwriters in and around country, she can write a better hook than most of us can write a blog post headline, and tell a more compelling story to boot. Fire up your old embers of teen angst and try "You Belong to Me." or "Fifteen" (and as a Dad, you gotta love the clear warnings in the latter: "Wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now").
(sorry.. got kinda carried away there...)
@jasonkonopinski @hessiej I don't know Sam, but I don't think it's fair to criticize a fellow's low-hanging fruit or his large front porch... just sayin'
1 year, 6 months ago on #FollowFriday: Sam Fiorella
Thought I was following you, Sam, probably because I see you mentioned so many places. Trust me, I'm following you now!
@ginidietrich That's the word on the street :)
1 year, 6 months ago on The Future of PR: Beyond Media Relations
@ginidietrich Actually, the determining factor for change-aversion seems to be money and position... the Fat and Happy syndrome which, for instance, set in after agency consolidation in the 80s and 90s, and led many well-regarded leaders to effectively dismiss little things like, say, the Internet. If the people at the top already have their financial life "made," their egos have already been over-stroked, and they only have to get through a few more years, there is a built-in disincentive to change. So don't get too rich too fast. However, if you do, I still wouldn't worry – so long as you maintain your own brand character as that of a "constructive-distruptor-and-guide-to-the-revolution" (my description, not yours I realize). Do that and you'll be in good shape to stay on the edge, rather than dulling it.
The powers that be leading any industry typically see the least personal (that is, financial) incentive to take risks and change, which is going to delay the future you're considering. I do not mean this as ageism or a slam on my own generation, but as boomers age or opt out and those weaned on (and literally educated in) consumer-controlled marketing conversations emerge in the top ranks of clients and agencies alike, the future of PR will also emerge: and it will stand for Propelling Relationships.
@jasonkonopinski @LaurenVargas Jason, You do client work? How quaint. How do you find the time?
1 year, 6 months ago on Programmed Content Kills Community
@dbvickery @margieclayman Just find a bar with WiFi and they can join in, no? Hope to meet you both in person there this year.
1 year, 6 months ago on The State of Twitter, 2013
Thanks for the general encouragement and good counsel. As a relative newcomer to Twitter, I use it mostly as a learning platform (you being one of my teachers), rather than for discussion, and I find it invaluable, if exhausting, for that purpose. Yes, lists and Hootsuite columns are great, but I still struggle with doubts about how I'm sharing, responding, etc. Will you be my Twitter Therapist? Better yet, how about hosting a "Tao NOW of Twitter" edition of #HecklersHangout at Social Slam this year, preferably live at some welcoming Knoxville watering hole.
@ginidietrich Spin Suck is great, it grabs, it nails the problem. A good subtitle needs to nail the solution/benefit. To me, adding "The Book" is a bit too much of an in joke aimed at all of us who are going to buy it anyway. Let the crowdsourcing begin!
1 year, 6 months ago on Spin Sucks: The Book
Too bad you can't get anybody to respond to you... (not that any of us are routinely asked to chime in on a book in the making, so... nicely done). As others have said, it looks great: interesting, practical, useful. My one question is about the title. Not to be dim, but is it simply Spin Sucks? Is there a more explanatory sub-title in the works, to explain to those non-PR business types you mention here wanting to reach, who presumably won't yet have fallen under your Spin Sucks spell?
Also, I recommend a really flashy book trailer with lots of spin-y SFX :)
@ginidietrich @dbvickery May 2013 be Gangnam free.
1 year, 7 months ago on Gin and Topics: The Holiday Edition
Talk about transparency! Thank you for the retrospective / prospective look at what you will be – and many of us should be – doing.
1 year, 7 months ago on Orbit's 2013 Marketing Plan
@rustyspeidel Agree that Twitter is getting tougher, but I find, as a relative newcomer, that focus and self-limitation on followers/followed really helps (as a consequence, I may never get to a Klout or Kred worthy level of followers; so be it); but LinkedIn, save for a few connections who regularly post content updates (versus "is now connected with...") the groups have been nearer to spam fests than valuable content sources; and LinkedIn endorsements have are turning it into a game, a lousy, annoying game; that's my focus group of one; glad to hear you're faring better there.
1 year, 7 months ago on Reflections on Change: Why I Left Twitter for Facebook
Puts me in mind of Peppers & Rogers book "Extreme Trust," which I'm just now reading, and the advice, basically, that businesses not only should be must go well beyond the expected and look out for their customer's interests first and foremost. Of course, due to the fact that this runs counter toward our knee-jerk assumptions of self-interest, your post will doubtless have an evergreen quality. BTW, I routinely send prospects elsewhere if we're not right for them (the internet isn't always perfect at channeling appropriate prospects our way)... tap-dancing is too exhausting, mentally and morally
1 year, 7 months ago on A Small Business Miracle on Your Street
Agree on all the above, save for Godin's blog, which too frequently veers too close to aphorism and/or arrogance to be of daily use or practical inspiration. One example: his post "Do the (extra) work" a few months ago. In that, as I replied in my own blog, he posits "The working man or woman as fool. The creative, artistic, entrepreneurial visionary as enlightened being and altruistic miner of intrinsic value." His tone strikes me a bit like Oprah, the cultural figure ascended to role of an oracle – as a small business person, I need the blogs I read to fill me up with useful information, not talk down to me from on high. I had to delete his feed in favor of more useful input.
1 year, 7 months ago on 11 Blogs Every Small Business Person Should Be Following
@crestodina Excellent – interactive print!
1 year, 7 months ago on I Hate Social Media
Particularly like the advice on positive effect of even minimal use of Twitter; can't tell you how many people tell me they have an account but never use it... and never even engage with the here and now via your only-takes-a-minute approach. Good practical advice.. You should take it offline to hand out on business size cards to all the haters who dismiss social media just because they think they can't / shouldn't deal with it (or to constructively end those conversations that devolve into whining about how stupid social media is... all because they can't figure out how to get started)
Great post. It's not just live presenters that forget who controls their brand... it's almost all marketers, at least at some point in their journey. We do both brand positioning and brand content / communications, and always start with refocusing the client on their consumer, and getting them to ask (and keep asking), "What would it mean to you if."
1 year, 7 months ago on Transform Your Presentation in Six Words
I've run my company as both bricks-and-mortar, managing employees with real bodies on site, and also as a completely virtual organization, managing an on call troop of senior-level pros. Even with the latter, your remarks apply... and not only to managing my team members, but even to managing the one employee in the office: me. Daily I have to avoid Hiring Wrong (i.e., avoiding "tap dancing" in a role to which I'm unsuited), be on the lookout for Favoritism (to my own ideas), and remain eager to Share the Wealth (be transparent with as much information as possible). If I don't, I very quickly discover I'm in an impossible situation – wanting to fire myself!
1 year, 7 months ago on Dear Manager: You Might Need a Tuneup
@Danny Brown Agreed. I also like the way most responsive design pushes the desktop into a more simplified, visual mode. It's a win all around.
1 year, 7 months ago on The Importance of Making Your Content Mobile
@magriebler It was interesting to hear Gini D. speak at Wine n Web tonight, and mention that she forgoes a content calendar; per other comments here, the no-calendar approach doubtless works better for the passionate individual content creator than it does for larger corporate content creation (but there's still that problem of maintaining the passion...)
1 year, 8 months ago on Pros and Cons of Using a Content Schedule
@bethhayden @ginidietrich try Google Chats like @hecklershangout Gini was there last week; see the video http://youtu.be/BIbGs8Hc120
1 year, 8 months ago on Livefyre Q&A with Beth Hayden, Author Pinfluence
@bethhayden @ginidietrich I like the share featuring... easy to tweet as we chat
@bethhayden have you encountered any business categories that are immune to the charms of Pinterest, even if it's "done right"?
What "expectation traps" if any do you encounter introducing clients to Pinterest? Are they generally pleased? Patient? Expecting too much too soon? How do you set expectations?
I come out of traditional advertising... being laughable is our new stock in trade :)
I must be the last person on the planet to hear of Pinfluence, so I'll go easy on the Qs and eavesdrop on the As
@ginidietrich @kateupdates I applaud you for that omission of PR in your proposal.. Occupying a corner will do longer do; there is the whole floor to paint. As you note referencing Pritchard, PR firms must help clients "improve their reputations through direct customer contact, social media, the brand narrative, and as the executive producers of the brand." That encompasses a lot more than traditional PR or advertising or any one silo is typically used to delivering. We all need to get used to flexibly providing a variable skill set, guided by a strong, central, strategic vision; I doubt that the major global firms are in a position to do that (which should bode well for firms like yours, or mine).
1 year, 8 months ago on The PR Industry of the Future Must Happen Now
@JayBaer @creativeoncall I suggest pondering it in the light of Geoff's link, which references the McKinsey conclusion that "wealth now comes from treating people as human assets and releasing their creativity to enable innovation." While there is a lot of corporate-speak encouraging employees to "be the brand" for purposes of delivering the core brand experience, I think that precious few in the C-Suite understand the bottom line value of serious, long-term investing in, and rewarding of, human intellectual/inspirational capital (the heart of all good content). Of course, those who do "get it" stand to be winners in the social/content future you envision.
1 year, 10 months ago on Why Insourcing is the Next Social Media and Content Marketing Trend
Of course you're crazy – you have to be to even approach the insane challenge of the "more is better" topic. Part of what qualifies as really nuts, though, is the assumption of any permanence or longevity (and therefore dependability) when it comes to institutional memory and expertise, given the short-term nature of employee-employer relationships and the underlying lack of mutual commitment. I think, then, that what we may really be looking at is more like "in-and-out-sourcing" where your "content opportunity routing" navigates the fluid loop of an organization's combined internal and external experts.
Points well taken, but I would qualify your "Pull on their heartstrings" to clearly differentiate between manipulating emotions (more the model of traditional advertising) and offering content that inherently creates an honest human connection, which then may result not only in the desired sharing but also help build the trust that the overall brand, as well as it's community/social initiatives, depends on.
1 year, 12 months ago on How to Be the Architect of a Passionate Community