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Here's been my problem with "summer hours." At Great Clips, I had a flexible schedule and working from home was never an issue. My boss was extremely flexible and I essentially set my own hours. So I could leave early any time I wanted to, without any guilt -- other than from coworkers who didn't have my flexibility. The other issue is that most of my friends didn't have summer hours. So what am I going to do? I'd end up going home and sitting on my butt. Why not continue to work and get stuff done? 

10 months ago on Summer hours guilt–are you a sufferer?


If you wait until the audience is there, you're already too late.

1 year ago on Why aren’t more brands prioritizing Instagram as a platform-of-choice?


As someone who has only worked on the client side, here are my pro's:

1) Control. I get to say no. I can't imagine putting hours of work into a pitch or campaign, only to hear the client kill it.

2) Stability. Agencies depend upon the client for revenue, the client doesn't depend upon the agency for growth/revenue.

3) Centralized variety. Yes, I technically work for 1 brand, but there are multiple initiatives within the organization. There are also multiple product lines and/or departments that you get to work with. So while it's only 1 brand, you still get variety.

That being said, I think it's easier to go from agency to client. 

1 year ago on The age-old debate: Agency or corporate PR?


Here's the problem a lot of marketers struggle with: early and heavy adoption don't necessarily make a wise marketing platform. Just because a platform has users, that doesn't mean it's smart for brands to jump on.

1 year, 3 months ago on Is Snapchat really the next big social media platform?


I think "uncool" is actually a very good thing for social, in general. It will become "uncool" because it's simply part of our everyday life. It's a sign of maturity.

1 year, 3 months ago on Why ‘what’s next’ in social media won’t be in social media


A more relevant comparison -- Dominos. They were timely, personable and accountable. Target is botching this left and right. Unfortunately, it will have little impact on sales.

1 year, 3 months ago on Target vs. Buffer: Crisis communications lessons from two different approaches


Totes fab piece, Hans. G is good peeps & gets the sitch.

1 year, 8 months ago on PR Rock Stars: Space 150’s Lisa Grimm


The answer is no: no one cares what your brand thinks during a tragedy/crisis. Great, your thoughts and prayers are with those affected. Thanks for sharing that, Brand X.


Also, step on a crack, break your mother's back; buckle up for safety; and don't swim until 30 minutes after you eat.


Let's stick to focusing on irrelevant holidays :)

1 year, 10 months ago on Do brands really need to demonstrate sympathy during national crisis?


I applaud them for taking a risk, but this campaign is foolish and a waste of time & money. Jello is trying to insert itself and engage in an irrelevant conversation. It's also asking to be hijacked. Brands have a hard enough time engaging in meaningful and relevant conversations, let alone ones that have absolutely nothing to do with their brand.


1 year, 10 months ago on Jello FML social media campaign: Brilliant or bone-headed?


 @arikhanson I'd argue it's very related to their brand. Their target demo are families. Not everyone wants to talk about fashion 24/7. You talk about what your community wants to talk about and I'd argue that they have a solid understand of what their consumers are interested in.


It's the same reason Nike doesn't constantly talk about shoes. Red Bull doesn't constantly talk about drinking an energy drink.

1 year, 11 months ago on Should companies give up promoting holidays on Facebook?


I am going to politely disagree with you. We'll use Old Navy as an example. The National Chocolate Chip Cookie post got 15,000 likes. Based on that, I'd say people enjoy/like that content. I don't want to get as deep as "likes don't equal sales" convo, but these posts generate engagement. For Great Clips, for example, the posts that generate the most activity are often the mundane, simple posts -- who's the greatest guitarist, etc. Not posts that talk about hair.


I think it's fine that Old Navy is doing this -- after all, do we really want to see post after post about shorts and pants? Mix it up a bit.

1 year, 11 months ago on Should companies give up promoting holidays on Facebook?


Tip: Learn to say no.

Determine which meetings are valuable and worth having and filter out the meetings that aren't productive. I routinely decline meeting invites that I feel aren't worth my time.

1 year, 11 months ago on Why do we lock our top talent up in meetings all day?


Completely agree. The true benefit of college isn't what you learn in the classroom, rather what you learn outside the classroom. While I'm proud of the education I received at Drake, what I value most was the life experiences learned. You grow up (hopefully) and find yourself. That's the value.

2 years ago on The most valuable skills I learned in college weren’t in a classroom


 @BryanReynolds  @jeffespo  @arikhanson  @MikeSchaffer I guess I'm confused what the point of the campaign would be if it isn't sales? Everything comes back to $$$. Otherwise, you're producing fluff metrics

2 years ago on Is Oreo really the brilliant marketers everyone thinks they are?


My answer is yes. They really are as good as "us marketers" are thinking.

Take a look at the body of work. The Twitter banter is just one small piece of the bigger picture. The content they are putting out is brilliant. Take a look at their Facebook page -- which, by the way, has 32 million followers. 32 million. The content they put out is resonating with their audience. It's getting shared and people are interacting with it. Yes, in the end, it always comes back to sales. And we have no way of knowing what the ROI is...but I can confidently guess that it's had a positive impact.


Oreo has changed the way marketers need to think -- regardless of whether part of their actions are cheesy or stale. Nabisco is a huge global brand and to have the flexibility and authority to do what they've done is pretty impressive.


You know why a lot of "us marketers" are questioning Oreo? We've gotten a sour taste because other brands are trying to copy Oreo and failing miserably. Ironically, it's "us marketers" who are the culprits of said copying attempts.


Oreo -- I give them an A+ and think the work they are doing is brilliant.

2 years ago on Is Oreo really the brilliant marketers everyone thinks they are?


I wrote about why I think Vine is ultimately a niche product two months ago (


Here's the thing about video -- a lot of it is hype. The "experts" have been spewing "behold the power of video" for the past 24 months. We saw it with Viddly, we saw it with "Instagram for video" apps. But none of it was sustainable. Why? Because there is a huge difference between photos and video.


It's easy for an amateur to capture a decent photo. It's incredibly difficult for an amateur to capture a decent video. On top of that, how many moments in your day/week/month are truly worthy of being captured on video? Very few.


Video has its place -- but it involves time, money and expertise. Apps like Vine and Cinemagram will not go mainstream. Sorry folks.

2 years ago on Why Vine is dying on the…well…vine


I don't think it's a creative blunder, but it is definitely a hefty spend that isn't getting good results. It's a cute idea, but the results are pretty poor. Engagement on the Facebook posts are low and the YouTube videos aren't getting many hits. Additionally, the hashtag is way too long -- how many people are going to type that out?


That being said, it's easy to criticize. I applaud SPAM for trying to think outside the box. The idea has legs, but it's being poorly executed. And, brands need to stop trying to replicate Oreo.


All too often brands jump on the social bandwagon and I imagine the conversation at Hormel went something like "hey, we need a social campaign to build awareness." This is poor thinking. Stand alone social campaigns rarely work. Brands need to stop doing one-off social campaigns If they wanted to build awareness around SPAM, there are better options.

2 years ago on Spam’s “Sir-Can-A-Lot” social media campaign: Brilliant Oreo copycat or creative blunder?


The only problem I see in this is that millennials are severely limiting themselves if they label themselves "social." Businesses are looking for well-rounded digital talent; not "social" talent. Outside of a community management, if you are going to succeed and advance up the corporate ladder, you need to broaden your skills. There's a huge difference between understanding social and understanding digital. That being said, I don't think there's a talent gap at all. There is a lot of talent out there that gets digital. These people come from an ad background, marketing background, PR background. Look at someone like Adam Kmiec. Adam technically came from an ad background, but his experience isn't purely advertising -- it's a blend of all digital. That's why Adam will be a CMO (if he chooses that route) within the next 5 years. It's people like this who will lead global businesses.Locally, folks like Tony Saucier & Jillian Froelich are great examples of people who touch social, but they have great background in other disciplines. This is why they're leading departments now and why they'll continue to move up the ladder.


So, I'm more worried about the young folks who are boxing themselves in as "social" folks, rather than people my age.

2 years, 1 month ago on The Gen X social media talent gap–and what it means for corporate America


Coming from the brand side, there are very few conferences I would attend, if I wasn't speaking. BlogWell is one. Two others -- Digiday Brand Summit and iMedia.

2 years, 1 month ago on 4 social media conferences for big brand folks to attend in 2013


 @jspepper  @davefleet  @RobertFrench I would assume there has been some paid activity or at least Burger King or their agency should have a contact at Twitter.


Dave, I disagree with your timeline, in this instance.


As someone who works on the brand side,this would have taken me under 30 minutes to get controlled. An alert should have happened within 10-15 minutes at most. Once you get that alert, you immediately log into Twitter. If you realize your password has been changed, the next call is Twitter. You don't need your legal team right now. You don't need to draft an internal memo. You get on the phone and call Twitter.


This crisis had nothing to do with a physical location or product. It's a Twitter hack. Get the situation taken care of, then bring the crisis team into it.

2 years, 1 month ago on Burger King Twitter Hacking: Take A Chill Pill


I concur, sir. Brands want a relationship. As you mentioned, they just define "relationship" differently.

2 years, 2 months ago on Do customers want a relationship with brands?


Here's my view -- from a brand perspective:

Every conference I go to, I walk away with value. However, most of the value doesn't come from the actual presentations/speakers. The value comes during the happy hours and dinners, when other brand folks get together. That's where the honest conversation happens. There are occasional learnings during presentations, but you have to remember that presentations are "dumbed" down.

Also, I purposely go out of my way to avoid most vendors and agencies at conferences. That being said, I have met some good vendor partners at conferences, but it's typically the ones who aren't set up in the hallway and tackle me as I walk by. 

Again, most of the value that comes with conference happen behind the scenes and not from what's on stage.

2 years, 2 months ago on The Tough Tie Between Social Media Conferences and Customer Acquisition


Coming from the brand side, I'll say no. An agency or consultant's social footprint means absolutely nothing to me. There's a consultant out there that has over 50,000 followers on Twitter. This consultant also has nearly 60,000 tweets. To me, that say this person spends too much time on Twitter and not enough time producing work.


LinkedIn - I think this has absolutely no bearing on the quality or understanding of one's business.


Facebook - Does anyone really follow agencies or consultants on Facebook? I know I don't.


You know who I'm going to hire/work with? Consultants I've formed a relationship with or ones that trusted colleagues recommend. From an agency perspective, I care more about the people within the agency and the client references.


Client references & body of work > social footprint.

2 years, 3 months ago on Do consultant/agency social footprints matter to clients?


From a brand perspective, all I'd like for Christmas is results :)


Depends on the relationship. I have a great relationship with my agency partners and they gave me wrapping paper, fancy beer and fancy chocolate. It was appropriate because of our relationship and the culture of my brand and their agency.

2 years, 4 months ago on What’s the right gift to get your client/boss this holiday season?


 @ginidietrich  "We don't know how this is going to affect us and we're gathering as much information as we can right now in order to bring you the best recommendation. When we have everything we need to make an educated decision, we'll let you know how this will affect your benefits."


But they do know how it's going to affect them. And that's what they are informing people. This type of action happens every day for a number of reasons -- decreased sales, increased cost of goods, etc. The only reason this is different is because of the politics behind it.


We'll have to agree to disagree on this.

2 years, 4 months ago on Business Leaders Kill Morale; Threaten Jobs Over ObamaCare


First, let's clear up a little bit of confusion here. Papa John's is a franchise-based business. So Papa John's isn't paying anything, it's local business owners, like you, that are paying this expense. An employer in Iowa, for example, has indicated Obamacare is going to cost him an extra $500,000 a year. How many small businesses have an extra $500,000 laying around?


Second, the 2 million free pizzas is not a good comparison. This is likely covered by the franchisee's local/regional ad fund, which most franchise-based businesses have. Each location pays a certain percentage into this fund to cover marketing campaigns. These free pizzas equate to about 660 free pizzas per location. They'll likely get reimbursed by corporate. Regardless, 660 free pizzas is not on the same level as an extra $500,000 in healthcare expenses.


Third, I think it's good that businesses are speaking up. Regardless of your political affiliation (I am conservative and strongly oppose Obamacare), your employees need to know what impact this has on their jobs. Would you rather work for a company that says "we're likely going to lay some people off or drastically reduce hours" or have executives hush-hush and then spring this on them? We complain when executives don't communicate enough and then we complain when they come out and are honest with us.

2 years, 4 months ago on Business Leaders Kill Morale; Threaten Jobs Over ObamaCare


A few things.

1) I believe Timberlake actually IS in the NBA. I believe he's part of a group that has purchased or is in the process of purchasing the Memphis Grizzlies :)


2) The audience isn't there...yet. The new interface hasn't been launched to the public yet. Give it some time. I think you'll see a lot of people migrate over. There's a lot of angst among consumers and brands with Facebook. I'm scaling back my efforts on Facebook and if I could get rid of it completely (personal and professional) I would. I would kick Facebook to the curb before Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr. In a heartbeat.


3) No one will or should move completely to one platform or abandon a platform. But I am willing to bet that a lot will shift dollars towards other platforms. Besides, there's nothing wrong with small, niche communities.

2 years, 5 months ago on 5 reasons Mark Cuban was obviously joking about moving to MySpace


This topic gets me fired up and I'm glad Facebook is making these changes.


To answer your question, yes, I agree.

2 years, 5 months ago on Is advertising now absolutely necessary for Facebook brand success?


Unfortunately, in business there is no level playing field. Never has been; never will be. It's the same reason why Mom & Pop's Hot Dog Stand doesn't advertise during the Super Bowl.


Why should Facebook be any different? It's a free platform. They have the right to make money & I don't see it as a conflict of interest. It's about the economics.


The issue I have is with brands putting so many of their assets on Facebook & other third-party assets. If your business is suffering because of a change Facebook made, that's poor business. Nothing more; nothing less.

2 years, 5 months ago on Facebook Promoted Posts Remove the Level Playing Field


Vitrue has a Pinterest application through their platform that Lowes is using. I like the layout, simplicity. A tool worth looking into if you have money to spend.

2 years, 5 months ago on What’s the best app for linking your Pinterest page to your Facebook page?


Good analysis. Like you said, you'd think it'd be a no-brainer to use more visuals.  I like what Finnegans is doing. Especially considering their limited resources.


See, I can be positive and happy :)

2 years, 7 months ago on Minnesota Craft Brewers: Who’s making social media work?


Let me ask one simple question: why? Why is this necessary? Blogger outreach isn't difficult. Why are we continuing to have discussions around this topic? While each blogger is different, in terms of how they prefer to work, the overarching principle is still them same -- be relevant and provide value. If you get a group of 10 together, you'll likely get 10 different responses.


I see what you're trying to get at here, but I don't think it would solve anything. It seems like taking the easy way out. Let me save you the time & effort it would take. If you do your research and use common sense, it's not that difficult. We're trying too hard here.

2 years, 7 months ago on Blogger focus groups: Viable idea for brands?


Legit question: While you don't blog about being a parent, you are very active on Instagram with photos of your children and family activities. What if they would have put a Instagram spin on it?

2 years, 7 months ago on Is blogger outreach becoming a "spray-and-pray" tactic?


And don't forget the value in non-staged, non-professional photography, too. Sometimes the best "art" are raw.

2 years, 7 months ago on Is art direction the future of community mangement?


A MBA has certain levels of credibility. A MBA from Wharton holds different value than a MBA from small town college. Writing a book? It might stroke the author's ego, but as you said, anyone can publish a book these days. Will it get consultants in a few doors? Sure. But saying you authored "newest book on social media that basically covers the same thing that every other social media book covers" isn't impressive, nor does it add any true credibility.These books have their audience, but people, it's not that special anymore.


Also, this is why I no longer attend conferences -- they're filled with people trying to schill their new book. I'm not impressed.


Disclaimer: I have not been approached to write a book, but writing a children's book is on my bucket list. Then again, most of the books about social media are children's books.

2 years, 7 months ago on Is authoring a social media book the consultant equivalent of the corporate MBA?


Hi, I'm Kasey and I'm going to play devil's advocate. Maybe companies should have high expectations and requirements for such positions. After all, we all continue to preach how critical this space is to business success.


In a space where there isn't much quality talent who truly get digital and social, we need to set the bar high. Also, the ease and access to be able to completely screw up and cost a business its reputation, we need to demand more out of the talent that's brought it. Talent doesn't always come with experience, but I'd rather set the bar high and get someone who is close to that high standard, than set the bar low hoping to get someone who exceeds expectations.


That being said, I think we've brought this unrealistic expectation on ourselves.

2 years, 8 months ago on Are companies realistic about the social media candidates they’re seeking?


 @StartupHotOrNot They have more money in the bank than Google, Yahoo & Microsoft combined. I think they are fine.

2 years, 8 months ago on What If the Next iPhone Is A Miss? A Deep Dive Into Apple’s High-Wire Act


And they could base it on Chick-Fil-A being a discriminatory business. They don't support same-sex marriage, so do they have discriminatory hiring practices? Again, I go back to cities having the authority to keep bars and strip clubs out of their city. Additionally, in theory, if I'm a business owner next to Chick-Fil-A's proposed location, I could argue to the city that it would negatively impact my business. If enough surrounding neighbors did that, they could bring if before the City Council for a vote.

2 years, 8 months ago on The Chick-fil-A PR Crisis


Unfortunately, this little blip won't impact them at all in the long haul. There are a lot of people who support their decision, right or wrong. The thing about society is we are quick to forget. For every person pledging to not eat at their restaurants, there's someone who has pledged to start (their chicken is delicious).


That being said, this is just like Dominos and United -- it shows that there are a lot of people who lack common sense. This will damage their brand for some, others won't blink twice.

2 years, 8 months ago on The Chick-fil-A PR Crisis


That's not how cities and businesses work. A business must file required paperwork before they locate to a city. A city has every right to accept or deny a business permit for whatever legal reason they see fit. There is nothing illegal about denying them their permit. It's the same reason you don't see adult toy shops or strip clubs on every corner of a city.

2 years, 8 months ago on The Chick-fil-A PR Crisis


Blog of the year - Danny Brown ( One of the few blogs I still read.

2 years, 10 months ago on 2012 PR Reader's Choice Awards--Nominations due June 29


I'd argue that a lot of people, if not most, do want social media promotions. They just want smart social media promotions. Research indicates that most people follow brands for discounts and promotions. Keep in mind, that you and a lot of us, come at it from the business perspective. Of course we say people want humans -- and they do, to an extent. But in the end, a lot of people still want promotions and discounts.

3 years ago on New Research: Americans Hate Social Media Promotions


You know I've harped on this quite a bit and it always comes back to this for me, in terms of conferences -- it comes down to the speakers. Most speakers that can and would provide value simply don't have the time to get out and speak/present at a large number of conferences. The people who are doing the actual work are, well, actually working -- this isn't to say those who attend and speak at conferences don't do any work.


To be honest, the only "social media" conference I will attend is BlogWell. It's a half-day conference and is lead by people who are doing real work on the brand side. It's a small investment and is focused on provided real information -- not theory.


Outside of that, I don't see any value in attending conferences -- locally or elsewhere.

3 years ago on Is there a gap in the social media conference scene?


 @AlbertMaruggi That's why I liked your Social Media Club meetings you had. One of the best "events" I went to was the one at the Yacht Club. You need to bring those back!

3 years, 1 month ago on 4 questions–and 4 action steps–when selecting a social media speaker for your next event


Hopefully this comment doesn't make it sound like I woke up on the crabby side of the bed today--heck, it's Monday, I'll roll with it.


I think the main issue is figuring out what type of conference you want and what type of attendees you want. Everything on your list above is the reason I avoid 99% of conferences. The speakers are always the same and they're typically either authors or non-brand folks. For me, I have no interest in listening to the same speakers over and over.


Jon Doe, who's actually doing work and not just talking or writing about it, doesn't have the time to go speak at every major conference. So he or she might not have the "have the spoke at national conferences before" requirement. But I'll take real experience doing actual work than listening to some "A-list person who's written 4 books about 'How social works yet I've never actually implemented anything I've said'. "


I understand you need to fill seats...I get that. Maybe that's why I prefer smaller, more intimate events.


But to find speakers for the "major" conferences like BlogWorld and the like -- I think you're approach nails it.

3 years, 1 month ago on 4 questions–and 4 action steps–when selecting a social media speaker for your next event


Professor Hanson...

I like the idea of following blogs, especially the ones Mathre mentioned. To throw in my two cents in terms of reading: World 3.0 & Reality is Broken. I think it's vital that people not only understand PR and marketing, but also have a clear understanding of people's behaviors. It's great that you can create content, but can you create content that is going to resonate with the way people interact and do business with one another? Studying purchasing behavior, study economic trends, etc.As much as we talk about social changing the way we communicate and do business, I think it's important to still understand and study the foundations of said fields. Even though we continue to evolve, a lot of the core principles remain the same.

3 years, 2 months ago on What would your Social Media 101 syllabus look like?


@Andrea T.H.W. It's not outsourcing that's the issue. It's the relationship and goals the outsourced team needs to have. We technically "outsource" our customer service, but our vendor has been with us for a significant amount of time and does business like they're part of our company. The customer doesn't see any difference and the feedback process is smooth and effective. So I wouldn't automatically on the "outsource is bad" wagon.

3 years, 2 months ago on Ocean Marketing Fired and Crisis Managed


Your experiment hit the nail on the head and why QR codes, as cool as they are, won't likely get mainstream adoption.

1) Awarness and education -- it's just another thing for people to understand.

2) Lack of value -- there's little value for the consumer. How many videos must we watch before we get tired of snapping QR codes to watch videos?

3) No business value -- what is the QR code doing to drive business? Simply attaching your app to the QR code is all well and good, but you still have to entice consumers to use the app and spend money. A QR code isn't the best method for that.

I find QR codes fascinating -- when done right. The problem is, right now, it's simply marketers marketing to marketers. Very few QR code campaigns have been worth the effort, IMO.

3 years, 4 months ago on My QR code experiment: 9 brands at the Mall of America on Black Friday


You nail it, Danny. I think too often we focus on coming up with the next "big idea," instead of focusing on the ideas that might not be as sexy, but often drive results.

3 years, 5 months ago on Be Brilliant at the Basics


Keep in mind I moved from downtown LA 5 years ago, so a lot has changed. However...

A) It's November, Hanson. No one in LA goes to the beach in November.

B) Actually, in my opinion, Vegas has some of the best food in the U.S. You'll find solid choices for food in LA, but at twice the price as Vegas. Tip: If you're a fan of pasta and you can get a table, check out La Scala in Beverly Hills. Not only does it match my last name, it's fantastic.

C) The "after conference" -- whether it's networking or grabbing a drink/food is a lot easier in Vegas.

Essentially, this is me trying to justify the fact that I'm not going. Enjoy LA. Take some time to get out of the downtown area and check out Santa Monica (3rd St. Promenade).

3 years, 5 months ago on Tale of the Tape: BlogWorld LA vs. BlogWorld Las Vegas