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PR Industry Trends

Broncos or Panthers? Do we even care? How the Super Bowl consumes us all.

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superbowlAs each year passes, it seems like the Super Bowl grows in every sense.  Whether it’s more viewers, elaborate half-time shows, uptick in social media chatter, increase in ad spends or bigger guacamole bowls, we are on track for another record-setting Sunday and we haven’t even talked about the game itself! As probably the most anticipated annual sporting event in the country, the countdown to Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just for those die-hard fans, it’s also for those who quite frankly don’t know, or care, if it’s Peyton Manning or Brett Favre who will be throwing the pigskin around. The Super Bowl isn’t really about the game, it’s about everything else.

The Ad Chronicles

Let’s face it, we’re mainly watching for the advertising. As one of the priciest ad buys in all the land, brands willing to drop close to $5 million for a 30-second spot better be giving the viewers what they want. Within the first few seconds, viewers will determine whether an ad is worth their attention or if it’s time to double-up on buffalo wings. It’s no surprise that on February 7, the CBS broadcast will total a record spend of $377…

Healthcare

3 Things That Will Revolutionize Healthcare

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I’m a binge reader. Primarily non-fiction and historical fiction. My current binge has included books by two noted physician authors. The first by a general surgeon on the topic of “dying well” and the second by a cardiologist on the subject of how technology is fundamentally altering the way we “do healthcare.” The books were all at once sobering and enlightening. Both have had a profound influence on me and served as the inspiration for this post.

To set the stage, it’s important to understand the significant shifts taking place in healthcare. From sick care to well care. From volume to value. From competition to collaboration. From inpatient to outpatient. From patient satisfaction to patient experience. From reactive to predictive. From print to digital. From formulaic reimbursement to calculated risk. From defined benefit to defined contribution. From fragmentation to connection.

Experiencing the death of both my parents, working in the health industry for more than 20 years and reading two books –Dr. Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and Dr. Eric Topol’s The Patient Will See You Now – has put all of these changes in perspective for me, sparking some interesting…

Branding

Women and Wine: What does this segmentation really tell us?

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I’m skeptical of old-fashioned segmentation: women, age groups, income levels. With so many data streams accessible and the ability to glean extensive information about consumers, we have an opportunity to reassess how we categorize affinity groups. Emerging fields like ethnography and neuroscience add layers of intelligence and new ways of approaching segments that can guide brand managers and marketers. I wrote about this in 2013 following a conference that I co-created to explore marketing themes in the wine industry, The Exchange. One example: analyzing how mothers and daughters shop together, a prevalent occasion in the Latina community, can enhance how beverage alcohol brands market to this group of potential consumers. That segment can’t be explored by broadly looking at women and wine.

Is simply halving the population enough of a segment to shed light on how to go to market? Can we glean any actionable information from this? The short answer is that it depends.

Last week, I attended a Wine Market Council research conference. The Wine Market Council has been tracking annual wine consumer attitudes and behaviors for two…

Higher Education

Student Loan Debt: Prison for Graduates

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High (and rising) tuition prices and student loan debt are at the forefront of the American higher education conversation for good reason.

Credit: USNews

The Institute for College Access & Success reports that 69 percent of graduates had an average of nearly $29,000 per borrower.

Personally, I know more than a few handfuls of people with debt that’s too high to manage with a competitive wage in their chosen field.

This anecdote, published in Slate by Samual Garner, details a story all too common for American graduates. He describes solutions that are more akin to a life of crime than that of a college graduate:

I thought maybe I should get a lawyer, flee the country, or sell a kidney.”

Desperate times call for desperate measures. But for some, a life on the run is a realistic solution. This VICE article tells the story of students who decided not to pay the price of ignoring student loans by moving to Europe and avoid paying anything at all: Debt Dodgers: Meet the Americans Who Moved to Europe and Went AWOL on Their Student Loans.

It seems the term “debtors’ prison”…

Digital Marketing

How Social Media May Determine the Next President

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AAs we await the first official results of the 2016 presidential primary to see if outcomes reflect recent polling, there is one thing that is not in doubt. Social media has had an impact on this election cycle like never before. Obama’s “Facebook Campaign” of 2008 was revolutionary, but in this year’s presidential election cycle we are witnessing social media’s impact expand in several profound ways.

Messaging: Candidates are using social media to present positions, level attacks, correct missteps and, most remarkably, to drive the news cycle. No one has been more masterful at this last point than Trump, where the media is either reporting on his latest tweet or asking another candidate to respond to it. For a space that is known to require a relinquishing of message control it is something to behold. Sanders can also attribute much of the unexpected success of his campaign to social media. Reddit got a lot of people to #FeeltheBern with a popular subreddit of over 137,000 supporters who are analyzing and disseminating information on behalf of the candidate. The two surprising New Hampshire front runners are also benefiting from the reach of…