BuzzLine: Word of the Year, Unfortunately

Vape. What are some things that come to mind when you hear the word “Vape?” For me, I think of Vicks VapoRub, my humidifier, or hot tubs. You know what I don’t think of when I think of “Vape?” The word of the year. This week the Oxford Dictionaries announced that the 2014 word of the year is “vape.”

“Vape: v.  To inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.”

The shortlist of words that vape beat out for the coveted title include: bae—a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner, budtender—a person who serves customers in a cannabis shop, indyref—abbreviation of “independence referendum” in reference to Scottish independence, normcore—when ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn deliberately as a fashion statement, or slacktivism—informal actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social issue that requires little time or involvement.

This brings us to today’s BuzzLine. In exactly six words, I want to know what YOU think the 2014 word of the year should have been. The word of your choice does not count towards the six word requirement—which you can use as a definition of your word or you can use…

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Digital Marketing

Watson Open for Business: What do YOU want to know?

cognitive-systems-thumb-main-cognitiveAt the EY Strategic Growth Forum, I had a chance to hear Bob Pemberton, VP of Corporate Development at IBM, talk a little bit about The Watson Group – a new business unit created to help entrepreneurs harness the power of the Watson computer.

For those of you who haven’t met Watson, he (or is it she?) is a huge leap forward in cognitive computing (essentially self-learning systems). It has been in development for a while, but its real public coming out came in 2011 when it beat two top contestants on Jeopardy!

So what’s the big deal? It’s just a super powerful computer, right? Wrong! It’s so much more! Watson can take both structured (think spreadsheets) and unstructured (think comments on Twitter) data and actually teach itself. Traditional computers can only compute what they’re programmed to do, but Watson can essentially program itself to come up with new answers.

Now with the Watson Group, any business can benefit from this computing power by purchasing a subscription and then using a set of standard tools to develop new applications.  Here are a couple of pretty interesting examples:

Bon Appetit Magazine created…

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Corporate Responsibility

Promoting Healthy Habits in the Workplace

Yesterday, the New York Times Well blog ran a story about the effects of exercise on the human brain. For a while now, people have believed that regular exercise improves cognitive function, but a recent study examined just how real those benefits are. Not surprisingly, the results suggested that not only does exercise change the [...]

Digital Marketing

Be Thankful for Craft Beers

Don’t let rumors of a Thanksgiving turkey shortage scare you. There are plenty of turkeys to go around.

The real questions are: What type of turkey will you make and what will you pair with it?

Of course wine comes to mind, but don’t rule out pairing beer with your turkey or tofurky. Because trust me – no Thanksgiving is complete without beer.

Why should you only drink your favorite brew until you’re in front of the TV watching football?

Here are five craft beers that will match the well-deserved flavor of your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Traditional Roasted Turkey: You can’t go wrong with a traditional turkey.  Drink it with a well-balanced beer like Saint Arnold Amber Ale, the light fruitiness of the ale will pairs well with a fruity stuffing.
  • Smoked Turkey:  The nutty flavor of real Louisiana roasted pecans and caramel malt in the Abita Pecan Harvest Ale will pair nicely with any smoked bird.
  • Deep Fried Turkey: Feeling adventurous? No need to be cautious while sipping on New Belgium’s Ranger IPA. The bitter dry hoppy finish and aroma is perfect for crispy turkeys.
  • Tofurky Roast: Samuel Adams OctoberFest’s…
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    Media Relations

    Long lead pitching = relevancy & research

    You may have read the article Zach Schonfeld of Newsweek wrote when he decided to read and reply to every single PR email he received for a week. His story details the almost comical number of emails that reporters get from PR professionals like us each day. As someone who has been on both sides of the newsdesk, I was really interested in his story. However, it was the follow up he wrote that really got my attention.

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    Think your inbox is full? Imagine the inbox of the reporters who just got your pitch. Remember, there are roughly five PR people for each journalist. (From Newsweek)

    After his initial story ran, Schonfeld was flooded with a few accusations but primarily accolades from the PR world. In his follow up, Dear PR People Everywhere: I Am Not Your Savior, he expressed surprise that his humorous and candid reflections on the large amount of poorly crafted pitches gained so much traction from PR folks.

    Why was he so stumped about his newfound fandom? Because the PR lessons learned by his experiment were remarkably simple:

    What few PR…

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