Aug 21 2015
As I was scrolling through my social media feeds this summer, I couldn’t help but notice the number of remarkable photos that friends captured during their vacations this summer – photos of friends beaching, hiking, cliff-jumping, waterfall-chilling, snorkeling – all taken from magnificent heights and/or angles that just didn’t always seem humanly possible, unless Yao Ming had somehow been involved. That’s when I noticed another presence in some of these photos. A third arm, if you will. The selfie stick: sometimes discreet in photos, anything but discreet in person.
A New Angle on Outdoor Experiences
Technologies such as selfie sticks, GoPros and drones are changing the way we experience, document and share our outdoor experiences today. These technologies allow us capture some beautiful views and moments, if not somewhat obnoxiously, from new heights and depths.
In recent years, countless conversations have touched on the amount of screen time that kids today experience on a daily basis. A nationwide poll by The Nature Conservancy showed that the vast majority of kids in 2011 were using a computer, watching TV or playing video…
Aug 19 2015
Attending TEXSOM has been on my bucket list, and this year, I finally made it. In its 11th year, the 2015 conference brought together more than 1,000 attendees, including roughly 25 percent of all industry pros who have earned the title of Master Sommelier.
Below are five takeaways from the “BevLab: Ideas and Issues in the Modern Beverage Industry” session, a panel discussion of current wine trends. Moderated by writer Jordan Mackay, the panel featured John Blazon MS; Levi Dalton (host of podcast “I’ll Drink to That” and wine columnist for eater.com); award-winning restauranteur Shelley Lindgren, and Antony Moss MW AIWS. These five beverage trends were worth noting:
1: Restaurant Costs Skyrocket: Ready-to-Drink Wines Benefit
As the economy improves, restaurant rents are skyrocketing. Lindgren, who is in lease renewal negotiations now, said her landlord proposed a 43% increase over her last contract. How does this affect food and wine programs? Dalton suggested that restaurants can’t expect to be 20-30 year propositions any longer. That affects how wine directors buy wine and build restaurant cellars – there is not as much inventory, and…
Aug 10 2015
The life of a tweet is 3 seconds.
In the grand scheme of things, to what end does that tweet matter? This is the question many in digital strategy ask today. The bond between a brand and a consumer is so artificial; you can’t help but question the loyalty.
The Harvard Review delves into the evolution of digital strategy to say:
The real question — the one that counts for leaders and institutions today — isn’t “How loyal can we compel, seduce, or trick our customers into being?” It’s: “How loyal are we to our customers? Do we truly care about them?” Not just as targets consumers, or fans. But as people. Human beings. What every institution needs — and what every leader needs to develop — before a “digital strategy” is a human strategy. If you want to matter to people, you must do more than merely win their fickle, fleeting, frenzied attention. You must help them develop into the people they were meant to be. When you do, maybe, just maybe, they’ll reward you. With something greater than their grudging, wearied attention. Their lasting respect, enduring trust, and undying gratitude.
Jul 17 2015
Who: Reddit.com, billed as “the front page of the internet;” it is where over 165 million monthly unique visitors are drawn to share just about anything on just about anything, if you will.
What: Hundreds of subreddits (the moniker given to Reddit’s massive amount of diverse forum boards) were blacked out, denying its loyal followers access to an otherwise very accessible medium.
Where: Based in San Francisco, but with an Alexa ranking (website popularity ranking based off average daily visitors and page views) of 33 globally and nine in the U.S., much more publicly than San Fran.
When: July 2nd—just before the fireworks went off; the fireworks went off.
Why: In protest of an unexpected and unaccounted dismissal of now former director of communications, Victoria Taylor. Taylor was “responsible for nearly all of reddit’s positive press,” said a moderator (volunteers who police and in this case coordinate content of subreddits) in the subreddit /r/AmA (Ask Me Anything), a wildly-popular forum where guests such as Barack Obama, frequently Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates and a smattering of who’s who answer “redditors” questions. She was almost solely responsible for reaching out and facilitating these user-conducted interviews and…
Jul 13 2015
People are naturally protective of anything they create. And as writers, we’re particularly prideful of our work.
As a result, what may only be minor edits to our work can feel akin to the flying monkeys shredding apart the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz.” (They took my headline and threw it over there! Then they took my call to action and threw it over there!).
The truth is we often take edits as criticism. And we often take criticism to heart.
These feelings can reach a whole new level of distress if you’re having ongoing differences of opinion with your “editor” (e.g. your client, your colleague, your boss, etc.). On one hand, disputing too many edits isn’t an option. You don’t want to convey the perception that you’re overly defensive and difficult to work with.
Conversely, you can’t abandon good judgment and common sense by hitting the “Accept All Changes Shown” button following every round of edits. After all, none of us want to be head-nodding “yes, boss” task monkeys.
Addressing the situation can make your life a little less stressful, and help ensure you deliver the best content possible.
Separate the Personal…
Jul 7 2015
One of the popular narratives about technology is its capacity for disruption. Airbnb hopes to change how we think about hotels. Uber wants to be the go-to taxi service. But technology is doing much more than creating competitors. Technology will perhaps be most influential in connecting customers with brands.
Every customer interaction with a brand is an opportunity to earn that customer’s attention, to tell a purposeful story, and to be remembered. Instead of crawling through an entire website, customers can find exactly the information they seek thanks to site design that responds to how the site was used in the past. Instead of presenting consumers with a wordy explanation of the true value of a product, a VR headset can offer virtual tours that describe the benefits in a more interactive way. The possibilities for technology to influence marketing are nearly infinite.
In fact, the sheer number of possibilities inspired me to know more about the current state of technology and where it might be going. Luckily, I had a chance to sit down with PadillaCRT’s new vice president of technology and innovation, Matt Fairchild, and ask a few questions about…
Jun 19 2015
I don’t know about other New Yorkers City dwellers but I often like to escape this urban jungle. An easy escape is New York’s Hudson Valley, where I was lucky enough to be raised for the better part of my childhood. The region consists of 10 counties and extends into an area of 150 miles. It begins just minutes after leaving the tip of Manhattan by car or train, over and alongside the river, named after Henry Hudson, who explored the famous Valley over 400 years ago. The area has a myriad of natural beauty, history and tradition, hence why it is designated as a National Heritage Area. Aside from quaint towns, breathtaking hiking trails and shopping malls, there’s also plenty for food lovers to cheer about, like renowned farm-to-table restaurants and bakeries, The Culinary Institute of America, bountiful farms, wineries and distilleries. Fact: Hudson Valley is actually the oldest wine producing region in the United States, and in addition to all this enticement and charm, it was also devotedly named as the nation’s “apple belt”. The Empire State is the second largest producer of apples in the USA, producing nearly 30 million bushels of this pomaceous fruit annually…
Jun 16 2015
By now, we are all aware of Bruce Jenner’s story and the subsequent media storm that followed his public transformation and reveal. Since the June 1 unveiling of Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover story, this story has been everywhere—it has headlined virtually every news source, overtaken every social media property and has been stitched into every leisurely phone, lunch or dinner conversation. And what does that mean exactly? It means that, whether you’re sick of the story or not, the media blitz surrounding Bruce Jenner’s public transformation has been nothing short of brilliant— from Diane Sawyer’s two-hour “20/20” interview special to the buzz of the June 1 Vanity Fair cover reveal of Caitlyn. As Josef Adalian so eloquently put it in a recent Vulture feature, “..nstead of trying to sell a product or cover up a scandal, this effort had a different aim: to allow its subject the chance to reclaim ownership of her own story.” An examination of the Caitlyn Jenner media relations strategy provides us with a paradigm we as PR practitioners can all take a lesson (or four) from.
1. Creating a Culture of Trust
The behind-the-scenes director of the media relations…
Jun 12 2015
How much do you know about the Women’s World Cup? If you’re like me and have no athletic ability or interest, the answer’s likely not much; or if you have been following it, the articles or TV coverage you’ve seen have likely focused on controversy (FIFA anyone?), rather than eagerness for the women’s team success. Though the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has historically done better overall than the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, women’s soccer, and women’s athletics in general, consistently receive less media hype than men’s.
Last year’s Men’s World Cup was the most-watched world cup championship ever averaging over 17.3 million viewers, and one of the most engaging social events online with hundreds of millions of Facebook posts, tweets and Google searches. In fact it was such a big deal in our office, we streamed it online at work and went to watch games together during happy hour, and I can imagine that trend carried to many workplaces. While the time zone is different this year and it’s less likely we’d be watching games at work, the Women’s World Cup has not received nearly as…