May 5 15

It’s about more than winning: 4 benefits of an award-entering culture


It’s possible some might feel industry awards are a bit self-serving – patting oneself on the back for a job well done.

However, those organizations that take pride in the process might receive something much greater than agency self-aggrandizement. The reality is that industry awards often make the work itself better.

For agencies at which award entries are part of the standard operating procedure, there is a resulting orientation toward certain key behaviors that can elevate an agency’s overall performance.

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Posted in: Management Practices

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May 4 15

How use the Star Wars Jedi Code to improve your content marketing strategy


Photo credit: Barron Fujimoto (Flickr)

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Yoda, Legendary Jedi Master and All Around Wise Guy (in a good way!)

Truer words have rarely been spoken so succinctly. It’s really amazing how much of a hold Star Wars has on the larger pop culture consciousness.

The Star Wars universe is filled with imagination, wonder, adventure and wisdom, and it’s why the series continues to be celebrated and perpetuated. From new films to the recurring Star Wars Day on May 4 (“May The Fourth Be With You”), it’s a force to be reckoned with.

This got me thinking about how universally applicable Star Wars’ wisdom can be, even when it comes to the work we do in marketing and public relations. Case in point: The zen, Buddhist-like Order of the Jedi. It just so happens they have a Jedi Code that can be a particularly useful rubric for content marketing.

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Posted in: Marketing

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Apr 30 15

Social movements: A tool or a #trend?


There’s no doubt that hashtag activism and awareness campaigns are becoming more and more #common.

The most recent ones flooding the Internet: #PrayForNepal to support earthquake victims and #PaintYourNailsForBruce that has men everywhere painting their finger nails in support of Bruce Jenner opening up about his transition.

And who can forget the #IceBucketChallenge? For days on end, news feeds were clogged with videos of folks dumping ice water over their heads to raise awareness (and money) for ALS.

Then, there are the less popular ones like #DontBeAnEggHead (an anti-bullying campaign where you crack an egg on your head), which are slowly making their mark.

But we have to ask ourselves: What is the end-all, be-all goal of these social movements? Do they really raise awareness and funds to support a cause, or are they just a trend for our post-modern, #selfie-obsessed society? The answer: It’s up to you to decide! read more…

Posted in: Social Media

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Apr 28 15

Santa Claus, Secret, Stealing & Squander: Wrapping up the 2015 SABEW Spring Conference


“Why are you here?”

This was a question I was asked a few times last week while attending the 2015 Society of Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) fall conference in Chicago.

These bi-annual events are attended by a who’s who of business journalists from the U.S. and Canada, as well up-and-coming journalism students from acclaimed universities such as Northwestern and Missouri. There aren’t many PR professionals running around, so it didn’t surprise me when there was curiosity and perhaps skepticism about my participating.

But the answer to this question is pretty simple: I’m there to learn just like everyone else. Attending SABEW provides a unique opportunity to hear what issues and challenges business journalists are facing in the industry and how they cover the news. It’s also an opportunity to network and gain a greater understanding of the best ways PR professionals can work with reporters. These lessons keep us one step ahead and help shape the integrated communications plans we create for our clients.

Now onto some of the highlights from the conference.

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Posted in: Media

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Apr 27 15

Richard Branson and Sheryl Sandberg believe fixing gender bias can change the world


In a recent interview, Bloomberg’s Emily Chang showed not only why Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg deserve to be role models for all, regardless of gender, but she also put an exclamation point on key gender issues that drag down business.

While I encourage you to watch the entire piece on the “Balancing Act,” we’ve provided a Cliff Notes version of the top insights from the interview. And, just for fun, see if you can decide who said which quotes – Sheryl or Richard. (The answers are at the bottom of this story.)

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Posted in: Business Thoughts

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Apr 22 15

Missing the Target: Lilly Pulitzer collaboration a mixed bag for most


Photo credit: @typicalfeminist

Picture this: I am at a friend’s wedding on Saturday and the clock strikes midnight. Instead of heading to the dance floor, I huddled on a couch with a few of my girlfriends so we could purchase from Target’s newest designer collaboration line with Lilly Pulitzer.

While being completely anti-social, we tried over and over to refresh the Target app and the website in hopes of getting our hands on some of the less expensive designer goodies. It was a complete #fail. So I went back to the dance floor, knowing that waking up at 7 a.m. for the 8 a.m. store opening would be my fate.

I am no stranger to the battlefield of in-store Target sales. I was on maternity leave during the big 2011 Missoni collection launch and went from store to store to find the perfect selection for my newborn. (I still have some pieces in her wardrobe today).

As a PR practitioner, I understand why Target built up the collaborations so much, but was always baffled why they only made such limited stock. If people are willing to purchase items for triple the price on eBay, isn’t that a miss for Target’s bottom line?

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Posted in: Business Thoughts

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Apr 22 15

Being a Breakout Brand takes risk, but reaps rewards


The idea that companies should always put the customer first seems like it should be a given for any service or product-oriented business. I’ve heard it said in a lot of mission statements – but are most brands really walking the walk?

Many marketers would probably admit that one or two of their customer-centric big ideas have been given the axe with responses like, “But that would require a shift in our operations” or “I just don’t see how we can implement that.” Sometimes that may be the reality, but it got me thinking about when, how and why companies should innovate and implement a major change in operations that ultimately benefits the customer.

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Posted in: breakout brands

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Apr 21 15

Are “Hispennials” to blame for Sabado Gigante’s sign-off?


The end of an era is nigh for many Hispanics after Univision announced that its 53-year-old Saturday variety show Sabado Gigante will be signing off in September 2015.

Hispanics, including myself, have fond memories of watching Sabado Gigante. I remember sitting on my grandmother’s living room floor every Saturday, eating a home-cooked meal and laughing at every move made by the great Don Francisco and his sidekicks.

It would be an understatement to say that the show will be missed, but it is also a sign of a great shift taking place in Hispanic media – a focus on reaching the almighty “millennial” audience.

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Posted in: Public Relations, Uncategorized

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Apr 15 15

Millennials are the new King Kong


Photo credit: Stéfan | Flickr

Decades ago, the Boomer generation took to the food industry like Godzilla took to Tokyo. Fast food chains like McDonald’s thrived and the microwavable burrito proved the most innovative thing since sliced bread (seriously, pre-sliced bread didn’t exist until the 1920s).

Now, these companies must adapt to the new generation – millennials.

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Posted in: Marketing, millennials

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Apr 7 15

What I Learned from Speed Dating my Co-workers


Let me stop you there, it’s not what you think. In March, the rbb team decided to hold an office-wide speed dating event where junior employees sat with each senior-level employee to get to know them on a more personal level–no work-talk allowed. The stations were prepared and each team member was seated with their first match, and with a swift strike of the gong, we were ready to begin.

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Posted in: Business Thoughts, Public Relations, rbb News

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