what we think

We don’t think of ourselves as know-it-alls, but we do like sharing our thoughts, experiences and POV from time-to-time. We are in continual learning mode and here is what we think, when we think it.

Content: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In this short Tell Your Story interview at a recent social media gathering, IBM’s David Pittman talks about his Reduce, Reuse and Recycle philosophy when it comes to content creation for communications and social media uses. His philosophy took shape when he was at a much smaller company than IBM, but you can put this thinking to use at all kinds of companies, regardless of size.


In short, he is saying that most companies have all of the content they need to consistently share their compelling stories through social media channels. The content already exists in various forms — sell sheets, web sites, press releases, brochures…etc. You just need to be resourceful with what is already created and reduce, reuse and recycle. Then, if resources and budget allows, get creative with developing new content.

Layoff Christina? And Other Super Bowl Thoughts.

Social PR National SongHere are a few delayed thoughts on Super Bowl topics of all kinds. I needed a few days to recover from the Steelers loss. (Those who know me, you understand.) Plus, my DePaul intro to public relations students energized me a bit. So here you go.Layoff Christina. Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t worry critics – she will NEVER live this down. And, yes, Francis Scott Key, was rolling in his grave.


All Super Bowl ads mentioned can be viewed on YouTube’s AdBlitz channel.


GroupOn is who we thought they were. Tibet ad didn’t play well, but it got lots of attention. Even though they have apologized and pulled a few spots, it was a calculated move to add to their story. I don’t think it will have any long-term damage.Budweiser’s western spot cracked me up. They always know how to make me smile. Bud and DDB (their ad agency) are also masters at pre-Super Bowl commercial buzz. (Hold Me Closer) Tiny Dancer was the perfect song.


The Dorito’s/Pepsi Max Crash the Super Bowl Challenge was a big hit. Big winner was the Pug/Dorito Super Bowl spot. Maybe I like it because I have a pug dog named Bruce, but it also scored really well nationally.
VW won in a big way with Darth Vader. If you didn’t hear, the kid who played Darth is a 6-year-old heart patient from Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and is getting a lot of post-Super Bowl buzz.


Not sure why Motorola would knock off the iconic Macintosh 1984 ad. Seemed too manufactured.


Chimps are always funny. Hooray for CareerBuilder.


Detroit Pride. Chrysler won a lot of points in Detroit, the state of Michigan and other down-on-their-luck-but-far-from-dead-cities in the Midwest, like my hometown Youngstown, O.


Skechers won some credibility with the young crowd, according to a few students last night. Kim Kardashian was a big hit.


Despite several glitches, I liked the halftime show. So did my boys Maxwell (5) and Alex (2).


The mattress spot was a bit too risqué for me. But mattresses could probably tell some darn good stories. So good for Sealy.


Wow, did Mother Nature play a star role in Jerry Jones’ worst nightmare or what? The owner of the Dallas Cowboys and the vision and money behind palatial Cowboy Stadium, host of the Super Bowl, couldn’t have imagined worse weather or a more bizarre situation involving unavailable seats for actual ticket holders. This Time Magazine article illustrates everything that went wrong and the PR fallout of “seatgate” at the SuperBowl.


The NFL must be scratching its head too about how these things collided on Super Bowl Sunday, their biggest day of the year. On top of that, Christina messes up the national anthem and the halftime sound speakers weren’t working too well. Good thing the play of Aaron Rodgers, and the resiliency of the mistake-prone Steelers made it an exciting game, and the most-watched television show in U.S. history topping more than 111 million viewers.


That’s all I have to say about that. Long live the National Football League and here’s to fruitful negotiations between the owners and the players’ union over the next several weeks. You don’t want that story to drag on any longer than it has already.




Layoff Christina? And Other Super Bowl Thoughts


The Chrysler 200 has arrived. Imported from Detroit.

NFL Films Tells the Story of Professional Football

NFL Professional Story Teller
This is an incredible article about NFL Films — the official story teller of the National Football League. Its founder, Ed Sabol, is a finalist up for induction for the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of the importance he and his company has had on the success of professional football in America the past 50 years. As you enjoy the Super Bowl and festivities this weekend, give some recognition to Ed and his son Steve for what they have done to make football truly America’s Game.



TheLadders – Am I being a fuddy duddy?

For those who know me, I’m all for having fun with marketing communications to get your message across. Humor executed well and tastefully can be very valuable for a brand, including and especially in business-to-business. But this spot by TheLadders, a 100K+ job web site service, seems a little off brand to me. It would be great for Monster or CareerBuilders, but the story TheLadders has built over the years doesn’t seem to mesh well with this concept and execution. Helping find jobs for executives who make 100K+ is serious business. Let’s stick with some emotional insight that will appeal to this audience. While this is funny, it lacks the insight that will really help grow this brand.


Am I being a fuddy duddy?

Entertainiment with Strong Message

I can’t get enough of this video from social media and SEM/SEO optimization software company, HubSpot. It’s not just entertaining — very entertaining, actually — but it has an incredible message about the power of social media and generating leads. The video’s point is that old school outbound calling and direct marketing don’t work anymore by themselves. You need to create interesting content about your industry and share your points-of-view that your customers and prospects will want to read and view. The HubSpot software isn’t for everyone — I’ve never utilized it fully — but the message that they preach through their own PR and social media efforts resonates anyway — and should inspire those who aren’t in the social media game to develop their own interesting stories and start sharing those stories consistently through social media. (Or combination of social and traditional forms.)

Entertainiment with Strong Message



HubSpot’s Rebecca Corliss sings her heart out about the horrible life of an outbound marketer.

What’s Inbound Marketing? http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29…

Stories of Innovation are Inspiring

I had the opportunity last night to attend the Chicago Business Marketing Association board dinner with special guests that are part of today’s Innovation panel at the BMA luncheon. If you can make the luncheon today, I would highly recommend it. They all have great stories to tell.


You have to have guts and vision to innovate. What was most interesting about the night was that we heard stories from two very traditional Chicago companies: 100-year-old United States Gypsum Corporation (USG) and Molex, plus the founders of two companies that are still in start-up stage, but very successful so far: InContext Solutions and SoCore Engergy. All companies were winners at the 2010 Chicago Innovation Awards, and both have leaders and people with guts and vision to take risks, be aggressive and ultimately make things happen.


I’m home with a sick kid today, so can’t make the luncheon. But if yesterday was any indication of the great stories you’ll hear today, you will not want to miss. Here’s a preview.


Lastly, a special shout out to the BMA Chicago social media committee who has worked hard spreading the word about this event and will be live tweeting today. Make sure to join in on the social media activity, and follow us here

Great Event: Innovation in Chicago

The Chicago Business Marketing Association luncheon this week (January 13) features innovation in Chicago with a panel of representatives from the area’s most innovative companies. Come here the stories of USG Corporation, Molex, InContext Solutions and SoCor Energy. The panel will be moderated by the founder of the Chicago Innovation Awards, Tom Kuczmarski. Find out more at Chicago BMA or LinkedIn.
Here’s a great video by the Innovation Award folks that tells the story of their 10 year history celebrating Chicago innovation.

@BMAChicago and check out all of our social media links here.

Great Event: Innovation in Chicago


What innovation would you like to see in the next ten years?Here’s what a few people had to say in Kevin Boehm’s 2010 Chicago Innovation Awards video.