Having met Matthew Weiner at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, I was assured that the seventh season opener of Madmen would not disappoint core fans.
But as an advertising agency CEO whose business is based on a model that builds a customized team of resources (including the creative team,) I never imagined that Madmen’s seventh season, episode #1 would read like a commercial for my agency.
Don Draper, the uber Creative Director is on a mandated leave of absence to rethink his approach to clients and prospects. Ex-account guy Freddy plays the front man, bringing the now independent-contracting Don Draper’s work (unbeknownst to his own agency) to his own agency. While the work is revered by Don’s protégé and creative soul mate Peggy Olsen, it is dismissed by the Acting Creative Director. A clearly superior concept for Accutron Watches dies before it is exposed to the client. Freddy is also feeding Don Draper’s concepts to other agencies’ powerhouse brands, such as 7UP.
Is ScarJo’s brand scarred by SodaStream Stunt?
Super Bowl advertisers beware: the game has changed forever, and we’re not talking football. SodaStream’s PR placements utilizing the ‘Sorry Coke and Pepsi’ outtakes barred by FOX for the on-air Super Bowl spot have already garnered this company exponential media value.
Whether or not it was a planned media stunt, releasing the story days prior to the Super Bowl will have viewers in every living room saying “Hey, this is the commercial that was supposed to say ‘Sorry Coke and Pepsi’” as soon as they see the stunning Scarlett Johansson come onto their screen.
Research Shows Where Agencies Are Missing the Mark
With the shift from tried and true traditional marketing tactics to the Wild West of digital communications, marketing decision-makers report a growing list of unmet needs in support of their brands and their businesses. Bearing increasing pressure to demonstrate positive returns and increased profits, marketing decision-makers acknowledge both service gaps and dissatisfaction in the support they are receiving from advertising agencies.
While the conglomerate agencies increase their girth (and their shareholders’ ROI) and the specialty agencies continue to develop more and more pinpointed, niche services to put themselves on the map, we wondered: who is focused on the clients who are getting less and less of what they really need in this ever-changing, challenging business environment?
Reflecting on this Week in U.S. History and its Influence on Strategic Communications
This week marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address. The collection of 271 words – delivered in just two minutes – is arguably one of the world’s most -remembered speeches.
This week also marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It is said that Kennedy studied the Gettysburg Address when penning his inaugural address, drawing wisdom, insight and inspiration from Lincoln’s immortal words. Remembered for its famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you…ask what you can do for your country,” Kennedy’s inaugural address is still widely regarded as the measure against which all others are judged.
According to Forbes, Public Relations Executive earned the distinction of being the fifth most stressful job of 2013 – just behind Enlisted Military Personnel (1), Military General (2), Firefighter (3), and Commercial Airline Pilot (4), and beating the likes of Senior Corporate Executive (5), Taxi Driver (9) and Police Officer (10). It’s not the first time that Public Relations has been called out for being a stressful occupation, and those within this profession will attest to the inherent challenges that come with the turf.
The Forbes article notes that this finding might be surprising, suggesting that “…many people may picture PR execs wining and dining and taking lunch with friends and connections around town,” but goes on to point out that “in fact they [PR execs] face almost constant rejection” and that “PR clients are never satisfied.”
Congratulations, new hire! You’re fresh out of college and just landed your first job in an advertising agency. You’re ready to get started and grow your career. To succeed, you need to not only be the best at what you do, but also to remember some basics.
Here is some advice that I’ve learned over my 25+ years in the business and what we expect of our new hires:
- Come in early and stay late. Agency work is notorious for its long, deadline-driven hours. Always remember that you are in a service industry, and that means being available to meet your clients’ needs. These extra hours will pay off as you demonstrate your commitment to your clients’ and agency’s success.
- Be prepared! Being in the ad industry requires you to be prepared for anything! This will come with experience, and sometimes you will learn the hard way. So always have a back-up thumb drive, power cord, pen, paper, presentation copies, business card … whatever. (continue reading…)
As news of college graduations hits the headlines, I can’t help but reminisce on my last days of college: cramming for exams, late-night food runs and graduation parties. When I left Widener University with big ideas for my future, I knew that securing my first “real job” was not going to be an easy task. In most cases, the ideal job isn’t always immediately available, and interviewing can be an emotional rollercoaster for anyone – especially young 20-somethings. Needless to say, that first job can help determine your career path.
Today, I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum, reviewing countless resumes and meeting new college grads. I’m starting to grasp that the hiring process is not an exact science. I understand that staffing-up an account or project team appropriately is vital to the success of any public relations (PR) and marketing program. Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind when building the best team for the job:
Late last year, Pete Cashmore wrote on Mashable that 2013 is the year of responsive web design. Why? Well, in the fourth quarter of 2012, PCs saw year-on-year sales decline for the first time in more than five years. Just think about it; do you have a smartphone or tablet? Do you view web pages on it? I do, and I can tell you that it’s very frustrating to view a website on my iPhone that isn’t formatted for its small screen.
At the beginning of this year, I finally got around to redesigning my personal website. It had been neglected for almost 10 years and was overdue for a major overhaul. I was determined to use some of the latest technology now available with HTML5. After three months of developing a static website — styling nav bars with CSS3 and incorporating scrolling effects with jQuery plug-ins — a co-worker convinced me to make my design responsive.
Are you one of the people who think that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has gone out of favor? Let me tell you, this is not at all true! The only thing that has really changed is that a greater emphasis has been placed on promoting quality content. Recent Google algorithm updates have created a situation where the message of “quality over quantity” is crystal clear.
SEO is an extension of your marketing department. SEO services are much better for your business than you ever imagined they could be! Working with a good SEO company these days is not just about website optimization, it’s also about writing quality content or editing content that you already have and positioning it in a way that it brings in the maximum amount of traffic.