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Words can be a powerful expression. So too can a personal brand be a powerful beacon for you and others. But most of all, each of you can be a leader. You just need to know who you are, know what you want and then ultimately make that positive impact with your brand, your promise and your legacy.
Your company is about to launch a new product or service. It's been in the works for months, maybe years. You are convinced it will be a huge success. It even has the potential to position you as an e...
Since January, I've been teaching a somewhat different type of course at McGill University. While saddled with the unfortunate standard curriculum name "Marketing and Society," the class is anything but. I think it's the different nature of the work that may be throwing them.
If you aren't communicating in Chinese, you're missing an important audience in Metro Vancouver. And if you don't have a team member or members that speak Mandarin and Cantonese, you aren't getting a complete picture of the myriad and evolving ways to talk to Chinese-speaking Vancouverites.
The Sochi Olympics, like other popular television viewing events (read: Oscars, Super Bowl) reinforced the importance and potential effectiveness of contextually relevant ads. Think of the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion spot that went viral, or Proctor & Gamble's Thank You Mom commercial.
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As our relationship with technology matures, we do expect more human connections online and we want our things to have some intuition. But are we building a world where HAL 9000 or Samantha the OS from Her will become our confidantes?
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I became fascinated by what it takes for someone to become known for their expertise, and over the past two decades, I've honed the skills of positioning people and organizations as experts. To advance professionally, we all must demonstrate and share our expertise, putting ourselves and our talents into the spotlight.
A great lesson lasts forever. Even when you forget it for a while. Unaffected by fads, by progress, by technology, by trends, by the march of time or the charge of the light brigade, Great Lessons are eternal.
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There's no shortage of examples of how a company's commitment to an issue can inspire an entire country to act. The right for a woman to walk down the street in a developing nation without the fear or reality of being raped has not yet been one of those examples. I think it has incredible potential and power with Canada's own women and men, a unique opportunity to create a legacy of fostering systemic change globally.
The San Francisco based startup Secret (that was founded by two former Google and Square employees) is getting tons of attention, followers and fans. In short, you can write anything that's on your mind, add photos or colors to the background and customize this content while being able to share it, free of judgment, and without attaching any of your personal information or profile to it.
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Are Millennials, the 18 to 33-year-olds who have grown up with social media and digital devices imprinted on their palms, impermeable to traditional media? A Social Media Week event I judged late las...
I don't wanna sound all tree-huggy, but this week's lesson is a simple one of business that has more to do with green thumbs than it does with red ink or blue-chip stocks. In a nutshell: Good Deeds Plan Seeds. And now here's the story behind it.
Beijing 2008 is a case study on how to leverage hosting an Olympics to redefine a nation's image. By all accounts, China earned marketing gold. Russia would be lucky to finish the race at this point. From a communications perspective, it seems clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin is more interested in using the Sochi games to solidify his brand inside Russia rather than engaging with the world. His constant and unbridled attacks against Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender (LBGT) rights are certainly aimed at a Russian audience. So far he is not showing any remorse at alienating himself from the rest of the world.
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It's scary to take risks. But to not take one on the fear and unlikely chance that it may blow up in your face is scarier still. To expect a backlash is to flatter one's self. The only way to cut through the clutter is do something magnificent and exciting. And to do so is to walk a tightrope over the valley of disaster.
By now, most businesses have bought into the idea that blogging is an important piece of their marketing communications strategy. But the ability to reach an audience through blogging can work both ways. Here are seven frequent blogging blunders that should be avoided.
Last week's two-minute video clip of the demonic baby in a runaway baby carriage that terrified even jaded New Yorkers has gone viral. No surprise there. This genre of promotion has a name: it's calle...
This Forbes article is spot on with its four tips to becoming a thought leader, as outlined below. But from a PR and social media perspective, let's look at how these recommendations fit.
There are various methods in which content marketing can work for businesses in virtually any industry, with the information provided in a variety of formats. You can either do this in-house, or hire professional content creators in a variety of mediums to do this for you. Here are some ideas that could work for you.
Here is what I learned from my year-long immersion course (which, now that you know I'm an imposter, you can take or leave): the true magic of social media is not that it mimics real-life behavior, but that it produces social ties in the real -- not merely the online -- world.
It has been argued that 2014 is the year of content, but what about how your audience consumes your content? Bottom line: if you aren't optimized for cross-platform usage, you're missing out. Here are a few key takeaways about marketing to cross-platform audiences in 2014.
You, me, all of us -- we're constantly selling. But here's the kicker and where my seeming naiveté may receive some vindication. Beyond selling products, services, and ideas, you and I are really selling one thing and one thing only: ourselves.
Working in marketing, I often find it hard to turn off that part of my brain. This is about an epiphany I had as a former OKCupid user and a more recent Tinder experimenter: online dating is the perfect analogy for digital marketing.
If you're Canadian, you've likely seen the WestJet video. If you're not Canadian, or you've been living under a rock (or an igloo) you can see the video here. Be warned -- you'll need a tissue. This is brilliant, for a couple of reasons.
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Looking back can be a great way to gain insight into the direction we're currently headed. Despite all of the changes in the marketing landscape over the last decade, the past 12 months alone indicate we're in for another big year of changes in 2014.
To wit, "Knowledge" implies the tasks of filling, memorizing and regurgitating. Imagination implies the art of thinking and dreaming. Curiosity, however, requires not only the cerebral wonderment of "what if?" but also the actual corporeal action of "let's see!" for absolute fulfillment.
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Many studies reveal that people's top fear is public speaking. Their second is death. Although I find that shocking, it's also unfortunate. Like it or not, if you're trying to build a name for yourself (or for your business), you'll benefit from sharing your insights and expertise in a public forum
The unique selling proposition (USP) is a concept that has evolved from a factual, externally focused message to one that is more holistic; it now has to touch and inspire your target audiences, whether it is your customers, employees, or partners. In our world, we believe it's the foundation for communications and a core capability of our firm.
Is content the future of marketing? Looks like it. But with all the hype surrounding branded content creation that is less self-serving and more useful, how are consumers feeling about brands that have chosen to go down this path?
The so-called modern marketer actually needs to be a combination of people in an organization rather than just one type of person. For companies to survive, three types of people in your organization need to change to help 'market' what you do effectively today.
Twitter is the latest in a string of companies putting users at the whim of hasty policy changes and a rapid monetization policy put in place for IPO. You want to use it? Pay for it. While there's technically nothing wrong with this idea -- Twitter is a company and they should make money -- the fact that they're still alluding to the impression that all users have an equal opportunity in achieving influence is just inaccurate.
Do people quoted in newspapers review the stories before they run? Can advertisers legally lie? Are PR people the biggest liars of all? How much does it cost to get a story into The Globe and Mail or the Toronto Star? Who do you pay? Once you start reading, why does the headline have nothing to do with the story?
Parenting athletes, Louis C.K. on cell phones, mobile strategies, foodie travel and mass shootings all caught my attention this week.