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Balance.

I work at a PR agency.  We work with a lot of clients.  Some of the clients are the type that warm your heart, and some aren’t. They aren’t “bad,” they just don’t provide the extra satisfaction of the “social good.”  (Yes, at this point one can make the case that as long as companies don’t hurt people they are doing a social good by providing a service, creating jobs, creating wealth that can be used for good etc., but that’s secondary here.)

So, by day, yes I do get the chance to sometimes work on things that are truly good, and other times I’m just helping sell stuff. For balance, I give back with what I know how to do, that’s marketing and writing.  This weekend, I spent some time helping write the opening remarks for a run to raise money to help stop sex trafficking in our area.

Find your balance, give back with what you know how to do, and feel good.

Do you want to connect on LinkedIn?

 

LinkedInvitations

Then that shouldn’t be our first interaction.  Going back through my old posts, I started writing about LinkedIn first in 2007. I’ve written about my first comparisons between how I was using LinkedIn and Facebook, how as a small business owner I used LinkedIn to land a client, and many times how the people at LinkedIn are masters at using their own data to tell stories.

This is about how I use LinkedIn and some advice for students.  I use the network as a way to keep up with people I know professionally.  This means it’s someone I’ve worked with, or met in a professional capacity. I don’t use the network to find new people.  Now, not all people do it this way, but I do.

Over the last few months I’ve noticed an uptick in requests to connect on LinkedIn from university students, usually PR or marketing students. Now, if I’ve spoken to their class and talked with them, I usually accept the invitation, but if I never have, I usually respond with, “Thank you for the invitation to connect.  I’m happy to chat any time. Feel free to send me an email at…..”  Funny thing. I rarely get a response.

It seems like LinkedIn is something that college seniors are told they have to do now, or that they are supposed to do, but unfortunately they’re missing the point, at least in my eyes, of actually connecting with people before they “connect” with them.

So, yes I’m happy to connect with you on LinkedIn, but it’s going to cost you…a conversation

 

Everything You Tweet is Fair Game

I often remind executives that when they Tweet something, they are every time providing a quote for a reporter and need to take that into consideration that the contents of the tweet could show up again.

I was reminded of this myself in Sunday’s Sacramento Bee, in the Travel Column by Sam McManis when confronted with a Tweet I had sent nearly a month earlier while waiting for a plane:

THE TWEET

From Josh Morgan (@joshdmorg): “Dear all airport PA announcer script writers, can you stop saying ‘due to increased security.’ It’s been increased for 13 years now.”

— Compiled by Sam McManis, smcmanis@sacbee.com

 

 

 

 

Agency Lessons from Mad Men Episode 706 – “The Strategy”

Image from AMCTV.com/MadMen

Image from AMCTV.com/MadMen

 

Mad Men still includes real issues faced by advertising (and yes PR firms) in an incredible show. If I wasn’t in this industry, I’m sure I would still be a fan of the show, but for me I get a bonus. I get to watch situations I encounter all the time dealt with by others. Mad Men continues to include real issues faced by advertising (and yes PR firms) in an incredible show. Throughout the course of the series I’ve written 24 posts about real world agency lessons from the show and here’s a few from “The Strategy:”

  • Roger Sterling says “I’ve tried it and it sucked – don’t work drunk.” Trust me on this one.  While I wasn’t drunk, there was a moment early in my career when I responded to a client email after I’d had a few beers.  While the content of the email was right, my tone may have benefited from being tempered a bit had I not had those beers.  Take this piece of Sterling’s Gold and live it.
  • Native Advertising – Bob gives a gift of an Erector set to Joan’s son, and says, “America needs engineers.” – My cynical brain saw this as STEM messaging – native advertising.
  • How do you think? Peggy asks Don how he thinks and comes up with ideas, he responds with, “You really want to help me show you how you think? You can’t tell people what they want – it has to be what you want.”  The episode starts with Peggy doing research with onsite interviews. Never discount research, but she hits the idea when it’s what matters to her – “It’s about family, every table here is a family table.”

Agency Lessons from Mad Men Episode 704 “The Monolith”

dondraper, madmen

Image from AMCTV.com/MadMen

 

Mad Men still includes real issues faced by advertising (and yes PR firms) in an incredible show. If I wasn’t in this industry, I’m sure I would still be a fan of the show, but for me I get a bonus. I get to watch situations I encounter all the time dealt with by others. Mad Men continues to include real issues faced by advertising (and yes PR firms) in an incredible show. Throughout the course of the series I’ve written 24 posts about real world agency lessons from the show and here’s a few from “The Monolith:”

  • Don’t say things you don’t want people to hear:  Maybe Peggy did want Lou Avery, the anti-Don, to hear her derogatory comments.  Whether she did or not, he did.  She ended up with a raise, but also, Don on her team.  Lou is Machiavellian with this move. He has the chance to give Peggy what she wants, while possibly setting up both her and Don to fail.
  • Prospective customers are everywhere:  Don sees the possibility of LeaseTech, the company installing their new “monolith” as a prospective customer. Of course, he may blow the whole thing when he decides to re-fill his can of Coke with vodka.  Note to keep your eyes out for prospects, and the booze out of yourself while at work.

 

What’s the backstory – Muscle Shoals on PBS

Clarence Carter in “Muscle Shoals,” image from PBS.org

 

When I first started listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd in high school I quickly learned the words to many songs including “Sweet Home Alabama.”  There was a line in the song that I knew by heart but had no idea what it meant, “in Muscle Shoals they love the Swampers.”  I knew the song was about Alabama and at the time ESPN always showed swamp buggy racing, so I assumed that this lyric was about swamp buggies (check them out, trust me).

Four years ago, I stumbled onto a short documentary on Vice.com, “The Muscle Shoals Sound,” (which incidentally I believe was what they call “sponsored content” now from Levi’s) and I was introduced to Fame Studios and the amazing music created by world famous bands that all came to this small town in Alabama.

Tonight, I by chance turned on a new documentary on PBS Independent Lens about Muscle Shoals. Please go watch it, and next time you hear a lyric that catches you, track down what it means. Who knows maybe you’ll stumble onto some of the most amazing music you’ll ever find.

 

Also, they’ve created an amazing play list of songs from Muscle Shoals on Spotify. Check it out. Trust me.

 

 

Agency Lessons from Mad Men Episode 701 – “Time Zones”

Image from AMCTV.com/MadMen

Image from AMCTV.com/MadMen

Mad Men is entering its prolonged last season and continues to include real issues faced by advertising (and yes PR firms) in an incredible show. If I wasn’t in this industry, I’m sure I would still be a fan of the show, but for me I get a bonus. I get to watch situations I encounter all the time dealt with by others. Mad Men continues to include real issues faced by advertising (and yes PR firms) in an incredible show. Throughout the course of the series I’ve written 23 posts about real world agency lessons from the show and here’s a few from “Time Zones:”

  • “Advertising might be a more effective if it’s better integrated into our business” – moving things in house. Change for change sake. “I was hired to be bold and I am prepared to make my recommendation.” This is what Joan is told when she meets with a current client who wants to bring all of their advertising in house. Joan ends up turning this around with a Monday morning phone call when she presents the client with reasons why an agency can do things he can’t do in house just yet. This could have been avoided if Joan had been adequately prepped for the meeting (and even if prepped sometimes you still get blindsided).
  • After Joan’s initial meeting with the client, who has an MBA, she goes to a third party expert, in education, for ideas and validation. We do this all the time and if you’re not, you should be.
  • We have apparently identified the exact moment when people moved from the handshake to the “professional hug.” It’s in the office, heck it’s onstage when someone meets the president, but we can point to this beginning when Pete greets Don in the coffee shop and Don sticks out his hand and Pete gives him what Seinfeld’s Uncle Leo would call a “firm embrace.”

 

 

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