Mad Men Returns April 13, 2014


Don Draper takes his children to the house he grew up in the final scene from last season.
Don Draper takes his children to the house he grew up in the final scene from last season.

The “final season” of Mad Men from AMC begins on April 13. I put final season in quotes s the last 14 episodes will be split over two years.  So, let’s call it a long goodbye.

In the meantime to get yourself ready, you can check out my posts about Mad Men and agency life over they years.  I’ve written quite a few.


2013 in Review for Don’t Eat The Shrimp

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. I didn’t post as often in 2013, but that’s going to change in 2014. Also, at some point this week, I’m going to pass 100,000 total visits.  That’s pretty cool.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Chasing Trends in Education

If you’ve been following education trade media, business media or – let’s face it – just about any media, you have heard about MOOCs. MOOCs are massive open online courses, or in plain language, online courses that anyone can take.

MOOCs burst into mainstream consciousness only two years ago, in the fall of 2011 – at that time, one of Stanford University’s courses, Introduction to AI, had 160,000 students. As with most new technologies, the initial interest and content was technology focused, hence tens of thousands of people signing up for a course on artificial intelligence. But MOOCs moved faster than most technology trends, crossing over into the mainstream within a year and half. You can now find courses on poetry, the humanities and pretty much everything you can think of.

Since we are talking about education, it’s time for a pop quiz: less than two years after MOOCs reached public consciousness, MOOCs are:

A)   the future of education

B)   the harbinger of the end of higher education as we know it

C)   a passing fad

D)   all of the above

E)   none of the above

The past 18 months have seen MOOCs seemingly go from A to E above – and the number of clients asking for inclusion in trend articles related to MOOCs has spiked. Being included in somewhat related articles, or “chasing trend stories,” is great for consumer products and even for business products, but it’s not necessarily the best option for education stories as in many cases there’s more riding on education then there is on for example what consumer product to buy.

People looking to learn more about education opportunities are making giant leaps. They are choosing the types of careers they might have, in many cases serious financial obligations, and sometimes the hopes and dreams of multiple generations.

When looking at how we communicate about education and our education clients, we have to be more than publicists. We are counselors and we owe it to our clients, and to students, to do more than tell the story of the day.

In our annual Edelman Trust Barometer, academics have always been at or near the top of the list as the most credible spokespeople for an organization. There’s a reason that academics are trusted –for many of them, their literal job is the search for truth.  It’s up to us to help them tell that truth, not chase trends.