MASTERCLASS: Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, Best in Class

MASTERCLASS: Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, Best in Class

Not sure if you’ve seen the promo for screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s Masterclass. If you haven’t there is a link to it at the bottom of this page. Just hold on a minute! Not so fast. I want to share why I love it so much.

In my work I deal with a lot of content. And sometimes, let’s face it, the content is filler. Just helps the search engines, etc. Not that we trade in lightweight content, but you have to feed the digital beast, and it’s expensive to produce. Surely the Masterclass team had some Hollywood help in producing the promo for Sorkin’s spot, but I think it’s so compelling. For me it's the balance between pace, real insider insight and humor. It moves, he’s good to look at (well styled), and it feels ‘real.’ Not canned and phoney. Good graphics too. It all works. And here’s the sobering truth, it may be one of the very few ads I’ve stopped to watch, rather than skip ahead to the content. In all these years, this is the one.

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The Power of Being a Change Agent

The Power of Being a Change Agent

2016 has been quite the year. I surely don’t need to spell it out for you. Straddling London and New York, the US and Europe, I’ve watched events play out on two very different stages. And for the sake of keeping it neutral I’m not going to pontificate on what I think, I’ll leave that to the professionals.

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Contacts: Just Exactly How Important Are They?

Contacts: Just Exactly How Important Are They?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and for good reason. More on that soon. I remember in my early days doing PR a particular savvy client repeating over and over just how important relationships were to the success of any media campaign. By her estimation they were pretty much everything. While there is merit in this sentiment I actually don’t quite agree. Relationships are vital in our world, but content is actually just as important. You can call your friend the journalist all day long, but if your content sucks you’re pretty much dead in the water.

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Less Is More

Less Is More

There was a time when you needed a team of people to get a simple task done. And everything was manual, it took longer and was more involved. People were the answer to all your problems. The more issues you had the more people you needed. Today, not so much. And thank goodness. I’m not saying let’s replace people with robots, not at all. I think the virtual assistant will probably come into its own one day, but they will never capture the subtle nuances that come with working closely and in tandem with a real human being. If you have Clutter you know what I’m talking about, right? Clutter manages to de-clutter just about everything, and I mean things I don’t want it to remove. No subtlety here. Total different subject, but one that is on the docket for future exploration.

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Something is Wrong Will Robinson: When Being Sick Is Like a Vacation

Something is Wrong Will Robinson: When Being Sick Is Like a Vacation

I’ve noticed over the years that the time I can most relax and decompress is when I am sick. Something about that scenario does not seem right, but I wonder if I am the only one that has that experience? I don’t think so. You see, in a fairly 24/7 hyper-connected world, there aren’t a lot of times we have permission to totally disengage. Everyone talks about it, but not a lot of people actually do it. We’re living in an era that can make you feel that if you’re not engaged, you’re dead. Professionally, anyway. Silence equals death.

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Friends That Work Together?

Friends That Work Together?

I have the distinct pleasure of working with some women that I have known for years. They are incredibly smart, really fun and down to earth. I trust them implicitly, and the best part of all is that on most occasions we can ‘read each other’s mail.’ It’s basically a real relief to not have to train them in the ways of public relations.

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Age = Expertise: Don't Waste It

Age = Expertise: Don't Waste It

I am now a few years over the 50-year old line. So far age has been kind to me - in terms of health and overall energy. And that’s a good thing, because I have never been so energized around my work. Malcom Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers’ talks about the ‘ten-thousand hour rule,’ basically, it takes at least that long doing something fairly consistently to gain any type of expertise.

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Is Beauty Overrated? Maybe It Should Be

Is Beauty Overrated? Maybe It Should Be

I’ve had the privilege to work with two of the largest beauty brands in the world: Revlon and L'Oréal Paris. It was a bit of a blast for all the reasons you would think. Free product! Actually, that's not true. I do invest in my beauty, and no offense intended, I think the more expensive brands provide a better quality experience. But anyway… One of the reasons I loved it was the nostalgia, because when I was younger with less disposable income they were my go-to brands, especially for lipstick and mascara. But for powder, it was CoverGirl all the way.

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The Arms Race: Blocking Ads

The Arms Race: Blocking Ads

I was at a dinner the other night and someone mentioned ad blocking. Because we live in the PR silo most days I’m not always privy to what is happening in the digital ad realm, which isn’t great, but not entirely deadly. Anyway, I looked it up. Interesting. Ok, let’s be honest, online advertising, especially pop ups (kind of out of nowhere), are really a bummer. Where is that disembodied voice coming from, I don't have the television on. 

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Is Branding Boring?

Is Branding Boring?

For someone with a company named Brand Building Communications you would think I’d be the biggest proponent of branding ever. Well, that’s true, I am. I believe in the power of brand, and I know that it can make all the difference in the world when it comes to capturing and retaining market share. At the core of branding is a simple word: consistency. But how hard is it to maintain consistency? And, after a while doesn’t it become, well, boring?

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The Busy Trap

The Busy Trap

Business is one of the easiest places to fall into the trap of ‘busy.’ Business. Busy-ness? Staying busy can have the effect of making one look both productive and important. But its root cause can often be poor time management and an inflated sense of self worth. The industry I’m in is populated with busy people. Recently, I took a real step back to review that busy mentality and I wasn’t too pleased with what I saw, yes it was me looking back – at me. In an effort to ‘get it all done’ I had seriously fallen into the trap of being too ‘busy.’ And to be honest, I haven’t pulled myself out of that deep, dark hole. Why not? It’s not easy to de-busy yourself. And it might even be a bit addictive. In fact, I think it is.

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