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Great to know: Lisa Cleff Kurtz, Philanthropist, Education and Arts Activist, and Rainmaker

Editor’s note: Nearly two decades ago, my fate was forever altered due to a chance encounter with the then-San Francisco based creative industry rainmaker, Lisa Cleff. After several months of her mentoring me in the field of sales, I was hired by high-tech PR firm The Terpin Group, thanks almost entirely to her recommendation. When The Darnell Works Agency launched in 2000, not only was she a main client and collaborator, her referrals have resulted in more than a dozen vital DWA client relationships… including those at ATTIK, CBX, PLUS, PostWorks and Sid Lee, to name but a few. Naturally, shining a light on this phenomenal luminary is a great honor for me, especially since the interview itself was conducted by her daughter, Zoe Lindgren, a rising NYC creative in her own right. For your further enjoyment, I also highly recommend this great interview by Timothy Huang, who spoke with Lisa in 2016 about her career – and her role as a star board member of A.R.T. / New York.

How did you get your start in your career? Read more

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Design Competitions from Design Week, Adweek, Communication Arts, Core77 and Fast Company


Several very prestigious design awards programs are currently open for entries – I thought you would appreciate the heads-up and some brief details… which I am presenting in order of the currently published submission deadlines. Best of luck friends! Read more

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MLK Day of Service 2018

The MLK Day of Service is an opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s legacy through service and volunteerism.

Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. To learn more, please visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday.

It’s also my pleasure to provide the following graphic illuminating the life and lasting legacy of Dr. King, courtesy of http://OnlineCollegeCourses.com. “People honor and celebrate the life of Dr. King for many reasons, but most importantly, for his role in working to achieve race equality in America. Dr. King had arguably the greatest impact of any single person during the fight for racial equality, and the fact that his life was cut short causes people to wonder what he may have gone on to achieve in his lifetime. Read more

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Take your best shot on 28 Nov., Giving Tuesday

Great things are shaping up, thanks to you and everyone else making plans to participate in the sixth annual #GivingTuesday festivities. This movement began in 2012 as an organized effort dedicated to giving back. As a result, on Tuesday, 28 Nov., charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and others all around the world will come together to celebrate generosity and to give.

Participation is simple. Read more

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Ready to Gobble Gobble Give?

Each year, people all across America gather-up on Thanksgiving morning for a few hours to feed the homeless. Some of these efforts are organized by Gobble Gobble Give, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity where your vital donations are 100 percent tax-deductible. For their upcoming gatherings in Austin, Boca Raton, Detroit, LA (Echo Park, Downtown and Santa Monica), Las Vegas, Nashville, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana and Washington, D.C., participants will bring their own dishes and prepare meals using all the food that comes in (and care packages, too). Then, everyone will hit the streets together to give it all away to homeless men, women, and children.

If you are available to get involved with the Gobble Gobble Give festivities this Thanksgiving, participation only takes a few hours, and it very well might change someone’s life, including yours.

Gobble Gobble Give started with one person, 12 years ago, Read more

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September Edition II: Ultimate Events Happening Soon

With each new day, you can guarantee that some very bright people are planning get-togethers designed to have massive impacts for everyone involved. The settings can be musical, artistic, creative, academic or business-focused; these are events you hear about before saying, “that sounds awesome,” and “sign me up.” This actively researched and updated blog series is my answer to helping people learn about ultimate events on a timely basis.

Follow this link to see all the events and activities set for this year’s New York Advertising Week, kicking off 25 September: http://newyork.advertisingweek.com/calendar Read more

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Promo video primer: 30 first-class examples

Back in 2014, a story from Chris Trimble appeared in the Guardian proclaiming video as the future of content marketing, with this dire warning: “small businesses who ignore it do so at their peril.” Since then, video usage has continued to climb, and more and more people and businesses are trying to engage, entertain and educate us with their on-screen storytelling. Bearing this in mind, I’m very happy to share some of the videos I’ve collected over the past six years working beside some phenomenal storytellers.

For your reference and enlightenment, I have chosen 10 examples apiece for three well-established niches of corporate communications. While most of these videos were designed for business audiences, their creators invested some artistry to try to make them appeal to all of us. Read more

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September Edition I: Ultimate Events Happening Soon

With each new day, you can guarantee that some very bright people are planning get-togethers designed to have massive impacts for everyone involved. The settings can be musical, artistic, creative, academic or business-focused; these are events you hear about before saying, “that sounds awesome,” and “sign me up.” This actively researched and updated blog series is my answer to helping people learn about ultimate events on a timely basis.

Follow this link for a local’s guide to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, kicking off 7 September in Toronto: http://www.seetorontonow.com Read more

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Marketing Imperatives: Center Everything Around Your PR Strategy

I have a longstanding working relationship with a CEO who recently changed jobs. Coming into his new company, he told me that his mantra was this: He intended to center every marketing initiative around PR strategy. In virtually every industry, I’m seeing many wise marketing industry leaders endorsing this idea. Another prominent example from the past several years comes from Jason Harris of San Francisco- and NYC-based Mekanism, where in an interview with HubSpot.com, he described his agency’s framework for creating shareable content.

“Our approach is to always think about the PR headline. Why will the idea, content, innovation, etc., travel? Why will people care, and why will they want to talk about it and share it? If there is no PR headline, the idea won’t be shareable. That is our goal on every project.”

The video I’m embedding with this article perfectly demonstrates the increasing focus on PR, presenting the 47-minute “Content & Storytelling: Is the PR Landscape Shifting?” session from the 2014 CDO Summit in NYC. Read more

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Media Spotlight: Creators

Creators is VICE’s arts and culture platform, covering every aspect of the creative process. Its mission is to make art more accessible to a wider audience with diverse voices reporting on emergent arts and artists.

From sculpture and light projections to street art and dance, the platform’s curators and contributors immerse themselves in cultural hotbeds and travel to the far corners of the globe to explore the spectacle and color of making art today. Read more

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