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Living artistically: Mary Elizabeth Williams

Welcome to my newest series of blog posts. With “Living artistically,” I plan to shine some light on artists I admire who are living in ways that seem to be lifted to higher levels by creative sensibilities, talent and character. First up, I’m proud to feature NYC-based writer Mary Elizabeth Williams, who brought the awesome video I’m embedding above to my attention a couple of years back and has been on my regular reading list ever since.

On her personal blog, Mary Elizabeth describes herself as a writer, consultant, and radio commentator, “with about a thousand years experience, give or take a century.” On Twitter, she adds even more color: “Melanomaniac. Clinical trial lab rat. Uptowner. Instigator. Caller of shenanigans.” A writer for Salon.com, she has also written for The Nation, 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: putting PR strategy at the center all of their marketing initiatives. I took this as a personal compliment, and I know that many marketing industry leaders are increasingly endorsing the idea. One more recent example comes from Jason Harris of San Francisco- and NYC-based Mekanism, where in an interview with AgencyPost.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.”

To me it’s very clear that, right now, the smartest marketing thinking is powerfully concentrated in the realm of public relations. Read more

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Let’s impact inequality on 16 October: Blog Action Day 2014

Knowing that Blog Action Day 2014 is this week, I have given the assigned subject (inequality) some thought, beginning with wondering what it might mean to you. Whatever comes to mind, I hope you will use your voice and your power to make your presence felt. To encourage you to advance your choice causes today, here are some inspirational examples of how other human beings are effectively addressing inequality.

. #Inequality – International charitable organization Oxfam is actively working in more than 90 countries worldwide to find global solutions to poverty and injustice. As key 2014 Blog Action Day partners, Oxfam has published this very helpful guide for writing about inequality. Consider this:

“Extreme inequality is not inevitable – it is the result of years of deliberate policies and rules that have been rigged in favor of the few. We know that these rules can be changed to benefit everyone, and that together, we can tackle inequality.” Read more

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YouTube insights for fun, inspiration and success

Earlier this year, our 10-year-old son told us his career aspiration: More than anything else, he wants to be a YouTuber. In all honesty, our knee-jerk response was not 100% positive, but as the conversation continues, it’s clear that the boy’s onto something. We actually have two highly active young YouTube aficionados in our household (adding our 13-year-old daughter), and as you can see in the sources listed below for this article, my views on YouTube reference multiple perspectives. For anyone wanting to actively participate in the self-broadcasting revolution, here are some noteworthy insights from my latest research. Feedback is most welcome and very much appreciated. Read more

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Sharing secrets: Film finance and distribution tips from Emily Best

Seed&Spark is a new, LA-based crowdfunding and digital distribution platform for independent films that is already winning major awards and large-scale investments, while rapidly breaking new ground in what founder and chief creative Emily Best calls “fair trade filmmaking.” According to Emily, Seed&Spark selects independent films for fans to back, then helps filmmakers raise funds and distribute their films through partnerships with the likes of the American Express Amex Now cable network. Seed&Spark differs from crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo by handling both funding and distribution. Since launching the company in December, 2012, Emily has raised more than $1 million to help 70 films get made, won the 2013 season of New York Observer blog BetaBeat’s “The Pitch” competition, been named one of Indiewire’s Top 40 Influencers of the past year, and most recently, helped the company close a U.S. $1-million round of seed funding.


Currently touring film and tech festivals around the world (“Sundance and SXSWV2V to Sheffield and Galway”) to educate filmmakers and learn best practices for connecting with audiences, Emily’s background also includes feature film production, strategic consulting for large companies, managing restaurants, and anthropology. Clearly, we all can learn something from this enterprising and hard-working young entrepreneur and her colleagues, right? Read more

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NYC’s Advertising Week begins on 29 September

This year’s annual Advertising Week gathering of marketing and communications leaders is set to begin in New York City on 29 September. Offering over 250 distinct events, “The Week” is a hybrid of thought-leadership seminars presented by some of the industry’s best and brightest, as well as highly engaging special events which aim to unite and galvanize bright and diverse audiences.

Originally established in 2004, The Week draws from all facets of the creative communities and shines the spotlight on key business drivers shaping and influencing these industries worldwide. In the words of its organizers, “Measured by breadth, scope and impact, Advertising Week transcends standard industry conferences and The Week moves the needle on key industry challenges like talent and diversity via GeneratioNext and Advertising Futures.”

Learn more at http://www.advertisingweek.com

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ADCOLOR awards, conference and excitement hit LA this week

This week, the eighth annual ADCOLOR(R) Awards and Industry Conference will rock the Beverly Hilton, uniting leaders and change-makers from the advertising, marketing, media and communications industries to rise up and reach back in countless exciting and vitally important ways. A 501(c)6 nonprofit organization, ADCOLOR proactively champions advertising workforce diversity. This week’s schedule is filled with festive and formal social engagements advancing ADCOLOR’s vibrant FUTURES and University programs, with gala conference events running through Saturday. As highlighted below, many of those are awards-focused, set to honor scores of very impressive individuals. To learn more and register to attend Read more

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Rising chief digital officers, and upcoming digital summits

According to David Mathison, who is the founder of The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) Club and the curator of the CDO Summit events, there is a trend of digital officers ascending into chief executive officer roles. The CDO Club’s 2014 CDO Talent Map reports on seven digital officers transitioning into the CEO role during the past year. “A staggering figure,” Mathison has said, “considering there are just a few hundred CDOs to date.”

Coming up on 29 October, the inaugural CDO Summit in the U.K. will occur at the BBC Media Centre in London, produced by Be The Media with a host of partners including moo.com, Accenture Digital and ForgeRock. This follows the first-ever CDO Summit held in New York City in 2013 at Thomson Reuters, and this year’s CDO Summit held at NYC’s Time Warner Conference Center in April. As you can see in the video above, these events convene leaders at the forefront of this expertise junction now so imperative to large-scale success. Connecting with other innovators, sharing lessons and collectively advancing relevant knowledge to the benefit of everyone in attendance, involvement with The CDO Club and these events should be highly rewarding.

“Marketing takes care of the Brand, R&D takes care of the Product, Sales takes care of the Customer: the Chief Digital Officer connects the brand, the product and the Customer.” – Attributed to a CDO in 2014 report by Boyden.

If you won’t be in London during that timeframe but still yearn for high-level networking and education at the crossroads of convergence, read on for information on other upcoming events with a focus on digital mastery. Read more

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Sharing secrets: Scion Motivate’s “Visual Identity” panel

I have written in the past about the serious 2013 campaign automotive brand Scion launched to help motivated young professionals scale their careers upward. Those multifaceted efforts included a series of brand films where they convened very bright and successful creative industry achievers to provide spot-on insights about key business imperatives. You can see for yourself that what they created packages the real, proven stuff. In the 10-minute episode embedded above, in order of appearance, you get to meet Justin Thomas Kay of Doubleday & Cartwright, Joshua Prince aka Dust La Rock of Fool’s Gold Records, Cody Hudson of Struggle Inc. and Longman & Eagle, and artist Kenton Parker… and hear their candid responses to these questions: Read more

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Hybrid creative agency ENVOY goes to the movies…

Irvine, California-based ENVOY is the hybrid creative agency that advises bold partners on innovation, taking new products to market and the long term strategic direction of their organizations. In an ever-changing digital world, ENVOY’s team of creators, developers and strategists partners with bold leaders to make experiences and products that define the future.

Today ENVOY is proud to present its latest work: The official website for Frank Miller’s “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” from co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, online at http://sincity-2.com.

Weaving together two of Miller’s classic stories with new tales, “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is the follow-up to Rodriguez and Miller’s 2005 groundbreaking film, Frank Miller’s “Sin City.” With the film arriving in theaters this Friday, 22 August, you can now visit the site to immerse yourself in what’s to come. The responsive HTML5 website was created by ENVOY in association with Mr. Miller, Dimension Films and The Weinstein Company.

ENVOY is growing at a record pace Read more

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