Author Archives: Sara Sedgwick-Brown

And the Oscar Goes to… Cirque du Soleil!

Anyone else think the Cirque du Soleil performance was one of few shining moments at last night’s Oscars? While 84-year-old Oscar arguably fell a little flat last night, Cirque – soaring above the Hollywood elite – seemed forever young. Who could know the organization is more than two decades old?

That consistent “freshness” is something Xerox CMO Christa Carone describes as the “secret sauce of Cirque” in her recent Forbes piece. Read more here for lessons from Carone on how big brands can be similarly remarkable and magical in their marketing.

AWNY Panel Tells Us What’s Hot in Public Relations This Year

DGC (DiGennaro Communications) had the pleasure of recently attending the AWNY panel “What’s Hot in Public Relations: 2012” moderated by Ad Age’s Alexandra Bruell. It was an enlightening discussion among proven PR pros – all of whom felt strongly that the outlook for the industry is quite bright.   A bit of a “kumbaya” affair, Darlan Monterisi (Porter Novelli), Liz Kaplow (Kaplow), Lisa Rosenberg (Euro RSCG PR), and Jill Dosik (GCI Health) all thought that 2012 would bring a renewed focus on working together across marketing industries to bring ideas to life. Along with this message of unity came a sincere hope that the year ahead would bring a return to real world engagement and a healthier balance between offline and online interaction.We had the pleasure of recently attending the AWNY panel “What’s Hot in Public Relations: 2012” moderated by Ad Age’s Alexandra Bruell. It was an enlightening discussion among proven PR pros – all of whom felt strongly that the outlook for the industry is quite bright.

A bit of a “kumbaya” affair, Darlan Monterisi (Porter Novelli), Liz Kaplow (Kaplow), Lisa Rosenberg (Euro RSCG PR), and Jill Dosik (GCI Health) all thought that 2012 would bring a renewed focus on working together across marketing industries to bring ideas to life. Along with this message of unity came a sincere hope that the year ahead would bring a return to real world engagement and a healthier balance between offline and online interaction.

Below are more highlights on what will be hot in PR this year – even if it’s a bit cold outside right now.

10 Hot Topics for 2012:

  1. Cross-Industry Collaboration: increasingly, advertisers, marketers and PR pros, united by a concept or idea, will join forces and be judged on the overall success of activating the galvanizing idea
  2. Real World Engagement: more and more consumers will turn away from the screen and look to connect offline
  3. Customer Service: the last untapped army for PR, brands will turn to PR experts to improve their customer service operations
  4. Mobile: technology will continue to evolve and broaden engagement opportunities
  5. Media Training in the C-Suite: given increased transparency at the senior level, executives will need full-immersion media training to remain on message and be prepared to navigate a crisis
  6. Rapid Response: with a 24/7 news cycle, clients need strategic counsel on issues across all media platforms at the drop of a hat; PR pros need to learn to keep up
  7. Content, Content, Content: PR shops will become “editor & chief” of the brand, as companies will increasingly become content hubs, creating their own and curating work on topics relevant to their business
  8. Analytics: there will be an increasing onus on PR professionals to “prove the effectiveness of their work” in terms of quality, not just quantity – which will spur greater tracking tools
  9. Corporate Social Responsibility: CSR will be an integral (and expected) part of any 360o public relations program
  10. Internal Communications: clients will lean on PR to help smooth internal communications as CEOs show greater appreciation for full team engagement

As DGC looks ahead, content, analytics and corporate social responsibility are at the top of our list to keep us hot in 2012!

Extreme Couponing vs. Expired Couponing

Who doesn’t love TLC’s Extreme Couponing… But have you tried Expired Couponing? Come on, you know you’ve tried to get 50% off a second shampoo with last year’s coupon…  How’d it turn out? Barbara Apple Sullivan, founder of the brand engagement firm Sullivan, thinks there’s a lesson to be learned in how expired coupons are handled. According to Barbara, the willingness to honor an outdated voucher largely depends on the cashier’s gender: Male cashiers will accept them. Female cashiers will not. (mental note for future trips to Walgreen’s)

So what gives?

Barbara suggests that the male/female divide in Expired Couponing might have larger applications in the business world:

Based on this “coupon test” and many years as a manager, I’d venture to say that, more often than not, women take action according to the letter of the law while men are more inclined to flout rules to be true to the spirit of the law. Women are rule followers and perfectionists. They want to be right. They dot I’s and cross T’s. But that is not always the way to win the war—particularly a war that’s being fought in a world of masculine values.

This purely anecdotal “research” may sound like a sexist generalization but I point it out because women who want to be leaders can start by recognizing what it means: Sometimes it’s not only okay to bend or break the rules – it’s critical to your professional success.

What do you think? Ever broken a rule in business?  Did it turn out poorly or does it usually work to your benefit in the end?

Check out Barbara’s full article on Forbes.com here: Women and Rule-breaking: Why It’s Essential for Business Success 

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