Insights: The EGC Blog

We are a marketing agency for the digital world

Look around! Things have changed! And we’re not talking a new coat of paint; we rebuilt this thing from the ground up: new colors, new fonts – new approach.

We are a marketing agency for the digital world. It’s visible in our work, in our office, and now on our website. Here’s why we made the change (and how it’s reflected in our new site):

mobile site


For the first time ever, traffic to our site from mobile devices is going to eclipse the 20% mark this year. That’s iPads, iPhones, Galaxies, HTC Ones, and every other handheld, tablet, and phablet out there, and they all come in different sizes and shapes. You used to be able to get by with a mobile site that offered only limited functionality. The technology wasn’t there on mobile browsers yet, so you could say, “If you want to do anything more complex than what we have here, you’ll have to go sit at your desktop.”

But not anymore, so your site has to be responsive, fitting the screen of anybody who’s visiting. With our new site, we look good on anything from a 27" iMac to an iPhone 4S. You can’t get to it from a flip phone, but it’d look amazing if you could!

social media wallSocial Integration

Along with viewing the internet in an entirely new way with mobile devices, web users are browsing and looking for information differently, too. The browsing experience – due to load times and on-the-go urgency, is truncated for mobile and users are looking for up-to-the-minute information that’s bred on social – not the traditional homepage.

So we built social into the homepage for the best of both worlds.

Now, we display content from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and our blog in one convenient spot. More than anything else, this helps first-time visitors get a little flavor of the agency: a little work, a little personality, a little thought leadership, and the occasional pet photo thrown in for good measure.

Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it on the site.

Content is king, and we just built the castle.

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Welcome to Weekend Reading

EGC’s LI Digital Summit is next Tuesday, and I’m thrilled to say we are at near capacity. If you have not yet registered, please do as it’s shaping up to be a world-class event and we expect a sell-out. Click to the right for more info and to register.

We’re also proud to launch our new responsive website, It includes integrated social media feeds, features content marketing best practices and we’ll have the ability to serve you the content you’re looking for, customized by your interest and industry. If you are interested in learning more about this type of website and content marketing program, please call me directly at 516-935-4944.

This week’s edition looks at the importance of customer relationships, the power of Pinterest as a marketing tool, and how to beat your competition and attract more customers.

As customer loyalty programs proliferate and become an integral part of many companies marketing strategy, customer service interactions are becoming the primary means of creating true customer relationships. Read how to make the most of them and retain more customers.

Whether or not you have a Pinterest account, you’ll want to read our second article, which explains how Pinterest is helping marketers gain better insights and give brands the opportunity to dig deeper into their connection with their community. Read how you can take advantage of the opportunity.

We conclude with an article about how to win customers by identifying and beating your top competitors.

I hope to see you at the LI Digital Summit.

Have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo


Beyond Customer Loyalty Programs: 7 Ways To Build Lasting Relationships

Fast Company
by Mikkel Svane

Businesses talk a lot about customer loyalty. It makes sense: A person you can count on to buy from you again and again is more valuable than one who disappears after the first transaction. (Read more...)

Nicole Larrauri

Managing Partner
Twitter: @Nicole_Larrauri

This article echoes our most urgent advice to brands and marketers: be transparent, be human. Today, poor customer experience, one way messaging and inauthentic communication leads to lost customers. Think Zappos, a brand built by following all seven of these rules.


Bet You Aren’t Doing This on Pinterest

SmartBlog on Social Media
by Anne Crowe

Pinterest has evolved from a community of brides-to-be into a genuine means of visual communication that connects the brand to the consumer. With new features being rolled out over the past year, Pinterest is looking to help marketers gain better insights and give brands the opportunity to dig deeper into their connect (Read more...)

Stephanie Weingart
Director of Social Media
Twitter: @Frozen2late

The steps and advice that Ms. Crow offers in this article reflect a trend. This trend is that fresh, new social media platforms that were fun places to hang out on (yesterday) will become important and valuable marketing tools (tomorrow). One needs only to look at the changes that Facebook has made to its algorithm and how businesses are coming up with budgets to pay for advertising content (which they did not have to a short time ago). And as far as Pinterest goes, note the very specific data of what pins “work” and which ones don’t, along with making a business’ logo display prominently. This “new kid” on the social media block has indeed grown up.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Winning the Customer

Strategy + Business
by Niraj Dawar

Let’s begin with a question: Who are your competitors? Take a minute to list two, three, or four companies. Then ask yourself how you know that these are your closest rivals. Are they the companies that most often pitch for business alongside your company? (Read more...)

Tony Pasquariello
Account Supervisor

The complex variables that include timing, opportunity, and even guessing the psychology of potential customers – and whether one brand or a competitor will win them over – are overwhelming. Professor Dawar finishes with an addendum stating that this piece relates to “high-involvement” product categories, followed by a brief essay on the dynamics of how consumers choose smaller, everyday purchases. Decision-making factors in these cases are more widespread and “loom much larger.” Those three words sound intimidating, but ironically, the pressure for smaller businesses to pinpoint how to win a customer is not as exacting. The more prestige and power a brand gains, the narrower their window of strategically winning a customer.

 "Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right."

-- Henry Ford



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…that is, "your content is no good here if you don’t want to pay."

The signs have been appearing for a few months now, but a statement from a Facebook employee on Friday afternoon confirmed what brands have feared all along: their content isn’t valuable to Facebook, and as a result, won’t be valued by Facebook’s users.

Here’s how it happened: Eat24, a popular online food delivery service (so popular, they have a Wikipedia page!), wrote a post “breaking up” with Facebook over the lack of reach their content has gotten lately.

(We’d show the whole thing, but it’s very, very long. You can see the post here.)

They’re upset that Facebook is throttling branded content down to about 5% or 6% for organic reach. That means that without paid advertising supporting the content, only a small portion of page fans are actually seeing the content posted by the pages they “Like.” That’s 5%-6% of people who have opted in to receive a brand’s posts.

Essentially, the free ride is over: brands that have built huge, interactive communities without paying a dime are going to have to start ponying up.

There are, as always, two sides to this story.

We’re willing to applaud Facebook for answering the post in the same snarky spirit as it was written. We keep saying personality is crucial on social and it shows on this one. But we wish the reasoning behind Facebook’s response had been different. Instead of claiming they are simply punishing brands because they’re not delivering content that is in line with users (they literally suggest that users prefer photos of babies and homemade cupcakes), next time, they should just be honest: it’s a platform that supports itself with advertising revenue. Be transparent about it, we’ll understand. But don’t position it as an act of altruism.

Here are the points we wish they’d made:

Facebook is a media platform and have reached the point where they can get away with a move like this. They’re betting on the ability of advertisers to take advantage of the huge amounts of data they control to target an audience of consumers (very specifically). They’re also betting on the fact that no other platform can boast 1.2 billion monthly active users. Having access to that kind of audience is a valuable thing, and Facebook is cashing in.

On top of that, Facebook has to protect the user experience of the site. With so many people and so many brands (not to mention interest pages, musicians, TV shows, and anything else under the sun you can “Like,”), there’s more content being created on a daily basis now than ever before. Users couldn’t possibly sort through all of the content that’s generated by their connections. As soon as the site becomes overwhelming, those users leave and they don’t come back. And because having 1.2 billion monthly active users is Facebook’s biggest strength, you can see why they wouldn’t want that.

The solution lies in the algorithm: Facebook prioritizes content that is interacted with most often and doesn’t even show you content from sources you’ve ignored in the past.

Have you ever wondered why some friends come up in your feed more often than others? It’s the same idea: when you have conversations back and forth with old friends, Facebook recognizes that as an important relationship to you. When you accept a friend request from that kid you vaguely knew in high school but you never actually interact with them afterward, Facebook barely allows them to pop up in your newsfeed.

The difference is that brands can pay to get out of purgatory.

An even playing field?

What about brands that don’t have large marketing budgets? Facebook pages for small businesses have been a huge boon for brands that “get” social but don’t have the budgets to compete with bigger competitors. Social media leveled the playing field for a lot of these companies and now it’s tilting it against them again. Do they abandon the communities they’ve spent time and resources building or do they try to find a way to keep up?

It depends on the brand. How much is that community worth to them?

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This week’s edition covers a wide array of subjects that are topical, newsworthy, and practical, ranging from online analytics, the mechanics of social media, reputation management, and how to best deal with the worst scenario of delivering bad news.

You may not know them by name, but you have definitely seen them…parallax websites. We begin this week’s edition with an EGC blog which answers some questions about how parallax websites work, how to create one, and the pros and cons (yes, there are some) involved in the process.

If you shop online, and revisit a particular website, you will see recommendations or suggestions for you to check out – all because of an item you viewed on your previous visit. This is an example of online analytics at work…read how they are changing the world economy and how you can use them to your best advantage.

In keeping with the topic of online influence, the next article examines how well-known brands (in this case, General Motors), have integrated strong reputation management tactics to both counter and appease any negative word-of-mouth among customers.

Nobody likes to relay bad news, but it is inevitable at some points in life, particularly in business. Our third article is a step-by-step guide for anyone who is faced with having to be in this position, and how to be as graceful and professional as possible in a difficult task.

We end this edition on a lighter note with one reality of today’s online world: It's hard to keep up with the many different social media platforms that are available. We therefore present a fun infographic about one of your favorite guilty foods and how it can be discussed in each platform.

Eat well, be social, and have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo

Thinking Parallax? Think On This...

The EGC Group
by Nicole Larrauri; Managing Partner

They’re everywhere.
For instance, here. And here. And here, and here, and here.
We made one here.
Would a list work better for you? Here’s one with the best 20. And one with the best 30. And if you still need more, one with the best 40 that are out there. (Read more...)

Using Analytics to Entice Customers

by Rubal Walia

Ninety per cent of you reading this article like emerging technologies. No, I didn’t do any analysis to come to a figure of 90 per cent. It is but a guess. However, in today’s world, it is indeed possible to collect information over a period of time and use analytics to predict precise outcomes. (Read more...)


Genevieve Morzillo
Digital Account Manager
Twitter: @gen028

Much of the information here is not news to anyone who has either purchased or browsed products via an online retailer. Once you revisit that particular retailer’s homepage – recommendations, offers, or assorted types of ads that are related to what you previously searched for are going to show up. What may not be immediately obvious is that other types of websites are taking the lead from retailer sites and adapting analytics for their own methods of attracting, appealing to – and keeping – the attention of the public. The impact and figures produced by this revolution are staggering and unprecedented. (As proof of this, how often do you hear or read the term “quintillion” anywhere?)

G.M. Uses Social Media to Manage Customers and Its Reputation

The New York Times
by Vindu Goel

SAN FRANCISCO — If you glance at the Facebook page of General Motors, it seems like business as usual at the Detroit automaker, even though the company is struggling to cope with the recalls of 1.6 million cars that it has linked to 12 deaths. (Read more...)


Nicole Larrauri
Managing Partner
Twitter: @Nicole_Larrauri

Because of social media, the reality that G.M. is living and dealing with now is a stark example of how consequences must be faced and actions accounted for. Social media has made conditions in these circumstances far more stringent, uncompromising, and potentially unforgiving. (One would like to think that if social media did not exist, the auto giant would do the right thing in any event and address the current situation at hand.) Vindu Goel accurately refers to G.M.’s situation as walking the tightrope. From dealing with customers on an individual basis as much as possible to cooperating with the authorities as this investigation continues, G.M. is indeed walking the tightrope between being there for its customers and maintaining its integrity, and each factor depends on the other.

10 Tips for Delivering Bad News
by Robert J. Bies

From negative performance reviews and massive employee layoffs to federal budget cuts and fatal test results, bad news is almost a daily phenomenon across all industries and sectors. (Read more...)


Ernie Canadeo
Founder & President

Kudos to Professor Bies for this practical, to-the-point, yet compassionate list of how to appropriately and tactfully be the bearer of bad news. The content in point 8 is especially important, as it covers the importance of explanation, along with concluding the statement with some words of hope or consolation. This may seem contradictory, as these words will not fix the situation, nor may they immediately register with the person (or persons) who are hearing them. They are necessary, however, even if only on a subconscious level, as some level of dignity may be maintained – for both listener and speaker.

Social Media Explained

(Click here to view an infographic that details the dynamics of different social media platforms.)


Stephanie Weingart
Director of Social Media
Twitter: @Frozen2late

In case you don’t know how to speak “donut”! This seemingly simple infographic, however, reveals that each social media platform is, in a sense, its own language. And each individual language interprets and highlights any single thing under the sun (donuts in this example), for its audience to take note of. Whether the messaging is subliminal or direct, practically everything has been saluted or the subject of a social media platform.

"Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans."
-- John Lennon

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We begin this week’s edition with an EGC blog about how we successfully converted an online audience to purchase at retail. We continue with how to make your presentations as successful as TED talks, followed by 5 traits of a company’s top talent, and an app that can give you an emotional analysis about how you feel.

One of the challenges companies face is how to leverage social media into sales. Read how EGC successfully created and ran a social media campaign for one of our national retail clients that converted into substantial walk-in retail sales.

Our second article is invaluable if you do public speaking, as we present the nine public speaking secrets of the world’s top minds, based on an analysis of over 500 TED talks.

Whether you are interviewing for a job, or are the one doing the hiring, our next article, “The Top Traits of Top Talent” will give you the important qualities to present or to look for in the hiring process.

So how are you feeling today? We found an app called “Moodies” that can analyze emotions based on the sound, tone, and infection of your voice. So keep repeating, “I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy…”

Have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo

Driving Foot Traffic With Facebook Offers

The EGC Group
by Nicole Larrauri; Managing Partner

How retailers can convert online audiences to offline sales
Social media is typically a slow burn, a great channel to build brand loyalty and provide responsive customer service. But for retailers, social also needs to drive sales. (Read more...)

How to Talk like TED

by Guy Kawasaki

TED (Technology/Design/Entertainment) is celebrating its 30 anniversary in March and has transformed the art of keynote speeches. Since TED “talks” are now viewed online more than two million times a day and smaller, independently run TEDx events are held in 145 countries, there’s a good chance that people in every audience has seen a TED talk. (Read more...)


Nicole Larrauri
Managing Partner
Twitter: @Nicole_Larrauri

This list of how to master the method of the TED talk may come across as easy, but the ninth item cannot be emphasized enough: “Practice, a lot.” For those who are not used to this relatively new format of public speaking, this is especially important. Stop and think, for instance, of being able to weave three personal stories, execute what the article terms “multisensory experiences,” and teach your audience something – all within eighteen minutes. This is not as easy as it sounds, so practicing and fine-tuning the presentation is essential. The good news, thanks to this list (as well as Mr. Gallo’s book), is that it can be done.

The 5 Traits Of A Company's 'Top Talent'

Business Insider
by Beth Kuhel

If you want to get hired and stay hired you need to know how hiring managers think. Since Google is setting the standard for attracting, hiring (and paying) top talent, examining and understanding their hiring standards and practices could help you even if you have no interest in working there. (Read more...)


Ernie Canadeo
Founder & President

The qualities listed here provide sound and valuable insight into what hiring managers are truly looking for. This article is especially relevant to recent college or career school graduates who are about to embark on their first job interviews or those who are in the process of seeking a new position. The level of education and how high the grads, in addition to any awards or prior success, will not be advantageous unless they can be interwoven with the qualities of adaptability, collaboration, problem solving, humility and leadership that are detailed here.

App Tells You How You Feel

The Wall Street Journal
by Amir Mizroch

TEL AVIV—Beyond Verbal Communications Ltd., a voice-recognition software developer here, is rolling out an app promising something Siri can't yet deliver: a readout on how you're feeling.
Called Moodies, it lets a smartphone user speak a few words into the phone's mike to produce, about 20 seconds later, an emotional analysis. (Read more...)


Jackie Candelas
Director of Development
Twitter: @JackieAtEGC

Does anyone remember (or has heard of) “Mood Rings” from the 1970s? (They were pretty funny in retrospect.) It appears we will soon have the 21st century equivalent in the proposed app named “Moodies” from Beyond Verbal Communications. (This item, on the other hand, is not so funny.) The closing statement in this article, where Mr. Emodi, Vice President of Beyond Verbal Communications Ltd., admits that there “is no…way for us to prevent anyone from taking our product and activating it on somebody else without their knowledge" is troubling. Technology that ensures security should be mandated, developed, implemented and tested – in full force – and before this app is released.

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."
-- Mark Twain


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They’re everywhere.

For instance, here. And here. And here, and here, and here.

We made one here.

Would a list work better for you? Here’s one with the best 20. And one with the best 30. And if you still need more, one with the best 40 that are out there.

Parallax websites are all the rage.

Let’s clear something up right off the bat: what on earth is a parallax website?

Actually, it’s complicated (there’s a Wikipedia entry and everything). But basically, when you’re scrolling, it’s the way objects in the background move slower than objects in the foreground, giving the appearance of depth.

O.K., that’s cool. Does it do anything else?

Well, I mean, first of all, yeah, it is cool. But beyond that, we have to talk about the functionality behind it. What’s cool about parallax sites is that they offer a somewhat new way to tell a story online. You have better control over the user flow. In a linear format, there are only two directions to go: ahead, to the next section, or backward (where you’ve already been). You can usher readers through your content in the way that best shows what you want to say.

Take Apple’s Mac Pro site, for example. They have a clearly defined list of features they want to educate consumers about, along with a clearly defined order they want to present them in. So, they built a parallax site that not only shows off visually how cool of a product they have, but also forces the user to experience the site the way it was designed.

With the amount of poorly designed websites on the Internet, any format that allows us to present information clearly and legibly is a step in the right direction. And with the amount of distraction pulling us in every direction, being able to control every user’s journey seems pretty all right, too.

But it’s not all peaches and cream. Converting your site to a parallax page will affect your SEO. You have fewer options for header and Meta tags, and it’s more difficult to track where visitors are leaving your site (which means that analyzing the performance of specific content on the site is more difficult).

So you’re going to run into some issues if you make the switch.

But it looks so cool!

So what’s the solution?

While we’re hard at work designing the new EGC website, we’re tackling this issue by creating a parallax homepage, telling our story in an intriguing way first, and then building subpages with more specific information based on what our users are looking for.

This way, we can take advantage of the visual benefits while maintaining the advantages of running an SEO-optimized site.

It’s the best of both worlds.

Does your site need a new look? We can help.

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We are thrilled to be presenting EGC's 3rd Annual LI Digital Summit, Long Island's largest marketing conference, on April 15th at the Crest Hollow Country Club from 8AM-2:30pm. We are once again bringing speakers from national digital companies such as Google, Twitter, AOL, LinkedIn, Yelp, Mashable and more to Long Island to engage in lively panel discussions and informative breakout sessions. Click on the link to the right to find out more and to register. Please note that early bird pricing expires tomorrow, March 15th. I hope to see you there.

We begin this week’s edition with a blog by EGC Managing Partner Nicole Larrauri about the debate over the use of the word “bossy,” and how it is interpreted (or misinterpreted) in today’s changing climate.

We then discuss weighing the balance of hard work and luck, how to create a strong corporate culture, and the power of great storytelling.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, our first article contemplates the question: is it better to be lucky than good? Read it and find out that maybe it’s a combination of both.

A company’s culture can drive it’s growth, or failure. When the culture of an organization changes for the better, it is based on principles and practices that are referred to as the “critical few.” Learn what these few (three to be exact) factors are and how they can benefit your organization.

“Once upon a time…” are words that we remember from childhood. Learn how weaving a real-life story into your business meetings will make them more interesting and memorable.

Have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo

The Ban On Bossy

The EGC Group
by Nicole Larrauri; Managing Partner

The forces of the universe have joined together to ask you to stop the using word “bossy.” Through a new campaign, Sheryl Sandberg has teamed up with Jane Lynch, Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, Condoleezza Rice and so many others for an online video that launched this week and a piece inWSJ. (Read more...)

More Important to Success: Hard Work or Luck?

by Dave Kerpen

Dumbfounded. That’s how I felt, as I sat on the end of a phone conversation one spring afternoon in 2009.
My wife and I had worked hard to build a word of mouth and social media marketing agency over the two and half years that preceded that phone call. (Read more...)


Stephen Ostendorff
Admissions Marketing Manager

Having heard that luck trumped hard work from his father, and the reverse from his mother, Mr. Kerpen wisely believes that the two balance out. Working hard is a tangible task; luck is at times obvious, and at other times a matter of perspective. Mr. Kerpen has the right perspective. Consider for example, his departure from running for office, coupled with his realization that the name “kBuzz” was not going to work for his proposed social media platform. Someone else could just have easily been frustrated and embittered by such turns of events. Mr. Kerpen chose to view these as opportunities to know when and how to change his course, for which he was grateful – and, by extension, lucky.

The Critical Few: Components of a Truly Effective Culture

Strategy + Business
by Jon Katzenbach, Rutger von Post, and James Thomas

Sometimes corporate culture manifests itself in a make-your-own-taco party in the office kitchenette. Sometimes you can see it when an outdated phone bank is converted into an on-site ice cream shop. And sometimes it’s on display when senior leaders pick up paintbrushes to turn formerly bland office walls into electric blue work spaces. (Read more...)


Ernie Canadeo
Founder & President

The distillation of “critical few” – critical behaviors, existing cultural traits, and critical informal leaders – definitely seem interwoven, as the authors claim by the examples set by the organizations that apply them (Southwest Airlines Company, for example). Essentially, the trick is to not look at the bottom line (at first), but the interactions of employees (with the guidance and assistance of the “informal leaders”), where the chain reaction of positive energy and attitude will thus increase productivity. (THEN go ahead and check the bottom line, which will more than likely have improved.)

Transforming Company Culture Through Storytelling

by Darcy Jacobsen

The beloved children’s television host Fred Rogers used to carry a piece of paper around in his pocket. On it was a quote: “There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.”
Stories are one of the most powerful emotional currencies we humans possess. (Read more...)


Angela Mertz
Media Director
Twitter: @AngelaAtEGC

Darcy Jacobsen practices what she preaches; she describes the art of storytelling in a manner that is very interesting – and memorable. Especially valuable is not just the explanation of the benefits behind storytelling (from making a strong impression to inspiring employees), but how to effectively communicate. The formula she provides is one that anyone, at any level, can (and should) practice and apply the next time they are called upon to speak or write for a meeting or corporate function.

"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
-- Michael Jordan

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An Analysis of Wren’s “Strangers Kissing” Video

In case you've been avoiding the Internet for the past few days, a video of complete strangers kissing for the first time has taken off.

The video (which was well done by filmmaker Tatia Pilieva) showed 10 pairs of people meeting for the very first time, getting through awkward exchanges, and eventually making out.

It racked up over 25 million views quickly in just three days, with initial sentiment centered on its quirky romance and beauty.
But then “Business Insider,” among others, disclosed that the remarkably pretty people are actors and models, and that the video was produced by a fashion house, Wren Studios.

And just like that, the very fickle internet changed opinion. The video was dubbed a "fake," an ad, and a general ruse. (This isn't exactly true. They were billed as strangers, which is true. They are actors and models who haven't met yet. If they weren't pretty, would the internet have liked them so much?)

At the end of the day, was this all a worthwhile endeavor for Wren Studio? Everyone wants their video to go viral, and theirs did, but then what?

We asked three members of our team for their opinions.

Nicole Larrauri, Managing Partner
Perhaps it's my industry jadedness and general skepticism that led me to be: 1) not markedly touched nor moved by the video; 2) aware immediately that these well-dressed, pretty people are actors/models. But, actors/models are likely asked to kiss on cue in their professional life, making it all a bit inauthentic.

Stephanie Weingart, Director of Social Media
I think (PR-wise) this was executed REALLY well. It was also really good timing. Awards shows are done and there are no major holidays for brands to cramp up the space with.

It’s the kind of content people feel so slightly uncomfortable watching, that they have so many emotional responses that they want to share it with somebody else. It works really well...
There was also a follow up plan: “Did 'First Kiss' Video Inspire Real Couple?” – is now trending.

The use of video online is more powerful than ever and YouTube is still the second largest search engine in the world. The video in its original form was syndicated on MTV, CNN, and other morning shows (all pulling from YouTube).

We pulled overall sentiment figures for the video: mentions from across the Internet were overwhelmingly favorable from a number of different sources.

Brand mentions also skyrocketed for Wren:

Peter Shelly, Content Developer
I’ve tried avoiding this video, but I’ve caught some of the parodies. But I finally sat down and watched it and I think it was a cool moment. "Fake" as it might have been (using models/actors), I think it actually caught an authentic moment between two people. There was genuine awkwardness there that wasn't faked for effect. Maybe the results were manipulated by the fact that these were essentially "pros," but aren't romantic comedies successful because at the end of the day, we want people to end up together? That's my preferred version of reality. It pulled me in and while I haven't seen that follow-up video that’s out there, I did have the thought, "man, I wonder if this led to anything for any of these 'couples'."

Then I read the “Slate” article about it that was totally cynical, and I can see why people might go in that direction, too.

But I think it was kind of cool. It's not going to make me go buy clothes, but it was an interesting social experiment to watch. And now, whether I will act on it or not, I know who Wren is.

Because it’s become this huge thing on the Internet, it’s going to come up in conversation at some point with my friends. Not seeing it is like when someone mentions a scene from a popular movie: you don’t want to be the one who says: “wait, I don’t get that reference.” Videos that go viral build on something beyond the brand and they become pieces of the culture that live outside the walls of commerce. If a brand can produce something that I feel like I have to see so I can participate in the conversation, I think they’re in a pretty good spot. Even if I’m not their target, they’ll catch enough people who are.

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The forces of the universe have joined together to ask you to stop the using word “bossy.” Through a new campaign, Sheryl Sandberg has teamed up with Jane Lynch, Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, Condoleezza Rice and so many others for an online video that launched this week and a piece in WSJ.

While Sandberg and team raise some valid points – mainly that “bossy” is typically used as a negative adjective for girls who are asserting themselves – and while I almost always welcome conversation and awareness about female leadership, the campaign and its mission does very little to move our cause. In fact, I believe it distracts from it.

First, controlling the use of other people’s language seems like a daunting, if not futile, task. (It’s been tried before: even “vice versa” was victim of an attempted ban for being “elitist” and discriminatory.”)

Even if this campaign is successful and we stop using the word “bossy,” does it change the sentiment that led you to choose that word? If a social media campaign and video tells you to stop saying something, do you stop feeling it, too? If you remove “bossy” from your vocabulary, won't words like “domineering,” “controlling,” and “bitchy” pop up in its place? (I'm pretty sure I've been called all of these things.)

Second, and this might just be me, I don't find “bossy” all that insulting. I'm a boss. And at times I'm bossy. The word never hurt me.

I don't believe there's a young-girl-census, so where is the data that says the “bossy” label squashes, shames or discourages future female leaders?
The “Ban Bossy” website makes the claim that girls are twice as more likely to seem bossy when they take on leadership roles than boys do. Well, of course. They also mention that female self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than male self-esteem in high school. That’s true, but it’s not at all related to being called bossy.

Yes, we should teach girls to be leaders. We should receive equal pay. And equal respect. And equal board positions (something so dramatically off in this country when compared to other countries).

But for all of the celebrity endorsements, production, PR, and fanfare that “Ban Bossy” has gotten, I could think of more important efforts where it could be applied than a word ban.

Let’s end the trafficking of girls, let’s close the pay gap, and let's advocate for woman's rights in places in the world where they are dramatically diminished.

Let's teach girls to overcome adversity and challenges. Let’s celebrate words like “ambitious” and “inspirational.” Let’s encourage girls to raise their hands and speak up. It’s a rough world out there for leaders, for men and women, and, sadly, being called “bossy” is the smallest challenge a young girl will have to overcome in her path to leadership.

Let’s teach girls how to cultivate the inner confidence and the power to ignore the name-calling so that they can lead and claim their inner bossiness.

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This week you'll learn how to organize your social media in only 10 minutes a day, how to avoid using the business clichés we all know and love, and the financial and other implications of nearing retirement in today’s world.

Many of us using social media complain about the amount of time it takes to do it well. Our first article shows you how you can navigate your social feeds in only 10 minutes a day.

Our second article features a list of clichés...many that you have heard and most likely use. I am guilty of at least one, and this article probably won't change my ways, because "it is what it is"; but hey – it's fun reading.

For those of us approaching "milestone" ages, you will appreciate the title of our last article: "The End of Old." The rules of how people in their 60s and 70s (and beyond) traditionally lived out their days no longer apply. Read how the face of aging will never be the same as millions of baby boomers are transforming how we live, work, and invest with a vibrancy and purpose never before seen.

Keep on truckin', and have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo

How to Spend Only 10 Minutes Per Day on Twitter

by Aubre Andrus

The No. 1 complaint from businesses new to social media is: "I just don’t have time." What these people don’t realize is that social media doesn't always require a huge commitment, especially Twitter. (Read more...)


Stephanie Weingart
Director of Social Media
Twitter: @Frozen2late

This is indeed a worthwhile read – particularly for those businesses that are wary or new to social media. What is especially valuable is that the tools listed here are not fancy bells and whistles that only seem cool; they deliver. The practicality of being able to create Twitter lists, organize them by category and then add them to Hootsuite is indeed an example of effective time management. And remember, Hootsuite also works with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. The question then, ironically, is when to find the time to view these different sites.

Business Clichés Lazy Bosses Love to Use

by Jeff Haden

Some platitudes are just irritating. Others, used the wrong way (wait: is there a right way to use a cliché?) serve to shut down discussions – and people. (Read more...)


Nicole Larrauri
Managing Partner
Twitter: @Nicole_Larrauri

The alternate title to Mr. Haden's article might be "The Ten Things NEVER to Say." Nearly everyone who has attended a business meeting of some kind has more than likely heard at least one of the quick (but cop-out) catch-phrases listed here. Perhaps some of us have even used them ourselves. The scary reality is that a lot of these words have become so commonplace in everyday language that it may well be second nature to use them. Read (and reread) this list, and make a conscious effort to avoid falling back on them, whether speaking to one person or an entire group.

The End of Old

Merrill Lynch

All across the globe, companies, governments and society are scrambling to harness the energy and meet the needs of an aging global population. Consider a few of the ways the world is preparing for this longevity revolution:. (Read more...)


Ernie Canadeo
Founder & President

James Herbert ("Eubie") Blake, a well-known composer and musician of the ragtime era, died just a few years shy of his 100th birthday. His epitaph was an often repeated quip: "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." The light irony of that statement is becoming a genuine reality in today's world. The longevity and life expectancy of the baby-boomers who are entering their senior years, combined with the fast adjustments to accommodate needed changes in everything from workplace conditions to lifestyle, genuinely define the near future as a new era.

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."
-- Peter F. Drucker

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