Articles by Teri A. Schindler
Last month a brouhaha emerged when US Supreme Court justices had a hard time differentiating between the technologies at the center of an important privacy case. Now, no one would reasonably expect a Chief Justice to know the nuances of Twitter as well as Lindsay Lohan, but Roberts allegedly inquired after the difference between email and pagers. Other justices needed a basic lesson in texting. This might seem amusing, except: how is it possible to responsibly adjudicate the issues of the 21st Century without a working knowledge of the platforms that pervade our social and working lives? Being conversant in these items, my dear sirs and ladies, is absolutely part of your job.
We spend a lot of time with clients talking about different communication platforms, the best content for each and the approaches that certain media demand versus others. Trying, in other words, to help brands understand seamless communication paired with appropriate voice. But sometimes the best way to understand these different platforms is simply to experience them. I had a particularly elegant social media experience with Sonos recently that's worth sharing because it illustrates graceful, appropriate and effective use of a platform.
Poor CNN. The network is trying to be everything to everyone and, as is usually the case with such efforts, pleasing no one. Ratings are in the toilet and in every corner -- from the plush offices of Vanity Fair to the hallowed halls of NYU to the ash-covered continent -- one hears the jarring thumps of unsolicited advice. It's enough to make an executive producer drink more heavily than he already does.
March Madness begins this week, but the madness around athlete endorsements has been around since the days of Michael Jordan. It came to its most recent head last Thanksgiving, when a certain superhuman hit a fire hydrant and set off a torrent of media, fan and sponsor action and reaction. The sexy unfolding of that incident and its subsequent tawdry revelations probably inspired the Developing the Athlete’s Brand panel at this year’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference – a gathering which usually focuses on wonkier subjects. The panelists, after a barrage of questions from conference attendees, touched gingerly on Tiger’s comeback strategy, but the real takeaways were about the industry, not Tiger. The resulting discussion raised larger questions about athlete endorsements as brand strategy, and whether the sports representation industry model is still relevant today.
I'm thinking of Jobs - not the big Steve variety - but the kind being discussed everywhere from Davos to Washington to the Main Street or kitchen table nearest you. The economists can debate how best to create jobs - my thoughts center primarily around how they are changing and how organizations are reading those changes from top to bottom.
In what seemed like a tribute to the cute little kid from Jerry Maguire who kept repeating "the human head weighs 8 lbs," Fast Company recently published a Mr. Egghead infographic that illustrated an astounding fact from the brainiacs at UC San Diego: the average American, on the average day, consumes 34 gigabytes of information. And from 1980-2008, bytes consumed increased 350%. That eight pounds can sure pack a punch. For the purposes of explaining the infographic, writer Maccabee Montandon uses information, content and data interchangeably to argue that Americans are ravenous for "data." But hold up -- do we want to gorge on data? I'm not sure I buy his conclusion about our appetite.
GE (NYSE:GE) captures the number two spot in the Davis Brand Capital 25 for 2009. The world's largest company, GE has rebounded from a transition period and one of the most challenging years in its history -- one that saw its stock plunge to record lows. The company's nimble and effective management of its brand capital is helping it tackle new market paradigms and position itself to lead into the future.
Now that we've pushed back from the Thanksgiving table and returned to work, it's worth focusing a moment not on our abundance of blessings, but on our glut of content across platforms. These blessings are decidedly mixed. Faced with multiple options we graze and gorge on empty calories, but rarely succeed in satisfying our hunger.
It always stops me in my tracks when a television anchor utters a phrase that somehow references the real world as separate from the world of television journalism. As in: "Well, I guess out there in the real world...." Say what? As if they forget, for a second, that the sets aren't real and the stories are. So it's probably not surprising that, in the latest CNN Opinion Research poll, 70% of the respondents answered "yes" to the question "Are the media out of touch with average Americans?"
Two autumns ago, Chevron, working with the Economist Group, launched Energyville as part of its "Will You Join Us" campaign. Not surprisingly, the campaign, the site, and the game drew a lot of criticism and vitriol for alleged greenwashing and hypocrisy. By posing a question the way it did, Chevron also invited negative answers (“No, I will not join you” on the blog) and word play that twisted the URL (Will you join us in protesting Chevron?). Despite all this, Chevron has persisted.