How to create simple social

November 11, 2017

I recently had the opportunity to deliver a keynote at Social Media Camp. Instead of just talking about social, though, I decided to take it a step further - I partnered with a local company and helped them create a social media campaign, which I then described in the talk. 

Make sure to check out the company I partnered with - The Beam Restaurant. You'll be able to see our work firsthand! 

And if you're curious about the TEDx talk I reference in the speech - Mark Shapiro's Birthday Experiment - you'll find it here

Enjoy!

 

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Crafting a Killer Presentation: The Documentary…

November 1, 2017

A short while ago, I had the opportunity to coach a group of CEO's who wanted to craft TED-calibre speeches. Even better, we got to host our two day workshop at a wonderful fishing resort on the rugged coast of BC. Listen in as I describe the full experience, from nervous preparation to proud presentations!

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How to lizardproof your brand

September 29, 2017

For most marketers, cutting through the noise with their brand message is a big concern. But even if your message gets to its audience, there's no guarantee they'll absorb it. 

This speech, delivered September 28th 2017 to a group of financial managers, describes how our 'lizard brain' blocks seemingly valuable messages. More important, it illustrates how to create messaging that is 'lizardproof'. 

Hope you enjoy the talk as much as the audience did. 

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How to avoid a publicity stunt disaster

September 22, 2017

Recently, two Victoria BC groups tried to garner publicity with stunts - and failed miserably. The first, Fresh Coast Eatery, took to Instagram with a photo that was derided as fat shaming, in order to promote its healthy cuisine. The second, a stunt promoting a local comedy show, subjected white males to ticket prices double those of non-white males and females - allegedly to put the spotlight on white male privilege. 

What might they have done differently? I got on the air with CFAX's Mark Brennae to discuss the do's and don't's of publicity stunts. 

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The eclipse, superstition, and marketing.

August 28, 2017

On August 21st, the world witnessed a stunning solar eclipse. Also on August 21st, I was scheduled to chat marketing on the air with CFAX's Mark Brennae. It only seemed natural to connect the two.

But what exactly is the connection between eclipses and marketing? Turns out, there are more than you might imagine. 

We humans crave stability and control over our environments. In ancient times, eclipses (along with earthquakes and other natural disasters) robbed us of that control. We turned to our gods to make it all right again.

Today, not much has changed. But instead of gods, we worship at the temple of consumption. Not surprisingly, many savvy marketers (our new high priests) have given us tools they say will help us control our increasingly chaotic world. 

 

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Want to build a more powerful brand? Just ask.

July 27, 2017

I'm a firm believer in the power of USP's, or Unique Selling Propositions. USP's are, simply put, the intersection of what you think your brand does best, and what consumers believe it does best. 

But how do you ask consumers what they see in your brand? And more important, how do you ask them if your brand's special sauce appeals to them? 

In this episode, I dig into some of the tried and true methods I use to get the great insights. 

I also bring aboard Neil Belenkie for additional perspective. Neil's business is helping companies position themselves for sale, or investment. In essence, he helps them discover their USP, and leverage that for great business results. Check out our conversation to get some inspiration for your own USP explorations!

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The implosion of media. Who saw it coming?

May 15, 2017

Ian Gill is the author of No News Is Bad News, an experienced journalist, and catalyst for boundary-breaking media.  

According to Gill, legacy media have completely missed the boat when it comes to public discourse. Instead of dwelling on new technology and hedge-fund backed expansion as a panacea, Gill believes we need to rethink the role of storytelling, engagement, and crafting 'public service journalism' as the antidote to clickbait and fake news. 

Check out our lively conversation on issues that are more important than ever in our post-Trumpian reality. 

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Why Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad failed

April 10, 2017

Pepsi recently pulled an ad featuring Kendall Jenner that took a superficial, flaky view of a very sensitive topic: protests for social justice. 

The ad created an incredible firestorm on social media, and prompted ad pundits to wonder what the soda company had been drinking when they approved the spot.

I went on the air with Mark Brennae of CFAX radio to chat about what Pepsi had done wrong. And more importantly, what the rest of us can do to avoid making the same mistake. It was a lively conversation!

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Brexit, Trump and the downside of complexity

April 6, 2017

We are living in a time where expertise and nuance are frowned upon. Britain voted with a simple Yes / No referendum to abandon membership in the EU, a partnership that had a multidimensional, complex impact on the lives of ordinary citizens - an impact that is just now coming to light. 

By the same token, Donald Trump has demonstrated his willingness to show experts the door, bringing in inexperienced 'fresh' talent. The effect, if you look at his government's legislative record, has been dismal. 

How did we get here? Why are we suddenly allergic to complexity? And how can tools like communications help us embrace nuance? Ben Cattaneo, a Canadian risk expert living in London, joins me on the show for a lively conversation on the subject. 

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Tim Horton’s: a cautionary tale of bean counters and brands.

March 29, 2017

A recent Globe and Mail story described the 'brutal' transformation of beloved Canadian restaurant brand Tim Horton's. The cause of the messy shift? Budget cuts by Tim's new owners - Brazilian holding company 3G Capital and Restaurant Brands International (RBI).

I was invited by Mark Brennae of CFAX radio to chat about this disruption. It was a lively conversation!

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