4 Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Local TV News Reporters

This post was initially published on BostInnovation on July 28, 2011. To read the original post there, click here. Today – thanks to social media, smartphones and other new digital communications platforms and tools – what the savviest of consumers are asking of their favorite brands is almost as much as they’d expect from

The Importance of LinkedIn Recommendations

Given my outgoing personality, my obsession with the latest news and the fact that I’ve always been an early adopter of new communications tools, it’s no surprise that I’ve been enamored with social media from the get-go. I can’t tell you how excited I was to launch my own blog in early 2004, where I’ve written nearly

10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Parts 1-10

If you’ve been reading this blog for the last few months, you know I’ve been writing a series of posts on copywriting. Similar to the approach I took with my series on social media, I’ve looked at copywriting from a 30,000-foot level, focusing on the principles you need to be mindful of if you want to

10 Ways to Succeed in Social Media, Parts 1-10

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you already know about the  “10 Ways to Succeed in Social Media” series of posts I started writing on January 13 of this year and recently concluded on April 5. But what you wouldn’t know is how much I’ve been looking forward to stringing these posts together into one

The Importance of Character in Social Media

By now, most people involved in marketing, advertising and PR have put aside any skepticism they may have had about social media and are using such online communications vehicles as blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to reach out to and engage with others. They’re finally realizing that — as I’ve said before here on this

12 Boston-Area Marketing Pros to Follow on Twitter

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There are roughly 330 million monthly active users of Twitter, and who knows how many of them work or live in and around Boston.

I’ve identified a dozen of those users who not only fall into the latter category, though, but who also happen to have proven themselves to be ridiculously accomplished marketing professionals.

If you’re not following these rock stars of marketing, advertising, PR and social media yet, get after it now.

Here is a little information about each of them, including their respective Twitter handles and an aggregated stream of their latest tweets from a public list I’ve added them to on Twitter. You can follow them individually by clicking on their handles below and subscribe to my list, which includes all 12 of them, here.

1. Beth Monaghan
Follow Beth at @bamonaghan
The CEO of InkHouse, a fast-growing PR agency she co-founded in 2007, Beth is a writer, a thought-leader and a strong advocate for equal opportunities in the workplace.

2. Mike Volpe
Follow Mike at @mvolpe
The former CMO and “3rd founder” at HubSpot, Mike is now CMO of Cybereason and an angel investor in startups. When it comes to modern marketing, Mike has been there and done that, succeeding wildly.

3. David Meerman Scott
Follow David at @dmscott
A marketing and sales strategist extraordinaire, David has not only written 10 books and over 18,000 tweets, he has an excellent blog, too, called Web Marketing Ink, and is a highly sought-after public speaker.

4. Casie Gillette
Follow Casie at @casieg
Senior director of B2B digital marketing agency, Komarketing, Casie shares informational and insightful content on Twitter about pretty much everything to do with marketing, including SEO, social media, content marketing, branding, you name it.

5. Jay Acunzo*
Follow Jay at @jayacunzo
He’s an accomplished keynote speaker, blogger, content marketer, storyteller and strategist. I’ve never met Jay, but I feel like I know him from following him on Twitter and listening to his podcast, Unthinkable.

*Although Jay moved to New York City earlier this year, I couldn’t not include him on this list given how much he did with the co-founding and building up of Boston Content, an excellent community for content marketers.

6. Colette Phillips
Follow Colette at @colettephillips
Including her recent inclusion on Boston Business Journal’s Power 50 list, Colette has been recognized countless times for her leadership, influence and all-around business prowess. She runs her own PR and marketing communications firm.

7. Christopher Penn
Follow Chris at @cspenn
To follow Chris on Twitter is to learn a lot about the intersection of marketing, technology and data. His tweets are educational and enlightening, informative and incisive. No wonder he has nearly 100,000 followers.

8. Chris Brogan
Follow Chris at @chrisbrogan
Much more than a marketer, Chris is CEO of Owner Media Group and a New York Times bestselling author of nine books. He was a very early adopter of social media and is always thinking ahead when it comes to running a successful business.

9. Ann Handley
Follow Ann at @annhandley and @marketingprofs
Ann is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a bestselling author and keynote speaker. Considered a “pioneer in digital marketing,” she always has a wealth of knowledge to share on Twitter and anywhere else you may find her.

10. Nancy Harhut
Follow Nancy at @nharhut
A big proponent of behavioral science in marketing, Nancy is an award-winning copywriter and creative director who speaks all around the world about her craft. I know Nancy personally, and she is the one of the nicest human beings you will ever meet, not to mention one of the smartest.

11. Larry Weber
Follow Larry at @TheLarryWeber
Chairman and Founder of Racepoint Global, a world-renowned integrated marketing and PR agency, and co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX), Larry is also a popular author, speaker and thought-leader.

12. Karen Kaplan
Follow Karen at @KarenKaplanHH
Having been honored by both Business Insider and Ad Age as one of the most influential women in advertising, Karen is the Chairman and CEO of Hill Holliday, one of the largest (650 employees) – and most iconic – agencies in the country.

Note: This post, “12 Boston-Area Marketing Pros to Follow on Twitter,” was originally published on the AMA Boston blog on December 18, 2017, here.

The 90-9-1 Rule and Social Media

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Very few people on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like are going to create original content and share it with others on a regular basis. The same goes for wherever you work. A small percentage of employees are going to write blog posts, record videos and use social media on behalf of his or her employer. That’s the 1% of the 90-9-1 rule. That’s the 1% that any organization should identify, recognize, reward and look up to for thought leadership, branding, marketing and PR.

Video Rocks

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People are asking me all the time now about my videos. They’re seeing my videos on social media and wondering how I do them. My answer is always the same…

Recording my videos is easy. Most of them I shoot by myself with just my mobile phone and a selfie stick. Sometimes my wife, Barbara, helps me shoot them. Nothing fancy. Very low-budget. But well-thought-out.

Shooting videos like I do is something I think everyone in marketing, advertising, PR and social media should be doing today.

Video rocks. It’s emotional. It’s easy. It’s effective. Video helps you deepen the relationships you have with your connections, constituents, clients and customers.

Main Street and Social Media

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What does social media have to do with Main Street? A lot more than you may imagine.

Businesses and brands need to set up shop on social media the same way they have to have brick-and-mortar storefronts on Main Street.

Do you have a presence on social media? Can your customers, prospects, constituents and contacts find you on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other online communication channels? In this day and age, social media and Main Street are almost one and the same.

Seth Godin’s Book, Purple Cow

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How many of Seth Godin’s books have YOU read? I’ve read a ton of his books, but my favorite one is Purple Cow. I think it should be required reading for anyone in business, especially for those of us who work in the advertising and marketing fields. As Seth himself says on the inside front cover of the book, “You’re either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.” Have you read this book? Are you remarkable? Or are you invisible? Are you a purple cow? Watch. Listen. NOW.

Public Speaking and Social Media

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As someone who speaks often at industry conferences and events, I know that if those in my audience are looking down at their phones, tablets and laptops, they’re probably not ignoring my presentation. They’re likely sharing what they’re hearing on social media, which is exactly what I want them to be doing on my behalf. I want them to be amplifying my message to their own networks, extending the reach of what I’m saying to a much larger number of people. So…if you’re giving a presentation and your audience members are looking down at their electronic devices, not up at you, don’t be annoyed, be pleased.


In this video, I talk about how important it is for public speakers to move away from the lectern, especially in the social media era, when the audience expects plenty of photo opportunities and an up-close and personal connection.


In this video, I talk about how important it is for a public speaker to include “brilliant visuals” and “clever sound bites” in his or her presentation. After all, this is the social media era, and you want to make it easy for your audience to share what you have to say with their own respective online networks.

Robert Solomon’s Book, The Art of Client Service

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Are you a good listener? Do you listen more than you talk? Do you give those on the other side of the table the attention they deserve? It is so important to listen to others in both our professional and personal lives. People will think more favorably of you if you give them the floor. They will appreciate your interest in what they have to say. “Listening is more important than talking.” That’s just one of “54 things every advertising and marketing professional should know” according to Robert Solomon’s book, The Art of Client Service. Watch. And, yes, listen…

10 Things Wrong With Marketing Today

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I have met the enemy and it is us.

Yup. Not to sound like an alarmist, but if those of us who earn our livelihoods in marketing continue down the same long, circuitous path we’ve been on since the turn of this millennium, we may as well throw our hands up in the air and cry “uncle.”

Never mind the Joneses, after all, we’re hardly keeping up with anyone anymore on the receiving end of our marketing messages.

We’re moving in circles as an industry, if we’re moving at all. We’re falling dangerously far behind.
We need to wake up and smell the cold-brewed coffee. We need to stop marketing like it’s 1999 and start realizing that it’s no longer business as usual.

This is 2017 going on a future like you and I can only begin to imagine. This is no time to hem and haw.
Please don’t shoot the messenger, either. I’m merely passing along these words to the wise not just based on my own hands-on experience, but on what I’ve been hearing through the grapevine lately.

As disconcerting as it may be to digest, here are 10 things that are wrong with marketing today…

1. Spam. What junk mail did to direct mail, spam has done to email. People are receiving far too many irrelevant emails from brands they don’t want to hear from, undermining the effectiveness of those online messages of ours that are targeted and timed so well. You know what they about a few bad apples. Read “Why Do Marketers in 2017 Still Spam?”

2. Trust. Ask around. Where do you think those of us in marketing and advertising stand in the minds of consumers? Down there with lobbyists, politicians, telemarketers and car salespeople. Ouch. Read “Attention Marketers! People Don’t Trust Your Marketing Strategy!”

3. Innovation. Ironic, isn’t it? Innovate is what we do day in and day out, yet we’re still not doing it quickly enough. Read “Nick Law: There’s a Lack of Imagination in the Advertising Industry”

4. Knowledge. We may be smart, but our knowledge as individual practitioners still pales in comparison to what members of our audience know collectively. They’re a diverse, dynamic group, constantly in motion, perpetually changing. A culture of continuous learning within the marketing workplace must be a top priority going forward. Read “Marketers Lack the Skills to Deliver on Customer Experience”

5. Technology. Ah, the bane of our existence. As soon as we catch on to one disruptive trend, another one comes along. Yikes. More changes in technology have taken place in the 21st century than most, if not all of us, have seen in our lifetimes. Read “Staying Technology Relevant Has Suddenly Become a Full-Time Responsibility”

6. Agencies. This one hurts personally, as agencies have been the lifeblood of my career. But all good things must come to an end, and the agency model as we know it needs to undergo a massive overhaul if you, me and everyone else in this industry expects to thrive, not just survive as professionals. Read Forrester: Marketers are the Catalyst to Fix the Broken Agency Model and Marketing agencies are broken

7. Quality. We can’t say we didn’t see this coming. Unfortunately, what our parents warned us about while growing up has finally come true. Call it carelessness. Call it informality. Call it inattention to grammar, punctuation, detail and accuracy. Whatever we call it, it could cost us our jobs. Read “Poor-Quality Ads Cost U.S. Marketers $7.4 Billion”

8. Turnover. A lack of continuity and cohesion among teams, especially those at the leadership level, is never good for business. So-called churn-and-burn hiring may never end, but it needs to at least slow down for not just the agency era, but for the marketing industry as we know it to endure. Read “CMO Turnover Reaches New High”

9. Strategy. Why do you think so many ads are being blocked, ignored and avoided today? Why do you think consumers have turned against us? We’re not putting enough time, effort and thought into what we do, that’s why. We’re sacrificing strategy for expediency. We’re cutting corners to cut costs. We’re being penny wise and pound foolish. Read “10 Reasons You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy in 2017”

10. Irrelevancy. Not to sound like a broken record, but we need to do for ourselves what we do for our products, services, clients and customers. We can’t be like the cobbler and his shoes. We need to not just rebrand ourselves, but literally transform ourselves from the inside out before it’s too late. Read “5 of the Biggest Challenges Facing Today’s Marketers”

All that said, this is a fantastically fun time to be in marketing. Seriously. We just need a big course correction, that’s all. We need to seize the day. Digital. Mobile. Social. AI. Augmented reality. Chat bots. Ephemeral content. Livestreaming video. You name it. There are more opportunities than ever today to take our industry further and faster than we ever could have imagined. I absolutely love my job. I love what I do for a living. I love a good challenge. Who else is in?

Note: This post, “10 Things Wrong with Marketing Today,” was originally published on the AMA Boston blog on October 10, 2017, here.