When NOT to Link it All Together

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

First, take this Musical Accompaniment Pop Quiz. Why did I select Carnaval in Rio by the incredible Brazilian composer/guitarist/vocalist Djavan? It’s a two-part answer that you can find at the end of the post. Hit the play button to listen. eMail subscribers, visit the blog to hear the tune.

Awhile back, via a tweet by Derek Peplau (@peplau), a member of my Twitter community who is passionate about indie music, I learned about blip.fm. In short, this is the music version of Twitter.

All members become ‘dj’s’ and can upload, search for and share – i.e. blip, or re-blip — tunes and DVD’s in just about every music category – along with a few words about each selection. You can follow your favorite dj’s and hopefully build your own group of listeners. If you’re reading this blog, then you can imagine that I made a beeline over to blip.fm and searched for the jazz devotees and some favorite tunes to blip.

First, I watched the action of some of the more experienced dj’s. I saw that when they were on blip, they shared an almost constant stream of terrific music. Really impressive, the musical knowledge and taste of this group! Prolific!!

Now, when I opened my blip.fm account, I had the option to link my blips to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I held off until I got the lay of the land. Once I did, my decision was NOT to link up these accounts.

The reason was simple: My Twitter and Facebook communities are about other things — Inbound Marketing/Social Media and Family/Friends respectively. Even though the people who know me in all of my communities are aware that I am a huge music lover and that I ride on the back of a Harley with Jeff, the love of my life, they have their own passions and time is precious. I’m not about to fill up their Twitter streams or Facebook walls with 10 or 20 blips in an evening of music they may not necessarily want to hear.

In fact, as I thought about it, it occurred to me that although I enjoy his occasional tweet about something he’s listening to over at blip.fm and have discovered some cool new musicians and bands as a result, Derek isn’t tweeting his whole playlist either.

Although this follows a post that talks about how to link up and use an array of options to leverage your website hub in other online places frequented by your diverse constituents, this advice represents the other side of the coin. Here’s the take-away: we need to resist the temptation to link up all of our social networks. Just because it may be easy to accomplish with a click or two, there’s a thought process to go through to determine that whatever we share with a particular group will be welcome and add value.

If you’d like to, you can follow me or Derek on blip.fm! @elliebecker @peplau

Answers to Musical Accompaniment Pop Quiz:

  1. Carnaval in Rio is in full swing as I write this. So I’m in the mood. It ends tomorrow, Feb. 16, 2010.
  2. Djavan starts with DJ – a tribute to all of my fellow blip.fm dj’s! ;-}
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Nonprofits get a grip!!

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Click on the Audio Player! (If this is an email, access the tunes online at www.newprwordsandmusic.com)  

I’m about to write a check to the Special Olympics. The organization sent me a sweet little card with sports icons all over the envelope and a simple request to support their efforts.

I will not be sending checks to a number of other well-known charitable organizations because I question their judgment in sending me elaborate packets of ‘free gifts’ to maybe make me feel obligated to contribute to their cause.

In addition to ubiquitous address labels – I’ll never send enough snail mails in my lifetime to use them all – I receive note cards, four-color full-size calendars, key chains and combinations of the above in solicitations from nonprofits that I have or have not contributed to.

 As a donor in a tough economy – and as a PR professional and marketer – I say, what are these people thinking? If they can afford to send these expensive mailings, do they really need my donation? As a Baby Boomer I’ve learned that I’ve never had a unique thought in life. If I’m thinking it, I’m part of peer group-think. In other words, I can’t possibly be the only one turned off by this trend in nonprofit marketing.

 As bad as it gets in recessionary times, I give. But I give to organizations of my choice based on my own societal concerns or to organizations that make their case while demonstrating their sense of responsibility in both their missions and their marketing.

 My PR Marketing practice has always included nonprofits. The kinds of mailings I receive almost daily are diametrically opposed to the advice I would give any not for profit client of mine on how to build support.

 How has nonprofit marketing affected your giving inclinations?

There’s only one tune that can accompany this post – Billie Holiday’s God Bless the Child. I’m offering you the bluesy and soulful rendition of the late British phenom Eva Cassidy.

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New Guidelines for Marketing Partnerships: Borrow from Jazz Improv

Posted on January 10, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Click on the audio player!

I’m writing this on Sunday morning and so what better musical accompaniment than the gospel underpinnings of pianist Les McCann playing his tune The Shampoo in a live recording. I first heard this rousing number back in the 60’s when Cousin Sydney was introducing me to the joys of jazz and blues.

 Having listened to jazz now for more than 40 years, I’ve learned something about improvisation and the creativity it requires and inspires that I try to apply elsewhere in my life. Great jazz improvisers draw from a huge body of common knowledge, structure and rules and then add their own ideas, drawing from personal experience and technical skill. The musicians in a jazz combo listen to each other carefully and build on each others’ ideas.

 The same group can play the same tune 50 times and it will be a new song each and every time. Listen to another group play the song and it will be something else again.

 As the marketing and PR world changes I find myself seeking to build new and different kinds of professional connections. More and more, I think about how jazz music is made as I build business relationships and partnerships for my E.R. Becker Company consultancy. Bringing a complex array of inbound marketing tools and techniques to clients, requires a variety of knowledge and skills and the ability to compose well-structured original material for a new and evolving area of marketing; arranging ‘charts’ – as jazzmen call orchestrations — for unchartered waters.

 So here’s what I ask myself as I think about which other professionals to bring to the table to meet client objectives:

  • Who has the fundamentals down?
  • Who is really talented?
  • Who is curious enough to explore new ideas?
  • Who really and truly listens?
  • Who has the chops to play triple time to the end of the song?
  • Who can jump into a group and shine while creating space for – and even amplifying the light — of others’ contributions?
  • Who gets it that combined creativity is more powerful than ego-driven efforts?

 How are you looking at your business partnerships these days?

 Enjoy and see you soon!

Photo Credit: Jeff Levine

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Sea Changes: 4 Reasons to be Upbeat about Marketing in 2010

Posted on January 4, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Click the audio player!

As we get back to work in these first few days of the New Year, I’m still feeling celebratory! Ellie's New Year toast

In the mood for some festive music, I just pulled out a CD by one of my favorite jazz trios – the magnificent pianist Tommy Flanagan, who accompanied Ella Fitzgerald for years, here teamed with bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Lewis Nash. You’re listening to the album’s title track, Sea Changes – which inspired the title of this post. You can either be anxious about change — or embrace it and be happy! Guess what I’ve chosen?

 The upbeat composition by Flanagan made me think of how the Sea Changes in PR are changing things for the better. Having transitioned my practice to an inbound marketing approach, here are four reasons why I’m looking forward to 2010.

  1. Companies are waking up from the marketing deep sleep of 2008-09 and coming to the realization that they’ve somehow returned to consciousness in a new and promising world. While they slept, some PR and marketing people were busy figuring out that new online tools open opportunities that didn’t exist before to engage with customers and other stakeholders.
  2. As these companies bring budgets into play, they’re happy to learn that online efforts can not only generate leads, but also convert the leads to sales. It’s really nice to sit with company executives and watch their heads nod enthusiastically as the light dawns that their websites – maybe with a few tweaks and additions – can become drivers of marketing success.
  3. As a PR/marketing strategist, I have a fresh tactical toolkit to dig into. New inbound marketing tools & techniques are capable of turning the idea of marketing integration from nice concept to powerful reality. By pulling a variety of disciplines together – sales, marketing, PR, corporate affairs, community relations, customer service, search, video, web development, R&D and more, inbound marketing allows organizations to leverage knowledge across corporate silos and benefit from broader buy-in and contribution to business objectives.
  4. Wow! It feels so good to offer services where we can actually measure how they contribute to the bottom line. No mistaking when relatively soon after optimizing a site for search engines, adding a blog with great content and building links with important online communities your Website Grader score goes from 20 to 85 and you move from Google obscurity to ranking on page one or two for important keywords.

 What’s making you feel optimistic about the year ahead?

 Enjoy! See you soon!!

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Tiger: Sad to Say

Posted on December 14, 2009. Filed under: Crisis Management, Crisis Response, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

This is a follow-up to my last blog post, Tiger Woods: A Social Media Perspective. I just watched yet another one of Tiger’s self-proclaimed ‘romantic interests’ interviewed on a national morning show, which got my Monday off to a pretty depressing start. Click on the music player to listen to an apt accompaniment, jazz saxophonist/composer Benny Golson’s poignant tune, Sad To Say.

Early on in what we now see as an ‘unraveling of the Woods brand’ his response to an emerging sex scandal appeared authentic based on his past history. It was my feeling that it would be his golf fans who would pull him out of this career ditch and that he would do well to further connect with them on social media. As he works to rehabilitate himself with his family and sponsors, this admittedly unsolicited advice could be even more significant.

Here’s why I think so. The central factor in this whole unhappy scenario is rebuilding trust. First and foremost, Tiger Woods broke trust with his wife and children through serial marital infidelity. The love of my life, Jeff Levine, is a talented and skilled psychotherapist who treats relationship issues including infidelity and sexual addiction. We’ve discussed this problem many times in the past few years as one politician or celebrity after another has offered emotional apologies, hied off to rehab or been out-and-out dumped by wronged spouses for similar behavior. I’ve learned from Jeff that overcoming the personality traits that cause people to flee from true intimacy/commitment to others and act out sexually can take many years. Sometimes the marital relationships survive and sometimes they don’t.

Business relationships can be easier to repair if monetary objectives remain aligned and public relations issues are overcome. But there’s a sense of coldness that’s emerged about Tiger Woods in all of this. From pre-nups to high-powered law firms retained to keep indiscretions out of the media to speculation about pay-offs to women for their silence, there’s a sickening quality to how Woods has used the wealth garnered through the mastery of his sport. What we wish to perceive as wholesome has somehow resulted in immoral license.

In what may be a helpful sign for the next phase of Tiger’s crisis, the Twitter stream has slowed long enough that I was able to capture a link to a post from Australian blogger Brian Giesen that presents a Nielsen Online Brand Association Mapping comparison of Brand Tiger before and after. I re-tweeted it and here it is again for all of you interested in marketing geekdom.

When I mentioned, above, who Tiger needs to rehabilitate himself with, I left out his fans. As I perused the #TigerWoods Twitter feed in the past few days, it’s the golf fans who are sticking by their man. They continue to focus on the best of him – his singular athletic ability – and to wish him well. It would be nice if he could summon some personal warmth and turn it toward them. The social Web giveth and it taketh away. It could also serve as a human laboratory for Tiger to learn how to assess, build and keep trust.

Although it’s written in a minor key, today’s tune resolves to a major, providing a hopeful sound. In addition to composer Golson on tenor sax, Art Farmer plays magnificent flugelhorn, Curtis Fuller is on trombone, Mickey Tucker on Piano, Ray Drummond on bass and Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums. The album is titled The Jazztet – Real Time.

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Tiger Woods: A Social Media Perspective

Posted on November 30, 2009. Filed under: Crisis Response, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

https://newprwordsandmusic.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/03-ill-wind1.mp3

It’s been pretty widely trumpeted that Tiger Woods’ handling of his accident over the weekend has been lame in terms of accepted PR/crisis response best practices. Page one of the Sunday New York Times sports section proclaimed it — and so did many other media and blogs. But how can we think about his relative silence – except for yesterday’s statement on his website – in social media terms?

 Tiger Woods is known as a very private personality who seeks out media attention rarely and on his own terms as much as possible. So in a sense, his reaction to the current situation is consistent with his public persona. In other words, he’s being authentic Tiger Woods as we’ve known him.

Putting out a statement on his website is consistent with other important statements he’s made about his personal life – including his engagement to his wife. It implies that he cares most about his fans. If you read the language of the statement carefully, it appears that he sat and wrote it out himself without excessive input from handlers or minute wordsmithing by pros. Very personal.

The wisdom of this move is evident when sampling some of the thousands of comments from fans and other site visitors. The comments for the most part are hugely supportive. A commenter who gives credence to the tabloid reports fueling controversy in this incident gets slapped down by fans in subsequent posts. In their opinions, it’s the media and the police who are out of line. Tiger’s entitled to privacy and, ‘leave their man alone’!! Tiger’s core community is coming to his rescue.

However, when you get into the Twittersphere and other social venues not monopolized by fans, support is overcome by other sentiment. Negative speculation about Woods’ marital fidelity from individuals and blogs abounds. For example, one much-re-tweeted link celebrates his ‘downfall’ with schadenfreude and raises the idea that Woods’ private approach and concern for his brand are only about protecting endorsement deals.

This afternoon legal commentators on cable news have opined that there is little legal fallout that could come out of this, however the media fire storm rages on. It will likely grow for awhile, fueled further by Tiger’s doubling down on privacy and pulling out of his charity golf tournament later this week.

So what else could he do to remain true to his chosen course of public action – or inaction – that would dampen down the flames?

Hopefully Woods and his team are measuring sentiment pro and con – throughout the traditional and social media worlds. And I imagine they are working behind the scenes on his business relationships with sponsors and the brands he endorses. Should unfavorable opinion grow to a level that might shake those relationships, it seems to me that he could further acknowledge the trust he has in his fans by asking them to share with these companies what’s really important to them about Tiger. I’ll bet that the people who cared enough to post on his official website would be happy to post on a brand or product’s fan page on his behalf.

What do you think? It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out from a social media point of view.

I chose Harold Arlen’s Ill Wind (You’re blowin’ me no good) sung by the incomparable Billie Holiday as the musical companion to this post. Think it’s an appropriate theme. It runs 6:14 and I know you’ll read the post faster than that. So maybe you’ll use the extra time to post your comment – or just relax and listen for a couple of minutes. Billie is amazing and the other musicians are so superb…Harry “Sweets” Edison on trumpet, Ben Webster on tenor sax, Jimmy Rowles on piano, Barney Kessel on guitar, Joe Mondragon on bass and Alvin Stoller on drums.

Enjoy and see you soon!

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Spanning the Online World: From Exaflood to the Digital Divide to Public Policy

Posted on November 16, 2009. Filed under: Inbound Marketing, Internet Research, Internet Traffic, Jazz, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

https://newprwordsandmusic.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/01-waters-of-march-aguas-de-marco-2.mp3

Late last week I attended a seminar that blew my mind on several levels. It was titled Connecticut and the Future of Broadband: What to think about Net Neutrality, Bridging the Digital Divide and are we really ready for the “Exaflood”. The event was conceived and presented by the Connecticut Technology Council, a high-powered group that is firmly in the lead when it comes to supporting technology innovation in my state.

 I’m going to blog about this seminar more than once, starting with an overview now and an introduction of the three panelists. They were:

  •  Bret Swanson, Senior Fellow & Director, Center for Global Innovation; President Entropy Economics, LLC. Bret blogs at www.bretswanson.com and I encourage anyone interested in the future of the web to make a beeline.
  • Curtis Hill, Director, Concepts for Adaptive Learning. Curtis retired as a Hewlett Packard exec to start a non-profit engaged in bridging the digital divide, one teacher at a time, one parent at a time, one child at a time. Learn more at www.eachchildlearns.org.
  • Jeff Blodgett, Vice President of Research, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center. Go to www.cerc.com.

 Ironically, the meeting room turned out to be the only one in the conference center not equipped with Internet access. And one of the moderators who was to dial in from a hotel on the West Coast was unable to attend due to a power outage. These glitches reminded us that technology isn’t perfect and that we’re all still human – a happy consequence. We all flexed, and the morning powerfully engaged us nonetheless.

 Mindblow #1 came with Bret Swanson’s presentation that compared a 2008 visionary study he was involved in with a recent two-year study of global Internet traffic and usage by Arbor Networks and the University of Michigan. The latter pretty much confirmed the predictions of Swanson’s study. Just to highlight…Internet traffic has grown 45% in the study period. The Arbor study analyzed 264 exabytes of global Internet traffic to reach conclusions on everything from which ISP’s have gained enormous ground (Google and Comcast) to what traffic will look like in 2015 – wow!

 Before the seminar I didn’t even have a handle on what an exabyte is. Consider that a kilobyte is 103, an Exabyte is 1018. In other words, if the Library of Congress contains 20 million books – which it does – an exabyte is what it would take to store 50,000 Libraries of Congress. Driven by video and rich media, it’s likely that Internet traffic will continue to grow at a 50-60% annual rate – a phenomenon dubbed the “exaflood” way back in ancient 2001. We’re at an advanced – and at the same time infantile — state of the Web. Future opportunity abounds!!

 Next, Curtis Hill brought everyone from the 50,000-foot view to the sidewalks of Connecticut’s cities, where thousands of disadvantaged families live without computers, let alone connection to the web and the world of information, knowledge and opportunity that it offers. Hill’s organization is attacking this digital divide on several levels. It trains teachers to use technology in education. It places computers in the homes of poor families in partnership with corporations like ComCast and A.T. & T. whose foundation is supporting free annual Internet access to go with the computers. It trains parents to use the computers so that they can help their children use them for research, homework and other educational pursuits. In a wonderful off-shoot of the endeavor, the parents – many of whom are jobless when the computer arrives – are using their new technology to search for and connect with jobs!!

 Jeff Blodgett had the task of sharing how public policy is bridging the vision of a world connected by unimaginable technological advances and the realities of society’s economic gaps. Unfortunately, public policy doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with either the need for enormous investments in technology infrastructure to maintain growth – or the far more modest investment in bringing the Internet to the small percentage of as-yet-unconnected citizens. That’s not only sad, but potentially tragic in terms of lost opportunity and impeded forward progress. But with enough foresight and will – and agreement that our future growth is tied to the online world — we can hopefully overcome any challenges.

 As hot a topic as it is, Net Neutrality, was an appendix at this event, addressed in the Q&A session in the interest of time and in the face of three compelling presentations. It’s probable that it will become a topic of its own at a future seminar. 

 To end on an upbeat note – which you can pretty much always count on from me -the idea of exaflood made me think of the iconic Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim’s song Aguas de Marco – Waters of March – his impression of Brazil’s annual rains and consequent floods. As nature is random, the music, though it sounds somewhat repetitive, never repeats a phrase exactly. The sheet music goes on for about ten pages. The recording you’re listening to is by Brazilian-born jazz pianist Eliane Elias. She couples Waters of March with another Jobim tune – Agua de Beber, Water to Drink — a song about nurturing — in this post a tribute to Curtis Hill and his excellent nonprofit. If you visited last week, you’ll know that I’m on a big Brazilian kick! I’ll try to diversify next time, but oh do I love the music of Brazil!!!

Enjoy! Hope to see you soon!!

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Inbound Marketing: 3 Tips for Retaining Perspective While Navigating Thru Chop & Churn

Posted on November 9, 2009. Filed under: Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I read the news today, oh boy. Beatles references from the 70’s notwithstanding, I read a number of items today that speak to the volatility of the times we’re in. Here are a few from just one source I read, the daily feed from Media Post’s SearchMarketing Daily.

  • Murdoch Rages Against the Machine, Calls Search Giants ‘Kleptos’
  • Google to Acquire AdMob for $750 Million
  • Microsoft Bing Gives WiFi Users Free Search
  • Search Engine LeapFish Merges Real-time Data & Social Content
  • Attention Holiday Shoppers: Google Introduces Commerce Search API

 This doesn’t touch the 20 links from Twitter posts that I clicked – most of them imparting valuable information. Or the reviews I read about the new Motorola Droid smart phone from Verizon.

Marketing is navigating through turbulent times. For me the speed of evolving media, online tools, marketing tactics and strategies produces both anxiety and exhilaration. It’s like being on the back of a Harley on a thruway. There’s the anxiety-producing possibility of annihilation coupled with the life-affirming thrill of being one with nature and a machine at the same time.

Pardon yet another metaphor in a post in danger of metaphor overload, but I have to navigate back to my nautical post title. You’ve probably noticed that we’re in a period of change. This means that as communications/marketing pros we have to chart a course for our clients through constant chop and churn.

We work hard to keep up with the shifting winds and waves (including Google Wave ;-} ) that may influence a safe course for our journey into the future of marketing. But when, at times, it all seems capable of capsizing our ship, it’s time to set our anchors, check our compasses and get some perspective.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty metaphored out. Hope you’ll cut me some slack and decide that I’m ‘nautical but nice’ when I share a few tips for coping.

  1. Separate tools and tactics from strategies and objectives. Mostly what’s changing at breakneck speed here is technology. Then there’s the conflict and noise created by those pushing to commercialize it. No sin in that, but let’s not get distracted by it. Let them do their thing. Let’s you and I figure out what your needs and objectives are. Then we’ll go after the most opportunistic tools of the moment to help you get where you’re going.
  2. Focus on some constants that won’t change or vary as the new marketing winds shift. How about your brand values and the audiences who connect with them? Keep your eye on the horizon formed by your loyal stakeholders, as well as those who don’t know you yet, but can benefit from your products and services. Keep steering toward the True North of your brand promise, regardless of the tools you implement in the process.
  3. Loosen up. In times like these, flexibility translates to bottom line gains. Back to the nauseating nautical references: Put out a spinnaker and let the wind pull you fast. But make sure your putt-putt engine is in good shape and stow a few oars in case you lose mast, sails and rudder and have to get back to port on the limp. At least you’ll live to sail tomorrow with the best of them.

The music this time is Brazilian composer, pianist, vocalist Ivan Lins performing his song Velas – translation: Sails. Not only does this selection tie in nicely to the nautical theme, but Lins made his mark writing protest songs during the reign of Brazil’s military junta in the 60’s. So he knows a thing or two about navigating through turbulent times.

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Sorcerer’s Apprentice Part Two: Remembering John R. Walsh

Posted on November 1, 2009. Filed under: Jazz, Newspapers, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

John Walsh & Sonia Henie

OK. Here’s what really got me thinking about mentors when I wrote a post about my inbound marketing teachers earlier today. On November 1, 2007 – hard to believe it’s two years ago — my own, dear personal mentor died. His name was John R. Walsh and he was one of the unsung giants of PR. He led small New York PR agencies with and without partners that broke a lot of new ground from the early 1960s through the mid-1980s.

John created amazing PR programs for major brands. These included Colgate Palmolive’s women’s golf events – the Colgate-Dinah Shore and the Triple Crown match play tournament, precursors to what we now call sports marketing. When Dinah died and AP stories pictured her on the 18th tee of Mission Hills Country Club in Palm Springs, home of the tournament, former Colgate CEO David Foster wrote John a personal note pointing out that the tournament continued to shine a positive spotlight on the company years after it ended.

He turned the staid nautical marketing image of Cutty Sark Scots Whisky on its ear when he convinced its distributor to give him ‘one billboard’s worth of budget’ to sponsor a star-studded men’s fashion awards event in collaboration with the Men’s Fashion Association. The Cutty Sark Menswear Awards were nominated and voted by the fashion press, ran for years and boosted the careers of designers like Gianni Versace, Alexander Julian, Jhane Barnes and many others. It also sold a lot of scotch.

Baroness Philippine de Rothschild became John’s friend as well as client when he handled the Smithsonian-sponsored US tour of the original art work for the Mouton Rothschild vintage wine labels. These are only a few examples of his brilliant campaign creation.

 He was a commanding presence who had Fortune 500 CEO’s, Hollywood stars, the press and other influential personae falling in line with his ideas. He was a great producer of shows, played a mean piano (in the key of ‘C’ only) and composed some terrific songs (also in ‘C’). He thrilled at hearing the overture to a Broadway show – which is why the music you’re listening to here is the overture from the original cast album of Mack & Mabel – one of his favorites – starring Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters.

John recognized that writing was a natural talent of mine and convinced me of it too by giving me heavy-duty writing assignments when I was just a kid really. He taught me to see the relationships among seemingly un-related dots – and then to connect them. When I decided to start my own PR consultancy he assured me that it was a no-brainer and that I’d certainly succeed.

 The proudest media success of my career was the role I played in writing his obit and placing it in the New York Times. The archives somehow detached the accompanying photo of John skating with Olympic gold medalist and movie star Sonja Henie so I’ve posted it for you to see. I forgot to mention that he was her partner in her touring ice show.  Other details of his life and career – including the fact that in an interesting turn he became my stepfather – are in the press coverage.

Thinking of you, John. I miss you and love you.

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Inbound Marketing Mentors: Sorcerer’s Apprentice Redux

Posted on November 1, 2009. Filed under: Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I guess I must be suffering a Halloween hangover this morning – despite an extra hour of turn-back-the-clock sleep. For more than a year, as mentioned before, I’ve immersed in the world of inbound marketing, social media and the other tools that will help clients communicate effectively and profitably in the years ahead. In this really interesting and exciting pursuit, I’ve become a willing apprentice and have gratefully accepted mentorship in all of the forms that it’s generously been offered.

While a relative newbie compared to some, this is still a pretty new turn in our industry so I feel something like a pioneer at the same time. As I make my way with everyone else who’s busy ‘trying to figure this all out’, I’ve found myself sitting at the feet of brilliant and talented people who have hacked out the rugged path for my covered wagon.

For the past month or so, since a great Social Media guy Walter Elly introduced me to it at Inbound Marketing Summit 09 in Boston, I’ve been listening to and studying the webinars offered in a free certification curriculum — Inbound Marketing University.

This formidable effort was put together and is offered by HubSpot (www.hubspot.com) as a way to start credentialing people who have committed to becoming knowledgeable in the ways of marketing on the Web. Rebecca Corliss of HubSpot has taken charge of IMU, which leverages the webinars they had been offering over time featuring such experts as Chris Brogan of New Marketing Labs and ChrisBrogan.com, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk of winelibrary.tv, and Avinash Kaushik, Google’s analytical guru and author of the new Web Analytics 2.0. IMU covers the wide array of topics that comprise the complex Inbound Marketing approach.

For those who clicked on the play button for today’s jazz selection, let me take a moment to explain why I chose it for this post. The group is one of the many configurations over decades of drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Blakey is known as one of the top mentors and nurturers of jazz talent who ever lived. In a musical art form based on apprenticeship and passing down learning from generation to generation, Art Blakey was one of the most prolific teachers.

The tune you’re listening to is Moanin’, composed and played here by pianist Bobby Timmons. In addition to his mentor Blakey, Timmons is accompanied by fellow mentees who all went on to make an enormous mark on jazz — the great trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, and bassist Jymie Merritt. It’s from an October 30, 1958 recording session, making it a particularly apropos selection for Halloween weekend.

Anyhow – I look forward to sitting soon for the exam that will hopefully result in my being recognized as a Certified Inbound Marketing Professional. Thank you to all of my teachers and role models for helping me as I shift my experience and talents into this new direction. I promise to put what I’m learning – and will continue to learn — to good use and pass it forward to others who decide to follow this road. Check out IMU at www.inboundmarketing.com/university/classes.

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