Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Amber Lynn Jackson (BIC '15) Earns FUTURE-Star Treatment at the 2014 ADCOLOR® Industry Conference

We were so excited this summer when it was announced that BIC management track student Amber Lynn Jackson earned a spot in the 2014 ADCOLOR Futures Programa highly selective program in which young professionals receive training and mentorship via a sponsored trip to the annual ADCOLOR Awards and Industry Conference. To qualify, student applicants must embody the program's creed of Rising Up while Reaching Back. We asked Amber to share her experience with us. Here's what she had to say.

Life-changing doesn’t even begin to describe my experience as a 2014 AdColor Future. Yes, a fully paid trip to sunny Los Angeles, California was great, but the real highlight of the AdColor Futures Program was the week-long conference experience.

I had access and exposure to some of the most successful senior-level executives in the industry. Often inaccessible, I had the opportunity to network and set into motion the beginnings of new partnerships, mentorships, and more. The opportunity to learn and bond with forty of the top emerging multicultural professionals in the communications industry was enlightening. Their stories and advice gave me inspiration I can now apply to my current job and my growing career.

Education was also integral to the AdColor Futures experience. Through the efficacy training sessions I learned how to forward my career through network building and navigate common issues faced by multicultural talent in the industry. Attending the conference exposed me to some of the best creative projects, invaluable industry insights, and some of the most brilliant minds working in communications today.

The winning team of the 2014 ADCOLOR® FUTURES case study challenge. 

Among the most exciting moments for me was winning the first-ever AdColor Futures case study competition and earning the opportunity to speak at the AdColor Futures Speak Out panel. I had the chance to share the multicultural-millennial view of advertising and the future of the industry. 
Ending the week with the award show and after party celebration was also an unforgettable experience. The closing events were formal, glamorous, and unlike any event I’ve ever attended during my career in the advertising industry. 

Following the conference, I came back to New York City and back to my position at Grey Advertising feeling both motivated and refreshed. I took the chance to share my experience with my agency and spoke specifically to how diversity efforts can be increased internally and externally. Since then I’ve been invited to join the agency’s new diversity council. 

I’m excited to continue the AdColor Futures motto of Rising Up while Reaching Back. Through my own personal efforts, I plan to assist in the goal of making communications a more inclusive industry.

Amber Lynn Jackson (BIC '15)
Ambrlynn.com
@Ambr_lyn

Adcolor Futures
The ADCOLOR® FUTURES class of 2014.




















Visit Adcolor.org for information on how you, too, can get involved in ADCOLOR's mission to celebrate and champion diversity in the advertising, marketing, media, PR and entertainment industries. Visit tumblr to find more ADCOLOR Futures' photos, testimonials, interviews, and conference takeaways.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Changing the Ratio (Two BICsters at a Time)

In a world where women influence 80% or more of consumer spending, women only make up on 3% of all Creative Directors in advertising. That's the driving force behind The 3% Conference

BICsters Nehal Mahmoud and Luz Corona are helping draw attention to it. Their poster has won them a pair of tickets to The 3% Conference in San Francisco, November 3-4, 2014 plus a travel stipend. They'll also attend a private lunch on Day 1 of the Conference where leaders from Adobe and other agencies will conduct a portfolio review of their work. Launched in 2012, The 3% Conference has exploded into a 2-day, 400-person event in San Francisco, a multi-city road show, and a vibrant online community on multiple social platforms, a student scholarship, a creative award, and a business blog to support the crusade.  The theme for the 2014 conference is "Inspiration & Activation." 

Students from BU, Brown, Miami Ad School were also among the winners of this year's poster contest. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Advertising Week 2014: Technology Rules

The ad world is revving up for Advertising Week 2014. The official promotion and media coverage, in the week before, focuses relentlessly on the tech / digital issues.  One does (at least a little) wonder if anybody is going to pay attention to "content." All those new digital channels have to distribute something, after all. We look forward to discussions about what will be the effective content for the new varieties of digital media.  (After all, just because you CAN deliver content, doesn't mean it sells anything.)

The Wall Street Journal (posting Sunday afternoon, Sept 28) foresees Advertising Week 2014 to provide a vision for how digital media will increasingly dominate the ad spend: "Digital Media to Take Center Stage at Advertising Week." The Journal expects the news (and the chatter) to focus on the technology of distribution rather than the power of brand: "Talk at the swanky cocktail parties is likely to revolve around things that didn't even exist a decade ago, from BuzzFeed and Instagram to programmatic ad buying and marketing cloud. The chatter over canapes will entail an alphabet soup of new marketing jargon such as DSP, SSP, DMP and RTB. . . . It is a far cry from the first Advertising Week, 11 years ago, when much of the talk among ad executives was whether the prize for fan-favorite ad icon would go to Tony the Tiger or the M&M characters."

The New York Times (also posting on Sunday afternoon, Sept 28) sees Advertising Week 2014 to offer a referendum on the future of television: "Advertising Week 2014: Exploring the Future of Television.".  The Times' perspective is consistent with the WSJ, but provides a view of the continuum from the recent past to the uncertain future -- as consumers evolve in their screen-behaviors -- away from TV (some of the time, for some consumers): "A debate that is likely to generate heat, if not light, is whether rapid, large increases in digital ad spending by marketers,prompted by shifts in how viewers watch video, mean a concomitant decline in spending for commercial time on traditional television." . . . According to the 2014 Ipsos Affluent Survey USA, the use of digital media is growing strongly among affluent Americans but not at the expense of traditional media like television. 'Digital media is supplementing, not supplanting,' Stephen Kraus, chief insights officers for the Audience Measurement Group of Ipsos MediaCT said."

The following is an excerpt from the Advertising Week / Stillwell Partners media release issued September 23:

"Extended thought leadership content tracks dig deep into industry hot buttons including: Programmatic, Mobile, Data, Video, Innovation, Local, Health, Fitness & Wearables, Retail Innovation, Sports, Native Ads, Cross-Screen and Social Influence. The Advertising Week Experience (AWE) also returns featuring nearly 100 start-ups that represent the front lines of technological innovation, which is re-shaping the industry, in real time.

"Additional highlights:
  • Grand Central Terminal hosts the Opening Gala, in partnership with Amazon Media Group
  • The Wall Street Journal launches Disruption, a new evening event
  • Fortune stages a special edition of Brainstorm TECH
  • Randall Rothenberg leads IAB's annual MIXX Conference
  • CMOs and CEOs take center stage throughout The Week along with a "State of the Industry" series featuring more than a dozen major trade associations
  • The Pandora Battle of the Ad Bands returns to the Highline Ballroom
  • Rovio's Angry Birds Transformers Party, returns to Arena
"New and returning corporate and media partners for Advertising Week 2014 include: AARP, Acxiom, Adara, Adobe, Amazon Media Group, Amobee, AOL, AT&T AdWorks, BuzzFeed, Centaur, Exponential, Facebook, Fast Company, Fortune, Getty Images, Google, Keek, LinkedIn, Marketo, Mashable, Mediaocean, Microsoft, Millennial Media, MLB Advanced Media, NBCUniversal, NCC Media, New York Market Radio, The New York Times, Nielsen, OpenX, Pandora, Precision Marketing Insights from Verizon, Purch, PwC, RadiumOne, Rovio, Rubicon Project, Tasting Table, The Wall Street Journal, The Weather Channel, true[X], Turn, Quiver, Univision, USA Today, WebMD, Yahoo, yp, and many more."

Other developments to watch for:

"Will Facebook Announce New Atlas Advertising Platform at Advertising Week 2014?"

The Yellow Pages will "take over" Grand Central Terminal.

The Drum will try to shock you.  (Anybody out there still shock-able?)

Monday, September 22, 2014

PR research coming of age

September 15 - 19, 2014 was the observance of the first global public relations Measurement Week. The initiative was led by the London-based AMEC (International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication), the U.S.-based Institute for Public Relations, a number of the leading research services providers  (BurrellesLuce, Cision, Gorkana, Kantar, PRIME, and Vocus), and a handful of the global PR agencies, and it was the culmination of nearly a decade of the efforts of the public relations industry to grapple with the demands for better analytics in media and marketing services.

The PR industry -- like advertising and the news and entertainment media -- has faced enormous challenges to its business model in the face of the impact of digital technologies. Yet PR had always stood apart -- or trailed behind? -- other marketing and media sectors in demonstrating its impact. The PR profession often justified its contributions with vague concepts such as "buzz," "impressions," "advertising value equivalency," and "reputation." As inadequate as the standard metrics had been for advertising and media, PR offered nothing comparable for consistency.

The challenge from large corporations' procurement departments for an industry standards for marketing communications services return on investment (ROI) metrics, especially after the 2008 recession, coalesced with inklings about the potential to link communications acts to transactions, transparently, with new digital media.

The September 2014 Measurement Week is a strong indication of how far the PR industry has come to meet these challenges in two dimensions: 1) providing the analytics that business demands at the same time as 2) creating consensus with the global PR industry around methods, terminology, and standards.

The third edition of the Dictionary for PR Measurement and Research, published by the Institute for Public Relations, and edited by Prof. Don Stacks at the University of Miami and Prof. Shannon Bowen at the University of South Carolina, is now widely accepted as the authority on PR research  terminology definitions.

AMEC has rallied consensus among corporations, research services providers, and PR agencies in a number of initiatives, most notably its campaign against "advertising value equivalency," first aggressively asserted in the 2010 Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles.

In the past three years, a coalition of communications associations has undertaken aggressive efforts to articulate standards and best practices for monitoring and analytics of both traditional and new digital media communications. The Coalition for PR Research Standards has the active participation and endorsement of the Council of Public Relations Firms, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, the Institute for Public Relations, AMEC, and the Public Relations Society of America.  Simultaneously, an overlapping group was formed, The Social Media Measurement Conclave, which has met and articulated new industry standards for social media measurement methodologies -- with the hearty endorsement from opinion-leading corporations such as Southwest Airlines, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Cisco, McDonalds, and Thompson Reuters.

Finally, The Institute of Public Relations has created a new PR Research Standards Center dedicated to sustaining industry consensus and providing content and initiatives to support PR education (both academic and professional) related to the newly articulated standards.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

NFL -- a case study in the making for all brand watchers

American professional football has been untouchable -- by economic recessions, by sky-rocketing ticket costs, and by celebrity player periodic scandals.

But has the perfect storm of player traumatic head injuries and player inflicted criminal abuse finally hit the league? AdAge reports on September 13 that "The YouGov BrandIndex, which emasures daily brand consumer perception, found that the NFL's 'buzz' score fell from a yearlong high of 36 on Monday to -17 four days later, which marks the league's lowest score since June 2012 . . . . the NFL's score plummeted as it dealt with a constant drumbeat of negative headlines and scathing commentary . . . . Interestingly, the NFL fared worse among men, whose score was -27, than women, which came in at -8."

News report nationwide echoed the YouGov findings. sfgate writes, also on September 13, in a typical report: "Domestic violence rocks NFL image, threatens brand."  The Wall Street Journal also casts the conjunction of reports about player mis-behaviors as a corporate brand story: on September 12 the Journal reports: "Domestic Violence Incident Hurting NFL Brand." As evidence, the Journal cites social media: "About 29% of the comments during the opening week of the 2014-2015 football season were negative while only 8% were positive, according to Networked Insights. . . . It's a far cry from the year earlier period when 21% of the comments about the NFL were positive and 15% were negative."

Last week (September 9), Adweek focused on the women's market with "After Ray Rice, the NFL Needs to Go Big to Restore Brand with Women: It may be 'toast' if it doesn't, marketers say." 

Unsurprisingly, much of the media coverage calls for "new leadership" -- given what has been reported and what many suspect about the way that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his staff have handled the situation, it is a predictable crisis containment strategic step to fire the CEO (whether or not the decapitation of the leader means any deep structural or cultural change in the organization or not.) However, John Kass at the Chicago Tribune, offers an interesting recommendation which could have profound branding impact: appoint former Secretary of State (and well-known football fan) Condoleeza Rice as the next NFL Commissioner.

This is a brand story to watch.

CCNY ranked #1 for diversity in the USA northern region


U.S.News & World Report 2015 rankings of educational institutions has cited CCNY as the number one regional university in the North for racial and ethnic diversity.  According to the magazine, CCNY offers the most enriching learning experiences where "students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from a different ethnic group from their own."

Overall, CCNY is ranked #65 among 620 regional universities  in the North.





Sunday, September 7, 2014

CVS -- a CPG retailer or a health company?

Jonathan Salem Baskin, at Forbes.com, has blogged about "CVS' tobacco position is a great first step for the brand."  When we blogged last February about CVS's decision to stop selling tobacco products, it was not publicly known that CVS was making this product-SKU decision into a full-fledged brand repositioning for the company.

Now that the company has followed up its "no tobacco products" policy with a corporate name change ("CVS Health"), questions have to arise -- noted by Baskin -- about whether CVS is going to sell sodas and other foods and dietary supplements that are scrutinized and controversial.

It's tricky.  If CVS is becoming a "health" company, it's going to have to get serious about defining and acting on the "health" issue. If the company is not serious -- thoughtful and consistent -- the "health" positioning will quickly be perceived as a shallow farce. Execution will be ALL.  Will the new CVS brand walk the talk?

CCNY BIC welcomes the class of 2016

The City College of New York, Branding + Integrated Communications Master's Degree program has welcomed its second class of students.

Over thirty students from all over the United States and the globe have chosen to study with CCNY and the BIC program in the second class of this pioneering program in the study of the skills and issues facing the contemporary marketing communications sector.

Check back here for future news about the progress of impact of BIC students.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Are you sure that brand is dead?

Anybody -- from now through the past three generations -- could get vertigo reviewing the ups and downs of Chrysler Corporation, Fiat, and Alpha Romeo in the USA market.

Check out this current perspective from brandchannel.

For those of us interested in the long-term asset-value of brands, the resurgence of both Chrysler and Fiat is a fascinating example of how Brand can live on, move forward, and transcend performance failures.

Of course, it doesn't always work.. Consider Saab.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Chris Villanueva wins ANA Multicultural Excellence Scholarship


This year, two MAIP interns were awarded an ANA Multicultural Excellence Scholarship -- and one of them was Chris Villanueva BIC '15. The $2,500 scholarships, which are funded with proceeds from the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Multicultural Excellence Awards, are granted on the basis of demonstrated academic ability and community involvement.

Chris received the award in front of 500 industry people, composed of MAIP interns, alumni, and industry professionals of all levels during the Diversity Leadership Luncheon at the 4A's Face of Talent event. The Face of Talent is a two-day symposium that celebrates, challenges, and connects MAIP interns and industry professionals through an interactive forum, leadership luncheon, career fair, and evening reception. It provides an optimal platform to recognize talented multicultural individuals and agencies committed to diversity, as well as honor rising stars from 2014 MAIP.

Winning this award was especially sweet for Chris who interned at TBWA's creative department this summer as a MAIP intern. When the ANA Multicultural Scholarship was announced, Doug Melville, Chief Diversity Officer at TBWA\Worldwide, who was in the audience, proudly tweeted about it on behalf of TBWA\Chiat\Day. 

The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) provides leadership that advances marketing excellence and shapes the future of the industry. Founded in 1910, ANA's membership includes nearly 600 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing and advertising. The ANA pursues “collaborative mastery” that advances the interests of marketers and promotes and protects the well-being of the marketing community.

What did YOU do this summer?

Summer was especially productive for Maxime Menant, BIC '15. In addition to interning at Experian Marketing Services, he applied and was accepted to BBH's intensive program for strategic planners called Griffin Farley Search for Beautiful Minds. It's in honor of Griffin Farley, a Strategy Director at BBH New York who dedicated much of his time to aspiring planners/strategist hoping to break into the business.

This hybrid bootcamp and networking event is a free crash course in planning from some of the top planners in the industry. Afterwards, teams pitched their work at Google headquarters in front of a room packed full of department heads and recruiters. An auction at the end of the event gave executives an opportunity to bid on who they want to mentor. Maxime's team won "Most Culturally Relevant Strategy" -- as well as a ton of business cards from contacts who will remember them long after the summer of  2014.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Breaking news: the FUTURE.

Amber Jackson selected to 2014 ADCOLOR Futures Program

On a warm evening on June 16th, a crowd gathered at the Time Warner Center for a live announcement of this year's ADCOLOR finalists. Hosted by CCNY's Don Lemon, honorees in categories such as Innovator and Rising Star celebrated ADCOLOR's mission to recognize diversity in the advertising, media and PR industries.

As part of the excitement, Amber Jackson, a BIC management student, learned that she had earned a spot in the 2014 ADCOLOR Futures Program, a highly selective program in which young professionals receive training and mentorship via a sponsored trip to the ADCOLOR Awards and Industry Conference. To qualify, applicants have to be a member or alumni of the organization's diversity summit organizations such as AAF's Most Promising Minority Program, The LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship Program (see article below) and more. They must embody the program's creed of Rising up while Reaching Back. This year's conference will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California. 

<< Amber celebrated with fellow BIC student and Rising Star nominee, Javier Garcia, as they walked the red carpet for this gala event.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

BIC's First Semi-Finalist in the Zahn Social Innovation Competition

It's one thing to be the first, but it's especially astonishing and gratifying to be the first in our first year: Debra Jones became our first BIC student to be selected by the Zahn Center to present her social innovation project to a panel of entrepreneurs, faculty, and venture capitalist (including Peter Zahn himself) in a competition worth $30,000. Her submission, MoYA -- or The Museum of Your Art -- allows non-artists to be part of and to amplify urban renewal through art. 



MoYA is a virtual museum that connects people to public and street art via an app and interactive website. With different versions grounded in different cities, MoYA allows art lovers, culture seekers, and city dwellers to form an active, engaged community of virtual art curators that grows through posting pictures and information of public art, curating personalized collections, creating walking tours connecting to highlighted art, and allowing others to cast votes up and down. The app pinpoints locations so tours can be created by individual “curators.” When you have the app on your smart phone, notifications/info occur as your walk around the city when art is nearby. As MoYA grows with use, so does a more engaged citizenry who is more strongly connected  — by art and culture (things that make us human and keep cities economically viable) — to community and city identity. The pilot for the Museum of Your Art (MoYA) will be for New York City. In addition to being a semi-finalist, Debra's submission was ultimately selected to be part of the Zahn summer incubator for social innovation.


Debra Jones presenting MoYA at the Zahn Social Innovation Competition on May 8, 2014.

The Zahn Social Innovation Ideas Challenge offers an opportunity for the ENTIRE City College community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) to pitch their big ideas on how to change the world through social enterprise. Teams will compete for up to $30K in prize money to help develop their innovative ideas into viable solutions to social and environmental challenges. This gives budding entrepreneurs a chance to submit innovative solutions to a problem they see in the world – from healthcare to education, gender equality to clean water, sustainability to urban architecture. This is their opportunity to activate large-scale change. Throughout the summer and fall, the Zahn Center offers funding, extensive mentorship from CCNY and the NYC social ecosystem, and pro bono legal services, all in an inspiring collaborative workspace to develop the ideas of change maker finalists.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ketchum helps BIC celebrate Year One

From left: Nancy R. Tag, CCNY Professor and
Director of the BIC program;
Rob Flaherty, Senior Partner, CEO & President
of Ketchum;
Barri Friedman Rafferty, Senior Partner
and CEO North America, of Ketchum
and Member, BIC Board of Advisers

Ketchum's world headquarters office in New York graciously hosted, on May 28th, the end-of-academic-year Mix + Mentor reception for the first class of BIC students.

BIC students and faculty, representatives from several additional advertising and public relations agencies in New York, and a number of Ketchum New York office employees representing the range of services and capabilities of the agency, met to celebrate BIC's students' achievements.

Rob Flaherty, Senior Partner, CEO & President of Ketchum provided a warm and enthusiastic welcome. Barri Friedman Rafferty, Senior Partner and CEO North America, of Ketchum -- and Member of the BIC Board of Advisers -- joined discussions with students.

Nancy R. Tag, CCNY Professor and Director of the BIC program, called out just some of the BIC student achievements during its inaugural academic year:

BIC student, Nehal Mahmoud, was awarded one of five Graduate Fellowships from the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership for a research project on how brands can positively promote public discussion about diversity in the U.S.A.

BIC students Raj Andrew Gomes and Luz Corona received top honors at the CCNY Graduate Symposium for Research and Creative Achievement, for their development of an integrated communications campaign concept for the New York City Citi Bike program.

BIC student Edmund Balogun was selected to present his paper on "Bias in Market Research" to the State University of New York (SUNY) Graduate School at The college of Brockport's third annual Master's Level Graduate Research Conference. Mr. Balogun's paper also received the third place award at the CCNY Graduate Symposium for Research and Creative Achievement.

BIC students Frederick Garcia and Amber Jackson were selected as two of only twenty students nationwide to receive The LAGRANT Foundation graduate scholarship in support of increasing ethnic diversity in the advertising, marketing, and public relations industries.

BIC student Raj Andrew Gomes qualified to represent CCNY at the 2013 JWT College Art Battle in head-to-head competition with long-standing programs including the Miami Ad School, the School of Visual Art, and New York City Tech.


BIC student named one of five Colin Powell Graduate Fellows for 2014-15

One of BIC's first class of students, Nehal Mahmoud, has been named one of five Graduate Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year by the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.

Ms. Mahmoud entered the BIC program in the fall of 2013 as a public relations specialist, and along with completing her Master of Professional Studies next year, she will pursue a research project on how brands can positively impact the conversation on diversity in the United States. She will also, as a Colin Powell Graduate Fellow, take part in weekly seminars and in public and networking events with distinguished public figures. The Graduate Fellows receive a cash stipend as well as individualized mentorship opportunities.

Ms. Mahmoud has earned the Public Relations Diploma, from MacEwan University (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) and holds a BS in Physical Sciences from the University of Alberta.

General Colin L. Powell, U.S.A. (Retired),
at right.
Lisa Staiano-Coico, President of CCNY,
at center.
 (Photo: New York Daily News, April 2013)
The Colin Powell Fellowship for Graduate Students is designed for high achieving City College of New York graduate students of any CCNY program, department, or school. Some fellows enter with interest and experience in public policy; others are students in engineering, science, the health science, the humanities, architecture, and film studies. All fellows are united by a desire to use their field of study to influence policy or social change.

The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College of New York is named after its Founder, General Colin L. Powell, U.S.A. (Retired) (CCNY class of 1958).

BIC professor is counsel to award-winning integrated communications program

Frank Walton, Professor at CCNY Media & Communication Arts Department and Director of the Public Program Track at BIC, is also a senior counsel to Shinnyo-en, a Japanese-based global Buddhist organization and its worldwide philanthropic and educational activities. Shinnyo-en's public celebration for peace-making in everyday life, held in New York's Central Park in September 2013, has received the 2014 Public Relations Society of America, New York Chapter, Big Apple Award in the category of Integrated Communications Program: Government, Associations, and Non-profit Organizations. The initiative, the Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace, was supported by New York-headquartered Finn Partners and was under the artistic directorship of Zeyba Rahman.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Money is so much better than a click

Folio Magazine blogged yesterday that "Branding Success Should Be Measured by Orders, Not Click-Throughs." This message challenges much of the breathless assertions about value inferences from digital analytics as well as adheres to marketing and business fundamental concepts. We have got so caught up with how well we can "count" (categorize, weight, etc.) the views of an ad, that there is often a decline in focus on successfully selling.

Just as the analytics have become sophisticated, the arts of spam and scam have also reached unanticipated levels of refinement -- "more than a third of web traffic is fraudulent . . . only 40 percent of the ads measured were actually viewable . . . "  Folio's blogger, Roy Beagley, writes, "Viruses and bots can inflate click-throughs, page views and a whole host of other nasty things, but as far as I am aware, viruses and bots have not actually placed any orders."

For the past few years, those of us who work in the PR research community been trying to pound a basic concept into the heads of marketers and digital enthusiasts. The following is what you can measure:

Outputs -- The stuff you (the marketer) did. The ads you placed. The media releases you distributed. The party you threw. The brochures you handed out. This is the stuff on which you spent your money. Research and analytics at this point are in the realm of process audit.

Outtakes -- The immediate reactions to the Output.  This includes the view and click-throughs. It includes the media coverage resulting from your releases and events. It includes the inquiries you get over your 800-number. And the comments on your blog.  All good stuff. This is the stuff that immediately results from how you spent your money. And it directly earns you nothing. Research and measurement at this point are in the realm of environmental (market) monitoring.

Outcomes -- Sales. Orders. Votes. Memberships. Commitments. Revenues. This is how you can truly measure the value of the Output to the enterprise.  If ROI (return on investment) can legitimately used in marketing communications, this is the point. Research and measurement at this point are financial.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Do you want "talk" about a new logo?

Old and new Netflix logos.
A new post on Fast Company Design today raises the question of why there has been no public comment about the introduction of Netflix's new logo. The bigger question for integrated communications is when -- and when not -- a corporate branding change needs to be "news."

By not treating the new logo as news, is Netflix implicitly asserting that the logo change has insignificant value to the company (to customers, to investors)? By not having a traditional PR initiative surround the launch of the new logo, Netflix may have raised more questions than the whole topic deserves. It is probably not of the consequence of Quikster ("the worst product launch since New Coke," Mashable), but it does show again Netflix's continuing ability to thrive (dominate) in its sector while still seeming to make dubious branding moves.

Monday, April 28, 2014

BIC adjunct prof on "corporate narrative"

Sandra Stahl
Co-founder and Principal,
jacobstahl inc.
The pharmaceutical industry has a unique -- and fascinating -- challenge: it has to deal with all the branding and marketing communications challenges of any company; and it also has to convince its stakeholders to entrust them -- not with their dollars or their lifestyle -- but with their Lives.

Sandra Stahl, co-founder and principal of jacobstahl, inc., a 25+ year veteran of healthcare communications, will join the BIC adjunct faculty in the Fall of 2014 to help BIC students understand how best practices in branding fit into the most sensitive and important aspects of both our personal lives as well as part of one of the largest segments of the global industrial economy.

See Professor Stahl's recent post at pm360online.com (pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical devices online marketing magazine) on "The Return of the Corporate Brand."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Creativity made for sharing

Brand managers covet -- and sometimes desperately regret -- the viral spread of messages. BIC industry advisory board member, Rob Norman, GroupM's Chief Digital Officer, recently blogged at Exchange4Media.com about how communications professionals can structure and harness the cultural and social triggers that characterize some of the most successful and product viral brand messages.

BIC students: highlight of CCNY Graduate Student Symposium

BIC MPS Class of 2015 students:
Edmund Balogun, Raj Andrew Nicholas Gomes,
and Luz Corona
On April 24, 2014, BIC students carried off top recognitions among the Humanities and Arts submissions at the CCNY Graduate Student Symposium for Research and Creative Achievement.

Edmund Balogun received the third place recognition for his paper on "Market Research Bias," a paper he first developed for his BIC course,  Research and Measurement, taught by BIC adjunct professor, and EVP of Global Research at Y&R, Belle Frank.  (Mr. Balogun will also present this paper on April 24 at the State University of New York Graduate School at The College of Rockport annual Master's Level Graduate Research Conference.)

BIC students Raj Andrew Nicholas Gomes and Luz Corona received top honors at the CCNY competition for their development of an integrated communications campaign concept for the New York City Citi Bike program, "Create Your Own Stop," a project originally developed for their BIC class in Idea Development taught by CCNY Professor and BIC Program Director, Nancy Tag.

The CCNY Graduate Student Symposium is a platform for graduate students to gain recognition for their work by faculty, students and potential employers. It raises awareness about the wide gamut of programs housed at CCNY and helps distinguish the college as one of the premier higher learning institutions in the CUNY system. The students received cash awards as well as bragging rights -- in BIC's first year, we walked away with two of the three awards for graduate student achievement at CCNY Humanities and Arts.

BIC MPS Class of 2015 Students: Edmund Balogun, Raj Andrew Nicholas Gomes, and Luz Corona

Friday, April 18, 2014

Still good to the last drop?

NPR's Marketplace recently reported on Kart's "refresh" of the "vintage" Maxwell House Coffee brand -- which includes a new logo and design but resurrects a Very Old Tagline: "good to the last drop."  The people at Kraft are not investing in Maxwell House out of nostalgia. Presumably, they've got some research and insights and that are supporting this risk. Another brand story to watch.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How about this idea for brand strategy: Honesty. Integrity. Truth.

Imagine: a first priority for communicating with total, transparent honesty, integrity, and truth.  Other objectives follow (efficiency comes later; sales results are important but don't come first), because if that first priority is achieved -- all else will be well.

Professor Shannon Bowen from the University of South Carolina has posted at PRWeek that "if we [marketing communications professionals] act as independent advisers seeking to create truth and support relationship building, we release the field [public relations] from the 'divided loyalties' conflict between employer (or client) and the publics that has plagued it."

Professor Bowen reminds us that the bar for honesty, integrity, and truth cannot be raised too high.  NOT because that's all goody-goody; but without that ability of a brand to sustain perception of honesty, integrity, and truth, there are no other "tricks of the Ad/PR trade" that will work.

The New Yorker deliberately evolves a digital brand strategy

Digiday.com has published a very interesting take on The New Yorker's digital strategy. It sounds like The New Yorker is being smart (well . . . I guess that's what you'd expect) -- in evolving its core identity into digital: not trying to be Upworthy; maintaining the 90-year tradition/policy of having every word published/posted be fact checked (by a real person) (including the comments, Tweets, etc.). It seems to demonstrate that long-read and deep content does not have to be diminished by digital platforms.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rebranding the oldest company listed on NYSE.

Sotheby's auction house is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was founded in 1744, and if it doesn't have a brand by now . . . well, what's a branding firm to do?  Well, whatever it does, it better do it well.

Pentagram Design
Since 2011, Pentagram has been working with Sotheby's "to bring stronger coherence to the full spectrum of the company's identity and communications."  If it were only so simple that the company sold stuff, at auction.  But Sotheby's is arguably one of the leading organizations / voices for significant changes in global culture. Sotheby's customers are among the most influential -- and richest -- consumers and  patrons of global culture.

Sotheby's credibility is grounded in its claim to unerring judgment of the potential value about cultural artifacts -- the final cash value of objects is, of course, up to the buyers.  But Sotheby's is the very definition of a "global market maker" -- and needs to be at home, credible, and trusted in New York, London, Paris, Zurich, Milan, Geneva, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha, Moscow, and . . . . anywhere that power and money invest in culture.

Pentagram's work for Sotheby's is an insightful case study in branding conceptualization and fulfillment in a high-stakes, high-profile environment. This is not the branding story of a start-up; this is the branding story of an organization over one quarter of a millennium old -- not much competition in that frame of reference.