Introducing the BIC class of 2015: Desmond Maxwell

7/13/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Desmond Maxwell
CCNY Media &
Communication Arts,
Branding + Integrated
MPS Class of 2015

Desmond Maxwell today is an entrepreneur helping developing and start-up companies implement digital, integrated marketing programs. He previously worked in interactive marketing and multi-platfform ad programs at AT&T Interactive and VIACOM.

Before coming over to the marketing side, Mr. Maxwell had experience in media with WFAN-AM and CBS in ad sales and promotions.

Mr. Maxwell is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and a B.A. alum of CCNY in English. (Which was tougher?)

Introducing Desmond Maxwell via the Proust Questionnaire:

What is your present state of mind?
My mind is in the moment.

What's your main fault?
Not always living in the moment.

What is the natural talent that you'd like to be gifted with?
A drive off the tee with Tiger Woods.

Who is your favorite prose author?

Who is your favorite poet?

Who is your hero in real life?
Muhammad Ali.

Who are your favorite heroes in real life?
Single mothers.

What's your favorite virtue?

What do you hate most?

What you appreciate the most in your friends?

What's your favorite occupation?
Swimming with the sharks.

What is your favorite motto?
Sapere Aude.  ["Dare to be wise."  See: ]

How would you wish to die?
With honor

What's your idea of happiness?
Laughing with my children.

Whither content marketing -- or how the latest battle between advertising and public relations is remaking how we all think about institutional communications

7/08/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Advertising and PR agencies are just fated to fight each other, continually, for “territory” (a.k.a. clients’ money — a.k.a. a credible, exclusive claim to a communications tactic, channel, or technology). The battleground of the moment is, of course, content marketing (a.k.a. branded content, a.k.a. native advertising, etc.)

Such a plethora of a.k.a.’s suggests something inconclusive is in the works.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced June 6th that a little definition is in order. Susan Borst, IAB’s Director of Industry Initiatives, blogged about IAB’s new Native Advertising Task Force (over 50 member companies and over 60 individual participants) with its aim “to establish a framework for the native advertising space by putting forth a prospectus that clearly lays out today’s ‘native’ landscape.” And, IAB also kicked off a Content Marketing Task Force (with 25+ member companies and about the same number of individual participants). (Ad Week picked up on the ironies of IAB’s attempts “to bring some clarity to the Babel-like confusion” by noting that “it’s unclear if the latter [Content Marketing Task Force] is a cousin to or umbrella of the first [Native Advertising Task Force].” Cousin — umbrella — we can’t even get our metaphors on the same page.

By the way — no PR firms on either IAB task force.

IAB obviously hadn’t read Forrester Research’s Laura Ramos’ blog from May 6th: “The Role of PR in Content Marketing and Thought Leadership.” Ramos calls out the argument for PR to lead the content marketing charge: “. . . the advantages of PR to stimulate conversation, engage in two-way interactions, and develop interesting story lines that involve the intended audience are a natural fit for creating great marketing in this new digital world.” Ramos gives kudos to Richard Edelman’s evolving stance, most recently sketched out in his April 30th 6 A.M. blog post, “The New Look of Public Relations — A Dissenting View.” in which he discusses his agency’s intent to “expand the remit of the public relations business . . . to take full advantage of the inherent advantages of PR, which are credibility, speed, two-way interaction and continuous story creation.”

Edelman had set many PR people buzzing (some grumbling) earlier, back on January 7th, with his 6 A.M. blog post, “Paid Media — A Change of Heart,” in which he gingerly, but “unafraid,” embraced the brave new world of paid content: “I can assure you that Edelman will be at the bleeding edge of aiming for the right thing, unafraid of the wrong thing.” (The “right thing” he refers to there, that he is edge-bleeding towards, is “‘own-able’ insight” that is to be “co-produce[d] content with media companies.”) (PRNewser’s report made this sound a bit like going over to the Dark Side: “Edelman Switches Sides, Joins the ‘Paid Content’ Team.”)

Presumably, all this doesn’t mean PR is going the way of Buzzfeed. (Does it?) In the meantime, however, you’ll find the PR trades, the tip sheets, the boot camps and webinars are now providing non-stop, fully confident advice about how surely PR people can succeed wtth content marketing (I guess PR is ahead of the IAB after all, since advertising is only at the point of forming task forces?).

This is the point at which the blogger (wisely, humbly) must write, “Time will tell.” But a last reflection: this current battle between advertising and PR for ownership of content marketing is coalescing as a stand-off between Money/Scale vs. Righteousness (the much greater resources and infrastructure of advertising vs. the moral/authenticity claim of public relations). Was it ever so? Or is there some hint at a synthesis of a new institutional communications function that both demonstrably works and can have sustainable integrity?

This post also appeared on,
July 8, 2013
and on the author's personal blog

Introducing the BIC Class of 2015: Amber Jackson

7/02/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Amber Jackson
CCNY Media &
Communications Arts,
Branding + Integrated
MPS Class of 2015

Amber Jackson joins BIC after participating in the Interpublic Group's two-year associate program (which includes six-month rotations at different agencies). She has had experience at MRM and Hill Holliday working on MasterCard, Prezista, and Canagliflozin accounts.

While earning her Bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas in Journalism and Strategic Communications, Ms. Jackson also got experience working as a brand advocate for Victoria's Secret PINK and as an entertainment marketing intern for the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City.

Introducing Amber Jackson via the Proust Questionnaire:

What is your current state of mind?
Relaxed, reflective, positive, happy.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Manis and pedis every two weeks.

What is your greatest fear?

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What is the quality you most like in a man?

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
The ability to not take herself too seriously.

What do you most value in your friends?
I love my friends for their brutal honesty, sincerity, and sense of humor.

What is your greatest regret?
I have none. Everything happens for a reason.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To love and be loved. To learn and be challenged every day.

What is your motto?
Be fearless.