For all intents and purposes, I have been working nearly non-stop for three decades. Not kidding. Sure, I’ve taken vacations, but I did some form of work on many of them much to the chagrin of my wife and family. And, yes, there are weekends but as a business owner and Type A individual, advancing the goals of McGrath/Power Public Relations and Communications and those of our clients is always top of mind. In many respects, for the bulk of my career, there was no life outside of work. Work was my life and other people and activities were merely sidelights.
Long before McGrath/Power became recognized as a leader in technology communications and integrated marketing, our agency specialized in and excelled at working for consumer brands in highly diverse market segments. Our lineage extends back to arenas, such as athletic footwear (Reebok), marine conservation (Jacques Cousteau Society), bucket list-level adventures (Mountain Travel) and artificial blood (Green Cross Corporation). What we really look for in a client has less to do with the market and far more to do with innovation. So, when we had opportunities to work with three highly innovative organizations that spanned our past, present and future, we jumped at them.
The fashion in which brands communicate has shifted dramatically since the advent of social and digital media. Back in the day, traditional mainstream media would reach large portions of a brand’s target audience while vertical media would tell the story in a more specific way to the people within a specific industry. Today, there is far less reliance on traditional media and brands have to bring a much greater degree of personalization to integrated marketing efforts. Rather than blasting out generic content to nameless, faceless “audiences,” marketers are now taking into consideration the actual people they are selling to and the different phases each of them are at on the buying journey.
Working in Silicon Valley for decades has given us a clear vantage point on the ongoing world of mergers and acquisitions which fuel constant innovation in the technology marketplace. It is a drumbeat that never ends and one that ensures nothing remains stagnant.
Yes, you read that right. I said 700-day blog post shelf life. In the social media realm that’s ancient. Can you imagine tweeting about a blog post that was published in 2013? I want to cringe just thinking about it, but I can’t. Why? Because the numbers tell me not to.
To be successful in the Silicon Valley, you need to have a plan, work incredibly hard and get started early. But it’s also important to find an employer, like McGrath/Power, that supports work-life balance.
From Impressive to Appalling
There’s no shortage of crisis communications happening in the market today. From the most recent E. Coli scare at Chipotle to the Volkswagen emissions scandal to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream recall and, of course, the Daraprim debacle, we have plenty of examples of the “dos and don’ts” of crisis communications. Delivering bad news and minimizing backlash, requires communicating the right messages with the right spokesperson, for the right reasons. Looking at these recent examples, there are many lessons we can learn about delivering bad news.
I love Kickstarter the same way I love browsing through bins of used record albums. You never know what you will find, and there are hidden treasures everywhere. Back in my DJ days when I would scour used record stores, finding the unexpected rarity was the Holy Grail. Anybody could source a Jackson 5 album, but very few could find the 12-inch European disco remix of The Jacksons “Shake Your Body Down To The Ground.” (Trust me, I found it).