Meetings and Media - Marketing Innovations & Storytelling

Recent Posts

Traditional Ads Meet Content Marketing at Ad Week 2016
Getting in Tune with Non-Traditional Radio Marketing
The Innovative Spirit at Work
The Wild, Wacky and Worthy of Ad Week 2014
My Five Favorite Posts of 2013


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Traditional Ads Meet Content Marketing at Ad Week 2016

This blog first appeared on the website of CRN International, where I am the company's Marketing Director.

Hold on. We’ve heard some 300 sessions X 13 years at Advertising Week preaching the glory of content marketing. Yet there was the moderator of a radio industry panel asking her CMO panelists what final message they’d like to leave for a room full of potential radio advertisers.

It was the invitation for a blatant “pitch” – if that word is even in the marketing lexicon anymore. Their answers came in the form of live “spot ads”— much like radio ads often buried within long commercial stop sets but in this case buried within four days of nonstop presentations.

Getting in Tune with Non-Traditional Radio Marketing

(This article first appeared in and the Chief Direct Marketer newsletter.)

Anyone searching a stock photo library for pictures of a radio will find thousands of images that conjure up memories of old-time radio. But the audio industry has transformed beyond recognition, with the most common sources of sound looking like computer screens, smartphones and car dashboards.

Radio is still a very valuable advertising medium. About 91%, or 245 million, of all Americans ages 12 and up listen to some form of radio every week, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau, whether it’s commercial radio, streaming, pure play, podcast or something else.

The Innovative Spirit at Work

This post first appeared on, the website for CRN International, a radio marketing company where I am Marketing Director.

“Everyone at Harvard is inventing something. Harvard undergraduates believe inventing a job is better than finding a job.”

That’s what Harvard President Larry Summers told the Winklevoss twins when they whined about Mark Zuckerberg stealing their idea in the movie, The Social Network. Summers urged them to “let their imaginations run away with them on a new project.

The Wild, Wacky and Worthy of Ad Week 2014

This blog was first posted byCRN International, for which I am currently Marketing Director.

“I’m a big advocate and supporter of radio; trouble is, most creative on radio is really bad.”

The head of a multibillion-dollar ad agency shared that with me between sessions atAdvertising Week 2014in New York. And as much as the show’s organizers tried to break me by instructing 960 speakers to replace every “er” or “uh” with words like content, data, engagement, storytelling, mobile, programmatic, and collaboration, the CEO’s candid comment will be the most indelible memory for me, now that I’ve washed the hand that shook Dan Rather’s.

My Five Favorite Posts of 2013

The principal of my daughter’s elementary school many years ago went on and on at an assembly praising staff members and volunteer parents for a variety of contributions. “I know we tend to thank a lot of people around here and it’s taking a long time,” she said in a friendly, unapologetic tone. “But that’s too bad!” She had an instant fan.
Leadership gurus preach the value and necessity of appropriate praise as a cornerstone to generating intended results. Like pistachio nuts, investments and extra golf balls, it’s one of those things you can’t have enough of.

Time to Rethink the Association Model?

This article was written for and first appeared

It was a discussion among association chapter leaders on how to increase membership. The usual campaign strategies were mentioned. But for all the tactics, I had a larger question: What is our value proposition—is it strong enough?

Even if it were, would that matter? Associations are fighting an increasingly tough battle to engage and keep members, stay relevant, and deliver numbers. Is it the fault of the associations themselves for their struggles to adapt and improve with every industry course correction?

Measuring Value: It's Not a Pipe Dream

A common sequence surrounding a discussion of ROI in the meetings industry:
  1. Speaker says measuring ROI is essential for validating and continuing to have events, as well as helping in many cases to validate jobs.
  2. Others nod in agreement.
  3. Speaker points to statistics indicating most companies do little or nothing to measure ROI.
  4. Others nod in agreement, some staring down at their notepads.
  5. Speaker encourages and energizes others to go back to the office, work to penetrate the layers of executive decision-making, and make ROI a priority.

Booking the Most Compelling Speaker - You!

If given the choice at a professional education event, would you rather listen to an engaging speaker and get a new idea or two, or meet everybody in the room one-on-one for at least three minutes?
I’ve been wrestling with this question, and, as Vice President of Education for Meeting Professionals International’sGreater New York Chapterresponsible for program development, I am most interested in the answer.
History tells us compelling topics and charismatic speakers carry the day, draw people away from their computer screens, and send them merrily into the night.

A Walk You Need To Take

Between associations pounding the drums in Washington, advocacy experts spreading the word in forums near and far, andsocial media threadsoffering diverse opinions on what’s right, wrong, what could and should be done when it comes to elevating the stature of the meetings industry, there’s only one thing for corporate meetings professionals to do to take the issue beyond mere words: get a voice in the executive suite.
Some gaudy numbers have been attached to our industry to confirm its relevance.

Wall Street Wake-Up Call - The Sequel

It was an inadvertent  wake-up call, initiated by a Wall Street Journal commentary ripping the meetings industry to shreds. And you know what? It woke us up!
After Holly Finn’s column referred to meetings as “Bordellos for the Brain,” we got mad. But we maintained our cool – for the most part. The outpouring of comments were heartening and on the money. My favorite was from the Convention Industry Council’s Karen Kotowski who noted in  her letter to the WSJ   that they chose not to print, “The editors of
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