I stumbled onto my second career in teaching when Quinnipiac University needed a Professional in Residence for Fall of 2016 and Spring of 2017.
I taught an Intro to Advertising course and a Creativity course. I also guest lectured and coached a PR competition. In the process, I learned almost as much as my students did and discovered I seem to have a knack for higher ed.
What I brought to the classroom: an approach that combines theory and real-world practice, lots of learning by doing, and the occasional ProHangout with working professionals. The end goal: to make undergrads more business ready.
Everyone hates networking. But we all want to get & give great advice, exchange ideas, and hack our business problems.
How many times have you gone to conferences or events hoping to connect with your idols, only to find that approaching them is just TOO awkward?
It's equally frustrating for the people you're hoping to meet. Industry icons are people too. They want to help others. But just don’t have the time to mentor everyone individually. That’s why I created Speed Mentoring. To help you get actual face time with some of the industry's best minds.
Speed Mentoring has been offered in San Francisco, NYC, London, and Atlanta as well as in Austin at #SXSW2015. And a new app that lets you connect in real time via video chat is coming soon.
How does it work? In each Speed Mentoring session, Mentors and Mentees meet in a fast-paced setting, ask and answer questions & have the option of making a long-term connection. Mentees have a chance to speak openly with industry leaders, get career advice and hack business problems. And leaders are able to speak one-on-one with Mentees about the topics and questions that matter most. It's a great way to give back – and to meet new talent.
Check out the video to see Speed Mentoring in action.
If you’re Tide, how can you make a big splash at the London Olympic Games in a way that’s brand appropriate? Celebrate the patriot in all of us in a very personal way. Talk about the fact that Tide is the keeper of America’s colors, the only brand trusted to launder the Olympic athletes’ uniforms. Then ask people to tell their unique American story of what those colors—the Red, White, and Blue—mean to them.
That was the idea behind the “My Story Our Flag” campaign. Full disclosure: I didn’t come up with this idea. I was the ACD on the team. My job was to pull this audacious idea out of the trash bin, breathe life into it and make sure it was well executed.
This campaign became the centerpiece of every one of Tide’s online properties. But the program wasn’t limited to the online world. In addition to living on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tide.com, on Amazon and through iMedia, the idea also existed in the real world.
An actual, humongous flag measuring 117 feet x 52 feet was stitched together, with fabric swatches tagged with the online stories and displayed at a 4th of July event at Bryant Park in New York City, complete with Katherine McPhee singing a heartfelt rendition of the national anthem.
A website is like a puzzle. All of the pieces have to come together to tell a larger story. But each piece must make sense on its own because there's no telling which part of the puzzle people will play first. How do you write a story where there is no defined beginning, middle or end? By focusing on the user’s experience.
I’ve written and Creative Directed all kinds of websites, from simple blogs to complex, transactional sites, taking the same approach to each and every one. I focus on what people want to do and then try to provide the simplest, most intuitive way for them to do it.
Here are just a few of the sites I've worked on thus far.
Students trying to choose a college need more to go on than brochures, websites, or campus tours.
They want to know if the kids they’ll be going to school with are “their people” and whether the campus culture feels like a fit. So we convinced Skidmore College to let us set up cameras on campus and see how students responded in the moment to different situations.
The 3% Conference champions female creative talent and leadership in advertising. Working with 3 percent founder Kat Gordon, I helped shape the 3% story & agenda, designed learning sessions, was a speaker and facilitator, directed the digital, video, and social teams, and created content and programming like Speed Mentoring and CD Bootcamp.
Why is 3% a big deal? Because it's not a women's problem. It's a business problem. When the talent base of ad agencies doesn't reflect the diverse world we live in, advertisers are wasting their money.
I helped The 3% Conference triple its impact and grow into a 2-day, nationwide conference, with multi-city MiniCons, a vibrant online community on multiple Social platforms, a student scholarship fund, and a creative award.
I’ve written off and online content of every kind: brochures, posters, annual reports, outdoor, things you stick on walls and in showrooms, things you mail and things you wear.
Here are a few examples.
I've done interviews, corporate videos, motion graphics, sizzle reels, TV, social experiment and user-generated videos, you name it. To see more of what I've done, check me out on Vimeo.
When I was asked to be on the reunion committee for Occidental College, my alma mater, I thought "let's make it a party to remember" that would help my classmates connect to each other and the college like super glue.
As it happens, the class of '83's most famous alum was "Barry" aka Barack Obama. Would he come to the reunion? Or would his Presidential duties keep him away? In the end, we knew it didn’t matter because even if he couldn’t come, POTUS (President Of The United States) would be there in spirit in the form of a life-sized cut-out and hashtag.
Lest you think this was all fun and games, think on this: reunions are the life blood of colleges since returning alumni who have a good experience tend to give more generously.