Influence people

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Beware of Geeks Bearing GIFs


Designers call it “Greek," but of course it's Latin.

Lorem Ipsum has served as designers' "dummy copy" since 1500, when a printer scrambled a page from Cicero's essay,On the Extremes of Good and Evil,” to create a type-specimen book.

Lorem Ipsum distracts you from reading while you examine a layout.

But why Cicero?

As the most lauded of Roman rhetoricians, Cicero's works represent the pinnacle of prose in Latin. 

The passage the printer took to create Lorem Ipsum says:

Nor is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure.

(In brief, "no one likes pain without gain.")

Need to use Lorem Ipsum?

It's easy.

In Word, type =lorem() and press enter.

For a change of pace, you can also use another thinker's scrambled works as dummy copy by visiting Nietzsche Ipsum.

Also Sprach Mighty Copywriter.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Soup Up Your Writing

There is but one art—to omit!
Robert Louis Stevenson

Many thinkers, including, Freud, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Pound and Koestler, have noted the German verb dichten—"to write"—also means "to condense."

The word stems from the Latin dictare, "to dictate." Ancient Roman poets used to dictate their verses to slaves, who wrote them down (hence, "condensed" them) on wax tablets.

The most persuasive writing is condensed.

Its strength comes from concisenesswhat Hemingway called "leaving out*"—omitting everything that's irrelevant or obvious.

When you edit your writing, think of Darwin.

When only the fittest survive, what's left is stronger and better.

"Like passengers in a lifeboat, all the words in a concise text must pull their own weight," says journalist Danny Heitman.

Your goal in writing shouldn't be to inform, but to suggest—to help readers reach understandings of their own.

And your goal should be speed—speed that comes only from condensing.

"Modern prose had to accelerate its pace, not because trains run faster than mailcoaches, but because the trains of thought run faster than a century ago," Koestler said.

Here's an example of persuasive writing (85 words) from a white paper:

The resounding message surrounding Millennials is clear: Money means less, culture means more. But that’s not to say money doesn’t matter at all. As the generation with the highest rates of unemployment, lowest earnings and record student loan debt, Millennials certainly care about their financial health. A recent study from Gallup found that 48 percent of Millennials find overall compensation “extremely important” when seeking new job opportunities, and one in two would consider taking a new job for a raise of 20 percent or less.

Here's the same paragraph souped up (condensed by 35%):

Millennials are loud and clear: Money means less; culture, more. But it's not that money means nothing: Millennials suffer high unemployment, low earnings and crippling student loan debt. In fact, 48 percent say compensation is “extremely important,” and 50 percent would change jobs for a raise of 20 percent or less, as Gallup recently found.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Websites' New War of Attrition


Adobe reports traffic on 4 in 10 websites has decreased since 2013.

“Traffic increases due to Internet penetration have evaporated in North America," says analyst Becky Tasker. "Websites face a more competitive landscape, where you’re fighting to grow by taking share away from somebody else.”

Winning websites "aren’t resting on the strength of their brands alone to drive traffic,” Tasker says. 

“They have a 360-degree strategy, surrounding people in various channels and platforms to drive traffic to their sites.”


The channels driving the most traffic? Social, email and display.


Winning websites are also providing relevant, nonintrusive content, according to Tasker.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Napoleon's Newspaper


A century before Edward Bernays fathered PR, Napoleon fathered his own media channel, the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie.

The Courrier was no ordinary rag.

Printed on expensive paper, it was handsomely designed, featuring well-laid-out articles and a summary of each issue's content in a box just below the masthead. To ensure that content was top-drawer, Napoleon hired none other than Robespierre's protégé, the accomplished journalist Marc-Antoine Jullien, as editor-in-chief.

But despite giving readers wide-ranging reportage—plus a steady stream of poems, op-eds, and letters to the editor—the Courrier remained Napoleon's mouthpiece, boosting the general's pet ideas, while shredding detractors', day in and out.

No wallflower, Napoleon contributed signed articles, too; not only military proclamations, speeches and orders of the day, but tales of French politics that painted dark pictures of conspiracies, led by pampered minorities bent on destroying good republicans everywhere ("they do not act alone; they have their auxiliaries in every department, their constituents, their agents, their writers, their armed forces, their hired assassins..." he once wrote).


The Courrier was so effective a propaganda tool, it ensured the success of the 1799 coup that made Napoleon emperor.

Sound familiar?

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Imagine what Napoleon might have done with Facebook!

HAT TIP: Thanks to history buff Ann Ramsey for leading me to this story.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

And Now for a Word from Our Sponsor. Us.


"We are quickly moving to a point where brands should now be media first, and producers of products and services second," says Nicholas Korn on RSW/US's blog.

Take Monster.com, for example.

The company now develops and delivers content in three buckets: How (education), Now (news) and Wow (entertainment).

In only a year, Monster's content strategy drove yearly page views up 64%, from 27.5 million to 45.3 million.

"Every brand—whether it be small and personal or massive and corporate—now has the opportunity (or even mandate) to be their own media channel or studio," Korn says.

"As pre-digital media continues to become less effective, new technologies and platforms are allowing everyone to craft their own content and distribute it. And a growing number of brands are beginning to embrace this model—and these are the ones that are going to win."

But pre-digital media are far from dead.

Skift reports Carnival has produced 80 episodes of three original TV shows, which will air Saturday mornings on ABC, NBC and The CW, beginning October 1.

“Many of us have fond memories of the Saturday morning TV programming that we enjoyed as kids,” Carnival's CEO told employees in an email. “This fall, Saturday morning TV will take on an even more special meaning for Carnival Corporation.”

"While not paid programming, the shows will have an unabashedly pro-cruise point of view,"
Skift says.

Killer Phrases


Today's post was contributed by Margit Weisgal, author of Show and Sell: 133 Business-Building Ways to Promote Your Trade Show Exhibit. Margit is managing director of DARE and writes for The Baltimore Sun.

Chic Thompson wrote one of my favorite books, What a Great Idea!, about the way creativity is stifled in organizations by people uttering what he calls Killer Phrases.

Imagine, if you will, someone staring you down when you suggest a new way of doing something and, then, saying, “But we’ve always done it this way” or “It’ll never work.”

You drop your head and wish it were possible to sink through the floor and disappear. “Why,” you ask yourself, “did I open my mouth? Why did I even try?”

Change is scary to a lot of people; unfortunately, we face change on a daily basis because we’ve evolving at an unheard of pace with new everything: new technology, new opportunities, and new competitors, all of which seem to loom on the horizon, forcing us to rethink how we function.

We’d far prefer to play it safe and maintain the status quo. But we can’t stay the same. It’s that simple. Moving forward is the only option. And those naysayers, the perpetrators of Killer Phrases, should be left out of any conversation. New ideas should be greeted with delight. Figure out how to make it work. Not every idea is a great idea, but they should all be considered.

Killer Phrases are nothing new. “The negative voice of 'It’ll never work!' has been around a long time," Thompson writes. "In 1899, the Director of US Patent Office declared, 'Everything that can be invented, has been invented!' and tried to close the Office down.”

Business is about connecting with customers, telling a story that resonates with them. With every new decade and every new generation, we have to change. Thompson says the key to innovation is “abandoning the obsolete, the irrelevant, and the programs without promise.”

It's time to kill the Killer Phrases. The next time someone says to you, “What if…,” respond with, “Let me hear it and we’ll see how we can make it work.”

Wouldn’t that be a nice change of pace?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The One-Minute Millionaire


A corner has been turned.

I for one am pleased.

Content creators have begun to recognize their art is as old as Methuselah; that it's less about hoodwinking Google and automating posts, and more about intriguing readers.

The rules for generating good content are, in fact, the very same ones Associated Press reporters used in 1846, when the organization was founded.

I'm soon to reach my 10th anniversary as a blogger. The blogosphere 10 years ago was a trash heap of get-rich-quick schemers bent on selling stuff.

A few pioneers—Chris Brogan was one—proclaimed at the time content marketing was a permutation of PR; that it was all about educating customers, connecting with them, and earning their trust.

But that was the view of outliers.

The herd chased fads and went in for cheap and tawdry tricks.

My gut told me the outliers were right and that the rest of the crazy world would catch on one day.

It took 3,650 days.

"In a world of zero marginal cost, being trusted is the single most urgent way to build a business," Seth Godin says. "You don’t get trusted if you’re constantly measuring and tweaking and manipulating so that someone will buy from you.

"The challenge that we have when we industrialize content is we are asking people who don’t care to work their way through a bunch of checklists to make a number go up, as opposed to being human beings connecting with other human beings."

If you create content and haven't caught on yet, you still have time.

A little, anyway.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Lost Generation 2.0




                                                
You are all a lost generation.
                                                                                  ― Gertrude Stein

How ironic: history's most connected generation may be its least connected.


Research by Gallup shows that, while Millennials are 11 times more likely than members of older generations to use Twitter, they have dramatically less attachment to employers.

"Millennials are the least likely generation to be engaged at work," say analysts Brandon Rigoni and Bailey Nelson.

Only 29% of Millennials are committed to their work; 55% are indifferent; and 16% are decidedly disengaged.

Gallup's findings also show Millennials in large part are detached from coworkers and nonchalant about their employers' mission.

"Unless organizations focus on and execute the right tactics, Millennials' lack of engagement at work will continue―along with their tendency to job-hop," the analysts say.

Twenty-one percent of Millennials have changed jobs in the past year; 60% are open to new job opportunities; and only 50% plan to be with their company in a year.

The fix?

Face time.

"Gallup finds that employee engagement is highest among employees who meet with their manager at least once a week," the analysts say.

"Millennials want to understand how their role fits in with the bigger picture and what makes their company unique. The emphasis for this generation of employees has switched from paycheck to purpose."

User Meetings: Sweat on the Walls

The landscape's littered with lackluster user meetings. How can you produce one so deliciously audacious there's sweat on the walls?

Experiential agency Cramer recommends eight steps:

Create "micro experiences" within the experience. Take a page from consumer festvals like SXSW and introduce things like rock climbing walls and Ferris wheels.

Become "one with the destination." Don't go to a killer host city, then lock your attendees in a hotel ballroom. Make your meeting a microcosm entwined with the location. Provide local musicians, performers and food.

Offer a "next-gen environment." Don't just brand the space, tie every part of it to your organization's purpose. Introduce collaboration walls and local artists who custom-make takeaways tied to your product.

Design with courage. Quirky and unexpected moments can go viral. The G2 Conference lets attendees climb above its floor, circus style, and hold meetings while suspended in chairs.

Deliver on your theme. Use a "message map" to assess every aspect of the meeting, to assure they all articulate your theme. Every physical and digital touchpoint should carry the theme.

Embrace event tech. Livestreaming, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, audience response, directional audio, and attendee tracking should all be deployed.

Cultivate communities. Think beyond "technical support." Your users want to know where their industry and your brand are heading. Offer the sparks needed to launch new communities around new ideas. Provide platforms for continued content creation, conversation and collaboration after your meeting. And be purposeful and exclusive.

Learn from startup events. Go back to your roots and original purpose. Experiment with fresh formats. Show users you're listening by treating each one as an early adopter. And, last but not least, spend wisely. Resist the big-name speakers, lavish parties and flashy moments and emphasize instead networking, conversation and opportunities to collaborate.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Event-Tech Tsunami


You can't stop the wave, but you can learn to surf.
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Event producers who resist event tech "have their heads in the sand," angel investor Marco Giberti told the event producers gathered at CEIR Predict in Washington, DC, last week.

The field is swelling at a rate of 25% annually, with more than $1.5 billion invested during the past five years.

Spurred by investments by angels, venture capitalists, private equity firms and general service contractors like Freeman and Fern, event tech companies continue to automate event planning, event marketing, registration, lead retrieval, audience response, and other core functions.

What's driving investors' interest? Three factors, said Giberti:
  • Billions of marketers' dollars have shifted from print and broadcast to digital
  • The $565 billion event industry is prime for disruption
  • Tech startups represent immense ROI opportunity
Freeman, for example, has invested in mar-tech firm Feathr and lead retrieval provider DoubleDutch, whose CEOs appeared at CEIR Predict with Giberti for a panel discussion of event tech's headlong trajectory.

The same week, Fern announced its investment in audience response provider KiwiLive.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What's Driving the Growth of B2B Events?


What's driving the growth of so many B2B events?

NYU economist
Dan Altman told event producers convened at last week's CEIR Predict he pins the growth to three factors:
  • Governments keep spending more on healthcare
  • Adults are going back to school to study
  • New households are forming nationwide
Those economic engines are stoking five particular sectors of shows—the five most robust of the 14 sectors tracked by the CEIR Index:
  • Medical and healthcare;
  • Communications and IT;
  • Education; 
  • Raw materials and science; and
  • Business services
Do immanent threats jeopardize the continued growth of these sectors?

Altman thinks so. He named 10 sources of worry:
  • Economic stagnation in Spain and Italy
  • Economic uncertainty in Germany
  • Terrorism in France
  • Brexit
  • Economic stagnation in Japan
  • Economic uncertainty in China
  • Economic uncertainty in Brazil, Russia and India
  • Uncertainty in US capital markets
  • Uncertainty in US politics
  • Ineffective Fed policy
Anybody have any aspirin?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How Often to Blog?


Blogging isn’t about publishing as much as you can.
It’s about publishing as smart as you can.
  

― Jon Morrow

When it comes to blogging, I'm all over publishing "smart" (who isn't?).

But how often is smart?

Hubspot asked 13,500 customers about their experiences.

The answers are eye-opening:
  • The more posts a company publishes per month, the more traffic appears on the company's website.

  • B2B companies that publish 11 or more posts per month drive 3 times more traffic than companies that publish only 1.

  • The more posts a company publishes per month, the more leads it gets.

  • B2B companies that publish 11 or more posts per month get 3.75 times more leads than companies that publish 3 or fewer.

  • Blog posts pay off long after they're published.

  • B2B companies that have published 400 or more posts get 2.5 times more website traffic than companies that have published 200 or fewer posts.

  • B2b companies that have published 400 or more posts get 3 times more leads than companies that published fewer than 200 posts.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Employers Want People Who Can Write


This just in: Employers want people who can write.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a survey of 180 companies by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found 4 of the top 5 skills valued by employers are "hallmarks of a traditional liberal-arts education."

Clear-writing skill was ranked Number 3 (following leadership and teamwork).

“It’s easier to hire people who can write—and teach them how to read financial statements—rather than hire accountants in hopes of teaching them to be strong writers,” head recruiter for the investment firm Morningstar told The Wall Street Journal.

One Morningstar employee—the firm's expert on more than a dozen well-known equity-strategy funds—was a philosophy and classics major who earned a PhD in theology.

Want to improve your job or promotion prospects?

Go back to school and study philosophy (expensive), or read Writing Tools and The Art and Craft of Feature Writing (cheap).

HAT TIP: Thanks to Kevin Daum for informing me of NACE's survey.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Small Win #237


When Harvard Business Review tells you to celebrate "small wins," you do it.

Today, mine is victory over Facebook.

Every day, the social network presents ads that beg me to donate to the master of mobocracy's presidential campaign.

Those tattoo-crazy, latte-sucking, Menlo Park geniuses have sorted me—erroneously—into their big-data bucket of deplorables.

Humans 1, Machines 0.

What's your latest small win?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Let Them Eat Crêpes

Daniel Giusti, once head chef of the world's best restaurant, now runs all the public-school cafeterias in New London, Connecticut, reports The Washington Post.

His goal: to provide the city's 3,300 children the same meals one-percenters enjoy, at a cost to the government of $1.35 per student.

Instead of limp burgers and fries, the cafeteria menus now feature items like fresh-roasted chicken tacos with pickled vegetables; turkey sandwiches; whole-grain cheese ravioli; corn chowder; and a Mediterranean bowl with greens, chickpeas, cucumbers, olives, feta and a house-made balsamic vinaigrette.

All meals are served on porcelain dishes, instead of paper plates.

Giusti is one of many social entrepreneurs who've rejected toiling for the rich in favor of "a life's work."

“The whole point of this is that we’re taking care of these kids,” he says. “We can never lose sight of that. It can’t be about anything else.”

HAT TIP: Thanks to
Bob Hughes for pointing me to this story.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Wheel of Fortune

The age of chivalry is past. Bores have succeeded to dragons.
                                                                                      —Charles Dickens

Before it was a game show, the Wheel of Fortune was a metaphor.

It served writers well in the age of chivalry, when they strove to remind their rich and powerful readers (the only kind; everyone else was illiterate) that the best things in life came not from titles and trappings, but hard work and a positive attitude.

Geoffroi de Charny asked every reader to "be a man of worth;" Geoffery Chaucer, to "make a virtue of necessity."

When you worked hard and maintained an "attitude of gratitude," sudden setbacks (the "necessity" in Chaucer's phrase) wouldn't throw you.


Alas, chivalry's dead; not so, reversals of fate.

Riding the Wheel of Fortune is still dangerous.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Copywriters' Coin of the Realm



I am a friend of neology. It is the only way to give a language copiousness and euphony.

—Thomas Jefferson 

While near the bottom of Madison Avenue's pecking order, copywriters do have one prerogative: to coin new words, or neologisms.


Just as everyday neologisms (for example, Spanglish, cattitude and entreporneur) empower conversation, copywriters' neologisms empower ads.

They can, in fact, be so forceful they're absorbed by English, and we forget they began life in an ad (for example, kleenex, astroturf and motel).

Neologisms come in handy because "they sound funny and weird, and have a catchy nature," says Ruta Kalmane in Advertising: Using Words as Tools for Selling.

They also arrive easily. (I'll coin one now: a cheesy telemarketing call is a Mumbuy.)

My favs include fabulashes, craisins and, last but not least, Corinthian leather.

Corinthian leather was coined by a copywriter to describe the upholstery in Chryslers of the 1970s. 


TV pitchman Ricardo Montalban made famous the line "richly-cushioned luxury seats made of fine Corinthian leather."

In reality, Chrysler's upholstery was vinyl and originated not in Corinth, Greece, but Newark, New Jersey.

The late Montalban admitted the neologism "means nothing."

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

4 Writing Defects You Should Eliminate



Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.

― Louise Brooks

Your boss demands you do more with less.

Start with your writing.

Slow down and try to write more concisely; in particular, eliminate these four common defects:

Roadblocks. Cut needless words and phrases like "very," "actually," "I think" and "in my opinion." And replace modified verbs with strong verbs; for example, replace "consider thoroughly" with "evaluate."

Jerks. Smooth the breaks between sentences by using transitional words and phrases like "because," "for example," and “in contrast.” Use short introductory questions like "Seem reasonable?" to ease the transition into new paragraphs. Use phrases like "Let me explain why" to end paragraphs.

Clichés. Replace clichés with vivid descriptions. Instead of saying "we raised the bar in customer support," say "our Help Desk is hyperfocused."

Monotony. Give your writing some rhythm. Alter the cadence with a mix of long and short sentences. And don't forget those sentence fragments. Yes, fragments.

Believe it or not, elimination adds. It adds spark to your prose readers will notice.

Here's an example:

Before

In my opinion, we substantially raised the bar for responsiveness in customer support last quarter. I think the team was very careful to consider thoroughly the numerous challenges customers routinely experience whenever they called our Help Desk seeking assistance. I would like therefore to offer a big thumbs up to the Sales Operations team for the can-do attitude they demonstrated in tackling this really difficult issue.

After 

Sales Operations streamlined a number of critical Help Desk procedures last quarter, improving the customer experience. Without exception, my kudos to team members. You tackled one tough joband succeeded!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Intel Outside


After midwifing the People's Republic in 1949, Chairman Mao set out to erase every trace of China's past.

So it's no wonder Chinese Millennials find their nation's history "remote, irrelevant, and uninteresting," as marketers at Intel recently discovered.

There's not much of it around.

To help right Mao's wrong, Intel tapped J. Walter Thompson to produce films depicting epic moments from China's past and project them on the city wall of Sian at an outdoor event.

Intel didn't stop there.

It used proprietary 3D facial-scanning technology to capture and insert the faces of Millennial event-goers into the films in real time. The Millennials became the starring leads of the film.

"History became personal; history came alive," says Intel's Louise Felton.





Monday, September 12, 2016

Digital and Events: They're Cousins


Yes, we get it: digital's hip and events are square.

But they're cousins, identical cousins all the way. One pair of matching bookends, different as night and day.

B2B CMOs know they spend 50 cents of every marketing dollar on events.

But they don't recognize, in reality, they spend even more.


John Hall, CEO of Influence & Company, recently told me an ever-growing portion his clients' digital spend directly supports customer engagement through events (before, during and after).

B2B CMOs are using online channels to drive face-to-face results; they simply don't assign that spend to the events.

That means CMOs are oblivious to the true picture.
Spending surveys don't capture it either.

In this family, the brash, hip child is gets all the parents' attention, while the shy and dutiful one goes quietly about her business. What a wild duet!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Unmistakable


If you can't explain something in a few words, try fewer.
― Robert Brault

When Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage appeared in 1895, reviewers sang the writer's praises.

"They all insist that I am a veteran of the Civil War," he told fellow journalist John Hilliard, "whereas the fact is, as you know, I never smelled even the powder of a sham battle."

The story succeeded, Crane said, not because he wrote from observation, but because, "I endeavored to express myself in the simplest and most concise way."

He told Hilliard his goal, following Emerson's advice, was to leave unsaid the "long logic beneath the story."

"My chiefest desire was to write plainly and unmistakably, so that all men (and some women) might read and understand. That, to my mind, is good writing."

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Death Wins Nothing Here


“Death wins nothing here,
gnawing wings that amputate―
then spread, lift up, fly.” 
                                                                                         ― Aberjhani

Friday, September 9, 2016

Income Crisis Worries Associations



A UXB lies buried in Naylor's newly released annual study, 2016 Association Adviser Communications Benchmarking Report.

The study finds 54% of association execs think their inability to generate non-dues revenue from communications activities is a serious or significant problem, up from 11% only a year ago.

Most trade and professional associations rely on non-dues revenue to operate. 

According to ASAE, 59% of trade associations' revenue is non-dues revenue; and 66% of professional associations' revenue is non-dues revenue.

If Naylor's study is correct, associations may be facing, if not an existential crisis, a financial one.

POSTSCRIPT: It's time for associations to quit sitting on their assets (pun intended):

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Don't Make Me Brake


Web designer Steve Krug pronounced the "Three Laws of Usability" in his decade-old Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. The three laws stated:

Don’t make me think. Make every element of a web page obvious and self-evident, or at least self-explanatory.

It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice. Make choices mindless for ease of use.


Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left. Be ruthlessly concise.

I now pronounce the Three Laws of Readability:

Don’t make me brake. Strive at every turn to help the reader maintain her preferred speed. Use common words to say uncommon things. Avoid empty, exhausted idioms.

Adding more imprecise words doesn't increase precision. Ambiquity can be lessened with a picture, and our language is rife with picturesque words and phrases. Find them. Use them.

Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left. No, not an error; the Third Law of Readability mirrors the Third Law of Usability. Be ruthlessly concise. You will capture readers' interest. As Voltaire said, "The secret of being boring is to say everything." So obey Hemingway's Iceberg Theory.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Live Events: Wanamaker's Worry and the Pedigree Problem


Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.
John Wanamaker

B2B CMOs spend more than 50 cents of every dollar on live events.

But they don't share Wanamaker's Worry.

They never ask, how much of my money is wasted? They simply boost event budgets when sales are up; and slash those budgets when sales are down.

Event managers will gripe all day about spotty crowds, the cost of drayage, and the bungling of lead follow-up. But the foolhardy spending begins and ends with CMOs—specifically, with their pedigrees.

CMOs ascend to their lofty jobs through predictable routes. Advertising. Digital. PR. Research. Product management. Sales. 

Have you ever heard of a CMO who once held the job of event manager at his—or any—company?

The consequence of their pedigrees is: CMOs bring blinders to the job, when it comes to live events.

It's why they don't share Wanamaker's Worry.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Brief History of Hop

  • a jump
  • a journey
  • a plant
  • a dance
Hop comes from the Old English verb hoppian, the Old Norse hoppa, and the German hüpfen, all meaning "to skip."

In late summers in the 1890s, young singles from New York would escape the city and vacation upstate, where they helped farmers harvest the region's cash crop—hops. They'd lodge in rustic dorms or swanky hotels, mingle all day in the fields, and attend the "hop" at night.

In 1928, professional ballroom dancer "Shorty" George Snowden was performing in a 
marathon in Harlem when a reporter asked him the name of the dance he was doing. It was just after Charles "Lucky Lindy" Lindbergh had finished his "hop" across the Atlantic. Snowden paused and told the reporter, "I'm doin' the... Lindy Hop."

In 1958, American Bandstand host Dick Clark made a hit of a Philly doo-wop group's “At The Hop.” Before Danny and the Juniors performed the song, Clark asked the leader to change the song's name from “Do The Bop,” so he could promote his side-hustle, MCing high school “sock hops.” At the same time, African-American teens were dancing at their own version of sock hops, commonly known as "hip hops.”

In the late 1960s, New York City DJs began to chant ("rap") over the top of the Disco records they played on the radio. "Hip Hop" was born.

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