Thursday, April 30, 2009

Social Media Club Event in Philly: 3 Highlights

First of all, thanks @cecilyk and @gloriabell for putting on such a great event. Super informative and interactive and I love that it was an all-star babe panel. And check out a great recap of the event by @krisis at his website: Crushing Krisis.

Anywho, here's some stuff I learned.

1 - Thanks @BethHarte for this one: It's more than Return on Investment. It's sometimes immeasurable to see Returns on Engagement, Information, and Influence.

2 - Probably the #1 Reason why a client should invest in Social Media: Your competitors are already doing it or are about to. It's like back in the day when a client was perhaps weary of the new-fangled e-mail. 10 years ago, "Why do I need e-mail? Paper mail is just fine, thank you very much." Yikes.

3 - This comes from @oliviarabe: There's 3 things you should be doing when participating in a Social Media Network: Entertaining, Educating, and providing a Utility. It reminded me of the notion of "sharability" (not to be confused with Budweiser's "Drinkability.") I advise any company that is providing Social Content to ask themselves during the content creation process: "Would I want to share this with my friends?"

So, thanks Philly SMC for a great panel. Check out SMC's site here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Four Insights From Philly Interactive Event

First of all, thanks Philadelphia Interactive Marketing Association ( for putting on such a fabulous and informative event called "Monetizing Video Online: Transforming Digital Pennies Into Dollars."

1. "Trust Your Agency." This pertinent quote and opinion was shared by two of the Panelists, Kevin McGurn from and Brendan Gallagher from Digitas Health. What they seemed to mean by this was that clients need to trust their advertising agencies to place ads and come up with a game plan to achieve the company's specific goals. The internet especially has a lot of under-researched possibilities and sometimes immeasurable ROIs. However, the medium has been around long enough that a good agency will know how to incorporate a New Media game plan as part of an over all campaign.

2. "Trained Viewer." This was an extremely interesting point made by all of the panelists. Regarding shows and movies, the consumer or viewer accepts and understands commercial interruptions. However, people are not willing to accept YouTube interruptions. Nor are they willing to accept having their internet content interrupted. The consumer gets "used to" or "trained" participating with content in a certain way particular to the medium. The trick is getting people to the point where they accept certain interruptive aspects of the internet and learning what their limits are.

3. "Capturing Lightning In A Bottle." This was the pet phrase for discussing utilizing YouTube to make clients money. I suppose agencies like to make promises that they can deliver. Obviously. But I refuse to believe monetizing YouTube is impossible and the charms are not as fleeting as every one seems to believe. Blendtec is the classic example. Susan Boyle is another. Let's get a true understanding of what makes a video truly viral or "sharable."

4. "Sharability." Not to be confused with Budweiser's "Drinkability." This is my new favorite word and will be applied to every thing I produce on the internet. The best quality of this word is that it focuses the content on the consumer. It forces the producer to ask herself, "if I am the viewer, will I share this with my friends or will I be bored out of my mind?" It forces creators to be a little more viewer-centric rather than company-centric.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lessons From A Good Old-Fashioned Ad Man

As a relative newbie and fresh face in the Ad Universe, I felt I needed some guidance, strength and mentorship from a seasoned pro. For a while there I launched into New Media's Social Networks and how to communicate through those avenues. I was also reading a bunch of branding books and blogs and still do, but I needed to dip my toes into the classics.

My choice is none other than "Ogilvy On Advertising."

I've never read anything so beautiful and opinionated and brash and straight-forward. While there are so many striking lines and statements, my favorite has illuminated and verified my recent personal experience.

"If you will take my advice, don't get a job in advertising unless it interests you more than anything in the world."

Those words will rest in the bottom of my heart, Mr. Ogilvy.

Armed with pictures and littered with jokes, this classic will remain close to my pitter-patterin' heart. My eyes are bright and my tail bushy. I stand here on the cusp, Mr. Ogilvy, ready to make you proud. Now let's make some art that changes people.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Twitter University

Here's to those who made this @PhillyWordsmith what I am today.

Allow me to give a bit of background to my story. I was a bit of a late bloomer in my love for advertising and copywriting. I knew I wanted to be a writer with my English degree, but I wasn't sure how. I resigned myself to having to be broke ass. My last semester at college, on a whim and because it fit in my schedule, found me signing up for an Intro to Advertising course. I graduated and with English degree in hand and one Intro course under my belt, I actually feel further ahead than many of my peers who took four years to hone their craft.

Impossible you say? Nothing is impossible when you're looking to work in Advertising.

Here's the deal. I owe a large part of my knowledge and already found success to Twitter University.

I had to catch up and I had to learn at break neck speed how to be a successful copywriter in Advertising. On top of that, with the economy being where it was and the trend in news reports was encouraging everyone to throw themselves in front of a bus because they would never find work again, I had my work cut out for me.

My good friend and One Fine Philly told me to get on this little thing called Twitter. Almost immediately, Twitter became my Marketing and Advertising crash course. It was like all these professors would throw out head lines and I got to pick what was pertinent for me that day and what wasn't. It was like being in a University filled with a bunch of professors cracked out on Red Bull.

I had fantastic accessibility to those Twitter professors across the country as well. I got to talk with and ask questions to award-winning, successful authors who I would have NEVER met outside of Twitter U.

I continue to learn and grow every single day and I get to pass on what my Twitter teachers have passed on to me. It's a beautiful thing. So thanks Twitter teachers. Especially: @ingridwiese, @steveisphilly, @robbralow, @writingprof, @newtbarrett, @themarketingguy, @sunswept, @armano, @pgillin, @thegrok, @copyblogger, @juntajoe, and @sethgoldstein. I am sure I have forgotten some because there have been so many!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hamsters Driving Cars

The Kia Soul - A New Way To Roll. This is the new campaign for the very new and very hip Kia Soul. --Watch ad here:

A couple of personal experiences have happened around this commercial that I'd like to share.

One, I am in my room doing important and smart things (finding the cure for the common cold or something) and my friend out in the living room calls me to come and look at a commercial. She says, "Look. Look. Aww." The cute, furry animals got her. That got me thinking. Why would they use little hamsters? I get the other ones are just running on their wheels and such, but there's other ways to get the same message across without hamsters. I wonder if the sole purpose of the hamsters is because they're cute and furry. It worked on my friend enough to where she wanted to pass it along to me.

Two, a bunch of us are hanging out with my friend in the hospital. Same hamster commercial comes on. One guy, the only guy in the room, says that it's a commercial for a Scion. (Uh-Oh!) I say, no it's Kia. He insists that it's Scion. Eventually I convince him that it's a Kia and he says, "Yeah, they had trouble ripping off stuff before. They got sued for using someone else's distinctive headlights shape." Careful, Kia!

So, two things learned. One little commercial. Moral of story one: cute, furry things sell. Moral of story two: if you're selling a cool-people car, make sure it's unique and original.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Twitterer's Open Letter To The @Oprah

Dear Oprah,

Hi there. Thanks for coming. How's life?

Listen, I heard about your foray into Twitterville. It is an exciting place so warmest welcomes. But, Rah, (can I call you Rah?) there's some things you should know.

First and foremost your avatar: I am quite proud of you for including a cute furry baby animal in your picture. I have chosen this same tactic and I believe if I hadn't I would have 2 followers. People love them some baby cuteness.

An analogy: Twitter really is like a little town. A town that is a little cracked-out and loves to talk. As in small towns, it is mostly friendly, but there is the occasional grump or the town drunk, but overall people really want to help. Also, keep in mind that if you actually visited a small town and in this small town people could communicate telepathically, you would be mobbed.

And so my theory. I believe your joining Twitter is all a ploy to show CNN and Ashton Kutcher that you can hit 2 million followers without batting an eyelash. You don't have to tweet one GD thing and people will come running to follow you. So show them, Rah. Show them who's really the Twitter King. Within 24 hours you had something like 600,000 followers. Show them who's boss. Tell them you'll race them to 5 billion Twitter Followers. My bet's on you.

- PhillyWordsmith

P.S. Holla if you want to give me a car or some prize or something: @PhillyWordsmith

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Social Media's Most Obvious Necessity

I've read a lot about Social Media. There are basic features mentioned in each and every article about SM's fundamentals: honest, short, informative, and fun.

One, however, is so obvious we fail to mention it: consistency.

You could have the greatest, most honest, most funny posts, but if you only do them once a year you're virtually invisible. Now, do not sacrifice quality for quantity, but if you have one post on your blog then you are virtually invisible.

The other downfall of inconsistency is that you're unable to work out your SM muscle. Web 2.0 is an ever-evolving beast that takes quite a bit of effort, patience, and sharpness to keep up with. If you're not on top of your game, you simply won't be able to keep up with the pace. Many people don't know that MySpace is all but cooked for any one other than musicians. Anyone staying on top of trends knows this.

Think about it like this. In the real world, you wouldn't disappear for a week without telling any one. You wouldn't stop communicating with your friends and family. Hopefully anyway. You can't build worthwhile relationships without consistency both online and off.

A great example of consistency that I've seen is This writer posts often on her blog and Tweets about her great posts. They are fun, informative, and consistent. Keeps me coming back.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Erase Your Identities... become one identity! I'm thinking of the future here people. Let's not compartmentalize. Integration is the key to success!

Think of it, one personality across all social frontiers: real life, blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, web page. Does this mean the end of a division between work and personal life?

I had the tendency to put connections into segments and not let them meet, mingle, or know each other. Why did I do this? Because I had sort of multiple identities. Like a chameleon. I do not recommend this. Gets confusing and it's hard to keep up. Of course, this requires being an upstanding citizen. Facebook revelations (to other friends and even employers) can ruin a reputation. FB really puts the "Deb" in Debauchery.

This all applies to brands and companies as well. Make sure you're behaving. Or we'll find out about it. Also, make sure your brand isn't a chameleon - audiences can't keep up and it will be exhausting for you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An Entire Article About Being Nice

This has been my greatest secret weapon in business and it takes very little effort.

The amazing thing about being nice to people is that usually, no matter what, they feel like they have to be nice back. Or, at least cordial. What to do if it's not easy for you to be nice? Well, then fake it for crap's sake.

What happens when people enjoy being around you? They prefer to do business with you. I prefer doing business with people that are nice to me. I mean, that's just basic. Now, this is all not to say,
hey, let's make everything free and easy baby. Ya know, eventually, momma's gotta get paid.

But it's way easier to give my money to a nice person than it is to give it to a d-bag.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is TV and Print Really Only One-Way?

At the risk of sounding like a new media heretic, I have to refute the proposition that TV/Print is talking at the customer and that there is no interaction.

One of the bonuses, they say, of social media is the direct interaction and connection between consumers and businesses. This is true and innovations in this frontier are being created at a breakneck pace.

But wait a minute. In my experience, I absolutely interact with Print and TV advertisements. If done properly, every Print and TV ad is a story. Everyone has experience knowing what it's like to interact with a story.

I would have to argue that the connection between listener and teller of the story (even if teller is TV) is an intimate one. One where messages are sent and received. The message sent by the listener or reader is this: relating. Relating leads to action. If it's a fiction romantic piece maybe that action means crying. If it's a company's story I relate to then the action is buying.

Customers do have the power of response. When they see a TV Commercial, they either relate or they don't. If they do, they buy. If they don't, then the message goes unremembered and the two-way communication has failed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The New Resume

In my new quest to become the best at everything and get jobs, I have had to take long hard looks at my resume. One thing I've discovered: it's gotta be online.

Recently, there was a book written by Dan Schawbel called "Me 2.0." I have recommended it to my former professors to pass along to students and even use themselves so they can stay abreast of the shifting sands. The days of hard copy resumes and portfolios is almost over.

Now, no one is recommending that you never leave the chair that sits at your desk, but it is becoming truer and truer that your online presence is just as important as your real world presence.

Right now, an online presence puts you ahead of the pack. In a few years, it will be expected. The bar will keep getting raised. It is up to you to keep up and have fun in the process.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Music To Write By

Hey you writers - are you stuck?

Here's a trick I love. Listening to music. Especially if I'm writing for a company. It helps to listen to music that speaks to the industry I'm writing for. If I'm writing for the Board of Tourism for a Tropical Island, I'm listening to Calypso music. If I'm writing for a company that has lots of machinery and conveyor belts, I listen to techno. If I'm writing for an Italian restaurant, I listen to old school Italian music. Put on some Frank Sinatra and the words just flow out of me.

Some industries don't have an obvious soundtrack, but use your imagination and you'll be able to find a suitable genre that will get the gears going.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Scrabbler's Lament

This is to all my Scrabble homies: keep it real.

So, this post has not much to do with Copywriting. If you're a writer, you love words. Or, at least, I hope you do. If you love words, then you love the game of Scrabble.

I am in intense competition with a few people on Facebook's Scrabble App. It is fierce and heartbreaking. Here is the worst feeling in the world: being behind in the score, having one or two seven letter words to put in, and there's nowhere to put it. You search and search but, alas, find nothing.

I write this post in mourning of a seven-letter word that could have been, but never had the chance to live.

Emily, you are being dramatic, you say. But no, if you are a Scrabbler, you know. You know my lament well. Do not shed a tear for me. I'll be OK, but remember me when you are able to put that seven-letterer in.

I will think of you, seven-letterer. I will pour some of a 40 oz. on the sidewalk and you will be remembered.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Rascal's Guide To Winning People Over

Would you like to know how I make friends?

One word, (maybe not a real word, but close enough. And what is a
fake word anyway? It's a word if I say it is!) three syllables: Goofiness.

"But, Emily, Goofiness does not belong in a business setting."

Au Contraire, Professional Business Person. Of course, I understand that being the fun person has certain more appropriate moments. But let's not all get sucked into the void of sameness. I want people to know I can make 'em laugh. I also want them to know that I am incredibly smart, which people can recognize immediately. I have noticed there is something in the eyes that reveals a certain savvy.

My goofiness comes out in my writing and in pretty much every single correspondence I have with anyone. My Twitter Pic is a kitten wearing a funny hat.

In these dark and gloomy times, we all need to be around a bright spot. I try to fashion my writing and myself to be that bright spot. I have gotten around extremely important people from extremely important companies and just been goofy. Most love it. Others just look at me like I've got three heads. That's OK. I take it in stride. I don't want to be around people who hate fun anyway.

Don't impose limitations on your sense of humor. Spread the light and the love. I better stop, I'm starting to sound like a total hippie.

Friday, April 3, 2009

10 Ways To Become An Expert In Anything

As a writer, I have to be a bit of an expert on whatever I'm writing about. If there's no knowledge and fact, then the writing comes out as vague generalities that don't get anything sold. So for me, writing begins and ends with research. Here are my methods...

1. Read the book.

2. Read the blogs.

3. Attend the events.

4. Meet the people.

5. Meet the teachers.

6. Attend a class.

7. Follow the Tweets.

8. Read the NY Times articles.

9. Ask other experts.

10. Write about it.