Social Media

Can Capitalism Afford a Conscience?

Can Capitalism Afford a Conscience?

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] At first glance, capitalism circa 2014 looks like a pretty soulless endeavor: massive piles of fast money, no wider context of conscience involved. Just look at how Hollywood’s depictions of finance guys have evolved. In 1946, in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the softhearted banker wins out. In 1987, we [...]


Why Facebook Is Here to Stay

Why Facebook Is Here to Stay

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] Facebook has dominated the headlines in the past week due to its bold $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp. This news buried another conversation that had previously been getting a moderate amount of attention: Some were beginning to question whether Facebook has a place in the world 10 or 20 [...]


Relaunching The Sisterhood

Spring break hasn’t even arrived, but with our eyes ever on the future, Havas PR is thinking about the back-to-school season this fall. To get ready, we will soon relaunch The Sisterhood, our award-winning agency-within-an-agency that’s by, for and about teen girls. Based on our study and paper called “The Teenage Girl as Consumer and [...]


The Super Bowl Ads That Should Have Run

The Super Bowl Ads That Should Have Run

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] I suspect 2014 will be one of the last years that Super Bowl commercials have the cultural power they do. As our consumption patterns move away from must-see TV and all-uniting cultural events toward streaming, digital, on-demand entertainment, there’s not much left that everyone is going to tune in to en [...]


Here’s Looking at You/Me/We in 2014

Here’s Looking at You/Me/We in 2014

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] What strikes you most about movies and TV shows from just a few years back? For me: the phones. Until about five years ago, most people had flip phones (mine was a T-Mobile special, very age-inappropriate, but it worked) and used them only occasionally, just for just talking and texting. Now [...]


We’re Digital—and Winners—at the Core

This week Havas PR was awarded four Bulldog Reporter Digital/Social PR Awards, backing up our company’s mission to be digital at the core and our emphasis on all things social. Our four honors: Gold, Best Online Employee Communications, TrendsU (the collaborative e-learning program based on trends and marketing that we developed for our global company); [...]


Truth and Lies of Social Media ROI

Truth and Lies of Social Media ROI

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] ROI (return on investment) is probably the most commonly used and most misunderstood word in social media marketing today. It seems to have emerged as the go-to buzzword that social media marketers throw at the finance department when they want to relate to them. But two problems exist: Given [...]


Snapchat: What It Can Do for Your Brand

Snapchat: What It Can Do for Your Brand

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] What started as a way to send funny, sexy or other silly quick pictures or videos to friends has turned into the next big thing for marketing teams. Snapchat, the multimedia messaging app where content can be viewed for up to 10 seconds before it is deleted, is prime [...]


Havas PR Is Giving Our All for #GivingTuesday

It’s the second year for #GivingTuesday, a movement designed by our client the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Y to create a national day of giving that kicks off the giving season after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s also our agency’s second year to be involved. The movement is exploding—last year [...]



Why We Created a Startup with Two 22-Year-Olds

Why We Created a Startup with Two 22-Year-Olds

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] I’ve been working in trendspotting, advertising and PR for about as many years as my new business associates have been walking the earth, and I couldn’t be more excited about working with them. As the CEO of Havas PR and a veteran of other big agencies, including JWT and [...]


We Know What They Did Last Summer

We get insanely excited about our interns, and the past two years have proved why more than ever. Two interns from summer 2013 are now with us in increasingly important roles: Katie Hughes, an assistant account executive who continues with the consumer and lifestyle team, where she pitches, networks and takes care of business for [...]


Good Works/Good Words

New York City is filled to the gills with VIPs who are in town for the United Nations General Assembly. We’ve been bouncing around, networking with thinkers who are here for the Social Good Summit, the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting, and any of a half-dozen events that seem to be taking place each day [...]


How Can a Brand Grow Up? (See: Miley Cyrus)

How Can a Brand Grow Up? (See: Miley Cyrus)

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] The performance from Miley Cyrus at MTV’s Video Music Awards not only quickly lit up the social Web but also proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the former Disney star is all grown up. And then some. Fans were shocked to see Hannah Montana, America’s ultimate good girl, get [...]


How Words Paint the Trends: New Words of 2013

How Words Paint the Trends: New Words of 2013

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Last week’s announcement of the newest additions to Oxford Dictionaries Online (the esteemed Oxford University Press’s free online dictionary) set media commentators and the social Web on fire. People smiled at their favorites, made fun of others, and began debating what it all says about our culture and the collective intelligence [...]


The Duchess, Kim Kardashian, and the New Trends and Mores Around Birth

The Duchess, Kim Kardashian, and the New Trends and Mores Around Birth

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] The summer of 2013 has been an especially fertile time for spotting currents and trends related to pregnancy, babies and birth. Two of the planet’s most strongly branded women, at diametrically opposed ends of the cultural spectrum—the reluctantly regal, much-admired commoner turned duchess Kate Middleton and the brashly outspoken, love-to-hate, famous-for-being-famous [...]


Mr. Bezos Goes to Washington

Mr. Bezos Goes to Washington

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] What would you do if you had a billion dollars? David Geffen invests in fine art. Larry Ellison races yachts. Sergey Brin develops synthetic meat. Richard Branson buys anything that qualifies as an absurd purchase. And Walt Disney is rumored to have underwritten his own cryogenic eternity. The rule of thumb [...]


A Brave New World for Havas PR’s Global Collective

Command and control is very old school—last century, if you will. Even “networked” sounds mandated and decreed, in this age of collaboration, the year of “co-.” So we were thrilled to learn that Bulldog Reporter has awarded the Havas PR global collective gold for Global Agency of the Year and bronze for Global Agency of [...]


Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Video Redefining the Rules

Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Video Redefining the Rules

This is the fourth in a five-part series about how the news is being redefined by today’s real-time creative culture. I’ve been exploring the ways in which news and infotainment have been undergoing a massive reboot, with all their contours, definitions and formats changing. There’s no clearer example than video. It takes a lot less [...]



Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Radical Transparency, Constant Broadcasting and Blurring Genres

Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Radical Transparency, Constant Broadcasting and Blurring Genres

This is the second in a five-part series about how the news is being redefined by today’s real-time creative culture. As I wrote in my last post, we’re in the midst of a radical reboot of what news actually is. What constitutes news? Purely objective fact or something messier and more ambiguous? Is it a [...]


How Creativity Is Being Reshaped by Real Time

How Creativity Is Being Reshaped by Real Time

This is the first in a five-part series about how the news is being redefined by today’s real-time creative culture. Not all that long ago, fiction and nonfiction were two separate takes on how we tell stories. News was news, facts were facts, and creativity barely entered the picture. In the past couple of decades, [...]


Introducing @havaspr’s Social Startup

At our new SocialProvidence venture, we don’t incubate ideas, we conceive them. Working as part of Venture for America, a program for future entrepreneurs modeled after Teach for America, SocialProvidence is what’s next in social. It’s not about just acquiring Facebook fans or gathering Twitter followers. Social is the manifestation of all things possible in [...]


A Salute to Down Under

Last week, Red Agency Australia (a sister agency in the global Havas PR collective) was named APAC PR Consultancy of the Year 2013 at the PRWeek Awards Asia and won two other categories: Best Use of Social Media (for the Reckitt Benckiser campaign “Mortein Kill/Save Louie the Fly”) and Corporate Publications (for its “End Hunger [...]