Author Archive:


8 Insider Secrets for Meeting with a Senior Executive

The older I get, the more I care about the next generation of PR pros and their career development. This may stem from having teenage children; I worry about their preparation for life, their careers, and their happiness. Thus, I happily offer college students and new graduates some hard-won wisdom whenever they ask. Here’s what…

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Shared Media as Defined by Marketing Experts

Where Does Shared Media Fit In? They call it PESO. Paid. Earned. Owned. Shared. Let’s briefly define what we’re talking about: PAID – advertising, native advertising, SEM, etc. You’re paying to be seen or heard. It’s interruptive, but it works pretty well when done right. EARNED – when you see an article about your company…

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new leaders

Advice for New Leaders

You’ve done it! You worked the long hours, you sweated the details, you provided some innovative thinking, you earned the respect of your peers and your firm’s leadership. You’re being rewarded with a promotion that, for the first time, places you in “management.” Wow. Congrats to all the new leaders out there!  Now what? What…

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social media for business

The Benefits of Social Media for Businesses

It’s hard to think of a time when social media was just for people, and not organizations. Nowadays, it’s practically unthinkable for a business not to be on social media. Organizations of all types and sizes recognize the ways in which social media can help them better understand, respond to, and attract the attention of their target…

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Sitting with Titans – Todd Defren’s Experience with Industry Leaders

Recently I was honored to sit amongst some of the titans of our industry. As a peer. It was weird. My friend Fred Cook, CEO of GOLIN, moonlights as the Director of the University of Southern California’s Center for Public Relations, within the prestigious Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication. He kindly invited me to…

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beware of shiny object syndrome in marketing

Beware of “Shiny Object Syndrome” in Marketing

While every marketer is aware of – and presumably wary of – falling prey to “Shiny Object Syndrome,” inevitably you’ll encounter a C-level executive whose teen-aged child has evangelized the next must-have campaign approach, and you’ll need a ready answer to delay any rash decisions. “Shouldn’t we be on Snapchat? My daughter and her friends…

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SHIFTing into the Future

It is with pride and excitement that we announce the acquisition of SHIFT Communications by NATIONAL Public Relations –the largest PR firm in Canada, with a storied history in the region and a reputation for good work and fair dealing. Wait?! What?! I know, it’s a little jarring at first to hear this news. SHIFT…

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Content Marketers: Stop Doing 70% of What You’re Doing

I know, I know. Heresy. You’re all about CONTENT MARKETING, right? You’re a master at INBOUND MARKETING, eh? That’s awesome. I am a whole-hearted believer in what you’re doing. I just wish you’d do a lot less of it. The increasing Content Shock that we all felt (but didn’t have a name for, until Mark…

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Happy First Birthday, SHIFT Austin!

Over the past 5 years, I was asked on a monthly basis whether I was aware of what a great, promising market Austin, Texas would be for SHIFT. “Austin is growing like crazy!” “SXSW!” “Breakfast tacos!” “When are we gonna do this?” My reply until a year ago? “Show me a sustainable business plan and…

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Building the Plane Mid-Flight: SHIFT’s New Website

Maybe nobody cares about websites anymore. Maybe we ought to have forgone a website upgrade and instead focus exclusively on our social channels? Maybe a mobile-only site? Call me old school, but I think a cool, clean, compelling corporate website is still an important part of any company’s approach to the marketplace. It’s a brochure,…

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