It’s a Major Award!

Congratulations to Ken Wheaton at Advertising Age for winning an “Oscar” for B2B journalism. I am a reader of AdAge. It is a valuable publication for marketing professionals.

KEN WHEATON

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Last Friday, the annual Jesse H. Neal Awards Ceremony was held in Manhattan. According to the folks who run the awards, the Neals “are the most prestigious editorial honors in the field of specialized journalism.” I always describe it as the Oscars of B2B journalism.

I wasn’t there last Friday. I don’t work at Ad Age any longer and while the Ad Age family was kind enough to invite me to the ceremony, Cara and I were on our way to Philadelphia. Thankfully, you don’t have to be present to win. Because I finally won. Yours truly took home the award for Best Commentary.

This year’s work included me screaming at the media about their lack of Louisiana flood coverage, me pointing out the absurdity of pharmaceutical advertising, and me noting that gender diversity isn’t the ad industry’s biggest diversity problem.

I was a finalist the previous…

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Some time gaps need to be expanded, not closed

Only a few Dallas drivers follow at a two-second stopping distance. Maybe this is why I crawl past two and three accidents every day on my way to work.

Generally, my blog is about designing business-to-business (B2B) marketing that shortens the customer journey. This takes focus and mental energy. Accident-related traffic erodes mental energy. Today at Toastmasters, I raised the issues of following too closely and distracted driving.

My assignment from the competent communication manual was Speech 2: Organize Your Speech. Below is the transcript.

Speech: While Driving, Keep Distance

Thank you for that warm introduction, Mr. Toastmaster.

Good morning! Last week, I left my house at 6:15am to drive to our meeting. Five minutes into my drive, brake lights lit up all around me.

A firetruck was blocking the fast lane on the 30. Ambulance and police lights flashed. There was a car wreck. I got onto the 635 freeway. Five minutes on the 635 freeway and the scene repeated itself. I passed the second accident. As I was taking the off-ramp, I found myself admiring a dark green, sleek Jaguar – as it cut me off.

I pulled into the parking lot here at Denny’s and breathed a sigh of relief. This story happened last Wednesday, but it happens every day in Dallas.

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What’s the value of a head start?

Horse crossing finish line
A head start along with 1 – 2% productivity growth becomes a sizable advantage

Early this morning, I was running on the treadmill and listening to an economics lecture by professor Timothy Taylor.

He said the year 1870 kicked off our modern era of economic growth. If you take the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a measure of productivity, of the richest countries in the world in 1870 and compare them to the poorest countries, the ratio is 9:1.

By 1990 and the ratio widens to 45:1.

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Why do I leave money on the table? It’s for the long run.

Leave money on the table

One rainy morning in 2005, I walked out of class in Popovich Hall on the campus of USC. Next to the Starbucks coffee cart, I saw a floor sign, “Dennis Bakke. CEO of AES. Speaking at 11am.” I followed the arrow to an auditorium packed with MBA students. I was an undergrad, and I had happened upon something great. I found an open seat. What I heard next made an impact on me that has lasted to this day.

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Why is Yelp the 10th most popular website?

According to Quantcast, Yelp is the tenth most popular website on desktop and the second most popular website on mobile in the United States. With so many sites out there, why is Yelp so special?

My theory involves Yelp’s use of identity. Identity is central to the human experience. One of the first things we learn is how to say our names, “I am Eisaiah. I am Susie. I am Peter.”

Yelp’s users call themselves as “Yelpers.” Top users are called “Yelp Elites.” Businesses identify themselves with stickers that say, “People love us on Yelp.” In the video above, there are 41 pieces of my identity attached to my Yelp profile.

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What is Barnacle SEO?

The phrase “Barnacle SEO” means riding along on another website’s SEO.

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One millennial’s review of AT&T’s Workforce 2020

Picture of a modern workspace.
Naunce_09” by K2 Space is licensed via CC BY 2.0. Office is not AT&T.

In February of this year, AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, was quoted as telling employees, “There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop.” I was excited to read this.

Fast forward to today.

As I was flipping through the pages of the latest Harvard Business Review, Inside AT&T’s Radical Talent Overhaul caught my eye. Interested to see how Randall’s retooling was going, I poured over every word of the article.

The article explained that AT&T is calling its talent overhaul program “Workforce 2020.” It is a company culture reboot of unprecedented scale. Many aspects of the program make sense to me as a millennial; here are my top three features:

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