Emory Law School Goes to the Dogs

Roxy and I recently visited with several students from Emory Law School with our pet therapy group, Happy Tails. It was final exam time and the Emory Law School set up a special room in the law library so students could visit with the dogs throughout the day.

As an alumna, I remember how stressful final exams can be… your entire grade falls solely on your performance on just one test. Now that’s pressure! Then add to that today’s rather dismal job market and the stress level rises ever further.  I volunteered for 4 days of visits because I wanted to share the stress relieving effects that spending a few moments with a dog can bring.

The students signed up for 20 minutes sessions with the dogs and they were just the right answer for the situation. Wagging tails, soft eyes, and few gentle licks brightened the day for the students, the law library staff and the dogs!

I think the students even learned a few lessons from their visits with the dogs.

Lesson 1. Take Naps. We live in a fast-paced society that doesn’t value the power of unplugging. Learn from your dog and take time to catch some zzz’s to replenish. Ridgebacks are great nappers. Napping can improve your health and it may also help you learn.

Roxy napping in the Emory Law Library

Lesson 2. Find Something You Love. Roxy could chase squirrels and run all day, every day. It never gets old for her. So find something you love and just do it –over and over! Not only will you feel joyful each time, but you’ll also get better at your passion the more you practice.

 

Roxy doing what she loves - Runnning

 

 

Lesson 3. Shake It Off. Bad things happen. Dogs live in the moment and don’t ruminate on the past. Whether you’re in a challenging circumstances or simply had to do something you don’t enjoy, try to shake it off and move forward. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy the present.

Laurie Berkin

Laurie Berkin is the founder of Marathon Marketing. Originally from Alabama, she has called Atlanta home for over 25 years. Laurie is a corporate attorney, turned marketer, social media maven and consumer products licensing guru. She’s also a world traveler, would-be foodie and dog enthusiast.

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Preparing for Licensing Expo – Part 4: Networking

Licensing Expo is less than a month away and your calendars are now filled with back to back 30 minute appointments. Along with these direct meetings, Networking is an essential part the Licensing Expo experience. Here are a few tips to enhance your time at the conference.

1. Be Present and Available. Put your technology away. Do not run to your iPhone, BlackBerry, iPad or laptop at every free moment. When you are working on electronics you send the message that you are unapproachable because you are busy. Utilize the time on breaks to converse with others.

2. Introduce others. When you meet interesting people, be the conduit that connects them with others who might be beneficial to them. If you ask the right types of questions, you will easily spot connections that can help others. Don’t worry about “what’s in it for me”, just be the person who helps others. You will build your credibility and over time others will help you too.


3. Engage Social Media. Prior to the Expo, target industry bloggers and subscribe to their feeds, follow influential people and companies on Twitter and “like” their Facebook fan pages. Then, at the Expo, your information stream will be flowing.

4. Have business cards. This is a no-brainer, but there is nothing worse than meeting someone and not getting their business card, or vice versa. Bring three times as many business cards as you think you’ll need. If you’re actively seeking new connections over the 3 days of Licensing Expo, I can assure you, you’ll use them.

5. Follow up. If you meet interesting people and you never follow up, it makes no difference. Own the follow up after you meet people and send them an email telling them how much you enjoyed talking with them, and plan for future discussions.

Cautionary Note: So often people immediately send social networking link requests to people they just met. However, different people have different policies about whom they link with. It’s best to ask people if they would welcome a request. Be respectful of the fact that they might use social networking differently than you do. A great alternative is to ask them for their Twitter handle and not only to follow them on Twitter, but also to make a brief post about your conversation with them. Promoting other people is a great way to create value for them and build the relationship.

Laurie Berkin

Laurie Berkin is the founder of Marathon Marketing. Originally from Alabama, she has called Atlanta home for over 25 years. Laurie is a corporate attorney, turned marketer, social media maven and consumer products licensing guru. She’s also a world traveler, would-be foodie and dog enthusiast.

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A Good Apple in New York City

Last week I was in New York City for a few days of meetings with a client – let’s call him Bob.  I had arranged meetings with our marketing partners to kick off our new programs. Our first meeting was on Thursday morning at 10 am.   I arrived early, and had time for one of my favorite New York activities – people watching, as I waited outside for my client’s arrival.  Bob was in a taxi, but morning rush hour traffic was moving at its usual slow pace, and he arrived a bit late.

We hurriedly entered the building and stepped up to security to get our building passes.  We had to show our ID’s.  As I handed the security guard my driver’s license, Bob began to search his pockets – pants, jacket, shirt, then his briefcase, but he had no luck finding his wallet.  Bob’s face showed the panicked recognition of what he had done.  His wallet was still on the seat of the taxi.

After a few phone calls, Bob was able to use the information on the taxi receipt and get in touch with the dispatcher.  The taxi driver wasn’t the actual owner of the car, so some additional detective work was needed to find the driver.  Needless to say, those of us in the room told Bob to spend his efforts on cancelling his credit cards and to try to get another ID sent to him so he could fly back home the next day.  Sadly, not one of us thought Bob stood a chance of finding the driver, much less actually getting his wallet back.  This is New York, afterall.

But, Bob remained optimistic and preserved.  After a few more phone calls, and trying to communicate with individuals whose first language is not English, Bob spoke to the taxi driver. He was elated to discover that the driver had indeed found his wallet and would be happy to bring it to him.  Twenty minutes later, Bob had his wallet safely back in his own hands.

So let’s all give a cheer to that New York City taxi driver – a “good apple” – for his honesty and goodness.  He did right thing and truly made Bob’s life much easier.  (No worries about identity theft, stolen cash, or unauthorized credit card charges).  Here’s hoping that as we hear more examples of stories with happy endings, our positive attitudes will return.  

Laurie Berkin

Laurie Berkin is the founder of Marathon Marketing. Originally from Alabama, she has called Atlanta home for over 25 years. Laurie is a corporate attorney, turned marketer, social media maven and consumer products licensing guru. She’s also a world traveler, would-be foodie and dog enthusiast.

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Been a Tumblin Using Tumblr — and Liking It!

Been using tumblr lately and lovin’ it. Mostly because the user interface is so easy to use, and I can blog in sound bites rather than write a whole article. In fact, I like it so much, I’m blogging right now about blogging. Would one classify it as blogging on tumblr? Or maybe “a bloggin’ “, or “e-journaling”, or “a sound bitin’ “? Whatever you want to call it, I’m liking it. It helped break my momentary blogging block.

I’m using it for capturing thoughts, articles and digital moments that I find relevant. At that moment. From a client’s video evite to a fab article about the Digital Newfronts (#DCNF). Come check it out.

Tumblr has gotten so much traction in the last few years, that when doing a search for bloggers/influencers, you should not only be Googling, Binging and searching Technorati, but you should also be haulin’ butt to tumblr.com.

So, give it a whirl. Go a tumblin’.

Wow, that was easy.

Sheryl Levy

Sheryl Victor Levy leads digital strategy for PHIL & Co and is a digital coach for media and ad execs. Sheryl has developed digital strategies for a variety of clients including Cablevision, Carnegie Corporation, David Lynch Foundation, DIRECTV, and the YWCA. Sheryl lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and daughter and is an avid cook.

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Preparing for Licensing Expo – Part 3

Licensing Expo is a time for Licensees to focus on the “now” as they set up appointments with as many licensors as they can fit into two and half days in Las Vegas to learn about all the new properties and brands.  Licensees, as you mull over these new opportunities, it’s important to keep in mind your overall licensing goals.

Here are 5 tips to consider when setting your licensing goals.

  1. Be Fair.  Avoid “warehousing” properties or product categories that you are not supporting; if you are unable to deliver results as anticipated, discuss reversion options with the Licensor.

2.  Work Together.  Coordinate retail outreach with the Licensor and fellow licensees to maximize retail interest and commitment.

3.  Marketing.  Promote your products along with the property through strategic marketing including social media, trade shows and sales materials.

4.   Great Product.  Commit the resources necessary to develop a great product.

5.   Reputation.   Respect your contractual obligations.  Your actions as a Licensee affect your reputation in the industry.  Be timely on required reports, payments and product development.  Understand any limitations, including distribution channels or territories.

Laurie Berkin

Laurie Berkin is the founder of Marathon Marketing. Originally from Alabama, she has called Atlanta home for over 25 years. Laurie is a corporate attorney, turned marketer, social media maven and consumer products licensing guru. She’s also a world traveler, would-be foodie and dog enthusiast.

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Try Something Different

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of cycling through historic parts of Atlanta on a bicycle tour – something I had never done before.  Bicycle Tours of Atlanta conducts  10-mile tours through in-town neighborhoods, city parks and past historic landmarks. The weather was a breezy 72 degrees as we cycled through Inman Park, Oakland Cemetery, Little Five Points, Cabbage Town and parts of Sweet Auburn.

Although I moved to Atlanta in 1995, I had not visited Oakland Cemetery or learned much about the history of Inman Park and Little Five Points. I discovered that Inman Park was Atlanta’s first planned community and that eclectic Little Five Points was originally a shopping mecca for the wealthy in the late 1800s.

During our tour, we stopped in front of a spectacular and inspiring mural as the guide from Bicycle Tours of Atlanta explained its purpose. The mural was commissioned as part of Living Walls, a street art project designed to create a dialogue about problems the city is facing. The murals are painted by extremely talented artists from around the world.

We then pedaled to The Stacks, stylish residences reclaimed from a 19th century textile mill. To wrap up the tour, we cycled past barbecue stands and artists selling their wares as part of a street fair in Sweet Auburn. The bicycle tour was something different for me and one of the most interesting ways I can think of to learn about this vibrant city.

In Henry Unger’s Atlanta Journal Constitution column this week , AFLAC CEO Dan Amos talks about his company’s success after trying something different. Amos said the AFLAC duck campaign almost never happened because his ad agency said it was a crazy idea. Amos tried something different and it worked. He pointed out, “What I would say is don’t limit yourself to traditional ways of looking at things.”

This week try something different to let others know about your business. It could be as simple as talking to potential customers to gain their perspective on industry changes. Develop a co-marketing partnership with a company offering a complementary service. Or gain a broader outlook about your industry by meeting with a recognized thought leader who can offer counsel and insight. Try something different or as they say, “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”

Garet Hayes

Garet Hayes, a senior vice president with Hope-Beckham in Atlanta, utilizes 20 years of public relations experience to build strong brand reputations through proactive public relations initiatives. She works with corporate and consumer clients to build relationships with key investor, media and customer audiences. Garet was president of Business Marketing Association of Atlanta (BMA) and also served as the Atlanta Addy Awards chair for the Atlanta Advertising Club. She graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in communication arts/public relations.

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Using Images to Support Your Social Media Campaigns

There’s no doubt that the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true in many instances.  Let me suggest that in social media, an image is essential to your overall campaign.  While you can skillfully craft a post for Facebook or carefully chose 140 characters for Twitter, what ultimately  grabs the readers’ attention is combination of the words and an image.  Why do you think Facebook  wanted Instagram?

 

Images Matter

When it comes to grabbing attention online images play as an important role as headlines.  The right image can have a massive impact on getting your content read and shared.  Images are easily consumed, transfer information quickly and can project a great deal of information (many times more so than text).

A study by Curata, a content curation agency, shows content that included images saw more frequent clicks from website visitors.  In its research, Curata measured a 47% increase in engagement for those articles with photos on their pages against those without.

Here are a few tips for using images to support your content and your social media campaigns.

  1. You want images that reflect your content. Ideal is an image that is eye catching and supports your headline. Even if someone doesn’t read your content they may well share it via the image on a site like Pinterest.

2.  You need to ensure you have the right to use the images.  Accessing the majority of information online maybe free but that doesn’t mean you can just use it without permission.

3. Try using several images grouped together rather than a solo image.  A group of images should help to provide visitors with more comprehensive content and help convey the meaning of the words.

4. If you have targeted content, set up a photo shoot to get specific images to support your written content.  The key for the images is to be easy to consume and to be comprehensive. The images should not only be helpful, but should also be designed well.  Great design can make an ordinary informative image turn into an essential resource.

Laurie Berkin

Laurie Berkin is the founder of Marathon Marketing. Originally from Alabama, she has called Atlanta home for over 25 years. Laurie is a corporate attorney, turned marketer, social media maven and consumer products licensing guru. She’s also a world traveler, would-be foodie and dog enthusiast.

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Preparing for Licensing Expo – Part 2

As Licensors prepare for Licensing Expo 2012 with their long to do lists from the layout and design of their exhibition booth to perfecting their sales presentation materials, it’s a good time to keep in mind that Licensing Expo is just one part of an on-going process for Licensors.

Planning for Licensing Expo

 

Here are 5 tips to keep mind as you develop your licensing program.

  1. Marketing. Develop and execute annual PR and marketing strategies to aggressively promote the property, and to clearly define a competitive advantage for consumers and retailers
  2. Partnerships. Work with Licensees as partners, with regular communication keeping them up to date with your plans and activities.  Join in on the development of product and retail initiatives when possible.
  3. Retail. Meet regularly with targeted retailers to create buzz and retail demand for your properties.
  4. Great Products. Provide Licensees with the tools, creative assets and timely approvals necessary to create and deliver great products.
  5. Work Together. Protect revenue opportunities for licensees that are in good standing by refraining from signing multiple licensees in the same categories.

Laurie Berkin

Laurie Berkin is the founder of Marathon Marketing. Originally from Alabama, she has called Atlanta home for over 25 years. Laurie is a corporate attorney, turned marketer, social media maven and consumer products licensing guru. She’s also a world traveler, would-be foodie and dog enthusiast.

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The Internet Is Messy, According to David Weinberger

I recently had the privilege of hearing David Weinberger, author of The Cluetrain Manifesto speak at a New York Technology Council event at Frankfurt, Kurnit. David Weinberger is a Harvard researcher and most recently author of Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room. (#2B2K)

Quite a catchy title. Ain’t it? You really have to sit and think about it, don’t you? If you’ve been using the internet and been keeping up on all of the various “NEWS” sites, reading articles on blogs, reviews on e-commerce sites, participating in forums and researching a multitude of topics — then you know that there’s just a lot of stuff out there. There’s a lot of information to weed through on the web. And, yesterday I was working on a project for a client to pull together a list of the top CEOs that blog, and nearly all of the Technorati Top 100 Blogs were news sites — like the Huffington Post and Venture Beat. News sites are blogs. And blogs are news sites too. Interesting how the lines have blurred.

Many of us believe much of what we read online and take it as gospel. Everyone’s got a Point-of-View (POV), and if it jives with ours, well, then, it’s credible. So we think. David so eloquently demonstrated his POV with a quote attributed to the late Senator Patrick Moynihan “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Not his own facts.”

Point is, it’s tough to vet what’s out there in the cyberworld. From Marketers to PR peeps, to Publishers to News, we tend to believe much of the content developed by people who are promoting themselves or their client’s services and products.

I work on this very problem with executive clients who are at the top of their industry. I am brought in to help them separate the wheat from the chaff and to help them focus on what they need to know in terms of digital & technology for their business. And frankly, I love it. The types of problems I help solve are one or all of the following: 1) how to use “digital” for their business — for example, using digital products to enhance their product/service offering; 2) how to incorporate digital marketing into their marketing and sales efforts; and 3) how to establish their own personal digital blueprint online.

The process that I have devised for their customized solution is:

-Research

-Filter

-Curate

-Apply

More on my process later in a follow-up post.

David also talked about how “there’s no such thing as information overload…only filter failure.” I think that’s where most people throw their hands up and shut down. It’s important to establish criteria for yourself on what your filters are for information that is useful to you. You only have so much time to vet what you’re consuming. Trouble is, there is way too much information out there, and our brain literally cannot handle it. It’s so overwhelming.

I have to tell you, after hearing David speak it validated my observations and feelings of being hamstrung by the amount of information that comes at me in a day — between TV, Email, Texts, Newsletters, Websites, Flipboard, Facebook, Twitter, Podcasts, Streaming, etc. it’s just a crazy amount of content. It also validated the vetting process that I developed for myself and for my clients.

I’ll leave you with this quote from David Weinberger: “For every fact on the internet there is an equal and opposite fact.” Now that’s believable. I think.

Sheryl Levy

Sheryl Victor Levy leads digital strategy for PHIL & Co and is a digital coach for media and ad execs. Sheryl has developed digital strategies for a variety of clients including Cablevision, Carnegie Corporation, David Lynch Foundation, DIRECTV, and the YWCA. Sheryl lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and daughter and is an avid cook.

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Preparing for Licensing Expo 2012: A 4 Part Series

Whether you are an experienced, might I say, even a grizzled veteran of the Licensing Industry or someone just investigating the business for the first time, Licensing Expo offers learning, networking and deal making opportunities for everyone.

How can you best utilize your time at Licensing Expo? What are the steps in having a successful licensing partnership? This series explains it in 4 simple parts. Let’s start with Learning.

Licensing University at Licensing Expo offers a variety of courses that address the needs of every level of licensing experience. From basic courses such as Licensing for Beginners or Tips for Maximizing Your Attendance to a legal offering of Anatomy of a License Agreement or for a more advanced tactical approach of How to Work with Licensing Agents and Consultants, Licensing University offers 3 days of classes taught by industry leaders and experts. Take advantage of their knowledge and experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

You can also look to books such as The Licensing Business Handbook (by Karen Raugust), Licensing for Dummies from Wiley Publishing, or Basics of Licensing by Gregory J. Battersby and Danny Simon as a resource.

Laurie Berkin

Laurie Berkin is the founder of Marathon Marketing. Originally from Alabama, she has called Atlanta home for over 25 years. Laurie is a corporate attorney, turned marketer, social media maven and consumer products licensing guru. She’s also a world traveler, would-be foodie and dog enthusiast.

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