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American Eagle lingerie brand Aerie has now used the backlash around Photoshop and fashion to create a new campaign dubbed “Real,” featuring all unretouched models. It’s the brand’s first campaign of this kind and Aerie’s senior director of marketing Dana Seguin says embracing a more realistic image of girls and women is not just a one-time thing but will now be an integral part of the brand’s overall strategy. What do you think of the campaign?

Love this! If only we could all build a positive message with our marketing campaigns that could move people and send a powerful message.  #marketing #wisdom #realbodies #women


Can we choose to be happy?

Yes, please. So many people CHOSE to be negative and unhappy, but that is a choice. There are bad or difficult things in life that happen to all of us, but how we respond to those things are in our control. Hard times are really blessings in disguise, lessons to be learned and opportunities to grow. Take them on, make them positive and CHOSE to be happy! Happy Sunday, Friends and God Bless.

How To Play Bigger Than Yourself


1. Are you truly living to your full potential?

2. What are you labeling as “bad” and how could you see it leading actually to a “good” end?

3. What cause is that quiet voice whispering to you about right now, calling you to be part of?

The best takeaway from this for me is: To find real purpose and passion, “put yourself in service of a cause that is bigger than yourself,” says Rao

It is so true - yet I feel like most of us spend a lot of time making excuses why there isnt enough time to do these things… and wonder why we are not living to our full potential. Serve a cause bigger than yourself, friends… my new goal for the year. Cheers!

Communicators Conference 2013 - Portland, Oregon

I attended the 2013 Communicators Conference (@pdxcommconf #PDXCC13) in Portland, Oregon this past Wednesday. As always, it was full of excellent information, inspiration, collaboration and fun! I thought I would share a couple insights from the conference that really hit home for me.

Shel Holtz (@shelholtz) was our first Keynote speaker of the day and I also sat in on a breakout session. His keynote covered content marketing. He stressed the importance of having a strategy around building content, NOT around the platform in which it is delivered (ie. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.). This was validating because in the past we focused more on building a specific strategy for each platform – this year, however, the focus/strategy is about content. We weren’t off the mark as we jumped into social to clearly identify HOW we wanted to use each platform and socializing that to our communities. But it is time to focus on content. 

One of the breakouts I attended was Cathy Armillas (@puramarketing) discussing the Unbreakable Rules of Communication (#unbreakablerules). First and foremost these rules are all about getting people to love you. And isn’t that our goal in life whether personal or professional? I suppose there are some folks out there that could care less either way (and have a profession that revolves around avoiding people) – but for most of us, I think this is spot-on. Our jobs as marketing professionals are to create brands, experiences and connections that people love… and doing that leads to sales, growth, yadda-yadda.

I’ll be getting her book to get the full-meal-deal (as should you), but let me share the quick 9.5 rules that she shared with us…

1. Consistency beats ability. Awesome if you or your product can deliver something really great – but is that repeatable time and time again? If not, you should be asking questions. 

2. Perception is reality. Even if it isn’t true – what the market THINKS of you is reality for them. Are you aware of what your customers/prospects are actually experiencing? 

3. Be creative or die. Get away from feature/benefit messaging all of the time – don’t forget these are real people who want to connect with your product on an emotional level!

4. The medium is not the message. If the message is good, the medium doesn’t matter.

5. Work hard to keep it simple. If you have too many messages, none of them get through. One strong message will hit home every time.

6. Give love to get love. Genuinely CARE about your reader, customer, and prospect because they can tell.

7. Emotions rule the World. You know this one in your gut. We all buy emotionally and justify rationally. 

8. Go big or go home. No need to explain. Go big!

9. Everything you do is marketing. The entire organization touches the market thus we all participate in marketing!

Know when it’s OK to break the rules.

Thank you Cathy Armillas for giving us something to think about and I look forward to reading the book!

There is much more to share… like Lee Odden (@leeodden) discussing the convergence of Marketing and PR, Kent Lewis (@kentlewis) sharing tips on Managing Your Online Reputation and Brian David Johnson (@IntelFuturist) sharing his insights on what the future looks like for all of us. This truly was a wonderful day packed FULL of content. Check out my Twitter feed to get lots of other great tidbits!

Thank you @pdxcommconf for putting together another amazing event. I already look forward to 2014!


Earlier today I posted the following quote (thank you to my good friend, Leah, for sharing it with me)… and because I have spent some time today thinking about these words in detail, I wanted to “talk” about it.

"I was reminded of the Four Immutable Laws of the Spirit: Whoever is present are the right people. Whenever it begins is the right time. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened. And when it’s over, it’s over." - Ann Lamott, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son

This is from her book (as noted above). I haven’t read the story/journal, but it does look touching. Since Lamott clearly was not the author of this thought (hence the “I was reminded” portion), I decided to see where this originated. I thought perhaps Biblically based, but no… apparently a gentleman by the name of Harrison Owen. Upon further research I didn’t find much about this man except he is a writer (although looks not very acclaimed) and also the father of Open Space Technology (OSP). OSP is an approach to hosting meetings most notably without any agenda. The process has a few steps (check out the link above for yourself, no need for me to regurgitate), but basically participants self-organize during the meeting rather than managing or directing conversations. Interesting. I’m going to dive into this further as it relates to the event/conference planning side of me. But this has nothing to do with the quote (unless I am missing something big here)!

All I can really find online is that Owen spent some time in the 60’s in Africa working with organizations such as Peace Corps, Regional Medical Programs, National Institutes of Heath and Veterans Administration (to name a few). In his travels he appears to have learned a lot about the human spirit including what it takes to find peace and that peace and high performance (in business) are attainable. Ok, interesting, but hu? I just thought I would find something deeper here. All of the sites I am sent to are poorly organized and really don’t share much. Regardless, thank you Mr. Owen for sharing some great thoughts and here’s my take:

Whoever is present are the right people. 

I’ve always believed the right people are in my life at the right time. Relationships evolve and change - people come and go - it is all part of the greater purpose and plan. Learn from everyone in your life right NOW because that’s why they are there.

Whenever it begins is the right time.

When I look back on my life - sure, there are things I would like to change, but I can also very clearly see why those things happened at that specific time and how that brought me here. My lesson today is not to try to over-plan. I am a planner by nature and most of the time that is a good quality. However, I also wear a heavy weight on my back with worry when there are things I don’t have control over or can’t plan. I need to let some of that go because whenever it begins will actually be the right time (not when I think it should).

Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.

This means that I can let go of regret. What happened or how it happened was all because it was supposed to happen! That means it is the only thing that could have happened. If it was a difficult situation or one that didn’t have the result I wished it did - that is what was meant to be (and did I learn from it? yes).

And when it’s over, it’s over.

It’s done. Let it go. It’s over. Stop holding onto any of it and just move forward.

I am Christian and I believe in God. Whether Owen is Christian or meant for it to have any connection religiously, it does. It perfect. God doesn’t want us to hold onto things and he wants us to find peace in our lives. Christian or not - these are great words of advice. 

I’d love to know if anyone else has additional thoughts on this… or knows more about Owen.

Peace to Boston and peace to everyone!

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