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#RaceTogether didn’t quite come together

Whatever you thought of Starbucks Corporation’s #RaceTogether campaign, most of us would agree that the concept behind it was admirable – to improve race relations in the United States by encouraging dialogue.

After the Rodney King riots, the Akron Beacon Journal won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, in part, by encouraging dialogue between the races. I was fortunate enough to play a role in that effort.

So I was disappointed when the Starbucks campaign was derailed within hours of launch, largely because of a flawed appreciation for how the campaign would play in the media.

When Starbucks launched #RaceTogether, it did a lot of things quite well. Its website featured a well-written message titled “What ‘Race Together’ Means for Starbucks Partners and…

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Stephanie Harig and Abbey Linville promoted to senior account executive at Dix & Eaton

After joyfully watching countless hours of basketball in the last week, I’m reminded of two things:  First, it is true that pure talent sometimes makes all the difference; and second; REAL talent is not just individual but is a blend of skills, traits and abilities that actually improves the performance of others.  Rare is the player, or person, who isn’t just great at his or her craft but who is also able to partner with others and make them better as well.

We’re very fortunate at Dix & Eaton to announce this week that we’re promoting a pair of individuals who epitomize both of those traits.  Stephanie Harig and Abbey Linville have been named senior account executives at the firm both because of their singular stand-out skills and their ability to influence teams…

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The Power of People in Content Marketing

Much has been written on the force of digital as the delivery mechanism for content marketing.  No argument there since the benefits are obvious, including the ability to distribute information to target audiences instantly and cost-effectively.  And let’s not forget about good old, reliable print.  Some say printed pieces are making a comeback because they now cut through the clutter, landing in nearly empty physical in-boxes.  But no matter how clever we get, there is no substitute for personal contact.  There is no greater power in content marketing than people.

But wait.  How can in-person meetings or events be considered part of content marketing?  The answer lies in thinking of content marketing in terms of the content itself, not the delivery mechanism. …

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Even CSR efforts have unintended consequences

Do you own a pair of Toms Shoes? If you do, you probably knew about the company’s one-for-one business model before buying those shoes; maybe that even explains why you bought them. In case you aren’t familiar, Toms Shoes gives away a free pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair of shoes a customer buys. Sounds pretty great, right?

As the Wharton School points out, it might not be that simple. According to Andreas Widmer, a social equity expert who gave Toms Shoes an award a few years ago:

“The unintended consequence is that, of course, there is a local cobbler who actually makes shoes and sells them. Can you imagine what happened to that guy the day the truck showed up with Toms shoes? Why would you go buy something if you could get it for free? And then,…

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When mega trends collide – how digital media became part of global expansion

Digital this, and global that.

When is the last time you saw anything that wasn’t about digital or global something or other?

Obviously, digital and global are two of the biggest technology and business trends in the world, and their convergence is changing how communicators go to market.

But one place you have not seen them together is digital media. Until now.

When digital news media emerged – starting with The Huffington Post – these were dismissed by mainstream media and ignored by business organizations.

But digital media are increasingly successful – some of them wildly so – with stories that outpunch those in mainstream media as far as popularity, stories that get shared on social media around the world, stories that are even changing how mainstream…

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