Our youngest child turned 18 recently. If you follow this blog, you’ve read my musings about the milestones our family has crossed this past year. Having been through this before one would think I would be more prepared. But I must admit I’m having trouble getting my head around it. So what happens when your … Continue reading I’m 18, Stop Calling Me Kid
What is a “back of the business card” brief? It’s one of the earliest lessons I learned in marketing: if you can’t capture the ultimate goal of a project succinctly on the back of a business card then you’re doing something wrong. I’ve been a big fan of this approach for many years. It’s an … Continue reading Your Back of the Business Card Brief
Streaming, streaming, streaming. The traditional TV business model is dead. The future is streaming. If you work in media, frankly even if you don’t, it’s been impossible to avoid talk about how the pandemic finally put the final nail in traditional TV’s coffin. The future belongs to Netflix and the “pluses” – Disney+, Paramount+, etc. … Continue reading TV Strikes Back
The world shook this weekend for those who are 50 and older. Hell, you don’t even have to be 50 yet to have felt it. You just have to be old enough for the world to consider you past your prime. The things that the young can do are now beyond you. Welcome to middle … Continue reading “Nifty at Phifty”
Soccer is often referred to as the “beautiful game.” I’m no expert, but even as a layman I can see why true fans feel this way. Watching two teams of eleven skilled players competing to maneuver a single ball in an enclosed space can be riveting. The best teams perform like a symphony where every … Continue reading Open Spaces & Shiny Objects
Maybe it’s your job. Or your boss. Or the company you work for. Whatever it is, all of us think about it at some point in our careers. We convince ourselves that everything will be better once we escape our current situation. When we run away we start marking time until retirement, that next bonus … Continue reading What Are You Running From?
It happens in practically every meeting. You’ve done it. I have too, many times. Piling on. What’s piling on? Think of football - a ball carrier gets knocked to the ground by one player and other defenders throw themselves into the mix. Piling on a downed runner may make the other defenders feel like their … Continue reading Stop Piling On
No, this blog post is not about coffins or a reminder of our inescapable mortality. Although I thought about this recently during a recent trip to Florida. It was my birthday and friend who lives there said Florida is the state to grow old and die, apparently residents jokingly refer to it as “God’s waiting … Continue reading Face it, Everyone Ends Up in a Box
One of the most important marketing lessons I ever received came from a television sales executive. It was the holiday season of 2000. I was part of the team at ESPN/ABC Sports working on a huge Bowl Championship Series sponsorship program for one of the company’s largest auto clients. The BCS, as it was known, … Continue reading No Problem, No Job
How much time have you spent today, or this week, wrestling with your calendar? Moving meetings, juggling requests, hoping the 10th Zoom of the day ends early so you have a few minutes to actually get some work done. You’re probably thinking about it even as you read this. There are too many meetings, … Continue reading Time Management is a Waste of Time
I think all of us remember the old adage about rising above the insults of others. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.” It’s a nice sentiment and a powerful reminder that the name-callers and haters in this world can only bother us if we let them. But do … Continue reading Sticks and Stones
Why do networks pay their top sports broadcasters so much? It’s a part of the business that continues to mystify me. Increasingly it seems that conversations – and decision making – about the appropriate compensation for the “face of the network” are out of touch with reality. I thought of this when I read the … Continue reading Getting Paid to Call a Game
Regrets. We all have them. Those who say they don’t either haven’t really lived or are lying. For the job seeker, especially one who is looking for the first time in many years, regret can be a smothering presence, like the in-law who came for the weekend but ended up moving in. The search process … Continue reading Hoping For A Better Past
If you follow my blog you know how I feel about the NFL rights deal. But this is not another rant about the NFL. Now that the deal is done we can do what the industry loves to do after a major rights negotiation concludes: begin speculating about what it all means. And predicting what … Continue reading 2029: The End of the World As We Know It
Our daughter’s high school basketball team lost in the playoffs this past weekend. She is a senior, so outside of intramurals and pick-up games her basketball career is over. Two weeks ago the team celebrated Senior Night, always one of the highlights of the season. The gym was not packed with fans as it was … Continue reading Glory Days and Senior Nights
How’s your bracket looking? Mine’s a wreck, thanks to a wild weekend of upsets. All the same, I couldn’t be happier that the tournament is back this year. The win or go home nature is what makes it so great, and the perfect platform for bracket pools. However, the truth that real basketball fans know … Continue reading Lessons from a Busted Bracket
Who doesn’t want a raise? More money would be great, but you don’t work just for the money. Not really. None of us do. Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Speak for yourself. Money is exactly the reason why I’m working. Do you think if I had enough money this is how I would be spending … Continue reading Whatever They’re Paying You, It’s Not Motivating
Were you one of the 21 million people that watched Oprah’s interview with Harry and Meghan last week? I was. Without question it’s one of the most talked about television events in quite some time. But as someone who’s worked in media for two decades, I found the experience frustrating. For all the positives, it … Continue reading Television’s Royal Mess
“Know thyself,” the ancient Greeks counseled. That statement of principle has many applications, but for today I want to talk about how it applies to our careers. I think this is particularly relevant with so many people looking for work as a result of the pandemic. The ability to navigate through career transitions is an … Continue reading Getting Hired is an Inside Job
I like this design but we should look at… The brief looks great but you need to add… You handled yourself well in the meeting but you forgot…. Have you ever received feedback this way? A quick compliment before a “but” leads to the real point of the communication. Do you give feedback this way? … Continue reading Ands Not Buts
If recent press reports are accurate, the NFL is close to renewing its broadcast rights deals with NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN. Word is the broadcasters will pay twice their current rate and ESPN’s fee will increase 30%. Assuming these reports are accurate, is anyone else deeply troubled by the news? A handful of billionaires, … Continue reading Time to Break Up the NFL
Oh God, what have I done? I’ve spent most of my adult life in the shallow pursuit of making the world safe for television and advertising, and now my kids are in it. Is this the example I’ve set? What happened to curing cancer or feeding the homeless? I hope readers appreciate the humor. If … Continue reading My Kids Work in Media. Did I Screw Up As a Parent?
If you’ve ever been between jobs you’ve experienced it. The call that never comes. The email or text that never gets a response. The silence from former colleagues, people that perhaps you even considered friends. Unfortunately, with so many people looking for work this silence is a daily reality. It can be one of the … Continue reading The People You Never Hear From
Once I get promoted to VP lots of doors will open for me. I need 3 more years until my pension kicks in. The job is just ok, but I’ve been here a long time and can pretty much coast for the next couple of vesting cycles until something else comes along. There are two … Continue reading Stop Marking Time
Do you consider yourself successful? My guess is yes. We all do to a certain extent. Just one look at our resumes or LinkedIn profiles confirms it. They are the tools most of use to market our success to the world. Good resumes and profiles demonstrate our success by providing specific examples of accomplishments and … Continue reading How To Measure Success
Three strikes and you’re out. Even those who have never picked up a baseball know this rule. Yet the game of baseball actually is hard to explain. The only way to really learn is to watch the game played with someone who knows it. That’s not true for a game like soccer where the rules … Continue reading Talking Baseball and Corporate “Cancel” Culture
Talent, no. Education, definitely not. Experience, nope. Creativity, sorry. Integrity and leadership, very important but not it. All those qualities and many others I didn’t name are wonderful and certainly aspirational for all professionals, but they aren’t #1. The most important quality in a professional today is availability. Availability is the #1 quality in a … Continue reading The #1 Quality in a Professional
The conventional wisdom in the media industry these days is that Covid 19 delivered the knock out blow to traditional television. For almost 20 years prognosticators have been predicting that the Internet revolution would ultimately disinter-mediate broadcast and cable television just as it did newspapers and magazines. Television held on longer because of the complex … Continue reading The Future of TV is Bright and Gray
What's the one thing the greatest athletes have in common, no matter the sport? They have a coach. Or multiple coaches. It's a bit odd when you think about it. The men and women performing at the peak of their chosen profession seek advice and counsel from someone who clearly is not as good as … Continue reading Brady and Mahomes Have One. Why don’t you?
Today I’m venturing beyond the normal subject matter of my blog to share a more personal reflection. For those who prefer reading about marketing and media, my apologies for this deviation. For What It’s Worth will return to its regular programming with my next post. We let down our high school seniors and they have … Continue reading We Failed Our High School Seniors. They Will Do Better.
Lets' be honest, the first time any of us attempted to do something for the first time the results weren't great. The nature of being a beginner, to put it bluntly, is to suck. Going back to childhood, the first time we walked, rode a bike, wrote a sentence, swung a bat, swam, drew....you name … Continue reading You Suck, It’s Ok
There's a great old joke about a robber who sticks up a husband and wife on the street. The robber points the gun at the wife and says to the husband, "your money or your wife." After the husband doesn't respond for a few seconds, the robber says, "Well, what it's going to be?" And … Continue reading Your Data or Your Life
Perhaps you've heard the saying before about pencils: there are two sides and the one with the eraser is much easier to use. Pencils aren't used as much these days. But in a similar vein, maybe you noticed that the delete key on your keyboard is twice as big as the letter ones. Photo by meo from Pexels … Continue reading It’s Not Brain Surgery, but…
A marketer without a keen sense of the ROI (return on investment) of their campaigns and other business driving initiatives won't be employed very long. It's particularly important in our "Covid economy" where businesses are failing, revenue is down and operating budgets are constricted. Moreover, today's marketing technology and data collection resources have set an … Continue reading The Illusion of ROI
"What's your elevator pitch?" It's a question practically anyone whose worked in sales or marketing has been challenged with at least once. But here's the deal: I've taken countless elevators during my professional career and have never sold a thing in one. Nor do I know anyone who ever has. Photo by Michael Morse from Pexels Fair enough, … Continue reading Your Elevator Pitch Won’t Work
Following the tremendous number of layoffs and job eliminations in 2020 I am seeing signs that companies in our industry are looking to add staff in 2021. Admittedly my evidence is anecdotal, largely based on what I see in my network and the comments of friends around the industry, but after the wreckage of 2020 … Continue reading Too White and Too Young
Labeling and branding. We see a lot of the former and not nearly enough of the latter. That's a problem, not just for marketers but for our society as a whole. Let's first get the definitions correct. Words matter. Language seems to evolve overnight in the digital age but if definitions becoming purely subjective we … Continue reading Don’t Be A Name Caller
In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.
When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.