Breaking Out of Boring: Tell Unexpected Stories

What does a brand known as buttoned up and boring do to broaden its appeal? I get this question a lot. One great model for inspiration is LinkedIn, which has become the poster child for a staid brand evolving its … Read More »

Make Your Customer the Hero of Your Story: ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ Video

The Fault in Our Stars opened this past weekend to become number-one at the box office. Which thrills me – because I’m a fan of the young adult novel the movie is based on and of its author (and video … Read More »

14 Stages of Writing a Book (or Finishing Any Big Project)

It’s been a little quiet around here, hasn’t it? That’s because I’ve had to be quite stern with myself, putting myself in a kind of content solitary confinement that made me ignore everything—including this site, my job, my family, and … Read More »

Swinging Doors and Second Chances

Usually I write about content and marketing here. But today I’m temporarily returning to this site’s roots with a personal story. 1. Nine years ago I drove from Boston to Connecticut to pick up an almost one-year-old Cavalier King Charles … Read More »

Content Marketing In 15 Minutes a Day: 3 Content Hacks

Part of me is allergic to the headline I just wrote—or, at least, the “15 minutes a day” part. Because starting out with a stingy marketing mindset runs counter to the spirit of the rich content marketing opportunity. It reminds … Read More »

Honey Maid Takes On Haters, and Now I Want Graham Crackers

A month ago, the graham cracker brand Honey Maid launched a new program that aimed to redefine “wholesome” by telling the stories of interracial, single-parent and gay families. The idea was to align the 90-year-old Honey Maid with a modern … Read More »

How Do You Balance Your Personal and Professional Social Media Presence?

I started on Twitter 6 1/2 years ago as @MarketingProfs, sharing headlines from the site and representing the brand there. Then about a year ago I resuscitated @AnnHandley on Twitter as a personal ID—a handle I’d been squatting on for … Read More »

The Problem with Banning ‘Bossy’

Yesterday, Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, and the Girl Scouts of America announced their joint war on the word “bossy” in an impressive social media campaign, media blitz and content program. The idea is inspired by a line from … Read More »

How to Innovate in Your Marketing: Ask a Teenager

If you’re a company looking to use social media and content in innovative ways, ask a teenager. And not because you want to market to teens (although you might), but because teenage behavior online draws a kind of road map … Read More »

Follow the Fear: My ‘Bold Talk’ at Hubspot [Video]

When Hubspot first invited me last September to its “Bold Talks” stage, a stage that ostensibly was to give attendees at its annual user event access to “bold and powerful talks from a diverse and powerful group of exciting and … Read More »

How to Use Instagram in a Genius Way (and Grow Your Audience)

If you’ve seen me speak in the last few years, you know I’m a huge fan of Instagram, because of its understated simplicity that makes for a rich story platform. You might’ve even seen me present one of my favorite … Read More »

Samsung Bans Competitor Logos at Sochi: Legit or Ludicrous?

Olympics sponsor Samsung reportedly gifted Galaxy Note 3 smartphones to Sochi athletes, but with a serious string attached, Slashgear reports: Athletes were banned from using any other mobile device during the opening ceremonies. Or, if they did use them, they … Read More »