July 12, 2016

Black Lives Matter Must Matter to Us All

Black Lives Matter Must Matter to Us All

It has been an impossible couple of weeks. As we mourn senseless deaths and staggering violence, it can be a struggle to remember that every day is a new day filled with new choices and opportunities to challenge ourselves: What does change look like? What will it take? What can we do?

Here’s what we can’t do: We can’t stand quietly on the sidelines. We must stand up, speak up and help create the change that’s needed in the world.

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May 3, 2016

Lessons in Doing the Right Thing From the University of Davis

Lessons in Doing the Right Thing From the University of Davis

The headline reads: “UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from the Internet.” The latest big scoop by the Sacramento Bee is framed up like it’s the next Watergate scandal.

This has been big news here in the Golden State: University of California, Davis officials paid $175,000 to have internet postings pushed down by promoting other, more recent and more positive university news. Moreover, they paid to launch extensive social media and brand-building campaigns to help the university move beyond that fateful day in November 2011, when campus police pepper sprayed a group of Occupy movement protesters as they sat on the ground and refused to disperse.

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April 27, 2016

Citizen Relations Appoints Nathan Friedman to General Manager, U.S.

Citizen Relations Appoints Nathan Friedman to General Manager, U.S.

Agency positions itself for ambitious growth and innovation agenda

 NEW YORK, April 27, 2016 – Citizen Relations, an award-winning global creative communications firm, today announced the appointment of Nathan Friedman to general manager, U.S., effective immediately. Friedman has worked across multiple sectors, led complex regions and multi-national teams, and specializes in brand positioning, corporate reputation and influencer engagement. His work has won numerous industry awards and he was recognized in 2012 as a PRWeek40 under 40. Based in Citizen’s New York office, Friedman will lead all aspects of client service, talent management, as well as business development, growth, and innovation for the U.S. market.

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March 7, 2016

Be the Intern, And Other Tips for Growing Your Career (In the Age of Memes)

Be the Intern, And Other Tips for Growing Your Career (In the Age of Memes)

It’s only fair, since I’ve shared “The Citizen Six” style-tips for better bosses that we take equal time focusing on what makes a great employee today. After all, what truly is “work ethic” – it’s an old yarn requiring re-definition for today’s generations.

Work ethic once was defined by working long hours, seeing a job through to its completion no matter the costs, and remaining subordinate. Today, however, we know that long hours and biting ones tongue while in disagreement does not equate to great work. We know that great employees work hard in concentration, can balance their lives for optimal performance and will speak up honestly for the greater good. And it doesn’t take 12-hour days to deliver those qualities.

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February 10, 2016

Being A Better Boss In The Age of Memes

Being A Better Boss In The Age of Memes

What does it mean to be a great boss and team leader today? For many, even the word boss is cringe-worthy, evoking old-school styles of management that smart businesses are leaving behind.

Expectations of the GenXers and Millennials have clearly impacted how the best managers today behave, but the gold standard and collective consciousness for excellence in leadership has been raised by the most unlikely of heroes – the Internet meme.

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January 11, 2016

Talk Less, Stand Up More

Talk Less, Stand Up More

My new favorite obsession is the current hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” I could go on and on about the artistic and historical value of this work of art. The show brilliantly turns a biography of one of America’s founding fathers Alexander Hamilton, the father of our economic system which still stands strong today. Author-composer-star Lin-Manuel Miranda has turned Hamilton’s life-story into a pop-culture juggernaut, a hip-hop song and dance adventure that’s so entertaining and enthralling it could turn the most jaded teenager into a history fan. I’ll leave the detailed reviews to others and focus on just one profound lyric for just now.

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June 4, 2015

Think Positively and Share the Love

Think Positively and Share the Love

During a recent rehearsal for an important client pitch, I asked the team to take notes on one another’s presentation, not to find fault in what we were doing or saying, but rather to identify at least one thing that they loved about each team member’s performance.

After what was arguably a very good rehearsal, we sat together for another 45 minutes of sharing feedback. The team went around the room sharing praise for one another. What started as light commentary about what we loved in their presentations — certain anecdotes, selected word choice or a note about flair — soon turned into deeper love notes about why that individual was important to the team, what value they brought to this prospective client’s work, and how they elevated the agency as a whole.

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May 26, 2015

Getting to the Real Thing: A PR Pro’s Lessons from MAD MEN

Getting to the Real Thing: A PR Pro’s Lessons from MAD MEN

Mad Men is over, and so closes a saga where art imitated life, sometimes imitating art, always imitating life. Whether you enjoyed the show’s various and sundry plotlines or not, it is undeniably one of the best depictions of the advertising industry ever written. It’s also probably the most artful and stylistic time-capsule of life and business in the 60s ever created. That the story was told so beautifully and appropriately on television, arguably the medium that catapulted advertising to corporate hero status, is the gravy on the Swanson’s TV dinner.

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April 30, 2015

Citizenship: What is Culture Not?

Citizenship: What is Culture Not?

Culture, in the corporate sense, is something of a mystery. We feel it, but we can’t touch it. We can see its signifiers, which tell us where we are, what to expect and how to act. But what is the meaning behind these messages? How to talk about the core of an organization’s culture? And if we can talk easily about culture, we must be careful not to imagine that saying we have a certain kind of culture will make it so.

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April 24, 2015

To Whom It May Concern

To Whom It May Concern

Allow me and William Safire from his grave to tell you that verbal tics drive us crazy.

Maybe it’s because our PR agency has been in presentation-training mode recently, but lately, I’ve been bothered greatly by two of the smallest but possibly most annoying words.

So and Right.

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