Traditional Hybrids

Traditional gets a bad wrap.

It is expensive, time-consuming and really difficult to measure. Even still there have been some brilliant advertisers who met that challenge head on and developed remarkable content! Some of these you may have seen before but I hope there are a few that ignite the creativity (and brilliant envy) in all of us.




For we are the Tweet-makers

Hey millenial communications degree majors… let’s have a little chat.

Now, I’m sure that we all have had our share of titles along the line of “Social media specialist” or “digital marketing strategist” and all variations to the like – we have been blessed with the opportunity to serve as content specialists of this social media movement in board rooms we would have been unwelcome in otherwise. It is because of this gift our generation has been given that I wish to challenge us to use this medium to spark change and engage in dynamic conversations.


I am tired of seeing “RT if you believe…” and fake holidays; like National Pastry Day. Now, I have been guilty of writing this content- we have to write month-long content calendars and those days aren’t going to fill themselves. Our 30+ managers and content reviewers believe they know what is best as they reduce our content to mere trifles and then demand us to explain low engagement numbers. Let’s make Twitter a little #weird and bridge the conversation toward depth versus breadth.

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones captured the spirit of Twitter well in her latest post for Glamour discussing how she went to Twitter to share her frustration about the pornification of pop culture. “Twitter is a bad neighborhood. If you go there to score, you will be surrounded by people looking to pick a fight. They may also rob you. And carjack you. And call you names.”

Now I wish to be clear, I LOVE Twitter. It has provided an even playing field, elevating the masses to have direct 1:1 communication with corporations, governments and many more people previously locked in towers with walls to high to throw stones at. The simple 140 character setup has outed crimes against humanity, sparked revolutions and given voices to the previously silent.  (See 2009 Moldavo civil unrest, 2009-10 Iranian election protests, 2010-11 Tunisian revolution, Egyptian Revolution of 2011)

It is because of the great power of Twitter that I hold it in such high regard and believe it should be respected. I want to challenge content curators, Social Media Gurus and all the like to stop adding poison to the pond and instead to start elevating the conversation…

Because after all, we are the tweetmakers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone poll-takers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
Word-losers and word-forsakers,
On whom the pale screen gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

Madeline’s Farewell

I had the most wonderful time working at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Inc. I learned so much from my colleagues and was inspired to be the best version of my work-self daily. The letter below, while it is not the best representation of my work self, but instead leaves my work with a taste of Madeline outside of business hours. A little silly but hopefully I make you smile. I sent this email around my company on the last hour of my last day at work.


Hi, I’m Troy McClure.You might remember me from such Out of Office Messages as Going to a Doctor’s Appointment that’s Definitely Not an Interview  and Eek! There’s a Spider in my Ear!
I’m here today to talk to you about one of your coworkers- Madeline is no longer employed here at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Inc. She wanted me to let you all know that she will miss you all dearly and to please remain in contact with her at madelineduyck@outlook.comLinked-in or @maddyduyck.
(Enter BILLY, 8 years old, doe-eyed)
Billy: Mr. McClure? Why did Miss Duyck leave us?
Troy lovingly ruffles Billy’s hair
Troy: The answer is simple Billy; Adventure. Gobs and gobs of wonderful travel. In fact, she would sell your skin to a leatherworker if she thought she could make a quick buck for gas off of it.
Billy’s JAW DROPS. Aghast.
Billy: But why would she do that?
Troy: Because she’s a monster, Billy. A greedy, heartless monster. And we’re better off without her.
Billy: I’ll say! Thanks Mr. McClure!
EXIT Billy.
Troy: So there you have it, folks. Your co-worker is gone forever, off on some insane quest to exploit Mother Earth of her most precious natural resource.
That’s all for now. Watch for me in the upcoming Out of Office Message, It’s Not a Hangover, It’s Food Poisoning- I Swear! And be safe out there.

Going Big!!!

It was mid -summer and I was feeling restless.; plans were in the works for a big move to Columbus, Ohio and I was focused on not tripping at the finish line. It was like the ice at the bottom of a glass shouting “Hold brothers – Hold!” before they go “STRIKE!”

On July 23, 2013 I received the call I had been waiting months for and I GOT THE JOB!

I remember the few seconds after I hung up the phone going something like this as each wave hit me:

Wave 1


I’m moving to Ohio

Wave 2

I am finally going to be in the same city as my boyfriend.

Wave 3

How do I quit my current job?

Wave 4

HOLY COW! I am quitting my job!

Wave 5

And I have a HUGE event in less than two weeks.

Wave 6

And I need to fit my life into my car and drive to over 3,000 miles.

Wave 7

Will my car make it 3,000+ miles?

Waves 8-23,234

Wave 23,245

Did I mention I’m moving to Ohio?

Final Two Weeks

The next couple weeks were a whirl of chaos as I encountered sleeplessness, car issues, flights being booked, the end of my LDR, hipster-bars, a serious case of foot-in-mouth, late night packing parties, shocking news, creating PERFECT event materials, tracking coverage for BlackHat, training uber-talented interns, my body rejecting the stress I was putting it under and the emotional roller coaster of having to say goodbye to close friends and colleagues.

Below are a few snapshots capturing the highlights:

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I like to think I kept it pretty calm, cool and collected: 

Although, I think if asked, my boyfriend would remember it differently:


What kept me going throughout the week were random creative projects:

My goodbye email to my colleagues at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Inc. who inspired and challenged me daily.

The fort I built in my room, because what else do you do with a packed up room containing so much room for activities?


Doodles on the dry erase board I have wanted to write on since I joined Waggener Edstrom.



The culmination of a few months work with the Security Realm Map with Microsoft.

Microsoft Security Realm

Project capturing the full security landscape and how Microsoft works to protect customers.

This is an idea that I developed and pitched to Microsoft Trustworthy Computing to demonstrate how all of Microsoft’s security teams and services partner to develop a secure computing eco-system. After the pitch, I worked with clients in lockstep to isolate layout, spacial sensitivities, developing iconography to capture the zeitgeist of the different teams, and working to documenting an accurate representation of the cybersecurity landscape.

The lovely people at Gravity Shack directed us to work with the very talented Jared Blando to illustrate this fantasy map. Jared brought the concept to life and seamlessly integrated the various elements while still maintaining a strong style.

I couldn’t possibly be more grateful for the opportunity to work with the talented people I did, namely: Dustin Childs, Georgeo Pulikkathara, Angela Gunn, Jessica Dash, Michelle Gayral Hinrich and Jared Lando.

Microsoft Security Realm

Redditing 101


Reddit is a social news and entertainment website where users submit content in the form of either a link or a text (“self”) post. Other users then up-vote or down-vote the submission, which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site’s pages and front page.


At the end of 2012, Reddit had more than 37 billion page views and 400 million unique visitors. Even people who don’t check the sit regularly -or at all- are impacted by the “Reddit Effect” because the mainstream blog media undeniably dependent on Reddit.

For example, on the Reddit homepage in the early afternoon a post titled “So yesterday in Bostom my friend got photobombed by Kevin Spacey out jogging” appeared . Sure enough, at 10:37 that night, BuzzFeed’s Whitney Jefferson posted it with the headline “Kevin Spacey’s Awesome Photobomb” “earning” herself 64,169 page views. The next morning at 9:25, Gawker’s Neetzan Zimmerman posted it with the headline “Kevin Spacey Shouts ‘Photobomb’ Before Jogging Into Woman’s Picture” (130,608 page views and counting).

I believe  Simon Dumenco of AdAge sums it up perfectly: “Reddit’s longtime tagline is “The front page of the internet,” but it could just as easily be “The crib sheet for weary bloggers who need to hit page-view quotas.”


OP: Original Poster, commonly used on online forums

Lurker: No account, does not engage, instead simply lurks away

Redditor: Opposite of a lurker. Redditors are engaged in the Reddit community by submitting original content, up or down voting submissions and/or interacting on comment threads.

Karma: Fake internet points, think of it as the Whose line is it Anyway of the Internet; where the post titles are made up and the points don’t matter.




Be sure you read the rules in the right-handed column on any sub-Reddit before you hit submit. 

OP this is not Nam



A few basic sub-Reddits that are perfect for new Redditors.

/r/reactiongifs – Awesome, often funny gifs. For other gif oriented fun I recommend also checking out: and

/r/funny – Random assortment of funny images, comments and conversations. There can be lots of inside jokes so just stick with the community and you will be caught up soon.

/r/pics – Pictures of every shape and size, typically beautiful

/r/TodayILearned, /r/mildlyinteresting – Shared fun facts about common things with a unique twist, or simply fun facts.

/r/IAmA – Opportunity for Redditors to put themselves out there to discuss things that play a central role in your life or a truly interesting and unique event. How it works: Redditors can post questions in the comment section and the OP (Original Poster) will answer them. Notable IAmA contributors include Barack Obama, Panos Panay/Microsoft Surface GM and for diversity in this collection, Benjaman Kyle/Amnesiac who woke up with no memories in 2004, Nobody knows who I am.

/r/AdviceAnimals – Lots and lots o’ memes. A ton of them are inside jokes people develop after being on the site for a while. So stick with it and you will become part of the community (if you want)

/r/worldnews, /r/news, /r/technology, /r/technewsdaily – Top Stories of the day in their respective topics. Some of these are better than others and some days are more active than others.

/r/politics, /r/Gaming, /r/Atheism, /r/Science, /r/Music, /r/Movies – Basically what they sound like, community of people posting articles, links and discussions about these topics.


While at work, I advise that you don’t click on links labeled:

  • NSFW = Not Safe For Work
  • NSFL = Not Safe For Life
  • “Caution Gore”
  • /r/wtf = can be hit or miss, but I recommend just avoiding it between 8:30am-5:30pm



I am a Knight of New and created Front Page-worthy content.


Feel free to post any questions regarding Reddit in the comment thread below and I will happily help.

Q: When will I know that I am a Redditor?

A: When you narrate your life in Fry memes, you know when narwhal’s bacon and you daily ponder what is in the damn safe.

Avoiding Filler Words

Avoiding Filler Words


Filler words are the bane of every PR practioner’s existence. We continually endure the deadening of our English language as people say ‘The meeting was really cool’ when we really mean ‘the meeting was engaging and dynamic.’ In order to combat the growing feelings of meh’ I propose we employ Sun Tzo’s Art of War really begin to understand our enemy. Starting now. Starting here.

There are three general types of filler words.

Intensifiers Qualifiers Stallers
—  Very—  Really—  Extremely —  Used to—  Sort of—  Kind of —  Um—  Like—  You know?—  Well—  Err


—  That is very interesting.

—  That is very, very interesting.

—  That is extremely interesting.

—  That is amazingly interesting.

—  That is scarily interesting.

—  That is quite interesting.

—  That is a bit interesting.

—  That is captivating.


—  Sandy Sampson used to write poetry.

—  Sandy Sampson wrote poetry.


Taylor Mali describes it best:

Let us garner wisdom from famous wordsmiths of the English language:

Thomas Jefferson

Jack Kerouc

Mark Twain

—“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”filler2 — One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”filler3 — Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”