See you later Vistaprint, best of luck

Eight years, one month and 13 days ago, I walked into Vistaprint to take on a role as an associate manager on the company’s PR team. Taking the job, I thought that it would be something that would help me transition out of the sports world and get into more of a stable PR role.

Little did I know that walking through the doors would lead me into a completely different career path – for the better.

Shortly into my tenure, my then VP Manya Chait tossed a Businessweek at me with an article entitled Beyond Blogs and asked me to figure out this new thing Beyond Blogsthat wowed the crowds at SXSW called Twitter (believe it or not, I still have the issue and plan on framing it). Little did I know that little side project set off a great career that lead me to learning tremendously and gaining valuable insights and experiences that I don’t think I would have attained if I stayed in traditional public relations.

So as I close out my career at Vistaprint today, it only seems fitting for me to reflect on some of the moments that helped shape my career and are memories that I will take with me along the way.

Launching Twitter: We had a great plan that took six months to formulate – it really kicked ass – and we thought was what was Twitter could be. Little did we know that the community would be against it and ask us to change our approach. Despite the situation escalating quickly, the lesson was one that would be valuable as social is about the people, not a corporate messaging agenda. It also taught me to ask for forgiveness as opposed to permission.

Put the groans away, Facebook’s algorithm change is good for you

Every time that Facebook announces a change in their algorithm, like they did earlier this week, you hear a collective groan from the echo-chamber of the talking heads in the social media space. “Facebook is killing organic reach,” “Facebook is Pay-to-Play,” or “Facebook hates business, except their money” – enough already Facebook is a business that has a great niche for both organic and paid traffic. As I have noted a few times on this blog, Facebook has built a perfect fly trap and businesses need to adapt to the ecosystem, much like they do with Google.

So while this may be contrarian to all the talking heads, I actually think this update is a good thing and something worth keeping an eye on. The removal of the friends commenting on/liking posts from brands was obtrusive, albeit a great way to poke humor at friends who comment on political/racy content (not that I have done that at all). I also think that this update lends itself to building an active community via content and updates that train people to want to come back and are trained/enticed to engage with content on pages. 

How Sesame Street manages creativity and talent

This is a great video from the Wall Street Journal where they sit down with Jeffrey Dunn, CEO of Sesame Street. In the 3-minute video, he talks:

  • meeting strategy
  • managing creativity
  • fostering relationships
  • building a fun environment

I highly suggest this video for anyone who manages people.

Taco Bell nails it with dystopian breakfast commercial

Now I am not sure if it is the case of having McDonalds for breakfast today or watching the ESPN 30 for 30 Of  Miracles and Men (based on Russian side of 1980 Olympic hockey) or that I loved the Hunger Games trilogy, but this commercial from Taco Bell really hit home for me.

For years, we’ve all ate the same breakfast sandwiches fro fast food joints, despite knowing how bad it is for you. Since Taco Bell is entering the space and doesn’t have buns, they needed to change it up a bit. While I love breakfast tacos, I prefer them in Texas. I will also probably never eat from Taco Bell in the AM or PM for that matter unless I am in a state that lacks sobriety.

NewsSpark Content Hub – Beta Invite

This is a guest post from Chris Ehrlich. I met the man behind this blog, Jeff Esposito, on Twitter. There, Jeff is known as @jeffespo. We’re known as @News_Spark. We began tweeting when NewsSpark was only an idea. When Jeff wasn’t officially the award-winning social media pro he is today. Jeff has since become a…

Executive Social Media – Kat Cole an Executive to Emulate

Growing up, I spent many a high school afternoon riding my bike or walking to the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. The goal wasn’t to shop for a fly outfit or fresh pair of kicks; I was there for one reason – to fill my belly with an awesome cinnamon bun from Cinnabon….

900 Seconds – the future of ecommerce and social

This video is a powerful video that predicts the future valuations of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon. It is fast and furious with some really interesting thoughts and insights into what the future could hold based on these behemoths of commerce.