Focus Is Your Friend: How to double down on marketing that matters

Marketing matters, but some marketing efforts matter a lot more for your business than other efforts. If you want to learn the secrets of doubling down on what matters for your business, this is the podcast for you. Get advice from experts on how to focus on the marketing, events, PR, social media and email marketing that will move the needle for your business and brand. Stop trying to hope your resources are going to the right places and decide to focus on what matters, with Focus Is Your Friend.
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Focus Is Your Friend: How to double down on marketing that matters


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Sep 14, 2017

Dear FIFY Listeners

This is our final episode of Focus Is Your Friend.

Thank you for listening for the past 67 episodes! I’ve really enjoyed bringing the podcast to you and talking with so many smart marketers about how to make traction in this crazy world. I appreciate all your feedback and emails – hopefully they helped us produce an increasingly better show.

We’ve decided that we’re going to put our time into a more entertaining, storytelling format. So we’re ending Focus Is Your Friend so that we can bring you something even better soon. (There’s only so much time in a day, and, hello, focus is my friend!)

Please subscribe to the newsletter here and we’ll let you know when our new awesome listening experience is ready for prime time.

Here’s to doing fewer great things over more mediocre things!


Aug 31, 2017

Erin Dwyer is a marketing guru with a passion and enthusiasm for the digital world. Erin is currently the SVP of Ecommerce, Social and Digital Marketing for a cosmetics company in Orange County, CA. Erin started her career in the advertising side of the business and has worked at prestigious agencies throughout her career including J Walter Thompson, DDB, Wong Doody and TBWA/Chiat/ Day. She's worked in gaming, software technology and entertainment categories. With digital’s impact on all industries, Erin’s aim is to help companies and brands understand how to use the space and navigate it to bring them desired results and prepare for what’s next.

“The most important thing for anyone in any category is to realize that the concept of marketing as we once knew it is basically over” – Erin Dwyer

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What today’s marketing mix looks like and how to stay relevant
  • How to find value in your marketing approach and tactics while looking outside the box
  • How to realize that marketing isn’t a function, but rather the DNA of your organization
  • How to think about your company’s strategy and add value in a more altruistic way
  • How to show who you are and who your company wants to be
  • How to lean on others and share information to achieve better results
  • How to keep an active social presence for a brand
  • How to prioritize 

Ways to contact Erin:

Aug 17, 2017

Glenn Mattson is the president of Mattson Enterprises, a consulting and training firm which specializes in helping you put those plans you’ve spent so much time creating into action. Learn what it takes to connect the dots and ensure success.

“I think that's the number one challenge that business owners have is they assume that they know their audience when in reality they know very little about them.”  – Chris Dayley

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to implement the plans you’ve spent so much time creating 
  • How to reach your goals without wasting your time
  • What separates an okay sales department from a fantastic one
  • Why is leadership so important when executing plans

Ways to contact Glenn:

Aug 3, 2017

Drew Neisser, is the founder and CEO of Renegade, an award-winning agency that helps CMOs find innovative ways to break through. He is a true renegade thinker, and he has helped dozens and dozens of CMOs create marketing programs worth writing about, and he has told the story of over 200 of his CMO friends via his Ad Age column and his first book, The CMO’s Periodic Table: A Renegade’s Guide to Marketing  

“I think that's the number one challenge that business owners have is they assume that they know their audience when in reality they know very little about them.”  – Chris Dayley

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to survive by focusing
  • What are the basic elements CMOS need to manage expectations
  • How to continue innovating everyday
  • Why CMOS fail and how t avoid the failure trap
  • How to execute at scale
  • Why courage always precedes vision
  • How to set clear marketing expectations
  • Why a CMO needs board-level support and how to secure it

Other resources:

Ways to contact Chris:

Jul 27, 2017

Drew Neisser, is the founder and CEO of Renegade, an award-winning agency that helps CMOs find innovative ways to break through. He is a true renegade thinker, and he has helped dozens and dozens of CMOs create marketing programs worth writing about, and he has told the story of over 200 of his CMO friends via his Ad Age column and his first book, The CMO’s Periodic Table: A Renegade’s Guide to Marketing  

“Awareness erodes at about a 50 percent a month rate, so if you can’ t create something that is sustainable over time, don’t bother spending the money.”  – Drew Neisser

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to survive by focusing
  • What are the basic elements CMOS need to manage expectations
  • How to continue innovating everyday
  • Why CMOS fail and how t avoid the failure trap
  • How to execute at scale
  • Why courage always precedes vision
  • How to set clear marketing expectations
  • Why a CMO needs board-level support and how to secure it

Other resources:

Ways to contact Drew:

Jul 13, 2017

Brandon Laws is the Director of Marketing at Xenium HR. He has helped companies go from twenty people to ninety people with just himself, a coordinator and a very small budget. Learn how to target an audience effectively with small money and big ideas that translate.  

“One of our taglines [at Xenium] is ‘developing great employers’ and I think how you do that is you educate them and you continue to provide best practice advice and provide value always.” - Brandon Laws

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to target an audience effectively with small money and big ideas
  • The key to getting people to pay attention to your marketing efforts
  • Why sustainability is sexy
  • How to optimize your content
  • Why marketing efforts require a hypothesis
  • Why networking is so important to connect with C-level executives
  • Why marketing doesn’t have to have a huge price tag to be effective

Other resources:

Ways to contact AJ:

Jun 20, 2017

AJ Wilcox is a digital marketing fanatic who found early success with LinkedIn Ads. He started B2Linked, a niche agency, and LinkedIn Certified Partner. He's a ginger & triathlete. He & his wife live in Utah with their 4 kids, and his company car is a go-kart.  

“The most beautiful part about LinkedIn is the targeting. It’s scalable access to professionals at a really granular level.” - AJ Wilcox

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The right-sized approach to using LinkedIn and Facebook for B2B marketing
  • Why you need to have a flexible strategy for many budgets
  • A data-driven strategy for engagement to find the right people and keep them
  • The best way to develop your relationship with an audience
  • How to create content for smart audience development
  • What it means to pay more to get more with LinkedIn
  • How to find that middle-ground of content and contact to maximize ROI
  • The easiest way to create content for white collar recruitment campaigns
  • Why LinkedIn offers the best targeting - market directly to companies you choose

Ways to contact AJ:

Jun 15, 2017

Building and growing businesses, from category creation to global expansion, is a passion of Mike Porcaro’s and it's a through-line in his career. He believes that there are few things more satisfying than the sense of accomplishment a team feels when they've achieved what may have seemed impossible just a few months prior.  

“A great idea wasn’t great only one time.” - Mike Porcaro

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Boomi: the world’s leading integration platform (the software that connects all your disparate systems)
  • How Mike took Boomi from credibility to credibility & awareness
  • Why he quickly hired experts in different fields to help Boomi grow
  • Ensuring ROI from your agency and why you must expect partner level work
  • Speaking to all consumers as humans
  • How to expand internationally by keeping your message hyperlocal with an appropriate amount of centralized consistency
  • Measuring how many people are talking about a business and making sure they’re talking about what you want them to talk about
  • Getting clear on what success looks like
  • A/B testing to figure out where to spend your marketing dollars
Jun 8, 2017

Entrepreneur, speaker, and writer Pia Silva is a partner and brand strategist at Worstofall Design where they build "Badass Brands without the BS" for 1-3 person service businesses in 1-3 day intensives. She is a Forbes contributor and has spoken at a host of entrepreneurial organizations including Goldman Sach's 10,000 Small Businesses, Million Dollar Women’s Summit, Squarespace, and We Work. Her company was named top "10 Design Firms Lead By Young People That Are Changing the Way We Look at the World" by Complex. Her book “Badass Your Brand: Impatient Entrepreneur’s Guide to Turning Expertise into Profit” launched March 16th, 2017.  

“The one mistake everyone is making is they're not sticking forcefully to their focus and their message.” - Pia Silva

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Worstofall Design helps their clients build badass brands in three days or less
  • Leveraging profitability by getting very few clients at a high price point
  • Brandshrink (strategy session) and Brandup (execution): how Worstofall Design’s two services work
  • “Badass Your Brand”: why Pia wrote the book
  • Why you must stick forcefully to your message
  • Choosing which marketing efforts to utilize based on their ROI
  • Why clients need to buy all in on their agency’s expertise
  • Managing the psychology of the client

Ways to contact Pia:

Jun 1, 2017

Joe Stradinger began his career as a CPA with Arthur Andersen. His first assignment was in Budapest, Hungary, where he performed business valuations to support the privatization effort of former Iron Curtain countries.

Joe eventually transferred to Arthur Andersen Business Consulting where he supported major telecommunications clients such as GTE and MCIWorldCom. In October of 1998, he co-founded, the Internet's largest retailer focused exclusively on one of the fastest growing genres of music - contemporary Christian music. At, he oversaw finance and operations as CFO and COO as well as a member of the board of directors. In July 1999, Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE GET) purchased a controlling interest in at a valuation of $30 Million. The site and its management team formed the cornerstone of Gaylord Entertainment's new internet division, Gaylord Digital. As Gaylord Digitals VP of Strategic Development, Joe was responsible for all business opportunity development for the company including investments, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and new-market development.

In 2012, Joe launched EdgeTheory, a conversation media company. EdgeTheory's platform creates, publishes and analyzes content at scale through proprietary conversation mapping & creation technology. The result for our customers is a greater share of the conversation that grows their market share.  

“We don't live in a search age anymore, we live in a find age. We have to go find people that aren’t looking for us.” - Joe Stradinger

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Content as a service: why you can’t have a conversation without content
  • How EdgeTheory uses development engineers and conversation engineers to develop content
  • EdgeTheory’s conversational maps that they use with clients to direct the kinds of conversations they need to have on social
  • Why CMOs need to think of themselves as a publisher that builds a media company
  • Why every company in every industry needs to own their conversation
  • What people often misunderstand about social media
  • The divide between the people who know what to say (those with experience) and those who know how to really use social media (younger employees)
  • Why content creation is the new SEO

Ways to contact Joe:

May 30, 2017

Ken helps B2B growth company executives in sales, marketing, and the C-Suite to breakthrough, achieve, and grow market leadership in new and existing markets. His clients not only lead, they improve key sales and marketing metrics like leads to revenue and opportunities to close.

Ken has spent 20+ years in B2B marketing roles, launching the Intel Inside broadcast co-op program in 1991 and the Internet’s first affiliate marketing program, Netscape Now, at Netscape from 1995-99; has been CMO at several start-ups; and has run network security marketing at McAfee.

In the 7 years of his consulting practice, Ken’s clients – including FireEye, Nimsoft, and others – have generated over $6B of shareholder value through IPOs and acquisitions, while several others have reached private equity valuations of $1B+.  

“What really I do is encourage my clients to do is use a framework I call AIM. And AIM stands for Approach, Innovation, and Mindset.” - Ken Rutsky

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Ken’s book "Launching To Leading" and how his blog led to his book
  • The danger of getting stuck in the launch and always looking for that next feature
  • How to get people to pay attention to you by telling the right story
  • AIM: approach, innovation, and mindset
  • Minimal viable product vs a more robust product: what you need to pay attention to
  • Why customer loyalty is the only differentiation you really have
  • Putting all your resources towards your best marketing plan

Ways to contact Ken:

May 18, 2017

John Brubaker is a nationally renowned business performance consultant, speaker, and award-winning author. John teaches audiences how to obtain better results in business with straightforward tools that turbo charge performance. Using a multidisciplinary approach, “Coach Bru” helps organizations and individuals develop their competitive edge.

John is the author of two award-winning books: “The Coach Approach: Success Strategies From The Locker Room To The Board Room,” and “Seeds of Success: A Leader, His Legacy, and The Lessons Learned.” He also co-authored “Leadership: Helping Others To Succeed.” His latest book "Stadium Status: Taking Your Business to the Big Time" is available for pre-order.

Brubaker was recently named to Forbes Magazine’s “Top 10 Consultants Who Avoid The B.S”. John and his books have been featured in Forbes, CBS Radio, ESPN Radio, Talent Magazine, Sold Magazine, Fox Sports, Bloomberg News, NBC Sports Radio, Huffington Post and The

His clients range from financial services to healthcare and manufacturing. Universities, sports teams, and non-profits also call on John to enhance their teamwork and leadership performance.

John is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in personnel psychology. Brubaker has completed his doctoral coursework in Sport Psychology at Temple University.  

"It is amazing how people think there is such a thing as overnight success simply because shows like ‘The Voice’ and ‘America’s Got Talent’ instantaneously ‘discover’ people. Just because they were instantly ‘discovered’ doesn’t mean they didn’t spend 10 years honing their craft.” - John Brubaker

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • John’s new book “Stadium Status: Taking Your Business to the Big Time”
  • Why “stadium status” isn’t just for individuals but also for brands and why brands have to stay in their lane
  • Lessons you can learn from Garth Brooks like changing your “worst” customer’s view of you and your brand and delivering a mind-blowing customer experience
  • The overnight success fallacy and why you need to focus on being the best you that you can be
  • Narrowcasting vs. broadcasting: how to turn your raving fans into advocates
  • Why achieving “stadium status” is all about the abundance mentality

Ways to contact John:

May 16, 2017

Robert (Bob) Glazer is the founder and Managing Director of Acceleration Partners, and the founder and Chairman of BrandCycle. He is a serial entrepreneur with an exceptional track record and passion for growing revenue and profits for B2C-based companies. In demand by top brands and investment firms, he has extensive experience in the consumer, e-commerce, retail, online marketing, and ad-tech industries partnering with brands such as Adidas, ModCloth, Reebok, Target, Tiny Prints, Gymboree, and Warby Parker.

Bob is a regular contributor to numerous outlets, writing about performance marketing, strategy, and culture. He is the recipient of the Boston Business Journal 40 under 40 award, the SmartCEO Boston Future 50 award, and a finalist for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in New England, among other accolades. A sought-after speaker, Robert presents to global audiences and serves as an advisor to high-growth businesses.

Bob strongly believe in giving back; he served on the Board of Directors for the Performance Marketing Association, BUILD Boston and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mass Bay. He is a global leader in Entrepreneur's Organization (EO), founded The Fifth Night charitable event (, and participated in the annual Rodman Ride for Kids for a dozen years, raising almost $100,000 for charity.

Bob is releasing a new book "Performance Partnerships" which takes the first in-depth look at the affiliate (performance) marketing industry, examining its roots, evolution and ongoing transition into one of the most important forms of direct-to-consumer digital marketing. In the book, Robert Glazer defines the elements of true affiliate marketing for the first time and demonstrates for marketing leaders how to properly leverage the channel for its unique ability to drive attributable sales and strengthen brand awareness.  

"You have to make sure that there’s an active and engaged partner on the other side of the table.” - Robert Glazer

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Affiliate marketing: when a company and a marketing partner enter into a pay-for-performance commission-based relationship
  • How the affiliate marketing industry has evolved from the “don’t ask, don’t tell” early days to today
  • Why understanding the numbers you want is key with affiliate marketing
  • Finding partners that are brand aligned
  • Robert’s new book “Performance Partnerships” that will help you do affiliate marketing better
  • Finding the right people to run affiliate marketing programs
  • Using your resources on the right affiliate marketing programs

Ways to contact Robert:

May 11, 2017

Liz O’Donnell is Double Forte’s Chief Content Officer, responsible for the firm’s and its clients' digital marketing and social media strategies. She blogs regularly for the agency on the dynamic world of social media, digital communication and being heard in a very loud world.

Active in her community, Liz is a member of her town’s warrant and finance committee and co-founded Women in Democracy, a non-partisan organization that encourages women to run for local office.  

When you lead with the creative, you're more likely not to align with your business goals.” - Liz O'Donnell

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Asking “what are we trying to achieve for the company?” when brainstorming a piece of content
  • Figuring out which of your business goals you can achieve through your content strategy (it can’t be all of them) and which of those goals have energy behind them
  • Picking a purpose per platform and aligning them with the business goal that makes sense for that platform
  • Why you should lead with data -- not creative
  • Understanding who you’re trying to reach and having multiple personas based on those customers
  • Wrapping your content in context
  • When and how to get creative

Ways to contact Liz:


May 9, 2017

Liz O’Donnell is Double Forte’s Chief Content Officer, responsible for the firm’s and its client’s digital marketing and social media strategies. She blogs regularly for the agency on the dynamic world of social media, digital communication and being heard in a very loud world.

Active in her community, Liz is a member of her town’s warrant and finance committee and co-founded Women in Democracy, a non-partisan organization that encourages women to run for local office.  

“Make sure your content is easy to consume.” - Liz O'Donnell

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What actionable content is
  • Why all content needs an action
  • Mixing content to reach customers at different times for different lengths of time based on where they are in the customer journey
  • How many channels your business needs to be on
  • How content gives customers context
  • Building what action you want into your content map
  • Be realistic: why you shouldn’t expect people to leave comments
  • Being explicit on the actions you want your audience to take
  • The top three ways to make content actionable

Ways to contact Liz:


May 4, 2017

Liz O’Donnell is Double Forte’s Chief Content Officer, responsible for the firm’s and its client’s digital marketing and social media strategies. She blogs regularly for the agency on the dynamic world of social media, digital communication and being heard in a very loud world.

Liz is the author of Mogul, Mom & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman, a book that picks up where other business books leave off – understanding the impact women’s personal lives have on their careers and the ways business can support working women. Her website supports women who are balancing caring for an aging parent and their career. She is a frequent speaker and consultant to women who want to thrive and the organizations that want to reach and mobilize women.

Active in her community, Liz is a member of her town’s warrant and finance committee and co-founded Women in Democracy, a non-partisan organization that encourages women to run for local office.  

“Success and traction happen after you stop hitting the refresh button.” - Liz O'Donnell

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Good content vs. bad content: what’s the difference
  • Using one piece of content in multiple locations and formats
  • Sharing your content where it will resonate
  • How to use Canva to create the perfect graphic for each platform
  • Why one form of content will not work for every audience
  • The danger of serving up the same piece of content in multiple formats to the same audience all at once
  • How to use your most popular platform to build your other platforms out
  • Merchandizing your content
  • Why you need to focus on the long game
  • Not signing up for more content than you can do

Ways to contact Liz:


How to share your content


  • Well: “Honored to be included in ….”
  • Terribly:“Check me out on …”


Apr 25, 2017

Nav Athwal is the Founder and CEO of RealtyShares, a curated online marketplace for real estate investing. His platform connects individual and institutional investors to private U.S. real estate investments, raising $200 million across more than 400 deals in 31 states. Prior to founding RealtyShares, Nav was a real estate and land use attorney in San Francisco, representing developers, fund managers, nonprofits and public and private REIT's on some of the largest US real estate and renewable energy projects. Nav holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UC Davis and a J.D. from UC Berkeley Law School where he was Class Valedictorian. Nav is also is a regulator contributor to Forbes and TechCrunch.  

“You can make the mistake of using data to make premature decisions that aren’t good for you.” - Nav Athwal

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why RealtyShares invested heavily in PR in their early days
  • Why you need to find what makes you different from everyone else in your marketplace
  • How Nav uses writing to establish himself as a thought leader
  • The key to measuring metrics accurately
  • Measurements that Nav focuses on like the cost of acquiring customers, engagement post acquiring them, etc.
  • Why RealtyShares only does deals that produce regular (monthly, quarterly) cash flow for their investors
  • How much time Nav spends on writing every month
  • How to use other writers to assist in your writing but retaining your voice
  • Why the most important element of thought leadership is spending the time thinking
  • Why you need to test a marketing campaign before you spend all of your resources on it

Ways to contact Nav:

Apr 20, 2017

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is the Founder and CEO of Transformational Consumer Insights, Inc., a data, insight, and strategy firm. TCI helps brands understand, reach, and engage Transformational Consumers: a hyper-growth segment of consumers that view all of life as a series of campaigns to change their behavior in order to live healthier, wealthier, wiser lives.

Formerly, Tara was the first and only VP, Marketing for MyFitnessPal, now part of Under Armour Connected Fitness. Over 160 million people worldwide use Under Armour Connected Fitness apps to get an around-the-clock view of their food and fitness activities.

In Tara’s first year on the job, MyFitnessPal grew from 45 million to 100 million users, drove a 22 percent increase in user engagement, and went from raising an $18 million Series A to the acquisition by Under Armour for $475 million.

Tara created the Transformational Consumer Insights framework in 2012, and has continued to develop it throughout a career of working with the biggest brands in consumer tech to reach and engage hundreds of millions of consumers by helping them make the difficult behavior changes they struggle with as they aspire to live healthier, wealthier, and wiser lives.

Tara’s exuberant belief that business can be a powerful, transformational force for humanity and her team’s deep expertise in predictive data science, neuropsychology, behavioral economics, content marketing, brand, and digital strategy powers TCI’s approach and offerings.

Tara has developed and executed integrated marketing, content, PR and social media strategies that achieved the traffic, brand, PR, niche marketing, business development and revenue objectives of behavior-focused digital companies like HGTV, Eventbrite, ING Direct, Chegg, Lookout Mobile Security, ModCloth, and real estate search engine

Tara holds a Master’s degree in Psychology and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. Tara is the Board President of City Slicker Farms, a non-profit community farming and food security organization in West Oakland.  

“Part of the reason most B2B marketing is terrible is that people think they’re marketing to a company, but that’s not a thing. Every single person who is going to place the order is a human being.” - Tara-Nicholle Nelson 

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why you need to focus more on the people that you’re marketing to instead of the product that you are marketing
  • Transformational consumers: what you need to know about marketing to these influential consumers
  • Why consumer disengagement is a human problem, not a digital problem
  • Why you can’t do B2B marketing without focusing on the humans placing the order
  • Why you need to spend enough time on the customers you already have
  • Why all of the teams in your company need to align on one goal
  • Why you should negotiate to be able to achieve your marketing efforts cheaper
  • Why you need to focus on the message, not the medium

Ways to contact Tara:

Apr 18, 2017

Digital marketing and online customer service are broken, and Jay Baer brings the repair kit.

Jay has created five multi-million dollar companies and was recently inducted into the Word of Mouth Marketing Hall of Fame.

He is the President of Convince & Convert, a consulting firm that helps the world’s most iconic brands like The United Nations, Nike, 3M, and Oracle use technology to gain an unfair competitive advantage.

A New York Times best-selling author of five books, Jay is also the host of the acclaimed Social Pros podcast. His latest book Hug Your Haters is on Lee’s must read list for all marketers, communicators, and CEOs.

He’s also an avid tequila collector and a certified barbecue judge.  

“What has changed everything is that now customer service is a spectator sport. People can see if you’re good at customer service or not.” - Jay Baer

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why understanding your numbers doesn’t mean understanding your customers
  • Jay’s incredible book “Hug Your Haters”
  • Why actually responding is the most important part of customer service
  • How social media has changed customer service
  • Why customers who you solve problems for are more loyal than customers who never have any problems
  • What hugging your haters looks like in today’s political landscape when customers are reacting to political moves by companies
  • Why all of your channels are a customer service channels
  • Why there’s no such thing as an isolated complaint
  • Why marketing should control customer service
  • Why you need to measure customer service satisfaction
  • Why you need to listen harder to your customers
  • Why you need to think about customer service as a way to make money

Ways to contact Jay:

Apr 13, 2017

Renee Wilson is the president of the PR Council, the professional trade association for agencies practicing public relations, within the world of marketing and communications. The PR Council has 110+ members representing more than 11,000 employees in the US. PR Council advocates for and advances the business of communications firms by building the market and the value of firms as strategic business partners.

Previously, Renee spent 11 years at MSLGROUP most recently as a member of the global board of directors; and the firm’s Chief Client Officer, responsible for liaison with senior clients and the agency’s international client engagement program, which she created. She is also the former President of MSLGROUP in North America. Renee was president of the 2014 PR jury for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and served on one other Cannes Jury in 2011.

Renee spent four years living and working in London for another international PR consultancy. During this time she managed the EMEA communications for brands within Kellogg's and Johnson & Johnson.

Renee is a regularly featured speaker at various international conferences and most recently presented at the United Nations International Women's Day Conference, SxSw Social Good Hub, 2015, ColorComm and espnW 2015. A Cannes lion award winner herself, Renee’s teams have won more than 25 awards for exceptional, breakthrough work. A long-standing proponent for diversity, she sits on the Advisory Board for the Young Women's Leadership Schools of NYC and is a member of the NY Women in Communications. She has guest lectured on international communications at NYU and Baruch.  

“The credibility that comes with an output from a public relations campaign -- how do you put the value on that?” - Renee Wilson

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What the PR Council does
  • Why “PR” won’t be called “Public Relations” in a few years
  • Why PR people have to be at the table to identify business problems
  • Why PR and social are one in the same
  • Why agencies have to look to the future
  • Why digital storytelling is going to be so crucial going forward
  • Why there’s no cheat sheet for lifelong learning
  • What measurement looks like in PR today and why proving ROI is challenging
  • Why agencies do more project based work than AOR work these days (and why you need to make sure your project is long enough)

Ways to contact Renee:

Apr 11, 2017

With more than 20 years of experience in technology, SaaS, and B2B offerings, Jay Krishnan, Automile’s Vice President of Marketing, brings deep expertise in small business and enterprise marketing to the rapidly growing company. Prior to joining Automile, she led product marketing at fast-growing startups, accelerating growth and market leadership. She also drove go to market strategy for mobile and was an innovation catalyst during her tenure with Intuit. An accomplished change agent and thought leader, she speaks at several leading industry events on technology trends impacting different industries.  

“Marketers often get too busy that they forget to carve out needed time with their customers.” - Jay Krishnan

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Jay’s unique balance of marketing and technology
  • How Automile’s fleet tracking service works
  • What makes Automile’s hardware/SaaS blend so difficult
  • Why everything at Automile is customer first
  • Why startups and small companies shouldn’t forget that they can take risks big companies can’t
  • Why startups have to narrow down their customer targets
  • Why you need to think about both the purchaser experience and the user experience (and why these are often not the same thing)
  • How to test different marketing efforts to figure out which one to put your resources into

Ways to contact Jay:

Apr 6, 2017

Described by Bella NYC Magazine as being passionate, energetic, and full of life, K2s founder and CEO, Heidi Krupp-Lisiten, is right at home in the world of marketing, promotion, and media. With over 25 years in the field, Heidi has become recognized as an industry leader who works closely with her clients to develop innovative 360-degree brand platforms designed to engage consumers, excite media, drive awareness, and most importantly, deliver quantifiable business outcomes.

As the head of K2, Heidi provides multi-disciplined marketing solutions, including unique strategic PR programs, on behalf of globally recognized brands such as Weight Watchers, Ann Taylor, Gaiam, and Everyday Health. Notably, her recent work with Nerium International (the fastest growing direct sales company in the world) has helped them to achieve their U.S. goals and expand into other countries.

After earning a Bachelor's degree in journalism and communications from Ohio University, Heidi moved on to play an integral role at ABC News 20/20, amassing an impressive string of production and publicity credits (including her first publicity credit for her work with Barbara Walters). It was while she was at ABC that she discovered her true calling as a PR professional and entrepreneur. This discovery led her to establish K2 in 1996.

Heidi is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native who now resides in New York City with her husband, Darren, their son, Caden, and beloved dog, Isaac.  

“You have to find a clever way in. You can’t just take no for an answer.” - Heidi Krupp-Lisiten

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Heidi got into PR and how she ended up doing “Chicken Soup for the Soul”
  • Tactics Heidi uses today that she didn’t use when she started her firm
  • The three strategy questions Heidi always asks
  • Why if you can’t leverage it -- don’t do it
  • Why you, your team, and your clients need to celebrate wins together
  • Why you shouldn’t ever take business personally
  • Why nothing is private anymore makes everything PR
  • Why you need to get ahead of the conversation and anticipate everything that happens
  • Why PR is all about strategy
  • Why you shouldn’t necessarily spend all of the budgets that you have

Ways to contact Heidi:

Apr 4, 2017

Jen McClure is one of the original authorities on digital and social media. More than a decade ago, she anticipated the significant impact that these technologies would have on business, media, culture and society. This led her to cofound the Society for New Communications Research in 2005, a think tank focused on these technologies, which merged with The Conference Board in 2016. She now serves as a Program Director and Advisory Board Chair for The Conference Board.

Jen is CEO of JEM Consulting & Advisory Services, a Silicon Valley-based consultancy dedicated to helping organizations gain competitive advantage through the use of digital and social media. Services include: digital transformation, strategy development, digital and social media audits and maturity assessments, digital due diligence for M&A, social selling and employee advocacy program development.

Prior to founding JEM, she was VP of Digital & Social Media at Thomson Reuters, where she founded the company's Digital Center of Excellence and oversaw digital strategy, enablement and governance for web, mobile, social media, online communities, and search.

She is on the Board of Directors of the Observer Publishing Company and Justice Gap. She is an advisor to two start-ups, Opera Event Company and PaperQuilt. She also served on the Customer Advisory Boards of Adobe and Nexgate/Proofpoint, the Social Media Advisory Council of the UN's Population Fund in 2011 and was an Advisory Board member of the Future Arts & Media Node of the Millennium Project from 2009-2010.

Jen received her Bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and her Master’s degree from Stanford University.  

“Understand the expansiveness of the power of social media. Social is not just a communications tool.” - Jen McClure 

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to organize teams around content, digital delivery, and marketing
  • Why social media can serve a lot of different functions inside your organization
  • Why it’s so crucial to align your metrics with your goals
  • Why we’re really still in the infancy of social media and what changes are coming
  • Why it’s more efficient to bring organic social in-house than to use an agency (and why an agency is helpful for paid social)
  • Why social media management is about matrix management and not hierarchical
  • Skillsets to hire for
  • Why social media is the most powerful tool since email and the telephone and why its insights are even better

Ways to contact Jen:

Mar 30, 2017

David Wisnom III is the founder & Chief Strategist of SightCast Inc., a brand strategy and marketing consultancy. David's background in developing brand strategies covers the spectrum of brands such as UCSF, Huntington Hospital, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Varian Medical Systems, Mechanics Bank, Wells Fargo Advisors, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola. David's accomplishments include co-authoring the book Before the Brand: Creating the Unique DNA of an Enduring Brand Identity, (published by McGraw-Hill) and most recently authoring “Rebranding the Corporate Enterprise: a Step-by-Step Guide.”

Prior to founding SightCast Inc., David was Managing Director of the FutureBrand, a global strategic branding firm. David was also Executive Director of Landor Associates, the leading strategic branding firm in San Francisco and opened their Chicago office.

David's current philanthropic work includes second term as past Board Chair of Community Gatepath, a 95+ year old nonprofit that provides essential services to children and adults with disabilities. Past roles include President of the Burlingame Soccer Club; Co-founder and Executive Chairman of the SMC Star Soccer Club; President of the Peninsula Civic Light Opera.

David attended the Cate School and Willamette University. He spends his rare free time with his wife, two kids, and lab Macallan fly fishing, cycling, and cooking.  

“If you’re not relevant to your target audience, it doesn’t matter how different you are.” - David Wisnom III

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The biggest mistake people make in branding
  • Why you need to get really clear on your audience
  • Why a new logo is not going to fix your problems
  • The four dimensions of a brand
  • How to do the research needed to understand your audience
  • Why you need to involve nonprofit boards in rebranding efforts
  • What “point zero” looks like in a rebranding effort
  • Why a rebrand has to provide clarity for customers first and then your team
  • Why you should use resources differently depending on the situation

Ways to contact David:


Mar 28, 2017

It may be an overused word but Mimi is truly passionate about helping create truly outstanding workplaces.

Throughout her career, she has taken many business and personality assessments. With very few exceptions she weighs heavily towards creativity plus organization a combination that is highly unique she's been told. Due to this combination of strengths, she's had a very well-rounded background and experienced success as a strategist, a creative problem solver, a designer, a writer, a leader and a consultant. She’s worked in marketing, public relations, events, brand reputation, internal communications, design, corporate social responsibility, and executive communications. She’s worked for HR, Marketing and even once for Legal!

Mimi is currently a Senior Partner at her consulting firm, Streamline Communications, in the San Francisco Bay area, that specializes in internal communication and graphic design.  

“It's absolutely no fun to implement a bad idea.” - Mimi Garrity Denman

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Mimi’s passion for creating a great workplace
  • Why communication has to be two-way to work
  • Why your internal communication has to be just as creative as external communication
  • Why internal communications belongs in the communication department, not in HR
  • Why every company needs an internal communications department from the very beginning
  • How tools like Slack and Yammer are great for internal communications
  • Why internal communication needs to be multichannel -- just like external communications
  • Why internal communications people must have well-rounded skill sets
  • How to effectively plan out your internal communications

Ways to contact Mimi:


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