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Featured Video Blog Interviews

VLOG of the Month: Media Takes “Hands Off” Approach to FTC Native Advertising Compliance According to D S Simon Report


PRSA Counselors Academy Conference: Why Industry Leaders Return Year After Year

TO LINK TO POST http://bit.ly/1h9YXcQ

Abbie Fink of HMA Public Relations, who is Chair-Elect for 2015 Counselors Academy Conference, speaks with Doug Simon at this year’s Counselors Academy Conference in Key West, FL, about why every year more and more industry leaders, entrepreneurs and agency owners attend Counselors and how she plans to better the organization over the next year.

Abbie’s VlogViews:

“There’s always something that we can learn and there’s always something we can teach. It’s one of those great opportunities where you might think you’re coming here just to get all that information, and sure enough you’re sitting down and having a conversation with somebody and you’re actually teaching them. And that’s why we want to keep this conversation going throughout the year.”

“One of the things we hear from our members on a regular basis is the conference really is that point where they come together and they get that face-to-face interaction. But they want to have opportunities to talk to each other and be a part of that growth opportunity that we’re all seeing throughout the year.”

“We really are an organization for our members, run by our members. We can make decisions to do some things that we really want to do and that will mean a lot to each one of us.”

What American Companies Need to Know when Expanding their Business to Canada

TO LINK TO POST http://bit.ly/1wfH1BN Deborah Weinstein, President of Strategic Objectives in Toronto, Canada, in conversation with Doug Simon at the Counselors Academy Conference, tells us how foreign companies can successfully expand their businesses into Canada.  Rule #1: Know your audience and don’t use Target as an example.

Deborah’s VlogViews:

“You get one kick at the can when you’re coming to a country. Embrace it rather than kick it”

“Rule 1: Know thy audience. You must know and understand our country. We have two separate and distinct cultures—one English, one French. As a matter of fact, many of our Canadian clients have completely different marketing strategies for Quebec versus the rest of Canada.”

“Target had a massive rollout plan for Canada; now it’s completely slowed down because it affected the bottom line of the company as a whole because they didn’t understand the culture. That really didn’t need to happen, because we were eager, willing, and desirous for Target, but they kind of blew it.”

Jason Sprenger, President of Game Changer Communications, on Starting a New Agency: It’s all about the Relationships

TO LINK TO POST bit.ly/1lqDh9e

Jason Sprenger, President of Game Changer Communications, speaks with Doug Simon of D S Simon at the PRSA Counselors Academy Conference in Key West, about approaching his agency’s second anniversary and how he’s grown a successful business in such a short time.

Jason’s VlogViews:

“We talk about the definition, textbook definition of what we do, all the time.  But we don’t often really practice it. Our job is to build and maintain the relationships that our public, or that our organization’s publics, needs to succeed. And, that can be done in literally fifteen different ways.  It’s external communications.”

“What, of all of those fifteen things are really going move the needle—what’s the best tactic, strategy, whatever, to really help them build and maintain those relationships. I call it the umbrella model.”

“There is a lot of power in building good relationships with good people.  It really does feed upon itself, and, and continue to develop and grow.”

Successfully Blending Traditional and New Media for Local, Small Business Initiatives

TO LINK TO POST: bit.ly/1qImhlM

Phyllis Ershowsky, founder and owner of PKE Marketing & PR Solutions, speaks with Doug Simon of D S Simon at the PRSA Counselors Academy Conference in Key West, FL, about how working in a smaller market, with smaller businesses, calls for a unique blend of traditional and social elements.

Phyllis’s VlogViews:

“Most of our clients are used to traditional media, getting their news releases out in the paper or doing special events. So what we’re doing is when we have articles published in the local newspaper, we are using them as content on their website. We’re linking them to their Facebook pages, and we’re getting them out on a different level, and creating that exposure for them.”

“We have to work with a smaller number of media, and smaller businesses, and yet give them a higher profile, and make them more global.”

Why Launch.it is a Touchdown for PR Professionals

TO LINK TO POST bit.ly/1g98zng

Trace Cohen, President and Co-Founder of Launch.it, speaks with Doug Simon about his free PR publishing platform and how Launch.it is leading to the paperless tradeshow.

Trace’s VlogViews:

“When the user, the PR professional, on behalf of their client or the company, who started publishing news on Launch It, sends it out because it’s social, visual, and searchable. They also have analytics, so instead of having your news stuck in email limbo you can now send one link with all your news. They can take the text, the images, the video and contact you directly.”

“We wanted to give power back to the PR professional who produces so much great content, and is really just an expert in the field.”

“We went after events because we have the mentality of ‘Why do people rob banks? Because that’s where the money is.’ Why do people go to shows? That’s where the news is, but it’s so hard to find. So, what we wanted to do was get all the news and put it in one place.”

Missy MacFarlane, Principal at B2 Communications, on Crisis Planning for Your Organization and How to Handle Vocal Detractors


Missy MacFarlane, Principal at B2 Communications, speaks with Doug Simon of D S Simon, at the PRSA Counselors Academy Conference, on how she advises her non-profit and trade association clients when it comes to crisis planning. First thing, establishing an open line of communication to volunteers and others involved is key.

Missy’s VlogViews:

“One trend we’re seeing with non-profits and trade associations, is that they’re volunteers.  They’re vocal supports until they’re vocal detractors. I think that’s something that a lot of trade associations and non-profits think about when they’re doing crisis planning. They need to communicate changes to their volunteers and the importance of them.”

“We believe everyone should be responded to, in some form or fashion.  Their reasons might be valid. They do deserve a response, especially if they’ve been a volunteer for a long time.”

“The information here at Counselor’s Academy has been hugely helpful.  I’m able to ask questions that I’m not able to ask of anyone else. I really want to be able to learn how to grow our agency in the right way, grow smartly and sustainably.”

Stan Phelps, PRSA Counselors Academy Keynote Speaker, on Differentiating Your Business from the Competition

TO LINK TO POST: bit.ly/1goix4K

Stan Phelps, Counselors Academy Keynote Speaker and author of What’s Your Purple, Goldfish, speaks with Doug Simon, D S Simon, about how companies can differentiate themselves from the competition and how providing high-value and low-maintenance products or services leads to a successful business.

Stan’s VlogViews:

“That’s the idea with doing the little things, is that you want to be able to drive not only differentiation, but do things that drive retention for your customers, as well as give them reasons to talk about your product or service.”

“It comes to one word, ‘more.’ There’s no such thing as meeting the expectations of your customer. You either exceed them, or you fall short. So given the choice of either exceeding or falling short, this is the choice: Do more.”

“The goal is to be seen as high-value and low-maintenance.”

Brian Cohen’s Advice to Young Entrepreneurs: You Want Smart Money, Not Dumb Money


Are you interested in becoming an entrepreneur? Brian Cohen, Chairman of New York Angels, in conversation with Doug Simon, D S Simon, shares how he and the Angels help their up-and-coming entrepreneurs with “smart money” and how tough love is much more effective than unlimited appeasing.

Brian’s VlogViews:

“The first thing you need to know as an entrepreneur is that it’s a contact relationship. You need to reach out to the angels. You need to find the ones that could embrace both you and your ideas.  Somebody who’s going to be there with you, supporting and hugging you when you need to be hugged, and not just giving you money; but giving you smart, caring money.”

“Money is now becoming a lesser important value. The ability to make contacts or relationships happen in their respective marketplaces is much more important. That’s the biggest role for an angel, not just the money.”

“At a Columbia presentation I gave a couple of months ago, I asked 300 of the brightest students there ‘Are we being too nice to you?’ Silence in the room. Everybody came back and say ‘Yes, and we resent it. We want to know what you really think. Don’t be that nice to us.’”

PRSA Counselors Academy Keynote Speaker, Steve McKee, Author of “Power Branding”

TO LINK TO POST: http://bit.ly/1mGQtHU

Doug Simon, President & CEO of D S Simon, catches up with Steve McKee, keynote speaker at the PRSA Counselors Academy Conference in Key West, FL and author of Power Branding: Leveraging the Success of the World’s Best Brands. Steve shares his insight on how agencies, corporations, really anyone, can apply his principles successfully and build strong branding. First step: Appeal to consumers’ hearts, not their heads.

Steve’s VlogViews:

Branding is really about likability and relatability. We don’t do enough of that business.

The cliché is that people buy in emotion and justify it with fact. The reason it’s a cliché is because it’s true. We all tend to be driven by hunches, feelings and emotions. Mixed up in there is our thought process and rationality, but it’s mixed up in there. It’s not driven by rationality.

Brands tend to not relate to people as people. We tend to think that the consumer is some sort of a character or caricature, instead of a living, breathing, rational and irrational person.

Jack Nadel on How You Can Survive and Thrive in Business

TO LINK TO POST http://bit.ly/1mUv7am

Are you looking to break into business but not quite sure where or how to start? Jack Nadel, global leader in specialty advertising and marketing and founder of 12 different companies, speaks with Doug Simon, D S Simon President & CEO, about his new book and video set, The Evolution of an Entrepreneur, Featuring 50 of My Best Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business, and how you can use his experiences and turn it into dollar signs for yourself.  This guy knows what he’s talking about!  

Jack’s VlogViews:

“You can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s answers. You have to be motivated to do it. There are a lot of people who don’t have the feeling that they could do it—go into a strange business. But… it ain’t that tough! I started with a high school diploma, and I’ve done business around the world. I even represented the United States at a trade mission, and everything’s worked out fine because I’ve done it. That’s what I’m trying to teach people from what I have already done. It’s not hypothesis; it’s not theory—this stuff works.”

“The odds are, if you have a good idea, someone else has had it before you. I urge people to do their research to see who’s done it, and how successful they’ve been.”

“Know exactly what it is you want to do, and how you’re going to convert that thing that you love to do, into making a profit out of it.”

“I always felt that it’s a good policy to always give a little extra. If I make ce

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