Mar 08

McKinsey embraces transparency (sort of)

You know the business world is changing when a highly secretive firm like McKinsey opens the kimono and actually addresses the myriad scandals that have befallen the firm in the past year.

As you’ll read in this Fortune column as well as a more in-depth Q-and-A that’s embedded in the piece, McKinsey’s top partner, Kevin Sneader, has ushered in a new era of authenticity and responsibility by sending a letter to employees acknowledging “mistakes” and “learning from those mistakes.” We shall see if either promise becomes reality.

I’ve blogged about McKinsey’s high-profile missteps in South Africa, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Each also received massive coverage in the New York Times. But in each Times article, one needed a magnifying glass to find the briefest of statements from a McKinsey spokesperson that either admitted wrongdoing or spoke to how the firm would avoid committing such transgressions in the future.

If you believe what he says, Sneader promises the Nixonian-like secrecy will change, beginning from the inside out.

That’s critical since, if partners and employees believe they can continue to engage in shady, unethical or illegal behaviors and not suffer consequences, nothing will change.

That said, if you take the time to read Sneader’s responses to Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky’s questions, you’ll shake your head at the double talk, obfuscation and evasiveness. But, hey, the longest journey begins with a single step.

It remains to be seen if the Fortune interview was an experiment to test the transparency waters or the beginning of a new era of authenticity in the strategic consulting world.

I hope that, for McKinsey’s sake, they will stay the course and begin to admit mistakes, change policies and, yes, apologize for their wrongdoings.

In the long run, McKinsey may have no choice since, as Fortune CEO Today columnist Allan Murray writes: “More than ever, business leaders need to step up and show their actions are benefiting society… and admit they make mistakes.”

Fortune 500 C-Suites are still dominated by executives who choose silence over authenticity. But employee activists and consumers alike have made it clear they will no longer work for, or buy products from, companies that aren’t contributing to society at large. “These groups are increasingly challenging companies large and small to put purpose ahead of profit,” says BrandFoundations Chief Brand Architect Steve Goodwin. “It’s one of the primary reasons we’re partnering with Peppercomm to deliver a one-day ‘Purpose-Way-Impact’ workshop that helps organizations crystalize their most powerful “north star” foundational messages in a way that the stale, old ‘Mission-Vision-Values’ construct simply can’t match. It’s the perfect ’tip-of-the-spear’ for Peppercomm’s StandSmart offering.”

Organizations that continue to cover-up misdeeds may eventually win in court, but they most certainly will lose in the court of public opinion.

Oct 24

Do You Truly Want to Be a Leader? Listen to What’s Happening in Pop Culture

Today's guest post is by Peppercommer Sam Ford

For marketers and communicators, especially those working at agencies, staying on top of what's truly shaping communication is vital. But, as an industry, we've never really been all that good at it. Sure, we can see trends happening once they are prevalent and react to them. But it's been tough for agencies to truly innovate and drive our clients toward where they should be headed.

 Foent
Even if you prioritize constantly challenging the way you think, it's hard to figure out how to do that. At Peppercom, we put a great deal of emphasis behind challenging our own status quo: from our internal Innovation Mill launched by Peppercommer Lauren Begley–which highlights the latest innovations and experiments in the marketing space that we might learn from as an agency–to collaborating with new partners and making hires from outside the public relations space. (After all, that's what brought me–now an "in-house" media studies academic–to the firm.)
 
But beyond that, I wanted to share a bit of advice I've learned over the years as to the best way to stay on top of what's happening in the world: keep up with what's happening in culture. That's the gist of Grant McCracken's Chief Culture Officer: that marketers who pay little attention to the world around them will both miss out on business opportunities and find themselves at risk.
 
I'll take that one step further and say that PR, advertising, corporate communication and marketing pros who want to truly stay abreast of what's happening and what's coming need to watch the entertainment space.
 
For the past several years, I've been fortunate to help organize an annual conference called the Futures of Entertainment. The event brings together media industries practitioners, marketers, and media scholars to talk about what's happening in the entertainment world. And, through my years of research, I've often found that new modes of engagement, developments and challenges that eventually affect companies and governments have, in some ways, often been "previewed," in a way, among media audiences over the years.
 
After all, many of the ways citizens today talk about the news, rally the government, or petition companies–particularly through online communication–was once considered the strange and marginalized space of "the fan" or "fanatic," people who had nothing better to do with their time than to become obsessed with what they watch, create media that responds to it, share media amongst each other, etc.
 
Each year, I look at the issues that end up getting planned for the conference as a barometer of the things I should be keeping in mind and the issues I should be thinking about how to bring to bear on our agency and our clients. And I'm especially proud this year that Peppercom's events division, Peppercommotions, is helping plan the conference.
 
To Repman readers, whether you work for an agency or "in-house," I highly recommend you come up and join us at MIT Nov. 11-12 to talk about pressing issues like "spreadable media," crowdsourcing, location-based technologies, audience/producer collaboration, and privacy issues. In particular, we'll look at the innovations taking place in journalism & documentary filmmaking, music, serialized storytelling, and children's media. And I promise there will be many implications to come from these issues in the marketing world. Rather than waiting for them to happen and playing catch-up, I hope you'll consider joining us.
 
More information on the conference is available here: http://convergenceculture.org/futuresofentertainment/2011/
 
Grant McCracken's book referenced is here: http://www.amazon.com/Chief-Culture-Officer-Breathing-Corporation/dp/0465018327

Sep 15

I have some good news and some bad news

Your name is Julian Green. You had been director of media relations for CoorsMiller. 

The good news: You've just landed a new gig as VP of communications and community affairs for the Chicago Cubs.

The bad news: You've just landed a new gig as VP of communications and community affairs for the Chicago Cubs.

GravestoneFor those of you may not know, the beloved Cubbies are major league baseball's biggest losers. They hold the record for going the most years without winning a World Series… 103 years!

In fact, the last time the Cubs won the series, Teddy Roosevelt was president, the HMS Titanic had yet to be built and Betty White had just begun dating (only kidding with the last one).

Don't get me wrong. Any gig with a major league baseball team has to be a complete gas. But, the Cubs? They're so bad they even make my lamentable Mets seem respectable in comparison. They're such a disaster they make the BP oil spill seem like a small leak. Collectively, the franchise has disappointed more fans over the decades than the combined populations of China and India.

So, how'd you like to be responsible for managing their image and reputation? In my opinion, Mr. Green has one of two options:

– He follows the lead of legendary ad man, Jerry Della Femina who, in attempt to attract fans to see the woeful Mets of the late 1970s and early '80s, ran a campaign entitled, 'The magic is back'. But, it wasn't. Not by a long shot. In fact, the only magic at Shea Stadium was seeing fewer and fewer fans each and every losing season.

– He embraces the franchise's futility with a campaign entitled, ‘A century's worth of heartaches’. Green holds contests asking Cubs fans to submit stories telling how, say, the '69 Cubs broke their hearts by blowing a nine game lead to the Miracle Mets. Others could wax poetic about the '84 Cubs collapse in the NLCS to an incredibly weak San Diego Padres team. Or, how about the infamous game in 2003 when, just five outs away from an NLCS championship, a Cubs fan reached out, snatched a sure out away from a Cubbie outfielder and the team went on to blow the series? Green's got a treasure trove of ineptness with which to work.

Whatever marketing path he should chose, I do wish Mr. Green and his beloved Cubs all the luck in the world. But, I suggest he load up on a season's worth of Pepto-Bismol, Tylenol and a scrip for some Xanax as well. Something tells me the Cubs have another century or two to go before winning another World Series trophy.

Sep 08

The Babe Ruth of the expletive deleted

In our 16 years of business, we've represented a few particularly, foul-mouth executives.   

I remember a young, dotcom PR director, for example, whose salty language would put any longshoreman to shame (note: PR Week actually named her one of the industry's bright, young stars way back when). Not surprisingly, I've haven't heard or read of her since. My guess is she's plying her trade as a stevedore these days.Slideaaaaaaaa1

Another foul-mouthed leader was a guy named Joe, who was the short-lived CEO of VerticalNet, Newell Rubbermaid and about 30 other companies. He was incapable of uttering a sentence that didn't begin or end with the F bomb.

But, the true Babe Ruth of the expletive deleted was Carol Bartz, Yahoo's just fired CEO.

Bartz not only cursed a blue streak, but also used bullying tactics and fear to try and turn around her also-ran company (note: in the interests of transparency, I must acknowledge we had one of the stormiest, most abusive client/agency relationships with Y! in Peppercom history).

Our team had ringside seats for the inauguration of Ms. Bartz three years ago. We had just won Yahoo's business and were in the midst of a multi-day brand immersion (which consisted of little more than listening to various sales and marketing teams explain why they were losing market share to Google and Microsoft).

We were assured all that was about to change with the advent of Ms. Bartz, a noted turnaround artist who'd worked wonders at Autodesk.

And, so we eagerly shuffled into a massive, suitably New Age-looking employee cafeteria cum auditorium to hear the new CEO's vision for a bright future.

After receiving a standing ovation from the thousands in attendance (and the thousands more viewing via video conference from around the world), Carol began her speech. After hearing all the Bartz hype, we were expecting something along the lines of “…a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” or “We have nothing to fear but fear itself," or even  “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Instead, Bartz launched into an expletive-laced discourse that began with the company's ongoing problems with press leaks. “The first person I catch leaking confidential information to the media,” she yelled, jabbing her finger at the astonished throng, “I will personally drop kick his f*cking ass to Mars!”

One could hear the proverbial pin drop as she followed that threat with even scarier ones. Finally, mercifully, she ended her speech. Then the nascent CEO opened the floor for a question-and-answer session. I'll never forget the first query. It went something like this:

Employee (smiling): “Carol, we're so glad you're here and ready to lead us back to greatness. That said, you mentioned leaks to the press. Many of us in engineering have our own personal media contacts. I assume it's OK to continue speaking to them?”

Bartz (frowning and scowling): “What, are you f*ucking brain dead, or something? Did you not JUST hear me say I'll kick your f*ucking ass to Mars if you talk to the press? How stupid can one person be? Any other stupid questions?”

And, so on and so forth.

Afterwards, I remember walking back across campus with one of the in-house corporate PR types. He asked us, “So, guys, what did you think of Carol?” I felt like I'd just been asked what I'd thought of the atom bomb being dropped on Hiroshima. But, since this was about two weeks into a 100k per month account, I tread carefully. “Well,” I responded, “She's certainly direct.” The client smiled, nodded his head and said, “Yup. She's EXACTLY what Yahoo needs.”

Well, as events turned out, the client was dead wrong. Carol Bartz was exactly what Yahoo DIDN'T need. She didn't turn things around. And, her foul-mouthed, acerbic ways (beautifully illustrated in this video, BTW) succeeded in alienating any support she might have otherwise garnered to protect her when the company continued to languish.

Instead, Carol Bartz and her salty tongue are walking away with a golden parachute that, were she so inclined, would probably buy enough rocket fuel to propel HER f*ucking ass to Mars. Which is where she, and other foul-mouthed, fear-mongering CEOs belong.

Jul 25

Big brother bursts onto the blogosphere

InternetSpyRemember that Drew University frat party photo you posted on your wall in 2007? 

How about the steamy text exchange with the woman you met at Del Frisco’s three years ago?

Or, what about the e-mail rants against affirmative action you posted on whiteisright.com back in 2009?

Well, it's all fair game to prospective employers now that a year-old company called Social Intelligence is on the case. A new software solution that would make Sherlock Holmes green with envy and George Orwell recoil in disgust is being used by organizations near and far to pry into your innermost Internet intercourse (as in the conversation, not the deed).

Social Intelligence “…scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees have said or done online in the past seven years.” That's right. It unearths EVERYTHING you've said or done on the web. EVERYTHING.

To make matters even worse, the Federal Trade Commission says this seeming invasion of privacy is perfectly legal and “…in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” whatever that is.

Max Drucker, the CEO of Social Intelligence, says his employees “…aren't detectives (at all). All (they) assemble is what is publicly available on the Internet today.” Right. And, the Gestapo was just a bunch of good-natured pencil pushers looking to find out whose Nazi party membership fees had lapsed. Gimme a break. 

I don't like this at all. And, I'm an EMPLOYER!

I definitely want to know if someone has broken the law or done something amazingly tawdry in his or her personal life. But, seven years is one helluva long time. I have to believe there isn't a single reader of this blog who hasn't done something in the last seven years that they'd rather not have a prospective employer see.

And, trust me. If you did it, Social Intelligence will find it. They go far beyond Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to conduct searches that unearth comments on blogs and smaller sites such as Tumblr, Yahoo user groups, e-commerce sites, bulletin boards and, yes, even Craig's List. Good Lord!

Big Brother has clearly arrived on the blogosphere, and it got me thinking.
Will we now lose otherwise stellar candidates because they once wore a toga to a party? And, how would some of history's greatest figures have fared if Social Intelligence had existed way back when:

– Would St. Peter have been recruited to the original group of Apostles if Christ had access to S.I.? Maybe. Christ was into forgiveness, not casting the first stone and all that. But, if Jesus had had a human resources manager on staff, Peter (nee Saul) never would have made it to a first interview.
– Would Thomas Jefferson, who sired numerous children with his slave, Sally Hemmings, been elected to two terms as president? Ditto for JFK, FDR, W, Slick Willy and other presidents who misbehaved long before they entered the Oval Office.

On the other hand, S.I. might have prevented the likes of Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin from rising to power.

So, color me very concerned, but open to arguments as to why corporate America needs Social Intelligence. What about you? Would you be cool with someone digging deep into your entire online world while you were job searching? And, for you corporate types, do you think S.I. steps over the line and is, in fact, an invasion of privacy? Would you be able to support it from an ethical standpoint?

I'd ask more questions, but Ed and I need to do a deep Internet dive right now on a prospective account supervisor's personal life. Seems she once dated a member of Hamas. Does that disqualify her, or make her even more attractive since she understands how a different culture acts and thinks?

May 26

There’s no such thing as a merger of equals

NewsweekBeastAdweek reports the merger between Newsweek and The Daily Beast is a steaming pile of sh*t. As  is the case with most 'mergers of equals', this one is anything but.

It started out well, though. One unnamed departed editor told Adweek, “Initially, a lot of us were really excited.” But now, says Adweek, former staffers say the newsroom is “…in a constant state of turmoil, uncertainty and confusion.” No surprise.

I was part of a multi-agency merger of equals back in 1992. Earle Palmer Brown scooped up four or five of us simultaneously promising that, although we'd lose our individual firm names, we'd still have full autonomy. The first indication to the contrary came two weeks later. I was attending a firm-wide, 40th anniversary retreat in lovely Bethesda, Md., when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was our human resources manager. He pointed to a spot in the distance. “See that guy with the moustache? He's your new boss.” When I asked what had happened to the old boss with whom I'd negotiated my contract, the human resources guy shrugged his shoulder and sighed, “Oh, he'll be gone in three months. He just doesn't know it yet.” Nice.

I've also witnessed countless mergers of equals as an agency partner. None went very smoothly. Some management teams really tried. Others merely went through the motions. And, then there were the unmitigated disasters. I remember visiting the headquarters of the 'loser' in one merger of equals and thinking it must have been like touring Hitler's bunker in May 1945. The halls were empty. The survivors shuffled along staring blankly ahead and, when we held a morale building workshop we listened to one horror story after another (up to, and including, one very senior executive who told us she was tossed out of her office and told to find the first empty cube).

One key reason mergers of equals fail is the cultural disconnect. At Newsweek, staffers are going nuts because as Tina Brown herself was heard to say, “Oh, I'm causing all sorts of trouble. I'm changing all the features in the last hour (before going to press).” What a fun gal! I know first-hand how much staffers detest 11th hour changes on a big presentation, so I can only imagine how the merged equals react to a steady diet of this type of drive-by management.

It's rare to find a marriage of equals. It's even rarer to find one in the business world. Here's betting the merged Newsweek/Daily Beast sputters for a year or so before either folding or sold at fire sale prices. It's the AOL-Time Warner of 2011.

May 12

So, these two lawyers walk into a bar…

Aside from used car salesman or al Qaeda operative, I can't think of a single occupation with a worse image and reputation than lawyers. In fact, a recent survey of America's most trusted professions showed that lawyers finished just above used car salesmen and beneath politicians.

Lawyers also rival insurance agents as the people I try my best to avoid at cocktail receptions. The former try to sell you policies while the latter can't wait to cite some arcane precedent regardless of the subject. (“Interesting that you bring up long distance cycling as a hobby, Steve. In the case of Armstrong, et al, vs. Humanity, we argued that…”)

So, imagine my trepidation when I was recently invited by a top law firm to lead a 90-minute Humor in the Workplace seminar for their litigation and employment attorneys. Brother, that sounded like as much fun as hanging out with some TSA agents and discussing pat downs for an evening.

Well, guess what? I was wrong. The lawyers were warm, engaging and open to learning how and why humor could make them more effective. And, get this, some of them were actually FUNNY. Not Joe Pesci funny but funny enough.

I've had the good fortune to lead humor workshops for pharmaceutical executives, human resources directors, PR executives and, now, lawyers. And, I have to tell, lawyers would NOT be on the bottom of my list. In fact, the toughest crowd I've EVER had to work with was PR executives who were attending an industry conference. Not only were some openly disdainful, others were downright rude and multi-tasked on their BBs right in front of me. Boo, hiss, PR types.

So, here's a big shoutout for the legal profession. Sure, they still gouge society for each and every penny they possibly can. And, yes, they're the absolute lowest of the low. But, I'd be honored to sip some sauvignon blanc with any of the litigators I trained on Wednesday. Your witness.

May 02

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Or was it?

If two leading trade journals are any indication, the advertising industry is suffering from a Mood-swings1 severe case of manic depression.

On the one hand, there's The Delaney Report (TDR), which humbly bills itself as 'the international newsletter for marketing, advertising and media executives'. TDR just ran a lead story entitled, 'We'll Take It from Here.' The text provides a sobering report about inroads being made across the board by public relations. “No longer is it uncommon to have a PR agency compete for a client's services (PR, digital, advertising and direct) versus a traditional advertising agency.” TDR says, “PR is now in the sweet spot of a company's marketing plans.” Nice. Very nice.

Unfortunately, though, TDR then dives deep into PR's gains in social media and corroborates its thinking with observations from the heads of three PR holding companies: Harris Diamond of Weber, Gary Stockman of Porter and Ken Luce of H&K. Now, I could be wrong, but I'll bet an annual subscription to TDR (a damned pricey proposition, BTW), that none of these three, old white guys personally blogs, tweets, posts comments, podcasts or does anything else that would remotely resembles engaging in social media. Asking these three for their views on social media is akin to asking a couch potato what it's like to compete in a 230-mile cycling race. “Tough, dude. Very tough.” C'mon TDR, show some journalistic chops, dig a little deeper and interview PR executives who actually walk the talk.

And, now, for something completely different, take a gander at another ad industry trade: Michael Wolff's supercharged revamp of AdWeek, which calls itself 'The Voice of Media.' Methinks this particular voice suffers from laryngitis.

How else to explain its love fest with all things advertising? You'd never know traditional advertising is staggering like some drunken sailor on shore leave. Or, that other disciplines such as PR and interactive are stealing away market share faster than you can say land grab.

Instead, AdWeek's pages are an unapologetic homage to the 30-second TV spot (ugh) and mainstream TV advertising in general (Yuck. What's become of one-on-one marketing and engaging in a conversation with customers?). There are even photographic retrospectives of Doyle Dane Bernbach's and McCann-Erickson's offices from the halcyon days of the 1960s (should PR Week retaliate with a photo essay of, say, the Lobsenz-Stevens offices of the mid-1980s featuring an adolescent wunderkind named Edward Aloysius Moed?).

Like just about everything else, I suspect the truth about advertising's massive struggle to reinvent itself lies somewhere in-between TDR's doom-and-gloom report and AdWeek’s sunshine-and-roses tome.

I'd suggest readers view the two the way I do The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and Fox News and MSNBC, respectively (absorb the extreme POVS of each, realizing the truth lies somewhere in the midst of the murkiness).

In the meantime, though, a quick note to the big agency PR guys: I'm happy to issue an apology if you fellas actually do engage in social media.

Apr 27

PR’s answer to Don Draper

Long before 'Sex & the City', 'The Hills' and 'Kell on Earth', there was What Makes Sammy Run?

310-1 For those of you unfamiliar with the 1941 book, it was written by the legendary Budd Schulberg (best known for his Academy Award-winning “On the Waterfront” screenplay).

What Makes Sammy Run? follows the sleazy, backstabbing ways of Hollywood publicist, Sammy Glick. Although dated, I highly recommend it for anyone plying the PR trade, or aspiring to do so.

I also highly recommend a far more obscure tome entitled, The Build-up Boys. It was written by someone named Jeremy Kirk and first published in 1951. Unlike La-La Land's Press Agent Extraordinaire Sammy Glick, however, Kirk's protagonist is a New York and Washington, D.C.-based public relations “agency man.”

Although The Build-up Boys reads more like a Raymond Chandler detective novel than an insider's view of PR, it's funny as hell and, sadly, still highly relevant. To wit, check out this passage: 

“There were about as many ethics in the public relations racket as in a contest to see who could gouge out the most eyes.” Ouch.

The build-up boys tracks the progress of “…Clint Lorimer, a smart and ruthless operator who had every qualification for success as a public relations expert except for a small, deeply-buried shred of self-respect.” It also follows Anne Tremaine, “…an advertising agency expert who was successively Clint's partner, mistress and boss.” Sounds just like any of today's prime-time TV dramas, no?

In fact, Clint Lorimer is PR's answer to Don Draper. He has an answer for every client and a wink for every attractive woman. And, like the quintessential Mad Man, Lorimer positively thrives when the chips are down.

He even delivers some of the same strategies we would suggest in similar circumstances today (i.e. His firm represents a failing dairy company that's tanking because its CEO would rather deliver milk bottles at sunrise than examine P&L statements at sunset. When Clint meets the shrinking violet of a CEO and his marketing chief, he recommends doubling both the advertising and PR budgets. The clients are incredulous. “Are you nuts?” asks the marketing chief. “Nope,” says Lorimer. “We're going to feature your CEO in a national ad and PR campaign about a big man who's not too big to do a little man's job. John Q. Public will eat it up and wash it down with your milk.”). It's a brilliant suggestion and exactly the strategy I'd recommend today.

Sammy Glick and Clint Lorimer are sexist, unscrupulous and, at times, loathsome. But, they're also successful PR executives who GET business strategy. I'd recommend any student of PR analyze the protagonists' professional approaches, deep-six their personal proclivities and see if you don't learn a new trick or two from these old dogs. Oh, and here's one other reason to read both: there are still plenty of Sammy Glicks and Clint Lorimers out there. Knowing what makes a Don Draper type tick will make it that much easier for you when you eventually bump into him.

And a tip o' Repman's straw boater to Thomas Joseph Powers, Jr. for this idea.

Apr 20

You are what your customers say you are

Richard Edelman’s recent blog on the changing nature of public relations and whether we should  embrace the broader term of ‘communications’ to describe our services misses the mark in my humble opinion. The ‘PR vs. media relations vs. marketing communications vs. integrated marketing’ debate has been raging as long as I’ve been in the profession. And, after all these years, it’s just as meaningless as ever.

AndertoonsWith all due respect, Mr. Edelman’s point-by-point rationale for why we agencies should cling to the term public relations to describe ourselves reflects top-down, inside-out thinking. It really doesn’t matter how we define our solution set. The only thing that matters is how clients and prospective clients define it. 

Clients and prospects are less concerned about choosing an advertising, public relations, digital or direct firm than they are in understanding how best to engage in conversations with an ever-changing, incredibly demanding stakeholder base. They want partners who understand the 5Ws of those conversations and who will not only help guide them through a best practices approach for engaging in them but, critically, how to create messages that will then be placed in motion by stakeholders.

To provide a different perspective on the same subject, the following companies can launch all the integrated marketing campaigns they like, and I’ll still think of them the way I choose. To wit:
-    McDonald’s may be distancing themselves from their iconic Ronald McDonald character and introducing healthy alternatives to their menu, but I’ll always see them as a chief enabler of America’s obesity epidemic.
-    Starbucks may provide world-class training for their baristas, select blends from exotic locales and provide uber cool venues, but I’ll always think of them as the guys who sell high-priced, bitter-tasting coffee.
-    Comcast may laud its ‘comcastic’ service in TV spots, but I’ll continue to think ill of them each and every month when they ‘inadvertently’ disable my on-demand service.

Edelman can keep calling itself a PR firm. And, others can call themselves what they choose. I just want clients and prospective clients calling Peppercom when they need a strategic partner that understands how and where constituent audiences are engaging in meaningful conversations. That’s the true bottom line of the name game.