Is the pen dead?

Posted by admin | Posted in Business | Posted on 25-07-2014

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I’m currently flying cross country and spotted two interesting articles back to back:

– Nick Bilton in the times on ‘The Demise of the Pen

– And none other than Taylor Swift pointing out that the autograph has been replaced by the Selfie

As an individual who prefers a pen-and-paper in a meeting to an open laptop, this par in Bilton’s piece struck me:

A competing study by Pam A. Mueller, a researcher at Princeton University’s psychology department, found that people who took notes using pen and paper tended to retain more information than those who used keyboards.

The problem, Ms. Mueller wrote in the paper, “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard,” is that laptop note takers have a tendency to transcribe every detail, whereas pen note takers just jot down the important information.

Thoughts? My preference is to have an intern or junior staff taken notes in detail that can be emailed and uploaded to the crowd, while the rest of the meeting participants can be more active without the barrier of a distracting laptop in front of them.

How to Build a Brand That People Don’t Buy, They Join

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Events, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 29-03-2014

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I had a lot of fun on this Social Media Week Panel with the very intelligent Susan McPherson, Rowan Gormley from Naked Wines and Maxine Bedat from Zady.

Check it out to see our thoughts on building a movement and driving action online and offline.

The Rising Tide of Purpose

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Life | Posted on 19-02-2014

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As a brand guy deep within the social good vortex the biggest trend I’m seeing that is largely ignored is the desire from the brightest lights of my generation to live a life of purpose: especially in their job.

I’ve got a lot of banker mates, but I’m constantly meeting amazing young people who don’t care about living a life to generate profit alone, and don’t want to work for a stifling big company. I’d include myself on this list.

Put simply, I think the next challenge for some of the biggest companies in the world – your Goldman Sachs, IBMs and General Electrics – is great young people aren’t going to want to lose their youth trapped in a bureaucracy that gives them little chance of making a personal impact on the world.

It came home to me in this post Atlantic post, ‘The Woes of Young Bankers‘, where the Author outlines a significant factor he identified for why the  young bankers on Wall St are ‘so miserable': a lack of purpose.

3. Purpose

It might sound strange, but many young people come to Wall Street expecting to make the world a better place. This is partly the fault of recruiters, who tempt college juniors and seniors with promises of “real-world responsibility” and rhapsodies about socially responsible investing. But it’s also wishful thinking on the recruits’ part. Jeremy, for instance, had arrived at Goldman thinking that his specific job—trading commodities derivatives—could make the world a teensy bit better by allowing large companies to hedge their costs, and pass savings along to customers. But one day, his boss pulled him aside and told him that, in effect, he’d been naïve.

“We’re not here to save the world,” the boss said. “We exist to make money.”

The British economist Roger Bootle has written about the difference between “creative” and “distributive” work. Creative work, Bootle says, is work that brings something new into the world that adds to the total available to everyone (a doctor treating patients, an artist making sculptures). Distributive work, on the other hand, only carries the possibility of beating out competitors and winning a bigger share of a fixed-size market. Bootle explains that although many jobs in modern society consist of distributive work, there is something intrinsically happier about a society that skews in favor of the creative.

“There are some people who may derive active delight from the knowledge that their working life is devoted to making sure that someone else loses, but most people do not function that way,” he writes. “They like to have a sense of worth, and that sense usually comes from the belief that they are contributing to society.”

During my interviews with young bankers, I heard a lot of them express this exact sentiment. They wanted to do something, make something, add something to the world, instead of simply serving as well-paid financial intermediaries at giant investment banks. It doesn’t hurt that creative jobs—including, but not limited to, jobs with Silicon Valley tech companies—are now considered sexier and more socially acceptable than Wall Street jobs, which still carry the stigma of the financial crisis. At one point, during the Occupy Wall Street protests, Jeremy told me that he had begun camouflaging his Goldman affiliation in public.

“I lie whenever I go out now,” he told me. “I tell people I’m a consultant, a lawyer, whatever—anything but a Wall Street guy.”

In a Jelly World, Your Brand Needs Advocates

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 12-01-2014

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This week Twitter co-founder Biz Stone unwrapped his newest creation, the mobile search engine ‘Jelly‘. At first glance, it’s simple: post a picture and a question, people answer it in the app. However, it highlights a continued trend boosting the importance of building advocates for your brand.

I downloaded the app immediately and started playing with it – mainly because I’m a huge Biz Stone fan after reading Nick Bilton’s exceptional Hatching Twitter. But it was this Thursday while participating in a panel for the Wildlife Conservation Society (with some very, very clever people) that the shift this app represents really came to the fore for me.

We had a discussion about fundraising and the big question about what’s more valuable: chasing a few major donors (who can give millions), or targeting thousands of much smaller donors. Now in that argument, I come down passionately on the side of the little guys. It’s why our focus at charity: water is on building a grassroots movement of inspired people actively giving, fundraising and influencing their peers. We have amazing major donors, but the real power of the movement is delivered by thousands of normal people running their own word-of-mouth marketing campaigns for the water cause.

We don’t want people to give quietly, and we don’t want them to give out of guilt. We want people to become vocal advocates to influence their friends to care.

So during the WCS panel we put forward the thought experiment of who would come to mind if an individual starts looking for an organization that cares for friendly sloths – like this guy:

To do a very quick piece of active research, I posted a pic of the happy sloth above on Jelly directly from my seat on the panel, and asked “What’s a great organization to give to that supports sloths?”

Within a couple of minutes, my mate Frank Danna down in Houston responded, recommending a small organization in Costa Rica named the Sloth Sanctuary.

This was followed up by one suggestion for the WWF from a stranger, but also two more recommendations for the Sloth Sanctuary from my good friend Shawn Cheng and another stranger. And sadly no mentions for the Wildlife Conservation Society (a great organization).

I’d never heard of the Sloth Sanctuary before, but if I was going to give time or money to help out Sloth’s now it’s them I’d support. They’ve built a brand that creates advocates, and like every human I trust my friends recommendations above any other source.

This means that your brand needs advocates. Especially in a Jelly World.

Chase Community Giving Interview: Building a Movement Online

Posted by admin | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 09-08-2013

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I sat down with the Chase Community Giving team after a panel at the DoGoodBetter conference in NYC last week to chat about building online movements.

Please excuse the apparent spray tan, blue pants, cowboy boots and calculator watch.

 

Mashable Social Good Summit Panel: Crowd Powered Philanthropy

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 27-09-2012

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This week I represented charity: water on a panel at the Mashable Social Good Summit alongside Meetup founder Scott Heiferman, Indiegogo co-founder Danae Ringelmann and Mashable’s Matt Silverman.

Here is the full 15 minute panel:

In particular awesome to sit next to Scott Heiferman, one of the smartest internet entrepreneurs out there and one of the only people in the world who has built a web platform to unite people in the real world.

AMEX bought me a steak, Visa made me walk around an airport

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Current Affairs, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 09-08-2012

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I had a striking experience this week seeing old and new marketing clash head on in a battle between two of the world’s largest companies: Visa and American Express.

Sunday

I’m at Heathrow Airport waiting for my flight back to the States after watching my mate Ben St Lawrence run for Australia in the 10,000 meters final at the Olympics. With some time to kill before my flight, I decide to buy a Tshirt from the Olympic store to mark the occasion. I line up for 15 minutes, get to the counter… and can’t pay. The Olympics only accept Visa.

I only have a few coins left in my wallet, so have to trudge around the airport, pull out 20 quid from an ATM (with a foreign penalty) and go back to the Olympic store to buy my shirt. I curse Visa under my breath the entire flight home.

Monday

Every Monday a few of my mates get together for a steak night. I check in on Foursquare, as is my habit. Immediately I’m notified that American Express has a $5 off deal in the restaurant, because I’ve signed up for Amex Sync.

I tell all my friends about the deal, they check in and get a discount too. We all pull out our American Express cards instead of cash to pay the bill. American Express save us $20, and we have a positive conversation about their brand as we walk home.

I tweet about the #steakscore, and when I wake up I see a tweet @ me from Amex:

American Express bought me a steak and made me smile. Visa made me walk around an airport and frown.

This post says it best:

If you want people to like you, give them something. If you want people to hate you, take something away from them. 

 

Video chat with Philanthropy News

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 07-08-2012

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The good folk at Philanthropy News recently grabbed me for a quick flip-cam video interview for some insight on how we approach online community and fundraising at charity: water.

Short 8 minute video here:

 

PR News Presentation on Social Media Measurement

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 25-06-2012

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I had a great time today speaking on a panel at the PR News Social Media Summit in NYC on the topic of measurement.

Here’s my presentation and a clip of me discussing it:

 

Video:

The 3 conversations I’ll be having at SXSW

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Marketing | Posted on 07-03-2012

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I’m heading to Austin, Texas, this weekend for my third consecutive SXSW. It’s a huge few days, and while tiring, an event I always look forward to for a chance to connect with many friends and build new relationships.

If you’ll be there please leave a comment or tweet me; if you’re reading this I’d love to see you.

Without further ado, here are the three main conversations I’ll be having in Texas:

1. What are you up to that’s cool?

You’ll never find as many smart digital people in one place as these few days in Austin. I’m looking forward to learning new things and getting inspired by other peoples work.

Big new ideas often pop at SXSW: Twitter got a huge boost there early on, Foursquare launched there, and this year I’m tipping Highlight will get people chatting – it’s the most interesting app I’ve found for some time.

2. charity: water is hiring – know anyone?

charity: water is hiring across the board this year and we need great people to help us change the world. We’re looking for a range of tech people, project managers, fundraisers and more.

In particular, I’m personally hiring two roles and it’s likely the right people for them will be at SXSW:

  • Director of Corporate Partnerships: an authentic, strategic, digitally-savvy biz dev person who can raise $5 million from corporates this year while building a plan to do $30 million in 2015.
  • Marketing Analyst: a data person who will be responsible for building a personal automated email program for us and will work on defining and measuring our marketing efforts.

3. Can you or your brand help charity: water this year?

We’re aiming to raise $25 million this year, 100% will directly fund clean water projects. We’ve got a bunch of exciting campaigns launching throughout the year and many ways individuals or brands can get involved. I’ll be looking to recruit more great partners to help them make our story their story and bring the water crisis to more people.

In particular, I’ll be trying to marshall support for a huge online campaign we’re launching for World Water Day on March 22. If you’re interested in learning more about it – ping me!

Will you be at SXSW? If so I’d love to see you!

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