The Secret of Success

successtl;dr: The universe conspires to give you exactly what you want. I totally did NOT expect the response I got to last week’s post. So many of you emailed me to commiserate, sympathize, cheer me on, let me know I was not alone… I was really floored. D* wrote:
“Do you know what keeps me going when I feel like a failure or that I’m taking ‘1 step forward and 2 steps back’?  “Shonali Burke, who reminds me that it’s more like ‘2 steps forward and 1 step back or a couple side steps, but none the less it’s progress.’ “
D*, and many of you, made me #uglycry #happytears. You rock. Thank you. Something else happened that was rather curious. Rick Henry – whom I first encountered in Orlando many years ago, and who has made it a point to since stay in touch – suggested I watch “The
Shonali Burke
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It Sucks When You Don’t Win

winSo, not that long ago, I had a massive opportunity fall into my lap. It was big. Like REALLY big. Like the MUTHA of all proposals. I was so so SO excited about it, worked like a crazy person (with my biz partner) to pull it together. And though I say so myself, we did a crackerjack job.
“They’d be crazy not to go for this!” we said to ourselves (as did a couple of trusted colleagues we ran it by).
Well. I didn’t win. Neither did anyone else, for that matter… I was the only one in the running (bizarre but true). And even though the prospect was “very impressed” with the proposal (it was/is beeyootiful) and a really cool video we I put together for the presentation… we didn’t win. Not because we weren’t creative enough, or weren’t strategic enough, or didn’t think big enough. But
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#measurePR Recap (October 2017): How Gender Bias Affects the Bottom-Line

#measurePRGuest Post by Jen Zingsheim Phillips The October #measurePR Twitter chat focused on the issue of gender bias in advertising and how measurement of gender bias can affect PR. Our guest for the October chat was Angie Jeffrey, APR, ABX’s Vice President of Brand Management. She is on the team behind the Gender Equality Measure (GEM™), created jointly by ABX and the National Advertisers (ANA) Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE)’s #SeeHer team. GEM provides measurement standards for advertising/TV programs and creates accountability for change. ABX and ANA AFE were recently awarded the prestigious 2017 ESOMAR Research Effectiveness Award for their work. As guest moderator, I chatted with Angie about how she started in measurement, what some of the biggest barriers to proper measurement are, and what the PR measurement community can learn about gender bias from the advertising measurement community. First, we discussed Angie’s background and her entry into the
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Why WE’s “President of International” is Completely Wrong About PR

In a few hours from now, I’ll be heading to AdWeek DC to moderate a panel on content marketing. Then on Friday, I head to Boston to speak at PRSA’s Association/Nonprofit Section Half-Day Conference on email marketing. Notice a common thread here? Nowhere in the panel descriptions do you see “PR.” Which is why a recent PRWeek article quoting WE’s “president of international” (yes, this is actually his title) saw my jaw hit the floor in record time. Here’s a screen grab:VanderMolenVanderMolen 2 Wow. So the “president of international” of one of the biggest agencies in the world (WE is how Waggener Edstrom rebranded itself a couple of years ago) is essentially telling PR to step back into its media relations box and ignore pretty much EVERYTHING we KNOW about smart comms in the digital age. “Stick to the sensibilities of earned media.” Want to hazard a guess at how “earned media”
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#measurePR Recap (September 2017): Celebrating AMEC Measurement Month 2017

measurementIn September, #measurePR celebrated Measurement Month with an all-star, all-female panel of #measurati. We were proud to feature the following special guests: 
  • Annsi Krol, CEO and co-founding partner of byBrick Insight and on AMEC’s International Board of Directors;
  • Barbara Bassi, a PR measurement consultant at BBConsulting, AMEC Board Member, and AMEC European Chapter Chair;
  • Johna Burke, Executive Vice President of BurrellesLuce, AMEC North America chair, 2017 AMEC lifetime fellowship award recipient, and member of the PR News Hall of Fame; and
  • Khali Sakkas, Chief Executive of Insights & Research at Isentia and an AMEC Board member.
Here’s some of what we talked about: On changes to the PR measurement field:

People Forgive (and it’s Wonderful)

forgiveMore often than not, people forgive. Where did this epiphany come from? Well, last week I was popping into Facebook (as we are all wont to do), and noticed that there were some new “join requests” for my #measurePR Facebook group.
“#measurePR Facebook group, Shonali?!” I can just hear your astonished query. “I didn’t know there WAS a #measurePR FB group, I thought it was just on Twitter!”
Well… ya… it was (is)… but then many years ago I decided to extend the community to Facebook. Because there are so many great convos that happen around that hashtag, why let them languish the rest of the month? And so I did. And it was GREAT, to start with. Except then… it wasn’t. Because “life” and “stuff” happened, and I did a crap job of moderating it… and it kinda went nowhere. Except – and this is the astonishing bit –
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Permission to Be Human

humanWhich moments in time are forever etched in your mind?  Can you recall exactly where you were, what you were wearing, how you felt, how it changed your life in perhaps some infinitesimal but incredibly impactful way? Here are some of mine: 1. The day Princess Di died (she was buried two decades ago yesterday). I was at a play rehearsal, a pall of gloom over us all. How could such an incredible spirit that touched SO many people all over the world be gone?? I don’t know about you, but I was in love with Princess Di. Made a scrapbook of the Royal Wedding and all. An older, wiser Shonali knows she was not exactly Goldilocks, but look at the power of connection she had. It was almost magical. 2. 9/11. Watching the AM news before heading into work (SF), befuddled that a plane could accidentally crash into the
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