Author Archives: laceynygard

Why 30 is NOT the new 20 by Meg Jay


This is my new favorite book and TED talk lately.

Meg Jay is a really great speaker, so you need to watch this ASAP. I can’t do it justice, but let me pull out a great quote to entice you to give up 15 minutes and watch…

We know that the brain caps off its second and last growth spurt in your 20s as it rewires itself for adulthood, which means that whatever it is you want to change about yourself, now is the time to change it. We know that personality changes more during your 20s than at any other time in life. So your 20s are the time to educate yourself about your body and your options. But this isn’t what twentysomethings are hearing. Newspapers talk about the changing timetable of adulthood. Researchers call the 20s an extended adolescence. As a culture, we have trivialized what is actually the defining decade of adulthood.

The future of TV?


Arrested Development, the highly anticipated series, will be live on Netflix in… 15ish minutes. (Kudos to Netflix for picking this up… this and House of Cards are really changing public perception– because everyone was so PISSED when they changed their plans and raised prices once upon a time.)

I could go on for DAYS about the hype they built for this release (I think I read and shared at least one Buzzfeed article A DAY for the last month about AD) but I think it’s a much larger topic on where our mainstream cable channels are going.

Do you think that soon all of our fan favorite shows will be available through instant streaming? Do you think that fans are going to crash the Netflix server tonight and tomorrow?  Can’t wait to see this make history!


Superbowl 2013… AKA #blackout



Superbowl this year was spectacular. No, I’m not a Ravens fan.

I was completely absorbed in the commercials, halftime entertainment, and most notably, the blackout. I was completely nerding out during the whole blackout– religiously checking my Twitter and Facebook feed. But guys, it was just so interesting!

Superbowl 2013 includes a blackout (After Beyonce’s performance… how fitting because she KILLED it)

There were a few brands that totally DOMINATED the blackout. Prime example: Oreo.


Incredible, right? I love that their brand message aligns with the “crisis”– and makes a joke out of it. And posting to Twitter was key, I know as soon as the lights went out the first thing I did was check my feed.

360i, an award-winning digital agency specializing in search engine marketing, social media, mobile marketing and web design and development, came up with this ad on the fly. Here’s a snippet of how this was possible (Information via Buzzfeed)

“We had a mission control set up at our office with the brand and 360i, and when the blackout happened, the team looked at it as an opportunity,” agency president Sarah Hofstetter told BuzzFeed. “Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes.”

“You need a brave brand to approve content that quickly. When all of the stakeholders come together so quickly, you’ve got magic,” Hofstetter said.

A few other brands provided excellent commentary during the blackout:





Such quick thinking and response– bravo to all community managers and decision makers! I think this is a step in the right direction– although social media is second nature to most brands by now, I would venture to say that few are brave enough to be “proactively reactive” in this situation.

I feel energized and excited by how impactful these tweets are.

#whatshouldwecallme… GIFS make life more fun


Can you believe I haven’t blogged in over 2 months! Let’s just say, I’ve been busy-busy-busy, enjoying my first big girl job. I’m swimming in press releases, media lists, health insurance, 401K, 40-hour work weeks, and general elation that I was lucky (and educated?) enough to land a full time gig. I love it. Life is unreal.

But… to get back on subject, let’s chat about .gifs.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, #whatshouldwecallme is one of the most popular Tumblr sites out there. As the NY Daily News says, “…if you’re a student (in college or in graduate school) or an office drone you’ve doubtless already spent hours browsing its pages as a procrastination tool.”

The Tumblr site relies on .gif images to emotions and situations that most can find relatable. In fact, here’s a post from a few days ago…


Believe it or not, according to Forbes this site was actually an inside joke created between two law students that lived on opposite coasts. When venting to each other about the woes of their lives, they used images to convey their emotions. They created a tumblr as an inside joke that they now share with millions of people daily.

After the birth of #whatshouldwecallme, hundreds- if not thousands- of parody sites sprung up. Don’t even get me started on the importance of going first (thanks Seth Godin!)… but the cool thing about these parodies is that they are really targeted for specific industries or interests– some “industry inside jokes” that those who aren’t familiar with the subject wouldn’t understand. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Admissions Problems— This site is targeted to recruiters, admissions counselors, and those involved in student affairs at the college level. My days as a tour guide and working in the admissions office make my giggle when I read these.  (Lately, this one has quite a few negative responses from readers who feel that students are being violated by this information being shared. However, they never disclose school or student names in any of the posts.)
  • This Advertising Life— If you’ve ever worked in an agency, this is your life story. I am guilty of checking this one daily, because they describe interactions with clients and coworkers that I could see/have seen happen.
  • 99 Problems But A Pitch Ain’t One— This one is for PR professionals, especially those who work directly with clients and the media. I have to admit, this one is resonating with me so much more that I’m in an agency.

My thoughts are… why aren’t businesses utilizing these more often as a marketing tool on purpose? This is an opportunity for your brand to build an emotion. Just picture, a cute baby laughing, a puppy snuggling a kitten, {insert cute gif idea here} and a caption… “The first time I _______” (the _______ relating to your brand in a positive light.) This can also work conversely, with a sad face and the caption reading “When I was out of ______ (______ being your product), etc. A quick google search shows me no brands that are proactively using this technique. Have you heard of any brands that do this?

Well, now you’ll have hours of procrastination material. Do you have any favorite .gif sites similar to #whatshouldwecallme? Do share in the comments!

Tips from Former Smokers


The first time I saw this video, I was completely shocked and mortified, but I think that’s exactly what the CDC wanted when they created their “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign.

The message is simple:

The Tips from Former Smokers campaign features real people suffering as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. Their compelling stories send a powerful message: Quit smoking now. Or better yet — don’t start.

Trust me, this is reaching and affecting lots of people. According to, In the week after the March 19 campaign launch, calls to the national support hotline 1-800-QUIT-NOW doubled and visits to the anti-smoking website tripled.

Seriously, read this article:  3 reasons why the CDC’s anti-smoking campaign caught fire. In this article, they discuss the three main reasons that this campaign is so successful…

  1. Get Real (Real people– not actors & real stories that are authentic and believable)
  2. Don’t just Scare, Surprise (New issues that haven’t been discussed before, and they are eye opening and memorable)
  3. Point the Way to Help (Each piece of the campaign– commercials, website and other materials– have a call to action)

Makes sense, right?

If you’re going to tell them, make them remember


Obviously, The Hunger Games is a gigantic movie franchise that nearly everyone has heard about. And right now, I’m obsessed with their Marketing Strategist. They really brought people on board for this movie, attracting the attention of those who haven’t had a chance to jump in to the book series, and connecting with fans who are already engaged in the trilogy.

Here’s one of my favorite things they did to promote the movie (not that they really needed any promotion):

This was sent to many entertainment journalists and bloggers on Valentines Day 2012, including Adam B. Vary at Entertainment Weekly. In case you can’t read the card, here’s what it says:

From all of us here in the Capitol,
I would like to wish you
a happy Valentine’s Day
and a happy Hunger Games.

I’ll see you on March 23rd.

President Coriolanus Snow

Adam explains it best: “If you’ve not read all three of Suzanne Collins books about reluctant heroine Katniss Everdeen, this white rose is likely not much worse than a vaguely ominous gift. For those who have read the books, however — especially the last one, Mockingjay – this is maybe the creepiest (and most effective) promotion possible for The Hunger Games.”

This is an incredible PR tactic in a world where press kits are sent electronically, or not sent at all. This really drives home the point for me: If you are going to share something with the media, you need to make it stand out. Make them remember why they’re sharing your story.


Take a look at what a great woman I can say I’ve worked with this past year through Intern Queen!

Lauren Berger, you are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and letting me be a part of history. So lucky to be a part of the #internqueenfamily!

Follow InternQueen on Twitter: @internqueen
Like InternQueen on Facebook: Intern Queen, Inc.


Too Funny! How to explain Marketing/ Advertising/ and PR to people who don’t understand!

If I knew all the words

I’ve never really understood how people have a hard time deciphering what Public Relations Professionals do, What we do is in our title. We build relationships with the public in simple terms. It’s not just PR professional marketing and branding seem to interchange with both PR and Advertising. These cartoons below help to describe what Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing and Branding actually are.




picture6A lot of the time PR people use branding behind their methods, and call on advertisers to relay that brand message. Marketers are used in every aspect of PR, AD and Branding. They all may stand alone, but when used together they can expand the message being relayed to the audience.

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Traveler’s Insurance Advertisement at MSP


Last week when I was traveling, I stumbled upon this unique advertisement in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport for Traveler’s Insurance.

First, the name and the location are spot on. Travelers? In an airport? Imagine that.

Plus– people are bored in an airport– having an interactive advertisement is a great way for people to pass the time. Even though I simply walked past them, they left a strong impression on me… I remembered the red umbrella and I knew the brand. I came home to google it to realize that it left an impression on many other people, too.

This is what advertising is about, leaving an impression.