A Blast From The Past – AOL 5.0

14.4, 28.8 or 56K?


February 12, 2012 • Tags:  • Posted in: Random • No Comments

Update: Where Did the Time Go?

I received a renewal update the other day for my blog and couldn’t even recall the last time I wrote here. Well, it was more than a year ago!

Therefore, I jumped on the site, took a look around and updated all my plugins. At the same time, I looked at my blog roll. My blogroll is filled with blogs I used to actively read. I clicked on their links and saw that most are inactive.

What happened? Life happened. Not just for me, but for everyone else on my blog roll.

Well… I’m making a comeback.


Stay tuned.


December 17, 2011 • Posted in: Random • No Comments

Five Creative Ways Real-Time Opinion from Twitter is Being Shared

People love to rant and rave on Twitter. Brands and organizations love to engage with current and potential influencers. The combination is perfect. It allows Twitter to be used in increasingly creative ways and tweets to be shared in the most unexpected places. The following are five creative ways real-time opinion from Twitter is being shared:

1) Retail Stores – Last week I was at a Las Vegas mall when I passed Metropark, a men’s and women’s store that had a live in-store Tweet stream running on multiple television screens in the store as well as in the front window. It was very interesting to see as a consumer that I could walk by the store and read what people were discussing about @MetroparkUSA in real time.

To continue reading, visit  Ogilvy PR’s 360° Digital Influence Blog.

Advertise Anywhere You Want

You name it, you can advertise on it. Where can you not advertise these days?

Chicago O'Hare Escalator

November 30, 2010 • Tags: , • Posted in: Trends • 2 Comments

Making the Transition – Corporate to Agency

I worked on the corporate (or client) side for about the first three years out of college. People often refer to the non-agency side as the corporate or client side. For this post, corporate is my word choice because the organization I was employed by handled everything in-house, didn’t have an AOR or utilize an agency for projects.

In the early stages of my career, I often compared my position to that of one working for an agency. I was working in higher education PR for a top-tier graduate school. The b-school has over 50 professors on staff – each with their own expertise. Part of my responsibility was promotion of professors thought leadership and communicating school news externally. As you can imagine, I was at 100% capacity. I also had the notion that since I was serving so many clients (aka professors) agency life would be a synch.

That was until I actually started my first agency position.

After working on the agency side for 10 months, I can officially say that the corporate and agency sides are really different experiences. It’s not just billable hours and client reports, but pace plays a difference.

The corporate side:

image courtesy of ladymotor.co.ukImagine you’re at a traffic light…And you’re waiting for the light to turn green…and you’re still waiting for the light to turn green….wait for it… wait for it… Ok maybe there’s a mechanical issue with the traffic light? We better get the police in here to direct traffic and see if cars can pass.

Agency life:

Holy cow! Did you see how fast that car went right by when the light turned green?

Tasks come quick and decisions are made even quicker in agency life. The corporate side is almost always slower paced.

I highly recommend entry and mid-level practitioners acquire experience on both sides during the early stages of their career.

Have you worked on both sides? What similarities and differences do you see between the two?

It has been a really long time

Hi there. I promise I haven’t given up on blogging all together. I have the intention to blog, but time keeps slipping away from me (I know, not an excuse). I even  have ideas for blog posts. I want to tell everyone about the differences between client and agency, the power of a network and the last year of my life.

The fact that I’m still averaging almost 1,500 UMVs per month and haven’t consistently blogged in over nine months gives me inspiration.

Someday soon we will meet again. I promise…

Thanks for always been there.


November 17, 2010 • Posted in: Uncategorized • 1 Comment

5 correlations between a digital strategist and a game show contestant

In late 2010 I was a contestant on “Let’s Make a Deal.” It was one of the most popular television game shows of the 1960’s and 1970’s and now it’s making a comeback. I was on vacation in Las Vegas when I attended a taping that I will remember forever. It wasn’t until recent that I realized all the correlations between being a digital strategist and a game show contestant. Here are five ways being a digital strategist helped me win big:

1. Make a plan. I’ve always been fascinated by game shows, and why some people seem to be more successful than others. I watched tapings to try to analyze the different games. If only I was as smart as Michael Larson who won $110,237on a game show in 1984. The digital world consists of planning and strategizing for brands as well. Brands need to listen to the conversations about themselves before participating. Both game show contestants and brands can not afford to skip the planning stage.

To continue reading this post in its entirety, check out Ogilvy PR 360° Digital Influence Blog.

A month I’ll never forget

There has been more change in the last 30 days of my life than most people experience in five years. Since I haven’t updated this blog in ages, I want to use it as an outlet to recap this whirlwind of a month.

Moved to downtown Chicago – The days of an hour plus commute to work each way are a thing of the past as Michelle and I moved into a really nice high rise condo. We’re still putting the finishing touches on it, but it’s already starting to feel like home.

I got engaged – On June 26, I asked Michelle to marry me, she said yes! Since so many people are asking how the proposal went – I set up a private tour of the Chicago Theater and asked Michelle on stage. We don’t have a date picked out yet, but we’re aiming for next summer.

A new position – Next week I start a new position with Ogilvy PR’s 360 Degree Digital Influence Practice. It’s an exciting opportunity with a very prestigious company. I am really grateful for all my previous opportunities – the positions I’ve held and the people I’ve met – as they have led me to this point.

There’s my life in a nutshell. I can’t wait to see where the road continues to lead me.

Brands advertise online presence everywhere

lou malnatis receipt

Links to social media are everywhere. From branded merchandise to bathroom stalls to restaurant receipts. Where is the most creative or unusual place you have seen a brand advertise their social media presence?

Guest Post: Young pros can benefit from freelancing

Andre WillisAndre Willis is a freelance marketer and full-time job seeker. A native of Missouri, he now resides in Tempe, AZ after graduating from Arizona State University in 2008. Visit AndreWillis.com to read his blog, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/andrewillis.

Despite signs of economic recovery, the unemployment rate in the United States is still alarmingly high. This recession has been especially tough on the budding careers of generation Y, including me. However, I’ve been fortunate enough to secure freelance work during my job search, and recommend the same to all of my fellow young professionals, regardless of employment status.

Pros and cons associated with freelancing:

Avoid resume gaps: A large gap in your work history can signal a red flag to perspective employers. You may have a reasonable excuse, such as a lengthy job search, but hiring mangers might interpret it as a lack of commitment, and move your resume to the bottom of the pile.  Freelance projects solve this problem. If you can’t find paid work, consider volunteering with a professional association or non-profit; preferably in a leadership role.

Sharpen your skills: For those not in the midst of a job hunt, freelance work offers an opportunity to build on the skill sets needed for success in your current position. For example, public relations professionals must be strong writers, so why not seek a part-time gig with a local magazine?

Networking opportunities: Successful freelance projects not only open the door to more contracts, but also could lead to full-time opportunities. Be sure to maintain a professional demeanor at all times, and never let your work ethic slip.

Irregular paychecks: Freelancers are usually paid an hourly wage or per-project rate, thus creating a fluctuating income that’s difficult to budget for.  My number one advice is to resist the temptation to splurge during good months, as you never know when the work will dry up.

No paychecks at all: The Wall Street Journal estimated that 40% of freelancers struggled to collect payment from clients in 2009. Independent contractors aren’t protected by most federal employment laws, forcing some to resort to small claims court (an expensive process that doesn’t guarantee you’ll actually be paid). Experts suggest including all terms of payment in your written contract, and performing ample research on potential clients.

Tips for landing freelance work:

Maintain a personal blog: This is a no-brainer. A blog provides a platform to display a portfolio of your previous work, and demonstrate your communications skills and web savvy. Promote your blog like an actual business by learning the in and outs of important marketing tools, e.g. Google Analtyics.

Online sources: There are hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs out there offering valuable advice for freelancers, from marketing yourself, to increasing productivity. I recommend FreelanceSwitch and WebWorkerDaily.

If you’d like to learn more about my experience as a freelancer, feel free to contact me at info@andrewillis.com.