What Really Matters to Young Hires?

Ping pong tables, beer on tap and unlimited paid time off have become major selling points for the brightest young talent. Has the veil has been lifted on companies whose so called "perks" turn out to be gimmicks? Silicon Valley has marketed its way into to the American Dream: change the world, meet the brightest minds, become a household name. Synonymous with the youngest and brightest talent, corporate America is falling to second-tier candidates. While some hires might witness revolutionary technology, most are offered “benefits” that our parents would laugh at. By making lofty claims and offering half-hearted perks, start-ups and young businesses are building a case for bad PR. Dan Lyons, former HubSpot employee and now writer for HBO’s Silicon Valley and author of “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start Up Bubble”, had some less than glowing words for his former employer. In an article for the New York Post, Lyons wonders, “What is the difference between a loyal employee and a brainwashed cult?” While the article’s author Kyle Smith summarizes, “Groovy young techies, you’ve been played. Tech startups are one gigantic millennial meat-grinder.” The “best companies to work for” can often be talent juicers, using up good ideas and then throwing employees away in favor of “new” talent. If you can’t get your own employees to believe in your product then you’re in trouble. Since the release of Lyons’ book, Fortune points out that HubSpot’s stock is down 14% and co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah have done little to dismantle Lyons’ major claims like ageism. But tech-startups aren’t the only ones reverting to idealistic propaganda and cheap gimmicks. Excluding Fortune 500 companies and headline projects, small businesses are jumping on the trend, hoping complex unlimited vacation programs will replace competitive salaries (and also save them money if employees are fired or laid off). According to Forbes, “21 Employee Perks That Attract the Best Talent,” a drink fridge and a ping pong table rank right behind maternity and paternity leave beyond that required by law. It would appear our culture is losing sight of what it takes to be successful and live a balanced work life. Almost gone are the days of 401-ks, life insurance, or sponsored education. These days, ninety-one percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace. That equates to 15 – 20 jobs over the course of a lifetime. Is this a case of chicken or the egg? Are millennials leaving jobs because they aren’t given a sense of stability and opportunities to move up? Or are companies not creating these opportunities because millennials are unloyal? Startups and young businesses should consider campaigns that are attracting worthwhile talent, not those looking for the bells and whistles. What does matter to young hires? Fast Company gives some good tips for what a company can do to attract millennial employees including: ●Create opportunities for mentorship, skill acquisition, and co-leadership ●Value means inclusion and giving young talent a voice ●HR is the new life coach These values embody team. Team is a word we take seriously at Bond. While writing this post I was dubious that so many smart and talented graduates could fall for such transparent bait. At Bond, all members are included in brainstorming, including interns. Field trips, team building events and happy hours are fun but necessary. Team resources are leveraged and ideas are sourced firm-wide. Companies hiring can offer whatever they want, but what are they getting in return? Consider what your company can actually follow through with and get the best talent by offering meaningful work and growth. Retirement plans provide longevity, education sponsorship provides new skills, team alignment provides synergy, but would does a ping-pong table get you? Photo credit: “Ping Pong ~ Table Tennis” by Dustin Gaffke licensed under CC 2.0. By Kim Ryng

Rants, Raves, and Ratings

Some celebrities and brands don’t follow the rules. Is there something to be said for throwing a fit or stirring to pot? We try to breakdown the formula to effectively mastering the media rant. Everyone seems to have an opinion on Kanye West’s new album - not just about the music, but about West’s behavior approaching and following the release. Whether intentional or not, West’s frantic, fanatical, and absurdly amusing social media rants have earned him plenty of attention. From bashing fellow rapper Wiz Khalifa to asking Mark Zuckerberg to cover his $53 million debt, Kanye has dominated headlines. The premiere of the album produced even more drama. Broadcast around the globe at movie theatres and on music service, Tidal, the feature streamed his Yeezy fashion show set to the new album. However, the L.A. Times points out, “much of it was obscured by the fact Tidal's live stream crashed under the weight of some 20 million people trying to get a glimpse of the spectacle.” West is not the first celebrity to benefit from a “crazy” tirade. There is social media finesse to be gleaned from media rants and raves.So why does the public spectacle of drama on social media that has us rubbernecking? Brand on Brand Whether real or organic, playful or packing a punch, drama draws the viewers. And celebrities aren’t the only ones allowed to have fun. More and more we see brands gaining social media traction for showing some personality. Mashable’s article,“The 5 Most Notorious Brand Feuds on Twitter,” proves we love the brands we love for a reason, whether it’s Kit-Kat challenging Oreo or Taco Bell and Old Spice having a “heated” exchange. There’s something refreshing about watching Wendy’s and Burger King duke it out for attention by throwing a little innocent shade. Social media gives users a chance to get in on the action. Brands have the opportunity to show a little personality and build relationships with their fans. Last week Beyoncé mentioned Red Lobster in her politically charged video “Formation,” a fantastic mention for the brand. Their response? “Cheddar Bey Biscuits” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? #Formation @Beyonce Red Lobster (@redlobster), 8:46 PM - 6 Feb 2016. Needless to say, many saw Red Lobster’s response as lackluster. Twitter soon erupted with tweets mocking the brand for missing the moment. The incident proves that companies and social media teams need to be more flexible and creative when it comes to social media responses. Absurdity Remember when Joaquin Phoenix confused everyone by appearing on David Letterman looking disheveled and unshaven? The stunt turned out to be a hoax to promote a mockumentary called I’m Still Here, in which Joaquin dons a new persona as hip-hop artist “J.P.” The “new” Joaquin seemed a far cry from the respected actor, but that’s what made it so interesting. Like watching a train wreck, people couldn’t look away. If you set out to be outrageous you get something like Mountain Dew’s ad, Puppy Monkey Baby, which debuted at this year’s Super Bowl. People agreed this crossed the line from absurd to disturbing, but it certainly got people talking. #PuppyMonkeyBaby quickly trended on Twitter, albeit thanks to people cringing and mocking the bizarre character. At the end of the day, the ad may have rubbed some people the wrong way, but the brand was out to make an impression. Good or bad, Puppy Monkey Baby brought in the numbers, now over 21 million Youtube views.Sometimes a little publicity is all you need. Once again, Mountain Dew has you questioning, did they create a controversial ad on purpose? Curiosity People love a good mystery. Is Joaquin really crazy or is this a role? Is Kanye West really $53 million in debt or is it all about promotion? The crazier you can go while still teetering on the line of credibility the more attention you can attract. Donald Trump is the master of this tactic. He still has America questioning, is he really is ridiculous as we think? The Washington Post boils it down: “Trump’s anti-politics message, his outsized persona that screams ‘I AM NOT A POLITICIAN’ and, frankly, the curiosity around his celebrity is what has fueled Trump’s rise.” He has climbed to the front of the pack, with some credit, to people wondering what would it look like if this guy was president? At the end of the day, you have to ask, how do I want to build my brand? Kanye West, Donald Trump, Mountain Dew, these are brands that thrive off being eccentric, and for them rants and raves are an effective PR move. Joaquin Phoenix whether he likes it or not, tainted his brand for a long time, with fans questioning if they were going to get the actor back and other people mocking his every move. Still, a little crazy can be good for the ratings, and it’s definitely fun to watch. CNBC anchor, Carl Quintanilla said it best, he tweeted: Kanye’s tweets are like throwing newspaper in the fireplace. Everything burns brighter. For a second. Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla), 11:32 AM - 27 Jan 2016.

The Future: Making the Impossible Possible

Bond Intern Kim Ryng discusses PR’s role in convincing the public that an extreme or futuristic product can become a reality. Making sci-fi-sounding technologies a reality is more complex than formulas and algorithms. Company and industry bigwigs alike must convince the public that the impossible is possible. Life changing science is just around the corner, from Elon Musk’s Hyperloop to the Google Car. Technology that is radical and far from the realm of what we know is its own marketing because it is new and exciting. It doesn’t need PR to get the word out, instead it needs PR to make the public think that an extreme product can be made into a reality. THE FUTURE IS NOW Consider Elon Musk’s Hyperloop. The Hyperloop is a conceptual high-speed transportation system set to run from San Francisco to L.A. in about a half-hour, where passengers would effectively be traveling faster than the speed of sound. Wikipedia helpfully describes the system as “reduced pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.” If you find this confusing, you are not the only one. It’s not about the science. SpaceX doesn’t want you to think too hard about the how. Think about what this product could do. Think of what the future could look like. Musk was recently interviewed by CNN claiming, “The Hyperloop is easy, my interns can do it.” Musk’s job as the face of SpaceX is a role that goes beyond CEO. He is the educator; he is the PR. As much as he is a designer he is a brander. So, how do you convince the public that something as complex as the Hyperloop can be made a reality? For starters, instead of using the aforementioned definition, you call it a “tube with an air hockey table,” and say your interns can do it like Musk has. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, also working on a Hyperloop concept, has publicized their company’s talent: crowdsourcing the best minds to get the best results. SpaceX competitor, Hyperloop Technologies dropped a YouTube video last month touting “The Hyperloop is Here.” In fact, the Hyperloop is such a unique product that last year Minneapolis advertising agency Campbell Mithun prompted applicants of its “Lucky Thirteen” summer intern team to “Market the Hyperloop.” A “MINOR” OBSTACLE The Google Car is a much closer “future.” To make the Google Car a reality, Google must convince the public that the car is safe. Unfortunately for Google, there is very little room for error, whether that standard is fair or not. Earlier this year, Google released a blog post explaining that the “11 minor accidents” that have occurred in the car’s 6 six years of testing have been at the hands of other human drivers. While Google’s explanation may be accurate, it is not completely calming. Other humans undoubtedly contribute to the safety of the road. Google’s response is to make the cars drive more like humans. The company is developing ways to imitate how humans round curves or cross lines for example. This artificial intelligence must strike a balance between computer and human to put the consumer at ease, which is easier said than done. With Apple stepping into the races, it will be interesting to see if the company’s affinity for simplicity adds any clarity to the self-driving car experience. FINDING A NEW PERSPECTIVE Clearly, there is a fine line when trying to fit futuristic technology into the context of our daily lives. It is difficult for the consumer to see the future through the eyes of Elon Musk or Google. It will take a lot of painstaking groundwork, and largely time, before “the future” is concrete enough to be reality. In the meantime, companies working on brand new technology must find a way to make the product here-and-now, clear and comfortable.

Limousine Livery Hires Graham Cooper As Creative Director, Lead Historian For Livery Tours - Biz New Orleans - October 2015

NEW ORLEANS – Livery Tours, the largest luxury tour service in the Gulf Coast, has hired Graham Cooper as the company’s newest Creative Director and Lead Historian. As Creative Director, Cooper will share the unique charm of New Orleans with visitors and locals alike through historically accurate and colorful tours of the city and surrounding areas. Along with French Quarter History, Plantation, and New Orleans Settlement tours, Cooper will offer custom tours based on clients’ specific interests such as jazz or culinary history. Cooper will encourage historical learning amongst tour guides and guests by setting up a neighborhood library of New Orleans historical information and arranging courses for knowledge sharing. Cooper’s knowledge and enthusiasm ensures that the history, passion and expertise promised by the Livery name will live on. “I am excited to share my passion for New Orleans’ rich culture, heritage and history with our clients by giving them access to personally curated tours that focus on their own local fascinations,” Cooper said about his new position. Cooper, a Louisiana native born in Baton Rouge, moved to New Orleans seven years ago and quickly fell in love with the city. Cooper earned a Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of New Orleans (UNO) in 2012. Inspired by his love for New Orleans' rich history and culture, Cooper returned to UNO, where he earned his Master of Arts in Public History in 2015. Cooper's primary areas of academic research detail local issues on race and education, with period focuses on Union-occupied New Orleans and the 20th century Civil Rights era. Cooper also has professional experience working with The Louisiana State Museum as a research and graduate assistant at UNO. Projects that Cooper has contributed to include New Orleans Historical, an online platform for discovering the city, and Freedom On The Move, a collaborative effort to compile and transcribe fugitive slave ads from Antebellum newspapers throughout the American South.

Campaigning 3.0

Is the new presidential PR landscape more ‘circus act’ than serious politics? Bond Intern Kim Ryng explores the outlandish – and often effective – PR techniques of our current presidential hopefuls. Even the most uninformed voter can tell you that the candidates for the 2016 election are more circus acts than serious politicians. While no campaign season is devout of attacks, shameless plugs, or roll-your-eyes PR tactics, this season’s slights and slanders have been more about the punchline than the bite. Shockingly, instead of sending candidates straight to the bottom of the pack, outlandish and eccentric PR and marketing has been the key to rallying tired voters, and that goes beyond Donald Trump. Larger Than Life What has undoubtedly become the keystone to any candidate’s success in 2016 is transparency. It is the reason Trump has been able to garner a following and the reason Hilary Clinton has faltered in what was once thought to be a shoe-in nomination. The recognized need to be open, frank, and candid has led candidates to build brands that have more personality than ever. Twitter has become not just a tool to get ideas out to the public, but a necessity to establish a human personality as a candidate. Late night shows have become the new candidate bio; it is no longer enough to simply tell the voter who you are, the candidate has to show them. In the age of social media, a candidate must have more than policy­; he or she must have a personality and a brand. Donald Trump stopped by the Late Show With Jimmy Fallon and proved that he could laugh at himself by “interviewing himself” in the mirror. The internet went wild over the loveable Jimmy Fallon impersonating the brash Trump, as Fallon pokes fun at the presidential hopeful dying his hair, and his elitist nature, catching laughs as Jimmy quips, “the only one qualified to interview me, is me.” Trump has dominated the media by taking the brand focus to heart. He has plenty of critics and plenty of devoted followers, but no one can contest that he’s trying to be someone he’s not. Trump’s take it or leave it attitude won’t work for everyone, but it has certainly achieved the goal of separating him from the pack. Hilary Clinton also forged her way onto the television circuit earlier this month by performing the popular Whip/ Nae Nae dance on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Clinton joins the stage with rapper Silento and later in the segment with Macy Hensley who frequents The Ellen Show to amaze with her presidential trivia knowledge. Clinton’s husband laughed with her on Twitter, tweeting, “Watching @TheEllenShow. @HillaryClinton looks good w her Whip skills, but needs work w her NaeNae. May require more lessons @official_tWitch.” Hilary would love nothing more than to stop her young voters from straying to the increasingly popular Bernie Sanders and prove herself to be a serious and professional candidate that’s able to kick back and have a little fun. Goodbye to Pins and Bumper Stickers While Trump, Clinton, Bush, and even Biden have been grabbing airtime, their online fronts have not been neglected. There’s a new way to solidify your followers and go after your underrepresented demographics in this day-in-age; it doesn’t include rallies, grassroots, or even public supporters. Voters can now be snagged through social media, PR, and campaign “swag.” For example, take Jeb Bush’s Guaca Bowle. In an attempt to highlight his alignment with the Hispanic community and put his Latin American Studies degree to use, he decides to sell a $75 guacamole bowl. Rand Paul somewhat desperately trying to stick his foot in the door, is offering up $1000 signed copies of the U.S. Constitution that are surprisingly still in stock. If you want to become Donald Trump’s personal cheerleader, his campaign site is your one-stop-shop for pom-poms, megaphones and even red solo cups and beer koozies. Even Hilary Clinton is offering a piece of her brand with “H is For Homemade” cookie cutters. The most interesting part about this presidential “swag” is how obvious the target consumer is! Bush goes after the Hispanic vote, Paul the somewhat extremist conservatives, Trump the college-aged newbie, and Hilary the women. As a voter you can now be boiled down to a piece of campaign paraphernalia. At the polls you might as well vote: guacamole bowl, constitution, solo cup, or cookie cutter. But can we blame the campaign teams? Isn’t campaign swag just another way to promote the brand? The Next American Idol, Er, President This is our future people. To some extent, the extremes of this election are just a way to stand apart on a crowded stage. As with any election, the closer we get to November 8th, the more we will get to hear about the real issues. Yet, voters want a president they can grab a beer with, and you don’t grab a drink with someone you don’t know. Just like in our personal lives, it’s no longer taboo to broadcast every little detail about oneself. The need for a presidential candidate to be present in every sphere of our lives is not going away. Simple attack ads may be a thing of the past. As information on each and every voter continues to build, researchers will know what you want to see, hear, and wear. By the next election expect your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagrams to be presidential home base, while TV and mobile efforts will make you want to unplug. PR and marketing may not be the reason you win, but it can be the reason you lose.

Childbirth in Africa – a Life or Death Situation | Global Health Blog

Childbirth is often referred to as bringing new life into the world. As a woman in the United States, I’ve always subscribed to the bright halo of possibility that surrounds the arrival of a new baby. However, since beginning my internship at AmeriCares, I’ve faced the dismal reality of maternal and child health in the developing world. Elikem Tomety Archer, AmeriCares director of Middle East and Africa partnerships, shattered my comfort zone with a simple remark: “Childbirth in Africa is a life or death situation.” The truth is, women and children are dying every day. Elikem explained to me that in rural areas of Africa there are woman who “have no concept” that they need to see a doctor when going into labor. I was shocked to learn that in Liberia, 75 percent of women give birth outside of the health system, exponentially increasing the risk of complications. For example, obstetric fistula, a hole in the birth canal, is a common complication for immature or malnourished mothers who experience prolonged labor without proper medical attention. Before my internship I had never heard the word fistula, nonetheless considered that a hole in the birthing canal could be a consequence of giving birth without a trained assistant. Lack of education, proper nutrition and medical care plague not only maternal health, but child health as well. Elikem recently returned from Ghana where she was visiting AmeriCares One Child One World™ program. One Child One World aims to upgrade the nutritional status of 30 orphan homes in Ghana. When AmeriCares began the program in 2011, 27 percent of the children in the homes suffered from malnutrition and 50 percent of deaths under the age of five could be contributed to malnutrition. One Child One World offers nutritional training to the caregivers of the homes, in addition to medicines and nutritional supplements, to improve the health of the children under their care. Since AmeriCares began the program, more than 200 caregivers have received nutritional training. Doctors, health facilities, and even transportation are basic functions of health care in the United States, yet are often considered luxuries in other parts of the world. Women and children in developing countries are dying because of preventable issues such as malnutrition and obstructed labor. I only hope that with more attention to maternal and child health, and the continued good work of organizations like AmeriCares, that progress will be made and pregnancy will no longer be a matter of life or death.
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