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Welcome to The Stream: Allison+Partners’ content hub that features the latest news and trends making the biggest waves in media and marketing.

MARCH 22, 2019 //     

The Perfection Fallacy – Four Ways to Achieve Your Career Goals That Have Nothing to Do with Being Perfect

By: Lauren Bayse and Chelsea Russo

“It’s OK not to have everything done perfectly.” If you’re like us, you’ve heard this before and you know it’s true, but it can be hard to truly believe. However, when it comes from Padma Lakshmi—producer, actress, model and host of Top Chef—you start to actually believe perhaps perfection isn’t an attainable or worthwhile goal.

The theme of perfection and how it can hinder women from “getting things done,” resonated during The Cut’s 2019 “How I Get It Done” event, which featured a roster of impressive “lady bosses,” including Robin Roberts, Aidy Bryant, Hope Solo and Maya Rudolph. All of these women agreed collectively perfection is an unfair, unproductive goal with which women burden themselves. So, the next time you find yourself obsessing over perfection at work, try obsessing over these four things instead:

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BUILD A NETWORK

Building a network of female (and male) cohorts is the most important thing you can do for your career. You can never truly know how your career trajectory will play out, so it’s important to cultivate meaningful connections wherever you can.

It’s equally important to remember building a network doesn’t mean setting up a few coffee dates to hastily compile a list of people you can ask to serve as references. Rather, networking is about finding people who appreciate and support your ambitions and passions. Natasha Lyonne and Greta Lee of Netflix’s “Russian Doll” shared their now strong and steady working relationship was born through a series of meetings and shared passion projects over time—it wasn’t built overnight. The pair’s relationship started as two women simply admiring and supporting each other’s long-term career goals.

EMBRACE UNCOMFORTABLE CIRCUMSTANCES

Change is uncomfortable, challenging and often unwanted. However, it’s also inevitable. Author A.M. Homes summed up: “[Change] is super important, because I think it gets dangerous when you become so routinized that you actually can’t do something another way.” This is particularly true for those of us in industries, like public relations, constantly impacted by technology’s evolution.

While it’s natural to react apprehensively to an organizational restructure, a new colleague or a different role, take solace that navigating change challenges everyone. Seek advice from friends and mentors, and remember there is no such thing as managing change perfectly. Be kind to yourself and know—more often than not—change is good.  

LEAN INTO YOUR STRENGTHS

It’s easy to recognize our flaws, but it’s much harder to identify and leverage our strengths. Topeka Sam, founder of The Ladies of Hope Ministries and Hope House NYC, witnessed firsthand in federal prison the disparity of incarceration on women. Realizing her affinity for community building and fundraising, she used her voice and network to advocate successfully for prison reform and help women transition out of the federal prison system.

In moments of perceived failure, it can be remarkably difficult to recognize our strengths. Lean on friends and reflect on past triumphs to help you identify the unique qualities you bring to the table. We all have strengths—it’s just a matter of finding them and acting on them.

STOP THINKING AND JUST DO

Perfection’s ability to stifle women’s career progression came up in different ways during the event. But at the day’s close, The Cut Editor-in-Chief Stella Bugbee really summed it up: “You don’t have to be perfect to set out and achieve your goals. The best thing you can do is just start doing.”

So often, as women, we feel the need to anticipate every possible outcome of our actions to avoid our own self-imposed notions of failure. This type of thinking holds us back from taking the risks necessary to get ahead in our careers. It’s easier to talk ourselves out of having difficult conversations, like asking for that promotion, instead of just going for it and seeing what happens. The next time you prepare pros and cons ahead of a big meeting or new venture, feel empowered to throw the “plan” out the window and just put the wheels in motion. Your instincts are stronger than you think.

So, here’s to saying “no” to perfection and “yes” to ambition, tenacity and empowerment. We’ll never be perfect, but we don’t need to be.

Lauren Bayse is a director and Chelsea Russo is an account manager in Allison+Partners' corporate practice.

MARCH 18, 2019 //     

Remembering My Mentor, Henri Bollinger

Embed from Getty Images


By: Scott Pansky

Starting to write something on a blank piece of paper is always the hardest place to begin. Most of us find it easier to edit than to write something from scratch. What most don’t recognize is that’s how our life begins, and we can take our directions anywhere we want to go.

I start here, because when I think about mentorship, I think of ways we are mentored, where mentorship comes from or even signals that we might miss and come back to when someone provides us counsel. Some provide you with their gut instincts, some provide you with knowledge and some tell stories about how they have learned lessons the hard way.

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When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was asked to open a public relations office for Connors Communications, the agency Scott Allison, Andy Hardie Brown, Jonathan Heit and I worked at together before Allison+Partners. I still remember my conversation with Scott when he asked me to open the office. I shared my fears of building something new, in a location that I had never lived and in a space I was not yet comfortable in. As a true friend and mentor, Scott told me not to worry, and that he would surround me with great people.

Two of those people came out from Connors’ New York office. One of those was Jonathan Heit who, today, has grown to become our company’s global president and a good friend. Another person was a gentleman named Jeffrey Bollinger. Jeffrey asked me if I had heard of his father, a famous entertainment publicist. I had not. So, he brought his dad to our office. You never know how one meeting could change your life and how being open to new opportunities can lead you down new trails. Just like the blank piece of paper, Henri asked what my goals were to build our office. I shared that we wanted to be the leading firm that helped build entertainment and tech companies as they began to transition content onto the web and other platforms, not yet knowing how mobile was ready to blast off.

Henri said he could help. He introduced me to the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society, which he had started with industry friends. Less than a year later after chairing a technology committee, I became the president of the organization. Over the next four years, I helped grow the membership from 200 people to more than 600. Networking with industry leaders, helped build a solid foundation of relationships that I still have today. Henri also introduced me to UCLA Extension, where I taught for more than 17 years in his shadow.

What I remember most about Henri’s mentorship, is his ongoing personal counsel. He was the father of three kids, and understood the balancing act of juggling work and a large family. His advice was always on mark. He never provided answers, just stories, and let his experiences help guide mine. He saw each choice as an opportunity to do something new. He inspired me greatly, contributing so much to who I am today. And through our recently established scholarship program at UCLA in his name, I know he will continue to have an impact on others for years to come.

At Allison+Partners, we recognize the importance of mentorship and developed a program many years ago that empower our team members to find peer-to-peer relationships or even outside mentorships in areas that they are passionate in. Each is a blank piece of paper waiting to be shaped and groomed for a career that can take them anywhere. I will miss Henri, as my paper is only halfway done. Yet his guidance and positivity will continue to direct me.

Scott Pansky is a co-founder at Allison+Partners. 

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 13, 2019 //     

NEW REPORT FROM ALLISON+PARTNERS UNCOVERS A SHIFT FROM CAR CULTURE TO MOBILITY CULTURE

Intersection of technology and transportation driving change; Gen Z to drive it forward

SAN FRANCISCO (March 13, 2019) – A new report from Allison+Partners suggests that changing definitions of transportation and an influx of new mobility solutions are paving the way for the birth of a new culture – the mobility culture. Resulting from the intersection of transportation and technology, this cultural shift will be driven forward by a new generation of consumers – those just now coming of driving/ride-sharing age.  Much in the way Baby Boomers in their teens and twenties defined American car culture, Gen Z will ultimately become synonymous with mobility culture. The study, dubbed The Birth of Mobility Culture, also explores implications for brand marketers as consumer values shift from “me” to “we” and access to new mobility options increase.

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The report, based on a survey of U.S. consumers fielded in January 2019, reveals a clear shift in consumer attitudes, values and behaviors between generations and with more transportation options available than ever before.

Key findings that highlight this shift include:

  • Cars remain at the center of today’s transportation equation, but how they’re used is changing. While roughly 70 percent of licensed Americans drive their vehicles daily, 38 percent of those without a driver’s license say they have no need for one. With Gen Z, the numbers become even more significant — nearly 70 percent of Gen Z respondents do not have their driver’s license and 30 percent of those who do not currently possess their driver’s license have no intention or desire to get one.
  • Car culture shifts from “me” to “we.” Younger generations, including Gen Z, have begun to see automotive benefits that move beyond convenience to relaxation and social experiences. When asked why they would purchase an autonomous vehicle, Gen Z consumers cited relaxation as a primary factor (65 percent) – almost equal to convenience (67 percent).
  • For Gen Z, the car has become less aspirational. Gen Z sees cars more as appliances than any other generation, with more than half of Gen Z respondents (56 percent) indicating a car represents essentially no more than a means of transportation.
  • Technology and transportation have become synonymous. The excitement for autonomous technologies is driven by Gen Z, due largely to a high trust level with technology. Ultimately, 60 percent believe they will use autonomous vehicles by 2029.

“Not only will the car itself change drastically with the advent of new technology and mobility solutions, but its role in our lives and in culture will also evolve,” said Marcus Gamo, Senior Vice President and Automotive Specialty Group Lead at Allison+Partners. “Our automotive practice was born out of an authentic passion for disruptive brands that are redefining mobility, with a deep understanding that the most important attributes of transportation for consumers are trust and loyalty.”

The report also reveals that despite changing American consumer values and behaviors, brands remain more relevant than ever. For marketers, however, the introduction of this new mobility culture will require a revamped approach to effectively garner consumer loyalty and advocacy:

  • Reinforce how technology enhances the experience. With consumers conditioned to expect technology innovation at a faster rate than the traditional new vehicle introduction timeline, it’s important for marketers to reinforce how technology features enhance the ride experience, contribute to vehicle safety and support a future where transportation options come together in concert.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the shift from “me” to “we.” It will be more important to underscore the benefits of a particular mobility option to communities of people (such as a city, university or corporate campus), rather than to just individual drivers.
  • Focus on building relationships during the journey, not at the finish line. Younger consumers value authentic relationships with brands, and it takes time to foster that trust. Understand their values, what advancements in automotive technology excite them and, equally important, their concerns about the future of mobility. Use this information to inform how to communicate and engage with them about your brand.
  • Consider new avenues for introducing mobility options. The traditional auto show has been the core of how automakers, motorcycle brands, RV makers and others have introduced new vehicles to a rabid group of automotive enthusiasts. Due to this shift in values and attitudes, marketers must now plan for more values-based, communal and experiential local market activations, where influencers help create and share the story and consumers can experience brand value in a real and authentic way.

“As consumer relationships with cars evolve, automotive and transportation industry marketers must change how they engage with younger audiences, especially Gen Z,” said Lisa Rosenberg, Co-Chair of Allison+Partners’ Consumer Marketing practice. “Being headquartered in San Francisco with deep roots in technology, Allison+Partners has been at the forefront of cultural movements since our inception. We believe that brands that embrace this cultural shift and provide opportunities for consumers to be active participants are the ones that will win with a generation whose favorite currency is social.”

ABOUT THE REPORT

Allison+Partners compiled this report using data from an online survey of 1,035 people in the U.S. over the age of 16 conducted in January 2019. Fielding was conducted using the Qualtrics Insights Platform and the panel was sourced from Lucid.

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 13, 2019 //     

Gen Z Shifts 'Car Culture' To 'Mobility Culture'

Credit: MediaPost

Baby boomers defined American “car culture” --  now Gen Z is creating a new “mobility culture” in its place, according to a report.

“The Birth of Mobility Culture,” from Allison+Partners, explores the implications for brand marketers of changing definitions of transportation. Generational values have evolved, says Marcus Gamo, senior vice president and automotive specialty group lead at Allison+Partners. 

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AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 11, 2019 //     

Anne Colaiacovo, Hall of Femme 2019

What would you do if you weren't in PR?
I would be an interior designer or a registered dietician.

Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.
All my recent fist-pumping victories have been around the successes of my team – watching people get that promotion they really worked for or winning that pitch they gave everything to.

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AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 11, 2019 //     

Former MMC Digital/Innovation Head David Richeson Joins Allison+Partners

NEW YORK — Former MMC digital and innovation head David Richeson has joined Allison+Partners as an SVP in the firm's All Told division, which focuses on digital innovation and influence.

Richeson left MMC at the end of 2018 after five years as chief of digital innovation and influence. Since his departure, and the exit of chief integration officer Diana Littman, MMC has consolidated its digital and influencer units under a new brand engagement group led by new hire Gretchen Ramsey. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 11, 2019 //     

Asia-Pacific News In Brief (March 11, 2019)

SINGAPORE — Serina Tan has been promoted to managing director, Asia Pacific, at Allison+Partners. Tan (pictured) will hold the newly created role in addition to her existing role as general manager of the agency’s Singapore office. Her new role is focused on building connectivity and collaboration among the firm’s Asia-Pacific operations. In addition, the firm has announced two senior hires in Singapore that will further strengthen its consumer marketing and technology practices. Robin Chang has joined as VP and will be responsible for overseeing consumer clients such as Bosch, Carousell and Nippon Paint, and the expansion of business in the region. Natashia Jaya has been hired as director and is charged with leading Singapore technology clients such as Waze and Citrix. Both will report to Tan. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 8, 2019 //     

On the Move: DiGennaro Hires Stephanie Agresta; Allison+Partners Ups Serina Tan; NYC & Co. Promotes Christopher Heywood

Allison+Partners has promoted Serina Tan to managing director, Asia Pacific, a newly created role. Tan will continue in her existing role as general manager of the agency’s Singapore office and will work to fostering greater collaboration between the more than 140 team members across the region. In addition to her previous work as an independent consultant, she has served as regional account director for Porter Novelli and an account manager at Golin. Allison+Partners’ Singapore office has also brought on Robin Chang as vice president and Natashia Jaya as director.  READ MORE
MARCH 7, 2019 //     

ALLISON+PARTNERS HIRES ROBIN CHANG AND NATASHIA JAYA IN SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE (March 7, 2019) – Allison+Partners today announced two senior hires in Singapore that will further strengthen its Consumer Marketing and Technology practices. Robin Chang has joined as vice president and will be responsible for overseeing consumer clients such as Bosch, Carousell and Nippon Paint, and the expansion of business in the region. Natashia Jaya has been hired as director and is charged with leading Singapore technology clients such as Waze and Citrix. Both will report to Serina Tan, managing director of Asia-Pacific and general manager of Singapore. READ MORE

“Over the past four years, Allison+Partners’ presence and client roster has grown immensely in Singapore. We are now working with some of the largest consumer and technology brands in the world on everything from integrated to B2B marketing,” said Tan. “Robin and Natashia’s deep expertise in these areas will not only add immediate value to our clients, but also strengthen our ability to grow across Singapore and the region.”

Chang joins the agency with more than a decade of experience driving award-winning public relations, integrated marketing and digital campaigns for corporate and consumer brands. He previously served at PRecious Communications, where he led the agency’s Consumer practice, helped evolve the firm’s digital offering and contributed to the agency’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific market. Chang’s client experience includes working with brands such as Artbox Singapore, Ascott, Celestial Tiger Entertainment, foodpanda, Funding Societies, German National Tourism Board, honestbee, Lufthansa, NBCUniversal, Singapore Kindness Movement, Porsche, YOTEL and more. His work with Artbox Singapore and Funding Societies were recognized with Marketing PR Awards (Silver) 2018 and PRISM Awards 2017 respectively.

Jaya brings more than 10 years of experience in public relations to the agency, with a career that spans the U.S., Indonesia and Singapore. She was previously with Porter Novelli Singapore where she served as the Asia-Pacific lead for many of its key technology clients. Prior to that, she worked at Burson-Marsteller in Indonesia, overseeing both technology and corporate clients. Jaya has extensive experience in managing regional PR programs across multiple markets in Asia-Pacific, and has worked with brands such as HP Inc., Western Digital Corporation, Citrix, Applied Materials, Qualcomm, Huawei and more.

MARCH 7, 2019 //     

ALLISON+PARTNERS ELEVATES SERINA TAN TO MANAGING DIRECTOR, ASIA PACIFIC

Tan Takes on Newly-Created Role to Drive Collaboration Across Region from Agency’s Fast-Growing Singapore Hub

SINGAPORE (March 7, 2019) – Allison+Partners today announced the promotion of Serina Tan to managing director, Asia Pacific. This newly-created role will be in addition to her existing role as general manager of the agency’s Singapore office, and will focus on creating more connective tissue and collaboration between the more than 140 team members across the region.

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“Serina’s impressive leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit has not only driven the exponential growth of our Singapore office, but also helped expand our work into other offices across Asia Pacific,” said Jonathan Heit, Allison+Partners’ global president. “Leveraging this talent in her new role to create an additional strategic bridge between our Asia Pacific offices and leadership in the U.S. and Europe was a natural progression and recognition of her significant accomplishments. This will also facilitate the cultivation of new business opportunities and client integration regionally and globally as we continue to scale.”

Since 2014, Tan has driven triple-digit growth in Singapore, which has become an important hub for Allison+Partners in Asia. The office continues to be one of the agency’s fastest-growing offices in the network, serving a portfolio of global consumer and technology brands such as The Software Alliance (BSA), Bosch, Waze, ThoughtWorks, Carousell, Nippon Paint and Citrix. Tan has also been instrumental in diversifying the agency’s services in the region to include more integrated marketing communications work in partnership with senior leadership globally through All Told.  

“I am honored to have the best of both worlds – the opportunity to collaborate more with my colleagues around the world, and to continue to serve our amazing clients and team in Singapore,” Tan said. “I look forward to working closely with our global and regional colleagues to foster closer global connectivity and further expand the Allison+Partners footprint.”

Prior to joining Allison+Partners, Serina spent more than 14 years leading successful communications campaigns, developing global cause-related programs and managing hot-button consumer issues for global clients such as McDonald’s and HP. She has lived in Singapore, Japan and Malaysia, and is fluent in English, Mandarin and Japanese.

MARCH 7, 2019 //     

The Future of Influencer Marketing: 'It's Disrupting the Way We View Producers and Consumers'

Influencer marketing has been described as “the Wild West” or “swimming in the ocean” — because, compared traditional media relations, the rules are ambiguous or  inconsistent.

“Historically, journalists were the channel for third-party validation to education and potentially inspire,” said Gabriel Stricker, VP of communications for Niantic, the AR gaming company behind Pokémon Go. “Then, it became the companies doing that directly. And now it’s clearly not journalists or companies — it’s people educating and inspiring people.”

The Holmes Report convened communications and marketing leaders in San Francisco last month as part of its first-ever salon series at the 6th IN2 Innovation Summit. During the Future of Influencer Marketing salon, sponsored by Allison + Partners, the conversation spanned identifying, measuring and engaging with influencers across the B2C and B2B sectors.

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