Also see Marian’s blog posts on the Huffington Post.
“The Five Biggest Trends for Post 50s in 2012,” The Huffington Post Huff/Post50, Dec. 31, 2011
Asked to expound on the baby boomer–specific trends included in @erwwpr’s largest-ever trend tome, “The Big Little Book of Nexts,” Marian talks about the demographic growing more technologically savvy, re-feathering their empty nest with jobless children, leaning on medical information found online, and falling in line with the movements toward privacy and mindfulness. She talks also of out-of-work boomers returning to school, digitally. “You can see this as a negative challenge, or a really big opportunity to rewrite the rules of who you are,” Marian told Huff/Post50. “I actually think that residential empty nesters, the newly divorced, the newly single, are looking to do a complete life change.… We no longer write off 50, 60 or even 70. We see this as the new next stage.”
“Keen On … Marian Salzman: What Were the Top Trends in 2011? What Will Be the Top Trends in 2012?” TechCrunch TV, Dec. 30, 2011, and
Jan. 3, 2012
In this two-part interview with TechCrunch TV, Marian first reflects on 2011, which host Andrew Keen calls “a momentous year in world history” and looks toward 2012, which she foresees as being “very polarizing.” Marian explains: “2012 could be enormously polarizing, depending on who the [U.S. presidential] candidates become, how dirty it gets, how egregious we allow the privacy debate to become.… 2011 has just been background noise.… 2012 is actually a defining moment in history.” She points also to themes we’ll see in political ads and all marketing efforts this year—real people with real storylines and real transparency—though these ads might end up stoking anger rather than inspiring real action. “You’ve got to move people with true desire to actually get up and do something,” says Marian. “You’ve got to give people an activation step.”
“What We Wore in ’11—and Can Keep On Wearing, Stylishly,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 28, 2011
Timed to answer quandaries about what to wear on New Year’s Eve, this roundup delineates which of 2011’s fashion fads will still make the cut in 2012. We’ll see bright-colored skinny pants persevere, along with wedges, tights, dressy print blouses, luggage-like totes, sportswear-inspired leggings and T’s, and bright lipstick. Hanging in there, too, will be looks inspired by the 1920s and 1930s—as will all things retro and vintage. Says Marian: “We have been very influenced by all things Depression-era chic.”
“What Your Next 12 Months Might Look Like,” Metro News (London), Dec. 26, 2011
“The new year will be a portrait of contrasts—great new techno-breakthroughs and a rush toward embracing anything local, including crafts and foods,” says Marian in this 2012 trends piece. The article’s author highlights her prediction about the crucial role that cloud computing will play in our lives, as well as her forecast that we’ll see an uptick in apps steering consumers toward ethical shopping (especially as more people worry about where their food is being sourced).
“5 Trends: Can Futurists Help Investors Pick the Winners of 2012?” Mindful Money, Dec. 23, 2011
“Futurists may not always get it right, but in tricky markets they may help investors identify the areas to target and those to avoid,” says this U.K. site, which consulted Marian, along with other leading trendspotters, for clues about what the future holds, fiscally speaking, and how it might affect investors. She shares insights about how our “life in a cloud” will become more important while also predicting that more of us will seek to “digitally detox.” Says Marian: “A natural result of Internet dependency, more and more people will seek to cleanse themselves and get offline—at least at the dinner table. Essential digital detox reading is The Winter of Our Disconnect—one woman’s account of six months sans digital devices. Establishments will soon proclaim ‘No Wi-Fi’ as a selling point.”
“Roll Call: Heineken, Viacom and More,” PRNewser, Dec. 23, 2011
In this Mediabistro piece highlighting top new communications hires and appointments, Marian gets mention for having been named to the board of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. She rejoins the board of this nonprofit, which raises awareness about the needs of soldiers who have returned home from combat, after an 18-month hiatus. In addition, notes the article, the agency that she heads, @erwwpr, has been named the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s pro bono PR agency.
“Bridgeport Conundrum,” Westfair Online, Dec. 23, 2011
Architecture firm Fletcher-Thompson will return its HQ to Bridgeport, Conn.—where it was founded in 1910—after a 10-year sojourn to nearby Shelton. Beginning in 2014, the firm will operate out of the former Mechanics and Farmers Bank building, known for its history and architectural beauty. This article’s author says the high-profile move is “punching a hole in the argument that downtown Bridgeport cannot attract high-end professional services companies.” Marian is quoted in the article comparing Bridgeport with the area of New York City that’s now a wellspring of tech startups and creative endeavors: “I can’t figure out why no one is turning Bridgeport into the next Brooklyn. We know it can be done in Dumbo.”
“Salzman Named to Board of Bob Woodruff Foundation,” PRWeek,
Dec. 21, 2011
Marian, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, has joined the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s board of directors. Appointed in December at the BWF’s board meeting, Marian previously served on the board of the nonprofit; in addition, @erwwpr was named its pro bono PR agency in September 2011. The foundation is dedicated to supporting injured service members, veterans and their families.
“2012 Trendspotting,” M&M, Dec. 20, 2011
Cherrypicking Marian’s global trend predictions for 2012, this article focuses on the movements toward cloud computing, more sex, digital detoxes and graydar, among others. Graydar, by the way, is a metaphoric construct meant to denote the hue du jour, as our work and home lives blur to gray and a quarter of the population reaches age 65 or older. Look for that older generation to try to connect with younger generations through something Marian has dubbed “Brand-Me Down,” whereby more brands will bridge two generations with nostalgic campaigns. They’ll be designed to work both ways: Mom will take daughter to Tiffany to shop for a string of pearls, and daughter will take Mom to Topshop to pick out on-trend clothes.
“On My Radar: Marian Salzman’s Cultural Highlights,” The Observer, Dec. 18, 2011
Spotify, the Super Bowl, Steve Jobs and SameSky.com. These are but a few of the trends Marian calls out in this end-of-year piece that concentrates on the year’s biggest hits from cultural realms such as food, music, art, TV, the Internet and books. Speaking of books, Marian said she found Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs bio engrossing. “I was so perplexed after reading about all [of his] paradoxes—of living like a normal person but being this millionaire, of being so brutal but being so generous,” she said. “I couldn’t make peace with what I was reading. I pulled an all-nighter to finish it.”
“Retreat from Reality: Cheap Thrills to Lighten a Dismal Year?” The Economist, Dec. 15, 2011
This entry from The Economist’s forward-looking blog, Cassandra, looked to Marian’s economic-specific trend predictions for 2012. Featured forecasts from her annual trends report include the havoc that financial woes will wreak on romance as men remain unemployed and disheartened, manufacturers’ increased focus on the 65-or-older market and the proclamation that Mumbai is the new Dubai in terms of opulent spending. Also highlighted here: less reality-TV watching and more carnal behavior. As the down economy leaves couples with less to do, they are turning more often to the bedroom. The proof: Sales of lubricants, condoms and toys? All up.
“What’s Coming for PR in 2012?” Ragan.com, Dec. 14, 2011
Bidding adieu to 2011, this article’s author turned to Marian Salzman and her comments during a recent PRWeek webcast about what 2012 holds in store. The noted trendspotter began by saying that in order to spot trends, you’ve got to keep your eye always on technology, especially hashtags, and be thinking only as far out as 12 to 18 months. In terms of consumerism, she said people will be looking to buy “essentials only”—and that as they rein in their spending, they’ll be in the mood for happy stories. And what should PR pros be particularly concerned with? In addition to getting measurable results and being jacks-of-all-trades, said Salzman, they’ll need to pursue “local interests and universal truth.”
“Peruvian, Local, and Thai: Trends for 2012?” Food Navigator-USA,
Dec. 8, 2011
As much as our taste buds or appetites, our beliefs and experiences will play into what we chow down on in 2012. Drawing from various end-of-year food trend lists, this article says we’ll look to our meals to quell our economic anxieties, minimize our environmental impact and represent our love of local. And we’ll see big brands unveil products with ever-healthier slants as “fat phobia” takes hold. “People are freaking out about being fat,” says Marian in a quote extracted from a recent blog post on the Institute of Food Technologists’ site. And then there’s this creepy, crawly newsflash from the article’s author: “Several publications have claimed that insects could help feed a growing global population, as they are packed with protein and could be more environmentally sustainable than other protein sources.”
“Here Come the Food Trend Lists,” NPR, Dec. 6, 2011
In this piece on NPR’s food blog, the Salt, the writer sniffs out the newest in edible trends, turning to food consultants and end-of-year lists for clues about what 2012 might dish up. Marian, the only trendspotter cited, foresees more pop-up restaurants and food trucks on our gastronomic horizon. But food trends might be the most difficult to predict, says this article’s writer, because of our country’s varying budgets and tastes: “If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans on food stamps, your options are pretty limited. But if you live in a major metropolitan area and have a demanding palate and the income to support it, you have more food choice at your fingertips than any humans have ever known before.”
“The New Consumers,” Infobae, Dec. 5, 2011
The writer of this article, a marketing professor in Argentina, identifies seven new categories of consumers, who—influenced by poverty, fear and other circumstances—approach buying with of-the-moment needs and desires. Among the new consumers described are Ninis (young people who neither work nor attend school, choosing to live instead in the here and now), Kidults (usually male adults who consume like boys) and Alpha Women (active, independent women who bring home more bacon than their partners). The piece attributes the term “alpha women” to Marian.
“A Little Nudge Toward the Next Big Thing,” Westfair Online,
Dec. 2, 2011
New York and California are home to 28 percent of PR and advertising jobs in the U.S., but Marian wants Connecticut to be the new industry hub. In a letter to Gov. Dannel Malloy, Marian, writing as president of the Fairfield County Public Relations Association, made the case: “Connecticut’s creative corridor needs to start proudly selling itself.… It’s not without reason to imagine a time when Connecticut could be a nexus for all things PR, marketing and advertising.” Every “Big 4” ad agency claims a Connecticut outpost, and so does Euro RSCG, according to this article’s writer, but Marian wants Fairfield County agencies to promote an industry cluster and for firms to consider moving headquarters there.
“Cause Is the New Celebrity,” Frontline Online, December 2011
In this bylined article for the International Public Relations Association’s monthly online magazine, Marian explains why melding celebrities with good causes is a win-win for all involved—the celebrity, the cause and the PR agency that orchestrated the whole thing. “Everyone in PR knows that cause doesn’t get very far without celebrities,” says Marian, whose agency has long been in the CSR game and has worked with lots of A-listers. “What fewer people know is that celebrities need a cause to get behind just as badly. After all, it was Angelina Jolie’s humanitarian work … that earned her such a lofty place in the public’s esteem. Likewise, Princess Diana won her twinkly sainthood because of her charity work.”
“Euro RSCG CEO Predicts 2012 Trends in PR, Marketing and International Issues,” Euro RSCG PR UK, December 2011
Brand transparency is one of the five forecasts from Marian’s annual trends report that Emma Cameron, an account director in Euro RSCG PR’s Manchester office, highlights in this blog post. “The pressure is on for businesses to be better, to be transparent and to be accountable,” says the writer. “We want answers, and businesses must keep up or risk losing face and, crucially, customers.” The other four trends featured here are a renewed focus on traditional pleasures such as family and food, the surge in cloud computing and collaborative software, the graying of the world and the unprecedented platform offered to us by social media sites to get our opinions heard.
“Benetton Gets World Leaders Smooching in Provocative Ads,” USA Today, Nov. 16, 2011
Now that social action is “back at the forefront of consumer thought,” thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement, says this article’s writer, Benetton is trying to return to its attention-getting ad roots. Many people watching are questioning not only the legality of new ads showing opposing world leaders “kissing” but also the ethics behind them. As for Marian, she thinks the branding was a little off: “This message would be more relevant coming from Hershey.”
“Top 5 Parenting Trends for 2012,” BabyCenter, Nov. 16, 2011
“Constant parenting,” a new ceaseless, exhausting, high-anxiety type of child rearing, will manifest itself in 2012, according to Marian, quoted in this BabyCenter story that passes on the parenting trends detailed in her annual report on trends to expect in the coming year. “Today’s parents want to have it all for themselves and their children, with amped expectations from an unlikely group—the once-slackerish Gen Xers, now in overdrive when it comes to raising kids,” says Marian in the article. “Everyone complains, but super-mindful, high-anxiety parenting will continue, especially in tough economic times.”
“Trendspotting for 2012 and the Graying of the World,” CNBC.com, Nov. 15, 2011
Pantone is looking to tropical hues, but Marian says gray matters for 2012. It’s the “metaphoric hue for everything from life in a cloud (think mobility, portability and transience) to the graying of our society, on a global scale.” And it’s going to be tracked on “graydar.” Gray is the color, she continues, of the middle class, of a new neutral palette in the home, of famous women’s locks, of collaboration: “Gray is where black and white meet. Yes, it’s the color of uncertainty (we’ve got that in spades), but it’s also the dulling down of polarization.… Have we gone from ‘all about me’ to ‘all about us’?”
“Euro RSCG Predicts Trends for 2012,” B&T (Australia), Nov. 14, 2011
That all-the-rage topic among techies—cloud computing—will “sky-rocket” into mainstream popularity through mobile devices. Australian marketing and PR title B&T called out that prediction from @erwwpr’s annual trends report, in addition to a new era of collaboration, services brands will need to provide to consumers, and others. The article quotes Marian on how trendspotting helps prepare businesses for the future: “When a multinational brand gets ahead of a trend and can own it, and ride its wave, the benefits are long-lasting—recognizing, of course, that one of the trends in recent years is the speed of change, as well as the fickleness of leading-edge consumers who embrace what’s new one day and move on to another new the next.”
“What Will 2012 Bring for Marketers?,” Marketing (Australia),
Nov. 14, 2011
Before setting any marketing decisions in stone for 2012, businesses would be wise to take a gander at Euro RSCG Worldwide PR’s latest annual trends report, “The Big Little Book of Nexts: Trendspotting for 2012.” At least that’s the word from the staff at this Australian pub, which writes, “While your marketing budgets are being allocated, take a minute (or ten) to review Euro RSCG’s predictions for the year to come.” Of particular interest to the magazine were the agency’s thoughts on cloud computing, the keyboard as mediator and communicator, and how the era of “me” is giving way to the era of “we,” among others.
“Futures Exchange,” Thomas Cook Travel magazine, November 2011
Marian leads the pack of trend analysts chosen by this U.K. magazine to give their forecasts for 2012. She cites “ethnic tourism” and “a full-on push for TV on the Internet” and says 2012 will be “the beginning of an era where notions of time are divided differently.… “the traditional ‘agrarian’ workday will be upended by the digital generation’s ability to work anywhere, anytime.” [Click here to download a PDF of the article.]
“What’s in a Name?” The Holmes Report, Oct. 23, 2011
Almost three years ago, the world found out about Bernie Madoff’s ruthless Ponzi scheme. Now we’re hearing about it again because of books by people related to Madoff. Marian sees the Madoff name, through her marketing and PR lens, as a brand and wonders how that brand can win back respect from the public. Bottom line, in Marian’s words: “There is simply no way to spin what happened in the house of Madoff. It needs a rebrand, reboot or rename.”
“Stand Up for Heroes Selects Euro as AOR,” PRWeek, Oct. 11, 2011
Stand Up for Heroes, an annual celebrity event that supports injured veterans, military members and their families, has named Euro RSCG Worldwide PR its agency of record. The event is in its fifth year and is run by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, where Marian served on the board for two years.
“Bye-Bye, 9 to 5: The ‘Renaissance Career’ Is Here!” Boston.com, Sept. 20, 2011
The term “9 to 5” now no longer applies to today’s workplaces, says this writer. And millennials especially, who are savvy about tech and social media, are figuring out how to use this “new normal” to their advantage. Mostly it happens by being jacks-of-many trades, including everything in their lives from freelancing and volunteering to building a business based on a passion and raising families. The article quotes Greg Housser, a Euro RSCG Worldwide employee who was featured on CNN in a story about ERWW PR CEO Marian Salzman and how she manages millennials. Says Greg: “I have a girlfriend, I have a family, I have friends, and these are all things that are very important because we work to live, not the other way around.”
“PR’s New Best Friend: Social-Media-Savvy Journos,” Ad Age Digital, Sept. 19, 2011
“Today, PR pros are drooling over the journalist or news organization with the most followers on Twitter,” says this article. At the same time, says the writer, “PR execs also struggle with trying to understand the value in 4,000 retweets vs. an article that only a few people read.” Marian, CEO of @erwwpr, gave the example of an agency project for client The French Will Never Forget, which got placements in USA Today and The New York Times but was most excited about the fact that CNN retweeted it. But, Marian adds, underscoring the unknowns: “Are [retweets] just amplifying it, or are people actually engaging? We need a tool to measure this impact. Nobody knows, but we better figure it out fast.”
“Lights Out, Game On,” The New York Times, Sept. 14, 2011
Sleep is big business, as this writer notes: “In 2010, Americans spent more than $5.8 billion on their mattresses and box springs, up 4 percent from the year before.” A variety of new products are covering this industry, from sheets made out of athletic high-tech performance fabrics to mattresses that look like sneakers—even sleep power bars. “We are hyper-competitive, even when it comes to stress and relaxation,” says @erwwpr CEO Marian Salzman, among her insights in this piece. “And we want to amp up our lives, to ensure we have and enjoy the very best, better than others.”
“Once in a Tech Time,” The Holmes Report, Sept. 8, 2011
Marian’s bottom line in her latest ThinkTank column for the Holmes Report: “Is the ad biz having the equivalent of a midlife crisis as it searches for ways to reach, retool and redefine a jaded consumer base that eats the latest technology for breakfast, lunch and dinner?” We’ve entered an era of more tactical marketing, she says: “It’s not that all this digital marketing is not strategic; it’s just that much messaging has become more multilayered, more tech-focused than ever.” But she likes thinking about the opportunities and sees steps toward a future where tech in ads is as important as the ad’s concept.
“Blog from Switzerland,” The Moscow News, Sept. 1, 2011
Russia was one of the 170-plus countries that sent delegates to the One Young World summit for young global leaders, held this year in Zurich. The full group of delegates discussed business, health, media, the environment and other important global issues, with an eye toward change. “Young is wonderful. Young has the future, young has hopes and young has time,” says Marian, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, part of the company that organized the summit. One of the founders, Euro RSCG U.K. Group Chairman Kate Robertson, said she “believes some of the delegates will in time emerge as leaders of their countries and global businesses.”
“Agencies Tap CMOs to Extend Growth,” Direct Marketing News, Sept. 1, 2011
The position of chief marketing officer is becoming more prominent as agencies look toward putting themselves in the best possible light—and compete for new business. Marian, CEO of @erwwpr, who was CMO at JWT, added her take on why more agencies are filling such positions: “We’re all hanging onto growth by our dear fingers.” The CMO role, she adds, means someone is “out there always driving growth more objectively” on the agency’s behalf.
“Honoring Sept. 11, With Care,” The New York Times, August 31, 2011
Marketers used to steer clear of Sept. 11 anniversary events, but how should they change course—if at all—on the 10th anniversary of the disasters? Marian, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, is one source in the story who, although admitting she’s conflicted on the subject, in the end suggests brand should not involve themselves. (Although, of course, many are—from 9/11 commemorative merlot to e-books.) “‘On one level, you want to convey a sense of empathy and sympathy and patriotism,’ Ms. Salzman said. ‘On another level, there’s a belief that every milestone in American history has been turned into a marketing opportunity.’”
“Watching the Weather Channel Crush It,” The Holmes Report, Aug. 30, 2011
Hurricane Irene, with its projected path and time to evacuate, was an ideal press event. “The media had a full week to put up intense Doppler charts with enough lines and cones and computer models to make your head spin,” says Marian in this column. Big weather events are also being tracked not only on the Weather Channel, but also over social media with our extended networks—after all, Marian points out, weather is the great common denominator. And of course, she adds, it’s a “tremendous PR opportunity,” too, for people who take it, as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did, and President Obama.
“12 Rules for Back-to-School Shopping,” USA Today, Aug. 28, 2011
There are new rules for back-to-school shopping, says this article: “Shop late, and strategically—while embracing technology as your retail lie-detector.” Marian, CEO of @erwwpr, was one of “10 of the savviest retail gurus, consumer watchdogs and trendmeisters” to lay out some of the rules. Among the back-to-school trends she has spotted: Students selling old items to fund this year’s purchases and helping people who have less than they do. “Families are filling up on budget items, then packing up a bag for needy children,” Marian says in the article. “Watch for more giving back at the center of the conversation.”
“Creating the Future,” Adweek, Aug. 19, 2011
“We ask our clients, what headlines do you want to read or how do you want the world to see you?” says Marian, Euro RSCG Worldwide PR CEO, about the agency. Adds President Lisa Rosenberg: “We have an unwavering focus on earned media, and we deliver amazing coverage for our clients, along with marketing innovations that drive the news.” This article outlines the agency’s strengths—from social media and cause marketing to media relations and a new community model—all with an eye on taking clients to the future. “[The community model is] a very interactive approach,” says Marian, “where we use the community as a research instrument for developing and refining the story. Then we can better activate those conversations for our clients.”
“The Western Adventure Goes Soft and Rugged,” New West Blog, Aug. 15, 2011
“Marian Salzman gave quite the lecture on the state of Americans and how the outdoor industry can get their attention,” says this blog writer about Marian’s presentation at the opening of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. One key point was that consumers today “don’t want to be hardcore extremists,” the writer added. “They want soft, rugged adventures, where they can play safely outside.… Another cool thing she said is that ‘outdoors’ does not mean ‘cut off.’… [Y]ou’ll see a whole lot more products in the marketplace next year and beyond, addressing connectivity.”
“Is Beauty in the Eye of the Voter?” The Holmes Report, Aug. 22, 2011
Michele Bachmann’s beauty got Marian, CEO of ERWW PR, thinking about whether an attractive female politician’s looks help or hurt her. “I give you Golda Meir, an amazing politician and defender of country and man and woman alike,” Marian said. “Would she have had the same credibility if she had looked like, say, Natalie Portman?” But in the end, she says, discussing politicians’ looks is superficial; successful brands—and politicians today are indeed brands—have style and substance. “I don’t much care if our first female president looks like she just stepped off Planet of the Apes or like Gisele Bündchen; I do care about whether she can get the job done and whether as a woman I’m proud to support her and can relate to her POV, attractive or not.”
“Outdoor Retail Trending on Pop Culture,” Boulder County Business Report,
Aug. 4, 2011
Kicking off the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Marian presented 11.5 top trends for the outdoor industry with an eye toward 2020—from “soft rugged” experiences (Pilates, yoga) to the rise in traditions (the number of people participating in annual marathons and triathlons is a good example) both continuing to grow. Marian “likes to use iconic images to make her points,” said this writer, referring to the picture of an overweight, pale man stuck in a beach chair that Marian used to illustrate her “beached white males” (desolate men who have been laid off) trend. “Give them a destination on the weekends and a dialogue and a peer group,” Marian suggested to her audience, some of the 24,000 marketers, buyers and retailers who attended this year’s show.
“Putting Your Money (What Money?) Where Your Tweets Are,” The Holmes Report, Aug. 3, 2011
In the midst of the debt ceiling crisis, President Barack Obama and his social media team took to Twitter in an attempt to rally his followers (more than 9 million of them) to encourage Republican congresspeople to take a bipartisan stance in solving the problem. Instead, @BarackObama tweeted too much and lost 40,000 followers in one day. As of the end of that weekend, he had regained two-thirds of that number, but, asks Marian, CEO of @erwwpr, “when a tweet or post or comment can affect an election, give power to a brand or boost one’s status as a thought leader, shouldn’t putting your money where your tweets are still top the list in terms of one’s approval rating?”
“‘The Creative Business Idea Book’—Viral Marketing Do’s and Don’ts,” CNBC.com, July 27, 2011
“‘Viral marketing’ sounds sinister, doesn’t it?” asks Marian. But “marketers like nothing more than to see [marketing viruses] erupt into full-scale pandemics,” adds the CEO of ERWW PR. The agency’s parent company, Euro RSCG Worldwide, just published a book featuring its top Creative Business Ideas from the past decade, and in that time, Marian and her colleagues have created some of the most viral ads ever. Here are some key lessons they learned along the way (see the article for more detail): Provide an emotional payoff; don’t overproduce; protect your flanks; be transparent and true; say your mea culpas; and make it last.
“Murdoch’s Right-Hand Woman,” The Holmes Report, July 25, 2011
As Marian watched the News Corp. media circus, she couldn’t help but focus on Wendi Deng “aka Mrs. Rupert Murdoch, aka protector of a pie to the puss.” It’s not the “stand-by-your-man pathos” we’ve become used to seeing on the news, she says, especially after Deng’s Parliament pie swat. Says Marian: “Murdoch’s Achilles’ heel in parliament, Tom Watson, was said to have told him after the episode: ‘Mr. Murdoch, your wife has a very good left hook.’ (It was actually her right, which could make for a great political analogy, but I won’t go there…) If those are fighting words, perhaps we should take a closer look at Wendi when it comes to who is really in control.… As lines are drawn and consequences are suffered, I suspect many of us Murdoch watchers will align with Team Wendi.”
“How One CEO Bends the Rules to Get the Most Out of Millennials,”
CNN, July 21, 2011
Millennials—the generation of people born after 1980—are becoming more important in the workforce, requiring executives like Marian, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, to change policies and management style. CNN took a look inside the offices of ERWW PR and discovered casual dress, happy hours on the rooftop—and young workers who like their job and are loyal to their company. “They’re the new marketplace. They’re the new brains. They come with all the social media tools and tricks embedded in them as natives,” says Marian. Adds CNN Senior Correspondent Allan Chernoff about the CEO: “[S]he’s put aside inclinations to exert her power in favor of recognizing the potential of her young employees, who she argues are anything but slackers.” Her style is paying off, he adds, because of the agency’s strong growth under Marian’s two-year tenure.
“Play Ball?” The Holmes Report, July 11, 2011
Two sports lockouts in the U.S. are making for interesting news. “Fighting it out for biggest bad guy—players versus owners—is going to be a battle larger than the Super Bowl or the NBA Finals,” says Marian in her latest weekly Holmes Report blog post. Disheartened by Nike’s re-signing of Michael Vick and curious about what will happen if there’s no football or basketball at the start of their respective seasons, Marian is betting on tennis for the next big endorsement deals. In any case, she wonders if the wrong war is being fought: “[B]oth sides should be duking it out for the loyalty and passion of sports fans.”
“Time to Get Real (Time),” The Holmes Report, July 4, 2011
Way back in 2000, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued online advertising guidelines. They haven’t been updated since. Says Marian: “The world of digi has changed beyond anything we recognize from more than a decade ago, and marketers have a million ways to reach consumers online, applying the FTC’s guidelines as best they can to today’s technologies. So why is the government so snail-like in its reaction time?” She adds: “Let’s hope the FTC doesn’t wait another 10 years to reform this ever-evolving medium for marketers, because Madison Avenue and today’s consumers can’t afford to wait.”
“In PR Category, PR Shops Come Up Short While Ad Agencies Stand Tall,” Advertising Age, June 27, 2011
Public relations has been at the Cannes Lions Festival for three years, and the category’s entries were up 40 percent this year, to 819 entries. But as Ad Age reports, there were 105 campaigns on the short list—but only about 20 were entered by PR agencies, compared with 45-plus for ad agencies. Two problems, according to sources, might be “cobbler’s children syndrome—PR shops failing to self-promote” and PR agencies’ “need to report stronger results and achieve more tangible objectives than publicity, identifying ROI such as behavioral change.” Marian, CEO of ERWW PR, felt, said the writer, that “part of the reason PR agencies are relatively scarce at Cannes is that they lack access to the resource of creative shops.”
“Selling a Presidency,” The Holmes Report, June 26, 2011
Marian, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, looks at the current 2012 U.S. presidential candidates as brands in her latest weekly column for the Holmes Report’s ThinkTank. Barack Obama “pretty much set the bar for how to market a winning campaign and position oneself as a brand,” she says. And the next election will be “all about resonating with voters and their values,” but “under the lens of brands.” The candidates—like successful brands today—will need to serve their consumers; showcase values and beliefs aligned with them, their communities and the world; be fully transparent; stand for something; and incorporate a 360-degree approach to their marketing efforts.
“Euro RSCG: Brutal Honesty, Beached White Males,” Marketing Daily,
June 16, 2011
Marian decided to present a midyear trends forecast—stepped up from the usual schedule of her annual report—because of all the cultural chaos in recent months. Among her trends, all of which are discussed in this article, are these: The explosion in neurological research will replace “e” words (email, e-commerce) with those starting with “n” (nHancers, nGames, etc.); cell phones are the new trans fats (expect the debate to soon turn to cell-phone use by people under age 14); we will see a return to brutal honesty; and Americans are looking for new rituals.
“Is Connectivity the New Killer?” The Holmes Report, June 16, 2011
Marian, trendspotter and CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, has long been forecasting the day we’d worry as much about talking on the phone as we did about smoking cigarettes. In light of the new report from the World Health Organization warning of dangers such as brain cancer (and, she wonders, loss of fertility in men who stash their phone in their front pants pocket), she says, “Suddenly, ‘dead zone’ has a new meaning.” Marian also wonders how big telecom brands and marketers will deal with the news and says maybe we should look to millennials, who don’t use phones for voice calls but just texting, checking in and tweeting.
“How Social Media and Sexting Can Kill Your Brand,” The Holmes Report, June 10, 2011
Marian, a go-to trendspotter and CEO of ERWW PR, has been talking for a while about the trend she calls Brand Me. But in this piece she says “Weinergate” highlights the fact that “we as PR people are often (and nail-bitingly) placing damage control for brands (and celebs and politicos) at the cornerstone of a strategy.” That strategy, and a stealth PR team, are much more important today than ever, she adds, “in light of today’s new normal of full disclosure and nothing to hide.”
“Street Fight Daily: 06.07.11,” Street Fight, June 7, 2011
In this “roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups,” the writer chose Marian’s thoughts on the Huffington Post in a piece called “Corporations: Pillars of the Community?” He focused on this idea of hers: “So it stands to reason that big business needs to be looking—wide-eyed—at how it, too, can integrate into their geographic area, by investing in local businesses (by giving them business or by sponsoring fundraisers or backing entrepreneurs) and ultimately supporting the community.”
“If Brands Gave Commencement Speeches,” The Holmes Report, June 2, 2011
Graduation speakers nationwide are giving the usual inspirational pep talks to follow dreams, work hard and seize the day. But with unemployment still up and student loan debt at the highest point ever, maybe the speeches need to talk about today’s 24/7/365 work/life blur, less talking and more listening, and making compromises, says Marian. She then asks, “If your brand were giving a commencement speech, what values would you want it to share with the world?” Read the article for some important answers to consider when you’re facing a potential new audience.
“Retiring Ronald McDonald,” The Holmes Report, May 24, 2011
In an age of sensitivity toward marketing to children and of childhood obesity, the longtime McDonald’s mascot has grown out of fashion and even been the target of groups calling for his retirement. But Marian thinks that punishment seems harsh—and misdirected, when the Skechers brand, for instance, is now marketing its Shape-ups sneakers (which promise to shape “buns and thighs,” as she says) to young girls). “Which brings me to the real issue,” she says in this bylined piece. “Yes, marketers have a responsibility to be mindful when marketing to children, but it’s the parents who need to make real decisions for their kids: Cook at home more often and take your kids on long walks in the park.”
“Chiquita Taps Euro RSCG for New Product Launch,” The Holmes Report,
May 24, 2011
“Food major Chiquita has enlisted Euro RSCG PR to help it develop an influencer programme to launch a new crushed-fruit snack,” says this international PR industry pub. Holmes notes that ERWW PR has begun rolling out the first part of the program. “The activities we choreographed in Chicago were fun and inspiring,” says Marian of that first stage in the article, “and the level of interest we received in the local market proved that our hyperlocal approach is the right way to go.”
“Millennials Optimistic About Jobs,” CNN via Chicago Tribune, May 23, 2011
Tech-savvy, tireless—and with a sense of entitlement. It’s how the head of a marketing firm describes the four dozen millennials (the generation born in the 1980s and early ’90s) who work in her office. “There’s this constant sense of No. 1,” says the firm’s owner. And they don’t seem bothered by the bad economic times in the U.S. “They don’t understand why the recession should impact them,” says Marian, CEO of ERWW PR, who has been studying and watching millennials for years. “These kids feel they’ve mastered step one and are ready to come in as a junior executive.”
“The Millennials—Ever Optimistic About Jobs,” CNN Money, May 18, 2011
Millennials—young adults born in the ’80s and early ’90s—have a sense of entitlement in the workplace and “seem not terribly bothered,” says this article’s writer, by the pervasive job insecurity in the U.S. “[M]illennials have a different style than the older generation,” he says, and quotes a Euro RSCG survey in which 73 percent of millennials believe hard work is key to achievement. Says Marian: “These kids feel they’ve mastered step one and are ready to come in as a junior executive.”
“Beware Brand Obama,” The Holmes Report, May 13, 2011
As a marketer who sees herself as a campaign manager for the brands she works with, Marian thinks of Obama and Osama as brands. She believes the Obama brand got lost when he was elected because of all the polarization in D.C. Then there was the killing of Osama—“the most ‘presidential’ thing he has done since taking office,” she says. The photo of him in the situation room that evening made her remember why we elected him, saying it brought back “Yes, we can,” but “with much more of a badass twist. And just like that, the dialogue began to shift.… Because suddenly, we believe in Obama all over again.”
“PR Could Use and Is Prepared to Welcome a Few Good Men,”
PRWeek, May 1, 2011
After almost 25 years in the agency world, Marian began wondering whether public relations needed a gender reboot. “[I] have happily watched my own agency emerge in an increasingly female industry—then maddeningly forgotten that best-in-class performance means two must tango,” said the CEO of PR Operations, North America at ERWW PR in this bylined piece, which notes that more men have been joining PR agencies recently, often in the digital space, and that men still occupy many of the top spot. Gender parity, Marian adds, is needed to “[elevate] ourselves and our trade to its most influential place in the new world order.”
“Resources: New Biz Tactic: Hire Women,” Portfolio, April 20, 2011
Hiring more women might give companies a sustainable competitive edge, says new research from Deloitte. The article also cites a Euro RSCG Worldwide survey of millennials that says today’s young-adult generation expects that women will be important to shaping the future. “Millennial women have always considered themselves equal (at the very least!) to men and now are questioning whether balancing career and family are necessarily worth it,” says Marian. “They want it all, but they want to be the ones to say what ‘all’ entails.”
“Daily Brief: The Change Agents,” Portfolio, April 14, 2011
Millennials have high expectations for themselves and companies, and they prefer brands that connect for life with consumers. Marian expounds on these ideas and others (women’s ideas about careers, lack of geographic barriers) that come out of a Euro RSCG Worldwide survey about today’s rising generation. Says Marian: “Millennials don’t see huge barriers between themselves and the companies with which they do business. They’re perfectly comfortable interacting with businesses and pressing them for information and change.”
“Euro RSCG Life Growth to be Overseen by New Group Leader,” Zenopa News, April 14, 2011
Marian, notes Zenopa News, has been named chief executive officer of public relations operations in North America for Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, responsibilities of which include helping to build the Euro RSCG Life PR brand in the U.K. Zenopa, a U.K. health-care recruitment agency, adds that “Euro RSCG Life is among the leading healthcare marketing firms in the world” and quotes Marian as saying, “We are an agency on the move, growing fast, adding business and people and now reorganising to be even more effective providers of client solutions.”
“Euro RSCG’s Salzman Named PRWeek’s PR Professional Of the Year,” Bulldog Reporter’s Daily ’Dog, March 14, 2011
Marian was named PRWeek’s PR Professional of the Year. Said David Jones, CEO of Havas and global CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide: “Fantastic news, because there is no harder worker than Marian, whose creative energy rarely sleeps. Marian’s understanding of the ever-changing media landscape, especially a command of where social media is taking us, her ability to spot trends and apply them across industries, and her laser focus on creating unique, successful campaigns for her clients, among so many other attributes, all help underscore the fact that I think PRWeek made a great call in naming Marian its PR Professional of the Year.”
“Marian Salzman, PRWeek PR Professional of the Year,” Everything PR,
March 12, 2011
Says blogger Mihaela Lica of Marian, who was recently named PR Professional of the Year in the PRWeek awards competition: “[F]ew people in her position can mention as many successes with their work, great part of which has always been in support of various humanitarian projects.” She later adds: “She’s a bit of a legend, with honorable mentions all over the world, a Huffington Post, CNBC.com, PRWeek and PR News columnist, an Ad Age contributor, and media darling—a powerful figure, and perhaps the first in years who genuinely deserves the prize.”
“PR Professional of the Year 2011,” PRWeek, March 10, 2011
Marian was honored with the biggest award for an individual in the public relations industry, just 19 months after taking over as president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR. According to PRWeek, “Each judge noted Salzman’s role as a thought leader, both within the PR industry and within mainstream media. One judge noted her ‘impressive thought leadership’ and role in articulating ‘important societal trends’ in the last year, while another judge lauded Salzman for ‘redefining success within the agency.'”
“Teen Girls: Always on a Social Shopping Mission,” eMarketer, March 2011
This month, eMarketer sets its sights on teen girls and their shopping and social media habits. “Given their sheer number, potential spending power, internet and social media usage, teen girls represent an enormous opportunity,” the report says. “Retailers that tap this vein will attract new customers turned on by the viral buzz that girls themselves create.” Marian, president of ERWW PR and creator of its Sisterhood initiative, which was based on research that drew very similar conclusions, was interviewed for the extensive report. Among her insights: “Facebook almost becomes part of the shopping pursuit—girls might collect 15 points of view about a look or an outfit from a Facebook post. This makes shopping even more social and represents a new kind of stickiness.”
“Salzman: Where They’re Finding Love Online,” CNBC.com, Feb. 14, 2011
Meeting people online has changed significantly since the days of Meg Ryan waiting for the robo-like AOL voice to tell her she had mail and finding Tom Hanks at the other end. How much has it changed? Euro RSCG Worldwide’s January 2010 survey of 1,000 Americans about e-dating patterns and their use of technology, especially social media, gives some clues. “Among social media sites, all respondents ranked Facebook first as most likely to lead them into romantic or erotic relationships online. Matchmaking sites came in a close second, e-mail third, dating sites fourth,” says Marian.
“Ad Agency X-Factor,” Financial Review BOSS, February 2011
The 2011 Trends Special of Australian Financial Review BOSS gets to the heart of Marian’s staying power on lists of the world’s top trendspotters. (Among other milestones, this profile notes that The Wall Street Journal “cited her as the first advertising professional to use online focus groups.”) “I crave cross-tabulations and get pleasure from writing algorithms to isolate interesting segmentations,” Marian says, explaining how she makes sense of data. “I’m also a news
junkie and comb the Internet for relevant facts and figures that put meat onto the bones of any trend stories… My goal is to stay on top of what may be next and why.”
“‘Idol’ Hopes New Judges, Younger Contestants Give It a Boost,” Detroit Free Press, Jan. 19, 2011
“American Idol” is trying to reinvent itself yet again with two new judges, singers Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. The novelty might bring in more viewers initially, and it will always have an audience, says Marian, cultural trendspotter and president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, in this article. It just might not motivate watercooler conversations, she adds, like the groundbreaking show once did.
“Can ‘American Idol’ Get the Buzz Back?” The Arizona Republic, Jan. 10, 2011
Will people care about the 10th season of “American Idol” when it airs next week, asks the writer of this article? He went first to Marian, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, to find out why the show’s buzz seemed to be missing last year. “There are so many things out there,” she says. “It’s going to be hard for anything to be the new ‘new.’ It’s like, you can’t stay young forever. You aren’t always going to be the show with the buzz.”
“Starbucks Logo Change Draws Consumer Anger,” The (Montreal) Gazette, Jan. 6, 2011
Much like the infuriated fans of the Gap, which also recently changed its logo, Starbucks’s decision to switch it up in the hopes of extending the brand beyond coffee drinks has consumers vexed. Marian says that “the often angry nature of social media has done nothing but hurt the brand, as people take to their various networks and express their anger, in real time.” When asked if the brand could survive this logo change, she replied, “Ask me on Monday.”
“Starbucks Cuts Name, ‘Coffee’ from Logo; Draws Ire,” Reuters, Jan. 5, 2011
In a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Starbucks has officially dropped the “coffee” from its name and retooled its logo, a move that has made latte enthusiasts less than pleased. Legions of fans took to blogs and social media outlets to voice their dismay almost instantly after the announcement was made. Says Marian, brand watcher and president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR: “Nothing is worse than an armchair quarterback. Nothing ever ends well that starts this way.”
“Looking into the Future with Marian Salzman,” Metro, Jan. 4, 2011
This Q&A with the president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR touches on fashion and beauty, tech, food, the future of newspapers and the next subculture. On that last point, Marian names two. The first: “I think there is going to be one—the so-called ‘anti-social social butterfly’ [the antithesis of the social butterfly]—a person who is not very social in real life in a face-to-face situation, but who has collected immense numbers of followers in the online world. Through this space, it’s a chance for that type of person to be overly aggressive.”
“If Forecaster/Trendspotter Marian Salzman Is Right, Britain’s Prince William/Kate Middleton Wedding Will Be 2011’s Best-Seller,” min (Media Industry Newsletter), Jan. 3, 2011*
Marian tells min this: “[T]he momentum will build as the [April 29, 2011] wedding date nears. Look at all the attention being given to Kate’s hair styles. If 2011 is a ‘status quo’ year with no surprise crises or deaths, the royal wedding will sell best.” The media/marketing newsletter also features two of Marian’s forecasts from her 2011 report and a fashion-media-related prediction she made to min in 2009 that she says was proved correct.
“Healthy Living” Top Resolution—to Break,” Cody Enterprise, Jan. 3, 2011
In this roundup of predictions for 2011, Marian, noted futurist and president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, predicts it will be a year of increased anger as, the article notes, “technology makes it easier for people to rely on their ‘networks’ for information, having lost faith in their leaders, institutions and media.” Also notable in her eyes for the new year? A “booting up” of employees and students to be more “emotionally resilient” in these troubled times, plus career reinvention, redefined gender roles and entrepreneurial innovation on the rise.
“The Trend Watchers,” Chicago Tribune, Jan. 2, 2011
The Chicago Tribune checked in with four trendspotters, including Marian, to see what they think will be on our plates in 2011. Among their thoughts: more muscle drinks, more nutritious choices for school lunches, nutrient-rich cocktails, communal tables in restaurants, meatless Mondays, a rise in artisanal or heirloom foods, and a decrease in portion size.
“Digital Age Takes Star Splits to New Level,” The New Zealand Herald, Jan. 1, 2011
Celebrity splits were all over the news in 2010. Though there’s nothing new about splitting up, the way gossip hounds had access to every detail through blogs, social networking sites and all things social was the big story. Marian, trendspotter and ERWW PR president, had this to offer on the matter: “I, for one, am more bothered and intrigued by the good news announcements via Twitter and Facebook than the quiet exits this way. After waiting a third of a lifetime, the Royals deserved a national five minutes of silence for their engagement. The group posting seems so, well, humble.”
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