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This post originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of Hardware + Building Supply Dealer.

tool-library-1As much as I hate shoveling snow, I can’t possibly justify spending upwards of $500 on a snow blower that I might use five days a year and would take up space in my garage for the remaining 360.

According to a recent PwC study, 43% of consumers agree that “owning feels like a burden.” When you consider the cost, maintenance and storage requirements, buying things is kind of a pain. It’s no wonder, then, that the “sharing economy” is estimated to be $110 billion (and growing fast), according to a November 2014 Leo Burnett study. Whether it’s Netflix, Spotify, Zipcar, TaskRabbit, Uber or Rent the Runway, there’s another, arguably better, alternative to ownership for virtually every aspect of our lives.

In a world where people don’t aspire to own their own homes or even openly despise the idea of owning a car, where does that leave the tool, yard care and appliance markets? (more…)

i-am-a-big-kid-nowI recently had the pleasure of speaking at PRSA Pittsburgh’s Professional Development Day. Ispoke about some of the changes that integrated marketing is having on the PR industry.

The part of my presentation that drew the greatest reaction from the mostly entry-level and student attendees was when I said that the industry has to stop the incessant whining about how PR doesn’t have a seat at the table or how people just don’t “get PR.” I even shared a great quote from my friend Rick Rice that raised some eyebrows: “The PR industry is in need of disruptive change and none of this generation are even willing to try.”

All of the issues with today’s PR industrythat we’re an afterthought that people don’t understand what we do or the value we bring, that anyone can do what we doare nobody’s fault but our own. For decades, many public relations professionals have chosen to complain about their lack of participation in the big picture rather than taking charge and forcing their way into it.

Here’s a hint for all you young PR pros out there: If you want to sit at the big kid table, start acting like one of the big kids. (more…)