Pinterest will explore “Creativity that Drives Growth” at #SMWNYC

One of the biggest hurdles that marketers fact today is creating content that’s personalized and inspires people to act. Join Alastair Cotterill, Pinterest’s Global Head of Creative and Brand Strategy, for a chat about how developing great creative based on “me” time instead of “them” time may not be as tricky as it may seem.

In this session, “From Inspiration to Action: Creativity that Drives Growth,” attendees will walk away with an understanding of how shifting to this more personalized approach results in unique creative opportunities, as well as the reasons why great creative doesn’t just win awards, but also drives actual business growth.

Alastair will also show attendees examples of creative that inspired people to take action with on mobile devices, plus new ideas for creating engaging content intended for mobile.

Social Media Week returns to New York this February 28 at The TimesCenter. Register to attend here before passes sell out, and view more events on our official schedule here.

Tech Needs a Posture Check


If you’re reading this on a mobile device or while sitting at your desk, I’ve got bad news: “The moment the spine collapses the brain collapses” (B. K. S. Iyengar).

We sit 9 1/2 hours each day. And though our minds accomplish feats of strength in front of the computer, our bodies and our brains suffer when we slouch at our desks and sag our heads forward over our phones.

Your Spine Online: The upstanding team of Breathe Repeat bloggers — Joyce Englander, Tracey Toomey and Jamie Lugo — led a masterclass on the hazards of tech neck and text head and how to remedy these nasty evolutionary adaptations of the digital age. “When you go online, your spine goes offline,” Toomey warned during Social Media Week 2014.

A better view: Your spinal alignment correlates directly to how others see you and how see yourself. Better posture makes you more confident, more memorable, and more likely to be viewed as a trustworthy leader.

Clever you: Good posture gives your lungs space to breathe fully and your brain nourishment to think clearly. Find your best alignment, and the creative solutions will flow.

In a slump?: Notice how you’re sitting. Yes, you. Now.

Being mindful of your alignment is the most important technique to improving it. Breathe Repeat recommends simply noticing your posture periodically, as well, as occasional field trips to the wall: with your heels, backside, shoulders, and back-of-the-head lined up, you’re standing tall!

Time is of the essence: You stay focused on your work; there’s an app for posture. Several, in fact. Posture Track monitors you through your computer’s camera and alerts you when things begin to collapse. StandApp reminds you to get up from your chair. And, Kripalu Yoga Break is a collection of 22, 5-minute yoga activities to keep you fit and refreshed throughout the day. And Perfect Posture is made for our Windows fans to mimic posture building exercises. Maybe tech is good for your posture after all.

Can I get that delivered?: Yoga’s more nourishing than the same old lunch from your local takeout joint, and it’s restorative too. You can get all the benefits of yoga from the comfort of your desk and share the goodness with your colleagues. The pros from Breathe Repeat will gladly drop by your office, and then you’ll be sitting upright, exuding creativity and productivity in no time.

Send them a quick note, and they’ll deliver yoga to you. It’s like Seamless for your spine!

Deanna Utroske is the Social Media Brand Director for New York Women in Communications, where membership includes a YogaWorks discount.  Deanna writes on women’s career issues, lifestyle topics and more. Follow her on Twitter @DeannaUtroske.

Smarter Every Day: Nokia@Work

With the pace of today’s always-connected business world, being both productive and efficient is key to staying on top. The way business people structure their offices, their teams, and of course, their time is hugely important.

To assist here, SMW Global Headline Sponsor Nokia launched their Nokia@Work initiative, helping businesses of all sizes to get ahead through productivity and in utilizing mobility so that we can all get “Smarter Everyday.” Something we’re excited to get behind.

Courtesy of Nokia@Work and their Smarter Everyday campaign, we are giving away 150 complimentary passes (regularly priced at $99) to the Global HQ at the Metropolitan Pavilion between February 19-21. Our Global HQ will explore how we can architect our own future, collaborate together for better solutions and invent better ways of doing everything. We’ll also feature Master Classes from Nokia and leading brands and experts like Dachis, Percolate, Tumblr and more to give you hands-on opportunities to really grasp new skills and concepts – making it a great experience for businesses and their employees.

How do you get involved? Share something unique about your work space environment!

It could be the way your meeting rooms are designed or the style and function of your desks. Or it could be something completely unique, like a slide that enables people to move between floors or a tree-house you use for company meetings. The more unique, unusual and, of course smarter, the better.

We want to see what inspires you every day.

Take a picture, upload and share on twitter using the hashtag #SmarterEveryday. Nokia will pick their five favorite ones each week. As always, we encourage you to see the full rules here.

Get snapping and show us how you work smarter. Then, if you’re in NYC, make sure you take a break from the HQ to hear how Nokia is creating a Smarter Everyday on Tuesday, February 19.

Switch It Up: New Event Formats for SMW NYC

Who doesn’t like a good idea? With our initial schedule going live December 5th (it’s just around the corner!!), we’re expecting some amazing ideas coming out of SMW13! However, we don’t want any of your ideas to get lost in the shuffle. Even the best content can get buried if not highlighted properly. So, to help your idea stand out, we think a little change of format will help it shine. This week, we’ll sharing our tips to step out of the mold and switch up the traditional event.

1. Go fast.
Channel a little Speedracer. Rapid-fire presentations keep the audience engaged and on our toes. For example, PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for only 20 seconds. It was originally devised because most of us- talk too much. So, by using this format, you get the best in a short time frame. The best PechaKucha presentations are the ones that uncover the unexpected — unexpected talent, unexpected ideas. For example, this one on our irrational fears, like our fear of sharks.

2. Get secretive.
Speakeasies are popular for a reason. Sometimes a little mystery and intrigue are all it takes to pique our curiosity. Keep some details undisclosed and consider planning a few surprises throughout the event. Consider asking attendees for personal likes and dislikes and then build that into how you plan out the session. Or even release the event location the day before. Small things can create big experiences. A little secrecy can make your event different, personal and memorable.

3. Turn the event on its head.
We love collaboration. Consider having your speakers present the topic and have the crowd do more of the talking- or even give attendees homework before they arrive. Our friends at Econsultancy did this. Bringing in Lee Huang of Barnes and Noble, attendees were presented a brief and developed ideas for how Barnes & Noble could innovate. This put them at the center and gave them hands-on lessons about the challenges of innovating for a global company in a struggling industry. Involving the attendees in an interactive fashion is a sure-fire way to make the learning stick and make it more engaging.

4. Duke it out.
We all don’t need to agree. Debates are lively and insightful. Don’t believe me- just think of how many of us tuned in to all three of the presidential debates. Few things are black and white, so consider putting people with opposing views against each other. One of our favorite events, 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media, did this regarding hot-off the-presses results from their own survey. After the exchanges, let the audience decide who won. You’ll have plenty to talk about and it won’t be dull.

5. Draw on our wanderlust.
Who says an event has to be in ONE place? Put it on the subway, a bus, a walking tour or somewhere we haven’t even imagined yet! We’ve been jealous watching SMW Toronto and SMW Rome host an intensive, intimate rail event for special attendees. It’s time we brought that to NYC. Now, it’s just a matter of who decides the route. It’ll create an intimate atmosphere and and experience to make the event go well beyond the average.

6. Get creative.
These 5 ideas are just that- 5 suggestions. Don’t limit yourself to these formats or any other one for that matter. Ask yourself what you would love to sit through and experience, and then add it! But don’t wait too long- event submissions closes in just 6 weeks. It’ll be here in no time, and you can capitalize on getting your event the most visibility by submitting it now to be one of the first on our schedule!

We’re looking forward to seeing all the pieces come together for a great week with you.

Top image by Peter Gorges. Final photo by Joe Thomissen.

7 Ideas for Creating a Great Social Media Event

This is a guest post by Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Specialist and Advocate.

Social Media Week returns to New York City for a fifth year with the theme Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World. A platform connecting people,
content, and conversation around emerging trends in social and mobile media, SMWNYC is calling for the city’s most forward-thinking agencies, corporations, non-
profits, startups, schools (guilds, covens, freemasonries, priesthoods, sleeper cells) to submit their event ideas.

As the innovation capital of the world, home to leading thinkers, agents of change and media pioneers, we know there’s a wealth of creative ideation to be had. So, we are looking for the boldest, brightest, most rabble-rousing ideas you have never even thought of. Until now.

Need something to chew on while you are brainstorming? See below!

7 Ideas for Creating a Great Social Media Event:

1. Rip It From The Headlines
There are great potential hooks all around you – just look to the news cycle. What’s happening politically, culturally, in your industry? How is it playing out in social media? Who’s leading the conversation? Oh that’s right – you.

2. Channel-Surf
Look no further than your trusty old TV – it is, after all, the original screen. Today, we watch our favorite shows over hashtags and revisit them over endless recaps. What would you be talking about over dinner? At the bar? Talk about that. The conversation will feel engaging and authentic. (P.S. When in doubt, just talk about Homeland.)

3. Meet Your All-Stars
Who in your industry are you dying to meet? Don’t pitch them yet another awkward coffee – invite them to join you on stage. And why stop at one? Stock your panel with the stars you and your community don’t normally have face time with.

4. Make It Servicey
People are more likely to join you if you can provide them with an ROI. Crowdsource what they want to know and then teach them!

5. Look To The Past
Forecasting is trendy and can be essential to the success of any organization, but it’s important that we also learn from the past. What are your greatest successes and failures? What case studies can you reference to underpin your point?
P.S. Everyone looks smarter talking about history. You already know how it ends.

6. Tap The Secret Power Brokers
Social media is an ever-changing landscape and it’s important to know who the outliers are. In the past it was Pinterest and middle aged-women. Who are the hidden influencers? Let your audience in on the secret – or let them tell you.

7. Discuss Dual Citizenship
It won’t be long before all of us are managing both our IRL and digital personas – and wrestling with the public/private divide. What are best practices? This can apply to virtually any areas of our lives. Go nuts.

Thinking outside the box is a surefire way to make your time at SMWNYC more memorable. Feel free to create something outside of the traditional panel format,
invite your community to co-create the program, and allow yourself to take risks.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Lindsey Taylor Wood is a communications specialist and advocate based in New York City. A champion of employing media to promote global citizenship, address human rights issues and galvanize social change, Lindsey has contributed to a variety of campaigns centered on conflicts in Central Africa; and The Enough Moment, a book by John Prendergast and Don Cheadle.

Friday Finale… Finally For Me

This is a guest post by Anna Choi.


While the end was near for dedicated attendees of Social Media Week New York City, Friday was just the beginning of my experience. There was no time to waste and after debating over the serious line up of various events, I was ready for my first SMWNYC gathering.

What Real Time Marketing Really Takes
Emily Steel from the Wall Street Journal led the panel discussion including Beth Waxman-Arteta of JWT, Ryan Davis of Blue State Digital, Bill Wolff of Primetime Programming, and Mike Sommers of Viggle at the Advertising and Marketing Content Hub at JWT. Topics from preparing for and challenge with real time marketing were touched on with much talk about the type transition period social media is fueling.

And what did I take away?

  • HR/human power is essential behind real time social media, real thought processing and relevance is needed to sustain engagement.
  • Every brand could use real time marketing, how it’s executed may differ.
  • Advertising agencies will transition into “brand content” agencies so the meaning of CMO may be defined as editors of content. Simply put, “real time” marketing will be just marketing in the future.
  • People/consumers are looking for substance and authenticity.
  • Filtration of information is diminishing, as communication is becoming more real/raw.
  • Currently real time marketing is a mixture of PR, social media, and brand management.
  • The thing about authenticity is that it’s imperfect sometimes. Mistakes happen.

Future of Social Technology
Michoel Ogince of Big Fuel and Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch discussed their predictions/opinions on the future of social networks/technology at the Global Society Content Hub at Big Fuel Headquarters. The conversation circled around the topic of humanization and the complex human behavior that social technology has yet to mirror perfectly. It was great to hear the opposing sides that Michoel and Jason brought especially when Path was brought up. They did agree that this is still the early stage of social technology and that if we think it’s really social right now, we’re wrong.

But the discussion also touched on:

  • Facebook: is it a place to dump a ton of content?
  • Social gaming (Zynga in particular): gamers invest a lot of money and time in the beginning but it dies off, they hit a wall.
  • App Store’s future: currently it’s a challenge to find/access specific apps.
  • Far future: social technology will be penetrated in every aspect to “friending” objects such as your fridge.
  • Advice for entrepreneurs: be driven by passion, don’t cling on to every “success story advice”.
  • There will be “niche networks” for social media/technology in the future.

Left Brain Meets Right Brain –The Blueprints for a Sophisticated Social Marketing Campaign (hosted by Shoutlet)
Jason Weaver, the CEO of Shoutlet, led this discussion including David Armano of Edelman Digital, Doug O-Reilly of MWW, Chris Eichman of Rayovac, and Brenda Schmerl of Reader’s Digest. The hour-or-so long conversation revolved around the controversial topic of left brain, right brain, or both. Planning and organizing people who are left-brain dominant among those who are right-brain dominant seemed to be key in finding the balance for a company. There was a debate over people who were both, or a hybrid, and if this category even existed. David Armano walked everyone through what he called a community engagement blueprint when touching on the subject of scenario planning. Improvisation seemed to be a theme for reacting effectively, with the main focus on being able to utilize the strengths of those who are creative and those who are analytical.

My overall impression of Social Media Week NYC was great. (especially since is FREE!) Being a student that is always seeking for more real world information, besides a textbook or some year-old case study, these events left me satisfied. Actually, I take that back, SMW has left me hungry and on the edge of my seat in excitement for what’s next. Being a part of the generation that really digs deep into the data of this social realm is fresh and transformational. I truly can’t wait to see how what’s trending now transitions into traditional.

Anna is a quirky senior at Virginia Tech studying Marketing and International Business. She is curious and thirsty for anything related to social media and brands. Anna aspires to work in an environment that’s constantly battling between the trending and traditional. When she’s not geeking over new digital happenings you can find her working on her new healthy lifestyle and obsessing over froyo. Follow her on twitter @achoi12 or dig deeper on her personal blog,, or marketing blog,

Funnel competition into creativity

Tag. A coloring contest. Dodgeball. Class rankings. What begins in grade school as a simple mission to earn more points than the opposing team or be the last one standing will eventually permeate your world (whether you want it to or not).


It’s a word that fuels action. Competition for dollars, for time, for attention, for buzz. In business, in life, throughout social media channels and beyond, competition has becomes a ferocious intent, driving strategy and routing corresponding decisions.

Yet those precious moments still exist in which people can set aside this drive and come together for something more. Instead of finding inspiration from one-upping another, an outside mission brings them together. Such as Social Media Week.

The occasion offers an opportunity to unite, create, and discover. It’s a blank slate, an open stage for any and all to command. It is a rare position in which invitations are extended to simply participate. A white canvas waiting for paint.

Those willing to dare to venture into that unknown have the opportunity to develop and create experiences people care about. To build something that unites people in ways previously unconsidered. To start conversations that incorporate audiences, luring them in as participants as opposed to limiting them to outside observers.

This realm of possibility, while knowing few restraints and bounds, can seem paralyzing. To help you get started, think about the person, or groups of people, you’d like to converse with. What would you want to say? If you had one theme to pass out in goodie bags, what would attendees walk away with? This idea should permeate your every action – from the invitations you send to participants to the tweets you write to promote your event. What is the message you are trying to convey?

Don’t be afraid to grab the microphone. There’s no judge, no points to earn, no game to lose.