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Introducing BENAMI MEDIA

Earlier this month, I shared my birthday with the launch of Benami Media, a communications strategy shop devoted to helping socially minded individuals and organizations tell their stories, grow awareness, and make change happen.

Your Next Awesome Community Manager

For hundreds of friendships and acquaintances, readers near and far, the blessings of my skill set, a loving partner, and free WiFi at Metropolis, I’m thankful. It is, indeed, a very, very good life.

Milwaukee Tourism Blows It Again in Chicago

Two years ago, I faulted Milwaukee’s tourism office for not understanding their audience: Chicagoans. This summer, Brew Town has once again plastered Chicago’s buses and ‘L’ trains with travel ads. Guess what they still don’t understand?

PR Firms: You’re Never “Anonymous” on the Internet

I’d like to know how an anonymous, scathing comment about my recent criticism of the Visit Milwaukee tourism campaign got on my blog from…the IP address of a PR firm employed by Visit Milwaukee. How about you?

Meet Me in St. Louis, Not Milwaukee: How Not to Oversell Your Urban Tourism Campaign

The urbanist in me loves that St. Louis and Milwaukee are vying for Chicago visitors with cheeky local tourism ads. Here’s why the St. Louis campaign has me yearning to visit, while the Milwaukee campaign has me yawning and staying home.

Exploring Chicago with Foursquare: An Unexpectedly Amazing Experience

For months I dismissed Foursquare, the popular GPS check-in game, as a marketing gimmick. But a whirlwind day chasing down Chicago’s official tourism badges showed a friend and me how addictive it can be–and taught us a lot about our own city that we never knew before.

Why HR Departments Shouldn’t Write Online Marketing Job Ads

A local nonprofit recently applied an absurd requirement in an online-marketing employment ad rendering almost all job hunters unqualified. Here’s why you shouldn’t rely on your HR department to write ads for critical, web-related jobs.

UPS and Toxic Brand Marketing

When rolling out a national ad campaign, it helps to make use of your most recognizable icon. Borrowing the look of another company’s icon? Not so helpful. So why does the UPS Store ad in the March 2010 issue of Fast Company look like a promo for Disney’s ‘Cars’?

Silence Isn’t Golden for the W***** Tower

There are bad branding strategies. There are Macy’s-mothballs-Marshall-Field awful branding strategies. And then there’s Willis Group’s hubris- and hare-brained idea to rename the Sears Tower. What do you get when you glue a new name on an old icon whose existing monicker has worldwide recognition? Judging by local blog discussion, a good laugh–and lots of people who say they just won’t bother to say the word W*****.