As someone who travels all the time, I watch a lot of TV. As CEO of a technology public relations firm, I love all that is “fast” and “new,” but somehow I gravitate toward series that take me back in time. One of the things I love most about retro shows is when I realize that the language, clothes and culture may change, but so many things stay the same.
For example, awesome ideas are timeless. I’m a rabid “Mad Men” fan, and Peggy Olson is the kind of risk taker we love at Airfoil. In her shellacked 1960s bouffant, twin sets and cone bras, she’s come up with campaign concepts I only wish I could have thought of myself — today.
But after reading an article about what life was really like for 1960s-era “Mad Women”, I understand the show doesn’t necessarily reflect the significant number of women who were actually moving-and-shaking on Madison Avenue in the early 1960s. Without the incredible social networking resources women in business have access to today — not to mention a decidedly greater social emphasis on gender equity — this is a real testament to the brains and guts behind these mavericks. I wonder if Peggy would have stayed at Sterling for so long had she been able to put out feelers for opportunities via LinkedIn, demonstrated her industry expertise through Twitter or broadcast her creative ideas and process on a blog.
Even with the assistance of social media, Peggy’s skills would earn her those opportunities (just more rapidly). Her ad concepts work because they speak the truth, plainly but powerfully. She would have no way of knowing, but a Peggy classic — the straightforward “Take it. Break it. Share it. Love it.” for Popsicle — is the essence of a great social media discipline:
- Take your message.
- Break it down into digestible chunks.
- Share it with people who care.
- And love it.