Hype Busters: Real Talk on Strategic Communications with Chris and April

Real talk? Strategic communications rules the world, and business is just living in it. Let communications experts April Margulies and Christopher Tomkins be your go-to guides to all things public relations and digital marketing, respectively. What do startup founders need to know about online marketing? What if you’re a PR pro looking to maximize your media results? And how the heck do you manage an agency? Every two weeks, they’re here to cut through the B.S. and show you what’s really happening behind the scenes, and behind your screens. Tune in to join this dynamic duo as they bust through the hype to deliver the final word on the hottest developments in the brand arena right now and take a deep dive into the news and trends shaking up the industry.

MEET YOUR CO-HOSTS

April Margulies

Christopher Tompkins

YOU CAN ALSO LISTEN ON:

10 – Branding Fails, Media Trends and What to Watch in 2022

January 21, 2022

In today’s episode, Chris and April dive into the communications industry news stories that are making waves in the new year.  They’re covering NBC’s hiring of an ex-FBI official and the implications for trust in the mainstream media, Volvo’s handling of an image usage rights violation, and the state of print media this year. Amazon’s approach to ads and Elon Musk’s proposal to microchip the human brain. For this week’s “Cash or Trash?” segment, our hosts look at Inc.’s ranking of 2021’s most bizarre brand stories, and then close out with a quick tip on leveraging Instagram Live’s new screenshare feature.

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09 – Year-End Trends in Social, Marketing and Agency Management)

January 7, 2022

This week, Chris and April are chatting about the news shaking up the strategic marketing sphere as we kick off the new year. Tune in as your favorite duo breaks down the trends that sent 2021 out with a bang, including AdWeek’s new sustainability initiative, Amazon’s approach to ads and Elon Musk’s proposal to microchip the human brain. They’re also analyzing how Gen Z responds to disingenuous branding, last year’s supply chain challenges, and the metaverse. They make the call on whether the recent Barefoot Wine / Oreo Thins collab. Lastly, they chat through some practices to help agencies improve their recruitment and retention strategies.

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08 – The Personalization Payoff: How to Reach Your Target Market (Feat. Colleen Wortham)

December 10, 2021

This week, hosts Chris and April chat with Colleen Wortham, VP of Digital Product & Operations at Albertsons Companies — one of the largest food and drug retailers in the U.S. Together, they’re unpacking strategies for success relating to personalized marketing and customer loyalty programs, and how best to reach your target market. Our hosts also cover the latest news from the world of Tik Tok, including the viral theories surrounding the Astroworld tragedy and the app’s recent magazine launch, and assess the newest ad for Meta. They also cover the waste-free way influencers are modeling high-end fashions. Of course, Chris and April also make the final call on whether these marketing moves were cash or trash ideas for each brand: Marian Carey’s collaboration with McDonalds, the Arby’s vodka launch, Ikea’s buff bears campaign and Coke’s collaboration with Cameo.

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07 – SEO Myths and Misconceptions (Feat. Alexandra Marshall)

November 26, 2021

This week, hosts Chris and April are busting the hype around SEO for marketing pros, including common misconceptions about what works and what doesn’t, with special guest Alexandra Marshall, president of SEO.com. Chris and April also cover the latest industry news, including the recent public backlash over Edelman’s representation of Exxon, why billionaires are using celebrity spokespeople to promote space tourism, and the significance of Pinterest’s latest revenue report for marketers. Your favorite duo also dives into the techier side of social this week, discussing recent developments in the Metaverse and Walmart’s foray into AR experiences for customers. Our hosts close out the Just The Tip with an assessment of Amazon’s steady rise as an ecommerce icon and how consumer brands can get on board.

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06 – Integrated Marketing 101 (Feat. Hamish Anderson)

November 12, 2021

This week, hosts Chris and April are taking a deep dive into integrated marketing — and why brands should get on board, or be left behind. With special guest Hamish Anderson, Trust Relations’ Executive Vice President/Marketing group director and founder of Three Piece marketing, they’re discussing the advantages of an omni-channel approach to digital, how clients can make the most of their marketing resources and how outsourcing to an agency can yield powerful results. Chris and April also cover the latest industry news this week with a discussion on the PR plays behind this year’s major moments in media censorship, discuss whether Twitter’s new user regulations will have a positive impact and determine whether Sleepy Time Tea’s recent Instagram thirst trap was a cash move or a trash idea for the brand. They also chat about recent trends in business this quarter, as clients seek to diversify their digital spend.

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05 – Brand Agility for the Digital World: Accessing the Right Audience (Feat. Greg Kihlström)

October 29, 2021

Tune in this week for a conversation with special guest Greg Kihlström from The Agile World! Our hosts welcome Greg to discuss common issues with disingenuous marketing, how to know your audience, the future of work and tips for branding in a competitive market climate. Chris and April also analyze the latest news from the communications industry, including why the pandemic is pushing journalists to quit their jobs, and how the ongoing supply chain crisis has damaged brand loyalty for many consumers. Your favorite dynamic duo also debates the pros and cons of Disney’s new Tik Tok influencer program, and makes a call on whether the recently-announced Hidden Valley Ranch X Crocs Collaboration is a cash move or a trash idea for both brands.

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04 – Post-Pandemic Pivots for Branding and Business (Feat. Justin Knapp)

October 14, 2021

This week, your hype-busting hosts welcome Justin Knapp, founder of Space Together. Justin is here to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur, lessons learned in business and how his innovative platform is helping communities rent out their unused commercial space to other local groups. Chris and April also share their best advice for the transforming world of agency work post-pandemic, like managing Zoom fatigue, handling internal communications issues and what brands should consider in their public-facing campaigns. They also share the latest trends impacting marketing and PR as 2022 approaches, spar over the industry push for brands to join Tik Tok, and discuss whether Instagram’s Facebook banner ads were a cash or trash move for reviving interest in the platform. Our hosts close things out with an assessment of the state of agency work in a remote world, and how business owners and teams can strike the right balance in their work lives.

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03 – Best Bets for Branding in the Startup Game (Feat. Tom Briggs)

September 30, 2021

This week, your favorite dynamic duo welcomes guest Tom Briggs. Tom is the founder of epigraph research & branding consultancy, and he’s here to dive into all things branding, including the dos and don’ts of working in the tech startup space. Chris and April also share some recent news from the communications circuit, including actress Ellie Kemper’s recent crisis response, and allegations that Subway’s tuna sandwiches might contain fishy DNA. Our hosts also spar over whether the viral Fox News “singing babysitter” is front page worthy, and dig into the impact of the resignation economy. Finally, Chris and April make the call on whether Sprite’s hip-hop QR code campaign was a cash move or a trash strategy for the brand, and discuss the recent trend of leveraging micro-level Tik Tok influencers for product promotion

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02 – Know Your Brand: Tips to Consider Before Your Campaign Kickoff

September 16, 2021

The Hype Busters are back! This week, hosts Chris and April are tackling some must-know tips for companies to consider before starting a new campaign. They’re chatting about launch timing, PR prep work and solidifying your brand identity. Chris and April also deliver a double dose of “Cash or Trash?” as they make the final call on whether Tiffany & Co. was wise to introduce yellow to its iconic color palette, and assess the strategy behind Australia’s “pet-ernity” policy. Our hosts touch on authentic brand activism during Pride month, and shine the “Startup Spotlight” on Immersion Neuroscience, a personal neuroscience app and rising star in the biotech space. In a brand-new segment, “Just the Tip,” they also offer their advice for managing client expectations in terms of marketing and PR timelines.

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01 – Meet the Hype Busters: Behind the Screens with April & Chris

September 3, 2021

Welcome to Hype Busters! Get to know your hosts Christopher Tompkins and April Margulies in our first-ever episode of the show, as they deliver a much-needed dose of “real talk” on the latest news and trends in strategic communications. This week, they’re welcoming guest Raúl González Acuña, a self-described serial entrepreneur and the CEO & founder of RGA Engineering International, to discuss his experience as a founder and his work in Venezuela to provide clean drinking water for local communities. Chris and April also assess the wisdom of Tesla’s PR-free communications approach, and make the call on whether Kim Kardashian’s latest editing fail was a Cash or Trash.

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