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Recent tragic events in Paris and San Bernardino, California have been grim reminders that natural and unnatural disasters are too common these days. While social media can be a powerful tool to communicate news, it can also be a double-edged sword for a community manager. Being too quick to capitalize on the moment, particularly with a branded sentiment, may cast the brand as being self-promotional in a time of tragedy. However, keeping with business as usual posts may cause followers to wonder if the social media manager is tweeting from a cave. While there are no hard guidelines for social media posting during a tragedy, here are some things to consider when the event arises.

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A conversation with Joaquin Lippincott

What will it take for Portland to become an international tech hub by 2020? Joaquin Lippincott, founder and president of Metal Toad, and I explored this topic during an interactive discussion at the McBru offices on Nov. 19, in front of an audience of tech industry experts, public sector policy advisors, and interested individuals. (The entire conversation was recorded via Periscope, and is available here.)

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Here at McBru, we’re all about communication. But communicating clearly depends on having a shared vocabulary and sense of word meaning. And that’s not always something we can depend on.

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Every so often you hear about a huge marketing fail from a brand. But more common are little mistakes that brands make in their PR messages and marketing strategies. This recent PR Daily article listed three of the worst digital marketing sins that brands make and we couldn't help but add two more that totally freak us out!

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Image credit: Sean Creamer licensed under Creative Commons

As “traditional” forms of PR, journalism and advertising continue to shift and morph, where should brands invest time and resources to get their message(s) out to the audiences they care about while achieving maximum ROI? At McBru we’re taking a close look at the future of B2B marketing (see our 2015 predictions).

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For most people in the U.S., October 1st came and went much like any other day. Except here in Oregon. That Thursday was the day that recreational use of cannabis became legal in the state.

It’s been just three weeks since that day, and it’s been fascinating to witness how the business of legalized pot is manifesting itself, and to learn more about the amazingly sophisticated technologies that have been developed to support the once shadowy, now mainstream, pot industry.

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And no, this isn't the set-up for a Photoshop joke.

If your news feed looks anything like mine, you've been seeing a lot of Playboy. More accurately, you've been seeing a lot of headlines about the decision by Playboy's editors to no longer feature nude photos in their print edition. Opinions on the matter abound and offer many interesting reads, but my interest lies in the question: What can marketers learn from Playboy's latest move?

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Lately, there's a lot of buzz around live broadcasting from social media. Periscope launched right on the heels of Meerkat bringing new energy to an application that's not new. Here's why it matters and is changing the way we engage.
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I’m usually asked this question in the context of gaining buy-in from leadership making investment decisions in marketing programs. How does social media add value to business objectives? Drive bottom-line outcomes? This isn’t an ROI calculation on clicks per CTA (conversions, registrations, downloads, leads, etc.) but rather, social media as a driving contributor of top-line organizational initiatives.

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Here's a little tip for my fellow designers. If you've ever used Photoshop's "Export Layers to Files" or "Export Layer Comps to Files" functions you'll likely have noticed how limited your options are when it comes assigning file names to the images that Photoshop outputs. By default, Photoshop prompts you for a filename prefix and then auto-generates the rest of the filename, adding in a zero-padded number sequence, 000X, that many people find unnecessary.

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