Cultivating an “Awareness of Now” in 2014

More so than any year before, 2013 truly unfolded moment by moment.

2013 was the year of newsjacking – clever marketers were seizing Twitter opportunities left and right, from the Oreo Super Bowl blackout to DiGiorno’s Sound of Music moment of livetweeting glory:


DiGiorno live tweets The Sound of Music

It was also the year of Snapchat, ephemeral pictures and videos that disappear after just a few seconds, Vine’s seven-second clips, and Instagram’s answer to both apps. Even though taking a picture might make you less likely to remember the event or photograph you’re witnessing, people, especially young people, spent most of this year pointing their smartphones in front of them and snapping away. But even beyond the question of medium, storytelling in the past year leaned heavily on the ever-increasing rate of change in our world. One of my favorite examples was IBM’s “World’s Smallest Movie” spot – in which IBM’s scientists manipulated their revolutionary storage technology to animate a story about a boy named Adam and his pet atom using tiny carbon molecules.

The spot works because it connects the idea of people to an impersonal-seeming and oblique technology, while simultaneously illustrating just how incredible and world-changing the research behind the product is. In other words, telling your organization’s story is no longer a question of simple intent, copy and placement. The timeliness factor has become the main factor. This year, cultivating an “awareness of now” became the best thing a marketer can do.

Plenty of tools exist to help you focus on the topics and conversations that are most important to your industry, your clients or your donors – and to find the people who are engaging in them. Twitter is, of course, the best tool for keeping tabs on an industry, but the still-kicking Google Alert, RSS feeds, mention and a well-populated list of bloggers are all good places to start.

Someone, somewhere is having the conversation you want to join. Whether by being topical and funny on Twitter or by providing your expertise to a journalist precisely when they need it for their next story, the best way to get your organization’s voice into that conversation is to be exactly on time. In 2014, an awareness of now will make sure that when the moment comes, you’ll be ready, and – if you’re savvy and timely – you’ll be able to make it your moment.

Marketing like the Big Guys for Small Businesses and Nonprofits: Announcing Under3PR

Sometimes that “do-it-yourself” approach can only get you so far. While small-budgeted organizations fueled by passion and talent can be extremely effective, a roadblock might appear that necessitates outside expertise.

Under3PR, a collaborative service from Winkleman Company and Coa Design, was inspired by the interests and challenges posed by my students throughout nearly two decades of teaching at Columbia University’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management, Mailman School of Public Health, United Jewish Appeal, and Fordham University’s Center for Nonprofit Leaders. Each student’s organization shared the acute need for quick, strategic and affordable guidance to targeted challenges.

Through public relations, marketing and graphic design, Under3PR addresses the most common issues facing small nonprofits and businesses. Projects range from drawing media attention for a program, branding and social media management to crisis response and counsel on leadership continuity – and everywhere in-between. Like many of my students’ organizations, prospective clients must have revenues under $3 million and a short-term project that fits within Under3PR’s targeted parameters.

Our test drive for Under3PR came to us in the form of Heart Gallery NYC. A small nonprofit, Heart Gallery NYC uses the artistic talents of renowned photographers to raise the visibility and public awareness of children in foster care seeking their “forever families” – all on an annual budget of under $500,000. Laurie Sherman Graff, Founder and Executive Director, needed help drawing coverage for a press conference but had limited funds. Heart Gallery NYC was a perfect opportunity for Under3PR – small budget, acute project, good cause – so we set about being perfect for it.

Our PR expertise packed Laurie's press conference with reporters and photographers.

Our PR expertise packed Laurie’s press conference with reporters and photographers.


“The media coverage was awesome, and the professionalism of the Winkleman Company team was so apparent and appreciated! I look forward to continuing to work together on future events,” Laurie wrote in an email to us the day after the conference. As Under3PR, our team brought together the right television and traditional media to help tell these children’s incredible stories to a broad, multilingual audience of potential families.

Working on a project basis can be the right approach, especially when a challenge may be outside the scope of small business or nonprofit managers who is already too stretched for the cause/goal that drives them.

When a small organization comes up against a roadblock, it can’t afford to slow down. Under3PR will help you navigate and resolve those roadblocks.

Please see our full menu of Under3PR offerings or call Katherine at 646-234-8077 to discover what we can do for your business.