Purpose-driven Marketing for Social Good

Laurie Keith is Vice President of Media, Social & Emerging for the Ad Council, “where creativity and causes converge.” The Ad Council, a non-profit organization, coordinates “contributing partners” to address the most important issues in the US and globally, including social and environmental concerns and national crises. 

Laurie started her career working with big media agencies, but her heart was in her volunteer work. Joining the Ad Council in 2010 allowed her to meld her love for media strategy and planning with her passion for social good. Today, she manages the organization’s relationships with major media, tech, and entertainment companies, including large tech platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, Pinterest, Reddit, eBay, and Twitch. 

Since its start in 1942, the Ad Council has, over the years, produced many iconic messages. Two of the earliest were: “Loose lips sink ships” (a wartime reminder that divulging sensitive information could result in American deaths) and Smokey Bear, (who always seemed to be saying, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”) Other iconic messages include: “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” Crash dummies, and the current “Love has no labels.”

In this interview, Laurie explains how the Ad Council’s partnership model works and how it has grown: 

Nonprofit and government agency “issue experts” need help to communicate critical messages to their target audiences. 

  • U.S. creative agencies (and the Ad Council’s Creators for Good team) donate time to develop creative strategy and content 
  • The Ad Council deploys this information to media volunteers
  • The media volunteers provide pro bono digital “real estate” – the platform

Today, these large media companies often contribute on creative side as well, honing material to produce platform-optimized messages.

Before the COVID-19-precipitated cancellation of the South by Southwest 2020 conference, Laurie was scheduled to moderate a panel, “Marketing in the Age of Digital Community,” exploring the power and rise of digital communities. Here, Laurie discusses the power of Reddit, a community where anonymity opens the opportunity for people to more freely talk about sensitive issues, and the potential gains (and caveats) for brands that decide to work in that space. 

Laurie talks about how the Ad Council’s current “Alone together” message, encourages social isolation to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic while communicating that doing so brings people into a “group” taking action together. Alone. But not alone. Laurie says she has been thrilled with the level and depth of brand involvement in communicating COVID-19 information to various audiences.

Laurie can be reached on Twitter @lauriekeith, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/adcouncil, and on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurie-keith-05364a3. The Ad Council offers an audio/video/print “finished content” COVID-19 information toolkit for people or organizations with outreach capabilities at: coronavirus.adcouncilkit.org

Transcript Follows:

ROB: Welcome to the Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m your host, Rob Kischuk, and I’m excited to be joined today by Laurie Keith. She’s the Vice President of Media, Social & Emerging for the Ad Council based in San Francisco, California. Welcome to the podcast, Laurie.

LAURIE: Thank you so much for having me.

ROB: It’s fantastic to have you here. I think a lot of people, the name “the Ad Council” is familiar to them, but they might not be able to tell you off the top of their heads what it is, how it operates, what the deal is. I think people don’t even realize how many iconic campaigns the Ad Council is associated with. So why don’t you give us the big picture of the Ad Council and what the Ad Council excels in? 

LAURIE: Of course. We like to say the Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge, put simply. We are a nonprofit organization. We’ve been around since 1942, and we bring together unique convening partners from the creative minds in advertising, media, technology, in order to address the nation’s most important causes.

We convene all of the partners that we have in all of those industries to tackle the country’s toughest issues. We are a national nonprofit, so we’re really focused on issues at home. Of course, if there’s an issue of global importance, we also will take those on as well.

It’s a really unique intersection in that we’re able to work with the nonprofits and government agencies – they really act as the issue experts – and our “clients” – the media, technology, marketing industries – in an effort to get these critical messages out there to the audiences that we’re trying to reach. And then the advertising creative industry are really tasked with developing and coming up with the creative that you see out there.

As you alluded to, we have created some of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history, from “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” to Smokey Bear. Our most iconic campaign right now I think is “Love has no labels.”

We really are the convener, as I said earlier, to bring everyone together so that we can make sure we’re getting these critical issues out there. 

ROB: For sure. And even I believe going all the way back to Rosie the Riveter, at the origin? Is that right?

LAURIE: That was up for debate for quite a long time. [laughs] I don’t think we can claim that one, but our very iconic campaign was “Loose lips sink ships” back in World War II era. That was I think one of our first campaigns, along with Smokey Bear.

ROB: Crash Test Dummies, McGruff, do you get to claim those?

LAURIE: Yep, Crash Test Dummies, McGruff the Crime Dog. Those are also our iconic campaigns. I should mention we have a long history of creating campaigns in times of national crisis. I just mentioned World War II; we had a big September 11th “I am an American” campaign. Also, any time there’s a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy.

And of course, our most recent efforts that we have on the ground right now to spread awareness on the slow of the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19. We’re currently spinning on all cylinders getting those messages out to the public.

ROB: It’s quite a charge to make these memorable and meaningful campaigns. I don’t think a lot of people would think about having interesting and memorable government advertisements, but yet that is a place that the Ad Council has absolutely excelled. Let’s dig a little bit into your own journey. How did you come to be at the Ad Council in the role that you are in now?

LAURIE: In my role as Vice President of Media, focusing on social and emerging, I really work in this unique intersection of the tech media industry, and I manage our relationships with major media, tech, and entertainment companies, using their platforms to develop largescale, innovative, social good partnerships.

I oversee our partnerships with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, Pinterest, Reddit, eBay. I’m always worried like I’m missing someone. Twitch is a big one. A lot of the large tech media platforms really fall under my huge umbrella.

Your question was how I got here. Prior to the Ad Council, joining 10 years ago, I worked at big media agencies. I started my career at Starcom MediaVest Group in Chicago, and then I moved to Los Angeles, where I worked for Mindshare, working on the Ford Automotive account, and then moved over to Initiative, where I worked on the Carl’s Jr./Hardees QSR account.

I reached a point in my career 10 years ago where – I went to school for advertising, I went through the media track; I really loved media. I’ve always been super interested in media as an industry. I was really enjoying the strategy that went behind building a media plan, understanding the specific targets and how they’re consuming media and what we need to do creatively in order to get the message in front of them at the right time so they’re going to take the call to action that we need them to take.

But my client at the time, as I was going through this life shift, was a fast food restaurant. So, I was realizing I was doing such cool, innovative partnerships – I did one of the first text messaging campaigns for Carl’s Jr./Hardees – but I was not really passionate about the brand that I was working on. It was like getting men 18-49 to continue to eat fast food hamburgers.

I was also doing a lot of personal volunteering and helping out a lot in my local community in Los Angeles. I reached a point where I was like, how do I work in social good and help people, but also continue to work in advertising and media? Because I love how this industry is constantly changing and there’s new technologies coming out all the time. So, I was trying to figure out how to bridge the two together.

It was a long journey, which I won’t get into on this podcast, but I ended up getting accepted to the United States Peace Corps, and I was thinking about going to – they wanted to send me to Kazakhstan to do youth and community development, and I was going to be the only Peace Corps volunteer. My parents are usually really excited about all of my adventures and ideas, but they were like, “Is that really what you want to be doing?” I was at the point in my career where if I were to leave to do something like, it would probably drastically change the course of my career.

That was when I found the Ad Council. I was driving down La Cienega in LA. I was driving down a street that I normally wouldn’t have been, but I was on jury duty during this time, so I was doing a lot of things and doing a lot of soul-searching, trying to figure out my next steps. I passed this billboard, and it was right after the Haiti earthquake, and it was a partnership that the Ad Council had with the Red Cross. It said “text (whatever) to donate to the Red Cross to help with the Haiti earthquake efforts.”

It was just one of those lightbulb moments. I’ve had a couple in my life, and I’m grateful that the Ad Council really came to me in this way. It was like, “Who is the Ad Council? Maybe you should look into what they’re doing. Clearly, they have this big billboard on La Cienega, and maybe they’re a company that you should look into.”

Everything just was clockwork after that. I reached out to the person that ended up becoming my boss and let them know that this was really my passion. My passion was social good, but my talent, so to speak, was media strategy and planning, and “I would love to come in and talk to you.” That turned into an informational interview, which turned into they were looking for someone with exactly my experience, which was local and national media strategy.

Also, at the time in 2010, Ad Council was really starting to build out their partnership model. Of course, we’ve always worked off of a donated media model, and we run all of our PSAs through donated media, which we’re so grateful to get from the industry. But at the time, the partnership model – which is “How do we develop custom content together? How do we bring in a measurement study? How do we develop an innovative product that can help get the message out there?” – that was when they were starting to think in that vein, and that was really what I wanted to be doing for them.

So it was just a perfect timing situation. The job was in New York City, and I was really excited about the opportunity to live in New York City and jump-start my career there. I took the job about 4 months later and have been with them for the last 10 years and have really, like I said, grown the digital/social/emerging part of the Ad Council, which has been really the highlight of my career.

ROB: That’s such a fascinating transition to bring you out to the West Coast again and really to identify – it seems like a lot of the technology opportunity – is it really donated media from them as well? Just as perhaps airtime on radio and on television would be donated, these platforms may also donate part of their own real estate to these causes?

LAURIE: Yeah. Every time you see an Ad Council PSA advertisement, whether it’s in your Instagram feed, whether it’s on a billboard on the highway, whether it’s on the radio or a podcast that you’re listening to, all of that is donated to the Ad Council, which I think puts us in a really unique position because we’re able to get our messages out there on all these different platforms. It’s really the generosity of the media community that allows us to do that.

So yeah, it’s a very unique model. I think it’s also a testament to the relationships that we have with these media companies that when we do need to get messages out there, they’re raising their hand and they want to support it. It’s a really great place to be.

ROB: Wow. For them to donate that time, there has to be an element of trust that what they’re going to be using that airtime, that screen space for, is going to be of excellent quality. Who actually creates the campaigns and creates the content? Are they also donating their time?

LAURIE: That’s a great question. The creative is really twofold, and I feel like it’s one of the things that keeps evolving. Traditionally . . . our traditional model is that the advertising agencies in the U.S., the creative agencies in the U.S. – we call them volunteer agencies, and they will donate their time pro bono to develop the creative strategy and come up with the actual creative idea that we then deploy and put out there in the media.

I feel like more and more, especially with the accounts that I manage, the media companies themselves not only want to donate the media, but they also want to be very heavily involved in the creative process. Facebook has Facebook Creative Shop, Pinterest has their own creative team, Snapchat has their own creative team.

So oftentimes media companies will also step up and say, “Listen, we want to donate X amount of media, but we also want to work with our creative team to develop a custom filter or come up with a new video social campaign that is very specific to this platform.” And we welcome those opportunities. Obviously, these media companies know what creative is going to perform best and what the best ways are to reach audiences on their platform, so we welcome that.

Oftentimes we do work with media companies, and they will donate their time to develop content similar to advertising agencies. But of course, our agency model is very strong because there’s so many media companies out there and so many ways to reach people through multiple media channels that it’s important for us to have face-to-face campaign creative and have creative that’s ready to get out there on any platform at any given time.

ROB: That makes a lot of sense. I can definitely see, especially in your department, when you’re dealing with these technology companies, even the way they would execute a campaign, they would probably like to execute it in a way that is very native to each platform that they’re on in a way that might make the entire campaign different.

LAURIE: Yeah. I should also add we have a whole department at the Ad Council called Creators for Good. Again, it’s another small and mighty team, but they are working with talent. Anyone from digital talent, digital creator influencer, to celebrity talent, comedians, musicians. They also develop content for us and their voice, lending their talents to get these critical messages to the public.

It’s great. We have basically content coming in from all different directions in order to get the messaging out there.

ROB: Perfect. I think very relevant to this, you were prepared at South by Southwest to be a part of a talk called “Marketing in the Age of Digital Community.” That’s very relevant, I think, to this conversation. What was going to be in that talk? And maybe we’ll get a chance to hear it if it comes out in digital format later.

LAURIE: Yeah. It was a panel that I put through. I was planning to be the moderator, and it was with Will Cady, the Head of Brand Strategy at Reddit, Addie Marino, who’s the Global Prototype Lead at the Creative Shop Studio I just mentioned – we work with them – over at Facebook, and then Adam Warrington, who is the Vice President of Better World, the CSR arm of Anheuser-Busch.

The panel was going to be focused on the power of digital communities and also the rise in digital communities. 81% of companies, up from 67% in 2012, report that they have a community-centric approach to marketing. And then at the same time, there’s been a significant increase in the number of internet users that engage in online forums, blogs, subreddits.

Reddit did a study called “The Era of We,” and it went from 72% of global internet users saying that “yes, I engage in these online communities” and that has increased to 76%. It’s this really interesting phenomenon that more and more people that are active internet/social media users are part of some type of community. Maybe they’re part of one, maybe they’re part of several.

And at the same time, companies that are starting out or companies that are evolving are making sure that they have a community-centric strategy. We basically designed a panel around that, and as a brand, how do you authentically insert yourself into let’s say a subreddit community that has millions of followers and people that are really passionate about an issue? You as a brand have a big stake in the ground, and how do you enter that community but then also do it in a very authentic way to where the people in that community are really receptive?

That was another part of the panel, too. Reddit did a separate study that found that 82% of community users are receptive to brands participating, and they really respect when brands make an effort. So this whole idea of – this is a huge marketing opportunity for brands to come in and insert themselves into these communities, but doing it in an authentic way that really fares well for your brand.

Of course, brands have a lot of guidelines on how they can show up and what they can say and do. How do you do that in a space that is very authentic? You don’t want to stand out. You don’t want to do anything that could make you come across as you don’t know what you’re talking about.

So it was a really awesome panel that we had designed to talk about this, because I think a lot of brands are trying to figure out how to enter this space.

ROB: An interesting panel for that. I would say perhaps Reddit is the place you can insert yourself into community and be most quickly corrected if you have done so in a way that is not right for that community.

LAURIE: Yes, absolutely. I think Reddit is also super unique – and we were going to talk about this in the panel, too – just the anonymous nature of the platform. A lot of people are joining subreddits, but they don’t reveal their real person, whereas on a Facebook, you are showing up as who you are.

I think what makes Reddit so special is that you can be part of this community, but not have to reveal who you really are. From an Ad Council perspective, we’ve found this to be really powerful for campaigns like our Youth Suicide Prevention campaign, like holding a Reddit AMA and reaching out to different communities to get people to talk about the issue of mental health that maybe in a public setting, that’s difficult to talk about. It’s a sensitive subject.

So we are able to see a lot of success in raising awareness on our campaigns when we do it in a really unique way on Reddit.

ROB: Reddit is certainly, by contrast, also a place where if you do things right, the rewards are tremendously rich and robust. I think maybe relevant to that, you’re at an intersection that is very interesting today amidst this COVID-19 crisis. At the Ad Council, I believe the day that we’re recording this, there’ve been a couple of new ads that have come out.

I think when you’re talking about digital platforms, often younger audiences might be some of the folks who feel like they have the least to worry about with this COVID-19 crisis. How is the Ad Council working into this crisis and getting what messages out to the right places?

LAURIE: It’s a great question, and thank you for asking. We have a huge campaign, and it has a lot of legs. We actually announced our campaign on March 19th, and we are working in partnership with the White House, the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop this largescale national PSA campaign in order to get messages to the public.

To your point, there are a lot of different targeting sets of people that we’re trying to reach. We have a lot of different campaigns under this one COVID-19 umbrella, so to speak. We worked with NBCUniversal. They created a series of videos, TV, and digital and social graphics both in English and Spanish that are reaching the high-risk populations as well as the general public. Those ad sets talk about the steps that people can take to protect themselves.

Then separately, we worked with ViacomCBS and really leveraged their portfolio of brands to develop a multiplatform PSA campaign that targets more of the Gen Z/Millennial, younger, low-risk, I think we’re calling them – like the 16- to 35-year-olds that might be a carrier or might have had the coronavirus but had mild symptoms, but of course, are a carrier of the virus and can spread it quickly.

That campaign is called Alone Together. We’re partnering with Twitter, we’re partnering with Snapchat, we’re partnering with TikTok, all of the targeted media platforms, to really bring light to that campaign. It’s also social and talent led, so we have a bunch of celebrity talents that have lent their voice to get the message out there, of course. They’re really big on social platforms, so partnering with them was really important for the campaign.

In addition to that, we also just launched new PSAs that feature the Surgeon-General, Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci, the health officials that really get the message out there on social distancing. Those are also targeted to the low-risk group of Americans.

And we have more and more, it seems like every day, more and more media companies coming to the table. We’re now working with The Atlantic’s internal creative studio to develop customized digital creative. iHeartMedia just raised their hand and they’re going to be developing audio and radio spots. Wall Street Journal, I just heard this morning, and Hearst are going to be developing custom print.

And then of course, the partners that we work with out here in San Francisco, our social and emerging media partners, have all – we basically reached out and asked for their support, and every single one of them is stepping up, whether that be through donating a significant amount of media to get these already-created assets out there to developing custom content.

Snapchat, their creative team is developing custom filters as well as designing some new creative that will live within their app. We’re partnering with TikTok and some celebrity, talent-led creative. Reddit is doing something really unique in that we’re doing a trending takeover on their front page, and we’re also going to be developing custom content with them.

I could talk forever on all the companies that have stepped up, but it’s really been an industry-wide effort to not only develop content that reaches these very specific audiences, but donating media and each platform lending their own creative team to make sure that we’re getting this message out there in the way that their audience is going to consume it best.

It’s been definitely the highlight of my career in these last 10 years I’ve worked with the Ad Council. We always take the call. We take the call when there’s a national crisis and a national emergency. I never thought in a million years that we would be dealing with this in our country, but it’s so amazing to work at a company like the Ad Council that is really on the frontlines on this communication and media strategy in order to get people to do what we need them to do.

ROB: You must really feel like this is such an opportunity to actually – I think more tangibly. Many of your campaigns have been out there to save lives, even going back to “Loose lips sink ships” or the Crash Test Dummies. I just think there’s something a lot more tangible about the immediate opportunity here. I’m amazed you can keep all of that that you just shared even in your head.

LAURIE: [laughs] It’s hard.

ROB: How do you think about organizing moving parts and partners with so many different campaigns in flight, so many different placements in flight, different contexts?

LAURIE: Thankfully, we have such an incredible team at the Ad Council. Our media team at the Ad Council is really broken out in that we have different specialties and different focus areas. Of course, our team in San Francisco, we’re really focused on social and emerging media companies. Anything we’re doing with any of those companies, we’re really leading the charge in developing those partnerships.

We have another team that’s focused on audio and podcasts. We have another team that’s focused more on TV and radio. We have a whole team of people that are working tirelessly with all of their partners in order to get the message out there. And then, of course, we have our talent team that’s leading the talent-led efforts. We have our campaign teams that are in charge of managing the relationships with the CDC and the White House.

It honestly is a whole team effort. It really makes me take a step back and go, wow. I’m happy to be where I am during this crisis. Ad Council, we have the convening partners of the industry to enable us to do this. I’ve got to say, it’s really awesome that we have a system set up for when there is a crisis and that we can get the messages out there so quickly across the entire industry.

ROB: It sounds like you’re saying there’s a value of specialization, but there’s also a value of coordination and having the right people in the right seats and enough of them to make sure this whole thing works together.

LAURIE: Totally.

ROB: You have the quantity and the talent. Perfect. In these moments of crisis, one thing I saw maybe right around the time that cities were beginning to lock down – there are always loud voices on Twitter, but I saw very intelligent people who were calling out and calling on some of these – probably companies you work with, the Facebooks, the Twitters of the world, and saying, “Why aren’t you helping? Why aren’t you getting the word out?”

What do people not realize is going on behind the scenes? Because I’m sure they’re talking about it. When these companies are thinking but haven’t quite acted yet, what’s going on behind the scenes that people might not appreciate about these companies?

LAURIE: I think that’s why we at the Ad Council work directly with our PR communications team, because it is important for us to get the message out there that these companies are standing up. I know we just came out with a press release last Monday talking specifically to the tech community and what they’re doing to step up.

You just mentioned Facebook and Twitter; they’re both doing a lot for our campaigns. Facebook is donating a significant amount of media for us to get the message out there, and Twitter is developing a custom emoji that will show up any time someone types with the hashtag “#alonetogether.”

It’s important for us to get the message out there that these media companies are stepping up, and we do that through a press release so that we can make these announcements and so the press can write about it. Obviously, sometimes that’s not happening at the same exact time these questions are being asked, like, “Why aren’t these companies stepping up?” But we were able to turn around a press release within a matter of 3 days.

I think these companies, beyond what they’re doing with the Ad Council, I’m reading every day – Apple just created a COVID-19 special section. Facebook has a COVID-19 special section. I know Twitter does as well. So I know beyond just what they’re doing with the Ad Council and helping us get these messages to the public, I do think a lot of them are doing way more beyond that. They’re actually using their product to get the message out there as well.

I don’t know if that helps answer your question, but we try to raise awareness on the fact that they’re supporting through the press that we put out there.

ROB: It’s yet another example, I think, of the high-level, three-dimensional chess that you all have to play that very few people have to do. There’s a PR dimension to what you’re doing, but very rarely do you see such a deep level of also execution, also distribution, also partnering and coordinating, all within one organization. I think it’s a tremendous amount to appreciate.

LAURIE: It’s a well-oiled machine. [laughs]

ROB: [laughs] It sounds like it, especially to be all virtual now. Laurie, when you are looking at the future, what’s coming up for the Ad Council and for the industry that you are excited about?

LAURIE: It’s a big question. For me personally, where I sit at the Ad Council and focusing on social and emerging media and having a pulse on the frontier of what’s happening and where we should really be inserting ourselves, there’s a couple things I think that I’m excited about.

We’re talking to some companies right now on the idea of a virtual concert where you essentially can join virtually, whether you have a VR headset or you just – you don’t need a VR headset to join; you can also just join and experience it from your regular desktop or mobile phone.

This idea that we can bring thousands if not millions of people together in a virtual space, share our messaging, whether that be – I think we’re talking about bringing in some artists, some talent – but really getting everyone in a virtual space. Obviously it’s hard in person. There’s a lot of logistics that go into actually planning a physically live event.

But the idea of being able to pull something off like this in a virtual space and have different messaging points, different levers that we can pull, whether that’s getting a reward within the experience or maybe collecting user-generated content where people can share their own experiences as it relates to that issue – of course, there’s a donation stream, if we wanted to raise money for a specific nonprofit.

So I’m really excited about that potential, especially after we’re living in this COVID-19 space where there is so much happening in a virtual world. I’m excited to see where Ad Council can take that, especially with our partners like Twitch and other leaders that are really driving the VR space.

And then I think separately, it’s this whole idea of purpose-driven marketing. I think we’re going to see more and more brands really step up and make sure that they stand for something that’s beyond just the product that they’re selling and going beyond just their pocketbooks and giving money to causes – which of course is super important, but how can they actually develop unique experiences that happen in the communities of people that follow them and help make the world a better place through the causes that they care about?

I think you’re going to see more and more companies step up. Of course, that’s an exciting opportunity for the Ad Council as well because we work with so many brands that sit on our board of directors, so how can we really play a part there, knowing that Ad Council invented this model of purpose-driven marketing back in 1942? How can we work together?

We have a separate arm at the Ad Council that is focusing on this as a revenue stream. It’s called Ad Council Edge, really helping brands and other nonprofits with their purpose-driven marketing strategy. So I’m really excited to see how that will play out over the next couple of years.

ROB: It’s amazing to see so much agility in a nearly 80-year-old organization. You mentioned VR there for a moment; I believe you’ve done some speaking and thinking on VR, but then you overlaid that onto our current moment. How much of things that you’ve seen and thought about in VR do you think are getting jammed into our lived experience of normal work and life right now? What’s stuff we’ve talked about for VR that just became life all of a sudden?

LAURIE: I went to F8 last year and they talked a lot about the Facebook Watch platform, and they showed an example of – it was two women. Her mother lived in Australia and she lived in Los Angeles, and they were watching Red Table Talk through their VR, like Oculus headsets, sitting in their living room, watching the show together and commenting.

This whole experience of, okay, we’re not physically together, but we are physically together because we are watching this and feeling this through this virtual experience.

I see that, especially in where we are sitting right now with this shelter in place and people staying at home, this whole idea of watch parties and watching comet together and being able to respond in real time – just like you would if you were sitting in a living room with someone watching a show together. You might pause it and say, “Oh my gosh, what did you guys think about that?” or what have you. I see this really starting to pick up in a virtual space, being able to watch content together, experience content together.

And then when we get out of this space and we eventually can get back to our normal lives and be together again in community with each other, I can see brands taking advantage of this whole – we have this online world, this online community, we’re doing something together online, but then facilitating how those online connections can live out in the real world and in real life.

I’m interested to see how brands will really scale that. I think we’ll see more of these online-meets-real-life experiences happening.

ROB: Fascinating. It will be interesting to see the before and after around this forced technology adoption. People are learning things they probably would have not learned for 5 years right now. It’ll be fascinating to see what that means for the community that you are involved in and the companies you are working with.

LAURIE: Absolutely, yeah. It’s a huge opportunity for virtual companies and really digital companies that are thinking in this way to really take advantage of this time and figure out how they can evolve their products to fit in this space.

ROB: That’s all brilliant. Laurie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and for sharing. I think we all learned a great deal. When people want to find and connect with you, where should they look for you?

LAURIE: I’m pretty active on social media. That should not surprise you. [laughs] My Twitter is just my name, which is @lauriekeith. I’m always welcome to be hit up on Twitter through DMs. That’s probably the best way to reach me. And then I did want to also plug our Coronavirus Toolkit, if I can.

ROB: Absolutely.

LAURIE: For anyone that’s listening to this podcast and has the ability to reach people, we have a toolkit set up. It’s coronavirus.adcouncilkit.org, and you will find everything from all of our PSAs to our social media assets to sample television and audio scripts if you want to develop your own content. I just wanted to make sure I plugged that, because I know a lot of people and companies are trying to figure out how they can help. I think it’s a good one-stop shop of how to get our assets and get them out there.

ROB: Super solid. Thank you so much, Laurie.

LAURIE: Thank you so much. Hope you have a good one.

ROB: You too. Bye bye.

Thank you for listening. The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast is presented by Converge. Converge helps digital marketing agencies and brands automate their reporting so they can be more profitable, accurate, and responsive. To learn more about how Converge can automate your marketing reporting, email info@convergehq.com, or visit us on the web at convergehq.com.

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