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Weckl Head PR: back to basics

By Aaron Templer

Three Over Four Approach

Back in the late 80’s a drummer named Dave Weckl hit the fusion scene with the Chick Corea Elektric Band. If fusion was your thing Weckl was unquestionably your guy. He played impossible polyrhythm stuff and had technique so sound that many thought he sounded like a drum machine. Impossibly perfect. With Chick’s band, Weckl put all kinds of electronic triggers on his drums and got drummers everywhere thinking about how to use the machines to their advantage instead of worrying about them signaling a pending drummer irrelevance (in a way, the 80’s were to drummers what today is to ad agencies). Like him or not Weckl was a game changer writ large. Everyone started triggering their sets. Buying Octopads. […]

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The virus inside agencies

By Aaron Templer

Marketing

There are plenty of indicators that the traditional ad agency model is ripe for disruption. Are they relevant? Are their margins appropriate, and in service to their or their client’s needs? Are their efforts focused in the right places? Are their models flexible enough to adapt? I come from the client side of this relationship. I’ve hired and managed agencies and have only run a small in-house shop. I won’t pretend to be an expert in their business, and can’t offer any fresh insights to what’s ahead for them. I also have extremely valuable relationships with agencies and their talent. Mine is a creative background, and I see tremendous value in the contributions agency talent will continue to offer the […]

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How to talk about content you haven’t read

By Aaron Templer

Creative Mind

You won’t read this post. If I’m lucky, you might skim it. I’m good with that. But please: don’t read it well. There’s a book called How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read. I haven’t read all of it. And I think it’s excellent. So excellent, in fact, that I can take its principles and apply it to a blog post.

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Seth Godin Twitter stream

By Aaron Templer

Marketing

If you follow Seth Godin’s blog (and it’s hard to imagine you don’t – more people read it every day than live in South Dakota) you’ve probably had a mix of reactions over the years. Delighted at ideas, awe-struck at the volume, head-slapping yourself saying “why the heck didn’t I blog about that?” I think what make Seth’s posts so enduring and sticky is his experience in the world. And how he bridges those experiences for his readers to learn from. Stories make ideas come alive.

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Introduction to a trip to Ghana

By Aaron Templer

Ghana

The posts in this category are thoughts and reflections from a sustainable development course delivered to MBA and other graduate business students at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. I traveled with the group to video the trip (although I’m not at all a videographer, which might explain why nothing to date has become of the footage). A main story vein is connected to the sustainable development, creative capitalism, and aid-for-Africa discussions occurring in business, social responsibility, TED/Gates Foundation, and other such circles. So-called emerging economies are—thanks to the way the current economic crises has redefined risk—rising to a more prominent place in our investment considerations. The course’s international travel component is very different from the approach other […]

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That’s Africa baby

By Aaron Templer

Ghana

We were waiting in a Newmont conference room on site at the Ahafo mine. On the agenda: a briefing from Newmont’s General Manager in Ahafo Jay Bastian. He’s going to try and tell us what it’s like to run a place like this. The pressure for profitable production amid the wildly unpredictability that is Africa.

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Can a mining company teach us about sustainability?

By Aaron Templer

Higher Ed

It’s a strange concept to get your head around. What could a mining company—a gold mining company—possibly teach anyone about sustainability? If you want some gold today, you don’t settle in a quaint mountain town in the Rockies filled with scrappy boot strappers singing Colorado My Home Sweet Home in hopes of discovering a nice little vein you can claim. Too many people have done that already.

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We’re not the world

By Aaron Templer

Ghana

If you’re like me, there’s probably nothing you’d like to forget more about the ’80’s than the music. OK, so I’m often accused of being a music snob. But still. Never Gonna Give You Up. Maneater. We’re Not Gonna Take It. There was also Live Aid. A purging of self-indulgent guilt from an especially gilded time. We did good, didn’t we? We bought concert tickets around the world. Watched the making of the video. Subscribed to MTV. Despite the altruism, there are some that would like to forget Live Aid as well. To some, it put irrevocable contexts around African nations that have mitigated their growth and defined narrow (patronizing?) solutions that these countries are struggling to overcome still.

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Who’s sure all that glitters is gold?

By Aaron Templer

Ghana

Riding the bus from the “before” site in Akeym toward the working mine in Ahafo. After meeting, hugging, and looking in the eyes of the people in the surrounding villages, there’s a lot of reflection. There are human beings here. Students are sharing experiences and stories about them. We have new relationships, and that changes things. Discussions have shifted from theories about relocation operations to relocating people. People we now know.

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