Last week I had the opportunity to attend a convening of the Information Trust Exchange Governing Association (ITEGA) in Brooklyn, New York to discuss trust, advertising, and data privacy. The sessions were co-sponsored by the Local Media Consortium and the Internet Society and had roughly 45 academics and industry specialists participating.

The main goals of this convening were to map out current problems with online advertising as they relate to consumer trust and privacy, identify how those problems overlap, and create a map for moving forward. To insure that all areas of the problem were discussed, a variety of stakeholders were present from ad technology companies to content providers to browser technologists to academics with specialties in advertising, communication, and computer science.

The consensus among both industry and academic attendees is that the current process that governs online content consumption is flawed – from the consumer privacy perspective, from the ad technology side, and from the publisher or content provider view. The online ecosystem that we live in today is driving down digital revenue, eroding CPMs, and creating an untenable environment for privacy management. Many stakeholders at the event noted that we need to focus on a “people based strategy” to improve the experience for consumers rather than focusing on improving the experience for the industry.

Moving forward, I will be working with the “Technology for User Data and Authentication” group to help bring a consumer privacy perspective to a technical topic that is often times overlooked by your average online content consumer. I must say it is quite fun to be jumping into the technology deep end after a long time away.

For those of you who might want to know more, here are some fun people and resources from the convening:

I will post more information here as things begin to take shape – until then, please enjoy this lovely sunrise photo of the NYC skyline (that pink glow!).

Make Your Bed and Other Important Lessons

To celebrate Veteran’s Day this year, I finished reading “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life … And Maybe the World” by the current Chancellor of the University of Texas system, Admiral William H. McRaven (Ret.). The book made me laugh and it made me cry but most of all it made me think about how hard we all have to work to get to where we want to be.

Of the ten or so main life lessons in the book, the few that rang the most true for me are:

1) Start your day with a task completed (Make your bed, damnit!)

2) Life is not fair – drive on (Hopefully in the right direction)

3) Failure makes you stronger (Something I wasn’t quite sure of until grad school)

4) Never, ever quit! (Seriously, don’t even think about it)

You can find the book and the rest of the lessons here.

I highly recommend taking an hour or so to read this and see what you can apply to your life. And, to answer your question, yes I made my bed this morning.

10 years in the books …

Yesterday marked the 10 year anniversary of defending my dissertation and being called “doctor” for the very first time. The clear memories of that day make it seem as if it happened yesterday although I still can’t remember what happened after my advisor opened the door to tell me I had passed – maybe that will come back one day! One thing is for sure, I will always be a longhorn :).

2018 STCO Faculty Retreat

On Thursday of this week, I had the opportunity to facilitate my first faculty retreat as Department Chair for the Strategic Communication faculty. The event included your standard fair of faculty items – curriculum discussions, committee appointments, forming an advisory board, and reviewing deadlines for the coming academic year. Overall, it was a productive half day spent with a fun group of colleagues.

At the end of the meeting I took the opportunity to “deputize” the faculty to go forth and continue being awesome leaders in our college. This activity was inspired by my long time mentor, Gene Kincaid, who used to deputize all of his interactive advertising students when we were ready for prime time (I still have my deputy sheriff badge from 1999 when I got mine!).

Here is the whole posse as we prepare to walk wide-eyed into a new semester – as one of our staff put it, we are deputized to strategize!

STCO Faculty Retreat 2018

Certified Public Communicator Program 2018

The Certified Public Communicator Program at TCU came to a close yesterday after an eventful week of programming and networking. This year Jacque and I graduated our fifth cohort in the program which brings our total count of CPC graduates to over 100 – what an awesome achievement!

Pictured below are the graduates from this year – 24 public sector communicators from cities, counties, and school districts across the country. We first started this program with Texas-based city communicators and have grown it to include students representing a variety of states from coast to coast.