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nDash Writer Profile for Michael Geczi

Michael Geczi

Headline

Ex-Wall Street Journal/BusinessWeek writer/editor; USC instructor. Wall Street, legal issues, Russia, China, Hollywood, marketing, public relations, branding.

About Me

Michael Geczi is a highly experienced editor/writer and communications professional with more than 30 years of top-flight experience. 

He has worked as a reporter, editor, internal and external communications specialist, author, university instructor and marketing executive. His journalism career spanned 16 years, with editorial positions at The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The Dallas Morning News, the Associated Press and The Financial Times of Canada.  Mike is the author of “Futures: The Anti-Inflation Investment,” published by Avon Books.

He also has been an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

His most-recent corporate experience was Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, Burbank, and

Mike has worked in more than 30 countries, and lived/worked in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Moscow and Hong Kong.




Industries I Write About

Executive Office

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Banking

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Broadcast Media

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Capital Markets

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Legal Services

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Human Resources

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Marketing & Advertising

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My Writing Samples

The Emerging Cannabis Ecosystem

At first glance, it isn’t particularly noteworthy that a new café debuted in early October in West Hollywood. The popular Los Angeles neighborhood is filled with restaurants, cafés and bars of all descriptions. Chic to dive. And everything in between. When the Lowell Café opened its doors, however, history was made as it was the first fully licensed cannabis cafe in the U.S.

https://medium.com/@MichaelGeczi/the-emerging-cannabis-ecosystem-b6ab342b2390

7 Impediments to Scale and Growth

To scale and grow, a company needs to reach a broader audience, review the areas it does well in and areas that it can provide value in. The similarities end there, however. Fundable, which specializes in crowdfunding for small businesses, notes there is a clear difference between these two go-forward approaches: Growth: adding resources at the same rate you’re adding revenue Scale: adding exponential revenue while only adding incremental resources

https://joon.us/2019/10/17/7-impediments-to-scale-and-growth/

Cultural Expectations vs. Cultural Reality

Far too many companies of varying sizes today are hampered by the fact that employees’ cultural reality does not meet their expectations. As a result, managers, Human Resources teams, parents, spouses, significant others and friends all are hearing this: This isn’t anything like I thought it would be!

https://www.keenalignment.com/keen-blog/

How we got our client a $1.6M mortgage at 2.875% (30 years fixed)

I recently posted on financial industry thought leader Michael Kitces’ Twitter page that we worked with a large financial institution to help our client purchase a $2.0 million home with a $1.6 million, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of 2.875%. As this rate was far lower than anything most people could secure, his Twitter users – largely Financial Advisors – were extremely skeptical. Most, in fact, said it was impossible for me to do this. Well, it wasn’t -- you just need to know how.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-we-got-our-client-16m-mortgage-2875-30-years-fixed-islam/

Four Reports Every Business Needs

In today’s digital economy, companies increasingly are making the strategic decision to move to a more flexible enterprise billing solution. The reason: They’ve been introducing new product offerings to the market based on usage and recurring revenue, but they are finding themselves bogged down in manual efforts to report on appropriate metrics.

https://go.billingplatform.com/blog/four-reports-every-business-needs

6 Companies With Brand Messaging That Stands Out in the Market

What constitutes effective brand messaging? Why do some brands stand out more than others in their market? Advertising legend David Ogilvy long ago offered this piece of advice regarding messaging: “Clearly define your positioning: What and for Who?” Even Mad Men’s fictional Don Draper offered recommendations, including these two: "Make it simple, but significant." "Success comes from standing out. Not fitting in."

https://www.crayon.co/blog/6-companies-with-brand-messaging-that-stands-out-in-the-market

Key Features of Top Executive Education Programs That- Support Work-Life Balance

Executive MBA students quickly learn that corporate mergers need to be positioned as “one plus one equals three,” a clear message to shareholders, customers and employees that the combination is greater than the sum of its two parts. Schools with the best records for work-life balance deliver another benefit: they ensure incoming students realize that one-half (work) plus one-half (personal life) plus one-half (school) can actually summarize one holistic experience. And that’s a good thing!

https://www.ivyexec.com/career-advice/2019/key-features-of-top-executive-education-programs-that-support-work-life-balance/

9 Easy-to-Remember Tips for Networking as an Introvert

You have a secret. Despite the professional success you’ve achieved, you’re concerned you might not reach the next level. You’re an introvert—and, in your mind at least, that could prevent you from being effective at networking and building professional contacts.

https://www.ivyexec.com/career-advice/2019/9-easy-to-remember-tips-for-networking-as-an-introvert/

Iconic Brands: How Branding Reinforces Company Value

Companies often spend years and exorbitant amounts of money trying to develop an iconic brand. There are good reasons. While business success is obviously a great motivator, there are affiliated objectives as well: Effective branding helps with employee engagement, drives and supports messages, underlines your USP and highlights your differentiation. According to Forbes, “Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark."

https://michaelgeczi.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/iconic-brands-how-branding-reinforces-company-value/

We do. So you can create.

Brand. Brand purpose. Corporate DNA. Reputation. Mission, vision, values. Some of the most interesting conversations marketing teams engage in are focused on these topics. And some of the greatest confusion about these topics often dominates these conversations.

https://www.castandcrew.com/blog/thought-leadership/we-do-so-you-can/

Hot Buttons for Communicators and Marketers

It was really interesting recently to hear a group of seasoned communicators/ marketers call out some of their biggest frustrations these days. Any of these sound familiar? Experience vs. “Let’s run a test”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hot-buttons-communicators-marketers-michael-geczi/

Leveraging the Cloud to Digitize and Transform the Entertainment Production Lifecycle

New technologies can enable stunning changes in the way support functions are carried out. To consumers, the entertainment industry – film, television, commercials, events and games – has achieved remarkable technological achievements over the past decade. Behind the scenes, however—or more accurately, in many of the support functions carried out by external specialists—the story is very different.

http://pubs.royle.com/display_article.php?id=2652069&view=362842

Musk as Jobs: The Media Say Yes

It’s going to take some more time before we know for sure if Elon Musk is the second coming of Steve Jobs. But one thing we know for sure now is that – for the media, at least – the new has replaced the old.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/musk-jobs-media-say-yes-michael-geczi/

Essential PR lessons from 40 years in communications

In communications, sound advice is invaluable. Four decades of working as a journalist, internal communications executive, external consultant, university instructor and marketer have provided me with countless nuggets of advice from my various mentors. Emerging PR and marketing pros should always tune in to a mentor’s advice. Here’s a roundup of tips from communicators who have graciously shared their insights with...

https://medium.com/@MichaelGeczi/essential-pr-lessons-from-40-years-in-communications-2780d5ffeb42

The Basics of Crisis Communications

So, what have we learned a few weeks into the JetBlue affair? We've learned that crisis responses that are little more than boilerplate execution of tactics that have been used before - and which aren't built upon a strong foundation of common sense and an accurate understanding of audiences - simply do not work. Indeed, in reaching into the Crisis Management 101 playbook simply for tactics, it can be argued that JetBlue may have created a set of new problems that could be far worse.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/external_clips/3089966/Copy_of_PR_Week_022607__.pdf?1559689084

Leicester City: the Best Sports Story Around!

If you’re an American who doesn’t follow international soccer or, even worse, dismisses it out of hand, you are missing what arguably could be the best sports story of your lifetime. Think the movies — Hoosiers or Rudy … the 1969 Mets … Joe Namath’s 1970 Jets … North Carolina State over Houston … Villanova over Georgetown … the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team … Giants-Patriots — both of them … Texas Western over Kentucky...

https://medium.com/@MichaelGeczi/leicester-city-the-best-sports-story-around-f5da095eb5b4

Chinese Companies Meet the West

Many observers have wondered, in recent years, whether Chinese companies are willing or able to meet the disclosure and transparency requirements of doing business in the West. This question came up when Western investors contemplated financing Chinese firms, as Chinese companies sought overseas capital and listings on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq in order to take advantage of swelling investor interest.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB112181043008590012

ONWARD: Reimagining Strategy

Our ONWARD series continues. We’ve come to the letter R, which is appropriate, as “reimagining” ourselves characterizes the path we’ve taken over the past few years. This reminded me of the educational program taught by Harvard Business School professors Cynthia A. Montgomery and Srikant M. Datar titled Reimagining Strategy. It advocates emphasizing creativity in strategic thinking so challenges can be reframed and the latest insights, techniques and concepts can be explored.

https://www.castandcrew.com/blog/onward-reimagining-strategy/

10 Ways to Become an Authority in Idea Generation

“Thought leadership” is a communications and marketing approach that organizations—and individuals—have used to varying degrees of success for decades. It’s a concept that most people in an organization typically believe they understand completely and can easily “bang out” without much planning or thought. That belief sits atop the list of most-common mistakes made when putting together a slew of influential messages. Here are 10 keys to ensuring your next strategy is both interesting and

https://www.ragan.com/10-ways-to-become-an-authority-in-idea-generation/

15 enduring keys to PR success

Without question, technology has significantly changed the practice of public relations. Stakeholder targeting has become more specific, new channels have emerged, and conversations have replaced simple news delivery. It has been transformative—though maybe not entirely. The keys to being an effective communicator remain the same. Analytical writing and counseling success have remained the same irrespective of whether a writer is pecking away at a typewriter and pulling copy paper and carbons...

https://www.prdaily.com/15-enduring-keys-to-pr-success-2/

Utilizing a Bimodal Technology Organization to Bring Digital Solutions to the Entertainment Payroll

Over the past several years, the benefits and risks of a bimodal technology organization have been extensively debated and written about across several industries. The idea of bifurcating new from old and slow from fast has won fans and critics alike. The brainchild of the folks at Gartner, Inc., bimodal technology organization is the practice of managing two separate, coherent technology delivery models. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing stability, safety and accuracy.

https://www.builtinla.com/node/29772

My Khodorkovsky Recollections

Seeing the photos today of a freed Mikhail Khodorkovsky stirred some glaring memories from 1999-2000 when I spent a significant amount of time with him in Moscow. At the time, Khodorkovksy was riding high, sitting at the top of his Yukos Oil operation after having spent several years carefully building an international profile – first at Bank Menatep and subsequently at Yukos. Khodorkovsky was not yet 40 years old, and had the confidence/arrogance both of a young man who had not experienced

https://michaelgeczi.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/my-khodorkovsky-recollections/

GOP Bloviators Stay Silent on Middle Names This Time

So, remember that whole kerfuffle two campaigns ago about the presidential candidate whose middle name was Hussein? Those who were worked up about Barack Obama’s middle name – and what they said it told us about the real nature of his character – certainly were loud. Time after time, they transparently included his middle name is any and every discussion about him. It did, they told us, prove a good many of the assertions they were making about him.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2015/6/23/1395843/-GOP-Bloviators-Stay-Silent-on-Middle-Names-This-Time

Experience

Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Company: Cast & Crew Entertainment Services

I worked there from 4/2014 until 6/2019

Adjunct Instructor, Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism

Company: University of Southern California

I worked there from 8/2013 until 6/2014

Managing Director, Strategic Communications

Company: FTI Consulting

I worked there from 1/2007 until 6/2013

Senior Vice President

Company: APCO Worldwide

I worked there from 7/2003 until 7/2005

President, Asia-Pacific Financial Communications

Company: Edelman

I worked there from 1/2001 until 5/2003

Member of the Firm

Company: Sitrick And Company

I worked there from 10/1998 until 12/2000

President

Company: Gavin Anderson & Company

I worked there from 7/1996 until 8/1998

Senior Managing Director

Company: Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart

I worked there from 10/1989 until 6/1996

Vice President, Capital Markets Communications

Company: Merrill Lynch

I worked there from 10/1986 until 10/1989

New York Bureau Chief

Company: The Dallas Morning News

I worked there from 9/1981 until 9/1986

Markets & Investments Editor

Company: BusinessWeek

I worked there from 6/1978 until 8/1981

Deputy Business Editor

Company: The Associated Press

I worked there from 5/1977 until 5/1978

Capital Markets Reporter/Editor

Company: The Wall Street Journal

I worked there from 4/1970 until 5/1977

Of Counsel

Freelance writing; marketing/PR consulting

Company: Self-Employed

I worked there from 7/2019 until now

Content I Write

Ideas and Pitches I Wrote

Mirrors vs. Windows

An effective marketing/advertising/communications program or campaign must begin with a look, and then communicate, “through a window." That’s where the audiences and stakeholders are, right? Unfortunately too many practitioners engage in “mirror communications,” which means you are speaking to yourself and patting yourself on the back for work that might look good -- or even deliver interesting analytics -- but which doesn't reflect your targets' POV. You might enjoy it, but it doesn’t work

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Is It a "Crisis" or Just an "Incident"?

Issues management and crisis communications are terms used loosely to characterize a variety of developments that challenge – actually or potentially – the reputation or valuation of a company, organization or individual. Every day, traditional news organizations, online sites and “citizen journalists” surface stories and/or allegations than may threaten perceptions, business relations or existence itself. To survive, answer the important first question: Is this a crisis or an incident?

Content type: Article

Links:

Litigation Communications: Why It Works

Effective litigation communications is grounded in the following objectives: --Protecting the company’s brand, reputation and valuation --Demonstrating command of a situation through active communications --Ensuring accurate representation of the facts both internally and externally --Engaging with stakeholders to maintain credibility and strengthen relationships --Reducing legal and/or political consequences --Ensuring business continuity

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Putting Team Members in a Position to Succeed

As a manager, your responsibility is to put the people who work for you in a position to succeed. So, the next time you're tempted to hand in that negative review -- or put someone on a Performance Improvement Plan -- hold yourself accountable and ask the tough question: Did you put them in a position to succeed and did you support their attempts? Here are the 10 questions you need to ask yourself.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Job Satisfaction: Bridging the Generation Gap(s)

Job satisfaction is a concept where managers and their teams should be on the same page. Absent that consensus, productivity is impacted, career development/advancement is stifled, and Human Resources department find themselves in constant search mode. Unfortunately, neither party is adequately trained/prepared to fully understand the issues that most concern the other side. The challenge can be addressed by integrating new behaviors -- and new learning and listening skills -- into the workday.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Mirrors vs. Windows

An effective marketing/advertising/communications program or campaign must begin with a look, and then communicate, “through a window." That’s where the audiences and stakeholders are, right? Unfortunately too many practitioners engage in “mirror communications,” which means you are speaking to yourself and patting yourself on the back for work that might look good -- or even deliver interesting analytics -- but which doesn't reflect your targets' POV. You might enjoy it, but

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Transaction Branding

Branding is a marketing concept that stirs a range of emotions – and opinions – across companies, consultancies and institutions. In calm, “business-as-usual” times, chances are it’s a topic that generates a good amount of over-thinking. During mergers or acquisitions, however, the story often is quite different. Which is exactly the opposite of what is needed.

Content type: Article

Links:

Transaction Branding

Branding is a marketing concept that stirs a range of emotions – and opinions – across companies, consultancies and institutions. In calm, “business-as-usual” times, chances are it’s a topic that generates a good amount of over-thinking. During mergers or acquisitions, however, the story often is quite different. Which is exactly the opposite of what is needed.

Content type: Article

Links:

Realigning You CPG Marketing Strategy

Mobile. Data. Millennials. Expediency. CPG marketing has faced one new challenge (opportunity?) after another in recent years ... and each one has had a profound impact on the relationship between the company and its customers. It's forced companies to rethink how they view, reach out and engage consumers and how -- ultimately -- they devise strategies, utilize budgets and define and measure success. The most obvious change is the move to experiential, but realignment touches on others as well.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Redefining Job Satisfaction

Ways of measuring job satisfaction have changed markedly. The best example: job longevity, once very important, now is viewed by many as an obsolete indicator out of touch with today's career environment. In fact, some argue that the every-two-year "jump" from one position to a better position -- especially for those in their 20s and 30s -- brings more satisfaction than long-term employment at a single employer. This piece will highlight five changes in the way satisfaction is measured.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

7 Things That Are Getting into Your Ability to Scale and Grow

To scale and grow, a company needs to extend to a broader audience what it does well and what provides value, while curtailing those things it doesn't do well. Multiple issues can impact scaling, but there are seven key ones to address: change-resistant culture; inflexible infrastructure; lack of marketing authority; poor internal sponsorship; timing errors; implementing processes rather than depending on people; adhering to a short-term view.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Job Satisfaction: Bridging the Generation Gap(s)

Job satisfaction is a concept where managers and their teams should be on the same page. Absent that consensus, productivity is impacted, career development/advancement is stifled, and Human Resources department find themselves in constant search mode. Unfortunately, neither party is adequately trained/prepared to fully understand the issues that most concern the other side. The challenge can be addressed by integrating new behaviors -- and new le

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Seven Paradigms for Non-Spun Employee Communications

Few people would disagree with the notion that “spinning” has gotten out of control. In business. In politics. In sports. In entertainment. Unfortunately, also in internal and executive communications. And that can adversely affect employee engagement, productivity and happiness. How can management stop it? Hold themselves accountable. Each person, and each action, must adhere to (and be constantly evaluated against) a number of tests, or paradigms that hold their feet to the fire.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Four Posts

Please review my professional credentials/writing. FYI: my personal life also uniquely qualifies me for this type of writing. Would love to help. Samples of the way I think: 1) What you can learn by looking out the window / what you can learn by looking into the mirror 2) Forgiveness belongs to you. Use it wisely 3) Focus on what you can do, not what he/she/they did 4) Setting goals: what you want your future to be One month to deliver four blogs of 800-1,200 words each at $150 per blog.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Mirrors vs. Windows

An effective marketing/advertising/communications program or campaign must begin with a look, and then communicate, “through a window." That’s where the audiences and stakeholders are, right? Unfortunately too many practitioners engage in “mirror communications,” which means you are speaking to yourself and patting yourself on the back for work that might look good -- or even deliver interesting analytics -- but which doesn't reflect your targets' POV. You might enjoy it, but it doesn't work.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Communications assessment and re-fresh and development of go-forward tools

1. Message development (Message house) 2. narrative doc articulating value prop 3. re-do website with new language and targeting to key audiences 4. initial blog launching new messaging

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

How Marketing Automation Breathes New Life Into Your Dormant CRM

After investing heavily in an CRM, companies far too often can't optimize their new tool's performance ... with it often just becoming a static database of names and two-sentence write-ups about a business lunch. Linking it to a robust marketing automation program helps to extend the reach of the CRM, turn static data into actionable data and improve the investment's overall ROI.

Content type: Blog Post

Links: