Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce

I love watching TV, movies and plays, and I am a sucker for a good miniseries. My favorites include Band of Brothers, The Pacific – humm I guess alot of them are from HBO. But to me there is nothing better than getting wrapped up in a story and see it unfold.

So I was ecstatic to hear that one of my favorite actors – i.e Kate Winslet was playing the lead in one. However, school and work made it impossible to get time to watch the series.

It took me a while, but I finally started watching Mildred Pierce yesterday on HBO, a five part miniseries, and the closest adaptation of James M Cain’s 1941 novel. Not surprisingly, I was once again astounded by the powerhouse that is Kate Winslet. She is a phenomenal actress who really has the ability to transform and blend into any character, and genre.

Winslet brings to life the hardship of the economy during the (pre) depression era and the challenge a divorced woman faced in those times. I was swept away into the time period and felt her pain as she struggled to find a job, support her daughters and her inner conflict of letting go of a dream and the struggle to achieve success. It also has a strong supporting cast that including Guy Pearce, Melissa Leo (from the Fighter) and Evan Rachel Wood (from The Wrestler and Across the Universe).

There are quite a few powerful scenes but some of my favorites include one towards the end of Episode 3 – a confrontation of sorts between Mildred and her daughter, and the start of her daughters open rebellion against her mother, and Episode 4 – where Mrs Lenhart comes to meet Mildred. In Episode 1, Mildred goes to Mrs Lenhart’s home to seek a job as a housekeeper, but she could not bear the thought of dressing up in a uniform and she knew her oldest daughter would look down upon her. This scene really was brilliant and in a sense showed the notion of class distinction in that era. I am still on Episode 4, so I might post additional details. But I highly recommend it.

Here are some more reviews – I personally cant wait for the DVD to come out

NY Times –

Huffington Post –

4L’s of Social Media

So I came across some interesting articles today. I suppose you could categorize them under the “how to” genre. Which got me thinking. For a new company getting started in the social media space, what steps should they take to ensure they are on the path to success? I realize that there are books and blogs dedicated to this, and I sure came across many an authority/ expert on this topic, but here are my two cents – I call it the 4Ls.

1) Listen – This is a very important step and one that is perhaps not often followed. Companies need to first listen to what people/market is saying about them. This includes the who, what, why, where. Who is talking about your brand/ are they possibly influencer? What are they saying – is the tone positive/negative, Why and in what context are they mentioning your brand? and Where are these conversations taking place? Yes, this concept is repeated over and over again, but listening really is the building block of any social media research or strategy. For further details on the 5Ws you can consult this article.

2) Learn – What your competitors are doing? Research the social media tools out there – its probably not a good idea to be on Facebook, but you need to know what are the options, functionality, pros and cons of each. Its also a good idea to learn from the mistakes of others, and what factors have helped the competition or other firms succeed.

3) Leverage – Use the knowledge gained from the listening and learning phase to create a strategy that assists and bolsters your organizational goals and objectives. This will help you to deploy your presence on the right channels and ensure that you are not force fitting tools because its the in-thing.

4) Lead – Stay-on-top of the conversations, be active and engage your followers. Set the ground rules for managing and leading your online presence and establish the measures to success. Ignoring your followers is digital suicide.

I have also attached some interesting articles I came across.

Great piece on the evolution of social media – MediaPost –

Read a summary of Ted Rubin’s Tips Social Media success –  and details on Return on Relationship concept –

Why is Social Media important?

When most people think of social media, they conjure up Facebook, Twitter and a 20 something furiously updating and reading their friends status messages. Which reminds me its been 20 minutes since I checked my wall? But seriously, social media is so much bigger than a few giants and holds a lot of value for brands.

One of the constant topics in my digital marketing class at NYU this past fall was that a number of firms wanted a Facebook page, but they didn’t seem to know what. It just seemed that they wanted it and was the right thing to do. So why does every or atleast most firms want to jump or dip their toes in the social media waters?

From my perspective, effective marketing has always relied upon timely communication delivered in a coherent manner that is on brand, target and message, and it is equally important to identify and leverage the appropriate communication channel. So its not just important to say the right thing i.e. creative and idea, but you have to be where you customer/prospect is. Thats where social media comes in.

Social and digital media offers a chance to achieve a variety of objectives – whether its measuring brand reputation, testing message effectiveness, identifying patterns/trends, to managing customer relationships, and communicating with your customer/prospect. I think most companies realize that they need to go where their customers are. But before they do that they need to listen to whats being said and define a strategy.

Hello there!!

Its cold and dark outside and I can hear thunder, it seems like the perfect day to start my blog.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Sunaina, and I currently live in New York. I wont call myself a nomad as such but in the last eight years I have lived on three continents. Thats seven cities and three very different social customs and food palette. Yet the further I go away from home, India, I find my ties to it grow stronger. Ironical, maybe, but I find the most uncommon of things often common.

Over the last eight years, I have also seen a change in my professional goals, and I am happy to say I have found my calling. So after being a business researcher/consultant, I dived into the world of marketing. I like to think I can combine all these skills into one and apply the best parts to my career.

This blog is about my perspective on social and digital media, the marketing campaigns that have excited me and challenged my senses, and my experience of living in a foreign land. Well maybe not that foreign. Hope you enjoy it.