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    • Mark Penn Microtrends Podcast at 2010 Media Summit
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Microtrends: Mark Penn

Podcast with Microtrends author and strategic consultant, Mark J. Penn

Mark J. PennMark J. Penn

On March 10th and 11th, I'll be attending the 2010 Media Summit in New York City; "The international conference on media, advertising, television, broadband, social media, mobile, cable & satellite, publishing and radio, magazines, news media, motion pictures and marketing."

Many executives from these industry verticals and other Fortune 500 companies will be contributing at the event; headlined by Janet Robertson, President and CEO of the New York Times, and Arthur O. Sultzberger, Jr., Chairman, The New York Times Company. I'm looking forward to what is sure to be an intense two days — navigating the profound, disruptive, and permanent changes every organization and individual participating in the Media Summit is experiencing. I plan on sharing the insights and experiences of many of these leaders with you.

Mark J. Penn participated in a panel session on advertising in the new media landscape. I had interviewed Mark in 2007 when his book 'Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes', was on the New York Times and WSJ best seller lists. When you think about the influence and visibility small, special interest groups such as The Tea Party Movement have created, what Mark wrote about in 2007 resonates today.

Mark J. Penn is worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller and President of Penn, Schoen and Berland. As CEO of Burson-Marsteller, Mr. Penn oversees a global network of 94 offices and 1600 employees. As President of PSB, a position he has held since 1975 when he was an undergraduate at Harvard, Mr. Penn focuses on providing research-based communications strategy to political figures, corporations and crisis situations. He is also the author of 'Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes', which was released by Warner12 in September 2007. Today, Mr. Penn serves as strategic consultant to several Fortune 500 companies and CEOs on a wide range of image, branding and corporate reputation issues. His client relationships include Ford Motor Company, Merck, Verizon, BP, McDonald's and Microsoft. Mr. Penn has helped to elect over 25 leaders in the United States, Asia, Latin America, and Europe in addition to serving as the senior strategist for Senator Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. He has worked with Senator Clinton for years, including the polling and messaging for both of her successful US Senate campaigns. Previously, as an advisor to then Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr. Penn helped create the strategy that delivered an unprecedented third term win for Labour in the United Kingdom. He is also well known for serving as President Clinton's pollster and political adviser for the 1996 re-election campaign and throughout the second term of the Clinton administration.

Mark Penn, the man who identified "Soccer Moms" as a crucial constituency in President Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign, is known for his ability to detect relatively small patterns of behavior in our culture-microtrends that are wielding great influence on business, politics, and our personal lives. Only one percent of the public, or three million people, is enough to launch a business or social movement. Penn shows readers how to identify the microtrends that can transform a business enterprise, tip an election, spark a movement, or change your life. In today's world, small groups can have the biggest impact.

Questions for Mark Penn

  • In your article in Forbes titled "The Critical One Percent," you write "The big story today is small trends. Really small trends. These so-called "microtrends" are often counterintuitive, usually followed by 1% or less of the population, but they are pursued passionately and are fundamentally reshaping our society." So can you give us your definition of a Microtrend? Is this similar to Chris Anderson's The Long Tail?
  • What do you think are some of the most important microtrends that could impact someone's career?
  • What's the difference between a microtrend and a fad?
  • Microtrends are constantly evolving?
  • What are some of the most surprising microtrends you discovered in writing the book?
  • Microtrends in your book that disturbed me let's talk about education. The number of college dropouts and the impact that will have.
  • Mark, you're a numbers guy. As you write in a chapter titled Numbers Junkies, American's love numbers they just don't like arithmetic" I'd like you to talk about the impact of the lack of math majors, science majors, engineering majors in the U.S. When I read the Harvard had only 77 math majors and Yale only 38 undergrads majoring in math that's scary and how many of those are foreign students?
  • Let's talk about some other microtrends. Mark, what's up with all these tattoos? Beautiful young women with tattoos everywhere?
  • Religion When I think about religion I think about born again Christians and how they have influenced American Politics however you write there "are nearly 10,000 distinct and separate religions in the world, with 2 or 3 new ones being created every day." Won't this create all kinds of problems?
  • We've talked a lot about China on this program but usually from a megatrend perspective. What are some of the important microtrends you discovered?
  • Mark, you're and extremely busy guy, what motivated you to write Microtrends?
Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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