Why I Will Not #BanBossyAs the oldest of three kids, I’ve done my fair share of bossing around, whether it was telling my sister the correct way to play Barbies with me or making the executive decision of what movie to watch despite everyone else’s opinion. My parents and siblings, like this dad, would tell me to stop being bossy, because that’s exactly how I was behaving. Did it stifle my leadership abilities? No. In fact—it did quite the opposite.

The #BanBossy campaign has received as much criticism as it has praise lately.  Women from Beyonce to Condoleezza Rice have joined the fight to help #BanBossy because “Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up.”

No—words like “bossy” are used to describe someone who is being…bossy. No one likes to be friends or work with someone who is bossy. In fact, a recent study from Pershing (client) shows that Americans prefer a more collaborative style of leadership—and 70 percent of people associate that leadership quality with women.

Furthermore, Google Definitions shows that synonyms for “bossy” include: overbearing, tyrannous, despotic, masterful, domineering, authoritative, and dictatorial. Synonyms for “leader” include: chief, innovator, trendsetter, pathfinder, and pioneer. According to this, the two are not completely interchangeable.  You CAN lead without being bossy.

Being told that I was being bossy at a young age helped me gain self-awareness and to develop a style of leadership that respects and considers others’ opinions. Just because a word does not have a complimentary connotation, it does not mean that it should be “banned” from our vocabulary. As a woman who is striving to create my own path of leadership in my career, I fully support the intentions of this campaign to help young girls take initiative. However, I believe that their way of going about it is misguided.

Here at Peppercom, we try not to get too political about anything. Everyone is free to be true to him/herself and express support on important issues like who will win American Idol, the color of next season’s PepperKickers t-shirts and where to go to lunch. However, it’s hard not to catch even a mild campaign fever as we all countdown to November 6. The conventions! The debates! The outfits! Okay, maybe just kidding about that last one. But I digress…

I’m not shocking anyone when stating that a heck of a lot of marketing and PR go into developing the ultimate presidential campaign. Now, with social media and the 24/7 news cycle, the job is even more complex. What I love about the 2012 presidential race is constant comparison of each candidate’s appeal to the people. It’s hard to dispute that this is what won President Obama the Oval Office in 2008. So now we watch as Mitt Romney scrambles to catch up. I came across a Romney campaign initiative called “Grab A Bite With Mitt” in which supporters can enter to win a meal with Mitt and his wife, Ann. Supporters are automatically entered to win after making a donation. Talk about the definition of experiential marketing: bringing your product to the people and – literally – serving it up on a silver platter (or, perhaps, on a plastic plate at a local diner).

There are three key elements about this program that I not only really like – but can also translate to other marketing campaigns.

1. Low Barrier to Entry: to enter, all you need to do is fill out a simple online entry form and donate $3. Given that one of Romney’s key issues is jobs/economic growth, it’s smart to not require a large donation amount.
2. Facing Criticism: Romney’s charisma and personability have been the thorns in his White House Rose Garden since he started running for president since 2006 (and lost the nomination to McCain). Through these meals, he’s sending a message that says “Hey, I hear what critics and pundits are saying and I want to change the perception.”
3. Touting Your Assets: Ann Romney has slowly, but surely, begun to win some fans. Since launching her Twitter handle in mid-April she has gained just over 45,000 followers and has spent more time in the spotlight. By offering a meal with the Romney’s as a couple, they are also appealing to the conservative voters who cherish traditional family values – and whose votes Romney needs.

I’ll be curious to see what media coverage transpires as a result of these events. Will reporters eat it up – or will Romney choke?

If Jury Duty was a brand, they would be screaming for help. Check out my guest blog for Steve “RepMan” Cody while he is off trekking mountains in Nevada. Las week, after the privilege of two days of jury duty, it became clear that Jury Duty was in need for some PR.

Read on…If only Jury Duty could hire a PR firm?

© Mary Altafeer/The Associated Press

Given the 13 degree temperatures this week, it makes sense that the Occupy Wall Street groups decided to head indoors last night. Around 5:30 p.m. ET, hundreds of protesters flooded the grand concourse at Grand Central Station to host a “flash mob” that would disrupt all those one percenters heading home from work.

I am far from being a member of the one percent. This is why I take the subway home each night. Call me crazy, but I assume that most of those in the one percent forego mass transit and opt for a car service or something even fancier (gold plated helicopters will pick up passengers from midtown, right?). The way I see it, this stunt only disrupted other members of the 99 percent. And I was not a happy camper when my 6 train was held in the station causing me to arrive late to my spin class.

This post is in no way meant to be political. I just think this “flash mob” could have been more effective in capturing the attention of the wealthiest few. And here’s the lesson for us marketers: when trying to generate buzz or grab the spotlight, make sure you aren’t alienating potential supporters.