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5 Questions with Kerry O’Shea Gorgone (@kerrygorgone), of MarketingProfs

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone is one of those people that keeps showing up in all my feeds. You know why? Because she’s awesome! She’s a lawyer, teacher, marketer, podcaster, writer, and all around rock star.

And if Ann Handley quotes you in one of her books, I’m an instant fan. So, of course, I was thrilled when she agreed to do this interview. But first, a little bit about Kerry…

Kerry develops marketing training courses in her role as Instructional Design Manager, Enterprise Training, at MarketingProfs. She’s also a speaker, writer, attorney and educator. Kerry hosts the weekly Marketing Smarts podcast for MarketingProfs, and is also a contributing writer for numerous sites, including Huffington Post, Mark Schaefer’s {grow} blog, Social Media Explorer, Entrepreneur, Spin Sucks, and MackCollier.com. Follow her on Twitter (@kerrygorgone)

Let’s dive into the mind behind that impressive bio…

Question One – The Rebirth of Podcasting

You’re the host of the Marketing Smarts podcast for MarketingProfs, definitely a favorite of mine. Do you think we’re seeing a rebirth of the podcast? More specifically, do you think this is a tool that more businesses will be adding to their box?

Podcasting’s more mainstream than it’s ever been, largely thanks to smartphones and tech-friendly audio systems in cars. Everyone seems to be launching a podcast, and why not? Starting a show is easy these days, and the podcast audience makes more money and engages more on social networks than the population at large. Marketers would be crazy to ignore podcasting!

Question Two – How to Interview

Speaking of podcasts, I’m not certain that most people understand what makes a great interview great… the interview skills of the host. What makes a great host great?

Preparation makes or breaks an interview. Vague, general questions make it obvious the interviewer knows nothing about the guest. A good host studies up.

An effective host also builds rapport with the interviewee. I always have a short conversation before we go “on the record,” just to connect with the guest and make him or her comfortable. During the interview itself, I often chime in with jokes or comments that refer back to that initial conversation, which helps to maintain the energy and flow of the interview.

Even if I cut these bits out in post-production, which I frequently do, the warmth and energy in the guest’s voice remains, and really enhances the final product.

Question Three – The Internet and The Law

So, in your spare time, you went and got yourself a law degree. Thanks, I feel like a slacker now. As a lawyer, does the openness and immediacy of the Internet worry you at all? Seems like privacy, piracy, and downright stupidity are constants in an online world. How does a company avoid potential issues, lawsuits, financial ruin, Armageddon?

As a lawyer, lots of things about the Internet worry me. Privacy has become nothing more than a cherished illusion—a holdover from the days of card catalogs and unlisted phone numbers. The truth is, we never had much privacy. It’s just that stalking people was more work, so fewer people had the tenacity to dig up personal information on you. These days, you can have someone’s complete history—credit score included—in fairly short order for a few dollars.

You’d think that, because of this, consumers would be used to having their personal information “out there,” only many aren’t. Brands need to tread lightly when targeting ads or content based on data. There’s a fine line between convenient and creepy when it comes to retargeting, for instance. Smart companies know that just because you know someone’s preferences doesn’t mean you need to broadcast them. Just be there when they need you! You’ll know when: your CRM database will ping you.

Piracy is a different thing. Brands need to get comfortable with the fact that fans might use the company logo as their profile photo on Facebook, or upload a video of their TV ad to YouTube (and that’s just the well intentioned piracy). Issuing cease and desist letters to your brand advocates is insane. Don’t do it.

I’m not saying brands shouldn’t protect their trademarks: if someone’s selling a lookalike product or people start turning your brand name into a generic term (like “Kleenex” vs “Kleenex tissue”), by all means, do what you have to do. Just choose your battles carefully, and don’t swat a fly with a sledgehammer, so to speak.

Question Four – When It Clicks

During your time teaching New Media Marketing at Full Sail, what were some of the more common lightbulb moments your students had? At what point do you think it clicks?

The moment something clicks is different for everyone, but what really inspired students was applying the concepts we covered to their own business. Internet Marketing students at Full Sail choose a company to study—their own, or a competitor’s—and base their course projects and research on that business.

In my class, students set business goals and conducted an in-depth analysis of their audience, then created a completely customized marketing plan that reflected these. No two projects were the same.

If a student had difficulty understanding the role mobile or social might play for their company, I’d talk them through their goals and their different audience segments. That’s when their eyes lit up: when we considered how they could best serve their audience and meet them where they are.

Question Five – Teaching and Marketing

I wish more people would teach. I also think teaching can be a great way to get different perspectives on topics. In some ways, I hear similar types of exchanges on your podcasts. How much has teaching helped to shape how you conduct your podcasts?

Teaching is the ultimate goal behind the MarketingProfs podcast, and really behind all the content we produce. From PRO seminars to training programs, we provide educational resources for marketers.

When I talk with someone for the podcast, I’m always thinking “how can this person help my listeners?” “What can he or she teach my audience that will improve their marketing?” That desire to help and teach is at the heart of every conversation I have for the podcast.

Bonus – It’s OK to Use this Metallica Song, Right?

What is the strangest piece of legal advice you’ve ever been asked to give?

I’ve always had a passion for marketing and promotion, even while practicing law. Years ago, a firm I worked with had me produce a video of an employee event.

Originally, it wasn’t supposed to be public, so we used copyrighted music in the background. Next thing I knew, they were asking “is it okay to put this on our website?” I couldn’t believe a bunch of lawyers would even have to ask!

The owners of the music had zero interest in granting a law firm permission to use their song, so we replaced the track with music by a local artist, who was more accommodating.

These days, I’d always plan for content to become public, even if that’s not your intent. Someone else could easily upload your video to YouTube, and you’d have a problem if it included someone else’s copyrighted music!


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