I have a friend named Kris. Kris spent most of his professional life as a DJ—the radio kind, not the ecstasy-riddled rave kind. Years ago, Kris was offered two passes to an exclusive Prince concert. Kris accepted and invited a blind date with a penchant for partying like it was 1999. Upon arrival at the event, Kris was immediately mistaken for Kenny G. (That’s much funnier if you know Kris.) (more…)
My wife Jen is a math teacher. She is also an avid runner.
On weekdays during the school year, she wakes up at 4:15 a.m. (As do I, thanks to our freakishly loud alarm clock. Then it takes me an hour to go back to sleep—on a good day. But that’s another story.) So my wife is up and the sun has yet to rise. Jen grabs a quick breakfast, heads to the gym, jogs five or six miles on the treadmill, drives home, inadvertently wakes me up as she takes her shower, and then dresses and leaves for work. Jen does sleep in before her “long” run on Saturday, waiting until 6:00 a.m. before our clock’s WOOP, WOOP, WOOP jolts us into consciousness.
If you run in certain circles, the start of Major League Baseball season brings the inevitable re-telling of romantic tales honoring both diamond heroism and failure. Whether from the lips of legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully or your own father, you’ll never escape the stories that begin with “I remember when.”
As an educator prior to my transition into the risk mitigation field, an emphasis on ethical standards has never been far removed from my professional protocol. When updating with friends and family, I was surprised to sometimes encounter a different response than I had upon becoming a teacher. Assuredness of my ethical piety, and that of all educators—who, after all, never went out at night or made mistakes in their youth—was replaced with some questionable looks. Though much of these instances involved those who were unfamiliar with risk mitigation, there were some consistent sentiments upon delineating the nature of the industry in which I now worked:
I’m a journalist at heart. Always have been.
As a kid in New Jersey, I started my own sports publication. The content featured baseball standings and stories based on Mets games I’d seen on TV. I subsequently worked for our town’s twice-weekly newspaper, earned a journalism degree, and bounced around as a sports editor and freelance writer before transitioning into the risk mitigation industry.
Immediately, I noticed a number of similarities between the fields: legalities involved with obtaining photographic/video documentation, information gathering practices, hyper-attentiveness to detail, etc.
I also found a significant—and welcome—difference.
As a service provider, we are often asked to define brand protection and the most important aspects of a good brand protection program. A quick online search yielded the following well-meaning, textbook definition from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary:
Brand protection: the act of preventing someone from illegally making and selling a product using a brand name owned by another company: