92Y Tribeca: Mark Penn participates in a panel of industry leaders discussing “The Business of PR”

Mark Penn participated in a panel on “The Business of PR” at the 92Y Tribeca in New York with Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO, Ruder Finn and Steven Rubenstein, President, Rubenstein Communications.

In the highlight video, Mark mentions that despite the shrinking demand for newspapers, the demand for news and information in general is skyrocketing, and will continue to rise with the growth of the middle class. Watch the video at 92Y online.

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: The Unemployment Cushion by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published November 18, 2009

Unemployment has hit double digits in the U.S., and in some areas of the industrial Midwest, it is approaching 16%. Joblessness in many parts of this country is destructive beyond belief. The Federal Reserve Chairman said he sees little prospect of immediate relief.

And yet, in other areas it is not nearly as bad as it could have been. One reason is that bringing home a paycheck, especially in upper-income households, is a shared responsibility today. That fact alone, in a recession, can provide a lot of families with a built-in backstop–an Unemployment Cushion–to the destitution that unemployment in a recession can cause.

In the last 50 years, job growth has far outstripped population growth. As a result, today’s 10.2% unemployment rate leaves a far greater proportion of the population at work than in the past. In 1961, for example, when we hit 7.1% unemployment, the record for that period, only a third of Americans had jobs. Today, even with 10% unemployment, nearly half the country, or 138 million people, is still at work.

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The Times (UK): Men: The Second Sex?

Men: The Second Sex?
It’s increasingly a woman’s world, as boys and men lose ground at school and at work. A chance to redefine manhood?

…These days, outside top City circles, being a man does not signify first-class status. In much of modern life, maleness means coming second…

…Mark Penn, the author of the influential book Microtrends, has highlighted the phenomenon of what he calls Guys Left Behind: “Sure, most leadership positions are still filled by men, and there are lots of super-achieving men out there,” he says. “But on the other end of the spectrum, serious problems are brewing for the future of men.” According to statistics, he says, men are 15 times more likely to go to prison, more likely to be obese, alcoholic, unemployed and die earlier.

“When it comes to earning what you learn, guys aren’t learning what they need to — women are getting almost 60% of the college degrees conferred… This college gap could be the one that spells the most serious problem for guys, and over time can be at the root of a lot of increased frustration and even crime… The lifestyles and habits that worked so well for men in more dangerous times may not be working so well for them in the information age. In every age from the caves right on through the second world war, it worked for men to take big risks, have short attention spans and be driven by ego. These days, those things are more likely to get in the way of doing a good job.”…

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: On the Web, Amateurs Rivaling Professionals by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published October 29, 2009

This is the age of the amafessional, when amateurs are rivaling professionals in opportunity, talent and the ability to produce quality work. It’s happening in virtually every field. In areas ranging from communications to medicine to simply making things with your hands, amafessionals are gaining in numbers and the ability to market their services.

Struggling amateurs used to want to become stars, and of course some still do, but this new phenomenon is different. Millions are participating just for the fun and challenge of it–-almost like running in a marathon. “Amafessionals” include both the amateur/professional hybrid and pajama professionals, who often work at home rather than the studio or the office.

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Business Week: Pinning Down the New American Shopper by Mark Penn

Business Week

Pinning Down the New American Shopper
It’s about information, value, and being green: Today’s discriminating consumers are careful about how they spend, and they’re concerned about the planet

By Mark Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne

The consumer that marketers have had a lot of fun selling to over the last few decades is disappearing. Those were the days—when a snappy jingle did the trick, a celebrity carried the day, and a higher price signaled higher quality.

The old obsession with personality, emotion, and overarching experience is giving way to the green eyeshades of facts, research, and greater rationality. Not all consumers are changing, but enough are to start altering the way we market to and treat consumers. Originality and zaniness will still have their place, but marketers will have to deliver some cold, hard messages at the same time.

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Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: Phoneless Homes by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published September 9, 2009

I took my daughter to college this week, and as I watched her set up her off-campus apartment along with her roommates, I had to return a call. So I asked “Where’s the phone?” In response, she held up her cellphone and said, “Ah dad — here it is.” There was no landline phone, and there wouldn’t be. She looked at me like I’d asked where the VCR was.

She and her roommates were getting TV and the Internet, and between them they would have three cellphones. But while they would each have personal communications devices, her household of three adults was a microtrend that is quickly becoming a macrotrend — a phoneless home. The very idea of a “home phone” is becoming obsolete.

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Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: Glamping: Its Time Is Coming by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published August 23, 2009

Europeans love touring churches and museums, but when it comes to vacations, Americans have always loved the great outdoors. Fishing, camping and just driving around are great American pastimes.

But now, welcome to the early stages of the era of “glamping” — glamorous camping. It’s a visit to the outdoors, but updated and upscale. While it’s just starting to take off, it’s likely to grow significantly based on emerging travel and vacation trends.

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Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: Boss Nation by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published August 3, 2009

It’s a common lament in America that we spend too much time working for “the man.” But these days, more and more of us are the man.

According to the Census, more than 10 million Americans are self-employed, up from about 8 million in 1980. Even more telling, the number of “non-employer firms” — businesses with no payroll — recently topped 20 million, up from 15 million in the late 1990s. A lot of people with jobs also have businesses on the side they hope will become big enough to support them.

And so the term “boss” today applies to a lot more of us than ever before.

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The Leonard Lopate Show: Mark Penn discusses Microtrends, now available in paperback

Mark Penn was on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show discussing the ever-splintering subsets or “microtrends” that Americans identify with, including the new microtrends that have emerged since the financial downturn.

Listen to the show below or at wnyc.org:

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: Smartphoniacs: Addicts of the Information Age by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published July 7, 2009

Among everybody from our leaders to our teenagers, no habit is spreading faster than being connected 24/7 via a smart phone.

Its penetration in the U.S. is estimated at 18%, and it seems that everywhere you turn, people are using their smart phones in new ways and in new places. Samsung recently estimated that it expects 500 million global smart-phone users by 2012. Actual phone calls are becoming extinct compared with handheld texts and email messages — whoever thought people would prefer typing to talking? But the evidence appears to say they do.

This has also given rise to a group of people — the top 10% of smart-phone users — who just can’t stop. They are the smartphoniacs, the true addicts of the information age.

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