Talaera Talks - Business English Communication

51. Are You a Challenger or a Disruptor? - Talaera Talks with Donna Loughlin

June 07, 2022 Talaera Business English Communications Training Episode 51
Talaera Talks - Business English Communication
51. Are You a Challenger or a Disruptor? - Talaera Talks with Donna Loughlin
Show Notes Transcript

Donna Loughlin is a PR agency founder and podcaster working with visionaries and future tech. She has helped numerous businesses navigate the obstacles of Silicon Valley and early startup life. In this episode, she shares her PR expertise and we discuss the communication aspects behind pre-IPO small scale-ups and the journey around towards business maturation.

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Paola Pascual  0:03 
Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co hosting the show with Simon.

Simon Kennell  0:13 
In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show.

Simon Kennell  0:24 
Welcome back, everybody to another episode of Talaera Talks. My name is Simon and wherever you are, as always, I hope you're having a great day. Another amazing episode. Today, an amazing guests that we're very excited to speak with. Paola, first off, how are you doing?

Paola Pascual  0:47 
Hi, Simon. I'm doing great. Were in the middle of our HR month. So yeah, things are moving fast. But it's always great to have these awesome conversations with great speakers. So yeah, how are you today?

Simon Kennell  0:58 
I'm doing well doing well, as you said, yeah, very excited about our HR Culture Month, which, you know, we're covering so many different events, focused on HR professionals around communication and learning culture and all of these different aspects. So it's good now to really talk with a true communication professional and specialist and expert. And we're really excited about having Donna Loughlin on today. I'll do a quick introduction, and then we'll kind of dive right into it. But Donna is a founder, podcaster, public relations strategist, and several other things, who has helped numerous businesses navigate the obstacles of Silicon Valley and early startup life. So, you know, the founder of Lofland. Michaels group consultancy, which actually, if I'm not mistaken, has just celebrated its 20th year anniversary. So congratulations for that. Donna has, you know, great experience and expertise when it comes to yeah, these pre IPO small scale ups and the journey around towards business maturation. And I think this is really exciting for us to have the PR side of this come in and to discuss the communication aspects behind that. She's focused with companies and some of the most disruptive industries such as augmented reality, automotive and transportation, artificial intelligence, security, wearables and robotics. Her, her consultancy has represented several well known companies, including Daymond, FireEye, divergent 3d Checkpoint, and scaly systems and her podcast, which I highly recommend, before it happened capital, it covers the fascinating sparkplug light bulb moments that innovators have across several industries. So I just actually listened to a couple episodes today. One was coaching next gen leaders with Jason Ma, which I found really interesting. There's another one around cured meats and all these different types of topics, which are very fascinating. But Donna, thank you so much for joining us today. And my first question is really just you know, if you can tell us a little bit about yourself, and what was it about the communication, the PR profession that kind of? Yeah, caught your interest from an early stage.

Donna Loughlin  3:37 
Well, thank you so much for having me on the show. I'm delighted to be here. You gave me quite a eulogy. And I was thinking, Why did I do all that? I guess I had, but since I was about 10 years of age, I was just fascinated and curious about how things work. I would follow my father who ran a publishing and printing printing company, but his brothers and so I had access to a lot of amazing books and newspapers and, and authors. And I would ask a lot of questions. And of course, I'd asked my father these questions. And one day, he said, Why don't you ask the questions. So that was my entree into reporting and discovery, and having conversations with people. And they they would be ordinary, you know, shop owners of the family. We would call in America, mom and pop businesses, restaurants and bakeries. But sometimes so it'd be a trip to a defense company or the earliest the early stages of Intel, or a Dell computers and companies like that. And so I would go on these little little tracks and have these discovery interviews and stories. So I realized that was about 10 years old. I wanted to be a news reporter. And so I pursued that I was the head of the school paper in high school for two years, constantly writing, I would write anything, poetry and reports and research papers and enter competitions, and so even poetry, so just continuously just writing and and then I went to university and, and studied more formally, economics, believe it or not, and then an undergraduate combination with journalism. I was kind of geared to have a subject matter to talk about. And I thought economics was fairly global in its perspective, that it would allow me to understand not just people and cultures, but we're also going to understand the impact of certain social economic, no vertical industries and businesses. So that was an entree into my, into my career. But since then, I've launched more than 500 companies, I've stopped counting. You rattled off a lot of different markets I've been in I think one of the things I pride myself in is working with emerging markets. Oftentimes, the markets before products exist, I was working with autonomous cars, and autonomous robots and artificial intelligence before they were mainstream. Before Oculus Rift was, you know, in the store, before we heard with the Google, you know, cars, I was already in those segments, which is pretty exciting.

Paola Pascual  6:31 
So you were a visionary, fascinating.

Donna Loughlin  6:35 
I consider myself a a thinker and not a tinkerer, but I get to work with the tinkerers and the visionaries, who are creating, you know, and see the future of where we are not only where we are, but where we need to go. And is an example. I work with a crime fighting robot company. I mean, whoever thought that you can create a robot to prevent and protect. But that's not something I thought of. And I think that's one of the things that's exciting about the intersection of the Silicon Valley, but also the intersection of all the technologies that start converging together. And we think about the phone, a first phone that we had, and generations today are have grown up with a digital phone. My first phone was this giant mobile phone that could barely fit in my in my knapsack or brief bag or purse, and you had to charge it on the every hour on the hour. And the cellular range was horrible. And the first good phone I had, I think I purchased in Japan on a business trip. And I brought it back to North America. And I was I was like a trendsetter. And so I think, I don't think I'm a visionary. By thick. I'm a little bit of a trendsetter because I had this phone. And the phone had had, you know, was was mobile, it was portable. It didn't have a camera, which is probably everyone's favorite feature now. But ultimately, I was an early adopter. And I think that's one of the things that we have to think about what technology and innovation, are we adapting? Or are we adopting? And so one of the things like constantly look at when I talk to technology companies, innovator companies, they'll open up their jacket, and they'll show me all these gadgets, like the movie Inspector Gadget. And I immediately think, do we need to? Do I have that already? Or why do I want that? And so those are questions As consumers, we should be asking ourselves, is something like the Lexus or nest going to make her life better? Or is it going to make our life more chaotic? And if we're not asking those questions, then we probably shouldn't be buying those products.

Paola Pascual  8:53 
That's an interesting reflection. And I wonder from the other side, from the from the the entrapreneur, or the person that comes up with the idea. I wonder if sometimes with all these developments and breakthroughs if it gets to a point where the market is not ready for your product, or if you can always find a story behind it. And with that, you can sell it. I don't know what you think,

Donna Loughlin  9:18 
Well, sometimes you're too late. That's the other scenario there. So there's typically two categories challengers and disruptors, the disruptors are the ones that are, you know, break, you know, new ideas that are that are changing the entire, you know, industry or market segment. And the challenges are typically what we see are products that are challenging the incumbent. So we look at Tesla as an example, because everyone seems to be enamored with, with Tesla, but Tesla, I think is, you know, is a disrupter. But now everybody's challenging them right in the Evie market ever. Evie cars before Tesla. There are lot better designed and more beautiful, aesthetically designed cars, electric cars and Tesla. In fact, I was amazed when I was at the Detroit Auto Show last year, that Cadillac, a very classic American brand, that almost, you know, disintegrated. I mean, the company itself has come out with one of the most beautiful design cars. And the reason why I think it's such a beautiful design is that they actually brought people from around the world together to create something aesthetically beautiful, but also functionally sustainable. And so I think as a about economic, when I, when I studied economics, one of the things that I learned from that is that you can't look at the world through a lens within your own isolated zip code, or your own country or in where I'm in California, I have to think about what are people in Ohio? What are people in Indiana? And what are people in the south thinking? What's your reaction to these products? And then I had to think if it's a product that's going to go overseas, how would the Asian market interact? And how will this product people respond to this product in Israel? Or how would they respond to it in in parts of Eastern or Western Europe, so we have to have that, that lens open. It's a lot like a photographer, they looked at the morning, light is so important. You look at the morning light, you look at the textures of the afternoon light, and then you go back and you look at the evening, like it'd be different every time. And I think that's one of the things as communicators that we need to do is that we need to look for different juxtapositions of things. And I think, in writing and creating the narrative or the positioning for a company, we need to look at the best case scenarios. But we also need to look at the worst case scenarios.

Simon Kennell  11:53 
Yeah, I love that kind of, sometimes it's, it's great to have a goal for a thing that you want to do. But sometimes it's just as important to know what you don't want, you know, as a way to kind of guide you guide you through that process. And so, for myself, I'm totally ignorant about the the PR process, right? So I, as you talked about, kind of, you know, going in and writing the story about a company and how do you present that? How do you help launch a company in that way? Can you can just like, kind of take us through a really quick step by step of what does that process look like for you, as a consultancy, and you meet with company A? What's kind of your first step in terms of how you're assessing this company? Are you kind of picking and choosing yourselves the companies that you want to work with? Or how does that process go for you to eventually get to the point where you can communicate the story and communicate it in a way that yeah, transcends cultures? I know, that's a big question. But I'm really curious.

Donna Loughlin  12:58 
Well, I can be very selective now, because I've had my agency for 20 years, and which is exciting. But if I reflect back 20 years ago, I wasn't as could be as selective because I was just starting out, and I was going to accelerators, and I was going to lose early on I'm gonna call them kind of like, startup, entrepreneurial, you know, type of events and working, you know, with two guys in a in a cat because they couldn't afford a dog, you know, type of scenarios that we are familiar with startups. But over the years, I've used the same methodology. And the methodology goes literally back to what I learned from from my uncles, before I even became a professional journalist is asking the questions that, you know, who, what, when, where the why, not? How, but why, and the why is so important. There's one of my favorite movies. You know, it was emphasis was around the question why and I don't know if if your audience is wants to look up an old 1984 85 movie, but when it came out, I was just in the hammered with it. But Merchant Ivory film, and I'm going to remember in a second so bad, I forgot the name of the film. I can't believe I forgot the name of the film. But anyway, I'll get back to that in a second. Sorry. But one of the things that people forget is, why did they actually decide that they wanted to solve a problem? Why were you chosen? Why did you wake up one morning, middle of the night or some weekend when you were, you know, at the beach, and decided that you're going to you know, you're going to make a crimefighting robot are the fastest 200 miles per hour 200 range electric motorcycle, or a motorcycle helmet with augmented reality with the eyes basically clean the back of your head? And how are you going to make this come to fruition and bring it to life? So typically, the conversation will start in a discovery, oftentimes a napkin, or a whiteboard, or just a pad of paper over coffee. Though I drink water, I percolate slowly. And it's really asking fundamental questions. What were you curious about when you were a child? What did you read? What was your family upbringing, like? Because people, as you get older, we buffer those things, and we put we file them. And we don't think that that discovery process, we think the discovery process started because you became an engineer, or you you studied design, or you studied fashion, or whatever it is you studied. But your discovery process and your curiosities, or started at a very fundamental age, whether you played with Legos growing up, or if you're, you know, constantly in the library, though, all those types of environmental things. impact your thinking, and how you look at the world, right? I was constantly going to automotive shows, flying with my father, he was a pilot, and I'm a pilot, I became a pilot. Sitting on on crates, being able to pilot a plane, and mechanically, help solve problems. Help me understand mathematics. And and, and we talk a lot about STEM today. I think everybody, you know, has the capacity to learn how to program. It's just the levels of programming, which we learn. I'm not an engineer, and I'm a programmer, but I have studied and worked with children, who are both autistic, and are highly, I would say, near genius level simultaneously in the same room, doing programming. And building robots, and was amazed is like, how the human mind can adapt and how we can learn. So for me, it's looking at going through that discovery process. And once we go through the discovery process, then we can start mapping out stories.

Donna Loughlin  17:18 
So at the case of Monarch tractor, which is electric Tractor Company, which is a really exciting marketplace, agriculture industry is getting electrified. And that's important for us who want healthy, sustainable food, the fossil fuels are no longer being used in the field. Pesticides are not being used in the field. We're reducing the carbon footprint within our communities, and with the locale, we're actually working with, with a couple of companies that are looking at the indigenous people and how they farmed, and how we can learn from that farming as we improve agriculture. So in those conversations, well, I asked obvious questions. What was your association with farming? Did you quit where your grandparents were your father, and what generations were farmers because most of us do have roots in farming. I grew up in, in the valley, which was called the Land of heart's delight, which was agriculture. And then we put concrete on the land. And then we create products called Apple Computer. And it was like what it did, we lost sight of our agricultural roots. And so for me, it was a natural transition to have this conversation about agriculture that I literally put in my back pocket. And I did my master's thesis on the democratization of the farmworkers union, which was a huge movement in California, with Cesar Chavez in the 70s, and 80s. And I was fascinated by that. Because how does one person move an entire generation of people to think different and to build pride and to actually put the food on our table, that be paid pennies? Going back to my economic roots and understanding what was happening there? I took that, and I use that in my discussions and my story discovery with the tractor company. So going back to the roots, going back to the family go back to history, going back to economics, agriculture has labor challenges, there's climate change challenges. There's economic reform, there's sustainability. I got to be very complex, how big the agricultural and farming challenge is. And when I go back to that question mark, and the movie is called room with a view room with a view. Alright, I remembered. I asked that question, why? Why are we having labor problems? Why why is climate change in California on top of the pandemic and the climate change and the labor and the we also had fires so fires impacted agricultural region up and up and down California. And California is a very large salad bowl for majority of the United States and North America, including Canada. And we also export, I've been to Japan, and I'll see California beaches, and California cherries in California apricots, and they're quite expensive. They're quite coveted. They're literally usually stacked up on colors, you know, wrapped majestically in beautiful packaging and ribbons. And if you've been to Japan, Oh, I haven't I would love to. So I have a little bit of a naughty story. I went to Japan and it paid 60,000 yen for peach. That's $60. I've never spent $60 on a peach in my life when I thought Wow, that's some peach, it must be the best Peach was a California peach. And I was in Japan a business and I decided to buy this peach. And they wrapped it in three boxes, and then put it in a bag with this beautiful ribbon. And I was feeling pretty good about this peach, I thought wow, I'm gonna have a really special lunch today.

Donna Loughlin  21:10 
So I went to a little garden is in kind of a garden area. And I started unwrapping the ribbons and the packaging and took it out. And in the satin box with this beautiful peach. And I thought, Wow, I've never had, and all the products and all the companies that I brought to market, I never had quite this user experience or engagement. And now important and I know the importance of products and are and how we engage with things and our excitement in our enlightenment that we have. I took the peach out. It was the best tasting peach I've ever had. But just to show you how important it is to understand the culture. And when you're bringing a product to market. What I didn't know about this peach, it was a ceremonial pitch. It was a page that one should take to the Buddhist temple or to an elder or to a an homage to a burial site. It wasn't meant to be consumed at, you know, at 11 o'clock in the afternoon in a Zen Garden in beautiful Tokyo. So I learned from that. And how I learned for that is the head of sales for the company that I work with walked by me. And he said, Oh, Donna, he said, wow, you're having a very impressive lunch. And he sat down next to me. And he told me culturally, it wasn't terribly taboo. But he told me culturally, why when wouldn't do it was a nice way of saying that I shouldn't have done it. And I learned from that. And I take that, as well as I take things that I've learned in working and traveling in Israel or in Latin and South America. And I stand back and I have to look at that when it comes to bringing a product to market and that story. Is it authentic? Is it tangible? Is it believable? And will it actually transcend cultures, as well as will transcend potentially generations and a culture of inclusion and equity. And you talked about being HR been one of my guests coming up on my podcast is an expert on equity and inclusion in ESG. And I'm so excited for that interview in that conversation. Because Europe is fairly ahead of North America. And I think it's one of the things that we need to look at as the Zoomers and the millennials are the creators and the consumers of these products that we bring to market that we need to make sure that we're actually tapping into understanding them. So I'm curious what you've learned on that front, because I think that's inclusion and equity, and social. I'm gonna call it social justice as my own word of what people think. And the consciousness is so important with products.

Simon Kennell  24:14 
Yeah, no, So, I mean, there's so many things in there that I love, but probably the biggest one is that there are these aspects are these values or these, these kind of ideas that transcend cultures that everybody can associate with, right, everybody can can link to. I mean things like upward mobility, you know, all like all the places where I've lived. You know, I lived in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia and everybody there wanted their children to do better than they did. I mean, that was just like, you know, basic that's like a fundamental thing, right? I think maybe how that looks it's a little bit different and how you get to that goal is a little bit different, but that essence of what people you know, things like that are, I think kind of transcend. I love your what you said about the discovery process, though of getting to that right like to get get to that point is a discovery process of asking why? And asking, you know, and really kind of digging down. Do you ever kind of get to that point and then think, yeah, no, I'm not buying it and have to walk away? Does that happen? More often than not?

Donna Loughlin  25:31 
It does. And, and I often will just give free counsel or advice of what needs to be done or require a focus group to and to validate and kind of ensure that my instincts are serving me, right. I never work with companies that they're, you know, they're not, they're going to be one of 12 in the marketplace. I like to work with the ones that are coming out of the gate and going to create what I call a unicorn, pre unicorn, I call them acorns, is planting seeds and growing the market and you coming to Smith Justic. You know, oak tree, a billion dollar unicorns are few and far between. And I think internationally, we have so many amazing thinkers. I mean, there's organizations like the World Economic Forum, which is coming up in a few weeks, and Davos, which we shouldn't be looking at, for things around energy and sustainability, and crypto and blockchain and all these new markets that are going to affect how we how we live. But I have had to say no, and it's hard to say no. It's easier to say yes than no. But I've I've, when I do say yes. And a company comes to work with you know, with me. The LMG in Laughlin Michaels group actually stands for Leadership, momentum and growth. So I want to make sure that I can actually help them, establish leadership, have a voice be an authority, there can be multiple people's, you know, within the company. And then the momentum becomes now you've actually launched the company, and where you going within the marketplace, oftentimes, companies come to me with a bright idea. And then it's six months to a year before it even comes to market. I've also had companies come to me where they've hired prior PR agencies and their launch to market filled, and they needed to go back and figure out why. Oftentimes, it's not the PR agencies, you know, fault at all, sometimes it's the approach or the product, features and functionality just wasn't quite there yet. Or just needed to look at it differently. And I think that's one of the powers of what I created, which is called a narrative story engine is I look at six degrees of separation. I look at David and Goliath, I look at the founders, you know, passion and curiosities. I look at like a phoenix from the ashes, like was a company that almost went out of business, but now got this great idea, right. And being able to go through that discovery process and look for the company story. Look at the market and trends stories. So what are happening, obviously, in the past couple years, people had to adapt a lot. And, and, and put things on hold and supply chain issues. And so that brought up a whole other level of discussions. And then looking at last but not least, the customers and the consumer in in or if it's b2b, the business engagement. And then the last thing I really look at, is the impact of the product. Because we need to understand the company roots, we need to understand the trends and things that are happening. We need to understand what the customer feedback is. And then the product functionality and features. I'm I'm less worried about that than I am about the prior components. And so taking, and this is not a one time, one size fits all process. I'm going through a process right now with a company we launched about 18 months ago. They have competitors that they didn't have 18 months ago. So now we need to go back and relook at things differently. And we need to realign ourselves. And we need to make sure that our impact statement is one that we can continue to maintain the authority, but also reign and understanding and communicating to customers.

Paola Pascual  29:48 
Yeah, that's interesting. That's super interesting. And I can see how the narrative is... plays a big role in how you market and position all these new products. I wonder if you've been you've been doing this for over 20 years or for 20 years. And I just wonder, I'm super curious to hear if you think there's been any changes in how we communicate, what we communicate, you were talking about how Europe has all these are is, you mentioned that it is more advanced in some, perhaps social aspects of equity and diversity. I think the conversation is definitely becoming more popular in many places around the world. But I do see how it differs from from different areas. So yeah, my I'm very curious to hear what you think and what what the, the, perhaps the highlights are, or the interests are now versus 20 years ago.

Donna Loughlin  30:47 
I think the biggest shift has been the platform tools that we use to communicate. And I will admit, it's also a little bit challenging for me, I have clients that want to work in teams, I have clients who want to work in Slack. I have clients that want to work in Trello. I have other clients that want to work in Basecamp. And it's like, whoa, can we just have one platform that we can all communicate from? It's a little a little daunting. The other thing I've noticed in just in terms of communications, it will and I forgot texting, right? And I'm like, Okay, I'm just gonna turn it off. So when I drive, I turn it all off. I just want to listen to music, or podcast. But I think millennials in the communicate much different than Gen Xers. And so one of the things in my office that I had to learn and tune into was, I would want to have a meeting and my team was comfortable sitting across from each other, wearing headphones, and having a chat. But if I wanted to get them into a conference room to have like a creative brainstorm, they were resistant. But they would bring their computers and their headphones into the conference room and have a conversation. I like what you're right there. So I noticed that the Zoomers that I have in my group, which are my interns are not that are not collaborating that way. They're better they're actually more like the Gen Xers in the in the in the boomers and they are want to be there but very much more feeling and want to engage. And I think the pandemic has been really hard on them because a lot of them are just in there been in college or they're coming out of high school to go to college. And even when your daughter is doing an internship and she's doing it remote, who's ever done a remote internship, I mean, I did so many internships and editorial to become a writer that I can't imagine ever doing those remote. So I think the XOOM digital platform world that we lived in, that we live that we say we live we live in, we're still living in it has definitely been a challenge in bringing companies to market editors are actually not writing as many stories, they're writing less frequently. They're working from home, they're working with their kids or working with their dogs. So I think one of the things that PR needs to have a lot more of its patients, the stories are not going to be coming out as frequently as they once did. The patients in bringing technology and products to market, I went to CES 2022 This year, it was very low attended after not at a previous year was 2021. This show didn't exist. I know some of the European shows. And I talked to the editors that I I work with. And they were also very low attended. But editors were working remotely using zoom and other digital platforms to file stories. So I think in the peace, love and understanding kind of John Lennon world that that sometimes we have to reset things and look at them again, you know, we're in a different pace and a different time. And I I'm a little I'm one with little patients in terms of I want a new story and I want it now, I want to know this week, but I've had to learn that things are going a little slower. And so I think that's when that's one aspect.

Donna Loughlin  34:22 
The other aspect is I think in every error in generation, there's a new rush and then a dynamic for creating new products. So I'm hoping from the pandemic we're going to see a whole new onset of products that will be meaningful, that will that will factor in consciousness and care and compassion. At CES I saw a lot of wellness and health products. I saw a lot of products learning and STEM education products for kids. And I don't recall seeing those types of things a Consumer Electronics Show Usually it's the televisions, and it's a consumer gadgets. And but I thought, well, the next generation, the two generations from now and 20 years, when they're, you know, purchasing products, hopefully the product psyche and the decision to buy a product is going to be based on thoughtfulness and, and the engagement in that typically takes a long time, maybe it's factored in from the beginning. And I think that's one of the things is expectations is that consumers, we have pretty high expectations of how things should work, even the microphone that I'm using, I have three, I went to three trials and microphones, so I found one that actually I thought met my expectations, but I shouldn't have to buy three, I should be able to read an article and get their, you know, ample reviews and feel confident about something. But I think we as individuals have responsibility and sharing that feedback. If you buy a product and you don't like it or doesn't work as advertised, or performs, then we as consumers do have the right to be able to share that insight. I think companies, you know, companies like Apple Computer pride themselves and their their cultish, you know, developer consumer phenomena that they create. If you go into an Apple store, it's very different than if you go into a Microsoft Store. Or if you go into a big box store, or if you go into even the technology section, say at at Harrods and London or if you go into the center of Tokyo, each one of those experiences are going to be different. But I think I know when you shop. What do you shop? What are you thinking about when you go buy a new phone or a new appliance for your for your home? What's your thought process?

Paola Pascual  36:56 
I think that's an interesting question. I tend to go for the Big Apple fan. And I know I'm such a marketing product, for sure. But I wonder. So I don't know. And I wonder if you agree, but I see I work in marketing. So I see how for the for the past few years, the way we've been communicating about products is that everything is the best. And the two tips that will make your million dollars and the product that is going to change your life and the diet that is going to make your body perfect. And so we've been really hyping, we've been using this exaggerated vocabulary. And I see how me as a consumer, I do start to get tired of that vocabulary. And I tend to go more for, okay, I don't need the perfect product. I just need something that works. And that works for me. So I just wonder if PR and marketing will start to go back to that being a little bit more honest about what we're buying what we're selling.

Donna Loughlin  38:01 
The honesty, I mean, trust and brand is important right? Now I have a list of dirty words. revolutionary breakthrough. Cutting niche, unmatched, prove it. You need to prove it to me before you start using those words. Right. And I think that that's important. There's user expectations are high. And I think you know, if you look at the automotive industry, there's a reason why people test drive cars. They want to experience right. I like sports cars. I used to race a race go karts, and then I raced Formula One. So I know what a dashboard should feel like. I know what that experience should feel. I'm not going to be I don't race now. I desire to race I've been on the autobahn. It was so fun and exciting. But I want my car to look dashboard to really look and feel Lex. The British have always made beautiful dashboards Italians as well, right into a Tesla. Here's my dashboard. It's minimalistic. And and so I was I mean I I've downsized my life in many ways and minimize things. But there's still something to say about a beautiful sexy dashboard, or leathers, you know, seats that actually what I love about brands, like Stella McCartney, and making products that feel like leather, but they're not sustainable. And I saw that recently, and at the car show that companies are not using leather, they're using new materials that are beautiful and luxury. And so you get the feeling of a luxury brand, but and more of an economy price. So I think one of the challenges that I would say to anybody who's listening on this podcast is look at the world differently than maybe you did today. Look up But instead of down, most people don't look up. They even did a movie don't look up. But my idea of look up as a pilot, I have to look up, I have to look, I don't have a rearview mirror, I can only look forward, and I couldn't look left, and I couldn't look right. And I can go up and I can go down. Photographers also look at light differently. So if we look at look up, and we look at things differently from a different perspective, look at through the eyes of a child, look through the eyes of an elder look through the eyes of someone of a different country, then you start realizing, as you're talking about honest, is this a brand that actually, you know, is true and honest and essential for my lifestyle. Yeah, and I think and I and oftentimes, when I was working with a lot of cybersecurity companies, cybersecurity, insecurity protection is so important. I don't have data's day to day did you know servers and and data center in my home or my or my office, but I appreciate and respect that but with consumer packaged goods, particularly you know, I'm a bit of a sponge I like to try things. I will say I'm not enamored with Alexa. I worked with a robotics company that became the voice the basically the was a humanoid robot that used Alexa. So it's basically the the humanized Alexa and the casing side of things. I don't need somebody following me around. That's a little creepy. It's a little too futuristic. You know, Ray Bradbury, out there. And I also don't want to live in Walley world, which is very disconcerning. And in fact, I have a guest coming up on my podcast this week, Deb Donek. And she talks about the whole tech, human factor and the the responsibility and the humanization. And the equity in technology. That's a totally different discussion that I was just enamored by.

Simon Kennell  42:04 
Yeah, no, that's I mean, it's, that's such a huge topic. Right. And I think it's one that, like you said, we're, we're looking forward and in that are a multitude of questions that we hadn't even thought of yet. Right. So these are all questions based on ideas that, you know, couldn't come until we had the ideas and concepts that we have now. Right. And it's this continuation. And I think what I really feel like I've taken away from everything you've said today, is that, that continuation of those core kind of fundamental concepts that that can go across cultures that go across industry and lifestyle and and yeah, honesty and brand is exactly that. I mean, things that are impact us all like God. Yeah, honesty, sustainability. And I, I think that's a it's very, very interesting that we've talked so much on this podcast, right about, you know, the the W questions who, what, when, where, why, right, with y being the big one, and that coming down to forming the motivation. So I think everything that you've said today is super fascinating. Yeah, I could I, you know, I could keep going for hours. But I want to be, of course, mindful of your time. Paola, do you have any final questions?

Paola Pascual  43:33 
No, this was great. I really love how you just mentioned again, and highlighted that the importance of the why, like, we sometimes forget why we're doing things like yes, because, you know, it's easy to, to forget, so pausing and stepping back and really thinking about it. And then from there trying to do that, that discovery and finding the story. I thought that was brilliant. That was one of my favorite takeaways.

Donna Loughlin  43:59 
Well, I think we are in this great right resignation era that we've seen the past couple of years, people have been asking why. And I think it's one of the reasons I started my podcast was before it happened was because I wanted to talk to the other curiosity thinkers in the futurists and visionaries that are not necessarily working with others, maybe 10% of my guests are actual clients. The rest are just people in my network of people I, I reach out to books that I've read that I'm just fascinated with, and being able to showcase in shared their why in is you know, I even thought about calling it why it happened. But it's before it happened, which is that moment when they decided they were going to do this. I'm also beginning my book, which I'm excited about. And it's another labor of love, which will be a book about how to be your own PR agent. So you can hire me to help you with your brand or even it's your own personal brand, your personal persona. Are you can read the book, and I think the book is I'm very excited about it, because it's going to be basically a companion, it's going to help you be a kind of a life coach with your own personal brand, which is important in establishing and building your career, but also your product and go to market brand if you are an entrepreneur and have a product or service. So I think I finally have enough wisdom in my back pocket to share. What's the tastic? I don't have a title. I have a book coach and an agent, and it's in the works. Oh, well, I have to come back.

Simon Kennell  45:34 
Yeah, well, I'm gonna just circle right here, Donna's book before it happened right here, just so yeah, just so we can come back to that, because I definitely need a personal PR coach. So I know you're busy. But I'll be sure to check out the book. When it comes out. And for everyone. Yeah, the podcast is great. And I love the idea of meeting with all these innovators. And that yeah, that spark plug that point of you know, that why? You know, and when did that? When did they come up with that? I think that's that's a really fascinating point. Where can people reach you? How can people find you, for our listeners out there?

Donna Loughlin  46:16 
Well, the podcast is Before It Happened show on Instagram. My favorite place to hang out is LinkedIn. So good to connect with you on LinkedIn as well. But it's just Donna Loughlin. And that's L-O-U-G-H-L-I-N. I post a lot of things about public relations and wisdom. I also have articles in Forbes magazine. So it can be found there. But LinkedIn is in and Before It Happened show andonInstagram are probably the two best places. If you're really thirsty for some more PR advice, you can email me or message me, you know, in LinkedIn and more than happy to share with your, with your audience any wisdom and, and feedback.

Simon Kennell  47:03 
Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Donna. I mean, for your time today. So many great gems, I think in the conversation and I know it took away a lot. Yeah, thank you. Thank you as well, Paola, as always. So everybody listening, go check out before it happened. And when the book comes out, we will be sure to share it with all of our followers, on LinkedIn and Instagram. So I'm looking forward to that one.

Donna Loughlin  47:31 
I'll send you copies so you can get them away.

Simon Kennell  47:33 
All right. Awesome. Awesome. Looking forward to it. Great. Well, to all of our listeners out there. Thank you so much for tuning in. And thank you again, Donna. Thank you, Paola. And as always, everybody, keep learning.

Paola Pascual  47:49 
And that's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it. And remember to subscribe to Talaera talks. We'll be back soon with more

Simon Kennell  47:58 
and visit our website at talaera.com for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!