Thanks to my dad, I was indoctrinated into theStar Warsuniverse at a very early age.If you sawmy talk at IMPACT Live '19, this shouldn't be a surprise, since y'all know I've been in an emotionally committed relationship with Han Solo since I was 8 years old:
Fig. 1: A Love Story for the Ages.
Here's what's funny, though — even though I agree thatThe Empire Strikes Backis the best of the original trilogy, as well as one of the greatest movies ever made, I never saw it until it was re-released in theaters in 1997.
Why? Well, it scared me.
It was a chilly fall afternoon, and my dad was so excited to finally share his favorite movie with me, his only child. We had popcorn. I was wearing my favorite Fraggle Rock pajamas. We were snuggled up in blankets on the couch.
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."came on the screen, and I gasped with excitement.
Unfortunately, the bliss was short-lived.
I never made it past this scene with the Wampa, the monster who kidnapped Luke Skywalker on the ice planet of Hoth:
Fig. 2: Nightmare Fuel.
My dad tried to comfort me, but it was no use — I was terrified. And I cried and cried until, finally, he relented and putReturn of the Jedion for the 17,623rd time.
For many years after that I just... never watched it. Then, it was announced that they would be re-releasing the original trilogy in theaters, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Star Wars and ahead of the release of the highly anticipated prequel trilogy.
That gave my dad an idea:"I know we were going to watch the original trilogy, but what if you wait on seeing The Empire Strikes Back until it's released in theaters? We can see it together at The Uptown, which is where I saw it the first time it came out."
The Uptown is a historic movie theaterlocated in Washington, D.C., my hometown. The art deco "movie palace" opened its doors in 1936 and has since hosted the world premieres for movies such as2001: A Space Odyssey(1968),Star Wars: A New Hope(1977), andJurassic Park(1993).
Finally, on a crisp February morning in 1997, I sawThe Empire Strikes Backthere with my dad — and to see such a masterpiece for the first time on the big screen was an unforgettable experience.
"I was so sad when I couldn't get you to watch this when you were younger,"he said as we were leaving after our morning showing."But that was worth the wait."Then he hugged me, and I — being a horrible teenager — told him to stop because he was, like, totally embarrassing me.
Now, every time a newStar Warsmovie comes out, I always see it for the first time at The Uptown.
As a self-admitted control freak, I like to think back on this story every now and then.I have a tendency to get... let's just say "mildly cheesed off" when things don't go according to plan. But when I look at the most defining and exciting moments of my career — or my favorite personal memories — a vast majority of them only happened because fate came along and smashed my initial plans with a hammer.
I guess sometimes you can't do something great until you break something else first.
P.S. Can we all agreehow creepy Ewoks are? I don't know why I liked them as a child... with their dead shark-eyed gazes.
🔎 In the Name of Data Privacy, Google Is Proposing Tighter Standards for Digital Ad Targeting
In a recent announcement, Google Senior Product Manager of User Trust and Privacy Chetna Bindra discussed the growing battle between personalized Google Ads and the user data that powers them — and Google’s mission to help remedy it. To get the ball rolling, Bindra unveiled an in-depth proposal by Google that calls for publishers, advertisers, tech companies, and users to come together and reach a solution that works for all parties. To learn more about this big move, check out this article from IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn, which details Google's new data privacy proposal for digital ad targeting, as well as how you can get involved and provide feedback.
💬 The 7-Step Process for Interviewing Subject Matter Experts for Content from IMPACT's Interviewing Ninja
If you're a content manager or an internal digital marketer, one of your most rewarding tasks will be to interview subject matter experts to bring their ideas to life. It'll also be one of your biggest challenges. You need to consciously not sound like yourself, which — according to IMPACT Editorial Associate John Becker — is weird and liberating at the same time. So, how do you interview subject matter experts effectively and create a ghostwritten piece both they and your audience will love? In this article, John shares his seven-step process for interviewing subject matter experts for content, including a few of his trade secrets.
Hey, Chicago! TODAY at 11:30 a.m., IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Baiocchi will walk you throughthe basics of conversational marketing, share tips and tricks for creating a great conversational experience, and show you exactly how to set up live chat and build a chatbot in HubSpot using HubSpot Conversations.Register now for this Chicago Northside HUG event; it's free!
☝️Don't forget, all HUG events are free to attend!
Talk to y'all later! 👋
Director of Web & Interactive Content, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast