AdWeek Skillshop


We put some marketers and an attorney in a [virtual] room and kicked off this year’s AdWeek with a Skillshop hosted by Katie Markert, an attorney within Barclay Damon LLP’s Branding, Trademarks, and Copyrights practice group. 

Katie laid down the law to help us understand what goes into developing a strong brand name, and it turns out, not all trademarks are created equal—they actually reside on a spectrum. She walked us through this spectrum and showed us, from worst to best, how trademarks can be created with strong legal backing. From generic trademarks to the fanciful, Katie described the varying levels of trademark strength and gave some real-world examples. 

Another big takeaway…beware of genericide! Did you own a “return top” as a kid? How about a “yoyo”? Well Katie asked us if we could think of the generic term for yoyo, and we were stumped. Turns out, YO-YO was actually a brand name trademarked by Duncan Co. in 1932 for “return top” toys. This product eventually fell victim to genericide due to a faulty trademark registration, and all of these toys could legally be referred to as yo-yos, and they were. The name continued to spread as the generic term, and thus, you probably owned a yo-yo as a kid–not a “return top”.

Katie concluded her SkillShop with a Q&A that answered our deepest branding and trademark questions. Thank you Katie! Learn more about Katie’s legal experience here.

Blog Stuff

Skillshop Recap: Influencing the Influencer

Last month, AAF Buffalo hosted a members-only skillshop on the value of influencer outreach.

Hosted at Crowley Webb’s first-floor bar, Local 86, PR veterans Andrea Gallagher and Katie Briggs took a dive into the hottest new marketing trend, using real-world examples and exclusive insights from the influencers themselves.

Some notable tips and tricks:

  • An influencer is anyone who can change (or influence) thinking or behavior.
  • Influencer marketing focuses communication efforts on key individuals who can influence consumers’ thinking or behavior.
  • Influencers can be traditional media, subject matter experts, celebrities, bloggers, and social media users and advocates.
  • Influencer outreach can help your organization with brand awareness, expand social reach, increase sales, as well as share education, insights, and content.
  • Influence isn’t just having a lot of followers—it’s driven by expertise and credibility.

Stay tuned for more information on our next skillshop, coming for you during Ad Week 2019 (October 7-10).


Get to know the leaders of the Spring Skillshop.

Andrea Gallagher is the Public Relations Director at Crowley Webb, bringing 10 years of public relations and corporate communications experience to the role. Before joining the Crowley team, Andrea most recently served as the Director of Marketing & Public Relations at the Buffalo Museum of Science, and was previously an account director at global PR firm, Weber Shandwick, leading integrated multi-disciplinary campaigns for top consumer lifestyle and technology brands.

Katie Briggs is a public relations professional with experience in developing PR programs for local to global companies across diverse industries. In a new role at Praxis—Crowley Webb’s patient recruitment division—Katie is charged with growing its advocacy outreach capabilities through working with advocacy groups, patients, and physicians to generate awareness for clinical research studies.