Asymmetric Communications: Building Momentum through Non-Traditional Marketing

May 23, 2007

MaRS Centre 101 College Street Toronto

Marketing and communications have profoundly changed. In today’s “attention economy,” it is critical to find ways to more effectively and efficiently reach media-savvy audiences.

Rob Shepardson and Russell Stevens of the award-winning marketing agency SS+K have gained an international reputation for their work — work that recognizes the dynamics of today’s social and media environment. And it’s reflected in SS+K’s award-winning campaigns for world-class organizations such as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Delta Airlines and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

With lessons garnered from political campaigns, PR crises and ad wars, SS+K’s approach – Asymmetric Communications™ – conveys complex ideas by engaging audiences in non-traditional ways and in places where competition isn’t already reaching them. Asymmetric Communications™ recognizes that success or failure lies in the engagement of an audience; with unavoidable and compelling ideas that ultimately result in greater momentum for your brand, product or issue.

Come learn about some of the techniques SS+K has used with market leaders around the world to solve strategic communications challenges and engage audiences. Discussion topics will include:

  • An outline of the value and components of non-traditional marketing
  • Crafting a compelling story around your “noble purpose”
  • Developing a more strategic approach to marketing communications


About SS+K

SS+K is a creatively-driven, strategic communications firm that develops integrated communications programs including advertising, public relations, marketing, design, identity, digital media, corporate communications and entertainment marketing. Founded in 1993, SS+K employs more than 100 people in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles. Clients include: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Lance Armstrong Foundation, msnbc.com, Revver and Time Warner Cable.

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) owns a minority share of SS+K. CAA is the country’s leading talent and literary agency with offices in Beverly Hills, Nashville, New York City, Kansas City, St. Louis and Beijing.

Part of the Financing Workbook 3: Identifying, Targeting and Engaging Potential Investors Series

About the speaker

Rob Shepardson & Russell Stevens

SS+K, New York

Rob Shepardson, Partner

One of the founders of SS+K, Rob has spent over 20 years working in the world of public affairs and PR. He currently leads several accounts, including the Obama for America Presidential campaign, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Anheuser-Busch, ENOUGH! (The Campaign to End Mass Atrocities and Genocide) and the Association of Schools of Public Health. Past clients include Microsoft, Dell Computer, American Express, DATA and the ONE Campaign (Bono’s advocacy organizations), UN Millennium Development Goals, Time Warner Cable and MTV Networks.

Rob is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a faculty member at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.


Russell Stevens, Partner

A partner at SS+K, Russell manages the agency’s marketing group. In his ten years at the firm, Russell has provided marketing and strategic communications counsel for SS+K clients, including the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Citibank and msnbc.com. In addition to helping manage SS+K’s partnership with CAA, Russell has worked with other entertainment-based brands including Imagine Entertainment, Yahoo! Entertainment and Showtime, tech brands Motorola and Time Warner Cable and retail-based clients Qwest and Ameritech.

Before joining SS+K, Russell worked at Robinson Lerer Sawyer Miller, where he helped to develop and managed a strategic communications campaign for Microsoft. Russell’s background includes two years as a research associate at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, researching and writing about the emergence of new media channels and their effect on political communication.

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