How to Protect Your Brand with Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

April 3, 2017

kerry gorgone on brand

“The only policy you need is ‘don’t be a jerk!'” While this may seem like surprising legal advice, it shouldn’t be considering the source. In addition to being a lawyer, marketing professional, and podcaster, Kerry O’Shea Gorgone is one of the nicest (read: not jerky!) people both online and off.  We discussed the legal implications of new forms of media, copyright, podcasting, and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, JD, MBA, is a lawyer, podcaster, speaker, and writer. By day, she designs training programs for marketing professionals in her role as Director of Product Strategy, Training, at MarketingProfs. By night (and on weekends) Kerry writes for some of the most authoritative sites in the marketing and PR industry, including Mark Schaefer’s {grow} blog, Social Media Explorer, Entrepreneur, Spin Sucks, and, and also contributes to Huffington Post.

Kerry hosts the MarketingProfs weekly interview series, Marketing Smarts, named by Fast Company as one of the best business podcasts on the internet and one of “19 Podcasts Worth More Than an MBA” by Inc. The show features industry stars and authors like Chris Brogan, Ann Handley and Gary Vaynerchuk, as well as business personalities like Jon Taffer of ‘Bar Rescue’ and actress Jane Seymour. She’s also interviewed c-suite executives from organizations like IBM, National Geographic, Dell and the Baltimore Ravens. Learn more about her at

Episode Highlights

Legal 101 — what’s the difference between a copyright and a trademark? “A copyright protects your bigger works — books, blogs. Trademarking is for smaller things — logos and phrases.” At the end of the day, Kerry warns that you have to decide to what extent you’re going to pursue small infringements.

So, what should you protect as a brand? “Your employees’ privacy. Like Crackerbarrell saw this week when they fired ‘Brad’s wife.'” You should also protect your copyright — both what you share from others and what they share of yours.

Can Snapchat sue Facebook? This week, as Facebook launched stories, a very Snapchat-like feature, students in my marketing class (which Kerry spoke to via Skype) asked if Facebook could be sued by Snapchat for copying the stories features. “You can’t copyright an idea. It has to be expressed. At this point, stories are so pervasive.”

Podcasting tips? As you can see from her bio, Kerry is one of the most popular marketing podcast hosts. What tips can she share for businesses wanting to get started with this growing form of media? “Start with conversation research and listen. Figure out what your audience is into and see if you can be a part of that.”

What brand has made Kerry smile recently? Kerry pointed us to the outdoor brand Orvis. She recently had Orvis’ Simon Perkins on the Marketing Smarts podcast. She loved the engaging conversation and the real-life brand touchpoints she received afterward that made her smile.

To learn more about Kerry, follow her on Twitter and check out her blog and the Marketing Smarts podcast.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently Sean Carpenter gave us a shout on Twitter for our episode on authenticity featuring Bruce Kennedy. Thanks for listening, Darren!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.