Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

This week I’ll be undergoing round three of brain surgery. I probably shouldn’t feel as casual as I do about the impending removal of another tumor (should the organ most under threat not be quaking with dread and fear?). But when it comes to putting my life in the hands of others, I’ve been there, done that, and as they say, bought two T-shirts as souvenirs.

Often, we have no choice but to cede control to the people we trust — in this instance, my surgical team. It’s no different from taking a seat on a passenger jet. We’re entirely…


Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

May marks an important time in my life: It’s Brain Tumor Awareness Month. I’ve always been very open and willing to talk about my two brain surgeries — one in 2007 and a second in 2013. Sharing the experience helped me to express the flood of emotions I was feeling — fear, uncertainty, frustration, regret, acceptance; it helped me to regain confidence in my neurological abilities and, ultimately, to heal. Being able to articulate the challenges I faced made me more resilient, a trait I am especially thankful for today.

Similar to how I was feeling at the beginning of…


Photo by Hello I'm Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

I’m typically not shy about sharing my opinions and advice. But when my 21-year-old niece — a graduating senior from Ithaca College who is spending the last of what should have been her season of job fairs, internships, and new beginnings in lockdown — asked my advice on how to network from her living room, I had to pause. Is this the moment to be reaching out to strangers for career advice or seeking a mentor for guidance? Is personal branding during COVID-19 opportunistic — offensive even?

The Class of 2020 was gearing up to take its first steps down…


Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

We all know that times of crisis bring out the best — and worst — in humanity, and we’ve certainly witnessed how people are stepping up to perform once-usual tasks that now qualify as extraordinary. There are countless pandemic-related stories about people delivering essential goods to elderly or otherwise vulnerable neighbors, communities rallying around stricken families, and essential businesses that remain open to serve others despite the risks.

COVID-19 has prompted us to reflect on and re-frame the definition of a hero. …


Photo by Gor Davtyan on Unsplash

I don’t really relate to either Passover or Easter, but I find myself thinking of how family and friends will adapt to celebrating the holidays while in confinement.

My first thought: Who could think of matzoh at a time like this? The thought of having to eat unleavened bread for eight days adds a sort of biblical injury to the culinary insult this novel coronavirus has unleashed. Not to mention, Jews are supposed to rid their pantries of any speck of risen food. You know, the crackers, pasta, and other staples we’re all hoarding for sustenance during the pandemic. I…


Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

The many spontaneous and useful acts of kindness we are seeing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its spread have been well documented. Big brands and multinational companies are stepping up and implementing bold and sweeping initiatives to alleviate shortages of medical equipment, protect their workers, and ease consumer discomfort, confusion, and uncertainty.

At the other end of the spectrum, individuals are doing amazing things to help others through the crisis, including by forging new connections via innovative digital communities.

In the middle are small businesses, the backbone of any well-functioning economy. I’m beyond thankful to my local grocers and pharmacists…


Photo by Djurdjica Boskovic on Unsplash

As I self-isolate after having returned to the U.S. from Switzerland more than a week ago, I’m reminded that it doesn’t matter where we set up our “offices” — it’s a privilege to have work at all when so many are being displaced from their jobs. In the U.S., the newest ground zero for the pandemic, unemployment sites are crashing, unable to handle the increased demand for benefits.

The millions of us working in improvised spaces are also keenly aware that there are countless workers who have no choice but to go into their usual workplaces. The first responders —…


Getty Images

It’s hard to say what makes something surreal finally register as real for people. Consumers are expert at tuning out any noise they don’t want to hear or don’t think pertains to them. With so much commotion surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19, world citizens put on blinders of varying thicknesses so they could squeeze in last-minute work and social engagements before life as we knew it was canceled.

As a globetrotter and two-time brain tumor survivor, I consider myself in the upper echelon of those heeding warnings and calls to social distance and hunker down. I was the first (OK…


In case you missed the memo, March is Women’s History Month. A special month to pay special tribute to, you know, that pesky special interest group known as women. We’re those people who get cameo roles at best in “real history.” It’s a bitter irony that right at the beginning of this month, two of the best qualified, most accomplished, and best prepared candidates in the U.S. presidential race had to suspend their campaigns. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren are both high-achieving woman who never pandered to the “hot mess” stereotype. …


How many of us begin the week feeling like we have an unscalable mountain to climb? But do we ever stop to appreciate how far we’ve come? As marketers, there are many things we can learn from mountaineers.

I’m blessed that when I’m in Europe, I have one of the finest commutes around. The route to PMI’s operations center in Lausanne passes alongside Lake Geneva, and I can catch sight of the snowy peaks of Mont Blanc. …

Marian Salzman

SVP Global Communications at Philip Morris International — award-winning PR and marketing professional, author and trendspotter — popularized “metrosexual.”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store