stay classy san diego meme

COVID Talks / Michael Warburton

Friday, 8 May 2020
COVID Talks / Michael Warburton

For those who don’t know you, tell us a little about you.

20 years in tourism marketing and current Director, Parkwide Communications for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership. Longtime advertising supporter; about 10 years as a One Club San Diego board member, and board president in 2014. Also an advocate for ethical business, currently serving on the BBB Pacific Southwest executive board, and chairman of the board for the BBB’s national nonprofit Institute for Marketplace Trust. Put those together, and an old Ad Club motto of Truth in Advertising rings loud in my heart!

1959 Committee-men from rival companies showing the Ad Week campaign. Danny Hale, PR Director, Foster-Kleiser Company; Bill Cordtz, VP Cordtz Division Pacific Outdoor Advertising. They posted over fifty 24 sheet posters, as well as painted bulletins for Ad Week.


What steps has your agency taken to remain operational during the COVID-19 crisis?

We have made a pivot to providing content online, and have assisted museums/venues to do the same. We created Balboa Park TV ( to aggregate their content, as well as place our own. We have also shifted work to capital projects that were planned for a later date.


What have you learned to do better during this time (as an agency)?

We are leaning in, and supporting our member museums in unexpected ways.


What have you learned to do better during this time (as an individual)?

I feel I am working more now than ever – that said, it has required a finer prioritization process to get things done. Also, patience is key.


How have you responded to the changes in your client’s business strategy?

Our member organizations have needed to shift content/experience delivery to online. We have been able to amplify their efforts, as well as provide assistance as thought partners, for making the shift.


In what ways has quarantine sparked your creativity?

Finding new ways to use what I have, not what I need!


How do you stay productive at home? (aka: kids, school, spouse, laundry)

Sounds silly – I put shoes on and work at a folding table when I am “at work.” When I take my shoes off, it’s “Honey, I’m home!”


What’s the funniest thing that has happened in the background of your zoom session?

Normally straight-laced older folks wearing wigs, funny helmets and hats, etc. during a BOARD MEETING.


Given our current circumstance, what opportunities do you foresee for yourself or agency that can provide solutions?

This situation may spark a desire to continue producing content at some level.


Looking to the future, how do you see the marketing landscape shifting?

Work spaces will be reimagined; there will be renewed value placed on content dev; companies will wonder how they can deliver experiences virtually in case this happens again.