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Thanks for writing this post. When handling media relations for hospitals, we have been approached many, many times by these pay-to-plat industry publications, and there are many of them. Their approaches are deceiving and you honestly believe it to be a credible opportunity to position your CEO and the organization in a national spotlight among a targeted audience. The first time it happened, I was naive, and believed it to be a true opp for our president and CEO, who at the time was a doctor who was well-known in the surgical community. I asked the questions I thought were appropriate, and found it to be a good opportunity. I set up the interview. At the end of the interview, we THEN got the request for the vendor list. I was dumbfounded and felt completely incompetent in front of the pres/CEO, who trusted me with his visibility plan. That didn't happen again. Over the years, I've also found that they change their names often, because people start catching on. Giving out a vendor list is something we will never do, and I'm glad to hear you recommend the same to your clients. We also had an ask for $35,000 for one article. I don't think there would be any benefit to getting a story placed under those circumstances. In fact, I think it's detrimental to the brand's reputation. Nice to see others in the biz hold the same opinion. 

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The Danger of Pay-to-Play Earned Media

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A sad day indeed. Thanks for calling attention to this important issue affecting so many women, Margie. It just seems so wrong, and yet, it is real.

1 month ago on The End of Women’s Rights As We (Briefly) Knew Them

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take a deep breath and roll with the punches. 

Thanks for a great post! 

1 month ago on When Social Media Fills In The Blanks

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OK, so clearly the guy was an ass, and perhaps a little arrogant. But it resulted in this post, so thanks for a great lesson about accepting gifts that I can definitely use, delivered in the no-holds-barred style of yours that I just love. And if he didn't appreciate it (your style or the gift), then it's his loss.

1 month ago on How to Accept a Gift or How to Not Be a Jerk When Someone Gives You One

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I do agree here Margie. I know we rely on our connections to help with things, but I feel like it's disingenuous to do so when it's on behalf of a client. I always supported the honesty and transparency theories behind social media, and I don't like feeling duped. I will admit that I have mentioned other people in my posts but it's not for additional publicity, it's usually out of admiration or respect, and I certainly don't expect them to share because of it. But on behalf of a client? I don't know. I get that "icky" feeling too. Thanks for another wonderful post. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Social Media – I’ve Been Doing It Wrong

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I knew you'd love Once We Were Brothers, and The Dinner was pretty amazing too! Now I'll pick up the other 3. Can't wait for The Husband's Secret!!! ;) 

1 month, 1 week ago on Summer Reading: Five Novels and One Business Book

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Thanks for the recommendations! I do love to dig into a good fiction, especially in summer! And congrats to your wife on her books (and shame on you for not knowing her talents, Mr. Brown!). 

1 month, 1 week ago on Three Non-Business Books for Your Summer Reading

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Stop reading you? Not a chance. And it's also nice to see that family is still a priority in this crazy world. ;) 

3 months, 1 week ago on Why You Might Want to Unsubscribe From This Blog

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Totally get what you're saying. And agree, to an extent. I clearly am a novice and newbie in the blogging world, BUT I really want to hear more from readers, because I think that it's important to hear from your readers. To know whether you're writing is loved, hated, ignored, or just plain pointless. Here's a post from my blog about that very thing: http://nancypjean.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/being-inspired-by-writing-and-why-readers-are-so-important/ 

4 months ago on Should building a community really be your primary goal when starting a blog?

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I can't stop laughing at the dog. Or Kevin Nealon. But that dog. HAHAHAHAH! 

4 months ago on Gin and Topics: Racist Colorado Skiing and Family Feud

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What an amazing campaign. Sure gets attention for the brand and gives you a "warm fuzzy feeling" just when you need it. Fabulous. Thanks for sharing this great example of "brand storytelling." 

4 months, 1 week ago on THIS Is How You Do Brand Storytelling

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For a long time I was totally pro social media networks and building communities there. But your thinking is spot on -- we have to build our communities on something we own so we can have control over it. If not, we are just at the mercy of what the social networks decide to do. It doesn't matter if we have a community of 100,000  followers, or a million for that matter, on a social network. As we have seen from Facebook's limiting organic reach without advertising dollars going to them, it's pretty plain to see what can happen to the community we've spent so much time building. And stopping comments on something you own to just move it to somewhere you have no control? Thinking it's a reaallllly bad move. Thanks for another great post, Gini! 

4 months, 1 week ago on Why We Won’t Shut Off Blog Comments

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Totally fair! I've seen others post the same thing when they are independent consultants. Andto me, it makes complete sense. While I am not independent, I am constantly asked if I can teach people this or that in the social media world, and half-jokingly (only half) I ask if they are going to pay me a consultant's fee. Doing things out of the goodness of our hearts for others takes time away from the work we have to do and that is what pays the bills. Not all that complicated! I know it's hard when you want to help people, and when you're passionate about something it's easy to want to spend time on it. But when it's not practical, then you have to draw the line. 

4 months, 1 week ago on Why I’m completely revamping my coffee meet-up strategy

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I LOVE this post, as usual, Mr. Brown. I love how you've learned from your mistakes, taken new directions, and figured out what's really most important.  I struggle with my own blog, always striving for more engagement, because it's interaction with others that matters more to me than building a large group of readers who may or may not care what I'm writing about. But because it's a personal blog and not one to build a business, I don't do the analysis I should or put lots of time into it. Your post has given me lots of ideas about where I need to go. Thanks, Danny!;I always learn something from you. ;)

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Understanding Your Blog Audience and What You Want From Them

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I love this disagreement, because both sides hold value. Being on the side of having a website but not a blog, I totally rely on the value of the social networks, but I have often thought about what happens when the next big thing comes along. What you've done is amazing, Gini, and it takes a lot of work to get to this point, and many businesses don't have the resources, time or talent to do so. But overall, I think you're right... driving everything to something you own is key. And I'm really sorry I missed that chat! 

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Where Should You Build Community?

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I am SO with you on the hour of sleep. And how about the fact that we have to get up in total darkness again? BTW... nothing wrong with a good snort now and again. I've been known to let one slip myself when there's really something to laugh about. My nephew catches me every time. Enjoy the weekend, and hope you don't miss that hour too much! Thanks for another great G&T.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Gin and Topics: Rotary Phones, the Oscars, and the Polar Vortex

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Oh the pups are going to be SOOOOO spoiled! Literally. HA! Yes, Gini, home run. ;) And of course Bill Murray, Jimmy Fallon and Ellen never fail to make me laugh. EVER. TY! Hope you had a great weekend and here's to warm times in Chicago. Spring is coming SOON!

5 months ago on Gin and Topics: I Love Jesus, but I Like to Drink a Little

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OK, Gini, even though I'd love to argue with you on this one because I don't like what she's done or her music, I just can't. While I just want to scream, "Stick that tongue back in your mouth!" every time I see it, you are absolutely right  -- this was all planned and done perfectly. Even her interview with (my boyfriend) Matt Lauer on the Today Show was her no excuses, no apologies self. And you can't argue with the stats and sales. That's the bottom line and what all good PR campaigns are supposed to do. 

8 months, 4 weeks ago on Miley Cyrus: A PR Case Study in Flawless Execution

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We sure have the same taste in books! I read the first 3 and loved them (and if you haven't read  King's Under the Dome, which is now airing on TV, I'd add that one too, except for a bizarre ending, I couldn't put it down). 11/22/63 blew me away. AMAZING. And Defending Jacob was just "hold on for an amazing ride." GREAT writer - same with "Kevin." Of course I can't wait for the next Gillian Flynn. She's just got an unbelievable talent for pulling you along at lightning speed in her books. Adding the remainder of your suggestions to my list. Also, I just finished a delightful novel that I got lost in, feeling like I was on the West Coast of Ireland myself in Maeve Binchy's final book before she passed away, A Week in Winter. And one of my fave books ever, if you haven't read it (it's old): A Painted House by John Grisham - a 180 degree turn from his normal legal thrillers, this little piece of 1950s America has  characters that will stay with you for a long time to come. ;) Happy summer and happy reading! Keep your lists coming, and good luck with your test! 

1 year, 1 month ago on The Spin Sucks Summer Reading List

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Arik, while I usually agree with your thoughts and always appreciate your insights, I have to disagree with you on this one. I think that if brands don't recognize a national tragedy they appear oblivious to the world and completely self-centered. I understand what you're saying, that when every brand is saying basically the same thing, what difference does it make? But I think it's about being part of the social networks. If you're not, then you may as well just go back to one-way messaging and skip social media all together.

1 year, 1 month ago on Do brands really need to demonstrate sympathy during national crisis?

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Amazing article. Wonderful to see that some people will continue to pursue what is right. And Facebook should not be making decisions that are clearly double standards.

1 year, 1 month ago on Social Justice: Facebook (Finally) Bends to the Vocal Social Mob

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Margie I so hope we get a chance to meet in person. From your song choices (I am in awe of the Talking Heads song leading to this fab post!), to an Emily Dickinson reference (always my fave poet) in a previous post, to your reading lists and struggle with what to do in social media, wow do we have lots in common!! I so enjoyed reading this and I find myself agonizing with you!!! I've said before that you are inspiring. You simply are. No matter what you choose to do it how you choose to do it, you are making a difference for many people.

1 year, 2 months ago on Once in a Lifetime

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LOVE this post. My hubby and I are way behind too, having finished season 1. But I'm dying to catch up! And just from the first season, I'd say your take on Don Draper PR man of 2013 is right on. Loved this fun post, Arik!

1 year, 2 months ago on What if Don Draper was a PR pro?

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My dear Jayme, you and I both know SEO and digital experience does NOT a PR pro make. You are dead on with all the facets of PR you've listed, and while you can support those efforts through social media, you can't DO them through digital means. It takes skills, talent, experience and personality to pull off a fully developed and well rounded PR campaign, and social and digital are only tools to help make that campaign more successful, IMHO. Long live PR, my friend!

1 year, 2 months ago on The Blending Of PR With Marketing Is Its Death

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Personally, I wish you HAD been snarky with the Apple staff!  I have been treated the same way in an Apple store, and leave feeling like I didn't belong there, like I was not smart enough to be using the products, let alone dare to stand at the genius bar. I'm not saying everyone who works in an Apple Store has an attitude issue, but I do think that perhaps they need to work on their overall customer service policy and strive to offer a better customer experience, more like the one you had at your second stop. I don't think the boredom comes from the technology, but rather from an overall attitude that doesn't quite fit with customer service ideals. Those are probably the people who should NOT be working directly with customers! 

1 year, 2 months ago on Does Too Much Technology Make Us Bored?

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Meetings are so often for the sake of having a meeting that they all just seem inane after a while, don't they? Give me a to-do list and a deadline and I'm happy. Schedule me in back-to-back meetings and I will go out of my mind. Thanks for making sense of this craziness, Arik!

1 year, 2 months ago on Why do we lock our top talent up in meetings all day?

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Hello, Gini and welcome back! Wonderful post, as always. So glad you had a good, semi-unplugged vacation! But what a week to be away. Wow. Being only 50 miles away, AND having friends at the finish line, it was truly frightening! And my take away from this is that there really is good in people... and it's wonderful how everyone comes together in a tragedy. It's just a shame that it's not like that ALL THE TIME! We need to forgive people for mistakes (Guy Kawasaki), we need to see the good in people and appreciate all we have in life. It's that simple! Welcome home!!!! We definitely missed you! P.S. When you've finally gotten caught up on things, I'd love it if you could read my take on last week in my two recent posts. ;) 

1 year, 3 months ago on Lessons from a Vacation in Paris

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Oh what a great question that I've posed to myself so many times! I too took a hiatus from Facebook, but felt the pull to be back there again. Perhaps it's a feeling of missing something if we're NOT posting. Perhaps it's for those of us who might need that external affirmation to feel we've thought or said or done the right thing. Or maybe it's that high school feeling of wanting to be sitting at the cool kids table. Who knows. The fact is that posting to social media has almost become second nature. When we see, feel, hear, smell or taste something, we feel the need to share it! Yup, it's involving ALL  our senses now. I'm just waiting for the scratch-n-sniff tweet to come along! Thanks for another fab post, Margie! Hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend. 

1 year, 3 months ago on Why do we post the things we do to the online world?

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@AlaskaChickBlog Hi Amber! I loved your post and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your comments!! It's always great to meet someone else who thinks like you, isn't it? Even if we ARE a country apart. Have a GREAT, happy day!! I'm following your blog now too. YAY! Great to connect.

1 year, 3 months ago on The Happy Friday Series: Let Go Of Sad

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@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @KristenDaukas @NancyCawleyJean Thank you Kristen and Jayme! People like you make it a lot easier. 


1 year, 3 months ago on The Happy Friday Series: Let Go Of Sad

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@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @KristenDaukas I would LOVE to read Kristen's post on the Happy Friday series!! Jayme, I knew you couldn't conform to rigidity when you said you didn't keep lists. LOL! 

1 year, 3 months ago on The Happy Friday Series: Let Go Of Sad

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@KristenDaukas I think people are really fortunate to have that full glass outlook, Kristen. I hope your positive attitutde can help your daughter to be more like you, because it can be done! All my best, and thanks for taking the time to read the post. Here's to a wonderful day! 

1 year, 3 months ago on The Happy Friday Series: Let Go Of Sad

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@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes After visiting Wrigley Field and knowing the sage of the Cubs, I too am a fan. ;)

1 year, 3 months ago on The Happy Friday Series: Let Go Of Sad

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@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Well that's an excellent point, but it comes with the territory of being a Red Sox Fan. LOL! Thanks for reading!

1 year, 3 months ago on The Happy Friday Series: Let Go Of Sad

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Wow... Annabelle will definitely thank you some day for being a great dad. 

1 year, 3 months ago on Talk with Me Like the World Depends on It

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I am  LOVING this. SO refreshing! THANKS!


1 year, 3 months ago on Will the Real Hero Please Stand Up: A Call For Men to be Men!

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Wow. The tears are just flowing. Now there's something to think about for a long time. Thanks so much for this amazing post. Not many posts you read these days have such a strong life lesson. 

1 year, 3 months ago on Real Men Admit When They Are Wrong

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I absolutely loved this post. I work remotely as well and sometimes what we think is the best idea in the world is just not going to make it. If you can't bounce your ideas off others, it's sometimes dangerous ground. And the humor is what I miss the most. It gets us through those tough, tense times when deadlines are looming, and it's a reality check to share those times with people who understand. Thanks for a great post! 

1 year, 3 months ago on Collaborate: Five Heads are Better than One

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@ginidietrich @NancyCawleyJean Already loving it. Thanks, as always!

1 year, 4 months ago on Lots of Changes at Google: What it Means for You

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My dear bearer of bad news, I will NOT shoot the messenger! LOL! First Reader, now Alerts. Sigh. So this is an April Fools joke, right? But like you I am LOVING Feedly! And the switch was SOOOO easy! Woo-hoo! And now I must thank you for recommending Talk Walker. I'll be checking that out today! You're the best.

1 year, 4 months ago on Lots of Changes at Google: What it Means for You

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As always, wonderful tips, Gini! I am ALWAYS stuck for topics for personal blog posts, and these tips are fabulous. I'd also add that reading other blogs (like this one!!) is always great too.

1 year, 5 months ago on Four Ways to Keep Content Fresh

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Ooops..must implement that as an ongoing deliverable is what I meant to say. But you get the bit picture.

1 year, 6 months ago on Survey Says: PR Pros Use too Many Buzzwords

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Oh this is priceless. It seems that every year there's another word that comes along that people think they have to use, while others are true classics and stand the test of time. Don't forget "the big picture" too. You always have to look at the big picture.I LOVE the idea of the white board to track usage -- must that an ongoing deliverable. because frankly, going forward and looking at the big picture, at the end of the day, it's a win-win for all of us, with all due respect. ;)

1 year, 6 months ago on Survey Says: PR Pros Use too Many Buzzwords

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While I was disappointed there was no one voted into the Baseball Hall this year, this is a fantastic list with great reasons for those chosen as inductees in your Hall of Fame! I would also vote for the amazing and inimitable @ginidietrich. She's got amazing smarts, a loyal following, and a transparency and honesty in all she does. She's honed social media for biz to be a well-oiled machine and is always willing to give you tips and tricks, and to provide advice, read a blog or just respond to a tweet. Add to that her PR skills, her great writing and amazing blog, SpinSucks, and a really fun Facebook page, and you've got a great candidate for your Hall. I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would disagree with that!

1 year, 6 months ago on Who’s in your Social Media Hall of Fame?

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Happy New Year, Margie! I love this post, especially about the "nuanced approach." I have definitely noticed that responses seem to be dwindling, and it makes me worry that the evolution of Twitter is moving in a direction that we don't want - a one-way message board. And here's to LISTS! Wishing you a wonderful, happy, healthy year, Margie, and look forward to chatting!

1 year, 6 months ago on The State of Twitter, 2013

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 @ericajmoss , thanks for a GREAT post with real lessons and a new brand that I obviously must check out!

1 year, 6 months ago on What Warby Parker Teaches Us about Brand Loyalty

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Good luck, Gini! I bet you have it done by November 15, and it will be fabulous!

1 year, 9 months ago on National Novel Writing Month Begins Today and We’re Participating

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Thanks for this article! There's also the health care marketing hashtag used by many folks: #hcmktg.

1 year, 11 months ago on 15 healthcare Twitter hashtags you should follow

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I love this post, Margie. My hubby is a non-tech guy. He doesn't own a cell phone (I can hear all the gasps now) and believes I am addicted to my iPhone. He insists that there be no social networking when we are out together, and you know what, that's OK! It lets me focus on him and forget about all the craziness for a while and just enjoy life the way we used to -- you know, before Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and smartphones. I know if it wasn't for his insistence, I'd probably never take that needed break. THANKS for this post!!!

2 years ago on Keep the camera off - an experiment

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