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@biggreenpen @LauraPetrolino Me, too. Great stuff! If you're on that exec's schedule for December 15-16, you suddenly have a leg up!

1 day, 5 hours ago on 2015 Social Media Predictions

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Ha, this is great! I automatically skip all the obligatory "predictions" posts we see every year. For whatever reason I find them incredibly lacking in intrigue and interest. So thank you for skewering the convention. My prediction? Some predictions will be right, some will be wrong, others somewhere in between ...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating, and happy two days off from Spin Sucks to the rest!

1 day, 6 hours ago on 2015 Social Media Predictions

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@LauraPetrolino @joecardillo The great thing about the Godfather is, after reading the book, it will help you better appreciate your next 10-20 viewings of the movie!

2 days ago on 14 Books to Read…or Skip

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I will get to this, but right now I'm working on my list of grievances and people who have WRONGED me!

3 days, 2 hours ago on The Grateful Challenge

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@EdenSpodek @ginidietrich I had a cab driver once who stopped to get gas (right out of Seinfeld). I thought that was outrageous!

But I will put in a word for cab drivers. They have a far greater appreciation for a pedestrian's right of way than most drivers. When I cross (at a cross-walk) at a non-intersection, cab drivers are inevitably the only ones who obey the law and stop for me.

1 week ago on The Uber Issues Cannot Be Fixed by PR

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@HeatherTweedy I gotta say, that pink mustache on the car is a real turn-off for me. Maybe I'm just an old crank who's averse to whimsy ...

1 week ago on The Uber Issues Cannot Be Fixed by PR

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@ginidietrich @Danny Brown Just finished catching up on yesterday's reading and saw Danny addressed the ethics issues eloquently: http://dannybrown.me/2014/11/19/when-does-convenience-of-service-overcome-lack-of-ethics/

1 week ago on The Uber Issues Cannot Be Fixed by PR

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As I said yesterday, I was so sad (and shocked) when Hailo pulled out of the US. I'm probably one of the rare ones who actually prefers actual, licensed cab drivers.

Anyway, what a mess Uber has on its hands. it's got me reaching for the popcorn.

Also, I was at a table with twenty-somethings and I got the sense they had not heard of Bacon's green books, but they did tip me off to Uber's shenanigans sabotaging Lyft!

1 week ago on The Uber Issues Cannot Be Fixed by PR

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@Kristin Arnold Those are GREAT ideas, and I'm totally using them next time I moderate a panel. You're right, it's always the same thing, with long introductions and then just going up and down the row in order. Thank you for your contribution!

1 week ago on 10 Reasons Your Panel Discussion Sucks

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@Lisa Gerber Glad I'm not the only one! I need to make choices, and while I heard a lot of chatter early on about whether people were going to post original content to LI or repost their blogs, I haven't seen any analysis since about which is better in practice.

1 week, 6 days ago on Is it Shortsighted Not to Host Your Own Blog?

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Good morning, Shonali! Great thoughts here. I haven't jumped on the Blogging on LinkedIn bandwagon, but I do see people getting decent engagement with it. Question: how important is it to post original content there versus reposting stuff from your blog? That is, instead of just posting a link to your latest blog post, reposting the whole thing at LinkedIn, or even digging into your "back catalog" and posting older blog posts there?

To me, the idea of working to create brand new content in one more place is more than I'd want to take on.

1 week, 6 days ago on Is it Shortsighted Not to Host Your Own Blog?

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This is partly why I don't click on most of the memes that come up in my feed. I'd rather be woefully behind on my pop cultural reference than swept up in something that later turns out to be fake or dodgy.

But I appreciate your explaining it here, in the safe haven that is Spin Sucks.

I wonder how hard it is to "forensically" investigate these things, figuring out exactly how and where they started?

1 week, 6 days ago on Orchestrating Viral Social Media? Claiming #AlexFromTarget

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Rob Biesenbach loves when people talk about themselves in the third person, though it does get a little confusing, so he has to check the byline of the blog again to see who wrote it.

One thing acting has trained me to do is to not wait for deadlines. I can't just plan out my week's tasks and knock them down as I go because inevitably I'll get a call that throws the whole schedule out the window. 

For instance, when I get called to auditions, 90% of the time it's with less than 24 hours' notice. Most of the time I'll get the call between 4 and 6 pm for an audition the next day. It makes planning really tricky. So if something is due on Friday, I try to get it done on Wednesday, because you never know.

Some of my clients are the same way, with last-minute emergency requests. So anytime I have a lull between big projects I look at what's due a month or two out and see if I can make progress on that.

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Bad Planning: A Cautionary Tale

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Broadway! Very cool. Great to know even more about you, Paula. Happy Inquisition Day!

2 weeks, 6 days ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Paula Kiger

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@craighadden I have seen that, Craig, thank you! A lot of tips packed into three minutes. I personally find five seconds of eye contact the high end of what a lot of audience members will tolerate. I take it on a case-by-case basis. It's clear some people get self-conscious when you're looking at them, and they look down or away, while others are easier to make a connection with.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on No Avoiding It: Eye Contact is Essential to Your Presentation

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It's weird human nature that we can get a ton of praise for something, yet will pick out and remember forever and verbatim the one piece of criticism. I do that, but try not to.

But dark nail polish? That's so ... catty. Is it okay to say catty? Is that sexist? Anyway, how weird and disappointing that someone would focus on something so utterly trivial. 

4 weeks ago on Adult Bullying is a Problem

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This is great. I would also add, "lay the groundwork." If you're communicating with your people regularly, they'll have a pretty clear picture of the organization's performance. Layoffs shouldn't come completely out of the blue. 

You don't want to terrify people, but messages such as, "we missed our targets," "performance needs to improve," "we need to make these cutbacks now so that more drastic cutbacks aren't necessary later," "if things don't turn around we may need to look at job cuts, but we'll do everything possible to avoid that," etc.

4 weeks, 1 day ago on How to Make Layoffs Suck Less

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@ginidietrich Yes! And let's not identify this hypothetical worker. Let's just call her ... Ms. B ...

1 month ago on Structured Meetings Make for Better Internal Communications

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The great thing about having regularly scheduled opportunities to communicate is that performance issues can get discussed as they happen. And it's less ominous and momentous when you schedule a meeting to talk about it.

I've heard the argument that annual or quarterly reviews are less important than providing regular feedback, which is true. However, I've found many of the people who make this point a) use it as an excuse to delay those reviews or make them perfunctory; b) they don't give regular feedback either; c) if they do give feedback, it's not constructive. "Why did you screw that up??" is not helpful feedback.

1 month ago on Structured Meetings Make for Better Internal Communications

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I do! I've seen it. With a little structure, guidance and discipline, anyone can tell a decent story. It's not, as they say, rocket surgery. They may never be masters of the craft, but that's okay.

1 month ago on The Five Parts to Brand Storytelling Nearly Everyone Misses

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@creativeoncall True, though I don't think a brand has to focus solely on their customers' stories. Employee stories can be effective, too -- as long as, of course, it's still relevant to the customers' concerns.

1 month ago on The Five Parts to Brand Storytelling Nearly Everyone Misses

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One of my peeves is the way people and organizations these days play fast and loose with the definition of story. Everything's a story — a quote from Steve Jobs, a customer testimonial, a picture of a puppy in the rain.

But you're right, a real story has to have certain fundamental elements. People may disagree on how to structure it — a friend of mine was researching a book and counted 82 different definitions of story — but things like conflict and a relatable character are essential. 

1 month ago on The Five Parts to Brand Storytelling Nearly Everyone Misses

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I know this person! (Sort of.) Hi, Susan, and happy Friday! 

1 month ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Susan Cellura

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I would say yes, but I've found that communicating with employees is still an afterthought in a lot of companies. The last two big crises I was brought into, they said the same thing: they'd been working on the external strategy for months but it only recently occurred to them that they needed an internal strategy, too. So folding it in with PR, either in name or function, could mean it just gets lost.

1 month ago on Should We Take the “Internal” Out of Internal Communications?

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I worked with a company going through a crisis over an earnings restatement. Trying to wrest the content (and tone) from the lawyers was a trough task. Before we got there, management issued a memo to employees saying, in part, "Ignore rumors. Remember, if you didn't hear it from us, it's not true." Delusion!

1 month ago on Voice and Tone in Internal Communications

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@ginidietrich Well, they're not bad words. But it just occurred to me that maybe it's not right to post pictures of people on their blog, so I will take it down if you want!

1 month, 1 week ago on How Do I Determine the ROI of PR?

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@ginidietrich Why would you not feel good about this photo? It's a great photo! Okay, maybe not technically. Or is it because you have words on your face?

1 month, 1 week ago on How Do I Determine the ROI of PR?

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Late to this, but here's one more criterion: aesthetics. A marketing/design friend of mine was so turned off by the type font they use that she refused to have anything more to do with it.

1 month, 1 week ago on Hello Ello: Is the Latest Social Network for You?

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It's all about the PESO, baby.

1 month, 1 week ago on How Do I Determine the ROI of PR?

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Um, you left out the best part. Duh!

1 month, 2 weeks ago on PRSA International Conference (#PRSAICON) Takeaways

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@biggreenpen That's great, Paula! For a while I toyed with the idea of making the book's sins align with the original 7 — sloth, envy, etc. — but I couldn't find a way to make it work for what I wanted to say. Good luck, though. Sounds like fun! Ostrich with its head in the sand would be great. As would a sloth, of course!

1 month, 2 weeks ago on How to Deliver a Successful Ignite Talk in 10 Steps

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That sounds fun. How do I get on this private Facebook page?

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Social Media for Internal Communications

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Happy Friday, Jess!

1 month, 3 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Jess Ostroff

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Are you being facetious? (Or, as some incorrectly say, sarcastic?)

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Internal Communications on Spin Sucks in October

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I never learned that rhyme to keep track of the days in a month. We did the "knuckle" method: clench your favorite hand in a fist, knuckles up. Start at the first knuckle (the one where you index finger starts) and work you way to the pinky. The first knuckle is January (31 days), then you tap the depression between the first and second knuckle. That's February. It's between knuckles so does not have 31 days. Then follow the rest of the firt for March, April, May, June, July. All the knuckles are 31 and the depressions aren't. July is on the pinky knuckle (31 days). Now go back to the index finger knuckle. That's August —remarkably, another 31-day month! Then continue toward the pinky for the rest of the year.

You are WELCOME.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Internal Communications on Spin Sucks in October

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Internal communications was my niche back at the PR firm and I've always believed it's as, if not more, important than external. SO important. And so neglected. Looking forward to this. I saw Shel speak a couple of years ago at a PRSA event and it was really engaging and informative.

But I'd also like to see a point/counterpoint between you two on all these areas of disagreement you speak of ...

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Learn Internal Communications from the Best

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@annelizhannan @belllindsay True. Or, as I like to say, Endora's Box (/Seinfeld).

2 months ago on The Squishy Grey Line of Ethics

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@belllindsay Yes, I was agreeing with you in the beginning of my comment and then I thought more about it ... and it's tricky. I don't have an answer!

2 months ago on The Squishy Grey Line of Ethics

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@belllindsay Yeah, why couldn't the look at his track record and see how that measures up in terms of ethics. (Or maybe they did?) Imposing some other type of penalty, like a pay reduction while he completes his degree online or something.

On the other hand, I know someone who fired a worker because she stole some coffee filters. Stealing is stealing. And once you start making exceptions for some people or some unethical acts, how do you maintain a standard?

2 months ago on The Squishy Grey Line of Ethics

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Erika, I've enjoyed following your progress here. I had similar experience with improv. I found that while I'm probably better than 90% of the population, I was in the bottom 20% at Second City. Tried out and didn't get into conservatory twice (though, from what I've observed, that's an odd process in itself).

From there I tried standup for a short while, did sketch writing and performing, which I really enjoyed, then went into theater and commercial work — commercial is where I've enjoyed the best success. So it's definitely a journey. You have a talent or an urge and it's about finding just the right outlet for it.

And the acting experience has really come around and led my career — my business career — into directions I never would have anticipated 12 years ago when I first stepped foot into Second City. Congratulations on Black Box. I've heard great things from lots of people!

2 months ago on Why Dreams Aren’t Bullshit (a “welcome back” post from Erika)

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@Tapeleg True. I would think Annoyance Theater would be right up Erika's alley.

2 months ago on Why Dreams Aren’t Bullshit (a “welcome back” post from Erika)

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Thank you, Unmana! I've been cutting back on my Feedly lately (pretty much over every blog with the word Content in it!), but I always check out Spin Sucks, even if I don't comment. Great post!

2 months ago on Why Spin Sucks is the Best Blog for Guest Posts

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@belllindsay @ImMarkBernhardt The off-center thing is a great point! Never thought of that. I'm totally a symmetry guy, so it'll be tough adjustment ...


2 months ago on DIY Video: How You Look Matters

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@belllindsay @SusynEliseDuris I recently invested in a good mike when I was told (a couple of times) that the sound from my MacBook on webcasts and webinars was tinny. Made a huge difference, and definitely worth the $75-$100 or so. From here I'm going to look at a separate webcam ...


2 months ago on DIY Video: How You Look Matters

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@belllindsay This is great! And you definitely have a better webcam than I do ...


2 months ago on DIY Video: How You Look Matters

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Yes! Lighting and shooting from above are key!

It seems I can't ever get enough lighting — I bring every lamp in the house into the room, plus use sunlight — and am wondering if my built-in webcam (MacBook Air) just isn't good enough?

I would also make an appeal for proper "set dressing." That is, get rid of the clutter in the background — it's distracting. On the other hand, have SOMETHING there. Nothing screams "hostage video" like a bare wall.

2 months ago on DIY Video: How You Look Matters

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Doing video on the cheap often costs you more, in time and aggravation. If you hire someone who's merely a "videographer" he might not have the judgment to save you from your worst instincts -- including the storytelling savvy Tony speaks of. He also may not have good business sense -- meeting deadlines, showing up on time, getting things right without a ton of hand holding.

I've done it both ways, and if you can spring for professional work, it's worth it. And I'm not just Tony's friend ... I'm a client! 

2 months, 1 week ago on Video Production: The Benefits of Going Pro

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@ginidietrich Oh, that's totally different then!

2 months, 1 week ago on The NFL is Missing the Cardinal Rule of Crisis Management

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@LauraPetrolino @Howie Goldfarb Yeah, and the settlement they threw at them was peanuts.

2 months, 1 week ago on The NFL is Missing the Cardinal Rule of Crisis Management

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@LauraPetrolino I know! And if you're into college ball, too, that's the whole weekend! (Though I will say one of the greatest inventions of the modern age is the outdoor patio with TVs.)

2 months, 1 week ago on The NFL is Missing the Cardinal Rule of Crisis Management

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