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@ginidietrich Oh, that's totally different then!

2 days, 10 hours 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 days, 18 hours 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 days, 18 hours ago on The NFL is Missing the Cardinal Rule of Crisis Management

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The "Cardinal" rule? I thought you were a Bears fan! (Ba-dum-BUMP).

For me the NFL's reputation was really degraded over the brain injury issues they've only half-heartedly addressed. This is more of the same.

I'd like to say I took a principled stand and walked away from the TV for these reasons, but really it began years ago when I realized the best days of the year are in September and I wasn't going to spend them inside on a couch anymore.

2 days, 19 hours ago on The NFL is Missing the Cardinal Rule of Crisis Management

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@LauraPetrolino Thank you, Laura. I've written a lot about my Dad the past few years. As Paula said, it's a process.

1 week ago on The Things He Carried: My Dad and the War in Vietnam

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Strangely, Livefyre emailed me your other two replies even though they don't show up here. Weirdzies.

1 week ago on Do Selfies Sell?

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Ha! And I cropped out the beverage in my driving hand in that second photo!

1 week ago on Do Selfies Sell?

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@biggreenpen Yes, Paula -- I also read Matterhorn, which was very good. (Not represented on the bookshelf since I shifted over to ebooks.) That sounds like a really cool project!

1 week ago on The Things He Carried: My Dad and the War in Vietnam

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Amazingly, this monkey knows one thing that 7 out of 10 human selfie takers don't: you look at the LENS, not the SCREEN. 

1 week, 1 day ago on Visual Content, Confusion, and Copyright Laws

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Michigan, 1994.

1 week, 1 day ago on Do Selfies Sell?

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Feh. Kids these days with their damn selfies. I was taking selfies back when you didn't have a screen to look at to frame the picture with. In fact, I was the master of the selfie while driving.

Florida Keys, 2000.

1 week, 1 day ago on Do Selfies Sell?

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@Eleanor Pierce Thank you, Eleanor! I feel like I'll probably write something every year around this time. My thoughts sort of evolve with time and distance.

1 week, 1 day ago on The Things He Carried: My Dad and the War in Vietnam

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@jasonkonopinski @ClayMorgan Wow, I never got house downpayment money! I always wondered how agencies managed their photos. I imagine the system is only as good as the humans who create, maintain and update it. That is, flawed!

1 week, 1 day ago on Visual Content, Confusion, and Copyright Laws

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@belllindsay What I want to know, and I suppose I could read the article you linked to: do they think the monkey is actually smiling? Or could he see the screen and maybe he was examining his teeth? 


1 week, 1 day ago on Visual Content, Confusion, and Copyright Laws

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These are great! I would add "the pseudo visionary." (Maybe it's a combination of the Besserwisser and the Spiritual Guru.)

This happens with clients, but more often potential partners. Every couple of months they come out of the woodwork and spin these elaborate ideas and plans. So-called "Big Picture" thinking. But when it comes to actually DOING something? It never happens.

1 week, 1 day ago on Five Types of Clients to Avoid

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So THAT's the story of the monkey selfie. I have a weird contrarian instinct to actually NOT click on things that seem to be flooding my social media feed. Thank you!

1 week, 1 day ago on Visual Content, Confusion, and Copyright Laws

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@ClayMorgan This is huge in the world of acting and modeling. Agencies and clients will sign detailed releases setting the terms for the use of images and video footage, such as "non-broadcast only, one year."

Then a million things happen: someone else in the organization sees the image and uses it, not knowing the terms. The marketing people who worked on the project leave the company and nobody looks at the paperwork or the agency is fired and the client gets the files.

This has happened numerous times to me. Just this spring I saw my picture up in a drug store in Florida. Apparently the store manager didn't know the campaign was limited to one summer several years ago. I got paid a few hundred dollars, but no doubt there are scores of other stores doing the exact same thing. 

Much of my acting revenue these days comes from clients caught violating the terms of their agreement. Some may be sneaky, but most are probably just negligent.

Information wants to be free (literally and figuratively) and controlling it is a tough, tough thing.


1 week, 1 day ago on Visual Content, Confusion, and Copyright Laws

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@NancyDavis I was thinking also about Keith Richards' book. Along with the great stories, what really struck me was the strength of his voice coming through. With every sentence you could practically hear him talking.

1 week, 6 days ago on Read a Book Day is September 6

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@Howie Goldfarb Guns, Germs and Steel. Yes! I learned a TON from that. Theories of the development of civilization that I hope won't be completely debunked in my lifetime ...

1 week, 6 days ago on Read a Book Day is September 6

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@Eleanor Pierce Yes, Graham's story in a real study in empowerment (without having to sit through a cheesy self-help book). She just found her way in whatever she did through her own smarts and instincts.

And speaking of audio books, she did an abridged version, just a couple of hours, and it was a great listen. Very touching.

1 week, 6 days ago on Read a Book Day is September 6

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You're not the boss of me -- I'm gonna think! Here are 10 few books that had a big impact on me:

Tender is the Night: Fitzgerald's command of the language is incredible. It's like poetry.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Brilliant, exuberant, hilarious and, of course, heartbreaking.

Into the Wild: came along at an interesting time in my life and had a lot of eerie parallels to mine.

The Corrections: another book that reminds you of just how ordinary a writer you are (by comparison).

A Personal History: Katherine Graham's memoir. An incredible life, an incredible woman. Took over the reins of the WaPo after her husband's suicide and rode it to its peak. (Currently spinning in her grave over what it's become.)

The Big Two-Hearted River: a Hemingway short story about fishing that is not at all about fishing.

A Walk in the Woods: I'll never forget Bill Bryson's description of what to do when a bear attacks. Everything he writes is intelligent and hilarious.

Angels in America: cheating, because this is a play, but the words and ideas just soar off the page. A play that's as good on the page as it is on the stage. Maybe better.

The Tipping Point: If you want to be shown how to weave a story, instead of told, read anything by Malcolm Gladwell. Proves there's a story in almost anything.

A Man in Full: epic, sweeping, hilarious, surprising.

1 week, 6 days ago on Read a Book Day is September 6

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@ginidietrich Yeah, anyplace that sets up "process streams" would kill me.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on The 10 Percent of Communicators Who Get it

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The consensus word scares me. So many big companies couldn't achieve consensus on a brand of pencil to order. Maybe the word is "involvement?" Because I often see that. Company hires a firm and thinks their involvement is over, when really it's just begun.

And speaking of farms, I shot a commercial in a 100-degree cornfield a couple of summers ago. What the hell are those GIANT (okay, inch long) flying bugs that are EVERYWHERE. Like gnats, only GIANT. Geh.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on The 10 Percent of Communicators Who Get it

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@EdenSpodek @ginidietrich My dentist has a slogan: "Prompt appointments for busy people." I barely get my jacket off before I'm called from the waiting room for my cleaning. I LOVE her.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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@kanya632 @crestodina @ginidietrich Another approach I've seen and which I highly approve of: your contract specifies a date for completion. You bill half up front and the other half is due at the end of the term (say, 90 days or 6 months). If the project extends past that, it's all up for renegotiation.


I once worked on a brochure -- A BROCHURE -- for a law firm that took 11 months. ELEVEN MONTHS!

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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@ginidietrich @hackmanj ??? That's bizarre. Every firm I know has a ready source of outside help (like me) that they tap when they face sudden overload.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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@kanya632 When I do a proposal for a client I always make clear that meeting the deadline is a two-way thing. It requires accountability from both of us. I will turn things around promptly, and I need them to do the same. If we build in two days for them to review a certain stage and they take a week, that obviously affects the schedule. I can't just compress my times from two days to two hours to get us back on track.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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@LauraPetrolino Here's my client peeve, and it happens often. They're all "When can I get it/when can I get it/When can I get it?" You give them a date and then you deliver (usually ahead of deadline). 

Response: crickets. A couple of days of silence as they run it through the mill. Seriously? You can't even just say, "Thanks, we'll take a look"?


3 weeks, 2 days ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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Ha-ha, I love Josh's scenario. Here's mine (and I'm afraid I'm kind of on the doctor's end). I don't drive much -- maybe once or twice a month at most, but recently I had to be on the road a LOT. So I always imagined a confrontation with the dummies who plod along below the speed limit, refuse to go around a car that's in the process of parking or who sit at green lights. When they'd demand to know what my problem is, I'd respond, "I'm sorry, I'm actually on my way somewhere. You, apparently, are just driving around for the fun of it."

Never happened, but I dream ...

Anyway, busy is about prioritizing. When I'm super-busy I cut back on the things that matter less (to me), like reading blogs, social media, etc. But I always respond to email and phone, even if it's, "I can't do this right now but I will at [x time]. 

It's interesting that when I do respond promptly to people's requests they almost always say, "Wow, thank you for being so prompt!" It's obviously a big surprise to people, because so many people are unreliable!

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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The Times has fewer readers than Buzzfeed or HuffPo, but they also have a paid subscription base. Maybe that's peanuts compared with the ad revenue that the others generate?

I have not read the report yet—it's been sitting in a browser tab for a week—but am looking forward to checking it out. What I find interesting is what's happening with their traditional competitors, like the Washington Post. I don't know if it's Bezos' influence, but I haven't wanted to subscribe to the Post this much since the pre-Internet era. It seems every month my allotment of free reads ends earlier and earlier. Whether it's clickbait or not, they're doing a much better job of creating provocative content with headlines that sell. 

They're not quite BuzzFeed or HuffPo, because when I click through I don't instantly regret it (as with Huffington) and it's really substantive (unlike BuzzFeed.) The Grey Lady looks downright stodgy in comparison, and it's got me thinking of moving my subscription dollars from the Times to the Post. 

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Digital Times and the Innovation Report

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@ginidietrich Yeah, I believe it. Maybe it's gotten better in recent years with technology enabling better communication and relationships, but the trust issue was a tough one to overcome. I mean, part of it is definitely revenue, but a big part is also, "Do I trust these jagoffs I don't know with a client relationship I've spent years cultivating?"

3 months, 2 weeks ago on The Lies PR Firms Tell

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@LauraPetrolino @belllindsay Yeah, libraries leave a bad taste in my mouth. Got shushed a thousand times as a kid. They beat the extrovert right out of me ...


1 month, 1 week ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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@belllindsay Me, too! Or neither? I care not a wit about germs. But I have an extraordinarily high "ick factor." Even as a grade school kid I would never, ever, take a bite of someone's sandwich or ice cream when offered. Totally gross.

And, yes, when I consider where people take their books and magazines??? No thank you ...

1 month, 1 week ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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Don't know if this is OCD, but speaking of newspapers, I always wonder about people who pick up a used newspaper on the bus or subway and read it. Yuck. (Of course, that's also why I won't touch used books or library books ...)

1 month, 1 week ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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@ginidietrich Yup, met him at Counselors Academy -- he's a fellow reformed thespian.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on A Social Media Contest, Cole Haan, Pinterest, and the Rules

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Yay, Michael Lasky!

Every few days I get an email saying someone somewhere has repinned a photo of Morrissey from my boards (or whatever they're called). I should go back and there sometime and see what's up. The most popular things I've done on every social media platform are all off-message. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on A Social Media Contest, Cole Haan, Pinterest, and the Rules

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@biggreenpen Thank you, Paula. I loved seeing the Virgil quote on your wall!

1 month, 3 weeks ago on My Visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum

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I can be a kneejerk tweeter when I'm really annoyed. Like when it took 45 minutes to check into a hotel at 10 pm one night. Oddly, I feel embarrassed when a company replies and really annoyed when they ignore it.

Also, it's just weird to be exposed to friends' customer service issues via their social media feeds. So yeah, I'm trying to breathe before snark-tweeting.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Four Questions to Ask Before You Complain on Twitter

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@craighadden Thanks, Craig -- looks like we're of the same mind on this. Motivation for the sake of motivation is pointless, and an information dump is won't inspire anyone to do anything. So yes, everything should be aimed at getting audiences to ACT.

2 months ago on How to Cut the Fat From Your Speech: 7 Tips

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I ...

Um ...

No, here's the thing. It's ...

Nope, sorry, can't do it. Not without violating both the no politics and no cursing rules. But I commend the level-headed among you.

2 months, 1 week ago on Hobby Lobby, Values, and Social Media

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@ginidietrich I don't mean to sound naive, but who the hell is out there telling women—people, even—that they can have it all? Life is a series of compromises.


2 months, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@RebeccaTodd Oh no, this never went past the first date. I had a ridiculous crush on her. And, get this: I met her because she came into our office to interview for a job she didn't get. Now *I* didn't interview her and was not involved in the decision-making process. But still ...

I miss the 80s.

2 months, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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What's fascinating to me is that we're still having this conversation. I remember a very specific moment over TWENTY-FIVE years ago when this came up. I was on a first date and she declared that she didn't buy into this "whole supermom thing."

(Which I thought was an odd topic for a first date. We later switched to "seen any good movies lately" and got into a discussion about the societal/psychosexual implications of Fatal Attraction. This girl was deep!)

Anyway, it's obvious that this issue is nowhere close to being "resolved." I'm not saying we shouldn't talk about it, I'm perplexed that we still HAVE to talk about it. It's a conversation that's been going on for several generations now! John Lennon was right.

2 months, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@belllindsay I was going to say that. Not many people have staff at the office to help supervise their kids!

2 months, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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Great story, and hilarious! Though I imagine the reaction might have been different if you were a company with a different kind of customer base.

2 months, 1 week ago on Crisis Communications: What Happens When You Swear at Your Customers

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I was just thinking about this the other day. My agency and solo friends do a lot more networking online and in real life than our corporate counterparts, many of whom have been in those jobs for some time. I do think it's a security/stability thing. Agency people are always having to hustle, while those entrenched in an organization see less immediate need. I suppose it's also possible the corporate types are wary of going to networking events where they're likely to be constantly pitched to for business.

2 months, 1 week ago on Are agency PR counselors better networkers than their corporate counterparts?

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Wow. I would ask, "How much ad space do we need to buy if we get to write the feature ourselves?"

2 months, 1 week ago on The Danger of Pay-to-Play Earned Media

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@biggreenpen Wow, that is brilliant, Paula! And, of course, tying it in to the message/content is critical, so it doesn't come off as a gimmick.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I attended a presentation/workshop a few months ago at the local National Speakers Association chapter and the speaker stood rock solid in one place for the entire half-day and managed to hold our attention. It was a masterful demonstration that sometimes the best body language is minimal, and about owning your space.

2 months, 1 week ago on 3 Tips for Public Speakers: 2 Smart, 1 Dumb

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