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My favorite non crazy Christmas tradition/story - a book on the bed. I leave a book on my kids' beds wrapped in a red bow with a note inside from Santa. It's the first present my kids see and the first they open. Ask Amy promotes it every year in her column and I think it's tremendous.
1 week, 3 days ago on “Way to Wreck Christmas, Lindsay!” and Other Stories
Looks great and perfect timing. Surely it's just me, but I can't register for this to save my life. Again - it's me, not you, but I'd definitely appreciate some help just the same.
1 month, 1 week ago on The Four-Step Process of Communications Planning
I was the boringest 7 year old ever because I wanted to be a lawyer. I'm much more fun now as I want to be Linda Ronstadt when I grow up mainly because I can totally nail her songs in karaoke.
1 year ago on Best Childhood Dream Jobs
@NancyDavis I hate peas too. And we had them for dinner last night. It's REALLY hard to tell your kids to eat their peas when I can barely choke them down. And I'm left handed. Maybe there's a pea-hating, left handed connection?
1 year ago on Truth, Lies, and Facebook Memes
I recently was involved in helping to pick a PR agency for a board I'm on and so I'd add: who are we going to be working with? An important question for hiring any agency. We interviewed a number of agencies whose heads were well-polished in the interview and had a great deal of experience. But when asked this key question - the day-to-day client contact and lead was the person in the room who was silent through the entire pitch process. This question has been well documented before on this blog, but certainly worth adding again.
1 year, 2 months ago on Choosing a PR Agency: Ten Questions to Ask About Media Relations
A serious (and admittedly TOTALLY cynical - some might even say crappy) question pertaining to videos like #2 and 1 - how many are these videos made in the vain of "a sweet letter to my daughter' and how many are made to cash in? Told you it was cynical. Perhaps others have more insight into this that I clearly do.
1 year, 2 months ago on Gin and Topics: An Interpretive Dance and Prancercise (Again)
Jeez. This makes me harken back to last week's display of worst mothering ever when I couldn't understand why my poor second grader couldn't figure out her clock math problem. "If Janie started her work at 4:20..." Gifted with the curse of knowledge, I became short on patience real quick. Great post...applicable to so many facets of life.
1 year, 2 months ago on The Curse of Knowledge
Tiny Dancer never looked so good
1 year, 2 months ago on Gin and Topics: What Does the Fox Say?
ok - love the throw of the asthma inhaler from Corey Feldman to Sean Astin - GREAT subtle Goonies reference.
1 year, 5 months ago on Gin and Topics: Michael Jackson Reincarnate and Boys as Girls
Yes! I need to send this to my old boss who told me I needed to 'smile with my eyes more' - no I don't, I have bitchy resting face!
1 year, 5 months ago on Gin and Topics: The Baby and Pet Edition
I currently work in an environment with a VERY small staff and really miss my days at my large PR firm where we'd all huddle in a room and brainstorm for clients. I miss having lots of creative people around to bounce ideas off of. So now, a few of us who work for separate companies who are all in similar situations like me - we get together a few times a year for 2-3 hour brainstorming sessions. Each person gets 30-45 minutes for everyone to brainstorm on each other's current project/company etc. Everyone gets equal time, there is lots of creative energy and new ideas, there's no cost involved and each person facilitates his own topic - it works very well.
1 year, 8 months ago on Brainstorming for Grown-ups
Love this topic. All good advice. To go along with #1 I'd add: be a consumer of news. Read the newspaper, lots of them. PR people read the news differently and consuming news will help you be a stronger writer, understand what reporters write about, the list goes on and on. I'd also add (and only because I've sadly seen too much of it) earn your seat and work hard to keep it - don't for one moment think you're entitled to that job. And finally, be nice. To everyone. It's noticed and it will go a long way.
1 year, 8 months ago on New Grads: Five Tips for Success in PR and Marketing
I'm so sorry. For everyone who has ever lost someone to cancer, this story and the heartbreak that comes with it are all too familiar. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.
2 years, 2 months ago on #FollowFriday: Gerald Hemphill
Great article and a must-read for all in the agency business. While I'm out of that business now, we weren't this thorough and I know we WAY overserviced clients. I'd be curious to hear what dashboard tool you use. Thanks for the article -
2 years, 3 months ago on Four Ways to Break the Overservice Habit
Still trying to get through A Prayer for Owen Meany (based on your recommendation). And I'm Episcopalian! I've heard good things about "Gone Girl" but haven't read yet.
2 years, 4 months ago on Get Your Summer Reading On While You Still Can
@penneyfox @TheJackB NOW I get it, and ok, I'm officially an IDIOT.
2 years, 7 months ago on Sixteen Ways to Use Pinterest for PR
@TheJackB Yes, Gini was referring to the DOT in Louisiana and my client was Dept of Transp in Illinois. I guess I don't follow the rest of what you're trying to say...
Great article. I did PR for IDOT for 5+ years - all surrounding a huge construction project and I WISH I had pinterest then to help tell the story. Asphalt is boring, but a series of progress pictures of construction can be (dare I say) cool, and especially to the community in which construction is happening. Just a matter of finding the right audience and connecting to them and engaging them. Wow...you can take the girl out of IDOT, but you can't take IDOT...lots of great ideas for so many industries.
Such an interesting topic. My mother-in-law recently passed away and while she was by no means a social media maven, her FB account is still 'living.' She frequently has sisters and friends that will still write to her and tag her in FB, which is creepy to me and my husband. Clearly, we needed a plan in place.
2 years, 8 months ago on Protecting Your Online You After You Die
I thought Ms. Rometty's response to this was brilliant, which was I'm assuming a very calculated non-verbal response. I don't think (I could be wrong - it happens) she or IBM made any public statement on this, but just let the media frenzy over it happen knowing full-well that most of the sane world would side with her. She didn't need to respond. (And, as an aside - I would have LOVED to have been a fly on the wall during those internal communications discussions on whether or not to respond - all the back and forth over what is the best course...) But her most brilliant move was this: after the non-verbal response, she sat watching the Masters in her PINK blazer (and was photgraphed incessantly, talked about on TV,etc.), which in my opinion spoke volumes. I could go on and on about this, but three cheers for that very calculated, brilliant response.
2 years, 8 months ago on Augusta National Faces Scrutiny on “No Women” Rule
Nice post on this subject. I'd also add to make sure you ask if it's just you being interviewed and if there will be others interviewed, who those people are and do your due diligence on those folks. The producers won't always remember to tell you that there will be more than one person interviewed (though some will). In my opinion, serving on these types of panels increases the degree of difficulty of media interviews, but to your point, can be mitigated with research and practice.
2 years, 8 months ago on Seven Tips for Preparing for a Broadcast Interview
I'd never give my FB password out and I'd cite too if asked in an interview the excellent point made earlier - "if I give you my FB password on a whim, how can I be trusted with your network login and password." But, this does bring up (again) the importance of watching how you conduct yourself on social networks and the rule I live by: I'm not on FB with anyone with whom I have a working relationship. It's too easy to muddy the waters.
2 years, 8 months ago on Facebook Speaks Out Against Employers Asking for Passwords
@Scott217 @ginidietrich Thanks for the correction on the spokesperson - I don't know why I thought she was a he. But, I agree with all above comments that the mayor acted extremely unethically. To which I say - let's not be limiting - moron awards all around!
3 years ago on Politicians Trying to Control What Is Said Online
I say the moron award goes to neither the Gov or the Mayor but rather to that communications director who should have known better than to make such a huge deal over nothing. Now it's national news and you have the Governor apologizing to the teen for crying out loud. Not quite the way they thought this would turn out, but if the communications director was worth his salt, he would have foreseen this mess play out, or at least recognized that making a fuss over someone with 65 followers isn't worth it.
Sigh. I've heard all these before. But, I have this new one to add that I also get from my too scared/unengaged/needtobeincontrolexecs: my company is geographically dispersed and I am only responsible for the pr/promotion in a certain geographic area. Other franchises (for lack of a better term) are responsible for promo in their areas. So, they reason that promoting through social media promotes outside our geographic area. Umm...so does our Web site. And that Chicago Tribune article that was posted online - also outside our area. That seems to fall on deaf ears. My frustration with this is I guess tempered by your experience in dealing with this all the time. We're not the only ones!
3 years, 1 month ago on Six Reasons Social Media Doesn’t Work
Wow - great topic! I guess I'm proud that I've never been a mascot, though I have been the PR handler for one - Jack Hammer, which was the PR mascot for a DOT construction project. I've also pitched many a product that was not 1.News 2. Useful 3. A significant upgrade from its original form. I have been the subject of a tech trade columnist's tirade on PR people because I was responsible for promoting my client's horribly-bad-unuseful new widget (not so proud of that). I have also had to cancel (and been flown home on client's expense) many a vacation because an overzealous boss needed me RIGHT NOW. I've lived and learned through all these...
3 years, 2 months ago on Five Ridiculous Things I've Had To Do in my PR Career
I've worked for small, medium and large agencies and now have headed up my corporation's small PR department for the past 6 years. A couple of things to add based on my experience. First, the corporate side has enabled me to develop much stronger relations with the media because I'm frequently working with the same ones. They rely on me and will always take my call - that has made my job easier. When I was at the large agency, the quality and experience of the people I worked with far surpasses those at my other jobs and still amazes me. Based on my experiences as well, the creativity and collective brainpower at agencies is richer than what I've experienced in my corporation.
3 years, 3 months ago on Agency vs. Corporate: Which One is Best for You?