Would you like some media training with that medal?

Soccer MedalIn recent days, the poor sportsmanship of a select few Olympic athletes has garnered significant media attention. For those following the games, it has been difficult to ignore pointed accusations of misconduct directed at Apolo Anton Ohno by South Korean speed skaters. Not to mention the recent additions to Evgeni Plushenko’s website which credit him as a platinum medal winner in the 2010 games – last I checked the accolades stopped at gold.

While one can feel a twinge of compassion for those who train their entire lives for the chance to compete for a gold medal and miss the mark, it’s difficult to dig deep and root for the troublemakers, poor sports and those looking to start a fight. Continue reading

Agency Eater – they’ll chew you up and spit you out!

Portrait of a LionYou know that song by Nelly Furtado, Man Eater? She’s brutal, ain’t she (in a good way)? Perhaps I can go all PR-geek here and suggest we do a spoof called Firm Eater…

They’re a firm eater
Make you sweat hard, make you work hard, make you ruin relationships
Work for a month

Makes sense in my head…(Feel free to laugh at me here.) Continue reading

Celebrity Representation

Bouncer holding photographers backSince the majority of us PR professionals work for agencies where we have a variety of different companies as clients (maybe I’m just imagining this, but that’s definitely the way it seems), there’s a sector of communicators that we all tend to forget about- the straight up publicist.  More specially, celebrity representation.  However, somewhere off in the great, big state of California (pardon me for my generalization), there lives a whole lot of people who work incredibly hard to keep the reputations of their clients squeaky clean, or at least a little bit less awful than they already are. Continue reading

Communicating to Uncle Sam

US Capitol, Washington, DC, USAPositioning a company effectively to pursue and win government business is one of the most interesting and sometimes the most challenging initiatives a communications professional can undertake.

This is not a post on how to get on a GSA schedule or how to navigate the government contracting process. This is a post on five things to consider to effectively position a company in front of government agencies to win business:

1.The government market is highly segmented. Some companies approach marketing and communicating to the government as if “the government” is a single entity. The reality of it is that each government agency has its own challenges and mission requirements that need to be addressed. A one-sized fits all approach in the federal sector will not get you very far. Instead, it is better to target a specific agency or agencies for your products and services, presenting a customized solution for their needs. Continue reading

Watch the Trade Show ‘Tude

Thinkstock single image setIn a recent post from blogger Complicated Mama, she talked about a few encounters she had at last week’s Toy Fair. In a surprising turn of events, she was confronted with rude company reps that wanted nothing to do with bloggers. What was even more interesting is that in addition to writing for her own blog, she was also writing for a toy industry trade publication. Oops!

I know from personal experience that trade shows, especially ones as large as Toy Fair, can be incredibly hectic and exhausting. Camera crews, journalists, reporters – there are hundreds of companies all vying for the attention of the media. PR reps go to great lengths to set up appointments beforehand, create attention-getting stunts and more. Continue reading

A Prayer to the PR Gods

A daily thought to be said each and every day for PR pros.

Almighty gods of PR,
May my day today be a success, with happiness and joy;
Let my pitches be newsworthy and perfect, being loved by all;
Help me create that amazing stunt, that will make someone go WOW;
Please photograph Beyonce with my product, with the label facing out;
Almighty gods of PR,
May my day stay on target, and promise me some lunch;
Let my server make it all day, without shutting down;
Help me double check my subject lines, spell check doesn’t work;
Please cut back on the hate mail today, sometimes it hurts my feelings;
Almighty gods of PR,
May my day go by smoothly, regardless of what comes up;
Let my segments go unbothered, breaking news isn’t that important;
Help my clients just understand, and get it without a fuss;
Please have the Wall Street Journal* call me back today, because I was so nice.
*designates a fill in the blank 😉

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Tackling the Job Search

Open door with businessmenAn acquaintance of mine recently started a new job. I was extremely happy for her, but after speaking with her, she admitted to me that she had been unemployed for months. I was shocked. Not only because she hadn’t told me (which was her right) but because in the time that she was unemployed, I could have recommended her for a few positions that she was qualified for. I don’t claim to be a rainmaker, but once in a while I will get an email that says, “Hey, I need to hire….do you know anyone?” I am more than happy to recommend someone, but it is impossible to do this if you don’t know that they are looking for a job.

This situation leads me to believe that there are probably many others that are in the same situation. So, here are my 10 tips for jobs seekers: Continue reading

Mythical Vs. Real Life Role Models

Two Businessmen Sit Face-To-Face in Serious DiscussionUnless you’ve been in a coma over the last few months, it’s safe to say you’ve read/heard/seen about Tiger Wood’s sex scandal and the many women who’ve played with his club. I’m not here to dissect his recent press conference; you can read about that anywhere. I’m disappointed that we feel he owed the world an apology and with the hype that surrounded the whole debacle. I’m not here to condone adultery. Instead I will explain why we weren’t owed an apology, and why we must be realistic when choosing our mythical role models. Continue reading

Agencies Should Require Publicists to Attend a Social Media ‘Hell Week’

While most publicists understand the importance of educating themselves on all things social media, there is still a large number of professionals that do not have that same mentality. I can’t tell you that why that’s the case, perhaps it’s the new school versus old school (no pun intended) way of thinking, but getting employees up to speed on social media should be just as important to an agency as it is keeping current clients happy and pursuing new business.

So realistically, what can agencies do? Can they force employees to read books on SM? Give assignments to follow Chris Brogan’s blog or have them monitor Robert Scoble’s tweets? Assign quarterly reports on which brands have the best SM campaigns? I certainly don’t run my own agency and I haven’t done the research on what effects this type of program might have on company morale, but my short answer to these questions is a resounding YES … current and future employees should be required to do all of these things, and more. The positives of putting your staff through a ‘Hell Week’ type of SM program far outweighs the negatives, in my opinion. Continue reading

It Takes All Types to Be a Successful Communicator

Corporate CasualOne of the things I love about the communications profession is the fact that while walking down the street, it’s often difficult to immediately pick us out from a crowd. Let’s be honest: You can usually tell with one quick glance when someone is a real-estate agent, lawyer or an account (perhaps because each requires significant training and/or licensing in their respective professions that often gives them a bit of an aura of being . . . different from the rest of us, but I digress). But when walking down the street, you can’t really immediately pick out a communications pro. We just come in all shapes, sizes, demographics and personalities. Continue reading