After spending the bulk of one’s childhood and adolescence in school followed by four years of higher education and yet another two years of Even Higher education, one is understandably relieved to have the days of learning behind one. Or, to put it another way, I paid my time; let me be an adult in the real world now, please.
But, as your mother always told you, you never really stop learning. You hoped she meant that as “you never really stop learning what those divots on the sides of plastic wrap boxes are, for example,” but she actually meant it as “you never really stop learning, as in cramming your head full of stuff to prepare for a rather important test.” Except this time, you can’t really write the irregular Spanish verbs on the insole of your shoe to help you along. (Bloody irregular verbs.)
This is all a roundabout way of saying: I have to get my learning on, and I am not a happy newt. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago, I began a new position. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be innovative and creative, to work with fantastic properties and develop social media strategies. It’s a dream come true for a flack like me.
One tiny thing. I’m not in the PR or publicity department. I’m on the marketing team.
Purple is the color of a cloak which your words should never wear, treading on a barren stair in the dark to meet a woman whom they know is from a city they’ve never been and should not dare make haste toward.
Or, in other words, quit the #@$%ing purple prose already.
Purple prose means writing that is way too flowery, effusive, extravagant, or showy. It’s a phrase used to describe works or passages that are out of place or just plain stupid. The poet Horace coined the phrase (sort of) and the lesson is don’t ever, ever go overboard.
“Elaborate poetry?” you may ask. “Florid diatribes? Surely these never appear in my businesslike writing of business!”
Last week, I went to the grocery store and was railroaded by my beloved roommate into buying two kinds of cheese. By some strange coincidence, when we got home we saw that both brands of cheese had been improperly packaged and were sort of gross. My roommate was sad. I was excited.
Hooray, I thought, now we can see some 21st century customer service in action. Let’s get us some replacement cheese! I took some photos, wrote down some batch numbers on the packages, and generally tried to be a very good consumer. I went to both brands’ websites to lodge my good-natured complaints. And this is what I found. Continue reading →
One of my favorite office tricks is organizing my e-mail so that my inbox is empty. Productivity nerds sometimes call this tactic Inbox Zero, and it’s a rule by which I live my business life. I know that PR pros can be inundated with e-mail, perhaps more than most, and I truly believe everyone can tame their inbox.
Haters gon’ hate. That’s what they do. And in our industry, we’re going to see the haters popping up all over the interwebs. Chances are, unless you’re flacking for fuzzy baby lambs, someone out there is hatin’ on your client, your client’s product, or your company. (And even baby lambs may have made enemies; you never really know.) So what do you do with the haters, the negative comments, the angry bloggers, the furious tweeters, the disappointed Yelpers, the flaming Facebooker?
Nota Bene: Please note the date on which this post was originally posted and enjoy it with appropriate grains of salt.
April Fool’s, the longstanding day of traditional tomfoolery and silliness, is getting a swift kick in its pants from PR pros. Industry insiders and public relations associations confirm that this April 1st is no laughing matter.
“There are only 365 days in a year, and to devote one entire day to fake news, gags, and joke press releases is unacceptable,” said Bob Trout, CEO of Gold & Trout, a PR firm based in New York City. “That’s just one less day we can expect coverage for our clients.” Continue reading →
Lately a lot of folks have asked me questions that come down to a matter of Britishocity. Is it “gray” or “grey?” Is it “theatre” or “theater?” It’s okay if you’re confused about these things because, to be honest, you probably had little to do with dumping a bunch of Twinnings into Boston Harbor. Or is that Harbour?