Our Blog ~ Pros and Cons

Pros and cons will discuss the good and bad in marketing, media and politics. It will also feature marketing tips and whatever else we’re in the mood for posting.

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December 26, 2012

These days, we could all use some inspiration. I’m getting mine from Jack Jackson, a fellow public relations practitioner and friend, who recently found out that he has pancreatic cancer. Jack is using a weapon against cancer that our healthcare system can’t provide – a sense of humor.

Decenber 24, 2012

We’ve reached a point in history where many people feel uncomfortable wishing others a “Merry Christmas.”  How sick is that?

December 21, 2012

“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”

Joni Mitchell

My cousin, former neighbor and childhood best friend died this week.  He was 60.

The one thing that stood out about Tommy was that he was not like everyone else.

When we were kids, he would come to my house almost every day and when I answered the door, he’d ask the same question, “Wanna rassle?”  The answer was always, “no,” as Tom was two years older than me and significantly heavier and if we wrestled, he would have beat the crap out of me.  He asked anyway.

December 20, 2012

“In poker, if you have a bad hand, you ‘fold.’ In investing, the commonly accepted philosophy is to ‘buy and hold,’ even during a bear market.  So which of the two is really gambling - poker or buy-and-hold investing?”

Brenda Wenning

When we first began working together in the summer of 2008, Brenda Wenning of Wenning Investments advised me to sell off my stocks and put my money into cash.  My advisor talked me out of it – and my portfolio still hasn’t fully recovered.

December 19, 2012

The unemployment rates stands at just under 8 percent and the federal debt has soared from $9 trillion when President Obama took office to more than $16 trillion.  The world is a more dangerous place, with Iran close to gaining nuclear capability.  New legislation is making a mess of both the healthcare and financial industries, which will both be largely controlled by the federal government.  Yet President Obama was elected to a second term.

Did a biased media make it all possible? 

December 17, 2012

We’ve allowed the world’s most repressive dictators to take over control of the United Nations.  Now, they’re using that power to take over control of the Internet.

The Internet has become an important weapon in advancing freedom, because it enables instant communication around the world.  People who are repressed can use the Internet to organize, communicate and alert others about their situation.  But that’s about to change.

December 5, 2012

How important are BusinessWire, PR Newswire and other wire services?  Not very.

November 23, 2012

Reporters often insist on talking to “real people,” not “experts.”  This can be dangerous if the topic relates to investments or health, but it happens all the time.  Interviewing someone who lost 100 pounds by eating nothing but lettuce or someone who became rich by investing only in companies with names starting in vowels is a really bad idea.  It sends the message that you, the reader, can do the same.  Go back and interview the same people next year and you’ll find that the dieter has gained back 100 pounds and then some, and the investor is broke.

Wouldn’t you rather interview “experts” who know what they’re talking about?

A summary of PR Peeves initially appeared in an article we wrote for the Worcester Business Journal.

December 14, 2012

The Billing Department at the emergency room I went to last week is apparently much faster than the emergency room staff.

On Monday, I wrote about my emergency room experience, in which I waited four-and-a-half hours before leaving without seeing a doctor.  Six days after my visit, I received the bill -- $200!

December 12, 2012

It’s true that anyone can write – in the same sense that anyone can sing. Writing well, like singing well, takes practice, skill and a discerning ear.

Unfortunately, many people in the business world write off key without realizing it. They produce a cacophony of overused words like “quality,” “solution” and “service,” and mistake it for a concerto. Like the tone-deaf singer at church, they attempt to make up in volume what they lack in skill.