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Dads Deserve a Little Respect

June 16, 2013

When I was growing up, fathers were held in respect.  You never crossed dad.  The words you feared most were, “Wait until your father gets home.”

We thought dads had all of the answers.  Television shows like “Father Knows Best,” “My Three Sons” and “Leave It to Beaver” reinforced this opinion.

Newsletters Shouldn’t Be Snoozeletters

June 7, 2013

If properly developed, an e-letter or newsletter can be a valuable tool in any company’s marketing program. Unlike most communications, e-letters and newsletters can keep you in contact with your market on a regular basis. They can make your services tangible, enhance your image and help to position your company as a leader in its field.

But e-letters and newsletters often fail to accomplish these goals. Most newsletters are snoozeletters. E-letters are often too copy heavy and unattractive.  The typical newsletter is a two-color rehash of company press releases and is filled with the kind of photos no other publication would print – the slightly out-of-focus photos of people shaking hands and smiling at the camera.

The Eyeless Generation

June 6, 2013

The eyeless people are everywhere.  Even when driving or crossing the street, they don’t look up.

They are in a trance-like state, induced by the electronic device in their hands.  Their whole world is below eye level and nothing else matters.  Not the person they’re with.  Not the other people on the crowded sidewalk.  Not the other drivers.

Confessions of a “Right-Wing Fanatic”

June 5, 2013

In a democracy, people are entitled to express their opinions. 

I have many friends who think differently than I do, but we respect each other’s opinions.  But I was a bit startled when an associate of mine expressed his opinion that I’m a “right-wing fanatic.”

Public Relations vs. Propaganda

June 4, 2013

In more than 20 years of business, I have never had a client ask me to cover up the truth.  If one did ask, I would walk away.  Dishonesty is not only morally wrong, it’s almost always disastrous for the client.

Dead People Need Help, Too

June 3, 2013

You’d think Massachusetts Auditor Suzanne Bump would be singled out for praise for finding that Massachusetts is paying welfare benefits to dead people.

But no.  Based on the reaction of Governor Deval Patrick and others, you’d think Ms. Bump was the one doing something illegal.

Influencing Behavior

May 30, 2013

Guest post from Tom Hagley Sr.:

I like to challenge people to define public relations in two words. Other professions define themselves in two words—doctors practice medicine, lawyers practice law, accountants keep records. People in these disciplines define their work in two words, issue invoices and get paid accordingly for their expertise.

Not everyone in PR can do the same because many people—yes, many people— in public relations cannot define what they do.

We’re Writing for Your Customers

May 29, 2013

The most difficult task we have as marketing professionals should be the simplest – convincing clients to think like their customers.

It’s difficult, because clients are wired to think in the language of their industry.  When we translate it into English, it sounds foreign to them.

Remember America’s Heroes

May 28, 2013

America didn’t become the freest and most prosperous country in the world by accident.

Our military forces, from the Minutemen to the soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, have given us the freedom we enjoy by putting their lives at risk every day.

What’s Your Title?

May 23, 2013

Those who practice law are called lawyers or attorneys.  Those who practice medicine are called doctors or physicians.  Those who cover news are called reporters or journalists.  Those who practice public relations are called … well, there’s really no consistent title.

Are we public relations practitioners, still practicing after all of these years?  Are we public relations specialists or public relations professionals?  Are we publicists or press agents, which implies that all we do is get our clients published?  Are we flacs?