Archive for July, 2009

Earth to Lou Dobbs: Hawaii is a “United State”

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

No matter what you think,today is not a wasteland of slow news. The Government is having its most thorough health care discussion ever witnessed, the climate is doing all sorts of strange things (summer has yet to arrive here in the city of New York), and Michael Vick is once again a free man. And playing.

Still, the lazy media finds ways to report on possibly the most asinine

Bad Pitch Night School (During the Day - Tomorrow)

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

You may not know that in addition to being the author of everyone’s favorite book, I am also a veteran public relations professional. I have co-authored my other blog (I’m not cheating on you — promise), the Bad Pitch Blog with fellow PR man Kevin Dugan since 2006.

Therein, we analyze, embarrass, and otherwise eviscerate bad public relations in all of its wretched forms. Bad pitches meet their maker on the pages of Bad Pitch. We are one of the most popular marketing blogs on the Web.

Kevin
Kevin

Tomorrow — Wednesday, July 29, at 1:00 PM Eastern — we are hosting a very special, one-time-only tele-seminar (you know, like a conference call, only bigger): Bad Pitch Night School (During the Day). We’d like you to attend.

Not a PR pro? So what? Most aren’t. You’ll get a ton of valuable information regarding how to make the perfect phone call, how to write the perfect email, and how to otherwise influence people when you need coverage or attention of some kind. There is something included for everyone who pitches, even if you call it something else. Plus, we are very funny. (Seriously.) As a bonus, everyone who attends gets a free e-book copy of Full Frontal PR.

More details and registration info at http://crappyPR.com. Read the details. Sign up. See you tomorrow!

As always, twitter @laermer.

Straight Talk on Gay Marriage

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

“Damn it,” says Kenneth Cole in ads all over Manhattan.

Tell The Truth: You’re a Real Storyteller

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Lost in the shuffle of what I guess is the more important news was the fact that Irish writer Frank McCourt passed away at the age of 78. McCourt’s opus, Angela’s Ashes, was an unlikely success: an autobiographical tale of one hell of an impoverished family in Limerick, Ireland.

Rest in Peace

There is nothing earth shattering about the book, which is why McCourt was awarded a Pulitzer for telling it straight. It is written in the voice of a child who recounts sordid story after sordid story. For example: After little Frank’s drunk father left the family, supposedly to work in a munitions factory, Frank was the sole breadwinner in the house by stealing milk and bread. The whole block shared a single outhouse. Frank’s grandmother scrubbed him to within an inch of his life on the day of his first Communion. On and on these wonderful vignettes go.

These are anecdotes of no particular import that formed one of the best selling and most loved books of the 1990s, spawning a profitable and well-loved movie transformation in 2000.

The success of Angela’s Ashes and other books like it (and there have been copycats!) did teach how the most popular stories that seem to resonate with readers and affectuate new and positive changes are often the true ones. Sound like a good blog? See, people want to hear how things actually do work and how they have worked. People want to share their experiences with others who might feel better (or touched) by them. We want to hear what has happened, not what may have happened.

During this deep recession, anyone telling tales — customers, prospects, or friends — is well advised to give it to them without ice: no chaser. I try to do that and am often told to be more subtle. (Like that’ll ever happen.)

Work of the best storytellers are, like McCourt and Bukowski and others before and since, the type that make you go “Crap, I didn’t think of that!”

Many moments within McCourt’s tales of life in Limerick have given us a bit of hope for brightness. You know that is something we all can’t wait to talk about.

…..For less wistful tweets, do the Twitter dance @laermer and don’t forget to check out Bad Pitch Night School (During the Day)!

Look at you, TV, all Grown Up

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Five years ago, it was a shock that the television phenomenon The Sopranos won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama. It was the first time since 1977 that a program that did not air on one of the “Big Three or Four” took the prize. (Trivia buffs: The 1977 award went to PBS import Upstairs, Downstairs.) It was the first time ever that a cable channel took the prize. Hell, it was one of the first times one was even nominated.

That year the nods went to HBO’s The Sopranos, 24 (FOX), CSI (CBS), Joan of Arcadia (CBS; does anyone remember?), and NBC

Much Ado about So Little It Hurts

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Supreme Court confirmation hearings are the ultimate made-for-TV event. The

Do You Speech?

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Speech is the Rosetta Stone of your own image. Master it and you have taken a gigantic step toward people starting to see the best you. And yet, the easiest way to fail is to lack the ability

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