Archive for the ‘Business of Selling’ Category

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.

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)!

Much Ado about So Little It Hurts

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

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

#twitterfame, and Fame

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Coverage is so easy to get in 2009. There are outlets everywhere, with barriers to public distribution so low that anyone can get their name in some kind of media with minimal effort. Given that “normal” people have learned the tricks of the coverage trade, the time-tested celebrity accident has been rendered useless, because we’ve discovered that accidents happen and ultimately mean nothing.

Around 50 years ago we’d have believed that Frank Sinatra really did beat the snot out of someone pissing him off, because the guy was pissing him off. It’s how Frank rolled. He didn’t do it for notoriety, because he didn

How To Lose Friends and Misinfluence Vampires

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Gawker has been a pretty cool site for quite a number of years. As far as gossip rags go, it actually does maintain some level of credibility. The writing is crisp and witty, the commentary is spot on. It’s a fun and informative read. It’s delicious and sneaky and vicious. Vicarious fun.

Over the past several years, Gawker Media has extended the brand by creating blogs covering sports, cars, video games, fashion, gadgets, personal productivity, and others. Gawker has built quite a remarkable stable of reliable content.

Then, the powers-that-be in the advertising department almost ruined the whole thing.

Apparently, HBO broadcasts a television show about vampires. True Blood is entering its second season. The HBO people favor something they think is viral marketing for the show. Before season one, they introduced a beverage

Computer Is Gone

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

For months, and maybe years, before the Y2K New Year

(TM) Nothing

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Since Congress passed the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C.

The Coming Newspaper Renaissance

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Despite the Chicken Little essence of the news lately, reports of the death of the newspaper industry have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, the industry will see a stunning Renaissance. To understand what is happening now and what will be happening over the next few years, we need look objectively at history and current state of journalism.

Not long ago, newspapers were comprised of facts, and only facts. When Hearst and Pulitzer had their squabbles during the gilded age, so-called yellow journalism sold copies and became part of the news landscape. But it was still regarded as not quite reporting. In the middle of the 20th century, the big blue tube became a primary source of local news and when Americans finally took the on-ramp of the info superhighway, newspapers put content online without any thought as to the impact this would have on the print business, which had always been dependent on classified and local ads (and sometimes subscriptions).

At that time, news organizations moved from reporting facts to proffering opinions, and reporters have since become mostly another batch of celebrities. Since TV news came aboard, we

May 4 Rant: Bye, PR Weak (Indeed)

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

[a special cross-linkage with my Bad Pitch Blog]

I

10 Ways Businesses Are Killed

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

During the last mercurial business cycle, I sneakily asked super successful types such as Mark Cuban (Mavericks dancer), Peter Guber (Guber), David Brancaccio (NOW man on PBS), Bob Davis (Speedy Lycos dude), and Gerald Storch (Toys

Buy the Book - 2011

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