Archive for the ‘worldly’ Category

The Lion In Water

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Ted Kennedy was the lion of the Senate who lived a long and consistent life as a public servant. Not even political foes can argue that his service was not of the highest order; he served just as his brothers before him had. Always a liberal trendsetter, this Kennedy pushed for single-payer national health care starting in 1974. A consistent promoter of what he believed was right, the man never wavered.

Throughout the career of the Massachusetts leader, a notable cloud followed him at all times. He was not able to shake Chappaquiddick

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)!

Caroline Kennedy And Her, You Know, Problems

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Caroline Kennedy

New Yorkers have always had an interesting relationship with Senator Hillary Clinton. We weren’t quite sure what to make of it when she moved into our state apparently for the sole purpose of running for one of our senate seats, and we really didn’t know what to do with her during the now famous race against Rick Lazio. We do know now - on the eve of 2009 - that for the mostpart, we like Senator Clinton, and that she has done an admirable job in her role. She is battle-hardened enough to satisfy even the gruffest of City dwellers, yet thoughtful enough to be genuine. We wish her well as a member of President Obama’s cabinet.

With Senator Clinton soon to leave the legislative branch, Gov. Patterson has to perform a Constitutionally-mandated duty of choosing the much-discussed newbie. This is an awe-inspiring and worthy task, uh isn’t that right, “Governor F-Word”? One prospective name that seems to be circulating is that of a certain Ms. Kennedy - daughter of the last Obama. While Kennedy certainly meets the legal requirements to become a U.S. Senator, I have to wonder if she is up to the task of being one of New York’s crucial legislators.

New Yorkers (like me since birth) strongly dislike non-authentic types. We don’t do bullshit. If you aren’t going to talk straight, we wish you’d get out of our way. There are millions of people in our state and surely someone will give us what we need. That said, when Ms. Kennedy gave an interview to the New York Times, she repeated the phrase “you know” an astounding 142 times. One hundred and forty two! I mean… Palin may have been a public catastrophe, but she has to be cackling now.

Ms. Kennedy, we don’t know. We want to know what qualifies you to be in the Senate as opposed to, say, a public servant at a lower level. We want to know why the interest to become a political figure? All of the sudden? Why after 50 years of “leave me alone and let me raise my children in peace”-iness. Mostly though, we want to know why you don’t deserve comparisons to our dear friend from Alaska, who was ridiculed even by those who did not doubt her.

Objectively speaking, Mrs. Palin has infinitely more political experience than La Kennedy. Palin has been elected to municipal office and statewide office, no small feats, and was (still is) widely lampooned as “not experienced enough” for a shot at Washington. If she lacks experience, what does Ms. Kennedy have besides the President-Elect’s vote to escape this double-standardized criticism?

Look, Caroline (can we call you Caroline?)-we like Teddy. He’s a good man We loved your Uncle Robert. We adored your dad, and because we, like she, epitomized New York, we were beyond infatuated with your mother. We want to like you. But we’re smart and see through the noise.

Please give us something of substance. And add a decent public speaking course to your resume. Or your argument stops at “Gee, my name is Kennedy… you know?”

What One Building Brought to My Mind

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

The skyscraper is the original Hummer. When a major corporation (or Donald T) wants to prove importance and wealth it takes to the skyline to

Buy the Book - 2011

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