How to Get Your News Out There

News releases are a great way to promote your organization, your event, your book or your product. But writing it is only half the work. The second half is distribution. In the old days, we used to create media mailing lists and actually snail mail or fax releases to reporters, and then put the release […]

RIP Book Publishing

The big book publishing houses have set the rules since 1947, according to Dan Poynter, but those days are over. Poynter is a self-publishing guru who has been his own writer, editor, publisher, distributer and marketer since 1969, and what is most impressive about him is the way he has kept up with market trends […]

Crazy unusable stock photos

In my job as a publications manager, I spend a fair amount of time looking for stock photos to use in brochures, reports, web sites and presentations. It’s not always the most creative endeavor — usually I’m just looking for a fresh take on people in business attire talking, someone using a computer, etc. This […]

Six Simple Words to Change a Life

Words are powerful. A friend and mentor of mine is a smart, strategic communications pro who was one of the first in his family to go to college. He grew up poor, with parents who didn’t speak English well. When I asked him once about how he got from East LA to become an advisor […]

Quit Begging Me to Shop Already, You Look Desperate

I love shopping. Plenty of family members and friends can attest to my love for the mall. Neiman Marcus to Wal-Mart, I love it all. But after four housebound days watching hundreds of commercials touting Black Friday sales using crazy-eyed, emotionally over-stimulated women, I’ve been trying to figure out how to anti-shop, even if for […]

The nearly weightless side of nature.

Enough tornados, earthquakes, freak snowstorms and bad news. This video of thousands of starlings, flying in the most beautiful unison, was taken in Ireland and is now sweeping the Internet. Who among us doesn’t need a little beauty today? <p>Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.</p>

Impressions of Dakar, Senegal

My first trip to Africa was my October visit to Senegal, on the west coast. I spent most of the time working at a conference held at the Le Meridien, but was able to get out a few times to see little bits of the city. My lasting impressions are of friendly, funny people; tall, […]

El Nido Family Centers Needs Your Help

They are one of the oldest social service agencies in Los Angeles, helping a nearly invisible impoverished population as they try to transform their lives. The problems they address include child abuse and neglect, school dropouts, adolescent pregnancy, youth crime and gang prevention. El Nido Family Centers is losing millions of dollars in public money, […]

Book Review: “Skippy Dies” by Paul Murray

Remember being 14? If you need a comic refresher on the drama, pressure, self-doubt, bullying, fear and hormones, “Skippy Dies” is a great place to start. Irish author Paul Murray writes beautifully, humorously and sympathetically about the inner lives of 14-year-old boys and girls residing in a posh Dublin boarding school. He weaves us in […]