The Myth of Multitasking

Selective hearing is not just the affliction of teenagers avoiding parental summons. Turns out the human brain is wired to tune in to just one sound at a time, according to UCSF researchers who published their findings in Nature last week.  Some little grey cells right behind our ear actually filter out some sounds in […]

Question, Experiment and Innovation Will Follow

My Twitter feed this week has been full of reports of new social media tools for marketing and PR pros, like Pinterest and Highlight. Along with requisite hype comes the cynicism. Are these new tools just another bright shiny thing that will be hot for a few weeks, only to be eclipsed by the next […]

“We Are a Good Company” is Not an Effective News Release Headline

If you’re writing a news release or blog posting or newsletter article, it’s easy and very tempting to make yourself or your organization the star of the show. And it’s the exact opposite of what you should do if you want to get a journalist, blogger or, in these days of direct-to-consumer publishing, your potential […]

Pocket Guide to the Public Relations Professional

The public relations industry is vast and complex, employing some 60,000 people and bringing in a fee income of nearly $9 billion in 2010, according to The Holmes Report 2011 Global Rankings. It’s also perceived as a little, well, fluffy. Usually the first budget to be cut in a crunch, public relations deparments suffer more […]

Famous people with dachshunds

Dachshunds always make me smile. If their wiggly walk, big personality and sausage shape don’t draw enough attention, then most doxies will bark loudly to get it. The national dog of Germany, the dachshund (literally “badger dog”) is the smallest dog bred for hunting. They are tenacious and brave, with long ears that usher smells […]

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 […]