Writing a news release that works

Despite widespread reports of its demise at the hands of social media, the news release is not just alive, but relevant. Its basic format continues to be an important way to distribute content to both online and traditional media.   The same principles that scored publicity for “Mad Men” still work today — a good […]

Get past write fright to the first draft

Write fright, or fear of the blank page, is hard to overcome. The white page on the computer screen seems naked, and my attempts at sentence fragments, much less paragraphs, offer it as much cover as a fig leaf. Maybe I should use a larger font. Try double spacing.   More experienced writers offer abundant […]

Hallelujah flash mob video

Came across the video of a flash mob choir at a New York mall food court giving an impromptu performance of Handel’s Hallelujah chorus. The singing is beautiful, the enjoyment on the faces of the listeners and the performers is sweet, and the debate on the comments among atheists and Christians alike in favor of […]

Funny Writing Has Attitude that Binds

Like a stand-up comedian, a writer who wants to make a reader laugh out loud uses attitude combined with observation.  Usually, this means departing from the norms of polite conversation or objective writing, and incorporating feelings, opinions and (mis)perceptions to grab the reader’s attention. Observation provides the topic; attitude makes compelling writing. Judy Carter, author […]

Fall is best time to plant in SoCal

Department stores are decked out for Christmas, and the turkey cooking hotlines have operators waiting to assist you with Thanksgiving dinner questions, and I’m thinking about spring. No, I’m not a scrooge looking to get the holidays over as quickly as possible. I’ve learned from experts and seven years experience promoting drought-tolerant gardening that right […]

Happy birthday, Johnny Marr!

He created the haunting, swampy guitar sound that made the Smiths’ How Soon Is Now? the perfect anthem for all my teenage angst. Happy 47th birthday to our generation’s signature guitarist.  

Tulsa’s giant man

I’ll admit it — growing up in Tulsa, I was always scared of the 76-foot Golden Driller statue. We had to walk under his widespread legs to get into the main entrance of Expo Square, home to gun shows, the county fair, rodeos, circuses and high school graduations.¬†And each time, I would rush through, afraid […]

Writing Humorously

Humor is a funny thing. It is easy to make some people laugh — employees, mothers, bartenders, the guy at the coffee shop — but being funny to strangers is an art form. I recently attended a workshop by author and comedy instructor Judy Carter on how to write funny.    Let me stop here […]

First Post

Join the conversation. I hear the phrase a lot now when talking with other PR professionals about the social media explosion. Listen. Respond. Create. Blog and vlog. Tweet. So I signed up for a class at UCLA Extension about social media best practices for communications pros. Start blogging, said Erik Deutsch, class creator, instructor and […]