Wikipedia says it’s OK to pay (to have a page created)

Do you have a Wikipedia page? Do you dream of having one? It sure was a mark of distinction some 10 years ago, and for some it is still essential. But is it worth it? Anymore? Entrepreneur magazine’s July issue takes a look this social media tool and reports on latest developments, including acceptance – even if it is grudging – of paid-for pages. Wikipedia once refused to allow those kinds of pages to go up and stay up if its crew of eagle-eyed editors could determine someone other than dedicated and uncompensated fans of an organization were behind it. Now, it tolerates them – my reading of the policy – and they’ll stay up if the paid page carries ...

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Welcome to Camp Crisis: A speech, crushed values and opportunity

The backlash from Donald Trump’s appalling speech to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Jamboree on Monday, July 24, will no doubt go on for a while because what happened there was simply scorching. Twitter, Facebook, news site comment boards, radio shows were all on fire on Tuesday morning as millions commented on what they viewed as Trump’s appalling and inappropriate performance before 30,000 youngsters and teens. The Boy Scouts of America itself was drowning in phone calls and emails on Tuesday. This is a huge. The BSA knows it. But there is hope, hope in opportunity. And it relates to essential public relations – an organization’s relations with its publics – and how an organization can handle and nurture ...

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“Fit” or “culture” or, maybe, “values”?

“She’s not a good fit.”  Fit? That’s an interesting word. It’s a code word, one that’s used to weed out people at work. There’s a lot of that. And it’s not productive. Or right. I’ll leap over a lot and just ask you to imagine if we admitted what we mean by “culture” and “fit.” What’s that? It means “people who are just like us.” Most of the time, it’s code for “male and white and single and from the same class and the same schools.” Some of the best people in your field are NOT male and white and single. They didn’t go to your school. And they’re not in the same socio-economic class. Using this measure, they don’t have ...

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Need to speak NOW? Your 3-point, 5-second plan to kill ’em!

If you find yourself being asked to “say a few words” on the fly, don’t go silent. And don’t run! Stephanie Scotti, a communications strategist and coach who has specialized for 25 years in high-stakes presentations, offers some excellent advice in this piece from Smartbrief.com. In short, stand still, take a breath and ask yourself: What point must I convey? How can I support it? How do I need to say it? There is so much more to this post that will be of good use for you today! So please click on it, and settle in to spend some time reading it and enjoying everything she offers: Spontaneous speaking: The 5-second strategy to improve delivery As a business professional, ...

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Marketing or Public Relations?

Marketing or Public Relations? Public Relations or Marketing? Aren’t these the same thing? Just different words for the same function? Well, no. When I talk with clients, I often describe them like this: “Marketing sells, PR tells.” And then I share the sizzling details about the differences, the confusing similarities, and why you need to do both. And they are sizzling. Because you can get burned by thinking they do the same thing. But there are no tricks to it. It is almost – almost – like following a recipe. (Can you tell I’m about ready to do some baking later today?) My belief is that an organization — for or non-profit — needs to think of PR the moment ...

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A moving experience: Customer service in the Bay Area

Customer service counts and it lives in the San Francisco Bay Area When you have to move your household — as we did in January and through most of February — don’t you feel some unease and fear? Or, maybe, a lot? The story about moving, which is very old and embroidered with assumptions, is that you will get ripped off by everyone who is involved in this “industry.”  The story is that you will have a horrible time and you will lose money and you’ll probably wind up losing pieces of furniture, if not your mind and a lot of your heart and your entire soul. So, when we were informed just after New Year’s Day that we had ...

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SMOG, FOG and the SOTU (State of the Union)

So how about that State of the Union speech the other night?  I’ve been thinking about the hour-long final talk to the nation that President Obama gave the other night. Not in terms of content, exactly, but in terms of readability. And comprehension. This occurred to me as I also did a bit of work on website readability for a client. How would the SOTU by POTUS stand up to the same tests and measures? Was that talk “readable”?  “Listenable”? “Understandable”? Comprehensible? If so, for whom? If none of the above, why not? To whom, exactly, was it directed? Did that work?   I feel for presidential speechwriters. I feel for all speechwriters. And I feel for those of us ...

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Oh, Chipotle!

It was bad enough when the Mexican fast-food chain was linked to a rash of E.coli, salmonella and norovirus  incidents which popped up across the United States at the end of 2015. It was in the news for days, weeks. A month. CEO Steve Ells went to the media and offered his sincere apology and outlined what the company would do to prevent such a recurrence. The company’s stock was thrashed about and sunk, which was not a surprise. But Ells did the right thing. And yet, there’s more. On January 6, the company reported it had received a subpoena which was part of an investigation into another norovirus outbreak in August 2015 in California. And on January 8, a ...

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Berry Gordy was correct: Hire your PR director first!

This past week, Motown Records’ longtime publicist and very first employee died at the age of 74. Al Abrams guided the careers of R&B superstars the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Miracles and Marvin Gaye and created the label’s well-known slogan “The Sound of Young America.” What makes Abrams’ career and life even more amazing and wonderful is that his boss, Berry Gordy, had good — no, great — business and promotional sense to hire Abrams BEFORE the Motown label was officially established. Gordy knew that if you want success, you need a good communicator, a great storyteller and a smart organizer and manager. And you need that person beside you, working with you BEFORE you ink the first deal, get ...

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Leadership. Servant Leadership.

Servant leadership has suddenly returned to discussion about how we work, how we lead. Not a moment too soon. No doubt, it’s due mostly to the approaching Presidential election and the quality of the candidates who have emerged — so far — in both parties. But the more we keep this concept front and center, the better. In today’s New York Times, Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, takes on and takes down the lot of the candidates who will tonight (8.6.15) appear on the Fox News stage for what they’re terming a “debate.” He calls them “a field of presidential aspirants unable to rise above petty politics.” And that’s just the opening of his many salvos and an ...

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