Posts Tagged ‘media’

Life on the Cloud: Google Docs for Small Business

November 14th, 2011

Can a cloud improve your work day? Save time and resources, encourage productivity and cut overhead? What if it cost virtually nothing? Well, look no further – it’s likely time consider Google Docs.

A cloud-based office suite with data storage capabilities, Google Docs provides free word processing, spreadsheet and slideshow services equipped with menus, shortcuts and dialog boxes similar to Microsoft Office. Google Docs can store any type of file – even those not in Google Doc formats. It also provides 1 -GB of storage per user and allows real-time, collaborative editing capabilities. Perhaps most important, Google Docs allows users to access their files from any computer (or mobile device) – all that is required is an internet connection.

And of course, this is in addition to all the other great resources Google has to offer. Gmail provides easy-to-read threads that are a great for keeping track of conversations and important information. Its calendar capabilities practically mirror those of Microsoft Outlook and G-chat allows instant communication much like AIM. And let’s not forget about the Holy Grail – the company’s outstanding search capabilities.

No more self-emailing documents, wasting time exchanging edits and stalling progress on important projects. Google Docs is an extremely simple way for small business to limit costs and increase efficiency. Don’t be a Juggalo. Get onboard.

This article originally appeared on IAmTheTrend.com.

Advice from the Pros: Four Key Tips for Pitching Bloggers

October 20th, 2011

I love networking events. As a PR pro, why wouldn’t I? : )

Last night I attended The Publicity Club of New England’sBlogger Relations for PR Pros” panel at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. It was a blast.

The panel was made up of a diverse group of individuals with varied backgrounds.   Some valuable advice was shared. Below are a few of my favorite nuggets from the night. Enjoy!

  • Only use embargoes as a Trojan to get coverage – then tell your client you’re brilliant” – Jason Keith, SMB blogger, Boston.com

 

Social Media and Pizza: A Case Study

April 22nd, 2010

I live and work in downtown Boston, MA. When it’s time for lunch, I have many options. Today, I wanted to try a new place. I wandered down Newbury Street and decided to check out Bostone Pizza.

Bostone Pizza claims that they are Boston’s “only authentic NY pizzeria, featuring thin crust Neapolitan and deep dish Sicilian pizza.”

I tend to like my pizza covered with the most outrageous toppings you can think of.  I also love it prepared in a variety of ways. For this reason, Bostone caught my attention. But when it’s my first time in a joint? I opt for a straight slice of cheese. That’s just how I roll.

Well, the slice did not disappoint. But you must remember that there are tons of lunchtime options around here. Newbury Street alone offers everything from Indian/Chinese fusion to Spanish tapas. How can a pizza parlor compete?

I think Bostone is going to be just fine.

While dining, I checked in on Foursquare. I also chose to share my location on Twitter. Within an hour, Bostone sought me out and recognized my patronage. Trust me; this sort of thing makes a difference. I think that many of Boston’s plugged-in professionals and undergraduates would agree.  

The next time I’m looking for lunch in downtown, I think I’ll try Bostone’s Mediterranean with extra feta.

How Not to Write a Press Release

February 18th, 2010

Big news hit the world of heavy music today, as Carl Severson and Paul Conroy – founding owners of Ferret Music – announced the formation of  Good Fight Entertainment, a sports and music management company that will also act as a record label.

That is the long and short of it. I advise you to take my word for it too. The reason? Well, the press release for this announcement is borderline unreadable.

What went wrong? Well, a few things. Let’s take a look:

1. Not Making Each Word Count

At almost 1000 words, this release is too long. Did we really need a full paragraph explaining that this new company plans on having a website and a Facebook page?  Also, I understand the point of endorsements by opinion-makers, but a quote from hardcore legend Freddy Cricien discussing Madball’s career is completely off topic. It should not have been included in this release.

2. Jargon

Buzz words are sometimes necessary, but I think we have a case of overkill on our hands. Take a look at the following excerpt:

“Pioneers in the hardcore and metal scenes, and former partners at Ferret Music, Warner Music and ChannelZERO, Conroy and Severson have proven track records for innovative thinking and unwavering tenacity. Their abundance of experience has taught them how to spot cutting edge talent and propel them into the spotlight.”

Terms like “innovative,” “unwavering tenacity,” and “cutting edge,” reek of contrivance and continue to hide the facts that are really important. The term “cutting edge” is even used again in the very next paragraph.

Perhaps the biggest issue here is that the name of this endeavor is not made very clear. Most of the release refers to it as “Good Fight Music.” However, there are instances where it is referred to as “Good Fight Entertainment.” I have found pages on social networking sites referring to it as “Good Fight Records.”  Are these all the same thing? Can the names be used interchangeably? When your reader is confused, you are in trouble!

3. Unanswered Questions

Last but not least, there is an unfortunate lack of information here. This announcement is newsworthy because Conroy and Severson founded Ferret Music – one of the biggest labels in the history of the hardcore/metal music scene. So…what’s going on with Ferret right now? Has it ceased to exist? If not, who is running it? The label is home to a slew of bands not mentioned as artists who will be releasing music under the Good Fight Music name. Have their contracts been terminated? Even a nonfan has to wonder what has become of the label that launched these men’s careers.

I did not write this to attack Ferret, Good Fight Entertainment/Good Fight Music or anyone involved. After all, this is huge news. Two hardcore/metal pioneers are branching out in a new direction. Hardcore stalwarts like Madball and Disembodied have a new label to call home. In many ways, this is another step towards the legitimate recognition of heavy music.

Though the bottom line still stands; I was ready to stop reading this press release by the third paragraph and this is coming from a fan. I imagine a journalist’s attention span would expire much sooner.

Hipster Journalism: A Case Study

January 13th, 2010

I’m up for reading snarky pop culture pieces as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t mean that some hipster journalist has the right to assassinate anyone’s character they choose.

The latest piece to burst out of the bohemian media gates comes from James Montgomery of MTV news. On the heels of Mark McGwire’s admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs, Montgomery decided to list several figures in the music industry who he believes are steroid users. Among them was Dillinger Escape Plan front man, Greg Puciato. Montgomery explains:

“The diminutive wailer for New Jersey spazzers Dillinger Escape Plan is ripped enough for a man five-times his size, and though he’s denied using steroids (he chalks his physique up to “eat[ing] a lot of protein and work[ing] out a lot”), we’re still not entirely convinced. Then again, positively destroying the stage on a nightly basis has to have some benefits, right?”

Puciato, who subscribes to the belief that “sometimes pacifism is simply being lazy,” responded to the accusation by issuing a statement to Noisecreep.com, decrying the allegation and giving its author a piece of his mind.

Montgomery soon realized the consequences of his actions after no doubt being scorched by legions of DEP fans.  He eventually reached out to Puciato via Twitter early Wednesday morning and not only apologized, but offered to write a retraction.  Strangely enough, Montgomery also tried to explain that his article was never intended to insinuate anyone was using steroids, but that is a story for another day…

While Montgomery is not exactly a reporter for the New York Times, his piece still lacked common sense and decency.  There is nothing funny about unfounded accusations of drug use.  One might wonder why he even wrote the article and question how much he actually believed in it since he was so quickly willing to apologize for it. Was it a looming deadline? A case of writer’s block? Maybe a good old fashion lapse in judgment? The world may never know.

What do you think?

Update

Montgomery has added an amendement to his article. In it, he issus an apology and attempts to explain his actions.

To err is human; to forgive is divine.

Meghan McCain Strikes Again!

October 16th, 2009

I have shared my thoughts on Meghan McCain before and her latest media flair up reinforces my previous opinion.

For those not in the know, Meghan is back in the spotlight only this time it doesn’t stem from an appearance on cable television.

CNN summarizes:

“Meghan McCain is breaking her silence following a wave of media attention over a picture she posted on Twitter Wednesday night.

The revealing picture of herself in a tank top, which left little to the Twitterverse’s imagination, immediately drew harsh criticism from other tweeters, prompting an upset McCain to declare of the social networking Web site, “What once was fun now just seems like a vessel for harassment.”

The photo in question featured a curvaceous McCain in her weekday evening attire. I will not be sharing it here, but it can be found with a simple Google search. She has now taken to her blog at the Daily Beast to proclaim that she is not a “slut,” and to defend her actions.

McCain is certainly not a “slut.” Anyone saying otherwise I do not agree with, so let’s just get that out of the way right now.

However, that does not changes the fact that she willingly shared this photo and attached no thought of the repercussions.  Perhaps she is still is having a bit of difficulty navigating the world of media relations?

McCain willingly shared a photo that contained sexual connotations and that inevitably is going to cause media interest. In her blog she makes mention of the sexual double standard that exists in the media and I completely agree with her. However, McCain doesn’t exactly go out of her way to remind us that she has a history of contributing to the same double standard she is now condemning. After all, she did publicly tout the effectiveness (and display her admiration) of Rep. Aaron Schocke’s decision to release photos of himself sans shirt!

So where does this leave us? Does McCain really have the right to decry a tactic that she once championed? What are your thoughts?

Please leave any sexist or political comments at the door…

 

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A "Pundit" Gets Burned on National Television

June 25th, 2009

I am in complete awe of Meghan McCain’s disgraceful appearance recently on Real Time with Bill Maher…and I’m not even talking about politics!

A little background, courtesy of the Huffington Post:

“It all got started during a discussion of George Bush, who McCain acknowledged was a less than perfect president. But McCain also pointed a finger at the Obama administration in Bush’s defense, saying she felt that the Obama administration “has to stop completely blaming everything on its predecessor.” When Maher asked McCain if she really thought this is what Obama is doing, McCain said “I do to a degree.” A clearly annoyed Begala immediately shook his head and said “not to enough of a degree, I’m sorry not nearly enough.” He then began to explain how President Reagan blamed Jimmy Carter for years, to which McCain responded blithely “you know I wasn’t born yet so I wouldn’t know.” Going in for the kill, Begala fired back “I wasn’t born during the French Revolution but I know about it.”

Let’s face some facts here. Meghan McCain is the daughter of a well known Republican senator from Arizona…and that is it. She is not a political pundit and as she displayed, has no understanding of policy or history.

I truly respect what the Republican Party media relations people are trying to do here. Ms. McCain is a young face that has the potential to attract a whole slew of young folks who would normally not give the GOP a second look. However, this is only true if given the right opportunities and this television appearance was not one of them. She was sent out on national television without a moment of preparation from advisors and as a result looked like a deer caught in headlights.

Watching her try and run for cover whenever she got in over her head was more cringe-worthy than a Curb Your Enthusiasm marathon.

I do have to give credit to Ms. McCain for even appearing on the show. But her lack of preparation and the damaging results truly highlights a media relations effort gone the way of the buffalo.