PR pros and triggering events: anticipate, create

May 3, 2010

Forgive me, but I’m feeling academic today.

Photo courtesy of BP

There’s a good chance President Obama’s plan to expand offshore drilling won’t go smoothly. You all know why.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a classic triggering event, and not a welcome one if your future is staked to the oil business. People are certain to change their views about offshore drilling as a result of this incident. Read the rest of this entry »


My interview at the Daily Dog

April 28, 2010

OK, this is a little self-serving, but if I don’t post the link, you might not see it. Honored to be the featured “thought leader” over at Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog this week. Thanks to Roxanna Guilford-Blake for asking great questions that helped me sound coherent.


Yahoo! It’s time to update your ‘Web site’ and maybe your style guide, too!

April 27, 2010

The AP Stylebook has always pissed me off.

It started in 1973 when my J-school professor insisted I spell “employe” with just one “e.” AP opted for the conventional spelling a few years later, but I still carry a grudge. Nevertheless, I enforce AP Style in the classroom. Always. Read the rest of this entry »


Millennial post is a tough act to follow

April 24, 2010

Last week’s post about the Millennials taught me a lesson.

The last 15 days were lookin' up.

The post shattered records for single-day traffic five times. I’m flattered by the attention, but I know it’s probably a one-time thing.

I don’t do posts outside my realm. I just stumbled onto a hot topic. Lots of folks liked it, I guess, and the conversation continues. Read the rest of this entry »


Dear Millennials: Your parents lied to you

April 20, 2010

You’re wonderful, sweetie. Just keep working hard and you can be anything you want to be. Great job! (soccer mom, 1992)

I’ve spent the past 15 years teaching and coaching the kids known as Millennials. Some call them GenY. I call them the “self esteem generation.” Millennials were raised by parents who showered them with praise and awarded them athletic trophies for just showing up. Their lives were over-programmed, their parents hovering.

Then they went to college. Read the rest of this entry »


Kent State takes a digital focus in Week #12

April 12, 2010

When you teach college courses, you count weeks. This is Week #12 of the spring semester, which means students and faculty are near maximum stress levels and, I hope, maximum productivity.

So it’s refreshing, during a crazy week, to welcome three hi-profile guests from the digital world. They include Chris Barr of Yahoo!, Phil Gomes of Edelman Digital, and Kyle Lacy, author of “Twitter Marketing for Dummies.” Read the rest of this entry »


Are PR pros tomorrow’s journalists? Ike Pigott explains the ‘embedded reporter’

April 8, 2010

I asked my students this week how news of the West Virginia mine disaster might have sounded if prepared entirely by the PR firm for Massey Energy, the mine’s owner.

Would we have learned about the 100+ safety violations at Upper Big Branch this year alone? Would we know about Massey’s environmental record in strip mining? Would the CEO’s arrogance toward the media have been highlighted? Probably not. But thanks to an independent news media, we’re getting a more balanced story.

Ike Pigott

Now, imagine a world where the mainstream media no longer have enough journalists to cover the news? Yeah. I know. We’re already there, aren’t we? But stick with me.

A thoughtful essay by Ike Pigott has me wondering and worrying about “The future of journalism.” The post scares me because it presents an all-too-real scenario. Read the rest of this entry »


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