May 17, 2013
by Dan Ward
The Mainstream Media is ignoring a scandalous story of government overreach, a tyrannical example of bureaucracy run amok, not to mention a grammatical affront to the English language.
As the Wall Street Journal points out in its A-Hed column today, the Domestic Names Committee of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (yes, that actually exists) has a thing against apostrophes.
The brave patriots in the town of Thurman, NY, are discovering that the black-hatted Committee’s (er, Committees) members have declared war on the apostrophe, coldly deciding that a soon to be renamed mountain will never carry the name Jimmy’s Peak (or Jimmie’s Peak or James’ Peak, for that matter).
You might think the culprits are merely low-level functionaries, but the Journal report uncovers an uncomfortable and scandalous truth. According to the Board on Geographic Names, some 250,000 apostrophes have been “scrubbed” from federal maps since 1890.
I find it shocking that no publication aside from the Journal has dared to cover this breaking story. Surely, the Today’s News Herald of Lake Havasu, the Investor’s Business Daily or the Coeur d’Alene Press should jump on this story.
Our nation’s founders, who saw fit to use an apostrophe in the very first sentence of our Declaration of Independence, would be appalled to learn that our government has claimed possession of the possessive.
April 23, 2013
by Kim Taylor
For the public relations industry there are no doubt dozens of lessons to be learned from the Boston Bomber tragedy … from crisis communications to media relations to the use of social media … it’s a communicator’s dream or nightmare scenario depending on which story you reference.
But, in perhaps the most unexpected twist, instead of issuing a fine to Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz, aka, Big Papi, the FCC is standing behind the player’s heartfelt—albeit less than eloquent— message to Bostonians.
If you haven’t seen it, cover your kids’ ears and push play.
Sometimes, rules are meant to be broken.
April 9, 2013
by Kim Taylor
We all know pork as “the other white meat” … the hugely successful ad campaign from the 80s still resonates today. But, not enough I guess for consumers who apparently still fumble when trying to decipher the pork chop from the butt. I’ll admit, when I’m selecting pork chops, it comes down to two things: bone or no bone.
If the National Pork Board (yes; it’s is a real thing) has its way, the pig will take a page out of the cow’s book leaving consumers with a whole new menu of choices using an already familiar nomenclature—Pork Loin Chops become Pork Porterhouse Chops and Pork Top Loin Chops become Pork New York Chops, and so on.
The Pork Board has done its research and is providing retailers with a whole range of tools to encourage success including a labeling system that takes it one step further by telling the consumer the best way to cook their particular cut of meat—another nod to the beef industry—after all, who doesn’t know the best way to cook a filet?
Only time will tell whether this naming campaign is a success, but for now there’s only one thing left to say … that’ll do pig, that’ll do.
April 2, 2013
by Kim Taylor
When I was younger, “Where’s Waldo?” was hugely popular. I was probably a smidge older than the typical demographic, but I had every book and would spend hours thumbing through the pages looking for the red-and-white-striped character.
Save for the red and white, I felt an instant feeling of nostalgia when I opened OrlandoSentinel.com today.
I get it; ads pay the bills, but where’s the news?
December 27, 2012
by Roger Pynn
This is the time of year when people in our business look through their crystal ball (or the one on their client’s desk) to see what’s ahead for the coming year … not only because our friends in the media love “crystal ball stories” about the year ahead, but because it is time to finalize plans.
Journalists look to public relations people every year for interviews with executives on the economy, local and national issues, hiring projections and the like. Predictions are simply good fodder for news people.
But far more important are the plans we put in place to help clients communicate. Strategies are useless without timelines, budgets and tactical requirements. Our teams are busy reviewing those elements right now for and with our clients.
At the same time, they are scanning the environment to see if there are things our clients can see on the horizon. And it strikes me that there are things on the horizon that we in public relations and marketing communications must be aware of and that our clients and employers will have to be mindful of:
- Targeted communications will take on new meaning as even the most senior executive has to adapt to the power of personal digital technology … seniority will no longer be an excuse for failure to participate in the world of social media. All of us have to pay attention to the conversations that involve us.
- Being a good place to work will be essential to employee retention … as the economy continues to improve and workers see opportunity, your reputation as an employer who offers unique opportunity will set you apart and make it more likely they will realize the grass is already greener right where they are.
- Positive messages are always the most powerful … and on the heels of a brutal political season, we’d all be well-advised to find ways to make people feel good about the world we live in if we want them to do business with us.
December 4, 2012
by Kim Taylor
We’re sticklers for grammar, style and punctuation at C&P. Documents are proofread, proofread and sometimes proofread again. With all of that attention to detail, sometimes mistakes still happen.
I imagine that’s what happened with the copywriters at Z Gallerie—they’re probably wishing their family of typos were under the cover of darkness, or maybe hiding in that layer of the earth between the crust and the core …
October 24, 2012
by Roger Pynn
Consumer trends are a strange force. We’ve seen liquor consumption plummet as drinkers took to wine. We’ve gone from watching “the three networks” to relationships with dozens of cable channels tailored to our specific interests. And, of course, we throw away perfectly good clothes (or, hopefully donate them to charity) as fashions change like the seasons.
But this trend may be the one that historians talk about for generations.
Just as we’ve studied the Ice Age, the Industrial Age and the Space Age, this makes one wonder if there will one day be an age called The Uninformed Age.
October 5, 2012
by Roger Pynn
I wrote the other day about the value of owning your mistakes. Apple CEO Tim Cook did just that when he owned up to the problems with the new map app for the iPhone 5, writing a letter that not only assumed responsibility for the problem but suggested his customers use someone else’s app until Apple gets it right.
Not if you look at the numbers.
CNET’s Casey Newton wrote today that after almost a week consumers seem to be sticking it out with Apple’s admittedly frustrating and substandard attempt to knock off Google’s map app. Cook went so far in his apology to suggest competing products iPhone owners could turn to (Bing and Waze, specifically) and even gave instructions on how to create a screen icon to link to Google’s Web app. Remember … this all started with Apple kicking Google Maps off the iPhone, where it has been since day one.
Newton reports that Bing and Waze got an initial spike in downloads, but much like a post-convention bounce for presidential candidates, everything seems to be returning to normal. Kudos to Tim Cook and his colleagues at Apple for owning the problem.