Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Too Bad We Are Judged In Death Too

Isn't it bad enough that our family and peers judge us when we are living?
I guess not, because recently I've learned that we get judged in death too.

I tried to place an obituary of an industry pioneer from the consumer electronics business a few weeks ago in the leading trade magazines. But because the present day editors didn't really know this unbelievable soul, he got a squib of a mention after I hounded them for days. The guy was in the industry for over 40 years and helped a lot of people and companies get rich. He branded his retail chain as a leading source for electronics and was a major, national volunteer for one of the best non-profits in the world.

The other day someone else in the industry died who was very kind, very young, very well-known and very well liked. She got the lead story in the trades.

Here is proof: It always is who you know and not what you know...in death, as well as in life.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Kentucky Fried Chicken Bashes Concerned Mom

I can take constructive criticism. What I can't take is criticism just to make someone else look good.

That is why I get so upset when Kentucky Fried Chicken runs that "ferkakte" (Yiddish for small time) TV commercial showing one
mom scorning another.

Allow me to set the scene: A young boy, around the age of 12, calls home to ask his mother if he can stay for dinner at his friend's house. The mother questions the son like a good mother should. She asks him if his friend's parents are home and if he will be eating dinner.

The son says yes and turns the phone over to his friend's mother for verification. The friend's mom confirms that they will be eating a wholesome supper. Not once does she say it is a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. She ends the conversation, turns around to her son's friend and gives him a smirk like "your mother is weird."

I watched this commercial several times to make sure I wasn't imagining something. The mother on the phone was questioning her son's security, not the content of the dinner. The friend's mother totally undermined her by trying to make herself look like a big shot.

Some big shot. She is a schtunk (Yiddish for lazy, do nothing) just like me. I do not cook, never have cooked, and have no plans for ever cooking. But you can be sure I would act like a mensch (nice person) and reinforce parental control.

I say next time serve a can of Chicken Soup. It cures everything.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Allow Me To Introduce You To The Delete Button

I am a publicist. I get paid to publicize. My agency uses e-mail, snail mail, telephone, faxes, digital press rooms, face to face meetings, CD ROM, DVD, USB drives, and more to distribute the news.

Most of the time we use e-mail blasts because it is the easiest way to reach hundreds, sometimes thousands, of writers in the most expeditious way.

I receive several thousand e-mails per day. It takes me less than 10 minutes to delete the ones I do not want.

I do not understand journalists (thank goodness there are only a handful of them) who get on this spam kick. They ask to be deleted from mailings because they do not want to be spammed.

The time it took them to ask me to remove them from our mailing lists certainly took 100 percent more time than what it would have been to just "delete."

I wonder what their bosses would think if they knew that their writers/editors did not want to receive information.

By asking to be cut from lists, you only cut yourself off in this world of digital communications.

Sure, you may not be interested in this particular news item, but who knows, the next one could be exactly what you need.

This morning Ned Colt called from NBC London asking to be taken off. A cross-Atlantic call instead of a simple delete.

I think that tells you something about a person. I am not going to say what.

At the most, he received three emails from us in the past month. 1, 2, 3, and he would have been rid of me. He choose to take 15 minutes out of his obvious, not busy schedule, to call and chat.

I rest my case.

I hope I get a lot of comments on this blog because I would love to debate spam any day of the week. I have been on both sides of the fence, editor and now a PR person.

Junk mail is a necessary evil. Get over it.