“Balk the enemy’s power; force him to reveal himself.” Sun Tzu

(this will take some rehearsal, but it will be totally worth it)

Step 1) During a live televised debate, while Trump is in mid-sentence, Jeb! slowly, painfully, dramatically turns toward Donald J. Trump and says, “is that a sexual euphemism?”. The twittersphere would start asking, “what did Trump say that Bush heard as a naughty innuendo, a filthy double entendre, a salacious foe paw? The press, who live and breath in Twitter ether, would pick it up and start asking the same question – “what perverted thing did Trump say that we missed that Jeb! got?” At the same time, live on stage, Trump would be, “wha? wtf? sexual euphemism? What kind of perverted mind do you have? euphemism? This Yale flunkie is using big words he doesn’t know the meaning of (translation: Trump doesn’t). etc.,” and the debate would continue because Trump will want to talk, talk, talk, talk… about himself.

Miss USA wins Miss Universe 2012
A handout picture provided by the Miss Universe Organization on 20 December 2012 shows the newly crowned Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo (R), posing with US business magnate and Miss Universe organizer Donald Trump (L) during the press conference after the 2012 Miss Universe Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 19 December 2012. EPA/VALERIE MACON / MISS UNIVERSE ORGANIZATION

Step 2) An hour or so later, after the toss away “sexual euphemism” question had time to percolate in the partisans’ and pundits’ forever-questioning minds (with veiled tactical help from digital allies), when reporters finally have Jeb! cornered, at least ONE reporter will have to ask, “what sexual euphemism were you referring to, Governor Bush?” That’s when Jeb! gets Trumpesque and gives back cold what we’ve all been getting served piping hot for months.  Jeb! calmly lights up a political cheap shot fatty and takes a big, glowing hit of misdirection and spin like a boss:

“With all the scandals about women, his abusing them, the violence, the misogyny, the “beauty pageants” (Jeb! air quotes for emphasis), the bankruptcies, references to menstruation, shutting down the Internet – it’s hard to know what he means. Not even Al Gore knows what he means. He’ll kill entire families? Including grandparents and cousins? Just Muslim families or would he take out Mexican families, too? You know, it’s reported he’s a terrible cheater in golf. Uses the young boys like in Caddyshack. Just like in politics, he’s a hacker wannabe in a Rolls Royce golf cart. If he had to play an honest links game, Obama would humiliate him on the front and back nine – even his own casinos would give the President odds.  Okay – let’s call it a misunderstanding. But that’s the problem isn’t it?  Who can believe a word he says? (MIKE DROP – END INTERVIEW!).

Step 3) Jeb’s staff immediately supplies reporters with a five page list, single spaced and numbered just like a legal document so that reporters can reference the allegation easier, of all the lies he’s told that starts with a fucking “bone spur” in his fucking foot so he could get a fucking medical deferment – after already getting several education deferments to attend his daddy-payed-for private military prep school – so he wouldn’t be drafted to fight in Vietnam, the fucking pussyshit chickenhawk racist son-of-a-bitch. After denigrating a genuine war hero, a man who put his own life on the line in the skies of North Viet Nam fighting for his country, who made Americans proud in his conduct as a prisoner of war subject to inhuman tortue, Donald J. Trump would just as quickly leave his “buddies” in a rice paddy foxhole alone than even join the fucking U.S. Coast Guard. That’s our nation’s Republican Party today.  Tawdry.

candidates7 

If an American only needs one reason why Hillary is more qualified to be President of the United States and Commander-In-Chief, it’s Trump.

Here’s where The Donald and I agree. The Republican candidates for president are piles of putrefying American bald eagle guano if they can’t take him out and certainly don’t deserve to be their party’s nominee. While tough-talking former federal prosecutor Christy can shout down a political enemy in a news conference, he’s still not a heavy-enough hitter to shut down The Donald. I call that false advertising. It’s nice to see Fiorina get in some jabs, but everyone and their mother knows the failed corporate titan/senate candidate is no match for a Clinton. Like them or hate them, Clintons eat up little trolls like her for lunch. Rubio? He can’t even show up much less get in the ring. Cruz? Straw man walking! Do I even have to describe Dr. Carson? Okay – political malpractice, for God’s sake. A Surgeon General appointment if he’s lucky. Nobody else counts except the most qualified – Senator Graham. There, I said it. He can’t win, but he’d be the best president of the Hardy Boys and girl.

mark-bowden-playboy-donald-trump-1996
Donald J. Trump perched on a parrot sculpture in his Mar-a-Lago estate in May, 1996, by Brian Smith/Corbis.

No, Trump is going down uuuuuuuuuuuge but it won’t be by the Republicans. They don’t have a party left. Like so many badass rebel factions fighting al-Assad’s army, Republicans have plenty of guns but no real power, much less authority, to lead. Proof: they soundly criticize the Pentegon and the President and will debate bombing ISIS for two hours on cable TV, but can’t lift their index finger enough to vote in Congress to authorize the use of military force. Apparently, their responsibility hasn’t gotten out of committee, yet. That’s America’s definition of leadership? It’s like back-seat driving an Indy car – turn left, left, left. Go faster, faster, faster! Pit! Pit! Pit! 

hug from malia

I blame the Democrats. In specific, I blame Obama’s two campaigns against the Republicans that splintered them into fragments. This isn’t good for our nation’s political health. We are better with a viable two-party system that balances one another through compromise and patriotism. But, it’s the price we are paying for Democrats winning the White House.

It’s not like it doesn’t come with a few perks.

  • Osama bin Ladin is having caviar with Sponge Bob at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, for starters.
  • We aren’t in a global economic freefall. That’s something.
  • We argue tirelessly over how four Americans were murdered by terrorists in a distant outpost in North Africa instead of solemnly burying three thousands of our fellow citizens because we didn’t take a PDB titled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike U.S” seriously enough.
  • We have an American automobile industry.
  • Nobody redecorated the White House in gold leaf. Yet.

That said, imagine if Romney were president and he had imposed on him (because even a Republican president can’t get bills through the Congress) Tea Party policies – again. War with somebody – anybody, really – and blithely carefree spending mostly made up of draconian social austerity and inflated defense budgets. Thank you, but no thank you – I’ll take my Obama medicine rather than catch neocon fever again. Clinton vs. Trump. It’ll be uuuuuuuuuuuuuge.

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Please note: Top photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images from SLATE article “On energy, Republican candidates sound a lot like Obama.” by Eric Holthaus.

Seven Publicity Tricks

Any business can generate publicity for themselves.  It takes creativity, diplomacy and patience.  It not “who you know” it’s “how you say it” that makes the difference.
We’ve included seven go-to publicity tips to help with the creativity.  These are very common business story angles that journalists look for when deciding what to report.  So, what does diplomacy and patience have to do with publicity?
It is very easy for us to get caught up in our own enthusiasm for our business.  This is a good thing.  Reporters like enthusiasm and passion.  In fact, if our clients aren’t passionate about what they do and how they do it, we don’t take the account.  Passion is key – if it’s combined with diplomacy.
Journalists are very busy workers.  They are under a tremendous amount of pressure from their editors and producers to generate compelling, newsworthy stories.  Moreover, they have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of story pitches and press releases being thrown their way by passionate advocates for their own cause.  Some of the people contacting them are more aggressive than others.   Diplomacy can help you rise to the top compared to amateurs who can become pushy when a journalist doesn’t call them back much less cover their story. Yes, it can be frustrating, but it’s all part of the process.  Be diplomatic.
Often, a journalist will be able to fit your story in later – not now.  So you also have to be patient and continue to feed the journalists story ideas month after month.  Soon enough – one will be the right topic at the right time.  This is why it’s important to be consistent with your publicity over time.  Help the journalist write about you when they have a demand for a story, not when you have a demand for a story to be written.
Here are some ideas:
  1. Be the first, newest, oldest, biggest, smallest, etc. and explain why this is important.
  2. Introduce something new or improved and focus on key benefits or problems it solves.
  3. Announce anniversaries and stage a special event to celebrate.
  4. Announce a new member of your team and how they will change the way you do business.
  5. Win an award. Of course, you have to find them and apply, but third-party recognition are great tools.
  6. Announce a new major client – the bigger the better. Another third-party endorsement.
  7. Offer to be an expert on a specific topic or event. Journalists always need quotes from experts. Help them out and they’ll put you in an article.

How To Be Newsworthy

Basic tools and methods for making you newsworthy.
What is your message and who cares? Develop your story inspirebased on who you affect. Your core audience are the people to whom you are newsworthy. Before this is useful, we must answer an even more fundamental question is: what is news?
It’s hard to say anymore. Many argue that the size of a man’s hands isn’t news, but it was.  Who died and made that person in charge of “news?” In the age of hard news, soft news, fake news, weird news and who-knows-if-it’s-news news, we all have to make educated guesses as to what is newsworthy to general and specialized audiences. One way to do this by creating “personas.”
“Personas” are fictitious examples of generic clients, customers, constituents. They are our generic definition of the people who care the most about our messages. Personas guide timingus into gaining a deeper understanding the clients’, customers’ or constituents’ point-of-view. They put us into their head so we communicate more clearly and convey our brand promise more effectively.

To invite journalists to cover a story, I send a “media advisory” and then either pitch (call and talk) to the station assignment desks or the producers depending on the story, lead time and topic. Our goal is to help our clients get their message out. We do so by making our focus to help the news departments inform the public of important topics and trends. So, if the news people don’t view our client’s story as newsworthy, we trust their judgement, adjust and try again later.

We advise clients to monitor the news and look critically for showing bookstories that seem to be related to their industry or that compliment their story.  A pet store may see an animal rescue and step in to provide free food for whomever adopts the animal. A manufacturer may see a change in the economic environment reported and anticipate increased/decrease of sales and jobs. A restaurant anticipate a holiday or seasonal event that is frequently covered under general community news – like St. Patrick’s Day or the Superbowl. Once we see these types of stories, we can then research the reporter further, establish an online or email connection to share the story.
Often, being newsworthy often takes creative persistence. But, like all success, it tends to be a function of preparation meeting opportunity. Prepare yourself to be newsworthy and you will succeed.

Why Hire a Publicist?

It is common for non-PR people to not have a clue how a publicist can improve your business’s bottom-line.  Even when they intuitively know that getting mentioned in news reports (ie: magazines, newspapers, popular blogs and television) has much higher credibility and impact, it’s often difficult to imagine anything you or your company is doing is news worthy.  We get it.  But keep an open mind and take a look at you from our perspective for a moment…

Modern Publicity defines public communications using four distinct segments (ADDD):

  • Awareness (if no one knows you exist, they can’t buy/hire you)
  • Differentiation (if you’re like everyone else, there’s no reason to buy/hire you)
  • Decision (if you don’t give people a specific, timely reason to hire/buy, they typically delay the decision)
  • Delivery (if you don’t deliver what you promise (your brand), you won’t keep old customers or acquire new ones).

Given this, publicity is a powerful communication tactic to do one or more specific ADDD goals.  The results must be measurable. This doesn’t simply mean you see more news about yourself  and your business, it means we work with you to ensure you see bottom-line results such as more customers coming through the doors, more referrals and more sales.  But the question is begged; even if you know a publicist can raise awareness, distinguish you from you competitors and give shoppers or prospects a reason to buy today, what is it that a publicist can do about it?

Putting aside the tactic of self-publicity (social networking), I’ve begun a list of things we quiz you about in order to reveal a newsworthy ‘hook.’  An important value we bring to the table is understanding how difficult it is to get into the news cycle and what reporters are looking for in order to cover you.  Sometimes we create a news event, such as a press conference, an award or a special event, or we’ll define your product or service in relationship to an existing newsworthy trend or event.  To see specific examples of our work, you’re invited to visit our newsroom.   But here are some things that we use to generate interest and mostly links to Google searches for ‘news’ using the term:

  1. Grand opening
  2. New product
  3. New service
  4. New staff
  5. New idea
  6. New partnership
  7. New study (that relates to your business)
  8. New song (for recording artists)
  9. New book (for authors or that relates to your business)
  10. New video
  11. New law (proposed or actual that relates to your business)
  12. New controversy
  13. New invention (it doesn’t have to be yours)
  14. To Be Continued…

Here’s the truth: you don’t need to know how a publicist can improve your business.  What you need to know is a good publicist.  Let US describe what you have that is newsworthy and then get you covered and integrate into a comprehensive marketing communications campaign.  That’s our job.

Facebook apps we might like

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Working from Oakland, California, the North Social group claims to be ‘easy-to-use applications that enable anyone to quickly create and manage a custom Facebook page.’   Apps are priced from $19 a month and offer a free 14-day test run.
  • MailChimp is an E-Newsletter system like Constant Contact, but it’s free for the first 12,000 emails per month to a list of 2,000 subscribers.  We like free a lot.
  • Pagemodo is an app that let’s you very easily and quickly create a custom welcome tab on your Facebook page.  The free version just puts a link to the pagemodo website at the bottom.  They even let you create a video welcome.
  • Our friend Diego is really jazzed about Huddle which also offers a 14-day free trial and starts at $15 per user/per month to manage projects, files and people in the cloud.  When it rains, it pours, eh?
  • This one claims to get signed up in 20 seconds.  Okay – wait here.  Let me time them….  Holy app crunchers, WildFire App wasn’t lying.  I’ve got access to getaway sweepstakes, fan quiz, travel photo contest and other promotions.  Not what a PR agency needs but perhaps what a PR agency’s clients need.  Nice.
  • Finally, fanapps claims to be ‘the most popular integrated suite of applications for social media marketing.’  Oh, really?  Again, what’s nice is they have a free version to see what the hullabalu is all about.

Do us a favor, if you use, or have used, any of these apps, let us know how they worked for you.  If you would like us to help set you up with any, well, you know where to find us.  And, if you want even more information on other apps, we got all our info from this informationweek article.