Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

May 7, 2013

Wonder what Warren says about housing?

Housing is one of my passions. All aspects: dwelling, investing, rehabbing, decorating, the market’s impact on our local, national and global economies, etc.

Well, Warren Buffet recently shared his thoughts about the housing market.

Here’s what he said: :


January 21, 2013

PR stunt with lots of bounce.

This is a great PR stunt by a terrific singer songwriter. Worth checking out his music, in addition to the story!–corin-raymond-finances-new-album-with-stacks-of-canadian-tire-money

January 15, 2013

Lance, the first cut isn’t the deepest

Yes, yes. Armstrong is an amazing athlete, marketer, inspiration and…liar. He only said as much as he need to in this interview, leaving tons of things under the rug still, because he WANTS something – TO COMPETE AGAIN. He’s cautiously selecting the less of two evils. This is not sincere. This is calculated and orchestrated. Of course. He’s running a business now, and is actually doing some smart things in that regard. But, his “business” is based on HIM. And L.A. is not repairing his image or coming clean in a way that will win hearts, but instead in way that wins points – much like the events he’s so smartly won. Glad to hear he won’t testify against other riders. Curious to see who else falls.


December 26, 2012

Use wire services with eyes wide open…

I just read this article and have some opinions to share.

“Tuesdays Still “Best” Time to Send a Release, Your Mileage May Vary”

I agree. However, be aware that posting a release on any wire service provides limited benefits. It will: a. secure a handful (if you’re lucky) of meaningful “real” links on good online news sites; b. potentially result in your release getting picked up by vertical trade media that re-run the release, run an abbreviated version or create their own stories; and c: ensure your release is findable / pop up in searches (be sure to imbed three to five key search terms with links). Ninety percent of the links a wire service feeds back to you last a few days and are of NO benefit. They are buried in non-findable, non-searchable sections of these online news sites. BTW: I have found that PR Newswire is the worst value of all wire services. (I have a terrific, real-life example to support this opinion.) However, a good wire service can deliver a, b and c. And, using a wire service can be a good part of your PR efforts. Just don’t rely on it to deliver a huge punch unless you’re a big-name company.

December 12, 2012

The Most Effective Storylines for Marketing

Excellent advice. Read it. As relevant to media relations as investor relations. Make sure you have a good story to tell about your company, initiative, new partnership, etc. Use these seven themes as guidelines.

December 5, 2012

Latest coverage we secured for our client, Benevolent…

Crain’s Chicago Business

Megan Kashner takes Benevolent giving to the next level

By Shia Kapos December 05, 2012

Jessie is homeless and wants a laptop to help him look for work. Alisha needs car repairs so she can take her children to school. Megan Kashner is linking up Jessie and Alisha with donors who want to know the people they’re helping.

Ms. Kashner is CEO of, an online venture she started a year ago this month. It allows donors to view the personal stories of people with one-time needs and give to their causes. It’s similar to other cyber-giving efforts (Desiree Vargas Wrigley talks about Giving Tuesday here) but instead of looking for big-ticket donations, Benevolent focuses on smaller needs.

In the case of Jessie, three donors have committed $60 toward the $555 effort. Both Jessie and Alisha have a Dec. 15 deadline to raise the needed funds. If the goals aren’t met, donors want their monies pushed to another good cause. The recipients are featured in videos and have been vetted by social service and nonprofit agencies that aren’t able to meet their needs.


“It’s all about a filling the gaps of the safety net,” says Ms. Kashner, who has worked in nonprofits for many years, most recently at the Taproot Foundation, an organization that helps nonprofits market themselves.

“There are so many instances in which a low-income individual faces a challenge or hurdle that would only cost $200 or $400 to get past. But when they can’t get past that hurdle, it sets them back and ends up costing our social safety net thousands of dollars and disappointments,” Ms. Kashner says over oatmeal at Le Peep, a restaurant near her office in Evanston.

On one side, she says, “we’ve got all these low-income individuals who but for $200, $500, could be moving forward toward their goals and toward sustainability.” And on the other, “we’ve got people who have the ability to give, who are increasingly making it clear to us they want to know who they’re helping, how they’re helping and exactly what’s happening with their dollars. With today’s technology we can make that possible.”

Benevolent’s crowd-sourcing approach to philanthropy recently grabbed the attention of the White House, which invited her to be present along with seven other panelists at a forum on innovation and philanthropy.

In the next six months, Benevolent will expand to other cities across the country.

Ms. Kashner hopes one day to see the effort to zero in on individual needs become so common that you might be standing in line at the grocery store, and instead of a checker asking “Would you like to donate to prostate cancer?” they’d ask, “Would you like to give to help Joe down the street?”

October 17, 2012

Something very important was missing from the second presidential debate.

Great, lively debate. Lots of punches thrown and landed. However, I am amazed how absent the environment is to much of the broader debate, particularly the talk about energy. Energy: security, independence, abundance, etc. Good points. And, yes…jobs and the economy. We heard what the majority of Americans are most concerned about. The problem is most Americans aren’t concerned with one of the greatest threats we face: global warming. More specifically: melting ice, rising sea levels, a warming planet, food insecurity, erratic weather (notice an increase recently in hurricanes and tornados anyone?), skin cancer, etc. The negative impact and cost of climate change (and, folks, we’re past the tipping point), will make ALL of the issues discussed tonight, combined, seem like a problem equal to freeing our sidewalks of discarded gum by comparison. Ok, that’s extreme. Add overall litter on front lawns, too 😉

September 13, 2012

The Perils of Autopilot Positioning and How to Avoid Them

An article I wrote explaining the difference between strong positioning and spin was published on 9/11/12 by TalentZoo.

Here’s the beginning…check out the full piece at:

The Perils of Autopilot Positioning and How to Avoid Them

The public relations profession is sometimes ridiculed for our (perceived) tendency to over-position or, dare I say, “spin” issues — from how we share news with employees to how and what we share with media.

When done appropriately, the skill to position something in a more positive light is valuable and necessary. We need not apologize for it. On the deeper level, we dig for the facts and weave compelling stories. On the daily level, we position.

Nearly everyone in every profession positions requests, their background, you name it — from job interviews (both sides of the table) to sharing bad news to making our cases for promotions or new assignments. Even outside of work, think about how you approach your children about doing their chores, teaching them a valuable lesson or how you say sorry to your spouse or significant other.

However, there can be a tendency to do what I call “autopilot positioning.” This is an almost instinctual drive to immediately frame an issue a certain way (typically to suit one’s needs) without first giving the necessary thought it deserves.

Be careful…

Full text:

November 22, 2010

Tangible Benefits of Good-Guy Leaders.

Peel back a layer or two, and the companies you likely love doing business with are run by good people (NOT just good managers).

Kindness is contagious, and that applies within organizational structures, too.  In fact, when top management emphasizes it as a corporate value AND backs it up by actually treating its people the way they want them to treat the customer/client, then you have something real and sustainable.

The exact opposite is also very true.  Here’s a GREAT example of a top leader leading (and emphasizing kindness and service) by example, the CEO of Wyndham.

August 3, 2010

The Upside of Blagomania!

Many curious eyes are watching the next (yet hardly the last) chapter of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s exploits. This one is in the court of law, and we are about to learn what 12 of our fellow citizens collectively have to say about Blago’s future.

What verdict do you predict will be handed down?  Regardless, Illinois has once again made a national name for itself via political corruption.  However, I prefer to be positive, to see the bright side.

And what exactly is positive about all of this?  I am glad you asked.  Here is my top-10 list:

1)    Barbers everywhere will likely never have to create the Blagodome style again;

2)    Chicago’s struggling news media are surely selling more ads during the trial as readership, viewership and listenership have increased;

3)    Chicago is that much more of an attractive place to film movies about the mob and political thrillers;

4)    Political cartoonists, late-night talk-show hosts, comedians, Republicans and reality TV viewers are having some good fun;

5)    The term “Blago” is a joy to say…and, we get to say it a lot these days;

6)    Lucky bidders will take home some of Blago’s personal belongings when his five storage lockers full of stuff are auctioned off due to not paying his bill for the last year (I just hope some of the $400,000 worth of fancy clothes are part of the stash);

7)    We finally have a politician who truly LOOKS like a mobster (the black jogging suit);

8)    The next governor will know which corruption tricks to avoid during his or her rein;

9)    Illinois voters may finally see some efficiencies in government if Blago and former Governor Ryan share a jail cell; and

10) We are sure to see more of lovely and very entertaining Patti Blagojevich on reality TV, as she will likely become the family’s primary breadwinner.

Please feel free to add to this list via the comments section on this blog!