Fraser Seitel on Becoming a Successful PR Professional

From SandraSays’s blog via twitter – Fraser Seitel on Becoming a Successful PR Professional.  Fraser Seitel is the author of The Practice of Public Relations. Excerpts from the video but skipping around a bit.

"Public Relations is the easiest profession in the world to get shuffled off to second class citizen status."

"What you want, what you must have, is a seat at the management table."

"You want to be appreciated for your contributions. How do you do that? I say it takes three things:"

  1. A knowledge base "you’ve got to be the best communicator around" "that means study"
  2. Experience "part of the job of a pr professional is learning about the organization"
  3. Judgement "you have to have judgement"

View the video of Fraser Seitel on Sandra’s site here.


The Frozen Pea Fund

This is a repost of many many blog posts on the subject of the Frozen Pea Fund. But it is simply too important not to talk about it.

Why Frozen Peas?

Here is Susan’s explanation, from Boobs on Ice, the blog she’s using to chronicle her cancer experience:

aWhen I discovered a very thick area in my breast I called the
doctor. The next day I was in her office. A half hour after that I was
in the diagnostic radiologist’s.

A full afternoon and multiple stab wounds later we had a variety
of samples of malignant tentacles of tissue that were on their way to
the lab.

I was in a little pain – it would increase as the local
anesthetic wore off – but left his office with a soft cold pack in my

To keep bleeding down & relieve pain I’d need to keep things
cool. Traditional ice packs are hard and heavy. As much as I try to be
a good sport I’m not into having a brick sitting on my chest.

Enter a bag of frozen peas.

(continue reading and get involved here)

Enabling Conversation through Blog Bars

An Interesting post over at TrendCentral on "Blog Bars". Banks of computers set up conveniently so if someone wants to talk about your brand, they can easily do so immediately. From the site:

Blogging on location

As a way to create a more engaging, interactive and creative way for consumers to experience brands, stores and events, expect to see more “blog bars“ (computer terminals which give the public the ability to post in real time and on location) to pop up in such settings. Consumers will have the opportunity to post fresh thoughts and reactions, pose questions, and receive immediate response.

This isn’t so different from the online concept of "badging" – having handy HTML that a blogger can copy to make it easier for them to talk about you. And it is a great idea.

Ed – Week 3 of Mustaches for Kids

  Ed – Week 3 
  Originally uploaded by deneyterrio

OK, tonight is the night. The stache-off of Mustaches for Kids Houston.

Saturday December 15
8 pm – 11pm
Stags Head Pub
2128 Portsmouth st
Houston TX 77098

It’s not too late to pledge me! All funds go to Texas Children’s Hospital. Jason is coordinating that. Feel free to post a comment as a pledge?

Per Jason make the checks out to "Texas Children’s Hospital" and indicate "tax deductible" in the memo field. Of course nobody itemizes anymore, but hey, if you did, that deduction would be cool.

Knols Authors will be Biased, but Wikipedia is Crazy

  The Entrepreneur 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul

Google announced "knols",
which is a site where people can contribute on topics, or knols, they
are familiar with. Very similar to Wikipedia. The google blog describes
knols as:

… a new, free tool that we are calling "knol", which stands for a
unit of knowledge. Our goal is to encourage people who know a
particular subject to write an authoritative article about it.

key idea behind the knol project is to highlight authors. Books have
authors’ names right on the cover, news articles have bylines,
scientific articles always have authors — but somehow the web evolved
without a strong standard to keep authors names highlighted. We believe
that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better
use of web content.


All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors.
We hope that knols will include the opinions and points of view of the
authors who will put their reputation on the line. Anyone will be free
to write. For many topics, there will likely be competing knols on the
same subject. Competition of ideas is a good thing.

Now – first I do agree that the zealots at wikipedia are a bit crazy. For example the Houston Technology Center as I write this does NOT have a wikipedia page?
Do they add it themselves and get yelled at for bias? How is this
problem solved? Wikipedia has no facility to solve it beyond hoping a
non-HTC person adds the page and then vets it for bias. So this model,
while obviously powerful and prolific, has obvious flaws.

Knols on the other hand takes the dangerous step of revenue sharing with the authors.

Continue reading “Knols Authors will be Biased, but Wikipedia is Crazy”

CareFlash at Netsquared Houston tonight

Just you don’t have any plans for, oh, about two and a half hours from now, the Houston Netsquared meetup is tonight at the Stag’s Head Pub.

December Net2: Social networking with Jay Drayer and Careflash
Stag’s Head Pub
2128 Portsmouth St
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 521-2333
Get directions

And the topic is:

This month we’ll be chatting with Jay Drayer, founder of
Houston-based social network Careflash. Jay will talk to us about
utilizing online networks in medical and healthcare sense and walk us
through his very cool CareFlash social site.

Learn how
Facebook, Myspace and YouTube are NOT addressing a specific audience’s
needs – when it comes major medical events (celebratory and difficult
alike) and providing free, reliable healthcare info for friends, family
and patients.

As usual we will be in the back room and have adult beverages (read "free beer") for attendees. I have gotten to know Jay and he is very passionate about this topic. It will be a good meeting.

Wayfinding with a GPS: Lost Productivity in the Local Realm

In the process of wayfinding with a GPS it shakes out that efficiency drops significantly when you first use the device. Not just the operation of the device, but in the local realm, meaning your own neighborhood, it slows you down.

First, to clarify wayfinding:

In its most literal sense, wayfinding is the ability of a person to find his or her way to a given destination

Results. We (that would be us) want to get there (that would be the destination). The GPS is supposed to help us. It does. I admit that. But not without limitations.

  1. It sucks on the departure. With the exception of directions from current GPS location, it over does the details of leaving our house or office. I should be able to say "I know this area – just take me from the highway"
  2. If a GPS device can track itself, why doesn’t it take past routes into consideration when suggesting future routes? If I *always* take Westpark Tollway in the afternoon over I-10, why can’t it learn that?
  3. It won’t let a passenger work the device while you are driving. You have to stop. This takes us right back to the basic problem that men don’t want to stop for directions anyway. Now we have a device IN THE VEHICLE that we still have to stop and ask directions. Again – this isn’t going to happen. If I have a passenger let them operate the unit! Measure the weight in the seat of the car or something. Fix it!

So there I was, a passenger on a recent business trip, sitting in a fancy car with an onboard GPS and a really cool screen, using my blackberry and google maps to navigate. Go figure.

No other point to this post. Just that GPS have a way to go for real usability. Some of the improvements can be done quite easily as noted above.

a discrepancy between fostered appearances and reality

  Originally uploaded by eskimo_jo

Goffman (again)

"When we think of those who present a false front or "only"
a front, of those who dissemble, deceive, and defraud, we think of a
discrepancy between fostered appearances and reality. We also think of
the precarious position in which these performers place themselves, for
at any moment in their performance an event may occur to catch them out
and baldly contradict what they have openly avowed, bringing them
immediate humiliation and sometimes permanent loss of reputation." – The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Erving Goffman. pg 59

So this is NOT a surprise:

Neighbors shun MySpace hoax family

… Residents of the middle-class subdivision have turned against the
neighbor, Lori Drew, and her family, demanding the Drews move out. In
interviews, they have warned darkly that someone might be tempted to
"take matters into their own hands."

"It’s like they used to do
in the 1700s and 1800s. If you wronged a community, you were basically
shunned. That’s basically what happened to her," said Trever Buckles, a
40-year-old who lives next door to the Drews. …

The Drews used to fit in just fine, said John McIntyre, who described
Lori Drew as an intensely social woman who never hesitated to stop and

Societies have their rules for a reason. Break those rules at your own risk.

Congratulations to Ben Martin on Associations Now Cover

Congratulations to Ben Martin, @bkmcae on twitter, for being part of an exclusive group on the cover of Association Now magazine. Schweeeet!

  • AssociationnowbenmartindecemberASSOCIATIONS NOW, December 2007 

  • Cover Story:

      The Next Generation of Leadership

    they have style. They have confidence. But you know what else they
    have? Talent. Here’s a look at five thirtysomethings who are making
    their mark in the association world.

    By: Samantha Whitehorne

    boomers and others who will be retiring soon: Rest easy. The
    association management profession is in good hands. Meet five leaders,
    all under 35, with the talent to make things happen.