Showing posts with label PR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PR. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FU2, Bo. Now, with the pleasantries all done. . . .

I can't get too mad at Nebraska's football coach and undisputed-champion F-bomb dropper, "Mad Man" Bo Pelini.

Yes, after a big comeback against Ohio State in 2011, the coach had some choice words about Husker fans and a couple of Omaha World-Herald sports columnists, as reported (and illustrated) by the website Deadspin. Then again, what the hell do you think I was saying about him Saturday afternoon?

Nebraska's second-half performance against UCLA would have been enough to make the pope drop a few choice expletives. I wonder how you say "stupid #@!*#+% a-hole" in Spanish? Or Italian or Latin . . . whichever.

Pelini's real problem is that his teams keep having UCLA-game meltdowns. Or is that Wisconsin-game meltdowns? Ohio State-game meltdowns? Maybe Texas A&M- or South Carolina-game or Georgia-game meltdowns.

You get the gist, I presume.

 Audio is exceptionally NSFW

ONE HAS to wonder whether Coach Bo's infamous id too often mucks about with his coaching superego. Whatever the reason, though, it looks like we have a foundational failure in the Nebraska football program, which follows on the heels of the somewhat more spectacular foundational failure that was Bill Callahan's Reign of Error down there in Lincoln.

That's no way to keep the fans streaming into Memorial Stadium, and no way to keep the Huskers' legendary home-sellout streak alive through Year 51 and into Year 52. Mess that up and you've just screwed up the one thing Callahan's benighted tenure as Nebraska coach couldn't.

That. Would. Be. Bad.

When you couple meltdowns on the gridiron like Saturday's with behavioral meltdowns like Pelini occasionally has both in public and in private (or in private that goes public), you're flirting with both Public Relations Armageddon and Sellout Streak Apocalypse. Especially when you insult the very fan base that's stuck with the Huskers through a lot more thin than thick for the past decade.

BARRING a drastic turnaround -- and a drastic change in the on-field character of his Nebraska football squads -- I think Coach Bo is gone. Involuntarily, despite his threat to walk on the leaked 2011 audio.

Pelini's foundational problem, to put it in LSU terms, where he was defensive coordinator before heading to Lincoln as the head man, is that he seems to be Gerry DiNardo following the abject disaster of Curley Hallman -- an improvement, but definitely not the guy.

I think this is as good as it gets under Pelini, and that's not where NU needs to be . . . and certainly not where Nebraska football has the potential to be.

The big question here is who's out there to get the Huskers where they need to be without sacrificing all the values that make Nebraska football special and keep the program's nose clean with the NCAA. Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst has some hard thinking to do as this season, like most of the rest under Pelini, remains mired in the muck of mediocrity.

Expect a rousing victory this week against South Dakota State. Whee!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Do as I say, not as I make my living

When a big-time NPR reporter gave a speech at a Norwalk, Conn., awards banquet Thursday, the local cable-access guy figured there would be no problem taping it for broadcast.

Happens all the time. Most journalists hawking books welcome the prospect. That's why God invented PR people.

Only in the case of Dina Temple-Raston, NPR's national-security and counterterrorism reporter, it turns out that the Darien/Norwalk YWCA found a broadcast correspondent who's camera shy. A radio journalist who, outside of working hours, just can't abide audio recorders.

The local cable-access TV guy couldn't believe it. And Jim Cameron, a former NBC Radio anchor, didn't like it. Didn't like it at all.

HE LIKED Temple-Raston's attitude so little, he wrote about it for AOL's Darian Patch:
A day before the event, at my request, the Y sponsors circled back to me with more information. Apparently her agent was wrong. It was not an NPR's rule about no taping, it was Ms. Temple-Raston's rule. Clearly, the Juan Williams case (of NPR Staffers speaking off-air) has had a chilling effect on those NPR staffers' outside, money-making speaking gigs.

The day of the event I decided to give full coverage a final try. Arriving at the Woodway Country Club, I told the YWCA organizers that the community deserved to see the award winners and I promised to record only that... if I could speak to Ms. Temple-Raston and make a final appeal. Seconds later, she appeared and we shared a rather contentious two minute conversation.

"You know you cannot tape my speech"' she said. "So I've heard," I said, "But why? Is it really an NPR rule?". "No," she said, "It's just my personal preference. I am on vacation today."

Then I tried appealing to her as a fellow fifth-estater. "As a journalist are you comfortable in stopping my coverage of your speech?”

"Absolutely," she said without hesitation. "You're lucky I'm allowing you to tape the awards presentations!"

"That's not your call," I told her. "I'm here at the invitation of the YWCA."

"Well, that camera better be off. That's an ethical issue," she said, and then added icing to the cake... "and this conversation is off the record."

"No, this conversation is ON the record, Dina, and it is part of my coverage," I said.

At this point two other videographers arrived, one from The Patch and the other from News12, our local cable news operation. Dina visibly flinched, turning to both and reminding them they too could not tape her speech. "No problem," said one of them.

Her final comment came as a somewhat rhetorical question... "why are you being so hard-assed (about this)?"
ARROGANCE LIKE THAT, as Temple-Raston is finding out from the resulting Internet kerfuffle, can be every bit a bad thing for you, your career and your employer's public-relations bottom line as any inflammatory thing you might say during a speech. And didn't want electronic proof of.

Mostly, though, it's just really, really funny.

Why is that?

Well, just wait for the punch line. It will come up right . . . about . . . now. Courtesy of an article on the banquet in the local newspaper,
The Hour.
Dina Temple-Raston, National Public Radio National Security and Counterterrorism Correspondent, spoke of her experiences in the Arab-speaking world, suggesting that female journalists can often succeed where male counterparts can't.

"Women are instinctively more aware of their surroundings than men and more alert to dire developments," she said.
SAID THE "instinctively more aware" woman journalist who never saw this one coming.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

If you're not lame, don't act it

Flyover by Archrival from Nebraska Entrepreneur on Vimeo.

The tragedy of Nebraska is that people in some of the lamest places on earth think the Cornhusker state is lamer.

"Flyover country," they call us.

Our usual response is to act all insecure. Act like it's reasonable they'd think that. Like they're not stereotype-addled morons for being surprised that everything's up to date in . . . Omaha. And Lincoln.

Even Grand Island.

The guys at Archrival marketing in Lincoln have had about enough of that crap. In this video, they suggest a makeover.

ONE CAVEAT, though. The Archrival folks bring up the state's 2011 license plate as a marketing disaster, saying professional designers could have done better and saved the state the humiliation of a completely botched contest to pick the "winning" design.

What folks need to realize is that "professionals" can suck just as badly as anyone --
and cost a lot more. Also remember that, in designers, we're dealing with "creatives." You get what you get. Sometimes, it's Charlie Sheen.

Here, I present Exhibit A, part of the "design community's" protest over the suckage of the plate. I bring this up, because
Clint! Runge and Charles Hull make it sound like the "design community" single-handedly saved us from bumper Armageddon. (I also bring this up because Runge puts an exclamation point behind his first name. Really?)

The "creatives" saved us from nothing. The "dull" old newspaper journalists at the Omaha World-Herald saved us from the abomination of stamped-tin desolation by reporting on the vote-rigging and demanding to see the state's data. The pols quickly got with the program.

Remember, it's all about excellence, not necessarily professionalism for professionalism's sake.

BUT ALL THAT is kind of beside the point, because the larger point of the presentation is dead on. In this world (and our postmodern economy), intellectual capital is destiny, perception is reality . . . and outsiders' perceptions of Nebraska fundamentally conflict with most Nebraskans' day-to-day reality.

If you want the world to beat a path to your door, don't be lame at marketing.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Note to the convention and visitors people

Dear Omaha Convention
and Visitors Bureau:

I love your website. You're right, there's plenty to do and see in our vibrant city -- people will love it here. They might decide to move here, even.

Just one thing, though. You need to get folks in the door.

While I think your website does a great job in that respect, there is one glaring oversight. See that "Omaha weather" thingy at the top right of the page? Get rid of it from October 1 through May 1.

"Hey, people, come to Omaha! Look! Right now, it's 2 DEGREES!!!"

In the PR and travel biz, I think that's known,
technically, as a "non-starter." Unless, of course, you're marketing our fine area exclusively to the fine citizens of Barrow, Alaska, and International Falls, Minn.

Love and kisses,


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The cleanup worker is a WHAT?

I imagine many of us figured this would be coming down the pike at some point in Oil Spill Nation.

The scene: Our intrepid reporter makes her way to Grand Isle, La., where, amid the oil, she finds cleanup workers. Most of them black. Plopped down amid seething, resentful locals in a small town in the Deep South.

Can you imagine what happens?

ACTUALLY, it doesn't take much imagination at all:
To hear it from permanent residents of this tiny town at the southernmost edge of the bayou, the community is under siege. Not only did the massive oil spill in the Gulf force an abrupt halt to age-old routines dictated mainly by fishing, but the cleanup up effort has brought an army of workers from "outside."

"It’s a drastic change for us, especially in our marinas. It’s all workers," said Sheriff Euris DuBois. "The biggest change is we don’t know them. They are a different nature."

Grand Isle has only about 1,500 permanent residents, most born here, said DuBois. They are accustomed to a large influx of families who own the cottages – or "camps" that line the beachfront. But this year, with the beaches off limits and fishing shut down, most of these perennial tourists have stayed away.

Instead there are an estimated 5,000 cleanup workers – from Texas, New Jersey, Alabama and elsewhere. The workers are all male, and the vast majority are black.

That alone is a shock here. The town has only one black permanent resident, said DuBois, and no black tourists that he can recall.

"And they congregate!" a waitress named Jane told diners from out of town as she described the situation, repeating rumors that there was also a rash of theft and violence. "It’s bad to where our pastor on Sunday warned the congregation to lock their doors."

Some black workers report they have had a cool reception.

"I don’t go out here. I am not welcome," said a worker from Houston who only gave his first name, John. Asked why he felt unwelcome, he said wryly, "uh, just a teeny bit of racism."

A co-worker chimed in: "They gouge us (on rent). They don’t want us here," he said. "But we just do the work cleaning up their environment."
IT WOULD SEEM that Tony Hayward isn't the only one around with no public-relations sense. Then again, the BP chief isn't the one with his hand out here.
"They don’t like any of us," said a captain from New Jersey who is running a boat in the cleanup.

"It's not just blacks. It’s Yankees, and everybody who is not from Grand Isle," he said, giving only his first name, Mike.
SMALL TOWNS can be something else. Small towns in the recesses of the Gret Stet of Loosiana can be something else even by "something else" standards.

In the Heat of the Night is always playing somewhere. Well, that or Blazing Saddles.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Come around and retweet me sometime

Robert Nelson, alas, is not "crushing it."

Neither has he been living his best life now.

Nor has the newspaper columnist been "livin' the life" . . . or "rockin' the town." And his personal branding has left something to be desired.

Today, when the totality of one's existence is reduced to "branding" -- and unabashed self-promotion is as much a part of "getting ahead" as continuing to breathe in and out (and suppressing one's inner Rip Torn) -- you explain a monthslong sabbatical as "an opportunity for personal growth" . . . or as "working on an exciting new project."

BUT YOU DON'T begin your first column since returning to the Omaha World-Herald this way:

You may or may not have noticed that this column hasn’t appeared in The World-Herald for quite a while.

For the last three months, I have been on a sabbatical.

Part of me would love to leave it at that. But the journalist, the part of me that seeks full disclosure from everyone else, feels I had better come clean with the reason behind my absence, no matter how embarrassing.

And besides, there are some interesting rumors out there that may or may not be as interesting as the truth.

How to say it? I went off the deep end? A screw came loose? I was off my rocker?

Actually, in all seriousness, I’ve clearly been grinding through life for quite some time with what I now know are some significant mental-health issues.

It’s estimated that one in every four Americans struggles with some diagnosable form of mental-health problem. It’s somewhat comforting knowing there are so many of us out there — so many people who know what an uncomfortable journey it can be to feel right again.

Over the last year, I increasingly had found myself struggling with depression and, at times, anger and anxiety. Some of it was simple midlife-crisis stuff.

Some, as it turns out, was more serious.
NELSON GOES ON to describe a harrowing journey to the dark side of . . . himself. An editor talked him out of committing murder. The authorities were called. A shrink took charge.

Unless your name happens to be Andy Dick, there's not much "branding" gold to be mined here. And come to think of it, what's the last job Andy Dick has held down since News Radio? Making license plates?

Oh, Lord. What would
Gary Vaynerchuk do?

How do you "tweet" yourself into the national consciousness when your daily triumph is as simple -- and humble -- as "I didn't get sh*tfaced today." Or, "Taking my meds. So far, so good. No psychotic breaks! Yay!"

This is America, dammit! Half the country is broke, the other half is worried, and the third half is making out like a bandit and bragging about it all on Twitter, Facebook and Blogger.

A nation devoted to shameless self-promotion -- to style over substance, to personality cults for profit and success -- is a nation that increasingly doesn't add up.

This nation full of failure demands we construct sunny, self-serving narratives of our lives, then sell the world on our version of the Big Lie. This nation full of tragedies writ large and small doesn't want to hear about it.

BUT NO. Robert Nelson outed himself as a fallen, broken human being, one completely average in his brokenness. One utterly unremarkable in his misery.

You want to see the one unforgivable sin in America today? That's it -- honesty. How the hell do you "crush" that?

I'm sure some folk will applaud the columnist for opening a vein in the pages of the local rag. They'll say he's brave. They'll say he's showing other suffering souls that there's hope.


These people are called "activists." Their goal in life is to harsh your mellow, which might pull the plug on the power of your positive thinking and detract from your living "your best life today." I would tend to agree with these "activists."

Then again, I think Debbie Downer is a hottie. Mwah mwaaaaaaaaaah.

The rest of you, I am sure, are saying "I knew something was wrong with that Nelson boy." Like you're not f***ed up, too -- in your own special, morally superior way, of course.

Promote that brand via social media.

RT @Revolution_21 Robert Nelson's honesty about affliction making us think of our own. Not cool. No marketing in that.
MONDAY, the "career diva" of, Eve Tahmincioglu (please don't ask me to pronounce Tahmincioglu), asked via Twitter (of course), "have we all become a bunch of self-promoting whores?"

You know, I think we have. Mostly of the "two-bit" variety.

And if you'll excuse me, I need to tweet up this post. Facebook it, too. If I'm really lucky, maybe a couple hundred people will be blessed by my deep thoughts on this matter of great importance.

Please retweet!

Because I am a whore for the postmodern ages. It's what I do. Now, how do I take that and "crush it"?