by Aaron Starnes
Happy Halloween. This week's spooky installment is sure to send chills down the steeliest of spines. It's not actually scary but instead it's heinously boring! Cue the evil laughter and lets get it on!
Nine things PR pros need to know Friday morning, 10.31.2014 is an article that appeared today on PRWeek.com. It was written by Frank Washkuch who is not likely to be very eerie, but that beside the point.
9. Apparently Chevrolet was embarrassed somehow and there's some sort of sports analogy that I don't understand attached to it. Frank includes a link to help you understand. I looked at it and still don't really get it.On a somewhat related note I think that the new "mid-sized" pickup, which is a misnomer because it's as big as a fullsized truck from half a decade ago, is out. It's garish relative to the older, more compact, model.
8. Twitter has demoted Daniel Graf, Before very recentlyhe was the new Vice President. Are there terrified tweeters thumbing their technology anxiously? Not to me, but perhaps some PR pro somewhere is chewing his nails back to their bloody quicks.
7. Sen. Mary Landrieu a Democrat from Louisiana is in hot water for what she said to Chuck Todd about President Barack Obama’s popularity, Apparently you can't say "the South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans."
6. The Washington post said something about the Secret Service which is hounded by rumors about ladies onf the night. I hope no one has contracted something that will haunt them for the foreseeable future.
5. The Detroit Free Press the book by Jason Vines, "What Did Jesus Drive? Which is about zombies packing themselves into a Toyata Prius as tightly as possible.
4. Canada manages to make some more news as Jian Ghomeshi gets fired over reports that he sexually assaulted a number of women.
3. Perhaps the most frightening news is that December 18th will see the final episode of the Colbert Report. "At some point next year, Colbert will inherit David Letterman’s role as host of the Late Show on CBS."
2. Speaking of creepy, Big Brother er, um, Facebook is now scanning user's posts for political commentary. They're gathering information regarding age and whether the commentary is positive, negative, or neutral. The saddest most tragic thing is that we voluteer our privacy.
1. "WPP’s third-quarter PR and public affairs revenue numbers" that were underwhelming, which sure is scary.
By Aaron Starnes
On July 19, 2012 Regan's PR Daily posted an article discussing 10 quotes from a personal hero of mine, Hunter S. Thompson.
A movie made about his book "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" earned him a new wave of recognition in the late '90s. This movie celebrated the book in one of the best book-to-film adaptations I know of. It also created a new fan base for Thompson, one attracted to the over-the-top scenarios and wild drug use portrayed in the film. Beneath all this hype there was a man who was, at the end of the day a writer, and a damn good one.
“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I'm not sure that I'm going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says 'you are nothing', I will be a writer.”
I have read that to gain to become the exceptional wordsmith Thompson set out to be he would rewrite books from his favorite authors. He would sit at a typewriter with a novels by Hemingway or Fitzgerald and hammer out the stories verbatim. This put him inside the book. He familiarized himself with grammar and vocabulary this way. I think I will pick a favorite author of mine and try this exercise.
“I think the trick is that you have to use words well enough so that these nickel-and-dimers who come around bitching about being objective or the advertisers don't like it are rendered helpless by the fact that it's good. That's the way people have triumphed over conventional wisdom in journalism.”
When you think of established professional writers you think they maybe have learned tricks or developed callouses to the pain of writing. I always love reading the quotes by famous authors that discuss how the pain never really goes away, writers must simply persevere.
“The only other important thing to be said about “Fear & Loathing” at this time is that it was fun to write, and that's rare—for me, at least, because I've always considered writing the most hateful kind of work... Nothing is fun when you have to do it—over and over, again and again—or else you'll be evicted, and that gets old.”
Another favorite from this article is Thompson's attitude toward deadlines. If there is a better articulated description of the extra motivation provided by imminent doom feelings of a deadline crushing down on a writer, I haven't read it.
“Every deadline was a crisis … No doubt it has something to do with a deep-seated personality defect, or maybe a kink in whatever blood vessel leads into the pineal gland … On the other hand, it might easily be something as simple and basically perverse as whatever instinct it is that causes a jackrabbit to wait until the last possible second to dart across the road in front of a speeding car.”
When I say he's a hero I don't mean I want to drop loads of acid and stay bent on scotch, cocaine and Chartreuse. No, I only hope that I can gain the mastery over words he had, and see beyond the established way of doing things within my life and my profession. I want the foresight to break rules and break ground to communicate in a novel way as Thompson did. If things get a little weird along the way I'm prepared for that.
Lauren Gray, author of the article Five Visual Tools for Artistically Challenged PR Pros about what programs PR folks can use to make their content more visually appealing writes for prsa.org. In this article she recommends 5 free tools available online to enhance visual interest in PR.
It isn't always an option to have a talented graphic designer come up with interesting visuals for a PR pro's content.These free graphic tools allow PR folks to "become visually adept at telling an engaging, enticing brand story."
1. Canva Is a design platform that lets you create visuals to fit specific social media specifications.
2. Piktochart Is an online infographic creator. Using templates and pictures users can create custom infographics to match their content which can embed videos.
3. Unsplash Is a free source for stock photography. It sends customers 10 free pictures every ten days.
4. Pixlr This is a free online photo editing tool.
5. Hyperlapse This mobile app helps users create timelapse videos and it even offers built-in stabilization. Here's the video Gray chose in here article
All of these tools seem interesting. The Hyperlapse and Piktochart seem espesially exciting to me. Here's an Infographic I created with the free software from this article.
by: Aaron Starnes
The SEMA Show is “the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world.” That’s a huge claim but it’s hard to overstate the size of this show and its meaning to the automotive community.
The show is closed to the public but that doesn't stop people from all walks of life with an interest in cars, motor-sports and the automotive industry from coming out and perusing the parking lots outside and sticking around to catch a glimpse of all the latest offerings from automotive vendors at the spill out at the end of the show. Due to this popularity this year will be the first year for SEMA Ignited an after show dedicated to the vehicles of SEMA and open to the public
The SEMA public relations release offers these guidelines for distributing online press releases.They suggest submitting up to 60 days early. I have notice that hashtags are already in use on twitter and have been for some time. The public relations opportunities release goes on to detail how and where writers and editors can pick up copies of Exhibitor’s press releases and media kits. The form also details ways of promoting products like celebrity endorsements, demonstrations, and new/featured product demonstrations. There are also details on how to get involved with Press Conferences and scheduling an after-hours party.