Archive for the ‘Public relations’ Category


A long-time colleague who I respect a lot recently published a book. He was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy. I liked it so much, and agreed with it so wholeheartedly, I decided to write a review.


5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’

Changing the World One Conversation at a Time

By Eric Bergman

Petticoat Creek Press, 2012

5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’ – Changing the World One Conversation at a Time      tackles our obsession with popular slideware programs head on while providing an easy-to-follow framework for presentations that inform and influence.

Author Eric Bergman pulls no punches: “. . . slides are not working. They stifle discussion. They impede understanding. They hinder decision-making. They crush audience participation. They smother critical thinking. They leave boredom and lost productivity in their wake.”

I create and deliver presentations all the time, and I teach people how to present. After reading the first chapter, it was crystal clear it’s been far too long since I’ve thought about the process I use.

This book provides a well-reasoned argument for limiting if not eliminating slides in presentations. It is based on social science research, but easy to read and apply—scholarly in content, but pragmatic in tone.

Bergman maintains that to be effective, all face-to-face communication must be a true conversation: “If you treat people with respect and create a two-way process in which they can absorb your information and you can answer their questions clearly and concisely, you stand a better chance of having them apply or act on your message than if you stand in front of them and dump data while talking to your slides.” His advice could be applied equally well to a one-on-one pitch, or a plenary at a major conference.

By the end of 5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint,’ I was completely sold. I’ve already downloaded the free workbook from Five Steps to Conquer; and I plan to use it.

Eric Bergman, ABC, APR is a prominent Canadian speaking and media relations trainer. He is also the author of IABC’s Media Training with Excellence: A Balanced Approach and the creator of Present with Ease and At Ease with the Media.

5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’ is available from Amazon.

Writing a Book Review

I have posted this review on Amazon as well—the first time I have ever done so. In preparation, I read this excellent post from Anne R. Allen’s Blog, A Reader’s Guide to Amazon Reviewing. I also checked out Amazon’s Review Creation Guidelines.

Recommend a Book, or Ask Me to Review One

Got a public relations, communications, social media, or marketing book you’d like to recommend? Have a book you think I should review? Just leave me a comment. Be prepared, though. I call ’em like I see ’em.


Hedley is a popular, mainstream Canadian band whose audience is mostly very young Canadian women. Its lead singer is Jacob Hoggard, whose career took off after he placed third during the second season of Canadian idol.

The four young, male band members have built a persona that’s just “bad boy” enough to appeal to those very young Canadian women. Although the fact that Hedley band members are ambassadors for Free the Children, the world’s largest network of children helping children through education, suggests they aim to be viewed as something over and above bad boys.

These guys are a “big deal” in Canadian pop music. Hedley has three consecutive double-platinum certificates, over a million downloads, and ten straight videos that reached number one on the MuchMusic countdown. In 2010, Pollstar named them one of the hundred top touring artists in the world.

On the surface, it appears that Hoggard understands that Hedley’s success is dependent on the goodwill of its fans. This is what he said in the band’s website bio:

I never want to assume that because someone’s our fan, that they’ll love whatever we’re doing. I understand that no has any obligation to listen . . . When you start going, ‘Our fans will eat this shit up,’ you show down and get less attentive, less hungry  . . . https://www.facebook.com/HedleyOnline

What the Pop Star Did

On Friday, May 25 Hedley played a well-reviewed, sold-out show in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Afterwards, at least three of the band members went to a very popular downtown bar.

Kayla Andrews, a diehard Hedley fan who loves their upbeat, positive message, approached band members Dave Rosin and Tommy Mac at the bar; and they graciously posed for pictures with her.

At 1:30 a.m. she spotted Hoggard. She tapped him several times on the shoulder until she got his attention, while holding her camera at the ready. How did he react? By saying, “Hey, look. It’s a midget!” Then he burst into laughter and turned his back on her.

Andrews, who stands just 4’ 7,” was shocked and humiliated. As a child, she was often bullied because of her short stature. Born prematurely, she suffered renal failure and was forced to endure a kidney transplant at age four.

Now Andrews freely admits to what she did. Not ideal perhaps, but not surprising from a star-struck young woman, who is not, after all, a public figure.

Story Goes Viral

On May 28 Andrews, who was still smarting from the incident, decided to leave a comment on the facebook page of a popular local FM station. That’s where Geoff Meeker, who writes a professional blog for a daily paper, first picked up her story.

Meeker contacted Andrews, who agreed to let him write about it. The next day “Rude Encounter” appeared in Meeker on Media http://www.thetelegram.com/Blog-Article/b/22094/Rude-Encounter.

By May 31, Meeker’s entry had more than fifteen thousand page views and had been shared more than two thousand times on facebook. The comments were mixed, from “what did she expect, it was 1:30 a.m. in the morning, in a bar, he was drunk, he was tired, she was pestering him, he’s a celebrity.  JACOB HOGGARD RULES. HEDLEY RULES.” Through “She’s just an attention seeker.” On to “That never happened.” And finally, “He’s a pig. Doesn’t he know it’s fans like Andrews that put food on his plate.”

Many of those who attacked Andrews are avid fans of Hedley. Many have yet to go through puberty. They could use some lessons in manners and empathy. They, however, are not dependent on the goodwill of fans for their bread and butter.

A Less-Than-Gracious Apology

That same day Hoggard finally responded on Hedley’s facebook page. Here is what he said:

Our fans are our number one priority. The reason we’re where we are today. This is why it saddens me to hear a comment I may have made in St. John’s was hurtful to one of you, and for that I am sorry. Those who know us, know that we always try to go above and beyond for our wonderful fans and it was never my intention to alienate or offend anyone. If someone knows who we can reach Kayla, please let us know. We would like to fly her and a guest to one of our Canadian festival dates this summer, and apologize to her personally. Sincerely, Jacob

On June 1, the day following Hoggard’s apology, Meeker picked up the story in “Apology Accepted” http://www.thetelegram.com/Blog-Article/b/22129/Apology-Accepted. Andrews had accepted the apology but declined the free trip. “If he would like to, I would rather he donate the money to the Kidney Foundation,” said Andrews, adding she had been seeking neither compensation, nor fame.

It was a discussion of this incident with one of my teenagers, who is not a Hedley fan, that prompted me to write this entry. She felt Andrews had acted inappropriately in the bar, got what she deserved, and was only seeking attention (and possibly compensation) when she posted on the radio station’s facebook page. Clearly I have work to do as a parent, but perhaps I can do a better job counselling those who are dependent on public goodwill for their livelihoods—hence this case study.

As of June 2, when this was written, Hoggard’s facebook apology had generated 494 comments, 2273 likes, and 65 shares.

What’s wrong with this picture, from a public relations perspective?

Well, there are still some who feel any publicity is good publicity. And I am sure there are some who would say that, if anything, this has enhanced Hoggard’s bad -boy image with his fans, many of whom are very young and, based on their willingness to rush to his defence online, not in the least put off by this incident.

I personally wonder what the fans’ mothers make of it. Can they envision the day when their daughters are the ones Hoggard calls “piggy” or “beanpole” or “dogface.” Because many, many of those $60 concert tickets are paid for by mommies since their daughters are too young to have incomes or credit cards. Or drive a car. Or go to a concert without a parent (read mommy) to accompany them.

In an ideal world, Hoggard would never have uttered those words. In an ideal world, he would learn from his mistake.

If Hoggard wants a few drinks without being bothered by his fans, he should host a private party instead of going to a popular bar on a Friday night just five minutes’ walk from where a Hedley concert has taken place.

In many, many social media comments, fans said that Hoggard is known for being “less than diplomatic” when drunk (restraint mine). So perhaps if he wants to go to a bar to be around his fans, he should moderate his drinking when he does so.

What Hoggard (and Hedley) Should Have Done

That said, he did what he did. And he’ll probably do it again. Here are the reputation management “takeaways” he needs to learn. Same goes for all other public figures.

  1. Listen. If someone was listening on Hedley’s behalf, why did it take 48 hours to respond after Meeker’s first blog entry. That’s an awfully long time in the social media universe.
  2. Admit you did something wrong. Not “a statement I may have made in St. John’s was hurtful to one of you” but “I said something hurtful and unforgiveable to a fan in St. John’s, and for that I am truly sorry.”
  3. Apologize to the one you wronged first. Hedley had the resources to track down Kayla Andrews personally.  Andrews deserved to hear the words from Hoggard’s lips (or the social media equivalent).
  4. Ask what you can do to make it right. Hoggard offered a trip for her and a guest to see a Hedley show. He should have asked what he could do to make it right. And he should have promised to try to do better in the future.
  5. Don’t ask for anything in return. This is the one thing that Hoggard did entirely right.

If you liked this, you might also like:

https://ishouldhavedonethisyesterday.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/case-study-good-works-and-strong-emotions-lead-to-expression-of-hatred-why-organizations-need-a-social-media-policy-and-when-to-moderate-comments-on-social-media-accounts/


This post is entirely off topic; however, I have been watching this public relations SNAFU unfold around me. What follows is a cross between a case study and a cautionary tale.

The volunteer president of an animal welfare group was pissed because a severely abused puppy had to be euthanized. Perfectly understandable. I would be too.

Next to a picture of that puppy on the organization’s facebook page, this is what she posted:  “As far as I’m concerned, if a bomb went off and wiped this community off the face of the earth . . . there would not be too many tears shed. There … I have said what everyone is thinking! How many animals have to needlessly die at the hands of those assholes!” That was May 18.

Then in a post to the thread, the volunteer director of public relations for the animal welfare group identified where the puppy had been taken—a neighbouring native community.

No question, at that moment the president of the animal welfare group truly hated that community.

And it took off from there.

A subsequent post by another member of the facebook group read “Is (name of community) a alcohol free reserve?? or are they just plain savages walking around in a human like form.” In all, over 100 posts. I did not read them; but according to a caller to a news outlet’s feedback line, they went so far as to suggest mandatory sterilization of the native group. The same caller said 81 posts were made, including numerous comments from the president, before she made a post to the effect that her comments were aimed at the perpetrators of the abuse, not the entire native community.

Perhaps she would have hated the people of that community regardless of their race—only she knows for sure. I am reasonably sure she would have felt the same way about any community where she found numerous incidents of animal neglect and abuse. Regardless, her hatred was ugly, something better kept to herself. She, however, chose to make it public.

Understandable at some level perhaps, but the wrong thing to do from her organization’s perspective.

Some of the group’s other posters, however, were unabashedly racist. Not at all understandable. Also the wrong thing from the organization’s perspective.

How did the animal welfare group react as an organization? Initially, it deleted the thread and tightened up its monitoring of what was said on the page.

But by May 22 a facebook group called “Shame on (Name of Animal Welfare Group) Negative Comments on (Name of Native Group)” had more than 550 members.

On May 23 the animal welfare group suspended all activity on the facebook page in question. Still, their director of public relations publicly maintained their president had the full support of the board.

Meanwhile, the chief of the native community called for the president to issue a formal apology.  She has since written him apologizing for her comment about wanting to “blow them all away,” saying that she didn’t mean to disrespect the community itself. But clearly, that is what she did. Not all residents of that native community abuse or neglect animals, yet she talked about wiping out the entire community. She liberally tarred them all with the same brush.

The animal welfare group has received threatening calls and e-mails. A single female employee was confronted by two truckloads of people, purportedly from the native community, hurling obscenities.

Media coverage has fanned the flames. Animal welfare people have been called racists. Native people have been called animal abusers (and worse).

I know the animal welfare group in question does a lot of good work. I can appreciate that animal rescue work is brutal and unrelenting and frustrating. The volunteers who do this hard work with the support of one paid staff don’t deserve to have their efforts tarnished.

So from a public relations perspective, the real question here is how this could have been prevented. And how can the animal welfare group ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

Where to from Here?

Develop a social media policy. If an organization uses social media, it needs a social media policy. At the very least, the policy should set out

  1. who can speak on behalf of the organization
  2. what can and can’t they say (libel, hate, threats, bias are all on the no-fly list)
  3. who preapproves comments made on behalf of the organization

Someone could have, should have prevented the group’s president from posting in anger. Someone can, and must, ensure nothing like it happens again.

Appoint a moderator or moderators for the group’s media accounts. If an organization deals with highly emotional issues, comments on its social media accounts need to be moderated. I understand posts about lost and found animals and requests for emergency assistance are time sensitive. That is why this organization needs a moderator or moderators, so there’s no huge delay in making those posts. But no post or comment—whether from an internal or external source—should go up before it has been vetted and approved.

Can the Existing Wounds be Healed?

 The animal rescue group has taken a black eye. The people of the native group, and other members of their race, are hurt.

The director of public relations would have served the organization better had she said that while the board of directors understood the president’s anger, her comments were wrong, and hateful; and the organization was truly sorry. Instead, she allowed her comments to be coloured by a sense of righteous indignation.

But the bulk of the responsibility rests with the president. It was her initial comments on facebook that fanned the flames, and her failure to intervene earlier in the thread that resulted in the fire storm.

The president needs to make a sincere, very public apology. No back peddling. No trying to explain things away. Not trying to mitigate what she said. Just: “What I said was wrong. It was wrong to threaten the community in that way. I’m sorry that my comments instigated a lot of hateful comments about the residents of that community and aboriginal people in general. And I’m sorry I didn’t step in earlier to stop it. I was upset about what had happened to the puppy, but that doesn’t excuse my behaviour.” Full stop.

She started it. She has to end it.

Things won’t be perfect, but they’ll be better.


When I started this blog, I thought I’d be pumping out entries left, right, and centre. Then I fell for the siren call of Twitter. After several interesting weeks, I’m back at my blog. And at least now I can claim to have something to say about Twitter.

Be warned—I love puns. The worse they are, the more I like them. So it’s inevitable that I’d start by saying something like this—what’s all the Twitter about? Well, on March 21, 2012, Twitter’s 6th birthday, it had 140 million active users who were sending 340 million tweets a day. Clearly Twitter is a force to be reckoned with, particularly for those of us who work in public relations or marketing.

I had a Twitter account long before I started this blog; but I was following no one, and no one was following me. Just as well as I was neither tweeting nor listening to other people’s tweets. And yes, I said listening. Following the Twitter stream is a great way to find out what’s on people’s minds; and it that’s not listening, I don’t know what is.

Roughly a month in as an active Twitter user, and I now proudly follow 765, and 287 follow me. To date, I have sent 265 tweets.

Based on my own experience, this is how I recommend you approach using Twitter.

1.  Get a Decent Headshot

If you’re going to take part in the world of social media, and that includes twitter, get a decent headshot. And if any of your social media accounts are going to have any relationship to work, dress in a way that best reflects your professional self. Not a glamor shot, but not too stodgy either

Why is it so important to have a decent headshot? Well on most social media, and especially on Twitter, we’re limited to the sense of sight. People can read our words and see our pictures, but they can’t hear our voices or read our facial expressions or our body language. So it’s important to take full advantage of what there is. And one of those things is your own sweet mug. Here’s mine:)

What about using your company logo or wordmark instead of a head shot? If your logo or wordmark is very well known, you might choose to use it. I’ve come across a few people who have chosen to hedge their bets by combining a headshot with a logo or workmark; however, in my opinion the image as it appears in the Twitter stream is too small to do this successfully.

In the Twitterverse, the avatar that appears next to each tweet you send is about the size of a postage stamp when displayed on a notebook, tablet, or desktop, or the size of a pencil eraser when viewed on a mobile, so it’s important that your headshot look good small. There is a caveat, however; if someone chooses to click through to look at your profile, your headshot will appear approximately four times as large, so the resolution needs to be reasonable.

2.  Choose a Name that Reflects Your Brand

Once you have a headshot, sign yourself up. If you can at all, use the name you’re known by or your company name as your user name or handle. It will make it easier for people to find you; and for those of you who are concerned about branding, it maintains a level of consistency with your brand.

Then before you do anything else, upload your headshot. If you don’t, your avatar will appear as an egg. Many people assume the account attached to an egg is a Spam Bot—not a real person—and no one wants to follow or be followed by a Spam Bot. Users are much more likely to engage with another person. We know what people do with eggs:)

3.  Create a Stellar Profile

Next, and this is really important, fill out your profile. Many people base their decision to follow someone on their profile, so make sure yours gives a clear indication of your interests on Twitter and hints at your personality. You can also choose to add your location to your profile. Usually, sharing your location helps people put you in context; however, if you do business globally there are instances where you might be better off omitting your location. If you have an employer, and this is your personal Twitter account, you need to make it clear in your profile that the opinions expressed are your own not you employer’s, or you may run into trouble at work. Your profile is also the place to direct people to your blog, website, tumblr account, and facebook page. Make sure, however, that these things line up. If you’re tweeting professionally, you may not want to share a facebook page that focuses on kids, puppy dogs, and Farmville with your followers.

This is what my Twitter profile says:

Public relations and marketing veteran, advertising junkie, and mother of teenagers.
NL, Canada • www.ishouldhavedonethisyesterday.wordpress.com

Don’t link your Twitter account to your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts because

  • Many of the things you Tweet don’t make sense out of the context of the Twitter stream.
  • Even if your Tweet can stand by itself, the subject might not be suited to your Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections.
  • While the subject of your tweet might be suited to your Facebook and LinkedIn audiences, the tone that’s suited to Twitter isn’t likely to work on Facebook on LinkedIn.
  • If you’re a frequent tweeter, all those messages are just going to piss off your Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections, who are not accustomed to being inundated.
4.  Start Following People

I started by following reporters, professional associations, news outlets, good causes, people who blog about public relations, marketing, and social media, some of the better known social media gurus (the good ones almost all seem to hate being called that), and a couple of celebrities.

Here are some suggestions from those I follow:

@PRSA @IABC @PRDaily @OnlinePrMedia @AdWeek @MrMediaTraining @helpareporter @prconversations @MarkRaganCEO @socialmediaclub @jeffbullas @SocialMedia411 (Social Media Insider) @SocialMedia Rvl @SocialNetDaily @PamMktgNut @BlogHer @WmJHartman @Reuters @AP @TheCdnPress @tw_top_news @NewsHour (PBS) @washingtonpost @TIME @nytimes @cnnbrk @guardian @NewYorker @Tweet_Leap @TweetSmarter @HuffingtonPost @historyweird @AncientProverbs @BillGates @Oprah @DalaiLama @ladygaga

You can use the search feature in Twitter to find people. You can sign up to follow many bloggers from their blogs and many companies from their blogs or websites. More and more, people are adding their Twitter handle to their e-mail signatures. Furthermore, when you are on your Twitter homepage, there is a suggested list of people to follow, some of whom are sponsored (i.e. they are paying to be promoted in this way).

And of course you can follow me @judymsnow.

When you are thinking about following someone, clicking on that user’s name will allow you to see their profile, number of tweets sent, number of people they follow, number of people who follow them, and their tweets. General wisdom is that you don’t want to follow someone who has no avatar, who has not tweeted, or who has no follower, although sometimes this may just mean they are new to Twitter—perhaps you can start your journey together. When a Twitter egg is attached to an account that tweets a lot, follows lots of people, and has next to no followers, it is safe to assume you have found the account of a Spam Bot, so don’t follow it.

Not everyone you follow will choose to follow you back, so don’t take offence. The Dalai Lama has more than 4 million followers, but follows no one. When you are notified that someone is following you, check out that person’s profile. You can choose to ignore them, follow them, or if they make you uncomfortable, block them.

Bear in mind that everyone can see who you follow and who follows you, and you may be judged by the company you keep.

5.  Start Tweeting

It is important to get a few tweets under your belt fairly quickly so that people who look at your account can tell that it is active and get some kind sense of the kind of content you share. What to do?

You can start by using the built-in retweet function to retweet a tweet that you like. You can also tweet a favorite quote. (FYI, quotes are the most popular content on Twitter.) Or you can just tweet your own comments—something interesting that you’re doing, or the topic du jour. You do not have to be 100% consistent in the kind of content you tweet, although received wisdom is that you’re more likely to be followed, to retain your followers, and to have your tweets shared if you’re not all over the place. I’ll talk more about that later.

Keep it short! Your tweets cannot exceed 140 characters, including spaces. Twitter will tell you when you go over. Tell free to use commonplace abbreviations to get your count down. Most experienced Twitter users try to keep their character count down to 120 or less, because it allows people to add a little something if they decide to retweet.

Be careful what you say about your employer, clients, and customers. If you wouldn’t want it published on the front page of your community daily, don’t say it on twitter.

Most people who are actively engaged in social media are happy to have you share their content; however, be sure to give credit where credit is due by adding RT @twitterhandle or via @twitterhandle to your tweet

6.  Mind Your Manners

Unless you are never going to need a job, a client, or a customer, you need to mind your manners on Twitter and present yourself professionally as realistically speaking your tweets are available for all to see, not just those you choose to see them. (More on this later.)

Next Time

Next time I’ll talk about Twitter trends, #hashtags, basic Twitter jargon, writing an effective Tweet, how to get retweeted, growing your number of followers, and the best times and days to Tweet.


As a 51 year old who has worked in communications and marketing for 23 years, I am ashamed to admit how little I know about social media. And it is cold comfort to know I am not the only communications professional to find herself in this boat.

I am one of those PR/marketing types who subscribes to the school of “everything is marketing,” from the sign outside your shop to the way you answer the phone to your YellowPages listing (snicker). So for me to lack a command of social media is embarrassing, to say the least. Career limiting, you might say. Clearly, this has to change.

So this is where I am right now.

Websites. The grand-daddy of social media. Websites I get. I developed my first big website in 1996, and my second in 1999. Many more have followed. Websites are about words. They’re about logic. They’re about content and links to other, related content. With a few great pictures tossed in. And by 2001, I had even managed to grasp the [now] obvious benefits of advertising on other organizations’ websites—organizations that were popular with and followed by my audiences/publics/segments, whatever the hell you want to call ‘em. Thanks to my ex-husband, I developed a rudimentary understanding of SEO (aka search engine optimization for my fellow Ludites) early on. Just don’t ask me about Google Panda, ‘cause I got nothing to say. Yet.

E-mail. One of my true loves. Direct mail without all those envelopes, labels, and stamps to lick. Why god created Blackberries. That and texting, which I reserve for communicating with my teenagers [insert eyeroll here]. I am relieved to hear e-mail is alive and well as a marketing and communications tool. What I need to learn is how to tie it together with everything else.

Facebook. That’s where I go to share funny pictures, good jokes (especially jokes about language, pr, and marketing), and to comment on, and share, news stories I find interesting. With my FRIENDS. You know, people with whom I am well acquainted. But use it for work. Not a clue. This . . . must . . . change.

YouTube.  I really enjoy watching videos of animals doing ridiculous things. Yup. I’m one of THOSE people. Obviously, I do realize that businesses and causes exploit YouTube to great effect. Something else I need to get my head around.

LinkedIn. 64 connections and counting. Pretty good profile, if I do say so myself. Nice headshot. I do work in PR after all. Pretty soon I hope to start using it as something more than a place to park my cv.

Twitter. I know Lady Gaga (20+ million followers) and Justin Bieber (18+ million followers) are the people to beat! That’s the competitive, marketing type coming out in me. I’ve signed myself up for a twitter account. I follow a company, and I had (please notice the tense) a follower.  Years ago when I decided to set up a personal e-mail account, I used my somewhat unusual maiden name judy_cheater@yahoo.ca. This is the e-mail address I used for my twitter account. Based on my e-mail address (how do they do that?) I acquired my one-and-only follower @YouGotCheatedOn. Today I will start following people. Tomorrow, perhaps someone will follow me.

Pinterest. Got an account there, too. Figure I’m going to post the memes I like from www.icanhascheezburger.com on Pinterest. Duh. Thanks to my thirteen year old for explaining what a “meme” is. Suspect this will be the last tool I add to my professional kit.

And that leads me to blogs. I don’t blog. Even more embarrassing, I don’t read other people’s blogs with the exception of two great Newfoundland and Labrador blogs, “John Gushue Dot Dot Dot” (www.johngushue.typepad.com) and Ed Hollett’s “The Sir Robert Bond Papers” (www.bondpapers.blogspot.com). How old am I? I’m so old my second version of the CP Stylebook makes no reference to blogs. I read books and magazines (and not, for the most part, the serious variety that improve your mind). I watch and read and listen to news, mostly the real kind. I read all kinds of stuff about marketing and communications. I even read some websites. But  I don’t understand why people blog or why people read blogs. Now it looks like I’m going to have to eat those words – and post them. So here I am. And here you are.

As the 100th anniversary of the Titanic approaches (www.receivingtitanic.com),  I am determined not to go down with the ship. I figure I have at least 15 good years of work left in me, so would somebody please throw me a life buoy.

There’s the rub. Nobody’s going to throw me a life buoy.  Instead, I fear I’m going to have to build myself a nice, cushy social media raft.

So this blog is about that journey, a journey to discover how to master social media as a set of tools and integrate them with all the other marketing and communications tools in my possession. I’m hoping some of the old hands – the masters of these tools—will throw me an occasional lifeline. And I hope I can be of some help to others who relate all too well to my little diatribe, those who want and need to make this trip themselves, the trip to communications in the 21st century.

So from here on in I promise a lot less personal revelation and a lot more simple, concrete suggestions for how those of us with our feet stuck in the 20th century can sink our teeth into the 21st.