Wednesday, July 30, 2008

PR advice I found in ESPN The Magazine

A few weeks ago I ran across a bit of sound Public Relations advice in ESPN The Magazine that has been rattling around in my head as I've been thinking over it.

ESPN The Magazine has a regular column that starts off 7 Things You Should Know About and each issue has a short list of interesting bits of sports information on things like Running a Small-market Basketball Team or Being a Low-ranked Tennis Player or being an NHL Referee or (you get the idea.)

The Good Advice
One recent list in their 7 Things You Should Know About was on Designing Golf Equipment by By Jeff Colton, Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Callaway Golf (as told to Amanda Angel.)

Here's the one that jumped out at me:
2. WE'RE ALWAYS WATCHING. "Not only do we keep an eye on other sports, but we also study the automotive industry and architecture. In 1996, we replaced the metal head on a stainless steel fairway wood with lightweight carbon because we saw how BMW boosted the performance of its high-end coupes by replacing aluminum and steel roofs with a composite. We translate advances in different industries to our clubs." [emphasis mine]
This is really good advice for PR professionals. We need to be aware, reading, studying, analyzing, anything to keep tabs on other industries to see what is/is not working for them.

It is imperative to pay attention to advances in different industries and see what could be applied to our own even if some people in other industries don't think it's important to look at ours.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Big, Fat Social Media Day

Yesterday was a good day for me in social media terms.

The Twebinar
I was able to carve out some time to "attend" the Part 2 of the Twebinar series covering the topic, "Who really owns your brand?" (Note: in case you missed the first Twebinar on “Doing Business in Social Media," here's the archived video from June.)

I really enjoyed the second installment of the Twebinar. The topic was well covered. The technology worked better as Chris Brogan switched from live to recorded video.

Who really owns your brand? A few quotes & take-aways that were interesting to me:
  • Kami Watson-Huyse - "brand is co-owned...actually do something so we can talk. [The brand is where the] interest of the company and interest of the consumer or stakeholder meet."
  • Phil Gomes - mentioned that we could really be considered "brand curators"
  • Chris Heuer - "brands with the best storytellers win." (Reminded me of something that Lauren Vargas recently said.)
  • Mike Manuel - "if you walk into a situation and don't have the ability to understand the context of the conversation, then you don't belong there"
  • Lee Odden - "Brand is a promise kept" (this one topped my list of favs from Twebinar 2.)
Do these thoughts mesh with your idea of brand ownership?
(Bonus: Here are a few posts on the twebinar.)

The Meetup
Next, I had the pleasure to attend the first of what I hope to be many meetings of the Social Media Club Fort Worth. (Another big thanks to Lauren Vargas for setting it all up and inviting her students.) I enjoyed meeting some people in the area who are investigating social media for a variety of uses. It was encouraging to see such a lively group. (What's up Jake.) I hope that it continues, grows, and provides the Fort Worth area (and Dallas too) with some direction and leadership in social media.

The first rule of Social Media Club is...
you TALK about Social Media Club.

The second rule of Social Media Club is...
TALK about Social Media Club!

The Conversations

Throughout the day I had some excellent conversations. Whether it was on Twitter before, during, and after the Twebinar, or lively banter at the SMC Fort Worth, I believe we are hard-wired for this social media stuff. We want to connect. We want to tell good stories. We want to talk about ourselves. We want to talk with other people.

As a Communications/PR professional I need to remember this when integrating social technologies into campaigns and general strategies.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Social Media and the Science Museum

Friday morning, I had the pleasure of meeting with a small group of people from the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, made up of the marketing, development, membership, and Web site brain trust for the museum. I was invited by a PRSA colleague to discuss with her and her team about the opportunities for integrating social media in their capital campaign. (Photo:

I was told that most of them had previously viewed the online version of the presentation that Terry Morawski and I had given to GFW PRSA, so I was pretty nervous for expectations that they may have had.

We had a great discussion and what was the first of hopefully many meetings as they embark in what will no doubt be a shift in communication, marketing, and development philosophies. I received permission to blog our progress as a case study on social media dynamics. (Full disclosure: I will also received a free membership for my family to the museum of which I am even more excited. I love science museums!)

What's in place
The group seemed to have a grasp on many social media tools and only stopped the discussion a few times to ask questions about the types of SM technologies. The Museum currently has implemented some solid communication offerings and has dabbled in social media. To name a few:

First Steps

It was apparent from our discussion that many in the group were interested in how they could inject the 'give to the capital campaign' message into as many things as possible. I told them I was familiar with fundraising and understood the development mindset of asking for funds at every turn. The problem I have with this as it relates to SM is that you could try too hard in the asking for money and hurt your image with the community.

I think we steered the conversation to a more general overview of what is possible with a little bit of work and some dedicated time. We agreed on some initial steps to get them going in the right direction:

  • E-mail - They are going to start using Constant Contact for their e-mail marketing campaigns. (I am a huge proponent of CC and have been a user for a while in other capacities.) This step really doesn't fall within the typical SM tool belt, but I think using an e-newsletter with user tracking for feedback has some great benefits for this organization. Plus, it will be easier for them to implement than their current newsletter;

  • Social Networking - Next, the group is going to setup a Facebook profile. This seemed obvious since they already have a MySpace profile; and 

  • Blogging - The most intriguing (to me) of steps for the group is a museum blog or blogs. I showed them samples and we discussed how this could be managed whether it's one blog with multiple authors or multiple single-author blogs. 

My hope is that they can look beyond the fundraising elements and concentrate on the bigger picture of using  social media tools to improve community relations. Let the 'Give to the FW Museum' messaging be subtle and I believe they will have greater success.

The biggest obstacle this group is going to have is the initial shock of how much time using social media technologies can take. A few people asked aloud how they were going to have any time for this stuff. My answer to them (and anyone else with this issue) is this: How can you not have time to work on things for your organization that could potentially energize your community, impress your stakeholders, and inspire your staff? 

There is more to come. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Are we taking good initial steps?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Efficient or lazy?


Originally uploaded by vedo's pics
Saw this sign and it made me think about the differences between being efficient and being lazy. Sometimes we take our communication tools for granted and communicate the wrong thing. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we are being efficient by using the latest and greatest technology. Sometimes we are really lazy and don't want to expend the extra effort to get it right the first time. Sometimes we just run out of letters. Whatever the reasons, our intended message may not be the message we send.

Communication 101: You cannot not communicate.

Even the unintentional can send the wrong message.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Defending satire

Once again, John Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show gets it right when he defends satire in The New Yorker.

It makes one wonder if our media friends ever go back and look at their own tapes. Bottom-line: I thought it was funny and wanted to share.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Don't be mad, be good

On Sunday, June 1, 2008 legal analyst Andrew Cohen of CBS spoke out on former White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellen's new tell-all book. In his report, "The Flak on Flacks," Cohen accuses PR professionals of making a living on untruths. He even calls out PRSA's ethics. National PRSA responded. Cohen responds. And the arguing raged on, and on, and on.

43 days later, on Sunday July 13, 2008 a columnist for the Dallas Morning News wrote his opinion on a regional natural gas drilling company, Chesapeake Energy's corporate online video channel. The online news channel may have gone unnoticed if not for the fact that a local television news anchor, Tracey Rowlett, left his anchor position on the Dallas/Fort Worth CBS affiliate for Chesapeake's (coming in September 2008 from Branded News.) The DMN column even quoted a Texas state representative to further make his point:

State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, isn't buying that Chesapeake will fund the newscasts and not exercise any influence over them. "Lies, lies and more lies," he said.

"Only the extremely, extraordinarily naive would think any corporation would hire a PR operation to get the truth out," he said. "Let's not be naive about the Chesapeake Broadcasting Network."

The Dallas Observer's Blog, Unfair Park had Tracey Rowlett's side of the story including:

Nobody is covering these issues, and the Shale is the most important thing to hit here since cattle. It's that kind of an economic issue. It'll be a full discussion program. Folks keep thinking we'll be shills for Chesapeake, and that's not what this is.
Truth & PR
I disagree with Andrew Cohen's sweeping generalization of PR people as liars. I was pleased to see a quick response by PRSA national through the letter plus e-mails to membership keeping us updated. Further I don't appreciate Rep. Burnam's equating PR with lies. Actually, I thought it was kind of funny for a politician to call PR people liars. And as for the local news anchor, Tracey Rowlett leaving one news desk for a perceived corporate communications news desk, maybe the guy just wants to get into a more stable industry! (Thanks, T-Mo.)

But it is hard to argue with the perception of public relations as a profession in society.

I've read where maybe the public relations profession should have a PR campaign. I don't think this is possible. I don't see how anyone could change societal views of public relations any more than I think people will start thinking highly of politicians, lawyers, used-car salesmen or journalists. We are viewed in a negative light. There is no denying this. People see us using "spin" to cover up problems.

I fall under the broker paradigm of public relations: An intermediary between an organization and its stakeholders to find mutually beneficial solutions. (Tip of the hat to Kami Huyse on her insightful post.)

What I do know is this: I can only control what I do as a communications/PR professional to influence how my sphere of influence sees my profession. I hope when people look at me and the work I do, they see a credible and honest professional who keeps in mind the best interests of my organization or client.

I should not and I will not apologize for trying to make my organization or client look good for stakeholders. It is up to me to accomplish this task with integrity and truthfulness. We serve our profession by striving to be better at our craft including an adherence to its ethical standards. Professionals practicing this type of PR will not have to worry about this and any other backlash against our profession.

What do you think?

Photo Credit: nouQraz

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Musical Inspiration for Social Media

Rent Signage

Originally uploaded by m_halminen

"Why are you so in to this social media stuff?" I get questions like this from family, friends, colleagues and I haven't really been able to nail down a good explanation that suits me...until now.

I have found some social media inspiration in a song that helps explain why I am so fascinated in social media. It comes from one of my favorite musicals, Rent by Jonathan Larson.
La Vie Boheme
To days of inspiration,
Playing hooky, making something
Out of nothing, the need
To express-
To communicate,
To going against the grain,
Going insane,
Going mad

Now, I will probably not immediately start singing when I am asked again, but I may hit the high points of why social media resonates with me.

Days of inspiration...making something out of nothing...the need to express, to communicate...

These are things that make social media so interesting to me. What makes social media interesting to you?

Side notes: Rent is leaving Broadway on September 7. The Rent Web site and other related sites have some interesting examples of social media in action: Rent Countdown Blog, EverythingIsRENT You Tube Channel, Goodbye, Love Message Board, Speak Your Heart Forum, and others. While I did not get to see the show on Broadway, I did get to see touring casts in Dallas and Fort Worth and they lived up to expectations.

Monday, July 14, 2008

People first, technology last

I am reading Groundswell by Forrester Research's Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. This book is easily one of the most intriguing professional books I've read in a while. According to Li and Bernoff the groundswell is:
A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.

While I don't particularly care for the name they chose to describe the social media phenomenon, I do appreciate the terrific insight and research they've provided.

One graphical representation from the book helps explain the Social Technographics® Profile in the form of a Ladder to represent consumers' social computing behavior categorized by participation.

Social Technographics Ladder

The social participation rungs in the ladder are (from bottom to top): Inactives, Spectators, Joiners, Collectors, Critics, and Creators with explanations of each. The authors provide various samples of profiles to help drive home the point that different people come to you and your company or organization at very different levels of social media participation.

The POST Method

There are implications for business in assessing participation, especially when one applies the POST method for a social media strategy:
  1. Assess the social activities of your People;
  2. Decide what Objectives you want to accomplish;
  3. Plan your Strategy for changes in customer relations; then
  4. Decide on the suitable Technology or technologies to meet your goals.

I was struck by something so simple, but could have serious implications for those interested in social media if forgotten: The POST method starts with "P" for People.

People Matter

If you don't have your people, (audience, stakeholders, customers, community, or any other term you use) your social media strategy will be much harder to effectively implement and accurately assess.

To often Communication/PR practitioners are presented with the challenge of adding a social media to their communication efforts and they jump straight to the latest and greatest social media technology with buzz.

I am all for jumping in and experimenting with social media mainly because you are more credible if you've experienced the various forms of social media. This holds true even if you outsource.

However, I caution (from experience) that your community participation assessment should come first.

If the biggest sin in social media is inaction, then I think the biggest mistake is not knowing your people.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Social Media: Under Construction

On Wednesday, July 9, Terry Morawski and I collaborated on a social media presentation for the Greater Fort Worth chapter of PRSA:

I am looking forward to reading the comments and feedback from the attendees.

The changed landscape of public relations

I am proud to be a public relations professional. Some outside people might scoff at the idea of being in PR. They (like many people I would guess) have an antiquated idea of public relations.

There is a song by Jimmy Buffet, Public Relations off of the Don't Stop The Carnival album about Norman Paperman, a Broadway press agent who is in need of an awakening:
Up every morning, out every evening
Hustling for headlines, that's what I do
Table at Sardi's, grappling for gossip
Working the press for a mention or two
I never acted like some nervous rookie
Right form the start I was hot as a cookie
I was a numero uno
What a debut

Public Relations, Public Relations
Boozing and schmoozing, that's what I do
PR's my vocation
And I'm a sensation
Public relations

Such hullabaloo


Public Relations, Public Relations
Ego inflation, that's what I do
Isn't it wonderful, isn't it fabulou
Public Relations, such hullabaloo

While humorous, the song's lyrics say what many people may think about PR.

We should not forget the bread and butter of our craft (especially in media relations). However, with the changing communication landscape PR professionals need to be better equipped at integrating social media.

So what does it mean to practice PR? According to the "bible" of public relations, Cutlip, Center and Broom's definition:
Public relations is a management function that seeks to identify, build, and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and all of the publics on whom its success or failure depends."

Mutually beneficial relationships

Relationships should be nurtured and grown over time. As a PR professional, I need to seek out and adapt to ways of reaching my organization's community.

I like the idea of getting rid of the word "users" and replacing it with "guests".

I agree that we need to be more efficient.

I think Jason Falls is on to something when he asks "Can Advertising Truly Be Social?"

And even though he specifically targets agencies, Todd Defren's post Five Thoughts on the Future of Public Relations should get the rest of us thinking.

I once read the following:
Don't confuse revolutionary change with evolutionary change.

In this case, the evolutionary change must come from the PR practitioner. Keep up or get left behind.

Twitter and good PR

Using Twitter for PR efforts should not be seen as a suggestion, but rather a necessity.

Now, in no way am I advocating PR professionals join Twitter and start pitching away at any and all journalists they find. This is a bad idea and will get you blocked faster than you can say, "SPAM-a-lama-ding-dong."

What I find necessary are the useful things about Twitter that every PR person can and should use:
  • knowledge finding
  • personal branding
  • community engaging
  • relationship building
  • idea banking
  • advise seeking

If you keep some of these things in mind, I believe PR people will start to get more out of Twitter than you previously thought possible from this useful application that asks the question, "What are you doing?"

Why do I believe this? Because our organizations or clients are made up of people and not pitches. Todd Defren of PR Squared puts it this way:
In the Social Media era, getting better at Public Relations means getting better at the Relationships, not the Publicity. [emphasis added]

If PR people believe the statement above, then we can be better at putting into practice the statement below:
...public relations builds relationships and creates an ongoing dialogue of interaction and involvement with an organization’s target audiences and those who influence those audiences.

How do you use twitter? Are you using your twitter-hood to its potential?

School districts could Twitter too

twitterI believe there are useful applications of Twitter (and other microblogging sites) for school districts.

I recently started using Twitter after listening to Geoff Livingston at a Ft. Worth PRSA luncheon earlier in the year. He was helping us understand how to integrate social media into communications plans (and sell a few copies of his book, Now is Gone, which is really an excellent read.)

I became hooked on this online tool. I started noticing many organizations using it as well for various uses (DFW Airport, CNN, Red Cross, etc.) and I began to think that school districts could (and probably should) use this microblogging tool for updates. As more and more people become aware and use social media tools like Twitter, it is imperative that school districts go where the people are to get stories out.

We setup the Mansfield ISD Twitter account and began with a few posts. We were met with mild success so far without much in the way of publicity. The only thing done at first was a soft-launch in the district's blog. This received a mention in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Education Blog. We even received a nice tweet from a follower.

Our communities are quickly coming around to using new media tools. It is our job as communication professionals to move forward (or in some cases keep up) with the conversation.

So how do you get some Twitter love for your district? Try some of these resources:

I suggest using Twitter to post general (read: useful) happenings, articles, pages, etc. from a district's Web site. You must decide if this is a useful tool and decide if Twitter matters. Plus, consider using a "tweet" (yes, that's really what they are called) to give updates in the event of problems that tend to arise. I'd like to see if others are considering or are currently using Twitter in this way.

Social Media for Beginners

I spoke at the School PR in North Texas group (North Central Texas region of the Texas School Public Relations Association) on the topic of Social Media for School Districts. I received some very good feedback from members. I also noticed a look of eyes that were glazing over at some of the ideas presented.

I think most everyone present had heard of social media in some form or another but maybe had not tried it themselves. There was even a point were it seemed that social media was being confused with social networking and that social networking had a bad rap in society. Public perception problems with MySpace tended to be where the certain group members turned their attention. (Note: social networking is a type of social media.)

This discussion had me thinking during the presentation that I was speaking to individuals with very different levels of engagement with social (or new) media. I realized that for school communication/PR professionals, we need to work to bring as many people as we can to understand the new forms of community engagement.

I've decided to find and bring to you dear reader a few quality, ground-level explanation-type links or ideas for the Social Media Newbie. There is no shame in being a newbie, in fact be proud of wanting to be a learner and expanding your communication repertoire.

Up first, Social Media by video:

I am a huge fan of The Common Craft Show. These guys are great explainers. They call it "sense-making for the masses." There is a collection of videos called In Plain English, where seemingly difficult concepts are explained in, well you get the idea. Check out their In Plain English Videos covering the following: Blogs, Social Networking, RSS (Feed Syndication), Social Bookmarking, Wikis, and for fun check out Zombies.

Here's the Common Craft Show Video: Blogs In Plain English

When you are ready to move on, check out Social Media Strategies covering "the basic ingredients of social media." Then proceed to archived lessons. Not all of the videos will cover aspects pertinent to school communications, but having the individual knowledge will only help make you a more effective communicator.

I'll find more to add to the collection, but I would encourage you seek out other new media basics so we can get closer to speaking the same languages.

Social Media for School distrticts

Being Social has its benefits!

How do you engage your district's community?

How much do you rely on the traditional media to reach your community?
School PR people can have some fun with new media, but where does one begin?

There is a difference between talking to and talking with. It should be understood that social media, when applied correctly, like a conversation, is talking with a community.

New Media (or social media) can be categorized into 7 main types
[From Kami Huyse's Communication Overtones blog: If the Shoe Fits...Social Media in Seven Boxes]
I. Publishing Platforms: These consist of platforms and tools that allow the author(s) to set the content of the initial offering. Most offer a way for others to comment on the content and include RSS feeds to syndicate the copy

II. Social Networking Sites: These sites allow users to interface by becoming friends and/or sharing favorites. They allow the individual user to have their own space, while also incorporating links and other connections to other users

III. Democratized Content Networks: These sites allow all users to contribute equally, usually with some sort of ability to vote for the best content, or to override, in the case of Wikis, previously submitted content.

IV. Virtual Networking Platforms: These often require third-party interfaces to participate (though some can be accessed through the browser), and consist of a virtual reality experience with other users.

V. Information Aggregators: These are publicly available, machine driven aggregators of niche content, usually with some human editing (such as adding RSS feeds) involved in the process.

VI. Edited Social News Platforms: These are sites where users recommend links and can make comments on the stories that make it through the human editors

VII. Content Distribution Sites:
Sites that allow the user create, collect and/or share content and distribute by providing RSS, code and/or e-mail options. Widgets would also fall into this category.

In School PR we can start by focusing on Categories I and II. (The others might have some school PR use and commenting on their uses is highly recommended.)

I. Publishing Platforms
Blogging - A school district official blog can be a great place to get the conversations going. Think of the district's Web site as the source for information and a district blog as the water cooler, around which you engage in more of an opportunity for conversation

[Example from Mansfield ISD's Your Mansfield ISD blog]
The basic idea behind the Your Mansfield ISD blog is that if your home is located within our district boundaries, our schools are your schools. And let's face it - a school district is a large organization with lots of moving parts...Our goal with this blog is to simplify many of these complexities and also key you in on many of the great things that are going on.

Some considerations when starting a district blog: Do you have blogging policies/guidelines? Will commenting be turned on/off? Note: this one will make administrators nervous. What will you do if/when your staff decides to blog?

Podcasting - Podcasts from a school district can be integrated and, like blogging, become part of any effective communication plan. Many teachers are already using podcasting to engage students in and out of the classrooms. School PR people could explore this option at a district level as well.
[Example Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Off The Page Podcast.]

II. Social Networking Sites
For many school districts sites like YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, etc. are likely blocked from student/staff use because of potentially inappropriate content. In a few cases, sites such as Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc. are left open. I am not going to argue for or against any social networking site's being blocked/unblocked at this point. But, when this opportunity arises I would encourage school PR people to explore the potential for district use. Consider creating a Facebook, Ning, or even MySpace profile for your school district.
[Example: Mansfield ISD uses Twitter:, related post on districts using Twitter.]

These new media tools can be used to deliver relevant and useful content to communities in a format that is either already gained in popularity or continues to be on the rise. Either way, catching up or keeping up with social media's impact on school communications is at least worth looking into or even worth jumping into with both feet.

Let's begin

People are social creatures and long to communicate. Clearly I am not breaking any new ground in anthropology, sociology, or biology. What I hope to deliver is an interesting if not entertaining take on communication, public relations, education, and anything else that strikes me as interesting along the way.

My jump into the blogosphere stems from a decision to finally get off the sidelines and play with some social media tools in order to hone my communication skills. I think these should go along nicely with my other skills. You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills...

As a school PR guy, I believe there obvious opportunities for educational institutions to use the online tools that are available to engage communities. More to come on this later. I don't agree with the notion that our educational system is broken, specifically public education. I believe public school districts are doing what they can with the resources they have been given, under the requirements thrust on them by state and federal decisions. I'll probably get into some of this later as well.

That's it for now.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Don't forget the online pressroom

I planned to present a round-table session covering Online Pressrooms at the 2008 Texas School Public Relations Association Conference in Houston, TX in February. However, life has a way of adjusting plans. What I wanted to tell attendees was that an online pressroom wasn't a luxury that school districts could take lightly, but rather an integral piece of a Web site.

An online pressoom can be used as a simple and effective gateway to the important pieces of news and announcements for a school district's stakeholders: parents, students, staff, community, and media. Notice that I put the media at the end. This is intentional because the traditional media should not be the primary way a school district gets its message out. If managed correctly, a school district's Web site will be the first place the community will go to get accurate information. They may get stories (good/bad) from the media, but our communities should be engaged directly, not indirectly via our media friends.

School districts and their PR/Communication professionals should be maintaining online pressrooms on their Web sites. It can be called many things (Press Room, News, News Room, District News, News & Media, etc.) but it must be easily found, easily read, and easily updated.

In an article in PR Tactics, Ibrey Woodall cites an annual survey conducted by TEKgroup International, which was distributed via email to more than 5,000 journalists. Among the elements of an online press room most important to the respondents were press releases (92 percent), a search module (85 percent), PR contacts (84 percent) and product information (76 percent) - for school districts, this may include information about the board, administration, general district info, etc.

Some district's are already doing a pretty good job with this:
There are more but you get the idea. Get more online pressroom samples and other useful links.

Just remember to include the following:
  • Put the emphasis on information and navigation
  • Complete PR contact information
  • Make the title of the release a link to the full text
  • Don't remove your old releases
This is certainly not a complete list, rather some things that usually get left out. Bottom-line: no district's site is complete without the online newsroom. Get the basics down, then move on to the Social Media Newsroom...

On this date in history, 7-11-08

Today will go down in (my) history as the day I left for Blogger.

Wordpress and I had a lovely relationship while it lasted, but it was time for me to move on and move over to the dynamic, customizable, and ease of Google's free Blogger for my blog.

My former blog will stay online for a while until my loyal readers (namely my wife, mom, and my super-intelligent beagle) make the switch.

I am still pretty new at all of this, but I find it enjoyable and worth my time as a communications and public relations professional. A few of the posts that I really liked from the old blog will make there way over here in the coming days. (Note: I looked into export/import from Wordpress into Blogger, but unfortunately this was unavailable at the time and I was ready to move forward.)

I hold no ill-will toward (the free, less-customizable brother of the downloadable in fact, I would recommend it as a viable option for companies, organizations, and clients who are looking into entering the blogosphere.

Welcome to Next Communications new home on