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Sean Penn might be a better choice for your purposes. P.S. Just out of curiosity: Was Ed the industry sage who dozed off during the client presentation?
While I agree a Tea Party split seems like a logical conclusion, can the "mainstream" Republican party win without them? It seems to me that, combined, both groups make up about 35% of the electorate; if they were to divide, it's not clear how either would serve as a threat to a Democratic majority. The other question is whether the ideological factions within the Republican party are willing to sacrifice their positions in order to win an election. I think portions of the GOP are more wed to their issues than to election victories -- and that they believe that giving up those issues in order to win an election is more of a failure than a victory.
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2012 on If I were a Republican at RepMan
I blame the management. I'm willing to bet that A-Rod could be straightened out with just ONE assignment sheet meeting.
Perhaps the best way to find the appropriate author would be to hold an assignment sheet meeting.
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2012 on A new twist on bait-and-switch at RepMan
I agree -- and disagree -- with points made by GoToP. On the agreement side, he's hit the nail on the head in regard to a continuing problem for PR (albeit one that might have little to do with gender, per se): The lack of management standards and training programs. It doesn't tend to be an industry that deploys people with business management degrees into places of authority; rather, it tends to be someone who has succeeded previously. And, there's a big difference between being able to pitch a story to the media and being able to manage people below you. The seat-of-the-pants management and the politics that often accompany it can't be seen as a positive for those interested in professional structure. Where I disagree, however, is in the area of discrimination. I think the current paradigm allows for the "right" man to advance quickly, even more so than a similarly qualified woman, simply because of the unique qualities his female counterpart can't equal: He is a man -- and the "right" man (fill in your own qualifications here) is hard to come by in the industry. Considered another way, it's probably more difficult for a woman to distinguish herself in a field made up entirely of women than it would be for a man in the same field.
I don't think the earning potential between PR and Wall Street is remotely comparable. Indeed, when wifey-pooh and I graduated from college in the same month, her entry-level job in banking paid nearly twice as much as mine did in PR. I don't want to even get into what happened to our respective salaries in the years that followed. I do agree that this lack of diversity harms the industry. There are gender differences -- and I say that without attaching a value judgment as to which is better, smarter, can win an arm-wrestling match, etc. As the astute observer will note, the all-male and all-female teams never seem to win on Family Feud. There's a reason for that.
"...blunt, completely unapproachable and hard-wired not to listen to anything one says..." I'd like to comment on this, but I have to go an assignment-sheet meeting. I, too, share in your disagreement with regard to the Penn State professors. The real culprits, in my opinion, are low entry-level salaries and the idea that PR is not seen as a "destination" for men -- rather, it's something they fall into by accident.
I can no longer afford Eliot Spitzer's hookers.
Toggle Commented Feb 17, 2012 on You da man! at RepMan
I would gladly do it for the princely sum of one autographed photo of Ed.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2012 on The Curt Flood of PR? at RepMan
Would you prefer Georgia Southern? Either way, you ought to be redefining the landscape to create your own categories and platforms. What would Bernays do? I think he'd use his PR savvy to overcome these obstacles. I mean, who better than a bunch of PR pros to create that legitimate challenge out of nothing? That's what we do, baby.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2012 on The Curt Flood of PR? at RepMan
You should create your own competing awards platform. Surely, there must be a number of small- to mid-sized agencies in the same boat and expressing the same discontent with the bias toward the bigger shops that exists under the current paradigm. It might be a logistical challenge to create and stage such a program from scratch (but, hey, you do work in PR -- so you inherently know how to find Johnnie Walker Red in a dry county in Tennessee), but I have to wonder whether changing the landscape in this way would work to the advantage of the smaller-sized firms. I mean, no one expects Youngstown State to beat Notre Dame -- but the former is a perennial football powerhouse for its size.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2012 on The Curt Flood of PR? at RepMan
Forget those agency conflict-of-interest issues, this is here is an even bigger problem: A woman being fired for working at her desk during lunch. Once upon a time, I faced a similar issue. I used to come in an hour early and -- brace yourself -- go through that morning's NY Times to get a feel for what was happening. You know, it's not totally illogical for a PR person to know what's in that day's paper, right? Anyway, HEG passed word down that if I were seen again, at my desk at 8 am, reading the paper, I'd be fired.
My favorite headline of the week has been from Newsday: "Michael Jackson's doctor says he won't testify." I had to read the article to understand that there would be no seance involved in the trial.
While I agree that Jobs' posthumous sainthood is largely a media creation, I am additionally struck by how the public has mindlessly gone along for that ride. To be sure, I remember being the cynic at those brainstorming sessions in midtown PR firms, saying that the public would never be so gullible as to go along with what was being proposed; having lived among that public, I'm now cynical in an entirely different way.
Toggle Commented Oct 11, 2011 on Does genius trump abuse? at RepMan
While I agree with you that this outpouring of adulation is confusing (if there were an Internet in 1947, I can't imagine similar grief being expressed when Henry Ford passed), I'm not sure we should be bothered by the stories of employees avoiding Jobs when he walked through campus. I once worked with Ed, and I can report the same type of frightening shunning taking place whenever he walked by.
Toggle Commented Oct 11, 2011 on Does genius trump abuse? at RepMan
It's a shame Wilt Chamberlain is no longer with us. He would have been a perfect spokesperson.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2011 on Prostate cancer needs a Susan G. Komen at RepMan
A member of my household receives government assistance, which, in our state involves an interview every six months to affirm the need for these services. In what I can only imagine is part of the evangelical influence over our country, the interview process includes a question about whether we attend church regularly. (Ostensibly, it's to ascertain whether the church could be an additional social safety net, but it strikes me much more as the state trying to categorize "us" versus "them.") Being a recovering Catholic from the NYC area (i.e., not a church-going local), my answer to this intrusive question is always the same: "I couldn't pick my parish priest out of a police lineup -- which, incidentally, is where I believe I would find him." Invariably, the report comes back from the state a month later, indicating that my relative continues to qualify for services and that "the family continues to receive additional support from its local Catholic church." I can't figure for the life of me whether the interviewers don't get the sarcasm or whether one needs to be one of "them" to qualify for government services.
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2011 on Pope Victim XVI at RepMan
...And, in addition to all of this, Keef also gives you some of his favorite sausage recipes as well. You just can't beat that.
Toggle Commented Sep 19, 2011 on (Keith can't get no) satisfaction at RepMan
I think the Cubs are an easy PR gig because they remain an institution in that city, in spite of their ineptitude on the field. The Mets, on the other hand, would be much more of a challenge, based on a seemingly unwinnable competition with a cross-town rival that threatens to make them irrelevant, as well as an endless stream of head-scratching moves like the first-responder cap fiasco this week.
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2011 on I have some good news and some bad news at RepMan
I can understand you, but Ed has got "Immelt worthy" written all over him. What were they thinking?
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2011 on Remember Me and You (Part II) at RepMan
I don't remember any hoopla surrounding Nagle. Rather, the story (as I remember it) has Jet executive Ron Wolf targeting a little-known QB with an unpronounceable name -- a five-letter last name with a "VR" that sounded like an "RV" -- before Wolf left for Green Bay, where he selected said QB. I can't imagine a QB taken out of Louisville in the second round being the subject of hype, unless, of course, he was once a better prospect whose horizons had been dampened by off-the-field issues. As for Todd, neither he nor Namath threw all that much in college. He was, however, the number-six overall pick in his draft and the first QB taken. And, coming from a school known for its QBs, that's a lot different than Nagle in the second round from Louisville. Finally, your reference to Jerry Kenny has left me wondering about your bona fides as a Met fan. I'm beginning to suspect that somewhere -- perhaps in a basement closet -- you have an autographed Horace Clarke baseball.
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2011 on The Browning Nagle of American Presidents at RepMan
Nagle was actually a second-round pick who arrived with little fanfare, tore up the league in his first start and then faded into oblivion. Considering the low expectations which accompanied his selection in the draft, I wouldn't equate him with disappointment; rather, that was the proverbial cream rising to the top (and vice versa). Two better examples would be Richard Todd and Mike Pelfrey, respectively. Todd, who, like Namath, went to Alabama, was taken in the first round while the latter was still wearing the green and white, and was widely seen as the heir apparent. While he boasted all the physical tools, he had none of Namath's mental toughness. Ditto for Pelfrey, a first-round pick who has been the quintessential disappointment, never winning a big game and being consistently outperformed by lesser lights. To me, that's Obama: The hope and potential of the pedigree offset by the lack of intestinal fortitude to get it done. Suffice to say, Obama wouldn't have lasted through one assignment-sheet meeting.
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2011 on The Browning Nagle of American Presidents at RepMan
Rep, a few years back we upgraded from a VW Pissant to a Lexus, and the difference in each company's respective service models was nothing short of stunning. Volkswagen shared its dealership with Ford, and its service seemed geared to F-150 drivers: They stopped just short of calling you a sissy man and taunting you for not wanting to change your own oil. In contrast, Lexus had leather couches, freshly baked cookies, loaner cars, drop off and pick-up service, complimentary car washes, etc. Fittingly, the oil change at the Lexus dealership cost twice as much as the one at the Ford/VW one, but in the end felt nothing short of pampered. So, yes, there are brands that take that approach with customer service, largely because they're dealing with upscale customers who appreciate (and can afford) it. Carl, I hope you're right about a tipping point. Because when we simply make decisions on cost, what we get is everything -- from the actual manufacturing to the customer servicing -- taking place overseas, where labor is cheaper. As for your keen observation about the immigration workers, I have encountered a lot of govt employees who are truly passionate about their subject matter. It's disarmingly refreshing.
I may be alone on this, but I think the lack of customer service reflects our culture on the whole: We say we want to be treated like a valued customer, but, at the end of the day, we really don't want to pay extra for that treatment. As such, every time we forgo potentially better customer service in an effort to save money on cost, we send businesses the message that customer service doesn't pay. This cultural tendency is also reflected by the get-rich-quick approach of the modern-day stock market. With such an emphasis on immediate and ongoing profitability, companies have little choice but to cut back on customer service in order to prop up quarterly earnings for shareholders. It's the proverbial hamster on the wheel, and it can't be sustainable over the long haul without something having to give.
I don't know whether it's tasteless or not -- I just know that it brings back memories of assignment sheet meetings.
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2011 on Tasteless Spot at RepMan