Monthly Archives: April 2008

Enter Philip Roth

I recently finished reading Philip Roth’s superb novel, Exit Ghost, the latest (and final?) Zukerman story. Nathan Zukerman, by the way, is Roth’s literary alter ego; a fictional author whose life has mirrored that of his creator’s. Or has it? And what can you say about a Roth book that Roth himself doesn’t say better in his writing? How do you communicate his inimitable sense of style and the way in which his characters take on a life of their own? Should you paraphrase? Quote passages? What would you leave out? What essentials would you miss? And the questions… Roth…

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To blog or not to blog…

That is the question… a client asked a couple of weeks ago. Here’s what I suggested. Before you get started Figure out your objective. The blogosphere can be a good way to build awareness for you and your brand, but that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow burn, like media relations, and requires your full attention. In addition, you have to be passionate about writing (hopefully good writing). Entering the frayOK, you’ve done your soul searching and decided that blogging is something you want to do. Here’s what comes next: Select the topic. It should be something you love, intimately…

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The odds are in…

Since April 2nd, I’ve supped my share of rim-rolling Tim Hortons‘ coffees, in hopes of coming up with…anything. According to the rules and regulations on the Rrroll Up the Rim website, my best chances were getting a food prize. Odds: 1 in 9. Here are my results:– 34 coffees consumed (from about six locations)– Two free coffees won– Odds that a coffee I bought would be a winner: 1 in 17 (considerably lower than the posted rate) No wonder I was mildly disappointed, despite having consumed a more-than-adequate supply of caffeine. Will that put a damper on my participation for…

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Makeover

I’m pleased to present the new, sleeker look of my(PR)palette, thanks to Andrew Glenn, our in-house designer. I say blogger never looked so good. Let me know what you think.

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The old joke I alluded to on Inside PR #106

Inside PR #106, taped before a live studio audience at Third Tuesday Toronto, is available for download. For anyone who listens and wonders about the old joke I alluded to, here it is: What’s the difference between advertising and PR? In advertising you pay; in PR you pray. (…Groan…)

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They started a joke…

With apologies to the Bee Gees, but this joke didn’t start ‘the whole world crying’. It was more like a frustrated sigh of bemusement. It happened a week ago, on the stalwart CBC Radio interview show, ‘As It Happens’*. I was in my car and caught the middle of an item which purported to feature a representative of Canada’s mint. The gentleman was extolling the virtues of a new three-dollar coin – the threenie – that was going to replace the five dollar bill. At first, I was incensed. How could they do this? What a typically bureaucratic, cost-saving move?…

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Is blogging hazardous to your health?

The New York Times says it may be. Robert Scoble contends it’s worth the risk. I think this entire story is a little nuts; a hilarious example of the pedestal we, in the social media scene, are placing on communications 2.0. I mean, we’re not talking heroin here, or even addiction to cigarettes or alcohol. Sure, on a personal level the fact that two prominent bloggers died from heart attacks is sad. But c’mon people, this is hardly an epidemic worthy of front page coverage in the most venerable of dailies. I ask you what job is without stress and…

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Twitter redux

It’s no secret that I’ve been baffled by Twitter. I can’t seem to grasp why it’s so popular in the blogosphere and why so many people I know and respect continue to sing its praises. Well, Ed Lee provides a wonderfully fun and creative analogy to explain the concept of micro-blogging that gave me a minor aha experience. I’m still not sure I’ll be a Twitter evangelist, but at least I’m starting to understand. And, at the risk of using the same joke twice in two consecutive posts, Live from Blogging Me, Blogging You…

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Live from Third Tuesday…

…it’s Inside PR. OK, it wasn’t a taping of David Letterman, SNL or the Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off*. But Inside PR listeners had a chance to get up close and personal with podcast at last week’s Third Tuesday Toronto (yes, it was on a Wednesday). While, I generally avoid bars with dart boards, I made a happy exception for this event. For one thing, it was a chance to do the podcast in the same room as the hosts, Terry Fallis and David Jones, and the new guest panelists, Julie Rusciolelli and Keith McArthur (up till then, we’d…

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All we are saying…

I read that the peace symbol turns 50 this year and was a bit taken aback by the news (it didn’t look a day over 40 to me). Actually, I always thought the icon was a U.S. anti-Vietnam war invention and was surprised to find out it was created in 1958 by Gerald Holtorn, a British textile designer. He developed it for an anti-nuclear rally in the U.K. and based it on a stylized version of the semaphore letters for ‘N’ and ‘D’ – representing nuclear disarmament. I did a search and noticed a lot has been written on the…

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