"Help me, help you."

“I am out here for you. You don’t know what it’s like, to be me out here for you! It’s an up at dawn, pride swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about. Ok? Help me. Help me, help you. Help me, help you!” – Jerry Maguire

Sound familiar? Admit it all you agency folks, at one time or another you have felt like Mr. Maguire. Sometimes, despite our best efforts we simply can’t deliver for our clients because they fail to give us the necessary information, access or help that we need.

Most of the time our clients are great, but we’ve all had to go back to a reporter to cancel an interview or miss a deadline.

To those who work client side, here’s a quick plea from your agency friends (and I do mean friends).


  • Return our calls
  • Answer our e-mails
  • Take the early morning interview
  • Send us the information you promised
  • Show up to the meeting
  • Seriously consider our expert advice (That is what you’re paying us for, isn’t it?)

Because honestly, we’re doing it for you.

Four Success Stories

In this economy it’s hard to find reasons for hope, or a reason to believe in success. However, there are four women who’ve shown me it’s out there if you’re willing to take the necessary risks.

I present you with four success stories. These women have all shown a great deal of courage and determination in my eyes. They have also all found happiness as a result. I hope you find some nugget of inspiration in their stories. I know I do.

Shauna Skalitzky – 24, New York City
I have been friends with Shauna since I first stepped into my college dorm room freshman year. Little did I know this shy girl had a "thing" for travel. Junior year of college Shauna took out a loan and flew to the UK to study in London for a semester. After graduation she moved to New York City to live with a girl she didn’t know, and began work on her masters in art history. I frequently ask Shauna if she is glad she moved to an uber competitive city where she doesn’t know a soul. Her answer is always a simple, “Yes”.

Kristine Schumann – 24, Chicago
I met Kristine in PRSSA my sophomore year of college, and instantly fell in love with her kind spirit. Although she could have easily snagged a job in Milwaukee, this determined PR professional moved to Chicago after graduation. At the time, all she had to look forward to was a small studio apartment and an internship to keep her afloat. Two years later Kristine is working for Garmin and just returned from a 10 day trip to Italy. She frequently tells me the beginning struggles were well worth the pay off.

Erica Zerbe – 24, Denver
Erica is my fitness rock star. While she has always enjoyed physical activity the last few years she has kicked it up a notch. Erica has completed numerous marathons and half marathons all over the country. After graduation she moved to Denver to take a job in the hospitality industry. Today she says it’s the best thing she’s ever done. In addition, a few months ago Erica joined the Colorado Air National Guard.

Andrea Platten – 24, Burbank
Andrea and I also met in PRSSA where she quickly became UW-Milwaukee’s PRSSA Chapter President. After graduation Andrea earned a position as a Page for NBC Universal in Burbank. Today she is working as a Production Coordinator for Bravo. Whenever I speak with Andrea she talks about how much she loves the west coast and is grateful that she was brave enough to move.

Do you have a success story to share?


Do you think social media is fad? Do you fail to see the value in engaging in one-to-one conversations with consumers?

The following video by Erik Qualman, author of socialnomics, paints a very clear picture. Social media is not a passing fad, and if you and your company don't take the next step, you probably won't be around in the next 10 years. At the very least, you won't be relevant. I'm just sayin'.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Kanye West's outburst at the Video Music Awards. If not, the video is below.

Afterwards, West appeared on The Jay Leno Show. During the interview Leno mentioned that he had met West’s mother before she passed two years ago. He proceeded to ask West, “What do you think your mother would say about this?”

While the question made for some entertaining television I think it was kind of a low blow. Kanye West was wrong to interrupt Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, but to bring his deceased mother into play seems a bit cheap. The singer had already apologized more than once for his actions.

Am I being too much of a softy? Do you think Leno crossed the line?

A colleague and I had a discussion today about social media and media relations. My colleague's concern is that we are spending too much time on media relations when we could be talking directly to consumers (a la social media). So the question is...

How much time should we spend on social media activities? What's the ratio between time spent on social media versus media relations? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

I have also posed this question on Twitter. If you work in the PR, marketing or advertising field, please take a moment to answer the question below. I'll post the results next week.

Nostalgic for Facebook

I remember walking around campus my freshman year of college, and hearing everyone talk about this new thing called “Facebook.” Eventually I jumped on board and found that Facebook was everything MySpace wasn’t. At that time only college students could sign-up for Facebook, so there were no annoying bands trying to get you to buy their CD’s and no creepy 40-year-old men wanting to be your friend. There weren’t any corporate fan pages or groups. It was simply a place where you could hang out online with your friends. Everything was authentic.

Today, Facebook has evolved to include many things I once praised it for not having, but I have evolved too. I like that I can keep my account even though I’m not in college, and I like that my friends and family can join the hip social networking site with me. The corporate fan pages and groups are so-so. On a personal level I sometimes wish they didn’t exist, but given my profession I can’t hate them entirely. After all, if used correctly they can bring a lot of value to their “fans” or “groupies.”

However, with all this evolution I do have one complaint. You see, when I was in college the only people who “friended” me were those I had actually met. Even if I hadn’t talked to someone since high school there was still a connection. We shared an AP European History class or we were both in Concert Choir. You did not “friend” someone you never met, and you certainly did not friend someone just because you ran in the same circles. Facebook was a place to talk with your current friends, not a place to make new ones.

Somehow, there has been a shift, and these unspoken rules of my past have not translated to the Facebook of today. Lately, it seems like every week I get a friend request from someone I’ve never heard of. Sometimes I let them hang there and others I ignore right away. I am always puzzled when after ignoring a friend request someone decides to try again. I wish I knew what they were thinking. Do they think the request did not work? That I happened to not notice? That I was having a bad day, and I’m sure to accept them this time? Or, do they think that by badgering me I will eventually accept them into my circle?

Let me clear something up for these people right now. I ignored your request for a reason. Over time I’ve given in to some of my Facebook rules. I will accept friend requests from co-workers even if we aren’t really “friends” outside of work. I’ve started to monitor what I say and do on Facebook for professional and personal reasons. But the one thing I am not willing to do, is invite someone into my inner circle who I’ve never met!

Now, I realize that everyone uses social networking tools in different ways. That’s fine, but I believe the majority of Facebook users still use Facebook as a personal online playground. It’s a place to talk to friends, play games, create events and post photos. If you are using Facebook for business purposes, that’s great. Create a fan page or a group. If you are using Facebook to network with new people, cancel your account and join LinkedIn, Twitter or another social networking site where it’s appropriate to talk to strangers.

Maybe I’m trying to hold onto the past. Maybe I’m just upset that things can never be the way they were, but you know where I stand. If we haven’t met and you want to connect with me online, seek out my LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. It’s not that I don’t like or trust you. You just haven’t made it to my inner circle yet.

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