A Whirlwind Few Weeks

Things have been busy in the last few weeks.  With Christmas coming to an end and the new year hitting shortly thereafter, I’ve decided to try and get my credit (already shaky thanks to an ex-wife who… nevermind) back into order.

I finished cutting up two of my credit cards earlier today, and since they are small debt cards (only $500 each) I hope I can get them paid off soon.

Why am I doing this?  Well, my GF and I have been talking and she raised the point that she didn’t want to get married until I was out of credit card debt.  It’s not that much debt (under $5K), so I wonder what she is trying to tell me… 😉

Continue reading “A Whirlwind Few Weeks”

“Welcome to the NFL, Rookie”

Mom told me there would be weeks like this.

Last week went very well at the firm. One client of ours, actually we were a subcontract from another huge PR firm (one of the largest in the world) for an event going on in New Mexico. On Tuesday my job was to essentially be the navigator for ABQ for the VP of a large oil company, an economist and lobbyist from the same company and a VP for the PR firm that hired us.

In a nutshell, the event went off without many hitches (the main one being the oil people being asked if they were in VP Cheney’s “secret” energy meetings) and at the end of the day the VP from the uber-important, around the world PR firm handed me his card and said “It was great working with you. Keep in touch with me and let me know how things are going.”

That was great! I had mentioned to him my interest in eventually working for a multinational PR firm like his. So after a year or so at my current firm, I might just send my resume out his way.

More to come in next post…

A visitor to the office

It looks like my post didn’t get through earlier today.  We had a visitor at the office.  His name was Nixon, and he was an English Pointer dog without a collar that was running loose in the parking garage.  A couple of coworkers saw him in the complex when they drove up and they asked me to help wrangle him and bring him up to the office, because there was a good chance that he would get hit in the complex.

So my coworker Brie and I went down to get him.  Which turned out to be a piece of cake because he came right up to us and let us lead him into the building and up the elevator to the office.  Then the “awwwww-fest” began!

Everyone who saw him loved him and thought he was so cute!  He needed a little food and water so he got some then hung out around the office, took a nap while we tried to figure out what to do with him.  A couple of coworkers wanted to keep him, but it was decided to make some flyers and put them up during lunch.

After he took a nap Laine and I took him outside to go to the bathroom.  He didn’t do anything except trot around, but when we started taking him back to the office we suddenly heard “Oh my god that’s my dog!”

A woman came running over from the parking complex across the street from us (a different parking structure) and started hugging the dog and kinda crying and thanking us.  Apparently he’d gotten out of her house last night and she had cried and cried and tried to find him to no avail.  Plus she worked at the next building over!
We were happy to see Nixon’s owner find him and she was so happy it brought a tear to my eye, when my dog escaped a couple months back she was only gone for an hour or so and I was scared and almost crying too.  I think we got some good Karma points for helping him out and reuniting him with his owner.

Although a little later Laine asked me why, if we got Karma points, did she feel so sad?  I know what she means.

Our Value

A continuing talk that has been going on sporadically at the office has been about what value we, as PR and advertising professionals, bring to a company or organization.

The crux of the discussion is that we don’t create anything “tangible”.  Working in public relations we get press for clients (but we don’t write the press), we can represent clients in a crisis, we can give our clients ideas to get their idea a target audience (whether it’s the press, or an internal audience, etc) or we can work as a campaign press secretary, among a number of other things we can do.

But in the end we don’t create anything physical.  We don’t add to a company’s bottom line, if you look at the numbers on an excel spreadsheet. How do you link a PR campaign to any additional sales for a company?  There’s just as much of a chance that the product was suddenly “loved”, or that word-of-mouth or better design is the culprit.
(at least that’s what they teach us in PR school)
My take?

Continue reading “Our Value”

Why Flack?

Flack – A press agent; a publicist. (www.dictionary.com) (as they are usually called around a newsroom. Actually that’s probably one of the nicer things public relations peeps are called)

Flack – Someone whose job is to represent an organization and answer questions about it, especially when something bad has happened. (www.urbandictionary.com)

Why be a flack?

Or as my father called it, “A paid bullshit artist”.

Because despite all of the digs, and the fact that people don’t know what it is I do (heck, I know what I do for a living, but I have a hard time explaining it. How much “value” do I add to a client’s business? I work hard, come up with strategic plans and put together ads and work on media relations. But what do I add to a company? I’ll have to ponder that and get back to you…)

If I get the chance to work on a political campaign, then I’ll let you know what I can add to a campaign!

Why Rugby?

(A shout out to my friends who have asked this…)

The quick answer is “why not”? It’s fun!

The longer answer: It started many years (and about 60 pounds) ago in college. After one summer (when I drove to Boston and back for no reason), I found myself with a lot of spare time and nothing much to do except work out.

Fast forward to the end of the summer. I returned to school and ran into a friend of mine in the gym one day. He was surprised at how much more I was in shape and he recommended I try out for the team. So, I walked out to the field the next day.

It was love at first hit.

Yes there were no pads in the game, no helmets. That was one of the greatest things about the game. The other was the team.

The team was excited to have another victim… er, player, on the field. They were happy to have me out there with them. We became very tight knit, wewere happy to be on the field and just enjoyed each other’s camraderie. We even hung out with our opponents after the game, we got along great because we all played what we considered to be the greatest game on Earth.

Unlike when I went out for football in high school, where they didn’t want to be around each other.

The sociality (is that a word?) of the team and the game kept me coming back. Plus I got to go to exciting places like Wales and Australia as a result of my time on the rugby field.

Will I ever stop?

Nope. You’ll have to peel me off the field.