Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas To Us

Finally something Democrats and Republicans can agree on: A raise. AYE! reported Wednesday that Congress passed on the chance to freeze salaries at their current level, thus, giving themselves a raise.

From a pr perspective, I'd say, Congress, you missed an opportunity. 

These clowns have been taking pot shots at uber-weathly CEOs from Wall Street to Detroit for the excess in their lives and business. Industrial jobs are drying up. Print media is dying. For most of America, raises are as real as Santa.

Congress had an opportunity to walk and talk in the same direction and they didn't. It's only about $4,700 a year, bringing their wages to about $190K annually, but the size of the raise is unimportant at that level. Most of us un-rich have no idea what that kind of raise feels like -- so by not acting it's bad publicity. 

I'm afraid Congress is trying to have it both ways. Or perhaps there was a push from the poorest Congressman to keep dough coming in.

Ann Coulter's Holidays Might Be Grim This Year

From Aaron Landry via Flickr

As preposterous as a Stuart Smalley win may seem, Al Franken is likely to become the next U.S. Senator from the State of Minnesota.

This is excellent news for the upper house of Congress, where all the jokes have tanked lately. 

This week, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) was heard repeating this zinger: "Did hear about the economic news from Japan. Yeah, the Oragami Bank folded."

While we do know Sens. Alexander and Bob Corker's (not conservative) positions on the bailout (save our friends on Wall Street), we know very little about their feelings with regards to Franken. Actually,  I can't find anything on the Web (I looked at the first two pages of a Google search) that references either Tennessee senator making a comment on Franken's campaign. 

It doesn't seem likely that I would find one. It's not smart politically to comment on races that aren't concluded and that could have implications on your job.

But that being said, I think it's safe to assume they would both be thrilled as Ann Coulter if she woke up next Michael Moore.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Rise of Twitter


It's kind of difficult to wrap your head around it at first glance.

A micro-blog. Say something in 140 characters or less. It seems most people are using this medium to talk about really interesting things, from shopping at the mall to being sick.

So I sign up. For those of you familiar with facebook. Twitter is identical to a status update. However, this update is broadcast to everybody on Twitter and more specifically, anyone who is following you.

But who cares about the mundane things I do on a daily basis? Probably no one.

Tweet at 8 a.m. "BJPuttbrese is going to work today."

Tweet at 9:30 a.m. "BJPuttbrese drank coffee this morning. It was a little strong for his liking."

Tweet at 11 a.m. "BJPuttbrese is -- you know, the usual -- raiding the candy jar instead of working."

And on and on.

While I'm still on the fence, people in the public relations biz have already bought the Twitter cow. And they can't stop talking about it. A guy named Steve Rubel never stops tweeting. Links, thoughts, ideas, news articles. Anything on his mind gets dropped in a tweet.

Surely, he's addicted to his mobile device and is probably an absolute treasure for company at restaurants. But I digress.

Naturally, there's some dissent. To say it politely, some bloggers think Twitter is just people constantly wanting attention.

But what I realized today during a social media presentation at work was this: Teenagers use text messaging all the time. Twitter on a phone. It's not a stretch to say they'll migrate online to something that is familiar.

And teenagers are getting older, so this is how they will communicate. Maybe not Twitter exactly, but in that vain. Short, to-the-point messages. To communicate with them, which every pr, marketing type will have to do sooner or later, you'll have to at least understand how it works.

For this reason alone, I encourage pr peeps to sign up and tweet.

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