Archive for May, 2012

Think beyond your own circle

Way too often we needlessly tick off people — potential customers and friends — by thoughtlessly excluding them.

Case in point, as notes, a headline from “Wired” implies that dads, but not female people, can teach kids to be 

The other day, I heard a young woman grumble that a company was being “politically correct” for saying “Happy holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.”

No, actually the company was being a smart marketer, not to mention inclusive.

Lots of people are not Christian — like a huge majority of the world’s population and a small sliver of Pensacola’s. So why not open up the greetings to as many people/potential customers as possible — “Happy Holidays” — rather than narrow it down to people who believe in Christmas?


Comma connection

Commas are tricky for some writers, but here’s a great rundown on when to use and when to avoid those pesky things.

Dumb finance, smart p.r.

Two lessons from the latest financial blunder:

1) Most of us have no idea what actually happened.

2) ‘Fess up, follow good public relations principles and you will survive, as this analysis notes:

Google+ is gagging

Google+ isn’t keeping up with Pinterest and Facebook, as this report points out.

No wonder advertisers are ignoring it; people spend little time on Google+, especially compared to facebook, nor does it have great items of popular interest, as Pinterest does.

Thanks to for this:




What’s behind the success of 10 top brands?

Passion, fun, emotion — these are some of the ingredients behind the success of 10 top brands, as Paula Andruss explains

Pick your on-line fights carefully

When dealing with your critics on social media, remember your family get-togethers and how you choose to argue or ignore remarks made by relatives and in-laws.

Sometimes you let the remarks slide, and sometimes you engage –preferably in a positive way.

Here are some valuable tips for dealing with the critics who zap you and your business on-line:

Know the traffic patterns in social media

Social media have traffic peaks and valleys which a communicator needs to know, just as a motorist needs to know when to avoid one highway and take another.

This story of a study will tell you  the best times to use Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr — valuable information for maximizing your message.

Samantha Murphy spells it out for you at


Defending George Zimmerman via social media

This writer obviously doesn’t like it, but George Zimmerman’s lawyer is using social media to defend his client in the court of public opinion, which can be almost as important as the court of law for the accused killer.

Too many lawyers are content to just fight their battles on legal turf when their clients also need help elsewhere.

Twitter makes the cab ride smoother

As a cab driver in Boston in the late 1960s, I worked for a company that barely reached out to customers.

Occasionally, the dispatcher might say, “Don’t take a chance, take a Checker, every driver an escort, call KE6-7000.”

Otherwise, the company made little effort to drum up business. Then again, we became cabbies because we wanted to work in a business where the customer was always wrong.

So it was nice to see this story about the Chicago cabbie who is using Twitter to build up his own business and to improve the taxi experience.

Look around at your business and see if there are ways Twitter or other social media can give you an edge. It doesn’t have to be flashy, just something that delivers results for both you and your customer.

Honk if you like these O’pinions

Here’s my latest column of O’pinions, from the May issue of Splash!, a publication of the Gulf Breeze News: