Thank you for smoking

Cigarettelight

Image via Wikipedia

I got an employee email today at work advising me that smoking would no longer be allowed at the loading dock of my office building. That’s fine, because I don’t smoke.

But I was amused to read that “cigarette dispensers” had been placed at another entrance to the building as an alternative. Perhaps free Marlboros or Camels are a new employee benefit.

When Nightline and ABC News paint with a broad brush

ABC World News

Image via Wikipedia

This evening, ABC World News and Nightline will both air stories about corrupt state legislators. They’re calling the series, “State House Scoundrels”. The teaser says, “a lack of scrutiny breeds scandal among state lawmakers.” Continue reading

When Foursquare and Twitter are at their best

Image representing Foursquare Solutions as dep...

Image via CrunchBase

On my way back from a business trip to Texas earlier this month, I had a layover in Charlotte. When I checked in on Foursquare, I saw that my Twitter friend Olivier Blanchard (@thebrandbuilder) was in the airport, too. I tweeted him a direct message and it turns out he was at the restaurant next door. We ended up connecting in person and having a great conversation about his work, brands, blogging and the like. What was really fun is that we discovered we went to the same college and studied under many of the same professors, though I had graduated before Olivier had enrolled.

Olivier and I had never met in person before.

That’s what I love about social networks — when they connect me in person with people I would never have met. Participating otherwise doesn’t hold much value for me, except for those Gowalla badges. (Just who is their graphic designer, anyway?)

Mad Men on Millennials

Don Draper

Don Draper as played by Jon Hamm. Image via Wikipedia

I admit it. I’m a fan of “Mad Men,” the hit drama on AMC.

Last night’s episode was one of my favorites since the infamous John Deere episode last season. There were many scenes to like, but my favorite was when Don Draper, the partner in the advertising agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce lectures Peggy Olson, a 26-year old copywriter who reveals that she is upset that she didn’t get any credit for her role in a Clio-winning campaign for the floor polish Glo-Coat.

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Don’t Let a Hurricane Damage Your Company’s Credibility with Employees

The eye of Hurricane Earl

Hurricane Earl was an impressive storm, but fortunately did little damage. Image by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr

So Hurricane Earl was a bust for the most part. Aside from some power outages in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Canadian maritime provinces along with some expected beach erosion on the U.S. mainland, Earl didn’t do much damage.

I’m glad about that.

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Entrepreneurs and PR: Don’t try this at home

I've never asked a client, "Would you like fries with that?"

Everyone’s entitled to change their minds, but if you’re like me, it’s hard to admit it when you’re the one doing the changing.

I think that’s because it implicitly means you were once wrong.  And who likes admitting they are wrong?

Yesterday, The New York Times ran an interesting blog post from an entrepreneur who has changed her mind about the need for public relations. Last year, in the same blog, the writer announced she really didn’t need a PR firm — she could manage media relations all by herself. This year, she’s hired some outside help.

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Are You Filming Anything for YouTube’s Life In A Day?

You could win a trip to the Sundance Film Festival if your footage is chosen for "Life In A Day".

It all starts with YouTube.

Tomorrow, Saturday, July 24, you have a chance to become a co-director of a film called “Life in a Day” which will be screened at next year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Ridley Scott, who worked on Alien, Blade Runner and Thelma & Louise, is the film’s producer. He explained the project on the film’s YouTube site:

“Life In A Day is a historic global experiment to create a user-generated feature film, shot in a single day, by you. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into an experimental documentary film, produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.”

Macdonald, an Oscar-winning director (for the documentary film, “One Day in September”), describes the project:

“What I want to do is to make a film, unlike any film, I think, that’s ever been made before, which is to ask thousands of people, everywhere in the world, on a single day, which is the 24th of July this year, to film some aspect of their day and then post that material onto You Tube so that we can use it to make a film that is a record of what it’s like to be alive on that one day. It’ll be kind of like a time capsule, which people in the future, maybe in twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred, two hundred years, could look at that and say, “Oh my God, that’s what it was like.” A portrait of the world in a day.”

I’m not sure what I’ll film tomorrow, but I’m going to shoot something. And I may just try to make it Sundance next winter. (Truth be told, that’s the best time to ski in Park City — everyone’s at the movies!)

Photo credit: Flickr: rscrobinmx99