Saturday, August 30, 2008

Helping the North San Antonio Chamber create their LinkedIn Group

As a member of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce's Technology Council, I have helped the group form its LinkedIn group. In the course of several weeks, the group has grown to 24 members.

I commend Debby Zucker, the chamber's vice president of finance and IT, for her willingness to set this group up. And that's why I am glad to be part of this chamber. Of all the organizations in San Antonio, it's the only one doing anything to embrace the future development of technology.

With LinkedIn, the council can find other members quickly and online.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I don't get this social media thing

Yesterday, I attended a great presentation on social media sponsored by the Business Wire. I went to network with some colleagues and to hear an update from Mike Kelly at USAA about his use of the social tool. However, one of my colleagues from the local PRSA chapter stood up to plug her chapter's social media workshop with the comment: "I don't know much about it. I find myself as an alien."

This woman was in my age demographic group, but I wonder why she was so negative about social media. Like her, I remember the good old days of manual typewriters and telephones. Today, I do have a blog, a Twitter account and a LinkedIn profile because I have embraced it with the help of younger people who get it.

And of course, there's Alan Weinkrantz, the dean of social media for San Antonio. His blog and his presentations are readily available for people to use as a reference point for understanding social media. He was another panel member at Thursday's program. He posted his slides online for others to use and view.

With all these assets, there's no reason to feel frustrated by the change in communication processes. The world is changing. It's time to embrace it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Waiting to get my HARO T-shirt

It's been about about two months since I learn of Peter Shankman's Help A Reporter Out program, and it's been a great success for my practice. It's a very simple, but successful program. Three times a day during the business week, Peter sends out media queries from media types to 20,000 users, and I read through them. A lot of them don't fit the scope of my client's expertise, but that's all right. The small percentage that did have made a difference for them.

Yesterday, I emailed Peter to get one of his new black HARO t-shirts, and he replied he would give me one if I wore it at a PR News program and got a picture of it under a Business Wire banner.

It seems that the folks at PR News Wire are not happy with Peter's efforts, as it completes directly with their Profnet program. I have used ProfNet before when writing an article or two for clients, but it's taken four or five days to get a response from the experts. From talking to some of the media who use Peter's program, they get 15 to 20 positive responses within four to eight hours.

Say It's Your Birthday Part2

My clients at the got more excellent publicity with a page 2 article in today's San Antonio Express News. So, if you have a birthday coming up, be sure to register online.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mike Forsyth to speak at Austin AITP meeting Thursday

When I speaking to one client, Vale Kelley, last week, she told me that her speaker on telecommuting for the Austin Association of Information Technology Professionals couldn't make the engagement this Thursday. So, I suggested Mike Forsyth, my friend and client. Mike has done a lot of consulting work in the telecommuting space helping companies draft policies and procedures for their work force who is staying at home. For example, one company had a special office where workers could come into work for that one day, but they had to make a reservation through the company Intranet. Another major process is to have an occupational safety professional come into the worker's office and look at the office to make sure that it has a safe environment. If you are in Austin Thursday and want to attend, the cost is $10 for non-members and $5 for members. You can contact for more information.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Say it's your birthday?

My client,, got excellent coverage in Andi Rodriguez's weekly media and marketing column in last Friday's Business Journal. If your birthday is coming up and live in San Antonio, you should go to to get registered.

Is it online or on-line?

Right now, I am finishing a 1500-word article about Matt Genovese, the founder of, for publication in October. After completing the first draft, Matt and I are debating the merits of the correct spelling of online. My computer dictionary suggests "on line," while the St. Martin's Handbook I used in my business communication course dictate "online." However, the AP style guide suggests that this term is a compound adjective resulting in the use of "on-line" if the word is used as a modifier. I wish that all three sources could agree upon one correct spelling of the word. And, I know that won't happen either. In a perfect world, I see a room of English professors sitting in a room, discussing the correct spelling of the word while sipping a good sherry. Funded by a federal grant, these bastions of English style will help us clarify the correct usage of a word.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Major roads out in Beaumont but there are no signs telling you how to get around the mess

So imagine that you're a parent taking your son back to college, and the normal route to get him back is filled with road repairs without detour signs. Wouldn't you expect the college to send you a letter advising you of an alternative way to get him back to his dorm? Or, at the very least, wouldn't you think that they would have asked the city of Beaumont or TXDOT for signs advising of detours might make sense?

This weekend, I drove my son back to his college, Lamar, and I spent 30 minutes trying to figure out how to get him to his door because rain and erosion had damaged some of the main roads near the university. But that's Lamar for you. I know my boy, Pete, is getting a good education, but when it comes to common sense, most college administrators are sadly lacking in this important skill set.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lack of media training made me want to turn off listening to the St. Louis Cardinals

So, I am driving back from Beaumont, TX., to drop off my son, Peter, for his second year of college at Lamar University Sunday when I dial in the St. Louis Cardinals on XM Radio. As is often the case, the Cardinals bring in guests for their fourth inning as a form of public service.

Most of these guests were well prepared, and they had something of value to say during their one-inning interview. However, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder wanted me to change the channel or flip on one of my Jimmy Buffet CDs.

It's rare that a politician gets on the air to discuss a program or initiative and not talk in 30-word or more sentences. However, Kinder sounded like Ron Santo with a lot of "yeps" and "That's right" without really adding anything to the conversation.

Here's hoping that Mr. Kinder consider the use of a good media trainer to help him improve his on-air interviews. Or, he should get someone from the Missouri Tourism communications department to replace him if he's not that comfortable with doing a radio interview. Truthfully, with a little prep work, I believe anyone can handle a conversation with John Rooney, especially when the announcer is given the questions by Kinder's handlers.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Can Seinfeld save Microsoft's image?

Adding Jerry Seinfeld to the role of Microsoft spokesman is like added a cup of water to a burning fire. As the successful Mac and PC ad campaign has done for the last past two, they have created doubt into the success of Vista.

Tech writer Ron S. Miller wrote perhaps one of the best pieces on the hiring of Seinfeld as their spokesman. And, I was also quoted in another article about Seinfeld. Look for a Newman or Elaine lookalike in an upcoming Mac and PC ad.