XS Energy Drink: Worst `Green’ PR Stunt Ever?

Chris Knape, a Grand Rapids Press reporter, on Monday posted some critical remarks about the Chicago Sun-Times’ tongue-in-cheek story about XS Energy Drink last week. “The idea is so incredibly stupid,” Knape blogged, “it gets my vote for worst “green” PR stunt ever.” Now, I don’t know how many green PR stunts he’s encountered—so I […]

Fighting City Hall

Today I began working for a new client who is battling the Chicago-area municipality where he moved his family two years ago. After tearing down the existing house, then building a new one, he began work on a new garage. At first, the structure gained multiple approvals along the way. But then the village, in […]

PR: Slugging It Out…Even When It’s “Over”

With apologies to Yogi Berra, when it comes to generating publicity, “it ain’t over til it’s over” is barely touching the surface of your PR potential. It’s naive to think of a PR opportunity being an “event” with a fixed window of time. Yes, an event may be a key component of your publicity plan, […]

Lazy or Resourceful? It’s A Fine Line Online

I’ve subscribed to the Medill School of Journalism alumni list-serv for more years than I can recall–it’s been at least six, I think. It’s been a terrific resource as we grads seek sources for stories, hunt for full-time and freelance work opportunities, debate various journalism/marketing/PR issues and on and on… For any given alum, me […]

Happy Birthday To Me!

It’s my 40th birthday. More than any other birthday, I’ve viewed this one with a strange mania, for at least a year now. A variation on the mid-life crisis, though without the big boat, sports car and “what happens-here-stays here” trip to Vegas. It’s all really silly, of course, and is a product largely of […]

Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Stories

My wife Bridgett’s aunt, Carol, had a book launch party last night. Carol is a splendid writing coach, based in Chicago but accessible online, and couldn’t have crafted a better plot if she’d tried. By any measure, the event at Women & Children First bookstore, on Chicago’s North side, was a huge success. Nearly 100 […]

Citizens Bank Saga: Giving (Partial) Credit Where It’s Due

Doing the right thing when nobody’s looking is so much better than being shamed into doing it when the world is watching. That’s the lesson I take away from the Citizens Bank saga that I first chronicled on this blog a month ago. In my follow-up Citizens Bank post, I detail how Geoff Williams wrote […]

If You Read Only One 7,300-Word Story…

If you read only one 7,300-word story this month, make it this one: a superbly crafted piece that Gene Weingarten (pictured) wrote for the Washington Post in April 2007.The story’s centerpiece was a 43-minute solo performance by Joshua Bell, the world’s preeminent violinist who gamely agreed to play in a most unorthodox setting. In selecting […]