Thursday, August 11, 2011

Short and Sweet Has Moved!

Short and Sweet has moved!

Please update your feeds and links to
or add the RSS here.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Moving, New RSS Feed

I have successfully transferred from Doteasy to Dreamhost. I loved Doteasy’s free hosting services—you get quite a bit for $0—but I really wanted to switch over to WordPress. I’ve been playing with it at work, and the interface is fantastic.

You can find the new RSS feed here, or visit the site at

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Letter to a local Radio Station

Dear Star 94,

I think we need to break up.

It's not you, it's me. Well, that's not entirely true. It is you a little bit.

It's just, I'm not sure I know who you are any more. This identity crisis you've been having, it's left me as confused as you. Are you Top 40? Are you 90s? Are you some horrible abomination of tween pop music? I just don't know anymore.

I feel like you've fallen into the same patterns. Twenty songs in your playlist, most of them by artists younger than the kids I used to babysit for. Maybe I am too old to hang out with you anymore, but I'm only 25: aren't I supposed to be in your target demographic?

We had some good times, too. Remember Friday Night 80's? That was great. I used to drive home from school with you blasting terrible 80's music. My sis and I sang along at the top of our lungs, even though we really aren't old enough to remember the 80's beyond watching My Little Pony and Jem on Saturday mornings.

You started your Big 90's Weekend this year, and I thought I was falling in love with you again. You played songs I hadn't heard in years, and the variety was incredible. You played Savage Garden, and my heart lept. "MmmBop" came on, and I might have been yours. But that love was fleeting as you returned to your same bad habits. How many times can you play "Stay" in an hour? Lisa Loeb is great, but "Stay" really isn't that good of a song, and it's definitely not as fun to sing along to as "MmmBop."

And your latest advertising campaign really has me confused. You tell me I "don't have to sit through this before this," but sometimes you play a clip from a song I do kinda want to listen to. Who is your target with this ads? It certainly can't be your listeners--you're playing clips from metal, techno and country songs that your listeners may very well listen to. When you play those clips only to tell me that they suck, you're telling me that my taste in music sucks, and that is really not cool.

For that matter, don't you play techno- and country-pop? Don't some of your artists toy with guitar riffs like the heaviest rockers? I think you might be in denial of a few key character traits, Star 94. Lady Gaga writes dance music. Taylor Swift is 95% country. Linkin Park is...well...Linkin Park.

I don't know whose idea your marketing plan was, but it really wasn't very well thought out. It's like you're trying to dress up in designer clothes so you can hang out with the cool kids, but let's face it: you are a Top 40 station. People listen to you because you are supposed to be (a little) predictable, you don't make any judgements, and every once in a while, you'll surprise us with a classic song or exclusive launch.

The only surprising thing you've done lately, Star 94, is your insulting marketing campaign.

So this is it, Start 94. As much as I loved your 90's weekends and celebrity interviews, we've got to let each other go. So long, Star 94. I'm going to plug in my auxilary cable from here on out.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Awesomely Awkward (Or, Digital PR Pros Are Weird)

Gonzo (c) The Jim Henson CompanyPeople in the PR industry are awkward. All of us. We're the smart kids, the creative kids and the weird kids. Maybe we're attracted to the digital PR industry because all that weirdness is celebrated, or maybe it's because the weird, smart, creative kids got here first and we set the rules.

Look at some of the big names in the PR blogosphere: Todd Defren, Brian Solis, Kevin Dugan

All a little weird.

(Sorry, guys. You're still my PR heroes.)

But I think being a little weird is one of the biggest strengths of the industry. We're strange and smart and willing to go that extra step, even if we look a little silly. We try new things and come up with crazy ideas that just might work, and we look at the traditional strategies from a different perspective, coming up with an innovative plan that builds on our predecessors.

Some PR professionals have incredible charasima to go with their marketing know-how, while others excel at the behind-the-scenes work, writing speeches and outlining campaigns. There are as many jacks-of-all-trades as there are social media mavens and viral-campaign experts. Digital PR is a wonderful, evolving mix of experts, but I still think there is one, defining trait: we're a little weird.

In the summer of 2008, I created a sing-a-long resume. I knew I was doing something a little weird; I knew I didn't have quite the right software for the vision I had; and I knew I am a terrible singer. But I also had a free weekend and I wanted to do something different.

The result was a video that has been equally applauded and derided by professionals and career advisers.

I could lie and tell you it didn't hurt when someone commented that I am painful to watch. It did hurt. But I am kind of painful to watch--I am just as weird in person as I am in the video. I write well, and my campaign outlines are often spot-on, but I am a little ridiculous in person. I will never list public speaking as a strength, and I am much more comfortable writing speeches than giving them, although that is something I am working on.

On my first day walking into Edelman in 2008 (a job I got, in part, to being a little strange), a coworker and friend said to me about the Digital Team: "We are so awkward. All of us."

I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Better Options

I had a job interview this week, and my interviewer asked me an interesting question that caught me completely off guard: If I hired you and in three months Turner Broadcasting came to you with a great job offer, what would you do?

I knew why she was asking—my previous work had been for large corporations. The easy answer would have been to say that I would stay with her company, obviously, but that seemed like it would have rang false. I took a second to collect my thoughts, and figuring that there was no right answer, I told the truth: I don’t know. I would really have to look at my options and weigh the possibilities with both companies.

I told her that, right now, I want a job that I love, and I do love marketing and PR. I also want a job that I can learn from and continue to grow in. As tight as the economy is right now, money would be a secondary factor—but my industry does give me the luxury of that perspective.

I think, ultimately, I would choose the company where I had the best opportunity for growth. Hopefully, three months in, I would know where I fit in her company, and it is very likely that I would stay. But it would be dishonest of me to say that I would not consider going with Turner or that it wouldn’t be an easy choice.

In the past, hiring managers have asked me where I saw myself in five years or what I wanted to get out of the position, but I don’t think I have ever been asked what I would do if a better offer came along. It was a surprisingly tough question, and I hope I got it right.

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