Thursday, July 3, 2008

Orthodox Jewish Rapper brings tunes of hope

My brother was "brought up" on Wu Tang Clan, Method Man, RZA, NWA, Beastie Boys and he became a rapper in college. Post-college he became a practicing orthodox Jew. How does he balance? Where does he rap? Check out this article, and get ready for his upcoming disc. And yes, he's good friends with Matisyahu. Shalom, Adam

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Len Downie, NPR's On Point - end of newspapers?

Can you imagine being at the same paper for 44+ years (or any job)? I thought Leonard Downie Jr., executive editor, The Washington Post, did a great job with "On Point" today. I was a guest with about 15 minutes to go. Given thoughts on social media, I wish he was staying.Tiny URL if easier: Did he offer me a job?

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Are You Still Here?

You shouldn't be! Go visit

Please redirect your RSS feed to


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Thursday, June 5, 2008


Tech PR Gems is alive and well-- but to get it, you've got to head over to!

Archive content is available on both sites, but the new stuff will only be available at!

Comments on this site have been closed-- feel free to carry on the conversation on the new site!
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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Social networking annoyances

As PR consultants, most of us are on social networking sites. Speaking for myself only, I am on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo (which for some reason I have two accounts thanks to the recent merger with Comcast) and others. Most of the time I find these sites useful for networking. I've used to them to connect with long-lost clients but also to reporters, friends and family. Other times, they can be annoying.

Today I came across a recent PC World article that listed the Top 10 Social Networking Annoyances. As a user of social networking tools, I agree with Scott Spanbauer's list, but I decided to come up with a few of my own reasons:

  1. People read too much into things said on these sites. Simple: talk to the person if you are curious as to what something means. I've always said, "The world is not MySpace or any other social networking tool." Communication is one on one, not one to the computer.
  2. Why must I have multiple accounts? I know things exist like FriendFeed and other to combine accounts but I barely remember to check the weather daily, not to mention logging into a site very few people are on who I want to talk to.
  3. Why do some PR professionals use them the wrong way? As PR professionals, I know reporters ding us on bad behavior (Brian Morrissey of Adweek comes to mind). No one should EVER pitch a reporter using Facebook, in my opinion, unless you have a close relationship with that person and it's okay. It breaks something I think is sacred between PR pros and reporters.
I think that's enough to get me started. What would you add to this list if you could?

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ring that Bell!

Last night at the New England Publicity Club's Annual Bell Ringer awards, Topaz took home a trophy for our work with The Scuderi Group. Topaz was recognized in the category: Product/Service Publicity: Business-to-Business Campaign (The full list of winners is here).

From left: Bill Wrinn, Scuderi Group; Tim Allik, Christina Carlson and Susan Koutalakis all of Topaz Partners (Photo credit: Doug Haslam)

According to the Pub Club's Website, "Since 1969, the Publicity Club of New England's Bell Ringer Awards have been a symbol of outstanding achievement for New England public relations and communications professionals. The Bell Ringer Awards recognize excellence in communications and public relations work in every field and industry, and across all media - print, broadcast, and online."

Congratulations to the Scuderi Team and all the winners of the 2008 Bell Ringer Awards!

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Probecast Interlude

A musical interlude for you, courtest of PRobecast and the Podsafe Music Network ( We'll be back on Friday with a new edition of PRobecast!

MP3 File
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Front End of Innovation Boston - Day 2 - Boldness in PR

PR pros often face choices of intrepidness. How bold is too bold? How assertive is too assertive? Often, the choice is not as clear as one would think.

At the recent Front End of Innovation conference in Boston, presented by the Product Management & Development Association and the Institute for International Research, I faced such a choice. I spotted an editor of a top-tier pub for Topaz's attending client, Sagentia, sitting with a group of people at a large table. A few casual circa-perambulations of the table revealed the group deep was in discussion about the topic of innovation, which was at the heart of the event. I determined that the conversation was loose, not a briefing or a serious dialog, but I didn’t want to interrupt.

As time ticked on, I passed the table a few more times and was dispirited to find each time the same people seated in the same seats engaged in the same conversation. It was great to see them discussing the theme of the event, but I was never presented with an opening to introduce myself and my client and set up a briefing.

Knowing I had to do something, I told our client's top executive in attendance (who was manning his company's booth at the time) to expect a briefing with the editor shortly. I believe that stating something will happen will often make it happen--visualization theory, right? In high school, I told my friends I was going to be an editor of a national paper. It happened. (I wish I told them I was going to replace Ron Wood in the Rolling Stones.)

So, knowing I was certainly being a tad beyond bold, I walked over the editor, interrupted the conversation, introduced myself, spoke about my client and said there was a window of fifteen minutes at this very moment during which they could chat. He responded "absolutely," and we walked over to the booth. A briefing ensued, followed by a happy client and an interested editor. Intrepidness, when executed properly and balanced with a good dose of luck, is a strong PR weapon.

So let me echo my team member Adam Zand's Day 1 post from Front End of Innovation and our client's reference to Star Trek and say, Be bold in PR!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Audio from the Future of Journalism

Now that the March audio is up, I can finally post the audio from last week's event on the future of journalism.

On Tuesday, May 20th, PRSA Boston and Social Media Club Boston put on a great event on social media and the future of journalism.

Veteran journalist Paul Gillin, author of “The New Influencers” and the upcoming book “Secrets of Social Media Marketing”, led a panel of reporters, editors and producers through a discussion of the future of journalism in a social media world. The big questions we asked:

* How are blogs, podcasts and online video impacting the both the business and the reporting of news?
* Will journalists need to master video, audio and photography in order to practice their craft in the future?
* How has the journalism profession been impacted by the success of bloggers moving into the reporting business?
* What does the future have in store for mainstream media? How can those media stay relevant in a changing information world?

The panelists were:
* Ted McEnroe, Director of Digital Media, NECN
* Robin Lubbock, Director of New Media, WBUR
* Howard Sholkin, Director of Communications & Marketing Programs, IDG Communications
* David Wallace, Managing Partner, Gamechange LLC

MP3 File

Social Media Club Boston event audio is available as a podcast.
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Social Media and Search

Are they anathema, with totally different philoso- phies, or do they go hand in hand? What can we do to improve the search- ability of our online content?

These are the tough questions the panelists answer in March's SMC Boston event.

Sorry for the delay, folks! Here's the long-awaited audio from the March Social Media Club Boston event on search. I apologize for the audio in the last 15 mins or so of the recording. My backup mics weren't configured properly so there's some static, and I actually had to cut out some unintelligible sections. Still, there are some good pointers and content, especially as the conversation got going about an hour in.

MP3 File

Social Media Club Boston event audio is available as a podcast.
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