By: Risë Birnbaum

Walter J. Palmer (left) with Cecil the Lion. (man at right is unidentified)

Walter J. Palmer (left) with Cecil the Lion. (man at right is unidentified)

Whoever thinks PR doesn’t work, think again.  Karma’s a bitch for big game hunter, Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer with OVER 5,000 NEGATIVE YELP REVIEWS AND COUNTNG.  Palmer’s the one who traveled to Zimbabwe, lured Cecil the lion out of a national park using a dead animal strapped to his car, and killed the beloved lion with a bow and arrow.  My mistake, the arrow didn’t kill him.  The wounded animal made it away until the group found him the next day and shot Cecil dead.  And there’s that pic of the dentist, with a very toothy smile, gloating over the limp lion like some modern day William Tell.

Well, Dr. Walter James Palmer is getting his comeuppance.  Thanks to swift news of Cecil’s tragic death through social media and online and broadcast news, animal rights activists along with everyday mensches are taking to Yelp to squelch Palmer’s practice.  The verbal bows and arrows being slung include reviews like, “There’s a psychopath living among us,” and, “Dr. Palmer shot me in the neck with a crossbow.”  Ouch.

Actions have consequences and when a tragic tale makes headlines, readers and viewers want blood.  In this case, that means targeting his Yelp page, River Bluff Dental, with one-star reviews (and worse) and slamming the “Dentist of Death” on Facebook.

Believe it or not, the guy spent $55,000 for the right to hunt and slaughter Cecil.  I guess root canals don’t come cheap.  I think the dentist needs to fork over another $55,000 to the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford. WildCRU tagged and tracked Cecil for research with the ultimate goal of increasing the lion population in the wild.  Ironic. Dr. Dummy should also throw away his bow and arrow (and maybe drill and mirror) and work in an animal shelter for the rest of his life.  And if I had my way, I’d tie him to a giant target and get the chance to practice my archery skills from summer camp.  Problem, is, I’m not that good a shot.

What’s the latest from Athens? It’s Greek to Me


By Risë Birnbaum

Haven’t seen so many flip flops since South Beach this winter.  What’s up with Greece?

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version – Yes, Greece defaulted on a big loan payment because the country and its creditors aren’t on the same page.  This is right up there with Antigone as a Greek tragedy.  The scoop is Greece wants more money, but didn’t want the higher taxes and lower pensions to help cover the loans.  So ATMs around the country are now only dispensing 60 euros to any one bank customer.  Ouch.

And then Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a U-turn and decided he could agree with most of the bailout terms if a few changes were made.  But, wait, it’s not over yet.  Now, it seems as if Tsipras is again urging Greeks to vote AGAINST the bailout.  And if there is a “no” vote, Greece will be shipped out of the eurozone.

What to do?  Send John Stamos over as the new Greek “ambassador” to explain what’s going on?  Open up some new Greek yogurt plants around the country?  Send more Royal Caribbean cruise ships to Athens filled with tourists and pray no one gets a stomach bug?

In the meantime Puerto Rico said si, it’s also cash-strapped.  All this 3-card monty has the global markets stuttering.

Greek is in a pickle cause its borrowing power is now zilch and even if the country votes yes, it’ll take weeks to work out terms and who knows what happens to the government during that time?

Meantime bankers’ hours in Greece are as short as they’ve ever been with all banks closed, and the economy wasting away.

This has become a euro-disaster with only one short-term solution.  It’s a four letter word that’s pretty potent.  Nopel, not euro.  OUZO.






In the world of PR, blogger outreach is one of the sharpest, new arrows in our quiver. Why? More laser-targeted impressions, which means the right reach. And it’s only natural that followers are more likely to trust a blogger’s word over a branded ad.

Our zcomm team taps into the blogger world, in addition to other digital marketing tactics, to target specific audiences in industries including health, beauty, food, consumer and non-profits.

One of our key partner bloggers is Kimberly Vetrano, the founder of “She Scribes.” Kimberly doubles as a mother, wife, photographer and freelance writer. She decided to become a blogger because she loves to write, and blogging was a way to write about her life.

Kimberly prides herself on blogging about a variety of topics for a diverse readership. Her tag line is “A little bit of this, a little bit of that.” In fact, her blog topics are heavily influenced by her readers. She makes sure to read her fans’ comments, and even does yearly “polling” to find the topics that her readers find most interesting. In addition to blogging about her life, she also tracks and writes about what’s trending — crafts, recipes and style posts are all hot topics now.

When asked how she keeps her blog so active, Kimberly says her blog is her business, and she treats it that way. Kimberly says, “I make it a priority to post at least once a day, 7 days a week. If I have something planned on the weekend, I’ll write a post ahead of time and schedule it on the weekend.”

Kimberly tries to engage her followers through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. “Social media influences my blog in a big way…there are plenty of readers who share the same interests and can engage with you about them on social media channels or via comments on the blog posts.”

Kimberly’s favorite social media outlet is Facebook. “I feel like I can connect with readers more on that platform. I can scroll down and read comments and reply to them when I have a chance. I feel like Facebook is more personal.”

When relevant brands come to zcomm for blogger outreach, we call Kimberly (and lots of other bloggers) with the kind of content that she loves. Because we know what she likes. So, when reaching out to bloggers, take time to read the blog on a regular basis BEFORE you contact them so you know exactly what they write about and the content that floats their boat. That’s the key to cracking the blogger code.

Twinkie Fever

Twinkie Fever, new twinkie box

Twinkie Fever

By Risë Birnbaum

They’re back.  Those spongy, springy vanilla cakes loaded with creamy filling.  Fans are rushing the stores for the addictive cello-wrapped favorites, but some are not so thrilled.  It seems they’re a bit smaller than they were in 2012.  Back then, a box of twinkies weighed a hefty 15 ounces.  Now they weigh 13.58 ounces.  But, Hostess says the boxes are virtually the same as when they went out of business so I guess case closed. Continue reading

Food Trip

Risë at Hanks Oyster Bar

Risë at Hanks Oyster Bar

Risë Birnbaum

(ZPR) – I’ve never ever considered myself a foodie…until just recently.  Yes, I watch every Food network and just about every bizarre food show on TV and cable.  There’s more chopping coming from my TV than news, drama and comedies combined.  It’s just my way to chill.  But when I get home at nine and haven’t eaten, I make myself either a pb&j (with any jelly handy) or Bumble Bee white with oil on toast with thick stripe of Hellmann’s mayo (my mom’s fave brands leaked into my world). Continue reading