By Risë Birnbaum

Call me nearsighted (I am), but I just do not see how anyone believes a word Donald Trump says.  The latest kerfuffle happened today (it’s a daily thing now), and involves the new luxury hotel he’s building in downtown DC.

The Washington Post recently stated there are illegal immigrants working on the hotel, so Anderson Cooper decided to ask Trump directly about the allegations.  Trump’s answer:  “I can’t guarantee that all the workers I employ have legal status in the United States, but if I were to discover any illegal immigrants…we’d get rid of them immediately.”

I guess the same illegal immigrants that Trump believes are “raping our women” are OK to have around as long as they help him put up his luxury hotels.  Remember, this is the same guy who re-tweeted that “Jeb Bush has to like Mexican illegals because of his wife.”  Where does this guy come off?  And he doesn’t regret a word.  Nope.  Not one, single word of his nonsensical rants.  He also called conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer a “rodeo clown.”  Now, Krauthammer is not my favorite guy in town and maybe he should cut down on the hair dye, too, but he sure doesn’t deserve what Trump dished out.  Neither does Jeb.

Really, folks, can anyone out there actually take their precious vote and pull the lever for this guy?  If anyone’s a clown, it’s Trump, and if our country is going to get through this election cycle, he either better take some xanax, or we should.  Some noise-cancelling headphones would help, too.



Risë Birnbaum


Wow!  Hang onto your cleats.  FIFA just became a household word.  But, def not in a good way.  Overnight, the FBI busted a whole bunch of FIFA execs who allegedly took a ton of bribes and kick-back moola to help steer media, marketing and sponsorships in the Americas worth like gatrillions.  Talk about inflated balls.

Why were our G-men able to make the bust?  Because the plans and payments were reportedly made and carried out in the U.S. — that’s why.  After all, the US TV market is like #1 in media money when it comes to the World Cup.  So, when it comes to ad dollars, The Cup runneth over.

What were some of the clues besides the fact US prosecutors smelled something rotten at FIFA for years?  One big one is that Qatar is hosting the World Cup in 2022 and the summer temps can climb to a toasty 105 degrees.  That’s schvitz city for any pro soccer star and definitely NOT a place to start kicking the ball around.  Think about it, a soccer player could play 100 minutes running up and down a 130 yard field for almost 8 miles in just ONE match.  Add 105 degree sun to that formula and I just hope the medics are on call.

As for Russia winning the Games for 2018…I’m sure some rubles changed hands, but at least there’s a much lower chance of a sand storm or heat stroke.

And for FIFA – it’s one big red card.  And a big score for the FBI.






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.

My Thoughts On Instagram

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Hailey discusses the social media platform Instagram and how to use for your brand.

Instagram is pretty cool. I can’t deny that. It takes ordinary pictures and makes them look extraordinary, maybe. It’ll turn a sunset into a sunset with a sepia tone, or a plate of pasta into a plate of pasta that just looks a little cooler. All joking aside, that’s what has made it so popular. It lets us feel creative and allows us to see things a little bit differently. It brings out the artist in all of us.

I don’t use the app very often, but my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with Instagrammed shots. Some of them really are neat, but others just make me want to eat and then go on a de-friending spree. I think some people abuse Instagram and take WAY too many pictures of their meals. Last night while I was out to eat with my mom, I watched the girl at the table next to us take and upload pictures of her drink, her appetizer, her entre and then her empty plate. Unnecessary. I personally don’t really care what other people eat, but for those who do, check out my InstaGRAHAM CRACKER.

In just two years, Instagram has acquired more than 50 million users. Although many of these Instagrammers use the app for their own personal pleasure, many brands and companies use it as well. Hosting an Instagram contest is a good way to use the app to interact with users. For example, almost weekly, Red Bull runs contests asking users to use a specific hashtag depicting that week’s theme. This week happens to be #SummerIsComing. To win, users must:

  1. Find the week’s theme
  2. Snap a photo
  3. Tag the pics
  4. Rack up the votes
  5. Win prizes! (The grand prize is a trip to X Games 2012)

Brands obviously don’t have to run a contest to engage with Instagrammers, but it’s definitely a good idea. Even simply uploading Instagrammed pictures of products is a step in the right direction. TJ MAXX does a good job of re-tweeting consumers who have tweeted Instagrammed pictures of their finds.

Like most of the other social media sites we’ve already been introduced to, this one is also great. Brands and companies should take advantage of it, but keep in mind that like other platforms, they need to use it appropriately and consistently. And unless you’re a chef or food-related business, please refrain from making me drool by uploading dozens and dozens of filtered pictures of mouth watering food. Thanks.

Ex Geek Makes Good

Blogging is fun.  I love thinking about the world and either poking fun at something really obvious or throwing my opinion out there with a gazillion others.

But, my favorite blogger in the world is Andy Borowitz.  This guy is the best at taking real news and juggling it to make it laugh-out-loud funny every single day.  And who couldn’t use a serotonin high these days?  Add Borowitz to lexapro and you’re happy for about 8 hours straight (did I say straight?).

Here’s a taste of some of Borowitz’ recent headlines:

“Blind Chinese Dissident Sick of Kardashians”

“North Carolina Weighs Ban on Electricity/Soap”

“Hookers Downgrade US Credit Rating”

“Fox News Wins Pulitzer Prize for Fiction”

“In Possible Gaffe, Romney says People “Taste like Chicken”

See what I mean?  Is this guy funny or what?  The Cleveland native and Harvard Lampoon publisher packed up his lava lamp and day glo posters and took off to the left coast right after college and managed to start writing sitcoms in a flash starting with Archie Bunker.  But, after about a decade, soon after The Fresh Prince (which Borowitz produced and wrote) he decided to pack it in and go back east to NYC.  Word from the King of Copy is that he was tired of the Hollywood treadmill where his next hit had to be bigger and his next house had to be fancier and his next dog had to be cuter (he actually said that on a CBS interview).

So, Andy hopped off the LA red carpet train, took some time off to read and think (lucky guy had the bank account to do that) and then kinda reinvented himself as a comedian, blogger, author (which he’s great at).  I mean, this guy can really do schtick.  And America knows it.  Andy has 244,801 Twitter followers, 47,793 Facebook friends and 72,302 blog subsribers.  After you read this, check out and up his numbers a bit.  The “Mad Magazine”-inspired dude deserves it.

As a former ABC Network news correspondent, screenplay writer and now PR exec, I know it’s not easy to be funny when you need to be.  And Andy is funny 365 days a year.

If there’s a beefy news story, Borowitz will have the best blog in the galaxy within hours (maybe minutes).  And he’s also the coolest ex geek I’ve ever seen.  Can’t ask for more than that.