What’s wrong with this country?  
People still have this undeniable urge to bully others.  Is it a small ego thing…a small brain
thing?  Something is definitely small ‘cause
no one who feels good about him/herself would care if someone else were short
or skinny or fat or gay.  Why does it

I felt sick when I heard about the Rutgers incident.  It is like a bad movie, the handsome and
popular boy rigs the quiet, different boy’s room with a video cam and then broadcasts
a live stream, invading this talented kid’s privacy and humiliating him to the
point of suicide.  Can you imagine
thinking you’ve got no way out but to jump off the GW bridge?  And this kid had such promise.  How many other promising kids are suicidal
because of what others say and do?

I hope they throw the book at this techie kid and his partner in
crime.  And if he doesn’t get punished enough by the legal system, I hope every employer in America remembers this
story and refuses to hire them.

What do we need…a PSA campaign to remind Americans not to bully?  I think we do.

When I was in Jr. High School, a classmate once ran
after me with a four inch hatpin.  Needless
to say, I still remember the incident and probably broke a track record or two
that day.

Take Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey
Katzenberg.  My guess is they weren’t
picked first for baseball, but look at what they’ve achieved as adults.

Everyone’s different and we need to revel in the
difference, not demean it.  And if we do,
what a better world this would be.


Oh the weather outside is
frightful…   I just logged on to
weather.com and it looks like the entire country is purple, red or blue.  And that means blizzard, freezing or
hazardous conditions. 

As I left the office for
lunch here in beautiful downtown Bethesda, MD, I began to wonder when North
Face became the parka of the people? Me, dressed in my very warm sheepskin jacket,
came face to North Face jacket about every five feet. This is Bethesda, not
Vail and I’m headed to work, not on a double black diamond run. 

By the time I got back you
could have tossed me into a tumbler and swirled me around with the rest of the
ice cubes. I’d head down to Miami to visit my former home at WINZ Radio, but
it’s about 40 degrees there and everyone thinks it’s freezing, too. Not exactly
swimming weather. 

While the temperature
continues to drop and we are treated to even more delightful freezing rain, I
remembered something. I like work even more when it’s nasty out.  I have no problem with the snow, unlike the
other DC drivers. My 4-wheel drive car provides the piece of mind I need when
the grinning weather guys and gals are calling for 12-24 inches. I think their
serotonin levels go up whenever they sniff some “unusual weather” headed our

I must admit though as a Public Relations person I do love to watch the
weathercasters. This is their 15 minutes of fame. They’re in their glory. They
lead the news then come back for their extended segment and then get to promo
the news again.  And while, I’ll bet
nearly 75% of them don’t have a degree in meteorology, they do have good hair
and they know how to banter. They also have their Doppler radar, golden snow shovel
and satellite photos from Mars.

The moral of this
story?  Why venture into five degree wind
chill when I can go voice a PSA or
bang out some copy for a radio
in a well-heated office where there’s plenty of coffee and
snacks. Throw another log on the fire, grab a cup of soup and grilled cheese
and settle into your desk. Stay warm.

How do you maximize radio placements?

"There are many ways to maximize audience reach and impressions on radio,” says Joan Carrese of zcomm. 

When pitching Radio News Releases and PSAs, customize your story to each market.  “zcomm researches and includes statistics in pitches to localize stories and, whenever possible, uses a local spokesperson to add a credible, community angle,” adds Carrese.  Stations across the country prefer stories with a local newshook. 

If you are targeting multi-cultural demographics, such as the Hispanic audience, produce both and English and Spanish language release for stations in markets with large Hispanic populations.  And Spanish language outlets are pitched less than general market outlets, so they are more receptive to news releases, interviews, PSAs, podcasts and radio contests.

For Radio Tours, send an audio clip of a dynamic spokesperson with a written pitch and when appropriate make sure the stations are streaming your interview on their website for value added.  Take advantage of a great spokesperson and produce a series of audio Podcasts about your message to download on aggregators on the web, in addition to a client’s website. 

Finally, remember to personally pitch often and pitch well.  “A short, informative and newsworthy personal call and email increase the odds that a media contact will like your message and say yes,” says Carrese. 

Why are spanish language radio stations more receptive to broadcast PR?

Hispanic households will soar to over 13 million by 2010, controlling almost $700 billion in personal income by that time.

As the Hispanic market continues to rapidly expand, more clients are looking for effective ways to tap into this affluent community.

zcomm founder and CEO Risë Birnbaum says radio stations are more receptive to broadcast PR tactics than general market stations.

“The reason,” says Birnbaum, “is that Spanish language stations are still not getting the volume of pitches that general market stations receive, and if you pitch a topic or issue that’s important to Hispanics, they’re definitely willing to listen.”

For example, finance, housing, immigration, pharmaceuticals, cars and food and beverage and consumer products are all of interest to Hispanics.

“But to reach them effectively to book an interview, radio news release or PSA, you have to be on the same wavelength,” adds zcomm’s Birnbaum, “and that means using a PR professional who not only knows Spanish but also understands different dialects.”

Another way to reach the exploding Hispanic market is to use bi-lingual spokespeople and book them on both popular Spanish language and general market stations in markets with large Hispanic populations such as Miami, Los Angeles and Dallas.