Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiger Woods - Fire Your Publicist

Dear Tiger -

What a mess this is. I read today about how you'd lost Accenture, which I'm sure is a hefty endorsement deal. Who the heck is handling your public relations? You should dump them and find someone else who knows what they are doing.

Remember David Lederman and how he was accused of having sex with female staff members? That's long over. What about Elliott Spitzer who rumor has it is considering another run for political office? That's over. Hugh Grant and his infamous hooker pick-up on Hollywood Boulevard? Who cares.

There are others including President Clinton who screwed it up too - then slowly made his way back. More than I can remember - why? Because they dealt with it.

Hiding behind lawyers and whoever else you are trying to duck behind is dumb. You are the top golfer in the world and have the admiration of millions of people. So you've got a weakness for - models, porn stars, hookers - and now it's public. You won't be the first and you won't be the last. Address it - go back to the game - and make it go away.

Instead, you are hiding like a scared little boy behind a web of bad advice hoping it will blow over. That makes you look weak and foolish. It will eventually blow over but unless you deal with it now you won't be free of it. It seems like every day the media finds another woman who cashes in on your fame. Think about your kids. Think about your career. Think about how many women there are out there who can keep this going.

It's not rocket science Tiger. Apologize. Americans love to forgive and forget. Go on the talk show circuit and say you're sorry. Hold a news conference that is about as humble as you can get. But please don't force your angry, glaring wife who looks like she wants to chop your head off to stand by her man. That's just cruel and it upsets women - well it upsets me anyway.

I'd much rather see her deck you. If your wife wants too she can release a statement - I'm sure she will consider it because without those endorsement deals she'll lose a lot if she divorces you.

Start with: "I've done some things I'm not proud of and I've hurt my family, my friends, my fans, my fellow golfers, my business partners and whoever else matters. I'm very sorry to have let all of them down. I've made some big mistakes and I take full responsibility for them. And I'm going to spend some time making it up to all of them."

The next part puts your money where your mouth is. "As part of this effort I'm going to donate gobs of money to some cause (sick kids always works). I'm also going to take the next few months and donate time to help one or several (again kids') charities further their work."

You only need to apologize once and don't do it for the Europeans or Japanese because they are laughing their butts off. I can almost hear their voices saying "Those ridiculous Americans, what does having affairs have to do with playing golf?"

Finish with the "And I hope you will all learn to trust me again."

You're done. Then get back to golf.


A Big Fan

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gossip Girl, OK Woman, At the PR Holiday Party Scene

I've been attending media, marketing and advertising holiday parties to network and also to check out what the business climate is like this year.

First off - everyone is scaling back. The status quo for many seems to be plan a happy hour, pick the venue, don't charge, and let everyone who comes pay cash for food and drinks. With the exception of the Independent Public Relations Association feast - the parties that did supply food so far skimped so much the pricing seemed really out of whack for what you got.

As for the photos - they are stock and the woman on the beach is what I picture in my mind as I sit here with a broken heating system. One can dream.

The One Party

Who: Ad Club DC, American Marketing Association and a few others.

Where: Eye Bar - Nice place, room a bit narrow

Crowd: A lot of vendors, ages mixed, older than I expected. Not many prospective clients.

Sponsor Gimmick: One of the vendors had a great idea - everyone who came in got to pick a card choosing from five endangered species. I was an owl. I had to get five other owls to sign my card (great icebreaker) and then submit it with my contact info to win an IPod Touch. There were a few other sponsors who had tabletop displays but some company presidents didn't even show. What's the point?

Cost: $50 ahead, $60 at door

Food and Drink: Open bar - three drinks came with it mixed and wine. Rack liquor. The invitation said the party included heavy appetizers. They were heavy alright - no one touched them. Sushi at the beginning and then they left the empty tray on the bar to make the rest of us feel bad. Food was scary - goo encrusted meatballs, some sort of fried Mexican meat in taco sauce that I could have gotten frozen at the market, vegetables and two different kinds of scary looking chicken wings.

Strategy: Think it may have been to get everyone to drink and then not feed them - 3rd drink impossible without food.

Anecdote: Left my car in a law firm lot a few blocks away after finding a parking lot attendant who asked for a bribe and put me in a Reserved Space. He explained in Spanish how to get out of the garage but I must have missed something because I couldn't figure it out. Couldn't go back up without a pass key. Got stuck down there until one of the lawyers saved me.

Time Spent: Lasted an hour - could have skipped it.

Washington Networking Group Holiday Party

Who: As listed above - no cool name

Where: Guarapo Nena in Arlington - private room

Crowd: Mixed vendors, I was late so didn't see much of it. The DC Networking Group has a very diverse group of people - this one had tech, communications, marketing, international and government people.

Food and Drink: Cash everything - the martinis were cheaper than in DC

Sponsor Gimmick: Why do vendors not have stuff - they just show up and run around and talk to people.

Time Spent: Was worth the trip even though it was a long metro ride. Someone came running out the door after me to invite me to another party. So stunned I gave him my card - he never got in touch. Alot of men - fewer women.

IPRA Holiday Lunch

Who: Independent Public Relations Society of America

Where: Maggianos at Tyson's Corner - and I found it - yeah

Crowd: The room was full - a mix of PR, printers, and other vendors. Draw was the food which was course after course of Yum and that wine came with the meal.

Cost: I think it was $50 ahead of time if you were not a member.

Bad Part: Way too much thank yous, and kudos to each other. If they hadn't done that I wouldn't have realized most of the people in the room were on the board and needed to be there. Sat next to an older woman who complained how much writers are discounting their fees - if you insist on paying seasoned people very little you won't get much. But maybe in this economy they don't care. On my right was someone starting a DC PR business who wreaked of cigarettes - what a turn-off.

Time: Two hours or so not counting getting there and back.

ASAE Holiday Happy Hour

Who: American Society of Association Executives

Where: Black Finn - Pseudo Sports Bar on I Street, DC

Crowd: Again a lot of vendors, several ASAE people including senior ones, and a mix of marketers. Also there was a bunch of college sports fans in the back watching the Georgetown game and yelling which was very distracting.

Anecdote: Watched a pretty young blonde and her boss who was probably a bit older than I am. Black Finn served a free round of beer shots then took photos of only her drinking it. Made me feel ancient. A business exec slowly moved in on her hanging around for what reason I wasn't sure, dense person that I am, until he could find a way to talk to her. When I left they were chummy at the table. For some reason I've noticed these ASAE happy hours often have lots of cute young women and not so young men who love them.

Charity: Toys for Tots and most people did come with an unwrapped new gift. Thank goodness for the closet of presents never given.

Time Spent: Probably an hour - left to beat the ice storm.

International Association of Business Communicators Holiday Party

Who: IABC DC - this group of communications professionals has some very nice people in it.

Where: Arlington, Hilton in one of their nice but small rooms

Crowd: Not as well attended as some but a good crowd. Talked to a lot of people - someone who just started at a clandestine federal agency - and said she reads its web site sometimes to figure out what's going on. Some guy from Burson showed up, zoned in on the few potential clients in the room, and ducked out. He said they're hiring. Don't understand why IABC doesn't care that only a couple of board members show up at it's major events - shouldn't that be expected?

Cost: $40 but came with a small cheese plate and some passed appetizers that left me starving. Cash bar with mediocre wine and rack liquor. Also a member's band played Christmas music - give them an A+ for Santa Got Run Over By a Reindeer.

Time Spent: Probably 1.5 hours. If it hadn't been freezing and I hadn't lost my car on some side street in Ballston it would have been worth it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Google Gold - Top Search Terms of 2009

Well the first thing I noticed is there's no business list of Google's top tens for 2009 search terms. Maybe that's proprietary? Or maybe celebrities and news don't matter as much anymore. We'd also like the top 100 if Google Zeitgeist would be willing to share.

So I went market by market hoping to learn something. Here's what I found - interpreted by yours truly. The most commonly searched places in a market are:

Local colleges - most of the ones listed
Local television, newspaper, radio - see people are reading news they're just doing it online
Local hospitals
Local museums
Local libraries - this to me was the big surprise.

So if you can mention any of these or partner with them on a news release or mention them in it - you are golden.

Here are the results from five giant metro markets.

Washington, D.C.

1. fcps blackboard
2. national harbor
3. e street cinema
4. nova community college
5. wtop news
6. wmata
7. nationals baseball
8. dc restaurant week
9. washington sports club
10. leesburg outlets

New York, NY

1. cuny portal
2. duane reade locations
3. mta trip planner
4. seamless web
6. hopstop
7. hale and heardy
8. shake shack
9. nyu home
10. queens library

Philadelphia, PA

1. penn blackboard
2. septa strike
5. penn in touch
6. penn portal
7. penn library
8. tumail
9. tuportal
10. wharton spike

San Francisco, CA

1. fox theater oakland
2. bay bridge closure
3. wicked san francisco
4. ilearn
5. sf giants schedule
6. sfusd
8. outside lands
9. bart schedule
10. ccsf

Seattle, WA

1. sounders fc
2. bellevue college
3. seahawks 2009 schedule
4. snoqualmie casino
5. west seattle blog
6. uw libraries
8. wa unemployment
10. snohomish county jail

So what does this tell us? Not much. Looking at all of the cities here's what I learned: