How Halloween benefits from the 1%’ers

A new take on the 1% rule: on Halloween night, the spirit of candy grubbing children is strengthened and invigorated by those homeowners obsessed with decorating their house and frightening small children on Halloween. Based upon my sampling of traffic flows on the streets of my very anodyne suburban neighbourhood, children are drawn to the […]

Government communications: a multi-stage career

[fade to studio] Hello. My name is Colin McKay. I’m an evangelist for government communications. You may remember me from such popular posts as Government Communications is interesting, dammit! and Government Communications doesn’t suck: I mean it. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to spend a few minutes with us. We’ll […]

P.J. O’Rourke on Government Communications

Years before I really became interested in a career in public relations, I read books on politics and popular culture quite voraciously. P.J. O’Rourke was a favourite, not for his political leanings but for his rapier sharp wit and analysis.One of his assignments for Harper’s magazine was to accompany the “Volga Peace Cruise” – a […]

Why your waistline lies to you…

Michael Bierut tagged this post from abstractdynamics as “information design,” but I see it as reflection of the effect of market forces on truthiness: “… As I inch closer to actually producing garments, this presents an interesting dilemma. I could tell the truth, sell pants with the actual waist size labeled. But to do so […]

“Silk Road” design and the EU’s birthday

How in the world do you represent dozens of national and regional cultures in one graphical element? In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of The European Union next March, the EU asked young designers from across the continent to design a birthday logo to mark the festivities. This is the winner, designed by Szmon Skrzypczak: […]

Pronk’s comments on Sudan have implications for diplomatic communication

Ian rightly points to the diplomatic imbroglio caused by United Nations envoy Jan Pronk’s criticism of the Sudanese government and his frank assessment of their military performance – on his personal blog. Pronk’s been called back to New York for “consultations” In most diplomatic incidents, “consultations” are a way for one country to demonstrate its […]

Who are the people at your meeting, at your meeting …

[tags] meeting, personal organisation, GTD [/tags]

A two pun headline

“Goat meat leanest kid on the block” Thanks to the (London) Times for that good laugh.

Government Blogging: the sweet spot

We can imagine plenty of rational reasons why governments shouldn’t blog. There are far fewer good reasons. Especially if the bureaucracy serves a largely retail function: plenty of personal contact with citizens, customers or clients; a¬ relatively flexible and responsive organization; little if any policy-making authority; direct effect on people’s lives In practical terms, this […]

Google: $200M in advertising and promotion

In its latest financials, Google reveals it only spent $50M on advertising and¬ promotion in the last quarter. That’s 1.8% of sales, as Paul Kedrosky points out, and compares with Microsoft’s 2.7%, and the 20% OTC drug companies spend. Now, Google doesn’t actually produce any physical products. It doesn’t have to ship out samples or […]

Blair on YouTube, rockin’ Manchester

Either a collossal waste of time or a beautiful combination of punk rock, politics, and social media. Tony Blair at the Labour Party conference, mixed to the lyrics and beat of The Clash’s Should I Stay or Go?

Borat’s ad buy wins in Robinson own goal

¬ The best ¬£30,000 spent to promote Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat: an advertising package on the electronic hoardings ringing the England-Croatia footie game. Yes, the game where England let in an own goal. (YouTube video available, of course) The electronic promo for the new Borat flick began running just as Gary Neville flicked the ball […]

Blog leads to MP’s suspension?

Could MP Garth Turner‘s blogging habit have led to his suspension from the Conservative Party caucus? That’s one of the claims being made today – but it doesn’t jibe with his long-standing practice of speaking his mind. The blog was likely just one contributing factor. “… [Conservative Party] Caucus chair Rahim Jaffer said Wednesday that […]

Rachel Ray: someone Stifler’s friends would like

Rachel Ray: Branding Goddess, over at TBSAT: “… Rachael Ray is not only peppy but peppery.¬ The “adorable” Rachael is frequently accompanied by a Rachael who lets fly with sexual innuendo, little digs, and frank observations.¬ “Sweetness and light” meets “nobody’s fool.”¬ (Ray builds her celebrity out of mixed signals, in this case, the sweet […]

A visual thought on Walmart, Edelman and blogging

  [tags] Wal-Mart, walmart, Edelman, Rubel [/tags]

Communications for muncipal politicians

Some quick thoughts on the communications involved in campaigning for municipal office, from Vicky Smallman, candidate for Ottawa City Council. In my ward, (a mushrooming exurb dominated by builders, road construction and big box stores) the roadside signs planted by candidates have to compete with realtor’s signs, mobile billboards, and giant hoardings directing drivers to […]

Mocking design students: the funny bits

From Moistworks: How many Rhode Island School Of Design students does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answers from Moistworks readers: Two. One to screw in the lightbulb and one to unpack the assumptions inherent in the joke. Dave in CO # The whole school, one to screw in the bulb and the […]

An image problem for UK charities looking to hire

Ouch. I know I’ve been signing the praises of government (and by extension not-for-profit) work, but these British survey results are stinging: “…People employed by charities are old, white, female and often too unwell to do a proper job. At least that is what young people believe, according to a survey for voluntary sector leaders. […]

Government communications is interesting, dammit!

Following up on my previous post – ¬ Government communications doesn’t suck, I mean it¬ – I’d like to discuss the wide range of subjects and topics that could draw your attention as a government communicator. After all, government work doesn‚Äôt mean professional or personal stagnation. Implied in the debate between employment at an agency […]

Visualize this: drag queens, a stolen honda, and Six Flags

From a comment on stee’s¬ often hilarious¬ Plaintive Wail blog: “…Just thought I’d bond with you over crazy cars, when my Honda was stolen by drag queens (yep) They piled like 7 people in it and took in on a trip to 6 flags,on the way there they got one of those picture ticket for […]

If you read only one music blog …

I would strongly recommend jefito for his opinionated and educated readers/listeners. This post on a reggae version of the REO Speedwagon classic “Keep on lovin’ you” is just one example. [tags] jefito [/tags]

Design FINALLY makes museums more fun

I’ve always been conditioned to think art museums should be fun – certainly more¬ stimulating than expected from regular stuffed shirt art patrons. My perception was reinforced by the museum scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – and fuelled by thoughts of roller skating the inclines of the Guggenheim. Finally, my dreams are realized. THIS […]

Government blogging’s still chugging along

While I’m building speed on my government communications argument, I’ll also point you to Shel’s discussion of government blogging.

Government communications doesn’t suck. I mean it.

Agency vs. Corporate. One is more flexible. One is better paying. One offers a greater variety of projects for new associates. The other likely has a better health plan. I’m here, folks, to argue for another employer for young public relations and marketing types: the government. Yes, it can be tradition-bound. Yes, your friends likely […]

How to waste your money on radio advertising

Our local AM News station runs an “experts on call” segment on Saturdays, where advertisers effectively buy a block of time and take calls from the public on their chosen area of expertise. This afternoon, a dental clinic was on the air to explain their advanced techniques. Moving into a news update, the experienced and […]

How to work a cold meeting room

It’s advice about how to behave at an actor’s callback, but¬ equally applies to any situation where a professional has to work a room cold – demonstrating professional excellence, skills directly relevant to the task at hand, and an ability to persuade a room full of strangers of your competence and good cheer. From Colleen […]

MySpace used for distance education course; execs have problem

N.C. State prof Thomas J. Hoban teaches a distance education course using a MySpace page – and it turns out senior members of the university’s¬ administration aren’t happy about it. The Durham Indy reports. “… “N.C. State’s distance education is primarily oriented toward what I would say is pushing information into students’ brains and then […]

Another toolbar for your PR arsenal

Pick up your Canuck PR Toolbar, courtesy of Martin Hofmann. Search, Canuck PR blog shortcuts, and other PR resources, all in one place.

How an American Idol works his way to the middle

The hardscrabble life of an American Idol runner-up, in the Village Voice. This is Constantine Maroulis. He wishes you knew that. (Well, relatively hardscrabble. None of the day-in, day-out hand to mouth existence that characterized the lives of field workers in the South or textile workers in nineteenth century New York. Instead, we’re discussing blow-dried […]

Lockjaw in Aisle 87 at Wal-Mart

Oh God. Wal-Mart’s thinking of updating their employee uniforms, and they’re thinking of going preppy. ” … Wal-Mart, long a symbol of dowdy, traditional fashions, is graduating to preppy. The blue polo and khaki test, now being conducted in about 100 stores, may extend across the chain as early as November, depending on the response […]

Social media winning over goat fanciers

It’s generally recognized that the Conservative Party in Britain has jumped all over blogging and social media as a tool for outreach and citizen engagement. Still, the¬ fundamental shift in political communication in Britain¬ is¬ underlined when¬ a Member of Parliament like Ann Widdecombe, not your average tech evangelist, argues for new media. ” … […]

How graphic designers work with wood

A book section, focusing¬ on smut. How does an independent weekly make the¬ context-setting editorial stand out? Here’s¬ how the¬ Baltimore CityPaper combined editorial content with basic graphic design. (Graphic. geddit?) ¬ ¬ ¬ [tags] graphic design, type, typesetting [/tags]

“RPS brought down my server”

A simple article, “How to beat anyone at Rock Paper Scissors,” resulted in a Fark-led server crash at the World Rock Paper Scissors Society. Doug Walker discusses the social media experiment that led to the crash, and Lisa Walker compares the traffic crush created by online – as opposed to coverage on mainline news sites. […]

The basics of social media – a new ebook

For those people who just watched me on CJOH’s Tech Now segment, I can refer you to a new e-book from Spannerworks: What is Social Media? (It’s a .pdf file) The opportunity to talk about blogging and social media came about as a result of the inaugural Third Monday session held this week, featuring Shel […]

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