Sunday, October 23, 2005

LOBP #13: PRSA Philadelphia "Meet the Media" Panel, 10/14/2005

This podcast includes an informative and interactive media panel with representatives from some of Philadelphia's most prestigious media outlets as they offer tips on getting your pitches heard by the right people, and your news covered.

Participating in the panel were (from left): Dan Rubin, author of the Blinq blog for the Philadelphia Inquirer; Michael W. Armstrong, Assistant Business Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer; Frank Devlin, Associate Editor, Philadelphia Business Journal; Tom McGrath, Editor-at-Large, Philadelphia Magazine; Jonathan Morein, Senior Account Manager, Tattar Richards-DBC, who moderated the panel, and Scott Tattar of Tattar Richards-DBC, president of PRSA/Philadelphia. (66mb, 48 minutes stereo MP3 podcast)

Dealing With Data Theft: After the Fact: I have some expertise here...

Dealing With Data Theft: After the Fact:

How should banks communicate effectively with their external constituencies after a security breach? I've had to deal with this several times during my financial services PR tour of duty.

I was interviewed last week for an article by technology writer Eileen Colkin Cuneo. The article has appeared in several CMP Publications, including:

Information Week
Bank Systems & Technology Online
Security Pipeline
Desktop Pipeline
Systems Management Pipeline

Friday, October 14, 2005

Yes, it's that "Who is a Jew" argument...

Jason Unger has blogged in support of my efforts with Verizon. Thanks, Jason!

Daddy, why are all those Jews for Jesus on our front lawn?

No, they're not really, not yet at least, but I've laid in an extra supply of apples and honey in case I have to show them hospitality, now that the New York Times has taken up the story of the Great Yellow Pages Debate of 2005.

Just to recap, today's Times story was generated by the coverage in the Jewish Exponent that was repurposed on

Original reporting was done by the indomitable Harriet Kessler, editor of the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey. (Full disclosure: I write a monthly column on technology for the Voice, but the discussions with Verizon over this issue happened in my capacity as Vice President for Government and Public Relations for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey.

I don't think we've heard the final chapter on this. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

LOBP #12 - PRSA/Philadelphia Panel on Collaboration between PR and Advertising, 9/28/05

LOBP #12 - PRSA/Philadelphia Panel on Collaboration between PR and Advertising, 9/28/05

In this age of integrated marketing and increased emphasis on results, it is essential for public relations professionals to work effectively with advertising and marketing colleagues to plan and implement integrated programs. This lunchtime presentation will outline effective tools to expand the role of PR in the marketing mix. Nancy Bacher Long, president of Dorland Global Public Relations and Maribeth Roman Schmidt, president of FCF Schmidt PR will provide practical tips and share real world successes that you can implement immediately in your business.

Photograph made after the September program shows(from left): Dana King, director of marketing, Gregory/FCA, a member of the PRSA/Philadelphia Chapter board; and panelists Kristina Broadbelt, group supervisor, Dorland Global Public Relations; Maribeth Roman Schmidt, president of FCF Schmidt Public Relations; Kate Shields, vice president, FCF Schmidt Public Relations, and Nancy Bacher Long, president of Dorland Global Public Relations.

Download the podcast, a 71.5 mb file, 51:44 minutes, stereo MP3.

PR NewsWire: New PodSpider Search Engine Delivers Largest Directory of Podcasts in English, Breaks Barrier of 20,000 Podcasts

This item comes from PRNewswire...the question in my mind is, how many web aggregators of podcasts do we really need? (And for the phrase "web aggregators of podcasts" you can substitute "airlines" or "manufacturers of gas-guzzling SUVs" get the picture)...

KARLSRUHE, Germany, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- RapidSolution Software today took another aggressive step toward its goal of becoming the market leader in podcasting technology by unveiling its new PodSpider Portal. The new internet-based podcast search engine leaps beyond the Apple iTunes directory, providing access to over 20,000 podcasts and the largest directory of podcasts available in the English language. The portal, available at , coincides with a new release of PodSpider offering fully-automatic synchronization between a user's PC and MP3 player.

Paraphrasing the student to the rabbi as the villagers pack to leave Anatevka in "Fiddler on the Roof,"

"Rabbi, if there were ever a time for convergence to arrive, wouldn't this be a good time?"

"We'll just have to wait for [it] somewhere else," said the rabbi.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Lubetkin's Other Blog Podcast #11 - PRSA/New York MegaTech Day Panel on Blogging, Podcasting, and RSS Feeds.


On September 29, I was a panelist on the topic of Blogs, Podcasts, and RSS feeds as part of at the PRSA/New York MegaTech Day event.

What’s New and Next on the Web? All about Blogs, Logs, Micropersuasion, Podcasts, RSS
Feeds and Related Tools and Tactics

From left, Don Bates, Media Distribution Services (MDS), panel moderator; Steve Rubel, vice president of CooperKatz Public Relations; BL Ochman of What'sNextOnline blog; Steve Lubetkin; Emiliano DeLaurentiis of Isanté online magazine. Photo courtesy Henry Feintuch, KCSA Public Relations.

Complete MegaTech agenda/program

This podcast is a live recording of that panel discussion. (stereo MP3, 123 mb, 1 hr. 25 min.)

Theme Music: "Sing Sing," the Dave Manley Band, from

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Jewish Exponent: Yellow Pages Listing No Longer Couples 'Messianic' and 'Jewish'

My efforts to get Verizon to remove Messianic Christian congregations from the Synagogues section of the Yellow Pages has been reported previously in the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey. Now, the Jewish Exponent of Philadelphia has picked up the story.

But Verizon is still taking the approach that ad dollars are more important than misleading Yellow Pages readers. According to the Verizon official quoted in the Exponent's story, Verizon is not changing the categories elsewhere in the country. So I guess that means it's ok to mislead people in parts of the country where they don't complain to the chairman of Verizon?

BBC makes it look like George Bush gave them an interview about how God told him to do it...

The press release posted and embargoed at the BBC's press office website has a misleading and inaccurate lead.

Let's put aside for a minute how silly it seems to post something on a public website and then tell people it's embargoed. Rule #1 in PR 101 (all together, please?) "If you don't want to see it on the front page of the NYT, don't say it!"

The lead of the breathless press release states that 'President George W. Bush told Palestinian ministers that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq - and create a Palestinian State, a new BBC series reveals. '

Wow, I knew GWB was religious, but I didn't know he was messianic in that way! But wait, this is pure hype and editorializing by the BBC.

When you read further, however, you learn that the source for this amazing revelation is actually one of the Palestinian leaders engaging in some tasty hearsay. This didn't come from the White House.

The BBC's reputation for journalistic integrity is severely damaged by this kind of hyperbole, and it could have been avoided if the press release writer had simply added the phrase, 'according to a Palestinian leader who claimed to have heard the statements.' The way it's written makes it look like the Beeb interviewed George Bush and he said these things to a BBC news team. It's misleading, and whatever you think of Mr. Bush's politics or religious beliefs, it has no place in a BBC news release.

That's the gist of the formal complaint I lodged with the BBC's website. Let's see if they respond. I will report back if I hear from them.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sara Clarke's Star-Ledger Story, "The Inc. blog" now online

The Inc. blog

In response to my blog entry and an email query to the reporter, I'm informed that the Sara K. Clarke story on corporate blogging is now online on the Star-Ledger's website at the link referenced above. They only leave these stories on the free section of their site for 14 days, so click now, supplies are limited!

What Happened to "Days of Awe"? Now we trot out the poor and needy as props for a Today Show feature

As we approach the Jewish High Holidays, a time of introspection and reflection on how well we are maintaining our relationships with God and with those around us, I am struck by how easily the entertainment divisions of our broadcast networks have lapsed into using the poor and needy as mere props to create a visually "exciting" feature segment.

This morning on the NBC Today Show, we had a segment about NBC and TimeWarner helping Habitat for Humanity build houses for people affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The segment came complete with a live on-site audience of people to act as a cheering section for the demonstration build of housing frames, and obligatory non-interviews by Ann Curry with young children, into whose mouths she was easily able to insert the stereotypical emotions of how excited they were to receive toys and gifts, and how wonderfully everyone was treating them.

We even had a Dixieland band on site to serenade the lucky soon-to-be-homeowners.

And of course, these unfortunate hurricane victims felt absolutely no pressure to participate in this shameless dog-and-pony show to demonstrate their gratitude for their benefactors from north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Have we become so jaded that we need to create entertainment value from the devastation and need being experienced in the affected areas?

It's absolutely essential for us to dig deep to help these folks in their misery, but do we need to turn every act of kindness into a pat on the back for ourselves for doing what we're supposed to do? The wise scholar Maimonides speaks of eight levels of charity, each one more honorable than the others. The Today Show event today ignored Maimonides' belief that the most honorable kinds of charity are when we give without expecting to get credit for the giving.

I know it's hard for media organizations to do anything without telling people loudly that they did it, but what would have been the harm if NBC had just donated whatever it donated, and had decided not to do a segment with a band and an audience, and kids being manipulated into saying things to make NBC feel good about its donations?

What's the harm for all of us if we give of ourselves without expecting to get credit?

And since it seems that it's all about getting credit for ever larger and more "spectacular" donations, is it any wonder to my colleagues in the PR world why they can't get the media interested in well-meaning but modest local donations to local charities?

Many (but thankfully not all) corporations are interested in "signature" donations to major national campaigns, but that effort to get recognition for the donation neglects needs much closer to home. In return for the flash and sizzle of being associated with Major League anything, or with celebrity CEOs, or glamorous galas that their senior executives can attend in tuxedo and gown, any kind of donations to local needs becomes expected, obligatory, and no longer newsworthy.

When was the last time you actually got the local media to cover a client's check presentation to a local charity?

Thanks, NBC. Now we know that charity without strings attached will never be a news story again, since we can't afford to fly in a network correspondent and arrange for a band.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Star-Ledger Feature About Blogs Only for Print Readers...

In today's edition of New Jersey's largest newspaper, the Star-Ledger's syndicated Technology Columnist Allan Hoffman writes about the popularity of RSS, and his column is billboarded on the business front page.

However, if you visit the Star-Ledger's website, you will not find the larger Sunday business feature written by locally by Star-Ledger Staff Writer Sara K. Clarke. Clarke's story, "The Inc. Blog: Companies learn the goodwill value of Web diaries," dominates the business front page of the Ledger, and with a sidebar by Hoffman about CEO blogs, takes up two-thirds of page 7 in the business section as well.

The Clarke article talks about the GM Fast Lane Blog, mentions Darren Rowse (left) , and talks about internal blogging at Sun Microsystems. It quotes David Weinberger, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at the Harvard Law School.

But if you visit the Ledger's website, you won't find the story or the CEO Blog sidebar. They simply don't exist on the Ledger's website.

Wonder what it is about blogs that the paper is trying to hide?