Thanksgiving Memories and Gratitude

thanksgivingWould you believe up until some years ago, I didn’t have any Thanksgiving memories? You see, I’d never celebrated Thanksgiving before I moved to the US.  After all, I didn’t grow up with it.  But since then, it’s become one of my favorite holidays, and I’ve celebrated it all sorts of ways. Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving memories: There was my first Thanksgiving ever (we were still in California), when my husband cooked the entire spread for his brother and family who were visiting, including a tofurkey for his vegan niece. There was the time we spent it in NYC and watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in the freezing rain (brr!!). There was the time we decided, on the spur of the moment, to spend it in Jamaica, which was AWESOME. There was the time we spent it in India, with roast
Shonali Burke
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Annual Publicity Stunt

The annual turkey pardoning at the White House is a long-time publicity stunt that has endured under Republican and Democratic Presidents.  It hangs on because it is cute and is a reminder that millions of turkeys give their lives on Thanksgiving so humans can celebrate.  Citizens line up at the White House to watch the ceremony and the media faithfully cover it.  One would think the stunt would get old and at some point a President will give it up.  That time hasn't come yet, and each year the pardoning reinforces prospects for the event in the following year.  It's an automatic renewal, as silly as it is.  It is also a reminder that the Commander-in Chief can have fun along with the rest of the country, and of course, it gives social media something to talk about.  

Lessons from Paperchase’s retreat: corporate cowardice predates social media

A few thousand tabloid-loathing ‘Stop Funding Hate‘ campaigners exercising their wrist action on Twitter and Facebook have persuaded Paperchase to abandon an advertising promotion, which offered readers of The Daily Mail two free sheets of Christmas wrapping paper. What should the advertising and PR community make of this debacle? How do we explain the fact that readers of The Daily Mail, circulation 1.4 million, The Daily Express, 400,000, and the The Sun, 1.5 million, were effectively told that they were not morally fit to shop at or get freebies from Paperchase? How did Stop Funding Hate, which opposes mainstream advertising in mainstream newspapers read by the mass public, convince a major corporation that those organs and their readers were hate-speakers? Our industry must assess coolly how it ever struck Paperchase as a good idea to say to a small audience on Twitter:
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Macy's, according to this article, is entering a make-or-break Christmas selling season.  The store has been discounting to compete with Amazon, but it would like to reposition itself as a taste-maker, a leading-edge retailer that has gifts and clothing people want and are willing to pay full price to buy.  It's a tough road for a retailer to take.  Department stores as a class have faded in the American consumer's mind and habits.  Getting them excited to return to a store and brave crowds is a tall task.  It is too early to predict whether Macy's strategy will work.  But, once one has learned to shop online and compare goods and prices, it becomes harder to pick through racks and shelves.  Macy's is not attempting to compete with Amazon, which has everything, but to feature the one or two best products of a Continue reading "Repositioning"

A closer look at Creative Commons licenses

Neville Hobson
A closer look at Creative Commons licenses
Trevi Fountain One of the great things about social media and social networks is the ability they offer to anyone to share a thought, an idea, or an expression, with anyone else who has a connection to the global internet. Take the photo above, for instance. It’s of the Trevi Fountain in Rome on a beautiful sunny late autumn day and I took the photo on a visit there in 2016. I’ve not widely shared it before now although it’s been in my Flickr stream since then, and now it’s embedded in this post. What if you like the photo and want to use it in some way, personally or professionally? As I own the copyright to the photo, you’d likely want to reach out and see what permission you need to use it. There’s an easier and much simpler way to do that
Creative Commons licenses
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Narrow Focus

It has always been true that the media have a narrow focus. Reporters and editors will ignore an issue then suddenly illuminate it with a deluge of stories only to drop it again after a time.  This has been a headache for media relations practitioners since the beginning of modern PR.  An example of this is the media's concentration on proposed tax reform in Congress while overlooking an even more important issue of funding the government to avoid a shutdown.  CNBC has made an issue of it but few others have.  Turning the media's attention to the funding vote will come as the deadline looms.  Meanwhile it takes a back seat.  Media relations requires a sense of timing -- knowing when to push an issue and when to let it rest.  Practitioners need to maintain close attention to the arguments of the hour Continue reading "Narrow Focus"

Social Web Recap 20.11.17

A weekly annotated short summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.
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According to Freedom House in its latest study of global internet freedom, Canada is among the least restrictive nations in the world when it comes to internet usage. That's good news for Canadians. Overall, though, there are some troubling developments reported, among them that "Online manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role in elections in at least 18 countries over the past year, including the United States . . . and disinformation tactics contributed to a seventh consecutive year of overall decline internet freedom."


A number of online news outlets reported that YouTube has broadened its policy for taking down extremist content to include both removing videos that directly preach hate or seek to incite violence as well as videos of named Continue reading "Social Web Recap 20.11.17"