You get so sick of looking at Facebook that you try to go to Facebook for a break.
You get so sick of looking at Facebook that you try to go to Facebook for a break.
Do you remember when the biggest problem in the content marketing world was “content shock”? Wow, Gramps. That was so January, 2014.
On Jan. 6, 2014, one marketing guy published a post speculating that there were just so many content marketers putting out so much stuff that all consumers would be buried and no one would read or view anything anymore, ever again.
Obviously, this was a big deal in the content marketing business. For two and a half weeks. Google “content shock” now; all but one of the results are from before Jan. 24. The concept proved itself.
Which actually says something good about content shock, to whatever extent it exists: For an idea to take hold, it must take hold. In the minds of many people, it must withstand a rushing river of other ideas and so-called trends, or be washed out into the ocean of oblivion like the intellectual equivalent of twerking.
So how do you create contect that takes hold? Find out in my latest post at McMURRY/TMG's blog, Contentology.
Or so it would appear, judging from a Ragan.com piece in which a PR pro writes that she loves to work in PR because PR people drink lots of coffee, "love to save the day," "overanalyze everything," obsessively check dozens of social media forums to "pick up opportunities and monitor conversations," and because "there's 24/7 excitement."
And then the commenters got into a debate about Coke versus coffee, as a caffeine-delivery device.
Not to overanalyze, but these are the traits of Adult Children of Alcoholics:
"We became addicted to excitement."
"We confuse love and pity and tend to 'love' people we can 'pity' and 'rescue.'"
"We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us to not look too closely at our own faults, etc."
"We have 'stuffed' our feelings from our tramatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much. (Denial.)"
Or, as a commenter said in respone to the Ragan article: "This just makes me enjoy what I do more PR ROCKS."
Does PR really "rock"? Or do some PR jobs "rock"—generally in-house jobs at good organizations, or high up as agency counselors—while much of the field is populated by emotionally desperate people who can't go to sleep at night without the TV on?
Civilians do not realize how many whole disciplines that military officers are handed, usually with minimal training. And speechwriting was one assignment that General David Petraeus handled on his long path to becoming commander of Coalition Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and eventually director of the CIA.
So members of the Professional Speechwriters Association will get empathy as well as sympathy from Petraeus, during my keynote conversation with him at the PSA's first World Conference in May.
They'll also get straight talk, as Petraeus tells us what inspires him engage heavily in the creation of a speech—he says he'll sometimes go through 30 drafts getting an important one right—and what he needs from his speechwriters, no matter the strategic importance of the occasion.
And yes, attendees have permission to speak freely. It should be a good conversation. Join us in New York, May 22-23.
Turning all the lights off in the living room and introducing your still-open-to-everything 10-year-old girl to "Stairway to Heaven," and when she grins at you right around, "if there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now," feeling high.
In the bad old days, they used to say the title "speechwriter" was as common as the title, "CEO's mistress." But even in these enlightened times when leaders have lovers of all kinds and speechwriters have recognizable titles—executive communication, it's usually called—speechwriters are less organized professionally than car-wash managers. (Seriously.)
Well, the speechwriters' shepherds at Vital Speeches of the Day and our pal Dan Gerstein at Gotham Ghostwriters have decided that almost 2,500 years after the birth of Aristotle, enough is finally enough. We've convened the brand new Professional Speechwriters Association, and we're holding the first ever World Conference of of the PSA, May 22-23 in New York.
Supercommunicators will offer high-level advice for this crowd of experienced speechwriters ... we'll discuss the state and future of the profession ... and speechwriters will offer advice to a young crop of NYU undergrads who may be considering a career in this business.
It's going to be a momentus couple of days. If you call yourself a speechwriter—or a CEO's mistress, for that matter—you won't want to miss this long-overdue barn raising for a home for the speechwriting profession.
The Left wishes President Obama had the guts to kill the Keystone Pipline, whose proponents wish he had the guts to stand up to the Left, and push the Pipeline through.
The Right wishes President Obama had the nuts to stand up to Vladmir Putin, the Left wishes he had the stones to stand up to the Right and close Gitmo, cancel the drones program and raise the miniumum wage.
And so on and so forth.
But I don't think President Obama is afraid of these political forces. Maybe sometimes fear of political consequences comes into his thinking—and probably fear of real consequences comes into it. But just as often, I think he doesn't always know what he ought to do in a given situation, and I think he sometimes thinks there is little he can do. And about some of these situations—the easy questions don't get to his desk (I handle those here at Murray's Freelance Writing)—he must be right.
Does it matter why President Obama does what he does, and doesn't do what he doesn't?
Think of all the problems you have, all your unmet goals, your gnarly dilemmas, your looming deadlines the chronic conflicts in your life.
How would it be if your friends—and we are the president's friends—ascribed your every single unhappy circumstance, or their every disagreement with you—to a lack of courage on your part?
That would be bad. Because it would mean your friends aren't trying to understand you (and of course trying to understand you is what distinguishes your friends from your strangers, and your enemies). It would mean your friends are just trying to condemn you, by ascribing their dissatisfaction with you to the least forgivable possible character trait: cowardice.
It would mean your friends are being mean, and dumb.
And having mean and dumb friends—now that's something to be afraid of.
I am fat.
It came on like going broke: Gradually, and then all at once.
I blame it entirely on the weather this winter. The record snow, combined with the constant cold. Well that, in combination with my refusal to do any of the following: pay for a gym membership, run in deep snow or sheer ice or under 20-degree weather, or curtail the slovenly eating and enthusiastic drinking that make regular exercise mandatory for me.
No regular running for two straight months. The usual eating and drinking. I am fat.
As the weather improves, I'll start running again in earnest. I hope that by June my fatness will have receded to its normal, pushing-maximum-density level, where I can tighten my torso and pretend I'm 27 again. Okay, 35.
Meanwhile, while I'm fat, I thought I'd make some observations about being fat. I don't know much about the emotional effects, because I don't emotionally realize yet that I am fat. It's just an intellectual thing. I look in the mirror expecting to see myself, and there's a chubby dude standing there.
Physically, though ... this sucks.
You constantly feel your shirt scraping against your fucking belly, reminding you ever step you take that you are fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat. I find myself absentmindedly designing shirts that have a rigid awning that juts out right below the nipples and dangles the shirt out beyond the belly, so the thing clears. (How many inches is your overhang? That's your belly size. In America, shirts should have belly sizes. "Yeah, I want an extra large awning shirt with a 10-inch belly.")
Also: You know why fat guys scratch their bellies? Because fat bellies itch. Probably because they're in friction with shirt fabric all effing day long. Hold on a sec, I have to itch my belly.
And the worst thing about being fat (at least at the manageable level at which I am currently fat)? Eating and drinking aren't as much fun. Because they make you fatter. Not eventually. Immediately. The thick luxury towel you that you now normally have strapped to your belly ... after that big screwdriver and pizza you just consumed—that's now a sandbag. It aches to sit up straight. I'm typing this leaning back with my legs out straight, because I just ate a six-inch sandwich from Potbelly.
All I want to do is lie on my back. I'm thinking of having a TV installed in the ceiling.
To sum it up: Being fat makes your clothes your enemy, makes you itch all the time and takes all the pleasure out of eating and drinking.
If I have more insights between now and the time my belly stops itching, I'll share them. Because I am a communicator. And communicators communicate—tall ones, short ones, skinny ones and fat ones.