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Showing posts from April, 2008

PR Idea of the Week

Thinking that anyone cares about your witty thoughts on a blog is one level of vanity, but thinking that anyone cares about your moment to moment activities is an incomprehensible level of self-importance. Or so I thought.

Turns out, using Twitter to share 140 characters of your up-to-the-minute thoughts and observations, is part of daily life not just for tweens but for savvy urbanites and even journalists.

CNN is now reporting that


James Karl Buck helped free himself from an Egyptian jail with a one-word blog post from his cell phone.The one word: arrested. I am not on Twitter and I think about the challenge I might have in sharing my life with others in the constraints of a tiny cell phone screen, let alone in one-word increments.Twitter: Business trip to NYC, missing the kids

Real life: Schlepped to New York for one-day meeting; forgot it was “that time of the month;” had to call in-laws to check on kids since husband is busy giving haircuts to 150 small pigsTwitter: Busy day on the f…

He was RIGHT!

I promised my husband I would blog about this, because he wants the world to know HE TOTALLY CALLED IT.

About 5:30 a.m. Friday morning I awoke to hear my husband saying, "Are you doing that?" The bed was wiggling and the door knob was knocking up and down.

No. I'm not doing anything.

The whole house is shaking. I think it's an earthquake.

It's not an earthquake. Maybe we're being haunted.

He turns to go back to sleep.

Me: If the house is shaking, don't you think that warrants some investigation! I'm thinking that the water heater probably just exploded.

He gets up and wanders around while I dream of Richter scales and broken windows.

Turns out we DID have an earthquake (yes, he called it). There was no damage but that didn't stop the local media from covering it like we just discovered we're getting ready to split from West Virginia.

Swine Lecture Series - The Secret Code of Farmers

Due to the hugely positive response to Pigs 101 [actually, no one said anything, but I'm sure you liked it], we are continuing our agri-cultural offering in what we're calling the "Swine Lecture Series." Our first talk focuses on exposing the secret code that pig farmers have been using for generations to communicate among themselves. This lecture will give you a behind-the-scenes look at their world. Enjoy.

It's a little known fact that farmers have secret ways of communicating, small code phrases that only they can decipher--until now. For instance the honey wagon is not actually a carrier of sweet nectar, it is a tanker full of the foulest liquid manure. The fertilizer truck does not come to help your garden grow, it comes to pick up the livestock that didn't make it through the winter.

But only hog farmers have more detailed, numerical codes; codes that Dan Brown would envy. Since I have infiltrated their world to study them intensely, I will share their mo…

PR Idea of the Week

This week's PR highlight comes from the following company:

Founded in 1901, [this company] is dedicated to bringing innovative, performance-driven, value focused products to the marketplace.

Huh? You mean, you've never heard of them and their unique quest to bring products to the marketplace that are both innovative AND performance-driven. Sheesh. They're like my favorite marketplace source for, you know, innovative products that perform.

Turns out, they create bakeware solutions that enable domestic leaders to successfully create industry-leading nutrient results.

Bad boilerplate aside, they did host a nice event in NYC that included some cookies that gave me a sugar rush just reading the recipe. I will be making these!

Dirty Jobs

Our six-year-old'sfavorite TV show is Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel. If you ever have the chance to watch the show where he works on a pig farm (not the one where he feeds Las Vegas leftovers to pigs), you'll know exactly what my husband does on a daily basis.

As a man who has an officially documented "dirty job," you'd think my husband would be pretty tough--and he is. He spends every day walking around with pig "poo" (to use Mike Rowe's word) stuck to his pants. When pigs give birth, he is the midwife, not hesitating to insert his bare arm into regions of the sow previously considered private.
He collects boar semen using a method I am not comfortable describing, even on the Internet. And should one of his charges pass on to "hog heaven," he again uses his bare hands to haul away the carcass.
So imagine my surprise when the man who oversees the birth of more than 400 beings a year was squeamish at the delivery of one little baby. Cont…

(Bad) PR Idea of the Week

I swear, I was trying to get my PR mind out of the gutter. After covering vasectomies, then nipple piercings with this feature, I figured this week we could talk about something non-controversial--like Wal-Mart. But then I saw this and couldn't pass it up.

Those #$%$^%! lawyers. They are always making PR so much harder than it needs to be! Take the poor, poor PR people at Del Monte who are just trying to tell the world about their plans to feed dog bones to poor children.

Then the lawyers go and get involved and make them put those lovely (R) and TM marks on every third word. Copyright lawyers awake in cold sweats frequently after nightmares that their company's marks have become the next genericized word like thermos, popsicle, or frisbee.

The problem comes, of course, when your Milk-Bone(R) becomes Milk-BONER in the headline--after some evil email system strips out your special symbols.

I really feel bad for the poor earnest, clueless soul who worked so hard to craft this press …

Happily Ever After

Last weekend, in a brief moment of remote control ownership, I tuned into basic cable and saw a very disturbing show called "Rich Bride, Poor Bride." I watched two episodes and didn't see what I would call a "poor" bride--although actually, after they blew their budgets, both brides probably did end up poor. One couple spent about $75,000. They talked her out of having live peacocks at the reception.

That makes me think about my own much simpler but very nice-for-Farmersville wedding over a decade ago. In many ways it was a disaster.

We were engaged for a year and a half; we had plenty of time to plan but fates conspired against us.

By the time we got to the week of the wedding, we had buried two people on the guest list and paid our respects to a distant uncle. One of the people we lost was my husband's grandfather who died Monday, we had visitation Wednesday, funeral Thursday, rehearsal dinner Friday, wedding Saturday. How his grandmother handled it is beyo…

Pigs 101

If I just wanted to phone it in, I could post adorable photos of pigs, give them a cute caption like, "I can has pork chop!" and call it a night. But this is a FULL SERVICE BLOG, run by a professional communicator. So there will be a message.


Welcome class to Pigs 101. You'll note in your syllabus that we'll be covering race, gender issues, reproductive culture, and species anatomical priorities.

I. Race
Note how the little Hampshire piglet, is devoted to his Yorkshire "step-mother." Pigs will take on the offspring of other mothers without regard to breed. I guess if you weigh 400 pounds and have six kids, you think, "what's one more."


II. Gender
Female swine are called gilts when young and sows once they have their first litter. Males are boars and barrows if/when they lose their "manhood." Your bacon and ham comes from barrows and gilts who are raised for six months to a weight of around 270 pounds.


III. Mating
It only takes one boar to …