A Simple Tip for Surviving Networking Events

Chit-chat, jibber-jabber, blah-blah-blah. Many of us feel awkward making so-called “small talk.” I know I do. Mitt Romney clearly does. It seems like an inescapable part of getting along in life, in the workplace, and at networking events. But it doesn’t have to be that way. One of the best lessons I’ve learned on networking […]

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Why PR People Are So Miserable

Why Are PR People So Miserable?

Much has been written about the PR business being such a stressful occupation. Lots of reasons are cited, from slashed budgets to demanding clients to cranky reporters. And while I tend to believe that much of this stress is exaggerated (these are, after all, PR people talking), there’s one major source of stress that’s often overlooked. Many PR people — especially […]

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Hate Your Job? Break Out of the Breakfast Club

More than half of American workers hate their jobs, according to one study. And that may well be an underestimate, based on my own anecdotal observation any time I find myself on the train during morning rush hour. The misery hanging over those commuters is absolutely palpable. There are lots of theories for why people feel […]

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The Hokey Pokey as a Blueprint for Life

It didn’t matter who you were — Martin de Maat believed in you. Martin was a teacher and administrator at Second City. He died in 2001, about a year before I started taking classes there, but he left behind an indelible legacy. By all accounts, he was a one-of-a-kind figure — passionate, enthusiastic, inspirational. Martin put […]

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You Can’t Stand Out By Fitting In

When it comes to “Communication Don’ts,” lawyers are the gifts that keep on giving. Now I’ve got nothing against lawyers. I’ve worked with hundreds of them – literally. But they are, by nature, conservative and risk-averse. They go for the safe choice. They seek to fit in rather than stand out. (In their marketing and […]

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Is Fear Holding You Back?

Fear of standing out. Of looking different. Of being laughed at. That, I believe, is the source of most of the bland, uninspired websites and videos and other tactics we see. Several years ago I was working with a small law firm. The newer, younger attorneys wanted to step up the firm’s marketing efforts — […]

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The Kids Are Alright

I tell you, the kids these days. They’ve got an entitlement mentality. They don’t believe they should have to pay their dues. They think if they’ve done something once they’ve learned it and shouldn’t have to do it again. They get bored too easily. They’re impatient and feel they shouldn’t have to wait in line […]

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PR Is Only As Stressful As You Make It

For years, “PR executive” has been listed high among the most stressful occupations — Number 2, in fact. Yes, I know — take that, neurosurgeons and air traffic controllers! This year, somehow, it dropped all the way down to Number 7, behind soldiers, firefighter, cops and, um, event planners. (One of those things is not […]

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