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Eyes Bigger Than My End Table

8 Jun

When I put a query out to the great social universe “Working on a post about the biz/mgmt/marketing books you buy and those you actually read 😉 What do you have on your shelf?” one of the fantastic replies mentioned having ‘eyes bigger than time’ with many books still waiting to be read. As the picture to the left illustrates, I too suffer from ‘eyes bigger than time’ and more accurately, eyes bigger than my end table.

Although I’m jonesing for an iPad to mainly use as an e-reader I’m not quite sure that I’ll ever get over the feel of perusing tangible bookshelves for that one inspirational tome or the sound and smell of cracking open a new spine. And although my pile of ‘to be read’ gives me a twinge of guilt it also gives gives me a sense of hope, that the words within just one chapter or section of the magazines and books will  help me be a better entrepreneur, business owner, boss, chef, homeowner or creator.

And that’s what it is all about. Hope. The inspiration that comes from the covers, chapter openers and back page reviews of the zillions of business and lifestyle bibles that come out every nanosecond. For awhile I tried to keep up with ‘what you are supposed to read’ by subscribing to essentially Cliff Notes for Adults. But it felt like I was cheating myself out of something more. Then there were the management-endorsed (ahem, mandated) business books. First – Who Moved My Cheese? (which we ironically gifted back to our boss when the new management team laid him off), and then Jim Collins’ Good to Great (and I’ll own up to using the ‘right seat on the bus’ metaphor one time too many!)

But with all the sherpas I’ve now discovered whose minds and opinions I can gain access to daily, there are books I covet on a daily basis. From the great focus group of friends that is Facebook, Twitter and my recent excursion to the Counselor’s Academy in case your end table is not covered… (* are the ones I have on the shelf or are picking up soon!)

From the ‘Read ANYTHING by these writers’ bookshelf:

Malcolm Gladwell: Blink, The Tipping Point, What the Dog Saw, Outliers (loved it though not sure I agreed with it all), *The Tipping Point
(recommended by communicators Kaiva Klimanis, Katie Whittier, Samantha O’Lea)

Seth Godin Including the newest *Linchpin – Are You Indispensable?’ (props from marketer Jim Hall)

Jim Collins: How the Mighty Fall, Good to Great, Built to Last

Heath Brothers: *Made to Stick, *Switch

IDEO: Anything by the brains at this shop, including Tim Brown’s Change by Design , and Ram Charan – Leaders at All Levels, What Customers Want(courtesy public relations pro Kaiva Klimanis)

Recommended by:

corporate communicator Stephanie Martin: Latest issue of Fast Company, The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh

entrepreneur Mark Gilbreath: Heath Brothers! and Connected by Nicholas Christakis & James Fowler :The Surprising Power of our Social Networks

recruiter Kirk Baumann: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi: And other secrets to success, one relationship at a time, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose

marketer Courtney Feider: Wealth from Within by Lori Culwell

marketer Tracey Werre: *Naked Conversations by Shel Israel & Robert Scoble: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers and Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business

As for what’s in my end table pile:

– Jess

The Media Merry-Go-Round

10 Mar

Who’s on, who’s off, who’s moved on and where to?

Been getting a bit of whiplash lately trying to keep track of the moves in the Boise media market. After checking in with some of the newsies, have a bit of a rundown for you.

First the print folk….

A weekly to The Weekly Zach Hagadone (known to many entrepreneurs in town as the last tech reporter standing) has left the Idaho Business Review. Zach’s keeping the weekly vibe by moving cross town to the Boise Weekly where he starts this week and ‘will be working on business and news related coverage.’ Great snag by the BW. On another note from alt-weekly, a sad farewell to the Idaho Arts Quarterly. Blame the damn economy again for this loss after eight years of showcasing the Idaho arts community.

On to TV…

There have been more ‘goings’ than ‘comings’ over at KTVB recently – and it’s been made more obvious by the fact that two very familiar faces to Boiseans signed off the air in the past few months.

Most recently, reporter and Boise native Ysabel Bilbao chose to leave at the end of her contract with the station. Word is she’ll be sticking around town, nothing confirmed yet on where she’ll land.

And at the end of 2009, long-time senior reporter (I say senior for most of the market, not just her station) Alyson Outen bid goodbye to KTVB after a decade. Alyson is still in the communications field working as the PIO for the Idaho Digital Learning Academy.

Lots of changes over at KTRV… new crew, new anchor lineups AND new show as 12 jumps into the 1opm news battle. (Thanks to News Director Kelly Cross for the rundown)

Fox12 NewsEdge@Ten launched January 11. It’s produced by Joe Decker and anchored by Stacey Skrysak. Stacey comes to Boise after a long stint as a morning show anchor and reporter in Traverse City, Michigan. (she’s a Duck too!)

There’s a new anchor lineup for Fox 12 News at Nine. From Kelly… “Joining long-time treasure valley weathercaster Steve Liebenthal will be Adam Bartelmay and Kiaora Bohlool — both experienced and energetic anchors.  Adam, like Stacey comes from Traverse City, Michigan, and

Kiaora will be here early next month.  She reported for eight-plus years in Salt Lake City, and most recently anchored the evening newscasts for a station in Bend, Oregon.  In addition, Nate Kuester has transitioned from morning anchor to Sports Director.  He’ll be focusing on local sports stories and will appear primarily in the News at Nine, and will also be a regular contributor on the NewsEdge@Ten.”

And finally for Fox 12 This Morning – a new lineup and look. Familiar Fox faces Allison Warren and David Sleater are teaming up weekdays from 6-8am.  (And a welcome to fairly new reporters Bri Eggers and Matt Loveless)

Over at KIVI….the new face on the desk is Sports Director Amanda Maynard who made the jump from Butte.

Changes behind the scenes (and – with the whole brand) at KBOI-TV (formerly known as KBCI). Kendra Martinez, the former Executive Producer at KIVI, has joined the newsroom management team as Managing Editor. She joins fairly recent News Director hire Julie Weindel – who brings impressive experience with her to the newsroom from award-winning stops leading newsrooms in Ohio.

FTC’s New Guidelines Impact the Practice of PR

9 Oct

There’s been ongoing talk about regulation of the brave new world of communication we find ourselves in. The FTC just handed down final changes to one of its Guides that governs a lot of the strategies that PR, Marketing & Advertising pros use in their work.

Lots of legalese – so I found the overview, summary and flagging of key points sent out from PRSA’s Chair & CEO Mike Cherenson to be quite helpful. And at the same time, a bit concerning. If you note – those testimonials that a lot of us use to showcase products and client work are now included. Endorsers of products can now be held as liable as advertisers. Also – the attempt at putting framework to what bloggers have to disclose. I’m curious the implications of when bloggers don’t follow the rules of disclosure with product reviews – and if that reflects back on the PR firm or company who provided the product.

Here’s the rundown from Mike…


Dear Members,

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued final changes to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. While advisory in nature, the new guidelines will reset standards of behavior that public relations, marketing and advertising professionals should adopt to avoid violating underlying laws against unfair competition and false advertising.

The Guide changes, as set out in the FTC’s notice, make three key departures from previous guidance that could impact public relations practice:

  • The FTC advises that “endorsers” as well as advertisers can be held liable for false or unsubstantiated claims or for failing to disclose material connections between the parties.
  • The Guides no longer offer the “safe harbor” whereby testimonials can be qualified by a “results may vary” disclaimer.
  • Regarding endorsements, the Guides specify that celebrities should disclose relationships with advertisers.

While the FTC will approach each potential violation on a case-by-case basis, the new guidelines will impact how professionals should approach some common practice scenarios. Here are some applications of the guidelines:

  • Bloggers who receive cash or in-kind payment (including free products or services for review) are deemed endorsers and so must disclose material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.
  • Any firm that engages bloggers by paying them outright to create or influence editorial content or by supplying goods or services to them at no cost may be liable if the blogger does not disclose the relationship.
  • Advertisements or promotions that feature a consumer who conveys his or her experience with a product or service as “typical” should clearly disclose what results consumers can generally expect or specify how the results were unique to the individual circumstances.
  • If research is cited in an advertisement or promotion, any sponsorship of the research by the client or the marketer should be clearly disclosed.
  • Celebrities who make endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media, should disclose any relationship with the advertiser or marketer.

From an ethics perspective, the new guidelines parallel key transparency principles in the PRSA Code of Ethics, as well as Professional Standards Advisory PS-9 condemning “pay for play” practices. However, for practitioners, the guidelines go beyond ethics to recommended practice to avoid legal liability. While the ethics are clear, the triggers and nature of adequate disclosure are not fixed. As I recommended in a recent PRSAY post, thorough understanding and self-regulation can help public relations professionals avoid legal repercussions.

While the guidelines are advisory in nature, failure to comply increases the risk of professionals finding themselves in violation of the law. Moreover, non-compliance can result in a communication from the FTC warning professionals against the potential offending action. If that warning is not heeded, it may be followed by a cease-and-desist order. Intentional violation of that order may result in referral to FTC enforcement, which may include civil monetary penalties.

There has been information circulating publicly on the new guidelines that is confusing and conflicting. With this notice, PRSA hopes to bring members up to date on the facts as currently understood. This information is based on FTC documents and an in-depth conversation with a Commission staff attorney. Going forward, PRSA will continue to provide you with information, clarification, case studies and interpretations as they unfold.


Just a few small things to noodle on!

Conveniently, this will be a topic of a prof-dev session – “What Does Ethics Have to Do With Social Media Anyway?” – at the PRSA 2009 International Conference November 9 in San Diego. Think I’ll plan to pop into that session

– Jess