Last week, Rosanne Barr had her show cancelled because of her racist tweet about a member of the Obama administration and Samantha Bee got into hot water for using the “C-word” to describe the President’s daughter. In both cases, their conduct was deplorable, although not equivalent, as some right-wing commentators have charged. Arguing which was … Continue reading Outbursts by Barr, Bee Symptoms of Deteriorating Public Discourse
Commencement is probably the most important event of the academic year. It is a celebration of student success, and, at a time of rising skepticism about the value of a college degree, it may be higher education’s best marketing opportunity. Yet, often it is squandered. I worked 11 commencements during my tenure as director of … Continue reading How to Make Commencement Memorable
As I finish writing this, the brouhaha over comedienne Michelle Wolf’s performance at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Association dinner is in its fourth day. The response has been predictable: The political and media right is damning Wolf; their counterparts on the left are praising her. I am a true blue Democrat, but I did … Continue reading Wolf Howls and Washington Quakes
If you’ve worked in higher education public relations you know life on campus never gets dull. All sorts of crisis situations will confront you. Just this week, the Binghamton University community was shaken by the second murder of a student within five weeks. Some 70 miles to the north, my alma mater, Syracuse University, suspended … Continue reading Working in Higher Ed: Great Crisis Communications Training
About 10 days ago, I found on Facebook a photograph taken in 1953 that perfectly captured what travel and big cities were like in those days. It shows a Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) passenger locomotive peering out from that railroad’s station in Pittsburgh about to head west toward Columbus, Indianapolis and St. Louis. In the distance, … Continue reading Fix Rails to Make Travel Great Again
I’m back home from a quick trip to Florida to visit Mom. Along the way, I had varying experiences with enterprises engaged in transportation, sports and religion. In marketing, experience is important because it shapes the brand and vice versa. Marketers may establish parameters for what they want their brand to represent, but customer experience … Continue reading The Experience is the Brand
I went up to the country last week. More specifically, I went to the opening of the Resorts World Catskills casino and hotel, which was built on property owned by the erstwhile Concord Hotel. This was a moment many people thought they would never see. Sullivan County had been trying to get New York State … Continue reading Will a New Casino Hotel Help Sullivan County Reinvent Itself?
Sometime in the 1950s a rabbi at a Brooklyn yeshiva heard a great commotion coming from one of the classrooms, so he walked in to investigate. All of the kids were shouting and jumping up and down. “What’s going on?” he inquired. “The Dodgers just won the pennant!” a little boy exclaimed. “So, is it … Continue reading Is it Good for the Jews?
Whether you support it or abhor it, the tax reform legislation just passed by the Republican Congress and signed into law by President Trump will profoundly impact just about every American individual, business and institution, but in different ways. For example, homeowners in high-tax states such as New York, where I live, will only be … Continue reading Tax Law Creates Marketing Opportunities
One of my favorite lines from the television series “Mad Men” was “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” Sadly, the protagonist, advertising executive Don Draper, delivered it in the context of defending one of the worst corporate travesties of my lifetime, the destruction of New York’s Pennsylvania Station. Draper framed the … Continue reading Changing the Conversation and Dead Cats