Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Something To Really Think About

Thanks to the immensely talented Hugh MacLeod for sharing.  You can learn more about Hugh's work by clicking on   Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Verdana; panose-1:2 11 6 4 3 5 4 4 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:536871559 0 0 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:maroon; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:purple; mso-themecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> "Hello from Hugh"


Here's how Hugh describes his cartoon:


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You leave college and go into the business of your choice, full of youth, energy and optimism.

You work your tail off for a decade or two, and suddenly you find yourself at the top of the profession, top of the heap. You rockstar, you.

Once you get to the top the heap, the last thing you want to be told is that the heap isn't quite as high as you first thought. In fact, there is no heap. It was all just an illusion.

The world is changing faster than ever, massive change has been with us since the day we were born, it's been the main constant of our lives.

And yet we still fear it...


I enjoy getting Hugh's cartoon musings in my inbox each day.  Sometimes they make me laugh, sometimes they make me think.  Hopefully, today's entry will make you do one or both of those things.

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Look At It This Way, You Can't Be Worse Than Most Of The REAL Team

Fantasy Camp

2010 Cubs Fantasy Camp

Lifelong Dreams Are About to Come True

Come enjoy the ultimate two-day exclusive experience at Wrigley Field as part of the Inaugural "Chicago Cubs Fantasy Camp at Wrigley Field."

On August 8, watch the Cubs take batting practice and meet select Cubs players before the ballpark's gates open. Afterwards, be escorted to a private mezzanine suite to enjoy the 1:20 contest vs. the Cincinnati Reds in VIP style.

On August 9, fulfill a lifelong fantasy of playing baseball games on the hollowed grounds of Wrigley Field. Take batting practice off former All-Star pitcher Rick Sutcliffe, listen to batting tips from Hall of Famers like Billy Williams and Ernie Banks, and play baseball games on Wrigley Field as a Chicago Cub! Participants will arrive at the ballpark and be granted immediate access into the Cubs' locker room, sign one-day contracts and receive customized Cubs uniforms. Guests will participate in instructional clinics at four stations on the field, including hitting in the batting cage, infield drills, outfield drills and a bullpen session. Teams will then face off for a four-team hard ball tournament on the diamond.

Take a swing from home plate at Wrigley Field

A press conference follows in the team press room, followed by a post-tournament banquet. Former Cubs Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams, former All-Star pitchers Lee Smith and Rick Sutcliffe, and former All-Star catcher Randy Hundley will instruct guests, relive historic memories and provide their unique insight on the game of baseball. Participant's families are welcome at the ballpark to view the event. America's pastime will never be the same!

Each Fantasy Camp roster spot includes pre-game access to the Cubs' August 8 game vs. Cincinnati, a mezzanine suite ticket for the game, a customized Chicago Cubs uniform, behind-the-scenes access to Wrigley Field, on-field participation, photos and video from both days, personal interaction with Cubs heroes and memories that will last a lifetime!

Chat with famous Cubs Alumni

One roster slot for the two-day experience will cost $7,500. Two roster slots can be purchased for $6,000 each and three or more roster spots can be purchased for $5,000 each. Reservations for this experience are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To confirm your roster spot or for more information, please call 773-404-4748 or e-mail

Experience the magic of Wrigley Field

OK, I have to admit that this would be one of the coolest things a Cubs Fan could ever do. But as an overweight legally blind guy, I probably would make a complete fool out of myself, and I don't need to drop 7500 smackers to do that. I can make a complete fool out of myself for much less. And even though I'm pretty down on the Cubs this year, it would still be ab amazing opportunity.

Who knows, the team may be able to pick up a prospect or two out of this camp. Yo Lou, you need any fat blind guys on the roster?

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

9 Ways To Manage People Who Bother You - Stepcase Lifehack

Ever faced people who bother you? I’m sure all of us have faced such people before. It’s okay when we have to face them just once or twice, but there are times when these people emerge in facets of our life where we have to deal with them on an ongoing basis. They can be business associates, fellow colleagues, friends, or even family members and relatives. In such cases, we have to learn how to deal with them. Here are my 9 tips to handle such people:

1. You can only change yourself.

When dealing with people, always remember that it’s not about changing others, but about changing yourself. You can try to change others, but you may not succeed doing so. The best way to address the situation is to change how you perceive it and how you react to it. By changing that, everything else will subsequently change as well.

2. Draw your boundaries.

Be clear on what you will tolerate and what you will not tolerate. Then stick with it. You have your own personal space and it’s your perogative to protect your space. By drawing the boundaries, even if just mentally, you are clearer of the kind of behaviors to expect from others. If you don’t do so, it’s easy for you to be pushed over by others, especially since such people tend not to be conscious of personal boundaries. You’ll wind up shrinking in a corner and feeling miserable, and you wouldn’t want that.

3. Be upfront about where you stand.

If the person has a history of spilling into your personal space, then let him/her know where you stand the next time you communicate. People aren’t mind readers, and sometimes they may not be aware that they are infringing on your space. Giving the person some indicators will help. If he/she tends to take up a lot of your time, then let him/her know that you have XX minutes at the onstart of the conversation. That way, you are being fair by informing him/her in advance. If you prefer to communicate via email/text/chat/other channels, then let him/her know too.

4. Be firm when needed.

If the person does not stick within the boundaries, then enforce them. Give a gentle reminder at first. If he/she still does not get the hint, then make a call and draw the line right there. I used to be very relenting in my communications. I would attend the person for however long it took. In the end it enroached on my personal space, and I wasn’t sure if all that time and energy I spent ever did anything too. As I gradually pushed back and became firm on my boundaries, I was a lot more fulfilled. I realized if I wasn’t meeting my needs, I couldn’t be helping anyone with theirs.

5. Ignore them.

Ignoring is effective in the right moments. When you respond, you give them a reason to continue their behavior. If you just ignore, they don’t have a choice but to seek out someone else. Not only that, it also hints to them about their behavior and helps them do some self-reflection.

6. Don’t take it personally.

Most of the times, these people behave the same way around others too. I had a friend who was very negative. She always had something to criticize whenever we were together. At first I thought she had something against me, but after I observed her interacting with our common friends, I realized she was like that with everyone else too. Realizing it wasn’t anything personal helped me deal with her objectively.

7. Observe how others handle them.

Watching others deal with the same person you find annoying can be an eye-opening perspective. Even if the person may be at his/her wits-end handling the individual, just observing from a third party’s point of view can give you insights on how to manage. The next time you are with this person, get someone else into the conversation too. Take a back seat by broaching a topic that’s relevant between the two of them, then play the silent role in the situation. Observe how the other party handles him/her. Try this exercise with different people – from savvy networkers, someone you find difficult to deal with as well, someone similar to you, etc. You will get interesting results.

8. Show kindness.

Often times, they act the way they do because they are looking for an empathetic ear. Hear what they have to say, and be empathetic towards them. Give them some friendly act of kindness. Don’t impose on them, but just be there and empathize. It might well do the trick.

There was once when I had a long talk with a client on an issue she was facing. Later in the week, I sent her an sms telling her that ultimately it boiled down to her, and as long as she believed in herself, there was nothing insurmountable. Many weeks after that, we were catching up, and she told me how the message was really encouraging for her. She normally deleted all her smses but left that one in her phone. A little kind act from you may take little effort on your part but mean the world to others.

9. Help them.

Beneath the facade is really a cry for help. Check with them if they need any help, or if there is anything you can do to help them. Sometimes, it’s possible they require help but they don’t know how to articulate it. Help them to uncover their problem, then work with them to analyze the issue and discover the solution. It’s important to still let them take charge in the situation, because the end outcome is you want them to learn to take control of the situation, and not grow dependent on you for help.

Image ©

From the Stepcase Lifehack site, my gift to those I bother on a daily basis. Or is it my gift to myself on how not to let people bother me? Something to ponder, I must say.

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Metro St. Louis Service Changes June 28. You'd Think They'd Want Us To Know About Them

After a hard fought campaign to increase funding for St. Louis' Metro Public Transit System, the day service increases take effect is almost upon us.  Many will benefit from the new service and increases or changes in existing service.  That's good, but trying to find information on the upgrades is, in true Metro fashion, as hard as finding a bus west of Union Station on Market Street.
The Metro Website uses what web folks call a "Dynamic Lead" to link you to the page with the service changes  but its one of EIGHT rotating leads, so if you're not looking for the lead's four second appearance, you won't find it.  You can find the list of service changes on a dropdown menu, but again its buried along with a list of other items.  One would think that if Metro wanted to go shouting from the mountain that they have service upgrades coming, they'd at least use their own web site to SCREAM the news.
OK, if not the website, they could use their allegedly cutting edge social media blog Next Stop STL to pimp the changes.  Not so much.  Not a post on the front page about the changes, but some lovely YouTube videos of how Volkswagen has applied their "fun theory" to mass transit stations IN OTHER CITIES.   
Wait, I found a place to click on the blog's homepage that says "System Changes".  It takes me to a post from SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 about what might come in the future.  One more chance, a place in the nav bar that says "Restoration 2010".  So I click on it and am let to A post from April, 2010 that shows the PROPOSED route changes, many of which aren't even what finally got approved.
I've been both hard and complimentary in my writings about Metro.  I think the people doing the planning and development of new bus routes are doing the best they can with what they have.  I think some people there really care about public transit and our region.  But again, I have to say that the public relations and publicity efforts of Metro are amateurish and largely ineffective. 
As a Metro patron, I need to know what they're doing to change routes, and honestly the changes coming on June 28 will affect me, so I've searched out the information.  As a communications professional, I have to look at Metro's efforts and shake my head in disbelief.  And if I were a person thinking about giving Metro a whirl wen their new routes start, I'd most likely be completely lost trying to find the details of the changes. 
So let me try to make this just a little bit easier.  If you're looking for a complete rundown of the service changes coming Monday, June 28th, you can go directly to this link.  It may not be the easiest to navigate, but it does give an overview of the routes that are changing and a web 1.0 list of links to a bunch of PDF's with route information.  At least all the information is in one place. 
The local newspaper's transit blog had this to say about the service restoration Monday

Metro officials and elected leaders will be on hand Monday to welcome passengers back. They will hand out wrapped cookies at MetroLink stations and bus transfer centers.
That's fine and dandy, but won't make a lick of difference if people don't know that all these changes are taking place.
I see on the Metro Website that they're recruiting for a new CEO.  Perhaps they should find a minimally competent marketing and public relations staff first. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Friendly's Burger Has Grilled Cheese Sandwiches For Buns - The Consumerist

Yes, the latest assault on America's waistline comes in the form of Friendly's recently launched Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt. Move over, Double Down, there's a new "something with far more calories than bread as a bun" sandwich in town.

Friendly's gastronomical innovation is not without precedent. The Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt appears to be inspired by similar "Fatty Melts" and "Chubby Melts" that have been served in the South for a few years now (source), as well as the Midwest.

What's the nutritional content of the culinary monstrosity? According to the Friendly's site (PDF):

1500 Calories
870 Fat Calories
79g Total Fat
38g Saturated Fat
180g Cholesterol
2090mg Sodium
101g Carbs
9g Dietary Fiber
4g Sugar
54g Protein

Deana, who sent it in, says, "BRB, dry heaving."
Consumerist's Laura says, "I love grilled cheeses. This is terrifying."

Friendly's Big Beef Burgers [Friendly's]


And of course there are no Friendly's in St. Louis. A trip to the East Coast seems in order. Must. Eat. One.

Posted via web from Mark Edwards 3.0

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Told You It Was A Sign Of The End Of The World

So I post the MTV version of the Katy Perry video which I believe is a sure sign of the Apocalypse, and MTV has TAKEN THE VIDEO DOWN.  MTV NEVER takes videos down.  You should see the, uh, stuff they have on their site.  A revolting development that MTV would pull down the video.

But I have a few connections.  So here' a working link to the video.  Not for the faint of heart or one who is easily disturbed.

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

A Sure Sign Of The Apocalypse

I frankly don't know what to say.  Really.  A music video has never left me so disturbed and wanting to prepare for the end of the world.

Embed: <div style="margin:0px;padding:4px;width:500px;text-align:center;font-family:Verdana,sans-serif;font-size:12px;">Katy Perry - New Music - More Music Videos</div>

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Friday, June 11, 2010

MORE Bad Cubs Karma-Play Begins Today For The BP CROSSTOWN CUP

BP, Cubs, Sox downplaying new cup trophy

June 9, 2010
Timing, as they say, is everything. And for the White Sox, Cubs and their new crosstown series trophy, it couldn't be worse.
Just before the start of Friday's game opening the annual crosstown series, representatives from the two teams are expected to gather at Wrigley Field to unveil the BP Crosstown Cup. Yes, you read that right. That's "BP," as in the global oil company at the center of the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico that has riveted -- and appalled -- most of America and the world for more than a month and a half.

White Sox' Gordon Beckham (from left), Sox' A.J. Pierzynski, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, Cubs manager Lou Piniella, and Cubs Marlon Byrd and Randy Wells at the unveiling of the new BP Crosstown Classic logo at Millenium Park in April.
(Jean Lachat/Sun-Times file)

In a three-year deal announced April 26, less than a week after the deep-sea leak began with the explosion of an oil rig leased by BP, the oil giant agreed to sponsor the trophy that will go to the winner of the series each season. With BP's problems in the Gulf having been front-page news for weeks, the Cubs and the White Sox are introducing the BP Cup with much less pomp and circumstance than they might have originally planned, even though it is the only sponsored cup of its kind in Major League Baseball.
"We're trying to stand behind our sponsor, but at the same time be respectful of what's happening off the ballfield," Cubs spokesman Kevin Saghy said. A BP spokesman did not return a call seeking comment, but representatives from both the Cubs and Sox said it was their understanding that BP's planned promotion of the newly minted cup -- a three-foot trophy of brass with a sterling silver overlay that took local jeweler Howard Kaplan three months to create -- has been scaled way back in the wake of the oil rig explosion.
By the same token, BP has not moved at the last minute to remove its name from the cup or try to void the sponsorship agreement. Sports-marketing experts believe that would have been a mistake anyway.
"It would look a lot worse if they suddenly pulled out of the deal," said Brad Back, a senior vice president with 361 Degree Experiential, a Chicago-based sports-marketing firm. Back said BP, with all the image problems it's facing, still could use the cup sponsorship, in some small way, to help resurrect its badly battered image.
"BP could tone everything down a bit and make this cup more about a big corporation showing interest in the local community," explained Back.
Other sports-marketing experts believe the cup sponsorship might look a lot better to BP -- and the Cubs and Sox -- in a year or two.
"If BP manages to get everything under control in the Gulf, it could come back a year from now and use the BP Cup as a great platform to help get out the message that they have successfully handled the problem," said Jim Biegalski, a Chicago-based senior vice president in the sponsorship consulting group for the Marketing Arm.
But right now, that's a mighty big "if" for BP.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

OK Cubs, Now Its YOUR Turn. Please, Before I Die.

I realized something very disturbing today.  EVERY Major League sports franchise in Chicago has won a championship in my lifetime, EXCEPT ONE.

 Nothing warms the cockles of my heart quite as much as seeing a Chicago sports team win a Championship.  With that in mind, I congratulate the Blackhawks on winning Lord Stanley's Cup.  Wednesday's victory now means that EVERY major league sports franchise in Chicago has now won their sport's championship in my lifetime.  Except the one I really care about. 
 The Eternal Flame still burns, albeit a bit dimmer as each day passes, and hope springs eternal that the Cubs will someday bring a World Series Championship to the Windy City.  Sadly, my heroes have let me down more than most girls I dated in High School, so I'm not feeling too good about this year's chances. 
What both amazes and amuses me is that there was a time that the Cubs were thisclose to glory. Not the Bartman game, but a strong team and an organization led by John McDonough, a career Cubs employee who rose through the marketing ranks to become President of the team and understood what it took to put a winning team on the field and butts in the seats.  And where is John McDonough today?  He's the President of the CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS.  He took a team that hasn't won a championship in forever, built a world-class team, built a fan base, and now the Stanley Cup is in his office.
Is there a lesson here?  Probably, but I'm too dejected at the way the Cubs are playing to verbalize it.  I don't know if its the Front Office, Sweet Lou, or the players, but the team just doesn't have what it takes to be great. 
Maybe they should watch some Blackhawks games.  They might learn something.

While I'm on the subject of the Stanley Cup, I have to congratulate the legenda ry Gene Honda,  who is  the Dean of Chicago Public Address Announcers.  Gene has been the PA voice of the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, The NCAA Final Four basketball tournament, The Chicago Marathon, and countless other major events. No human being has had the honor of calling so many championship games, and Gene has done an amazing job of being an integral part of the game without getting the credit he deserves for adding to the experience of living a Championship Moment.  Congratulations to you, my friend, for being part of yet another Championship Team.  I hope to see you in the parade Friday!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

HUGE News For Radio People-RAIN Summit Midwest

One of he great events for learning how to be a better broadcaster is The Conclave, and they've just announced a MASSIVE addition to an already packed agenda.  This makes a trip to Minneapolis in July a MUST for anyone in radio who wants to advance teir career or just get some inactive brain cells moving again.  Here's the official release:


RAIN Summit Midwest To Debut at Conclave Learning Conference, Saturday July 17!

Kurt Hanson & RAIN Team To Present Practical Solutions for Radio Broadcsters

(Minneapolis) – The Conclave and RAIN (Kurt Hanson’s Radio And Internet Newsletter) will be giving broadcasters, Internet radio entrepreneurs, and sales/digital visionaries another reason to convene at the 35th annual Conclave Learning Conference for engaging sessions and presentations regarding programming expertise, business strategies, and technical and legal aspects of the business during RAIN Summit Midwest, Saturday afternoon, July 17th, at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel in Minneapolis.

Says RAIN founder Kurt Hanson, “I’m thrilled that we’re going to be working with the Conclave to spend a half-day together looking at how attendees can best position themselves for the exciting new future. My fervent belief is that after three previous ‘Golden Ages’ of radio – the entertainment programs of the ‘30s and ‘40s, the ‘AM Top 40’ era of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and the ‘AM Talk / FM music’ era of the ‘80s and ‘90s – we’re on the cusp of entering a fourth ‘Golden Age’ of radio, driven by Internet-delivered forms that will offer consumers variety, personalization, and ubiquity of access. In this new era, there are going to be huge opportunities for radio professionals – in marketing, in sales, in programming, and in management – plus loads of exciting entrepreneurial opportunities as well.”

Conclave Executive Director Tom Kay explains, “Those registered for the Conclave will automatically be registered to attend the RAIN Summit Midwest. We are also offering special one-day tuitions which will allow folks to attend the RAIN Summit Midwest - as well as our other sessions scheduled on Saturday July 17th - for only $179.”

“Importantly,” added Kay, “The debut of RAIN Summit Midwest at the Conclave would not be possible without the ongoing support and generous contributions of Coleman Insights and”

“Kurt Hanson, Paul Maloney, Jennifer Lane and their team have done an amazing job making their RAIN Summits the place to be to learn more about the convergence of media and technology,” said Coleman Insights President/Chief Operating Officer Warren Kurtzman.  “We are proud to play a role in bringing this great opportunity to Conclave Summer Learning Conference attendees.” President & Publisher Joel Denver exclaims, "Kurt Hanson has a grasp of all things digital for radio that goes beyond the knowledge base of most, and to have the opportunity to attend a RAIN Summit is an exciting opportunity for every radio is truly thrilled to help present this cutting edge event."

The 2010 Learning Conference – FREEWAY TO YOUR FUTURE - July 15-17, being held at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel in Minneapolis, will kick-off on Thursday July 15 with the Jacobs Media Summer School, followed by a gangbuster agenda that includes the exclusive four-hour Promotion Summit, Conclave College, and an all-star faculty of keynoters and presenters. It concludes Saturday July 17th with Jerry Clifton’s NIGHT SCHOOL. Register now at

For more information about this summer’s Learning Conference, visit for more information.

The Conclave is a 35-year-old 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. The Conclave offers year-round learning to the industry including webinars, TalenTrak, and the Summer Learning Conference – and has provided nearly $80,000 annually in media scholarships.


Posted via web from Mark Edwards 3.0

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010

How Can You NOT Love Zappos, And Why Can't More Companies Be Like Them?

Great story on on CBS Sunday Morning.  Yes, there are naysayers, but I think many companies can learn at least a little about how happy customers=happy employees=happy bottom line.  Or should the "happy employees" part come first?
<br/><a href=''>Watch CBS News Videos Online</a>

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A PR Disaster, In BP's Own Words

The Gulf Oil Spill Disaster makes me sick for more reasons than I can explain.  I won't take the time to go into all of that heree, a peek at my Google Buzz or Friendfeed (assuming they're still in business) shows my thoughts and the opinions I share with others about the biggest environmental catastrophe in history.

As a "communications professional", I've been following the way The weasels at BP have been dealing with this mess from a public relations standpoint.  To say the least, their early response was completely unacceptable, and its only improved to lame in my opinion.  Their lack of transparency and practice of downplaying the effects of the spill are simply embarrassing.

Don't take my word for it.  Watch this video featuring the actual words of BP's CEO throughout the first 46 days of this nightmare:

</object><p style="font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 420px;">Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy</p>

Some of the best lessons I've learned are about how NOT to do things.  Anyone who does any kind of public relations or brand management needs to learn how NOT to handle a crisis.  I can't think of a better teacher than the fine folks at BP.

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0