Karly and Loretta: The Story of a Girl, a Paddleboard and a Chicken

Sometimes it takes a creative eye, no matter how storm-weary. A stroke of luck. A sense of humor.

A chicken on a paddleboard.

NewmanPR’s video of Keys resident Karly Venezia and her year-old pet chicken Loretta on a paddleboard have gone viral.

Free-range chickens are common in Key West, but uncommon on paddleboards.

Global networks and TV stations, the Associated Press, Reuters, “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” online sites and a veritable “flock” of other media outlets picked up … Read the rest

‘Fred’ Is an Inspiration for Florida Keys Residents

With apologies to Joyce Kilmer: “I think that I shall never see a thing as lovely as Fred the tree …” 

A welcome sight cheered weary Florida Keys locals returning home this week after Hurricane Irma struck the islands Sept. 10. His name is “Fred.”

He’s a salt-sprayed Casuarina, known locally as an Australian pine tree. Fred is growing out of a roadbed on the historic Seven Mile Bridge, built in 1912 as part of the famed Florida Keys Over-Sea … Read the rest

How Not to Get a Job in Public Relations #3: The LinkedIn Connection

I will admit it took me a while to warm up to LinkedIn. I was an early adopter, but I didn’t really grok what the social media platform was all about.

In its early days, I don’t think LinkedIn was too sure of itself either, for that matter.

I had a routine: every Friday afternoon before shutting down the computer and heading home for the weekend, I would devote 10 minutes to expanding my network — thematically. One week the … Read the rest

How Not to Get a Job in Public Relations #2: Lose ’em at the Salutation

It happened again. I recently received an email from a prospective applicant with the salutation “Hi NewmanPR Team!”

Over the years I have also received uncountable emails addressed to “To Whom It May Concern,” “Hiring Manager,” “H.R. Department” and any number of other impersonal, nameless salutations.

Some of the cover letters were spot-on, cogent, energetic and well-written. Often they accompanied a resume with relevant work or internship experience and solid educational credentials. In many cases, I was tempted to contact … Read the rest

Measuring Brand Perception and the Effect of PR

NewmanPR’s Buck Banks was interviewed for this article written by Jenna Seter for Clutch, which provides third-party evaluations for agencies that provide professional services. It’s an interesting study of the intersection of brand perception and public relations. Also, it explores how brands sometimes are their own worst enemies. 

From the article:

In an age where anyone can voice an opinion about a company with a quick message, post, or tweet, the perception of a brand can change at a very … Read the rest

Some Impressive Alternatives to ‘Freelance Writer’

We work with a lot of freelance writers in the travel business. Often they seek to distinguish themselves via an alternative title.

Laurel Rose Milburn offers “11 Titles Other than ‘Freelance Writer’ that Are Sure to Impress,” published on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

  • Creative Syntactical Engineer
  • Punctuation Team Lead
  • Chief Sentence Officer
  • Operational Writing Commander
  • Word Count Investigator
  • Contributing Scribble Supervisor
  • Director of Alphabet Design and Structure
  • Temp-to-Full-Time Prompt Correspondent
  • Keyboard Finger Dancer and Linguistic Choreographer
  • Professional Blank Page Repairperson
Read the rest

The Trouble with Stylebooks

A colleague — being helpful, I will generously assume — sent me an article today about how to create a style guide for a brand. Posted by the Content Marketing Institute, the article had a few interesting points to make, most of which our current agency stylebook violates.

First, the writer, Sasha Laferte, said that one’s style guide should be no more than four or five pages long. Ours is 30. A good style guide, she says, also should reflect … Read the rest

Tampa Wins the Debate Over the Origin of the Cuban Sandwich

I have been researching the Cuban sandwich on behalf of a client for an upcoming special event in Tampa. It is a story wrapped in mystery and marred by a contentious debate between Tampa and Miami over who can claim the sandwich.

One researcher dates it back to the indigenous people of Cuba who originally made a sandwich out of fish between two pieces of casaba bread. With the arrival of the Spanish came pork and flour, which changed the … Read the rest

It’s Not Fake News but It’s Close

Forecast or bombast?

A story showed up in our news monitor this morning that caught my attention because at first glance it seemed to be a trend story about travel, but on closer inspection turned out to be more bombast than forecast.

The Herman Group, a management consulting firm, offered “Sharp Drop in US (sic) Tourism Forecast” as its “Herman Trend Report” of the week. Almost from the start, the “forecast” was misleading:

British tourism to the US down by

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What’s the Value of a Like?

Young man with cell phone holding fake like button against pink background

From: Harvard Business Review
In 23 experiments conducted over the past four years and involving more than 18,000 people, we used an A/B testing method to explore a crucial counterfactual: what followers would have done had they not followed a brand. Given the millions of dollars in marketing budgets that flow to social media at many companies, the distinction is not trivial. It has enormous implications for marketers’ resource allocations and for how they manage their brands’ social media presence.… Read the rest