Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Think I’m Spacing Out

By: Scott Stein, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

The last few days have been quite a roller coaster ride. First, our beloved Packers beat the dreaded Bears to earn a trip to the Super Bowl…then two days later I learn that I’m only supposed to use one space after my sentences. Apparently long after I was taught that two spaces should be used, the powers that be decided that one space is sufficient.

This is particularly disturbing since I mentor my younger co-workers. And this revelation also comes after the AP Stylebook people decided just last year that Web site should now be website and e-mail should be email. How many grammar / style changes can a guy adjust to, particularly a veteran writer like me.

I learned of the “one space, not two” situation through Eileen’s Blog, which describes the writer as “The Accidental Oregonian.” Eileen, too, was shocked to learn that there had been a change in the spacing requirements, even telling one editor that he was wrong. She went to the AP Stylebook, just as I did yesterday, where it was confirmed that we were wrong by insisting on using two spaces after a period. It’s right there on page 372 of the AP Stylebook Punctuation Guide…“Use a single space after a period at the end of a sentence.”

To those who read the news releases I draft, my posts on Facebook, my Tweets, or other ramblings, please be patient. It could take some time for me to adjust to hitting the space bar once instead of twice after each sentence. To my co-workers, please watch my spacing habits closely. Some changes are more difficult than others; this one’s going to be tough.

I can’t be the only one who didn’t know that two spaces after a sentence was outdated. Are you a one space or two space person? Let me know.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Importance of Social Media Monitoring

By: Kristin Rabas, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

If you’re active on social media or have watched the Wisconsin news, you’ve probably seen the instant backlash that took place against Aaron Rodgers after seemingly snubbing a breast cancer survivor at the airport as the team prepared to leave for Atlanta last week.

When the story that included the video of the snubbing was posted online it quickly went viral with bloggers, newscasts, Twitter and Facebook posts, YouTube and more all having something (mostly negative) to say about Rodgers’ personality and demeanor. To make Aaron look even worse, the video also showed Clay Matthews personally approaching the woman, Jan Cavanaugh, chatting with her and signing her jersey.

However, during a follow up report with Jan Cavanaugh, it was found that she frequently visits the airport when the Packers leave for away games and had her pink Packers jersey signed by Aaron Rodgers the week before. All in all it seems like the alleged snubbing was just a big misunderstanding, but you still have to wonder if this has damaged Aaron Rodgers’ image.

This example reinforces the importance of monitoring social media networks whether or not you or your business has social media accounts. With the emergence of social media, just about anyone has the ability to have information at their fingertips 24 / 7 and it’s important that any business knows what people are saying about them. Since Aaron Rodgers took over for Brett Favre, he has been praised by the Green Bay community. Without any other instances, this one video had everyone reevaluating their opinions of him. Fortunately, Jan Cavanaugh spoke out and cleared up the misunderstanding; but it shows what kind of impact one video can have.

Have your opinions about a person, brand or company ever been swayed by something you saw on social media?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ted Williams’ Voice – Too Much Too Soon?

By Kristen Paquet, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past several days, you have heard the voice of Ted Williams. About a week ago, Ted was homeless, panhandling on the streets of Ohio until a reporter recorded a video of Ted - and his “golden voice” as it is now called – and put it on the Internet.

The video became a huge viral sensation and literally shot Williams into stardom. One day, he was a homeless man struggling with addiction and the next day he was a household name, and had too many job offers to handle. In a matter of days he was on just about every news station and entertainment show and even did a voice over for a Mac n’ Cheese commercial.

And then reality set in.

Williams announced yesterday that he was heading into rehab. A spokesperson for Williams stated that he needed time to decompress, rest and get the help he needs. It was also revealed that Williams had not been sober for two years, as previously claimed. He had fallen off the wagon on several occasions and was still struggling to overcome his addiction to alcohol and drugs.

I can’t even begin to imagine what someone goes through when dealing with the stress and difficulty of an addiction. Add the weight of the entire country watching your every move and it seems like the chances of succeeding would be pretty slim. Everyone says they wish Williams the best; that they want to see him succeed, but have we set him up to fail?

I am one of those people who are cautiously optimistic on how everything will turn out. It would be great to see Williams turn his life around and do well. He was on such a fast track – hopefully the time to reflect on himself and coping with his personal issues will help him make wise decisions about his career.

What do you think? Was the fame and fortune Williams received too much too soon? Could things have been handled differently by the media?