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Posts Tagged ‘quotes’

5 Great PR Lessons We Can Learn from Mark Twain

Time Mark TwainSo, I’m sitting in church this past Sunday when I heard my pastor delve into the Bible discussing how there is nothing we can do to deserve a blessing.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. ~Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

Whether you believe that or not isn’t the point of this particular story. To echo that sentiment from the Apostle Paul, we were all reminded of the profound words from Mr. Samuel Langhorne Clemens. You may know him as Mark Twain. He penned, “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”

And the ‘Amen’ corner shouted.

That’s when this latest edition of “5 Things” hit me: What else can we learn from this beautiful mind? So, I did some research. Here are 5 great PR lessons all flacks can learn from Mark TwainRead more

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The World’s ‘Most Quoted Man’ Isn’t Much of an Expert on Anything

Quotes are valuable, right? Everyone wants a client to be quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or a major tech blog. Well, in case you thought that scoring quotes is all about being a legitimate expert on the topic at hand with something valuable to add to the conversation, The New Yorker gives us this video profile of Greg Packer. He has amazingly been quoted nearly a thousand times on everything from the new iPhone to the local football game and the war in Iraq despite being the least qualified expert around.

This interview quickly establishes the fact that Packer, a retired highway maintenance worker, doesn’t have any particular insight on, well, much of anything. And yet, he’s been so successful in getting his quotes published that the Associated Press had to issue an effective ban on him way back in 2003. How did he do it? He simply showed up and let everyone know that he was eager to offer a few words.

The lesson here is to keep pitching quotes to reporters and bloggers (especially bloggers). Our standards apparently aren’t as high as you might think.

(Ed. note: this video’s being a little wonky on Safari, so if you can’t watch it you might want to try another browser.)

RIP Ed Koch, Master of Media Relations

This morning marked the passing of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch. We weren’t around when he was patrolling the city, and he didn’t go for the big-money advocacy of Michael Bloomberg or the “bad cop” bluster of Rudy Giuliani. But he was a master of media relations. Always ready with a quip for the press corps, he knew how to work reporters to get his message out. In honor of his life, we would like to join others in posting some of his best quotes.

  • On public relations: “I’m the sort of person who will never get ulcers. Why? Because I say exactly what I think. I’m the sort of person who might give other people ulcers.”
  • On damage control: “You punch me, I punch back. I do not believe it’s good for one’s self-respect to be a punching bag.”
  • On messaging: “Tone can be as important as text.”
  • On career advice: “Enjoy what you’re doing or don’t do it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult or won’t challenge you, but if you are involved in something that’s causing you to say, ‘Why am I doing this?’ then you’re in the wrong business.”
  • On politics: “If you agree with me on nine out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.”
  • On falling out of favor with the public (and losing elections): “People get tired of you. So they decided to throw me out. And so help me God, as the numbers were coming in, I said to myself, ‘I’m free at last.’”
  • On privacy: “Whether I am straight or gay or bisexual is nobody’s business but mine.”
  • On Donald Trump: “Piggy, piggy, piggy.
  • On mortality: “I had a conversation with God: ‘Take me totally or don’t take me. No salami tactics.’ He’s been very good about it.”

Notable Quotes from 2012 Events

Savvy presenters at business events know the audience is there to hear candid comments, fresh insights, and surprising anecdotes–not humblebragging, self-promotion or overused buzzwords. If presenters don’t deliver, attendees will tune out and spend more time networking outside the conference hall. Not every speaker got that memo, however: it’s still a challenge to sift through all the jargon and make each event worthwhile.

We’ve highlighted seven memorable quotes from various New York-based events we covered in 2012. They deal with a range of topics: creativity, media relations, CEO visibility, producing original content, the risks of using celebrity spokespeople, teamwork, publicity and controversy.

1. “Grit is especially important when it comes to creativity. If it was easy, someone else would have done it.

-Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works and former contributor to The New Yorker and Wired magazines, delivered a keynote at ARF’s Re:think conference in March. In the ensuing months, Lehrer saw his own career falter after being accused of plagiarism and quote fabrication–so he didn’t follow his own advice.

2. “Now it’s a better age between journalists and PR. There’s an absence of friction, and PR is part of the data stream.

-David Carr, New York Times media reporter, spoke during Internet Week in May. Carr’s welcome though limited remarks on the dynamics of the relationship came in response to an audience question.

3. “A few companies with secure, confident CEOs take the lead on issues and speak out, but it’s hardly a universal practice.

-Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman PR, addressed Ethisphere’s Best Practices in Ethics Communication event in June. His comments have since been echoed by others in the industry.

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