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Joe Marconi
Joe Marconi
Joe Marconi, who died in April 2012 at age 66, was an expert in communication, marketing and crisis management. He was an adjunct professor at DePaul University and Columbia College, a consultant, and author of 15 books, including “Crisis Marketing: When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies."


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Dec. 22, 2010 10:44 am
Hey! Let’s stop all the name-calling, Jerk. (The View from the Space Ship is confusing.) In a book store this week, I found the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a “peace on earth” candy bar. Available in either milk chocolate or dark chocolate, the 1.05-ounce candy bar (about the size of an iPod) is by Bloomsberry in Salem, Massachusetts, which, I presume, is not associated with the...  Read More
Dec. 6, 2010 12:34 am
Normally difficult clients are becoming even difficulter . (I know that’s not a word, but since this is also the season the man who once referred to himself as The Decider is on a national book tour, and our brain cells are already clogged, it seemed the right moment to bring it on ). But whether the job is practicing law, creating advertising campaigns, developing a public relations...  Read More
Nov. 30, 2010 1:56 pm
Home schooling was probably a good idea around 1850 when there were fewer people, fewer schools, and life was simpler. Today the average number of television channels each U.S. home receives is 119, according to the most recent Nielsen Company report. That’s way more than in 1850 when the only thing on TV was Law & Order . People today receive more information, although what is “correct” is...  Read More
Nov. 14, 2010 12:16 pm
Conventional wisdom is that a lawyer should never have a witness take the stand in court without knowing what he or she would say. That’s good advice for public relations people and book publishers: Don’t book your client on a national television program without knowing if he or she will confess to a crime, while being otherwise affable and disarming, if not actually credible. George W. Bush...  Read More
Nov. 6, 2010 3:51 pm
“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this.” That’s a quote from Princeton Professor Emeritus Harry G. Frankfurt’s 2005 book, On Bullshit. About a page later, he explains, “The phenomenon itself is so vast and amorphous that no crisp and perspicuous analysis of its concept can avoid being procrustean.” Okay, maybe it would have...  Read More
Oct. 31, 2010 11:11 pm
From Washington, D.C, - The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear The headline on the story read: Political ads are mean and getting meaner… It's nastier than ever this election cycle. And the prophet said, “Duh.” Mean, shmean – everybody is sick of political ads. Even a majority of the dead voters in Cook County, Illinois are complaining about the ads. (Okay, I made up that last...  Read More
Oct. 9, 2010 1:11 pm
Three Flying Broomsticks, No Waiting Stories about “other-worldly” and “supernatural” things are fascinating. Many Americans have strong opinions when it comes to witches. Certainly some of us have moments when we wish we could turn someone into a frog and banish him or her to the shallow part of, oh let’s say… Lake Baikal in Siberia ? The popular TV show Bewitched ran from 1964 to 1972...  Read More
Oct. 5, 2010 11:16 am
With all the criticism of businesses being indifferent to the problems of the people who buy their products – much of it, of course, justified – there are some notable exceptions. Several years ago, in a book titled Cause Marketing, I wrote about companies that joined with nonprofit organizations and both benefited. The practice is commonly described as “doing well by doing good.” Now, alas,...  Read More
Sep. 26, 2010 4:31 pm
The saga continues: Life is still hard. The business, social, and economic climate remains bleak, though many high profile Americans continue to speak of “American exceptionalism” – the view that the U.S. occupies a special role among nations for its national ethos, political and religious institutions, and having been built by immigrants. Most of these high profile Americans wish, now that the...  Read More
Sep. 18, 2010 4:06 pm
Old joke: An old man in New York is approached in the street and asked, "Pardon me sir, how do I get to Carnegie Hall?" And the old man replies, "Practice, practice, practice." But people don’t want to bother practicing anything anymore. It takes too much time and it’s work. They prefer to just get recognition for something – whether they actually do anything or not. It’s been said that...  Read More
Sep. 7, 2010 11:30 am
It’s been said for years that a sure-fire way to ruin a party or a dinner or an otherwise pleasant evening is to bring up religion or politics. Yet, increasingly it seems we can’t go online or turn on TV or radio without being slammed head-on with both religion and politics – often in the context of someone’s angry rant. Books, such as The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of...  Read More
Sep. 2, 2010 11:00 am
Trump University changed its name recently to The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. Its chairman, Donald J. Trump, declared on his website under the heading “My Network”, “The rules of the game of Business are all about making money. It’s about the bottom line. The sooner you realize that it's not personal, it's business, the sooner you’ll make it to the top in the business world.” The last time...  Read More
Aug. 23, 2010 9:07 am
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner – a new class of U.S. citizenship: domestic morons. Think about it. We are a short-attention-span society. We want soundbites instead of whole stories; factoids instead of information; a 24-hour news cycle repeating highlights, instead of complete coverage and analysis of news. And instant mashed potatoes made from “real” potato flakes! Reese's ...  Read More
Aug. 18, 2010 7:15 pm
Some people won’t buy a new book coming out this week, though it’s likely to do pretty well. Palinisms: The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Sarah Palin by Jacob Weisberg is a 96-page collection of quotations assembled for laughs at Ms. Palin’s expense. But it’s not only for laughs. Beneath the seeming nuttiness, there’s an import message here. Mr. Weisberg is the Chairman and Editor in Chief of...  Read More
Aug. 12, 2010 9:45 am
A lot of companies like to say they are a “people business.” That sounds nice. Being a people business has a caring ring to it. Unfortunately, those people live and work in a society that uses words such as “caring” very liberally, if not literally. “Caring” appears to be one of many words with definitions unknown. On his facebook page, former President Bill Clinton writes that his favorite...  Read More
Aug. 5, 2010 11:28 am
Ask anyone. Things are tough all over. People complain that they are tired of hearing everyone they know go through a daily litany of grievances. They then go on to list all the things they think are wrong with their work, other people’s work, their relationships, lives and the government – especially the government. Business in general is pretty bad. Maybe you heard about it. Not every...  Read More
Jul. 27, 2010 3:54 pm
The most quoted line of the philosopher and essayist George Santayana is, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." It’s a good line, often said by someone who wants to warn people not to keep doing the same things and expecting different results. The last bit, of course, is also how some people glibly define insanity, but I don’t agree. I think people who keep repeating...  Read More
Jul. 20, 2010 6:14 pm
The name Maya seems to be increasingly popular for girls these days. Maya is the Greek word for “mother” and is Latin for “great.” In Hinduism, the word Maya means “an illusion” – something that deceives the senses or mind. Oh – while on the subject of illusions – former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich announced he is seriously considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination....  Read More
Jul. 15, 2010 8:49 am
On July 13, 2010 New York Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner died at the age of 80. Eulogies poured in from everywhere, particularly from broadcasters, many of whom knew Mr. Steinbrenner personally or had covered him for decades. Perhaps the most interesting expression of non-grief came from the often controversial radio “personality” Rush Limbaugh, who told his estimated 20 million listeners, "...  Read More
Jul. 8, 2010 10:42 am
Even the most intense person among us can’t read War and Peace at the beach every summer. Let’s just review some of the perennials. According to the highly respected Modern Library list, these are the top seven of the all time best nonfiction books: 1. The Education Of Henry Adams by Henry Adams 2. The Varieties Of Religious Experience by William James 3. Up From Slavery ...  Read More
Jun. 28, 2010 2:27 pm
So, I mean, I’m like oh, my God – and I’m thinking, y’know, irregardless, you’ve got to be kidding; plus also too, I could care less. Really. But no… And I’m sure a great many other people feel the same way. A lot of thought went into constructing that first sentence. But then I am, of course, a professional writer. What was once referred to as “the King’s English” is today something that...  Read More
Jun. 24, 2010 12:26 pm
Does advertising reflect cultural trends or does it create cultural trends? The correct answer, of course, is yes. Advertising can – and does – reflect the mood, tone, tastes and trends of a culture. And very often advertising will also spark trends and attitudes that steer the country in a particular direction. So what role does advertising have in shaping our cultural? A good...  Read More
Jun. 16, 2010 8:58 am
What did the public know and when did they know it? How did they come by this, uh, knowledge? Which of our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights is the right to be so nosey? A radio commercial opens with the words “Learn what retailers don’t want you to know…” Several books making the rounds now have titles with a common theme: Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know; Free Money They Don’t...  Read More
Jun. 10, 2010 2:55 pm
The President of the United States is angry. And people are mad. Again. Still. Just look outside and see how badly everyone’s driving. Customer service tops consumers’ lists of complaints for the third straight decade, but few businesses seem to care. Just before being flipped-off, we hear: That’s not my job. That’s not my table. If we have that, it’ll be somewhere in the...  Read More
May 28, 2010 9:24 am
Until I heard Ed Schultz say it on his radio program, I did not know that bagel related injuries are “the number one reason for hospital emergency room visits on Saturday and Sunday mornings, all over the world.” Imagine my surprise! “ Ed ,” I said to my radio, “… Schultz, How can that be possible ?” No reply. So at the earliest opportunity (a few weeks later) I went online because the...  Read More
May 24, 2010 11:35 am
The historian James Truslow Adams wrote, " There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behaves any of us to find fault with the rest of us." Apparently Mr. Adams was a bit of a poet too. I didn’t know that. Anyway, that's good advice. So let us all resolve not to find fault with others… Yeah, right. Like, that's really gonna happen. Mr. Adams,...  Read More
May 13, 2010 12:40 pm
At the heart of all our trouble and sorrow, let unconquerable gladness dwell. People will recognize that passage as being from The Book of Common Prayer and some prayers might be in order about now. It was another rough week. But is there any other kind these days? While skimming The Asia Times (something I do whenever I can’t locate my copy of Chebyshev's Theorem ), I came across what is...  Read More
May 3, 2010 2:16 pm
A scene in the classic 1978 film Animal House has a very young Kevin Bacon, wearing an ROTC uniform, holding up his hands to calm a rampaging mob. “All is well,” he shouts several times, before being trampled and flattened by the charging townspeople. Then, as now, everyone seemed to know that all was not well. Immigration. Terrorism. The financial mess. Joblessness. Oil spills....  Read More
Apr. 26, 2010 3:06 pm
Imagine what it must be like to be Rod Blagojevich’s public relations person. A PR rep’s job is to provide counsel and help the boss or client find the right words to convey messages that make a strong, persuasive and positive case at the right time in the right setting. A PR person also anticipates what questions and subjects are likely to come up and has answers and supporting material ready....  Read More
Apr. 19, 2010 3:53 pm
WARNING The following post contains language some people might find offensive. Most of the potentially offensive passages are drawn from a CNN newscast, my mail, and a book published by Princeton University Press, the publishing arm of the fourth oldest college in the United States. When it was chartered in 1746, Princeton was called the College of New Jersey. I don’t know if that has...  Read More
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