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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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Nov. 23, 2011 11:27 pm
This post nearly began with something about how so much lousy stuff is still going on everywhere, but everybody knows all that except members of the U.S. House of Representatives, so why even bring it up? There are still good things – the glass isn’t yet totally empty – but so many good people can’t seem to get a break, even when it comes to some of the little things. For example, there have...  Read More
Oct. 11, 2011 10:39 am
Hank Williams, Jr. has a new song and it’s available as a free download for two days. The tune is called “ Keep the Change ” and it’s sort of autobiographical, if an event that occurred about a week ago can qualify as an autobiography. It does show how the music business, in an odd sort of state for the past several years what with free downloads, cheap downloads, CDs, vinyl, YouTube, Napster and...  Read More
Oct. 1, 2011 4:10 pm
Recycling is a great idea, except when what’s being recycled are letters from the actor-turned-political activist Jon Voight. At 72, Mr. Voight has gone well beyond his intense performance opposite Jane Fonda in Coming Home , for which he and Ms. Fonda both received Oscars. Mr. Voight used to be a political liberal who supported President John F. Kennedy and worked for George McGovern 's...  Read More
Sep. 17, 2011 10:34 pm
It has not been a great couple of weeks for God. Two of the many people He apparently uses as His spokespersons on a regular basis (according to them) attributed remarks to Him that didn’t sound like something He would say because they – both the remarks and the people – came across as really stupid. And it wasn’t the first time. Some know-it-all types are dismissive of public relations...  Read More
Sep. 8, 2011 10:30 am
A couple of weeks ago America’s young people were lining up outside of book stores across the country at midnight, dressed as their favorite Bush administration cabinet members, and awaiting the arrival of former vice-president Dick Cheney’s memoir. Okay, I made up that part. But two weeks after its publication – the title of which escapes me, so let’s just call it The Book of Dick – the one he...  Read More
Aug. 27, 2011 12:56 am
Earthquakes, hurricanes, war, and nearly the end of life as we know it… but first... It’s a cookie, for God’s sake – how big a deal could it be? That’s one of those questions that seem trivial enough to be ridiculous. But these are not normal times. If a question regarding the awesome affects of a cookie on freedom of speech were the basis of a court action, and the matter was before the...  Read More
Aug. 17, 2011 9:37 am
Notes from the admittedly liberal sidecar following the campaign bus… The cry across the land is for jobs. Millions of people are hurting. The companies that provide the jobs haven’t actually weighed in on the issue. It seems they believe it to be someone else’s problem. But whether or not there will be jobs created or fresher air or cleaner water or opportunities for education, and whether...  Read More
Aug. 14, 2011 1:02 am
As people at the Iowa State Fair lined up to enjoy some tasty deep-fried tractor parts, it was clear that the political campaign season was in high gear. Sarah Michele Bachmann, the former beauty queen-turned-sportscaster, who is now the governor of Texas, has just won the famous “Ames Straw Poll” which was first held in that Iowa town in 1979, though no one actually noticed it until last Monday....  Read More
Jul. 30, 2011 12:52 pm
I really liked this headline from Buiness Insider : "Panegyric," Immiscible," "Churlish ," and 47 other words readers don't know. According to writer Noah Davis , “ Readers looked up the definition (of panegyric – another word for praise ) 528 times, making it the word looked up the most times when it appeared in a New York Times article . Anathema was only looked up 104...  Read More
Jul. 23, 2011 1:43 am
I might have already pointed out that there is some dispute as to whether or not the phrase, “May you live in interesting times ,” is actually, as some people say, “an old Chinese curse.” Some people credit the line to Confucius, who was indeed, old and Chinese; others attribute it to the British novelist Sir Terence "Terry" Pratchett; still others say it was the late Frederic R. Coudert, a...  Read More
Jul. 16, 2011 12:17 am
The News Corporation scandal is such a big story because its founder, the international media kingpin Rupert Murdoch, has rolled over so many people and companies for so many years to get what he wants. Now, it looks as if he could be on the brink of getting a peek at what the underside of a boot looks like, for a change, and a lot of people are smiling. Advice to Mr. Murdoch: Remember to wear...  Read More
Jul. 2, 2011 4:24 pm
Becoming a genius has never been easier. Why hasn’t someone thought of this before? Or did some genius think of it and just not announce it at a press conference so the rest of us wouldn’t know! Ha! That would be a sure indication of genius! I’m betting on Stephen Hawking for this one. Or maybe Christopher Hitchens. Here it is: Thanks to the Internet, if you say something really stupid and...  Read More
Jun. 25, 2011 2:37 pm
In the words of Father Guido Sarducci, “ Vita est lavorum.” (“Life is a job.”) It’s probably fair to say most people think they are good at what they do. They might hate their jobs, but still believe they are good at them (their jobs). It’s other people who suck at their jobs. We’ve noticed. Think about the last time you said of someone that he or she didn’t know what they are doing. People say...  Read More
Jun. 16, 2011 3:25 pm
No, they are not the same thing. But this comes up a lot. A fairly common perception is that public relations is another term for lying. In at least one sense, it’s understandable how people would think that. PR people are typically out front, explaining or making excuses for something dumb their bosses or clients did or said, whether it’s Taco Bell or Wal-Mart or Newt Gingrich – one of which...  Read More
Jun. 8, 2011 10:31 am
“ When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it. ” I remembered reading or hearing that a while back and wanted to know who said it. A comment like that sounds as if it should be attributed to Aristotle or Einstein or Ben Franklin. It’s deep – profound – and a nice putdown for someone who seems to be conceited in the extreme....  Read More
May 27, 2011 10:00 am
A lot of businesses are still in trouble and certainly the book business – in which I have a particular interest -- is one that often seems to be going north and south at the same time. Barnes and Noble stock is up and it’s facing a takeover move by Liberty Media; Borders is still on the ropes. Books are selling well, though fewer people are reading. Meanwhile, the industry tries to push people...  Read More
May 24, 2011 2:38 pm
It was the best of times; it was— Oh, never mind. Along with the many other WTF moments we’ve experienced lately, Harold Camping said he was “bewildered” that the rapture did not occur on schedule. Mr. Camping, a radio preacher, predicted the rapture would be at 5:59 PM on May 21. Beyond “bewildered,” he is “flabbergasted” that the event did not take place. “It has been a really tough...  Read More
May 15, 2011 7:33 am
Writing from Williamsburg, Virginia, a city that’s been in the United States longer than the United States has been the United States, it’s hard not to smile at the people dressed in the style of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and to think of all the folks who have been through here lately, having come by the busload, with anger in their hearts and teabags on their hats. Once here, the...  Read More
May 6, 2011 9:50 am
Having taken some time away, I return to find my treasure trove of humorous references to Charlie Sheen now dusty, moss-covered, relics of a bygone time, a bit like Charlie himself. Timing is everything. With a bit of luck, references to Donald Trump’s hair will soon meet a similar fate. The media business, playtime and the wonderful telephone phone that does so many things all moved another...  Read More
Apr. 10, 2011 6:00 pm
Watching a TV ad for what I believe was a smart phone – I don’t recall which one – a finger slid across a small screen with tiny pictures on it and the announcer announced that it had " more apps than –" but I didn’t hear the rest of it. I know. Seeing only a part of an ad, hearing a different part, and not recalling the name of the brand is the sort of pathetic consumer recall that drives ad...  Read More
Apr. 1, 2011 1:10 am
Whenever I hear someone begin a sentence with the words, “ but to be fair ,” I expect what comes after it to be the opposite of fair. Several years ago, the comedian Bill Maher wrote a novel titled True Story . He explained that every time a comedian began a story with the words “true story…” a lie would follow. In real life, it’s a strange time, as people invent facts, wrap themselves in...  Read More
Mar. 23, 2011 5:20 pm
Everyone seemed truly shocked. And stunned, as the Rutles might have described the situation, if this had been part of their 1978 film about the fictional rock band. Anyway, the shocker wasn’t the earthquake – earthquakes aren’t that unusual anymore – and no, it was not the volcano erupting or the tsunami that followed the earthquake, because we’ve seen all that before as well. Even the...  Read More
Mar. 16, 2011 7:33 am
Watching what’s going on all over the world, it’s hard to avoid thinking the end is nigh. It’s also hard to remember anyone using the word “ nigh” except to say the end is nigh. Anyway, according to various sources, the world will end on December 21, 2012. The sources include Mayan Prophecy , code words cleverly hidden in the Bible, and the late Nostradamus , the French pharmacist who,...  Read More
Feb. 25, 2011 2:19 pm
It was another busy day for the Governor of Wisconsin and not an especially good one. But it would be an excellent day for progressive (as in "liberal") TV and radio audiences. A recording of a “prank” phone call to the governor from a New York blogger went public, started a media gotcha-fest , and opened the door to possible ethics problems and violations of state laws. The blogger, Ian...  Read More
Feb. 22, 2011 2:19 am
The truth shall set you free (John 8:32). Then again, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose (Kris Kristofferson, "Me and Bobby McGee") . It’s a tricky situation all right. Fortunately, America is a country that publishes a lot of books each year to bring such matters into focus, some 275,232 to be more exact. One of those books is by the former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald...  Read More
Feb. 7, 2011 10:25 am
Many people in the United States are celebrating what would have been the 100 th birthday of the 40 th President of the United States, the late Ronald Reagan. Had he lived, President Reagan’s cake might have been ablaze with candles and decorated with his favorite brand-name designer jelly beans, Jelly Bellys. In fact, the blueberry flavored Jelly Belly was created for President Reagan's...  Read More
Feb. 1, 2011 12:59 am
Bad news for PR people: It’s difficult to tell the public your company or client is doing some amazing things when news reports indicate the entire world is going to hell. True, the middle east might be reeling from war and revolution and the global economy may be teetering on the edge of disaster and about 20 American states are buried under snow, but most brands of English Muffins are now...  Read More
Jan. 19, 2011 10:04 am
Whose “common sense” reflects what “most people” really think? Shhh. Quiet . After a prolonged period of rude and excessively snarky behavior, we’re being asked to change. But, the issue now is that the people who behave especially badly believe they – and those who agree with them – are just fine and are being picked on by people they don’t like and who are just trying to seize an...  Read More
Jan. 10, 2011 2:39 pm
So, the election two months ago mattered, but the one two years ago didn’t? Crisis management is a huge part of public relations today… as crisis is now a fact of everyday life. A shooting incident in Arizona was apparently the result of an unbalanced individual heading out to do damage with a gun. It was also another example of cultural idiocy. Sometimes someone says or does something...  Read More
Jan. 5, 2011 12:59 pm
As the seasonal chanting of ho-ho-ho fades in the distance, big snow storms bury the East coast of the United States. The world appears to have totally come to a halt as people try to figure out how to cope. Midwesterners suggest picking up shovels and using them to remove the snow from streets. Easterners find this suggestion interesting, if curiously “Midwestern.” The National Football League...  Read More to Shut Down Permanently on December 31, 2017

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