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Media Relations

10 Nov



Media Alert: Charmaine on The Live Desk on FOX

November 10, 2008 | By | 2 Comments

“The hospital can get me the operation now?” Charmaine asked.

“Sure,” I said. “Where do you think you are, England?”

Charmaine’s gall bladder removal was uneventful and, more important, immediate. There was no rationing of health care — which we will get under an ObamaNation Health Plan.

That was exactly one week ago — the latest surgical techniques have made recovery times shorter, less painful and less expensive. Good ol’ American know-how.

Alert Readers will recall that Your Business Blogger(R) ran a number of medical device start up companies where we risked investors’ investments to lower a patient’s hospital ‘length of stay’ or LOS.

And the products and services made the world a better place as we improved patient care in a cost effective manner.

We assumed a risk in hope of a big payday, a big reward. Obama will kill this golden goose of innovative entrepreneurship.

Charmaine will be discussing the future on The Live Desk panel this afternoon. The other panelists will be Doug Schoen and Alex Burns.

The topics will be:

obama_finger_insult.jpg1) Obama’s Administration – a recreation of the Clinton Administration? What’s in store for Obama and his new team? and

2) A discussion on how Sarah Palin handled the campaign.

Obama Congratulates McCain YouTube.

Hit time will be at 2:30pm eastern. Please tune or tivo and let us know what you think.

Background at the jump, Obama, Candidate of Change, Looks to Old Hands from Clinton Era By Catherine Dodge and Kristin Jensen,

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) — Barack Obama, elected president as an agent of change, is building his new team with old hands from the Clinton administration.

His first appointment, chief of staff, went to Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois representative and veteran of the last Democratic White House. Leading Obama’s transition team is John Podesta, who was President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.

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Charmaine Debates the Conservative Voter Influence on Good Morning America Weekend

November 12, 2006 | By | No Comments


Charmaine will be debating values voters on ABC’s Good Morning America on Sunday morning, around 8 to 8:30, November 12th. Tune in GMA Weekend and let us know what you think.

04 Nov



7 Tips for Mass Marketing

November 4, 2006 | By | 3 Comments


Morgan Fairchild Marketing is composed of Reach, Frequency and Awareness. And the fastest venue to reach large numbers of ears and eyeballs is to mention your business on radio and TV.

Everyone who pines to be on radio or TV wants to “be something” or “do something.” But usually if you want to do something for your company, you must be somebody. And shamelessly self-promote.

Just like Carly Fiorina from Hewlett Packard…


The large number of talk/debate shows, pod-casts, radio and TV have created an exploding demand for on-air experts. Talented talking heads.

Tammy Haddad is the executive producer of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews and was recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal about her expertise in picking talent.

A few months ago, Charmaine and I visited Tammy in her beautiful Georgetown home in Your Nation’s Capital. She put up a tent in her back yard and had a few of her closest A listers over for an off the record party. OTR. Which means I couldn’t talk about what Micheal Barone said about CNN nor who Chris Matthews was talking to. Contacts connected. Deals got done. (All I got done there was to get confused.)

Hint: When talking to Morgan Fairchild look at her eyes, gentlemen, her eyes.

Tammy had advice for ‘talking head’ wanna be’s. (And who wouldn’t wanna be?)

Jeffery Zaslow wrote America’s Next Top Pundit, What does it take to be a talking head for The Wall Street Journal and explains,

Every morning, Tammy Haddad…hears from more than 100 aspiring commentators. They each explain why they’d be the perfect guest to spout off on the issues of the day. “We call them ‘street meat,’ ” says Ms. Haddad. “They’re always available, walking the streets, waiting for your call on their cellphones.”They are the minor-league pundits …using 21st-century stunts to troll for airtime. … And many are turning to media advisers … where they learn new rules of engagement, …The ploys can work, as networks like CNN regularly survey the field, looking for new contributors.

…A-list pundits make thousands of dollars per show. In lieu of payment B-listers receive coffee mugs with a show’s logo.

We have a shelf full of logo’ed coffee mugs…in the basement.

But you, the business leader need to be on radio and TV to flog, to promote your product and service.

How to start:


The Virginia



Council 1) Get under an umbrella. Join a group of recognized experts. Get yourself invited to serve on a board of directors or advisors or committees of your local favorite non-profit and business association. Then volunteer to be the spokesman. Join and volunteer for your local chamber of commerce.


The Business Monthly:

The business newspaper for

Howard & Anne Arundel Counties

and BWI Business District in Maryland2) Write a article for your local business monthly magazine or newspaper. And interview key business leaders in town. You then might get asked to comment on-air. For instance, I recently did a series on Rotorary and its corporate governance.

3) Start with local and not so local radio talk shows on weekends. For example, go smooze job coach expert Sue Tovey at Catapult Your Career.

4) Become a deep expert in a narrow field, then mission creep away from your expertise. What box do you fill, what do you wish your business to be known for? Make like a hedgehog: know a lot about a single topic. Generalists don’t get called.

5) Write a blog and a book. Then your publicist will flog you and the book. So that your name will show up in a Google search. A lot. Your book won’t sell much and will soon go out of print. But your authorship and introduction is forever. Ladies and Gentlemen, Here’s Small business owner Mr. Big Ideas, author of Small Business Trends. (Book titles cannot be copywrite protected; apologies to Anita Campbell.)

6) Find a friend. Network. The WSJ speaks of “three dozen donuts” delivered to bookers to be remembered. Hokie, yes, but memorable. Remember not all advertising must be good to be remembered. Just remembered.

(I wish someone would send me three dozen donuts.)

Professional Public Relations should be a component of your marketing department or outsourced. Kristi Hamrick, about the best in the business says, “To get on air, somebody has to bird dog the bookers.” You, the small business owner, better be too busy, and are far too important to be your own flack. Not unlike a representing your self in court. A lawyer with a fool for a client.

Have your secretary or marketing pro’s make the calls — they are not busy anyway.

7) Keep your day job.

And finally, be sure to alert your company and friends when your big show biz break breaks.

And let me know how it goes. I’ll be cheering for you.


Thank you (foot)notes: Your Business Blogger once served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Piedmont Technology Council.

Management Training Tip: Don’t let the urgent push out the important, increase your network of contacts and friends. Do lunch and do business: exchange business cards with someone today. Then tell me.

And be sure to visit the Carnival of the Vanities.

Any PR is good, As Long As They Spell Your Name Right

November 2, 2006 | By | One Comment

When you tangle with print, radio, or visual media your name and identifiers are sometimes going to be mangled. It is not always deliberate. Donald Rumsfeld, Our Secretary of Defense, says to never confuse a conspiracy with incompetence.

But how does one tell the difference?


Charmaine, Right (as usual) on MSNBC

The wife of Your Business Blogger, Charmaine, appeared on Joe Scarborough’s show the other night. She prepped using the 10 Tips for Your Big Show Biz Break. She was debating a some liberals over a New York Times article.

It said that cheating on a spouse can be good.

Your Business Blogger advises against cheating on a spouse. Bad for the job. And business is a jealous mistress.



Anyway, Charmaine does her homework. And provides name, rank and serial number to the producer. Including her Ph.D. suffix. Those three letters cost me a million dollars and ten years. I insist on the lettering. She doesn’t care — I do. I’m the shallow one; she’s not.

Anyway, MSNBC would be considered — by some — to be a world-class organization committed to attention to detail.

But an MSNBC producer slipped up on the names and by-lines. Mistakes will happen. Guaranteed. Like leaving off suffixes.

And when the goofs go live, the professional doesn’t say die.

Whenever there is any kind of error in any form, in any forum, continue with your act.

Keep talking; keep singing; keep dancing, keep moving.

The show must go on.


At Last, The Correct By-line

Most of the time, your audience will never see the goof-up. The audience will see and remember the passion in your play.

It doesn’t matter if there is a conspiracy. Or if merely incompetence.

Deliver your sound bite. Make the sale. And you will please your audience.


Thank you (foot)notes: See the adultery clip on Scarborough Country, MSNBC, here. Courtesy Peter Shinn.

Management Training Tip: If you will cheat on your wife, you will cheat on your business partners. Even if the New York Times approves.

23 Oct



6 Reasons Not To Show Up For Your Radio Or TV Appearance

October 23, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

Woody Allen once said that 80 per cent of success is showing up.


Radio Row at the

FRC Briefing

And to succeed in business as well as show business: you must show up.

Your Business Blogger was observing (and trying to stay out of the way of) a radio and blogger row a few weeks ago at the Family Research Council Briefing. We were lucky — guests and hosts seem to link up with minimal scheduling challenges.

But this is becoming somewhat more unusual.

Your Business Blogger is seeing a most disturbing trend: Guests who don’t show.

In sales training 101, the first step is always to establish rapport. But it starts before that, of course: First, You must get the appointment and Second, you must Show Up.

Read More

14 Oct



9 Tips for Interviewers

October 14, 2006 | By | 2 Comments


The Bullet Hole at

Focus on the FamilyThe bullet hole is still in the wall. A reminder that radio and TV interviewing can be lethal.

Alert Reader Steve Rucinski at Small Business CEO read Mastering the Mic for Sound Management from a column in Small Business Trends Radio. And he suggested we review tricks suggestions for the other side; the interviewer side of the mic. Following are nine tips for interviewers.

Which might avoid bloodshed.

A few weeks ago a Fox reporter was beaten bloody doing an interview. A few years ago a Denver DJ was murdered. The list of murdered radio personalities is quite long.

Larry King is not on the list.

Anyway, Your Business Blogger decided to research radio interview techniques and dispatched the Wife and The Dude to Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs to get background on what it takes to entertain twenty million listeners a week at their radio program.


The Dude at the dials. Be sure to catch his blog post.

The smart interviewer is always aware that all that counts is ratings and revenue. The interview is a vehicle to get numbers. Here’s how.

1) Why are we here? I once had a press secretary who was a pro. She had the skills to deftly make connections between content, current events and the needs of a particular audience. She constructed “The Hook” and sold it. The rarest of skills which are in high demand. I can no longer afford her.

2) Script out the intro. Better yet, have the guest draft out the two-minute introduction.

3) Calm the guest. Remind her that she’s a source; a resource, for your vast listening audience. Not a target.

4) Flash Report. Have the guest write sample questions. Our goal is to help people. Delectare et docere, to please and to instruct. Leave the ‘gotcha game’ to the mainstream media. And stick with scripted pre-questions as much as possible.

5) Short and Sweet. Begin questions with Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Keep these six honest serving-men, and you will be well served. As Rudyard Kipling was. They taught me all I knew.

My favorite question to a guest is, What does that mean? Professional interviewers usually know the answer. But use this question to have the guest explain something to the audience. I ask because I usually don’t know. Another question is, “Tell me about…” A non-directive interview technique designed to prompt the guest to tell a story. Do the questions you want early in the interview, in case you run out of time.

6) High energy is overrated. You, the professional interviewer, will be more nervous than the interviewee. This can be countered by relaxing. Get your mantra motor. Calm and slow and boring is not bad for a questioner. Problematic in a guest. But the audience really wants to listen to the energized experts on your show. Not you the interviewer. They want Larry King to shut up.

(I ran into King at the CNN studios a time or two. No, he doesn’t have any bullet holes in his office.)

7) Surround Sound. Be careful of the on-the-road interview, when you are away from your comfy digs. Background noise can be distracting (restaurants) and unpredictable (ambulance sirens).

8) Ask only one, single question at a time. Multiples get confusing.

Remember, your guest is appearing on your show for one reason: to communicate her message. You have the guest on for one reason: money (that ratings thing again).

9) Finally, never get angry. You might get a bullet… in your wall.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

This is a modified cross post from Small Business Trends Wire.

Persuasion: Five Points To Improve Your Voice Communication

September 21, 2006 | By | No Comments

The deadliest skill a leader can possess is the ability to persuade.


Rush Limbaugh

Photo Credit:

Your Business Blogger As Alert Readers know, Your Business Blogger is a cheerleader for lifelong learning. If there is a class that can improve my skills, such as they are, I’m in.

So to improve my ability to communicate, I though I’d sit at the feet of a wise instructor. And ask stupid questions.

(Which are the only kind I ask.)

I needed to pick an instructor who could help me in this continuous learning. I wondered — who has Rush Limbaugh worked with?

That would be Stephen D. Clouse who teaches at the highest levels in the intersection of entertainment and politics.

I joined Stephen as he lectured at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia. The purpose and passion of Clouse’s work is to train leaders to communicate — to persuade.

To be effective, Clouse says, you must be likeable. Willie Loman, in Death of a Salesman, would step out into the world with a shoeshine and smile. And have a desperate need to be liked.

Which is not unlike the first step in the sales process of establishing rapport.

But Clouse was talking about more than a need to be liked — he emphasized that to succeed at the highest levels and to persuade, you must truly like people.

Enjoy people? Like people?

I’m doomed.

But there might be help for you. Clouse gave a number of tips to improve your likeability — by improving your vocals.

1) Speak slowly. Clouse reminds us that the great communicators from Larry King to Bill Clinton to Ronald Reagan have a very slow speech delivery.

2) Enunciate each word completely. Many of us will trail off at the end of our sentences. Clouse says, “A microphone is cruel to those who do this because everything is captured and conveyed.”

3) Punch key words. Your listening audience wants to learn, and more important, to be entertained.

4) Extend vowels. Conveys warmth and emotion.

5) Natural voice in an ‘audio check.’ The sound tech will adjust levels to your voice. Be natural.

Which may require practice. The professionals make it look easy.

And professionals use professionals to coach. If you would like to contact Stephen D. Clouse, I’d be honored to make the introduction.

To communicate well will require practice. And practice. For your big show biz break read these 10 Tips. And remember…

Ronald Reagan had six years of voice lessons.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

This is an unpaid endorsement for Clouse.

Seven Rules For MicroPhone Management

September 14, 2006 | By | No Comments


The wife of

Your Business Blogger

at an impromptu

press conference.In your business promotion, you the boss, will someday be called to speak before a handheld microphone or a bank of microphones to talk about your particular expertise.

If you deign to be interviewed by a reporter, or instead will speak at a planned, orchestrated press conference, here are 7 tips to remember for the handheld or externally fixed microphone.

1) The microphone comes to you. When speaking to a reporter who is holding the microphone, she will move the mic to you. Or there will be a boom mic floating near-by. You do not move to the mic or bob around speaking here or there. Be still. Remember, you are the expert. The center of the Universe. The pro has measured movements.

2) Remain in the frame. Your mouth should be a spread-hand’s width from the mic, just below your mouth. This is to allow cameras to get a better show of your fab face. And to prevent ‘popping’ into the mic — ‘d’s,’ ‘t’s,’ or ‘p’s’ are explosives if directed straight into the microphone. If there is a bank or cluster of microphones, any cameras or the reporters will be centered directly in front of the of the mic stands. Do not move around. Don’t make the camera guys or sounds guys work too much.

3) Watch your back. If the presser is planned by your PR flacks, your backdrop will have your company logo behind you. If not, see what’s over your shoulder. Look for naked statues behind you.

4) Start with your name, rank and the mundane. Practice your FireDrill, your pitch. And like any good lawyer you already know all the answers, but more important, you know and have heard all the questions. Stating the obvious gets your mouth a-motoring and helps the sound guys start to fiddling with the knobs if needed — your self intro will probably get edited out, but it will serve as sound check until you say something important. Assume they can hear you; don’t ask.

5) Don’t handle the microphones. Unless you are giving a 45 minute key noter and the mic belongs to you — leave the equipment alone. There are apt to be a number of speakers coming to the mics. Handling the machinery might create noise picked up by the other mics. But if you must touch them, do it while talking in some connective or redundant phrase in case of noise. That will get edited out.

6) Bend your knees to get in range of an extremely short mic. This is, of course, the trick of tall teenage girls when dancing with short guys. Bending over at the waist gives an ungainly, slouching appearance. You, Gentle Reader, are no slouch. Stand tall. Bow to no man.

7) Lower your voice. Lower your pitch. Your voice may get high pitched as you get nervous. And you better be nervous. If you do not have any adrenaline flowing when speaking publicly, you are too complacent.

The successful small business owner is a successful promoter and leader and speaker. The microphone is now another tool in your professional hands.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to review Management: 10 Tips

And visit k-log On Speaking: Being Heard

21 Jul



Katie Couric Doesn't Want Single Mothers in War Zones

July 21, 2006 | By | 4 Comments


Lori Piestewa,

single mother of two,

killed Katie Couric recently refused to go to Iraq. She gets this right,

Katie Couric, who takes over the CBS Evening News in September told Access Hollywood that at this point, she would not venture into the Middle East hot spot.

“I think the situation there is so dangerous, and as a single parent with two children, that’s something I won’t be doing,” Katie said.

Couric lurches into the truth: War zones are not safe for anyone. Especially for moms and the kids left behind.

Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness reminds us that,

To date 60 women have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11. By contrast, only 16 women killed in all the years of Vietnam, most of them nurses. In the First Persian Gulf War, 33,000 women were deployed, but only 6 perished due to scud missile explosions or accidents.

Women should not be killed in combat.

No single mother with children should go to war. Not Katie. Not Lori.


Katie Couric


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Kathryn Lopez at NRO points us to Access Hollywood, blockquote above.

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger also serves as the Vice President of the Center for Military Readiness.

See Saving Private Lori.

Get Women Out of Combat.

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

20 Jul



World Trade Center, Oliver Stone's New Movie

July 20, 2006 | By | 6 Comments


World Trade Center “Redemption,” wrote Cal Thomas earlier when he saw Oliver Stone’s movie. Stone may have redeemed himself.

Tonight, Thursday, The Washington Insiders were invited to a private screening of World Trade Center. I got in on a waiver. I would have been easy to pick out of this cool crowd: I was the only one with a bucket of (fattening) buttered popcorn, slurping a giant Coke.


Your Business Blogger, Charmaine

Melissa and Rob Bluey

Charmaine and I joined Rob Bluey, blog editor at Human Events and his wife Melissa from The Atlantic Monthly and the smart crowd at a Cinema near Charmaine’s office to see Stone’s newest movie.

What it was and what it was not.

It was not a conspiracy movie.

It did not bash Bush.

It was not sappy.

It was not about stupid, church-going nuts.

It did not mock marriage.

It did not blame America.

It did not support radical Islam.

It did not mock Marines.

It did not mock Jesus.

It did not mock cops.

It did not mock family, faith or freedom.

Charmaine says, “It was a Hallmark Hall of Fame special…on steroids.” Jim Pinkerton, from the New America Foundation DID NOT tear up. Me neither.

But the theater was a bit dusty. That stuff can get in your eyes. Or was it dust from the movie?

This is a movie that you will see in a few weeks and you will be glad you did. After the viewing, there was no applause, little talking. At the end, the crowd audibly exhaled, as one.

People moved out as if leaving a wake. Tony Blankley and his significant other were the last, the very last to leave. They were moved.

Laura Ingram moved out quick; she was among the first out. Dr. Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention expected to walk out early and didn’t.

We spoke to Blankley. He was surprised at Stone’s movie, “Good, True, Patriotic, Religious.”

Kate O’Beirne from Nation Review was a bit more skeptical about Oliver Stone, “His other movies don’t sell, nobody goes to them. So he made this to appeal — to sell. He wants to make money.”

And so he will. You must see how Stone can make a movie with Jesus, yes Him, without a smirk. Mel Gibson can do Passion, sure. But Oliver Stone?

Better check the temperature in Hell. The impossible has happened. Oliver is redeemed.


World Trade Center


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Thank you (foot)notes:

The movie will be theaters August 9, 2006

Special thanks to Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President of Creative Response Concepts, who coordinated the event for Paramount Pictures.

More on the movie at the jump.

The Raw Story has more. Read the Comments, liberals still believe “9/11 was an inside job no doubt.” And my favorite, “Hey cons, Jesus says watch this film or you’ll go to hell.”

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

OpFor has more.

Read More