prisma-logo.gif  dsc00310.jpgCongratulations to our client Prisma Graphic Corporation for again being named to Printing Impressions magazine’s “Printing Impressions 400”, the magazine’s annual list of the best printing companies in the United States and Canada.  The magazine ranks the industry best based on total sales figures for the 2006 fiscal year.  Prisma Graphic boasted more than $20 million in sales in 2006, a 34% increase over the previous year, and jumped 47 places on the list to number 273.

Prisma Graphic also earned a second honor in Printing Impressions as one of the magazine’s “Fast-Track Firms of 2007”.

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While brainstorming for ideas for this blog entry yesterday, I was browsing others’ blogs and came across something about Second Life.  What’s Second Life, you ask?

Exactly.

I had only heard about it in the vaguest of terms, but apparently it has attracted millions of participants worldwide since it was open to the public in 2003.

Second Life is a 3D virtual world where avatars interact with one another.  “You” can buy a house, socialize at a club and even see Duran Duran in concert. 

Yes that’s right…apparently the 80’s pop group created their own avatars in 2006 and toured Second Life much as they have in…the first life?

I think the idea is actually really cool, but while I was looking around the Second Life website, it occurred to me that this program could really start to take over people’s real lives.  Much like our non-virtual world, you have to maintain relationships, manage your money and pay your mortgage.

Is it just me, or is the real world enough to try and juggle?  Or maybe I’m just being a cynic. Maybe this virtual world opens up avenues of communication for the shy. Maybe it provides some with a much-needed break from the workday.  Maybe it allows people to scream for Simon Le Bon like they did when legwarmers were in style the first time around.

Has anyone created his or her own avatar?  What do you think about Second Life?

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Calling all PR practitioners!

February 28, 2008

If you are a public relations practitioner, make sure to click here to take the local (and anonymous) PRSA Job and Salary Survey. TOMORROW is the last day to make your voice heard!

The results will be tabulated and analyzed in early March. An executive summary of the findings will be made available on the PRSA Website, and PRSA members will be given access to the complete data analysis.

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The infamous Starbucks stunt yesterday was quite the PR gem. Pure strikes of persuasive genius like this make me proud to be a fellow PR pro. Perhaps part PR stunt and part legitimate training-whatever the case, they picked up invaluable amounts of media and blog attention. With the competition for the morning consumer rising to epidemic levels, as Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s join the push to offer delightful, quick and affordable breakfast items, this is what I would call the “perfect placement” for Starbucks to remain frontrunner and top-of-mind to all those early risers. Every corporation out there has company-wide training, staff meetings, etc. to ensure their brand strategy is being executed in a consistent manner. What a clever idea to do it all at the same time, in every single location, during the time of day most 9-5er’s would think: “I could really use something from Starbucks right about now.”  

Shameless Self Promotion

February 27, 2008

Check out HMA quarterback Scott Hanson and his thoughts on how a local business can build a global presence in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, on newsstands now.

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Parents behaving badly…

February 26, 2008

scott1.jpg Major League spring training is underway, the high school baseball season is back in full swing and Little Leaguers are soon to follow.

It’s time for all the super parents to continue prepping their pre-teens and high school athletes for their sure-fire college scholarships and professional baseball careers. Parents have already marred the landscape of youth sports so badly that it’s mostly unrecognizable as a way for kids to have fun participating in sports without the enormous pressures of winning at all costs, succeeding beyond all expectations and making mommy and daddy so vicariously proud that they can’t control themselves.

If only parents spent as much time on their kids’ academics as they do their budding sports careers.

One of my favorite columnists is Tom Kuyper.  He’s got it right.  Kids should participate in multiple sports.  Parents should let kids be kids.  Our society’s priorities have gotten out of whack when it comes to youth sports.

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Think not?  Go to a high school or youth sporting event and just watch the parents.  They’d be so embarrassed if their own kids behaved the way some of the parents do.  Even more so, they’d be tremendously embarrassed if they watched themselves in action.

Make sure to sign up for this Wednesday’s PRSA Luncheon! This month, PRSA is honored to have Dan Wool from the Valley PR Blog as its guest. He will be giving a social media presentation and then holding a Q&A session to answer all of the things PR people have ever wanted to know about Web 2.0. Click here to register today!

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This weekend, our client Cachet Homes is holding the Valley’s first-ever luxury home auction in Arizona. The event, being held at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale will include the auction of homes at both Cachet Homes at Verrado in Buckeye and Cachet Homes at Flagstaff Ranch in Flagstaff, with minimum bidding prices starting in the high $190’s for Verrado and in the low $200’s for Flagstaff Ranch, a savings of nearly 50 percent in each community.

February 21, 2008

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As a near-college-graduate, I’ve been in school for more than 17 years.  I’m glad that I’ll be graduating in May, but not for the reasons you might suspect.  Yes, I’m ready to give up my late-night, Redbull-fueled study sessions and pizza deliveries at equally strange hours.  However, I’ve recently become increasingly concerned with safety on campuses around the country.

To be clear, I’m not some paranoid crazy that allows fear to rule my life. However, last week was certainly one of tragedy around the country, despite the Valentine’s Day holiday.

Last week, a 14-year-old shot and killed a classmate in Oxnard, California.  Prosecutors charged him with attempted murder and said that it was a hate crime, as the victim would often come to school dressed in “feminine” attire and said he was gay.

A gunman then opened fire on a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University on Thursday.  He killed six people, including himself, and wounded 16 others.  Authorities on campus reacted quickly, having learned from the Virginia Tech massacre in April.  The shooting occurred around 3 p.m., and, CNN.com wrote:

At 3:03 p.m. CT, university police responded, and four minutes later, the campus was ordered into “a lockdown situation,” said Grady, the police chief.

At 3:20, an all-campus alert went out via the school Web site, e-mail, voice mail, the campus crisis hotline, the news media and alarm systems, he said.

“The message basically was: There’s a gunman on campus, stay where you are; make yourself as safe as possible,” he said.

By 4 p.m., DeKalb police had swept the area “and determined there was only one gunman” and that he was dead.

“It was absolutely a marvelous response” by campus safety authorities, Grady said.

It’s appalling that these incidents keep occurring, yet is there anything else that could’ve been done to stop this?  Do you think the media play into it at all? Do you think some people out there love getting those 15 minutes of fame THAT MUCH? Please comment below.

Freelancing

February 20, 2008

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Freelancing… or just lancing.

Many agencies utilize the expertise of freelancers from time-to-time, as does HMA Public Relations.  There are usually solid written agreements in place that prohibit the freelancer from doing work for the agency’s clients without the agency’s authorization. 

That makes sense.  Afterall – the freelancer wouldn’t even be at the party with the client — representing the agency — if it weren’t for the agency bringing them along.

But when the freelancer begins work for the agency’s clients outside of the agency/freelancer agreement – we have a serious problem.

When that occurs, especially without any discussions with the agency about it, the low road is clearly the one being traveled.  It is both a breach of trust and an ethical breakdown.

From an agency standpoint, it’s bad enough when an employee leaves to go work in-house for a client and terminates the agency/client relationship, or leaves and takes clients in the process.   It’s even worse when a freelancer does that to an agency.

Have our ethics been completely lost in the shuffle of life?