As expected, the Public Relations Global Network has added three additional international members.


They are:  Evident P.R. of The Netherlands, Aspire Communications of India and Mileage Communications of Singapore.


Each of these new affiliates adds to what has become the most dynamic public relations network in the world.  HMA is proud to be associated with such tremendous firms.


As the outgoing president, I passed the gavel to Frank Cullen of Cullen Communications, Dublin, Ireland, who will serve a one-year term as PRGN’s president.  He will be followed by Jose Luiz Schiavoni of S2 Comunicação Integrada Sao Paulo, Brazil.


The PRGN is in good hands.










I hate Kobe Bryant. And nine months ago, you hated him too. You know, the Bryant who was going on radio talk shows and making fun of his young L.A. Lakers team; the Bryant who refused to play with Shaq ever again; the Bryant who demanded he be traded to a playoff-caliber team; and, of course, the Bryant who was accused of you know what, you know when and you know where.

But, against all odds, a marketable version of Bryant is not just back, but better than ever.






Just last week, we saw a smiling (!!!) Bryant acting as the face of the NBA and lending on-air support via satellite to “American Idol Gives Back.” And just this week, the USA Today published this obviously PR-crafted article, where Bryant exclaims, “I’ve always wanted to be here” when asked about his long-suffering, now re-born L.A. Lakers team. And these are only a couple examples from the past two weeks!


I have to hand to Bryant’s PR team – they are geniuses, and working around the clock to make now-MVP contender Bryant seem like an “everyman,” albeit a ridiculously talented everyman, but one just the same. Personally I still hate him, but I do respect the hard work of his PR folks behind the scenes. How is his PR machine working on you?

“Everyman” Portrayals

April 24, 2008

It is election time! This can only mean two things – Saturday Night Live will be

funny for the next few months, and our esteemed candidates’ PR teams will be working around the clock to prove they are just like us! This year, our “big three” even went so far as to appear on World Wrestling Entertainment’s highly-rated “WWE Monday Night Raw.” And, the Clinton/Obama camps had their spouses pen “why you should vote for my husband/wife” op-ed pieces in glossy tabloid (and guilty pleasure) US Magazine. Oh, and stuffy, old McCain even bragged about watching MTV dramafest The Hills – THE HILLS!?!??!



So, here is my question for the PR teams – don’t these candidates have much more schooling, experience and expertise than I? Then why are they pandering? And why is it a good thing to pretend to be an everyman? I always try to promote my client’s in the best possible light and promote their expertise, not their everyman qualities. So, think these “everyman” tactics are working, or just reminding us how out of touch some candidates truly are? Comment below.



The Happy File

April 23, 2008


I’m one of those people who never throw anything away, especially the kind notes and cards that friends and family send.  I keep them in the “happy file” and if I’m having a bad day, I pull one out.  I mentioned in my last post that I spoke to the ASU West class and was quite impressed with the students.  As part of their class, they are asked to write reaction papers about the different speakers.    I now have a half a dozen new additions to the “happy file.”  You just never know what kind of impression you can make on a person.


And to those students that are concerned about timesheets, don’t be.  There are plenty of great communications positions available in corporate, government or non-profit that don’t require timesheets.  But if you decide to take on the agency world, you’ll get used to it.  I’ve been doing timesheets for so long now I wouldn’t know what to do without them.

Operation Military Pride

April 22, 2008

Back in November, SMACNA Arizona (the Arizona chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association), along with Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local Union No. 359 and the Phoenix Sheet Metal Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, donated items, assembled care packages and sent them to Arizona National Guard soldiers stationed oversees.

They recently received a personal thank-you from the unit that received the items.



 God Bless the U.S.A.


HMA is a full-service public relations firm, something we are extremely proud of. With that, we are often called upon to work with other marketing agencies, be them graphic design or advertising, to co-promote our clients. My bosses always refer to our knack for this as “playing in the sandbox well with others.”


Recently, I just started work on two projects with two advertising agencies, and I wanted to see what everyone out there on both sides of the coin thinks – has working with another agency on a project elicited a “two heads are better than one” mentality for you? Discuss and comment below.

Photo of the Day

April 17, 2008

It has been quite the busy April for HMA, especially with this past weekend’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. We are proud to call the Subway Restaurants in the Phoenix market our client, and even prouder of the fabulous children’s event – The Subway Freshest, Fittest Tailgate Party of the Year – they worked with us to put on our at PIR just before the race.


Congrats to the winning kids, their classes and organizations.


April 16, 2008


The Public Relations Global Network will hold its spring meeting in Paris, April 17-19.


This will be my last meeting as president of the PRGN.  At the conclusion of the Saturday session, I will hand the gavel over to Frank Cullen of Cullen Communications in Dublin, Ireland, who will serve as PRGN’s president for the next year.


We also expect to add three new international members to the network, as agencies from Singapore, India and The Netherlands will present their credentials for membership.


Under the direction of Elysabeth Ebel and Daniel Dhombres, our host agency, Greenwich, has done a tremendous job of organizing things for us in advance of our members’ arrivals from as far away as Australia, South Africa and Japan.


Gotta dust off the passport.


April 15, 2008

I just saw a survey that reported 52,600 people work full-time in daily newspaper newsrooms – the lowest number since 1984 (before I could even read!). And, I didn’t find the story from a general news source, but from a blog, where many of us turn these days. So, what are your thoughts on the future of the traditional newsroom? Discuss and comment below.

My favorite soap opera, CBS’ The Young and the Restless, managed to render me speechless twice in the past seven days – and for once it had nothing to do with an evil twin or someone coming back from the dead.   



Actually, within the past week, the soap managed to portray one of the worst versions of a public relations practitioner ever shown on the boob tube – “Patrick the Publicist” – and then turned around and did nearly an entire show on ethical journalism.

“We can’t give preferential editorial treatment to advertisers no matter what,” said bad girl-turned-co-publisher of “Restless Style MagazinePhyllis Summers Abbott Newman.




As “Patrick” giggled in delight at scoring the cover of the New York Times (because a magazine launch in Genoa City certainly trumps a war and impending recession) by simply picking up the telephone (because that happens) and glommed onto the regular cast members by sucking up and showing off all of the media he was able to wrangle for the launch of the big magazine, I almost had a seizure from rolling my eyes so much.

Alas, at least the journalist inside of me felt good. It also reminded me of the great journalists here in the Valley who were lauded this past weekend at the annual Society of Professional Journalist Freedom of Information dinner and award banquet.