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april 3 is Good People Day – pass it on


Via a post early today from CC Chapman and his communication from holiday founder Gary Vaynerchuk (who likes the vino) April 3rd is now Good People Day. Your mail will still be delivered and banks are open.

The concept is simple: use the power of the internet and the strength of social media to let “people write and talk (and) blog and twitter and just flat out SING about people that are AWESOME and GOOD.”

Crap, this another one of those simple ideas that I always miss and say “I wish I thought of that!”

I know a ton of awesome people but my especially my wife and children and basically anyone in my family. That’s a given. CC and Gary came up with the idea and/or communicated it to me so they are now also good people.

The problem with a list like this is names will be omitted who should be highlighted. Know that if your not on this list but you are reading this blog I think YOU ARE GOOD PEOPLE.

I’d have to write a book on each person to do justice to how great they are….I won’t cause I know my posts are too long anyway. Know that there’s a great story behind each name and probably a great story associated with you too.

So just off the top of my head (links where available)

Peg Keane -best person in the world and everyone who knows her knows that
Frank Frederick
Bob Souer
DB Cooper
Mary McKitrick
Toni Silveri
Voxmarketising subscribers
Ann Hackett
Msgr. Francis Braun
Fr. Norbert Burns
Fr. David LiPuma
John Crupe
Jack LoCastro
Michele Krollman (well, all her family too)
The Haleys
Jeanne Hellert
Everyone at Greenwood Group
Leesa Barnes
Kara Edwards
Everyone at Rare Earth
Everyone involved in Podcamp Toronto
My clients (really not sucking up…I’m lucky to have only nice clients)
And you.

Thanks just being around and for being who you are. I’m grateful I have you in my life.

Now please, post your list today. Do it, twitter it, podcast it. Today’s Good People Day. It’s an internet reminder to say thanks and that you’re important. Then just try and remember to do this everyday.

knock off the double speak


Companies big and small have to layoff people occasionally because revenues are not strong enough or expenses are too high or the owners want a better profit and salaries eat into their profit taking. If you own the company, you get to make these decisions and that’s the way it is.

Save for a contract, few people who are gainfully employed have an employment guarantee. We’re all grown ups and understand this to be a hard fact of life.

Everyone except public relations vice presidents, marketing heads, and HR staffers.

Either forced by their bosses or of their own accord, these normally clear speaking individuals start spewing a load of incomprehensible crap as soon as they or their company is asked for a media comment regarding lay-offs.

Case in point is the story in the New York Daily News today about a recent round of layoffs at WCBS-TV. The crux of the story is that for financial reasons, CBS ditched some on-air talent and behind the scenes staffers. Sad news for those affected, certainly, but jobs (ANY jobs) are only guaranteed if the money is available (or made available) to pay the staff.

So contrast the simplicity of that with this corporate speak baloney as reported by the Daily News:

The exact number of people leaving was unclear.

Reached Monday, Ch. 2 general manager Peter Dunn declined to discuss specifics.

“The strategic realignment of our team will allow the station to continue to invest wisely in the people and infrastructure that will drive future growth in ratings, revenue and community service,” Dunn said.

Just about all the CBS owned and operated stations around the country started layoffs recently.

In Chicago, WBBM-TV, also axed a bunch of staff on March 31st including the city’s supposedly top paid anchor, Diann Burns. The report in the Chicago Sun Times notes:

One source said the total reduction represented less than 10 percent of the station’s workforce.

“The reorganization of our team allows us to operate more efficiently,” said Elizabeth Abrams, director of communications at Channel 2. “We will continue to invest in the people and in the infrastructure that will drive our future growth in ratings, in revenue and in community service.”

WBZ-TV in Boston showed the door to staffers on Monday as well, according to the Boston Globe:

Local CBS station WBZ-TV (Channel 4) began making staff cuts, according to a station spokeswoman. The cuts are expected to be about 10 percent of the overall workforce of 220. “There have been staff reductions stationwide as a result of our restructuring for efficiencies and streamlining our operations while maintaining quality programming and service to the community,” said Ro Dooley Webster, spokeswoman for Brighton-based WBZ-TV. TV

Well, I guess our answers were rehearsed, weren’t they?

“…strategic realignment…”

“…invest in the people and in the infrastructure…”

“….our restructuring for efficiencies and streamlining our operations…”

Dunn, Adams and Dooley may have “said” it but it sure looks like somebody at corporate emailed them a script. Otherwise (and I have never met any of them) they may all be robots. And a 1970’s type robot at that, because nobody normally speaks that way. Lawyers do and nobody likes them. And maybe there’s a corporate CYA mode in effect here but stop, just please stop!

Be honest, take a day’s bad publicity and move on. Any company who issue’s a statement like those two on any corporate issue makes a company look totally insincere and no amount of “2 on your side” promos, little league sponsorship or whatever is going to fix that perception.

How about this WCBS-tailored example instead:

“I don’t know anybody who likes to be laid off or who likes laying people off and that includes us. Making these cuts was very painful for those extremely talented people directly affected, for our staff who will miss their valued co-workers and for the managers who had agonizing business decisions to make. Our business reality is that we have to compare our overall expenses to the long term growth of our station which still provides jobs for over 150 New Yorkers every day. While WCBS will now be better financially positioned long term, today it sucks for everyone involved.”

I’m sure there are lawyers and others who could punch holes and find millions of dollars in liability in that quote. But it acknowledges the pain of the situation for everyone (those leaving and staying), it addresses a long term business reality and it’s not corporate speak.

Honesty can still be the best policy.

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