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it’s a person, not an expense line


Corporate spokespeople keep getting it so wrong.

Their “statements” should be “conversations”.

They should talk to the audience, not at them.

But this morning I see another example of the spokesperson rope-a-dope. We’ve talked about this before but the problem is not getting better – even though companies seem to be getting very practiced at dismissals recently.

To wit, the local Entercom station (WBEN-AM) let go of Monica Wilson, their News/Talk station’s news director for the past seven years because of budget cuts; its Q4 and that’s what radio groups who focus primarily on shareholder value do.

Radio group employees know this starting out – low pay and low job security. But the passion for radio (which I understand and fully respect on their behalf) is what keeps them in the industry. No fight, no foul.

So the local newspaper calls for a quote and gets this beauty of a quote from Emily DiTomo of Entercom:

“Due to challenging economic conditions, we have made a few difficult, yet necessary and prudent decisions to selectively trim expenses.”

Yes I agree, that’s nothing but crap.

That’s what happens when lawyers wrap their “safe speak” around what can be easily and more humanly communicated as a business reality.

Do radio groups not get that their employees read this stuff in the paper? Don’t they get what it does to the morale of “those left behind” at the station to be referred to as an “expense”?

People are staff, they are employees or you might even call them (gasp!) people.

Viewing staff and speaking about them as nothing more than an expense line may make your lawyers happy and make the corporate ax grinders feel less worse (no one likes to fire someone, in most cases) but boy howdy does it devalue the key ingredient without which your business will cease to exist: employees.

a voice talent’s worst enemy is sometimes in the mirror

Everyone has to do what they have to do to make a legal living.

Each person has to set a value on their professional worth and what their skill set is worth.

This I believe.

I just happen to also think that people willing to voice 20 statements for $60 or less (yes, that IS $3.00 a statement) might enjoy a better profit doing darn near any other job than voice over.


(Yes, that job description does say “Please, only bid if you are a professional voice artist.” )

And they might save a bit of professional face (hide the blemish of the low-balling brand, if you will) by not posting their lowly value so publicly (with clickable profiles, even) on a totally open bidding site that anyone can find – without trying- via a Google alert.


(Yes, that does say “Lenny is the name, and VoiceOver is my game!”)

No, everyone does not have to believe what I believe.

Clearly, there are many who don’t.

And the industry is poorer for it.

P.S. I signed up for a free account on this site about a month ago…don’t think I bid on anything; yes after tonight’s viewing that account will be closed up.

are you one of my 315?


During my morning Reader reading (remember when we used to read something called a newspaper? Ha! How passé) I came across (Oh, well, yes I still do read a newspaper too. Anyway…) a blog post on Linked In allowing new applications to be integrated on to someone’s Linked In page. Very tight restrictions, as is the LinkedIn way but I went and saw a video about the apps to see if I wanted to add one or two.

There was a Word Press app that I kinda understood and since my blog is a Word Press blog, I added it. Or I think I did, I’m not sure. Nothing really happened when I added it so you may see it on my profile or you may not. Sometimes my button pushing on computers is less than stellar. In real life I can be an excellent button pusher but that’s not always seen as a good thing.

Any way, goodness such rambling today….the point I was trying to get to before these tangents in my head kept over taking my fingers on the keyboard was that I was surprised to see I now have 315 connections on LinkedIn. I didn’t think it was up that high but I also wasn’t following its growth like a tote board at a telethon either.

I’m a pretty open connector / networker on LinkedIn, I guess a Lion or LION (their emphasis) is a group nickname for it. Yet I am not really aiming for the 500+ moniker, the magic number where LinkedIn stops tallying one’s connection count (I guess that makes me a bit of a remedial Lion, possibly the runt of the litter). Once you learn some tricks its really not hard to get heavily connected. I think its fine if somebody WANTS to do that but for me I always come back to one question.


Why not grow somewhat naturally, organically to use the search term, with people you have a connection with in real life, already have a connection with on-line or have a reasonable or likely opportunity to develop a business relationship in the future? Occasionally I feel like I might be connecting with someone just to be polite. Damn you, Emily Post! 😉

Strictly for purposes of example, I’m connected with a couple of LIONS who are Human Resource Managers (lots of those professionals live on LinkedIn it seems to me) who may want a shot at connecting with my contacts but I’m not going to likely do business with any of the HR folks. I sometimes wonder if I’ve made a (very minor with no disrespect intended) mistake simply accepting that kind of connection. Or maybe they’ll offer me a million dollar job that will change my life.

Granted, LinkedIn allows you to use your database to communicate via email outside of LinkedIn in a professional way. I let people know in my profile that I will communicate with them in this way (although one person long ago evidently couldn’t read and accused me of spam; it was no one of any consequence anyway) and I do update these folks on my businesses.

My goal though is to have my business communication mean something to them, to have it seem logical (i.e. “Oh, I have a video production company and this voice talent just sent me his newsletter and since we use voice talent on occasion, receiving this newsletter makes sense!”) Worse than being accused of spam, I would hate to be accused to wasting someone’s time.

If LinkedIn is to have professional value to all of us (and certainly it can also have personal value as well) quality should be the prime directive not quantity. But if I get to 500+ contacts….be assured it will only be because quality begot quantity.

And if you actually read through this entire blog post, especially if you didn’t feel like commenting, just type in the word “finished”. Then I’ll have to think of some prize to give you for muddling your way all the way down here. I’ll start with saying thanks! And of course I want to connect with YOU.

great business advice from an ad guy and garrison keillor


This post is short but you must read it in part because brilliant quote: “Nothing great was ever accomplished by cynical people.”

what have you done with my pepsi?

2008 Pepsi Can

If you hadn’t heard, Pepsi (my primary drink of choice) is going through a rebranding process.

The change, across all the soda’s brands, was leaked last week. If you caught my post on Twitter, I forewarned you.

There’s been a boatload of money thrown at this change, believe it.

It’s um, not good.

Now while I don’t care for the re-design, I do heart how they are tying in the digital world to promote it. This is a good use of public relations and social media. And no I am no offended that as a life long dedicated Pepsi drinker I didn’t get this Pepsi Care package. I know my place in the social media world (2nd from the bottom) and I’m cool with it.

Oh and Pepsi, who also owns Tropicana Orange Juice, is completely re-branding that line as well (this I like a bit better). Look for the new designs on a store shelf near you soon.

Full details from Brand New on Pepsi and Tropicana.

Here is a video highlighting the old looks and the new looks. The side by side comparisons make the new design look even worse to me.

a great, under rated logo turns 100


I’ve never been to London but I know the logo for London’s Underground. With a tip of the popular audio’connell baseball cap to designboom for the head’s up, the logo (whose shape turns out to have a proper name: roundel) was the work of the late arts and crafts calligrapher Edward Johnston in 1917. Architect Charles Holden began incorporating Johnson’s sign design within the distinctive underground stations Holden designed from the 1920s.

This is a great example of why I love the internet, blogs and RSS. I wasn’t thinking about any of this before I read it this morning but now I am so pleased that I know it.

Yes, I am a geek but you don’t have to point it out to me 😉