How not to ask for free publicity

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Each of us builds up a valuable network of acquaintances over the years — former coworkers, people at clients, and people we met at corporate social occasions and events, for example. These folks can help you with a little free publicity, provided you don’t approach them as a selfish ass. Asking isn’t a problem if … Continued

A weak and passive apology from Andrew Cuomo

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is now the subject of multiple allegations of sexual harassment, including both suggestive speech and unwanted kissing. I’m not here to litigate Cuomo’s conduct. He’s agreed to have his attorney general investigate his conduct. As I have before for others, I’ll analyze his apology statement for its effectiveness in communication. … Continued

I was just thinking . . .

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People younger than you know stuff you don’t know. So do people older than you. So learn to listen better. You shouldn’t engage with politics unless you are also engaged with reality. The things you know about people will still be true decades later. The things you know about things will be obsolete in a … Continued

Understanding Dr. Seuss — and why his books were cancelled

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I have been in love with Dr. Seuss since childhood, and happily raised my own children on his lyrical work. Much of his imagery is delightful because it is so exaggerated; some of it is racist. If you want to understand why the company that manages his content has ceased to publish some of his … Continued

The politically incorrect editor

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I get complaints about how my advice is insensitive to certain types of humans and living things. I will not turn my advice into mush. I like it crunchy. Most of you do, too. If you don’t like it, read somebody else. Here are my responses to the complaints people have made or may be … Continued

Avoiding blurb disasters

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Are you ready to ask for blurbs (endorsement quotes) — for your book? Do it right and you’ll maximize your chances of getting the golden endorsement from your most influential connections. Blow it and they’ll resent you for asking. Here are my best tips for a successful blurb campaign — including a few war stories. … Continued

Misfit

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Here is a story that will tell you something about me. I am in my first month at a new job. I am surrounded by a few colleagues who are the smartest people I ever worked with. The conversation turns to people’s history. We come to realize that all of us have felt like a … Continued

How tragic is the COVID-19 pandemic compared to other causes of death?

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Today I undertake a morbid and probably misguided analysis of the depth of the COVID-19 tragedy in America, examining the number of years of life lost. Trigger warning: this post discusses causes of death including suicide. Why would I undertake such a task? We are all reeling from the shocking numbers here. Half a million … Continued