Client from Hell

Don’t be the Client from Hell This Holiday Season!

The client from Hell, the boss from Hell—there are many permutations of this phenomenon. But sometimes the holiday season brings out the worst in us. End of the Year Rush In the marketing and PR world, this is the time of year when clients find unused money in their budgets and scramble to get new […]

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How to write a eulogy

How to Write a Eulogy and Deliver It: 10 Tips

Last month, on the first anniversary of my father’s death, I wrote a post called How to Write a Eulogy. My main points then still apply: First and foremost, speak from the heart. If it’s meaningful to you, it will be meaningful to others. Ignore the “rules.” There is no one “right” way to write a […]

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A Tale of Two Jerks and the Illusion of Privacy

The Internet and mobile technology didn’t invent bad behavior, but they sure have exacerbated it. That’s been vividly illustrated in two stories that broke this week. Together they offer a cautionary tale about the limits of anonymity and privacy in the modern world. Anonymity Breeds Contempt Until he was fired last week, Jofi Joseph was […]

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Stupid Marketing Tricks

Stupid Marketing Tricks: My Fatal Five

I’m not a particularly difficult person to get along with, but there are certain practices in the marketing and PR field that give us all a bad name. They rise to the level of Stupid Marketing Tricks. So whether you’re marketing your business or just marketing yourself, here are my pet peeves, dealbreakers and don’t-go-theres. […]

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Doctor-patient communication

My Little Heart Scare and Doctor-Patient Communication

I learned some valuable lessons about doctor-patient communication last week—and all I had to do was spend the night in the hospital. This is a tale of two healthcare professionals: one offered assurance, and the other almost gave me a heart attack. (Which would have been ironic, since I was in the hospital for a […]

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Too Much Communication

Communication is Like Cake: Know When to Say When

How much communication is too much? That’s a question that inevitably arises whenever I do a presentation or interview. Specifically, people will ask: When expressing emotion, how much emoting is too much? When doing business, how much chit chat is too much? When presenting to an audience, how much eye contact is too much? A Matter […]

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How to write a eulogy

How to Write a Eulogy: Lessons From My Dad’s Funeral

My father died a year ago tomorrow, on September 11 of all days, and I was privileged to deliver a eulogy. For anyone struggling with this task, my advice is this: the first rule of writing a eulogy is there are no rules. And ignore anyone who pretends there is. Ignore the Rules At the […]

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Bezos Buys Washington Post

Jeff Bezos’ Master Class in Employee Communications

The news that Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post was a shock. Almost as shocking was the textbook way he handled the delicate communication to employees. The Post is much more than a newspaper. It’s practically a national institution — one that many people, not the least of which are its employees, hold dear. So […]

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Humor in the Workplace

Great Moments in Funny Signage: Elvis Edition

When you drive nearly 1,800 miles in four days, comic relief is a welcome part of any road trip. On a holiday weekend swing through the southland, Elvis Presley’s Graceland provided an unexpected moment of laughter. And it wasn’t just his sideburns or his jumpsuits or his carpeted kitchen — I’m talking intentional humor, right there […]

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Tips for Apologizing

How to Apologize: 10 Essential Steps

Last week, the fundraising site Kickstarter got itself into some pretty hot water over a campaign for a “seduction guide” that a lot of people found offensive and misogynistic. I wasn’t aware of the controversy, but I am a huge fan of the world-class apology they published. It’s a textbook guide on how to apologize. (A few […]

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