Author Archives: Tony Silber

Above the Fold, or Just Out of Date?

I was editing a report the other day about a PR person who got into a spat with a news organization. And the report used the phrase, “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” Some of you might know that one. Many of you may not have heard it. But… | MORE »

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3 Pretty Little Lies About Marketing Communications

There I was in the dentist’s chair with the TV on in front of me, with the 10 or 11 “Good Morning America” co-hosts—or was it 13 or 14?—yelling and laughing maniacally as one at some unfunny cross-promotional tidbit about what’s trending on Twitter. I only prayed the whine and scrape of the ultrasonic scaler […] | MORE »

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5 Reasons You Should Focus Your Efforts on Social Media, Not Mainstream Media

Over the weekend, I repeatedly came across examples of the realities of the new media ecosystem. On Saturday, I saw on Facebook a hot conversation about an apparently serious car accident in my town. People were reporting what they saw. They were sharing second-hand accounts, and of course, opinions. I toggled over to the local […] | MORE »

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When an Old Crisis Resurfaces: 4 Principles for an Effective Response

Yesterday, I was driving home with a friend, and the conversation turned, as it inevitably does, to Howard Dean’s famous scream in the 2004 presidential campaign. (Okay, it’s not really inevitable, it’s just funny to say that, and it goes to a point I’m about to make.) And that point, to borrow from an old […] | MORE »

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Richard Sherman and the Danger of Misinterpretation in Communications

You know how athletes celebrate by jumping in the air and banging into each other? Or develop ritual dances and other showboat-y gestures? This is especially true in football. I noticed in the Seahawks-49ers game a week ago how when the Seahawks scored, they eschewed the dances. They just shook hands. I thought that was […] | MORE »

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Words and Phrases to be Banned, 2014 Edition

English has 1.1 million words, more words than any other language, according to the Global Language Monitor and other sources. That’s double the next most prolific language. And English adds about 15 words per day, or one every 98 minutes. So 400 years after the greatest English wordsmith of them all, William Shakespeare, the language […] | MORE »

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Non-Verbal Communications: The Underutilized Skill

There are certain people who even when they’re smiling warmly have a certain gravitas. They have a certain air that suggests intelligence, calculation, control, even as they engage the people around them. Bill Clinton has that. So does Denzel Washington. Oprah Winfrey. Colin Powell does, and Ronald Reagan did too. One thing that struck me […] | MORE »

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Perception Versus Reality in PR

Earlier in my career I worked with an editor for a media magazine who moved into PR after the magazine went defunct. We’ve kept in touch, him pitching stories to me for media-company clients, and me always trusting his judgment and willing to take a call. Why was I so willing? Because he’s a thoughtful […] | MORE »

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When to Apologize

As I write this I’m watching a report on MSNBC criticizing the apology issued by 60 Minutes for a report last month about the attack on the embassy in Benghazi. The apology, by correspondent Lara Logan, was not enough—that was the consensus. “It was not nearly satisfying,” said guest David Brock. “I thought it was […] | MORE »

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What’s First, Technology or Content?

I’ve been thinking lately about how media is moving increasingly toward a greater technology dependence. I’ve read about how investment dollars, especially in Silicon Valley, where so much media-related innovation is occurring, steer towards technology solutions for media consumers. New utilities—new ways to interact with content—seems to be more important than the content itself. Think […] | MORE »

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