I hate PR-infused e-mail quotes

Some folks in public relations relish the opportunity for their clients to respond to journalists in e-mail.

The message can be crafted, measured and direct. Really, it ought to be a great opportunity, but most times, in my experience, I see the difference between a wizard in media manipulation and some hack. The lessons are for reporters and PR reps alike.

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Six month old trend, then I'm ready to join: is your newspaper like that too?

I am now the proud owner of an mp3 player – my first.

It’s a trend of my coming to any popular phase months too late. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not.

In anything, from electronics to music to business innovation in media, there are trend-setters, followers and late-comers. Which are you, and which is your organization?

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Newspapers: stop moving around your online articles

Let those links live.

For most newspapers, I bet, this is an issue with their content management system, but this is getting serious.

Two of my best clips ever for the Philadelphia Inquirer, including one among my favorite stories I’ve ever written, are no longer available online – even though the links are still live for a profile on state Rep. Babette Josephs and a 1000-word ditty on the nascent Harrisburg reform movement.

Someone just plum and moved them, I guess behind a paywall, though I can’t find them even there.

Why would any newspaper do that, particularly a big newsaper with evergreen like profiles and enterprise features?

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Why don't Philadelphia police and fire departments sell merchandise?

God, I could get sick if I see someone else with an NYPD hat.

But, Hell, kudos because that is brand development and, I’d bet, some additional revenue for those departments – even if lots of copycats are out there.

I could only imagine the fear is police impersonation, but I have to believe you could limit the design and merchandise to mitigate that fear.

In a city of huge bureaucracy, this could be a department of the city’s police or fire departments that could make some money. As much as those departments are reviled by some, there are those eager to support a big city’s bravest and finest. Let’s monetize that for the city.

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How, why and what should a young journalist start blogging

If you are a budding journalist, or trying to break back into the game, if you’re a writer, a poet, an editor or aspiring movie star, if you want to be on TV or on radio, why aren’t you blogging?

If only just a bit.

Newspapers are trying to establish themselves by these online rules, and some are finding much better success blogging than others. All media are finding ways to make money and find stars online.

Assuming you want to be part of both of those, you need to do something about it.

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Are WordPress, Blogger the next Angelfire and Geocities?

In the late 1990s, a host of Web sites democratized the Internet, giving the average Internet-user the chance to have his own online home.

In 2003, MySpace used the model and brought in a new age of social networking.

Last week I posted that MySpace is on the way out, and briefly mentioned that WordPress and Blogger are taking over the role of providing free, easy-to-manipulate Web presences.

Does that make them the next Angelfire or Geocities? Are they just another trend ready to be overcome?

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Why losing a job can hurt men more (Philadelphia Inquirer 2/4/09)

By Christopher Wink | Feb. 4, 2009 | Philadelphia Inquirer

Thomas Schuler is a man.

Since October, he also has been without a job, a combination of characteristics that some say comes with distinct disadvantages.

That’s because unemployment affects men differently than women – research shows joblessness often is emotionally harder for men to bear. And with the economy hemorrhaging high numbers of jobs, disproportionately in male-dominated industries, those disparate emotions – shame, anger, fear, vulnerability – are on display more than ever. These feelings often find their way into other parts of a man’s life, affecting relationships with friends, wife and children.

“Historically, men have been in the breadwinner role in families, and so their sense of self is wrapped up in their ability to provide,” said Jerry Jacobs, a University of Pennsylvania sociology professor whose research focuses on labor. “So even today, when men are unemployed, that comes as a different kind of blow than to women.”

Schuler was proud when he landed his job as a facilities engineer at a struggling hotel in Plymouth Meeting. But when his position became a casualty of his company’s struggles, he suffered.

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Inquirer: How unemployment affects men

David Clyburn reads in the Nicetown Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia as he waits for a computer to use in his search for a job. (Photo by  BONNIE WELLER / Staff Photographer)

David Clyburn reads in the Nicetown Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia as he waits for a computer to use in his search for a job. (Photo by BONNIE WELLER / Staff Photographer)

I have a clip in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer on the emotional effects unemployment can have on men.

Thomas Schuler is a man.

Since October, he also has been without a job, a combination of characteristics that some say comes with distinct disadvantages. Read the rest here.

Below see the loads of good information and quotes that didn’t make it into the final story.

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PW: Central library expansion on hold

Artists rendering of the completed expansion of the central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The project has been long delayed.

Artist's rendering of the completed expansion of the central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The project has been long delayed.

I covered the again-stalled addition to Philadelphia’s Free Library central branch for Philadelphia Weekly, and it ran online during the weekend as part of their growing Web presence.

Think of it as the library of the future.

At more than 300 computers, graphic designers work on new projects, musicians record and bloggers and authors write and research, using the quiet of old and the wireless of new. Arching skylights vault over glass walkways, and plate–glass windows open an 8,500–square–foot foyer to light and weather patterns. A Visual and Performing Arts Department lets visitors focus on music instead of books. A Teen Center brings resources to school–aged kids courtesy of tattooed librarians, while the Entrepreneurium offers those who dream of starting a business the tools to make it happen. It’s all designed by internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie, and it’s called Parkway Central—one of the premiere libraries in the nation.

It’s also, for now, a fiction… Read the rest here.

Comment and then come on back for a few items I cut from the story – see them below.

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